Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Blackest Friday

The Progressive American Abroad heads home this week, but not before discovering how the disease of late-stage capitalism has infected the entire world.
Blackest Friday
by C.A. Matthews 

Votes for Women!
There are several explanations about how the term "Black Friday" came about. One story tells us it was coined during the Suffragette era. On November 18, 1910, 300 women in London marched on parliament in support of women’s voting rights. The day became known as Black Friday due to the extreme violence of the police response.

But the most common reason given is the  Friday after Thanksgiving was the first day most retailers fell into the "black" on their ledgers and made a profit because Christmas shoppers began shopping in earnest. Hence, the name "Black Friday."

Black Friday has now become such an integral part of most American autumnal celebrations that it inspired new terms such as "Small Business Saturday" and "Cyber Monday" and "Giving Tuesday." One might assume all these new holidays were only present in North America because it's primarily Americans and Canadians who celebrate Thanksgiving. Nothing can be further from the truth as the sign above posted in the window of a British toy and model shop called Langley's attests.

The British have decided to adopt an American custom, but not the one centered around friends and family and giving thanks. Instead, they have taken a fancy to a manufactured holiday centered around consumerism and forcing workers to work long hours away from their families. Somehow it seems more than appropriate that this American tradition has to do with exploiting the masses in order to make the filthy rich even richer while simultaneously not helping the poor, downtrodden wage slaves. It is nothing if not downright sociopathic and sinister, the American virtues of the twenty-first century.

That's not to say that Americans have a monopoly on exploitation and conspicuous consumption. Living in an English city this past month hasn't made me blind to what's going on in these parts. The British are every bit as materialistic as your next Westerner. There are designer duds and high-end fashion shops everywhere. Pricey cars clog the thoroughfares just as badly, if not worse, than most American cities. They have just as many chain box stores, upscale eateries and fast food joints as any urban area in the US, and they are hungry for more. 
The British variety of banksters extend credit and create seductive commercials on the telly to entice people into crippling debt. Sorry to say, but Black Friday would exist in the UK with or without the title. The one-percent never met a working class anywhere that it didn't want to take advantage of, and the British public are ripe for the picking.

I find it a little sad to think how universal the philosophy of materialism has become during the Christmas season. We have taken a holiday (a "holy day") about God's gift of a savior to the world and flipped it on its head. We have made it all about us, the needy consumers and greedy capitalists who try to outdo each other in purchasing gifts that are often not wanted or even needed and will more than likely wind up in a landfill within a month or two. 

When and where did this orgy of avarice and waste begin?

Many historians credit Queen Victoria and her husband Albert with the popularization of Christmas trees, holiday decorations and gift-giving on a big scale. Victorian-era toy makers and card publishers made the most of the royal family's celebrations and encouraged others to do the same. British and Americans alike took to the new fad with great enthusiasm, never once looking back to remember the deeper meaning behind the holiday.

Perhaps it's fitting that the culture that made gift-giving the thing to do every December 25th has at last absorbed the ultimate consumer fest.

Happy Black Friday, Great Britain! May you (in time) grow weary of the endless cycle of buy, buy, buy! And remember: not everything that comes out of America is worth copying. Look at what's sitting in the Oval Office currently... Yeah, you really don't want to go there.

BREAKING NEWS from Good Jobs Nation: General Motors just announced that it will be laying-off thousands of American workers and closing down many plants all together.

Here’s the bottom line: Trump gave GM over $700 million in federal contracts — on top of massive tax breaks — without doing anything to prevent top executives from pocketing the money and betraying American workers.

With the stroke of a pen, Trump could act to save thousands of families from economic terror. Add your name here to demand that he take immediate action with an Executive Order!

Worth reading:
Pathological Consumption Has Become So Normalised That We Scarcely Notice It--

Worth watching:
 Amazon workers strike in Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UK! https://youtu.be/KQCk0Ek7cRY
Reports say Amazon ask police to stop massive workers strike on Black Friday in Spain.  https://youtu.be/k6sTHIEXtu4


The epidemic of late stage capitalism needs to be wiped out once and for all--but we can't do it if we're not allowed to speak freely!

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Please consider donating a buck, $5, $10 or $20--any amount you can share with us to keep this progressive site going without those awful ads is appreciated. Help us become a strong alternative voice protesting against the corrupt establishment and its paid-off corporate mouthpieces. Give to TRC today. Thank you.

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Power to the people and not the corporations!

From Credo:

Disgraceful: The U.S. border patrol just tear gassed mothers with children and toddlers in diapers seeking asylum on our southern border.1

Every day, Donald Trump's white supremacist war on immigrants grows worse. Just last week, the White House issued a memo authorizing the troops at the border to use lethal force against asylum seekers.2 The tear-gassing of families shows that Trump's plan to have the military treat immigrants like enemy combatants in a war zone is no idle threat.

This is America under Trump, and it is shameful. Though Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has the authority to order troops to use lethal force, he has not yet done so. In fact, Trump's order for lethal force may be unconstitutional.3 It is the responsibility of people of conscience to speak out and demand that Mattis put a check on Trump before the situation gets even worse.

The reports of Customs & Border Patrol's actions are truly shocking:4

Children screamed and coughed amid the gas, The Associated Press reported. The wind carried the aerosol chemicals toward people hundreds of feet away who were not attempting to enter the U.S., the wire service noted. One woman collapsed unconscious amid the chaos, and two babies sobbed with tears running down their faces from the gas, Reuters reported.

CREDO members will continue to press to end the racist, anti-immigrant culture that gives birth to such horrors. That includes cracking down on ICE and the the Customs & Border Patrol's complicity in terror. The heads of the ICE and CBP unions were in the room with Trump last week when he gave the order for lethal force.5

Right now, we need an urgent call to stand down before tear gas turns into live bullets.

Let’s be clear: The United States is not under attack. The families walking from Central America are survivors of deadly state and domestic violence, climate devastation and poverty.6 They are coming to exercise their right under U.S. law to petition for asylum.

But instead of fulfilling his legal obligation to evaluate their asylum claims,7 Trump plans to terrorize migrants with military force. His dangerous ploy is part of a white supremacist agenda that includes banning Muslims, restricting legal immigration, separating children from their families and denying citizenship to children of immigrants born in the United States.8

Further militarizing the border will do nothing to keep our country safe. But it will terrorize and harm vulnerable migrant families and add fuel to the fires of racism and xenophobia.

Tell Secretary of Defense James Mattis: No lethal force at the border. Click below to sign the petition:

Thank you for speaking out,

Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►


  1. Mary Papenfuss, "Activists, Politicians React With Horror At Border Scenes Of Tear-Gassed Children," HuffPost, Nov. 25, 2018.
  2. Eliana Johnson, "Fiery West Wing meeting led to more power for military at U.S.-Mexico border," POLITICO, Nov. 22, 2018.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Papenfuss, "Activists, Politicians React With Horror At Border Scenes Of Tear-Gassed Children."
  5. Johnson, "Fiery West Wing meeting led to more power for military at U.S.-Mexico border."
  6. Washington Office on Latin America, "9 Questions (and Answers) About the Central American Migrant Caravan," Oct. 22, 2018.
  7. Maya Rhodan, "President Trump Threatened to Turn Back Caravan Migrants If They Don't Claim Asylum in Mexico. That's Not Legal," TIME, Oct. 23, 2018.
  8. William Cummings and David Jackson, "President Trump says he plans to end birthright citizenship with an executive order," USA Today, Oct. 30, 2018.

From Just Foreign Policy:

I believe that we will win!”

Share: Bernie Sanders interview

Share: Mike Lee interview

Share: Pelosi & Schiff
co-sponsoring Yemen War Powers Resolution

Share: National Day of Action Monday

Call the Senate:


This week, we have a world-historical opportunity to end the monstrous, deliberate-famine-causing, unconstitutional U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen. The Senate will vote. We will win the Senate vote. Then the House will vote. We will win the House vote. When we win the Senate vote and the House vote, Trump and Mattis will end unconstitutional U.S. participation in the Saudi regime’s deliberate-famine-causing war in Yemen. When Trump and Mattis end U.S. participation in the Saudi regime’s war, the Saudi regime will agree to a ceasefire. When the Saudi regime agrees to a ceasefire, the United Nations and aid agencies will be able to get the resources and people in to Yemen to stop the famine. When the UN and aid agencies stop the famine, we can turn our attention to trying to achieve some measure of accountability for the bipartisan participation of the United States government in this world-historical atrocity.

Our Senate champions Bernie Sanders and Mike Lee were on the Sunday talk shows, which Washington journalists watch to find out what’s going to happen in Washington in the next week. Today, Bernie Sanders and Mike Lee used their platforms in the national media to tell the American people about the coming Senate vote to end the war. 

Here’s the first thing you can do: help us spread the Good News about the coming Senate vote, however you spread Good News, to whomever you spread Good News: 

Bernie Sanders confident bill stopping U.S. support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen can pass

Full Lee Interview: 'Congress has to take some ownership in U.S. foreign policy'

Here’s a second thing you can do: help us spread the Good News about the coming House vote: 
Leader Pelosi, top Intel Dem Schiff Back Yemen War Powers Resolution Ahead of House Vote

Here’s a third thing you can do: help us spread the word about the National Day of Action to End the War in Yemen on Monday:
- including actions in Rhode IslandNevadaNew YorkNew JerseyIllinois, DC

Here’s a fourth thing you can do: mark your calendar to call your U.S. Senators Monday morning using the toll-free number provided by the Friends Committee on National Legislation: 1-833-STOP-WAR (1-833-786-7927). Using FCNL’s number adds pressure on your Senators to do the right thing, because it allows FCNL to tell your Senators how many calls they received, so your Senators can’t pretend they’re not hearing from constituents.

Thanks for all you’re doing and will do to help end this monstrous war and famine, 

Sarah Burns, Hassan El-Tayyab, and Robert Reuel Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

From Four Directions:

We hope you enjoyed the weekend with family and friends and realize it has been a few days since you've heard from us. We cannot thank you enough for your interest and support for our cause to bring equal voting rights to our brothers and sisters in Indian Country.

Navajo votes made the difference in Arizona this year, but suppression continues and Four Directions has been busy fighting to ensure that Native ballots count this year, 2020, and beyond.

Late last week we announced a joint effort with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice Attorney General, Ethel Branch, suing the state of Arizona to protect Navajo Nation members right to vote and have their vote count in the 2018 election.

The lawsuit demands that Arizona provide equal access to the ballot box for all future elections – in a state with eleven electoral votes and a 2020 Senate race already being targeted by political leaders – with the equal access of 70,000 voting age Navajo Tribal members at risk.
Navajo Nation Attorney General Branch issued a news release last week regarding this lawsuit. We have included the background of Federal District Court Judge Lanza and Judge Lanza’s order setting a hearing in the case for tomorrow morning in Phoenix (scroll to bottom of this email for documents) Judge Lanza was nominated by President Trump in January, 2018 and was confirmed by the United States Senate in September, 2018.

We will have more details on the lawsuit and the impact Native votes made in 2018 shortly so stay tuned.

OJ Semans (Executive Director, Four Directions)

Navajo Nation Office of the Attorney General Press Release
Navajo Nation v. Michelle Reagan Pleadings Document
Judge Lanza Confirmation
Politico: Arizona key battleground in 2020


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