Persist to Resist – 8Jul24

America celebrates Independence Day ironically this year after SCOTUS grants the “President” immunity for “official acts”. Now is the orange man vaccinated from prosecution for his many crimes? He certainly thinks so, and thus files motions to vacate his criminal trials.

Biden has the weight of our democracy on his shoulders after he flubs the debate.  Dems are divided on the path forward.  Some top donors are even pulling back in a “dem-bargo”. Why do the Dems always panic while the GOP “dons” red ties to support their candidate?

The Book of Ayn is an original and hilarious satire of both our political culture and those who rage against it. The story follows a writer in search of artistic and spiritual fulfillment from New York to Los Angeles to the Greek island of Lesbos. Instead, she immerses herself in radical selfishness along the way.

After writing a satirical novel that The New York Times calls “classist”, Anna is shunned by the literary establishment and, in her hurt, radicalized by Ayn Rand philosophy. Determined to follow Rand’s theory of rational selfishness, Anna alienates herself from the scene and eventually her friends and family. Finally, in true “Randian” style, she abandons everyone for the boundless horizons of Los Angeles, hoping to make a TV show about her beloved muse.

Things look better in Hollywood—until the money starts running out, and with it Anna’s faith in the virtue of selfishness. She runs back to New York after a death in the family. Anna is offered a different kind of opportunity while spiraling at her mother’s house. A chance to kill the ego causing her pain at a mysterious commune on the island of Lesbos.

The second half of Anna’s odyssey finds her exploring a very different kind of freedom – communal love, communal toilets – and a new perspective on Ayn Rand that could bring Anna back home to herself.

The Book of Ayn embraces millennial loneliness. Alexandra Kleeman referred to the author as “A gimlet-eyed satirist of the cultural morasses and political impasses of our times”. In summary, Lexi Freiman speaks to a timeless existential predicament: the strangeness, absurdity, and hilarity of seeking meaning in the modern world.

When many people prepare for quiet years, Maggie Kuhn embarked on the greatest adventure and most important work of her life. In 1970, forced to retire at age 65, Kuhn and friends in similar circumstances founded the Gray Panthers to work on issues of concern to the elderly. They focused on pension rights and age discrimination, but also larger public issues, such as the Vietnam War. At the core of the Gray Panthers’ message was that older people needed to seize control of their lives and actively work for issues they believe in.

Kuhn’s candor, charisma and lively approach to the needs and problems of the elderly drew major media attention. The group came to represent elderly power and energy in the public mind. Kuhn fought off everyone from politicians to the managers of nursing homes. Instead of treating the elderly like amusing children, she insisted on a place at the table and a voice in decision-making.

Kuhn advised activists interested in creating social change: “Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants. And do your homework.”

Kuhn continued to play a role in the Gray Panthers until her death at age 89. She is considered by many to have started a contemporary cultural revolution. Not only did she redefine the meaning of age, but she insisted on “young and old together.”

She and the Panthers have been instrumental in enacting significant national reforms, including nursing home reform, ending forced retirement provisions, and combatting fraud against the elderly in health care.

Galvanize USA conducts research, provides issue education, and supports women to use their civic power to create an America that works for everyone. They know that voting and doing our part is important for a healthy democracy.

Their digital community, Galvanize Together, is a space where we can ask questions and listen with open minds and open hearts.

We all want a safe place to grow up, good schools, affordable healthcare, and a real future. Despite this shared vision, our nation feels more divided every day. People shout instead of listen, and a whole lot of fighting means very little progress. Galvanize USA champions meaningful connection, where we get the support we need, feel less alone, and can learn and grow together.

They’ve talked with women across the country. They’ve found many women, especially in rural, small town, and suburban communities, feel alone in their beliefs. Sometimes women struggle to say what they think when it comes to issues they care about. Others are unsure of how they can make a difference. Many women say they avoid talking about politics for fear of conflict in their homes and their lives. The division and polarization exacerbates and causes more and more women to step back from civic engagement. This has serious implications for our democracy.

The Galvanize USA community is built on supportive, honest connection. They understand the challenges that prevent durable change in this country. Thus, they share tips and tools to help put politics into context. They help to build each other up so that we can have brave conversations that move us all forward.

In summary, the Galvanize USA community supports participation in our democracy. They understand that together, we can achieve our vision of an America that works for everyone.

Eugene Vindman is a father, husband, immigrant, and veteran running to serve the communities of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District in Congress.

Eugene and his brother Alex were fired by President Trump from their jobs in the White House for blowing the whistle on Trump’s attempted extortion of the Ukrainian President. Now, Eugene is running for Congress to defend our rights and freedoms against MAGA extremists while fighting to ensure every family can thrive in our community.

Eugene Vindman was born in Soviet Ukraine to a Jewish family during the height of the Cold War. When he was three years old, his mother died of cancer and his father fled the authoritarian regime with Eugene, his twin brother Alex, their older brother Len, and their Grandmother.

Eugene was in the U.S. Army as a Paratrooper and Infantry officer, then went to Law School and became an officer in the JAG Corps. He was assigned to the Pentagon in 2016. Later, he joined the National Security Council (NSC) as a Legal Advisor, and eventually became the NSC’s Senior Ethics Official in the White House.

In 2019, Trump fired both Alex and Eugene from the White House in retaliation for Alex’s whistleblowing of his attempted extortion call with the President of Ukraine. Alex relayed the call to Eugene, and together they reported it up the chain of command.

Now, Eugene is running for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District to continue his service and defend American values. He’s ready to stand up for abortion rights, high quality public education, the working class, and against voter disenfranchisement.

In Congress, Eugene will be an advocate for every community in the 7th district. He will bring folks together around shared values, and lead with integrity to instill trust.

All three female South Carolina Republican state senators who filibustered the state’s abortion ban lost their primaries to male candidates.

Katrina Shealy, Sandy Senn and Penry Gustafson were among a bipartisan group of five women state senators who filibustered a near-total abortion ban. They were nicknamed the “sister senators.”

Last year, they received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award as a result of their coordinated effort.

The Sister Senators were heckled and harassed by anti-abortion activists in the aftermath of their filibuster. Their own party promised censure and primary challenges in 2024. Welp, I guess they were right.

Meanwhile, a state judge ruled in May that South Carolina can continue to enforce a six-week ban on abortions. Their decision came despite an ongoing appeals process challenging what a heartbeat is under the law.

Planned Parenthood had asked the law be set aside while alternate definitions of when cardiac activity starts were litigated. The outcome of these discussions could potentially extend the time from 6 weeks to 9 weeks.

The law says abortions cannot be performed after an ultrasound can detect “cardiac activity, or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart, within the gestational sac.” What follows the “or” in the sentence could require that a heart has formed, which doesn’t happen until around week nine.

The High Court itself noted the discrepancy in interpretation when it upheld the law last year, but punted the resolution to “another day.” Now the healthcare of millions of South Carolinians hangs in the balance.

Common Cause knows the ultimate power in a democracy is the people. Over a million powerful, fearless, ordinary Americans build a democracy that works for us all.

Common Cause has an innovative, pragmatic, and comprehensive pro-democracy agenda. They define the democracy reform movement by promoting solutions already succeeding in some communities. Their goal is to shift power to the people and away from wealthy special interests and partisan ideologues.

To ensure democracy works for everyone, voting and elections must be free, fair, and accessible. Common Cause works to pass laws that ensure voters’ access to the ballot box. They also help voters who are having trouble casting their ballots. Moreover, they work with election administrators to ensure our voting systems and machines are safe, reliable, and secure.

Common Cause fights for an accurate census and a process for drawing district boundaries that puts our communities first. A free and open media is essential to a healthy democracy. We must hold media accountable and check the concentration of media ownership in too few hands.

There’s nothing more important to a functioning democracy than an informed, engaged, public. Common Cause works to protect a free and open internet and an independent free press so voters have accurate information.

You can help Common Cause in their pro-democracy mission. Monitor social media, make calls, or text voters in key states. Connect with them directly and make sure they’re ready to take part in the 2024 election. Volunteers can work remotely, and Common Cause will make sure you have everything you need to contact voters.

Don’t just sit there and watch our democracy evaporate.. Do something!

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