Trump says he will ask Justice Department to look into campaign surveillance

Peace and Freedom

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would ask the Justice Department to look into whether his 2016 presidential campaign was infiltrated or surveilled.

“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” Trump wrote on Twitter.


Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Image may contain: 1 person, suit

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Prison Reform Summit at the White House. Credit Jonathan Ernst – Reuters

View original post


Possible New War Opponents by David Swanson

March against US military actions in Yemen and Pakistan in Minneapolis on February 11, 2010

Image by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy
May 20, 2018

For those of us who fully expected most U.S. peace activists to vanish once Barack Obama became president but expected them to come back once Donald Trump ascended the throne, the failure of our second expectation has been hard, crushingly hard. But there are a few silver linings.

First, there is now a multi-issue campaign that, unlike the women’s march or the climate march or so many other marches, and perhaps because it draws its platform in part from one written 50 years ago, opposes war and militarism. It’s called the new Poor People’s Campaign.

Second, there are large, well-funded organizations beginning to edge toward opposition at least to certain wars, organizations that — as far as I know — didn’t oppose any wars when George Bush II was president, much less when Obama was.

One of these is the ACLU. I’ve never known the ACLU to oppose any war, much less the institution of war, much less the military spending that generates many of the symptoms that the ACLU regularly does oppose. I’m sending this article to the ACLU and requesting any updates or corrections. What is new, as far as I know, is this statement in which the ACLU rejects a U.S. attack on Syria as illegal without a Congressional “authorization,” plus this one in which the ACLU admits that Congress has no legal power to “authorize” something that is a crime under a treaty that the United States is party to — in this case the UN Charter. The ACLU’s recommendation, despite that admission, is that Congress authorize the war or decline to — a position that is weak, nonsensical, and amoral, yet a gigantic step in the direction of the ACLU engaging with the existence of war and militarism in the world.

Another is Oxfam, which has actually set up an email action for urging your Congress member to block U.S. participation in the U.S.-Saudi war on Yemen. Oxfam has previously vaguely askedall parties to find a peaceful solution. Oxfam has also opposed the arms and ammunition trade. But has it opposed a Western war before? Not that I’ve ever heard of. I’m sending this to Oxfam, asking them to inform me if they have.

While Amnesty International has long refused to oppose war on the basis of what it somehow considers some sort of principle, but has facilitated Western war propaganda for decades, what might be conceived of as encouraging is not quite opposition to any war, but a positionagainst weapons sales to Saudi Arabia because of their use in a particular war. It would seem to be a small step from there to opposing the United States’ military’s role in refueling and targeting those weapons, and a really baby step from there to admitting that such an immoral behavior is also illegal. I’m sending this to Amnesty International, requesting any updates.

Human Rights Watch is unlikely to oppose any war, but I’m convinced that such a thing is possible. I’m sending this to HRW, requesting notification of any wars it has opposed or chooses to begin opposing. And if that should happen, what would prevent the U.S. Institute of Peace from picking its first ever war to oppose, or for that matter Congress doing the same?

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson’s books include Curing Exceptionalism: What’s wrong with how we think about the United States? What can we do about it? (2018) and War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Support David’s work.

from the archives:

David Swanson: How American Exceptionalism Is Exploited to Justify War + How Suzy Hansen Lost Her U.S. Exceptionalism

John Pilger: We’re Seeing the Most Intense Campaign of Propaganda Since the Build Up to the Iraq War

Capitalism Is Always At War by William T. Hathaway

The Moral Mask by Gregory Barrett

David Swanson VS Pete Kilner: Is War Ever Justifiable?

David Swanson: The More The US Spends On Weapons, The Less Safe We Are

One Of The Key Reasons To End War Is That War Impoverishes Us by David Swanson + Rev. Dr. William Barber on Militarism

David Swanson: Why End War

via Possible New War Opponents by David Swanson


ann e michael

Nesting. I’ve just finished reading Sarah Robinson’s thoughtful, gentle book by that title, which has offered me interior space at a time I need it. Deborah Barlow does a lovely review here.



Outside my window every morning…conference of the birds.

The Conference of the Birds (or The Speech of Birds, or The Bird Parliament) is a Persian (Sufi) poem by Attar of Nishapur, an allegory of sorts in which the hoopoe instructs the other birds on how to find their king, which they can do by following the path of the right way to live. Here is an excerpt from the 1888 FitzGerald translation:

Behold the Grace of Allah comes and goes
As to Itself is good: and no one knows
Which way it turns: in that mysterious Court
Not he most finds who furthest travels for’t.
For one may crawl upon his knees Life-long,

View original post 215 more words

(KILAUEA, Hawaii.) Latest: Hawaii lava finally reaches the Pacific — only to create another deadly danger a mashup of “lava” and “haze” — is a nasty product formed when hot lava hits the ocean, sending hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air #AceNewsDesk reports

Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – May.20: First it was catastrophic lava.: Then it was sulfur dioxide. Now Big Island residents have yet another danger to worry about: Laze — a mashup of “lava” and “haze” — is a nasty product formed when hot lava hits the ocean, sending hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air #AceNewsDesk reports

2 weeks after eruption, residents say it's getting worse

And now it’s a real threat after lava crossed Highway 137 late Saturday night and entered the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) said: Laze can cause lung, eye and skin irritation. And it’s proven deadly in the past……….” This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows,” the HVO said.

Watch lava spew from the Kilauea volcanoWatch lava spew from the Kilauea volcano 02:07

Officials are warning people to stay away from areas where lava meets the ocean…

View original post 439 more words

Parental Conflict Doesn’t Obviate Shared Parenting

Blog: May 18, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
The second wave of arguments against shared parenting claims that it’s inappropriate in high-conflict divorces. It at one point argued that evidence supporting shared parenting merely cherry-picked parents who got along well anyway and could therefore make joint care work. The latter was disproven when parents with various levels of conflict were compared both in and out of shared parenting arrangements. The former has also been found to be unsupported by empirical evidence. Prof. Kruk summarizes:
There is now strong empirical evidence, however, that children can benefit from shared parenting even when their parents do not have low-conflict, cooperative relationships (Fabricius, Sokol, Diaz, & Braver, 2016; Nielsen, 2017). Shared parenting might create an incentive for parental cooperation. More recent research has also found that shared parenting can ameliorate the harmful effects of high conflict: A warm relationship with both parents is a protective factor for children (Nielsen, 2017; Warshak, 2014). The benefits of shared parenting exist independent of parental conflict. Shared parenting is beneficial for children in both low- and high-conflict situations. Except in situations where children are at risk of physical harm or negligent parenting, parenting time should not be limited in cases of high conflict, and high conflict should not be used to justify restrictions on children’s contact with either of their parents.
It has always struck me as odd that, when parents are in conflict, as they usually are during divorce, that, according to the anti-shared parenting crowd, the solution is to deny the child a relationship with one of its parents, usually Dad. That neither addressed the conflict between the parents nor was a positive development for the child. Why should the child suffer because the parents can’t get along?
Besides, there are many ways to ameliorate the conflict between the parents. If Mom drops the kids off at school on Friday morning and Dad picks them up on Friday afternoon, keeps them for seven days and then drops them off the following Friday morning, the two adults never have to see or speak to each other. Plus,
A number of specialized interventions to help parents reduce conflict have been developed, including parallel parenting, therapeutic family mediation, parent education programs, and parenting coordination (Kruk, 2013). A key strategy is keeping parents focused on their children’s needs, and enhancing parents’ attunement to their children’s needs. The main therapeutic task in high-conflict families is to help parents separate their previous marital hostilities from their ongoing parenting responsibilities.
Not only that, but whose bright idea was it that children must be shielded from all familial conflict? They weren’t when their parents were married, and there’s likely to be conflict when they’re divorced. That’s called “life.” And for a child to witness conflict and its adult resolution is unambiguously a good thing. How else is little Andy or Jenny supposed to learn how to resolve conflict with partners or peers?
Conflict is a normal part of everyday life, and to completely shield children from normal day-to-day conflict could in fact be doing them a disservice. Conflict presents an opportunity for resolution of disputes, healing, and reconciliation.
It goes without saying that some conflict is different from other conflict. Domestic violence and child abuse or neglect are obviously not good for kids and therefore form exceptions to every shared parenting bill ever presented to a state legislature.
I’ll finish with Dr. Kruk’s article next time. No automatic alt text available.

Weston-super-Mare ~ All Happens Here!


Dear Mr David Farmer ,

Hot enough for you? For a tourism town, bank holiday sunshine is perfection itself. With any luck we’ll have broken all sorts of records but, now the season has started with a bang, what else has been happening?

Well, as the Government’s Anti-Corruption Champion (they chose the title – not me!), I’ve been pushing to make Britain tougher on oligarchs and kleptocrats who try to stash and spend their dirty money here. We should be hit them where it hurts; in the wallet. Freeze their assets, deny them visas and they’ll soon see the UK is serious about not wanting them here.

Then there’s the new energy price cap, where I’ve been leading a national campaign to make ou energy bills lower. And it looks like we’re winning.

What else? I’ve been arguing the new local building plans are far too soft on developers constructing urban sprawl on green fields around rural villages rather than building ‘Up Not Out’ where investment is wanted and needed in central Weston. Together with local residents groups, I’ve written to the Council, Ministers and planning inspectors to explain what needs to change, and I’m aiming to meet the Government Minister to discuss it too.

I’ll update you on that soon, but until then keep reading…
Best wishes,

John Penrose
MP for Weston-super-Mare

This Month’s Most Popular Stories From The Website:
What Putin and his cronies fear is the glare of exposure

image“We’ve clearly got to get a lot tougher with anyone – not just Russians – who tries to use the streets of Britain for ‘hybrid warfare’; state-sponsored crimes which stop short of full-on military attack, but still damage our country”

» Read More


Energy price cap could save families hundreds of pounds, but could be better still.


John Penrose speaks in Parliament about the energy price cap. John says that it could save families hundreds of pounds, but could be better still. As it stands, it’s too anti-competitive, complicated, bureaucratic and inflexible; we should ‘cap the gap’ instead… » Read More

John Penrose meets Avon Wildlife Trust to discuss reversing the decline of nature

imageJohn met with Avon Wildlife Trust who are urging local MPs across the region to use the unique opportunity given by two major Government consultations on farming and planning, to reverse the decline in English wildlife and influence policy on how we build new developments and farm the land.

» Read More

Housing masterplan should build up, not create garden villages


A housing masterplan should be ‘bolder’ by recommending multi-storey housing, as a way to save green spaces and regenerate urban areas, instead of creating new ‘garden villages’, according to John.

» Read More

Weston MP calls for UK to better protect oceans

imageWeston-Super-Mare’s MP John Penrose has called upon the UK Government to become a world leader in protecting the oceans by committing to protecting the largest marine reserve in the Atlantic.

» Read More

Something We Think Is Important, But Which Didn’t Get Noticed:
John Applauds Weston’s Community Champions

imageJohn Penrose MP has said he was honoured to attend an event recognising Weston’s ‘big-hearted’ community champion. Six Westonians were handed Community Champions of Weston awards for going above and beyond to make the town a better place. » Read More

Most Retweeted & Liked:


.@VisitBritain predicting 41.7M visitors to UK this year, spending £27bn in our economy. Must be a record……… 🙂

» Follow us on Twitter

Our Favourite Tweet:


Duncan Hames: ‏Timely intervention from the PM’s Anti-Corruption Champion!
“we’ve got to name names; making sure international criminals, kleptocrats & oligarchs can’t stash or spend their dirty cash in Britain”

» Follow us on Twitter

Weston-super-Mare hosts this week’s with , , & We’re live 8pm Friday SEND YOUR QUESTIONS

Also, until next month…
Don’t forget to keep in touch with me and the team through Social Media. We are currently using Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to keep you up to date with what your local MP is up to.
Youtube Twitter Facebook
We’re sending you this email so you can keep up to date with the work of your MP John Penrose. However, if you decide you no longer wish to receive these monthly e-mails then please e-mail with your name, postcode and e-mail address and we’ll remove your information from our database.
Promoted by Marc Aplin on behalf of John Penrose MP, both at 24-26 Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1QX. Tel: 01934 613841.