Saturday, December 26, 2020

Music in the Heart

When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among the people, to make music in the heart.
                                                                      ― Howard Thurman



Chris Hedges spoke some days ago at the Boston Community Church.  Some 60 mostly old timers tuned in to listen. I could see their images plainly on the zoom composite. One woman knitted throughout the one hour Hedges held forth. He read from a prepared text, elaborated in his own mind, without thought as to who his listeners might be and as I listened to his litany of  criminal acts perpetuated by this government, which he read without expression, without inflection, I came to feel as though as Americans we live and die, enslaved to a crime boss, our every moment, our every breath until all hope is crushed and day falls to eternal night.


 The Grinch That Stole Christmas

I recognize the voice of a prophet but I think he gives us nothing of the joy that makes change possible. Had he imagined the winter in our hearts, what would be different? How could he have spoken otherwise? Would he have wept disconsolately to bring us such news? Would the despair of his message have throttled the words in his throat? What course of action might he have suggested? How might he have redeemed what was such a self-indulgent performance? And I thought  how when George Carlin shared the same doomed message it brought laughter to our hearts, because without laughter, struggle is impossible, because struggle must never die. That is what counts. Never forget it.


Below are two examples of good alternatives:


Lisa Savage, the author, is a colleague who ran on the Green  ticket for Senate in Maine, the state that keeps regurgitating Susan Collins.




In childhood, George Carlin was a schoolmate, and lived in the same apartment house. He understood generosity. Shortly before we lost our national jester, we reconnected. He remembered me perfectly—probably because Gorilla was his pet name for me. Painstakingly timed, his words in performance made his listeners’ hearts leap with that kind of full bodied laughter that brings deep breath and music to the heart.  



Insist on $2000 checks now.


Demand an immediate global ban on gain-of-function biomedical and biodefense (bio-warfare) research.


Urge interim AG Rosen to rescind #45 death warrants.


Biden: end sanctions on Iran.


Force vote on Medicare for All.



Latin American academics endorse boycott of complicit Israeli academic institutions.


Mexico to increase minimum wage by 15% starting January, brining it up to $7 a day.


Iraq insists on Blackwater case transfer to international courts.


EU ramps up fight against pollution with ban on plastic waste exports to poorer countries.


Swedish Appeals Court upholds 5 G ban.


French energy unions strike in defense of public energy.


Group of German lawmakers speaks out against Assange’s extradition to US>


Activists and parliamentarians join together to prevent armed drones in Germany.


UN human rights expert Nils Melzer urges #45 to pardon Assange.


International groups launch probes on human rights violations in Philippines


At least one apartheid state, Israel, may be reaching breaking point.


Netanyahoo charged with fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes , offering favors to media figures in exchange for positive news coverage about him and his family.


D.C. with tis heavy B lack population, on track to become 51st state,


Progressive caucus  calls for direct payments of at least $2,000 for working families.


Progressive caucus and Poor People’s campaign team up to chart a course for future.


Progressives take aim at GOP Senate greed in crucial GA runoffs.


Stimulus” face-slaps evicted, jobless and hungry, but excludes  corporate immunity from package.


House Dems announce effort to pass $2000 payments.


Women’s climate justice group joins lawsuit targeting #45 administration’s elimination of Tongass National Forest protections.


Biden to review US nuclear-weapons programs with eye toward cuts.


Enviro groups provide Biden with draft climate emergency order to put out fire fanned by #45.


Climate groups call on Biden to build back fossil free.


Climate groups call on Biden to nominate Andy Levin as Labor Secy.


Trans Mountain Pipeline protester create treetop camp.


Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement applaud latest Biden economic council picks.


Nuclear Regulatory Commission drops plan to deregulate rad-waste disposal barring waste from going into regular landfills.


US Fish and Wildlife Service determines that monarch s warrant protection under Endangered Species Act.


Pressure works: Civil rights groups urge Biden to nominate AG dedicated to bedrock principles of equal justice.


Sometimes: Months after AOC demand and federal suit, USPS release almost entirely reacted DeJoy calendar.


Warren introduces bill to ban lawmakers like Perdue and Loeffler of GA from trading stock.


ACLU announces major win in Minneapolis to reinvest almost $8 million from the Minneapolis Police Department into alternative non-policing services.


Black Alliance for Peace calls for people-centered human rights.


Legislation blocking ICE from New York courthouses signed into law.


Center for Constitutional Rights sues ICE and DHS for information on terror tactics used in arrests.


Class-action sit sought by women over disturbing pattern of inhumane medical abuse of CE detainees including forced hysterectomies.


Massive boycott needed: Election  watchdog to sue Facebook’s Zuckerberg for using dark money to fund massive fraud.


NAACP sues #45 over alleged disenfranchisement of Black voters.


New York approves automatic voter registration.


#45 loses Wisconsin Supreme Court case.


Fox-up New airs point-by-point fact check of election fraud claims during  3 of network’s most pro-#45 shows.


Pushback works: As #45 continues killing spree, Pressley leads call for Biden to immediately abolish death penalty.


UC Irvine and California state prison system reach deal to create first University of California bachelor’s degree program behind bars.


Demonstrators besiege California prison headquarters as well as in Hawaii as well as in Hawaii demanding humanitarian release of prisoners in COVID infested prisons.


Fate Winslow, sentence to prison for life for selling $20 worth of pot released after serving 12 years.


Imprisoned nearly 40 years, Michigan man freed after witness recants story.


Barrier to Mumia’s appeal dismissed as case can now move forward.


Unions call for LA County shutdown in January.


In rare reversal, N.Y. Times publishes a call for Biden administration to raise minimum wage.


Fast food workers win COVID protections in West Durham, N.C.


NYC to prohibit major fast food employers from firing workers without just cause.


Fight for the Future announces pushing Zoom to provide end-to-end encryption to all users


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Strangers in Their Own land

This week, with much on everyone’s mind, and bearing in mind the essential role a free press needs to play in a democracy, this newsletter briefly addresses Julian Assange’s dire situation at Belmarsh prison where 19 COVID-infected inmates have deliberately been moved into his wing (murder by indirection). Tulsi Gabbard has petitioned #45 to pardon him, followed by Edward Snowden, and now George Christenson, the Australian MP as well. You can do your bit by adding your signature to this petition.


Although hundreds of thousands of post cards and text messages have been addressed to voters in Georgia, cleansing the Senate of bottom feeder McConnell cannot happen without both Warnock and Ossoff winning Jan. 5. When at least 40 million American children are going hungry and 50 million unemployed workers are about to be evicted while the GOP makes every effort to overturn 2020’s election results, if you haven’t already contributed to this life-and-death struggle, please join Stacey Abrams now.




The United States is just one of nearly 160 nations occupying our planet. Among industrialized nations, in little more than 200 years it has managed to fall to rock bottom place.  At the root of homelessness, hunger, heightened infant mortality, and truncated longevity is the virtually intractable polarization that is tearing this country apart.  The divide cuts along urban/rural cultural lines, progressive/Tea Party political lines, immense wealth/desperate poverty economic lines, and war-machine-corporate-Wall St./we-the-people societal lines. Those who might care to take the lessons of history to heart might learn from the Roman empire’s decline and fall.


More than once, the issue of this compound divide has already been addressed by  this newsletter, but this week I want specially to highlight Arlie Hochshild: Strangers in Their Own Land:  Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a book a kind friend, knowing my interest,  gifted me for the Solstice. Arlie Hochshild happens to be an academically-credited sociologist of over 70 years now with the courage and gumption to travel to Lake Charles, LA, for some field research to get to know the very people—real people—progressives tend to lump into an ill understood category.  


Why Lake Charles? Because it’s popularly known as the heart of Cancer Alley, one of the most industrially polluted corners of the nation by plants catering to the oil industry and to our whim for tooth brushes, steering wheels, and all the many products our “advanced” civilization deems essential to our way of life, and because Louisiana happens to be the state, thanks to its ex-governor Bobby Jindal, that more than any other, has swapped its education and essential services budget for line items calculated to attract yet more polluting, tax-avoiding industry.


Hochshild’s mission is to map the complicated mind set of the people she meets.

She is welcomed with the traditional Southern hospitality of Louisiana’s white, and Cajun population, people who still hunt, fish, and carry guns. They are “churched,” and family oriented, and many live in family compounds. They take care of one another. Some have been personally devastated by industrial mega accidents which have left the Gulf unfishable, and the land corroded by punctured salt domes 4000 feet below ground. Many have worked, mostly as pipe fitters in the plants, some have knowingly dumped polluting by-products into their very own bayous under cover of night, but all equate the incidence of disease, horrific pollution, and environmental destruction in which they managed to survive with jobs. Jobs that will entitle them to that elusive American Dream for which they have been standing in line since the South’s defeat and the break up of their farms under the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. While they wait, they deeply resent the folks who they see as having been allowed to cut in line ahead of them under the apparent encouragement of an out-of-touch government: immigrants, Black folk, the disadvantaged, all categories they see as taking advantage of a federal government located in an urban D.C., able to comprehend neither the culture which has forged them, nor the devastation of their lives.


They lack trust in their government, and they seem to have a point. It is to our peril that not enough of us seem to realize it.


As it meanders from visit to visit, the book is not necessarily well written; but it needs to graze back and forth to render the flavors of the complex belief systems its author encounters. The appendix tables alone are worth the price of the book as they fact check every possible basic assumption Hochshild hears during her stay, but her stroke of genius is to identify what she calls the deep story which drives the belief systems by which this group of people operates, that waiting in line under the hot Louisiana sun while people cut in ahead of them. 


That is the book’s great strength, and if, like me, you see their apparent misguidedness as the very basic system underlying the schism tearing this nation apart, read the book.  If you’re enterprising enough, take a trip to the people of Cancer Alley, not just to listen but to empathize, to join them over a cup of tea and cakes, and discover some very real, very injured. very likeable human beings.


Sound familiar?



Greta Thunberg warns humanity still speeding in wrong direction on climate with idle talk and obfuscation.


Declare states of climate emergency UN chief urges world leaders.


Receiving Nobel Prize, world food programme chief warns we are losing battle against hunger.


UN calls for investigation into Israel’s attacks on children.


Of 155 UN states, 153 call on Israel to renounce possession  of nuclear weapons.


Compulsory face masks helped cut German COVID infections by almost 50%.


Venezuela election update: PSUV wins 67% of vote.


Venezuela votes to reject neocolonialism, create its own path.


Spain’s ex-president props Venezuelan  elections.


U.S. observers endorse Venezuela’s election legitimacy.


Greece confirms EU will react to Turkey with sanctions.


Mexico confirms asking the U.S. to extradite former security chief Genaro Garcia Luna facing U.S. trial for allegedly protecting drug gang.


Time for reset in US-China relations foreign minister Wang Yi says.


UN removes marijuana from most dangerous drug list.

The U.S. MORE Act is step toward unraveling “war on drugs.”

B of A joins Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Citibank announcing they will no longer finance fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic.


After considering Flourney, under progressive pressure, Biden appoints Lloyd Austin as Pentagon head instead.


Pentagon plans to cut most CIA counterterrorism support.


Schumer and incoming NY reps urge Biden to cancel student loan debt.


Columbia students prepare to launch tuition strike.


Presidential Plastics Action Plan urges incoming president to stop new plastic production and regular petrochemical industry, reducing plastic pollution.


Shareholders flag risks of over-reliance on plastics and petrochemicals.


Some very few Dems and Repubs vote against it, but more Repubs than Dems vote against military budget.


Over 300 groups urge Dems to block dirty energy subsidies in lame duck spending deal.


New forms of testing could bring pandemic under control before vaccines are widely available.


200 health experts urge Biden to reduce incarceration levels aid COVID pandemic


Although prisoners suspend their hunger strike at Corcoran State Penitentiary, inmates continue work strike.



Biden to nominate Medicare for All proponent Xavier Becerra as next HHS secy.


Noting U.S. unparalleled contribution to global crisis, 100+ groups push Biden to commit to U.S. to fair share of climate action.


Climate activists announce national COVID-safe day of action push back against Wall Street financing of Keystone XL and Minnesota Line 3 tar sands pipelines.


Medicare for All could cover everyone for $650 billion a year and it could still save $300 if it included long-term care.


More than 140 groups demand Congress leave corporate immunity provisions out of COVID relief deal.


25 progressive organizations call on Senate to add seats to the circuit and district courts.


Justice Department investigating potential presidential pardon bribery scheme.


Calls to abolish death penalty grow as #45’s last ditch execution spree kills Brandon Bernard.


Supremes deny injunction in Pennsylvania election results case.


Supremes declare no standing for #45-Repub  seditionists. 


Victory for Transgender rights as Supreme refuse to hear case on school bathroom policy,


Federal judge condemns ICE for “appalling” handling of COVID at private prison.


Judge requires government to explain why undisclosed data on missing separated parents was not provided sooner.


Judge orders Trump administration to fully restore DACA and accept new applicants.


Judge rejects latest GOP effort to overturn Michigan vote, seeing it for what it is.


Minnesota legislators to visit Line 3 construction area to express solidarity with pipeline opponents.


Peninsula Clean Energy board rejects PG&E nuclear credits.


Minneapolis City Council votes to cut millions from police budget.


SFPD officer indicted by grand jury over Jamaica Hampton shooting.


Judge denies immunity to cop accused of beating and tasering to death Kendole Joseph, father of 2.


Miami paper hires first Black woman as executive director.


Portland community beats back eviction, erects barricades.


In support of climate action, indigenous rights groups among those championing Deb Haaland as Interior Secy .


Indigenous-led patrol keeps peace, assist people in Vancouver’s inner city.


Schooling four local mayors in aboriginal rights, Vancouver Island First nations chief tells Canadian mayors to butt out.

Monday, November 30, 2020

America's Founding Conundrum

The U.S. boasts the most byzantine electoral system of any country claiming to be a “democracy.” The map below shows the numbers of electoral college votes assigned to each state based on the census. What if the census is skewed or corrupted? The census is the first glitch point in the U.S. electoral “system”. This year, the current White House occupant tried to halt the census prematurely.


Is there such a thing as an “indirect” popular election (or why is as raven like a writing desk)?  Still now, and for the past 231 years, the U.S. system presumes there is. But if the vote is popular, how can it be “indirect”, and if it’s “indirect”, how can it be popular? The conundrum is a holdover from the days of slavery when white slave-owners, fearful that their way of life, might be challenged, wrote its markers into the U.S. Constitution. Since 1789 when they instituted  the electoral college, that question seems not to have been of much concern for most Americans. Not until 2016.


A quick look at the wheel of fortune tells the tale:



In most American election cycles, it’s mostly the least populated “swing” states that wind up making the call, making all the millions of other votes moot. This year, most folks think Biden took the prize with a margin of over 60 million votes. In fact, the electoral college votes of Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, totaling 21,847 votes, determined the outcome  of the presidential race. They represent the margin that determined Biden’s win. Had he not won them, a tie would have been forced on the electoral college, and we’d have four more years of chaos and destruction of planet, people, and country because the House would have determined the outcome on a one–state-one vote basis.


Now stack this determinant number against Biden’s 60,000,000 popular vote majority, and you get a sense of how well the electoral college might fit in with a democratic universe a la Lewis Carroll, and what percentage of democracy the American people actually enjoy (.0000367%). Otherwise put, that’s a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of 1%.


Which leads to the obvious conclusion: we must abolish the electoral college nationwide, and until we do, we are not serious about democracy and never were. So far, 15 states and the District of Columbia totaling 196 electoral votes, have voted to abolish it, shedding this holdover from slavery. When enough states totaling 74 more votes join the effort to reach 270 electoral votes, the past bills from all the states voting yes will kick in and guarantee that the candidate with the most votes will become president but only in those states. If the remaining states (342 votes) vote yes, only then will the law become nation-wide. Until then, the change will apply only in those states that have effectively signed up.

Then, to guarantee a working as opposed to a museum quality Democracy, we will have to start the clock all over to replace the two party system that still booby traps voters with the lesser of two (corporate/war industry) evils, to establish a Parliamentary government representative of all Americans whenever they hit the polls.



Many actions this week either to push Biden to do the right (vs.  corporate/war economy) thing or to stop further damage by #45. Please sign and share:


Biden must rejoin Paris Accords.

Biden must put working people first.

Biden must confirm stability of Social Security and reverse #45 rule changes.

Oppose Biden corporate cabinet choices.

Block Biden’s anti-Medicare/Social Security candidate.

Block #45 last-minute $23 billion UAE arms sale.

Not one more handout to Fox “news”.


Donate to Jon Ossoff’s campaign to flip the Senate.

Donate to Rev. Raphael Warnock’s campaign to flip the Senate.



China announces eradication of extreme poverty. If they can, why can’t we?


Colombia’s national strike accuses President Duque of terrorism.


Massive protests in Guatemala against both president and congress.


Bolivia issues arrest warrants for Añez regime’s top officials.


Brazilian justice extends investigation  against Bolsonaro


Rallies world wide mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.


Canada’s housing co-ops find success despite COVID setbacks. Why can’t we?


In Canada, First Nations people shut down Vancouver port, calling attention  to destructive projects like Trans Mountain Pipeline.


Israel frees Maher Al-Akhras after 103-day hunger strike.


China and India  to disengage troops in eastern Ladakh.


In Paris demonstrators rally against French security bill


Israel arraigns Hallel Rabin, a conscientious objector.


UK court orders Guiadó to pay over $500,000 in legal fees for trying to legally claim Venezuela’s $1.2 billion of gold from Bank of England.


Venezuela convicts 6 CITGO former execs of corruption.


Tens of thousands of Greek public sector workers go on 24-hour strike while millions across India hold anti-government demonstrations.


Progressive coalition stages worldwide Black Friday protests to “make Amazon pay.”


Demanding reversal f #45 cruelty, immigrants rights groups welcome Biden pick of Mayorkas for DHS secy.


Alaska voters adopt instant runoff voting via primary measure.


Following outcry, U.S. government halts deportation of women alleging medical abuse in ICE detention.


Watchdog launches investigation into ICE abuse of Black immigrants.


Trump defeat more official than ever as Michigan board certifies election results, awarding Biden 16 electoral votes. .


GM withdraws support for #45 administration’s clean  cars rollback.


GM commits to all-electric car future.


California Judge rules that LA County’s civilian oversight commission has the power to subpoena the sheriff.


40 Democratic senators introduce bill blocking #45 Schedule F executive order.


GSA administrator, Emily Murphy informs Biden the administration is ready to begin the transition process.


#45 endorses move by GSA to begin US presidential transition process.


#45 endorses release of funs to begin transition to Biden administration. (I wrote: could it be he’s planning a bombing run  on Iran?, but no, it involved rubber stamping another assassination.)


Demonstrators deliver 800 failing report cards to Iowa governor as coronavirus cases increase.


S.F. DA Boudin charges fired SFPD officer with manslaughter over fatal shooting.


Indigenous people’s victory as four tribes work together with enviro groups to remove largest dam in the world and take on two of the world’s wealthiest men: Buffett and Gates.


Indigenous Shinnecock activists occupy the Hamptons through Thanksgiving. 


Iowa tribe creates national park of 44 acres overlooking Missouri River.


Pebble Mine denied permit in victory for tribes, waterways and planet.


Sanders throws support behind union drive of Amazon workers in  Alabama.


As retails giants enjoy soaring profits, workers demand hazard pay amidst soaring pandemic.


As Feinstein steps down as top judiciary Democrat, Sunrise demands she resign.


Biden urged to honor indigenous sovereignty and halt fossil fuel pipelines.


Protesters objecting to Biden’s inclusion of Garcetti in his cabinet descend on Garcetti’s house for 6th straight day.


Water protector locks to Enbridge Pipe yard gate on Black Friday.


Minnesota tells pipeline company not to run counterinsurgency against protesters.


California court strikes down limits on fighting dirty power plants.


Poll shows 68% Americans want senators to block any corporate Biden nominees.


100+ public health and justice leaders call on Biden to reject global vaccine apartheid and ensure doses free and available to all.


EPA finds glyphosate likely to injure or kill 93% of endangered species.


San Antonio., America’s most segregated city, puts power-shut offs on hold.


                            AND A  BANKSY SHOUT OUT FOR SUPER NURSES

Friday, November 20, 2020

Taxidermy and Why it Won 't Work

This week, rather than focusing on the Blue caravan consisting of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and other white supremacist groups  riding into D.C. to defend their hero, I prefer to focus on the largest group of American voters, 3 million more than cast their votes for Biden, and 8 million more than cast their votes for #45, the 80 million out of a total of 238 million American voters who did not vote. They are the largest percentage of the electorate, 33 1/3 % to be exact. Who are these people? It helps to understand that they tend to fall into one of three categories: those who can’t vote because they are either undocumented, or incarcerated, or paroled; and those discouraged from voting because of impediments like strict ID laws or lack of a street address; and those so disaffected by US politics they no longer care to vote—if they ever did. 


For obvious reasons, trying to determine how many undocumented people could not vote is speculative at best. That number ranges from 10.5 million to 12 million or 3.2% to 3.5% of the total population. Incarcerated people .7% of the population, cannot vote. That equals 2,310.371 people, some of them simply held while awaiting trial, the highest percentage of incarcerated people in the world. Additionally twenty-seven states still deny the franchise to felony probationers (fortunately the trend is slowly changing to restore the vote to people who have served their time) such that 5.2 million ex-felons cannot vote. These two groups, undocumented immigrants and incarcerated people and ex-felons account for a total of plus/or/minus 17,220,000  million.  


If we exclude these two groups, that still leaves 62,780,000 non-voters some of whom, for a spectrum of reasons, have been discouraged from voting. For some of these, strict voter ID laws cause a number of black, Hispanic, Native American, elderly, transgender, and poor voters to fall between the cracks. Pressure for strict ID laws comes mostly from the GOP (for the obvious reason that in all probability most of this group is thought to vote Democrat) but the laws are in a constant state of flux, and the number is hard to determine. 


For other folks, many without a permanent street address, voting was impossible. (For example, one year ago as I drove north through the length of Kern County, California I encountered not one human being aside from the clerks behind convenience store counters in the gas stations we patronized. I discovered where many of Kern County’s people now reside: the railroad right of way between Fresno and Hanford, a distance of 34 miles, is lined with tent cities.) How many tent dwellers, evicted either by landlords, or mortgage default and other folks without permanent street addresses exist at present in the US?  As the Depression worsens, the number mounts. Clearly the Office of Government Statistics has not busied itself tallying their number. According to the August 6, 2020 edition of the Washington Post, #45 called for another eviction moratorium, but push back by landlords did not help re-elect him.  It’s safe to say, however, that even with a burning desire to vote, voter ID impediments, including not having a permanent address, might very well have offered this group of voters some discouragement. Was such desire present in non-tent-dwelling non-voters? Apparently not. And if not, why not? 


Elephant in the Room those, comfortable and otherwise, who did not care to vote

For Biden, politics-as-before (“nothing will change”) shuns taking into account any of the many aspects of voter disillusion. A cursory look at his transitional team and at the appointment A list tells the story. Rahm Emanuel (“Liberals are fucking retards”) is now a Biden adviser, and in line for a cabinet post. Of the 23 who comprise the Biden Defense Department transition  team, 8 are working for think tanks financed by all the preeminent defense contractors, the same folks who set Bush’s and Obamas war policies. Cecilia Muñoz, who defended family separation under Obama has joined the transition team.  A flood of war mongering neocons are flocking to Biden, foreign policy hawks like Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Michele Flournoy. It’s important to remember that so far, the Middle East wars they aided and abetted have cost the American taxpayer $5 trillion, and to speculate how many homeless people, and how many food insecure people that $5 trillion might have helped, or how much PPE some of that $5 trillion could have provided to insure the safety of  essential medical personnel as they battle a pandemic. Richard Stengel who has restrictive views of freedom of speech. is likely to head the US Agency for Global Media. Not only does the team consist of the greatest amalgam of multi millionaires ever assembled, but in the words of independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone, Biden “will have the most diverse, intersectional cabinet of mass murderers ever assembled.” And on Nov. 14, Fox News reported that Hillary Clinton, the Scourge of Libya, is under consideration as Biden’s ambassador to the UN.  


A Biden who stiffs the UN with a stuffed has-been like Hillary Clinton, and draws on a bunch of sclerotic neocons may very well be hitting the summit of the taxidermist’s art. But taxidermy never brought change about. It may very well be that, despite a boobytrapped two-party system, change, if it ever comes about, will prompt at least some part of that 33 1/3 percent of non-voting voters to declare itself. But, according to Information Clearing House, “the demographics of the recent election show no  sign of a permanent majority for Democrats.”


Without a Herculean effort on the part of a newly-galvanized post card and letter writing public joining old-time activists nationwide, and popular recognition that the US needs a New Constitution, one free of the embedded mandates for slavery, don’t bet on either happening any time soon.




URGE Biden to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.


LISTEN as AOC calmly excoriates an absent Senate.


DEMAND Biden make family reunification a top priority.


INSIST Barrett recuse herself from all Election-related cases.


DEMAND Senate not confirm any more corporate lobbyists.


URGE Biden to put people before banks and corporations.


DONATE to Justice Democrats & Rashida Tlaib




The Elders, founded by Mandela, warn baseless accusations of voter fraud by #45 endanger democracy worldwide.


UN panel votes 163-5 in support of Palestinian statehood, end of occupation. US opposes.


World’s public banks gather at first-ever summit.


Bolivia President Arce approves bonus against hunger. If Bolivia can, why can’t we?


Bolivian prosecutor’s office orders arrest of former ministers.


Peruvians stage massive protests against legislative coup that ousted President Martin Vizcarra,


Brazilian municipal elections show gains for Left.


Dutch foreign minister seeks EU arms embargo on Turkey.


India, China close in on plan  to end months of border standoff.


In victory of China over US hegemony in Asia, 15 Asian states sign huge new trade deal.


Climate on agenda in first Russia visit by  UK minister since 2017.


World pushes ahead with climate action as US remains in limbo.


Scotland may look at serious and  long-standing concerns about #45’s business activities.


EU slams Israel plans to construct new settler units in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.


UK  troops to b e withdrawn from Afghanistan by Xmas as staying without US untenable.


European Court upholds right to boycott Israel.

Nova Scotia  First Nation to launch lawsuits against non-indigenous fishers. for damages.


Tribes, Dem governors, and Klamath dam owner announce salmon restoration plan.


Manchester students revolt aster university demands they pay rents that 74% cannot afford.


Manchester lecturers show solidarity with students following racial profiling.


Okinawa protesters keep up years-long blockade of construction dump trucks at US airbase construction site in defiance of Japanese government .  


Amnesty warns US of culpability in rising Yemen civilian  death toll if drone sale to UAE inked.


US invasion forces convoy leaves illegal bases in Syrian territory to Iraq.


After 4 years of hiding behind #45, populist Polish and Hungarian leaders suddenly exposed.


New feminist peace initiative releases movement-driven foreign policy framework.


About time: Longtime union  members Pocan and Norcross announce labor caucus to advocate for workers in Congress.


Pocan leads 40 Dems demanding condemnation of Israeli demolitions.


AOC demands #45 non-payment of taxes be investigated.


Don’t hold your breath department:  urges  to reject Ernest Moniz and choose climate champions for cabinet.


150 high-level government expert issue Climate 21 Projet Report urging  Biden-Harris a running climate start.


Public Citizen delivers robust transition agenda demands to Biden.


Indigenous and progressive activists and lawmakers plan rally at DNC to push Biden in greener direction.


Citing her ties to agribusiness and fossil fuels, 160 groups tell Biden Heitkamp is wrong choice for USD.


Social Security defenders tell Biden to keep austerity-obsessed Bruce Reed far away from White House.


Michigan governor moves to shut down Line 5 Pipeline to protect Great Lakes.


Refusing to be bullied, Michigan governor rebukes #45 aid’s call for uprising over COVID measures.


Nearly four dozen faith institutions announce divestment from fossil fuels.


Chevron Phillips publishes climate report in response to investor concerns.


Legal protest blasts plan for 430 square miles of fracking leases in Wyoming.


With irrevocable justice on line, Dem lawmakers demand #45 administration put brakes on killing spree.


Federal judge rules acting DHS head Chad Wolf unlawfully appointed, invalidates DACA suspension.


Federal Court rejects latest #45 attack on DACA in Batalia Vidal v Wolf case.


Judge blocks #45 administration policy using pandemic as excuse to kick out asylum seeking children.


N.J. releases over 2 thousand incarcerated workers to help stop the pandemic spread, the largest single-day release in U.S. history.


In 58-day-long vigil, members of Decarcerate Now, NC, gather outside exec mansion demanding Gov. Cooper use his powers of pardon to protest incarcerated during pandemic.


Hunger enters third week at California’s largest prison.


California ‘bans the box’ protecting formerly incarcerated people in the college admissions process.


After defund police victory, Portland keeps marching.


Mi’kmaq First Nations coalition takes control of major seafood company.


Oregon City Voters recall mayor for downplaying police brutality against black people.


With COVID surging,, school superintendent in Tippecanoe County Ind. suspends in-person education. 


Philly crocodile city council apologizes for deadly 1985 Move bombing.


Abby Martin sues State of Georgia over Israel Loyalty Oath mandate.


Proudly BDS: Jewish-led groups condemn Pompeo for declaring boycott-divestment movement anti-Semitic.


Two Muslim women derive NYPD to change its practice of forcefully removing the hijab.


Student action spurs student vote to help turn Georgia blue and defeat #45.


As #45 seeks to shred food inspection riles, advocacy group endorses Rep. Marcia Fudge for Secy of Agriculture.


Bloomington, MN unhoused community forms tenants union.


A homeless camp in Rapid City, SD shut down by  police moves to trust land outside town where indigenous people return to living traditionally.


UAW workers at Johnson Controls go on trike, warning the company they may lose all their workers’ experience.


Biden solidifies AZ victory as election officials counter #45 fraud lies in joint declaration.


Biden signals flexibility on North Korea.


Lindsay Graham under fire for allegations he urged legal ballots be tossed in Georgia.


Following Berkeley, CA arrest of 5 G protester, city vows no more new permits for small cells will be issued.


S.F.’s only Nigerian restaurant uses free food to support police violence activism.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

This Week’s Roses

Dear Readers,


I never thought I would ever use these words as a headline. But this week, as I scarfed down a tardy breakfast, all the whoohooing in the street, and the banging of pots and pans signaled to me that the genocidal nightmare of the past 4 years had come to a close. But before I dwell on the good news, I hope to remind my readers that 69 million of the electorate felt just fine to re-elect  a president whose bullying, lies, and racial divisions were just fine regardless of whether they resulted in deportation, voter suppression, and shootings provided they targeted others less white and privileged, those of the poor, brown, black and marginalized communities not their own.  Journalists are quick to pontificate exactly why that is, and here’s my own theory: White women supported #45 because their minds have been colonized by images of the perfect. big-boobed, blond Barbie woman at great and suicidal cost to themselves.


The demographics tell the story: 42% of the most economically disadvantaged voted for #45, whereas 54% of those in the $100,000+ income bracket supported #45; 35% of those in the 18-29 age group voted for #45, whereas 51% of those 65 and older upheld #45 and all his works. I hope to remind us that those 69 million will not simply vanish into thin air, and that we would do well to get to the root of their perceptions and disgruntlements.


And now to get to the good news: Democrats have much to learn from this election, especially that most candidates endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America .sailed through. Compared to the rather tepid response to the Biden-Harris ticket, of 29 DSA-endorsed candidates and 11 ballot measures, respectively 21 and 8 won. The “Squad” added two members: Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.) and Cori Bush (MO). Tlaib massively increased voter turnout in Michigan, helping to hand Biden victory; Colorado socialists worked hand in hand with the ACLU to win a ballot measure guaranteeing no eviction without representation; and socialists partnered with AFSCME and SEIU unions to pass pre-school for all in Oregon. Both Florida and Portland, ME ballot initiatives passed $15 minimum wage benefits.


To win, it pays to offer a programme such as Medicare for All, and a Green New Deal rather than simply being against something. It attracts voters as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out.


But much work remains: Voting must be standardized throughout the nation, proprietary machine voting must be replaced by traceable paper ballots and the electoral college needs to be abolished.



Citizens United must be overturned, as well as the “personhood” of corporations. State Banks must be established throughout the nation to break the back of Wall Street and the perpetual wars it backs almost from the beginning of US history; our kids must be offered a rigorous education based on inquiry and learning and not indoctrination.  The homeless must be housed (1000 homeless died this year in LA while 93,000 homes stood empty.) The trend militarizing municipal police must be reversed, and immigration policy and incarceration must be entirely re-examined; and most of all, both the inequality and the racism that have plagued this nation from its Constitutional inception must be laid to rest. 



And right now the fight’s still on in Georgia where a chance remains for Dems to take the Senate back. An electorate that can, through its massive post card writing, and texting of uncertain voters turn out the greatest number of voters ever to have elected an American president is capable of accomplishing the impossible.


Note: After some many years without, one of these days, this writer hopes to take a vacation leading to possible news interruption in coming days.




DONATE NOW to elect Warnock and Ossoff to defang McConnell and

take back the Senate.


READ lame duck threats.


WATCH for fun and schadenfreude.


RECUSAL for Barrett from any and all 2020 election cases.


UPHOLD right of peaceful protest.


READ let’s not count too many chickens before they return home to roost.


Rival Libya factions agree to implement ceasefire.


Palestinian and outside activists issue call for participation in campaign commemorating 103 anniversary of Balfour Declaration.


Palestinian Maher al-Akhras wins freedom after 103 day hunger strike.


Five subcontinent recycling concerns turn trash into gold by paying recycler for their waste.


After huge struggle Nicaraguan women’s coop rids community of machismo and sets high value for women’s work.


With $340 million coming due, Deutsche Bank could seize #45 assets of he defaults.


Amnesty slams #45 for condoning  violence and intimidation as #45 praises a Texas mob for harassing Biden campaign bus.


Thunberg reminds US voters their choice will affect countless generations to come.


Socialists mobilize nationwide demanding democracy.


People’s mandate in Minneapolis Invite protesters for a national day of protest demanding election remain untampered with across the US.


RE-elected by campaigning on Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, and Jobs Guarantee, Squad adds two members


Calling Biden win step one, Sanders reminds that US must not return to ‘business as usual.’


Secret Service increases Biden protection.


Supremes side with BLM activist sued by police officers


Resurged mvment against police brutality, while supremacy and state violence continues to ignite public discourse around racism and need to organize.


Innocent Black mom beaten by Philly cops, whose baby was kidnapped by them, files lawsuit.


If Philly’s police ballot measures pass, a new oversight commission could bring more accountability. Maybe.


As #45 spouts last-minute lies, top PA officials make clear that election doesn’t end till all votes are counted.


Judge blocks #45 policy allowing officials to deny residency to immigrants who might use public funds (public charge immigration policy).


Federal district judge grants injunction prohibiting private mercenary contractor from hiring and deploying  para-military to MN polling sites.


Federal judge orders sweeps of USPS facilities, and rushed delivery of mail-in votes.


FBI investigates robocalls in Flint MI to suppress turnout.


Protesters in Washington, LA, Raleigh and Portland take to streets.


500+ demonstrations planned to protect election results.


Migrant Justice settles federal lawsuit on CE retaliation.


FBI raids neo-Nazi camp in MI.


Teacher’s viral arrest helps stop evictions.


Michigan girl who avoided homework, now out of jail and back in school.


Federal Texas judge rejects GOP attempt to toss 127K drive-in votes.


Native American voters lacking a residential street address will allowed to vote marking their residence on a map.


Missing and murdered indigenous women and girls committee releases final report in AZ.


Affordable housing developers set sights n former toxic oil fields.

Jill Stein wins 4-year battle to inspect the source codes in proprietary WI voting machines.


Philly DA says folks dressing up like GI Joe to intimidate voters will be prosecuted.


After a pepper spraying by cops, relentless NC poll marchers vow to return Election Day.


Sanders joins other progressive on election eve for final get-out-the-vote rally.


Oregon just votes to decriminalize all drugs.


Marijuana legalization measures pass in 4 states.


Despite Collin’s victory, Naral pro-choice US celebrates Rep. Jared Golden’s victory in ME 2nd congressional district.


First in a million: Green New Deal champion Chloe Maxim explains her unseating of powerful GOP incumbent in ME: “I mostly listen.”


Dems flip MI supreme court.


Federal court rules against PDA approval of Genetically engineered salmon.


California division  of OSHA levies fines on two Amazon warehouses with more to come for failing to adequately protect its warehouse workers.


Teachers in Toronto walk out after COVID outbreak.