Thursday, January 14, 2016
Jan. 14th, 2015, Northbay Uprising Radio News
Hosted by Dr.G., Minister of Information of the Northbay MDS. Tune in Thursdays 4 to 5pm (PST), at 89.5FM in the northeast San Pablo Bay Area, or on a Smart Phone [link], Desktop U-stream [link], Live Mp3 (.pls) stream [link], Netbook [link].
Be a Community Journalist with our Community Journalist's Notebook [link]. Send news & info to [NorthbayMDS@) gmail.com]! Northbay Uprising News scripts [link]. Archived webpages at (archive.org) and at (archive.today) are available even if the original is taken down. News links are provided for educational purposes only, and do not constitute an endorsement of political tendencies, or, of foreign governments.
Recommended Radical Newsletters:
* "Popular Resistance" newsletter (2016-01-09, popularresistance.org) [archive.is/W4OQk], this week's theme: "After The Crash..." with articles on the upcoming economic depression and the grassroots campaigns to defend the people against the accompanying fascism.
A list of gatherings, workshops, and educational events in the greater Bay Area region
* MLK Poor People's Campaign
Featured Artists' Activist Festival
Saturday, Jan. 16th, 1:30pm - 5:00pm
At the Oak Park United Methodist Church
3600 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95817
Community Feed/ Potluck
Food & Clothing Drive for the needy.
March starts at 11:00am to state capitol.
- Adriana Adriana aka Poor of Tribe Levi
- Aurellius TheSaint & Sunny Mallinson
- Ayatollah Amusic
- Djfree Leonard (Peltier)
- Isaac Javier Torres aka Ike Torres
- Jenn Rogar
- Poor Poets (Oakland/SF)
- Steven Clark aka HurriKane the Poet
Sound provided by Joe Hernandez of B.A.M. Entertainment
* 2nd Annual March to Reclaim MLK's Radical Legacy
Monday January 18
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Oscar Grant Plaza, 14th And Broadway, Oakland, CA.
Join the Anti Police-Terror Project for an MLK Day march that embodies the true spirit of King's resistance to capitalism, imperialism and racism.
* Jan 18th 10AM Pre-March Oakland Protest in Solidarity with the Fighting People of Haiti
Pre-March Protest in Solidarity with the fighting people of Haiti
RECLAIMING DR. KING'S RADICAL LEGACY
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"
Black Lives Matter - From Haiti to the Bay
Join Haiti Action Committee March Contingent:
MONDAY, JANUARY. 18th - 10AM
OAKLAND FEDERAL BUILDING
1301 Clay Street, Oakland (12th St. BART)
Drummers and report from Haiti by Pierre Labossiere
March from Federal Bldg 2 blocks to join the 11AM rally and march Reclaiming the Radical Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr
Haiti is in the streets almost every day – as tens of thousands turn out to demand that the stolen 2015 election be thrown out. The mass movement is telling the U.S./U.N. occupiers: “Don’t Steal Our Votes!” The people are demanding: “Reclaim Haiti’s sovereignty!” No more foreign occupation and control!
Haiti’s struggle is our struggle. It’s now 50 years since the U.S. Voting Rights Act, but it’s been rolled back to systematically deny Black people the right to vote – again. In Haiti the 2015 elections were plagued by endless and well-documented ballot stuffing, vote buying, armed coercion, naked vote rigging – yet the U.S. ambassador gave his “OK” to the faked election results. In effect, whether it’s here or in Haiti, the U.S. rulers are deliberately interfering with the people’s right to freely choose the representatives that they want.
Haiti’s fight is our fight. Just as we in the Bay Area are fighting against police murder of Black people, so it is in Haiti. The State Dep’t wants to suppress the surging popular movement – using police terror against the people. During the 2015 elections, special US-financed police units sprayed machine gun fire into working-class neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince and Arcahaie to suppress the vote, killing scores of people.
The U.S. State Department is the main actor trying to push through the fraudulent elections – maneuvering to exclude Haiti’s most popular political party – Lavalas – from any role in the next government. The U.S. wants to keep in power corrupt puppets who are willing to give away Haiti’s abundant mineral resources … privatize the mines and the electric company … and keep factory wages at US$3/day – continuing a long tradition of the U.S. and France stealing the wealth and the labor of the Haitian people.
Lighting the fires of struggle – Many have commented that the Haitian people, in their vast majority, are very aware of their history – proud inheritors of the Revolution of 1791-1804, when Haiti defeated the army of Napoleon, ended plantation slavery and declared independence from France. “It’s on every lip,” said one Lavalas activist. “People are saying that in rejecting this stolen election, we are lighting the fires of struggle, continuing the fight for equality and sovereignty that our ancestors fought for 200 years ago.”
**** From the Federal Building we will walk 2 blocks to join the 11:00 AM rally and march at Oscar Grant Plaza (14th & Broadway): “Reclaiming the Radical Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.” ****
For more information, connect with the Haiti Action Committee: www.haitisolidarity.net @HaitiAction1 and on Facebook
Stop the Pedie Perez Killing Cover-Up!
The Oscar Grant Committee and the family of Pedie Perez will hold a Press Conference and Speak Out!
In front of the Richmond City Hall steps, 450 Civic Center Plaza,
Tuesday, January 19, 2016, from 6:00 to 6:30 PM.
We will then attend the regular meeting of the Richmond City Council and speak during the Public Comment period.
After sixteen months of secrecy and hypocrisy, the family of Richard “Pedie” Perez III is still seeking truth and justice in the killing of their son by Richmond Police Officer Wallace Jensen in the early morning hours of September 14, 2014. The police falsely claimed that Pedie attacked Officer Jensen and tried to take his gun. The surveillance video and eyewitnesses tell a different story, and the facts are widely known among the media and the public. Yet Police Chief Chris Magnus, Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson, City Attorney Bruce Goodmiller, and Mayor Tom Butts are all conspiring to prevent an independent investigation by the Richmond Police Commission.
These public officials have discredited their offices, just as Officer Jensen discredited the Richmond Police Department. We deserve better from our police and elected officials. We reject the Cover-Up and call for Openness and Transparency with an Independent Investigation and an Independent Prosecutor!
“I just want flat out justice . . . If the facts are that the cop did what I think he did, well, we don’t need cops like that.” — Rick Perez, Pedie’s father
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Fundraiser in Support of Monterey 8
Sunday January 31
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Old Capitol Books, 559 Tyler Street, downtown Monterey
Come down to Old Capital Books on Jan 31st for a fun and funky evening of poetry, song, and music from local poets, writers and musicians.
This event is to raise money for the Monterey 8 who were arrested on March 28th, 2015 at a Black and Brown Lives Matter Protest in Monterey. They have taken a plea deal and are facing heavy fines (about $900 per person).
Suggested donation $10.
All funds raised will go directly toward court fines and fees.
This event is open to everyone! Invite your friends!
For more about the Monterey 8, click here: [blackandbrowncoalition.wordpress.com] [archive.is/m7cGU]
Stories are reviewed and provided by Northbay MDS Committees and Affiliates
BAY AREA SOLIDARITY
Updates on campaigns for Peace, Justice, & Freedom across the greater Bay Area, Norcal, and Socal
* (2016-01-13, by Mary Neal) [archive.is/UNLRc]: Preacher Prosecuted for “Black Lives Matter” March ~ Rev. Dr. Floyd Harris Jr. was detained and faces trial on charges for participating in a “Black Lives Matter” march in Fresno, California in 2015. Hear him tonight on the Drybones Seven Blogtalkradio broadcast as they discuss Fresno PD using sophisticated equipment to unjustly #target people who use the #blacklivesmatter hashtag. There were two people in court wearing robes during Rev. Harris's arraignment on January 6, 2016: the judge and Rev. Harris. Read more in The Fresno Bee and at the Aclu webpage about Dr. Harris and about Fresno PD violating Blacks' right to privacy and free speech
* "Justice for Richard Perkins Jr and all lives stolen by police" [archive.is/8EqkP]:
Join us for a rally on Saturday January 9th, at 90th and International at 12 noon, then march to 90th and Bancroft at the site of Richard's murder.
On Sunday, November 15th, the Oakland police were in chaos, trying to suppress an “outrageous” Oakland “Side Show”.* Up to 700 cars and motorcycles from as far away as Fresno, San Jose and Los Angeles converged, shutting down numerous street intersections and a portion of Interstate 880, doing donuts and kicking up clouds of smoking rubber from the tires of all manners of vehicles, from jacked-up big rim floaters, to family sedans and motorcycles.
At one point Oakland Police, Sheriffs and Highway Patrol encircled suspected participants and onlookers alike, busting people, writing tickets and towing motorcycles. Cops were pissed, they had been made fools of all day, but now they were “in control” and definitely wanted to let people know it. It was against that backdrop that Richard Perkins was shot and killed by police. "I just heard pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, many shots," said a witness. “He wasn’t doing nothing!” said another.
Richard Perkins, a 39 year old truck driver, and was the father of two children. He loved his community and helped at his church. Richard was not a participant in the “side show”, but was attracted by his love of motorcycles. His mother told us fondly how Richard loved to work on “bikes”, “but could never keep his running long enough to ride it.”
Police claim that Richard walked toward them pointing a “replica” gun at them, so they had to shoot. Four cops opened up on Richard, shot at him 20 times, with up to 16 bullets hitting him. Holes from high-powered police bullets ripped into cars and the nearby gas station, and Richard was murdered on the spot. Later, Oakland police produced what they are calling the “replica weapon.”
Witnesses have said that there was nothing in Richard’s hands and when he saw the cops aiming at him, he lifted his shirt and held his hands up and yelled “Please, Don’t Shoot!”. But the cops opened fire anyway. Then they let Richard’s body lay where he fell for 10 hours!
Richard's mother, Ada, went to the murder site and prayed for the family of the dead man who lay beneath the tarp, NOT KNOWING IT WAS HER OWN SON! After Richard was killed, he laid on the ground from 5:30pm til 3am “They left him there like a dog!”
The family didn't learn of Richard's death until the cops called 2 days later on Tuesday morning, even though the family lives a block away.! They were not even able to identify the body until Thursday morning.
The police story is that he pointed a gun (what turned out to be a pellet gun) at officers. Cops told local news that four officers, "fearing for their lives, had no choice but to protect themselves." Several witnesses say however that 4 cops shot at him 20 times, with up to 16 bullets hitting him, while nothing was in his hands. In fact, witnesses say that he lifted up his shirt to show the cops his pellet gun in his waistband, while yelling "PLEASE DON'T SHOOT!" Bullets went into the nearby gas station and even the neighbor's car!
One of the 100 Castlemont High students who walked out of school to demonstrate Richard’s murder said, "A lot of us decided we had to take action ASAP. There's been a lot of police killing in Oakland, and we're TIRED of it." The focus on sideshows is bullshit. The problem is police terror and racism!”
* "Protestors Disrupt SF Mayor Ed Lee's 2016 Inauguration" (2016-01-08, by D. Boyer, via indybay.org) [archive.is/SHL54]: Edwin M. Lee was sworn in again as Mayor of San Francisco on January 8, 2016 for yet another term. His inauguration ceremony was held inside City Hall, and the public was invited. Mayor Ed Lee narrowly won the 2015 election, so many in the community are furious that he is their Mayor, again. There are many reasons why the voters are not happy with him. He allegedly has links that could lead to proof of corruption, he takes little to no action against incidences of police brutality, he has in the past not been a friend of the homeless, he allegedly panders to political icon Ron Conway, his lack of action against eviction of long term renters, etc. I could literally go and on about why the residents of San Francisco do not like him. So he attracts protesters, and his 2016 inauguration as Mayor attracted protesters. The protest at his inauguration was over police brutality and no other issues seemed to be mentioned at that action.
Recent incidents, which have been called incidences of police brutality have disrupted the community’s well-being. Two notable police shootings, of Alex Nieto, and Mario Woods have traumatized the community in San Francisco. The side effects of that trauma are the disruption of services at City Hall, the disruption of schooling, and the general disruption of business as usual in shopping districts. The protest of Mayor Ed Lee’s inauguration was held at City Hall, and one of the side effects of ignoring the community’s needs, or demands, are protests inside that building.
The protesters staged outside City Hall and developed their strategy. Many had signs, but they were small and easily hidden. It appeared that most of the protesters gathered on the second floor, but they moved around a lot. The protester's were often kettled by police with RIOT gear on, or by the sheriff’s. The protester's who were deemed too loud or extremely disruptive were grabbed and escorted away from the scene. At least 5 protesters were taken away, and some were arrested. During the inauguration screams from protesters could be heard throughout the whole building, and throughout the whole ceremony, so it seemed to be effectively disrupted.
Photo caption: Kettle is a police term used to "confine (a group of demonstrators or protesters) to a small area, as a method of crowd control during a demonstration."
Stop the Pedie Perez Killing Cover-Up!
SPEAK OUT AT RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Gather: 6:00pm, Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Richmond City Hall steps, 450 Civic Center Plaza
Our goal: a mass speak-out during the public comment period
Perez Family website: Justice4Pedie.com
Pedie Perez, 24, was shot dead by Richmond Police Officer Wallace Jensen on September 14, 2014. As usual, the cop said that Pedie had tried to take his gun, and he feared for his life. The DA said that the killing was “justifiable.” Jensen is still on the streets. But three witnesses and the store video show that Jensen had backed up five or six feet with his gun still holstered and then shot Pedie.
Citizen activists fighting for justice for Pedie Perez have brought his case to the attention of Richmond City Council and stirred up debate and controversy with their demand for an independent investigation of the Perez killing.
Police Chief Magnus, DA Mark Peterson, and Mayor Tom Butt have all tried to cover it up. They are blocking an independent investigation; Magnus cites the so-called “Policemen's Bill of Rights as an excuse.
Over fifteen months after Pedie's killing, justice is still denied. The city, using an undemocratic technicality, blocked an independent investigation proposed by a majority of the Richmond Police Commission, denying justice to the Perez family.
We believe that an independent investigation will confirm that Pedie was unarmed, never posed any serious threat to Officer Jensen, and (as three witnesses agree) had his hands in the air – a clear act of surrender – when Jensen fired. No witnesses confirm Jensen's story that Pedie was going for his gun as Pedie resisted handcuffing for being intoxicated.
The liquor store video also shows that Jensen had total control over his gun when he shot Pedie in the chest three times, killing him. This is an unjustified killing.
This is a crucial juncture in the struggle against trigger-happy cops, a struggle that has been spreading across the nation.
Join us! Speak out locally in Richmond on this national issue!
“An Injury to One Is An Injury to All”
The Oscar Grant Committee was born from the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant, murdered by BART police on Jan 1, 2009. We organize working class resistance in support of families whose loved ones were murdered by police.
Join us, our meetings are at 7:00 PM on the First Tuesday of every month at the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library, 6501 Telegraph Avenue in North Oakland
http://www.oscargrantcommittee.org • oscargrantcommittee.ogc [at] gmail.com
“Without Struggle There Is No Justice.”
BAY AREA SOLIDARITY: Updates on campaigns across the Nation!
* "Minneapolis Activists Continue Fight Against Systemic Racism and Police Violence" (2016-01-06, truth-out.org) [archive.is/QYY5B]
* "Ithaca, Cornell police investigating graffiti happening throughout area; Police are investigating multiple reports of graffiti on and near Cornell University -- all with similar themes, paint and phrases" (2016-01-05, ithacavoice.com) [archive.is/VpGNb]
TOWARDS REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTIONS
* "White Militias: As Usual, the White Left is Missing the Point" (2016-01-03, abetterworld.me) [archive.is/7hLHD] [begin excerpt]: Instead of posting "f - - k the militias" on Face Book, it would be great if you could finally sit down and develop a comprehensive strategy to try and organize your kinfolk. Someone needs to educate them to the fact their fight is actually against the capitalist system, the same system that oppresses the masses of African and Indigenous people. Someone needs to explain to them that their grievances are no different than the protests we have against the government for its agents shooting us down in the streets. Someone needs to help them understand that the day they can stand in solid support with our struggle is the day we can end this oppression (because we have always stood in solidarity with the suffering of poor European folks). [end excerpt]
SOLIDARITY WITH THE NEW AFRICAN NATION!
Black Power! Revive the Community! Defend the Nation!
* "The Betrayal by the Black Elite: The black prophetic tradition has been supplanted by black elitism and individualism" interview by Chris Hedges with Cornel West (2015-08-11, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/h4c3N]
* "Black Fox News Guest Says Black Americans are ‘Poorer, Dumber and More Criminalized’ " (2016-01-11, mediaite.com) [archive.is/PYwHb]
* "Black Homes Matter San Francisco’s Vanishing Black Population" (2016-01-10, nsnbc.me) [archive.is/mU0Qa]
* (2016-01-12) [archive.is/zpJd0]: ONE OF THE ONLY BLACK OWNED GAS STATIONS IN MILWAUKEE IS OWN BY A BLACK WOMAN. SHE SAYS THE MILWAUKEE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS HARASSING HER CUSTOMERS. IN 2015 SHE SAID THAT SHE HAS LOST 1000's OF DOLLARS DUE TO THE HARASSMENT. #OurLivesMatter
Location: 807 W Atkinson 53206 #MKE
Let's help Queen save her business.
* "US doctors colder to dying black patients than whites, alarming new study suggests" (2016-01-14, rt.com) [archive.is/YWJEl]
information collected by the Committee to Defend Public Education!
* "#OurChancellorOurVoice" Press Release regarding the Chancellor Search Committee to replace retiring Chancellor Brice Harris (2016-01-10) [archive.is/jmGsK], petition via Change.org [http://is.gd/IccBxj]
information collected by the Worker's Defense Committee [http://is.gd/VOkmLr]
* "Is A Progressive Phoenix Rising? The New Labor Movement is Approaching; A phoenix may be rising in the struggle to remake a strong labor movement in the United States. After decades of hand wringing over the illnesses afflicting labor unions and hundreds of suggested prescriptions from movement sympathizers and strategists, a fundamental transformation may finally be upon us" socialpolicy.org) [archive.is/B3jZL]
* "War on Workers" (2016-01-12, seiu1021.org) -
- Part 1: US Supreme Court unsympathetic to unions in ‘Friedrichs’ [archive.is/gjF1V]
- Part 2: Who is really behind Friedrichs, and why [archive.is/9KYTp]
- Part 3: How workers are already fighting back [archive.is/NfDv8]
- Friedrichs v. CTA: The view from California [archive.is/qKh8R]
* "How to Beat Retaliation, Even without a Union" (2016-01-06, labornotes.org) [archive.is/xLR08] [begin excerpt]: When you’re working without a union, it can feel impossible to take on workplace problems. What if you lose your job?
But Somos un Pueblo Unido, a New Mexico worker center, is honing a process to help even tiny groups of workers win changes through small collective actions—while staving off retaliation.
Willing co-workers form a committee, agree on a plan, and commit to share the risks. Somos helps them tailor their plan to maximize the protection they’ll get from federal law and from community publicity. [end excerpt]
Photo caption: Somos un Pueblo Unido, a New Mexico worker center, is honing a process to help even tiny groups of workers win changes through small collective actions—while staving off retaliation. Photo: Somos un Pueblo Unido
* "Boston School Bus Drivers Fight Firings and Telematics; The Boston school bus drivers union announced victory December 23, after members ratified a new four-year contract. According to the union, the agreement includes retroactive raises and benefits increases, immediately reinstates the four fired union officers, resolves the 700-grievance backlog, and guarantees drivers' job security and union rights even if a different company takes over" (2015-11-12, labornotes.org) [archive.is/NpNbx]
* "Free-Speech Crackdowns Show Transit Workers Are on the Right Track" (2015-01-04, labornotes.org) [archive.is/o7QRe]. Photo caption: Even basic rights like free speech can’t be taken for granted, transit workers are finding out, when your speech makes the boss look bad. Photo: ATU Local 836
* "Under-the-Radar Supreme Court Case Poses Profound Threat to Unions Nationwide; Case could result in the enforcement of 'Right to Work' laws on all public sector labor unions in the United States" (2016-01-08, commondreams.org) [archive.is/AsEbe]
* (2016-01-07, California Labor Federation, calaborfed.org):
Thanks to workers and community activists speaking out, as of July 1st 2015 most California workers who've worked at a business for 60 days can begin accruing paid sick time. It's pretty simple. Every 30 hours worked you get 1 hour. Legally you can earn 24 hours. The process is pretty straightforward: You get sick. You don't have to work. Call in. You still get paid. Most employers are following the law. One isn't.
Seems easy, right? Not for McDonald's.
Recently Rosangela wasn't feeling well. She called in to take a day off. She had easily acquired the necessary time. McDonalds said no. That's illegal. It's also immoral that they wanted her to work while sick. It's even worse that if her kids are sick she can't spend time with them.
Tell McDonald's: follow the law. Let California employees take their paid sick days. As other corporations are in a race to provide their workers paid time to spend with their families, McDonalds doesn't even follow the current law. Add your voice here [lafightfor15.org/paidsickdays].
* "Hyundai supplier Lear charged with bullying employees to prevent union" (2016-01-14, rt.com) [archive.is/pE2V5]
* "Portugal: Coalition Reverses Bus Privatisation" (2016-01-08, morningstaronline.co.uk) [archive.is/t7aQ2]
* "Employers have right to snoop on workers' private online messages, Euro court rules" (2016-01-13, rt.com) [archive.is/Dl7SJ]
HANDS OFF OUR HOMES!
* "Rent control expansion is a prime option for renters throughout California; Abolishing the Costa Hawkins Act and the Ellis Act will help to end homelessness, will stabilize our communities, and will help to protect working class families throughout California!" (2016-01-09, by Lynda Carson) [archive.is/r1MF1]
* "Greedy landlords of Alameda speak out against rent control and tenant protections" (2016-01-06, by Lynda Carson, via indybay.org) [archive.is/B9FIB]
* "Alameda landlord Donald W. Lindsey may lose real estate license" (2016-01-07, by Lynda Carson, via indybay.org newswire) [archive.is/9omha]
information collected by the Committee to
DEFEND THOSE WITHOUT HOMES!
* "Sleepouts at Santa Cruz City Hall Advance to 2016" (2016-01-08, by Alex Darocy, indybay.org) [archive.is/7BLj8]
COMMUNITY FASCISM WATCH
* "How Corrupt Officials Screwed Up An Extremely Poor Town’s Big Break" (2016-01-07, thinkprogress.org) [http://is.gd/Rkzjmt]
Community Fascism in Vallejo, the "City of God":
* "The Shadow Government is real, and you are not invited" (2015-12-30, by Marc Garman, vibvallejo.com) [http://is.gd/ILe5wg], editorial cartoon [archive.is/74Vr7] [begin excerpt]:
Recently, questions have been raised surrounding the activities of the Mare Island Straits Economic Development Committee (MISEDC). Over the past 2 or so years the MISEDC a “non-sanctioned” city council committee headed by Vallejo councilmember and chair Jess Malgapo and including councilmembers Pippin Dew-Costa and Rozanna Verder-Aliga have engaged in activities to explore dredging of the Mare Island Straits and development of the Vallejo Marine Terminal project, including possible location of the Orcem Cement Plant at the site of the former General Mills plant near Lemon Street on the Vallejo waterfront. They have also looked at economic development for Vallejo tied to the straits and maritime commerce.
We know that the activities of the MISEDC were kept secret from the public as well as councilmembers Katy Miessner, Robert McConnell and Bob Sampayan until recently. Only when Orcem US President Steve Bryan referenced councilmembers Dew-Costa, Malgapo and Verder Aliga as being on board with the cement plant project at a recent public meeting did the public or other councilmembers gain any insight as to the existence of this clandestine committee or the extent of activities being conducted.
The possibility of transgressions of the Brown Act, which pertains to open government laws in California also have been gaining a lot of public attention. Glenn Myer an investigator with the Solano County District Attorney’s office has recently begun contacting various parties in possession of or with knowledge of documents connected with the (MISEDC). Whether the DA will find anything actionable, or is merely carrying out due diligence is to be seen. The matter of potential Brown Act violations and their remedies are to be discussed by the city attorney at a meeting scheduled for January 5 in city council chambers. One of the points sure to be raised at this meeting is that the MISEDC was not an officially sanctioned city committee. This in turn raises the question as to why city staff time and resources were used for the activities of the MISEDC, primarily at the direction and discretion of committee chair Jess Malgapo. Email communications from past city Economic Development Director Mark Sawicki expressed concerns over Malgapo’s actions directing staff in connection with MISEDC, a clear violation of the authority of an elected official in our form of city government. Nonetheless, City Manager Dan Keen appears to have done nothing to curtail Malgapo even after concerns were raised. Malgapo even organized a guided tour for the Army Corps of Engineers which appears to not have been officially sanctioned, yet certainly required the use of resources.
Documents also make clear that Mayor Osby Davis was aware of the activities of the MISEDC and clearly failed to make any mention to the public or other councilmembers. His contact with the committee, which he has acknowledged, could be a violation of the Brown Act if it comprises a serial meeting. This seems somewhat unlikely as the mayor usually covers his tracks. What has become clear over the years is that Davis uses committee appointments (his purview) as a carrot and stick technique to control or punish councilmembers as he sees fit and to propel his agenda and consolidate power on the dais. In this case, it seems that Malgapo formed his own ad-hoc committee and while the mayor was fully aware of it, he conveniently failed to see the need to make mention of anything to Miessner, Sampayan or McConnell. As to whether this was a collaboration between Malgapo, Verder-Aliga and Dew-Costa and Davis to consolidate power and create an exclusive political bloc to favor their agenda is not known. What is clear is that all of the candidates who ran under the Jumpstart banner in the past election (Malgapo, Dew-Costa and Verder-Aliga) and are generally compliant with the Mayor’s agenda were placed on the committee, while independent voices in the form of Miessner, McConnell and Sampayan were kept in the dark and out of the loop by obvious design.
In spite of a recent quasi-tearful semi-apology from councilmember Pippin Dew-Costa, it seems obvious that the secrecy surrounding MISEDC was an intentional effort to grease the wheels and exclude input from the public or any members of council who might have a differing opinion surrounding industrial development of the Vallejo waterfront. It also unfortunately underscores the ideological divide between Miessner, Sampayan and McConnell and Jumpstart backed candidates Dew-Costa, Malgapo and Verder-Aliga. If you recall from the last election, Jumpstart was the political love child of Napa Solano Labor Coalition Executive Director Jon Riley and gave extensive financial backing to the three candidates on the MISEDC as well as pastor Anthony Summers, who did not gain a seat on council. As to what if any influence Riley had with the clandestine disposition of what was supposed to be a public committee is not known. He is, however known as the puppeteer who holds the union purse strings for Vallejo’s bought and paid for candidates and a man who likes to see return on his investment. The Orcem facility is to be built with union labor and is a project Riley favors. [end excerpt]
* "Mr. Malgapo, we don’t trust you" (2016-01-06, letter to the editor by Wanda Madeiros, timesheraldonline.com) [archive.is/tJ4nG]: Mr. Malgapo can try to spin what he did until the cows come home. Just because he has consulted his attorney (most likely the city attorney, paid for by you and me) and what he did might be considered “legal,” that doesn’t mean that what he did was ethical. He is guilty of collusion with the applicants of VMT/Orcem so that he can meet his MISEDC (Mare Island Strait Economic Development Committee) goals. Those goals are in contrast to Propel Vallejo and the Working Group who were led by city staff for the past 2-3 years and costing the Vallejo taxpayers more than $3 million. That is malfeasance and he should resign as a Vallejo City Council member.
In addition, I would really like to challenge the City of Vallejo to disclose the cost of constant city staff support of the MISEDC. How much did this cost the Vallejo taxpayers? There was also talk in some of the emails of the city hiring another “consultant” to manage this ... additional taxpayer costs!
Mr. Malgapo’s actions were suspicious and unethical at best. He abused his power as an elected official by setting up his own committee in the shadows, rubbing shoulders with the most “privileged” powerful, political people locally and at the state level whose decisions will directly impact the City of Vallejo and in turn us. He has lost the faith and trust of voters who voted for him. It will be challenging at the least for the public to trust him going forward.
MISEDC should be made to “cease and dismiss” both in physically meeting as well as all work performed and completed thus far. Applications need to be pulled, formal apologies need to be expressed across multiple media outlets to both the public and other elected officials who were most likely duped. As part of a corrective action plan, Mr. Malgapo must resign as a city council member and at the least, the remaining two council members must also apologize to the Vallejo taxpayers and recuse themselves from any decision making, voting activities related to MISEDC membership projects as this would clearly show conflict of interest bias.
I recently came across the following during research as I was performing about other cases of unethical government actions, specifically the Orange County Grand Jury Report:
“Legal advice is an important consideration for public officials, but it is often narrowly interpreted to convey whether a proposed conflict resolution is lawful — with little regard to the appearance of impropriety. When facing allegations of misconduct in office, officials often insist that they sought legal advice and what they did was “legal.” It is not appropriate for public officials to use loopholes in ethics laws to their advantage at the expense of the public. What is sometimes technically legal doesn’t always equate to what is ethical.
Too many bureaucrats take a legalistic approach to government ethics — an approach that may be the biggest problem officials face when dealing with conflicts of interest. A goal of an effective ethics program is to prevent unethical conduct and to establish a healthy ethical environment at all levels of county government. The county should serve as a shining example to all other forms of local government.
It is in local government where politicians that aspire to higher office “cut their teeth” and experience their first ethical challenges, “learn to play the game,” misplace their convictions and “begin to feel a special (sense of) entitlement.” Unfortunately, local government has more ethics scandals than effective ethics programs. Poor ethics environments start at the local level,”
In the case of the MISEDC formation and continual hidden agenda from the taxpayers, the players involved need to be made an example of so that the next time local politicians feel that they have a “special (sense of) entitlement” that they will know that with every action they undertake, that there is an equal and opposite reaction.
* "Local ‘Green’ cement mill: Vallejo’s savior or environmental disaster?" (2016-01-06, sfchronicle.com) [archive.is/Bd0IN]
Documenting human-rights abuse by domestic security agencies
[NorthbayCopwatch.blogspot.com] [copblock.org] [wecopwatch.org] [filmingcops.com]
* "The cops’ killing spree in 2015: by the numbers" (2016-01-12, liberationnews.org) [archive.is/PdtXE]
* "Inside GILEE, the US-Israel law enforcement training program seeking to redefine terrorism" (2016-01-05, mondoweiss.net) [archive.is/urwHn]
* " ‘Babe, I’m gonna die’: Baltimore man shot in face by police and charged" (2016-01-09, rt.com) [archive.is/vaNhP]
* "Laquan McDonald’s Attorneys Say CPD Forced Witnesses to Change Stories; Attorneys for the estate of Laquan McDonald, a knife-carrying teenager shot by police last year, are accusing the Chicago Police Department of intimidating witnesses and forcing them to change their accounts of the shooting" (2016-01-10, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/X6dGJ]
NORTHBAY COPWATCH: Domestic Security Agencies and private-sector partners
* "DHS plan to shut down mobile cell phones can stay secret after Supreme Court snub" (2016-01-13, rt.com) [archive.is/1a5RX]
* "Internet giants join forces to oppose ‘dangerous’ surveillance powers bill" (2016-01-08, rt.com) [archive.is/ViRvm]
* "Revealed: White House seeks to enlist Silicon Valley to 'disrupt radicalization' ; Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft and YouTube will attend the meeting with intelligence agencies to discuss terrorists on social media and encryption" (2016-01-08, theguardian.com) [archive.is/9lceN], view the meeting agenda [archive.is/knaAZ].
* "Planning for More Surveillance? US Officials Hold 'Shady Meeting' With Tech Firms; Heads of intelligence agencies and other top officials head to Silicon Valley for private summit on counter-terrorism" (2016-01-08, commondreams.org) [archive.is/OjYoB]
* "White House, Silicon Valley to hold summit on militants' social media use" (2016-01-07, reuters.com) [archive.is/iXcD3]
Private-sector partners to public-sector security agencies are themselves beholden to private bureaucrats, many of whom are citizens of foreign governments whose definition of "terrorism" is guided by political ideology and economic interest.
* "Arab-Jew ‘forbidden’ kiss video mysteriously disappears from Facebook" (2016-01-08, rt.com) [archive.is/uYKOb]
Of course, Firefox browser is utilized for intelligence gathering by domestic security agencies. The owner, Mozilla, is an asset for that purpose... (screengrab, 2016-01-13)
* "Findings Concerning the DEA’s Use of Amtrak Employees as Paid Confidential Sources" (2016-01-07, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice) (.pdf)[http://is.gd/DFqeiY]:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated this investigation upon the receipt of information from the Amtrak Office of Inspector General alleging that an Amtrak employee was acting as a paid Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Confidential Source (CS), providing Amtrak information to the DEA. The Amtrak Police Department (APD) and the DEA participate in a joint task force that works to interdict passengers trafficking contraband on Amtrak trains. Accordingly, Amtrak information is available to DEA at no cost from APD.
The OIG determined that over a period of twenty years, the DEA paid the Amtrak employee $854,460 as of January 2014 for information that was available at no cost to the government in violation of federal regulations relating to the use of government property, thereby wasting substantial government funds. The OIG also concluded that the DEA agents exceeded the terms of the Amtrak employee’s CS classification when they directed him to gather specific information for them. In addition, the OIG learned that an APD officer assigned to a different DEA task force registered another Amtrak employee as a DEA CS and that the DEA paid $9,701 to the CS in exchange for Amtrak information. The DEA documents submitted to register the Amtrak employees in the CS program did not contain information to inform approving personnel that DEA would be paying the Amtrak employees for information it could have obtained from Amtrak at no cost.
The OIG provided its report to the DEA for appropriate action. The OIG also issued an audit report of the DEA’s CS program in July 2015, (.pdf)[http://is.gd/aYK559], and is conducting additional audit work relating to the program.
* "Apple acquires artificial intelligence start-up that reads facial emotions" (2016-01-08, rt.com) [archive.is/IibyR]
* "Academic Freedom in America? Tenured Professor Questioning Official Sandy Hook Shootings Narrative Fired" (2016-01-08, by Stephen Lendman) [archive.is/b4MTp]
* "The Sandy Hook School Massacre Timeline" (2013-01-07, by Prof. James F. Tracy) [archive.is/Mrst3]
from the Committee to
FREE 'EM ALL!
End the Drug War! Stop Jim Crow! Close the Torture Chambers! [solitarywatch.com] [facebook.com/incarceratedworkers] [supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org] [denverabc.wordpress.com] [prisonlegalnews.org] [prisonbooks.info] [nycabc.wordpress.com] [powmedicaljustice.com] [sacprisonersupport.wordpress.com]. Become a Human Rights Pen Pal! [link].
* "Children Held in Solitary Confinement in Nebraska for “Days, Weeks, Even Months” ; New ACLU Report Finds Widespread Use of Isolation in State's Juvenile Jails" (2016-01-12, solitarywatch.com) [archive.is/A9qaV]
* "Too Many Books to Be True: US Tortures Children for 'Excessive' Number of Books; The US solitary confinement - considered worldwide as a torture - isolate teenagers for offenses like having “too many” books or passing notes, according to the Nebraska Civil Liberties Union" (2016-01-10, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/WI38A]
* "Nebraska claims Omaha Two have not asked for release from prison" (2016-01-07, by Michael Richardson) [archive.is/VK5g5]
* "Fort Dix Five: Prosecuted by Christie, Muslim Brothers Get Rare Day in Court in FBI Entrapment Case" (2016-01-07, democracynow.org) [http://is.gd/kut6fY]
* "Fort Dix 5 brothers back in court; Notorious FBI sting victims, three immigrant Muslims originally from Albania, get their chance for justice" (2016-01-06, america.aljazeera.com) [archive.is/kKQwM]
* "Free Bowe Bergdahl!" (2015-12-22, veteransforpeace.org) [archive.is/wSMVh]:
Veterans For Peace is dismayed by the Army’s decision to charge Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion and endangering troops, for which, if convicted, he could potentially face life in prison. We believe that Sgt. Bergdahl should be freed from the Army with an Honorable Discharge.
Bowe Bergdahl is a prisoner of war, three times over. First the U.S. government sent him on Mission Impossible, to salvage its illegal, immoral and unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Then he was captured by the Taliban, who held him prisoner under brutal conditions for five years. Now Sgt. Bergdahl is prisoner to an orgy of militaristic politics in the most fear-mongering election year in memory. Republican front runner Donald Trump has publicly called Bergdahl a “dirty, rotten traitor” and suggested he should be executed.
Did Sgt. Bergdahl walk away from his post in Afghanistan? Yes, by his own account he did so, in order to bring attention to poor leadership which he believed was endangering his fellow soldiers. Resistance to Mission Impossible takes many forms. Bowe Bergdahl may not have been explicitly protesting against the war in Afghanistan, but by taking drastic action he sent a distress signal.
Bergdahl is charged with Desertion to Avoid Hazardous Duty, and Misbehavior Before the Enemy, which respectively, carry maximum sentences of five years and life in prison. Charging him with serious crimes in a General Court Martial appears to be a political decision. It overrides the recommendation of the Army’s own investigating officer, who said that Bergdahl’s actions did not warrant either jail time or a punitive discharge. The investigating officer recommended, at most, a Special Court Martial which can mete out a maximum sentence of one year in prison.
Bowe Bergdahl is clearly not guilty of desertion. It cannot be proven that he was attempting to avoid hazardous duty or to remain away from his unit indefinitely. The Misbehavior Before the Enemy Charge asserts that Bowe Bergdahl’s actions put his fellow soldiers at risk. It has even been said that soldiers died looking for him. However, no evidence has been provided to back up this claim.
It was the U.S. government that put our soldiers at risk by sending them to invade Afghanistan and to occupy it for going on 15 years. Nearly 2,200 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, including six who were killed just this week by a suicide bomber at Bagram Air Force Base. None of these soldiers died as a result of Sgt. Bergdahl’s actions.
Bowe Bergdahl is being made the scapegoat for the failed policies for the disastrous U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, which has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Afghan men, women and children.
Bowe Bergdahl remains a Prisoner of War. Veterans For Peace demands that Sgt. Bergdahl be freed immediately with an Honorable Discharge.
Veterans For Peace is also concerned about the 9,800 U.S. troops who remain in Afghanistan, hostages to a failed policy, with targets on their backs. The U.S. government should withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan immediately and finally bring that long U.S. war to an end.
FREE BOWE BERGDAHL! U.S. OUT OF AFGHANISTAN!
* "New Health Emergency" (2016-01-09, International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee) [archive.is/fo3FG]: We received a message from Leonard this evening. An excerpt follows.
"For months, if not at least a year now, I have been complaining about medical problems and that something is wrong with me… For the last few days, I have been on call out to go see the doctor. Today, I was called again and had my blood pressure taken and gave more blood for more tests. Apparently, they found what's called Abdominal Aortic Aneurism (AAA) and it is at a very dangerous [stage]. If it bursts I can die. I will bleed to death. So they are going to rush me through some more tests, a MRI on Sunday, then find the right surgeon to do the operation. The good news is [this surgery] has a high success rate… if nothing goes wrong."
At this time, we have no further details. Suffice it to say that, at Leonard's age, any surgery is risky. Also a concern is that during his treatment at a federal prison medical center, Leonard will be held in isolation.
Please visit [bop.gov/inmates/concerns.jsp]. Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and USP Coleman I. Voice your concern about Leonard's medical treatment, and let the federal Bureau of Prisons know that the world is watching. We demand that Leonard receive the best possible care.
All Out Monday! Protest Big Pharma! Jail Drug Profiteers, Free Mumia!
PLEASE POST AND DISTRIBUTE WIDELY
Protest Outrageous Prices by Big Pharma!
Support Free Health Care for HEP-C Prisoners!
Jail Drug Profiteers, Free Mumia!
Monday January 11th at 12 Noon
JP Morgan Healthcare Conference
Westin St Francis Hotel
335 Powell St, Union Square, San Francisco
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal is supporting the O.A.S.I.S. Clinic of Oakland, CA, which treats patients with Hepatitis-C (HCV), in calling for a demonstration to protest the outrageous price-gouging of Big Pharma corporations, which hike-up the cost for essential, life-saving medications such as the cure for the deadly Hepatitis-C virus, in order to reap huge profits. Many American working people, including prisoners, are the victims.
PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!
This JP Morgan investor conference is an invitation-only event which entices corporate CEOs, CFOs, investors and other opportunist big-wigs to slurp up the profits that can be made from gouging the victims of life-threatening diseases such as Hepatitis-C. This includes Gilead Sciences, the “owner” of Harvoni, which is the effective new cure for HCV.
Gilead’s Price-Gouging Hypocrisy Exposed!
One pill a day for 12 weeks does the trick with a 95 percent cure rate for Hepatitis-C, but Gilead charges $1,000 per pill, or nearly $90,000 for a full course of treatment!!
Note, first of all, that the curative pill, Harvoni, was not developed by profit-gouging Gilead executives (surprise, surprise), but by scientists whose company was bought by Gilead!
Gilead’s Price in the US Is 100 Times its Cost!
In violation of National Institute of Health (NIH) regulations, Gilead canceled its program to supply a certain amount of the drug at low cost. And the New York Times reported that in "a complicated deal to sell hepatitis drugs at a small fraction of their usual cost while imposing tight restrictions intended to protect lucrative markets in the West... for the past year, Gilead has sold the drug to the Egyptian government for about $10 a pill”! (New York Times, 16 December 2015)
Gilead agreed to this drastic discount because the Egyptian government agreed to restrictions that prevent circulation of the drug on the black market. Indian generic copies have been circumvented with similar finagling. These deals do not mean that Gilead is losing money! But in the US, the price remains at $1,000 per pill, which is 100 times its actual cost of production!
Gilead claims they need to charge outrageous prices in order to be able to afford to develop new drugs. But state support for health care for all could easily provide for the investment necessary, while keeping essential drugs affordable or free on the basis of need.
The Pennsylvania prison system is trying to kill Mumia, and other HCV Prisoners, by medical mistreatment!
As many as 700,000 prisoners are among the nearly 5.2 million Americans infected with HCV, according to the Center for Disease Control, and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is among them.
Prisoners are among the most likely to contract Hep-C, and among the least likely to receive the newly available cure for the disease, due to both the exaggerated price, and the refusal of prison administrations to provide proper health care to inmates!
Mumia Abu-Jamal was infected in 1981, after he was shot by police and treated as a prisoner for his wounds. Falsely convicted for killing a cop and sent to death row (he’s now serving life without the possibility of parole), Mumia’s infection began to show symptoms in 2015, which is typical for this slow-incubating but usually fatal (if untreated) disease. Mass mobilization by supporters is the only reason Mumia got any medical attention at all, and he is still denied the curative Harvoni treatment which alone can ensure his survival!
Mumia Abu-Jamal, though he suffered near death for lack of treatment last year, is the first one to point out that he is only one of many. He supports the demands for treatment of some 10,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania alone who suffer from HCV infection.
In a recent federal appeal, lawyers fighting for treatment of Mumia brought out evidence in court of a secret PA Department of Corrections (DOC) protocol which explicitly provides for observation, but not treatment, of HCV infected prisoners!
Public Health, Not Corporate Wealth!
Pills Cost Pennies, Greed Costs Lives!
Jail Drug Profiteers.
MUMIA IS INNOCENT!
Falsely accused of killing a cop in 1981, Mumia should never have spent a day in jail. Witnesses against him have been discredited, other evidence was rigged, and he was already targeted for having exposed police crimes as an independent journalist. Today, Mumia’s very survival depends on freeing him from the hell hole of prison.
The courts won’t do it! We must build a movement to Free Mumia!
- Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
10 January 2016
* "Kuwaiti man repeatedly tortured is freed after 14 years in Guantanamo" (2016-01-09, rt.com) [archive.is/mPvch]
* " ‘Can’t arrest a robot’: Snowden's hi-tech disguise surprises audience at Vegas convention" (2015-01-09, rt.com) [archive.is/J4MvT]
That's it? Compared to California? Mississippi? New York City? Ha ha ha, Cuba is more humane, then. Plus, there are no USA-style Police Death-Squads operating in Cuba shooting at random folks for no reason. Well, if Capitalism were better, then Mexico would be a paradise, eh?
* "Human rights group says Cuba has 60 political prisoners" (2015-06-19, Reuters newswire) [archive.is/jMhwR] [begin excerpt]: Cuba's leading human rights commission on Friday accused the government of having 60 political prisoners, a number the group acknowledges includes armed insurrectionists, hijackers and spies as well as peaceful political activists.
Cuba's Communist government has said it has no political prisoners, and that opponents mistakenly consider armed counter-revolutionaries and common criminals as political cases.
In addition to the 60 behind bars, another 11 former political prisoners are out on parole and unable to leave Cuba. [end excerpt]
articles recommended by the
SAN PABLO BAY ECOLOGICAL PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION
Campaigns, info, and more [SanPabloBayEPA.blogspot.com]. Science [discardstudies.com]
* "Governor Brown's budget DOES include $3.6 million for Delta Tunnels" (2016-01-07, by Dan Bacher, indybay.org newswire) [archive.is/Vw13N]
* "Groups file formal protests with State Water Board over tunnels permits; Restore the Delta and numerous coalition partners filed either formal protests or notices of intent to make formal statements with the State Water Resources Control Board to oppose permitting to change the point of water diversion in the Sacramento River to allow for Delta Tunnels to be built" (2016-01-09, by Dan Bacher, indybay.org) [archive.is/ZgteA]
* "Delta Smelt and other fish species plummet to record low levels; Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), said the fall survey shows the 'continuing collapse of the estuary caused by the failure of the state and federal regulatory agencies to comply with the law' " (2016-01-05, by Dan Bacher, indybay.org) [archive.is/FhEKG]
* "River ecosystems show ‘incredible’ initial recovery after dam removal; Fate of one songbird species indicates fast rebound" (2015-12-28, news.osu.edu) [archive.is/EHVhp]
* "Boosting farm yields to restore habitats could create greenhouse gas ‘sink’ " (2016-01-04, cam.ac.uk) [archive.is/OoBr0]
* "New Wolf Detected in California's Modoc County" (201-01-07, by Center for Biological Diversity) [archive.is/15Jcj]
* Alert from the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters (2015-01-06) [archive.is/q2BNR]
We received this alert from our friends at the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities (CRTP) re. the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan Community Meeting this Wednesday 1-16 in Crescent City in far Northern California.
CRTP opposes, as do we, the disastrous Caltrans plans to widen and “realign” Highway 101 through Richardson Grove and through the wild Smith River Canyon (Hwy 197/199). They are working with people in Del Norte County to oppose bigger STAA trucks on Hwy 199/197.
You can add your voice too!
Just cut and paste all or part of the comments below into an email to send to: Jeff Schwein, [jeff@)greendottransportation.com] and [tamera@)dnltc.org]
Written comment is critical.
A Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is a long-range (20 year) planning document used to identify transportation infrastructure and program projects for our Del Norte region. In order to qualify for State and Federal transportation funds, projects must be in the Regional Transportation Plan.
COMMENTS: We need to speak loud and clear, that bigger, extra long STAA trucks on Hwys 199/197 are an inappropriate project for this community.
The RTP (regional transportation plan) 2016 should not support Hwy 199/197 STAA big truck access because it works against important overarching community goals: safety, enhancing recreation and tourism, and protecting natural resources. This project will endanger our lives and those who visit, and will increase the risk of truck spills that spoil our clean water and our salmonid fishery. The steep cut-slopes with extensive curtain walls will damage the beauty of the canyon and harm our fishery. Furthermore, there is negligible local economic need for the project. This is an expensive and dangerous project that does not meet overarching community goals. The Hwy 199/197 focus should be to make the road safer for the traffic we have today. There are safer alternatives. Funding for safety improvements should not be linked to access for bigger trucks.
The RTP 2016 plan should support and prioritize a Last Chance Grade bypass on Hwy 101 South that conserves our Parklands and Old Growth Redwoods, as outlined by the stakeholder meetings. Let’s put our money where it makes sense.
More Hwy 199/197 STAA information you can use:
The Caltrans design uses steep cut-slopes into the canyon. But the geologic instability of the Smith River Canyon prevents sufficient widening for STAA trucks to pass safely. Thus, Caltrans has exempted themselves from mandatory safety requirements. An independent review by leading transportation engineer, Smith Engineering, reveals that the safety design exemptions are extreme, and will endanger all of our lives. Only one foot tolerance for error, one foot between you and passing STAA trucks on triple reverse turns has been designed, whereas the mandatory distance is four times greater! This is too dangerous a road to ignore mandatory safety design standards. You are squeezed between a hard canyon wall and the Smith River below. There are safer alternatives for the traffic we have today.
The environmental documents reveal that there is a negligible local economic need for this project, as most local trucking companies (80%) responded that shipping routes were in place and the STAA truck route would not affect their business. In fact, a more dangerous road will discourage and harm tourism, which is essential for our economy.
Local residents have signed petitions against this big STAA truck project.
THANK YOU for adding your voice. Caltrans uses our public funds for these ecologically devastating projects! And thank you to our colleagues at CRTP.
* "Court Orders Idaho to Stop Illegal Trapping of Protected Lynx; Judge Rejects State’s Attempts to Avoid Responsibility" (2016-01-12, biologicaldiversity.org) [archive.is/ggsTL]
* "From Seabirds to Starfish: Climate Change Driving Unprecedented Die-Offs; Many incidents 'boil down to a common problem,' says WaPo: 'the animals' environments are changing, and they're struggling to keep up' " (2016-01-13, commondreams.org) [archive.is/wQikw]
SAN PABLO BAY EPA: Health and the Human Ecology
Monopolists enforce a regime that does not recognize the natural right to health and life. Info [detoxproject.org].
* "National Organizations Oppose Legislation That Would Destroy Class Actions and Harm Asbestos Victims" (2016-01-06, centerjd.org) [archive.is/QcV8j]
* "Flint’s Water Crisis Flows From A Much Bigger Problem" (2016-01-12, progressive.org) [archive.is/T5zD8]
* "The EPA's Hush-Hush Response to the Flint Water Crisis ; 'At that point, you do not just have smoke, you have a three-alarm fire and should respond immediately,' charges water researcher" (2016-01-13, commondreams.org) [archive.is/ZBBLX]
* "Important Reminder in the Flint Crisis: People Still Have No Safe Water; Emergency declared by governor, but there is no city- or state-run distribution of water" (2016-01-08, commondreams.org) [archive.is/9MELb]
* "Calls for Michigan Gov. Snyder's Arrest as Flint Poisoning Scandal Implicates Top Staffers; 'To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat' " (2016-01-07, commondreams.org) [archive.is/JPLuE]
* "Lead poisoned kids in Flint will need more than apologies, declarations" (2016-01-07, mlive.com) [archive.is/eHeKi]
* "Flint Republicans Are Sending Shut-Off Notices for Overdue Bills after Poisoning the Water" (2016-01-13, usuncut.com) [archive.is/5enX8]
* "87 cases, 10 fatal, of Legionella bacteria found in Flint area; connection to water crisis unclear" (2016-01-13, mlive.com) [archive.is/AnKvj]
* "Dirty Lies: Local Oficials Endanger Thousands; Did City Make Its Residents Drink Poisonous Water to Save Money?" (2016-01-07, whowhatwhy.org) [archive.is/DqnWA]. Photo caption: Inside Flint drinking water pipes, showing different kinds of iron corrosion and rust. Photo credit: Min Tang and Kelsey Pieper / Flint Water Study
* "New Study Highlights Big Unknowns of Public Health Harm From Fracking's Chemical Cocktail; Researchers had information on reproductive and developmental toxicity for only 24 percent of over 1,000 chemicals they looked at" (2016-01-07, commondreams.org) [archive.is/Vh6V0]
SAN PABLO BAY EPA: Save The Birds [link]! and the Bees [link]!
A campaign to preserve and expand the habitat and populations of pollinators in the San Pablo Bay Area.
* "Wild Bee Decline Threatens U.S. Crop Production; Following Obama’s call for pollinator assessment, first-ever national bee map shows much farmland at risk" (2015-12-21, uvm.edu) [archive.is/sDb04]
* "Herbicides, not insecticides biggest threat to bees, beekeeper says" (2015-12-17, Mississippi State University) [archive.is/f8ZB1]
* "EPA Assessment Finds Common Pesticide Harms Bees; Friends of the Earth calls for agency to suspend bee-toxic pesticides" (2016-01-06, foe.org) [archive.is/34glG]
* "Lawsuit Launched for Endangered Species Act Protection of Monarch Butterflies" (2016-01-05, by Center for Biological Diversity) [archive.is/P0ZVY]
articles recommended by the
SAN PABLO BAY SOVEREIGNTY Think-tank
* "With Twice The Protein As Quinoa, The Pulse Might Be The Year’s New Hot ‘Superfood’ " (2016-01-06, thinkprogress.org) [archive.is/BiJ3v]
* "IU scientists create 'nano-reactor' for the production of hydrogen biofuel; Combining bacterial genes and virus shell creates a highly efficient, renewable material used in generating power from water" (2016-01-04, news.indiana.edu) [archive.is/tJnXX]
* "Pedal, solar power aims to be the new hybrid" (2016-01-08, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/xiXxy] [begin excerpt]: It looks like an inverted tricycle with an egg-shaped shell. The makers of the Elf vehicle tout it as the future of environmentally friendly urban transport, combining pedal power with battery propulsion and solar charging.
Take a look inside: there are no doors or floorboards, making it appear like a car that came out of a "Flintstones" cartoon.
"We believe in human-powered mobility," said Craig Sparks, showing off the vehicle from startup Organic Transit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
"This is a town runner. You can run your errands, go to the grocery store. You don't need a car."
The price tag starts at $7,000 but it pays for itself because it uses no fuel, he said.
You start it up with a modified bicycle pedal crank, and steer and brake with handlebars. The battery kicks in to take it up to a speed of some 40 kilometers (25 miles) per hour.
The Elf has a solar panel on the roof that charges the battery, which offers a range of around 50 kilometers (30 miles) -- or more, if you are willing to pedal.
Sparks said the Elf is "street legal" and requires no registration or insurance, with federal rules classifying it as a bicycle. But some state or local rules may be different. [end excerpt]
* "Leaf-mimicking device harnesses light to purify water; 'Bioinspired Bifunctional Membrane for Efficient Clean Water Generation' " (2016-01-06, acs.org) [archive.is/vbR24]
* "Organic photovoltaics: TUM researchers observe molecular processes; X-rays reveal details of plastic solar cell production" (2016-01-07, Technical University of Munich, tum.de) [archive.is/3BHpX]
* "Solar cells that can face almost any direction and keep themselves clean; Packaging Glass with a Hierarchically Nanostructured Surface: A Universal Method to Achieve Self-Cleaning Omnidirectional Solar Cells" (2015-12-16, acs.org) [archive.is/62pwo]
* "Renewable Energy for State Renewable Portfolio Standards Yielded Sizable Benefits and Other Impacts in 2013" (2016-01-06, newscenter.lbl.gov) [archive.is/FCt90]
* "Satellites Find Sustainable Energy in Cities; KIT Researchers Identify Underground Heat Islands from Surface Temperature and Building Density – Publication in 'Environmental Science & Technology' " (2015-12-15, kit.edu) [archive.is/Iuxyp]
articles recommended by the Committee for
Protect Earth's Sentient Life!
* "Dogs recognize human emotions, say scientists" (2016-01-13, rt.com) [archive.is/wXF0W]
UNITED STATES FASCISM WATCH
[UnitedStatesFascism.blogspot.com] Documenting the process of fascism and for whom it benefits.
* "The Oligarchy is Using Our Lizard Brain to Enable a Silent Coup; All is not well in the home of the brave (scared witless)" (2016-01-12, commondreams.org) [archive.is/c8tRG]
* "Stock Buybacks, The Latest Scam From Wall Street; Companies buy back their shares to add value to their shareholders, but now they are using this trick to boost Earnings Per share without doing any work. This is legalized fraud at best" (2016-12-19, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/xC1ZF]
* "Why the Stock Market Is Freakin’ Out" (2016-01-07, wallstreetonparade.com) [archive.is/1e0nX]
* "How Did the U.S. Stock Market Become So Intertwined With China?" (2016-01-08, wallstreetonparade.com) [archive.is/c27AT]
* "With State Poised to Squash Rooftop Solar, Clean Energy Fight Heats Up In Nevada; Decision "puts Nevada embarrassingly out of step with the national and international agenda recently set in Paris to save our climate," says local activist" (2016-01-13, commondreams.org) [archive.is/LKhyA]
* "Obama vetoes legislation repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood" (2016-01-08, rt.com) [archive.is/iLswK]
* "Marco Rubio’s Plan To Lock Tea Party Policies In Place Permanently" (2016-01-07, thinkprogress.org) [archive.is/QvslV]
* "Marco Rubio: Convention can restore limited government" (2016-01-06, usatoday.com) [archive.is/BgMpE]
* "Texas governor calls for states to amend Constitution, offers 9 amendments" (2016-01-09, rt.com) [archive.is/s5tgr] [begin excerpt]: Washington, DC will “take the Constitution seriously again,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said at an annual meeting of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, where he presented nine constitutional amendments to be adopted by a convention of states.
“We have to take the lead to restore the rule of law in America,” Abbott told the large crowd in his keynote address of the Policy Orientation 2016 event. [...]
Abbott supported, to the standing ovation of the audience, what is often called an Article V convention, or convention of the states. Under the fifth article of the Constitution, it is referred to as a “convention for proposing amendments.” Two-thirds of the state legislatures would call such a convention, then the process requires three-fourths of state legislatures to ratify the proposed amendments.
Stressing the importance of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which separates the powers delegated to the federal government from the powers maintained by the states and the people, Abbott accused President Obama, Congress, and the Supreme Court of having “run amok.” [...]
The question of enforcing the Tenth Amendment is a controversial one. In 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace claimed authority to nullify federal laws ending racial segregation. State nullification, though, was first outlined by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in their respective resolutions for Kentucky and Virginia in 1798. Later the doctrine was used to block federal enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act. [...]
Abbott described the states’ abilities to enforce the Tenth Amendment as "hamstrung" by the three branches of the federal government, requiring new Constitutional amendments to restore balance to power. Abbott presented nine. Here they are in brief summary from Abbott’s “Restoring the Rule of Law With States Leading the Way” report:
• Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.
• Require Congress to balance its budget.
• Prohibit administrative agencies from creating federal law.
• Prohibit administrative agencies from pre-empting state law.
• Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a US Supreme Court decision.
• Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for US Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law
• Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
• Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
• Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation.
* "With the New Year, the American Parade of Politics and Prejudice Marches On; Philadelphia's Mummer's Parade brought flare-ups of racism and bigotry that parallel the rage and fear that grip much of the public in this election year" (2016-01-08, commondreams.org) [archive.is/onUUT] [begin excerpt]: In fairness, organizers have made some small steps toward increasing the parade’s diversity. But then there was this.
As we stood in bleachers near City Hall, demonstrators from the Black Lives Matter movement arrived on the corner, anywhere from fifty to a hundred people with signs, shouting for racial and economic justice. Police on bicycles kept them from moving into the parade. Two were arrested.
The protesters were expressing their right to speak out and to focus the rest of us on some real problems. But many of those around us exploded in rage, screaming epithets and hatred at the demonstrators. One of them, her face contorted in fury, reminded me of the infamous New Orleans “cheerleaders,” the forty or so white women who in 1960 stood outside William Frantz Elementary every morning hurling threats and invective at six-year-old Ruby Bridges as she became the school’s first black student.
It was ugly and frightening. New Year’s blood-alcohol levels certainly played a role, but sober or not, these were working class men and women in Philadelphia lashing out, just as the right would have them do, in an incoherent frenzy of indignation without reason or solution. Racist phantoms distract from and overpower the self-interest that should have them out in the streets protesting their lack of justice, jobs and economic security just as vehemently as the Black Lives Matter movement demonstrates against police killings and so many other criminal violations of basic human rights. [end excerpt]
* "Who does he think he is?" (2016-01-06, letter to the editor by Rita Rothman, for timesheraldonline.com) [archive.is/pzqkU]:
Seems like letter writer Ryan Messano gets free speech every week, filling half our opinions page. What a lucky guy.
I believe in free speech. What I don’t respect are those who could, with such self-righteous certainty, speak for God and Christianity! It is evident that he does not know exactly what it feels like to be an “outcast” anywhere. He loves to let us know that a “Christian” is not identified by those who call themselves “Christians” but those who act as “Christians.” What is Christian about what he thinks and writes? He cleverly prefaces what I see as his hateful bigotry with just how Christian his words are. Every letter is judgmental — we should all think as he, or we are just not good humans.
My dad spent seven years in several concentration camps. He taught us no matter the color, religion, culture etc., not to judge. After all, he witnessed some of the worst crimes man can do to fellow man. And why? People from every walk of life were in the camps. Because they were known as “outcasts,” they were different than the superior ones. Those leaders felt all the other peoples were “drek” — garbage.
Mr. Messano picked out the Southern Poverty Center? I thank God for them! Their perseverance and hard work find and report to us “normal” people where the haters are, what they’re saying and thinking so the rest of us know where they’re at and what they are saying! They are outed so we all know who among us hate.
Thank God for free speech. I want to know where they are and what there thinking, not hiding behind a keyboard. We get to see all the ugliness and hate among us, where it raises it ugly head. On 9/11, we went to war on lies, fed the Kool-Aid and in the horror and confusion bought the lie that two small planes took down three buildings. The rest of the Middle East is now falling like dominoes, chaos and war ongoing everywhere, based on lies. The 9/11 Commission is ridiculous and brilliant minds the world over now know that three planes did not take down those buildings. There is a new documentary “Incontrovertible.” Watch it an make your own minds up about what happened.
The last time I sent this poem in it was edited out, maybe they’ll print it this time.
They came first for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
When they locked up the social Democrats I remained silent. I was not a social Democrat.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me there was no one left to speak out.
Don’t be so afraid, don’t vote our freedoms, thinking we will be more secure. We will not. We will lose both.
Viva La Difference!
It's like reading a list of middle-class white-youth interests from the 1970s through 2008... "backmasking"? Wooooow confused emoticon Cyberpunk culture? I like the prohibition of history research, such as the fascination for "Illuminati Groups", "Trilateralism", and "Skull & Bones", which are all popular topics... you don't do "Skull and Bones", you research the topic when you want to know about George Bush and John Kerry's connection to the Illuminati! Must have pissed off the preacher to have members of his church asking him about why George Bush and John Kerry were both members of the Skull and Bones!
* (2016-01-08, Thoreau Redcrow): When the wretched of the earth get in the way of their fun, the rich count on being able to pay one half of the poor to kill the other.
USA FASCISM: Military State
* "In the war against sexual assault, the Army keeps shooting itself in the foot" (2015-12-19, washingtonpost.com) [archive.is/GgJ1w]
* "Acquisition Woes Delay DoD Technology Upgrades" (2015-12-21, intelsatgeneral.com) [archive.is/cJISw] [begin excerpt]: On Oct. 25, 2008, the Navy commissioned the USS New Hampshire, a Virginia-class submarine, eight months ahead of schedule and $54 million under budget for the Navy by prime contractor General Dynamics. This example shows that by adapting techniques and products from the commercial sector, the Pentagon can successfully field technology quickly under its existing weapons acquisition system. [end excerpt]
* "Saab to provide more equipment for U.S. Army combat vehicles" (2016-01-12, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/GzsNK]
* "General Dynamics receives U.S. Navy electronic warfare contract" (2016-01-11, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/Tn70q]
* "Hyten: Space Command Should be an Active Force in Dynamic Times" (2016-01-05, intelsatgeneral.com) [archive.is/QPPDX] [begin excerpt]: General John Hyten bridles at the perception of his Air Force Space Command being comprised of technicians in a 9-to-5 office environment reacting to threats thousands of miles above Earth. It’s a perception he wants to correct, Hyten told the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies “Space Power for the Warfighter” breakfast seminar, on December 8 in Washington.
Space Command should be proactive, and space is no longer tranquil. It’s a contested environment, the Commander said in a speech entitled “My First Year in Perspective: What Did We Get Done?”
Among other critical space missions, Space Command is challenged to provide and maintain the Global Positioning System capabilities warfighters use to target and time weapons and to navigate on the battlefield. The command also combines military and commercial satellite assets to give those branches the ISR and communications needed to win today’s wars.
Where once there was a race to the moon, the space race today is to maintain the technological superiority and freedom of access to space that the U.S. enjoys in preparation for the wars of tomorrow. That edge helps in coping with satellite interference, both intended and incidental, as well as with looming kinetic threats to our space assets from China and Russia that could turn space into a debris-infested wasteland. Hyten contrasted the potential aftermath of war on the ground with that in space. On the ground, he said, rebuilding a bombed area can return it to its previous state of usefulness in a short time. But geosynchronous orbit is the most valuable real estate in space, and debris there can render it useless for centuries.
As part of maintaining that edge, Hyten wants control of the seven satellite systems operated by Space Command to be fused into a single enterprise. The new enterprise would knock down barriers to communication that were part of the stove-piped control system approach, and it would also facilitate missions that can take advantage of the capabilities of different mission systems.
Key to the future is also the concept of the “Space Mission Force” (SMF). Training of the first SMF will begin next spring at Schriever Air Force Base, with airmen rotating between dedicated duty in satellite and ground systems operations, and then rotating back for intensive training and certification. This links closer to how other arms of the Air Force conduct business.
He also highlighted the role for the commercial sector in the new enterprise, which has been discussed extensively over the past year. One idea advanced is for commercialization of certain satellite flight operations missions freeing the uniformed SMF personnel to plan and execute more critical missions, react to threats, monitor satellites and stay ahead of a rapidly changing potential battlefield in space. [...]
Determining threats is part of Space Command’s interaction with the Intelligence Community and other service branches at the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC). Early identification of a threat can allow Space Command minutes (for satellites in low Earth orbit) or hours (in GEO) to react with capabilities already built into space assets. Also, Space Command is developing and refining Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for using those capabilities and doing realistic testing of these at the newly created Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center (JICSpOC).
Other branches are starting to include Space Command in planning operations. Such cooperation is fostering an environment in which the Intelligence Community, Space Command and industry can better develop a space architecture to meet the demands of a dynamic future. [end excerpt]
* "Lockheed Martin Team Delivers Second Lightning Tracker for NOAA Weather Satellite" (2016-01-12, lockheedmartin.com) [archive.is/KzRzN] [begin excerpt]: Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered the second Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument that will provide earlier alerts of severe storms and contribute to more accurate tornado warnings. The sensor will fly on the second next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, known as GOES-S, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Lockheed Martin team successfully completed assembly, integration, test and delivery of the second GLM instrument only 13 months after the first delivery. [end excerpt]
* "SAIC Awarded $485 Million Enterprise Applications Service Technologies 2 Contract by NASA; Company to provide necessary services to operate the NASA Enterprise Applications Competency Center in Huntsville, Alabama" (2016-01-11, investors.saic.com) [archive.is/URZS6] [begin excerpt]: NASA awarded Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) a $485 million contract to provide all services necessary to operate the NASA Enterprise Applications Competency Center (NEACC) located at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Under the Enterprise Applications Service Technologies (EAST) 2 contract, SAIC will provide services to operate, maintain, and enhance key business and mission-supporting platforms, applications and infrastructure used across the agency. [end excerpt]
* "Aerojet Rocketdyne Selected by NASA to Mature Development of MPS-130 CubeSat Modular Propulsion System With Green Propellant" (2016-01-11, rocket.com) [archive.is/GHWBn]
USA FASCISM: Two Party Dictatorship
* "Who's Funding the 2016 Election? Mostly, We'll Never Know. Federal regulators say they have few ways to oversee candidate-super PAC coordination in post-Citizens United landscape" (2016-01-12, commondreams.org) [archive.is/cHgZH]
* "America Revisits the Dark Side; Candidates Compete to Promise the Most Torture and Slaughter" (2016-01-07, by Rebecca Gordon, intro by tomdispatch.com) [archive.is/swNuz]
* "Gary Johnson Announces Presidential Bid; Challenges Two-Party Control of Debates" (2016-01-06, ivn.us) [archive.is/93gOA]
* " 'A lot of disenfranchised voters': Libertarian Gary Johnson discusses his presidential bid" (2016-01-08, rt.com) [archive.is/hCb8O]
* "More Mosley than Hitler: Donald Trump and the fascism debate" (2016-01-07, peoplesworld.org) [archive.is/auPeq]
* "Muslim woman gets kicked out out of Trump rally — for protesting silently" (2016-01-09, washingtonpost.com) [archive.is/2QKb1]
* "Muslim woman ejected from Trump rally" (2016-01-08, thehill.com) [http://is.gd/D5NojH]
* Typical comments from fascists, as collected from [archive.is/5oIKs]: "This clearly has a foul smell ... clearly a setup" ; "LOL! You believe everything you read? I have a bridge to sell you. She wanted to disrupt the rally, fool." ; "TOTALLY .. Another vile shit protestor wanting attention.. It's all about me, give me pity & attention !" ; "Yup .. & the camel dung added a Star of David for effect!" ; "Things from the left like this & many more hypocritical issues is why I'm no longer a Democrat"
* "Ted Cruz Tells Fabricated Story About A Girl Threatened With Jail For Saying ‘Jesus’ " (2015-12-07, thinkprogress.org) [archive.is/lwk5t]
* "Cruz Calls Clergy To Awaken And Energize Christ’s Body Into the White House" (2016-01-02, politicususa.com) [archive.is/HAvkA]
* "Ben Carson’s bumbling humiliation of 5th-grader: Too painful to be called a gaffe" (2016-01-08, washingtonpost.com) [archive.is/7msUF]
* " 'The Big Short' and Bernie’s Plan to Bust Up Wall Street" (2016-01-11, robertreich.org) [archive.is/fdNS4]
* "Bernie Sanders' Plan to Tame Wall Street Riles Team Clinton" (2016-01-06, prwatch.org) [archive.is/Gn7HW]
* " 'Break Em Up!': Sanders Speech Takes Aim at Big Bank Greed; Speaking in downtown Manhattan, presidential hopeful calls to break up 'too big to fail' banks and reinstate Glass-Steagall" (2016-01-05, commondreams.org) [archive.is/yNXbx]
* "Bernie Sanders outlines plan to end Wall Street's 'greed, fraud and arrogance' ; Democratic candidate embraces spirit of Occupy movement in attack on banks; Sanders would make credit rating agencies not-for-profits and cap ATM fees" (2016-01-05, theguardian.com) [archive.is/xJK0b]
* "Bernie Nabs Double-Digit Lead in NH as Women Ditch Clinton for Surging Sanders; New poll shows Sanders leading by double digits in New Hampshire, thanks in part to a new edge among women" (2016-01-12, commondreams.org) [archive.is/20AO6]
* "MoveOn Endorses Sanders Following Record Smashing Membership Vote; Sanders wins advocacy group's official support with most membership votes in its history" (2016-01-12, commondreams.org) [archive.is/GvfrP]
* "Nurses’ Bring #BernieBus and Message of Sanders Campaign to AFL-CIO Raising Wages Summit in Las Vegas" (2016-01-12, nationalnursesunited.org) [archive.is/a29Qi]
* " 'Fighting Dirty,' Clinton's 'Inflammatory Distortion' of Sanders' Single-Payer Plan; In Iowa and New Hampshire, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton go on offense regarding Sanders' Medicare-for-All proposal" (2016-01-12, commondreams.org) [archive.is/8dTSz]
* " ‘Shame on you’: Hillary Clinton flip flops, attacks Sanders on healthcare" (2016-01-13, rt.com) [archive.is/GW5fT]
* "Chelsea Clinton Said Bernie Sanders Would Take Health Care From Millions... But there are a few things she failed to mention" (2016-01-13, huffingtonpost.com) [archive.is/1wIgr]
* "Chelsea Clinton wasn't wrong after all (neither was Hillary)" (2016-01-13, dailykos.com) [archive.is/e5jps]
* "Bernie Sanders Blocked From Speaking At Iowa High School, Guess Who They Let Speak Instead" (2016-01-10, addictinginfo.org) [archive.is/q48ea]
* "Governor Delivers Racist Rant At Public Meeting" (2016-01-07, thinkprogress.org) [http://is.gd/hjxbAt]
* " 'Bleeding-Heart,' Or Just Bloody? The GOP Poverty Show" (2016-01-08, ourfuture.org) [archive.is/0PUwV]
* "Convincing the Young to Blame the Old, Not the Rich" (2016-01-05, fair.org) [archive.is/kO6iv]
* "Supreme Court hears Texas plan to replace democracy with oligarchy" (2016-01-06, peoplesworld.org) [archive.is/9sadJ]
* "Though N.C. Confirms 27 Candidates for POTUS Primaries, State Law Limits Voter Choice at Polls" (2016-01-06, ivn.us) [archive.is/AJgeD]
* "Party Leaders to Use Sore Loser Laws to Thwart Potential Independent Trump Run" (2016-01-04, ivn.us) [archive.is/MvgqC]
* "Jeb Bush calls for end of federal food stamp program as part of welfare overhaul" (2016-01-08, washingtonpost.com) [archive.is/WrRgM]
* "Rand Paul Compares Paycheck Fairness To Soviet Politburo" (2012-06-05, huffingtonpost.com) [archive.is/LKsO1]
* from [archive.is/nhQi9]: Technically this one is more of a paraphrase rather than a direct quote, but it still sums up his position nicely.
* "Republicans Silent as Seattle’s Economy Booming With Higher Minimum Wage" (2016-01-12, occupydemocrats.com) [archive.is/aR9ke]
USA FASCISM: State Media Watch
* "Six Huge Stories The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You To Know About" (2016-01-07, by Sophie McAdam) [archive.is/j7lUB], the list:
1. Any Tragedy That’s Not Western-Centric
2. Indonesia Burning
3. France’s Slip Into Martial Law
4. The Truth About ISIS
5. The British Parliament Voted Against Democracy
6. The Reality Of Top-Secret Free Trade Deals
USA FASCISM: Artificial Poverty and Starvation
* "Why the Left Isn’t Talking About Rural American Poverty; 'Since the 1950s, Americans living in non-metropolitan counties have had a higher rate of poverty than those living in metropolitan areas' " (2015-10-22, inthesetimes.com) [archive.is/7Cq3S]
* "Yet Another Fabricated Jobs Report. Rising Real Unemployment in America" (2016-01-08, by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts) [archive.is/Cr3e6]
* "Sex-for-repairs scheme: $8 million settlement reached in Baltimore public housing case" (2016-01-08, rt.com) [archive.is/D7xv5]
* "What The Changing Workplace Has to Do With Mass Shootings; Journalist Mark Ames explains how the pro-privatization and anti-labor measures of the Reagan years and beyond have bred a more hostile work environment, triggering more mass shootings in workplaces and schools" (2015-10-12, therealnews.com) [archive.is/mvQrE]
* Consrvative meme showing how those on Foodstamps eat better than Middle Class workers [archive.is/Kefbj], the influencing message being that the poor need to starve in order for the Middle Class to live.
WORLD FASCISM WATCH
Documenting the global economic dictatorship
* "Chamber of Commerce Completes Trifecta of Corporate Love for TPP; Labor groups want to know what took them so long?" (2016-01-06, commondreams.org) [archive.is/uKfLJ]
* "This NAFTA Lawsuit over Keystone XL Proves "Free Trade" Deals Kill Democracy; 'The idea that some trade agreement should force us to overheat the planet’s atmosphere is, quite simply, insane' " (2015-01-07, commondreams.org) [archive.is/m0LmK]
* "Keystone XL rejection leads TransCanada to sue Obama administration Calgary-based company 'throwing the corporate equivalent of a temper tantrum,' say opponents" (2016-01-06, cbc.ca) [archive.is/iPLL7]
* "Statement of Carroll Muffett on TransCanada Lawsuit Using the Investment Chapter of NAFTA" (2016-01-07) [archive.is/dCOgv]
* "TransCanada Seeks $15 Billion from U.S. Taxpayers for Its Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Mistake" (2016-01-07, nrdc.org) [archive.is/cz9fO]
* "350.org Responds to TransCanada’s NAFTA Lawsuit over Keystone XL" (2016-01-07) [archive.is/bxue7]
The following article is about solutions to capitalism's artificial famines, and makes a remarkable admission in the following excerpt.
* "Rice Crop Models Stabilize Global Markets, Enable Efficient Irrigation" (2016-01-10, spinoff.nasa.gov) [archive.is/dLlVD] [begin excerpt]: When global food prices spiked dramatically in late 2007 and into 2008, with the costs of many basic dietary staples doubling or even tripling, protests and riots upset much of the developing world. Panicked governments stopped exporting food, aggravating the crisis. Almost as troubling as the widespread unrest and hunger, though, was the fact that it had taken the world by surprise. [end excerpt]
* "Child slavery case against Nestle can proceed - SCOTUS" (2016-01-12, rt.com) [archive.is/NjU1G]
* "Nestle Faces Lawsuit over Child Slavery in Ivory Coast" (2016-01-12, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/Inzzt]
* "Profit-chasing energy giants condemned as 4.7m pensioners left to freeze" (2016-01-13, rt.com) [archive.is/eVHKN]
* "Thatcher legacy: Private water companies overcharge UK customers £1bn" (2016-01-13, rt.com) [archive.is/XDFqZ]
WORLD FASCISM WATCH: Weapons for a New World Order
* "Tech titans pledge $1 bn for artificial intelligence research" (2015-12-12, AFP Newswire) [archive.is/jxXZb]
* "US Achieves Breakthrough in Electromagnetic Railgun Test - Contractor; Projectiles designed for a Control and Actuation System (CAS), or electromagnetic railgun, have been successfully tested at the US Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) said in a press release on Friday" (2016-01-09, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/TR2HL]
* "Mysterious Metal 'Space Balls' Crash Down Out of Sky Onto Vietnam; Vietnamese authorities are puzzling over three metal spheres that allegedly came from space and landed on the territory of the country, causing turmoil among local residents" (2016-01-09, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/9PDiM]
* "Physicists Send Particles Of Light Into The Past, Proving Time Travel Is Possible?" (2015-12-08, moreideas.net) [archive.is/xQt0H] [begin excerpt]: Scientists from the University of Queensland, Australia, have used single particles of light (photons) to simulate quantum particles travelling through time.
They showed that one photon can pass through a wormhole and then interact with its older self. Their findings were published in Nature Communications [archive.is/aPjcv].
The source of this time travel conundrum comes from what are called “closed timelike curves” (CTC). CTCs are used to simulate extremely powerful gravitational fields, like the ones produced by a spinning black hole, and could, theoretically (based on Einstein’s theory of general relativity), warp the fabric of existence so that spacetime bends back on itself – thus creating a CTC, almost like a path that could be used to travel back in time. [end excerpt]
* "Quantum foam" (2016-01-04, phys.org) [archive.is/t8PmQ]
* "New research could help build better fighter planes and space shuttles" (2016-01-04, Binghamton University) [archive.is/2qaV6]
* "New bimetallic alloy nanoparticles for printed electronic circuits" (2016-01-05, Nanowerk News) [archive.is/tRRLA]
* "3D-Printed Ceramics Could Build Next-Gen Spaceships" (2016-01-05, space.com) [archive.is/nqjIV]
* "New technique offers strong, flawless 3-D printed ceramics" (2015-12-31, American Association for the Advancement of Science) [archive.is/1H0sR]
* " 'Robot locust' can traverse rocky terrain and assist in search and rescue; Tel Aviv University researcher develops locust-inspired robot capable of jumping twice as high as existing robots of its kind" (2015-12-17, American Friends of Tel Aviv University) [archive.is/1vZI2]
* "Promising new approach for controlled fabrication of carbon nanostructures" (2016-01-05, inrs.ca) [archive.is/vXbMY]
* "Mechanical Properties of Nanomaterials Are Altered Due to Electric Field, UW Researchers Find" (2016-01-08, uwyo.edu) [archive.is/bVxas]
* "Rice University scientists mix up a new type of flexible composite; An adaptive material invented at Rice University combines self-healing and reversible self-stiffening properties" (2016-01-11, news.rice.edu) [archive.is/DJaSr], attached video [https://youtu.be/GyJm7uWxdiw]
* "How to Train Your Bacterium; Berkeley Lab Scientists Teach Bacterium a New Trick for Artificial Photosynthesis" (2016-01-01, newscenter.lbl.gov) [archive.is/rD3Wz]
* "Researchers teach bacterium how to photosynthesize" (2016-01-04, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/qBoVS]
* "Russia's Uran-9 robotic combat system hits international market" (2016-01-01, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/0tkIl]
* "Exoskeletons Are Here: Russia Develops Advanced Ratnik-3 Combat Gear; The development of the third generation Ratnik infantry combat system is already under way in Russia, according to the country's Land Forces commander Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov" (2016-01-09, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/ohtiB]
WORLD FASCISM WATCH: #OPDeathEaters [WorldFascists.blogspot.com]
The guiltless vices of the upper-class influences the behavior of criminals, what is profitable becomes "normalized" among those making the profit, and this mentality influences thousands who are connected to organized criminal cartels...
* "London gangs ‘pressuring 9yo girls into group sex’ – Home Office report" (2016-01-13, rt.com) [archive.is/BgNRl]
* "Aid worker caught 'smuggling' 4yo Afghan refugee out of Calais faces French court" (2016-01-13, rt.com) [archive.is/8vupU]
information collected by the
SOLANO PEACE, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM COALITION
[SolanoPeaceJustice.blogspot.com], for justice, dignity and human rights, and an end to the USA's endless wars, in harmony with Principle 1 & 6 of International Law [archive.is/tmncz], the 5 protocols of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) [archive.is/LhUTj], and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [archive.is/U1Ota].
* " 'Beale 10' Drone Trial Denied: Awesome Drone Protest Planned!" (2016-01-10):
All Charges of Beale 10 Dismissed. No Arraignment: Yet again they denied us our chance to take drone murders to the courtroom!
Good reason for more of you to join us at Beale to increase our resistance to the barbarism of drone killing! Direct Action planned this week. Please join us in this low risk activity! NO KILLER DRONES!
PLANS: Because we are persistent, we will present a simulated drone attack street theater, with awesome props and sound effects right in front of courthouse and then take it down the streets of Sacramento to City Hall, in a rolling theater march. Then to Senator Boxer's office to express our sentiment of her full fledged support of Drone Killing and Surveillance. A possible visit to a major drone industry site is tentatively planned before we high tail up to Beale for 2 days of protest, to include dinner and viewing of Obama's False State of the Union Address at a local venue. Re Encampment: There may be a chance to sleep inside, but come prepared to camp just in case.
See details below.
Join CODEPINK, Veterans For Peace and other N. California activists,
5 Years of Persistent Resistance to Drone Killing at Beale AFB!
Photo: Activists holding panels of children killed by drones.
WE WILL NOT BE MOVED! OR INTIMIDATED!....
Drone Protest continues at Beale AFB that afternoon, into Jan. 13, am.
The "Beale 10" and supporters will return to Beale AFB for 2 day protest. This will be a solidarity action in support of a protest planned in DC at the State Capitol, called The Real State of the Union. On the same day as President Obama's State of the Union address (expected to be filled with the usual deception and misinformation), activists in DC and across the country will stage actions to publicly bring attention to the real crises facing our nation and the world, and the failed U.S. policies that contribute to them.
(details below) Solidarity protests are planned at Beale and Creech drone bases the same day, to call for an end to the U.S empire's number one oppressive tool, armed drones, that mostly kill indiscriminately.
We now have 4 former drone operators and air force veterans speaking out, who have publicly unveiled the real truth about drone killing and how it is destabilizing the world:
Beale defendants are calling on many more activists to join them this month to send a strong message to the U.S. Air Force and President Obama:
"We will not be deterred, DRONE KILLING MUST STOP NOW!"
Help us make this Occupy Beale protest larger than ever!
January 12, Tuesday:
8:00 am - Anti-drone rally in front of courthouse, to include mock drone attack street theater
U.S. Federal Court, 501 I St., Sacramento
9:00 am - Rolling Drone Attack theater & March to Sacramento City Hall
(Straight down I St., return to Courthouse on J St.)
At City Hall we will support the Homeless Advocates' Hunger Strike
We will offer food to the hungry with the message:
Money for Food, Not Drones and Bombs!
11:00 am - Visit to Barbara Boxer's office, Letter to be delivered.
11:30 am - Break for lunch (Local eatery TBD)
12:30 pm - Possible visit to local drone industry site (tentative, TBD)
1:30 pm - Caravan to Beale AFB for 2 days of Protest (details below)
3-5:00 pm: Vigil/protest, Wheatland Gate,
Intersection of South Beale Rd. & Ostrom Rd.
5:30pm: Dinner at local Venue, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, 601 D St. and group viewing of Obama's "False State of the Union Address."
No Drones Peace Encampment at Main Gate, or possible indoor options. (bring pads, sleeping bag, and just in case: tent. Hotel options also)
If Camping: at Main Gate, Beale AFB, end of N. Beale Rd., east of Marysville.
January 13, Wednesday
6-8:00 am Vigil/protest, Main Gate, end of N. Beale Rd.,
east of Marysville.
Breakfast at Brick Coffee House, Marysville to debrief and plan next action.
Mike Gravel is still trying to get out the message of the mess we are in today.
* "Helter Skelter X" [youtube.com/watch?v=bA2LgJviH9w]
* "The making of Helter Skelter X" [youtube.com/watch?v=CT2BJKhzaTE]
As Mike Gravel says: One of the major goals of my presidential campaign has always been to empower you, the voter, through the enactment of the National Initiative for Democracy. The National Initiative will equip the people with the central power of government – lawmaking – and citizens in every government jurisdiction of the United States would then become a new check in our system of Checks and Balances, which was originally designed to control the abuse of power.
* "power to the people vs give peace a chance" music video (2007-11-27, by Mike Gravel, and rx) [youtube.com/watch?v=0S2zkh6ZOGE]: a dj mike gravel & rx conspiracy. the first in a series. former u.s. senator Mike Gravel (Alaska), is a libertarian candidate for president. he was been banned from the democratic debates for being honest and intelligent. the best candidate of the bunch. certainly the coolest. check out his website, gravel2008.us.
* "Obama: 'People of the World Do Not Look to Beijing or Moscow to Lead - They Call Us' " full text of the 2016 State of the Union Address (2016-01-13, fortruss.blogspot.de) [archive.is/0TKY1]
* "Hoeven: U.S. fighting for oil dominance" (2016-01-11, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/O2cJl] [begin excerpt]: The United States is engaged in battle with global producers to see who can ensure the future demand for crude oil, a Republican senator from North Dakota said.
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said robust production policies from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries were curbing the potential of U.S. producers because higher output means lower crude oil prices.
"OPEC is fighting to defend their market share and exert their historical dominance over oil markets and energy prices," he said in a statement. "They're actually working to undermine our energy industry." [end excerpt]
* "NATO’s Secret Armies. Operation GLADIO and the Strategy of Tension: Interview with Dr. Daniele Ganser" (2016-01-04, themindrenewed.com) [archive.is/sLm4v]
* "Sabotage: US Officials 'Distort Image of Russia' to Keep Their Own Jobs; Many US officials obstinately refuse to understand the benefits from Russian-US cooperation and they willfully try to tarnish Russia's image, according to former CIA officer Philip Giraldi" (2016-01-10, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/ZTXaM]
* "Pentagon's Logic: US Is No Threat to Russia but Russia is a Threat to US; In what is a perfect example of twisted logic, the US Defense Department has urged Moscow not to view Washington as a threat to its security while at the same time treating Russia as a threat to the United States" (2016-01-05, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/WEUgj]
* "US military leadership resisted Obama's bid for regime change in Syria, Libya; Bureaucratic self-interest trumped US military’s conviction that American security is being endangered by Obama’s policy of regime change" (2016-01-04, middleeasteye.net) [archive.is/d1T7x]
* "Just Don't Call it Combat: Pentagon Avoids 'C-Word' When Discussing Afghanistan; The Pentagon has been careful not to use the term "combat" when discussing the role of US forces in Afghanistan, even after an American soldier died in a gunfight with Taliban insurgents" (2016-01-08, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/Y8w9z]
* "Not Trusting Pentagon Investigation of Afghan Hospital Bombing; Does Doctors Without Borders Deserve an Independent Probe?" (2016-01-06, whowhatwhy.org) [archive.is/Suaj5]
* "Another MSF Hospital in Yemen Bombed" (2016-01-10, nsnbc.me) [archive.is/490bh]
* "Doctors Without Borders Call For Immediate Stop of Medical Facilities Bombing in Yemen; Doctors Without Borders (MSF) director of operations, Raquel Ayora, said that the warring sides of the Yemeni conflict would better create conditions for the safe delivery of humanitarian aid to the people in need" (2016-01-10, sputniknews.com) [archive.is/llu0l]
* "We dream about drones, said 13-year-old Yemeni before his death in a CIA strike; Mohammed Tuaiman becomes the third member of his family to be killed by what he called ‘death machines’ in the sky months after Guardian interview" (2015-02-10, theguardian.com) [archive.is/4B7Jw]
* "The Drone Medal Revived!" (2016-01-07, contraryperspective.com) [archive.is/ZMNoW] [begin excerpt]: News that the Pentagon is considering a special “Distinguished Warfare Medal” for drone pilots tells us much about the American war-making moment. Leaving aside issues of bravery or courage of drone operators, let’s first consider the name of the medal, with its stress on “distinguished warfare.” [end excerpt]
* "America's Death Squads" (2016-01-05, telesurtv.net) [archive.is/oc8Zo] [begin excerpt]: Today we're going to discuss the shadow world of empire, the use of targeted assassinations, the collusion with death squads in countries, especially countries that are carrying out proxy wars in which the United States is involved in. And with me in the studio is certainly one of the great investigative journalists in the United States, Allan Nairn, whose career now about three decades has spanned, covering all sorts of conflicts. East Timor, Indonesia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Palestine, El Salvador.
And in almost all of these countries Allan has dug deep into these shadow worlds at great personal risk. And I think--Allan, first of all, thank you for joining us. And I'd like to ask a little bit about when societies engage, whether that is in El Salvador, Guatemala, or Indonesia, in these civil conflicts, and the United States becomes involved, what the collusion is between the U.S. military in particular and those sectors of the government that are carrying out wholesale assassinations. We often call them death squads. [...]
NAIRN: Right. And the U.S. created this--starting during the Kennedy administration and continuing all the way up created this intelligence-gathering system which linked Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua. They would have central files organized for them with the help of the CIA, and they would teach them how to go out and watch on a systematic basis the campuses, the courts, the plantations. Especially the factories, run by the local oligarchs but also the American investors. And they would compile files.
And in El Salvador some people showed me some of these actual files, and Gen. Medrano, who was seen as the godfather of the Salvadoran death squads because starting in the late '60s and through the early '80s he was the leader working on behalf of the U.S. and organizing the system. He actually sat down--I spent 13 hours interviewing him on tape. And he drew diagrams. And he explained to me how the Salvadoran priests, the nuns, the catechists, the unionists, they were all controlled by Moscow. And he would draw these schematics showing from Moscow to Havana to here to there. And he said, so they all became targets. And it was our mission to kill them. And he described in great detail how he did this while working on the payroll of the United States. [end excerpt]
* "Media Lies ‘Made in America’. What Prospects for 2016?" (2016-01-08, by William Blum, williamblum.org) [archive.is/s358R]
* "BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!" (2016-01-10, Labor Fightback Network, laborfightback.org):
The December 21, 2015, killing of six U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan once again vaulted the U.S. war and occupation of that country onto the front pages. The Obama administration declared that the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan had ended as of the end of 2014. Tell that to the families of the six who expected their loved ones to come home but received coffins instead.
The question continues to be asked: Why are U.S. troops still in Afghanistan after 15 long years?
This war has lasted longer than the U.S. Civil War, World War I, and the Vietnam War combined. Supposedly, U.S. troops are there to train Afghans to do the fighting. But we've all seen that movie before: After 15 years, shouldn't the Afghans be "trained" by now?
To be sure, part of the rationale for continuing the occupation of Afghanistan was getting Osama bin Laden. But he was killed in Pakistan in May of 2011. So that can no longer be asserted as a reason for perpetuating the U.S. war.
The essence of U.S. foreign policy is occupation, militarization, escalation, war and expansionism -- all in furtherance of the corporate agenda. And it certainly is not limited to Afghanistan. The U.S. has invaded 74 countries over the past century and currently has military deployments in over 150 of them.
As a working class formation, the Labor Fightback Network (LFN) urges that the labor movement help provide leadership in building a broad and united labor-community coalition to demand that the troops be brought home now, starting with Afghanistan but also including in rapid order Iraq (where U.S. troops have re-engaged) and Syria. And that would mark a fundamental change in Washington's foreign policy to one based on respect for the right of other nations to settle their own destiny.
Our country cannot be the world's policeman.
Historical Background -
Washington long was interested in occupying Afghanistan -- well before 9/11.
As George Mantiot of the Guardian wrote: "Afghanistan has some oil and gas of its own, but not enough to qualify as a major strategic concern. Its northern neighbors, by contrast, contain reserves which could be critical to future global supply. In 1998, Dick Cheney, [later] U.S. vice president but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked: 'I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.' But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan. . . .
"Pipelines through Afghanistan would allow the U.S. both to pursue its aim of diversifying energy supply and to penetrate the world's most lucrative markets. Growth in European oil consumption is slow and competition is intense. In South Asia, by contrast, demand is booming and competitors are scarce. Pumping oil south and selling it in Pakistan and India, in other words, is far more profitable than pumping it west and selling it in Europe."
As the author and journalist Ahmed Rashid has documented, in 1995 Cheney's U.S. oil company Unocal started negotiating to build oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and into Pakistani ports on the Arabian Sea. The company's scheme required a single administration in Afghanistan, which would guarantee safe passage for its goods. Soon after the Taliban took Kabul in September 1996, the Telegraph reported that "oil industry insiders say the dream of securing a pipeline across Afghanistan is the main reason why Pakistan, a close political ally of America's, has been so supportive of the Taliban, and why America has quietly acquiesced in its conquest of Afghanistan."
For the first year of Taliban rule, U.S. policy towards the regime appears to have been determined principally by Unocal's interests. In 1997 a U.S. diplomat told Rashid, "the Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis did. There will be Aramco [the former U.S. oil consortium in Saudi Arabia] pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia law. We can live with that. . . .
"In September , a few days before the attack on the Twin Towers, the U.S. energy information administration reported that 'Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes the possible construction of oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan.' Given that the U.S. government is dominated by former oil industry executives, we would be foolish to suppose that such plans no longer figure in its strategic thinking."
The Costs of the War -
Over 2,000 U.S. soldiers and marines have been killed and thousands more grievously wounded to date in the Afghanistan war and occupation. Authoritative figures of Afghans who met a similar fate are hard to come by but a Wikipedia article states "During the war in Afghanistan (2001-present), over 26,000 civilian deaths due to war-related violence have been documented; 29,900 civilians have been wounded. Over 91,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants, are recorded to have been killed in the conflict, and the number who have died through indirect causes related to the war may include an additional 360,000 people."
The war has cost U.S. taxpayers a trillion dollars and will require hundreds of billions more after the fighting ends, according to the Financial Times.
This at a time when virtually every human services program in this country is under severe assault, including pensions. The infrastructure continues to crumble despite repeated assurances from the bosses and bankers that it will at last be addressed. But where will the money come from given the prioritization given the wars and occupations?
The choice is guns or butter, and it will take a mass movement of considerable power to force the nation's rulers to change course and agree to the latter. After all, neither Alexander the Great, nor Great Britain, nor the former Soviet Union could prevail in Afghanistan. The U.S. is caught in a quagmire -- a winless, endless war that can only result in more death and destruction.
Needed: A United Antiwar Movement -
Ideally, there should be in place by now a broad, representative, democratic and united peace movement that can mobilize thousands in the streets in support of united front demands. A few years ago such a formation appeared to be on the horizon, and it included some key labor forces. But unfortunately differences over demands erupted causing the trade unionists to pull out.
Realistically, there is no prospect today for organic unity of the various key groups. But there remains an urgent need for united actions that, perhaps, could emerge if these groups were willing to move forward together to co-sponsor them. If this were forthcoming, the prospects could brighten for involving sections of the labor movement which would unlikely be won over to a fractured movement.
After all, the world looks to us -- living as we do in the belly of the beast -- to put aside all the barriers that have precluded unity in the past. Despite the fact that not a single member of Congress -- so far as we can tell -- has advocated the immediate withdrawal demand, no one disputes the fact that the people of this nation are war weary and would like to see the U.S. get out of Afghanistan and other countries in the region. If ever there was a time when fresh and constructive unity initiatives are needed from antiwar groups, this is it.
* "Thai skin-whitening ad prompts social media backlash for claiming you need to be 'white to win' " (2016-01-08, rt.com) [archive.is/FmdgB]
* "Killing a two-dollar kid":