Friday, December 9, 2016

Baltimore Activist Alert - December 9, 2016 - January 20, 2017

38] Peace vigil at White House – Dec. 9
39] WIB peace vigils – Dec. 9
40] Book Talk: “The Way to the Spring” – Dec. 9
41] End Drone Terror – Dec. 9
42] Black Lives Matter vigil Dec. 9
43] Film OPEN BETHLEHEM – Dec. 9
44] Indigenous Rights and Environmental Issues – Dec. 9
45] “Between Ghosts” – Dec. 9
46] Ballroom Dancing – Dec. 9
47] Strength in Synergy: An Intersectional Summit to End Gun Violence – Dec. 10
48] U.S. Prisons: Conditions of Confinement – Dec. 10
49] West Chester peace vigil – Dec. 10
50] Santa and your animal photo -- Dec. 10
51] Implementing the Exciting New UCC Resolution on Palestine-Israel -- Dec. 10
52] Youth Occupy the RNC – Dec. 10
53] Stand With Standing Rock -- Dec. 10
54] Free Leonard Peltier Vigil -- Dec. 10
55] WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BLACK? -- Dec. 10
56] CISPES Dance Party -- Dec. 10
57] Resist Trumpism – Jan. 20
58] Toys for animals
59] Need photos of the antinuclear vigil in front of the White House
60] Sign up with Washington Peace Center
61] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records
62] Do you need any book shelves?
63] Join the Global Zero campaign
64] Join the Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
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38] – On Fri., Dec. 9 from noon to 1 PM, join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in a vigil urging the powers that be to abolish war and torture, to disarm all weapons, to end indefinite detention, to close Guantanamo, to establish justice for all and help create the Beloved Community! This vigil will take place at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Contract Art @ artlaffin@hotmail.com or at 202-360-6416. 

39] – On Fri., Dec. 9 from noon to 1 PM, join a Women in Black peace vigil. A vigil will take place in McKeldin Square at the corner of Light and Pratt Sts., and another will take place outside Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St., across from the Rotunda.  Stay for as long as you can. Wear black. Dress for who knows what kind of weather. Bring your own poster or help with the "NO WAR IN MY NAME" banner.  When there are others to stand with, you don't need to carry the burden alone. Do this to be in solidarity with others....when everything around us says “Be afraid of the stranger.” Carpool and parking available at both locations. Just send an email that you need a ride [mailto:wibbaltimore@peacepath911.org].  Peace signs will be available. 

40] – Participate in a Book Talk: “The Way to the Spring” at The Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Ave. NW, WDC, on Fri., Dec. 9 from 12:30 to 2 PM. Join The Jerusalem Fund for a talk featuring author, Ben Ehrenreich. From 2011-2013, American journalist Ben Ehrenreich lived in different cities of the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families and writing major stories for American outlets including a cover story for The New York Times Magazine. During that time he was also gathering material for his book, which chronicles what he witnessed and experienced there, and places Palestine in the same terrain as the war genre associated with courageous journalism. Ehrenreich’s writing unflinchingly describes how Palestinians in the West Bank live under occupation, how they are ruled by the Israeli military, and how they are constantly harassed by Israeli settlers who admit they are trying to drive them from the land. He shows the ways in which they are forced to negotiate an ever more elaborate and more suffocating series of fences, checkpoints, and barriers that have sundered home from field, and home from home. His writing places us in the footsteps of ordinary Palestinians, transmitting their stories with consummate literary power, making it impossible for readers to turn away. Go to http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/events/upcoming/book-talk-way-spring.

41] – Stop Trump for Peace...End Drone Terror...Stop the Drone War Command Center in Horsham, PA on Fri., Dec. 9 from 4 to 5 PM.  FRIDAY's forecast is for cold and blustery winds which would make the Reach-Out un-doable (i.e. banner and sign holding, leafleting).  Please check your e-mail at noon on Friday as to the status of the Reach-Out. These 2nd Friday of the month Anti-War ‘Reach-Outs’ with banners, signs, literature table with goodies, alternate between the 30th Street Train Station and the SEPTA entrance at 15th & Market Streets, across from Phila. City Hall west side. Go to www.brandywinepeace.com/events or 484-574-1148.

42] – There is usually a silent vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends and Stony Run Meetings, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St.  The next scheduled vigil is on Dec. 9. Black Lives Matter.

43] – On Fri., Dec. 9 the Baltimore Palestine Solidarity hosts Film Series.  If you're not sure why Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions should be protected speech in Maryland, here's a good place to begin. Through film, both documentary and fiction, the groups wants to educate people on the Palestinian struggle for liberation. This is an opportunity to reconnect, learn and have dialogue. So bring a friend who's not familiar with the issue, and bring yourself to reconnect! See the film OPEN BETHLEHEM at the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218. Go to http://www.openbethlehem.org/the-film.html.It follows Palestinian director Leila Sansour's extraordinary journey to the legendary city of Bethlehem, the place where she grew up. Armed with a camera and a family car that keeps breaking down, she sets out to make an intimate portrait of a historical town in peril. Ten years on, with 700 hours of footage, the result is nothing like she had expected. Doors open at 6 PM. and the film will start promptly at 6:30 PM.   Authentic & Delicious Arabic food will be available; the suggested contribution is $5. No one will be turned away. Contact Sammy Alqasem at baltimorepalestinesolidarity@gmail.com

44] – Indigenous Rights and Environmental Issues: Problems and Solutions is a presentation taking place in the Continental Ballroom, George Washington University, Cloyd Heck, Marvin Center, Floor 3, 800 21st St. NW, WDC, on Fri., Dec. 9 at 6:30 PM.  Join in the discussion with Indigenous organizers and advocates from across the country. Topics will include a range of environmental issues and updates on how Native communities are addressing them. From resource extraction, to transport of oil and nuclear waste, and to deforestation, how are these communities affected? Speakers include Leona Morgan of Diné No Nukes, Jasilyn Charger of the International Indigenous Youth Council on the Dakota Access Pipeline, and other special guests.

45] – On Fri., Dec. 9 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, join an evening of short readings exploring trauma, gender identity, and more!  “Between Ghosts” is a collaboration between Reno Dakota [https://issuu.com/renodakota] (NM Esc) and SJ Lee. Based on a series of letters, phone calls, and telepathic correspondences. It uses ghostliness as a cypher for dissociation, loneliness, impermanence, the slippage between past and present, and the way people and places are haunted by trauma. Alain Ginsberg [https://www.facebook.com/ginsbergbutnotginsberg/] is an agender writer and performer from Baltimore, whose work focuses on narratives of gender identity, sexuality, and mental health and the ways in which trauma informs, skews, and builds onto those stories. Call 443-602-7585.  Go to http://www.redemmas.org.

46] – There is an opportunity to participate in ballroom dancing, usually every Friday of the month, in the JHU ROTC Bldg. at  8 PM.  Turn south on San Martin Dr. from the intersection of Univ. Parkway and 39th St.  Drive on campus by taking the third left turn. The next dance will be Dec. 10. Call Dave Greene at 410-599-3725.

47] -- CODEPINK invites you to its gun violence prevention intersectionality summit on Sat., Dec. 10 from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM at American University, Ward Circle Bldg., WDC. Register for Strength in Synergy: An Intersectional Summit to End Gun Violence - http://www.strengthinsynergy.com/.  The event is a one-day summit with workshops, panels, dialogue, and co-working sessions concluding with a concert of local artists dancing, performing spoken word, poetry, music, and singing. If you would like to volunteer, email Martha@codepink.org.

48] – Catch the conference U.S. Prisons: Conditions of Confinement at American University-Tenley Campus, 4300 Nebraska Ave. NW, Yuma Building, Claudio Grossman Hall, WDC 20016, on Sat., Dec. 10 from 8 AM to 4 PM. Join the international Leonard Peltier Defense Committee for this conference. See http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/.

49] – Each Saturday, 11 AM – 1 PM, Chester County Peace Movement holds a peace vigil in West Chester in front of the Chester County Courthouse, High & Market Sts. Go to www.ccpeace.org. Email ccpeacemovement@aol.com.

50] -Join WPOC’s Laurie DeYoung on Sat., Dec. 10 from noon to 2 PM at the Maryland SPCA, 3300 Falls Road, Baltimore 21211, to kick off the holiday gift drive for the animals at the Maryland SPCA and for community project, Kibble Connection. Help fill the sleigh with presents for the animals at the Maryland SPCA! Bring an in-kind and/or $5 donation to have your animal’s photo taken with Santa! Also featuring give-a-ways, music and a flea-less market of pet items. Learn more at http://www.mdspca.org/updates/detail/pet-photos-with-santa.

51] – On Sat., Dec. 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at Plymouth Congregational UCC Church, 5301 North Capitol St. NE (corner of N. Capitol & Riggs Rd./Missouri Ave.), WDC, come to an interactive workshop, "Doing Justice, Achieving Peace: Implementing the Exciting New UCC Resolution on Palestine-Israel (and similar actions passed by other denominations)," sponsored by Sabeel DC Metro, the Potomac Assn. and Rockville United Church.
Rev. Graylan S. Hagler, senior pastor of Plymouth Congregational UCC Church, who led a tour of African American clergy in the Holy Land, will be the keynote speaker--and the panel will include some of the pastors on the tour.   Doors open at 1 PM for light refreshments.  This workshop is funded by a grant to Rockville United Church from the Potomac Association of the Central Atlantic Conference, UCC.  Contact Paul Verduin at phverduin@gmail.com or (301-518-5551).  RSVPs are optional, but appreciated!  

52] – Youth Occupy the RNC at 310 First St. SE, WDC 20003, on Sat., Dec. 10 from 2 to 5 PM. The goal is to urge the Republican leaders to denounce the white nationalists, and bigots who are being appointed to White House positions. The youth believe the incoming administration is out to oppress, silence, and harm their voices, bodies and rights. 

53] – Stand With Standing Rock #NoDAPL in Freedom Plaza, 14th St. NW at Pennsylvania Ave. NW, WDC, on Sat., Dec. 10 from 2 to 5 PM.  Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere! Walk in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock from Freedom Plaza through the National Mall over to the National Museum of the American Indian.  RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/1696649317250421/.

54] – Attend to the #FreeLeonardPeltier Candlelight Vigil outside the White House on Sat., Dec. 10 from 5 to 8 PM. As part of Human Rights Week, vigil for executive clemency for Leonard Peltier in  Presidents Park, the Ellipse on the south side of the White House. Go to http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/.

55] – On Sat., Dec. 10 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, catch the discussion WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BLACK? Baltimore-based photographer SHAN's images have been on the walls of Red Emma's for the past month! Join SHAN and guests for the closing of her photo exhibit. Call 443-602-7585.  Go to http://www.redemmas.org.

56] – The D.C. CISPES Year End Dance Party will take place at St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1525 Newton St. NW, WDC, WDC, on Sat., Dec.10 from 8 PM to Sun., Dec. 11 at 1 AM. Join CISPES for a year-end celebration of another year of struggles and victories! In an election year like this one, we need to celebrate the power of organized movements and the power of solidarity. What better way than with good Compañeras, great dance music, delicious Salvadoran food and drinks of all kinds?! The suggested donation is from $10 to 30 at the door. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1121789641272351/.

57] – Join the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance in an Inaugural Action on January 20, 2017.  According to Forbes Magazine, Nov. 9, 2016, “President Trump Is Likely To Boost U.S. Military Spending By $500 Billion To $1 Trillion.” So we need a strong presence in D.C. for the inauguration to call for an end to all warfare, including drone warfare.  NCNR is organizing an action of nonviolent civil resistance on the day of the inauguration, Friday, January 20.  Some of us will be risking arrest, and we need others there in support and solidarity.  We will meet in the lower level food court at Union Station at 10 AM on the day of the inauguration for our final planning meeting.  We will have a final planning meeting knowing we have to keep things fluid because there is no certainty as to what will happen that day.
 The idea will be to process as near as possible to a checkpoint and make us visible to the crowds.  Then perhaps we can do a die-in.  We will have model drones, coffins, signs, banners, and leaflets to get our message across.  If you have ideas on messaging, please share over email.  Again, this will be a very fluid experience, and we will come together and make decisions as we go along. Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at Verizon dot net.

58] – Throughout December, the SPCA is collecting toys for the cats and dogs in the adoption center. The goal is to collect enough toys in one month to entertain the homeless animals in the shelter throughout the coming year by filling the sleigh! You can help by bringing new cat and dog toys and treats to the Maryland SPCA's adoption center, 3300 Falls Road, Baltimore MD 21211, or Project Adopt in White Marsh Mall, 8200 Perry Hall Blvd, Baltimore 21236. Some of the toys in short supply are Kongs, hard rubber chew toys, soft treats, toy mice (without catnip) and small cat balls w/ bells. Providing toys for the animals is more than a nice touch. Having toys and treats in the shelter environment helps socialize pets, reduces stress and improves health. Go to http://www.mdspca.org/updates/detail/presents-for-pets.

59] – Ellen Thomas [et@prop1.org or 202-210-3886 (cell and text)] sent this message: Hi, good friends and (hopefully) fellow photographers! There are so many great stories in the photos of the antinuclear vigil in front of the White House from 1981 to 2016 - see my growing collection at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B0FRCou5r5zOQk5JbHlTWWYwbHc.  If you have any photos or stories you think should be added, please send them to me <et@prop1.org> or post them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Thomas.Memorial/. 

60] --
The Washington Peace Center has a progressive calendar & activist alert! Consider signing up to receive its weekly email: info@washingtonpeacecenter.org.

61] -- If you would like to get rid of books, videos, DVDs or records, contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.

62] -- Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.

63] -- Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: http://www.globalzero.org/sign-declaration. A growing group of leaders around the world is calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and a majority of the global public agrees.  This is an historic window of opportunity.  With momentum already building in favor of Zero, a major show of support from people around the world could tip the balance. When it comes to nuclear weapons, one is one too many.

64] – A Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil takes place every day in Lafayette Park, 1601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 24 hours a day, since June 3, 1981. Go to http://prop1.org; call 202-682-4282.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.


“One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better" - Daniel Berrigan  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Site Smeared as 'Russian Propaganda' Demands Washington Post Retraction


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Site Smeared as 'Russian Propaganda' Demands Washington Post Retraction

"Your identification of Naked Capitalism as a 'fake news site' and as an agent for Russian propaganda designed to undermine American democracy is defamatory"



http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/wapo.jpg?itok=yP40bDFN
The allegations reported by Washington Post "have caused and will continue to cause great harm to Naked Capitalism," says letter from attorney. (Photo: Max Borge/flickr/cc)

  The progressive finance and economics website Naked Capitalism has demanded a retraction and apology from the Washington Post for its "astonishingly lazy report" smearing independent news outlets as "Russian propaganda."

   The Post story, as Common Dreams reported, cited anonymous organization PropOrNot in accusing multiple left-wing outlets of peddling "fake news" during the 2016 election as tools of a Russian "misinformation campaign." Naked Capitalism was among those named in the report, along with sites including TruthoutBlack Agenda ReportConsortium News, and Truthdig.

   The article drew widespread condemnation for the Post; for media outlets that "uncritically wrote up the Post's most incendiary claims with little or minimal pushback;" and for PropOrNot itself. 

   "To PropOrNot, simply exhibiting a pattern of beliefs outside the political mainstream is enough to risk being labelled a Russian propagandist," Adrian Chen wrote at the New Yorker.

   "The group...embodies the toxic essence of Joseph McCarthy, but without the courage to attach individual names to the blacklist," said Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton at The Intercept, who described Naked Capitalism's inclusion on the list as "[o]ne of the most egregious examples" of PropOrNot's "outright defamation."

   "That site was named by Time magazine as one of the best 25 Best Financial Blogs in 2011 and by Wired magazine as a crucial site to follow for finance, and [publisher Yves] Smith has been featured as a guest on programs such as PBS's Bill Moyers Show," Greenwald and Norton wrote. "Yet this cowardly group of anonymous smear artists, promoted by the Washington Post, has now placed them on a blacklist of Russian disinformation."

    In a letter dated Sunday, Naked Capitalism attorney James Moody gives the Post three days to respond to three listed demands: the immediate removal of the story from the newspaper's website; a "prominent public apology;" and "an equally prominent (i.e. not in the 'Comments' section) opportunity to respond."
"Your identification of Naked Capitalism as a 'fake news site' and as an agent for Russian propaganda designed to undermine American democracy is defamatory per se," reads the letter from Moody.

  It continues:

  You accuse Naked Capitalism of spreading "Russian-backed phony news to outcompete traditional news organizations for audience." These serious allegations have caused and will continue to cause great harm to Naked Capitalism, including but not limited to damage to policy impact and reputation, diversion of scarce reporting and managerial resources to respond to concerned inquires and debunk this smear, loss of readers, and damage to the site's profitability. Moreover, writers and editors associated with Naked Capitalism face ridicule, emotional distress, loss of reputation, and risk to future career advancement, including for example, difficulty passing background and security checks.

    In a less formal show of outrage this week, Naked Capitalism launched the "spoof PropOrNot.org site, which uses the PropOrNot project as an example of sorely deficient propaganda and shows where it went wrong."

   The site "came out of a desire to create more balance among the responses to this McCarthyite initiative," Smith wrote in her introduction to the humor site, which bills itself as: "Your Authentic Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service, Since 2016!"

   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"
The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Northrop's corporate welfare/ABC Host Hammers Pence Over Voter Fraud Claim: 'Why Is It Refreshing to Make False Statements?'


Northrop's corporate welfare
Trump's doubts on F-35 jet cast pall on pace of defense buildupcid:image001.png@01D24E88.11F9D470
This undated file photo provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., shows a production model of a F-35 A Joint Strike Fighter.
 (Xinhua / TNS)

Who thinks $20 million corporate handouts are good policy?
The Sun rightly gave the article, "Hogan, leaders OK deal on loan" (Nov. 30), front-page coverage. A mega-corporation which makes billions of dollars on manufacturing weapons of war is to receive a $20 million loan, which is to be forgiven, from Maryland taxpayers. Imagine what could be done with $20 million in Baltimore. The failing bridges could be replaced, leaky water pipes would be repaired, air conditioning would be added to schools, recreation centers would reopen and drug treatment centers would flourish.
I was actually disappointed in the article, as not one person was quoted in opposition. There must be opposition, as this is another example of a corporation playing one state against another to garner extraordinary benefits. In a better world, corporations would, instead of trying to extort tax dollars, ask what it could do to help make Maryland a better state.
I hope our elected officials do not fall prey to this egregious example of corporate welfare. Don't permit corporations to demand favors from the government. If jobs are an issue, then let the state embark on a major jobs program by promoting sustainability. Living wage jobs would abound if the state were to engage in a transformation from dirty to clean energy. Please keep Maryland's tax dollars away from greedy corporations.
Max Obuszewski, Baltimore
Copyright © 2016, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication

Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)

ABC Host Hammers Pence Over Voter Fraud Claim: 'Why Is It Refreshing to Make False Statements?'

By David Edwards [1] / Raw Story [2]
December 4, 2016

  Vice president-elect Mike Pence asserted on Sunday that Donald Trump was “entitled” to say that millions of Americans voted illegally — even if the claim was false.

   During an interview on ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos reminded the future vice president of a recent tweet in which Trump declared that he lost the popular vote because of the “millions of people who voted illegally.”

“That claim is groundless,” Stephanopoulos pointed out. “There’s no evidence to back it up. Is it responsible for a president elect to make false statements like that?”

   Pence defended himself by pointing to an unrelated 2012 Pew Center study on outdated voter registrations. However, the study’s author has said that he found no evidence of voter fraud. Politifact recently gave [3] Trump’s team a “Pants of Fire” rating for linking the Pew Study to voter fraud.

  “That statement is false,” the ABC host pressed.

   “I think the president-elect just wants to call to attention the fact that there has been evidence over many years,” Pence stuttered. “It’s certainly his right.”
“It’s his right to make false statements?” Stephanopoulos asked.

   “I think one of the things that’s refreshing about our president-elect,” Pence replied, “I think he made such an incredible connection with people all across this country because he tells you what’s on his mind.”

   “But why is it refreshing to make false statements?” Stephanopoulos wondered.
“Can you provide any evidence to back up that statement?” the ABC host asked again.“I don’t know that is a false statement and neither do you,” Pence snapped. 
  
  “There is historic evidence from the Pew Research Center that voter fraud has taken place.”

  “He’s entitled to express his opinion on that,” Pence remarked. “I think the American people find it very refreshing that they have a president who will tell them what’s on his mind.”

  “Whether it’s true or not,” Stephanopoulos concluded.

Watch the video below from ABC News, broadcast Dec. 4, 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9gqNTDA4fI.

David Edwards is a writer for Raw Story. 

        [5]


Links:

[1] http://www.alternet.org/authors/david-edwards
[2] http://rawstory.com/
[3] http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/nov/28/donald-trump/donald-trumps-pants-fire-claim-millions-illegal-vo/
[4] mailto:corrections@alternet.org?Subject=Typo on ABC Host Hammers Pence Over Voter Fraud Claim: 'Why Is It Refreshing to Make False Statements?'
[5] http://www.alternet.org/
[6] http://www.alternet.org/%2Bnew_src%2B


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


ExxonMobil Fires Back at Massachusetts AG Maura Healey With Own Suit

ExxonMobil has demanded that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey provide documents from her office. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
ExxonMobil has demanded that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey provide documents from her office. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

ExxonMobil Fires Back at Massachusetts AG Maura Healey With Own Suit

By Stephanie Ebbert, The Boston Globe
05 December 16

   When Attorney General Maura Healey and other law enforcement officials announced last spring that they were pursuing fraud investigations against the world’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil, former vice president Al Gore called it “the most hopeful step I can remember in a long time” to combat climate change.

   “Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change should be, must be, held accountable,” Healey said at the time. “We can all see today the troubling disconnect between what Exxon knew, what industry folks knew, and what the company and industry chose to share with investors and with the American public.”

  Now those words are being used against Healey, in a lawsuit filed by ExxonMobil. In a stunning offense-is-the-best-defense legal strategy, the company is trying to flip a politically loaded case on its head, saying the Massachusetts Democrat’s investigation violates their free speech and other constitutional rights, and that her comments demonstrate she had judged the company guilty before even conducting an investigation.
In its legal battle to shut down her investigation, ExxonMobil has demanded that she testify about her efforts and provide documents from her office — a fight that will play out this week in Suffolk Superior Court and next week in a Texas courtroom.

   “We have no choice but to defend ourselves against politically motivated investigations that are biased, in bad faith, and without legal merit,” said Alan T. Jeffers, media relations manager for Exxon Mobil Corp. “We did not start this, but we will see it through and will vigorously defend ourselves against false allegations and mischaracterizations of our climate research and investor communications.”

   Healey contends the corporate response is unprecedented: Not only is the subject of an investigation refusing to comply, it is demanding an investigation of the investigating agency.

  “They took the tack of trying to shut down this investigation by suing us,” she said. “And that’s all this is: a big corporation who doesn’t like that we’re asking questions and exercising our responsibility and prerogative as the attorney general’s office to protect investors.”

   Healey, a liberal Democrat who soared to her first election as attorney general in 2014, has since seized on audacious, high-impact legal battles, going after gunmakers to try to block “copycat” assault rifles and suing Volkswagen for knowingly selling diesel cars with emissions problems for years.

  After an ugly presidential election campaign and a rise in complaints about bullying and discriminatory harassment, she launched a hate-crimes hot line that logged more than 400 calls in a week. In a fund-raising e-mail last week, Healey pledged to fight President-elect Donald Trump on any of his “unconstitutional campaign promises.”

   “If he overreaches, I intend to be there as the People’s Lawyer to stop him — with my voice, with the law and with you at my side,” Healey wrote in the e-mail from her campaign committee.

   But in the ExxonMobil case, she is being accused of politically motivated overreach herself.

   When Healey issued subpoenas seeking ExxonMobil’s documents on climate change dating to the 1970s, she was “abusing the power of government to silence a speaker she disfavors,” lawyers for ExxonMobil wrote in their June lawsuit against her, alleging a violation of the company’s rights under the First, Fourth and 14th amendments to the Constitution.

  And they criticized the stories that prompted the investigation: Reports published in 2015 by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times suggested ExxonMobil had encouraged climate change confusion for years, despite its own research documenting the risks. Documents showed ExxonMobil had begun making accommodations to its properties, raising the decks of offshore platforms and protecting pipelines from coastal erosion before launching a campaign to discredit the likelihood of climate change effects.
Jeffers criticized “allegations pushed by activists and inaccurate media reports that claim we reached definitive conclusions about climate change decades before the world’s experts and while climate science was in an early stage of development.” “This is simply not credible,” he said.

  In March, Healey joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other states’ officials in announcing they planned to pursue investigations of the oil company with a creative legal strategy.

  They were banding together to tackle an issue that had proved intractable on the federal level — in much the same way that states had successfully challenged tobacco companies — alleging the company had deceived consumers about the life-threatening perils of its own product.

   Fourteen states and the District of Columbia formed a “Climate Change Coalition Common Interest Agreement” and agreed to share documents and information and to keep their deliberations confidential.

  Only New York and Massachusetts have issued subpoenas to date, however.

   Despite the sweeping ambitions expressed in the March news conference with Gore, Healey downplayed the states’ goals in an interview with the Globe on Friday, suggesting the attorneys general were merely working to protect consumer interests.

   “Anytime we learn information suggesting or raising questions about whether consumers or investors were duped, we investigate,” Healey said.

   “This is not about changing climate policy,” Healey added. “The goal of this investigation is to get to the bottom of what happened, whether or not it’s true that Exxon knew certain information and made misrepresentations to consumers and investors. It’s as simple as that.”

   The Massachusetts Republican Party has criticized Healey for pursuing the case and for hiring one of the most expensive law firms in the Dallas area to represent her office in the Texas case.

   “The attorney general has spared no expense when it comes to using public money to advance her political career,” said MassGOP’s chairwoman, Kirsten Hughes.
In resisting the states’ pressure to produce documents, ExxonMobil turned the tables on the attorneys general, requesting a treasure trove of documents from them in an apparent attempt to demonstrate they were coordinating strategy with environmental activists.
In addition, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, a climate change skeptic who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, accused them of a conspiracy to quash “legitimate scientific debate about climate change” and issued subpoenas to Schneiderman, Healey, and environmental groups.

  So far, they, too, have resisted. Massachusetts’ all-Democratic congressional delegation has countered with a letter to Smith, calling his efforts an abuse of power.

   Ironically, this is happening at a time when there is little lingering debate about the realities of climate change. Even ExxonMobil acknowledges climate change is real, that it is caused by increasing carbon emissions, and that it warrants action.

   Despite the election of Trump, who cast doubt on climate change during his campaign, public opinion seems to be moving, said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has received subpoenas from both the House committee and ExxonMobil.

   “I think the tide is turning on the issue,” said Kimmell, who pointed to a federal court decision last month in Oregon that gave young people the right to sue the government for failing to protect them from the future effects of climate change.

C 2015 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Support Chelsea's Petition to Obama

Published on Portside (https://portside.org)

Support Chelsea's Petition to Obama


Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Chelsea Manning Suppport Network
https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/field/image/chelseapetition.jpg?itok=Eqdw9aoL

Official clemency application [2] from Chelsea Manning.

November 10, 2016

  Also coverage by the Guardian [3] and the New York Times [4]. November 14, 2016
Chelsea has been informed that the Army will hold another disciplinary hearing on the second attempted suicide, which was prompted by the punishment given by the first disciplinary hearing following her initial suicide attempt.

New York Times

November 4, 2016

   Chelsea Manning tried to commit suicide last month as she was starting a week of solitary confinement at the prison barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., her punishment for a previous attempt to end her life [5] in July.

    Ms. Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking archives of secret documents to WikiLeaks, disclosed the attempted suicide, which took place Oct. 4, in a statement  [6]she dictated over the phone to a member of her volunteer support network. She asked that it be sent this week to The New York Times, according to members of the network who want to keep their identities private.

   Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Ms. Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, confirmed the attempt, which raised new questions about the military’s handling of the troubled soldier, dating to when she was permitted to deploy to Iraq and kept at her post in a secure facility despite signs of erratic behavior.



Chelsea Manning Supporters Launch Last-Ditch Call for Clemency

Lauren McCauley, staff writer [8], Common Dreams
November 20, 2016

   With mere weeks left under an Obama presidency, advocates have launched what they describe as a last ditch effort to save national security whistleblower Chelsea Manning [9]before Donald Trump and his team of pro-torture [10]anti-LGBTQ [11] war hawks [12] ascend to power.

    With a protest [13]outside the White House on Saturday and a vigil [14] outside Fort Leavenworth prison, where Manning is being held, on Sunday, advocates are amplifying their call for a presidential pardon for Manning.

   Specifically, supporters are asking President Barack Obama to commute Manning's sentence to time served, pointing [15] to the fact that Manning "has already served more time in prison than any individual in United States history who disclosed information in the public interest," though "[h]er disclosures harmed no one."

  Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence, formally submitted a petition [16] earlier this week asking for a reduced sentence.

   "Chelsea Manning has been incarcerated since May 2010, including in unlawful, unusually harsh solitary confinement for 11 months before her trial," reads a new White House petition [15]

   The petition draws attention to the fact that, as Obama himself has recognized, that "prisoners who face solitary confinement are more likely to commit suicide." And as a transgender woman in a men's facility "facing ongoing mistreatment," Manning is highly at risk.

   In an appeal for clemency, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) staff attorney Chase Strangio, a friend of Manning, published [17] an open letter to Obama. 
Noting Manning's repeated suicide attempts [18] and ongoing mistreatment [19], on top of the "pain of serving in the Army for years under both Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the ban on open transgender service, Strangio writes: "If you do not act to free her now, she may never be free to live the truth that she for so long was forced to repress."

  "This request comes at the peak of Chelsea's escalating trauma and despair and on the eve of a new Administration's rise to power," the letter continues. "Her life is in your hands."


Links:

[1] http://t.ymlp15.com/wwueaaaejwbqatayewanawbbw/click.php
[2] http://t.ymlp15.com/wwujacaejwbqafayewafawbbw/click.php
[3] http://t.ymlp15.com/wwubadaejwbqarayewaiawbbw/click.php
[4] http://t.ymlp15.com/wwuhanaejwbqaoayewacawbbw/click.php
[5] http://t.ymlp15.com/wwuqapaejwbqaxayewanawbbw/click.php
[6] http://t.ymlp15.com/wwuyanaejwbqarayewagawbbw/click.php
[7] http://t.ymlp15.com/wwesapaejwbqanayewaxawbbw/click.php
[8] http://www.commondreams.org/author/lauren-mccauley-staff-writer
[9] http://www.commondreams.org/tag/chelsea-manning
[10] http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/11/20/installing-torture-fan-cia
[11] http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/04/will-vp-debate-expose-mike-pences-outrageous-unacceptable-record
[12] http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/11/18/trump-taps-master-assassin-right-wing-nutty-national-security-advisor
[13] https://www.chelseamanning.org/events/white-house-action-for-chelsea
[14] https://www.chelseamanning.org/events/fort-leavenworth-vigil-for-chelsea
[15] https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/commute-chelsea-mannings-sentence-time-served-1
[16] http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/11/14/chelsea-manning-whose-leaks-helped-expose-military-criminality-asks-obama-reduce-her
[17] https://medium.com/@chase.strangio/president-obama-please-save-chelsea-manning-4b4b2fb72ed4#.9p9yihc9f
[18] http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/07/12/chelsea-manning-confirms-suicide-attempt-i-will-get-through
[19] http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/23/punished-suicide-attempt-chelsea-manning-sentenced-solitary-confinement

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs