Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Mario Savio and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement

(Mario Savio, University of California, Berkeley)

Anybody who was alive, breathing, conscious, and living in California during the 1960s remembers Mario Savio and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Savio’s energy and passionate speeches helped to bring the Civil Rights Movement and anti-Vietnam war protests to college campuses all across America. He was a fierce champion of both FREE SPEECH and DEBATE. Plaques dedicated to his memory still grace the University of California, Berkeley campus.

He is best known for his speech called “The Bodies on the Gears” and his explicit description of the federal government as violent, intolerant, overbearing, over-reaching, authoritarian, paternalistic, and out of control. He believed that speaking out and refusing to comply with unreasonable government demands was a legitimate form of protest. The interesting thing is that, despite Berkeley’s loving remembrance of Savio and the Free Speech Movement, UC Berkeley does not currently practice what Savio preached. Berkeley may still have the appearance of an enlightened, left-wing, politically active college campus, but the administration has squelched lectures and debates sponsored by political moderates and conservatives under the guise of “security concerns” and appears to have no interest in providing a forum for free speech for ALL AMERICANS and ALL POINTS OF VIEW. In the same vein, Antifa memberships and violence have flourished with the support of intolerant, closed-minded teachers and students alike.

Savio and the Free Speech Movement were not about violence and censorship. They were about speaking up, carrying on healthy debates, discussing the issues, and solving social justice issues through reasonable and intelligent channels. All young people, who have the energy, optimism, and idealism, have the option to engage in social activism without the use of violence and bullying. But it takes a certain amount of critical thinking skills, common sense, self-confidence, and mental agility to debate your opponent, listen to his or her views, and offer a rational and intelligent response. It requires patience and a thoughtful formulation of your personal ideas. The American educational system in the 1960s still taught those skills. I cannot say the same thing for our current educational institutions.

Dawn Pisturino

January 8, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Books and Censorship

“Censorship — The Assassination of an Idea.” ~Bookmans Entertainment Exchange~

What’s in the raging flame
of banned books burning?
Knowledge, truth, learning,
courage, freedom, yearning.
~Terri Guillemets~

Banned Books Week will be held from September 18 – 24, 2022. But censorship is an everyday concern, especially for writers, poets, artists, journalists, and other creative people. We’re seeing too much of it right now in the current political climate.

We’ve seen authors mobbed on Amazon and other sites and deliberately given poor ratings simply because the content of a book did not conform to the narrative of the people mobbing the book. This is using censorship and harassment (bullying) to create a politically correct environment where creativity is essentially dead. Show me one writer/artist worth his salt who is politically correct! Only sell-outs conform to the mob.

(Berlin book burning, 1933)

The Nazis confiscated and burned any book that they deemed “un-German.” What does that even mean? No more French porn? No Italian cookbooks? No English poetry? Who decided what was “un-German?” And it wasn’t just books that were condemned. Music, architecture, inventions, paintings, sculptures, and even dress fashions had to conform to a certain German aesthetic. Who wants to live like that? Who wants the government deciding what you can eat, read, think, create?

The Bolsheviks did the same thing after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Anything reminiscent of the previous regime was confiscated, suppressed, burned, destroyed, and labeled “too bourgeois.” The great Russian composer, Rachmaninoff, emigrated to America because his music was condemned by the Communist authorities. The great Russian writer, Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago, was censored and suppressed. If his novel had not been smuggled out of Russia, a great piece of literature would have been lost to the world. Doctor Zhivago describes this shameful period in world history.

Chairman Mao did the same thing in China. The Chinese Communist Party is STILL suppressing free speech and writers who speak out against oppression. The CCP STILL controls access to information and the content of that information. American companies like Twitter and Facebook help the CCP censor and control information in China. That’s how they are allowed to do business there.

In the United States, the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment GUARANTEE every American citizen the right of free speech and peaceable assembly to express that free speech. Free speech makes some people uncomfortable. It causes some people to feel threatened. It makes some people close their minds to new ideas. It opens the minds of others. It is divisive, combative, uniting, liberating, threatening, and compromising — all at the same time. Free speech is the basis of CREATIVITY. Free speech is the foundation of FREEDOM. Taking it one step further, FREEDOM is the bedrock on which FREE SPEECH and CREATIVITY stand. If we lose our freedom and submit to totalitarianism, we may as well start looking for another universe to inhabit, because the freedom to CREATE and EXPRESS OURSELVES will be as extinct as the dinosaurs.

(NOTE: violence is not an expression of free speech and is NOT protected by the U.S. Constitution. Devolving into burning, looting, shooting, destroying private and public property, tearing down statues, committing assault and battery, killing police, and threatening people, is just criminal behavior committed by people who have no respect for law and order. These people belong in jail. Furthermore, there is a big difference between exercising free speech and engaging in a two-way debate and just being rude, ill-mannered, and stupid. There was a time when our society valued good manners and intelligent debate.)

(NOTE: Some famous writers banned or partially banned in Nazi Germany: Aldous Huxley, Ernest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, C.S. Lewis, Jack London, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, and Oscar Wilde.)

Thank you for stopping by!

Dawn Pisturino

January 7, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

19 Comments »

Radical Islamic Bullies

While discussing the liberation of Afghanistan from the Soviet Union, many people fail to understand that Osama bin Laden was one of the freedom fighters (mujahideen) who helped to defeat the Soviets. The United States backed these freedom fighters economically and militarily.

Afghanistan is where bin Laden and his followers learned to use weapons, engage in guerilla warfare, and the art of making bombs. Bin Laden — a Saudi Islamic fundamentalist — objected to the presence of U.S. military bases on “holy soil” in Saudi Arabia. He organized the terrorist group Al-Qaeda to fight westernization in Muslim countries and the U.S. itself. It was Saudis linked to Al-Qaeda who slammed into the World Trade Center on 9/11.

President Bill Clinton and the CIA warned the American people about Al-Qaeda, but people did not know enough about radical Islam to understand. Nor could they imagine such a terrible thing happening.

Instead of addressing the problem head on, President Bush invaded Iraq and avoided any major military action against Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where their camps were actually located. This was incomprehensible to many people. (If he was going to break international law and invade a country, it should have been Afghanistan.)

Under President Obama’s watch, bin Laden was finally killed and Al-Qaeda temporarily dispersed. But another threat emerged: ISIS. They announced their presence to the world through video-taped beheadings of Western journalists and other unlucky victims. Instead of taking these horrific actions seriously, Europe failed to act, and President Obama laughed and called them “J.V.” Realistically, the western world should have acted after the first beheading.

NO RADICAL ISLAMIC GROUP CAN BE WRITTEN OFF AS NOTHING BECAUSE ALL OF THESE GROUPS ARE WILLING TO USE VIOLENCE AND A CALL TO ISLAMIC UNITY AND PURITY TO PROMOTE THEIR AGENDAS. The media either downplays these groups or portrays them as “victims” of colonialism, even though European colonialism ended a long time ago. In point of fact, the Islamic governments which arose after colonialism puppet governments failed, are the real culprits.

The Muslim world has been uniquely divided against itself since the time of the the Prophet Muhammad. Westernization, which brought many countries into the 20th century, has been rejected over and over again when fundamentalist regimes have taken power. In Afghanistan, the Taliban were allowed to take over, resulting in an extreme form of Islamic oppression. The media – and the current Biden administration – does a poor job of reporting on situations like this. The realities of these events are so far removed from American life that people cannot comprehend the horrors of daily life for people in Afghanistan. Before the fall of Kabul, a poll revealed that 75% of the Afghanistan population hated the Taliban. People who were desperate to leave the country died, trying to get on airplanes leaving the airport.

Terrorism on U.S. soil was not as active under President Trump because he was proactive in preventing it. But in Europe, the media still tends to downplay any connection to radical Islamic terrorism when something happens because of the large numbers of Muslim refugees who have been allowed into European countries.

When an act of radical Islamic terrorism occurs — wherever it occurs — people need to know who did it and why. Trying to sweep it under the rug is just ignoring the problem. For example, the goal of ISIS (and Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and other, lesser-known groups) is to re-establish the caliphate in the Middle East. Although this sounds unrealistic to most people, it is a rallying point for ISIS and these other groups in recruiting new members. Referring back to the glory days of Islamic civilization gives down-trodden, oppressed people pride and hope for the future. ISIS – and these other groups – employs technology experts and does much of its recruiting on the Dark Web. The media does not report on this enough.

In reality, some Muslims DO become radicalized. Some of them DO become involved in violent terrorism. Some Americans have been seduced into joining radical Islamic terrorist groups. The media – and our government – has a responsibility to report fully and truthfully on this. Instead, President Biden plans to send $65 million to the Taliban in Afghanistan under the guise of helping the women and children of this war-torn country. The people will never see a dime of that money. Just like the U.S. military left behind $85 billion of weapons and other military equipment for the Taliban to use, the money will be spent on a terrorist government and terrorist activities. Biden has already allowed unvetted Afghanistanis to leave the country as refugees. Nobody knows how many are actual terrorists in disguise.

When we have politicians like Senator Krysten Sinema encouraging Americans to fight with the Taliban; government officials like John Kerry weaponizing terrorist countries like Iran (the leading country when it comes to financing terrorism); and presidents like Obama and Biden kissing terrorists’ asses, the American people are sitting ducks for violence, torture, and death.

Islamic fundamentalists are bullies. And they don’t care what you and I think about it. They are hate-filled, ideology-driven idealists determined to fulfill a goal – the Islamization of the whole world. Groups in America that became influential under the Obama-Biden regime are the Muslim Brotherhood (a well-known terrorist organization that was given access to the White House on numerous occasions under Obama), CAIR (The Council on American-Islamic Relations), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). These three groups are all connected.

Are all Muslims terrorists? Of course not, and the good ones should not be confused with the bad ones. But we know who the bad ones are, and it is unacceptable and completely unthinkable that our political leaders are negotiating and doing business with these guys. Even worse, it is total incompetence when the CIA and the FBI become aware of active groups and fail to act. The heads of these organizations should be immediately fired when something happens.

Finally, it is up to the American people to educate themselves and demand change from our own government.

Dawn Pisturino

Thomas Edison State University

February 5, 2019; updated September 13, 2021

Copyright 2019-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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In Honor of the Flight 93 Heroes, September 11, 2001

Flight 93 National Memorial Wall of Names in Pennsylvania

I’m crying as I write this.

It’s hard to remember and write about the events that happened on 9/11 without weeping, gnashing my teeth in anger, and praising the innocent brave souls who lost their lives. As our country moves farther away from decency, patriotism, and traditional American values, it’s important to remember the heroes who willingly gave their lives trying to divert another terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. It’s imperative that we defeat and crush the enemies of the United States, both inside and outside of America – no matter who they are and what position they might hold.

We now have members of Congress who actively work against decent citizens of the United States. These worthless dogs dress themselves up in fine clothes, healthy bank accounts, and politically correct (for the Left) rhetoric and prey on the weak-minded and uneducated. (Having a college degree doesn’t make a person educated.)

We now have a President and Vice-President who deliberately sell themselves to Communist China and terrorists, while undermining the interests of America and the American people. These “leaders” – and I use the word loosely – come off as treasonous traitors to the United States. In my opinion, they should be court-martialed and face a military firing squad for their crimes against America and the American people. The same should be true of all politicians and corporate leaders who line their pockets at the people’s expense and betray our great country.

The sacrifice of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 calls out to us, urging us to save our country from the obscene, degraded, and depraved maniacs who hate their own country, pervert science, normalize insanity and criminality, glorify death and destruction, and revel in dirt and excrement.

Timeline of Events

At 09:23 am, the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) began issuing warnings about hijackers boarding planes and using them as weapons of mass destruction. United Airlines Flight 93 was notified at 09:27:25 am.

At 09:28:05 am, members of the radical Islamic terrorist group, Al Qaeda, hijacked the plane, taking over the cockpit and subduing the passengers. They were later identified as Ziad Jarrah, Ahmed al-Numi, Ahmed al-Haznawi, and Saeed al-Ghamdi. Their leader, Jarrah, had trained in Afghanistan for three months, met Osama bin Laden in January of 2000, and arrived in Florida in June of 2000 to take flight lessons and to study martial arts.

At 09:28:17 am, the Cleveland controller heard screaming over the radio transmission and LeRoy Homer, Jr. crying, “Mayday! Mayday! Get out of here! Get out of here! Get out of here!”

At 09:31:57 am, the cockpit voice recorder kicked in and recorded the last 30 minutes of the flight. Jarrah was heard talking to the passengers and saying, “We have a bomb on board.” The message was accidentally sent to the Cleveland Air Traffic controller.

At 09:39 am, Jarrah was heard announcing, “We are going back to the airport, and we have our demands.” In reality, the flight was turned eastward towards Washington, D.C. Although some have speculated that the White House was the target, the 9/11 Commission believed, based on evidence, that it was the U.S. Capitol Building that was the real target.

At this point, Captain Jason Dahl may have disabled the autopilot. It was later discovered that passengers and crew had made 35 airphone calls and two cell phone calls, warning family and friends of what was happening. The passengers came up with a plan to take back the plane and revolted at 09:57 am. They allegedly used the food cart to try and break into the cockpit. One of the hijackers guarding the door may have been killed.

At 10:03:09 am, a male voice speaking English cried, “Pull it up!” The plane was deliberately crashed by the hijackers at 10:03:11 am.

In the meantime, Vice-President Dick Cheney, safe inside the Presidential Emergency Operation Center under the White House, ordered Flight 93 to be shot down. After the plane crashed, he called the passengers and crew “heroes.”

A permanent memorial to the passengers and crew of Flight 93 was dedicated on September 10, 2011.

Crew members

Captain Jason Dahl

First Officer LeRoy Homer, Jr.

Lorraine Bay

Sandra Bradshaw

Wanda Green

CeeCee Lyles

Deborah Welsh

The 33 passengers included several foreign nationals.

The American passengers were innocent victims and died for their country. They sacrificed their own lives by standing up to the terrorists, who were forced to then crash the plane into an empty field in Pennsylvania. The foreign passengers who died as innocent victims were in the wrong country at the wrong time. Please pray for all of them and their families.

Let this be a lesson to all of us that life can change on the turn of a dime. The enemies of America never sleep. And we must be equally watchful and alert to the danger they pose.

Dawn Pisturino

September 8, 2021

Copyright 2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Question Authority

“Question Authority” means questioning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; questioning the Democrats and the Republicans; questioning the actions of Big Tech and corporate America; and questioning Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the motives of people on both the Left and the Right. We are free people – not a bunch of sheep!

Dawn Pisturino

May 8, 2021

Copyright 2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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An Open Letter to my Niece and Nephew

Black Lives Matter image

Dear Niece and Nephew,

I am much older than you, and what you don’t realize is that the Democrats have been spouting the same rhetoric for 50 years. It never changes, it just gets worse. I have been hearing the same crap for 50 years, only it’s gotten more extreme and insane. I don’t blame you for that because you don’t know any better. The younger generation doesn’t know any better. Especially since they don’t do any research to figure it out. Racism has become a buzz word for the Democrats and the Left which they use when they have nothing else. It’s turned into a form of extortion, which I have pointed out to you in the past. Reverse racism is still racism, no matter who or what color or nationality is involved. Barack Obama is a racist. Rev. Al Sharpton is a racist. John Lewis was a racist. They don’t preach equality, they preach reverse racism and historic hatred. They use the past to promote hatred and racism in the present. They promote racism to gain power and to enrich themselves. Joe Biden – whom I assume you support – voted against every piece of Civil Rights legislation. He supported segregation. He campaigned with Senator Robert Byrd, a well-known member of the KKK. He continues to make racist remarks against blacks and other minority groups. And this is the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party????????? The whole history of the Democratic Party is racist and bloody. The KKK was founded by Southern Democrats to terrorize blacks. It was the NRA which provided guns to former slaves to protect themselves from the KKK. It was Southern Democrats who lynched blacks and tried to suppress the black vote. The Democratic Party continues to exploit black Americans. This is real history. Look it up yourselves. It’s also the reason many blacks are leaving the Democratic Party.

  1. Enforcing immigration laws is not racist. It’s following the law. The plain and simple truth is that our immigration laws have not been enforced by various politicians for various reasons, mostly to get cheap labor. Both parties are guilty of this. Putting American workers first is not racist. It’s common sense. Calling President Trump a racist does not make him one. Enforcing our immigration laws – which a majority of Americans support – is not racist. It’s a matter of national security. The countries which have not secured their borders are now suffering the consequences. In fact, the whole COVID-19 thing has highlighted the importance of controlling immigration and securing our borders.
  2. People who hate America – for whatever reason – should do us all a favor and leave. It’s that simple. No matter what changes are made, they will always hate America. That was true in the 1960s, and it’s true now. So leave. Most Americans just want to go to work, give their kids a good education, enjoy a certain amount of prosperity, and be happy. They don’t want to be bothered with this constant political nonsense 24/7. People are turning off the news, turning off sports, and tuning out Hollywood because of it. The Silent Majority rules – not the people who are always running their mouths.
  3. Denying the violence in Seattle, Portland, and other liberal cities is astounding, at best, and ignorant, at worst. To say that President Trump and the media made all that up is sheer nonsense. For someone like Rep. Jerry Nadler to call it a myth just proves how completely out of touch the Democrats are with reality. Their silence and inability to publicly recognize what’s really going on will hurt them in November and beyond. To put it plainly, average Americans are sick of it. And Antifa and the radical Left have no loyalty to any party. They don’t give a fig about the Democrats or Republicans. Their entire goal is destruction, and they will ultimately destroy the Democratic Party, which tries to exploit them for their own ends. Sorry, but that’s not how these groups operate.
  4. Black Lives Matter started out as a terrorist group that called for the killing of police, and it hasn’t changed. It’s just gotten wealthier as corporations – afraid of being branded racist, and fearful that their facilities will be burned down – donate money and give public lip service to their cause. Defunding the police is the dumbest idea yet, and in high crime areas, that is the last thing people want. They want the bad cops to go, yes, but they rely on the police for protection. In the end, however, there aren’t enough police to protect everyone. That’s why the police tell people to learn how to protect and defend themselves. That’s why gun and ammunition sales are up. Not because “they use any excuse to buy guns,” but because people are afraid.
  5. There’s absolutely nothing you could say to me that I haven’t heard a hundred times before over the last 50 years. It’s not because I think I’m smarter than you or anyone else. It’s because I’ve already lived through it and heard it.
  6. People change as their knowledge and experience change. If I want too know what’s going on and what people think and want, I talk to real people. I don’t listen to Fox, CNN, or any of the other media. I knew Hillary was going to lose just from talking to real everyday people. And the first thing you learn in Sociology 101 is that polls are easily manipulated. I don’t pay attention to polls or political pundits.
  7. “Systemic racism,” “white guilt,” and “white privilege” are all liberal bullshit, created by liberal professors, sociologists, and activists. Systemic racism no longer exists on a wide scale. You will never completely eliminate racism because it’s part of the human condition. Many people become racists based on negative experiences they’ve had, even if they were taught otherwise. Making all white people feel guilty for being white, when they haven’t done anything wrong, just makes people angry and creates a backlash and more racism. And groups like the Nation of Islam promote the misguided belief that all white people are inherently racist, while being racist themselves. As far as white privilege goes, do you two feel guilty for being white, comfortable, and successful? If that’s the case, you should sign over the deeds to your houses to the next black family you meet, and voluntarily give up your jobs to a black person. For myself, I worked for what I have, and nobody is going to take it from me.
  8. American history is an extension of British history. The British, French, and other groups brought slavery to America. Blaming America for slavery is ludicrous when the country didn’t even exist then. Blaming the Founding Fathers is ludicrous because it was an accepted practice AT THAT TIME. And we fought a Civil War to end it, so this constant narrative, destroying statues, and trying to erase history, is harmful, stupid, and a waste of time. YOU CAN’T ERASE HISTORY, no matter how hard you try. My British and German ancestors have been on this continent since the 1600s, and I haven’t found any evidence that any of them owned slaves. Barack Obama’s direct ancestor, Samuel Dunham, who lived in Virginia, owned 2 slaves, and that’s in the census records. Is Barack Obama to blame because he’s half white? Of course not. You can’t judge history by the standards of today.

I love both of you, and regret that our disagreements have turned into such a terrible mess. It’s a reflection of the times in which we live. People have a right to believe what they want and to vote for whomever they want. And to condemn people for exercising their constitutional rights is wrong. That’s what makes America unique and great as a country.

Love,

Your Aunt Dawn

***

Dawn Pisturino

August 9, 2020

Copyright 2020 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Antifa leader is professor who repeatedly advocates for “dead cops”

This guy should be fired! These whackos should not be teaching.

Source: Antifa leader is professor who repeatedly advocates for “dead cops”

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Be an Independent Thinker!

the-thinker

The Thinker by Rodin

In a world bombarded by information, where are the independent thinkers?

Where do the fresh, untarnished minds hang out?

Where does ORIGINALITY rear its beautiful head?

In a world deafened by conformity instead of individuality, the imaginative Creators of art, music, literature, and science are silenced under the dull roar of sameness, mediocrity, and

group think.

I will not be hampered by intimidation!

I will not be silenced by coercion!

I will not bow down to threats!

I will rise above the mundane crowd and be, above all,

AN INDEPENDENT THINKER!

Dawn Pisturino

February 7, 2017

Copyright 2017 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Marx’s Conflict Theory

 

karl-marx

 

Marx’s conflict theory is having a profound influence right now in urban areas, especially among young people and minorities. Groups such as Black Lives Matter and the New Black Panthers  openly advocate separation from mainstream society due to the unfair, biased, and overbearing power of the dominant culture and the ruling class.

For them, laws reflect bias and unfair treatment and punishment of the poor and minorities by police and the American justice system. They understand perfectly that their communities have been left behind by globalization and the influx of uneducated, unskilled immigrant labor. Some of them advocate the overthrow of the American capitalist system and the creation of a communist or socialist society. They believe this is the only path to equality, happiness, and economic freedom.

Using class struggle as a shield, these groups justify inter-racial random killings, police ambushes, weapons hoards, acts of terrorism, riots, violent protests, and every other conceivable crime. They feel no shame or remorse because they see themselves as victims fighting for a cause. In their view, the police and other authoritarian figures are the real criminals. Poverty and economic disparity are the real crimes.

Unfortunately, they do not direct their zeal into cleaning up their own neighborhoods. They do not use their skills to benefit their own communities. Their goal is to strike fear into the dominant society with threats, disruption, and chaos. In fact, a strong law and order response threatens their agenda and their goals.

Such a politicized movement can only turn the dominant society against them. Mainstream Americans want law and order.

Dawn Pisturino

November 9, 2016

Criminology 225, Mohave Community College,

Kingman, Arizona

Copyright 2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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An Election for the 1 %

one_percent

This election isn’t about you and me – it’s about the 1 % and which 1 % er is going to run America.

Hillary Clinton is  a multi-millionaire who is backed by wealthy Wall Street financier George Soros and others. She will use her presidency to benefit the 1 %.

Donald Trump is a billionaire who is backed by Carl Icahn and others. He will use his presidency to benefit the 1 %.

LOVE the 1 %? Vote for Hillary or Trump. Otherwise, vote your conscience and vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party (who better represents Democratic Idealists) or Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Or refuse to vote at all! The 1 % doesn’t care.

Dawn Pisturino

October 2, 2016

Copyright 2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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