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Connor Paolo 

March for our lives....
The other night, a young man named Stephon Clark was chased into his grandmother's backyard and killed; shot 20 times by police. Apparently, they thought he was a man suspected of breaking into cars in the area. He wasn't. Apparently, they thought he had a gun. He didn't. He had a cell phone. To anyone who responds to this story with a shrug and a platitude: "what can you do?" or "that's the price of freedom" or "he should have somehow been more compliant" or "the cop's feelings of security are worth more than this man's life, regardless of his innocence" (a popular axiom for this is "better to be judged by 12 than carried out by 6"), you are a liar. Is that how you would respond if it was your family, or it was your friend?
This type of killing happens all the time in this country. The innocent murdered by the powerful because, 'that's just how things are.' It has been happening for our entire history.
So to anyone who wants the President to "make America great again" the question is, for who?
And to anyone who believed Hillary Clinton when she said "America is already great" the question is, for who?
@michaelfmoore shared a devastating statistic at @berniesanders and @elizabethwarrenma 's town hall on income inequality. Half of this country can not afford a 400$ emergency (medical, funeral, etc...*he overstates this figure, he says it's 60%). Half of this country does not have 400$ to spend on anything no matter how dire.
So to anyone who thinks the President is doing a wonderful job, the question is, for who? And to anyone who wants the establishment Republicans or Democrats to "just get things back to normal", the question is, for who?
We know things are great for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Stephen Mnuchin and Nancy Pelosi and Besty Devos. They're all fabulously wealthy. We're worried about everybody else. The people they are supposed to be working for.
Because for half of this country, normal is barely surviving. And for millions of people of color, normal is fearing that they may be shot and killed by mistake. Tomorrow, March 24. March for our lives.
Photo by @gracevandien
#stephonclark #marchforoulives

Photo by @gracevandien
By now, we've all heard about what happened in Florida last week. First and foremost, an open question for anyone saying that the aftermath of a mass shooting is not the time to talk about how to prevent another mass shooting; stasticially (in this country in 2018), someone fires a gun in a school every other day and we have a mass shooting almost everyday, so when exactly is the time talk about it? (Somehow I'm guessing your answer is never...) Second, if you still need proof that we do not live in democracy, look no further than the issue of guns. Over 85% of this country including over 70% of NRA members want common sense gun regulation (universal background checks, bans on high capacity magazines, assault weapons, etc) and yet our "representatives" have done NOTHING. And before you rush to blame the Republicans, keep in mind that the Democrats had a super majority in the house and Senate from 2009 to 2010, as well as the presidency and did NOTHING. Why? Because we have legalized corruption in this country. Because our members of Congress are paid by the NRA (who is financed by the gun manufacturers) to do nothing. If you want to know what a politician's "beliefs" are on gun control, just look at how much money they've taken from the NRA and the gun lobby. We have two members of Congress with bullets inside them. Victims of gun violence. And still, these people do nothing. That is the influence of money in politics. They will put their wallets and their own personal quest for power above you and your children every single time.
And before you let anyone tell you that "nothing can be done", that being murdered in school is just something American children have to deal with, just the "cost of freedom", remind yourself that this is the only major/developed/ (whatever euphemism you want to use for rich) country on earth where this happens. The ONLY one. Every other country has mental health issues and violent people and criminals. What sets us apart is the sheer number of firearms and our complete lack of regulations for them. That is the issue that must be addressed.
March 14th. Walk out. Resist. Peace. #enough

Check out @pkdamazon tonight. It's a powerful new anthology series inspired by the work of one of my favorite writers. You can find me in Episode 6 "Safe and Sound". While the media is focused on the Presient's latest display of blatant racism (to be clear, his "shit-hole" comments are atrocious and should be reported but, at this point, hardly shocking) the United States Congress, with the help of 55 Democrats (including party leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz), just voted to expand that same man's ability to spy on us without a warrant; to use unconstitutional (all of this completely disregards the 4th amendment) surveillance to spy on our emails and phone calls.
Their decision allows the federal government to keep track of any American's communications without having to present a court evidence of suspicion or any reason for the surveillance whatsoever.
Make no mistake, whenever our representatives reach a "bipartisan concensus", brace for impact. This unconstitutional spying by the NSA began under W. Bush, was solidified under Obama and has now been (with the Democrats help) expanded under Trump.
There's the establishment resistance for you. Their words mean nothing because when it comes time to enact POLICY, to use the power we have given them, they vote with the man they claim to believe is an unhinged monster. We can not be distracted by rhetoric, the only thing that matters is how these people VOTE.
And this is not to say the Republicans are above hypocrisy either. This is the same party that constantly hollers about being against "big government", but only when that refers to aiding the poor. When it's about enacting a police state or endless military expansion the government can't get big enough.
Again, your rhetoric is meangilngless. All we care about is how you vote.
To sum up, the Democrats had the votes to stop this from happening but decided instead to allow Doland Trump to spy on any of us at anytime.
Thanks #theresitance. We won't forget.

Any minute now, President Trump will sign the GOP tax bill into law. It's been called the greatest tax cut in history and that's true. For multinational corporations, for the 1%, and for the top 1/10 of 1%, this is the greatest tax break they will ever see. For everyone else, for us, this is the biggest tax INCREASE (and for some reason, maybe because their donors will benefit from this too, none of the Democrats seem able to make this point) in U.S. history. If you make less than 70,000 dollars a year, your taxes go UP in 2027 (to restate again: half of this country makes 30,000 a year or less).
Now, pay attention to what happenes next. This tax bill blows between a 1.2 and 1.6 Trillion (with a T) dollar hole in the deficit (let's take a moment to remind ourselves that the GOP claims to be the party of fiscal responsibility), and now watch how these same Representatives and Senators start squawking about how we need to cut Social Security, Medicare (they call them "entitlements" but the word they sould use is "earned bennefits" because YOU PAY FOR THEM; when they cut Social Security and when they cut Medicare, they are effectively stealing your money) Education, and Envirmonmental protection in order to make up the difference. The conservatives and the corporate democrats (the "centrists") run screaming from the word socialism because it's a redistribution of wealth. Well, what do you call this? This is money being ripped from all of us to subsidise the wallets of the very richest. This is redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top. Republican economics are SOCIALISM for the rich.
Finally, with an estimated half of the country drinking lead tainted water (it goes far beyond Flint) let's remind ourselves what led the fall of the Roman Empire...massive income inequality, an empire so concerned with forgein conquest that it let its own infrastructure collapse, the breakdown of the Republic in service to a series of progressively incompetent and meglomanical rulers culminating with Nero who fiddled (or tweeted) while Rome burned, and a population sick and driven mad from the lead tainting their water.

The FCC....
Just killed Net Neutrality. Adjit Pai, serving Verizon, his former (and obviously current) bosses, he has (as we expect from most of our politicians) completely ignored the will of the people in order to personally enrich himself and his friends.
Here's what we do now.
Let your members of Congress know. Save Net Neutrality or lose your seat. Simple as that.
#resist #savethenet

Double standards....
Today Senator Al Franken resigned from office; the result of a number of allegations of sexual misconduct. And make no mistake, Franken should absolutely have resigned.
But his departure brings up an obvious question. If Franken should resign, why is Republican Roy Moore still the potential winner of the open Alabama Senate seat? The allegations against Roy Moore include attempted rape and child molestation and yet he refuses to step down and the Republican party (including the President) have all reaffirmed their support of him. And speaking of the President, if Franken should resign (and again, I believe he should) why is Donald Trump still our President? The allegations against Donald Trump are more numerous, include allegations of rape and assault and, let's not forget, he admitted the assaults on tape.
#resist #peace
Photo by: @thetylershields

Special Election....
On December 12, there is a Senatorial election being held in Alabama for Jeff Sessions vacant seat. The two men running are Doug Jones and Roy Moore.
By now, I think we are all aware of the multitude of allegations surrounding Moore and that any one of these being true, make him beyond unfit to hold a Senate seat (or walk around a free man) but it's important to remember what kind of man Roy Moore was before these allegations came to light.
He was a man who was removed from his judicial seat not once but twice for violating the constitution (Moore, apparently unaware of the separation of church and state, thought his courthouse was the appropriate place to display the ten commandments). He was a man who believed that our LBGTQ brothers and sisters should be imprisoned for who they love. He was a man quoted as saying that Transgender individuals "have no rights." He was a man who did not believe Muslims had the right to serve in the government (again, apparently he is unfamiliar with the part of our constitution that states there shall be no religious test for government). He was a man who believed the same about women. He was a man who proudly used racial slurs when referring to Asains and Native Americans.
He remains this man today. And today we know that on top of all of that, 9 different women have accused him of sexual misconduct ranging from attempted rape to child molestation.
As of now this man has about a 50/50 chance to become a member of the United States Senate.
I urge all my brothers and sisters in Alabama and across this country to oppose him. He does not represent you and we must stop him from representing this nation.
#resist #peace #roymoore
Photo by: @gracevandien

Closing in....
When the Republicans in power talk about tax cuts they are talking about cutting down the number of tax brackets from 7 to 4 (under these new brackets, someone making 400,000 dollars a year would be classified as 'middle class' when HALF the country makes 30,000 dollars a year or less). Under this plan the bottom bracket's, the poorest of us, rates would be RAISED from 10 to 12 %. They are talking about cutting the Alternative Minimum Tax (the baseline rate of 20% that makes sure that those who can afford to hire lawyers to exploit tax loopholes - people like most of our elected officials - don't wind up paying almost net zero every year). About cutting corporate tax rates from 35% to 20% (despite the fact that the nominal rate - what they owe on paper - is 35%, most corporations, because of their power to utilize loopholes, pay an EFFECTIVE tax rate - what they actually pay - of between 12 and 14%. About cutting the Estate Tax, which Republicans like to call 'the death tax.' This is a tax that effects only .2% of the population (people with ESTATES worth 5 million dollars or more). Republicans want to raise the bottom level of this tax to 11 million before doing away with it permanently in 2025. This tax cut (if he's worth what he says he is) would save Trump's family somewhere around 1 billion dollars. Make no mistake. Do not let them lie to you. These are tax cuts for the wealthy and for no one else.
And at the same time, getting buried in the news, Donna Brazile (the interim head of the DNC and CNN contributer who lost both her positions after she was shown to be leaking debate questions to the Clinton team) has admitted that the DNC did, without a doubt, rig the 2016 primary and effectivley steal the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton.
This is what we are up against. An elected body that brazenly shows they work only from a place of self interest. They do not represent us. They represent themselves.
This is why we need grassroots, publicly funded candidates, who will not take corporate or big donor money, who want to be in politics to serve; not to self-serve.
To be part of this fight, go to justicedemocrats.com
#resist #peace

As of yesterday, the NFL leadership is taking steps to require its players to stand during the National Anthem. Aside from the fact that forced 'patriotism' is neither American nor patriotic, the wider implications of this decision are deeply frightening and reach far beyond football.
The first thing that needs to be said is that players standing for the Anthem is in no way a time honored tradition. In fact, players being on the field during the Anthem only began in 2009 after the military began paying the NFL to do so in an effort to bolster recruitment (they also pay for jet flyovers and flag unfurlings). Beyond that, while the owners have every right to tell their employees what to do, the President threatening financial penalties (as he did yesterday in his tweet about tax breaks) if the owners do not capitulate to his political ideologies, is another matter entirely. The government threatening private business for political gain is simply unconstitutional.
Make no mistake, the owners sudden turn around on this issue has nothing to do with their beliefs, this is about money, this is about their bottom line; this is cronie capitalism at is finest.
The tax cuts Trump is proposing would cut NFL owners taxes from 40% to 25%. This is why they are now taking his side en mass. It has nothing to do with 'patriotism.'
And through all of this, Trump has managed to do what he does best, obfuscate. Take a peaceful protest about racial equality and police brutality (Patrick Harmon was shot in the back by police just the other night) and twist it into being about, "respecting the flag," "respecting veterans," (this from a man who mocked John McCain for being captured during a war which he himself used his power and money to run from) and really, about respecting him.
This country was founded on protest. And to all of those saying "protest on your own time," no. That's not the point. The point of protest is disruption, the point is to make you uncomfortable, to make you have see something you would otherwise ignore.
Photo by: @gracevandien
#resist #peace #standwithkapernick

Friend Request. In theaters now.
@alyciajasmin @seanmarquette @msbritmorgan @goodproblemstohave @brookeamarkham, @liesl_ahlers, truly wonderful people and fantastic actors.
The internet....
Currently, the administration is pressuring Facebook to give up the personal information of users who participated in innaguration day protests against the president.
The freedom to protest is the corner stone of any democracy. It is the people's check on the powerful. And we need it now more than ever, considering the manipulation of our right to vote through the legalised bribery of politicians (citizens united) the disenfranchisement of youth, people of color and the poor; voter suppression (the efforts of Kris Kobach alone are just one example) and the interference of both foreign and domestic agencies (we all know the Russia narrative but no one in the MSM speaks about the DNC collusion in the primaries.) This freedom is under attack by an administration that makes no secret about silencing those it disagrees with (though the last administration had its own issues with this ((Obama's war against whistle blowers)) .)
In many ways, the internet is the last refuge of those who wish to speak freely.
Keep speaking loudly, defend your right to do it and most important of all, defend the rights of those who speak differently than you do.
#resist #peace

Puerto Rico....
Our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico are in serious danger. Their home is almost completely without power and access to food, water and general supplies is rapidly disappearing. They need immediate assistance and the President has made it clear that he is far more concerned with the actions of football players than the lives of his fellow Americans. It is on us to help our family. Please donate what you can and reach out to your Senators and Members of Congress to push immediate action on the federal level.
We can not wait until the "first or second week of October."
#resist #peace #puertorico

We either believe in free speech or we don't. And when you punish a man for exercising that right, for speaking out against the abuses of the powerful, for speaking out against murder, for believing in the ideals of an egalitarian democratic society, for knowingly risking his future in the sport he loves because he believes in the ideals of freedom and equal treatment under the law, for fighting for everything a patriot is supposed to fight for; when you punish that man, you stand firmly against the ideals meant to elevate and protect us all.
And to all those who want to silence these athletes for making a point that they disagree with or for doing it in a way that they find "disrepspectful," please remember what the great thinkers, from Noam Chomsky to Voltaire, have said in so many words: if you do not believe in free speech for those you disagree with the most, you do not believe in it at all.
#standwithkapernick #colinkaepernick #resist

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