Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Retirement and Passing the Baton

 "Here's the awful truth: even if every person, every automobile, and every factory suddenly emitted zero emissions, the Earth would still be headen full speed towards total disaster for one major reason: The military produces enough greenhouse gases, by itself, to place the entire globe, with all of its inhabitants large and small, in the most imminent danger of extinction." Barry Saunders, The Green Zone

The author forest graziing

For some time I have wanted to retire. My take on human affairs has becomes more distanced with the passing of time, although you can tell from the line up of articles cited below, I still keep a close watch. And part of me always will, but at 90 (I am not quite there, give me a few more months) the time to retire from writing anything but personal messages to friends all around the globe takes precedence.


Here to take my place is Lisa Savage. Lisa Savage is a retired educator, published author, and antiwar activist. She led the national Bring Our War $$ Home campaign during the Obama administration, and subsequently founded the Maine Natural Guard to connect the dots between climate crisis and the Pentagon's enormous carbon bootprint. In 2020 she ran for the U.S. Senate under ranked choice voting in Maine and earned 5% of votes cast. She describes the purpose of her popular blog Went 2 the Bridge, as: Organizing and actions to resist the moral, environmental, and financial bankrupting of the U.S. through wars against the poor, at home and abroad.


ARTICLES on THE WAR In UKRAINE

ESSENTIAL READING


 


What You Should You Really Know About Ukaine

A Conversation with Scott Ritter

The Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs


Former NATO Military Analyst Blows the Whistle on West’s Ukraine Invasion Narrative

Organizing Notes: Interview: War in Urkaine is Really About U.S. Pursuing Regime Change in Russia

Average U.S. Taxpayer Gave $900 to Military Contractors Last Year


FUTURE READING

Siding with Ukraine's far right, U.S.sabotaged Zelenskys historic mandate for peace

The Red Scare

Portside: Delusion and The U.S. Foreign Polic
y

Is the U.S Fighting for Democracy in Ukraine

NATO's  Global History of Reaction


NATO's 300 Delivery to Ukraine

MILITARY SPENDING and PROFIT

Pentagon Convenes U.S. Weapons Makers to Increase Supply for Urkaine War

Biden Answers Zelensky's Plea to Arm Ukraine Now with $800 Millions in Weapons

What  Would it Take for Military Spending to Do Down

Is the U.S. Hindering Much Needed Diplomatic Efforts


THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA REPORTING

Nonstop Corporate News of Ukraine is Fueling Support for Unchecked U.S. Militarism

The Weapons Industry Sees the War in Ukraine as a Goldmine

“I do think this is a very protracted conflict and I think it’s at least measured in years. I don’t know about decades, but at least years for sure,” said Milley. “I think that NATO, the United States, Ukraine and all of the allies and partners that are supporting Ukraine are going to be involved in this for quite some time.”

LA Progressive: The Media in the U.S. Mainstream Media and War


New Reporting Details Corporate Media's War Industry Pundits


The West Ukraine Invasion Narrative


United States Admits To Spreading Lies About Ukraine War -



ATROCITIES: WHOSE SIDE ARE WE ON?

Questions Abound About the Bucha Massacre

Ukriane tochka-U Missile killed Dozens at Kramatorsk Train Station

New Witness Testimony About Mariupol Maternity Hopistal "Airstrike"


Eva Bartlett in Ukraine Tells A Very Different Factual Story that is Opposite from the Official Narrative - Mark Taliano
 
PEACE MOVEMENT IN SERIOUS TROUBLE

Ukraine Crisis Splitting the Peace Movement When It's Needed Most

PEACE

U.S. PEACE COUNCIL STATEMENT ON RUSSIA'S WAR IN UKRAINE

 

AND AT HOME:  

Merrrick Garland Doesn"t want to bring criminal charges against #45. Why Not?

"A Plot to Destroy Demacracy": Civil Rights Group Raises Alarm at Threats to U.S. Elections


TELL congress war is not green:


TELL Lockheed Martin to begin conversion to peaceful industries.


DONATE to help the intercept uncover how companies llke Facebook and Google are controlling what people around the world see and hear about the war in Ukraine.

STOP #45 from interfering in future elections: Louis Dejoy must go. Demand Progress is helping make that possible.

Stop war proteers by banning members of Congress from Trading   Defense  Contractor stock now.

DO NOT DUMP Radioactive Water Into the Ocean

LISTEN: April 21, 5 PM Pacific Time

 
When she protested drone

warfare at Creech AFB the author got to know Garett

 
 


At last: some rare good news in a ravaged world: a truce in Yemen

Ecuador grants wild animals legal rights in a world first

Texas DA Gocha Allen Ramirez has elected to release Lizette Herrera and drop the criminal charges against her-including murder-after she was accused of preforming a self-induced abortion

Venezuela's great housing mission achieves major milestone with the four millionth house

Democrats introduce bill guaranteeing workers paid time off to vote

U.S’s flaunting of diplomatic immunity challenged in court in the trial of Alex Saab, Venezuela‘s diplomat

In the UK, Palestine Action Activists Deface and Blockade London HQ of Elbit Systems


Confrontng the Israeli Service Servce, 76 Israeli Anti-Aparthied activists declare refusal to cooperate wth the Israeli legal system, in solidarity with Palestinian administative detainees.

 
Activists celebrate after Biden grants TPS ststatus to Cameroonian immigrants.


Top signs you could be a Repubican at a passover dinner

1. They refuse to answer the four questions without a subpoena.

2. They demand a recount of the ten plagues.

3. They defend not increasing the minimum wage on the grounds that according to Chad Gadya it still costs only two zuzzim to buy a goat.

4. The afikomen is hidden in the Cayman Islands.

5. They refuse to open the door for Elijah until they see his immigration papers.

6. They attack Moses for negotiating a deal with  Pharoah because why would we negotiate with our enemies?

7. They don't understand why the Egyptians didn’t cure the plagues with hydroxychloroquine.

8. They omit the parts about slavery from the Haggadah because it reminds them of Critical Race Theory.

9. They keep saying “when do we get to the miracle
of the Jewish space lasers?”

10. They end the Passover Dinner by singing "Next year in Mar-a-Lago."

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Speaking Truth to Power

This week's newsletter is the expression of my deep grief and outrage at my country’s continuing piracy. First, the text of paragraph one of Mr. Biden’s letter to me from the White House:

 

Thank you for writing.  The United States went to Afghanistan two decades ago with clear goals:  to take out the terrorists who attacked us on September 11, 2001, to deliver justice to Osama bin Laden, and to keep Afghanistan from being used again as a base for attacks against the United States.  We eliminated bin Laden a decade ago, and al Qaeda has been severely diminished.  Our only vital national security interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been:  preventing another terrorist attack on American homeland.  That mission is enduring, and we will continue to monitor and disrupt terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan with our over-the-horizon capability, just as we do to meet the terrorist threat in countries all around the world. 

 


 

What follows is my response:

 

Pres. Joseph Biden

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Mr. President:

 

I am taking the liberty of returning your letter.  I am not sure who may have written this letter, whether it comes directly from you, or an official letter writer, or a speech writer, but it is written over your signature, suggesting my response needs to be addressed to you.

 

Regardless, whoever is its author needs to be set straight: by now too many U.S. citizens know the facts as outlined in your paragraph one to be entirely otherwise viz.

https://www.unz.com/article/911-was-an-israeli-job/

This poor country was NOT attacked by Afghanistan on 9/11.  All but two of those so-called “box cutters” were Saudis, not Afghans. 50% of New Yorkers knew the day of 9/11 that something was amiss, and the official narrative of the United States about the demise of bin Laden does not align with what really happened either viz. Seymour Hersh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3COsYaJ47o

 

Quite frankly, to receive a letter under the seal of the White House, containing such a web of fabrication is an embarrassment and an insult to the intelligence of the citizens of this country, and a sure fire way of ushering in Mr. Trumpster for another x  years, (because 4 will not contain him).

 

I am perhaps naïve to insist on love of my country’s people, and to receive a letter containing such egregious falsehoods betrays my faith in my own country. I believe I am within my rights as a citizen to insist upon a public retraction.

 

 

...and to the U.S. people as well. (courtesy Paki Wieland)

Collective punishment as visited on the Afghan people by impounding their treasury is an act of piracy and an outrage against humanity: their treasury remains theirs no matter how it is divied up between squabbling lawyers and lobbyists (viz, https://theintercept.com/2022/02/16/afghanistan-funds-biden-september-11-lawyers-lobbyists/) the victims of 9/11, and the U.S. government. That my country is the agent of nation-wide Afghani starvation, of people needing to sell their own children and their kidneys to stay alive and that such criminality happened on your watch is beyond shamefully unconscionable. For anyone who has ever known hunger, such collective punishment is beyond unthinkable: it’s a towering crime against humanity. 

 

 "Biden: world thief of 2022." Kabul Feb. 15

May the United States never see such days of destitution and desperation visited upon its people, with the exception of 41% of our children now cast into poverty with the expiration of the Child Tax Credit and the official half million of us who now have to make our homes in tents along the railway rights of way and byways of this country.

 

 


 

TELL U.S. Pres. Biden & Congress to provide economic and humanitarian relief for Afghans.

 

DONATE to the Earth Activists Emergency Fund for Afghan Relief.

 

READ “Death Sentence for Untold civilians: Biden to permanently seize Afghan assets.”

 

READ “UN has millions  in Afghanistan bank, but cannot use it.”

 

READ Kathy Kelly on “Americans Must Realize the Pain They are Causing the Afghan People.”

 

READ Phyllis Bennis on: “Washington’s War in Afghanistan is Over, What Happens Now?”

 

READ Hedges on “Democrats, the More Effective Evil.”

 

WATCH the National Priorities Project ‘Trade-Offs’ 2 min. video showing how military dollars could be redirected to human needs.

 

LEARN about the Ban Killer drones campaign and taking action.

 


Ukraine could drop NATO bid to avert war.

 

Germany sees ‘moment of truth’ for Iran nuclear talks.

 

UK protesters nationwide say ‘enough is enough’ to austerity

 

Peru community restarts blockading mine road amid truce.

 

Mexico coaltion of indigenous activists prevent water extraction by transforming bottling plant into community space.

 

Puerto Ricans take to San Juans’s streets protesting debt restructuring plan.

 

Winnemucca Indian Colony sues Bureau of Land Management and lithium corporation.

 

Guantanamo torture survivor Mohammed al_Qahtani cleared for transfer.

 

‘Cancel this project’: campaigners point out price tag of Trans Mountain expansion nearly doubles.

 

Progressive International organizes second Belmarsh Tribunal in New York.

 

Biden urged to cancel student debt during SoFi stadium super bowl.

 

House progressives urge Biden to release Afghan funds ‘before it’s too late.’

 

Sen. Ossoff files first bill in U.S. history ever guaranteeing the voting rights of every American.

 

Sanders rips into billionaires for creating U.S. ‘oligarchic’ society.

 

‘Morally obscene’: Sanders blasts GOP, Manchin over 41% spike in child poverty with lapse of Child Credit Tax.

 

California bill would allow citizens to enforce assault weapon ban.

 

Nevada Dems sound alarm over ‘single most vicious vote-suppression attempt yet by GOP.

 

Atlanta activists protest new police training facility, calling it ‘cop city.’

 

Seattle Teachers rally for a thriving wage.

 

Teachers in Puerto Rico and Minnesota take to streets demanding better pay, benefits, and greater school funding.

 

North Dakota farmers file class action  ag. John  Deere for monopolizing and capitalizing equipment repair.

 

New Orleans teacher creates school for unaccompanied migrant kids.

 

Students sue school district over 8 books pulled from library.

 

In DC demonstration activists mark Day Without Immigrants.

 

Archbishop of Miami slams DeSantis’ war on asylum-seeking kids.

 

Physicians slam industry push to ‘fix’ medicare privatization scheme.

 

Students at top universities push ‘legal imperative’ of fossil fuel divestment.

 

Demonstrators call to #BoycottPuma outside brand’s flagship store.

 

High School students organize thousands to walk out for cop murder victim, Amir Locke.

 

To protect ‘web of life.’ California proposal would ban bee-killing neonics.

 

Four scientists, a few small nations making unthinkable climate action possible.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

A BANNER YEAR FOR KILLING – Maybe Not

The week Greg Hayes, the CEO of Raytheon Weapons Manufacturer had this to say ”We are seeing, I would say, opportunities for international sales. We just have to look to last week where we saw the drone attack in the UAE And of course, the tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea…. So I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it.”

 


For the 80 Yemenis that won’t be coming home to supper any time soon, rest in peace.  Tough for the over 200 Yemenis wounded, death and mayhem is good for business, according to Greg Hayes. We are not saying what’s good for him. Not in a free country.

 

Sea water boils as methane is discharged in Russia Arctic


War may be great for business, but Mother Earth is in acute pain. You can feel that pain with every footstep as you walk on her skin.  War is not good for her climate.  Imagine what the transport of 3,000 troops from U.S. bases to the Ukraine does to foul the air we breathe, as U.S. media fans the flames of war hysteria, and our government does everything it can to get us into a nuclear war. Elsewhere, Germany has refused to send weapons in support of this latest murderous NATO adventure, and Pres. Macron of France has initiated diplomacy in face-to face meetings with Pres. Putin of Russia. The Russian people don’t want war, any more than 76% of Americans who are sick of war.

 

Ukrainians protesting before Kiev US embassy against war

We like to say there’s no Planet B, but there’s no atmosphere B, and we are breathing the exhaust from all that jet military transport. Just yesterday, Common Dreams published this headline: Scientists Fear Soaring Methane Levels Show Climate Feedback Loop Has Arrived.  If you know anything about feedback loops, they are irreversible.  Read Climate Collapse.

 


 

Meanwhile in this week’s other news, we read that for the past five years, the death rate among the homeless, the so-called “unhoused” has increased by 76%. Why are the “unhoused” not placed in concentration camps?  Because it’s cheaper to let them die on the streets. The mean age for death on the streets in present-day United States of Anguish is 48, just like the death rate in  Europe in the 12th, 13th and 14th Centuries. Why our government has returned us to the Middle Ages! 

 


And to add to its very own quaint Medievalism, in a move that sidles right up next to the diktats of such enlightened potentates as Ghengis Khan, the White House is scheming to grab 7 Billion of Afghani assets that the U.S. has frozen to settle 9/11 victims claims, reserving only half of that for starving, beyond desperate Afghani families who, to survive Afghanistan’s fierce winter, must resort to selling their kidneys and their children so that they can buy food. Those of us who have never known a day of hunger ought to be out in the street, day and night, raising Cain in support of our sisters and brothers—and children—against starvation.

 

If there is any uplifting news this week, it comes from Holland where the Dutch promise to ‘egg’ the Bezos yachtzila  if, once it’s built in a Rotterdam shipyard, a bridge gets dismantled to let it through to the open seas.

 

When will we ‘egg’ our very own democratically ‘elected’  Mediaeval government?

 

 

 


SIGN Bernie’s petition: Prevent what could be the worst European war in over 75 years between nuclear armed opponents.

 

CALL on the Biden administration and key Congressmemebers to  unfreeze Afghan funds to pay salaries of Afghan techers and health workers and allow people to buy food at

DEMAND Congress get off their sorry duffs to take climate action now.

 

DEFEND Planet A against climate catastrophe and make Wall St. protect our planet.

 

URGE somnambulist Joe to drop #45’s policies in Yemen.

 

BAN Congress from trading stock while in office

 

 


 

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court publishes ruling in favor of Indigenous people’s right to decide the future of their lands in the Amazon.

 

France’s Macron flies to meet Putin in risky bid to avert war.

 

Peace Boat docks in San Diego in observance of the one-year anniversary of he UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

Xi and Putin  issue statement.

 

Argentina proposes ending debt dependency on U.S.

 

Mexico GM workers vote in an independent union.

 

A bridge too low: Dutch vow to egg Bezos $500 million yachtzila if bridge is dismantled to let it pass.

 

Colombia announces huge victory against aerial crop eradication.

 

Scathing Amnesty Apartheid report may lead to change in Israel’s criminal practices.

 

Wet’suwet’en approach UN over militarization and rights violations.

 

Snoqualmie Tribe acquires 12.000 acres of ancestral forestland.

 

South Africa scientists reproduce Moderna’s COVID vaccine such that patents must now be shared.

 

Stock ban proposed for Congress to stop insider trading among lawmakers.

 

Experts detail deadly consequences of U.S. drone strikes to Senate.

 

Antiwar groups nationwide rally to stop U.S. from being lied into war with Russia.

 

Ilhan Omar blasts ‘unconscionable’ Biden plan to seize Afghan assets.

 

Montana plaintiffs announce first children’s climate trial in U.S. history.

 

To avert ’full blown war’ coalition  urges Biden to rejoin Iran deal.

 

Biden administration sides with tribes over North Dakota in mineral dispute.

 

Biden reinvents migrant detention (using home confinement and curfew) with the aim of curbing for-profit detention spaces.

 

Biden must nominate justice beholden to people not corporate power and that’s Ketanji Brown Jackson.

 

White House considers expanding limits on ‘no-knock’ warrants following murderbycop of  Amir Locke.

 

Senate finally to move to renew Violence Against Women Act.

 

Thousands of students from various Minneapolis high schools protest fatal police shooting of Amir Locke.

 

Journalists win $825,000 settlement and ban on police attack.

 

Progressives call on Democrats to endorse 21st century economic bill of rights.

 

USDA offers $1 Billion to help farmers and ranchers fight climate change.

 

Bipartisan infrastructure bill helps plug some of off-coast 35,000 abandoned wells.

 

Katie Porter introduces legislation raising fees of polluters extracting from U.S. public lands, protecting the environment, and saving taxpayers money.

 

Despite Dejoy’s mandate to fossil fueling new fleet, House passes bill to repeal ‘debilitating’ USPS refunding retirement mandate.

 

IRS abandons plans to subject website users to facial recognition.

 

Judge orders U.S. to pay $230 million to victims of 2017 church massacre.

 

On the basis of climate Federal court rules against Oil Lease Sale #257. the largest sale of public waters for offshore oil drilling in U.S. history.

 

Big week for oil wins as Mountain Valley Pipeline approvals are revoked, new oil wells banned in LA, and in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Sen. Capito, Rep Rodgers ask GAO to assess NRC’s review process for advanced nuclear reactors.

 

Appalachians build Green New Deal for themselves.

 

North Carolina elections board assert power to bar Cawthorn from 2022 ballot.

 

New Hampshire House Committee on Science, technology and energy  votes unanimously to uphold 500 meter setbacks from cell towers and antennas.

 

Drug decriminalization works in Oregon.

 

After months of CPUC debate, solar energy and storage issues, a judge on commission rules matter is suspended, meaning rooftop and small-scale solar are safe for now in California.

 

Solar panels to be installed above California canals.

 

Immigrant communities breathe sigh of relief after Georgia sheriffs terminate ICE agreements.

 

Teachers in Puerto Rico strike for wages, benefits.

 

Construction stalls as concrete workers strike for wages, health care.

 

Lobstermen form a union co-op to claw back fair prices.

 

Capitol Hill staffers organize unions.

 

Jericho Movement, Boston, United American Indians of New England, and Boston BDS call for standout in front of Boston’s Federal Building to call attention to freeing Leonard Peltier, the U.S. longest incarcerated political prisoner.

 

Zuck could face jail time under new law.

 

 


 

Turkeys create nightmare at NASA's Ames Lab

 



Friday, February 4, 2022

What’s It Take To Unstick a Dysfunctional Congress?

Supposing you were a U.S. congress person.  And supposing you were raking in the pay offs from things like private prisons and weapons-manufacturing corporations to stay in office.  And supposing the scene was just so juicy, you had to stay in office to make sure it lasted. Why, you’d keep on raking it in from all those corporations manufacturing bullets, shells, bombs, drones, war planes, submarines, tanks, and nuclear tipped ordnance, and piling up dough to get re-elected.

 


But supposing all your people, blue and red, just got fed up with your suits and your faces. Supposing some figured out that you were just greedy butcher puppets, while others resented being left out while other folks who-don’t-look-like-you keep getting ahead. But ALL of them got tired of hearing you say the same old things over and over while twiddling your thumbs. Now if you wanted to stay in office, wouldn’t you want to make sure the red and blue people never talked to one another, or traded ideas, or discovered that the ONE THING they couldn’t stand was your suits and your faces? You’d put up a fence to separate them, and call that fence polarization, but no matter how “polarized” you made sure to call them, over 50% of those people don’t trust you any more. And why should they? although 84% to 89%  wanted background checks, 70%-73% wanted paid family leave, and 83% wanted  Medicare to be able to negotiate drug prices, you ignored them because you were too busy raising boodle 80% of the time.

 

To imagine that the Senate majority is Democratic is pure illusion.  The Senate majority vote makes sure to doom any chance of addressing the U.S. dizzying decline in quality of life.  The U.S. has not revised its treatment of immigrants, not even those asking for asylum. U.S. deaths from COVID far exceed that of any other industrialized country. Of all these industrialized countries, the U.S. is the only one still lacking universal healthcare. Even progressive California has had to shelve its plans for CalCARE because there just aren’t enough votes for it.

 


Can these omissions point to something far more sinister? If we make the connection here we find a disturbing pattern. Those most vulnerable to death-by COVID are those who lack healthcare, and who are forced to work during a pandemic, often without protections. That demography is made up of the poor, mostly black and brown minorities and when they vote, notice how this group does not vote Republican. The big question we must ask ourselves here: is this apparent lack of healthcare, and of a humane approach to immigration, actual policy? And is that policy supporting genocide-by-default?

 


As someone deeply distressed seeing the poverty and desperation of so many living around me, there’s no doubt in my mind that no matter what their political beliefs, too many American’s are entitled to their own deep feelings of helplessness. Frances Moore Lappé writing in a Portside article titled “Is all this ‘Polarization’ a cause or a symptom,” cautions us not to blame society for its polarization because it “skirts the truth that many (most) Americans live in daily distress, especially those “living from paycheck to paycheck because it fuels their fear and distrust of government.” Polarization is “the result of a system guaranteeing the extreme accumulation of wealth, along with deepening daily insecurities and indignities for the non-wealthy.” She points to this economic unfairness as the root of poor Whites feeling “left behind.” For a vivid account of those left behind, I recommend Strangers Living in their own Land, Arlie Hochschild’s study of poor folks living in LA’s “cancer alley.”

 

Historically, that feeling stems from the mighty expectations Americans learned to entertain in the FDR years when they began to see government as a real safety net capable of leading their lives out of a Great Depression.  Now the Depression we have is far far worse than 1929 because besides being the outcome of vast economic inequities, it is compounded by a pandemic with no end in sight, a congress that has never wanted folks to benefit from a national health scheme and total absence of a caring government. The list is as vast as society itself, from endless wars, suppression of voting rights, to the cruelties of the border, to the NRC knowing there’s no way of safely storing nuclear waste with a half life of half a million years. 

 

Lappé writes “When our people suffer widespread economic insecurity due to the extreme unfairness of our economy and legalized corruption built into our governance—along with media profiting on inflammatory content—widespread despair, anger, and a need to punish become understandable.”

 

Purpling, a new verb

 

We must begin to purple, to find ways of talking to one another, of mixing red and blue, finding that pathway away from punishment  to the kind of solidarity that comes from recognizing that that old “divide and conquer” trope used by those presuming to rule over us is at work again, especially since our government doesn’t seem to be listening. How many small conversations between blue and red, how much purpling will it take to turn the monumentally creaky, leaking “ship of state” around, slowly, increment by increment. Who will have the imagination to begin?  And what does it take to reach that shared moment of  “Oh, yes, wait a minute…..Where have we heard that one before….?” Purpling has the potential of  creating a better life quality  for everyone.

 

 


 

PEACE – Everyone out for peace in Ukraine

 

SIGN to prevent war with Russia

 

SUPPORT representation for 670,000 folks in D.C. and gain Dem congressional seats

 

PROTECT voting rights by donating to Democratic Assn. of Secys of State

 

END Congressional stock trading

 

INSIST on the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

 

 


 

Peace organizations including Code Pink gather in front of White House to express opposition to extremely dangerous possibility of war in Ukraine.

 

100 + anti-war groups demand Biden end brinksmanship with Russia.

 

Poll shows majority in U.S. want diplomacy, not war with Russia over Ukraine.

 

Germany refuses to funnel more weapons into Ukraine.

 

Alternative press begins to write about obscene profits made by warmakers Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and General dynamics among others.

 

Mexico fights back against U.S. gunmakers in $10 billion suit  with 12 U.S. states supporting the suit.

 

Judge blocks Biden’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil lease sale over climate crisis.

 

Ecuador court rejects oil drilling in Indigenous protected area.

 

U.S. climate activists call on Senate to confirm key federal nominees.

 

Federal court deals blow to ‘noxious fracked gas’ pipeline.

 

Lawsuit forces nuclear regulator to turn over records of San Onofre near-miss incident.

 

Southern Australia goes full week on 100% solar, and wind.

 

Court upholds California net neutrality law.

 

California sets $15 an hour wage for large employers, $14 for smaller ones, with many counties and municipalities establishing even higher wages.

 

Mexico auto workers choose new union in landmark vote.

 

In a U.S. first Pittsfield, MA Board of Health unanimously votes to issue cease and desist order against Verizon cell tower.

 

Holocaust book Maus hits bestseller list after Tennessee school board ban.

 

Monarchs make astounding rebound in ‘21 migration.

 


 

Friday, January 7, 2022

ELECTION PROTECTION FOR DUMMIES

In case you might wonder what dummies I refer to, I confess to being the dummy here.  Concerned with comfort zone things like pre-history, anthropology, and paleontology, last night I was reminded by Bruce Hahne that, with 34 vote suppression bills already law in 19 states, we are no longer there. In a Peninsula chapter of Indivisibles webinar he gave a rushed presentation of his slide show (why rushed? because the warm and fuzzies occupied entirely too much time. He ought to have had the whole hour. ) For full details, and they are important,  see the slide show here. 

U.S. elections are not what I naively liked to imagine: people vote, a winning candidate is identified and voila! he’s elected. No. Bruce Hahne’s presentation made it clear that the U.S. election process is a CHAIN consisting of 5 steps. They are:

1. wining the vote; 2 wining the count; 3. winning certification; winning the electoral college; 5. winning in congress; then comes 6. assuming power (the period between certification in Congress and taking office). That chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Voting is only the first step. The ultimate threat to “assuming power” is of course a military coup, or Supreme Court judicial  “bloodless coup” between November 2024, and Jan. 20, 2025.

 


If January 6 was just a rehearsal as many journalists believe it was, last time insurgents went for certification, link #5 (see orange), with the deaths and suicides of  some 7 capitol police to show for it. But Bruce Hahne gives us the ultimate gift: what to do about it now going forward. That’s where I hope to advance the remedies he proposed. The first consists in non-remedies, either because it’s already too late (attacking federal anti gerrymandering laws for example) or too far ahead. Expanding the Supreme Court, (1. on the list) for example because its goals will be a long time coming, with little bearing for 2022 – 24.

 

For election subversion, which must be where our attention focuses now, the list continues: 2. legislative remedies, 3. electoral remedies (for 2022) 4. grassroots and relational remedies, and 5. on-going litigation. (a subject all to itself which he lacks time to cover).

 

2. Expanding to legislative defensive remedies, GOP laws that enable election subversion must be blocked (see multiple efforts by FairFight.com). Under offensive remedies he sites such laws actually in play now that protect the entire election process such as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Freedom to Vote Act, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, and, with no legislation pending yet, Electoral College Act overhaul.

 

3. At the federal level, electoral remedies include strong efforts to hold both Houses in 2022, and insuring that Democratic governorships in swing states be maintained at the state level. Special emphasis must be placed on defending pro-Democracy Republicans in critical primaries. You can find which candidates are running to ease voting on NPR’s website. People can get involved in the Republican primary to support such candidates, either by phone banking, texting, and/or postcarding. Info at GOTV. Key states are GA, AZ, & MI.

 

4. Grassroots and other relational remedies include promoting strong awareness when speaking with others that U.S. “Democracy” is at risk. (I use quote marks here for obvious reasons). People can build on pro-democracy relationships and coalitions with many organizations, not only left and progressive groups. If we are to defend democracy, people must build alliances of convenience with GOP pro-democracy groups and individuals.  Liz Cheney is one example he sites.

 

Individuals, working on defending democracy, had best start from the standpoint that a better world is possible, and accept that this struggle will last for the very long haul with many set backs along the way. The next step is to become involved with a partisan political organization such as Indivisible, FieldTeam6.org, FairFight.com, etc. or a can-do Democratic club. Take a look at articles listed on the bonhoffer.tv/democracy website and share your fave with friends and neighbors. Cheer folks on who make pro-democracy statements, even if personally you can’t stand them. Get hip with best practices for civil resistance by reading Why Civil Resistance Works by Erica Chenoweth and watching the On Tyranny series videos by Yale professor Tim Snyder. Watch the Jan 30 webinar Resist: The Relentless Attack on American Democracy and How We Fight Back with speaker David Pepper, former Democratic party chair for the state of Ohio.  For important e-mail notifications sign up at demVolCtr.org/subscribe.

 

Hahne’s slides conclude with an ominous “coup-o-meter” showing that we are already in the next-to-the-worst orange zone, something called “attempted  coup,” (and that the worst, the red zone, represents a not-yet U.S. coup – others like JFK’s assassination, 9-11 being some of the earlier ones).  It succeeds a rather impressive chain last culminating with the Jan. 6 2021 coup.

 

For me, the main take-aways are that alliances must be forged across the aisle with pro-Democracy Republicans (Liz Cheney is one example) and that insuring a Democracy plurality in both Houses in 2022 and 24 is absolutely essential. 

 

Senator Schumer has said the Senate will bring a vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act with a target date of MLK’s birthday, November 17. Between now and then, supportive calls must be made, if at all possible every day; if not, every other day, or at least once a week by everyone in this country concerned about real elections, opposed to gerrymandered sham. All Senators can be reached at 1-833-345-2551. The White House can be reached at 202 456-1111 Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 AM to Noon. Presumably that’s on DC time. Because our highly progressive Senator Feinstein seems to have missed many recent votes, I include her e-mail:

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me/

 

Originally I had planned to devote this newsletter issue to summarizing the dire warnings of the many* articles appearing now (see “Three Retired Generals: The Military Must Prepare Now for a 2024 Insurrection”) mapping threats to democracy, in particular a military coup, one that might occur at that point in the chain, between the elections of November 2024, and Jan. 20, 2025 when the winning candidate takes office. This last period is the one most vulnerable to a military coup, one of many possible, which might result from political divisions within the Pentagon. But emphasizing what we can do about our fragile “democracy” right now seems even more to the point. 

 

*Resources in democracy’s defense https://sites.google.com/site/bonhoffertv/democracy

 


                                             TAKE ACTION

(A barrage this week, but the occasion calls for this and much, much more.)

 

ELIMINATE the filibuster so John Lewis Voting Rights ACT can pass.

 

SEND a message to your Senators demanding they stop voter suppression bills in their tracks by passing the Freedom to Vote Act.

 

ADD your name to demand Congress expel the members who helped plan the January 6 insurrection.

 

TELL AG Merrick Garland at the DOJ to investigate and prosecute #45 for any crimes he committed related to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

 

HOLD #45 responsible for Jan. 6.

 

TELL Wall Street to quit funding insurrectionists.

 

SIGN to support the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation.

 

STOP the 350 voter suppression bills introduced across 47 different states.

 

READ which corporations are funding Jan. 6 seditionists, and make sure to boycott as many as you can, and when you do be sure to tell them why.

 

READ and consider donating to the neveragain PAC.

 


 

Super Rose: Texas team applauded for giving What Big Pharma refuses: an unpatented, open-source COVID vaccine (Cobervax) to share with the world without personal profit.

 

Smaller roses:  U.S., Russia, China, UK, and France issue rare joint statement ‘No winners in a nuclear war.

 

In presidential polls, Brazil’s Lula leads judge who locked him up.

 

In Venezuela, social program meets goal of delivering 3 million homes. (Tell more then half a million homeless persons that the U.S. doesn‘t need socialism.)

 

Petition to strip war criminal Tony Blair of knighthood passes the 250,000 mark.

 

Thousands rally in Baghdad to mark 2020 killing of General Soleimani by the U.S.

 

Winnemucca Indian colony defends against bulldozing of their homes (shades of Palestine?)

 

France bans plastic packaging for most fruit and vegetables.

 

Leaders at Transportation and the FAA raise concerns about 5-G C-band’s interference with air travel safety.

 

U.S. telecom operators agree to 5 G delay (two weeks?) in U-turn decision.

 

 

In victory for Democracy and blow to #45-ism, FDIC chair resigns.

 

U.S. close to ending buried nuke waste cleanup in Idaho.

 

Republicans hastily come out in favor of modest election reform after Manchin opens door to filibuster changes.

 

Occupy Biden event calls for Biden to act now on climate change.

 

Bernie’s new year’s resolution for all progressives: fight like hell in 2022.

 

Campaign aims to bar all Jan. 6 insurrectionists (tourists!) including #45—from future public office.

 

Biden administration unveils first-ever anti-corruption plan .

 

Jayapal leads 50+ Democrats in urging Biden to end #45-era assault on Medicare.

 

Boston Globe endorses Pressley’s bill to transform broken clemency process and combat mass incarceration (the new slavery?)

 

Boston-based Winn Companies—which manages approximately $14 billion worth of largely affordable and military housing in 550 developments across 22 states—learns to try mediation to prevent evictions. (What a concept!)

 

 


 

                                                        Clusterfrog

 

Legislative, judicial, and executive frogs

 

 

 

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