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Blog5 - Greens Speak Out on Recount and Our Commitment to an Independent Party

Greens Speak Out on Recount and Our Commitment to an Independent Party

We write to reaffirm our commitment to building a Green Party that has a radical analysis of the society in which we live, and promotes bold solutions to transform our society and address the root causes of those crises; a Green Party that is independent of the two money-dominated parties.

There is a deep social crisis in the US. This crisis manifests in countless ways. One of its central manifestations is through the political system. People have legitimate concerns about the electoral system, which is manipulated through wholesale voter disenfranchisement, massive voter suppression and the racist and undemocratic historical logic of the Electoral College. In all fifty states, voters from poor and marginalized communities, especially Black people and other communities of color, have their votes suppressed and are excluded from participation through various practices.

The Green Party cannot build the political power necessary for the trans-formative changes we need by allying with two capitalist parties that serve the interests of the wealthy. That is why it is imperative that the Green Party is independent of those parties. We stay independent to give people an alternative to the corruption of two money-based parties. Greens reject donations from corporations and their political action committees to ensure we are accountable to the people and so that the people’s agenda is not superseded by the corporate agenda.

There are significant electoral reforms needed to make elections more democratic and more representative of the people. While we support electoral reforms, including how the vote is counted, we do not support the current recount being undertaken by Jill Stein.

The decision to pursue a recount was not made in a democratic or a strategic way, nor did it respect the established decision making processes and structures of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).  The recount has created confusion about the relationship between the Green and Democratic parties because the states chosen for the recount are only states in which Hillary Clinton lost. There were close races in other states such as New Hampshire and Minnesota where Clinton won, but which were not part of the recount. And this recount does not address the disenfranchisement of voters; it recounts votes that were already counted rather than restoring the suffrage of voters who were prevented from voting.

As a candidate, Dr. Stein has the right to call for a recount. However, we urge the GPUS to distance itself from any appearance of support for either Democrats or Republicans. We are well aware of the undemocratic actions taken during the primaries by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Greens cannot be perceived to be allied with such a party.

We remain committed to the Green Party’s four pillars and ten key values, which have at their foundation grassroots democracy. We urge the GPUS to prioritize its efforts on building our party from the bottom up, working and organizing in direct solidarity with our state and local parties and alongside and in defense of the rights of those most affected by the injustices of a capitalist, white supremacist and undemocratic system. This includes support for local efforts to prevent the disenfranchisement of people of color via voter suppression or because of felony convictions and to be more inclusive and participatory in our decision-making processes and work.

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Stress Reduction for a Healthier Life

Nearly everybody has some form of anxiety in their lifetime. Emotional stress could be a huge factor in someone’s fitness and health. Lots of people are very busy with their daily lives they do not realize just how much stress can affect their general health. The human body needs a certain degree of anxiety to run properly. For instance, the body requires employing some degree of anxiety to respond to a scenario which could lead to actual physical damage. Nevertheless, having too much emotional stress is able to have disastrous results on the entire body. Trying to outsource aspects of your life like hiring a personal trainer in knoxville to take control over your nutrition/diet and health is a simple step.

stress - Stress Reduction for a Healthier Life

Excessive emotional stress is able to result in problems with someone’s fitness and health. When someone’s entire body is overcome with anxiety it is able to result in the individual to get high blood pressure, lowered immune system, and despair. Other health problems from an excessive amount of stress are shifts in sexual function and blood clotting problems. Having these problems from an excessive amount of tension often leads an individual to have even further anxiety and stress within their life which escalates their health issues all the more.

stress2 - Stress Reduction for a Healthier LifeYou will find things people that are certain are able to do to reduce anxiety in their life to be able to boost their fitness and health. Exercising will help lower stress. Lots of people frequently underestimate the power that training has on minimizing stress. In truth, exercising is among the best ways to minimize stress. Exercising works as an all natural antidepressant to minimize anxiety and stress. Simply by walking at a reasonable pace for twenty minutes one day is able to help reduce a lot of stress. In case folks feel as if they simply do not have the time to exercise they are able to begin by taking shorter hikes on their breaks. Taking the stairs rather than the elevator is another great method to get in some swift exercise. Doing yoga is yet another good exercise to minimize stress. Yoga also improves focus and sharpens the head. Daily exercise helps people slim down which usually would make a person feel much better about themselves.

Taking breaks is another great way to minimize stress and improve fitness and health. Taking short breaks during the day can help the body overcome stressful situations. Often times folks believe they’re simply way too busy to take rests, but taking breaks may truly make them much more effective. During these breaks, individuals ought to attempt to not believe or even discuss stressful situations. By taking these brief breaks the body as well as the mind will have a while to recharge from combating anxiety. Taking breaks usually provides an individual a fresh perspective on a tense situation once they go back to the tense situation.

Blog11 - Got An Interest in Social Law? Let’s Look At the Different Types

Got An Interest in Social Law? Let’s Look At the Different Types

For anyone who’s committed to providing legal aid for social issues, it’s important to know the different types of social justice issues. We’ll take an in-depth look at the different types.

Social justice issues are, sadly, pretty much everywhere. There are social issues that exist in every part of the globe. This is why it is really important to have people who are wholly dedicated to righting social wrongs. Most people who are the victims of social injustice are those who cannot fight for themselves. Usually, they don’t even realize that they can fight for their rights.

When you want to tackle the social ills in the world, it’s important to know the two categories they usually fall under: Unequal Government Regulation and Inter-Social Treatment.

What is Unequal Government Regulation?

This refers to any laws or regulations that purposely or incidentally discriminate and do not disburse fair and equal opportunities and resources. It is under this category that poverty and the death penalty are discussed. The other issues that fall under this category are: civil rights, access to education, labor laws, and even access to healthcare.
For the hardworking lawyers who fight for our healthcare rights, this is the category of field that they specialize in. If any budding professionals have preferences for those topics, you now know the category to dedicate yourself to.

What is Inter-Social Treatment?

This refers to the conduct toward groups of people within a localized or regional scale. This is the category where the topics of racism, ageism, and sexism belong.
As you can see, this category is directed toward specified prejudices.

justice - Got An Interest in Social Law? Let’s Look At the Different Types

Social Legal Aid is crucial

With the staggering numbers for social injustices committed in the world shows that there is a critical need for aid. While most people would think of social issues that occur in far-flung third world countries, such issues are very much alive at the heart of our US states and cities.

With a president who isn’t inclined be a good example is bound to incite and empower those who aim to take advantage of others. The hate and prejudice thrown around in the US daily is a serious cause for concern. For those who wish to make a difference in social legalities, it is important to study up and face the challenge head on.

It is only if we all work together than social ills can be driven out.

Blog10 - Trump Family Has Depleted Secret Service Fund: Protect our Hardworking Agents!

Trump Family Has Depleted Secret Service Fund: Protect our Hardworking Agents!

Remember when Mr. Trump constantly criticized Obama for his “many unnecessary trips that cost millions in tax payer’s money”? The Trump family has long depleted the Secret Service Funds. It was around August this year where rumors started circulating that the Trump family had depleted the Secret Service protection fund. As of now, it can certainly be confirmed.

At the time, it was said that more than a thousand agents had hit the mandated caps for salary and allowances. The funding for this was supposed to last them a year. At the time when the rumors started, it had only been 8 months since Trump was inaugurated. The news that our Secret Service has run out of money to pay its agents is completely unprecedented and completely baffling. How about anytime you need a personal injury lawyer in austin?

As the president of our country, Trump is a symbol. This is why his safety is paramount. What is to happen now that they can no longer afford to pay the very people who are tasked to protect him? What does it say about us a country that our elected leader appears to be uncaring about how much he’s costing us? How much more do we stand before we say enough is enough?

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The incredible secret service agents were met with a crippling workload in terms of logistics. Trump, since the start of his presidency, has travelled consistently to one of his many properties. His adult children and their families, who are also under the protection of the Secret Service, constantly have business and vacation trips abroad. Unlike the Obamas, the Trumps have added a significant amount more people to protect.

Instead of saving tax payer’s money like he had promised, Trump has effectively blown through the budget that was supposed to last him for 12 months. And yes, even his family was factored into the initial cost and budget allotment. Every single time that Trump visits Mar-a-Lago, it costs an estimated $3 million each time. The other trips he’s taken, along with the necessary planning it takes to secure his safety, is no easy task.

Our hardworking agents now face the very real threat of not being compensated for work that they had already rendered. The entire concept is ridiculous. Something definitely needs to budge.

Here’s a hint: it shouldn’t be the tax payers. Mr. Trump needs to have a reality check and our hardworking agents need to be suitably compensated.

Blog9 - Taking a Stand: When the President Threatens Your Healthcare Access

Taking a Stand: When the President Threatens Your Healthcare Access

Donald Trump really loves Twitter. So much so that he can’t seem to stay off it. As such, we get an unfiltered insight into his thoughts and actions regarding our healthcare. It seems that the man is obsessed with dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was put in place by his predecessor.

When Mr. Trump was sworn into office, it seemed that he was well on his way to uprooting ACA. The Senate was majorly Republicans so it came as such a surprise that the ACA repeal has failed more than once. The president, along with this staff, had constantly harped on about not only repealing the ACA but replacing it with something that would effectively provide superior coverage at an even lower price. How they hoped to accomplish that while simultaneously promising to spend less public money is a pretty big mystery.

The day after the Senate failed to repeal the ACA, he tweeted which sent chills down everyone’s spines. In 140 characters or less, he pretty much threatened to end cost-sharing reduction subsidies for lower income Americans AND end the employer contribution for Congress members and their staff members.

Does our president have such absolute authority that he can simply cut people off from their bailouts?

Healthcare is not a stick to beat the American populace with. Yet, that is exactly what Trump is doing. A lot of Americans previously did not have access to adequate healthcare. That was something that the ACA helped with. Granted that the ACA has its share of flaws, it still managed to help countless of Americans with their medical emergencies and needs.

What do we, as Americans, do when the person who is supposed to make our lives better is on the path to make everything so much worse? What legal avenues can we realistically pursue? Here are a few suggestions:

Get in touch with your state representative

That’s what they are there for. Try to find who your representative is and let your voice be heard.

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Join in peaceful protests

As the political climate is strife with imminent hatred, it is even more important to showcase tolerance and peace. Take for example the Women’s March that occurred January this year. To-date, it is one of the largest single day protests in our history. Not only did it give a good show of numbers, it also sent a pretty clear message to Trump and the rest of the world.

Be discerning about the information you spread

The internet can be a pretty helpful place. It can also be quite treacherous. Facts are friends and you should arm yourself with them. Be careful with any pro or anti-Trump articles floating around in the internet. Take time to verify any information that you read before sharing. There is already significant confusion and strife in the world. It would be prudent not to add to any of it.
Trump is where he is because of the people. They can get him out as well.

Blog8 - Social Justice Discussion: Free Speech versus Hate Speech

Social Justice Discussion: Free Speech versus Hate Speech

The Constitution of America protects the right to free speech. This is a freedom that we have used liberally. However, where do we cross the line between “free” and “hate” speech? We take a closer look at that today.

What is free speech?

As a part of the First Amendment, Americans enjoy the freedom of speech. This means that they have the legal right to express any opinions, which may include offensive words or phrases, without censorship or restraint. To further explain, if you’ve ever heard the sentence “I may not like what you say but I defend your right to say it” that’s free speech. This covers written works as well.

What is hate speech?

Hate speech is a verbal or written attack on a person, group or culture on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and many more. Hate speech, as we’ve seen through history, can be dangerous if and when it is allowed to prosper.

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What’s the difference between the two?

Hate speech often incites violence and promotes prejudice. Free speech does not include the right to incite any form of action that causes direct or indirect harm to others.
What’s sad about this discussion is that now there are people who make use of “free speech” as a cover for their vitriolic views.

Do they have a legal leg to stand on?

The answer is both yes and no.

It is yes in the sense that in 2011, our Supreme Court favored the rights of the Westboro Baptist Church to hold protests with offensive signage. It was all under the provision that the speech does not lead to imminent violence.

As for the no part of the legal standpoint, it was just this past June where our Supreme Court affirmed that there is no ‘hate speech’ exception to our First Amendment law.

If that’s the case, why is the free speech excuse still being used?

The people who use hate speech on a regular basis make use of “free speech” as a shield simply because they can. Also, there has been no outright condemnation from our governing body. In the eyes of the law, as long as a group or a person does not use their speech to incite violence or imminent harm, they get a pass.

It should be pointed out, however, that white supremacists have always included a violence-driven narrative in their speeches. Over recent events, several chapters of the ACLU have declared that they will no longer defend the free speech rights of armed protestors.

This comes at the wake of the deadly Charlottesville clash a month previously. We, as a people, need to become more aware of the intrinsic differences between free speech and hate speech. The last time hate speech was allowed to take root in a nation, world war broke out. So it’s doubly ironic now that our nation seems to be diving in headfirst into chaos and fascism. We need to take a stand against hate speech.

Blog7 - The Nightmare is Only Beginning: the Resurgence of White Supremacy

The Nightmare is Only Beginning: the Resurgence of White Supremacy

When they spoke of angry hate mobs with torches, anyone could dismiss it as something you’d see in a history book or an old movie. However, as we all saw, white supremacy is back.

It’s little over a week since the world watched new age Nazis marching in broad daylight. Hiding under the guise of “free speech” these individuals took to the streets of Charlottesville, loudly chanting “Jews will not replace us.” While they were not clear on what exact capacity Jews were supposed to replace them as, the gathering was as vile as you’d expect.

It certainly didn’t help that there was radio silence from the White House for at least two days that followed the Charlottesville incident. In doing so, our own leader has fueled the white supremacists belief that they are a valid existence. White nationalist Matthew Heimbach and those who think like him fully believe that “white America” is under threat. These are the very same people that deny that the Holocaust ever existed.

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These individuals who attended their “white lives matter” rally are outspoken in their belief that white people suffer more discrimination that any other racial or ethnic group in the US.

Anti-Semitism isn’t anything new

The US has always been the home of different minded people. That was one of the things that made it so great. However, while the freedom of expression led to some the best highs our society has experienced, it has also allowed the cretins to fester.

Hate speech is not ‘free speech’

A constant defense of those who speak ill is that they are merely practicing their freedom of expression. However, the greatest distinction in the purpose of free speech is to be free and willing to engage in thoughtful discussion with people you may not agree with.

Hate speech is an all-out attack on the person or group you are speaking to. The purpose of hate speech is to demean and degrade with no thoughts to the effects or consequences to the recipient. Hate speech is pretty much what the white supremacists did in Charlottesville. Inciting violence and carrying weapons should not be protected by free speech.

While our president exclaims that he does not condone white supremacy and that he’s committed to fighting it, his policies would suggest differently. Trump has never been one to shy away from controversial words and way of thinking. He has expressed views that have empowered white supremacists into galvanizing together.

f2 - The Nightmare is Only Beginning: the Resurgence of White Supremacy

If you don’t think there’s trouble brewing, you’re wrong

“White Lives Matter” supporters now believe that they are supported by our president. From the way Trump acts and speaks, who can blame them? The way Trump issued his statements regarding Charlottesville matters a lot. He has never been one to shy away from publicly calling out anyone he perceives to have done something wrong.

This means a world of trouble for the rest of the US that aren’t white or straight. This is truly a worrisome time in our history.

Blog6 - The ACA and the High Premiums that Gut Us All

The ACA and the High Premiums that Gut Us All

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be our salvation. It helped but the unforeseen rise in premiums caught everyone off guard. Today, we take a closer look on such a hot issue.
It was in the 20th of March in 2010 that President Obama had signed the ACA into law. This heralded a great many changes in the US healthcare system. The goal was to increase healthcare coverage and several others. At the time, it was a very welcome change.

Before the enactment of the ACA, people could only achieve health plans through their employers. Soon after, people could then attain a healthcare plan on their own. It came as a relief that there was another option besides the ridiculous healthcare premiums of existing health insurance companies. It was these high premium costs coupled with large medical bills that drove most Americans into bankruptcy. Everything had looked so dire. It was common to hear stories of retirees who could no longer pay for their own medical bills.

So when the ACA was passed, most Americans thought that the worst was over. There was a drastic drop in the overall number of uninsured elderly persons. The lower income households were now covered.

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However, it seems that all the celebrations were a tad premature.

Recent studies have shown that it was ACA itself that drove up premiums further. Around four years before ACA came to be, various families comprised of different age groups had experienced a 9.2% or less. Within the first four years of the ACA itself, every age group and family type received the startling increase of 56-64%.

The families that could previously afford healthcare found themselves at a loss and looked toward acquiring Medicaid. Acquiring this wasn’t as simple as people expected as not all states had chosen to expand Medicaid. This eventually led to an overburdened system that was still in its infancy.

There is no denying that ACA has helped countless families all across the country. However, it wasn’t just the premiums that were rising. Even the deductibles were rising. Deductibles refer to the limit that people needed to pay as covered by insurance plans before they are able to share costs with the insurance company. The combination of the premiums and the deductibles were truly a bit much.

r2 - The ACA and the High Premiums that Gut Us All

Other than the steep premiums, the extensive coverage of the ACA meant there were longer waiting times in emergency rooms. Everyone hates bureaucracy and doctors are no exception. As ACA was still working out its paperwork, more and more doctors weren’t accepting Medicaid. This meant that the demand for care was still high but now there were fewer doctors to address the needs of the people.

While we aren’t saying that the ACA was a failure, it was certainly flawed. Still, it is certainly better than nothing at all. With the ACA on the verge of being repealed, only time can truly tell if the American public will finally get the type of healthcare it truly deserves.

Blog5 - What in the World is a Social Justice Warrior?

What in the World is a Social Justice Warrior?

What on God’s green Earth is a “Social Justice Warrior“? Today, we take a better look at this apparently derogatory term for anyone who has socially progressive views. The term social justice warrior or SJW wasn’t always derogatory in its usage.

What did it begin as?

First spotted on the social media platform Twitter, an SJW was pretty much anyone who wanted to promote social progressiveness and equality. However, in its more recent incarnation, an SJW is a ‘slur’ used against people who engage in prolonged and aggressive debates against others about a range of topics. The topics closely associated to an SJW are politics, political correctness, feminism, and social injustice.

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What’s so bad about that?

It would seem that the enthusiasm and self-righteousness of several bloggers and activists all lent credence to SJW becoming a derogatory term. The phrase ‘Check Your Privilege’ was a favored rhetoric of SJWs. It was a concept that expressed the idea that the body and life you are born with carries its own set of privileges that others do not have. While true in a sense, it was thrown in arguments a lot.

What made the idea of the SJW become so toxic is the fact that there are people out there that were overboard when it came to discussing social issues particularly those that revolve around gender equality.

So they’re all bad?

Not in the least. It should be noted that the term SJW is now a favored method of dismissing often valid views. When it comes to the concept of social justice, it is important to remember that it is not only what you are fighting for that should be thought of. The way in which you fight for your cause must be thought through carefully.

In its most toxic sense, an SJW was anyone who was thought to engage in lengthy and vitriolic debates for personal validation. The ideas of ‘tall privilege’ and disuse of gender pronouns for all have been credited to SJWs. Rather than bringing people together, they are divisive.

In its truest and original sense, an SJW is crucial to spearheading the awareness campaigns both online and offline. They are a credit to social awareness.

What should I do if I am called one?

First off, consider if your arguments were constructed based on calm and grounded logic. It is often easy to be carried away due to conviction. If you believe that your arguments do not warrant the degrading term, disengage from the conversation.

While it is important to fight against social injustices, it is ultimately more important to care for your mental health. Online discourse is often a murky swamp which never ends. Always remember: what other people think of you is more indicative of what sort of people they are. You have the choice to continue to engage or to walk away. It is ultimately up to you.

If you ever feel that your safety is in peril, never hesitate to consult legal avenues immediately.

Blog4 - Not the Usual Concept: Understanding Grassroots Democracy

Not the Usual Concept: Understanding Grassroots Democracy

You’ve probably heard of the term “Grassroots Democracy”. If you haven’t, tune it as we’ll be taking a much closer look at the concept and how it may end up changing the world.

What is it?

By definition, a grassroots democracy is the inclination to form political processes wherein the decisions are made by the country or organization’s lowest demographic. Think of it in terms of a pyramid. The way our usual government system works is that a few or the “top” get to decide on reforms that affect every hierarchy of the pyramid.

A grassroots democracy shifts that. Instead of those in the top making the decisions, it’ll be those in the bottom. This is a concept which the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) likes to throw around.

So the power is with the people?

As far as we have ever known, our government has always taken oligarchic forms. We see this every election season: Politicians, who are born and bred in wealth, claiming to understand what it’s like for the ordinary citizens of this country.

The grassroots democracy movement puts forth the idea that the people are directly involved with the decisions that affect their daily lives. Rather than having a single representative that might be out of touch with their demographic.

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What’s so good about letting the people decide?

A common complaint of the everyday citizen is that our leaders and representatives pass laws and reforms that directly affect their lives—yet these very people seem to live in a bubble. For example, our president is currently trying to remove the ACA (which has helped countless Americans) but he, himself, will not suffer any consequences.

If he ever falls ill, he provided the very best of medical care simply by being our president. Also, even if wasn’t our president, he would be able to afford the best medical care anyway. Most other politicians are also like this. So the average American voter is left to suffer consequences that do not faze the ones making the decisions.

By letting the people themselves be in charge of decision making, a more practical and realistic view of reforms can be made.

Does literally everyone get a say?

By virtue of the grassroots democracy, yes they do. Our current voting system has seen its share of evolution. Back in the day there were several of the demographic that weren’t allowed to vote. In a grassroots democracy, all are given voices to speak.

Why don’t we have this now?

This is simple: it is because of the gridlock of the duopoly of the Republicans and the Democrats. These two parties make it virtually impossible for any third party to have a chance to be heard.

We are at a critical point in our history as a country. Violence is prevalent and the people cry out in anger. It seems that the systems we put in place to protect us no longer do so. And thus, it must come to change.