Pipeline meetings could be decisive

Pipeline fighters!

The Iowa Utilities Board meets this week, and while it’s unclear what will happen, the Board could make a decision on whether to approve or reject Dakota Access’ request for the power of eminent domain.

In defense of Iowa farmers, landowners, water and our climate, we should be there in force! The Board, state officials and the media need to know that we’re vigilant – and that we’re going to respond if any kind of decision is made. The meetings are this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:00-4:00 at 1375 E Court Ave in Des Moines. Let me know if you can be there for even an hour. Every body and every voice matters.

And yes, I see we have a little weather event going on today as well. If this prairie blizzard keeps you tucked away, you can still monitor the IUB meetings by live-streaming at https://iowautilitiesboard.eduvision.tv/LiveSched.aspx. The Board will know that public interest is high whether you’re in the meeting room itself or watching remotely.

*******

On today’s Fallon Forum, Dr. Charles Goldman and I debrief the Iowa Caucuses – both Democratic and Republican – and we welcome your input. Have you got a crazy caucus story to share? (Who doesn’t, right?) Is it time to ditch the Caucuses in exchange for something different, say . . . actually voting? Whatever post-caucus crud is stuck in your craw, give us a call while we’re live on the air, and get it out of your system. The number to call is (515) 528-8122.

Listen to the Fallon Forum live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CST on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans). Check-out podcasts here.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Big Day Is Here

Dear Friends,

I’ll keep it crisp, and ask you to do three things:

1. CAUCUS!  I hope everyone goes to their caucus tonight. It’s important! And I hope you’ll support Bernie Sanders. (Check out My Endorsement for President.)

2. It’s also a good idea to present a resolution (or two) at your caucus on an issue you feel strongly about. Resolutions on fighting climate change, stopping the Bakken Pipeline and related matters can be found here: Climate Caucus Resolutions.

3. Call-in to today’s Fallon Forum at (515) 528-8122 and let me know who you’re caucusing for and why. We’re live from 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online.

And an optional “ask,” if you’re inclined . . . This morning (Monday) at 7:00 a.m. CT, you can catch me chatting with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! If you miss it, I’ll post a podcast later. Feedback welcome.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

My Endorsement for President

Dear Friends,

In 1992, Bill Clinton ushered in the era of the New Democrat. We were told that traditional Democrats couldn’t be elected, that candidates had to run as “centrists” to win.

It soon became clear that “centrist” meant “corporate,” as Clinton and the New Democrats brought us NAFTA, the gutting of Glass Steagall, the Telecommunications Act, welfare reform and a slew of other policies most Democrats (and most Americans) oppose.Sanders

The New Democrats have dominated the Democratic Party for two-and-a-half decades. Meanwhile, the rich grow richer, the poor and middle class struggle more and more, and the vast majority of Americans believe our politicians and government have failed them.

Well, I say, “Take heart!” We are on the cusp of a transformation of historic significance. At the Iowa Caucuses on Monday, if Iowa Democrats set the tone for the nation and choose Bernie Sanders as their nominee for President, the era of the New Democrats will be over.

What will take it’s place? A new era that puts human need above corporate greed. An era in which people power again prevails over corporate power. An era that future generations will say resembled the progressive populism and forward thinking of the FDR years.

Barrack Obama asked us to believe in hope and change. Bernie Sanders asks us to be part of a revolution – a peaceful, non-violent revolution that moves America away from government by the billionaires and for the billionaires, toward a government we can again be proud of.

In your heart, you know we need such a revolution. And in your heart, you know Hillary Clinton is not going to lead it. She is too tied to Wall Street and corporate money. Beyond this, she is wrong on many of the key issues (Glass-Steagall, livable wage, the Patriot Act, single-payer healthcare) and slow to come on board others (Keystone pipeline, Iraq War, Trans Pacific Partnership).

When I first ran for the Iowa House in 1992, I refused large donations from individuals and money from PACs. As a lawmaker over the next 14 years, and as a candidate for Iowa Governor and US Congress, I maintained my refusal to accept PAC money and large donations. Without a doubt, that was the best political decision I ever made, as it provided me the independence to represent my constituents first and foremost, to the best of my ability.

In the realm of money in politics, Sanders and I are fellow travelers. The fact that Sanders operates with the highest scruples in how he finances his campaign assures us that he hasn’t been and won’t be swayed by Wall Street or big money.

And the fact that his average donation is just over $30 from over 2 1/2 million everyday Americans says volumes about who he represents.

If you are inclined to believe Sanders can’t win in November, think again. Poll after poll show Sanders beating Trump, Cruz and other Republicans by a greater margin than Clinton.

“But that doesn’t make sense,” the New Democrat moans. “You have to be a ‘centrist’ to win.”

Ah, sorry friend. Those days are over. The polls also speak to this, as the issues of most importance to young voters are a veritable mirror image of the issues Sanders has championed all his life.

Sanders’ record-breaking crowds speak to this.

Sanders winning 69% of the vote in Friday’s Climate Emergency Caucus speaks to this.

Folks, a new political age is upon us. Embrace it. Be part of it. Help usher it in by caucusing for Bernie Sanders.

Thank you! – Ed Fallon

 

 

Who’s Your Climate Candidate?

Dear Friends,

I write with an urgent reminder about tomorrow’s Climate Emergency Caucus. Why urgent?

– Because if humanity stands a fighting chance of reining in the escalating impacts of climate change, we must heed scientists and act IMMEDIATELY!

– Because in defense of both our environment and personal liberty, we must stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline and the accompanying abuse of eminent domain.

Climate Emergency Caucus, Friday, January 29, 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Central Campus, 1800 Grand Ave in Des Moines

What happens next Monday at the Iowa Caucuses is extremely important. It will influence the direction of our country and the world for years to come. And what we do tomorrow at the Climate Emergency Caucus is a critical contributor to that direction – providing YOU help make it happen.

So, I ask you in the strongest possible terms to join me and hundreds more tomorrow. Send a strong message that will resonate beyond Iowa, telling America and the world:

– Which presidential candidate can best lead America in the fight against climate change; and

– Which presidential candidate is most committed to stopping corporations from taking land to build oil and gas pipelines.

Our keynote speakers are Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska (right) and former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (above left). We’ll also hear from the inspiring young leaders of The Climate Mobilization, Ezra Silk and Margaret Klein Salamon. We’ll discuss caucus resolutions, hear where the Democratic and Republican candidates stand, and break into preference groups – just like you’ll do on Monday at the actual Iowa Caucus – to show your support for the candidate YOU feel is best equipped to lead the all-out mobilization we so urgently need.

Arrive early and check out the literature and displays provided by our sponsors and allies (listed below). And we’d love to have you join us for a group photo sporting Climate Mobilization t-shirts and Rosie the Riveter bandanas.

Also, check-out our Facebook Page: Climate Emergency Caucus. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or if you’d like to volunteer. Thank you!

Ed Fallon
SPONSORS
100 Grannies for a Livable Future
American Friends Service Committee
Be A Climate Voter
Bold
Charles D. Goldman, MD
Des Moines Family Psychiatrist Dr. David Drake
Earth Made Clean
Green Light Renewable Services
I’m a Climate Voter
Integrated Power / ISETA
Iowa Citizens For Community Improvement
Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility
Koch Brothers (a local family-owned printing company)
Methodist Federation for Social Action (Iowa Chapter)
Silent Rivers Design+Build
Story County Veterinary Clinic
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Des Moines Branch)

ALLIES
Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Des Moines)
Greenpeace USA
Iowa 350.org
Iowa Peace Network
Sierra Club (Iowa Chapter)

Caucus for the Climate!

Dear Friends,

On Saturday, for what it’s worth, I’ll announce my presidential candidate endorsement. Hey, I’ve got a better batting average than The Des Moines Register! But first . . .

SIXTEEN HUNDRED! That’s the number of credentialed media outlets converging on Iowa this week!(Who knows how many non-credentialed types are here or on their way.) The media love a good horse race, and the close competition in both the Democratic and Republican campaigns makes being in Iowa this week like reporting on the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup without ever having to move your camera crew.

Yup. February 1st is a big day. Not just for Iowa. For our country. For our Planet. I hope every Iowan participates in this important piece of local and world history.

And because of the urgency of fighting climate change and stopping oil pipelines, I hope you’ll give the national and international media something to talk about by attending the Climate Emergency Caucus on January 29th.

I know I ask much from my friends, co-workers and all who share a vision for a more just and livable future. But I always demand as much or more from myself.

Organizing the Climate Emergency Caucus has been an enormous undertaking. My coworker, Shari, and I are burning the candle at both ends to pull it together. It would be a great honor to us – and a significant moment for efforts to advance climate action – if you’ll join us on Friday, January 29th, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Des Moines Public Schools Central Campus Auditorium, 1800 Grand Ave, Des Moines.

If you use Facebook, please register your attendance on the Climate Emergency Caucus Facebook Event Page. And please share that page with your friends, family and neighbors.

On the 29th, we’ll hear from Ezra Silk and Margaret Klein Salamon with The Climate Mobilization. We’ll also hear from Jane Kleeb, whose instrumental role in stopping the Keystone Pipeline led Rolling Stone to dub her “Keystone Killer.” We’ll entertain statements from presidential candidates on climate and pipelines. We’ll discuss resolutions you can bring to your caucus. And the main event: We’ll break into preference groups to determine which candidate(s) we feel can best lead America forward to fight climate change.

So, one more time: PLEASE COME! This is little Iowa’s chance to launch a shot-heard-round-the-world moment on the very survival of humanity.

*******

On today’s Fallon Forum, Jeffrey Weiss joins us for an analysis of what the presidential candidates are saying on foreign policy. Has rhetoric from some Republican candidates essentially bound them to commit war crimes, if elected? And on the Democratic side, beyond what she says on the campaign trail, what does Hillary Clinton’s track record as a US Senator and US Secretary of State suggest about her approach to foreign policy, should she be elected President?

We also talk with Mark Weisbrot, author of Failed: What the “Experts” Got Wrong about the Global Economywhich deals with the European struggle against austerity, failings of the International Monetary Fund, and the dangers of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership.

Listen to the Fallon Forum live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CST on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans). Check-out podcasts from this week’s Fallon Forum here.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

*******

A shout-out and gracious “THANK YOU!” to the local businesses and non-profits helping to make the Climate Emergency Caucus possible:

Keystone Killer Keynotes Climate Caucus

Dear Friends,

Jane Kleeb on the cover of July/August 2015 Omaha Magazine

Jane Kleeb on the cover of July/August 2015 Omaha Magazine

* Check out today’s press release – Keystone Fighter to Keynote Climate Emergency Caucus – and share it as far and wide as your cyber-arm can toss. We are very excited to confirm that Jane Kleeb, dubbed by Rolling Stone as the Keystone Killer, will headline the event.

* Let’s take another stab at convincing our lawmakers to enact stronger laws limiting the abuse of eminent domain. Come to the Take Back Iowa Rally and Lobby Day at the State Capitol on Thursday, January 21 from 1:00-4:00.

* Climate scientists are afraid to tell you about the frightening and demonstrable link between accordions, chickens and global warming. My co-worker, Shari Hrdina, and I rose to the challenge to prove this link in a 1:27 video that took us all of 45 minutes to throw together. Take that, scientists!

* On an entirely serious note, EARTH NEEDS YOU AT THE CLIMATE MOBILIZATION’S CLIMATE EMERGENCY CAUCUS on Friday, January 29, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Central Campus in Des Moines. And I’m excited as a snake chasing a three-legged mouse that we’ve confirmed a nationally-known speaker. Register for the event on the Climate Emergency Caucus Facebook page.

* The most recent Democratic debate was a win for . . . Martin O’Malley. Yup. Despite NBC short-changing him on time (Sanders got 28:07, Clinton 27:35 and O’Malley 13:58), O’Malley comported himself with dignity and offered compelling responses. Sure, he will hardly register a blip when Caucus results are reported on February 1st. But O’Malley has positioned himself to be a top-tier candidate for President in 2020 or 2024.

* Speaking of media bias . . . throughout the presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders has received a pittance of coverage compared with the corporate media’s non-stop salivation over the bloviated babble of Donald Trump — by a factor of 23 to 1! Check out John Nichols story in The Nation.

* On M.L. King Day, I learned of the deadly water contamination afflicting residents of Flint, Michigan — 40% of whom live in poverty, 65% of whom are minorities. Economic hard times created a budget crisis for the City, so the State of Michigan took over and required cost-cutting measures, including switching the City’s water source to the Flint River. People, pets and even plants are now sick or dying. There’s more to this story, and as we remember Dr. King and the ongoing struggle for equality and justice, we have to ask ourselves if what happened in Flint would have been allowed to happen in an affluent, white community.

* A shout-out and gracious “THANK YOU!” to the local businesses and non-profits helping to make the Climate Emergency Caucus possible:

Check-out podcasts from this week’s Fallon Forum here. Listen to the Fallon Forum live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CST on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans).

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Thank Clinton (Bill) for TransCanada lawsuit

Dear Friends,

Here’s a political jaw dropper – and no, it didn’t come out of the mouth of The Donald. TransCanada is suing American taxpayers for $15 billion because President Obama ix-nayed the Keystone Pipeline! For real, TransCanada? You want to us to pay you because your business venture flopped? Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb has been been on the front lines fighting to stop the Keystone Pipeline, and she joins Dr. Charles Goldman and me today on the Forum.

My take on TransCanada’s lawsuit? Blame Bill Clinton. That’s right. Sorry, Clinton lovers, but a big part of Clinton’s legacy as President was passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). TransCanada sites provisions in NAFTA as the foundation for its lawsuit. So, next time you see Bill campaigning for Hillary, be sure to thank him for NAFTA, which opened the door to a string of union-gutting, environmental-law trashing, national-sovreingty negating treaties that have made corporations the defacto rulers of the world.

And if you like NAFTA, you’ll love the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – the mother of all trade treaties. And don’t forget that Hillary Clinton was singing all kinds of praise for TPP until she just recently changed her position. To their credit, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have long opposed TPP.

One more thought on TransCanada and the Keystone Pipeline. It seems we’re having more conflicts with our northern neighbor lately than with our neighbor to the south. If Donald Trump is so intent on protecting America from harmful foreign influences, maybe that big wall he wants to build should stretch across our northern border instead.

And let’s get TransCanada to pay for it.

Speaking of Trump, every week I pray to a higher power to grant me the strength to not talk about Donald Trump on the Forum. And nearly every week, my petitions fail to reach the metaphysical ears of that higher power, as they are no doubt trapped in Earth’s atmosphere by an ever-expanding belt of greenhouse gases.

So, Trump talk it is, at least for a segment of today’s program. Here’s Charles input on The Donald:

“Trump just confirms for us that, for the most part, America’s billionaire ruling class is scarily and pathologically narcissistic. As Bernie Sanders points out at almost every opportunity, the system is rigged for the highest earning 1/1000th of Americans. And it is far worse than the issues Sanders usually concentrates on, whether the income tax system is progressive enough or the ceiling on Social Security earnings should be lifted. On today’s program, we look at some of the other ways that the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves via the loopholes written into the IRS tax code.”

Hear the Fallon Forum live 11:00-12:00 noon CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans).

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Climate Emergency Caucus

Dear Friends,

Climate change and the Bakken Pipeline have been second-tier conversations in the presidential campaign. We’ve got three weeks to change that, and with your help, it can happen. See below. Spread the word. And mark your calendars for Friday, January 29, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

TCM words logo med size

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

9 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Contact:
Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or fallonforum@gmail.com
Margaret Klein Salamon at (734) 476-5169 or Margaret@TheClimateMobilization.org

Hundreds Expected at Climate Emergency Caucus 
Presidential Candidates Will be Chosen to Stop Bakken Pipeline and
Lead WWII-scale Mobilization to Restore a Safe Climate 

DES MOINES — Caucus-goers from across Iowa will stage a model caucus Friday, Jan. 29 to support the presidential candidate they believe is most committed to stopping the Bakken Pipeline and leading a full-employment, wartime-scale mobilization to retire all fossil fuel infrastructure, drive the U.S. economy to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and restore a safe climate for humanity. The caucus will take place from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Central Campus at 1800 Grand Avenue in Des Moines.

“Iowa climate and pipeline fighters are all over the board when it comes to the presidential candidate they prefer,” said Ed Fallon, a talk show host and former Iowa lawmaker. “The Climate Emergency Caucus lets voters choose the strongest climate champion among those running for President. And each candidate – Republican and Democratic – will have a chance to make their case to voters in attendance that they intend to respond to the climate crisis with heroic action, not business-as-usual reform proposals that cannot effectively tackle this time-sensitive, existential emergency.”

The model caucus is organized by The Climate Mobilization in conjunction with a growing list of business and organizational partners. The model caucus portion of the event invites attendees to stand up for the candidate they feel is best able to lead the nation in this time of growing crisis.

“The climate crisis is a national and international emergency the next President will have to confront,” said Margaret Klein Salamon, founder and director of The Climate Mobilization. “Which candidate has the character, wisdom and experience to lead the mobilization we need? Which candidate has been the most candid on the climate crisis thus far? We offer caucus-goers a chance to deliberate on these questions, while making it clear we will not settle for half measures that ignore the dire realities of climate science.”

The program for the evening also includes presentations by one or more nationally-known climate leaders, remarks by The Climate Mobilization’s founders, Klein Salamon and Ezra Silk, and a call to further action in the lead-up to the February 1st Iowa Caucuses.

# # # # #

TCM Eagle logo med size

The Year 2015 in Review

Dear Friends,

There’s so much to share about 2015! As I review the year’s highlights, it seems best to simply offer twelve random snapshots.

Climate Marchers Shari Hrdina, Ed Fallon, Miriam Kashia and Jeffrey Czerwiec meet with Tom Vilsack

Climate Marchers Shari Hrdina, Ed Fallon, Miriam Kashia and Jeffrey Czerwiec meet with Tom Vilsack

January. Despite vowing to stay put after last year’s eight-month Climate March, I drive to Washington, DC to join other marchers for meetings with White House staff, EPA officials and assorted members of Congress. On the way there and back, I give presentations on the impact of the Great March for Climate Action. As I travel, I feel a bit like an unfrozen caveman, in awe that one can get from the Plains to the Coast in a matter of days, knowing my last journey there on foot took two months.

At Anti-Tar Sands Conference in Wisconsin

At Anti-Tar Sands Conference in Wisconsin

February. Organizers of a regional anti-tar sands conference in Madison, Wisconsin invite me as a keynote speaker. Hundreds of climate patriots and pipeline fighters attend, and I learn what they’re doing to stop the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure. Between workshops, I am entertained by the diversity of winter revelers frolicking on Lake Mendota via shoe, skate, ski and sled.

 

On the Iowa Pipeline Walk

On the Iowa Pipeline Walk

March. Again failing to heed my own advice to stay put, I set out on a 400-mile walk across Iowa, following the path of the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. Hiking Iowa in March is brutal. One 19-mile day greets me with temperatures in the single digits and a 28-mph headwind. No one walks with me that day because, quite frankly, most people are smarter than me.

 

 

Earth Day Rally at conclusion of Iowa Pipeline Walk

Earth Day Rally at conclusion of Iowa Pipeline Walk

April. The Pipeline Walk continues and the weather improves, except for frequent high-velocity winds. I learn more about pipelines than I ever wanted to know, and every day, I meet Iowans passionate about the land and their communities. One of the most colorful is Mountain Dave, who lives in an 8′ x 10′ hut built from recycled materials. The pipeline would come within 300 feet of his home, a possibility Dave imagines “would be as much fun as living in Omaha.”

Arrested at Governor's office

Arrested at Governor’s office

May. After months of lobbying for legislation to stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline, I pay a visit to Governor Branstad’s office to try to win him over. He refuses to meet. I refuse to leave. My friends with the Iowa State Patrol provide a personal escort to the Polk County Jail, where I share a cell with – true story – a pipeline fitter.

 

 

Climate Marchers Zach Solomon, Sarah Spain and Karin Sandahl at Tar Sands Resistance March in St. Paul

Climate Marchers Zach Solomon, Sarah Spain and Karin Sandahl at Tar Sands Resistance March in St. Paul

June. Carfuls and busloads of Iowans head to St. Paul, Minnesota for the Tar Sands Resistance March, a huge anti-pipeline event. The crowd is spirited, colorful and well organized. The march and rally renew my confidence in humanity’s potential to put the brakes on climate change.

 

 

Challenging Mike Huckabee on Climate Action

Challenging Mike Huckabee on Climate Action

July. Presidential candidates are thick in Iowa, and I avail myself of opportunities to talk with them. At Des Moines’ Italian Festival, friends and I prepare to enter the bocce ball competition when Chris Christie ambles by. I figure that, having experienced the unfiltered wrath of Hurricane Sandy, Christie surely must “get” climate change. We talk, but he’s an all-options guy and wants to keep burning lots of fossil fuel. In Christie’s honor, my friends and I lose at bocce ball.

Hughie Tweedy Eminent Domain Protest Party

Hughie Tweedy Eminent Domain Protest Party

August. One of Iowa’s most vocal and colorful pipeline fighters throws a party that I’ll never forget. Close to 2,000 people show up at Hughie Tweedy’s farm in southeast Iowa for two days of food, music and organizing. I play the Star-Spangled Banner on the accordion. Hughie wraps up his inspiring speech with a war whoop – one hand in the air, the other holding his granddaughter.

 

Mayor Cownie and Rob Hogg sign the Pledge to Mobilize

Mayor Cownie and Rob Hogg sign the Pledge to Mobilize

September. My co-worker, Shari Hrdina, and I team up with the amazing duo of Margaret Klein Salamon and Ezra Silk of The Climate Mobilization. We bird-dog presidential candidates, sign-up 400 Iowans to support the Pledge to Mobilize, and spread the word about the urgency of climate action. We emphasize that a politically expedient solution is not enough. America needs an all-out, WWII-scale economic transformation, and we’re looking for presidential candidates who’ll champion that initiative.

Trump supporters eye us as we plan Rosie the Riveter action; l to r: Peter Clay, George McCloskey, Kristy Medo, Miriam Kashia with Ed

Trump supporters eye us as we plan Rosie the Riveter action; l to r: Peter Clay, George McCloskey, Kristy Medo, Miriam Kashia with Ed

October. We ramp-up our tactics to raise the profile of climate change leading up to the Iowa Caucuses. At a Donald Trump event in Waterloo, I abandon my comfort zone to hold a sign while yelling “Climate Action NOW!” The women in our group, dressed like Rosie the Riveter, flex their biceps to show that Rosie did her part in the 1940s and she’s now ready to fight climate change. Trump’s peeps nearly knock over one of our Rosies – 72-year old Miriam Kashia – and we’re escorted out of the event. But we claim victory, as climate change is part of the story on the national news that evening.

Display of 10,000 shoes at site of cancelled climate march before Paris Summit

Display of 10,000 shoes at site of cancelled climate march before Paris Summit

November. As further evidence that I have a walking addiction and need a 12-step program (ba-dum), Steve Martin and I set out on a 200-mile pilgrimage from Omaha Beach in Normandy to Paris to raise awareness in advance of the U.N. Climate Summit. On day three, our journey takes a dramatic and unexpected twist after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Over the next week, the attacks dominate our conversations. But as we conclude the walk, the focus comes full circle to the ways in which climate disruption fuels political instability and terrorism.

Unprecedented December flooding in Des Moines

Unprecedented December flooding in Des Moines

December. Other than the unprecedented winter flooding in lieu of the usual snow and cold temperatures, December in Iowa brings a sense of peace and closure to another busy year. I am grateful to spend quality time with family and friends, and happy to have roommates again. The apartment looks more and more homey. On the walls are Christmas lights, new paint, better artwork. Outside, garlic is planted, and our two cold frames sprout lettuce and spinach. We are blessed with an abundance of potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and squash, as the new hens lay their first eggs.

The Earth is good. Yet I feel sadness for those around the world who have lost their homes, farms, communities and even their lives to war and climate disruption.

For me, this is a time of year for rest and renewal, a time to recommit my life to the service of others, a time to examine my guiding principles. Like every year, I reflect on how I have failed miserably, repeatedly, dramatically even. Yet among the ash-heap of failure are scattered sporadic accomplishments. These bring a smile to my face, and hopefully – more importantly – a smile to the faces of those I may have been able to help in some small way throughout the year.

With that in mind, despite the world’s woes and in the realization that humanity’s progress toward sustainability and universal justice is slow but unstoppable, I wish you peace and contentment during this season of transition toward a New Year and new beginnings.

The fusion of politics and civility

Dear Friends,

Despite all the woes of the world, there’s so much to be thankful for. Near the top of my long list are the local business owners who make the Fallon Forum possible.

Our tag line is “the fusion of politics and civility,” and the Fallon Forum is one of the few talk shows not spouting radical-right rhetoric. We’re not in the pocket of wealthy special interests, and our business supporters are all locally owned. We cover important issues with excellent guests unlikely to appear on Rush Limbaugh’s show anytime in the next millennium (see below for today’s line-up).

So, I have a favor to ask: Write and tell me which one (or more) of these locally-owned backers of the Fallon Forum you’ll patronize during the next month. And if you’ve got a business you’d like to promote on our network, let’s talk.

Gateway Market and Cafe
HoQ Restaurant
Ritual Cafe
Cinco de Mayo
Diversity Insurance
Green Light Renewable
Dan Kelley, Realtor
Sargents Garage
Earth Made Clean

On today’s Fallon Forum, we’re joined by State Representative Ako Abdul Samad and Desmund Adams to discuss racial profiling. We also analyze the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in America.

Dr. Charles Goldman and I talk about the scariest movie out at the moment. No, it’s not Star Wars. It’s the recent Republican Presidential Candidate Debate in Las Vegas, where the prevailing theme was, “Be afraid; be very afraid.” We also ask whether the DNC is trying to make absolutely sure that Hillary Clinton wins the nomination with not-so-subtle tactics such as scheduling the most recent debate for Saturday night before Christmas.

Hear the Fallon Forum live 11:00-12:00 noon CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans).

Thanks! – Ed Fallon