A Global Letter to Trump…

Dear

Avaaz has a global letter going, and they’d like to get 6 million signatures. I’ve signed. Please, sign yourself, and boost the signal! We can make our voices heard.

With the Muslim ban, Trump has shown that the worst fears about his Presidency are true. Add your voice to the open letter below to join the resistance — then spread it far and wide:

—-

Dear Mr. Trump,

This is not what greatness looks like.

The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you.

Facing your fear we choose compassion. Hearing your despair we choose hope. Seeing your ignorance we choose understanding.

As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division.

Sincerely,
[Add your name!]

Please sign and share!

National Strike: February 17th.

Demonstrators block an escalator at the international terminal as protests against President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries continue at San Francisco International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Olga Rodriguez).

Demonstrators block an escalator at the international terminal as protests against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries continue at San Francisco International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Olga Rodriguez).

In a column for the Guardian on Monday, American writer Francine Prose called for a “nonviolent national general strike” to demonstrate “how many of us there are, how strong and committed we are, how much we can accomplish.”

She wrote: “Let’s designate a day on which no one (that is, anyone who can do so without being fired) goes to work, a day when no one shops or spends money, a day on which we truly make our economic and political power felt.”

Calls to do just that have been circulating online recently, with activists setting Feb. 17 — the Friday before President’s Day — as the day for a #nationalstrike against the presidency of Donald Trump.

No one working, no one buying anything, for one day. I realize not everyone will be able to blithely ignore their job for one day, but if you can get away with it, please, please, do. Affinity will be closed for the strike on Friday, February 17th, and I will post a reminder prior to the day. Pretty sure most people can manage to forgo shopping for one day. Be ungovernable.

The full, in-depth story is at News.Mic.

Sister Marches.

Wm

If you can’t make the women’s march on Washington, there are sister events! They are going on everywhere, not just here in uStates, but all over the world. Check out the sisters page, and see if you can find a march near you. (There are even three here in nDakota!)

World of Wonder has more details.

Screenshot Activism.

mc

Credit: Matt Chase.

Screenshot activists are reaching out to advertisers, pointing out ads which are right next to hateful commentary, fake news, and open bigotry. The primary target right now is Breitbart. So far the activism has been effective, but as with all activism, this could be, and needs to be, a much larger effort.

One day in late November, an earth and environmental science professor named Nathan Phillips visited Breitbart News for the first time. Mr. Phillips had heard about the hateful headlines on the site — like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” — and wondered what kind of companies would support such messages with their ad dollars. When he clicked on the site, he was shocked to discover ads for universities, including one for the graduate school where he’d received his own degree — Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “That was a punch in the stomach,” he said.

Why would an environmental science program want to be promoted on a site that denies the existence of climate change? Mr. Phillips figured — correctly — that Duke officials did not know where their ads were appearing, so he sent a tweet to Duke about its association with the “sexist racist” site. Eventually, after a flurry of communication with the environment department, he received a satisfying resolution — an assurance that its ads would no longer show up on Breitbart.

Mr. Phillips had just engaged in a new form of consumer activism, one that is rewriting the rules of online advertising. In the past month and a half, thousands of activists have started to push companies to take a stand on what you might call “hate news” — a toxic mix of lies, white-supremacist content and bullying that can inspire attacks on Muslims, gay people, women, African-Americans and others.

In mid-November, a Twitter group called Sleeping Giants became the hub of the new movement. The Giants and their followers have communicated with more than 1,000 companies and nonprofit groups whose ads appeared on Breitbart, and about 400 of those organizations have promised to remove the site from future ad buys.

[…]
 
But when I reached out to several organizations that seemed to have joined the ban, they didn’t want to talk about it. A bank and a nonprofit group did not respond to my queries. Two companies — 3M and Zappos — declined to talk about the matter. A Patagonia spokeswoman said that her company did not advertise on white-supremacist sites — but she would not comment on the screenshots that activists had sent to Patagonia in early December showing the company’s logo on Breitbart’s Facebook page. Warby Parker was the most forthcoming; a representative pointed me to a statement that thanked a Twitter activist for inspiring its own ban on Breitbart.
In the behavior of some of these companies, you can detect the way our norms have already shifted. In the old normal, it would have cost little to stand up against neo-Nazi slogans. But in the new normal, doing so might involve angering key players in the White House, including the president-elect, Donald J. Trump, who has hired the former editor of Breitbart as his senior adviser. Mr. Trump recently proved the damage he could do to a company by criticizing Lockheed Martin on Twitter; soon after, its stocks prices tumbled.
 
Still, a new consumer movement is rising, and activists believe that where votes failed, wallets may prevail. This struggle is about much more than ads on Breitbart News — it’s about using corporations as shields to protect vulnerable people from bullying and hate crimes.

Nicholas Reville, a board member of the Participatory Culture Foundation who has worked with the Sleeping Giants, pointed out that businesses benefited from embracing diversity: “You have to be inclusionary if you’re going to try to sell to a very large audience.” And he pointed out that consumer activism might be especially effective because so many people feel they have no other way to express their opposition to Trump-ian values.

The founder of Sleeping Giants agreed. “It’s scary to say it, but maybe companies will have to be the standard-bearers for morals right now,” he said. He added that most corporations embrace policies (on paper at least) that prohibit racist bullying and sexual intimidation. Even if President Trump flouts these rules, corporations may continue to uphold them. “We’ve all seen employee handbooks where they have codes of behavior,” he said. “Maybe that’s all we have to fall back on now.”

If you’re already on Twitter, and can cope with skimming Breitbart, consider joining #sleepinggiants. There’s also a sleeping giants EU.

The NY Times has the full story.

Divestment Works.

Panel of speakers, including Lou Allstadt (second from left) at the DivestInvest press conference on December 12. CREDIT: Fenton.

Panel of speakers, including Lou Allstadt (second from left) at the DivestInvest press conference on December 12. CREDIT: Fenton.

Some friends of mine, who I met at the Oceti Sakowin camp, recently asked about particular points in getting similar movements going, in regard to the fossil fuel problem. One thing I mentioned was divestment, because economic sanctions work. This is also activism which is fairly easy for most people to do. It doesn’t take much effort, but it packs a huge wallop, and it’s a wallop which actually gets the attention of those with mass amounts of money and power. A short while back, Ruth Hopkins tweeted a letter that Wells Fargo wrote to Standing Rock, requesting a meeting, because the divestment caused them many woes.

Divestment activism is spreading, and everyone can help by boosting the signal about this specific type of activism. Everyone can choose where they want their money to be, and what they want their money to aid and fund. Think Progress has some articles up about divestment, highly recommended reading. Divestment campaigns are growing, and they work!

The global divestment movement has topped $5 trillion.

Seattle might break ties with Wells Fargo over bank’s Standing Rock investments.

There are often updates about divestment campaigns on #NoDAPL, and Ruth Hopkins stays on top of everything.

SUF Uppsala: Demonstration mot DAPL!

https://twitter.com/SUFUppsala

High Disapproval.

1_1The Pew Research Center has a new report out, an 8 page report. Personally, I find it disturbing, because while disapproval of Trump is very high at the moment, the survey reflects a forlorn hope that somehow or another, actually being president will somehow make Trump okay at the job. That, or some people may be pinning their hope on Pence actually doing all the work, but that’s hardly good news. It would certainly be worse news for the queer community.

My point of view is that this just another example of American apathy swinging into place. “Well, he was elected, he’ll get better once he’s actually in office. That will tame him.” To that, I say the fuck it will. He’s already setting the stage for mass destruction, and he’s not in office yet. Why in the hell anyone would think it might be better once he gets in the white house is beyond me. For the zillionth time, he’s a conman, a known fraud. This is not news, and there are piles of evidence of his fraudulent practices littered all over the place. He is a compulsive liar and a sexual predator. Trump is an extreme narcissist, and he will not change once he has his feet under the presidential table.

I understand people wanting to pull some sort of protective shell around themselves, hell, if I had a bunker, I’d probably be in it by now, pretending none of this happened. It has happened though, and telling yourself little fairy stories about how it will somehow magically be alright – that won’t help. It won’t help you, it won’t help anyone else. We must all be brave, and stare reality in the face, eyes wide open, and fight back.

Pew Research Center Report in Full.

10 Campaigns – sign some petitions!

Perry the Prayer to Be Energy Secretary.

Rick Perry speaks to Fox News (screen grab).

Rick Perry speaks to Fox News (screen grab).

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, whose style of governance was basically “hey, let’s pray!”, has been tapped by Trump to be Secretary of Energy.

CBS is reporting that President elect Donald Trump has chosen former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to be his energy secretary.

[…]

According to Major Garrett of CBS, two sources have confirmed Perry will be offered the spot and will accept.

As CBS notes, Perry sits on the boards of two major energy companies, including Energy Transfer Partners which owns a subsidiary Dakota Access LLC, which is attempting to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.

It’s not enough to say all these rich assholes are living in one another’s pockets, they are living in each others rectums. It’s quite the racket Trump is setting up, making sure that all his investments don’t suffer by protecting his fellow investors, all of whom are climate change deniers, and pro-fossil fuels. (See here for the Exxon mess.)

People must get serious about fighting filthy energy, our lives are at stake. When we remove the earth’s ability to sustain us, we’ll die, and not pleasantly so. When we have poisoned all the water, we’ll die. And once again, water systems are not neatly contained puddles. Water flows, it meets other water, it’s an intricate and beautiful network, one which is vital to the health of our earth, and the life residing on it. Everywhere you look, more pipelines are being approved, against public sentiment and wishes. Trudeau, who styled himself a friend to the Indigenous nations of Canada, recently approved two major pipelines. Trump has vowed to okay Keystone XL, and while he won’t be pinned down on DAPL, he says “there will be a fast resolution”. As he’s heavily invested in ETP, I’m sure it doesn’t take much work to figure out which way he will go. The coal industry is also getting much more pushy, pinning their hopes on a Trump presidency. As usual, much of the pipelines and planned coal stations will be on Indigenous land, and treaties will be broken left and right, while colonialists happily destroy the ability of Indigenous people to sustain themselves, and make sure their land and water is always at risk of being poisoned beyond repair.

Does anyone think that the blatant disregard shown by Trump and his appointees won’t matter? Climate change is real, and we are already feeling the effects of it. Sea levels are rising. Water is routinely poisoned by gas and oil. Land which used to yield food is now rendered blasted and useless from fracking. Things will continue to get worse unless we change things right. fucking. now. Trump and his cronies have no interest in that at all. They plan to accelerate all the damage. When great swathes of the U.S. are no longer inhabitable for 3 to 6 months a year, what’s going to happen? Do you have enough money to purchase alternate residences, and the money cushion involved in moving back and forth? Are you going to get out your precious, beloved gun and start shooting people who don’t have resources? What do billionaires care about any of that? The entitlement brought on by having endless amounts of money and power allows them to think they will never, ever be victimized by such things, but planetary climate change doesn’t care about billionaires, and while it might get them last, it will get them.

The most recent pipeline leak here in nDakota, it was not detected by all that supposed early detection equipment, so no more of the same, tired bullshit about how safe pipelines are, and oh, they have detection equipment, because that crap does not work, and pipelines leak, end of story.

People in Arkansas and Oklahoma need help to stop a pipeline.

…More. Right. The orange man is on deck. Trump the troll. His minions. Pipeline lovers. Oil-addicted junkies. Wall builders and bigots. The illegal immigrants in this country are not brown. I’ve said this before. Many times. These gibbed geeks are the descendants of European invaders. But enough of that. Word is the oil-and-gas fat cats at Energy Transfer Partners are pissing and moaning into their whiskeys and ryes. Whiny brats. They said they’ll push on. President Andrew Jackson pushed on, too. The Trail of Tears happened anyway. “Justice Marshall made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Another whiny brat.

There’s little justice in this world, but on December 4, Native Americans got a taste. It’s always a fine feeling when good prevails over evil. And that’s what these pipelines are. Evil. Pure. Unadulterated. How could they not be? The oil oafs and their seedy oligarch asshat homies know pipelines leak. And they know people get sick when they do. Just ask the folks in the gulf who are still suffering from the massive BP oil spill. They agonize from chronic respiratory illnesses and skin diseases. THEY know what happens when pipelines leak and poison the water, sink into the soil. But these paunchy pipeline pricks turn a blind eye in the name of profit. They are gibbed vermin, and they deal in deception. …

Excerpt from Simon Moya-Smith, writing from the Oceti Sakowin Camp.

Standing Rock: No DAPL Roundup.

web_resize_ict_editoon_120916

© Marty Two Bulls.

Five Actions for Tuesday, Dec 13.

trump-putin

The Daily Kos is on their fourth in a series of diaries on taking action. They have a long list of things you can do, and helpful templates.

If you’re new to this, it’s the 4th in a series of diaries with action items specific to addressing the threat of Russian interference in our election.  Here is the first diary in the series: A Ten Point Action Plan for Resisting Putin’s Takeover of America.

There’s a host of actions to take, today.

The Twists and Turns of Extortion.

Foreign governments and lobbyists have rushed to book rooms at the new Trump International Hotel in D.C., expecting to curry favor with the president-elect. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Foreign governments and lobbyists have rushed to book rooms at the new Trump International Hotel in D.C., expecting to curry favor with the president-elect. Chip Somodevilla/Getty.

Newsweek has broken a story about the twisty financial ties of Trump, and how very easy it would be for foreign governments to do some serious arm twisting, to get Trump to do their bidding. As I hope has been made clear through dozens upon dozens of posts, Trump is primarily concerned with his name and his wallet. This whole government thing, not so much. Anyone who thinks Trump will actually divest prior to inauguration, oh please, make it back to reality land. That simply won’t happen. Trump has already stated he doesn’t care if it’s a violation of the constitution. Unfortunately, that particular mess does not rest there. If you need one more reason to actively fight against Trump, here it is – this is person who thinks of the presidency as nothing more than a good business opportunity. He not only does not understand the implications, he does not care. This is just the tip of the iceberg, one which spells out, very clearly, that Trump is placing the U.S. government in a prime position to be blackmailed by an assortment of other governments. One of the most important things you can do is to read, stay informed, and verify.

Despite universal condemnation of the ongoing slaughter of Filipinos, Trump signaled his approval of Duterte’s policies during a phone call on December 2. According to Duterte—an account that has gone uncontested by Trump—the president-elect endorsed his tactics as “the right way.” Duterte added: “[Trump] was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem.” (He also said Trump invited him to the White House, a courtesy not yet extended to Theresa May, the prime minister of Britain, America’s most important strategic ally.)

[…]

One thing, however, is clear: The Trump family has an enormous financial interest in keeping Duterte happy. Trump Tower at Century City in Makati, Philippines, is on the verge of completion, with potential buyers having placed deposits on at least 94 percent of the condominiums, according to Century Properties, the Trump Organization’s business partner there. During the U.S. presidential campaign, Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric traveled to Makati to shovel some dirt in a ceremony to celebrate the structural completion of the building; a photograph of the two men shoveling alongside top Century Properties executives was posted on the building’s website. (On that same website, a line of jewelry by Trump’s daughter Ivanka is offered for sale, and it is expected to be available for purchase at the $150 million property.) As with almost every property with Trump’s name on it built over the past decade, his company is not the developer; it merely sold its name to Century Properties to use on the building. Although details of the transaction are not public, contracts for other Trump branding deals reviewed by Newsweek show that they require a multimillion-dollar up-front payment as well as up to 25 percent of the developer’s revenue, year after year. So, under the deal, Trump’s children will be paid millions of dollars throughout their father’s presidency by Jose E.B. Antonio, the head of Century Properties.

Duterte recently named Antonio the special government envoy to the United States. The conflicts here could not be more troubling or more blatant: President Trump will be discussing U.S. policy in Southeast Asia with one of his (or his children’s) business partners, a man who is the official representative of a foreign leader who likens himself to Hitler. Also note that the Trump family has an enormous financial interest in Duterte’s deadly campaign: Rooting out crime in the Philippines is good for the real estate values.

The full, in-depth article is here.

Rachel Maddow also addressed highly troubling concerns when it comes to a Trump financial tangle and Turkey.

According to Maddow, Trump has a business relationship with the Doğan family, owners of Doğan Holding, which is building twin towers in Turkey bearing the Trump name for which the Trump family stands to make millions of dollars.

[…]

Maddow then got to the heart of the matter.

“Turkey desperately wants the U.S. government to extradite an imam [Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen],” Maddow explained. “They [the U.S.] have said that they are not extraditing him. But if that’s what you wanted, what if you could squeeze the personal financial interests of the American president as a way to get what you want from the American government?”

“I mean, the Trump family and the president-elect themselves, they stand to make millions of dollars from their relationship with the Doğan group in Turkey. That will stop if they get locked up,” she continued. “So they started locking them up. Nice leverage, right? It would be one thing if it was business leverage — but it’s leverage against all of us as Americans.”

As Eichenwald notes in his article: “If Erdoğan’s government puts more pressure on the company that’s paying millions of dollars to Trump and his children, revenue flowing from that tower complex in Istanbul could be cut off. That means Erdoğan has leverage with Trump, who will soon have the power to get Gulen extradited.”

Full story and video here.