Friday, November 20, 2020

Taxidermy and Why it Won 't Work

This week, rather than focusing on the Blue caravan consisting of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and other white supremacist groups  riding into D.C. to defend their hero, I prefer to focus on the largest group of American voters, 3 million more than cast their votes for Biden, and 8 million more than cast their votes for #45, the 80 million out of a total of 238 million American voters who did not vote. They are the largest percentage of the electorate, 33 1/3 % to be exact. Who are these people? It helps to understand that they tend to fall into one of three categories: those who can’t vote because they are either undocumented, or incarcerated, or paroled; and those discouraged from voting because of impediments like strict ID laws or lack of a street address; and those so disaffected by US politics they no longer care to vote—if they ever did. 


For obvious reasons, trying to determine how many undocumented people could not vote is speculative at best. That number ranges from 10.5 million to 12 million or 3.2% to 3.5% of the total population. Incarcerated people .7% of the population, cannot vote. That equals 2,310.371 people, some of them simply held while awaiting trial, the highest percentage of incarcerated people in the world. Additionally twenty-seven states still deny the franchise to felony probationers (fortunately the trend is slowly changing to restore the vote to people who have served their time) such that 5.2 million ex-felons cannot vote. These two groups, undocumented immigrants and incarcerated people and ex-felons account for a total of plus/or/minus 17,220,000  million.  


If we exclude these two groups, that still leaves 62,780,000 non-voters some of whom, for a spectrum of reasons, have been discouraged from voting. For some of these, strict voter ID laws cause a number of black, Hispanic, Native American, elderly, transgender, and poor voters to fall between the cracks. Pressure for strict ID laws comes mostly from the GOP (for the obvious reason that in all probability most of this group is thought to vote Democrat) but the laws are in a constant state of flux, and the number is hard to determine. 


For other folks, many without a permanent street address, voting was impossible. (For example, one year ago as I drove north through the length of Kern County, California I encountered not one human being aside from the clerks behind convenience store counters in the gas stations we patronized. I discovered where many of Kern County’s people now reside: the railroad right of way between Fresno and Hanford, a distance of 34 miles, is lined with tent cities.) How many tent dwellers, evicted either by landlords, or mortgage default and other folks without permanent street addresses exist at present in the US?  As the Depression worsens, the number mounts. Clearly the Office of Government Statistics has not busied itself tallying their number. According to the August 6, 2020 edition of the Washington Post, #45 called for another eviction moratorium, but push back by landlords did not help re-elect him.  It’s safe to say, however, that even with a burning desire to vote, voter ID impediments, including not having a permanent address, might very well have offered this group of voters some discouragement. Was such desire present in non-tent-dwelling non-voters? Apparently not. And if not, why not? 


Elephant in the Room those, comfortable and otherwise, who did not care to vote

For Biden, politics-as-before (“nothing will change”) shuns taking into account any of the many aspects of voter disillusion. A cursory look at his transitional team and at the appointment A list tells the story. Rahm Emanuel (“Liberals are fucking retards”) is now a Biden adviser, and in line for a cabinet post. Of the 23 who comprise the Biden Defense Department transition  team, 8 are working for think tanks financed by all the preeminent defense contractors, the same folks who set Bush’s and Obamas war policies. Cecilia Muñoz, who defended family separation under Obama has joined the transition team.  A flood of war mongering neocons are flocking to Biden, foreign policy hawks like Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Michele Flournoy. It’s important to remember that so far, the Middle East wars they aided and abetted have cost the American taxpayer $5 trillion, and to speculate how many homeless people, and how many food insecure people that $5 trillion might have helped, or how much PPE some of that $5 trillion could have provided to insure the safety of  essential medical personnel as they battle a pandemic. Richard Stengel who has restrictive views of freedom of speech. is likely to head the US Agency for Global Media. Not only does the team consist of the greatest amalgam of multi millionaires ever assembled, but in the words of independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone, Biden “will have the most diverse, intersectional cabinet of mass murderers ever assembled.” And on Nov. 14, Fox News reported that Hillary Clinton, the Scourge of Libya, is under consideration as Biden’s ambassador to the UN.  


A Biden who stiffs the UN with a stuffed has-been like Hillary Clinton, and draws on a bunch of sclerotic neocons may very well be hitting the summit of the taxidermist’s art. But taxidermy never brought change about. It may very well be that, despite a boobytrapped two-party system, change, if it ever comes about, will prompt at least some part of that 33 1/3 percent of non-voting voters to declare itself. But, according to Information Clearing House, “the demographics of the recent election show no  sign of a permanent majority for Democrats.”


Without a Herculean effort on the part of a newly-galvanized post card and letter writing public joining old-time activists nationwide, and popular recognition that the US needs a New Constitution, one free of the embedded mandates for slavery, don’t bet on either happening any time soon.




URGE Biden to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.


LISTEN as AOC calmly excoriates an absent Senate.


DEMAND Biden make family reunification a top priority.


INSIST Barrett recuse herself from all Election-related cases.


DEMAND Senate not confirm any more corporate lobbyists.


URGE Biden to put people before banks and corporations.


DONATE to Justice Democrats & Rashida Tlaib




The Elders, founded by Mandela, warn baseless accusations of voter fraud by #45 endanger democracy worldwide.


UN panel votes 163-5 in support of Palestinian statehood, end of occupation. US opposes.


World’s public banks gather at first-ever summit.


Bolivia President Arce approves bonus against hunger. If Bolivia can, why can’t we?


Bolivian prosecutor’s office orders arrest of former ministers.


Peruvians stage massive protests against legislative coup that ousted President Martin Vizcarra,


Brazilian municipal elections show gains for Left.


Dutch foreign minister seeks EU arms embargo on Turkey.


India, China close in on plan  to end months of border standoff.


In victory of China over US hegemony in Asia, 15 Asian states sign huge new trade deal.


Climate on agenda in first Russia visit by  UK minister since 2017.


World pushes ahead with climate action as US remains in limbo.


Scotland may look at serious and  long-standing concerns about #45’s business activities.


EU slams Israel plans to construct new settler units in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.


UK  troops to b e withdrawn from Afghanistan by Xmas as staying without US untenable.


European Court upholds right to boycott Israel.

Nova Scotia  First Nation to launch lawsuits against non-indigenous fishers. for damages.


Tribes, Dem governors, and Klamath dam owner announce salmon restoration plan.


Manchester students revolt aster university demands they pay rents that 74% cannot afford.


Manchester lecturers show solidarity with students following racial profiling.


Okinawa protesters keep up years-long blockade of construction dump trucks at US airbase construction site in defiance of Japanese government .  


Amnesty warns US of culpability in rising Yemen civilian  death toll if drone sale to UAE inked.


US invasion forces convoy leaves illegal bases in Syrian territory to Iraq.


After 4 years of hiding behind #45, populist Polish and Hungarian leaders suddenly exposed.


New feminist peace initiative releases movement-driven foreign policy framework.


About time: Longtime union  members Pocan and Norcross announce labor caucus to advocate for workers in Congress.


Pocan leads 40 Dems demanding condemnation of Israeli demolitions.


AOC demands #45 non-payment of taxes be investigated.


Don’t hold your breath department:  urges  to reject Ernest Moniz and choose climate champions for cabinet.


150 high-level government expert issue Climate 21 Projet Report urging  Biden-Harris a running climate start.


Public Citizen delivers robust transition agenda demands to Biden.


Indigenous and progressive activists and lawmakers plan rally at DNC to push Biden in greener direction.


Citing her ties to agribusiness and fossil fuels, 160 groups tell Biden Heitkamp is wrong choice for USD.


Social Security defenders tell Biden to keep austerity-obsessed Bruce Reed far away from White House.


Michigan governor moves to shut down Line 5 Pipeline to protect Great Lakes.


Refusing to be bullied, Michigan governor rebukes #45 aid’s call for uprising over COVID measures.


Nearly four dozen faith institutions announce divestment from fossil fuels.


Chevron Phillips publishes climate report in response to investor concerns.


Legal protest blasts plan for 430 square miles of fracking leases in Wyoming.


With irrevocable justice on line, Dem lawmakers demand #45 administration put brakes on killing spree.


Federal judge rules acting DHS head Chad Wolf unlawfully appointed, invalidates DACA suspension.


Federal Court rejects latest #45 attack on DACA in Batalia Vidal v Wolf case.


Judge blocks #45 administration policy using pandemic as excuse to kick out asylum seeking children.


N.J. releases over 2 thousand incarcerated workers to help stop the pandemic spread, the largest single-day release in U.S. history.


In 58-day-long vigil, members of Decarcerate Now, NC, gather outside exec mansion demanding Gov. Cooper use his powers of pardon to protest incarcerated during pandemic.


Hunger enters third week at California’s largest prison.


California ‘bans the box’ protecting formerly incarcerated people in the college admissions process.


After defund police victory, Portland keeps marching.


Mi’kmaq First Nations coalition takes control of major seafood company.


Oregon City Voters recall mayor for downplaying police brutality against black people.


With COVID surging,, school superintendent in Tippecanoe County Ind. suspends in-person education. 


Philly crocodile city council apologizes for deadly 1985 Move bombing.


Abby Martin sues State of Georgia over Israel Loyalty Oath mandate.


Proudly BDS: Jewish-led groups condemn Pompeo for declaring boycott-divestment movement anti-Semitic.


Two Muslim women derive NYPD to change its practice of forcefully removing the hijab.


Student action spurs student vote to help turn Georgia blue and defeat #45.


As #45 seeks to shred food inspection riles, advocacy group endorses Rep. Marcia Fudge for Secy of Agriculture.


Bloomington, MN unhoused community forms tenants union.


A homeless camp in Rapid City, SD shut down by  police moves to trust land outside town where indigenous people return to living traditionally.


UAW workers at Johnson Controls go on trike, warning the company they may lose all their workers’ experience.


Biden solidifies AZ victory as election officials counter #45 fraud lies in joint declaration.


Biden signals flexibility on North Korea.


Lindsay Graham under fire for allegations he urged legal ballots be tossed in Georgia.


Following Berkeley, CA arrest of 5 G protester, city vows no more new permits for small cells will be issued.


S.F.’s only Nigerian restaurant uses free food to support police violence activism.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

This Week’s Roses

Dear Readers,


I never thought I would ever use these words as a headline. But this week, as I scarfed down a tardy breakfast, all the whoohooing in the street, and the banging of pots and pans signaled to me that the genocidal nightmare of the past 4 years had come to a close. But before I dwell on the good news, I hope to remind my readers that 69 million of the electorate felt just fine to re-elect  a president whose bullying, lies, and racial divisions were just fine regardless of whether they resulted in deportation, voter suppression, and shootings provided they targeted others less white and privileged, those of the poor, brown, black and marginalized communities not their own.  Journalists are quick to pontificate exactly why that is, and here’s my own theory: White women supported #45 because their minds have been colonized by images of the perfect. big-boobed, blond Barbie woman at great and suicidal cost to themselves.


The demographics tell the story: 42% of the most economically disadvantaged voted for #45, whereas 54% of those in the $100,000+ income bracket supported #45; 35% of those in the 18-29 age group voted for #45, whereas 51% of those 65 and older upheld #45 and all his works. I hope to remind us that those 69 million will not simply vanish into thin air, and that we would do well to get to the root of their perceptions and disgruntlements.


And now to get to the good news: Democrats have much to learn from this election, especially that most candidates endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America .sailed through. Compared to the rather tepid response to the Biden-Harris ticket, of 29 DSA-endorsed candidates and 11 ballot measures, respectively 21 and 8 won. The “Squad” added two members: Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.) and Cori Bush (MO). Tlaib massively increased voter turnout in Michigan, helping to hand Biden victory; Colorado socialists worked hand in hand with the ACLU to win a ballot measure guaranteeing no eviction without representation; and socialists partnered with AFSCME and SEIU unions to pass pre-school for all in Oregon. Both Florida and Portland, ME ballot initiatives passed $15 minimum wage benefits.


To win, it pays to offer a programme such as Medicare for All, and a Green New Deal rather than simply being against something. It attracts voters as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out.


But much work remains: Voting must be standardized throughout the nation, proprietary machine voting must be replaced by traceable paper ballots and the electoral college needs to be abolished.



Citizens United must be overturned, as well as the “personhood” of corporations. State Banks must be established throughout the nation to break the back of Wall Street and the perpetual wars it backs almost from the beginning of US history; our kids must be offered a rigorous education based on inquiry and learning and not indoctrination.  The homeless must be housed (1000 homeless died this year in LA while 93,000 homes stood empty.) The trend militarizing municipal police must be reversed, and immigration policy and incarceration must be entirely re-examined; and most of all, both the inequality and the racism that have plagued this nation from its Constitutional inception must be laid to rest. 



And right now the fight’s still on in Georgia where a chance remains for Dems to take the Senate back. An electorate that can, through its massive post card writing, and texting of uncertain voters turn out the greatest number of voters ever to have elected an American president is capable of accomplishing the impossible.


Note: After some many years without, one of these days, this writer hopes to take a vacation leading to possible news interruption in coming days.




DONATE NOW to elect Warnock and Ossoff to defang McConnell and

take back the Senate.


READ lame duck threats.


WATCH for fun and schadenfreude.


RECUSAL for Barrett from any and all 2020 election cases.


UPHOLD right of peaceful protest.


READ let’s not count too many chickens before they return home to roost.


Rival Libya factions agree to implement ceasefire.


Palestinian and outside activists issue call for participation in campaign commemorating 103 anniversary of Balfour Declaration.


Palestinian Maher al-Akhras wins freedom after 103 day hunger strike.


Five subcontinent recycling concerns turn trash into gold by paying recycler for their waste.


After huge struggle Nicaraguan women’s coop rids community of machismo and sets high value for women’s work.


With $340 million coming due, Deutsche Bank could seize #45 assets of he defaults.


Amnesty slams #45 for condoning  violence and intimidation as #45 praises a Texas mob for harassing Biden campaign bus.


Thunberg reminds US voters their choice will affect countless generations to come.


Socialists mobilize nationwide demanding democracy.


People’s mandate in Minneapolis Invite protesters for a national day of protest demanding election remain untampered with across the US.


RE-elected by campaigning on Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, and Jobs Guarantee, Squad adds two members


Calling Biden win step one, Sanders reminds that US must not return to ‘business as usual.’


Secret Service increases Biden protection.


Supremes side with BLM activist sued by police officers


Resurged mvment against police brutality, while supremacy and state violence continues to ignite public discourse around racism and need to organize.


Innocent Black mom beaten by Philly cops, whose baby was kidnapped by them, files lawsuit.


If Philly’s police ballot measures pass, a new oversight commission could bring more accountability. Maybe.


As #45 spouts last-minute lies, top PA officials make clear that election doesn’t end till all votes are counted.


Judge blocks #45 policy allowing officials to deny residency to immigrants who might use public funds (public charge immigration policy).


Federal district judge grants injunction prohibiting private mercenary contractor from hiring and deploying  para-military to MN polling sites.


Federal judge orders sweeps of USPS facilities, and rushed delivery of mail-in votes.


FBI investigates robocalls in Flint MI to suppress turnout.


Protesters in Washington, LA, Raleigh and Portland take to streets.


500+ demonstrations planned to protect election results.


Migrant Justice settles federal lawsuit on CE retaliation.


FBI raids neo-Nazi camp in MI.


Teacher’s viral arrest helps stop evictions.


Michigan girl who avoided homework, now out of jail and back in school.


Federal Texas judge rejects GOP attempt to toss 127K drive-in votes.


Native American voters lacking a residential street address will allowed to vote marking their residence on a map.


Missing and murdered indigenous women and girls committee releases final report in AZ.


Affordable housing developers set sights n former toxic oil fields.

Jill Stein wins 4-year battle to inspect the source codes in proprietary WI voting machines.


Philly DA says folks dressing up like GI Joe to intimidate voters will be prosecuted.


After a pepper spraying by cops, relentless NC poll marchers vow to return Election Day.


Sanders joins other progressive on election eve for final get-out-the-vote rally.


Oregon just votes to decriminalize all drugs.


Marijuana legalization measures pass in 4 states.


Despite Collin’s victory, Naral pro-choice US celebrates Rep. Jared Golden’s victory in ME 2nd congressional district.


First in a million: Green New Deal champion Chloe Maxim explains her unseating of powerful GOP incumbent in ME: “I mostly listen.”


Dems flip MI supreme court.


Federal court rules against PDA approval of Genetically engineered salmon.


California division  of OSHA levies fines on two Amazon warehouses with more to come for failing to adequately protect its warehouse workers.


Teachers in Toronto walk out after COVID outbreak.

Sunday, November 1, 2020



Unlawful sexual activity which targets both men and women involving penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person's will.


I have always contended that rape is the overcoming of a weaker person by a stronger person or persons with intent to do psychic and bodily harm, but that it need not be sexual. That became apparent to me at the hands of adults in very early childhood. Rape attacks the bodily integrity of someone’s personhood by penetrating its physical boundaries. Even more damaging: it attacks the psychic integrity of one’s personhood.  Rape’s classic definition is based on pre-historic concepts of patriarchy and hierarchy. Clearly, its definition has been written by men, not women. The psychic injury is every bit as damaging as the physical component.


When Walter Wallace’s family called for help for their mentally challenged son, instead of an ambulance arriving, Philadelphia police officers arrived. Said Wallace’s mother: “They stood there and laughed at us.”


That is a rape.  It is a example of the strong lording it over the weak.


A recent police action against peaceful protesters was characterized by cops stripping a woman down to her underwear. We have witnessed police wantonly murdering time after time,  can rape be far behind?


Gang rape of the American people


When McConnell, the Grifter-in-Chief’s sycophant,  rammed through the nomination process of Amy Barrett and all Senate Republicans complied, that represented a gang rape of the American people. When Barrett was sworn in the same night, it raped every single American citizen who valued their First Amendment Right of free speech, who valued fairness, who imagined we still might live in a civilized system. It took away all we held dear, it smashed the last shreds of any quality of life that gave meaning to our days. It left us with a destroyed country, hamstrung for the many years Amy Barrett is expected to preside until death or retirement. In the balance are Roe vs. Wade, the ruling that lifted women’s place as mere vessels in a country that obsesses about the fetus, but demonstrates every intention of abandoning children and their needs. At risk are all our civil rights laws, and any pretense of correcting a deeply flawed and inconsistent voting system which fails utterly to represent all the American people fairly and equally; at risk are all the original safety net provisions that characterized the New Deal, including social security and the meagerest subsidies left for the arts, never ever an American priority.


What to do after a gang rape


For the past year, the people of Chile have been in the streets, protesting with their pots and pans, a practice referred to as a casserolaso, insisting on a new constitution, one no longer reflective of the Pinochet dictatorship that (with CIA help on 9/11/73) murdered the first Chilean socialist president, Salvador Allende, and tortured and tossed non compliant dissidents live from airplanes into Pacific waters.


After a year of vigorous protest, their Oct. 25 plebiscite  where 7.5 million Chileans voted, yielded a 78% yes vote, and 79% voted that the new constitution must be drawn up by a body chosen by vote of the people, not the Chilean Congress.  


Chilean trade unions played a decisive role in getting out the vote. Millions of workers waged a series of massive strikes across most sectors of the economy, waling off the job when student and women’s groups demands were discounted by the president.


But without Chilean willingness to protest for one year, to make it perfectly clear no one was going home until their demands were fully met, and without the courage of the younger generations who were the first to brave the streets, none of this would have happened.


In the US so far, dozens of unions resolved to  consider a general strike should a defeated #45 balk at stepping down. The 100,000-member Rochester-Genesee Valley Labor Federation of N.Y. adopted a resolution to hold a general strike to ensure a peaceful transition of power. It will lobby the AFL-CIO 12.5 million workers to do the same. Seattle’s MLK Labor, representing 150 unions and 100,000 members resolved to take non-violent action including a general strike to protect the Constitution, and Massachusetts Western Mass Area Labor Federation voted on a similar resolution.


Evidently Chileans know how to recognize when a gang rape has occurred. And some Americans—mostly from the labor sector—are waking up.





SIGNAL Military and police: Refuse Illegal orders from #45 on election.


SHOW UP Nov. 4 at a de-escalation rally near you. Find an event near you at


READ the text of one such call:


Will your Police Department stand up for Democracy, Freedom, and Justice in the aftermath of the 2020 elections ?


Trump has declared war on the election process. Regardless of the outcomes, we can expect Trump to be vengeful and incendiary. Regardless of the outcomes, Trump’s WHITE extremist militias, his WHITE supremacist following, can be expected to foment discord and conflict. The law is on our side; let’s make sure our local law enforcement departments support our right to Democracy, Freedom, and Justice.


At the local level, Police Departments will be responsible for enforcing post-November 3rd Law & Order. Where will your Police Department stand? Let’s insist that our Police Departments stand with us by supporting:


       Our lawful right to vote (and have our votes counted)

       Our lawful right to peaceful protest

       Our lawful right to protection from lawless White Supremacist militias


Join us for a peaceful/non-violent vigil at the Oakland or San Francisco Police Departments on November 4, 2020 from NOON to 1PM. (Can’t join us in Oakland or San Francisco?   Vigil at your local police department.)



Chile: Approval for a new constitution wins massive popular mandate.


US unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers prepare for general strike if #45 subverts election results.


Nigerian police killing sparks nationwide resistance movement.


Even Israel has protesters; thousands protest in Jerusalem against Israeli PM.


After 55 years of state repression, Indonesian workers and youth take to streets.


UK universities reject Israel lobby’s anti-Semitism definition.


Supreme Court will allow election officials to accept ballots after Election Day in  two key battleground States, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.


Saying a new airport and flying are folly in the face of global warming, Penguin Climate Activists block Berlin airport opening.


As #45 insists ‘must have vote total’ on Nov. 3, nearly 400 ‘Protect the Results’ rallies planned to counter election night theft (see SHOW UP ACTION above.).


With Grifter-as-president this is what a rose looks like: Judge rules Justice Department can’t be #45’s personal lawyer in rape defamation suit.


Citing widespread election-related delays, federal judge invokes ‘extraordinary measures’ to ensure on-time delivery and counting of ballots.


Top federal election official corrects #45: ‘counting ballots—all of ‘em—is the appropriate, proper and legal way to determine who won.'


‘Reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty’: House issues scathing report on #45 migrant family separation policy.


Peace organizations win legal fees and release of 11 previously court-sealed US Navy records showing  new explosive risk at Naval Base Kitsup-Bangor.


Open Technology Institute condemns ‘unhinged’ FCC, urges restoration of net neutrality.


‘Banking for the People’: AOC and Tlaib unveil bill to foster creation of public banks across US.


In bid to beat ‘public health and economic crises,’ Senate Dems urge utilities to suspend shutoffs during pandemic.


After years of advocacy and legal contention, environmental conservation groups announced that the government in cooperation with the oil-exploration industry will prohibit use of oceanic whale-killing sonic blasts this year.


‘He needed social supports, not bullets’: mass protests sweep through Philadelphia for second straight night over police killing of emotionally challenged Walter Wallace.


Judge approves extraditing Kyle Rittenhouse to Wisconsin to stand trial.


Minnesota democrats implore voters to ‘drop off your ballot’ in person after last-minute court ruling.


City of Oakland on orders from mayor and city manager elect not to hose down block-long Chose Democracy – Stop a Coup mural painted by a coalition of peace activists working together.






NJ Transit backs off plan to build gas-fired power plant.


150 Unite Here Local 1 Chicago hotel workers called on former employers to restore their health insurance.


Missourians do end-run around their legislature to expand Medicaid.


FBI charges ivan Hunter, boogaloo adherent with shooting police precinct.


EPA whistleblower, Kevin Chmielewski, sues EPA over retaliation.


Health workers sue #45 administration Labor Secy, OSHA over unconscionable delay of protections against infectious disease.


A New Jersey woman inmate sues prison over lack of COVID precautions.


Malachy Kilbride will be awarded Peacemaker of the Year Award for his anti-drone work.