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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"

Links

Deeper than Atlantis
Wednesday
Feb012017

It is hard to overstate just how thin the evidence is for the claim of mass illegal voting

Intercept

For two months now, Donald Trump has appeared unable to accept the verdict of November’s election: that he is more popular than many of us wanted to believe, but less popular than Hillary Clinton.

As a result of this fixation, he is now promising “a major investigation” into the election that made him president, putting the full weight of the federal government behind his quest to prove that at least three million ballots were cast against him by “those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and even, those registered to vote who are dead.”

In an interview with David Muir of ABC News broadcast on Wednesday night, Trump tried to suggest that a 2012 Pew study on problems with people being registered in two states, or the voter rolls not being updated as soon as people die, was proof that illegal voting was taking place.

When Muir pointed out that the author of the Pew study, David Becker, had said that his work did not show any voter fraud, Trump, who clearly had not read the study, suggested, wrongly, that he had somehow retracted his research. Specifically, Trump accused Becker of “groveling,” just as he had when attacking Serge Kovaleski of The New York Times for undercutting his lie that thousands of Arab-Americans celebrated 9/11 in New Jersey. [MORE]

Wednesday
Feb012017

Dummy Trump is just tweeting whatever he sees on Fox News 

Tuesday
Jan312017

Trump vows to cut funding for #SanctuaryCities, but makes an exception for law enforcement purposes

Reason

Today President Donald Trump made good on his threat to go after "sanctuary cities" (cities that decline to investigate the immigration statuses of people within their jurisdiction) by going after their federal funds. He signed an executive order today attempting to implement a policy denying federal grants for any of these 200 estimated sanctuary cities if they refuse to assist the federal government in investigating immigration statuses.

One problem that was brought up in November after Trump's election: Law enforcement agencies and unions didn't support this mechanism of intimidating cities. It wasn't that they cared so much about the civil liberties. They were not going to support anything that prevented any sort of gravy train from rolling into their police stations. Law enforcement agencies are prime recipients of federal grants.

Trump, having run on a hard core law-and-order, stop-and-frisk, civil-rights-are-for-wusses campaign, was not interested in angering these guys. So his executive order today explicitly exempts grants "deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes."

 

Trump is also calling for the administration to publicize, on a weekly basis, a list of crimes committed by aliens "and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens." One assumes these must be aliens the federal government detain or arrest after sanctuary city interactions. Otherwise there's a bit of a logic flaw in trying to highlight criminals who are illegal immigrants operating in cities that refuse to check their immigration status and report that information to the feds. [MORE]

Tuesday
Jan312017

Florida judge accused of saying blacks should ‘go back to Africa’ resigns before he can be impeached

Raw Story

A white Florida judge who was accused of making sexist and racist remarks has stepped down from his position, just before the Florida Legislature was set to launch an impeachment investigation into his conduct.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Jacksonville Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey submitted his resignation letter to Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday, “on the eve of the start of a highly unusual impeachment investigation by the Legislature.”

The 66-year-old Hulsey was facing a probe by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which was investigating accusations that the judge called a female staff attorney a “b*tch” and a “c*nt,” as well as an accusation that he said black people should “get on a ship and go back to Africa.”

Although Hulsey denied these allegations when they first surface, the Florida Legislature’s House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee was scheduled to have a hearing Tuesday to present a “report on preliminary findings” of its initial investigation.

Hulsey’s decision to step down was apparently a preemptive move to head off the hearing, as Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R-Land O’Lakes) said that the judge “resigned under the threat of the investigation.” [MORE]

Tuesday
Jan312017

Aljazeera Show on Flint: The Stream - #FlintWaterCrisis

Tuesday
Jan312017

Trump’s Wall And The Missing Media Context: Undocumented Immigration Is On The Decline

Media Matters

In signing an executive order last week ordering the “immediate construction of a physical wall” along the United States’ border with Mexico, President Donald Trump generated exactly the news coverage he wanted: articles highlighting the president’s unprecedented action that could give the impression he’s addressing a surging problem of undocumented immigrants flooding into the United States.

The New York Times reported that Trump had begun “a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigration.” The paper stressed, “Taken together, the moves would turn the full weight of the federal government to fortifying the United States border,” and that Trump’s plan “called for a newly expanded force to sweep up immigrants who are in the country illegally.”

According to The Washington Post, “President Trump on Wednesday began putting in place his plan to ratchet up immigration enforcement.”

And The Associated Press stressed that, “President Donald Trump moved aggressively to tighten the nation's immigration controls Wednesday,” noting “Trump cast his actions as fulfillment of a campaign pledge to enact hard-line immigration measures.”

The tone of these pieces about his planned wall very much reflected Trump’s get-tough rhetoric this week: He was taking aggressive action to stem a growing problem. “Beginning today, the United States gets control of its borders,” the president said this week. He told ABC's David Muir: “It’s going to be very hard to come in. Right now, it’s very easy to come in.”

But here’s the crucial context much of the coverage glossed over as reporters rushed to document Trump’s wall initiative: Overall the total number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States has been slightly declining over the past decade. Apprehensions at the U.S. border have generally been in decline over the past 16 years. And specifically, the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico who were stopped at the border has fallen in recent years, with the figure being cut in half since 2010. (There has been an increase in undocumented immigrants from Central America in recent years, but overall the total number of undocumented immigrants stopped at the border is a quarter of what it was in 2000.) 

Like his attempts to spread lies about the U.S. unemployment rate (not to mention lies about the size of his inauguration crowd), Trump’s argument for building a wall is built on the fabrication that America is under siege from undocumented immigrants.

It’s not.

While some publications, like the Huffington Post and Politico, included this crucial context for Trump’s wall proposal, each of those articles cited above from the Times, the Post and Associated Press, failed to note that Trump was proposing a radical fix for a dilemma already in decline. And that seems to have been the press pattern, as news updates downplayed or ignored the slower rate of immigration across the Mexican border. This NBC report doesn’t mention it until the 16th paragraph; this CNN report made no mention of it at all.

Clear-headed coverage that provides context for Trump’s colossal wall proposal should spell out that his multi billion-dollar construction projection is designed to address a problem that spiked 10 years ago when the total undocumented population hit an all-time high.The press shouldn’t allow Trump to paint a portrait of America being overrun when that simply is not true. 

The failure is part of a larger problem where journalists allow Trump to create his own -- often dystopian -- realities about America. Like the way the president promised to fix the “carnage” of America during his inauguration address, and how he routinely insists the crime rate in this country is rocketing upward. 

It’s not.

The number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States peaked in 2007. There were 12.2 million undocumented immigrants in 2007 and 11.1 million in 2014, according to Pew Research Center estimates. (They are among the most recent figures available.) 

Those Pew numbers were reinforced by a 2016 study by demographer Robert Warren, which found that the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S had dropped to 10.9 million in 2014.

“One reason for the high and sustained level of interest in undocumented immigration is the widespread belief that the trend in the undocumented population is ever upward,” wrote Warren in his study for the Journal on Migration and Human Security. “This paper shows that this belief is mistaken and that, in fact, the undocumented population has been decreasing for more than a half a decade.”

Trump’s signature policy initiative of building a concrete wall along a nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico is based on a falsehood about undocumented immigrants. The press needs to include that central context.

Tuesday
Jan312017

Eddie Conway on How the Black Panther Party Changed Community Organizing

Tuesday
Jan312017

Starbucks Is Hiring 10,000 Refugees, Lyft Is Giving $1 Million To The ACLU

Fastcoexist

On Saturday, a day after Trump issued an executive order blocking refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S., Lyft announced that it was giving $1 million to the ACLU.

"Trump’s immigration ban is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values," CEO Logan Green tweeted.

 

The same day, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky tweeted that Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and "anyone not allowed in the U.S." The company previously pledged to develop a program that would let Airbnb hosts temporarily take in refugees, along with creating jobs for Syrian refugees in Jordan. (The pledge was made under the former White House Partnership for Refugees, now run by Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya's Tent Foundation).

On Sunday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a letter to employees expressing his concern. "We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question," he wrote, and outlined what the company is doing in response.

Starbucks is planning to hire 10,000 refugees around the world in the next five years. The company also reimburses the fee paid by "Dreamers," the undocumented children of immigrants who are allowed to work under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which Trump is considering ending. Schultz also talked about the importance of Mexico to Starbucks, both as a coffee supplier and a growing market.

Other business leaders expressed their anger about the new administration without announcing specific action. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote that Trump's actions are hurting Netflix employees and "are so un-American it pains us all" and that "it is time to link arms together to protect American values of freedom and opportunity." [MORE]

Tuesday
Jan312017

Hundreds of Texas Muslim Leaders Receive Alarming Survey Investigating Their Views on Islam

Tuesday
Jan312017

Mystery death of ex-KGB chief linked to MI6 spy's dossier on Donald Trump

Telegraph

An ex-KGB chief suspected of helping the former MI6 spy Christopher Steele to compile his dossier on Donald Trump may have been murdered by the Kremlin and his death covered up. it has been claimed.

Oleg Erovinkin, a former general in the KGB and its successor the FSB, was found dead in the back of his car in Moscow on Boxing Day in mysterious circumstances.

Erovinkin was a key aide to Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister and now head of Rosneft, the state-owned oil company, who is repeatedly named in the dossier.

Erovinkin has been described as a key liaison between Sechin and Russian president Vladimir Putin. Mr Steele writes in an intelligence report dated July 19, 2016, he has a source close to Sechin, who had disclosed alleged links between Mr Trump’s supporters and Moscow.

The death of Erovinkin has prompted speculation it is linked to Mr Steele’s explosive dossier, which was made public earlier this month. Mr Trump has dismissed the dossier as “fake news” and no evidence has emerged to support its lurid claims.

The Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Erovinkin’s body was “found in a black Lexus... [and] a large-scale investigation has been commenced in the area. Erovinkin’s body was sent to the FSB morgue”.

No cause of death has been confirmed and the FSB continues to investigate. Media reports suggested his death was a result of foul play. [MORE]

Tuesday
Jan312017

NYC Taxi Drivers Stage Airport Strike to Protest Trump's "Inhumane & Cruel" Executive Order

Democracy Now

President Trump’s immigration order prompted the New York Taxi Workers Alliance to halt rides from JFK airport Saturday night between 6 and 7 p.m. In a statement explaining the one-hour strike, the alliance said, "Drivers stand in solidarity with refugees coming to America in search of peace and safety and with those who are simply trying to return to their homes here in America after traveling abroad. We stand in solidarity with all of our peace-loving neighbors against this inhumane, cruel, and unconstitutional act of pure bigotry." Meanwhile, the ride-sharing service Uber faced an online backlash for refusing to honor Saturday’s strike. Hundreds of people shared screenshots of themselves deleting the Uber app from smartphones, as the social media hashtag #DeleteUber trended worldwide on Sunday. [MORE]

Tuesday
Jan312017

Are Trump & Mexican President Provoking Conflict to Distract from Low Approval Ratings at Home?

Democracy Now

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled a meeting with President Trump that was scheduled for next week, as tensions between the two countries rise. The move came after Trump announced plans Wednesday to expand the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico—a wall Trump has repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for. On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the U.S. would impose a 20 percent tax on all goods imported from Mexico and use the proceeds to pay for the expanded border wall. But after widespread outrage at the plan, Spicer walked back his statements only hours later, saying the import tax was just "one idea."

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re broadcasting from Park City, Utah.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has canceled a meeting with President Trump that was scheduled for next week, as tensions between the two countries rise. The move came after Trump announced plans Wednesday to expand the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico—a wall Trump has repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for. Well, on Thursday, Mexico’s top diplomat, the foreign minister, was at the White House to help pave the way for his visit, when his team received word of a Trump tweet suggesting if Mexico weren’t willing to pay for the wall, it should cancel the trip. Trump later claimed the two leaders mutually canceled the upcoming meeting, a statement President Peña Nieto has refuted. Trump spoke more about his plan to expand the border wall later in the day after a meeting with Republican lawmakers in Philadelphia.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The hour of justice for the American worker has arrived. Border security is a serious, serious national issue and problem. A lack of security poses a substantial threat to the sovereignty and safety of the United States of America and its citizens. Most illegal immigration is coming from our southern border. I’ve said many times that the American people will not pay for the wall.

AMY GOODMAN: The U.S. already has 700 miles of fencing, tens of thousands of motion sensors, thousands of law enforcement agents along the U.S.-Mexico border. On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the U.S. would impose a 20 percent tax on all goods imported from Mexico, and use the proceeds to pay for the expanded wall. This was after the Mexican president canceled the presidential visit to see Trump. But after widespread outrage at what Spicer announced, he walked back his statements only hours later, saying the import tax was just "one idea." The proposal would require new legislation. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham criticized the suggestion, saying on Twitter Mexico could retaliate with its own tariff and that it could be a, quote, "huge barrier" to economic growth. In a national address Wednesday night, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said his country will not pay for Trump’s wall.

PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO: [translated] I regret and disapprove of the decision by the United States to continue with the construction of the wall, which has, for years, far from uniting us, divided us. Mexico does not believe in walls. I have said, time and time again, Mexico will not pay for any wall.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we go to Mexico, where we’re joined via Democracy Now! video stream by Laura Carlsen, director of the Mexico City-based Americas Program for the Center for International Policy. She’s joining us from San Miguel de Allende.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Laura.

LAURA CARLSEN: Thank you, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what is going on now with this escalation of tension and the Mexican president canceling this presidential visit to see Trump next week?

LAURA CARLSEN: We are witnessing a very bizarre situation. This was a direct provocation to Mexico. By tweeting on Thursday morning that if Peña Nieto didn’t agree to pay for the wall, he might as well not come, he was essentially forcing President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel his trip. There’s no way he could have sustained this.

It’s no surprise that Mexico won’t pay for the wall. This is the most inane proposal in probably the recent history of diplomacy—or, I should say, anti-diplomacy. There’s no self-respecting nation on Earth, I guarantee you, that would agree to pay for a wall built by a foreign country, on foreign soil, that’s essentially built to keep out its own citizens, who have been defined as undesirable elements.

It’s important to note here that this definition has almost no basis in fact. In the clip that we played about Trump’s statement that our southern borders are insecure, there is no evidence—and I’ve talked to people at NORCOM and through the security system about this—that there’s any threat coming up from Mexico over the southern border into the United States. In fact, the United States has paid millions and millions to supposedly secure the southern border, and what it has caused is this racist reaction against Mexicans as if they were threatening, that actually helped carry Donald Trump into the presidency.

So, this international crisis in diplomacy was carefully planned, and we have to take that into account. What happens? On Wednesday, Donald Trump issues executive orders calling to begin construction of the wall, and a series of orders regarding immigration enforcement measures to begin deportation of many—there’s over 5 million undocumented Mexicans in the country. This happens the same day that Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray arrives in [Washington] to begin negotiating the meeting between Donald Trump and Peña Nieto the following Tuesday. That’s a slap in the face. So that immediately began to cause a crisis. There was major pressure on Peña Nieto, starting Wednesday, from Mexico to say, "You cannot go to this meeting." And then, the next day, he tweets this again, forcing Peña Nieto to cancel. So, what he’s essentially saying, and with the 20 percent tax, is "We can destroy you." He’s setting up a situation that not only bullies Mexico, but places them in a no-win situation and could lead to dire consequences for both countries.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about Mexican-U.S. border organizing, activists on both sides of the border, Laura?

LAURA CARLSEN: Well, what we’re seeing is, since the Trump campaign, there has been a "no Trump" movement coming up, with committees in both countries. And now that he’s president, there’s a lot of scrambling to build binational connections, essentially, where there’s a recognition that the threat of Donald Trump to both the people of the United States and to the people of Mexico is severe. We see it here with the way he has cast the binational relationship into jeopardy in a show that we don’t really know what the purpose is, if it’s to strengthen his hand in renegotiation of NAFTA, if it’s to simply keep up a campaign promise that was always impossible, or if it’s to keep Mexico in the news in order to create conditions where he can mobilize his base to support this massive deportation and aggression against the Mexican community in the United States.

So, people are coming together. They’re beginning, in many sectors, to seek connections that were built at the beginning of the NAFTA negotiations, when there was a recognition that many of the terms of NAFTA could have a negative impact on people. And there, it’s worth mentioning that in terms of this NAFTA recognition, we know from 20 years of experience it’s never been a question of which nation wins or loses, but a question of the people—workers, consumers and others—losing as transnational corporations gain a whole series of privileges. So they began to get together at that time. Then it kind of waned for a while, and now it’s happening again.

Of course, migrant organizations that are in the United States and are defending the rights of migrants there, as they prepare for these deportations and the hate crimes arising ever since his campaign, with the kind of language that he [inaudible]—preparing for the defense of their families in the United States and also to receive people who will be deported and also people who are returning. And this is happening in the labor sector, as you begin to see the attacks that will be coming from the Trump administration there. And in general, the public is preparing, because these measures, when you talk about a 20 percent tax on exports, could throw Mexico almost immediately into an economic crisis. And that could increase poverty—I mean, the whole range of consequences. We’re not just talking about a trade war. We’re talking about a major collapse politically and economically south of the border, which is no good for anyone.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think this, Laura, has anything to do with President Trump’s historic low ratings in the polls? I mean the lowest in modern history, when he came in at something like 34 or 32 percent. Do you think he’s trying to gin up something here?

LAURA CARLSEN: Absolutely. I think this is a factor. And as political analysts, as people who analyze international relations, I know that we’ve had to start thinking in different ways with this Trump presidency, because there’s this psychological factor, you know, this macho, bullying personality that indicates that they’re not always rational considerations that come into play, such as provoking an international crisis with a close ally, a neighbor and the third-largest trade partner.

So, here he comes in, polls showing from 32 percent to maybe the 40s, lowest approval rating of an incoming president in recent history. What does a weak president do in that situation? He picks a fight, and especially if his name is Donald Trump and he is who he is. So, picking a fight with Mexico, though, is what is probably the bizarre factor, of course, for us who analyze this relationship, because, again, it is an ally. However, it mobilizes his base. It’s been his wedge issue since the beginning of his campaign. It increases this racist environment. And it makes him look strong.

Now, he’s also picked a fight with one of the weakest presidents in the world. President Enrique Peña Nieto has an approval rating now of 12 percent, according to some polls. So he’s between a rock and a hard place. He has his entire population saying, "You have to stand up to the United States," and a huge opposition movement. There are people calling for his resignation in the streets of Mexico, a news item that’s—that doesn’t come out, with everything else that’s happening in the Trump administration. And then he has this necessity among the Mexican elite, his own group, really, to maintain a relationship almost at any cost with the United States. So, the situation, with all these factors coming into play, and especially the unstable actions and personality of Donald Trump thrown into the mix, has created a very uncertain environment, in which we’re already feeling the impact with the drop in the peso, and a lot of uncertainty regarding investment and other economic and political factors here in Mexico.

AMY GOODMAN: Laura Carlsen, we’re going to have to leave it there, but I thank you so much for being with us, director of the Mexico City-based Americas Program at the Center for International Policy, speaking to us from Mexico.

Tuesday
Jan312017

UN urges Incompetent Trump not to reinstate torture policies

[JURIST]

Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, on Monday urged [press release] US President Donald Trump [official website] not to reinstate torture policies. Melzer referenced the 2014 US Senate Intelligence Committee Report [text, PDF], which stated that the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) [official website] use of "enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence" and "rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness." Melzer criticized Trump's pledge to reinstate torture by claiming that "waterboarding" is a form of torture, that the use of torture is not legally or morally acceptable, and that the use of torture is prohibited by the Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [texts] and the Geneva Conventions [ICRC backgrounder]. Melzer concluded:

If the new Administration were to revive the use of torture, however, the consequences around the world would be catastrophic. ... Should Mr. Trump follow through on all of his pledges, more countries are likely to follow his lead and get back into the torture business—an ultimate disgrace for all of humanity.

Tuesday
Jan312017

‘Sanctuary City’ Mayors Vow to Defy Trump’s Immigration Order

NY Times

The mayors of American cities large and small reacted with outrage on Wednesday as President Trump signed an executive order saying he would halt funding to municipalities that did not cooperate with federal immigration officials.

The defiant officials — from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and smaller cities, including New Haven; Syracuse; and Austin, Tex., said they were prepared for a protracted fight.

“We’re going to defend all of our people regardless of where they come from, regardless of their immigration status,” Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said at a news conference with other city officials.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared: “I want to be clear: We’re going to stay a sanctuary city. There is no stranger among us. Whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, whether you’re from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you’re from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather came from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American dream.” [MORE]

Friday
Jan272017

Republicans Close Probe of Flint Water Crisis, as Water is Still Unsafe to Drink

Democracy Now

Republican lawmakers have closed the investigation into the lead poisoning of the water system in Flint, Michigan. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s findings blamed state officials, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA. The closing of the investigation comes as Flint Mayor Karen Weaver told residents they should still not drink the water. The city’s lead pipes have not yet been replaced. At the Women’s March on Washington, Democracy Now! spoke with Flint resident and community organizer Melissa Mays.

Melissa Mays: Now we have a president that made it very clear that he has no intentions to keep the EPA or clean air and water regulations. So we feel even worse. The day after the election, we just sat there and said, ’We’ve had to work an uphill battle with the Republican state government. Now we have a Republican federal government, and we’re going to get nowhere.’"

The Flint water crisis began when the city’s unelected emergency manager, appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, switched the source of Flint’s drinking water from the Detroit system to the corrosive Flint River. The water corroded Flint’s aging pipes, causing poisonous levels of lead to leach into the drinking water.

Wednesday
Jan252017

Congressman Elijah Cummings May Conduct Voter Fraud Investigation — To Prove Trump Wrong

Buzzfeed

President Donald Trump and his administration have repeatedly claimed there was widespread voter fraud during the 2016 election without any evidence to support it, and at least one high ranking Democrat wants to Trump to show proof.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, told BuzzFeed News that his staff is currently working on writing to all attorneys general in the country to get more information.

“They’re making these allegations, but we’re going to the attorney generals and saying, is there voter fraud, and what proof is there?” Cummings said. “So yeah, I think there should be [an investigation].”

While there are currently no public calls on the Hill for an investigation to debunk the administration’s claims, some Democrats say they could get behind the initiative.

“We need to deal in a factual environment, and it’s pretty obvious that there were no illegal votes cast in this election,” Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay told BuzzFeed News about Trump’s claims. “That calls into question the integrity of our election, and it’s just not true.”

As recently as Monday, when Trump met with Congressional leaders, he reiterated his false claim that millions who voted illegally cost him the popular vote. On Tuesday, Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, told reporters during a press briefing that the president still believes that is the case.

Tuesday
Jan242017

Racist Trump is planning to sign executive orders on immigration [Only for Non-Whites] this week

WashPost

President Trump is planning to sign executive orders on Wednesday enabling construction of his proposed border wall, and targeting cities where local leaders refuse to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation, part of a multi-day rollout of his long-promised crackdown on illegal immigration, officials familiar with the decision said Tuesday.

“Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow,” Trump wrote on Twitter late Tuesday. “Among many other things, we will build the wall!”

The moves represent Trump’s first effort to deliver on perhaps the signature issue that drove his presidential campaign: his belief that illegal immigration is out of control and threatening the country’s safety and security.

On Wednesday, Trump plans to speak to a town hall of employees at the Department of Homeland Security’s headquarters in Washington, where he is expected to sign the orders. The effort to crack down on what are known as sanctuary cities will resonate with the Republican base, which has long criticized local officials who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Later this week, officials said, the president plans to sign other orders restricting immigration and access to the United States for refugees and some visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, although the exact timing was being arranged late Tuesday and was subject to change. Residents from many of these places are already rarely granted U.S. visas. [MORE]

Tuesday
Jan242017

Supreme Court refused to consider challenges to Alabama's death penalty only state that lets judges overrule juries & impose death sentences

From [HERE] The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider challenges to Alabama's death penalty system, the only one in the country that lets judges overrule juries and impose death sentences.

The court's denial of several lower court appeals came a year after the justices ruled 8-1 against a similar capital punishment protocol in Florida. Since that decision, state supreme courts there and in Delaware have struck down those systems.

Many opponents of the Alabama system had expected the justices to take up a challenge. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in particular, has criticized the state for allowing elected judges to impose executions even when juries recommend life sentences.

A recent study by the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative, one of the groups challenging the state's death penalty system, found that judges overrode jury verdicts 107 times in the four decades since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty. In nearly all those cases, judges imposed death sentences. The study said 21% of 199 people on the state's death row were sentenced through such judicial overrides.

The state executed two prisoners last year, more than any other state except Georgia and Texas. It ranks seventh in total executions since 1976, behind Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Florida, Missouri and Georgia.

Last November, five justices agreed to block the execution of Alabama's Tommy Arthur, who had raised objections both about judicial override and the state's lethal injection protocol. Chief Justice John Roberts added his vote to those of the four liberal justices "as a courtesy" so that the case could be considered for review. It was one of three cases denied Monday.

The following month, the justices green-lighted the execution of Alabama's Ronald Smith for a 1994 murder in which a judge overrode a jury verdict and sentenced him to death.

In last year's Florida case, Sotomayor ruled that "the 6th Amendment requires a jury, not a judge, to find each fact necessary to impose a sentence of death. A jury's mere recommendation is not enough."

Alabama officials had pointed out differences between their system and Florida's. They argued that in Alabama, juries must find at least one aggravating circumstance that make defendants eligible for the death penalty. Florida and Delaware courts demand more stringent findings.

The differences did not impress Sotomayor in 2013, when she dissented from the high court's refusal to hear a challenge similar to those denied Monday. Alabama's elected judges, she said at the time, "appear to have succumbed to electoral pressures.”

The skirmish over Alabama's system is part of the continuing Supreme Court battle over the nation's ultimate penalty — one imposed and carried out less often each year, but which voters in California, Nebraska and Oklahoma decided to retain in November.

Tuesday
Jan242017

[Impeach Racist Idiot] www.ImpeachDonaldTrumpnow.org

www.impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org went live on Friday just as Trump was officially sworn in. It is run by two groups, Free Speech for People and RootsAction, which believe Trump’s possible conflicts of interest are grounds for his ouster, the WashingtonPost reports.

Tuesday
Jan242017

Wisconsin Juvenile Facilities Sued Over Solitary Confinement

JJIE

Meranda Davis knows her daughter hasn’t always been an angel. Auto theft, assaults, wild tantrums in court left a judge little choice but to send the 15-year-old to Copper Lake School for Girls, one of Wisconsin’s two juvenile detention facilities.

“If you choose to steal cars, you deserve to wind up in a juvenile jail. I know that,” Davis said Monday. “But nobody deserves to be treated the way they treat people in there.”

That treatment, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week, includes indiscriminately dousing entire wings of youth facilities with pepper spray designed to deter bears and locking teens in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours per day. The allegations are the latest against the facilities, which have already attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice and local child care advocates.

“If I locked my son in his room for a day, a week or a month, it would be called child abuse. If I chained him to a table, if I sprayed him with pepper spray it would be called child abuse,” said Jessica Feierman, associate director of the Juvenile Law Center, which filed the lawsuit along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. “When children are entrusted to the state’s care, the standard should be just as high.”

Many of the abuses outlined in the lawsuit have been well chronicled in the state’s media and legislative bodies. But efforts to improve the facilities have been slow or nonexistent, prompting the legal action, said Laurence Dupuis, attorney for the ACLU of Wisconsin, at a press conference today.

The crux of the lawsuit focuses on what lawyers called the state’s excessive use of solitary confinement to punish children for even minor offenses. The practice runs counter to nationwide trends against isolating youth, and ignores recommendations from the American Medical Association and medical studies showing the corrosive and dangerous effects it has on teenagers.

John Paquin, administrator of Wisconsin’s Division of Juvenile Corrections, did not respond to a voice message left on his office phone.

The solitary cells at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys are known as “cottages” in the prison, but Dupuis and the lawsuit describe them as anything but. The 7-foot by 10-foot cells contain only a bed and toilet. No desks, no pencil or pads for schoolwork, not even a chair.

Teenagers are sentenced to as long as 30 to 60 days in solitary confinement, even though state rules call for a maximum of four days. As many as 20 percent of the youths at the boys’ and girls’ facilities are locked in solitary at any one time, Dupuis said.

“When we started to visit some of the youths [at the two facilities] in October we were shocked by what we heard and what we actually witnessed ourselves,” Dupuis said. “We witnessed a group of guards at the far end of the hallway holding a youth they had pepper sprayed on the ground, then dragging him limping, blinking because of the pepper spray in his eyes to a shower room not far from where we were sitting.”

The boys are locked to shower cages and are routinely pepper sprayed. There were 200 incidents of pepper spraying in the first 10 months of 2016, according to state records.

“Usually when the ACLU shows up, people start changing their habits and things get a bit better. We saw none of that here,” Dupuis said.

Meranda Davis, whose daughter is incarcerated at the Copper Lakes facility until at least March, described phone calls from her frantic teen.

“She call me crying after getting out of solitary. They send kids for two weeks just for talking back in class,” Davis said. “One time, they were punishing a girl in solitary, so they just fired a whole can of pepper spray into the unit. Everyone was coughing and crying. My daughter was coughing up blood.”

A 2015 Justice Department study found that solitary confinement, also known as restrictive housing, “when applied without regard to basic standards of decency, can cause serious, long-lasting harm.”

The DOJ banned solitary for all juveniles in the federal prison system and vowed to crack down on states that abuse the practice, according to the 2015 report.

The civil rights division began looking at the two Wisconsin facilities in 2015. While the investigations are still ongoing, nobody at today’s press conference is holding out much hope for quick action.

“If I had any reason to believe that action was imminent, we may have held off,” Dupuis said. But the situation he witnessed, and the stories he and his team heard from inmates, made the lawsuit necessary.

“The way we, the state of Wisconsin, are treating these children is not just illegal, not just wrong, it’s immoral. It inflicts terrible damage on the youths, it inflicts terrible damage on the guards and it inflicts terrible damage on our society,” he said.

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