FEATURE

Bloody Price Of Capitalism: Record Numbers Of Environmental Defenders Being Killed Globally

TheCommonerCall.org   By Jonathan Watts & John Vidal The Guardian (7/13/17) Last year was the most perilous ever for people defending their community’s land, natural resources or wildlife, with new research showing that environmental defenders are being killed at the rate of almost four a week across the world. Two hundred environmental activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders trying to protect their land were killed in 2016, according to the watchdog group Global Witness – more than double the number killed five years ago. And the frequency of killings is only increasing as 2017 ticks by, according to data provided exclusively to the Guardian, with 98…


The Toughest & Most Important Story You Can Read This Month: The Uninhabitable Earth

(Editor’s Note: Ok, yes, this is a hard story to read, but it really is the most important one you can read this month. There is a concept in Buddhist psychology called ‘radical acceptance’. It is not acceptance that a situation is okay and should just be tolerated, but instead that, yes, things are as bad as they appear and that is the starting point to needed change. This article is an essential dose of radical acceptance for us all. – Mark L. Taylor) By Davide Wallace Wells New York Magazine (7/9/17) I. ‘Doomsday’ Peering beyond scientific reticence. It is, I…


Can You Even Imagine The US Govt. Putting Out A Message Like This 1947 War Office Film Today?

“A nation of suckers.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (7/13/17) I stumbled across a poignant little film put out by the United States War Office in 1947 called Don’t Be A Sucker” that was a warning against domestic fascism. Fresh off the devastating tragedy of World War II there was a worry that the ever present currents of American fascism could replicate and metastasize into what had recently occurred in Europe. Don’t Be A Sucker does a quaint but excellent job of briefly explaining the dangers of fascism and how fascists had been able to drive wedges between the…


George Lakoff: If Democrats Want To Win They Need To Understand How To Speak To Americans

  (Editor’s Note: If you are an activist who has heard some of the chatter about messaging and “framing” political messages, this article and the links provided will give you a quick and useful introduction to the work of George Lakoff – the dean of messaging. – Mark L. Taylor) By Daphne White Berkeleyside.com (6/2/17) George Lakoff, retired UC Berkeley professor and author of Don’t Think of an Elephant, is one of a very few people in Berkeley who does not underestimate Donald Trump. “Trump is not stupid,” he tells anyone who will listen. “He is a super salesman, and he knows…


Face Of The State: D.C. Cops Used Jailhouse ‘Rape As Punishment’ After Inauguration Day Mass Arrests, ACLU Lawsuit Says

By Andy Pyke ThinkProgress (6/22/17) When black-clad marchers began smashing windows in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day, the city’s police force — reputedly the best in the country at upholding protesters’ rights during disruptive demonstrations — went nuclear. Officers quickly deployed pepper spray, tear gas, and crowd-control grenades of various types. The Metropolitan Police Department opted to “kettle” everyone on the streets nearby the initial anarchist-driven property destruction, something it does not, by reputation, make a habit of doing during protests. The mass round-up swept the “Antifa” rowdy types together with many peaceful protesters, journalists, and volunteer legal observers who turn out in bright…


We’re Not Asking For Much: Here’s Why We Progressives Can’t Stand The Current National Democratic Party

“I need you all to help us play defense,” [Tom] Perez pleaded with the crowd. “This is the most dangerous time of our lifetime.” ***** By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/25/17) The above quote was taken from the story below regarding the recent contentious California State Democratic Convention. Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez made his frantic plea as he was trying to tamp down a raucous crowd giving voice to the growing discontent of the progressive wing of the party. After a primary season of DNC deceit, duplicity and double-dealing progressives are no longer buying what the…


Two Must-See Videos: Explosive Dutch Documentaries Say Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia’s Mafia Underworld

  By David Ferguson The Raw Story (5/11/17) A Dutch TV documentary alleges that President Donald Trump has extensive connections to Russia’s ruling oligarchs and a history of illegal racketeering. “Donald Trump’s business partners have included Russian oligarchs and convicted mobsters, which could make the president guilty of criminal racketeering charges,” wrote Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet on Friday. He continued, “That’s only one of the eyebrow-raising takeaways from a 45-minute Dutch documentary that first aired last week, ‘The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump, Part 1: The Russians.’” The 45-minute documentary was produced by Zembla TV and examines Trump’s alleged relationship with…


Sadism: The First Sign Of Emerging Dictatorship Has Made It’s Debut

TheCommonerCall.org By Juan Cole Informed Consent  (5/11/17) One of the classic techniques of dictatorship is humiliation, a manifestation of the sadism of the regime. Most people want to avoid being made the butt of ridicule, and authoritarian personalities calculate that they will even surrender some rights and liberties to avoid it. Even if you didn’t agree with him on many issues, Comey did not have an easy job and he put a lot of years and effort into it. If you’re his boss and you want to fire him, you owe him a face to face meeting to explain to him…


“We Need Your Help” – A Plea To Intelligence Agencies Of What’s Left Of The Free World…

The Resistance (5/11/17) The government of the United States is no longer in the hands of the people. We are victims of a coup. There is no time left for protocols or estimations of long-term impacts. What you have we need and we need it now. The Trump administration – the Trump junta is playing by no rules. What you, in the FBI and the CIA and the Justice Department, have on Trump we need now because by tomorrow it might disappear and your ability to do anything with may disappear as well. You must be the patriots now. We…


Thomas Frank: The Midwest Is Longing For Populism. Can Democrats Offer Genuine Reform In 2018?

  By Thomas Frank The Guardian (4/27/17) The tragedy of the 2016 election is connected closely, at least for me, to the larger tragedy of the industrial Midwest. It was in the ruined industrial city of Cleveland that the Republican Party came together in convention last July, and it was the deindustrialized, addiction-harrowed precincts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin that switched sides in November and delivered Donald Trump to the Oval Office. I am a Midwesterner too, and I like to think I share the values and outlook of that part of the country. I have spent many of…


Edward Bernays: Engineering The Consent & Blind Obedience Needed For Empire

  The Empire Files (6/4/16) With thousands of advertisements seen by Americans everyday, and a corporate media that reinforces the needs of Empire, propaganda in the U.S. is more pervasive and effective than ever before. The manipulation of public opinion through suggestion can be traced back to the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, who discovered that preying on the subconscious mind was the best way to sell products people don’t need, and wars people don’t want. To get a deeper understanding of how propaganda functions in today’s society, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies…


‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – Futuristic Dystopian Literature & Movies Provide The Story Line For The Present

  By Tom Ashbrook OnPoint (4/3/17) Dystopian fiction is having a heyday. We’ll look at the dystopian plots and perils that publishers love right now. Check out the new fiction coming from publishers these days and it may scare you to pieces. Not horror scare exactly, but dystopia. Dystopian fiction is all over the place now. Books of the future gone horribly wrong. A new civil war in America.  Crazy microbes on the loose. The planet a mess. Democracy done.  Insane inequality. Killer drones all over. Walls and fences and people fleeing Earth if they can. Great. This hour On…


Speaking Of War Criminals: While Syria May Well Have Used Poison Gas, Banned US Cluster Bombs Murder & Maim Children In Yemen

TheCommonerCall.org In Your Name And On Your Dime Brasscheck TV (4/11/17) Apparently, chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is not enough. The US is arming Saudi Arabia which is attacking civilian areas…with cluster bombs. A weapon so heinous it’s banned by 116 countries. Here are the countries that still use cluster bombs and will not sign the international treaty to ban them: North Korea Israel Russia Iran China Saudi Arabia The United States Why is our country on a list of scumbag governments like this? Link to 2+-Minute Video


Watch: Bernie Sanders Talks ‘Dark Money’ With Journalist Jane Mayer, Who Literally Wrote The Book On It

  Common Dreams Staff (3/30/17) Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday sat down with investigative journalist Jane Mayer to discuss the threat that secretive and undisclosed campaign financing—exemplified by the outsized influence of powerful billionaires like Charles and David Koch—continues to have on U.S. democracy and what should be done to push back. Mayer—author of the 2016 best-seller Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right—recently wrote a feature for The New Yorker in which she detailed the significant role the deep pockets, and bizarre far-right politics, of billionaire Robert Mercer played in President…


Orwell’s Newspeak: Control The Language, Control The Society

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by eactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. . . . The process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. “Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s…


Putin Has Mastered An Asymmetrical Warfare That Is Turning The West Against Itself

TheCommonerCall.org By James Kirchik Politico (3/17/17) When Angela Merkel meets with Donald Trump on Friday [3/17], she won’t just be representing Germany. She’ll be bringing all the hopes and anxieties of an anxious continent—one whose fears have been stoked by the fervor sweeping from Amsterdam to Rome, Paris to Berlin. It’s no exaggeration to say that this meeting between Trump and Merkel could set the tone for the very future of the Western Alliance. For a specter is haunting Europe—the specter of populist nationalism. Ideologically indeterminate, it manifests across the Continent in the form of France’s right-wing National Front, the…


Gas Lighting America: How To Resist By Keeping Your Sanity In Trump’s Crazy Making America

“One of the most insidious things about gaslighting is the denial of reality. Being denied what you have seen. Being denied what you have experienced and know to be true. It can make you feel like you are crazy. But you are not crazy.”   By Ariel Leve The Guardian (3/16/17) Right now, many Americans listening to their president are experiencing what I experienced frequently a child. Nothing means anything, and reality is being canceled. There is confusion, there is chaos, everything is upside down and inside out. When facts and truth are being discredited, how is it possible to…


Here’s How Gas Lighting Works In Every Day America: Twisting The Meaning Of A Single Word

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (3/20/17) Every victim of a crazy, abusive relationship or childhood suffered at the hands of an abusive parent knows what it means to be the target of “gas lighting”, even if they have never heard the term. It is taken from “Gaslight”, a 1944 Oscar-winning mystery-thriller movie starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer and Joseph Cotten about a woman whose husband slowly manipulates her into questioning her reality and making her believe she is going insane. Gaslighting is when someone in some position of relationship or power lies with a boldness then denies…


Fascism Will Be On Our Doorstep In One Year If We Don’t Act Immediately!

  By Steven Rosenfeld AlterNet (3/7/17) How close is President Donald Trump to following the path blazed by last century’s tyrants? Could American democracy be replaced with totalitarian rule? There’s enough resemblance that Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who studies fascist and communist regime change and totalitarian rule, has written a book warning about the threat and offering lessons for resistance and survival. The author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century talked to AlterNet’s Steven Rosenfeld. Steven Rosenfeld: Three weeks ago, you said that the country has perhaps a year ‘to defend American democracy.’ You said what happens in the…


Public Not Buying ‘Bucky Weasel’ Walker Muzzling Of DNR On Climate Change

  Bucky Weasel: Environmental Rodent Model By Steven Verburg The Wisconsin State Journal (3/4/17) Hundreds of phone calls and emails voicing shock, outrage and ridicule flooded state Department of Natural Resources offices in December after top managers deleted language from the DNR website that had described the urgency of addressing human activity that has accelerated climate change. Some DNR employees handling the public reaction expressed frustration as managers waited days before telling them how to respond, and then provided a script that treated the altered web pages as a routine update. Documents released to the Wisconsin State Journal under the state…


A Deep Look At What Ails Us: Healing Our Collective Sickness

  (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )   *****   We always know that a civilization is breaking down when it excludes recognition of and social response to its own degenerate trends.   (Editor’s Note: The political, economic and environmental collapse are about more than bad actors, political action groups and elections. There are deeper psychological and spiritual dimensions creating a feedback loop of sleepwalking into destruction and denial. Author Paul Levy provides a deeper assessment of what is really happening to our world, and each of…


Do These 10 Things, And Trump Will Be Toast

The Commoner Call.org   By Michael Moore MichaelMoore.com (2/17/17) Friends, I welcome you to “The Michael Moore Easy-to-Follow 10-Point Plan to Stop Trump.” First, let’s acknowledge what we all know to be true: Trump is in deep, deep trouble — in the pocket of Russians, surrounded by alt.right idiots, alone in his bathrobe in a mostly-empty White House — and caught inside a disgusting “shit-sandwich”, so said his supporter who turned down the NSA job. Only one month into his So-Called Presidency — and yet there is good news, as this is what the American landscape looks like: • Tens…



Mr. President: ‘Just who the hell do you think you are?’

By Leonard Pitts Miami Herald (2/14/17) Dear Mr. So-Called President: So let me explain to you how this works. You were elected as chief executive of the United States. I won’t belabor the fact that you won with a minority of the popular vote and a little help from your friends, FBI Director James Comey and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bottom line is, you were elected. And this does entitle you to certain things. You get your own airplane. You get free public housing. You get greeted with snappy salutes. And a band plays when you walk into the…