Sunday, May 31, 2020

REBELLION OR PRESS/POLICE RIOT


This week, chaos has reigned over our cities. Black people are at the center of this most recent offense against all humanity. America, land of the free, has been the cradle of lynching of both black and brown people for decades. Those lynchings have sparked grief, terror, and rage, and, whereas in earlier decades lynching was exploited by specialized photographers who sold lynching postcards 3 for a quarter, times have changed in America as its demography has changed. Which is to say, the proportion of necks to knees has increased.

The best framing in all the noise comes from my 89-year-old colleague friend and lifetime activist:  In the long range, Lynchings a century ago affect black voting behavior today. Like you, like all my readers, we have been assailed by TV images, radio broadcasts, print media, the internet, all manipulative “news” sources focused on chaos and rage, most of them trying to frame these protests as riots. But let’s keep our eyes on the prize. If all the energy released by all the venting that now concentrates itself in our streets, suppose for a moment that all that energy were focused on guaranteeing the vote in the next election cycle.


 What would that have to look like?  What would be the strategy? How might that work be divided into the kind of bite-sized pieces that became manageable in a country where the vote has been repeatedly and thoroughly compromised by the prison slavery complex that deprives felons who’ve serve their time of their right to vote, of Republican owned voting machines with proprietary code that can easily be flipped, of gerrymandering, of caging, of vote purging, of the electoral college, of the Supremely (Corrupt) Court that gave us Citizens “United,” and George Bush?

As Harvey Wasserman, along with Greg Palast, and Bob Fitrakis, the nation’s voting mavens, point out, the answer is VOTING BY MAIL. Wasserman published an article to that issue: “20 Ways Vote by Mail Could Revolutionize Our Democracy and Save our Nation – If Election Protection Activists (like you) Make it Happen.”
Voting by mail depends on an existing, solvent Post Office (not a privatized, Trump-owned pony express); and it depends on the hard work of popular insistence on a scale of energy we are presently seeing pouring out in our streets.

Although much of what we see there is an authentic outpouring of grief and rage, please let’s be absolutely clear that reactionary forces have wasted no time coopting it to serve their own agenda. (At least one window smasher has been outed as an undercover cop.) Unfortunately, what I say here is no hyperbole. As one activist writes: “Is this part of a premeditated ‘CoIntelPro3’ fascist coup strategy, indicated by nationwide coordination of violent insurgency, using urban warfare tactics, crossing state lines, bringing guns and knives to demonstrations, and using them against police and security guards…to give pretext for mobilization of not only national guard, but insertion of federal armed forces? ICE using its drone for surveillance is indicative of their testing what they can get away with.

 

America has made sure to asphyxiate any Left it might have enjoyed. It has made sure to garrot a robust trade union movement.  Last time I looked, only one newspaper still listed a labor correspondent in its ranks. There are no accepted channels into which we can siphon our Will Toward Democracy. It means every time we experience a popular movement, we are thrown back on re-inventing the wheel.  But there are guidelines based on tough historical analysis how to go about re-invigorating American Democracy.  “How to Take on Fascism without Getting Played” is one of them.

ACTION





Listen to blackouted Sanders statement.


ROSES

NYC bus drivers union refuses to transport protesters for NYPD.

Minneapolis Metro Transit union driers refuse to transport George Floyd protesters to jail.

Detroit car caravan support workers and fights U.S. Postal Service privatization.

NOLA garbage workers form union to fight back.

UN human rights chief demands U.S. take serious action to stop killing unarmed African-Americans.

ACLU calls out U.S. Border Patrol as ‘rogue agency’ for using predator drone to spy on Minneapolis protesters.

In voting rights victory, court rules Florida pay-to-vote system unconstitrutional.

Louisville releases 911 call in Breonna Taylor shooting; backs up her boyfriend’s claim against cops.

Here we go again: Federal Court Restore voting rights to hundreds of thoussands of Florida prisoners.

Standing Rock Sioux announce that the  mayoral candidacy of Native American Hoksila White Mountain in town of McLaughlin, has been reinstate after City Hall blocked it.

Twitter blocks White House tweet for ‘glorifying violence.’

In latest legal blow to Trump and dirty energy, federal appeals court upholds block on Keystone XL Pipeline.

COVID-19 sparks rebirth of local farm movement.

Agrarian Trust announces new model for community-owned farmland.

Supremes reject California Pentacostal church challenge to shutdown order.

Judge orders Social Security to pay survivors benefits to previous disqualified gay couples.

Huge rose: Spain to offer families minimum monthly income.

Scientist say burning trees for biofuel is a false climate solution.

Baton Rouge inmates sue for release due to COVID-19 potential death sentence.

ACLU sues tech firm, Clearview AI, to halt “unlawful privacy-destroying; facial recognition activities.

ACLU sues FDA over abortion care restrictions in midst of COVID-19.

Ethic complain files to force Trump COVID-19 vaccine czar, Moncef Slaoui, a former Pharma exec, to submit to ethics rules.

Bridging democratic divide, Biden bids Ocasio-Cortez and Kerry to lead his climate task force.

Purged watchdog, Christi Grimm, who found ‘severe’ medical supply shortages persists with 14 ongoing investigations.

Co-operative Corporation of.org  Registrants announces plan to democratize large parts of internet.

AOC launches Apartheid Off Campus.

Smithfield sued for misleading consumers with false claims of superior safety.

Working class Party of Maryland gathers 14,00 signature to put a Working Class Party on Md. ballot.

Sanders (media want you to forget that name) condemns lack of price control on tax-payer funded Remdesivir.

Black people are prepared for this moment with a long history of mutual aid.

Huichol Center for Cultural Survival feeds the hungry through a program of permaculture and offers the Wixárita people training and employment.

 

Kremlin-owned unnamed company provides firewall for Venezuela against U.S. sanctions.

As COVID-19 takes its toll, frontline workers turn to socialism.

Colombian social leaders protest for access to healthcare and food.

Minnesota tenant buy properties from negligent landlord who tried evicting them.

Hundreds of medical professionals and group urge COVID-19 stimulus must be prescriptions for #healthyrecovery.

Congress urged to bock U.S. arms sales to Philippines citing dual threats of Duterte and COVID-19.

Two hundred teachers and activists urge Biden to go bold on public education, demanding end to failed billionaire-backed policies.

Anti-fascist group won’t back down despite being targeted for murder by far right.

Lake of Ozarks partygoers told to isolate for 2 week after breaking social distancing guidelines.

OMG: Tennessee’s secret to plentiful coronavirus testing: pick up the tab.

We are the ones: Hawaii considers an explicitly feminist plan for COVID-19 era economic recovery.

Philadelphia car caravan targets Juvenile Justice Services Canter to “free our youth.’

Scientists find way of restoring dying coral reefs.

Gig workers collective organizes nationwide strikes.

Fords shuts down two assembly lines after workers refuse return to work after COD-19 cases break out.

Mutual aid in public housing continues after Baltimore housing authority  pushback.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

WHY BAILOUT THE POLLUTERS WHEN YOU CAN BAIL OUT THE PLANET?


(The newsletter has a different look this week.  Here’s why:)

Of course our leaders want to “re-start” the economy.  As fast as possible please, and damn the torpedoes and all those death statistics. It’s back to work or starve. Because they want to obscure as fast as possible and as much as possible the marvelous changes such as clear skies and the end of oil COVID has wrought. And they’re hoping we won‘t notice. They don’t want to risk giving us any more time to contemplate what We the People might see while we observe social distancing and twiddle our thumbs:

We might see that it’s the most poorly paid workers, many of them immigrants, who are the ones really underpinning the essential economy.

We might see children, claiming they would prefer never eating meat again, advocating for parents working at Smithfield being forced back to work without proper protection.

We might realize that healthcare, specifically Medicare for all, not tied to wage earning is a non-negotiable demand.

We might notice that the guaranteed minimum wage could have the power to restore dignity to the enslaved and hopeless.

We might see the potential in towns and even businesses printing their own currencies.

We might come to see that HR 6666 (aptly numbered?) might lead to a totalitarian state.

We might notice that 29 House Democrats are demanding cuts to the Pentagon budget in favor of budgeting more for virus testing;


We might realize that criminalizing the giving of free food to those in need is no alternative to mutual aid.

We might consider taking up bike riding as both recreation  and a valuable means of transport;

We might begin to realize that by decommodifying work, it might democratize the workplace;


We might notice that sparing degradation to the environment by repairing and reusing gadgets and used tech has made a comeback.

We might appreciate car-free roadways with amble room for pedestrian social distancing;

We might notice all the extraordinary happenings world-wide reported by  Avaaz:

            A 100-year-old Britton walking back and forth in his own garden to raise 32 million  pounds to support the UK health scheme;

            Portugal extending full citizenship to refugees and migrants, guaranteeing them access to free healthcare, welfare benefits, bank accounts, and rental contracts;

            Neighbors in Naples leaving solidarity basket on street corners reading: “put ii in if you can, take it out if you need;

            A Syrian refugee volunteering to work as a hospital cleaner, joining 750,000 other Britons volunteering;

            More than 200 Cuban doctors on their way to South Africa leaving their families behind to risk their lives fighting the virus;

            Or thousands of researchers across the entire globe collaborating to identify an  effective vaccine against the virus;

            Or Avaaz volunteers sending the Maasai of Nashulai in Kenya funding for food, health and sanitation in response to their urgent cry;

            Or formerly enemy rival gangs in Cape Town agreeing to a truce in order to bring food to struggling households;

            Or nurses world-over passing out from exhaustion, risking their own lives to nurse others;

            Or restaurants, like the one in Bangalore, feeding more than 10,000 vulnerable people every day;


We might begin to realize that, with a disproportionate number of  black folks falling victim to the virus, their vulnerability more than ever makes the case for reparations;

We might get it at last that prisons and detention centers are no way to treat people, or “rehabilitate” them.

We might notice that megacorporations like Coca-Cola, Carlsberg beer, Danone yogurt  announced they’d be switching to plant-based materials manufactured by Avantium, for biodegradable bottling, bypassing fossil fuels entirely, and avoiding environmental degradation.

We might realize that the world-wide lockdown is providing a huge break for nature:
            Clear skies,
            Crystal-clear water,  
            Unterrified, emboldened birds, animals, and even cetaceans.
            Improved air quality.
            Slowing of arctic melt.
            Repair of the ozone layer,
            Cooler temperatures.

We might come to realize that left to itself, nature can repair itself in less than three months! something that what no human interventions, national governments, or world-wide bodies could accomplish, let alone address, in decades.


Will we “get it” in time? And can the military, the corporations, the elites, and governments worldwide, change their business-as-usual ways as already We the People are learning to do?

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

TAKING STOCK, STOCKING UP


This week for the first time, one of the internet newsletters I read regularly brought up population control with this headline: #45 Nazification of the GOP is why there’s serious discussion of killing off the ‘unfit.’ I consider this a significant event because it’s the first time I read such a headline on a relatively trusted, mainstream internet site. But by no means is it a subject that has not appeared elsewhere, and particularly in the context of the pandemic now upon us, which, in a number of ways, reminds me of 9/11 in that it raises the uneasy question: did “they” know and let it happen because it fit the Project for the New American Century agenda (no link: it’s been scrubbed from the internet), or did “they” take an active part in making it happen?  (or a little of both).

Propagandized TP caddy
The American public is being relentlessly propagandized by the media to imagine that China did it. China is being groomed by the current government as the new and convenient enemy because American tradition just can’t seem to kick its waraholism.  That this corona virus may have been bioengineered or not, although two authorites, Francis Boyle, an American human rights lawyer and drafter of the Bioweapons Act and Dr. Luc Montagnier, sequencer of the AIDs virus (along with Dr. Gallo) give reasons why they think it has been, the question deflects a more important one.


The even bigger picture has to do with Agenda ID2020 brought to you last year at Davos by the rich and infamous who pull the global strings. For the stalwart of heart, read about The Big Roll here. And for an article putting the longer view in deeper perspective go here.

Meantime, the reported U.S. mortality rate continues to climb, U.S. federal, and state prisons, local jails, and ICE continue to keep incarcerated people under lock and key, denying them masks, soap. social distancing, etc. and ICE continues a policy of deportations to Central America in particular, insuring the spread of disease south of the border. And although frequent hand washing with soap ranks high in preventive hygiene, nationwide many local communities (not just Flint) including homeless communities lack clean water.

So-called “essential” workers continue not to receive hazard pay, to be denied hygienic protection, fired for speaking up, and generally viewed as expendable. Begging the question: if they are so essential why are they expendable? and if they are so expendable, what makes them especially essential? Why are doctors performing unapproved procedures being threatened with prison when some of these procedures address emergency conditions? And why are hospitals being paid to inflate mortality numbers? And who is paying them ?
To allege that response to this pandemic continues to be toweringly mismanaged by the United States is an understatement.  Does such apparent bungling support an ID2020 agenda?  Although that assumption might be ascribing entirely too much intelligence to this particular government, to the elites of Davos, the Rich and Infamous, population control, and economic and monetary manipulation is entirely thinkable. And, more to the point, it’s plannable. And that perhaps is where archetypic Evil rears its head.


Two problems bedevil most Americans. They seem incapable of imagining, let alone actively confronting the purely Criminal. Evil is a term so frequently used it seems to have lost all meaning.  Its proper place is on the level of philosophical discourse, particularly in the context of Ethics, and it implies that nothing can be done about it. When they debase the word Evil, what most people mean is Criminal, because they are talking (or writing) on the level of Civics and they are evading responsibility. Civics is the theater where action becomes possible.


The second problem most Americans might want to confront is their Romance With Toilet paper. I monitor my local neighborhood (some 17,000 households) on “Nextdoor.” When the pandemic began to break, the site carried hundreds of frantic posts about America’s Big Romance: Where was it?  Who had it? Where was it to be found? I myself entered a grocery not too long ago to see one shelf labeled “only one to a customer”—and the shelf was bare. I began to suspect that when push came to shove most Americans were scared shitless of taking action.

As a National Shibboleth toilet paper deeply troubled my sense of priorities. I began to imagine TP might substitute for Liberty’s torch. That’s where a bit of foreign travel could act as a Cultural Correction. Many cultures do not use toilet paper. Cultures as disparate as those of North Africa, or Cuba which use water spigots. Or Japan which makes use of unabashed fanny shpritzers. Or Europe which once used newspaper. (The Big Advantage there was that you couldn’t read any headlines imprinted where the sun never shines.)




What would their Great Country look like, I wondered, if Americans went cold turkey on their Big Romance? This may appear not to be such a trivial question after all. In the March/April 2020 issue of Sierra Magazine, on page 40, “Slash & Burn” describes how across the West the Bureau of Land Mismanagement is clearing vast swaths of piñon and juniper forests. Deliberately destroying the lungs that let the planet breathe. The article quotes Chief Johnny Bobb of the Western Shoshone (full disclosure, I am friends with the Chief). Chief Johnny goes on walkabout over the vast Shoshone reserve. He walks to commemorate the disappeared of his people.  He is quoted: “One day you go out, and the forest is gone.  It’s just gone.”


How must that feel?  How must that shatter the soul of a people whose landscape this once was? But is it as the magazine alleges to make room for cows and the meat industry which is one of the great harms to the planet?

Or is it to make toilet paper?

There are better ways. Imagine if 331,000,000 Americans stopped using toilet paper? Whatever was wrong with a simple washcloth, and soap and water. You’d come up smelling roses like never before.




Sign to prevent pony express mail at

Frontline workers deserve protection at

Unplug water shut offs at

Support closure of Indian Point nuke and transition to 100% renewables at 

Your signature: tell DNC Chair Tom Perez to strip N. Y. State of its convention delegates unless they reinstate the Democratic presidential primary slated to occur later this year at



Shi Zengli provides proof SARS COV-2 was not an accidental release from Wuhan lab.

Lebanese protests return to streets

Virus effectively eliminated in New Zealand following comprehensive approach of Jacinda Ardern’s government.

In Chile teachers reject resuming school year over COVID.

In Brazil’s Javari Valley, evangelist missionaries barred from uncontacted tribes’ land.

Residents in Choloma Honduras, a sweatshop center for U.S. brands, blocked the highway setting fire to tires.

In UK, Oxford University passes resolution banning investment in fossil fuels.

In Cuba policy of not denying anyone assistance during COVID.

Communist Indian State of Kerala shows working class power fighting COVID.

Two weeks after Nova Scotia massacre, Canada bans assault weapons.

Saudi government announces end of flogging and execution of minors forms of punishment.

N. Y. Indian Point Reactor 2 shuts down April 30.

Unit 1 nuclear reactor vessel leaves San Onofre.

Oil market plunge to O a barrel indicative no one is consuming energy at former rates.

Developers put Ohio plastics plant on indefinite hold citing pandemic.

In huge internet win, ICANN announces sale to a private equity firm
of the .org domain has been blocked.

FCC ordered to release data from fake net neutrality comments.

American University announces full financial divestment from fossil fuel stocks.

New Cascadilla solar farm powers 20% Cornell U’s annual electricity usage.

Two Pennsylvania colleges hit carbon neutrality goals.

In big PSR win, lawsuit overturns EPA limit on scientific Advisory boards.

Judge Terry Halter orders ICE to begin releasing detainees at California’s Adelanto detention center.

U.S. Judge Dolly Gee rules administration has been violating decades-long court agreements that would  release kids from ICE detention in family jails all across U.S.

Judge orders ICE detainee release from Florida facilities.

Federal judge recommends release of 13 Louisiana ICE detainees amid pandemic.

Strange bedfellows: ICE facility with worst outbreak among detainees hit with another lawsuit, this time from guards.

Democratic primary Ohio voters give boot to sheriff who collaborated with ICE agents.

Doctors demonstrate support for targeted health department director.

Some 400 doctors and 900 health workers sign open letter to administration urging extreme caution rolling out by Proximus of 5 G.

Scientists announce effective COVID treatment drug, experimental remdesivir.

Bernie’s army redeploys to support frontline COVID frontline workers.

As millions striped of healthcare coverage resulting from COVID, House Dems unveil bill for emergency expansion of Medicare and Medicaid.

DeVos sued for garnishing wages during pandemic of nearly 300,000 student loan borrowers.

As COVID shoots US unemployment to great Depression levels, Europe’s worker safety net stems massive layoffs.

Philly unions call for citywide essential worker bill of rights.

Nearly a quarter of businesses requiring employees be on site such as hospitals and grocers are offering extra pay.

Imokalee workers win major COVID victories in Florida.

Undocumented essential workers lead car protests in 9 cities.

On May Day, hardcore anti-Trump leftists along with flag waving patriots occupy N.Y. C. City Hall Park.

Defying #45 order, Nebraska meatpackers strike.

Amazon, Walmart, FedEx workers strike on May Day.

Tech workers join Amazon workers in warehouse protests.

Citing ‘vein of toxicity’ and firing of whistleblowers, Amazon VP resigns in disgust.

“Protect Amazon workers” mural painted outside CEO Bezos’ Home.

Hundreds of tenants, unhoused residents, workers  and families join forces  may Day demanding local, state, and federal representatives use their power to cancel rent, mortgage and utility payments.

Nursing home workers authorize May 8 strike at 40 facilities.

April 25 sees national day of car rent strike protests in 40 cities.

Oregon governor thanks sister province of Fujian China for 50,000 mask donation.

Maine’s darling Susan Collins sinks 4 points under Sara Gideon’s onslaught.

Races in Colorado and New Hampshire have tilted towards Democrat victories.

Clean air over Los Angeles and Berkeley reminds us what blue sky looks like when cars keep off the road.

Native American Alaska tribes win lawsuit laying sole claim to COVID relief money.

Five major banks refuse to fund Arctic Refuge oil drilling.

Under pressure, JP Morgan Chase demotes former Exxon CEO.

Apalachian collective launches it own green stimulus.

Monuments removed as Southern states continue honoring Confederate holidays.

With world on lockdown, 5.5% emissions reduction in carbon dioxide emissions largest yearly change on record.

In environmentally just move, N.Y.C. will open 100 miles of street to pedestrian traffic as social distancing enters warmer months.

Growing COVID cases in Wisconsin fuel national demands for vote-by-mail.

Bayer shareholder meeting draws protests, and pleas from cancer patients who want Bayer to make amends for the crimes of Monsanto which Bayer bought two years ago.



Senator Feinstein (who dumped stock pre-Covid) responding to your message:

Dear Miss Pineda,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the financial holdings of Members of Congress… and I welcome the responsibility to respond….Like you, I strongly oppose insider trading etc. etc. etc.

Israel may ask for double its usual $3.8 billion from the U.S. this year.

Effective in reopening the economy: Bleach Waterboarding brought to you by Dick Cheney and President Ubu.