FEATURE

Duplicitous FBI Has A Long, Murderous History Of Targeting Black Activists. That’s Still True Today

The most apparent protest violence that falls within the FBI’s jurisdiction is not coming from BLM activists or antifa, but from police. By Mike German The Guardian (6/26/20) Throughout its history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has viewed Black activism as a potential national security threat. It has used its ample investigative powers not to suppress violence, but to inhibit the speech and association rights of Black activists. And its reaction to the protests following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd shows little has changed. In October 1919, a young J Edgar Hoover, director of the Bureau…

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MLK Identified ‘America’s Triplets’ — Racism, Yes, But What About Our Militarism & Materialism?

We are now a nation of citizen-consumers, held in thrall to the extreme materialism that Dr. King decried. By Andrew Bacevich TomDispatch (6/23/20) In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Americans are finally—or is it once again?—confronting the racism that afflicts this country and extends into just about every corner of our national life. Something fundamental just might be happening. Yet to state the obvious, we’ve been here before. Mass protests in response to racial inequality and discrimination, including police brutality, have been anything but unknown in the United States. Much the same can be said of riots targeting black…


The Classic ‘Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes’ Anti-Racism Exercise

  Witness History / BBC (6/19/20) When Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, US school teacher, Jane Elliott, decided to try to teach her all-white class about racism. She decided to segregate them according to the colour of their eyes, and treated them differently. Although controversial from the start, the “blue eyes/brown eyes” teaching exercise has been adapted in schools and workplaces for diversity training ever since. Jane Elliott has been explaining to Rebecca Kesby why she still thinks the model has value today in defeating racial prejudice. Link To 9-Minute Audio  


Want To Defeat Trump Without Campaigning For Biden? Here’s How

By David Duhalde In These Times (6/17/20) The mainstream media made hay over the Democratic Socialists of America’s (DSA) commitment to endorsing no one but Bernie Sanders for president. Despite the DSA’s public statement recognizing Donald Trump as a global threat, the organization will not back Joe Biden. Of course, defeating Trump does mean a President Joe Biden (absent some dramatic change), but that still doesn’t mean left-wing groups should endorse by default. In fact, Biden likely doesn’t want our public support. He appears intent on repeating the Clinton 2016 playbook: Rely on a critical mass of progressives to vote against Trump,…


While The Media Reports On Racial Justice, The Daily Brutality Of Economic Injustice Is Ignored

  Corporate capitalism has proven itself to be fully capable of methodical sadism in the pursuit of maximizing profits. [Editor’s Note: It is not a matter of GOP vs Dem or Left vs Right or even Trump vs Biden — it is all about TOP vs BOTTOM.– Mark L. Taylor] By Norman Soloman Reader Supported News (6/10/20) Grassroots outrage and nationwide protests after Minneapolis cops murdered George Floyd have pushed much of U.S. corporate media into focusing on deadly police mistreatment of black people. The coverage is far from comprehensive on the subject of racism in the “criminal justice” system…


Promotion Of New 9/11 Documentary ‘SEVEN’ Airing On PBS

  Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth (6/11/20) PBS affiliates across the country today will begin airing a five-minute version of the new documentary SEVEN directed by Loose Change creator Dylan Avery about the explosive findings of the recently completed University of Alaska Fairbanks study on the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7. The short film, titled Spotlight On: SEVEN, will run for a minimum of three months on up to 200 local PBS stations, reaching at least three million viewers. For those wanting to watch the short film on television, “Spotlight On” programs do not air at scheduled times because they run as needed in…


Big Bank CEOs Want To ‘Listen’ To Black Communities. How About They Just Return Their Stolen Wealth Instead

There’s a whole lot of cheap Wall Street listening going on, but not much doing. By Richard Eskow Common Dreams (6/9/20) Fox News triggered legitimate outrage last week with a graphic showing that the stock market rose after the uprisings that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, the acquittal of Rodney King’s attackers, and the murders of Michael Brown and George Floyd. But Fox performed a public service, too, by revealing an underlying truth about our financialized economy: When it comes to profits, Black lives and Black pain don’t matter at all. In fact, they’re often good for business….


Law n’ Disorder: Confessions Of A Former Bastard Cop

Understand: Police officers are part of the state monopoly on violence and all police training reinforces this monopoly as a cornerstone of police work, a source of honor and pride.  By Officer A. Cab Medium (6/6/20) I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard. We all were. This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a…


If You’re Shocked By Police Violence, You Don’t Understand US History

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, resulting in Floyd’s death, Memorial Day, 2020. The image — and especially the entitled expression on Chauvin’s face — encapsulates the war waged by American law enforcement against African American and other minority citizens since the days of slavery and occupation of Native lands. (Screenshot) The billions of dollars that governments spend on increasingly militarized police can be better used to address the underlying socioeconomic conditions that contribute to police encounters. By Malaika Jabali The Guardian (6/5/20) Amid worldwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, activists around…


James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”

From thepostarchive This is the full audio book of James Baldwin’s the Fire Next Time (1963) read by Jesse L. Martin. It contains two essays: “My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation,” ( 0:00 – 12:00 ) and “Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind” ( 12:00 – ). Check out this playlist of other Baldwin videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair…


The Last Words Of George Floyd: Sign Letter Of Protest

These are the last words of George Floyd, the 46-year-old man who died as Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin pinned him down, kneeling on his neck for seven long, agonizing minutes, until he suffocated: “It’s my face man I didn’t do nothing serious man please please please I can’t breathe please man please somebody please man I can’t breathe I can’t breathe please (inaudible) man can’t breathe, my face just get up I can’t breathe please (inaudible) I can’t breathe sh*t I will I can’t move mama mama I can’t my knee my nuts I’m through I’m through I’m claustrophobic…


Here’s Why You Need To Wear A Damn Mask & Keep Your Distance To Be A Good Neighbor

Could nearly half of those with Covid-19 have no idea they are infected? By David Cox The Guardian (5/30/20) When Noopur Raje’s husband fell critically ill with Covid-19 in mid-March, she did not suspect that she too was infected with the virus. Raje, an oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, had been caring for her sick husband for a week before driving him to an emergency centre with a persistently high fever. But after she herself had a diagnostic PCR test – which looks for traces of the Sars-CoV-2 virus DNA in saliva – she was astounded to find…


How Democrats Are Working Closely With Their Republican Allies To Launch A Corporate Counter-Revolution Against Progressive Reform & The American People

Whatever resistance exists in the nation’s capital, it is so often performance art, rather than anything real. By David Sirota The Guardian (5/26/20) These are bleak days for America’s progressive movement. The Democratic primary process handed the party’s nomination to the candidate with the most conservative record. Corporate-friendly politicians like the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, are using the pandemic to brandish their images and install billionaires to run things. Progressive lawmakers in Congress are being steamrolled, even by their own party’s leadership. And a recession is battering the state and local budgets that fund progressive priorities like education and the social…


Who’s The Bigger American Idiot? The Dunce Or The Fool?

“What everyone from around the world who’s not American that I talk to really means is this. There are two kinds of American Idiot. The dunce, and the fool. The willful one, and the negligent one. There’s the Trumpist — who doesn’t know any better, who’s only known hate, ignorance, fear, and rage: the dunce. But there’s also the fool. The Democrat who votes against healthcare, retirement, education — and should know better. The sophisticated elite — who doesn’t see that America’s an imploding society in every possible way right about now. The New York Times columnist, the CNN anchor, none of…


Thanks To Gerrymander-Coddled Republicans, Wisconsin Now Resembles A Failed State

By Nathan Robinson The Guardian (5/19/20) A failed state is one that can no longer claim legitimacy or perform a government’s core function of protecting the people’s basic security. Lately, the Wisconsin supreme court seems to be doing its level best to make its state qualify for “failed” status. Multiple decisions have both undermined the government’s legitimacy and endangered the people. First, there was the primary. Because voting in person is clearly risky during a pandemic, several states delayed their primaries to make sure everyone was able to mail in a ballot instead of having to go to a polling place. Not…


Is Elon Musk(rat) Really A Genius? Um, No, He’s Just Another Whiny, Self-Important, Hypocritical, Freeloading, Grifting Little Billionaire

Just another freeloading beneficary of taxpayer support, exploitation of workers and big talking record of lying. “F*ck, Elon Musk.” By Mehdi Hasan Deconstructed (5/14/20) OVER THE WEEKEND, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to voice his frustrations about the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown in Alameda County, California. The billionaire entrepreneur threatened that he would take his auto factory to another state if it was not allowed to reopen immediately. On Monday, he announced that he would be resuming production at the facility in contravention of the lockdown. By Wednesday morning, the county had caved to Musk, announcing that his factory would…


Dying To Head To The Bar With Your Buddies For A Beer? Here’s How Rapidly Covid-19 Can Spread To Everyone (Including You) In A Restaurant

  “What the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently.” [Editor’s Note: Remember, whatever you pick up at a bar or restaurant you carry home to your family and friends. — Mark L. Taylor] By Luke O’Neil The Guardian (5/15/20) Even as Covid 19 deaths in the US continue to grow, now surpassing 85,000, many states have begun loosening lockdown restrictions. Regardless of the wisdom of such moves, it’s clear that there’s a desire to return to something resembling normalcy across the country, as in Wisconsin, where locals returned to packed bars this week. How…


‘Screen New Deal’ — How Crisis Will Lead To Every Detail & Action In Your Life To Be Tracked By Google & Other Tech Giants

Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia By Naomi Klein The Intercept (5/8/20) OR A FEW fleeting moments during New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile. “We are ready, we’re all-in,” the governor gushed. “We are New Yorkers, so we’re aggressive about it, we’re ambitious about it. … We realize that change is not only imminent, but it can actually be a friend if done the right way.” The inspiration for these…


The One Simple Question Joe Biden’s ‘Sunshine Progressive’ Supporters Simply Can’t Answer

Hell, even Bernie can’t answer the question. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/30/20) No doubt, Facebook is one of the oddest gathering spots to be found in modern American culture. While some of the postings popping into your day can be entertaining, amusingly distracting, sometimes informative and frequently obtuse, the political flow of Facebook postings rises and falls with the tides and gurglings of the political moment with varying degrees of sanity and inanity. Occasionally, there can be informative and even constructive political dialog on the various ‘progressive’ Facebook pages I follow on a regular basis. Too often,…


To Stop Even Worse Pandemics, We Must Stop Destruction Of Nature

“The health of people is intimately connected to the health of wildlife, the health of livestock and the health of the environment. It’s actually one health.” By Damian Carrington The Guardian (4/27/20) The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be followed by even more deadly and destructive disease outbreaks unless their root cause – the rampant destruction of the natural world – is rapidly halted, the world’s leading biodiversity experts have warned. “There is a single species responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic – us,” they said. “Recent pandemics are a direct consequence of human activity, particularly our global financial and economic systems…


Brutal New Ad Thumps Trump For Making ‘America first’ — In COVID-19 Deaths

  By Brad Reed Raw Story (4/28/20) A brutal new advertisement from pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA takes President Donald Trump’s slogan of “America first” and throws it right back in his face. “Donald Trump said he would put America first, and now he has,” the ad begins. “The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases. More than 50,000 Americans dead, twice as many deaths as any other country. Over 26 million people have lost their jobs, and it’s only getting worse.” … Read The Rest And 30-Second Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2020. Open source…


Author Gerald Posner: How Republicans & Democrats Have Ensured Big Pharma Profits Off The Misery & Death Of Coronavirus

Rising/The Hill (4/23/20) Author of, ‘PHARMA: Greed, Lies and the Poisoning of America,’ Gerald Posner explains how Pharma lobbies Democrats and Republicans to influence coronavirus relief bills, and profit from the crisis. Link To 10-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )  


GOP-Led Senate Intel Committee Issues Unanimous New Report Destroying Trump’s Claims: Russia Interfered To Help Trump

  By David Badash Raw Story (4/21/20) The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday quietly released a new report supporting the Intelligence Community’s position and report that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the White House. The committee is led by Republicans, including Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC). The report, its fourth, was bipartisan and unanimous. The Committee reports that the December 2016 Intelligence Community Assessment delivered “a coherent and well-constructed intelligence basis for the case of unprecedented Russian interference,” and “reflects strong tradecraft.” President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied to the American people about what he falsely…


‘Return to Normalcy’ Not Going To Be Enough To Win Our Support, Young Progressives Tell Joe Biden

“Don’t mourn. Organize.” — Joe Hill ***** “Why would we want a return to normalcy? We need a vision for the future, not a return to the past.” By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (4/8/20) A group of progressive, youth-led organizations on Wednesday released an open letter to former Vice President Joe Biden urging the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to “champion the bold ideas” that have energized younger voters. The new letter, signed by coalition of eight youth movement leaders—including Alliance for Youth Action, March for Our Lives Action Fund, and the Sunrise Movement—was released the same day Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced the…



New Movie ‘Slay the Dragon’ Exposes The Republican Undemocratic Gerrymandering Scheme

“Astonishing manipulation of democracy.” Movie focuses on how Wisconsin voters lost their vote. The Rising (4/4/20) Filmmakers of ‘Slay the Dragon’ Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance discuss gerrymandering as a non-partisan issue with Katie Fahey, founder of Voters Not Politicians. Link To 10-Minute Video Official “Slay The Dragon” Movie Trailer: Link To 2+-Minute Video  


A Letter To Rep. Ron Kind: The Growing Severity Of Pandemic Is Grounded In Your Failed Neoliberal Corporate Politics

  Now — like no other in your time in office — is the time to get your priorities straight: Defend the needs of citizens. By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (4/2/20) On Wednesday I got an email from the Daily Kos asking me to send off a comment to my representative, Wisconsin Third Congressional District Rep. Ron Kind (D). The following is what I sent in. Unfortunately, the points raised with Rep. Kind apply to the vast majority of congressional ‘representatives’ of both parties. Over the past 40 years they have systematically nailed together the conditions that are ready…


If You Know ANYONE Working In A Hospital, Forward This On: MIT Posts Free Plans Online For An Emergency Ventilator That Can Be Built for $100

The new device fits around an Ambu bag (blue), which hospitals already have on hand in abundance. Designed to be squeezed by hand, instead they are squeezed by mechanical paddles (center) driven by a small motor. This directs air through a tube which is placed in the patient’s airway. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers. By David L. Chandler Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (3/28/20) Clinical and design considerations will be published online; goal is to support rapid scale-up of device production to alleviate hospital shortages. One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators….


Declaration Of Independence: Progressives Can’t Divide A Party We Don’t Belong To

As an Independent, I’m far more interested in policy than party. Whoever presents the most Progressive candidate will get my vote. Simple stuff. By Kathy Copeland Padden The Ghion Journal (9/23/19) l don’t think I know a single Progressive and/or Independent who isn’t accused on a daily basis of “splitting the party” or “being divisive” by centrist Democrats. The self-centered assumption that anyone who’s not a member of the GOP owes the other half of the oligarchy allegiance is beyond mind-boggling. I’ve been an Independent since 1983. I’m not dividing any party, as I don’t belong to any party. That’s the whole point of being an Independent….


US Senators Accused Of Coronavirus Insider Trading Embody The Moral Bankruptcy Of The Establishment

[Cartoon Note: Inspiration was drawn from one of many online comments seen throughout the past five days. The idea stuck with me, but I do not recall who wrote the original comment. — Mark L. Taylor] By Nathan Robinson The Guardin (3/21/20) There’s something deeply disturbing about seeing someone profit from a disaster, and we’ve already seen a few examples in the present crisis. First it was the guys who bought up over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer in the hopes of selling them at a high markup. (After Amazon put a stop to their sales, the pair of hoarders donated the sanitizer.)…


‘We Know This Script’: Naomi Klein Warns Of ‘Coronavirus Capitalism’ In New Video Detailing Battle Before Us

“We know what Trump’s plan is: a pandemic shock doctrine… But the end of this story hasn’t been written yet.” By Jessica Corbett The Intercept (3/17/20) In a new video from The Intercept, author and activist Naomi Klein explains how the Trump administration and other governments across the globe are “exploiting” the coronavirus outbreak “to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks,” and urges working people worldwide to resist such efforts and demand real support from political leaders during the ongoing crisis. Klein, author of the 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, notes that President Donald Trump has pushed for a payroll tax…


A Stinking Mess: Toilet Paper Wars And The Shithouse Of Capitalism

Looking out for number one, so you can continue to do your number twos in peace. By Simon Spring Common Dreams (3/15/20) The run on toilet paper has brought the failings of capitalism front and center to the bathroom of every house across Australia, a trend that has now spread to other countries. We are witnessing, in real-time and with stunning consequence, the stone-cold fact that markets are an ineffective mediator of resources, prone to the worst vagaries of herd mentality. Perceived impending shortages of toilet paper owing to the spread of COVID-19 set off widespread panic. We might be…


152 House Dems Join GOP To Reauthorize ‘abusive government surveillance power’

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (3/12/20) With the nation’s attention fixed on the rapidly spreading coronavirus, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to extend FBI surveillance powers that were set to expire on March 15. The bill, formally titled the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act, cleared the House by a vote of 278 to 136, with 152 Democrats and 126 Republicans voting yes. View the full roll call here. The legislation, strongly opposed by civil liberties groups and privacy advocates, is the product of bipartisan negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep….


How The Democrats Intentionally Lose Elections, And May Do So Again In 2020

There’s More Of Us Than There Are Of Them (So Why Do The Dems Keep Blowing Their Campaigns?) [Editor’s Note: This is one of the most important interviews you can find, if you are wondering why the dems keep losing. And if Wall Street succeeds in pushing Bernie aside, they will be on track to lose again in 2020. Great information on messaging. The information is right in front of them to help the dems win, so why don’t they listen and are content to keep losing? They are smart people. I think it is intentional to keep their corporate…


It’s Groundhog Day (Again) For Democrats

How do you ever win by making unilateral concessions? It’s Negotiation 101, people. Never compromise with yourself. By Mike McCabe Wisconsin Our Revolution (3/4/20) Democrats are awfully hard to figure. I hear what they say they believe in and what they say they want to do. But when in power they rarely if ever do those things. Theirs is a scared party, an apologetic party, a play-it-safe party. When is the last time you heard a Republican apologize for anything? Some years back, establishment Democrats got spooked by the L word. They’ve been going to great lengths ever since to shed…


In It’s Blatant Actions Against Sanders, The Corporate Democratic Establishment Revealed Their Weakness & Desperation

“We’re taking on not only the corporate establishment, we are taking on the political establishment.” — Bernie Sanders By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (3/5/20) Climate activist Greta Thunberg was recently the target of a crude, sexually abusive graphic sticker put out by X-Site Energy Services, an Alberta, Canada oil field company. The sexual abuse launched at the 17 year-old has prompted an online petition (which you should definitely sign, here) and a call for the company’s bullying board to resign. Displaying poise and wisdom far beyond the oil company management team, Thunberg had the perfect response to such abusive behavior,…


RECKONING: America Is About To Get A Godawful Lesson In Why Health Care Should Never Be A For-Profit Business

COVID-19 is going to swing a big hammer at the glass house of American health care. All anyone can do is hope they don’t get cut in the process. And then vote to change the damn system. By Mark Sumner Daily Kos (2/27/20) For four decades, American corporations have been caught up in a whole series of refinements that are intended to improve efficiency and productivity. Our processes are lean. Our efficiency is six-sigma. Our productivity has mysteriously run far ahead of employee compensation in a way that has made CEOs billionaires while leaving workers on food stamps. It’s a…


Here They Come Again: The Kind Of Neoliberal Democrats Who Actually Prefer Trump Over Sanders

Here’s the question: to what extent is the Establishment’s commitment to democratic institutions greater than their commitment to current forms of capitalist hierarchy? It seems like we are about to find out. By Adolph Reed Jr. Common Dreams (2/11/20) Twenty-four years ago, I published an essay titled “Liberals, I Do Despise” in the Village Voice, which Common Dreams reprinted as an enduring oldie in 2009. The title was a play on an old doggerel, in this case rendering it: Liberals and flies, I do despise The more I see liberals, the more I like flies. I wrote the essay in disgust after Bill Clinton concluded…


The Classic Faustian Bargain Of New Intrusive Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

  “The real psychological truth is this: If you’ve got nothing to hide, you are nothing.” ― Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism ***** What happens to our pics on social media and what does that have to do with the persecution of the Uighars in China? (Scrape, scrape, scrape…) What is Pokémon Go really about? (Talk about child abuse.) Who was really behind Google Earth? (One shouldn’t be too surprised.) How much info do they really have about us? (Waaaay more than we volunteer.) Can there be a hidden microphone in your new home security system that isn’t revealed in the…