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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

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07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

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07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

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07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  The End of the Little Red Cars: Remembering East Berlin
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COMMENTARY:

The End of the Little Red Cars: Remembering East Berlin

by James Ridgeway
First published in his blog Unsilent Generation yesterday, 10 November 2009

They cheered on Gorbachev, whom they saw as emboldening their revolt, and they were hungry for news of dissdents in other parts of Eastern Europe. But not once did I hear any of them mention Ronald Reagan.

In this week’s 20th anniversary celebrations of the “fall” of the Berlin Wall, two images predominate: First, Ronald Reagan stands before the Brandenburg Gate, intoning “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Next, throngs of jubilant Berliners stream through Checkpoint Charlie, while others clamber atop the Wall or hack at it with sledgehammers, often to the musical accompaniment of David Hasselhoff. Based on these images, you’d never guess that there were more than two years separating these two events–and you’d certainly never know how little they actually had to do with one another.

The mainstream media this week has been full of homages to what they call the ”speech that ended the Cold War.” Some news outlets–along with Angela Merkel and the German people themselves–have had the decency to acknowledge that Mikhail Gorbachev had something to do with it, as well. Either way, most accounts attribute the destruction of the Wall to actions and policies that came from the top, from the leaders of the two great Cold War powers. Largely forgotten or ignored are the ordinary citizens who for years had gathered in the churches of the GDR, placing themselves at great personal risk as they peacefully and persistently worked for change.

I caught a glimpse of this grassroots movement when I went to East Berlin in the first days of October 1989, a month before the Wall was breached. Along with Sylvia Plachy, the photographer, and Bettina Muller, a young West German journalist, I was ostensibly covering the 4oth anniversary of the GDR; actually, we were there to cover the growing pro-democracy movement. For the better part of the decade, dissidents had been meeting in protestant churches in Leipzig and Dresden, as well as in Berlin–initially to protest the arms race, and later to advocate for political reform. These churches were tolerated by the government and allowed to provide a protective cover for the opposition–although, like everything else in the GDR, they were closely monitored by the Stasi.

By the fall of 1989, the movement’s numbers had swelled, and there was a sense of excitement, but also one of fear: East German leader Erich Honecker was a hard-liner with no interest in perestroika. Some movement leaders had been arrested, and after the carnage in Tiananmen Square a few months earlier, there were worries that the government would choose a “Chinese solution” to the growing protests in the GDR.

I remember a cold, damp October afternoon when my colleagues and I tried to make contact with someone who had offered to direct us to a meeting of the pro-democracy activists. Entering a small square, we cast a quick look around and saw that at every corner there was a Trabant, the boxy little East German car, each with two men sitting in the front seats. All the cars seemed to be red: This was the Stasi, and they had no need to hide their presence.

We turned up a sidestreet and went halfway up the block to an address we had been given, the office of an environmental book store. But the windows were shuttered, the door padlocked shut. As we retreated down the block, we passed a young couple, bundled up against the raw cold. They nodded, and walked straight past us. Their clothing was plain and worn and, like everything else in East Berlin, drab. But on the girl’s coat collar, tucked almost out of sight, was a little pin. “That’s it,” Bettina whispered. “They’re here.”

Keeping an eye on the Stasi vehicles, we watched as the couple crossed the square and disappeared into the door of a nondescript building. We followed, and found ourselves in a small café with a dozen or so people. Noone talked much. They seemed to be waiting. Here and there among them we saw the little pin. Soon, paying no heed to us, they began to drift out in ones and twos.

Bettina had spoken briefly with a young man who gave her another address. We now doubled back out, got into a half-empty metro, went a couple of stops, and crossed another square to a large church built of red stone, with a parish hall next door. It was beginning to get dark, and lights shone through the windows. Outside, all around the building, were little red Trabants.

We had found our way to the Erloeserkirche, or Church of the Redeemer, where that evening thousands of people had gathered by candlelight. Some represented various pro-democracy groups, who were drafting a joint declaration laying out the terms of a new society in East Germany, with free speech and free elections. (Capitalism, at least then, wasn’t on their agenda.) Many others had come to Berlin from deep in the east to catch a glimpse of Gorbachev, who was about to arrive in the city to celebrate the GDR’s anniversary. They wore–timidly at first, then proudly–their little perestroika pins, proud emblems of what seemed to be a peaceful revolution.

I couldn’t understand what was being said, so I watched the crowd; they listened quietly and seriously, but the air buzzed with subdued energy. When the meeting came to an end, we followed the crowd outside. Suddenly, the doors of the little red cars slammed shut. Their engines turned over. The men inside glared out as they began to follow their targets off into the night.

If this all sounds too much like a John Le Carre story, it’s because things really were like that in East Berlin, right up to the end. While there was some sense that things were changing, my colleagues and I didn’t know that we were witnessing the run-up to a cataclysmic transformation in global politics. Neither, I think, did most of the people inside the church. But that week, churches in Berlin, Leipzig, and elsewhere would become the site of mass demonstrations and mass arrests. Another week more and Honecker would resign. In a month, half a million people would demonstrate in East Berlin’s Alexanderplatz; a few days after that, the Wall would be breached.

The members of pro-democracy movement who gathered in those churches invoked the name of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor who opposed Hitler and was executed by the Third Reich; they paid homage to Martin Luther King, Jr., who launched a liberation movement from his pulpit in Atlanta. They cheered on Gorbachev, whom they saw as emboldening their revolt, and they were hungry for news of dissdents in other parts of Eastern Europe. But not once did I hear any of them mention Ronald Reagan.

Although it may be lost in the bombastic rhetoric of Western, especially American, self-glorification, the fact is that the fall of the Berlin Wall–and in fact, our so-called victory in the Cold War–had almost nothing to do with us. It didn’t result from the billions the United States spent on nuclear arms, or the thousands of spies we deployed (none of whom, by the way, saw this coming). It did owe some debt to the maverick Soviet premier who created a window of opportunity. But in the end, it was down to people like these unassuming young East Berliners, who braved a 40-year habit of repression and a fleet of little red cars to gather in a church on a raw October evening.

(For those interested in this history, I recommend this piece by Andrew Curry in the Wilson Quarterly.)

church

Gethsemane Church, East Berlin, October 9, 1989

alexander

Alexanderplatz, East Berlin, November 4, 1989

 



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