Special coverage in the Trump Era

From Public Citizen's Corporate Presidency site: "44 Trump administration officials have close ties to the Koch brothers and their network of political groups, particularly Vice President Mike Pence, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney."

Dark Money author Jane Mayer on The Dangers of President Pence, New Yorker, Oct. 23 issue on-line

Can Time Inc. Survive the Kochs? November 28, 2017 By
..."This year, among the Kochs’ aims is to spend a projected four hundred million dollars in contributions from themselves and a small group of allied conservative donors they have assembled, to insure Republican victories in the 2018 midterm elections. Ordinarily, political reporters for Time magazine would chronicle this blatant attempt by the Kochs and their allies to buy political influence in the coming election cycle. Will they feel as free to do so now?"...

"Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America" see: our site, and George Monbiot's essay on this key book by historian Nancy MacLean.

Full interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer March 29, 2017, Democracy Now! about her article, "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America’s Populist Insurgency."

Democracy Now! Special Broadcast from the Women's March on Washington

The Economics of Happiness -- shorter version

Local Futures offers a free 19-minute abridged version  of its award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness. It "brings us voices of hope of in a time of crisis." www.localfutures.org.

What's New?

November 25, 2019

Time to change the flag!

Symbols count!
The movement to change the Massachusetts State Seal and flag grows.

These days there are many wrongs waiting to be righted, many victims of economic and racial injustice, and more. Action needs to be taken on all fronts: sometimes this takes a symbolic form with great meaning.

With that in mind, Traprock supported and joined a recent delegation from Western Mass, taking a bus to Boston to rally and testify at the State House in favor of a package of legislation introduced and supported by the first nations of our state.

The November 19, 2019, hearing at the State House before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, focused specifically on the House and Senate bills H. 2776 and S.1877, to establish a special committee to recommend a new or redesigned seal for the state flag and other uses, which are many.

In this Thanksgiving season, and on the eve of 2020, the 400th anniversary of the landing of the first British colonists in Massachusetts, it is appropriate to take a new look at the symbol of our state. 

The original from 1629 depicted a Native American clothed only in a loincloth of leaves, saying ”Come over and help us.” This image was updated to a design adopted by the legislature in 1898 that supposedly shows the “ideal Native American.” The original saying was replaced by a Latin motto beginning: ”By the sword we seek peace…”

Over the image of this Native American holding an arrow upside down is a sword, modeled on the broadsword Myles Standish. According to the organizers of the campaign to ChangeTheMassFlag.com, Standish, military commander of the Plymouth colony, was known for killing Native Americans.

Once the image and history of the symbol is understood, the need to rethink it becomes clearer.

From Traprock’s written testimony to the joint committee: “For 35 years Rep. Byron Rushing introduced legislation to create a commission to consider changing the symbol adopted in 1898. Now, as the 400th anniversary of the colonial landing in our state approaches, it is time to move towards replacing the racist and implicitly violent symbol with one reflecting peace, justice liberty and equality for all.”

Symbols count

The testimony continues: “We have seen and support a movement in the southern states especially to dismantle visual symbols of white supremacy. The campaign to change the symbol on our flag, long opposed by the indigenous peoples it is supposed to represent, is long overdue. This process is opening eyes to the grave and violent mistakes of our past history.

“In our part of the state alone, 21 of 24 towns in Franklin and Hampshire counties support this legislation and its intent, following the leadership on this of indigenous communities in our state and beyond.

We therefore request that the bills S.1877/H.2776 “Resolve providing for the creation of a special commission relative to the seal and motto of the Commonwealth.” be reported out of committee with a favorable vote.”

The Western Mass. delegation to the hearing was met and supported by Senator Jo Comerford, a cosponsor of the bill in the Senate, along with other W. MA members of the state sentate Paul W. Mark and Adam Hinds. Cosponsors in the House include presenter Lindsay Sabadosa, Mindy Domb, Natalie M. Blais and Susannah M. Whipps. We thank all of the local legislators for their efforts.

The Mass. Indigenous Legislative Agenda 2019-2020 http://maindigenousagenda.org supports five pieces of legislation. Besides the effort to Change the Flag and Seal, other bills include: Honor Indigenous Peoples Day, replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day to celebrate Indigenous resilience and survival; Protect Native American Heritage, protecting objects of cultural patrimony; Remove Racist Mascots, end the use of Native American mascots in Massachusetts public schools; and Educate Native Youth, to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students.

For more information see: maindigenousagenda.org and ChangeTheMassFlag.com