FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reducing Inequality In The Trump Era


Reducing Inequality In The Trump Era



With Washington looking hopeless, it’s up to local communities to close the gap between the richest and the rest.

In a lot of ways, 2016 was a big year for reducing inequality.

Five states raised their minimum wage through citizen-led ballot initiatives. A job-killing free trade agreement, the TPP, was blocked as a result of massive public demonstrations against it.

More recently, the city of Portland, Oregon passed the first ever municipal-level check on runaway CEO compensation, a tangible step several other cities and states will likely follow.

These were just a few of the many victories that those who care about reducing the gap between the richest and the rest of us can claim this year. They also point the way forward for how we might continue this pivotal work in the age of Trump.

Outgoing president Barack Obama once called the need to address rising income inequality the defining challenge of our time. History books will surely credit his administration for helping to lift the nation out of the worst recession in recent history (one driven largely by reckless Wall Street bankers), but much work remains.

A recent study, “The Fading American Dream,” shows that social mobility has been declining for decades. Kids born in 1940 had a 92 percent chance of earning more money than their parents. The odds for kids born 40 years later dropped down to 50-50 — a figure that continues to drop precipitously for millennials and children born today.

While things are better now than they were in 2008, economic conditions are still trying for working class families. The federal minimum wage remains stagnant at $7.25 an hour, and just $2.13 an hour for tipped workers. That’s less than the basic cost of living in every major city in the country.

While unemployment has gone down, work force participation has too. Student debt continues to rise, each year a new record.

Meanwhile, wealth continues to concentrate into fewer and fewer hands. Massive loopholes in the tax code for millionaires and billionaires are creating a system the New York Times called a “private tax system for the wealthy.” CEO pay has continued to rise into the stratosphere at the nation’s biggest banks and corporations.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump has made plenty clear that he isn’t serious about reversing these trends.

If Trump moves forward with the policies he described during his campaign, his administration will further slash taxes on the wealthy, remove the Wall Street regulations designed to prevent another financial crash, and do nothing for workers’ wages.

If his rhetoric wasn’t enough to convince the public he wasn’t serious about addressing inequality, his cabinet should. A collection of billionaires, Goldman Sachs bankers, and adherents to the utterly debunked trickle-down economics theory will now be in charge of our biggest economic decisions.

So if we can’t expect the Trump administration to work to stem rising inequality, how will we move forward?

The victories of 2016, which involved organizing at the state and local levels to lift up workers and expand opportunities for all, show the type of innovative campaigns we’ll need. There are no illusions that change will come from Washington — the new team in town has made clear they’re not interested.

That’s no reason to sit back and wait for another election. Progress can come from working within our own communities to push forward smart ideas that don’t need a sign-off from Congress or Trump.

That work should start now. It remains, after all, the defining challenge of our time.


Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”





Reducing Inequality In The Trump Era



With Washington looking hopeless, it’s up to local communities to close the gap between the richest and the rest.

In a lot of ways, 2016 was a big year for reducing inequality.

Five states raised their minimum wage through citizen-led ballot initiatives. A job-killing free trade agreement, the TPP, was blocked as a result of massive public demonstrations against it.

More recently, the city of Portland, Oregon passed the first ever municipal-level check on runaway CEO compensation, a tangible step several other cities and states will likely follow.

These were just a few of the many victories that those who care about reducing the gap between the richest and the rest of us can claim this year. They also point the way forward for how we might continue this pivotal work in the age of Trump.

Outgoing president Barack Obama once called the need to address rising income inequality the defining challenge of our time. History books will surely credit his administration for helping to lift the nation out of the worst recession in recent history (one driven largely by reckless Wall Street bankers), but much work remains.

A recent study, “The Fading American Dream,” shows that social mobility has been declining for decades. Kids born in 1940 had a 92 percent chance of earning more money than their parents. The odds for kids born 40 years later dropped down to 50-50 — a figure that continues to drop precipitously for millennials and children born today.

While things are better now than they were in 2008, economic conditions are still trying for working class families. The federal minimum wage remains stagnant at $7.25 an hour, and just $2.13 an hour for tipped workers. That’s less than the basic cost of living in every major city in the country.

While unemployment has gone down, work force participation has too. Student debt continues to rise, each year a new record.

Meanwhile, wealth continues to concentrate into fewer and fewer hands. Massive loopholes in the tax code for millionaires and billionaires are creating a system the New York Times called a “private tax system for the wealthy.” CEO pay has continued to rise into the stratosphere at the nation’s biggest banks and corporations.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump has made plenty clear that he isn’t serious about reversing these trends.

If Trump moves forward with the policies he described during his campaign, his administration will further slash taxes on the wealthy, remove the Wall Street regulations designed to prevent another financial crash, and do nothing for workers’ wages.

If his rhetoric wasn’t enough to convince the public he wasn’t serious about addressing inequality, his cabinet should. A collection of billionaires, Goldman Sachs bankers, and adherents to the utterly debunked trickle-down economics theory will now be in charge of our biggest economic decisions.

So if we can’t expect the Trump administration to work to stem rising inequality, how will we move forward?

The victories of 2016, which involved organizing at the state and local levels to lift up workers and expand opportunities for all, show the type of innovative campaigns we’ll need. There are no illusions that change will come from Washington — the new team in town has made clear they’re not interested.

That’s no reason to sit back and wait for another election. Progress can come from working within our own communities to push forward smart ideas that don’t need a sign-off from Congress or Trump.

That work should start now. It remains, after all, the defining challenge of our time.


Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”






Another, More Beautiful America Is Rising. Trump Will Be Resisted

Another, More Beautiful America Is Rising. Trump Will Be Resisted



American people will stand up for ideals of humanity, from lawyers and tech workers to the Californian senate

The time when you don’t need hope is when your hopes have been fulfilled. Hope is for when you don’t have what you need and for when things are not OK. It is the belief that liberation might be possible that motivates you to make it more possible, and pursuing hope even when it doesn’t lead to the ultimate goal can generate changes that matter along the way, including in yourself.

A dozen years ago I talked about hope to a roomful of working-class community college students in Washington, citing the German philosopher Ernst Bloch to the effect that without hope there is no action but without action there is no hope. A woman said in a clear voice that she agreed, because if she had not hoped she would not have struggled and if she had not struggled she would not have survived Pol Pot and the Cambodian genocide.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/bloch/hope/introduction.htm
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/16/forty-years-after-genocide-cambodia-finds-complicated-truth-hard-to-bear

That floored me. Sometimes hope is just that you will survive, or that you will escape. Then you can hope for more. I wish I knew her story, but that she was in North America, alive and well and confident enough to speak out, told me something of it. Even despotic regimes end, though it’s important to remember that not everyone and everything survives; you can be devastated for what won’t and hopeful for what will at the same time.

In the United States we are probably headed for a very grim phase of uncertain duration. We will see much that we love under attack – but it’s worth remembering that a lot of this is nothing new. From oil pipelines to human rights, there have been massive incursions over the past 16 years against nature, against equality, against governmental transparency. We are not exiting a utopia, and human rights organisations that are currently rising to a greater challenge have not been idle for lack of work in the Obama era.

The Bush years are not far behind us, and though more predictable, it was plenty brutal. May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, told me that after the recent US presidential election, her colleagues in Turkey sent their sympathy and said they got good work done on climate change, even under authoritarianism. We will have much work to do and we will still have the capacity to do it. It will matter more than ever that we do.https://350.org/

We would do well to study the countries that have sunk into tyranny or despotism and survived. To discover how Argentina and Chile and Brazil went through an era of dictators and death squads and emerged, in part because people like the Argentinian women in las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo stood up to their fears and their regime. El Salvador is now governed by the FMLN, which fought against the death squads in the 1980s, and Chile’s current president is Michelle Bachelet, who was kidnapped and tortured under the Pinochet regime. Most of the countries in our hemisphere besides Canada have gone into horror and emerged, many more than once.

The difference is one of scale. A Filipino climate activist friend of mine begged Americans to stop Donald Trump on the grounds that the tinpot despot in charge of his country has a largely local impact but the president of the US has a global impact on everything from human rights to climate policy around the world. We have a responsibility not just to our country but to the world to contain and weaken and try to defeat Trump and Trumpism to the best of our abilities. Those of us who are not in immediate peril have a grave responsibility to those who are.

But in the wake of this terrible election, much of my hope has rested not on what could or should happen, and not what the historical record tells us has happened, but what is happening now. There is another America rising and taking action, and it is beautiful. I’m thinking of the many stories of people standing up for the vulnerable, directly when they intervene in confrontations with haters. Or indirectly, as with the young woman I know who co-organised the creation of Neveragain.tech, a public oath people working in tech can take to refuse to create Muslim registries, turn over people’s private data, or otherwise cooperate with state persecution.http://neveragain.tech/

They give me hope, in some portion of humanity, the portion that will resist Trump and defend our ideals

Of the California state senate, which immediately after the election issued a manifesto of defiance: “California will defend its people and our progress. We are not going to allow one election to reverse generations of progress at the height of our historic diversity, scientific advancement, economic output, and sense of global responsibility. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our constitution.”
http://sd24.senate.ca.gov/news/2016-11-09-joint-statement-california-legislative-leaders-result-presidential-election

I’m thinking of the many action groups and coalitions that came together in the wake of the election determined to stop Trump, defend civil liberties and address the illegitimacy of the election, and of the candidate. The Harvard lawyers laying the case for impeachment on the grounds of the “emoluments” or profits from overseas that would fatally compromise a Trump regime.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/19/donald-trump-violate-us-constitution-inauguration-day

Many people are still trying to figure out what to do; others are doing it. They give me hope, in some portion of humanity, the portion that will resist Trump and defend our ideals. It will be hard. It will be ugly. Our job will be to be embody and protect all of those things most antithetical to authoritarianism, racism, misogyny, kleptocracy, an atmosphere of lies and indifference to science, fact and truth.

In easy times, we grow slack; this will require us each to find our capacity for heroism. Some will, and my hope lies with them. Or us.




Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”












Another, More Beautiful America Is Rising. Trump Will Be Resisted



American people will stand up for ideals of humanity, from lawyers and tech workers to the Californian senate

The time when you don’t need hope is when your hopes have been fulfilled. Hope is for when you don’t have what you need and for when things are not OK. It is the belief that liberation might be possible that motivates you to make it more possible, and pursuing hope even when it doesn’t lead to the ultimate goal can generate changes that matter along the way, including in yourself.

A dozen years ago I talked about hope to a roomful of working-class community college students in Washington, citing the German philosopher Ernst Bloch to the effect that without hope there is no action but without action there is no hope. A woman said in a clear voice that she agreed, because if she had not hoped she would not have struggled and if she had not struggled she would not have survived Pol Pot and the Cambodian genocide.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/bloch/hope/introduction.htm
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/16/forty-years-after-genocide-cambodia-finds-complicated-truth-hard-to-bear

That floored me. Sometimes hope is just that you will survive, or that you will escape. Then you can hope for more. I wish I knew her story, but that she was in North America, alive and well and confident enough to speak out, told me something of it. Even despotic regimes end, though it’s important to remember that not everyone and everything survives; you can be devastated for what won’t and hopeful for what will at the same time.

In the United States we are probably headed for a very grim phase of uncertain duration. We will see much that we love under attack – but it’s worth remembering that a lot of this is nothing new. From oil pipelines to human rights, there have been massive incursions over the past 16 years against nature, against equality, against governmental transparency. We are not exiting a utopia, and human rights organisations that are currently rising to a greater challenge have not been idle for lack of work in the Obama era.

The Bush years are not far behind us, and though more predictable, it was plenty brutal. May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, told me that after the recent US presidential election, her colleagues in Turkey sent their sympathy and said they got good work done on climate change, even under authoritarianism. We will have much work to do and we will still have the capacity to do it. It will matter more than ever that we do.https://350.org/

We would do well to study the countries that have sunk into tyranny or despotism and survived. To discover how Argentina and Chile and Brazil went through an era of dictators and death squads and emerged, in part because people like the Argentinian women in las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo stood up to their fears and their regime. El Salvador is now governed by the FMLN, which fought against the death squads in the 1980s, and Chile’s current president is Michelle Bachelet, who was kidnapped and tortured under the Pinochet regime. Most of the countries in our hemisphere besides Canada have gone into horror and emerged, many more than once.

The difference is one of scale. A Filipino climate activist friend of mine begged Americans to stop Donald Trump on the grounds that the tinpot despot in charge of his country has a largely local impact but the president of the US has a global impact on everything from human rights to climate policy around the world. We have a responsibility not just to our country but to the world to contain and weaken and try to defeat Trump and Trumpism to the best of our abilities. Those of us who are not in immediate peril have a grave responsibility to those who are.

But in the wake of this terrible election, much of my hope has rested not on what could or should happen, and not what the historical record tells us has happened, but what is happening now. There is another America rising and taking action, and it is beautiful. I’m thinking of the many stories of people standing up for the vulnerable, directly when they intervene in confrontations with haters. Or indirectly, as with the young woman I know who co-organised the creation of Neveragain.tech, a public oath people working in tech can take to refuse to create Muslim registries, turn over people’s private data, or otherwise cooperate with state persecution.http://neveragain.tech/

They give me hope, in some portion of humanity, the portion that will resist Trump and defend our ideals

Of the California state senate, which immediately after the election issued a manifesto of defiance: “California will defend its people and our progress. We are not going to allow one election to reverse generations of progress at the height of our historic diversity, scientific advancement, economic output, and sense of global responsibility. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our constitution.”
http://sd24.senate.ca.gov/news/2016-11-09-joint-statement-california-legislative-leaders-result-presidential-election

I’m thinking of the many action groups and coalitions that came together in the wake of the election determined to stop Trump, defend civil liberties and address the illegitimacy of the election, and of the candidate. The Harvard lawyers laying the case for impeachment on the grounds of the “emoluments” or profits from overseas that would fatally compromise a Trump regime.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/19/donald-trump-violate-us-constitution-inauguration-day

Many people are still trying to figure out what to do; others are doing it. They give me hope, in some portion of humanity, the portion that will resist Trump and defend our ideals. It will be hard. It will be ugly. Our job will be to be embody and protect all of those things most antithetical to authoritarianism, racism, misogyny, kleptocracy, an atmosphere of lies and indifference to science, fact and truth.

In easy times, we grow slack; this will require us each to find our capacity for heroism. Some will, and my hope lies with them. Or us.




Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”














We Are Not Living In ‘Post-Truth’ World, We Are Living Lies Of Others

We Are Not Living In ‘Post-Truth’ World, We Are Living Lies Of Others


Nigel Farage is not a Nazi and nor is Donald Trump. But what is terrifying – and deeply akin to fascism – is our ability to ‘think’ our way from truth into lies

We do not live in a “post-truth” world, neither in the Middle East nor in the West – nor in Russia, for that matter. We live in a world of lies. And we always have lived in a world of lies.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east
http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Russia

Just take a look at the wreckage of the Middle East with its history of people’s popular republics and its hateful dictators. They feast on dishonesty, although they all – bar the late Muammar al-Gaddafi – demand regular elections to make-believe their way back to power.
http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/MuammarAl-Gaddafi

Now, I suppose, it is we who have regular elections based on lies. So maybe Trump and the Arab autocrats will get on rather well. Trump already likes Field Marshal/President al-Sissi of Egypt, and he’s already got a golf course in Dubai. That he deals in lies, that he manufactures facts, should make him quite at home in the Middle East. Misogyny, bullying, threats to political opponents, authoritarianism, tyranny, torture, sneers at minorities: it’s part and parcel of the Arab world.

And look at Israel. The new US ambassador-to-be – who might as well be the Israeli ambassador to the US – can’t wait to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. He seems to feel more antagonism towards the Jewish left in America than the Palestinians who claim East Jerusalem as a capital and whose state he has no interest in. Will Trump enrage the Arabs? Or will he get away with a little domestic rearrangement of the Israel embassy on the grounds that the Gulf Arabs, at least, know that Israel’s anti-Shiism – against Syria, Iran and Hezbollah – fits in rather well with the Sunni potentates who’ve been funding Isis and Jabhat al-Nusrah and all the other jolly jihadis?http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Syria
http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Iran

http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Hezbollah

http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/isis

I suspect that “post-truth” has more to do with social media than mendacious elections. The use of social media in reporting the battle of eastern Aleppo has been extraordinary, weird, dangerous, even murderous, when not a single Western journalist could report the eastern Aleppo war at first hand. Much damage has been done to the very credibility of journalism – and to politicians – by the acceptance of one side of the story only when not a single reporter can confirm with his or her own eyes what they are reporting.
http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/aleppo

We handed journalism to social media – and the armed men who control the areas from which these reports came know that they can pull the same trick again next time. They will, in Idlib. But this problem in the region is much, much bigger than a Syrian province. It’s now about the malleability of facts across the whole Middle East.

The 250,000 “trapped” Muslims of eastern Aleppo – now that 31,000 have chosen to go to Idlib, many more to western Aleppo – appear to have been somewhat fewer than 90,000. It’s now possible that at least 160,000 of the civilians “trapped” in eastern Aleppo did not actually exist, but no one says so. That vital statistic of 250,000, the very punctuation mark of every report on the besieged enclave, is now forgotten or ignored (wisely, perhaps) by those who quoted it.

Nor does anyone tell us about the civilians of Palmyra now that Isis has returned. And what about Mosul? Weren’t we about to liberate one million civilians trapped there by the jihadis – no less deserving, surely, than the 250,000 or 100,000 or 90,000 or fewer civilians trapped in eastern Aleppo?

Now the Americans say that Iraqi forces are “regrouping” and “repositioning” around Iraq’s second city; but “regrouping” and “repositioning” is what the British Expeditionary Forces did on their retreat to Dunkirk.

How can we complain about the lies of Trump and the Brexiteers when we journalists are chopping up the facts of the Middle East? Still, I notice in our newspapers and on television, Israel’s wall is a “security fence”, its colonies are “settlements” which are “disputed” rather than illegal.

Can we really shake our heads in disbelief at electoral lies when we have been lying to our readers and viewers for years?

My favourite journalistic philosopher, Fintan O’Toole of The Irish Times, got it right this month when he wrote that “the mendacity of politics in 2016 has indeed been astonishing both in its brazenness and in its effectiveness. The claim by the Leave side in the Brexit referendum that £350m a week would be taken from the United Kingdom’s contribution to the European Union’s budget and put into the National Health Service was quickly and comprehensively demolished. Being caught out in a lie did not matter… it was a proof of a weird kind of authenticity. Flagrant lies showed that you were not one of the experts that the leading Brexiteer Michael Gove invited UK voters to despise and ignore…”

Lying, according to O’Toole, “floats freely, with no pretence to be anchored in evidence”. Nowhere could this be more fearfully represented than in denial of the Jewish Holocaust (or the Armenian Holocaust, for that matter) when social media – O’Toole specifically names Facebook and Google – “now direct users towards fake news stories and sickening neo-Nazi propaganda with barely a shrug of the shoulders. The companies evoke in their defence a notion of the ‘diversity of perspectives’, an Orwellian euphemism in which the belief that the Holocaust never happened is as valid as the knowledge that it did.”

I’ve never accepted the nonsense about Nazism and the American right. Trump is not Hitler, although there is a kind of theatrical fascism about his performance. He’s more buffoon than satanic, more Duce than Fuehrer. Cesare Rossi, an early collaborator of Mussolini, once described his leader as moving quickly “from cynicism to idealism, from impulsiveness to caution, generosity to cruelty… moderation to intransigence. It was as though he never knew his genuine self and was always striving after some counterfeit impersonation.” Could there be a better description of Trump? As Mussolini’s philosopher of fascism, Giovanni Gentile, said, “laughter is of the devil, and true believers do not smile except in bitter sarcasm.”

That grim use of the word “laughter” is a key to this. The Second World War finished before I was born. But there are distressing habits which those on the right of European politics demonstrate when they wish to sneer at their enemies, characteristics which I find deeply disturbing. It is the politics of “the last laugh”; of the humiliation of those who thought they knew better and must now rue the day of their supposed superiority. Just count how many headlines and writers have referred to Trump’s “last laugh”. It is vicious and vengeful.

Most of us remember Nigel Farage’s disgraceful – and untrue – words to the European Parliament on 28 June when he claimed that most members “have never done a proper job”. But it was his other remark which was so frightening: “Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me – well, I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?”

Those words jogged my memory. Where I had I heard this sneer before?

Then, quite by chance, there I was in Poland a few days ago, reading the late Martin Gilbert’s Auschwitz and the Allies, about the US and British failure to respond militarily to news of the Nazi death camps. And there I read these words, uttered by Adolf Hitler on 30 September 1942: “In Germany, too, the Jews once laughed at my prophecies. I don’t know whether they are still laughing, or whether they have already lost the inclination to laugh, but I can assure you that everywhere they will stop laughing.” In 1925, newly released from prison, Hitler had written a lengthy editorial in Volkischer Beobachter, attacking Jews, Marxists and the Weimar Republic. And that was 17 years before his 1942 “not laughing” speech.

Contempt lies deep in the antechamber of an angry man. No, Farage is not a Nazi and nor is Trump. Nor are the tinpot right-wing European politicians who frighten us with their racist dialogue. What is terrifying – and deeply akin to fascism – is our ability to “think” our way from truth into lies.

Today we don’t need rallies or newsreels because we have the internet and social media, the addiction of our age. It is a dependency on a drug which under the infamous “diversity of perspectives” presents morality and immorality as part of a landscape that spreads out flat to the horizon. Even we humble reporters can see what is happening. To an extent never witnessed before, a lot of people have started believing things that aren’t true. And it is acceptable to do this. And we help them.

Today, you can not only deny history – the Armenian and Jewish Holocausts, Anne Frank’s diary, the gas chambers of Auschwitz – you can also tell fibs, big or small, about almost anything which annoys you. The Middle East, with our journalistic help, is deep in the same false world. Every dictator is now fighting “terrorism” – along with the US, Nato, the EU, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran, the entire Arab Gulf (minus Yemen, for rather embarrassing reasons), China, Japan, Australia and – who knows? – Greenland as well.

But justice is not on the menu. This is a word which few politicians, statesmen, even journalists, any longer use. Neither Trump nor Clinton, nor the Brexiteers, have talked about justice. I’m not talking about justice for victims of “terror”, or Brits who think they’ve been cheated by the EU, but real justice for entire nations, for peoples, for the Middle East, even – dare I mention them? – for Palestinians. They do not live in a “post-truth” world. They’ve been living among other people’s lies for decades.

The only effect of last year’s political earthquakes is that we shall feel less guilty in repeating all these lies. They have now – like war – become normal, a “diversity of perspectives”, part of a familiar, fraudulent world in which untruthfulness has acquired a “weird authenticity”.

Trump is Hitler. Trump is Jesus. National suicide is reincarnation. We may not yet have understood this. But there are many in the Middle East who will understand us. Maybe they’ll have the last laugh.


Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”







We Are Not Living In ‘Post-Truth’ World, We Are Living Lies Of Others


Nigel Farage is not a Nazi and nor is Donald Trump. But what is terrifying – and deeply akin to fascism – is our ability to ‘think’ our way from truth into lies

We do not live in a “post-truth” world, neither in the Middle East nor in the West – nor in Russia, for that matter. We live in a world of lies. And we always have lived in a world of lies.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east
http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Russia

Just take a look at the wreckage of the Middle East with its history of people’s popular republics and its hateful dictators. They feast on dishonesty, although they all – bar the late Muammar al-Gaddafi – demand regular elections to make-believe their way back to power.
http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/MuammarAl-Gaddafi

Now, I suppose, it is we who have regular elections based on lies. So maybe Trump and the Arab autocrats will get on rather well. Trump already likes Field Marshal/President al-Sissi of Egypt, and he’s already got a golf course in Dubai. That he deals in lies, that he manufactures facts, should make him quite at home in the Middle East. Misogyny, bullying, threats to political opponents, authoritarianism, tyranny, torture, sneers at minorities: it’s part and parcel of the Arab world.

And look at Israel. The new US ambassador-to-be – who might as well be the Israeli ambassador to the US – can’t wait to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. He seems to feel more antagonism towards the Jewish left in America than the Palestinians who claim East Jerusalem as a capital and whose state he has no interest in. Will Trump enrage the Arabs? Or will he get away with a little domestic rearrangement of the Israel embassy on the grounds that the Gulf Arabs, at least, know that Israel’s anti-Shiism – against Syria, Iran and Hezbollah – fits in rather well with the Sunni potentates who’ve been funding Isis and Jabhat al-Nusrah and all the other jolly jihadis?http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Syria
http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Iran

http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Hezbollah

http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/isis

I suspect that “post-truth” has more to do with social media than mendacious elections. The use of social media in reporting the battle of eastern Aleppo has been extraordinary, weird, dangerous, even murderous, when not a single Western journalist could report the eastern Aleppo war at first hand. Much damage has been done to the very credibility of journalism – and to politicians – by the acceptance of one side of the story only when not a single reporter can confirm with his or her own eyes what they are reporting.
http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/aleppo

We handed journalism to social media – and the armed men who control the areas from which these reports came know that they can pull the same trick again next time. They will, in Idlib. But this problem in the region is much, much bigger than a Syrian province. It’s now about the malleability of facts across the whole Middle East.

The 250,000 “trapped” Muslims of eastern Aleppo – now that 31,000 have chosen to go to Idlib, many more to western Aleppo – appear to have been somewhat fewer than 90,000. It’s now possible that at least 160,000 of the civilians “trapped” in eastern Aleppo did not actually exist, but no one says so. That vital statistic of 250,000, the very punctuation mark of every report on the besieged enclave, is now forgotten or ignored (wisely, perhaps) by those who quoted it.

Nor does anyone tell us about the civilians of Palmyra now that Isis has returned. And what about Mosul? Weren’t we about to liberate one million civilians trapped there by the jihadis – no less deserving, surely, than the 250,000 or 100,000 or 90,000 or fewer civilians trapped in eastern Aleppo?

Now the Americans say that Iraqi forces are “regrouping” and “repositioning” around Iraq’s second city; but “regrouping” and “repositioning” is what the British Expeditionary Forces did on their retreat to Dunkirk.

How can we complain about the lies of Trump and the Brexiteers when we journalists are chopping up the facts of the Middle East? Still, I notice in our newspapers and on television, Israel’s wall is a “security fence”, its colonies are “settlements” which are “disputed” rather than illegal.

Can we really shake our heads in disbelief at electoral lies when we have been lying to our readers and viewers for years?

My favourite journalistic philosopher, Fintan O’Toole of The Irish Times, got it right this month when he wrote that “the mendacity of politics in 2016 has indeed been astonishing both in its brazenness and in its effectiveness. The claim by the Leave side in the Brexit referendum that £350m a week would be taken from the United Kingdom’s contribution to the European Union’s budget and put into the National Health Service was quickly and comprehensively demolished. Being caught out in a lie did not matter… it was a proof of a weird kind of authenticity. Flagrant lies showed that you were not one of the experts that the leading Brexiteer Michael Gove invited UK voters to despise and ignore…”

Lying, according to O’Toole, “floats freely, with no pretence to be anchored in evidence”. Nowhere could this be more fearfully represented than in denial of the Jewish Holocaust (or the Armenian Holocaust, for that matter) when social media – O’Toole specifically names Facebook and Google – “now direct users towards fake news stories and sickening neo-Nazi propaganda with barely a shrug of the shoulders. The companies evoke in their defence a notion of the ‘diversity of perspectives’, an Orwellian euphemism in which the belief that the Holocaust never happened is as valid as the knowledge that it did.”

I’ve never accepted the nonsense about Nazism and the American right. Trump is not Hitler, although there is a kind of theatrical fascism about his performance. He’s more buffoon than satanic, more Duce than Fuehrer. Cesare Rossi, an early collaborator of Mussolini, once described his leader as moving quickly “from cynicism to idealism, from impulsiveness to caution, generosity to cruelty… moderation to intransigence. It was as though he never knew his genuine self and was always striving after some counterfeit impersonation.” Could there be a better description of Trump? As Mussolini’s philosopher of fascism, Giovanni Gentile, said, “laughter is of the devil, and true believers do not smile except in bitter sarcasm.”

That grim use of the word “laughter” is a key to this. The Second World War finished before I was born. But there are distressing habits which those on the right of European politics demonstrate when they wish to sneer at their enemies, characteristics which I find deeply disturbing. It is the politics of “the last laugh”; of the humiliation of those who thought they knew better and must now rue the day of their supposed superiority. Just count how many headlines and writers have referred to Trump’s “last laugh”. It is vicious and vengeful.

Most of us remember Nigel Farage’s disgraceful – and untrue – words to the European Parliament on 28 June when he claimed that most members “have never done a proper job”. But it was his other remark which was so frightening: “Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me – well, I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?”

Those words jogged my memory. Where I had I heard this sneer before?

Then, quite by chance, there I was in Poland a few days ago, reading the late Martin Gilbert’s Auschwitz and the Allies, about the US and British failure to respond militarily to news of the Nazi death camps. And there I read these words, uttered by Adolf Hitler on 30 September 1942: “In Germany, too, the Jews once laughed at my prophecies. I don’t know whether they are still laughing, or whether they have already lost the inclination to laugh, but I can assure you that everywhere they will stop laughing.” In 1925, newly released from prison, Hitler had written a lengthy editorial in Volkischer Beobachter, attacking Jews, Marxists and the Weimar Republic. And that was 17 years before his 1942 “not laughing” speech.

Contempt lies deep in the antechamber of an angry man. No, Farage is not a Nazi and nor is Trump. Nor are the tinpot right-wing European politicians who frighten us with their racist dialogue. What is terrifying – and deeply akin to fascism – is our ability to “think” our way from truth into lies.

Today we don’t need rallies or newsreels because we have the internet and social media, the addiction of our age. It is a dependency on a drug which under the infamous “diversity of perspectives” presents morality and immorality as part of a landscape that spreads out flat to the horizon. Even we humble reporters can see what is happening. To an extent never witnessed before, a lot of people have started believing things that aren’t true. And it is acceptable to do this. And we help them.

Today, you can not only deny history – the Armenian and Jewish Holocausts, Anne Frank’s diary, the gas chambers of Auschwitz – you can also tell fibs, big or small, about almost anything which annoys you. The Middle East, with our journalistic help, is deep in the same false world. Every dictator is now fighting “terrorism” – along with the US, Nato, the EU, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran, the entire Arab Gulf (minus Yemen, for rather embarrassing reasons), China, Japan, Australia and – who knows? – Greenland as well.

But justice is not on the menu. This is a word which few politicians, statesmen, even journalists, any longer use. Neither Trump nor Clinton, nor the Brexiteers, have talked about justice. I’m not talking about justice for victims of “terror”, or Brits who think they’ve been cheated by the EU, but real justice for entire nations, for peoples, for the Middle East, even – dare I mention them? – for Palestinians. They do not live in a “post-truth” world. They’ve been living among other people’s lies for decades.

The only effect of last year’s political earthquakes is that we shall feel less guilty in repeating all these lies. They have now – like war – become normal, a “diversity of perspectives”, part of a familiar, fraudulent world in which untruthfulness has acquired a “weird authenticity”.

Trump is Hitler. Trump is Jesus. National suicide is reincarnation. We may not yet have understood this. But there are many in the Middle East who will understand us. Maybe they’ll have the last laugh.


Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”









Tripwires For The Trumpsters

Tripwires For The Trumpsters


Above Photo: From Occupy.com

The Trumpsters are coming to town—led by a failed gambling czar, corporate welfare king and major tax escapee—and they are hell bent on unmaking Washington, D.C.

With all three branches of government  dominated by Republican members of Congress and Republican appointees—due to a mixture of abysmal deficiencies in the Democratic Party and the interloping luck of the atavistic Electoral College—the wrecking crew of Trump’s nominees to high cabinet and other positions brings with it a host of politically perilous baggage.

First, the Trumpsters have vowed to dismantle various government programs. They are determined to severely limit the protection of labor, replace public schools with taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools, and drop regulatory protections in the health, safety and environmental fields, among others. Acting without the requisite legal authority is of little concern to Mr. Trump.

Having sworn in their oaths of office (to “faithfully execute the laws of the land,”), they will find themselves quickly sued, exposed in the mass media and opposed by the law-abiding civil service. It will be a whistleblower’s field day. Trump will have serious trouble binding himself to the rule of law and the Constitution.

Second, the Trumpsters will establish more secretive government, led by their very secretive boss (note his refusal to reveal his incriminating tax returns); too much secrecy always gets government officials in trouble sooner or later, from legal trouble to media trouble to citizen revulsion over the resultant corruption scandals. Heavily staffed with militarists and corporatists, the incoming Trump regime will be hostile to open democratic processes and vulnerable to governing by cover-ups.

Third, since most of the top nominees are wealthy with many financial interests, they stand accused of conflicts of interest, even as they divest assets and place them in so-called blind trusts.

How can the restaurateur and fast-food chain magnate, Andrew Puzder, the next Secretary of Labor, escape being seen as conflicted when he has opposed labor unions and has opposed increases to the stagnant $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage? Similar conflicts exist with the new Secretary of State—Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson—with that company’s far flung concessions and investments around the world. People who got rich in business and leave to serve public office tend to go back into the business world from whence they came.

Fourth, Trump’s nominees are for the most part confirmed role-players in radical corporate-statism. They can talk a good game against crony capitalism or corporate welfare, but the soaring stock market, including defense industry stocks, signal that Wall Street likes the Trump team. This is not exactly what many of Trump’s supporters expected after November 8.

Trump promised a bigger military budget, corporate tax cuts and fewer regulatory health and safety protections for consumers, workers and the environment. With a Republican-dominated Congress he may achieve these objectives, but they will be accompanied by rising deficits, more inflation, and the cost of preventable human casualties.

Fifth, the maximum peril Trump’s administration brings to the country could come from its extreme hubris with regard to its military aggressiveness overseas. Trump has picked three retired generals well-suited to advance Empire’s constantly boomeranging attacks in whichever country in Asia and Africa they choose. Certainly President Obama, presently conducting wars in numerous countries without Congressional declaration, has opened the door to these unconstitutional adventures.

The Trump military and national security team is not looking for peace treaties or strategies that avoid the spread of stateless terrorism around the world.

One major terror attack on the U.S. and Trump becomes a warring, civil-liberties destroying monster of over-reaction, forsaking and crowding out other priorities and necessities that a mature society must address.

With his megalomaniacal, easily bruisable ego, his impulsive middle-of-the-night tweets against opponents, and his unwillingness to absorb critical facts with reflection and prudence, we cannot trust his judgement to serve the best interest of the people, especially given his belligerent advisors raising dangerous risks on the horizon.

Nothing short of a robust organization of wise and experienced, retired military, national security and diplomatic officials, who served under both parties, supported by adequate resources and media access, can have a chance to slow down what can become a deadly momentum of brute force and troop expansion overseas.

Enlightened billionaires have to step up to make this happen before a likely unleashing of Trumpian rage and rant. This is not a man who can learn from the bitter lessons of history.

And citizens from all walks of life—left and right—need to defend our democracy, our civil liberties, and the health and safety protections that at their best made our country a model for so many other countries.


 Ralph Nader, www.blog.nader.org


Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”




Tripwires For The Trumpsters


Above Photo: From Occupy.com

The Trumpsters are coming to town—led by a failed gambling czar, corporate welfare king and major tax escapee—and they are hell bent on unmaking Washington, D.C.

With all three branches of government  dominated by Republican members of Congress and Republican appointees—due to a mixture of abysmal deficiencies in the Democratic Party and the interloping luck of the atavistic Electoral College—the wrecking crew of Trump’s nominees to high cabinet and other positions brings with it a host of politically perilous baggage.

First, the Trumpsters have vowed to dismantle various government programs. They are determined to severely limit the protection of labor, replace public schools with taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools, and drop regulatory protections in the health, safety and environmental fields, among others. Acting without the requisite legal authority is of little concern to Mr. Trump.

Having sworn in their oaths of office (to “faithfully execute the laws of the land,”), they will find themselves quickly sued, exposed in the mass media and opposed by the law-abiding civil service. It will be a whistleblower’s field day. Trump will have serious trouble binding himself to the rule of law and the Constitution.

Second, the Trumpsters will establish more secretive government, led by their very secretive boss (note his refusal to reveal his incriminating tax returns); too much secrecy always gets government officials in trouble sooner or later, from legal trouble to media trouble to citizen revulsion over the resultant corruption scandals. Heavily staffed with militarists and corporatists, the incoming Trump regime will be hostile to open democratic processes and vulnerable to governing by cover-ups.

Third, since most of the top nominees are wealthy with many financial interests, they stand accused of conflicts of interest, even as they divest assets and place them in so-called blind trusts.

How can the restaurateur and fast-food chain magnate, Andrew Puzder, the next Secretary of Labor, escape being seen as conflicted when he has opposed labor unions and has opposed increases to the stagnant $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage? Similar conflicts exist with the new Secretary of State—Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson—with that company’s far flung concessions and investments around the world. People who got rich in business and leave to serve public office tend to go back into the business world from whence they came.

Fourth, Trump’s nominees are for the most part confirmed role-players in radical corporate-statism. They can talk a good game against crony capitalism or corporate welfare, but the soaring stock market, including defense industry stocks, signal that Wall Street likes the Trump team. This is not exactly what many of Trump’s supporters expected after November 8.

Trump promised a bigger military budget, corporate tax cuts and fewer regulatory health and safety protections for consumers, workers and the environment. With a Republican-dominated Congress he may achieve these objectives, but they will be accompanied by rising deficits, more inflation, and the cost of preventable human casualties.

Fifth, the maximum peril Trump’s administration brings to the country could come from its extreme hubris with regard to its military aggressiveness overseas. Trump has picked three retired generals well-suited to advance Empire’s constantly boomeranging attacks in whichever country in Asia and Africa they choose. Certainly President Obama, presently conducting wars in numerous countries without Congressional declaration, has opened the door to these unconstitutional adventures.

The Trump military and national security team is not looking for peace treaties or strategies that avoid the spread of stateless terrorism around the world.

One major terror attack on the U.S. and Trump becomes a warring, civil-liberties destroying monster of over-reaction, forsaking and crowding out other priorities and necessities that a mature society must address.

With his megalomaniacal, easily bruisable ego, his impulsive middle-of-the-night tweets against opponents, and his unwillingness to absorb critical facts with reflection and prudence, we cannot trust his judgement to serve the best interest of the people, especially given his belligerent advisors raising dangerous risks on the horizon.

Nothing short of a robust organization of wise and experienced, retired military, national security and diplomatic officials, who served under both parties, supported by adequate resources and media access, can have a chance to slow down what can become a deadly momentum of brute force and troop expansion overseas.

Enlightened billionaires have to step up to make this happen before a likely unleashing of Trumpian rage and rant. This is not a man who can learn from the bitter lessons of history.

And citizens from all walks of life—left and right—need to defend our democracy, our civil liberties, and the health and safety protections that at their best made our country a model for so many other countries.


 Ralph Nader, www.blog.nader.org


Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”






Why I Answered The Call For Veterans To Go To Standing Rock

Why I Answered The Call For Veterans To Go To Standing Rock



At Standing Rock, for the first time, I felt like I was finally serving the people.

I lay among friends, huddled and cold in our sleeping bags. We listened to the lashing wind and the drums and prayer chants coming from the sacred fire, and we reflected on why we, four Iraq War veterans, were here.

Police floodlights shone from the drill site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, scheduled to cross under the Missouri River, the water source for millions of people.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux, concerned not only about polluted water but also the desecration of sacred sites, began resisting the pipeline in 2014. In mid-2016, finally, these water protectors gained major support.

Over 200 tribal nations pledged solidarity. Thousands of non-natives traveled to North Dakota to stand on the front lines. Then, as images of police violence against protectors got increasingly disturbing, some 4,000 veterans — including me — joined the resistance in early December.

Why had so many veterans taken up the cause of the Native Americans and environmentalists at Standing Rock?

My own reasons are rooted in western Pennsylvania’s coal country, where I grew up. There, I rode my bicycle on trails crossing abandoned strip mines. Bulldozers had left precarious shale formations and streams ran orange with iron runoff.

When a sanitation corporation threatened to open a landfill at a reclaimed mine near homes in our community, residents finally resisted. At age 15, I joined the fight to stop the dump, gaining a deeper appreciation for the wildlife — and water — of my region.

Good jobs are scarce in my hometown, so military service is something nearly every boy — and now girl — considers. My grandfathers both served, along with several uncles.

Back home, the military is sacrosanct. But I wasn’t especially proud of my five years in the Army, two of which were spent in Iraq.

My job as a radar operator, like so many military specializations, got privatized, so I found myself tasked out for other duties. I guarded poor Iraqis while they filled thousands of sandbags for the contractor Kellogg, Brown, and Root, only to see those sandbags rot in the sun as they sat unused.

I also loaded caskets onto cargo planes — an image often hidden from the American public. And I escorted high-ranking officers on unnecessary trouble-provoking missions (how else could one earn the Combat Infantry Badge?).

Like many post-9/11 veterans, I left the military seeking redemption. Perhaps that’s why, after I saw those images of police violence against water protectors, I went to Standing Rock.

There, instead of helping military contractors make money, I felt like I was finally serving the people.

While we were there, on December 4, the Army Corps of Engineers finally denied the pipeline company its permit to drill under the river. Police pulled back, and the water protectors celebrated.

The indigenous community had worked months for this ruling. They sacrificed the most. But I like to think the result was also influenced by the prospect of police tear-gassing and firing rubber bullets at unarmed veterans.

A ceremony followed where Wesley Clark Jr., key organizer of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock campaign, offered an apology to Native Americans on behalf of the military, citing decades of broken treaties and violence. Five hundred of us went to our knees.

I hope to participate in a forgiveness ceremony one day in Iraq, in the spirit of Standing Rock.



“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”



Why I Answered The Call For Veterans To Go To Standing Rock



At Standing Rock, for the first time, I felt like I was finally serving the people.

I lay among friends, huddled and cold in our sleeping bags. We listened to the lashing wind and the drums and prayer chants coming from the sacred fire, and we reflected on why we, four Iraq War veterans, were here.

Police floodlights shone from the drill site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, scheduled to cross under the Missouri River, the water source for millions of people.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux, concerned not only about polluted water but also the desecration of sacred sites, began resisting the pipeline in 2014. In mid-2016, finally, these water protectors gained major support.

Over 200 tribal nations pledged solidarity. Thousands of non-natives traveled to North Dakota to stand on the front lines. Then, as images of police violence against protectors got increasingly disturbing, some 4,000 veterans — including me — joined the resistance in early December.

Why had so many veterans taken up the cause of the Native Americans and environmentalists at Standing Rock?

My own reasons are rooted in western Pennsylvania’s coal country, where I grew up. There, I rode my bicycle on trails crossing abandoned strip mines. Bulldozers had left precarious shale formations and streams ran orange with iron runoff.

When a sanitation corporation threatened to open a landfill at a reclaimed mine near homes in our community, residents finally resisted. At age 15, I joined the fight to stop the dump, gaining a deeper appreciation for the wildlife — and water — of my region.

Good jobs are scarce in my hometown, so military service is something nearly every boy — and now girl — considers. My grandfathers both served, along with several uncles.

Back home, the military is sacrosanct. But I wasn’t especially proud of my five years in the Army, two of which were spent in Iraq.

My job as a radar operator, like so many military specializations, got privatized, so I found myself tasked out for other duties. I guarded poor Iraqis while they filled thousands of sandbags for the contractor Kellogg, Brown, and Root, only to see those sandbags rot in the sun as they sat unused.

I also loaded caskets onto cargo planes — an image often hidden from the American public. And I escorted high-ranking officers on unnecessary trouble-provoking missions (how else could one earn the Combat Infantry Badge?).

Like many post-9/11 veterans, I left the military seeking redemption. Perhaps that’s why, after I saw those images of police violence against water protectors, I went to Standing Rock.

There, instead of helping military contractors make money, I felt like I was finally serving the people.

While we were there, on December 4, the Army Corps of Engineers finally denied the pipeline company its permit to drill under the river. Police pulled back, and the water protectors celebrated.

The indigenous community had worked months for this ruling. They sacrificed the most. But I like to think the result was also influenced by the prospect of police tear-gassing and firing rubber bullets at unarmed veterans.

A ceremony followed where Wesley Clark Jr., key organizer of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock campaign, offered an apology to Native Americans on behalf of the military, citing decades of broken treaties and violence. Five hundred of us went to our knees.

I hope to participate in a forgiveness ceremony one day in Iraq, in the spirit of Standing Rock.



“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”





2016 And Beyond: Justice Jumping Genres

2016 And Beyond: Justice Jumping Genres



Above Photo: From environmentalhealthnews.org

A historic year for environmental justice saw government failures in Flint, a resurgent Native voice, and a merging of movements. We’re watching where it’s headed in the new year.

There I was in a mid-March snowstorm riding shotgun in a truck heading south through the Crow reservation in Montana. I made a stupid comment to break the silence: “Man, there is nothing out there.”

Crow member and my guide for the day, Emery Three Irons, politely corrected me: “There’s a lot out there.”

I saw an empty vastness. Three Irons saw a landscape of history and culture, and all of the splendor and pain attached to both.

Reviewing the year’s news, I was reminded of this. With partisan publications, herd journalism and narrow-minded newsfeeds, it’s easy to miss big, important developments on environmental issues—both good and bad.

Let’s avoid being like me in the foothills of the Pryor Mountains. Survey the landscape. Avoid the urge to break the silence until there’s something worth saying.

The most poignant stories of solution and struggle in 2016 were from those who too often shoulder the largest share of environmental harm—poor and minority communities.

For 2017, expect the push for environmental justice to center more around the issue’s intersections with racial, economic and environmental equality.It started with lead poisoning and government failure in Flint—a story that’s still unfolding.

Flint prompted journalists from across the country to take a look at lead poisoning and water in their own communities—it turns out Flint is everywhere. St. Louis. East Chicago. Baltimore.

Poor, often minority, communities are still poisoned by a toxic directly linked to criminal behavior and reduced IQs.

While Flint—a majority-black city that never regained its footing after the recession—is text book environmental injustice, the problematic intersection of pollution, poverty and people of color can be much more complex and multi-faceted.

Food insecurity and toxics are combining to hamper development in poor children. Drought is crushing small farmers in developing countries, the food source and economic backbone of their communities. Fossil fuel reliance continues to touch every aspect of our lives: the health of our lungs and farms, the stability of our economy and international relations.

But there are Native Americans camping in snow, bucking development on sacred land by exercising sovereignty, however ill defined it may be. Communities are pushing for—and building—small-scale, resilient energy systems, connecting people to their power in new and exciting ways.

People are providing healthy, necessary amounts of food to those in need, taking aim at waste, and seeking agriculture done without corporate stranglehold.

Activists tackling racial, criminal and labor injustice realize that dirty air, tainted water and poverty cannot be disentangled from economic and political marginalization.

Every day we at Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate compile the day’s top environmental health and climate change news (and distribute it via free daily and weekly newsletters. You can subscribe here).http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/subscribe

We fill blanks in coverage with reporting of our own. Our small team aggregates around the clock, aggregating almost 30,000 stories this year alone.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/archive?text=&start_date=01%2F01%2F2016&end_date=12%2F27%2F2016&publisher=&reporter=&article_type=&subject=

We found more than 2,200 stories this year dealing with climate and environmental justice. While not an exhaustive collection of every environmental story, this represents a doubling of such stories from a year prior.http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/archive?text=&start_date=01%2F01%2F2016&end_date=12%2F27%2F2016&publisher=&reporter=&article_type=&subject=Environmental+justice

For 2017, experts say, expect the push for environmental justice to center more around the issue’s intersections with racial, economic and environmental equality.

Merging movements

Campaigns for all three overlapped this year: As our economy stratified more starkly into haves and have-nots—and often ignores pollution and health costs in the name of progress—we’ve seen calls to restructure.

“Our failure to address environmental justice crosses many boundaries,” said Sylvia Hood Washington, an environmental epidemiologist and editor of the Environmental Justice journal.

“Movements are merging and addressing multiple issues,” she said. “Safe housing, police brutality, violence against children, inadequate housing, exposure to substances that cause learning disability…. All of these issues are important and must embrace environmental health science.”

We began to see this in 2016. The Sierra Club came out in strong support of the Fight for Fifteen movement, a protest for low wage workers to make $15-an-hour. “Low wage jobs are some of the most environmentally hazardous jobs there are, especially when workers lack union representation. We need livable wages because we can’t break a glass ceiling we can’t reach,” wrote Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club’s board of directors.
http://www.sierraclub.org/change/2016/04/why-we-fight-for-15

Groups such as National People’s Action have made clean energy a key point of their agenda, which aims for a more just economy. The New Economy Coalition and Our Power Campaign are pushing clean energy and other green jobs in conjunction with job training and opportunities for people to live healthy, both physically and financially.

As Trump takes office and fills key cabinet posts with mostly men who disavow climate science and promote fossil fuel development, it’s worth noting this movement is coming from the ground up.

Even the large environmental organizations aren’t driving the agenda, said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, chief program officer with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“We’re seeing a harkening back to an early time, fighting for environmental rights, not just in the hands of environmental organizations, but every community that cares about air and water and health,” said Casey-Lefkowitz.

David Pellow, a professor of environmental studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, said the Black Lives Matter movement is a great example: “They haven’t necessarily passed laws but they’ve changed the conversation.”

The Movement for Black Lives, which includes more than 50 groups including Black Lives Matter, released a platform in August that called for divestment from fossil fuels within a broader demand to address disproportionate criminalization and incarceration.

The report also called for cleaning pollution in black neighborhoods as part of a path toward economic justice, and bolstering the financial support for black farmers.

A major reason for such a bright spotlight on environmental justice issues this year was Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run, which included an entire platform on environmental justice—something rarely mentioned in presidential politics.

“These injustices are largely the product of political marginalization and institutional racism. The less political power a community of color possesses, the more likely they are to experience insidious environmental and human health threats,” read Sanders’ racial justice outline, which called for a clean energy transition, bolstered Superfund cleanups and more stringent permitting of polluting industries.

Sacred water, Standing Rock and sovereignty

The Standing Rock Sioux’s opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline perfectly embodied the intersection of civil rights, human rights, and the environment, while also adding to the conversation important questions of indigenous sovereignty, Pellow said.

“People are really seeing and connecting what’s happening with Native communities and the rest of planet,” he said. “These are not just Native or oil pipeline issues. It affects us all.”

Kyle Powys Whyte, Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee, Oklahoma, said the way Standing Rock happened was crucial to the attention it grabbed and ultimate success.

“It’s an important idea, not just the protest that we can succeed at, but how we design protest,” he said. Standing Rock camps became functional communities, with people supporting each other with food, water, prayer. The Standing Rock and ally tribes insisted that they were not protestors but water protectors.

Standing Rock is the visible tip of a tribal justice movement focused on race, political representation and the management of natural resources.

I saw much of this firsthand. For our yearlong series, Sacred Water, I visited reservations where tribes are fighting for clean water. While touring the Crow Reservation with Three Irons, I saw multiple streams and rivers tainted with bacteria and heavy metals, exacerbating tribal health problems and economic woes.

Along the Puget Sound, which has dwindling salmon populations due to development, pollution and climate change, tribes are fighting to bring back the cultural icon for traditional ceremonies and spiritual well-being, but also for financial security. Commercial fishing is suffering badly.

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a proposed open-pit mine threatens the cultural headwaters of the Menominee Indians of Wisconsin. Ancient burial mounds sit nearby and the river is the center of their creation story.

Similar to Standing Rock, the call for environmental justice for the Menominee is based on a feeling of political marginalization and a system that doesn’t take into account tribal values.

“Putting a mine on this location is just the same as if they were to put an open pit sulfide mine in the Garden of Eden for the Christians. Imagine what they would say when asking them to describe how it feels to see this mine polluting their sacred area,” wrote Menominee Guy Reiter in an essay for our series.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2016/tribal-series/menominee-series/sacred-water-essay-menominee-mine-fight-standing-together



Standing Rock camp.

This issue of sovereignty—which has long been a moving target—will continue to play out over the coming year. “We understand sovereignty as a way of life: autonomy, independence and community cohesion,” Whyte said. “The U.S. government often understands sovereignty in a much more limited sense.”

The highly visible fight over the Standing Rock pipeline has transformed the justice conversation in the U.S. and thrust Native Americans and grassroots organizing back into the mainstream consciousness. It worked in North Dakota: The Obama Administration rejected a crucial permit last month needed to complete the Dakota Access pipeline and gave, for now, a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and allied tribes who have camped for months.

Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director of GreenFaith, a faith-based organization focused on environmental stewardship, said it is “truly the best of times, worst of times” for environmental justice.

That Standing Rock victory? That’s the “best” part, Harper said. The other side, of course, is president-elect Donald Trump.

“The Trump Administration has already sent signals that it may further privatize indigenous lands for resource extraction,” Whyte said. “We might be in for four to eight years of fighting for the bare right just to be consulted.”

Oppose—and build

Speak to those concerned about environmental justice about President-elect Donald Trump and there’s bound to be silence, sighs, swearing or all of the above.


President-elect Donald Trump has those in the environmental justice movement concerned.

Trump’s campaign was filled with racially charged rhetoric and calls to double down on polluting fossil fuels. He’s mentioned wanting to exit the Paris Climate Agreement and has denied the existence of man-made climate change. His Cabinet is a who’s who of climate change deniers and fossil fuel friends.

For more on what a Trump Administration could mean for the environment check out weekend editor Peter Dykstra’s critiquePerhaps most concerning is the unknown of a Trump Environmental Protection Agency. If his pick to run the agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is any indication it will be a sharp departure from what has been an increasing recognition of and focus on environmental justice.

This year the EPA released a report outlining their environmental justice through 2020. “By 2020, we envision an EPA that integrates environmental justice into everything we do,” said the report, which laid out three major goals — improving the health and environment of overburdened communities, expanding partnerships within those communities, and showing documented progress on disparities in lead exposure, drinking water, air quality and proximity to hazardous waste sites.https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/052216_ej_2020_strategic_plan_final_0.pdf

Pruitt is a climate change skeptic and has shown disdain for the very agency he will head, taking part in a multi-state lawsuit against the EPA over proposed regulations to curb the potent greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas operations. It remains to be seen what he makes of the environmental justice initiatives at the agency.

Optimism and opportunity remain and the refrain is consistent: the movement will have to thrive at the local, county and state level. “I think a lot of [environmental justice] organizations will get stronger as more people realize they can’t sit on their hands,” said J. Timmons Roberts, a professor of environmental studies and sociology at Brown University.

States have long been leaders on progressive environmental justice policies, Roberts said. In his home state of Rhode Island, for example, the 2014 Resilient Rhode Island Act seeks to mitigate climate change impacts while also looking for ways to boost the economy and lift up low-income residents.

California this year extended its cap and trade program, tilting the revenue spending toward urban, poor communities. Gov. Jerry Brown has made no secret that he’s willing to spar with Trump when it comes to the environment.

“We have a lot of firepower! We’ve got the scientists. We’ve got the universities. We have the national labs. We have a lot of political clout and sophistication for the battle. And we will persevere!” Gov. Brown said in a fiery speech at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union last month.

Such progressiveness in spite of federal action or inaction could be vital during the Trump tenure, Pellow said.

“We need to stop imagining the EPA or federal government will be the source of solutions for environmental justice,” Pellow said.

Part of the local approach means moving beyond simple opposition—protesting a polluting power plant, for example—and building local resiliency, such as energy cooperatives, land trusts, urban gardens, Pellow added.

“We need to be building something positive, not just opposing something bad.”



“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”





2016 And Beyond: Justice Jumping Genres



Above Photo: From environmentalhealthnews.org

A historic year for environmental justice saw government failures in Flint, a resurgent Native voice, and a merging of movements. We’re watching where it’s headed in the new year.

There I was in a mid-March snowstorm riding shotgun in a truck heading south through the Crow reservation in Montana. I made a stupid comment to break the silence: “Man, there is nothing out there.”

Crow member and my guide for the day, Emery Three Irons, politely corrected me: “There’s a lot out there.”

I saw an empty vastness. Three Irons saw a landscape of history and culture, and all of the splendor and pain attached to both.

Reviewing the year’s news, I was reminded of this. With partisan publications, herd journalism and narrow-minded newsfeeds, it’s easy to miss big, important developments on environmental issues—both good and bad.

Let’s avoid being like me in the foothills of the Pryor Mountains. Survey the landscape. Avoid the urge to break the silence until there’s something worth saying.

The most poignant stories of solution and struggle in 2016 were from those who too often shoulder the largest share of environmental harm—poor and minority communities.

For 2017, expect the push for environmental justice to center more around the issue’s intersections with racial, economic and environmental equality.It started with lead poisoning and government failure in Flint—a story that’s still unfolding.

Flint prompted journalists from across the country to take a look at lead poisoning and water in their own communities—it turns out Flint is everywhere. St. Louis. East Chicago. Baltimore.

Poor, often minority, communities are still poisoned by a toxic directly linked to criminal behavior and reduced IQs.

While Flint—a majority-black city that never regained its footing after the recession—is text book environmental injustice, the problematic intersection of pollution, poverty and people of color can be much more complex and multi-faceted.

Food insecurity and toxics are combining to hamper development in poor children. Drought is crushing small farmers in developing countries, the food source and economic backbone of their communities. Fossil fuel reliance continues to touch every aspect of our lives: the health of our lungs and farms, the stability of our economy and international relations.

But there are Native Americans camping in snow, bucking development on sacred land by exercising sovereignty, however ill defined it may be. Communities are pushing for—and building—small-scale, resilient energy systems, connecting people to their power in new and exciting ways.

People are providing healthy, necessary amounts of food to those in need, taking aim at waste, and seeking agriculture done without corporate stranglehold.

Activists tackling racial, criminal and labor injustice realize that dirty air, tainted water and poverty cannot be disentangled from economic and political marginalization.

Every day we at Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate compile the day’s top environmental health and climate change news (and distribute it via free daily and weekly newsletters. You can subscribe here).http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/subscribe

We fill blanks in coverage with reporting of our own. Our small team aggregates around the clock, aggregating almost 30,000 stories this year alone.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/archive?text=&start_date=01%2F01%2F2016&end_date=12%2F27%2F2016&publisher=&reporter=&article_type=&subject=

We found more than 2,200 stories this year dealing with climate and environmental justice. While not an exhaustive collection of every environmental story, this represents a doubling of such stories from a year prior.http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/archive?text=&start_date=01%2F01%2F2016&end_date=12%2F27%2F2016&publisher=&reporter=&article_type=&subject=Environmental+justice

For 2017, experts say, expect the push for environmental justice to center more around the issue’s intersections with racial, economic and environmental equality.

Merging movements

Campaigns for all three overlapped this year: As our economy stratified more starkly into haves and have-nots—and often ignores pollution and health costs in the name of progress—we’ve seen calls to restructure.

“Our failure to address environmental justice crosses many boundaries,” said Sylvia Hood Washington, an environmental epidemiologist and editor of the Environmental Justice journal.

“Movements are merging and addressing multiple issues,” she said. “Safe housing, police brutality, violence against children, inadequate housing, exposure to substances that cause learning disability…. All of these issues are important and must embrace environmental health science.”

We began to see this in 2016. The Sierra Club came out in strong support of the Fight for Fifteen movement, a protest for low wage workers to make $15-an-hour. “Low wage jobs are some of the most environmentally hazardous jobs there are, especially when workers lack union representation. We need livable wages because we can’t break a glass ceiling we can’t reach,” wrote Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club’s board of directors.
http://www.sierraclub.org/change/2016/04/why-we-fight-for-15

Groups such as National People’s Action have made clean energy a key point of their agenda, which aims for a more just economy. The New Economy Coalition and Our Power Campaign are pushing clean energy and other green jobs in conjunction with job training and opportunities for people to live healthy, both physically and financially.

As Trump takes office and fills key cabinet posts with mostly men who disavow climate science and promote fossil fuel development, it’s worth noting this movement is coming from the ground up.

Even the large environmental organizations aren’t driving the agenda, said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, chief program officer with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“We’re seeing a harkening back to an early time, fighting for environmental rights, not just in the hands of environmental organizations, but every community that cares about air and water and health,” said Casey-Lefkowitz.

David Pellow, a professor of environmental studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, said the Black Lives Matter movement is a great example: “They haven’t necessarily passed laws but they’ve changed the conversation.”

The Movement for Black Lives, which includes more than 50 groups including Black Lives Matter, released a platform in August that called for divestment from fossil fuels within a broader demand to address disproportionate criminalization and incarceration.

The report also called for cleaning pollution in black neighborhoods as part of a path toward economic justice, and bolstering the financial support for black farmers.

A major reason for such a bright spotlight on environmental justice issues this year was Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run, which included an entire platform on environmental justice—something rarely mentioned in presidential politics.

“These injustices are largely the product of political marginalization and institutional racism. The less political power a community of color possesses, the more likely they are to experience insidious environmental and human health threats,” read Sanders’ racial justice outline, which called for a clean energy transition, bolstered Superfund cleanups and more stringent permitting of polluting industries.

Sacred water, Standing Rock and sovereignty

The Standing Rock Sioux’s opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline perfectly embodied the intersection of civil rights, human rights, and the environment, while also adding to the conversation important questions of indigenous sovereignty, Pellow said.

“People are really seeing and connecting what’s happening with Native communities and the rest of planet,” he said. “These are not just Native or oil pipeline issues. It affects us all.”

Kyle Powys Whyte, Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee, Oklahoma, said the way Standing Rock happened was crucial to the attention it grabbed and ultimate success.

“It’s an important idea, not just the protest that we can succeed at, but how we design protest,” he said. Standing Rock camps became functional communities, with people supporting each other with food, water, prayer. The Standing Rock and ally tribes insisted that they were not protestors but water protectors.

Standing Rock is the visible tip of a tribal justice movement focused on race, political representation and the management of natural resources.

I saw much of this firsthand. For our yearlong series, Sacred Water, I visited reservations where tribes are fighting for clean water. While touring the Crow Reservation with Three Irons, I saw multiple streams and rivers tainted with bacteria and heavy metals, exacerbating tribal health problems and economic woes.

Along the Puget Sound, which has dwindling salmon populations due to development, pollution and climate change, tribes are fighting to bring back the cultural icon for traditional ceremonies and spiritual well-being, but also for financial security. Commercial fishing is suffering badly.

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a proposed open-pit mine threatens the cultural headwaters of the Menominee Indians of Wisconsin. Ancient burial mounds sit nearby and the river is the center of their creation story.

Similar to Standing Rock, the call for environmental justice for the Menominee is based on a feeling of political marginalization and a system that doesn’t take into account tribal values.

“Putting a mine on this location is just the same as if they were to put an open pit sulfide mine in the Garden of Eden for the Christians. Imagine what they would say when asking them to describe how it feels to see this mine polluting their sacred area,” wrote Menominee Guy Reiter in an essay for our series.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2016/tribal-series/menominee-series/sacred-water-essay-menominee-mine-fight-standing-together



Standing Rock camp.

This issue of sovereignty—which has long been a moving target—will continue to play out over the coming year. “We understand sovereignty as a way of life: autonomy, independence and community cohesion,” Whyte said. “The U.S. government often understands sovereignty in a much more limited sense.”

The highly visible fight over the Standing Rock pipeline has transformed the justice conversation in the U.S. and thrust Native Americans and grassroots organizing back into the mainstream consciousness. It worked in North Dakota: The Obama Administration rejected a crucial permit last month needed to complete the Dakota Access pipeline and gave, for now, a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and allied tribes who have camped for months.

Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director of GreenFaith, a faith-based organization focused on environmental stewardship, said it is “truly the best of times, worst of times” for environmental justice.

That Standing Rock victory? That’s the “best” part, Harper said. The other side, of course, is president-elect Donald Trump.

“The Trump Administration has already sent signals that it may further privatize indigenous lands for resource extraction,” Whyte said. “We might be in for four to eight years of fighting for the bare right just to be consulted.”

Oppose—and build

Speak to those concerned about environmental justice about President-elect Donald Trump and there’s bound to be silence, sighs, swearing or all of the above.


President-elect Donald Trump has those in the environmental justice movement concerned.

Trump’s campaign was filled with racially charged rhetoric and calls to double down on polluting fossil fuels. He’s mentioned wanting to exit the Paris Climate Agreement and has denied the existence of man-made climate change. His Cabinet is a who’s who of climate change deniers and fossil fuel friends.

For more on what a Trump Administration could mean for the environment check out weekend editor Peter Dykstra’s critiquePerhaps most concerning is the unknown of a Trump Environmental Protection Agency. If his pick to run the agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is any indication it will be a sharp departure from what has been an increasing recognition of and focus on environmental justice.

This year the EPA released a report outlining their environmental justice through 2020. “By 2020, we envision an EPA that integrates environmental justice into everything we do,” said the report, which laid out three major goals — improving the health and environment of overburdened communities, expanding partnerships within those communities, and showing documented progress on disparities in lead exposure, drinking water, air quality and proximity to hazardous waste sites.https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/052216_ej_2020_strategic_plan_final_0.pdf

Pruitt is a climate change skeptic and has shown disdain for the very agency he will head, taking part in a multi-state lawsuit against the EPA over proposed regulations to curb the potent greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas operations. It remains to be seen what he makes of the environmental justice initiatives at the agency.

Optimism and opportunity remain and the refrain is consistent: the movement will have to thrive at the local, county and state level. “I think a lot of [environmental justice] organizations will get stronger as more people realize they can’t sit on their hands,” said J. Timmons Roberts, a professor of environmental studies and sociology at Brown University.

States have long been leaders on progressive environmental justice policies, Roberts said. In his home state of Rhode Island, for example, the 2014 Resilient Rhode Island Act seeks to mitigate climate change impacts while also looking for ways to boost the economy and lift up low-income residents.

California this year extended its cap and trade program, tilting the revenue spending toward urban, poor communities. Gov. Jerry Brown has made no secret that he’s willing to spar with Trump when it comes to the environment.

“We have a lot of firepower! We’ve got the scientists. We’ve got the universities. We have the national labs. We have a lot of political clout and sophistication for the battle. And we will persevere!” Gov. Brown said in a fiery speech at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union last month.

Such progressiveness in spite of federal action or inaction could be vital during the Trump tenure, Pellow said.

“We need to stop imagining the EPA or federal government will be the source of solutions for environmental justice,” Pellow said.

Part of the local approach means moving beyond simple opposition—protesting a polluting power plant, for example—and building local resiliency, such as energy cooperatives, land trusts, urban gardens, Pellow added.

“We need to be building something positive, not just opposing something bad.”



“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”







“Useful Infidels” Vetting Refugees

Should we sleep like Europe and allow radical Islam to destroy the West from within? Should we not pay attention to the multicultural elite, the "useful infidels," who promote the admission of even more improperly vetted "refugees"


“Useful Infidels” Vetting Refugees


“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

When truth has been replaced with moral relativism and progressivism teaches our American children through high school programs such as the International Baccalaureate and Common Core standards that they are global citizens, love of one’s country is bad, proselytizing for Islam in school curricula at the expense of Christianity is good, and socialism and the Islamization of Western civilization have become the norm, it is time to worry. America is “harboring in New York its own worst enemy,” and financing it with taxpayer dollars. It is time to stand up to the U.N. and its forced globalization programs, including the “refugee” relocation.

“Progressivism is anarchy and spiritual disorder. It is an ideology of the global left which is based on envy. If you have something and I don’t, you can’t have it, neither can I, and I will destroy it.” Brainwashing our children in schools in this vein is a form of psychological warfare, teaching them about non-existent white privilege in order to anger non-Caucasians and instigate hate and division.

Closer to home, the Virginia Refugee Resettlement Program “Provides services to all refugees without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, or political opinion.” It is humane and Christian to help someone in temporary need but we have enough needy people in our own country, do we need to import the citizens and problems of other nations, and shouldn’t countries of the same religion that are much closer to the conflict zone offer refuge first? Must they migrate across the globe?

And if we do offer services regardless of political opinion, would it not be important to our citizens’ safety to know which one of those admitted come here to destroy us because they despise our way of life and their holy book commands it?

Don’t we owe our own citizens a modicum of safety? Do we want to turn our country into a failed Europe, into Merkel’s Germany, an invaded country that has been deliberately flooded by its own liberal leaders in the name of pacifism and political correctness while Germans quietly accept their fate?

Should we not vet these people properly instead of saying that we do when in reality everybody knows that there is no known data base in their countries of origin that would flag problem refugees? And why are most of them males with no skills or education who become wards of the state immediately, on the dole provided by hard-working Americans who are struggling to feed and support their own families?

If you were a newly arrived “refugee” who came from a poor part of the world, given to tribal strife and wars for two thousand years, would you not be elated to be cared for by American taxpayers’ generosity administered through the Refugee Assistance Program? In Virginia alone, newcomers become beneficiaries of the Refugee Cash Assistance Program (RCA) which is consistent with its Temporary Assistance to Needy Family Program (TANF).

“The Office of Newcomer Services collaborates with the Department of Social Services Division of Benefit Programs on the inclusion of cash, medical, employment, and support services for refugees in its Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF program guidance documents.” (p. 7)

The lofty goals stated are “durable economic self-sufficiency and social integration in Virginia’s communities.” Most of the areas where refugees have been inserted are conservative, small, and are unable to cope financially with a group in disarray, as the newcomers have no intention of integrating into orderly society or learning the language, they expect everything to be translated and conducted into the language of their countries, following their customs and Sharia Law which is antithetical to our Constitution and rejects American democracy.

We should not be vetting them for terrorism; we should vet them for “their acceptance of Sharia Law which will ultimately lead to terrorism.”
Brian Sussman stated recently in a radio broadcast that we are vetting Syrian refugees incorrectly. We should not be vetting them for terrorism; we should vet them for “their acceptance of Sharia Law which will ultimately lead to terrorism.” Many who are settled into our small communities overnight, without local knowledge, are not even Syrian, they are Somalis or some other African Muslims.

Do we not care who comes into our country? Do we not care about the safety of our children and our families, of our fellow Americans? Do we not care if these migrants are not contributing to the betterment of America?

How are they going to improve our lives? Are they going to assimilate into our culture? Are they going to go back once this particular Shia/Sunni conflict ends in the Middle East and, will this tribal and religion-based millennial conflict ever end, especially when the flames are fanned by superpowers with industrial military complex interests?

We were told that we were involved in order to improve their lives over there, getting rid of their dictators, so they can live in peace and harmony, the Shia and the Sunni together, and now we are bringing them over here. It’s not enough that they have colonized Europe; they are now going to colonize us.

We spent money, treasure, trillions of dollars fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to make a better country for them, a democracy like ours; our American men have died there or have lost their limbs and now they are all coming over here to take over our country under the guise of refugees. Why not bring in an equal number of Christian refugees? Thousands and thousands have been raped, tortured, and slaughtered by ISIS, and their Coptic Christian churches burned.

These “refugees” are never going to assimilate, it is neither their intent nor interest, they just want to occupy the country and transform it, they want to install Sharia Law; they don’t want to speak our language, nor respect our laws, they are violent and anti-American. They wait patiently for such a time when they can take over our country through demographics. Each man can have four wives and thus the fertility rate is high, while our western fertility rates are declining below replacement value. They are conquering us through the womb.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a U.N. program, helps people displaced by conflict. UNHCR “mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself, assisting in “their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, this member organization of the United Nations Development Group was established at the end of WWII in order to address the millions of people displaced across Europe as a result of WW II. The Milanese Filippo Grandi is the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees who runs the agency.

“While Europe Slept” Wave of immigrants spanning many decades as “refugees” and “asylum seekers,”

Bruce Bawer wrote in his 2006 book, “While Europe Slept,” about the wave of immigrants spanning many decades as “refugees” and “asylum seekers,” migrating as “a consciously planned act of subversion,” no longer as guest workers. He mentioned the “traditional Islamic division of the world into Dar al-Islam (the House of Islam) and Dar al-Harb (the non-Muslim House of War, so called because Muslims living in it are commanded to bring it under Islamic rule through jihad).” (pp. 28-29)

Since the recent conflicts in Libya, Egypt, and Syria, we can add other nationalities to the “refugees” migrating for the economic heaven of EU countries with generous welfare systems.

Bawer described in vivid detail the murder of the Dutch filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh, at the hands of Mohammed Bouyeri, the son of Moroccan parents and a member of a radical Muslim network. He pinned to Van Gogh’s chest with a knife a five-page letter addressed to Parliament member Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

“I know definitely that you, O America, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Europe, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Hirsi Ali, will go down.” (Bruce Bawer, “While Europe Slept,” Broadway Books, New York, 2006)

Bruce Bawer wrote, quoting from the Jyllands-Posten, “There is only one answer to violence, threats, revenge killings, taking the law into one’s hands, blackmail, private justice, blood feuds, camel economics and imams who have not understood what society and what century they live in: NO!” (p. 212)

Should we sleep like Europe and allow radical Islam to destroy the West from within? Should we not pay attention to the multicultural elite, the “useful infidels,” who promote the admission of even more improperly vetted “refugees” into our country? And for the Islamophiles who consider the rest of us racists and xenophobes because we question the sanity of this planned invasion, Islam is not a race.

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh


Pro Deo et Constitutione –
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis
Paratus et Fidelis
Joseph F Barber

https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMORANARCHYCampaignofConscience
https://twitter.com/toptradesmen
https://josephfreedomoranarchy.blogspot.com/

STAND FREE PEOPLE STAND YOUR GROUND AND FEED ALL YOU CAN LET US THE FREE THE DISSIDENT CALL IT LAWFUL REBELLION STANDING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT https://josephfreedomoranarchy.blogspot.com/2014/07/veterans-project.html


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Should we sleep like Europe and allow radical Islam to destroy the West from within? Should we not pay attention to the multicultural elite, the "useful infidels," who promote the admission of even more improperly vetted "refugees"


“Useful Infidels” Vetting Refugees


“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

When truth has been replaced with moral relativism and progressivism teaches our American children through high school programs such as the International Baccalaureate and Common Core standards that they are global citizens, love of one’s country is bad, proselytizing for Islam in school curricula at the expense of Christianity is good, and socialism and the Islamization of Western civilization have become the norm, it is time to worry. America is “harboring in New York its own worst enemy,” and financing it with taxpayer dollars. It is time to stand up to the U.N. and its forced globalization programs, including the “refugee” relocation.

“Progressivism is anarchy and spiritual disorder. It is an ideology of the global left which is based on envy. If you have something and I don’t, you can’t have it, neither can I, and I will destroy it.” Brainwashing our children in schools in this vein is a form of psychological warfare, teaching them about non-existent white privilege in order to anger non-Caucasians and instigate hate and division.

Closer to home, the Virginia Refugee Resettlement Program “Provides services to all refugees without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, or political opinion.” It is humane and Christian to help someone in temporary need but we have enough needy people in our own country, do we need to import the citizens and problems of other nations, and shouldn’t countries of the same religion that are much closer to the conflict zone offer refuge first? Must they migrate across the globe?

And if we do offer services regardless of political opinion, would it not be important to our citizens’ safety to know which one of those admitted come here to destroy us because they despise our way of life and their holy book commands it?

Don’t we owe our own citizens a modicum of safety? Do we want to turn our country into a failed Europe, into Merkel’s Germany, an invaded country that has been deliberately flooded by its own liberal leaders in the name of pacifism and political correctness while Germans quietly accept their fate?

Should we not vet these people properly instead of saying that we do when in reality everybody knows that there is no known data base in their countries of origin that would flag problem refugees? And why are most of them males with no skills or education who become wards of the state immediately, on the dole provided by hard-working Americans who are struggling to feed and support their own families?

If you were a newly arrived “refugee” who came from a poor part of the world, given to tribal strife and wars for two thousand years, would you not be elated to be cared for by American taxpayers’ generosity administered through the Refugee Assistance Program? In Virginia alone, newcomers become beneficiaries of the Refugee Cash Assistance Program (RCA) which is consistent with its Temporary Assistance to Needy Family Program (TANF).

“The Office of Newcomer Services collaborates with the Department of Social Services Division of Benefit Programs on the inclusion of cash, medical, employment, and support services for refugees in its Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF program guidance documents.” (p. 7)

The lofty goals stated are “durable economic self-sufficiency and social integration in Virginia’s communities.” Most of the areas where refugees have been inserted are conservative, small, and are unable to cope financially with a group in disarray, as the newcomers have no intention of integrating into orderly society or learning the language, they expect everything to be translated and conducted into the language of their countries, following their customs and Sharia Law which is antithetical to our Constitution and rejects American democracy.

We should not be vetting them for terrorism; we should vet them for “their acceptance of Sharia Law which will ultimately lead to terrorism.”
Brian Sussman stated recently in a radio broadcast that we are vetting Syrian refugees incorrectly. We should not be vetting them for terrorism; we should vet them for “their acceptance of Sharia Law which will ultimately lead to terrorism.” Many who are settled into our small communities overnight, without local knowledge, are not even Syrian, they are Somalis or some other African Muslims.

Do we not care who comes into our country? Do we not care about the safety of our children and our families, of our fellow Americans? Do we not care if these migrants are not contributing to the betterment of America?

How are they going to improve our lives? Are they going to assimilate into our culture? Are they going to go back once this particular Shia/Sunni conflict ends in the Middle East and, will this tribal and religion-based millennial conflict ever end, especially when the flames are fanned by superpowers with industrial military complex interests?

We were told that we were involved in order to improve their lives over there, getting rid of their dictators, so they can live in peace and harmony, the Shia and the Sunni together, and now we are bringing them over here. It’s not enough that they have colonized Europe; they are now going to colonize us.

We spent money, treasure, trillions of dollars fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to make a better country for them, a democracy like ours; our American men have died there or have lost their limbs and now they are all coming over here to take over our country under the guise of refugees. Why not bring in an equal number of Christian refugees? Thousands and thousands have been raped, tortured, and slaughtered by ISIS, and their Coptic Christian churches burned.

These “refugees” are never going to assimilate, it is neither their intent nor interest, they just want to occupy the country and transform it, they want to install Sharia Law; they don’t want to speak our language, nor respect our laws, they are violent and anti-American. They wait patiently for such a time when they can take over our country through demographics. Each man can have four wives and thus the fertility rate is high, while our western fertility rates are declining below replacement value. They are conquering us through the womb.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a U.N. program, helps people displaced by conflict. UNHCR “mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself, assisting in “their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, this member organization of the United Nations Development Group was established at the end of WWII in order to address the millions of people displaced across Europe as a result of WW II. The Milanese Filippo Grandi is the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees who runs the agency.

“While Europe Slept” Wave of immigrants spanning many decades as “refugees” and “asylum seekers,”

Bruce Bawer wrote in his 2006 book, “While Europe Slept,” about the wave of immigrants spanning many decades as “refugees” and “asylum seekers,” migrating as “a consciously planned act of subversion,” no longer as guest workers. He mentioned the “traditional Islamic division of the world into Dar al-Islam (the House of Islam) and Dar al-Harb (the non-Muslim House of War, so called because Muslims living in it are commanded to bring it under Islamic rule through jihad).” (pp. 28-29)

Since the recent conflicts in Libya, Egypt, and Syria, we can add other nationalities to the “refugees” migrating for the economic heaven of EU countries with generous welfare systems.

Bawer described in vivid detail the murder of the Dutch filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh, at the hands of Mohammed Bouyeri, the son of Moroccan parents and a member of a radical Muslim network. He pinned to Van Gogh’s chest with a knife a five-page letter addressed to Parliament member Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

“I know definitely that you, O America, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Europe, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Hirsi Ali, will go down.” (Bruce Bawer, “While Europe Slept,” Broadway Books, New York, 2006)

Bruce Bawer wrote, quoting from the Jyllands-Posten, “There is only one answer to violence, threats, revenge killings, taking the law into one’s hands, blackmail, private justice, blood feuds, camel economics and imams who have not understood what society and what century they live in: NO!” (p. 212)

Should we sleep like Europe and allow radical Islam to destroy the West from within? Should we not pay attention to the multicultural elite, the “useful infidels,” who promote the admission of even more improperly vetted “refugees” into our country? And for the Islamophiles who consider the rest of us racists and xenophobes because we question the sanity of this planned invasion, Islam is not a race.

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh


Pro Deo et Constitutione –
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis
Paratus et Fidelis
Joseph F Barber

https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMORANARCHYCampaignofConscience
https://twitter.com/toptradesmen
https://josephfreedomoranarchy.blogspot.com/

STAND FREE PEOPLE STAND YOUR GROUND AND FEED ALL YOU CAN LET US THE FREE THE DISSIDENT CALL IT LAWFUL REBELLION STANDING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT https://josephfreedomoranarchy.blogspot.com/2014/07/veterans-project.html


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An Open Letter To America And Her New President. (The Russians Made Me Write This.)


An Open Letter To America And Her New President. (The Russians Made Me Write This.)


Years ago in a Wal-Mart, I was walking past the toy department. A screaming four year-old was demanding that his mom buy him the little car set he had opened and scattered all over the floor. After the young mother had several times declined and asked him to come along with her, the boy threw one of the toys at her, leaving a cut on her forehead.

The rattled mom stood there and began slowly counting as some parents do before administering discipline. After she got to ‘five’, the kid stomped his foot and threw another car nearly hitting another shopper. The boy’s face was purple now. Mom started over with ‘one,’ and began counting again. A crowd had gathered, and a manager was looking at the mess in disbelief. The mother smiled at the boy, held out her hand and again pleaded with him to come with her. And what happened next is one reason why my wife never takes me anywhere with her.

In my deepest, sweetest, most articulate voice (from my belly, so It can be heard in the back of any auditorium) I said, “Isn’t he PRECIOUS?!” With that, the mom became furious (at me) and took her bratty kid by the wrist and dragged him toward the main aisle. While he was kicking and flailing his feet and fists she managed to stick him in her shopping cart and roll toward the front of the store. The crowd dissipated. The manager quietly began cleaning up the damage.

America is presently enduring a similar fit being thrown by the grown-up products of that same spineless parenting. But now we have an enabling mother/babysitter liberal government that LOVES the possibilities afforded them in these low-quality, clueless, voting-age brats and their low-quality, clueless parents. And now money hungry media is completely in league with engineering and inciting this mob to the tantrums that help facilitate the grip this administration has on what is left of free America. It is a powerful machine that has evolved since we baby boomers totally swallowed the lie that personal peace and happiness are more to be desired than the vigilance necessary in safeguarding those pursuits.

And the fit has continued through the silly and expensive ‘recount’ effort and the dumb (yet incredibly tolerated) suggestion that America would have voted for Hillary if only her emails hadn’t shown us who she and her cohorts really are. What’s left of thinking America has stood in disbelieving awe as the CIA’s own Washington Posthelped to flesh out that absurd notion. And just prior to that, the New York Timespaused in 10 seconds of fake repentance before they redoubled their push to destroy Donald Trump and the dangerous liberty he is moving toward protecting.

And old news, I know - but does anyone remember Hubert Humphrey’s response to his electoral defeat after he had beat Richard Nixon by several millions of the popular vote? In contrast to the viciously passive-aggressive Hillary Clinton, what a class act he was. He succinctly explained to his disappointed following (I was one of them) that his loss was the result of a very necessary technicality: the Electoral College. Period, thank you and good night. Corporately we have shown that we have neither the patience nor the brains to appreciate that level of personal responsibility.

This nation’s poorest excuse for a president

In the last moments of the game, this nation’s poorest excuse for a president (after spending our tax dollars in an effort to ruin Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection as Israel’s Prime Minister) can step to a microphone and arbitrarily lay blame on the Russians for the defeat of unbridled evil posing as a woman politician. And he can now pull off his most underhanded stunts in broad daylight simply because the tv-obedient brats have been lockstep trained to despise Donald Trump just as thoroughly and groundlessly as when SNL took down Sarah Palin. As I have said so often during the past eight years especially, don’t argue with today’s liberals. Logical debate does not reach them.

The tantrum-throwers have come to constitute a standing army for Obama and the babysitters who will promise to keep them secure in their dependency. And only because he knows he can, our fearless leader walks dangerously close to the spotlight in engineering a desperation toss in a last-ditch effort to preserve his own ‘legacy.’ Just as thinking people predicted, he is executive-ordering and stirring up an effective hand grenade for our president-elect.

And if his expelling diplomats and generally spitting in the face of that big bear can get us into a war with Russia, he will have instantly subjugated all our people and laws before his freshly installed godless social ‘conscience.’ As always he will blame the mess on his opposition and push ahead demanding his own way at all costs (on us). I pray that there is an inauguration on January 20, 2017. But if Barack can pull the strings necessary between now and then, he may have his third term after all.

 And Now A Word To Our Future President ....


Donald Trump, if you are reading this, hang in there, son. This isn’t the America of two or three decades ago when there was still an avenue of appeal before a majority court of public opinion driven by fairness and commonsense. And the people in this nation’s highest offices, public and private, who are now working against you know no shame because even acknowledging shame is now the biggest embarrassment. The man who has been telling us he is laboring to make your transition a seamless one is, as you know, working overtime to trip you up. And he has enlisted all the powers of hell and the hammer of ridicule to mercilessly tear you to shreds.

Liberal media will not tell you this - but a lot of Americans have been waiting anxiously for a president we can be proud of. Many still try to respect the office but have justifiably lost all respect for the weasel who has occupied it for the past eight years. We have a hero in sight now, someone we can point to as a good example. We again have a reason to be proud, President Trump! As you are building your team for success, it’s obvious that you have the best interests of our nation in mind. You know what is right and you are choosing to do it.

At a time of life when you could simply rest on your laurels and enjoy the fortune you have earned, you have volunteered to take on the great burden of righting our foundering ship and actually defending our Constitution - a solemn promise your predecessor has so viciously and deliberately broken.

Americans have been appalled at the rude and shabby treatment that you have received from the press and our own government. You won the election - TWICE! You are indeed this nation’s choice! Keeping your vision, even through months of lying defamation from the big media bullies and the violence staged by your opposition at your rallies, you pressed on to victory!

I wish there was a way I could silence for you the tantrums of the babies who didn’t get their way. Many have prayed for you. I am proud to say that our family has prayed for you daily since you declared your candidacy. I personally have prayed to God for your success and protection, to the point of headache and exhaustion. I truly believe that you just may be the last brush with grace this nation will have before its demise.

I congratulate you, Sir! And congratulations are in order, not only for your personal business and political achievements to date, but also for your best success in raising a family you can be proud of - five children who very obviously love, respect and support you. That speaks volumes about the man you truly are! Sadly, another American hero-president in every respect, Ronald Reagan, was not even able to achieve that.

Some of your ‘critics’ claim that you do not have adequate experience for this job. Well, neither did quite a few of your predecessors. George Washington did just fine leaning on a sincere heart and true faith in our overseeing and loving God. But as for your experience, you have negotiated, into an empire, business deals at a breathtaking level that have passed the test of time. You know how to get things done - not by bribing cronies with position, money and power they don’t deserve - but by simply putting the right person in the right job. The cabinet you are building is a dream team testifying to the authenticity of your motives.

I, for one, wholeheartedly offer you my continued support in helping to secure the success of your presidency.


Mr. Trump, I am not asking that you do anything for me as president. You already have lightened my heart and given me hope by running and winning in this battle. Through my faith in God, I trust and support the actions you will be taking in moving America back toward her greatness.

As a postscript, I must praise your lovely wife for the great personal sacrifice she is making born out of her love for you and for her adopted homeland. Sadly, she will no longer be free to live and enjoy life with much spontaneity, but will be confined and guarded and constantly criticized for her every word and movement. Nevertheless her noble character will make her a tremendous first lady - and it already certainly testifies to the impeccable quality of people with whom you have surrounded yourself.

God’s best blessing and protection be upon you and our nation, President Trump!




Dave Merrick -

Pro Deo et Constitutione –
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis
Paratus et Fidelis
Joseph F Barber

https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMORANARCHYCampaignofConscience
https://twitter.com/toptradesmen
https://josephfreedomoranarchy.blogspot.com/

STAND FREE PEOPLE STAND YOUR GROUND AND FEED ALL YOU CAN LET US THE FREE THE DISSIDENT CALL IT LAWFUL REBELLION STANDING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT https://josephfreedomoranarchy.blogspot.com/2014/07/veterans-project.html

An Open Letter To America And Her New President. (The Russians Made Me Write This.)


Years ago in a Wal-Mart, I was walking past the toy department. A screaming four year-old was demanding that his mom buy him the little car set he had opened and scattered all over the floor. After the young mother had several times declined and asked him to come along with her, the boy threw one of the toys at her, leaving a cut on her forehead.

The rattled mom stood there and began slowly counting as some parents do before administering discipline. After she got to ‘five’, the kid stomped his foot and threw another car nearly hitting another shopper. The boy’s face was purple now. Mom started over with ‘one,’ and began counting again. A crowd had gathered, and a manager was looking at the mess in disbelief. The mother smiled at the boy, held out her hand and again pleaded with him to come with her. And what happened next is one reason why my wife never takes me anywhere with her.

In my deepest, sweetest, most articulate voice (from my belly, so It can be heard in the back of any auditorium) I said, “Isn’t he PRECIOUS?!” With that, the mom became furious (at me) and took her bratty kid by the wrist and dragged him toward the main aisle. While he was kicking and flailing his feet and fists she managed to stick him in her shopping cart and roll toward the front of the store. The crowd dissipated. The manager quietly began cleaning up the damage.

America is presently enduring a similar fit being thrown by the grown-up products of that same spineless parenting. But now we have an enabling mother/babysitter liberal government that LOVES the possibilities afforded them in these low-quality, clueless, voting-age brats and their low-quality, clueless parents. And now money hungry media is completely in league with engineering and inciting this mob to the tantrums that help facilitate the grip this administration has on what is left of free America. It is a powerful machine that has evolved since we baby boomers totally swallowed the lie that personal peace and happiness are more to be desired than the vigilance necessary in safeguarding those pursuits.

And the fit has continued through the silly and expensive ‘recount’ effort and the dumb (yet incredibly tolerated) suggestion that America would have voted for Hillary if only her emails hadn’t shown us who she and her cohorts really are. What’s left of thinking America has stood in disbelieving awe as the CIA’s own Washington Posthelped to flesh out that absurd notion. And just prior to that, the New York Timespaused in 10 seconds of fake repentance before they redoubled their push to destroy Donald Trump and the dangerous liberty he is moving toward protecting.

And old news, I know - but does anyone remember Hubert Humphrey’s response to his electoral defeat after he had beat Richard Nixon by several millions of the popular vote? In contrast to the viciously passive-aggressive Hillary Clinton, what a class act he was. He succinctly explained to his disappointed following (I was one of them) that his loss was the result of a very necessary technicality: the Electoral College. Period, thank you and good night. Corporately we have shown that we have neither the patience nor the brains to appreciate that level of personal responsibility.

This nation’s poorest excuse for a president

In the last moments of the game, this nation’s poorest excuse for a president (after spending our tax dollars in an effort to ruin Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection as Israel’s Prime Minister) can step to a microphone and arbitrarily lay blame on the Russians for the defeat of unbridled evil posing as a woman politician. And he can now pull off his most underhanded stunts in broad daylight simply because the tv-obedient brats have been lockstep trained to despise Donald Trump just as thoroughly and groundlessly as when SNL took down Sarah Palin. As I have said so often during the past eight years especially, don’t argue with today’s liberals. Logical debate does not reach them.

The tantrum-throwers have come to constitute a standing army for Obama and the babysitters who will promise to keep them secure in their dependency. And only because he knows he can, our fearless leader walks dangerously close to the spotlight in engineering a desperation toss in a last-ditch effort to preserve his own ‘legacy.’ Just as thinking people predicted, he is executive-ordering and stirring up an effective hand grenade for our president-elect.

And if his expelling diplomats and generally spitting in the face of that big bear can get us into a war with Russia, he will have instantly subjugated all our people and laws before his freshly installed godless social ‘conscience.’ As always he will blame the mess on his opposition and push ahead demanding his own way at all costs (on us). I pray that there is an inauguration on January 20, 2017. But if Barack can pull the strings necessary between now and then, he may have his third term after all.

 And Now A Word To Our Future President ....


Donald Trump, if you are reading this, hang in there, son. This isn’t the America of two or three decades ago when there was still an avenue of appeal before a majority court of public opinion driven by fairness and commonsense. And the people in this nation’s highest offices, public and private, who are now working against you know no shame because even acknowledging shame is now the biggest embarrassment. The man who has been telling us he is laboring to make your transition a seamless one is, as you know, working overtime to trip you up. And he has enlisted all the powers of hell and the hammer of ridicule to mercilessly tear you to shreds.

Liberal media will not tell you this - but a lot of Americans have been waiting anxiously for a president we can be proud of. Many still try to respect the office but have justifiably lost all respect for the weasel who has occupied it for the past eight years. We have a hero in sight now, someone we can point to as a good example. We again have a reason to be proud, President Trump! As you are building your team for success, it’s obvious that you have the best interests of our nation in mind. You know what is right and you are choosing to do it.

At a time of life when you could simply rest on your laurels and enjoy the fortune you have earned, you have volunteered to take on the great burden of righting our foundering ship and actually defending our Constitution - a solemn promise your predecessor has so viciously and deliberately broken.

Americans have been appalled at the rude and shabby treatment that you have received from the press and our own government. You won the election - TWICE! You are indeed this nation’s choice! Keeping your vision, even through months of lying defamation from the big media bullies and the violence staged by your opposition at your rallies, you pressed on to victory!

I wish there was a way I could silence for you the tantrums of the babies who didn’t get their way. Many have prayed for you. I am proud to say that our family has prayed for you daily since you declared your candidacy. I personally have prayed to God for your success and protection, to the point of headache and exhaustion. I truly believe that you just may be the last brush with grace this nation will have before its demise.

I congratulate you, Sir! And congratulations are in order, not only for your personal business and political achievements to date, but also for your best success in raising a family you can be proud of - five children who very obviously love, respect and support you. That speaks volumes about the man you truly are! Sadly, another American hero-president in every respect, Ronald Reagan, was not even able to achieve that.

Some of your ‘critics’ claim that you do not have adequate experience for this job. Well, neither did quite a few of your predecessors. George Washington did just fine leaning on a sincere heart and true faith in our overseeing and loving God. But as for your experience, you have negotiated, into an empire, business deals at a breathtaking level that have passed the test of time. You know how to get things done - not by bribing cronies with position, money and power they don’t deserve - but by simply putting the right person in the right job. The cabinet you are building is a dream team testifying to the authenticity of your motives.

I, for one, wholeheartedly offer you my continued support in helping to secure the success of your presidency.


Mr. Trump, I am not asking that you do anything for me as president. You already have lightened my heart and given me hope by running and winning in this battle. Through my faith in God, I trust and support the actions you will be taking in moving America back toward her greatness.

As a postscript, I must praise your lovely wife for the great personal sacrifice she is making born out of her love for you and for her adopted homeland. Sadly, she will no longer be free to live and enjoy life with much spontaneity, but will be confined and guarded and constantly criticized for her every word and movement. Nevertheless her noble character will make her a tremendous first lady - and it already certainly testifies to the impeccable quality of people with whom you have surrounded yourself.

God’s best blessing and protection be upon you and our nation, President Trump!




Dave Merrick -

Pro Deo et Constitutione –
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis
Paratus et Fidelis
Joseph F Barber

https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMORANARCHYCampaignofConscience
https://twitter.com/toptradesmen
https://josephfreedomoranarchy.blogspot.com/

STAND FREE PEOPLE STAND YOUR GROUND AND FEED ALL YOU CAN LET US THE FREE THE DISSIDENT CALL IT LAWFUL REBELLION STANDING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT https://josephfreedomoranarchy.blogspot.com/2014/07/veterans-project.html


UNITED NATIONS GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE

Use our massive financial influence to enact positive changes in the United Nations. If that is impossible, we should end the bailouts and invite the United Nations to find another country to call home

BID UNITED NATIONS GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE


In the wake of the controversial United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an end to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the incoming Trump administration should seriously consider ending our annual bailout of this corrupt institution.

The resolution succeeded because the United States abstained from voting. This marked the first Security Council resolution to pass since 1979 that condemned Israel for their settlement policies. The United States abstention was met with a furious response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said that President Obama “colluded” with other nations to pass the “shameful” resolution.

The resolution calls for Israel to adopt pre-1967 borders and said that the country should “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” While the resolution has “no legal validity” it represented both a major defeat for Israel and a victory for an Obama administration that had been working behind the scenes to pass it.

The U.N. resolution was followed by an insulting speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who called for a two-state solution with the Palestinians and for Israel to end any settlement activity. He also called the Netanyahu administration “the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by extreme elements.” Not only did Trump criticize the speech, but a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was not “appropriate” for Kerry “to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally.” Of course, one of the many problems with this two-state solution is that Palestinian leaders have called for Israel to be “wiped off the face of the earth.”

In the aftermath of the Security Council vote, some GOP members of Congress are recommending that the United States stop funding the United Nations. In addition, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said that the United States should “make sure that every penny of your money is going to something that protects and defends and advances U.S. interests.” He called the United Nations a “cesspool” of activity which is blatantly anti-Israeli and anti-American.

Currently, the United States taxpayers fund about 22% of the regular budget operations for the United Nations and 29% of their expensive peacekeeping expenses. This totals to about $3 billion per year in “assessed” contributions. Furthermore, the United States spends $5 billion or more in annual “voluntary” contributions to a variety of useless U.N. agencies.


United States taxpayers fund about 22% of the regular budget operations for the United Nations and 29% of their expensive peacekeeping expenses
Our contributions far exceed any other country. The next largest regular budget contribution comes from Japan, but that country only provides 9.68% of the overall funding. In support of peacekeeping activities, Japan provides the third highest contribution, behind the United States and China at 10% in a distant second place.

Overall, the U.N. would be bankrupt without the generous financial support provided by the American taxpayers. Unfortunately, for the past five years, there has been no requirement that the administration provide Congress with a specific breakdown of total U.N. contributions. So, taxpayers currently have no idea exactly how much money we are providing to this organization. Hopefully, this will change in the incoming Trump administration.

In fact, it is time for the United States to stop shouldering the burden for this rather ineffective organization. We have housed their headquarters for long enough, let’s invite the United Nations to leave their extravagant headquarters in New York City unless they change their radical positions.

Even though the United States is a permanent member of the Security Council, we have only one vote in the 193-member General Assembly. Thus, it is ridiculous that we have the same power as a country that contributes almost nothing to the regular budget.

President-Elect Donald Trump tweeted that the “United Nations is a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”


The United Nations: Wasteful and Corrupt, Biased against Israel and the United States

The United Nations is much worse than being a good-natured club of representatives having fun. It features a massive bureaucracy that has long been criticized as being not only being wasteful, but also corrupt.

Most troubling, the organization is not only consistently biased against Israel, but also the United States of America. Over a 30-year period ending in 2012, State Department records show that, in contested U.N. General Assembly votes, the United States was on the losing side 67.3% of the time. In other words, we fund U.N. operations, give billions of dollars in foreign aid to member nations, but get no respect.

The new Trump administration should use our massive financial influence to enact positive changes in the United Nations. If that is impossible, we should end the bailouts and invite the United Nations to find another country to call home.

Jeff Crouere --
Use our massive financial influence to enact positive changes in the United Nations. If that is impossible, we should end the bailouts and invite the United Nations to find another country to call home

BID UNITED NATIONS GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE


In the wake of the controversial United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an end to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the incoming Trump administration should seriously consider ending our annual bailout of this corrupt institution.

The resolution succeeded because the United States abstained from voting. This marked the first Security Council resolution to pass since 1979 that condemned Israel for their settlement policies. The United States abstention was met with a furious response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said that President Obama “colluded” with other nations to pass the “shameful” resolution.

The resolution calls for Israel to adopt pre-1967 borders and said that the country should “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” While the resolution has “no legal validity” it represented both a major defeat for Israel and a victory for an Obama administration that had been working behind the scenes to pass it.

The U.N. resolution was followed by an insulting speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who called for a two-state solution with the Palestinians and for Israel to end any settlement activity. He also called the Netanyahu administration “the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by extreme elements.” Not only did Trump criticize the speech, but a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was not “appropriate” for Kerry “to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally.” Of course, one of the many problems with this two-state solution is that Palestinian leaders have called for Israel to be “wiped off the face of the earth.”

In the aftermath of the Security Council vote, some GOP members of Congress are recommending that the United States stop funding the United Nations. In addition, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said that the United States should “make sure that every penny of your money is going to something that protects and defends and advances U.S. interests.” He called the United Nations a “cesspool” of activity which is blatantly anti-Israeli and anti-American.

Currently, the United States taxpayers fund about 22% of the regular budget operations for the United Nations and 29% of their expensive peacekeeping expenses. This totals to about $3 billion per year in “assessed” contributions. Furthermore, the United States spends $5 billion or more in annual “voluntary” contributions to a variety of useless U.N. agencies.


United States taxpayers fund about 22% of the regular budget operations for the United Nations and 29% of their expensive peacekeeping expenses
Our contributions far exceed any other country. The next largest regular budget contribution comes from Japan, but that country only provides 9.68% of the overall funding. In support of peacekeeping activities, Japan provides the third highest contribution, behind the United States and China at 10% in a distant second place.

Overall, the U.N. would be bankrupt without the generous financial support provided by the American taxpayers. Unfortunately, for the past five years, there has been no requirement that the administration provide Congress with a specific breakdown of total U.N. contributions. So, taxpayers currently have no idea exactly how much money we are providing to this organization. Hopefully, this will change in the incoming Trump administration.

In fact, it is time for the United States to stop shouldering the burden for this rather ineffective organization. We have housed their headquarters for long enough, let’s invite the United Nations to leave their extravagant headquarters in New York City unless they change their radical positions.

Even though the United States is a permanent member of the Security Council, we have only one vote in the 193-member General Assembly. Thus, it is ridiculous that we have the same power as a country that contributes almost nothing to the regular budget.

President-Elect Donald Trump tweeted that the “United Nations is a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”


The United Nations: Wasteful and Corrupt, Biased against Israel and the United States

The United Nations is much worse than being a good-natured club of representatives having fun. It features a massive bureaucracy that has long been criticized as being not only being wasteful, but also corrupt.

Most troubling, the organization is not only consistently biased against Israel, but also the United States of America. Over a 30-year period ending in 2012, State Department records show that, in contested U.N. General Assembly votes, the United States was on the losing side 67.3% of the time. In other words, we fund U.N. operations, give billions of dollars in foreign aid to member nations, but get no respect.

The new Trump administration should use our massive financial influence to enact positive changes in the United Nations. If that is impossible, we should end the bailouts and invite the United Nations to find another country to call home.

Jeff Crouere --


World’s Richest Increased their Wealth by $237 Billion in 2016

World’s Richest Increased their Wealth by $237 Billion in 2016



The world’s wealthiest 200 billionaires increased their net worth by $237 billion in 2016, taking their total wealth to $4.4 trillion as of the close of trading on Tuesday, an overall increase for the year of 5.7 percent, according to calculations by Bloomberg.


Bill Gates


The major factor in the wealth increase is the surge in the US stock market since the election of Donald Trump on November 8, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average heading towards 20,000, an increase of close to 9 percent in seven weeks, or 69 percent on an annualized basis.

At the top of the rich list is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is $85.9 billion. As the Bloomberg report noted, without taking into account any interest payments or other wealth-enlarging factors, he would have to spend $2.3 million every day for the next 100 years to run down this vast fortune.

The biggest gainer for the year was Warren Buffet, whose investment firm Berkshire Hathaway saw its net worth increase by $11.8 billion, largely on the back of holdings in airlines and banks, whose stock values have soared since the election of Trump. His total wealth has risen to $74.1 billion, an increase of 19 percent for the year.


Warren Buffet


US billionaires have increased their wealth by $77 billion since the Trump victory based on expectations that his commitment to end corporate regulations and carry out both corporate and personal income tax cuts will boost profits.

That perception has been reinforced by Trump’s appointees to key cabinet posts, including billionaires Wilbur Ross to head the Commerce Department and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary. The two have a combined wealth of at least $5.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg index.

Summing up the post-election euphoria in ultra-wealthy circles, hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio, who ranks 63rd on the top 200 list, said last week that Trump had lifted the “animal spirits” of capitalism and the market could rise even further. Simon Smiles, the investment manager for ultra-high-net-worth clients at UBS Wealth Management, said, “2016 ended up being a spectacular year for risk assets.”

Another major beneficiary was oil industry mogul Harold Hamm. His wealth more than doubled, rising by $8.4 billion to reach $15.3 billion, on the expectation that a Trump administration will slash regulations on the extraction of fossil fuels. Overall, the 49 energy, mining and metal billionaires saw the biggest increase in wealth of any category, recording an increase of $80 billion after a decline of $32 billion in 2015.


Jeff Bezos

 Other major beneficiaries were Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook. Bezos, who doubled his wealth in 2015 to $60 billion, increased it by a further $7.5 billion this year, while Zuckerberg added $5.4 billion.

The accumulation of wealth at the heights of society is mirrored in income statistics. A recently completed study by economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman found that the share of national income received by the bottom half of the US population has been reduced from 20 percent in 1980 to 12 percent, while the income of the top 1 percent has risen from 12 percent to 20 percent. In other words, some 8 percent of national income has been transferred from the bottom half of the population to the top 1 percent.

This trend has been accelerating not least because of the spread of part-time and contract working under the Obama administration, as revealed in a major study released this month. Conducted by Harvard economist Lawrence Katz and Princeton economist Alan Krueger, it found that 94 percent of the 10 million jobs created during the Obama administration were temporary, contractual or part-time positions. The proportion of workers engaged in such jobs increased from 10.7 percent of the population to 15.8 percent. At the same time, the study found that under Obama, there were 1 million fewer workers engaged in full-time jobs than there were at the start of the recession.

The growth of this type of contingent work provides a significant boost to profits. Employers of part-time labour are not required to provide benefits for employees. Young workers have been the hardest hit by the growth of contract labour and were the largest proportion of such employees. The study found that they generally do not receive any benefits, even when they are employed on a full time basis.

Krueger, a former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said he was surprised by the findings of his own study, noting that the loss of full-time work has hit every demographic. “Workers seeking full-time, steady work have lost,” he said.

Together with the growth of fabulous wealth for the upper-echelons and the figures on rising income inequality, the Krueger-Katz study further punctures the hype of the outgoing Obama administration that it has organised an “economic recovery” benefiting the mass of ordinary workers and their families.

These trends are reflected internationally. A report released by the International Labour Organisation earlier this month found that wage growth world-wide has decelerated since 2012, falling from 2.5 percent to 1.7 percent. If China, where wage growth has been faster than elsewhere, is excluded, the growth in global wages drops from 1.6 percent to just 0.9 percent.

The ILO study also pointed to the rise of social inequality, noting that in Europe, the top 10 percent of employees take home 25.5 percent of total wages, while the bottom 50 percent get 29.1 percent.

This year has been characterised economically by a further increase in wealth and income for the top layers of society, continuing the trend since the global economic crisis. This redistribution of wealth and income from the bottom to the very top has been fuelled by the provision of trillions of dollars in ultra-cheap money to the banks and financial speculators.

Politically, it has been marked by a shift in the other direction, with the growth of social opposition.

This has taken the form of intensifying hostility to the entire official political establishment, reflected most notably in the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the US presidential election, not only in the support for Trump but more directly in the support for the self-proclaimed “socialist” Bernie Sanders.

At present, however, the political situation is marked by a profound contradiction. While the growth of social opposition is being driven by growing anti-capitalist sentiment, so far it has resulted in political gains for right-wing political forces, a contradiction that finds its sharpest expression internationally in the election of Trump and his installation of a cabinet of billionaires, military figures and ultra-right-wing and fascistic demagogues.

The responsibility for this situation rests entirely with the official “left” parties and the trade unions, which have functioned as the chief enforcers for all the attacks on the wages and social conditions of the working class in the US and world-wide since the crisis of 2008.

But while right-wing political tendencies have been the initial beneficiaries, the social crisis will intensify and assume ever more explosive forms, posing the necessity for the resolution of the present political impasse through the development of a mass socialist movement armed with a revolutionary perspective for the conquest of political power by the working class.

The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site

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World’s Richest Increased their Wealth by $237 Billion in 2016



The world’s wealthiest 200 billionaires increased their net worth by $237 billion in 2016, taking their total wealth to $4.4 trillion as of the close of trading on Tuesday, an overall increase for the year of 5.7 percent, according to calculations by Bloomberg.


Bill Gates


The major factor in the wealth increase is the surge in the US stock market since the election of Donald Trump on November 8, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average heading towards 20,000, an increase of close to 9 percent in seven weeks, or 69 percent on an annualized basis.

At the top of the rich list is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is $85.9 billion. As the Bloomberg report noted, without taking into account any interest payments or other wealth-enlarging factors, he would have to spend $2.3 million every day for the next 100 years to run down this vast fortune.

The biggest gainer for the year was Warren Buffet, whose investment firm Berkshire Hathaway saw its net worth increase by $11.8 billion, largely on the back of holdings in airlines and banks, whose stock values have soared since the election of Trump. His total wealth has risen to $74.1 billion, an increase of 19 percent for the year.


Warren Buffet


US billionaires have increased their wealth by $77 billion since the Trump victory based on expectations that his commitment to end corporate regulations and carry out both corporate and personal income tax cuts will boost profits.

That perception has been reinforced by Trump’s appointees to key cabinet posts, including billionaires Wilbur Ross to head the Commerce Department and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary. The two have a combined wealth of at least $5.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg index.

Summing up the post-election euphoria in ultra-wealthy circles, hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio, who ranks 63rd on the top 200 list, said last week that Trump had lifted the “animal spirits” of capitalism and the market could rise even further. Simon Smiles, the investment manager for ultra-high-net-worth clients at UBS Wealth Management, said, “2016 ended up being a spectacular year for risk assets.”

Another major beneficiary was oil industry mogul Harold Hamm. His wealth more than doubled, rising by $8.4 billion to reach $15.3 billion, on the expectation that a Trump administration will slash regulations on the extraction of fossil fuels. Overall, the 49 energy, mining and metal billionaires saw the biggest increase in wealth of any category, recording an increase of $80 billion after a decline of $32 billion in 2015.


Jeff Bezos

 Other major beneficiaries were Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook. Bezos, who doubled his wealth in 2015 to $60 billion, increased it by a further $7.5 billion this year, while Zuckerberg added $5.4 billion.

The accumulation of wealth at the heights of society is mirrored in income statistics. A recently completed study by economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman found that the share of national income received by the bottom half of the US population has been reduced from 20 percent in 1980 to 12 percent, while the income of the top 1 percent has risen from 12 percent to 20 percent. In other words, some 8 percent of national income has been transferred from the bottom half of the population to the top 1 percent.

This trend has been accelerating not least because of the spread of part-time and contract working under the Obama administration, as revealed in a major study released this month. Conducted by Harvard economist Lawrence Katz and Princeton economist Alan Krueger, it found that 94 percent of the 10 million jobs created during the Obama administration were temporary, contractual or part-time positions. The proportion of workers engaged in such jobs increased from 10.7 percent of the population to 15.8 percent. At the same time, the study found that under Obama, there were 1 million fewer workers engaged in full-time jobs than there were at the start of the recession.

The growth of this type of contingent work provides a significant boost to profits. Employers of part-time labour are not required to provide benefits for employees. Young workers have been the hardest hit by the growth of contract labour and were the largest proportion of such employees. The study found that they generally do not receive any benefits, even when they are employed on a full time basis.

Krueger, a former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said he was surprised by the findings of his own study, noting that the loss of full-time work has hit every demographic. “Workers seeking full-time, steady work have lost,” he said.

Together with the growth of fabulous wealth for the upper-echelons and the figures on rising income inequality, the Krueger-Katz study further punctures the hype of the outgoing Obama administration that it has organised an “economic recovery” benefiting the mass of ordinary workers and their families.

These trends are reflected internationally. A report released by the International Labour Organisation earlier this month found that wage growth world-wide has decelerated since 2012, falling from 2.5 percent to 1.7 percent. If China, where wage growth has been faster than elsewhere, is excluded, the growth in global wages drops from 1.6 percent to just 0.9 percent.

The ILO study also pointed to the rise of social inequality, noting that in Europe, the top 10 percent of employees take home 25.5 percent of total wages, while the bottom 50 percent get 29.1 percent.

This year has been characterised economically by a further increase in wealth and income for the top layers of society, continuing the trend since the global economic crisis. This redistribution of wealth and income from the bottom to the very top has been fuelled by the provision of trillions of dollars in ultra-cheap money to the banks and financial speculators.

Politically, it has been marked by a shift in the other direction, with the growth of social opposition.

This has taken the form of intensifying hostility to the entire official political establishment, reflected most notably in the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the US presidential election, not only in the support for Trump but more directly in the support for the self-proclaimed “socialist” Bernie Sanders.

At present, however, the political situation is marked by a profound contradiction. While the growth of social opposition is being driven by growing anti-capitalist sentiment, so far it has resulted in political gains for right-wing political forces, a contradiction that finds its sharpest expression internationally in the election of Trump and his installation of a cabinet of billionaires, military figures and ultra-right-wing and fascistic demagogues.

The responsibility for this situation rests entirely with the official “left” parties and the trade unions, which have functioned as the chief enforcers for all the attacks on the wages and social conditions of the working class in the US and world-wide since the crisis of 2008.

But while right-wing political tendencies have been the initial beneficiaries, the social crisis will intensify and assume ever more explosive forms, posing the necessity for the resolution of the present political impasse through the development of a mass socialist movement armed with a revolutionary perspective for the conquest of political power by the working class.

The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site

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