Archive for category Activist groups

And this is the day that neoconservatism dies

As most of you have already heard, Ted Cruz has dropped out as did Kasich. The mainstream media has said that Republicans have never been more divided. Actually I think it is the exact opposite. Donald Trump has annihilated the competition and it should come to no surprise. As much as I can complain about Trump, he is not as bad as Cruz who preached religion until people were sick of it and wanted to have a 1950’s mentality of America. Those people are the unpopular minority and it’s about time. The reason I say this is because Ted Cruz had no chance of winning even when the GOP put all the effort into getting him elected. To me, that is good. That means for once, the goalpost has moved to the left.

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Susan Perks Me Up!

susan and colbert

As a Bernie Sanders supporter, you could say I’ve been a little down since the New York primaries. The one of five win in Rhode Island didn’t add anything to my optimism. It’s obvious, Sanders isn’t walking into the convention as a winner now, but all isn’t lost.

The night after the four losses for Sanders, Susan Sarandon came on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and seems optimistic that Bernie can gain back some ground since the states coming up will be open primaries, which have proven to be big winners for the candidate we need for president.

Susan was pretty hard on her old friend Hillary, because of her trust problem. I’m just not excited about Americans having to vote for the politician they hate the least. All Americans are tired of being the world’s policemen, and this just doesn’t look like the Democratic party stance on that:

The NY Times is absolutely right — she’s a bigger hawk than the Republicans

Sarandon says she’s not there yet, on whether she will not vote for Hillary in the general election, and neither am I. I’m going to wait for Sanders’s proven sense of logic on what to do when we get there.

If this comes down to Trump and Clinton, it’s not entirely crazy to imagine Karl Rove rigging the election for Hillary. The American Empire falls into a rabbit hole.

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Behind The Scenes Look At Yesterday’s Bernie Sanders Rally

Bernie Sanders Takes The Podium In Utah

Bernie Sanders Takes The Podium In Utah

My short look at the Bernie Sanders event on March 18th 2016. A turnout to be proud of, as 14,000 heads show up to Utah’s “This Is The Place” monument.

Thank you Utah!

The organizers told people to show up about three hours early to get everybody through the scanners, but that wasn’t even enough time to handle a crowd like this. Some arrivals had to stand behind a police barrier to enjoy the Sanders speech and the perfect Utah day.

Enjoy!

The

The Salt Lake Tribune provides the best quality video of the speech I’ve found so far.

KSL television has a very nice picture of the crowd from a better vantage point then I had.

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Pat Paulsen For President!

paulsen 2016

He ‘s been dead since 1997, but he’s even funnier then Donald Trump. His campaign started in 1968, and is still going on as far as I’m concerned. He has got to be a part of the reason “The Smothers Brothers” popular show was cancelled by Nixon. And, yes, It was canceled by Nixon, not CBS.

I was thinking we needed some actual political humor, instead of racism.

From 1988:

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How To Talk To An Empty Chair

empty chairs

I’m actually naive enough to think that our senators would show up to hear the concerns of the citizens who showed up to a hearing in Salt Lake on March 2nd, 2016, concerning the new “Public Lands Initiative”, (PLI). I don’t know why I thought that, when the hearing wouldn’t have even taken place without being organized by “Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment”.

Jason Chaffetz gets a gold star for sending a notice he wouldn’t be present. Orrin Hatch, Rob Bishop and Mike Lee didn’t even have enough decency to reply to their invitation. Lack of respect from the senators, for the overwhelming majority of their constituents was a common theme throughout the night.

It was a good turnout, and it’s too bad it wasn’t held in a larger venue then Orson Spencer Hall. There wasn’t enough room for all the people who came to the event, even though some the attendees had to stand along the wall after the seats were gone. People at the back of the auditorium were complaining about all the noise being made by the folks in the foyer.

My camera batteries weren’t sufficient to record the entire meeting which lasted over three hours. Many dozens of people submitted a request to speak. I got some good footage though, which I present here for the people of Utah and hopefully others across the nation, since this terrible initiative could affect many other states, should it pass as written.

Enjoy the passion!

Salt Lake Tribune coverage.
Deseret Morning News coverage.

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This Is Exemplary Activism

Bernie Sanders standing up  for civil rights

Bernie Sanders standing up for civil rights in the sixties

I like this guy named “Killer Mike”.

This man speaks for me, and I’m a fairly privileged old white guy. He really knows his stuff, despite the silly name.

Here’s an interesting article from Daily KOS about Mike. Seems as though John Lewis lost his passion for change, but Bernie Sanders didn’t.

Damned corporate media hates my candidate, and I’m tired of them ruining our elections!

Bernie Sanders hasn’t made a dime, standing up for what’s right all his life. His net worth is that of a regular guy today, even though he’s been in the congress for all these years. I hope people wake up and realize that money is not the measure of a man.

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Land Grabbers Use Deceptive Video to Spread Anti-Government Hate

Rep. Ken Ivory’s American Lands Council is using a misleading video on Facebook to claim that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) deliberately started a 2012 wildfire in Oregon in order to kill cattle grazing on public land. In reality, the 161,000-acre Miller Homestead Fire was lightning-caused.

As is typical for grass fires, the fire front was fast-moving and could only be controlled using back burning techniques to create firebreaks (known as “black line” in firefighting parlance). It’s usually too slow and too dangerous to fight a grass fire directly using hand crews and bulldozers.

To add insult to injury, this bogus BLM smear video was paid for by taxpayers.

Ivory, R-West Jordan, was a co-founder and CEO of the American Lands Council, to which 47 counties in Western states spent a combined $219,000 of taxpayer money in 2014 to be members, according to the Center for Western Priorities.

The same lies were put on the Web last December by Ammon Bundy, claiming “BLM Destroying Ranches by Fire: Feds Burning Cows ALIVE, Torching Homes, Imprisoning Ranchers!” The baseless allegations against the BLM were intended to highlight alleged hypocrisy in the prosecution of two ranchers for earlier incidents of arson on public lands. A few weeks later Bundy led an armed terrorist takeover of the Malheur National Wildife Refuge on January 2.

From the official press release on the Miller Homestead Fire:

Two structures are reported lost in the incident: one, a long-abandoned, roofless mobile home, and the other a single structure within the M.S. Davies homestead (other infrastructure in this area was unharmed). It is also reported some livestock have been lost, though accurate counts have not been confirmed. All residences affected by the Miller Homestead fire have been successfully protected…

Firefighters successfully protected all residences and the hamlet of Frenchglen, but this doesn’t stop the anti-government fanatics from accusing the BLM of “torching homes”!

From the final report on the same fire:

Local Coordination – Local landowners and permittees were engaged from the initial attack on. A member of the Incident Management Type 3 Team stated, “Local folks worked well with BLM staff during those first few days. There was lots of coordination. BLM crews helped cut fences, open gates and secure cattle.” A landowner and permittee stated, “They worked with me on letting me build direct line that saved important feed from being part of a backfire. They got ideas from me for tying in black line, and it worked.”

Another said that initial attack priorities were set and communicated early with all involved.

Others noted that the Burns District tries to hire local young people for the crews when possible. This helps with knowing people and the land. One stated there is a strong sense that this is their home, and they want to protect it.

…Cattle represent a significant investment and their livelihood to their owners, and great lengths appear to have been taken to get them to safety in conjunction with fire activities.

An example of this occurred at Lone Tree Lake, a small dry reservoir. Six ranchers and a BLM law enforcement officer stayed with about 200 head of cattle while the fire burned around them. Just prior to the fire front reaching them, they burned out around the small dry reservoir to provide a black line for additional safety for the cattle and themselves. Fire managers were aware of this situation, and a helitack crew gave advice on where and when to ignite backfires.

Bear in mind that safety is always of paramount concern in wildland firefighting. Yet BLM personnel took personal risks in order to preserve property for ranchers during this fire.

More info:
Rolly: Video’s claim that BLM sparked devastating Oregon fires goes up in smoke
Inciweb: Miller Homestead Fire (2012)
Final Review Report for the Long Draw and Miller Homestead Fires (PDF)

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Morning In America; In Earnest

I think we all knew that Bernie Sanders wouldn’t have used one of Simon and Garfunkel’s most beautiful songs in a political campaign without permission.

I love Art Garfunkle’s explanation of why he approved. The last lines of his poem from 2001 are the terrible truth, but maybe there’s a chance to be some place better then where we are now:

And in our hearts, love of the physical entity. America. Identity in doubt. We can’t go home again, so we’re runaway vagabonds, lost in twilight, wondering what we’re about.

–Art Garfunkel 9/11/2001

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‘We’re going to talk about how much we love public lands’

Conservationists gathered today in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to send a strong message in support of our public lands, particularly the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“We can show the gang that’s out there at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge how you really make a public statement in support of something,” said Sean Stevens, executive director of Oregon Wild.

“We’re going to be positive. We’re going to be peaceful and we’re going to talk about how much we love public lands.”

…Bob Sallinger, conservation director of the Portland Audubon Society of Porltand, said the armed occupation needs to end and the lands need to be returned to the public owners.

“This country really cares about these places,” Sallinger said. “This illegal armed occupation needs to end. It needs to be prosecuted and these lands need to be returned to the people.”

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Bernie Sanders Smashes DFA Poll

Sanders Wins!

Sanders Wins!

This wasn’t one of those flash polls you see on the internet that everybody knows can be rigged, even if it looks exactly like one. These are all real people who have registered with DFA over a decade or so.

I Love DFA, (Democracy For America). It was organized around my favorite candidate for president in 2004, Governor Howard Dean. It was set up by people much younger then I am, but it was a true grass roots movement that made early inroads into utilizing the internet to inform and activate people interested in a true democratic system.

I was most impressed when I got my first E-mail which asked everybody in the organization to vote for which direction they wanted to take in the election. I was excited that I would actually be able participate in deciding something for a change. A sense of responsibility came over me. It felt refreshing.

In fact, Howard Dean came out in October, supporting Hillary Clinton, but DFA hasn’t changed its policy of deciding things – you know – democratically. So I was sort of scared to check out the results today, but was very pleasantly surprised.

Bernie Sanders, who also just received support from a major union, was also impressed with the process at DFA, and said:

“It is no secret that the founder of DFA—my friend and fellow Vermonter former Gov. Howard Dean—has chosen not to support my candidacy. Yet the leadership of DFA allowed a fair and free vote to take place which we won. That’s pretty impressive.”

The original people who organized DFA must be in their 30 and 40’s by now. It would be great to see the old crowd get back together and save the country, just in the nick of time!

GO BERNIE!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Bernie Sanders has finally made the news. Sign this emergency petition to stop the DNC from crippling his campaign!

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Definition of a Terrorist in Minnesota

Not a terrorist!
These guys are not terrorists.

They know a terrorist when they see one in Minnesota. Last April, federal authorities arrested six Minneapolis men of Somali descent, aged 19 to 21, for the alleged crime of wanting to join ISIS. They now face up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

But these guys? Not terrorists. Abundant evidence indicates they were engaged in a conspiracy to disrupt a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. One of them shot five protesters, including a man who nearly died.

What are the charges? The shooter has been charged with one count of second-degree riot while armed and five counts of second-degree assault, and may be subject to a long prison term if found guilty. The other three defendants were charged with second-degree riot.

No charge of attempted murder. No conspiracy charges. No terrorism charges. No hate crime charges.

Here is a brief synopsis of Minneapolis terrorism statutes from a legal website (emphasis added):

Terrorism is not treated lightly in the Minnesota criminal justice system. It has a broad definition in Minnesota, including both personal and public threats and acts. Personal threats of substantial bodily harm to another can be classified as terroristic threats in certain contexts. Threats with the intent of causing public disorder are certainly terroristic, and carry a heavier penalty than most personal threats…

…Minnesota criminal law increases the penalty for any felony by 50% if the premeditated intent was to further terrorism (Minn. Stat. 609.714). The intent to further terrorism is the intent to:

1. terrorize, intimidate, or coerce a considerable number of members of the public in addition to the direct victims of the act; and
2. significantly disrupt or interfere with the lawful exercise, operation, or conduct of government, lawful commerce, or the right of lawful assembly.

There is a chance the U.S. Department of Justice will step in and bring more serious charges.

More info:
King: Shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters outside Minneapolis police station is terrorism
Terrorism Crimes in Minnesota Law
Joining Isis Is Stupid. But Why Is It Illegal?

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Is anyone surprised an anti-abortion Republican is afraid of research into abortion?

To be honest, there are so many gob-smacking details in the story it’s difficult to know which deserve the most mockery.

Let’s start by noting that the Missouri state senator involved is chair of the Missouri senate’s interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life.  Let’s just pause and let that sink in.

What the actual fuck?!  The state of Missouri’s senators are so far gone that they actually have a Committee on the Sanctity of life. The duties of said committee are spelled out here and are genuinely stunning in multiple, utterly nonsensical ways: Read the rest of this entry »

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