Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2021: The Year Nothing Fundamentally Changed



The Year Nothing Fundamentally Changed

by C.A. Matthews 

I don't know about you, but I really hate telling folks, "I told you so."

After penning last year's end-of-the-year article, 2020: The Year That Wasn't, I held out some hopes for 2021. Surely I thought we'd get a handle on this COVID-19 pandemic and turn a noticeable corner sometime in 2021. We wouldn't be counting deaths worldwide in the millions and the virus variants by the dozens. The drug manufacturers would gladly share their vaccine formulas with our fellow human beings, and intelligent people everywhere would willingly line up to receive a vaccination.

I even thought that we might--just might--see some decent legislation or executive orders come out  of the Biden White House. We desperately needed leadership to force ICE and CBP to help asylum seekers reunite with their children rather than forcing them to "Remain in Mexico."  We needed leadership to end blatant racism against Haitian immigrants. If we were lucky, the Squad would push Biden "left" and pass Medicare For All to help Americans without health care. Heck, he might even do as his promised on the campaign trail and end the suffering of so many burdened with overwhelming student loan debt. 

Instead, 2021 turned out to be just as candidate Joe Biden said it would, when he announced what his presidency would be like when compared to Trump's: Nothing would fundamentally change.

Ironic, isn't it? It's the only thing he's been right about so far.

So, here we find ourselves at the end of 2021, and we find ourselves pretty much in the same screwed up situation we found ourselves in last year at this time. The pandemic rages on. No mandatory lock downs or even a consistent masking policy has been issued by the CDC. Less than 10% of Africans have been fully vaccinated. Big Pharma refuses to share its vaccine formulas, even though much of the research was funded by US taxpayers and the more people on the planet vaccinated, the less chance for further virus mutations. And things could get much worse now that the omicron variant has popped up in the "everybody go back to work and school as normal" United States of America.

 Nothing has fundamentally changed.

I won't go on about how Americans still don't have universal health care, in spite of living through a pandemic of biblical plague proportions. We don't have universal basic income, either, in spite of record unemployment, under-reported as usual especially for women, the young, and people of color. Student loan repayments will start up again in the new year.  Eviction moratoriums have ended. 

The Biden Administration has some serious problems with arithmetic, too. They early on promised everyone a "$2000 check" but only paid out $1400 so far. Even those of us who can't balance a checkbook can tell you those two numbers aren't the same. 

Nothing has fundamentally changed.

They said they'd stop the war in Afghanistan, and yet they passed a record-breaking military budget this year. (Mercenaries and some American military personnel will remain in Afghanistan, so it's war by another name.) We're "updating" our nuclear arsenal, as if having more nuke power than necessary to wipe out all life on the planet isn't enough. Trump's saber-rattling carries on from 2020 in regards to China and then Russia and then China again and then Russia again and then…

 Nothing has fundamentally changed.

The big COP-26 climate change convention recycled the same ol' tired promises of cleaning up our dirty fossil fuel habits. Ironically, the very next week the Biden Administration sold a record number of oil exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico, and then a lawsuit to clean up the longest running oil spill in the Gulf in history was decided. "Clean coal" anyone?

Nothing has fundamentally changed.

Worse yet, this mantra is the stinky attitude one gets from the establishment and their billionaire pals. They're fine with things not changing. They're not worried about millions more dying from a preventable illness like COVID-19. They're happy to make sh*t-loads of money from  trading in shares in Big Pharma and buying up the homes that have been foreclosed on this year in order to force us to rent our previous abodes from landlords later.

And war and the environment? Hey, if drone bombing innocents and endlessly fracking oil makes a profit, why would you ever stop? Am I right?

Nothing has fundamentally changed.

If there's one New Year's resolution I'd like to make--and work hard to keep--it's this: Things will fundamentally change in 2022. They have to or else we'll all wind up dead.


Fundamental change won't necessarily come via the voting booth. Unless you're open to voting for third party candidates, who boldly profess radical ideas like ending wars for oil, instituting Medicare For All, and legislating free schooling from pre-K through college, then I wouldn't worry too much about voting. Voting for the "lesser evil" or "any red or blue will do" just creates more evil that our world doesn't want or need. Blindly accepting only two choices to vote for--choices blessed by billionaire capitalists--guarantees "nothing will fundamentally change-ism" will continue.

Change could happen in the streets, through online activism, by knocking on doors, or through a combination of these activities and more. But somehow, change must come. We've got to change things fundamentally this coming year of else there might not be a 2023 to look forward to in another 365 days.

Be the change you dream of. Fundamentally. And we hope to see you again here next year. Stay safe!

Second Thought is an excellent podcast. This recent video focuses on how "Feel Good Stories" are used to distract us from the true horrors of our corrupt system.  Watch and think about what you can do to bring about fundamental change.  https://youtu.be/Sck8xNicy5o


End of the year pleading: Donate a buck or ten to help keep the lights on and the editor sane via this link http://paypal.me/camatthews  Thank you.


Families Belong Together (Logo)

Talking with family members who don’t agree with you over the holidays is hard. And sadly, immigration can be one of the topics that gets most heated.

We’ve all had those tense, uncomfortable conversations with loved ones, and now there’s an extremely helpful resource to help shift dinner-table conversations from confrontational to productive.

Check out the brand-new “Brave Conversations: Immigration Edition” guide now.

Check it out for free now →

These conversations can be hard, but no one has to tackle them alone.

In this guide, there are five simple sections to help center a conversation about immigration in compassion and commonsense:

  • Tips for talking about hard topics
  • Common misconceptions about immigration and how to respond
  • Facts about what’s really happening
  • How to take action
  • Additional resources for further research

Ending family separation is a huge task, and it’s going to take a collective effort, from huge mobilizations to individual conversations with the people closest to us.

Every one of us has the tools to change the hearts and minds of our family and friends, and each individual conversation is a part of the larger national shift needed to ensure safety for immigrant families and children.

We’re in this together, and all of us can use this guide as a resource to help change public opinion on immigrant children and families in the U.S., starting with the people we’re all most influential with: our friends, family, and those who trust us the most.

Check out the guide now →

We believe that to learn and grow, we need to be brave. We must end detention and family separation for good – and it all starts with what we’re talking about at home.

Thanks for all you do,

Tovia Siegel, Organizer
Families Belong Together

P.S. Let me know how any brave conversations go, and send over any suggestions to help improve the guide! Simply email me at info@familiesbelongtogether.org.


Progress America

We’re about to have a constitutional crisis. In the next few months, the Supreme Court is going to overturn or undermine 50 years of precedent in Roe v. Wade, and yet the leadership of the Democratic party seems to give it a big ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Everyone should be very, very alarmed that our current Supreme Court is an existential threat to our rights and every progressive priority.

The Biden Administration needs to stop twiddling their thumbs while the ultra conservatives on the Supreme Court take away our constitutional rights whether it’s abortion or voting or gender rights. Demand Congress and the Biden Administration pass the Judiciary Act—NOW.

The ultra conservatives Supreme Court Justices are nothing more than right-wing politicians in robes—and the American people know that. Recent polls show the Supreme Court is the most unpopular it’s been in decades, and a majority of Americans no longer believe the justices are deciding cases on the merits. The Court derives its legitimacy from the people, and it’s clear that the American people no longer believe this stolen Court is legitimate.

The conservatives on the court have already told us that they’re not just coming after our human right to abortion access and to determine our own reproductive lives. They have their sights on Obergefell v. Hodges, immigration, and voting rights.

We can stop them from literally destroying our democracy by adding 4 seats to the Court by passing the Judiciary Act of 2021. This is the only practical, proportional response to Republicans’ theft of the Court and the only way to restore its balance and integrity.

Sign the petition to join advocates and activists across the country to demand Congress and the Biden Administration pass the Judiciary Act and add 4 more justices to the Supreme Court NOW.

Mike Phelan
Progress America


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



Tuesday, December 21, 2021

All I Want For The Holidays Is...

 All I Want For The Holidays Is...

         by C.A. Matthews

All I Want For The Holidays Is…

…Peace on Earth.

Seriously. The US spending trillions of dollars on death, destruction and mayhem over the last decades doesn't fit into my--or anyone else's--definition of peace. I don't believe for a moment that the war in Afghanistan is over since our mercenaries and weapons are still pouring into that beleaguered country. I don't believe for a moment Biden won't start a conflict with Russia and/or China over Ukraine and/or Taiwan. Our military-industrial complex can't stand to be left out of the action when there's so much money to be made. We won't have peace on Earth until every single last military contractor is shut down--permanently.

And for the planet and all its inhabitants--human and otherwise--to be at peace we need to start treating it respectfully and reverently. This means an end to fossil fuel production and use. It means we outlaw concentrated animal feedlots (CAFOs) and other polluters of drinking water. It means we stop chopping/burning/disintegrating forests, jungles, plains, savannas, wetlands, and other wildlife habitats. It means we pick up and recycle all the kajillions of plastic bottles, wrappers, and other worthless jetsam contaminating our oceans and lands. 

If we continue to allow the Earth to be treated like a toilet to house all our messes, the temperatures will rise, the oceans will rise, and the threat of war and civil unrest will rise. We can't have peace without a planet and vice versa. Get it?

All I Want For The Holidays Is... Goodwill Towards Humankind.

 My idea of goodwill means that all human beings have a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, health care when they're in need of it (both mental and physical health care), and to be freed from the suffocation of massive debt owed to billionaire capitalists who try to squeeze the last drop of blood out of the working classes and those trying to better themselves through education. Access to free education for all from Pre-K through college and access to health care and food and shelter should be a right--not a privilege. 

Goodwill also means that we no longer protect make-believe lines in the sand and call them "our borders" and tell people that they're not welcome on our side of the make-believe line because we're prejudiced against their race, religion, ethnicity or class. This should be true of communities both large and small. This may sound crazy, but I believe equal rights should be distributed equally to all.

No longer should the US tell refugees and asylum seekers to go away under the guise of Title 42, a directive in direct violation of the 1967 UN Protocol on Refugees that we signed. No longer should we force those seeking a better life for the families to "Remain in Mexico" where they're preyed upon by kidnappers and drug cartels.

Goodwill is just that--good, not evil and selfish. Any questions?

All I Want For The Holidays Is… The Right to be Treated with Dignity and Respect.

If this statement needs further explanation, this must mean you've lived in a "golden bubble" all your life. You are one of the few that have never been hungry, homeless, or harassed simply because of your race, age, gender, gender identity, or perceived economic class. It's hard to explain to rich dickheads how demeaning and cruel it is to be on the receiving end of their bigotry. We really should do them all a favor and return their callous treatment of others unlike themselves. Maybe then they'll get a clue. 

If you don't have the empathy to walk a mile in another person's moccasins and experience the pain they feel when they're not treated respectfully and understand where they're coming from, then just shut the f*** up. I also recommend giving all your money away to charitable organizations before we roll the guillotine up to your front door and ask you to step out for a close shave.

All I Want For The Holidays Is… For The Means of Production to Be in the Hands of the Working Classes.

This is a related statement that explains itself. The workers should profit from the fruits of their labor. They aren't wage slaves who exist solely to be exploited by billionaires and other capitalists who leech off their workers' labor. 

As money is the root of all kinds of evil, perhaps it is time to eliminate the filthy lucre and replace it with a society based on plenty for all instead of artificial scarcity that forces cash into the hands of the relatively few. Read up on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) if you don't understand how the US can afford a $780 billion plus military budget year after year but somehow can't give everyone free health care which costs less.

All I Want For The Holidays Is… For People to Actually Read This Blog and Have Intelligent Discussions with Their Friends, Family, and Neighbors.

And to donate a couple of bucks toward keeping the blog going for another six and half years. Or until the fascists come and cart us off to jail--whichever happens first. The choice is up to you. Which will it be? You can donate at:


Happy Holidays! May you have a happy and healthy New Year. And as always: Workers of the World Unite!


Also read (and watch the video): How Capitalism Stole Christmas and Killed the Planet Along the Way https://www.rsn.org/001/how-capitalism-stole-christmas-and-killed-the-planet-along-the-way.html 


Families Belong Together (Logo)

We cannot – and will not – let him off the hook.

President Biden campaigned on seeking justice for families separated by Trump’s cruel Zero Tolerance policy, but his administration just walked away from providing victims with the resources they desperately need to heal.

We can’t let Biden go back on one of his central campaign promises by sweeping the consequences of one of the cruelest, most inhumane policies under a rug. Take action today: email the White House NOW to demand immediate justice for separated families.


Even President Biden himself has publicly called family separation under Trump “criminal behavior” and “a historic moral stain on our country."

He’s now going back on his word with this decision and inaction. He’s walking away from the more than *5,500 children* separated from their families at the US-Mexico border. He’s walking away from the babies, as young as 6-months-old, stolen from parents who had no idea where they were going or if they would see them again.

Sweeping this bigotry under a rug is a disgrace. Every single person in this movement, and in this country, should be appalled. Dropping the plans to get the support families need to heal sends the clear message that the Biden administration thinks family separation is okay. 

We cannot let that happen. 

Send the White House a message right now to demand they give separated families the support they deserve to heal from the traumas our government caused them.


Trump’s “zero-tolerance” scarred toddlers, children, and families that were forcibly separated for life. It’s egregious that the Biden administration is now defending officials culpable for tearing babies from mothers’ arms. President Biden promised to address the emotional and physical abuse families experienced due to negligence, torture, and crimes against humanity, and we’re seeing everything but that. We need to stop playing politics with people’s lives.

We cannot stop fighting until all families are reunited and receive the justice they deserve. 

President Biden must keep the campaign promises he made us and deliver justice to families. This cruelty ends by all of us taking action right now:


Today, almost four years after being separated, over 270 children are STILL separated from their parents. If you had asked me years ago if this is where we would be today I never would have imagined it, but we will not rest until every last child is reunited.

There will be no justice until every child is reunited with their family, until we right the wrongs of Trump’s four cruel and racist years, and until we build a system that stops this inhumanity for good.

Thanks for all you do,
Paola Luisi, Director
Families Belong Together


NOA logo

The 2022 Indigenous Futures Survey is now live! Native peoples are invited to participate in the survey before January 31, 2022.

Native Organizers Alliance (NOA), IllumiNative, and Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity (RISE) have launched the second annual Indigenous Futures Survey (IFS), a Native-led research project designed to highlight the authentic experiences, systemic challenges, and priority issues of Native peoples today.

Take the Survey

The inaugural Indigenous Futures Survey was the largest and most comprehensive study ever conducted in Indian Country.

Native and Indigenous peoples all across the United States are invited again to participate in the survey and voice their perspectives and opinions on critical issues our communities face.

Data gathered from the IFS is being used to make policy changes by elected and tribal leaders. The 2021 reports and research data were shared broadly across Indian Country and were used to inform Congress on the impacts of COVID on Indigenous communities and on a broad spectrum of issues including civic engagement, identity, and culture.

The 2022 IFS will continue to be a tool for social change.

“Native and Indigenous peoples deserve to be seen and heard,” said Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee), founder and executive director of IllumiNative. “For so long, we have been forgotten or worse, deliberately excluded from research and data collection. But we have taken back the power to control our own visibility and future through the Indigenous Futures Survey.”

“The 2020 survey was the first opportunity for Native peoples and communities to share the challenges they face with a national audience,” said Judith LeBlanc (Caddo), director of Native Organizers Alliance. “The results gave us a platform to advocate for change at all levels of government. We were able to take a step towards reclaiming our collective voice, showing that Native people are politically engaged and actively challenging the narrative. We proved that our voices matter and that we will organize for meaningful change.”

"For too long data, or lack thereof, has been used to silence and render Indigenous Peoples and experiences invisible. The majority of scientific research omits Indigenous Peoples, including research on bias, prejudice, and discrimination. In the rare cases when Indigenous Peoples are included, our data is most often owned by and interpreted through the lens of non-Native researchers. Ultimately, this keeps people from understanding who we are and seeing us as fully human,” said Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip), director of Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity (RISE) Center.

Amber Torres, Chairman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe said, “This also showed our strengths and weaknesses, and where we can continue to build for the next seven generations. The results in 2022 are very important for the fact that we need to see if we have made a dent in any of the issues that were brought up and where we need to continue to advocate for. Native voices have to be at the table.”

Our non-Native relatives, please help spread the word about the survey by sharing on social media and lift up the importance of Native-led data collection.

To learn more, please visit: https://indigenousfutures.org.

Take the Survey

Thank you. Hawwih.

Judith LeBlanc



Tuesday, December 14, 2021

RIP Freedom of the Press

RIP Freedom of the Press

by C.A. Matthews

Is this the final nail in the coffin? Or does it just feel like it?

Either way, the freedom of the press was dealt a severe blow at the reading of the verdict at the Julian Assange extradition hearing in London. Most trial watchers were not shocked that the UK government would give in and hand the Wikileaks publisher over to US government, even after a plot to kill Assange by the Central Intelligence Agency was revealed. I mean, why would the British ever dare cross a fellow nuclear power?

Or is that fascist-loving power?

It's been a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" type of arrangement from the start. That the US government's "witness" against Assange turned out to be a convicted pedophile perjurer from Iceland was immaterial. Assange as a publisher enabled whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning to share embarrassing stories about the US, the UK, and dozens of other corrupt governments. He has to be locked away forever as a lesson to others so they don't get the same idea and publish even more embarrassing stories about corrupt governments in the future. He has to be silenced--by death, if necessary, as his recent stroke proves the physical and psychological torture he has been put through since entering Belmarsh prison.

So, rest in peace freedom of the press. You've led a somewhat checkered life. You've been painted as both savior and Satan. You revealed horrible things that tyrants wanted to keep hidden. You seemed to be forever fighting off fascists who would shut you down and publish their own propaganda, labeling it as "Fair and balanced," or "All the news that's fit to print."  

To your credit, you seldom backed down. You stood your ground. And many like Julian Assange have paid a horrible price for your tenacity. Telling the public the truth shouldn't be dangerous, but it is. What goes on behind closed doors at the highest levels--especially their damning emails during a contested presidential primary--is for the powerbrokers' eyes and ears alone. The elites will lie, cheat and steal to maintain their air of superiority. They will kill you when you reveal their murders of innocents in drone bombings.

Whoever thought journalism would become riskier than climbing a  greased rock peak without a tether during a massive thunderstorm?

To all those who wish to keep the spirit of a free press alive for another century or two, I offer this advice: Don't ever take it for granted. Journalists who sacrifice their time, health, and their very lives to tell us what's really happening (not what the establishment wants you to think is happening) are rare and precious. The fascists can and will wipe them out without a second thought. We saw that this past week.

Free Assange! Keep our press free!

Related Articles:

As Fascism Casts Off Its Disguises (Caitlin Johnstone) https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/as-fascism-casts-off-its-disguises/comments 

The Execution of Julian Assange (Chris Hedges) https://scheerpost.com/2021/12/13/hedges-the-execution-of-julian-assange/

They're Killing Him: Assange's Stroke Reveals the Western Version of the Bone Saw https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/theyre-killing-him-assanges-stroke

Press Freedoms Threatened as British Court Rules Assange Can Be Extradited to US  https://truthout.org/articles/press-freedoms-threatened-as-british-court-rules-assange-can-be-extradited-to-us/

Julian Assange Loses Appeal https://greenwald.substack.com/p/julian-assange-loses-appeal-british 

Julian Assange Can Be Extradited to US to Face Espionage Charges https://www.rsn.org/001/julian-assange-can-be-extradited-to-us-to-face-espionage-charges-court-rules.html 

Press Freedoms Under 'Grave Threat'  https://scheerpost.com/2021/12/10/press-freedoms-under-grave-threat-as-british-court-rules-assange-can-be-extradited-to-u-s-%ef%bf%bc/

Seen on Twitter:


How shameful is it that, on Human Rights Day of all days, we find out the UK courts have moved one step closer to handing over Julian Assange to the United States — a country whose leaders have expressed a desire to assassinate him?

The years long-persecution of Assange, led by White House administrations from both corporate parties, has not only caused Assange immense suffering for his innovative journalism — it endangers press freedom and democracy in three grave ways.

1. The war on Assange is fueled, at least in part, by Assange exposing the Democratic Party's corrupt handling of their 2016 primary. The parties of War and Wall Street shamelessly retaliate against challengers to their cartel.

2. Assange and Wikileaks are attacked for exposing the shameful realities of U.S. empire. Along with troves of documents, they published front line footage of bodies casually being obliterated by machines of war. The threat to Assange is a threat to all who expose the horrors of war in the name of peace.

3. To persecute Assange and Wikileaks for basic journalism is to endanger every working journalist and publisher in this country: from stalwart, independent, anti-corporate reporters to the advertising-dollar-addicted opinion writers and media empires cheering on Assange's prosecution. They are digging their own graves.

Free speech and a free press are the first defenses of the rest of our human rights. Give to the Green Party today so we can end the war on whistleblowers, together. Reality Winner, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and so many more have sacrificed so much for our democracy.

As a Green, I'm proud that I can invite you to watch this video of Julian Assange addressing our 2016 Presidential Nominating Convention. It's a testament to our commitment to Grassroots Democracy. Please give today so we can make Grassroots Democracy a reality.

Michael O'Neil
Communications Manager
Green Party of the United States


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 the Center for Biological Diversity:

Did you know that there’s an important global treaty to conserve biological diversity, and the United States is the only major country that’s not a member? 

In the midst of the extinction crisis, that’s unacceptable.

It’s high time for the United States to join the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Created at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the convention’s mission is to protect the planet’s rich array of life and ensure sustainable, equitable use. The United States helped develop the treaty, but the Senate never ratified it. 

Next year the convention meets to set the global conservation agenda for the coming decade. With more than a million species on track to go extinct, this meeting is critical to saving life on Earth. The United States must participate in the meeting to call for an end to human-induced extinction — but if the Senate doesn’t take action, we’ll be on the outside looking in.

Tell President Biden and your senators to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity and commit to ending extinction now.

Take Action