A Border Agent Stopped And Asked ACLU Lawyer A Chilling Question

  By Hina Shamsi ACLU (2/7/17) Last week, I was flying home from a work trip and faced Customs and Border Protection questioning unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in over 25 years of travel into and out of this country, including more than 10 years of travel for my work as an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and other rights groups. Compared to the hardship and suffering of the tens of thousands of people impacted by President Trump’s Muslim ban executive order, it was nothing. But it said something personal to me about the tenor of these dark…



Breaking Down The Wall Within Is The Key To Our Times

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it — always.” — Mahatma Gandhi   By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (2/6/17) The Electoral College and Congress have spoken. The oath’s been given. Our Constitution is a harsh mistress and a very undemocratic one too boot. In fact, our system of government was designed to be rather anti-democratic right from the get go. James Madison wrote that the…


Fire Chief Recalls Fiery Oil Train Derailment: ‘I have never seen anything more terrifying’

(The Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.the commonercall.org )   (Editor’s Note: Keep in mind the oil train in this story is the same kind of trains we have rolling through the heart of many cities – like La Crosse, WI – and thousands of small towns and villages across the nation. Really, it is time to move to non-fossil fuel energy energy. From wellhead to car gas tank, oil is a growing disaster. – Mark L. Taylor)     By Jeff Klasen Bay Today (2/4/17) It’s been…



CARTOON: Time To Steal From The Right’s Playbook. Call It The Herbal Tea Party

  (The Commoner Call & Lines of Resistance cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source anc freee to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )   By Rory Carroll The Guardian (2/1/17) They came with chants and songs, banners and flyers and a chicken costume, and felt it was working – that this and other grassroots protests were steeling Democratic resistance to Donald Trump. “We need to stand and fight. We are the majority. Let’s take our country back,” Mimi Fleischman told the crowd outside Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Los Angeles office on Tuesday afternoon. It was the latest anti-Trump gathering…


My Dad Predicted Trump In 1984 – It’s Not Orwell, He Warned, It’s Brave New World

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture.” –…


The Hate Report: He Was ‘preparing to fight a war on US soil’

  By Will Carless & Aaron Sankin Center for Investigative Reporting (11/17/17) (In this week’s Hate Report: Three white men have been charged with building bombs recently, the FBI’s much-awaited hate crime stats show an uptick, and a white supremacist campaign helped elect a black town board member.) Last month, Michael Christopher Estes planted an ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb packed with nails and bullets in the concourse at theAsheville Regional Airport in North Carolina. Estes openly admitted to authorities that he was “preparing to fight a war on U.S. soil.” Last week, prosecutors announced federal charges against Elijah Blankenship of Akron, Ohio, who…


Arm Yourself: Shock Doctrine On VIDEO

From Vj Ultra Vimeo In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries. At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the…


A Guy Oughta’ Ask Why In A Year Of Change GOP Didn’t Run Against Rep. Kind…

(The Commoner Call & Lines of Resistance cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/30/17) A fellow commoner forwarded Rep. Ron Kind’s latest fundraiser, posted above. The underlying assumption, I’m guessing, of the congress critter’s appeal is that he is such a stellar democrat not even the Trump wave could take him out. Of course the GOP did not even field a candidate in 2016. Nevertheless, folks are urged to pony up some bucks if they want to keep their wonderful congressman…


The Orwell Essay That’s Even More Pertinent Than ‘1984’ Right Now

Put down that fantasy sci-fi novel and pick up “Politics and the English Language.”   By Maxell Strachan Huffington Post (1/25/17) In the three days since Kellyanne Conway described White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” people around the country have been searching for ways to deal with the Trump administration’s continued willingness to deceive the American public. One place many have landed is back in 1984. Copies of George Orwell’s dystopian novel have been in high demand since Conway debuted her latest Orwellian turn of phrase. By Tuesday, the book had climbed all the…


10 Films To Keep You Inspired & Marching Forward After The Women’s March

By Breena Kerr Yes! Magazine (1/27/17) In the days since his inauguration, Donald Trump has given women around the country—and the world—new motivation to fight for equality. After the Women’s March ended, which was estimated to be the largest peaceful demonstration in U.S. history, many were left wondering: Now what? If you’re reading this, we’re confident there will be more marches, calls to senators, and civic engagement in your future. But in between those and the normal business of living, it’s important to stay inspired. So we’ve compiled a list of films to do just that—inspire you, make you mad, and…


Commoner Reclaims White House Web Page From Xenophobic Hate

The Commoner Call (1/30/170 In an expression of Trumpian arrogance, xenophobia and racism, the White House website abruptly removed the Spanish version of the White House website. But not to fear, a  Commoner Call reader sent the link below which was done by her son, George Conard, which not only restores the Spanish version of our White House website but also includes translations in eight other languages! What a wonderful act of citizen defiance, initiative and true national values. Thanks, George! Link to White House Translated   *****   Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Plan Is Straight Out Of Breitbart, Radical Right…


It’s Little Details That Betray The Great Defects Of A Man

Watch The Difference In How Trump & Obama Greet WW II Veteran & Former Republican Senator Bob Dole  By Walter Einenkel Daily Kos (1/23/17) Former Senator Bob Dole was instrumental in setting up the controversial phone call between president-elect Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Senator Bob Dole is a Republican. Senator Bob Dole is not beloved by Democrats. In April of 1945, a 22-year-old Bob Dole made an outrageous sacrifice for our country, losing the use of parts of his body. Now 93, Dole—wheelchair bound—was a special invitee to the inauguration “festivities.” Bob Dole’s wife, Elizabeth Dole was also a senator, in senior…


Accuser In Infamous Emmett Till Case Admits: I Made It Up

The Young Turks (1/27/17) The woman who accused a 14-year-old African American boy of whistling at her in the 1960s has recanted. The boy was brutally murdered after her accusation. John Iadarola, Michael Shure, and Jimmy Dore, the hosts of The Young Turks, tell you about this injustice. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. https://www.tytnetwork.com/go “The white woman at the center of the Emmett Till case has recanted her testimony related to the lynching of the 14-year-old black boy, according to a new book. “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Carolyn…


Thursday Jan.26, 2017

“Welcome To The United States Of Embarrassment.” – Women’s March Protest Sign in Madison, WI.


Thursday Jan 26, 2017

“Welcome To The United States Of Embarrassment.” – Women’s March Protest Sign in Madison, WI.


Echoes From A Dark Past: The Fascist Overtones In Trumpolini’s Inaugural Address

(The Commoner Call & Lines of Resistance cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) If you were looking for Trump to take the high ground in his Inaugural Address and call on “the better angels of ourselves,” you were kidding yourself.   By Matt Rothschild, Executive Director Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (1/20/17)   It was hard to listen to Trump’s Inaugural Address without hearing some not-so-faint echoes of fascism. The most obvious was his invocation of “America First” as the “new vision” that “will govern our land.” But it’s not a…


Here’s Why Sen. Shilling Will Lose Her Next Election

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/26/17) First, let me make it clear the headline above is not my wish but a sad prediction. Following just weeks after a disastrous Democratic Party national campaign grounded on negative advertising, complete lack of vision and a “lesser of two evils” strategy I received the following email press release from Democratic 32nd District State Sen. Jennifer Shilling’s office:   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 23, 2017 Statement on Gov. Walker’s proposed work restrictions MADISON – After years of Republican policies that have cut family wages, shrunk the middle class and increased student loan…


Five Great Reads For Thursday

Compromise Doesn’t Work With Our Political Opponents. When Will We Learn? By Chelsea E. Manning The Guardian (1/25/17) …The one simple lesson to draw from President Obama’s legacy: do not start off with a compromise. They won’t meet you in the middle. Instead, what we need is an unapologetic progressive leader. We need someone who is unafraid to be criticized, since you will inevitably be criticized. We need someone willing to face all of the vitriol, hatred and dogged determination of those opposed to us. Our opponents will not support us nor will they stop thwarting the march toward a…


Trump’s Two-Step Strategy For Hostile Takeover Of The Truth

By Robert Reich RobertReich.org (1/22/17) Donald Trump is such a consummate liar that in coming days and years our democracy will depend more than ever on the independent press – finding the truth, reporting it, and holding Trump accountable for his lies.  But Trump’s strategy is to denigrate and disparage the press in the public’s mind – seeking to convince the public that the press is engaged in a conspiracy against him. And he wants to use his tweets, rallies, and videos to make himself the only credible source of public information about what is happening and what he’s doing….


A Simple Way To Save Millions Of Birds Yearly

There are still tens of thousands of towers though that aren’t bird-friendly.   (Editor’s Note: If your local radio station or cell phone provider hasn’t made this simple change to their boradcasting towers why not organize some local citizens to pressure them to make the change. In this case, it appears, the solution to a big problem truly is not rocket science. – Mark L. Taylor) By Ben Thorp NPR (1/24/17) It’s likely the only time you really notice one of your neighborhood broadcast and cell towers is at night when they’re lit up with conspicuous bright red lights. Those…


A One Minute Guide To Trump-Proofing Your Life

The Commoner Call (1/23/17) The Guardian published a gift on Inauguration Day – a one-minute video of seven ways to build some protection into your life during the Trump reign. Suggestions range from supporting opposition groups and independent media to women getting an IUD now while it is still legal and abortion may soon become illegal, to obtaining a passport. The final suggestion is most important: Don’t Panic. Panicking people don’t think and plan clearly; their emotions get clouded and send them running into walls. Take a breath. Take another breath and then connect with neighbors, coworkers and other activists…


This Commoner Is ‘Furious’ With Quisling Editor: “You did your part to elect Donald Trump!”

I  read your issue of The Commoner Call [1/23/17] last night. I’m still furious!  If you are so concerned about progressive values and concerned about restoring and moving ahead with progressive programs, why the hell are you beating up on Barack Obama?  Why aren’t you trumpeting the fact that the nation just reached the longest consecutive job growth in history-(78 years statistic has been recorded) , the auto industry and all feeder industries were saved, many more people are now insured?   Why aren’t you beating up on Trump’s cabinet nominees, or the deletion of climate change  references on state and…


And So It Begins…

(Commoner Call & Lines of Resistance cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Important Video! Straight Up – Michael Moore Just Laid Out A Blueprint For Resisting Donald Trump

The Commoner Call (1/23/17) On Inauguration day filmmaker Michael Moore – who not only predicted Trump’s win, he prediced the Midwestern state flip to the GOP – gave a talk to ctivists and provided the following advice for the resistance to come. It’s all good advice: Admit: We have to admit that the Republicans are good at what they do. They are strong, we are weak. “We look like such wimps,” Moore said, with a shake of his head. We have to admit it and then start standing up and getting some steel in our spines. Be A Thorn In…


The Oaf Of Office (Again)

In putting together the Friday Inaugural Day Commoner Call I made a mistake in posting the cartoon for the day so that I could see it but nobody else could. So we are giving it another try…     (Commoner Call & Lines of Resistance cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Commoner Call Reader Sends Photos Of Women’s Solidarity March In Mexico

All photos by Mike Olson and special to The Commoner Call, 2017. By Mike Olson The Commoner Call (1/23/17) Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca Mexico – This gathering was called Women’s March In Solidarity With The Women In Washington D.C. Protests are not allowed by foreigners here but demonstrations by residents are common. We marched from Templo de Santo Domingo to the Catedral de Nuestra Senora De La Asuncion which is on the Zocolo here in Oaxaca. Crowd estimates vary but this observer estimates 450 people.  A number of residents joined the march which had little publicity apart from the expat and long-term visitor…


Reminder Of What Is Important: A Soothing Collage Film Of Mother Earth For Troubled Times

By Carolyne Weldon NFB Blog (1/20/17) Regardless of what is happening out there in the world, it sometimes helps to remember that we always retain control of one thing: our minds. Whatever change might be hurtling our way, whatever uncertainties we may be forced to face, there remains this thing no one can take away from us or taint in any way: the tone and content of our inner thoughts. Instead of asking, how bad will this get? How will I be hurt by this? We can practice asking: what would I want this to look like? What small step can…


A Commoner Writes – What’s With All The Talk About White Men?

Hey Mark,   What’s with all the white men references in your lead article (four times, including the title) [“In This Era Of Intolerance White Men Of Conscience Have A Special Duty To Speak Out Against Hate”, 1/20/17]?  Are you suggesting that white women do not have a “special duty” to speak out?  I found your piece very disconcertingly like a call to action from a men-only club. Carol Dagnon Editor’s Reply: Oh, no, it’s a time for all people – no matter their racial or ethnic background – to get active and speak out. It is just that I do believe…


In This Era Of Intolerance White Men Of Conscience Have A Special Duty To Speak Out Against Hate

“Silence is consent.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/20/17) Since Trump’s minority victory there have been about a thousand reports nationwide of harassment and violence against the full range of minorities. American Muslims have been especially targeted and women wearing the hijab especially so. There was one incident that really stuck in my memory. Certainly the act itself was not the worst of what we have seen and it wasn’t just the action I found so disturbing as the inaction on display. The event happened three days before Christmas. A middle-aged white woman in a J.C. Penny store in a…


An Anthem Of Defiance: A Call To Resist

 “I will face the man in the tallest tower.” The Commoner Call (1/20/17) Music has the power to heal and move and if ever there was a time for inspiring protest anthems this is it. Check out this new protest song, “I’m Gonna Walk It With You” by Brian Claflin and Ellie Grace. The rousing lyrics and singing style have echoes of traditional gospel protest yet the lyrics are powerfully crafted for the current crisis. “I will face the man in the tallest tower.” Indeed! Link to 3-Minute Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8boCrXOp9M Pre-release single available for download: http://www.claflinandgrace.com


No Picture

The Life Of Muckraking Journalist George Seldes Is A Story Of Bold Resistance In Dark Times

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/19/17) Trump’s inaugural extravaganza will no doubt contain enough bombast and darkness for a 1950’s Grade B monster movie. If you are looking for some inspiration of how a citizen can stand for right in difficult times check out the 1998 documentary “Tell The Truth And Run”,  a wonderful overview of the bold life of muckraker journalist George Seldes. As a witness to some of the greatest horrors and abuses of the 20th century, Seldes triggered the wrath of everyone from Gen. Pershing to Adolph Hitler, who tried to have him killed. Oh,…


A Commoner Writes: How To Resist State Voter ID Law

The Wisconsin Voter ID voter suppression law, is one of the worst affronts to the foundation of our Democracy in this state’s history.  Why are people just accepting this abomination of a law? They don’t have to.  You don’t have to. There is a way to object to it, and show your objection at the polls.  Yes, it means you will have to step out of your comfort zone, and it may even require you to make the poll workers do a little more work, and the clerks to do the hard thing, not the easy thing.  It will do…


Sunday February 26, 2017

“The political machine triumphs because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority.”  – Will Durant


Monday February 27, 20117

“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”  – Native American teaching