Sunday, December 23, 2018


1. Bertoldt Brecht once wrote “Unhappy is the country that breeds no heroes.” And I add, miserable is the country that sends its heroes to jail—which is exactly what happened this week when Theresa Okoumou was found guilty by U.S. District Judge Gabriel Gornstein for protesting zero tolerance immigration policy by scaling the base of the Statue of Liberty last July 4th.
Okoumou holds up Rise and Resist T-shirt
While Kristjen Nielsen admits to Congress she has no idea how many have died under her department’s watch, Okoumou remains unrepentant, and despite facing up to 18 months in prison, she declared she would climb “ as long as our children are in cages.”

Okoumou addresses reporters
2. Protest works. Take a look at what’s happening in France. Our lamestream media need us to discount the Gilets Jaunes movement as violent, chaotic and un-American. But so far the movement has won abolition of Macron’s hated fuel tax hike, augmentation of the minimum wage by 7%, and cancellation of levies on overtime and pensions. The rest of France is protesting, too. Peaceful protest works and shows a sense of humor. Have a look at this video for another slant:

3. This week the Fossilized Democrats just blocked Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s push for a Green New Deal Committee, and announced that they would not block members who are on the take for fossil fuel money. Which is all the more reason to share this video of Greta Thunberg’s TED talk video far and wide:

And responding to Greta, what if a couple of organizers (you and a friend maybe) started organizing your single urban city block, enlisting every building to agree to solarize its rooftop, and raised funds from your mayor and city council and other foundations and climate-concerned organizations to initiate a pilot project—the first of its kind? And what if one by one, other city blocks followed? And what if other cities caught on? And foreign cities, too, say in India and China? And what if we called this initiative “Greta’s Grid”? If Japan can do it, so can we.

Yokohama rooftops
4. And, courtesy of my friend and reader, Ann Vermel, for all those who may celebrate the coming of the Light, please accept my season’s greeting:

Only two asks this week because they’re so critical:

Call Pelosi at 202 225-4965 or 415 556-4862 and Jim McGovern (D-Mass) at 202 225 6101 to insist they uphold the Green New Deal; refuse to let them bury it by appointing fossil fuel bottom feeders to the Climate Committee. To succeed the Committee needs to have legislative, and subpoena power, and be specifically tasked with creating a Green New Deal.

And call your members of Congress to insist they fight for the Green New Deal! 

Because she got her first pair of shoes to make the journey, Jakelin Caal Maquin was super excited to be heading north with her dad toward a better life. Demand an investigation into the death of a 7-year-old child in ICE detention at


Gravity powered light which produces lumens without electricity has been invented.

Norway votes to make Norway first country barring its biofuel industry from importing deforestation-linked palm oil.

In a first, the Virginia State Corporation Commission rejected Dominion Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan.

U.S. fracking sector continues nine-year streak of cash losses.

Calling for a worldwide student strike, Greta Thunberg speaks truth to power at COP24: “Since adults are behaving like children, we will have to take responsibility.”
The White Wolf Pack announces that four Native nations across North America will continue to uphold the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

32BJ SEIU supports Green New Deal efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses, switch to renewables, and create good jobs.

Luxembourg becomes first country to make all public transportation FREE.  (What a concept!)

Center for Biological Diversity sues administration for refusing to recognize ocean acidification cause by fossil fuel pollution is impairing Oregon’s coastal waters.

Protecting endangered wildlife, judge halts Grapevine mega- development in Kern Country.

With 77% in favor, Baltimoreans amend charter to ban water and sewer privatization.

“Here we come!” march on Pelosi’s office by progressive coalition led by Justice Democrats, aims to flex grassroots muscle.

Nine northeast and mid-Atlantic bipartisan governors plan to develop regional policy to reduce emissions from transportation.

In spite of coal-industry sponsorship of the COP24 talks, global investors managing $32 trillion issue stark warning to all governments demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning.

Despite the rise in 2018 U.S. emmissions, U.S. energy output for the year from renewable power sources reaches 229 gigawatt hours, 38% of recorded electricity usage.

Oil Change International announces that the world’s taxpayer-backed multilateral development banks which control hundreds of billions, pledge to align their finances with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In Florida, socialist groups step up with direct aid to hurricane victims, and speak out about consumption of fossil fuels as the root cause of increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters.

UK members of Extinction Rebellion superglue themselves to government buildings to fight climate change.

Australian Tony Rinaudo, using a regeneration technique developed in West Africa some 30 years ago, has helped reforest over 6 Million hectares.

New Zealand government announces an initial $240 million to plant 100 million trees yearly for a total of one billion, creating 1,000 new jobs.

De-militarized Costa Rica leads the way to fossil-free future.

Three major banks suspend lending for S.F. Hunter’s Point shipyard home purchases because of radioactive contamination liability.

Judge halts Keystone XL pipeline, citing ‘complete disregard’ for climate.

Native American tribes bring back bison from brink of extinction.

Germany to oppose pro-nuclear policies and subsidies and financing for nuclear power under the Paris Climate Agreement.

France becomes First European country to ban all five bee-killing pesticides.

Despite fossilized Democrats blocking Ocasio-Cortez’ push for a Green New Deal, the latest poll shows the Deal has overwhelming bipartisan support. 

The Mapuche Confederation files lawsuit naming Exxon, Total, and Pan  Americana energy over illegal fracking waste dumps.

Worthington, Ohio girl scouts organize more than 100 homes, 17 installing solar panels.

The Border

Chef José Andrés takes his World Central Kitchen to the Border where feeds 3000 refugees a day. 

Common Defense vets head to Tijuana calling attention to administration’s xenophobia and human rights abuses and volunteering to help arriving families.

Salvadoran mother and son reunited after eight months of separation.

Faith leaders beaten and arrested demanding de-militarization of the U.S. Mexico border.
Refused right to seek asylum, Honduran refugees demand reparations for destructive U.S. foreign policy in Central America.

To end fear and protect justice, dozens of retired judges all on ICE to end courthouse arrests.

New York’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals grants emergency stay of Wayzaro’s deportation, allowing her to stay with her family while she fights her case.

Despite intimidation tactics, mom and her five kids tear-gassed at border finally allowed to file for asylum.

Judge Emmet Sullivan rules administration’s asylum policy “unlawful.”

Dreamer-led Times Square billboard emblazoned with migrant stories, including deaths under ICE custody.

Congress member Jerry Nadler warns Kirstjen Neilsen “Although your (DHS) Department has evaded meaningful oversight till now, the time for zero accountability is over; beginning in January, this committee intends to do its job.”

Justice John Roberts join four liberal judges to uphold 9th Circuit’s decision by Judge Jon Tigar that asylum is legal and must be upheld.


While the U.S. congress passes bipartisan bill to boost advanced nuclear energy, Hitachi announces it may cancel UK nuclear project.

Peace may break out as two Koreas begin verifying removal of DMZ guard posts.

President Moon lays out five-year plan for inter-Korean cooperation.

International Criminal Court announces it will open an investigation into U.S. crimes in Afghanistan.

Chile sentences 36 former Pinochet era intelligence agents.

Jeremy Scahill reacts to Falluja-lynching Mattis retirement (he’s a hawkish war criminal), and the administrations intent to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan (a good idea), and points out why the D.C. war party is furious.

Les Gilets Jaunes waltz to Edith Piaf while police stands respectfully by before evicting their encampment.

Saying “The state needs to be confronted with insurrection, sabotage of its structures and permanent revolt,” Canadian anarchists intervene against construction of migrant prison in Laval.

Protests rage in  Catalonia against Spanish cabinet visit.

Haiti mounts year-long insurrection against corruption.

Don’t hold your breath: U.S. Senate votes to end U.S. role in Yemen war.

Human and Civil Rights

Now that 113 million Americans have a direct family member incarcerated, Michigan is first Midwest state to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Judge dismisses charges against 5 activists charged with trespass at the nuclear bomb facility at nuclear weapons site at Kansas City National Security Complex.

Supreme Court denies appear of lower court rulings against terminating Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood.

In a suit brought by parents of Central American immigrant children, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler denies administration’s efforts to toss most claims that the government ended a refugee resettlement program without proper explanation.

Blocking transport links and fuel supply, French working class people take to the streets of Paris and other major French cities demanding economic justice.

White supremacist James Field found guilty of murder at Charlottesville white nationalist rally.

In Chicago, the nation’s first charter school teacher’s strike wins victory for teachers.

Bolstered by their massive teacher’s march, Los Angeles public school teachers are preparing to strike January 10th.

FBI announces it’s launching a database to track deadly police encounters.

Thousands of Spanish retired workers demand ‘decent” pensions.

Wanting to kiss and hold her dying son, public pressure wins Yemeni mother waiver to #45 anti-Muslim ban.

Supreme Court declines to hear two anti-abortion cases from Kansas and Louisiana respectively that could have given states green light to strip Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood.

Congress unanimously passes bipartisan bill strengthening federal juvenile justice law.

Executions and death sentences in U.S. remain near historic lows in 2018.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin commutes sentences of 21 applicants through campaign led buy Oklahoman s for Criminal Justice Reform.

Two more newly elected N.C. sheriffs announce end to county agreements with ICE.

Athens Ohio City Council adopts resolution condemning pending state legislation that stiffens penalties against environmental protesters.

Anti-BDS laws challenged as unconstitutional after speech pathologist loses job at Texas school  for refusing to sign pro-Israel pledge.

Domestic Politics

Bernie Sanders emerges as clear front runner, trouncing all others, in 2020 straw poll.

New Yorkers confront Amazon Exec at City Council meeting with a “you’re worth a trillion dollars, why do need out $3 billion when we have crumbling subways, crumbling public housing, people without health care, and over crowded public schools?”

In major progressive victory, Dem leadership abandons tax rule making bold agenda impossible.

N.C. House passes voter ID bill, sending it back to the Senate for harmonization.

In a first, although McNamee was approved by the Senate, every single Democratic Senator voted against the proposed FERC commissioner.

“Stand up, Fight Back!” protestors storm capitol as Michigan GOP moves ahead with lame-duck coup.

Senate presses for expanded probe of FEMA over hurricane Maria.

Defending Maine’s right to ranked choice voting, Federal judge rejects GOP lawsuit.

Failing to recognize the U. S. Indian Removal Act as genocide, the U.S. House of Representatives declares genocide in Burma of the Rohingya in a bipartisan vote.

Samoa gets final approval by the Fed for a publicly owned bank, the second in the U.S.

DOE announces automatic cancellation of $150 million in student loans connected to for-profit colleges that closed in recent years.

The farm bill passes with some good news for families relying in SNAP (formerly food stamps). There are to be no more punitive work requirements. To be treated like any other crop, hemp is now officially out of reach of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

#45 Foundation agrees to dissolve under judicial supervision after New York AG lawsuit in all probability to ide evidence of potential crimes. 

Two new law suits challenge unconstitutional anti-BDS boycott laws. laws.

Administration announces actual step forward on gun control as DOJ announces that rapid fire bump stock devices fall within the federal definition of machine guns and are therefore illegal.

House committee on oversight and reform to launch four investigations into family separation, luxury jet travel, the 45 organization, and improper e-mail account use.

Sanders and ?Feinstein demand Congress ditch effort to criminalize pro-Palestinian BDS campaign.

ACLU sues Texas over law that says contractors can’t boycott Israel.

Warren-Schakowaky bill aims to create Office of Drug Manufacturing.

117 years after being introduced for the first time, Senate finally votes to make lynching a federal crime (probably because so many government figures are now at risk.)


Besides feeding 3,000 refugees daily at the border, now chef José Andrés offers to feed federal workers who won’t get paid during #45’s temper tantrum shutdown.

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