Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Matter of Control

The System Will Collapse...

Some days I hear a another world breathing, too. Other days, I despair I won't live long enough to see this new world, let alone experience it. Our corrupt system of government takes away our ability to control our lives and make our own choices. When will the system collapse, and how will We the People deal with its collapse? Let's address these and other questions as we consider America in 2018 and what's at stake in this life and death struggle for control.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. --Goethe
A Matter of Control
by C. A. Matthews

While weeding the garden, I contemplated the recent nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. How is this latest Trump-sympathizer being put forward as our next justice a part of what has been happening since January 2017? How is Kavanaugh a symptom of the underlying disease of corporatism/fascism in our corrupt system? Where does his particular pathology fit in with the current sociopathic nature of American governance?

I pulled hard at a stubborn weed that wouldn't let go of its hold of the soil, and it all suddenly became clear to me. Kavanaugh's nomination is  a sign of the establishment's need to be in control of every aspect of our lives--from the pre-cradle to the grave and every stage in between. We the People, that is, we the working and poor classes, are "weeds" that need pulling and controlling. The oligarchy will use every technique from brute force to chemicals to contain and eliminate us at will. Allow me to explain.

Some of the biggest chatter on the web is the likelihood of Kavanaugh helping to overturn the landmark case of Roe. v. Wade. With just one Supreme Court ruling, women could find themselves in back alleys seeking abortion care once again. No doubt, the death rate of women of child-bearing years will

rise. Incidents of suicide and self-harm by women could increase--particularly by those who have been impregnated through rape or incest. Women with serious health concerns could die in forced childbirth. The number of child abuse and neglect cases could also climb because, more than likely, there will be no funding increases for social safety nets that feed and assist these children and mothers. Overnight, helpful programs such as WIC, SNAP, Medicaid and HUD housing allowances could disappear--the current administration proclaims that it will cut them all.

The eventual upshot of a Kavanaugh Supreme Court could mean an America  flooded with women with children they simply don't want and can't afford.  (It might even lead to a booming black market in baby sales and/or child sex trafficking.)  Considering the Trump's administration's attitude toward the poor, it doesn't seem probable a right-leaning court would support laws forcing fathers to pay their fair share of child support, either, as ultra-conservative males generally demand the right to do as they please. In a post-Roe v. Wade America, the economic, social and emotional burdens all fall primarily upon struggling-to-survive women. 

Women without the right to exercise control over their own bodies will find themselves trapped, thwarted in continuing their education or training and unable to travel to search for better employment, because they will be tasked as sole providers for their offspring. They will be stuck on the lowest rungs of the career ladder, receiving the lowest rates of pay, working jobs without benefits or upward mobility. Additionally, these stressed and desperate women would be at high risk of addiction and alcoholism to deal with their pain.

What a perfect way to control women! What a perfect way to control the ninety-nine-percent by forcing them into a perpetuity of hand-to-mouth living! The motivation behind fascists' determination to overturn Roe v. Wade makes sense to me now. It's not because they actually care about babies or children. If they did, they'd increase spending to SNAP benefits, education, health care and related programs, but they do not. The fanatical right is fine with the vast majority suffering because it simply wants to use the "abortion card" as a way to keep the poor in their place. 

After all, a rich woman can travel and pay whatever it takes to terminate a pregnancy. Wealthy women did this before Roe v. Wade became law, and they'll continue to do so afterward. Don't be swayed into thinking"pro-life" is a moral stance. It's not. The one-percent will continue to enjoy safe abortion care elsewhere. No one can tell a person with more-than-adequate financial resources what to do with his or her body, right?  Anti-abortion activists are better labeled "pro-birth" or "pro-control,"  as in controlling others (mainly the poor) through denial of their human right of choice.

I've learned that Judge Kavanaugh is not a friend of the environment, either.

He'd encourage fracking and mining to occur in all of our national parks, monuments and forests. He would take the side of Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Agriculture when it came to cases involving the contamination of our drinking water. He would rule against too much regulation that forces factories to clean up the exhaust coming from their smokestacks and limiting the toxic sewage they dump into our lakes and streams.

Once our natural resources are gone or ruined, We the People won't even have a nice place in which to relax and admire nature. The rich can always enjoy the majesty of the mountains and the grandeur of the ocean elsewhere on the planet. The struggling will be stuck staring at blown-off hilltops and strip-mined mud puddles left behind by uncaring capitalists.


What a perfect way to control and break the spirits of the ninety-nine-percent! We'll be too sick from pollutants in our water, our food and the very air we breathe to protest. How can we fight against the rich and powerful if we're weak from malnutrition or illness? How can we take on the elites if we're dealing with depression from simply having nothing of nature's beauty nearby left to admire? How do we grow stronger if we have zero access to health care because capitalists cut our benefits or raise private insurance premiums to astronomical levels? How can we fight back if we are discriminated against because of previous health conditions while the right-wingers simultaneously dismantle the ACA and outlaw Medicare and Medicaid?

The pieces of the puzzle fall into place quickly now. With Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's intentional weakening of our public schools, the oligarchy will have  poorly-educated, mindless drones to work dead-end jobs--drones who can't think clearly enough to reason their way out of their dismal situations. Those who try to better themselves with a college education will find themselves enslaved to overwhelming debt and skyrocketing interest rates on their student loans. (Ka-ching! Ka-ching! The banksters are drooling even now.)

Willing to take any work available to pay off their debts, the poor are often too afraid to speak out against workplace safety hazards and injustices, such as sexual harassment and abuse. Outlawing unions and collective bargaining will further weaken the workers' abilities to exert pressure against unfair labor practices.

End result? The one-percenters tighten their grip on every aspect of the ninety-nine-percent's lives. The mega-wealthy take complete control. We are their puppets, to use and abuse for their pleasure. They will milk us for all our savings and then some. They will take our homes and lands away from us through unregulated banking practices, foreclosures and
eminent domain to exploit as they like. Goodbye unwashed masses cluttering up the planet!

Access to abortion care, access to health care of all kinds, access to a good education, safe food, clean air and water, access to rest and relaxation in our national parks, freedom from unjust laws and banking practices--they're all interrelated. It's a matter of control. The one-percent have it, flaunt it, and will do anything to prevent us little people from having it.

Time to stop the excuses! We must take control of our lives. We the People must fight for our rights as human beings and demand to be treated as such. We must stop Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and shut down the fascist state before it's too late. Vote, protest, call, text and write your representatives regularly and encourage others to do the same. Wake up your neighbors and get your metaphorical pitchforks and guillotines sharpened, if not the real deal... Because if the rich aren't going to play nice, then why should we?


Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B., sums up the hypocrisy in the "pro-life" movement:

    "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

This short video is a perfect example of our blog topic two weeks ago, how humor, satire and parody can take down a tyrant. Check out Michelle Wolf's "ICE Is"  and see if you don't agree. Comedy cuts through the bull and gets to the heart of the matter. https://youtu.be/dNF6sVurAuI


Take Control of the Corrupt System!

The Revolution Continues has set up an easy way to donate to the cause of keeping it ad-free. Three years without obnoxious ads (that many news sites have to cover costs) has been great, but the editor does have to pay for internet, electricity, etc., out of her own pocket, and she would like to be able to pay her contributors in the future.

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Power to the people and not the corporations!

From Credo:

Mitch McConnell wants to fast-track Brett Kavanaugh's nomination before October. That is an outrageous timeline.

If McConnell gets his way, there will be no time to review the more than 1 million pages of documents from Kavanaugh's career, including important records from his time as White House staff secretary under George W. Bush. It is common practice to release these kinds of documents. The Senate reviewed all of Justice Elena Kagan's documents from her time in Bill Clinton's White House before confirming her. But Republicans are so committed to steamrolling this process and handing Trump the Supreme Court that they are opposing the release of Kavanaugh's records.1
CREDO is joining Daily Kos, Demand Justice and other progressive groups in calling on the Senate to release Kavanaugh's records and give ample time for review before his confirmation hearings. Will you sign the petition?

Tell the Senate: Don't fast-track hearings on Brett Kavanaugh. Release and review his records before holding confirmation hearings. Click here to sign the petition.

Republicans don't want to release the records, so they are trying to downplay Kavanaugh's five and a half years as staff secretary in the George W. Bush White House. In that key role, he gave final approval to Bush's controversial "signing statements" that Bush used to circumvent laws passed by Congress, including laws about torture and national security.2 There is even a question of whether Kavanaugh lied under oath about his involvement in deciding Bush's torture policy during his confirmation hearing for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006.3

Kavanaugh has the longest paper trail of any nominee in history. It's one of the reasons Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to discourage Trump from nominating Kavanaugh.4 It will take significant time to thoroughly review Kavanaugh's papers, and more controversy about his record is likely to emerge.

Earlier this month, two Republicans joined Democrats to block Circuit court nominee Ryan Bounds over his racist writings from college.5 If a judicial nominee's college writing matters, then Kavanaugh's career writing and his time as a key adviser to Bush absolutely must be examined before he is given a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. We have to pile on pressure to make sure that every member of the Senate – starting with the Senate Judiciary Committee – reviews all of Kavanaugh’s documents, emails and paperwork before the confirmation process continues.

Tell the Senate: Don't fast-track hearings on Brett Kavanaugh. Release and review his records before holding confirmation hearings. Click the link below to sign the petition.


Thank you for speaking out,
Kaili Lambe, Organizing Director CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

  1. Ali Rogin, "Senate Republicans clash with Democrats over access to Kavanaugh's White House records," ABC News, July 25, 2018.
  2. Laurie Kellman, "Kavanaugh denies role in detainee policies," The Boston Globe, May 2, 2006.
  3. Michael Kranish, "Kavanaugh’s role in Bush-era detainee debate now an issue in his Supreme Court nomination," The Washington Post, July 18, 2018.
  4. Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin, "McConnell Tries to Nudge Trump Toward Two Supreme Court Options," The New York Times, July 7,2018.
  5. John Bowden, "White House formally withdraws Bounds nomination after McConnell cancels vote," The Hill, July 24, 2018

Bernie Sanders

Here is a simple truth — no one in our country should be sitting in jail just because they are poor.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Right now, there are over 700,000 people in county or city jails — sixty-five percent of them, more than 400,000 people, have not been convicted of a crime. Many are locked up simply because they cannot afford bail.

Let me be clear. The United States of America has criminalized poverty and that is not acceptable.

That is why this week I introduced the No Money Bail Act in the Senate to stop this horrific practice.

The United States has a broken criminal justice system. We have over 2 million people in jail, more than any other nation on earth, and they are disproportionately African-American, Latino, and Native American. We spend $80 billion a year keeping people behind bars, money which could be used for education, job creation and affordable housing.

The decision to put someone behind bars should never be decided based on how much money a person has, or what kind of mood the judge is in on a given day, or even what judge the case happens to come before. In a country where we pride ourselves on the principle “innocent until proven guilty,” we should not be keeping hundreds of thousands of people locked up before they have actually been convicted of a crime simply because they can’t afford bail.

Those who can’t afford bail, even when they are innocent, face punishments that could impact them for the rest of their lives. After spending weeks in jail, many lose their jobs and have trouble finding new work after they are released. With a loss of income, they aren't able to pay their rent and may find themselves homeless. They may even lose custody of their children. And they were not guilty of any crime other than being poor.

The No Money Bail Act is simple. It ends the use of cash bail in federal courts. At the same time, it works with state and local governments to end this broken and destructive system in every area of the country.

The time has come to end "debtors' prisons" in the United States.

Four words are engraved on the front of the Supreme Court: Equal Justice Under Law. We are very far from that ideal today. Let’s fight for this legislation to bring us one step closer.

Let’s get to work.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders


Pence's Family Business Cost Taxpayers Over $20 Million In Environmental Cleanup. Make Them Pay Us Back!
Sign Now

The family business of Vice President Mike Pence, Kiel Bros Oil Co, went under in 2004. While the company made millions for the Pences, it left a trail of environmental wreckage and dangerous chemicals behind.Almost a decade and a half later, the cost of cleaning up after their contaminated waste has exceeded $22 million and counting.

But Pence's family business isn't taking responsibility for the damage they caused and the cost it incurred. That burden is falling to the tax payers.

It's time to let Mike Pence know: We demand you fully reimburse the public for the fallout from your reckless business practices.

Pence and his Republican Party claim to loathe government spending and love "personal responsibility," using that ideology to deny millions of Americans lifesaving healthcare, food assistance, and housing — among other things. But when it comes to cleaning up their own messes, somehow it's the tax payers responsibility.

We think it's time for the Vice President to take a little personal responsibility of his own. Add your name to demand the Pence family pay back the tens of millions of dollars that taxpayers have paid to clean up their toxic mess!
Thank you,

Ellen B.
The Care2 Petitions Team

P.S. We can't let wealthy families like Pence's poison our environment, then abdicate all responsibility for their actions. Please, sign the petition today, then share with your friends to help us demand accountability!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Suffering For Sale

Suffering For Sale

Welcome to the 21st century--the century of making billions (or is that trillions?) of dollars from causing our fellow humans pain, death and suffering. If you're not sure what we're talking about this week, read the following  and watch the Democracy Now video. It's eye-opening.

PBS Report From Yemen: As Millions Face Starvation, American-Made Bombs Are Killing Civilians  https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/51277-pbs-report-from-yemen-as-millions-face-starvation-american-made-bombs-are-killing-civilians

Closer to home, Vegematic, our friend in the North, contemplates why a neighboring country with only 4% of the world's population incarcerates over 25% of the world's jailed people. What does it say about a country that makes

money off of imprisoning its own people? What does it say about a country that imprisons those looking for asylum--including children? What does it say about a country that drugs these refugee children without parental consent? What does it say about a country that allows young children to be abused in private detention facilities?

Immigrant Shelters Drug Traumatized Teenagers Without Consent

Chicago Detention Facility Under Investigation Following Allegations of Abuse of Migrant Children

What does that say about us as human beings if we allow any of this suffering to continue?


The Prison Industrial Complex and Its Victims
by Vegematic Deluxe

I've been thinking a lot lately about crime and punishment. The question as to why America incarcerates so many of its citizens might seem of only peripheral importance to some progressives, particularly in my case living outside the US. However, I am of the opinion that human rights abuses are a global issue and affect us all as human beings.  Why as a nation does the US find it necessary to imprison a higher proportion of its population than any other nation on earth? Given that there is a ridiculously high recidivism rate, why has there been so little impetus to change an obviously failed system?

I believe that it's because the prison system in America has become a well-oiled, highly profitable machine. The very idea of privately run for-profit prisons should be anathema to anyone who values living in a free society. When a profit motive is introduced into a judicial system, it all but provides an iron clad guarantee that corruption will follow. Even in state or federally run prisons there are financial incentives for the unscrupulous. Prisoners are  routinely forced to pay exorbitant fees for simple necessities like soap and toothpaste. They provide a captive market for unscrupulous phone companies charging ridiculously high rates to talk to loved ones. Entire states have become dependent on convict labor, displacing what should be decent paying jobs for locals.
A couple of things to ponder: How many people are in prison for low level non-violent drug offenses? What would the unemployment rate be in actual terms if those people were not incarcerated? Could there be a correlation between politicians eager to report low unemployment figures and a tough lock 'em up policy for low level offenders?  

I've often wondered if these prisoners had any opportunities at all in life, given where most grew up with lousy underfunded schools and lack of any viable career path, coupled with a lack of blue collar jobs due to mass de-industrialization. The advent of draconian laws and private prisons, all have fed the largely racist, endless school-to-prison pipeline. 

Wouldn't it be better for a society, as a whole, if government put some of the money spent on incarceration into vocational training for at risk youth--particularly in low income areas that have a chronic shortage of jobs or opportunities? How about spending the money before they end up in prison instead of after. Like the old ad said, "You can pay me now--or pay me later.

The entire prison system in America has become so economically and politically entrenched, that overhauling it would require a herculean task by both citizens and elected officials. The obvious place to begin would be to abolish private prisons. Second, there should be a blanket amnesty for all non-violent drug convictions. Learn from countries like Portugal who had great success in reducing addiction and crime by legalizing drug use and viewing addiction as medical issue instead of a criminal offense.

It's also very telling that as more states legalize marijuana private prisons are hedging their bets by lobbying for increased incarceration of the undocumented. These prison corporations are dealing in human lives which to them are merely numbers on a spread sheet. A resource to be used without concern for the ripple effect that spreads a noxious poison throughout society.
There needs to be an end to the dehumanization and stigma that becomes permanently attached to those who have served their time and find themselves shut out from society. Sadly, there will always be a need to remove violent and dangerous criminals from society. This is an unfortunate reality that faces every civilized nation. It's only in America that incarceration on a mass scale becomes a profitable business model. [Editor's note: For details, see video below.]

BIO: Vegematic has been a proud "shadow-banned" You Tuber for many years. Check out his insightful progressive podcast on his YT channel and subscribe today. (Tell him The Revolution Continues Blog sent you--or just leave him a comment. He replies to all of them. Canadians are polite that way.)

The following short video shows exactly who is profiting from the construction of these private prison facilities, GEO Group and Core Civic. Watch and share it with those who don't understand the lure of making big money through the suffering of others. https://youtu.be/FoZ5vegg6ic

Help Spread Love--Not Hate!

The Revolution Continues has set up an easy way to donate to the cause of keeping it ad-free. Three years without obnoxious ads (that many news sites have to cover costs) has been great, but the editor does have to pay for internet, electricity, etc., out of her own pocket, and she would like to be able to pay her contributors in the future. 

Please consider donating a buck, $5, $10 or $100--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.

You can donate via Paypal at http://paypal.me/camatthews 

Power to the people and not the corporations!

National Domestic Workers Alliance
Witnessing the horror of the Trump administration tearing apart families and abusing children has us wanting to do anything and everything possible to make it stop.

Our government may not be listening, but the giant banks that rely on us as customers sure do. Some of our biggest banks are in the business of financing the private prisons carrying out atrocities against immigrant families.

The stories we’re hearing both out of detention centers and from the families who have been reunited under traumatizing circumstances are nothing short of gut-wrenching.

We must do everything in our power to stop this abuse. While we’re still pressuring our lawmakers and demanding change from the Trump Administration, we must also stop this abuse where it’s happening: in these for-profit prisons.

Thank you,

Jess Morales Rocketto

Just Foreign Policy
Watch & share the Democracy Now report.

Tell Congress to act.Democracy Now had a hard-hitting report on the U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen. They combined highlights of the PBS Newshour series with an interview with Jane Ferguson, the PBS Newshour journalist who “smuggled” herself into Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen to report on conditions there. 

You can watch [and share] the Democracy Now segment here:

PBS Report from Yemen: As Millions Face Starvation, American-Made Bombs Are Killing Civilians
What’s crucial about the Democracy Now report, compared to most other [far too infrequent] reports in the U.S. media, is that it squarely places responsibility for the war on the government of the United States, and highlights the need for political action in the U.S. to end the war now. The report makes clear that the war is perceived correctly in Yemen as a U.S. war, that the war would not be possible without the participation of the United States, and that the U.S. government can end the war anytime it wants, by cutting off U.S. participation and by pressuring its “allies” Saudi Arabia and the UAE to end the war and agree to a political resolution. The report also makes clear that if the war is not ended this year, millions more human beings will be pushed to the brink of starvation. 

This last fact, what will happen to civilians in Yemen if the war doesn’t end this year, is crucial. There’s a lack of urgency in Washington right now about pressing for action to end the war, even though the fate of millions of human beings hangs in the balance. There are many causes for this lack of urgency, but one key cause is the political season in Washington. With mid-term elections approaching in four months, the foremost concern for many people in Washington about any issue now is: how will this issue affect mobilization for our team in the mid-term elections? If it’s not obvious how raising an issue would help the Democratic team or the Republican team mobilize for the mid-term elections, it’s hard to generate interest for it in Washington right now.   
But millions of human beings in Yemen can’t wait until after the mid-term elections for action to end the war. They need action to end the war now.
Maybe the report by Democracy Now, which is watched by peace activists across the country, can help shake Washington from its complacency. 

Watch and share the Democracy Now report.
Tell Congress to act.

Thank you for all you do to help make U.S. foreign policy more just,
Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy If you think our work is important, please support us with a donation.


Apartheid in Israel was just made official and it's devastating.

Israel just passed the Nation-State law that says only Jewish people have the right to self-determination and demotes Arabic from an official language to "special status."

This is a horrific, racist, and discriminatory move to punish and rob Palestinians of their most basic rights and freedoms!
stencil graffiti says welcome to apartheid street
And as a Jew and a rabbi, this action runs counter to the Judaism that I love. I unequivocally stand with Palestinians and 100% reject Israel's official policy of apartheid — join me:

The Nation-State bill that Israel passed today cements Israel as an apartheid state — from the West Bank to Gaza to Jerusalem to Haifa.

Palestinians, no matter where they live, are controlled by an Israeli government and military that robs them of basic rights and freedoms.

I envision a future where all who live in Israel/Palestine enjoy the same rights and freedoms. And I'm inviting you to invest in that vision with me.

Today we once and for all put to bed the illusion of Israel as a democracy — and now the work continues to make it so.

Join me.

Rabbi Alissa Wise

Together, we can stop plastic from clogging up our oceans!
As soon as I step outside the house, I start noticing plastic pollution all around me.
And it’s not just outside  plastic is polluting the shelves of our local stores too! In most grocery or big-box stores, it is nearly impossible to avoid plastic packaging. Much of this plastic can’t or won’t be recycled, and will ultimately become plastic pollution making its way to our oceans and waterways.

The good news is, people like you have been putting pressure on grocery stores and other retailers to use less plastic packaging, and it’s working. Thank you! Once CEOs and management at these stores realize that people are deeply concerned about the overuse of plastic, they are making big changes — like just recently, when Alaska Airlines announced it was eliminating its use of plastic stirring straws.1

Here’s what we need you to do.
  1. Print out a letter to your local grocery store manager and sign it (we have a letter you can use).
  2. Bring the letter to your local grocery store and ask to meet with the manager.
  3. Tell the manager your concerns about plastic pollution and hand them the letter.
  4. Join a call on August 9 to let us and other Greenpeace supporters know how it went. This part is the most important, so that we can learn from each other’s experience and figure out how to make our tactics even more effective.
We need to stop more plastic from flowing into our rivers, streams, and oceans — and this can only happen if more people like you join in.

For a plastic free future,
Jill Pape
Supporter Mobilization Director, Greenpeace USA

P.S. We’ve got to stop the flow of plastic into our oceans and waterways. There’s something concrete you can do in the next 2 weeks. Sign up to visit your grocery store manager and let us know how it went!