Thursday, November 14, 2019

IN THEIR OWN VOICES


This week the newsletter highlights the voices of three other women.

 

Emily Amelia:  The Wall 

Yesterday I went to Al Wappia/Quitobaquito springs on Hia C’ed O’ooham land with some friends.  In the lead up to this, we’d been driving through the desert putting out water on trails and my mind wandered between the delight with the plants and humans I was spending time with, and scenes of stories of migrating here. The stories aren’t mine. They were told to me by  people I’ve met and loved, who’ve traveled this desert, and who don’t necessarily tell them publicly. They already bear the brunt of the pain plus the cost of telling their stories is total life-changing displacement and violence. They’re stories of drinking dirty water from abandoned cattle troughs, losing all supplies and companions in the rock splitting windstorm of a low-flying border patrol helicopter, thinking only of their life-threatening thirst [and] their beloveds, miles away…. 

"Twenty wall panels"
Quitobaquito is a clear blue body of water  in the Sonoran Desert. It is a ceremonial site of the Hia C’ed People and gives life to the whole [of] everything around it. Yesterday we saw a baby Sonoran desert tortoise get carried along the source stream current through pupfish territory towards green reeds and its deeper adult swimming hole. My friends and community members’ families lived here and took care of this everything before Quitobaquito Village was [purchased and erased by #organpipenationalmonument. When I visit now because I didn’t value it  fully until it was under threat and because now I finally do, and because it will be irreparably damaged when the wall goes up.

And then, driving home along the bottom half of the long loop through western organ pipe, we came upon these 20 wall panels. I don’t know when they went up—it must have just happened. I stopped breathing. Honestly, it reminded me of times in my life we I’ve heard horrible true news that I knew would change me, but that I couldn’t possibly process at the rate of its unfolding, news about death and violence. We parked the trucks and watched. I had the thoughts, what does it mean if a heart breaking thing is happening and people’s hearts aren’t breaking?

Barbara Brust: It’s cold outside

Consider The Homeless does what it can to keep people alive.
Please consider making  a tax-free contribution (see below). 
We pay, out of our own pockets, about $300 a week in order to serve a hot homemade soup (stew) every Thursday & Sunday night, to over 100 people a night. this is for the ingredients only! It does not include the gasoline, insurance, registration, inspection, etc....for the vehicle and the myriad…other expenses that come up!

In close to 5 years of doing this there has been only 2 nights we
missed. It takes six people working for between 2-6 hours, as  volunteers, to get the van out every time we do a soup run! That is 12 people a week! 48 people a month!  just for the soup run!!!!

We also fill the van with survival supplies: blankets, socks, pants, jackets, etc....And for what? So their belongings can be confiscated by CalTrans?  So the Berkeley Police Department can harass them, to have their tent [torn] down and all property in a 3’ X 3’ footprint [confiscated?] Even though they are not blocking anyone's right of way they get cited if they do not comply and are forced to be sitting unsheltered in the elements until 10 pm when they are allowed to put their tents back up, people [who] are disabled, mentally challenged, medically in need of care and no one helps! people will die!!!
How can we call this a Sanctuary City? A sanctuary for who? Housed [people] only??? What about the poor??? It is winter now!!!  Cold! I bet all of you have the heat on in your comfortable houses... I don't.  I cannot afford to pay PG&E. I am disabled and busy as hell in spite of that trying to help those in a far worse condition than mine!
Stop looking at homelessness as a problem. Cancel that study, How to solve the problem of "Homelessness." Stop wasting funds the City of Berkley has on enforcing cruel and potentially illegal laws on persecuting the un-housed. Shift your paradigm to see it for what it is...a human crisis! Stop focusing on (allegedly) trying to solve the problem of homelessness! We all know what the real agenda is. It is not getting rid of Homelessness, but rather, it is getting rid of the Homeless! The sidewalk ordinance is torture! I will never forget when Jesse [Arreguin, Mayor of Berkeley] said, and I quote: "[the sidewalk ordinance..] is not about people, but about property" I still have a copy of the video from that meeting…. It is about abuse [that] targets the unhoused... It [represents] a waste of [money] and resources to enforce it.
We (at Consider the Homeless!) cannot supply all of our neighbors on the streets with a hot meal twice a week and supply all of them with warm jackets, tents & blankets! Forty pads on the floor of Old City Hall will not protect even 4% of the un-sheltered on our streets when the rains start... and how inhumane is it to just make them leave at 7 am with no place to go?
I have sat here writing this letter while both crying and feeling my blood pressure rise. If this touched you at all, please send a check, made out to Consider The Homeless to PO Box #2771, Berkeley, CA. 94702.  I am even willing to write a receipt for tax purposes for those of you with incomes high enough to use the deduction. If you write BLANKETS in the space at bottom, I can assure you that that is what it will be used for….
 YES, I am angry, I am sure you can see that. I challenge all officials of the City of Berkeley (both elected and assigned) to read this all the way through, all the way! I also ask that you acknowledge receipt of this email and show me the respect of replying.

Val Eisman: Pictures Shout Louder Than Words

Methane escaping from Siberian Arctic Ocean



Demand Congress pass The Green New Deal at
https://www.paction.us/greennewdeal/daily-kos?link_id=11&can_id=655968a96e1bce05c463b2f640bf633c&source=email-william-barr-is-racing-to-deliver-a-report-that-blows-up-the-impeachment-inquiryand-everything-else-2&email_referrer=email_660838___subject_858567&email_subject=rape-survivor-turns-down-judges-offer-of-150000-in-exchange-for-attacker-serving-less-time

Hold ICE accountable for deaths in detention at
https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/petitions/sign-the-petition-asylum-seeker-nebane-abienwi-died-in-ice-custody-we-demand-answers?detail=emailLL&link_id=14&can_id=447ac5b0d7a5124338b20f2bb702d0f8&source=email-cartoon-those-woke-kids-today&email_referrer=email_662230&email_subject=cartoon-those-woke-kids-today


Keep an innocent man alive. Attend a day of action for Rodney Reed Saturday at
https://www.mobilize.us/actionpac/?page=2&per_page=25&utm_source=frrwebsite / Search website by location proximity, and date.

Donate to Consider the Homeless at PO Box #2771, Berkeley, CA. 94702. Your check is tax-deductible.


European Investment Bank, the world’s largest public bank ditches oil and coal citing ‘Beginning of the end of climate-wrecking fossil-fuel finance.’
Sierra Club takes a brave new turn on population, climate change, and inequality.

‘No More Fossil Lovers!’  Beyond Extreme Energy disrupts hearing for new FERC commissioner.

City and County of Honolulu votes unanimously to support UN Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Back from the Brink Framework to reduce possibility of nuclear war.

Oakland Representative Barbara Lee signs on to HR-2419, the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Coversion Act of 2019.

In Detroit a new type of agricultural neighborhood emerges.

Equal Citizens wins landmark case against super PACs in Alaska.
Code Pink disrupts Jamie Dimon’s UCLA-sponsored conversation.
China announces vision for future: ‘Give Peace a Chance.’

In Brazil, Lula da Silva freed from prison in victory for movement resisting racist Bolsonaro.

Brazilians march against Bolsonaro and his ties to murder of activist.

‘We don’t want any dictators,’ waving indigenous flag, Bolivians flood La Paz streets to protest right-wing, anti-indigenous group lead by Jeanine Añez who referred to them as ‘satanic.’.

Millions of people take to Santiago’s streets demanding Piñera’s resignation.

Chilean activists sue Piñera over crimes against humanity during protests.

Resisting U.S. pressure, Thailand bans Monsanto.

Students walk out all over the U.S. to demand Supreme Court Defend DACA.

UPS workers elect progressives to lead Philadelphia local.

One thousand take NYC streets and trains in outrage over police attacks on teens.

Alliance to Mobilize our Resistance and allies protest companies invested in Wyatt prison .

South Carolina prisoners appeal to UN for relief from torturous conditions.

Inmates create a Japanese garden inside the Oregon State Penitentiary.

Progressive prosecutor Chesa Boudin, the son of two incarcerated parents, scores major victory in San Francisco DA race.

Democrats win control of major suburban  Philadelphia county first time since Civil War.

Democrats flip GOP seat in St. Louis suburbs.

Democrats win full control of Virginia government, laving way for voting rights expansion.

Citing deep commitment to Medicare for All and Green New Deal, nation’s largest nurses union endorses Bernie Sanders for president.

In ground breaking ruling, U.S. must provide mental health services to separated families.

Julián Castro accompanies refugee to one routine ICE check=ins that can now result in deportation.

Bernie Sanders releases detailed immigration plan, including vow to break up ICE and Customs and Border Patrol.

Judge blocks administration’s onerous health care mandate for immigrants.

Asylum seekers get attorney access before return to Mexico.

Sanders and AOC unveil “Green New Deal for Public Housing.’

US Judge rules suspicionless searches of travelers electronic devices unconstitutional.
Local Mayors back movement for customer-owned PG&E.


   
Mother Nature does a ‘mic drop’ as Venice City Council Chamber floods minutes after members vote down climate crisis.

 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

IMPERILED JOURNALISM: THE SORRY STATE OF THE FOURTH ESTATE


Yet another journalist has been chained as the U.S. government attempts to silence his work. On the morning of October 25, a SWAT team surrounded Max Blumenthal’s house, threatened to arrest him, shackled him for 5 hours, and forbade him to contact his lawyers, effectively keeping from outside communication for over 24 hours, and eventually jailed him.

D.C. Venezuelan Embassy under siege

Originally, a warrant had been issued for his arrest in connection with his and other journalists’ coverage of the attempt by the US to take over the Venezuelan Washington embassy, an action strictly proscribed by international law, in connection with its clumsy coup attempt to elevate unknown Juan Guidó to the presidency and to effect “regime change” in Venezuela, a country among other Latin American countries which has embraced the Bolivarian Revolution.

Greyzone jounalist Max Blumenthal
At that time, Blumenthal had covered the actions of the Embassy Protection Collective, and the violent counter-reaction by Venezuelan  goons who harassed the Embassy Protector Collective day and night, and provoked violent and abusive action in the surrounding streets. But that warrant had been rescinded over 5 months ago. Suddenly it was reactivated, and the SWAT team appeared without any prior notification to him. Why?

Kevin Gosztola writing for Shadow Proof raises the interesting point that Blumenthal was arrested literally hours after The Grayzone published an article on USAID paying the salaries of Guaidó’s team as they lobbied the US government.
“I am firmly convinced that this case is part of a wider campaign of political persecution using the legal system to shut down our factual investigative journalism about the coup against Venezuela and the wider policy of economic warfare and regime change waged by the Trump administration,” Blumenthal stated.

Following the persecution of Kiriakou, Sterling, Chelsea Manning., Snowden, and Assange, Blumenthal’s arrest is the latest assault on individuals determined to practice true journalism in contrast to regularly salaried people in the employ of the stenographic media: state organs such as the New York Times, and the Guardian among others, who take dictation directly from governmental sources.

Sacred apes of disinformation

In more recent developments in the US-lapdog UK, which following US interests, is actively supporting the extradition of Assange to a lifetime imprisonment by the US, journalist Craig Murray in a recently published book, In Defense of Julian Assange, describes the recent procedural irregularities in Julian Assange’s recent extradition proceedings before Judge Vanessa Baraitser. I quote in detail because there is no link:

“I was deeply shaken…by Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded, and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing….But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both….It was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his trend of thought.
Julian Asssange Drugged?
“Until yesterday I had always been skeptical of those [claiming] his treatment amounted to torture. But…Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim…in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to asset free will thorough the fog of learned helplessness….

“To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable….

“The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan was logs, and the State Department cables….The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was…to detemine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. …

“James Lewis, QC, stated the government…opposed any delay being given for the defense, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraister stated categorically that the date…could not be changed.

“What happened next was very instructive. There were five representative of the US government present, seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

In summary, Murray reports, “Baraitser...capped it all by saying that the Feb. hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held (in 23/7 solitary]. There are only six seats for the public even in the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading.”

Overlooking and deliberately ignoring that, according to Stuart Littlewood writing in the Oct. 26 Morning Star, any “political charge” is strictly prohibited in extradition hearings, the UK court plans to proceed full steam ahead.

Despite the US media having fully exploited Assange’s courageous reporting, now he’s behind the eight ball, the media has turned its back, perfectly willing to comply with the “official story,” and hang him out to dry. Do not ever look to any established media for loyalty, let along feelings of solidarity. 

In Edward Snowden’s word, in a world of total surveillance, “the citizen is no longer partner to government, but subject to government.” In Snowden’s over two-hour- long interview by Joe Rogan, there is more than ample evidence of his mental clarity, ability to detail the most complex of issues, and none of the adolescent, smelly sneaker profile evident in the New Yorker’s recent hit piece, yet another example of the media deliberately vilifying true journalism, and readiness to criminalize dissent.

The book jacket copy for In Defense of Julian Assange makes the case that “It is critical now to build support for Assange and prevent his delivery into the hands of the Trump administration. That is the urgent purpose of this book. A wide range of distinguished contributors…here set out the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the importance of their work, and the dangers for us all in the persecution they face.”

A truism applying to all true journalists, including Max Blumenthal.

If Democracy is to be upheld, a free, ungagged press is the first requisite. A campaign must be mounted at once, a shaming campaign against all our compliant, complaisant, stenographic media. I have approached Medea Benjamin on this issue, and so far await a response.



Petition US AG Wm. Barr to dismiss charges against the anti-nuclear plowshares activists facing 25 years at:

PGE’s negligence has killed people, destroyed towns,  an d is the caretaker of the Humboldt Bay nuclear site. It’s time for the state of California to take over at:

Urge Congress to pass the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Energy Conservation Act at:

Help Florida fully restore voting eligibility for citizens returning from incarceration at:



Climate

Youth climate activists sit in, demanding Green New Deal from Canadian parliament. 27 arrested.

15 Canadian Youth sue government for failing to address climate change.

Offshore wind power said to be able to produce more electricity than world uses.

Foreign

Fed up: People take to street in all continents demanding humanized system.

Amid protestor pressure, Lebanese PM Saad Hariri resigns.

After 1 million flood street, Chile’s government announces serious changes.

President Alberto Fernandez of Argentina meets outgoing conservative Pres. Macri in election shifting Argentina’s economy to the Left.

Honduras opposition unites to oust ruling US-backed drug cartel.

Right rejected in Colombia, and Left leads in Uruguay’s second voting round. 

Resistance

After ballpark event, Chicagoans surround #45 event with booing, sound and fury.

Duke students protest Tzipi Livni speech, aware of her history as former minister accused of war crimes.

Free Press supports Facebook employees’ demands to stop spread of deceptive political ads.

Chicago teachers victorious as they reach deal with Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Government

Former NRCC chair and occasional Trump dissenter 19th House Republican to pass on re-election.

Trump student loan official resigns, says system is ‘broken,’ calls for cancelling all student debt.

Two leading economists point out Medicare for All would give workers biggest take home pay boost in a generation.

Trump administration walks back proposal to restrict protest as united coalition of grassroots groups stops regulations that would have made people pay for right to protest.

Court blocks North Carolina’s GOP House map in victory over the worst gerrymander in modern history.

Federal judge blocks Alabama’s near-total abortion ban.

Las Vegas Sheriff Lombardo pulls out of 287g program, ending collaboration with ICE deportation factory, and vows he’ll no longer detain people on ICE holds.

Nashville Sheriff ends ICE rent-a-bed agreement.

Twitter CEO says twitter to end paid political advertising. Vamos a ver.

D.C. Court of Appeals requires environmental review for implementation of 5G.

Rep. Ro Khanna calls for PG & E to become publicly owned.

Uighur bill marked up by the House Committee.

Democrats vote to formalize #45 impeachment inquiry, paving way for public hearings.


Former Republican congressman wonders how Congress can read an eight-page impeachment resolution in only two days.