End Corporate Sponsored Environmental Racism in Petaluma – Shame on Safeway! Fossil Fuels Need to Remain in the Ground

It remains a shock to many of us that it is still possible to build a new gasoline station in 2019, when we really should have already stopped burning the stuff if we wish for humanity and other living creatures to survive on Planet Earth. That we would allow one to be constructed across the…

Kremlin-Supported: How the Experts at New Knowledge Manufacture Fictitious Russians for an Eager Corporate Media and Retain their Credibility

New Knowledge, the social media “information integrity” firm chosen by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to write its official report on Russian social media interference in the 2016 U.S. election, was recently revealed by separate investigations of the New York Times and Washington Post to also be in the business of manufacturing fictitious Russian online…

Bubbles & Bonbons for Bounty at the Hotel Petaluma, A Valentines Day Benefit for Petaluma Bounty and a Resilient Local Foodshed

Petaluma Bounty is one of a handful of extraordinary, unique non profit organizations in Petaluma that provide so many services of exceptional public benefit that they’ve become indispensable to the community. Bounty’s a favorite, as they’ve been helping to build out the community’s sharing economy and a more resilient foodshed for better than thirteen years…

U.S. Empire and the Destruction of Cambodia: Fifty Years Ago This Week Nixon & Kissinger Began Planning one of the Largest Bombing Campaigns in the History of Warfare

Fifty years ago this week newly elected President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, began planning a massive, secret carpet-bombing campaign over the nation of Cambodia using American B-52s, each carrying approximately thirty tons of bombs. Flying at an elevation of 30,000 feet, using unguided bombs, the campaign was guaranteed to cause…

Beware the Crazies: Lies, Elliott Abrams, and the ‘Fabulous Achievement’ of More Violence in Latin America

Having brought chaos to all of the Middle East, a bipartisan effort to topple the Venezuelan government adds a war criminal and ex-con with a fondness for violence to the team The U.S. empire can’t persist indefinitely without the guidance, supervision, and intervention of dedicated true believers in the enterprise, so perhaps I should not…

Time to Phase Out Fossil Fuels and Build the Green Economy

In news that was generally overlooked amidst the 24/7 coverage of President Trump’s government shutdown, over 600 environmental groups published an open letter on January 10 called on the 116th Congress for “visionary and affirmative legislation action” to address the looming climate emergency now. The organizers of the letter, Friends of the Earth (FOE), called for…

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019: Truth and Reconciliation Committee Calls for a New Investigation Into the Assassinations of King, The Kennedys & Malcolm X

From David Talbot, founder of Salon.com and author of The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, comes this announcement via Facebook on January 20, 2019: So here’s the historic statement by over 60 prominent Americans that I’ve been promising to announce. This group — which includes family members…

First Thing on Petaluma’s Agenda: Respond to the Climate Emergency – Mayor Barrett

The Drawdown Downtown at Petaluma’s Bank Hub – Join the Local Response to the Climate Emergency, February 13 at the Bank Hub It requires some effort to miss the bad news about human-induced climate emergency we face completely. Whether it’s roads melting and “biblical-scale” mass animal deaths in the latest Australian heat wave; the news that the…

Fear & Loathing, but Questionable Dynamic Foresight on the Petaluma Campaign Trail, 2018

Though we were unable to spend much time covering the 2018 Petaluma election campaign, we do feel obliged to touch upon it briefly before moving on to the 2020 electoral cycle already underway. It was, after all, the end of a significant era in Petaluma politics and culture, and the birth of an exciting new…

White Noise – MSNBC’s Birth as the All-Monica, All the Time Network – from the American Journalism Review Archives, 1999

H/T to Matt Taibbi for sharing this gem by former NPR ombudsman Alicia C. Shepard, published in the American Journalism Review in January of 1999, which illuminates the quest for ratings and profit that drove the nonstop coverage of the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair on fledgling news channels MSNBC and Fox News. Writing in late…

How MSNBC Went From Monicagate to Russiagate – Matt Taibbi

An excerpt from Matt Taibbi’s new book, Hate, Inc. People forget that MSNBC, before it found its current niche as an anti-Trump network, was just a conventionally crappy news organization. In his new book Hate Inc., Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi critiques a corporate press which has achieved higher ratings and profits via nonstop promotion…

Petaluma Grapples with Growth: The Revolt Against Suburban Sprawl – from the L.A. Times Archives, 1988

Here’s an interesting news item on Petaluma history from the L.A. Times archives, published thirty years ago, in April of 1988. Prior to initiating controls on its growth with a one-year moratorium on new housing starts in 1971, Petaluma city officials projected its population would be 60,000 by 1988, according to the Times’s Jeffrey Perlman,…

The Suspicions of Laymen Have Never Been Answered by the Press – George Seldes

The suspicions of laymen have never been answered by the press. Newspapers, upholding the right of criticism as a road to freedom, oppose all criticism of themselves….like kings, [they] pretend they can do no wrong. I wish they were right. – Journalist and George Seldes, writing in Freedom of the Press in early 1935. By…

Safeway Gas Project’s BAAQMD Permit ‘No Longer Complies with Current Law’ – Sierra Club

The Sonoma County chapter of the Sierra Club last week mailed a letter to the Petaluma City Council that suggested the Safeway gas station project on its September 17 agenda should, at a minimum, be delayed so that a formal Environmental Impact Report could be developed due to the possible invalidity of its 2013 Bay Area Air Quality Management District permit under current law. Visit Oppose Petaluma Safeway Gas for more information on this project.

Take the Gas or Else – If Corporations are People, What Manner of Citizen is Petaluma Safeway?

Corporation repeatedly threatens litigation to compel the City of Petaluma to permit construction of a glaring environmental injustice next to a preschool for the purpose of corporate profit City Council on the verge of approving an exclusive gift to Safeway and its corporate parent, Cerberus Capital Management Bauer and Wolpert stand up for the Petaluma…

That Incredible Stand-Up Guy, John Brennan – Architect of U.S. Drone Warfare Program, the Best Terrorist Incubator Yet Created

Brennan was the architect of one of ‘the most highly unlawful and immoral practices the United States has ever undertaken’ – the U.S. policy of targeted assassination by drone Freedom of the Press Foundation executive director Trevor Timm wrote in The Guardian that Brennan was “a defender of torture, the architect of America’s drone program and…

Three Years Late, Has CNN Finally Discovered the U.S. Role in the Saudi War on Yemen?

Has CNN finally discovered the U.S.’s complicity in the brutal, horrific war being waged largely upon Yemeni civilians by Saudi Arabia? Previously they’ve appeared well-aware of the war, but painfully, willfully ignorant of the U.S. role in it. A recent report on the network may be cause for some encouragement. President Barack Obama signed off…

The Overthrow of Mossadeq: 65 Years Ago the United States Ruined Iran’s Best Chance for Democracy

Sixty five years ago, on August 19, 1953, a CIA backed coup d’etat overthrew the popular nationalist leader of Iran, Mohammed Mossadeq, yielding disastrous consequences that nation and the United States continue to deal with in 2018, as President Donald J. Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton all appear…

Last Chance to Support Local Compost – Write Sonoma County Waste Management Agency Today, Help Reduce GHG Emissions & Mitigate Climate Change

If you support our Sonoma County climate change goals and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the local level, the Petaluma Community Guild and Raucous Rooster invite you to write the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency today in support of local municipal compost. Will Bakx and Alan Siegle, the two Sonoma County residents behind…

No Going Back

This week we’d like to wish Wendell Berry a wonderful 84th birthday. We’ve only just discovered this gem of a poem, graphic courtesy of The Berry Center.

Robert Reich with Lynn Woolsey in Petaluma on the Winning Formula for Democrats: Tax the Wealthy to Address Inequality, Run an ‘Under 50’ Candidate for President

With the state of the Democratic Party opposition, upcoming midterms and the 2020 presidential race in the news with some regularity, it dawned on me that I’d not yet written about a very interesting gathering that took place in Petaluma a few months back at which the need for electoral change was much discussed. On April…

Good God, The Russia Obsession! How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism

Ever seen anything like that collective hysterical freakout over the Trump-Putin summit? I have not, and I’ve been paying some attention for 40-odd years.  Don’t forget CBS News head honcho Les Moonves’s candid comments during the 2016 presidential campaign: “Trump is damned good for CBS News” because higher ratings = higher profits, and we’re all…

The Agony and Aghastitude: Thomas Frank in Berkeley Tonight, Corte Madera Thursday

I suspect that for a lot of prosperous liberals, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. For them, there’s an alternative to political victory: a utopia of scolding. Who needs to win elections when you can personally reestablish the rightful social order every day on Twitter and Facebook? When you can scold, and scold, and…

Case Studies in Propaganda: Palestinians and the Great March of Return 2018 – Corporate Press Render Israeli Murder of Palestinian Protesters a Passive, Unattributable Act

“If you’ve been noticing the headlines about Israeli forces killing Palestinian protesters that seem carefully designed to avoid mentioning who’s doing the killing, you may be wondering: Is that how media always do it? The answer is no: Journalists know very well how to include the identity of the killers in the headline—when they think…

Besieged: The Economic Impact of the Israeli Siege & the Collective Punishment of Palestinians

Israel destroyed Gaza’s airport in 2001 and its seaport in 2002. While Palestinian exports are barred, its imports are heavily restricted. Israel prevents Gaza fishermen from venturing further from shore, where larger schools of fish are to be found, and has killed 5, wounded 25 fishermen since 2007. Israeli companies benefit from a monopoly on goods sold to Gaza, making $375 million in 2012, the last year for which data was available. Infographic courtesy of Visualizing Palestine.

Click on Image to enlarge & view detail.

Short Walk Home, Long Walk to Freedom

For seventy years, Israeli violence has permeated every aspect of Palestinians’ lives. Once again, Palestinians are resisting This excellent Visualizing Palestine graphic vastly undercounts the dead after yesterday’s massacre of Gaza protesters, but it remains an effective visualization – many Gaza residents are not far from the land they called home, and have the right to…

Bounty Farm’s 8th Annual Plant Sale: Help us Grow! Earth Day, Sunday, April 22

Everybody eats! Petaluma Bounty aims to grow the sharing economy, the one in which every member of our community has access to enough healthy, nutritious, locally-grown food to thrive. You can help Petaluma Bounty grow its numerous that collectively work towards that goal by shopping for your spring garden’s fruit, vegetable and flower starts at…

Jesus Returns to Palestine

This one from Mr. Fish – first published during a previous (July/August 2014) Israeli attack upon the Palestinians of the Gaza strip – seems more relevant than ever, particularly now that the corporate, for-profit press (recall that their business model is to sell your attention to advertisers) and US blowhard Nikki Haley are so successfully diverting our limited attention to inherently evil and officially-designated enemies, Russia and Syria. – RR

The Agony and Aghastitude: Four More Years – The Trump reelection nightmare and how we can stop it

By Thomas Frank, Harper’s magazine April 2018. The liberal rank and file are more energized than they have been for years. Political novices are signing up to run for office across the country. Democrats are well ahead in nearly any poll you care to mention. But still, I give them only a fair-to-middling chance of…

Whacking the Weeds We Sowed: When Will the New York Times Provide Context for the Global War Being Waged by the U.S.?

“When Russia moved into the Ukraine and seized Crimea in 2014, it got more than its share of (bad) media coverage in the United States, as it did when it intervened in Syria the next year.  So just imagine what kind of coverage Vladimir Putin’s favorite nation would be getting if, almost 17 years after…

Disaster Capitalism in Sonoma County – Who Are Our Local Power Brokers? March 28 in Santa Rosa

CORRECTION: The invitation below was previously published by RR prematurely, and contained a significant error. This event is sponsored by the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County and several other organizations, but it will occur at 6 pm on March 28 at Christ Church United Methodist, 1717 Yulupa Avenue in Santa Rosa. We regret…

March 28: Disaster Capitalism in Sonoma County – Who Are Our Local Power Brokers?

Head to Christ Church United Methodist in Santa Rosa on March 28 for what should be a lively discussion of who profits and who does not as Sonoma County recovers and rebuilds after last autumn’s wildfires. We assume this will include a discussion of Rebuild Northbay, the foundation that wealthy power broker Darius Anderson founded…

The West Virginia teachers’ strike is what real resistance looks like – Jeff Biggers

This kind of resistance does not allow onlookers to look away, especially in an age of social media. It brings the story to those who have refused to read it Saturday, March 10, 2018 The victorious strike by teachers in West Virginia did not only result in a long overdue pay raise. With the exuberance…

Former Secretary of Defense William Perry Discusses North Korea, Nuclear Policy, & Prospects for Devastation and Diplomacy, March 29 in Petaluma

How the U.S. Can Use Diplomacy with North Korea Former Secretary of Defense William Perry will address the subject of nuclear diplomacy in a presentation at the Petaluma campus of Santa Rosa Junior College on Thursday, March 29 at 12:15 pm. The event, at the Carole Ellis Auditorium, is free and open to the public.…

Amid Heightened Tension, Senators Feinstein, Markey, Sanders & Merkley Propose to Jumpstart Strategic Talks with Russia – Mainstream Press Fails to Cover Story

Four United States senators are urging a new approach to U.S.-Russian relations based on renewed arms control efforts, but you probably haven’t heard about it from the mainstream media, Gilbert Doctorow and Ray McGovern report. In a sad commentary on the parlous state of the U.S. media, a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson…

From #MeToo to #WeStrike – What the Movement Can Learn from Latin American Feminists

The following essay is drawn from the ebook Where Freedom Starts: Sex Power Violence #MeToo, freely downloadable now from Verso Books. This originally appeared at The Literary Hub.  March 8, 2018  By Liz Mason-Deese A year before #MeToo erupted in the United States, women in Argentina were fighting against an epidemic of violence against women in which, on average, one woman…

The Political Economy of a Collapsing Two-Party System & Warnings from 2014 Democrats Failed to Heed

Academics Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen, writing for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, recently published an interesting working paper, Industrial Structures and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games: Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election. It should come as no surprise at this point that they found that political and…

Petalumans Insist Upon Their Right to Vote, Defeat Mike Healy-Led Effort to Appoint Future Mayors

Appearing autocratic, oblivious to Petaluma public opinion, and apparently unaware that disenfranchising voters of their right to elect their mayor might be viewed as an anti-democratic move, the effort of Petaluma city councilmember Mike Healy and his fellow lawyers on the council, Kathy Miller and Dave King, to move the city to an appointed-mayoral system…

The Lawyers on the Petaluma City Council Would Like to Pick Your Next Mayor For You

The three lawyers currently serving on the Petaluma City Council – Mike Healy, Kathy Miller, and Dave King – would like to choose Petaluma’s next mayor for you, and they’re attempting to place an item on the agenda of this evening’s (February 26, 2018) meeting to discuss doing just that. If approved, this evening’s Healy/Miller/King…

Do Pentagon Black Sites Have the Best Amenities? CIA Directors Who Oompa Loompa, but only for the Cause of Democracy + Make Wuv Not War from the Mr. Fish Archives

Responding to a lawsuit, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) told a federal judge last week that it had a right to leak classified information to one select group of journalists and then to deny release of exactly the same information to other journalists requesting it under the Freedom of Information Act. Though we are fascinated by…