‘Just-Us’ System

Is Bill Barr The Single Most Dangerous Member Of The Trump Administration?

  “He’s definitely going to go down in modern American history as perhaps the most compromised, policitized, partisan, illiberal attorney general of all. But let’s be clear: that’s precisely why Barr is the attorney general of Donald Trump’s dreams.” By Mehdi Hasan Deconstructed (5/21/20) ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR has emerged as the shrewdest and most effective member of the Trump administration, weaponizing the Department of Justice to protect the president and his allies while threatening his enemies with legal retribution. He has made it clear that in sharp contrast to the traditionally independent role of the AG, he is willing to…

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The Elites Will Have Humanity For Us Only When They Are Forced To

  “There is a moment in Henry Kissinger’s memoirs — do not buy the book — when Nixon and Kissinger are looking out at tens of thousands of anti-war protesters who have surrounded the White House. Nixon had placed empty city buses in front of the White House to keep the protesters back. He worried out loud that the crowd would break through the barricades and get him and Kissinger. And that is exactly where we want people in power to be. This is why, although he was not a liberal, Nixon was our last liberal president. He was scared…


Letters From America: Trump’s Justice Dept. Using Crisis To Target Citizen Rights

This pandemic, and the accompanying economic downturn, are a turning point. By Heather Cox Richardson Letters From America (3/21/20) Today’s big news came from Politico writer Betsy Woodruff Swan, who broke the story that the Department of Justice has quietly asked Congress for dramatic new powers during emergencies… emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic. She has reviewed documents from the DOJ asking Congress to give top judges the power to pause court proceedings during emergencies. This would include “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and…


Martin Luther King Jr’s (Democratic Socialist) Dream

  Featuring audio clips and quotes from King that will not be featured & celebrated on the evening news or taught in schools. By Michael Moore Rumble (2/20/20) Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy has been sanitized by mainstream American society, erasing his fierce anti-capitalist and anti-war advocacy. Before he was assassinated, King was forcefully denouncing the “three evils” in America — racism, militarism and a corrupt economic system — and arguing that these three evils were all tied together. For this MLK Day episode, Michael Moore shares audio clips and quotes from King that will not be celebrated on the…



‘Just Mercy’ Lawyer Calls Upon America To Find The Moral Courage To Reckon With Its Racist Past & Present

    Fresh Air (1/20/20) Public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which represents people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced or abused in state jails and prisons. In 2018, EJI founded a museum and monument in Montgomery, Ala., to address the atrocities of slavery, lynching and segregation. “We need to create institutions in this country that motivate more people to say ‘Never again,’” he says. Stevenson’s 2014 memoir ‘Just Mercy’ is now a movie starring Michael B. Jordan. Link To Story And 48-Minute Audio ‘JUST MERCY’ Official Movie Trailer” — Link To…



US Government Lists Non-Violent ‘Valve Turner’ Climate Activists As Threat On Par With Murderous Neo-Nazis

The making of national security is rarely about security for the population. It’s about security for those in power. By Julia Conley Common Dreams (1/13/20) Climate action advocates on Monday condemned reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has placed non-violent environmental activists on a list of domestic terrorists alongside white supremacists and mass murderers. Citing documents received by the non-profit group Property of the People, The Guardian reports how the Climate Direct Action members who shut off tar sands pipeline operations in an act of civil disobedience in October 2016, were called “suspected environmental rights extremists” by DHS. In the document, the…



Ronan Farrow’s Take On Interrogating The Truth In A Justice System Geared For The Wealthy

  PBS News Hour / Brief But Spectacular (1/9/20) For investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, the ability to produce a story hinges upon the courage of his interview subjects. But the chance an abuse survivor has to exact justice is tied to the wealth and stature of those they accuse, and we need the transparency and accountability journalism demands to expose this imbalance. Farrow shares his Brief But Spectacular take on interrogating the truth. Link To 4+-Minute Video


‘Impresident’ Trump Is Number One … BIGLY!

 126 members of Congress voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson in 1868. 221 members of Congress voted to impeach President Bill Clinton for obstructing justice in 1998. 230 members of Congress voted to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power this week. In other words, Donald Trump holds the singular distinction of being impeached by more members of the U.S. House of Representatives than any other president in our nation’s history. — Aaron Matteson, Dem frenz Facebook page (12/20/19) (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommnercall.org )


INJUSTICE: When Justice Depends Solely On The Size Of Your Pocketbook

The ‘Justice’ mosaic on the inside of the dome of the Wisconsin State Capitol. “It’s a beautiful system for sucking money out of the people who can least afford it.”   Southern Poverty Law Center (10/5/19) Tella Barnett fears she’ll end up behind bars again if she gets behind on her payments. She’s one of thousands of people in Alabama who pay to stay out of prison. One day last March, she paid a $30 monitoring fee as well as a $40 supervision fee. She paid $40 in drug testing fees and $30 in “rescheduling fees.” “Oh, my goodness, I can barely…


Clarence Thomas: The Surprising Worldview That Lies Within The Silent Supreme Court Justice

[Editor’s Note: This is a fascinating interview that goes a long way to explaining the conservatism of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He has been seen as an enigma by the left, but it also appears the right has not understood him properly either. Those on the far, far right might be surprised to find how much he agrees with them. — Mark L. Taylor] On The Media / WNYC (11/8/19) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is hardly the quietest member of the bench. In hundreds of opinions authored during his tenure — longer than any of his present colleagues’ —…


The Revolution Is Here Democrats: Ignore It At Your Peril

By John Atcheson Common Dreams (10/29/19) Despite the yammering by the mainstream media and the neoliberals running the Democratic Party—not to mention Republicans and Fox News—the overwhelming majority of voters support progressive issues on a case-by-case basis, and the majority support the candidates who espouse them. Doubt that? See here, or here, or here, or any poll based the issues, not on political labels that—as a result of a four decades long branding effort funded by the oligarchy—have ceased to represent any real political perspective. As for the majority supporting the progressive candidates, Sanders’ and Warren’s combined share of the voters exceeds Biden’s by a factor of two,…


Trump’s Giant Loophole: Executive Control Of The Judicial Branch Is The Final Step To Tyranny

What happens when the judiciary is captured — and the bad guys are true fascists? Well, they turn the law itself into an instrument of violence. [Editor’s Note: This is an extremely important article to read and consider. Few people really understand the most dangerous moment we are facing in this nation. Whether by bumbling stupid luck or strategic calculation, Donald Trump has pushed the nation to the abyss of totalitarian fascism and time is short. — Mark L. Taylor] By Umair Haque Medium (10/25/19) In case you didn’t notice, yesterday [10/24] was an especially dark day for America democracy….


American ‘Just-Us’ — Because Federal Government Is Allowed To ‘Weaponize the Law,’ Plowshares 7 Found Guilty For Anti-Nuclear Weapons Protest

By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (10/25/19) Seven anti-nuclear activists face up to 20 years in prison after a jury in Georgia on Thursday found the activists guilty of four counts of destruction and depredation of government property in excess of $1,000, trespassing, and conspiracy, charges that could land each member of the group in prison for up to 20 years. “I really think that the verdict was, frankly, reactionary,” defendant Carmen Trotta said in a statement. Trotta and Steve Kelly, Mark Colville, Clare Grady, Patrick O’Neill, Elizabeth McAlister, and Martha Hennessy on the night of April 4, 2018 entered the U.S. Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay…


Holdouts Vow To Challenge Purdue Pharma Settlement That Protects Multi-Billionaire Sackler Family Fortune

  “Purdue has had all of its money sucked from it by the Sacklers, so the money is with the Sacklers. This proposal is … not going to require the Sacklers to pay back any profits they took out from Purdue from the sales of OxyContin over the last 10 years.” — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy (D). By Nathaniel Weixel The Hill (9/17/19) Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy filing, the centerpiece of a settlement intended to shield the company and its owners from more than 2,500 lawsuits by cities and states over its role in the opioid crisis, is already facing…


American “Just-Us” For Sale: Leaked Audio Shows Oil Lobbyist Bragging About Success In Criminalizing Pipeline Protests

“Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/20/19) As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry’s success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors. Speaking during a conference in Washington, D.C. in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted “model legislation” that states across the nation have passed in recent months. AFPM…


Leaked FBI Documents Reveal That At A Time Of Deadly White Extremist Violence It Lists Black ‘Extremists’ As Biggest Threat

FBI’s ‘Iron Fist’ Program The Young Turks (8/9/19) “Under President Trump, the FBI’s official counterterrorism priorities have included “Black Identity Extremists,” “anti-authority” extremists, and “animal rights/environmental extremists,” according to leaked Bureau documents obtained exclusively by The Young Turks. The documents, many of which are marked “Law Enforcement Sensitive” and “For Official Use Only,” also reference a mysterious plan to mitigate the threat of “Black Identity Extremists” with a program codenamed “IRON FIST” involving the use of undercover agents. Each fiscal year, the FBI headquarters updates its Consolidated Strategy Guide, which lists the Bureau’s priorities in numerous domains such as counterterrorism,…


Justice Denied? Nobody Will Ever Believe The Official Story On Epstein’s Death

By Charles Pierce Esquire (8/10/19) Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell Saturday morning. Absolutely nobody is going to believe any official story that comes out about this. From The New York Times: Mr. Epstein hung himself and his body was found this morning at roughly 7:30. Manhattan federal prosecutors last month charged Mr. Epstein, 66, with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, and details of his behavior have been emerging for years. How in the hell do they let this happen? The guy was incarcerated in the Manhattan Correctional Center. He already had made one try. He…


The Untold Story Behind ICE Raids Of Miss. Plant After $3.75 Million Sexual Harassment Settlement

[Editor’s Note: So What do you think the chances are the billionaires who hired these workers will be arrested? — Mark L. Taylor] By Mike Elk PayDay Report(8/7/19) Today [8/7], ICE carried out what is believed to be the largest immigration raid in decades when they detained 680 workers at seven poultry plants in Morton, Mississippi. The workers, many of them members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), were employed by a company called Koch Foods Inc, which employs 13,000 workers throughout the US. (Koch Foods Inc. has no connection or relation to the billionaire political donor…


‘Official Indifference’ — U.S. Justice Dept. Provides Cover For White Nationalist Murder

By Michael German & Emmanuel Mauleón Salon / Commentary (8/4/19) How many violent white supremacist attacks happened last year in the United States? 50? 500? 1,000? Recent news stories have reported a rise in such crimes across the country. Yet the truth is that no one knows the scope of far-right violence in the United States because the FBI and Department of Justice deprioritize the investigation and prosecution of these crimes and fail to collect accurate national data regarding such attacks, despite a congressional mandate to do so (see here for a list of state hate crimes). Applying a hate crime label to an attack that clearly…


Republicans Are Radically Transforming Federal Courts To The Extreme Right For The Next 20-40 Years

“Justice” mosiac in the dome of the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol. ‘Perverted American Corporate Just-Us’ Real News Network (7/22/19) The Nation’s Elie Mystal says Conservative think tanks and Senate Majority Leader McConnell are creating a right-wing federal court system with Trump’s help that will affect generations to come. Link to 12-Minute Video (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


How A Trojan Horse Project To Rewrite Our Constitution Could Actually Happen If Trump Wins In 2020

By Thom Hartman Common Dreams (7/17/19) It’s often said that if Trump is reelected, it’ll be the end of democracy in America. But how could Trump get reelected, and how could democracy get wiped out in the USA? Turns out, there’s an actual project to rewrite our Constitution, turning America into a corporate-run oligarchy. They’d end the income tax, eliminate federal regulatory agencies like the EPA, end all labor protections (including laws against child labor), let states ignore anti-discrimination and other federal regulations, and impose term limits so the only “institutional memory” for legislatures will be the corporate lobbyists. All…


Protest Repression: Big Oil Warps Legislatures To Redefine Criminality

Is it “criminal” for an industry to drive the global climate crisis in order to reap profits? Or is it “criminal” to (literally) get in the way? By Sarah Lazare & Simon Davis-Cohen In These Times (4/16/19) Researchers concluded in January that humanity has a hope, a 64 percent chance, of keeping the temperature rise below the international target of 1.5 degrees Celsius—if the phaseout of fossil fuel infrastructure begins now and every car, plane and power plant in existence gets replaced by a zero-carbon alternative at the end of its life span. “We are basically saying we can’t build anything…


William Barr’s Been Accused Of A Presidential Cover-up Before

“If you want a presidential cover-up, Barr is your guy.” By Greg Walters Vice News (4/17/19) WASHINGTON — Weeks before former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s criminal trial over his role in the 1980’s Iran-Contra scandal, then-Attorney General William Barr dropped a bomb on the prosecution. “People in the Iran-Contra affair have been treated very unfairly,” Barr told USA Today in December 1992, blasting the charges as illegitimate. “People in this Iran-Contra matter have been prosecuted for the kind of conduct that would not have been considered criminal or prosecutable by the Justice Department.” Weinberger faced charges of lying to Congress,…


How Far-Right Thugs Evade Charges As Domestic Terrorists

The people marching with tiki torches don’t end up being viewed as domestic terrorists.   By Luke Barnes ThinkProgress (3/23/19) Christopher Hasson’s alleged intentions were clear from the start. Hasson, 49, a Coast Guard lieutenant, was arrested by federal agents in late February on gun and drug charges. But the guns alone weren’t the reason prosecutors were concerned. Instead, they were troubled by the fact that Hasson had allegedly amassed an arsenal in preparation for a lone wolf attack inspired by the far right, and had compiled an alleged hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists, which included CNN’s Don Lemon, Sen….


The American ‘Just-Us’ System Subjects Poor To Grinding Cycle Of Injustice & Hopelessness

  ‘I’m going to be paying it down until I die.’   Southern Poverty Law Center (1/25/19) The women incarcerated in Corinth, Mississippi, have a phrase for it: “sitting it out.” We have another name for it: “debtors’ prison.” Since the 1970s, the Supreme Court has been clear that it’s unconstitutional to jail people simply because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees. But in states across the South — and across the country — that’s exactly what cash-strapped municipalities are doing. Take Glenn Chastain. He owed $1,200 to the city of Corinth for expired vehicle tags. Because he missed a hearing, he…


Border Patrol Abuses: The Office Of Missing Children

ProPublica [Editor’s Note: OMG! This is an amazing piece of journalism and a heart wrenching profile of our inhumane immigrant policy. Be sure to watch the video. — Mark L. Taylor] By Reveal Staff Reveal / Center for Investigative Journalism (12/21/18) More than 2,600 kids were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy. What happened to those children? Reveal’s investigative reporting team looked at facilities across the country to answer that question. After being separated from their parents at the border, some of the children were held in office buildings…


U.S Law Enforcement Coddling Of Far Right Fascist Gangs & Nazis Places Nation At Risk

And now they have no idea how to stop it. [Editor’s Note: This is a stunning piece of reporting on not just the ignoring of fascist organizing and violence but a deadly fostering through neglect. As Timothy Snyder notes in his book “Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century”, when the police and military begin to align with the fascist paramilitaries the game is over. — Mark L. Taylor] By Janet Reitman The New York Times (11/3/18) The first indication to Lt. Dan Stout that law enforcement’s handling of white supremacy was broken came in September 2017, as he was sitting…



High-Profile Wall Street Pedophile Pal Of Trump, Bill Clinton & Alan Dershowitz Benefits From Corrupt Connections & Twisted ‘Just-Us’ System

  The Young Turks (12/4/18) Jeffrey Epstein avoids a civil trial by paying out and apologizing. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. “A politically connected multi-millionaire sex offender accused of sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls struck a last-minute deal to avoid a civil trial that would have allowed some of his victims to finally testify against him in open court. Jeffrey Epstein struck the deal with lawyer Bradley Edwards shortly before jury selection was set to begin in West Palm Beach, Florida. ‘What happened today was a win,’ Edwards, who represents some…


Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Isn’t Democracy. It’s A Judicial Coup

  By Richard Wolffe The Guardian (10/6/18) Brett Kavanaugh is the symptom, not the cause, of our sickness. He is the nasal congestion snorted out by the politics that have plagued us for the best part of three decades. If we’re ever going to recover our health and sanity, we need to start with the correct diagnosis. For all the justified outrage about sexual assault, involving allegations that Kavanaugh denied, the new supreme court justice represents an even bigger lie than his mindless fabrications about “ralphing” and “boofing”. He can blame his weak stomach if he likes; the rest of us are…


Brett Kavanaugh Teaches America How To Be A Real Dude

All-American Role Model… ***** Saturday Night Live: Kavanaugh Hearing Cold Open “Now usually I am an optimist. I’m a keg-is-half-full kinda’ guy.”   Saturday Night Live (9/29/18) Judge Brett Kavanaugh (Matt Damon) takes questions from Senators Chuck Grassley (Alex Moffat), Dianne Feinstein (Cecily Strong), Amy Klobuchar (Rachel Dratch), Thom Tillis (Mikey Day), Cory Booker (Chris Redd), John Kennedy (Kyle Mooney), Sheldon Whitehouse (Pete Davidson), Lindsey Graham (Kate McKinnon) and prosecutor Rachel Mitchell (Aidy Bryant). Link to 13-Minute Video


What To Do When ― Not If ― Roe Vanishes

  (Editor’s Note: And be clear, choice isn’t the only target. Once Roe has been smothered the ‘Christian’ right will begin pushing to get rid of contraceptives. That will impact every woman of child-bearing age. — Mark L. Taylor) By Robin Marty The HuffPost (6/27/18) Like many reproductive rights activists, I was horrified ― but sadly, not terribly surprised ― by the news that “moderate” swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring from the Supreme Court. Though he was often unreliable, Kennedy was the one slim ray of hope for a continuing federal right to a legal abortion now that…


Truly Orwellian: Abusive Secret Federal Prisons You’ve Never Heard Of Before Are Designed To Silence Political Dissent

  Environmental activists included in the count. TED Talk (11/9/15) Investigative journalist Will Potter is the only reporter who has been inside a Communications Management Unit, or CMU, within a US prison. These units were opened secretly, and radically alter how prisoners are treated — even preventing them from hugging their children. Potter, a TED Fellow, shows us who is imprisoned here, and how the government is trying to keep them hidden. “The message was clear,” he says. “Don’t talk about this place.” Link to 15-Minute Video (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. taylor, 2018. Open source and free for…


Secret FBI Program Now Jailing Activists For Speaking Out Against Police Brutality On Facebook

  By Jay Syrmopoulos Activist Post (5/11/18) Dallas, TX – When militarized FBI agents clad in tactical gear raided the home of Rakem Balogun in December 2017—forcing him and his 15-year-old son outside in their underwear on the cold and windy night as agents ransacked his residence—he thought it had to be a mistake. In an exclusive report by The Guardian, Balogun explains that he was stunned to later learn that he was under investigation for “domestic terrorism” and had been under law enforcement surveillance for years. Incredibly, Balogun’s arrest and the FBI raid on his home were partially due to a simple, and constitutionally protected,…


If You Want To Kill Dangerous Drug Dealers, Start With Big Pharma

By Domenica Ghanem OtherWords (4/4/18) At a recent rally in New Hampshire, Donald Trump called for the death penalty for drug traffickers as part of a plan to combat the opioid epidemic in the United States. At a Pennsylvania rally a few weeks earlier, he called for the same. Now his administration is taking steps toward making this proposal a reality. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo on March 21 asking prosecutors to pursue capital punishment for drug traffickers — a power he has thanks to legislation passed under President Bill Clinton. Time and again, these punitive policies have proven ineffective…


Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns To Plant Just In Case They Shot An Unarmed Person

  By Michael Harriot The Root (1/30/18) In April 2016, a 13-year-old boy was shot by officers of the Baltimore Police Department. The boy ran when faced with the police, so they gave chase. During the chase, the police spotted the boy holding a gun, and when he turned, they shot the teenager. The youngster wasn’t critically injured, and it seemed like an open-and-shut case of a justifiable use of force. Now people are wondering. The Baltimore Police Department is currently in court over one of the biggest scandals in the history of American law enforcement. The corruption case is replete…


Ssssh! Jeff Sessions’ Dept. Of Justice Charged A White Supremacist With Terrorism … And Kept It Quiet

  (Editor’s Note: Just imagine how Trump, Jeff Sessions and the Rethuglicans — and the mainstream media — would have handled this if this right wing wack-job had been a member of Black Lives Matter or a Muslm. – Mark L. Taylor) By Ryan J. Reilly The HuffPost (1/8/18) WASHINGTON ― Usually, when the FBI arrests a terrorist and the Justice Department charges them, it’s a big deal. Combatting terrorism is one of the Justice Department’s top priorities, and terror cases are a great way for federal prosecutors and agents to make names and build careers. The press and the…