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Cress Welsing: The Definition of Racism White Supremacy

Dr. Blynd: The Definition of Racism

Anon: What is Racism/White Supremacy?

Dr. Bobby Wright: The Psychopathic Racial Personality

The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy)

What is the First Step in Counter Racism?

Genocide: a system of white survival

The Creation of the Negro

The Mysteries of Melanin

'Racism is a behavioral system for survival'

Fear of annihilation drives white racism

Dr. Blynd: The Definition of Caucasian

Where are all the Black Jurors? 

The War Against Black Males: Black on Black Violence Caused by White Supremacy/Racism

Brazen Police Officers and the Forfeiture of Freedom

White Domination, Black Criminality

Fear of a Colored Planet Fuels Racism: Global White Population Shrinking, Less than 10%

Race is Not Real but Racism is

The True Size of Africa

What is a Nigger? 

MLK and Imaginary Freedom: Chains, Plantations, Segregation, No Longer Necessary ['Our Condition is Getting Worse']

Chomsky on "Reserving the Right to Bomb Niggers." 

A Goal of the Media is to Make White Dominance and Control Over Everything Seem Natural

"TV is reversing the evolution of the human brain." Propaganda: How You Are Being Mind Controlled And Don't Know It.

Spike Lee's Mike Tyson and Don King

"Zapsters" - Keeping what real? "Non-white People are Actors. The Most Unrealistic People on the Planet"

Black Power in a White Supremacy System

Neely Fuller Jr.: "If you don't understand racism/white supremacy, everything else that you think you understand will only confuse you"

The Image and the Christian Concept of God as a White Man

'In order for this system to work, We have to feel most free and independent when we are most enslaved, in fact we have to take our enslavement as the ultimate sign of freedom'

Why do White Americans need to criminalize significant segments of the African American population?

Who Told You that you were Black or Latino or Hispanic or Asian? White People Did

Malcolm X: "We Have a Common Enemy"


Deeper than Atlantis

Days After Pruitt Becomes EPA Head, Newly Released Emails Show His Ties to Koch Bros. & Energy Firms

Democracy Now

Thousands of pages of newly released emails reveal how EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely collaborated with oil, coal and gas companies backed by the Koch brothers to roll back environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general. The documents were released just days after Pruitt was sworn in as the new head of the EPA, the agency tasked with curtailing pollution and safeguarding public health. Last week, Senate Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to postpone Pruitt’s final confirmation until the emails were released, but Republicans pressed forward and confirmed him in a 52-46 vote, largely along party lines. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times. The trove of new documents shows how energy companies drafted language for Pruitt’s Attorney General’s Office to use to sue the EPA over environmental regulations. We speak to Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which successfully sued for the emails to be released.


"Dr. Cornel West vs. Malik Shabazz Which Way Under President Trump?"


Millions of fraudulent voters, my a**! Palast follows The Donald’s money

From [GregPalast] Get the non-fake info, then join the conversation with investigative reporter Greg Palast.

Palast says,

"It’s no joke—and it’s far more sinister than a mere "lie."

"The US press has done a good job exposing President Trump’s looney-toons claim that millions of votes were cast against him.

"But what’s missing is what’s behind Trump’s claim — and it’s not just his cranky, whining ego looking to erase the embarrassment of losing the popular vote.

"We are witnessing the crafting of a systematic plan to steal the 2018 midterm election."

And that’s not all:

Did anyone notice that in the middle of Trump’s psycho-drama of a press conference, he said, "…I want to thank Paul Singer for being here and coming up to the Oval Office."

Those are the most dangerous words Trump has uttered since [MORE]


When people of color try to rent housing in Seattle, they’re treated differently from white people [Racism/White Supremacy Can Never Be Integrated] 

From [HERE] The Seattle Office of Civil Rights confirmed this hunch in 2016, when the city compared reports from white housing testers and black housing testers. In over 60 percent of cases, there was some evidence of bias, said Patricia Lally, director of the Seattle Office of Civil Rights.

Now the office says there’s a growing trend of housing discrimination against Muslims.

But landlords may not realize that they're discriminating against people of color; Lally says housing discrimination in Seattle is insidious.

“In the City of Seattle, we don't acknowledge our bias and very often a landlord may not even be conscious of their implicit bias,” Lally said.

She said her office does trainings to educate landlords about the law, but renters need to be aware as well.

“An African-American family might be told about the need for their credit history. They may be told that they have to do a criminal history background check,” Lally said.

That’s okay if every prospective renter gets the same treatment. It’s a problem if they don’t. 

“How would they know that the landlord did not show them all of the units that were available? They may walk away with disappointment,” Lally said. “They may walk away with suspicion. But it typically isn't enough for that person to come into our office. That's why we do testing.”

Jasmin Samy, with the Seattle chapter of the Council  for American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said she has also noticed that Muslims are experiencing more housing discrimination. In some cases, she said the discrimination has gone on for years, but people are reluctant to come forward.

Samy explained a Muslim renter’s thinking: “‘We don't want trouble. We found a house. It's a good rent. What if the manager is giving me a hard time because of my parking spot, or if they're being mean to me? I just want to live.’”

Of the nearly 200 civil rights cases investigated by the city each year, more than 40 percent involve housing. Nearly all settle, and in some cases the victim receives a monetary award.

For a landlord, being investigated for discrimination can be an expensive problem. Sean Martin of the Rental Housing Association of Washington said it’s critical for rental property owners to understand the law and adhere to it.

“A complaint alone, even if it proves to be unfounded, you're looking at thousands of dollars in legal costs just to defend your good name,” Martin said. “Always being proactive in preventing any problems coming up in the first place is definitely the best way to go. “

Martin said his association works closely with the city’s Office of Civil Rights to provide training for rental property owners.

Because when landlords get dinged, they’re often surprised, chagrined and interested in what they can do to make their application process fair.

It’s a start, Lally said. But moving the needle on discrimination may require more than laws.

“We've had some of these laws on the books for many, many years,” she said. “And yet discrimination continues in the most progressive city in America.” 


If You Received This Notice You Are a Trump Protester: 'Apple Inc. received a legal request from US Attorney’s Office requesting information regarding your Apple account' 

From [Raw Story] Law enforcement is compelling Apple and Facebook to hand over the personal information of users who were mass arrested at protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., AlterNet has confirmed. The tech giants appear to be complying with the data-mining requests, amid mounting concerns over the heavy-handed crackdown against the more than 200 people detained on January 20, among them journalists, legal observers and medics.

“This is part of an increasing trend of law enforcement attempting to turn the internet, instead of technology for freedom, into technology for control,” Evan Greer, the campaign director for Fight for the Future, told AlterNet. “This trend started long before Trump and seems to be escalating and growing in scale now.”

More than 200 of those picked up in the sweep at the anti-fascist, anti-capitalist bloc have been hit with felony riot charges, which carry penalties of up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Because the arrests took place in Washington, D.C., the cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which is directly accountable to the Department of Justice, now overseen by the notorious white supremacist Jeff Sessions.

Mark Goldstone, a National Lawyers Guild-affiliated attorney who is representing numerous defendants in the case, told AlterNet that “several” of his clients have been contacted by Facebook and Apple and informed that their personal information has been requested by law enforcement.

AlterNet viewed a “customer notice” email sent on February 14 by Apple to one of the defendants, who requested anonymity due to the ongoing charges. “On 2017-01-27, Apple Inc. (‘Apple’) received a legal request from United States Attorney’s Office requesting information regarding your Apple account,” the message states.

The communication states that “Apple will be producing the requested data in a timely manner as required by the legal process.”

The individual who received the notice told AlterNet, “My phone wasn’t present at the time of arrest and wasn’t taken.” That individual does not know whether the data has been handed over to prosecutors.

“I wasn’t surprised by it, but it was also very unsettling and made me feel very vulnerable and exposed,” the individual said. “That some federal grunt could be looking through old texts, personal stuff and selfies. This is exposing and gross and creepy.”

Goldstone emphasized, “It’s an outrageous overreach by the government to try to data-mine personal property that wasn’t even seized at the demonstration. This will be fought vigorously.”

AlterNet also viewed a statement sent from Facebook on February 3 to an anonymous defendant. “We have received legal process from law enforcement seeking information about your Facebook account,” states the email, sent from the company’s records office.

“If we do not receive a copy of documentation that you have filed in court challenging this legal process within ten (10) days, we will respond to the requesting agency with information about the requested Facebook account,” the letter continues. “We may need to respond to this legal request within less than ten (10) days if we have a reasonable belief that we are legally required to do so.”

Stephanie Lacambra, a criminal defense staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told AlterNet that, in addition to Facebook and Apple, Google has also been sent requests for information by law enforcement. None of the companies responded to a request for an interview.

‘What is the government doing with the data?’

It is not immediately clear what information law enforcement has requested and under what legal justification.

“The most invasive form of surveillance is a warrant. A judge could authorize police to look through every bite of data on someone’s Facebook account,” Michael Price, counsel for the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told AlterNet. “A 2703(d) court order allows police to get metadata about communications, and that could possibly include location information about when communications took place and when a phone was connected to cell tower. A national security letter allows police to get that information but does not require a court order.”

According to Lacambra, law enforcement could be accessing “surface information like user names, the registration information that was collected and the metadata on the last time of login and duration of service.” Or, they could be searching “information stored in Apple iCloud, contacts, the content of emails, any number of photos that are stored there.”

“I don’t know the scope of information,” she said, “because I don’t know what legal instrument was used.”

Goldstone, the defense attorney, said he was not informed of what legal justification law enforcement invoked to seize the information. “No one has said or sent anything to me,” he explained.

The Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia both refused to comment, citing the pending investigation.

According to Price, “As a general matter, it is not uncommon for law enforcement to seek information from a third-party service provider like Apple or Facebook. It happens all the time.”

“One of my biggest concerns,” he said, “is that police will attempt to use electronic surveillance to get information about the people who were at the protest, in order to compile a list of the people who were present. Is that information going to be mined and used for other purposes? What is the government doing with the data? Are they going to store it? Are they going to send it to an intelligence analyst?”

Lacambra said the investigation raises disturbing questions. “Why is the Department of Justice trying to intrude into the digital lives of people exercising their rights to protest?” she asked. “Is this to intimidate, silence or threaten people for exercising their constitutional rights? When you arrest 230 people, some of whom are medics and legal observers, and try to systematically get to the content of their digital life, that is troubling.”

The anti-capitalist, anti-fascist bloc was part of a day of disruptive protests across Washington, D.C., and the world, to interrupt business as usual and register opposition to the rise of Donald Trump, whose cabinet has aggressively delivered on his white supremacist campaign pledges. Since Trump took the White House, millions have taken to the streets, flocked to airports and mobilized to defend their neighborhoods and communities against a multi-pronged assault.

‘People should be paying close attention’

Some of the arrestees were already suspicious that police had searched their phones, which were seized by police. Those phones are still being held as evidence, according to legal support volunteers.

AlterNet spoke with a journalist who was arrested on January 20 and requested anonymity. He sent AlterNet a screenshot of his Google account, which shows that while he was detained and his phone was in police custody, there was activity on his account. AlterNet confirmed that the login occurred while the phone was in police custody by viewing a property receipt issued to the journalist by the MPD. The journalist says his phone is password protected.

This mysterious account activity is similar to activity on the account of an unidentified medic, reported by George Joseph of CityLab. As in the case of the journalist, the medic spotted activity on his account while the phone was in police custody. Joseph notes that a screenshot of the activity “suggests that police began mining information from the captured cellphones almost immediately after the arrests.”

Goldstone, who has defended protesters in Washington, D.C., for more than 30 years, underscored that he has “never seen phones seized at protests, let alone phones that were not part of a protest.”

He also said that he has “never seen a felony riot charge in Washington, D.C., let alone more than 200 of them.” According to news reports, 214 people have been indicted for these charges so far, indicating that the prosecution plans to move forward with the bulk of the charges.

“We’re in a dangerous new world,” he declared.

Those arrested in the sweep already reported heavy violence at the hands of the MPD, which is overseen by Chief Peter Newsham, who has a troubling history of kettling and mass arresting people in the proximity of protests.

On January 20, Washington, D.C.-based lawyer Jeffrey Light filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of those detained charging that “Without warning and without any dispersal order, the police officers kettled all of the plaintiffs.” The lawsuit states, “Defendants John Doe MPD Officers and/or John Doe Park Police Officers deployed a large amount of chemical irritants against the plaintiffs, as well as struck multiple plaintiffs with their batons, and deployed flash-bang grenades.”

The anonymous journalist told AlterNet that, while covering the protests, he was sprayed in the face with what he believes was OC gas. “Two flash-bang grenades fell within three or four feet of me. I had tinnitus in my ears for a couple of minutes. I yelled out for a medic, and by the time I could see, we were completely kettled. I was incapacitated. I had a press badge and tried to tell them I was press.”

AlterNet spoke with one anonymous arrestee who said that, at the police academy where arrestees were taken for processing, he received a “two-knuckle-deep cavity search.” He noted, “I didn’t see any reason for it.”

According to Greer, the police crackdown is “unquestionably an attempt to silence dissent, frighten people and keep them off of the streets. But I wouldn’t call it new. Anyone who has been involved in activist movements for more than a few years has seen this before.”

In recent weeks, Republican lawmakers across the country have introduced state-level bills aimed at criminalizing protests. One piece of proposed legislation in Washington state calls for certain acts of civil disobedience to be classified as “economic terrorism.” North Dakota lawmakers introduced a bill that would make it lawful for motorists to hit and kill protesters staging acts of civil disobedience obstructing highways, as long as the cause is “negligence.” The legislation is clearly aimed at the Black Lives Matter movement, which has staged acts of civil disobedience across the country.

Meanwhile, police departments have long been building up their capacity for surveillance. A 10-month investigation by, a project of The Atlantic, revealed earlier this month that “major police departments around the country are spending millions on cellphone spy tools that can be used to build up massive surveillance databases—with few rules about what happens to the data they capture.” According to the investigation, most of the major police departments in the United States have either cell phone interception devices and/or “cell phone extraction devices, used to crack open locked phones that are in police possession and scoop out all sorts of private communications and content.”

In light of this climate, the fact that tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook store large amounts of personal data is sparking concerns.

“Tech companies are building business models based on collecting large amounts of personal information and then failing to protect that information from the government and others who attempt to access it,” said Greer, who attended the January 20 protests in Washington, D.C. “People should be paying close attention and be concerned.”


LA religious leaders create network to hide immigrants

The Hill

The Religious leaders in Los Angeles are forming an underground network of homes as part of an effort to provide shelter for families facing deportation, CNN reported Thursday.


According to CNN, the "Rapid Response Team" network could shelter hundreds and potentially thousands of illegal immigrants across Southern California.


"That's what we need to do as a community to keep families together," said Pastor Ada Valiente, after showing CNN a house that is ready to host three families.

Similar services for immigrant families are already being provided by numerous churches and religious buildings in the area.


According to CNN, this Rapid Response Team seeks to go beyond the existing measures.


Another participant who did not want to be identified told CNN he will do everything in his power to protect his guests if immigration authorities come knocking on his door.


"I definitely won't let them in. That's our legal right," he said. "If they have a warrant, then they can come in. I can imagine that could be scary, but I feel the consequences of being passive in this moment is a little scary."


Under President Obama, the authority of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials was limited at various religious locations.


Members of the new underground network have voiced skepticism that the policy will last under President Trump.


This week, the new administration presented a plan to increase domestic deportations, expanding those who may be targeted by ICE. 


Blexit: "Stop Giving Your Money to the People You Are Protesting. . . Stop Funding the Powers that be" 


Racist Liar Tucker Carlson's Underhanded Practices Exposed

Media Matters 

Tucker Carlson’s credibility sunk to new lows after several reports surfaced about the deceptive practices used by the host on his prime-time Fox News show.

On February 21, The Washington Post reported on a segment  from Carlson’s show about the “incredible surge of refugee violence” in Sweden. During the segment, Carlson showed an interview between filmmaker Ami Horowitz with two Swedish police officers about the supposed surge in refugee violence in the country. The interview used by Carlson was even referenced by President Donald Trump during a Florida rally, but as the Post reported, the officers were “shocked” by the deceptive editing of the interview and claimed they were not asked about migration or immigration at all:

The two Swedish officers whose interview provided the basis for the report spoke out Monday and claimed that their testimony had been taken out of context. One of them, Anders Göranzon, said that the interview was about areas with high crime rates and that “there wasn’t any focus on migration or immigration.”

“We don’t stand behind it. It shocked us. He has edited the answers,” Göranzon said, “We were answering completely different questions in the interview. This is bad journalism.”

Horowitz defended his work to the Guardian newspaper, saying he was “pretty sure” that he told the officers what the segment was going to be about and implying that the officers' disavowal was made under pressure from their superiors.

Carlson invited Horowitz again to his Fox News show on Monday to rebut the officers’ claims, saying instead that they were pressured by their bosses to disavow the interview because they were scared of being labeled racists.

Later in the same show, Carlson hosted Shane Saunders who was identified as a “Not My President’s Day Protestor” by Carlson and by the Tucker Carlson Tonight chyron. But, as The Daily Beast reported, Saunders was not affiliated in any way with the rallies, but is “a Los Angeles-based actor and casting agent.”

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson had a hard time booking Olga Lexell, the creator and co-organizer of the nationwide Not My President’s Day protests on Monday.

So, after repeated refusals, Carlson’s show instead booked Shane Saunders, a Los Angeles-based actor and casting agent, who Lexell said, “was not affiliated in any way with our rallies and was not an organizer.”

In the five-minute segment, Saunders was referred to as an “organizer” by an on-screen graphic and Carlson himself, who also asked Saunders about why “your protest is going to make a difference.”

Following the interview, Olga Lexell, the creator and co-organizer of the nationwide Not My President’s Day protests emailed the producers of the show, saying, “that guy who you got on the show isn’t affiliated with our even and didn’t even attend any of the protests.”

An executive producer of Tucker Carlson Tonight responded to The Daily Beast report, admitting that “the program incorrectly identified a Los Angeles based protest participant as a ‘protest organizer’ in a graphic during Monday night’s telecast. While he was correctly identified in the introduction to the segment, we regret the graphic didn’t accurately reflect his role throughout the entire segment.”


[refinement of white supremacy] South Africans Protest Unequal Land Distribution [Apartheid Was Just a Form of White Supremacy]

Atlanta Black Star

Pretoria, South Africa — A small but noisy group of South African activists gathered Friday Feb. 18, in the nation’s capital to bring attention to an issue that is gaining momentum at the highest levels of government: How to resolve longstanding issues that leave Black South Africans economically worse off than their white counterparts more than two decades after the end of the racist apartheid system.

Some 200 Black First Land First activists gathered in a soggy Pretoria park named after a long-dead colonial-era president who helped the British empire claim vast tracts of South African land. On this rainy day, protesters wearing “LAND or DEATH” T-shirts sang protest songs seeking restitution for apartheid-era profits from a major South African bank.

As its name indicates, this pressure group has its sights set on something far bigger. Members want land to be given to Black South Africans as compensation for colonial-era land seizures.

This debate has reached the top echelons of government. Just kilometers from the park, President Jacob Zuma, from his office, referred a bill back to parliament that seeks to redress racial imbalances in land ownership.

‘Right to defend ourselves’

Activists say the government’s efforts are insufficient. The far-left group objects to the current policy that allows landowners to hold out until the selling price is acceptable. Lindsay Maasdorp, national spokesman for Black First Land First, says Zuma’s constitutionally based approach is also not enough, and that change needs to come sooner — and that it may not be pretty.

“Black people must stand up and literally take back the land,” he told VOA. “We will not wait for a constitution that is anti-Black and enshrines land theft to determine when we take back land. … We’re saying Black people should not be buying back stolen land. We agree that we should not. White people didn’t come here and just start speaking to us and say, ‘Let me just take it.’ It was a violent process and it continues to be a violent process. … When we confront violence, we will do so with violence, too. Sometimes, it will be with words, sometimes, it will be through dialogue. But other times, it will be physical as well. Why? Because we have the right to defend ourselves against those who have taken our land from us.”

In recent years, anger over land inequality has been accompanied by violence against owners of farms and small holdings. South African police typically report about 500 incidents each year. Unemployed protester Simon Kgofelo, 45, says his lack of land affects him deeply.


Supreme Court to decide whether guilty plea waives right to challenge law


The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [docket] on Tuesday to determine whether a guilty plea waives a defendant's right to challenge the constitutionality of the statute under which he was convicted. The case, Class v. US [docket; cert. petition, PDF], concerns a guilty plea made by Rodney Class to possession of a firearmt. Class lacked counsel at the time of his plea at his own request. The appeals court ruled [opinion, PDF] that because the defendant signed the plea agreement, which included an explicit waiver of appeal rights as to his conviction and sentencing, he has no standing to any appeal of this matter.



Noam Chomsky: The US is the Greatest Threat to World Peace

Talk is from 2015


"For-Profit President": A Look at How Trump Is Pushing Wholesale Corporate Takeover of the Gov't


One of the only black people [token] in Trump’s team has been fired for criticizing Trump


A senior adviser to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was suddenly fired Wednesday, apparently because the White House discovered he had criticized President Donald Trump.

Shermichael Singleton, 26, had worked on Carson’s own presidential bid in 2016 before joining the administration. In the closing weeks of the election, Singleton wrote an op-ed critical of Trump in which he blasted the then-nominee’s rhetoric toward black voters as “a coded message from an era in our history that should stay in the past.”

Singleton had already “answered a number of questions regarding the article and expressed remorse for the piece and support for Mr. Trump” prior to assuming his HUD position in January, the New York Times reports. But administration staff hadn’t finished his background check and “this week, Mr. Trump’s advisers turned up” the op-ed and some related tweets, according to the Times.

Singleton, who the Huffington Post notes is “one of the few black Republicans in the Trump administration,” told the Times he could not discuss the circumstances of his abrupt firing.

Security guards reportedly escorted Carson’s aide out of the HUD building Wednesday.

The decision reinforces President Trump’s long-standing image as a thin-skinned manager for whom personal loyalty is at least as important as a person’s qualifications for a job. A week earlier, Trump made a similar call in rescinding plans to appoint pardoned war criminal Elliott Abrams to a senior State Department post after the president discovered Abrams had criticized him online last year.

Singleton’s case is more likely to do damage. Carson is a neurosurgeon just beginning a job managing a large suite of housing policy programs. Trump’s team has deprived him of a trusted staffer, apparently in order to preserve the president’s ego. [MORE]


CNN Thinks Trump Is "Savvy" [liar] To Take Credit For Obama-Era Manufacturing Jobs Recovery

Media Matters for America 

RANA FOROOHAR: Yeah, it is interesting I actually wrote about the Dreamliner in my book "Makers and Takers." And this is an example of one of the most complex global supply chains certainly ever known in aviation. Over 100 different countries were involved in the supply chain. Different parts coming in and out of various countries. In fact, it's funny because the first iteration of this airplane couldn't even take off, it was so heavy because all of these countries and suppliers were working sort of siloed from each other. So it is ironic that this is being used as a made in America example here. But I want to say one other thing, which is Donald Trump is being very, very politically savvy about riding a trend of a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing that was already happening since 2010. There has been a bit of a shift, not replacing all the jobs that we saw lost for the last several decades. But there has been a significant shift of localization back to the U.S., and that is for a variety of reasons: political risk, the fact that consumers want products faster, made closer to them. There are a lot of trends driving this. But he is being very politically savvy about exploiting something that was already out there in the economy.


NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: We saw the thing with the jobs, the Intel jobs in Arizona. Those jobs were sort of in the pipeline for a while. They had made that announcement. And listen, he's lucky. He's lucky to come after Obama. In the sense that 4.7 percent unemployment rate and the trends that Rana is talking about. in terms of manufacturing.

BRIANA KEILAR (HOST): He is talking about, "we're going to get rid of job-crushing regulations that send jobs to other countries." And yet, we know that most of these manufacturing jobs that have been lost in the U.S. have been lost because of automation.

HENDERSON: 87 percent.

DAVID CHALIAN: Which he doesn't talk about at all. It is an amazing thing because there is a piece of this where you feel like he has this golden opportunity as president now to really prepare the nation for the next generation of jobs. Automation is not going away, obviously. And he just does not address that when he deals with this jobs issue.


Rep. Emanuel Cleaver Calls Out Trump’s Racially Charged Interaction With American Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan

Media Matters for America

MARY BRUCE: Watching on Capitol Hill, members of the Congressional Black Caucus in shock. 

EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): This man is clueless. 

BRUCE: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver in disbelief that the president would ask that reporter, April Ryan, of the American Urban Radio Networks, to set up the meeting. 

CLEAVER: Because there was a black woman in the room, the assumption was that some way, somehow, in spite of the fact that she was a reporter, she had some kind of unique contact with the Congressional Black Caucus.

BRUCE: You don't think he would have asked another reporter to set up a meeting like that? 

CLEAVER: Well, I don't think he would have asked you to set up the meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. 


leaving babylon: Non-White Immigrants are fleeing the US to seek refuge in Canada


A growing number of immigrants who initially sought refuge in the United States are now fleeing to Canada — and, in many cases, are risking frostbite to make it across the northern border on foot.

Immigrant advocates say desperate people are being driven away from the U.S. thanks to the fear and uncertainty sparked by President Donald Trump’s policies — including, recently, an executive order that temporarily halts refugee resettlement from Syria and bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Nine asylum-seekers from Sudan, including four children, barely made it across the Canadian border on Friday in an exchange that was captured by a photographer from Reuters. After a cab dropped off the group near the border line in Champlain, New York, they dodged a U.S. border patrol officer trying to examine their passports, climbed over snowbanks, and rushed toward the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the other side.

The family had been living in Delaware for two years before deciding to leave for Canada. “Nobody cares about us,” one of the men told reporters.

And according to a CBC News reporter, a Somali man identified only as Mohamed walked 21 hours in below-freezing temperatures this week to cross the U.S.-Canadian border into Manitoba. The man told the reporter he was fleeing to Canada because the United States is a “problem” now.

By the time the reporter found him, Mohamed had been wandering around in the dark for hours and wasn’t sure where he was. He was eventually intercepted by Canadian police, who helped him get medical attention.

The journey can be dangerous, particularly during the harsh winter. One Ghanian refugee who walked across the border to Manitoba on Christmas Eve suffered severe frostbite and had to have all his fingers amputated. He said it was worth it for the chance to live in Canada.

Altogether, refugee claims at the U.S.-Canada border have doubled over the past two years.

“There’s no question what’s driving them,” Paul Caulford, a doctor at the Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Healthcare who has seen a significant uptick in the number of people seeking medical help at his clinic, told Public Radio International in an interview this week.


Federal prison in Kansas recorded hundreds of attorney-inmate meetings, court investigator finds


A privately run federal prison in Kansas recorded video of hundreds of meetings between inmates and their attorneys, a court-led investigation has found after defense lawyers first raised concerns months ago about possible violations of client privilege.

The detention center in Leavenworth, operated by Corrections Corporation of America, possessed video recordings of all attorney-inmate meetings reviewed by the court investigator, who examined 30 randomly chosen visits that took place in spring 2016 and concluded hundreds were recorded. The extent of the recordings hasn’t been previously disclosed.

Leavenworth CCA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas have been at the heart of a monthslong drama in the region’s legal community over recordings of attorney-inmate meetings at the prison, as well as recordings of attorney-inmate phone calls. The ability of lawyers to meet with clients privately is a bedrock principle of the American legal system, and this fall, a federal judge named a special master to investigate.

Defense attorneys first raised concerns last summer over video recording of meetings with their clients. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting a handful of inmates, accusing them of engaging in an elaborate smuggling ring within the prison.

The inmates’ attorneys put forward evidence that meetings had been recorded and have since provided evidence that inmate phone calls with attorneys also were recorded, even when attorneys had requested their numbers be blocked from recordings.

The special master, David Cohen, told Judge Julie Robinson last month that while reviewing all of the video from all rooms where attorney meetings took place would prove prohibitive, he reviewed a smaller sample of meetings to determine that every meeting that took place in a room with a camera was recorded.

The attorney visitor logs for the 12-week period last year where recordings occurred showed more than 700 attorney visits to rooms equipped with cameras, Cohen wrote in a filing.

“It appears all of these attorney-inmate meetings were recorded,” Cohen said. “Of course, this analysis does not address whether any person ever viewed these recordings.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office obtained the video and, while acknowledging missteps, has denied suggestions of impropriety. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has said “no employee of the United States Attorney’s Office or law enforcement officer” has viewed any recording provided by CCA.

“I made a very serious mistake … but I want the court to know I did not intend to gain that footage,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Tomasic said in September.

Parallel to the video recordings, Cohen also has been investigating the extent of attorney-inmate phone recordings at the Leavenworth facility. In December, Cohen reported he had analyzed 48,333 telephone audio files from the facility and that a little more than 200 of those calls were made to a known attorney number.

In a follow-up report, Cohen said the more than 48,000 recorded phone calls came from about 1,400 numbers involving 58 inmates.

CCA uses the prison technology company Securus to operate its phone system. Securus has said Leavenworth CCA was responsible for designating attorney numbers as private, nonrecorded numbers. The company acknowledged allegations have been made in other places in the past regarding recording but said it rechecks its system each time and has always found it works properly.

Melody Brannon, the federal public defender for Kansas, said Cohen’s findings exposed unanswered questions. She urges Robinson to expand the special master’s authority.

“Specifically, the defense asks the special master to determine the policy and practice of the Kansas (U.S. Attorney’s Office) in obtaining, reviewing and disseminating attorney-client communications, regardless of whether the USAO classified the communication as privileged or not,” Brannon said in a January court filing.

She added the special master should also identify cases where the material was used and “mark the possible constitutional, statutory and ethical implications.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is fighting the public defender’s request for additional power for the special master. Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett argues Brannon hasn’t offered any evidence warranting an expanded investigation.

Barnett has said prosecutors didn’t anticipate receiving recorded attorney-client calls from the facility during their investigations. Prosecutors had “no intent or desire” to obtain attorney-client calls, she has said, adding they weren’t used by prosecutors.

“When discoveries of these calls occurred, appropriate steps were taken by the United States,” Barnett said in a January filing. “Despite everything that has occurred in this case, the United States has not sought to hide the discovery of these calls, and would not do so.”

Prosecutors also argue the phone recordings aren’t privileged because the facility warned inmates their calls may be recorded. By continuing their calls and not taking steps to have calls with attorneys exempt from surveillance, the inmates waived their right to keep the conversations from being monitored, they argue.

Depending on how far Robinson allows Cohen to go, the outcome of his investigation holds potentially significant consequences in ongoing cases. Only a handful of people have been charged in the Leavenworth smuggling investigation, but prosecutors indicate they believe upwards of 90 inmates may be involved, as well as a number of workers.

The current controversy is also drawing attention to Securus, which has faced scrutiny in other places over attorney-client recordings.

A Kansas and Missouri attorney filed a federal lawsuit against CCA and Securus in January. They argue Securus and CCA record confidential attorney-client communications, despite no legitimate reason to record.

Attorneys have sued Securus before. The company settled a 2014 lawsuit in Texas, agreeing to provide additional safeguards.

The settlement required implementation of a system to allow attorneys to register their phone numbers on a “do not record” list for calls with clients.


White Judge says: "I sentenced criminals to hundreds more years than I wanted to. I had no choice"


Shira A. Scheindlin, a former federal judge in the Southern District of New York, is a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS and a lawyer at Stroock, Stroock & Lavan. Peter Dubrowski, an associate at the law firm of Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, assisted in the preparation of this essay.

In the fall of 2007, Steven Fabre appeared in my courtroom. He was a 29-year-old New York native there to plead guilty to a single count of possession with intent to distribute crack. Fabre was a typical street dealer who found business by approaching cars or pedestrians. He used the proceeds from his sales to feed his own addiction; he’d been using drugs since he was 14. Fabre had a number of convictions for very minor offenses, plus one for selling a small quantity of a controlled substance, for which he received five years of probation when he was 18. He never graduated from high school and had worked only for a short time, stocking his parents’ small grocery store.

Fabre’s life was troubled, but he was not a leader, a manager or an organizer of drug sales. Nor was he the source of any of the drugs he peddled — in fact, he didn’t even know how his supplier got them. This time, though, he’d sold more than five grams of crack, which meant he faced a mandatory five-year sentence. With no choice in the matter, that is the sentence I imposed. Prison destroyed his relationship with his girlfriend and separated him from his infant daughter. It exposed him to far more sophisticated criminals than he knew on the street. Most important, it is doubtful that prison provided much in the way of treating his drug addiction, which I viewed as the real source of his problems. I would never have imposed that sentence if I hadn’t been forced to. Our laws failed Steven Fabre.

In my nearly 22 years as a U.S. district judge in New York, I sentenced roughly 1,000 defendants. Thankfully, not all were subject to “mandatory minimum” sentences — in which Congress has imposed a required statutory punishment for a particular crime. But many were; 145 federal crimes still require a minimum sentence, including distribution of narcotics, immigration violations and identity theft, just to name a few.

Every first-year law student learns that sentencing has four goals: retribution, incapacitation, deterrence and rehabilitation. Yet thanks mostly to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, I was often prohibited from assessing a defendant’s history, personal characteristics or role in the offense. In sentencing, where judgment should matter most, I could not exercise my judgment. I felt more like a computer than a judge. And I was not alone. Over the years, many of my colleagues on the federal bench felt the same frustrations.

This problem upset me as soon as I was appointed in 1994. Mandatory minimums were almost always excessive, and they made me feel unethical, even dirty. After seven years, my patience had run thin and my conscience was troubled; I began to consider resigning. I sought the advice of a revered mentor, a federal judge with more than 30 years of experience. He pointed out that quitting would serve nobody, as another judge would be required to impose identical sentences anyway. He also said that if I left, the bench would lose a judge who could advocate for criminal justice reform through her decisions. So I remained. But to this day, I am pained by many of the sentences I was required by law to impose. While I bore the title “Honorable Judge,” I felt less than honorable and more like a complicit tool of an unjust system.

The fact that the United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, incarcerates 25 percent of the world’s prisoners is largely due to mandatory minimum sentences.

Beginning in the 1970s, ostensibly to fight the war on drugs, Congress and many states passed legislation (like New York’s infamous Rockefeller laws, adopted in 1973) requiring judges to impose harsh minimum sentences for drug offenses. While there were once three co-equal branches of government, there were now two, with the judiciary becoming the less equal branch: The legislative branch had eliminated judicial discretion in sentencing, and prosecutors in the executive branch decided when to charge a crime that carried a strict minimum punishment. This regime resulted in a steady rise in the prison population from 338,000 in 1970 to 2.2 million in 2010.

Mandatory minimums were not the only limit on a judge’s discretion. Before 2005, federal judges were required to follow guidelines developed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. These rules were intended to eliminate disparities in sentencing that often resulted from the unconscious biases of judges. As early as the 1970s, federal trial judges — including Marvin Frankel, the intellectual father of the Sentencing Commission — noted that judges tended to impose lighter sentences on defendants who looked like them and harsher sentences on those who did not: minorities, undocumented immigrants and drug addicts who appeared in court looking poor and ragged. Unfortunately, the new rules codified some of these disparities: At one time, defendants received five years in prison for possessing five grams of crack, while it took 500 grams of powder cocaine to warrant the same sentence. This 100-to-1 asymmetry was reduced to 20-to-1 in 2010.

The guidelines assign every crime a place on a grid, with one axis for the seriousness of the crime and the other axis for the number and nature of any prior convictions of the defendant. The guidelines permit some adjustments, such as an increase in offense level when the victim of the crime is especially vulnerable, or a decrease in offense level when the defendant accepts responsibility. The grid produces a range of months in prison that a judge previously was, almost without exception, required to impose. Thankfully, in 2005, two decades after the guidelines took effect, the Supreme Court found them unconstitutional; they could be only advisory. This returned discretion to judges — except with respect to mandatory minimum statutes, courtesy of Congress, which are still very much alive.

Judicial discretion in sentencing matters. Many judges, including me, routinely sentence below the guidelines, particularly for first-time, nonviolent drug offenders. Indeed, in 2015 only 36.5 percent of all drug offenses nationwide resulted in a guideline-compliant sentences. Between 2005 and May 2016, when I retired from the bench, I sentenced more than 200 defendants convicted of narcotics offenses and imposed a lighter-than-advised sentence more than 80 percent of the time. Had I sentenced at the top of the guidelines’ range, these defendants would have served more than a millennium of additional prison time.

After I left the bench, Peter Dubrowski — my last law clerk — and I decided that we would review the sentencing protocols for each of those 200 defendants. As I expected, we found strikingly similar storylines. The overwhelming majority of the defendants were indigent. Seventy-two percent had children to support, and many of the defendants were under the age of 25 — barely adults themselves. More than half had not graduated from high school, most had not obtained a GED, and barely 5 percent had attended college. A majority battled alcohol addiction, drug addiction or both, and had begun abusing substances by age 14. Most were unemployed. Most came from single-parent homes, and most had at least one parent who was, or had been, incarcerated.

These common characteristics suggested that the defendants needed a brand of justice that would allow them to get their lives back on track, rather than deprive them of future jobs, roles supporting their families and chances to become productive in their communities. The right punishments would have given them a chance to achieve those goals. But many of the defendants in my courtroom were charged with crimes requiring a mandatory minimum sentence. As with Fabre, there was nothing I could do other than impose the required term. [MORE]


Border agents searched 23,000 phones, laptops in 2016


The number of electronic device searches conducted by border officers surged some 500 percent in 2016, as the agency said a changing threat environment caused more people to trip their radars.

The number of searches was still small. More than 1 million people entered the U.S. per day, while Customs and Border Protection searched 65 electronic devices on the average day, a senior agency official said Friday.

Those searches included both U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents returning to their homes, as well as visitors and new immigrants arriving. 

The senior official said searches netted everything from child pornography to evidence of terrorism ties — though the official couldn’t say how many of the 23,877 device searches conducted in 2016 did lead expose criminal behavior.

A year earlier, CBP reported just 4,764 device searches, or just 13 a day.

“That’s a big jump,” said Nathan Wessler, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s speech privacy and technology project. “They shouldn’t be able to do that on a hunch, or just because they feel like it. It should be based on actual suspicion of criminal wrongdoing based on fact.” [MORE]


Susan Rice Says Trump’s Black Caucus Remarks Are ‘Offensive’ [for real, Fuck Trump] 


Former national security adviser Susan Rice has called President Trump’s response to a question posed by a black journalist during Thursday’s dizzying press conference “notably offensive.”

During the conference, April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, asked President Trump whether he was planning on including the Congressional Black Caucus—which she initially referred to by its acronym ‘CBC’—and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in his conversations on ‘inner cities’ and his broader urban agenda.

A visibly flummoxed Trump retorted: “Am I going to include who?”

After Ryan repeated her question, Trump aggressively suggested she should go and set up the meeting herself, despite her insisting that although she knew some of its members, she was “just a reporter,” and as such had no affiliation with the organization.

“Are they friends of yours?” he asked “Let’s go. Set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. I think it’s great, the Congressional Black Caucus. I think it’s great.”

Susan Rice, who served as national security adviser in the Obama administration and was also the first black woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, retweeted a post from Vox editor Ezra Klein pointing to a piece criticizing Trump’s monolithic treatment of all people of color.

“This is a cogent summary of why @realDonaldTrump’s answer to April Ryan was so notably offensive” she wrote on Thursday evening.

The article in question highlighted Trump’s repeated use of the determiner “the” when talking about ethnic minorities—”the blacks,” “the Latinos,” “the African Americans” —as if all of them formed an uniform and dangerous cabal.

Following the second presidential debate in October, during which the then candidate had said that Hillary Clinton had “done a terrible job for the African-Americans” the hashtag #TheAfricanAmericans began trending on Twitter, with many sarcastic takes on Trump’s use of words.

At the time, educator and activist Kelly Wickham Hurst wrote: “Wondering if #TheAfricanAmericans are meeting up tomorrow somewhere in the inner city. Let a sister know where to be. I’ll keep the minutes.”

In his Thursday tweet, Ezra Klein called Trump’s comments on race “the lowest moment” of his press conference.

This sentiment was widely echoed elsewhere, including by Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland:

“I don’t think he [Trump] knew what the CBC was” the Democratic lawmaker told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Thursday evening in response to Trump’s remarks.

“A lot of people assume that all black people know all black people” he added “But the idea that the president would ask somebody in the press pool to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus… he’s the President of the United States of America. He can make that phone call himself.”

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