Tuesday, November 30, 2021

When Political Ignorance Is Fatal


When Political Ignorance Is Fatal

by Vegematic

It's been horrible. We've witnessed a corrupt judge do everything in his power to insure a blubbering, young, racist murderer walked free in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. We've seen a president initially hailed as the new FDR show where his true allegiances lie, not with the people but with Wall St. and corporate lobbyists.  The evisceration of the BBB bill was sadly all too predictable and typical of the faux progressive and feckless Democratic party. 

Anyone not familiar with with Joe Biden's history could be forgiven for actually believing he would be a transformational president. The truth about Biden is much darker. 

A leopard doesn't change its spots, and a corporatist and drug warrior is unlikely to have an epiphany at age 78. I view Biden as the geriatric face of the Clintonite wing of the party. These neoliberal dinosaurs are desperately clinging to failed 1980s economic policies and the politics of corporate oligarchy. 

Did Americans really think that Biden, the very architect of so many of the nation's worst policies, could be trusted to repair the damage he helped to create? Perhaps people should ponder that question when they wonder why Biden has not passed a single executive order. Or why he continually refuses to use his power while pathetically pleading with the outright fascist GOP for bipartisanship.

When Biden won the 2020 election, America and the world heaved a collective sigh of relief. Sane Americans had prevailed, and it seemed for a brief time that something at least akin to democracy had been preserved. Less than a year later, we are realizing that sense of relief was to be short lived. 

Many had expected justice to be served finally after four years of the most corrupt and lawless administration in history. When Merrick Garland was appointed attorney general many believed he would indict Trump and his fellow insurrectionists. Obvious and repeated crimes had been committed, and some naively believed that no one is above the law. Instead, the infection of fascism has been allowed to fester and grow. 

You cannot give fascism any quarter. You cannot compromise with it, reason with it, or tolerate it. You must crush it with every tool at your disposal before you are crushed by it.

So where does this leave America? With the Democratic Party poised to be annihilated in next year's midterms, it appears that yet again the party has chosen corporatism over democracy. By refusing to abolish the filibuster and pass desperately needed and immensely popular legislation, they are leading the nation directly back into Trump's sweaty little hands. One has to wonder if Manchin and Sinema are merely the assigned villains in a deliberate attempt to appear powerless while mollifying the Democratic establishment's corporate donors.

America, it seems, is heading into a deep abyss. Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression laws are being passed in state after state. Without immediate passage of voters' rights legislation, the country may well end up being permanently  governed by a fascistic minority. If that happens, the Democrats will be no less culpable than the MAGA-hatted yahoos who voted for Trump.


BIO: Our friend from the North (Canada, that is) is back! Catch Vegematic and his spectacular tenth anniversary videos this week on his You Tube channel.  Thanks, Veg, for all you do to keep our hopes alive as you peer deeply into the moral abyss that encompasses our current society.





This month, world leaders met in Glasgow for the global climate talks. And while the talks were historic in many ways, we didn't see any major commitment to stop the flow of investment to oil and gas projects.

So, we're increasing the stakes. Over the coming days and months, we're going to push more financial institutions to move their money away from fossil fuels: starting with one of the biggest fossil fuel investors, public pension funds.

Your representative has the power to decide whether public pension funds shift away from climate-destroying oil, gas, and coal investments.

Tell your state representative to divest public pensions from risky fossil fuel stocks.

Why are we focusing on public pension funds?

Public pensions are some of the biggest holders of fossil fuel stocks. 30% of all fossil fuel stocks are owned by pension funds. And public pension funds are some of the biggest pools of financial capital on Earth. Just in the United States, public pension funds control over $4.5 trillion in financial assets. That's a lot of money.

Moving a financial institution this huge and powerful might seem unwinnable, but this is where things get interesting: Public pension funds are vulnerable to public pressure because politicians have a say in how they function. And the politicians answer to us.

State employees – from sanitation workers to firefighters and teachers – rely on state public pension funds for their well-earned retirement. We need to make sure that their funds are divested from fossil fuel corporations whose financial outlook is looking shakier and shakier by the day.

Your representative in the state house can change this. And we’ve built a tool you can use to send a message directly to them.

Will you use our tool to tell your state representative to secure pensions from risky fossil fuel stocks?

Some pension managers are beginning to recognize that there is no long term future for fossil fuel stocks. Earlier this year, New York State took its first steps in dropping fossil fuel stocks from its public pension funds. But in order to secure the retirements of public servants in an emissions-constrained world, we need to make sure their pensions are fossil-free.

I'm not going to lie to you: This fight is going to be hard. While some fund managers are starting to see the logic and the ethics behind this, financial instutions can be quite stubborn.

But the Stand.earth community has moved difficult targets before. We've gone up against multinational oil, gas, and coal companies worth billions of dollars and have come out victorious, blocking dozens of their projects. We've shifted billions of dollars of purchasing from corporate powerhouses like Starbucks, Staples, and Levi's onto more sustainable pathways.

By getting funds to divest from fossil fuels, we're following in the footsteps of divestment movements in the past, including the successes of the tobacco movement, and the divestment movement that helped bring down Apartheid. These victories happened because people like you dared to take a stand.

Can you send your message now?

In solidarity,

Amy Gray
Senior Climate Finance Strategist


Help Black Trans Lives Matter
Stop Violence Against Trans Women
& Save Lives
Black Trans Lives Matter was founded by black trans people who are sick and tired of being harassed, bullied, and victims of violence by strangers, coworkers, law enforcement, and even by those we know and love

Can we count on you to commit to a donation of $25 to help us create a K12 curriculum about black trans people in order to combat racism and transphobia in our schools? We can't do it without you. Click here to contribute!

Black Trans Lives Matter


In a near-future dystopian world, hope blossoms where mutual aid and democracy begins...

Zonta’s world is turned upside down when Jake arrives at the commune to investigate the disappearance of agents of the Authority. Can she persuade him to switch sides before the Protectors (antifascist fighters) take action?

Available now from Extasy Books: https://www.extasybooks.com/Where-the-Bodies-Lie


From RootsAction:

Save Sinjajevina's Nature and Local Communities from a Military Base!

People in Montenegro have put their bodies in the way and prevented military exercises on their land -- an amazing victory!

But they need our help to make their success permanent and end all efforts to build a NATO military training ground in the mountains of Montenegro.

A little support from outside Montenegro can make a world of difference there.

Please click here to learn more and to sign and share the petition!

Facebook button Donate button Twitter button

The petition is addressed to: The EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement; and the Ministry of the Defense of Montenegro

The petition reads:
Stand with the local communities of Sinjajevina and the ecosystems they preserve and:
• Ensure the removal of the military training ground in Sinjajevina in a legally binding manner.
• Create a protected area in Sinjajevina co-designed and co-governed by local communities.

Big events are planned to advance this campaign in the coming months. The more signers of the petition, the more powerful a tool it will be.

Sign here.

GRAPHIC: Sign here button

-- The RootsAction.org Team


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Let Us Be Thankful For Each Other


I wrote the following essay a couple of weeks before the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict came in. These were the contest specs:

Every year for Thanksgiving, the Wall Street Journal features a passage from a pilgrim detailing what colonists perceived when they arrived in the “New World.” The passage is full of disdain and racism towards indigenous people, and petition starter Randy, an indigenous activist, thinks it’s time to stop publishing this story.
But what should one of the nation’s most widely-read newspapers publish on Thanksgiving? How can we as a nation stop telling the false story behind the holiday and instead tell a story of our nation that honors indigenous people? We want to read something which positions the descendants of the U.S.’ original inhabitants and settlers as modern day accomplices in the fight for a more just nation...
So, in spite of the fight for a fair and just nation taking a bit of a blow from the Kenosha, Wisconsin trial, here's what I came up from the contest prompt. I really hope channels of communication stay open wide enough so we can continue to work through our conflicts and truly become thankful for each other.

Let Us Be Thankful For Each Other

by C.A. Matthews

If lockdowns and self-isolation have taught us anything, it's this: People need people. Real flesh and blood people, not just online people. We need a variety of people in our lives actually, because it can get awfully tiresome seeing the same four walls and the same few faces for weeks on end. Variety is the spice of life is how the old saying goes. So, let us enjoy meeting a variety of folks this holiday season along with hanging out with those most familiar to us.

One thing that Americans should be thankful for is that we have each other--and we're definitely not lacking in variety. We have a lovely diversity of Native peoples whose ancestors gifted those peoples who came to this continent later with their extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna. In return, these latecomers deprived the Native gift-givers of their lands, languages, and cultures. To make things even worse, the latecomers have up until recently made spurious claims that they are somehow the heroes of the story of how our peoples came together.

These outrageous wrongs should be addressed. Reparations should be made to the children of both our Native peoples as well as the children of those whose ancestors were brought to America in chains and forced to labor as slaves. Americans should make amends to all we have denied civil rights to because of their race, creed, or country of origin. 

Let's not kid ourselves. Americans are not perfect. Those Americans who don't appreciate our diversity of peoples are to be pitied, not lauded. They should be thankful that the majority have shown tolerance of their intolerance. We've been far too tolerant of this evil for far too long. On a holiday dedicated to thankfulness, let us practice forgiveness as well. First, we must beg forgiveness from all peoples we have wronged. Second, we must forgive ourselves for not acting sooner to end the harms of systemic racism.

As we gather around the Thanksgiving table to enjoy time-honored favorite dishes and conversation with friend and stranger alike, let us give thanks for each other. Sure, things could be better--much better--between us and our neighbors, but all is not lost. We still have each other. It's the one thing that in spite of our checkered past and our uncertain future we can count on--each other. And while there are open channels of communication, there is a possibility of healing.

Combining the strength of our different viewpoints, we can learn how to help each other and save our hurting world. There's no need to rely on only one viewpoint, only on one people's culture, overlooking all others'. Diversity is our strength. Variety is the spice that makes our homemade pumpkin pie recipes sing!

Americans, let us remember our past and vow not to repeat the worst parts of it. Let's put our self-centered ways behind us. Let us be there for our fellow Americans today and every day. This and every Thanksgiving, let us truly be thankful for each other. 


Our Afghan friends need your support.

Most of our Afghan neighbors are arriving with humanitarian parole, which only temporarily allows people fleeing danger to remain in the U.S. These Afghans will need to find another pathway to safety once their parole expires.  

To ensure that Afghans find real, lasting safety in the U.S., Congress must pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would allow Afghan humanitarian parolees to seek legal permanent residence in the United States. 

Call on your Senators and Representative to urge them to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act! This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure Afghans have an opportunity to build a life in the United States. We are asking for broad, bipartisan support—please ask your friends, family, congregations, and communities to join us! 

Contact Your Congresspersonhttps://www.votervoice.net/LIRS/campaigns/89654/respond

Contact Your Congressperson


Thank you for all you’ve done to build our movement for people, planet, and peace over profit!  Our work together has set the progressive agenda on issue after issue, from an emergency Green New Deal and Medicare for All to free public higher education, democracy reforms like Ranked-Choice Voting and much more.

Now, in the face of accelerating climate collapse, crushing inequality, endless war and the epic failure of public health — we need independent politics more than ever to advance these transformative solutions our lives depend on. 

I’m writing today to alert you to a battle that may well determine whether alternative parties and independents will be able to gain access to the ballot — an essential part of the struggle in elections to come.

Currently, we are fighting a decision by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that strikes another blow against open, fair elections by seriously limiting our ability to use federal public matching funds to gain ballot access. Specifically, the FEC is demanding that our 2016 campaign repay over $175,000 in funds we earned under the federal matching funds program over five years ago.

The FEC’s demand grows out of their refusal, after the fact, to recognize our use of matching funds to complete ballot drives during the 2016 primary campaign. Since our 2016 campaign account is all but closed, the FEC is attempting to hold me, as the candidate, personally liable for repaying this massive, unjust bill from my personal funds.

Will you contribute now to help me fight the FEC's decision and stand up for the future of independent politics?
Please contribute today
If the FEC ruling is allowed to stand, grassroots candidates running independently of the big money corporate parties will simply run out of money before overcoming onerous ballot access hurdles around the country.

To make matters worse, the precedent of receiving a ruinous bill from the government years after the election would be an obvious deterrent to future grassroots candidates who rely on matching funds to challenge power without selling out to corporate political machines. In many states this would also make it far more difficult to run in local “down-ballot” races where Greens and other independents have had the most success.

After fighting for over a year within the FEC bureaucracy, we and our legal team are eager to challenge this injustice in court. But to move forward, we must urgently raise at least $20,000 to cover the latest round of legal costs and our barebones operating expenses. And, in case justice does not prevail, we must prepare to pay down the penalties.

Incredibly, the FEC’s rules prohibit me from contributing critically needed funds to my own defense because it would exceed the maximum I’m allowed to donate to my own campaign! That means I am essentially dependent on your generosity for defending myself and the matching funds program.

To make this fight winnable, please donate by visiting jillstein.net or make out a check to “Jill Stein for President (2016)”. Every donation, no matter the size, is greatly appreciated! (Maximum donation is $2,700 for the primary election period, which is how the FEC classifies our current expenses.) Send checks to James Lane, Treasurer, 269 12th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215. For FEC compliance, please write in the memo: "2016, debt". Include address, occupation, and employer. (Additional details below.)

Polls show unprecedented hunger for a new party, disgust with the political establishment, and strong support for our visionary proposals. That’s why this battle for public funding is so critical — to protect our right to a politics that’s independent of the corporate money machine and to advance the solutions we so urgently need.

Thank you so much for your support at this critical moment, as the future of humanity and the planet are truly in our hands!

All my best, 

Jill Stein
Green Party nominee for president 2012, 2016


 From the Juggernaut Project:

Tell the Justice Department: Remove Trump’s roadblocks and allow equal protections in the Constitution.

Surprise! Nearly 100 years since it was first introduced, the Equal Rights Amendment, which reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” was finally ratified by a quorum of states. Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment in January 2020.

The House of Representatives had recently passed a law removing the time limitation on ratification of the amendment, and the bill is still pending in the Senate. But during the Trump administration, former Attorney General Bill Barr improperly weighed in on the process. The Constitution gives absolutely no authority to the Executive Branch when it comes to the Amendment process — but the Trump Administration was determined to pull out all the stops to stop equality under the law.

Sign the petition: Get rid of Trump-era roadblocks and advance the Equal Rights Amendment!


The Equal Rights Amendment has satisfied all Constitutional requirements, but that has not stopped the enemies of equality to prevent it from moving forward. The Trump administration purposely used questions about the timing of ratification to kill the amendment. But the current Justice Department under President Joe Biden has the power to remove these roadblocks.

The ERA will help people of all genders achieve equality under the law, and women in particular, have waited long enough for the highest legal protections against discrimination in the land. It’s time for Attorney General Merrick Garland to act to protect this process.

Add your name today. Tell Biden’s Justice Department to overrule Trump’s unconstitutional roadblocks and advance the Equal Rights Amendment.

Thanks for taking action.

The Juggernaut Project


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

COP-Out 26

Greta Thunberg speaks up for the planet at COP26. Too bad Big Oil puts its hands over its ears.


The oil and gas industry has known that we’re destroying the planet for a lot longer than you might believe according to new reporting from DeSmog Blog. This week Lee Camp blows open Big Oil’s big secret. They’ve been covering up the fact that their industry, left unchecked, would lead to serious climate change since at least 1959. Now we all know what oil executives knew more than 50 years ago. But because of their significant efforts to cover the truth up humanity is facing a dire crisis. Big Oil did it all for profit and they’re hoping that with the insane wealth they generated, partially through their lies, that they’ll be able to skip out on the worst impacts of a warming planet. It’s a bet that the general public never had a say in. 


There is no Planet B. This is all we got!

COP-Out 26 

by C.A. Matthews

[The leaders of the UNFCCC ] gladly welcome those who caused the crisis. COP26 has done nothing but pretend and greenwash. --Mitzi Jonelle Tan, member of Youth Advocates for Climate Action from the Philippines

Never fear, children! Benevolent Big Oil executives will be here to take care of us all in the coming age of frequent famines, floods, and fires. No, really. Stop crying...

That's the take-away I got from the news blurbs coming out of COP26, this year's big UN Climate Emergency gathering. The fossil fuel industry had far more representatives at the Glasgow summit than the environmental groups and organizations had--at least 503 were connected in some manner to the petroleum industry. 

Obviously, oil men's opinions matter more than those of silly environmentalists. Treehugger statistics that (some) journalists quote only add to the public's worries about the Earth's ever-increasing temperatures and rapidly rising sea levels. We'd all feel better if we ignored the science and kept driving our big gas-guzzling vehicles to upscale steak houses. Never mind that 99% of the planet's population will suffer because of the greenhouse gases coming out of the Northern Hemisphere. Big oceans separate us--big oceans full of plastic water bottle islands the size of France, that is.

The fossil fuel industry has spent decades denying and delaying real action on the climate crisis, which is why this is such a huge problem. Their influence is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions. -- Murray Worthy, Global Witness

So, what kind of actions can we expect from the big name signatories who attended COP26? The shutting down of carbon-dumping coal-fired power plants? The building of more windmill and solar farms to take their place? The outlawing of petroleum powered engines worldwide? Looking at past environmental summits, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. The wealthiest countries' representatives always give the nicest speeches, full of pleasant platitudes which promise the moon, but they rarely deliver. As long as rich nations can get away with burning fossil fuels at the expense of the rest of the planet's health, they will.

Over the past 25 years, the richest 10% of the global population has been responsible for more than half of all carbon emissions... Rank injustice and inequality on this scale is a cancer. If we don’t act now, this century may be our last.  --Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

[The world’s rich] consume and consume and consume with no thought. --Patricia Espinosa, UN Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

Even more telling, studies show how the top 1% wealthiest, a.k.a. "the billionaires," have caused and are causing more damage to our climate than billions of economically disadvantaged human beings, especially indigenous peoples. Yes, a ballroom of billionaires pollute more than a good portion of the planet's population. But did the COP26 summit address the damage to the climate these extreme polluters create and come up with solutions to stop them? 

Why not ask the Big Oil execs, since they're a part of the top 1%. They do seem to be calling all the shots.


The greenwashing of environmental damages that the rich, the billionaires, the Big Oil execs and the fossil fuel industry cause is beyond deplorable. It's immoral. It should be criminal, and these criminals should be held accountable for their actions. But the odds of that happening in the year 2021 are slim to none.

Because until all human beings are seen as equals in the eyes of the law, we will be at the mercy of Big Oil and the billionaires and their politician puppets. The rich and powerful don't seem to care about the Climate Emergency. They're not worried about their mansions being washed off the map, probably because they can afford tickets on Jeff Bezos' rocket. When things get bad, they'll just fly into space and live on an Elysium wheel, twirling many miles above the dying carcass of the Earth.

But all is not lost. Listen to climate activist Greta Thunberg discuss what she believes is happening and what we should do next in this podcast from The Juice Media:


  Seen on Twitter:


Related Articles:









Massive Climate Change Cover-Up (complete video) https://www.portable.tv/series/redactedtonight?v=1cf51d44-409d-4a3a-92e7-4e9724cb003f 


From the front lines of the nonviolent struggle to stop the Line 3 tar sands pipeline to the COP 26 global climate talks in Glasgow, Indigenous leaders and their allies are making one thing clear: In the struggle for a living climate, Indigenous voices cannot and will not be ignored.

At the COP 26 talks, Indigenous leaders from around the world led a march of 150,000 people in the streets of Glasgow to demand world leaders take real action to keep fossil fuels in the ground, not hide behind false solutions.

A panel at the COP about Indigenous resistance to Line 3 highlighted the human rights abuses that took place in Northern Minnesota to force through the hyper-polluting pipeline -- the equivalent of 50 coal power plants.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, hundreds of water protectors are facing criminal charges for standing in defense of the water, the climate, and the treaty rights of the Anishnaabeg people. They stood against the pipeline with their bodies, and were met with police forces - directly funded by Enbridge - and their surveillance, harassments, physical torture ("pain compliance"), and excessive charges, including felonies.

Water protectors and their supporters are demanding that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Governor Walz work with county prosecutors to drop the charges against the water protectors who have resisted the Line 3 pipeline.

Sign our petition to tell Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Governor Walz today to tell them: Drop the charges against the water protectors!>>

Indigenous people are responsible for protecting 80% of the world’s biodiversity. However, projects like Line 3 demonstrate the extent to which Indigenous rights have been continuously ignored and violated by 26 years of COP climate policy.

Our message is clear -- it’s time to back promises with action. It’s time to drop the charges against those who stood against a project that never should have been permitted and against a police force that never should have been bought with Enbridge’s money to begin with.



In a near-future dystopian world, hope blossoms where mutual aid and democracy begins...

Zonta’s world is turned upside down when Jake arrives at the commune to investigate the disappearance of agents of the Authority. Can she persuade him to switch sides before the Protectors (antifascist fighters) take action?

Available now from Extasy Books: https://www.extasybooks.com/Where-the-Bodies-Lie