Bob Schwartz

Month: April, 2019

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action

I have recommended 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action by the late Gene Sharp (1928-2018) of the Albert Einstein Institution three times before. I am starting to feel it should be recommended once a month, once a week, or every day. The list is from one of Gene Sharp’s many books that have been used to help bring democracy to nations around the world.

When you read this fascinating and creative list, you may be surprised at how few of the tactics have been considered, let alone tried, as open and just democracy seems to be slipping away–or racing away–from America. Maybe we have so many outlets for self-expression and outrage that that we think our social media protests are enough. They are not.


198 Methods of Nonviolent Action

Formal Statements
1. Public Speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience
7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, displayed communications
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations
13. Deputations
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts
18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals
31. “Haunting” officials
32. Taunting officials
33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Drama and Music
35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music
37. Singing

Processions
38. Marches
39. Parades
40. Religious processions
41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead
43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies
47. Assemblies of protest or support
48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation
51. Walk-outs
52. Silence
53. Renouncing honors
54. Turning one’s back

The Methods Of Social Noncooperation

Ostracism of Persons
55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System
65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. “Flight” of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: Economic Boycotts

Actions by Consumers
71. Consumers’ boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers’ boycott
77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers
78. Workmen’s boycott
79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen
80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management
81. Traders’ boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources
86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments
92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers’ embargo
95. International buyers’ embargo
96. International trade embargo

The Methods Of Economic Noncooperation: The Strike

Symbolic Strikes
97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes
99. Peasant strike
100. Farm Workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups
101. Refusal of impressed labor
102. Prisoners’ strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes
105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes
108. Detailed strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes
116. Generalized strike
117. General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown
The Methods Of Political Noncooperation

Rejection of Authority
120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government
123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
138. Sitdown
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel
142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action
149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action
151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organizations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organizations

The Methods Of Nonviolent Intervention

Psychological Intervention
158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
a) Fast of moral pressure
b) Hunger strike
c) Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention
162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction
173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention
174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in
178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention
181. Reverse strike
182. Stay-in strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of blockades
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
186. Preclusive purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention
193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

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Monsters in the White House: Where Are the Christians?

Washington Post:

President Trump said on Friday that he was open to releasing migrants detained at the border into mostly Democratic “sanctuary cities,” suggesting that the idea should make liberals “very happy” because of their immigration policies.

Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019

….The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019

Mr. Trump’s comments came a day after his administration said the policy proposal was never seriously considered. But after the president’s Twitter posts on Friday, a White House spokesman said Democrats should work with the administration to welcome migrants into their districts….

Last year, Trump administration officials had floated the idea of transporting migrants to sanctuary cities, which do not strictly adhere to federal immigration laws, as a way to address the influx of migrants crossing the border with Mexico. One of the highest-profile sanctuary cities is San Francisco, home to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is one of the president’s top political rivals and a thorn in his efforts to change American immigration laws. The White House raised the proposal again in February, suggesting it could punish Democrats for rejecting budget requests for border security.

Using captive human beings as political weapons—literally thrown at your “enemies” like some kind of virus—is cruel, heinous and monstrous. I’ve combed the Gospels for approval of this as a tactic, and I’ve come up empty. On the contrary, if you asked for a technique that is un-Christian, inhumane and immoral, the list could begin there.

Yet millions of Christians, including some at the highest rank of the Trump administration and the Senate, either enable, make excuses or stay silent. How they manage that, and how their pastors don’t speak up, is baffling and heart-rending.

Americans love to watch monsters for entertainment. It’s different when they arrive at the White House and make themselves at home.

Heart of Darkness: A Flabby Devil of Pitiless Folly

“I’ve seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire; but, by all the stars! these were strong, lusty, red-eyed devils, that swayed and drove men—men, I tell you. But as I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly.”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Passover: Let’s Get Lost

Well we know where we’re going
But we don’t know where we’ve been
And we know what we’re knowing
But we can’t say what we’ve seen
And we’re not little children
And we know what we want
And the future is certain
Give us time to work it out
We’re on a road to nowhere
Come on inside
Taking that ride to nowhere
We’ll take that ride
Talking Heads, Road to Nowhere


Let’s Get Lost

Passover
Americans are lost
Jews are lost
Jews are used to being lost

Wake up wandering in the wilderness
Wanting guidance assurances
That it will be all right
Promises will be kept
A land will be found

No assurances
No promises
No land
No turning back

Tell the story
Then like the afikomen
Broken and lost
Let’s get lost

©


Who should be the guiding light for American immigration policy? (Hint: She is 305 feet tall)

Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller is the driving force behind current American immigration policy—policy that seems to get darker and crueler by the day.

Instead, there is a lady who should be the guiding light for that policy. As usual, better women are pushed aside to make room for lesser men. Anyway, here she is:

Living under an American Pharaoh: What’s a Jew to do?

It’s almost Passover, so Pharaoh is our minds. Also on our minds because we are living under an American Pharaoh—or at least a wannabe Pharaoh.

Don’t let him fool you. Just because his chief henchman is Jewish, or his son-in-law is Jewish, or some of his rich donors are Jewish, or because he says and does things that make it seem that he understands and cares about Jews and Israel (he doesn’t), he is nothing less than a Pharaoh.

So where does that leave American Jews, particularly at Passover?

It is actually not that surprising that some Jews have joined the Pharaoh’s cause. There are dramatic moments in the exodus story where Jews are willing to throw away freedom and principle for a golden calf and the comfort of the Pharaoh’s harsh protection.

And Aaron said to them, “Take off the golden rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” And all the people took off the golden rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he took them from their hand and he fashioned it in a mold and made it into a molten calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” And Aaron saw, and he built an altar before it, and Aaron called out and said, “Tomorrow is a festival to the LORD.” And they rose early on the next day, and they offered up burnt offerings and brought forward communion sacrifices, and the people came back from eating and drinking and they rose up to play.
Exodus 32:2-6

So where does that leave the Jews who do not believe in Pharaoh? We can stay and argue with those who support Pharaoh, though that has so far proven pointless. We can escape to the wilderness in search of a Promised Land of freedom and light, although by many conventions America is already the Promised Land of freedom and light.

Or we can all be tiny Moses, telling fellow Jews at Passover that worshiping Pharaoh and a golden calf and unprincipled conduct is ungodly and unholy. We cannot wait for God to intervene because God leaves it up to us. Let us not disappoint.

You want to know what the 80s were like? Watch St. Elmo’s Fire. (Not!)

It’s hard to know whether to say that St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) reflects the 1980s. On the one hand, it does star the so-called Brat Pack of young stars (real or wannabe) of the era. On the other hand, it is so cheesy and Hollywood-version-of-unreality, starring the so-called Brat Pack of young stars (real or wannabe) of the era:

Emilio Estevez as Kirby “Kirbo” Keager, a law student and waiter at St. Elmo’s Bar.

Rob Lowe as Billy Hicks, a saxophonist “frat boy” and reluctant husband and father.

Andrew McCarthy as Kevin Dolenz, a writer for The Washington Post with a sullen streak, and Kirby’s roommate.

Demi Moore as Julianna “Jules” Van Patten, an international banker and the “party girl” of the group.

Judd Nelson as Alec Newbury, a yuppie pursuing a career in politics.

Ally Sheedy as Leslie Hunter, a budding architect who is reluctant to marry Alec.

Mare Winningham as Wendy Beamish, a welfare clerk from a wealthy family and devoted to helping others.

(Thanks Wikipedia)

If you’ve never seen it, you’ve gotta watch it. And in a twisted, ironic, completely unhistorical way, you’ve gotta love it.

The Mueller Team Champions Truth and Outplays William Barr

“Mr. Barr and his advisers have expressed their own frustrations about Mr. Mueller and his team. Mr. Barr and other Justice Department officials believe the special counsel’s investigators fell short of their task by declining to decide whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed the inquiry, according to the two government officials. After Mr. Mueller made no judgment on the obstruction matter, Mr. Barr stepped in to declare that he himself had cleared Mr. Trump of wrongdoing.”
New York Times

Investigators from the special counsel’s office have indicated that that Barr’s four-page summary of the Mueller Report “failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.”

This has led to reports that Attorney General Barr is frustrated that Mueller left the decision on obstruction of justice charges to him. He should be frustrated, because his ongoing attempts to hide the most damaging evidence—something he promised Trump he would do—are being thwarted. He got played.

Here’s how it works. Mueller knew that if he determined the issue, whatever he said would be dismissed. He also knew that there was plenty of evidence that might support indicting Trump or at least naming him as an unindicted co-conspirator.

So he put Barr in a no-win situation. If Barr admitted that there was substantial negative evidence, even if not enough to indict, he would hurt Trump. If Barr downplayed it and aggressively tried to cover up the evidence, and the evidence came out—as, after much wrangling, it will—Barr would look like he was taking part in a cover-up. Which he may be.


See Lesson for Trump Attorneys: The Lawyers of Watergate:

“Congress initiated multiple investigations that exposed the involvement of more than 20 of the most powerful lawyers in the United States.

At the top of the list was Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, who resigned on Aug. 8, 1974, as Congress was gearing up to conduct impeachment proceedings.

But the list also included two U.S. attorneys general, two White House counsels, an assistant attorney general and a chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

“Trump wrongly claims his dad was born in Germany — for the third time”

Fred Trump, Born in the U.S.A.

Trump may be the biggest idiot in America. Or he deserves our compassion for his cognitive challenges.

Washington Post:

Trump wrongly claims his dad was born in Germany — for the third time
Trump claims his father was born in Germany

Speaking to reporters April 2, President Trump said his father “was born in a very wonderful place in Germany.” Fred Trump was born in New York.

Of all the odd, counterfactual and conspiratorial claims President Trump has made over the past four years or so, this one may take the cake: He said Tuesday that his father was born in Germany, even though he wasn’t.

It is at least the third time he has said this.

“My father is German — was German,” Trump said. “Born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have a great feeling for Germany.”

This is not true. Fred Trump is of German descent, and his father was a German immigrant. But Fred Trump was born in New York.

If you ask most adults—and many children—they can tell you what country their parents were born in. You probably know what country your parents were born in. Maybe there are cases where parents were unclear or unsure, or wanted to hide their origins, but otherwise most people know.

It is possible that given Trump’s predilection to lie, this is just one more. On the other hand, maybe he is cognitively off balance, and he has actually forgotten where his father was born. Either way, every attempt by those who know where their parents were born to escape the Twilight Zone has once again been thwarted. It’s been surreal.

Democrats are looking for a phenom. They may have found one—if they can handle it.

“Phenom” is a fascinating English word. It was first used in 1890, to describe an inordinately talented young baseball player on a trajectory to be a superstar. Short for “phenomenon,” it has mostly passed out of usage, but remains an excellent descriptor.

Democrats have had recent experience with a presidential phenom. Obama was just 43 when he started to go supernova at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. A few years later, his talent and person would take him, against all odds and history, to the presidency, and also against all odds and opposition, keep him there for two terms.

In baseball and elsewhere, everybody knows what can happen with phenoms. Some shine and succeed beyond imagining. Some burn out and never make it past their first season.

Democrats would love to find and run another phenom, but are justifiably skittish about losing a precious, one-time-only opportunity to preserve American democracy. They are ambivalent about a phenom like Pete Buttigieg. He has all the right stuff—young, brilliant, accessible, charismatic, articulate, war veteran, Rhodes Scholar, speaks six languages, plays piano at a symphony level, etc. But will the American people elect a married gay man as president?

If the Democrats were confident the answer was “Yes,” we might be at the early stages of another phenomenon. If they are unsure or have already decided the answer is “no,” then we are in uncharted soul-searching territory. But in politics 2019, uncharted soul-searching territory is the name of the game.