Last Week’s Posts; Tuesday Meeting Preview; Thoughts on a Future Path

From the mouths of youth, a clarifying shift in strategy, plus our plan for the 2020 legislative session that needs to include you. Come Tuesday night to find out how. Details here, and links to last week’s posts.

2020 Legislative Preview, Preparation & Training: What will be introduced, what might not, and what you can do.

Tuesday, Nov 19, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos, Santa Fe. Join us in person in Santa Fe or via live stream at the Retake Facebook page. Learn which bills are likely to be “on the Governor’s call” in 2020: Abortion Decriminalization? Red Flag? Community Solar? A Just Transition Plan? Find out how to advocate now to get bills on the call, and learn about effective advocacy strategies to use during the Session. 

Please RSVP by clicking here (Facebook) or writing to us at

Sharon Shoemaker, Retake Leadership Team Member, Has My View Published in New Mexican

On Sunday, Sharon Shoemaker had an excellent My View published. She focused on NM policy in relation to gas and oil and the need for a just transition. Retake has a resource for making it easier for you to publish your own My View, or for a much easier task, a letter to the editor. If we want to engage and educate our community, this is an important tool. Click here to read Sharon’s My View. Click here to review the page with contact info for the ten largest newspapers in NM along with tips on how to get your writing published.

A New Strategy for Finding Our New Path

Time for forging a new path together.

Tuesday’s post headline originally used the term “dystopian.” And frankly I think it caused folks to pause before clicking and then move on, with a thought of “maybe later.” For most, later didn’t come and that is understandable.

Of late, there has been precious little good news and only so much bad news we can absorb. I had an interesting conversation about this with my youngest son, Jesse, age 26. He joined me and my other son and his wife in Cleveland to meet our new family addition, my first grandson, Jesse’s first nephew.

The conversation ranged broadly. He is a thoughtful young man who once was very active politically with a focus on climate issues. He has withdrawn from that action because he sees no path forward that will make a difference. That was a very difficult message to hear, but he went on to say: If you want people to take action, stop telling them about how horrible things are and tell them what they can do. Thank you, Jesse.

His sage advice came too late to change what was published last week and I still feel it’s important to confront the realities and challenges we face head on. But Dahr Jamail and Chris Hedges, while such great writers, can leave you feeling sapped. And sapped is not often a good starting point to action. So, going forward, I am going to heed my son’s advice and lighten up on the more sobering aspects of reality and look for signs of hope and opportunity.

This commitment begins tomorrow as we will feature a guest post from one of our longtime supporters, Richard Welker. You will not want to miss it, as he articulately calls for a new path and one that is not littered with policies as much as comprised of changing our world view. Make sure to tune in.

If Louisiana Can Do It, So Can NM

Saturday, Louisiana chose to re-elect John Edwards a Democrat, as Governor, despite Trump campaigning vigorously for his opponent and painting Edwards as the devil incarnate. And yet, Louisiana chose not to follow the Trumpian path. To be clear, Edwards is not a hallmark of progressive values and is staunchly pro-life, having signed into law one of the more regressive abortion laws in the country. But he also makes a distinction not found in many (maybe any) pro-life conservatives, stating that he is not just “pro birth” but rather “pro-life” and so he has pressed for legislation calling for Medicaid expansion, investment in schools, protecting LGBTQ rights, and reforming the criminal justice system to address mass incarceration. These are not policies commonly associated with the Deep South.

This makes two Democratic victories this month in Deep South Gubernatorial elections along with the flipping of the Virginia legislature. A new path is being forged. We need to do our part in NM, so please plan to come to our meeting on Tuesday to plot strategy and begin laying a path to a better future, a frack-free future, in NM.

A Look at Last Week’s Posts

California 2019: A Glimpse at Our Future Where Climate Change Changes Us All

This is the post that triggered my son’s comments.

I share the story below about life in much of California today, as I feel it serves as a canary in the coal mine for those of us who have yet to experience the immediate impacts of what is surely coming. And I actually feel it is a very good and very immediate and personal view on the ways in which life has changed for millions in California. But I also plan to heed Jesse’s advice. Going forward, far less on how bad it is and far more on what others are doing and what more we all can do.

Click here to read this very important post.

The Military Industrial Complex and the 1% Challenge to Democracy

In this post, I strung together excerpts from two brilliant articles by Chris Hedges. While he is as unsparing as ever, these do not bludgeon you into submission, like when he is writing on the looming climate catastrophe. Rather, they clearly outline the degree to which the machinations of government are serving the elite, the corporatocracy at the great disservice to all of humanity.

Click here to read the full post.

Democracy at the Crossroads

This piece focused exclusively upon a very well written and researched Atlantic piece that examined the growing political divide in America, its causes, precedents, dangers & potential vast gains for justice. The Atlantic arrives at a surprising conclusion as to how we can continue this experiment with democracy. This is very worth your review if you missed it.

Click here to read the full post.

Let’s do this. It is our time to create the new path forward.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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6 replies

  1. Paul, we need to know exactly where we are and be honest about it, no matter how hard the truth is, but we also need to have a positive outlet for our well-justified anger and depression – what are some of the paths forward? How do we work AROUND the system? I enjoyed reading the links posted by your reader corndogcatman. Thank you for your regular newsletter. Your perseverance has been amazing. You are a real leader.

  2. Until we hold ALL officials accountable for their actions that are not pro life in the broadest sense we will still be at the mercy of their decisions
    Indeed take back our lives by not allowing actions unsuitable to the well being of ALL life above and below ground and demand change in the system of corporate bondage to support healthy community
    The city of SF needs a lot of work , how to expose the corruption and hijacking of our well being is a major project in and of itself . Who is up for that?
    Until I see this as a concerted effort I am watching and working in my own small way each day right where I am.

  3. I think it will be advantageous to begin to understand where we really stand and what we, 20th century generations, did or did not do that brought us to these troubling and trying times.

    First Action Item.

    We, in this group, are at different stages of decolonization of our minds and hearts, but we need to understand, and accept the fact, that this is a continuous and necessary process for us as individuals and as a group. This is most probably the most difficult action because it confronts us, by necessity, with our own delusions created by too many lies we innocently or/and unwillingly accepted as truths, as reality. This happened to our grandparents, parents and ourselves and is called by psychologists child/individual socialization. Our capitalistic culture has perfected this colonization of the American people, and of everybody else in the planet, which is a never ending process of brainwashing/teaching.

    Second Action Item.

    If XR is right,when it sponsors the idea that all we need is 3-4% of the population to achieve system change, then we can focus on our neighborhoods and city,and on our county to bring a relatively small number of people on our side. This is not only feasible but necessary for success. That is, if the XR’s theory has any foundation on reality.

    Third Action Item.

    We know that over a third, or maybe close to half, of Global Warming is caused by our industrialized agricultural/food system.

    We can begin to solve this problem now, here, in SF and in our county.

    As ‘consumers’ we can reconnect to the local land, its farmers and ranchers, by demanding and participating in the further developing our Local Foodshed. (We already have a local Foodshed but it feeds a very small percentage of our local population.

    ‘Traditional farming’, that is farming without any man made inputs or, as we call it today, Regenerative Farming and Ranching, should be demanded by us, consumers.

    Most of our local farmers already use these methods.

    This new/old method/s of farming and ranching – traditional, permaculture, biodinamic – will achieve several things. It will immediately stop contributing to GW, it will keep our money local and help heal our local economy, it will help heal the soil (and the planet), it will begin to replenish and grow our soils’ microbiome which in turn will begin to heal our own microbiome as we eat mostly locally grown food. It will sink much needed carbon in our soils, it will help our soils absorb and store much needed water…and more.

    Fourth Action Item.

    We can, right now, explore CELDF’s analysis of our country’s law system, how it was developed and perfected during the last 200 years of empire building, to oppress us while serving our elites. We may also want to understand fully CELDF’s view of how to achieve deep systemic change.


  4. Yes we do need a reckoning, an understanding of the decisions, policies and history of how we got here. Decolonization is a really good start to overcome the systemic brainwashing. Once we start to understand the lies and propaganda we are exposed to every day, due to corrupt unregulated corporate capitalism and deceptive mass media, it serves as a way to understand how to fix it.

    The media refuses to cover the costs of war, and runs a counter narrative about “honoring” the veterans. Our state is dependent on military spending, and our politicians are very friendly to the war profiteers. The affection is returned by LANL, one of the biggest recipients of federal funding. There was not much push-back on the plutonium pits production at Los Alamos, since it presented billions in “economic development.” They developed amnesia about the number of safety incidents, and the legacy of the atomic industry here in NM. The indigenous people in New Mexico were not the only ones who were exploited for uranium. The existential threat of nuclear war, takes a backseat to “economic development.

    One of the first big issues is the Citizens United Decision, unlimited corporate money and money equaling “free speech” is destroying what was left of an informed public, the basis for democracy. We have to look at the financial interests behind every local decision, and the “public servants” who only serve the rich and the corporations. Corruption is no longer a crime, it is business as usual and most of it is not recognized, it has been almost completely normalized.

    Our local media continues it’s false narrative” about crime, while how we got here in not brought to light. Incarceration, for profit prisons, cuts to education, racial and economic inequality, are all contributors to crime, yet this never gets covered. The courts have systematically contributed to all of it, and the denial continues. A traumatized population, and children with an incarcerated parent or parents who work too many hours at low wage employment. The problem is generational yet they are still in denial about it all. The occasional mention of trauma in relation to drug abuse, alcohol statistics and behavioral health, does not mean that this issue it being addressed. It might appear to be to the casual observer, but advertising it does not make it so. There has been no paradigm shift at the various state agencies, that have “partnered” with corporations, or the non profits the state contracts with. In fact they do not have the qualified people needed, due to years of neo liberal “cost cutting.”

    There are not enough teachers, nurses, physicians or psychologists and social workers to even implement anything meaningful. All they did was offset the costs, to the families, who had to pay bail, or deal with a family member with a substance abuse or behavioral health problem. They are still peddling “law enforcement” instead of education, good paying jobs and a meaningful life..The corrupt courts could often depend on parents or grandparents, to pay for lawyers, bail and fees, like a legal extortion racket. Judges routinely overlook the lack of basic services, as if we live in a society where sick people, the addicted or the poor have access to “help.” They over represent the impact of charity, and charity has become an industry in itself.

    We also need to take a realistic look at our food system. Locally produced food is more nutritious, since it has not traveled thousand of miles, sat in warehouses, and sits in the store for a long period, or get wrapped in plastic to increase shelf life. The big box stores, dollar stores and convenience stores have driven out any competition from local producers of food. Organizations like MoGro try to bring local produce to the people, but they have to operate as a non profit, because healthy real food is perishable. Unfortunately the big box stores have pushed out any competition and shelf stable food is less expensive and more readily available.

    These big box stores have destroyed neighborhoods, instead of a small store with groceries and fresh produce, people have to make an expedition to get a few vegetables. Along the way they are forced to endure calculated marketing, mysterious deceptive labeling, and low priced processed foods. People with limited incomes are forced to seek out “bargains” and cheap processed foods are really no bargain. We subsidize these stores, as they wreak havoc on our health, perpetuate obesity and diabetes, and cost our public health system. The wellness crusaders portray these deadly foods, and the proliferation of fast food as a “choice” for consumers.

    Even at the hardware stores, there are displays of sugary drinks and super sized candy bars. The garbage food is everywhere, and is wrapped in plastic, easily accessible, and profitable. Overworked tired people are barraged with it all, making it not really a choice. Even the food banks give out cheap processed foods, and item like donuts or sheet cakes, that sat on the shelf for too long. The food stamp program allows the dollar stores, big box stores and even pharmacies to take EBT. There is no requirement that they sell anything healthy or perishable, the cheap processed food is really profitable, their only concern.

    A lot of this tracks back to court decisions, like the Walmart decision. All that the big corporations have to do was make it appear they were “saving the consumers money” and these monopolies are allowed. This article discusses the Robertson Patman Act, Now even the capitalists are getting concerned about monopolies. Here in NM a lot of communities have no choice, but Walmart and it is having a disastrous effect on our health. We are not even allowed to know how many of our tax dollars go to subsidize these stores.

    Once you start unraveling the lies and corporate propaganda , you see it everywhere!

    Here are more interesting articles, UNM is one of the “most complicit” The oil and gas industry is also very generous to our underfunded colleges.

    Google helped Trump get elected, now they want to profit from our health data.

    A few New Mexican die every year as the windstorms get stronger and blow dust onto our highways, due to global warming. New diseases from the dust and the pathogens it spreads are showing up.

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