Articles by Mark Taylor

Listen Up & Believe What He Says: Trump Threatens Violence Against Enemies

“A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” — George Orwell, The Prevention of Literature   The Young Turks (3/14/19) “President Trump issued a bizarre, indirect warning Monday that his supporters could get “tough” on his political enemies at a “certain point,” in a clip of a Breitbart interview spotted Thursday by The Toronto Star. “You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny,” the president told Breibart’s Matthew Boyle. “I actually think that the people on the…


The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Chaos

Animal populations have declined by 60 percent since 1970, driven by human actions, according to a recent World Wildlife Fund study. By John Vidal HuffPost (3/15/19) Nature is in freefall and the planet’s support systems are so stretched that we face widespread species extinctions and mass human migration unless urgent action is taken. That’s the warning hundreds of scientists are preparing to give, and it’s stark. The last year has seen a slew of brutal and terrifying warnings about the threat climate change poses to life. Far less talked about but just as dangerous, if not more so, is the…


Aldo Leopold On The Penalty Of The ‘Ecological Education’

“One of the penalities of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community and believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” — Aldo Leopold, “A Sand County Almanac” (1949).


On Contact: Climate Emergency With ‘End Of Ice’ Author Dahr Jamail

  Chris Hedges On Contact (2/23/19) The glaciers in Alaska alone are losing an estimated 75 billion tons of ice every year. The oceans, which absorb over 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouses gases in the atmosphere, are warming and acidifying, melting the polar ice caps and resulting in rising sea levels and oxygen-starved ocean dead zones. We await a 50-gigaton burp, or “pulse,” of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, which will release about 2/3 of the total carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial era….


Venezuela Coup Leader’s Oil Plans Revealed: Guaidó Hopes To Privatize State-Controlled Industry

  By Ben Norton The Grayzone (3/14/19) The international news agency Reuters has confirmed that Venezuela’s US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó and his right-wing economic advisers drafted a plan to privatize the country’s petroleum industry and open up the oil-rich South American country to foreign corporations. This privatization scheme will be difficult to implement, however, given the Venezuelan government still remains under the control of its elected leftist president, Nicolás Maduro, and the coup attempt led by the Donald Trump administration has thus far failed. The Grayzone reported on the opposition’s moves to try to privatize Venezuela’s oil industry immediately after the coup attempt began nearly…


Russia Monitor: Just How Many Will Have To Suffer?

  “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. It’s certainly a terrible thing.” — Trump when asked “whether white nationalists were a growing threat”. ***** “Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists — and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them. “This isn’t normal or acceptable. We have to be better than this.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweet in response to Trump. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (3/18/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump is not normal, not acceptable. There are things Trump refuses to…


How Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America

When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Washington bet on the global spread of democratic capitalist values—and lost. While everyone else was heralding an emergent globalist world that would take on the best values of America, Palmer had glimpsed the dire risk of the opposite: that the values of the kleptocrats would become America’s own. This grim vision is now nearing fruition. By Franklin Foer The Atlantic (March 2020 Issue) For two years, in the early 1990s, Richard Palmer served as the CIA station chief in the United States’ Moscow embassy. The events unfolding around him—the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the rise…


The Big Cheat: Brutal Lesson For Children Of Middle & Working Classes

  By Leo Gerard OurFuture.org (3/14/19) The children of working stiffs learned a brutal lesson this week as federal prosecutors criminally charged rich people with buying admission to elite universities for their less-than-stellar children. The lesson is that no matter how hard you work, no matter how smart or talented you are, a dumb, lazy rich kid is going to beat you. It’s crucial that everyone who is not a wealthy movie star, hedge fund executive, or corporate CEO – that is, 99 percent of all Americans – see this college admissions scandal for what it really is: a microcosm…


Right At Home! The Ever Eternal Marie Antoinette Stages A Comeback On Capitol Hill

Antoinette toasts to Wilbur Ross at the House Oversight Committee hearing. “My fabulosity and philosophy are eternal!” By Marie Antoinette Inequality.org (3/14/19) She’s back — in all her out-of-touch glory. More than 225 years after losing her head to a guillotine, Marie Antoinette has made a grand re-entrance into the halls of power. With her reattached head holding up a frothy mound of white curls, she descended on Capitol Hill on March 14 to attend a House Oversight Committee hearing. The star witness: billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Ross is just one of numerous Trump administration officials who’ve distinguished themselves with…


U.S. Gun Makers Send Weapons South Causing More Migrants To Flee North

The State Department export process allows far too many guns to be sold into areas where they might be used to harm civilians or supply criminals. By Alex Yablon The Trace (3/8/19) When Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was re-elected in November 2017, in a vote that outside monitors described as tainted by fraud, protesters around the country took to the streets. Hernández’s first term had been marked by violent crime and corruption; many voters wanted change. In the ensuing days, military police opened fire on the demonstrators, killing more than 30 people and wounding hundreds. Photos published in the Miami Herald showed officers shooting…


Community Ownership: It Takes A Village To Save A British Pub

  All the pubs local community groups have purchased in the past seven years are still in operation. By Frank Langfitt Morning Edition / NPR (3/14/19) The Packhorse pub sits in the tiny village of South Stoke in the west of England amid rolling hills dotted with sheep. For more than a century and a half, it played a crucial role in the village and marked milestones in the lives of local families. Gerard Coles, who was born half a mile from the pub and now brews cider nearby, started coming to the Packhorse when he was 15 and underage, sometimes with…


This Saturday, March 23: 11th Annual Wisconsin Grassroots Festival

Saturday., March 23, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm 11th Annual Wisconsin Grassroots Festival (Wisconsin Heights High School – 10173 US Hwy 14 near Mazomanie) – with keynote address by John Nichols (Nation magazine) and Matt Rothschild (WI Democracy Campaign), plus numerous workshops and breakout sessions. For more info, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/11th-annual-wisconsin-grassroots-festival-tickets-53236196898 Doors open: 8 a.m. for registration and check-in – main lobby. Main Event: 9 a.m. in the gym. Food/Beverages: Lunch is included with the admission ticket. There also is a consession stand where you can buy drinks and snacks. Festival Packets: Packets containing the agenda, breakout session descriptions, and biography of presenter(s), will be emailed to…


How Trump Embraces Cruelty, Undermines America, Attacks Truth & The Ability To Think

What Michael Cohen said about Donald Trump not voluntarily leaving the presidency is bone-chilling. It is also not surprising to me. Bu Chauncey Devega Salon (3/11/19) Last weekend, Donald Trump delivered a big speech at the annual CPAC political carnival. It was the longest and perhaps the most memorable of his entire political career. It was also a delusional, nightmarish monologue, full of lies and violent images, manifestly the work of someone who lives in his own reality. Trump’s audience at CPAC, and around the country, was enthralled. This is one of the most prominent attributes of a political cult:…



‘There Is No Meritocracy’ — College Admissions Scandal Exposes Systemic Rot Benefiting Freeloading Wealthy Progressives Say

A wake-up call for people who have fallen for the lie the wealthy earned what they have stolen from working families. By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (3/13/19) The most far-reaching college admissions plot ever prosecuted, revealed on Tuesday by federal investigators, provides a window into how wealth and power operate in American society, progressives say. The scheme involved getting the children of wealthy people into the colleges of their dreams, often by manipulating sports scholarships, disability allowances on tests, and by inflating resumes. Per Democracy Now!, “50 people were arrested, including 13 college coaches, for taking part in a scheme where wealthy parents…


Political Cruelty, Racial Hostility Roil US High Schools, Study Finds

A racist photo posted by two high school students depicting a black classmate surrounded by KKK hoods. (The Raw Story) By Alex Dobuzinskis Reuters (3/13/19) Political grudges and racial animosity have divided students at U.S. high schools and President Donald Trump has exacerbated the problem with his rhetoric, a study released on Wednesday showed. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) surveyed 505 high school principals for the study. More than 60 percent of them reported some of their students had made derogatory remarks about immigrants. More broadly, more than 80 percent of principals said some of…


The CDC Says Gun Injuries Are On The Rise. But There Are Big Problems With Its Data.

  “unstable and potentially unreliable” By Sean Campbell, Daniel Nass & Mai Nguyen The Trace (10/4/19) For journalists, researchers and the general public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serves as an authoritative source of information about Americans’ health, including estimates of how many people are killed or injured by guns. The agency’s most recent figures include a worrying uptick: Between 2015 and 2016, the number of Americans nonfatally injured by a firearm jumped by 37 percent, rising from about 85,000 to more than 116,000. It was the largest single-year increase recorded in more than 15 years. But the gun…


Demolishing Erik Prince: One TV Interview Shows Just How To Deal With Trump’s Gang Of Nincompoops

Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera English took Trump pal Erik Prince apart in two minutes. American media: Watch and learn By Bob Cesca Salon (3/12/19) “He can’t keep getting away with it!” was one of the lines from “Breaking Bad” in which Aaron Paul’s award-winning acting talents were on full soul-crushing display. In the climactic scene from season five, episode 12, Paul’s Jesse Pinkman cries out in mid-nervous breakdown over the fact that Bryan Cranston’s Walter White indeed keeps getting away with one murderously bad decision after another. Somehow, Donald Trump and his crew of mostly incompetent co-conspirators seemingly keep getting away…


Russia Monitor: A Grifter Gets His Due

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (3/14/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Convicted Trump former campaign chairman Paul Manafort went through a second sentencing hearing on Wednesday. At the age of 69, his total sentencing for convictions before two federal court judges will now run for an additional 7+ years, after allowances for time served and various calculations for consecutive versus concurrently. Much will be debated about the sentencing but if any part of Manafort felt good about the outcome — before he was even wheeled back to jail — this headline broke: Paul Manafort Tried To Send A Message To Trump. Manhattan’s DA May…


The Brink: Steve Bannon Gave Documentarian Behind-The-Scenes Access To Him, And It Sounds Like A Doozy

  By Walter Einenkel The Daily Kos (3/11/19) What is there to be said about Steve Bannon that hasn’t been scratched into a bathroom stall under a sewer in hell with a demon’s fingernails? The former Trump guru and campaign strategist has been conspicuously absent from the public sphere as of late. Some of this might be the result of the ongoing Mueller investigation into the campaign Bannon helped create. However, some of it may also be due to the fact that he has a documentary about him coming to theaters soon. For The Brink, filmmaker Alison Klayman was purportedly given full access to Bannon, and the…


On The 60th Anniversary Of The Tibetan Uprising, Activists Say The ‘resistance spirit’ Is Still Alive

“Increasingly, we see that countries that have typically spoken out on behalf of Tibet are now shying away from doing so.” — Sarah Sewell, special coordinator on Tibetan issues during the Obama administration. PRI The World (3/11/19) A Tibetan flag flutters alongside a Massachusetts one and the US flag outside Boston City Hall, marking the 60 years since the Tibetan uprising in Lhasa prompted the Dalai Lama to flee his palace. A group of Tibetans and activists gathered on a frigid Friday to hoist the flag, which will fly through March 14. Lhadon Tethong held her 2-year-old son in her…


Why Southeast Asia Is Flooded With Plastic Garbage From America And Other Wealthy Nations

  Capitalism, greed and inequality have created a crisis in the global recycling system. By Dominique Mosbergen HuffPost (3/8/19) IPOH, Malaysia ― Bales of plastic garbage, stacked 15 feet high, shimmered in the 100-degree heat. Theygave off a faint chemical smell as they warped and softened under the equatorial sun. A canary-yellow Walmart clearance tag poked out from one of the dirty heaps. Wrappers and packages from American products were visible nearby. These items had likely traveled 10,000 miles to this unmarked and apparently unauthorized dumpsite in a quiet industrial neighborhood in northwestern Malaysia. The Capitalist The bale with the…


Socialism In America? Let’s Cut To The Chase

“This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.” – Noam Chomsky By Mark Ash Reader Supported News (3/10/19) “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.” – Noam Chomsky You are going…


TONIGHT! Thursday, March 14, In La Crosse: Fix It — Healthcare At The Tipping Point

Join the folks with People Powered Democracy of La Crosse for viewing the movie FIX IT – Healthcare at The Tipping Point Then hang around to talk about HealthCare for Everyone / It Can be Done ***** Where — The Rivoli Theatre and Pizzeria, 117 4th St. N, La Crosse When — March 14th, 6:30 — 9:00 p.m. ***** Not Sure if Interested? Here is the Movie Trailer  And if possible, let us know you are planning to come Link to Facebook Event Page for this Movie (This event is free and open to the public, but small donations will be accepted…


On The Death Of My Family’s Dairy Farm

The consolidation of dairy and the continual shrinking of profit margins have led to drastic changes to the industry over the years. By Abe Voelker abevolker.com (3/6/19) This Christmas, like every other, I traveled to northern Wisconsin to stay with my parents on the dairy farm I grew up on. As usual I took the opportunity to help my dad and younger brother with barn chores and milk cows. The cows need to be milked twice a day, every day, roughly around 4AM and 4PM. I didn’t help out every shift but I worked more than enough to once again be…


In Iowa, Sanders Addresses ‘Rural Community Issues We Almost Never Hear About’: Factory Farms & Big Ag

Consolidation and incorporation of the farming industry have had major effects on the health and economic well being of Iowans. Sanders noted that change in his speech Thursday. By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (3/8/19) Bernie Sanders took aim at factory farms and agribusiness in a speech kicking off his Iowa presidential campaign Thursday. “We need policies in Washington for rural America that represent the needs of working people and family farmers,” the Independent senator from Vermont told a crowd of around 2,000 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, “not agribusiness and large, multinational corporations.” That Sanders would focus on agriculture in his first…


AOC Rocks SXSW Conference With Talk Grounded In Radical Truth & True Change vs Incrementalism

“Stop trying to navigate systems of power and start building your own party.” ExpressDigest She came. She saw. She conquered. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dominated the South by Southwest conference with her mere presence, bringing in a larger crowd than any of the 2020 presidential contenders, all of whom were asked about her or her Green New Deal in their own sessions at the popular event. The 2,000 plus ballroom – one of the biggest in the Austin Convention Center – was packed, the overflow rooms were flooded with attendees and Bill Nye tweeted a photo of himself from the room…


Joe Rogan Interview With Rep. Tulsi Gabbard On War, Power & The Future Of The Nation

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (3/11/19) Here is a great Joe Rogan interview with democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. The opening conversation on the never-ending war state is very thoughtful. Gabbard did two tours of duty in Iraq and has seen up close the human cost of our immoral bipartisan-supported wars for both our troops and the innocents we choose to maim, kill and torture. Her insights on the stain of bipartisan self-indulgent corruption and cynicism in congress is straight up and no-holds barred. No wonder she is sidelined by Republicans and corporate dems alike. We need to…


Leaked Documents Confirm The US Government Is Secretly Tracking Journalists & Immigration Activists

One lawyer was worried that she was being targeted by the government. She was right. By Fernanda Echavarri Mother Jones (3/7/20) One lawyer was worried that she was being targeted by the government. She was right.  When I visited Nicole Ramos, an American immigration lawyer, at the Tijuana offices of the legal aid group Al Otro Lado last week, she told me she was worried she was being targeted by the US government for special monitoring. She’s a director of the organization, which assists asylum-seekers and other migrants, and her two co-directors had already been denied entry into Mexico because of “migratory alerts” placed on…


FBI Arrests Reveals True Threat Of Terrorism Comes From Domestic Actors, Not International Extremists

  By Morgan Gstalter The Hill (3/9/19) The FBI arrested more people suspected of domestic terrorism than people allegedly tied to or inspired by international extremist groups, according to an analysis by The Washington Post released Saturday. There were 110 people arrested on suspicion of being inspired by foreign terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and al Qaeda during the 2017 budget year, figures shared with the newspaper showed. About 30 of those people faced terrorism charges in 2017, a figure that dropped to only nine last year. In comparison, law enforcement officials said FBI investigations led to the…


The Supreme Court Is Quietly & Methodically Changing The Status Of Religion In American Life

  When it comes to religion, the Court’s direction is clear—and Trump’s core supporters have every reason to be pleased with it. By Jeffery Toobin The New Yorker (3/6/19) Donald Trump may be imperilled by the ever-growing number of investigations into various avenues of his conduct, but his agenda continues apace at the Supreme Court. There, the President’s appointees and their allies are making quiet progress on another key goal of his political base: transforming the place of religion in American life. The changes involve both religion clauses of the First Amendment—the one that prohibits the “establishment” of a state…


Russia Monitor: The Beating Heart & Friendly Hands

  “There is an elephant standing in America’s living room right now staring us in the face: the President of the United States may well be compromised by the Russians, which I truly believe is the case. And he is unfit to serve.” — Former Defense Secretary William Cohen By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (3/11/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Today’s edition we squeeze in a number of items that have not been the priority over the last few weeks. This is a reflection of the vast corruption of the Trump White House, extending well beyond Trump-Russia, though we’ll still strive…


On Russia Gate, Freedom Of Speech & The Petty Revenge Of ‘Individual 1’

Over the years she has been “viciously harassed” and targeted for her multiple prize-winning investigative stories. By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (3/7/19) Ever fittingly, the current pernicious regime marked International Women’s Day by presenting prestigious Women of Courage Awards to 10 women around the world who conspicuously did not include Jessikka Aro, a renowned Finnish investigative journalist who has long faced down death threats and smear campaigns for her work exposing the Russian propaganda machine; who was earlier notified she had won the award; but who was then, according to Foreign Policy, told oops, sorry, “regrettable error” after U.S. officials stalked her social media and discovered she finds Trump as immoral, incompetent and…


Ilhan Omar’s Words Were Cynically Twisted – And Democrats Were Part Of The Problem

Ilhan Omar has been treated disgracefully. By Arwa Mahdawi The Guardian (3/9/19) This month, Nancy Pelosi tweeted a photo of Rolling Stone magazine, on which she is pictured posing next to three of the new young congresswomen. “A picture is worth 1,000 words but [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Jahana Hayes] and Nancy on the cover of @RollingStone is worth millions of dreams to women and girls across America,” Pelosi said. “To them we say: know your power. Know your worth. Have a plan. And be ready.” While those are very inspirational words, Pelosi could have done with taking them a little more to…


The Revolving Door Between Fox News And The White House

The New Yorker Radio Hour (3/5/19) Donald Trump has made no secret of his great admiration for Fox News—which he praises by tweet nearly constantly—and his disdain for other, “fake news” outlets that he regards as “the enemy of the people.” But the closeness of the relationship between Fox News and the White House is unprecedented in modern times, Jane Mayer tells David Remnick. In a recent article, Mayer, a staff writer since 1995, analyzes a symbiotic relationship that boosts both Trump’s poll numbers and Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line. “I was trying to figure out who sets the tune that everybody plays…


Trump Appeared To Be Losing His Mind During His Delusional CPAC Speech — Why Didn’t Media Cover It That Way?

  By Amanda Marcotte Salon (3/4/19) On Saturday [3/2], Donald Trump was scheduled to give a speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). What the audience got, however, can hardly be described as a speech. Instead, Trump unleashed a two-hour-plus rant that sounded at times, more like the delusional ramblings of someone hopped up on drugs or suffering a mental breakdown than anything resembling a normal political speech. If that sounds like an exaggeration informed by partisan bias — seriously, it’s not. Trump kicked the thing off by hugging the American flag, and that might have been the least…


The Big Obstacle For Bernie Isn’t DNC “Rigging” – It’s Media Trashing

  [Editor’s Note: Norman Soloman may be a tad optimistic about the dem party and Bernie, but he is spot on regarding the media. A CNN panel this past weekend was blatantly biased against Sanders. –Mark L.Taylor] By Norman Solomon Reader Supported News (3/4/19) Some people are attached to the idea that the Democratic National Committee will “rig” the presidential nomination against Bernie Sanders. The meme encourages the belief that the Bernie 2020 campaign is futile because of powerful corporate Democrats. But such fatalism should be discarded. As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and…


Three Revelations From The New Yorker’s Explosive Article On The Fox News/Trump Connection

By Tessa Stuart Rolling Stone (3/4/19) Fox News and the Trump White House: a seamlessly integrated human centipede. Want proof? Look no further than the fact that Bill Shine, current White House communications director and the former president of Fox News, collects checks from both shops. (Shine, who resigned from Fox after the network was rocked by a series of sexual misconduct scandals, is still being paid out the remainder of a $7 million bonus.) Hope Hicks, who preceded Shine in his government gig, now works at his old network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox. In her latest piece for “It’s…


Mainstream Media Silent As Trump Deports Groups Of Southeast Asian Refugees

Thousands of Southeast Asian refugees, are in a state of devastating limbo.  [Editor’s Note: Given the sizable Hmong population in La Crosse and the Twin Cities, this is an issue to pay attention to. — Mark L. Taylor] By Huiying B Chan Daily Kos (1/24/19) The National Week of Action to End Southeast Asian Deportations began on Saturday, Jan. 19. Thirteen organizations across the country are uniting in 15 cities to uplift Southeast Asian-American communities as they continue to be terrorized by mass deportations and incarceration. These grassroots groups are calling on local leaders and Congress to champion policies to protect immigrants and refugees and end…


Tired Of Winning, Yet? Trump’s Trade War Cost U.S. More Than $3 Billion A Month, Economists Report

Companies in America purchasing imported products pay the tariffs, and most if not all of those costs are typically passed onto U.S. consumers who buy the products.  By Mary Papenfuss HuffPost (3/4/19) President Donald Trump’s trade war cost American businesses and consumers  $3 billion a month last year in higher prices, according to a study by top economists. The U.S. “experienced substantial increases in the prices of … goods, dramatic changes to its supply-chain network, reductions in availability of imported varieties, and complete pass-through of the tariffs into domestic prices of imported goods,” noted the study issued Saturday by economists from the…