Pressed by Sanders, Democrats Aim to Lower Medicare Eligibility Age in Recovery Package

March 30, 2021 by Common Dreams (commondreams.org)

“There are many millions of seniors who would be very, very grateful if we did that right now.”

byJake Johnson, staff writer

 17 Comments

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks during a Senate Budget Committee hearing on February 10, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks during a Senate Budget Committee hearing on February 10, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker—Pool/Getty Images)

Congressional Democrats are reportedly aiming to use a forthcoming coronavirus recovery package to lower the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60, a development that comes days after Sen. Bernie Sanders publicly advocated for the proposal as a way to expand healthcare coverage for seniors amid the deadly pandemic.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that “proposals to expand Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 60 and to enable the federal government to negotiate drug prices in the health program for seniors—both of which President Biden supported on the campaign trail—are… likely to be included” in the new package, the second part of a two-pronged “Build Back Better” program focused on infrastructure, jobs, healthcare, and other priorities.

“We should lower the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 down to 60,” Sanders told the Journal, which noted that the popular proposal is already drawing opposition from Republicans and the hospital industry.

According to an analysis last April by the healthcare consulting firm Avalere, lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 could extend the program’s coverage to as many as 23 million people.

“There are many millions of seniors who would be very, very grateful if we did that right now,” said Sanders.

The Vermont senator—a leading supporter of the far more ambitious effort to extend Medicare to every person in the U.S.—is also pushing congressional Democrats to use the new legislation to make Medicare more generous by expanding its coverage to include dental work, glasses and eye surgeries, and hearing aids, Politico reported last Friday.

Given that Republican lawmakers are already speaking out against the nascent legislative package, Democrats will likely have to use the arcane and restrictive budget reconciliation process to pass the measure with a simple majority. That means the Medicare expansion proposal will likely face the scrutiny of the unelected Senate parliamentarian, who drew widespread ire last month for deeming a $15 minimum wage proposal in violation of reconciliation rules.

The new recovery package is also expected to include an extension of the boosted child tax credit, paid family and medical leave, and other measures, according to reporting Tuesday by the Washington Post.

“We have to look at the structural long-term problems facing our people,” Sanders said last week. “We’re talking about physical infrastructure, affordable housing. We’re talking about transforming our energy system to deal with climate change. We’re talking about human infrastructure. In the rescue plan, we were able to take a major step forward in lowering child poverty—very important. Now I want to deal with issues facing seniors as well.”Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

HANNAH ARENDT INTERVIEW (1964) – WHAT REMAINS? (ZUR PERSON – GÜNTER GAUS)

Philosophy Overdose The full interview of Hannah Arendt with Günter Gaus from 1964 with English subtitles: Zur Person – Was bleibt? Es bleibt die Muttersprache (What Remains? The Language Remains”). The translation is largely my own, but there also are parts from the Joan Stambaugh translation which were used here. There’s another English version of the interview on Youtube already with decent subtitles, but for whatever reason, around 13 minutes of the interview are missing. That was one of the reasons I decided to put together this one. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PhilosophyOv…

A RADICAL EDUCATION: HOW GREENWICH VILLAGE TRANSFORMED ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

VIA SCRIBNER

Jan Jarboe Russell on the Friendships That Inspired and Nourished a Former First Lady

By Jan Jarboe Russell

March 30, 2021 (lithub.com)

“The giving of love is an education in itself.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt

It was in Greenwich Village that Eleanor Roosevelt became the strong woman that we now know. From 1920 until the end of her life in 1962, she was actively connected to the political and social mix of the neighborhood. Paradoxically, her early years in the Village helped her gain the strength in her political convictions and in her personal confidence that would be essential to lifting Franklin to the presidency, even as their increasingly difficult marriage drove her to seek friendship and stimulation elsewhere—particularly in the Village. One might even legitimately wonder if FDR ever would have become president were it not for Eleanor’s ongoing and transformative experiences in the Village.

Eleanor experienced in 1920 what Ross Wetzsteon, editor of The Village Voice, captured in his book Republic of Dreams: Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia, 1910–1960: “The essence of the Village was to create a miniature society where personal idiosyncrasy could flourish through communal society… Even Americans who remain hostile to the Village have become fascinated by it because it has become a kind of laboratory in which a nation at once dedicated to militant individualism and middle class conformity could witness attempts to overcome that paradox.”

In 1921 Eleanor made two friends who would influence the rest of her life: Esther Everett Lape and Elizabeth Fisher Read, a lesbian couple who lived in the Village. Read was a lawyer who later became Eleanor’s financial adviser, and Lape was a highly respected professor of English and journalist, and was a cofounder of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters (est. 1919). Together, they formed a three-way friendship that became the nucleus of Eleanor’s support network.

In the early 1920s they joined what was then called the “New Woman Movement” in Greenwich Village, part of a larger awakening and activism of educated and increasingly independent-minded women in Britain, Europe, and the US that dated back to the mid-1890s. The movement organized for social change, unions for workers, equal pay for equal work, and protection for child workers, and insisted on women having their own sexual freedom. Members disagreed about politics and political parties. Some, like Eleanor, were Democrats, while others were Socialists and Communists, even Republicans.Video list is empty.

Eleanor’s brand of feminism, shaped by these women, was moved by compassion, bottled-up sexuality, and the quest for her own truth. This all happened as the Village was coming alive, working around Prohibition and freeing women to drink or smoke in public with men. There was a determination to end misunderstanding and inequality between the sexes, and Eleanor and her friends, particularly Lape and Read, laid the groundwork for tackling gender inequality that would inspire the later 20th-century feminist movement.

Eleanor fought for women to be educated, to own their own property, and to receive equal pay for equal work. She and her friends often called themselves “the newest” of the “New Women.” Unlike the younger flappers, who favored bobbed hairstyles and short skirts and frequented speakeasies, the New Women organized for social change and freely disagreed among themselves about politics and political parties. “If women could believe they were free,” Eleanor said, “they could behave as if they were free, then they would be free.”

When Eleanor was tired at the end of a weary and ragged day, she would often go to 20 East 11th Street, where Esther and Elizabeth lived. The brownstone was built in the prewar style; it was five stories tall and contained nine apartments. The street outside their house was serene, and the mood in their book-lined living room was set by beautiful rugs and objects, and for Eleanor, a feeling of comfort and of being appreciated.Eleanor’s brand of feminism… was moved by compassion, bottled-up sexuality, and the quest for her own truth.

In the 1930s, Eleanor would rent a pied-à-terre of her own on the fourth floor, above Lape and Read. Her apartment would be small compared to her other homes, only 1,350 square feet, but it had high ceilings, good light, and a sunporch that overlooked the gardens on the roof. Eleanor often slept on the sunporch. Today, a plaque outside the house memorializes Eleanor’s time in the apartment; no mention is made of Lape and Read’s residence there.

As the 1920s got under way, Eleanor had little interest in her appearance, but fashion was very important to Lape and Read, whose clothes were custom-made. Lape’s were particularly extravagant—silks, velvets, brocades that lasted many years. Read wore dark tailored suits with string ties. In time, Eleanor used the same designer for her wardrobe.

Dress is a way of expressing one’s self but can also be a way of hiding. In those early years in Greenwich Village, Eleanor took her signals from the way that Lape dressed. They both wore large hats and black dresses that swept close to their ankles. Their bodies were hidden, but Eleanor held her head high, as proud of her height as she had been in England with Marie Souvestre and her circle of women friends.

The three women hosted small salons in the Greenwich Village apartment and invited other New Woman neighbors over for formal dinners. They read the classics and poetry aloud in French to one another long into the evening. The food was excellent, and even Eleanor sometimes sipped champagne. They talked about politics and organized ways that the New Women could promote rights for all women and all races of women. Many of Eleanor’s later ideas came from these dinners. In the presence of her friends, she felt an awakening in herself and a calming of her spirit.

Elizabeth Read wrote a letter to Narcissa Vanderlip about whether the cause of women’s rights was more important than private relationships. The letter said in part: “If a person is lucky enough to meet a human being that is worth devotion, that—in the absence of a crisis, or an all-compelling call—is the important thing—always remembering that selfish devotion defeats its purpose, that limiting life to the devotion eventually kills it. In other words, it is a matter of a balance that changes every day.” Eleanor remembered Read’s words and put them into action—to avoid selfish ideas, to care for her own soul, to help those in need.

Eleanor also took to heart Virginia Woolf’s idea that because the reality of life often overwhelms women, they must be stronger. As Woolf famously wrote: “So when I ask you to earn money and have a room of your own, I am asking you to live in the presence of reality, an invigorating life, it would appear, whether one can impart it or not.” All of this Eleanor decided was necessary and in the long run, she lived by Woolf’s ideas: to live in the presence of what is the truth, what is strong, what is real.

Simon & Schuster Audio · ELEANOR IN THE VILLAGE Audiobook Excerpt – Chapter 8

The Village was a refuge for Eleanor, not just a place but an idea—the idea of following the rhythm of who she really was. In addition to spending time with Lape and Read, she also relied on another lesbian couple, Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, who lived in a cooperative building at 171 West 12th Street.

The poet Edna St. Vincent Millay lived at 75 ½ Bedford Street, which, at nine feet six inches wide, was well known as the narrowest house in the city. In 1923, Millay became the third woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and also joined the ranks of the New Women and declared herself a believer in free love, which made her at home in the Village. These friendships enriched and changed Eleanor’s life.

In April 1921, Eleanor attended the National League’s convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and was exhilarated to meet Carrie Chapman Catt, the white-haired leader of the suffrage struggle, who spoke in support of the League of Nations and said: “Men were born by instinct to slay. It seems God is giving a call to the women of the world to come forward, to stay the hand of men, to say: ‘No, you should no longer kill your fellow men.’”

Even though she had her own ideas and interests, Eleanor knew she would also have to focus on her husband’s work, and expressed enthusiasm for doing so. In a note to Franklin from the convention in Cleveland, she wrote: “I’ve had a very interesting day and heard some really good women speakers. Mrs. Catt has clear cold reason… Minnie Fisher Cunningham from Texas is emotional and idealistic, but she made everyone cry!” Eleanor finished her note to Franklin this way: “Much, much love dear and I prefer to do my politics with you.”

In the spring of 1922, Nancy Cook, serving as the head of the Women’s Division of the New York Democratic Party, telephoned Eleanor and asked her to be a speaker for a fund-raising luncheon for activist women Democrats. Eleanor hesitated. She was a reluctant public speaker at the time. Her voice went up several octaves when speaking, which then made her giggle uncontrollably. She later tamed the monster, with Louis Howe’s help, and in time became a very good public speaker. But Howe encouraged Eleanor to speak at the luncheon. Eleanor arrived at the luncheon with a bouquet of violets for Nancy Cook.

As Blanche Wiesen Cook explained in her biography, “Between women, gifts of violets were quite the rage during the 1920s—they appear again and again in feminist literature as an international symbol of affection.” From then on, Eleanor considered Nancy Cook a close friend and called her Nan. A potter, photographer, and carpenter, Nan had short, wiry hair and an intense personality. She and her partner, Marion Dickerman, had met in graduate school at Syracuse University and had become lovers not long after. Marion was tall, ladylike, and quieter than Nan. In 1917, during the First World War, both Nan and Marion went to London as volunteers for the Red Cross. Marion quickly took to nursing the many wounded men, but Nan, a gifted craftsperson, used her skills to make artificial limbs for soldiers.

Of the two women, Eleanor favored Nan, whom she called a “boyish” girl. Both Eleanor and Nan were experienced political organizers, but Nan was also funny and roguish, and with her, Eleanor did things that horrified her mother-in-law, who particularly disapproved of Nan’s masculine clothes. Eleanor once appeared with Nan at a family event, dressed in matching knickerbocker outfits with vest and jacket.

To his credit, Franklin welcomed Nan and Marion to his and Eleanor’s circle of close friends. Often he teased the women; he was “Uncle Franklin” and they were “the girls.” Louis Howe and Franklin joked that the women were “she-males,” a loaded phrase that conveyed their belief that Eleanor and her women friends would never be equal to men at home or in politics. Nancy and Marion laughed at FDR’s joke, but Eleanor was not amused. Nor was she likely pleased when her cousin Alice called Nancy and Marion “female impersonators.”

Eleanor was increasingly caught between two lives: the life she had once had with Franklin versus the life she now had in the Village with other New Women. In June 1921, Eleanor asked Lape and Read, who were open about their lesbian relationship, to stay for a few days at Hyde Park with her and her family.

“My mother-in-law was distressed,” wrote Eleanor. “I had begun to realize that in my development I was drifting far afield from the old influences.”

At the end of their stay, Lape remembered, “Franklin took us to the station, carrying our bags. He was wearing one of those baggy brown suits. He looked so strong and healthy.” That would be the last time that Esther saw Franklin standing on his own two feet.

__________________________________

Eleanor in the Village

Excerpted from Eleanor in the Village: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Search for Freedom and Identity in New York’s Greenwich Village. Reprinted with permission of Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Copyright © 2021 by Jan Jarboe Russell.

Ammon Bundy has amassed an army of over 50,000 as he looks for his next battle in a religious war

History News Network March 29, 2021 

Ammon Bundy has amassed an army of over 50,000 as he looks for his next battle in a religious war

www.rawstory.com

Ammon Bundy, right-wing malcontent behind the 2016 armed takeover of Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge and now a western anti-mask movement, believes he’s doing God’s work.

Coming from a long line of religiously inspired men who have been “called” to defend the US Constitution, Bundy has varied in his focus, from rebelling against public land ranching regulations to protesting COVID-19 safety protocols. But in his view, these are all forms of government tyranny and affronts to constitutional rights. Arrested for the fourth time on March 15, 2021, Bundy was taken into custody for failing to appear at his hearing on past trespassing charges. Because he refused to wear a mask into the courtroom, thereby missing his trial, he was apprehended outside amid a throng of other protesters.

Bundy’s crusade has been a long time in the making, but in the last year he successfully established a coalition of supporters that is broad, diverse, and a serious threat to federal law. His group is called the People’s Rights Network. Like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, it includes members who see the current government as a threat to perceived rights and are committed to defend their ideas of personal liberty, by force if necessary.

So what has taken Ammon Bundy, who first came to prominence during the 2014 armed standoff in Nevada over his father’s unpaid grazing fees and trespassing cattle, into a life of an anti-government militant? The answer is a libertarian worldview and his take on Mormonism. Bundy’s ideology parallels the thinking of certain leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who’ve had a history of government cynicism. He also shares with them a tradition of theo-constitutionalism–venerating the Constitution as a sacred document. The paradox here is that Bundy believes he is upholding the Constitution and fulfilling his religious duties in his acts of lawlessness.

His impetus has roots in the early Church. After the founder and first prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was murdered, Brigham Young (1801-1877) assumed the reins of the Church and brought the Latter-day Saints into the Great Basin. By that point, Young and his brethren were disgusted with the US government after the years of mistreatment and bigotry they had faced. But the Mormon people kept great faith in the Constitution. While still an apostle of Smith, Young said “I find no fault with the Constitution or laws of our country; they are good enough. It is the abuse of those laws which I despise, and which God, good men and angels abhor.” He later avowed ” Corrupt men cannot walk these streets with impunity, and if that is alienism to the Government, amen to it. The Constitution of the United States we sustain all the day long, and it will sustain and shield us, while the men who say we are aliens, and cry out ‘Mormon disturbance,’ will go to hell….But to proceed; the principal evil is in the rulers, or those who profess to be rulers, and in the dispensers of the law…”

Young was not just the leader of the Church; like Smith, he was a prophet. Although he was not as prolific in his revelations as other Mormon prophet/presidents, these statements are memorialized in the Journal of Discourses and the History of the Church, texts not part of official Church doctrine, but significant, especially to those with radical leanings. Over the years, many Church prophets echoed Young’s sentiments, from Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898) to Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994), reinforcing the idea that the Constitution is good, but not those who govern under it. Benson took that idea further, declaring that the Mormon people had a religious obligation to protect the Constitution, even if this meant violence. In 1979 he declared, “I say to you with all the fervor of my soul that God intended men to be free. Rebellion against tyranny is a righteous cause. It is an enormous evil for any man to be enslaved to any system contrary to his own will. For that reason men, 200 years ago, pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. No nation which has kept the commandments of God has ever perished, but I say to you that once freedom is lost, only blood – human blood – will win it back.”

So this is where things get treacherous. If the Constitution is sacred, but those overseeing it are evil, then who determines and upholds the law of the land? Bundy has come to think that this is his duty—a chilling certainty that is likely to escalate during this current administration. As vaccines are more widely administered and mask mandates therefore become less of a concern, Bundy’s focus will return to his original cause. The new Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, is now charged with overseeing public lands, including the place where Ammon’s Bundy’s father, Cliven, continues to illegally graze his cows. The patriarch Bundy and his most infamous son share the conviction that the federal government has no constitutional right or power to own land; hence the land belongs to those white people who have occupied and used it, and the requirement of grazing fees paid to the Bureau of Land Management is unconstitutional. Although Cliven has repeatedly lost his appeals in federal court, and currently owes over a million dollars in fines and fees, the old rancher’s cows still roam the same BLM land, years after the Nevada armed standoff. To Ammon, mask mandates and grazing regulations are the same thing—affronts to constitutional rights. Law and common good be damned—he sees both as tyranny. He is determined to protect the Constitution, even by unconstitutional means. Where the next action is again taken—Nevada, Oregon, or somewhere else on the 600,000,000 acres of American public lands—remains to be seen.

In 2018, Bundy talked before an audience in South Jordan, UT during an event advertised as a “power packed four hours, with an LDS [Latter-day Saints] perspective, but practical info for all true friends of liberty.” He told them about his father’s dream, in which people approached a large building. Inside the building sat a golden calf, a biblical reference to a false idol, that Cliven understood to symbolize the American court of law. Ammon explained that the dream meant people are putting their faith in judges who do not have their best interests at hearts. “You can’t worship the golden calf, you have to have faith in God,” he told the audience. “When you know for certain that those are your own rights, you do not allow them to be questioned. And I know that’s a strong thing I’m saying. But when you do that, then your friends need to come and protect you also. And it’s a duty of ours to do that.” Four months later, PeoplesRights.org was registered, a year and two months before pandemic brought America to a screeching halt. COVID-19 gave him a cause that fit a long ongoing narrative. The pandemic swelled the ranks of People’s Rights because of conspiracy theory and righteous anger, but it wasn’t invented in response to it.

Ammon Bundy has been looking for a next battle since the takeover of Malheur, when he led a group of heavily armed militia to occupy government buildings in Harney County, Oregon. During that takeover, one man, LaVoy Finicum, was shot and killed by police. Ammon now has his own militia, the People’s Rights Network, an army of over 50,000 members in 50 states, according to the organization’s website. He recently finished a recruitment tour in Utah, talking God, liberty, and the need for vigilante action—antidotes to golden calves. His campaign is part of a long drawn arc and we shouldn’t expect his rebellion to end with a die-down of COVID-19. Bundy’s attention will return to public land battles, where the first insurgencies began. It wasn’t COVID-19 that spurred the formation of the People’s Rights Network and inspired Bundy’s mission, it was a deeply rooted sense of righteousness, Cliven’s dream, and a version of Mormon ideology.

Betsy Gaines Quammen, PhD is the author of American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West.

(Submitted by Gwyllm Llwydd)

What is the Filibuster? Here’s What You Need to Know

February 25, 2021 In Civil Rights (dolanlawfirm.com)

Written By: Christopher B. Dolan and Kimberly E. Levy

Jacob from San Francisco asks: What is the filibuster? Where did it come from? And how do we get rid of it?

Dear Jacob: Good questions. The filibuster is a form of political obstruction with a sordid past. Essentially, a filibuster is a procedure by which the U.S Senate minority blocks the Senate majority from voting on a bill and thereby prevents its passage. The Senate filibuster was created accidentally in 1806 when a Senate rule allowing the majority to initiate a vote on a bill was deemed to be redundant and written out of the rules. In the absence of a mechanism for ending debate and initiating a vote, use of the filibuster became possible.  

As a result, in 1917 the Senate adopted a cloture rule to bring debates to a quick end. If a two-thirds Senate majority voted to end the filibuster, then the debate was closed. However, it remained exceedingly difficult to end a filibuster even with cloture —  super majority support was required before a vote on any bill. Rarely able to invoke cloture, the Senate eventually reduced the cloture threshold from 2/3 votes to 3/5, which is where it stands today. To this day, the filibuster still permits a minority of senators to keep debate open in the Senate and indefinitely delay a vote; this effectively allows any legislation to be “killed” by a minority of senators who simply refuse to bring the bill to a vote, even though most bills require only a simple majority to pass. 

The filibuster has been used with increasing frequency by the Senate minority to prevent passage of anything but non-controversial legislation and has been used to further institutionalized racism. Southern segregationist Senators infamously used the filibuster to prevent passage of landmark civil rights legislation including hundreds of bills to combat lynching, the 1957 Civil Rights Bill, and the 1964 Civil Rights Bill which was eventually passed regardless of the filibuster. Historically, the filibuster has been used as a tool to advance a minority agenda and proliferate systemic racism in the United States. The filibuster continues to aid in the suppression of civil rights progress to this day. In fact, the very make-up of the Senate chamber, two-senators-per-state, favors less populated states which are disproportionately white states; these less populous states have a disparate amount of power in the Senate. This disproportionate representation, combined with the requirement for a 60-vote threshold to bring a bill to vote, has stalled racial justice in the United States.

Moreover, the filibuster is not required by the Constitution, nor is it even contemplated within the Constitution. To the contrary, the filibuster undermines the system of legislature envisioned by the framers by replacing legislative decision-making based upon the will of a simple majority with the requirement to obtain a super majority in the Senate to pass legislation. Only specific acts were meant to be governed by a super majority, i.e., impeachment conviction, overriding presidential veto, ratifying treaties, etc.   

In the Federalist Papers, framers James Madison and Alexander Hamilton both expressly point out that to require anything more than a simple majority to pass legislation would be to place undue power and influence with the minority. Madison states, “[i]t would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority.” Disproportionate power and influence from the minority, as embodied by the filibuster, was a major problem with the Articles of Confederation. 

There are some ways to bypass the filibuster. Provisions of law that set time limits for debate are not subject to the 60-vote requirement to initiate a vote and are therefore unaffected by the filibuster. Such provisions include trade authority, congressional review of Presidential acts, in cases of national emergency, and when invoking war powers.  

Another way around filibuster is a process called budget reconciliation. The annual budget process circumvents the 60-vote requirement with a simple majority in both the house and senate. The budget resolution is then followed by a Senate reconciliation bill which brings the budget into line with any funding amounts in annual appropriations bills by simple majority.  

The filibuster may be limited or eliminated altogether by a simple majority vote to change the Senate rules. Ironically, the decision to change the Senate rules is itself subject to filibuster. The rules of the Senate do provide for a “nuclear option” which allows any Senator to challenge a rule’s Constitutionality or simply assert that the rule should not be followed. The presiding Senate officer will typically uphold the Senate rules — a ruling which may be immediately appealed and put to vote without debate requiring only a simple majority. The nuclear option has been used to eliminate the filibuster for presidential appointments.  

The Senate filibuster has and continues to stymy lawmakers, preventing meaningful policy change in the United States. It is time for the legislature to be liberated from the will of the minority and eliminate the filibuster.  

’60 Minutes+’ Asks SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin About Crime, and Releasing Repeat Offenders

29 MARCH 2021/SF POLITICS/JAY BARMANN (SFist.com)

CBS News isn’t doing any favors for San Francisco’s national image with the piece that just went live on “60 Minutes+” on the Paramount+ app. It’s ostensibly a profile of District Attorney Chesa Boudin, whose unique life story — as most of us here already know — includes parents who were incarcerated for decades for their involvement in a Weather Underground robbery. But they took their camera crews to the Tenderloin to film open-air drug use and homelessness, and got quote from Tony Montoya of the police officers’ union about what a disaster they think Boudin has been so far.

The episode, titled “Crime and Punishment,” went live on Sunday, and a few clips have been posted to Twitter — it hasn’t aired on the actual 60 Minutes TV program and to watch you’d need to subscribe to Paramount+, which has subsumed CBS All Access and offers content libraries from MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and the Smithsonian Channel as well. 60 Minutes+ has bonus segments unique to itself, which aren’t part of the regular 60 Minutes broadcast.

BrokeAss Stuart picked up the episode release and notes that the segment debunks the idea that SF has had it a lot worse, crime-wise, since the pandemic began. SF has seen more crime overall — a 49% uptick — than other major cities, but New York isn’t far behind at 44%, and Irvine has seen a 44% jump in the last year as well.Power Your FuturePrepare today for careers of tomorrow. 100% online degrees. Ad by Maryville UniversitySee More

60 Minutes+ reporter Wesley Lowery tells Boudin, “We spent a fair amount of time in the Tenderloin, and it was unquestionable, there was a lot of open-air drug sales and drug usage. And when you hang out with the police, they would suggest that your policies have contributed to this.”

Boudin denies that there has been any change in policy when it comes to prosecuting drug possession and drug sales charges, but he says, “If all you’re doing is taking a couple grams off the street, great. But it has never made a difference. And it won’t.”

And they replay the part of the speech that Boudin gave last fall where he said, “I need the police department to bring me kilos, not crumbs.”

Lowery speaks also to San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, who says, “I think it does make a difference,” noting that police work took 5.5 kilograms of fentanyl off of San Francisco’s streets in 2020. “I’m looking at every individual life counts,” Scott says. “If we get just a little sack of fentanyl off the streets, that’s just as fantastic. Because those street-level dealers are who are causing, in my opinion, the damage that’s happening on the streets.”

And Scott says he “can’t discount” the notion that there’s a rift between the rank-and-file officers and the DA’s office right now.

Boudin defends his office’s choice to release 40% of inmates during the pandemic, and says that his office “looked closely” and asked of each inmate, “Do they really need to be incarcerated.”

Boudin’s critics would, of course, want to ask about several high-profile cases involving repeat offenders in recent months who were arrested for other crimes and released last year — two of which resulted in the deaths of San Franciscans, and one of which resulted in a kidnapping.

The wife of one of those victims, Hannah Ege, also gets interviewed in the piece. Her husband Sheria Musyoka was killed while jogging near Lake Merced last month, and the driver who allegedly caused the incident, Jerry Lyons, was found to be a repeat offender who had been arrested for DUI and driving a stolen car in December. He was again allegedly driving under the influence and in a stolen vehicle during the February collision that killed Musyoka, and witnesses say he was seen smoking a substance out of some foil immediately after the crash.

Ege says of Boudin, “He should have thought of the community. He should have thought, ‘Am I protecting people with criminal records?’, which, yes, there’s room for improvement… or ‘Am I protecting the citizens?’ There was someone out who shouldn’t have been out. And my husband’s dead now because of that.”

Boudin calls this example of Lyons (and the two other cases) “the aberration,” and says the norm is that formerly incarcerated people who are properly supervised tend to successfully reintegrate into society.

Related: A Third of All ‘Recall Chesa Boudin’ Donations Come From One Tech Donor

Articles ~ Actions / Petitions ~ Ways to stand with AAPI Communities ~ Events, Mon. 3/29 – Thurs. 4/1 (from Adrienne Fong)

Few events that might be of interest…Am NOT back posting on a regular basis

*** ASL interpretation – Let me know if your event needs this service .***

Please include Accessibility and ASL info in your events! And if your action is ‘child friendly’

Please post your actions on Indybay: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

 See Indybay  for many other listings of events.

Site for other Bay Area Events

ARTICLES:

A. The Fact That Americans Think Biden Has Changed Things Shows How Narrative Rules Our World – March 29, 2021

The Fact That Americans Think Biden Has Changed Things Shows How Narrative Rules Our World – Caitlin Johnstone

B. After Organizing Resistance, Indigenous Peoples and Allied Organizations in Brazil Win Key Victory Against Belo Sun – March 29, 2021

AMAZON WATCH » Indigenous Peoples in Brazil Win Key Victory Against Belo Sun

C. The Moms of Magnolia Street Documentary – Updated March 27, 2021

Coming Soon: The Moms of Magnolia Street Documentary – NBC Bay Area

D. Indigenous Okinawans are Fighting U.S. Imperialism – March 27, 2021

Indigenous Okinawans are Fighting U.S. Imperialism | Left Voice

E. Lift the Blockade on Yemen Now – March 26, 2021

Lift the Blockade on Yemen Now – CounterPunch.org

   See Action # 2

F. In a Massive Blow to Bad Cops, New York Effectively Ends Qualified Immunity – March 26, 2021

In a Massive Blow to Bad Cops, New York Effectively Ends Qualified Immunity (thefreethoughtproject.com)

G. U.S. Supreme Court widens ability to sue police for excessive force – March 25, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court widens ability to sue police for excessive force | Reuters

H. Wake Up Progressives! The Role of Progressive Thinking and Action in the Post-COVID World

Wake Up Progressives! The Role of Progressive Thinking and Action in the Post-COVID World (organicconsumers.org)

I. California Bills Would Take Badges From Misbehaving Officers  – March 16, 2021

California Bills Would Take Badges From Misbehaving Officers | KPBS

ACTIONS / PETITIONS

1. Cut U.S. Military and Devastating “Development” Aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

  SIGN: https://cispes.salsalabs.org/altoalamilitarizacion2021/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=7a8b6508-96da-438f-82af-1df4b32c241e

2. Biden Must Choose New Path in Yemen

  SIGN: Submit a LTE: Biden Must Choose New Path in Yemen | Win Without War

3. Tell Congress: Fake Meat Needs Safety-Testing, Just Like All GMOs!

  SIGN: Tell Congress to Safety Test All Fake Meat! – Organic Consumers Association | Organic Consumers

4. We need antibiotics to treat people – not oranges

  SIGN: We need antibiotics to treat people — not oranges! (everyaction.com)

5. Tax cuts for working families, not mega corporations

  SIGN: MomsRising.org | SIGN NOW! Tax cuts for working families, not mega-corporations

6. Tell President Biden to #Stopline3

  SIGN: Tell President Biden to #Stopline3 — Stop Line 3

  See event # 5

7. Tell your Representative: Stop Big Oil handouts!

  SIGN: FOE: Take Action

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

Two Practical Ways to Stand with AAPI Communities

1. SF’s “I’ll Walk With You” Neighborhood Buddy Program

  SF’s “I’ll Walk With You” Neighborhood Buddy Program (funcheap.com)

If you’d like to volunteer to be a Walking Buddy, or if you’d like to be matched with a Walking Buddy, fill out the online form. On the questionnaire, you can select if you’d like the walks to be done in silence or if you’d enjoy to chat. You’ll also select what languages you speak, your availability, and what neighborhoods you’d like to walk in.

If you are interested in having a walking buddy or volunteering as a walking buddy (or both!) please complete the form. Walkers do not need to be old/vulnerable/ill or fit a specific demographic. Buddies do not need to be trained bodyguards ;). We want to establish safety and support independence for members of our city/community in this time that can feel upsetting and volatile…and can truly be dangerous for those targeted. By completing the form, you agree that a Walker or Walking Buddy may contact you directly.”

   – Thanks to Broke-Ass Stuart for sharing

2. Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment

  Hollaback! Free Bystander Intervention Training (ihollaback.org)

Multiple dates for training are available. Registration required FREE

The one-hour, interactive training will teach you Hollaback!’s 5D’s of bystander intervention methodology. We’ll start by talking about the types of disrespect that Asian and Asian American folks are facing right now — from microaggressions to violence — using a tool we call the “spectrum of disrespect.” You’ll learn what to look for and the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities. We’ll talk through five strategies for intervention: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct; and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening. We’ll have time at the end for practice, and you’ll leave feeling more confident intervening the next time you see Anti-Asian/American harassment online or in person.

See site for available dates / times of trainings

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

EVENTS

Monday, March 29 – Thursday, April 1

Monday, March 29

1. Monday, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, Panel: International Transgender Day of Visibility

Anyone on/off facebook

Register for this event in Zoom: http://bit.ly/OCOB3-29-21

In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Mirror Memoirs is hosting a panel of transgender, non-binary and intersex child sexual abuse survivors of color. Amita Swadhin, the Founding Co-Director, will moderate a conversation between three Mirror Memoirs survivor storytellers on how our movements can better support the healing and leadership of survivors that are often left out of the conversation.

Survivor-led movements to end sexual violence are beginning to recognize how systemic oppression creates an environment for rape culture to thrive. A 2012 study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found gender non-conformity in childhood is a risk factor for sexual abuse, with gender non-conforming male-assigned-at-birth children most likely to be sexually abused. Yet too often, our movements to end gender-based violence do not intentionally uplift the leadership of transgender, non-binary and intersex survivors.

Panel: (see site for more bio info)

Amita Swadhin (they/them) is an organizer, educator, storyteller and strategist working to end interpersonal and institutional violence against young people. Their work stems from their experiences as a non-binary, femme, queer person of color, daughter of immigrants from India and years of childhood abuse by their parents, including eight years of rape by their father. In 2016, Swadhin received a Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellowship, allowing them to launch Mirror Memoirs, a national storytelling and organizing project uplifting the narratives, healing and leadership of Two Spirit, transgender, intersex, non-binary and/or queer Black, Indigenous and of color survivors of child sexual abuse, in service of ending rape culture and intertwined forms of oppression.

Ebony Ava Harper is a Jamaican descendant, Sacramento-based, nationally recognized activist, philanthropist, writer, creator, life and world-changer, advocate for marginalized communities.

Harper left The California Endowment in 2019 to step into the role of Director of California TRANScends. This statewide initiative works to promote the health and wellness of transgender people throughout the state of California. She’s a Board member of Mirror Memoirs, a recipient of the 2019 Stonewall Four Freedoms Award 

Ducky Jones, a survivor and core member of Mirror Memoir, is a forty year old multiracial Black and Latinx, intersex, queer nonbinary, disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent activist for low income, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and undocumented communities. As a disabled person, Jones wants to assure our gaps in access are attended to, and our collective voice is heard. 

Santos LaRose is a mixed-race Latnix and Indigenous Two Spirit femme hailing from Arizona. She has spent the last decade in the SF Bay area living, loving, breathing and screaming as a poet, writer, sex worker, grass roots organizer and activist. She is an advocate for sex and gender justice, environmental justice, prison abolition, workers’ rights, anti-fascism and anti-capitalism.

Host SF Public Library

Info: Panel: International Transgender Day of Visibility | Facebook

Tuesday, March 30

2. Tuesday, 10:00am – 1:00pm, Climate Displacement: Intersection of Climate Emergency and Immigrant & Refugee Justice

Register: Registration for Climate Displacement: A Solutions-Based Panel (google.com)

  (fill out form to receive invite)

Join us as speakers from Earth Refuge, the International Refugee Assistance Project and Climate Refugees discuss the realities of climate-induced displacement in the US and globally. It is estimated that up to 1 billion people could be displaced by climate-induced change by 2050. However, there are steps being taken to mitigate this crisis. Each organization will outline the steps it is taking internally and externally to address the issue, and what steps can be taken by wider society to do the same.

Host: Immigrant Justice and Climate Refugees Working Group at the UC Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law

Info: Climate Displacement: Intersection of Climate Emergency and Immigrant & Refugee Justice : Indybay

3. Tuesday, 5:00pm 6:30pm (PT); 8:00pm – 9:30pm (EDT), The Enduring Nuclear Threat; A Deeper Look

UFPJ webinar register: Webinar Registration – Zoom

The recent entry into force of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons brought a welcome positive moment to a bleak disarmament landscape. But none of the nuclear armed states have joined the Treaty, and all are expanding or modernizing their nuclear arsenals.

This webinar, hosted by UFPJ, will provide an update on nuclear weapons policies and programs and an overview of relevant developments in international law. It also will suggest the need to rethink familiar approaches to disarmament, and to shift the focus of disarmament advocacy from recognizing the effects of nuclear weapons to analyzing the causes of nuclear arms racing and of the risks of war among nuclear-armed countries – the same root causes driving many of our other most pressing crises.

Speakers:

Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, based in Oakland, California, since 1984

John Burroughs, Senior Analyst for the New York City-based Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP)

Andrew Lichterman, policy analyst and lawyer with the Oakland, California-based Western States Legal Foundation.

Host: United for Peace and Justice

Wednesday, March 31

4. Wednesday, 11:00am – 12Noon, State of the Union: Trans Rights In Post-Trumpland

Register for further info: State of the Union: Trans Rights In Post-Trumpland Registration, Wed, Mar 31, 2021 at 2:00 PM | Eventbrite

The American transgender community has faced a host of challenges over the last four years, from increased anti-trans policies to a rise in transphobic violence. A new administration has taken over, and while we have reasons to be optimistic, there is still work to be done. On International Transgender Day of Visibility, join us for this two-part discussion as we reflect on how we got to this point, take stock of where we are, and imagine how our government can help us build a better future.

First, we’ll hear from the cast and creators of Trans In Trumpland about their lived experiences under anti-trans policies across the country, both now and during the previous administration. Then we’ll be joined by an expert panel at the forefront of trans and nonbinary policy, who will share insight on the work being done to shape a more equitable and inclusive America. Both parts of the discussion will be moderated by Jeffrey Masters (he/him), Director of Podcasts at Pride Media, publisher of The Advocate and Out Magazine and the creator and host of the long-running interview podcast, LGBTQ&A.

Panelists include:

Ash (he/him), Daisy (she/her), and Rebecca (she/her), Trans in Trumpland cast members

Tony Zosherafatain (he/him), director & host of Trans in Trumpland

Jamie DiNicola (he/him), producer of Trans in Trumpland

Senator Sarah McBride (she/her), First State Senate District of Delaware

Carmarion D. Anderson-Harvey (she/her), Alabama state director, Human Rights Campaign

Mary Emily O’Hara (they/them), rapid response manager, GLAAD

Chase Strangio (he/him, they/them), deputy director for Transgender Justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project

Introduction by Chella Man, artist, activist, author, actor and executive producer of Trans in Trumpland

Info: State of the Union: Trans Rights In Post-Trumpland w/ Filmmakers of “Trans In Trumpland” : Indybay

Thursday, April 1

5.  Thursday, 8:00am – 9:00am (PT); 11:00am – 12Noon (ET), DAPL & Line 3 D.C Protest Rally: Indigenous Youth & Allies Demand Build Back Fossil Fuel

Online –livestream:  https://www.facebook.com/ienearth/

In-person: Army Corps of Engineers HQ, 441 G Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20314

WATCH PROMO OF RALLY HERE: https://www.facebook.com/ienearth/videos/vb.186264980641/293445862292984

On April 1st frontline Indigenous youth and organizers from the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipeline fights are traveling to Washington D.C. to demand that President Biden Build Back Fossil Free by stopping these climate-destroying projects.

Five years ago on April 1st, the Sacred Stone Camp was founded and history was made as thousands of people descended to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). On the anniversary of this important moment of international solidarity, we are bringing the spirit of frontline, indigenous pipeline resistance to Washington DC to demand Joe Biden Build Back Fossil Free by revoking the Army Corps permits for Line 3 and shut down DAPL.

Last month, Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux youth ran 93 miles to the site of that resistance to pressure President Biden to shut down the Bakken oil pipeline.

For too long Indigenous communities have carried the weight of our addiction to oil & gas despite their objections. Consultation is not consent. Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) must be the standard for tribal nations impacted by dangerous oil and gas infrastructure.

Indigenous communities are asking Biden to follow their mandate given with their vote; show up for Black, Indigenous and communities of color fighting for to protect water, land, sky and their bodies from toxic pollution and climate change.

ORGANIZATIONS

Indigenous Environmental Network
GINIW Collection
Standing Rock Youth Council
Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective
Honor The Earth
Red Lake Treaty Camp
Manoomin Genawendang Endazhigabeshing
Camp Migizi
Seeding Sovereignty

Info: DAPL & Line 3 D.C. Protest Rally: Indigenous Youth & Allies Demand Build Back Fossil Free! : Indybay