Wednesday, September 11, 2019

This Week on Planet Earth

The Amazon fires, still unquenched, are last week’s climate news.

This week Category 5 Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas, and left the Grand Bahama under 15 feet of water, with a death toll of 43 and rising.  Seventy thousand people were left homeless, and so total is the devastation that

on Aug. 26 in an emotional address in the House Assembly, Hubert Minnis, Bahamas’ Prime Minister wept as he described Dorian as a storm “we’ve never seen in the history of the Bahamas.” His tears join those of Seychelles President Danny Faure who spoke from more than 400 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean in April, 2019 as the seas rose inexorably around his Islands, whose trajectory will eventually be to find themselves submerged as climate collapse extracts its toll.  And in July of this year on one of the hottest days on record, all the sea ice within 150 Miles of Alaska’s shore melted for the first time in recorded history.

This week in the United States, Trump’s EPA gutted restrictions on planet-warming methane emissions, its troubled president suggested using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes (especially those threatening Georgia), and. justifying his deportation policies, accused immigrants of stealing American  jobs, while stealing moneys from the Pentagon and FEMA budgets to build his racist wall. American presidents have a routine  history of stealing but regardless, the American public seems to cuts its presidents some slack. They are still pledging allegiance to Old Gory, and singing the Spangled Stars out of tune as I witnessed last week while lunching at an eatery otherwise open to the public.

Despite the national chaos, what passes for patriotism still thrives among the grey haired, white set, but among teenagers and youth, 
there’s an urgent awareness of how stressed is our planet, and how little time remains if we are to retain a habitable Earth. The Green Party denounced business deals and trade policies which multinational corporations such as Cargill and Burgher King profit from in their destruction of the Brazilian rainforest, a UN draft report was leaked warning that rising and warming oceans were ‘posed to unleash misery worldwide. And slowly, slowly, the idea that endless U.S. wars are in large part responsible for climate collapse (consuming 93% of all U.S. fossil fuel) the idea of PEACE AT LAST has gained some traction. And perhaps with the administration’s shaving of “The Mustache,” the prospects for peace may improve—unless #45 appoints Ghengis Khan to replace him.

How to kill Democracy in five little words:

“I have nothing to hide.” That kind of complacent insouciance among groupies of Facebook, Google, and other social media got a wake up call this month with the release by Netflix of “The Great Hack, ” and of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff, an amazingly well written door stopper of a book published this year, which outlines how worldwide, everyone’s privacy is being stolen without your consent—and without any royalties payable to you—by social media which sells all that surplus churning for a profit.  Silicon Valley scores billions while 
none of us gets zip. 

“The Great Hack” goes even further to show Google and Facebook embedded in Trump's Texas campaign headquarters, and how all that data mining gave us Donald Trump and Brexit. 

 And if you think it can’t happen again,  you’re whistling Dixie. Saturday’s Wall Street Journal carries this front page header: “State to launch probes of Google, Facebook.”  But don’t hold your breath: the many “probes” of social media are not motivated by any great love of Democracy, not while Capitalism is King. They concern themselves only with on line activity stifling competition.

Strike for the Climate. Learn how to plug in at:
Do the EPA’s work for it without a salary: tell ‘em how methane cooks the climate at:

And while you’re at it: tell ‘em  to uphold strong regulations on toxic coal ash, too at:

Denounce #45 illegal move to build the wall at:

Sign: Defend immigrant children’s human rights at:


While climate refugees fleeing Bahamas are thrown off boat headed for U.S., Chef Andrés and team rush there to assist Hurricane Dorian recovery.

After thwarting #45 on Syria, North Korea, and Iran, Bolton bites the dust.

Puerto Rican fight lives on in people’s assemblies locally in diaspora.

 a volunteer fire department serving a hamlet of 30,000 residents just outside of Queens, New York, became the first legislative body in the country to officially support a new investigation into the events of 9/11.

After summer lull, French yellow  vest protesters hit street in Act 43 with protests throughout France from Paris to Rouen to Montpellier.

Major U.S. Insurer Chubb no longer to underwrite and invest in coal.

Bank of England governor criticizes the petrodollar as “destabilizing,” suggesting that central banks might need to create their own reserve currency.

Hamas hails EU court decision to remove it from world terrorist blacklist.

Portland, OR free legal program helps hundreds of vulnerable people facing deportation.

Federal judge blocks draconian Missouri abortion ban.

#ReclaimTheCourt advocates to mobilize on Kavanaugh anniversary.

U.S. teens join Thunberg in UN climate protest.

Water protectors shut down Mountain Valley Pipeline work.

Standing Rock women build sovereign economies.

Voting rights advocates celebrate huge win for Democracy as N.C. State Court strikes down GOP-gerrymandered district map.

Shell to pay for contaminating California groundwater.

Extinction Rebellion shuts down Manchester.

Industrial Workers of the World Freelance Journalists rush to go public, with huge numbers overwhelming their website.

Washington Supreme Court establishes important precedent for climate necessity defense in case of valve-turner Ken Ward.

All six activists arrested last spring protesting the use of killer drones at Creech AFB have their charges dismissed.

Newark, N.J. anti-ICE demo turns into party as cops release all non-violent protesters arrested.

Republican  Senators up for re-election not amused as #45 siphons funds meant for their home states for building his wall.

AFSC with coalition of local and national organizations succeeds in shutting down Homestead indefinite holding center for migrant youth in Florida.   

Government of King County, Washington bans deportation flights from passing through international airport.

Artists call for Kemper Museum to drop trustee tied to $130 million lawsuit over ICE detainees

More than 120 groups call on Congress to back constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United.

117 rights groups offer roadmap to transform U.S. criminal-legal system.

Man convicted of stealing $50 from bakery set free after 35 years (you heard that right) in prison.

In legal victory over U.S. Muslim registry, federal judge rules U.S. Terror watch list unconstitutional in victory over civil liberties train wreck.

Because “a world without insects is not worth living in” Germany bans Glyphosate.

U.S. beekeepers file suit against EPA charging illegal approval of insecticide linked to mass die-off.

Opposition to facial recognition reaches boiling point as groups representing over 15 million people flood state, and fed lawmakers with messaging.

Cherokee Nation send first delegate to Congress.

San Francisco declares NRA domestic terror organization.

In support of Julian Assange Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters stages rally outside UK home office with “Wish You Were Here.”

Addressing U.S. housing crisis, People’s Action publishes 20-page report outlining bold plan to address U.S. housing crisis.

Apartment complex built exclusively for homeless opens in San  Jose.

New York Gov. Cuomo signs housing legislation guaranteeing strongest tenants protection in history.

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