Monthly Archives: November 2016

New House Bill to seize 1,000s of acres of Native American land

To read more about this Bill, visit: House Bill Gives Away Public Land

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Dakota Access Pipeline: The New Trail of Tears

Yesterday, I had the privilege of showing solidarity with Standing Rock by attending a #NoDAPL rally in Telfair Square, Savannah, Georgia.  Friends of the environment were represented fully, with signs reading Green, Save Our Water, Sacred Land and more.  The speakers discussed the importance of acknowledging climate change, the damage that could be caused by pipelines and oil spills and loving Mother Earth.

Enforcing environmental justice is necessary and is the responsibility of all who live under the sun and commune with this great planet, but the battle taking place on the Standing Rock  Sioux Reservation is more than Green, it is a Cultural Violation.  Indigenous People have suffered enough in the name of progress and expansion.

“The Great Spirit in His wisdom placed you here and gave [this land] to you and your children to defend. But ä-te-wä! [alas!] the incoming race, like a huge serpent is coiling closer and closer about you.” Tecumseh

The Standing Rock Tribal Council issued a Call to Action of All Indigenous People’s on August 15, 2016.

Read document here:  call-to-action-of-indigenous-peoples

Before we go any further, let’s discuss the specifics of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in regards to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.  As to not reinvent the wheel, GreenMedInfo completed a Special Report detailing the consequences of the DAPL.  The full report with the actual complaint filed in federal court and the NoDAPL Movement magazine which chronicles events thus far can be found below. I’ll provide a snapshot here:

Despite the objections of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota, Energy Transfer Partners [ETP] (a multi-billion dollar corporation) began construction on the DAPL in May 2016.  It is important to note that the DAPL was initially slated to run through Bismarck, ND, which is 90% White.  The residence opposed the proposal citing the potential harm to their water supply; therefore, ETP moved on to a marginalized group’s land, the Native Americans of the Standing Rock Tribe.  Who cares about their land and water, right?

On July 26, 2016, The US Army Corps of Engineers approved the DAPL to run under Lake Oahe.  On July 27, 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a complaint in federal court citing the following: “The construction and operation of the pipeline, as authorized by the Corps, threatens the Tribe’s environmental and economic well-being, and would damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the Tribe” (Case 1:16-cv-01534).   So what are the consequences of a pipeline that stretches 1,168 miles from North Dakota to Illinois under (main) water supplies and through burial grounds and Treaty Lands?

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If construction is completed, the pipeline is expected to carry approximately 500,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois, crossing underneath Lake Oahe and the Missouri River a half-mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation.  [3] The Missouri River is the main source of drinking and irrigation water for the 8,200 residents of the Standing Rock reservation.  The pipeline would pump an estimated 17,000 gallons of oil per minute underneath this water source, which would be devastated by a spill or leak. [4] This project poses serious environmental threats and will disturb burial grounds and sacred sites on the Tribe’s ancestral Treaty lands. (GreenMedInfo, 2016)

Special Report on Standing Rock: The Environmental and Social Justice Consequences of the Dakota Access Pipeline                                                                                                           Standing Rock Complaint in federal court                                                                                          dapl-magazine-2016_preview_r1

I don’t know about you, but my heart aches for the crimes against this tribe and every Native American Tribe in the US for the historical and current atrocities committed against them FOR PROFIT.  I truly believe that before a person takes a stand on an issue, he/she needs to understand the intricate details of the issue, so,  I would like to present this topic from a “Native Perspective.”

Stand in solidarity with Standing Rock, fight for something greater than you and know that the debt owed to Native Americans is unrequitable!

peace-in-sioux

(Peace in Lakota Sioux)

By: LaQuaria Barton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernie Sanders Supporters Are The New American Revolution And It’s About More Than Bernie!

WE NEED NEW THINKING, BOLD THINKING, AND A PLAN OF ACTION.

“We the People” must all play a role in this country for the fight against civil injustice. We all must be willing and eager to bring forth ideas to help make our nation a better place. And, the fight must not end when a political campaign ends. This ” Political Revolution” must be a 24/7 around the clock endeavor. We must fight for adequate job training, which in turn will help small businesses. We must fight for family counseling and other programs to help families stay together and moreover, realize the American Dream.

There is a bevy of evidence that the ” American Experiment Is Under Crisis.” These crises could be more severe than at any other time in our nation’s history. It was just in 2008 our country faced a crisis in our financial markets that would have made the ” Great Depression” look like child’s play.

The reality is its way too late for establishment politics from either political party to make a difference. It’s way too late for establishment economics to help the average American. We need new thinking and bold thinking to facilitate a positive change from the status quo.

We Must Address the Issue of Wealth Inequality in America.

When we have a nation today when a few billionaires have overwhelming influence over the economic and political systems of this country there is nothing We the People can accomplish unless we have the unity and intestinal fortitude to take them on. This is what our ” Political Revolution” is all about.

There must be a plan in place that offers help to our cities, education, jobs, and justice for all. No matter how uncomfortable this may be for some in America, the Unites States is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. However, very few Americans realize this wealth because this wealth is in the hands of the 1% who trickle this wealth to off-shore bank accounts.

America has the worst income inequality than any other country in the world. America cannot run away from these statistical realities. This inequality is the biggest moral issue facing our nation today, and Bernie Sanders has been a leader of the pack in advocating the need for change. Moving forward, any “Political Revolution,” promoting a shift in the American political process must address this issue.

Just recently former President Jimmy Carter went on record proclaiming the American political system as corrupt, that has become an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery that has circumvented the will of the people.

As we reported last year in the House of Public Discourse after the disastrous 2014 mid-term elections the first fight, we must engage in is the overturning of the Citizens United court decision. This Supreme Court decision says to the wealthiest people in America you can now buy the United States government. Citizen United undermines the very foundational tenets of American democracy. What many Americans both men and woman have fought and lost their lives over.

Something is very wrong when one family the Koch Brothers can spend more money bribing politicians than both political parties are spending to promote their candidates combined. Once again, Bernie Sanders has been out front in opposing this cancer on our democracy.

There is one thing for sure if We the People just sit back and do nothing ______ nothing will change! If we just expect someone else to do it and not get involved ourselves, nothing will change.

When we talk about the issue of education in America. One must realize that we live in a time of a highly competitive global markets. In this writer’s view, it is insane that we have thousands of bright young people many who are minorities who have the will and the ability to get a college education but their families can’t afford to pay the ever-rising cost of tuition.

This reality is one of self-destruction for America. Bernie Sanders has advocated for making every public college and university in America tuition free. Moreover, he has not only done this from the speech podium he has also introduced a bill to make it so. What this means is that kids no matter their parent’s income level will know if they study hard and do their school work they will have a shot at not only a higher education but achieving a better life for their family and future family. The bottom line is the economic status of a person family should not and will not be a determining factor in getting a higher education and is very much a part of the new ” Political Revolution.”

The world has changed since the 1940’s and 50″s. Woman make up a huge portion of the workplace. Its, not just Dad working. One of the main elements of the new political revolution says we must provide a first-class child care and Pre-Kindergarten system in our country.

One of the most talked about issues in America is jobs. A problem that both political parties jabber about and use as a political football. We read every month that unemployment has gone down. This fact is encouraging. No one can fault President Obama for his efforts. However, the unemployment rate is but just one of many reports that comes out on jobs. This stat does not consider people who have given up looking for work or who are working part-time. There is an issue very few people are talking about, and you will not see much of in the corporate-owned mainstream media is the problem of youth unemployment.

If you are a white kid between 17-20 with a high school diploma you have a 33% unemployment rate. If you are a Hispanic kid between 17-20, you have a 36% unemployment rate. If you are a black kid between 17-20 with a high school diploma you have a 51% unemployment rate. [See Source]

These rates are a disgrace and constitute a real crisis in America.  It’s not unfair to say we are turning our backs on an entire generation. Once again Bernie Sanders has led the charge in changing this tragedy and why his campaign  drew the support of the ” Millennial Voter.” The new ” Political Revolution” must not allow this to continue no matter if Bernie was cheated out of the nomination.

THE AMERICAN DREAM HAS BEEN LOCKED UP BY THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

For millions of American citizens, the American Dream has been locked up by the Criminal Justice System.  . This tragedy must be addressed by the new ” Political Revolution.” America has more people in jail than any other country in the world including China. As previously mentioned with so many of America’s youth out of work what has resulted is high incarceration rates in this demographic.

Our ” Political Government Reform Group” position on this issue are we must as a nation turn our efforts into investing in jobs and education rather than building jails and prisons. Bernie Sanders along with other Progressive Democrats have introduced legislation that would create one million jobs over the next several years for these unemployed youths. Part of this bill would be to create jobs by rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Moreover, these jobs would not be minimum wage jobs. A major part of the new political revolution is to increase the minimum wage from the starvation wage of $7.25 per hour to a living wage of $15.00 per hour.

Now, when we talk about justice. When we speak of the need for all people in America to be treated equally and with respect. Some hard realities must be faced. These realities are that if you are a black male one out of four can expect to be locked up in jail. We must all work hard to change that dynamic. This reality is a sad story that must be rewritten. As a country, We the People can no longer ignore that. In the present, blacks are imprisoned six times the rate as whites. Blacks are three times more apt to be searched during a traffic stop than a white motorist. African Americans are twice as likely to be arrested than whites and four times more likely to experience the use of force than whites. [See Source]

One of the major side effects of these horrific statistical facts is that 13% of African American males and females have lost the right to vote due to felony convictions. In this writer’s view, there is a need for significant changes in the Criminal Justice System in America. This will be a major focal point moving forward and should be a high priority for any real progressive political reform undertaking.

Across America, as many people already know, and we see almost every day to many African-Americans, and other minorities find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes as if they were criminals. A growing number of communities all over America do not trust the police. These Police Departments have become disconnected with the communities they are paid to serve.

As mayor of Burlington, Vermont Bernie Sanders Administration moved to a system of community policing. Community policing means that police are a part of the commonwealth that helps in the citizens not seeing the police as a repressive force. The new “Political Revolution” must make the dying of unarmed American citizens at the hands of police as a crime against humanity and put a stop to it once and for all. Violence and brutality of any kind, especially by police officers, sworn to protect and serve the community is not only unacceptable but will no longer be tolerated.

We must reform our Criminal Justice System! ” Black Lives Do Matter” as all human life matters.

Americans need a Justice Department that will take the lead in working with states and local law enforcement to train police officers properly. Force should always be the last resort, not the first resort. For people who have committed crimes that have landed them in jail, there needs to be a system that leads them back from prison. The rate of recidivism in America is to high. People go to jail when they get out they have no money, no jobs, and a criminal record that will keep them that way plus hamper their ability to find decent housing.

The new ” Political Revolution” must attack the arresting of our citizens of nonviolent crimes like smoking marijuana. It is an international embarrassment that we have more people in jail than any other country. It’s a disgrace how our nation stigmatizes so many young Americans with a criminal record for smoking pot. However, oddly enough not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near total collapse of our entire economy. As I reported in a Liberal America article, we need to end ” Prisons for Profit.

The new ” Political Revolution” must not allow a corporation to make money based on how many people we lock up. The measure of effective law enforcement should not be based on how many individuals go to jail but, instead how many people we keep out of jail. Bernie Sanders campaign has advocated the investment in drug courts and medical and mental health intervention programs. So many people in prison today suffer from mental health issues. It’s our duty as citizens to help these people instead of just locking them up.

Furthermore, we must confront and deal with these ” Domestic Terror” groups who seek to terrorize the African American and Hispanic communities with violence and intimidation. Too many Americans have fought and died for equal rights for all in this country and to not do something about this growing racially motivated domestic terrorism by subversive white supremacist groups would be a travesty.

There are hundreds of hate groups in America whose sole purpose is based on the hatred of African Americans and other minorities. The new ” Political Revolution” must demand an end to this disease and implore help from the federal government in doing so.

Like the Bible foretold, these are critical times we live in today, hard to deal with. The 2016 election across every spectrum was one of the biggest elections ever in determining what direction this nation will take.  What we could have had  was a champion for real positive progressive’s reforms Bernie Sanders, but, he was shut out from the process in a myriad of ways. Instead, what we got was a preordained corporatist neoliberalThird Way Democrat,” Hillary Clinton who was flawed and who many warned could not win. What has resulted from these warning coming true is one of the most bombastic and outright vocal racists ever to win the White House, Donald Trump. But, these failures by the Democratic Party establishment is our opportunity we now have the leverage of not ” I Told You So, But, Being Right.” It’s up to us to use this opportunity and leverage in the right way not just for Progressives but all mankind here and abroad.

This Song Maybe an Oldie, But! It’s a Goodie.

Written: Johnny Hill

De’ja` Vu: The Aftermath of Corruption

“The main purpose is to tell Donald Trump he can’t just deport 11 million undocumented people,” Noelle Yasso said. “They’re here to stay and we stand in solidarity with them.”(CNN, November 13, 2016)

Anti-Trump protests have started in Manhattan; San Francisco; District of Columbia; Los Angeles; Springfield, Massachusetts;  Chicago; Washington; Dayton, Ohio; Cincinnati; Oklahoma City; Salt Lake City; Providence, Rhode Island; and Atlanta.  Some of these protests have been peaceful and some have been violent.  All of these American citizens, whether they are mad as hell and acting out of frustration or sulking in silence, have one thing in common: they are utterly dismayed by the election results.

I titled this post De’ja` Vu because these protests are reminiscent of the protests that took place across the nation when Bernie Sanders was robbed, yes, robbed of the Democratic candidacy for president.  We cited election fraud and political favoritism, but no one seem to think it was important.  The DNC and its prize horse, Hillary Clinton, forced Bernie Sanders, who was supported by millions, to concede by promising the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of the party and that it was.  But here’s the conundrum: what happened to all of the Bernie supporters once the leader of the political revolution gracefully bowed out?  The answer: Berners continued the Berner Movement without Bernie at its forefront.  We love Bernie, please don’t confuse the message, but many of us vowed never to support Hillary Clinton and the election results are a reflection of that pledge. Come on guys..you can say it..You either didn’t vote at all or you switched party affiliation and defected to the Independents (Green or Libertarian).  The consequence or even punishment for the dissension within the Democratic Party as a result of the DNC’s publicized corruption elected Trump.

Now they want to protest?  It’s almost laughable! Where was all of this passion for the cause when Bernie was railroaded? It was misplaced with Hillary. Now, the Hillary camp is feeling what Berners have been feeling for months: violated! They’re calling for the Electoral College to vote for Hillary because she received the popular vote.  Do you know that Democrats have won the popular vote in the last six of seven presidential elections?  But guess what….it made no difference!  Truth be told, Democrats didn’t vote in this election and white Republicans in rural America showed up by the bus loads to vote Trump into office.

Protest all you want! Sign as many petitions as your heart desires! Trump is the Aftermath of a divided party.  Your meal was Bernie Sanders, which you devoured and licked your chops and Trump is your JUST desserts; like it or loathe it.

Now, we (The People) are left to clean up your mess (the aftermath).

LaQuaria Barton

Presidential Election: The Island of Misfit Toys

The results are in and Donald Trump is the new president-elect for the United States of America. This was the most disappointing election in my lifetime.  We had no viable candidates for which we could cast a confident vote.  Our choices were the two evils, Hillary Clinton, Democrat, Donald Trump, Republican and Jill Stein, Green Party, and Gary Johnson, Libertarian.  In the aftermath of the Berner Movement, these were the leftovers.  So who did America choose as our next fearless leader: none other than, Donald J. Trump, a business mogul with little to no knowledge of American politics.  The questions on every American’s mind are as follows:

What will Trump do next? What is his vision for the country? Is he a racist?  Will he divide the nation across racial lines?  How can we possibly place our trust in a man that has made derogatory comments about women, various races, and the country as a whole?

The biggest question of all is what are WE going to do next?  What can we do to respond to, what by all accounts is as fair of an election as could be (yes, there are some concerns regarding electoral fraud, but that is to be expected when the less popular candidate is elected) the least popular candidate being elected; a candidate perceived as an entitled demagogue who uses divisive language to further his own political agenda?  Are we screwed America?  Did we allow division within the Democratic Party and our utter disgust with the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, to elect Trump. I say, NO!  I say that the blame lies with the DNC and Hillary Clinton, solely.  Berners are not to blame for the election results; corruption and favoritism are to blame.  Hillary was never in a position to beat Trump.  Our next step is to hold the new, overwhelmingly Republican elected officials, to a higher standard with additional oversight.  We watch them like a hawk and make sure that they follow through on every promise.  The Democratic platform should not “go gentle into that good night,” (Dylan Thomas, 1951). We continue to fight for what is fair and just for ALL.

#Revolution

LaQuaria Barton