Monday, October 26, 2020

Examination

Name the nine conditions that define an occupied country. What about them?

 

1. The  population of an occupied country is generally angry and resentful.  Its occupiers are fearful and wary of that anger, but try never to show fear, secretly surveiling that population while displaying overt militarized shows of power.

 


 

2. Political appointments tend to be controlled by packing various posts with either known mediocrities, or appointees whose policies are inclined to work against the aims of the very agencies they purport to staff.

 

3, Its economy has generally been taken over to produce gains for the occupiers at the expense of the population. This applies to monetary policy as well as to all other market sectors such as banks, real estate, industrial and manufacturing concerns, marketing, resource extraction, and services such as commerce, transportation, food delivery systems and so forth.

 

4. Its natural resources are generally exported for the benefit of the occupiers to the detriment of the people who no longer benefit. This may apply equally to crop production, to minerals, naval stores, industrial production, and to jobs.

 

5. Its educational system and its media systems are controlled to the exclusion of attempts to espouse true history in favor of  propagandizing mythologies; its traditions, whether of language or expressive culture such for example as its literature or theater are discouraged. This can be accomplished by censorship, by simple denial of funding, and promotion of the occupiers cultural production to the exclusion of all else.

 

6. Its infrastructure, such as housing, it’s roadways, its bridges, its railroads, bus systems, and airports are controlled to serve the interests of the occupier at the expense of the population’s general daily traffic and commerce. Roadblocks are set up, fences built, check points established, with a reinforcement system of jails and prisons established to limit mobility.

 

7. Its healthcare system declines, becoming victim to erosion of service, as seen in limited accessibility, hospital closures, reduction of supplies, and a decline of quality of such treatment as remains available.

 

8. Its judicial apparatus consists of a system of courts established by the occupiers to enforce the interpretation of the laws always in the occupiers favor.

 

9. The benchmark of an occupied society can be measured in its mounting death rate. The cause of death tends to shift away from the chronic degenerative diseases expected of natural decline and old age, toward an increasing number of homicides, suicides, deaths by starvation, and fatal use of opiates.

 

Well?

 

 


 

READ

 

OPPOSE Supreme Court monkeying with  vote suppression.

 

URGE military refuse illegal orders from #45 on election.

 

OPPOSE any Republican effort to rush election results.

 

 


 

Nobel peace prize awarded to UN world food programme highlighting that war and conflict can cause food insecurity.

 

Citing human health protection, Greek citizens petition  their government to stop 5 G spectrum auction

 

China, the pandemic’s center has had 4,634 deaths, less than a fortieth of the US’s.

 

Iran arms embargo expires despite US opposition.

 

Socialist Luis Arce declares victory in Bolivia election one year after right-wing coup against Evo Morales.

 

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the UN goes into binding full force and effect as Honduras becomes 50th nation to ratify it.

 

Hopes rise of extension of new START arms control treaty as Russia offers to freeze the number of its nuclear warheads.

 

In Colombia, national strike joins the Minga, the social and  indigenous group, as mobilization grows.

 

In Scotland, a boat blockade blocks gates to Ineos oil refinery.

 

Indigenous women to financial CEOs: stop abetting climate-wrecking tar sands or expect more resistance.

 

Solidarity forever: In Nigeria, a police killing sparks nationwide movement.

 

Mountain Valley pipeline project remains stalled in legal limbo.

 

Exiled since 2013, NSA whistleblower Snowden granted permanent residency rights in Russia.

 

In face of pandemic, Welsh government nationalizes rail service.

 

ACLU unable to find parents of 535 children separated from families by #45

 

AOC, Omar, Presley and Tlaib call for UN probe into alleged DHS human rights abuses.

 

Monsanto loses case against French farmer Paul Francois who was poisoned by weed-killer Lasso.

 

Greenoeace warns of potential damage to human DNA with Japan plan  to dump Fukushima water into Pacific.

 

Study finds universal mask wearing would save nearly 130,000 lives by Spring, 2021.

 

Student group rallies in front of former Japanese embassy in Seoul protesting Japan plan to dump radioactive water from Fukushima into the Pacific.

 

Constitutional law exerts endorse Demo bill to create 18-year term limits for Supreme justices.

 

Citing unlawful abuse of power, NYC,  Seattle and Portland sue DOJ over anarchist designation.

 

Cost of doing business?: Purdue Pharma pleads guilty in $8 billion opioid settlement and pleads guilty to 3 criminal charges including touching off an opioid epidemic. 

 

Judge slaps down @#45 plan to deprive 700,00 people of food stamps during pandemic.

 

USPS ordered to reassemble sorting machines for election mail after states sue.

 

Repubs in disarray as Mnuchin and Pelosi inch closer to COVID relief deal.

 

N.Y.  Post reporter refuses to allow his byline on flawed Hunter Biden story.

 

Disclosure: National Guard spy plan monitored racial justice protest in Sacto suburb where commander lives.

 

According to  Goldman- Sachs, benefits of blue wave plus $2.5 trillion stimulus outweigh Wall St. concerns over tax hike on the rich.

 

Analysis finds investing $2 trillion in US clean energy could create millions of good jobs.

 

Study shows US switch to 100% renewables would save hundreds of billions each year.

 

Advocate welcome ocean-based climate solutions as exactly what America needs right now.

 

Coalition of advocacy and business groups call on election officials to uphold sacred responsibility to Democratic principles.

 

Justice Department sues Google in antitrust case.

 

Supreme Court blocks GOP effort to curb ballot deadline in Pennsylvania. The ruling of a lower court stays in effect allowing those mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day to be counted.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules mail-in ballot signatures don’t need to match registration rolls.

 

California joins New York in vowing to independently review coronavirus vaccines.

 

East Pittsburgh community stops fracking well.

 

Indigenous knowledge revives ancient clam garden practices.

 

 

Their rights restored, 67,000 former felons set to vote in Florida amid record early turnout.

 

Student group registers over 100,000 voters.

 

Tulsi Gabbard introduces bill t o drop charges against Assange.

 

Teachers union urges parents to boycott school reopening.

 

Shipt workers demand better pay and treatment.

 

Local advocates demand that Nestle Waters North America revert its claimed rights  back to public trust and stop stealing White Pine Springs water.

 

On-duty Miami cop busted for intimidating early voters at government polling center.

 

Work starts on East Bay Public Bank.

 

Counting chickens: Progressives hopeful at prospect of lifelong worker champion Bernie Sanders being named Labor Secy.

 

New Hampshire’s union leader endorses Dem candidate first time in over 100 years.

 

San Francisco Arts Festival defeats cease and desist injunction in court.

 

Riquezas del Campo Farm in Mass, now in second season is a worker-owned coop with a four-fold increase in customers since its founding in 2019.

 

Prison newsletters, since blocked, advise prisoners how to apply for $1.200 economic stimulus checks that have been awarded the by a federal judge.

 

Missourians do end-run around legislature to expand Medicaid.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

COPING

 

A long conversation with a friend and ally prompted me to give time and thought this week to the small matter everyone seems heir to just now: how to cope with being masked, locked down, discouraged from the kind of contact that defines our very humanity, namely, touching, hugging, hand shaking, kissing and generally trading the time of day. What’s that, you ask? Trading the time of day has been the human benchmark since the time we learned to stand up straight and walk on two appendages.

 

What kinds of things make the world a reasonable place in which to conduct a life when the above have been removed from us by a virus we call COVID 19 and by the rantings of a madman? It largely depends on disposition. For example, musicians are lucky, dancers are lucky, writers are lucky: they share in one thing: obsession with art. I am one of that kind. Art for us is the redeeming feature of life on earth. But not everyone gets bitten by the same bug.

 

In general, what, besides art,  makes the world turn clockwise for me? and what of those things can I share? First, I think anyone can share a learned sense of discipline.  I learned discipline as the first law of survival from the few concentration camp survivors I got to know and exchange thoughts with as I grew up in New York: To survive in extraordinary conditions, discipline is needed. An ability to allocate time to specific human pursuits, many of them in situations  of human interchange. Tertullias, were a big part of survival for POWs during the Spanish Civil War: tertullias we might translate as workshops, or discussion groups devoted to specific topics.

 

Exercise.  Physical exercise releases endorphins that come from good breathing. It tunes up the body, and tunes up the mind and spirit.  Exercise is an essential aid to feeling better. Walking at least a mile a day. Or in very confined conditions, climbing stairs for ten minutes a day makes a huge difference.

 

Both discipline and exercise  are generalities and belong in every program, although they can be practiced at different times of day, and conducted under different conditions.  Space should be allocated in each daily schedule for both. But human interchange is essential and available. Now that we can enjoy zoom technology it cannot be taken away from us by disease or the ravings of madmen. We can actually see each other unmasked!  Even trading the time of day with strangers in the street, even that is a human interchange and generates joy.

 

Good breathing is not just a part of regular exercising. In my case, it’s a part of Buddhist practice. I meditate, and I offer up the merits of my daily practice. Other people have what they call prayer. Buddhists remember ancestors who have practiced great compassion, and who have absorbed some of the suffering of the world.  By remembering them, I teach myself compassion, and I learn to recognize the signs of suffering, which although they may be happening to bodies OTHER than my own, become and are very much mine in the sense that all life is connected.

 

Good thinking. The idea that all life is connected reaches very very far back in geological time, It’s the foundational idea behind quantum mechanics, one of the great principles that governs the physical life of the universe, namely that nothing exists alone, but only and always in relation to other realities.

 

Constant reminding oneself of the place of human life on planet Earth in relation to the vast universe restores ones perspective.  Isn’t it nice to contemplate there may be billions of other planets that have intelligent species living on them, which have not made a mess of things? And speaking of intelligent species, although the word nature itself is suspect because it separates the viewer (namely us human types) from what we observe, in fact what we refer to as nature might better be called

 


Creation which includes both viewers and objects in One Great Whole. Once you attune the mind to seeing Creation–as-One-Great-Whole, you begin to allow its weight to live within as well as without you, and your sense of wonder and beauty intensifies. But good thinking must always exist (like the law of quantum mechanics) in dialogue with other good thought.  Which leads us to practice

 

Good reading. Right now I am reading Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. Written for people (many like me) barely capable of passing Physics 101 and unlike most books written by scientifically inclined men, this one comes in at a scant 86 pages including the index. Not only;  one senses reading it, that somehow it is embodied by the expansive, exuberant nature of its writer who brings vitality to its pages. I will recommend it to others for just the very purpose of restoring a sense of the minuscule human place in a limitless universe.  And will exchange my book list with others for theirs.  When the Pulitzer can be awarded to a book even writing programs would know to dismiss as ”unearned,” it’s time to hunt for much bigger and much more elusive fish such as Philippe Claudel (Brodeck) or Coetzee (Waiting for the Barbarians) or Rulfo (Pedro Paramo) to name only 3 titles out of hundreds.

 

Art. And if you must, catching up with that performing artist one somehow managed to miss over and over during a long lifetime, go to youtube to watch Sha Sha Higby, and listen to Shivkumar Sharma in concert with Pandit Haraprasad Chaurasia playing Kirwani.

 

 


 

READ

 

READ

 

but also READ

 

SHUT DOWN SENATE and stop Barrett’s confirmation.

 

READ D.C.. Handmaid’s report.

 

DONATE to Isaiah Project to help defray court costs for KIngsbay Plowshires.

 


In judicial turn around, federal judge passed down a significantly lower prison sentence to Patrick O’Neill, one of the King Bay Plowshares.

 

Putin proposes Russia, U.S. extend new START arms control treaty for one year.

 

After 400 court sessions with over 100 witnesses and five years of prosecution, the Greek fascist Golden Dawn political party was convicted of being run as a criminal enterprise. If the Greeks can do it, why can’t we?

 

Tuvalu ratified Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

 

Pacific Island nations turn to an ecological way of valuing national economies.

 

#45-appointed judge rules against #45 campaign efforts to suppress the PA vote.

 

Among best climate solutions: giving indigenous people their land back to better manage it according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

 

Karuk tribe of northern California leads effort to fight racism and climate change with indigenous-managed fire

 

Wet’suwet’en women occupy pipeline drill site to protect sacred headwaters.

 

Members of Secwépemc Unity Camp shut down Trans-Mountain Pipeline.

 

Four protesters lock themselves to controversial National Grid fracked gas pipeline construction site in Williamsburg.

 

Dozens of Barrett’s Notre Dame colleagues ask her to call a halt to her nomination.

 

Greta Thunberg rebukes Barrett for her anti-science views on climate change.

 

Demand Justice calls for Feinstein removal as lead Dem on senate Judicial Committee after disgusting pussy footing over the Barrett illegal nomination.

 

The tide may be turning: Ethics group demands Congress impeach AG Barr as “vehicle for advancing #45 re-election. (Full disclosure: Barr attended same Parochial school as this writer.)

 

Squad grows as new crew of left challengers brings movement politics to Congress.

 

AOC and other top progressives urge Biden if elected to deny K Street, Wall Street Execs top cabinet posts.

 

California poised to pilot postal banking solution.

 

Sunrise Movement makes pitch to fossil fuel workers with ad for U.S. House candidate Make Siegel.

 

Public Citizen lawsuit demands HHS must release billion-dollar virus vaccine contracts.

 

In major loss for ICE and private prison profiteer GEO Group, a Federal judge upholds California law banning private prisons, including those jailing immigrants for federal government.

 

Twitter flags #45 post about COVID immunity for rule violation.

 

In Philly, activists team up with District 5 to petition city for a street name change to Mumia Abu-Jamal Way.

 

Campaign to save MEC from being sold to a U.S. private equity firm hopes to save a worker owned coop.

 

Dems have plan to boost inadequate SS COLA with an increase of 3% in 2021 for a lifetime of work while 8 million are now cast into extreme poverty.

 

Proctor and Gamble investors challenge CEO over forest destruction with 2/3 vote backing forest sourcing and  impacts, and call for diversity disclosure.

 

Missing and murdered indigenous women crisis finally recognized in the hallowed halls  of the U.S. Congress.

 

In the wake of mega hurricanes and infernal Western States wildfires, climate litigation spreads across U.S.

 

US. PIRG, Environment America and other advocacy groups file federal lawsuit over new process to determine stringency of energy efficiency standards.

 

Western conservation group sues #45 administration over secretive coal council.

 

Court rules #45 border wall delusion’s funding plan illegal.

 

StudySmart Youth free tutoring Services,  initiated at Irvine Portola High School and modeled on Chinese student study gangs, has organized  from Seattle to Toronto.

 

California Repuglicrats finally agree to remove their fake postal drop boxes.

 

In San Francisco, body-worn camera measures pass after 2.5 years of negotiation with police union.

 

Gabbard gains GOP supporters for her push for U.S. to drop charges against Assange and Snowden.

 

People’s Action blows past 25 million calls and texts to voters in key battleground states.

 

Town of Great Barrington joins health experts condemning herd immunity death cult that bears its name.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

"The King is in the Altoghter, He's Altogether..."

This week, the following letter from Harvey Wasserman, appeared in the good grey New York Times:

 

“This is an absolute red alert moment for our nation and our species. Donald Trump has clearly lost his mind, and this is an extremely dangerous moment for the nation & the world. Between the COVID. the drugs (especially the steroids) and his deeply embedded fast-advancing dementia, this is absolutely not the man to be in charge of the nuclear football…or anything else, not even his i-phone or remote. We are entering territory not experienced since the Cuban missile crisis. This is someone in the White House who at any time could initiate a global apocalypse and have no idea what he’s doing. In more than fifty years as a Times reader, I do not believe I’ve read a singly more disturbing news report. The world’s leaders—especially those with nuclear weapons—must be immediately notified. Again, amidst all the partisan drama of a presidential campaign, this is a moment where someone who is seriously deranged could [do] unlimited and irreversible damage. It is absolutely incumbent on VP Pence, the Cabinet, Congressional leadership of both parties and the military high command to intervene here. We are all at serious, tangible risk. There is no mystery about what’s going on, and it is far behind time to act. There is a reason for the 25th amendment & it’s precisely this. ACT NOW!”

 

That the Times, not known for any signs of adventuresome thought, would print such a letter is clear acknowledgement that Harvey Wasserman comes with all the appropriate credentials of someone who has had a life-long preoccupation with nuclear power and its vast harms.

 

Disease as metaphor

 

 “The king is in the altogether, altogether…” from the “King’s Jester” Danny Kaye’s light hearted lyrics have taken on a deeply somber meaning in October, 2020. We still live more or less attuned (or not) to the gravity of our existential moment, a moment when the arrest has been called for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, a moment when a small militia, inspired by the fiery emanations from the presidential mouth, had plans to foment a civil war by kidnapping the Governor of Michigan, only to be stopped in its tracks by the FBI. Despite breathing the bad air that may very well be fogging our judgment, we have left the Yellow Brick Road.  

 


Our national headquarters have become a web of pestilence with COVID’s rapid spread, imperiling our national security, that entity so dear to authoritarians, they can’t wait to evoke it.

 

 

Righting the Apple Cart

 

Foremost in the American mind right now is voting. Encouraging as many people as possible to vote: those who neglect voting, those intimidated but inclined to vote, use of early voting, and monitoring every sickening effort to suppress voting and filing opposing lawsuits. The rationale here is that the wider the margin of “victory,” the more likely the opposition will nicely fold its tents and silently steal away. But a growing sense of reality tells us that the opposition violates any laws of predictability, possibility, or elementary psychology. Rather it has long emblemized all that is patriarchal, red blooded, and numero uno in the Good Old Boy view of reality

 

But oranges are not the only fruit. There are some apples in the apple cart. In The Tree  Collin Tudge describes the tree-as-organism thus: “Each cell is dependent on all the rest, [with] groups of cells cooperating to form organs, such as… leaves and flowers. This degree of collaboration requires enormous self-sacrifice…. Each cell must give up some of it own ability to live by itself. Each cell has to trust the others so to speak. Any cell in the organism that goes berserk and tries…to do its own thing destroys the whole, and ultimately destroys itself.  In medical circles, such cells are  said to be cancerous.” As well, Tudge’s description is emblematic of a healthy society itself.

 

But already there are masses of people who are in communion with the world in which they live, collaborating with their environments, intelligent beings on the upward path to further evolution. Extinction Rebellion, started in the UK, and spreading world wide, including in the US, and the Sunrise Youth movement are two such examples; in the cities the Black Lives Matter movement has taken off in response to police atrocities, with a nationwide outcry to defund police, to limit jail expansion, and foreseeing an end to the role of punishment in the Puritan thinking that has traditionally informed much of US society, offering such humane solutions as reallocation of swollen police budgets in favor of funding starved community services. In some cities, such as Oakland for example, mothers with children are appropriating empty buildings in which to live, and in education, outdoor learning, the learning that dares not speak its name, has begun to be considered. In the area of agriculture, still now, along with war and militarism, the major producer of green house gases, many more city gardens are being established, and community gardens are flourishing. And most significantly, both native American and Canadian tribes are Idle No More, reclaiming their cultural tradition as Earth Protectors, defending their rights to establish check points at reservation borders, and  advocating for the and but also by so-called “law enforcement.”

 

The time of looking to government to recognize and foster the growth of life on Earth, human and extra-human, has long vanished. In the face of the stresses humanity faces on multiple fronts, resistance is already flourishing, with a huge wave of  push backs taking root.

 

 


 

PREPARE for November.

 

DONATE to help protect the election in nine battleground states.

 

WRITE TO HALT nuclear arms race.

 

DEMAND firefighter Kao Saelee not be deported/

 

PROTEST sub minimum wages and lack of overtime at

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/submit-an-official-comment-to-the-us-department-of-labor-to-stop-employers-from-cheating-workers-out-of-wages-and-benefits?source=2020LaborDeptWageComments_DK&redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.actblue.com%2Fdonate%2Fdkdemocracy2020%3Frefcode%3D2020SWLaborDeptComments&link_id=1&refcodeEmailReferrer=email_950577___subject_1305345&can_id=655968a96e1bce05c463b2f640bf633c&email_referrer=email_950577___subject_1305345&email_subject=workers-cannot-be-left-to-earn-subminimum-wages-and-work-more-than-40-hours-per-week-without-getting-any-overtime-pay-please-read

 

DEMONSTRATE in San  Francisco against Barrett’s confirmation at Noon, Monday, Oct. 12 at Hastings Law School McAllister and Hyde; and walk to 9th circuit at 7th & Mission, S.F.

 

Object to Barrett’s nomination at https://action.momsrising.org/sign/SCOTUS_COVID/?t=11&referring_akid=14402.8086.ltvhdx

 


 

Former world leaders and ministers, UN former Secy Ban Ki Moon among them, sign open letter appealing to current political leaders to advance disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament, before it’s too late.

 

Venezuelan gov’t scores legal victory in  $1 billion gold case.

 

Responding to challenge to OPEC’s work, censored Ex OPEC Chief speaks out on Syria.

 

Moroccan PM Othmani told UN Genrl. Assembly there can be no peace without giving Palestinians their rights.

 

Malaysia ratifies UN nuclear weapon bn treaty.

 

World’s biggest wind and solar producer now worth more than ExxonMobil.

 

In a first, UK trade unions commit to challenging Israeli ‘apartheid.”

 

Human rights defenders sue German Parliament over anti-BS resolution.

 

Anti-drone protesters block entrance to US “assassins’ drone base in Nevada.

 

Joint Chiefs of Staff in quarantine at #45 COVID response becomes national security issue.

 

Laying tens of thousands of preventable deaths at foot of #45 failures, top US health official resigns in protest.

 

Citing dubious practices and possible White House interference, Schumer and Wyden demand IG probe into IRS Trump audit.

 

Fed appeals panel unanimously rules Manhattan DA can enforce subpoena for #45 tax returns,

 

Bolstering progressive demand, Fed Chair Jerome Powell says more stimulus crucial to avoid even more unnecessary hardship.

 

3 in 4 Americans, including 55% Repulicrats, want Senate GP to prioritize COVID relief over ramming thru Barrett nomination.

 

Texas cop Shaun Lucas charged with murder of ‘hometown hero” and unarmed black man, Jonathan Price.

 

In a major blow to incarceration, private prison group loss lawsuit challenging California ban.

 

Portland DA declines to prosecute 70% of Portland protest cases.

 

Grand Jury indict St. Louis couple who pointed guns at BLM protesters.

 

Protest in Kansas City over arrest of  black woman enters seventh day.

 

Breonna Taylor’s family demands a special prosecutor to reopen case.

 

Report finds gang-like police clique in E. LA sheriff Villanuela’s station exerting undue influence.

 

California bans choke holds.

 

Facebook asked to shut down large numbers of fake #45 sites run by out of country anons.

 

Facebook pulls hundreds of #45 campaign ads hat lied about refugees and COVID.

 

NIAC condemns new Iran sanctions that stifle humanitarian trade.

 

Labor Unions and green groups sue #45 administration for failure to protect frontline workers from COVID.

 

Worker at Amazon Minnesota Center walk out.

 

Baltimore teachers demand masks, tests, and Plexiglas.

 

#45 USDA sued over program allowing horrific mass slaughter of native wildlife.

 

Groups sue #45 Fish & Wildlife service after officials refuse protections for endangered wolverines.

 

Michigan AG announces felony charges for conservative fraudsters trying to suppress the vote.

 

Just blatant voter suppression: groups sue to stop Texas Gov. from eviscerating ballot drop-off system.

 

“Integrity panel,“ in PA, now considered far more than FLA a key state in election, has been pulled.

 

Friso Five helped oust Police Chief Suhr. Now they want to defund police.

 

Alameda DA to reopen Oscar Grant case.

 

Senate race bet. Graham and Harrison shifts to “toss up.”

 

Former CDC implores agency’s current boss to expose #45’s mishandling of the COVID pandemic.

 

Slimy Facebook removed #45 COVID post, twitter hides similar tweet.

 

House report on Silicon Valley monopolies bolsters  call for far-reaching anti-trust measures.

 

Philly activists reclam 50 vacant houses creating model for organizing as mass evictions loom.

 


 


 




 

 


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Keeping Dinner Down in 2020 America

The evils of government are directly proportional to the tolerance of the people: Frank Kent 

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men: -Plato 

 

The kind of thinking that sees Trump as a suddenly appearing phenomena born, like Venus, on a clam shell from hell and supported by the 40 million who voted for him, must keep folks who think like that awake at night. How to keep dinner down in the Age of Trump? First off, I think it’s important to remember that the worship of the Golden apparition on a descending escalator in 2016 has roots in the trajectory of American Elementary education starting after 1900 when the exit exam for people graduating after 8th grade (for many the only education they would even manage) was so demanding of verbal and calculating competence, this reader could not get through it, even with a post graduate education! Since then, the thrust of American education policy has been to dumb down the population because zombie people are easier to manipulate, and bamboozle. We see the articulation of that hobbling policy in the Bush years with its emphasis testing, not critical thinking. We see it in the embrace of Facebook, TV, and the vapidity of much popular culture. 

 

Secondly, endless war brutalizes people, no matter whether they inhabit targeted countries, or pay the taxes to imperial governments that make war possible. War was and is the engine choice that drives the US economy. I say choice because many alternatives are not only possible but far more profitable. But war not only drives the US economy, it is also the engine that siphons wealth upward from the bottom economic segments to the top. It accounts for the actual theft of 50 trillion dollars from the poorest segments upwards to the very wealthiest over the past 40 years. War is how such theft is accomplished. War, and its supporting money-grubbing sectors that ignore global warming like fossil fuels, and fracking to name but two of the most obvious. 

 

As long as war builds up robust portfolios to bursting, rich Americans are quite happy to let war happen with nary a peep, and the people mostly go along. Were they out in the millions objecting to nuclear weapons? No. Were they out in the millions objecting to the slaughter of civilian populations in targeted countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia? No. Were they out in the millions objecting to the slaughter of their own domestic populations such as the MOVE massacre in Philadelphia, or in Waco, Texas? No. Were they out in the millions objecting to the separation of families in Immigration, and Customs Enforcement, and the death of little children in ICE detention? Not as long as it didn’t affect them directly. Good people as is their want worldwide, did nothing. But now that war at home has begun to eat at the domestic population, the domestic war that already has the poor and disadvantaged in its crosshairs, imagining they’re immune, will good people have lost the capacity of doing something?? How long do they think they will remain immune? 

             (Everything is Burning © Sushanna Dubuiner, 2004)

Until now government policy in the US has always made sure to allow the people just enough carrot to keep their minds off the stick—making things like cars, refrigerators, washing machines, electric kitchens, miracle cures and shopping within reach, keeping them comfortably governed and off the streets. Nothing extravagant like universal medical care. With such bribery, good people said nothing. Meantime the US threw its war resisters in the slammer. It killed any journalists who blew the whistle on real outrage. It underfunded and ignored its artists, its poets, its scientists and people with good ideas. It made sure to suppress the people who could or would not conform to its cultural norms. And it allowed its weak and vulnerable just enough not to croak of starvation in its streets. 

 

But already under Truman’s experiment (he dropped two nuclear bombs on a civilian population of color, “it cost $20 billion. We have to use it”) such calculations started going south. They went seriously sour under Clinton (who shifted the Democratic Party’s focus away from representing its traditional base in favor of becoming just another business party and used Mena AFB in Arkansas to import cocaine in exchange for Contra weapons) to Bush, (who lied our way into destroying Afghanistan and Iraq, and with John Yoo enabled the Imperial Presidency) to Obama (killer of the Tuesday List, destroyer with Hillary of Libya, bail-out artist with Timothy Geitner and deporter of 2 million). Along with their proliferating “security” apparatus, all three nicely paved the way for #45. No surprising horrors on the half shell here. Just the dreary shell of a once-democracy. And good people still say nothing. 

 

Dennis Kucinch once addressed Congress:….We make war with such certainty, yet we are befuddled how to create peace. This paradox requires reflection if we are to survive. Making and endorsing war requires a secret love of death, and a fearful desire to embrace annihilation. Creating peace requires compassion, putting ourselves in the other person's place, and all of their suffering and all of their hopes and to act from our heart's capacity to love, not fear." 

 


 

CLICK for folks who want to engage with the election.

 

READ What Will it take to defend the election by George Lakey.

 

SIGN UP with Common Cause to become an election protestion volunteer with

 

SUPPORT Progressive Action Support Fund caling for nationwide evictions moratorium

 

URGE Senate to suspend business until there is a pandemic relief deal.

 


G7 finance ministers decide to support debt relief for poor countries fighting coronavirus. 

 Mayors of 12 major global cities home to 36 million make unified fossil fuel divestment pledge. 

Masked, socially distanced and mad as hell: Global Youth take to streets in over 3,200 #climate strike events. 

Assange puppet stage hearing: judge grants defense four weeks to prepare silent final argument. 

Assange court testimony undermines US indictment, providing grounds for dismissal. 

 Spanish judge seeks Sheldon Adelson security chief in Assange spying case. 

Israel AG states Netanyohoo could be suspended as PM. 

Pope refuses to meet US Secy of State Pompeo. 

Brazil’s landless workers persist through agroecology. 

Half rose better than none: Venezuela moves towards Parliamentary elections with Arce in the lead. 

On International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Chicago car caravan travels through city from Voices of Creative Non-violence headquarters to neighborhood where first sustained nuclear chain reaction took place. 

Thanks to massive activist efforts, Chris Wallace raised question of climate change at First Debacle. 

After 3 years of court struggle, #45 administration abandons policy of banning abortion for unaccompanied immigrant minors. 

18,000 calls to Senators in just 24 hours signal widespread outrage over #45 Supreme Court power grab. 

In fiery floor speech, Warren rips #45 rush to fill RBG seat as “last gasp right-wing, billionaire-fueled party. 

#45 taxes show chronic losses and years of IRS avoidance. 

Patriotic millionaires launch “knives out” campaign on SCOTUS nomination. 

Angry chant “vote him out!” erupts as #45 visits RBG casket outside Supreme Court. 

‘This is how you normalize a madman:” Scholars, press watchdogs call on corporate media to treat #45 like the authoritarian threat he is, (not dictatorial?) 

100 brave folks in the street at Mitch McConnell’s House over supreme court vacancy. (Where are the other million?) 

Furious protests erupt nationwide after no officers charged in Breonna Taylor killing. 

N.Y. judge orders renewed inquiry into death of Eric Garner. 

Thousands call on Facebook to stop censoring Palestine. (only thousands?) 

Mayor Garcetti of LA joins Mayor Khan of London, Mayor and Mayor deBlasio of New York, and Ann Hidalgo of Paris to announce he will not participate in Urban 20 Mayoral Summit in Saudi Arabia. 

Opponents of Formosa Plastics Louisiana plant move to overturn federal approval. 

SEC charges SCANA Corp, two former execs and S.C. Electric and Gas now Dominion Energy with defrauding investors about a $9 billion nuclear power reactor expansion they ultimately abandoned. 

EPA rescinds anti-science policy after suit by Union of Concerned Scientists. 

Federal court requires EPA to enforce civil rights. 

Court breathes new life in Lake Erie Bill of Rights Legal front. 

Federal Court protects Indiana voters’ ability to extend polling-place hours in November. 

In Texas US district judge blocks state from eliminating straight-ticket voting as poll option in November (to hasten long lines.) 

Federal Judge rejects attempt to block mail in voting in Montana.

National Trust for Historic Preservation places West Berkeley Shellmound and village site on US 11 most endangered historic places list. 

Indigenous activists target Liberty Mutual Boston Headquarters to demand they stop insuring Tar Sands project. 

 Gov. Newsom executive order takes step toward climate action mandating non-gas- fueled cars in California by 2035.

Sanders to offer major speech prior to election on ‘unprecedented and dangerous” threat to democracy posed by #45 (and hose who vote for him?) 

Senate Dems unveil bill investigating #45 meddling at public health agencies that puts lives in jeopardy. 

State Supreme Court ruling like making Maine first in US history to use ranked-choice in a presidential election. 

Armed Black “freedom fighters” patrol to keep Minneapolis streets calm and nonviolent. 

Portland Police arrest far-right protestor Volunteers mobilize in aftermath of Oregon fires. 

U. Michigan goes on Abolitionist strike. 

Philadelphia housing activists claim victory in fight for community land trust. 

Boise ID restaurant workers build solidarity at work amidst pandemic. 

Tiny community of Munds Park AZ rallies to get their post office back! 

San Francisco’s 850 Bryant Jail shutters its doors as part of de-incarceration movement. No new jail to be built to replace it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Seven Plagues

Aside from the abdications of the Bumbler-in Chief in the face of the COVID pandemic, already much was being imposed on Americans.  Added to this are the manifold incidents within the past six months of freak climate occurrences throughout the planet, Including floods in Ohio, catastrophic fires in Washington, Oregon and California, hurricanes in the Gulf states, collapse of the Greenland glacier twice Manhattan’s size, floods and mass starvation in Yemen, Zionist genocide in Palestine, and war, and occupation throughout the globe, and the immiseration of millions.

 

Piled on  top of these many whammies, are the White House occupant’s phobia for calling the moving men, the support of his enablers in Congress, many of them Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, and that segment of the American public willing and itching to re-elect an incumbent who has done more to destroy this country and dismantle any of our ecological protections than any foreign agency could possibly have done (that includes whipping boy nations like China and Russia) and now, the icing on the cake, the passing—and the possible final extinction of our democracy— of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

 

Before anything else is said, we should be reminded that RBG has worked so hard throughout her life to protect us, to defend us from the depredations of forces either aiming directly to destroy our lives, or whose activities work to destroy our lives and our pursuit of happiness, she deserves her rest now. We must always hold her dear in our hearts and honor her memory. That comes with the obligation to take on and intensify her fight for social justice not only in the face of our enormous repression, but in the face of an outright war, an economic war by the elites against working people that has seen a massive transfer of wealth within the past four and a half decades, an actual theft from the working classes of 50 trillions, not millions, not billions, 50 trillions of dollars.

(Note: social media doesn’t want you to know about this. Here’s one notification following such a post: Sorry, this post has been removed by the moderators of r/politics.)

 


 


 

If there are people who once worked in California’s Kern county now living in tents in the hundreds of thousands all along the railroad right of way from Fresno to Hanford, if there are people living along highway underpasses in the millions, that is what the theft of 50 trillions of dollars looks and smells like: like all war zones, that detritus, that misery, that near-starvation, that smell of urine and feces. Let us never never overlook the connection.  It is a connection that extracts payment in the starvation of children, and in disease, misery, and death of millions.

 

Debs, Rebel In US Colonies

 

Already in 1888, Eugene Debs bent over pencil and paper, drawing calculations. “If a grandson of Cornelius Vanderdbilt started out with $2 million, from father and grandfather, if a locomotive foreman would work 4,444 years, 300 days each year, at $1.50 per day, he would be in a position to bet Mr, Vanderbilt $2.50 that all men are born equal.” Debs left school at 14 to become a scraper on the cars of the Vandalia Railroad for 50 cents a day. He graduated to fireman shoveling two tons of coal an hour, 6 days a week, 16 hours a day. Eventually, he was to found the American Railroad Union, although he had not yet embraced socialism, He still clung to the shibboleths of the two-party system. The American Railway Union voted to strike, a strike which paralyzed transportation west of Detroit for more than a month. From then on, Debs dedicated himself to the struggle between what he identified as the “producing classes and the money power.”

 

Eventually indicted for leading the strike, he was sentenced to 6 mos. in prison, from which he was given certain privileges: allowed to run his union, allowed to leave jail on his honor, and allowed to dedicate most of his time to reading, which included reading Das Kapital.

 


From then on, with Debs, an ideological shift had to take place. Although he endorsed Bryan, business-funded McKinley won election, and in 1897, for the first time, Debs declared himself a socialist. “Money constitutes no basis for civilization,” he wrote. In 1900 a Massachusetts delegate nominated him to the presidency, for which he ran in 1900, and twice afterwards, until 1912, his fourth time, when he won nearly a million votes.  By 1914 and the outbreak of WW I, he wrote, ”The working class who fight the battles, the working class who make the sacrifices, the working class who shed the blood, the working class who furnish the corpses, the working class have never yet had a voice declaring war.”

 

Standing trial during the war for his socialist beliefs, he stated, “If the Espionage Law stands, then the Constitution of the United States is dead.”  But his speech during his sentencing to ten years is best remembered. “While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” His sentence was commuted to three years, but jail killed him. He emerged little more than a shell of his former self. So America dispenses with the greatest amongst us.

 

But what is notable is that at the height of his struggle, the United States embraced the progressive reforms long advocated by the socialists: women’s suffrage, trust-busting, economic reform, maximum hour and minimum wage laws, the abolition of child labor, and the direct election of U.S. Senators, all reforms espoused by both the Democratic and Republican parties of that time.

 

I Can’t Breathe

Regrettably, no such sign of bi-partisanship has yet been applied to the planet’s greatest task at hand, one that threatens to rob our children of their future, namely the mitigation of global warming, whose latest manifestations are not only the intensity of Gulf hurricanes, Mid-West flooding, the melting glaciers and, under its horrifying pall of chocolate skies, the catastrophic fires engulfing the entire West Coast States brought on by drought, but the threat, one yet more alarming in this writer’s view, of violence brought on by the diminished ability of people to think clearly because they can’t breathe.

 


Repeated studies over many years have revealed the link between the presence of lead in gasoline and house paint with the rise of violent crime, its so called “controlled experiment,” the removal of lead in gasoline, to be the clincher.

 

As we slowly asphyxiate and our skies turn repeatedly to chocolate, can we anticipate a cultural collapse brought on by human inability to grapple thoughtfully with world-shattering problems, and a resort to mass violence and global warfare, shown to be the greatest fossil fuel release of all?

 

 Are we there already?

 

 


 

SHUT DOWN Senate and STOP #45 pick

 

SIGN UP for Indivisible’s “Weekly To Do’s”

 

DONATE to MoveOn in honor of RBG

 

BLOCK any nomination and GIVE to Rebellion PAC

 

HAVE RASHIDA’s targeted BACK & DONATE

 

DEMAND your Senators oppose #45 Supreme pick

 

 

 


 

With planet and future on line, Sunrise Movement doubles down on 2020 after RBG death.

 

As COVID spreads, global peace builders call on  governments to re-commit to peace.

 

Russia bans Wi-Fi.

 

New Simón Bolívar institute for peace and solidarity among people established Sept. 6.

 

Venezuela foils CIA terror clot., arresting agent Matthew John Heath and 3 others..

 

UK Israeli drone-manufacturing factory occupied.

 

Although  you’d never know it from the media: in London over the weekend, thousands come out peacefully to protest medical fraud and wacko BioSecurity State takeoverlula.

 

Opposing deals to set up diplomatic relations bet. Israel, Bahrain and Emirates, Palestinians declare the self-determination not for sale.

 

UN Assembly approves pandemic resolution with objections by twins, US and Israel.

 

US China tariffs ruled illegal by WTO.

 

New York judge blasts US prosecutor’s conduct in Iran sanctions case.

 

Minnesota’s prosecutor, John  Choi quits #45 law enforcement commission.

 

After more than 50,000 people tell CDC to extend no-sail order for cruise ships, environmental good news: No cruises in US until after COVID.

 

Movement for Black Lives and Working Families Party form coalition to protect election and fight for their communities, regardless of election outcome.

 

Federal court pauses anti-voter changes made by Postmaster DeJoyless.

 

Federal judge suspends #45 administration’s move to end 2020 census early.

 

Red States only: #45 to block oil drilling of Fla, GA, and S. C. coasts.

 

Politicians from 27 different countries such as Lula, Rosseff, Zapatero., Corbyn, Paul, Galloway Gravel, and Varoufakis join 189 independent international judges, lawyers, legal academics and legal associations endorse open letter to UK government calling for Assange immediate release.

 

Top Green group aims record $100 million to ditch #45 and Republicans. 

 

New report underscores  Clean Energy would create more jobs than fossil fuels, and that fracking is not a sustainable pathway to prosperity.

 

Landslide vote by NC nurses delivers biggest hospital unionization win in South in 45 years!

 

Sanders and Gillibrand unveil postal banking act to provide alternative to predatory Wall St. banks.

 

Morgan Stanley greenwash: A commitment to reach net-zero financed emissions by 2050.

 

Good riddance party held for Silicon Valley Pallantir, ICE and cop enabler, moving to Denver.

 

AOC urges Dems to prevent #45 filling RBG vacancy,

 

According to ActBlue since 8 Pm Friday until yesterday, $100 million added to war chest investing in candidates up and down ballot and organization on front lines of impending confirmation fight.

 

Reuters/Ipsos polls: 62% adults (including half Republicans) believe the SCOTUS vacancy should be filled by winner of 2020 election; 20% disagree. (I guess that rosemissing 18% are so busy with their cells phones and Facebook, they don’t know.)

 

Backlash against GOP power grab is seen in fundraising numbers: in less than three days, more than one million people sign petition demanding that RBG seat not be filled until 2021.

 

See it when I believe it department: several Repubs promise to oppose any replacement confirmation before election (but not inauguration?)

 

House passes historic legislation protecting pregnant workers from discrimination, prompting Senate to follow suit.

 

Progressive hit back after DOJ designates New York, Seattle, and Portland ‘anarchist jurisdictions.’

 

Lots of luck with that department: as #45 sows chaos, Sanders and Schumer call on Mitch to hold public hearings, help restore confidence in election integrity.

 

ACLU launches voter preparedness campaign.

 

New York Senate attacks monopoly crisis.

 

“just tax the rich,” to avoid austerity, patriotic millionaire tells N.Y. Gov. Cuomo after Mayor de Blasio cuts city spending.

 

First ever endorsement; Scientific American backs Biden.

 

Indigenous stewardship of landscape, 57% federal, and 3% California might help prevent raging climate fires.

 

Student Debt Crisis officially endorses Biden.

 

Warren and Schumer unveil plan to cancel $50,000 for fed student loan borrowers.

 

Kenyon College students organize first campus-wide undergrad union.

 

City of Oakland looking to buy more than 20 buildings for homeless and COVID housing.

 

Redwood City CA approves $1.7 RV parking program.

 

San Francisco new safe sleeping village opens in Mission to include 40 tent sites.

 

San Diego looking to convert hotels to house the homeless now berthed in Convention Center.

 

Important measure for climate voters in Berkeley and Albany appear on ballot: Berkeley’s Measure HH exempting low income households from utility tax., Albany’s Measure DD to provide funds for climate action and emergency response.