I’m Jumping on the Peace Train. Join Me.

I hold the proud designation of being in the top 2% of Cat Stevens (also known as Yusaf) listeners on Spotify. This was not a single-minded goal. It just happened because I totally respect Cat Stevens, his story and unique journey and of course his lyrics and incredible offering of music over the years. As last year was so challenging for the world and the US with our high pandemic rates and such incredible political turmoil, I sought refuge in the words of Cat Stevens. These songs gave me so much hope. And they still do.

Tomorrow we embark on a new and welcome journey with the Biden/Harris Administration and they are inheriting a disaster and have a lot of work to do to help heal the US and correct and create important policies. The horrific actions at The Capitol on 1/6/21 are a testament to how ‘sick’ our country is now. The last four years have been an open invitation by too many to hate, fight, divide and instead of healing, make our country worse.

One of the songs that heard a lot of play last year was ‘Peace Train’ by Cat Stevens. Here is why this song is so important and encouraging:

Now I’ve been happy lately

Thinking about the good things to come

And I believe it could be

Something good has begun

Oh, I’ve been smiling lately

Dreaming about the world as one

And I believe it could be

Someday it’s going to come

So here we are, the day before Inauguration Day and Washington, DC looks like a police state, the country and truly the world is on edge over security concerns and 400,000 American citizens have left us because of the Coronavirus outbreak. 

We will never all unify as a nation but we will very soon have a leader that has the desire of unity in his heart and believes in truth and transparency.  This gives me GREAT hope. I also see in the Biden Administration many appointments that resemble the diversity of our country. More voices from various walks of life is a positive change.

So, in the words of Cat Stevens, ‘Someday it’s going to come’! For me, it’s tomorrow, January 20, 2021 at 9:01am PST.

May we all be safe and healthy for this new journey as the Peace Train takes us ‘home again’.

Now I’ve been crying lately, 
Thinkin’ about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating, 
Why can’t we live in bliss

‘Cause out on the edge of darkness, 
There rides a Peace Train
Oh Peace Train take this country, 
Come take me home again

Thank you Yusaf for inspiring my life and giving me hope at such a desperate time.

Hoping you jump on the peace train with me! 

Sandra

Check out the full lyrics for Peace Train at: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/catstevens/peacetrain.html

Peace Train Videos:

Yusuf / Cat Stevens – Peace Train (live, Majikat – Earth Tour 1976)

Yusuf / Cat Stevens – Peace Train (Live at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, 2006)

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Passing H.R. 1 Would be Transformational and Safeguard Our Democracy

So, what exactly is H.R. 1? It’s also known as ‘For the People Act H.R. 1’ and the ‘The American Anti-Corruption Act’. The brief, but very important summary of H.R. 1 is:

‘To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.’

If you want to read the full text of this VERY IMPORTANT bill, check it out.

UNITED STATES – MARCH 10: Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., speaks at the event in the Capitol to mark one year since passage of H.R.1 For the People Act of 2019 on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Another way to summarize this bill is: ‘H.R. 1 ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat that will enforce the laws on the books. H.R. 1 tightens rules on super PACs and restructures the Federal Election Commission to break the gridlock and enhance its enforcement mechanisms.’

Here’s how Indivisible explains the highlights H.R 1:

Empower voters and reverse decades of Republican voter suppression. By restoring protections from the gutted Voting Rights Act, expanding voter eligibility, simplifying registration, and preventing partisan gerrymandering, H.R. 1 will make our elections more representative and participatory.

Stem the tide of big money in our elections and strengthen campaign finance law. H.R. 1 takes important steps to reverse the disastrous effects of Citizens United, providing public financing to amplify small-dollar donations, requiring disclosure of all political spending, and more.

Tackle ethics and corruption in government. H.R. 1 expands government ethics rules to cover everyone in government (including the president) — demanding disclosure of financial conflicts of interest, blocking the “revolving door” between government and lobbying firms, and prohibiting bribery.

We have a new and promising new administration in Washington D.C. and added to that, passing H.R. 1 would help build a more inclusive democracy. It would fix many of the core things that are broken in our democracy. Just think about easier voting, less voter suppression and more transparency. If you’re a lobbyist, you would dislike H.R. 1, so that is a sign that it’s better for the people and not so great for people getting rich off of corrupt and lazy politicians.  

Here’s what H.R. 1 could do if passed:

**FIX OUR BROKEN ELECTIONS

**END SECRET MONEY

**STOP POLITICAL BRIBERY

(Yes, this would require it would require political donors to disclose their identities. OK, it is ludicrous that these donors are not disclosed!

**ENFORCE THE RULES

At a local level, just think about how it seems like all politicians are rich guys who went to Ivy League Universities. Political campaigns are expensive, and few people can afford to jump in and run. This dynamic makes politicians dependent upon special interest donors. And we all know  

Just take a look at big donors and the money that went into the House and Senate races. AND NOTE THE TOTALS FROM PACs. It’s out of control.

More than anything else, I want to see major improvements in U.S. elections. It is long overdue, and we have such an ugly history of horrible voter suppression, poll taxes, people killed trying to vote, and just plain discrimination everywhere. Some radical ideas to help improve our elections:

  • End gerrymandering
  • Allow all Americans to Vote Absentee
  • Let all voters participate in open primaries
  • Change how elections are funded
  • Enact reasonable term limits

It’s the voters who deserve more control over the elections and more choices at the ballot! If Republicans get their way, as they are doing now in Georgia, they’ll do whatever they can to make mail-in voting impossible — which they blame for their 2020 loss of the White House and Senate, and are vowing to never let happen again.

So, what’s next? 

So next week, the first week of March, H.R. 1 will be on the floor. The House passed this measure last Congress but legislation not signed into law EXPIRES at the end of each Congress and the House had to begin the process again. Coronavirus Relief has jumped ahead of this Bill in regards to Biden’s first days in office, which is understandable so H.R. 1 was not the first out of the gate. No doubt, this is a mega-bill that would be highly transformational. And yes, it does require 60 votes. Let’s see what the Democrats can do but I will not give up hope for a better country where everyone can easily be heard at the polls.

And this, from Politico (2/26/21), which seems promising…

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) has a message for her party: “I am a brown girl from the ‘hood, who is a Republican, who is coming to tell my party that it’s time to wake up and smell the votes.” ***Rep Salazar is a Cuban American!

“It’s time for us to be sending the right message to the largest minority in the country. We are 20 percent of the population. We are 60 million people …We are 30 million votes available,” Salazar told your Huddle host in an exclusive interview Thursday.

Go H.R. 1! PASS.

Thanks for the read, please make sure you are following the blog and do follow H.R. 1 news.

Peace,

Sandra

Here’s a site for H.R. 1 Fact Checking.

https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/feb/03/fact-checking-misleading-attacks-hr-1-democrats-vo/

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I am High on Hopefulness!

This will by far not be my most compelling nor insightful post, but as we all continue to watch the election results from around the globe, I find myself so hopeful. It’s just after 1pm PST and Vice President Joe Biden is ahead in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona. Go JOE!

Hopefulness – A Great Feeling!

It really does feel like we will wake to a President Elect Joe Biden very soon! Yes, Donald Trump is going to try to stop counting ballots where he thinks it can help him turn states, but it’s too late. The Democratic stronghold is growing and honestly really exciting and impressive. Joe Biden has really captured the Popular Vote. America has spoke, listen up Donald Trump.

I feel so hopeful that we can work at uniting as a nation and undo many of the horrible actions that Trump has put forth in the last four years. I am confident that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will build a strong administration that will be concerned with ALL Americans and this carefully selected staff will look a lot more like America than the current team of mostly nasty, privileged white men that Trump has appointed.

We will live in a time where dozens of women and a few pay for play ladies will NOT come forward with allegations on the President – yeah. The White House will NOT be filled with staffers having a Biden or Harris last name and we won’t hear the phrase ‘Emoluments Clause’ on a daily basis any longer!

Joe Biden will be very focused on getting ahead of COVID-19, finding the parents of all those innocent children separated at the border, be very concerned about the economy and environment, make changes in policing around the US, get the US back into the Paris Climate Agreement, stop the madness with the departure from The World Health Organization and so much more.

Hoping that all those truly wanting real change and the end of legislating by Twitter to be celebrating virtually SOON! I have champagne chilling.

Join me in being high on hopefulness,

Sandra

#bidenharris #pennsylvania #georgia #nevada #arizona #winner #winning #vote #ballots

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Mark Meadows is Delusional. Really, QUIT Your Lying.

The Delusional Mark Meadows!

Mark Meadows, the current White House Chief of Staff just said during an interview that ‘Most Americans would say they’re better off than they were 4 years ago BUT FOR THE PANDEMIC’. Meadows works directly for the person who could have taken action nearly anytime this year to make sure we did not see so many people suffer and die from that very PANDEMIC! But going back to the point, MOST AMERICANS are NOT better off.

So Mark Meadows, here is just a short list that has little or NOTHING to do with the pandemic which clearly shows Americans are NOT better off:

  1. The division between the left and the right could hardly be wider! We are a divided nation. Your lies divide us all the more.
  2. The environment is in grave trouble.
  3. LGBTQ rights are under attack.
  4. Reproductive rights have reduced around the country in the recent years and it will only get worse.
  5. Our infrastructure is all the more fragile and much of it is crumbling.
  6. Health care costs are still out of control and rising.
  7. The deficit is at its highest point EVER. The federal debt held by the public will reach 106% of our GDP in 2023.
  8. Trump’s horrible and racist immigration policies are blocking the talent we need to develop new products.
  9. Only the rich are getting richer!
  10. Foreign interferences have only increased. We’re seeing it in our election process. Our weaknesses under Trump are larger, clearer and visible to our friends and enemies!
  11. We will soon be pulled out of the World Health Organization. Let’s just throw in the Open Skies Treaty and The Paris Agreement.

OK, I could go on and on and then add all the avoidable death and suffering due to our incompetent administration regarding the pandemic, but I won’t. Our current high unemployment rate, countless businesses gone – forever, on-going police brutality and our politicians not stepping up to make things better says it all!

Mark Meadows, I am one of the ‘most Americans’ and you are wrong. Most of of are not better off and things are only going to get worse as our rights dissolve, our democracy is tested to a point of no return, our bridges and roads crumble, foreign nations no longer trust nor want to work with us, more people live in the streets and millions wake up hungry and go to bed that same way.

Open your eyes and stop spreading lies so your boss does not fire you. MOST AMERICANS ARE NOT DUMB AND IGNORANT.

Tell this fool what you think on Twitter:

@markmeadows

Looking forward to excessive use of the MUTE button during the debate tonight!

Sandra @sandrasick #sandrasick

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Two Weeks+ to the Election of A Lifetime

Countdown to the final two weeks of voting around the county. Yes, we likely will not have final results on election night, so we all must be patient. I am hopeful for the right outcome and I have voted already. I also received the confirmation that my ballot was accepted. There’s a lot of phone banking to happen between now and Election Day as well as paling attention to early voting.

If you want to follow early voting information, take a look at the U.S. Elections Project Early Voting website at: https://electproject.github.io/Early-Vote-2020G/index.html

Here’s a quick snapshot, which was just updated, on Early Voting in California. 4.5 million returned ballots and counting!

Voters have cast a total of 37,904,665 ballots in the reporting states around the US two weeks out. With all the chaos coming out of DC and a global pandemic along with so many other challenges and fights, it is an exciting time to witness what will hopefully be a restoration of democracy in the US.

Take a look around the country to check in on early voting numbers on this cool website. And note the number of Democrats that have requested or received mail-in ballots. Registered Democrats have a 10,271,079 ballot request lead over registered Republicans.

Vote as early as you can and for those waiting hours, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Staying optimistic,

Sandra

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Taking time to read the important lyrics to ‘The Revolution will Not Be Televised’

If you haven’t recently, take a look the lyrics from the late poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron’s radical, 1971 classic ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’. Also, catch a quick interview with him from 2010. Worth a walk through history and to hear his words directly. View it here.

More than anything, the last line speaks so loudly to what is happening NOW. I find it sad that it is taking so long for real change and I hope that we are much closer to ending racism, injustice, all the hate and senseless pain and killing. Check out the lyrics…

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THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED (to view the song)

You will not be able to stay home, brother

You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out

You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and 

skip out for beer during commercials, because

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox 

in four parts without commercial interruptions

The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon blowing a bugle

And leading a charge by John Mitchell, General Abrams, and Spiro Agnew

To eat hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre

And will not star Natalie Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia

The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal

The revolution will not get rid of the nubs

The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner, because

The revolution will not be televised, brother

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mae pushing that shopping cart 

down the block on the dead run

Or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance

NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32 on report from 29 districts

The revolution will not be televised

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being run out of Harlem on a rail 

with a brand new process

There will be no slow motion or still lifes of Roy Wilkins

Strolling through Watts in a red, black, and green liberation jumpsuit 

that he has been saving for just the proper occasion

Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville Junction will 

no longer be so damn relevant

And women will not care if Dick finally got down with

Jane on Search for Tomorrow

Because Black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day

The revolution will not be televised

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock news and 

no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose

The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb or Francis Scott Keys

Nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Engelbert Humperdinck, 

or The Rare Earth

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, 

white lightning, or white people

You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom, the tiger in your tank, 

or the giant in your toilet bowl

The revolution will not go better with Coke

The revolution will not fight germs that may cause bad breath

The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat

The revolution will not be televised

Will not be televised

Will not be televised

Will not be televised

The revolution will be no re-run, brothers

The revolution will be live

Wow, nearly 50 years ago this song was written. Thank you for your words Gil Scott-Heron. So much history and foresight in these lyrics.

Stay safe, keep protesting and demanding change and justice. And as November is rapidly approaching, we all have to VOTE!

Sandra

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A Speech For ALL of Us to HEAR

It’s June 2nd and people all around the US are protesting over the deadly arrest of George Floyd and all the countless acts of police brutality. Curfews have been issued in many of these same cities and the National Guard has been deployed around the country. A massive group surrounds a fence that was put up at the White House and who knows if Trump has crawled back into his bunker. I truly feel leaderless.

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America is angry. We’re tired of police brutality, senseless killings and a system that is so severely broken and unfair. We must have real change. Now.

In these political times, I have become an active marcher, supporter and protestor but today I am not in the streets. Like people around the world, I’m following the news, all over social media and talking to others. Nothing seems like enough. How have we NOT made more progress by this time in our history?

Of all the things I have seen and read today, I implore you to watch this video of a NYC woman named Desiree Barnes (@dnbarnes) who is passionately speaking to the demonstrators and looters passing through her NY neighborhood. ‘She urged demonstrators to be respectful as they protest and conscious of the people whose property they’re destroying or whose lives will be made harder by the destruction.’ Thank you Desiree and I HEAR you!

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Watch the video on Instagram at the account of @danladue or on YouTube now at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e1ld1uGpXA

Please listen to her words and VOTE!

And this news just recently broke which feels promising:

State of Minnesota files human rights complaint against police in George Floyd’s death. Check out the full story.

America, we need change. We ALL need to INSIST on it.

Be safe. Hands up, don’t shoot.

Sandra

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A Pandemic, our President and the 2020 Elections

End result, we all need to demand that we have fair elections this November. The fight for vote by mail in all states that do not have it already is critical and we have to take action now in preparation for the upcoming election. Here are some key stories going on to stay informed.

The legal maneuverings on behalf of the GOP are a real thing. Trump will do whatever he can to make sure states do not mail every person possible a ballot. He is denying us the right to vote! And here is Trump’s name tag:

Suing you

Republicans plan to spend at least $20 million to combat voting rights lawsuits in 2020 The GOP just upped its legal budget for the 2020 election to $20 million.

———————————–

3 States Have Made It Easier to Vote By Mail In November. Trump Isn’t Happy.

Keep your eye on Michigan, New Hampshire and California for starters.

———————————–

THIS JUST IN FROM WISCONSIN: Elections Commission Approves Vote By Mail Plan. 2.7 million registered voters will receive an absentee ballot application in the mail.

Under the plan approved Wednesday, the state would send absentee ballot applications to nearly all registered voters in an effort to prepare for Wisconsin’s November election.

Roughly 62 percent of all votes in Wisconsin’s April election were cast by mail as voters heeded advice from both the state and federal government to stay home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Turnout for the November election is expected to double that of the spring election.

———————————–

What Republican activists are doing in preparation for November and Democrats take note!

Republicans recruit 50,000 volunteers to police “voter fraud” in November. Republicans return to “poll-watching” after court ends decades-long ban imposed after repeated intimidation efforts.

———————————–

How can you get involved? Check out the Indivisible Safe Voting Townhall  with Elizabeth Warren and many others.

We all know that Trump is lying about voter fraud. Note Twitter’s comments on Trumps Tweets – Unsubstantiated! Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has said that US president Donald Trump doesn’t stand a chance at winning the upcoming election – unless he turns to “cheating”. Our President is trying to openly cheat. We must stop him.

Please, get into this fight NOW!Activists And Ohio Lawmakers Rally Outside Supreme Court As Case Heard On Ohio's Voter Roll Purges

Thanks,

Sandra

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We Have to do More Than Vote!

We have a 160 days until Election Day and we all need to do more than simply vote. Yes, the mail-in ballot issue in various states is heating up as expected and the Republican National Committee (RNC) just filed a lawsuit against California to STOP the state from mailing absentee ballots to all voters ahead of the 2020 election.

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 5.01.44 PM

Please do what you can to stay informed, make sure your family and friends are registered to vote, donate (especially to down ballot candidates) and get involved with election activity that can happen at home. This includes text banking, raising dollars for candidates, writing postcards and much more. If you need help finding out how you can get involved, contact me directly.

We MUST save our democracy before it’s so destroyed, that we are not sure it can be resuscitated.

Stay safe,

Sandra

 

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Atty. Gen. William Barr, I Don’t Agree!

Earlier this week Atty. Gen. William Barr replied to a question asked by CBS’ Cathering Herridge with this response: ‘Well,’ he replied, ‘history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.’

HistoriaThis comment has haunted me ever since. And it’s been a very active and interesting week, but this quote keeps coming back with concern. If history is written only by the winners, we are all losers in the end. History should be written by the truth tellers, unbiased historians and those on all sides of the debate or issue.

So, if you missed this story, it’s in reference to Barr dismissing ALL charges against former national security advisor Gen. Michael Flynn. OK, this is a decorated general who admitted to lying to the FBI. There’s more to this story and the US Government does not always get things perfect or things like counterintelligence investigations don’t always go as planned. But Flynn confessed and was found guilty!

Note that the full quote had a little more back story and does make his disturbing final slightly SLIGHTLY less frightening but it’s still a questionable quote.

If you got excited when Michael Flynn started the chant at the 2016 RNC, ‘Lock her up’, all of this likely equates to nothing to you. Barr’s quote this week didn’t even make you say to yourself ‘are people in our government really dictators, tyrants, or just plain overprivileged white guys who are trying to jam their fucking conservative menu of bad ideas down our throats’. But I hope that Barr’s comment caught the attention of many around our country who work outside of politics.

Let’s look back at history and see where this quote may have been pulled from and then taken in a new and scary direction by Barr.

First there’s this quote by Dan Brown, author of the DiVinci Code but with an inclusion from Napoleon:

‘History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?’

And then there is this from Winston Churchill

‘History is written by the victors.’

There are other quotes, but to summarize these three, I take away the following;

  1. Barr is covering for Trump and many, if not all of his very questionable decisions (dismissing charges on a General who lied to the FBI???). We are clearly being warned by Barr’s quote that these guys will break and bend the law and then tell us their story whether is it true or not.
  2. I hear Dan Brown telling us to question history and the motivation of those writing it. Fact check what you’re reading and come to your own interpretation.
  3. And Churchill is simply telling the truth in his quote. Each day we can all be victors in our own lives and in our own battles. It’s NOT all about winning or losing. You win a war but both sides suffer millions of deaths, economies are destroyed, children are parentless, and there is endless pain and suffering. Really, who wins???

Here’s my note to Atty. Gen. William Barr, should he be reading this blog! There’s war and there’s politics, quit mixing the two together. The country is already extremely divided, and we have your boss to thank for this reality, so focus on doing your job and not ‘warring’. 

And this truthful quote…

Salt Sugar

Have a good weekend and as the country starts to open up, be safe,

Sandra

 

 

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