Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Conduct Unbecoming of a President--and a Nation

In memory of those who were killed and injured in Charlottesville.
Conduct Unbecoming of a Nation
Solidarity with Charlottesville Rally (Bowling Green, OH) and March Against White Supremacy (Maumee, OH) photos 
by Adrian Matthews with some words and photos by C.A. Matthews
(For more of our photos, see them online here.)

The following statement by Ohio Green Party activist Sean Nestor sums up what a lot of us are feeling: 

Bigots are cowards of the highest order. Like all Americans, they are victims of a sustained long-term reduction in economic security--but they are utterly and completely terrified of confronting the wealthy and powerful who are so clearly responsible for this insecurity. Lacking the courage it takes to confront a small cadre of strong abusers, they choose instead to scapegoat masses of weaker victims--poor people, union members, black people, latinx people, LGBT people, Jewish people, Muslims, immigrants, women--anyone but the billionaires who continue to manipulate our government and our economy so that they take more and more while the rest of us have less and less. Anyone except those who would actually be difficult to challenge.

If you love freedom, you must confront and disarm the bigotry in yourself and in others.

I couldn't have said it better. Thanks, Sean.
Can America ever make up for the sheer horror those peaceful marchers felt when a car (driven by James Alex Fields Jr.) roared into the crowd, killing Heather Heyer and seriously injuring 19 others? (For a heartbreaking eyewitness account, watch Lee Camp's video blog: https://youtu.be/eh8UUUMHAWY)

Usually at a time of national tragedy, the president drops whatever he is doing and makes a comforting statement, pledging to do whatever it takes to rectify the situation. Instead, for over 13 hours Americans didn't hear a word from Mr. Trump, until he stopped his golf game and tweeted a vague statement blaming "violence on many sides." What "many sides" is that, Mr. President? Nazis and Klansmen came to Charlottesville to incite hatred, and one of their followers got riled up and ran over peacefully marching people deliberately. It seems fairly "one sided" in its violence, doesn't it?
The incident in Virginia came mere days after our Cheeto-in-Chief threatened nuclear war against North Korea, a country with a GDP half of the state of Vermont. Yes, their child-man dictator likes to make outrageous statements from time to time, but why should a much older American president reply with equally childish--and extremely dangerous--threats to use nuclear weaponry?
So, here's this week's main piece about our sorry excuse for a president, followed by many actions you can take to show solidarity against racism, solidarity for peace among nations, and solidarity to make America a decent place to call home for everyone, regardless of race, creed or color (among other protected things).

Take a stand today for people, planet and peace over the insane profits of the rich, racist, elitist establishment. We shall overcome--hopefully someday soon.

Conduct Unbecoming of a President
by Coast Watcher

I don’t think anyone will forget the brutal nature of the 2016 election campaign, through the rigged Democratic party primaries to the election itself. Progressives warned the DNC that establishment shill Hillary Clinton would never succeed in winning the election against the populist orange demagogue Donald Trump – and yet they persisted. Trump’s election to the office of president came as the culmination of a series of blows which left progressives thoroughly dispirited. We knew dark days lay ahead of us, for the United States and the world at large. Just how dark we couldn’t guess at – but Trump’s career since taking office soon showed us. Recent events have only clarified how dangerous this egomaniacal buffoon is.

Let’s take his pissing contest with that other man-child, Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and Third Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. That Jong-un is a bellicose little dictator fond of throwing his considerable cheese-fueled weight about isn’t news. His propensity for sounding threats and launching ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan has been a source of concern across neighboring countries for years now. North Korea’s sponsoring power China seems to do little but roll its eyes and shake its head at his antics. Enter Trump, and matters take on a new and more dangerous aspect. 

It’s not enough that American nuclear-armed bombers fly a regular patrol along the border between North and South Korea. (Incidentally this is something China requested should cease in 2015 since it does nothing to ease tensions in a tense region, but Obama refused point-blank.) Trump decides he’s going to tell Jong-un in no uncertain terms that he’ll rain nuclear “fire and fury” upon North Korea unless it ceases and desists in its missile tests. Even Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s top "religious advisers" is getting in on the act by trumpeting: "In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un."

Uh, yeah. Hardly New Testament, Reverend, eh?

Let’s call that the red rag to the bull. Jong-un can’t concede the issue to Trump without looking dangerously weak to his people and especially the generals commanding North Korea’s armed forces. Besides, he’s the bully on the block, and he won’t give ground to another bully trying to take over his turf.
Jong-un declares in turn that he’ll nuke the American-held island of Guam, site of a number of US military bases and a 160,000+ population. Guam has considerable strategic value, since it puts the United States military on Southeast Asia’s doorstep and within supporting range of America’s allies in the region. In an area with increasing tensions over China’s attempt to seize the South China Sea, Guam's strategic value is rising almost daily.

Following this announcement, Governor of Guam Eddie Baza Calvo was forced to issue civil defense advice on dealing with a nuclear attack – advice little different to the infamous "duck and cover" drills of the 1950’s. China turned its attention away from a tense border dispute with India long enough to warn that it wouldn’t stop North Korea from taking military action – but it would certainly back it up in defending itself. Let’s face it, would any country want a nuclear holocaust on its doorstep, with all the fallout such a thing would entail?

(A piece of history. Back during the Korean War in the early 1950’s the USAF literally bombed the country to rubble. It reached the point where air force command refused to sanction any more missions because there was nothing left to bomb. Moving on from that time, North Korea recovered to the point it can build quite sophisticated nuclear weapons and the missiles to mount them on. In reality, it doesn’t take a nuclear missile to threaten the continental United States. Covertly placing a warhead aboard a merchant ship and sailing it peacefully into the harbor of a major East or West Coast city would certainly create shock and awe when detonated.)

The Republican leadership seems to be in mixed minds over the whole affair. Conversely, big business is said to be salivating at the prospect of getting its hands on North Korea’s rich mineral resources in much the same way it’s currently plundering Iraq. Trump is first and foremost a businessman – cynical, manipulative and greedy. He always has his eye on the main chance to enrich himself. Coupled with the mentality of a toddler and the Tweeting habits of a fourteen-year-old girl, we have a dangerous combination on our hands. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Iran’s parliament has voted in favor of boosting investment in its missile defense and foreign operations programs by more than $500m. The bill, which received overwhelming approval, is in response to Trump imposing a new round of US sanctions against Tehran after an Iranian ballistic missile test in January. The Iranian government says this violates the 2015 nuclear deal, which Trump called “the worst ever” and threatened to tear up. The treaty was signed by six world powers including China, Russia and the UK. When they protested, Trump ignored them. He’s the CEO of the United States of America, Inc. and what he says, goes.

So much for foreign affairs. Let’s turn to a dangerous situation closer to home.
White nationalists including the KKK have been protesting in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia since April over a decision to remove an equestrian statue of General Robert E. Lee. On the night of Saturday, August 12, hundreds of demonstrators gathered for a Unite the Right rally which marched by torchlight through the campus of the University of Virginia... Shades of the Nazi torchlight rallies of 1930’s Germany.
The following day saw violent clashes between the "alt-right" and counter-demonstrators which resulted in several injuries and the declaration of a state of emergency in the city. Events culminated at around 2 p.m. when a car was driven deliberately into a crowd of counter-demonstrators gathering for a rally. A young woman was killed and nineteen others injured. Some of those people were returning from helping to repel a Unite the Right march on a predominately black housing development a few blocks away where they attempted home invasions.

The driver, 20-year-old James Fields of Maumee, Ohio, fled the scene and was later arrested and charged with second degree murder. (It should be noted this charge is enough for the authorities to hold Fields pending further investigation into the incident. Other charges will probably follow).

Trump’s response came hours later:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence – on many sides. On many sides. 

He condemns in the weakest terms the extremists who voted for him while also condemning those who protest against the extremists by equating them with the violence that ensued in Charlottesville.

Hours after that he Tweeted:
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
Former KKK leader David Duke had called the rally a “turning point” saying that protesters would fulfill the promises of Trump's candidacy: 

This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back,” Duke said. “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That's what believed in. That's why we voted for Donald Trump.

Duke was less than pleased to read Trump had distanced himself from the events of Charlottesville, but even he probably recognizes that Trump had to say something against them. 

So what does all this boil down to? 

The United States of America has in Trump a president who is morally and psychologically unfit to hold office. In fact by threatening to unleash nuclear war on the world, he demonstrates he is clearly insane. His response to crises domestic and foreign is inept, uneven and bombastic in the extreme. With these clear demonstrations of conduct unbecoming a President, he must be removed under the terms of the 25th Amendment, Section IV before he starts a cascade of events that will destroy this planet.
BIO: Coast Watcher is a Brit baffled as to why a country as advanced as the USA would take retrograde steps toward  fascism in the year 2017. Perhaps it's because he's not seen this map of America's most racist places yet. Yeah, it's that frightening.


Now here are some other groups who are taking exception to the tangerine tyrant's blatant disregard for human rights and the dignity of all Americans. Sign their petition and support their causes.

Common Defense

During World War II, both of my grandfathers - and countless other Americans - served in the military to fight against the Nazis and their evil ideology of hate. And just last night, hundreds of white supremacists marched through Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting “Heil Trump,” making the Nazi salute, and wearing MAGA hats.

Donald Trump still hasn’t condemned them. All he did was vaguely condemn “violence.” Not Nazis, not white supremacy. Just “violence.” And it took him more than 13 hours to even do that.

Trump has encouraged these extremists and championed their cause of “making America white again.” He knows what he is doing when he ignores the way these neo-Nazis terrorize our communities.

Seeing the images from Charlottesville, Virginia made my blood run cold. With white supremacists like Trump and his minions Steven Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Jeff Sessions in the White House, the so-called “Alt-Right” feels empowered to march through our college campuses carrying swastika flags, clubs, and torches. They didn't even bother to wear masks.

We cannot let this stand. Please join us.

In solidarity

Perry O'Brien
U.S. Army veteran

Common Defense
Speak out today »

Jill 2016
People’s Petition for Peace
Negotiate Don't Escalate!

Join the growing chorus of voices for peace, justice and security, from the people of the US, South Korea and beyond! Sign the US-South Korean People’s Petition for Peace by clicking here!

The petition is supported by a growing coalition of international advocates for peace and human rights, including Cornel West, Alice Walker, Medea Benjamin, Chris Hedges, Chase Iron Eyes, Miko Peled, Cheri Honkala and more.

Tell Presidents Trump and Moon to negotiate not escalate with North Korea. Halt the upcoming US/South Korean war games in exchange for a freeze on North Korea's nuclear and missile program.

Threats, economic sanctions, and military pressure have not worked with North Korea. But negotiations have worked before - not only with North Korea, but also with Iran and during the Cold War.

Tensions are exploding on the Korean peninsula. North Korea and the US-South Korea alliance are locked in a deadly standoff of growing mistrust and provocative threats, a downward spiral that could trigger nuclear conflict with dire consequences for the Korean peninsula, the U.S., and the global community.

Regime change has been a disaster in the Middle East. Attempting regime change in North Korea, where nuclear weapons, China and Russia are involved, could trigger World War III. Even a "limited" nuclear war on the Korean peninsula can kill 100s of millions of people around the world from starvation caused by "nuclear winter", a reduction in agriculture resulting from diminished sunlight caused by debris thrown into the atmosphere from even a limited nuclear exchange.

Halting US-South Korean war exercises in exchange for a halt in North Korea's missile program should be the first step towards negotiated peace and security on a demilitarized, nuclear free, independent Korean peninsula, and ultimately, towards a peaceful, just, nuclear-free world.

More than ever it’s in our hands!
Jill Stein


 From Credo:

Donald Trump has shocked the nation with his flagrant disregard for national security. While hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Florida resort, he held national security strategy sessions and received confidential security briefings while an army officer carried the “nuclear football” 1 around in plain sight and earshot of paying club members.
This behavior is not rational or safe. Trump could start a nuclear war today. And frankly, he might. Right now, Trump has unrestricted power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. Fortunately, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have now introduced legislation – the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act – that would limit Trump’s ability to launch nuclear weapons without an act of Congress.2 We need to let Congress know with a massive showing of public support that we are counting on them to support this legislation before it’s too late.
Tell Congress: Stop Trump from starting a nuclear war. Click here to sign the petition.

The Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act would require a congressional declaration of war in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack, effectively blocking Trump from starting a nuclear war on a whim or because someone hurts his feelings on Twitter. 

Under the current system, the president has unchecked authority to use the thousands of nuclear weapons at his command - a process that takes less than five minutes. Trump has already expressed his dangerous views on the use of nuclear weapons, including a complete lack of understanding of the nuclear triad, casual threats regarding using nuclear weapons on the battlefield or to combat terrorists and a desire to be “unpredictable” in his use of nuclear weapons.3

Trump’s first few weeks in office have been a series of horrifying demonstrations of this administration’s recklessness and incompetence. Just this week he publicly handled classified information about North Korea’s missile launch at his Mar-a-Largo hotel, 4 and his top national security adviser resigned in disgrace after lying about his contact with the Russian government.5

We cannot trust Trump to make rational or informed decisions about the safety of our country and the world. That’s why we’re joining with our friends at Win Without War, Daily Kos and other progressive allies to tell Congress that they must keep us safe by supporting the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act. 

Tell Congress: Stop Trump from starting a nuclear war. Click here to sign the petition.

Trump and his dangerous cronies in the White House cannot stop himself from making bad decisions. We must pressure Congress now to take away the blank check to stop him from making the biggest one. It is time to take the “nuclear football” away from Trump. Click the link below to sign the petition:


Thank you for everything that you do,
Tessa Levine, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

1. Kathleen Parker, “America, meet the nuclear ‘football,” The Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2017.
2. Emily Tamkin, “Lawmakers Introduce Bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons,” Foreign Policy, Jan. 24, 2017.
3. Ibid
4. Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, “From Trump’s Mar-a-Lago to Facebook, a National Security Crisis in the Open,” The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2017.
5. Maggie Haberman, Matthew Rosenberg, Matt Apuzzo, and Glenn Thrush, “Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser,” The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2017. 


From Bernie Sanders:

Friends of Bernie Sanders

Last month, we won a very important victory against the Republican plan to kick millions of Americans off their health insurance, a plan that would have raised premiums for seniors and defunded Planned Parenthood.

Now let me be totally clear: if Republicans try again to repeal Obamacare, we will fight them with everything we have. But our ultimate goal is to understand that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, health care must be a right, not a privilege, for every man, woman and child.

That is why, in just a few weeks, I am going to introduce a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care bill in the United States Senate. It is time to wage a moral and political war against a dysfunctional health care system in this country. Say you’re with me:

Medicare-for-all will mean that people won’t die in this country simply because they cannot afford the care they need. It will mean everyone, and every loved one, has the freedom to go to a doctor when they need without going bankrupt.

A Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system would save hundreds of billions in health care costs a year. The savings for businesses would be astronomical and allow them to compete on equal footing with companies in Europe.

And for the millions of Americans who are currently in jobs they don’t like but must stay put because of health care access, they would be free to explore more productive opportunities as they desire.

Right now, our nation spends more than any other on health care with higher costs and worse outcomes in many cases. If we are serious about providing high-quality and affordable health care, the only real solution is a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system that provides health care to ALL Americans, including the 50 million uninsured and underinsured in this country.

Before I introduce my legislation, I want to know that you’re with me:

The insurance companies may not like this legislation and the drug companies probably won’t either. They will try to make words like "NATIONAL HEALTH CARE" sound scary.

But the truth is, for far too long they have been bribing the United States Congress, spending billions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions to make sure we maintain a dysfunctional, but profitable, approach to health care. Enough is enough. Now is the time to take them on and do something about it.
The American people are with us on this issue, and there is nothing to be afraid of. Because right now, we already have a very large single-payer system in this country. It's called Medicare and it has succeeded in providing near-universal coverage to Americans over the age of 65 and gets high marks from people who are enrolled in the program.
I believe the American people are ready for a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system that guarantees health care as a right for all Americans. But getting there will require nothing short of a political revolution in this country.

Add your name to say we're in this together.

We need a revolution in how health care is provided in this country. My bill will do that. If every other major country on earth can offer health care as a right, then so can the United States of America.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

From People's Action:
The Trump administration doesn’t think there are enough people living on the street. 

Already, in America today, over half a million people are homeless. And over 19 million people are housing insecure. 

The administration responded with over 7 billion dollars in cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These cuts will create an even greater homelessness crisis. 

Housing is something that impacts each and every one of us. We believe that housing is a human right. No one should go through the pain and dangers of being homeless. All of us deserve a place we can call our home.

And the communities that will be hit the hardest are already vulnerable to housing insecurity — people of color, seniors, people with disabilities, LGBTQ communities, and the poor. Putting people out of their homes traps them in a web of hardship, including greater health problems and violence. 

Meanwhile, billionaires are primed to receive even more tax breaks. Throwing the poor on the streets while wealthy families rake in more cash takes a horrible amount of cruelty.

Tell Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD, that we demand full funding of federal housing programs.


We must stop the war on the poor.
Xoai Pham  
People’s Action

From Our Revolution:

Fifty-two years ago this week, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. After decades of lynchings, Jim Crow laws, and protests, the rights of African Americans to fully participate in our democracy were made official.

Today, we must remain vigilant to the people and systems that are trying to take us back to the days of intimidation and fear. Voter suppression tactics such as cutting early voting, voter ID laws, and purges of voter rolls are being put into effect across the country to keep communities of color, young people, and seniors out of the voting booth.

Even more sinister is how the failed War on Drugs has saddled millions of people with felony convictions for nonviolent crimes, disenfranchising them of their vote that many states never give back.

And if taking away someone's right to vote was not cruel enough, the private for-profit prison industry is working with lawmakers to make sure their prisons are full. These private corporations do nothing to rehabilitate the people they incarcerate, instead doing everything in their power to squeeze as much profit as they can from each prisoner. Unsafe working conditions, poor nutrition, and overcrowding are just some factors that people experience.

At Our Revolution, we believe that more must be done to stop the criminalization of black and brown people and encourage their full participation in our democracy. That's why as part of our Summer for Progress, we are fighting for automatic voter registration and a ban on private prisons. Add your name in support of the Automatic Voter Registration Act and the Justice Is Not For Sale Act, and help us get a majority of House Democrats on our side with the People's Platform.

It is not fair for a senior with an expired driver's license to be turned away from the voting booth, or a reformed felon who paid their debt to society to never be made whole as a citizen again. It is morally repugnant to incarcerate a human being with the express intention of reaping a profit from it. The integrity of our voting system, and the effectiveness of our criminal justice system, rely on these two bills being put into effect.

Thank you for supporting the People's Platform, and the grassroots efforts which have made it possible.

In solidarity,

Nina Turner
Our Revolution

1 comment:

  1. I've heard that some members of Congress are getting up support for a measure of censure against T-rump. It's quite a severe measure, but the buffoon is doing more and more to earn it.


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