There really is a Riot Act. Bill Barr is anxious to read it to you. Then he’ll search your computer.

If you happened to post any kind of statement in support of the George Floyd protests, guess what? You are in violation of the Anti-Riot Act of 1968, a federal statute. You may not be charged but you could be investigated. Please immediately send your phone and computer to the Attorney General so he can have a look at what other nefarious activities you’ve been up to.

Continue reading “There really is a Riot Act. Bill Barr is anxious to read it to you. Then he’ll search your computer.”

Video: Even the crashed economy is rigged

My first crack at hosting a webinar is now online. Another lively conversation with Dr. Jack Rasmus about the pandemic economy — or what’s left of it. We need a major stimulus bill aimed at creating jobs, green jobs. We’re not getting that. We are getting more talk about tax cuts for the rich. It’s sick.

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Webinar: Let’s Build a People’s Economy

I will be swapping a TV studio for a webcam in my living room in order to produce the next episodes of Other Voices TV. Like seemingly everybody else, we’re going to do the Zoom Webinar thing. And I hope you’ll tune in from wherever you are.

I created Other Voices TV for Peninsula Peace and Justice Center in the fall of 1997. It has been through some format changes over the years. It started out as a televised version of the monthly forums we had already been holding on a monthly basis. So it was a guest lecturer followed by Q&A with the audience.

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In the Wake of Kent State: Lessons in State Violence, Billy Clubs and Tear Gas

My first direct experience of state violence came during the protests that erupted after the Kent State killings on May 4, 1970. By “direct” I mean getting teargassed and billy clubbed live and in person! I wasn’t alone. 

The week that followed the Kent State tragedy was a week of explosive protests around the country, mostly on college campuses. The protests were uniformly met with police violence. Hundreds of colleges and high schools were closed down by students going on strike in protest of the killings and the escalating Vietnam War. Some four million students joined the strikes. A mere five days after the shootings, 100,000 people descended on the nation’s capitol to express their outrage.

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Save the Post Office, get a postcard. From me!

To celebrate May Day this year, I am hereby launching Operation Postcard, a project with the three-in-one goals of helping to save the Post Office, sending a message of support to postal workers, and engaging in a bit of human outreach in this time of sheltering in place.

Here’s the deal: I’ll send you a postcard featuring one of my photographs and a hand-written note. In return, you promise to contact your US Senators and urge them to bail out and save the US Postal Service. Obviously, this will be on the honor system, but I trust you. For now, all you need to do is send me your snail mail address. You can message me on Facebook or email me at paul@dissentment.com (Offer valid only while supplies or my postage budget last.)

I’ll get into the nuts and bolts of why we need to do this in a moment, but first let me point out a couple of hidden benefits to this offer beyond saving the post office. First, I consider myself a pretty good photographer, a lifelong hobbyist who has often been told that I have a “good eye”. So you’ll be getting a photograph that you’ll be proud to stick on your refrigerator door. That’s one thing. The other benefit is that the hand-written note from me will undoubtedly be a hot item for future Paul George memorabilia collectors. Your descendants will be forever grateful to you, I’m sure.

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The seas are rising and so are we! A virtual climate rally.

I’ve been away from the blog for a bit because I’ve been helping my former employer, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, organize an online Virtual Climate Rally. In addition to learning and testing the online platform (Zoom … what else?), I’ve mostly had my head buried in Adobe Premiere editing the video you see above. It was worth the effort.

Friday, April 24 was originally set as the date for another round of global protests like the Global Climate Strike that took place last September. The virus dashed those plans.

As a result of going virtual, however, we’ve ended up with a film filled with inspiration. As the individual videos arrived from the student activists who had been invited to speak, I was touched time and again. Here they are facing two immense threats to their future — a global pandemic that is still burning out of control and the specter of climate change — yet each of them expressed determination and hope.

“Virtual” anything is a poor substitute for the real thing. But the dedication and commitment evinced by these young people is absolutely authentic.

In addition to the inspiration, the video features a moving musical interlude from blues man Kenny Neal and some fun video surprises engineered by editing wizard TD. After watching, please share far and wide!

Here’s the contact info for everybody appearing in the video.

Julia Zeitlin – Student and founder of Sunrise Movement Palo Alto Hub
https://www.facebook.com/SunrisePaloAlto/ or email sunrisemvmntpaloalto@gmail.com

Aria Luna – Young artist and climate activist Aria Luna, who showcases a short animation she created for this special event.
https://www.arialuna.com

Kristy Mualim – Kristy Mualim is formally trained as a computational geneticist at Stanford University, and is also part of the Sunrise Movement fighting for state-level Green New Deal policies. email sunrisemvmntpaloalto@gmail.com

Kenny Neal is known as a modern swamp-blues and multi-instrumentalist. His Grammy nominated songs draw from the sizzling sounds of his native Louisiana.
http://www.kennyneal.net/

Tahoe Roe – Student and member of the outreach team from Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike
https://www.svyouthclimatestrike.org/

Priyanka Joshi – Student and member of the Mitty Advocacy Project
https://www.mitty.com/campus-ministry/social-justice-advocacy1

Maggie Dong –  Maggie Dong is an outreach lead for the California Youth Climate Strike and the Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike team.
https://www.svyouthclimatestrike.org/

Jamie Minden – Student and co-founder of Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strikes. Active member of the Sunrise Movement.
https://www.svyouthclimatestrike.org/

Chris Field – Professor and Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Former Chair, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
https://woods.stanford.edu/

Donald fears a WHO. Deflecting blame, yet again.

“Thousands of Americans would be alive today if President Trump had spent more time listening to the World Health Organization instead of trying to destroy it.”
Nicholas Kristof, Trump’s Deadly Search for a Scapegoat
NY Times 4/15/2020

In yet another pathetic effort to deflect blame from himself, the Mad Orange King has announced a suspension of US funding for the World Health Organization. In the midst of a global pandemic.

While the Mad Man-Child’s motive may be pathetic, the results will be tragically fatal. Congress must stop him. Now.

Continue reading “Donald fears a WHO. Deflecting blame, yet again.”

Trump’s looming crisis: too much democracy!

Back in 1975, an influential think tank called the Trilateral Commission issued a report titled “The Crisis of Democracy.” The report gloomily described the problems of governance in the major western democracies. According to the report, the problems stemmed “from an excess of democracy” caused primarily by the “new activism” in the United States, especially the robust antiwar movement.

You read that right. Too much democracy was causing headaches for the ruling elite. Poor things.

Today, Trump and the morally bankrupt Republican Party are facing a similar crisis of too much democracy. This time the excess of democracy arises from the growing calls to have universal mail-in balloting for the November presidential elections. Mail-in voting is, in fact, the number one recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control for keeping voters safe in the age of coronavirus.

Continue reading “Trump’s looming crisis: too much democracy!”