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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 21, 2018, 07:31:22 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: This article should be required reading EVERY YEAR from the third grade on up to the senior year in high school. Students should be tested on this knowledge yearly as well.

NO student should be allowed to have a high scool degree unless they accept the scientific truth that race is a social construct with no purpose except to maliciously marginalize some for the express purpose of elevating others based on lies and fables.


MAY 20, 2018

The Royal Wedding and the End of Whiteness

By Juan Cole


Benjamin Franklin was extremely worried about whites being overwhelmed. He said in
“Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc.” (1751):
“Which leads me to add one Remark: That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased.”

So get this. Some of the eighteenth century founding fathers only thought English and Danish people were white. Even Swedes and Germans were “swarthy.” French certainly were. So Franklin would not have considered me white, since my family is French and German. We’re swarthy. We do have some Scottish, but if the Swedish are swarthy I suspect he thought the Scottish were, too. Since Coulter 🐍 is in part Irish and German, Ben Franklin wouldn’t have accepted her as white, either, and was worried about the German part of her family acting like barbarians and interfering in elections. You can only imagine what he would have thought of German grifters like Donald Trump’s 🦀 grandfather 😈.


But “whiteness” is an illusion. Because the crowned heads of Europe intermarried over centuries and because Spanish nobility was in the mix, and because in turn Spaniards and other southwestern Europeans are up to 20% North African in heritage  as well as having substantial genetic endowments from Jews and various other Muslim peoples, not to mention Phoenicians and sub-saharan Africans– actually all European royal families have been mixed-race for a very long time. In fact, some genealogists allege that Prince Harry is descended from the Prophet Muhammad the residual category of “white”. . . was used [in the early 20th century) by working class Catholics in a desperate bid to distinguish themselves from Latinos and African-Americans. But really. Why are Italian-Americans from Sicily “white” in America, but people from Latin America whose ancestors lived in Catalonia are “brown”? In the medieval era, for a while, both Catalonia and Sicily were in the same country, ruled by the crown of Aragon!

The popular press in America is confused about such issues because many writers do not realize that there is no such thing as race in the 19th century biological sense. You have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 16 great-grandparents, and by the time you get back to 1400 you have a million ancestors. For someone who hails from Europe, how likely is it that none of them were Arabs and Berbers from southern Spain who had been forced to convert and then married Catholics?

Europe’s population in 1400 was only 78 million or so and [each modern is] descended from a million of them. And Arabs in southern Spain were in turn intermarried with Berbers and Africans. After 50 generations (a generation is 24 years), most of the world’s genes get shared around. Everyone in the Mediterranean basin shares common ancestors from only a few thousand years ago, including Tunisians and Egyptians and Spanish and Italians. The claim about Prince Harry and Muhammad is a little bit of a trick, since most contemporary Europeans are probably descended from Muhammad.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 30, 2018, 08:43:04 pm »



The Crime of Being Poor and Black  >:(

By Chris Hedges


Mervilus is 6 feet tall and broad-shouldered and has long, thick dreads. He was never in a gang. He was not a drug dealer. He had a job. He came from a good and loving family. But he was cursed with being black and poor and living in a city, Elizabeth, N.J., where if you are black and poor you are always one step away from being arbitrarily shot or arrested or tossed into jail. This is true in nearly every city in America.

There are cops in poor communities who hunt black boys and men as if they are prey. To them it is a sport. These cops are not always white, although they are often white. But they are always sadists. Intoxicated by the power to instill fear, use lethal force indiscriminately and destroy lives—and allowed to do so by a judicial system that no longer protects the most basic rights of the poor, including due process, adequate legal representation and the right to a jury trial—they circle around their victims like human vultures. If we were to use the strict dictionary definition, these police officers are criminals.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 28, 2018, 09:41:33 pm »



From Starbucks to Waffle House: American Society Devalues Black Lives

By Sonali Kolhatkar


Had the Waffle House shooting suspect been Muslim or black or both, we would likely have seen the word “terrorism” bandied about from the very start in both major media outlets and on President Trump’s Twitter feed. From Trump’s refusal to address the incident and considering how little speculation has occurred in the media questioning the motives of this white anti-government perpetrator in his targeting of black and brown folk, we can only conclude that there are racial double standards permeating our society, making necessary the assertion that Black Lives need to Matter.

Reinking 👹 would have slaughtered many more people had he not been stopped by James Shaw Jr. 🕊, an African-American.
Were Shaw an armed white man who used his gun to stop Reinking, there might have been no end to the political hay that Trump and the National Rifle Association would have made of the scenario. Instead, there has been a deafening silence from the outspoken president on Shaw, whose life-risking actions contradict the NRA’s favorite fantasy scenario of a “good guy with a gun.” But none of this should surprise us, as neither Trump nor the NRA have demonstrated any real respect for Black Lives.

The other Waffle House incident, which took place in the neighboring state of Alabama on the same day as the Antioch shooting, offered up yet more evidence of anti-black racism with the incredibly disturbing arrest of Chikesia Clemons by multiple male police officers 🦍🦍🦍🦍   late at night. 😠

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 26, 2018, 07:25:30 pm »

April 26, 2018

White Supremacy and Capitalism Are Deeply Entangled With the Colonial Slave Trade

Gerald Horne, Monthly Review Press: The United States may have declared its independence from Britain in 1776, but it was from England and other European powers that the breakaway colonies inherited an evil that was of fundamental significance to its future: slavery. This excerpt of The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism describes how the US is still experiencing that ruinous legacy today.

Read the Book Excerpt

“Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions”

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2018, 10:48:51 pm »

hate filled disrespectful fallacious diatribes against our my President

Fixed that for you.

Your POTUS, not ours.  You never acknowledged Obama-sama as your President.  You just spit hatred at him.  At Hillary & Bill too.  So now we get to return the favor.  Payback is a B I T C H.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2018, 10:45:50 pm »

Oh play nice. It's the Lord's Day, you Christians behave.

GO, I'd rather look at XXXX than have to see so many grinning visages of the President that Twitter and Reality TV gave us.

GO knows pictures of Trumpovetsky make the Diners puke, so he puts them up just to be annoying.  He's been doing that since before he got elected, when he was stumping for him.


Yep. GO got tired of trying to get my goat with Nicole Foss grinning pictures after a few years. But, he has picked up with Trump pictures where he left off.

As Da Presidente would say, SAD!

Well thank you for you input and views gentlemen.

As a courtesy to AG, RE, and Eddie I am removing the posting you gents find so offensive.

Understand please from my point of view Eddie and company, I would rather look at and listen to a camel taking a good healthy **** at the local zoo than listening to and reading your hate filled disrespectful fallacious diatribes against our President and contempt towards our citizens who elected him.

May I please request you afford me the same consideration and STFU!  Thanks GO

Posting removed by GO as a courtesy to certain fellow Diners.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2018, 06:42:06 pm »

Golden Oxen,
Your "history in photographs" is, to put it as charitably as I can, rather selective. If you had been objective, you would have shown pictures of Hoover smirking about MLK Jr.'s death. FBI Hoover had him assasinated. THAT is the correct perspective to the history you portray.

No, I do not expect you to respond respectfully. But I wish that, rather than hurl some sarcasm at me or lash out in your typical ad hominem fashion, you would accept this post as constructive criticism.

It really bothers me that you shot yourself in the foot, and probably your family's heart, by voting for an unrepentant enemy of the environment.

We all require a viable biosphere to survive in this valley of tears. I just do not get it, GO. You are smarter than that. Can you hate so much that you are willing to see everyhing you hold dear in this biosphere be increasingly insulted just so Trump remains in power? That does not make any sense at all.

Your Trump 🦍 hero (By the way,how does it feel to see Trump 🐵 depicted the SAME WAY 🦍 you often depicted Obama? My depiction is ACCURATE, unlike yours, because it applies to his polices, not his race.) makes Lyndon B. Johnson look like a saint.

Shame on you for voting for that profit over people and planet TOOL of the Fossil Fuel Fascists.

Here is some recent history that you, due to your blind pro-Trump prejudice, REFUSE to pay any attention to whatsover. It's a simple fact that you cannot handle the truth of the irrefutable damage Trump and his wrecking crew are doing to our environment, never mind our politics.

RE is correct to call you out on your consistent lack of objectivity. Yet, you refuse to acknowledge how you went out of your way to trash Obama, including many derogatory comments aimed squarely at his race.

Yeah, Obama is man I will agree was, and still is, a tool of the oligarchs. Obama's policies were the fascist war-up; Trump is the MAIN EVENT!

You Kind Sir, and your pal RE are the ones who cannot handle the truth.

Palloy has made that point abundantly clear, as has Ashvin. Both your pseudo science and lack of objectivity in all maters has been made abundantly clear. You are merely another hater with your leftist agenda, and god forbid anything or anyone get in it's way, no matter what the accuracy.

I have told you repeatedly that I did note vote for Trump and am a supporter of the Paul family. Yet you continue to pursue your hate, me hate Trump agenda. Lie about my vote as well.

So be it. Continue weeping and moaning and crying about Trump and fossil fuels destroying life on the planet as you drive away to the supermarket in your Camry Anthony, full of hate for others and love of yourself because you are so wonderful and good and planet loving.

I shall continue to laugh and smirk to myself at your absurd lies, falsehoods, and hate filled attacks against people who do not agree with you as well as your lack of knowledge and ability to deal with facts, shown for all to see, who can see, by your banning of Palloy. He does make a complete fool of you with his every objective analysis of your pseudo science postings that are in error, so at least I understand your shame. Ashvin exposed you falsehoods as well.

Remember to Antoine, it was millions upon millions of our fellow citizens that put our President in the White House, not GO.                     Have a pleasant Sunday afternoon Anthony, spring has arrived. GO 


Your post is a blatant Ad hominem attack on my person and a groundless attack on much of the material I have posted on. I have reported it and request that the above post be deleted. Have a nice day.

Proverbs 29 New King James Version (NKJV)
29:1  He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

Agelbert NOTE:  The above is a repost from the Doomstead Diner. I place it here to give readers an idea of how thoroughly propagandized and intractable these Trumpers are. As you can see, the repsonse is as much abuse and vitriol as they can come up with until they finish off with some nauseating swaggering saccharin sarcasm at the end.

They cannot be reasoned with, PERIOD.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2018, 06:24:09 pm »


The Truth About Martin Luther King's Assassination


The last step is to invert the legacies of these once prophets into the polar opposite of who they actually were. The rich kill first, then they own narratives. They do so through propaganda and institutional disinformation. It goes back to money and power, professors pass along lies because they don’t want to lose their jobs, politicians dare not speak against deception if they want to keep their seats and media personalities swallow their tongues or else risk getting blackballed. An implicit agreement is thus arrived at. It is better to pass along lies than to challenge accepted untruths. Those who find the courage to say “the emperor has no clothes on” and speak against the lies of the system are immediately labeled kooks and marginalized. If they speak up too loudly and garner a bit too much of a following, they might end up getting the Lumumba treatment.

There are two ways the legacies of murdered prophets are inverted. One is to lionize them as I noted above and turn them into mythical legends.

Full truth filled article with excellent videos:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2018, 03:14:29 pm »

History in Pictures in Memory of Martin Lutehr King Jr.

Original caption: "Memphis, Tennessee. An unidentified woman has difficulty holding back her tears as she watches the casket of slain civil-rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., put aboard a plane for transport to his home in Atlanta, Georgia." Bettmann / Getty

One of the last pictures to be taken of Martin Luther King Jr., as he spoke to a mass rally in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, saying he would not halt his plans for a massive demonstration scheduled for April 8 in spite of a federal injunction. Bettmann / Getty

People stand near a destroyed and burned-out building on 14th Street and Kenyon Street in northwest Washington on April 6, 1968. Darrell C. Crain / D.C. Public Library Specials Collections / AP

More than 2,000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division were flown into Washington, D.C., on April 6, 1968, to augment the federal and national guard units already on duty in riot-torn sections of the city. # Bettmann / Getty

Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., walks on the arm of Dr. Ralph Abernathy, her husband's successor as head of the Southern Christian Leadership conference, leading about 10,000 people in a memorial march in King's honor. The King children—Yolanda, Martin III, and Dexter—are at left with Harry Belafonte. Reverend Andrew Young marches next to Dr. Abernathy.
Bettmann / Getty

Rows of Pennsylvania national guardsmen march down the street and sidewalks clearing the area in Pittsburgh's Hill District on April 8, 1968. Residents lean from windows watching the show of force. The guardsmen were called out to restore order following three days of arson and looting in the district.

Firemen gather around a fire engine near the intersection of 14th and Irving Streets in Washington, D.C., on April 6, 1968, following rioting after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. # Darrell C. Crain / D.C. Public Library Specials Collections / AP

A soldier and civilians walk near a destroyed newsstand at 14th and Kenyon Streets in northwest Washington, D.C., on April 6, 1968, following rioting after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. # Darrell C. Crain / D.C. Public Library Specials Collections / AP

President Johnson called federal troops into the nation's capital to restore peace after a day of arson, looting, and violence on April 5, 1968. Here, a trooper stands guard in the street as another (left) patrols a completely demolished building. # Bettmann / Getty

When it comes time for Trump to call in Federal Troops to restore order he will probably authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
Hyperbole. President Trump is an American citizen with a family and desires like the rest of us.

Hate or dislike him all you wish, he certainly is a controversial person but he is one of us, a fellow citizen elected our president by fellow citizens who rejected the status quo of career politicians and their never ending lies bull s h i t and lining of their own pockets.

You never said such nice things about Obama-sama.


Isn't is about time you grew up to gang leader??

Right after you drop the Trumpovetsky propaganda.


Golden Oxen,
Your "history in photographs" is, to put it as charitably as I can, rather selective. If you had been objective, you would have shown pictures of Hoover smirking about MLK Jr.'s death. FBI Hoover had him assasinated. THAT is the correct perspective to the history you portray.

No, I do not expect you to respond respectfully. But I wish that, rather than hurl some sarcasm at me or lash out in your typical ad hominem fashion, you would accept this post as constructive criticism.

It really bothers me that you shot yourself in the foot, and probably your family's heart, by voting for an unrepentant enemy of the environment.

We all require a viable biosphere to survive in this valley of tears. I just do not get it, GO. You are smarter than that. Can you hate so much that you are willing to see everyhing you hold dear in this biosphere be increasingly insulted just so Trump remains in power? That does not make any sense at all.

Your Trump 🦍 hero (By the way,how does it feel to see Trump 🐵 depicted the SAME WAY 🦍 you often depicted Obama? My depiction is ACCURATE, unlike yours, because it applies to his polices, not his race.) makes Lyndon B. Johnson look like a saint.

Shame on you for voting for that profit over people and planet TOOL of the Fossil Fuel Fascists.

Here is some recent history that you, due to your blind pro-Trump prejudice, REFUSE to pay any attention to whatsover. It's a simple fact that you cannot handle the truth of the irrefutable damage Trump and his wrecking crew are doing to our environment, never mind our politics.

RE is correct to call you out on your consistent lack of objectivity. Yet, you refuse to acknowledge how you went out of your way to trash Obama, including many derogatory comments aimed squarely at his race.

Yeah, Obama is man I will agree was, and still is, a tool of the oligarchs. Obama's policies were the fascist war-up; Trump is the MAIN EVENT!

As far as policies that  endanger the health and welfare of you and yours, Obama was a piker compared to Trump (see the evidence below).

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 05, 2018, 06:53:43 pm »

"The Alt-Right 👹 Is Killing People," SPLC Report Documents 😠

Thursday, 05 April 2018 06:31


Over the past several months, news about the white nationalist/alt-right, no longer seems to draw the attention of the mainstream media. Nevertheless, as the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Keegan Hankes and Alex Amend pointed out in its recent report titled "The Alt-Right Is Killing People" there have been over 100 people killed or injured by alleged perpetrators influenced by the so-called alt-right.

"[T]here have been at least 13 alt-right related fatal episodes, leaving 43 dead and more than 60 injured," the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported. "Nine of the 12 incidents counted here occurred in 2017 alone, making last year the most violent year for the movement."

Read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:26:26 pm »

March 5, 2018

Clashes Erupt as White Supremacist Richard Spencer Speaks at Michigan State University

The white supremacist Richard Spencer spoke at Michigan State University after defeating a campaign against his appearance. The Rev. David Alexander Bullock 🕊 of Change Agent Consortium​ says that Spencer shouldn't be given a platform to recruit for a violent, racist movement

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 27, 2018, 04:02:55 pm »


Guns and Liberty

Gun ownership in the United States, largely criminalized for poor people of color, is a potent tool of oppression. It does not protect us from tyranny. It is an instrument of tyranny.

By Chris Hedges 


American violence 🦀 has always been primarily vigilante 🐉🦕🦖 violence. It is a product of the colonial militias; the U.S. Army, which carried out campaigns of genocide against Native Americans; slave patrols; hired mercenaries and gunslingers; the Pinkerton and Baldwin-Felts detective agencies; gangs of strikebreakers; the Iron and Coal Police; company militias; the American Legion veterans of World War I who attacked union agitators; the White Citizens’ Council; the White League, the Knights of the White Camellia; and the Ku Klux Klan, which controlled some states. These vigilante groups carried out atrocities, mostly against people of color and radicals, within our borders that later characterized our savage subjugation of the Philippines, interventions in Latin America, the wars in Korea and Vietnam and our current debacles in the Middle East. Gen. Jacob H. Smith summed up American attitudes about wholesale violence in the Philippines when he ordered his troops to turn the island of Samar, defended by Filipino insurgents, into “a howling wilderness.”

Mass culture and most historians do not acknowledge the patterns of violence that have played out over and over since the founding of the nation. This historical amnesia blinds us to the endemic violence that defines our culture and is encoded in our national myth. As historian Richard Slotkin writes in “Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier 1600-1860,” the first of his three magisterial works on violence in American society, our Jacksonian form of democracy was defined by “the western man-on-the-make, the speculator, and the wildcat banker; [in a time] when racist irrationalism and a falsely conceived economics prolonged and intensified slavery in the teeth of American democratic idealism; and when men like Davy Crockett became national heroes by defining national aspirations in terms of so many bears destroyed, so much land preempted, so many trees hacked down, so many Indians and Mexicans dead in the dust.”


The Second Amendment, as Dunbar-Ortiz 🕊 makes clear in her book, was never about protecting individual freedom. It was about codifying white vigilante violence into law  .

“The elephant in the room in these debates has long been what the armed militias of the Second Amendment were to be used for,” Dunbar-Ortiz writes. “The kind of militias and gun rights of the Second Amendment had long existed in the colonies and were expected to continue fulfilling two primary roles in the United States: destroying Native communities in the armed march to possess the continent, and brutally subjugating the enslaved African population. …”

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 21, 2018, 05:44:29 pm »

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 06:05

Guns Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg When It Comes to US 🦍 Violence



The cliché for television news is true: "If it bleeds, it leads." That phrase says a lot about our nation's grim fascination with carnage.

Perhaps it is understandable when you consider the premise of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment. As she establishes in an interview with Truthout, the Second Amendment represents a United States 🐉🦕🦖🦀 built on stolen land and chattel slavery. The means of enforcing these goals, in relation to Indigenous people, were largely through the use of militias armed with guns and the government military:

I would call "massacres and oppression of Indigenous Americans" a government policy of genocide, total war, total ethnic cleansing. The citizens' militias [were] one aspect of that policy; the other was the formal US Army and Marine Corps, which spent the first century of US independence carrying out this project. The role of settler-colonial landowners as voluntary militias in initiating massacres to drive Native communities out and seize their land was acted out as "individual rights ".

As for Black chattel slavery, Dunbar-Ortiz asserts:

By the mid-1700s, the plantation agricultural system was agribusiness and made up the primary source of wealth in the new republic. There was no debate about including the individual right to bear arms and form militias in inscribing the Second Amendment among the first 10 amendments to the constitution, as these features already existed in the colonies. Colonial citizens' militias already existed, and by time of independence, the slave-owning colonial militias had been transformed into slave patrols.

In short, many of those who worship guns do so as a legacy of how firearms were used to enact violence on two oppressed groups essential to the growth of the United States. Guns were and are a representation of a nation built upon the violence of white supremacy, as land was bloodily seized from Indigenous people, and as enslaved people were kept in bondage by militias with guns.

Full article:


Learn about NRA Hypocrisy and also the REAL HISTORY of How and Why the Second Amendment was Added to the Constitution

Feb. 20, 2018 3:30 pm

By Thom Hartmann

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 01, 2018, 05:01:53 pm »

The Reality Oprah Helped Us Create: Disempowering People From Changing an Unjust Society
Thursday, February 01, 2018

By Alison Rose Levy, Truthout | Op-Ed


Despite being an important role model for women in general and women of color, it's ironic that far from modeling effective ways to protect democracy, for years prior to the current rise of the #MeToo movement, Winfrey encouraged her audience to ignore mounting inequity, and instead to buy into the three most famous self-help truisms, promoted by her and many of her guests:

1. "You create your own reality."

2. "You can't change anything outside of yourself."

3. "The only thing you can control is your response to it."

Winfrey was certainly not alone in promoting these beliefs. Jane Roberts, Wayne Dyer, Rhonda Byrne, who authored The Secret , and Tony Robbins were other proponents. In the US, many middle-class women have internalized these beliefs -- without ever questioning whom the beliefs serve, where they come from or whether they bear re-examination given our current political situation.

Rather than modeling how to get out the vote or keep fossil fuels in the ground, Winfrey, et al. encouraged people to focus on intentions for success, love, confidence and weight loss. Once women adopted the belief that we could never hope to change outer reality, then protecting democracy was deemed outside of our control and unworthy of our attention.

Instead, these beliefs urge civic disengagement -- retreat, withdrawal and work on oneself, along with individual entrepreneurship. In a feature story in O Magazine, cited in the book, Age of Oprah: Cultural Icon for the Neoliberal Era, Winfrey told students that, "you cannot blame apartheid, your parents, your circumstances, you are not your circumstances."

Obviously, blame on its own is not that helpful. But teaching people to regard all outer life circumstances as insubstantial discounts socio-economic factors 🦀 🐉🦕 🦖 and replaces them with individualistic bootstrap philosophies . When self-help author Tony Robbins declares that, "People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they're doing something differently than everyone else ," he omits education, economic opportunity, health status, debt burden, family responsibilities, social connections, gender, race, and yes, even voting rights, as contributors to (or detractors from) an individual's access to "success." Look into the self-help literature , as I have been doing for a book I am writing, and you will never find these factors acknowledged.

As psychologist James Hillman posited in his book, We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy -- And the World is Getting Worse, psychologically based beliefs that emphasize individualism over the societal and the environmental directly contribute to social devolution. His book, which shocked many when it was first published nearly 25 years ago, seems more prescient and accurate today.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 28, 2018, 05:11:31 pm »

After New Trump 🦀 Demand for $25 Billion Wall, Lawmaker Fires Back

Sunday, January 28, 2018

By Jon Queally, Common Dreams | Report


Following an immigration deal 🦖  put forth by the Trump administration 🦀 late Thursday -- one which demands $25 billion for a wall and another $5 billion for increased militarization of the border -- progressives said the proposal was "dead on arrival," nothing but a "racist ransom note," and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) suggested it would be "far cheaper to erect a 50-foot concrete statue of a middle finger and point it towards Latin America."

Full truth filled article:


Agelbert NOTE: Trump's 🦀 message to Latin America (see below):


God's message to Trump AND ALL those who support him:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 24, 2018, 07:32:23 pm »

January 24, 2018
Gerald Horne 🕊 on Trump's 🦀 Racist 🦖, Nativist 1st Year
University of Houston professor and eminent historian Gerald Horne joins us to discuss Donald Trump's first year in office, which has been defined by the same racism and nativism that launched Trump's political career


Dr. Gerald Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. His research has addressed issues of racism in a variety of relations involving labor, politics, civil rights, international relations and war. Dr. Horne has also written extensively about the film industry. His latest book is The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Dr. Horne received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. from Princeton University.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 24, 2018, 07:11:56 pm »

January 24, 2018
Gerald Horne 🕊 on Trump's 🦀 Racist 🦖, Nativist 1st Year
University of Houston professor and eminent historian Gerald Horne joins us to discuss Donald Trump's first year in office, which has been defined by the same racism and nativism that launched Trump's political career

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 23, 2018, 06:06:42 pm »


Trump's America Raises the Ghost of Dred Scott


To understand the historical roots and ideological underpinnings of Trump’s white supremacist beliefs, Taney’s opinion in the Dred Scott case is a good place to start. Contrary to what most of us are taught in high school civics classes, the case is by no means a relic of the past pertinent only to the institution of slavery. It is also a conduit to the bigotry of the present.

As law professors Jack Balkin of Yale University and Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas wrote in a 2007 article for the Chicago-Kent Law Review, the Dred Scott case remains “relevant to almost every important question of contemporary constitutional theory.” In particular, Balkin and Levinson argue, “The twin questions that Dred Scott posed and answered in 1857—who is an American and to whom does America truly belong—are still with us today.” Trump’s “Make America Great Again” and “America First” slogans and his white-nationalist agenda are the latest iterations of the perennial debate.


Although Taney’s opinion dealt with slavery, its reasoning is far broader, and directly applicable to the policies and rhetoric of President Trump because of the linkages it draws among race, status, citizenship and community. Echoes of these linkages, as Balkin and Levinson argue, “are still with us whenever we assume that one race is more centrally ‘American’ than others and more clearly and obviously a part of the American people and the American political community.”

For Taney and also, unfortunately, for Trump, America was and remains principally a white nation descended from European immigrants. Substitute “illegal aliens” or DACA “Dreamers” or prospective immigrants from “shithole” countries for the “Negroes” reviled by Taney and you have today’s “others”—the perpetual and dangerous outsiders stigmatized by Trump and his enablers, who should never be admitted to the country or welcomed and embraced as citizens.

full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 22, 2018, 10:26:39 pm »

🌩 The Power of Fear 🌪

The United States imprisons more people than any other nation, including China and Russia. Over 2.3 million adults are currently in American prisons and jails. Locking up more and more people for longer and longer doesn’t make us safer, yet still the incarceration rate has shot up 500% over the past four decades.

We explore the scope and source of mass incarceration in, Sentencing Reform: Part I – The Power of Fear. It's the first in a forthcoming series that will highlight the symptoms and ultimate solutions to the ongoing mass incarceration epidemic.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 21, 2018, 07:07:31 pm »

Haitians gather outside the US embassy in Port-au-Prince to protest against reported comments made by Donald Trump against the countries of the Caribbean and Africa

For most immigrants in the United States, the year that has passed since President Donald Trump's inauguration has been one in which their new country has become an increasingly frightening place to live.

Those of us who are visible as an "other" - having black or brown skin, bearing names that show we are Muslim or Hispanic, wearing clothing that mark us as somehow "different" - are repetitively evoked (in both veiled and vulgar language) in the president's public speeches, private policy meetings, and barrages of tweets.

Trump tweeted earlier this month that he plans to make immigration more "merit-based" to attract "highly skilled" workers and followed these plans up by calling potential and existing immigrants from Haiti and all of Africa, in particular, people from "shithole countries" during a policy meeting.

Part of why Americans are susceptible to this violent, xenophobic, and nativist rhetoric is not because they are exceptionally thick, but because of how the national mythology of the US  - one constructed on Puritan ideals of egalitarianism, "hard work" and perseverance against adversity - is constructed.

Americans are told, since childhood, that hard work and perseverance not only build character, but allow them to overcome obstacles, and achieve their goals and dreams. Because this powerful myth is repetitively drummed into their heads - be it through apocryphal narratives of kids who came from impoverished backgrounds who went on to become multimillion-dollar earning athletes, or women who beat the odds and attained positions of leadership in fields dominated by men - they learn to believe that their country is a meritocracy.

These experiences of failure and not-making-it are true, unexceptional, and the norm; yet, they are unincorporated into America's popular narrative.

Anyone who has gone thorough the immigration process here knows that US immigration is not only class-based, but underhandedly racist, too: after all, Trump himself remarked, in that same infamous policy meeting, that immigrants from Asia should be favoured over those from Haiti and Africa.

So it baffles me why legislators and pundits are suddenly calling on immigration reforms to reflect the desire for skilled workers, when it is clear, from even a cursory glance at H1B and Greencard application documents, that it is already so.

As an immigrant who was born in a small island in South Asia (Sri Lanka) and grew up in a Southern African country (Zambia), and who now lives and teaches in the US, I make a point of incorporating my own narrative of immigration - the cost, the paperwork, the lawyers' fees, the networks of fellow immigrants who helped me, and the (often difficult to identify) factors and existing privileges in my personal history that allowed me to be a "successful" immigrant - into how I teach my global literature classes.

"It's about money and existing privilege," I laugh. "America sure didn't want any tired and poor immigrants." Most of my American students are surprised - unless they, too, have come from recent-immigrant families.

We all know this to be true, if we are recent immigrants to the US. But we become defensive against racism, and prefer to align ourselves with American rhetoric of being exceptional. And because US immigration policy already selects immigrants who come from privileged social class, caste, and educational backgrounds, this group is used to being seen as elite; certainly, these immigrants do not want to align themselves with workers in the service industries or the undocumented.

I was dismayed, but not surprised, therefore, by the defensive rhetoric used by my fellow immigrants when "Shithole-gate" hit the national and international fans. On Twitter and Facebook, immigrants brought out the weaponry of respectability to prove that racists were wrong about them. Since Haiti and Africa were on the "shithole" list this time, they listed the exceptional African and Haitian immigrants who invented amazing things and discovered incredible surgical techniques that no doubt saved the lives of countless American racists who hated immigrants.

Others touted how so few immigrants, statistically, are involved in any crimes. Articles, like this one in the LA Times, rushed to assure frightened Americans that while many are refugees, and "beneficiaries of the 'diversity visa programme' aimed at boosting immigration from underrepresented nations…African immigrants are better educated than people born in the US or the immigrant population as a whole".

The African Studies Association's Board of Directors released the following statement:

"[In the] US Census Bureau report, Africans account for only 4 percent of the total foreign-born population in the United States, but the educational attainment of that 4 percent far exceeds the average of all of those born outside of the US. Indeed, 41 percent of African residents in the US hold bachelor's degrees or higher. Nigerians, who have been singled out by the president on previous occasions, are among the most educated group in the US, with some 61 percent holding bachelor's degrees and 17 percent masters degrees."

All this is true. But this rhetoric only serves to boost the myth of merit, and further the erroneous belief that only the "deserving" and exceptional - who are mostly exceptional because of existing class, family, political, and educational privileges - should be in the US.

As critic Steven Salaita explained in a Facebook post, cases like that of 57-year-old Palestinian-American business owner, Amer Othman Adi - who has been unjustly held by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is currently on hunger strike, "gives lie to the conservative (and often liberal) narrative that 'good' immigrants are welcome … By all accounts, including those of a mayor, a business community, and a congressman, Adi was the ideal arrivant. So, even by the insidious standards of model minority discourse (fuelled by anti-Black racism and Native dispossession), Adi isn't worthy of freedom and dignity. What is left to conclude? That people from certain countries - shitholes - are never acceptable no matter how much they conform to the state's chauvinistic mythologies."

    It is time that Asian immigrants in particular ... also stop imagining themselves as more special and deserving than US minorities of non-recent immigrant backgrounds.     

In my university classes, I make sure that I stress that all but the most privileged had to almost bend God's will to be here, and stay here. I make sure that I include immigrants who are both documented and undocumented in this narrative.

We are nearly all exceptional in many ways, but not because we have class privilege and exceptional jobs - but because of the inventiveness of our hustle, the "I can't go on/I'll go on" ideology, evocative of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett's beautiful, painful writing.

We internalise that struggle, steel, and vulnerability in the face of immigration officials at airports, border checkpoints, local immigration offices, and the everyday racism we encounter. When I read French existentialists, I actually laugh: if they actually wanted to know what it is like to face insurmountable obstacles, they should have first spoken to a black or brown immigrant in the US (or France) first.

It is true that many of the first friends I made in the US were in college because they did have something exceptional about them that parents and teachers recognised; a slew of people - school administrators, guidance counsellors, a friend in the neighbourhood who had an aunt who went to college - helped get them into university by helping them fill out paperwork, write entrance essays, and generally navigate the difficult US tertiary education system and immigrate into the lower rungs of the US middle class.

But I also pose this question: what happens if you are exceptional, but a queue of terrible and overworked educators dismiss or simply do not see your ability? What happens if you are not exceptional, but simply ordinary, and poor, and immigrant?

While the ordinary middle and upper-middle class kid will often have parents and educators advocating for them - protecting the young person from learning difficult lessons even at the cost of their character and skills development - the poor and the immigrant in the US rarely have the benefits of that invisible, protective shield. These experiences of failure and not-making-it are true, unexceptional, and the norm; yet, they are unincorporated into the US's popular narrative.

Those who have gone through this expensive and Faustian processes of an H1-B application, Permanent Residency or "Greencard" process, and eventually, US citizenship, know how ludicrously and nakedly class-based, racist, and violent it is towards immigrants. It is especially so for women of colour.

This system clearly favours those with existing economic, class, gender, and privileges that pipeline them into college educations. Those of us from urban centres, rather than rural areas, from nations with thriving education systems, from families with existing wealth and political power, and those from ethnic groups that are in ascendancy get ahead.

US visas and immigration processes favour those with money in hand, to pay for those exorbitant application fees, a requirement at every step of the immigration and naturalisation process. Yet, if I suggest that the US is not a meritocracy, my students react in disbelief, and many sweetly try to convince me otherwise, using the examples of the miraculous achievements of the authors we read in class.

When I point out that the problem with a meritocracy is that only those who are truly exceptional - like the authors we read - who will "make it" out of dire circumstances, there is silence. When I point out that none of us would have a chance, should we have been born in more dire circumstances, since no one in class (including me) is truly as exceptional as any of the authors we read, there is more silence.

These are some of the few moments in which I have felt that I have communicated something of importance about how structures in the US work - creating at least some doubt about powerful and pervasive mythologies that serve only to blame those who cannot claw their way out of circumstances meant to make them fail.

The truth is, anyone who plots, schemes, saves, and works to the point of exhaustion - sometimes only with the hope that the next or even the third generation will benefit - in an economically and politically powerful nation like the US has to be exceptional, in some way.

It is obvious that (white) Americans need to be disabused of the notion that the US's white population is special, and deserving, somehow, of privilege; it is time to get over the belief that they only received their privileges from having worked for it.

But just as importantly, those immigrants of more privileged backgrounds - those who are currently touting the percentage of people from their national group who have college and post-graduate degrees, as if waving these statistics and their material possessions are ways of proving that they are not, in fact, deserving of Trump's racism - also need an antidote for their misplaced smugness.

It is time that Asian immigrants in particular - who benefit from the Civil Rights Movement and the efforts of African Americans towards changing and challenging racist immigration laws that excluded Asians, and who have, as a group, been favoured since American immigration began moving towards a merit-based system - also stop imagining themselves as more special and deserving than US minorities of non-recent immigrant backgrounds.

Our class snobbery, carried over from our old countries, and defensive superiority, developed against the racism of our new country, has only aided white supremacists who couldn't care less about how exceptional we are.


The drivers of xenophobia and racism are more perceptions than reality. Mistaken assumptions,like:

There would be plenty of good-paying jobs for all native born Americans who managed to get a high school diploma if it just weren't for all the illegals. Wrong.

Native born Americans could get health insurance if the government wasn't giving it away free to illegal aliens. Wrong.

Spanish speaking children should just figure out how to speak English instead of us spending millions on bilingual education. Wrong.

But every misapprehension has a grain of truth. For many years, some illegals from Mexico and Central America and pretty much all of their American born offspring did get free Medicaid. I know that's true, because the government paid me to provide the care. I saw it. No illegals now, but still plenty of second and third and fourth generations manage to be poor enough to qualify. There are definitely ways to game the system.  I have people arriving for their kid's free dental treatment in Hummers and  brand spanking new pick-up trucks. Not all of them, but enough to know something is fishy.

And....there is a fairly large contingent of Spanish speaking adults in this country who were born here who still can't (or just won't)speak English, which is an unfortunate unintended consequence of bilingual education. I deal with these people very day too.

As for jobs, technology is an equal opportunity job destroyer. All low skill, low education jobs suck, pretty much. And high skilled jobs are something for skilled Americans to fight over with smart, educated H1-B immigrants. It is the corporations who want the H1-B workers. They cost less. Why blame the immigrants...but they're convenient.

There is a definite drain on social services when large numbers of very poor, uneducated refugees are allowed to immigrate into 1st world countries, either legally or illegally. Anybody who can't see that is willfully blind.

And, when such people accumulate to form ethnic enclaves in ghettos, and their children can't get jobs, it leads to crimes of various kinds, against property and against innocent people, and it leads to social unrest.

We have shithole places in the world now. I don't blame anybody for wanting to get out of Syria or sub-Saharan Africa, or even El Salvador. All those shitholes were made into sh itholes by the colonial system of disenfranchisement, corporate take-over of assets, and resource stripping. Now they're getting worse because of climate change and extreme population overshoot.

These problems appear intractable to me. The sh it is literally hitting the fan. No one is going to fix these problems. We could certainly be doing a better, more fair job of taking care of those who need help. But solve the underlying problems? Nah.

Prepare for impact.


“There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility.”

― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:06:27 pm »

15 Reasons African Countries Aren't 'Shitholes'

The African continent boasts several of the world's fastest growing economies.

By Zoe Kelland

 JAN. 12, 2018

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump reportedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and several African countries as “shithole” countries in a meeting with politicians, the Washington Post reported.

The president had been discussing immigration policy with the lawmakers and suggested that the US focus on bringing in people from countries like Norway over those from African countries.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly said, comments which the UN condemned as racist on Friday.

This is not the first time the president has allegedly made such comments. In a meeting with cabinet members and administration aides last year, Trump reportedly advocated against more open immigration policies, saying that all Haitians have AIDS and that people from Nigeria would refuse to go back to their “huts” if allowed into the US, according to the New York Times.

But the idea that the entire continent of Africa is a disease-ridden land of “huts” is a myth, and a dangerous one at that.

Here are 15 other debunked myths about African countries.

1. Africa is poor, and always will be.
DJ Paco (Papis), a DJ and rap artist from Mauritania. Photo by Philippe Sibelly, The Other Africa.

Yes, 47% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $1.25 a day, and this is a scandal. However, this number is falling, and things are getting better. One in three Africans are defined as ‘middle class’, and whilst many Western economies are in crisis, Africa’s economy continues to grow. Did you know that 6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are African?

2. Africa is all savannah and wild animals.
Image credit: BBC

In 2014, Delta airline, a major US carrier, made a huge mistake on social media. Whilst congratulating the US World Cup team on a victory over Ghana, they used a photo of a giraffe to represent the African nation. Unfortunately for Delta there are in fact no wild giraffes in Ghana, and the Twitter community was quick to alert them to this.

Oh dear, @delta. There isn't even a single wild giraffes in Ghana. pic.twitter.com/oDsA1mA2RJ

— Messi Minutes (@MessiMinutes) June 17, 2014
That Delta giraffe pic is from Getty Images and it's from the Masai Mara National Reserve. In KENYA http://t.co/XV9t8Ig8mk via @YAppelbaum

— Solange U (@dcGisenyi) June 17, 2014
If you're gonna talk about something at least take 10 seconds to study it a little. @Delta Africa is not a big bush full of wild Animals.

— InnÖcent ÖkÖye (@CentyClaus) June 17, 2014
This is the boolsheet us Africans gotta deal with. There are no giraffes in Ghana, you narrow-minded nincompoops! @Delta FAIL!

— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) June 17, 2014

Slammed by accusations of racism and stereotyping, Delta have since apologised for the image used. However, this highlights how widely such stereotypes are still accepted and perpetuated in Western media. Yes, there are a whole host of exciting wild animals, and gorgeous savannahs, in some regions of Africa. However, there are also huge cities, rolling beaches, historic ancient monuments and more. One region of Africa is not identical to another, and we shouldn’t stereotype a whole continent in this way.

3. It’s hot, dry and sunny all the time
Photo credit: Kyle Taylor (Flickr)

Band Aid may be a classic festive hit, but next time you find yourself singing ‘there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time’ remember that Africa is a diverse continent with a huge variety of landscapes and temperatures. Take a look, for example, at this stunning snowy landscape on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania!

4. Africans have no access to modern technology.

Technology in Africa is actually an incredibly fast growing market, with many global technology giants making big investments in the continent. Did you know that people in Kenya are 4 times more likely to own a mobile phone than to have access to a toilet or latrine? As of 2013, 80% of African people had access to a mobile.

Mobile technology is also being used in very innovative and exciting ways to help end extreme poverty across Africa. Check out this story of mobile insurance creating financial stability for people in Ghana!

5. In order to develop, Africa should become like the West
Tana River, in Kenya, is one source of the country’s hydroelectric power. Image credit: Bedford Biofuels

There are so many arguments against this presumption. Let me focus on one - many African countries are far ahead of Western countries in terms of sustainable energy use. Both the UK and the US source only 11% of their energy from renewable sources, less than Kenya sources from geothermal activities alone (13% of Kenya’s energy consumption). Meanwhile, a staggering 50% of Kenya’s energy comes from hydroelectricity. In terms of long-term sustainability, shouldn’t we be looking to Kenya for some answers?

6. There’s no arts industry in Africa
Nigerian actress Taiwo Ajayi-Lycette gets makeup applied before performing a scene. Photo by Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Every year, more films are made in Nigeria’s Nollywood than in the US’s Hollywood. FACT.

7. Africans do nothing to help themselves
Dr. Hawa Abdi and her daughters. Together they have helped over 90,000 women & children in Somalia. Photo from the Dr Hawa Abdi Foundation.

The stereotype of African people as helpless and dependent on Western help is one that has been built by decades of well meaning but arguably dangerous charity advertisements in the West. Bombarded by images of sad, dirty children with eyes that call you to urgently donate money, it’s no surprise that this is a common belief. The debate around how development charities should advertise is a complex one, but these photos often ignore the fact that African people can and do help themselves.

In 2010, Africans who lived outside the continent sent $51.8 billion back to Africa. Meanwhile, $43 billion was sent in aid from Western countries, known as Official Development Assistance (ODA). Yes, you read that right - African people who now live outside the continent send more money back to their families than the whole Western world sends in aid.

There are also countless examples of grassroot projects established by African people, for African people. One is Hawa Abdi, an incredible Somalian woman who established a health clinic in the 1980s. It’s now grown to encompass a school, refugee camp and hospital for over 90,000 women and children made homeless in the war. Incredible, huh?

8. ‘African’ is a language (and African people don’t speak English)
A student at Cambridge University challenges African stereotypes. Photo from Tumblr (We Too Are Cambridge)

There are over 2000 languages spoken across the African continent, and ‘African’ is not one of them. This is the equivalent of presuming that people who live in Europe speak ‘European’. English is also an official language in 24 African nations and taught to a high level in schools across the continent.

9. Africa’s not that big
This is the real size of Africa. Pretty big, right?

10. African men always carry machine guns

This brilliant video by Mama Hope is made by African men, dispelling myths about themselves. Pretty cool, huh?

11. Everyone in Africa has AIDS

At the end of 2013, Justine Sacco, a PR director from InterActiveCorp, posted this tweet just before boarding a flight to South Africa. Understandably, the world’s reaction escalated quickly from disbelief...

Yes, but you're also clearly stupid. “@JustineSacco: Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!”

— Whydya Tweetthat (@TwitOvershare) December 20, 2013
...to strong accusations of racism.

Oh. Hell. No. Did this Justine Sacco person just say that? Did she really fix her keyboard to type that mess? Whyyyyyyyy? You racist bit ch!

— Amish Donut (@Lilikins8) December 21, 2013

After a worldwide twitter storm hit Justine, she did apologise for her remark. However, this appallingly insensitive tweet represents a terrible stereotype that is all too common. Not everybody in Africa is sick. Furthermore, we should treat those who do suffer from HIV, or any other illness, the way we would want to be treated - with dignity and respect.

12. All governance in Africa is bad.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaking at the opening of Libera’s first tuition-free girls’ school, the More Than Me Academy. Photo from More Than Me.

Let me dispel this myth with an example of one leader who is making incredible progress for her country. The current President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is an inspirational woman who is leading Liberia out of the devastating damage caused by civil war, and kicking ass at it. President Sirleaf was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights”, and listed by Time as one of the top 10 female leaders in the world.

13. Everyone in Africa lives in a mud house in the middle of nowhere.
Embed from Getty Images

Where would you guess this city is? The US? Europe? Asia? Nope - this is Lagos, in Nigeria, and it has a population of 21 million - more than double that of urban London! In 2008, 39% of the African population lived in urban areas, and this is rapidly increasing.

14. There’s no partying in Africa

Before I first visited the continent, I never thought about Africa having parties, bars or clubs. I presumed they just didn’t exist, but boy was I wrong! Having spent nine years of my life working with  Nakuru Children's Project in Kenya, let me tell you that most of my Kenyan friends know how to party hard. And by partying I don’t just mean pubs and clubs - I mean finding a reason to sing, dance and celebrate at any time of day!

15. It’s all doom and gloom

This satirical meme reminds us of the common humanity that we all share, no matter where we’re born. Every 60 seconds bad things happen all over the world, not just in Africa. But an awful lot of good things happen too!

Above article with graphics at link below:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 15, 2018, 01:52:44 pm »

Donald Trump’s Racism:
The Definitive List


JAN. 15, 2018


Donald Trump has been obsessed with race for the entire time he has been a public figure. He had a history of making racist comments as a New York real-estate developer in the 1970s and ‘80s. More recently, his political rise was built on promulgating the lie that the nation’s first black president was born in Kenya. He then launched his campaign with a speech describing Mexicans as rapists.

The media often falls back on euphemisms when describing Trump’s comments about race: racially loaded, racially charged, racially tinged, racially sensitive. And Trump himself has claimed that he is “the least racist person.” But here’s the truth: Donald Trump is a racist. He talks about and treats people differently based on their race. He has done so for years, and he is still doing so.

Here, we have attempted to compile a definitive list of his racist comments – or at least the publicly known ones.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 14, 2018, 05:22:58 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 14, 2018, 03:24:27 pm »

The artists are going to do in Trumpofsky.   



POLITICS 01/13/2018 11:33 pm ET Updated 1 hour ago
Projector Lights Up Trump’s D.C. Hotel With ‘Shithole’ And Poop Emojis
The Trump International Hotel’s new makeover was inspired by Donald Trump’s recent immigration meeting.
By Carla Herreria
Periscope/Bells Visuals

If you took a look at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Saturday night, you might think it was a real shithole.

An artist with a video projector gave the Trump family’s D.C. hotel a makeover using President Donald Trump’s very own and very racist words.

“This place is a shithole” was projected onto the front steps of the hotel, in an apparent nod to reports that Trump called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries.”

The projection also displayed the word “shithole” and a stream of poop smiley-face emojis (💩).

As seen in a Periscope livestream, a longer message mocked Trump and his supporters and called for others to stand against white supremacy.

“This is not normal,” a segment of the display read, along with messages to “stay vigilant” and “#resist.”

“The president distracts us from politics that are harming us,” the projection read later in the video.

The display was the work of artist Robin Bell, the founder of video projection company Bell Visuals.

Bell has made news headlines in the past for projecting various messages on buildings with political ties. In May, Bell projected on the same D.C. hotel “emoluments welcome” and “pay Trump bribes here.” (Both of those messages also appear in the most recent projection.) That same month, Bell projected “#SessionsMustGo” and “I thought the KKK was OK until I learned that they smoked pot” on the Department of Justice building, in reference to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Trump incited outrage this week over his reported remark, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” ― which he asked after lawmakers suggested granting visas to individuals from Haiti, El Salvador and multiple African nations during a meeting about immigration reform.

Democrats and some Republican lawmakers criticized the president’s choice of words and called for him to apologize.

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement that Trump’s alleged remarks were another “confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views.”

“It also reinforces the concerns that we hear every day, that the President’s slogan Make America Great Again is really code for Make America White Again,” Richmond added.

The United Nations human rights office rejected the president’s remark, which they labeled as “racist.”

“There is no other word one can use but ‘racist,’” U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said, according to Reuters. “You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’ whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 13, 2018, 04:14:51 pm »



Wednesday January 10, 2018

Where does forced labor come from? What are the root causes? Often this is traced back to two explanations: poverty and globalization, but how exactly do they perpetuate “endemic labor exploitation” in global supply chains?

This week Beyond Trafficking and Slavery, part of Open Democracy, launched a 12-part report that breaks down the root causes of forced labor and what we can do about them. The report aims to “provide policymakers, journalists, scholars and activists with a road map for understanding the political economy of forced labour in today’s “global value chain (GVC) world.”

This report is organised around a metaphor – the classical economic metaphor of ‘supply and demand’. Within mainstream economic theory, the price of any particular good is not determined by the individuals who buy and sell it. Instead, the price results from a system-wide balance between how much of it is available in the world (supply), how many people want it, and how badly (demand). The price goes up as supply decreases or as demand increases, and down if the opposite applies.

This is a useful way of thinking about forced labour. Rather than a simple consequence of greed or the moral shortcomings of individuals , forced labour in global supply chains is a structural phenomenon that results when predictable, system-wide dynamics intersect to create a supply of highly exploitable workers and a business demand for their labour.

On the “supply side,” researchers identify four key factors that contribute to vulnerability among workers: Poverty, Identity and Discrimination, Limited Labor Protections, and Restrictive Mobility Regimes. On the “demand side,” or factors that “create pressure within the market for highly exploitable forms of labor,are Concentrated Corporate Power and Ownership , Outsourcing , Irresponsible Sourcing Practices , and Governance Gaps  .

The research is grounded in several academic disciplines and draws on industry-specific cases, ethnographic investigations, and statistical studies from around the world. In sum, they paint a picture of how the global capitalist economy produces an “unjust status quo” and point out what is and what is not working to fix it.

To read the entire article, click here https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/genevieve-lebaron-neil-howard-cameron-thibos-penelope-kyritsis/confronting-root-causes

Agelbert NOTE: Okay, foced labor may not be the simple consequence of greed or the moral shortcomings of individuals, but that does NOT rule out the FACT, especially if we are going to address ROOT causes, not a causal chain of downstream effects (see: moral hazard), that ALL abuse of humans for profit is the somewhat complicated consequence of greed and the moral shortcomings of individuals.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2018, 08:33:10 pm »

Paul Krugman: Republicans Simply Want to Hurt People

"Making lower-income Americans worse off has become a goal in itself for the modern GOP."
By Jacob Sugarman / AlterNet

January 12, 2018, 6:52 AM GMT


In his Friday column, he examines three policy positions that seem to confirm sadism has become part of the Republican platform. The first is the party's refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which should have been a "no-brainer" for every state. But eight years after the legislation's passage, 18 have refused, "all of them with Republican-controlled legislatures, governors or both."

"For a while you could argue that it was about cynical political strategy: Medicaid expansion was a policy of Barack Obama, and Republicans didn’t want to give a Democratic president any policy successes," he writes. "But that story can’t explain states’ continuing resistance to the idea of providing health coverage to thousands of their own citizens at minimal cost. No, at this point it’s clear that G.O.P. politicians simply don’t want lower-income families to have access to health care and are actually willing to hurt their own states’ economies to deny them that access."

Then there's the Republican cry to impose aforementioned work requirements on Medicaid recipients, which has only grown more shrill since Trump assumed office. As Krugman explains, 10 of the states exploring such measures have accepted Medicaid expansions, so they gain nothing by booting people off their rolls. Ultimately, their motivations are as simple as they are vicious.

"It’s about stigmatizing those who receive government aid, forcing them to jump through hoops to prove their neediness," he notes. "Again, the pain is the point." 

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2018, 02:58:24 pm »


January 12, 2018

A Racist in the Oval Office

By John Cassidy 8:42 A.M.


After his comment about “shithole countries,” the arguments for being reticent about applying the R-word to President Trump seem absurd.Photograph by Mark Peterson / Redux

Donald Trump grew up in a wealthy white enclave in Queens, and he first came to public attention in 1973, when the Justice Department sued his father’s real-estate company for refusing to rent apartments to people “because of race and color.” (Trump strongly denied the charges, which eventually led to a consent decree.) In the nineteen-eighties, when Trump owned casinos in Atlantic City, some of his managers got the strong impression that he didn’t like black employees. In a 2015 story about the faded resort town, my colleague Nick Paumgarten quoted a former busboy at the Trump Castle, who said, “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor.”

In a 1991 book about his experiences running Trump Plaza, in Atlantic City, “Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall,” John R. O’Donnell, a veteran casino executive, recalled a conversation that he had with his boss about an employee in the Plaza’s finance department who happened to be African-American. I cited the passage last fall, after Trump attacked Myeshia Johnson, the widow of a black soldier in the U.S. Special Forces who was killed in Niger, but it is worth reproducing it now. (The quote below begins with Trump speaking about the black employee. The “I” at the start of the second paragraph is O’Donnell.)

“Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fu ck he’s doing. My accountants in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And it isn’t funny. I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.”

I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. But Donald went on, “Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is. I believe that. It’s not anything they can control. . . . Don’t you agree?” He looked at me straight in the eye and waited for my reply.

“Donald, you really shouldn’t say things like that to me or anybody else,” I said. “That is not the kind of image you want to project. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation, even if it’s the way you feel.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” he said. “If anybody ever heard me say that . . . holy sh it . . . I’d be in a lot of trouble. But I have to tell you, that’s the way I feel.”

Is there any doubt that Trump still holds these kinds of views? Even before his latest racial slur—it was reported on Thursday that he referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and certain nations in Africa as “shithole countries” during a meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office—the answer was clear. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump described Mexican immigrants as “in many cases criminals, rapists, drug dealers, etc.”; questioned the fitness of a U.S.-born federal judge by referring to him as “Mexican”; mocked the mother of a Pakistani-American war hero; and, for a time, refused to condemn David Duke, the former Klansman.

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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2018, 02:16:26 pm »

Re: Home of the Brave, Land of the Free™

This classist/fascist/racist grotesque behavior is not limited to any area or city in the United Fascist States of Trump, otherwise known as the Fourth Reich. Of course all the elements of this empathy deficit modus vivendi were present long before Trump, who is merely the true face of mostly bigoted ugly America.

All my life I have been subjected to micro-aggressions by racists. The only reason they have not become dangerous enough to get me hit with trumped up charges against me for the purpose of getting me thrown in jail is because I think ahead and have NEVER bought the BULLSHIT espoused by certain closet bigots here that when you get in trouble, it's your own fault. Yeah, if you are white enough, that's true to a certain extent. But if you aren't, the odds are ALWAYS stacked against you. I have seen white people in Vermont yelling and bad mouthing a police officer at the top of their lungs, with no negative repercussions. In fact, often the cop simply tries to get the person to calm down. The exact reverse is true for minorites. If you begin to argue, they get really hard faced and begin interrupting you and cutting your words off. White people just do not WANT to understand how privileged they are in the Fourth Reich.

Are whites being "astute" in playing the game of feigning innocence? Maybe. Are they secretly glad that continuous emotional harm is visited on minorities so whites can get a leg up on brownie and blackie (while pretending they just want a "fair shake")? Of course.

All this is as old as human nature. But, that does not make it right. For those white bigots here who yawn and said, "Tough luck, pal, that's life.", I wish to remind you that your turn in the barrel is coming. It may not manifest itself as racism, but it will definitly manifest itself as classism. How so? Police States have a pecking order fetish that is aLWAYS working to get greater numbers way down in the pecking order (i.e. move YOU sufficently 'unimportant' whites from your current level of being tolerated to punching bag status) and fewer fine fascist cruelty for profit bastards on the top. YOU will reap what you have sown with your bigotry. Have a nice day.   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2018, 01:20:27 pm »

Home of the Brave, Land of the Free™

« on: January 11, 2018, 05:13:46 PM »

The net effect of 40 years of relentless class war.

"Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"

By John Woodrow Cox, Theresa Vargas and Justin Wm. Moyer January 11 at 7:40 PM

The man hurried up the Baltimore sidewalk with a camera in his hand as four black-clad hospital security guards walked toward him, then past him. One of them was pushing an empty wheelchair.

“So wait, y’all just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes on?” said Imamu Baraka, referring to a dazed woman wearing only a thin hospital gown who they had left alone at a bus stop Tuesday night in mid-30s temperatures. Her face appeared bloody, her eyes empty.

It was the latest incident of “patient dumping” that has sparked outrage around the country — one that, according to an expert, probably violated a 1986 federal law that mandates hospitals release those in their care into a safe environment.

“This kind of behavior is, I think, both illegal and I’m sure immoral,” said Arthur L. Caplan, founding head of the division of medical ethics at the New York University School of Medicine. “You don’t just throw someone out into the street who is impaired and may have injuries. You try to get them to the best place possible, and that’s not the bench in front of the hospital.”

The phenomenon was pervasive two decades ago, when the law was largely unenforced, Caplan said, but remains a problem from California to Virginia.

[Video  shows apparently incapacitated, half-naked woman put out in cold]

On Tuesday, the woman left outside the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus could barely walk and seemed unable to speak.

Still filming, Baraka turned and followed the guards back to an entrance.

“That is not okay,” he shouted.

“Due to the circumstances of what it was,” one of them said.

“Then you all need to call the police,” replied Baraka, a licensed counselor.

At the doorway, Baraka asked for a supervisor, demanding to know why they were leaving her outside.

“She was . . . medically discharged,” one of the guards said, before the camera captured them walking into the hospital, their backs turned.

What Baraka filmed next — the woman, staggering and screaming into a night so cold that the sidewalk remained speckled with salt and bits of unmelted snow — has been viewed more than 1.4 million times on Facebook, triggering a cascade of online fury and an apology from the hospital.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, the hospital’s chief pledged to investigate what he described as “a failure of basic compassion and empathy.” He said it represented a wrenching departure for a widely respected medical institution — one that has embarked on a major expansion in Prince George’s County and southern Maryland.

“We firmly believe what occurred Tuesday night does not reflect who we are,” said Mohan Suntha, the hospital’s president and chief executive. “We are trying to understand the points of failure that led to what we witnessed on that video.”

Suntha would not provide details on the personnel involved, saying the review of the woman’s experience from arrival to discharge had just begun. Nor would he speak to her condition or treatment because of patient confidentiality, but he asserted that her care before being led into the cold was adequate and complete.

Suntha, who cited the hospital’s 136-year history of providing indigent care in Baltimore, said the woman’s insurance coverage or ability to pay played no role in the decision to discharge her.

“I share the community’s shock and anger at what occurred,” he said, although shock and anger haven’t ended patient dumping in the past.

Last year, court records show, a man sued Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia for $100 million after alleging that he had been prematurely discharged on a cold winter night — and was subsequently hit by car.

The suit, filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court, alleged that Donald Paul Ryberg came to Inova just after noon on Jan. 29, 2015, a day when temperatures barely edged above freezing.

Ryberg, then a 46-year-old diabetic, had a history of alcohol abuse that had led him to the emergency room before.

The complaint alleges that Ryberg was so weak that he couldn’t stand or walk. When hospital staff discharged him around 7 p.m. — without a diagnosis and over his daughter’s objections — Ryberg was alone and confused, the complaint said, but had been given bus tokens and directions home. He then stumbled into the street, where a car smashed into him.

An Inova spokesman declined to comment.

His daughter, Tabatha Ryberg, said she spent the final years of her high school career caring for her father, who fractured his skull and remained in a coma for weeks after the accident. He continues to have mobility and memory problems, she said, and he lost his job as a laborer at an engineering firm.

“My dad has just lost everything,” she said. “I want to bring some attention to this because this is ridiculous. . . . They didn’t contact us. If they had, we would have had a ride for him. This has ruined so many people’s lives.”

In California, a 78-year-old man, disoriented and suffering from arthritis, was discharged from a Sacramento hospital and sent in a taxi to a homeless shelter that had no room for him, the Sacramento Bee reported. A year ago, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, former patients at a state-run hospital in Nevada filed a federal lawsuit after they and others were allegedly placed on Greyhound buses and sent out of state.

In the Baltimore case that went viral this week, much remains unknown: Who the woman is, why she was hospitalized, what led staff to discharge her when she appeared to be incoherent and where she is now.

Baraka has not responded to multiple requests for comment or posted an update on his Facebook page, but he gave a short interview to CBS Baltimore, saying he had just left his office across the street when he came upon the scene and began filming.

The video’s release was just the latest in a string of painful moments for Baltimore, still reeling from the 2015 death of Freddie Gray and the riots that followed. The city endured 343 homicides last year, making it the bloodiest year, per capita, in its history.

Last week, amid a stretch of frigid weather, images spread of Baltimore students bundled in coats in unheated schools. One teacher described students shivering and able to see their own breath.

“Things are so broken here, so broken,” said Bronwyn Mayden, a Baltimore native and executive director of Promise Heights, an initiative established by the University of Maryland School of Social Work. “It’s like dominoes — one just knocks down the other. Can it get any worse, y’all?”

The city’s struggles have reached a point where there’s no outrage, she said. Instead, there’s simply acceptance.

“I think,” Mayden concluded, “people are numb in Baltimore.”

Steve Hendrix and Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

Agelbert Observation: You need to take your meds if you think this grotesque fascist/classist/racist behavior is limited to any single area of the United States of Trump.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2018, 05:32:12 pm »

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