Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Anyone Know How To Run A Country?

Experiencing an evil system? Corrupt government? Regulatory agencies that make it easier for an industry to pollute, exploit and kill? Is anyone in control here? Does anybody care?

That's the theme this week. If nobody but We the People care, then maybe we're the ones who need to take--and be in--control.

Anyone Know How To Run A Country?
by C.A. Matthews

It's a legitimate question. Does anyone know how to run a country? If someone out there does, can we really trust this person to do so in a just and moral manner? Or are Americans just fooling ourselves to think this grand experiment in democracy (begun in 1776) is even possible?

An excellent example of democracy-not-in-action is the recent meeting of the Lucas County (Ohio) Board of Elections. They halted not one, but two citizens initiatives after they were certified to be on the November ballot. That an appointed group of four individuals can tell voters what they can and cannot vote on demonstrates just how sick our version of democracy has become. We've been brainwashed to think a board made up of  well-paid appointees from  the Republican and Democratic Parties somehow equals a "fair and democratic" agency with the public's interests at heart.
The Lake Erie Bill of Rights is a petition that received 10,000+ signatures from voters eager to prosecute the industries actively polluting the drinking water for 11 million and causing toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie. So, how does preventing this measure from getting on the ballot embody "democracy"? If anything, it demonstrates the complete opposite. It shows where the interests of the two parties that make up the Lucas County Board of Elections lies--in pleasing the polluting industries and their lobbyists, not the voters.

One might surmise from the Board's recent actions that "democracy" exists in the US to serve corporate interests alone. One could also conclude the two major parties are pretty much one and the same, since they work together to accomplish the same goals for corporations. Democrats and Republicans are all employees of the corporations, serving them at their beck and call. And on August 28, 2018 in Toledo, Ohio, they did as they were instructed by Big Oil & Gas and Big Agriculture interests.

Well done, Bruce Saferin, Brenda Hill, Joshua Hughes and David Karmol,  good and faithful servants of the Lucas County Board of Elections! (The check is in the mail.)

Government at the service of  corporations is termed fascism. When Democrats and Republicans do as corporate lobbyists tell them to, they are acting as fascists. Some feel that calling politicians who serve Big Oil or Big Agriculture, for example, fascists is a slur. But if their actions fit the definition of fascism, then that's what they are--fascists, plain and simple. There's no need to beat about the bush, is there? 

The two major parties in the US regularly cooperate with corporations and pass laws that support corporations over ordinary people. In the case of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, they cooperated to block a citizen-instigated law from reaching the ballot that could cut into big business's profits at the expense of the environment. Since these two parties support ever increasing profits of corporations over the public's welfare, they can be rightly labeled as supporters of fascism.

I now will address the elephant in the room: "But, but, but... What about there being one evil party and one not-evil party as the campaign rhetoric tells us every election? There's supposed to be just one evil party, right? We then have to vote for the other party, even if we don't like everything they do. There can't be two evil parties because... then who can we trust?"

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as a lesser evil if you haven't figured that out yet. There is only evil and those who cooperate with it. Sure, they can choose different terminology or styles of cooperation, but it doesn't stop them from cooperating with evil. No one can occupy two positions at once. You either work with evil or you fight against it, and both of the major parties in the US are working with those who would do us and our children harm. Compromising on any instance of harm makes one complicit with the harm, and harm is evil. If deliberately polluting drinking water and covering for the perpetrators of such acts isn't evil, then what is?

If you believe in doing as Big Business/Wall Street tells you to do is acting in the best interests of our country, though, then you believe in fascism. As a fascist, democracy--or the lack of it--isn't something that keeps you awake at night. You believe corporations and their CEOs can run things better than democratically elected (not via rigged primaries, that is) public servants. 

Who cares about civil rights? CEOs don't, so why should you? Go ahead and lock up as many brown, black, red and poor white people as you can. It's good for the for-profit private prison system. Don't forget, incarcerated immigrant children make for a good source of slave labor, too. And the shooting of unarmed persons of color and hiding behind a badge is a sport fascists can really sink their teeth into.

However, as a fascist politician-puppet, you always have to think about where your next election is coming from. Ordinary Americans don't write many big checks to bankroll your next turn at the feeding trough--I mean, the next time you run for "public" office, do they? So you can ignore them and concentrate on your wealthy donors. What can poor folks do? Your fascist buddies and you control the system, and you're motivated to maintain the status quo no matter what.

But wouldn't you know, some pesky citizens called Toledoans for Safe Water still believe in old-fashioned democracy and not fascism. They want clean drinking water, and they demand the right to live without the fear of toxic algal blooms that have been linked to increasing numbers of ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's cases worldwide. (Watch the film Toxic Puzzle for more on this frightening medical link of cyanobacteria in our algae-filled water and these illnesses.) The supporters of  the Lake Erie Bill of Rights are fighting for both clean water for millions and for the power of restoring democracy to the people. They want citizens to have a say so on protecting their natural resources, not corporations.

Citizens not corporations--is that a good way to run a country? One person, one vote? Not one billion dollars in kickbacks to politicians and the rules are rewritten to help your polluting industry? I don't know anymore. The Lucas County Board of Elections instructed the citizens at the meeting to  "Vote next time for representatives who will represent you." But if we continue to do as the Board told us, and we allow representatives of the two corporate-owned-and-operated parties to appoint people to a board that thwarts democracy without blinking, then we'll get exactly what we deserve: Fascism.

I don't think we deserve it, but unless more of us wake up and fight for democracy, we'll have to live in a country run solely by corporations and learn to like it--toxic algal blooms and all.

Is this the "future to believe in" we've been working toward? If it isn't, then we need to take actions to start building a better one. Today. Join with others fighting for democracy and a better world. Don't let evil win.

"Change Society Now, Don't Wait" is the theme of Lee's opening segment on last Friday's Redacted Tonight. Sometimes activists can't wait to take action--especially when the clock is ticking down on climate change and our chance to survive as a species. We have to act decisively and quickly. Watch and see if you don't agree.  https://youtu.be/yqeMbfh_exE

Some other things to be aware of this week-- 

Big Pharma Family Finds New Way to Cheat (and flood the market with more addicting opioids, of course): https://youtu.be/QXg_iTOadCM

Our good friend from the North, Vegematic, shares stories about activists worldwide that you won't hear much about on mainstream media: https://youtu.be/X6pXDWO4ZKg  

I've lost count of the number of book publishers that Amazon has destroyed in the last couple of years. It's heartbreaking. It's "economic censorship" since these publishers aren't putting out different books and different voices aren't heard. It's the ultimate control mechanism--both financially and psychologically. More people need to #BoycottAmazon and support small businesses, but they'll just whine if you mention all the harm Jeff Bezos has done because Amazon has become their drug of choice. Watch this short video to understand how allowing corporations to rule us is destroying our economy and our world: https://youtu.be/4dnf55cUIV0

Jonathan Pie gives us the low down on Amazon and corporate greed and what they're doing globally in his usual tongue-in-cheek manner.  https://youtu.be/4f1vNr9j5G8

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Power to the people and not the corporations!

The National Campaign to End Corporate Personhood and Demand Real Democracy!
Move to Amend
At Move to Amend we have one goal: to help build a democracy movement so deep and so wide that we pass the We the People Amendment (to secure constitutional human rights for natural persons only) and go on to build real, authentic democracy for every living human in the U.S. for the first time in our history.
Unfortunately, far too many Americans believe we can vote ourselves out of this mess. They are wrong, wrong, wrong. 

Our Pledge to Amend campaign drives the Moment to Amend into our elections.

Fundamental flaws have brought us to this point. Constitutional human rights limitations, white supremacy, classism, the two party system, and the Electoral College have all played their role. Equally destructive is an unelected Supreme Court that has created and nurtured "corporate persons" with human rights for 130+ years. We're experiencing corruption writ large!

Nowadays, voting is actually pretty far down the list when it comes to a making functioning democracy. As broken as this system is, between organizing and earning a living, vote we must. To effect change, we have to vote -- as a movement!

That's why Pledge to Amend is so important right now. With the passing of Labor Day, the campaign season just got hot. People are starting to really pay attention now, which means your participation in Pledge to Amend is more important than ever before.

Pledge to Amend is the way for candidates to tell us whose side they are on -- do they stand with We the People or with multinational corporations & billionaires?

Vote to Amend is the part of Pledge to Amend that connects YOU, the voter, to the candidate. By taking the Voter Pledge, you are telling candidates that if they Pledge to Amend, YOU will vote for them. Easy peasy!

You do have power. Pledge to Amend has become more influential in every election because more and more voters and candidates participate. It's an integral part of our strategic plan to pass the We the People Amendment by 2026. YOU can make it all happen!

And taking the pledge to Vote to Amend is simple; just add your name to our list! It takes less than 1 minute. So before you close this email, just go for it! And then take 2 more minutes to encourage all your friends to join you!

Move to Amend knows we will win this battle. We will end corporate rule and make the U.S. a real democracy. Will you stand with us? Will you Vote to Amend?

In solidarity,
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
National Director, Move to Amend Coalition

P.S. Tell candidates that supporting the We the People Amendment is what you need from them if they want your vote!

From Friends of the Earth:
Help send 30,000 comments to the EPA: Don’t slash protections from methane pollution!
This week, Trump and Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler launched another attack on our environment and our communities.
They announced a plan to gut the EPA’s methane pollution standards. If their plan goes through, it would mean polluters would be free to pour even more of this dangerous greenhouse gas into our atmosphere. This would harm our health and bring us further to the brink of climate disaster.
The administration is required to consider public input on this plan before it can go through. So we need you to speak up now!
Methane is one of the biggest drivers of climate change. What’s more, it’s linked to severe public health impacts -- including increasing the risk of asthma and cancer.
The EPA’s restrictions on methane pollution are a common-sense effort to protect our environment and our communities. The only reason the Trump administration wants to roll them back is to help its friends in the fossil fuel industry make more profits.
This is unacceptable. The administration is saddling communities who live near oil and gas facilities with polluted air and health risks, all for the benefit of Big Oil.
This is just the latest in a string of efforts by the Trump administration to hand over our environment to corporate polluters. Trump’s Department of the Interior is also poised to roll back restrictions on methane pollution. And just last week, it advanced its plan to gut the Clean Power Plan.
This is the opposite of what we should be doing. Time is running out to prevent climate chaos. We need stronger action to avoid the worst, not a rollback of our existing rules.
The EPA could halt Trump’s disastrous plan in its tracks -- but it will only act if people like you speak up.
Standing with you,
Ernesto Vargas,
Climate and energy program director,
Friends of the Earth

We're excited to announce our autumn webinar series, starting this September 27. The topics of our upcoming webinars are based on the feedback that we received from our supporters about what most interests you! Details below.

What: Webinar: How War Threatens the Environment
When: Thursday, September 27 at 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Where: Your computer or telephone!
One of the most destructive of human behaviors, war is a leading contributor to the growing global environmental crisis. Hear from experts Gar Smith and Tamara Lorincz about the deep ecological impact of the war system.
Register here!

What: Webinar: Global Perspectives on War
When: Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Eastern
Where: Your computer or telephone!
How do people around the world think about militarism? You won't want to miss this interesting webinar featuring three different global perspectives on the impact of war, featuring David Swanson, Kathy Kelly, and Barry Sweeney.
Sign up!

And stay tuned for a November webinar (date to be announced) celebrating the launch of the 2018-2019 edition of World BEYOND War's book.

RSVP to join us on September 27, to kick off our autumn webinar series!

Greta Zarro
Organizing Director
World BEYOND War


  1. It's end-game capitalism. The big corporations are assuming more power from elected governments and using it to further their own aims, which is to own all the money in the world.

    1. Is it even possible to "own all the money" if they can simply print more (or digitally add it to their accounts)? I think the corporatists just want to control and run everything--for whatever reason. They don't like following laws, so once in power (via their puppet-politicians) they never have to worry about anyone telling them to clean up their act or not abuse their workers or even pay their workers (slave labor). Late stage capitalism is indeed an ugly and morally-twisted disease.


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