Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Fixing Pandemic-level U.S. Racism: a Matter for Law or Re-education

(Note: Art Matters:  Murals depicted below were painted on the plywood boarded up store fronts in Minneapolis following the cop murder of George Floyd.)

 

 

The U.S.A. history of policing, so-called “law enforcement,” starts with slave patrols, home-style militias dedicated to catching runaway slaves, and returning them to their “owners.” With such roots, can “law enforcement” ever be reformed?

And, now that  law “enforcement” has become the war at home is reform even possible?

 

1033 is the name of the war-come-home in pilot cities like Minneapolis and Portland, both of which are fully occupied 24/7 by our domestic armed forces known as national guard and municipal police. It is the name ascribed to the federal program which allows municipal police forces to buy “surplus” battle-grade equipment such as tanks, half tracks, armored vehicles, and sound canons, prompting police to morph from “serve and protect”  (the wealth of others) to a fully militarized force. The Pentagon has funneled more than $7.4 billion worth of military weaponry to domestic law enforcement throughout the U.S.  Provide the appropriate costume, and  the actor learns to swagger.  So too with police.

 


 

To bring 1033 to a city near you two forces were at work in tandem. The first, the insatiable  need for profits by America’s good-for-business  great portfolio booster,  the munitions industry; the second, by our apartheid bedfellow Israel which for the past two decades has been using its armed forces (the IDF) to inculcate our own municipal police both here at home and abroad in Israel in the refinements of “crowd” control like “accidental” shootings, kneecappings, beatings, arrests, and kidnappings, all in response to peaceful demonstrators. These methods are useful in Israel which aims to steal more and more Arab land for proliferating Zionist settler communities; and in the U.S. which needs to deter resistant protest wherever it crops up, whether in response to a knee to neck cop murder in Minneapolis (George Floyd), or a police shooting In Columbus, Ohio, which just happens to have occurred as the Chauvin guilty verdict was handed down.

 


 

I quote from an April 25 bulletin issued by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network: “Testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the depraved murder of George Floyd began on March 29. In the 19 days that followed, police in the U.S. killed at least 64 people, with Black and Latino people representing more than half.” 

 

 


 

Moments before the verdict came in, 15-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was killed  by police in Columbus, Ohio. That same morning, Mario Gonzales was killed by police in Alameda, CA, and the following morning, police shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. in the small town of Elizabeth City, N.C.

 

 


 

Following the murder of George Floyd, caught on camera by a courageous teenager, anti-police-terror demonstrations are occurring nationwide. “My daddy has changed the world,” proclaimed George Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter. His brother, Philonise, reported receiving messages of support from well wishers throughout the world.  Black Lives Matter proponents are declaring that the unwillingness of Americans to accept cop lynchings any longer is the culmination of the BLM movement.  But nowhere is the press reporting that the backlash, as it is experienced in Minneapolis is terrorizing the black community as KKKers and their sympathizers move in from around the country, threatening Black-owned small businesses, and private citizens who fear for their lives.

 

 


A recent analysis by the Movement to Stop Mass Incarceration takes a hard look at The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (JPA), calling its role an effort “to diffuse the righteous anger and rebellion against the brutality and murder by the police, and [to] protect politically the same system that the pigs protect violently.” Although it purports to bar the use of chokeholds, they have been used with impunity for the past 28 years in N.Y.C., despite there being 1,100 complaints about their use to the civilian review board, which dismissed all but ten.  A chokehold was used to kill Eric Garner, but the only person arrested was Ramsey Orta who took the video of the killing.

 


JPA purports to bar no knock warrants, but it still permits “quick-knock” warrants. All cops have to do is knock and shout “police“ before breaking down a door. JPA purports to end cop militarization, ending the 1033 program. But  the DOD has already distributed some 7.4 billons in weapons of war to 8000 police departments nationwide. And it allows armored vehicles to continue to be transferred if the Secretary of Defense “considers it necessary.” JAP purports to end qualified immunity, which makes it difficult to sue cops for violations of people’s civil rights. In the past ten years cities have paid billions to settle  such lawsuits and consider it just the cost of doing business.  JPA aims to increase federal supervision of municipal police to discourage racial profiling, a broadening of policies already in existence, and which can lead to “consent decrees.” Under such a decree the LAPD boasted that in 2019 it had only killed 12 people, down from 25 in 2015. But its use of batons in this same period increased by 38%, resulting in fewer murders, but increased beatings.

 


 

Had the JPA been designed to really mean business, ending the victimization of POC, its terms would have been air tight. 

 

The big question really has to do with culture.  If we recognize that culturally, racism is deeply embedded in the United States, we need to question whether the law is the appropriate modality to encounter it.

 

As things now stand, the question remains, how can the “law” be a little bit pregnant and still be the law?

 

Tonite’s headline:  Police go missing as Proud Boys shut down park in Oregon for armed far-right rally

 

 

 


 

DEMAND DOJ act to hold all law enforcement accountable.

 

URGE Congress to implement police “reforms” to stop extra-judicial executions.

 

PASS the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

 

SIGN petition to all U.S. mayors to defund police, reallocate funds to serve communities.

 

DONATE to 16 Black-led organizations working to end racism and oppression.

 

SIGN petition addressed to john  Kerry to connect militarism and the climate crisis.

 

PROHIBIT military ‘aid’ to Israel

 

CEASE Israel’s forced displacement of Palestinians from E. Jerusalem.

 

DONATE to support The Intercept’s investigation of police crack downs on demonstrators.

 

 

 


 

Venezuela reiterates its commitment to human rights and justice.

 

Palestinian Human Rights Organization Council , Cairo Institute for Human Rights, and Habitat International Coalition submit joint submission to UN special rapporteur over Israel’s settler-colonial apartheid.

 

Jordan releases note of protest against Israel attacks in al-Aqsa mosque.

 

UK court acquit Extinction  Rebellion ‘in emergency break glass’ demonstrators.

 

Human Rights Watch  designates Israel’s crimes as apartheid.

 

Human Rights experts denounce Israel violence, confiscation of homes in E. Jerusalem as violation of international law.

 

Warning of threat to ‘humanity and the natural world’ Hawaii state legislature becomes first in U.S. to declare climate emergency.

 

‘We need to act now’: study reveals glaciers melting at unprecedented pace.

 

Climate experts applaud as U.S. govt. approves largest offshore wind farm in nation’s history.

 

In ‘critical and doable first step,’ EPA proposes phasedown of climate super-pollutants, delivering huge health and climate benefits..

 

80 organizations decry U.S. pressure to derail Mexico’s banning of  glyphosate and GMO corn.

 

New Washington law prevents seabed mining.

 

Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson orders release of secret memo in which Barr laid out his decision not to prosecute #45.

 

Biden supports suspension of COVID vaccine patents.

 

In ‘huge step toward justice,’ Biden cancels #45 border wall projects using diverted funds.

 

Biden officially raises refugee  admissions cap to 62,500 following intense blowbacks.

 

Senate votes to repeal #45 rule helping predatory lenders trap people in debt.

 

Dingell and Markey introduce $10 trillion THRIVE Act to tackle ‘our biggest emergencies.’

 

Warren, Sanders propose permanently expanding food stamps for college students.

 

Sanders slams holy Pentagon for ‘waste, fraud *& abuse,’ vows more stringent oversight.

 

House Dems call on chamber’s appropriations chair to defund flawed and racist ICE policy that allows local law enforcement to act like mass deportation agents.

 

Over 50 Dems support $8 billion fund for USPS to electrify its fleet.

 

Confirming GOP fears, poll shows For the People Act is popular with GOP voters.

 

In major progressive win, former CFPB chief Richard Cordray tapped to oversee federal student loans.

 

National lawyers guild urges Biden to align U.S. Israel-Palestine policy with international law.

 

Under pressure Biden back COVID vaccine patent waiver.

 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says ‘yes’ to ‘narrow’ patent waivers.

 

Biden’s Labor Dept. withdraws #45-era independent contractor rule.

 

Despite weeks of union –busting, workers at Imperfect Foods vote to unionize.

 

As hiring undershoots expectations, Biden urged to go big with $10 trillion jobs plan.

 

Amidst calls to audit super rich,  Yellen says tax dodging could cost U.S. $7 trillion over next 10 years.

 

Rejected in 1941, Richard Wright’s novel, The Man Who Lived Underground depicting graphic descriptions of police brutality, has just been published.

 

The four Minneapolis cops charged have been charged with federal civil rights crimes in George Floyd case.

 

Ohio judge has to force Columbus police not to brutalize nonviolent protesters.

 

Drivers forced to drive around Extinction Rebellion protesters in Swansea, Wales.

 

Sanders, Dems push for free school meals bill.

 

Hope for critically ill COVID patients with advent of new drug leronlimab.

 

Number of unaccompanied kids in harmful border facilities has dropped nearly 90% since March.

 

Families separated since late 2017 to be reunited in U.S. this week, Biden administration announces.

 

With just 4 migrant families to reunite, ACLU calls for citizenship and no future separations.

 

Demanding papers, not crumbs, undocumented immigrants risk arrest outside Biden White House.

 

Military spouse deported by previous administration to return home.

On May day, gig workers organize an intersectional movement.

 

N.J. landlord sues to end lease with private prison company that jails immigrants at property.

 

As world economic conditions deteriorate, immigrants come to the rescue.

 

‘Keep your promise’: Any Barkan urges Biden to support COVID vaccine patent waiver.

 

Third round of COVID relief checks led to largest monthly rise in household income since 1959.

 

Green groups sue army corps of engineers over nationwide pipeline permit.

 

Supporters rally for Steven Donziger as Chevron’s trial aimed at silencing critics begins.

 

Michigan orders closure of pipelines in escalating dispute with CAnada.

 

Mountain Valley Pipeline protester blocks truck and locks himself to truck’s underside.

 

Women run 415 miles to protest Mountain Valley Pipeline.

 

Calls for Biden to stop Enbridge Line 3 continue unabated.

 

Indigenous Rights groups join MI Gov. Whitmer in demanding shutdown of Enbridge Line 5.

 

Congress introduces corporate tax transarency legislation to support informed investor decisions.

 

Shareholders demand Dominion Energy clean up its reporting.

 

98% of shareholders want GE to take climate action.

 

Whistleblower groups push Congress for stronger whistleblower protections in AML Act.

 

Coalition mobilizes to protect billions of WhatsApp users from Facebook’s privacy invasion.

 

44 attorneys general call on Zuck to nix plan for Instagram for kids in rare bipartisan rebuke.

 

Huntington W.V. community flooded with opioids takes big pharm to  court in landmark trial.

 

Lakota Law sues South Dakota over voter suppression.

 

Mijente joins lawsuit with other organizations and Black congregations in Georgia to stop SB2020 anti-voter bill in its tracks.

 

NRA’s lawsuit-dodging strategy backfire as TX judge dismisses bankruptcy claims.

 

California tells Nestlé to cease and desist its free water-pumping activities on federal land.

 

Demonstrators against Trident nuclear weapons in Bangor ME block main entrance to base.

 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Roots of White Supremacy

(Note to my readers.  This is the tenth year since this newsletter first went into publication in 2011.)

 

BY NOW, everyone except political ingénues is aware that voting restriction laws are either being considered, or have already been passed into law, in 47 states.  The purpose of these laws is to make voting harder, to skew the voting demography in favor of white, non-POC people, non-formerly incarcerated people, and against poor people, disabled people, normally the demography that tends to vote Democratic in our glorious rigged two-party electoral system.

 

Those of us who care are aware of this in all its grim and grimy details, and I see little reason to add to the steaming pile.  One thing stands out however, and that is the deeper implications for the culture of this particular time in Earth’s political history we like to refer to as Democracy, and more particularly, the byzantine artifact we call American Democracy.

 

 

WHAT CAUGHT my attention in the recent Georgia law makes provision that, despite sleet, snow, or broiling hot sun, no water or food may be passed to anyone on the interminably long voter lines to ease their progress towards those pearly gates known as the voting booth. “As everyone knows,” to quote a Portside article, “the long lines occur in the dense urban areas—Democratic strongholds with large nonwhite populations.” But this very clause addresses something even more fundamental than what people in this country obsessively call “race.” (Full disclosure, there’s no such thing. Race is a construct designed by people in power to back up their power.)

 

Such a law as Georgia’s strikes at a very fundamental behavior  which has characterized humans for a very long time—before the arrival of the dread Columbus, for example—among non-White people.  It’s a thing called “sharing.” The more one ventures into the cultures and the histories of people world over who have either nothing (like the San of the Kalihari, or Juwasi as they call themselves) or very little (like the Innuit of the North) the more the behavior called sharing occurs. 

 

Why does it occur? Is it a matter of doing the right thing? Academics, people like anthropologists, may very well lend it interpretations appropriate to literate, predominantly white cultures, but in that other world, the real one, where people have nothing or very little, sharing is a fundamental rule of survival.  Among the Ihalmiut (eskimos) for example, you borrowed what you needed.  If you needed a gun to shoot caribou for the next meal (and the next and all other meals were almost entirely caribou) you borrowed a gun.  It was understood that now you had borrowed it, it was your gun, until such time as you might (or might not) chose to return it. And you would certainly think nothing if anyone else who hadn’t eaten in days borrowed it to shoot his and his family’s next dinner.

 

If a person was hungry, you gave him to eat, if a guest was thirsty you gave him to drink.  Sharing even a glass of water (water, pure water, is less and less a thing to be taken for granted) that precious water was the way of welcoming the guest. If someone was needful of clothing or blankets in the freezing cold, you shared your clothing and blankets because there might very well be a time, when you too would be freezing, and that person—or someone else—might be there to recognize your want and share with you the clothing or blankets that would save your life. Call it sequential reciprocity.

 

And that is why the first White European settlers called the Indians they encountered thieves, because the White Man for all his evident superiority knew nothing of sharing, or communal property.  For the White Man, borrowing was stealing. And stealing was not only morally repugnant, but a good way to  enslave persons guilty of the White Man’s crime.

 

For me, being an apparently white person with indigenous (Zapotec) blood, sharing food and drink on the punishing long voting queue is a cultural sign. It speaks of a culture or cultures of people raised on the notion of sharing, and these cultures happen  to be mostly those of non-white people.  Hence, these laws (along with such actions by the Border Patrol as slashing bottles of water left in the desert for those making the dangerous trek to the border) reveal at their very roots—way beyond their intent of voter suppression—their cultural  origins in white settler colonialism. They are the manifestation of a cultural trend dating back to where white Europeans originally come from. At last and only very recently, those origins have been exposed genetically through the study of ancient bones.  The required text is Who We Are and How We Got Here by David Reich.


 The book’s  revelations come with the same import as Copernicus’s  discovery of the solar system.

The Root of Evil

Never, never in the course of the nearly ten years I have been publishing this newsletter for my thousands of readers, never have I used the word evil because the word, although frequently abused by many, properly inhabits a philosophical level of discourse. I use it now to tell this story:

 

Marija Gimbutas
At one time (we are talking of 8,000 – 3,000 BC) Europe (like the New World) was inhabited by its own indigenous population. One prominent archeologist, the late Marija Gimbutas, was first to refer to these indigenous populations as “Old Europe.” They were hunter gatherers, who eventually came to practice very limited agriculture, growing barley, millet, among other very elemental crops. They were worshippers of the Mother Goddess, held all life sacred, espoused a world view that the life cycle ends in rebirth, buried their folk equally without fanfare, both men, women, and those in between. They were a peaceful people, and no weapons or weaponry has been found in any of their burial sites.

In about 3,000 BC, so Gimbutas’s excavations in Eastern Europe discovered, an invasion of steppe-origin people (the steppe being located between the Caspian and Black Seas) invaded Europe.  They were stockmen, keepers of animals, ever on the move, looking for new grazing lands for their cattle. Their tribe is known as the Yamnaya, and Marjia Gimbutas refers to them as “Kurgan” after their burial mounds. It is those mounds containing their grave offerings she has heavily investigated.  Her many books consist of laboriously illustrated artifacts she unearthed there, rendered in painstaking detail, on which she based her claim that Kurgans brought 1) war 2)weaponry 3) hierarchy 4) patriarchy 5) sky gods 6) a world view of a life cycle ending in death (not rebirth) and 7) their language, proto Indo-European, from which  all European languages but four (Basque, Hungarian, Finnish, and Turkish) originate. (Additionally they probably brought the plague being the first people to eat and live among animals) and during the course of the next 1000 years they would sweep across the face of Europe, killing and enslaving any indigenous people in their way, creating a reign of terror throughout  the European continent.


 

America’s white supremacist worldview:  proto-Indo-European-derived language  as conveyor belt 

Here it is necessary to interrupt this horrific story for some 4,400 years (until 1492) to take a look at the way language works.   

Benjamin Whorf

was the first linguist to advance this view. His one book is worth reading. Much of it will seem arcane to non-linguists, but there is enough there to make the case that language is the vehicle for a people’s world view as it is handed down through generations down the ages.  His approach was through study of non-proto-Indo-European-derived languages such as Hopi and other native American languages, untouched by proto-Indo-European. By contrasting the grammatic structure of these languages he was able to extrapolate that they bespoke entirely different world views. For example, by the use of gender and animate syntax, he determined that Hopi people view clouds as animate, alive beings, which bring rain, snow, hail and shade.


To this day, his work has been marginalized by academic linguists who still refer to it as the Whorf “hypothesis.” The work of Marija Gimbutas, has been similarly marginalized by her envious academic colleagues. (Full disclosure: my work of non-fiction, Apology to a Whale offers a full accounting of this tandem archeologic-linguistic hypothesis.) Four years after the publication of Apology to a Whale, the scientific corroboration of this hypothesis has now been confirmed genetically with the publication of David Reich’s book, Who We Are and How We Got Here. 


Columbus sailed the ocean blue to extermination in 1492

Because the Kurgans lacked the technology that would carry their invasion across the seas, Europeans had to wait till 1492 to spread their joys westward with the slaughter and enslavement in the millions of indigenous people inhabiting the New World. Yes, you say, but these “explorers” and “discoverers” were White Europeans, not Kurgans. Indeed, but those White Europeans of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries are the descendants of the Kurgans.  Their DNA is stamped by the Kurgen Y chromosome, and their languages, descended from proto-Indo European, perpetuate the Kurgan worldview handed down through many generations of transmission, parent to child.

Here our story comes to its bitter conclusion with the corroborating work of geneticist David Reich of Harvard, whose marvelously equipped lab has carried through research into the bones of our ancient ancestors stretching far back in time into pre-history, where nothing exists to tell us what came before, only myths orally transmitted, like the story of Cain the tiller of soil and Abel, the keeper of sheep.

 

I quote from the New Yorker article of December 14, 2020, “The Skeletons at the Lake” which describes his genetic research in an easily accessible way:

 

            “Reich led a team of more than a hundred researchers who published a study in Science that examined the genomes of some two hundred seventy ancient skeletons [highlighting those] from the Iberian Peninsula….the DNA of Iberian skeletons…reveals what Reich describes as the “genetic scar” of a foreign invasion….The local type of Y chromosome was replaced by an entirely different type.., meaning that the local male line in Iberia was essentially extinguished.

 

            “It is likely that the newcomers perpetuated a large-scale killing of local men, boys, and possibly male infants….The full genetic sequencing, however, indicated that about 60% of the lineage of the local population was passed on, which shows that women were not killed, but almost certainly subjected to widespread sexual coercion, and perhaps even mass rape. We can get a sense of this reign of terror by thinking about what took place when the descendants of those ancient Iberians sailed to the New World, producing human suffering on a grotesque scale—war, mass murder, rape, slavery, genocide, starvation, and pandemic disease.”

 

Conclusion

 

All white males of European origin (except the Basques. I have no information about speakers of the other 3 non Indo-European derived languages) bear the signature Y chromosome of the Kurgen Yamnaya. They carry the Kurgan DNA in their bones, and (with the exception of Basque) their original languages, descended from the Kurgan proto-Indo-European, carry the message of the Kurgan-Yamnaya world view down to this day, a world view inherited generation after generation from those original invaders of 3,000 B.C. foregrounding warfare, weaponry, hierarchy, patriarchy, misogyny, a life cycle ending in death, and worship of a sky god.

 

Over a long lifetime of inquiry, I have nothing more to add.  Whether or not this turns out to be the very last issue of this newsletter in my lifetime, I will have no need to apologize to a whale or to anyone else.

 

 


 

Every one of these actions strikes at war, weaponry, and hierarchy. Please sign every one of them.

 

Invest in community, not war. Every $.24 cents of every one of your tax dollars goes to war.

 

Urge your reps to convert swords into plough shares: ICBMs into universal coronavirus vaccine.

 

Say you’re down: while millions of Americans are living in tents, hungry, dealing with despair by dying of opioids, time to stop investing in bombs and drones and killing everything that lives. 

 

Oppose another 4 blighted years of foreign policy favoring war vs. diplomacy.

 

Tell the DOJ to investigate infiltration of local law “enforcement by White Supremacist groups.

 

Reduce military spending.

 

Co-sign into law: tax excessive CEO Pay Act demanding a country that works for all, not just-us.

 

Prevent PGE executives rewarding themselves, doubling their salaries after killing over 100 Californians thru criminal negligence.

 


 

Extinction Rebellion environmental activists break windows at Barclay’s Long HQ:

signs” “In case of climate emergency, break glass.”

 

250 groups urge WTO chief to ditch patent-friendly approach and embrace vaccine patent waiver.

 

Opposition wins elections in Greenland, casting c=doubt on future of rare-earth mine

 

Network of Defense Of Humanity rejects aggressions by armed groups in Colombia crossing into Venezuela

 

Farmers block expressway in Indian State of Haryana to protest against farm laws

 

IMF’s planned special drawing rights allocation called a good first step by CEPR co-director.

 

Pentagon orders “immediate actions” to tackle extremism in armed forces.

 

36 groups to Biden and Congress: reduce oversized Pentagon request

 

Afghanistan: Biden pledges to end nation’s longest war yet, by 9/11 after decades of bloodshed and destruction.

 

As Biden pledges $20 billion to dismantle highways separating their communities, racial justice advocates cautiously celebrate

 

Biden creates commission to study Supreme Court expansion, other reforms

 

New bill would add four seats to Supreme Court, to combat right-wing assault on Democracy

 

Biden’s spending proposal provides historical investments in public education

 

Biden budget seeks aid for unaccompanied kids, backlog of asylum applications, no new cash for mediaeval wall

 

Coalition tells Biden White House any further fossil fuel projects incompatible with Paris goals.

 

Coalition calls for ban on private, corporate use of racial recognition as “too dangerous to exist.”

 

Federal court ends #45 effort to open 128 million acres of Atlantic, Arctic Oceans to drilling.

 

Stating goal of making change permanent FDA lifts abortion pill restriction during pandemic

 

Agencies working with federal government resettling refugees had welcomed Biden’s pledge to restore admission  numbers to 125,000 but admit their work is cut out for them.

 

Sen. Chris Hollen and Rep. Joe Courtney introduce bill to stop the U.S. from pouring an absurd amount of money into its  nuclear arsenal

 

Sen Markey and Rep. Khanna introduce bill curtailing current plans to sink $$ in new ICBMs, reallocating sums into developing universal coronavirus vaccine.

 

Gillibrand and AOC call on congress to help rebuild USPS with postal banking pilot programs.

 

Sanders and Omar unveil bill to end absurd corporate handouts to fossil fuel industry

 

Sanders, Senate Dems call on Biden to support COVID vaccine patent waiver at WTO

 

D.C. statehood bill on the move in the House with committee markup scheduled for the 14th

 

Jayapal, House Dems propose constitutional amendment ending corporate personhood.

 

Jayapal calls for crackdown on wealthiest after IRS chief says tax evasion  costs U.S. $1 trillion a year.

 

House committee advances bill preventing a future presdent from enacting another Muslim ban

 

Yellen calls for global minimum tax on corporations to end 390 year race to bottom.

 

Iowa nears 60% of power from wind turbines

 

Interior Department to reconvene council on Native American issues

 

Sec. Haaland secretarial orders help restore integrity to Interior, U.S. leadership on climate.

 

Bill poised to make Native American history required teaching in N. Dakota schools.

 

Indigenous group launches campaign against new voting bills

Four Anishinawbe  grandmothers walk cross country carrying sea water from four cardinal points  in Machias, Maine, Gulfport, MI, Olympia, WA, and Churchill, Manitoba to reassemble later at Wisconsin lake.

 

Virginia passes first-ever state-level voting rights act

 

Apple Studios takes on peace state, exits Georgia production citing voter suppression law.

 

Colorado’s independent redistricting commission removes its chairman for posts on election rigging and coronavirus.

 

Voting rights groups across country condemn state-level voter suppression, urge Senate passage of For the People Acct.

 

After 23 days of fasting, Ana Ramirez and her fellow hunger strikers win after N.Y. State lawmakers announce agreement on historical $2.1 billion in pandemic relief for excluded essential workers, many of them undocumented immigrants.

 

Alabama miners reject tentative agreement, continue strike.

 

Union to file charges against Amazon over blatantly illegal conduct in Bessemer election

 

Movement to end “at-will” employment gets serious

 

Ain’t gonna take it no more: truck drivers and workers strike at So Cal ports

 

Union members expel national guard from St. Paul Minnesota Labor Center

 

Self emancipation continues to rise at the St. Louis City “Justice” Center.

 

Climate groups cheer Keep it in the Ground Act of 2021.

 

Citing climate and investment risks N.Y. State  fund to ditch tar sands

 

New study claims all new U.S. car and truck sales can be electric by 2035

 

Progressive Charles Booker considers Senate run

 

Protests erupt after cops lynch yet another back man  during Minneapolis traffic stop

 

Minnespota lynching officer surrenders, faces second-degree manslaughter charge in Daunte Wright murder

 

Virginia cop-goon who pepper sprayed army officer fired after damning video released.

 

Veteran officer wo=ho stopped white officer from brutalizing Black suspect wins pension after 13 years

 

CDC releases statement recognizing structural racism as the public health threat it is, outline steps they are taking to address it

 

Maryland repeals police bill of rights, enacts historic accountability measures

 

New Mexico second state to ban qualified immunity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Re-Funding the Peace

Re-funding the peace is the question I hope to address this week because it’s an important one with national implications.  Remember the time (some 70-80 years ago) when cops were called “peace officers?” There were stories of people who’d worked as peace officers who set up after school rec programs for kids, those kids we now call “at risk.”  I met one of those, driving a New York cab.  After his tour in Viet Nam that’s the work he did—until  he got “laid off” and now he was driving a cab.  He got laid off because at that point (the 80s) the peace keeping culture in the police academy had begun to change as law enforcement bent more and more toward militarization. My cabbie had come home from the My Lai massacre, and he told me about that too, where the order to “waste ‘’em” had come from the Colin Powell High Command. 

 

My Lai massacre

For decades, U.S. wars had targeted civilians. At home, such people had always been considered fair game. Whereas prior warfare against minorities, workers, and slaves had been massaged in the usual law enforcement hypocrisy, a more violent form of warfare became the militarized practice we have come to know today. Adding fuel to the fire came not much later, when municipal police began training with the IDF, both here, and in apartheid Israel. This information is now internet blocked prompting me to copy/paste the link here: https://bit.ly/392QnLk


But already in the ‘70s, there were cries of resistance. One of them is exemplified in a letter written by Tom Glen, a 21-year old soldier assigned to the 11th Light Infantry Brigade who described an ongoing and routine brutality against Vietnamese civilians. It’s important enough to quote:

            It would indeed be terrible to find it necessary to believe that an American soldier that harbors such racial intolerance and disregard for justice and human feeling is a prototype of all American national character; yet the frequency of such soldiers lends credulity to such beliefs….What has been outlined here I have seen not only in my own unit, but also in others we have worked with, and I fear it is universal. If this is indeed the case, it is a problem which cannot be overlooked, but can through a more firm implementation of the codes of MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam) and the Geneva Conventions, perhaps be eradicated.”

Fast forward to the Oscar Grant, Travon Martin, Michael Brown era when finally with the murder of George Floyd, what had been a sporadic eruption of demonstrations became a full fledged nation-wide conflagration of revulsion. A conflagration where the nightly demonstrations in Portland became the rehearsal for militarized police-civilian warfare and for the insurgency of Jan. 6th in D.C.

 

No caption can put a  name on this

As is often the case, Oakland led with the APTP (Anti-Police-Terror Project) which began almost as soon as  BLM came to the fore The umbrella of APTP at that time was already wide enough to include people of all colors, and was headed usually by a white and black facilitator; that black facilitator was usually Cat Brooks who rose to prominence when she ran for Oakland mayor in 2018, opposing Libby Schaaf. A good speaker, she bore the facial expression of someone who’s had enuf, with a drawn “Can’t Take It Anymore” expression on her time-worn face. Even then, the organization had a rapid response arm, organized to come to the aid of families whose sons or daughters had been the victims of police violence and who needed support and counseling.

 

Some five years ago, the APTP birthed the Defund Police movement, creating the current coalition of 12 community BIPOC organizations, centered around Refunding, Restoring and Reimagining Public Safety in Oakland, Ca.  The Coalition pressed the City Council to form a Task Force to redirect police funding by 50% to support programs more closely aligned with public safety.  According to APTP (See report):  “The task force was created in direct response to significant local demand to redirect monies from the Oakland Police Department to programs, support services, and resources that take a holistic view of public safety and focus on addressing the root causes of so-called “crime” rather than relying on militarized policing and a violent and cyclical carceral state.”

 

None of this would have gotten off the ground without the step by step process underlying its advancement. The City Council, responding to the APTP-headed coalition’s demands, agreed to consider alternatives to traditional policing. It appointed a Task Force and assembled Advisory Boards (ABs) of several hundred volunteers to help advise it. The ABs researched issues focused on alternatives to the current function and structure of Oakland Police Department (OPD), including OPD services and their costs. Among specific topics researched were an analysis of 911 calls as well as the effects of de-criminalizing what is currently criminalized.

 

Based on their months-long research efforts, the ABs recommended a list of services better handled outside of OPD that would increase Public Safety for all Oaklanders.  Recommendations included: A Mental Health Hotline and Mental health services, providing housing, food security, medical care, education, decriminalization of drug and sex work, youth and transitional age services, instituting reparative justice in place of punishment, and more. The recent unanimous vote of the Oakland City Council to introduce a new model for mental health emergency response known as MACRO shifting 911 response away from the police department is an early outcome of this effort.

 

The final list of AB recommendations were presented to the City Council appointed Task Force. The Task Force studied them, discussed and modified some of them with public and AB input, and voted on a final list to present to the Oakland City Council for discussion and approval. The process by which the City Council will move forward with the Task Force’s list of recommendations is yet unknown. as is role OPD will play in this process. Regardless of the outcomes of this process in Oakland, the move towards increasing public safety through Defunding Police and Refunding and Re-Investing in Communities will  have a lasting and positive impact locally and nationally.

 

We recommend reading the full report to see the specific recommendations, the research supporting them, and their expected impact on increasing Public Safety.


The Medium is The Message 

 

Can we trust the APTP report? Unlike so many initiatives of this kind, where most are developed while completely overlooking or excluding the populations they are intended to serve., the very people the recommendations are designed to impact served in the initial committees. Committees focused on specific areas of concern, For example, there were committees comprised of or led by Oaklanders who have been unhoused, school dropouts, formerly incarcerated, unemployed/ under- employed, and victims of violence. Some were populated by solely by youth. Members also cut across the economic and educational spectrum. Importantly, members of ABs were a true reflection of the black, brown, yellow, white, mixed race, multi-ethnic, gender, and ability diverse communities in Oakland, a stunning example of true Democracy at work.

 

My colleague and companion in arms who worked as one member of such a committee described the process as very moving. “I have to say I am humbled by the process. Although I worked on part of  [it], months of collecting information, analyzing it, synthesizing it, and writing about it with my working group cohorts, the scope of this effort and its impact is amazing. This work will replace policing not reform it; it eliminates the need for historically punitive regulations. In its place will grow services communities need to become healthy and safe places for their members.”

 

 “[It] will be another step towards ending the endless war on communities at home that have targeted BIPOC for so long.…It will further link the anti war movement, with its historic focus on wars abroad, to domestic struggles [at home] which are no different …. We use weapons of mass destruction abroad; policing and imprisonment at home. Both at home and abroad we destroy, devastate, displace and kill; we attack those who rebel. These wars are about subjugation, dominance, accumulation of wealth and power, humiliation, and furtherance of racist, ethnocentric, anti-gender, and anti-able policies and practices.”

 

Oakland’s initiative has legs.  It has the potential of reviving life in our dying cities as well as in ignored rural areas. It can be applied nationwide if they will only make use of its far-reaching insights, and applied to their own circumstances.

 


REALLOCATE Pentagon budget.

ADD  your name to abolish nuclear weapons.

URGE world’s major development bank to kick fossil addiction.

 

 


G 7 Supports emergency funds for developing country COVID relief.

Organizations petition High Court of justice demanding vaccines for Palestinians.

Venezuela sues the U.S. at the WHO.

Protecting public health, environment and human rights, people of over 13 nations including U.S. oppose 5-G installment of a planetary surveillance grid.

Brazil’s Lula urges Biden to call emergency G 20 summit to promote global vaccine equality.

Japanese court orders government,BIDEN TEPCO to pay more for Fukushima disaster damage.

March 27, 110,000 people demonstrated all over Frances demanding a “real” climate law.

Argentina withdraws from Lima Group of countries established to push for regime change in Venezuela.

New global alliance including Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cuba, Eritrea, Laos, Nicaragua. Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines, Syria, Venezuela, and Palestine Russia, and China, defends UN charter.

Parisians march against systemic racism and police brutality in France and for a climate change law with teeth.

 

"For a real climate law": Stop the blahblahblah
 

Beijing has donated vaccines to over 50 low-income nations.

UK Uber drivers to get minimum wage and paid vacation after big court win.

Julian Assange wins 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award.

Assange’s father, John Shipton on the home run tour for Julian.

MI-5 whistleblowers Annie Machon winds 2021 Sam Adams Award.

Texas utility behind huge electricity bills seeks bankruptcy

Biden signs American rescue plan providing $1.9 trillion for COVID relief, lifting millions out of poverty.

Biden admin ends policy that made migrant kids’ potential sponsors vulnerableto ICE.

Biden admin reportedly reverses decision to reopen Homestead prison camp for migrant kids.

Biden reinstates Obama-era program allowing Central American kids to join parents in U.S. Would reunite families split up by deportation.

Biden admin calls for federal volunteers to help get asylum-seeking children out of U.S. custody.

‘Jim Crow in 21st century’: Biden rebukes Georgia’s new voter suppression law.

Church joins lawsuit against ICE with religious discrimination claims.

U. S. Rep Jayapal and Dongell with 112 co-sponsors to introduce the Medicare for All Act of 2021.

Sanders bill would hike taxes on big corporations that pay CEOs over 50 times more than median worker.

Tlaib unveils bill to provide monthly payments to everyone in U.S. funded by minting trillion-dollar coins.

After months of pressure from advocates, detained immigrants in California now eligible for vaccine.

Amnesty International USA applauds Virginia for abolishing the death penalty.

Party for Socialism & Liberation dropped a banner at the San Isidro border crossing.

50+ House Dems urge Biden to fire Postal Board for complicity in Dejoy’s sabotage.

House Dems introduce legislation to block Dejoy’s Postal Service sabotage.

Biden submits Postal Service Board nominations, starting countdown to Dejoy’s departure.

Tammy Duckworth demands postal board fire Dejoy over pathetic 10-year plan to weaken USPS.

Defund Police Department: 50 House Dems demand Biden slash Pentagon budget to invest in public health, common good.

Progressives pressure Biden over COVID vaccine patent waiver.

Coalition calls on Biden to use U.S.-owned patent to share COVID vaccine with the world.

From space to F-35s congress given specific path to cut Pentagon budget by $0 billion.

Senate Dems employ obscure law to reverse #45 rollback of methane emissions standards.

Dems call for $1 billion shift from weapons of mass destruction to ‘vaccine of mass prevention.’

New calls, records. allegations swirl around #45 attempts to extort Georgia officials.

In unprecedented move,  EPA to conduct ‘public accounting of #45’s political attacks on science.

With McConnell out of the way, Dems reintroduce plan for affordable internet access nationwide.

House votes in favor of Farm Workers Modernization Act.

In huge progressive victory following years of grassroots organizing, a late of progressive candidates sweeps the elections for the Nevada Dem Party’s five leadership positions.

Earth Justice applauds bipartisan water infrastructure bill.

Actvists block rail line near General Dynamics over arms sales.

Minnesota  activists fight to stop new pipelines to go under water sources.

Water protectors lock to Gate and ascend equipment to stop Enbridge Line 3 in St. Louis County.

Activists organize a Defund  demo on Golden Gate Bridge.

Tribal Nations Fight Proposed gold mine near Death Valley.

Caravan disrupts Line 3 construction routes.

Backing push for public ownership, Tlaib to join virtual rally to reclaim Nestlé’s stolen waters.

Activists demand Georgia-based corporations like  end complicity in GOP assault on voting.

Activist investor urges Exxon shareholders to vote against directors.

“A moral imperative”: business leaders demand death penalty abolition worldwide.

Public Citizen congratulates Katherine Tal on her confirmation as U.S. trade rep.

A resolve, led by a 501(c)(4) non profit, the Maine Health Care Action, will have to collect nearly 65,000 valid signatures for Maine voters to put it on on ’22 ballot.

Jury acquits Iowa journalist for arrest while covering BLM protests.

The minimum $15 wage fight is not over.

Migrant worker women submit first petition against the U.S. under USMCA

“My mom was very angry,”: Rite Aid apologizes for denying undocumented mom COVID vaccine.

Garment workers win $22 billions in historic victory against wage theft.

Colectivo could become the largest unionized coffee chain.

Bernie Sanders rallies with Amazon workers in Alabama.

Wisconsin teamsters spend seven years fighting not to see their pensions cut in half.

“We can cancel all $1.8 trillion,” say activists as Cardona announces full debt relief for scammed students.

76 year old Asian grandmother attacked, sends assailant to hospital, and gives the 900,000 raised thru a Go Fund Me to the AAPI community: “This is bigger than me.”

Michigan man sues Hertz for not turning over receipt that proves his innocence in murder case.

NYC Council approved measure to curb “qualified immunity,” cop’s get out of jail free.

Members of Oakland’s City Council vote unanimously to introduce a model for mental health emergency support known as MACRO that does not lead with law enforvement.

Boston elevates its first woman and first person of color to city’s top job.

Illinois City becomes 1st in U.S. to offer reparations for lingering effects of slavery.

Philadelphia skyline to go dim in favor of migrating birds.

California regulator praised for landmark proposal to life ‘forever chemical’ as carcinogen.

Oregon considers universal suffrage.

Monarch Act introduced to ensure pollinator is around for future generations.

Sightings of rare wildlife add to case for main g permanent the temporary halt on wall construction.

Plant-based diets help save planet.

 


Ever Given crisis on-going. Make sure you're not short on toilet paper.

Financial press fears Brazilians will elect presidents of their choice.

With a sticker price of $100 million, Air Force admits the F-35 is a bust.

Kentucky lawmakers advance bill to crimnalize insulting police.

 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Slouching Toward Bethlehem

 Well, slouching may be an exaggeration, but my reluctance can’t be described any other way.  The subject is nuclear, both war and energy.  And of all our planetary issues,  nuclear, the nuclear of power and the nuclear of war, both joined at the hip, one not possible without the other,  is—at least in my view—the most dire. Even more dire than global warming And that probably explains my reluctance. Bear with me.

 

There is something to celebrate, and something to mourn. The good news first. After years and years of patient work for peace, by, among thousands of others in this country alone, the Women’s League for International Peace and Freedom, and the Catholic Plowshares-Catholic Worker Movement, the Treaty to ban nuclear weapons was signed by, of all countries, Honduras, which became the 50th to do so, and at last the Treaty entered into full force and effect on Jan. 22 of this year.

 

Here is pre-forever-war FDR in 1936: “I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded….I have seen the dead in the mud….I shall pass unnumbered hours thinking and planning how war may be kept from the Nation .”

 

As my readers can imagine, the Treaty is binding only on its signatories, none of which are bomb-blessed countries; all the 8 bomb blessed-countries won’t sign the Treaty. This includes not only the Big Brother Nuclear Eight but also all the little toady NATO subscribers.  #45, our former very own Very Magnificent and Glorious Caudillo, sent all those little shit hole signatory countries letters ordering them under all circumstances, to walk back their talk. Many such letters found their way to the nearest paper basket for recycling.

 

Nonetheless, the Treaty represents a colossal effort by all of humankind which has made this amazing benchmark possible We cannot even begin to imagine the years and years of diplomacy at top levels, the untold quantity of international flights by all people working at the NGO level, and all the strivings of all the grassroots people world over,  getting arrested and jailed, some of them for years, trying, trying with all their might to reverse the course of The Great Blundering Ship of States.

 

And that is what we must celebrate. Against Might, we have the great weapon of Spirit.

 

And now, to mourn

 

In the U.S. The new $100 billion Ground Based Strategic Nuclear Deterrant, a weapon of mass destruction the length of a bowling lane, carries a warhead 20 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, and is slated to replace the Minuteman. It is on order by the Air Force—600 of them.

 

Soon after yet another mega earthquake roiled Japan Feb. 13, and following the tenth anniversary this week of the Disaster at Fukushima, Japan is still hell bent on restarting all their rectors, and holding their Olympics in heavily contaminated areas. After the relocation of millions of people, many of whom took their own lives, after scraping the Earth of millions of tons of top soil, decomposing vegetation of acres of forest land, only to have to decontaminate them all over again, and despite the resistance of its people, Japan still has not learned, and neither has the U.S. for that matter.

 

One picture is worth 1,000 words, and for that please go to

 

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/piapeterson/fukushima-10-year-anniversary-memorials

 

And for those still wanting to resist the media blackout on the events of Jan, 6, here are the Zexs Kashes:

 

https://www.propublica.org/article/6-questions-officials-still-havent-answered-after-weeks-of-hearings-on-the-capitol-attack#1053554

 

and on  March 18, if your appetite for war has become sated, check out:

https://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com/

 

 


 

No more Hiroshimas! No more Fukushimas! Please sign.

 

Read Ray Acheson’s new book: Banning the Bomb, Smashing the Patriarchy.

 


 

 

Resilient women farmers fighting climate change in six Jamul district villages transform lives by carrying out organize kitchen gardening with support of Greenpeace India.

 

Chile to elect convention to rewrite constitution replacing that written by Pinochet.

 

Brazil judge annuls convictions against Lula Da Silva, leaving him free to challenge Bolsonaro.

 

Lula goes after Bolsonaro’s ‘moronic’ handling of COVID pandemic.

 

Far-Right Bolivia coup leader Jeanine Añez arrested on terrorism, sedition charges.

 

First Atikamekw Nation asks UN expert to probe systematic racism in Canada

 

Canadian protesters call for end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

 

Assange’s father takes fight to free son to Canberra.

 

In the UK, study shows school street plan to keep them traffic free improves AQ.

 

New report to expose war industry’s lobby behind $24 billion US nuclear missile ‘boondoggle.’

 

NRDC DOE stike five-year deal allowing nuclear education of state energy regulators.

 

Supreme Court reject final #45 appeal.

 

Biden signs sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID relief package into law.

 

‘The kind of speed and efficiency we should always expect’ as $1,400 checks already hitting bank accounts.

 

Biden administration announces Pentagon will conduct an  urgently needed ‘Global posture review.’

 

Biden administration tells Supreme Court it won’t defend previous administration’s ‘public charge’ rule.

 

Supreme Court rejects final #45 appeal.

 

Biden administration‘s vaccine promotion efforts will look to take politics out of the picture.

 

US lawmakers call on Biden administration to oppose Israeli Palestinian home demolitions.

 

Congress urged to take ‘immediate action’ to stop debt collectors from snatching relied checks.

 

Black alliance for peace solidarity network demands NATO support peace process in Afghanistan.

 

Over 350 groups urge Biden to stop Line 3 pipelines, protect climate and indigenous rights.

 

Biden urges House to approve Protecting the Right to Organize Act following his support of Amazon  Alabama workers.

 

Amazon workers in Italy to go on first strike.

 

Deb Haaland confirmed as Interior Secy.

 

With appointment of Columbia U law professors Timothy Wu to the White House National Economic Council and Lina Khan to Federal Trade Commission, antitrust is back in the US.

 

House passage of historic union rights bill intensified pressure on Dem Senators to ‘stop hiding behind’ filibuster.

 

Broadband infrastructure bill centers affordability and equity.

 

Warning against ‘Democratic’ version of Ajit Pai,’ groups call for FCC pick without telecom ties.

 

Growing chorus implore Biden to fire #45 holdovers who support ‘dismantling and cutting ‘ social security.

 

Progressives hail official end of DCCC consultant blacklist.

 

Progressive takeover of Nevada Dem party sparks mas exodus of staff consultants.

 

Interior take first step evaluating leasing moratorium.

 

Applause as Biden picks antitrust trailblazer Linda Khan for FTC spot.

 

Jimmy Carter condemns Georgia GOP’s voter suppression push.

 

Stimulus package aids Puerto Rico still reeling after two years from Hurricane impacts.

 

Representative Smith re: F-35 boondoggle: ‘finally we have a shot to stop feeding that rathole at the Pentagon.’

 

Jayapal vows to fight for $15 minimum wage.

 

Jayapal demands investigation into 3 House Republicans for ‘involvement in the deadly attack on the Capitol.’

 

‘Don ‘t  patronize me”: Katie Porter tears into oil exec for claiming his industry doesn’t get special tax breaks.

 

Report finds raising minimum wage to $15 would boost pay of 32 million workers.

 

Support keeps building for #BAmazon Union Drive as three dozen organizations add the names urging Biden to come out for union organizers.

 

Poll shows majority of US adults support govt action to require COVID vaccine

manufacturers to share formulas, and forego patents to hasten vaccine deployment globally.

 

Progressive health care and global justice groups to rally across country and push pharmaceutical  companies to commit to just global vaccine distribution.

 

N.Y. State’s top legislators call on Cuomo to resign.

 

Georgia House passes repeal of citizen’s arrest law in aftermath of Ahmaud Arbery’s death.

 

Abortion ban repealed in N. Mex. after years of struggle.

 

Victory for BDS as Orange judge slaps down Zionist attempt to stifle free speech

 

Queens County judge blisters prosecutors in decision to release 3 wrongfully convicted Black men after 24 years.

 

ACLU, civil rights groups call on DHS to abandon proposed expansion of face surveillance at airports.

 

Push for Robinhood tax grows as poll shows majority in NY support levy on Wall St. trades.

 

Atlanta DA’s latest hire in #4 investigation is a racketeering expert.

 

Youth climate activists seek court ruling that US fossil fuel-based system is unconstitutional.

 

Climate activists applaud Rutgers University’s fossil; fuel divestment plan.

 

College athletes demand NCAA pull championships from states with anti-trans sport legislation.

 

Culver City calls on Gov. Newsom to slow neighboring gas storage facility in Playa del Rey.

 

Kansas City tenants’ month of activism breaks systems preventing 919 eviction hearings, 90% of all evictions scheduled for January.

 

Hundreds protest on eve of Derek Chauvin’s trial.

 

‘Say Her Name’: rallies and marches mark one-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s killing.

 

Bayer’s Roundup class action settlement draws widespread outrage.