Given the ongoing effort to quash all public dissent, and prevent people from protesting, it’s a good reminder to take a glimpse into the past, to see what people do when governments are wrong and out of control. They protest.
Given the ongoing effort to quash all public dissent, and prevent people from protesting, it’s a good reminder to take a glimpse into the past, to see what people do when governments are wrong and out of control. They protest.
Well, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Trump Administration and the GOP are engaging in a plan that Karl Rove and his billionaire patrons, as well as the GOP have had in the mill for a few decades. What is the plan?
TO CONTINUE WHITE PRIVILEGE AND THE WHITE SUPREMACY HOLD ON ALL BRANCHES OF FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID OF LOSING POWER DUE TO THE ON-GOING SHIFT IN POPULATION TO MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR AND FOREIGN BORN THAN WHITES. THEY WANT TO ESTABLISH AND/OR MAINTAIN WHITE MINORITY RULE IN AMERICA UNDER THE GUISE OF NATIONALISM AND PATIOTISM.
How are they going to do it? As follows:
- They will create and carry out a Civil War, if necessary, in order to achieve their aims.
- They will engage in massive violations of the United States Constitution and Laws to achieve their goals.
- They will scapegoat certain segments of the population, mainly people of color, immigrants and “liberals”, but also the middle class.
- They will engage in passing discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation that the populace will accept as long as it is not aimed at their particular segment and when it is eventually aimed at them, they will be too fearful to do anything about it, and no one will be left to defend them.
- They will engage in policy efforts, law enforcement efforts, military efforts and judicial efforts to reduce the influx on “non-white” immigrants and reduce the present population of non-whites, and this will include efforts to control the growth of non-white populations.
- They will continue to “militarize” local, state and national law enforcement agencies and use them to protect corporate interests domestically and abroad and they will utilize the “domestic military” for these same purposes.
- They will privatize public lands and interests in land, such as minerals and fuels, and continue to privatize (Corporate Control) the safe drinking water supply while allowing Corporate interests to pillage the “public trust” without regard to environmental impacts and the impacts to safe drinking water and agricultural water.
- They will engage administrative policy enforcement through “Executive Orders” and other mechanisms, even if some are ultimately struck down by courts, and will utilize the same to divide the populace into warring segments.
- They will engage or attack the Judiciary Branch in order to achieve their aims or eventually destroy it.
- They will depend upon their followers, and those unaffected by initial discriminatory laws and policy, to eventually accept surrender of their Constitutional rights in order to establish white people as the “ruling class”.
- They will use the catchwords of “nationalism and patriotism” as euphemisms or “code words” for “white rule” and “white supremacy” and will make it clear to poor and uneducated whites and eventually all of the white population, that their aim is to maintain white rule and white privilege, for the good of America.
- They will attack the Free Press and attempt to silence any “Corporate Owned” media by convincing their followers, and others who eventually understand and accept their aims (either out of self-interest or fear), and will engage in Policy efforts and Congressional efforts to restrict the Free Press and Free Expression that is the lynchpin of the Constitutional Republic.
- They will incrementally replace the Free Press with media sources that spew only manufactured “alternative” facts or function as the propaganda arm for the achievement of their aims.
- They will create false facts which their followers will accept as Gospel in order to destroy the Free Press and attack and destroy the credibility of the Judicial and Congressional branches of government, which the GOP will go along with in order to achieve “one-party” domination.
That’s just part of Harold A. Monteau’s checklist and column. I highly recommend clicking over and reading the whole thing. Also recommended: West Wing World: The Amusement Park That Is the White House.
© C. Ford. All rights reserved.
More and more efforts are directed at divestment, and Norway’s largest private investor has decided to go No DAPL.
The largest private investor in Norway has pulled out of three companies connected to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) because of the conflict at Standing Rock.
Storebrand, an Oslo-based financial-services company that specializes in sustainable, socially conscious investing, has sold off nearly $35 million worth of shares in Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Enbridge, the company announced on March 1.
“Storebrand has made the decision to withdraw all investments from the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, including positions in the North American companies Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Enbridge Inc. and Phillips 66,” said Storebrand in a statement on March 1.
“Our conclusion is that these are poor long-term investments, both for our pension customer and from a sustainability point of view,” the company said.
Storebrand had investments of $11.5 million in Philips 66, $7 million in Marathon Petroleum Corp. and $16.2 million in Enbridge Inc., for a total of $34.8 million, said the company. According to its website, it has been in operation since 1767 and was managing pension funds since 1917, pre-dating Norway’s social security system by 50 years.
“There is too much uncertainty, for us as an investor, as to whether there has been a good process that ensures the rights of all parties in the conflict,” said Matthew Smith, Head of Sustainable Investments. “There has been involvement by the United Nations, by President Obama, and President Trump. Caught in the middle are the people directly impacted by the pipeline.”
Storebrand tried numerous tactics to enact change, Smith said in the statement, but none of them worked.
“Generally, it is our belief that we can have a more positive effect on companies and situations by using our position as an owner to effect change. We have successfully done so on many occasions, but it doesn’t always work,” Smith said. “Storebrand has been in direct contact with the companies, and has worked with international groups of investors. Our most recent initiative is an investor letter, representing 137 investors with $653 billion assets under management, that encourages involved banks that have lent money to the project to use their position and influence to engender positive change and a reconsideration the routing of the pipeline.”
Storebrand was forced to conclude that “active ownership is not going to deliver a better outcome,” he said. “We do hope that this can give a final indication to the involved companies to reconsider the routing of the pipeline.”
The investor joins a growing number of companies and entities that have pulled funds from Wells Fargo and other banks that are financing DAPL, ranging from the City of Seattle to individual account holders. Others, such as New York City, have put DAPL banks on notice.
The decision was not easy, Smith told The Guardian.
“Divestment is a last resort,” he said. “When you divest from companies, you give up your possibility to influence companies to come to a better solution.”
Full story at ICMN.
© C. Ford.
North Dakota legislators have been pushing a raft of draconian bills through to make any protesting impossible to do, if you’re actually outside your abode. The worst of them is one which would allow drivers to ‘accidentally’ hit a protester without penalty. Thankfully, it didn’t pass, but the shit-filled asshole who authored it still wants it to be enacted, because:
Republican state Representative Keith Kempenich told local media that he sponsored the bill after his mother-in-law was caught in a protest while driving.
Kempenich defended the bill Monday before a vote, saying current laws had failed to protect citizens, and that the much publicized bill was mischaracterized by the media.
“I’d like to see this bill passed forward. I think that it shows that we are willing to stand up for the citizens of this state,” he said.
How about you say what you mean, you piece of shit? You want that bill to pass because you think us nasty Indians ought to be killed. We sure as hell obviously aren’t citizens of this state in your colonial, genocidal eyes. Fuck you, Kempenich.
Via Raw Story.
The projected cost for President Donald Trump’s border wall continues to rise, and Trump has no good plan to contain it.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that the border wall will be much more expensive than the $10 billion figure Trump repeatedly cited during his campaign or the $12–$15 billion cited by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) last month.
“Trump’s ‘wall’ along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct,” Reuters reported, citing a U.S. Department of Homeland Security document the outlet obtained.
And it could end up costing even more than that.
“Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion,” Reuters reports.
On Saturday morning, Trump responded to that news by assuring Americans that costs of constructing the wall will come “WAY DOWN” as soon as he gets involved in the negotiations.
But Trump’s citation of the reduced cost of F-35s should give no one confidence he’ll be able to bring down the exorbitant cost of his border wall.
That’s because on January 30, Trump took credit for cost cuts to the fighter jets that were already put in place before he got involved. A Washington Post fact-check gave Trump’s claim that he was responsible for cutting $600 million from the F-35 program “Four Pinocchios.”
Trump has repeatedly taken credit for deals that were in the works long before he won the election or became president. For instance, he’s overstated his role in deals with Intel, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and Sprint to take credit for saving American jobs.
Last year, Reuters reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents don’t think the type of border wall Trump has long supported is necessary for national security. Instead, they seek better equipment and technology.
Not only is this wall idea the epitome of idiocy, people tend to forget a different cost of such idiocy – the high cost imposed on animals, the environment, and various ecologies. This sort of arrogant assholery is little more than a chest-pounding display of cruelty, a game for bully boys. Unfortunately, such people don’t much give a shit about the planet which gives them life, or the diversity of life on our earth, which has no use for the concrete idiocy of naked apes intent on warring with their neighbours. You can read a bit about this high cost here.
Full story at Think Progress.
Today marks the birthday of Fred Korematsu, a man who never gave up his fight for justice, even though it was a fight he needed to pursue for decades. His bravery, his light, his dedication should light a fire in all of us, renewing our personal commitment to see justice done, and to protect, help, and fight for those being victimized. Too many Americans are more than content to let the ruinous and immoral past repeat itself, while remaining blissfully ignorant of history. Just a bit here, the full story is at Think Progress, and of course, at http://www.korematsuinstitute.org/.
Here are six comments from Japanese Americans that have an important message for the Trump administration to learn from:
Fred Korematsu, 2004
No one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy.
George Takei, actor and civil rights leader, 2014
When I was a teenager, my father told me that our democracy is very fragile, but it is a true people’s democracy, both as strong and as great as the people can be, but it is also as fallible as people are. And that’s why good people have to be actively engaged in the process, sometimes holding democracy’s feet to the fire, in order to make it a better, truer democracy.
Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), former congressman, 2015
Even after we were released, I, along with other Japanese-Americans, faced anti-Japanese slurs and insults in a post-World War II America. We developed a sense that somehow we had done something wrong. It was my father who helped me realize that our “crime” was simply being of Japanese ancestry. In a post-Pearl Harbor craze, this lineage was sufficient for the federal government to pass orders to detain and imprison an entire segment of American society — we were guilty solely by association.
Dr. Satsuki Ina, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento, 2015
I was born behind barbed wire 70 years ago in the Tule Lake Segregation Center, a maximum-security prison camp for Japanese-Americans in Northern California. My parents’ only crime was having the face of the enemy. They were never charged or convicted of a crime; yet they were forced to raise me in a prison camp when President Franklin Roosevelt signed a wartime executive order ultimately authorizing the incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent. We were deemed a danger to the “national security” and incarcerated without due process of law.
Paul Ohtaki, businessman and journalist, 2008
People don’t believe this. If you go beyond — maybe a few states here — they don’t believe that the United States had a concentration camp! They don’t call it that. You can call it what you like, but they put people in who are entitled to every citizen right of anybody else. People don’t believe that!
Fumi Hayashi, Cutter Laboratories, 2006
When you see pictures of black men hanging from trees, and I don’t know how we can do things like that to each other. Sometimes I think if I were on the other side of the fence, would I go to Tanforan [a temporary incarceration camp to hold Japanese Americans] with a whole bunch of buckets and soap? Do I have that kind of something inside of me — that I would do something like that for other people? It’s a big question mark. I can’t say that I would, because I think it’s more comfortable to write a check or even worse, just do nothing.
Chizu Iiyama, activist, social worker and educator, 2009
I don’t have advice. I just say to learn from your own — to study and learn about your history; history of our government and history of all these things that happened. If you are a minority person, learn your history, so you’ll know again what happened in the past so you’ll be sure to deal with the present in a more enlightened way.
A group of 100 people gathered in Park City to protest the revival of the project by new U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, Malia Obama joined the protester who were holding up signs that read: “Exist. Resist. Rise.” and “Impeach corporate control,” according to the Daily Mail.
Along with protesting the construction of the pipeline, which will disturb sacred grounds and introduce contaminants into the local water supply, the group was protesting the festival sponsorship by Chase Bank, which is invested in the pipeline. The rally was held in front of the Chase Sapphire on Main lounge.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was more surprised at the rapidity with which Donald Trump signed presidential memoranda purporting to speed up the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline than he was by the act itself.
“We were prepared for President Trump take a run at everything we have accomplished in the last two years,” Archambault told Tamron Hall on MSNBC on Wednesday January 25, the day after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum attempting to move DAPL along. “This nation better start bracing itself for what’s to come if in the first four days we’re witnessing him using an executive order to circumvent federal laws. It’s not right, and it’s something we better get ready for. I was disappointed that it came this soon, because we had worked so hard for the last two years.”
The tribe wants closer study of the pipeline’s potential effects on water supply, sacred sites and treaty rights, he said, and Trump is trying to do an end run around such statutes as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“The troubling thing is that this president is circumventing federal law,” Archambault said. “We have Treaty rights, we have water rights with our Winter’s Doctrine, we have NEPA.”
For those who still insist fossil fuels are the future, the Trump administration represents a new day for some old ideas. In an early sign of things to come, the president showed his faith in big oil when he signed documents Tuesday pressuring federal agencies to support construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Each of these projects faced enormous protests and was put on hold by the Obama administration because of legitimate environmental and due process concerns.
Congressional Republicans frequently howled at far less heavy-handed exercises of executive power under the previous administration. Today, they applaud Trump’s move on the mistaken premise that these pipelines are good investments. Not only will these projects not create long-lasting jobs – as CNBC, not exactly an anti-corporate mouthpiece, has noted: “Pipelines do not require much labor to operate in the long term” – they will further delay the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy our economy needs and the American people demand.
Editor’s note: Reaction was swift and strong when President Donald Trump signed a series of Presidential Memoranda and Executive Orders designed to move the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) forward and revive the Keystone XL pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responded immediately, and on January 25 Standing Rock Chairman Archambault wrote a letter to Trump explaining the legal constraints, the support that the Environmental Impact Statement and the tribe have, and the need for a leader-to-leader meeting. The full text is below.
You’ve probably seen and shared at least one of the many brilliant political cartoons by Marty Two Bulls at some point in time. Marty Two Bulls—an artist from the Oglala Lakota Nation—has been drawing political cartoons with great success for many years. His work has long been a staple on the pages of ICTMN. He’s known for bringing clever humor and hilarious imagery to hot, controversial issues: most recently the anti-DAPL movement in Standing Rock.
But now, you might see his work in places it shouldn’t be: dozens of t-shirt sellers who are hoping to make a buck from the #NoDAPL campaigns have ripped off Marty Two Bulls designs and been using them to sell t-shirts of their own with no credit, profit, or acknowledgement offered to the artist. Now, Two Bulls has taken the matter into his own hands. In addition to filing dozens of reports to stop production of the rip-offs, he has decided to sell t-shirts of his own.
The design thieves are mostly from overseas with no connection to Native country.
“So far I caught over 20,” Two Bulls said, “I go online, I search terms like #NoDAPL and Water is Life on Facebook, and there they are.”
Marty is an amazingly talented artist, and one of the best political cartoonists in the world, he’s brilliant. Please, if you want to show support for Standing Rock, take the time to make sure your item is coming from the actual artist. Most artists aren’t rolling in money, and this theft hurts, one more than one level. Marty is trying to do something for his people, and if you want to help, and like his artwork, please buy from Marty Two Bulls.
There’s a good alt on the rise!
…If anyone should know that it is, as a practical matter, impossible to force a willful individual to stop tweeting, it’s President Donald J. Trump. So perhaps he was least shocked of all to see that, on Tuesday night, a new handle popped up on Twitter: @AltNatParkSer.
By way of introduction, the anonymous founders tweeted: “Hello, we are the Alternative National Park Service Twitter Account activated in time of war and censorship to ensure fact-based education.”
The account is less than a week old. It has issued over 300 tweets — on the Trump White House, on climate change, on the importance of peer-reviewed and factually-accurate science — and racked up 1.24 million followers in the process.
Within days, at least a dozen Twitters claiming to be the rogue employees of the government agencies for which they work appeared, describing themselves as the “unofficial resistance”: @RogueNASA, which already has 628,000 followers; @altUSEPA whose bio reads “Environmental conditions may vary from alternative facts” already has 184,000 followers; @RoguePOTUSStaff, allegedly tweeting from “inside the White House,” has a follower count of nearly 60,000. The National Weather Service, the State Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Education, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services,: all have alternative accounts with thousands of followers a pop.
The tone is tongue-in-cheek, but the messaging is clear: Climate change is real. Facts are facts. The public has the right to know the truth. Science should not be dictated by politics. Attempts to silence official means of communication will only spark alternative means of communication. It’s a fitting act of rebellion under a president so taken with Russia: Resistance to Trump, via samizdat-com.
There’s also something satisfying about seeing the word “alternative” used against Trump and not for him, seeing as it was recently adopted by Kellyanne Conway as a modifier for “facts” (her way of defending White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s blatant falsehoods about, of all things, the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration) and co-opted by neo-Nazis as half of their more media-friendly, less-obviously-fascist title of choice, “alt-right.” The alt-NPS Twitter teams give “alternative” back to the public, for its correct use.
Trump and his ilk, like Breitbart-alum-turned-chief-strategist Steve Bannon, stoke distrust in the mainstream media like an abusive boyfriend insisting that no one else in your life really wants what’s best for you like he does. When the president is a pathological liar who does everything within his power to prevent government agencies from arming the public with accurate information, something as simple as telling the truth becomes a radical act.
The Trump administration’s efforts to deny readily apparent truths is, as Masha Gessen writes, a means of “assert[ing] power over truth itself.” But these rogue Twitter accounts are a means of asserting truth over power itself. They are a way of announcing to the president — who is surely paying attention, considering how much time he spends on Twitter — that facts will not quietly be dethroned by fiction.
VIVE LA RESISTANCE!
Last year, Gov. Daugaard vetoed an anti-transgender bill, after meeting with a number of transgender persons. Unsurprisingly, the bigoted bill is back on the table, with a new twist.
The 2017 bill, SB 115, has the same purpose as last year’s: blocking schools from letting transgender students from accessing bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. But there’s a new word included in the bill — one not seen in other anti-transgender bills — that could set a dangerous new precedent for legislation designed to discriminate against transgender people.
“The term, biological sex, as used in this Act, means a person’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth,” the bill reads. “A person’s original birth certificate may be relied upon as definitive evidence of the person’s biological sex.”
That word “original” means there would be no way for any transgender person to ever obtain legal recognition.
Currently, in South Dakota, transgender people can obtain court orders to amend their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity without any specific medical requirements.
But if anti-trans legislation starts referring to “original birth certificates” like South Dakota’s new bill does, that would further limit the already-few ways trans people have to protect their gender identities under the law. Indeed, it would eliminate the relevance of any legal documentation they obtain that confirms their gender identity.
Given South Dakota’s otherwise-identical bill made it all the way to the governor’s desk last year, this year’s version could similarly have legs. And there’s nothing to stop the many other states considering various anti-trans bills from incorporating the same change or propose new bills with this extra rejection of transgender identities.
This is absolutely evil, and so unnecessary. I’m tired of saying it should not be alright to legislate hate and bigotry. I would hope that Daugaard find the spine to do the right thing again, but I’m doubtful. Even if he does, this will be picked up by spiteful, bigoted, hateful, christian asses in many other states.
Full story at Think Progress.
Normally, I would post about this, but all I can do is scream at all the fucking lies, so go read about the fucking asshole of the day.
There are an additional 9 more marches coming up, you can see them all, with links, at The Advocate.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Sen. Dan Bishop, a Charlotte Republican, has proposed a new measure that would make it a crime to “threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against a present or former North Carolina official in the course of, or on account of, the performance of his or her duties.”
The measure came in response to a video in which several protesters followed Ex-Gov. McCrory down a street in Washington, D.C. while chanting things like “Shame!” and “Anti-gay bigot!”
“If Gov. McCrory were a former official of the District of Columbia, this incident might have been a crime punishable by five years in prison,” Bishop in an official statement. “So should it be in North Carolina. This is dangerous. Jim Hunt, Bev Purdue and other governors never faced riotous mobs in their post-service, private lives, without personal security.”
Chanting “Shame!” and “Anti-gay bigot” are not dangerous. They might be embarrassing, yes. And a shameful bigot like McCrory certainly would have his little ears burning, but it’s still not dangerous. Five years in prison? Unfuckingbelievable. Is there any redeeming feature to self righteous rethuglicans? Just one? Because I never see one. People are fighting for basic human rights and the rethug answer? Prison! If there are any repubs who think they are chock full of redeeming features, you’re staying awfully quiet.
At no point in the video did any protester physically touch McCrory or make any threat against the former governor.
And since issuing threats to public officials is already a crime, the scope of Bishop’s bill would likely depend on how it defines “harassment” and “retaliation” against current or former government officials.
And there’s the heart of it. In the new Fascist States of America, you should not have the right to criticise. So much for those vaunted frozen peaches.* Full story here. *Free Speech / Freeze Peach / Frozen Peaches.
And in Louisiana, all that matters are blue lives, the rest of us can just go to hell or prison, whichever comes first:
Following suit with the Trump administration’s law enforcement platform, police in Acadiana, Louisiana have used the state’s new “Blue Lives Matter” law. Louisiana is the first state to enact such a law, which aims to protect the conduct of police officers by slamming people who resist arrest with hate crime charges.
“We don’t need the general public being murdered for no reason and we don’t need officers being murdered for no reason. We all need to just work together,” said the St. Martinville Police Chief, Calder Hebert in defense of the new law. “Resisting an officer or battery of a police officer was just that charge, simply. But now, Governor Edwards, in the legislation, made it a hate crime now.”
CBS News correspondent David Begnaud clarified on Twitter that the police chief’s language was inaccurate, according to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ communications director. However, the Blue Lives Matter provision has already been used to charge someone with a hate crime.
If the response to protesters at Donald Trump’s inauguration is any indication of what’s to come from police, any Blue Lives Matter law that seeks to slap felony hate crime charges on people for resisting arrest is just another component of a serious crackdown on dissent.
Based on Louisiana’s Blue Lives Matter law, anyone who resists arrest or uses physical force against an officer can now be charged with a felony hate crime, a serious offense that will only further criminalize those most affected by abusive policing. Hate crimes are punishable by ten years to life in prison.
Again, the only answer: prison. And that’s for lawful dissent. Dark days. Full story here.