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Death in the Everglades: The Murder of Guy Bradley: America’s First Martyr to Environmentalism by Stuart B. McIver. University Press of Florida. 2003, A Review

February 1, 2017

death-in-everglades1.

Although I haven’t been back since, there was a thirty year period of my life – from the late 1970s to 2008 – when I spent a good deal of time in southern Florida, Hollywood Florida, near Ft. Lauderdale to be precise. After selling our family home where my sisters and grew up in NYC, my mother moved to a condominium retirement community called “Carriage Hills” in Hollywood. It still exists. After her second husband died in a car accident, she lived most of the rest of her life with her older sister, my aunt, Malvina Stone, referred to in the family simply as Aunt Mal. The two sisters lived together there for fifteen years until dementia set in about the same time for both.

I loved visiting my mother and aunt, but had an uncomfortable sense of how, what had been little more than a tropical swamp had been transformed into strip malls, retirement communities and a completely depressing housing boom. There had to be more to Florida than this, I thought? The development craze, already well advanced there, had parallels to the orgy of the same just picking up on the front range in Colorado where I lived (and still live). Give me the swamp teaming with life any day over  southeast Florida strip malls. Read more…

Trumps Holy War Against Muslims: The Immigration Ban: What’s It All About?”

January 31, 2017
rebirth-2

Bill Amundson portrayal of Trumpty-Dumpty (printed with permission)

Trumps Holy War Against Muslims: The Immigration Ban: What’s It All About?” on “Hemispheres” Middle East Dialogues” hosted by Jim Nelson, interviewing Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. Tonight (Tuesday, January 31, 2017) at 6 pm Mountain Standard Time: KGNU Boulder, Colorado: 88.5 FM, 1390 AM and streamed at www.kgnu.org

Notes from: Trump’s Middle East Policy: Lost In the Desert: KGNU Hemispheres “Middle East Dialogues” with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince: January 24, 2017

January 30, 2017

us-bases

1.

Well, the Trump presidency has begun…

His election and the selection of his cabinet have already been described as “a corporate coup.” Instead of “draining the swamp” of corporate lobbyists and the like, he has replenished it and then some with a cabal of billionaires, extreme militarists pickled in conspiracy theories, and climate deniers.

His election and the selection of his cabinet have already been described as “a corporate coup.” Instead of “draining the swamp” of corporate lobbyists and the like, he has replenished it and then some with a cabal of billionaires, extreme militarists pickled in conspiracy theories, and climate deniers.

He has begun by instituting what is called the American version of “The Shock Doctrine” – a political blitzkrieg with the goal of radically restructuring the American body politic, restructuring the country, along cold, mean, uninhibited, uncontrolled, disaster capitalist lines…

Bypassing Congress where possible – even though it is Republican dominated – his administration started with a flurry of executive orders and Congressional maneuvers aimed at cutting social services, bolstering the military, cutting environmental regulations and attacking the federal civil service. President Donald Trump has announced to cut $10.5 trillion out of the federal government over 10 years by gutting federal agency budgets by as much as 10 percent while slashing 20 percent from the federal workforce and reducing the size of regulatory agencies by 75%. Read more…

Denver Women’s March – “Not Ready To Make Nice;” The Donald Trump Record: January 19-26, 2017…The Week from Hell

January 27, 2017

2017-01-21-womens-march-81aSo this is the harvest of the first week in office: more packs of lies, or “alternative facts”, by the day. – Uri Avnery

All they are saying is give Trump a chance!

Who is  the “they” anyway who wants to give Trump “a chance”…a chance to do what? Easy to answer actually, “they” include Trumpty Dumpty himself, his closest political allies and advisers and that portion of the media and corporate America who support his program.”They” includes many Democratic elected officials and needless to say the Republicans, including those who first shunned him but are now metaphorically licking his boots.  “A chance” refers to his program as he steamrolls along in these first weeks of his presidency to undue not 70 but more than 100 years of social legislation domestically and reshape U.S. economic and political alliances abroad along.

It’s been an avalanche of climate denial, disaster capitalism, narrowly conceived protectionism, an orgy of militarism, so much so that a global opposition is fast crystallizing with unprecedented speed. Giving Trump a chance is the wrong approach – to put it mildly – to Trumps political blitzkrieg which has only just begun, the Republican Party version of “The Shock Doctrine.” But whomever was holding this sign, which on the surface seems something approaching insipid – but isn’t – is no, this is precisely the time not to give Trump a chance, “not to make nice”. 

What follows below is a list of what the new Trump Administration did in the five days from January 19-24, 2017. Thanks to Doug Vaughan for re-posting this Facebook post from Mark Rudd (of New Mexico). As Vaughan noted: ” they will turn the clock back as far and as fast as resistance allows to make our future an irreversible horror from the past.”

The original list was posted “from a guy at Amherst.” As Donald Trump was inaugurated only on January 20, 2017, and he began issuing his executive orders the day prior, it reflects the fact his administration had started to implement their right-wing revolution even before Trumpty Dumpty took office. The list from “a guy from Amherst” does not include the Executive Orders that Trump signed on January 25, and 26 which I will add at the bottom. At the end of the list provided by “a guy from Amherst”, I’ve added more recent information I could find to “round out” the first week of the Trump Administration’s onslaught, which has only just begun. I’ll post it now, but will fill in the web links substantiating everything over the next few days.

One point I want to add here – missing from this list of horrors (with a few exceptions) is the Trump Administrations’ plans for its full-scale attack on the labor movement, on unions, that will make Ronald Reagan’s firing of PATCO workers 2017 look like child-play. (I will focus on that over the next week or so.)

It’s only just begun. Give Trump a chance is a formula for only deepening the unfolding disaster. To the contrary, his political agenda needs to be challenged to every extent possible, the sooner the better.

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.
* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protesters were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition. The man who admitted shooting him was released by the police.
* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.
* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.
* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is of the 2009 inauguration of 44th President Barack Obama, and is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

* Also on January 24, 2017, DT announced that he would cut federal regulations by 75%.

Then, according to an article that appeared at the on-line SLATE website by Elliot Hannon, on January 25, 2017..

* On January 25, 2017, DT called for a “major investigation” into nonexistent voter fraud.
* On January 25, 2017, DT signed an order directing the Department of Homeland Security to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
* On January 25, 2017, DT announced that part of America’s new anti-immigration strategy will be a weekly published report of “a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.”
* On January 25, 2017, DT announced that there will be an “Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens.”
* On January 25, 2017, DT began referring to humans as “removable aliens.”
* On January 25, 2017, DT is preparing to reduce its investment in and influence on the world and is preparing a draft order titled “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations,” which calls for “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in U.S. funding of international organizations. “If President Trump signs the order and its provisions are carried out, the cuts could severely curtail the work of United Nations agencies, which rely on billions of dollars in annual United States contributions for missions that include caring for refugees,” according to the New York Times.
*On January 25, 2017, DT signaled a retreat from America’s international commitments in a draft executive order titled “Moratorium on New Multilateral Treaties.” “The [order] calls for a review of all current and pending treaties with more than one other nation. It asks for recommendations on which negotiations or treaties the United States should leave,” according to the New York Times. “The order says this review applies only to multilateral treaties that are not ‘directly related to national security, extradition or international trade,’ but it is unclear what falls outside these restrictions. For example, the Paris climate agreement or other environmental treaties deal with trade issues but could potentially fall under this order. An explanatory statement that accompanies the draft order mentions two United Nations treaties for review: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
*On January 25, 2017, DT made it policy that refugees are not welcome in the country at the moment and fewer will be welcome in the future.
*On January 25, 2017, DT banned Moslems from seven countries from entering the United States. We bomb them and then ban them from entering the U.S. By so doing DT essentially declared that millions of Muslims unwelcome in America
*On January 25, 2017, DT’s administration is planning on letting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided protections on undocumented immigrants who arrived as children, expire.
*On January 25, 2017, DT stated that torture “works,” that he is planning on issuing an executive order re-authorizing the use of torture by the CIA and reopening notorious “black site” prisons to carry out torture of terrorism suspects, like the prison in Guantánamo Bay, which will continued to be used.

There are a number of Trump “initiatives”to add from January 25-26, 2017, collected from various sources:

* On January 25, 2017, DT’s‘s nominee for Attorney General Sen. Jeff Sessions stood firm on his support of a bill that would allow for discrimination against the LGBTQ community on the basis of a firmly held religious belief.
* On January 25, 2017, the New York Times printed a story that six journalists were arrested and charged with felony rioting while covering the violent protests that took place just blocks from President Trump’s inauguration parade in Washington on January 20th
*On January 26, 2017, the entire senior level management team at the State Department was fired by President Donald Trump’s administration this week, CNN reported Thursday.
* On January 26, 2017, DT’s Bureau of Land Management auctioned oil and gas drilling rights in northwest New Mexico despite protests from Native Americans and environmentalists. The rights for drilling on 843 acres sold for $3 million on Wednesday. The sale of the parcels had been postponed on three occasions since 2012. Critics contend the parcels are too close to Chaco Culture National Historical Park and that development in an expansive stretch they refer to as “the greater Chaco area” could damage cultural resources.
*On January 26, 2017, calling the federal employee medical and retirement benefits “unsustainable,” DT “threw his support behind “dramatic changes” (meaning cuts) to federal employees’ retirement and health benefits.

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Denver Women’s March – “Pussies With Extra Teeth; An Explanation of the Series

Denver Women’s March – “Nasty Women Scientist.”

Denver Women’s March – “If My Uterus Fired Bullets, the G.O.P. Would Fund It

Denver Women’s March – “Its About Our Daughters”..(and Our Sons and Everyone)

 

Read more…

Denver Women’s March – “It’s About Our Daughters” … (and our sons, and everyone)

January 25, 2017
It's about our daughters

It’s about our daughters; The poster was carried by a supporter of Colorado NOW

Mothers, Daughters, Wives.

Sounds a bit …sentimental? Perhaps.

But there were a great many people, young mothers, couples who came with small children, and older folks like us worried about the future of our already grown children, our daughters, including the support of Colorado NOW, state chapter of the National Organization of Women. Why drag a six month old to such an enormous affair? Because people understood the demonstration is as much about the future, the future of our daughters (and our sons).

Why were so many sixty, seventy and eighty year old somethings there, walking with difficulty, many in wheel chairs struggling to make their way, in what was a sea of humanity, now estimated to have been 200,000 strong? That is a load of folk to wade through in a wheel chair or with a baby stroller. The policies that President Donald Trump is moving to put in place essentially by edict (presidential directives) are targeting everyone, but among the special targets, no doubt, are hard-won women’s rights. That is, what all Trump’s nasty, stupid, misogynous comments during the campaign were about. They were a prelude to a political coup which is now unfolding before our eyes.

Some of Trump’s attack on women has economic roots, but most of it, especially his attack on reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood and the like is simply a bone to the Christian Right’s obsession medieval obsession with reproductive rights. Trump himself probably doesn’t  gives a hoot one way or another about abortion. But he’s coming through for that part of his base with something and in return, he expects and demands allegiance. Remember this is a wheeler-dealer and for everything he gives, he takes back double in return. It isn’t that difficult in any case, because the Christian Right has absorbed much of Trump’s thinking on climate change denial, the assault on regulation, etc.

Women understood well that Trump’s personal attack against Hillary Clinton, if successful, would trigger a political reversal of women’s status in this country. In an effort of damage control with the goal of checking the Trump Administration’s plans to reverse decades, if not centuries, of women’s struggles for equality, they took to the streets. The accepted figure for how many people turned up in the USA alone is 2.9 million, itself an impressive figure. But now two social scientists, experts at estimating crowd numbers claim that no less than 3.7 million in the United States demonstrated across at least 500 different cities.  Those numbers come from professors Jeremy Pressman, of the University of Connecticut, and Erica Chenoweth, of the University of Denver, who have been compiling estimates for all the marches into a single spreadsheet. That would push the Reuters’ claim to the number of demonstrators worldwide, 4.6 million, to over 5 million people around the world who took to the streets to oppose the Trump Agenda. That’s a lot of people.

The accepted figure for how many people turned up in the USA alone is 2.9 million, itself an impressive figure. But now two social scientists, experts at estimating crowd numbers claim that no less than 3.7 million in the United States demonstrated across at least 500 different cities.  Those numbers come from professors Jeremy Pressman, of the University of Connecticut, and Erica Chenoweth, of the University of Denver, who have been compiling estimates for all the marches into a single spreadsheet. That would push the Reuters’ claim to the number of demonstrators worldwide, 4.6 million, to over 5 million people around the world who took to the streets to oppose the Trump Agenda. That’s a lot of people.

Frankly the poster struck both a broader social and also very personal bell as at least in part – it was about our daughters. Although when we come to the conclusion it is important enough, after half a century of it, Nancy and I are tired of demonstrations. We find it increasingly uncomfortable and exhausting to be in large crowds. Some demonstrations have an impact, others don’t; we try to choose accordingly. How would this one fare, we wondered? Besides, the time as come, not so much to retire from political work, but to step aside and let the younger generations of American radicals find their own way. But as soon as our two daughters asked if we would join them at the march, we knew we would go, to be with them and support them in the first round of the increasingly nasty battle for their future, and that of generations to come. And glad we were that we did. Of course it wasn’t just about “our daughters.”

No question that the women who organized this great march – or should we say more accurately – “these great marches” did so with their daughters in mind, the future. A century of women winning economic, social and political rights – actually 150 years and probably longer of social struggles would be more accurate – threatens to be swept away before our very eyes in a matter of months. It started with the movement to end slavery and the liberation of Black women from both the economic oppression of being slave laborers and the sexual oppression that went along with it. The last half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century was the battle for women’s right to vote. In the 1960s, women won, with the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, greater control over their bodies, including the right to have abortions. Women have been key players in broader social movements, the backbone of those movements in fact – the labor movement, civil rights, peace movements. One could go on.

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Denver Women’s March: “Pussies Now With Extra Teeth” – An Explanation of the Series

Denver Women’s March: “Nasty Woman Scientist”

Denver Women’s March: “If My Uterus Fired Bullets, The G.O.P Would Fund It”

Denver Women’s March: “Not Ready To Make Nice:” The Donald Trump Record: January 19-26, 2017…The Week from Hell

Trump’s Middle East Policy: Lost In the Desert: KGNU Hemispheres “Middle East Dialogues” with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince: Tonight, Tuesday, January 24, 2017 @ 6 pm, Mountain States Time

January 24, 2017
oil fields in black, natural gas fields in red

oil fields in black, natural gas fields in red

Trump’s Middle East Policy: Lost In the Desert:

KGNU Hemispheres “Middle East Dialogues” with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince: Tonight, Tuesday, January 24, 2017 @ 6-7 pm, Mountain States Time

KGNU: 1390 AM, 88.5 FM in Denver-Boulder area. Streamed at http://www.kgnu.org.

 

Denver Women’s March – “If My Uterus Fired Bullets The G.O.P. Would Fund It.”

January 24, 2017
If My Uterus Fired Bullets The G.O.P. Would Fund It

If My Uterus Fired Bullets The G.O.P. Would Fund It

I thought this one of the more original posters at the march. Like so many others, this one took a fair amount of time to put together, is, original and strikes a chord if you think about it, its message hits on a profound truth. It’s colorful, combines letters with bullets, hard not to notice it. Besides, the politics of it is – as we used to say – is “right on.” What is “right on” about it? It juxtaposes the contempt that the Trump administration has for women’s rights with the burgeoning military/war budget.

Kudos to the unknown author/artist!

Never has the old peace slogan of the need to cut the military budget and use those funds for human needs been more apt. In fact, the Trump presidency plans to do just the opposite: further fund military spending with money saved by cutting the federal work force, slicing federally funded social program already wounded by 35 years of Reaganomics. Read more…