Sunday, June 10, 2018

Play On...

This week in Berkeley both local music lovers and out of towners got together for the bi-annual Baroque Music Festival and Exhibition. (The event occurs on the East Coast on alternative years.) And those of us lucky enough and demented enough to attend concert after concert, most of them conducted in venues with which we have developed a familiarity over the years living here, sat through innumerable concerts, studying the backs of the heads of the mostly greying audience in attendance in those few (or many) rows in front of us as we reveled in the glorious music of the 11th through the 18th centuries, And while we did so, to our sometime distress, we heard the deafening sirens of the “serve and protect” people swerving and detecting in the streets outside wherever they found people walking vertically, or loitering horizontally.

And we asked ourselves, is this normal?  How long has this been going on? What does it sound like when they make their arrests?  When they cuff people for “loitering?”  or being brown? When the beatings start? (And I do know what it sounds like:  I hunkered down in the Castro Theatre at the time Act-Up hosted a neighborhood “visitation” by ranks of San Francisco’s finest armed with their batons.) When the bullets begin to fly? Because the sound of those sirens is becoming more frequent. And, amidst the waving flags, each year the budget for those flashing lights (red, white and blue) is growing by leaps and bounds. And the lutenists are smiling awkwardly and with greater frequency as the outside alarms interfere with the peacefulness and contemplation that music always brings, especially in these years of cop-on-black murder, and frenzied deportations, and family separations, and the disappearance of upwards of 1400 children. 

And the announcement by the Progressive Turnout Project today that House Republicans approve Washington's staging its flag-waving military parade, and Common Dreams announces that an Ohio ICE raid, after 114 workers were arrested, left their children stranded with baby sitters, and day care teachers, and that 40 million Americans already live in poverty.

Is this normal?  Is this the new normal you want to see?

(Every one of these Actions—except the last one—requires the click of a mouse—the mouse that roars.)

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The Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition announces that, despite Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords, states comprising 35% of the U.S. economy are taking steps to put a price on carbon pollution; over 100 companies have announced emissions reduction targets, business of all sizes invested in a total of 2.8 gigawatts of renewables, and hundreds of cities are already committed to the Paris climate goals.

With Tesla powerpacks, electric cars can now charge day and night on sunlight with battery storage.

350 announces that with activist support, their endorsed candidates and initiatives won by defeating California Proposition 70, a Big Oil push to put climate programs at the mercy of corporate lobbyists.

Instead of using pesticides Japanese farmers are using ducks to eat the weeds and insects, and leave the rice alone.

Apple announces it will attempt to frustrate Facebook tools to automatically track web users with its next version of iOS, and Mac operating systems.

Among its recent victories, the ACLU announces Senate passage of police misconduct and use of force records SB 1421, Senate approval of SB 923 establishing eyewitness identification standards, Assembly passage of AB 2601 mandating equal sex education for charter as well as other public school students, and Assembly approval of AB 3131 making sure local communities weigh in before local “law enforcement” acquires military equipment.

Mariano Rajoy, fascist president of Spain, falls.

Anti-nuke Nobel winner, ICAN, offers to pay for Trump-Kim summit.

Dame Catherine Healy of New Zealand, a former sex worker, is being recognized for her work advancing the rights of sex workers. 

Tuesday’s results include victories for Jeramey Anderson in MS-04, and Harley Rouda in CA-48.

California Democrats are not shut out by ranked voting in Districts 10, 11, 22, 25, 39, 45, 48, and 49.

Progressive Jason Anderson wins the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s race.

Earlier this year, the NDRC announced 12 electoral target states for 2018: Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada among them.

Argentina’s national soccer team cancels their upcoming match with the Israeli national team. Israel pointed to BDS  activists as responsible.

Trump grants clemency to one lifer, non-violent drug offense prisoner 63-year-old  Alice Johnson.

Slamming family separation as “brutal, and offensive,” a federal judge rules ACLU lawsuit can proceed.

One more defendant in the Inauguration Day Protest was found not guilty, and three more are still waiting for jury verdicts.

 (None of these cartoons appeared in Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette, despite Rogers being the paper’s full-time staff political cartoonist.)



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