A Thanksgiving Teaching Americans Need To Hear From The Dalai Lama

Since the brutal Chinese invasion and occupation of their homeland in 1950, Tibetan Buddhists have suffered deep persecution by the Chinese government and military. John Oliver travels to India to sit down with the Dalai Lama to discuss China, resistance to the brutal conditions in Tibet, the Dalai Lama-endorsed horse milk cure for alcoholism  and – of course – compassion. Always compassion. Be sure to watch it all the way to the end. Link to 19-Minute Video (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


So CBS Didn’t Know There Was Something Up With Charlie Rose? They Should Have Watched Their Damn Show

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/23/17) Years ago, in a previous career as a journalist, I worked for a feisty underdog newspaper, The Albuquerque Tribune. We were the afternoon paper and with half the staff fought a scrappy daily battle against the larger, locally-owned and much larger circulation Albuquerque Journal. The dramatic implosion of television journalist Charlie Rose this past week in a tawdry sexual harassment and abuse scandal had me thinking about those days, especially when I saw how CBS News reacted to the whole disaster. Pretty much every news cycle brought fresh allegations, going back years,…


America Is About To Kill The Open Internet And Small Town America Will Pay The High Price

  By Lucy Rock The Guardian (11/21/17) It’s Saturday morning at a café near the museum in Winlock, Washington, and Michelle Conrow is eating brunch while surfing the internet on her laptop. What might seem a banal activity for many is a luxury for Michelle. The internet at her house just outside the town is primitive by today’s standards, with speeds similar to the dial-up days of the 1990s. It took three days to download Microsoft Office to her new computer. Many of the 1,300 residents in this rural area, which was once the US’s second largest egg producer, report…


Republican Rigged Tax Scheme Is Not Just A Scam, It Is A Treasonous Betrayal Of Our Shared Social Responsibility

      By Robert Reich robertreich.org (11/12/17) Selling the Trump-Republican tax plan should be awkward for an administration that has made patriotism its central theme. That’s because patriotism isn’t mostly about saluting the flag and standing during the national anthem. It’s about taking a fair share of the burden of keeping America going. But the tax plan gives American corporations a $2 trillion tax break, at a time when they’re enjoying record profits and stashing unprecedented amounts of cash in offshore tax shelters. And it gives America’s wealthiest citizens trillions more, when the richest 1 percent now hold a record 38.6 percent of the…


Russia Monitor: Will They Get To The President, Jared? We Sure As Hell Hope So

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/23/17) Dear Fellow Readers, “Do you think they’ll get the president?” – Kushner asked a friend, according to a person briefed on the conversation. I do. Kudos to Fresh Air this week. On Monday (11/20) the show ran How The Panama Papers Reveal Illicit Money Networks. Then on Tuesday (11/21) they aired Journalist Investigating Trump And Russia Says ‘Full Picture Is One Of Collusion’. In broad strokes these are the same story and are the key to Trump’s greatest risk with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation – his business longstanding and extensive, shadowy relationship with…


Bernie Sanders Throws His Support To Iron Worker Randy Bryce—Which Could Be Very Bad News For Paul Ryan

By Marc Daalder In These Times (11/20/17) Randy Bryce took the political world by storm this June when he released a stunning television ad announcing his campaign to unseat House Speaker Paul Ryan. Bryce is running for Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin’s southeastern 1st congressional district, which straddles Milwaukee’s metropolitan border. “I decided to run for office because not everybody’s seated at the table—and it’s time to make a bigger table,” Bryce says in the ad. “If somebody falls behind, we’re so much stronger if we carry them with us. That’s the way I was raised. We look out for each…


Do-It-Yourself ‘Ghost Guns’ Bypass Background Checks & Firearm Registration

  By Brian Mann NPR (11/21/17) When Kevin Neal went on a deadly shooting rampage last week in California, he was armed with at least two semi-automatic rifles, known as “ghost guns,” that he didn’t buy in a store or from a gun dealer, authorities say. “These arms are manufactured illegally, we believe, by him at his home,” said Tehama County assistant sheriff Phil Johnston, during a news conference on Nov. 15. Neal was banned from buying guns and reportedly had to surrender a firearm because of a court order. But it turns out there is a growing industry of companies that sell gun…


Reckoning? Bill Clinton’s Sex Scandals Face Fresh Scrutiny In Post-Weinstein Era

  By Jane Clayson On Point/WBUR (11/20/17) We talk to Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic, Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard and Joe Klein of TIME Magazine about renewed attention on former President Bill Clinton’s sex scandals. Should he have resigned? Been removed from office? How is this conversation changing in the post-Weinstein era? Guests: Caitlin Flanagan, contributing editor at The Atlantic. (@CaitlinPacific) Joe Klein, political columnist, TIME magazine. (@JoeKleinTIME) Michael Warren, senior writer, The Weekly Standard. (@MichaelRWarren) Link to Story and 46-Minute Audio The Atlantic: Bill Clinton: A Reckoning — “It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault;…


Daily Stormer’s Lost Boy Andrew Anglin: The Making Of An All-American Nazi

  By Luke O’Brien The Atlantic (December 2017) On December 16, 2016, Tanya Gersh answered her phone and heard gunshots. Startled, she hung up. Gersh, a real-estate agent who lives in Whitefish, Montana, assumed it was a prank call. But the phone rang again. More gunshots. Again, she hung up. Another call. This time, she heard a man’s voice: “This is how we can keep the Holocaust alive,” he said. “We can bury you without touching you.” When Gersh put down the phone, her hands were shaking. She was one of only about 100 Jews in Whitefish and the surrounding Flathead…


A Commoner Writes: Anti-Trump Is Not Enough. We Need Solutions.

Some good articles [11/9]. But please give us more articles on how we analyze and organize to recover from years of disastrous neglect of our base (Let’s define and refine) and swing voters. Anti-Trump is not enough, except for our core liberal supporters. Peace, Dr. James R. Anderson ***** Editor Reply: Hey, Jim:  I’ll keep an eye peeled and please send along anything you find of interest.   Did you read the piece on the recent “Autopsy” of the Dems 2016 campaign? There is a good executive summary but I would urge you to read the entire 33-page report. It’s…


Once Again, Mike Pence Gets Tangled Up In Lies: This Time About Don Jr. & WikiLeaks

The Confessor By Sophia Tesfaye Salon (11/14/17) It’s time for another round of “Is Mike Pence actually as incompetent as he looks, or is he just a liar?” On Monday, the Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe published the details of a series of Twitter direct messages between WikiLeaks and Donald Trump Jr. during the presidential campaign. Despite a flat denial previously offered by then-vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, the direct message transcripts appear to show the president’s oldest son communicating with WikiLeaks between September 2016 and July 2017. So what did Mike Pence not know and when did he not know it? Are we to…


Orwellian: The Corporate Media’s Pathological Refusal To Report The Simple Truth About Trump’s Record Of Lies

“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” – George Orwell   By Reed Richardson Fairness & Accuracy in Media (11/16/17) It is a truism to say that everyone lies to someone. Since public officials entrusted with power in our democracy are no exception to this human trait—as historical research documents—it should be exceedingly acceptable to point out that all politicians, from your local city council right up to the White House, lie as well. The Framers afforded the press special constitutional protection in large part to ensure that such lies would not…


Republican Corporate Tax Cuts: A “heist” Or Way To Raise Wages?

  By David Brancaccio & Janet Nguyen Marketplace (11/17/17) A centerpiece of the planned GOP tax overhaul has been to lower the corporate tax rate, which Republicans have argued will push companies to invest more at home. Right now, the rate stands at 35 percent, with both the House and Senate calling for a reduced rate of 20 percent. The proposed tax plans would also allow companies to repatriate corporate profits at a one-time lower tax rate. Many corporations have used loopholes to avoid paying the 35 percent rate, such as keeping assets in tax havens abroad. But questions have arisen over whether companies…


With Roy Moore Conservatives Reap The Nasty Whirlwind Of Their War On The Media

  By Rosie Gray & McKay Coppins The Atlantic (11/17/17) All news is “fake news”—at least if you’re a diehard Roy Moore supporter. With sexual misconduct allegations continuing to mount against the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, Moore has defied calls to drop out of the race by advancing an audacious conspiracy theory—that partisan fabulists in the mainstream media are working with his enemies in the political establishment to wage a nefarious smear campaign against him. Not long ago, such claims likely would have backfired. But in the Trump era, anti-press sentiment has reached a fever pitch on the right—something…


Trump May Be A Bumbling Fool In Most Ways But He Is Radically Distorting The Federal Judiciary

  By Tom Ashbrook On Point (11/15/17) President Trump is remaking the federal bench. Naming judges in record numbers. Some called unqualified. We dive in. The U.S. Supreme Court hears the tip-top cases, but federal appeals courts rule on many more. Thousands. They shape American life. And at that tier of the federal judiciary, President Donald Trump is pushing through appointees at a rate not seen in half a century. Deeply conservative, quite young appointees with lifetime appointments as judges. Some with deeply disputed qualifications. It may be his deepest stamp. This hour, On Point: The fast, deep Trump stamp…


Multi-Millionaire Party Owner & Hillary Donor Gives Dem Leadership Their Marching Orders

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/20/17) In case you missed it, Las Vegas multi-millionaire Democratic Party not-so-silent-owner Steve Cloobeck recently had a bit of a meltdown on MSNBC railing against the dangerous notion that the Democratic Party should represent the interests of all Americans and not just the incestuous Wall Street cheats, corporate con artists and hedge fund grifters, scammers and sociopaths he usually runs with. I know, I know, not a radical idea that a major political party should actually stand for the interests of the families, communities and small business people they say they represent….


Russia Monitor: So How Long Has The Trump-Russia Mutual Enchantment Gone On? A Lot Longer Than We Realized

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/20/17) Dear Fellow Readers, How long have we lived with Trump and the Trump-Russia story? We have lived with Trump for one year since the election. We have lived with Trump for two years if we consider when he announced his candidacy for the presidency. Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, what we’re seeing with special counsel Robert Mueller’s broader investigation to consider Trump’s business dealings with Russians takes us back ten years. Let’s open with that question, how long, and end with one attempt at an answer. Trump Has Us Deeply Divided…


‘Like Honey To A Bee’ – The Hidden History Of How Russia Has Played Trump Since His First Trip To Moscow In 1987

    By Luke Harding Politico (11/19/17) t was 1984 and General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov had a problem. The general occupied one of the KGB’s most exalted posts. He was head of the First Chief Directorate, the prestigious KGB arm responsible for gathering foreign intelligence. Kryuchkov had begun his career with five years at the Soviet mission in Budapest under Ambassador Yuri Andropov. In 1967 Andropov became KGB chairman. Kryuchkov went to Moscow, took up a number of sensitive posts, and established a reputation as a devoted and hardworking officer. By 1984, Kryuchkov’s directorate in Moscow was bigger than ever…


War Of Cyber Mirrors: Inside Antifa Online Efforts To Out White Supremacists

An anonymous group of vigilantes works to identify racists, a legally gray tactic known as doxxing that comes with plenty of risk for all. By Decca Muldowney ProPublica (10/30/17) “Fallon” is not her real name. It’s a pseudonym she’s using because she wants to remain anonymous. She knows that can be an elusive goal, chiefly because of people not unlike her. When I first contacted Fallon, here is what she told me about herself: she’s in her mid-30s; she’s white; she has children; she works a 9-to-5 office job; and she lives in Ohio. She has a voice like a…


‘Say Goodbye to Local Media,’ As Trump FCC Opens Corporate Merger Floodgates

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has been widely criticized for moving forward with rollbacks of regulations aimed at protecting local media. (Photo: FCC/Flickr) By Jessica Corbett The Common Dreams (11/16/17) In “an awful new low” that elicited warnings about “a new wave of media consolidation,” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday rolled back media ownership regulations under the guise of trying “to modernize its broadcast ownership rules & to help promote ownership diversity.” “Any pretense that this vote will help journalism or increase ownership diversity is cynical and offensive,” said Free Press president and CEO Craig Aaron, warning that the move will “lead…


Long Before Kaepernick, The ‘Syracuse 8’ Were Blackballed By Pro Football

  By Karen Given & Shira Springer Only A Game (11/17/17) They met in secret. Away from their white coaches and teammates. “We used to meet at midnight,” former Syracuse football player Dana Harrell says. “And we could have met earlier. But we used to meet at midnight, to lay out our thoughts and plans, just like the slaves. Harrell was one of nine college football players the international media would — incorrectly — call the “Syracuse 8.” It was the late 1960s — after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy. Dana and his…


Hey, Republicans, Your Silence Is Active Consent…

  While GOP Leaders May Want Roy Moore To Go Away, Rank-And-File Republicans Aren’t So Sure By Ariel Edwards-Levy The HuffPost (11/15/17) Republican supporters nationwide have yet to embrace calls by GOP leaders that party nominee Roy Moore end his Senate candidacy in Alabama, a HuffPost/YouGov pollshows, though support for him in the national survey is tepid, at best. By a 12-percentage-point margin, 39 percent to 27 percent, registered Republicans and independents who lean toward the party say Moore should not drop out of the race because of sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him. The rest of those polled said they were unsure…


We’re Down To Oligarchy Or Democracy: Why It’s Time To Confront The Billionaires’ Paradise

  By Richard Eskow Our Future (11/13/17) The concentrated wealth of the global plutocracy is the dark matter of the world economy: it is rarely glimpsed and difficult to measure, yet it reshapes everything around it. Two recent reports – the UBS/PwC report on the “new Gilded Age” of the international billionaire class, and the “Paradise Papers”  released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reveal ways corporations and the ultra-wealthy avoid taxes. In doing so, they offer a glimpse into this darkness. Together, these releases tell us a lot about the wealthy few who run the world. We now know that…


Georgia III% – Inside America’s Largest Right Wing Militia

  Vice News (10/18/17) In the backwoods of Georgia, a controversial, right-wing, “anti-terror” militia group gathers once a month to complete field training exercises under the command of Chris Hill—a.k.a Blood Agent. This militia group, called the Georgia III% Security Force, is part of the Three Percenter movement, which is inspired by the unfounded claim that only three percent of colonists fought against the British in the American Revolution. VICE joins Hill and the Georgia III% Security Force during one of their monthly gatherings to see how they prepare themselves to “defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic”…


Rep. Lee Nerison Voted To Poison Your Family’s Water

“Sulfide mining puts rivers, lakes, wildlife, and public health at risk by creating acid mine drainage, a permanent toxic process that renders water poisonous and ecosystems lifeless.” — Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call Rep. Lee Nerison’s cowardly vote for AB499 “will endanger Wisconsin families and its natural resources for generations.” Writing about the passage of AB 499, Nonferrous Metallic Mining Regulations bill, the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters blasted Rep. Lee Nerison and his fellow GOP tyrannic majority’s “lack of courage” writing that because they caved to monied special interests and not the people their cowardice…


A Note From Bill Moyers On The True History Of ‘No Choice’ In America

  By Bill Moyers Moyers & Company (11/ For many decades men used the power of the state to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies. Once legal, abortion was outlawed in the late 19th century, and women who sought one were treated as sinners and criminals. Many women — some 2 million a year in the 1890s alone — defied the coercive power of patriarchal and paternalistic government to obtain abortions. Women of means were sometimes able to find a doctor to help, but all the others had to resort to desperate and dangerous measures. They swallowed potent concoctions of turpentine, bleach and detergents;…


Here’s Why Your Local TV News Is About To Get Even Worse

By Margot Susca The Convesation (11/12/17) Considering the history of television news a few years ago, iconic anchor Ted Koppel declared that CBS’ 1968 debut of “60 Minutes” forever altered the landscape of broadcast journalism: A news program drew enough advertising to turn a profit. As Koppel told it, “60 Minutes” showed broadcasters that news divisions could make money – which was a huge shift in how management executives thought of news, affecting both the quality and type of coverage broadcast over the publicly owned airwaves. Until then, broadcast news in the U.S. had been a costly requirement media companies had…


Human Rights Skirted At Asia Summit As Trump Rounds Off Road Trip

  By Manuel Mogato & Steve Holland Reuters (11/12/17) MANILA (Reuters) – Leaders of Asian nations meeting in Manila on Monday skirted around the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims triggered by Myanmar’s military crackdown, disappointing human rights groups who were hoping for a tough stand on the humanitarian crisis. There was no pressure either from U.S. President Donald Trump over the Philippines’ bloody war on drugs during a meeting on the sidelines of the summit with President Rodrigo Duterte. Trump told reporters that he had a “great relationship” with Philippines leader, who, a year ago, had branded then-President Barack Obama…


Russia Monitor: The Trump/Putin Threat From Within Growing Clearer With Every News Cycle

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/16/17) Dear Fellow Readers, The big Trump-Russia news this cycle has been the revelations about Donnie Trump Jr. communicating and coordinating with WikiLeaks in an effort to advantage Trump in the 2016 election. We’ll dig into this more but the important take-aways are the willingness of Donnie Jr. and the Trump campaign to win at all costs and the final confirmation of WikiLeaks as a hostile intelligence service. This second point is well summarized by Trump’s own CIA Director Mike Pompeo as, “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like…


A Cold, Stupid & Lazy Heart: Twitter Slams Donald Trump For Copy/Paste Tweet ‘Condolence’ About The Wrong Mass Shooting

Editor’s Note: The Commoner Call runs this cartoon after every headline-grabbing mass shooting (a mass shooting – defined as four or more fatalities – happens daily in the U.S. Most only get local press coverage). Nothing changes but not to worry, the nation’s leaders will keep you in their cynical thoughts ‘n empty prayers if you lose a loved one to a mass shooting. What evil madness! What political cowardice!  – Mark L. Taylor By Lee Moran The HuffPost (11/15/17) People online tore into President Donald Trump after he appeared to offer his condolences on Twitter about the wrong mass…


History They Don’t Want You To Know: The Untold Story Of How Immigrants Turned The Wobblies Into A Global Force For Labor

  By Shaun Richman In These Times (11/8/17) Declaring, “an injury to one is an injury to all,” the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) upended and forever changed the labor movement a little over a century ago. The Wobblies’ commitment to organizing workers on an industry-wide basis, their cynicism about legislative action and electoral politics, their aversion to signed contracts and their preference for sudden strikes remain fascinating subjects for labor studies. Their multiculturalism, anti-racism and pioneering bohemian approach to God, country and sex remain a rich vein to be mined for cultural studies. Although there is no shortage…


A ‘Commoner’ Writes: ‘Call’ Editor Is Clueless

Letter to the Editor: Hello Commoner Call, Your most recent cartoon ]11/13] regarding how taxes fund war and devastation is actually totally missing the chain of events as to the funding of war [Your Tax Money At Work: U.S.-Armed Saudi Arabia Total Blockade On Yemen Is “Death Sentence” For Innocents]. David Graeber (of Occupy Wall Street and professor of Anthropology) in his book Debt: The First 5000 Years points to the feudal structure of authoritarian monetary issuance that precedes taxation and is spent on the military.  The peasantry, who do not want the military or the wars, must pay their…


Your Tax Money At Work: U.S.-Armed Saudi Arabia Total Blockade On Yemen Is “Death Sentence” For Innocents

  I Just Don’t Get it… Why Do They Hate Us? Democracy Now! (11/9/17) United Nations officials say Yemen will face the world’s largest famine in decades if the Saudi-led coalition refuses to lift its blockade on deliveries of aid. On Monday, the coalition shut air, land and sea routes into Yemen after Houthi rebels fired a missile that was intercepted near the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Saudi Arabia says its blockade is needed to stop Iran from sending weapons to the rebels. The U.N. says aid agencies were given no prior notice of the Saudi decision to shut down all…


In Case They Are Interested: Socialists Just Showed The Democratic Party How To Win Across The US

  By Miles Kampf-Lassin In These Times (11/9/17) One year ago, a wave of disbelief, gloom and rage washed across the country. A vile orange manifestation of America’s darkest id had won the presidency, Republicans held control of all three branches of government, and new nightmares awaited. Trump is still president, the GOP still has the House and Senate, and every day we witness new threats to the environment, the social safety net and—with an incoherent man-child’s hands on the nuclear football—the very future of humanity. But last night we saw a very different kind of wave, one that moves us…


How A Democratic Socialist Led An Upset Over Major Republican Power Broker In Virginia

  By Megan Dean Jacobin (11/10/17) n Tuesday, democratic socialist Lee Carter unseated Jackson Miller, the Republican majority whip of Virginia’s House of Delegates. Buoyed by the enthusiasm around the Bernie Sanders campaign and backed by the Washington DC chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, Carter successfully campaigned on single-payer health care, getting money out of politics, and putting the interests of working-class Virginians above those of big donors. Running in Virginia’s 50th district, which includes the city of Manassas, Carter won with a nine-point spread, 54 to 46 percent. His Republican opponents distributed red-baiting mailers comparing him to Stalin, and the state’s Democratic…


American Vignette: A Mom’s Guilt And Fear Of No Health Insurance Leaves Her In No-Win Position

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/13/17) It’s early afternoon and I’m sitting in the Urgent Care waiting room. Among the collection of people waiting to see the nurse is a mother and her sick middle school kid sitting nearby. The kid is both listless and restless in the way of sick kids. She leans on her mom’s shoulder as the two quietly play a game on the mom’s phone. She wants her mom to stay home with her after the appointment. There is a pleading tone to her voice. The mom explains that she has to get back…


Russ Feingold: US Campaign Finance Laws Enable Legalized Bribery. We Must Reform Them

  By Russ Feingold The Guardian (11/8/17) Russ Feingold: hen powerful lobbyists work hard over the coming weeks to convince Republican lawmakers to change their tax package to please them, it would probably be of interest to know exactly how much campaign cash these so-called stakeholders and their industries have given or spent in recent years for the members of Congress who are writing tax laws. But because federal disclosure laws need to be updated, it’s probably too difficult to ever really know the complete answer. An opaque system of legalized bribery and legalized extortion is not an outrageous way…


Rep. Lee Nerison’s AB353 Vote Undermined Democratic Cooperative Principles — Empowers Corporations, Weakens Member Rights

Remember. Remember come next November — Lee Nerison’s betrayal of our democratic, member-run cooperative principles.   Lee Nerison voted for AB353 which will allow up to “20 percent of your co-op’s board seats to be turned over to non-members (including outside investors)”* and remove “members’ rights to review certain cooperative records. Because all voices are equal in the co-op model, we can be certain that ideas can be discussed; that no ideas are silenced.”*   Lee’s vote served “to alter that ‘one member, one vote’ co-op model that gives voice to all members as equals, regardless of where their farm or…


Russia Monitor: Who You Going To Trust, Me, Or Your Lying Eyes?

Is ‘A Lie Told Often Enough Becomes Truth’ Really True? By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/13/17) Dear Fellow Readers, As the Trump-Russia story unspools ‘No contact’ becomes ‘no collusion’ becomes ‘it wasn’t me’…  Trump campaign, staff and associates lies are a moving target. Once a set of lies are dispelled they pick up the goal posts, move them down the field and issue new lies. Except for Trump, he tries to hold the goal posts in one place as if his lies alone are the force of nature that will win the battle for hearts and minds over Trump-Russia…