Monday, June 24, 2019

Throw in the Towel?

Throw in the Towel?
by C.A. Matthews

All things must come to an end. Eventually. That's just how life works in our linear temporal existence here on Earth. But is there ever a point where we should step in and usurp the universe's timing for something to end? Is there ever a point where we should put an endeavor to rest early before its memory becomes so worn and tarnished that we can barely look back at it without tears and regrets?

You're looking at one such endeavor.

The heyday of Bernie Sanders' first "fringe" run for the White House are past. Those of us who jumped on the Bernie bandwagon early on in 2015 have climbed to the mountaintops and then plunged down to the deep dark valleys more times than we care to admit. We all knew that Bernie's ideas were "mainstream" and would capture the public's imagination. 

But little did we know how the "mainstream" media would at first ignore his race, then ridicule him personally, then outright blame his followers for Trump's victory. Our idealism blinded us to the reality of how "money talks" and how much the mess we're in can be placed on the doorstep of the Citizens United ruling.

This blog used to get tens of thousands of hits per week back when. No joke. Somewhere along the line the opposition (in the form of David Brock's "Correct the Record" trolls) started to block and get our promotional posts banned on social media platforms. The site visits dropped, but then they recovered, as progressives huddled together in the cold, cruel world that is Trump's America. We knew we were filling a niche and had readers who depended upon us being there for them in these dark times.

But with the demise of Google+ and the death of Net Neutrality, the last nails have been hammered into the coffin that is The Revolution Continues blog. If the hit counters are to be believed (and that's problematic in and of itself--they could be hacked), then we have gone from a weekly audience of a well-packed basketball arena for a Bernie rally down to a mid-sized auditorium or less. Is the struggle to produce/procure a weekly piece worth it for so few? We think so, but the time, toil and effort are draining. One wonders is it worth all the stress.

There are progressive candidates worth promoting, discussing and disagreeing with. There are a myriad of progressive causes that need our attention and help to get their message out. Are we still able to fulfill our purpose without a large advertising budget so we can buy the advertising we need to spread the word that we used to get free of charge?

All we know for certain at this point is this: the opponents of Net Neutrality and the scourge of corporate-welfare capitalism have a lot to answer for!

Giving a collective sigh, we push on. This week the inspiration wasn't there for any of our diehard core of bloggers and hence this sad and sorry piece. 

There is much to get righteously angry about today in the news: little children dying in #TrumpCamps, more people dying of preventable illnesses because Medicare For All is still a figment of our imaginations, saber-rattling in the Gulf of Oman to start another dirty little war for oil… 

And, of course, Bernie Sanders is back in the running, bigger and better than ever. We hold our collective breaths and wait, cautiously optimistic the corrupt DNC won't thwart his run for the White House again by anointing the corporatist/friend of segregationalists former V.P. Joe Biden instead. It's early days yet, so we won't put the cart before the horse. We're hopeful if Bernie doesn't get the nod at least Tulsi Gabbard might… Nah, they'll just thrust Creepy Uncle Joe down our throats and tell us to vote "blue no matter who."

The Greens have yet to settle on any one candidate, but their national convention is a month off. Without the specter of corporate lobbyist money, the Greens will at least have a fair and democratic process to decide whom they wish to front for president. There could be a pleasant surprise awaiting us in the near future.

We're holding on until then. The towel is in our hands, and we've not thrown it in quite yet. Give us a little love--give us some feedback in the comments section below. We'd love to hear what you want to hear more about.  

The Revolution Continues… until it doesn't.


From the League of Women Voters:
Tuesday, June 25, marks six years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision which overturned essential provisions of the VRA which has led to countless attacks on the voting rights of Americans.  
Together, during the week of June 24-30, allies around the country will come together to show how this decision unleashed a torrent of voter discrimination and electoral chaos nationwide. We’re planning a massive call in day tomorrow (Tuesday, June 25) to Congress asking them to fully restore the Voting Rights Act. And we encourage calls throughout the week as your schedule allows. 
Over the past six years since Shelby County v. Holder, we have seen many states and localities use every tool available to make voting harder. Politicians have worked to roll back hours for early voting, purge voter rolls of qualified voters, and even pass strict voter photo ID bills that make it harder for people to register to vote.  
But Congress can act today by moving the Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4 / S. 561)! Will you call your elected officials demand action on this important legislation?
The Voting Rights Advancement Act was introduced to address the voting discrimination unleashed in the wake of the Shelby County v. Holder decision. Now let’s get to it and move forward on consideration of the bill. 
Tell Congress to Restore the Vote
Yours in the fight,
Celina Stewart 
Senior Director of Advocacy and Litigation 
League of Women Voters 

From Food & Water Watch:
Since settling with Ray Kemble in July 2012, Cabot has accrued 243 violations for its fracking in Ray's home county — why are they still allowed to frack?
Support Ray and help fight Cabot!

I wanted to share a quick update on Cabot Oil & Gas’ efforts to silence people fighting fracking.

We are continuing to support Ray Kemble as Cabot’s lawsuit against him slogs on. He didn’t do anything wrong by educating people about the dangers of fracking, and Cabot’s lawsuit is unjustified bullying. (You can stand with Ray and support his legal fight, too.)

Meanwhile, Cabot is actually breaking rules. Since July 20, 2012 (the day Cabot settled the suit Ray brought against them for poisoning his water), Cabot has accrued 243 violations for its fracking operations in Susquehanna County alone, where Ray lives.1

This is unacceptable.
Cabot is accusing Ray of breach of settlement, but Cabot is breaching the regulations they agreed to in order to frack. Despite these violations, Cabot is still allowed to continue fracking throughout the region, putting people's drinking water, homes and health in danger.

You can donate to stand up to Cabot and keep supporting Ray’s fight.
Frackers Can’t Break the Rules
We will continue to fight Cabot, to stop fracking and to support Ray. Fight like you live here — donate today.
Onward together,

Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director
Food & Water Watch


Can you give a blogger a lift? How about helping them pay for a ride to the upcoming Green Party National Meeting in Salem, Mass. so The Revolution Continues can report on the action? Please donate a buck or two to our travel fund via the Paypal link below. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What's Up, Marcy?

What's up, Marcy?
rally photos by C.A. & A.J. Matthews

What's up, Representative Marcy Kaptur? She has refused  to co-sponsor the Medicare For All (HR 1384) Bill in the House, and now she refuses to sign the "No War with Iran Resolution" (HR 2354). It's very confusing since Kaptur (D), our longest serving Congresswoman representing Ohio's 9th district,  previously supported the Sanders-Conyers Medicare For All Bill. 

What's up, Marcy? We know you can do better than this. Much better!

On the picket line, the nurses of St. Vincent Mercy Health picketed alone that day, their fellow medical tech workers having signed a separate contract to return to work earlier in he week. Our Revolution (National), traveling across the country in their Medicare For All van, stopped by Toledo to rally with the striking nurses and local activists.  A national Medicare For All program would help the nurses deal with their current mediocre health insurance coverage. It could possibly help with the extra long hours they've been forced to work due to staffing shortages (because the Bon Secours Corporation that runs their "charity" Catholic hospital chain expects higher profits). If the corporation didn't have to pay health care benefits to its workers because they had Medicare For All, then they could afford to hire more nurses and med techs, right?

Speakers at the Medicare For All protest in front of St. V's included the national director of Our Revolution and local OR leader Dennis Slotnick who also represents the Ohio Single Payer Action Network. Nancy Larson, a candidate for state office in 2020, spoke out as well as Stefania Czech, candidate for Toledo City Council District 2, Quinn Albright, a young activist representing the newly formed Northwest Ohio Democratic Socialists of America, physician-activist Dr. Jon Ross, and Adrian Matthews, a British national and proponent of socialized health care. 

After the rally, the crowd headed to Rep. Kaptur's local office downtown to present her staff a petition stating the voters' desire for Marcy to become a co-sponsor of HB 1384.

Unfortunately within a few days of the rally the St. Vincent nurses left the picket line when their union (UAW) folded and told them the strike was over. None of their demands for increased staffing and less mandatory overtime were addressed.

Two days later, another protest formed in front of Rep. Marcy Kaptur's office building located downtown at Maritime Plaza. The Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition had been planning the peace protest rally to inspire Rep. Kaptur to sign HR 2354 for some time when the story of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, supposedly hit by Iranian missiles, monopolized the mainstream news feeds.
Many of the activists at the No War on Iran rally expressed surprise and disappointment in the Democratic  Congresswoman. Why hadn't she signed onto the resolution? What could be holding her back? 

It's difficult to know for sure, but Ohio has always been a favorite of Big Oil lobbying interests. Big Oil could realize some massively big profits in taking over Middle Eastern oil fields and shipping lanes. War is a profitable business after all. Is the answer to why Marcy Kaptur hasn't been more vocal on this issue simply "the money is too good to ignore"?

We're very disappointed if it is simply the lobbyists' cash motivating the congresswoman's non-action. You can do better than this, Marcy. Much better!
Our children's futures are at stake here. Without decent, universal health care, many of their futures will be shortened. With more wars for oil, their world becomes an even unsafer place to live in than it already is. 

Marcy--what's up? We can't afford to wait for leadership on these issues. All our  lives are hanging in the balance. Listen to these activists. Step up! 

Call your Congressmember today at 

From Food & Water Watch

There’s a fast-moving amendment in the House of Representatives that would stop Trump's Department of Energy from financially backing dirty energy projects masquerading as clean energy projects.

A full House vote could happen any time this week, and you can help keep the pressure on by taking action TODAY — tell your representative we need more renewable energy, not dirty fossil fuel projects.

Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced an amendment that would require the Department of Energy to only back energy projects that address and mitigate climate change.

The amendment passed out of a House Committee last week, and it’s headed to the Floor. Make sure your representative is on board!

What would this amendment do? Energy companies would have to demonstrate how proposed projects would meet heightened standards. One affected project is the proposed massive petrochemical build-out in Appalachia. This enormous network of infrastructure is intended to store and process dirty fossil fuels in order to churn out more plastic. This amendment would effectively hold back the Department of Energy from quickly deciding to financially back the project.

Ultimately, we need comprehensive legislation that would move us to 100% clean, renewable energy on a swift timeline, but this amendment is a great step in the right direction.

Officially, it’s called Amendment 105 to Rule 2 on HR 2740, the Omar-Jayapal Amendment. Here at Food & Water Watch, we're calling it what it is — a really big deal and the result of hard work by activists around the country.

We got this far, but now we have a small window of time to urge the rest of the House to stand in support.

Our allies and activists fighting back against projects like the Appalachia petrochemical hub need your support at this critical moment. Tell your representative to support the amendment and stand against a fossil fuel future.

Thanks for taking action,

Amanda Byrnes
Online Organizing Manager
Food & Water Watch

From the United Church of Christ:

Stop the Detention of Children

Mark 9:37 tells us that “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” As people of faith we are called to care for, welcome and cherish all humanity. The children who come to our border are often fleeing violence and poverty and have endured a long and dangerous journey. They should be met with care and kindness. Once here, every measure should be made that they be placed with family and community sponsors. Instead, as of now, more than 2,500 children are being held in a “child detention facility” in Homestead, Florida.

Contact your members of Congress to let them know this is no way to treat anyone, especially the most vulnerable among us, children. We need to invest in ways to unite families and ensure the best continuum of care for children. Please urge your member of Congress to support the “Shut Down Prison Camps Act” and the “Families Not Facilities Act.” These legislative measures make sure that the government can’t house children in substandard “emergency influx shelters” like Homestead. They also make sure that it’s easier to place children with sponsors by prohibiting the sharing of information with the Department of Homeland Security that could be used to detain and deport family members who come forward to sponsor children.


Everytown for Gun Safety

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, is the day that my life changed.

As a hospital trauma chaplain I have experienced grief, tragedy, pain, and loss as I worked to comfort patients and families in their time of need. But that night four years ago, I was the person in need of comforting when I received a telephone call that no American should get: My mother and two of my cousins had been shot and killed in church along with 6 other parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A white supremacist shot and killed 9 churchgoers as they prayed.

I lost so much in that senseless attack. And since then, hate crimes have been on the rise, resulting in more people being targeted simply because of their identity. 

When hate-filled individuals are armed with a gun, their actions often become deadly.

The shooter targeted parishioners at Emanuel AME simply because of the color of their skin. Along with so many Americans, I was baffled at how such a hate-filled man was able to get his hands on a gun. That's why today I ask you to join me and support federal legislation to keep guns away from people convicted of a hate crime. It's one important step we can take to end hate-fueled gun violence. Add your name to ask the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Disarm Hate Act of 2019.
  Thank you for being with me in the movement against hate and gun violence,
Reverend Sharon Risher
Everytown Survivor Network

P.S. If you are a survivor of gun violence or have a loved one who has been wounded or killed by gun violence, you can share your story on our Moments That Survive Memory Wall with the stories of other survivors of gun violence.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Only Man Can Destroy A Tree

Happy Fourth Anniversary to  
The Revolution Continues!

Who knew that four years later we'd still be publishing a weekly blog? Who knew that Bernie was going to lose in a rigged primary season in 2016? Who knew that progressives of all stripes would still be squabbling while millions of Americans go without adequate health care four years later? Who knew we'd go over 415 ppm of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and the Arctic ice flows would be no more... 

Yes, those are some of the reasons that we're still here. Thank you for being here as well. It's your comments and donations that make it worth it.  Speaking of which, your editor has been invited to cover the upcoming National Green Party Meeting in Salem, Massachusetts. Please consider making a Paypal donation to help defray our travel costs. Every little bit helps. Thank you.

And now, a lament to a dead tree and a dying planet.

Only Man Can Destroy A Tree
by C. A. Matthews

It was only a lowly mulberry tree--but it stands for so much more.

We are living in the last days of our planet. Recent massive flooding in the Midwest and a crushing heat wave in India give evidence to the growing climate crisis. Our atmosphere contains over 415 ppm of carbon dioxide concentration. While some moan, others take action. Millions around the world are planting trees. 

Just take a look at India. They made a world record by planting 66 million trees in 12 hours!  Their goal is to plant a billion new trees while creating new jobs.

Why would any country go to such lengths? A typical tree such as the silver maple can sequester 25,000 pounds of CO2 in a 55 year period. Our forests are our planet's lungs. We need every tree, bush and growing plant producing oxygen and cutting down the build-up of greenhouse gases that we can get.

And still there are some who will chop down a tree without a thought. 

I watched in horror as the mulberry in the yard behind ours was dismantled limb by limb, destroyed simply because it stood too near an underground electric box according to its destroyers. After it was gone, I surveyed its remains and discovered that it wasn't really standing all that close. It could have been trimmed back. If it was threatening the electric cables then the stump and roots underground should have been removed as well, but they were not. Probably the landlord wanted to clear the space so he didn’t have to pay the lawn service more to mow around it.

What a lousy excuse to destroy a tree... What a lousy reason to  jeopardize our future!

The disregard of the beauty and utility of trees is but a symptom of a great sickness that plagues our entire planet. It is a symptom of the disease of capitalism, an economic system that left unchecked will eventually cause the death of all living things. By placing a monetary worth on a living thing, such as a tree, capitalists are stating they value life only for what it can do to grow their bank accounts. Life has no intrinsic value in and of itself to them--only a dollar amount that a capitalist can give it. 

Think it over. If a tree has no worth, other than what its wood can fetch on the market, then what is the worth of a child or young adult to a capitalist? The worth of an elderly person with cancer? The worth of clean water and breathable air? The worth of living in peace, free from death drones dropping bombs on your village in an oil-rich country? 

The capitalist's credo: If it doesn't generate a profit, then who really cares about it, right? 

If this sounds too simplistic, consider this: Why does the US not have universal health care to this very day? Why are some 45,000 Americans yearly allowed to die simply because they can't afford expensive private health insurance when we have the medicine and technology to save them?

One word--greed.

Only God can make a tree, but obviously Man thinks he's free to destroy them all at will. Sad to say, the joke's on him.

Related articles:

Amazon rainforest deforestation--satellites show 740 square miles cleared in 30 days

47 million gallons sewage released into river during Ohio tornado outbreak

Protecting Mother Nature

Algae Map: Tracking algae bloom outbreaks from 2010 to now

From Food & Water Watch:

The hazards associated with fracking are deadly: drinking water contamination, air pollution, accidents and explosions, and toxic waste accumulation. And, most alarming is how fracked gas is accelerating climate change.

Our new report, “The Fracking Endgame,” paints a harrowing picture of our potential future: even as our planet hangs on the edge of climate catastrophe, chemical, plastics and electric power industries and their elected enablers are seeking to turn up the pace of new fracking projects.1

Building out this infrastructure locks us into a future of more air pollution, greenhouse gases and plastic waste. Tell your Members of Congress to stop the fracking endgame!

The Fracking Endgame: Locked Into Plastics, Pollution and Climate Chaos
We have just a few years left to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. However, the chemical, plastics and electric power industries’ plan to capitalize on cheap fracked gas flies in the face of what science tells us we need to do to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Our latest research shows that over 700 new facilities have been built, proposed, or are under development to profit from an oversupply of cheap fracked gas. If even a fraction of these facilities come to fruition, they will condemn our planet to a future of climate chaos and will neuter efforts toward a real Green New Deal.
Stop the Oil and Gas Buildout
We need a climate plan that bans fracking and stops fossil fuels from smothering our planet in plastic and pollution. Tell your Members of Congress to ban fracking and stop the oil and gas buildout.

There is hope for a better world without fracking. With your support we have already won fracking bans in Washington, New York and Maryland and we have stopped or delayed dozens of fossil fuel infrastructure projects in communities across the country. We can stop this onslaught from the fossil fuel industry.

Every day we are working together to stop new fossil fuel development and to promote a rapid transition to a clean, just and equitable renewable energy future. It’s time to fight like you live here. It’s time to stop the fossil fuel industry and ban fracking everywhere.

Onward together,

Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director
Food & Water Watch

P.S. Check out our latest report, The Fracking Endgame: Locked Into Plastics, Pollution and Climate Chaos.

From Friends of the Earth:

The Trump Administration wants to open lands near Sequoia National Park to the fossil fuel industry. This is part of its new plan to expand drilling and fracking to vast amounts of federal lands in California. It’s not just Sequoia at risk -- the plan also threatens Yosemite and Kings Canyon.

Drilling and fracking destroy our wild places, spew toxic air pollution, induce earthquakes, and jeopardize human health -- not to mention contributing to the climate crisis. If we want to preserve a safe and liveable planet for future generations, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground -- not start more drilling and fracking projects. 

The good news is, the Bureau of Land Management hasn’t approved the permits for the California plan. If engaged Friends of the Earth members like you speak out, the BLM will have to listen. Can we count on your support? 

Sequoia National Park is home to the massive Giant Sequoia trees that are one of our nation’s greatest national treasures. The park supports communities living nearby who depend on it for tourism as well. But Trump wants to throw all that away to help his Big Oil friends.

If we can’t stop the Trump Administration in California, nowhere will be safe. We could see mining in the Smoky Mountains, offshore drilling in Glacier Bay, and even fracking in the Everglades -- nothing is off limits for this administration.

This is the opposite of what we should be doing. We need to keep all fossil fuels in the ground, not hand over our public lands to the fossil fuel industry over the objections of local communities and leaders. We need to end drilling and fracking nationwide, and we need you with us to do so.

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground isn’t just one solution, it’s the only solution. But Trump wants to undo the progress that’s been made in California and dig up more dirty fossil fuels. He doesn’t care that it would degrade air quality, or threaten cultural resources in the area, or scar some of our nation’s most beautiful landscapes.

Together with engaged Friends of the Earth members like you, we’re building a movement to protect our public lands and ensure Trump’s Administration doesn’t drive us to ruin. We can save our iconic lands and pristine ecosystems. But we need you with us, C.A.. 

Standing with you,
Nicole Ghio,
Senior fossil fuels program manager,
Friends of the Earth

Climate Hawks Vote

In the United States, we all enjoy the First Amendment right to assemble and protest -- at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. And yet, Donald Trump and his cronies want to jail people who protest the environmentally catastrophic pipelines transporting oil across this country. Ordinary citizens like you and me who feel compelled to speak out against climate catastrophe should be heroes, not criminals.

Red states dependent on fossil fuel extraction -- Oklahoma, South Dakota, Louisiana, Texas -- have passed laws making pipeline protests illegal. Now Trump’s Transportation Department has proposed Congress add 20 years in prison to penalties for protesting and demonstrating against these pipelines. 20 years!

Heaping massive fines and jail time on protesters is un-American and fundamentally undemocratic. Throwing those who disagree with you in prison is the stuff of dictatorships.

Let’s send a clear message to Donald Trump and his Transportation Department: not only are these pipelines not the right policy move, cracking down on dissent will only embolden our resistance.

Your fellow climate hawk,
RL Miller


“Trump administration seeks criminal crackdown on pipeline protests,” Politico