Mar. 9, 2017 By Jack Jodell, American Dissident, N.M.P.
THE COUNTDOWN: As of today, only 1,047 more days remain in this administration’s term in office!
For a long time now, I have deservedly been blasting Donald Trump in this blog. That wretched, spoiled little brat of a “man” is undoubtedly the WORST President in our entire history, and I can only imagine what the horrid machinations of his term in office will mean for this country and the rest of the globe.
But – being an optimist by nature, in today’s post I would like to focus on a number of bright and talented individuals who deserve praise and recognition. If you are unfamiliar with any of them, please Google them and find out all you can about them. Most if not all tend to be progressive in their political, economic, cultural, and social outlook. EACH has been an inspiration to me personally, and has provided me with a reason to crawl out of bed each day and to renew the battle. These wonderful people are not presented in any set order or pattern – EVERY ONE of them has lit my way and given me reason to carry on. I apologize for any I may have forgotten; it was and is purely unintentional. I’m sure a number of you will agree with my findings, as these are all outstanding individuals well worthy of accolades! Let me present, now, my personal “Hall of Fame”:
1. THOM HARTMANN – this man, very observant and fair-minded, is a staple on both weekday talk radio and can be seen on FREE SPEECH TV. He is receptive to new ideas and has shown himself to be well-versed and adept in a great many fields. I learn something new each and every time I tune into his show. If you like well-reasoned rationality and logic, then Mr. Hartmann is definitely your kind of guy!
2. AMY GOODMAN – as a longtime host of the syndicated program DMOCRACY NOW!, both on radio and TV. Ms. Goodman is a superb voice for the downtrodden and overlooked in our society as well as internationally. She is a rare phenomenon in media today: an impartial investigative journalist who examines all sides of an issue and then presents her findings to us. I saw her live in Minneapolis promoting her first book many years ago, and have never forgotten how enlightening that experience was. Ms. Goodman is relentless in tracking down the truth: she has been arrested many times all across the world in pursuit of the story. She provides sanity in an often insane world.
3. ELEANOR GOLDFIELD – here is one really aware, and on-top of-it-all individual! Her program ACT OUT! on FREE SPEECH TV is topical and a bonanza of useful information for those who strive to be in the know. Fair-minded and artistic, she challenges us viewers to become and stay active and involved in the world around us. She has the knack of cutting through bullshit to get at the heart of the story, and it’s abundantly clear that she does do her homework! This is one incredible young lady who never ceases to amaze – check her out on FREE SPEECH TV or on YouTube – you won’t be disappointed!
4. KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – this incredible woman, now the publisher of The Nation magazine, has been a leading voice for progressive causes since the 1970s. Her magazine is a staple in my reading and provides a sorely-needed outlet for progressive writers to present their well-reasoned and well-researched articles.
5. GWENDOLYN HOLDEN-BARRY – This remarkable woman is my co-host on the Sunday online radio program Here Be Monsters The Sunday Show which runs nearly every Sunday from 6 – 7 PM Eastern time. Uncompromisingly radical/liberal, she is an engaged activist who scans a great many news sites every day to really be on top of what is happening. She has been a past author at the sites Roundtree 7 and A New Global Myth, and her passion for truth and justice is unequalled in the blogosphere and beyond.
6. CHRIS HAYES – host of his own nightly show ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES on MSNBC-TV, this cerebral and rational young man has demonstrated time and again that brainpower need not be boring. He is an excellent analyst who has managed to gain a great following on that network. If you have never done so, please check him out.
7. POPE FRANCIS – After his two doctrinaire predecessors, I find this pope to be a refreshing change for a church that I feel needs new leadership. Though the Catholic church still has a way to go regarding women’s rights and other issues, I welcome the new and accomodating style Francis has adopted regarding gay rights and those who have had abortions. He preaches and follows how we should hate the sin but not the sinner. I believe he will be a transformative groundbreaker, in the tradition of Pope John XXIII. This is a healthy and necessary development, even if it occurs more slowly than many would like.
8. KEITH OLBERMANN – long a passionate voice for the underdog and social justice, when Olbermann left MSNBC – TV and then CURRENT TV, there was a huge void. Thankfully, he has returned to online broadcasting courtesy of GQ magazine. His analytical skill and reasoning have been sorely missed, and it is good to have him back!
9. MEDEA BENJAMIN – This longtime activist, economist, and author has proven to be multi-inspirational. Her boundless energy and beautiful ideals really ring my bell! She worked for a time as a nutritionist, but soon saw that the corporate-sponsored milk formula which was being fed to poor children in other countries was more than they could afford, and when supplies of it ran out, the children either starved or became deathly ill by using formula made from tainted streams and rainwater. It opened her eyes to the evil nature of money-grubbing corporations and spurred her into a lifetime of activism. Her current efforts are devoted to Code Pink, a strong anti-war effort which she founded to combat the illegal and immoral Iraq War begun by “W” and DICK cheney over a decade ago. She is to be commended for her tireless effort and noble ideas.
10. RACHEL MADDOW – easily the ratings leader for MSNTV, Ms. Maddow consistently treats us to evidence of her investigative journalism skills by presenting solid background information often overlooked by other networks. She is an uncomprising advocate of gay rights and a strong supporter of other progressive causes.
10. F. WAYNE JOHNSON – Another of my Sunday online radio show hosts, Mr. Johnson sports a pedigree dating back to the earliest days of the Republican Party, when it was a fair-minded, liberal party with Abraham Lincoln at its head. At odds with today’s reactionary GOP, this man has a progressive, common sense outlook which I enjoy each Sunday very much!
11. JIM HIGHTOWER – Here is a rare commodity known as a Texas liberal, who is also the publisher of the progressive digest The Hightower Lowdown, which shines a bright light on government corruption and corporate malfeasance. With his folksy, down-home style, Mr. Hightower always brightens my day with his economic populism, his witticisms, and truisms.
12. JOY REID – Another fine example of the rare breed of investigative journalists that, for a brief few years, settled in over at MSNBC TV. Regrettably, that once-liberal network is purposefully becoming more conservative: that’s why Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz were forced out and why Ms. Reid has been working without a contract for some time now, with no replacement having been offered her. It would be a shame to lose the hard-hitting Reid, but it appears her departure will be inevitable. Let’s hope not – she has really been earning her paycheck!
13. BURR DEMING – A very thoughtful and insightful writer, and one of the first to comment when I had begun blogging, I welcome his podcast contributions each Monday on this blog. His is a unique blend of folksy rationalizing, historical knowledge, a grasp of fairness and Midwestern common sense, and pragmatic liberalism all rolled into one, and I am honored to have his friendship and his weekly submissions – there are none finer. Thank you, Burr, and keep it all coming!
14. GAR ALPEROVITZ – I first learned of this renowned author, activist, and political economist from a short appearance he had filmed in support of The Next System Project which appeared last year on FREE SPEECH TV. His logic and wisdom rang through loud and clear for me and proved to be immensely inspirational. This is a thinking man’s man, and he has certainly gotten me to thinking. He always seems to be one or two steps ahead of the game, as you can tell by reading some of his books, notably America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy. His idea in this key book, which he also expounds upon in The Next System Project, is that for democracy to work on a big scale, we all need to experience it on a small scale. Consequently, he favors the utilization of smaller cooperatives rather than relying exclusively on globalism and huge multinational corporations…
15. CHRIS HEDGES – This outspoken activist and journalist garners a LOT of my respect. He unabashedly continues to speak truth to power, often at considerable risk to his own economic well-being. I can always count on Mr. Hedges for an impassioned plea for justice and sanity.
16. RICHARD WOLFF – Prof. Richard Wolff is a most amazing man who is incredibly aware and fair-minded. He is co-founder of Democracy at Work, a non-profit media organization that pushes for democratic workplaces as a key part of a transition from capitalism to a new and fairer economy. This organization is based on his 2012 book, Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism, and provides a strong basis for visionary thinking…
My friends, these are but a mere 17 of the people who make me feel glad to be alive and who fuel my drive to accomplish more for humanity. If you think about it, you will find there are literally hundreds more, each of whom will provide you and all of us with a sorely-needed respite from the horrors of Donald Trump and modern-day CON-servative Republicanism!
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