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Abortion Before Roe v Wade Risky Business

Donald Trump, his recent judicial appointees and the predominantly GOP men in charge of way too many state governments in this country are bound and determined to return us to a dystopian land while calling it Making America Great Again. The bill passed and signed into law in Alabama is the worst example of this. Sally Edelstein in her Envisioning The American Dream blog does an excellent job of explaining this. More reason (if more was needed) to send Trump and the men of his ilk packing at the earliest opportunity. – rjc

Envisioning The American Dream

Donald Trump Handmaids Tale

I came late to the game watching Handmaid’s Tale, having only recently begun binging it. A totalitarian society that strips away a woman’s physical autonomy and reproductive rights in the former United States originally seemed too darkly dystopian for my tastes.

But now it feels as if the storylines are no longer confined to HULU- it is streaming free in real life in real time on CNN and ABC, The N.Y. Times and the Daily Beast. A 12-year-old girl raped by her uncle must bear the child to term- “Hallelujah,  Praise God” – or face prison time. Or a doctor who performs an abortion on a rape victim could receive 99 years imprisonment, longer than the actual rapist’s sentence.

How can this be in 2018? Who knew this cautionary tale would be the gospel for Alabama senators, now the latest state to morph into Gideon.

This is more than…

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Earth Day, A Green New Deal & Donald Trump

Since taking office on January 20, 2017, President Donald J. Trump has done a remarkable job of disregarding, refusing to abide by, and otherwise totally rendering asunder a great number of treaties and other bilateral and multilateral agreements between the USA and other national governments which came into existence before he was elected to his current office. Some of the more visible of these include the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico, the Iran nuclear deal with the five permanent UN Security Council members, Germany and Iran, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the US and the USSR  (now Russia) and the Paris Climate agreement dealing with global climate change.

When it comes to climate change, President Trump has done everything he can to exacerbate the crisis while claiming loudly and clearly that the whole issue is nothing but a hoax. Back in 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated to emphasize ways in which we could enhance the condition of the planet by curbing human behaviors that cause pollution and endanger the health and well-being of humans and other lifeforms alike. Air, water and land pollution of all kinds threatened us all in the long run and exposure to high doses of toxic materials were literally becoming hazardous to humans living in close proximity to poisons produced by human activities.

Toxic waste sites were discovered in places where any number of industrial endeavors were producing goods and services that provided benefits to consumers and profits to those making them (wages for workers and salaries for corporate executives as well as investment income for stockholders).  Often, poisonous byproducts of these processes were not understood to be part of any calculation of the true cost of making and consuming them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  was created to reduce toxic wastes entering water air and land. Legislation was enacted to regulate emissions of substances harmful to people and wildlife. Manufacturing processes, transportation, mining,  agriculture and virtually every large scale human activity were examined to determine how they affected the environment over time. Polluters were held to account with a goal of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle for future generations.

As he did with his claim of massive voter fraud plaguing the American electoral system, President formed a group of scientists to refute the voluminous scientific studies (backed by the vast majority of members of the international scientific community) which were used to draft the protocols designed to forestall and prevent the devastating effects of global climate change which has been building momentum over the years due to human activity which radically alters temperatures and weather patterns over time. His voter fraud group quickly dissolved when it became apparent it would not succeed in making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to voter fraud in our elections. We have yet to see any convincing evidence of mainstream scientific fraud when it comes to climate science, either.

President Trump has gone out of his way to basically destroy the ability of the EPA to serve the purpose it was created for. He has appointed leadership to people hellbent on reducing and eliminating regulations seen to be depriving private industry of profits that could be increased enormously if no heed were paid to deleterious impacts of their activities on people directly affected by their pollution. One major trend has been to rapidly expand fossil fuel  extraction on land and in the seas – including highly controversial opening up of public lands and coastal areas to oil and gas drilling, along with hydraulic fracturing to extract even more fossil fuels with increased toxic waste.

Increasing production of fossil fuels as well as their use worldwide will obviously also increase the environmental damage they cause, including even more production of greenhouse gasses contributing to global climate change. Wealthy people like our President and those people who benefited the most from his much-ballyhooed tax cuts may think the can buy their way out of the most severe aspects of climate change. Maybe they think when push comes to shove, they can use his space force to colonize Mars or some other planet and leave the rest of us to try to survive on this one once they’ve maximized their personal profits at our expense. His speeches, tweets and cabinet appointments dealing with such matters demonstrate a profoundly short-term approach which definitely places the welfare of the vast majority of humanity and life in general at great risk. He simply does not show even the slightest interest in the future of the people he is supposedly leading, let alone of humanity as a whole. We deserve better than another year and a half of his autocratic rule, let alone another four year term. Are we better off now than we were before he took office? I doubt most of us can answer that in the affirmative.

The Green New Deal offers a forward-looking alternative to the Trump plan – one which, if carried out with the enthusiasm that Trump’s vision of our future is taking shape, can lead to real improvement in the health and welfare of humanity and life on earth in general. The naysayers will say we can’t afford to do it. I say we can’t afford not to.

Suggested Further Reading:

Critics of the Green New Deal dismissed it as a campaign ploy. AOC just showed them it’s for real

‘This Is What Hope Feels Like’: Green New Deal Resolution Hailed as ‘Watershed Moment’ for New Era of Climate Action

A Green New Deal Is the First Step Toward an Eco-Revolution

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Is a Product of Youth Uprising

WATCH: This Viral Video of Ocasio-Cortez Explaining “Fundamentally Broken” US Democracy Has Been Viewed More Than 16 Million Times

A Response to Sen. Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Nuclear power has a large carbon footprint

‘Now Is the Time to Be Bold and Unapologetic’: Progressives Building ‘Unprecedented Political Coalition’ Around Green New Deal

‘Bring It On’: Green New Deal Champions Welcome McConnell’s Cynical Ploy for Up-or-Down Vote

The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on the Green New Deal

Youth Climate Leaders Launch Campaign to Make McConnell Regret ‘Shameless’ Green New Deal Ploy

The Green New Deal Is Indeed a Big Deal

Climate Change Is Scary—Not the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal Can Work – Here’s How

The Green New Deal Must Transform the Economy

The Green New Deal Is Not a Choice

Chris Hedges: Extinction Rebellion, Part 2

US Voting Machines Are Still Vulnerable To Manipulations By Nefarious Actors As In 2016

Ominous post by Gronda Morin concerning continued vulnerabilities in our voting systems heading into the 2020 elections. Some states are being more proactive in updating to more secure systems than others. We need to stay on top of this to ensure better election integrity moving forward, especially in light of the numerous voter suppression efforts being undertaken simultaneously. -rjc

Gronda Morin

Image result for IMAGES OF MUELLER REPORT MUELLER

On the 22nd of March 2019, the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III delivered as required, his final report pertaining to its 22 months long Trump-Russia probe to the Department of Justice’s head, the Attorney General William Barr.
Despite the Attorney General William Barr’s attempts to publicly white-wash the FBI’s final report to provide cover for the republican President Donald Trump, both Mr. Barr and Mr. Mueller did agree, that Russia conducted a covert operation in 2016, an all out, full throttle, multi prong attack against US elections’ infrastructure designed to effect the outcome in favor of Mr. Trump. In short, Moscow made a concerted effort to sabotage the 2016 US elections.

Image result for IMAGES OF MUELLER REPORT AG WILLIAM BARR

Here are the details as per the Mueller report…
“The Special Counsel’s investigation established that Russia  interfere~ in the  2016 presidential election principally through two operations. 

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The Mueller report was just released. Read it here.

The latest redacted release of the Mueller report as released today by Attorney General Barr’s office. We cannot read the redacted parts, so it is obviously incomplete. Litigation in the courts may be needed at this juncture to force fuller disclosure. An apparent step to slow down disclosure once again (remind me again what the the definition of “obstruction of justice” entails).

Running out the clock to make Trump’s re-election more likely seems an obvious objective. Dragging out media discussion of the issues involved to the detriment of discussion of anything else of importance which Democratic candidates for the 2020 election to discuss and contrast with Trump is another. Issues like the Green New Deal, Medicare for all and just about any other forward-looking policy issues will continue to get short-shrift. We need to continue bringing such issues to the forefront in coming days.

Many thanks to Mother Jones for posting the accompanying link. – rjc

 

Source: The Mueller report was just released. Read it here.

A Meditation On Resistance For Today From General Henning Von Tresckow

Trump’s recent performances seem to indicate he is becoming more autocratic rather than less. It seems more and more likely that next year’s Presidential election will become the key to reclaiming and strengthening our democracy – even preserving the planet for future generations.

Trump needs to be held in check by each branch of government and members of all political parties. There are many announced candidates for 2020 who have some great ideas for making progress. It’s important to remember that there are many aspects of life today that are being ignored in the 24 hour Trump vanity news cycle. We need to keep this in mind as the craziness continues in the White House and as we approach the unfortunate possibility that a man who never should have had the office in the first place may get yet another four year term to try to mold this nation and the world as a whole as his personal domain – regardless of the consequences to the rest of us.

Thank you for expressing your thoughts on these issues, Steve. – rjc

Padre Steve's World: Official Home of the Anti-Chaps

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

There are times that resistance seems almost hopeless. I was talking with one of my friends who is very discouraged about the situation. He is an idealist. I spent much of the evening trying to buck him up.

British Historian Laurence Rees wrote:

“human behavior is fragile and unpredictable and often at the mercy of the situation. Every individual still, of course, has a choice as to how to behave, it’s just that for many people the situation is the key determinate in that choice.”

One of the problems is that throughout history, resisters frequently fail to unify in the face of their primary adversary and instead look for the faults among their own potential leaders. That my friends is the way to failure. So tonight, or as it is early this morning I will leave you with a few thoughts of one of the…

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Read Attorney General William Barr’s Summary of the Mueller Report

Does this “summary” dispense with the need for the actual Mueller Report to be read and digested by Congress and the General Public? Not nearly, in my opinion. Give us the real deal, not the Cliff Notes. Keeping us in the dark like this only serves the needs and desires of Trump and those beholden to his unfair, plutocratic and inhumane policies for their current good fortune.

Everything in this summary may well be true. Lack of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government does not mean Trump is a good President and is blameless when it comes to exercising (or abusing) the powers of that office. No doubt, there is evidence and information contained in the full report that is glossed over here. That was part of the reason Barr was chosen to replace Sessions. More hearings would be appropriate at this juncture to more fully explore what has transpired.

In the meantime, Trump does need to be checked and balanced by Congress. The American people also deserve a Congress that is willing to legislate and solve the myriad problems that have been neglected by Trump’s Twitter circus, curious foreign policy and anti-immigrant stances. Health care and climate change will not cease to be issues just because Trump doesn’t want to do anything positive about them that would cost his fellow billionaires and business buddies any consternation. The 2020 election is coming with a vengeance, and far more issues are deserving of serious debate than Trump and our media seem to want to discuss of late. – rjc

The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia

Source: Read Attorney General William Barr’s Summary of the Mueller Report

It’s Time To Get Trump’s Taxes: The Danger Of Not Pursuing Impeachment

It’s now time for the House of Representatives to get serious about its oversight of the Executive branch. Mueller’s report has been delivered to the Attorney General. President Trump should have released his tax returns prior to the 2016 election. Return of a Democrat majority to the House after the 2018 midterm elections means that there is no longer a good excuse for refusing to carry out their Constitutional oversight of the President and his administration.

As the 2020 Presidential election rapidly approaches, the American public deserves to know the huge amount of information that Trump has steadfastly hidden from us. In all likelihood, this keeping the voters in the dark about his personal and business conduct was instrumental in gaining him access to the Oval Office to begin with. Letting him continue to do so can easily help him become re-elected and continue to aggrandize his own political power and financial fortune to the detriment of the nation and the planet as a whole.

Obtaining those tax returns and enacting legislation requiring all future candidates to provide the same information prior to the conduct of the election is vital in retaining and/or regaining our democracy. Regardless of whether it would result in Trump’s impeachment or removal from office, it would certainly greatly aid us in determining if we will vote him out of office rather than subject ourselves and the rest of humanity to four more years of his twitter tirades and mercurial rule. – rjc

Mike the Mad Biologist

Recently, some asshole with a blog noted:

I seem to be one of the few people beating on the drum of getting Il Trumpe’s taxes–something that could happen if the Democratic head of the Ways and Means committee, Rep. Richard Neal, just wrote a damn letter. It’s not that I think it will DESTROY! Trump (though it might, you never know). But if the notion of resistance means anything, then getting his taxes–which is relatively simple to do–should have been done out of the gate.

Greg Sargent makes a similar point (boldface mine):

An odd disconnect has opened up in the Democratic approach to President Trump. On the one hand, Democrats rhetorically treat his presidency as a rolling national emergency, as an existential threat to our democracy.

Yet on the other hand, in several crucial ways, Democrats are badly muddling that message, by refraining from doing what might…

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Watch ‘the progressive physician’ stun a Fox panel with ‘one of the best cases for single payer I’ve ever seen’ – Alternet.org

Amazingly, this came courtesy of the Fox Business Network. Every once in awhile, Fox surprises. – rjc

 

Amid mounting excitement over new Medicare for All legislation unveiled this week, Dr. Adam Gaffney took on a panel of skeptics at Fox Business Network on Friday, delivering a widely celebrated argument for why U.S. lawmakers need to heed the growing public demands to replace private for-profit heal

Source: Watch ‘the progressive physician’ stun a Fox panel with ‘one of the best cases for single payer I’ve ever seen’ – Alternet.org

Venezuela MUST Sue US in Int’l. Court for Creating Famine by Sanctioning All Oil Sales & Seizing $

The US government has been trying to cause regime change ever since Hugo Chavez was first elected. It has no business doing so. We do not need another coup taking power from an elected government as has been the case so many times throughout the world. – rjc

Journal of People

by Jay Janson

Nuremberg Principles of International Law 6: Crimes against humanity: 

Such as (c) Inhuman acts done against any civilian population. United Nations Convention on Genocide Article II genocide means acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national or other group, as such: (c)deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

Reporting Ongoing Crime Against Humanity Being Openly Committed

Venezuelan oil exports plunge on ‘harsher’ US sanctions

On 12 Feb. 2019, as reported by RT News:

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Thirty-One Actual National Emergencies by Paul Street

The National Emergency recently declared by President Trump is largely a figment of his imagination and something that he has done nothing but exacerbate through his own rhetoric and policy decisions since taking office in January 2017. Paul Street has compiled a list of 31 actual problems more urgently in need of our attention. While not necessarily all-inclusive, it supplies a good starting point for real discussion and actions to improve the lives of our fellow human beings in the future that don’t include twitter tirades and escape to golf resorts to fix. – rjc

 

via Thirty-One Actual National Emergencies by Paul Street

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