Saturday, August 31, 2019

The War Against Nature

This week as nearly 3,000,000 fire alerts sounded world wide, as the EPA ended its protections from coal plant release of methane gas, and as Bolsonaro and Morales of Brazil and Bolivia respectively encouraged “development” of indigenous lands in the Amazon to GMO soya farming and hamburger raising, Greta Thunberg landed in New York’s Coney Island declaring “We must end the War against Nature.”


The war against nature has been a long one, dating from before history from about 3,000 B .C. when Europe’s peaceful, agrarian hunter-gathering people were invaded by marauding Kurgan stockmen from the Russian steppe (probably from part of what we now call Kazakhstan) who overran Europe over the next thousand year period. They brought with them weapons, warfare, hierarchy, patriarchy, worship of sky gods, and worst of all, their language, proto-indo-European, from which almost all our Western languages (and thinking) derive. Their invasion continues to this day, delayed by a lack of maritime technology between 2,000. B.. C. and 1492, when Europeans arrived in the New (and undespoiled) World to wreak their centuries of genocide and decimation of landscape and forest, a movement that continues to this day.  Driving them is the Judeo-Christian ideology which holds dominion of men over the forces of nature, a notion amplified by the so-called Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.

As a war with deep cultural roots, it is a formidable opponent for our latest children’s crusade to take on. But despite its long and pernicious history, it is a war all of this planet’s inhabitants must take on now if we are determined not to lose our home. And it is the wild card, perhaps the only one we have, with the potential of rocking the bleak political forecast for 2020 of another four years of #45's planetary depredations. It is a war whose climax will occur with the Sept 20 climate strike and the shutting down of Washington, D.C. to any continued business as usual.

Corporatists, and people still of the voiced opinion that human activity has nothing to do with melting glaciers, rising seas, burning forests, or with millions of migrants world wide fleeing drought and the political unrest drought foments, might do well to remember the work of James Lovelock who first proposed the concept which he called Gaia.  While the U.S. government allocated billions of dollars to determin whether Mars might be able to sustain life, Lovelock proved that the Earth’s atmosphere was tempered and regulated cumulatively by the work of billions of micro-organisms whose activities had produced an atmosphere friendly to the evolution of larger animals and eventually man.

If infinitesimally tiny organisms could create a benevolent atmosphere capable of sustaining of life, what in effect is Earth’s amniotic sac, then by the same token, any bio-organism has the power to modify that atmosphere.  Even homo sapiens.

While crowds welcomed Greta in New York,  Sonia Guajajara former VP candidate of Brazil and national coordinator of Brazil’s Indigenous People’s Articulation (PIB), speaking for the all indigenous people’s march in Brasilia had this to say: "Our fight is so urgent that we must all get together right now. The fight for Mother Earth is the mother of all fights.” Although Greta may have come lately to the struggle, it is a struggle indigenous women of the Amazon have been fighting for decades, warning about the dangers to the Amazon from extractive economic models including the demands of fossil fuel, mining, and agricultural companies, all of them emboldened most recently by the Bolsonaro and Morales administrations. 

In the Amazon fires we see the egregious abuses that result from unchecked capitalism, colonization, racism, and patriarchy — all of which are based upon the same systems and ideologies that promote power over nature, and exploitation of women, indigenous peoples, people of color and the land originating with the Kurgan invasion of 3,000 B.C.  These events and the multiplicity of actions detrimental to indigenous peoples and their cultures are just a few examples of the long-term systemic efforts of governments and corporations worldwide to enact genocidal policies that harm indigenous peoples and their territories, and that char the lungs that sequester 20% of the Earth’s carbon emissions.

This year will likely be remembered as the time when the U.S. and global grassroots finally began  acknowledging the terminal crisis posed by global warming. The indigenous people of Brazil have been declaring an end to the war against nature for decades, and now in a world consumed by wild fire, Greta’s arrival echoes that same declaration for the northern hemisphere.

“If environment were a bank,” says Sanders, “it would have been saved already.”

In the San Francisco-Oakland-Bay Area, Wednesday from 6 to 9 Pm a Strike for Climate Organizing Meeting has been called at Omni Commons, 4799 Shattuck Ave (near 47th AV at Telegraph) in Oakland.

In San Francisco, a march has been called Thursday, Sept. 5 for the Global Day of Action for the Amazon from noon to 2 Pm at the Brazilian Consulate, 300 Montgomery Street in San Francisco to the Headquarters of BlackRock extractive corporation at 400 Howard Street.

Activities are called for nationwide the week of Sept. 20-27 with a call to shut down D.C. on the 23th, and in the S.F.-Bay Area a call join the youth-led Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20 at 10 AM at the S.F. Federal Bldg at 7th and Mission for a march and rally led by Youth vs. Apocalypse; on Sept. 23, from 7 to 10 AM at Union Square, a traffic disruption and outreach; and Wednesday, Sept. 25, non-violent direct action at 7 AM at Montgomery & Market St. in downtown San Francisco.

Demand #45 take action on climate change after UN declares climate change threatens the world’s food supply at

Donate funds to to pull off the biggest climate action yet at

Pressure Bolsonaro to stop the plunder of the Amazon at

Rein in Pentagon spending and end the militarism that’s contributing to Global Warming at

Defund deforestation in the Amazon at

Sign on to elect a more progressive, more pro peace Congress at

Extinction Rebellion organizes massive protest outside London’s Brazilian Embassy on short notice.

Thunberg calls or global climate strike.

Declaring “No Business as Usual” activists plan day of mass civil disobedience to #ShutDownDC

Ben & Jerry’s, Lush, and Patagonia among companies pledging to support global climate strike.

Open letter from college professors urges educators world wide cancel class to join global climate strike.

Thunberg joins climate strike outside UN Headquarters, urging “Don’t just watch, Join us.”

Protesters prevent Mountain Valley Pipeline drilling.

National class action lawsuit against ICE and DHS for failure to ensure detained immigrants receive appropriate medical and mental health care and violation of the Fifth Amendment.

Community defense brigades to defend neighbors against ICE threats in Mississippi.

Over 1,100 congregations agree to provide sanctuary to migrants.

Former border agent Jason McGilvray resigns after pleading guilty to charges of assaulting an undocumented person in U.S. custody.

Border Agent Matthew Bowen's crime of running down a fleeing migrant with his truck as his assault weapon finally ends his violent career. 

California leads multistate lawsuit against administration for lifting court-granted protections for young migrant detainees.

Nineteen states file lawsuit to block indefinite detention of migrant families.

Bill introduced in the Massachusetts state legislature requiring state’s pension funds to divest from nuclear manufacturers.

House intelligence committee and House Financial Services committee have subpoenaed Trump family financial records and tax returns from Deutsche bank investigating Russian money laundering and potential influence on #45.

Grassroots disabled activists stop American Medical Assn., in its tracks, swerving it to support #MedicareForAll.

Sanders endorses Public Banking Act.

JusticeLA and other organizations and groups stop LA County’s $3.5 billion dollar jail plan.

Saudi Arabia acknowledge defeat in Yemen and starts to sue for peace.

Hydro-Quebec ends collaboration with Israel power firm.

Class-action lawsuit against Apple and Samsung acknowledges the cellphone makers “intentionally misrepresented” the “safety” of the devices, citing a Chicago Tribune investigation that tested popular smartphones for radiofrequency radiation and found some results over the federal exposure limit.

California public banking bill AB 857 passes final committee hurdle.

T-Mobile cancells 5-G upgrades and new builds nationwide, possibly crippling some contractors.

Monday, August 26, 2019

The U.S. fiddles while Rome burns

by Roger Herried and Cecile Pineda

Now that the world is burning, Trump gave the G-7 Summit the cold shoulder, and the DNC has killed a resolution allowing a multi-candidate climate forum, it’s past time to wake up. And with all the drama coming out of D.C. this past week, the media is every bit as culpable as our very own Nero with its failure to alert the US public to the alarming growth of global wildfires.

Amazon burns
South America is burning before our eyes, yet we have no memory of the Siberian or Canadian fires that came just weeks ago. Not to mention California, which had its worst fire season ever last year with impacts going far beyond poor air quality or PG&E bankruptcy. 

Everyone needs to wake up that the growing climate crisis could collapse the global economy and soon. The 4 maps below are current this year, with the last 10 days showing massive wildfires in Brazil (113,000) and Africa with over 300,000 (but Africa seems not to be on any European or U.S. maps) with nearly 3 million wildfires reported globally. The bottom chart shows the dramatic increase in annual wildfires around the world.

A Guardian piece published Aug. 22, which included a devastating image of all current fires world-wide, terrified Europe's leaders. But no matter: the U.S. has dramatically increased i fossil fuel production on a scale that outstrips the rest of the world! and this week Trump tried to buy Greenland.

But, as Popular Resistance points out, Amazonian fires are as much a product of runaway global warming, including drought and intense storms, as they are of unfettered exploitation for profit under Bolsonaro’s program of “development” for the Amazon: farming and especially cattle ranching. What it comes to essentially is that the fire in the barbecue under that “burgher” that you simply must have has now spread to encircle the globe.

The choice is ours: more meat, more fires, more driving, more fires, more flying, more fires, and more wars and more agribusiness, more fires. What checks to U.S. hegemony and what inconveniencies are we prepared to accept if we want to remain inhabitants of our charred, once blue/green planet?



For further reading, below is a list of relevant articles:

And this year is set to be worse:

Investigate how you can plant a tree at

Demand #45 take action on climate change before it’s too late at

The U.S. military is the greatest consumer (93%) of U.S. fossil fuels. Demand answers on endless war at

Message General Motors to stand up to #45’s reckless clean car rollbacks at

Sign petition urging Army Corps of Engineers from quietly removing the report of 2005 New Orleans levee failure from its government website at

On national toilet paper day (you heard that right) let Amazon customers know that buying Charmin TP is bad for the forest and the climate at and

Drop charges against Venezuela Embassy protectors at

New 2020 poll shows Sanders and Warren (what a double ticket!) tied for first place as Biden drops 13 points.

Many U.S. municipalities citing aesthetics and serious health concerns, are wrestling with the FCC and telecoms over 5 G technology.

Extinction Rebellion staged a short notice protest outside London’s Brazilian Embassy over Amazon Rainforest wild fires.

Multiple groups, led by Southern  Poverty Law Center file lawsuit highlighting abusive isolation, inadequate medical and mental health care, denial of accommodations and discrimination against detained immigrants with disabilities.

Community Defense brigades to defend neighbors when threatened by ICE.

Conservation groups blast draft Forest Service rule gutting bedrock environmental law. 

Oppositon to 5 G small cell deployment spreads across the U.S.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Making Your Bed and Lying: review of “The Great Hack” available now on Netflix

by Roger Herried

The Netflix documentary  about Cambridge Analytica titled "The Great Hack," made in conjunction with the UK's Guardian newspaper, contains a number of important themes worth flagging:

  The loss of privacy due to social media and big data;

  The new age of advanced voter suppression tactics – referred to as weapons grade psychological warfare;

  The mainstream media's role in voter suppression;

  Facebook as God - or did we all miss the moment when it took over?

  Steve Bannon and his chump Trump's crusade to break democracy;

  and our Voter's ranked choice:  What Authoritarian State do you prefer to be trapped within?  

“The Great Hack” uses the personal stories of three different characters, David Carroll, Britney Kaiser and Carole Cadwalladr to develop  Cambridge Analytica's (CA) role in the 2016 Brexit vote and the U.S. 2016 presidential elections.  David Carroll, who teaches computer sciences in the U.S., and concerned that his 8-year-old daughter would likely have 70,000 data points she could not control by the time she reached 18 years of age, filed suit against CA in an attempt to obtain the personal data the company had on him. At the end of the film he bemoans the fact that after suing CA, it refused to give him his data and likely went into bankruptcy rather than releasing the government ordered release. Britney Kaiser, who was an employee of CA, claimed it aimed "weapons grade communications" technology against voters in the US and UK elections, while the glue that brings the CA scandal together comes from the Guardian's investigative journalist, Carole Cadwalladr who spent two years, day and night tracking down the story and its main characters.  

“The Great Hack” is a complicated but well done story about issues intentionally buried by the US media in keeping with  its own historic role of electoral voter suppression since the days of Jim Crow. Central to the film is Carroll's use of the CA scandal to legally obtain a copy of the personal data the company had on him. Yet for most Americans, data privacy is considered a dead cow, or more to the point, it suggests the immoral state of most of the country's media and those who have led us down a path that makes 1984 look like a happy alternative.  

Prior to going bankrupt, CA claimed to have scooped up to 5,000 data points for every U.S. citizen, aiming their weapons grade software system at US and UK citizens, specifically against undecided voters in an attempt to suppress or shift their voting behavior.  At one point, the documentary shows a Washington Post headline from the Ted Cruz campaign claiming to credit the CA system taking him from last place to actually beating Trump in the Iowa primary. The Netflix presentation glosses over this rather quickly, but there is a 30 minute Youtube piece made in Germany by Alexander Nix, the head of CA, that goes into extensive detail about the weapons grade voter profiling system. 

Before delving into the details of the CA system, readers should understand what is meant by a data point. A single data point might be the entire history of every single time anyone uses a debit/credit card to purchase groceries or when and where someone buys gas, dines out, etc.  Such a large data point can then be sorted through by category and used to create a personal map of what that person bought, why and when that can then be integrated back into the digital advertising world growing around us.  And this traces just one data point.

Who is selling and trading these data points?  A decade ago progressives were already alarmed about what data the government had on the public, unaware that corporate data collection and sales go far beyond what the government has. Phone companies, banks and telecommunication companies retain digital copies of everything anyone does today, not just the meta-data.  Google for example has a database listing every single search anyone ever looked at or went to.  That's another data point.   Imagine what PG&E is collecting with their smart meters (another) or Amazon's cute little Ring video security box (another) that EFF recently exposed as having a direct line to law enforcement—without the user's knowledge. 

Thus, David's concern is ultimately supported by Kaiser and Carole, shown giving a TED Talk in Silicon Valley where she confronts  Bay Area tech companies about their role manipulating elections here and around the world with their deployment of big data models.

The documentary itself starts out with a visit to Donald Trump's election headquarters in Texas with images of both Google and Facebook staffers actually embedded along with Trump workers to help coordinate #45’s online ad campaign.  It shows that the Trump campaign spent over a million dollars a day or $80 million in 2016 on social media.  During the election cycle their social media project produced 5.9 million targeted ads compared to 66,000 by his challenger, who spent most of her far bigger budget on TV ads. 

The half hour presentation by CA's Alexander Nix demonstrates specific details showing how behavioral science, data analytics and addressable ad technology, focused down to the individual, were applied during the Cruz and the Trump campaigns.  Nix’s and CA's goal aimed to identify a very tiny public minority undecided about whether to vote or for whom. Cambridge psychologist (Professor Aleksandr Kogen) designed a short Facebook survey called OCEAN or Openness - Conscientiousness - Extroversion - Agreeableness - and Neuroticism specifically used to identify 5 major personality profiles as a way to build personally targeted attack ads once other polling data identified someone as a likely candidate meriting their attention. 

It was this specific OCEAN system that Britany Kaiser identified as the "weapons grade technology" which was used in the key swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania during the 2016 election. A UK government investigation referred to it, claiming that the UK election system was no longer safe. What happened to those databases?  Might they have been sold to the RNC or somebody else? 

To clarify such speculation it may be helpful to understand that CA was started by Steve Bannon, Trump's campaign manager, and funded by the secretive right-wing billionaire, Robert Mercer,  the Breitbart operative who suggested that Putin create a Europe-wide nationalist movement and whose stated agenda has been to break up the United States through social media disinformation.

Why would the U.S. media establishment find it very uncomfortable to share the fact that the U.S. is in the early stages of applying psychological warfare against its own citizens?  Or that CA's profiling model on Facebook is just the tip of this country's historic voter suppression agenda? 

The Washington Post published a couple of documentaries about Facebook's agenda going back to 2013 as well as experiments the social media giant had been conducting internally to see if it could impact the mood of its users.   But the Post has never repeated these bombshell stories!  It should be clear that CA understood that their model doesn't necessarily work on everyone being targeted, but then the full story of CA has yet to be exposed.  

The company itself is a subsidiary of the SCL Group which dates back to the 1990's and has long been in the business of destroying elections in third-world countries for its clients, the US and UK military and intelligence communities.  Here is where the story gets really dirty. Nix goes into detail how the company used fake movements they created and seeded to undermine the elections of Trinidad and Tobago as well as over a dozen other countries.  The Guardian's coverage finally broke out with underground footage of Alexander Nix vaunting his claim for their involvement in election manipulation, and showed shots of them partying, along with leaders of the Brexit campaign, with Trump during his election eve victory. The Guardian revealed how CA's global skill-set destroying elections helped them come up with the crooked Hillary meme and launch it on the internet. 

Footage shows Zuckerberg prevaricating before Congress while Britany jumps on the phone to text a senator an urgent question she thinks needs to be asked at the hearing...

At the film’s climax, with voice-over commentary by Britany it shows what at first appears to be an onscreen file identifying the size of the CA's voter database but another screen does identify the many different databases totaling 150 million Americans that CA was using as part of the Trump campaign.  Close-ups review her own life and testimony in the UK and the US, along with shots of her involvement with the Brexit campaign and explain why she went from working on the Obama election campaign to working for Trump's election.  But ultimately the viewer gets the complicated story needing far more attention on this convergence of critical issues.

How much of Facebook's income is made by monetization of its users' personal data? Britany and David follow up with their own answer to the question, "All of it."

This means we are talking about one of the largest companies in the world actively seeking to play a dominant role in manipulating elections here and around the world via its AI newsfeeds and advertising models, and that the only country in the world that has any regulatory authority over it is the U.S.   

It’s been decades since the McCain Feingold hearings heard testimony by witnesses exposing the fact that the strongest opponent of campaign finance reform is the media and its broadcaster's association, with the election cycle is its biggest cash cow.   

Maybe  we appear to be going through a three-year presidential election cycle because the media has very nearly been overtaken monetarily by Facebook and is not yet ready to spill the beans.  At least not yet. 

As the Amazon, the Arctic, and Africa burn, demand Trump take action on climate change before it’s too late at,5,25,50,100,250&code=daga&

Tell Congress and ICE to stop the raids that took over 600 people recently in Mississippi at


Saudis are without defense against long range attack on Saudi oil field, which forces end to war on Yemen.

American Medical Assn. quits coalition fighting Medicare for all.
In response to the Trump EPA’s approval of bee-killing pesticide, enviro groups sue.
Local Portland anti-fascists stage counter protest against Proud Boy rally including almost every segment of the community successfully overshadowing the fascist rally.

NYPD fires Pantaleon, the copy who killed Eric Garner five years ago.

Six states sue EPA over its approval of chlorpyrifos pesticide linked to brain damage.

Georgia groups move to block use of unverifiable voting machines.

Scott Warren facing federal charges for aiding migrants says he won’t be deterred.

Private prisons face 87.4 percent financial gap as banks continue to flee.

Austrian parliament commissions study on 5G health effects.

Brussels halts 5 G plans over radiation rules.

5 G rebellion grows as reported by Ecological Options Network.

Tucson becomes 5 G “smart city.”

Sta Cruz, CA puts 5 G on hold.

In Mexico, EZLN announces creation of new rebel municipalities.

States sue to block curbs on legal immigration.

Joe Balash, top Top Trump official leading charge on drilling in the Arctic Refuge,  steps down.

Chicago Trib. publishes results of year-long investigation of cell phones, which emit radiation exceeding government safety levels. Radiofrequency exposure from iPhone 7 measures over the legal safety limit, more than twice what Apple reported to federal regulators from its own “testing.” The FCC is now investigating.

Columbia Gas denied right to take public land for Potomac Pipeline.

Standing Rock Sioux renew the fight against the DAPL.

Tribes win ruling against copper mine on ancestral territory.

Workers seize shipyard that built the Titanic, plan to make renewable energy there.

Water Protectors lock to Enbridge office gates, successfully halt work.

Western Coal takes another hit as appeals court rules against export terminal.

Rural American beings to realize Trump isn’t working for them as Nebraska Farm Bureau makes clear.

Women protest raping spree by burning police station in

Opposition delivers blow to Macri in Agentina’s primary elections.

Japan’s trade negotiator puts the screws to the Trump administration.

Sanders’ co-chair, Nina Turner calls for all Democratic candidates to unite against DNC over #ClimateDebate.

Sunrise protest breaks out after DNC committee votes against holding 2020 #ClimateDebate.

Enviro groups sue to block Trump endangered species act rule changes.

A wave of solidarity with Kashmir spreads world-wide.

Thursday, August 22, 2019


In 2007, during the Bush administration, Naomi Wolf published an article on the ten benchmarks of fascism. This is what she wrote at the time (12 years ago): As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

What are these ten benchmarks?

1, Invoke terrifying internal and external enemies.  And of course, find a catchy name for it: The Global War on Terror for example.  Or an invasion by immigrants who are rapists and murderers.


2. Create a gulag (or several gulags). Guantanamo (see above) is only a beginning. It can proliferate to encompass immigrant detention. Now we have immigrant detention facilities and prisons which hold a larger percentage of our population (.7%) than any other country on Earth.


3. Develop a thug caste. Well, yes, private security guards in New Orleans in 2005 can proliferate. We now can invoke white supremacists, Proud Boys, and paramilitaries, like the ranchers who invaded the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and the citizens militias who  carry arms  on the U.S. Mexico border threatening the  lives of immigrants. And shooters who target Mexicans in shopping centers in El Paso.


4. Establish an internal surveillance system. Google and Facebook now market millions of datapoints to the NSA, boasting they know more about you than you know yourself, can predict your behavior, and influence your decisions.

Protesters face state troopers in Georgia
5. Harass citizens’ groups. The Venezuelan Embassy protectors have been hounded, harassed, and now face prosecution as do the Plowshares who face trial for protesting nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

 6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release. A pattern which applies, among others, to Chelsea Manning,  who served three years in jail, only to be incarcerated again.

7. Target key individuals. Here again we can reference Snowden, Assange, Greenwald, and Manning, among others.

8. Control the press. Chelsea Manning is in prison refusing to testify before the Grand Jury; Edward Snowden is in exile in Russia, and Julian Assange’s health is deteriorating as he awaits probable extradition to the U.S. Assange has made powerful enemies, among them Hilary Clinton, and Lenín Moreno of Ecuador whom he outed in the Panama Papers. And Glenn Greenwald is under threat from Bolsonaro for revealing the conspiracy which denied Lula the presidency. Bolsonaro’s agenda for the Amazon has much to do with the wild fire spreading relentlessly in the Amazon. And the New York Times, the newspaper of record admits to consulting the administration first before printing anything controversial.

9. Refer to dissent as treason. #45 referred to Jews who vote Democratic as treason.


10. Suspend the rule of law. The DNC has just voted not to include the Climate Catastrophe in the presidential debates. #45 has imposed sanctions (that is economic warfare) ag. Venezuela and Iran among others, acts in contravention to the UN Nations.


Twelve years later, we have an administration all too ready not only to take up where the Bush administration left off, but carry it to its reductio ad absurdum with a dictator who declares himself god and “chosen.”

Yet, Americans still don’t know how to spell F-A-S-C-I-S- M. They know how to spell White Supremacists, they know how to spell White Nationalists, they know how to spell Far Right, Islamophobia, Proud Boys, Christian Fundamentalists, but a simple 7 letter word (starts with F) eludes them.

How come?  Wrote Chris Hedges: “The corporate elite will work with Trump..[who] has given them enormous tax cuts, [slashed] what is left of government oversight, and…increased the budgets for internal security and the military. For corporate elites it’s far more preferable [than]  having to deal with a Bernie Sanders or an Elizabeth Warren. Capitalists throughout history have backed fascism to thwart even the most tepid reforms of socialism. …The hollowing out of our democratic institutions, which cannot be blamed on Trump, makes tyranny inevitable.”

Americans still can’t spell F-A-S-C-I-S-M because they’ve been conditioned to shy away from anything that looks “controversial”, because it’s not yet politically correct (unlike Capitalism, the C-word,  of which we are now reading quite a lot) but mainly because to spell F-A-S-C-I-S-M would be to recognize that they are a defeated people.


But once they recognize the name of their enemy, they might learn something about it, the better to counteract it.

Greenland considering buying America.

Demand  Blackrock stop financing destruction of the Amazon at