Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 17th, 2016, Northbay Uprising FM 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@)]! Northbay Uprising News scripts [link]. Archived webpages at ( and at ( 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. Circumvent "Error 451" [] by using the proxy server at [] or, by using Tor Browser []. 

InDIYpendent Media
Spotlight from the Northbay Uprising Media Collective 

Recommended Radical Newsletters:
* Popular Resistance newsletter: "The Times Are A-Changing" (2016-03-12, []

The Commemorator, website for commemorating the legacy of the Black Panther Party, curated by elder members [], including:
- Curated works by and about Dr. Huey P. Newton [] include his Boston College speech, Essays on Technology, Alex Haley’s 1969 Playboy Interview, and a collection of critiques by the likes of Eldridge Cleaver.
- Select Issues of the historic Black Panther Intercommunal News []. Coverage runs from the first issues to the last publications.
- Curated works by both historic and emerging voices []. Among them are activists and thinkers like Robert Williams, Franz Fanon, James Baldwin, Malcolm X and  Martin Luther King.  Among the emerging voices are Michelle Alexander, Brian Stevenson, and Cynthia McKinney, and many more.

* U.S Labor Against The War [], new website, more resources for the Peace, Justice and Freedom movements!

Stories are reviewed and provided by Northbay MDS Committees and Affiliates

Updates on campaigns for Peace, Justice, & Freedom across the greater Bay Area, Norcal, and Socal

* "Support the Winnemum Wintu Tribe’s McCloud River Salmon Restoration Plan!" (2016-02-24, by Dan Bacher, newswire) [] [begin excerpt]: The Winnemem Wintu Tribe has submitted a McCloud River Salmon Restoration plan which should be included as the preferred alternative for any pilot fish passage project. The Tribe has proposed a volitional fish passage alternative and that native McCloud watershed salmon that are in New Zealand be utilized for the project. In order to ensure survival of the winter-run Chinook Salmon this proposal needs to be taken seriously and the federal agencies with decision making power should fully assess alternatives that have a potential for true success, instead of short term non-effective proposals that over time will prove to be a death knell to winter-run Chinook Salmon.
Salmon are central to the Winnemem Wintu tribal identity and lifestyle. The Winnemem plan to restore Salmon with the original stock is a key component in restoring watershed health.
Watershed Health and natural Salmon life cycles go together.In order for this plan to be fully implemented the Winnemem must also have a seat on the steering committee that makes decisions as to the implementation of the plan. No one has a better understanding of the McCloud watershed then the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, without direct participation and input from the Tribe any decisions made regarding implementation of the pilot plan will be incomplete and has the potential to cause further devastation on top of that caused by the building of the Shasta Dam.
The Winnemem insistence that project design contributes to robust natural migratory behavior is very important. Salmon survival requires resilience resulting from a fish population that winnows out the weak and allows the strongest adaptation to conditions.The project therefore must include a swim way passage for the adult to fry salmon to have a volitional route to move up and down the river. BOR must include a study that reveals the actual cost of building a passage way before it decides it is too expensive to consider. [end excerpt]

* "New York Times Looks at National Significance of Oakland’s Fight Over Billionaire-Backed Charter Schools" (2016-03-09, []

* "Jury rules SF officers who killed Alex Nieto did not use excessive force" (2016-03-10, []
* "A trainwreck of a witness on final day of Nieto case; Man who says Nieto aimed a Taser at him and his dog also says he assumed the young man was a gang member, was distracted by a woman jogger's butt, and wished he could have shot Nieto himself" (2016-03-08, []
* "59 shots: Closing arguments in the Nieto case; After emotional appeals and a review of the evidence, the case heads to the jury" (2016-03-09, []

* Families United Against Police Brutality []:
Another miscarriage of justice. When police kill, District Attorneys turn into defense attorneys for the police. The system was not designed to uphold the law against the only people it was created to protect. ‪#‎Justice4AlexNieto‬ ‪#‎BlueLivesMurder‬ ‪#‎JailKillerCopsNow‬ ‪#‎NoJusticeNoPeace‬

* (2016-03-09, photos by Al Osorio):
‪#‎BayBridge25‬ solidarity vigil for Alex Nieto free coffee and food
La vigilia en solidaridad con coalición justicia para alex nieto por ‪#‎PuenteBahia25‬
Photos, at Federal Courts Building 450 Golden Gate: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

* LOVE & JUSTICE 4 MARIO WOODS, 26, killed by SF Bayview Police, 12-2-15 [], (2016-03-09):
Last night at the DOJ "listening session", Adrienne Fong chalked the names of those killed by SFPD outside the sham DOJ meeting. I was so glad she let me join her in her chalking! I chalked several names (not nearly as many as Adrienne) ... Including Idriss Stelley, whose story is the first to open my eyes to the injustice & false narratives of the SFPD.
**please everyone come out March 10 Thursday at 6pm to 1430 Scott in SF to the 3rd and final DOJ listening session**
Photos: [] [] []


* "Police Terrorism" collection of articles ( [], with details on the Bay Area campaigns against extra-judicial executions

* (2016-03-14, Xulio Soriano):
Not sure if I should be sharing this. I found it in a restroom at Denny's last weekend en una de mis desveladas. A Mexican worker on late night shift likely had to clean it all up. This kind of stuff was common every year in my high school campus, and many others. One day as new college students we hosted a student forum with high school students from the valley, since we saw and felt that admins and teachers were not taking it seriously nor being proactive about addressing hate speech. We decided it was time for students to talk this out. This is why local clowns like Spam Silleman need to be condemmed when they say stupid things. We don't need to cultivate a safe space for hate. It can have damging consequences, even physical, violent damage. This is ‪#‎NotOurNapa‬.


BAY AREA SOLIDARITY: Updates on campaigns across the Nation! 
* Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions, and Utility Shutoffs []

* "General Motors is Guilty in Flint! Demand GM, which made $9.7 billion in 2015, immediately contribute $4 billion to rebuild Flint’s water infrastructure, housing and schools, and provide quality, lifetime healthcare and services for Flint’s youth!" (2016-03-12, []:
Working people across the U.S. and even many celebrities have made significant contributions to aid the people of Flint, who are experiencing the devastating effects of the Water Lead Poisoning Scandal. One entity, however, has been notably silent: General Motors Corporation. This is despite the fact that it was the actions of GM that are responsible for the financial destruction of Flint, which led to the city being placed under racist Emergency Management with the disastrous consequences that followed.
GM eliminated 72,000 union auto worker jobs in the Flint from 1970 to the present, driving out half of the population, and turning Flint from one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. to the poorest. GM moved operations all over the globe seeking low wages and replaced workers with robots in its drive for super-profits.
When GM became aware of the toxic nature of Flint’s water supply in October 2014, it didn’t alert the public or call for the end of its use in family water taps. No, it negotiated an exemption for itself to get water from Lake Huron so its parts would not be corroded, the people be damned.
GM is the single greatest polluter of the toxic Flint River, using it to dump industrial waste for years.
GM promoted lead-based gasoline for 60 years to make its engines more efficient at the least cost, knowing full well the poisonous effects of lead.
GM got a bailout from the federal government in 2009 which cost taxpayers $11 billion. The State of Michigan, under governors Granholm and Snyder, gave GM $4 billion in tax credits through 2030, meaning every year GM is profitable it pays ZERO state taxes.
GM pocketed $9.7 billion in profits in 2015. It’s time for GM to pay its debt to the people of Flint.
For more info: 313-680-5508

* "Six Pieces of a Real Democracy Movement We've Never Had Before" (2016-03-09, []
* "The Transformative Power of Democratic Uprisings; In praise of impractical movements: Three times when the world broke open—and two when it might again" (2016-03-07, []



Support Mecha students of City College of San Francisco! They have been a powerful voice in our fight for justice against police terrorism. CCSF students need all the help you can give.


* "Cycling With the Psycos Counterculture feminism in East L.A." (2016-03-11, []
* "Meet the Ovarian Psycos: women of color building a movement on bikes" (2016-03-10, []


Bakersfield Brown Beret []


Black Power! Revive the Community! Defend the Nation!

ATTENTION - All comrades and supporters... Please Donate Funds to the Movement - Support the Newspaper - To Donate click []
BLACK RIDERS-New Generation Black Panther Party for Self-Defense! Black Power! All Power to the People! RBG 4 LIFE! Join Now
Be A Panther At War, For the Hearts and Minds of the People!
To be a new member, inbox or email us at [blackriders1996@)]
The Newspaper is our Number One Educational Survival Program
Be a Black Rider! JOIN NOW! It is time to intensify the struggle! BLACK RIDERS - new generation Black Panthers," Out of frustration and hopelessness, the Black Riders was formed by young Black people who have reached the point of no return. We refuse to be manipulated by the racist U.S. government and its ruling elite any longer into set tripping over blue and red or any "hood" or "turf" in ameriKKKa. We no longer endorse patience and turning the other cheek. We assert the right of self-defense by whatever means necessary, and reserve the right of maximum retaliation against our racist oppressors, no matter what the odds against us are.
From here on in, if we must die anyway, we will die fighting back and we will not die alone! We intend to see that our racist oppressors also get a taste of death! We will protect the Black Community with our minds, bodies, and souls. BLACK POWER! All Power to the People! Black Riders Number One Rule”
COMMUNE PROGRAM: WE RIDE for an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black People. We ride because we believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The 2nd amendment of the u.s constitution gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self-defense.
HERE'S WHAT WE DO TO UPLIFT THE BLACK COMMUNITY...We patrol the racist police with our Watch-A-Pig program, armed with video cameras and other legal weapons. We also develop survival programs because Black People are facing extermination and genocide. Some of these programs are the George Jackson Freedom School for Black Children, our Educate to Liberate Classes for Black Adults, Free Food programs for the homeless, and many, many more. Overall we push Revolution to get free from the oppressive conditions in the hood that comes from white supremacy and capitalism. Also we develop gang truces between many hoods like the Bloods and Crips in L.A to stop Black on Black violence. We push hard for Black unity! BLACK POWER! ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
(To donate by mail, you can send cash, check, or money order payable to Lakesia Wahington P.O. Box 8297 los Angeles, Ca 90008)
Photo: BRLP at the L.A 20yr anniversary of the Blood & Crips truce in Watts, CA.


* "Black Study, Black Struggle: Universities are not engines of social transformation. That is the work of political education and activism" (2016-03-07, Robin D. G. Kelley, []

* "Flint, a poster child of US environmental racism?" (2016-03-07, AFP Newswire) []


Ancestor Kwame Toure, Ancestor Amiri Baraka and Jamil Al-Amin (currently a political prisoner in Tucson USP. His current address is: Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin,,,#99974555....USP Tucson...U.S. Penitentiary...P.O. Box 24550....Tucson, Az 85734.)


information collected by the Committee to Defend Public Education!

* "Protesters call on UC Davis chancellor to resign in campus march, sit-in; Students and protesters ask for Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi to resign; Students say Katehi’s paid board seats run counter to UC Davis’ mission; Katehi had unpaid seat on advisory board for controversial Saudi university" (2016-03-11, []
* "UC Davis students stay overnight in protest against chancellor; Students marched to administration building on Friday; Protest over UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi’s outside board positions; Students sleep overnight in Mrak Hall, call for Katehi’s departure" (2016-03-12, []
* "Fire Katehi - Sleep Over/Occupation" event page (retrieved 2016-03-13) [] []: We are now occupying the 5th floor of Mrak Hall next to the Chancellor's Office! Join us and bring your sleeping bag! =)
In light of the recent revelations about Chancellor Katehi's unethical practices - taking paid positions on the board of DeVry and Wiley and Sons publishers, both of which are conflicts of interest we are calling for Katehi to be fired. (see more here:
Katehi made $420,000 from 2012-2014 from Wiley and Sons, on top of her already exuberant $400,000/year salary (not including benefits!) as Chancellor. She was poised to make an additions $70,000/year from DeVry.
Some Sacramento politicians are calling for her resignation, but that ultimately frames this as her decision. We are calling for her to be fired because it should be up to UC students and workers to decide who runs our university.
We also demand that her replacement be selected and approved by UC labor unions and students.

* "UC President Janet Napolitano: Davis chancellor should stay despite mistake; University of California leader says Katehi’s DeVry seat was concerning and unauthorized; She defends Katehi’s board seat with textbook publisher; Board seats allow chancellors to network and expand knowledge, Napolitano argues" (2016-03-09, []
* "Second lawmaker calls for Katehi to resign as UC Davis chief; Assemblyman Evan Low joins Kevin McCarty’s call for Katehi to step down; Low, D-Campbell, is a member of the Higher Education Committee; Both legislators cite Bee reports on her corporate board participation" (2016-03-10, []
* "UC’s ethics failures: law school dean and Davis chancellor" (2016-03-10, []

* "UC Davis students face disciplinary threat as chancellor protest continues; Students marched to administration building on Friday; Protest over UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi’s outside board positions; Students sleep overnight in Mrak Hall, call for Katehi’s departure" (2016-03-14, []
* "UC Davis chancellor, protesters have unproductive encounter" (2016-03-15, []

* "Netflix Billionaire Reed Hastings' Crusade to Replace Public School Teachers With Computers; The mogul is ponying up $100 million for high-tech-dominated charter schools" (2016-03-03, []

information collected by the Worker's Defense Committee []

* "War on Workers: A massive new assault on homecare workers" (2016-03-15, information collected by
Politico Morning Shift: "Door-To-Door Union Busters" [] [begin excerpt]
The conservative Freedom Foundation, which reportedly has ties to the Koch brothers and other like-minded anti-union groups, is dispatching foot soldiers door-to-door to inform child-care and home-care workers that they don’t have to be members of their union and that, in some cases, they don’t have to pay union does, the Guardian’s Steve Greenhouse writes. [end excerpt]
Read the Steven Greenhouse story:
The Guardian: "The door-to-door union killers: rightwing foundation takes labor fight to the streets" [] [begin excerpt]
The man was one of the many foot soldiers in a highly unusual offensive against public-sector unions in the US north-west. A conservative group, the Freedom Foundation, has dispatched activists to visit the homes of more than 10,000 childcare and home-care workers in Washington and Oregon to advise them that under a two-year-old supreme court decision, they can opt out of paying union dues. ...
[Labor leaders] say the Freedom Foundation’s unorthodox tactics are part of a grand plan to weaken unions and their treasuries, [and] sap their political influence ...
Labor leaders say never before have they seen a foundation undertake such an aggressive, multi-pronged campaign against unions; nor have they ever seen such canvassing to advise workers about quitting their unions. ...
The foundation’s tactics go well beyond door-knocking. It has made public records requests to numerous counties to obtain the names and addresses of home-care and childcare aides. It does podcasts that rail against unions and sponsors a website,, telling public-sector workers they can quit their unions.
Last December, the foundation sent activists dressed as Santa Claus to stand outside government buildings, where they told workers they could give themselves a holiday gift by exercising their right not to pay that portion of union dues that goes to political activity. [end excerpt]

* "SEIU 1021 Nurses featured speaking out against overcrowding at critical mental health facility" (2016-03-15,
SEIU 1021 nurses and healthcare workers come off as real heroes in this story about dangerous overcrowding at the John George Psychiatric Hospital in Alameda County.
Read more at East Bay Express: "Overwhelmed" [].
Alameda County's emergency psychiatric hospital has become overcrowded and increasingly dangerous.
In recent months, nurses and other staffers at John George have increasingly been speaking out about the cramped conditions at the hospital, warning administrators and county health officials about troubling issues inside the facility that they say are undermining patient and worker safety and preventing patients from receiving adequate care.
At public meetings of the Alameda Health System's Board of Trustees, the governing body that oversees the John George Psychiatric Hospital, and before the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, which ultimately pays the hospital's bills, nurses and other healthcare workers have noted that the number of patients admitted to the facility has nearly doubled in the past decade, while staffing levels have not kept pace, thereby increasing the number of injuries and violent incidents. ...
Nurses and other staff members say that while the problem of overcrowding is not new at John George, the situation is growing increasingly dangerous. And they blame hospital administrators not only for management decisions that they allege have made matters worse but also for creating a culture of fear in which speaking out could cost nurses their jobs.

* "It happened again: Workers sickened by pesticides while laboring for Gerawan" (2016-03-07, [], attached video []: Back in August 2013, we came to you when peach workers laboring for Gerawan were sent into a field to work after the field was sprayed by Gerawan with pesticides. It took 15 months for the Fresno Ag Commissioner to investigate and rule Gerawan’s behavior was against the law. This time workers were pruning in Gerawan’s peach orchards, when a neighboring farmer sprayed his almond orchard and the Gerawan workers with pesticides.
Watch the below video to see what 10-year Gerawan employee Aurelio Landa. Aurelio tells us that after the being sprayed “that my head hurt, my eyes burned and I felt nauseous." He says “I’m still worried that those chemicals can be dangerous and I’m worried about my health.”
Can you help Aurelio and the Gerawan workers by signing a petition that the workers will hand into the Fresno County Ag commissioner? Tell the Ag Commissioner that taking no immediate action to move the workers to safety after they were sprayed is totally unacceptable. Also unacceptable is Gerawan’s action of taking some of the workers to the office to see a doctor who did not even check their blood, even if workers were complaining about nausea, itchy eyes and more. Ask the Fresno County Ag Comissioner to conduct an immediate thorough investigation of the spraying.
Sign the Gerawan Workers' Petition [] -
Immediately investigate the February 22, 2016 drift incident, where Gerawan workers were pruning in Gerawan's peach orchards when a neighboring farmer sprayed his almond orchard and the Gerawan workers with pesticides. The Gerawan foremen telling the workers that it isn't right for them to be sprayed, but taking no action to move the workers to safety is totally unacceptable. Also unacceptable is Gerawan's action of taking some of the workers to the office to see a doctor who did not even check their blood, even if workers were complaining about nausea, itchy eyes and more.
Last time the Gerawan workers were exposed to pesticides it took your office 15 months to investigate and rule Gerawan's behavior was against the law.
A delay of that type is not acceptable.

* "En Los Campos Del Norte" art photo presentation (2016, by David Bacon) []: "En Los Campos del Norte" or "In the Fields of the North" is an exhibition of photographs of farm workers in the U.S., almost all migrants from Mexico, taken by David Bacon. They are hung on the iron bars of the border wall, on the Mexican side of the wall between Mexico and the U.S. in Playas de Tijuana.  The exhibition was organized Jose Manuel Valenzuela and Gabriela Zamora of the Colegio de la Frontera (COLEF), and was printed and mounted by the Centro Cultural de Tijuana (CECUT).
* "This Farm Worker Documentary Project needs your support" (2016-03-02, [] [begin excerpt]:
Wages have been going down, people are living in crowded conditions - sometimes even outside under the trees, in tents and in cars. The communities of indigenous migrants who harvest our food up and down the Pacific Coast have been rising in protest, and last year organized strikes from Baja California to Washington State.
In this crucial year I'm going to travel through the Pacific Coast's indigenous farm worker communities, working with and guided by community activists as we document peoples' lives. We will produce a reality check - the hard work, the bad housing, but also the vibrant culture and the way people organize in response.  [...]
This is work that will have an impact on people's lives.  It will be used to help reduce anti-immigrant hysteria, and support indigenous migrant communities as they seek understanding and justice.  It will educate people living in cities, concerned about the food they eat, about the lives of the people who put it on the table.  [end excerpt]

* "Another dairy worker drowns in a manure lagoon in less than a year. Won’t you help stop these tragedies?" (2016-03-14, []: Many of us drink milk and consume other milk products. Do we want the people who produce them to die or be injured? Sadly, we have to report that another dairy worker has died a needless death.
Following the second gruesome death in less than a year of a dairy worker drowning in a manure pond, the United Farm Workers is asking your help in reducing safety hazards by turning to Idaho's state Governor C.L. Butch Otter. Idaho is the third largest milk production state. You remember the tragedy of Randy Vasquez, 27, who drowned in a manure pond on Feb. 24, 2015, strapped into a front loader at Riverview Ranch, a dairy in rural Mabton, Wash. that supplies milk to the giant Darigold marketing cooperative.
Regrettably, we learned that Ruperto Vazquez Carrera, 37, died in a similarly gruesome way on Feb. 16, 2016, in the neighboring state of Idaho. Since then, we have been busy investigating. Shortly after showing up for work at Sunrise Organic Dairy in Paul, Idaho, Ruperto drove off in a feed truck. He never returned. Ruperto’s body was found about 10 hours later submerged in a large 20-acre manure pond. Sunrise Organic Dairy is a large organic milk producer in Idaho. Ruperto's death is not an isolated case; Idaho alone had three dairy fatalities reported during 2013.
After Randy Vasquez died last year in Washington, the UFW requested to meet with the Darigold cooperative to prevent further deaths and injuries, as 92% of WA dairies are Darigold member dairies. In addition, the powerful Washington state dairy industry—with $3.2 billion a year in economic impacts—pressured the legislature to kill the modest, common sense dairy worker safety bill backed by the UFW and the Washington State Labor Council and sponsored by 17 lawmakers.
In Washington, on average, one person dies every 16 months at a Washington state dairy and one worker is injured per day.  But, in Idaho, in 2013, three dairy workers died in one year alone.
We are asking you to send a message to the Governor of Idaho and tell him to meet with the UFW to talk about remedies that could prevent further tragedies. Please take action today. Sign the message at [].


* "Support the folks who make Oreos" (2016-03-07, Oreo cookies are one of America’s favorite snacks and a childhood obsession for many of us—I know they were for me (confession: still are!). But executives at Mondelēz International, the parent company of Nabisco, are planning to move production of nine snack food products, including Oreos, to Salinas, Mexico—wiping out more than 600 jobs at a plant in Chicago.
There’s no reason this has to happen. Mondelēz CEO Irene Rosenfeld made more than $21 million in 2014—that’s 597 times what the average American working person makes in a year. But she and other executives at the company have demanded people who work at the factory in Chicago take big pay and benefit cuts.
It’s totally unacceptable to sucker punch America’s working families with pay cuts and layoffs just so executives can keep taking more for themselves.
We’ve seen this pattern from lots of greedy companies that ship America’s jobs overseas. America’s workers deserve better than to see their jobs go to low-wage countries with less regulations in order to increase corporate profits. Working families and our communities shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of corporate greed.
And to add insult to injury, Rosenfeld received a $6 million raise the year before these workers were asked to take pay and benefits cuts—effectively paying her a whopping $21 million in compensation. In fact, she’s been paid more than $170 million in compensation over the past eight years. Yet, working people at the Chicago plant are being told that it’s up to them to save the company money.
We can speak up and stand with working people to try and save their jobs, but Rosenfeld needs to hear from a lot of us, right now.
Click here now [] to immediately sign the petition to demand that Rosenfeld stop with the greed and do the right thing by saving good jobs for hundreds of workers at the Chicago plant.


* "Consolidation of eviction cases will cause more homelessness" (2016-02-05, by Lynda Carson) []

* "Richmond Renters File Initiative For Renter Protections" (2016-02-24, by Lynda Carson) []

* "Oakland Renters, Homeowners, City Workers and Clergy Push For More Renter Protections" (2016-03-03, by Lynda Carson) []

* "Support "Just Cause" Eviction Protections In Marin County" (2016-02-06, by Lynda Carson) []

* "Saving Midtown: San Francisco Renters on Strike; A new documentary on the Midtown rent strike, the largest rent strike in San Francisco since 1978" (2016-02-24, Global Uprising):
Since August 2015 the residents of Midtown Park apartments in the Fillmore district of San Francisco have been on Rent Strike. Theirs is the largest rent strike in San Francisco since 1978. The residents are fighting the city who claims to own the property, they are fighting the non-profit Mercy Housing California who manages the property, and they are fighting the larger forces of displacement that have left only 5.8% black population in San Francisco.
The residents of Midtown Park apartments were first displaced through urban redevelopment in the 1960s and 70s (often referred to as the era of "negro removal") when 104 square blocks were demolished in the Fillmore neighborhood, also known as the "Harlem of the West." They were promised a new home at Midtown Park, not just as tenants, but as rightful owners of the property. Since the 1960s, however, the city has changed its tone and in 2013 the Mayor's Office of Housing (MOH) brought in Mercy Housing California to manage the property. This decision ended the residents control over their own housing and resulted in drastic changes to residents’ rents (in some cases up to 300% increase). It also made clear that the city has no intention of honoring the promise of ownership made to the residents first in the 1960s and again in 2007 by the city's Board of Supervisors.
Midtown tenants are fighting to stay in their homes. They want the lease with Mercy Housing to be terminated to allow for the immediate restoration of rent control and they want a long-term plan to regain the ownership they were promised.


information collected by the Committee to
* "Shame On the City Council of Santa Cruz for Maintaining the Sleeping Ban!!!" (2016-03-12, by Philip Hamilton) []

* "Santa Cruz Police Target Homeless Sleepers Downtown" (2016-02-17, by Alex Darocy, newswire) []:
This month the downtown post office in Santa Cruz was cleared by police of what had been a large and regular presence of sleepers at night. The post office had been used as shelter for 6-12 people a night for some time. A homeless man who was sleeping outside of Bookshop Santa Cruz and cited with two other sleepers for trespassing this month said he thought the police were ticketing at increased rate recently to get homeless people to move along before the next rains arrived.
[Top photo: An officer with the SCPD places her hand on her gun as she issues a man sleeping outside of Bookshop Santa Cruz a citation.]
The current enforcement patterns in the City of Santa Cruz are an extension of the homeless sweeps that began in 2012. According to Santa Cruz Police Department statistics, the number of camping ban citations issued by police officers is presently at the same level as when the department dramatically increased enforcement of the ordinance during their widely publicized series of homeless sweeps initiated in the city in July of 2012. (see chart here [])
Reports have come in from a variety of sources noting that police have been methodically targeting the most common locations in in the commercial corridor of downtown Santa Cruz where homeless individuals sleep. One member of the Freedom Sleepers said this has been happening since January. The Freedom Sleepers are a group of activists who have been sleeping at Santa Cruz City Hall on Tuesday nights since July 4 to protest local laws that criminalize homelessness. Additionally, many of the Freedom Sleepers believe that sleeping as part of a larger protest group at city hall has provided them some level of safety from law enforcement.
One of the three sleepers cited at Bookshop Santa Cruz this month was a 59-year-old woman who had no bedding. She was using her jacket to cover herself as she crouched and reclined somewhat while sitting on several thin layers of newspaper. (see photos at article link) [...]
According to the officer, Bookshop Santa Cruz has a trespassing complaint letter filed with the City Of Santa Cruz that gives police the authority to automatically cite individuals for trespassing if they are seen on the property after hours.
The first person cited told police this was not true.
He claimed that Bookshop Santa Cruz had no such letter filed and he did not believe that the people sleeping there were in violation of the law.
When another of the three asked why they were being cited for trespassing, the officer said it was just one of the laws that she could potentially write them up for. She said she could also write them up for lying on the sidewalk and for "camping."
"If you prefer a camping one, I can write you for that also," the officer said in a condescending tone.
Without waiting for an answer, she told the woman to "have a great night" before returning to her patrol vehicle.
Before she left, the man who claimed Bookshop Santa Cruz did not have a trespassing complaint on file with the police shouted that he would, "see her in court."
Neither of the officers on the scene provided the group with any information about places they could sleep legally or safely.
Incidents occurring on other evenings in February reveal details of the energy Santa Cruz police direct towards homeless people sleeping at night downtown. [end excerpt]

* "Individuals Displaced in Downtown Homeless Sweeps Join Freedom Sleepers Protest" (2016-02-25, by Alex Darocy, newswire) []:
On February 23, the Freedom Sleepers held their 33rd community sleepout at Santa Cruz City Hall. Attendance at the sleepout increased shortly after 3:30 am, following the police sweeps and move-alongs of homeless individuals sleeping at the Main Branch of the Santa Cruz Library and at the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, which are located across the street from city hall. At least one individual sleeping outside of the library was issued a citation by police. Those joining the Freedom Sleepers who were displaced by the sweeps were able to sleep until the morning without further intervention from the authorities.
[Top photo: Santa Cruz police move-along sleepers at the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church.]

The front steps of the Prophet Elias Church remained clear of sleepers for the rest of the evening, but the number of sleepers surrounding the library increased following the police sweeps.
As soon as the police concluded the sweeps, one person who officers had moved along from the church simply crossed the street and made her way directly over to the library, where she went back to sleep on the ground using only a single blanket and what appeared to be a jacket as her pillow.
Many homeless individuals who own very few possessions have participated in the Freedom Sleepers protests by sleeping on the sidewalk using only cardboard and a single blanket.
Since July 4, the Freedom Sleepers, some of whom are homeless and some who are not, have been sleeping one night a week at city hall to protest local laws that criminalize homelessness, such as Santa Cruz's camping ban, the sit-lie law, and the city parks stay away orders.
Police haven't targeted the Freedom Sleepers, who sleep on the sidewalk in front of city hall, for several months now, and the February 23 sleepout was the first in some time to not have a squad of First Alarm security guards employed by the city watching over them and the protest.
Many of the sleepers consider the political protest a "safe sleep" zone, considering the fact that police have been reluctant to cite or arrest individuals sleeping on the sidewalk.
The decision to sleep on the sidewalk was strategic: the city's sit-lie law does not apply to the area surrounding city hall, and the only law police could realistically use to move-along the sleepers would be the camping ban. Obstructing the sidewalk is also a possibility, but more of a long shot considering the small "footprint" many of the sleepers leave.
The city and the police had been going through great lengths to prevent people from sleeping on City Hall property during the protests. Following the first sleepout in July, police conducted raids on every one of the sleepouts for months, citing many for trespassing, and even arresting some.
Many of the Freedom Sleepers had originally been sleeping in city hall's courtyard area, which is closed to the public at night. During the Fall, city landscapers tore up city hall's lawns and placed "Area Closed" signs around the courtyard area area. Piles of dirt remain on the lawn and the city stopped working on the area in 2015.
The next Freedom Sleepers community sleepout is planned for Tuesday, March 1.
For more information about the sleepouts, see:
Freedom Sleepers


* " 'Dispatches from the War Zone': A new book on homelessness in Fresno" by Mike Rhodes []:
Did the City of Fresno really use federal money intended to help the poor and bulldoze homeless shelters with it? Why was it necessary for a federal judge to order the city to stop violating homeless people’s constitutional rights? And how many homeless people have died prematurely as a result of government officials’ violent, corrupt and illegal conduct?
The publication of my new book in February 2016 is the culmination of more than a decade of reporting on the homeless issue in Fresno, mostly for the Community Alliance newspaper and the Central Valley page on Indybay. Much of the information comes from articles previously published, but a significant amount is new and is from California Public Records Act requests, recent interviews and research.
You will read about the relentless attacks against the homeless in this city, the fightback that has taken place and what needs to be done to end homelessness. This book takes all of the fragmented pieces of the story and combines them into a narrative that gives a complete picture of the drama that is unfolding around you.
The perspective in Dispatches from the War Zone: Homelessness in Fresno 2002–2015 comes from my experience as an independent investigative journalist. I make no apologies for standing with the homeless, who are probably the most discriminated group of people in this city, state and country.
My bias on behalf of the homeless is obvious and has often put me in conflict with government officials, the police and many of the social service agencies that maintain business as usual. Unlike the mainstream media, this reporting does not depend on developing and nurturing good relations with the power brokers in this community. Many of the articles written have angered the power elite and because of that, getting information from them has been challenging.
If you are a reporter for the mainstream media and you don’t tell the story the ruling elite in Fresno wants you to tell, they will cut off your access. If your job depends on access to high government officials and business leaders and they blacklist you, then you are out of a job. This has happened to more than one aspiring journalist in this town.
If you are going to write and publish a book like this you have to have independence. That independence gives you the freedom to tell the truth that some people don’t want you to know about. Being an independent journalist doesn’t have a lot of perks, but you are able to tell the truth and make the powerful uncomfortable.
I have also been an activist in support of homeless people’s rights. This too makes my perspective in telling the story about the homeless in Fresno different from just about anything else you are likely to read. Actually, there are no other comprehensive books about the homeless in Fresno during this time period, so this account is definitely unique. Being a supporter of homeless people’s rights and working within numerous groups to defend those rights brings an inside view of what this grassroots struggle looks like. It is an honor and a privilege to share that perspective with you.
Getting to know homeless people as co-workers, friends and allies has been one of the most rewarding parts of the experience. Although I have never been homeless myself, I did get to know many homeless people well. There is a collective and collaborative nature that comes with living on the street. People share what they have. They know and talk to their neighbors every day. My hope is that by giving homeless people a voice in this book, readers will get to know and understand that they are someone’s mother, father, brother or sister.
Somewhere in the back of our minds we all know that if circumstances had been different, if we had a serious health problem, a job loss, mental illness or an untreated addiction, that we too could be homeless. We need to treat the homeless like we would like to be treated if we found ourselves on the street with nowhere to sleep.
It is clear to me that homelessness is a manifestation of a political and economic system that is not meeting people’s needs. Understanding that landscape of the shredded social fabric of this city will make you better prepared to envision and implement the changes needed to transform Fresno into the great city it can be. A city where all people are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Dispatches from the War Zone is available online from Amazon or you can send $20 (which includes shipping and handling) to me at: Mike Rhodes, P.O. Box 5706, Fresno Ca 93755.

* "Poor shaming: Murdoch-owned paper targets homeless while NYPD trashes their stuff" (2016-02-11, []

* "Superior Court Wednesday Hears Appeal by City of Sacramento to Deny Right to Jury Trial to Homeless Man, a Victim of Police Beating at Protest; News Briefing Set" (2016-03-16):
A special hearing to determine if homeless defendants have the constitutional right to a trial by jury and court-appointed counsel – the City of Sacramento argues they do not – will be held in Superior Court (Dept. 9) here Wednesday (March 16).
The hearing will begin at 8:30 a.m. A press conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. WEDNESDAY at the courthouse entrance by the National Lawyers Guild/Sacramento Chapter, on behalf of the homeless.
Arrested on a misdemeanor count of "unlawful camping" in January, Luke McCrae – who has no record – was the Black man at a later protest brutalized in an attempted and illegal chokehold by police. The video: [].
The NLG also released a video of the same officer (Michael Edwin Frazer/badge #423) who used the chokehold on McCrae, as the officer attacked a civilian videographer minutes later, knocking the camera away and threatening her [].
Wednesday, the City of Sacramento plans to reduce Mr. McCrae's charge to an infraction and do it with the purposeful intent to deny him, and other homeless defendants – there are more than 75 pending unlawful camping-related cases – the constitutional right to a jury trial and a free attorney, which are not allowed with infraction charges.
The prospect of the time and expense to try dozens of homeless people – although they were arrested on misdemeanors and spent days in jail because of the higher charge – is daunting to the City, and why the City is trying to amend the charges now, explained the NLG.
The NLG said it will help the homeless find lawyers to appeal the case if the court Wednesday decides the City may reduce the charges, thus denying basic constitutional rights to the homeless protestors.
"This is just one more example of how, if you are homeless, you are denied basic rights – from the right to a jury trial of your peers to the right to rest. It is wrong. The City of Sacramento should be ashamed of its actions against some of the most vulnerable in our society," said Cres Vellucci, a spokesperson for the NLG.


Community Fascism in Vallejo, the "City of God":
* "Do your VMT/Orcem homework" (2016-03-09, by Jimmy Sarmiento) []: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
― Edmund Burke
As the VMT/Orcem permit application moves closer to being decided by our city leaders, it is time to hit the pause button to look back in time and learn from the experience of a community that endured the same process that Vallejo is currently going through. I am hoping that you will see some parallels here.
In 1999, a foreign owned company leased 12 acres from South Jersey Port Corporation to build a $50 million slag cement plant near the Camden South Waterfront community in New Jersey. After submitting its permit application, the company hired PR consultants and engaged in aggressive lobbying and community outreach campaigns to gain the support of local churches, civic organizations and the community in general. The project was touted to bring jobs and economic development to the mostly African-American and Puerto Rican community of Waterfront South. The permit application was approved.
In 2001, a local activist group filed suit to prevent the cement plant from starting operations. The lawsuit was based on racial discrimination and not on environmental claims. A judge ordered a halt, and required that an impact analysis be made. Unfortunately, the ruling was overturned on appeal, and the plant started operating in 2002. Slag, an industrial waste product of the iron smelting process, is the plant’s primary raw material and was imported from Italy. Slag was openly stored in 40- to 50-feet-high piles for excess moisture to evaporate and drain prior to milling.
In 2008, local community activists fought for the release of the results of independent environmental studies authorized by the state of New Jersey. The report appeared briefly in the state’s Department of Environmental Protection website, but was immediately taken down after an outcry from industry leaders. The study concluded that the cement plant “does indeed contribute significant pollution to this poor and working class neighborhood.”
The plant is still operating. As a result, “Waterfront South residents have been forced to endure toxic fumes, dust, odors and noise. Eighteen- and 24-wheeler trucks barrel down residential streets, endangering young children playing outside, drowning out conversations, damaging the foundations of houses and streets and leaving residents choking for air. A study showed that 61 percent of Waterfront South residents experienced some type of respiratory symptoms, compared to 35 percent in another Camden neighborhood. Administrators at a local elementary school report that almost one-quarter of the students require treatment for asthma.”
In early 2015, the slag cement plant was sold to Essroc Italcementi Group for an undisclosed price.
Will our city officials condemn the south Vallejo community to the same bleak future? For those who have embraced the VMT/Orcem talking points, I respectfully recommend that you do further research. Google is your friend. Or you can start here: [].

Documenting human-rights abuse by domestic security agencies
[] [] [] []
* "Family of Vallejo man shot by police has questions" (2015-03-24, []: A family in Napa is still trying to piece together how a man they saw only four hours earlier died in Saturday’s fatal officer-involved shooting.
The man shot by a Vallejo police officer on March 21 was identified by family members as Phillip Conley, 37, of Vallejo. On that day, police said they responded to a call of a man throwing a beer bottle at a car and wielding a knife at the Vallejo Corners Shopping Center on Admiral Callaghan Lane. When the officer arrived, Conley allegedly had a firearm in his waistband and was ordered to drop the knife but did not comply and advanced on the officer, according to police.
This officer fired at Conley and mortally wounded him. He later succumbed to his wounds at a local trauma center. Inside the truck was a letter where he “apologized to the police that were forced to end his life,” according to the press release sent out on that day. Police added that the firearm was found to be a replica gun.
Conley’s brother, Matthew, who has not seen the content of the letter, is hoping to learn more about Conley’s last hours.
“I want more information,” Matthew Conley said. “I know my brother had demons, but I want to make sure police followed protocol.
“Did they try to talk to him?” Matthew Conley continued. “Did they try to engage him verbally? Did they see the weapon and just open fire? I don’t know.”
Earlier that day, Matthew Conley said his brother had spent time with their father and uncle on a fishing trip in Napa, leaving the family home at about 2 p.m.
The family is struggling with what transpired in the four hours between a family outing and Saturday’s shooting.
“They had a great morning together and they caught a couple of sturgeons in the bay,” Matthew Conley said. “And they came back and my brother said, ‘OK, I’ll see you Monday,’ and left the house.”
Matthew Conley said nothing had recently indicated that Phillip Conley was having any mental issues, but acknowledged that his brother had struggled with drugs in the past. Matthew Conley reported that his brother had been clean for nine months and that it had seemed like things were looking better for him.
“He’s had a lot of trouble in his adult life and things were looking up in the past six weeks,” Matthew Conley said. “They were going better, he’s got two beautiful boys and ...I don’t know. It didn’t seem to make sense to us, and especially the method. There have been reports that he has prior convictions for gun things and that’s just not true.”
Police when asked about their statement about Phillip Conley’s past criminal charges, clarified their press release. In the release, police had said that he had “gun-related charges.” However, on Tuesday police said Phillip Conley had been charged with at least a non-firearm weapon charge, though police could not specify any further details.
Phillip Conley had drug-related incidents with police, according to Matthew Conley, but nothing to the degree that made the family suspect that this type of incident was possible.
“He’s had drug convictions, but nothing violent or with weapons or knives or guns or anything,” Matthew Conley said. “I’m very thrown off and surprised by the action that he took to come to the end that he did.”
Coworkers of Phillip Conley at Mortimer’s Casino in Marina, where he worked as a card dealer, said that the media reports were inconsistent with the man that they worked with.
A co-worker said that Phillip Conley was a man that covered for late coworkers and was being considered for a key employee position, a job that is regulated heavily by background checks. A general manager knew Phillip Conley as a guy who played on their work softball team.
“He was such a good worker we wanted him to become a key employee,” Corinne Mathis, an employee at Mortimer’s Casino said. “It’s a very sad situation. He was a wonderful person. Just in a troubled part of his life, which we’ve all been.”
Matthew Conley said that the family is mostly just wondering what led to Saturday’s shooting.
“Going out in a hail of bullets — that’s just not him. ... He couldn’t have hurt himself, but did he make someone else do it?”
The family is still waiting to see what they will find when they retrieve the truck — which was his father’s — that was found by Phillip Conley on Saturday.

* "San Francisco Police Looking Into Facebook Post By Cop Cleared In Shooting; Roger Morse was one of three officers exonerated Thursday in the shooting death of Alex Nieto. His recent Facebook comment about Nieto has drawn the attention of the San Francisco Police" (2016-03-14, []

* "Family seeks justice after police in Georgia taser son to death, then 'high five'  " (2016-03-12, []

NORTHBAY COPWATCH: Domestic Security Agencies and private-sector partners 

* "War Zone Tactics Come Home as Pentagon Admits Domestic Spy Drone Use; 'The appetite to use surveillance drones in the domestic environment to collect airborne imagery continues to grow' " (2016-03-09, []

* "Intel Whistle-Blowers Fear Government Won't Protect Them" (2016-03-08, []

* "Release of Tsarnaev's interrogation notes leads to more questions" (2016-03-15, [] [begin excerpt]: Heavily redacted notes from the hospital bed interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were released at the end of February (.pdf) []. Most media reports about the documents focus on portions that portray Dzhokhar as having played an active role in building and detonating the bombs that exploded on Boylston St [].
But a closer read of the FBI’s summary of Tsarnaev’s statements to his interrogators raises questions about key details of the bombing and its execution.
First off, it is important to note that the interview notes are heavily redacted and therefore incomplete. But some of the things the FBI says Dzhokhar told his interrogators indicate a level of confusion or ignorance, or both, about important facts. They also raise questions about why the FBI has been selectively vague about key details of the case.
Black/Brown/White Backpack?
According to the interrogation notes, “Jahar carried a brown backpack [emphasis added] while his brother’s backpack was black. After parking, they walked…”
Now the backpack is brown?
The indictment, which was written a month and a half after the bombing, states that both bombs were concealed in black backpacks.
In a photograph of the shredded backpack lying in Boylston Street released by the FBI, it does indeed look black. See FBI photo [], caption: "Boston Bombing black shredded backpack".
However, many observers have pointed out that, in surveillance photos, the backpack Dzhokhar can be seen carrying does not look black — or brown for that matter — but mostly white or light gray. See FBI photo [].
Why the discrepancy? Did the interviewing agent challenge him on this detail? Why is there so much ambiguity around such an important detail?
And there’s another problem: The “smoking gun” video that supposedly proves Tsarnaev placed an explosive laden backpack on Boylston Street. It actually shows very little []. His actions are obscured by the crowd of people.
Shouldn’t the government be obliged to prove unequivocally that the exploded backpack found at the scene was at least the same color as the one Dzhokhar was carrying that day?
Strange Redaction Regarding Explosive Powder -
Also according to the FBI agent’s notes, Tsarnaev ”stated that he and his brother Tamerlan built two explosive devices in his brother’s home at 410 Norfolk…”
This implies that Dzhokhar took a more active role in constructing the bombs than has been previously described.
But, Dzhokhar’s lawyers showed at trial that none of his fingerprints were found on any of the bomb or bomb-making materials. Tamerlan’s fingerprints were, however.
Dzhokhar also told agents, apparently, that the powder came from $200 worth of fireworks that he and Tamerlan had purchased in New Hampshire about a year prior. But that’s when Tamerlan was in Russia — January to July 2012. Considering Tsarnaev was being interrogated April 21 and 22 , 2013, the time-line can’t be accurate. [end excerpt]


* "Facebook's War on Freedom of Speech" (2016-02-05, by Douglas Murray, []:
Facebook is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might decide is racist -- along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is "racist."
The sinister reality of a society in which the expression of majority opinion is being turned into a crime has already been seen across Europe. Just last week came reports of Dutch citizens being visited by the police and warned about posting anti-mass-immigration sentiments on social media.
In lieu of violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings and frustrations. Remove the right to speak about your frustrations and only violence is left.
The lid is being put on the pressure cooker at precisely the moment that the heat is being turned up. A true "initiative for civil courage" would explain to both Merkel and Zuckerberg that their policy can have only one possible result.
It was only a few weeks ago that Facebook was forced to back down when caught permitting anti-Israel postings [], but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.
Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel's microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook []. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.
At the time, perhaps the most revealing aspect of this exchange was that the German Chancellor -- at the very moment that her country was going through one of the most significant events in its post-war history -- should have been spending any time worrying about how to stop public dislike of her policies being vented on social media. But now it appears that the discussion yielded consequential results.
Last month, Facebook launched what it called an "Initiative for civil courage online," the aim of which, it claims, is to remove "hate speech" from Facebook [] -- specifically by removing comments that "promote xenophobia." Facebook is working with a unit of the publisher Bertelsmann, which aims to identify and then erase "racist" posts from the site. The work is intended particularly to focus on Facebook users in Germany. At the launch of the new initiative, Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, explained that, "Hate speech has no place in our society -- not even on the internet." She went to say that, "Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence." Of course, Facebook can do what it likes on its own website. What is troubling is what this organization of effort and muddled thinking reveals about what is going on in Europe.
The mass movement of millions of people -- from across Africa, the Middle East and further afield -- into Europe has happened in record time and is a huge event in its history. As events in Paris [], Cologne [] and Sweden [] have shown, it is also by no means a series of events only with positive connotations.
As well as being fearful of the security implications of allowing in millions of people whose identities, beliefs and intentions are unknown and -- in such large numbers -- unknowable, many Europeans are deeply concerned that this movement heralds an irreversible alteration in the fabric of their society. Many Europeans do not want to become a melting pot for the Middle East and Africa, but want to retain something of their own identities and traditions. Apparently, it is not just a minority who feel concern about this. Poll after poll shows a significant majority of the public in each and every European country opposed to immigration at anything like the current rate.
The sinister thing about what Facebook is doing is that it is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might consider racist -- along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is "racist."
And it just so happens to turn out that, lo and behold, this idea of "racist" speech appears to include anything critical of the EU's current catastrophic immigration policy.
By deciding that "xenophobic" comment in reaction to the crisis is also "racist," Facebook has made the view of the majority of the European people (who, it must be stressed, are opposed to Chancellor Merkel's policies) into "racist" views, and so is condemning the majority of Europeans as "racist." This is a policy that will do its part in pushing Europe into a disastrous future.
Because even if some of the speech Facebook is so scared of is in some way "xenophobic," there are deep questions as to why such speech should be banned. In lieu of violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings and frustrations. Remove the right to speak about your frustrations, and only violence is left. Weimar Germany -- to give just one example -- was replete with hate-speech laws intended to limit speech the state did not like. These laws did nothing whatsoever to limit the rise of extremism; it only made martyrs out of those it pursued, and persuaded an even larger number of people that the time for talking was over.
The sinister reality of a society in which the expression of majority opinion is being turned into a crime has already been seen across Europe. Just last week, reports from the Netherlands [] told of Dutch citizens being visited by the police and warned about posting anti-mass-immigration sentiments on Twitter and other social media.
In this toxic mix, Facebook has now -- knowingly or unknowingly -- played its part. The lid is being put on the pressure cooker at precisely the moment that the heat is being turned up. A true "initiative for civil courage" would explain to both Merkel and Zuckerberg that their policy can have only one possible result.

* "US War On Free Press" (2016-03-09, by David Simpson, DONi newswire, []: Recently DONi press was banned from Facebook, shocking many free speech advocates. However, they are not alone as the West, unable to deal with the truth has now gone to war against anybody that does not see the world through their twisted perspective. What we find on closer examination is a concerted U.S.’ effort to censor, target independent media economically, withdraw their reader base, and falsify history.The incestuous relationship between the NSA and major corporations like Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft is a well-documented fact. Many of the smaller companies, including web-hosting companies, Internet security providers, and advertising companies are either in part owned by one of these major corporations or they are heavily dependent on cooperation and partnerships with them for their economic survival. nsnbc has already experienced being closed down and have its only source of income withdrawn from one day to the other. Others, including Voltairenet have regularly been flagged as containing malware. Media like New Eastern Outlook, IMEMC, and others risk being targeted in similar manner. Others whom Google and a U.S. Senate Hearing falsely accused of containing malware are The Drudge Report and Infowars []. One can only guess how many of the smaller blogs, who are too small to raise alarm bells have been targeted. The conclusion is that the United States is engaged in an aggressive campaign that targets independent media and falsifies history. The question is, whether independent media have the political will to stand united in addressing the problem and in using the fact that they serve a growing part of the advertising base larger media outlets wish control over.
Facebook has shown itself eager to shut down alternative media free speech,New Eastern Outlook contributor and editor of Land Destroyer, Tony Cartalucci, published an article entitled ”Beware: Facebook’s ´Soft Censorship`” []. Cartalucci stressed that Land Destroyer Report had maintained a Facebook page under the name Anthony Cartalucci since 2009. Many of the readers of Land Destroyer Report used Facebook as a means of accessing the LD Report’s articles. Tony Cartalucci wrote, ”Today, Facebook, without prior warning or opportunity to appeal, decided that the Facebook account must be changed over to a page. By doing so, all those following my account no longer would receive updates, because of Facebook’s ´news feeds`filter”.Note that one of Tony Cartalucci’s articles also was among those flagged by SiteLock as containing malware. Moreover, Tony Cartalucci’s experience with Facebook’s ”soft censorship” as he described it, is not unprecedented. Two of nsnbc editor Christof Lehmann’s Facebook accounts were closed or blocked by Facebook within a period of less than twelve months. The accounts were not only used personally, but as a basis for a nsnbc Facebook page. Facebook’s way of blocking these two accounts were simple. Facebook demanded that a large number of ”friend’s” profile photos were matched with the correct names of these ”friends”. Now, consider 1,000 ”friends or followers”, and many of them using anything but their own portrait as profile photo.
On March 1st, 2016 the management of the social network Facebook blocked the main site of the accredited and officially functioning International Donbass News Agency DONi, which had thousands of subscribers. Also frozen were the personal account of the Director and Chief-Editor of the Agency Janus Putkonen, who had already told the 'SP' (Svobodnaya Pressa – The Free Press) how difficult it was to get an alternative point of view across to residents of foreign countries. It is clear that the ban was implemented right after the press-conference in Lugansk, during which was announced an opening of a DONi branch in the Lugansk People's Republic. Against the background of the US financed war of aggression upon Donbass, the censorship of the only official English-speaking agency operating from the Donetsk People's Republic appears to be aimed directly at cutting off news from the area to western audiences.
DONi in Donbass is not alone,writing at the Gatestone Institute [], British journalist Douglas Murray looked at Facebook as a battleground in the war on free speech Friday, recalling a recent case in which the social media giant was “forced to back down when caught permitting anti-Israel postings, but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.”To this, Murray adds the disturbing September incident in which German chancellor Angela Merkel was caught on an open mike, asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg if he would help suppress “anti-immigration” postings… and he replied that he was already working on it.It’s clear enough that Merkel and the rest of her government believe the best way to handle the insane migrant disaster they’ve unleashed upon Europe is to forbid their citizens from complaining about it.“The sinister thing about what Facebook is doing is that it is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might consider racist — along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is ‘racist,'” Murray writes.  “And it just so happens to turn out that, lo and behold, this idea of ‘racist’ speech appears to include anything critical of the EU’s current catastrophic immigration policy.”                                                                       The conflict in Donbass may be frozen temporarily at present, but the information war is hotter than ever with freedom of speech being a casualty the West wants hidden from plain site as quickly as possible. Unfortunately for them, there are still many willing to carry the banner of freedom forward against those who silence dissent in the furtherance of depriving others of life and liberty.
* "Censorship Alert: the Alternative Media Harassed by the NSA" (2014-10-12, by Dr. Christof Lehmann) []
* "Donbass is forced to silence – Facebook information blockade against DONi and the truth" (2016-03-06, []
* "Facebook censorship and the War on Free Speech" (2016-02-05, []
* "Facebook Censorship: What They're Not Telling You" (2015-01-22, by Paul Joseph Watson) []: It's not just about 'fake news stories'. Facebook's new 'flagging' feature will allow agenda-driven political agitators, governments and corporations to control the narrative and all but silence dissent.


from the Committee to
End the Drug War! Stop Jim Crow! Close the Torture Chambers! 
[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []. Become a Human Rights Pen Pal! [link]. 

* "After 33 Years in Solitary Confinement, Former Black Panther Russell Shoatz Will Have His Day in Court" (2016-03-11, []

Free Maroon! campaign
- []
- []
- Campaign []
‪#‎MaroonMondays‬ returns with our first monthly newsletter blast of 2016... In just a few weeks, we'll be celebrating two years since u.s.-held ‪#‎PoliticalPrisoner‬ Russell Maroon Shoatz's release into the general prison population at SCI Graterford, after over 22 consecutive years in solitary confinement!!! Read up on the latest news from the campaign to ‪#‎FreeMaroon‬, including: his invitation to correspond with supporters, a reportback from the 20th annual Malcolm X Commemoration Committee's Political Prisoners Family Dinner, and audio of social justice lawyer, advocate, and storyteller Bryan Stevenson's talk in ‪#‎Pittsburgh‬ last week, on the day of the landmark Supreme Court decision enabling those sentenced to life imprisonment as juveniles to argue for their resentencing or parole... ‪#‎FreeRussellMaroonShoatz‬ ‪#‎FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners‬ ‪#‎EndMassIncarceration‬ ‪#‎AbolishSolitaryConfinement‬

* "Lawyers for Indigenous Leader Jailed for Over 40 Years Request Clemency" (2016-03-14, [] [begin excerpt]: Lawyers for Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota Native American and leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) who has been imprisoned for over 40 years despite serious concerns about the fairness of proceedings leading to his conviction, have written a letter to the Department of Justice asking that he be provided clemency.
Peltier has been serving two consecutive life sentences in a maximum security prison, most recentlyin Florida, in connection with the murders of two FBI agents, Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in June 1975.While he admits to having been present during the incident, Peltier has always denied killing the agents.
Allegations have arisen that a key eyewitness was coerced into stating that Peltier killed the agents after months of FBI harassment and threats. She later retracted her statement, and was subsequently prevented from being called as a defense witness at his trial. There are further concerns about the evidence linking Peltier to the shootings as well as the prosecution’s withholding of evidence that might have assisted his defense. He is next up for parole in 2024, but in January 2016, he was diagnosed with a potentially fatal abdominal aortic aneurysm. [end excerpt]

* "Forensic expert suspected ATF tampering of evidence in Omaha Two case" (2016-03-09, []

* "Angola 3's Albert Woodfox: 'After 23 years of Solitary Confinement, they did not break me' ; Albert Woodfox has finally walked free after an incredible miscarriage of justice. Now he wants to end the ‘evil’ of forced isolation" (2016-03-07, []


* "Political Prisoner Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa has joined the ancestors" (2016-03-12, by Michael Richardson) []
* "The last poem of Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa" (2016-03-13, via Michael Richardson) []
* "Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa: A caged bird free at last" (2016-03-14, by Linda Kennedy, [] [begin excerpt]:
One more political prisoner has died in custody. Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa passed away from complications of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Friday, March 11, 2016, at 11:55 p.m. He was not alone and was loved until the very end. With the exception of two visits to an outside hospital in Lincoln, Mondo spent the last six months of his life in the Nebraska State Penitentiary infirmary.
When doctors gave Mondo only a few weeks to live, supporters redoubled our efforts to get him released from prison. We pleaded with him to allow his attorney to seek medical release due to the gravity of the situation. He refused, insisting that he was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. He did not want to be released if it meant anything less than an exoneration by the state of Nebraska. Mondo was in control of all efforts for his release.
In the cage, Mondo had little external control. Even the simplest of decisions was already made. When COPD took over, the very rhythm of his life’s breath depended on beeping and whirring machines. So Mondo’s control was internal, as it had been since the time of his incarceration. There, “in the fell clutch of circumstance,” he was a force, an “unconquerable soul.”
David Lewis Rice was Lewie to his playmates from St. Benedict Catholic School in North Omaha. David L. Rice was locked up at age 23.
He became Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa in the early ‘80s. The name is a combination of five African languages and means “wild man-child of the sun.” In one of the last letters he wrote, Mondo told me his name “is made up of distinct components and that it makes a difference that they are in a certain order.” [end excerpt]
Photo caption: This enormous banner was displayed by Mondo and Ed’s supporters on the steps of the Nebraska state capitol on March 13, 2012. – Photo: Mary Ellen Kennedy


* "The Tortured Logic behind Sirhan Sirhan's Parole Denial; Newly Released Transcript Exposes Tragic Flaws in Parole Process" (2016-03-14, []

* "Private Prisons fight back" ( [] [begin excerpt]: In recent years, the prison-industrial complex has been dealt some serious blows. Some states have phased out private-prison contracts following past controversies and claims that private prisons are not cheaper or safer and do not provide better outcomes for either prisoners or states. Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders even introduced legislation that would altogether ban private prisons across the country, while Hillary Clinton has vowed not to accept campaign donations from for-profit corrections operators. [...]
While state and federal prison statistics show a recent decline in the number of Americans who are behind bars, there are still roughly 5 million people under correctional supervision. Many more are in rehab and mental-health hospitals, while hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are shuffled through detention centers – potentially big markets for private facilities. So the correctional industry is diversifying. “The scope of how big this is hasn’t even been anywhere near made clear,” says Caroline Isaacs, who closely tracks the private-prison industry for the American Friends Service Committee, an advocacy group that opposes corrections privatization.
But there’s still money to be made. In October, Corrections Corporation of America – the largest proprietor of the for-profit bunch – purchased Avalon, adding to its growing network of halfway houses. GEO Group, the second largest in this field, several years ago purchased BI, an electronic monitoring company, and is now moving into health care. Such companies are even targeting contracts in the purely mental-health sector. Opponents have dubbed the latter the “treatment-industrial complex.” Around 90 percent of incarcarees are eventually released; however, mental health hospitals have the potential for lifetime confinement. The fear, some say, is that we’ll simply start funneling people from prisons to alternative care institutions and surveillance programs that will perpetuate many of the same issues — and, in some cases, be even more harmful to those who end up stuck in a vicious cycle.
As in any competition for government contracts, lobbying plays a role in the industry’s flexibility and resilience. Official, on-the-books lobbying numbers have gone down across the board over the decades, though CCA hired 199 lobbyists in 32 states over the past decade, while GEO employed 72 lobbyists in 17 states, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. But many believe that lobbying activity has simply gone underground. Lee Drutman, a lobbying expert with New America and professor at John Hopkins University, says to tell the story of a $3 billion industry fighting for legislative survival, you have to look at the indirect ways it lobbies, from unlikely alliances to innovative media strategies. [end excerpt]

* "Much that is 'Made in America' is made from Prison Slave Labor" (2015-12-26) []:
If you look for the 'made in America' tag, you may want to make sure you are not supporting slave labor first.
Most stuff labeled 'made in america' is made off of the slave labor in the US prison industrial complex.
Including products from Microsoft, Nike, Nintendo, Honda, Pfizer, Saks Fifth Avenue, JCPenney, Macy’s, Starbucks, Victoria's Secret, Chrysler, Ford, GM, K Mart, and more.
Wal Mart produce is farmed by prison labor.
* Martori Farms: Abusive Conditions at a Key Wal-Mart Supplier []
* Tesla CEO’s Company Used Prison Labor to Build Taxpayer-Subsidized Solar Panels []
* Identifying Businesses That Profit From Prison Labor []
BANKS: American General Financial Group, American Express Company, Bank of America, Community Financial Services Corporation, Credit Card Coalition, Credit Union National Association, Inc., Fidelity Inestments, Harris Trust & Savings Bank, Household International, LaSalle National Bank, J.P. Morgan & Company, Non-Bank Funds Transmitters Group
ENERGY PRODUCERS/OIL: American Petroleum Institute, Amoco Corporation, ARCO, BP America, Inc., Caltex Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, ExxonMobil Corporation, Mobil Oil Corporation, Phillips Petroleum Company.
ENERGY PRODUCERS/UTILITIES: American Electric Power Association, American Gas Association, Center for Energy and Economic Development, Commonwealth Edison Company, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., Edison Electric Institute, Independent Power Producers of New York, Koch Industries, Inc., Mid-American Energy Company, Natural Gas Supply Association, PG&E Corporation/PG&E National Energy Group, U.S. Generating Company.
INSURANCE: Alliance of American Insurers, Allstate Insurance Company, American Council of Life Insurance, American Insurance Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Corporation, Coalition for Asbestos Justice, (This organization was formed in October 2000 to explore new judicial approaches to asbestos litigation.” Its members include ACE-USA, Chubb & Son, CNA service mark companies, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., Kemper Insurance Companies, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company. Counsel to the coalition is Victor E. Schwartz of the law firm of Crowell & Moring in Washington, D.C., a longtime ALEC ally.)
Fortis Health, GEICO, Golden Rule Insurance Company, Guarantee Trust Life Insurance, MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company, National Association of Independent Insurers, Nationwide Insurance/National Financial, State Farm Insurance Companies, Wausau Insurance Companies, Zurich Insurance.
PHARMACEUTICALS: Abbott Laboratories, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bayer Corporation, Eli Lilly & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Glaxo Wellcome, Inc., Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc., Merck & Company, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of
America (PhRMA), Pharmacia Corporation, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Inc., Schering-Plough Corporation, Smith, Kline & French, WYETH, a division of American Home Products Corporation.
MANUFACTURING:American Plastics Council, Archer Daniels Midland Corporation, AutoZone, Inc. (aftermarket automotive parts), Cargill, Inc., Caterpillar, Inc., Chlorine Chemistry Council, Deere & Company, Fruit of the Loom, Grocery Manufacturers of America, Inland Steel Industries, Inc., International Game Technology, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson, Keystone Automotive Industries, Motorola, Inc., Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee Corporation.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: AT&T, Ameritech, BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., GTE Corporation, MCI, National Cable and Telecommunications Association, SBC Communications, Inc., Sprint, UST Public Affairs, Inc., Verizon Communications, Inc.
TRANSPORTATION: Air Transport Association of America, American Trucking Association, The Boeing Company, United Airlines, United Parcel Service (UPS).
OTHER U.S. COMPANIES: Amway Corporation, Cabot Sedgewick, Cendant Corporation, Corrections Corporation of America, Dresser Industries, Federated Department Stores, International Gold Corporation, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Microsoft Corporation, Newmont Mining Corporation, Quaker Oats, Sears, Roebuck & Company, Service Corporation International, Taxpayers Network, Inc., Turner Construction, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
ORGANIZATIONS/ASSOCIATIONS: Adolph Coors Foundation, Ameritech Foundation, Bell & Howell Foundation, Carthage Foundation, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, ELW Foundation, Grocery Manufacturers of America, Heartland Institute of Chicago, The Heritage Foundation, Iowans for Tax Relief, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, National Pork Producers Association, National Rifle Association, Olin Foundation, Roe Foundation, Scaiffe Foundation, Shell Oil Company Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, Steel Recycling Institute, Tax Education Support Organization, Texas Educational Foundation, UPS Foundation.
* 13 Mainstream Corporations Benefiting from the Prison Industrial Complex []
* What Do Prisoners Make for Victoria's Secret? []
* Whole Foods to Drop Products Made by Inmates in Prison Labor Program by April 2016 []
* "Boycott Companies That Use Prison Labour" []
In America, a large percentage of the prison population exists due to mandatory sentencing (which coincided with the rise of the private prison industry, as well as the advent of so-called 'gangsta rap'- a creation of both private prison executives and record label executives), three strikes laws, and treating addiction as a criminal offense.
Drug addicts, by the very nature of their illness, are existing illegally, by way of what they possess, and by what is in their system at any given time.
So now, we have a system which perpetuates 'criminal' illness, then preys upon it by enslaving it for profit.
Quite the loosh farm, within a loosh farm.
"Tens of thousands of Americans are paid far below the minimum wage, sometimes less than a dollar for an hour's work — and it's totally legal and constitutional.
How? Because the work takes place in prison.
UNICOR, a government-owned company that uses federal prison labor, pays workers anywhere between 23 cents and $1.15 an hour. And it has a lot of employees: In 2007, the Congressional Research Service estimated that 19,720 federal inmates — about 18 percent of the federal prison population — work for UNICOR."
"But cheap prison labor can also hurt workers who aren't in prison. Since prisoners are paid so little — far below the minimum wage — they are a much cheaper option for private companies and government contracts.
Factory owners, for example, have complained that they can't compete with UNICOR in bids for government contracts. "We pay employees $9 on average. They get full medical insurance, 401(k) plans, and paid vacation," Kurt Wilson, an American Apparel executive, told CNN Money in 2012. "Yet we're competing against a federal program that doesn't pay any of that.""
* "Slavery or rehabilitation? The debate about cheap prison labor, explained" []
The following is from "The Massive Prison Industry In The United States: Big Business & Slavery"
“Prison labor based in private prisons is a multimillion-dollar industry with its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs (Pelaez 2008). . . . The industry also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cell manufacturing, all of which rival those of any other private industry (Pelaez 2008). Furthermore, private prisoners at the state level produce a variety of goods and services, from clothing to toys to telemarketing and customer service (Erlich 2005). The private federal prison industry also produces nearly all military goods, from uniform helmet to ammunition, along with durable goods ranging from paint to office furniture (Pelaez 2008).” (Prison Privatization: The Many Facets of a Controversial Industry, Volume 1 edited by Byron Eugene Price, John Charles)
“Prison labor has its roots in slavery. After the 1861-1865 Civil War, a system of ‘hiring out prisoners’ was introduced in order to continue the slavery tradition. Freed slaves were charged with not carrying out their sharecropping commitments (cultivating someone else’s land in exchange for part of the harvest) or petty thievery – which were almost never proven – and were then ‘hired out’ for cotton picking, working in mines and building railroads. From 1870 until 1910 in the state of Georgia, 88% of hired-out convicts were Black. In Alabama, 93% of ‘hired-out’miners were Black. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm similar to the old slave plantations replaced the system of hiring out convicts. The notorious Parchman plantation existed until 1972.”
As stated earlier, it appears that the prison 'labor/slave' system is the micro reflection/echo, of the earth labor/taxation/loosh farm/plantation system, the macro version.
"...America has four percent of the world’s population, yet still carries approximately twenty five percent of the world’s prison population? That is a staggering number. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world and it is increasing exponentially each year. Almost half of American juveniles will have been arrested before they reach their 23rd birthday..."
Made in America.

articles recommended by the 
Campaigns, info, and more []. Science []

* "Jerry Brown wins Cold, Dead Fish Award for fourth year in a row! For the fourth year in a row, I must give the award to Governor Jerry Brown, since no individual has done more in his power to destroy the fish, water and environment of California" (2016-02-05, by Dan Bacher) []

* "The five 'wonderful' ways Big Oil and WSPA have captured California politics" (2015-12-27, by Dan Bacher, [] [begin excerpt]: The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is not a household name in California, but it should be. It’s the trade association for the oil industry and the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying organization in the state. It represents a who’s who of oil companies including oil giants Chevron, Exxon, Occidental Petroleum and many others.
The companies that WSPA represents account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, according to the WSPA website, [].
WSPA and Big Oil wield their power 5 ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) getting appointed to positions on and influencing regulatory panels; (4) creating Astroturf groups: and (5) working in collaboration with media. [end excerpt]
* "Biggest-Ever Gusher of Oil Lobby Money Devastates California" (2015-11-06, by Dan Bacher, []
* "California Oil Lobby Spent a Record $22 Million in 2015" (2016-03-05, by Dan Bacher, via Newswire) [] [begin excerpt]: The oil industry spent a record $22 million lobbying California legislators and officials last year, allowing it to largely determine which bills passed and which bills didn't pass through the Legislature.
This “gusher” of lobbying money in 2015 yielded alarming results: every environmental bill opposed by Big Oil was shelved, or in the case of SB 350, a climate change/green energy bill, was amended under pressure from the oil industry.
The 2015 lobbying brought the total expenses by the oil and gas industry to a whopping $127 million over the past 10 years, according to a report from the American Lung Association in California written by Will Barrett. The report data is obtained from the annual reports filed with the California Secretary of State (.pdf) [].
The record $22 million spent amounts to $60K spent per day on oil lobbyists.
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) spent a record $11 million ($10,949,150) on lobbying, making it the number one spender in California for the fourth year in a row. Of the WSPA’s $11 million, $9 million - 82% - was reported in the uncategorized “other” spending category.
Barrett noted that WSPA’s “other” spending would rank #1 on its own among all spenders in CA. WSPA paid $1.5 million to KP Public Affairs, the top grossing lobbying firm in 2015.
Second to WSPA in oil industry lobbying expenses was the San Ramon-based Chevron corporation that spent almost $4 million ($3,982,671) the fifth most of any organization in California in 2015. Coming in third in oil industry lobbying expenses was Phillips 66, with $1,483,032 spent.
The report also revealed that Big Oil spent a “staggering” $42 million on lobbying California lawmakers over the past two years.
In 2015, Big Oil spent its $22 million “attacking healthy air and climate legislation,” according to Barrett. Under intense pressure from WSPA, the Legislature and Governor removed a provision from SB 350 to reduce petroleum use in California by 50% in the next 15 years. In addition, Big Oil forced SB 32 (Pavley), which would have set greenhouse gas reduction limits to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, to be shelved until the next legislative session.
The oil industry also defeated legislation, SB 788, that would close a loophole in state law that currently allows slant oil drilling through a marine protected area, the Vandenburg State Marine Reserve, created under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, and the Tranquillon Ridge.
Ironically, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) who led the opposition to SB 788 and other environmental legislation, CHAIRED the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California! She also served on the task forces to create “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.
For an in-depth report on the environmental bills that Big Oil lobbied to defeat with the help of the “Oil Caucus,” a group of Assemblymembers whose campaigns are funded directly and indirectly by polluter money, go to [].
In 2014, Big Oil spent $20 million “attempting to limit industry responsibility under carbon policy,” said Barrett, as well as defeating legislation to impose a moratorium on fracking in California. [...]
The Top California Lobbying Spenders in 2015 Total:
1. Western States Petroleum Association $10,949,150
2. California Hospital Association $8,977,831
3. CA State Council of Service Employees $6,203,372
4 California Chamber of Commerce $4,292,174
5. Chevron $3,982,671
[end excerpt]

* "Jerry Brown’s big bad ties to oil and gas industry" (2015-12-19, by Dan Bacher) []


* "New Report Links Pesticides Used in Combination Near Schools to Increased Cancer Risk" (2016-02-18, Californians for Pesticide Reform, [], press reslease (.pdf) []


* "New research uncovers the 'myths' behind aviation's climate change crisis; Reliance on technological solutions in cutting emissions are 'myths' propagating inaction by industry and government" (2016-03-04, []

* "Klamath River, A Light at the End of the Tunnel" (2016-03-10, Ron Stork, Policy Director for
As we’ve noted before, the near consensus for many years that four of the Klamath River dams (J.C Boyle, Copco 1 & 2, and Iron Gate) need to come down did not include the GOP-led Congress. Unfortunately, the agreement to take them down required an act of Congress. Well, no help there.
But finally, late last year the California Water Resources Control Board decided that everyone had waited long enough and resumed its part of the dam relicensing process that could result in the removal of these dams. It promises a draft environmental impact statement in 2016 with a final in 2017. There’s reason to hope that it will be a good one. See some comments from some of the good guys on what should be in it:
- FOR Klamath comments (.pdf) []
- Sierra Club Klamath comments (.pdf) []
- KHP Scoping Comments (Conservation Groups) (.pdf) [].
The Klamath River is a key California watershed. Reduced flows and poor water quality from Federally irrigated farms upstream, as well as the downstream dams, have hammered its fishery during droughts of the last two decades.
In some of those years, there have been season closures and harvest restrictions of the nearby ocean Chinook and coho salmon sport and commercial fisheries. In-river Chinook and coho salmon sport fisheries and Native American commercial and subsistence fisheries were similarly affected.

For years Friends of the Rivers and a small group of colleagues from other conservation groups have labored to change the rules (and even the existence itself) of dams being relicensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). That’s pretty much every dam that generates hydroelectricity except for dams owned by the Federal government.
For most of this time, the dams and diversions being relicensed in California’s Sierra Nevada have been in the mountains, isolated from the ocean-going salmon and steelhead trout that once may have spawned there by the great dams and their afterbays perched on the rim of Sierra foothills above the Great Central Valley.
Some of these rim dams are under the jurisdiction of FERC, and now dams on the Yuba, Tuolumne, and Merced are undergoing relicensing. These dams control what water flows into rivers in the Valley and what water flows into fields and cities.
At the same time, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), implementing both state and federal law, is undertaking an update of the state’s water-quality control plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which obviously involves the rivers that feed into it. And both the legislature and the Governor want the Board to update the state’s regulation of rivers tributary to the Delta.
For the last few months, the state’s Natural Resources Agency has been asking federal agencies, water districts, and environmental groups active in FERC relicensings and SWRCB proceedings to join with state agencies and see if we can figure out how to resolve the outstanding issues of flow and the success of fisheries important to the state on rivers and streams tributary to the Delta and the Delta itself. In 2016.
Yep, 2016. That will be a tall order. Perhaps a foolhardy errand given the history of California water. But so far no one has said no. Stay tuned, but if you care about a big Central Valley River, it’s probably time to get engaged and in the loop. After all, rivers need friends.

Senator Feinstein has long believed that California can continue to dam its way to Paradise and make the deserts bloom. All it takes is some subsidies.
So her “drought” bill to complement the subsidies for dams in the recent California water bond (Proposition 1) has been much anticipated — with lust in their hearts by some and dread in others of a more river-friendly persuasion.
Her bill (S.2533) does not disappoint. She would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in any federal water-storage project for which 50% of the funding is provided by others (to match the maximum funding for many types of projects in the California water bond) and meets other requirements of the bill. It permits the Secretary to fund any water storage projects by others up to 25% if requested by the governor of a state (and other bill requirements). And it establishes a new Federal bank administered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to compete with the existing (and presumably more careful capital markets) in financing water projects.
As a start, S.2533 gives the Secretary $600,000,000 dollars of authority and $200,000,000 of working capital for the new bank.
It’s a radical bill. It breaks traditional notions of which projects are authorized and which are not (Congress used to do that), as well as provide Federal financing for purposes that are unexamined by the Congress.
This bill could move through the Senate, perhaps included in Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s omnibus western water bill, then be married to an even worse House “drought” bills.
If passed, we better pray for a string of good Secretary of the Interiors (reminding us that elections really do matter).
Oh, and the bill also invents a novel way to “pay” for the projects — deauthorizing previous dormant federal projects such as Auburn dam (although that’s a good idea!), projects for which the Federal government did not currently intend to spend money on. It’s like paying for some luxury yacht by not buying an even more expensive one. Might work in your mind but not in your bank account.
The Senate held hearings last week; we weren’t invited to testify, of course. It would have created some dissonance (and some sparks) if we could have had a voice there. Perhaps that’s why we weren’t invited.
Of course, that doesn’t prevent you from talking to the Senator or your Congressman or your local newspaper editor or…the list can go on. The world is not run by timid people.
For a deeper dive into components of this bill, see:
- my candid memo (.pdf) [],
- a copy of the bill (.pdf) [],
- and my memo on the troubles that Reclamation believes face its proposed Shasta Dam raise (.pdf) [


* "UC Berkeley tries to dodge environmental impact review of its FEMA projects" (2016-03-11)
On March 1, 2016, UC Berkeley published an Addendum to the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for its Long Range Development Plan. They claim the Addendum is a substitute for an EIR for its portion of the FEMA Grant projects in Strawberry and Claremont Canyons.  The Addendum is available HERE.Public comments on the Addendum are accepted prior to 5:00 pm on Tuesday March 22, 2016.  Send public comments to  The announcement of the Addendum says, “The University will consider whether to approve the proposed project, as described and analyzed in the addendum, as well as all comments received, in the spring of 2016.”The project is unchangedOur reading of this document is that it makes no changes in the project as described by the Environmental Impact Statement for the FEMA Grants (available HERE).  Therefore, whatever comments you submitted on the EIS for the FEMA Grants are equally relevant to UC’s Addendum. Frowning Ridge after 1,900 trees were removed from 11 acres in 2004Additional justification for the projectWe read only the “guts” of the Addendum, Sections I to V.   We did not read sections regarding “Mitigating Monitoring Program” or “Biological Opinion Post Treatment Monitoring Plan.”  Therefore, our comments here should not be considered comprehensive.  However, we noted new justifications for the project that seem legally bogus in some cases and scientifically unsound in others.UC Berkeley destroyed about 600 trees on Frowning Ridge in August 2014, before the Environmental Impact Statement was complete. FEMA has therefore refused to fund that portion of the grant.Justification for carbon lossThe Addendum cites Cal-FIRE policy regarding quantifying carbon loss.  Cal-FIRE states that although “There is not an approved forest carbon protocol for fuel reduction projects,” it suggests:  “On an acre treated for fuels the carbon balance emitted from the treatment subtracted from the carbon retained multiplied by its reduced probability of loss [by fire] over the time of treatment is effective.”  (Addendum page 18)In other words, Cal-FIRE suggests that if the probability of fire is lowered by the project, carbon loss associated with such a theoretical fire can be subtracted from the carbon loss resulting from the destruction of trees by the project.There are several problems with this justification for the carbon loss associated with the destruction of trees by the project:
- The claim that the probability of fire will be lowered by the proposed project is entirely theoretical. Many highly qualified analysts of this project believe that the project will increase the probability of fire, not decrease it.  For example, the US Forest Service said, “Removal of the eucalyptus overstory would reduce the amount of shading on surface fuels, increase the wind speeds to the forest floor, reduce the relative humidity at the forest floor, increase the fuel temperature, and reduce fuel moisture.  These factors may increase the probability of ignition over current conditions.”
- The law that defines and regulates environmental impact reviews is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), not Cal-FIRE policy. CEQA requires that environmental impact is defined by a comparison of existing conditions with post-project conditions.  In other words, environmental impact is not measured by comparing some theoretical landscape in which a theoretical fire occurred with the post-treatment landscape.  Therefore, the methods used by the Addendum to quantify carbon loss do not conform to the law (CEQA) that regulates environmental impact reviews.
- The Cal-FIRE policy defines its fuels reduction program as follows: “vegetation treatment…will focus on selectively removing understory trees and brush to reduce fire hazards, improve tree growth, and increase forest health and resilience.”  Therefore, the Cal-FIRE policy is not relevant to the project of UC Berkeley, which intends to destroy ALL non-native canopy trees and does not intend to remove understory brush and trees.  Consequently, carbon loss will be significantly greater than the projects proposed by Cal-FIRE because carbon storage is greater in the large, mature trees that will be destroyed than carbon stored in the understory.
The science of carbon storageWe have heard many absurd statements about carbon storage in the many years we have defended our urban forest, such as “grass stores more carbon than trees.”  But the explanations provided by UC’s Addendum that their project will not cause carbon loss enter the realm of science fiction:
- UC claims, “The report concluded that the HCFRR project area currently stores an estimated 61,565 CO2e tons, the majority of which will remain stored in the project area in the form of post-treatment chips.” (Addendum, page 19)
When questioned by the consultant (URS Corporation) that was hired to complete the Environmental Impact Statement for the FEMA projects about the flammability of 2 feet of wood chip mulch in the project area, UCB responded that the chips would decay within 3 to 5 years (available HERE).  Now UCB wishes us to believe that the wood chips will not decay, but will continue to store carbon forever.  UCB contradicts itself or it is ignorant of the role of decomposition in the release of carbon stored during the life of the tree.  As the wood decomposes, the carbon stored in the wood is released into the atmosphere:“Two common tree disposal/utilization scenarios were modeled:  1) mulching and 2) landfill.  Although no mulch decomposition studies could be found, studies on decomposition of tree roots and twigs reveal that 50% of the carbon is lost within the first 3 years.  The remaining carbon is estimated to be lost within 20 years of mulching.  Belowground biomass was modeled to decompose at the same rate as mulch regardless of how the aboveground biomass was disposed” (1)
- UC claims, “Remaining native trees will continue to grow and sequester carbon at a rate of ~ 530 ton equivalents per decade therefore…this will increase to 10,560 in year l00.” (Addendum, page 19) In other words, UC assumes, without factual support and in defiance of reality that native trees will not burn for 100 years.  UC also ignores the much larger amounts of carbon that the eucalypts would sequester if left in place because larger trees store more carbon than smaller, younger trees.
- UC claims that a project area currently storing 61,565 CO₂ₑ tons will release 50,000 tons of CO₂ₑ if it burns. That is a gross over-estimate of the degree of carbon loss from trees in a fire.  According to the National Park Service, 2/3 rd of the fuel load in a eucalyptus forest is in the trunks and only 1/3 rd in fine fuels (branches, twigs, leaves, etc). (2)  The trunks of the trees do not burn in a fire, which is why they are left lying on the ground after they are destroyed.  Therefore only 1/3 rd of the wood burns in the fire and only 1/3 rd of the carbon stored in the tree – approximately 20,000 tons – would be lost in the fire.
We are profoundly disappointed that a world-class scientific institution, such as UC, would make such scientifically unsound claims in defense of its destructive project in the East Bay Hills.If you read UC’s Addendum and you see other issues that we don’t mention here, we hope you will post a comment to inform others of what you have found.  This is a collaborative effort that we invite everyone to participate in.  The Hills Conservation Network believes the strongest criticism of UC’s Addendum to the EIR for their Long Range Development Plan is that it is not a legally acceptable substitute for a complete EIR.  You can read their arguments on their website.  There is also a petition to UCB on their website.Status of lawsuit of Hills Conservation Network Meanwhile, the lawsuit of the Hills Conservation Network (HCN) against the UC Berkeley and City of Oakland portions of the FEMA grants projects in the East Bay Hills is moving forward.  HCN Informed its supporters of the current status of its lawsuit on March 2, 2016:
“Hills Conservation Network took a momentous step yesterday with the filing of our opening brief for the lawsuit against FEMA, the City of Oakland, UC, EBRPD and Cal OES. Despite extensive efforts to find another solution we decided this was the only reasonable course of action open to us.While this is a complex matter and we are told that one never knows how a NEPA suit will turn out, we believe we have a very strong case and hope that we will prevail and these forests will be saved. If you are interested you can read the brief at http://www.hillsconservationnetwork.orgNeedless to say, this has been expensive. We have spent well over $10,000 on legal fees in the past 3 months and expect that it will take at least that much more to see this through the process, which is expected to result in a ruling in the summer.Yesterday we were notified by UC that they intend to obtain CEQA clearance for their projects (which we hope will not be funded by FEMA) by issuing an addendum to their 2020 Long Range Development Plan. We are consulting with our lawyers on how best to respond to this and expect to propose a strategy to the public by Monday.Again, your contributions are what makes all this possible. Were it not for your support these forests would have been long gone, but with your support we are able to prevent this environmental disaster from unfolding.Please do what you can to support this important cause.” [You can make a donation to the lawsuit at]

- Nowak, David,, “Effects of urban tree management and species selection on atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Journal of Arboriculture 28(3) May 2002

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 [].

* "Not-so-simple green: Two researchers from UCSB's Bren School examine the dark side of 'green' products" (2016-03-02, []

* "Bill to stop GMO labeling may see Senate vote next week" (2016-03-12, ):
Remember the DARK Act? It’s back — and moving quickly.
This bill would block state rights to label genetically engineered (GE) food — or regulate GE crops at all. It’s heading for a Senate vote as early as next week.
Your Senators need to hear from you today! Last week, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced the Senate version of the DARK Act, and now it’s headed for a floor vote. We hear it’s going to be very close!
Dow, Monsanto and the rest of the “Big 6” pesticide/GE corporations have invested millions in recent years to block state labeling efforts. This bill — dubbed the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” Act by opponents — would preempt all state-based labeling efforts in one fell swoop.
Why do these corporations so strongly oppose GE labeling? They're looking to protect market share. Most of the GE crops they patent and sell are designed for use with heavy applications of pesticides, which they also patent and sell. Many of these chemicals are linked with concerning health impacts, including cancer.
Speak up! The stakes are high. Not only will the DARK Act roll back state GE labeling laws already on the books, it would also block state and local governments from restricting GE crops in any way.
Communities across the country, from California to Washington and Hawai’i, have already voted to keep GE seeds — and the hazardous pesticides that accompany them — out of local fields and farms. Don’t let these efforts be wiped away.
Thank you for taking a stand against corporate control of food and farming.
Tell the Senate to stop the DARK Act! Sign the petition at [].

* "Total recall: Food industry hit hard by glass-laced products, salmonella, allergens" (2016-03-11, []

* "Flint Hearing Reveals Disgraced Officials as 'Unremorseful, Unrepentant' ; 'I’m not so sure Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for,' wrote an EPA official back in September 2015, the hearing revealed" (2016-03-15, []
* "They poisoned my hometown" (2016-03-09, by Jimmy Mankind):
Not to mention: Who polluted the Flint River in the first place? Where does it flow to? I suspect into Lake Huron, from which Detroit and Windsor Canada get their water. and then on down to Cleveland and Erie, and Niagara, Toronto, etc.
I've always wondered about down stream water... never want to drink down stream water.
Meanwhile, Nestle, one of the world's most evil corpo-nations, from Switzerland, is taking free water by the billions of gallons from an aquifer which could supply the people of Flint. This aquifer is in Western Michigan, and would need a pipeline to the east. In any case Nestle is not paying for it. Nestle, BTW, also produces natural spring water for bottled under Arrowhead moniker, and ships that water from Mt. Palomar and San Bernardino up to Mean ol' Dirty Frisco, so the next time you hear LA complaining about water shortages, we might tell them to shut down Nestle.  Several private companies, like Suez, and Int'l Water Phuckers, hold monopolies on Central Valley city water supplies.

* "S.Sudan oil production pollution threatens thousands: monitors" (2016-03-04, AFP Newswire) []

* "Study helps narrow down one reason why clouds are hard to model" (2016-03-03, from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, published by [] [begin excerpt]: Airborne particles known as "aerosols" strongly impact the way clouds form and change, but accurately capturing this effect in computer climate models has proved to be notoriously difficult. A new study in the Proceedings on the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition online Feb. 26 suggests why—either the models are failing to capture in sufficient detail the processes at work in clouds, or aerosols are now so pervasive in the atmosphere thanks to modern-day pollution that their specific effects on clouds are hard to pin down.
A key problem is that we generally do not have data on clouds from the preindustrial era, before there was pollution, for comparison with the clouds of today. Because clouds are a key part of Earth's climate system, working out how they behaved before the Industrial Age might ultimately help us better determine how much the world will eventually warm up. [end excerpt]
* "Greenland's ice is getting darker, increasing risk of melting; Feedback loops from melting itself are driving changes in reflectivity" (2016-03-03, []

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.

* "Free Milkweed Seeds"
My wife and I started the SaveOurMonarchs Foundation two years ago, with the intent of providing free Milkweed Seed Packets to anyone requesting them.
In 2015, over 1 million Milkweed Seed Packets were provided.
In 2016, over 2 million will be provided.
Your support would be appreciated.
Contact Ward Johnson [ward@)]

* "Massachusetts Lawmakers Ignore Pollinator Protection Plan Supported by 3,000+ Beekeepers" (2016-03-07, []

* "Monarch Butterfly Population Rebounds to 68 Percent of 22-year Average" (2016-02-26, by Center for Biological Diversity) []

* "Assessment of Western Monarch Butterfly Winter Population Completed" (2016-02-04, The Xerces Society) [] [begin excerpt]: Results from a survey of monarch butterfly overwintering sites in California show that there are more monarchs overwintering in the state this year than last. Volunteers with the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count visited 187 sites and tallied a total of 271,924 monarchs. Although more monarchs were counted, the average number of monarchs per site is not significantly different than last year’s count, and this year’s population estimate represents a 39% decline from the long term average. The number of monarchs counted this year is but a fraction of the 1.2 million monarchs recorded in the late 90s.[end excerpt]
* "Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, 1997-2015" (The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation) (.pdf) []
For information about the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count and how to get involved, visit []
Read more about Xerces’ Monarch Conservation Campaign, including efforts to conserve overwintering sites in California and restore breeding habitat in key regions of the United States here: []
Learn about efforts to conserve western monarchs by visiting the Monarch Joint Venture website: []


articles recommended by the 
NO NUKES! campaign
[] [] [] []

* "Miami’s oceanfront nuclear power plant is leaking" (2016-03-10, []

* "Five Years After Fukushima, US 'Woefully' Unprepared for Nuclear Disaster; Nuclear experts warn there are inadequate prevention and evacuation guidelines in place in case of meltdown" (2016-03-11, []
* " ‘No plan A’: US unprepared for nuclear crisis as more Fukushima radiation found off West Coast" (2016-03-11, []
* "U.S. watches as Fukushima continues to leak radiation" (2016-03-10, []
* " 'Shocking how many people died in Fukushima' – documentary director to RT" (2016-03-12, []
* "Bad news for bots: Fukushima cleanup robots overpowered by radiation" (2016-03-12, []
* "Mutations, DNA damage seen in Fukushima forests: Greenpeace" (2016-03-04, AFP Newswire) []

* "Over 3,000 tons of unregistered radioactive waste stored in Japan – report" (2016-03-14, []

* "EDF finance chief quits over British nuclear power plant plan" (2016-03-06, AFP Newswire) []

* "Germany demands France shut old nuclear plant near border" (2016-03-04, AFP Newswire) []

* "German states file challenge against Belgian nuclear plants" (2016-03-08, AFP newswire) []

articles recommended by the 
[] []

* "Vallejo woman has not created any waste in a year" (2016-03-09, []
* Zero Waste Bay Area []

* "Converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into batteries: A green solution for a global problem" (2016-03-02, []


* "New Technique for Turning Sunlight into Hydrogen; New photoelectrode that boosts the ability of solar water-splitting to produce hydrogen" (2016-02-01, []

* "Syracuse Chemists Combine Biology, Nanotechnology to Create Alternate Energy Source; New article from Maye Research Group draws on nanoscience, self-assembly" (2016-02-29, []



articles recommended by the Committee for
Protect Earth's Sentient Life!

* "These birds use a linguistic rule thought to be unique to humans" (2016-03-08, []
* "Syntax is not unique to human language – the Japanese great tits “speak” in phrases too; Human communication is powered by rules for combining words to generate novel meanings. Such syntactical rules have long been assumed to be unique humans. A new study, published in Nature Communications, show that Japanese great tits combine their calls using specific rules to communicate important compound messages. These results demonstrate that syntax is not unique to humans. Instead, syntax may be a general adaptation to social and behavioural complexity in communication systems" (2016-03-08, []

Alternative tissue sources have been developed which can replace the use of animal testing.
* "Functional heart muscle regenerated in decellularized human hearts; Mass. General team generates stem-cell derived heart muscle in cell-free human cardiac matrix" (2016-03-11, []
* "Beating ‘heart-on-a-chip’ developed to replace human organs & animal testing" (2016-03-13, []

ANIMAL RIGHTS: Save the Whales!
* "Antarctic blue whales belong to three populations: study" (2016-03-09, AFP Newswire) []

Documenting the process of fascism and for whom it benefits. [[]

* "America is heading into a post-Soviet style collapse" (2016-03-10, []
* "Antonin Scalia 2014 Statement, US Supreme Court Justice Declares 'Mass Internment Inevitable' " (2014-02-11, by Tom Carter, []

* "Theft of Your Money on Wall Street: Another GAO Report Won’t Help" (2016-03-07, []

* "Treasury Drops a Bombshell: Fed’s Stress Tests Get It Wrong" (2016-03-10, []

* "The Untold Story of Why the SEC Paid Whistleblower Eric Hunsader $750,000" (2016-03-15, []

* "Big Oil Used Big Tobacco's Denial Playbook—But Will They Pay Same Price? The U.S. Justice Department has "discussed" taking civil legal action—as it did against tobacco products industry—against the fossil fuel industry" (2016-03-11, []

* "Class-action suit filed against Chesapeake, SandRidge" (2016-03-04, UPI Newswire) [] [begin excerpt]: Chesapeake Energy and SandRidge energy worked to rig bids and limit competition for oil and gas acreage in Oklahoma, a class-action suit alleges.
Dallas-based law firm Burns Charest LLP filed the suit, Thieme v. Chesapeake Energy Corp., et al., on behalf of royalty owners alleging the companies manipulated the lease programs for the Anadarko basin in northwest Oklahoma. [end excerpt]

* "The Koch-Fueled Plot to Destroy the VA" (2016-03-13, [] [begin excerpt]: A ranking of the various kinds of American health care on a "socialized medicine" scale of 1 to 10 would look something like this:

If you're a hardcore libertarian, which program would you be most eager to privatize? The VA, of course, which is America's only genuine example of purely socialized medicine. In the past, the VA's status as health care provider to military vets has protected it from attack, but that's changed over the past few years. Why? Because of a carefully orchestrated smear campaign by a Koch-funded activist group called Concerned Veterans for America. [...]
In fact, a Rand study (.pdf) [] concluded that with the exception of patient communication with doctors and nurses, the VA performed as well as or better than private health care on nearly every measure.
VA outpatient care outperformed non-VA outpatient care on almost all quality measures. [end excerpt]

* "The Silicon Valley’s New Corporate Fascists" (2014-09-26, []
* "Ugly Right-Wing Underbelly of the Libertarian Cause on Display at Silicon Valley; Conference Tech attendees probably have no idea of many speakers' repugnant pasts" (2014-07-21, []

* "Billionaire Compares Outrage Over Rich In SF To Kristallnacht" (2014-01-27, []
* "Silicon Valley billionaire compares treatment of America's rich to Nazi persecution of Jews; Venture capitalist Tom Perkins sparks outrage after suggesting America is facing a 'progressive Kristallnacht' " (2014-01-26, []

* "Neoreactionary movement" (retrieved 2016-03-14, [] [begin excerpt]: Many of the current wave of neoreactionaries were former libertarians who had concluded that freedom and the free market were fundamentally incompatible with liberal democracy. Mencius Moldbug, generally considered the founder of the current movement, describes his own journey as "from Mises to Carlyle" via Hans-Hermann Hoppe, an anarcho-capitalist who pushed feudalism as his desired end state. It's ideal for soi-disant libertarians who realise they don't actually like freedom for others all that much. [end excerpt]

USA FASCISM: Military State
* "Voice of the People: Americans Not Sold on Defense Spending Increase" (2016-03-09, []

* "Pentagon Excess Has Fueled a Civil-Military Crisis; How Civilian Control of the Military Has Become a Fantasy" (2016-03-15, [] [begin excerpt]: The essence of the situation begins, but doesn’t end, with civilian control of the military, where direction, oversight, and final decision-making authority reside with duly elected and appointed civil officials. That’s a minimalist precondition for democracy. A more ideal version of the relationship would be civilian supremacy, where there is civically engaged public oversight of strategically competent legislative oversight of strategically competent executive oversight of a willingly accountable, self-policing military.
What we have today, instead, is the polar opposite: not civilian supremacy over, nor even civilian control of the military, but what could be characterized as civilian subjugation to the military, where civilian officials are largely militarily illiterate, more militaristic than the military itself, advocates for -- rather than overseers of -- the institution, and running scared politically (lest they be labeled weak on defense and security).
That, then, is our lot today. Civilian authorities are almost unequivocally deferential to established military preferences, practices, and ways of thinking.  The military itself, as the three “items” above suggest, sets its own standards, makes and produces its own news, and appropriates policy and policymaking for its own ends, whatever civilian leadership may think or want. It is a demonstrably massive, self-propelled institution increasingly central to American life, and what it says and wants and does matters in striking ways. We would do well to consider the many faces of civil-military relations today, especially in light of the role the military has arrogated to itself. [end excerpt]

* " 'Institutional Amnesia': Pentagon Agency Skewered for Waste and Fraud" (2016-01-22) []: The Inspector General for a government task force in Afghanistan says the agency squandered millions of taxpayer dollars on unnecessary costs

USA FASCISM: Two Party Dictatorship
* "Democrats and Republicans Are Quietly Planning a Corporate Giveaway—to the Tune of $400 Billion; Why isn’t anyone talking about it?" (2016-03-04, []

* "Five “Truths” about the US Political Circus Non-Americans Should Question" (2016-03-11, []

* "Was the First Obama Election Fixed? New Book Raises Suspicions" (2016-03-14, []

* "GOP debate Civil? Candidates urged torture, child-murder, backing bloody Dictatorships" (2016-03-11, []

* "Clinton Benefits From US Media’s Misleading Reporting Of Delegate Counts" (2016-03-06, []
* "Hillary's Wall Street-Friendly Economic Plan Costs Her Michigan" (2016-03-09, []
* "Bernie Who? Polls and Big Media Eat Crow This Morning" (2016-03-09, []
* "Sanders Takes Michigan, But Mainstream Media Keeps Discounting His Campaign" (2016-03-09, []
* "Shocker: WaPo Investigates Itself for Anti-Sanders Bias, Finds There Was None" (2016-03-10, []
* "It should be over for Hillary: Party elites and MSNBC can’t prop her up after Bernie’s Michigan miracle; Trade, wages and the corrupt political class are the new key issues. Bernie and Trump finished off the party elites" (2016-03-09, []

* "George W. Bush Says Bill Clinton Is His ‘Brother From Another Mother’ " (2014-11-13, []
* "Bush: My Sweet Dad, a Wonderful Father to Bill Clinton and Me" (2014-11-18, []
* "Photo shows Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush together at Reagan's funeral" (2016-03-14, []
* "Dick Cheney heaps praise on Hillary Clinton; Former US vice president Dick Cheney has praised Hillary Clinton as one of the more competent members of President Barack Obama's administration, saying it would be "interesting to speculate" on how she would perform as president" (2011-09-05, []
* "Hillary Clinton, Stalwart Friend of World’s Worst Despots, Attacks Sanders’ Latin American Activism" (2016-03-10, by Glenn Greenwald, []
* "Responding to Clinton Barb, Sanders Blasts US Imperialism in Latin America; 'The key issue here was whether the United States should go around overthrowing small Latin American countries,' says Bernie Sanders" (2016-03-10, []
* "WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton Pushed Mexico's Oil Privatization; Clinton's team pushed to “quietly” help the Mexican government pass the energy reform" (2015-08-10, []

* "Over 20,000 Tell Hillary Clinton to Give Saudi Arabia's $10 Million to Peace Organizations and the People of Yemen" (2016-03-09, by David Swanson) []

* "Hillary Clinton's Reagan AIDS Revisionism Is Shocking, Insulting, and Utterly Inexplicable" (2016-03-11, []
* "Hillary Clinton Apologizes After Shocking Praise For Nancy Reagan's 'AIDS Activism' ; She was so out-of-touch with reality, it was baffling" (2016-03-11, []
* "Hillary Clinton Falsely Credits Reagans With Starting “National Conversation” on HIV/AIDS" (2016-03-11, []
* "The first lady who looked away: Nancy and the Reagans' troubling Aids legacy; As the nation mourns the former first lady’s death, those on the frontline of the 1980s Aids crisis remember something else: a couple who turned a blind eye" (2016-03-11, []

* "Clinton Healthcare Hit Backfires as Evidence Shows Sanders 'Literally' Right Behind Her; "Where was he when I was trying to get health care in ’93 and ’94?" ... Yeah, the photograph kind of says it all" (2016-03-12, []

* "Trump pours praise on congressional Republicans" (2016-03-08, []
Trump Now Claims Many ‘Special Interests’ and ‘Lobbyists’ are ‘His Friends’.
Trump also thinks Republicans in Congress, especially Paul Ryan, are ‘terrific’ and ‘nice’.

* " The American Fascist" (2016-03-08, []: I’ve been reluctant to use the  “f” word to describe Donald Trump because it’s especially harsh, and it’s too often used carelessly.
But Trump has finally reached a point where parallels between his presidential campaign and the fascists of the first half of the 20th century – lurid figures such as Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Oswald Mosley, and Francisco Franco – are too evident to overlook.
It’s not just that Trump recently quoted Mussolini (he now calls that tweet inadvertent) or that he’s begun inviting followers at his rallies to raise their right hands in a manner chillingly similar to the Nazi “Heil” solute (he dismisses such comparison as “ridiculous.”)
The parallels go deeper.
As did the early twentieth-century fascists, Trump is focusing his campaign on the angers of white working people who have been losing economic ground for years, and who are easy prey for demagogues seeking to build their own power by scapegoating others.
Trump’s electoral gains have been largest in counties with lower than average incomes, and among those who report their personal finances have worsened. As the Washington Post’s Jeff Guo has pointed out, Trump performs best in places where middle-aged whites are dying the fastest.
The economic stresses almost a century ago that culminated in the Great Depression were far worse than most of Trump’s followers have experienced, but they’ve suffered something that in some respects is more painful – failed expectations.
Many grew up during the 1950s and 1960s, during a postwar prosperity that lifted all boats. That prosperity gave their parents a better life. Trump’s followers naturally expected that they and their children would also experience economic gains. They have not.
Add fears and uncertainties about terrorists who may be living among us, or may want to sneak through our borders, and this vulnerability and powerlessness is magnified.
Trump’s incendiary verbal attacks on Mexican immigrants and Muslims – even his reluctance to distance himself from David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan – follow the older fascist script.
That older generation of fascists didn’t bother with policy prescriptions or logical argument, either. They presented themselves as strongmen whose personal power would remedy all ills.
They created around themselves cults of personality in which they took on the trappings of strength, confidence, and invulnerability – all of which served as substitutes for rational argument or thought.
Trump’s entire campaign similarly revolves around his assumed strength and confidence. He tells his followers not to worry; he’ll take care of them. “If you get laid off …, I still want your vote,” he told workers in Michigan last week. “I’ll get you a new job; don’t worry about it.”
The old fascists intimidated and threatened opponents. Trump is not above a similar strategy. To take one example, he recently tweeted that Chicago’s Ricketts family, now spending money to defeat him, “better be careful, they have a lot to hide.”
The old fascists incited violence. Trump has not done so explicitly but Trump supporters have attacked Muslims, the homeless, and African-Americans – and Trump has all but excused their behavior.
Weeks after Trump began his campaign by falsely alleging that Mexican immigrants are “bringing crime. They’re rapists,” two brothers in Boston beat with a metal poll and urinated on a 58-year-old homeless Mexican national. They subsequently told the police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”
Instead of condemning that brutality, Trump excused it by saying “people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.”
After a handful of white supporters punched and attempted to choke a Black Lives Matter protester at one of his campaign rallies, Trump said “maybe he should have been roughed up.”
There are further parallels. Fascists glorified national power and greatness, fanning xenophobia and war. Trump’s entire foreign policy consists of asserting American power against other nations. Mexico “will” finance a wall. China “will” stop manipulating its currency.
In pursuit of their nationalistic aims, the fascists disregarded international law. Trump is the same. He recently proposed using torture against terrorists, and punishing their families, both in clear violation of international law.
Finally, the fascists created their mass followings directly, without political parties or other intermediaries standing between them and their legions of supporters.
Trump’s tweets and rallies similarly circumvent all filters. The Republican Party is irrelevant to his campaign, and he considers the media an enemy. (Reporters covering his rallies are kept behind a steel barrier.)
Viewing Donald Trump in light of the fascists of the first half of the twentieth century – who used economic stresses to scapegoat others, created cults of personality, intimidated opponents, incited violence, glorified their nations and disregarded international law, and connected directly with the masses – helps explain what Trump is doing and how he is succeeding.
It also suggests why Donald Trump presents such a profound danger to the future of America and the world.

* "Trump Volunteers on PBS News Story Prominently Display Neo-Nazi Tattoos" (2016-03-16, [], photos: [] [] [].
Last night’s episode of PBS NewsHour gave America a revealing look at the people making Trump’s meteoric rise possible — neo-Nazis.
One of the people interviewed in a PBS segment about a family coming together to support Trump is sporting a pair of prominent tattoos associated with neo-Nazis.
Grace Tilly, who is seen phone banking at a Trump campaign office in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has a tattoo of a Celtic Cross on one hand and tattoo with the number 88 on the other. Even though PBS made no mention of it in their segment, both of Tilly’s tattoos are prominent symbols of white nationalist movements.
The Celtic Cross, particularly the version on Tilly’s hand, known as Odin’s Cross, is used to identify with white power movements. And the 88 symbolizes the letter H, the eighth letter of the alphabet, back to back to signify “Heil Hitler,” the universal neo-Nazi greeting. Here are those symbols on white nationalist memorabilia: [].
Tilly isn’t an anomaly — white nationalists and neo-Nazis have been flocking to the Trump campaign since he first made his denigrating remarks about Mexican-Americans in June of 2015. Donald Trump’s campaign has also been garnering a lot of attention from white supremacist websites like Stormfront, which had to upgrade its servers in December to deal with the surge of new site traffic as Trump excited their audience of likeminded neo-Nazis [].
Donald Trump continues to retweet white supremacist accounts praising him from his official Twitter account [], including one account that previous created an image showing Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, being taken to a gas chamber, where Trump as a Nazi officer presses the button that turns on the gas [].
Trump has not apologized for any of his retweets.

* "Donald Trump Says It’s ‘Very Appropriate’ For His Supporters To Beat Protesters At Rallies" (2016-03-11, []
* "Trump militia forms to ‘forcefully protect’ rally goers against ‘far-left agitators’ " (2016-03-14, []

* "Trump Rally Assault at Fayetteville, North Carolina" set of videos (2016-03-09) []
* " ‘Next time we see him, we might have to kill him’: Trump fan on punching black protester" (2016-03-11, [] [begin excerpt]: Video taken at a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina shows a white supporter sucker-punching an African-American protester being escorted out by police. The victim was immediately detained, while the puncher wasn’t arrested until the next day.
Rakeem Jones attended the Republican frontrunner’s rally in Fayetteville on Wednesday with a “diverse” group ‒ including a white woman, a Muslim and a gay man ‒ as a “social experiment.” The woman began shouting when Trump began speaking… and things quickly went downhill, he told the Washington Post.
“She shouted, but at the same time, they were shouting too,” the 26-year-old said. “Everyone was shouting, too... No one in our group attempted to get physical.”
As often happens at Trump rallies, the crowd turned on Jones and his friends, jeering at them.
One person screamed at them, “You need to get the f*ck out of there!” Ronnie C. Rouse, who was with Jones at the campaign event, told the Post.
Police quickly came to escort Jones out. As they were leaving ‒ and just after Jones made obscene gestures to the crowd ‒ a Trump supporter sucker-punched him. The attack was caught on video from multiple angles.
“Boom, he caught me,” Jones said. “After I get it, before I could even gain my thoughts, I’m on the ground getting escorted out. Now I’m waking up this morning looking at the news and seeing me getting hit again.”
He noted that the Cumberland County police who escorted him out not only didn’t protect him, but detained him, while nothing happened to his attacker. Rouse caught what happened next on video.
“It’s happening at all these rallies now and they’re letting it ride,” Jones said. “The police jumped on me like I was the one swinging.” He added: “My eye still hurts. It’s just shocking. The shock of it all is starting to set in. It’s like this dude really hit me and they let him get away with it. I was basically in police custody and got hit.”
John McGraw, 78, was charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct for his attack on Jones, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sergeant Sean Swain told Time on Thursday. Despite the charges, McGraw is unrepentant.
See the tweet from Inside Edition [].
“You bet I liked it. Knocking the hell out of that big mouth,” he told Inside Edition, adding that he punched Jones because “number one, we don’t know if he’s ISIS. We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American, cussing me... If he wants it laid out, I laid it out."
“Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization,” McGraw added.
Meanwhile, the Cumberland County Police Department’s internal affairs unit is looking into why officers detained Jones and not McGraw immediately after the punch was thrown, Swain told the Wall Street Journal. According to the spokesman, sheriff’s deputies made separating the protesters from Trump supporters their first priority.
“We should have done exactly what we did," the sergeant said. “We didn’t hurt anybody. We did what the Secret Service asked us to do and separate everybody… If you don’t separate and extinguish the problem right there as it occurs, it gets worse. It can escalate so fast it’s hard to control.’’
The Secret Service, which declined to comment for the WSJ article, has been under fire for how one of its agents handled a Time photographer at a Trump campaign rally in Virginia on March 1 []. Video of that incident showed the agent choking Christopher Morris [], who admitted to provoking the attack. The agency is investigating the interaction and has promised “appropriate steps” based on the conclusion of the probe.
“We’ve been watching all this stuff happen to everyone else,” Rouse said. “This isn’t Biloxi. This isn’t Montgomery. This is Fayetteville. … it’s a well-cultured area.” He added: “I wanted to take my 11-year-old child, to give him a touch of what’s happening political-wise. I’m glad I didn’t. I’ve never been more embarrassed to be from here in my life. It’s just appalling.”
There have been at least 10 violent incidents involving Trump supporters, protesters, journalists and campaign or security staff at the GOP presidential candidate’s events, according to Slate, which is keeping a running tab of such episodes [].
Trump’s speech in Fayetteville was interrupted more than a dozen times, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
* Shaun King []: "Help me identify the racist Trump supporter who repeatedly punched this protester in the face last night. CRIMINAL!"
* "When the #cops said they didn't see @undergroundkeem get hit" photo (2016-03-12) [], showing the incident with a police officer looking on as the assault happened.

* "Trump Fayetteville 'Love is the answer' protester ejected" (2016-03-10, posted by Rod Webber []: Tonight's Drumpf rally was insane. And I have been to 22. I went with no agenda, except a shirt on which I had written, “love is the answer.” That said, I didn’t see a lot of love going around. Within the eighteen minutes that I was there, it looked to be about one ejection per minute— and a lot of hateful shouting in the process.
Around nine minutes in, I saw a blind woman and her partner Lowell Fleming chant, “No Trump, no KKK, no fasicst USA.” They were ejected.
At some point, they ejected a pregnant woman, Rhiannon Sloane Gallimore.
A white man in a cowboy hat then punched a black protester in the face. The black man got tackled by police, and they did absolutely nothing to the guy who threw the punch.
Drumpf complained about the press comparing his pledge to Hitler. Upon making these statements, many attendees eagerly raised their hands to pledge allegiance to Donald… So he did the pledge again— and then complained about being compared to nazis.
After about eighteen minutes, Drumpf began advocating for waterboarding. I called out, “but torture is torture.” Surely Donald realized that by advocating for war crimes that this makes him unfit to be Commander in Chief.
I repeated, “torture is torture. It’s illegal, like the wall.” I should’ve said, “legality does not equate to morality,” and then have brought up his favorite topic of the illegal immigration— but there was no time for articulation. As soon as I said it, one of Drumpf’s staff was grabbing me and pulling me. I told him to keep his hands off and identify himself. After all, he was not a uniformed police officer, and since this was the case, what he was doing was assault. Trump likes to make the case that at a private event, he can eject anyone he wants. What he can’t do is have his staff members assault people.
As I am being hauled out by police, Drumpf turns my statement of love into an inquiry into my love life. "Do you see what he's gotten written on his very dirty undershirt? You see? It says, 'love is the answer.' And in a certain way he's right. Love. Love is a great thing. 'Love is the answer,' he's got written there. I wonder who he makes love with there? Oh forget it.”
Finally I have gotten Donald to open his heart to the possibility of love… if in the creepiest way imaginable.
Outside the rally, things were very heated as well. Hundreds of protesters lined up against a wall of police, and a wall of Drumpf people on the other side… But that will have to wait for my second report. Gotta hit the road again!

* "USA: Veteran photographer attacked by Secret Service at Trump rally" (2016-02-29, Gabby Morrongiello) []: Footage shows photographer Christopher Morris struggling on the ground after being attacked by a Secret Service agent at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Radford, Virginia, Monday. 58-year-old Morris, a credentialed photographer for Time, told reporters that he was trying to take pictures of Black Lives Matter protesters who were being escorted out of the event, when a member of security grabbed him by the neck and slammed him to the ground.

* "Crowd Chants 'USA' As Protestor Is Kicked, Dragged Out Of Trump Rally" (2015-10-25, []

* "Trump supporter yells ‘Go back to Africa’ to protesters, black woman replies ‘Ya’ll brought us here’ " (2016-03-14, []

* "Black protester chants "Black Lives Matter" at Trump rally & is violently assaulted by white mob" (2015-11-21, []

* " ‘Get ‘em out': Trump demands ejection of protesters from ‘intense’ rally" (2016-03-05, [], attached videos:
- []
- []
- "Tonight was the most intense rally I've witnessed so far on the trail. This is just a clip" (2016-03-04) []
- "Tense confrontations broke out at @realDonaldTrump's rally in New Orleans moments ago" (2016-03-04) []

* "Trump-backing KKK leader refuses to believe Jesus was Jewish: ‘He was an Israelite!’" (2016-03-10, []
* "Trump Supporter Says Jesus WASN’T a Jew: Whites are the Real Chosen People; According to this Trump supporter, Jesus wasn't a Jew, but white Europeans are, and that makes white Americans the real chosen people" (2016-03-11, []

* "Donald Trump rally in Cincinnati canceled, candidate supporters say 'Civil War' declared" (2016-03-11, []

* "Trump Rally Descends into Chaos as Police Drench Protesters with Pepper Spray" (2016-03-13, []
(2016-03-12, Police just doused peaceful protesters with pepper-spray outside a Trump rally in Kanas City. Police used their spray indiscriminately and as you can see from this video, it was planned in advance. SHARE to expose these officers, we will be investigating throughout the night and we will identify these cops as soon as possible.
* "Another Trump Lie: Chicago PD never told him to cancel his rally" (2016-03-12, []
* "How black, Latino and Muslim college students organized to stop Trump's rally in Chicago" (2016-03-12, []
* "Trump: Chicago protesters can be traced back to Sanders" (2016-03-12, [], meme from [] [begin excerpt]: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Saturday blamed Bernie Sanders supporters for the massive protests that forced him to cancel a campaign rally in Chicago the night before.
Trump said his supporters at the rally "caused no problem."
"They were taunted, they were harassed by these other people — by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend," Trump said, drawing loud boos from the Dayton, Ohio, crowd.
"With Bernie, he should really get up and say to his people, 'stop, stop.' Not me."
Secret Service agents rushed onstage to protect Trump late in his speech when it appeared that someone was attempting to rush the stage.
"I was ready for him, but it's much easier if the cops do it," he said after the situation died down.
Trump slammed his critics who said that he should take responsibility for the unrest at his rallies and tell his supporters to be more nice.
"My people are nice, folks. My people are great,” he said. [end excerpt]
Gunnar Angeles writes: Sanders supporters post stupid memes that distort the actual definition of Socialism, but Trump supporters literally beat the shit out of ethnic and religious minorities. Clearly, Trump supporters are worse in almost every possible way.

* "Sandernistas are spreading misinformation. Here's the truth" (2016-03-12) []

* "Tess Raser, an organizer with Asata’s Daughters, a group of black women that has protested police violence, said her organization saw the protest as an opportunity to connect Trump's racist rhetoric with institutional racism in Chicago." Retweeted ●●●●●●● (@serieuxblack):
WATCH: @AssataDaughters and @BLMChi shut down #TrumpRallyChi to say #ByeAnita

* Comment: "Donald Trump Jr. is the epitome of a participation medal child. He got his medal merely by being born a Trump--a name that connotes unworthy entitlement, inexcusable extravagance, and unbridled selfishness. This family is the embodiment of what is poisonous in our nation."


* "Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Cancels Rally in Chicago Due to Security Concerns" (2016-03-11, []

* "Anti-Trump Crowd Shows Communist Colors In Chicago, Literally" (2016-03-11) []

* "New Orleans protesters second line outside of Trump Rally at Lakefront Airport" (2016-03-04) [], video []


Ben Carson just endorsed Trump, and the hypocrisy of it all stinks to high heaven.

Here is a statement from the trotskyite Socialist Workers Party (USA) (.pdf) [] defending Trump's right of "free speech", denouncing the protesters, and claiming that there is no rising fascism in the US.
I want to say "un-fucking-believable"; but, no. Typical trotskyite attempt to wreck and derail the popular movement.

* "Rick Joyner: Bernie Sanders Is Popular Because The Communist Party Runs The Schools" (2016-03-10, []

USA FASCISM: State Media Watch
Documenting propaganda issued by the monopolist media and members of the state security regime that uphold the economic dictatorship, imperialist wars, and the "New Jim Crow" regime []

* "The Rise of Trump Shows the Danger and Sham of Compelled Journalistic 'Neutrality' " (2016-03-14, by Glenn Greenwald, []

USA FASCISM: Artificial Poverty and Starvation

* "Unsure About Socialism? Here's More Evidence That Capitalism Is Killing America" (2016-03-14, by Paul Buchheit, []

* "Reverse Robin Hood: Six Billion Dollar Businesses Preying on Poor People" (2016-03-07, []

* "Ohio lost 112,500 jobs due to trade with TPP countries" (2016-03-03, []

* "What Happens When Low-Income Mothers Call the Police" (2016-03-10, []

Just thought i would share this, some basic facts about the worlds most prosperous nation and biggest economy on Earth.
"48.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 32.8 million adults and 15.3 million children."
There are more Americans in situations of food insecurity than the entire population of the DPRK.

* "The numbers are staggering: US is ‘world leader’ in child poverty" (2015-04-15, [] [begin excerpt]: America’s wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion []. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60 percent (.pdf) [].
Financier and CEO Peter Schiff said, “People don’t go hungry in a capitalist economy” []. The 16 million kids on food stamps [] know what it’s like to go hungry. Perhaps, some in Congress would say, those children should be working. “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” insisted Georgia Representative Jack Kingston [], even for schoolkids, who should be required to “sweep the floor of the cafeteria” (as they actually do at a charter school in Texas []).
The callousness of U.S. political and business leaders is disturbing, shocking. Hunger is just one of the problems of our children. Teacher Sonya Romero-Smith told about the two little homeless girls she adopted []: “Getting rid of bedbugs, that took us a while. Night terrors, that took a little while. Hoarding food..”
America is a ‘Leader’ in Child Poverty -
The U.S. has one of the highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world []. As UNICEF reports (.pdf) [], “[Children’s] material well-being is highest in the Netherlands and in the four Nordic countries and lowest in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the United States.”
Over half of public school students are poor enough to qualify for lunch subsidies [], and almost half of black children under the age of six are living in poverty [].
$5 a Day for Food, But Congress Thought it was Too Much.
Nearly half of all food stamp recipients are children [], and they averaged about $5 a day for their meals (.pdf) [] before the 2014 farm bill cut $8.6 billion (over the next ten years) from the food stamp program [].
In 2007 about 12 of every 100 kids were on food stamps []. Today it’s 20 of every 100 [].
For Every 2 Homeless Children in 2006, There Are Now 3 -
On a typical frigid night in January, 138,000 children, according to the U.S. Department of Housing, were without a place to call home (.pdf) [].
That’s about the same number of households that have each increased their wealth by $10 million per year since the recession []. [end excerpt]

* "Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty" (2015-01-16, []
* "A New Majority Research Bulletin: Low Income Students Now a Majority in the Nation's Public Schools" (retrieved 2015-01-17, []

* "Peter Schiff And Barry Ritholtz Battled Over The Minimum Wage On Last Night's Daily Show" (2014-01-29, [] [begin excerpt]: When last we saw libertarian investor Peter Schiff, he was staging a fake protest outside of WalMart in an effort to mock workers demanding higher wages [].
Schiff was back at it again on last night's Daily Show.
In a segment on the minimum wage, Schiff told correspondent Samantha Bee that "people don't go hungry in a capitalist economy."
"It's socialism that creates scarcity, that creates famine," Schiff said. "In a free market, there's plenty of food for everybody, especially the poor." [end excerpt]

Documenting the global economic dictatorship

* "Erbil: Western Propaganda and Two Parallel Realities" (2016-02-18, [] [begin excerpt]:
You come to Ecuador, a country on the rise, with its brilliant public places, medical posts and endless cultural institutions, but you are soon told that the nation is corrupt and unwell. You reply that you knew it before, decades ago, when it was like Peru, racist, depressing, dirty and totally against its own people. They still insist: it is a failure; immediate change is needed!
You go to Brazil, to the Amazonia. You talk to people in the jungle and in what used to be appalling urban slums. People tell you that things are now good, that they are much better off than before, with a socialist government in place for so many years. But then you turn on O Globo at night, and it is all shit once again.
You are in Zimbabwe, where you are told to expect filth and misery. You come from pro-Western Nairobi where over 50% of people live in horrible slums. In Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, there are almost no slums, but there is culture and public projects, as well as the highest literacy rate in the entire African continent. The city is clean. But you read the Economist and almost all other major British publications, and you are told that the country is in ruins.
You go to China… Everything is upside down from what you would expect, reading the Western press. In the PRC you see clearly an extremely forward-looking Communist nation, with much more intellectual and artistic freedom than what you would encounter anywhere in Europe, and also with many more possibilities. But when you return to Paris or London and speak of what you really saw, you are laughed at.
Pseudo reality has won. Especially in the West, almost everyone is hooked on it, stoned by it.
Humble and genuine reality is spat on, humiliated, ridiculed, and not only by the media and propaganda outlets, anymore. The great majority of those common people of the West are now submissively and self-righteously volunteering: they feel that they have to demonstrate their allegiance to the narrative of the regime. They do it, while bragging loudly about democracy, freedom and liberties in their part of the world. Paradoxically, the more brainwashed, servile and un-free they are, the louder they promote themselves as the true and only flag carriers of democracy.
It all feels so fascist and hopeless!
Two realities: one genuine but beaten into silence. The other one – loud, aggressive, supported by billions of dollars, but based on lies, manipulations and Machiavellian goals.
To use the words of my dear friend Eduardo Galeano: What can those who still have some dignity left, philosophers, reporters, writers and filmmakers with passion for that beautiful lady called Reality, do?
They can, they should, and they are obliged, to repeat again and again what is obvious even with an unarmed eye. They have to tell the truth, even if the indoctrinated masses would relentlessly spit in their faces.
[end excerpt]

* "US Ownership Of Earth" (2016-03-09, by Dave Simpson, []:
During the "red scare" of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was accused of being intent on global domination, however in the post Cold War environment America has clearly has set itself up as the announced owners of planet USA. The Worldwide control of humanity’s economic, social and political activities is under the helm of US corporate and military power. Underlying this process are various schemes of direct and indirect military intervention. These US sponsored strategies ultimately consist of a process of global domination unlike any other in history.
Just what is the US threat to global freedom? A 2000 Global Report published in 1980 had outlined “the State of the World” by focusing on so-called  “level of threats” which might negatively influence or undermine US interests.Twenty years later, US strategists, in an attempt to justify their military interventions in different parts of the World, have conceptualized the greatest fraud in US history, namely “the Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT). The latter, using CIA manufactured synthetic terrorism, constitutes a global war against all those who oppose US hegemony. A modern form of slavery, instrumented through US sponsored terrorism and the “free market” has unfolded. Major elements of the conquest and world domination strategy by the US refer to the control of the world economy and its financial markets and taking over of all natural resources (primary resources and nonrenewable sources of energy). The latter constitute the cornerstone of US power through the activities of its multinational corporations.
   The US has established its control over 191 governments which are members of the United Nations. The conquest, occupation and/or otherwise supervision of these various regions of the World is supported by an integrated network of military bases and installations which covers the entire Planet (Continents, Oceans and Outer Space). In moves that would make Adolf Hitler envious, the USA has established a global military command to divide up and administer the planet, just as Nazi German forces divided up the Soviet Union into administrative regions during WWII.
   To support it's global conquest America operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases Worldwide.The main sources of information on these military installations (e.g. C. Johnson, the NATO Watch Committee, the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases). At present, there are US troops in 156 countries worldwide and they occupy bases in 63 countries with over 255,000 US military personnel deployed worldwide.These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings. The underlying land surface is of the order of 30 million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of 737 bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide.
    Of course these bases have absolutely nothing to do with protecting the American "homeland", they do have a lot to do with assuring American global dominance of natural resources  as we note US Military Bases in foreign countries, are mainly located in Western Europe: 26 of them are in Germany, 8, in Great Britain, and 8 in Italy. There are nine military installations in Japan (Wikepedia). In the last few years, in the context of the Global War On Terror, the US has built 14 new bases in and around the Persian Gulf. It is also involved in construction and/or or reinforcement of 20 bases (106 structured units as a whole) in Iraq, with costs  of the order of 1.1 billion dollars in that country alone (Varea, 2007) and the use of about ten bases in Central Asia.The US has also undertaken continued negotiations with several countries to install, buy, enlarge or rent an additional number of military bases. The latter pertain to US installations in Morocco, Algeria, Mali, Ghana, Brazil and Australia, Poland, Czech Republic, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirghistan, Italy and France. Washington has signed an agreement to build a military base in Djibouti as well. These initiatives are part of an overall plan to install a series of military bases geographically located in a West-East corridor extending from Colombia in South America, to North Africa, the Near East, Central Asia and as far as the Philippines. The US bases in South American are related to the control and access to the extensive natural biological , mineral and water resources resources of the Amazon Basin. Naturally one need not be clairvoyant to figure out the next place for a US military base, will be drum roll please, Ukraine...
      From the US perspective, establishing a base in Ukraine provides a base for it's advanced destabilization efforts of Russia and a sense of legitimacy the Nazi Kiev junta is lacking. US bases are also perfect for NSA communications intercepts, CIA torture and kidnapping operations and transit hubs for drugs and weapons shipments. As has been shown, America is determined to own the planet and dismember it for the profit of it's oligarch masters. What the rest of the world chooses to do to stop this American criminal activity remains to be seen.
- "The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases: The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel" (2007-07-01, by Jules Dufour) []
- "United States Strategic Command" (retrieved 2016-03-11, []
- "Global Command and Control System" (retrieved 2016-03-11, []
- "Unified Command Plan" (retrieved 2016-03-11, []
- "Foundation of American dominance" (2010-11-07, Caspian Report) []

* "The EU-Turkey Summit Exposes Our Inhumanity to Refugees" (2016-03-07, []

* "Honor for sale!" (2016-03-11) []:
Just how deeply do western governments of the US, Britain and France bow to the depraved "royals" of Saudi Arabia? You should be shocked - and angry.
Here are just a few examples:
1) France just awarded the Legion of Honor - to Saudi Arabia - for their help in fighting terrorism!!! The country that not only looks most like ISIS, their Wahhabi ideology is the root of ISIS and al Qaeda etc. I have heard from a good authority that most of the suicide bombers in Syria and Iraq are Saudis (Wahhabis). I have seen a video of an auction in Saudi Arabia of a man auctioning off one of his sons to become a suicide bomber in Syria. The kings of Saud family have financed virtually every radicalized mosque in the world. Almost all of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis as was Osama bin Laden.
2) The UN put Saudi Arabia over the UN Panel on Human Rights. The depth of hypocrisy in this appointment is hard to overstate. Saudi Arabia is one of the worst government offenders -if not the very worst - against human rights on the planet. Children are executed. Women who are victims of rape are punished. They behead twice as many people as ISIS. There is no religious freedom or tolerance whatsoever. There is no freedom for women whatsoever - in fact women are considered property.
3) The UN just created an "independent" panel to investigate the crime against humanity that is the Saudi war against Yemen. The Saudis are funding the panel. The Saudis have one of their shills as the head of the panel.
4) The George Soros funded Human Rights Watch (that calls every bomb dropped on terrorist rebels by the Syrian army an atrocity), just reported on a real atrocity in Saudi Arabia when their religious police refused to let girls flee from a fire because they were running away and didn't have their full "abayas" - burkas - on. At least 14 girls died that day. The strongest words from HRW were that the Saudi government really needs to investigate this incident...
Oh, but the Saudis, our precious Saudis, whose "royals" are the most depraved despots on earth have a few things in their favor as far as the west is concerned: money; oil/gas that makes money for US companies; and a love of western made weapons that go boom that they buy with their money.
Honor for sale.
* "Saudi Arabia ‘fights torture’ & ‘promotes human rights,’ Gulf state tells UN" (2016-03-11, []


WORLD FASCISM WATCH: Weapons for a New World Order
* "Water drone: Boeing launches incredible unmanned super-submarine" (2016-03-12, []

* "Facebook donates servers to speed up research into AI" (2016-02-25, AFP Newswire) []

* "X Prize aims to show AI is friend not foe" (2016-02-17, AFP Newswire) []

* "Boston Dynamics robot learns from being bullied" (2016-02-24, UPI Newswire) []

* "Can fables, fairy tales teach robots morality?" (2016-02-17, UPI Newswire) []

* "Leading experts and humanoid robots at ITB Berlin; Leading figures representing tourism, politics, industry and the world’s largest tourism convention – ChihiraKanae, Toshiba’s humanoid robot, is eagerly awaited – admission is free for trade visitors at ITB Berlin" (2016-02-29, [].
"The future of work in the tourism industry: will humanoid robots make us defunct?" Visitors to ITB Berlin, a travel business convention, can make up their own minds at two live demonstrations of Toshiba’s humanoid robot. ChihiraKanae speaks Japanese, Chinese and English, employs arm and hand gestures, changes expression, recognises faces and shows emotions. About this photo: The humanoid robot from Toshiba, ChihiraKanae, welcomes visitors at the ITB Berlin 2016.

* "Solar cells as light as a soap bubble; Ultrathin, flexible photovoltaic cells from MIT research could find many new uses" (2016-02-25, []

* "Researchers unveil light-up, stretchable robot skin" (2016-03-04, UPI Newswire) []

* "Stretchable electronics that quadruple in length" (2016-02-29, [], attached video []

* "Could Laser Weapon Save Earth from Killer Asteroids?" (2016-03-01, []

information collected by the  
[], for justice, dignity and human rights, and an end to the USA's endless wars, in harmony with Principle 1 & 6 of International Law [], the 5 protocols of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) [], and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [].

* "West Point and American Exceptionalism; We must support American exceptionalism in every way we can. One of the most important reservoirs and guardians of American exceptionalism is found in the institution, cadets, and alumni of the U.S. Military Academy" (2016-03-14, []

* " ‘US tied to global security role’ – shameless and blatant BBC propaganda" (2016-02-19, []

* "U.S. killing more civilians in Iraq, Syria than it acknowledges" (2016-02-04, [] [begin except]: Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this article misstated how many civilian deaths the coalition has acknowledged. The correct number it has admitted to is 21. [end excerpt]

* "U.S.-Led Coalition Kills over 1,000 Civilians in Iraq and Syria; Since August 2014, the U.S. and its allies have carried out more than 10,800 airstrikes, but only admitted to killing up to 21 civilians" (2016-03-09, []

* Photo: "Americans against NATO!"

* "Obama chides UK & Saudi Arabia, says conflict with China is possible" (2016-03-12, []

* "US Ex- Defence Secretary William Perry accused USA of deterioration in relations with Russia" (2016-03-10, []: The former head of the Pentagon William Perry has accused the USA of deterioration in the relations with Russia. According to him, the friendship was prevented by arrogance of Washington. Perry is sure that after the end of the "cold war" in the relations of two countries the rise was outlined, but the American politicians have missed this chance. He called three main mistakes of Washington.
The first mistake is an expansion of NATO to the east, directly to the borders of Russia. The second one is a wrong move – placement of missile defense systems, and the third mistake is the support by the White House of "color revolutions" in the territory of the former Soviet Union, including Georgia and Ukraine. All these steps "have led Moscow to think that NATO and the USA should be considered rather as an enemy than as a friend".

* "Towards a deeper understanding of Imperialism's war with Russia" (2016-03-10, []

* "NATO eyes long-term breach of nuke non-proliferation treaty, Russia to respond – senior diplomat" (2016-03-11, []

The following two articles are written by agents of a USA security agency, and provide insights into the official narrative mandated by the USA State Department concerning the Cold War against the Eurasian Union. As the Federation of Russia is protecting the people of Novorossiya and Syria against USA-backed death squads and fascists, their efforts have retained popularity, to the detriment of the USA's major objectives in the areas mentioned.
* "Russian Hybrid Warfare and other dark arts" (2016-03-11, []
* "The Rise of the Hybrid Warriors, From Ukraine to the Middle East" (2016-03-09, by Douglas Ollivant, []

* "Manning the Frontier: Allies and the unraveling of the World Order" (2016-03-07, by Frank Hoffman, [] [begin excerpt]: Speaking at the Munich Security Conference last month, Sen. John McCain noted that our “vision of world order is under assault today … in the Asia-Pacific region, right here in Europe, and nowhere more graphically than the Middle East.” The assault is happening because predatory powers and extremist terrorist movements like the self-proclaimed Islamic State are seeking to drive the West back. According to McCain, “The world order that we built, our dearest inheritance, which we tended to and shored up every year here at Munich, is coming apart.”
This assault on and unraveling of world order, so evident in the South China Sea and Ukraine, is the basis for The Unquiet Frontier. The authors present a future grand strategy for the United States based upon U.S. leadership of a revitalized network of allies to counter the predatory pressures of revisionist powers at the frontiers of freedom. To Grygiel and Mitchell, the frontline allies of the United States are the central mechanism for containing rivals seeking to undermine the current balance of power. They claim that the value of strategically placed allies near Eurasia’s major powers will only grow as our relative technological and military superiority erodes. Thus, they conclude (a bit inartfully) “the time has come for the United States to develop a grand strategy for containing peer competitors centered on the creative use of frontline allies.” [end excerpt]
* "The weight of the punch: British ambition and power" (2016-03-07, by Patrick Porter, []

* "As Trump's lead grows, GOP NatSec Community falls in line... against him" (2016-03-04, by John Amble, []

Laying the legal groundwork for war -
Through a legal loophole, a court has found the Islamic Republic of Iran liable for the incident that had occurred during September 11th, 2001, that had been blamed on Palestine, at first, then the Republic of Iraq, and al Qaeda (a transnational theocratic organization funded by sovereigns of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).
* "Iran ordered to pay $10.5 billion for 9/11 by US judge" (2016-03-10, []

A Day of Peace and Solidarity

New York City: Join us – Sunday, March 13
RALLY 2 pm Herald Square – 34th St & 6th Ave
MARCH 4 pm to the UN – Dag Hammarskjöld
Money for Jobs and People's Needs, Not War!
Rebuild Flint! Rebuild Our Cities!
End the wars!
Defend the Black Lives Matter Movement!
No to Islamophobia!
None of the major candidates are speaking about U.S. wars. Keep endless wars an issue during this campaign.
On March 13 in NYC, anti-war, anti-racist and social justice activists will gather –to say “NO” to continued war and to demand money for human needs. Endless wars abroad mean austerity and militarized police at home.
Despite the Syrian ceasefire the danger of war is growing. Behind the diplomatic maneuvers Washington continues to flood the world with weapons. This guarantees profit for Wall Street and cutbacks in everything we need.
First Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Libya, and then Syria!
The expansion of NATO, support for a fascist coup in Ukraine, confrontations with Russia, encirclement of China lead to expanded repression at home, confrontations with people of color and encirclement of our cities. The racist poisoning of Flint’s water exposes the siphoning of billions of dollars for war instead of children’s lives.
Organized by: Unites National Antiwar Coalition []
March 13 Peace and Solidarity is supported by:
Peace Poets -
- Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
- Lynne Stewart, People’s Lawyer, former Political Prisoner
- Imam Abdul Rashid Talib, Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood.
- Kathy Kelly- Voices for Creative Nonviolence
- Glen Ford & Margaret Kimberly - Black Agenda Report
- David Swanson -
- Ann Wright – Veterans For Peace
- Raymond Nat Turner – Peoples Poet
Organizations -
- Action 21 NJ,
- AlAwda Palestine Right to Return Coalition
- Haiti Support Network
- Int'l League of Peoples Struggle
- Islamic Leadership Council of NY,
- Jersey City Peace Movement,
- International Action Center
- Manhattan Green Party
- Pakistan/USA Freedom Forum
- Party of Communists USA,
- Peoples Organization for Progress
- Peoples Power Assembly,
- Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
- socialist Action
- Solidarity with Iran
- South Asian Fund for Education & Training
- Syrian American Forum
- US Peace Council
- Veterans For Peace, Chapter 21-NJ,
- Workers World Party,
- World Beyond War
- World Can’t Wait
A donor has donated pizza for all who attend

* Drogheria & Alimentari, Blue Persian Salt Mill [], photos [] [], imported from the EU Republic of Italy using product the Islamic Republic of Iran, available in the USA during November, 2015, then silently "recalled" with all available stocks removed from 3rd Party vendor websites by February 2016 (at the latest). A remarkable example of peace through trade, never to be remembered.
A promotional video has the release date as 2015-10-30 [], view video at [].
The listing at [] has the UPC: 030684344985, and [] has UPC: 656385000373.
Also, see Persian Sapphire Blue Salt from Salts of the 7 Seas, LLC [].

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