Monday, January 30, 2017

Individually and Collectively... with the Mind anchored in Heart!

American Common-Wealth De-Centralist Coalition
Common Unity Switchboard Project

Joseph H. Bryan-Royster, Ph.D., Msc.D.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as 45th President of the United States, and his continued violation of the Oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, it becomes necessary to withdraw our support for a hidden financial oligarchy standing behind the political system that is currently in control of this Republic.

Nothing less than a nationwide open-ended boycott of all big-box consumer products is required of us; choosing to buy local instead of at the chain stores that advertise via the media.

Because many chain stores are multi-national, this open-ended boycott has to extend into a worldwide action. The oligarchs only understand the concept of profit and loss, so when interlocking boards of directors observe their sales falling, they will change course or face bankruptcy.

Common Unity Switchboard offers help  in transforming companies (owned by shareholders for private profit) into new collective cooperatives (owned equally by their members).

This ongoing process is to be coupled with rigorous monitoring of the elected officials at every level be they local or state or national or international. Using email programs (to check compliance of voting record with that which is best for the Common Good) and to initiate a recall election if necessary.

Co-operative Decentralism is the goal of Common Unity Switchboard, with an emphasis on local sustainability and off-grid capability. Internet Communication (augmented by amateur radio stations) is how this Switchboard operates and links local communities for networking with each other in Solidarity. Now is the time to begin dismantling the inter-corporate state...

We have a juggernaut in the White House, folks! We do need to "hit the ground running," both as individuals with Heart directing Mind and collectively in Synchronicity, so we may throw this "albatross from our proverbial backs," preserving freedoms enshrined in the 1787 Constitution and subsequent Bill of Rights authored by this nation's Founders... ~ JDHWB-R

We Are the One People of Earth!

The Common Unity Switchboard interface is designed to serve many local communities from a decentralized Hub within each community and create an inter-active Watchdog component for monitoring elected representatives.

Each Switchboard Hub requires only a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer with Internet access for online telecommunication (person-to-person and group conference calls) plus ear buds/headset audio with microphone if needed. Members within each local intentional community interface are connected by their Switchboard Hub through an electronic online bulletin board program with individual posts (i.e work offered or needed, inter-communal ride caravans, meet-ups, food and material exchanges, etc). Then amateur "ham" radio operators plus CB (Citizens Band) "walkie talkie" communications would augment the Internet-based network in event of "signal jamming" and/or the failure of parts or all of the global electrical grid and/or telecommunications networks ( i.e. an Earth-facing Coronal Mass Ejection). A worldwide project is designed to replicate within each localized intentional community having many decentralized locations for Motherboard Hubs which are fluid, and will include participation of every existing and forming Intentional Community, membership willing. Media plug-in for this project is the Internet, beginning with the alternative media, and then going viral via social networks and word-of-mouth, to eventually reach mainstream media outlets.

Inter-linked Switchboard hubs on the Internet, each one acting as an intentional community seed, connect for larger projects involving multiple intentional communities (i.e. for free energy projects and transportation co-operatives; work/share arrangements plus pooling of human and material resources to realize goals in common). Many hands in many locations make this project sustainable. Information resources are always available on the subject of individual Sovereignty, the full responsibility and liability of every participating human being, teaching that every decision made is to be in synchronicity with the well-being of the whole of humanity. This means total cooperative decentralization of governance at the individual level shared with everyone who affected by this process: i.e. the members within an intentional community and interfaces between two or more intentional communities achieving common goals. The Creative Commons (free sharing of ideas) backed by the proverbial “Golden Rule” of human interaction is KEY to success.

This project is designed to foster unity of the One People of Earth on a local and global scale, through transcendence of all systems of contrast (hierarchy/inequality). Anyone everywhere has the option of participation via connection to any local Switchboard Hub seated within any particular local community. There would be zero discrimination with regard to ethnic, cultural, religious/spiritual, economic, or sexual orientation of any human being; an inherent application of the Golden Rule, which is collectively recognized through mediated local consensus of the One People, who are Absent Limits.

Crowdfunding platforms, such as Indiegogo and GoFundMe, are to be augmented by local fund-raising options within each geographic area where local intentional communities are seeded through local Switchboard Hubs, using combinations of national fiat currencies, local currencies, and/or alternative value exchange media (i.e. time banking systems).

Twin Avenues of Participation: Being in Service (Giving) and Being in Commitment (Receiving)

Every human being creates a Comprehensive Life Skills Set for the Resource Pool to Initiate His or Her Participation within the Common Unity Switchboard interface of localized Switchboard Hubs in each local community.

Moving through Stages of Service (Giving) and Commitment (Receiving), every participating human being seeks to achieve  Balance within their Avenues of Participation in the Common Unity Switchboard interface.

The I AM in You is the Same I AM in Me... Namaste'

Sunday, January 29, 2017

We Are Now Dismantling the Invisible Pyramid of Mind Control

The Control-Matrix is Crashing
Because the Truth-Seekers are Winning

by Phillip J. Watt

The way the masses view the world is a farce. Every single mainstream perspective is either purposely deceptive, or completely misses the point. 

Even the people in places of influence who we’re meant to trust have either sold out, or are just plain ignorant to the facts. 

There’s no need to have a heavy heart though; the matrix of control is crashing because the truth-seekers are dealing heavy blows to the false narratives that have for too long shaped the collective mindset of humanity.

Of course the internet can be celebrated for being the primary mechanism which has amplified the sharing of information across location, race, culture and belief systems. 

In retrospect, the powers-that-will-no-longer-be would be kicking themselves for not trying harder to institute their insidious plan for humanity prior to the birth and growth of the world-wide-web.

Make no mistake though; they have been very successful on many fronts. For example, try to imagine a world where:

most journalists don’t report the real news;

the majority of doctors don’t truly understand the causes of poor health and how to legitimately resolve it;

a high proportion of politicians don’t know how the money supply works and what the agenda is of those who control it;

many so-called expert scientists ‘believe’ in a discredited philosophy which resembles a dogmatic religion;

the majority of teachers don’t realize they’re teaching a system of indoctrination that nowhere near gets close to the information and critical thinking that should be afforded our kids;

and the masses are not only ill-informed, divided and feverishly fighting against each other over small and irrelevant topics, but they’re also sleepwalking through one of the most majestic and reverent realities that could have ever been conceptualized.

Well, welcome to our world.

As we begin what we call the 21st Century, every system that should be designed to facilitate the health and vitality of the people has been hacked with lies, deception, dysfunction and disharmony. 

It’s easy to think that this is an embarrassment for our species because it’s beneath our intelligence and ethical capacity, yet there’s no need to lose faith in the inevitable betterment of humanity, including the way in which we organize and economize our societies.

Why? Because all of this dysfunction has been an effective driver of the collective awakening that is rising in the hearts and minds of humanity.

The inspiring fact is that more and more people are slowly waking up and realizing we all have the opportunity to come to our own, informed opinion on the truth, pertaining to both the spiritual and systemic realities. 

So many more people now understand the mainstream news is not to be taken seriously as its not where we can find information which is aligned with the deeper truths. 

They’re also acknowledging that we have the choice on what we decide to personally stand and fight for, as well as the legacy we leave for our children and our future generations.

Beware though; once we exit the matrix of control we’re faced with some serious challenges. We have a lot of inner work to do, such as designing a philosophy that ensures we’re at peace, as well as exercising patience in the quest to take back our liberties and design a legitimate and honorable future for humanity.

That’s why we’ve got to feel for those who have been long aware of the many dysfunctions of our world, especially those who have not learned peace and patience.

Slowly they’ve watched:

the military-industrial-media-politico-banking complex increase their power and continue their pillage across the world;

pharmaceutical monopolies amplifying the drugging of society, as well as keeping many of us sick so that they maximize their profits;

movements rise up only to be vilified and disassembled, such as the Occupy Movement;
science turned into a corporate institution, as well as further hijacked by an inaccurate and small-minded philosophy of reality;

wars purposely created with millions of people dying for the whims of the shadow empire;
radical extremists massaged into proxy armies to do dirty work for the collapsing power structure;

air, medicine, food and water becoming purposely more toxic;

governmental policy increasingly being determined by corporate/elite interests;

police being militarized all around the globe;

the education model struggling to become less of an indoctrination system;

and the agenda of global governance becoming closer to fruition.

Some people have known about much of this for decades, so we should commend them for continuing to fight the good fight. 

They might have witnessed some disheartening developments, yet as much as all this sounds dire, they’ve also seen millions of people disengage from the propaganda narratives and align themselves with the systemic and spiritual pathways that will be the next stage of our evolution.

The point is that even though we need to be patient and persevere, we should recognize and celebrate the achievements that have been made so far.

As I discussed in a previous article called “Whilst the Old System Crashes a New One is Being Built”, there are:

economists who want to transform the Keynesian model to legitimate alternatives;

teachers who understand the massive holes in the indoctrination system called public education;

scientists who want to evolve the way energy is created and shared;

health practitioners who see the limits of mechanistic and pharmacological medicine and the need for the reintroduction of natural and plant-based therapies;

journalists who demand that the media monopolies need to be disassembled;

environmentalists who want to transition the way food is grown and distributed;

community leaders who aim to reintegrate them to better support its members;

politicians who understand the democratic system has been hijacked by big money;

activists who campaign for revolutions in our value systems;

and futurists who want to change the systemic template for our societal health and well-being.

There are many beautiful souls who are leading the charge by attempting to redesign our society back into alignment with the natural laws of our universe. We should be one of them, regardless of which way we personally decide to contribute.

To do that, we all need to be super clear within ourselves what we believe and what we want to change. There are many ways to do it too, so finding our passions and strengths is critical to playing our own small part in the shift.

It is simply no longer acceptable to keep our heads in the sand; either we’re a minion of the system or we’re not. 

Of course its difficult to completely disconnect from the way resources flow through the control channels, yet that needn’t stop us from talking about it, sharing information online and somehow contributing, no matter how small, to local and global movements which aim to transition humanity into the new paradigm of abundance.

After all, the truth is what it is, and it is exposing itself to the world by powerfully flowing through all of us.

Ultimately, we needn’t wait for the zombie apocalypse because its already arrived. Most people are good people, yet the masses have been brainwashed into thinking in ways that are absolutely nowhere near aligned to the truth. 

They might be sleepwalking through a time where the tipping point for the conscious society builds, but that doesn’t mean they’re not salvageable. 

That’s why we all have a responsibility to help facilitate waking up the collective so that together we’re more empowered and informed to really bring about a future of justice and honor that we can all be proud of.

To do so, let me give you some advice. Don’t get frustrated, don’t be rude, don’t belittle, don’t condemn. We all had to wake up at one stage so its hypocritical if we are.

Instead, be calm, be cool, be real, be articulate. Know the information that you advocate like the back of your hand. If we want to be successful in helping others to face the delusions then we need to ensure their defense mechanisms aren’t raised so they’re more likely to be open and receptive to embrace the truth.

And one more thing; hang in there guys and be patient, we’ve still got a long, arduous way to go but we know all the effort will be worth every second.

About the author: Phillip J. Watt lives in Australia. His written work deals with topics from ideology to society, as well as self-development. Follow him on Facebook or visit his website.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

President Donald Trump is in Violation of the U.S. Constitution!

Sign Here to Impeach Donald Trump Now

From the moment he assumed the office, President Donald Trump has been in direct violation of the US Constitution. The President is not above the law.  We will not allow President Trump to profit from the presidency at the expense of our democracy.

Thank you for standing with us. We'll be in touch soon.

Total Signatures: 318,450

Add your name calling for the Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump for violating the U.S. Constitution.

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We are calling upon Congress to pass a resolution calling for the House Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of Donald John Trump, President of the United States.

Why Impeachment?

The nation is now witnessing a massive corruption of the presidency, far worse than Watergate. Indeed, Nixon White House Counsel John Dean has told reporters: “I don’t think Richard Nixon even comes close to the level of corruption we already know about Trump.”[1] Given the opportunity of ten full weeks between the election and the inauguration to divest his business interests, Mr. Trump chose instead to announce, just nine days before inauguration, a wholly inadequate plan to step away from operations, but not ownership or income streams, of the Trump Organization. Instead, he has chosen to profit from the presidency at public expense, in violation of the United States Constitution. The violations, the corruption, and the threat to our republic are here now.

[1] McKay Coppins, “He Is Going to Test Our Democracy as It Has Never Been Tested,” The Atlantic, Jan. 17, 2017,

Grounds For Impeachment

President Trump’s personal and business holdings in the United States and abroad present unprecedented conflicts of interest. Indeed, President Trump has admitted he has conflicts of interest in some cases. For example, the Trump Organization has licensing deals with two Trump Towers in Istanbul, and has received up to $10 million from developers since 2014.[1]  President Trump admitted recently that “I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul.”[2]

Crucially, some of these business arrangements violate the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, which provides: “[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”[3] The purpose of this provision is to prevent foreign influence or corruption. “Emoluments” from foreign governments include “any conferral of a benefit or advantage, whether through money, objects, titles, offices, or economically valuable waivers or relaxations of otherwise applicable requirements,” even including “ordinary, fair market value transactions that result in any economic profit or benefit to the federal officeholder.”[4]

Many of the Trump Organization’s extensive business dealings with foreign governments, businesses owned by foreign governments, and other foreign leaders violate this ban. A recent legal analysis by Prof. Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School, Ambassador (ret.) Norman Eisen (former chief ethics counsel to President Barack Obama), and Professor Richard Painter (former chief ethics counsel to President George W. Bush) concluded that Mr. Trump would be violating the foreign emoluments ban from the moment he took office, due to “a steady stream of monetary and other benefits from foreign powers and their agents” deriving from his existing business arrangements.[5] As a result, since he did not divest his business operations before inauguration, he has been violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause since the moment he took office.[6]

Examples of existing business arrangements that constitute violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause include:

Trump’s business partner in Trump Tower Century City (Manila, Philippines) is Century Properties. (Trump is not the developer; he has a brand licensing contract.) The head of Century Properties is Jose Antonio, who was just named special envoy to the United States by the president of the Philippines.[7] Payments from a company owned by a foreign government official are foreign emoluments.

China’s state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest tenant in Trump Tower. It is also a major lender to Trump.[8] Both its regular rent payments, and its ongoing extension of credit, are foreign emoluments.

Foreign diplomats have already begun shifting their D.C. hotel and event reservations to Trump International Hotel, to curry favor or at least avoid insulting the president.[9] Indeed, the Embassy of Kuwait was reportedly pressured by the Trump Organization to change an existing reservation and reschedule the event at the Trump International.[10] Payments by foreign diplomats for lodging, meeting space, or food at the hotel are foreign emoluments.
Similarly, the Constitution’s Domestic Emoluments Clause (also known as the Presidential Compensation Clause) provides: “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”[11] This provision, which is not waivable by Congress, is designed to prevent corruption, as Alexander Hamilton explained:

“Neither the Union, nor any of its members, will be at liberty to give, nor will he be at liberty to receive, any other emolument than that which may have been determined by the first act. He can, of course, have no pecuniary inducement to renounce or desert the independence intended for him by the Constitution.”[12]

President Trump has chosen to continue owning businesses that receive government subsidies and tax breaks in violation of this provision. For example, since 1980, Mr. Trump and his businesses have “reaped at least $885 million in tax breaks, grants and other subsidies for luxury apartments, hotels and office buildings in New York.”[13] As President, federal and state subsidies and tax breaks violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause.

Furthermore, as noted above, “emoluments” are not limited to monetary payments; they also include economically valuable favorable regulatory actions. President Trump’s control over the vast modern powers of the executive branch means that regulatory action affecting his businesses favorably constitutes an “Emolument from the United States.” For example, President Trump’s ongoing lease of Washington, D.C.’s Old Post Office, in which the Trump International Hotel is located, violates an explicit clause in the General Services Administration lease contract providing: “No . . . elected official of the Government of the United States . . . shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom . .. .”[14] In late November, members of Congress wrote the GSA requesting information about the “imminent breach-of-lease and conflict of interest issues created by President-elect Donald Trump’s lease with the U.S. Government for the Trump International Hotel building in Washington, D.C.”[15] The GSA responded in mid-December that it could not make a determination “until the full circumstances surrounding the president-elect’s business arrangements have been finalized and he has assumed office.”[16] His business arrangements have been announced (not including any divestment of the hotel) and he has assumed office, but the GSA is not pursuing any legal action to enforce the provision. That favorable regulatory treatment provides President Trump a significant financial benefit from the federal government above and beyond his federal salary.

Finally, the Committee should also investigate whether President Trump is violating the the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act). The STOCK Act is one of the few federal ethics statutes that specifically includes the President. Among other provisions, it prohibits the President from (1) using nonpublic information for private profit, and from (2) intentionally influencing an employment decision or practice of a private entity solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation.[17]

[1] Drew Harwell & Anu Narayanswamy, A scramble to assess the dangers of President-elect Donald Trump’s global business empire, Wash. Post, Nov. 20, 2016,

[2] Michael Keller et al., Tracking Trump’s Web of Conflicts, Bloomberg, Dec. 13, 2016,

[3] U.S. Const., art. I, § 9, cl. 8. This ban is located within a clause addressing both titles of nobility and foreign payments, and is variously called the Titles of Nobility Clause, the Foreign Corruption Clause, or the Foreign Emoluments Clause.

[4] Norman L. Eisen, Richard Painter, & Laurence H. Tribe, Brookings Governance Studies, The Emoluments Clause: Its Text, Meaning, and Application to Donald J. Trump, (Dec. 16, 2016), at 2.

[5] Id. 

[6] See Norman L. Eisen & Richard W. Painter, Trump Could Be in Violation of the Constitution His First Day in Office, The Atlantic, Dec. 7, 2016,; see also Richard W. Painter et al., Emoluments: Trump’s Coming Ethics Trouble,The Atlantic, Jan. 18, 2017,

[7] Libby Nelson, All of Donald Trump’s known conflicts of interest in one place, Vox, (last updated Jan. 3, 2017).

[8] Jonathan O’Connell & Mary Jordan, For foreign diplomats, Trump hotel is place to be, Wash. Post, Nov. 18, 2016, The motivation is obvious: “‘Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, “I love your new hotel!” Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘“I am staying at your competitor?”’ said one Asian diplomat.” Id.

[9] See Judd Legum & Kira Lerner, Under political pressure, Kuwait cancels major event at Four Seasons, switches to Trump’s D.C. hotel, Think Progress, Dec. 19, 2016,

[10] See Richard C. Paddock et al., Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President, N.Y. Times, Nov. 26, 2016, 

[11] U.S. Const., art. II, § 1, cl. 7 (emphasis added).

[12] The Federalist No. 73 (Alexander Hamilton) (Clinton Rossiter ed., 1961 (emphasis added).

[13] Charles V. Bagli, A Trump Empire Built on Inside Connections and $885 Million in Tax Breaks, N.Y. Times, Sept. 17, 2016,

[14] Steven L. Schooner & Daniel I. Gordon, GSA’s Trump Hotel Lease Debacle, Gov’t Executive, Nov. 28, 2016,

[15] Letter from Hon. Elijah E. Cummings et al. (Nov. 30, 2016), available at

[16] Allan Smith, Federal agency responds to letter from Democratic lawmakers claiming it said Trump must fully divest himself of his DC hotel, Business Insider, Dec. 14, 2016,

[17] See Pub. Law 112–105 (2012), §§ 9(a), 18.

The Impeachment Process

The U.S. Constitution vests the power to impeach in the House of Representatives, while charging the Senate with the power to try impeachments. The House votes whether to bring the charge, and the Senate tries the case. The House vote is by simple majority, but the Senate requires a two-thirds majority to convict.

The grounds for impeachment are: “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

To initiate the impeachment proceedings, a document or “resolution calling for a committee investigation of charges against the officer in question” must be referred to the House Committee on Rules, which may refer it to the Judiciary Committee for investigation. The Judiciary Committee may vote to try the case, and the Senate will proceed with a trial and a vote. In an alternate procedure, the resolution can directly call for impeachment, in which the resolution goes directly to the Judiciary Committee for review.

I AM doing what any citizen of this Constitutional Republic should be doing at this time of total disregard for the rule of law and failure to divest from his business interests prior to taking the Oath of Office on January 20, 2017: insist that the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives draft Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump as he has taken a wrecking ball to everything for which our great Republic stands! ~  JDHWB-R

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story
by Charles Eisenstein

This essay has been translated into German as well as Spanish and French.

Normal is coming unhinged. For the last eight years it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything from ecology to economy is a temporary deviation from the evolutionary imperative of progress.

A Clinton Presidency would have offered four more years of that pretense. A woman President following a black President would have meant to many that things are getting better. It would have obscured the reality of continued neoliberal economics, imperial wars, and resource extraction behind a veil of faux-progressive feminism. Now that we have, in the words of my friend Kelly Brogan, rejected a wolf in sheep’s clothing in favor of a wolf in wolf’s clothing, that illusion will be impossible to maintain.

The wolf, Donald Trump (and I’m not sure he’d be offended by that moniker) will not provide the usual sugarcoating on the poison pills the policy elites have foisted on us for the last forty years. The prison-industrial complex, the endless wars, the surveillance state, the pipelines, the nuclear weapons expansion were easier for liberals to swallow when they came with a dose, albeit grudging, of LGBTQ rights under an African-American President.

I am willing to suspend my judgement of Trump and (very skeptically) hold the possibility that he will disrupt the elite policy consensus of free trade and military confrontation – major themes of his campaign. One might always hope for miracles. However, because he apparently lacks any robust political ideology of his own, it is more likely that he will fill his cabinet with neocon war hawks, Wall Street insiders, and corporate reavers, trampling the wellbeing of the working class whites who elected him while providing them their own sugar-coating of social conservatism.

The social and environmental horrors likely to be committed under President Trump are likely to incite massive civil disobedience and possibly disorder. For Clinton supporters, many of whom were halfhearted to begin with, the Trump administration could mark the end of their loyalty to our present institutions of government. For Trump supporters, the initial celebration will collide with gritty reality when Trump proves as unable or unwilling as his predecessors to challenge the entrenched systems that continually degrade their lives: global finance capital, the deep state, and their programming ideologies. Add to this the likelihood of a major economic crisis, and the public’s frayed loyalty to the existing system could snap.

We are entering a time of great uncertainty. Institutions so enduring as to seem identical to reality itself may lose their legitimacy and dissolve. It may seem that the world is falling apart. For many, that process started on election night, when Trump’s victory provoked incredulity, shock, even vertigo. “I can’t believe this is happening!”

At such moments, it is a normal response to find someone to blame, as if identifying fault could restore the lost normality, and to lash out in anger. Hate and blame are convenient ways of making meaning out of a bewildering situation. Anyone who disputes the blame narrative may receive more hostility than the opponents themselves, as in wartime when pacifists are more reviled than the enemy.

Racism and misogyny are devastatingly real in this country, but to blame bigotry and sexism for voters’ repudiation of the Establishment is to deny the validity of their deep sense of betrayal and alienation. The vast majority of Trump voters were expressing extreme dissatisfaction with the system in the way most readily available to them. (See here, here, here, here) Millions of Obama voters voted for Trump (six states who went for Obama twice switched to Trump). Did they suddenly become racists in the last four years? The blame-the-racists (the fools, the yokels…) narrative generates a clear demarcation between good (us) and evil (them), but it does violence to the truth. It also obscures an important root of racism – anger displaced away from an oppressive system and its elites and onto other victims of that system. Finally, it employs the same dehumanization of the other that is the essence of racism and the precondition for war. Such is the cost of preserving a dying story. That is one reason why paroxysms of violence so often accompany a culture-defining story’s demise.

The dissolution of the old order that is now officially in progress is going to intensify. That presents a tremendous opportunity and danger, because when normal falls apart the ensuing vacuum draws in formerly unthinkable ideas from the margins. Unthinkable ideas range from rounding up the Muslims in concentration camps, to dismantling the military-industrial complex and closing down overseas military bases. They range from nationwide stop-and-frisk to replacing criminal punishment with restorative justice. Anything becomes possible with the collapse of dominant institutions. When the animating force behind these new ideas is hate or fear, all manner of fascistic and totalitarian nightmares can ensue, whether enacted by existing powers or those that arise in revolution against them.

That is why, as we enter a period of intensifying disorder, it is important to introduce a different kind of force to animate the structures that might appear after the old ones crumble. I would call it love if it weren’t for the risk of triggering your New Age bullshit detector, and besides, how does one practically bring love into the world in the realm of politics? So let’s start with empathy. Politically, empathy is akin to solidarity, born of the understanding that we are all in this together. In what together? For starters, we are in the uncertainty together.

We are exiting an old story that explained to us the way of the world and our place in it. Some may cling to it all the more desperately as it dissolves, looking perhaps to Donald Trump to restore it, but their savior has not the power to bring back the dead. Neither would Clinton have been able to preserve America as we’d known it for too much longer. We as a society are entering a space between stories, in which everything that had seemed so real, true, right, and permanent comes into doubt. For a while, segments of society have remained insulated from this breakdown (whether by fortune, talent, or privilege), living in a bubble as the containing economic and ecological systems deteriorate. But not for much longer. Not even the elites are immune to this doubt. They grasp at straws of past glories and obsolete strategies; they create perfunctory and unconvincing shibboleths (Putin!), wandering aimlessly from “doctrine” to “doctrine” – and they have no idea what to do. Their haplessness and half-heartedness was plain to see in this election, their disbelief in their own propaganda, their cynicism. When even the custodians of the story no longer believe the story, you know its days are numbered. It is a shell with no engine, running on habit and momentum.

We are entering a space between stories. After various retrograde versions of a new story rise and fall and we enter a period of true unknowing, an authentic next story will emerge. What would it take for it to embody love, compassion, and interbeing? I see its lineaments in those marginal structures and practices that we call holistic, alternative, regenerative, and restorative. All of them source from empathy, the result of the compassionate inquiry: What is it like to be you?

It is time now to bring this question and the empathy it arouses into our political discourse as a new animating force. If you are appalled at the election outcome and feel the call of hate, perhaps try asking yourself, “What is it like to be a Trump supporter?” Ask it not with a patronizing condescension, but for real, looking underneath the caricature of misogynist and bigot to find the real person.

Even if the person you face IS a misogynist or bigot, ask, “Is this who they are, really?” Ask what confluence of circumstances, social, economic, and biographical, may have brought them there. You may still not know how to engage them, but at least you will not be on the warpath automatically. We hate what we fear, and we fear what we do not know. So let’s stop making our opponents invisible behind a caricature of evil.

We’ve got to stop acting out hate. I see no less of it in the liberal media than I do in the right-wing. It is just better disguised, hiding beneath pseudo-psychological epithets and dehumanizing ideological labels. Exercising it, we create more of it. What is beneath the hate? My acupuncturist Sarah Fields wrote to me, “Hate is just a bodyguard for grief. When people lose the hate, they are forced to deal with the pain beneath.”

I think the pain beneath is fundamentally the same pain that animates misogyny and racism – hate in a different form. Please stop thinking you are better than these people! We are all victims of the same world-dominating machine, suffering different mutations of the same wound of separation. Something hurts in there. We live in a civilization that has robbed nearly all of us of deep community, intimate connection with nature, unconditional love, freedom to explore the kingdom of childhood, and so much more. The acute trauma endured by the incarcerated, the abused, the raped, the trafficked, the starved, the murdered, and the dispossessed does not exempt the perpetrators. They feel it in mirror image, adding damage to their souls atop the damage that compels them to violence. Thus it is that suicide is the leading cause of death in the U.S. military. Thus it is that addiction is rampant among the police. Thus it is that depression is epidemic in the upper middle class. We are all in this together.

Something hurts in there. Can you feel it? We are all in this together. One earth, one tribe, one people.

We have entertained teachings like these long enough in our spiritual retreats, meditations, and prayers. Can we take them now into the political world and create an eye of compassion inside the political hate vortex? It is time to do it, time to up our game. It is time to stop feeding hate. Next time you post on line, check your words to see if they smuggle in some form of hate: dehumanization, snark, belittling, derision.., some invitation to us versus them. Notice how it feels kind of good to do that, like getting a fix. And notice what hurts underneath, and how it doesn’t feel good, not really. Maybe it is time to stop.

This does not mean to withdraw from political conversation, but to rewrite its vocabulary. It is to speak hard truths with love. It is to offer acute political analysis that doesn’t carry the implicit message of “Aren’t those people horrible?” Such analysis is rare. Usually, those evangelizing compassion do not write about politics, and sometimes they veer into passivity. We need to confront an unjust, ecocidal system. Each time we do we will receive an invitation to give in to the dark side and hate “the deplorables.” We must not shy away from those confrontations. Instead, we can engage them empowered by the inner mantra that my friend Pancho Ramos-Stierle uses in confrontations with his jailers: “Brother, your soul is too beautiful to be doing this work.” If we can stare hate in the face and never waver from that knowledge, we will access inexhaustible tools of creative engagement, and hold a compelling invitation to the haters to fulfill their beauty.

Image: Creative Commons – picture by Abhi Ryan

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The Netherlands welcomes Trump in his own words

Monday, January 23, 2017

Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it...

Many of his staffers are from an opaque corporate misinformation network. We must understand this if we are to have any hope of fighting back against them

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Yes, Donald Trump’s politics are incoherent. But those who surround him know just what they want, and his lack of clarity enhances their power. To understand what is coming, we need to understand who they are. I know all too well, because I have spent the past 15 years fighting them.

Over this time, I have watched as tobacco, coal, oil, chemicals and biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into an international misinformation machine composed of thinktanks, bloggers and fake citizens’ groups. Its purpose is to portray the interests of billionaires as the interests of the common people, to wage war against trade unions and beat down attempts to regulate business and tax the very rich. Now the people who helped run this machine are shaping the government.

I first encountered the machine when writing about climate change. The fury and loathing directed at climate scientists and campaigners seemed incomprehensible until I realised they were fake: the hatred had been paid for. The bloggers and institutes whipping up this anger were funded by oil and coal companies.

Among those I clashed with was Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The CEI calls itself a thinktank, but looks to me like a corporate lobbying group. It is not transparent about its funding, but we now know it has received $2m from ExxonMobil, more than $4m from a group called the Donors Trust (which represents various corporations and billionaires), $800,000 from groups set up by the tycoons Charles and David Koch, and substantial sums from coal, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.

For years, Ebell and the CEI have attacked efforts to limit climate change, through lobbying, lawsuits and campaigns. An advertisement released by the institute had the punchline “Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution. We call it life.”

It has sought to eliminate funding for environmental education, lobbied against the Endangered Species Act, harried climate scientists and campaigned in favour of mountaintop removal by coal companies. In 2004, Ebell sent a memo to one of George W Bush’s staffers calling for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to be sacked. Where is Ebell now? Oh – leading Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Charles and David Koch – who for years have funded extreme pro-corporate politics – might not have been enthusiasts for Trump’s candidacy, but their people were all over his campaign. Until June, Trump’s campaign manager was Corey Lewandowski, who like other members of Trump’s team came from a group called Americans for Prosperity (AFP).

This purports to be a grassroots campaign, but it was founded and funded by the Koch brothers. It set up the first Tea Party Facebook page and organised the first Tea Party events. With a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, AFP has campaigned ferociously on issues that coincide with the Koch brothers’ commercial interests in oil, gas, minerals, timber and chemicals.

In Michigan, it helped force through the “right to work bill”, in pursuit of what AFP’s local director called “taking the unions out at the knees”. It has campaigned nationwide against action on climate change. It has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into unseating the politicians who won’t do its bidding and replacing them with those who will.

I could fill this newspaper with the names of Trump staffers who have emerged from such groups: people such as Doug Domenech, from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, funded among others by the Koch brothers, Exxon and the Donors Trust; Barry Bennett, whose Alliance for America’s Future (now called One Nation) refused to disclose its donors when challenged; and Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, funded by Exxon and others. This is to say nothing of Trump’s own crashing conflicts of interest. Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of the lobbyists and corporate stooges working in Washington. But it looks as if the only swamps he’ll drain will be real ones, as his team launches its war on the natural world.

Understandably, there has been plenty of coverage of the racists and white supremacists empowered by Trump’s victory. But, gruesome as they are, they’re peripheral to the policies his team will develop. It’s almost comforting, though, to focus on them, for at least we know who they are and what they stand for. By contrast, to penetrate the corporate misinformation machine is to enter a world of mirrors. Spend too long trying to understand it, and the hyporeality vortex will inflict serious damage on your state of mind.

Don’t imagine that other parts of the world are immune. Corporate-funded thinktanks and fake grassroots groups are now everywhere. The fake news we should be worried about is not stories invented by Macedonian teenagers about Hillary Clinton selling arms to Islamic State, but the constant feed of confected scares about unions, tax and regulation drummed up by groups that won’t reveal their interests.

The less transparent they are, the more airtime they receive. The organisation Transparify runs an annual survey of thinktanks. This year’s survey reveals that in the UK only four thinktanks – the Adam Smith Institute, Centre for Policy Studies, Institute of Economic Affairs and Policy Exchange – “still consider it acceptable to take money from hidden hands behind closed doors”. And these are the ones that are all over the media.

When the Institute of Economic Affairs, as it so often does, appears on the BBC to argue against regulating tobacco, shouldn’t we be told that it has been funded by tobacco companies since 1963? There’s a similar pattern in the US: the most vocal groups tend to be the most opaque.

As usual, the left and centre (myself included) are beating ourselves up about where we went wrong. There are plenty of answers, but one of them is that we have simply been outspent. Not by a little, but by orders of magnitude. A few billion dollars spent on persuasion buys you all the politics you want. Genuine campaigners, working in their free time, simply cannot match a professional network staffed by thousands of well-paid, unscrupulous people.

You cannot confront a power until you know what it is. Our first task in this struggle is to understand what we face. Only then can we work out what to do.


 Michael Moore, Corporate Feminists, & Controlled Opposition
of Women's March Washington
 by Sane Progressive


Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump Encounters The Resistance

The Women’s March on Washington and the Coming of Age of Feminism
Posted on January 19, 2017 by David Fields

By Julie Matthaei

For those who believe in equality and solidarity, and face the outrage of the upcoming Trump inauguration, it is heartening to witness the Women’s March on Washington take shape. The March represents a massive mobilization against Trump’s hate-mongering inequality agenda, and an important step forward in the evolution of feminist movement in the U.S.   As we face Trump’s efforts to turn back the clock, it is helpful to review some of the lessons to be learned from the last five decades, since the birth of second wave feminism.

Outrageous Things Can Spark Transformation: The audiotape of our President Elect bragging about the way that his celebrity has given him the power to sexually assault women – grabbing them by the pussy – was a lightening rod that sparked outrage across the nation and across the world.   After centuries of struggle, we thought that women’s sovereignty over our bodies had been established, and Trump’s statement would de facto end his chances to lead our country. The fact that it did not was an enormous wake-up call to women, mobilizing them to act, and will be a constant reminder and motivator during his upcoming presidency.

Equal Opportunity Feminism is Important, But Is Not Enough:  The March organizers were wise not to identify the March with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.   Equal opportunity, anti-sex-discrimination feminists represented Hillary’s election to be our first woman president as the crowning achievement of feminism. Yet many other feminists supported Bernie Sanders, who embraced equal opportunity feminism and anti-racism, but went beyond this with a call for a political revolution against the rule of the 1%, and an economic human rights policy guaranteeing health care, education, and jobs for all. Many feminists supported Bernie because his platform arguably would do more to help women than having more women in positions of power in a heartlessly unequal, exploitative and violent political-economic system.

The Need to Value Care Work: Equal opportunity feminism takes as given the unequal job hierarchy in which care-centered, traditionally feminine jobs are paid less, or, in the case of homemaking, unpaid.   The short version of the March’s Unity Principles asserts the important feminist complement to equal opportunity–the monetary valuing of care work–by calling for access to affordable childcare, sick days, and paid family leave. The longer version asserts that “all care work—caring for the elderly, caring for the chronically ill, caring for children and supporting independence of people with disabilities – is work.”   It “stand(s) for the rights, dignity, and fair treatment of all unpaid and paid caregivers,” and highlights the superexploitation of women of color in low-paid care jobs, as well as the important problem of discrimination against mothers. 

Feminism Must Be Intersectional: While the March’s organizing was begun by white women, as per its FAQ page, they “recognized the need to be truly inclusive,” establishing a diverse group of National Co-Chairs and Organizers. As a result, an intersectional view of feminism–which opposes all forms of inequality that oppress women– is front and center in the March’s Mission Statement, which asserts “We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.” Its Unity Principles assert that “Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice,” and foreground immigrants’, Civil, LGBTQIA, disability, and worker, as well as women’s, rights, as well as environmental justice.  The March’s over 300 partner organizations, including the NAACP, SEIU, and, position feminism as part of an interconnected, mutually supportive, movement of movements, the kind of movement we must have to push back effectively against Trump and continue our progress towards solidarity.

Men Can and Must Be Feminists: As a march of women, the March embodies a contradiction present in all movements for equality: while they are initiated and built by bringing together members of a subordinated category (women, blacks, workers, LGBTQ folks), they also seek to transcend these identity politics, by eradicating the inequality which they are addressing from the values, practices, and institutions that organize society as a whole. In a democratic society, this requires winning over members of the dominant category (men, whites, capitalists, heterosexuals). Men can and must become feminist, if feminism is to succeed. The presence of progressive Civil Rights icon Harry Belafonte as Honorary Co-Chair of the March, along with Gloria Steinem and Dolores Huerta, and the explicit welcoming of men to participate in the March in the FAQ and Mission statement, which “call(s) on all defenders of human rights to join us,” show that this Women’s March is not a throwback to early second wave feminist separatism. Rather, it represents the understanding, gained in the last half century of feminist movement and progressive organizing, that we must both build on and transcend identity politics if we are to build successful movements.

Non-Violence is Crucial to Feminist Process:  Just as a key aspect of women’s oppression continues to be violence at the hands of men, so the March’s Unity Principles begin with “Ending Violence” against our bodies.   The longer statement includes a call for “accountability and justice for police brutality” and ending “gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.”   What is also remarkable is that the Mission statement for the March identifies “Kingian nonviolence” as providing the guiding principles for the March, including nonviolence as a way of life; Beloved Community, where relationships are free of any kind of domination; and directives to “attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil,” and to claim moral authority by accepting suffering without violent retaliation.

Feminist Values and System Change: One thing absent from the March’s self-description is explicit discussion of system change. Yet, in conjunction with other progressive movements, feminists of all types are busy creating the social DNA out of which a post-inequality, solidarity society is emerging: cooperative, mutually beneficial, egalitarian ways of relating to one another and working together.  Feminism is coming of age! Capitalism represents traditionally masculine competitive self-interest gone awry, generating dictatorship by billionaires; abject, grinding poverty amidst plenty; endless violence, war and suffering; and the destruction of the planet. The feminist key to system change is to value the devalued feminine, the traditionally feminine values of caring for others, and extend them into the economy! Besides demanding more money for unpaid and underpaid care work, we all can participate in the building of a “solidarity economy” – by participating in and advocating for socially responsible production, consumption, finance, and work, and the guarantee of economic human rights for all.

Let’s March!!! So what are we waiting for? Marches are sprouting up around the country: over 600 sister marches at the time of this writing, in every state of the U.S. and in 60 other countries, with over a million estimated marchers. If there isn’t one near you, start one on Facebook! Let’s take this opportunity to turn Trump’s election into a beautiful display of the compassion, diversity, and transformative power of our movement of movements.

I met Professor Matthaei in Dewey Square at Occupy Boston where she gave a free lecture about Solidarity Economy as a viable alternative to commercial capitalism in the United States. When the 1st National Gathering for the worldwide movement that was born on September 17th, 2011 as Occupy Wall Street in Liberty Square (Zucotti Park) in New York City was held in Philadelphia, the cradle of American Independence, in July of 2012 I was in the Speakers Working Group for the Gathering, and invited Ms. Matthaei as a presenter to share her view on how Solidarity Economy could transfer power from the 1% to the 99% and make the United States of America a world leader in horizontal wealth equality. ~ JDHWB-R
~ Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2017 ~