FEATURE

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;…

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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…


There’s More CO2 In The Atmosphere Now Than Any Point In Almost A Million Years

  The World (10/30/17) Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2016. The concentration of the heat-trapping gas is higher than it’s been in at least 800,000 years, including all of human history.30/17) That’s the word from the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization. The WMO says last year’s CO2 spike was 50 percent greater than the average increase over the past decade, which Petteri Taalas, the organization’s secretary-general, says is very bad news. “This is demonstrating that we are not moving in the right direction at all,” Taalas said at a news conference Monday from the WMO’s home…


Autopsy: What Killed The Democratic Party?

A bracing autopsy of the 2016 election—and a plan for revitalization. By Wlliam Greider The Nation (10/30/17) The Democratic Party lost just about everything in 2016, but so far it has offered only evasive regrets and mild apologies. Instead of acknowledging gross failure and astounding errors, the party’s leaders and campaign professionals wallowed in self-pity and righteous indignation. The true villains, they insisted, were the wily Russians and the odious Donald Trump, who together intruded on the sanctity of American democracy and tampered with the election results. Official investigations are now under way. While the country awaits the verdict, a…


Majority Of Dems Want To Ditch Tired Leadership & Move Left; They’re Right

  By Richard Eskow Campain for America’s Future (10/31/17) A new poll shows that most Democratic voters want the party to move left, with new people in charge. In other words, they want a political revolution. They’ve got the right idea. If the party establishment thinks Robert Mueller’s investigation will save it, it’s probably wrong. After President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew were both removed from office for malfeasance, Jimmy Carter barely eked out a win in 1976. Four years later, Ronald Reagan’s victory ushered in 12 years of Republican leadership in the White House. That’s a lesson for today’s…


Podcast: The Plague Of Fascism Darkening America

    By Christopher Lydon Open Source (8/14/17) It’s plague time in America. We’ve reacquainted ourselves with the wannabe centurions of white supremacy: their faces, their weapons, their torches. We have a new notion of what homegrown American fascism could look like in the 21st century. We can see it all too clearly here in Vice‘s low-light reel from Charlottesville. The sense of a dreaded illness engulfs us, as the classic novel of Europe’s 20th century fascist breakdown warned us. Albert Camus’ Plague closes on the doctor’s note that the germ of our problem never dies or disappears: “it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars,…


The (Much Needed) Bruising Liberal-Left Divide Reshaping American Politics

  By Pete Davis The Guardian (10/26/17) It has been almost a year since the catastrophic election of Donald Trump. In his first year in office, the president has governed as cruelly and ineptly as his critics predicted. But while anti-Trump sentiment has never been more fierce and widespread, his political opponents are more divided than ever. And this faultline – which has parallels in Britain with divisions among the Labour party – could, if left unaddressed, compromise efforts to resist and defeat Trumpism. Roughly speaking, these two sides could be characterised as the “populist wing” and the “establishment wing” of the…


They Can’t Handle The Truth: Ron Kind’s ‘Third Way’ Comes To Wisconsin, Heard What It Wanted To Hear And Continues With It’s Clinton Corporate Delusions

  The researchers had somehow found their premise perfectly illustrated. Their journey to Trump’s America had done nothing to unsettle their preconceptions. By Molly Ball The Atlantic (10/23/17) It was the hippies who drove Nancy Hale over the edge. She had spent three days listening respectfully to the real people of Middle America, and finally she couldn’t take it any longer. She turned off the tape recorder and took several deep breaths, leaning back in the passenger seat of the rented GMC Yukon. The sun had just come out from behind a mass of clouds, casting a gleam on the rain-soaked…


The Question For Democrats: Should They Be True To Their Progressive Roots, Or Owned By Wall Street?

Identity crisis… By Harvey J. Kaye Common Dreams (10/24/17) Halloween is coming and fear mongering seems to be the order of the day — not just on the part of Republicans, but apparently no less so on the part of “centrist” and conservative Democrats who are expressing growing anxiety about offending big donors who see politics not as the pursuit of justice but as the pursuit of their interests. Douglas Schoen, said to have been Bill Clinton’s favorite pollster during his presidency, has taken to the op-ed page of The New York Times to warn center-right party members and friends that ‘all Hell will…


History Dem Party Rulers Don’t Want You To Know: Today’s Progressives Need To Know The Courage Of Visionary Henry A. Wallace

  “The greatest remedy for fear is to stand up and fight for your rights.”  – Henry A. Wallace By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (10/26/17) In one of the most tragic pivot points in American – and world – history, Henry A. Wallace, FDR’s strong and visionary progressive vice president from 1941-1944 was elbowed aside in 1948 by the party’s corporate wing in favor of machine pol Harry S. Truman. What the democratic party Clinton/Obama establishment did to Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election was a replay of the nightmarish duplicity and mugged dreams and betrayed promise of 1948….


The GOP Robbing Hoods Of The State Legislature Have Slammed The Doors Of Open Government Shut

Like a coven of blood sucking vampires, our state representatives are afraid of sunshine’s truth revealing power. What, a citizen might wonder, goes wrong when lobbyists and our representatives are hiding in the darkness away from the view of the electorate? By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (10/23/17)   Wisconsin Open Meetings Law Wis. Stat. § 19.81 (2016) .  Declaration of policy(1) In recognition of the fact that a representative government of the American type is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be the policy of this state that the public is entitled to the fullest and…


Rigged For The 1%: The Republican Budget Is A ‘Huuge’ Unearned Hand Out To Billionaires

It’s Robin Hood in reverse. By Sen. Bernie Sanders The Guardian (10/16/17) After failing to pass a “healthcare” bill that would have thrown up to 32 million Americans off of health insurance, a bill that was more unpopular than the Wall Street bailout, Donald Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress are back. Now, they are pushing one of the most destructive and unfair budget and tax proposals in the modern history of our country – a plan that would do incalculable harm to tens of millions of working families, our kids, the sick, the elderly and the poor. The…


The Empire Comes Home: The Militarization Of American Cities Leads To Shredding Of Rights

  By Danny Sjursen TomDispach (10/12/17) “This… thing, [the War on Drugs] this ain’t police work… I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors… running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts… pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your f**king enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you’re supposed to be policing, that’s just occupied territory.” — Major “Bunny” Colvin, season three of HBO’s The Wire I can remember both so well. 2006: my first raid in South Baghdad. 2014: watching on YouTube…


Lessons & Healing From The Front Lines Of Anti-Colonial Pipeline Resistance

  By James Rowe and Mike Simpson Nation of Change (10/9/17) The Standing Rock standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline was a reminder that colonization, and resistance to it, both exist in the present tense. Fossil fuel pipelines that despoil indigenous lands and waters have become key flashpoints in long-standing anti-colonial resistance. An important precursor and inspiration for the Standing Rock camp is an indigenous occupation in northern British Columbia, Canada. For the past eight years, the Unist’ot’en clan have reoccupied their traditional territory. When the camp began in 2009, seven pipelines had been proposed to cross their territory, as well as…


The Man Who Knew Too Much: Heroic Whistleblower Thomas Drake Has Some Blunt News For Americans

“I shiver with the conversations I have had with people from the 1930’s. They talk about the siren call of authority and order … everything seemed normal…” Real News Network (8/7/15) On Reality Asserts Itself, Mr. Drake says that in the name of national security we are eating out the very heart of democracy; what will be left will be a garrison state. Thomas Andrews Drake (born 1957) is a former senior official of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, computer software expert, linguist, management and leadership specialist, and whistleblower. In…


VIDEO: America’s Mobster President—New Evidence In Dutch Documentary Of Trump’s International Money Laundering Circles

  By Steven Rosenfeld AlterNet (9/29/17) President Trump’s Manhattan properties and business partners, including former Soviet Union-connected oligarchs, were involved in a larger international money-laundering scheme involving upward of $1 billion, according to Dutch filmmakers whose third installment in an investigative series aired on public TV in Holland Wednesday. “We wanted to know in depth how money was transferred from Kazakhstan to the United States and how this could relate to Donald Trump, the Trump Organization and Trump’s real estate,” said Sander Rietveld, director of The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump, Part III: The Multibillion-Dollar Fraud, broadcast on Zembla, a program…


General Motors To Run Ohio, Indiana Factories With 100% Wind Power

    By Greg Alvarez Nation of Change (9/24/17) Last week I predicted it wouldn’t be long before we had more news on Fortune 500 wind power purchases. Well, a whole seven days passed before there were new deals to report. Wind powers the open road for GM General Motors (GM) just announced wind power purchase agreements with projects in Ohio and Illinois. The automaker is buying enough wind-generated electricity to power the Ohio and Indiana factories that build the Chevrolet Cruze and Silverado, and the GMC Sierra. “Technology is driving solutions for mobility and safety in our vehicles, as well as the new energy solutions that…


Greg Palast: How Hillary Votes Were Suppressed In Wisconsin

    By Greg Palast Greg Palast’s Facebook Page (9/29/17) A new study estimates that at least 5.2% of voting-eligible registered voters in Wisconsin were prevented from voting in the 2016 presidential election because of new ID requirements. The number rises to 8% among low-income registrants. It’s also worth noting that even more were deterred: 7.2% of nonvoting registrants earning above $25K per year and a whopping 21.1% of those earning below $25K per year. But, far, far worse than the ID law was the study’s finding that other vote suppression tactics meant that voters were blocked at the polling…


If The Democrats Want To Grow They Better Not Assume Millennial Voters Will Just Fall Into Place

  (Editor’s Note: Memo to Dems – Stand up for real, fundamental, bold progressive reforms. Millennials aren’t chumps. – Mark L. Taylor) By Hannah Hartig, John Lapinski & Stephanie Perry NBCNews.com (9/27/17) Millennials overwhelmingly disapprove of the way President Donald Trump is handling his job and they don’t have a favorable view of the Republican Party. But Democrats shouldn’t celebrate just yet, according to results from the first NBC News/GenForward Survey. A majority of millennials, 64 percent, disapprove of Trump’s job performance, while 58 percent said they have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party. The survey was conducted Aug. 31-Sept….


Could Two Petulant, Sniping Tween Boys REALLY Hold The Fate Of The World In Their Teensy, Weensy Hands?

  By Tom H. Hastings Nation of Change (9/22/17) First Donald Trump, inexplicably in the ill-fitting role of the President of the United States of America, threatens to go totally criminal, to “totally destroy” North Korea. This violates international laws to which past US presidents have signed and far better US Senates have ratified. Killing civilians. Shooting rockets into cities. Committing genocide. All totally immoral and illegal. Then the Spoiled Brat Ruler of North Korea responds: ‘I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.’ How, how on God’s green Earth could humankind have permitted us to be in…


How Bad Could Things Get? We Are On The Dark Edge Of Official Violence

By Todd Gitlin Bill Moyers and Company (8/8/17) “This country is going so far to the right you’re not going to recognize it.” Those memorable words were uttered by Richard Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, who proved to be off by almost 50 years. But he and other Nixon cronies, however premature in their timetables, were establishing precedents for today’s worst case scenarios. We have to ask: Which elements of the state-sponsored violence of the ’60s and early ’70s are ready for revival and renewal? What new wrinkles in constitutional crisis might be in the works? Just how far to the…


Scotty’s Big Con: Wisconsin’s Foxconn Deal Enriches Billionaires With Taxpayer Cash

  By Sam Pizzigati Common Dreams (8/28/17) Taiwanese billionaire Terry Gou every once in a while likes to think “outside the box.” Back in 2010, for instance, the giant electronics manufacturer that Gou runs — Foxconn — was facing what corporate flacks like to call a major “PR problem.” Working conditions inside Foxconn’s massive Chinese factories had become so incredibly stressful that workers were committing suicide in shockingly large numbers. They were leaping out factory windows to their deaths. And what did Gou’s Foxconn do to try to calm the worldwide outrage? The conventional corporate move would have been to dial back the…


Democratic Socialism In 5 Minutes Or Less

  By Dayton Martindale In These Times (8/24/17) dem·o·crat·ic so·cial·ism – noun The political philosophy of In These Times’ founders, who in their first editorial proclaimed: “Our overriding commitment is to democracy, to socialism as the means to its attainment, and to the inseparability of the two.” “Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.” —Martin Luther King, Jr. in a 1965 speech to the Negro American Labor Council So What Does That Actually Entail? Ask any two socialists and you’ll likely get different answers. Ask any…


Warning From A WW II Veteran: In 1939, I Didn’t Hear War Coming. Now It’s Thundering Approach Can’t Be Ignored

The 1933 burning of the Reichstagg was the tipping point to the Nazis taking full reign of the German government. A lot of evidence suggests that the Polish communist convicted of the arson was a patsy and the Nazis themselves torched the building to trigger a crisis justifying suspension of normal civic rules and protections.   By Harry Leslie Smith The Guardian (8/14/17) A chill of remembrance has come over me during this August month. It feels as if the 2017 summer breeze is being scattered by the winds of war blowing from across our world towards Britain, just like…


Want Affordble, Universal Health Care? Then Change The Debate & Redefine Solution

  By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (8/26/17) One of my heroes, Paul Wellstone, used to say: “In the last analysis, politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.” Imagine a country where you go to the doctor, he treats you, and the bill gets paid for by your tax dollars. We can create that world if we lead! It is time to stop worrying about labels. It…


Mike McCabe: Ignoring Citizenship Education Both Betrays The Founders & Places Nation At Risk

  By Mike McCabe Blue Jean Nation (8/21/17) If you take the long view of history, our school system has strayed far from its roots. What today are called public schools originally were known as common schools. Central to the mission of common schools was making democracy possible. In 1779 Thomas Jefferson proposed providing basic education to the masses. Civic literacy was at the heart of Jefferson’s plan. He emphasized the study of history as a means of cultivating moral and civic virtues and enabling the masses to know and exercise their rights and duties. To Jefferson, schooling’s purpose was…


Be VERY Careful What You Ask For: People Cheer Companies Kicking Nazis Off The Internet. But Who’s Next?

  By Jessica Shulberg The HuffPost (8/18/17) WASHINGTON ― The Daily Stormer, a website started by a neo-Nazi, has promoted racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynistic content since it was founded in 2013. But this week, after a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, several tech companies effectively kicked the site off the internet. Some of the companies that stopped doing business with The Daily Stormer argued that the website violated their terms of service by inciting violence, which major internet companies prohibit. But a CEO at of one of those firms sent an email to staffers on Wednesday that frankly…


Shades Of Things To Come To All Of Us: Despite Low Crime Rates, Miami Police Expand Their Use Of Military Vehicles & Weaponry

‘Scairdy Cat Nation By Matthew MacEgan World Socialist Web Site (8/11/17) An investigative report appearing in a Miami newspaper, the New Times, provides details about the Miami-Dade Police Department’s expanded use of military-grade equipment vehicles on an everyday basis. The MDPD announced Monday that they will begin “randomly” sending out their “rapid deployment force” to various county buildings, as well as public transit stops. In Monday’s press release, MDPD stated, “In keeping with our ongoing homeland security initiatives, the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) today begins its Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) as an enhanced security presence to deter threats to critical infrastructure sites…


Naomi Klein: War May Be The Next Big Venture On Trump’s Menu

  By Adria Vasil NOW Toronto (8/18/17 Breaking down the shell game behind U.S. politics is activist journalist Naomi Klein’s specialty. In her latest book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting The New Shock Politics And Winning The World We Need, Klein warns, six months into Donald Trump’s dizzying presidency, not to take our eyes off the kleptocracy-in-the-making behind the reality freak show in Washington. Namely, the corporate CEOs, billionaires and bankers busily using the cover of endless crises in American politics to launch a coup of their own against the welfare state. What we’re seeing from the Corbyn and Sanders camps…


WDRT Interview: ‘Commoner Call’ Editor Mark Taylor & Contributing Columnist Dan Peak Talk Politics & Current Events

WDRT (7/22/17) The Commoner Call editor and web site’s “Russia Monitor” columnist Dan Peak have a wide-ranging conversation about a variety of political and current events topics on the appropriately named “Conversations” WDRT 91.9 weekly broadcast. WDRT is a local community based and supported alternative radio station, and located on Main Street in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Link to 59-Minute Audio  


The Lesson Of The Oak Creek Massacre: Hate Lost

The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. To learn more: sikhtempleofwisconsin.com   By Christopher Mathias The HuffPost (8/5/17) OAK CREEK, Wis. — On a tragic day at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin five years ago, the doors were unlocked, as they often were. Today, visitors and congregants must buzz to get inside. Still, all are welcome and encouraged to set up a visit to the temple, including people who aren’t Sikh. There’s a box of head coverings ― square cloths in a variety of colors and designs, including the Stars and Stripes ― for visitors to wear. Delicious and freshly cooked food…


Whither Our Future: Orwell Or Huxley? It May Well Be That Huxley Was Right

  Social critic Neil Postman contrasted the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:   “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us….


$3 Billion Foxconn Corporate Welfare Bill Includes $10M Giveaway For Walker & GOP Pal Fiserv

  Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (8/2/17) A bill that would provide $3 billion in state giveaways for Foxconn to locate a manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin also includes millions in tax breaks for a big campaign contributor to Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The bill, which is expected to be considered by the legislature this month, includes $10 million in tax breaks intended to keep Fiserv, a Brookfield-based company that makes products for banks and credit unions, from relocating its headquarters to another state. The company is considering sites around Milwaukee, but has not ruled out locating its new headquarters outside Wisconsin. Fiserv is a…


This Billionaire Mega-Donor Gets It: The Democrats Need To Push Progressive Agenda

Time’s awasting, Dems!   By  Jake Johnson Common Dreams (7/17/17) As Democrats scramble to form a coherent and inspiring message for the 2018 congressional elections in the face of a historically unpopular president, billionaire Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer argued in a recent interview that they should look no further than the platform of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). While he acknowledged it is “much too early to be talking about 2020,” Steyer nonetheless insisted that Sanders’s ambitious ideas for tackling the various crises facing the United States and the world—from climate change to staggering inequality to a dysfunctional healthcare system—offer the Democrats a blueprint for victory. “When people say Bernie is…


Internet Freeze Out Begins: New Google Algorithm Restricts Access To Left-Wing, Progressive Web Sites

By Andre Damon and Niles Niemuth World Socialist Web Site (7/27/17) In the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing “fake news,” the global traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly. On April 25, 2017, Google announced that it had implemented changes to its search service to make it harder for users to access what it called “low-quality” information such as “conspiracy theories” and “fake news.” The company said in a blog post that the central purpose of the change to its search algorithm…


As American Injustice Climbs: States Conspire To Break & Muzzle Dissent

TheCommonerCall.org   By Chip Gibbons Jacobin (7/20/17) On January 20, 2017, as Donald Trump assumed the presidency after his surprise victory months before, many were anxious about what lay ahead. Throughout his campaign the reality TV star turned presidential contender had repeatedly shown his deep-seated authoritarian tendencies. Before, during, and after Trump was sworn in, on the streets of Washington DC, authoritarianism was on full display. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) deployed flash grenades, tear gas, and “stingers” against protesters. Early in the day the MPD engaged in kettling, an intimidation tactic in which police pen in everyone in a…


VIDEO: Thomas Frank Lays Out How The Democrats From Bill Clinton On Handed America Over To The Republicans

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (7/31/17) Thomas Frank gives a free-wheeling talk on the recent history and current state of the Democratic Party. He also has a good conversation with the audience that really gives an understanding of how the bumbling democrats keep missing the message and, through that, continue their losing ways. The interview was from the middle of the 2016 election tornado before the primaries sealed America’s fate. If the democratic party is ever going to return to power the lessons Frank outlines must not only be learned but acted on in a way to…


The ‘Devil’s Chessboard’ – Allen Dulles, The CIA & The Rise Of The Secret Corporate State

  (Editor’s Note: David Talbot’s book on the role of the CIA in transforming our government into a branch office of Wall Street interests is an important book. This article will lead you to excerpts. I recommend the book highly to Commoner Call readers. – Mark L. Taylor) By Russ Baker WhoWhatWhy (7/26/17) Exactly 70 years ago today [7/26/17], President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff — and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Sixteen years later — just one month after the Kennedy assassination…



Pony Up, Suckers: While Millions Go Without Basic Health Care, Taxpayers Pick Up The Tab For Trump Family Greed

By Brooke Seipel The Hill (4/14/17) The Secret Service has spent more than $35,000 on golf cart rentals at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort since his inauguration, CBS News reported Friday, as Trump begins another weekend in Florida. CBS News reported that it had reviewed purchase orders showing $35,185 in costs for renting golf carts during Trump’s frequent visits to Palm Beach, Fla. The president has played several rounds of golf at Trump-branded clubs, including in Florida and Virginia. Trump has come under fire for his frequent trips, which current estimates show have cost more than $20 million — nearly the amount President Obama spent on travel in…