Daniel R. Cobb: Turn Left Here

Vox Populi

What a god-awful year. 2017 has been a year of anguished outrage and quiet condolences, of trying to find a way to cope with the travesty that brought us Donald Trump and the aftermath. To my Progressive friends out there, and friends who are re-examining their conservative political views: We like to say that America is great and in many ways, it certainly is. But the US is not immune to corruption driven by the power of raw greed. For many people, unrestrained greed, the lust for ever-more wealth becomes over-powering, an all-consuming and unreachable goal. Wealthy politicians are not immune to greed, and this becomes lethal for democracies when those writing the laws, write them exclusively for the benefit of themselves and those in their rarefied class. At the federal level, this is where we are at today. The stratospheric national debt, the threat of national insolvency, the ascendance…

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Chris Hedges: The Great Flood

Compelling! Time passes and we fall farther and farther behind in our ability to slow climate change. Up to this point the human species has not reduced CO2 emissions in any meaningful way and today CO2 levels are the highest they’ve been in at least 800,000 years, likely tens of millions of years. We are redefining Earth, creating a new planet that will grow more and more hostile to humans and other living creatures. Why? Because we don’t care enough to change.

Vox Populi

How many times will we rebuild Florida’s cities, Houston, coastal New Jersey, New Orleans and other population centers ravaged by storms lethally intensified by global warming? At what point, surveying the devastation and knowing more is inevitable, will we walk away, leaving behind vast coastal dead zones? Will we retreat even further into magical thinking to cope with the fury we have unleashed from the natural world? Or will we respond rationally and radically alter our relationship to this earth that gives us life?

Civilizations over the past 6,000 years have unfailingly squandered their futures through acts of colossal stupidity and hubris. We are probably not an exception. The physical ruins of these empires, including the Mesopotamian, Roman, Mayan and Indus, litter the earth. They elevated, during acute distress, inept and corrupt leaders who channeled anger, fear and dwindling resources into self-defeating wars and vast building projects. The ruling oligarchs…

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Matthew Chapman: UN Issues Rare Warning about Racism in America

How does it feel, America, to have such a proud and boastful pariah as president? Still think elections don’t matter?

Vox Populi

A United Nations committee on racism flagged America for a rare formal warning usually reserved for developing nations experiencing ethnic violence.

Despite Donald Trump’s campaign promises to restore international respect for America, he has plunged our country into one disaster after another.

From hanging up on the prime minister of Australia, to reneging on U.S. commitments to fight climate change, to incorrectly telling NATO leaders to their faces that they owe America money, Trump has become an international laughingstock.

But the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is not laughing.

As a result of the horrific neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in a woman being murdered in a vehicle attack, combined with the mounting frequency of racial hate crimes in America this year, CERD has taken the extraordinary step of issuing an “early warning” to the United States.

“We are alarmed by…

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Daniel R. Cobb: Putin Apologizes for Hacking US Election

Who hasn’t had a joke go bad?

Vox Populi

Claims it was a practical joke that got out of hand.

According to detailed notes taken during their private meeting in Hamburg, Germany, the Great American President, Donald Trump, sternly confronted President Vladimir Putin.  At the meeting, Trump asked Putin, “Your Honorable and Presidential Sir Vladimir, did you order anyone to hack into our election last year?  I mean the cable networks, CNN, CIA and NSA, they keeping saying you did. You didn’t do that, did you?”

President Vladimir Putin reportedly lowered his head and confessed on the spot.  “I am so sorry, Donald. Your Excellency, my friend, it was all just a big practical joke! This has been on my conscience for months; I’ve been dying to tell you.  No offense, it worked out for you, yes? But we didn’t mean to help you win!  It all happened like this: We were sitting around, drinking vodka and my head…

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Libero Della Piana: When Protests Are Powerful, The Powerful Punish Protest

Excellent piece!

Vox Populi

We are likely to see more State laws aimed at curbing protest. But we are going to see a lot more protest too. It’s our only option.

When people feel powerless – locked out of decision-making, bypassed by real governance – they turn to protest. Especially for the disenfranchised and oppressed, protest is often the only way to exert power and affect policies and practices that impact their lives and communities.

With Donald Trump in the White House and the Republican Party in control of both houses of Congress and a majority of statehouses around the country, protest is now a key avenue of resistance.

We can’t expect an agenda that puts people and planet first to come from above, so people are taking to the streets. The first hundred days of the new administration have been marked as much by protest as by Trump’s demagoguery and appeals to hate and fear.

So it…

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Daniel R. Cobb: Trump and Friends, Treasonous From Day One?

It simply isn’t credible that Flynn was acting alone. The outgoing attorney general warned Trump that Flynn had likely been compromised and was a blackmail risk, but for a month Trump told the press that Flynn was his man.

Vox Populi

The news is stunning, but remarkably unreported. Trump, Flynn and others may well be guilty of treason. Here are some of the facts.

US intelligence agencies know that Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, had repeated conversations with Russian government representatives well before the election. We know that Russian hackers worked feverishly to hijack the election and give it to Trump during that period. Flynn, the former director of America’s Defense Intelligence Agency, knew very well that his telephone and text conversations with the Russians would be recorded by US intelligence, which is customary. To communicate privately with the Russians outside of American monitoring, Flynn would need to travel to Russia, and he did so several times. Flynn has been a regular (and likely paid) contributor to Russia’s RT.com, the Kremlin-run television, radio and web-based propaganda network. And Flynn paid to deliver a speech at a 2015 nationally-televised…

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Eva-Maria Simms: To be lovestruck, not colorblind

This essay shines with truth, with love. Light your soul with it and pass it on.

Vox Populi

In his Foreword to Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Cornel West challenges the idea of colorblindness as the driving force for overcoming racism in the US. He appeals to a little cited phrase by Martin Luther King that calls us to be “lovestruck, not colorblind” toward each other. West explains:  “To be lovestruck is to care, to have deep compassion, and to be concerned for each and every individual, including the poor and vulnerable.”

He goes on to describe the new social movement, led by Black Lives Matter, which seeks true justice and reform of prisons and other legal, government, and cultural institutions on behalf of our African American fellow citizens. This movement, according to West, is a sign of a democratic awakening that says we do care, that the racial caste system must be dismantled, that we need a revolution in…

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