Mr. President: ‘Just who the hell do you think you are?’

By Leonard Pitts Miami Herald (2/14/17) Dear Mr. So-Called President: So let me explain to you how this works. You were elected as chief executive of the United States. I won’t belabor the fact that you won with a minority of the popular vote and a little help from your friends, FBI Director James Comey and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bottom line is, you were elected. And this does entitle you to certain things. You get your own airplane. You get free public housing. You get greeted with snappy salutes. And a band plays when you walk into the…


Redacted: Your Right To Vote In America

Comedian and “Redacted” host Lee Camp begins this episode with a take-down of Trump Joseph Goebbels clone Stephen Miller but then goes on to give one of the best full spectrum assessments of the attack on voting rights across the country. The very concept of democracy has become a cynical myth through a bipartisan attack on the rights of all Americans to vote. Link to 10-Minute Video      


The Clock Is Ticking: At Best, We Have One Year To Save Our Nation & Ourselves

(Editor’s Note: If you do nothing else today, listen to the opening interview with Yale historian Timothy Snyder about the actual degree of risk we are at. When we tell ourselves that a totalitarian regime can never happen here we are, Snyder warns, ignoring history. We are not as exceptional to the reality of history as we like to think. Please, listen to this fascinating interview and then take action. – Mark L. Taylor) Once you concede on abuse of the first group you have lost everything.   Open Source WBUR (2/16/17) Should Donald Trump have spelled it out that…


Let’s Hold On The Cheers For Surveillance Leaks: Power Of The Deep State, Flynn Leaks And the End Of Democracy

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/20/17) It’s hard not to feel some measure of hope at all the news about the deep state surveillance and intelligence agencies leaking news nuggets about Trumpster ties to Russian oligarchs and Putin’s pals in the Kremlin. I mean, hell, it’s Trump. Right? During an interview last week with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, New York Sen. Chuck Shumer stated an ugly truth about Trump’s ranting and raving about the intel community, saying the so-called president was “being really dumb” for taking on the intelligence mafia: “Let me tell you, you take on…


The Forces Behind The Internet’s Growing Authoritarian Anti-Democracy Movement

By Rosie Gray The Atlantic (2/10/17) White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been in contact via intermediaries with Curtis Yarvin, Politico Magazine reported this week. Yarvin, a software engineer and blogger, writes under the name Mencius Moldbug. His anti-egalitarian arguments have formed the basis for a movement called “neoreaction.” The main thrust of Yarvin’s thinking is that democracy is a bust; rule by the people doesn’t work, and doesn’t lead to good governance. He has described it as an “ineffective and destructive” form of government, which he associates with “war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.” Yarvin’s ideas, along with those…



The Five Faces Of Authoritarian Dystopia

By Paul Buchheit Common Dreams (2/13/17) Based on reliable news sources, his biographer, and his own writings, the most powerful man of his era has been referred to as an “egomaniac” and “narcissist,” possessing a “big mouth” with an “impulsive style,” unable to differentiate between truth and falsehood, preferring emotion over facts, focused on national greatness and law & order, fearful of “foreignization,” prone to coarseness and put-downs in speeches, and fond of “mantralike phrases” filled with “accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.” The man described above is Adolf Hitler. All of the descriptions were attributed to the Nazi…


How Refugee Neighbors Changed A Man’s Mind About Muslims: ‘They Took The Hatred Out Of Me’

Learning neighborly kindness.   By Christopher Mathias Huffington Post (2/9/17) “I hated Muslims.” That’s what John Dutcher, a 61-year-old house cleaner in Omaha, Nebraska, recently admitted in interviews with both The Washington Post and KETV. He told the Post that he had been “one of those guys who would want to put a pig’s head on a mosque.” (Pork-based hate crimes targeting Muslims are common in the U.S., including in Omaha.) And he’d “sneer at” women wearing headscarfs of hijabs, he said to KETV ― even though he had never actually met a Muslim person before. Then six families of…


Author Of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: It was ‘farfetched’ when I wrote it — but Trump is making it real

    By Tom Boggioni The Raw Story (2/11/17) Margaret Atwood, whose dystopian 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” describes a a totalitarian theocracy that has taken over the U.S. and subjugated women for the ruling class, claims the election of Donald Trump is making her book all too real now. In an interview at Cuba’s international book fair, the Canadian-born Atwood said sales of “The Handmaid’s Tale” have jumped with the election of Trump, while admitting interest has also grown due to a remake of the 1990 film as a miniseries to be shown on Hulu. According to Reuters, Atwood…


It May Only Take 3.5% Of The Population To Topple A Dictator – With Peaceful Civil Resistance

The United States has a rich history with effective uses of nonviolent resistance. Now’s the  time to become familiar with it.   By Erica Chenoweth The Guardian (2/1/17) Many people across the United States are despondent about the new president – and the threat to democracy his rise could represent. But they shouldn’t be. At no time in recorded history have people been more equipped to effectively resist injustice using civil resistance. Today, those seeking knowledge about the theory and practice of civil resistance can find a wealth of information at their fingertips. In virtually any language, one can find…


Mike McCabe – The Lesson For Democrats: Messaging Alone Won’t Win

By Mike McCabe Blue Jean Nation (2/8/17) In this post-truth, alternative-fact world, “messaging” is a popular buzzword in political circles. Those who win are convinced superior messaging is the secret of their success. Those who lose are convinced that faulty messaging was their downfall and all they need to do to win is get better at it. There are messaging gurus on both sides. They get a lot of attention and make a lot of money doling out advice. Messaging has become something of an obsession, especially on the Democratic side. To hear Democratic insiders tell it, bad messaging is why…


In Spite Of Walker, Solar Jobs Surge In State

Walker has received nearly $6 million from the Koch brothers, the nation’s leading advocates for fossil fuels.   By Dave Zweifel Cap Times (2/10/17) There are now more than 260,000 Americans working in the solar energy industry, according to end-of-2016 figures released this week by the Solar Foundation. That’s actually twice the number of Americans now employed by the coal industry and roughly the same number working in the national gas industry, the foundation said. That means that roughly one of 50 new jobs in 2016 was in the solar industry. But here’s what’s even more significant: The national median…


When The Government Had Real Reason To Fear A Bowling Green Massacre — From A Homegrown White Supremacist

 FBI agents came to believe Schmidt had been planning his own string of racially motivated attacks on African-American and Jewish community leaders.   By A.C. Thompson ProPublica (2/8/17) The year was 2012. The place was Bowling Green, Ohio. A federal raid had uncovered what the authorities feared were the makings of a massacre. There were 18 firearms, among them two AR–15 assault rifles, an AR–10 assault rifle and a Remington Model 700 sniper rifle. There was body armor, too, and the authorities counted some 40,000 rounds of ammunition. An extremist had been arrested, and prosecutors suspected that he had been…




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.” –…


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…


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…


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…


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…