Since being elected to office in 2013, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and her socialist party have been locked in a bitter battle against the city’s moneyed elites, who have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a corporate PAC called “A Better Seattle” and saturated television and digital platforms with negative advertising. Sawant is hated because she is effective. Following a three-year struggle against the richest man in the world—Jeff Bezos—and his political establishment, she and her allies pushed through a tax on big business that increased city revenues by an estimated $210 to 240 million a year. Her leadership and her party provide an example of effective resistance to the war being waged on the working class and the poor—but, as she explains in this episode of The Chris Hedges Report, every victory has been won in spite of entrenched opposition from Democrats.
I changed my flight back home to Hawai’i so I could be at the protest of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Houston on Friday, May 27 following the mass murder of 19 kids and 2 teachers at the Uvalde, Texas elementary school earlier in the week. The NRA callously refused to postpone its annual gun-selling convention in Houston despite the call for the organization to stand down in wake of yet another mass killing, the third in a period of three weeks with ten killed at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York and one person killed and five wounded in shooting at a church in Laguna Woods, California. Thousands of angry people of all ages jammed into Discovery Park across the street from the massive George R. Brown convention center in downtown Houston.
U.S. President Joe Biden is in trouble. The crisis of legitimacy afflicting his administration continues to worsen. A new AP-NORC poll suggests that Biden’s approval rating is now 39 percent, with the biggest drop coming from registered Democrats. Only two of ten adults believe that the United States is heading in the right direction, down from three of ten just one month ago. Rising inflation and shortages in basic needs such as baby formula have played a major role in Biden’s declining popularity, as has an undue focus on prolonging the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The Biden administration is set to send $40 billion in military aid to Ukraine despite the fact that the war does not make the list of major issues of concern for voters, let alone the general population.
Russia’s “Special Military Operation”, which began on Feb. 24, is entering its fourth month. Despite stiffer than expected Ukrainian resistance (bolstered by billions of dollars of western military assistance and accurate, real-time battlefield intelligence by the U.S. and other NATO members) Russia is winning the war on the ground, and in a big way. After more than ninety days of incessant Ukrainian propaganda, echoed mindlessly by a complicit western mainstream media that extolls the battlefield successes of the Ukrainian armed forces and the alleged incompetence of the Russian military, the Russians are on the cusp of achieving the stated goal of its operation, namely the liberation of the newly independent Donbass Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, which Russia recognized two days before its invasion.
On May 23, 2022, the Supreme Court issued yet another decision that does greater injustice to the US criminal (in)justice system. It ruled that state prisoners cannot submit claims of inadequate counsel to federal courts, thereby adding yet another barrier to those on death row who are seeking relief amidst serious concerns that justice was not served. In a 6-3 opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority and did not defend a constitutional right, purportedly the Court’s job, but rather expressed system concerns, asserting that the federal courts must “afford unwavering respect to the centrality of the trial of a criminal case in state court” and claiming that allowing relief regarding inadequate counsel in the federal court system would encourage inmates to “sandbag” state courts.
Rapid City, SD - A complaint has been filed with the Senate Ethics Committee in Washington, DC, regarding unlawful activity by both South Dakota Senators, Mike Rounds (R-SD) and John Thune (R-SD). Electronically filed with the Senate Ethics Committee on May 26, 2022, the Complaint was sent in by four former patients of the Sioux San Indian Health Service Health Facility (Sioux San) in Rapid City. The complaint states that both Senators pressured the Indian Health Service (IHS) to enter into an unlawful contract for the administration of the Sioux San IHS Health Facility with one of their own non-profit corporations, a data collection agency called the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board (GPTLHB). The corporation changed the historic name of the Sioux San to the Oyate Health Center (OHC).
In an effort to pressure President Joe Biden’s administration to enact stronger oil and gas regulations, national environmental advocacy groups have released a new map that shows where people’s health is threatened by extraction. Earthworks and FracTrack Alliance coordinated to create the map using publicly-available data and peer-reviewed science. The map is available online and people can type in their address to see how many production facilities are located within half a mile of their house. According to the map, more than 144,000 New Mexicans live within half a mile of an oil or gas production site. More than 28,000 students attend school or day care within half a mile of a site.
The Biden administration is ratcheting up its provocations of China as part of the National Security Strategy of Great Power Conflict, with the President going so far as to say the United States would intervene militarily over Taiwan. The US is also trying to push another trade agreement that would exclude China. On top of that is a propaganda campaign designed to build political support for the New Cold War. Clearing the FOG speaks with independent journalist and political analyst Daniel Haiphong about the war on China, what is happening with Taiwan and the Solomon Islands, Biden's new trade framework and why China's "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics" threatens the global elites.
American soldiers born decades apart in the state of New York, Ron Kovic and Maj. Danny Sjursen, are two crucial dissenting voices that have experienced firsthand the futility and brutality of America’s interventionist wars. Kovic, a Marine veteran who was paralyzed in the Vietnam War, has spent the rest of his life fighting against the U.S. war machine. The film “Born on the Fourth of July,” starring Tom Cruise, was based on his book, a work he hoped would combine with his activism to dissuade young people from buying into the toxic patriotism that leads Americans to fight destructive, ultimately pointless wars. In the latest installment of “Scheer Intelligence,” Kovic tells [ScheerPost] editor-in-chief Robert Scheer, “I couldn’t stop speaking against that war. I was arrested a dozen times."
Columbia, South Carolina - Starbucks baristas in Columbia, South Carolina, returned to their jobs on Saturday, May 21, following a three-day walkout to protest anti-union retaliation. Managers began denying employees promotions and transfers several weeks ago after 22 of 28 “partners” at the Millwood Avenue store petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for union representation. The workers reached a breaking point on May 18 when a popular store manager was fired for refusing to engage in union busting. Two hours after learning of their manager’s dismissal the entire shift walked out, forcing the store to close early. “She was a large reason a lot of us were still with the company,” said barista Sophie Ryan of her former manager.
U.S. government strategists are using sanctions as a wrecking ball to demolish the globalized economy. It is a desperate struggle to preserve their global hegemony and a unipolar world. The policy of consciously demolishing supply chains of essential products amounts to a reckless war on defenseless civilian populations. Sanctions disrupt trade worldwide and send shockwaves far beyond the countries directly targeted. This is well understood by financial planners. “Food shortages — it’s going to be real,” President Joe Biden said in Brussels March 25 at a NATO press conference, an ominous warning reported around the world. “The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.”
Israel’s flag march, an annual display of right-wing Israeli nationalism and anti-Palestinian racism, took place on Sunday afternoon, stoking tensions in Jerusalem and across the occupied Palestinian territory. Israeli media reported that Sunday’s flag march was the largest in years, with an estimated 70,000 Israelis participating in the parade. Leading up to the march, Palestinian factions in Gaza denounced the parade, threatening retaliation against Israel. “The flag march plan is an explosive barrel and will blow the region up,” the factions said in a joint statement in a press conference held in Gaza City on Thursday. The factions called on Palestinians to defend Jerusalem, and encouraged people to establish their presence in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and across the city.
Palestinians yesterday flew a drone carrying the Palestinian flag over occupied East Jerusalem, where thousands of Israeli settlers held a provocative march in the Old City. Locals reported that the flag was raised using a "small drone from a distance, just before the Israeli forces began chasing the Palestinian man who was controlling the drone." Israeli forces were mobilized amid a state of panic that appeared among the marching settlers, as the flag flew over the Damascus Gate area. Settlers yesterday held the provocative Flag March to mark Israel's illegal capture of occupied East Jerusalem. To protect the March occupation forces fired stun grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinians protesting against it.