Resist!

Knock, Knock, Knocking On Corrupt Capitalism’s Palace Doors

If you can squint past the smoke from the barricades, the commonalities start to stand out.  By Ben Ehrenreich The Nation (11/25/19) Something—someone—keeps knocking at the door. It’s cold out there and getting colder, but the people inside are cozy on the sofa with the TV on and a blanket on their laps. But there’s that knock again: at the front door now, then the side door, then the back. Maybe it’s the wind. Now there’s knocking at the windows and the roof and the walls of the house—who knew they were so thin? It’s hard to understand: How could so…

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‘So If You’re Poor, You’re Dead’? Watch These Brits Gasp When They Find Out The Deadly, Crippling Cost Of Corporate Run Medical Profiting In The US

“Brits can’t fathom the barbarity of America’s healthcare system.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams Britons in a video released Tuesday expressed incredulity and shock at the high cost of healthcare in the United States and thanked the United Kingdom’s publicly-funded and administered National Health Service for sparing the country’s people such exorbitant prices. “So if you’re poor, you’re dead,” one young woman tells the interviewer from Joe Politics after hearing an asthma inhaler in the for-profit U.S. system costs between $250 and $300. Two different men appear shocked when told Americans can be charged $2,500 for an ambulance ride. “For real?” one…


Cornel West: Now Is Not The Time For Timid Centrism

By Mark L. Taylor The commoner Call (12/5/19) Cornel West is one of the best teachers in America. In this short video he provides a serious assessment of the positive role American socialism has played in national progress and the march to equality. He shows how timid half-measures are exactly the wrong response to moments of challenge and crisis. Given the fevered fascist threat growing in our nation and worldwide, West’s assessment and prescription for political redemption is a serious message to hear, take in and boldly act upon. As West would acknowledge, the ultimate teacher for our moment of…


Resistance Radio: The Man Who Laughed At al-Qaeda

By Mike Thomson Assignment / BBC (11/28/19) Raed Fares, founder of Syria’s legendary Radio Fresh FM, was mowed down by unknown gunmen as he left his studios in rebel-held Idlib in November 2018. The death of the man who fought hatred with humour and laughed in the faces of President Assad, ISIS and al-Qaeda, sent shockwaves way beyond his troubled homeland. When ordered by Islamist extremists to stop broadcasting music he had replied with bird song and clucking chickens. On being told to take his female presenters off air, he put their voices through software to make them sound like…


Historian Timothy Snyder: Here’s How We Escape TrumpWorld, Where There’s “no future and no truth”

By Chauncey Devega Salon (11/23/19) There will come a time when Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States. The Democrats may defeat Trump in 2020, sending him back to one of his resort hotels to brood and plot further chaos. Trump could be impeached, convicted and forced from office, unlikely as that seems at this moment. A serious medical illness may mean that he is unable to fulfill his duties and is forced to resign. Because of his many scandals and likely illegal behavior, Trump could also choose to resign — if given assurances that Mike Pence, as the new…


‘The Empire Files’ — Chris Hedges & Abby Martin: No Way Out Of Fascism Through Elections

“These people will kill us. And they will, in the end, carry out crimes of humanity that make what the Nazis and Stalinists did look like like child’s play. They are now pushing us toward the complete extinction of the human species.” [Editor’s Note: This is one of the best summaries of the bipartisan crisis and anomie super-charging the death cult of our corporate-serving society. A tough but necessary message for us all. — Mark L. Taylor] The Empire Files (11/27/9) Abby Martin sits down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges to discuss the ignored reality behind Trump,…


The ‘Audacity Of Nope’ — Actually, Barack, We Do Need To Tear Down The System

By John Atcheson Common Dreams (11/21/19) There are two ways to practice politics: you can either follow polls or shape them.  For four decades now, Democrats have been poll followers, and Republicans have been poll shapers. Recently, President Obama urged the Democrats to continue being poll followers, saying, “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”  The evidence suggests he’s wrong about that, but even if he isn’t, Democrats need to change the mind of the average American, not be led by it. Here’s why. “The system” was designed by and for corporate America and…


Left Twitter Responds With Viral #TooFarLeft Hashtag After Obama Tells Wealthy Donors Democrats Need To Tamp Down Progressive Ambitions

“I launched the #TooFarLeft tag, because I’ve had it with Republicans, media elites, and corporate Dems enabling fascists while denigrating those who seek economic and social justice as ‘too far left.’  I’d like to ONCE hear them complain America is too far right.” By Jon Queally Common Dreams (11/16/19) If you want to see the hashtag #TooFarLeft go viral, just get a former world leader—perferably one who is a Democrat—to denounce Left Twitter. After it was reported Friday that former U.S. President Barack Obama told a room full of “wealthy liberal” Democratic Party donors that voters ultimately won’t go for candidates offering…


Musician Bobi Wine Taking Courageous Stand Against Brutal Ugandan Dictator Museveni

Morning Edition / WBUR (1/15/19) NPR’s Scott Simon reconnects with Ugandan musician and activist Bobi Wine, who continues to protest President Yoweri Museveni’s rule. Wine is now planning to run against him in 2021. Link To 6-Minute Audio Kasukali Keeko ? By H.E Bobi Wine: Link To 3+-Minute Video   UGANDA ZUKUKA BY HE.BOBI WINE & NUBIAN LI: 4+-Minute Video


Cornel West On Hope & Resistance In The Age Of Trump: We must “find joy in the struggle”

What would Malcolm say? What would Martin say? What would Fannie Lou Hamer say? What would Ida B. Wells say? What would Toni Morrison say? All of these warriors who have passed away, we have to be true to them. By Chauncey Devega Salon (11/3/19) Donald Trump’s presidency is a stress test for American democracy, the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. The enduring strength of American democracy has long been prefaced on the assumption that the country’s leaders — especially the president — had some basic respect for democracy. Moreover, the president was assumed by both elites and the…


Henry David Thoreau: “If I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior…”

“The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well? You may say the wisest thing you can old man — you who have lived seventy years, not without honor of a kind — I hear an irresistible voice which invites me away from all of that. One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels.” — Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854 (p.5).


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,…


What True Leadership Looks Like: ‘Walking With The Wind’ By Rep. John Lewis

“I had problems with the church. On the one hand, I was absolutely committed to my faith , to the Lord, to the stories and lessons I read in the Bible — beautiful stories and deep, deep lessons. On the other hand, I was torn and confused, full of questions about why so many people treated one another so cruelly sometimes, often in the name of the same Bible I was reading. That kind f question didn’t curb my desire to become a minister. In fact, it increased it. Seeing what the Reverend King was doing showed me there were…


Umbrellas Up! Hong Kong Youth Can Teach A Thing Or Two To Timid, Passive America About How To Confront Corrupted Power

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (10/ 24/19) The National Public Radio show This American Life recently traveled to Hong Kong to join protesters on the streets and in their living rooms to learn about what it is like to participate in risky mass protests against corrupted power. The massive weekend protests began several months ago over a now withdrawn extradition law that could have made Hong Kong residents subject to disappearance in mainland Chinese prison camps. Hong Kong police have grown increasingly aggressive with one protester recently being shot. In response some demonstrators have become increasingly aggressive…


Marianne Williamson Lays Out The Structural Moral Dysfunction Of The 2020 Presidential Race & Our Hollowed Out Nation

“If we think just talking about a policy shift here and a policy shift there is going to prevail we are in such denial.” [Editor’s Note: While many are quick to dismiss her, Marianne Williamson gives an excellent assessment of what has led to the dysfunction, abuse and crushing inequality of the current system and — more importantly — the kind of true revolution of awareness that we need for a better, more humane — and survivable — future. The old system will not do it. — Mark L. Taylor] The Young Turks (10/16/19) Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson goes in…


The Story Behind ‘Catch 22’ Was About Far More Than The Insanity Of War

  Outlook /BBC (6/25/19) Joseph Heller’s funny, tragic satirical anti-war novel was published in 1961 and sold millions. For many it epitomised the growing anti-establishment mood of the 1960s. Heller had served in a bomber squadron during World War Two. Though his experiences provide the setting for the book, its target was actually the America of the 1950s. Using interviews with the author from the BBC archive, Alex Last tells the story behind Catch-22. Link to 9-Minute Audio ***** Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ At 50 Morning Edition Saturday / NPR (7/6/19) Fifty years ago Kurt Vonnegut published his anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. NPR’s…


Free Speech: Use It America, Or Lose It

By Abbey Zimet Common Dreams (10/4/19) Awash in what Charlie Pierce calls our national, sputtering, demonic “John Le Carré novel starring the Marx Brothers” – now at its “smoking arsenal” stage – it’s comforting to remember the resisters out there. Since the Bush era, tireless Freeway Bloggers largely in California and the West have been busy operating on the First Amendment principle that if you put up a sign over highways where a gazillion, bored, trapped drivers spend hours every day, multitudes will ineluctably see it before someone gets around to taking it down. Their website boasts compelling arguments: “Impeach,” “Deport Racists,”…


Because ‘Fossil Fuel Industry Doesn’t Care,’ Scores Arrested In Attempt To Shut Down New England Coal Plant

Those arrested came “ready to remove the coal #BucketByBucket” in order to shut down the region’s largest coal-fired power station. By Jon Queally Common Dreams (9/29/19) Nearly 70 climate activists were arrested in New Hampshire on Saturday after hundreds of people descended on a coal-fired power plant—part of a series of coordinated global actions over recent weeks aimed at spotlighting the urgent threat of global warming while demanding a rapid and just transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy system. The direct action at the Merrimack Station power plant—the largest  plant of its kind in New England—was organized by a…


The Sunset Of Old ‘Politics-As-Usual’ Corporate Dem Neoliberalism

The not unlikely shortcomings of a President Joe Biden could lead us straight back to the current dilemma, perhaps with a younger, smarter version of Trump. By Max Sawicky Jacobin (8/24/19) Cheer up. The Left is winning the battle of ideas. Ideas are the basis for organization, and organization is prior to change. The signs are in the evolution of statements and platforms presented by Democratic presidential candidates. As the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote, eighty and some years ago: “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist….


Commemorating An Astonishing Act Of Bravery & Compassion In A Time of Cowardice & Hate

On and after October 1, 1943, thousands of Danish families left their lives behind. A makeshift armada hastily ferried more than 7,000 Jews and their spouses across the water to neutral Sweden.’ (photo: Museum of Danish Resistance) By Harvey Wasserman Reader Supported News (9/14/19) As we flounder in the sea of hate spewing out of the White House and all around it, honoring one of humankind’s greatest acts of compassion might help us heal, and renew our faith that change can still come. It happened October 1, 1943 – 76 years ago this coming month. Jews around the world were…


The Grave Danger Of The Dem’s Timid Opposition To Trump & Russpublicans

“While the official opposition party expresses grave concern about the gradual demolition of constitutional democracy — and, in fairness, some of its leading members use forceful language and demand action — it remains confused and defensive as to both strategy and tactics. At the moment, it appears committed (if that’s not far too generous a word) to relying on the machinery of constitutional democracy to defeat the assault on constitutional democracy, which is … I don’t know what it is. Stupid? Naive? Evidence of collaborator’s guilt? One struggles to find the correct metaphor: It’s something like trusting that there will…


Shut It Down: Veteran Organizer Lisa Fithian Offers A Guide To Resistance In Era Of Climate Crisis

“Learn Your History.” Democracy Now! (9/6/19) Lisa Fithian is a longtime organizer and nonviolent direct action trainer since the 1970s. She has shut down the CIA. She has occupied Wall Street, disrupted the World Trade Organization and stood her ground in Tahrir Square. She has walked in solidarity with the tribal leaders at Standing Rock and defended communities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. “It’s an incredibly painful time, but we can’t let that pain de-stablize us.” She joined us at the Democracy Now! studio to talk about her new book, which was published this week, titled “Shut It Down: Stories…


“We Are Striking To Disrupt The System”: An Hour With 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

“I walk the walk. If I say something, I do it.’ Democracy Now! (11/9/19) In her first extended broadcast interview in the United States, we spend the hour with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired millions across the globe. Last year she launched a school strike for the climate, skipping school every Friday to stand in front of the Swedish parliament, demanding action to prevent catastrophic climate change. Her protest spread, quickly going global. Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren around the globe have participated in their own local school strikes for the climate. Since her strike…


One Of Most Encouraging Articles You Will Read This Week

  How a small active minority can change the world. By David Robson Future Now / BBC (5/14/19) In 1986, millions of Filipinos took to the streets of Manila in peaceful protest and prayer in the People Power movement. The Marcos regime folded on the fourth day. In 2003, the people of Georgia ousted Eduard Shevardnadze through the bloodless Rose Revolution, in which protestors stormed the parliament building holding the flowers in their hands. Earlier this year, the presidents of Sudan and Algeria both announced they would step aside after decades in office, thanks to peaceful campaigns of resistance. In each case,…


Getting Real About What It Will Take

“All of the movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor movement, the communists, the socialists, the anarchists, and the civil rights movement—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of power to respond. The platitudes about justice, equality, and democracy are just that. Only when ruling elites become worried about survival do they react. Appealing to the better nature of the powerful is useless.”  – Chris Hedges, America: The Farewell Tour ***** Chris Hedges On What it Takes To Be A Rebel In Modern Times VICE News (11/2/15) Bestselling author and…


Undercover: Reports From A Vancouver Democrat Who’s Been Working Against The Far-Right Extremist Group ‘Patriot’ Prayer From The Inside

[Editor’s Note: A hero in an era of cowards. — Mark L. Taylor] By Alex Zielinski Portland Mercury (8/26/19) Since 2017, far-right groups have flocked to notoriously liberal Portland to march, yell, and engage in violent clashes with left-wing activists. Most of these demonstrations were planned by Patriot Prayer, a small coalition of Trump-supporting provocateurs based in Vancouver, WA. Ben has marched alongside Patriot Prayer for nearly every major Portland demonstration—events with such vague names as “Rally for Trump and Freedom,” “Freedom March,” and “Trump Free Speech Rally.” What the far-right group didn’t know was that Ben was a spy. “I…


‘Vive la France’: 75 Years Ago, Paris Freed From Nazi Occupation By The Original Antifa

  By Agence France-Presse (8/23/19) In August 1944 ordinary Parisians rose up, led by Resistance fighters supported by workers, women and even priests to throw off the Nazi yoke after four years. Following six days of street clashes, random attacks and armed barricades, they were joined by French and US soldiers and victory was confirmed. “Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred!” General Charles de Gaulle declared outside the city hall on August 25. “But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself. Liberated by its people.” Almost bypassed? The landing of tens of thousands of American, British and Canadian troops on the beaches of…


Protesting Immigration Policy, And Why I Decided To Get Arrested

It seemed, somehow, like a necessary, if modest, gesture of solidarity with the people sitting for months on end in holding pens in the desert. By Bill McKibben The New Yorker (8/9/19) Toward the end of this hideous week of gun massacres and Presidential tantrums, I found myself manacled at the ankle to a bench in a holding cell in the basement of a police station in the upstate New York city of Glens Falls, wondering if it was a useful place to be. On Thursday morning, I’d left my house in the Adirondack forest and driven an hour out of…


Canadian Broadcasting Archives: Pete Seeger On Being Blacklisted In 1950’s America

CBC (7/10/13) In this clip from 1965, folk singer and activist Pete Seeger talks about being black listed for “un-American activities” and his refusal to answer questions that violated his Constitutional Rights. Link to 4+-Minute Video Here’s The Song Seeger Offered To Sing At His Trail — “Wasn’t That A Time”: Link to 3+-Minute Video ***** The Story Behind “Forever Young” By Pete Seeger   Amnesty International USA (3/14/12) Mini-documentary about the recording of the song “Forever Young” by Pete Seeger featured on the album “Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International”.  Link…


A Commoner Writes: The Importance Of Citizens Speaking Up

I am now 78 years old and I have never experienced the amount of anxiety that I have currently. On Independence Day, I wrote a letter to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram which was published on July 14. Several days later I received a letter in which the writer said I had “attacked him personally” and that he is “very angry”. Here is what I wrote: July 4, 2019, was one of the more depressing days of my life. I saw no reason to celebrate America’s Independence with all that has transpired since the 2016 elections. I remained at home, refusing…


Miles For Migrants: Put Your Frequent Flier Miles To A Good Humanitarian Cause

    The Young Turks (8/10/19) Andy Freedman Miles4Migrants is reuniting refugees with their families. Cenk Uygur and Andy Freedman, hosts of The Conversation, break it down. Link to 12-Minute Video ***** Link To Miles4Migrants.org To Learn How You Can Make A Direct Positive Impact On A Migrant Family. (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


One Of The Best Interviews You Can Watch This Year: Joe Rogan & Dr. Cornel West

Joe Rogan Experience (7/24/19) Dr. Cornel West is a philosopher, political activist, social critic, author, and public intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Link to 2-Hour Video    


There’s One Bipartisan Heresy That Really Sets Bernie Apart From All Other Dem Contenders To Unseat Trump

By Greg Grandin The Nation (7/16/19) Let’s be clear: Bernie Sanders’s heresy, what sets him apart from every Democrat running to unseat Donald Trump, is not simply that he calls himself a socialist in a country long proudly identified as capitalist. Those two labels, socialist and capitalist, are open to too many interpretations and represent too many historical examples (everything from Norway to the United States, Stalin’s Soviet Union to Hitler’s Nazi Germany) to pin down. Rather, a more precise way to define the historic nature of Sanders’s campaign would be to focus on his promotion of social or economic rights and how…


Famed CBS Journalist Edward R. Murrow Reminds Us Of What It Means To Be Americans: “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.”

“A Report On Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy” / “See It Now” on CBS – March 9, 1954. “Earlier the Senator asked, “Upon what meat does this, our Caesar, feed?” Had he looked three lines earlier in Shakespeare’s Caesar, he would have found this line, which is not altogether inappropriate: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” “No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the junior senator from…


Interviews With Madison Native & Liberation Theologian Matthew Fox, Target Of Corrupt Papal Forces

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (7/8/19) Below are six interviews conducted by Paul Jay for Reality Asserts Itself on the Real News Network of Madison native and liberation theologian Matthew Fox. When Fox and other courageous priests continued preaching the liberation theology of justice for the poor in Central America he was kicked out of the church by the the fascist supporting Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the future Pope Benedict XVI. While targeting priests advocating for the poor, Ratzinger was one of the key…


Forget Trump’s Carnival Show Fourth: A Lincoln Remembrance Appropriate To July 4th

  “In March 1864, a decade after Alvan Bovay founded the Republican Party in Ripon [WI], a delegation from the New York Workingman’s Democratic Republican Association came to the White House to offer the country’s first Republican president an honorary membership  in their labor organization, “None are so deeply interested to resist the present rebellion as the working people,” Abraham Lincoln told them, after accepting the honor. “Let them beware of prejudice, working division, and hostility among themselves. The most notable feature of a disturbance in your city last summer was the hanging of some working people by other working…


Should We Abolish Billionaires? Oh, Hell, Yeah! The Sooner The Better.

  About 60 percent of all the wealth in America today is inherited. By Robert Reich Robert Reich’s Blog (7/2/19) America now has more billionaires than at any time in history, while most Americans are struggling to make ends meet. With such staggering inequality, it’s fair to ask: should we abolish billionaires? There are basically only four ways to accumulate a billion dollars – and none of them is a product of so-called free market capitalism. Billionaires themselves aren’t the problem. The real failure is in how our economy is organized. One way to make a billion is to exploit…


Information For Those Targeted By ICE — Pass Along

PASO — West Suburban Action Project provided this important information as communities continue to respond to the threat from ICE:   1) Trump cannot deport millions of people in one operation. That is a lie. 2) People should not open their doors because ICE does not have warrants. 3) If you have never been deported before, you have a right to a hearing before a judge and possibly a bond. Fight your case! 4) If you have never been deported before, you still have rights! Talk to a trusted lawyer! 5) Don’t sign anything. 6) ICE does not have the…


Words To Remember: FDR’s Letter To Corporate Democrats Will Blow Your Mind

  Jimmy Dore Show (3/29/17) Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote a letter to corporate democrats threatening to withdraw his nomination if they did not support his progressive Vice President pick Henry Wallace. His sentiments about the need for Democrats to be more progressive applies even more to today’s world. Link to 15-Minute Video ***** Full Text Of FDR’s 1940 Letter To Corporate Dems Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter to the Democratic Convention  July 18, 1940 Members of the Convention: In the century in which we live, the Democratic Party has received the support of the electorate only when the party, with absolute…


‘We Are Unstoppable, Another World Is Possible!’ — Hundreds Storm Police Lines To Shut Down Massive German Coal Mine

Hundreds of climate activists break through police lines at German coal mine. (Photo: Jens Volle/flickr/cc/Ende Gallende) “Thanks to all the thousands of brave ones.” By Jon Queally Common Dreams (6/22/19) Hundreds of climate activists stormed a massive open-pit coal mine in Germany on Saturday, entering a standoff with police inside the mine while thousands of others maintained separate blockades of the nation’s coal infrastructure as part of a week-long series of actions designed to end Europe’s dependency on fossil fuels. Coordinated by the Ende Gelände alliance, the campaigners targeting the Garzweiler mine in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia as they evaded security forces across…