Monday, July 27, 2020


There’s a time that happens once a year, on July 25, which is the last day of the Mayan calendar. On that day all is supposed to pause to give our world time to reset. It’s a day which realigns the 13 moon calendar and the solar year. And it’s aligned with the feminine aspect of nature, a day of reverence and respect for all life, dedicated to Notime, a day out of time.

Much has happened to our world, and to the United States during the past week, but what stands out in many minds is an event that happened in our congress on July 23. On that day in Congress Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez drew the world’s and the nation’s attention to the struggle which has plagued the world for 5,000 years, a disease called misogyny. Not only did her speech highlight that every time a man uses such epithets directed  towards a woman, he gives permission for other men to show the same behavior to other women, regardless of whether or not they may have wives or daughters (obviously all had mothers at one time) but she also called upon the women in Congress, including the Speaker of the House and the former chair of the DNC to corroborate from their own similar experiences.

AOC telling how it is
AOC drew the line at accepting what was not even close to an apology by the offending, offensive Rep Yoho of Florida.

Yoho: Florida Everglades bottom feeder
As a woman, I cannot remember being moved quite so profoundly by anything ever happening in our Congress. In my view misogyny is at the very root of all that ails us as a violent, war-making, unequal, patriarchal society. Its cultural history is a long one and dates from the approximate year of 3,000 B.C. when for the next 1,000 years or so, the Kurgans (named for their grave mounds) invaded and swept across the face of Europe, raping, killing and pillaging all in their wake. We know this from the many skeletons discovered with skull fractures located in the back of their heads from wounds they sustained as they tried to escape. What is critical to keep in mind is that the society first inhabiting Europe was egalitarian, and possessed no weapons. Even more significantly, they were hunter-gatherers, and practiced some early forms of agriculture, whereas the Kurgans were stockmen, herded animals requiring ever increasing grazing lands, and subsisting on animal by-products: meat and milk and skins. It is interesting to speculate that the early mythical account of Cain (the farmer) and Abel (the shepherd) may refer to exactly this pre-historic struggle in the mythic terms of a civilization that had yet to avail itself of writing and the discourse of history.

Normally, I consider this newsletter separate from my work as a published writer, never referring to my works in a commercial context, but today I avail myself of an exception because if we are to heal and if there is to be any change in future, we must confront where we have come from. I sent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a copy of my book, Apology to a Whale: Words to Mend a World. I accompanied it with a letter stating that in my view, misogyny is the central problem plaguing our world of endless war, violence, and contempt, dismissal and exclusion of women, and asking her to lend it public articulation.  I included a summary of its contents:

“Have you ever wondered how Europe, a small peninsula with only 80,000,000 inhabitants, was able to practice genocide and create so much havoc in the New World which had 100,000,000 inhabitants at the time Europeans first appeared here?

“With abundant research over a lifetime, Archeologist Marija Gimbutas has proved from excavations of gravesites all over Europe that originally its civilization was pacific and egalitarian, honoring women, men and homosexuals and transsexuals equally, and burying all without distinction or much fanfare.

Marija Gimbutas at the height of her fame

“But roughly in 3,000 B.C. an invasion of Kurgans, a war-like people, came from the Eastern Steppe of what is now Russia. They knew warfare, carried weapons, used wheeled wagons, worshipped a sky god, and practiced patriarchy, misogyny, and hierarchy; their cycle of life ended not in rebirth, but in death. Worst of all, they spoke proto-Indo-European, the language from which all but 4 of our European languages descend.  Benjamin Lee Whorf is the linguist who first proposed that   Language is the river whose current runs through the ages, and perpetuates the world view we happen to hold.

Benjamin Whorf
“Within a thousand years the Kurgan invasion had swept through Europe to the Atlantic, killing, raping, and pillaging all in its wake. 1492 can be seen as an extension of that invasion.”

What is most tragic is that the fashion among both men and compliant women has been to discredit Gimbutas, all her years of painstaking archeological work, and book upon book of faithful illustrations of grave offerings c. 5,000 B.C. perhaps because, rare among archeologists, she was a woman. It may be time in an age of COVID to give her voice.

I want to conclude this weeks’ newsletter with statistics, sent me by a friend, which speak for themselves:

The countries most affected by COVID and their leaders:

USA Trump
Brazil Bolsonaro
Russia Putin
Spain Pedro Sanchez
UK Boris Johnson
Italy Giuseppe Conde
France Emmanuel Macron

The countries recognized as managing the crisis best and their leaders:

Germany Angela Merkel
Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen
Iceland Katrin Jacobsdóttir
Finland Sanna Mirella Márin
New Zealand Jacinda Ardern
Norway Ema Solberg
Denmark Mette Fredericksen

Every one of them women in case you might be wondering.

UN calls for temporary basic income for world’s poorest 2.7 billion people as ‘lifelines’ amid pandemic.

In Venezuela paralyzed companies  rescued by an army of volunteer workers.

Israel draws up secret list of officials who may stand trial at international court for war crimes.

Cuba defeated the pandemic, now prepared to face economic crisis.

‘Because U.S. can’t be trusted’ to uphold basic human rights, Canadian court strikes down bilateral asylum agreement.

Stop 5 G passes in Hawaii which will be 5 G free.

‘Shut It Down, Start Over, Do It Right’: medical experts urge renewed U.S. lockdown to stop COVID spike.

In recent days, governors from at least 18 states, including Michigan, have backtracked on plans to loosen restrictions due to outbreaks.

ACLU secures release of U.S. resident unlawfully detained under “Patriot” Act.

U.S. prisoner of never-ending war with never-ending sentence released.

‘War is not a game’: AOC to file amendment banning U.S military from recruiting on Twitch.

Kumeyaay Nation protest stops construction on border wall.

Blackfeet federation seeks permanent protection for Badger Two Medicine area in Lewis-Clark National Forest..

Omar and Sanders lead bill to end destructive taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels.

Activists ramp up pressure on other insurers after Swiss company ditches climate-wrecking Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Appeals court rules Bayou Bridge pipeline company ‘trampled’ landowners’ rights.

States sue over ruling limiting them from blocking pipeline projects.

Kesha Davalos Grijalva and dozens of others have been camping outside the Aurora immigration jail for over a month demanding for the release of everyone inside, including her husband.

Russia bans Wi-Fi and smartphones for distance learning.

In Massachusetts activist camp at State House for giving undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses.

In Virginia undocumented residents will be able to drive legally starting in January. (Let’s hope they don’t starve between  now and January.)

Justice Department report finds systemic excessive use of force by prison guards.

As protesters sue to vindicate their constitutional rights, a University of Chicago study documents over 120 incidents of police brutality in LA, Minneapolis, DC, and other cities and towns across the U.S. such as bodily injury from the firing of rubber bullets, and use of tear gas

LA County OKs COVID ‘health councils’ to watch worker safety.

On July 20, in nationwide protests labor and climate justice join the Black Lives Matter Movement in solidarity as tens of thousands walk off job.

In D.C. protesters use ‘midnight yoga’ to cope with police violence.

BLM Chicago sues to prevent occupation by #45’s paramilitaries.

Western States Center, Unitarian of Portland, two state reps, and ACLU listed as plaintiffs in lawsuit alleging federal govt. has violated protesters’ 10th amendment rights.

Portland moms aided by dads with leaf blowers form human shield to protect protesters from federal agents.

Federal agents retreat to Portland base as protesters control streets.

Judge Andrew Napolitano rules actions in Portland of federal agents are unlawful, unconstitutional, an harmful.

U.S. judge blocks federal agents from arresting Portland observers.

Philadelphia top prosecutor is prepared to arrest federal agents if and when they turn up.

Philly marches for ‘Justicia para Vanessa” who disappeared from Ft. Hood after complaining she was being sexually harassed.

Twenty-one state attorneys general file suit to stop ‘illegal’ effort by #45 to skew census for political gain.

Public health expert denounce new CDC document pushing school re-openings as ‘politically driven’ and ‘irresponsible.’

Teachers sue Florida governor for order to reopen schools in  defiance of ‘Basic human needs for health and safety.’

Teachers union plans strategy to resist unsafe school re-openings.

Educators plan to revitalize #RedforEd Movement as Hillsborough Co., Fla, rally against school re-openings.

Anti-racist demos continue in Minneapolis, Louisville, Ky. and Portland among other cities.

Hunger strike begins amid U.S. racism protests in Kentucky over Breonna Taylor’s murder-by-cop.

Ohio  Speaker Larry Householder (R) and four others were arrested on Tuesday on charges stemming from a $60 million bribery case to keep crumbling Davis-Besse  NPP open brought by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers.

House votes to block funding for nuclear testing.

House passes NO-BAN Act to stop #45 Muslim bam, and ensures that immigration detainees have access to counsel.

Great American Outdoors Act passes through Congress guaranteeing fixing maintenance backlog in national parks and Indian education, preserving water quality, and creating jobs among other benefits.

Democrats demand #45 reverse ‘irresponsible’ order as states lose access to crucial COVID data.

Housing rules could force newly released prisoners into homelessness.

Single mothers and children take over abandoned public buildings in Philadelphia.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Not Your Normal Warm Fuzzies

The Oregon Dept. of Justice is suing The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshalls Service, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (your friendly ICE agents) and the presidents very own, dedicated Federal Protective Service. Their presence in Portland since July 14 has not been invited, and although Ted Wheeler, the Mayor  of Portland has asked them to go home, they seem impervious to suggestion. They are accused of civil rights abuses (just a little kidnapping of protesters, and journalists now and then). And state prosecutors will pursue criminal charges against a federal officer who slightly injured Donovan La Bella,  a protester, shooting him, not below the waist as use of force protocol demands, but in the head, which will require reconstructive surgery, and a titanium plate to stand in for a fractured skull. Paraphrasing Mark Twain: No one was hurt. Only a protester was assaulted. His mother is quoted as saying of her son: “He’s 6 ft 5. [Whoever shot him] has to be a terribly trained marksman to be off by 3 feet to hit him in the forehead right between the eyes.  If he’s that bad of a shot at such a short distance, he shouldn’t have a gun.” Mrs. LaBella is given to understatement.

Feds arrive in Iraq-war camo and clouds of smoke
Portland is just the trial balloon, following 53 days of Black Lives Matter protests, which your kind president described as “out of control,” making sure the right kind of presidential discipline would set matters straight. Plans for expanding the onslaught are set for Chicago and other cities. But in Portland, aside from unsightly graffiti, and some thrown rock projectiles, demonstrations have been amazingly peaceful. It’s just that the protests are for the wrong kind of thing. Had they been rallies favoring war, or decrying the latest enemy, a little noise and destruction might have been overlooked, possibly even encouraged. But these protests decry racism, and in a country gone dark, that’s the wrong kind of protest. It needs to be quelled, and Portland is as good as any place to start.


 Coming to a City Near You

Journalists are beginning to frame the unprecedented use of federal forces in cities nationwide as attempts by the #45 administration to sow pre-election intimidation and  chaos, and to distract a souring public away the raging pandemic, and the collapsing economy. The plans projected for the next 12 cities include: agents’ refusal to identify themselves or reveal what agency they serve, badges “mistakenly” left at home, rented vehicular transport in unmarked cars and vans, no arrest warrants, and kidnapping of  random protesters who are arrested with no explanation. Portland’s municipal police are reported to have cooperated with them. The ACLU is suing the Trump administration over its use of Secret Police, and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has announced plans to introduce an amendment barring the Trump administration from deploying federal law enforcement to U.S. cities as backlash grows over White House use of unidentified agents to crack down on protesters and detain them without cause. And the chairs of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees called on the inspectors general of the Justice and Homeland security Departments to open an investigation into the administration’s use of federal agents against protesters in Oregon.

Feds in lock step
But the director of Homeland Security made it clear not only he refuses to leave but intends expanding his services to cities nationwide.


World leaders and corresponding death figures

Relish those blue skies?: world mayors call for car-free city streets.

Palestinians reiterate call for sanctions to stop Israeli Annexation.

More than 200 national DNC delegates calk for withholding U.S. military aid to Israel if annexation goes forward.

Israel drafts secret list of hundreds of officials who may stand trial for war crimes.

Israel’s Gantz, PM-in-waiting and running coalition partner urges plan by Netanyahoo to annex part of West Bank and Jordan Valley shelved.

World-wide protests in Hong Kong, in Russia take creative turns.

Russian potest dolls

ACLU and State of Oregon sue federal agencies over protest enforcement.

Oregon Senator Merkley vows amendment barring #45 from deploying paramilitary squads onto U.S. streets.

Reducing homicides and nonfatal shootings 45% and more, Chicago peacemakers offer proven alternative to policing.

17 states sue #45 over deportation threats to international

Federal court orders administration to accept new DACA applications.

Kumeyaay Nation protest stops border wall construction

Bolivians hit streets against puppet Añez government.

Crocodile tears: NYT acknowledges coup in Bolivia, shirking blame for its supporting role.

Significant coalition forms as climate strikers and racial justice #StrkeforBlackLives join forces July 20.

Administration rescinds dangerous policy targeting international students.

Resolution to halt 5 G passes Hawai’i County planning board.

In big win for solar, Federal judge panel rejects attack on rooftop solar in U.S.

FERC unanimously dismisses New England Ratepayers Association’s petition to end net metering, which would have denied solar owners fair compensation

National Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness demands removal of Seattle police from homelessness team.

By unanimous vote, City of Asheville,  Carolina Council votes to provide reparations to Black residents and their descendants.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear wants to give black residents health coverage.

LA school board member introduces motion to phase out the practice of law enforcement policing our schools.

Amid calls to defund police, Detroit leaders weigh in on alternatives.

Code of silence breaks as Florida cop fired and arrested after being turned in by other officers.

Opposition to ‘pause’ on Johns Hopkins private police force grows.

Washington NFL team drops racist name following decades of activism.

Tennessee Federal Judge blocks sweeping abortion ban.

Citing likelihood of “extreme pain and needless suffering” US judge halts resumption of federal executions.

Responding to massive resistance, LA takes steps to close its central jail within one year.

UK trade unionists back campaign to free journalist Assange.

In virus news (what else is there?) governors from at least 18 states, including Michigan, backtrack on plans to loosen restrictions.

Nationwide nurses strike to demand vital PPE.

Thousands strike at Maine’s Bath Iron Works Shipyard.

Three-drug treatment of interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin, proves much more effective than remdesivir

Texas teachers union ponders striking over lack of virus precautions.

In unanimous 5-0 vote, S.F. Community Choice aggregator refuses PGE’s offer of nuclear power from Diablo Canyon NPP.

Monterey Bay Community Power also turns down nuclear energy.

Massachusetts may become second state after Maine to adopt instant runoffs with vote this fall.

Patriotic millionaires mark tax day with call to tax the rich.

Following 3-year struggle, Amazon is taxed $210-240 million a year,, providing tens of thousands of green jobs by building permanently affordable social housing.

Anti-#45 GOP groups urge Republicans to vote for Biden.

Kesha Davalos-Grijalva with dozens of others camp outside virus-stricken Aurora immigration jail over a moth, demanding release of all inside including her husband.

Artists install anti-#45 living statues around D.C.


HEADLINE: Pressure mounts to free black girl imprisoned not doing homework. Stocks and dunking next?

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Deep Racism Underpinning Our Wars

This week, I hope to draw readers’ attention to a very clearly stated article by Walden Bello which appeared on Common Dreams website. Walden Bello is Filipino and has occupied himself in the diplomatic area most of his life.
Currently he is co-founder and senior analyst at Focus on the Global South.  He is winner of the Right Livelihood Award. But plenty of public figures have awards and honors, which doesn’t mean they know how to think straight. Walden is one of the few Incorruptibles still standing.

“The Racist Underpinnings of American Wars” is a clear and simple statement.  It points out that America’s two original sins are the cornerstones of its foundation: The Native American genocide, and the slavery of Black Americans. The one “cleared” the territory we now refer to as continental U.S.; the other’s free labor made her fabulously wealthy. As a history of our origins, neither is in dispute.

But karma has a way of replicating itself without end. What distinguishes Walden’s article is that it focuses exclusively on America’s wars in Asia, subjects American’s like to overlook: War in the Philippines, World War II against the Japanese, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It passes over U.S. nuclear “testing,” the massive detonations over the Marshall Islands resulting in American children being born with an average 10% lower IQ in its top year, 1963, and in the loss of native habitat which became unlivable, with the maiming of the bodies of the Marshallese and their descendants for all eternity.  What traits do these wars hold in common?

Marshallese being forced off their island

Reviewing them briefly here, all were waged against Asian people of color. All were accompanied by racial epithets for the “enemy:” “gugus” and “nigger” for the Filipinos, whereas the Americans self-identified as “Indian Fighters;” the ultimate expression of racial hatred was the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; in Korea the U.S. learned to marry murder with technology, dropping more bombs than all the bombs it unleashed during World War II; and in Vietnam, the aim was to “bomb the gooks back to the stone age,” dropping 70 tons of bombs for every square mile, or 500 bombs for each man, woman and child.  Bello overlooks the U.S. use of defoliant and unexploded ordnance, the gift that keeps on giving, with maimed victims, and deformed Vietnamese births occurring to this day.  

Just another imperialist war

Returning to his simple two premises, Walden leaves us with a clearer under-standing of how American racism replays itself endlessly in U.S. wars, and in denial of its own racist origins. When we take to the streets now because finally we seem to have tired of our own genocidal behavior at home, we need to remember that we march for those millions of dead we have let pile up in our genocidal wake.

(MLK JR. realized the U.S. would “never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw skiils and money.”)

VOLUNTEER: Write PCs to reluctant voters at Daily Kos.

New report this week finds economic benefits in protecting 30% of planet’s land and ocean outweigh the costs 5 to 1.

Resolution halting 5 G has passed the Hawaii County planning board, and set to be voted on by Hawaii City Council.

World rebukes U.S. over Iran sanctions.

CIA-backed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) indicted for 20-year-old ghoulish crimes by war crimes court at Le Hague.

More than 100 Jewish lawyers  and judges call on Israel to halt annexation plans.

Shell writes down $22 billion as fossil fuels belly flop.

Chesapeake Energy files for bankruptcy.

Court orders shut down and removal of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline, although company plans to ignore court.

United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit rules against Exxon and Suncor in case can proceed in state and federal court.

Supreme Court rules nearly half of Oklahoma still native American territory.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights rules for indigenous people of Saita, Argentina after 22 years of litigation, ordering govt. of Argentina to cede 4,000 km2 of territory to the Lhaka Honrat Assn.

After 3 dirty pipelines delayed in 24 hours, Supreme Court rejects #45 effort to greenlight Keystone XL construction.

‘The future does not belong to you,’ climate campaigners say to Big Oil after cancellation of 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation pushes Deutsche Bank for fossil fuel divestment amidt pipeline shut downs, pandemic, and climate crisis.

Lawsuit seeks documents on #45 order “expediting fossil fuel project approvals."

In rebuke to #45, Federal Appeals Court upholds endangered species protections for Yellowstone grizzlies.

“No one above the law, including #45 as Supreme Court allows New York Prosecutor to subpoena financial records. Sounds nice doesn’t it, except for the Democratic senator who keeps delaying bringing it out of committee.

More than 60 enviro justice advocates and groups issue COVID call to action, demanding end to ‘sacrifice zones.’

In Canada people with work are sharing the stimulus checks with the unemployed. Why can’t we?

Massive Chicago protest: No to the continuation of theft of Palestinian land.

Zionist  lobby loses latest appeal against American Studies Assn.

Raleigh BLM protest reaches 35th day.

In Charleston, S.C. dock workers shut down nation’s 4th busiest port during George Floyd’s funeral to show BLM solidarity.

Treaty defenders block road to Trump Rushmore event before scores are arrested.

Washington State law puts limits on facial recognition technology.

Florida Democratic candidates organize to protest Florida Democratic Party.

Common Cause announces GOP National Committee drops lawsuit blocking Gov. Newsom from sending every California voter a vote-by-mail ballot for Nov. election.

‘Historic victory for working people’: City of  Seattle passes progressive tax on big business to fund relief.

After weeks of protest, Minnesota pushes legislative change to distribute reparations for slave descendants in St. Paul.

Milton, Mass. rally protests anti-racist teacher’s suspension.

Ford workers ask company to stop assembling and selling police cars as protests continue.

FCA Toledo plant workers support call for rank-and-file safety committees.

Federal Appeals Court upholds block on  transit ban.

Strike set for July 20 for BLM in 25 cities wins union support.

More than 80 lawmakers demand #45 rescind plan to force international students out.

Sanders calls on do-nothing Senate to approve $200 month checks, cancel rent, and expand Medicare.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey places $3 million behind coalition of mayors considering universal basic income for residents in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Compton.

Biden “vows” to share any COVID vaccine with world. (But read up on a Trojan horse at

As progressives demand far more work, Biden-Sanders panels unveil policy blueprint.

New House bill would tax Wall St. windfalls to guarantee good jobs.

Atlanta Hawks lead way offering 21,000 seat downtown stadium for the fall  2020 election.

Protests against police violence could help make formerly homeless Candace Valenzuela the first Afro-Latina in Congress.

San Francisco to pay six-figure settlements in police excessive force lawsuits.

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. – Will Rogers.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Rebellion in Search of Revolution

Last week I read a statement by a BLM protester. “They know we will get tired of protesting and go home.”

Well, yes.  You will get tired as you got tired of Occupy because so far nothing exists beyond the acting out of protest, and protest bows to inconvenience. In the U.S. there is no historyof revolution, no memory, no ideology, no tradition of political and philosophical thought, no leaders (they have been assassinated) and no tradition of education through generations to expose our structural dilemmas.


I started out as a theater-maker. In my own lifetime, I have encountered one, and only one American institution that has demonstrated the kind of legs that has kept it going for over 60 years now: The San Francisco Mime Troupe. Why is that? Because from the beginning like no other theater, the Mime Troupe has had as its spine a clear sense of the political ideology that motivates it. It has skirted the anti-intellectualism of the mainstream culture; reading political theory is part of its practice. It has refused to bow to the U.S. propaganda bugaboos of anti-socialism, anti-communism, and anti-thought. It has refused the notion that art must somehow be “pure” and never tied to political ideology.

At present the U.S. suffers from an ongoing and exacerbating pandemic, a laughably incompetent head of state, a collapse of its financial system, and the servility of both the media (the fourth estate) and the judiciary (the Supreme and lower courts.)  The popular response? Rebellion, but not revolution. For revolution, as the Russian model has shown us, time, history, philosophical and ideological background are necessary, plus long-term education of a populace and recognition of deep divisions of class, economics, and race (race being a quintessentially deeply unscientific American construct).


 Some understanding of other models is part of that kind of awareness. A life of Plekhanov, for example, the father of Russian Marxism can be read in The Jewish Bund in Russia by Henry Tobias. The death of apartheid in South Africa, provides some valuable lessons. There the birth of African National Congress could be grafted onto an already existent Communist Party, clear in its history, ideology and methods. A useful book to read is  Slovo: The unfinished autobiography of ANC leader Joe Slovo. Joe Slovo, married to Ruth First, was one of the apartheid resistance’s chief exponents. 

The struggle to end apartheid

Slovo came to activism through a working class background. His autobiography outlines the thrilling adventures, life-threatening risks, and sacrifices required in overthrowing the apartheid regime. Another case worthy of study is the take over of political institutions by Israelis when the British left Palestine in 1946. The British allowed the Jews (but not the Palestinians) to establish self-governing institutions such as the Jewish Agency in anticipation of their withdrawal. When that day came in 1948, the State of Israel came into being because the groundwork had been laid well ahead of time.

It is essential that we hit the streets now to voice our displeasure with a system that has stressed violent militarism at home and abroad (where it consumes over 60% of the national budget and where it destroys life on Earth by consuming more fossil fuel than many countries) at the expense of services which other industrialized states take for granted, such as universal health care and universal education based on thinking and not the mindless testing that prepares our youth for nothing other than functioning as cogs in the corporate machinery, in prison, or out.

But what of the larger questions: What might a new constitution free of the founding father’s racism, look like? What form of government might be more responsive to human needs, and less malleable by corporate interests? What governing bodies might be preferable? How would a Parliamentary system function for a truer Democracy? Should the bicameral system and an electoral college be things of the past? How might a judicial system and a public health system be set up independent of political hackery? How might the media remain independent bodies, not blathering to the news du jour or slathering to the lure of the Golden Calf? How could our political landscape undergo significant change starting with voting by paper ballot? What ministries might represent a new style of government: A Ministry for the Rights of the Earth, for example, a Ministry for Peace, a Women’s Ministry, a Ministry for the Rights of Children? A Ministry Addressing Racial, Ethnic and Sexual difference? How might we confront the need for reparations to Native Americans, and to Black people who still wait for their 40 acres and a mule? A Ministry of Labor that would represent the rights of the working class, a class which this pandemic has revealed to be the real backbone of this country?

Yesterday I received this message from a friend who, because of her employment, lives half the year in Berlin.
[On arrival I got] a cheap handout from the health ministry saying we should enter a 14-day home quarantine. So I did. My GP… across the street… gave me a virus test [after 5 days]… The test would have been free if I had had any symptoms. Without symptoms, it cost 65 euros ($73) so I was "free" the following day when the negative result arrived.

I had forgotten what a reasonably functioning government/ administration looks like. On receiving the negative result the first thing I did was go cycling through the city. Everybody is out and about, no one wears a mask outside, almost all stores are open and no lines are evident, people pull a mask out of their pocket upon entering shops and put it back in their pocket upon exiting, restaurants are open (no masks) and tables are supposed to be distanced but this rule doesn't look terribly strict. The city-state of Berlin has about 750 active cases (recorded) which is not bad for a population of around 3.5 million (the equivalent would be 75,000 total U.S. cases). Cinemas opened yesterday… with restricted entry. But there are no restrictions on inter-household contact. No one does the evasion dance on sidewalks, and I've seen a lot of people shaking hands. This relaxed atmosphere will almost certainly make the population more willing to accept stricter measures if needed in the winter.

The other great difference is that the news consists of descriptions and analyses of events instead of ad hominem screeds. No one is calling people racists or supremacists or snowflakes or deplorables or whatever, I don't have to steel myself to turn on the radio. Actual problems are discussed, stridently at times, yes, but not in a blizzard of invective.
It's not even civility, just a functioning society. I had also forgotten what that is like.

To understand fully the background behind the fairly normal atmosphere in Berlin, it’s necessary to understand that epidemiology is not politics. That politics has no business dictating how people are to manage their health, their bodies, or their abortion rights. Epidemiology is both a science and an art.  To get a perspective of what has gone terribly wrong in America, I suggest reading “The Pandemic Protocol” by Charles Duhigg in the May 4, 2020 New Yorker which contrasts West Coast Seattle and Governor Inslee of Washington State, who got it right, with very few cases, with Gov. Cuomo of New York and Mayor de Blasio, who got it terribly wrong at the expense of the lives of many New Yorkers, because rather than allowing scientists who had trained for years in the realities of epidemiology to speak, they micromanaged the issue from a political perspective, playing amateur to professionally trained people whom they silenced or sidetracked at every turn.


Iran issues arrest warrant for #45 over Suleimani assassination and asks help from Interpol.

EU should reflect on possible U.S. withdrawal from role of world leader,
Merkel says.

World rebukes U.S. over Iran embargo.

‘We shouldn’t settle for crumbs’: Palestinian Americans stage virtual walkout of Biden meeting.

Even thugs have red lines in the sand: Johnson warns Israel against plans to annex part of occupied West Bank.

New ICC complaint filed over U.S. Israel war crimes in Palestine.

Progressive lawmakers call on U.S. to suspend military aid if Israel carries out ‘illegal’ annexation.

100 Jewish lawyers and judges call on Israel to halt annexation plans.

DNA damage, and brain cancer: 34 doctors and 900 Belgian professional sound alarm over 5 G.

Bayer settles glyphosate cancer lawsuits for $10.9 billion.

Bernie Sanders calls on Congress to expand Medicare coverage ruing the pandemic.

Sanders files amendments forcing Pentagon to pass audit, and mass produce masks.

Markey bill backed by  Sanders and Warren moves to abolish qualified immunity for cops once and for all.

More than 300 law professors agree Congress should pass bill ending qualified immunity for police.

Fair housing advocates celebrate passage of AOC’s repeal of Faircloth Amendment.

More than 60 groups demand Senate pass Sanders Amendment to slash ‘out of control’ Pentagon budget by $74 billion.

U.S. judge strikes down #45 border ban aimed at Central Americans.

Citing unconscionable and irresponsible omission, ACLU demands equal COVID-19 protections for immigrants.

Trump-appointed federal judge throws out administration’s inhumane asylum ban.

Appeals court deals blow to #45 on border wall, ruling his money grab from the Pentagon illegal.

In Canada people with jobs are sharing their stimulus checks with out of work people.

Toxin Free USA supporters donate 400 pounds of food for the needy in Butte Cnty, California.

Houses passes DC statehood, anticipating House will do same.

Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana’s dangerous abortion restriction.

California Governor Newsom signs AB 350 giving state protection that PG&E will be transformed into a safer utility.

Shell latest oil company to flounder, writing down $22 billion on balance sheets.

Poster company for U.S. fracking fails as Chesapeake Energy files for bankruptcy.

Activists deliver Formosa Plastic pollution to lobbyist’s homes, and get slapped with felonies.

Activists shut down cancer-causing Willowbrook, Louisiana Plants.

Katie Porter demands resignation of #45 small business chief for enabling abuse of COVID-19 relief funds.

Coast-to-Coast rallies demand keep U.S.P.S. viable.

Civil rights groups sue NC city over law that effectively bans any protest.

The #StopHatefor Profit Facebook advertising boycott hits Zuckerberg in the pocket of ad revenue with more than 500 companies, including Verizon, Coca-Cola, Ford, Starbucks and Target pulling ads.

Amid pandemic, Oklahoma residents vote to expand Medicaid coverage.

Southern Poverty Law Center announces  successful suit allowing people in Alabama to have absentee and curbside voting.

Workers stage 540 wildcat strikes in support of BLM in the first half of month of June.

Families of deceased workers sue Tyson over outbreak at meatpacking plant.

King County Labor Council expels Settle police union, SEIU considers disaffiliation if police unions don’t reform, and National Writers Guild proposal receives its first serious discussion by the AFL-CIO executive council.

Detroit Fiat Chrysler workers halt production for days.

FCA Toledo workers support call for rank-and-file safety committees.

Mathematicians urge colleagues to boycott police work in wake of killings by cops.

116 California DNC delegates demand Pelosi hold floor vote on Medicare for All.

Grassroots movement led by Gwich’in people delays  oil leasing and discourages prospecting in the Wildlife Refuge.

U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. blocks the federal govt. from revoking the Massachusetts Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s reservation status.

Treaty defenders block road to #45 Mt. Rushmore event before being arrested.

Corporate sponsors finally join native American call for Washington Redksins name change.

No more ‘lesser of two evils’ as Maine passes ranked choice voting.

Housing activists unite to fight mass evictions and defund police.

Protesters attacked by police are suing to vindicate their constitutional rights.

In LA, Supervisor Solis imagines closing Men’s Central Jail, a proposition the County will vote on July 7.

In S.F. Councilman Yee moves forward with ballot proposition reallocating funds destined for cops to community before 2022.


Mars Officially Bans All Flights From Earth, Says It Will Review Policy In 5,000 Years