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‘We Have To Fight Back’ — Progressives Call For Mobilization As Koch Brothers Open Their Pockets To Protect Corporate Democrats

[Editor’s Note: Any democratic candidate accepting dirty Koch money needs to be primaried and OPPOSED. — Mark L. Taylor] By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (6/11/19) With the billionaire Koch brothers reportedly considering spending big money to help protect conservative Democrats from left-wing primary challengers in the 2020 elections, progressives said the oil magnates’ efforts can only be thwarted by a grassroots mobilization dedicated to a bold alternative agenda. Justice Democrats—an advocacy group that is backing progressive primary challengers against corporate Democrats—said in an email to supporters on Tuesday that “we have to fight back with everything that we have” against the Koch brothers, whose…

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‘Let’s Expand Employee Ownership’ — Bernie Sanders Backs Plan To Give Workers Power Over Corporate Decisions

  “Employee-owned companies will not provide starvation wages to workers and huge compensation packages to CEOs. They will not allow for unsafe working conditions.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/28/19) Decrying an economic status quo that “produces huge CEO bonuses while millions are paid starvation wages,” Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday backed a pair of policies aimed at reducing soaring inequality by giving workers more power over corporate decision-making. According to the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein—who first reported on Sanders’s plans—the Vermont senator is developing a proposal that would force large companies to “regularly contribute a portion of their stocks to a fund controlled…


Humanitarian Volunteer Provided Food & Water To Migrants In Arizona And Now Faces Up To 20 Years In Prison

  Democracy Now! (5/29/19) An Arizona humanitarian aid volunteer goes to trial today [5/29] for providing water, food, clean clothes and beds to two undocumented migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. If convicted, Scott Warren could spend up to 20 years in prison. Warren, an activist with the Tucson-based No More Deaths, is charged with three felony counts of allegedly “harboring” undocumented immigrants. For years, No More Deaths and other humanitarian aid groups in southern Arizona have left water and food in the harsh Sonoran Desert, where the temperature often reaches three digits during summer, to help refugees…


From Greta Thunberg To Parkland: Courageous Young Citizen Activists Rattle The Right-Wing Smear Machine

They are citizens with rights who deserve to be heard. By Christian Christensen Common Dreams (5/20/19) I recently hit the age of 50, but let me tell you one thing I don’t think as I enter the second half-century of my life: that younger citizens around me are lazy, apathetic, entitled snowflakes, ensconced in cocoons of political correctness. Younger citizens—and, yes, they are citizens even though they can’t vote—must navigate a social universe of public-ness, information overload and surveillance unthinkable to those of us who grew up in the pre-Internet, pre-social media era. And, they must do this while dealing with…


Looking For Some Hope & Inspiration? Check Out Netflix Film ‘Knock Down The House’

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/16/19) I just finished watching the movie “Knock Down The House” on the 2018 House races of several courageous progressive women, including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The movie is on Netflix. It is a great and inspiring movie with wonderful insights on mounting races against corrupt, entitled, entrenched incumbents. While AOC is the main focus of the movie the other women and their supporters are just as inspiring. I strongly encourage you to watch and study what these brave women did. I guarantee you will have tears of joy and inspiration in the last…


Native American Communist Topples Incumbent Council President In Ashland

facebook.com/WhitebirdWard6/ “By admitting I’m a communist, I cast a beacon for those who oppose me, but also for those who agree with me.” By Earchiel Johnson People’s World (5/7/19) ASHLAND, Wisc. – The Democratic party primaries have been heating up across the nation over the last year, with progressive Dems like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York elected to Congress and an array of Democratic primary presidential candidates all pushing progressive causes. Local elections have also taken place that deserve special note. One of the more interesting of these happened last month in Ashland, Wisc. where a Native American,…


How A New Generation Of Socialists Can Win Power (While Avoiding The Mistakes Of The Past)

‘The Socialist Manifesto’ is both a warning and guide to the struggles ahead.  By Kristen R. Ghodsee In These Times (4/25/19) Tucked away in a corner in the permanent exhibition of the Deutsches Historisches Museum in what is now the heart of reunified Berlin, a humble placard captures one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th Century Left: The fall of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930s. Fresh from the annual Liebknecht-Luxemburg demonstration commemorating the murders of two of socialism’s most beloved martyrs—Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg—I spent a few hours lingering among the cases of posters and memorabilia…


The Story Of Jesus & The Roman Empire Shows What Happens When Dissidents Become Enemies Of The State

For those who truly study the life and teachings of Jesus, the resounding theme is one of outright resistance to war, materialism and empire. By John Rutherford The Rutherford Center (4/16/19) “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals. In the current governmental climate, where laws that run counter to the dictates of the Constitution are made in secret, passed without debate, and upheld by secret courts that operate behind closed doors, obeying one’s conscience and…


Only Rebellion Will Prevent An Ecological Apocalypse

The time for excuses is over. The struggle to overthrow our life-denying system has begun. By George Monbiot The Guardian (4/15/19) Had we put as much effort into preventing environmental catastrophe as we’ve spent on making excuses for inaction, we would have solved it by now. Everywhere I look, I see people engaged in furious attempts to fend off the moral challenge it presents. The commonest current excuse is this: “I bet those protesters have phones/go on holiday/wear leather shoes.” In other words, we won’t listen to anyone who is not living naked in a barrel, subsisting only on murky water….


Change The Narrative: How A Swiss Group Is Marginalizing Hateful Rightwing Populists

“The [far right] populists don’t know what’s hit them, and they really don’t know how to deal with it.” By Jon Henley The Guardian (4/7/19) How do you beat rightwing populists? With pink socks, viral videos, condoms – and an iron determination not to let them decide what matters. That’s how Operation Libero are doing it anyway. As advancing nationalist parties prepare to meet in Milan on Monday to forge an alliance in the run-up to May’s European elections, anti-populist activists in Switzerland may have some lessons on halting – even reversing – the seemingly unstoppable rise of rightwing populists. “It’s about…


A New Approach: Bitter Bipartisanship Has Become Toxic…Can We Save Ourselves?

[Editor’s Note: Check out those poll stats for democrats. — Mark L. Taylor] By Scott Wittkopf Frame4future (4/11/19) A recent New York Times Opinion article (“No Hate Left Behind”, March 13,2019) reaffirmed something that has been concerning me for months. In particular, the op-ed discusses a survey conducted by very respected political scientists. Their findings resonated with something that I have been writing, discussing, and raising red flags about to Democrats and progressives for a long time. This passage discusses attitudes of political partisans towards people from the opposite party as them, as expressed in the survey: “Kalmoe and Mason (the researchers)…found that nearly…


Progressive Campaign Consultants Sidestep DCCC And Create ‘The Blacklist’

“I won’t hesitate to work with progressive candidates challenging incumbent Democrats who are out of touch with their constituents. If that means getting blacklisted by the DCCC, then so be it.” By Emily Kopp Roll Call (4/5/19) Campaign consultants who face being frozen out tens of millions of dollars in contracts with the Democratic Party’s congressional arm are pushing back. A new website called “The DCCC Blacklist” launched in response to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s newly stated policy that it will not grant contracts to pollsters, strategists and communications specialists working with primary challengers. The Justice Democrats launched the site to create…


Heroic Civil Servant Stands Tall Against White House Security Crisis

By Amy Russo The HuffPost (4/21/19) Tricia Newbold, a White House security specialist turned whistleblower, spoke out in her first televised interview since coming forward to raise major concerns over the Trump administration’s allegedly lax handling of security clearances. “The protection of national security is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue; it’s an American issue, and we as security professionals owe it to make all our recommendations in the best interest of national security,” she said to NBC’s Peter Alexander in an interview that aired Tuesday. On Monday, the House oversight committee revealed that Newbold had approached Congress…


Rep. Adam Schiff Comments To Republicans On Trump-Russia: “You might think it is okay…”

Adam Schiff, speaking before the House Intelligence Committee meeting on March 28, 2019: My colleagues might think it’s okay that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think that’s okay. My colleagues might think it’s okay that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the president’s son did not call the FBI, he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help — no, instead that son said he would…


Threat To Our Free Speech: Attacks On The Right To Boycott For Human Rights

  Reveal / Center for Investigative Reporting (3/30/19) Support for boycotts of Israel has been growing in recent years, along with an increase in legislation seeking to curb this kind of boycott. Our story is about a contractor in Texas who feels they have no choice but to turn down a job when they realize the state requires they agree not to boycott Israel. We look at where this Israel boycott clause in employment contracts comes from, and weigh it against the First Amendment right to free speech. Then we travel to the occupied Palestinian territories and meet a man…



David Hogg: Putting Kids, Communities & Our Nation’s Future Over The Selfish Interests Of The NRA

Parkland, Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg. Make sure the young people in your life hear this amazingly courageous and eloquent teen speak out about gun violence, white power and the need to bring about a humane society. Westminster Town Hall Forum / MPR (3/19/19) David Hogg is a survivor of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He is among twenty Parkland students who founded Never Again MSD, a gun control advocacy group, and he is a founding member of March for Our Lives, one of the largest youth-led movements in the world….


AOC Rocks SXSW Conference With Talk Grounded In Radical Truth & True Change vs Incrementalism

“Stop trying to navigate systems of power and start building your own party.” ExpressDigest She came. She saw. She conquered. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dominated the South by Southwest conference with her mere presence, bringing in a larger crowd than any of the 2020 presidential contenders, all of whom were asked about her or her Green New Deal in their own sessions at the popular event. The 2,000 plus ballroom – one of the biggest in the Austin Convention Center – was packed, the overflow rooms were flooded with attendees and Bill Nye tweeted a photo of himself from the room…


A Dark Humored Word (Or Two) — Our Nation Brought To You By Billionaires

    “The revolution will not be sponsored.” By Anand Giridharadas (12/17/18) Gratitude is my task tonight. I’m here to thank our sponsors. Not of this show. I’m here to thank America’s sponsors. Because what was supposed to be a republic by, for, and of the people is increasingly a nation brought to you by billionaires. And when billionaires are in charge of our schools, our politics, our arts, our news, and our public conversation, it’s important to keep them happy by thanking them for ruling us. Link to 7-Minute Video ***** Anand Giridharadas — A letter To All Who Have Lost…


The Story Behind One Of The Iconic Protest Songs

By Danny Hajek Morning Edition / NPR (2/20/19) It was February 1967, and 18-year-old Marine private first class Bill Ehrhart was days away from leaving for Vietnam. He had just enjoyed his last weekend off-base, and his friends had offered to drive him back to Camp Pendleton, Calif., before sunrise. “It was goodbye civilian world, next stop Vietnam,” says Ehrhart, now a writer and poet. “These were not friendly neighborhood cops in a blue uniform. These were patrolmen with helmets and great big jackboots and billy clubs. It was kind of a scary scene in the midst of all that…


Not ‘Left-Wing Fantasy’ But ‘Mainstream & Really Popular’: Poll Shows Enormous Public Support For Higher Taxes On Rich

Billionaire breakdown ***** “Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.” By Jake Jonson Common Dreams (2/4/19) Likely 2020 contenders and progressive members of Congress have proposed a variety of plans in recent days to make the rich pay more in taxes and begin reversing soaring inequality—from a wealth tax to a 70 percent top marginal rate to a higher estate taxon the richest families—and a survey published on Monday found that such ideas are extremely popular among the American public. According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76 percent of registered voters believe that the wealthiest Americans should pay more…


A Message To Davos Oligarchs: Act As If Our House Is On Fire. Because It Is.

(Image: World Economic Forum)   By Greta Thunberg Common Dreams (1/25/19) The following is a slightly edited version of remarks delivered by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, January 25, 2018. Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. In that time, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society need to have taken place, including a reduction of our CO2…


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Panics The Sacred Cash Cows & Rattles Potemkin Politicians

Corporate Dems Tell AOC To Sit Down, Zip The Lip & Learn From The Real ‘Experts’… A group of GOP House members booed her on the floor, to which she replied, “Don’t hate me cause you ain’t me, fellas.” By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (1/22/19) One of the first things you learn covering American politicians is that they’re not terribly bright. The notion that Hill denizens are brilliant 4-D chess players is pure myth, the product of too many press hagiographies of the Game Change variety and too many Hollywood fantasies like House of Cards and West Wing. The average American politician would lose at…


Teachings From A Political Prisoner: The Crisis Of The Interregnum

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” ― Antonio Gramsci (1881-1937), Prison Notebooks. Italian neo-Marxist theorist and politician. Eventually imprisoned by Mussolini. ***** From Wikipedia: The Prison Notebooks (Italian: Quaderni del carcere [kwaˈdɛrni del ˈkartʃere]) were a series of essays written by the Italian neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci was imprisoned by the Italian Fascist regime in 1926. The notebooks were written between 1929 and 1935, when Gramsci was released from prison on grounds of ill-health. He died in April 1937. He wrote more than 30 notebooks and 3,000 pages of history and…



The Politics Of Truth In The Relentless Rap Of ‘Immortal Technique’

By Maggie Freleng Latino USA (1/13/19) Felipe Coronel, aka Immortal Technique, is a legendary underground hip-hop artist, known for his skills on the mic as well as his raw, highly political lyrics. His family immigrated to Harlem from Peru when he was a toddler to escape armed conflict and economic instability in Peru. He grew up in Harlem during the 80s and 90s during a time that was notoriously rough in New York City. Technique says because of the way he grew up, he harbored a lot of rage and eventually, that rage led him to prison. He was incarcerated…


Green Party In Germany Provides Effective Response To Far Right: “Give courage rather than spread fear!”

  In recent months, the Green Party has risen in national polling to become Germany’s second-most-popular party, and it has done so by drawing strong and clear contrasts between its vision and the populist far right’s. By Emily Schultheis HuffPost (12/12/18) BERLIN — The rise of far-right populism is a narrative that dominates world politics, from President Donald Trump in the U.S. to President-elect Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Hungary. It has left traditional politicians on both sides of the Atlantic grappling with how to respond. But Germany may offer an answer. Germany has its own…


Winona LaDuke Calls For Indigenous-Led “Green New Deal” As She Fights Minnesota Pipeline Expansion

  [Editor’s Note: Wow, Ojibwe leader Winona LaDuke is amazing! Unlike so many on the left, LaDuke is bold, declarative and able to make an argument in a compelling manner. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (12/7/18) While world leaders converge in Poland for the U.N. climate change summit, we look at the indigenous-led fight against destructive oil pipelines and the revolutionary potential of the Green New Deal with Winona LaDuke, Ojibwe environmental leader and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. Link to Story, Transcript and…


‘We Have Not Come Here To Beg World Leaders To Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. ‘We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming’

Time to hand over the baton. By Jon Queally Common Dreams (12/4/18) Striking her mark at the COP24 climate talks taking place this week and next in Poland, fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden issued a stern rebuke on behalf of the world’s youth climate movement to the adult diplomats, executives, and elected leaders gathered by telling them she was not there asking for help or demanding they comply with demands but to let them know that new political realities and a renewable energy transformation are coming whether they like it or not. Thunberg said that she was not asking anything of…


Shameless Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald & Bipartisan Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens

“One of the first things we must get rid of is the idea that democracy is tantamount to capitalism.”  — Eleanor Roosevelt By Paul Street CounterPunch (11/16/18) Caravan of Lies Never underestimate the disingenuousness of top U.S.-American politicos.   They truly have no shame. Notice how little the fascistic president Donald Trump has to say any more about the big bad Central American Caravan that was supposedly menacing the United States with a great criminal “invasion”? The U.S. military “heroes” sent down at great taxpayer expense to “defend our border” will be missing Thanksgiving with their families thanks to this fake…


Chris Hedges: Late Stage Capitalism Is Killing America

“We have to overthrow this system. We have to begin to think in revolutionary terms. These people have to go because we can’t afford to endure much more of their destruction; not only what they are doing to human beings but the ecocide they are carrying out.” Link to 35-Minute Video   ***** Chris Hedges On The Rise Of The Corporate Class & The Call To Resistance Link to 27-Minute Video ***** “The capitalist who does no useful work has the economic power to take from a thousand or ten thousand workingmen all they produce, over and above what is…


Neither Republicans Nor Democrats Are Up To The Massive Challenges We Face

By Sarah van Gelder HuffPost (11/8/18) The midterm elections are over. Women won historic gains in the House, which Democrats now appear to be on track to control. Voters in three red states ― Idaho, Nebraska and Utah ― approved expanding Medicaid, a repudiation of GOP efforts to discredit government run health care. And voters in Florida approved a measure giving ex-felons the right to vote ― one of the most significant expansions of voting rights in decades. The most expensive midterm election in U.S. history fired up people on all sides, including many young people who went all out to put…


From Rhetoric To Violence And Back. When Will The Endless Cycle Of Hate Stop?

  By Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Project Director Southern Poverty Law Center (10/28/18) As our nation grapples with yet another mass shooting we must look closely at why this hate-fueled violence is contaminating our society. The social media postings of the alleged shooter provide a chilling, but unfortunately expected, answer. They show an adherence to the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews are trying to destroy the white race through immigration – which they believe is “white genocide.” The alleged shooter, Robert Bowers, reaffirmed his belief in this absurd conspiracy while receiving medical treatment after slaughtering 11 people and injuring others including…


The Activists Pushing Back To Make Far Right Hate Groups Go Broke

  By Elizabeth King Splinter (10/19/18) It wasn’t so long ago that white nationalist “intellectual” Richard Spencer was the toast of the so-called “alt-right” and was even generously profiled by liberal and mainstream news outlets. His speaking engagements at various public universities attracted headlines for months throughout the 2017-2018 academic year as he faced massive blowback for organizing and attending the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. Now, Spencer barely appears in public and is reportedly broke. He’s not alone. Though fascists and their ilk fundraised aggressively to cover their legal costs in the wake of “Unite the Right,” many of them, especially the…


Share Our Nation’s Collective Wealth With All Citizens? Hell, Yeah! Let’s Start Now – Here’s How

  By Sam Pizzigati OurFuture.org (10/2/18) By In the United States, back during the Great Depression, three simple words animated a grassroots upsurge that would help make this nation the world’s first mass middle-class society: Share the wealth! And the nation did. By the end of the 1960s, the top one percent’s share of America’s national income had dropped by more than half. The bottom 90 percent share, meanwhile, had jumped from half the nation’s total income to over two-thirds. Redistribution — via the tax code — drove this dramatic egalitarian shift, as high incomes faced high tax rates throughout the middle decades of…


Bernie Addresses The Current Crisis Of The Spreading International Authoritarian Axis

“We must take the opportunity to reconceptualize a global order based on human solidarity. Based on the understanding that it is not based upon me against you or, the United States against China. But that we as a world especially, with the threat of climate change, are in it together. That in many ways we are going to survive together or go down by the kinds of conditions the authoritarians are trying to create. … Authoritarians seek power by promoting division and hatred. We will promote unity, inclusion and love.” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivered remarks at the Johns Hopkins…


Stifling Free Speech: Texas Cops Confiscated Woman’s Handmade Political Yard Sign, So Pass It On For Others To See

  By Brianna Stone Dallas News (10/4/18) AUSTIN — Marion Stanford expected the political sign she painted to rile up some folks in her small town of Hamilton in Central Texas. But she didn’t expect to end up in a heated Facebook exchange with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, or for the police to show up to confiscate her sign. The sign features the GOP elephant logo with its trunk up the dress of a female figure, with the word “Help,” next to the phrase “Your vote matters.” Behind it in her yard were campaign signs for Democratic candidates Lupe Valdez, Beto…


On Howard Zinn & The Transformational Power Of An Aroused Citizenry

  By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (10/6/18) Back to the fray, now that the Cretin-In Chief has declared Kavanaugh “flawless” and, in a spurious swearing-in, “proven innocent” of “a hoax” perpetrated by “evil people.” Among those vociferously disagreeing is the former dean of Yale Law School, which spit out Kavanaugh. In a blistering piece in Politico, Robert Post slams a “black-robed embodiment of raw partisan power inconsistent with any ideal of an impartial judiciary.” During his hearing, he charges, Kavanaugh “stoked the fires of partisan rage and male entitlement” with “a witches’ brew of vicious unfounded charges.” He dismisses Kavanaugh’s whining op-ed – “Judicial temperament is…


Abusive Relationship: Progressives Need To Talk Back To Their Jackass Boyfriend

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/8/18) In a recent Facebook squabble I was accused of aiding and abetting the republicans by saying it’s right not to support West Virginia Sen. Joe “Big Coal” Manchin’s re-election because of his cuddling up to republicans to help send Brett “Brewski” Kavanaough off to the Supreme Court. I posted and supported a couple articles referencing the need to stop supporting corporate dems who continually represent the greedy whims of the 1% and corporations over the needs of the voters who put them in office. One article referenced two liberal groups denying any…


Feeling Discouarged & Hopeless? Dump That, Read This!

Democratic senators, despite their best efforts, seemed unable to stop Brett Kavanaugh. Archila and Gallagher showed the world what real power looks like. By Jill Abramson The Guardian (9/28/18) Truth spoke to power. And the US Senate finally listened. In the end, after a full day of official Senate hearings, all it took was two gutsy women, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, to stop the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. The two women, who said they were survivors of sexual assault, stubbornly refused to let the elevator doors closeas Senator Jeff Flake, the critical swing vote on the Senate judiciary committee, was…