Sunday, August 27, 2023

What stimulus?


From July 27, 2020's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "What stimulus?" and C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "What stimulus?"  Referring to another proposed stimulus check, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi asks, "$1,200 a person?  I don't think I could stock my freezer with ice cream -- not with that paltry sum."  Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS

Never forget that we weren't even worth $5,000 to Congress and the president (Trump at that time). We were struggling.  It was the pandemic and that tossed out peanuts and we were supposed to say, "Thank you for the feast, sire!" 

Okay, let me note Matteo Lane's 2nd YOUTUBE comedy special.

And Caryn e-mailed to ask if I'd ever seen the MAD MAGAZINE special below?

No.  Thanks for e-mailing that.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, August 25, 2023.  A rally for Julian Assange takes place tomorrow, RKF Junior continues to disgrace himself, others weigh in on the GOP debate.

Tomorrow there will be a rally online for Julian Assange:

Wistaverse ( the world’s first global platform for protest in the metaverse, announced today that the campaign to stop the extradition of Julian Assange will launch the first ever virtual political rally for Assange this Saturday, August 26th. The rally is part of the effort to prevent the founder of WikiLeaks from being extradited to the US where he could face a 175 year jail sentence for revealing information about the Iraq and Afghan wars. It is being organized by the Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign (, which is the official campaign of the Assange movement, working with Assange and his family. 

John Rees from the Don't Extradite Assange campaign said, “This event in the Wistaverse is a valuable opportunity to unite people across the world who believe in freedom of speech and freedom of the press to show their support for Julian and set a signal that will be an important precedent for human rights everywhere. No matter where you are in the world, you can virtually join this event.” 
The event will include the participation of and speeches by Julian Assange himself (pre-recorded), his wife Stella Assange, Kristinn Hrafnsson, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, and other high profile guests, including British politician Jeremy Corbyn.

The event will take place in the Wistaverse, the world’s first platform for virtual protest in the metaverse. The Wistaverse is a not-for-profit protocol located in the Sandbox on the Polygon blockchain. Users who organize protests do so on their own initiative, independent of the Wistaverse’s creators. The protocol enables a platform for protest for causes with universal importance and gives access for everyone to participate, regardless of geographical location or possible physical disabilities.

Jules, one of the founders of Wistaverse, said: “We are excited that the Don't Extradite Assange campaign has decided to use the platform to host such a key rally shortly after the launch of the Wistaverse this May. At that time, the inaugural protest was an event organized by Amnesty International in support of abortion rights worldwide. Now, we trust that the event this Saturday will set a signal and focus all eyes on freedom of speech to support that cause. The new Web3 technologies are enabling unprecedented participation and the opportunity for everyone to shape worldwide governance.” 

The rally will take place in a virtual auditorium designed to look like the Royal Courts of Justice in London where Assange is set to face his final appeal in the UK court system. It aims to build for a real life protest at the same venue when the court date is announced.

The speakers at the rally will appear either as characters inside the event or with filmed contributions shown on screens inside the arena created by the event designers. 
The Wistaverse uses metaverse technology to allow each individual attendee to be represented by an avatar that can hear the speeches and watch other material inside the virtual rally and interact with other attendees. It protects users’ identity and enables universal participation. The rally is open to anyone with a computer.

The rally will be on Saturday 26 August at 5pm BST/ British Summer Time, when information about how to participate will go live on the event’s dedicated website on the Sandbox.

For more information contact:

For Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign: media(at) or
Silvi: email: ps13(at) Tel.: +44-798-480-9125
For the Wistaverse: jules.wistaverse(at) & Wistaverse(at)  

For details, visit: & 

About Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign 
The Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign has been established in the UK by WikiLeaks in order to focus campaigning efforts on preventing the extradition of journalist and publisher Julian Assange to the United States where he faces 175 years in jail. Through his publications he has exposed war crimes against humanity, government corruption and mass surveillance.

Julian remains imprisoned in England with the threat of deportation to the US for the 'crime' of journalism.  US President Joe Biden could stop this nonsense at any moment but chooses not to.  Of the upcoming protest,   Patrick Reevell (ABC NEWS) spoke with Stella Assange this week -- Stella is Julian's wife and the mother of their two children.   

On tomorrow's online rally,  Brian McGleenon (YAHOO FINANCE) notes:

John Rees from the Don't Extradite Assange campaign said the benefit of holding a metaverse mass protest is that, "no matter where you are in the world, you can virtually join this event.”

He told Yahoo Finance UK's The Crypto Mile that this "first of its kind" event would not replace physical protests on the streets of major cities, but would complement the ongoing campaign.

"We have had the metaverse environment designed as a replica of the real Royal Courts of Justice, so that people attending this event will get the idea it would be a good thing to turn up outside the real court on the day that Julian appears," he said.

Rees said he is hopeful they will get thousands of people to virtually attend from across the globe.

"This is a pioneering form of political action, and if it works I'm sure we will not be the only ones to repeat it," he added.

Sceptics have wondered aloud whether a protest in an obscure corner of the internet – it uses a gaming platform called Sandbox – can have the same impact as real-world disruptive action.

“The answer to that is protest is also mainly a social event where people with a common vision get together,” one of the Wistaverse’s co-founders, Jules Alcazar, told The National.

“Having everyone together in one place is also a great opportunity to go fund-raising. It’s about keeping momentum, it’s finding what activism can do.”

He believes the metaverse also has an edge over social media activism, which is “very limited”, “not immersive” and a “very poor way of experiencing it” because its algorithms relentlessly feed back bias.

There are forecasts that the metaverse, championed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a virtual-reality world encompassing education and health care, could one day be worth $5 trillion to $13 trillion.

5:00 pm BST would be noon in EST (London is five hours ahead of NYC).  In other news, Ethan Davis (STAB) notes:

‘He put out information people didn’t want being put out but it was all truthful and I don’t know how you fault a guy for putting out the truth,’ mused Kelly Slater in an Instagram soliloquy one March eve.

Just as seamless as Slater’s transitions are from the tube to the open face, so too are his analyses of complex geopolitical, health and social issues.

Typically one should have domain-specific expertise, some skin in the game, to credibly navigate these deep waters — but 11 surfing World Titles and a few compelling exchanges with high-profile pod bros works fine too in 2023. 

Way less student debt too, this method. And more barrels. 

Slater’s sentiments did not go unnoticed by Kym Staton — director of the forthcoming opus delving into the character assassination of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces a 175 year prison sentence if extradited to the US for the crime of leaking classified information. 

Originally titled Free The Truth: Free Assange has gracefully segued into the more enigmatic appellation, The Trust Fall. While the nomenclature may evolve, the narrative spine remains robust.

“The main aim of this film is to gather more support for Julian’s freedom. At its core, this is a political case and a mass public outcry is needed in order to pressure US, UK, and Australian politicians to do the right thing and release him,” writes Staton — whose endgame is to whip up a chorus of cheers for Assange’s parole. He’s slapping a big ol’ megaphone on this whole political mess, hoping to rile up enough people from the US, UK, and Australia to gang up on their politicians and demand, ‘Hey, do the right thing, guys! Let the man loose!’

Wednesday night, contenders for the GOP's presidential nomination debated (see yesterday's snapshot). Not seeing a lot of written about Nikki Haley.  She is seeking the nomination and she was awful on Wednesday night.  There's a hilarious analysis -- unintentionally funny -- by a centrist-leftist online who tells you how wonderful Nikki was and how her abortion answers would ensure her victory with the general electorate -- yes, it's that divorced from reality which is why you end up laughing at the fool. For a better analysis of Nikki Haley's performance, stream the MORNING JOE segment below and pay attention to Jen Psaki and Symone Sanders.

On the debate,  Patrick Martin (WSWS) offers:

Senator Tim Scott said the solution to the crisis in education was to “break the backs” of the teachers unions, by which he meant crushing the teachers themselves, who have engaged in massive strikes, not the stooge unions run by millionaire bureaucrats and CIA agents.

Former Governor Chris Christie said that the teachers unions were the biggest enemy of America, and boasted that he had slashed public employee pensions during his eight years in office in New Jersey.

Former Vice President Mike Pence declared that he was the only candidate willing to state openly that there had to be major cuts in Social Security and Medicare. None of the others on the stage indicated opposition to this proposal, which would devastate tens of millions of retired and disabled workers.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called for shooting migrants “stone cold dead” to stop them crossing the US-Mexico border, and said that he would dispatch US Special Forces into Mexico on his first day as president—in effect, the invasion of Mexico by the US military.

IT multimillionaire Vivek Ramaswamy condemned all measures taken to protect working people during the COVID-19 pandemic—effectively arguing that the current policy of letting the virus run rampant should have been adopted from Day One. And he called climate change a “hoax,” in response to a question that cited record heat waves, wildfires and unprecedented rainfall events.

+ Vivek Ramaswamy, 9/11 Truther: “I think it is legitimate to say how many police, how many federal agents, were on the planes that hit the Twin Towers. Maybe the answer is zero. It probably is zero for all I know, right?”

+ Ramaswamy has been accused of hiring someone to scrub his Wikipedia page of unflattering (to the MAGA base he is so urgently courting) biographical episodes, including his receipt of a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2011, as well as his role on Ohio’s COVID-19 Response Team. But his association with the son of the Dr. Mabuse of the Left hasn’t escaped the attention of the intrepid investigators at FoxNews.

+ American history according to Vivek Ramaswamy: “the US Constitution was what won us the American Revolution.” The Constitution was written in 1787, 6 years after the defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown, 11 years after the Declaration of Independence and 12 years after the Revolution started, in 1775.

+ At the debate, DeSantis repeatedly tried to associate himself with the Navy SEAL teams in Iraq, by saying “I was with the SEALS in places like Fallujah and Ramadi.” But DeSantis wasn’t a SEAL, he was a JAG. The role of JAGS in Iraq was advise the SEALS on who they could “legally” capture, torture and kill. Or, in his own tart phrase, whose “throats they could slit.”

Of course one candidate who belonged on the Republican stage Wednesday night wasn't there.  That's right, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  Jeffrey notes Junior:

RFK, Jr’s Theory of HIV/AIDS manages to merge medical conspiracy theory with homophobia: “There’s a lot of people that said it is not a virus. The virus is a passenger virus, and these people are dying mainly because of poppers. 100 percent of the people who died in the first thousand [with] AIDS were people who were addicted to poppers, which are known to cause Kaposi sarcoma in rats. And they were people who were part of a gay lifestyle where they were burning the candle at both ends. There were poppers on sale everywhere at the gay bars.”

Truly a fool.  Junior's running as a 'Democrat' at present but THE VANGUARD sees him crossing over to the GOP race because if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

Meanwhile, 'big news' for Junior's campaign -- British geriatric Eric Clapton is endorsing Junior and what's says American democracy and patriotism more than that?

Junior can announce that, he just can't explain what draws murders like Travis Ikeguchi are so drawn to his campaign.  Nor can he speak of Lauri Carleton, the woman murdered by Travis Ikeguchi.  Christopher Wiggins (THE ADVOCATE) notes:

After California ally Laura "Lauri" Carleton was killed for displaying an LGBTQ+ Pride flag at her San Bernadino County store, Mag.Pi, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Flags for Good announced a new banner honoring the Lake Arrowhead community member and shop owner.

“Carleton, an unwavering ally, is one of too many people who have lost their lives due to violence that targets LGBTQ+ people,” said a statement announcing the commemorative flag.

To honor Carleton’s memory and encourage allies to work for a safer community, the Center collaborated with Flags for Good to create a rainbow banner bearing the magpie symbol — after her store's name. The proceeds from sales will benefit the Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ Fund. 

“I assure you that the Center won’t be stopping here. Right-wing extremists have brought this fight to our doorstep, and let me promise you this: we are answering their knock at our door—and we will be greeting them with the strength that our community is known for,” said CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center Joe Hollendoner in a press release. “I hope we can rely on you to join us in the fight.”

In light of national retail chains like Target and Starbucks reportedly halting their Pride displays, Carleton, 66, chose to hang the Pride Flag, a symbol of resistance for the community since 1970. 

  Alan Carter approached Mag.Pi in Studio City at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, carrying a bouquet of white hydrangeas wrapped in brown paper and polka-dotted cellophane. At 62 years old, Carter had never purchased flowers for someone he’s never met, but he was stunned this week to learn that the owner of the lifestyle boutique, Laura Ann Carleton, or Lauri to friends, was shot to death on Friday during a dispute with a man over a Pride flag outside her second Mag.Pi location near Lake Arrowhead.

“It gutted me, and I heard on the news that Mrs. Carleton also owned a store in Studio City,” said Carter. “I don’t know anyone in her family and I’ve never been in the store, though I’ve driven past it probably a hundred times. I can’t get to Lake Arrowhead, so I came here. I’m on a fixed income and really, I have no money for flowers or an Uber but I said, ‘F**k it. I’ll go without Starbucks for a month.’ I wanted to be here to say, in a very small way, thank you. Thank you for the sacrifice you made for people like me.”   

On the next Tweet, I'm noting Steve Benedict and I don't know how to pull the idiot Modern Papist out of the Tweet below. 

The killer followed Matt Walsh and the killer followed Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  Junior's not said a word.  He's complete trash.  And he's trashing his wife's future.  She's already on iffy ground and his silence cost her one of her few defenders left (that was me -- was).  His silence reveals how disgusting he is.  How telling that so many of his fans are dreaming of a Trump-Junior ticket.

Fortunately, other people aren't silent.

The following sites updated:

Read on ...

Sunday, August 20, 2023

The 10 Greatest Comic Book Covers of All Time

VARIANT COMICS picked the ten best comic book covers in the video above. 

Now for something I thought I already wrote about, the latest issue of MAD.

MAD MAGAZINE was a humor magazine that ceased publication.  It was around forever and a day.  I was a kid -- maybe 8 -- when I first came across it and my Uncle Gary saw me looking at an issue and told me he'd read it as a kid.  We went to my grandparents and he backed my grandma's car out of the garage, pulled down the ladder to the attic and we went up there when he showed me a whole big crate of issues of MAD from when he was a kid.  And he gave them to me (he's a great uncle) which only made me love MAD even more.

I liked the Spy vs. Spy features and the inside back cover that you'd fold to see a second drawing.  There were other features I loved but my favorite was always the TV and film parodies.  

So MAD stopped publishing but they continue to do big issues that republish old contents.  The latest is SPECIL COLLETOR'S EDITION MAD SPOOFS MOVIE CLASSICS.  It's $14.99 and on "display until 9/22/23."  The films spoofed are JAWS, THE EXORCIST, SCARFACE, HOME ALONE, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, GREASE, M*A*S*H, RAGING BULL, MRS. DOUBTFIRE, GHOSTBUSTERS II, THE SIXTH SENSE, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, 300 and MASTER & COMMANDER. 

I wish they'd do a theme one.  Like all horror or maybe parodies of 70s films.  

I've said this before but any drawing ability I have -- however small -- is due to MAD.  That's where I learned to draw.  Even more than those old coloring books that would have tracing paper over a page so you could draw, for example, Scooby Doo.  

My latest comic just went up:

And Stan's latest movie review "BLUE BEETLE really is the death of movies" went up Saturday.  Kat's got an album review going up later this morning at THE COMMON ILLS.  Mike's "Andrea Warner's BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY" went up a few hours ago and last week Ann's book review "Split Image: The Life of Anthony Perkins" went up and let me also note Trina's album review "kd lang's Hymns of the 49th Parallel." Also Rebecca's "'the takeover'" covers a film to stream on NETFLIX.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, August 18, 2023.  Hate for the planet, hate for the people.  A lot of hate merchants in the world who need to be resisted. 

"The lights right before your very eyes," Donna Summer sang in "All Through The Night" (the song, which she wrote with Bruce Roberts, first appears on her album BAD GIRLS).  So many things are before our eyes and we refuse to see.  Climate change becomes more and more evident and becomes more and more of a climate crisis but so many seem too eager to avert their eyes.

The Middle East and North Africa region has topped global rankings of water-stressed regions, and every Mena nation will suffer extreme water scarcity by 2050, new research has shown.

Demand for water is already outstripping renewable supply at an alarming rate, according to research published by the World Resources Institute on Wednesday.

About 83 per cent of people in the region are living under extreme water stress, the report said, with more than 80 per cent of water supplies used for irrigation, livestock, industry and domestic needs.

[. . .]

In May, a UN official warned that Iraq will only be able to meet 15 per cent of its water needs by 2035 if trends continue.

This is exacerbated by dam projects in neighbouring Iran and Turkey, which threaten to cut off water supply to Iraq.

Water scarcity could deal a severe blow to a large proportion of its population, with almost a third of people relying on agriculture as their main source of income.

The International Committee of the Red Cross offered a photo essay earlier this summer entitled "Iraq: A brutal tale of climate change in pictures."  In the intro, they note:

If you have never been to Iraq, then what you will see in the pictures is not statistics about Iraq being "the fifth-most vulnerable country to climate breakdown".

In Lisan Al-Arab ("Tongue of Arabs") one of the most extensive dictionaries of Arabic words, the Arab scholar and historian Ibn Manzur mentions that the people of Hijaz used to call lands close to the sea "Iraq", hence the reason Iraq was given that name was "because it lies on the shore of the Tigris, so close to the sea". It was also said that the name implies "how the roots of trees and palm trees intertwine". Others explained that the word Iraq was an arabization of an Iranian name, meaning "many palm trees", so the Arabs named it Iraq.

Today's reality is far less poetic.

Again, it just requires opening your eyes and looking honestly to grasp what's taking place.

Iraq is seeing it most dramatically but this is a global crisis.  

Let's note something in the US.  At COUNTERPUNCH, George Ochenski notes:

It’s been more than 50 years since Montanans voted to ratify the 1972 Constitution which has drawn worldwide praise for its clarity and protections for a broad spectrum of citizens’ rights — including our “Inalienable right to a clean and healthful environment.” Yet only now, half a century later, has that right finally been fully recognized in an order issued in Helena by the Honorable Kathy Seeley’s district court.

All Montanans owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the 16 young people who had the courage to bring the Held v. State lawsuit and prove that Gov. Gianforte, Attorney General Austin Knudsen, and the Republican legislative super-majority went too far in their foolish climate-change denial by making it illegal for state agencies to consider climate change pollutants in the state’s permitting processes.

Thanks to a tremendous job by the phalanx of highly skilled attorneys representing the “next generation,” the reality of Montana’s significant contributions to global climate change was simply undeniable. When all the carbon output from Montana’s mining, transporting, and burning fossil fuels was added up, it surpassed the total carbon footprint of entire nations, including Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, I’m Amy Goodman.

In a landmark climate case, a judge in Montana has ruled in favor of a group of young people who have sued Montana for violating their constitutional rights as it pushed policies that encouraged the use of fossil fuels. In her decision, Montana Judge Kathy Seeley wrote, “Plaintiffs have a fundamental constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes climate.” The judge went on to rule, quote, “Montana’s emissions and climate change have been proven to be a substantial factor in causing climate impacts to Montana’s environment and harm and injury,” unquote.

The case was brought by 16 children and young adults, ranging in age from 5 to 22. This is Rikki Held, the lead plaintiff in the case, known as Held v. Montana.

RIKKI HELD: This ruling is just so important in Montana and for outside and supporters. … This is such a huge issue. And for the judge to say that Montana is significantly contributing to global climate change just kind of leaves me with this feeling that our actions do matter.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by two guests. Olivia Vesovich is one of the other plaintiffs in the landmark Montana climate case, 20-year-old student at University of Montana. She’s in Missoula right now. And in Eugene, Oregon, we’re joined by Julia Olson, chief legal counsel and executive director with Our Children’s Trust.

Julia, let’s begin with you. Talk about the significance of this case. And why Montana?

JULIA OLSON: Good morning, Amy.

This is a historic decision. It’s the first of its kind ever in U.S. history. And why Montana? Montana is one of the states in our country that has had laws on the books that requires it to promote fossil fuel energy and fossil fuel development at a time when we’re in a climate emergency. And their laws also require them to ignore the consequences of that and the ways in which greenhouse gas emissions from those fuels fuel the climate crisis.

And so, these young people used the Montana Constitution, which protects not just the right to a clean and healthful environment, but also the right to dignity, to health and safety and happiness and equal protection of the law. And they sued the state, challenging these laws and their implementation, and, in June, had a seven-day trial. And we just won this historic ruling saying that that legal regime, and the conduct under it, is unconstitutional.

AMY GOODMAN: So, are the laws automatically struck down, Julia?

JULIA OLSON: They are. They’re struck down. And not only did the court declare them unconstitutional, but said that the state was enjoined from implementing them.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to bring Olivia Vesovich into this conversation. You’re one of the Montana youth plaintiffs in a city I hold dear, Missoula, Montana, where my first college roommate was from, went to Hellgate High. Olivia, talk about your response to the judge’s ruling? Where were you when you heard?

OLIVIA VESOVICH: I was out running errands. I’m going on a camping trip to Oregon, actually, next week, and so I was out running errands, and I saw an email from Mat dos Santos, one of our lawyers. And I pulled over off of like a busy road, and I just — I got onto a side street, and I just sat in the car on this Zoom call hearing the most life-changing news that I’ve ever heard.

AMY GOODMAN: So, how did you get involved with this, Olivia? How old were you when this case started? And why do you care so much about the issue of the climate and the fate of the planet?

OLIVIA VESOVICH: I was 16 when I joined this case, and it was because my science teacher knew that I was deeply involved in climate organization in Missoula. And he heard about this case, and he reached out to me, and he asked me if I would like to join. And the minute that I heard about what this case was and what it meant for my state and what it meant for the world, or what it could mean, I immediately wanted to join and share my story of how climate change has impacted me, how it’s harmed me, because I think so many youths are impacted by climate change, and we don’t even know the full extent of it because we have become so used to what climate change means. And that’s a horrible thing to say.

And I think that joining this case gave me hope that I didn’t have to be used to any of the symptoms of being [inaudible] from wildfire smoke or having to deal with respiratory — other respiratory issues from pollution, and knowing that this case was going to allow myself to share my message but also to be a voice for the youth, because so many youths do not have this option and opportunity to become so — to have such an impact on climate change. And I knew that this case was going to be, because any time in the United States that we’ve been granted civil rights, that’s become — that’s been from a court case. And I knew that this was a very high likelihood that it would be. And it is.

AMY GOODMAN: This is particularly poignant, Olivia, this decision coming down this week in the midst of the worst wildfire in a hundred years in U.S. history in Hawaii on Maui. We are counting the dead now. It’s over a hundred, could be so many more. Your thoughts about this, learning about this, as you talk about fires in Montana and Canada, and how that affects you?

OLIVIA VESOVICH: My heart is just so completely and utterly broken for the people of Hawaii right now. I am utterly devastated that they are going through this, because it is a fate I would wish upon no one. And that is just one of the most horrible things that I could even imagine. And to know that their — the recovery isn’t even being dealt with in the best way possible is also heartbreaking. And, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask Julia Olson — you also are involved with a case in Hawaii, where 14 young people filed a lawsuit against Hawaii and other entities. Explain.

JULIA OLSON: So, the state of Hawaii has been a leader in climate change in some ways. They have put laws on their books that require the state to decarbonize their energy system by about 2045. And they understand, being islands and dependent on the climate system, as it has been in the past, for their water and their food and their livelihoods, how much they’re affected. And what we’re seeing with the fire on Maui, that’s going to be increasing in the years and decades that come.

And so, the problem with Hawaii is their greenhouse gas emissions from their transportation system are increasing. And so these 14 youth in Hawaii are suing the state, similar to the Held plaintiffs in Montana, using the Hawaii Constitution, which also protects their rights to a healthy environment, to public trust resources and to health and safety and equal protection of the law. And we have a trial date set for June 24th, 2024, to really put forward the evidence of how the Department of Transportation and the state of Hawaii are making their transportation emissions worse and increasing, rather than going in the right direction. And they’ll miss their targets. And so we’re holding them accountable for that.

AMY GOODMAN: Julia, can you also talk about your case, Juliana v. United States, a landmark youth climate lawsuit that accuses the U.S. government of perpetuating the climate crisis and endangering the lives of citizens? CNN recently published an article titled “Biden is campaigning as the most pro-climate president while his DOJ works to block a landmark climate trial.” Explain.

JULIA OLSON: Yeah, absolutely. So, Our Children’s Trust has been representing youth on climate and suing government since 2010. And in 2015, we filed a case on behalf of 21 youth, under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, against the federal government for its active role in causing the climate crisis. And today, for example, the United States supplies 23% of the world’s fossil fuels. And under the Biden administration, it has made the U.S. the largest oil and gas producer, following on the Obama and Trump legacies, as well. And so, this case is trying to hold the federal government accountable for its role in causing the climate crisis.

  The richest tenth of U.S. households are responsible for 40% of all the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, a study published Thursday revealed, underscoring what progressives say is the need for regulations and taxes on carbon-intensive investments.

Published in PLOS Climate, the study—which was led by University of Massachusetts, Amherst sustainability scientist Jared Starr—analyzed 30 years of U.S. household income data and the greenhouse gas emissions generated in creating that income.

"We find significant and growing emissions inequality that cuts across economic and racial lines," the paper notes. "In 2019, fully 40% of total U.S. emissions were associated with income flows to the highest earning 10% of households."

"Among the highest-earning 1% of households (whose income is linked to 15-17% of national emissions), investment holdings account for 38-43% of their emissions," the publication continues. "Even when allowing for a considerable range of investment strategies, passive income accruing to this group is a major factor shaping the U.S. emissions distribution." 

Are we going to be helpless?

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC notes last year's action where two Just Stop Oil climate activists tossed soup on Vincent Van Gogh's SUNFLOWERS painting.  I love art, I believe in art (much more so than politics).  It's not an action I would take but it didn't surprise me.  Or outrage me.  

Governments are doing nothing to address this crisis seriously.  

Ella Feldman (THE SMITHSONIAN) quoted one of the activists (Phoebe Plummer):

“What is worth more—art or life?” she asked in an impassioned voice, her hand glued to the wall behind her. “Is it worth more than food? Worth more than justice? Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting, or the protection of our planet and people? The cost of living crisis is part of the cost of oil crisis. Fuel is unaffordable to millions of cold, hungry families. They can’t even afford to heat a tin of soup.”

Feldman also noted:

In London, the soup demonstration follows a move from the conservative U.K. government, headed by Prime Minister Liz Truss, that allowed for a new round of oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and reversed a 2019 ban on fracking.

Mel Carrington, a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil, tells the New York Times’ Alex Marshall that the group intended to generate publicity and spark debate. She says they selected Sunflowers because they knew it was protected by glass and wouldn’t be damaged by the soup.

If governments aren't going to address it, people will take it into their own hands.  They've heard a lot of promises -- a lot of empty promises -- and this is about the very life of the planet.  

At a time when we especially need leaders stepping up around the world, it seems we are instead awash with fools.

The only thing Ronald DeSantis offers the nation is hate.  Not hope, hate.  Jamie Tabberer (UK's ATTITUDE) offers a helpful timeline and history:


The then-Member of the US House of Representatives from Florida’s 6th district receives a “0” rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBTQ-related legislation. A year before, he co-sponsored a bill preventing federal government from acting against discrimination against same-sex couples based on their “religious belief or moral conviction.”


DeSantis is accused of “straight-washing” the three-year anniversary of the Pulse massacre, in which gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 attendees of an LGBTQ+ nightclub, after issuing a statement making no reference to the LGBTQ+ and Latino identities of most of the victims. He later calls this a mistake, blaming a recently departed (and gay) colleague.

July 2020 

A year into his Florida governorship, DeSantis hints at personal progress by marking the four-year anniversary of Pulse, saying: “The State of Florida will not tolerate hatred towards the LGBTQ and Hispanic communities, and as Floridians we stand united against terrorism and hate of any kind.” Spoiler alert: he soon changed his tune.

June 2021

On the first day of Pride month, DeSantis signs in the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, forbidding trans people from playing in women’s and girls’ scholastic sports. On the second day of Pride month, he vetoes proposals to provide $150,000 in state funding for counselling for Pulse survivors, and a $750,000 housing programme for homeless LGBTQ+ youth.

March 2022

Conceivably galvanised by national right-wing support to his anti-trans law, DeSantis signs in the Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay, Don’t Say Trans’ law. Similar to Russia’s ‘Gay propaganda law’ and the UK’s own Section 28, the law bans classroom discussion and “instruction” on sexuality and gender.

May 2023

DeSantis signs four bills rolling back LGBTQ+ rights, including the criminalisation of providing gender-affirming care for minors, restrictions on drag performances, and a ‘Don’t Say Gay’ expansion — it now impacts all school grades from pre-school upwards. His signing of Senate Bill 1580, meanwhile, permits healthcare providers to deny a patient care on the basis of “conscience-based objections”. Imagine a religious zealot denying you PrEP — how would you feel?


The real-life Disney villain (the entertainment conglomerate opposes ‘Don’t Say Gay’) of course confirmed his presidential hopes back in May. If he beats other Republican hopefuls (including Trump), DeSantis will go up against President Joe Biden in the November 2024 election. If successful, his spate of Floridian anti-LGBTQ+ laws, which have escalated in their severity over the past few years and been dubbed the ‘Let Kids Be Kids’ package, could go federal — and their influence global.

Climate change can be tackled.  Hate can be tackled.  We can stand up for what is needed.

Libby Dean (WFLA) reports on people fighting back against Moms For Bigotry:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and controversial right-wing groups like Moms for Liberty have played a key role in influencing education changes in Florida.

The recent start of the new school year in the Sunshine State was clouded with uncertainty as educators struggled to understand how to implement the state’s new education laws.

In an effort to prevent the wave of changes in Florida, a group of LGBTQ+ parents came together on Tuesday to announce a new group. The name of the new network is “Parenting with Pride.” The goal of the group is to protect LGBTQ+ communities in Florida’s public schools, in contrast to organizations like Moms for Liberty.

It’s the newest initiative brought by Equality Florida to support the LGBTQ+ community.

Parenting with Pride is a grassroots effort to influence Florida’s education laws. More than 1,000 families are already on board. They hope to ditch new restrictions on LGBTQ+ education in the state like pronoun restrictions and the expansion of the state’s Parental Rights in Education law.

“My son deserves to be able to share his family life with his peers and his teachers should be able to support them without losing their jobs,” Florida parent Heather Wilkie said.

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