• Don Lichterman

RBG, David Cay Johnston, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Bernie Sanders, Mychal Denzel Smith at Sunset TV!

Top U.S. & World Headlines — September 29, 2020 & Top U.S. & World Headlines — September 28, 2020 &
David Cay Johnston: Trump Deserves to Be Jailed, But System Is Set Up to Let Rich Avoid Paying Taxes & A Criminal Tax Cheat? Bombshell NYT Report Shows Trump Paid No Federal Income Tax for 10 of 15 Years

Ahead of the first of three presidential debates between President Trump and Joe Biden, we speak with David Cay Johnston, founder and editor-in-chief of DCReport.org, who says the bombshell New York Times report on Trump's taxes highlights the existence of "two income tax systems, separate and unequal." The Times reports that Trump paid no federal income tax in 10 of the past 15 years and just $750 in 2016 and 2017. In a follow-up report, the Times reveals Trump made $427 million in connection to the hit reality TV show "The Apprentice," providing him a financial lifeline as other investments lost money. "People who own their own businesses, like Donald Trump, are under a different system," says Johnston.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: We Must Rethink Our Society, from Policing to the Supreme Court

As President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden face off in the first presidential debate in Cleveland, we speak to author and academic Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, who says the multiple crises facing the United States are not getting enough attention leading up to the November election. "We're in the midst of a national reckoning about systemic racism in this country, about the way that things are governed, the way that this country functions," says Taylor, historian and contributing writer at The New Yorker. "There is such a myopia with Donald Trump that every sentence, every breath, everything that he does absorbs the entirety of public attention." She also says it's time to reimagine the U.S. Supreme Court, which has for most of its history acted to enforce "a conservative social order."

Bernie Sanders on How to Block Trump from Stealing Election & Preserve American Democracy

In an address to the country, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has issued a stark warning about the threat posed by President Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the November election. Trump, who has made spurious claims of voter fraud and election-rigging against Democrats for months, recently ramped up his efforts to discredit the election results by suggesting he will refuse to concede if he loses. “This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy. And democracy must win,” Sanders said. We air excerpts from his speech.

Mychal Denzel Smith on Breonna Taylor, Defunding Police, Systemic Racism & His Trump-Era Depression

Journalist and author Mychal Denzel Smith joins us for a wide-ranging discussion on the uprising against racist police, the upcoming presidential election and why he says a Biden win won’t cure his Trump-era depression, and his new book, “Stakes Is High: Life after the American Dream.” Denzel Smith questions whether arresting and charging the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor, a core demand of many protests in the wake of her death, represents justice, despite the historic settlement between Louisville and her family. “The only way to prevent another instance of the situation that took Breonna Taylor’s life is to defund, dismantle police departments across the nation,” Smith says. He argues defeating Donald Trump in November will not solve systemic racism, inequality or the climate crisis. “What Joe Biden has offered thus far is not a transformative enough agenda to be able to face those issues.”

"Trump Is Criminality Personified": Rev. William Barber on Protecting the Vote & Mobilizing the Poor

With less than two months before November, the Poor People's Campaign has launched a push to register tens of millions of poor and low-income voters, who could decide the fate of the election. "Voting is power unleashed," says Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign and president of Repairers of the Breach. "We've got to train the people on the power of the vote, the power to protect the vote, and the power to shape public policy by the vote." The initiative is called MORE, which stands for Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering, Educating People for a Movement That Votes.

Cost of war: 37 million displaced by the U.S. "War on Terror" since 9/11

American University professor David Vine is the co-author of a new report that found at least 37 million people in eight countries have been forced to flee their homes since the start of the U.S.-led, so-called Global War on Terrorism in 2001. "I think most people in the United States, myself included, have not really reckoned with the total damage that these wars have caused," says Vine. The U.S. currently has 800 military bases around the world, "more bases than any nation in world history," he notes. "These bases have not only enabled war, not only made war possible, but they've actually made war more likely — made war a far too-easy-policy choice."

175 Years in a U.S. Prison? Extradition Trial of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Begins in London

As the long-awaited extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gets underway in London, his legal adviser, Jennifer Robinson, says the case could set a chilling precedent for press freedoms around the world. "He faces 175 years in prison for doing his job as a journalist and a publisher. That's why this case is so dangerous," says Robinson. Assange faces numerous charges, including under the U.S. Espionage Act, related to the release of diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks that revealed war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He faces a possible life sentence if he is extradited to the U.S.

"Unforgetting": Roberto Lovato's Memoir Links U.S. Military in Central America to Migration Crisis

We look at how decades of U.S. military intervention in Central America have led to the ongoing migrant crisis, with Salvadoran American journalist Roberto Lovato, author of the new book "Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas." Lovato recounts his own family's migration from El Salvador to the United States, his return to the country as a young man to fight against the U.S.-backed right-wing government responsible for grave human rights violations, and his embrace of journalism to tell the stories of people on the margins. "I'm unforgetting a history of not just El Salvador, but the United States and of myself," says Lovato.

Colonization Made CA a Tinderbox: Why Indigenous Land Stewardship Would Help Combat Climate Fires

We examine California's history of forest management and how a century of fire suppression has made the current climate fires even more destructive. For thousands of years, Native American tribes in California would regularly burn the landscape to steward the land, but colonization led to the suppression of these tactics and decades of misguided policy. A return to these Indigenous practices could help better steward the land and foster greater climate resiliency, says Don Hankins, a pyrogeographer and Plains Miwok fire expert who teaches geography and planning at California State University, Chico. "If we all work together and we use the same mindset in terms of process, being able to use fire within the landscape, we can start to put fire back in at the scale that it needs to be for the right ecological and cultural purposes," Hankins says.

A Crisis Made in America: Yemen on Brink of Famine After U.S. Cuts Aid While Fueling War

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is deepening amid the pandemic and cuts to international aid from the United States and its allies, leaving millions of Yemenis facing famine after years of a brutal U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign that has devastated the country. CNN’s senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir says what is happening in Yemen is not a natural disaster but a “man-made catastrophe” directly tied to U.S. policies. Elbagir says, “Not only is the U.S. profiting from the war by selling weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” but it is also ignoring the impact on civilians. We also feature her exclusive CNN report, “Yemen: A Crisis Made in America.”

The U.S. got masks wrong. Here are the countries that got it right

At a press conference this week, President Trump again directly undercut the CDC's emphasis on the importance of mask-wearing. "Masks make a huge difference. I don't think I can stress how important I think this is as a pillar of pandemic control," says UC San Francisco's Dr. Monica Gandhi. "No other country, hands-down, has fought mask-wearing like we have in the United States." The infectious disease specialist then walks through how some countries, such as the Czech Republic and Taiwan, handled the pandemic swiftly with strong mask-wearing messaging from the top down.

Remembering RBG: Legal Giant's Death Sparks Furious Fight in D.C. over Vacant Supreme Court Seat

We look at the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as the future of the Supreme Court, in a wide-ranging interview with Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate, where she is the senior legal correspondent and Supreme Court reporter. Ginsburg died September 18 at the age of 87 after serving 27 years as a Supreme Court justice, where she became the most prominent member of the court's liberal wing. Her death just 46 days before the November election sets up a major political battle over her replacement, with President Trump and many Senate Republicans vowing to nominate and confirm a right-wing judge to fill her seat by Friday or Saturday. In 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama's pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died 269 days before the election. "Hypocrisy doesn't begin to touch on that," says Lithwick. "The court is profoundly misaligned both with popular opinion polling and with the will of this country."

"Belly of the Beast": Survivors of Forced Sterilizations in California's Prisons Fight for Justice

Revelations about forced hysterectomies at an ICE facility in Georgia have forced a reckoning with the long history of sterilizations in the U.S. — particularly of Black, Brown, poor and disabled people — and the way this procedure has continued in jails and prisons to the present day. We speak with Kelli Dillon, who was sterilized at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla in 2001 and who is featured in the documentary "Belly of the Beast," which tells the stories of women subjected to unwanted sterilization behind bars in California. She says incarcerated women are "punished" for simply requesting medical records. "If we begin to press … we are reprimanded and sometimes put in lockdown," says Dillon, who in 2006 became the first survivor of sterilization abuse to sue the California Department of Corrections for damages. Between 2006 and 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 women without required state approval. "Forced sterilization is genocide," notes filmmaker Erika Cohn, who directed "Belly of the Beast" and spent nearly a decade making it. The film opens in theaters on October 16 and will premiere on PBS's "Independent Lens" on November 23.

Whistleblower Nurse in ICE Jail Alleges Forced Sterilization & Neglect Amid 8th COVID Death

As ICE confirms the 20th person to die in its detention in fiscal year 2020, making it one of the deadliest periods in the agency's history, we talk to the whistleblower at the center of an explosive complaint that accuses an ICE jail in Georgia of failing to adhere to coronavirus safety protocols and performing a large number of unwanted hysterectomies on detainees. The doctor who carried out the procedures became known to women inside the facility as "the uterus collector." Whistleblower Dawn Wooten, a nurse at the Irwin County Detention Center, says the neglect and abuse at the facility was "jaw-dropping." We also speak with Azadeh Shahshahani, legal and advocacy director at Project South, who says authorities must take action now. "What else would it take for decision makers to finally move and do something about this before we see additional tragedies at these facilities?" she says.

People of Praise: Former Member of Group Tied to SCOTUS Front-Runner Amy Barrett Calls It a “Cult”

As President Trump appears poised to announce a nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, we speak with a former member of the secretive Catholic group People of Praise, known for its rigid gender roles and lifelong loyalty oaths, which apparent front-runner Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a member of. “Many call it a community, but I describe it as a cult,” says Coral Anika Theill, who was a member of People of Praise from 1979 to 1984 and is now speaking out against the organization.

We go to Louisville, where protests erupted after police officers who shot Breonna Taylor in her own home were not charged for her death. A grand jury indicted a third officer for "wanton endangerment" for shooting into an adjacent apartment during the fatal raid that killed Breonna Taylor in March. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in cities across the country demanding justice for Taylor and defunding of police departments. "The lack of indictments in the grand jury process is an indictment on the system itself," says Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League. "They have created a completely separate grand jury system for police officers."

"Two Systems of Justice": Jacob Blake's Father on Son's Case, Breonna Taylor & Black Lives Matter

As outrage mounts over the grand jury ruling in the police killing of Breonna Taylor, we look at the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where an investigation is in its final stages. The case sparked renewed national protests in August after viral video showed Kenosha police shooting the Black father in the back seven times, paralyzing him. We speak with Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr. He says police shootings and killings of Black people reveal there are "two systems of justice" in the United States, and asks, "Why are our children scared to death of people that are supposed to protect and serve them?"

“The Election That Could Break America”: Inside How Trump & GOP Could Steal the Vote

As President Trump refuses to commit to accepting the results of the upcoming election, we speak to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barton Gellman, whose latest piece in The Atlantic looks at how Trump could subvert the election results and stay in power even if he loses to Joe Biden. “Trump’s strategy is never to concede. He may win, he may lose, but under no circumstances will he concede this election,” says Gellman. “That’s a big problem, because we don’t actually have a mechanism for forcing a candidate to concede, and concession is the way we have ended elections.”

WWF’s 2020 Living Planet Report

In the last 50 years, our world has been transformed by human activity. This has put an incredible amount of pressure on the natural world around us, leading to impacts like habitat loss, overfishing, climate change, and more. Learn more about WWF’s report on the state of the natural world: https://bit.ly/3bHdjzL Music credit: “Lux” by Ryan Taubert/Musicbed

The skies of the Bay Area and Northern California turned a dark orange as 90 major fires burn in the western United States, from San Diego to the Canadian border. At least seven people have died as a result of the fires, which have already burned 2.5 million acres in California alone. Despite heavy coverage in the mainstream media, however, few outlets are highlighting the link between the blazes and the accelerating climate crisis. “The fact is that TV news is completely abdicating its responsibility when it comes to telling the truth of what the West is dealing with right now,” says Leah Stokes, assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a researcher on climate and energy policy. “This is climate change. It’s not rocket science. And when will the media start calling it that?”

COVID Vaccine Trials Seek Black, Latinx Participants But History of Medical Apartheid Sows Mistrust

As President Trump pushes to release a coronavirus vaccine before the November election, a National Institutes of Health report details how the process could be slowed by a lack of participation in vaccine studies by African American and Latinx people, many of whom mistrust the U.S. healthcare system due the history of racist medical exploitation. "The written history of medicine, the canon, has been carefully curated to elide the experience of African Americans," says medical ethicist Harriet Washington, author of "Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present."

“Democratic Public Health”: Big Pharma Relies on Developing World While Limiting Access to Treatment

We look at the history of clinical vaccine trials and exploitation of vulnerable people in the U.S. and India, which recently surpassed Brazil as the country with the second most infections worldwide. Kaushik Sunder Rajan, an anthropologist at the University of Chicago, says there is a documented history of “ethical lapses that were serious” and lack of accountability in vaccine studies in India. “The critical issue here is not whether vaccines are good or bad, but … even more, I would suggest what is at stake is a democratic public health,” he notes.

Join our virtual trek to the south side of Mount Everest

Join our virtual trek to the south side of Mount Everest and the top of Kala Patthar, in immersive 360 VR video, with this limited series from Jon Miller and The Rest of Everest! In Part 09 we have a relaxing rest day in Dingboche and then set out for the next village of Lobuche and the final stretch of our trek up towards Everest.


View the playlist of this VR trek! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...


Dingboche was more comfortable than I could have possibly imagined. Back in 2009, the last time I visited this small village, the amenities were far more spartan than they are now. It was a delight to spend 2 nights in Dingboche, nap during the day and refuel with a cappuccino and fresh-baked goods from a lovely cafe just down the trail from our lodge! Dawa was also able to purchase a nice pair of knockoff sunglasses (with a brand name of "OKEY") as he had lost his a few days back and the sun gets stronger and stronger the higher we go.


With the last of our rest on this trek complete, we headed up towards lunch at the small collection of buildings known as Thukla. Along the way, we passed the area where our 2009 team of guides spelled out "HAPPY B-DAY MAGAN" in stones on the hillside. That was such a wonderful memory that I was eager to see if it was still there 10 and a half years later. No matter what it will live in my memory forever.


Jon Miller

September 27, 2020

While you can absolutely enjoy this series on a mobile phone or computer, for the most “you are there” immersive experience I HIGHLY recommend viewing the videos using a VR headset. Here are some suggestions that I own and have personally tested. They range in price from just a few bucks to a few hundred dollars. Buying them from these links will support this The Rest of Everest endeavor!


I Am Cardboard VR Box https://amzn.to/3d3CSu6


This is a fantastic entry-level VR viewer that can be used with the YouTube app on your mobile phone. I found this one to be superior to the less expensive versions that need to be assembled. This one comes ready to use and has a more thoughtful design and better user experience. Worth buying even if you only have a passing interest in VR content.


Pansonite 3D VR Glasses Virtual Reality Headset https://amzn.to/37s06ZJ


A real upgrade from Google Cardboard devices. This is a true headset and is very comfortable to use. Since you actually wear it, the experience is much more immersive yet still uses the YouTube app on your mobile phone for viewing which keeps it inexpensive. It is also far more adjustable than the Cardboard options. I’ve given a Pansonite unit to Dawa’s family for viewing these episodes!


Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 64GB https://amzn.to/2YE3oF2

Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 128GB https://amzn.to/3fnOKbN


The Oculus Quest is the best all-in-one VR headset on the market right now. Using it is like peering into the future. For viewing 360 videos it only beats the Oculus Go in terms of screen quality but if you’re interested in gaming THIS is the headset to purchase. There is NO comparison. I use an Oculus Quest connected to Adobe Premiere while I edit these episodes. Amazing device with a lot of “wow” factor.


Thanks for watching. If you’re new to The Rest of Everest, please consider checking out Episode 000 to see what this series is about and how it all started almost 20 years ago. https://youtu.be/ESyjYeCxxgc


If you’re based in Colorado, consider checking out Dawa’s Fort Collins restaurant, The Himalayan Bistro https://himalayanbistro.com


Join our virtual trek to the south side of Mount Everest and the top of Kala Patthar, in immersive 360 VR video, with this limited series from Jon Miller and The Rest of Everest! In Part 08 we make our way to Dingboche and watch the Kuwait flag as it unfurls atop Ama Dablam.


View the playlist of this VR trek! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...


Rivendell was fantastic but the high peaks are calling so we decided to head up to Dingboche and a beautiful day fo trekking through this beautiful region. We were witness to several breathtaking events on this day.


First, Tenjing and I watched (with some horror) as a visitor on horseback made a very questionable crossing of a high suspension bridge with the goal of heading further up the trail towards Dingboche. He was a large man and the horse was obviously straining under his weight. We held our breath as he crossed the bridge hoping the horse wouldn't pitch him over the cable railing down into the river below. He made it--but the horse refused to take him much higher and only a few minutes later we saw him walking downhill alongside the relieved horse.


Next, at lunch in Somare, the rumors of a Kuwait flag that was to be draped from the summit of Ama Dablam were confirmed. We watched in awe as the ENORMOUS flag was unfurled and a helicopter circled the summit, presumably to film the achievement. This was a highly controversial endeavor. It was the first Kuwaiti Team to summit Ama Dablam--that part was not controversial and was a wonderful achievement. Flying the huge 100m by 30m flag from the summit of such a revered mountain was frowned upon by many. They removed the flag shortly afterward and however you feel about the unfurling...it must have been a herculean effort to pull it off.


Lastly, as I crossed the ridge overlooking the village of Dingboche I was shocked to see how large it had grown in the past decade since I was last there. I was expecting a tiny town of just a few larger teahouses but was shocked to see so much new construction. I just wasn't expecting that kind of growth for a village at this altitude - 4410m or 14,470 feet and above the treeline. As I descended into town I was reminded of many wonderful memories of team birthday celebrations we had back in 2009. check out the 2009 Series to reminisce with me! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...


I couldn't stop smiling. It was a full, rich day!


Jon Miller

September 13, 2020


While you can absolutely enjoy this series on a mobile phone or computer, for the most “you are there” immersive experience I HIGHLY recommend viewing the videos using a VR headset. Here are some suggestions that I own and have personally tested. They range in price from just a few bucks to a few hundred dollars. Buying them from these links will support this The Rest of Everest endeavor!


I Am Cardboard VR Box https://amzn.to/3d3CSu6


This is a fantastic entry-level VR viewer that can be used with the YouTube app on your mobile phone. I found this one to be superior to the less expensive versions that need to be assembled. This one comes ready to use and has a more thoughtful design and better user experience. Worth buying even if you only have a passing interest in VR content.


Pansonite 3D VR Glasses Virtual Reality Headset https://amzn.to/37s06ZJ


A real upgrade from Google Cardboard devices. This is a true headset and is very comfortable to use. Since you actually wear it, the experience is much more immersive yet still uses the YouTube app on your mobile phone for viewing which keeps it inexpensive. It is also far more adjustable than the Cardboard options. I’ve given a Pansonite unit to Dawa’s family for viewing these episodes!


Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 64GB https://amzn.to/2YE3oF2

Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 128GB https://amzn.to/3fnOKbN


The Oculus Quest is the best all-in-one VR headset on the market right now. Using it is like peering into the future. For viewing 360 videos it only beats the Oculus Go in terms of screen quality but if you’re interested in gaming THIS is the headset to purchase. There is NO comparison. I use an Oculus Quest connected to Adobe Premiere while I edit these episodes. Amazing device with a lot of “wow” factor.


Thanks for watching. If you’re new to The Rest of Everest, please consider checking out Episode 000 to see what this series is about and how it all started almost 20 years ago. https://youtu.be/ESyjYeCxxgc


If you’re based in Colorado, consider checking out Dawa’s Fort Collins restaurant, The Himalayan Bistro https://himalayanbistro.com

Draw My Life: Coyote Edition

Tara Strong narrates the story of Alice, a coyote, in this edition of Draw My Life. Coyotes are trapped and killed and their fur is used to trim winter jackets for companies like Canada Goose. Read more at: https://www.peta.org/features/coyotes...

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