Friday, January 31, 2020

Congresswoman Dingell Implores Social Media Companies to Tackle Coronavirus Misinformation.

Photo Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.

Editor in Chief/Publisher Jeff Brown.

 Friday, January 31, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) pressed leading social media companies to take immediate steps to stop the spread of misinformation as it relates to the Coronavirus. Dingell asked questions of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.

According to today's press release, “During a global health emergency, it is vital to the public interest that individuals have access to timely and accurate information. As expert’s knowledge and understanding about this virus grows, so too will the necessity of accurate and reliable information for the world.  As global companies, a rampant spread of inaccurate information will have a decidedly negative impact on the response efforts to contain and mitigate this global health emergency,” wrote Dingell.

Dingell continues to vigorously monitor the coronavirus and work with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and related federal agencies to ensure all preventative measures are taken to monitor and educate travelers and the public from the recent outbreak in China. Last week, she asked the CDC for an update on coronavirus screenings at international airports such as Detroit Metro. This week, she attended a briefings with the CDC on their efforts to prevent the spread of the virus in the United States. This according to the statement from Debbie Dingells office.

Dingell’s letter is available here or below:

Dear Ms. Wojcicki, Mr. Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and Zhu,

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the Coronavirus a public health emergency, rising fatalities, and evidence of person to person transmission this letter is being sent to you with concerns and questions on how your platforms are handling inaccurate and misleading information surrounding the dangers and risks associated with this virus. 

During a global health emergency, it is vital to the public interest that individuals have access to timely and accurate information. As expert’s knowledge and understanding about this virus grows, so too will the necessity of accurate and reliable information for the world.  As global companies, a rampant spread of inaccurate information will have a decidedly negative impact on the response efforts to contain and mitigate this global health emergency. 

With any crisis, fear and the need to understand what is happening can cloud judgement and push us to look for answers, credible or not.  This is not a new phenomenon, but what is new is the global reach, impact, and negative effects finding wrong or incomplete answers will have, not only on a given user, but to their families and communities worldwide.  The actions you choose to take will impact the lives of your users and those around them.

Unlike nation-state disinformation campaigns, the effects on users and the public could very well facilitate the continued spread of the Coronavirus and more deaths. With that please provide responses to the following questions:

1.      Is your company working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the WHO in order to prioritize and boost timely and accurate information regarding the Coronavirus? And how specifically are you ensuring the information on your platform is accurate and continues to be accurate as experts understanding of this virus evolves?
2.      Does your platform have policies and practices in place to limit, flag, or demote inaccurate user generated content pertaining to public health emergencies?
3.      If so, what are these policies and practices? And does the public have access to them?
4.      Are such policies and practices being implemented and what accountability measures are in place?
5.      Are human content moderators or technology solutions being used to identify and flag these types of inaccurate content?

Much like this virus, misinformation, willful or benign in nature, will continue to spread until measures are taken to limit exposure and treat symptoms.  I urge you to take serious action in addressing this issue and appreciate your attention to this matter. A prompt response is appreciated.


Debbie Dingell
Member of Congress

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Statement by U.S. Department of State: Evacuation of Americans From Wuhan, China.

Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.
Wednesday, Jan, 29, the U.S. State department released the following statement regarding the evacuation of Americans from Wuhan, China in wake of the new Corona Virus.
This morning, a flight from Wuhan carrying U.S. government personnel and some private Americans safely landed in California. As we have previously noted, these travelers will be carefully screened and monitored by the health experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health and Human Services (HHS). All appropriate steps are being taken to safeguard the health of these returning Americans, as well as the health and safety of their fellow Americans here at home.
This effort to bring our citizens home was made possible through close collaboration between the Department of State, the CDC, HHS, the Department of Defense, and state and local authorities. We appreciate the PRC government’s efforts related to this evacuation.
We remain committed to doing everything we can to protect the health and welfare of U.S. citizens overseas, including those remaining in Wuhan, and are working closely with PRC authorities to offer them all possible assistance. We continue to encourage U.S. citizens to review our China Travel Advisory at, and to closely monitor and follow the guidance of local health authorities.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

On the Flint Water Crisis: Contributed to PWP By Activist Melissa Mays of Flint: Day #2,908.

By Purple Walrus Press contributor Melissa Mays.
Yesterday there was big news in the forever-long civil court cases for Flint residents to MAYBE see some compensation for being poisoned and our homes made unsafe to live in. The Supreme Court will not hear the Defendants' attempts to get the cases tossed, so the cases can finally move forward. Hopefully soon, the people of Flint can have our day in court. I had a few things to say when Skyping the BBC last night. 😁 You know me... got my pale sass still flowing!! While this is good news, let's hope when these cases go into mediation they treat us like how they would treat their own family members if they were poisoned by failed policy and corrupt officials and government. No, $14,000 won't do. We need to cover medical bills, fix our homes, replace our own plumbing and fixtures and do all the work since those responsible don't believe in fixing what they broke. They only seem to care about not spending any money on the "disposable" people they deprive of dignity, safety, hope AND justice. Flint, we deserve better so we cannot stop fighting for what's right for us. And those outside of Flint, please stand with us because if they get away with poisoning us and not being held accountable, it will make it that much easier to do it to you and your loved ones!! Please don't forget Flint. Oh and today is day #2,098 in the #FlintWaterCrisis... and counting. Damn.…/us-usa-court-flint-idUSKBN1ZK1S5

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Global Day of Action: No War/Trump/Pence Out Now! Rally/March In Ann Arbor Saturday.

Editor in Chief /Publisher Jeff Brown.

Wet and icy conditions did not keep approximately 40 protesters from participating in a No War!/Trump/Pence Out Now! demonstration and march in downtown Ann Arbor Saturday, January 25. Demonstrators gathered at 2 pm in front of the Federal Building before marching through the streets of Ann Arbor Saturday afternoon. The organizations ANSWER ( Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) and Refuse Fascism called for a global day of protest to take place Saturday.

After gathering at the Federal Building demonstrators began marching through the streets of Ann Arbor chanting Trump/Pence Out Now and carrying signs stating No More War, Trump/Pence Out Now, Dump Donald Traitor Trump, Stop The War and No War on Iran. Several speakers addressed the crowd from the steps of the Federal Building including representatives from Answer and Refuse Fascism.

 Organizers stated that cold and wet weather was a contributing factor in the lower than expected turn-out for Saturday's rally and March. The demonstration was peaceful.

According to a statement prior to the rally and march from ANSWER and Refuse Fascism, "We will not watch in silence as Trump sends orders to initiate war abroad and perpetuate violence at home." The organizations believe that now is the time for the people to take back power and demand the immediate removal of Trump/Pence.

On January 8, hundreds of demonstrators participated in a No War On Iran demonstration on the University of Michigan campus in front of Angel Hall. On that evening protesters voiced opposition to what they see as United States imperialism in the Middle East.

Photos Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.

Demonstration co-organizer Libby addresses crowd from steps of Ann Arbor Federal Building Saturday.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Is Investigating Potential Cases of Novel Coronavirus 2019.

Editor in Chief and Publisher Jeff Brown.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), local public health departments and the state’s healthcare community are actively monitoring the Novel Coronavirus 2019 outbreak originating in Wuhan, China. This according to a Friday, January 24 press release.

These efforts include special attention to people who present with symptoms of lower respiratory illness (cough or difficulty breathing), fever, and report a travel history that includes Wuhan or contact with an ill individual who is under investigation for coronavirus infection. These individuals are being considered for specimen collection and submission to the CDC for testing.

At this time, the only approved testing for coronavirus is available at the CDC. The Michigan State Laboratory is prepared to receive the specimens and then send them to the CDC for testing. The CDC is working with the Federal Drug Administration and state public health laboratories to make testing more broadly available.
To date, MDHHS has evaluated referrals from several counties and approved specimens from two individuals in Washtenaw County and one in Macomb County for testing at CDC. Given the number of specimens being tested nationally, no specific turnaround time is available, but results are expected within several days. Information around this outbreak is 
changing rapidly.

According to MDHHS, All cases being investigated in Michigan have presented with mild illness. These individuals are self-isolating and local health departments are closely monitoring anyone who has been in close contact with them.

According to a statement from MDHHS, “At MDHHS, we recognize the potential threat associated with this virus and are working to identify any suspect cases in Michigan,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Our goal is to quickly identify individuals with the virus and prevent any potential spread. We encourage healthcare providers to remain vigilant in screening patients for symptoms and travel history, and to contact their local health departments immediately if they see a potential case.”

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses common among animals and humans. In rare cases, the virus can be transmitted from animals to humans. This novel coronavirus is a newly discovered version that has not been previously detected in animals or humans. The source is not yet known.

Novel Coronavirus 2019 has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan. Investigations are ongoing to learn more, but person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred according to CDC.
Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. If anyone believes that they have symptoms and have recently traveled to Wuhan, China, or have been in contact with someone who has had the virus, they should call their healthcare provider or hospital prior to arriving so that the appropriate preventive measures can be put in place.  

Public health screenings for travelers from Wuhan have been implemented at five U.S. airports including Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX).  
More information is available at
# # #

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Global Day of Protest Called for Saturday January 25: No War On Iran Rally/March To Take Place in Ann Arbor.

By founder & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) and Refuse Fascism is calling for a national day of action on January 25th, according to statements from both organizations. On Saturday, January 25, a No War! Trump/Pence Out Now! rally and march will take place in downtown Ann Arbor in front of the Federal Building. The rally/march will begin at 2:00 PM. The Federal Building is located at 200 E Liberty St. According to a statement from ANSWER and Refuse Fascism, "We will gather in protest of the Trump war regime. We will not watch in silence as Trump sends orders to initiate war abroad and perpetuate violence at home. We must show that we refuse to normalize domestic terrorism against people of color and non-Christian groups. We refuse to watch the US engage in yet another act of imperialism in the Middle East."

The organizations believe that now is the time for the people to take back power and demand the immediate removal of Trump/Pence. ANSWER and Refuse Action have stated that they believe it is time to reclaim the nation and march for justice.

Saturday's protest in Ann Arbor is hosted by Stop Trump Ann Arbor, Close the Camps Detroit Coalition, Michigan Resistance and Refuse Fascism.

On January 8, hundreds of people participated in a No War On Iran demonstration on the University of Michigan campus on the steps of Angel Hall. On that evening protesters braved temperatures in the teens to voice opposition to what they see as United States imperialism in the Middle East.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Political Activist Angela Davis Will Be Keynote Speaker MLK Symposium at University of Michigan.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

As a longtime supporter of political activist Angela Davis, I am happy to announce that she will be the keynote speaker at the 34th annual Martin Luther King Symposium on the University of Michigan campus. Davis will be speaking/lecturing at 10 a.m. January 20 at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. The event will be free and open to the general public.

Angela received national attention in the United States in the late sixties as she had a leadership role with the Communist Party and was closely involved with the Black Panther Party.

In 1970 Angela was charged with purchasing weapons for individuals who used them in an armed takeover of a courtroom in California. In 1972 she was acquitted of these charges.

In more recent years Davis has been politically active in abolishing the prison-industrial complex. In the late nineties she co-founded an organization called Critical Resistance which works to abolish the prison-industrial complex in the United States. In 1991 Davis became the director of the feminist studies department at the University of California. She retired from the university in 2008. Currently Davis is active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

Angela is a powerful, passionate speaker and broadens the minds of all who listen to her.                                                                                                               

Friday, January 17, 2020

Purple Walrus Press Weather Alert: Winter Storm Warning In Effect From 10 PM Tonight Until Noon Saturday.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm warning is in effect from 10 PM this evening until noon Saturday.

Heavy snow is expected with peak snowfall rates of up to an inch per hour Saturday morning. Total snow accumulations between 5-8 inches by Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Expect wind gusts of up to 30 mph.

The winter storm warning is in effect for Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

Roads are going to be slippery out there with decreased visibility in areas of heavy snow. Travel is discouraged. Keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Congresswoman Dingell Statement on the House Passing War Powers Resolution

Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.
 Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) released the following statement on the House of Representatives passing a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military action regarding Iran: This according to a press release from the office of Debbie Dingell.

“I continue to be concerned about an escalation of military involvement in the Middle East and the potential for war. Such action puts US service-men and -women and their families, diplomats, and Americans overseas in significant danger, as well as contributes to instability in the Mideast and the world.

“Those serving in the military are all our sons and daughters. We have to do everything we can to prevent war. Former Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg observed in 1948 that ‘politics stops at the waters edge.’ We must be diligent and united in working towards the goal of preventing war. Escalating tension in the Mideast makes America less safe. 
“The 1973 War Powers Act – which was passed in the wake of the Vietnam War to prevent another drawn-out, undeclared war – makes clear that only Congress can declare war or sustained military conflict. The President must work with Congress.

“We are Americans who must all work together to put forward a coherent, robust strategy to de-escalate tensions with Iran. Diplomacy, not military action, must come first. I will do everything possible working with my colleagues to accomplish this, to prevent war and protect our national security.”

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hundreds Participate In No War On Iran Demonstration Wednesday In Ann Arbor On U-M Campus.

Photo Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

With temperatures in the teens, approximately 500 people participated in a No War On Iran Demonstration Wednesday evening on the campus of the University of Michigan in front of Angel Hall. Protesters demonstrated against the ever-increasing tension between the United States and Iran. Demonstrators are angry with what they see as U.S. imperialism and aggression in the Middle East.

Demonstrations are being held across the United States following the U.S. airstrike that targeted and killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last Friday in Iraq. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stated that the U.S. targeted Soleimani because of what the Trump administration believed was a imminent attack.

Wednesday evening's demonstration on the U-M campus included a sign-making table, and interactive art build for children and people of all ages. Swarm Street Medic Team was present, as well as a medic tent. There was also a children accessible seating area in the front of the rally directly in front of Angel Hall. Demonstrators were also able to access the entrance hall area of Angel Hall to use the restroom and warm-up.

The event, hosted by Hoai An Pham, featured several speakers including University of Michigan History and commentator on the Middle East Juan Cole, U-M Arab Student Association President Arwa Gayar, U-M Persian Student Association members, veteran U.S. Special Operations Stan Goff,  Ann Arbor City Commisioner Zaynab Elkolaly, and EMU professor of Political Science Ebrahim Soltani. The event emcee was Amytess Girgis.

Several counter-demonstrators held signs stating, "Keep U.S. Troops In Iran" and "Solemani Killed My Family."

Photos Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.
U.S. Veteran Stan Goff.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

CAIR -WA Reports That They Are Assisting Iranian-Americans Detained At Peace Arch Border Sunday.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to CAIR-Washington, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is currently assisting at least 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans  who were detained for long periods of time and questioned at length at the Peace Arch Border crossing located in Blaine, Wash. The Peace Arch border connects the cities of Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia on the Canadian-United States border.

According to CAIR, there are reports that many more were refused entry to the United States because of lack of capacity for Customs and Border Patrol to detain them. It is reported that as of 2:00 pm Sunday, other Iranian Americans were about to cross the Peace Arch Border while returning back to their homes in the United States after attending an Iranian pop music concert that took place Saturday in Vancouver, Canada.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, those who were detained stated that their passports were confiscated and that they were questioned about their political views and allegiances.

Note: CAIR published "Know Your Rights" information online in English, Arabic, Somali, Urdu, Farsi, Bengali, and Bosnian.

According to CAIR, a 24 year old American citizen and medical student and her family were allegedly detained and interrogated for over 10 hours at the Peace Archer Border Crossing prior to being released early Sunday morning. CAIR stated that according to Crystal, "The vast majority of people being detained last night were American citizens."

Thursday, January 2, 2020

News Alert: Statement By the Department of Defense In Aftermath of United States Air Strike On Baghdad Airport That Killed Senior Iranian Military Official Thurday.


Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the Pentagon, President Trump ordered an airstrike Thursday, January 2, that has killed a Senior Iranian military official. This airstrike may prove to create must instability in an already volatile region.
Read the Statement from the Pentagon below:

"At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. 
General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.  
This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world".

On The Flint Water Crisis In Brief: By Purple Walrus Press Contributor and Flint Activist Melissa Mays

Flint River and Downtown Flint.

Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Day #2052 in the #FlintWaterCrisis: WHY are we STILL waiting on Lansing, environmental agencies, legislators and our Government as a whole to learn lessons from our ongoing water disaster? As they sit by and let us languish in our catastrophe in Flint, they are also allowing more disasters to unfold as they do nothing. Lovely.