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Something I found remarkable — one of the many things I found remarkable — about last week’s riot/insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was the insistence of the rioters/insurrectionists that Trump had not, in fact, lost the election. These people actually believe that the more than 7 million votes separating Biden and Trump were the result of a vast conspiracy and cover-up perpetrated at the highest levels of government and media.

From where I sit, this looks like sheer denial of reality. And I find myself wondering where these people are getting their information from, since it’s clearly not mainstream sources. …


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The America election has been called (though it is still not over). It has been an uncomfortably close race, especially considering that pollsters predicted (and progressives hoped for) a Biden win by a healthy margin. The races in Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania were neck and neck. And Biden’s wins in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona were too close for comfort. Florida and North Carolina were also very close, though FL went to Trump and NC probably will too. And the hoped-for blue wave in Congress didn’t materialize either.

The question that Democrats are asking themselves — or at least the question they should be asking themselves — is this: “Why was the election this close?” After four years of buffoonery, after all the COVID deaths, after the continued decline of the economy — the real economy, not Wall Street — how did almost half of Americans (and with record turnout!) still vote for Trump? How did six and half million more people vote for Trump this time than in 2016? …


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This is going to be an unpopular post.

A few weeks ago, I announced on social media that I would not be voting for Biden and would instead be voting for the Green Party candidates, Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker. What followed was a firestorm of fury from my progressive friends and acquaintances. The responses ranged from patronizing attempts to educate me to accusations of racism, sexism, and LGBT-phobia.

Let me preface what follows by saying that I’m not trying to convince you or anyone else how to vote or, if you’ve already voted, that your vote was wrong. If you voted for Biden/Harris, good for you. Believe me, I get the “lesser argument”. It’s almost persuasive to me. …


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Dear friends and fellow activists,

I am relatively new to activism, but over the last few years I have been pretty actively engaged in a variety of causes, from the environment to anti-racism to gun control. In addition to writing, Most of my activism has consisted of planning and participating in protests and other forms of expressive activism.

When I first started participating in protests, it was exhilarating. It felt empowering. I experienced for the first time in my life the power of masses of people gathered for a cause. It’s not an exaggeration to say it restored my faith in democracy. …


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I am an atheist and a religious naturalist, which means that I don’t look for supernatural explanations of natural events. But I use other words to describe my spirituality: “pagan” or “animist.” While there are pagans who believe in the supernatural, there are others like me who try to bring together an atheist rationality with a pagan sensitivity.

One part of my personal spiritual practice involves pouring libations. This is an ancient spiritual practice which involved pouring some kind of liquid onto the earth or onto a stone. The liquid might be water, or wine, or olive oil. To the ancients, this was an offering to the gods, made in exchange for blessings. …


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“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

At the end of July, I helped organize a symbolic funeral procession for Black lives, followed by a police violence awareness rally and die-in at a local police station. The event was organized in response to a “police appreciation day”, which had been created a community group and endorsed by the local safety board. …


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I was recently talking to someone who works in the areas of both climate collapse and anti-racism. As she was explaining how she she sees these two issues as interconnected, she told me about a workshop she was facilitating recently. About half of the White people gathered kept trying to push the conversation away from White supremacy and toward climate collapse, a topic with which they were apparently more comfortable.*

It’s been said that “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”. …


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Slaughtering the Sacred Cow

Ever since Michael Moore’s latest documentary, Planet of the Humans, came out, progressive environmentalists have been on a rampage. There have even been attempts to censor the film. (It seems that, for some progressives, liberal values like free speech are a matter of convenience.) The reason for the outrage is that the film attacks the biggest “sacred cow” of the mainstream environmental movement: renewable energy.

I wrote my own review, “Damn Dirty Humans!: ‘Planet of the Humans’ and Progressive Denial”, in which I defended the film’s underlying message: that renewables cannot “replace” fossil fuels. The reasons are twofold: (1) renewable energy sources are themselves dependent on fossil fuels, and (2) the energy-return-on-investment of renewables is very low compared to fossil fuels. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t transition to wind and solar (and that’s not the message I took away from Moore’s film). …


This Is Us

Humans like easy answers — even if those answers contradict the facts

A fluorescent image of SARS-COV-2 particles.
A fluorescent image of SARS-COV-2 particles.
Photo: Flavio Coelho/Getty Images

I’ve been pretty hard on climate change deniers over the past several years, ever since I woke up to the real danger it poses to our way of life and maybe our very existence. Since then, I have come to believe that a collapse of industrial civilization — whether prolonged or sudden — is inevitable.

And yet, I have to admit that, just a few months ago, I was a denier. I didn’t deny the reality of climate change. I denied the reality of the coronavirus.

I had heard about the coronavirus, of course. But it was in China—far away from us. And then Italy, somewhat harder to dismiss. But it didn’t seem like anything I needed to worry about. …


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Last month, an article entitled “Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting” went viral, receiving over 20 million views. The author, Julio Vincent Gambuto, wrote that powerful forces will soon be (are already) trying to convince us all to get back to business as usual:

“What is about to be unleashed on American society will be the greatest campaign ever created to get you to feel normal again. It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other …”

Gambuto called on his readers to resist this seduction:

“From one citizen to another, I beg of you: take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.”

About

John Halstead

John Halstead is the author of the book *Another End of the World is Possible*. Find out more at AnotherEndoftheWorld.org.

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