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2016.15.11 BF Berkowitz(Photo: Gage Skidmore)BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

At Truthout and BuzzFlash, we don't pull any punches when it comes to criticizing the forces in power. Don't wait to hold the next president's feet to the fire: Make a donation to independent media today!

Hillary Clinton may have made a huge rhetorical gaffe when during the campaign she labeled more than half of Donald Trump's supporters as occupying a "basket of deplorables." That term, however, may be much more applicable to some of the people heading up Trump's transition team. As proof that Trump intends to consummate his affair with conservative Christian evangelicals, he has named Kenneth Blackwell, the senior fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council -- an organization named as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – to head his domestic transition team.

Blackwell, the former mayor of Cincinnati, UN Ambassador, and Secretary of State of Ohio, is a controversial figure, in part stemming from being accused of voter suppression while Secretary of State of Ohio and honorary chair of George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.

Monday, 14 November 2016 07:25

Jim Hightower: Takeaways From the Election

2016.11.14.Hightower.BFDonald Trump is in the White House, but the takeaway from voters in this election is a mandate for progressive economic populism and more diversity among public officials, says Jim Hightower. (Photo: Michael Rosenstein / Flickr)JIM HIGHTOWER ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Buckle-up, friends, it's going to be a hairy ride.

Start with Day One for President Trump (gotta get used to saying that). He will need to be up-and-at-'em no later than 12:01 a.m., for during his campaign he promised to get oodles of big stuff done on his very first day in office: Repeal Obamacare; begin working on impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall; meet with Homeland security officials and generals to begin securing the Southern border; fix the Department of Veterans Affairs; repeal every single Obama executive order; suspend Syrian refugee resettlement; get rid of gun-free zones in schools; end the war on coal; defend the unborn; start taking care of ... our military; and convene top generals and inform them they have 30 days to come up with a plan to stop ISIS.

Good grief! Americans have actually put a xenophobic-misogynous-racist-nativist blowhard in the Oval Office. Has our country gone right-wing? 

BILL MCKIBBEN FOR ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from Ecowatch

2016.11.14.McKibben.BFSolidarity with Indigenous leadership -- in Standing Rock and beyond -- is more important today, not less, says Bill McKibben. (Photo: Peg Hunter / Flickr)

So, the question everyone's asking me this week is: What now?

I don't have a great answer -- the Trump saga will play out over time, and we'll be learning how to resist as we go along. But resist we will.

I do know that the election last Tuesday made this Tuesday's demonstrations in support of Standing Rock even more important. We'll be gathering in nearly 200 cities worldwide to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Obama Administration, do their jobs and reject the Dakota Access Pipeline's final permit.

201610.11 BF chow(Photo: M1kha)LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from Ecowatch

Political upheaval has major influence over the stock markets, and with climate-change-denying Donald Trump's "disaster" of an election win, renewable energy investment is looking bleak at the moment as dirty energy surges.

The world's top coal trader Glencore Plc rose more than 5 percent today while the world's biggest wind-turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S fell about 13 percent, according to Bloomberg. Solar companies First Solar, SunPower and SolarCity were down a respective 6 percent, 17 percent and 6 percent this morning. Shares in European renewable energy equipment makers and utilities with significant investments in the U.S. have fallen as much as 10 percent, Reuters reported.

As Bloomberg warned in its report, "the swing foretells a story of fossil fuels making a comeback, while the fight against climate change -- and investment in wind and solar power -- languishes."

Our president-elect -- who literally said "the wind kills all your birds" and solar is "not working so good" -- has made no bones about his support of dirty energy, from his ties to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to his pledge to bring back the dirtiest fuel on the planet, coal.

2016.10.11 BF Koehler(Photo: DonkeyHotey)ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

And so we are a nation up for grabs.

Racist populism trounces . . . uh, trumps . . . platitudes about America's greatness. Hillary Clinton, though slightly ahead in the popular vote, is defeated in the Electoral College.

Like it or not, change is not deferred. It's here, in our faces. Donald Trump is the president. A year ago, his candidacy was relegated to the entertainment section. Now he's the big winner, the ostensible leader of the nuclear-armed "free world," the strutter-in-chief of the United States of America. Has being an American ever felt so embarrassing or so weird?

And what will the Washington Consensus -- the deep state, the unelected ruling establishment, the corporatocracy, the military-industrial complex -- do, now that the guy who offended and mocked them, who ran a campaign slightly outside the lines they drew, has beaten the candidate of the status quo?

Almost certainly it will form an alliance. Almost certainly it will put the brakes on any real change Trump may be mulling, just as it did with Barack Obama, the one-time candidate of hope and change. But most likely, Trump's not mulling actual populist changes in the system anyway, because the alliance is already in place.

Tuesday, 08 November 2016 08:03

Air Pollution Ignites Protests in Delhi

A view of west Delhi through air pollution.A view of west Delhi through air pollution. (Photo: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier)LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

The air pollution in several Indian cities is getting so bad that government officials have initiated drastic measures to protect its citizens from the eye-stinging levels of smog. In fact, the nation's capital of New Delhi currently holds the ominous title of world's most polluted city, CNN reported.

On Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared the intense smog levels an "emergency situation," and ordered the shut down of 5,000 schools for the next three days and the halting of construction operations for the next five days. A coal-fired power plant will also be closed for 10 days and roads will be doused with water to suppress dust. If the situation does not improve, Kejriwal might impose odd-even vehicle restrictions that would only permit driving every other day.

"Pollution has increased to an extent that (the) outdoors in Delhi are resembling a gas chamber," Kejriwal said, adding that the smog blanketing the capital is due to crop burning in the neighboring agricultural states of Punjab and Haryana.

A frightening sign showing support for Donald Trump at a rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona on June 18, 2016.A frightening sign showing support for Donald Trump at a rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona on June 18, 2016. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

"Make America Great Again" is the slogan that Donald Trump has been campaigning on since he announced his candidacy for the presidency. As the election quickly approaches, "Make America White Again," might be a more apt tagline. Should Hillary Clinton win the election, Trump's congressional colleagues are pledging to launch investigations, threatening impeachment, and, vowing to not approve any Clinton Supreme Court nominees. Even more troubling is that while Trump has been trumpeting a "rigged election," rightwing paramilitary groups are preparing for civil war.

Reuters' Justin Mitchell and Andy Sullivan recently reported, "members of the Three Percent Security Force" are mobilizing "for the possibility of a stolen election on Nov. 8 and civil unrest in the days following a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton." While militia members say, "they won't fire the first shot, but they're not planning to leave their guns at home, either."

The Trump campaign has captured the imaginations of militia groups, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, Sovereign Citizens, neo-Nazis, and an assortment of anti-immigration activists, white supremacists, and white nationalists.

As David Neiwert and Sarah Posner pointed out in their extraordinarily thorough investigative report titled "How Trump Took Hate Groups Mainstream," "Trump fever quickly spread [as] extremists new to presidential politics openly endorsed Trump, including Don Black, a former grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of the neo-Nazi site Stormfront; Rocky Suhayda, chair of the American Nazi Party; and Rachel Pendergraft, a national organizer for the Knights Party, the successor to David Duke's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Richard Spencer, an emerging leader among a new generation of white nationalists known as the 'alt right,' declared that Trump 'loves white people.'"

ALISON MEARS COHEN OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Brooklyn 1107wrp opt(Photo: Brooklyn by Kgwo1972)Hunger and food insecurity affect more than 1 in 7 Americans. Those facing hunger are three times more likely to have diet-related health problems like diabetes or hypertension. Yet, far too often the solutions to help these individuals typically offered, funded and advocated for by our society address the issues of hunger and health as separate afflictions.

WhyHunger is a global grassroots support organization working with community leaders and grassroots organizations across the U.S. who are working at the intersections of health and hunger to address the complex and interconnected social determinants that leave far too many Americans hungry and sick.

We're excited to share this video from WhyHunger highlighting the innovative programs at Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger in Far Rockaway, New York, where VeggieRX programs, community farm stands, mobile pantries serving farm fresh produce and youth leadership programs intersect.

Sam Josephs, a youth leader in the Green Teens Program, serves as a mentor to her peers on the urban farm. She said, "Here in Rockaway, you don't have access to the things that you need … When you have a farm, you're producing your own food, you're watching out for your own health." Sam's testimony speaks to the value of programs like this and the importance of local, community-controlled food systems in fighting diet related illnesses.

PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Fracture 1107wrp opt(Photo: Rock fracture by Gregory David Harington)Disturbing truths about the wealth gap in America have surfaced in recent months. Our nation is breaking in two. Yet downtrodden Americans are hoping for a fairy-tale ending to their misery, instead of demanding the progressive measures that would empower them.

Collapse of the Middle Class

For every $100 owned by a middle-class household in 2001, that household had just $72 in 2013.

Half of us are barely surviving, and it may be more than half. A J.P. Morgan study concluded that "the bottom 80% of households by income lack sufficient savings to cover the type of volatility observed in income and spending."

More Rich, More Poor, Less Empathy

Nearly two-thirds of American families were considered middle class in 1970. Today it's half or less. The rest of us have gone up or down, mostly down.

Stanford researchers have concluded, "It is increasingly unlikely that high-income families interact with middle- and low-income families, eroding some of the social empathy that might lead to support for broader public investment in social programs to help the poor and middle class."

JIM HIGHTOWER ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

BarbedWire 1104wrp opt(Photo: Barbed wire)A nation's border is nothing in and of itself. It's just an inanimate line on a map, in the dirt, on a riverbank. It has no philosophy, personality, feelings or meaning — beyond what people on either side attribute to it.

Unfortunately, thanks to Donnie Trump's xenophobic demagoguery in this presidential election, America finds itself in a destructive border war — not with Mexico, but with itself. In his rallies, he leads his true believers in angry chants of "Build that wall!" He's demanding that our Southwestern border with Mexico be turned into a hostile barrier of national, cultural and racial separation that will physically scream at Latino people: "KEEP OUT!"

This isn't conjecture — you can see it for yourself, for about a third of that 2,000-mile frontier has already been desecrated with a massive metal wall, thrusting up to 30 feet high. It scowls at Mexico with such military fortifications as pole-mounted cameras, 24-hour radar, vibration sensors, all-seeing drones, surveillance balloons, and Blackhawk helicopters.

It has made the border mean, yet — get this — it doesn't work! Migrants and traffickers continually overcome it. "The wall is a fantasy," says an Arizona border sheriff. A rancher and diehard Trump supporter dismisses Donnie's barrier scheme as a "farce."

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