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Monday, July 27, 2015

Op/Ed: The Bernie Sanders, Martin O' Malley Shoutfest at Netroots Nation '15 Facepalm Moment

Photo Credit - Black Christian News Network One
U.S. Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders (R)
tries to claim the shout-down fest at Netroots Nation in Phoenix, AZ July 18,
while conference "Moderator" Jose Vergas sits.

It was Ugly, Brutal and Frankly Uncalled For....

It being what should now until the end of time be labeled as "Scream-down in Phoenix at Netroots Nation 2015". The Mainstream Media ate this sad moment in time up.

Watch the melee shoutfest in its entirely with video by Vlogger Pamela Powers Hannley below:

Left and Right wing political blogs or journals had a temporary field day boasting Progressive Candidates for the Democratic Presidential Nomination former Maryland Gov. Martin O' Malley and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) had little if any support of African-American Democrat voters, as a result of what happened in Phoenix.

Photo Credit - US News & World Report
Former Governor of Maryland and Democratic Presidential Candidate
Martin O' Malley stands in silence after being interrupted by unscheduled
"Moderator" Tia Oso, while then demoted "Co-Moderator" Jose Vergas looks on.
The snapshot of some #BlackLivesMatter supporters in Phoenix during July at a conference center ballroom, screaming at the top of their lungs towards both Sanders and O'Malley, was incredibly morphed into by some as on lines with a Mitt Romney "47% Video" exposure redeux.

Video Credit - The Daily Conversation

However, Nothing can be further from the truth.

Instead, here is the take from some Progressives supporting Senator Sanders or O' Malley quest to be the next President of the United States from Netroots Nation on Facebook page.

Photo Credit - Facebook/Netroots Nation Page
Despite these and others calls to in some matter or the other "make right" the "shoutout festival" in Phoenix, the organizers of Netroots Nation believe what occurred to two Democratic Progressive candidates for President attending the Progressive conference is right in line with tone of future Netroots events --FYI.
Photo Credit - Arshad Hasan Twitter @ArshadHasan
“My initial reaction was anxiety,”said Arshad Hasan, the new chair of the board of Netroots Nation and Executive Director of Progress Now to Al Jazeera America. 
“I had just gotten elected [chair of Netroots], and I want this wonderful event to go off perfectly, but seeing the reaction, its effect on the political discourse, seeing the anger and how much they wanted to be heard — seeing the people force their reality on our consciousness — they accomplished that, it was inspiring.”
Thus, it appears at least on surface, the "new" Netroots Chair was A-Okay with the shout down as the "anger" as he put its was "inspiring". Really now?

So, the ten year conference will take a new tone going forward. One of drowning out any candidate or elected official, who happens to be Progressive in nature, if members of the audience so wish to abide.
"...Now we're on the third wave, which is a grassroots movement hangout, largely localized, based on the event venue, but also more broad, and at this point mostly focused on social justice,” said David Dayen, a contributor to a number of digital news sites, including Salon and The New Republic to Al Jazeera America. Dayen, the site notes has attended every Netroots Nation conference since its inception when it was known as Yearly Kos.
Newly atoned Chair of the Netroots Nation Board Arshad Hasan affirmed Dayen's confirmation that drown outs are the new course of the day at Netroots conference, despite any suggested criticisms, therefore. #FacepalmMomentsinTime....
“I think that’s right,” said Netroots Chairman Hasan, “and I don’t think that’s a complaint.”
Let's roundtable back to a little rational perspective on this shall we?

If the Netroots Nation consensus think that by allowing invited Progressive Candidates to be repeatedly interrupted and not have an ample opportunity to have a word edgewise about concrete responses to the #BlackLivesMatter movement is a really "good thing to do", then that is a crying shame. 

Again, nothing can be further from the truth -- now twice over.

If Progressive candidates, and especially one on the level as Bernie Sanders are not given an a chance to speak, then someone must quickly define again what exactly is Netroots Nation about? 

There are plenty of opportunities, if the party desiring such an action wants to take part in, to see candidates get yelled at and otherwise heckled during the campaign cycle. Not much is actually gained for the most part from any of these "Oh Wee Look at Me" moment displays. 

In fact going back in not to far in the past history, the straw that broke the carmel's back in the Romney/Obama 2012 election was the 47% Video, which was silently filmed and then distributed out to Progressive Media outlets by Jason Carter

It is now a belief of the Netroots organizers or better yet New Board Chairperson Hasan, that Mr. Carter or his cohorts who filmed this video would have been better off after this rightful exposure, to start a screaming match with Mitt Romney?

Of course not.

Regardless, if this is the new tactic of the moment with Netroots Nation, well okay -- but count many Progressives like ourselves and other Bernie Sanders supporters out. 

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has taken an active role supporting matters related to civil rights, police brutality and economic injustice for DECADES. Longer than in retrospect many of the "screamers" at Netroots Nation '15 have been born.

Video Credit - The Thom Hartmann Show

Sanders, at least, should have been allowed the opportunity to speak and members of the audience equality should have been allowed to ask POINTED questions of the candidate --without shouting them-- and expect a response back.

O'Malley, whose support of #BlackLivesMatter topics of importance can be rightfully questioned following his "Stop and Frisk" policy while Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland too should have been allowed to state his platform, and then have a tense but controlled by the Moderator Q&A with audience members. 

Screaming someone down should not have been required or worse now promoted proudly, at a Progressive Conference with Progressive Candidates.

One more question before we end this Op/Ed, by the way -- where was the "Top-Tier" Democratic Candidate for President who claim to be aligned with Progressive Causes, Hillary Clinton during the shoutfest in Phoenix at Netroots?

According to Time, she was "suspiciously" somewhere, elsewhere:

Photo Credit - The Hill
"....she was in Iowa and heading to Arkansas, even while her rivals for the Democratic nomination—Sanders and Martin O’Malley—were en route to Phoenix and preparing to court the progressives," wrote Journalist Sam Frizell for Time Magazine July 19.

Speaking of things that make one go umm.

Who Are We to Speak?

Known as "The Voice of Progress", Independent Underground News & Talk is Michigan Top African-American owned Independent Progressive-Left Politics, News, Commentary and Talk Radio resource. Home of Independent Underground Radio LIVE (IURL) Politics Affiliate Podcast Network with over 2 MILLION downloads and listens. Oh yeah, we attended two Netroots Nation Conference in 2012 & 2014, so yes indeed, we-are-Progressive!

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Op/Ed: Time for a Welcome Change in Leadership with the Michigan Democratic Party

Photo Credit - Detroit Free Press/Kathleen Gray
Newly elected Michigan Democratic Party Chairperson - State Representative Brandon Dillon (R) and MDP Chief Executive Officer LaVora Barnes (L)
Op/Ed Written by Monica RW 

On Friday, July 10, the owner of Independent Underground News & Talk (IUNT) Monica RW attended a local Washtenaw County Democratic Party Meeting were State Representative Brandon Dillon and LaVora Barnes outlined their upcoming platform to issues important for the State's Progressive voters, if elected to take the leadership reigns of Michigan Democratic Party.

Personally, I was very impressed by not only the questions both Mr. Dillon and Ms. Barnes answered of the audience, but likewise details given in each of those answers.

As a African-American Woman and Local Elected Democratic Office Official, there is a sense of relief knowing this new structure of the MDP will include a fellow African-American Woman as C.E.O. or Chief Executive Officer in charge of coordinating what is necessary to take back the Michigan House of Representatives in 2016, and eventually the State Senate and Governor's Office in 2018.

Ms. Barnes has the in-depth experience required to do so with her many years of prior work in the Coordinated Campaign field.

Independent Underground Radio LIVE (IURL) - our Progressive Politics Podcast arm, selectively pick and chooses whom the show will interview on our program.

This route is deployed due for our desire to ensure interviewees stand aside the Progressive Values IURL upholds and/or present a contrasting viewpoint with facts our listeners should be aware of in the over 400 interviews we have conducted.

To be frank, we at IURL refuse to waste our audience time on the "Fluff Filled" interview.

For Mr. Dillion behalf, our Politics Podcast Resource - Independent Underground Radio LIVE - interviewed the State Representative in 2013.

During the discussion, we're very impressed on his depth of knowledge topics ranging from Election Rigging to Saving Michigan's Public Education system talked about during the program, as well as his personal commitment to Progressive Values.

At IURL and IUNT, we occasionally take positions that are different from what the party and/or the "political apparatus" touts. For this reason, we're not bothered in the least by State Rep. Dillon former Pro-Life stance, which changed in 2012.

It is not required all Progressives walk "lock step" in unison on all subject manners. However, it is important that when holding an elected office, one evaluate the needs of ALL voters, and what is best for majority of those voters.

In this case, despite what his personal position might have been, Mr. Dillon realized that voting with Republicans seeking to limit or cease a Woman's Right to Choose was the wrong choice to make. IUNT appreciates Mr. Dillon's change in position on this highly important manner.

With such, we welcome the New Leadership of Mr. Brandon Dillon as Chairperson and Ms. Levora Barnes of C.E.O. of Michigan Democratic Party (MDP).

Likewise, we at IUNT & IURL look forward to working with them both to advance the Progressive Platform along with dramatically change the current make up of Republican Executive and Legislative Branch Dominance in our Beloved State.

"Independent Underground News & Talk (IUNT) and Independent Underground Radio LIVE (IURL) is the top African-American independently owned and operated Progressive Politics Resource & Podcast in the State of Michigan. In 2013 IUNT was honored as a Nationwide Finalist the Best News & Politics Blog by the highly esteemed Black Weblog Awards and News One Organization.

Two years later in 2015, IURL achieved its' goal of exceeding over 2 million downloads and listens of the podcast program, making Independent Underground News & Talk the Number #1 Progressive Politics Podcast in Michigan.  
IURL is top Progressive Podcast on the Blog Talk Radio and syndicated by Tune-In Radio, Stitcher, iTunes, Player FM, Learn Out Loud and a host of other top-tier podcast networks."

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Op/Ed - Please Don't Let the Door Hit You in the Derrière: LGBTQ Marriage is the Law

Photo Credit -

Op/Ed Written by "FlaGatorJD" of Democratic Underground - Republished with Permission

I know some of you are terribly upset about all this equality and marriage stuff, and you're so fed up, you're ready to just leave this country. 

First, let's remember that you said you'd leave if President Obama were elected. He was, and you didn't, and except for the problems in your head, and our inability to stop killing one another, America is doing fine, or at least a whole lot better than when he took office.

Although a few are currently suffering from Exploding Head Syndrome, or EHS, the economy has improved, more Americans are back to work, and millions of Americans have insurance for the first time, which means they go to sleep without the fear of getting sick and losing everything.

I know, that last part really bothers a lot of you, especially our GOP leaders, like the criminals in Tallahassee. So let's talk about Wall Street. I don't know about you, but I'm thinking Obama is the worst socialist ever! I sure hope Bernie Sanders will do better. 

Ok, but all this doesn't matter and you're ready to leave, because now that America is "gay friendly", the whole damn country will be adorned in rainbows, and the whole world will be coming here. Just FYI, if you're interested in any facts, the U.S. doesn't even make the top ten in least homophobic countries. It comes in at twelve, but that doesn't matter, and let's get you packed up and ready. 

Now if you're shopping for houses already, and the Riviera is enticing,you might like to know Spain is the least homophobic, with only 6% of Spaniards saying it is "morally unacceptable", compared to 37% in the U.S. Then fine, living in the French or Italian Riviera might be a little more expensive, but screw Spain, right? Sorry, France and Italy come in at third and eighth on the least homophobic list. Collectively, it's like a huge frigging rainbow sitting on top of the Mediterranean!  

Let's try another approach, let's just look at the most homophobic countries and pick one of those. That would be great, living with all those like-minded individual, wouldn't it?

Ok, let's check your options: While Ghana got the top spot, with 98% saying it was "morally unacceptable", the unofficial "most homophobic country" is the small Asian country of Brunei! 

While not polled like the others, the fact that the government recently voted to stone gays to death gave it special attention. You'll be pleased to know Bruneian citizens pay no taxes, and the government provides for all medical services and free education through university. 

I know, again, that last part doesn't sit well with a lot of you, giving people Free Stuff, but NO TAXES. Another part you might like is that they have a King, and the same family has been in power for around 500 years. 

However, it is 80% Muslim, but I'm sure the 8% minority Christians are treated fairly and with due respect. If Ghana or Brunei don't suit your fancy, your other options in the top 10 most homophobic nations include: Egypt, Jordan, Palestinian, Indonesia, Uganda, Tunisia, Kenya, Malaysia, and Nigeria.

So gentlemen, pack your Summer clothes and sunscreen. I'm sorry ladies, but you'll have to leave your bathing suits here with the heathens, but since all of these are Muslim countries, I believe, you will likely need a burka.


About The Author:
Craig "Red" Holland studied politics and law at the University of Florida, B.A. '83, J.D. '86. He calls himself a "recovering attorney" who left the stress world of law to travel the world, live a better life, and fight for a progressive America.

He has worked on presidential campaigns  
and served as executive director for a non-profit cycling advocacy group where he lives in Naples, FL. 

He is available to provide copy or articles on progressive causes. He can be reached at 

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

(Video) The Bravery of Bree Newsome: Activist Takes Down Confederate Flag at South Carolina Capitol

Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
Activist Bree Newsome on June 27, 2015, climbed atop the pole
at Columbia, South Carolina capitol building and removed
the Confederate Flag.
UPDATE: 2:15 pm ET - The Associated Press reports 45 minutes after activist Bree Newsome climbed atop of a pole in front of Columbia, South Carolina Capitol Building and removed the Confederate Flag, Governor Nikki Haley ordered the flag back up based on a questionable provision of State Law.
"The flag, which is protected by state law, was raised about 45 minutes later, well ahead of a rally later Saturday by supporters of keeping the flag where it is," AP reporters Emily Masters and Bruce Smith cited.
Michigan Filmmaker Michael Moore has offered to pay legal fees for Bree Newsome, and issued the statement in a Tweet on Saturday morning. 
Newsome and fellow activist James Ian Dyson have been charged by the State of South Carolina with criminal charges for defacing a "monument".


Activist Bree Newsome climbed a flagpole in front of the Columbia, South Carolina capitol building early on Saturday, June 27, 2015 and removed the Confederate flag flying in front of the building.

Newsome's action came a day after President Barack Obama gave the eulogy for the late State Senator and Rev. Clementa Pincket who was murdered by confessed murderer and white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof, along with eight other people in Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church last week.

Newsome a 30-year-old African-American youth organizer from Charlotte, North Carolina, climbed the flagpole before 6am and took down the controversial emblem of the antebellum, slaveholding south, with the assistance of James Ian Dyson, a Caucasian activist.

The activist was halfway up the 30ft pole when three South Carolina Capitol police officers, two of whom were African-American, demanded that she climb back down, but Newsome continued upward and removed the flag.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley held a press conference on June 22, 2015, with Republican and Democratic Members of the State Legislator, Congressman James Clyburn (D) and Senator Tim Scott (R), both of whom are African-American, calling for the flag to be removed.

Since Haley's announcement, neither the South Carolina Assembly or the Governor herself have made any concrete movements to actually remove the Confederate Flag from State Capitol grounds.

CNN has reported Newsome and Dyson had been charged with defacing a monument.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Op/Ed: What's Really Going On In Detroit - The Paid Media Won't Tell: A Lifetime Detroiter Perspective

Photo Credit - SF
What's Really Occurring in the Great Urban American
City named Detroit, Michigan? A lifetime Detroit resident
narrates a "on-the-ground" perspective.

Written By: Kenneth Reed - A Lifetime Detroit, Michigan Resident

I've watched the events unfold in this City over the weekend, and watched the Police Chief posture in front of the various media outlet cameras. In all of this, it occurred to me that Chief Craig in spite of what he has said repeatedly does not have any answers. He doesn't have a handle on the crime problem in Detroit.

I was at a 13th Congressional District Meeting Saturday where he appeared to make a presentation. In the process of addressing the Precinct Delegates he really didn't come across as someone who had a plan to deal with criminal activity. As you can probably determine at this point, he doesn't excite me at all.

After the meeting the events unfolded on Dexter & Webb, and people are asking why are these things happening, then later that evening the 1st shooting in Greektown happened. This is a culmination of 20 yrs. of stripping the City of Detroit of it's pride, self determination, and drive to succeed against all odds.

First there was the elimination of "Revenue Share Money" From the State of Michigan, then the elimination of the residency requirements for city workers that further stripped the tax base. Then came the 1st Takeover of (Detroit Public Schools) DPS in 1999.

The next action was when the people fought to return the management of Public Education to the People, the elected board hired an incompetent Superintendent Connie K. Calloway.

Next the neighborhood school closings were accelerated, thus causing the emptying of those neighborhoods. Then the same School Board surrendered their oversight of the School District to a Democratic Governor who appointed an emergency manager.

Then Rick Sniper became Governor and started picking us off even quicker, and established the (Educational Achievement Authority) EAA called our Children the dumbest 5% in the state.

The people were then coerced by some black coons who at one time attended the (PAOCC) Shrine of The Black Madonna the most progressive Black Church in Detroit into buying into the 'Declaration of Black Inferiority" by working overtime to convince people to write in a white man as Mayor.

This is the ultimate act of Self-Hatred to give away Black Political Power. So what happened next?

Black People for all intent are excluded from Belle Isle, frowned upon from taking part in activities downtown, and on the riverfront. Water is being cut off from poor black residents by the thousands daily

roperties being stolen by tax foreclosure in some instances, because of bogus "Blight Tickets". People are being duped into supporting this Fraud "D" Insurance that is being pushed by the White Mayor. The problem with the insurance is that if you're in an accident and get injured, the medical cap is $250,000, and that's lifetime.

So with all of these shootings going on, where is the "White Mayor?" 
What's his position concerning it? What is his solution(s)? None of these people have answers.

the white mayor, the Police Chief; he's too immersed into himself. Not Malik Shabazz, Not Ernest Johnson, not Lisa L. Howze Page II, not Alexis Wiley, not Tom Lewand, or David Katz. Not even the Livonia Mafia. Sure they'll send some of these surrogates (Water carriers) to community organization meetings to spew out the party line, but if you press them really hard, none of the aforementioned has any answers. 

Remember it was the Police Chief who said on many occasions to the citizens that they should arm themselves,
and shoot first when confronted. That's his solution. BLACK EXTERMINATION, but they discovered this weekend that no curfew will work.
They better be glad that the people haven't fully awakened, and organized.

They should be also consider themselves lucky that the real hood G's from the 1970's and '80's aren't around, if they were they would be running the city by now, dealing with this lack of vision, and tone deaf leadership that works @ 2 Woodward Ave.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

She Did It: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Calls for Removal of Confederate Flag

Photo Credit - Joe Raedle
Governor Nikki Haley surrounded by State and Federal Republican
& Democrat State Officials calls for the removal of the Confederate
Flag at the South Carolina Capitol Grounds.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in a Monday, June 22 afternoon press conference says the Confederate flag should be removed from the grounds of the state capitol. Haley by calling for the divisive symbol removal, reverses her initial position to keep the flag, amid growing calls for it to be removed.
“Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds,” Haley said to applause. “My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move forward in harmony and honor the nine blessed souls that are now in heaven,” she said. 
Governor Haley change on the Confederate Flag comes after nine African-American affiliated African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church members were gunned down by confessed murderer 21 year old Dylann Roof. One of the AME church members killed included South Carolina State Senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

Read Our Article: Op/Ed: Governor Nikki Haley Can Take Down South Carolina's Confederate Flag

Roof a self proclaimed white supremacist, embraced the flag as a symbol of white supremacy.

Haley surrounded by South Carolina Republicans and Democrats received a loud applause and cheering when the announcement was made. The flag has flown in front of the state capitol on a pole with a padlock keeping the divisive symbol in place for 15 years after being moved from Statehouse dome.

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