FEATURE

Socialism On The Rise As Americans Seek Out Bold, Humane Alternatives To The Failed Brutality Of Trump & Capitalism

If you want to learn about the central role of socialism in American history then read this book! By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (7/31/18) The thousands of democratic socialists in the United States who have been organizing and fighting for justice in political obscurity for years likely never thought their ideas would be the subject of heated debates on prominent talk-shows like “The View” or feature pieces in such establishment mainstays as PBS and NPR. But—driven in large part by the persistent popularity of Bernie Sanders’ brand of politics and the recent landslide victory of self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s congressional primary—the past several weeks have…

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Immigrant Youth Detention Centers: “If You’re A Predator, It’s A Gold Mine”

  By Michael Grabell & Topher Sanders ProPublica (7/27/18) Just five days after he reached the United States, the 15-year-old Honduran boy awoke in his Tucson, Arizona, immigrant shelter one morning in 2015 to find a youth care worker in his room, tickling his chest and stomach. When he asked the man, who was 46, what he was doing, the man left. But he returned two more times, rubbing the teen’s penis through his clothing and then trying to reach under his boxers. “I know what you want, I can give you anything you need,” said the worker, who was later convicted…


Candidate Mike McCabe: I’m serious about ending legal bribery in politics.

  Since becoming a candidate for governor last September, I have traveled over 85,000 miles reaching out to voters. That’s more than three times around the world without leaving Wisconsin. Everywhere I go I encounter what I can only describe as forgotten people living in forgotten places. Some are in the inner city. Some live way out in the country like where I’m from. They feel ignored, written off, looked down upon. And they are seething with frustration and resentment. Everywhere I go I talk about making Wisconsin a place where if you work you belong in the middle class….


Hard Truth: You Can’t Vote Out Fascism. You Have to Drive It From Power!

  By Perry Hoberman Counterpunch (7/20/18) I’ve been noticing a increasing phenomena on MSNBC and other mainstream media outlets: as the Trump/Pence regime resorts to ever more outrageous behavior, the various pundits — when asked to explain this or that monstrous action or statement — just shake their heads and admit that they’re simply baffled as to why anyone would do something so irrational, so clueless, so counterproductive, so cruel. There’s an unspoken implication that the regime can’t possibly understand what they’re actually doing — which in turn suggests that this can’t go on forever, that the whole thing will implode due to their painfully evident incompetence and/or…


What America Has Become: Migrant Children Detail Horrific Experiences Done In Our Name In Border Patrol Stations & Concentration Camps

  “The way I have been treated makes me feel like I don’t matter, like I am trash.” [Editor’s Note: Nothing better exemplifies the degradation of this nation than the institutionalized, for-profit terrorizing and abuse of immigrant families and — most especially — their kidnapped children. As we can expect, many of the most brutal and base among us are drawn to manning the icy holding cells and hidden interrogation rooms of the appropriately named ICE. But make no mistake; as long as this casual corporate brutality continues we are all — every single taxpayer and voter — collectively responsible…


It’s Not Just Trump. Obama Also Shattered Tens Of Thousands Of Immigrant Families

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (7/19/18) Ryan Grim, of the investigative news site The Intercept, sends out a weekly newsletter update of stories. Recently he was looking back through the newsletter archives when he found a 2014 HuffPost story on the tens of thousands of immigrant families broken apart the year before by Obama administration policies of detention and deportation. In that year, 2013, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department deported over 72,000 immigrants who had one or more American-born children. In 2012 the number deported between July 1, 2010, to Sept. 31, 2012 was 200,000. In fact,…


ICE Agents Claims Of ‘Just Following Orders’ May Not Shield Them From Personal Liability For Children’s Suffering, Legal Scholars Warn

[Editor’s Note: Falling back on the mindless and morally empty excuse of “just following orders” does not exonerate soldiers, police or prison guards from bearing personal moral or legal responsibility. This was one of the principles that came from the Nuremberg Trials of World War II Nazi war criminals. Be careful what orders you follow, officers. — Mark L. Taylor] By Julia Conley Common Dreams (7/11/18) A new report finds that individual Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents could be held personally liable for the suffering of families and children under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy—and warns that the…


Majority Of Dems Want Candidates More Like Bernie Sanders, Poll Finds

  By Tim Marcin Newsweek (7/11/18) Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders might have lost his 2016 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he certainly won a number of supporters along the way. To wit: A new poll released Wednesday by YouGov showed that a majority of Democrats want candidates in 2018 to be more like the independent, democratic socialist candidate. The polling firm asked: “Do you wish the candidates who run for Congress this year will be more or less like Bernie Sanders?” A full 57 percent of Democratic respondents said “more like Bernie Sanders” in response. Sixteen percent said less while 27 percent responded…


America’s ‘Justice Democrats’ Show How A Newly Energized Left Can Challenge Corrupt Power & Win

  By George Monboit The Guardian (7/11/18) Even at first sight it is exhilarating. The overthrow of one of the most mainstream and senior Democrats in Congress by a 28-year-old Democratic socialist with a radical programme and one tenth of his funding is, you might think, interesting enough. But since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th district (meaning she will almost certainly enter Congress in November), I’ve been interviewing some of the people who lit the fuse that caused this detonation. What has emerged is just how marginal and improbable their movement was when it began, and…


Months After GOP Approved $1.5 Trillion Giveaway To The Obscenely Rich, Candidate Ocasio-Cortez Shreds Those Questioning How To Pay For Bold Proposals Like Medicare For All

    By Julia Conley Common Dreams (7/9/18) In a viral tweet on Tuesday, progressive New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crystallized the absurdity of arguments against Medicare for All and other bold proposals—as conservatives and centrist Democrats frequently claim the United States lacks a robust social safety net because of an inability to pay for one. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ✔@Ocasio2018 New Rule: anyone that was cool with the GOP inventing $2 trillion out of thin air for freebies for people with yachts that have tiny yachts inside doesn’t get to demand how we pay for people who need chemotherapy treatments….


Trump’s Growing Acts Of Brutality Are Conditioning Nation To Accept Greater Fascist Barbarism To Come

Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but simple test-marketing for barbarism. By Fintan O’Toole Irish Times (6/26/18) To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism. It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is….


Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Files Request To Hire Poorly Paid Foreign Workers Instead Of Americans — Again

  By Mary Papenfuss The HuffPost (7/7/18) Just over a year after Donald Trump signed his  “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, his Mar-a-Lago golf resort has filed for permission to hire 61 foreign workers. Trump’s Palm Beach business filed requests with the U.S. Labor Department for additional visas for foreign servers and cooks, according to records submitted Thursday and Friday. The employees would work October through the following May. Servers would earn $12.68 an hour and cooks would be paid $13.31 an hour. Since late 2015, Mar-a-Lago has filed 10 separate requests for multiple temporary work visas for foreign employees. The…


In ‘Stunning Indictment’, ICE Officers Call For Own Agency To Be Dissolved Amid Growing Outrage Over Immigration Policy

***** “How To Talk To ICE? Give ’em The Cold Shoulder.” — Protest sign, La Crosse, WI (6/30/18) By Julia Conelly Common Dreams (6/29/18) As the demand to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spreads across the country—and with community members building protest encampments outside ICE facilities in several cities this week—some officers with the 15-year-old agency have now added their voices to the growing call to dissolve it. The agency’s targeting of undocumented immigrants has weakened its employees’ ability to carry out other work, argued 19 officers who signed the letter, which was obtained by the Texas Observer. The agents work in ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations…


The Biggest Lesson From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Win? Run On Democratic Socialism.

The energy in the party lies squarely with its left wing.  By Miles Kampf-Lassin In These Times (6/28/18) On Tuesday morning, just hours after unseating one of the most powerful Democrats in U.S. Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in which she offered a succinct, yet compelling, rundown of her insurgent campaign’s “laser-focused” message: “Economic, social and racial dignity for working-class Americans, especially those in Queens and the Bronx. We were very clear about our message, we were very clear about our priorities and very clear about the fact that, even if you’ve never voted before, we are…


Your Choice: Where Would You Be In This Picture?

  Go along or resist. Stand up or lay down. Speak out or be silent. There will be no neutral. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/31/18) The arrival of government detention — concentration — camps for an oppressed and dehumanized minority group means that politics in America is about to become far more personal and much, much more consequential. The kidnapping of children into for-profit concentration camps has added an especially grotesque dimension. The forcible separation of parents from their infants and children into concentrations camps have made it official: We are living in a fascist state now. With…


History Of Fascist Spain Government Child Abductions Will Become Model For Trump’s Kidnapping Program

  “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” — Winston Churchill By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/28/18) As the brutal Trump child kidnapping program continues on with arrogance, cruelty and casual incompetence we are going to see many of the 2,300-plus children now incarcerated permanently stolen from their parents; they will never be reunited. There are already reports of parents deported back to Central America while their children remain in U.S. concentration camps. (And make no mistake, that is the proper term for these camps. And, no, it is not “separation”, it is kidnapping.) History provides insight on where this will go…


Legendary Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: Media Today Must Cover Yemen & Trump Policy, Not Get Distracted by Tweets

  Democracy Now! (6/20/18) “Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News,” President Trump tweeted last week, in his latest attack on the nation’s press. A week earlier, federal prosecutors revealed they had secretly captured years’ worth of phone and email data from journalist Ali Watkins, who broke several high-profile stories related to the Senate Intelligence Committee. A former top aide on the committee, James Wolfe, has been charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with the press. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders recently dropped the United States to number 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom. When the group…


‘Womp, Womp’ — You Think Things Are Bad? Steel Yourself As Former Trump Aide Reveals All

  As practised and professional a liar as he is, in that moment Corey Lewandowski was the most honest man in America. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/21/18) Sometimes there is moment, a single glimpse, a small flash of reality that slices through mountains of reports and hours of media, and reveals more insight than weeks of punditry. It may be an unguarded flash in a politician’s eye, a shift in posture at a critical moment, a small gesture, a reflexive, unguarded retort, a certain tone of voice that suddenly embodies the core truth of a person or…


There Is No Excuse: The Immorality Of Authoritarian Order Followers

Authoritarian Fool Tool [Editor’s Note: In light of recent government child kidnappings in the southwest a Commoner Call reader forwarded this short video . I don’t agree with the speaker’s view on socialism (there is such a thing as democratic socialism) but I do find most of this comments on the immorality of the ‘just following orders’ defense to be insightful. Every ICE and Border Patrol officer needs to understand that their personal involvement in the child kidnappings makes them complicit in the crimes and mars them with guilt and shame. There was no honor in what they have done….


No Rest Or Respite For Beleaguered Refugees Around The World

  Assignment/BBC World Service A new smuggling route has opened up on the edge of Europe. Every week hundreds of Syrians are risking their lives to leave the continent and return home. Nawal Al-Maghafi joins refugees on the migration route to discover why so many people are choosing life in a warzone over the safety of Europe. Link to 27- Minute Audio ***** Inside The Trial Of 3 Guatemalan Mothers Separated From Their Children By John Burnett NPR (6/8/18) Three young Guatemalan women went on trial this week at the red-rock federal courthouse in Alpine, Texas. It’s about 70 miles from…


Mike McCabe Plan Outlines Way To Fund Critically Needed Addiction & Health Care For Wisconsin

  Mike McCabe for Governor Campaign Website (3/20/18) Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe today fleshed out his position in favor of fully legalizing the possession and use of marijuana by detailing a plan to tax legal sales and use the new source of revenue to fund expanded treatment options for those struggling with opioid and methamphetamine addiction and make higher education more affordable. Even before announcing his candidacy on September 12, McCabe publicly supported legalization of industrial hemp production as well as medicinal and personal use of marijuana. “Current drug laws have proven ineffective, counterproductive and racially discriminatory. Those who…


Above The Law: ‘Dear Leader’ Trump’s Authoritarian Movement Is Reaching An Inevitable Conclusion

“The imperial stage of this presidency has well and truly begun.”  By Jack Holmes Esquire (6/4/18) While you were enjoying the second weekend of summer, the president and his allies were waging a sustained campaign to suggest the law does not apply to him. Things kicked off with the (probable) leak of a letter Trump’s legal team sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, published by The New York Times, in which we learned that Trump essentially has unlimited power and authority—you know, like a king. The letter suggested that: Trump cannot, by virtue of being president, obstruct justice. Trump can “terminate…


First Thing To Understand About Our Opioid Crisis: The Problem Is NOT The Drug

Inflict enough institutionalized pain and degradation on society and the escape provided by drugs has a certain short-term logic. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/7/18) The linked National Public Radio report below on the entrenched and growing plague of opioid and methamphetamine addiction in Vinton County, Ohio is a perfect example of the fundamental and stubborn resistance of the nation to truly consider what the deepening national tragedy of dangerous substance abuse is really about. As a mental health and substance abuse counselor for 24 years one thing I know is that the drug is never the problem….


Meet The Radical Economist Behind The One Percent’s Quiet Takeover Of America

 Stealth and deliberate deception. By Lynn Parramore Institute For Economic Thinking (5/30/18) Ask people to name the key minds that have shaped America’s burst of radical right-wing attacks on working conditions, consumer rights and public services, and they will typically mention figures like free market-champion Milton Friedman, libertarian guru Ayn Rand, and laissez-faire economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. James McGill Buchanan is a name you will rarely hear unless you’ve taken several classes in economics. And if the Tennessee-born Nobel laureate were alive today, it would suit him just fine that most well-informed journalists, liberal politicians, and even many…


Trump’s Leverage: Study Links White American Intolerance With Support For Authoritarianism

  By Noah Berlatsky NBC News (5/27/18) Since the founding of the United States, politicians and pundits have warned that partisanship is a danger to democracy. George Washington, in his Farewell Address, worried that political parties, or factions, could “allow cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men” to rise to power and subvert democracy. More recently, many political observers are concerned that increasing political polarization on left and right makes compromise impossible, and leads to the destruction of democratic norms and institutions. A new study, however, suggests that the main threat to our democracy may not be the hardening of political ideology, but rather…


WATCH YOUR MOUTH! You May Hate Him, But Here Is How You Help Trump Every Day

  By George Lakoff George Lakoff Blog (12/16/18) Without knowing it, many Democrats, progressives and members of the news media help Donald Trump every day. The way they help him is simple: they spread his message. Think about it: every time Trump issues a mean tweet or utters a shocking statement, millions of people begin to obsess over his words. Reporters make it the top headline. Cable TV panels talk about it for hours. Horrified Democrats and progressives share the stories online, making sure to repeat the nastiest statements in order to refute them. While this response is understandable, it…


Gun Cult: New School Shooter Video Game Has Players Gunning Down Teachers, Cops & Kids

By Martin Cizmar The Raw Story (5/26/18) A video game maker is facing mounting backlash over a game in which the player takes the role of school shooter. The game is called Active Shooter and set to be published by Valve for the Steam platform. Steam attempts to steer around the controversy by announcing a disclaimer to be placed on it: “Please do not take any of this seriously. This is only meant to be the simulation and nothing else. If you feel like hurting someone or people around you, please seek help from local psychiatrists or dial 911 (or applicable). Thank…


Rep. Ron Kind’s New Democrat Coalition Key In Voting To Gut Essential Bank Failure Protections

By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (5/28/18) Trump just signed, and a bipartisan congress passed (RON KIND), a bill that says banks worth $249- $50 billion are NOT deemed important enough and therefore are allowed to fail. Four regional banks fail, worth $249 billion each, and a quick trillion evaporates from the economy. Regional and medium sized banks are doing fine and don’t need this. How is this loss of taxpayer protections, against a future economic bubble bursting, a good thing? Why RON KIND? Why would congress do this? Why RON KIND? It couldn’t be that this is an election…


Hey, Progressive Candidates, Here’s A Campaign Issue: Harley Davidson Banks Tax Scam, Closes Factory & Sends Jobs To Bangkok

(Editor’s Note: Hey, progressive candidates, check out the links in this story and start campaigning on this travesty. Every cynical hypocrisy and lie of republican policy is embodied in this story. Tie it in with Scotty Walker’s Foxconn-scam and present a positive progressive alternative plan for jobs and community and economic development. It’s a winning combination there for the taking. — Mark L. Taylor) By Tom Boggioni The Raw Story (5/22/18) Despite President Donald Trump’s claim that massive tax cuts will boost U.S. employment numbers,  motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson instead announced a plant closing, followed by a massive stock buy-back…


Down The Memory Hole: Dismantling Democracy, One Word At A Time

“The secret of propaganda [is to] permeate the person it aims to grasp without his even noticing that he is being permeated.” — Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister for Hitler’s Nazi Party By Karen Greenberg TomDispatch.org (5/17/18) Consider us officially in an Orwellian world, though we only half realize it. While we were barely looking, significant parts of an American language long familiar to us quite literally, and in a remarkably coherent way, went down the equivalent of George Orwell’s infamous Memory Hole. This hit me in a personal way recently. I was asked to give a talk at an annual…


Israeli Human Rights Crimes Are America’s Crimes & We Are Yoked To The Bloody Results

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/17/18) The wholesale, coldly methodical violence by Israeli military forces against thousands of Palestinain protesters this week has been as riveting as it is revolting. As dozens of dead and hundreds of badly wounded were filling the blood-soaked hallways of Gaza hospitals the world was treated to the self-satisfied smugness of Trump’s “little ghoul” daughter Ivanka and her husband and Trump “boy senior adviser” Jared Kushner and chortling Israeli officials at a swanky “opening” of the new American embassy in Jerusalem (which actually hasn’t yet been built). As gut wrenching as the…


An Open Letter From Hunters About Gun Reform

  By Daniel Ashe The HuffPost (5/9/18) We are Republican, Democratic and independent. We come from the East, South, Midwest and West. We are conservative, progressive and liberal. We are men and women. We include eight members of the Circle of Chiefs, the highest conservation honor of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. We are all different in many ways, but we have important commonalities. We are Americans; we are gun owners; we are hunters; and we support responsible firearm regulation. Yes, the Second Amendment conveys a right to “keep and bear” firearms. But rights come with responsibilities, and we…


A Never Trumper Reveals What It Is Like To Step Outside The Cult & Has A Warning For The Nation

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/10/18) In an interesting in-depth interview on the Young Turks network exiled Republican strategist, commentator and never-Trump republican Cheri Jacobus provides insight on what it is like to be a republican standing in opposition to Donald Trump and the racist, authoritarian rule he represents. Early on in the primary process leading to the 2016 presidential election Jacobus challenged Trump’s candidacy and immediately was black balled not only from Fox News but CNN as well. She had appeared on both networks hundreds of times before and never since. She became the target of…


Mike McCabe Calls For ‘fix ‘em first’ & ‘pay as we pave’ Policies On Our Roads

  Just another stretch of Hwy. 14 running through Vernon County, between Readstown and Viroqua. Mile after mile of cracked n’ crumbling Wisconsin republican blacktop.  McCabe for Governor (5/1/18) Wisconsin’s roads and bridges are deteriorating badly and the state needs a whole new approach to strengthening its transportation infrastructure that prioritizes fixing existing roads before expanding or building new ones and paying as we pave to end excessive borrowing, governor candidate Mike McCabe said today as he called for bringing back automatic adjustments in the gas tax for inflation to keep revenue in line with road expenses. Of all the…


Amazon Pays Nothing In Federal Income Taxes Yet Grabs $137 Million In Tax Rebates

  By Bernie Sanders Bernie Sanders’ Facebook Page (5/18/18) Last year, not only did Amazon pay nothing in federal income taxes, it received a $137 million tax rebate from the IRS. It turns out Amazon is not alone. Last year, 15 profitable corporations, including AFLAC, Eli Lilly, Metlife, Prudential Financial, and Molson Coors also paid nothing in federal income taxes after posting a combined $24.5 billion in profits. And that was BEFORE Trump signed his disastrous tax plan into law slashing corporate taxes by some 40 percent. In 1952, corporate income taxes accounted for 32 percent of all federal revenue….


Thanks To Trump & Russpublicans, Major Corporations Set To Hand Over ‘Obscene’ $1 Trillion To Wealthy Investors Instead Of Workers

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/2/18) As even one member of the Republican Party was forced to admit earlier this week, President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut has done virtually nothing for the vast majority of American workers—but evidence continues to roll in that it has been a massive boon for the largest corporations. According to new data compiled by S&P Dow Jones Indices, America’s biggest and most profitable companies are on track to hand “a record $1 trillion to investors through dividend increases and stock buybacks.” A major example of companies using their tax savings to buy their own stock…


Leftist Dilemma: The Double Russia Conspiracy Trap

By Paul Street Counter Punch (4/27/18) The RussiaGate conspiracy drama is a double-edged damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t trap for people on the portside. The perils of signing on to the storyline are clear as day to any self-respecting Leftist. Five come to mind off the top of my head: 1. Neo-McCarthyite distraction from numerous terrible things that the racist, nativist, sexist, white-nationalist, and eco-cidal, planet-cooking Trump administration and the Republican Party are doing with scant serious opposition from the dismal dollar Democrats. The media and the Democrats have the political culture mired in the Russia-Trump conspiracy while the in-power right-wing has worked all-too behind the…


Americans & Guns: A United State Of Insecurity

  The Why Factor/BBC (4/23/18) In the USA, those least likely to become victims of gun violence are the most likely to carry guns. So if they are not likely to become victims of crime, what are they really afraid of? We speak to people getting their gun licence to try and untangle what lies behind their anxieties and discover it’s about something much less tangible. Link to Story and 23-Minute Audio (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Opensource nd free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommnercall.org )


Pulitzer-Winning Reporter David Cay Johnston: “The evidence suggests Trump is a traitor”

  [Editor’s Note: Please listen to this interview. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston’s insights on Trump and his long ties with the Mafia and Russian oligarchs and the only way the democrats can unseat Trump are spot on. Unlike many, he calls things as they are. Also, listen to Chauncey DeVargas’ comments afterward. He gives a hard dose of reality that we on the left need to fully grasp about what may well be coming even if — especially if — Trump were driven from office. This is serious business, folks and the democrats and the left really…


Black Agenda Report: Democrats Prepare To Pimp Their Own Lefties For 2018 & 2020.

By Bruce A. Dixon Black Agenda Report (4/26/18) Every two years, Democrats need a Big Black Vote, along with impressive turnouts of Latino and Latina voters, the elderly, students and young people to maintain their status as a national party. They need this turnout of their base constituencies to elect governors, members of Congress and state legislators, senators and of course the president. So while the commanding heights of the Democratic party remain securely in the hands of the representatives of capital, empire and the deep state, Democrats must allow self-identified leftists a certain amount of room to campaign for…