Thursday, October 31, 2019

Kate Tempest: People's Faces

Just beautiful....

Music video by Kate Tempest performing People's Faces (Audio). © 2019 Republic Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc. (American Recordings)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

'Step Up or Step Aside': With California Engulfed in Flames, Climate Activists Occupy Nancy Pelosi's Office

It's critical that we do indeed vote out anyone who is not standing with our children and grandchildren and their absolute right to a livable planet. Pelosi is one among many corporate Democrats who have long been in the pockets of special interests, certainly including the fossil fuel industry, and with horrifying and deadly consequences to life on Earth. The way she has shrugged off the "Green New whatever" sickened me. Shame on her! Shame on all who are prioritizing the status quo and profits over people and the planet! They must change or they must go! — Molly

"We're putting Congressional Democrats on notice. If you don't stand up for us, we'll vote you out in 2020." —Claire Tacherra-Morrison, Sunrise Movement

Dozens of young people occupied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, demanding that she back a Green New Deal as wildfires burned through thousands of acres in her home state. (Photo: Sunrise Movement/Twitter)
"Our rage has to burn as fiercely as every fire we witness. And we're going to keep sitting in and striking until our leaders feel it too."
Over 50 young climate activists from California staged a sit-in at the Capitol Office of Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, chastising the Democratic Speaker of the House for failing to act boldly on climate even as their home state is engulfed by wildfires made worse by the planetary crisis.

After taking over Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) office earlier in the day, the climate activists from the Sunrise Movement proceeded to Pelosi's office where they displayed signs reading "What Is Your Plan?" and sang "Which Side Are You On?"

"Democratic leadership is failing to treat this like the emergency that it is," organizer Claire Tacherra-Morrison said in a statement. "Business-as-usual is killing us." 

Tonia is in @SpeakerPelosi’s speaking about the loss of beloved places in California to devastating fire. “Inaction is denial. Words won’t bring these places back. We are here, standing together. The climate crisis is getting worse but we are rising up demanding action.”
— Sunrise Movement (@sunrisemvmt) October 30, 2019

Several young people shared their personal stories and pleas for Pelosi to back bold climate action which could drastically reduce and eventually eliminate climate-warming carbon emissions.

“Democratic leaders must stand with us or step out of the way while young people lead” - Gabbi speaking about the urgency of the crisis and the fires. #StepUpOrStepAside #GreenNewDeal
— Sunrise Movement (@sunrisemvmt) October 30, 2019

Firefighters across the state, one protester said, "are trying to contain some of the fastest-moving fires that we've seen in the West Coast" while Pelosi is "putting the lives of Californians and U.S. citizens in continued and escalating danger by not rising to meet the active dangers posed by climate change."

Environmentalists Slam 'Climate Criminal' Rex Tillerson for Spreading More Lies During Testimony in Exxon Trial

There are no greater criminals than those in positions of power who have known but denied through their actions the devastating impact of fossil fuels and therefore actively colluded in bringing us to the brink of our own extinction. They need to be brought to justice and held accountable! This is about so much more than lying to investors! — Molly

"As wildfires rage across California and the West, it's momentous to see Exxon's former CEO in court, on the witness stand, testifying to his role in lying to investors about climate-related risks."
Environmentalists on Wednesday accused former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—who served as CEO of ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2016—of continuing to lie about the fossil fuel giant's approach to climate change during his testimony in the historic New York v. Exxon trial.

The landmark securities fraud case, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that Exxon knowingly deceived shareholders about the financial costs of the climate crisis.

Tillerson denied that charge during his testimony, insisting that Exxon knew the climate crisis "was a real issue" and took it seriously.

"We would be misinforming ourselves," Tillerson said when asked if Exxon had an incentive to downplay the costs of climate change.

Lindsay Meiman, senior regional communications specialist at, strongly rejected Tillerson's account.

"Just now, at the New York County Supreme Court, former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson spewed more deception claiming Exxon executives took the risks of climate change seriously, yet, in the same breath, denied the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground," Meiman wrote in an email to supporters.

Please continue this article here:     

The Lies Corporate Media Tell When Bernie Sanders Is "Extreme" and Trump's GOP Is "Mainstream"

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "Sanders is not the radical extremist," writes Buell. "It is the Republican Party that has abandoned the center. The party has abandoned even its own voters." (Photo illustration: CD/Getty Images)
The modern Republican Party is as extreme 
as any major party in our history.
Is a candidate a centrist? This question matters because many voters like to think of themselves as moderates or centrists. Other voters, not heavily engaged in the political process, are responsive to labels. Therefore the candidate who captures the label in the eyes of the corporate media has a leg up. But before accepting media designations more careful scrutiny of the candidate and the historical context is in order. The question of who is a centrist should be broken down. How do the views of the candidate stack up against grass roots perspectives, consensus views within the beltway, and historic or international norms.

By these standards the Republican Party is as extreme as any major party in our history. Given the unpopularity of its views not surprisingly it has ceased any pretense of practicing parliamentary democracy. And recognizing its own isolation many members of the party are willing to countenance any available means to hold power and promote its agenda. Applying comparable standards one can reasonably conclude that the Sanders campaign stands well within the confines of earlier democratic reform movements. Consider Sanders on Social Security:

Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history. Before Social Security was signed into law, nearly half of our senior citizens lived in poverty. Today the elderly poverty rate is 8.8%…Social Security is not just a retirement program. It is an insurance program that protects millions of Americans who become disabled. Incredibly, the only source of income for about 3 million persons with disabilities is a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit that averages just $35 a day. Today, 28.5 percent of disabled Americans are living in poverty. We have got to do a lot better than that.

Sanders wants to increase the benefits that lifetime low-income workers will receive so that they’ll be higher than the national poverty level. He would finance the provisions by increases in taxation of the income above the current Social Security tax cap.  

Please continue this article here: 

Reflections On the Birthing of a New Nation and a New World and Why I Endorse Bernie Sanders

Photos are from a recent overflow rally in New York in which Bernie Sanders was endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
There are many reasons that I need to give voice to as to why I stand strongly with Bernie Sanders. First and foremost, my support comes from being a mother, a grandmother, a lifelong advocate for children and all beings, and out of my deep spiritual commitment to alleviate the suffering in the world. I understand that without dramatic and far reaching changes now which are backed and fueled by millions of us nationally and globally, that the climate and ecological crises will success in dooming most life on Earth. 

I am absolutely clear that Bernie Sanders has the strongest and most comprehensive plan to address the climate emergency along with economic and social injustice and a host of other related issues which is why he also has the endorsements and support of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bill McKibben, Cornel West, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Minnesota Rep. Ihan Omar, Norman Solomon, and so many others. (One list of notable endorsements can be found here:

Secondly, this is about much more than any one man. What Senator Sanders represents is a movement, a movement which includes more than our nation alone and spans beyond our borders to encompass movements which are linked worldwide. In the much larger picture, what this man and these movements symbolize is the birthing of a new nation and a new world one which is united in the work of our human evolution and the struggle to dismantle the obstacles which have long stood in the way of living in a humane society which protects and values life and cares for us all.

This is why the first meeting of activists supporting Bernie Sanders that my husband and I attended several months ago in Vancouver, Washington was one of nearly 500 meetings nationwide and in 30 other countries.

This movement has the strength, passion, and fierce commitment to backing Bernie Sanders exactly because there is no presidential candidate who has consistently and over the course of a lifetime remained consistent in their message. Many have written and spoken to this consistency, and this is but one of countless examples:


Bernie Sanders' platform and agenda connects the dots between the "rigged economy" and its many symptoms the extreme and ever increasing redistribution of wealth upwards, a political system in which most politicians from both political parties are serving their corporate donors rather than the interests of people and the planet, Mr. Trump and the current administration, millions of people who did not vote in the last election, the deep corruption of the DNC and RNC, the continued increasing and deadly use of fossil fuels and the rise of CO2 to 415ppm, catastrophic wildfires and hurricanes and floods and more extreme climate disruption events, exploding poverty and homelessness, thousands of bankruptcies and deaths every year due to the American for-profit "healthcare" system, college graduates burdened with many thousands of dollars of immoral student loan debt, tax laws designed to protect and shield the most wealthy from anything even remotely requiring them to pay their fair share, three families owning as much wealth as half the nation, endless devastating wars and war profiteering, 22 veterans committing suicide each and every day, immoral foreign policies which fuel terrorism and exasperate suffering nationally and globally, racism and nationalism and brutal immigration policies, high levels of child poverty and child abuse and and neglect, epidemic levels of addiction and despair and violence, the climate and ecological crises which now threaten most life on Earth with extinction by the end of the century... And the list goes on.

There is an intersectionality between all of these symptoms and the systematic oppression and violence rooted in our neoliberal capitalist economic system and the domination-related belief systems and ideology which fuels it. Riane Eisler writes brilliantly about this much larger picture in her piece about breaking out of the domination trance:

Because Bernie has never been shy or held back about speaking the truth, he also represents the greatest threat to the status quo long promoted by enormous special interests of Wall Street, the fossil fuel industry, the military industrial complex, the insurance and pharmaceutic industries, the prison and educational industrial complexes, the agricultural animal and corporate media industries, and other huge financial interests. The elites that Bernie Sanders has been standing up to throughout his lifetime fear a Sanders presidency more than all others exactly because he is the single greatest threat their power and especially because the movements he inspires embody way more than Bernie. Millions of us are yearning and working for this new world, this New Story by which we live. NOT ME. US.


Please go here for Bernie Sanders on the issues: This is why I support Bernie Sanders. This is why there are millions of us who are part of the movements to break free from the chains that constrict and sever any possibility of true radical change. Instead, we hold a vision that is attainable that of a nation and a world united in the work of birthing a truly advanced humane society. For more on these positions, please also go here: For the voting record of Bernie Sanders, please also go here: And please research deeply through independent journalist resources which receive no corporate funding.


What I fear more than any outside interference by a foreign government in our elections is the interference within our own American government and its corporate influences and corporate owned media. My concerns are with those politicians and media pundits who report for the powerful rather than holding the powerful accountable. When 70% of Americans do not understand the urgency of the climate emergency and when they back any politician who is not 100% supportive of the Green New Deal, when there is continued support instead for the status quo rather than the enormous changes that are needed to make possible a livable planet for our children, and when any of us believe the polarizing propaganda and relentless distractions that we are fed which disempower and divide us rather than empower and unite us — that is what rattles me deep into my bones.

Here is one example of the intense and insidious propaganda leveled at Bernie Sanders by the corporate media: 

Here, too, is another important piece from Common Dreams today: The Lies Corporate Media Tell When Bernie Sanders Is "Extreme" and Trump's GOP is Mainstream

It is incredibly important that we not bite the hook of those huge financial interests which seek to feed the epidemic of disempowerment and division, distraction and denial, misinformation and lies. As long as we turn solely or mostly to corporate media resources like the Washington Post, NPR and PBS, CNN and MSNBC, etc. without working hard to balance what we are taking in with independent resources which have no corporate funding like Democracy Now!, Truthout, Common Dreams, The Guardian, The Intercept, etc. — we will be depriving ourselves of the information we need to be an informed populace. 

And perhaps never before has it been as vital as it is today to inform ourselves, to embody, as Chris Hedges frames it, a profound commitment to truth. In the larger picture, this is about putting principles before personalities and being in alignment with our deepest values. 

More than ever before, it is also vital to come together, to unite behind these highest values and within our deepest and most evolved visions of what is possible, what is attainable, what we can link arm in arm and heart-to-heart to embody and create together. Let us all fight for someone we do not know! Everything that we love and cherish is at stake.
Bless us all, no exceptions...


"... So yes, Barack Obama looks very good [in comparison to Trump]. He was the brilliant black face of the American empire with all of its ugly militarism and racism and materialism and poverty. And Donald Trump is the know-nothing white face of the American empire with the same things and much worse. He’s got neo-fascist sensibilities that needs to be called into question...
"I just don’t think that a neoliberal centrist can generate any of the deep fire that we need ..., the best fire or the best sensibilities among our citizens. You’re going to have to have somebody who’s got a long history and longevity of integrity [speaking about Bernie Sanders]...

"I’m never optimistic or pessimistic about any empire. I’m a prisoner of hope. That’s something different. And hope is not something to talk about. It’s something to be. You got to be a hope. You got to fight. You got to struggle. You got to swing. It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing, brother. That’s Duke. That’s Ella Fitzgerald. And that swing has to do with intellectual, moral, spiritual weaponry. Tell the truth, bear witness, live and be willing to die. That’s my tradition." Cornel West

(Please go here for the full interview I quoted from above that can be found on The Intercept:

Wendell Berry: A Poem On Hope

It is hard to have hope. It is harder as you grow old,
For hope must not depend on feeling good
And there is the dream of loneliness at absolute midnight.
You also have withdrawn belief in the present reality
Of the future, which surely will surprise us,
…And hope is harder when it cannot come by prediction
Any more than by wishing. But stop dithering.
The young ask the old to hope. What will you tell them?
Tell them at least what you say to yourself.
Because we have not made our lives to fit
Our places, the forests are ruined, the fields eroded,
The streams polluted, the mountains overturned. Hope
Then to belong to your place by your own knowledge
Of what it is that no other place is, and by
Your caring for it as you care for no other place, this
Place that you belong to though it is not yours,
For it was from the beginning and will be to the end
Belong to your place by knowledge of the others who are
Your neighbors in it: the old man, sick and poor,
Who comes like a heron to fish in the creek,
And the fish in the creek, and the heron who manlike
Fishes for the fish in the creek, and the birds who sing
In the trees in the silence of the fisherman
And the heron, and the trees that keep the land
They stand upon as we too must keep it, or die.
This knowledge cannot be taken from you by power
Or by wealth. It will stop your ears to the powerful
when they ask for your faith, and to the wealthy
when they ask for your land and your work.
Answer with knowledge of the others who are here
And how to be here with them. By this knowledge
Make the sense you need to make. By it stand
In the dignity of good sense, whatever may follow.
Speak to your fellow humans as your place
Has taught you to speak, as it has spoken to you.
Speak its dialect as your old compatriots spoke it
Before they had heard a radio. Speak
Publicly what cannot be taught or learned in public.
Listen privately, silently to the voices that rise up
From the pages of books and from your own heart.
Be still and listen to the voices that belong
To the streambanks and the trees and the open fields.
There are songs and sayings that belong to this place,
By which it speaks for itself and no other.
Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
Underfoot. Be it lighted by the light that falls
Freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
And the darkness of our ignorance and madness.
Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,
Which is the light of imagination. By it you see
The likeness of people in other places to yourself
In your place. It lights invariably the need for care
Toward other people, other creatures, in other places
As you would ask them for care toward your place and you.
No place at last is better than the world. The world
Is no better than its places. Its places at last
Are no better than their people while their people
Continue in them. When the people make
Dark the light within them, the world darkens.
Wendell Berry
 Please go here to see Wendell Berry speak 
and to also read this poem 
after being introduced by Bill McKibben: