Saturday, August 1, 2020

Social Unity, Insurrection and Non-Violence

by Don Eichelberger

The nation has laid to rest civil rights icon John Lewis, and I cast about for what can unify the angry rift in the world. It is strongest between people who either love Trump or hate him; the one unifying message seems to be “disaffection with America-as-it-is”.  But there is no unity on the reasons for the disaffection, let alone how to fix them.

What started as localized protests in the name of Black Lives Matter against police for the brutal killings of George Floyd, Brionna Taylor, Amaud Arbery and others became a national protest movement against institutional racism evidenced not only by regular killings of black, often unarmed men by cops and white people, but also by Covid19’s disproportional impact on minority communities. 

Then, as sometimes armed white supremacists waving confederate flags protested the coronavirus shutdown and need to wear masks around the country, the symbols of white supremacy came under attack. Monuments to slave owners, Indian killers and leaders who led the fight against the United States for the Confederacy were attacked and taken down, and the Confederate flag was barred by NASCAR.

Donald Trump and his core rose to protect these monuments to America’s racist past, so what started as protests for black justice has evolved in to—some would say been taken over by — a more general protest against the government, and Trump specifically. If and to what extent BLM concerns lose focus will become known after the next (inevitable) killing of a person of color by police.

Meanwhile, the largely white battle lines being drawn seems to unite the Trump lovers and haters protesting either Deep State lackeys or Wall Street oligarchs, depending on your view. So the question becomes, is government an entrenched, corrupt Deep State stealing our taxes to create a communist welfare state that takes away our competitiveness and creates an administrative bureaucracy to stifle entrepreneurship with environmental and economic regulation? Or is it the puppet of oligarchic interests to keep labor costs down, stock markets and war profits high, support predatory Capitalism and cut taxes on the rich while gutting social support programs?

We can have our differences.

Citizenship is taking a hard hit as we try to come to terms with what America really stands for and what it is to respect the National Anthem. My mom came to this country in the late 1920’s as a child from Lithuania. She said she learned from American movies she saw in Vilnius that America had endless possibilities where everybody gets rich. She was shaken when the Depression showed her there are poor people in America, too. But she would still stand and put her hand over her heart when the Anthem played, even on TV before a ball game. If we look we see many non-citizens who love America’s promise. They send their children to school and work hard for a better life. They really are “the invisible hand of the marketplace”.  Sometimes they send money to help relatives back where they came from.

Natural born citizens populating Trump rallies cheer with anger at Mexican rapists, Kaepernick and anthem kneelers, anti-Fascists, anarchists, stone-crazy protesters, Chinese “Kung Flu”, fake news media and Barack Obama. Recent rallies were held at the site of a historical black massacre on the practically sacred Juneteenth Holiday, and soon after at a granite cliff defaced with the images of colonial conquerors of the original native owners of the defaced rocks on the day celebrating the founding of the invader country. Neither venues nor timing showed a great deal of racial sensitivity. The coincidence is stark.

Citizen protesters are tiring, and media is tiring of citizen protest, at least until the next horrific, inevitable killing happens. But as protests become insurrection against Trump’s strong arm tactics, a new level of chaos is emerging as a population restless from the weeks of shutdown acts out.

Armed paramilitaries patrol and set up barricades in the streets; illegal fireworks are shot at federal troops brought in by Donald Trump to “dominate the streets” against protesters. Feds escalate by shooting back tear gas and rubber bullets in shows of force. Emergency vehicles are blockaded; people protest having to wear face masks and social distancing; community shootings increase, with children dying. Protests are everywhere with no unifying voice or seeming goal; just the kind of chaos Steve Bannon has worked for.

As we slide from civil protest to civil insurrection, we need to keep in mind the opening this leaves for “strong men” of every stripe to take over and derail real “revolutionary” change through force and intimidation; those things that non-violence sprang from the heart of Gandhi to confront. Change obviously needs to come; it has been needed for a long time. Trump didn’t start all this, but he was definitely the water dropped in burning grease. But we can’t beat Trump by trying to be Trump.

John Lewis had fought this fight for over 50 years, but knew it was not over. He reminded us of the power of bold citizenship acting with non-violence against injustices. The fuse has been lit and the new generation is blowing up. How do we guide that charge so it takes down only the bad while preserving the good?

Anyone who has taken part in and organized non-violent protests knows the threat of violence flaring is always there. Causes are many: some people may react badly in the stress and chaos that can suddenly erupt, especially dealing with such iconic causes as Justice, Freedom and Democracy. Some on all sides my have legitimate strong emotions around control and dominance and governmental authority. Some small faction, like the Boogaloos etc. may be there to use the cover of protest to press for open warfare. And there is always the threat of provocateurs from the other side trying to agitate what a long-time activist friend calls “that little boy energy” so often prevalent at demonstrations to provoke confrontive acts that challenge authority and discredit or draw away from the purpose of the demonstration.

Non-violent protests can be organized or spontaneous. Organized protests such as labor, civil rights, peace and anti-nuclear make sure to have people in the crowd who have taken special non-violence training to spot potential problems and intercede in a nonviolent way to head them off. With more spontaneous demonstrations as we have seen with the uprising since George Floyd was murdered, some of those people may be there who have taken nonviolence or monitor training, but they will mostly be acting as individuals and not as a cohesive conscious effort. The thing driving the nonviolence is individual commitment to the cause and their ability to remain calm. This can vary widely, especially in the face of shows of force egged on by a president who acts like he’s at a Pit Bull fight.

Anger seems to be the default emotion in our time, so it gets harder for some to maintain control. It is a sad commentary on how mainstream media concentrates on violent acts to build ratings without also showing the efforts being made among protesters to stop them. The camera seems to consistently turn away just as someone confronts the guy dressed in black breaking windows or someone trying to talk down an agitator.

John Lewis’ passing at this crucial moment in American history should teach us that willingness to die for a cause but not kill for it is a form of strength we need to learn. Passive non-racism is no longer enough. For real social change to finally happen, as I have heard said, we need to be actively anti-racist and call it out wherever we see it consistently, for as long as it takes, non-violently.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl Disaster : Indybay

Some of us went out to the San Francisco Federal Building on April 26th to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster. Here is a report and some photos from Indy Bay.

Turnout was pretty small. But we were allowed to have a small self-contained sound system, so we could be heard for a distance. There was decent foot traffic, and a lot of people stopped to see what we were about, and we found a lot of support from a segment of society not often heard from. Some even went and spoke their mind on the open mic.

Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl Disaster : Indybay

Friday, July 16, 2010

French Foreign Ministry Probes Fake Website |

This is a great direct action satire and parody, used in a positive way to shed some light on the history between Haiti and France, with its call for reparations.

Not a bad sounding idea to help get the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere some relief, assuming we can keep the sharks away and actually get help for the people that allows them to help themselves for the long haul.

French Foreign Ministry Probes Fake Website | "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sediments in northern Gulf of Mexico not right for methane gas hydrate formation, study shows

Here is an article written in 2005 telling of research by Georgia Tech, funded partly by ChevronTexaco, to see how much methane is present in the north Gulf near New Orleans, and what threats may be faced moving hot oil through icy methane zones, as has been happening for nearly three months with the BP oil spill. There are claims made elsewhere that methane could pose a threat "of Biblical proportions", with methane released in large enough quantities to threaten ocean life and possibly cause the ocean bottom to fall, causing catastrophic tsunamis.

This oil company study found nothing to worry about, that the area is geologically not right for large quantities of methane.

I hope they are right, but it doesn't look like it.

Sediments in northern Gulf of Mexico not right for methane gas hydrate formation, study shows

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ralph Nader Speaks On An Obama Presidency |

Ralph Nader Speaks On An Obama Presidency |

This is some good election eve analysis by Ralph Nader and others on why we need to remain vigilant and call on the Obama administration of change to remain true to its promise.

He calls for an organized response in all congressional districts to hold the House of Representatives accountable.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Charles & Frances

Charles & Frances

Here is the web page for my Great Grandparents. Funny what you find on Google.

Monday, July 28, 2008

For Sale: High-Tech, Lethal WeaponsPrivate military companies are expanding their offerings to clients with the latest in high-tech weapons - CommonDr

For Sale: High-Tech, Lethal WeaponsPrivate military companies are expanding their offerings to clients with the latest in high-tech weapons -

We are seeing an increasing amalgamation of public/private enterprises in military "services". I was confident in the wake of 911 that the war on terror would fatten the wallets of many homeland security companies. A natural outgrowth of the "military-industrial complex.

Will come a day, I predict, when American services will either be called on to go up against an independent army supported by American corporate charters. Or worse, be called on to support such a force in executing illegal incursions in countries around the world.

One day, will all military forces "controlled" by US interests all still obey the same general? Might it be up to a strong-man commander in chief to reign in all the factions that can afford to field an army?

Maybe it had been about feudalism all along and we never saw it?

Bohemian Grove summer camp for powerful - Topic Powered by eve community

My Post to Press Democrat Blog

Bohemian Grove summer camp for powerful - Topic Powered by eve community

Posted 28 July 2008 02:36 PM Hide Post

Originally posted by niche:
It's the opening ceremony, (art - it's a play) where they give up the cremation of care. They all become equals no matter of status, wealth and leave all there cares of the world behind for the encampment.

Niche, et al-

The thing I have against he Cremation of Care has nothing to do with human sacrfice, in the context it is usually used to dismiss the CofC.

This gathering is like no other I know of in terms of its concentration of the VERY top economic and political interests commingling off the record in an admittedly casual atmosphere. The casualness of it is disarming, and you can forget that the guys sitting around the fire in polo shirts and khakis discussing political and economic topics of the day are in a position to form public and/or economic policies.

Burning Care is a very negative message. Care should be what holds people together. For them to feel they have to get rid of the "Dull Cares of the Market Place" sends a message that these men are at odds with Care, find it repulsive and to be avoided.

Some would argue that that mindset finds its way outside the grove and in to the board rooms and situation rooms these men control.

I would like the men in charge to hold a higher regard for Care, and what it should signify as a guide for the decisions they make.

If better decisions were made, maybe Care wouldn't be so repugnant. We don't need to send our youth to war, for instance, over personal vendettas and power plays. You have to know how to set Care aside to do that. These men get practice.

Donny Fix

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

David Suzuki: A nuclear reaction |

As global warming and even peak oil pick up steam in the face of $4 gas and rising, nukes, "clean coal", drilling in Alaska Wilderness Refuge and other bad ideas will be held forth as answers to the crisis.

The big problem, of course, is consumerism, which pushes the need for continued growth, and more energy. We need to cut down on consumption, production and waste. "But," you say, "That's recessionary!"

No, it's what used to be called living within your means, and not depending on credit to get us out of our mess.It's deciding what we really "need", and focusing on that.

Still, if people around you are lamenting the need for "clean nuclear", please share this with them.

David Suzuki: A nuclear reaction |

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Cavalry Isn’t Coming -

Donny Fix April 16th, 2008 10:31 pm
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While I agree with a lot of the reforms Ted Rall lays out, we need to look at this problem from a deeper level, and change around the argument a bit.

The US is a relatively small percentage of humanity consuming a majority of its raw resources and labor. We live in a consumer society full of bigger, better, best, first, I win. captn72 had it right- it’s a con game, and the goal is to make us afraid of the evil of recession.

Recession just means people have slowed their buying- a good thing for those who believe that over consumerism is killing the planet- I sure do!

Yet, when people slow their buying, maybe even try to live within their means, it is seen as a detriment to economics.

And it is, to the economics that matter to rich people. If the price of things go down to them because fewer people are buying, it cuts in to profits. But you will not find poor people compaining about lower prices.

Cutting back on overconsumerism will cause economic dislocations. If we truly want to lower our ecological footprint, it may well mean the loss of thousands of job catagories in finance, mining, nuclear, weapons, energy, auto and other dirty industry.

This should be embraced ad a goal, not feared.

There will be good jobs developing in mass transportation sector, renewable energy, environmental conservation and restoration, and the service sector, but overall, we should be considering how we will transition to a world less identified by competition in the market place- the Bohemian Club view- and more identified with making sure the non-workers of the world have enough to get by on before anybody gets richer.

Certain of our commons: housing, education, health care, food, water should be available and affordable to all, even if we need to make them off limits to profit motive.

Good jobs and a rising middle class will get us only so far. In the end, I believe we need to look after the most needy, first, even if the least needy (i.e. oil companies and munitions manufacturers making record profits) need to be assessed more to help out.

The Cavalry Isn’t Coming -

Saturday, February 9, 2008

American Dream, World's Nightmare

This is a song I wrote during a two month road trip through the red and blue states during the 2004 elections. The slide show is photos I was taking along the road as I traveled home.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nader Seeks California Green Party Support

Here is the first of three parts to Ralph Nader's presentation at a Green Party Presidential Candidates' event in San Francisco on January 13, 2008.

The event included former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, as well as other candidates seeking Green Party endorsement, Journalist Jerend Ball, Texas Green activist, Kat Swift, California Green Activist, Kent Mesplay, and West Virginia Mountain (Green) Party activist, Jesse Johnson Jr.

All their presentations will be available at my You Tube and below.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thank you for contacting the office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

The following is from Common Dreams, and asks a question that must be asked over and over of the Speaker: Why will you not impeach this administration for its abuses of power? Impeachment is not an option or done by whim. Please call on her to act to protect what is left of the Constitution.

Donny Fix
San Francisco

What Did Pelosi Know About NSA, and When Did She Know It?

by Ray McGovern

Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 by

It is time to fish or cut bait. If the Bush administration did not inform you regarding eavesdropping on Americans before 9/11, you need to reflect now on what such disregard for the laws and Constitution on matters of this importance means for future of our Republic, and cease covering up for the White House. Familiarize yourself with the orderly process the Founders wrote into the Constitution to address this kind of abuse of power. It is called impeachment; there is no reason to be afraid. You may wish to locate a copy of the Constitution and read Article II, Section 4:

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

I cannot believe that, with your pedigree and schooling, you now forget the difference between the indicative and the subjunctive mood. The Founders did not. The Constitution does not say the president “may be” impeached, unless the speaker of the House decides for some reason to keep impeachment off the table. Given the long train of abuses and usurpations of this administration, you have no choice but to begin impeachment proceedings, Madame Speaker, if protecting our rights under constitutional government means anything to you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad: Iran Not Walking Toward War, Iranian Leader Tells Scott Pelley His Country Does Not Need Nuclear Weapons - CBS News

Ahmadinejad: Iran Not Walking Toward War, Iranian Leader Tells Scott Pelley His Country Does Not Need Nuclear Weapons - CBS News

President Ahmadinejad has suffered much stupidity coming out of our main stream media, like Pelly's 60 Minutes embarrassment, as well as the shrill questioning of Charlie Rose and dismissive and misleading reporting from Katie Couric and others.

While I do not agree with all the man says, he says enough that I can agree with that I do not feel served by the DA cross examination treatment he has faced.

On numerous occasions, I heard him questioned about his nuclear ambitions, as alleged by the Bush administration. In the following excerpt from the interview, Ahmadinejad denies at least 4 times that his government is arming the Iraqi resistance.

He also seems to scoff at the idea that he covets nuclear weapon capability, and says if nuclear weapons could resolve the problems between nations, it would have by now, and it never has.

I do wish Ahmadinejad would end his nuclear power program, and set an example for meeting his country's energy needs more sustainably through wind and sun, which are more abundant in the Middle East than oil.

But his message is that any autonomous people should be able to make their local decisions, and the US's security interests should not impose themselves on the goals and process of the United Nations. As a decentralist Green/anarchist, I agree with that

So, as an environmentalist who stringently opposes nuclear power and weapons, I have to support Iran's right to move ahead on its nuclear power program as a matter of autonomy.

But I would also urge the US, Iran and all nuclear and non-nuclear nations to work together on more effective energy strategies. They should be centered more on conservation and decentralized renewable energies, worker and public safety, oversight and storage of nuclear wastes, and further nuclear arms reductions.

Talk to me,

Donny Fix

from 60-Minutes on American accusations:

"It is an established fact now that Iranian bombs and Iranian know-how are killing Americans in Iraq. You have American blood on your hands. Why?" Pelley asked.

"Well, this is what the American officials are saying. Again, American officials wherever around the world that they encounter a problem which they fail to resolve, instead of accepting that, they prefer to accuse others," the president replied. "I'm very sorry that because of the wrong decisions taken by American officials, Iraqi people are being killed and also American soldiers. It's very regrettable."

"The American Army has captured Iranian missiles in Iraq. The critical elements of the explosively formed penetrator bombs that are killing so many people are coming from Iran. There's no doubt about that anymore. The denials are no longer credible, sir," Pelley pointed out.

"Very good. If I may. Are you an American politician? Am I to look at you as an American politician or a reporter? This is what the American officials are claiming," Ahmadinejad replied. "If they accuse us 1,000 times, the truth will not change."

"Are you saying that it is not the policy of this government to send weapons into Iraq? Sir, forgive me, you're smiling, but this is a very serious matter to America," Pelley said.

"Well, it's serious for us as well. I daresay it's serious for everyone," Ahmadinejad told Pelley. "It seems to me it's laughable for someone to turn a blind eye to the truth and accuse others. It doesn't help. And the reason that I'm smiling, again, it's because that the picture is so clear. But American officials refuse to see it."

Asked if he could very simply and directly say that Iran is not sending weapons to Iraq, Ahmadinejad said, "We don't need to do that. We are very much opposed to war and insecurity…"

"Is that a 'No,' sir?" Pelley asked.

"…by Iraq. It's very clear the situation. The insecurity in Iraq is detrimental to our interests," Ahmadinejad said.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Diplomatic convoys curtailed in Iraq - Yahoo! News

Diplomatic convoys curtailed in Iraq - Yahoo! News

Whatever government finally takes hold in Iraq, the US will want a piece of the oil action, as set out in the Plan for a New American Century:

Without their mercenary thugs, paid more and controlled less than American combat troops, diplomats charged with twisting arms in the al-Maliki government are losing their enforcers. Without Blackwater, Dyncorp and other private armies, controlled by neither the laws of Iraq, of the US, nor, apparently, the UN, American negotiators will have to abide by the rules- such that are left- and turn down the heat under the whistle of the American agenda.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Original Sin

The war against "terrorism" guarantees military solutions to the ongoing feud humanity has had with its baser nature- at least according to some fundamentalist religious beliefs.

Original Sin reminds us that none of us is pure enough to declare mass death to anybody.

Written and performed by,

Donny Fix

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Leaders gather in Iraqi province days after Bush visit - Yahoo! News

Leaders gather in Iraqi province days after Bush visit - Yahoo! News

Here is the carrot on the stick, to get economic deals in Anbar Province to win over the Sunnis.

Sunnis are put in the place of moving toward the Americans after America took out their man in Baghdad, Saddam Hussein, and unleashed the oppressed Shiite majority, backed by their Iranian kin.

Now the clash is at least characterized as being between Ba'athist Sunnis and al Qaeda Sunnis.

All in an effort to keep all the factions from uniting against us.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

First Amendment Challenge

CAUTION: Adult Content!

A challenge to the war on drugs and the war for oil, dedicated to the ones whose addiction is killing the people, the earth, and human integrity.

Donny Fix

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Record Number of Americans Lack Health Insurance -

Record Number of Americans Lack Health Insurance -

Take note how the mainstream media pretty unanimously paints this as a health "insurance" crisis, instead of the more correct health "care" crisis.

There are more ways to deliver health care to the population besides the health insurance industry. There is no such industry in many countries, like England, Canada and France, whose populations are all covered by national health care coverage. And at a fraction of the total costs of the American system.

It just makes sense that if a thing like health care, education, energy and other public needs are privatized, relegated to making a profit for investors, those costs will rise to help the investors realize their just profits.

In California, we have an opportunity to turn that around. Support for the Single-Payer health care legislation drafted by State Senator Sheila Kuehl and supported by a growing list of legislators would expand Medicaid, Medi-Cal, and other health delivery agencies, and consolidate them in to a plan much like that of Canada.

Legislators at the state and national level need to hear that it is not just about insurance. Other tools are available to fulfill the need for health care. If you need encouragement, go see Michael Moore's "SICKO".

Then, in California, support SB 840.

And in the nation, Medicaid for the masses!

Donny Fix