Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What's Up, Marcy?

What's up, Marcy?
rally photos by C.A. & A.J. Matthews

What's up, Representative Marcy Kaptur? She has refused  to co-sponsor the Medicare For All (HR 1384) Bill in the House, and now she refuses to sign the "No War with Iran Resolution" (HR2354). It's very confusing since Kaptur (D), our longest serving Congresswoman representing Ohio's 9th district,  previously supported the Sanders-Conyers Medicare For All Bill. 

What's up, Marcy? We know you can do better than this. Much better!

On the picket line, the nurses of St. Vincent Mercy Health picketed alone that day, their fellow medical tech workers having signed a separate contract to return to work earlier in he week. Our Revolution (National), traveling across the country in their Medicare For All van, stopped by Toledo to rally with the striking nurses and local activists.  A national Medicare For All program would help the nurses deal with their current mediocre health insurance coverage. It could possibly help with the extra long hours they've been forced to work due to staffing shortages (because the Bon Secours Corporation that runs their "charity" Catholic hospital chain expects higher profits). If the corporation didn't have to pay health care benefits to its workers because they had Medicare For All, then they could afford to hire more nurses and med techs, right?

Speakers at the Medicare For All protest in front of St. V's included the national director of Our Revolution and local OR leader Dennis Slotnick who also represents the Ohio Single Payer Action Network. Nancy Larson, a candidate for state office in 2020, spoke out as well as as well as Stefania Czech, candidate for Toledo City Council District 2, Quinn Albright, a young activist representing the newly formed Northwest Ohio Democratic Socialists of America, physician-activist Dr. Jon Ross, and Adrian Matthews, a British national and proponent of socialized health care. 

After the rally, the crowd headed to Rep. Kaptur's local office downtown to present her staff a petition stating the voters' desire for Marcy to become a co-sponsor of HB 1384.

Unfortunately within a few days of the rally the St. Vincent nurses left the picket line when their union (UAW) folded and told them the strike was over. None of their demands for increased staffing and less mandatory overtime were addressed.

Two days later, another protest formed in front of Rep. Marcy Kaptur's office building located downtown at Maritime Plaza. The Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition had been planning the peace protest rally to inspire Rep. Kaptur to sign HR 2354 for some time when the story of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, supposedly hit by Iranian missiles, monopolized the mainstream news feeds.
Many of the activists at the No War on Iran rally expressed surprise and disappointment in the Democratic  Congresswoman. Why hadn't she signed onto the resolution? What could be holding her back? 

It's difficult to know for sure, but Ohio has always been a favorite of Big Oil lobbying interests. Big Oil could realize some massively big profits in taking over Middle Eastern oil fields and shipping lanes. War is a profitable business after all. Is the answer to why Marcy Kaptur hasn't been more vocal on this issue simply "the money is too good to ignore"?

We're very disappointed if it is simply the lobbyists' cash motivating the congresswoman's non-action. You can do better than this, Marcy. Much better!
Our children's futures are at stake here. Without decent, universal health care, many of their futures will be shortened. With more wars for oil, their world becomes an even unsafer place to live in than it already is. 

Marcy--what's up? We can't afford to wait for leadership on these issues. All our  lives are hanging in the balance. Listen to these activists. Step up! 

From Food & Water Watch

There’s a fast-moving amendment in the House of Representatives that would stop Trump's Department of Energy from financially backing dirty energy projects masquerading as clean energy projects.

A full House vote could happen any time this week, and you can help keep the pressure on by taking action TODAY — tell your representative we need more renewable energy, not dirty fossil fuel projects.

Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced an amendment that would require the Department of Energy to only back energy projects that address and mitigate climate change.

The amendment passed out of a House Committee last week, and it’s headed to the Floor. Make sure your representative is on board!

What would this amendment do? Energy companies would have to demonstrate how proposed projects would meet heightened standards. One affected project is the proposed massive petrochemical build-out in Appalachia. This enormous network of infrastructure is intended to store and process dirty fossil fuels in order to churn out more plastic. This amendment would effectively hold back the Department of Energy from quickly deciding to financially back the project.

Ultimately, we need comprehensive legislation that would move us to 100% clean, renewable energy on a swift timeline, but this amendment is a great step in the right direction.

Officially, it’s called Amendment 105 to Rule 2 on HR 2740, the Omar-Jayapal Amendment. Here at Food & Water Watch, we're calling it what it is — a really big deal and the result of hard work by activists around the country.

We got this far, but now we have a small window of time to urge the rest of the House to stand in support.

Our allies and activists fighting back against projects like the Appalachia petrochemical hub need your support at this critical moment. Tell your representative to support the amendment and stand against a fossil fuel future.

Thanks for taking action,

Amanda Byrnes
Online Organizing Manager
Food & Water Watch

From the United Church of Christ:

Stop the Detention of Children

Mark 9:37 tells us that “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” As people of faith we are called to care for, welcome and cherish all humanity. The children who come to our border are often fleeing violence and poverty and have endured a long and dangerous journey. They should be met with care and kindness. Once here, every measure should be made that they be placed with family and community sponsors. Instead, as of now, more than 2,500 children are being held in a “child detention facility” in Homestead, Florida.

Contact your members of Congress to let them know this is no way to treat anyone, especially the most vulnerable among us, children. We need to invest in ways to unite families and ensure the best continuum of care for children. Please urge your member of Congress to support the “Shut Down Prison Camps Act” and the “Families Not Facilities Act.” These legislative measures make sure that the government can’t house children in substandard “emergency influx shelters” like Homestead. They also make sure that it’s easier to place children with sponsors by prohibiting the sharing of information with the Department of Homeland Security that could be used to detain and deport family members who come forward to sponsor children.

Everytown for Gun Safety

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, is the day that my life changed.

As a hospital trauma chaplain I have experienced grief, tragedy, pain, and loss as I worked to comfort patients and families in their time of need. But that night four years ago, I was the person in need of comforting when I received a telephone call that no American should get: My mother and two of my cousins had been shot and killed in church along with 6 other parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A white supremacist shot and killed 9 churchgoers as they prayed.

I lost so much in that senseless attack. And since then, hate crimes have been on the rise, resulting in more people being targeted simply because of their identity.

When hate-filled individuals are armed with a gun, their actions often become deadly.

The shooter targeted parishioners at Emanuel AME simply because of the color of their skin. Along with so many Americans, I was baffled at how such a hate-filled man was able to get his hands on a gun. That's why today I ask you to join me and support federal legislation to keep guns away from people convicted of a hate crime. It's one important step we can take to end hate-fueled gun violence. Add your name to ask the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Disarm Hate Act of 2019.
  Thank you for being with me in the movement against hate and gun violence,
Reverend Sharon Risher
Everytown Survivor Network

P.S. If you are a survivor of gun violence or have a loved one who has been wounded or killed by gun violence, you can share your story on our Moments That Survive Memory Wall with the stories of other survivors of gun violence.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Only Man Can Destroy A Tree

Happy Fourth Anniversary to  
The Revolution Continues!

Who knew that four years later we'd still be publishing a weekly blog? Who knew that Bernie was going to lose in a rigged primary season in 2016? Who knew that progressives of all stripes would still be squabbling while millions of Americans go without adequate health care four years later? Who knew we'd go over 415 ppm of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and the Arctic ice flows would be no more... 

Yes, those are some of the reasons that we're still here. Thank you for being here as well. It's your comments and donations that make it worth it.  Speaking of which, your editor has been invited to cover the upcoming National Green Party Meeting in Salem, Massachusetts. Please consider making a Paypal donation to help defray our travel costs. Every little bit helps. Thank you. http://paypal.me/camatthews

And now, a lament to a dead tree and a dying planet.

Only Man Can Destroy A Tree
by C. A. Matthews

It was only a lowly mulberry tree--but it stands for so much more.

We are living in the last days of our planet. Recent massive flooding in the Midwest and a crushing heat wave in India give evidence to the growing climate crisis. Our atmosphere contains over 415 ppm of carbon dioxide concentration. While some moan, others take action. Millions around the world are planting trees. 

Just take a look at India. They made a world record by planting 66 million trees in 12 hours!  Their goal is to plant a billion new trees while creating new jobs.

Why would any country go to such lengths? A typical tree such as the silver maple can sequester 25,000 pounds of CO2 in a 55 year period. Our forests are our planet's lungs. We need every tree, bush and growing plant producing oxygen and cutting down the build-up of greenhouse gases that we can get.

And still there are some who will chop down a tree without a thought. 

I watched in horror as the mulberry in the yard behind ours was dismantled limb by limb, destroyed simply because it stood too near an underground electric box according to its destroyers. After it was gone, I surveyed its remains and discovered that it wasn't really standing all that close. It could have been trimmed back. If it was threatening the electric cables then the stump and roots underground should have been removed as well, but they were not. Probably the landlord wanted to clear the space so he didn’t have to pay the lawn service more to mow around it.

What a lousy excuse to destroy a tree... What a lousy reason to  jeopardize our future!

The disregard of the beauty and utility of trees is but a symptom of a great sickness that plagues our entire planet. It is a symptom of the disease of capitalism, an economic system that left unchecked will eventually cause the death of all living things. By placing a monetary worth on a living thing, such as a tree, capitalists are stating they value life only for what it can do to grow their bank accounts. Life has no intrinsic value in and of itself to them--only a dollar amount that a capitalist can give it. 

Think it over. If a tree has no worth, other than what its wood can fetch on the market, then what is the worth of a child or young adult to a capitalist? The worth of an elderly person with cancer? The worth of clean water and breathable air? The worth of living in peace, free from death drones dropping bombs on your village in an oil-rich country? 

The capitalist's credo: If it doesn't generate a profit, then who really cares about it, right? 

If this sounds too simplistic, consider this: Why does the US not have universal health care to this very day? Why are some 45,000 Americans yearly  allowed to die simply because they can't afford expensive private health insurance when we have the medicine and technology to save them?

One word--greed.

Only God can make a tree, but obviously Man thinks he's free to destroy them all at will. Sad to say, the joke's on him.

Related articles:

Amazon rainforest deforestation--satellites show 740 square miles cleared in 30 days

47 million gallons sewage released into river during Ohio tornado outbreak

Protecting Mother Nature

Algae Map: Tracking algae bloom outbreaks from 2010 to now

From Food & Water Watch:

The hazards associated with fracking are deadly: drinking water contamination, air pollution, accidents and explosions, and toxic waste accumulation. And, most alarming is how fracked gas is accelerating climate change.

Our new report, “The Fracking Endgame,” paints a harrowing picture of our potential future: even as our planet hangs on the edge of climate catastrophe, chemical, plastics and electric power industries and their elected enablers are seeking to turn up the pace of new fracking projects.1

Building out this infrastructure locks us into a future of more air pollution, greenhouse gases and plastic waste. Tell your Members of Congress to stop the fracking endgame!

The Fracking Endgame: Locked Into Plastics, Pollution and Climate Chaos
We have just a few years left to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. However, the chemical, plastics and electric power industries’ plan to capitalize on cheap fracked gas flies in the face of what science tells us we need to do to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Our latest research shows that over 700 new facilities have been built, proposed, or are under development to profit from an oversupply of cheap fracked gas. If even a fraction of these facilities come to fruition, they will condemn our planet to a future of climate chaos and will neuter efforts toward a real Green New Deal.
Stop the Oil and Gas Buildout
We need a climate plan that bans fracking and stops fossil fuels from smothering our planet in plastic and pollution. Tell your Members of Congress to ban fracking and stop the oil and gas buildout.

There is hope for a better world without fracking. With your support we have already won fracking bans in Washington, New York and Maryland and we have stopped or delayed dozens of fossil fuel infrastructure projects in communities across the country. We can stop this onslaught from the fossil fuel industry.

Every day we are working together to stop new fossil fuel development and to promote a rapid transition to a clean, just and equitable renewable energy future. It’s time to fight like you live here. It’s time to stop the fossil fuel industry and ban fracking everywhere.

Onward together,

Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director
Food & Water Watch

P.S. Check out our latest report, The Fracking Endgame: Locked Into Plastics, Pollution and Climate Chaos.

From Friends of the Earth:

The Trump Administration wants to open lands near Sequoia National Park to the fossil fuel industry. This is part of its new plan to expand drilling and fracking to vast amounts of federal lands in California. It’s not just Sequoia at risk -- the plan also threatens Yosemite and Kings Canyon.

Drilling and fracking destroy our wild places, spew toxic air pollution, induce earthquakes, and jeopardize human health -- not to mention contributing to the climate crisis. If we want to preserve a safe and liveable planet for future generations, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground -- not start more drilling and fracking projects. 

The good news is, the Bureau of Land Management hasn’t approved the permits for the California plan. If engaged Friends of the Earth members like you speak out, the BLM will have to listen. Can we count on your support? 

Sequoia National Park is home to the massive Giant Sequoia trees that are one of our nation’s greatest national treasures. The park supports communities living nearby who depend on it for tourism as well. But Trump wants to throw all that away to help his Big Oil friends.

If we can’t stop the Trump Administration in California, nowhere will be safe. We could see mining in the Smoky Mountains, offshore drilling in Glacier Bay, and even fracking in the Everglades -- nothing is off limits for this administration.

This is the opposite of what we should be doing. We need to keep all fossil fuels in the ground, not hand over our public lands to the fossil fuel industry over the objections of local communities and leaders. We need to end drilling and fracking nationwide, and we need you with us to do so.

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground isn’t just one solution, it’s the only solution. But Trump wants to undo the progress that’s been made in California and dig up more dirty fossil fuels. He doesn’t care that it would degrade air quality, or threaten cultural resources in the area, or scar some of our nation’s most beautiful landscapes.

Together with engaged Friends of the Earth members like you, we’re building a movement to protect our public lands and ensure Trump’s Administration doesn’t drive us to ruin. We can save our iconic lands and pristine ecosystems. But we need you with us, C.A.. 

Standing with you,
Nicole Ghio,
Senior fossil fuels program manager,
Friends of the Earth

Climate Hawks Vote

In the United States, we all enjoy the First Amendment right to assemble and protest -- at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. And yet, Donald Trump and his cronies want to jail people who protest the environmentally catastrophic pipelines transporting oil across this country. Ordinary citizens like you and me who feel compelled to speak out against climate catastrophe should be heroes, not criminals.

Red states dependent on fossil fuel extraction -- Oklahoma, South Dakota, Louisiana, Texas -- have passed laws making pipeline protests illegal. Now Trump’s Transportation Department has proposed Congress add 20 years in prison to penalties for protesting and demonstrating against these pipelines. 20 years!

Heaping massive fines and jail time on protesters is un-American and fundamentally undemocratic. Throwing those who disagree with you in prison is the stuff of dictatorships.

Let’s send a clear message to Donald Trump and his Transportation Department: not only are these pipelines not the right policy move, cracking down on dissent will only embolden our resistance.

Your fellow climate hawk,
RL Miller


“Trump administration seeks criminal crackdown on pipeline protests,” Politicohttps://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/03/trump-administration-seeks-criminal-crackdown-on-pipeline-protests-1499008

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The True Enemy

Sometimes it's someone you least suspect--the person or group of people who betray your trust and take advantage of you. This week we look at who our "enemies" are. First up, we have photos from the Anti-House Bill 6 protest in Toledo. Ohio HB 6 is a taxpayers' bailout of First Energy's two aging nuclear power plants and two climate-changing coal plants--one of which is located in the neighboring state of  Indiana, no less. First Energy is definitely not our friend! Secondly, we have the latest in the fight to protect Lake Erie against an enemy that one would think would be on the public's side--the Ohio state legislature. And last of all, we're treated to an interview discussing who are the true enemies of the political revolution. Could it be someone you know?


Press Release: Multi-Prong Attack by State of Ohio Against Rights of Nature

Attorney General files complaint against the Lake Erie Bill of Rights protecting polluters

COLUMBUS, OH: On Friday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a legal complaint to have the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) overturned.

The AG’s filing comes less than two weeks after the Ohio House of Representatives adopted its 2020-2021 budget with provisions that prohibit anyone, including local governments, from enforcing recognized legal rights for ecosystems. Friday’s court filing is the state’s intervention in a lawsuit filed by the agribusiness industry against LEBOR, Drewes Farm Partnership v. City of Toledo. The Ohio Farm Bureau is backing the lawsuit.

In Friday’s complaint, the State of Ohio “requests the court issue a permanent injunction” to stop the City of Toledo, any person, or “fictitious entity…from enforcing any provisions of [the] Charter Amendment.”

In defending its title as “proprietor in trust to the waters of Lake Erie,” the state argues LEBOR must be invalidated because it “deprives” fictitious corporate “persons” of the “privilege of engaging in lawful operations.” This includes, according to the state, “sludge management permits and permits for the discharge of sewage, industrial waste, or other wastes.” The state argues that denying industries’ permission to pollute, which the state controls, would be a violation of the constitutional rights of fictitious corporate “persons” under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. As such, the state claims it is beyond the power of local voters to protect their own rights or the lake.

“The lake is dying and the AG says only the state of Ohio has the power to protect it. But it’s not. A generation has passed during which the Ohio legislature and governors have stood by enabling a corrupt system of permitting and willfully ignoring scientific data that has caused water quality and the Lake’s condition to worsen to crisis levels. The people have had enough. The state claims to be the sole trustee of Lake Erie, but they have forfeited that trust by their inaction. The lake and the people have suffered direct harm due to the state’s failure to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people and the lake. Our Constitution states that the people can step in when their government fails them,” said Tish O’Dell, CELDF Ohio Organizer.

Markie Miller of Toledoans for Safe Water added, “Because of the state’s failure to act on behalf of the people and Lake Erie, we have suffered without water and we fear the next contamination or algae bloom. We know Lake Erie is dying, so this winter, WE did what the state would not – we took action. We asserted our inalienable democratic right to pass a law that will actually protect the Lake and our community. Now, ‘our’ government claims the people’s law is invalid and our judiciary is keeping us out of the judicial process completely. We will not allow this government to sabotage our basic rights, the rights of the Lake, and – most importantly – the future of our children.” 

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is representing Toledoans as they fight to defend their Lake Erie Bill of Rights. 

About CELDF — Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund 
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, local economy, and quality of life. Its mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature. 

The True Enemy
By Redd Phlagg
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice ...  Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote about "the white moderate" being the true enemy of the Civil Rights Movement really hit home the other day.  My thoughts ran along these lines: What happens if a small minority of us agitate and demonstrate for a people-powered, grassroots-driven society based on equality and justice for all, and we actually see signs that we're getting somewhere and then… 

Then nothing happens when we reach out to that complacent white moderate class? Nada. Crickets. Worse yet, this complacent white moderate class undermines all of our hard effort by insinuating that it's not all that bad being the mindless servants of the oligarchs. They shame and ridicule the agitators into silence and effectively shut down the revolution before it can truly begin. And then they go and have brunch somewhere, followed by getting their nails done or going to the theater to see a pricey show.

It begs the question what is the purpose of people like you and me working toward a political revolution if a large majority of Americans desire the enslaved position they currently occupy?

It's a scary question that potentially has a very scary--and highly unsatisfactory-- answer.
But I decided to get down to the bottom of this complacent white-moderate conundrum. I decided to gain some insights from a fellow revolutionary and compare and contrast my own take on the situation with hers. Through the magic of the internet, I had in-depth conversation with my editor about her experiences with these white-moderate non-malcontents.

Redd Phlagg: Thanks for letting me interview you on this subject.

C.A. Matthews: You're welcome. I'm glad to be of service to anyone willing to fill in the white space at the blog.

Redd: Even if you don't agree with him all the time?

C.A.: Especially when I don't agree with you! That's the intent of The Revolution Continues--to provoke discussion and debate and promote deep thinking. You're definitely a deep thinker, Redd. We need more people like you in the world.

Redd: Thanks. Let's get down to the question that's been bugging me for some time. Guillotine or gulag for these one-percent wannabes?

C.A.: You mean do we totally write off the white moderates, or the white neo-liberal middle class as I see them, as useless--or worst than useless, as a hindrance to the revolution to change our society into an egalitarian socialist utopia--or do we attempt some kind of rehab and see if it sticks. It's a tough question and requires a tough answer: In my opinion, it depends on the individual and their actions whether we give up on them or not.

Redd: Okay, I see where you're coming from, but you do admit to being a church-going type. And you say your dad was a Southern minister who claimed to have met Dr. King in person and was influenced by King's non-violent philosophy. But you've said you're also from a multi-racial family and that you personally haven't lived much of a "middle class" life as an adult. How can you give these idiots that want to thwart the happiness of the 99%--while ironically being part of the 99% themselves--a break? They haven't done you many favors.

C.A.:  True. I find many white neo-liberals to be extremely irritating, phony, hypocritical and patronizing to the extreme.  I have a permanent perforation in my tongue from biting it hard at times so I don't shout out, "What the hell do you know what it feels to be homeless or hungry?" when they go on about all the good works they've done in the "poor community." 

Here they are commuting from their beautiful McMansions in their all-white, upper-middle class subdivision or suburb where they have a choice of restaurants and supermarkets and they tell me they know what it's like.  I've experienced homelessness and hunger first hand. These pampered neo-libs have no clue what that sort of stress and degradation it does to a human being. If they did, they'd keep quiet and listen to those who have suffered from it.

The working poor is invisible to them. We're defectives who can't possibly understand anything about our own existence since we're not as white or as middle class as they are. You know, the more I think about it, the less inclined I am to give these heartless bullies any breaks.  Still, there might be some good in some of them that we can extract through example, like by demonstrating what it means to scrub toilets or pick produce for a living.

Redd: You mean, we place these one-percent wannabes into manual labor jobs?

C.A.:  If it could help them learn what humility and service really means, then yes. We'd be doing them a favor. They only come to their erroneous conclusions that they're better or smarter than others because they live in isolated, insulated "bubbles" or pockets of suburbia where they can only interact in any deep way with those of their own race and class. They think they understand what it means to be a person of color or a working poor family in America by what they've seen on television or read in textbooks. They might get their hands dirty from time to time dealing with working class populations, but they usually do so from a white-collar, managerial role. At night, they'll get in their car--not on a bus or other public transport, mind you--and drive home to their very nice house filled with nice furniture and adequate heat or air conditioning, where they get to eat decent food, enjoy decent entertainment and plan out their two week long paid vacations.

Redd: And they have access to decent health care and can afford their co-pays, too?

C.A.: Don't get me talking about the inequality of access to health care in the US! We'll be here all night.

Redd: You've experienced being denied medical care--even if at first glance you can pass for being a middle class person of non-color?

C.A.: More than once. And it is amazing when you check certain boxes on a new patient form how quickly you're pointed to the door--even if you have so-called "health insurance" through an employer. Your insurance doesn't pay enough for some doctors' offices. Once again, upper-middle class neo-liberal whites who have always had access to decent health care have no clue the horror you or your child feel while being sick and having no means to deal with the illness other than over home remedies. I'm sure they all think poor folks are just faking it so we don't have to flip hamburgers or clean out their pool or mow their lawn. They don't understand the lasting fear and psychological scars earned from being sick or in pain for a long period of time and having no means to address it. 
Redd: Their "bubble" protects them from the painful reality most human beings endure on a daily basis?

C.A.: Exactly. Until we can burst their bubbles once and for all, they'll probably never be on our side in the revolution. The white moderate bubble is a strongly-woven fiberglass ball that creates a false sense of security. It has been formed and perpetuated by our society's true rulers--the oligarchs--and not by the unwittingly dense white middle class members themselves.  The white moderates create a convenient buffer zone for the upper echelons. 

The white moderates have been played over the years and they don't realize it. They were created to come between the mega-wealthy one-percent and the dirtiest of the dirt poor. Keep the white middle class complacent, self-righteous and in love with their self-perceived worthiness and love of lording it over the working class, and you as an oligarch need never fear a political revolution.

Redd: Ingenious in its simplicity, isn't it?
C.A.: It is. So the route we must take to unravel this hideously simple plan also has to be simple by design. We simply have to keep waking these complacent types up and keep them awake to the true evilness of the oligarchy and how they've been used. We have to break the false illusion that somehow by virtue of being a middle class white that you eventually will gain access to the "club of the billionaires" and enter the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth. 

George Carlin said it best, "It's a big club, but you ain't in it." God probably doesn't want anything to do with you, either, if you treat people like dirt just to get ahead. Read Matthew 25: 31-46 and meditate on it, rich boys and girls.

Their "bubble" has to be shattered into a million sharp glass pieces and the shards have to cut deep into the hardened hearts of the complacent white moderates. Only then will they bleed like the rest of us in the working classes. Only then we will see each other as brothers and sisters, each worthy of decent food, shelter, healthcare access, education and opportunities to grow and contribute to society.

Redd:  I'm still leaning toward the guillotine, but it would be nice to see these indifferent white moderates bleed for a change. We'll have to keep them around for a while longer so they can experience that joy for themselves. Until then... we bite our tongues in half?

C.A.: Yeah, and we avoid the most obnoxious ones as much as possible to keep ourselves sane and whole. That's what the internet and blogs like this one are for. When our patience with a complacent type is stretched thin, we can always point them toward this blog and hope they read it and gain some insight on their own.  It's not the best method of instruction, but we have to consider our own health first and foremost.

Redd: Right--not all of us have access to decent health care, after all. Thanks for your insights. Power to the people!

C.A.: Right on, Redd!


From Friends of the Earth:
Our wildlife refuges should be a safe space for all wildlife, including bees. But Trump’s Administration is allowing bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides to be used in these refuges. 

This means plant and animal species that are supposed to be protected in refuges are at risk of being wiped out by toxic pesticides. 

As a leading cause of bee decline, neonics have no place in our environment, most certainly not in our refuges. The good news is that Rep. Nydia Velázquez has introduced a bill to ban neonics and make our refuges safe for bees and other pollinators. We need your help to build support for this bill!

Neonic pesticides are extremely toxic to bees and other pollinators. Over the last two decades neonic use has skyrocketed, while pollinator and honeybee populations have plummeted. A growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that pesticides like neonicotinoids are a leading contributor to pollinator declines. 

Our National Wildlife Refuges are meant to conserve wildlife species, especially those that are endangered or at risk of becoming endangered. The Obama Administration introduced a ban on neonics, but the Trump Administration’s Fish and Wildlife Service reversed this decision, putting our bees in grave danger. 

Bees and other pollinators are essential to our food systems and agriculture economy. Up to $577 billion of our annual global food production relies on the contributions of pollinators. We can’t let the Trump Administration’s efforts to prioritize the interests of the pesticide industry threaten our public lands and wildlife. With your help we can convince legislators across the country to stand up to the pesticide industry and ban these toxic pesticides on our refuges. But we need you to take action NOW!

The pesticide industry has successfully influenced policymakers in the Trump Administration. Pesticide corporations spend tens of millions of dollars lobbying to prevent any restrictions on their products. These efforts have succeeded in convincing policymakers to deregulate pesticide use. Now our pollinators and food system are in serious danger. 

Pollinators and other insects are dying at an alarming rate and overuse of neonics is a key driver. If we don’t take immediate action to protect critical pollinators like bees and other insects, scientists warn we could soon see a ‘complete collapse of nature’s ecosystems.” 

There is no doubt that pesticide companies are working hard persuading legislators to allow the continued use of these toxic chemicals. We can’t let the chemical industry harm our refuges, public lands and pollinators. The only way to protect our National Wildlife Refuges is with your support. If you take action today you can help ban neonic use in refuges.

Thank you,

Michael Jarosz,

Food and Agriculture Program,

Friends of the Earth