Sunday, November 21, 2021

LEARNING BY DOING: an alternative to COPOUT

for Ana Perez

 

 

“The fossil fuel industry was more represented at COP26 the UN’s climate summit than any country.” So reads the headline at #Care2Alerts.  Well yes,  if the dog catchers outnumber all others, you can’t expect such a conference to lead to the Republic of Dogs. Not by a long snout.

 

Images of Glasgow courtesy of Carol Davies.

 

 

Why do Reds stike fear in the heart of the establishment?


 

 

All of the people who really count, climate activists and all the indigenous people risking arrest on the front lines, all were excluded from COP26. To hear her tell it, activist Ta’Kaiya Blaney from western Canada’s Tia A’min Nation: “COP26 is a performance. It is an illusion constructed to save the capitalist economy rooted in resource extraction and colonialism.

 


This week, overcome with hopelessness about the token too-little-too-late  window dressing pretenses by the West and by the Global North to overcome their greed, and their seeming inability to recognize the planetary severity of the 2.4 degree of warming  actually projected for the end of this century, I began to speculate what this planet might look like to aliens discovering it millions of years hence. What would they make of the Nasca Lines. 

 


 

Since they were first discovered much controversy has ensued as to what their purposes may have been. Did they mark the routes of caravans?  Are some of them oriented to mark the solstices? Do some of them represent constellations in the night sky? Were they supplications for rains that never came?  Located on the Pacific shores of Peru, these gigantic geoglyphs may date from as early as  500 B.C. Their creation ranged over the next thousand years to 500 A.D. Many are zoomorphic, that is they represent such animals as humming birds, spiders, fish, monkeys and lizards.

 


Greta Thunberg summed COP26 up: “Blah, Blah, Blah. But,” she said, “the real work continues outside these halls.” 

 


COP26 just about leaves me hopeless that many meaningful initiatives can ever come from this body. Just as I flirted with succumbing to despair, I discovered what non-Western, non-“Global North” First Nations are up to in Northern Canada. Among them is the Beaver Lake Cree Nation  which has insisted, given the growing disaffection of its youth, that it participate in the entire solar arrays project development as a way to re-engage its youth.  I wondered how many U.S. based tribes had done the same to discover that so far at least 8 tribes have installed solar on their reservations, the Navajo at Window Rock; the Sokaogon Chippewa at Crandon, WI; the Southern Ute in Ignacio, CO; the Washoe in Gardnerville, NV; the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, in Cass Lake, MN; and in Nevada, the Moapa Band of Paiutes and the Washoe in Gardnerville,  and in California, the Hoopa Valley tribe in Hoopa, and the Chemehuevi in Havasu Lake. If readers can’t travel to help with these installations, they can donate in support. Each tribe has a website with contact information.

 

How can these small initiatives teach the rest of us in the U.S. what we need to know to move from blah blah blah to doing?

 

•First Nations are small governing entities within a much larger governing entity. Effectively, they break down the problem, addressing it in bite-sized pieces.

•Culturally, they do not identify with the over-arching settler colonialist culture. In fact, they have a long and tortuous historic relationship with the Canadian government.  If there is any doubt, a reading of Farley Mowat’s People of the Deer can set readers straight. Which suggests that it is high time those of us who want a planet to live on for ourselves and our generations, must allow ourselves to cease identifying with the settler, colonialist, resource extracting culture.

As our demography transitions away from that of the dominant culture, the potential of an alternative world view gives us the collective power to think differently. 

 •Government Agencies in the U.S. such as the Department of Energy and Mineral Development and the All Points North Foundation must be encouraged to support more such initiatives.

 

Which would make you feel  more positive? pounding nails one at a time with your fellow beings, donating, or more blah blah blah?

 

 

AND ON THE HOME FRONT:

 


 


 

DONATE to the tribe of your choice or to the All Points North Foundation earmarked for solar development for Native people.

 

OUST fossil fuel lobbyists from any future COPs.

 

HALT the nuclear bailout in the Senate.

 

DROP all charges against the nearly 100 water protectors at Line 3.

 

 

 


 

 

MOVE the Build Back Better Act through the Senate and onto Biden’s desk.

 

DONATE to climate imperiled countries of he “Global South.”

 

SUPPORT the farm bill to plant more trees.

 

 


 

Around the world, new ICAN and PAX report shows number of banks, pension funds, asset managers, and insurance companies investing in nuclear weapons has gone down.

 

Eighty cities worldwide express solidarity with Cuba.

 

The Black Alliance for Peace’s Haiti/Americas Committee condemns U.S. sponsorship of anti-government protests against Cuba.

 

Palestinian Miqdad Qawasmeh released after 113-day hunger strike protesting his detention without trial.

 

Toronto explores idea of giving homeless one year free rent.

 

Resistance pays: After 700 deaths, and farmers striking over a year, India’s Modi will repeal farm laws.

 

Nicaragua leaves OAS.

 

“They weren’t hearing what we were saying, so we had to get a little bit louder:’ Wet’suwet’en land defenders say inaction prompted enforcement of coastal GasLink eviction.

 

Indigenous leaders hail Biden’s proposed Chaco Canyon drilling ban.

 

Two!! climate activists halt operations at world’s largest coal port.

 

Biden signs executive order to address “crisis of violence” against Native Americans.

 

White House hosts Tribal Nations Summit.

 

Biden backs global treaty for plastic pollution.

 

Biden replaces two postal service board members.

 

Dem lawmakers, climate groups urge Biden administration to support kids’ climate case.

 

GOP Representative introduces bill to federally decriminalize marijuana.

 

Elizabeth Warren releases blueprint to end ‘free ride’ for tax-dodging U.S. billionaires

 

Metro and the City of Portland have partnered with tribes to promote Native American land access and cultivation of first foods.

 

Delaware judge allows testimony on impacts of climate change and role of banks.

 

Boston City Council votes to divest from fossil fuels.

 

Twenty attorneys sue Postmaster General Louis Dejoy.

 

New administration takes helm of he 1.3 member teamsters union in a slate which swept to victory 2 to 1.

 

The IWW reaches tentative agreement with Fast Food Burgerville in Portland, OR.

 

‘Sacrifice and solidarity’ pay off as striking John Deere workers win bigger wage hike.

 

U.S. School bus drivers in nationwide strikes over poor pay and COVID risk.

 

NRA loss federal appeal over New York gun store closures.

 

New York cabbies win over predatory lenders, obtaining debt relief.

 

“Defense” industry worker says it’s time to  chop the pentagon budge

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

WHICH WORLD WOULD YOU LIKE

On my regular morning walk, along the half mile stretch to my favorite redwood groves, I usually encounter one or sometimes as many as three drivers, their cars parked at the curb, their motors running, practicing finger exercises on their electronic toys.  Courteously, I knock at their rolled up windows. “Good morning,” I say. “I hope you won’t take it badly if I ask you please to turn your motor off unless you plan on taking off right away.“ I follow my ask with this somewhat lame explanation.  “The arctic is melting and all of us are  going to suffer a great deal.”

 

And usually my politeness yields the desired results.  Some good but oblivious people actually thank me. But yesterday, after listening to me, a  truck driver rolled his window back up in response.  He continued his finger exercises while his motor purred.

 

Most of us wear clothes and observe the niceties, but although we have joined the urban minuet, as a species, I don’t tend to think homo saps is terribly advanced, although we may like to think so.

 

Recently my reading has taken me to works dealing with pre-contact America, books like 1491 (by Chas. Mann) Braiding Sweet Grass (by R.W. Kimmerer). Of the latter, one section in particular caught my attention. In it the author contrasts  the Pledge of Allegiance which every school child, hand on heart, mutters throughout his years of schooling with the Thanksgiving Address of the Haudenosaunee People.

 

These are the People whose languages the U.S. and Canadian Governments tried to suppress by kidnapping their children and sending them to institutions euphemistically called Indian Schools where they were beaten if they tried to speak their languages.  Recent revelations disclosed the hundreds of children’s graves surrounding these institutions, attributing some of those deaths to nutritional  experiments to see how little food Indian school children could live on and yet survive.

 

Which would you like: the Pledge, or the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving address?

Which of the two would you prefer your children recited every morning?  What kind of a society, what kind of a polity do you think might result if they recited the latter?

I quote it here in its entirety.

 

TODAY we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us, we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one.

 

We are thankful to our Mother the Earth for she gives us everything that we need  for life. She supports our feet as we walk about on her. It gives us joy that she still continues to care for us, just as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send thanksgiving, love and respect. Now are minds are one.

 

We give thanks to all of the waters of the world for quenching our thirst, for providing strength and nurturing life for all beings. We know its power in many forms, waterfalls and rain, mists, and streams, rivers and oceans, snow and ice.

We are grateful that the waters are still here and meeting their responsibility to the rest of Creation. Can we agree that water is important to our lives and being. We put  our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to the Water? Now our minds are one. 

 

We turn our thoughts to all of the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that they continue to do their duties and we send to the Fish our greetings and our thanks  Now our minds are one. 

 

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come. Now our minds are one.

 

When we look about us, we see that the berries are still here, providing us with delicious foods. The leader of the berries is the strawberry, the first to open in the spring.  Can we agree that we are grateful that the berries are with us in the world, and send our thanksgiving, love, and respect to  the berries?  Now our minds are one.

 

With one mind,  we honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden, especially the Three Sisters who fed the people with such abundance. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and fruit have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them as well.  We gather together in our minds all the Plant food and send them a greeting and thanks.  Now our minds are one.

 

Now we turn to the Medicine Herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are so happy that there are still among us those special few who remember how to use them for healing. With one mind, we send thanksgiving, love and respect to the Medicines and the keepers of the Medicines.  Now our minds are one.

 

Standing around us we see all the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who each have their own instructions and uses.   Some provide shelter and shade, others fruit and beauty and many useful gifts. The Maple is the leader of the Trees. To recognize its gift of sugar when the People need it most.  Many peoples of the world recognize a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind we greet and thank the Tree Life.  Now our minds are one. 

 

We gather our minds together to send our greetings and thanks to all the beautiful animals living in the world, who walk about with us.  They have many things to teach us as people. We are grateful that they continue to share their lives with us and hope that it will always be so.  Let us put our minds together as one and send our thanks to the Animals.  Now our kinds are one. 

 

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them the gift of beautiful songs. Each morning they greet the day and with their songs remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader and to watch over the world. To all the Birds from the smallest to  the largest we  send our joyful greeting  and thanks. Now our minds are one.  `

 

We are all thankful for the power we know as  the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify  the air we breathe, They help to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind we send our greeting and thanks to the Four Winds. Now our minds are once.

 

Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers the Thunder beings live. With lightning and thundering voices they bring with them the water that renews life. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

 

We send greeting and thanks to the eldest brother the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to our Brother the Sun.  Now our minds are one. 

 

We put our mind together an give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the nighttime sky. She is the leader of women all over the world, and she governs the movements of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure the time,  and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth, Let us gather our thanks for Grandmother Moon  together in a pile. layer upon layer of gratitude and then joyfully fling that pile of thanks high into the night sky that she will know. With one mind, we send greeting and thanks to our Grandmother the Moon. 

 

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewels. We see them at night, helping  the Moon  to lift the darkness and bring dew to the gardens and growing things. When  we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered as one, we send greetings and thanks to all the Stars.  Now our minds are one.

 

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people.  With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring Teachers. Now our minds are one.

 

We now turn out thoughts to the Creator, the Great Sprit, and send greetings and  thanks for all the gifts of Creation,  Everything we need to live  good lives here on Mother Earth.  For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and  send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.  Now our minds are one. 

 

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it is not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greeting and thanks in their own way.  And now our minds are one.

 

Would you like your child to recite this pledge of allegiance to the planet every single day?

 

What kind of a society do you think we’d have if we heard these words throughout the days of our schooling?

 

Do you think it would be different from what we have here today?

 

 


 

DONATE to Native American Rights Fund

 

READ Extinction Rebellion Newsletter.

 

MUZZLE the Blah, blah blah.

 

 

 


 

Climate activists confront blah blah blah world leaders at lavish COP26 dinner.

 

Climate activists to target UK airports to protest expansion.

 

Thousands march in Glasgow for action against climate change. and end to blah blah blah.

 

Greta Thunberg accuses world leaders of pure madness for climate failures at COP26.

 

Petition from 14 youth leaders says UN must declare a system-wide climate emergency.

 

Decrying greenwashing at COP26, youth climate leaders join tens of thousands at Glasgow march.

 

Human Rights coalition petitions UN to probe discriminatory vaccine hoarding by rich nations

 

Bolivian organizations reject opposition’s  call for strike and destabilization.

 

In light of campus multi layered problems, U. of Puerto Rico students declare  indefinite strike.

 

Students push colleges to sever military-industrial complex ties.

 

China opens fist clinic in support of transgender youth in Shanghai.

 

Fort Foundation  to divest endowment from fossil fuel companies.

 

U.S. sees surge in wind energy from Texas panhandle to half dozen coastal states.

 

New York rejects two new gas power plants as inconsistent with climate law.

 

US Peace Prize awarded to World Beyond War.

 

Fossil Free Finance Act tells the fed to keep up on climate risk.

 

Climate coalition demands Biden halt outrageous offshore drilling auction.

 

Ilhan Omar works to stop unacceptable $50 million weapons sale to Saudi Arabia.

 

Markey-Merkley bill would stop big banks from throwing money at dirty fossil fuel projects.

 

Greenpeace USA activists who blocked fossil fuel thoroughfare will be cleared of all charges.

 

U.S. GAO releases report  saying the federal response to missing/murdered indigenous women crisis needs improvement.

 

Yakima Nation acquired Inaba Produce arms.

 

Interior Department takes steps to restore tribal homelands.

 

Solid NO as progressives reject Capitalist Pelosi push to pass bipartisan bill without Build Back Better.

 

N.J. Gov. Murphy issues climate pollutant mandate reducing emissions 50% by 2030.

 

LA city council votes unanimously to ban new drilling and phase out existing drilling in unincorporated areas of the county.

 

U.S. ‘Justice’ dismisses 7 of 8 charges against Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab,

 

Minneapolis voters could change how the city approaches public safety.

 

Indira Shuemaker, a BLM activist who campaigned on defunding the police  beat out incumbent on Des Moines City Council.

 

San Francisco DA charges police officer with manslaughter for 2017 shooting.

 

Detroit voters OK launching reparations commission.

 

New fund helps black farmers in Detroit purchase land.

 

Kansas City tenants union organizes for permanently affordable housing.

 

Ashville, NC begins eviction resistance to combat wave of displacement.

 

Three Starbucks set for vote on union.  

 

Kellogg workers still on strike in Memphis and across  the country.

 

John Deere workers hold the line and vote down second contract offer.

 

Fast food workers strike across California.

 

New York’s cabbies win debt forgiveness concessions.

 

Unprecedented shareholder resolutions call on Pfizer, Moderna to share vaccine  tech.

Monday, November 1, 2021

COULD IT BE WE HAVE A TAPEWORM?

 

This morning Michael Moore reminds us that everyone of the EU countries enjoys: : 

 

•Universal free health care.
•Free or nearly-free college. 
•Paid Family Leave for at least four months.
•Complete care of all elderly. 
•Robust funding of schools. 
•All sorts of help for the jobless and the poor. 
•Workers enjoy mandatory paid vacation with a minimum of four weeks off (some countries are almost double that).
•Women having full equal rights. Abortion and birth control is free and easily available in all but two E.U. countries (Malta and Poland). Most of their constitutions have what we don’t have — an equal rights clause for all women. 

 

But we are told the United States is too poor to afford any of those “fringes.” 

 

If this is not a feel-good morning, Michael Moore may not be entirely to blame. For one thing, Americans still suffer from an historic attachment to the Romantic Gone With the Wind notion that people ought to work for free.  Originally this urge was called slavery, but with the Civil War, slavery became a no-no. Except for the small loophole which allowed incarceration-for-free to take its place. Which is why our prisons bulge with people working for free or nearly free whose skins happen to be of darker hues. Their prison demography far exceeds their proportion in the general population because they do better working under the hot sun. It has nothing to do with racism.

 

This week, an article I first saw published by Information  Clearing House, “Israel to Attack Iran? Washington Gives the Green Light to the 'Military Option,'” by Phillip Giraldi caught my eye. (Recovering it through Google is a fruitless pursuit,  Google favors disinformation, which is how it makes its money.) The pre-election Biden seems to have promised to do what he could to distance the U.S. from Israel’s depredations, but he was quickly set straight by a recent DC visit from a contingent of Israeli heavy weights, including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett himself to remind  Biden and his top officials that Israel “has the right to defend itself” against the Iranian threat.  Biden who has surrounded himself with Zionists like Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland who fill the three top slots at the State Department evidently caught the drift. “Nuland is a leading neocon. And pending is the appointment of Barbara Leaf, who has been nominated Assistant Secretary to head the State Department’s Near East region. She is currently the Ruth and Sid Lapidus Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is an AIPAC spin off and a major component in the Israel Lobby,” to quote Phillip Giraldi.

 

Perhaps my recent readings into the prehistory of Latin and Central America had something to do with my urge to take a  closer look.  In a book which recently fell my way, 1491 by Charles C. Mann, the author turns his attention to the kinds of intertribal conflicts vying for power and control that characterize shifting political alliances in areas of pre-contact Bolivia and the Yucatan. He describes these conquests as being of two kinds: military occupations; and hegemonic colonization, the latter characterized by post-battle troop withdrawal with the understanding that kings would now become subject vassals, and that tribute in the form of taxes such as percentages of crop or trade goods would need forfeiting to the controlling conquerors who would withdraw on condition of that understanding.  In other words, the defeated  entity would now become host to a tribute-extracting tapeworm. 

 

Hegemonic colonization of the United States by Israel

 

The United States cannot afford to educate its people, attend to their health, care for its elderly, concern itself with its poor and unemployed, cater to its workers or stoop to succoring its women because it has superseding commitments to warfare (the Pentagon) and to the de facto colonizer, hegemonic colonizer Israel. 

 

 

A look at a 26-page 2018 article published by UNZ Review “9/11 Was an Israeli Job: How America was neoconned into World War IV” by Laurent Guyénot, citing a bibliography of 8 books,* lays it out. Focusing on the events of 9-11 Guyénot points out the material evidence linking to Israeli-American neocons, many having dual U.S. - Israeli citizenship. He makes the very important point that the theory “9-11 was an inside job” was deliberately designed to draw American attention away from noticing the persuasive evidence linking Israel to the events of that day, and of course to weaken their trust in their own government. 

 


But Guyénot saves the best for last in a follow-the-money subsection titled The Missing $23 trillion. I quote: “There is, for example, the missing gold in the WTC basement : $200 million were recovered from the estimated $1 billion stored: who took the [other 800] million? But that is nothing compared to the $2.3 trillion that were missing from the accounts of the Department of Defense for the year 2000, in addition to $1.1 trillion missing for 1999, [totaling $3.4 trillion missing] according to a televised declaration made on September 10th, 2001, the day before the attacks, by Donald Rumsfeld…. In 2001, the man who was tasked to help track down the missing trillions was Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Dov Zakheim, a member of PNAC [Project for the New American Century]…. Practically, the mystery had to be resolved by financial analysts at Resource Services Washington (RSW). Unfortunately, their offices were destroyed…the following morning. The “hijackers” of Flight AA77.., chose to attempt a theoretically impossible downward spiral at 180 degrees in order to hit the west side of the [Pentagon] building precisely at the location of the accounting offices. The 34 experts at RSW perished in their offices, together with 12 other financial analysts… 

 

"By an incredible coincidence, one of the financial experts trying to make sense of the Pentagon financial loss, Bryan Jack…, died…on Flight AA77. In the words of the Washington Post database: ‘Bryan C. Jack was responsible for crunching America’s defense budget. He was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77, bound for official business in California when his plane struck the Pentagon, where, on any other day, Jack would have been at work at his computer’. Yahweh must have a sense of chutzpah!”

 

And the United States cannot afford to educate its people, attend to their health, care for its elderly, concern itself with its poor and unemployed, cater to its workers or stoop to succoring its women because it has a tapeworm.

 

*•Thierry Meyssan  9/11 The Big Lie

•Geo W and Douglas B Ball: The passionate attachments: america’s involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present

Christopher Bollyn:  •Solving 9-11: the deception that changed the world

 Michael Corliss Piper:  The High Priests of war: The secret history of how America’s “Neo-conservative” Trotskyites came to power and orchestrated the war against Iraq as the First Step in their drive for global; empire.”

 John J. Mearsheimerr and Stephen m. Wait: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

 Stephen J. Sniegoski: The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative agenda, war in the Middle East, and the national Inerest of Israel

 Laurent Guyénot JFK – 9/11: 50 Years of deep state by 

•9-11 Made In Israel by Victor Thorn 

 

 


CALL FOR military embargo on Israel. 

 

SPEAK TRUTH to power: Join Greta Thunberg.

 

BLAST the Nuclear “Regulatory” Commission.

 


288 organizations demand Biden administration condemn Israel’s crackdown on human rights groups.

 

OPEC & members shun Biden’s calls to boost oil output.

 

In change of tone, Brazil pledges 50% emissions cuts by 2030.

 

Mexico to create state-owned company for lithium production.

 

Over 700 groups demand ‘real climate solutions.’ not net-zero promises.

 

Letter accusing world “leaders” of climate betrayal signed by one million people.

 

Ahead of  COP 26, worldwide mobilizations launched demanding big banks end fossil fuel destruction.

 

Street murals to Glasgow: “Defund Climate Chaos!” 

 


 

Thousands demand the U.S. federal reserve account for climate risk. 

 

In world first, New Zealand Law forces banks to disclose climate impacts of investments. 

 

Climate activists block construction of fracking-based energy plant. 

 

Warren introduces bill to levy 15% minimum tax on corporate profits.

 

“Repeated violations’: California lawmakers call on DHS to end ICE contracts in state. 

 

Seattle teaches country about fixing “our democracy.”

 

In N.Y.C. hundreds call on Federal Reserve to dump Powell, demand Citigroup divest from fossil fuels. 

 

Public  Citizen applauds Interior Department for considering climate change impacts of oil drilling.  

 

250 millionaires to Congress: ‘Now is the time to tax billionaires.

 

Musk offers $6 billion if UN shows how it will solve world hunger.

 

Gitmo jurors liken CIA torture to acts by ‘most abusive regimes in modern history.’ 

 

Tenth Circuit court issues stays of execution for John Grant and Julius Jones. 

 

Protesting budget cuts, teachers to go on strike in Scranton.

 

‘Stakes could not be higher’: with Roe in danger, coalition demands Supreme Court expansion.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

DESPAIR

What are the challenges faced by a writer when she sees her country committing suicide and a great part of the rest of the world following like lemmings leaping off a cliff. For one thing, it requires staying a few footfalls away from the bog of despair.  In this weeks news  Lord High Judge of England and Wales Ian  Duncan Burnet, will now share the bench  with lesser Judge Timothy Holyroyde to hear the U.S. case for extradition of Julian Assange.  Why is that significant?   The case itself received a black eye when revelations exposed the CIA plot to assassinate Assange, and because Judge Burnet has adjudicated similar high profile cases, informed by a sense of greater humanity. That seems to indicate that in Very High Places, the UK government may privilege humanitarianism over state conflict.

 

 

Judge Ian Burnet

 

Common  Dreams reports that in an ironic twist of coal-baron-Manchin fate, China is now positioned to become the champion of solar energy with one desert site that by 2015 will produce more electricity than twice of all U.S. solar combined. But recently we have learned that 5133 acres are being leased for the “Indian Springs Solar Right of Way” in the Nevada Desert. The principal is registered as “Bonanza Solar LLC” located in Dan Diego. Other solar energy concerns are housed at the same location, a fact which has piqued this writer’s curiosity.  Can it be that a shadow entity is saving the U.S. from itself?

 

Collaboration by the U.S. with Saudi Arabia, one of the principle agents in the events of 9-11, has probably produced the worst humanitarian catastrophe on Earth now with famine seriously threatening the people of Yemen.  Compounding the danger,  a recent New Yorker article, “The Dead Ship”  chronicles the decay of an floating oil tanker terminal parked on Yemen‘s coast only a few miles south of Hodeidah, the sole port through which humanitarian food supplies to Yemen can enter the country. A spill would effectively close the port of Hodeidah and block the narrow Bab el Mandeb straight through which most of the Middle East’s shipping must pass.  And a spill is inevitable. The only question is when. Meantime the U.S. has sided with Tigray in the current war in Ethiopia. More money for insatiable munitions makers, Lockheed Martin and the rest of  the pack, and more yummy for Congressional portfolios..

 

Our good Congress is all too happy to pass the Pentagon another shady $29 billion, committing grand larceny against American citizens, and the 500,000 unhoused of them forced to live in tents along highways and railroad rights of ways during a pandemic while the state police continues to dump their meager belongings into trucks to be hauled away to the city dumps as they “clear” the area of human detritus.

 


 

And it was very these homeless, this writer was planning to cover this week, all the more so because as of now, the Bay Area is several hours into a winter rain and wind storm guaranteed to soak, freeze, and demoralize these shelterless souls, many of them children, some of them sometimes working two or more jobs, but unable to afford landlord and real estate shysters’ inflated rents.  Against the juggernaut of State indifference, I juxtaposed the efforts of a few home-(non-government) based projects: in Portland, fed up with the do-nothing blather of her City Council, Mimi German is one of a number of souls who builds tarpees for unhoused people.  A tarpee is a teepee made of tarpaulins.  It saw it first light of day at Standing Rock (where AOC got the dawning idea that she could run for Congress). As a housing solution, tarpees first hit Seattle as a temporary solution to homelessness, and from there migrated to Portland where Mimi German takes some credit for putting them up, one by one, each at a cost of some $127. Each has a chimney which allows its occupant to cook. Although the parks have not “allowed” them, a handful of them have appeared in one city park and, so far at least, they have eluded police sweeps. 

 

On the West Coast we are seeing Enclosures as part of the State’s response. The police sweep a homeless camp void of its occupants and impound their meager possessions, and the grass is shaved. Such sweeps are followed by Enclosures, sturdy cyclone-fenced-in areas, constructed, unlike most jails, to keep people out. (The tradition of Enclosure harks back to 17th and 18th century England, where bit by bit the public commons grazing lands were taken back from the common people by the gentry.)

 

But this sad state of affairs is not part of the East Coast landscape, at least not in New York which still can't properly house 10% of the nation’s homeless, the minimal 50,000 homeless human beings identified by the current body count because,  according to Marc Greenberg  of the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing who has been doing advocacy work for the homeless for the past 40 years,  half of New York’s shelters are substandard. He describes the moment when the subject of homelessness actually entered the conversation as his big triumph. 

 

Recently it was my good fortune to run into Deborah Matthews, Secretary of Oakland and the World Enterprizes, a 79 unit housing project slated to break ground this fall on land purchased in 2014 by Elaine Brown, former Black Panther, and present CEO.  Their mission is to offer housing and jobs to formerly incarcerated and other people facing extreme barriers to economic survival. This they plan to do with a constellation of profitable businesses linked to the project, such business as a food truck in a grocery ghetto, an urban farm, a tech center, and a fitness center.  What drew my interest to this project is the inclusion of voices of the very people it is designed to help.  They speak for themselves here.  It is all too rare to hear the voices of people such good intentions are actually meant to serve.

In suicide-bent societies, we hear the continued blather of politicians who try to convince their electorate their intentions are exactly the opposite of what they really want as this last column  of Charley Reese describes.

 

Finally, this week saw the funeral of Megan Rice, 91-year-old anti-nuclear weapons activist who at the age of 84 was condemned to serve three years hard time for trespass at Y-12, the Tennessee locus of U.S.’s. plutonium stockpile. Sentencing a fragile 84-year-old woman with heart disease to  three years for trespass is Court Misconduct.  Finally  we have allowed “police misconduct” to enter the conversation.  This week over 600 people were arrested demanding of their government appropriate response to catastrophic global warming, a stunning example of police misconduct. It’s high time, the dam gates opened to allow conversation about the flood of “Court Misconduct.” 

 

And to cheer you up,  here’s the column I wish I’d written  this morning.

 


 

To my readers:  A colleague has offered to help me sift through ten years of newsletters with a view to creating a collection of posts worthy of publication. To that end I want to enlist my readers’ help by asking you  if one or more issues come to mind which in your view either may have sharpened or changed your way of  thinking. Please let me have their titles and date of publication. Use the “contact” button on my web site: cecilepineda.com, or e-mail me at cecilep@sonic.net.

 

While I am engaged by this new project, I will be publishing irregularly. I propose sharing my subscriber list with my colleague Lisa Savage, who ran on the Green ticket for U.S. Senate from Maine in 2020; and who publishes an extremely well written and well-researched blog, Went 2 the Bridge. Once you have had a chance to become its recipient if you find her newsletter inappropriate,  you may unsubscribe directly or if you prefer, please let me know you object.

 

Thank you,

 

Cecile Pineda

 

 

 

                                            MORE ACTIONS

 

DEMAND the Department of “Justice” drop extradition and prosecution of journalist Julian Assange at 202 353-1555.  Call as often as you can.

 

URGE your Senators and Representatives to read “Why reducing risk of nuclear war is hidden in plain sight.”

 

PUNCTURE Pentagon bloat.

 

DEFEND women’s rights to own their own bodies.

 

EXPRESS your outrage that Bank of New York Mellon is funding Carmichael Coal Mine.

 

JOIN 74% of Americans who support striking workers.

 


 

Chief Justice of England and Wales joins bench for Assange hearing.

 

24 rights groups call on Garland to #freeAssange.

 

Europe’s largest pension fund announces fuel divestment.

 

Over 30 countries agree to cut methane by 30%. Why can‘t we?

 

Climate movement hails mind-blowing $40 trillion in fossil fuel divestment pledges.

 

Australian research team devises cheap and scalable way to break up CO2 into C and O2

 

Chile at dawn  of new political era with death of neoliberalism.

 

Brazilian Senate commission accuses Bolsonaro of crimes against humanity  for COVID recklessness.

 

Nicaragua the exception as journalist reports a government actually looking after ordinary people!

 

Quebec declares end to fossil fuel extraction  in province.

 

Irish writer Sally Rooney shuns apartheid  Israel  after recent human rights reports

 

Palestinians protest in support of prisoners on hunger strike.

 

Half a million Korean workers walk off job  in general strike. Why can ‘t we?

 

Finland’s public childcare system  puts Britain (and U.S.) to shame. 

 

International Tribunal seeks to charge U.S. govt. with crimes against humanity.

 

‘March of million’ in Sudan revives spirit of December revolution.

 

New study finds that indigenous  U.S. and Canadian activists stop and delay greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one –quarter of annual U.S. and Canadian emissions.

 

U.S. donates 3.6 million  doses of Pfizer vaccine to Nigeria.

 

Supreme Court commission  signals support for term limits.

 

Guantanamo: U.S. court rules inmate’s detention ‘unlawful.’

 

People vs. fossil fuels mobilization ends with youth-led civil disobedience and over 655 arrests.

 

Biden Administration ramps up offshore wind plans.

 

House intelligence (oxymron) committee seeks answers from CIA on plot to assassinate Assange.

 

Arizona groups demand Sinema ‘stop obstructing’ on Medicare expansion.

 

Postal Banking now reality in DC, Baltimore, Falls Church and the Bronx.

 

Small business organizations call for filibuster carveout  to start debate on Freedom to Vote Act.

 

Ultraviolet slams Senate after failing to pass Freedom to Vote Act, says results will directly harm women  of color.

 

House Progressives call on Biden to declare a climate emergency – Now.

 

House panel votes to hold #45 adviser Bannon in criminal contempt.

 

‘We’re appalled by your failure’: 5 vets resign from Sen. Sinema’s advisory council.

 

‘And maybe more’: Biden says he’s open  to reforming filibuster to win voting rights.

 

‘Like it never happened’: federal judge tosses #45 attack on  clean water rule.

 

Dartmouth College formally announces plan  to divest from fossil fuels.

 

Enbridge Line 5 shut down in accordance with Michigan governor’s order.

 

Forest defenders continue to block destruction of rare forest habitat within Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

 

Diné organization files petition against the U.S. citing human  rights violations.

 

Tulalip fishermen to appear in Skagit court defending treaty rights.

 

Mi’kmaq grandmothers and water protectors celebrate Alton Gas decommissioning.

 

SEPTA workers in So. Philly votes to authorize strike.

 

Taxi drivers plan  hunger strike for debt relief.

 

Amazon workers in Staten Island to file for union vote.

 

Workers at beverage giant Refresco defeat notorious union  buster.

 

Michigan expands maternal and post-partum care for people in prison .

 

Reno transit workers holding form in second strike since August.

 

John  Deere strike shows tight labor market ready to pop.

 

Low age workers take power back in ‘Great Resignation .’

 

A ‘shoot to incapacitate’ policy puts Lagrange,  Georgia chief and town in spotlight.

 

Former Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz freed from prison after 49 years.

 

Man jailed in solitary for over a year fist to due private prison  company under recent state law.

 

Facebook papers spur more calls to “break them up.”

 

Advocates say they hope new California law protecting unaccompanied kids gets duplicated nationwide.