Berkeley approves plan for fast-tracked 100 units for the homeless

Prime opportunity for local micro developer’s prefab module homes

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THE LONG ROAD TO IMPEACH TRUMP JUST GOT SHORTER

WED, 2/15/2017 – BY NORMAN SOLOMON (Occupy.com)

The momentum to impeach President Trump is accelerating.

On Thursday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) filed a “resolution of inquiry” that amounts to the first legislative step toward impeachment.

new poll shows that registered voters are evenly split, at 46-to-46 percent, on whether they “support” or “oppose” impeaching Trump. Just two weeks ago, the pro-impeachment figure was 35 percent.

Since inauguration, more than 800,000 people have signed a petition in the first stage of the Impeach Donald Trump Campaign, which will soon involve grassroots organizing in congressional districts around the country.

Under the Trump presidency, defending a wide range of past gains is both necessary and insufficient. Fighting for impeachment is a way to go on the offensive, directly challenging the huge corruption that Trump has brought to the White House.

From the outset, President Trump has been violating two provisions of the U.S. Constitution – its foreign and domestic “emoluments” clauses. In a nutshell, both clauses forbid personally profiting from presidential service beyond receiving a government salary.

Some believe that the Republican-controlled Congress is incapable of impeaching Trump, but history tells us what’s possible when a president falls into wide disrepute. On July 27, 1974, seven GOP representatives on the 38-member House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach a fellow Republican, President Richard Nixon.

As for objections that impeaching and removing Trump from office would make Mike Pence the president, that concern is apt to bypass one set of key considerations after another. Along the way, in political terms, people need to think through the implications of the fact that Trump could only be removed from office with the help of many votes from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Even if every Democrat in the House voted in unison to impeach Trump, impeachment would only be possible if at least two-dozen Republican members of the House voted in favor. Likewise, a vote in the Senate (requiring two-thirds) to remove Trump from the presidency would only be successful if at least 19 Republican senators voted for conviction. Such events would badly splinter and damage the Republican Party – causing divisive bitterness, putting GOP leaders back on their heels and hobbling a Pence presidency.

Arguably most important of all, democracy requires that no one be above the law – a principle that’s most crucially applied to the holder of the most powerful office in the U.S. government. Extreme abuse of power from the top of the government must be seen and treated as intolerable.

The Constitution that Trump continues to flagrantly violate is supposed to be “the supreme law of the land.” To give Trump a pass would be to wink at his merger of vast personal wealth and corporate holdings with vast governmental power.

From the grassroots, it’s crucial for constituents to push back with determination. As the Impeach Donald Trump Now campaign’s website documents in detail, Trump’s personal riches are entangled with countless policy options for his administration. That precedent must be resisted and defeated.

So far, the Democratic Party’s leadership in Congress has shown scant interest in impeaching Trump. With escalating pressure from constituents, that may soon change.

Congressman Nadler’s unusual resolution of inquiry will be able to avoid some of the standard roadblocks in the House. As his website explains, “A Resolution of Inquiry is a legislative tool that has privileged parliamentary status, meaning it can be brought to the floor if the relevant Committee hasn’t reported it within 14 legislative days, even if the Majority leadership has not scheduled it for a vote.”

Nadler has just put a big toe in the impeachment water. Yet no members of the House have taken the plunge to introduce an actual resolution for impeachment. They will have to be pushed.

Norman Solomon is national coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org, which is co-sponsoring with Free Speech For People the grassroots impeachment campaign at ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org.

Donald Trump, Trump impeachment, Impeach Donald Trump Campaign, emoluments clause
Donald Trump, Trump impeachment, Impeach Donald Trump Campaign, emoluments clause
Donald Trump, Trump impeachment, Impeach Donald Trump Campaign, emoluments clause
Donald Trump, Trump impeachment, Impeach Donald Trump Campaign, emoluments clause
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February 17 — General Strike for Democracy!


Friday, February 17 from midnight (February 16) to 6 PM PST

Details:

Media Contact:  Eric Williams
strike4democracy@gmail.com
Follow us @F17strike
Join us at the F17 event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1756631744665376/
Join us at our F17 group page Strike4Democracy: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1816330771961327/
#F17 #Strike4Democracy
Strike4Democracy: National Day of Strike Actions to Push Back Against Assaults on Democratic Principles

On Friday, February 17, 2017, Strike4Democracy will coordinate over 100 strike actions across the United States, and beyond, that show support and encourage planning a series of even larger strikes to stand up for America’s democratic principles. As the nation suffers through ICE raids, travel bans, Trump’s mobilization on the border wall, as well as attacks on the rights of workers, women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and our environment, February 17th provides a beacon to those who are searching for a way to protect and defend our shared humanity. People across the country have begun to realize that we must diversify tactics, as protests and marches are only the first step. Strike4Democracy amplifies a new chapter of nonviolent resistance ushered in over the last six weeks by calling for strikes that grow in number and power.
We call on participants in Strike4Democracy to rise up in their local communities on February 17th to hold events that build towards a series of mass strikes. February 17 is a day of strike actions that preview an even larger mass strike planned for March 8, organized by International Women’s Day and The Women’s March. We also anticipate strikes on May Day and a heightening resistance throughout the summer.

Strike4Democracy’s message to the Administration and Congressional leaders is clear:
§ STOP the authoritarian assault on our fundamental, constitutional rights, the very principles that have truly made America great;
§ STOP attacking and victimizing women, Muslims, immigrants, racial and ethnic groups, the LGBTQ+ community, working families, journalists, and all who offer criticisms of the Administration’s policies including the U.S. judicial branch;
§ REALIZE that America’s true strength lies in the values of inclusivity not exclusivity.
As citizens and supporters come together to register their deep dissatisfaction with the President and the current administration’s unconstitutional, inhumane policies and behavior, February 17th marks a heightened effort to provide a beacon for those who share our concerns and who search for a way to “do something.” Together we speak with one voice. We say:
▪ NO to attacks on our marginalized communities
▪ NO to attacks on the sovereignty of indigenous peoples
▪ NO to attacks on constructive critics within and outside government
▪ NO to attacks on our constitutionally guaranteed rights
▪ NO to attacks on our environment
▪ NO to attacks on working families
▪ NO to attacks on public education

Register your local events here at this crowdsourced doc: https://docs.google.com/…/1NZR6mqImkoOHWpbTHdkC…/mobilebasic

Who we are:
Strike4Democracy (www.strike4democracy.com) is a national day of action on Friday, February 17, 2017. We intend to build an unassailable force of Americans from all walks of life and all parts of this great country who will, if necessary, participate in a series of massive strikes to persuade the President, his administration, and his supporters in Congress, to heed our message: Stop the authoritarian assault on our fundamental, constitutional rights. Over 100 coordinated events will take place across the nation and beyond. Find an #F17 event near you at www.strike4democracy.com/events.

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Pelosi’s home is site of robust People’s Town Hall (by Michael Petrelis)

 

Pelosi’s Home is Site of Robust People’s Town Hall

On a brisk and sunny San Francisco Saturday, February 11th, about 75 activists gathered outside of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s mansion in San Francisco for a lively 90-minute direct democracy action.

Speakers included ordinary citizens new to street activism and seasoned political organizers. Many folks were from the San Francisco Berniecrats, the No Dakota Access Pipeline network and the People’s Town Hall Project.

“Pelosi hasn’t held a town hall since 2006 so we took it upon ourselves to show her how to conduct a forum in her district. If she can stage a scripted town hall on CNN in Washington, she must also hold weekly listening sessions with we, the people and her constituents,” said Brandon Harami, one of the organizers of today’s action.

“When Pelosi finally hosts a town hall in San Francisco, I will be there to say she doesn’t represent her constituents when she accepts money from Wall Street financiers,” said Claire Lau, another of the organizers.

This is the third such town hall organized by the People’s Town Hall Project, and the first at Pelosi’s home.

Join us on “Not My President’s Day,” February 20th at 3:00 pm, as we revisit both Feinstein’s and Pelosi’s mansions in Pacific Heights and demand they hold formal town halls.

Please watch the video of the Pelosi home visit here:https://www.facebook.com/seejake/videos/10158434301175647/

More info: https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesTownHall/

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“Is Central Banking a Capitalist or Communist Concept?” by Valentin Schmid, Epoch Times

Central banks look capitalist on the surface, but have their roots in communist literature

The right doesn’t like central banks because of their centrality. The banks centralize power over interest rates, and the right doesn’t like central control over pretty much anything. The left doesn’t like central banks because they represent money, capitalism, and “too big to fail” banks.

However, despite the confusion and complicated hybrid setup of the Fed and other central banks, these institutions are more communist and socialist in nature than capitalist.

Contrast these two statements from two important historical documents.

One calls for the “Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.”

The other one gives Congress the power to “coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures.”

Karl Marx and Frederich Engels penned the former statement in 1848 in their infamous “Manifesto of the Communist Party.”

Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson were responsible for the inclusion of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the source of the latter statement.

So which camp is the Federal Reserve in—manifesto or Constitution?

National Monopoly

The Fed is a national banking system and has an exclusive monopoly on issuing the U.S. dollar credit instrument in paper and electronic form.

The Communist Manifesto furthermore calls for “gradually substituting paper money for gold and silver coin.” This objective was achieved, gradually, from the beginnings of the Fed in 1914 until the revocation of the Bretton Woods modified gold standard in 1971. Since then, the world has operated on a global paper dollar standard.

Furthermore, the manifesto wanted the “paper issues [to be] legal tender,” a principle dutifully incorporated into the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

Under the act, “the said notes shall be obligations of the United States and shall be receivable by all national and member banks and Federal Reserve banks and for all taxes, customs, and other public dues. They shall be redeemed in lawful money,” where “lawful money” means legal tender.

The U.S. Constitution, on the other hand, calls for Congress to “coin money,” referring to the issue of gold and silver coins and the standardization of their measurements. The Department of the Treasury still issues American Gold and Silver Eagles, but the Fed neither coins money nor concerns itself with the standardization of weights and measures.

Hybrid Ownership

What about ownership, capital, supervision, and credit? This is where the Fed does not meet the strict manifesto standard. Legally, the Federal Reserve System is a public/private hybrid, with private banks owning the shares or capital of the system and the government providing some, though not all, of the supervision.

So the Fed does not operate on state capital. However, it shares its profits with the Treasury and most of the important decisions are made by publicly appointed officials. The president appoints seven of the 12 members of the Fed body that decides monetary policy (the Federal Open Market Committee) and they are then confirmed by the Senate. So it does sound like the “centralization of credit in the hands of the state,” or at least the power to manipulate credit.

Credit is not centralized in one bank, but rather in the one Federal Reserve System, which includes thousands of privately owned banks that issue credit to their customers. This goes against the call for “suppression of all private banks and bankers,” because they still exist. However, the system has central control over credit due to regulation and tinkering with the interest rates.

The Fed can control how many reserves the system banks must hold and how much money (credit) they can lend. The open market operations that determine the interest rate on the reserves also incentivize banks to free up or contract credit.

In fact, setting short-term rates and manipulating long-term rates centrally through large-scale asset purchases, like the Quantitative Easing program, is akin to communist central planning.

In the free market, private banks compete for savings, and the interest rate is set in a competitive bidding process between different economic actors. Not so in a centrally controlled system.

Lastly, Marx and Engels got their wish written in 1848: “In most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable,” with “the following” including centrally controlled credit and other demands of the manifesto.

Today, the only countries without central banks are the micro states of Monaco, Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Communism is estimated to have killed around 100 million people, yet its crimes have not been compiled and its ideology still persists. Epoch Times seeks to expose the history and beliefs of this movement, which has been a source of tyranny and destruction since it emerged.

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“Post Tortoise”

While stitching a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old farmer, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Donald Trump and his role as President elect of the United States.

The old farmer said, ” Well, as I see it, Donald Trump is like a ‘Post Tortoise’.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘Post Tortoise’ was.

The old farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a tortoise balanced on top, that’s a Post Tortoise.”

The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain.

“You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb asses put him up there to begin with.”

(Courtesy of Dr. Sharon Forrest and William P. Chiles)

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“The Western Model is Broken”, UK Guardian

So far, the 21st century has been a rotten one for the western model,” according to a new book, The Fourth Revolution, by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. This seems an extraordinary admission from two editors of the Economist, the flag-bearer of English liberalism, which has long insisted that the non-west could only achieve prosperity and stability through western prescriptions. It almost obscures the fact that the 20th century was blighted by the same pathologies that today make the western model seem unworkable, and render its fervent advocates a bit lost. The most violent century in human history, it was hardly the best advertisement for the “bland fanatics of western civilisation”, as the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr called them at the height of the cold war, “who regard the highly contingent achievements of our culture as the final form and norm of human existence”. Read more.

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Seattle and Davis to Pull More Than $3 Billion From Wells Fargo Over Dakota Access Pipeline

 (NPR.org)

Olivia One Feather (center) of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe holds up her fist after the Seattle City Council voted Tuesday to divest from Wells Fargo over its role as a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline project.  Elaine Thompson/AP

February 8, 2017

Seattle’s City Council has voted to not renew its contract with Wells Fargo, in a move that cites the bank’s role as a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline project as well as its creation of millions of bogus accounts. As a result, the city won’t renew its contract with the bank that expires next year.

The unanimous vote will pull the city’s more than $3 billion in annual cash flow from the banking giant, the council says. Seattle says the bidding process for its next banking partner will “incentivize ‘Social Responsibility.'”

Not long after Seattle’s vote, the City Council in Davis, Calif., took a similar action over the pipeline. It voted unanimously to find a new bank to handle its roughly $124 million in accounts by the end of 2017.

On the same day the two cities moved to cut ties with Wells Fargo, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted an easement allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. As NPR’s Rebecca Hersher reported, that clears the way for construction of the final 1.5 miles of the more than 1,700-mile pipeline.

“Protests in Seattle against the Dakota Access Pipeline project have been large and frequent, often organized by local tribal members,” member station KUOW reports. “Protesters, many of them Native people from Washington state, share the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which says the pipeline would threaten tribal water supplies, land and cultural sites.”

Wells Fargo has been in the headlines since last fall over a scandal involving bank employees creating fake accounts in customers’ names to bolster performance results and boost bonuses. While other banks are also involved in the pipeline deal, Wells Fargo’s recent history seems to have helped make it a target once again.

Seattle’s plan to stop its dealings with Wells Fargo comes months after the city canceled a $100 million bond deal between its electric utility and the bank. That took place last fall, when the treasurers of California, Illinois and other entities said they would freeze their dealings with the bank — in some cases, for a one-year period.

Wells Fargo’s commercial banking manager for Washington state, Mary Knell, tells KUOW that she’s disappointed in Seattle’s new move, noting that the bank is bound by its contract with the pipeline project.

Knell tells KUOW that the bank has “enhanced our due diligence on projects such as this to include more research into whether indigenous communities are affected and that they have been properly consulted.”

Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant, who spearheaded Seattle’s move away from Wells Fargo, says a rally against the bank is scheduled for this weekend.

And after noting that Wells Fargo is “one of the six primary financiers of the for-profit private prison industry,” Sawant ended a statement about the bill’s initial passage earlier this month with a note of caution, saying, “All of the big banks are terrible, and, as long as we have capitalism, our contracts will be with institutions that put corporate greed over human need.”

Days before Seattle held an initial vote on divesting from the bank, Wells Fargo announced plans to donate $500,000 to five of the city’s nonprofit groups that work to revitalize Seattle neighborhoods.

When Seattle Council member Debora Juarez spoke of voting against Wells Fargo, she repeatedly cited a need for integrity — even as she acknowledged the small direct impact Seattle’s move will likely have.

“For a company whose deposits totaled more than $1 trillion last year, it’s a drop in a very big bucket,” Juarez said in a statement. “But for Seattle, a City whose budget is approx. $4B., voting to withdraw our funds … money that covers the biweekly payroll of $30 million for about 12,000 employees – is an opportunity to send a message.”

In Davis, the city’s report on the possibility of cutting ties with Wells Fargo noted that Philadelphia and Minneapolis are also considering the same move.

As for Seattle’s future options, KUOW reports:

“It’s not clear which financial institutions the city will work with in the future. More than a dozen other banks are connected to the pipeline, including CitiBank, ING, Chase and Bank of America.

“City Council members including Sawant, Mike O’Brien and Lisa Herbold are interested in contracting with a credit union or state-run public bank. Both of those options, however, would require a change to state law.”

In addition to complaints about the pipeline and its business practices, Wells Fargo was hit with a lawsuit at the end of January that accused the bank of “illegally denying student loans to young immigrants who are protected from deportation and allowed to work and study in the U.S. under a program created by former President Barack Obama,” as member station KPCC reported.

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