Memorial Day ~ Articles ~ Actions ~ Events, Tues. 5/25 – Thurs. 5/28 (from Adrienne Fong)

Hoping everyone is keeping well. Please question what is being said about COVID and other issues.

Am not back posting on a regular basis.

– Please post events on Indybay even if event is digital:

      See Indybay for other events.

 ‘Memorial Day 2020’

2 Items

1. The revolutionary origins of Memorial Day and its political hijacking  – May 23, 2020 (originally posted in 2012)

2. From: Rev. Shawna Foster, IVAW/About Face:

“Two days of the year are very difficult for me: Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Like many military-connected families and communities, I feel the pain of regret and loss about the people we’ve lost – both the people I knew who have died and the people overseas. As a Veteran of wars since 9/11, the pain is compounded by the knowledge that these wars were a sham.

These wars should have never started; they should not still be going on.

Memorial Day is so hard because this is the day when I hear many people talk about how we have to honor the war dead and what they fought for – and I think to myself – didn’t they want the wars to end? Didn’t they want peace? What about the families and communities that continue to be destroyed by our actions?

In this pain, I remember the ones who have died speaking bravely against the wars after serving in them. Those who turned the spotlight away from themselves as veterans to the innocent people who are the most impacted by these wars- the Black, Brown, Indigenous Peoples all over the world, including on this land. I honor all those who have died, and I lift the stories of those our society never dares to talk about – the stories of the anti-war troops and veterans.

We know that these wars are not endless by accident and neither is the erasure of those willing to tell the truth about them. Telling the truth – that the deaths we mourn (and don’t mourn) on Memorial Day, were for greed and power, not freedom – is one of the most powerful things we can do to unravel the lies and ignite the power we hold as the anti-war majority.

This Memorial Day, take a moment to learn and share about the lives, quotes, and stories of fallen About Face: Veterans Against the War members in a special online memorial. Share stories about those that have inspired you and copy/paste this link on your social media so that others can be inspired as well:’…”

~    ~    ~    ~    ~


A. ICE Detainee Who Died of COVID-19 Suffered Horrifying Neglect  – May 24, 2020


♥ Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia ♥

B. Trump administration considering first US nuclear test since 1992 – May 23, 2020

   See Action # 1

C. Senate Committee slips through $38 billion package to Israel – May 22, 2020

The Foreign Relations Committee passed a bill yesterday to give Israel a minimum of $38 billion over the next ten years, despite ongoing devastation to the US economy. The bill was passed in a meeting closed to Senate live-streaming in a voice vote on a group of 15 items. There was no discussion or debate of the bill – the largest such package in US history – and its title was never said… Now the bill will go to the full Senate. If it passes there, it will likely be signed into law…

   See Action # 4

D. UK Minister Who Approved Trump’s Request to Extradite Assange Spoke at Secretive US Conferences with People Calling for Him to be ‘Neutralized’

E. New York cops practice viral profiling  – May 20, 2020

F. Annexation is not just about stealing land — it’s about expelling Palestinians  – May 19, 2020

G. Structural Violence, COVID-19, and The Bronx: A Black Physician on Health Inequities – May 19, 2020


1. Stop Trump from Testing Nuclear Weapons 


2. Tell the EPA to stop poisoning our drinking water!


3. Petition calling on AIMCo to drop its risky investment in Coastal GasLink pipeline before the deal is finalized?


  See Event # 3

4. CALL Your Senators –  Tell them to VOTE NO on S.B. 3176 The $38 billion military aid package for Israel

    Senator Dianne Feinstein

       S.F. Office:  (415) 393 – 0707

      D.C. Office: (202) 224 – 3841

  Senator Kamala Harris

    S.F. Office: (415) 981 – 9369

    D.C. Office: (202) 224 – 3553

  Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224 – 3121

5. Pause the Sale of Weapons and Military Arms Until Congress can Provide Appropriate Oversight


If these arms sales go through, expect to see more:

 – Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, where up to 24,000 people have been killed without trial in Duterte’s now infamous War on Drugs.Mass trials and disappearances of activists and critics  – in Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has maintained a nation-wide state of emergency since 2017.

 – Impunity in India, where extrajudicial killings are going uninvestigated and unpunished in regions still subject to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

 – War in Yemen, where the United Arab Emirates has been transferring US weapons to armed groups engaged in the civil war.

 – Consolidation of power in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban is proposing sweeping emergency powers that would give him the ability to create and annul laws without legislative or judicial review.

  See Event # 1


Monday, May 25 – Thursday, May 28

Monday, May 25

1. Monday, 5pm PDT/8pm EDT, #NoArmsSaletoDuterte: An Educational Forum about the Impacts of U.S. Arms Deal on Human Rights in the Philippines

Zoom call:

Register here:

Facebook event: No Arms Sales To Duterte: An Online Forum on US-PH Arms Deal

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), BAYAN USA and Malaya Movement alongside the RESIST!  invite you to the #NoArmsSaletoDuterte: An Educational Forum about the Impacts of U.S. Arms Deal on Human Rights in the Philippines

This is an urgent webinar and call to action regarding the recent news about the U.S. and Philippine government’s arms deal amidst this COVID-19 pandemic. 

Published in detail April 30 by Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the following is a brief summary of the two possible deals, both of which mention the possibility of offsets, which means that US taxpayers could end up shouldering some of the cost:

1. From Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the offer includes attack helicopters, a long list of armaments, including rockets and air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles — a total offer of $1.5B to upgrade anti-insurgency capabilities against insurgent forces in the Philippines that do not even have any aircraft.

2. From Bell Helicopter and General Electric, the offer includes attack helicopters and associated arms including missiles, laser guidance missile systems, and semi-armor piercing high explosive Incendiary rounds – a total offer of $450M.

For info:

2. Monday, 7:30pm, “More Than That”


Storied from The Formerly Incarcerated People’s Performance Project.

Fred Johnson – “Success In Minor”

Ronnie Muniz – “Ceo Pastor”

Tony Cyprien – “The Bus Ride & Then Some

Tuesday, May 26

3. Tuesday, 12 AM – 11:30 PM UTC-06, (Couldn’t figure out US time) Shut Down AIMCo Online Day of Action #WetsuwetenStrong

Online event

Join the #ShutDownAIMCo Online Day of Action and take a stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation!

Despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, international solidarity calls for an end to all construction, and an eviction notice by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, CGL and RCMP continue to illegally occupy sovereign Wet’suwet’en yintah. Their presence on the territory puts communities at risk; endangers Indigenous womxn, two-spirit, and non-binary people with the building of man camps along the pipeline route; and threatens land, water, climate, and air.

AIMCo, a public pension fund manager in so-called Alberta, is set to finalize a deal with TC Energy at the end of this month to purchase a 65% share in Coastal GasLink pipeline alongside U.S. based investment firm KKR.

Hosts: Shut Down AIMCo & Wet’suwet’en


4.Tuesday, 11:00am (PT); 2:00pm (ET), Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066


Stop Repeating History in partnership with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is proud to present an exclusive panel discussion on the award-winning documentary feature film, Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066

The documentary is about the false information and political influences which led to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. Honorable Mention for 2020 ABA Silver Gavel Award, the film sheds light on the people and politics that influenced the signing of the infamous Executive Order 9066 which authorized the mass incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans.

Panelists include:

Sharon A. SakamotoRetired Legal Luminary, Sharon is a third generation Japanese American born in Camp Minidoka, Idaho and was a member of Gordon Hirabayashi’s coram nobis legal team. A co-founder of the Asian Bar Association of Washington (ABAW)

Donald Tamaki, Managing Partner, Minami Tamaki LLP, Don served on the legal team that reopened the 1944 U.S. Supreme Court case of Fred Korematsu, overturning his criminal conviction for defying the removal of almost 120,000 Japanese Americans.

Helen Zia, Civil Rights Activist & Author, Helen’s books include Last Boat out of ShanghaiAsian American Dreams and My Country Versus Me. She is board chair emerita of the Women’s Media Center. A founder in the Justice for Vincent Chin campaign, one of the seminal points in the modern day Asian American movement, Helen is outspoken on issues ranging from human rights and peace to women’s rights and countering hate violence and homophobia.

5. Tuesday, 4:00pm – 5:00pm (PT); 7:00pm (ET), Poor People’s Campaign Virtual Town Hall: Voting, Poverty, Racism, Healthcare, COVID-19

Broadcast live on Facebook:

join this important discussion on the impacts of systemic racism, poverty, voting rights, healthcare and Covid-19 in the black community as we organize to build power for the
Virtual Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington taking place on
June 20th.

This discussion will include a call to action and conscience from the Council of Presidents – National Pan-Hellenic Council

ASL ACCESS: ASL Interpreters will be provided on thNAe main live-streamed event. The live-stream will be posted in the Deaf Poor People’s Campaign Facebook Group:


6. Tuesday, 5:00pm – 6:00pm (PT); 8:00pm – 9:00pm (ET), Protect LGBTQ Workers: A Supreme Court Briefing




Soon, the Supreme Court will decide whether to take away federal protection from millions of LGBTQ+ Americans and allow them to be fired from their jobs because of whom they love or how they identify. Over half of all LGBTQ+ Americans live in states where state law doesn’t protect them against workplace discrimination, so their only safeguard is the federal Civil Rights Act. Now, the Supreme Court could strip them of that essential protection.

As we await the Supreme Court’s decision, join Rep. Jerry Nadler, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Lambda Legal, National Women’s Law Center, ACLU of Michigan, CPD Action, and Demand Justice for a conversation, moderated by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, about what’s at stake for LGBTQ+ Americans and how we can act to advance equality.

Hosts: Center for Popular Democracy and Demand Justice.

Info:   or

7. Tuesday, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Palestine, Zionism, and Racial Justice: An Introduction


As people in the US, our government is directly responsible for providing Israel with the material resources and political cover it uses to maintain and expand its brutal settler colonial project in Palestine. Recognizing that all forms of oppression are interconnected and can’t be fought in isolation, we offer this webinar to strengthen your understanding of the struggle for Palestinian liberation, its intersections with domestic racial justice struggles, and to offer lessons for white organizers working in solidarity.

Jonathan Brenneman is a Palestinian American Christian serving as Communications Manager for Friends of Sabeel North America.

Lara Kiswani is the executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center and a lecturer in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.

Lee Gargagliano is a member of the Catalyst Project collective and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

Rochelle Watson is a mother, member of the Catalyst Project Collective and National Organizer for Friends of Sabeel North America.

Hosts: Showing Up for Radical Justice (SURJ), AROC, Friends of Sabeel North America, Catalyst Project


Wednesday, May 27

8. Wednesday, 1:00pm, Body Bags will be delivered to SF Federal Building – Trump / Pence Out Now!

SF Federal Building
7th Street & Mission


Refuse Fascism will deliver body bags to the Federal Building in San Francisco.  This will be a protest that supports and preserves social distancing and sends a simple and basic message:

As the death toll reaches 100,000, we demand: Trump/Pence Out Now!

9. Wednesday, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Tell the SF DCCC: Release All Immigrant Detainees!

contact Karina Lynch at  to get the zoom invitation

Public comment is at 6:30pm

the SF Democratic County Central Committee DCCC (DCCC) will be voting on a resolution that demands Governor Newsom use his emergency powers to free all immigrants from detention in California. With close quarters, lack of basic hygiene, and limited access to health services, detention centers are breeding grounds for communicable disease. There is no possible way to be safe from COVID-19 within the walls of a detention center, and ICE

Please contact Karina Lynch at to get the zoom invitation so that you can make a public comment in favor of the resolution, AND urge members of the DCCC to follow up by making calls and putting pressure on Governor Newsom and his staff!

Hosts: Bay Resistance, Never Again SF Bay Area, & Democratic Socialist of America – SF


Thursday, May 28

10. Thursday, 4:00pm (PT); 7:00pm (ET), Housing and a People’s Bailout: From Relief to Reimagining


COVID-19 has exposed the deadly foundations of housing inequality. As the rich bunker down in second or third homes, others are on the precipice of losing theirs. For seniors, incarcerated folks, and those who are housing insecure, overcrowded or inadequate housing solutions can be a death sentence.

It’s clear: we need a People’s Bailout for Housing to ensure that everyone has a safe place to shelter out the crisis and beyond.

Join us as we speak with an international panel of housing advocates and organizers about what we need to weather the pandemic, how grassroots movements are building tenant power, and the transformative potential of a People’s Bailout for Housing.

Speakers – housing advocates:

  • Geordie Dent, Executive Director of the Federation of the Metro Tenants Association
  • Leilani Farha, Former UN special rapporteur on the right to housing
  • Erica Hart, organizer with the Carnegie Community Action Project
  • Kate Jacobson, host of the Alberta Advantage podcast and housing organizer

Sponsor: The LEAP

BREAKING: Bernie Sanders PASSES 1,000 Delegates!

The Progressive Voice BREAKING: Bernie Sanders PASSES 1,000 Delegates! #BernieSanders#Bernie#Sanders Bernie Sanders has reached the 1,000 delegate mark even though he had dropped out, and this means that he will be able to get some leverage at the DNC, the democratic national convention. This will hopefully result in some reforms that help progressives reform the electoral system in the democratic party. Support The Show & Watch Exclusive Content:… Donate:… Listen to the audio podcast format on Itunes:… Purchase Progressive Voice Merch:… Donate On Bitcoin: 1LYYaW9T1pe2r3P5dqXCAgdZFJBYF1TDiU Ethereum: 0x7699AE5E4A4b491Cf2cF3dAc3EE14Adf8c29b438 Follow me on Twitter:

Briahna Joy Gray says we need to battle test Joe Biden, and if he doesn’t pass the test, to rethink his presumed nomination

Status Coup Status Coup’s Jordan Chariton speaks with Briahna Joy Gray, the national press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, about Joe Biden’s controversial “You Ain’t Black” comments. SUBSCRIBE to this channel for progressive news and investigative reporting!… SUPPORT our investigative reporting GoFundMe if you can:… SUPPORT Status Coup’s INDEPENDENT IN-THE-FIELD reporting for as $5 bucks a month: HELP US DEFEAT THE SUPPRESSION OF INDEPENDENT MEDIA! Joining our email and text list will ENSURE you know when we’re live: 1)JOIN Status Coup’s Email List: 2)JOIN Status Coup’s text alert list by texting 474747 and enter Coup **SUBSCRIBE to this YouTube channel, CLICK the bell, and CLICK ON ALL NOTIFICATIONS SOCIAL MEDIA 1)FOLLOW Status Coup on Twitter: 2)FOLLOW Status Coup on Instagram: 3)LIKE Status Coup on Facebook: 4)FOLLOW Status Coup on Twitch: Check out the Status Coup merchandise store! Please RATE Status Coup’s Podcast 5 Stars and leave a review!

Hong Kong police fire tear gas at protesters opposed to China’s security law

Issued on: 24/05/2020 –

Protesters react to tear gas during a march against Beijing's plans to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong, China on May 24, 2020.
Protesters react to tear gas during a march against Beijing’s plans to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong, China on May 24, 2020. © Tyrone Siu, Reuters

Text by: NEWS WIRES|Video by: FRANCE 24

Hong Kong police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of people who rallied on Sunday to protest against Beijing’s plan to impose national security laws on the city.

In a return of the unrest that roiled Hong Kong last year, crowds thronged the Causeway Bay shopping area in defiance of curbs imposed to contain the coronavirus. Chants of “Hong Kong independence, the only way out,” echoed through the streets.

To Communist Party leaders, calls for independence for the semi-autonmous city are anathema and the proposed new national security framework stresses Beijing’s intent “to prevent, stop and punish” such acts.

As dusk fell, police and demonstrators faced off in the nightlife district of Wan Chai.

The day’s events pose a new challenge to Beijing’s authority as it struggles to tame public opposition to its tightening grip over Hong Kong, a trade and business gateway for mainland China.

The security laws have also worried financial markets and drawn a rebuke from foreign governments, human rights groups and some business lobbies.

“I am worried that after the implementation of the national security law, they will go after those being charged before and the police will be further out of control,” said Twinnie, 16, a secondary school student who declined to give her last name.

“I am afraid of being arrested but I still need to come out and protest for the future of Hong Kong.”

The demonstrations come amid concerns over the fate of the “one country, two systems” formula that has governed Hong Kong since the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule in 1997. The arrangement guarantees the city broad freedoms not seen on the mainland, including a free press and independent judiciary.

Washington said on Sunday China’s proposed legislation could lead to U.S. sanctions.

“It looks like, with this national security law, they’re going to basically take over Hong Kong and if they do … Secretary (of State Mike) Pompeo will likely be unable to certify that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy and if that happens there will be sanctions that will be imposed on Hong Kong and China,” National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told NBC television.

As the city government sought to give reassurances over the new laws, police conducted stop-and-search operations in Causeway Bay and warned people not to violate a ban on gatherings of more than eight.

That restriction, imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, has kept protesters largely off the streets in recent months.

Protesters set up road blocks and hurled umbrellas, water bottles and other objects, police said, adding that they responded with tear gas and made more than 120 arrests.

Many shops and other businesses closed early.

The scenes evoked memories of last year’s sometimes violent anti-government protests, which drew up to two million people in the biggest single protest.

‘We have to resist it’

A small group of democracy activists protested outside Beijing’s main representative office in the city, chanting: “National security law is destroying two systems.”

“In future they can arrest, lock up and silence anyone they want in the name of national security. We have to resist it,” protester Avery Ng of the League for Social Democrats told Reuters.

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Nearly 200 political figures from around the world said in a statement the proposed laws were a “comprehensive assault on the city’s autonomy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms”.

China has dismissed foreign complaints as “meddling,” and said the proposed laws will not harm Hong Kong’s autonomy or investors.

Beijing’s top diplomat said the proposed legislation would target a narrow category of acts and would have no impact on the city’s freedoms nor the interests of foreign firms.

Last year’s anti-government protests plunged Hong Kong into its biggest political crisis in decades, battered the economy, and posed the gravest popular challenge to President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.


How Obama Could Find Some Redemption: Unendorse Biden

MAY 22, 2020


Photograph Source: jamesomalley – CC BY 2.0

History, literature, film, and scripture are loaded with stories and examples of redemption. Buddhism gives us the story of Aṅgulimāla, a pathological mass-murderer who became a follower of the Buddha and went on to be enshrined as a “patron saint” of childbirth in South and Southeast Asia.

Rick Blaine, the character played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1942 Hollywood classic Casablanca, put side his cynical bitterness and seeming indifference to the rise of the Nazi Third Reich to help Isla Lund (played by Ingmar Bergman) – the former lover who jilted (and embittered) him – escape the grip of the Nazis with her husband, an anti-fascist Resistance fighter. The movie ends with Blaine declaring his determination to join the Resistance in Morocco.

The New Testament tells the story of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector and a wealthy man:

“Jesus looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.’ Zacchaeus stood there and said to Jesus, ‘Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.’ And Jesus said to Zacchaeus, ‘Today salvation has come to this house. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.’”

Zacchaues was perhaps inspiration for Charles Dickens’ character Ebeneezer Scrooge, a vicious exploitative capitalist turned into a benevolent and kindly employer when the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future visit him to tell him the story of his heretofore miserable, money-grubbing, and misanthropic life.

Malcom X told his life story to Alex Haley as one of redemption. It was a tale of progression from violent and criminal hustler (known as “Detroit Red”) to the righteous and radical channeling and focusing his anger at White Society as a fiercely eloquent Civil Rights fighter for all the oppressed.

When the leading munitions and arms manufacturer Alfred Nobel read a premature obituary that condemned his as “the merchant of death,” he bequeathed his fortune to establish the annual Nobel Peace Prize.

After a long career of leading bloody, racist, and imperialist interventions in the Philippines, China, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, the United States Marines Major General J. Smedly Butler was at the time of his death, 1940, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Upon retirement in the early 1930s, however, Butler became widely known for his outspoken lectures against war profiteering, U.S. military adventurism, and what he viewed as nascent fascism in the United States. In 1933, he exposed the “Business Plot,” telling a Congressional committee that a group of wealthy American industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become a fascist-style dictator. Two years later, Butler published War is a Racket, which has been widely quoted by antiwar activists ever since. America’s left and anti-imperialist intellectual Noam Chomsky has long kept on his wall a framed picture of the following statement from Butler’s book:

“WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives…I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

The United States’ greatest President, Abraham Lincoln, found a measure of redemption on the slavery issue during the Civil War. Like many moderate Republicans in the late 1850s and 1860-61, Lincoln was – much to the chagrin of abolitionists like Frederick Douglass – “unwilling to jeopardize the Union by interfering directly with slavery in the states” (Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War [New York: Oxford University Press, 1970], p. 215.) He undertook the Civil War with the sole stated aim of restoring the treasonously seceded slave states of the southern Confederacy to the Union. Faced with early Confederate victories and the need to cripple the South’s slave-based economy to defeat it, however, Lincoln bowed to pressure of the abolitionists and let his longstanding moral opposition to slavery find voice in the Emancipation Proclamation. From that point on, the epic conflict was a struggle over the slave system. In his justly famous Gettysburg Address of November 1863, Lincoln called the Civil War a struggle to see whether a nation “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…can long endure.” He identified the Union Army’s cause as “a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” In his less well remembered but equally eloquent Second Inaugural Address of March 4, 18654, Lincoln left no doubt about where he stood on the need to abolish chattel slavery:

“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Another American president who deserves at least some redemption credit because of a speech he gave near the end of his time in office is Dwight Eisenhower. A lifelong militarist whose presidency undertook numerous murderous, destructive, and imperial actions around the world, Eisenhower concluded his two terms in the White House by warning against the rise of an authoritarian “military-industrial complex” in his January 17 1960 Farewell Address:

“Th[e] conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist…We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

(Eisenhower hardly invented the notion of the “military-industrial complex.” The notion suggests a deadly anti-democratic nexus of political, economic, and military power that lay at the heart of the left U.S. sociologist C Wright Mills’ haunting 1956 study The Power Elite. Still, it was a remarkable and prescient warning for Eisenhower to issue in his final public statement from the peak office atop the world’s leading military superpower. The warning has gone un-heeded ever since.)

There is always hope for a change of legacy and a measure redemption. We do not live in the past. As the Buddhists say, the present moment is the only moment that exists. There is always a chance to change one’s path, building on the lessons of one’s mistakes and even one’s crimes to chart a new direction – to seek a measure of redemption, “salvation,” and recovery.

What would redemption look like for Barack Obama? It would involve eight things, for starters. First, it would entail admitting something unpleasant: his own deep complicity in the deadly ascendancy of the neofascist Donald Trump, who Noam Chomsky aptly calls “the most dangerous criminal in human history.” To no small extent, Trump owes his disastrous and malevolent presidency to the silver-tongued Obama’s eight years of White House service to the rich and powerful. The corporate-Democratic Obama presidency betrayed the working people, poor, and minorities in whose name Obama campaigned under the banners (inherited from the master corporate Democrat Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign) of Hope and Change. Obama’s eight years in the White House demobilized and depressed the nation’s progressive majority while antagonizing the nation’s racist right-wing in ways that produced dangerous political openings for an ever more apocalyptic and authoritarian, white-nationalist Republican Party – a party that united behind an at least instinctual fascist (Trump)who was under the influence of actual and conscious fascists Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller in the summer of 2016. I published a long Counterpunch essay on precisely how Obama contributed to the rise of Trump. It was titled “Barack Von Obamdenbug: Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens.” The title says it all but please read the whole thing for the details.

“Please stop wearing those t-shirts that say, ‘Do You Miss Me Yet?” Obama would tell liberals. “Yes, Trump is terrible, he’s a monster, but guess what: I’m a big part of why he’s in power.”

Second, redemption would require Obama apologizing to the nation for following Trump’s election by going out into the Rose Garden the next day and telling the American people to give Trump a chance and “root…for his success in uniting and leading the country…because we’re actually all on one team. We’re Americans first, we’re patriots first, we all want what’s best for this country.”

That was idiotic, deeply conservative advice and Obama knew it. During the 2016 campaign, we learned from a recent Hulu documentary on Hillary Clinton, Obama said this to Hillary’s lame vice presidential pick Tim Kaine: ‘Tim, remember, this is no time to be a purist. You’ve got to keep a fascist out of the White House.”

It was an all-too accurate description of Trump. No responsible political actor tells the American people to “root for the success” of a demented arch-authoritarian racist, nativist, sexist, and eco-cidal demagogue – a fascist – in the world’s most powerful job.

Third, Obama would apologize for helping kick off RussiaGate, which turned out (predictably) to be a “great political gift to Trump” (Chomsky). As the Russian dissident Masha Gessen warned early on, Russiagate “will not bring down Trump.” Further:

“He may sacrifice more of his people, as he sacrificed Flynn, as further leaks discredit them. Various investigations may drag on for months, drowning out other, far more urgent issues. In the end, Congressional Republicans will likely conclude that their constituents don’t care enough about Trump’s Russian ties to warrant trying to impeach the Republican president. Meanwhile, while Russia continues to dominate the front pages, Trump will continue waging war on immigrants, cutting funding for everything that’s not the military, assembling his cabinet of deplorables—with six Democrats voting to confirm Ben Carson for Housing, for example, and ten to confirm Rick Perry for Energy. According to the Trump plan, each of these seems intent on destroying the agency he or she is chosen to run—to carry out what Steve Bannon calls the ‘deconstruction of the administrative state.’ (emphasis added).

Other, far more urgent issues like the corporate war on livable ecology, which raises the real specter of human extinction, with Trump in the vanguard of the effort to turn the planet into a giant Greenhouse Gas Chamber. Like the lack of elementary and responsible readiness for a global pandemic that public health experts had been warning the U.S. government about for many years – a public health crisis that Trump has predictably used to deepen his authoritarian rule.

Fourth, redemption would require the Obamas giving away the tens of millions of dollars they have received from the nation’s ruling class as deferred oligarchic payment for their obedient service to the wealthy Few while the rest of the country struggled to keep their heads above water in the wake of the Great Recession. That service helped put a fascist in the world’s most powerful job. The money could be given away to the victims of the current new Great Depression or to the formation of grassroots organizations equipped to fight white nationalism and plutocracy.

Fifth, Obama would suspend work on the environmentally toxic gentrification project that is his big presidential library on Chicago’s South Side. He could invest remaining project funds into a library dedicated to research on how the American corporate and financial ruling class rules, how that rule leads to disastrous consequences (including but not limited to fascism in its various forms, and what the working-class majority can and must do to meaningfully counter and overthrow ruling class power. As one of Obama’s distinguished biographers (or at least chroniclers), I, the author of They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Routledge, 2014), will be happy to deliver the Keynote Address at the unveiling of this library.

Sixth, Obama could go public on a regular basis with his all-too pathetically private understanding of the Trump presidency as neo-fascistic – and with an admission that this corporate-Democratic administration helped hatch that presidency. If that is too much to ask (it probably is), Obama could at least use his status as “more popular than Jesus” among Democrats to show some guts and challenge Trump’s policies and behavior in a direct and forceful way. It’s been disconcerting to (not) hear Obama’s deafening silence as the nation has drifted ever further into Trumpism-fascism, now under the cover of Trump-amplified COVID-19 – a creepy hush that has persisted even as Trump regularly attacks every one of Obama’s policies he can get his hands on and blames Obama for every imaginable evil at home and abroad.

Seventh, Obama would suspend work on his forthcoming 1000-page book – his third volume on his favorite topic: Obama. It is certainly going to be a self-serving whitewash of his two decades of “public” service in elected office to the possessing classes and their domestic and global Empire. Who needs that?

It would useful if he would turn the volume into a short and readable reflection on how and why he became a servant of the corporate and financial oligarchy and a deadly imperialist – and on how those life choices influenced world history in disastrous ways, including his contribution the ascendancy of Donald Trump. Obama could channel J. Smedly Butler, with a little Eisenhower thrown in (Obama once described himself to corporate CEOs as an Eisenhower Republican), reflecting on his years of service to Wall Street and the military-industrial complex.

Eighth, Obama would give a speech in which he rescinded his endorsement of the center-right corporatist Joe Biden. He would apologize for his central role in foisting the depressing Biden atrocity on America and the world. He would tell Americans that Bernie Sanders was the only major party candidate who ran in accord with the policy wishes and values of the nation’s silenced progressive majority. The onetime community organizer Obama would also tell Americans that voting under the deeply flawed and corporate-captive U.S. elections and party system is a very minor and marginal act compared to the kind of peoples’ politics they need to develop in order to fight the combined authoritarian forces of corporate and financial oligarchy, imperialism, militarism. white nationalism, racism, sexism, and ecocide. Obama’s address would include the following passage from the late radical American historian Howard Zinn’s brilliant March 2008 Progressive essay “Election Madness,” published as liberals, progressives and even some leftists were losing their minds over., well….um, Obama:

“Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war….Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”

What are chances of Obama doing any of these things?Join the debate on FacebookMore articles by:PAUL STREET

Paul Street’s latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

Shahid Buttar – Episode 152

May 19, 2020 (

Link to audio:

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

This time Eric welcomes progressive Democratic candidate for the US House of Representatives from California’s 12th district, Shahid Buttar, who is challenging Nancy Pelosi in November’s general election. Eric and Shahid discuss his background and formative political experiences, his time in Washington and as an activist, and his reasons for running. From there, the conversation explores the Pelosi era in SF politics: gentrification, segregation, Pelosification. What are the power blocs in Bay Area politics? Which sectors of capital does Pelosi represent? How will his campaign overcome these institutional obstacles?

The second half of the show assesses Bernie’s campaign, his impact on American political life, and the possibility (or impossibility) of taking over the Democratic Party. Finally, Eric and Shahid examine the critical question: what role is there for the Left in US politics?

We Love You Earth | Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion Filming at the April Rebellion and Amazon protests with the amazing people who came to stand strong, speak, sing, chant, create, dance and Rebel for Life was such an amazing experience. I was able to truly connect my values and filming skills. I felt I had captured some of the many special moments but wasn’t able to edit the footage alongside work and spending much of my mum’s last year looking after her. Fortunately/unfortunately my friend Stuart Dodd wasn’t well enough to help with the edit of another job so I asked him to start with finding the film in the footage. From his wonderful starting cut I was able to build a film that wouldn’t have otherwise come about. I hope it conveys what I feel is the driving force of the movement…that we love appreciate and want to work with our earth. WE LOVE YOU EARTH Film by Tania Hoser https://www.taniahoser.com @taniahoser – @tania_vision Edited by Tania Hoser and Stuart Dodd Help XR mobilise and donate here: Extinction Rebellion: International: 1. #TellTheTruth 2. #ActNow 3. #BeyondPolitics World Map of Extinction Rebellion Groups: Twitter: Facebook:… Instagram:…

Donald Trump, Resign Now for America’s Sake: This is No Time for a Dangerous, Law-breaking, Bungling, Ignorant Ship Captain

May 23, 2020 (

by Ralph Nader


(Image: DonkeyHotey/cc)

(Image: DonkeyHotey/cc)

Where are the calls for Trump’s resignation? Since his first months in the White House, Trump has been the most impeachable, most lawless, most self-enriching, most bungling President in U.S. history. He relies entirely on lying and scapegoating to avoid taking responsibility for his failures. Trump didn’t even win the popular vote – the Electoral College selected him. President Trump has fomented chaos and corruption in his administration without encountering insistent demands for his resignation.

The supine Republican Senate shields Trump from any political accountability. Dominated by the evil “Moscow Mitch” McConnell, the Senate prevented Trump from being convicted under the impeachment clause of the Constitution. But Trump makes the case against himself – “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” Trump makes good on that statement every day, making decisions with reckless abandon and doubling down, falsely accusing people of crimes, turning our government over to big businesses, and firing inspectors general investigating crime and corruption in Trump’s regime of corporatism, favoritism, and nepotism.

Trump exercises his pouting, unstable ego as the determinant of misgoverning on a deadly scale, as with his delaying, downplaying, over-riding science, and providing lethal advice regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. For which he boastfully gives himself a perfect ten.

Trump keeps flailing, failing, and using foul-mouthed rhetoric because about 43 percent of voters stick with him, no matter what.

Well – the parents of many Trump supporters did not stay with Richard Nixon in 1974. Public demands for “Tricky Dick” to leave office ultimately included much of his “base” including scores of Republicans in Congress, led by Mr. Conservative Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ). Why? Nixon had defied a Congressional subpoena and committed an obstruction of justice. Trump, on the other hand, has defied many Congressional subpoenas and engaged in over a dozen obstructions of justice, many of which are ongoing.

Why no demands for resignation? Have too many Americans lost their proper sense of honest public service and accountability? From 1974 to now, the American Bar Association (ABA) – supposedly a first responder against the destruction of rule of law and constitutional observance – has done nothing to challenge above-the-law presidential abuses. (In 2005-2006 the ABA displayed some courage and charged the Bush/Cheney administration with three sets of unconstitutional behavior.)

Many Trump voters seem to expect more of virtually every public figure who isn’t Trump! Ask Trump voters if they would support their local fire chief if he or she lied daily about the fire department’s readiness to fight fires? Would they support a fire chief who appoints firefighters with no experience? Would they support a police chief who accepts no responsibility for a street crime wave while disabling the force?

Would they support a CEO of a major hospital who promotes, against the advice of his/her medical scientists, chemicals and drugs that can take the lives of patients? Would they support a super predator bank CEO who gives sweet-heart deals to the rich at the direct expense of customers of modest means? Would they support a CEO of a big construction company, spouting anti-immigrant hate, while hiring hundreds of poorly paid undocumented foreign laborers taking jobs away from American workers? The answer is pretty clear.

These people in positions of power would have lost their jobs if they engaged in such reckless and unjust behavior. Corrupt Donald, on the other hand, has done all of these continually and remains an escapee from justice. In addition to these previously acknowledged failings, Trump has wrecked the federal health, safety, and economic protections including many life-saving controls on deadly pollution, dangerous business practices, and business theft of your earnings as consumers, workers, and savers.

In addition, here is a top betrayal: Trump promised his voters a big infrastructure repair and upgrade program in all communities – with good-paying jobs. He betrayed them, giving instead about 2 trillion dollars in tax cuts to the rich and big corporations, like the drug and banking industries and even his own family!

Trump voters need to ask themselves – what else does Trump have to do to our livelihood, health, safety, and dignity before you say – “no more!” If you want more details about Mr. Trump’s lying betrayals, read Fake President by Mark Green and me and judge Trump by his own contemptuous words and misdeeds.

Most puzzling are the many columnists – both Democratic and Republican – who week after week show how disastrously unworthy and unfit Trump is, yet never conclude with a demand for his resignation or further impeachment. Many in the opinion class may believe it would never happen.  My response is that judging the odds is not the primary responsibility of a columnist. Making the demand is telling readers that your critique is serious enough to warrant a necessary remedy.

Devastating critics like Dana Milbank, Republican Michael Gerson, Eugene Robinson, Margaret Sullivan, and conservative Max Boot of the Washington Post, or Charles Blow, Paul Krugman, David Brooks, Maureen Dowd and Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times have cogently taken Trump apart on very serious matters since 2017, yet they leave their readers without the obvious conclusion -Trump has to go.  A clear daily peril to innocent Americans “I’m in total control”, why not try bleach, etc. The country cannot wait until January 2021 – assuming dictatorial Donald and his determined GOP don’t criminally suppress enough votes to postpone Trump’s departure until January 2025.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest books include: To the Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn’t Too Late to Reverse CourseHow the Rats Re-Formed the CongressBreaking Through Power: It’s easier than we think, and Animal Envy: A Fable

Joe Biden: “If You Support Trump You Ain’t Black” | Tim Black

TBTV VP Joe Biden interviewed with Charlamagne Tha God of the Breakfast Club where he stated “if you support Trump then you ain’t Black!”. ► Join Tim Black’s WOLFPACK on YouTube TODAY:… ► Join Tim Black’s Wolf Pack on Patreon:… ► In for the night? Watch Tim Black’s Political Comedy Special Now On Amazon Prime Video ► Content Creator? Get $10 Off The Best Online Caption Creator Service. Use this link:… ► Follow Me on FB & Twitter at @RealTimBlack ► IMDB Credits: ►PayPal: ►Grab Tim Black Gear: ►Mailing Address: Tim Black Show P.O. Box 701, Bryans Road, MD 20616 ►Join Tim Black VIP Text Club: Text “CORNBREAD” to code 21000 to opt in. ►Visit the official Tim Black Website: ► Subscribe –…

Voters React To Joe Biden You Ain’t Black Comments | Tim Black

TBTV VP Joe Biden’s “You ain’t black comments” on The Breakfast Club generate visceral responses from voters across the nation. ► Join Tim Black’s WOLFPACK on YouTube TODAY:… ► Join Tim Black’s Wolf Pack on Patreon:… ► In for the night? Watch Tim Black’s Political Comedy Special Now On Amazon Prime Video ► Content Creator? Get $10 Off The Best Online Caption Creator Service. Use this link:… ► Follow Me on FB & Twitter at @RealTimBlack ► IMDB Credits: ►PayPal: ►Grab Tim Black Gear: ►Mailing Address: Tim Black Show P.O. Box 701, Bryans Road, MD 20616 ►Join Tim Black VIP Text Club: Text “CORNBREAD” to code 21000 to opt in. ►Visit the official Tim Black Website: ► Subscribe –…