Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tripping Down Memory Lane

Today I participated in the Oakland’s Women’s March. The sun was out, people were festively dressed (including the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg clones) and they jived and drummed and floated balloons in the streets. Speakers talked about voting, elections, reforming the system, and of course, violence towards women and girls, and educational rights of girls (as of 2017 nearly 58% graduates from college are girls, although the pay gap is still steep).


It was an event that matched the Kennedy years—the happy dippy 60s where anything goes (went). And that’s the problem. Anything went. Yesterday's event in no way reflects the political reality of where we as a species stand (or lie flat and refuse to get up) today.  The only movements that seem to be taking the present into account are to be found in India where recently 5.5 million women held hands over 620 kilometers to assert their rights, and where 200 million trade unionists recently demonstrated, bringing India to a standstill against the Modi government because “it is not just for workers, and it is not just for people,” and France, where the Gilets Jaunes movement reflects the massive discontent of working class Frenchmen and women about economic conditions under the austerity of banker darling, Macron.


Item: Even the U.S. Department of Housing lists some 554,000 people nationwide as homeless on any given night (the figure’s got to be much higher). Of those, 23% are children; and 11% are veterans (people we called “our brave young men and women” before they came home from the wars).

Code Pink demonstrates at Creech AFB
Item: The bully of the world is at war (officially, not counting the “minor skirmishes,” covert actions, and economic sanctions) in seven countries, including Niger, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Somalia, and going for regime change in Iran and Venezuela.. It has nearly 1000 bases worldwide; and is the single largest burner of fossil fuels and polluter in the world.

Item: The recent wave of caravan migration fleeing violence in Honduras, and crop failures throughout Latin American numbers about 7,000 souls. In the same period, 1 in 18 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean as the death rate soars.  These are people whose economic condition is sufficiently desperate, they are willing to take that risk.


Item: Domestically, U.S. infrastructure (roads bridges, railroads etc.) is crumbling because there is no money to repair them (although there’s plenty of money for war profiteering). A wave of teacher strikes continues to sweep across the country (the latest being in LA’s vast school system) by teachers who are deeply dissatisfied with the state of their students’ education (aside from their own abysmal salaries). The housing crisis has caused tents to proliferate at many city intersections; whole encampments exist along railroad sidings nationwide and in 2017 40 million Americans, including 12 million children were “food insecure” (went to bed hungry—if they had a bed to go to).

Item: The recent California Woolsey fire spread radioactivity throughout the U.S. all the way to the East Coast because Boeing and the U.S. which own the Sta. Susana 10-reactor site in Southern California never got around to cleaning up their near-melt down (although their promises spanned more than ten years). The Holtec thin-walled canister nuclear waste storage tanks are already showing signs of failure at California’s San Onofre. A catastrophic accident there would contaminate the entire United States, yet their CEO sleeps soundly at night.

San Onofre Nuclear Waste Storage

I admit to computer surfing recently. A sidebar on one of National Geographic’s sites promised a virtually unending loop of Serengeti predations.  I learned that the shifting eyes of cheetahs, always angling for an opportunity, resemble those of neo-Nazi toughs itching for encounters; and that lions have amazing chest muscles to drag their kills, whose body mass often equals their own, for miles, or until another predator steals it from them, or munches on the other end (the hyena which goes for the anus). But best of all, I watch a migration of water buffalo as it fords an alligator-infested stream. One lucky alligator grabs a water buffalo by the tail. The frame freezes: the water buffalo strains forward; the muddy river bottom offers only a slippery purchase; the alligator holds on. What are the water buffalo’s options? Two obvious maneuvers suggest themselves (but not in a family newspaper).

But neither the alligator, nor the water buffalo are particularly intelligent species; and there is no surgical knife in sight to liberate the water buffalo; They remain locked in their tug of war until one or the other tires. Which one is Congress? And which is #45 and his minions? and which is the people of the United States?

And why are they celebrating the 60s, when it’s nearly 2020—but with no vision in sight?

Pay attention


A plastic-eating fungus has been discovered.

El Paso Electric Company reveals winning 2017 bids, including a total of 200MW of utility-scale solar and l00MW of battery storage.

More than 75% of marine mammals and sea turtles protected by Endangered Species Act are recovering according to Center for Biological Diversity.

Largest solar and battery plant unveiled in Hawaii.

French court cancels Monsanto weedkiller permit on safety grounds.

Hitachi freezes UK nuclear project.

Working on behalf of indigenous Puno communities, DHUMA wins two significant legal battles helping native people resisting expansion  of mining in their region.

The Courts

Judge Wendy Beetlestone blocks regime’s rollback of the ACA’s birth control mandate, issuing a nationwide injunction.

Federal court in PA blocks the regime’s policy allowing virtually any employer (including universities) to block reproductive coverage for religious or moral reasons.

Supreme Court rejects Virginia’s efforts to block a fairer House map.

Addressing New York’s Freedom of information Law, Manhattan Supreme Court justice rules the city’s police department must release information to protesters about whether it used technology to monitor or interrupt their cellphones during protests.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issues first appellate decision regarding actions taken by government officials in social media, ruling that a Facebook page constitutes a public forum.

Federal judge strikes down citizenship question in rebuke to the regime’s efforts against immigrant communities


Earth Strike protests build toward Spt. 27 general strike on climate change.

Over 12,000 Brussels students strike demanding bold climate action.

PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal gets crushed in biggest defeat for a sitting British PM in history.

Two hoaxes liven this weeks news: fake WaPo carries headlines claiming #45 resigns. and the Yes Men are behind news that CEO of huge investment firm shifts company’s priorities out of fossil fuels and pressures their portfolio companies to align with Paris Climate Agreement.

The Peoples Platform in Albany puts demands for fair taxes, codifying reproductive rights, and mass incarceration on the table.

LA teachers walk out advocating tor greater investment in public education.

Reunited asylum seekers celebrate first Christmas in New York.

Dozens of demonstrators supporting the Wet’suwet’en anti-pipeline camps briefly held up traffic at Halifax’ roundabout.

The Legislatures

El Cerrito tenants pressure council to enact a Just Cause for Eviction Notice, and strengthen a Relation Ordnance for vulnerable populations.

N.Y. Democrats pass sweeping package of bills to protect and expand voting rights.

N.Y. State passes transgender anti-discrimination  law.

New Haven Aldermen pass ordinance creating independent Civilian Review Board to investigate cop misconduct.

Rachael Rollins becomes Suffolk County’s first-ever black woman District Attorney.

Maxine Waters heads House Financial Services Committee and prepares to pressure Wall Street.

Congress joins Sanders to introduce a nationwide $15 minimum wage bill, guaranteeing a $2400 per month full time wage before taxes.

Congress reintroduces the Disability Integration act ensuring people with disabilities rights to  live at home and receive needed services.


Last child leaves Tornillo prison camp for children, but Florida facility nearly doubles in size. 

Temper Tantrum

Celebrity “Chef for Feds” feeds unpaid U.S. government slaves.

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