Saturday, July 28, 2018

Mobile Chernobyl: Part II of Tin Can Alley

This week the House of Representatives rammed through the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, (with 139 Democrats' aproval)  which, besides green lighting a new, submarine-launched nuclear warhead, approves $717 billion for such hardware as 13 new Navy warships, and the purchase of 77 F-35s, and not coincidentally, the government will have to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year. But not to worry: you are expected to pay for it: you and all future generations.

Said the Intercept: “Its seems strange…that Democrats…say Trump is an authoritarian, lawless traitor, but…keep voting to increase his war powers, military budget, and detention and spying authorities.”

Meanwhile, chugging away,  nuclear plants continue to supply the needed plutonium to obliterate the life on Earth and so doing keep piling up more nuclear waste, some 100,000 metric tons of it and counting. 

But the climate has a nasty way of non-cooperation: in particular, with high temperatures this week in much of France, some of its nuclear reactors cannot be cooled. Rivers have become too warm, and EDF has had to cut energy output.


And now before a complaisant congress is a proposal to truck all that waste throughout the United States to two temporary dump sites in Texas and New Mexico. Moving it would have to continue for the next 40 years, there’s that much nuclear waste piled up. To quote the Nuclear Information and Resource Service: “Thousands of casks of this waste would move on our roads, rails and waterways! It could take 40-50 years to move the waste once but then it would all presumably move again to a different permanent site, [one] as yet to be found…So this could be the start of a virtually endless campaign of moving insanely radioactive nuclear waste back and forth across the country.”


So please, dear reader, especially if you prefer not to read the fine print below, before doing anything else,  please send your comment (already written out for you ) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission right now. The deadline is July 30th.  


NIRS lists 9 reasons to oppose the dump

1. The plan cannot go through unless you and every other taxpayer in the United States, including those not yet born agree to assume ownership for this waste, and pay to transport it. U.S. federal laws forbid such an arrangement.

2. Tetra Tech, the contractor Holtec chose to make the Environmental Impact Report, has a track record of falsifying radiation monitoring data, hiring unqualified workers to conduct scanning and clean ups; and suppressing reports for 20 years namey the Navy’s Hunters Point site which has been converted to San Francisco housing!

3. Proposed storage site in  Texas is home to agriculture, dairy farms. And New Mexico, already victim of the 94 million-gallon “spill”  by Kerr McGee into the Rio Puerco, is a minority state, and has experienced environmental racism for decades.

4. Canisters as reported in last week’s Tin Can Alley are less than an inch thick, cannot be monitored for leaks, and do not in any way conform to safety requirements in the case of fire, road accidents, or extended submersion in water. Contact with water leading to erosion will ultimately cause leaks, resulting in a nuclear explosion.

Break down of rail (red) and highway transportation

5. Some of these canisters contain high burn up fuel.

6. As of now the nuclear regulatory commission has been unable to report as to the distantly located emergency response teams, upon which these sites will rely.

7. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission  tends to ignore such factors as high temperatures, salty dry climates, potential flash floods, lightning, blocked vents, and other factors contributing to un predictable conditions.

8. So-called “interim” storage could well become permanent.

9. Consolidating this waste raises the specter of reprocessing to extract the plutonium required  to manufacture nuclear weapons leading to weapons proliferation.

But there is a tenth reason: One site, Yucca Mountain, on Western Shoshone land, is located in the basement of a mountain slowly swimming westward. It consists of 10% water, and its drip has been shown to corrode metal within 20 minutes.

Please send your comment (see above) to The Nuclear Regulatory Commission at

Read a book I wish I had authored myself: John D’Agata: About a Mountain.


U.S. Court of appeals rules in favor the Oglala Sioux, protecting the Black Hills from uranium mining.   

Federal Judge Peter Missette allows emoluments lawsuit, challenging Trump’s refusal to divest assets, to proceed.

By releasing a man awaiting a retrial without bond, Judge Wm. Hooks of Cook country may have set a precedent.

Court orders NYPD to record all citizen encounters.
North Dakota attorney general sues Dakota Access pipeline, charging it never acquired legal ownership of the land.

Necessity defense allowed in Resist Spectra/Enbridge AIM pipeline case.

A new Cuban constitution revises the legal definition of marriage.

Four years after he murdered Eric Garner, NYPD officer is finally facing charges.

Judge Dana Sabraw orders temporary halt to deportation of reunited migrant families.

Polk County District Judge Karen Romano issues temporary injunction barring the state from implementing some of the provisions of Iowa’s new voter ID law, restoring the absentee early voting period and blocking certain ID requirements.

A three-member panel of the 7th Court of Appeals in Indiana determines that the requirement forcing any woman considering an abortion to undergo an ultrasound 18 hours before the procedure imposes an unconstitutional undue burden on women.

Federal Judge, Jesse Furman allows legal challenge to Trump’s citizen question on the census to go forward.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty frees pizza man jailed by ICE.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denies Trump administration’s attempt to dismiss suit by 21 kids suing the U.S. government over climate change.


RAICES rejects $250,000 Salesforce Corporation donation over company’s border agency ties.

In Iowa, the “No Respect” added to the U.S. Army billboard urges people to oppose the active war zone at Drone Command Center next to Des Moines International Airport.

White House stenographer quits because “Trump is lying to the American people.”

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak issues call for National prison strike August 21 to protest prison slave labor.

Lod stages unique Jewish-Arab LGBTQ Pride event.

Children march through San Francisco Streets and other cities, demanding adults protect them from a future of climate chaos.

Volos, Greece, resorts to barter to by-pass use of Euro.

In Sweden, Elin Ersson, a college student, stopped a deportation to Afghanistan by holding up an international flight.

Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman, are released from Israeli prison where Tamimi was held for slapping an Israeli soldier.

“I am a child”: 100 kids and their advocates fill Senate office building demanding family unification.


Famed Seattle fish market sold to longtime employees rather than highest bidder.

Forbes reports that Vermont’s Putney Food coop produces more revenue per square foot than fancy chains like Whole Foods.

Starbucks announces it will open it’s first “signing store” where employees must be proficient in sign language. (Yes, but what minimum wage will it pay them ?)

NFL rethinks its anthem policy after Miami Dolphins try to punish protesting players.

New Zealand offers paid leave to domestic violence survivors.


UNESCO designates 24 new biosphere reserves.

Estimating that its mean ban will save 16.7 billion gallons of water, WeWork, a London company,  goes meat free.

31 new solar power plants bring 1 gigawatt of renewable power to Portugal.

Thanks to 100% wind and solar, Republican Georgetown TX mayor Dale Ross announces his town has some of the lowest energy costs in Central Texas.

After a long list of violations, Oregon shuts down Lost Valley mega-dairy factory farm for good.

With tailpipe emissions the largest source of pollutants, California school districts order all-electric buses.

After first approving  a plan charging ratepayers billions of dollars for the emergency closing of San Onofre nuclear plant, California Public Utilities Commission trims $750 million from customer bills.

In a grid modernization plan, Dominion of Virginia hopes to target  3 GW of wind and solar.

Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA announces that he won’t follow Pruit’s order giving super polluting trucks a temporary pass.


Aware that it’s not a lack of food keeping  people hungry, Atlanta’s Goodr  partners with restaurants  to  deliver their unused food—already up to 900,000 pounds— to the hungry while allowing restaurants to reduce their trash bills and increase their tax write-offs.


Joint Sanders-Occasion-Cortez Kansas rally is so mobbed, it has to relocate to much larger quarters.

Democrats demand records for Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before starting the confirmation process. (Duh.)

House progressives, putting common good above billionaires, introduce “People’s Budget.”

California dental and medical associations announce that they will pursue a statewide sofa tax initiative on the 2020 ballot.

So far this year, North Carolina has not been guilty of voter caging.

Recalling Trump’s infamous remarks during his presidential campaign, Massachusetts’ “Nasty Women” Act, will officially stop a Roe v. Wade reversal from automatically banning abortion in the state.


Immigrant parents charged up to $8 a minute to call their kids.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Tin Can Alley

A recent Irish Examiner study reports that villages in the Ukraine 125 miles away from Chernobyl are still suffering from fallout after 30 years. In Japan, seven years after the nuclear triple-meltdown, the government is forcing those it was obliged to relocate, back into Fukushima areas that will remain contaminated for at least that many years. Radiation is not good for you.

Meanwhile in the dis-United States, despite a raft of nuclear plant closures, the nuclear industry is doing everything within its power to insure that a similar catastrophe will occur here. Southern California Edison corporation offers one of many shining examples.

Nuclear fuel pool
Billed as “Energy for What’s Ahead.” we can only hope that what’s ahead may not be as grim as its nuclear waste policies seem to indicate, particularly with its plans for the nuclear plant closure at San Onofre. First some background. As fuel rods become “spent” causing them actually to heat up, they are transferred routinely to “spent” fuel pools to cool off. These buildings are not “hardened.” A recent Greenpeace stunt successfully crashed a drone dressed as superman into a nuclear plant in France. Nor are they protected by back up generators in the case of a power failure such as happened at Fukushima, where both internal and external power sources failed.

Now, especially in  the context of reopened governmental discussions regarding the storage of nuclear waste, and with the boondoggle of Yucca Mountain re-opened, Edison has contracted with Holtec Corporation to supply canisters for dry storage. It sounds, on the surface like it might be a good idea,, except that at San Onofre, such canisters are exposed and subject to the corrosion of salt air, and are located some 100 feet above sea level, in an area vulnerable to tsunami surges. Unlike the storage casks employed in Europe where cask walls are about one 11 to 19 inches thick,  Holtec’s canisters are 5/8 of an inch thick. And they are vulnerable to cracking.

Cracking, you say, cracking can be fixed. True if the cracking can be located, but these canisters cannot be inspected, and when 5% air enters them, the fuel will explode; if rain water seeps into them, their contents will go critical—i.e. initiate a nuclear explosion, the kind that generates fallout. The kind that kills. Each can is supposed to hold a Chernobyl disaster in the words of Donna Gilmore, from the group of activists spearheading efforts to hold Southern California Edison responsible, a company with a track record about as integral as Swiss cheese.

Meantime, don’t forget: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s salaries are paid by the industry. And with Holtec’s environmentally unjust proposal for tons of radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel to be “temporarily” stored in southwest New Mexico, high risk, high-level radioactive waste barge shipments could begin on Lake Michigan and many other surface and coastal waters  across the country and high-level radioactive waste truck and train shipments could begin in most states, many major cities, and the vast majority of U.S. congressional districts 

Why address what is assuredly the existential challenge of our time on Earth? 
Because it is never too late to pay attention, massive attention because that’s what it takes to save ourselves from another Chernobyl.  It is never too late to re-awaken a movement, the anti-nuclear movement, which in the ‘80s was capable of turning out hundreds of thousands. It’s important to remember that the economic rationale
for such an exorbitant form of energy was to develop weapons-grade plutonium. Any energy it might supply for home use is merely a by-product of a war-making, planet-devastating military project. 

The time is now. Especially now, with the surge—finally—of such popular movements as #IdleNoMore, #BlackLivesMatter,, #EndICE and #SaveRoevsWade, why is the idea—not the rhetoric—but the idea of Peace in Our Time, even as it comes to us in words from Helsinki, why is Peace and the always elusive Peace Economy such a bad idea?

For what you can do to help, please go to and share this information and fact sheet.

Sign The Nation open letter at Roots Action:


Greenpeace crashes  Superman-shaped  drone into France’s Bugey nuclear plant.

Ex-PM Koizumi invites Ozawa, a former political rival, to call for ending nuclear power in Japan.

In opposition to the objectionable dump site on Western Shoshone land at Yucca Mountain, Beyond Nuclear leads a standing room only briefing in the U.S. Congress on the need for hardened on-site nuclear waste  storage.

Peace activists gain entry to Buchel, a German air base, that holds U.S. nuclear bombs.

More than 80 activists from Livermore and surrounding towns challenge Air District’s preliminary OK of Livermore Lab’s permit to detonate bomb tests with high explosive contaminants at an outdoor firing table.”


Vermont nurses strike for better patient care.

In Khan al Ahmar, Sara abu Dahouk s was release and school opened as scheduled as mandated by Israel’s High Court.

Thousands protest Israeli apartheid bill in TelAviv.

In L.A. bank employees and activists celebrate the passage of an amended bank resolution requiring any bank doing business with the City must disclose its sales goals and reveal any predatory business practices.

Activists are arrested after shutting down ICE facilities in the cities of San Francisco and Miami.

Members of Department of Homeland Security quit over morally repugnant family separation policies.

Hand in Hand, a national network of employers of nannies, house cleaners and personal attendants, brings an additional constituency to Trumps ”zero tolerance” policy.

#TimetoboycottAmazon as Bezos workers mark #PrimeDay with strikes against low pay and brutal working conditions.

Episcopal Church votes to set up a human rights divestment screen to shed investments in companies involved in human rights violations in Israel.

GOP withdraws nomination of racist Judge Ryan W. Bounds.


Marking “Zero Hour,” young activists kick off three days of marches and demonstrations around the globe to safeguard our planet for both its current and future generations.

Greenpeace slathers Barclay’s London headquarters with faux tar sand spill.

Ecuador’s highest court upholds $9.5 billion ruling against Chevron Corporation.

Four largest tech companies announce 100% renewable energy commitments.

Exxon Mobil leaves conservative advocacy group ALEC.

New York City Council votes on bill to limit the damages of environmental racism.

Juan and Julia Jimenez and their children have restored the ecosystem in their coffee farm in Cajamarca, Peru, and made it more resilient to the impacts of climate change.  


In Khan al Ahmar, Sara abu Dahouk s was release and school opened as scheduled as mandated by Israel’s High Court.

The International Criminal Court judges order outreach to victims of war crimes in Palestine. 

Women’s Rights

India rules marriage of child brides is illegal and that sex with child brides is always illegal.

Turkish wedding photographer stops a child bride marriage he was hired to shoot.

Gov. John Carney of Delaware signs bill requiring all health plans to start providing birth control with zero co-pays.

Indian working class women are finally allowed to sit down and take breaks during the work day.


Philadelphia Judge Petrese Tucker uphold adoption by same-sex couples as non-discriminatory.

Milwaukee enters a settlement agreement to end stop and frisk that resulted in decade-long harassment and racial/ethnic profiling of black and Latino people citywide.


FCC Chair Pai sinks the proposed merger of  Sinclair and Tribune Media because of activist pressure.

Rep. Mike Coffman of CO becomes first House Republican to back reinstating FCC protections.

EU hits Google with $5 billion antitrust fine, demanding it be broken up for monopolistic practices.


District Judge Dana Sabraw temporarily halts deportation  of separated families.

Kansas congregations pledge to shield immigrants facing deportation, “even if it means arrest.”

Otros Dreams en Accion, a grass-roots Mexican group, works with deported and returning migrants from the U.S.

Primaries & politics

Over 62 House Democrats launch a Medicare for all Caucus to thunderous applause.

Progressive candidate Kevin de Leon receives endorsement from California Democrats.

Non-citizens legally register to vote in San Francisco school elections (because it directly affects their children).

Measure to Balkanize California into three states is removed from the November ballot by the state Supreme Court.

California Jovanka Beckles’ run for AD 15 is endorsed by Dan Kalb and Judy Appel.

California Young Executive Board endorses and  overwhelmingly passes Igor Tregub’s #HousingNow-Yes, on Prop 10 (Costa Hawkins).


World cup star Kylian Mbappé donates all his earnings to help children with disabilities.

Chutzpah (for laughs)

Candelas Glows, a group dealing with problems at Rocky Flats, announced that local developers partnering with government are trying to sell the public on a plutonium –contaminated site re-imaged as a wildlife refuge.

Pentagon reaches back ten years to take money back from veterans.

So you’ve ruined a town and poisoned their children, why not bill them for your legal costs?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

We Cannot Allow This Nomination To Proceed

A lightning-quick campaigner, Napoleon claimed to set the record for speed crowning. Before some doddering old Pope pronounced the sacred words, “Receive the Imperial Crown,” our man crowned himself instead, and before crowning Josephine he took her crown for test drive too, to make sure it worked.” The question historians like to ask is: “Didn’t the Emperor look undignified with two crowns on his head?” They forget he didn’t mind them stacked.

Author of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act, John Ashcroft became the first American statesman to uphold the democratic version of imperial tradition by anointing himself with Mazola whenever he took office, but in his defense, he used the economy size, upholding family values that make American Democracy so great.

And now, in that same exalted tradition, we have Brett Kavanaugh. He veers away from the low brow economies of the family size, favoring instead the more expensive live interactive model. While giving lip service to such small gestures as gaveling down Roe vs. Wade, upholding the Janus vs. AFSCME ruling and Pennsylvania’s gerrymandering, shreading voting rights, abolishing any kind of healthcare, putting women in their place, enforcing anti-immigrant policies, sticking the Betsy DeVoz brand of Christianity in public schools, and re-establishing Jim Crow, the real reason for picking Kavanaugh is he can be counted on to crown our very own fearless leader with his get-out-of-jail-free card while taking great pains not to muss up his hairdo. And, for the next thirty years or so, crown all succeeding emperors separately but equally.

The man himself
Said Corey Booker on Rachel Maddow: “We cannot allow this nomination to proceed.” A big player in the Starr impeachment proceedings against poor, cigar-famished Bill Clinton, (from Time magazine:) “In a 2009 law-review article, Kavanaugh called for Congress to pass a law stating that sitting Presidents should not be subject to criminal investigations or civil suits while in office, adding that the Constitution prescribes the impeachment process as the remedy for ousting a wayward President….If the Justices are asked to decide whether Trump can be subpoenaed or charged with a crime in office, it’s clear where Kavanaugh is likely to stand.”

And from the Breakfast Report/Progressive Action quoting the Daily Beast: “When President Donald Trump nominates a justice to the Supreme Court on Monday night, he will be carrying out the agenda of a small, secretive network of extremely conservative Catholic activists already responsible for placing three justices (Alito, Roberts, and Gorsuch) on the high court. And yet few people know who they are—until now. At the center of the network is Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, the association of legal professionals that has been the pipeline for nearly all of Trump’s judicial nominees. (Leo is on leave from the Federalist Society to personally assist Trump in picking a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy.) His formal title is executive vice president, but that role belies Leo’s influence. Directly or through surrogates, he has placed dozens of life-tenure judges on the federal bench; effectively controls the Judicial Crisis Network, which led the opposition to President Obama’s high court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland; he heavily influences the Becket Fund law firm that represented Hobby Lobby in its successful challenge of contraception; and now supervises admissions and hires at the George Mason Law School, newly renamed in memory of Justice Antony Scalia.”

Imperial court of idiots facing the wrong way
And Ron Paul issued his warning:
“Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court will likely determine the direction of the court for decades to come on a number of key issues, including:
***  Privacy  The recent Carpenter decision was a good first step to establish Fourth Amendment limitations to the government’s surveillance power in the modern age.  But there will certainly be more cases like it in the years to come;

***  Free Speech  After Citizens United, statists across the country have ramped up efforts to place new restrictions on speech.  It likely won’t be long before a new case on so-called campaign finance “reform” finds its way to the Supreme Court;

***  Property Rights  Justice Kennedy was absolutely terrible on the issue of eminent domain.  And with President Trump having first-hand experience using eminent domain to try and seize private property, he could try to appoint another Justice who will have an expansive view of eminent domain powers to the detriment of Americans’ property rights.

A Swamp Creature like Judge Kavanaugh isn’t going to come down on the right side of many of these issues.”

Hurry up, Robert Mueller, time’s almost up!


Take to the streets by joining demonstrations when and wherever they’re held. If you are physically unable, donate to MoveOn

Consider organizing and joining a general strike.

Lean hard on your Senators with letters, phone calls, town halls, and office visits.



More than 10,000 people sign ACLU’s abolish ICE petition

New Jersey to set aside $2 million to help immigrant families.


Hundreds of thousands in the largest demonstration since the Iraq war II,  in a “Carnival of Resistance” march against Blimp Baby in the UK.

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church votes to divest from companies involved in Israel’s violations of Palestinian hum rights.

Ireland passes bill boycotting Israeli occupied territory goods.

1,400 people march in Brussels to remind Trump he’s not welcome.

A small Baltimore group of Target workers demands accountability from local store managers.

In a court filing, the Southern Poverty Law Center argues that Duran was arrested and detained by the Department of Homeland “Security” in order to punish him as  a journalist in violation of the First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The Center for Constitution Rights files a legal challenge arguing the court should end the perpetual  Detention of “Forever prisoners.”

Mitch McConnell is confronted by protestors  outside a Kentucky restaurant demanding “Where are the babies, Mitch.”

Hundreds of cancer cases against Monsanto set to go to trial.

Sacramento County supervisors end contract allowing ICE to rent local jail beds.

Prosecutors drop all remaining charges against inauguration protesters.

Over 60 Argentinian social movements protest U,.S. military base in city of Neuquen.

Activists help free Liu Xia


Navajo Nation’s first solar project now produces electricity for 13,000 homes.

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court rules against Chevron in favor of indigenous communities.

In a stunning victory for the Finger Lakes region, a controversial gas storage project is halted.

In China, an entire province the size of Texas is powered on 100% renewables.

New Zealand announces plans to transition to 100% renewables by 2035.

Iceland is running 100% renewable energy, mostly through geothermal plants.

Norway produces 98% of its power needs through renewable energy.

Holland’s entire train system runs on wind power.

Sweden expects to reach its renewable energy target for 2030 some time this year,

The lower house of the Irish legislature passes a divestment bill ensuring that Ireland will become the world’s first nation to fully divest public money from the fossil fuel industry.

Irish Government approves a  ban on the cultivation of GMOs.

Ghana is building roads out of plastic bags.

An Arizona ballot initiative requires 50% renewable energy by 2013.

A Japanese company creates a vertical axis wind turbine that could power the country for decades.

The Center for Biological Diversity and other organizations have won a $17 million settlement to reduce the environmental impact of two proposed freeway projects in Riverside County (but why are freeways being designed anyway?)

Real-time daily radiation monitoring to become part of Edpson’s program at San  Clemente reactor, San Onofre.

Over 65 cities, among them, Atlanta, Madison , Dan Diego, San Francisco, and Palo Alto, five counties and one state commit to 100% clean  energy. Five og them hav e already hit their targets.

American Airlines bans plastic straws.

Smithfield Foods enjoined to pay compensatory damages and $50 million  in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed in Bladen Country, N.C. over the environmental impacts of a hog farm.    

Democratic lawmakers and liberal  groups hold boisterous late-night rally on Supreme Court steps opposing Kavanaugh.

Alabama, George, and Louisiana are being sued over racial gerrymandering.

Legal scholars warn claims that ICE agents were ‘just following orders’ won’t exonerate the from liability for the suffering of immigrant children.

A DNC panel approves plan to gut the power of super delegates, The plan would end their ability to cast votes for the presidential candidate on the first ballot at the party’s convention.

The House Appropriations Committee passes a spending bill that includes public media funding.

Sanders urges Trump, instead of telling Europe to buy more guns like the U.S., joining  Europe in guaranteeing healthcare for all.

A bill signed into law July 9 enables federal employees to file appeals on Merit Systems Protection Board decisions to any federal appeals court of competent jurisdiction.

Planned Parenthood sues Trump over abstinence=only sex education.

Federal judge dismisses Trump administration lawsuit against California sanctuary laws.

House Democrats introduce five articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, including charges of obstruction of justice, undermining the judiciary, and undermining the freedom of the press.  (Lots of luck with that.,)

Agreements between SB 822 authors Senators Weiner and de León and Assembly Communications Chair Santiago restore net neutrality, despite fierce opposition from AT&T, Verizon, and the rest of Big Telecom.

Contra Costa County Sheriff Livingston announces that in the face of a seven-year campaign by activists, he is ending the ICE contract to house federal immigration detainees at the West County Detention Facility.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem, 12-year veteran of the D,A.’s Office has been suspended after targeting Maxine Waters, Michelle Obama, Mexican immigrants and a victim of a police shooting.

Judge grants standing to a lawsuit against the administration over the census citizenship.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy approves $5 million for reviving and strengthening journalism around the state.

Caribbean Natiions to consider reclassifying marijuana.


In India, a teacher buys a bus, driving to keep rural children in school.


20-year conflict ends as Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders embrace peace.

In a day of action at Buechel Are Force Base organized by regional Protestant churches and Pax Christi, the treaty to ban nuclear weapons was signed by hundreds of demonstrators before being sent to Chancellor Merkel.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Deal of the Art

So let’s say you have one hell of a building, 41 stories, occupies a whole city block in a major city where real estate is going through the roof.  But you had the very very bad taste of acquiring it for much too much down, and your rents are covering only 65% of the monthly mortgage payments.  In other words you are leveraged up the wazoo. What is to be done? Either you go bankrupt, or if you’re smart, you look around for more money, maybe even partners.  Where do you go?  Other underwriters, foreign sovereign banks, even Mid-East countries.  Not to worry: if they don’t pony up, you have friends in high places (for the moment) who can always call out a blockade on them, meanwhile you can look around for other underwriters. 

So what if your underwriter happens to be the bank where’s your buddy was once employed. In fact, screw the bank (and screw your buddy, too, but that comes later.) And anyway, your dad, who’s BIG IN BUSINESS, knows you’re buds with the Justice’s son who’s loaned him a billion dollars, and who extended the terms of your own loan.  “Nice boy,” your DAD remarks to the Judge of the High Court, because see, we’re all friends here (for a time). And the Judge is gonna retire soon because your DAD made a deal with him which goes: “Trust Me.” (as “In God We Trust”) so it’s a good deal, because DAD wants to fire a Special Prosecutor who’s getting out of hand, but if he does that, it’s checkmate because DAD knows he’d become impeachable material, but if he gets his man on the bench in time, especially a BIG COAL MAN, he can even pardon himself, and it’s all Constitutional because the Court can be trusted to say it’s so (that’s where “Trust Me” comes in.)

Sound complicated? A lot less fun than a hot game of pool? Well, it’s the same principle really: you hit a ball so it will strike another ball and so on, except the stakes are higher. Because your son gets to keep the property and you get a whole new and improved top court in your pocket.

BAM goes the Gavel.  Women? Screw ‘em. That’s all they’re good for anyway. And that goes for gays and LGBTs, too.

BAM goes the Gavel. Immigrants? Who the hell cares? They tend to  vote Democratic and they’re brown anyway.

BAM goes the Gavel. Minimum wage. It sure’s gonna stay minimal. We’ll see to that!

BAM goes the Gavel: Death is a pre-existing condition! You’re eligible for healthcare only if you’re immortal.

BAM goes the Gavel: Gerrymandering? We sure like to boogey! Keeps the folks in line, too. That goes for felons and ex-felons, too.

BAM goes the Gavel: Human rights? These people are animals.

BAM goes the Gavel: Science? It’s for dummies.

BAM goes the Gavel: The Planet? You gotta be kidding! It’s just a rock.

BAM goes the gavel: Voting rights? They’re for Just-Us.

BAM goes the Gavel: Deregulation? Corporate welfare? Don’t be silly.
It’s the art of the deal.

Read Daily Kos: Voting Rights Roundup: Five reasons why Anthony Kennedy’s retirement is a catastrophe for democracy. 

Read Alternet: Here’s the Corrupt Financial Web that links the Trump and the Kennedy families.

Read what the media isn’t talking about.


Tell McConnell he has to follow his own rule, and wait until the midterm elections are over to push a Supreme Court nominee! 

Urge Congress to ratify no Supreme Court nominations until the Russia investigation is complete.

Oppose the nomination of the next Supreme Court judge while Trump is under investigation.

And for laughs, please read Went 2 the Bridge: Which Side Would Lady Liberty be in the #SecondCivilWar?



Women send coat hangers in bulk to demand Susan Collins, Maine Republican, defend abortion rights.

70% Democrats and 67% Republicans want Supreme Court to overturn “Citizens United.”


Hundreds in San Diego protest operation “Streamline” and call for ICE to be abolished.

Occupations of ICE headquarters have been cropping up across the country in such cities as Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Philadelphia and Louisville, KY.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg grants a preliminary injunction preventing the federal government from denying parole to any asylum seekers travelling to the U.S., ending their indefinite detention.

Some 14,000 immigrants become citizens July 5th.

Therese Patricia Okoumou scales the Statue of Liberty to protest detention of immigrant children at the U.S. border. Two additional protests shut down the monument July 4th.

In Mike Pence’s home state, a church detains “The Holy Family” in condemnation of family separation.

Dreamer Marco Villada wins fight against Trump administration allowing him to return back home to the U.S.

In Atlanta,  a boy of 6 raises $13,000 for separated migrant families—by selling lemonade.

Voting Rights

Nashville Federal Judge Aleta A, Trauger ruled that taking away drivers’ licenses for failure to pay court costs is unconstitutional.

Progressive leaders are applauding the wave of left-wing victories (like Ocasio-Cortez’) in a number of Democratic primaries, and warning centrist Democrats that who dismiss the nation-wide enthusiasm for candidates refusing corporate money and supporting bold proposals like Medicare for all, do so at the own peril.

The NAACP is suing Connecticut in federal court for “prison gerrymandering,” the widespread practice of counting inmates at their prison instead of their last address.

Federal district court panel strikes down a dozen of Virginia’s state house districts on the grounds that Republicans violated the Constitution by infringing the rights of black voters.

In heavily restrictive Delaware, the Democratic-controlled state house passes two bills that finally allow early voting and permit voters to register and cast ballots at the same time, including Election Day.

Massachusetts Democratic-controlled State House passes automatic voter registration.

For the second time, a federal court ordered the Trump administration to hand over documents from its bogus voter suppression commission to Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, who was one of the token Democrats on the commission suing over the GOP’s attempt to hide their activities.


On July 3, 12 activists launched an aerial blockade at the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in  Vancouver to stop an oil tanker from leaving Kinder Morgans’ terminal.

Scott Pruitt resigns from the EPA.  Coal lobbyist Wheeler now becomes the acting head.

The Guardian reports on protests erupting around ‘tar sands’ Pipeline 3 on the U.S. Canada border.

Vertical Gardens are cleaning the air in Mexico City (and they look gorgeous, too.)

Protest at D.C.’s FERC headquarters disrupts the work day by erecting huge fracking well derricks outside their offices.

In Puerto Rico, a judge blocks FEMA from ending housing program for hurricane-displaced people.

Applauded by Greenpeace, and in a watershed moment for climate liability, Rhode Island becomes the first state to file a lawsuit against 21 oil companies, seeking damages for climate change.


A current ICAN poll finds that Europeans reject U.S. nuclear weapons on their own soil. 


Just as demolition bulldozers were about to roll into Khan al Ahmar, the High Court of Israel issued a last-minute injunction against demolition, requiring g the State of Israel to respond to the village’s own master plan of July 11th.


EU votes down ‘disastrous’ copyright proposal, including a link tax, and aimed at transforming the internet into a virtual ‘censorship machine.’


Minimum wage workers receive a raise in two states, D.C., and 15 cities or counties.


Progressive candidate Lopez Obrador wins presidential election in Mexico.

Mexico City elects its first female mayor.


Nicki Minaj, one of the world’s famous rappers, just paid off 37 college students’ tuitions.