Resist!

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…

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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…


June 15, 1918: The Speech That Made Eugene Debs Federal Prisoner NO. 9653

  “I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets.” By Marlene Martin SocialistWorker.org (6/15/18) One hundred years ago [1918], Eugene V. Debs spoke out against the First World War in a speech in Canton, Ohio — and was given a 10-year prison sentence for it. Marlene Martin recounts one of the most famous moments in the history of socialism in the U.S. THE FIRST thing Eugene V. Debs did when he walked to the stage in Canton, Ohio, on the afternoon of June 16, 1918, was to gesture…


‘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…


‘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…