We could be on a slippery slope to fascism as Congress may give the President power to detain anyone indefinitely without cause. This post also includes updates on Yazzie-Lovejoy and Romero-Trujillo campaigns. Also details on Monday’s PPC Rally.
Are We on a Slippery Slope to Fascism?
- Our current president was not elected by a majority of Americans and he claims millions of instances of voter fraud deprived him of a majority (no evidence of fraud);
- He has withdrawn the US from both the Paris Accord and the Iran deal, isolating America and creating a real threat of major war in the Middle East, a war that could be used to create a national emergency in the US;
- A vast concentration of the media severely limits access to information, with Trump supporters largely relying on Fox News alt-news broadcasts that report every Trumpism as unquestioned truth, and with Trump constantly describing the media as lying or misrepresenting facts;
- A large minority of Americans feel entirely disenfranchised and unserved by Government, providing Trump a solid base to espouse his ‘drain the swamp’ nonsense;
Given all of the above, and given the alarming consolidation of corporate power, the concentration of media, the continuing attacks on our justice system and Mueller, news that a bipartisan Senate Joint Resolution S.J.Res.59 is working its way through Congress should send shock waves throughout the activist community.
The bill would give the president broad new powers through an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Democratic committee member Tim Kaine (Virginia) introduced the bipartisan bill on April 16, and it has four additional co-sponsors. According to a report in Truthout: “This proposed 2018 AUMF would replace the 2001 AUMF that Congress gave George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks. Although the 2001 AUMF authorized the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force” only against individuals and groups responsible for the 9/11 attacks, three presidents have relied on it to justify at least 37 military operations in 14 countries, many of them unrelated to 9/11. But the 2018 AUMF would codify presidential power to make war whenever and wherever he chooses.” Elimination of Congress’ role in approving an act of war and putting that power squarely in the hands of Donald Trump is a chilling thought.
According to Truthout, “S.J.Res.59 allows the president ‘to use all necessary and appropriate force” against Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia, al-Qaeda, ISIS (also known as Daesh), the Taliban and their “associated forces’ anywhere in the world, without limitation.” The President would be able to designate anyone as part of an ‘associated force’ and then detain them indefinitely. For example, Trump could designate an organization staging protests against his policies in Iran as being an associated force of Iran and detain indefinitely leaders of the organization and even those participating in the protest. This would be perfectly legal and without need for Congressional approval of the designation. We should be afraid. Click here to read the full Truthout report.
A Response to the Slide into Fascism & Injustice: The New Poor People’s Campaign
Poor People’s Campaign Santa Fe. Monday, May 14, 2pm at the Eastside Entrance to the Roundhouse. There could hardly be a better timed direct action than the New Poor People’s Campaign’s kickoff on Monday. As reported above, Congress is considering actions to threaten our rights to protest government actions and Trump continues his militaristic America First behaviors. These are dark and dangerous times and we need to join together to pose a visible nationwide challenge to these trends.
The launch of the Poor People’s Campaign is Monday, May 14. It will be the first of a series of direct actions and acts of civil disobedience over a 40-day period. We are losing what is left of the limited democracy that has ever existing. It is time to say ENOUGH and to say it very clearly.
On the 14th, there will be a front line team of 40 activists who have been trained for direct action and will be arriving at the Roundhouse together at 2pm, singing, chanting, and carrying signs. We need hundreds, no thousands of you to greet us. There be a team of PPC leaders at the Roundhouse to get you singing and chanting before we arrive. If you want to become part of the frontline team for future events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list for future training and to be kept informed about NM events over the next 40 days. Find out more about the campaign at https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org
- Saturday, May 12, 9:30am at Zendo, 413 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
- Saturday, May 12, 11am, at the home of Lauren Meiklejohn. Email Lauren to get address and directions at email@example.com
- Sunday, May 13, at 12:30 at Zendo 413 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Canvass for Yazzie in Santa Fe
At the launch location below, you will get routes, flyers, and a script, as well as meet folks who canvassed last weekend for Janene, getting a tremendous response from those contacted. Please RSVP so we can get you sufficient routes by writing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meet at this time and location:
- Saturday, May 12,1pm at Starbucks at: 4960 Promenade Blvd, Santa Fe, NM 87507.
Who is Janene Yazzie?
- She co-founded a watershed program that worked with local and national gov organizations, Army Core of Engineers, USDA, USGS, Soil and Water Conservation District.
- She wrote a proposal that brought in $4.6 million in watershed planning.
- She has represented indigenous people at the UN at the Indigenous Peoples Forum.
For more on Janene and her campaign, click here.
Trujillo Claims to Have Passed a Lie Detector Test, but…. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Rep. Carl Trujillo has asserted he has passed a lie detector test when questioned about the alleged harassment charges against him. In the New Mexican, Bonar’s attorney Levi Monagle, responded. “I recall Roy Moore taking a polygraph test and touting that as proof positive.” The New Mexican also reported on how: “Experts, such as those with the American Psychological Association, have long been skeptical of the science behind so-called lie-detector tests.” So I did some digging.
From a recent report in the APA: “But, as psychologist Leonard Saxe, PhD, (1991) has argued, the idea that we can detect a person’s veracity by monitoring psychophysiological changes is more myth than reality.” The APA study goes on to state: “The accuracy (i.e., validity) of polygraph testing has long been controversial. An underlying problem is theoretical: There is no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception. An honest person may be nervous when answering truthfully and a dishonest person may be non-anxious. Also, there are few good studies that validate the ability of polygraph procedures to detect deception. As Dr. Saxe and Israeli psychologist Gershon Ben-Shahar (1999) note, ‘it may, in fact, be impossible to conduct a proper validity study.'” Click here to read the study.
Also reported in the New Mexican: “In the ensuing days, Trujillo has faced a slowly mounting backlash. On Thursday, the New Mexico Building Trades Council — a coalition of labor unions — pulled its endorsement of him. And on Friday, the political action committee for a major teachers union followed suit. NEA-New Mexico’s EdPAC said “’attacks by powerful people on individuals who raise allegations of misconduct create a hostile environment inhibiting individuals from speaking out.’” Click here to read the full New Mexican article.
Paul & Roxanne