Ai Weiwei on Tiananmen and freedom

“If you don’t act, the danger becomes stronger.”

–Ai Weiwei

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Journalist:  “Did you follow the events of ’89? [the Tiananmen Square demonstrations from April 15 to June 4, 1989]”

AW:  “I watched every hour, every second, every minute.  Yeah.  It was an exciting moment, which encouraged the whole Eastern Europe uprising and the the coming down of the Berlin Wall.  It all started from Tiananmen.”

  • * * * * *

“Freedom is a pretty strange thing. Once you’ve experienced it, it remains in your heart and no one can take it away.  Then, as an individual, you can be more powerful than a whole country.”

–Ai Weiwei

HEIST: Who Stole the American Dream?

Published on Feb 17, 2012

Please watch the newly updated trailer for “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?,” the new, explosive documentary from Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher exposing the roots of the American economic crisis and the destruction of the American dream. Visit for more information on how to see the feature film and how to Take Action in restoring democracy and economic justice in the United States.

Support builds in Santa Rosa for a Public Bank as a response to fires


Photo courtesy Friends of Public Banking Santa Rosa


Santa Rosa Councilmember Jack Tibbetts endorsed the proposed resolution for a Public Bank of Santa Rosa as another city steps forward toward Public Banking. Last week Santa Rosa City Council had its public hearing for their 2018-2019 budget priorities. Most speakers spoke in support of Public Bank, seeing it as critical to addressing the community’s needs following the devastating fires. Friends of Public Banking Santa Rosa have posted the proposed resolution on their new website.

Endorse the resolution here.

The Press Democrat reports:

“The idea of a public bank had the largest number of supportive speakers, thanks largely to the tireless advocacy of Shelly Browning. She and her compatriots argued that founding a public bank would cut the city’s borrowing costs, eliminate fees to big Wall Street banks and give the local cannabis industry a place to park all its cash.

Browning said she’d gathered nearly 500 signatures in support of the idea.

“It’s time for Santa Rosa to get on board,” Browning said.

Very Unpopular Trump Reportedly Thinks Extremely Popular Sanders Would Be ‘Easy to Beat’ in 2020

A White House insider says the president is “always asking people, ‘Who do you think is going to run against me?'”

Sanders and Trump

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has said he is not taking a 2020 presidential run “off the table,” but he has declined to comment any further on his plans beyond this year’s relection campaign for the U.S. Senate. (Photo: AP/Jacquelyn Martin/Seth Wenig/Photo montage by Salon)

In spite of his record low approval ratings and a series of polls that peg him as the loser in the next presidential race, President Donald Trump reportedly believes that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who is seen as a top challenger to Trump in 2020 and currently the most popular politician in the country—is not “a serious threat and would be easy to beat.”

Politico reported late Monday that Trump had recently shared this view with “a Republican with close ties to the White House.” The 71-year-old president’s conclusion wasn’t based on politics; according to the anonymous Republican, “Trump was hung up on Sanders’ age, arguing that Sanders, now 76, wouldn’t have the energy to run another national campaign.”

Trump also brushed off a potential challenge from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a frequent target of the president’s public attacks. “He’s always asking people, ‘Who do you think is going to run against me?'” the Politico source said of Trump. “I don’t think he sees anyone, right now, being a serious competitor.”

The report comes as Trump’s approval rating remains below 40 percent, according to Gallup.

Although recent polling focused on the 2020 race has shown former Vice President Joe Biden winning over more Democratic voters than Sanders or Warren—with media icon Oprah Winfrey also beating out Warren—since the fall of 2017, the senators have consistently defeated Trump in polls that pit them against the president. A November poll (pdf) had Sanders leading Trump 42 to 36 percent.

Sanders has said he is not taking a 2020 presidential run “off the table,” but he has declined to comment any further on his plans beyond this year’s relection campaign for the U.S. Senate. However, political observers and analysts have suggested both Warren and Sanders are making moves that indicate they will enter the next race for president.

While Sanders has jumped into his role as the Democratic Party’s outreach chair—pushing the party further left and fostering relationships with Democrats, even as he maintains his Independent status—Warren has, as Politico noted after the New Year, “amassed more money in her campaign war chest than nearly any senator in modern history, groomed political connections with Democrats who’ve been skeptical of her in the past, and worked to bolster her bipartisan and foreign policy bona fides.”

Just ONE MORE Senator Needed to Restore Net Neutrality, Undo FCC’s Repeal

The Humanist Report
Published on Jan 16, 2018

The Senate is just ONE cosponsor away from having majority support for their resolution to nullify the FCC’s repeal of Title II net neutrality protections. All 49 Senate Democrats have cosponsored this resolution, and one more Republican is needed. Back in December, Republican Senator Lisa Murkoski indicated that she was “undecided” as to whether or not she’d support the FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality, and we haven’t gotten an update since; hence, it might be wise to put pressure on her to sign onto this resolution, which would give it enough votes to clear the Senate and head to the House.


How JFK Saved MLK’s Life And So Won The Presidency
How JFK Saved MLK’s Life
And So Won The Presidency

By Greg Palast

This harrowing and little known drama of terror and courage, confirmed for me by Martin Luther King III, changed American politics — and America — forever.

On October 19, 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Georgia for driving with an Alabama and sentenced to six months hard labor. No one expected King to survive the sentence — he’d be lynched at the outset.

His father, Martin King Sr., had one desperate chance to save his son. Daddy King had endorsed Richard Nixon, a family friend, for the presidency. Nixon could count on King, a Republican like many African-Americans, who chose the party of Lincoln over the racist Democratic party of Jim Crow segregation.

A desperate King called Vice-President Nixon — who refused to answer. But MLK’s wife, Coretta, had a single hope. She called a friend, pacifist activist Harris (later Senator) Wofford who called Bobby Kennedy.

RFK didn’t hesitate, calling from a pay phone on Long Island to his brother, demanding John save MLK Jr.

It was just three weeks before the presidential election, a race too close to call. This was a crisis. Three Southern governors warned the Kennedys that any help for Dr. King and JFK would lose three Deep South states.

John Kennedy, who’d just won the Pulitzer Prize for Profiles in Courage, knew this was his test. He gave Bobby the go-ahead to save King. Bobby called Atlanta and told the judge he’d post King’s bond — though the judge had never offered bond. But this Democratic judge knew that with his party, the Kennedys could employ and destroy.

Meanwhile, according to Martin King III, his father was pulled from his Atlanta jail at 2am and told he would be transferred to Reidsville Prison hours from the city. King was certain he would not live to see the dawn.

But the judge had let it be known that King now was now under the protective gaze of the Kennedy’s. And MLK, said his son, was “the first prisoner ever to be thrilled and thankful to enter gates of Reidsville Prison.”

But the warning came true. Word of Kennedy’s saving King cost JFK the electoral votes of Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia. But then there was the miracle. Daddy King had written a pamphlet beginning, in block letters:“No Comment” Nixon
A Candidate with a Heart,
Senator Kennedy

The pamphlet, on blue paper, was carried to the churches of half a million African-Americans.

Daddy King said, “I have a suitcase full of votes for the Senator that I’m carrying to Chicago.”

The mass outpouring of sermon-inspired African-Americans won Kennedy razor-close victories in Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey.

Even historian Ted White cites King family’s powerful campaign of gratitude, and the pamphlet now known as “The Blue Bomb,” as the deciding factor in John F. Kennedy’s victory over Nixon.

The Democrats once-solid hold on the South was no longer solid — but a new voting block, would hold hard as a hammer for the Democratic Party for the next half century to today.

It was this profile in courage — the Kings and the Kennedys — that truly made America great and morally mighty.

Those mighty Kings and Kennedys are gone. So it left to us to stand up to the gelatinous orange pustule of bloviating bigotry that has, against the democratic will, seized this White House and Congress.

Today, we honor a man whose courage must now be ours; and then we can make American truly great again.

Darrow Palast contributed research for this article. Photo of Palast at King’s church by Zach D Roberts for Aljazeera.

Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, now out as major motion non-fiction movie: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of the Stolen Election (the brand new, updated, post-election edition).

The update of Greg Palast’s film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of the Stolen Election was released this week on Amazon and Amazon Prime.