FEATURE

Our Escalating War Against Our Children

    By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/19/18) Since its founding the citizens of the United States have been quite comfortable with the killing and mass slaughter of other peoples’ children. From the ongoing genocide of the Native American population through violence, disease and introduced addictions on to the wars of empire waged in Cuba, Mexico, the Philippines, Central America, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. We continue to kill other peoples’ children with the casual selective blindness of industrialized for-profit warfare in Iraq (where our mercenaries continue to operate) and Yemin (where we supply the Saudi military with cluster…

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After Last Week’s Insanity We Need The Dalai Lama’s Guide To Happiness

  amillionsmilesmovie (10/8/13) This video looks at ‘Buddhism and Happiness’, as we ask are they a match made in heaven or something else? This eight minute epic reveals some incredible insights into human behaviour and values that impact our happiness, particularly in this materialistic Western life so many are living, or reaching for. The Dalai Lama’s talk is from his ‘the quest for happiness’ public talk in Adelaide during his ‘Beyond Religion’ tour in Australia. While we would have ideally used footage of Tibetan monks in this video, we were unable to and instead used footage from our recent trip…


No Republican Love For Poor & Middle Class This Valentine’s Day

  By Josh Hoxie Other Words (2/7/18) Love is in the air. Or so the marketers want us to believe, as Valentine’s Day ads sweep the nation into a frenzy of buying flowers, greeting cards, and confections to communicate our affection. Washington is less forthcoming with the adoration, especially for working people. You’re probably tired of hearing about the tax plan passed by Congress late last year. If not, just wait for the media barrage coming your way from the Republican donor class, which is guaranteed to make the Super Bowl Tide ads look like child’s play. In case you…


How Rich Are The Filthy Rich? If Only You Knew

  By Gil B. Manzon Jr. The Conversation (2/5/18) “If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” Actor and comedian Chris Rock made this astute statement during a 2014 interview with New York magazine, referring to the yawning gap between rich and poor. In so doing, he stumbled upon a key challenge in the study of inequality. What’s the best way to measure it? Most inequality studies have focused on income – measures of which are widely available. However, being rich is not about a single year of earnings but rather about the accumulation of wealth…


The Clock Is Ticking — ‘Blood Clot’ Dem Leadership Not Up To The Tumputin March To Fascism

By Harvey “Sluggo” Wasserman Reader Supported News (2/3/18) The partisan uproar over the release of the infamous Nunes memo on FBI surveillance MUST be accompanied by the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns. If Trump is to be consistent about openness in government and the public’s right to critical information, releasing his tax returns is the least he can do in conjunction with this attack on the FBI. But of course that would be too much to ask of this White House, which has long since established itself as a fascist regime that hates democracy and is consistent only in…


“The Devil’s Chessboard” — Interview With Author David Talbot On The Evil History Of The CIA

  “Writing is fighting.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/1/18) Author David Talbot’s “The Devil’s Chessboard” (2015) provides an intriguing and necessary “counternarrative” to understanding American history since World War II. Talbot’s in-depth reporting exposes the bloodied cutting edge of the darkest wing of the Wall Street oligarchy. It is the nepotism and incestuous American secret corporate state that has led the nation into a parade of bloody and completely failed wars, coups and international murder and torture. From Central America to Vietnam, to Africa and the Middle East and Afghanistan the trail of bloody American failure and…


Donald Trump Is Worming His Way Deep Into Your Brain, Linguist Warns. SAD!

  By Mary Papenfuss The HuffPost (1/22/18) President Donald Trump is colonizing our brains with his drumbeat of repetitive words and phrases, an American linguist warns. According to George Lakoff, an emeritus professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, constant repetitions actually create physical changes in our brains by forging stronger connections in our neural pathways, “Language activates an idea and a circuitry in your brain. Every time a circuit is activated, its synapses get stronger,” Lakoff told Deutsche-Welle in an interview published Sunday. In other words, the more you hear things — and say things — the stronger the…


George Lakoff: The Power Of Positive Persistence

  By George Lakoff George Lakoff’s Website (1/24.18) Like some foreign dictator, the Republican in the White House will launch a planned attack on the free press today. But he’s been in an ongoing campaign against the truth since Day One. It’s alarming because presidents don’t act this way. Dictators do. And there’s evidence to suggest that the Republican president’s constant attacks on the news media have encouraged dictators in other countries to continue their repression of journalists. There’s a place for angry response and outrage. That’s only human. But we also need strategic action to make sure every passing day fuels…


Biographer David Cay Johnston: Trump Is Determined To Provoke War To Draw Focus From Racist & Erratic Behavior

  Democracy Now! (1/18/18) The New York Times reports that the Pentagon is proposing widening the permissible use of nuclear weapons to include responding to cyberattacks and other non-nuclear attacks to U.S. infrastructure. The Pentagon has already outlined this expanded nuclear strategy in a draft document sent to President Trump for approval. It comes amid a “After all, what helps strengthen your position if you’re a dictator-in-waiting, which is what Donald is, but some kind of incident that will stir the public and focus people away from his crazy, racist, uninformed, ignorant behavior?” series of moves by the Pentagon and…


Group Of Quisling Democrats Just Handed Trump More Domestic Surveillance Powers. They Should Know Better.

  By Trevor Timm NBC News (1/11/18) Democrats have been all over the airwaves recently accusing Donald Trump of abusing the Justice Department to go after his political enemies —most notably his former opponent Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, which the Department of Justice is reportedly currently investigating based on allegation made during the 2016 presidential campaign. So you’d think they would oppose handing Donald Trump any more power with which he could potentially use against all sorts of Americans who attract negative attention from his administration. Yet, with the help of some Democrats, the House of Representatives voted today — and the…


Perverting The Language: How The Media Protects A Man Unfit For Office

  By Robert Reich Robert Reich’s Blog (1/12/18) Now that Trump has been president for almost a year, it’s time the media called his behavior for what it is rather than try to normalize it. Here are the six most misleading media euphemisms for conduct unbecoming a president: 1. Calling Trump’s tweets “presidential “statements” or “press releases.” “The President is the President of the United States, so they’re considered official statements by the President of the United States,” Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, said last June when asked during his daily briefing how his tweets should be characterized Wrong. Trump’s tweets are…


Sure, Trump May Be Stupid, Incurious & Lazy But There Is One Way He Is An Absolute Genius

  By Robert Reich RobertReich.org (1/6/18) For more than a year now, I’ve been hearing from people in the inner circles of official Washington – GOP lobbyists, Republican pundits, even a few Republican members of Congress – that Donald Trump is remarkably stupid. I figured they couldn’t be right because really stupid people don’t become presidents of the United States. Even George W. Bush was smart enough to hire smart people to run his campaign and then his White House. Several months back when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “f—king moron,” I discounted it. I know firsthand how frustrating…


Republicans Twist Language When They Say ‘Reforms’ But Really Mean ‘Cuts’

By Jared Bernstein The Washington Post (12/29/17) I have a simple request to journalists, columnist, pundits, and others writing about forthcoming efforts of Republicans to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the anti-poverty programs that make up our safety net. Call such efforts “cuts.” Do not call them “reforms,” “changes,” “overhauls,” “fixes,” “reshaping,” “modernizing,” or any other euphemism that could easily be misconstrued. At least, do not do so without also clearly defining what they really are, which is cuts. While D.C. insiders speak the unique creole of our swamp, there’s no reason to expect general readers to intuitively understand…


How’s This For A New Years Resolution? The Democratic Party Is Yours. Take It

This and unionizing your workplace are good new year’s resolutions, if you don’t have one already. By Hamilton Noah Splinter News (12/29/17) Are you discouraged by our national political nightmare? Looking for a project for the new year? Great: Your local Democratic Party, which may not be worth a damn today, is just waiting for you to revive it. Do you live in “red” America? Are you surrounded by Trump voters? Have you spent the past year asking yourself what dark stroke of fate has plunged you into this nightmarish world, making you question whether your friends and neighbors are…


DEA Operation Played Hidden Role In Disappearance Of Five Innocent Mexicans

  The agency knew why the victims were kidnapped in 2010 by the Zetas drug cartel from a Holiday Inn in Mexico, but it did nothing to investigate or help. By Ginger Thompson ProPublica (12/21/17) At about 2 a.m. on April 21, 2010, a convoy of gunmen working for the Zetas drug cartel, one of the most violent drug trafficking organizations in the world, rolled into Monterrey, Mexico, a wealthy, bustling city considered that country’s commercial capital. With brazen efficiency, they set up roadblocks at all major thoroughfares, then sent a convoy of sport utility vehicles downtown, encircling a Holiday…


Virginia’s New Socialist Lawmaker Calls Out Noodle Spine Dem Governor-Elect On Health Care

  By Zaid Jilani The Intercept (12/23/17) DEMOCRATS IN VIRGINIA and around the country rebuked Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam for softening on a campaign promise to push for Medicaid expansion in a recent interview with the Washington Post. Newly elected state Delegate Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialist, says enough is enough, warning that Northam may be alienating the Democrats who put him in office. Northam told the Washington Post last weekend that he will not try to force a vote on expanding Medicaid — an issue that was central to his campaign — in the legislature. Responding to criticisms, the governor-elect’s spokesperson told the Washington Post that Northam still wants to expand the…


SLURS: Three Republican Lies About The Poor Being Used To Support Slashing US Safety Net

  By Michele Gillman The Conversation (12/13/17) Republicans continue to use long-debunked myths [lies] about the poor as they defend lower taxes for the rich and deep cuts to the social safety netto pay for them. In so doing, they are essentially expressing scorn for working class and low-income Americans. Sen. Chuck Grassley, for example, recently justified reducing the number of wealthy families exposed to the estate tax as a way to recognize “the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Similarly, Sen. Orrin Hatch raised concerns about funding certain entitlement…


Bipartisan Stupidity & Blindness Have Destroyed Whatever Democracy The US Ever Had

Our Clueless Leader By Dave Lindorff Counter Punch (12/15/17) Okay, somebody has to say this, so it might as well be me. The American political system exists as it is because of two reasons: 1) The majority of Republican voters are either incredibly ignorant or are simply incredibly selfish, and 2)  The majority of Democratic voters are so blinded by their fear of Republicans that they will vote for the most puerile, manipulative, deceitful, greedy and/or feckless candidates, as long as they are Democrats, and will re-elect them even after having been betrayed by them time and time again. There, I’ve…


Paul Ryan’s Primary Challenger Pushes Ugly White Nationalist Ideology & Coded Nazi Language

  (Editor’s Note: While his ideology and racist language may be crude, don’t underestimate the potential impact of far right Paul Ryan primary challenger Paul Nehlen. In the 2016 election he produced a powerful campaign video and his campaign website is slick. Clearly he has a lot of money behind him – his or others. – Mark L. Taylor) By Christopher Mathias The HuffPost (12/16/17) HuffPost asked Paul Nehlen three times by email this week if he considers himself a white nationalist. Twice Nehlen dodged the question. The third time he didn’t respond. The Wisconsin Republican is running to replace House Speaker Paul…


CARTOON: How Rep. Ron Kind Chose To Observe Today’s 5th Anniversary Of The Sandy Hook Slaughter Of Innocent Children & Teachers

  Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (12/14/17) On Dec. 6 Wisconsin’s Democratic Rep. Ron Kind Voted For The National Rifle Association’s ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017’, Which Overrides State & Local Protections From Handgun Violence. In many states, including Wisconsin, concealed carry gun permits are easier to get than a drivers license. Two states encourage mail-in orders for concealed carry gun permits from non-residents. Few states require permit holders to pass any kind of rigorous, real-world training and evaluation of gun handling skills and judgment. On December 6 Rep. Ron Kind joined his close pal republican Rep. Paul…


Time Again To Remember 20 Lessons From The 20th Century On How To Survive In Trump’s America

    (Editor’s Note: Periodically we post Timothy Snyder’s ’20 Lessons’ as a powerful reminder of how to survive the growing fascism of Trump’s America. With the passage of the Republican tax scam for the super wealthy next year we can expect gutting of Medicare, Social Security and other programs Americans depend upon. The need for organizing, action and lighting a fire under the ass of the corporate democrats will be greater than ever. Stay awake. Stay strong. Resist the bastards. – Mark L. Taylor) By Tim Snyder In These Times (10/21/17) This article first appeared as a post on…


Dunderhead: Rewiring The Dull, Primitive, Slumbering, Antiscientific Democratic Party Brain With George Lakoff

By Melissa Batchelor Warnke San Francisco Magazine (12/1/17) “Democrats are basically science deniers,” George Lakoff says. “They’re denying the truth discovered in neuroscience and cognitive science.” Harsh words, coming from a lifelong liberal Democrat. But the famed UC Berkeley cognitive linguist thinks his party desperately needs a wake-up call. If they’d listened to him, he says, Donald Trump would not be president. As the election approached, Lakoff was looking forward to retirement. He’d been a professor at Berkeley for the better part of 50 years; he’d published countless peer-reviewed papers; he’d written or coauthored a dozen books. And he’d made a mark…


The Humane & Affordable Luxury Of Socialized Medicine

  By Megan Day Jacobin Magazine The standard case for a single-payer health insurance system is pretty well known. Anyone can get care without courting financial ruin. Monumental personal decisions, like when to have a child or whether to leave or take a job, no longer hinge on the whims of an employer or the dysfunctions of the private insurance market. Surprise hospital bills, endless phone calls with insurance companies, juggling premiums, copays, and deductibles — all will be things of the past. The case against single-payer often boils down to a single word: rationing. When critics peddle scare stories about Canadian or…


With Roy Moore, Republicans Fully Embrace & Own The Ugliest Political Poster Boy, Ever

  “He totally denies it. He said it didn’t happen.” – Donald J. Trump Oh, okay, Don… By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/27/17) There is a very real chance that an accused multiple child sex offender is going to be elected to the United States Senate on a Republican ticket. A man, who, in his 30’s was banned from the local mall because of his reported predatory hitting on teenage sales girls. The behavior by the young assistant district attorney – who, obviously, should have known better – was so troubling it freaked out the community. With a…


As Republicans Scramble To Hand Massive Tax Cuts To Their Billionaire Owners, States Notify Parents Of 9 Million Children They Will Lose Their Health Insurance Unless Congress Acts

  Republicans At Work: Forget The Kids, It’s Time To Hand Out Huge Tax Cuts For Billionaires! By Colby Itkowitz & Sandhya Somashekhar The Washington Post (11/24/17) fficials in nearly a dozen states are preparing to notify families that a crucial health insurance program for low-income children is running out of money for the first time since its creation two decades ago, putting coverage for many at risk by the end of the year. Congress missed a Sept. 30 deadline to extend funding for CHIP, as the Children’s Health Insurance Program is known. Nearly 9 million youngsters and 370,000 pregnant…


Worse Than You Thought: New Report Details ’13 Terrible Things’ About Senate GOP Tax Scam

Americans for Tax Fairness warns that the bill gives most of the tax cuts to the richest 1%, makes 82 million middle-class families pay more in taxes, and endangers funding for public services. Common Dreams Staff (11/21/17) Amid mounting efforts to block the Republican Party’s latest attempts to cut taxes for the nation’s corporations and wealthiest families, a new report out Tuesday details 13 “terrible things” about the most recent GOP tax bill put forth in the U.S. Senate. The analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF)—a campaign of more than 425 national, state, and local groups that advocate for progressive tax…


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,…


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…


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…


‘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…


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;…


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…


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…


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…