Sunday, January 22, 2017


The Federal Register (FR) is the legal paper of record for the United States. It will be in the (FR where his first actions to change our government are first posted. He has promised to do more in the first 100 hours than past presidents have done in the first 100 days. In particular, please search for “Executive orders” (EO).

Current Federal Register Index

This index provides descriptive entries and page numbers for documents published this year in the daily Federal…

Executive Orders could start arriving Sunday. The more eyes on these EO’s the more we will be able to assess whether it’s huff or bluff… If you look at Obama’s last EO written on Jan. 17th but only published in the FR on the 21st, you will see a 15 page legal storm that rewrites the Civil Service rules of the entire Federal Government. This will be a template of what Trump’s EO’s might look like, doing anything from shutting down NASA’s Climate Research to the entire Renewable Energy Labs complex in Golden Colorado, all of which he has threatened to do. He could even take the entire legal process produced daily in the FR offline and charge for access!

Note: The FR documents are written in highly legal jargon. Don’t expect to grasp anything fully. But the key here will be to monitor the number and scope of his EO actions as they are published.

Rather than relying on the press to filter or censor what is happening, all of this is available for you to see, simply by going to the above site, clicking on the index and looking for his EO’s on the daily index where you can download or scan through them in various formats.

Dozens of regulatory bodies and staffing changes will start to take place over the next 100 days while Republicans move in and push out liberals in positions of authority across the government. Many of these changes will start to show up in agencies or commissions.

Imagine if those secret hearings that Democrats stormed out of last week actually disclosed the extent of how the last election was stolen. They are all sworn to secrecy. Yet all it would take is a single leak that could set off a nationwide act of civil service disobedience if true. Please, don’t let this country’s media tell you what he’s going to do, go look for yourself! Its our country and the sooner you know if he’s dead set on truly blowing our house down, the sooner you will be able to come to terms with what’s coming down the pike.

So far, stricken off the White House web space are: Global Warming. Civil Rights, and LGBTQ rights. So far, the strategy of  the Left has been to focus on civil rights issues at the expense of paying attention to Global Warming, and many other issues. Or that in fact we may not have so much a political struggle as one which needs to address issues of mental health in high places.


Friday morning, I attended a very thoughtful, impassioned presentation  by Jake Grumbach, a UC Ph.D. candidate in political science at the nearly University of California Campus morning of teach-ins.. This sums up—more or less—what he had to say:

We (of the Left) need first of all to rid ourselves of the last toxic vestiges of exceptionalism: We are not so exceptional that we can vote and play the politics that appeal to us based on our ethical convictions and our sense of social justice. Donald Rumsfeld pointed out “You go to war with the army you have.”

We need to wage the war we have and not the war we wish we had. We were not born, our parents did not emigrate into an ethical system. We were born into a former slave holding. The constitution that governs us is a slaveholder’s constitution.  Its two-party system, its lack of a Parliamentarian system, enable the worst of crimes in the name of the nation: war, nuclear weapons, drone warfare, mass incarceration, police terror in our streets. It binds us with hoops of steel. Making changes to it is nearly impossible.

Carpenters use the right tools for the job.  But our cards are stacked. Our Left political struggles have to be waged with our hands tied behind our backs. Our constitution provides us with a ripe banana to chop down trees. It’s the war we’ve got. The problem is how to turn a sow’s ear into the silken purse our ethical convictions, and our sense of social justice want to see and live by. 

There is no glamor, there is no glory in this war, and few ethics apply. It needs to be fought block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, commons areas by commons areas. It needs to be fought in small and grueling increments.

It starts with talking to folks who trust you, and whom you trust. It forms in small groups of folks willing to work together on one small piece of a titanic struggle. It has to be fought in city council meetings, in the minor offices of town councilmen, selectmen, school board members, local ordinances, and regional and state capitals.

It means electing green candidates for local districts, for—if we work like dogs—for local Mayors. And if we win the lottery, for a governor or two. If ants can move mountains, so can we. But like ants, we must have unrelenting discipline, and we must have the patience that allows endless work with no guarantee of any satisfaction other than the work itself, and the joy of collaborating with our fellow and sister workers. We’re in for the long haul.

Listening to this, I swallowed hard. Yes. We gotta banana. And we need to cut down trees with it (well, not literally, metaphorically). We are fucked. I suggested that the speaker tell it like it is, but after all he’s a Ph.D. candidate in political science and a certain amount of decorum is expected.

I was already on my way off Sproul Plaza when a Mexican student stopped me. He wanted to thank me for being there! Imagine! What did this mean exactly? Probably because I am an elder, he wanted to show some appreciation (a Mexican value) and perhaps because he goes by the name of Angel, and perhaps because so many of these kids—some of them Dreamers—must be in agony with the burden of their student loans and their deeply uncertain futures.  


On the assumption that more than ever now, the name of our government is YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN, we need to take back our polis skirmish by skirmish by promoting:

• peace
• a living wage
• quality education
• affordable housing
• universal healthcare
• solar energy, wind energy,
• energy efficiency (all related to energy democracy)
• state banks, postal banks
• worker owned cooperatives
• boycotts and general strikes
• campaigns against mass incarceration, illegal deportations, torture, militarization, nuclear war, drone warfare and war in space, etc.

For starters:
·       (Yesterday, Berkeleyside published a list of moderate Berkeley community groups working for change.)

Petition for the stay-at-homes:

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