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Thursday, 17 November 2016 06:35

Election Theft and Racist Elitism

2016.17.11 BF Koehler(Photo: Todd Lappin)ROBERT C. KOEHLER 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!

"All great changes," said Deepak Chopra, "are preceded by chaos."

That starts to get at it -- how to understand, and start healing, the national wound inflicted on this country, and the world, by the 2016 presidential election. But I need to throw in a little John Oliver as well.

"We are faced," he said on his TV show, "Last WeekTonight," "with the same questions as the guy who wakes up after a Vegas bachelor party deep in the desert, naked, tied to a cactus and a dead clown. Namely, how the fuck did we get here and what do we do now?"


24538311184 4d3d040bc1 zDonald Trump would not have been elected president without the profiteering enabling of the mainstream corporate media. (Image: John W)

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!

When Donald Trump entered the presidential race, some television executives anticipated a boost to their network profits, and promoted coverage of his every outrage above all else. We are now about to enter the second stage of corporate TV's enabling of Trump.

CBS Chairman Les Moonves' now-infamous remark that Trump's entrance into the presidential race was "damn good" for the network's finances sums up the rationale for mainstreaming Trump. “It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going,” Moonves was quoted as saying in a Fortune article earlier this year. 

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter on March 29 of this year, Moonves was positively gleeful about Trump's value to CBS's bank accounts:

Moonves called the campaign for president a "circus" full of "bomb throwing," and he hopes it continues.

"Most of the ads are not about issues. They're sort of like the debates," he said.

"Man, who would have expected the ride we're all having right now? ... The money's rolling in and this is fun," he said.

Fun? Are racism, bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, sexual assault, ableism and Islamophobia cause for endless mirth? For the networks, of course, they are certainly sources of profits.

2016.15.11 BF spear(Photo: US Department of State: South and Central Asia)STEFANIE SPEAR OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry, while speaking in New Zealand Nov. 13, vowed to do "everything possible" to prevent president-elect Donald Trump from pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

"I believe the evidence is clear, and the question now that we, this administration, are going to continue to address is how we will implement the Paris Agreement," Kerry said. "And until January 20th when this administration is over, we intend to do everything possible to meet our responsibility to future generations to be able to address this threat to life itself on the planet.

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? 


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.


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.'"

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