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

 

 

 

.


Saturday, December 25, 2021

NOT SO FAR BABY

 

1942 was the first time I started to think something was wrong. That year, my godmother lived next door to a single mother who served as a WAVE during the war years.  (That was WWII, not any of the endless wars since the munitions industry captured our government). My godmother told me that every day her neighbor had to be away from home, she chained her child to the bed during the entire time of her absence, leaving the door to her apartment slightly ajar. My godmother was not one to intervene in any way that would cause family separation, but she sang so that the child would at least know there was anther human being within calling distance. The child never called.

 


It is now going on 2022, 80 years later.  Americans still don’t have universal childcare for working mothers. If a single mother is caught leaving a child alone in a car while she hunts for work, she is certain to be charged with a criminal offence.  But who is the criminal here?

 

During the Middle Ages, numerous hapless souls were burned at the stake, among them, a great number of women. Although most were accused of witchcraft, many were women of means who lived economically self-sufficient lives.  Therefore, they lived beyond the reach of male control, whether of husbands, or civic authorities.

In the present day, the pattern seems to replicate itself.  By the time I established my own experimental theater company in 1969, I already knew of at least two women in the San Francisco Bay Area who had started non-profit businesses in very modest circumstances only to be replaced by male dominated board trustees when their budgets reached a figure of one million or more.  For that same reason, when it became clear, if my company were to qualify for the 501c3 non profit status that would allow us to raise funds with a tax write-off  for the donor, I made sure that mine would always remain a rubber stamp board. 

 

White, male supremacy has its roots way back in 3000 BC when  the Yamnaya herders (sometimes called Kurgans)  from the Russian steppe (the area between the Caspian and Black Seas) invaded Europe, massacring what had been a peaceful, egalitarian civilization, bringing with them weapons, warfare, hierarchy, misogyny, sky gods, a notion of the life cycle ending in death, and worst of all (because language is the generation-to-generation vessel of culture) the proto-Indo-European which is the root of all but 4 of Europe’s languages. Sweeping across the face of Europe in less than 1000 years, the Kurgans either killed or castrated men, and enslaved women, forcing them to bear their children, corroborated today by the science of genetics. To this day, the chromosomes of all white, European males carry the Y chromosome of the Kurgans. Navigational technology would allow white Europeans to extend their genocide to the New World only much later, in 1492.

 


In the present political era, women’s bodies are still under male control.  In Texas, with the recent 6-week abortion cut-off law, the state sees to it that women’s bodies are still up for grabs.  Although the Supreme Court left the law in place, it allowed a legal challenge to proceed. Notwithstanding, already a likely 26 states are  planning on copy-cat laws. One member of Congress even referred, handmaiden style, to women as “vessels.”

 

In Manhattan, the Ghislaine Maxwell trial has made public the achievements of a 21st Century bawd: young girls procured and deflowered as young as 13 for the delectation of middle aged men of power, one of them a British crown prince, two of them U.S. presidents eager to parade their genitalia before admiring voters.  “Vessels” indeed.

 

To say that  women have come a long way, baby, is at best a way to dull our perceptions that matters have not advanced very much since the Kurgan invasion of 3000 B.C. or that a thing called “progress” is at best a self-congratulatory bromide dangled before our still enslaved eyes by the chieftainship of the powerful, and greedy. And it sells cancer-causing cigarettes.

 

 

 


 

PROTECT our right to reproductive liberty.

 

DONATE to planned parenthood to fight Texas abortion law.

 

URGE Manchin to rethink Build Back Better before tanking the economy.

 

 

Belgium to close all existing nuclear power plants.

 

European supermarkets pull beef products linked to Brazil deforestation.

 

Europe finally recognizes platform workers are not self employed.

 

Peru ratifies UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

Lawsuit filed in Peru with indigenous ownership of millions of acres on the line.

 

Canada’s Wet’suwet’en retake checkpoint a month after police crackdown.

 

Stoney Nakoda language resources launched to preserve language.

 

Despite refusal by China, Russia and India, 100 nations ledge to cut 30% of methane emissions by 2030.

 

Egypt  to build $20K electric vehicles with Chinese firms.

 

China to help build 1,000 schools in US war-torn Iraq

 

China and Nicaragua to collaborate in New multipolar world.

 

South Korea declares multilateral agreement to end Korean war.

 

In UK Assange appeals his extradition to US.

 

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says Assange should not be extradited to the US.

 

Change is coming to UK schools taking up the racist schools system and adding Black history to the curriculum.

 

UK’s Boorish Johnson suffers massive Shropshire by-election upset.

 

300 doctors implore Australia to bring Assange home.

 

In Glasgow Extinction Rebellion blocks Home Office to protest nationality and borders bill.

 

Anti-Nazi, Israel critic Gabriel Boric vows to be president of all Chileans as Nazi Kast concedes defeat by wide margin.

 

Latin America hails Boric’s victory in Chilean elections

 

Honduras defeats US-backed narco-dictatorship of Juan Orlando Fernandez at the ballot box, electing Xiomara Castro, its first female president.

 

At its meeting in Cuba, Bolivarian Alliance – People’s Trade Treaty renews its commitment to strengthen political coordination based on solidarity, social justice, cooperation and economic complementarity.

 

Corbyn receives award for supporting Palestinians amid UK Labor debate on BDS.

 

Prior to Brazil elections Lula returns in broad alliance.

 

More than 120 nations with 90% of world’s forests  agreed to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030; 450 financial institutions overseeing $130 trillion in assets align portfolios seeking net zero emissions by 2050.

 

Ethiopian TPLF announces retreat to “give peace  a chance.”

 

Ethiopians, Eritreans hold #NoMore march outside U.S. State Department.

 

Palestine hails UN resolutions against illegal Israeli settlements.

 

Venezuelan envoy, Alex Saab’s diplomatic immunity freezes his court case.

 

Three UK activists defacing Israeli drones engines factory acquitted.

 

U.S. fully prepared to lift Iran sanctions, allowing Iran to receive economic benefits of the 2015 nuclear deal.

 

Iran threatens sanctions against US over treatment of Black Americans.

 

Biden commits federal government to 100% zero emission vehicle purchases by 2035.

 

Biden demures sending US troops to the Ukraine.

 

CIA chief says intelligence (?) agencies haven’t concluded Russia will invade Ukraine.

 

Biden blasts Kellogg’s plan to replace striking workers.

 

Biden endorses filibuster carve-out for voting rights and election reform.

 

Biden extends pause on student loan payments through May 1.

 

After blocking idea, Biden administration  to distribute 500 million free COVID tests.

 

Giving finger to anti-choicers, Biden administration FDA allows abortion pills by mail.

 

Senate told to act on voting rights bills after Biden backs filibuster exception.

 

House passes Protecting Our Democracy Act to prevent presidential abuse of power.

 

Progressive Caucus urges Biden to wield executive action as agenda stalls

 

AOC leads demand for Biden to work on ending Saudi blockade of Yemen airport

 

Warren endorses Judiciary Act.

 

114 Reps sign letter urging  Biden to engage with Cuba.

 

US issues ‘broad authorization’ to enable aid to Afghanistan.

 

Garland sues Texas Republicans for redistricting maps discriminating against Black and  Latino voters.

 

Poor People’s Campaign target corporate Dems at DC rally ‘this is Manchin against us.’

 

Whistle blower Daniel Hale receives award for drone leak.

 

Federal class-action suit filed over Haitian migrants’ abused and dehumanized at US border.

 

Slavery by another name: Court rejects GEO Group’s efforts to reduce settlement won by immigrants forced to work for $1 a day.

 

Erie PA cement workers strike for better raises, and a dental plan.

 

Kellogg workers reject temporary agreement.

 

Amazon warehouse workers in Chicago walk off job.

 

Amazon workers organize for cellphone access.

 

Unions, workers call out backroom deal to sneak Amazon into Newark airport.

 

Pharmacists walkout in early unionization effort to restore -hour day and appropriate breaks.

 

In solidarity with trucker accused of manslaughter, no trucks enter Colorado.

 

Buffalo Starbucks workers vote to form chain’s first union in U.S.

 

N.Y. AG seeks #45’s testimony in civil frau probe.

 

Oregon plans to build natural gas export facility have been  cancelled.

 

Grape pickers crash lavish Sonoma winery banquet demanding better wildfire protections.

 

Apple workers organize Christmas Eve walkout, demanding  respectful workplace, frontline protection, and mental health care.

 

New York City’s Home care workers protest 24-hour work day.

 

Oregon decriminalizes personal use of all illicit drugs with impressive results.

 

Louisiana’s Midwest energy company Tallgrass cancels plans to build massive oil terminal off Louisiana’s coast.

 

Progressives sweep 2021 municipal elections across Georgia.

 

Auto workers vote to move to direct voting system for choosing leadership.

 

Kentucky candle factory workers sue  company, alleging ‘flagrant indifference’ to their safety.

 

Workers at Activision  Blizzard lead week-long work stoppage.

 

Penn East cancels New Jersey pipeline.

 

Yurok tribe uses California carbon offset to buy back its land.

 

Central California’s Tribal communities to stop Sites Reservoir.

 

Soledad prisoners sue prison system following targeted raid against Black people.

 

Innocence Project petitions Court allowing Rodney Reed to file new petition based on evidence disproving states theory and demonstrating prosecutorial misconduct that sent innocent man to death row.

 

U. C. recognizes student researchers united union of 17,000 workers.

 

Columbia University student workers defy university’s strikebreaking threats.

 

Indiana University  graduate workers submit cards, seek union election.

 

Smith College students rally to support prison moratorium.

 

California’s Gov. Newsom won’t order Diablo Canyon nuclear plant to stay open.

 

Washington  State’s governor pushes big state EV credit.

 

San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point activists take  air pollution monitoring into their own hands.

 

Fun news:  bugs eat plastic.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

There's More to Vax Than Meets the Eye

We’ve been immersed in our COVID  world now for nearly two years, with a new “variant,” Omicron, raising its spikey head, fomenting press and panic in the Big Pharma racket, and causing a new wave of pain emblemized for me by seeing another man sleeping on the same sloped lawn outside the university student housing, that I first saw more than a year ago. 

 

Somewhat removed from the American vaxxer vs. anti vaxxer tug of war, I still receive screeds from a few colleagues who pepper my inbox with their cries of outrage, outrage mostly at finding their personal liberty infringed upon. But just yesterday, one whose mind I have found sound and reliable sent a barrage of articles and youtubes, including a transcript of an address Giorgio Agamben gave before an Italian parliamentary body as recently as last month. Giorgio Agamben is a noted Italian philosopher whose name is typical of the Veneto, one of Italy’s northern regions. He first came to my attention through the work of Mau, a Polynesian dance company whose high concept production, Tempest Without a Body, probably the most profound piece of theater I will ever have viewed in a long life-time of theater viewing, was grounded in his work.

 

Giorgio Agamben

His address is devoid of fluff, a scant few paragraphs really, entirely lazer focused on its two points The first addresses the proposed Italian Parliamentary Decree that all citizens must now be obliged to carry a “green pass” (the Italian equivalent of our vaccination card) which implies that the government accepts no responsibility for any damage brought about by Big Pharma’s un-fully-tested vaccine.

 

His second point addresses the political problem of the “green pass,” which forces people to get vaccinated if they want to eat, have a social life, work a job, or generally try surviving.  The over-all picture he paints is of a society based on control-as-the-accepted norm. He further elaborates his point by drawing parallels with the Soviet and the Italian Fascist models.

 

Now imagine the U.S. congress inviting a philosopher to address one of its august bodies. What public intellectual might be considered worthy of such a summons let alone listened to? What hoodlum of greed, of financially stratospheric kleptitude would have to fit the bill?

 

In other pandemic news, one headline reads “Moderna  refuses to share vaccine recipe with all of Africa as Omicron rises.”  Another reads “First U.S. case confirmed as WHO chief decries failure to share vaccines globally.” Profits for Big Pharma come first over kicking the pandemic habit; greed will guarantee that people of the world continue to suffer until the entire world is immunized—which at the rate we are going will take the next forty years.. The other very significant article reports publication of Robert Kennedy’s new book, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health. The link worth a read. A brief précis for folks with shorter attention spans can be found here.

 

Kennedy has chosen to  expose the Byzantine machinations undergirding the U.S. approach to immunology.  He has this to say: “For five decades Tony Fauci has been essentially a Big Pharma agent, nurturing a complex web of financial entanglements among pharmaceutical companies and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its employees that have transformed NIAID into a seamless subsidiary of the pharmaceutical industry…. [He] does not do public health; he is a businessman, who has used his office to enrich his pharmaceutical partners and expand the reach of influence that has made him the most powerful – and despotic – doctor in human history.”

 

Prior to all publication, the book industry in the U.S. makes sure to review all copy with a fine-toothed comb to guard against any liable suit.  You can be sure that Kennedy’s book is vermin-free.

 

Hope from the ground up

 

In all the dithering and delay by the WTO which postponed their latest scheduled meeting—a meeting which to consider a temporary waiver— owing to the emergence the Omicron variant. Some time ago, Senator Paulo Paim of Brazil proposed a bill that allows Brazil to bypass the barriers originally erected by TRIPS (Agreement of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) which according to its Article 73 allows each government to take whatever action it considers necessary to address the pandemic, including suspending property rights.  Paim‘s bill, which passed both Brazil’s House and Senate, provides  a permanent provision for overriding IP monopolies on essential technologies needed to address such health emergencies as the current pandemic.

 

This development had the potential of providing the entire Third World with a viable alternative model, had not Bolsonaro vetoed many of its provisions, resulting in the Senate charging him with “crimes against humanity.”  At present, because the Senate missed is deadlines restoring the bill’s original provisions following Bolsonaro’s mangling, it must now act quickly to eliminate Bolsonaro’s cuts.

 

Tune in next week.

 


 

SCROLL DOWN to sign demanding global access to COVID vaccines and treatment.

 

DONATE to put human lives over Big Pharma profits.

 

DEMAND the extra $25 billion Congress wants to allocate to the Pentagon go to producing COVID vaccine to end the pandemic worldwide.

 


 

WHO chief urges pandemic treaty to avoid another ‘crisis of sharing and solidarity.’

 

2.5 million nurses demand UN probe into ‘COVID criminals’ blocking patent waiver.

 

Xi announces supplying Africa with additional 1 billion COVID vaccine doses.

 

UNESCO members adopt first global AI ethics agreement ‘to benefit humanity.’

 

NATO parliamentarians send letter to Biden for no firth-use policies.

 

Germany to get Green Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Climate in boost for President Biden.

 

‘Triumph for Democracy as socialist candidate takes commanding lead in Honduran election.

 

Massive turnout in favor of leftists in Honduras repudiate U.S. backed coup.

 

Honduras National Party recognizes Xiomara Castro’s win.

 

Honduras set for first female president as Castro holds wide lead.

 

Castro’s victory spells end of U.S. backed ‘narco-politics, neoliberalism.”

 

International community recognizes victory of Xiomara Castro.

 

Venezuela’s socialists win election in landslide as U.S. tries to discredit them.

 

Venezuela’s mega-elections: despite U.S. sanctions, COVID, an d economic crisis, Chavismo wins majority of states.

 

What a concept department: Despite over 60 year old U.S. blockade, Cuba develops its own two highly effective vaccines, immunizes 80% of its population and is on the verge of sharing its vaccines with impoverished nations abandoned by Big Parma and wealthy countries.  

 

In Nicaragua, Sandinistas win landslide victory because they uplifted the poor. 

 

Seven-day march of over a million people in defense of democracy concludes in La Paz, Bolivia.

 

Mexico increases workers’ minimum wage by 22 percent.

 

In Argentina Macri indicted and banned from leaving country.

 

Indonesian unions celebrate critical omnibus law victory regaining rights, entitlements, as well as environmental protections.

 

Majority of world’s oil and gas workers want to seek employment in renewable energy industry.

 

Shell slammed for plan to last South African coastline for oil and gas during whale mating season.

 

For the sake of peace, anti war groups demand Biden return to nuclear deal with Iran.

 

Informal group of Northwest indigenous tribes announce they’ll join Southern California march to demand release of indigenous children from immigration detention facilities, signaling hemispheric indigenous solidarity. 

 

Biden commits to North Korea peace as U.S. and South Korea talk end-of-war declaration.

 

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping agree that nuclear-armed countries should not be able to gain decisive advantage over one another.

 

Protests demanding affordable housing surge in the Netherlands.

 

Massive protests in Niger, Burkina Faso demand French military get out.

 

Putin calls for release of Afghan financial assets.

 

Amnesty’s General Secretary calls for Assange’s immediate release because is detention is arbitrary.

 

Norway calls on  NATO to stay away from its border with Russia.

 

In Winnipeg, free bus rides offer environmentally sound transportation model.

 

Battle over Canada’s Jordan Cove Energy Project is over after developers pull plug.

 

Nearly 300 artists, celebrities demand Hollywood end ‘disturbing’ support for Big Pharma’s vaccine monopolies.

 

Extractive Industries everywhere are watching as 9 Democrats urge DOJ to free Steven Donziger.

 

Biden to create panel to study expanding “Supreme”  Court.

 

Durbin introduces amendment to end ‘legacy of cruelty’ by closing Guantanamo.

 

‘Congress must act’: Sanders demands end of filibuster to codify abortion rights.

 

New report urges Biden to stop arms sales fueling Saudi ‘devastation’ of Yemen.

 

47 groups urge Congress to avert ‘human rights failure’ by blocking Biden’s Saudi arms sale.

 

Shutdown averted as Congress passes short-term funding bill.

 

200+ groups to Democrats in Congress: No holiday recess until you pass voting rights.

 

Amid overdose  crisis, public health groups urge Congress to pass live-saving bills.

 

Activists make last-minute bid to stop blasting in whale breeding grounds.

 

‘For profit healthcare hurts all of us”: Sacramento, CA approves single-payer resolution.

 

SCOTUS upholds Oklahoma’s McGirt Decision guaranteeing tribal sovereignty as Governor and big oil lose.

 

Nevada’s Democratic governor apologizes for state’s abuses of Native Americans.

 

Stacey Abrams runs for governor of Georgia.

 

Union  and Kellogg reach tentative deal to end strike.

 

Win for Alabama Amazon workers after NLRB orders new union vote after corporation ‘s misconduct.

 

Chicago tortilla workers walk out and win day off work.

 

After Long Island farmworkers unionize, organizers hope to see others follow.

 

N.Y.C. opens nation’s first overdose prevention centers.

 

Dozens more N.Y.C. convictions tossed because of three dirty former ‘top’ cops.

 

Food banks distributed 1.1 billion pounds of food in the first quarter of 2020. By fall, 2020, they were handing out 1/7 billion pounds.


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.