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Author Topic: Creeping Police State  (Read 692 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Creeping Police State
« Reply #75 on: September 07, 2019, 08:56:56 pm »
Could Trump be Crueler Than We Thought?
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Donald Trump may be crueler than we had all thought but the people around the world are better than we ever believed.

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Category News & Politics
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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The Biggest Danger of the Trump Administration Revealed
« Reply #76 on: September 09, 2019, 07:37:00 pm »
The Biggest Danger of the Trump Administration Revealed
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Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Sep 9, 2019

What is the worse thing Donald Trump and his administration have left us?

Thom Hartmann reveals the most damaging thing Donald Trump has done, one that could turn our democracy into a banana republic!

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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Creeping Police State
« Reply #77 on: September 12, 2019, 08:50:28 pm »
Are Homeless People the Next Victims of Trump?


2,529 views•Published on Sep 11, 2019

Thom Hartmann Program
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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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🦍 Police Use Ignorance of the Law as a Defense  , But You Can’t

September 12, 2019

On this episode we take a critical look at the obstacles to holding police accountable, and expose how both politicians and judges defend an institution that is often at odds with communities.


Story Transcript

TAYA GRAHAM: Hello. My name is Taya Graham and welcome to the Police Accountability Report.

As we said before, the show has a single purpose: holding the politically powerful institution of policing accountable. To do so, we dig deep and examine not just police misconduct, but the politics that makes it possible. And I want you watching to know that if you have evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please share it with us and we might be able to investigate. Please reach out to us either in the comments or message us at the Police Accountability Report on Facebook or @Eyesonpolice on Twitter. And of course, you can message me directly @Tayasbaltimore on Twitter or Facebook.

Now, today we’re going to actually expand on a topic we discussed last week with my co-host Stephen Janis. It’s the Bad Apples Theory. It’s the idea that police corruption is limited to a few bad actors and not emblematic of the problems with the system itself. The Bad Apples Theory, as we pointed out, fails to take into account aspects of policing that gave individual cops almost catastrophic powers. And that bad apples not only ruin hundreds if not thousands of lives, but grow and thrive in a veritable orchard of corruption, namely our criminal justice system.

But this week, there were dual developments that make this point even more resonate. Allow us to show, not tell you, why the Bad Apples Theory is simply not just false, but destructive. Just to make a finer point on the consequences of so-called bad apples, we’ll talk about a new development in the Gun Trace Task Force scandal. Now this is just a reminder, the GTTF was a group of eight Baltimore police officers, who robbed residents, dealt drugs, and stole over time. So Stephen, this week in the Baltimore State’s Attorney, they made a request. What was this request?

STEPHEN JANIS: Well, they asked for over 800 cases to be thrown out that were tied to some members of the Gun Trace Task Force. Cases have been tainted by false testimony, or planting drugs, or whatever. It’s a massive number of cases when you think about it— 800. It touches thousands of lives, so it was a pretty stunning request that there were that many cases, and there’s still this incredible fallout from the scandal involving just eight officers.

TAYA GRAHAM: And even as prosecutors tried to clean up this mess, there was a new set of indictments in the case. In fact, the latest set of charges illustrate just how ill-conceived the Bad Apples Theory is. But that in fact, the GTTF had help— and lots of it. So Stephen, can you talk about the type of help and support they received?

STEPHEN JANIS: Yeah. In fact, just as this was happening, another officer was indicted who had helped one of the ringleaders, Sargent Wayne Jenkins of the GTTF, plant a BB gun on a person he ran over. Because he was trying to criminalize him or just – he got angry and he just ran him over. So after he runs him over, he gets scared, and he calls Sergeant Gladstone, who shows up with a BB gun to plant on the guy, so they can say the guy had a gun and Sergeant Wayne Jenkins is in the clear. It turns out, another officer who was in that car lied to a Federal Grand Jury, and he has since been indicted for lying, but what that tells you is that there was nobody – everyone knew what was going on.

TAYA GRAHAM: Right.

STEPHEN JANIS: Number one, there were lots of people that knew what was going on, knew they were planting BB guns on people to criminalize them, and they didn’t say anything. And not only did they not say anything, but they lied to a Federal Grand Jury about it, and so this is just the latest fallout from showing that Sergeant Wayne Jenkins had a support system around him. He had people that would help him, and they’re willing to lie to a Federal Grand Jury for him. Even after he’d been convicted and charged with incredible crimes, these people are still lying for him.

TAYA GRAHAM: But with all these revelations of systemic corruption and hundreds if not thousands of lives destroyed, and the brazen abetting of police malfeasance by other cops, one would think there would be some sort of questioning about the unfettered power of police. That in a democracy, a community roiled by an ever burgeoning scandal would push back and hold police accountable, but in fact, the opposite has happened. Not only did the new revelations fail to elicit comment from city and state officials alike, but those same elected representatives actually doubled down with a big new dose of law enforcement. That’s right. They decided to give more power and more money to police. Stephen, how did the police department end up with more money after it was proven that they had bad actors?

STEPHEN JANIS: Well, they did one of those things that we, as a press, continually fall for. They got a bunch of cops together who were already working for the police, and gave them a whole new name, and spun it out and called it a strike force. So this new thing, that they already had all these cops, they’re already working with the police department, they try it out at a press conference, “We’re going to create a strike force.” But it wasn’t just reorganizing cops and creating alliances with federal officers and local. They also like came up with a ton of money— $17 million to rent 75,000 square feet in West Baltimore, so that they could have a headquarters for this new strike force, which is going to be empowered to do what? Militarize policing. What was the GTTF doing? Militarize policing. So it’s like – it’s just trotting out the same old thing in new clothes. Look, “Hey, don’t look here. It’s the same thing,” but the thing is that no one said, “That really hasn’t been working out, has it?” So that’s something we wanted to look at.

TAYA GRAHAM: But to delve deeper into showing what this means, we decided to take a look at one of the neighborhoods that will be the target of this new strike force. It’s an area that was the former home of our colleague, Darrell Lewis. Last week, he discussed his encounter with a group of drug-dealing cops named Antonio Murray and William King. But this week, he took us on a walking tour of what had been left in the wake of this aggressive policing, and why he thinks it will only make things worse.

STEPHEN JANIS: The reason we wanted to come out here is because we had that discussion last week about the bad apples, and now we heard they’re going to be some sort of strike force at the police department. But I wanted to come back to your old neighborhood because has anything really changed here after 30-40 years of this intense drug war? When you take us around here, what do you see? What’s changed?

DARYL LEWIS: The only thing I see changed is more poverty. More hardship, more sadness, less hope. I haven’t seen any change. Number one, if you have no job to go to in the morning when you get up and come outside, only thing you have is what you see out here. So you say to yourself, “How do I start my day? I’m not able to go to work because I don’t have a job. So now I’m forced to feed my family, feed myself, so now I have to do what I have to do.

STEPHEN JANIS: So let me ask you a question, when you were in that position, did you feel like there was any form of government or anything that was out there to help you to say, “Hey, Daryl, there’s another way?” Or was it just trapped in isolation? I mean, was there ever a point where you thought, other than the police, was there anything you saw that could have helped you?

DARYL LEWIS: No, nothing. I felt hopeless to be perfectly honest with you, Steve. I felt hopeless.

TAYA GRAHAM: But we didn’t stop there. We also visited an expert on the consequences of unlimited police powers. His name is A. Dwight Pettit, he’s the Civil Rights Attorney and Real News Board Member, who’s represented victims in hundreds of brutality cases. And the story he tell us is even more disturbing because it goes to the core idea of the show: accountability. That’s because Pettit is in the middle of a battle with city officials who’ve made a stunning argument: that the city which gave badges, guns, and arrest powers to out of control cops, are not responsible for their actions; that same government, which armed and paid them, owes nothing to the victims of their criminal behavior.

A. DWIGHT PETTIT: Their argument, in my opinion, is just so ridiculous. That the only thing that you can raise is the fact that what you’ve just raised, that he’s a police officer, he’s clothed with authority, he’s acting under color of law. Citizens are responding to him as a police officer. There’s no such thing as outside of the scope of employment. And how do you say it’s coming out now? How do you say in the cases of the Gun Trace Task Force, who operated with impunity, that the supervisors and the authorities did not know that all this was going on? How do you raise that defense?

TAYA GRAHAM: Stephen, what does Mr. Pettit’s struggle tell us about the relationship between politicians and police?

STEPHEN JANIS: It just shows us how the idea of policing can corrupt a government to the point where because you have people with badges and guns, exercising this power over the impoverished part of the city, and become part of a larger narrative of a city beset with crime, which is really beset with poverty and failing schools, but become that cover for politicians who don’t know how to fix complex problems, can infiltrate the thinking of a city government where they were literally saying, “We’re not responsible for these people.”

But you armed them. You gave them badges. You gave them guns. You gave them the color of law, to shoot, kill, arrest, detain, take away the constitutional rights, and you’re saying you’re not responsible just because they misbehaved? What did you think would happen? I mean, these cops were accused of stealing overtime. These cops were accused of robbing residents. These things were going on. As the previous case pointed out, there were other cops helping them who knew what was happening.

TAYA GRAHAM: Exactly.

STEPHEN JANIS: And you’re still saying you’re not responsible. It’s a freaking paramilitary organization, and it’s run by the mayor. So I think it just shows how difficult it’s going to be— it is— in this country to hold police accountable in any way, shape, or form.

TAYA GRAHAM: And Mr. Pettit also addresses a central theme of the show. Later in the interview, he talks about how the courts and the politicians literally conspire to hold policing harmless.

STEPHEN JANIS: Police keep getting away with it. Why can’t they be held accountable, for real? Why do you think?

A. DWIGHT PETTIT: Because the courts have protected them, the legislative bodies have protected them, and so then we have a president that comes in and tells the police, “You do what you want to do. I got your back.” Then this reinforces this and politically reinforces it throughout the spectrum, from the top all the way down.

TAYA GRAHAM: So Stephen, Mr. Pettit also told us something really shocking about how police are defending themselves in court.

STEPHEN JANIS: Well, so basically, in civil suits and even cases of wrongful death, police are making an argument that they were ignorant of the law, and therefore they can’t be held harmless, they can’t be held liable, or be held to even account criminally because he didn’t know it.

TAYA GRAHAM: Okay, wait. Let me just stop you there for one second.

STEPHEN JANIS: Yeah.

TAYA GRAHAM: You’re telling me that law enforcement officers are pleading ignorance of the law to get out of any sort of responsibility for their actions?

STEPHEN JANIS: Yeah. He actually told us in cases that he has tried or that cases he has sued or litigated, the police have said, “I didn’t know the law.” And police have been held harmless, and the Supreme Court has upheld that. Let’s just take a listen to what he had to say.

STEPHEN JANIS: Just to repeat, the police officer is saying, their defense is, “I didn’t know the law.”

A. DWIGHT PETTIT: Right. “I didn’t know the law,” and therefore, a derivative of what they call immunity— immunity from prosecution, immunity from civil liability— because of their ignorance of the law. This defense is being used and has gone all the way up to the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court has upheld that as good defense. So it’s the courts, it’s the legislators, and it’s the politicians in terms of big cities and so forth, and small cities where all this police – is being tolerated.

STEPHEN JANIS: But, the citizens can’t use it. We can’t say we were ignorant. [crosstalk]

A. DWIGHT PETTIT: No, for us, it’s no defense whatsoever, but for the police—

STEPHEN JANIS: If you had a client who stole a car and said, “I didn’t know it was illegal.”

A. DWIGHT PETTIT: Right, you’d go to jail.

TAYA GRAHAM: So let me ask a fairly pointed question. What sort of institution can not only fail at its core mission, but flagrantly wreak havoc on a community, and yet still garner unwavering support from politicians, who supposedly represent the people that they harmed? What makes policing so singular and so above reproach, that even when it destroys hundreds of lives, the institution itself does not change? Maybe there’s a larger lesson here, an example of the precarious balance between maintaining a healthy democracy and empowering people to enforce arbitrary and often destructive laws.

If we can’t hold the people who have life and death power over us to account, what does that say about the civic health of this country? If a single person, empowered by the state can literally destroy hundreds of lives and the government that gave him that power says it’s not responsible, then are we really living in a government by and for the people? These are questions that must be answered in the wake of what we reported today, and it’s incumbent upon us as journalists to keep asking these critical questions, and we hope you who are watching will continue to push even further.

I want to thank my co-host, Stephen Janis. And remember, if you have evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please share it with us and we might be able to investigate. Please reach out to us either in the comments or message us at the Police Accountability Report on Facebook or @Eyesonpolice on Twitter. And of course, you can message me directly @Tayasbaltimore on Twitter or Facebook. And of course, please like and subscribe. I will be there in the comments section.

I’m your host Taya Graham. Thank you for joining me on the Police Accountability Report.

https://therealnews.com/stories/police-use-ignorance-of-the-law-as-a-defense-but-you-cant
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 03:56:50 pm by AGelbert »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Agelbert COMMENT: It's NOT incomprehensible; it's the CREEPING POLICE STATE ROUTINE FASCIST CRUELTY, STUPID!

Supreme Court’s Asylum Ruling Is Incomprehensible

September 12, 2019

The US Supreme Court temporarily approved President Trump's new asylum rule, which makes it almost impossible for anyone from Central America to gain asylum in the US. The court's support puts thousands of lives in grave danger and violates US law and international law


Story Transcript

GREG WILPERT: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Greg Wilpert.

In a 7-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to prevent most Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the United States. This is actually a temporary ruling. The Supreme Court was responding to an emergency appeal from the Trump administration to set aside decisions that California judges had made which blocked the President’s new asylum rule. This new asylum rule, which Trump issued last July, would allow asylum applications only from immigrants who have been denied asylum in other countries or have been victims of “severe human trafficking.”

Immediately following the Supreme Court’s announcement, Trump Tweeted: “BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!” Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were the only two dissenters. Sotomayor stated that the new asylum rule “topples decades of settled asylum practices and affects some of the most vulnerable people in the Western Hemisphere—without affording the public a chance to weigh in.”

Joining me now to discuss the implications of this court decision are Laura Carlsen and Matt Cameron. Laura is the director of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy in Mexico City and a frequent contributor to The Real News Network. And Matt is an immigration attorney specializing in asylum and deportation defense and is the managing partner of Cameron Micheroni and Silva. Laura joins us from Mexico City and Matt from Boston. Thanks for being here today.

LAURA CARLSEN: Thanks.

MATT CAMERON: Thank you, Greg.

GREG WILPERT: Matt, I want to start with you. What’s at stake here? A final court decision has not been made, as I mentioned, but there are many who are saying that the right to asylum is in danger. What do you say? And where’s this right to asylum enshrined in the U.S. Constitution anyway?

MATT CAMERON: What is at stake is the future of asylum itself. As you said, this is a temporary decision. But politically, this could be permanent; legally, this could be permanent. Certainly the court is letting us know where they’re going. That’s what they do when they grant a stay. Even with this current composition, I think the court may very well uphold the ban and it may be very difficult to reverse at that point. Asylum itself is not in the Constitution, but it’s enshrined in international treaty and it’s enshrined in our own domestic law. And we have an obligation to offer it, most especially–I’d say–in this case, where we have a strong moral obligation to Central America.

GREG WILPERT: Just say a little bit more about that. Why is that particularly the case with Central America?

MATT CAMERON: Greg, I think if I burned your house down, I’d have an obligation to help you rebuild your house or at least give you a place to stay in the meantime. And that’s what we’re looking at. After more than a century of meddling, and most especially in the last few decades– foreign, military, economic, social policy, all of it–we have brought these countries to where they are today in many real ways. I think if this were Iraq or Afghanistan instead of Central America, Americans might understand a little better. But we have such short memories.

GREG WILPERT: I think that’s a very good point. Laura, you recently visited Tijuana for us, where you spoke to people who are trying to apply for asylum in the United States. I just wanted to run a clip briefly of what Trump said about the asylum applicants and refugees. And he said this at rally a few months ago.

DONALD TRUMP: You have people coming out. You know, they’re all met by the lawyers. And they come out, and they’re met by the lawyers. And they say, “Say the following phrase: I am very afraid for my life. I am afraid for my life.” OK. And then I look at the guy. He looks like he just got out of the ring. He’s a heavyweight champion of the world and he’s afraid for his life. It’s a big fat con job, folks. It’s a big fat con job.

GREG WILPERT: So Laura, what did you see in Tijuana? And what is your response to Trump’s comments?

LAURA CARLSEN: I… It almost brings me to tears because of the distance between the disdain, the hatred, the racism that’s behind it, that you can hear in his voice when he talks about people he’s never even met, whose stories he doesn’t know. I have talked to those people and I know that they are among the most desperate on Earth. They’re families, they’re men, they’re women, they’re children, and they’ve just left situations that are indeed life-threatening. Sometimes they’ve had 24 hours to leave everything in their homes because of threats from gangs or from repressive governments. They’ve set out on a journey that goes through Mexico, obviously, to the United States because they don’t have the funds and they can’t get the visas to take any other route. That’s very, very dangerous. That implies a huge degree of uncertainty and a lot of sacrifices; a lot of crimes committed against them on the journey.

You have cases like in El Salvador, an army soldier who was threatened by the gangs; a woman who rescued her brother from a safe house and the gangs gave her 24 hours to get out of town with her whole family; a taxi driver who’s being extorted by five different gangs, and if he ceases to pay even one of them, he’ll be dead the next day. These are the situations that they’re facing. The international law of asylum is protection. What it says is that human beings on this earth have a right to be safe no matter what the national borders are. If they’re fleeing persecution and they can make their case for fleeing persecution, they have an international right for a country to accept them. It says nothing about where they have to seek that. They have the right to seek asylum in the country where they feel safest.

This rule that says that they cannot even request asylum in the United States–where many of them have families, by the way–and says that they have to request asylum in the first country considered by the Trump administration safe. And of course it’s ridiculous because you have Hondurans coming through Guatemala, and yet Guatemala is one of the primary sending countries because of the conditions there. There’s no sense to it and it’s extremely inhumane. It’s a cruel policy and it’s very, very disappointing that the court has made this decision which effectively makes this the policy on the border even as hundreds of thousands of people–or at least thousands, because we don’t want to exaggerate the numbers either–are coming up from these countries that, as Matt said, are in a state of almost total collapse.

GREG WILPERT: As I mentioned in the introduction, the case is not over. But it will take a few months now until it winds its way through the courts again and presumably ends up again at the Supreme Court for a final decision. Matt, can you reconstruct a little bit for us what the arguments on the two sides are? particularly, what is the Trump administration saying in order to justify this denial of asylum, essentially? What is the response that you, as a lawyer, or other lawyers for the asylum seekers have?

MATT CAMERON: First of all, to get a stay like this before any court on appeal, you have to show imminent harm. You have to show that there’s something that’s really going to happen if this isn’t granted. And honestly, it’s very hard for me. Usually, I can see the other side, but I do not see imminent harm to the U.S. government. I see imminent harm to thousands and thousands of people who will die. People will die during this period and possibly going forward permanently.

That, to me, is where I see it. But essentially, the Trump administration says it has a right to impose this rule. On the other side, those of us who are more familiar with asylum law–I’m sorry to say–I think generally think that they don’t have that right because they’re essentially making this up. That’s what Justice Sotomayor said in her dissent, is that this is not really asylum law at all. This is just a completely new thing that they’ve made up. The lower court actually found this was arbitrary and capricious, and to get to that standard is not easy. That’s a difficult thing for a court to find. Sotomayor suggested that she agreed with that, and I think very, very rightly. I really don’t understand and I’m still in a state of shock, honestly, that the Supreme Court has allowed this to go.

GREG WILPERT: How do you think it will play out once it returns, basically, to the Supreme Court? What’s surprising is that the two other liberal judges–or presumably liberal judges, that is, Breyer and Kagan–voted in favor along with the majority on this case. Is that an indication that that will happen again? What do you think?

MATT CAMERON: It certainly is when you look at a stay. Obviously, they haven’t heard the full argument. We haven’t seen full oral argument briefing before them. Certainly their opinions could change. But what really concerns me is we didn’t actually get a decision in this case, which is a little unusual with a stay of this import. I think, honestly, we’re owed one. I’d really like to know where they were coming from and we never will, at least not until this gets a little further.

GREG WILPERT: Laura, the people that you saw there… I mean, what do you think about how they are going to deal with this situation? You saw people who clearly were very frustrated that they had spent already many weeks at the border, weren’t allowed to enter the United States, and presumably were forced to return, perhaps even, to Central America or stay in Mexico. What does that mean for them?

LAURA CARLSEN: As Matt said, we’re talking about deaths. We’re talking about deaths through deportation, through people who are forced to stay in dangerous situations in their countries. I also just got back from Honduras, and there’s demonstrations in the streets. The repression is killing people as well and the general rate of crime and collusion with a corrupt Narco government is making it impossible for people to live in their own neighborhoods.

The people who get returned are at risk of death. The people who stay in the border cities in Mexico are at risk of death. Some of them are the most dangerous cities in the country. What it means for them, we have to sort it out a little bit because there’s one group that’s the group that’s already gone into the United States and been sent back to await their asylum hearings. Presumably, they can’t throw those people out of asylum hearings that they’re already a part of. They could eventually go through the hearing and deny them asylum, which is what they’ll probably do, but they can’t just cut off–according to this rule–cut off their process. Those are the remaining Mexico people.

And then you have these safe third country people. And there’s something that should be said about this agreement, which is not an agreement, this rule that Trump made. Safe third country agreements exist in other parts of the world. We did a report on them. They’ve been challenged legally and repeatedly and, generally speaking, don’t hold up very well. But they’re different from what’s happening here in the sense that they are agreements. A developed country that for racist reasons or whatever reasons doesn’t want to take in its fair share of the world’s migrants–despite having contributed to the causes, which is very true–can say, “Okay, you, other country that they’re going through first, take these people. But we will contribute because we recognize the need for international protection and their right to international protection. We will contribute, usually financially, to the efforts to receive these people.”

Here, we don’t even have that. We have nothing. We have, once again, a ruling by Donald Trump, who’s been chiseling away at asylum, who’s been using immigration as an electoral issue to mobilize a racist base with a white supremacist agenda. And Mexico, because of its economic dependence, is just saying, “Well, okay, can you do something maybe about stopping arms at the border?” That’s their big stand for national sovereignty on these issues.

Who’s going to stand up for the migrants? That’s the big question now. The shelters are overwhelmed, the lawyers are overwhelmed. Every time they try to stop an illegal ruling like this, they get hit with another. And so it’s being tied up in the court and now this will be tied up again in the court. But in the meantime, by granting them the right–when we still don’t know the legality of the ruling, and it’s very likely not legal according to international law–by granting them the right to continue to do it, they’re killing people in the meantime.

GREG WILPERT: Matt, finally, I just want to know… Part of the problem, of course, that many people who are watching this probably will face, is that the Supreme Court seems very far removed from people in terms of being able to influence, that you don’t elect any high court judges. What would you say can people do who are concerned about this issue? Is there anything that can be done that is from an ordinary citizen perspective?

MATT CAMERON: Certainly. There are amazing organizations working on this right now. You can help them out; they’re pretty easy to find. And just continue to tell people this is catastrophic. This is really something that we as Americans, if we accept this now, there’s a very good chance that politically and legally, this will become the status quo. We just need to continue to tell each other that this is not normal, that this is not how it should be.

I just very quickly want to look back to your question because I’m having a little trouble actually articulating the government’s argument. I think I just want to mention that the government’s argument really is that migrants should be seeking asylum in the first country that they reach, which in the case of Central America… Really, if you’re coming from another Central American country, what you’re saying is that the fire is safer than the frying pan. Because that’s what you’re doing if you’re going from somewhere like El Salvador to Guatemala or the other way around.

There are right now 10, as I understand it, asylum officers in Guatemala, and that’s where they want to send these people. It’s a travesty. I think the safe third country agreement that Laura mentioned is illegal on both sides. I’m convinced of that, but this is even far and above beyond that. This is just another level of the war on asylum, just kicked up to another gear. It’s just been a really hard day, I think, for all of us who do this work.

LAURA CARLSEN: Yeah. And I want to mention that if we… In terms of what people can do, look what happened when Trump imposed the Muslim ban. The airports filled up with people protesting. This is essentially a ban on all asylum refugee seekers from Central America; in fact, from all of Latin America, because almost everyone has to come up by land. They can’t get a plane ticket to the United States without first going through their hearing and getting a legal status there. It’s essentially a ban on all Latin American refugees, on all African refugees who are coming through Latin America–which is a considerable proportion–and on all Caribbean refugees, practically. It’s very, very major and people should be reacting much more strongly than what we’ve seen so far.

GREG WILPERT: One last point that I also saw. Actually, I think it is quite interesting that the spokesperson for the union that represents asylum officers also came out very strongly against this ruling, saying that it’s clearly incompatible with the law. Even they are saying that this doesn’t make any sense. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to leave it there for now, but we’ll continue to cover the story as it develops. Thank you again, Laura Carlsen and Matt Cameron, for having joined us today.

LAURA CARLSEN: Thank you, Greg.

MATT CAMERON: Thank you, Greg.

GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/supreme-courts-asylum-ruling-is-incomprehensible


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Beyond Brett Kavanaugh's Crimes & Cover Ups
« Reply #80 on: September 17, 2019, 04:54:46 pm »
Beyond Brett Kavanaugh's Crimes & Cover Ups
6,937 views•Published on Sep 16, 2019


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The sensationalist coverage around Brett Kavanaugh only scratches the surface of Brett Kavanaugh's crimes and cover ups.

Many of which go all the way back to the George W. Bush administration.

Can we reopen the investigation into Brett Kavanuagh? 

Thom Hartmann reveals what you don't know about Trump's controversial  Supreme Court pick

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AGelbert

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Re: Creeping Police State
« Reply #81 on: September 18, 2019, 11:44:11 am »

MARCH 17, 2019 8:00PM ET

Quote
Despite being the taxpayers’ greatest investment — more than $700 billion a year — the Department of Defense has remained an organizational black box throughout its history. It’s repelled generations of official inquiries, the latest being an audit three decades in the making, mainly by scrambling its accounting into such a mess that it may never be untangled.

Quote
“Over and over again, we’ve been told we cannot afford to guarantee health care as a right, make public colleges tuition-free, or seriously address any of the needs of the working class,” Sanders says. “When it comes to the massive waste, fraud and abuse at the Pentagon, there’s a deafening silence.” 

Full article:

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AGelbert

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VtDigger

Bomb squad responds to suspicious package at Sanders’ Burlington office

By Aidan Quigley

Sep 26 2019, 4:46 PM

A Vermont State Police bomb squad truck is parked at the top of Church St, outside Sen. Bernie Sander’s office. Photo by Aidan Quigley/VTDigger

URLINGTON — Vermont State Police bomb squad and Burlington Police responded to a report of a suspicious package at Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office Thursday.

Sanders’ Church Street office and the building it is in was evacuated, BPD deputy chief Jon Murad said.

“Out of an abundance of caution we evacuated his offices and the building as we assess it,” Murad said.

Get all of VTDigger's daily news.
You'll never miss a story with our daily headlines in your inbox.

Burlington Police received a call about the package, which came in the mail, from Sanders staff at 11:42 a.m.

Murad said at 4:15 p.m. that law enforcement was continuing to assess the package.

Murad said there were no plans to close Church Street as police deal with the situation.

Another suspicious package was delivered to Sanders’ St. Johnsbury office earlier this month, prompting a response from police, firefighters and state hazmat crews.

St. Johnsbury’s fire chief said an electronics company had sent the empty box so the senator’s staff could return something.

This story will be updated

https://vtdigger.org/2019/09/26/bomb-squad-responds-to-suspicious-package-at-sanders-burlington-office/

Agelbert NOTE: TPTB know Senator Sanders is a greater threat to them than ever before. Expect more of this, which will never be admitted as such publicly, state sponsored intimidation and terrorism. >:(

I hope they do not succeed in their despicable campaign to intimidate Sanders.

Back in 2016 TPTB tried ignoring him, then mocking him. That did not work. Sanders would have won the Democratic nomination and the presidency in 2016. That's why 😈 Hillary Clinton, a card carrying representative of TPTB, had to rig the primaries against Sanders.

2020 Presidential Candidate Sanders, though no media outlet or "official poll" will admit it, is America's favorite Candidate for POTUS. So now the jackals are being brought in. >:( 

If a 'suspicious package' had been delivered to Moscow Mitch's offices, this would be all over the news. For Sanders, a champion of we-the-people and the last hope we have for JUSTICE in the USA, all you hear is crickets.
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AGelbert

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Will Money or People Rule Our Country?
« Reply #83 on: October 03, 2019, 09:50:29 pm »
Will Money or People Rule Our Country?
1,300 views•Oct 3, 2019



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Will money or the people Rule our country, Thom answers a call in a money vs. democracy showdown! 

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AGelbert

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Re: Creeping Police State
« Reply #84 on: October 08, 2019, 11:02:47 pm »
Is 🦀 Donald Trump Radicalizing The Police?
11,628 views•Oct 7, 2019


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Is Donald Trump radicalizing the police into his very own version of the Gestapo?

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Trump Defies Impeachment: Could Be Worse Than Andrew Jackson  
1,680 views•Oct 9, 2019


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President Andrew Jackson defied the Supreme Court and now Trump is defying Congress, the impeachment inquiry and the will of the American People.

Could Trump live up to Andrew Jackson's legacy and be our next Lawless President

How Does America Handle a Lawless President?

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AGelbert

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Re: Creeping Police State
« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2019, 12:38:53 pm »
As Dems Focus on Impeachment, Trump Heads to “Imperial Governance“
October 10, 2019

The Trump administration is undermining our nation from immigration to the environment, while his tweets and impeachment distract us. Add it all up, says our guest, we can see how he threatens what remains of U.S. democracy.


Story Transcript

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Marc Steiner. Good to have you all with us.

The wars around impeachment are escalating. Trump has refused to allow State Department and other federal employees to testify in congressional committees. Just today, the headlines blared that he and his administration will not cooperate because all Democrats want to do is to overturn the 2016 election. The public is slowly turning against him. But is our democracy in danger? While all this is happening, as our guest writes, he is restructuring our country, instituting Draconian measures against immigrants, opening our lands and waters to oil exploration, aggressively trying to end a woman’s right to choose, and that’s just the beginning, all the while impeachment is capturing the headlines. And then there are his tweets. The ravings of a mad man or something more sinister? How do you resist, build a political movement with impeachment hiding the fundamental changes Trump and his minions are wreaking on our nation and our future?

We are joined by Sasha Abramsky, who is a Journalist and Author, Creator of the Abramsky Report, Writer for The Nation, whose article I read yesterday, in part inspired this conversation. It was called “As We Focus on Impeachment, Trump Is Restructuring the Country.” His latest book is Jumping at the Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream. And Sasha, welcome. Good to have you with us.

SASHA ABRAMSKY: Marc, good to be on the show.

MARC STEINER: Buddy, it’s good to talk to you. So let’s just begin with the latest we’ve seen with Trump and his headlines about not cooperating with the investigations and saying his people won’t have to cooperate because this is a witch hunt. I remember, I lived through Nixon in 1972, and that impeachment process, also what happened in Clinton’s impeachment process, or most of us did if we were around. And there was this absolute defiance, saying that, “I can do whatever I want to.” I mean, you write a bit about that, and you’ve tweeted a lot about that. Let’s start there. I mean, what this portends, what the potential dangers are we’re facing here.

SASHA ABRAMSKY: Well, the dangers are immense. And it’s a mistake to think they just started now with the impeachment hearing. Trump’s been president for nearly three years. And throughout that three-year period, he’s made it absolutely clear and his Justice Department has made it absolutely clear that by their ruling philosophy, the law does not apply to the president. They say it time and again, that the president cannot be convicted of crimes, that the president is in many ways above the law, and that the president can essentially disregard inconvenient constitutional truths if it suits him, without consequence. And what you’re seeing is the gradual building of a legal doctrine which essentially gives the president imperial powers.

Now, that’s deeply disturbing. It doesn’t matter if the president is an extremely philosophical, deep thinker, which Trump most certainly is not, any president, if they claim for themselves unlimited imperial powers, is going down a path toward tyranny, dictatorship, imperial governance, whatever you want to call it. When Trump does it, what he’s essentially doing is putting in an American context the Nazi Führerprinzip, this idea that the state and the individual who rules at that moment in time are absolutely overlapped, that there just is no difference between the will or the whim of the leader and the power and the authority of the state. And to me, when I look at what’s happening around impeachment, when I look at the flagrant disregard of constitutional process, of congressional authority, and so on, this is Trump laying out a roadmap to imperial governance. And what I tweeted yesterday is we’re now at a crossroads. And as far as I’m concerned, either Trump’s presidency survives, or constitutional government survives. But I don’t see how the two of them go hand in hand anymore.

MARC STEINER: I read that tweet before we went on the air, when I was looking at your Twitter feed. And for just a couple minutes, let’s wrestle with that for a second. I mean, when you look at history, we think that it can’t happen here. And when you look at the history of our own country, the United States, that we’re broadcasting from, when you look at any kind of Western democracy, and when you look at any nation on the planet, it can change. And it does change on a dime. You mentioned Hitler, 1932, with a small minority of the votes, 32% of the votes, he became the ruler and the fuhrer. I mean, these things can happen. And I always look at this like, when I think about 1877 and Rutherford B. Hayes becoming president of the United States with a minority of the vote but was able to destroy Reconstruction and start 90 years of terror against black people in the South of the United States. And we think that can’t happen again. Maybe not those exact things, but we need to stop and think about what history tells us about the moment we’re facing right now.

SASHA ABRAMSKY: Yeah. I mean, history never repeats itself exactly. And I’ve been writing a lot for the last three, four years now about the menace that I think that Trump represents. And it’s not necessarily because I don’t like him as an individual, though I think he’s both a buffoon and also a sadist, but it’s because he pushes policies again and again and again that are designed to instill fear and designed to instill terror in ever larger groups of the population, whether it’s immigrants, whether it’s refugees, whether it’s asylum seekers, whether it’s women whose rights are being constricted, or gay Americans whose rights are being constricted. Whenever you look at Trump’s policies, there’s a bullying, intimidating, increasingly violent undertone, and in some cases overtone, to Trump’s methodology.

And he goes before these huge and enthusiastic crowds and gins up violence against journalists, against political opponents, against anybody who dares to stand up and critique him. And he uses the presidential podium, which is the single most highly visible platform on Earth, to attack individuals, to go after private citizens, to denigrate people, to humiliate people. And when you have a governance like that, it seems to me that it becomes quite easy to ram through attacks on constitutional governments. But in a very real way, our constitutional system of checks and balances work when everybody agrees to abide by the rules. And when one player in that system essentially says, “Look, I’m walking away from the rules. What are you going to do about it,” which is what Trump’s been doing, that’s when you have an absolute threat to the survival of democratic governance.

And that’s what we saw in Germany in the 1930s, or Mussolini’s Italy. It’s what we saw in the juntas of Latin America more recently in the 1970s and 80s. It’s the kind of strong-arm governance that we see in Russia today, or in Turkey, where a nationalist demagogue takes power, and they might not necessarily officially destroy the democratic structures, but they neutralize them, they bypass them, they appeal to the mob. They essentially say, “We no longer agree to abide by the rules of the game.” And to me, that’s [inaudible 00:07:17] thought. This idea that the world’s most powerful country, but also the country that, for 80 years, has acted as something of a stabilizing influence in global affairs, the idea that this country is going down a rogue route, that it’s got an unpredictable, unstable, violent president who, in fits of rage or of pique, can change public policy on a dime, I think that’s a huge, huge risk to our future that we’re now staring down.

MARC STEINER: And so that brings me to the point of your article that you published in The Nation yesterday online, that while we focus on impeachment, Trump is restructuring the country, is what you wrote. It was the title of your article. So let’s talk a bit about that. I mean, because it goes to the heart of what you were just saying and all the things that he is fostering at the moment and pushing, from the public charge rules, which many people don’t know about, and other issues like that, how it’s tied to the Muslim ban. I mean, just talk a bit about what we’re not seeing as we’re watching the impeachment, and how that fits in.

SASHA ABRAMSKY: The first couple years of Trump’s government, it was somewhat comforting to think, “Well, he’s got horrible views, but he’s surrounded by incompetence and he’s actually not getting very much done.” The last year or so of the government, we’ve seen a tremendous amount being done in a very destructive way. So take immigration, for example. He’s using regulatory changes to entirely restructure 50 years of immigration policy. So whether it’s the regulation that now says, “If you’re an immigrant and you use any form of public assistance, whether it’s housing or nutritional or health assistance, it will subject you to deportation,” or his newest rule, which says, “If you can’t afford private health insurance, you’re not going to get a visa to come into the country in the first place,” or his attack on the asylum process, which says that anybody who transits through Mexico en route north to claim asylum is no longer eligible for asylum in this country, these aren’t regulatory tweaks. These are absolutely fundamental restructurings of the immigration process. And they’re done with no congressional input. They’re done with no serious legal input. They’re basically being done by executive fiat.

And you get a sense of the tone of Trump’s politics at the moment. Two things particularly strike me. First is there was a report last week that said that in March, Trump got together his top security and border officials, and he said, one, “Why can’t we shoot immigrants in the legs to slow them down as they’re heading North?” Two, “Why can’t we build a wall with entailing spikes on the top so that these families will be entailed if they climb the wall?” And three, if that doesn’t work, “Why can’t we build a moat along the border and fill it with alligators to attack immigrants?” Now, this isn’t the stuff of normal politics. This is the fantasy of a Charles Manson character, or a Vlad the Impaler character. And you see this backed up by increasingly erratic tweets. Just the other day, Trump put out this tweet that, in any other time in our history, would have signaled the end of a presidency. He put out a tweet that said, “In my great and unmatched wisdom,” that’s a quote, “In my great and unmatched wisdom, I will totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey if they do what I don’t want in Syria.” Imagine that. Imagine the most powerful human being on quoting the Wizard of Oz.

MARC STEINER: That’s not funny, but yes, right, right.

SASHA ABRAMSKY: Right there, you have the duplicity of our moment. You have this sort of character who is something of a hybrid between Charlie Chaplin’s Great Dictator, this sort of caricature of what a dictator should look like, The Wizard of Oz, this creature who sort of promises all these grandiose things but actually has nothing, and then Charles Manson, somebody who fetishizes violence and sadism, and somehow has created a cult of personality around him so that a huge number of other people will glom on to these entirely maniacal visions. And this man has access to the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. He could press a button and destroy the lives of billions of people in an instant. To me, it’s just unfathomable that somebody of this low caliber should have the power of life and death over the globe. But that’s the moment we’re in.

MARC STEINER: So that is the moment we’re in. So the question I have to close this very quickly is, so when you look at what’s going on with our impeachment process now, and we see all the people coming out who are coming out against Trump in those impeachment hearings that have agreed to testify, and the battle around that, you see what’s happening with the impeachment, but then you see all this stuff going on under the radar for most people, and also this real danger that we face that we’re not paying attention to, that becomes a political question. It becomes a question of how you organize against it. It becomes a question about how you organize for the future in a positive way, because of what we face. And that’s what I, when I was asking my earlier historical question, what I was alluding to in terms of the real fundamental dangers that we face, and how you respond to it.

SASHA ABRAMSKY: Absolutely. Because, look, this isn’t all about whether or not Trump broke some laws when it comes to the Ukraine phone call. Much more fundamentally, this is about what Trump’s doing to the country in terms of environmental policy, with this catastrophic war on the environment that he’s waging, his rolling back of climate change initiatives, his rolling back of fuel efficiency standards. It’s to do with women’s rights and the stacking of the courts with ever more conservative judges who, by all accounts, are going to just eviscerate the right to an abortion, various other very important fundamental rights. It’s to do with the rollback of regulations around workplace safety. It’s to do with rollbacks of regulations on banks and exploitative lending practices with payday lending companies.

And all of these things that, when you have a government stocked by plutocrats, when you have a cabinet of multimillionaires and billionaires, when you have a president who doesn’t have an empathic bone in his body, really, really bad things happen to the social fabric. You see this attempt, this obsessive attempt to roll back the Affordable Care Act. Well, if the Trump administration succeeds and gets the Supreme Court somehow to declare the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, which they’re trying to do, tens of millions of Americans are either going to lose their access to healthcare or have to pay a whole bunch more to maintain their access. So these things have consequences.

And even if you got rid of Donald Trump tomorrow, even if Trump resigned tomorrow, or was somehow forced out of office by a senatorial revolt, we’d still be dealing with the Trumpian legacy for decades, because so many policies are being implemented that put us in a really bad place, a bad place pragmatically, a bad place morally, a bad place in terms of our global alliances, or lack of alliances, and a bad place in terms of the kinds of opportunities that we’re going to have for subsequent generations. Because if you put in place policies that favor the rich and hurt everybody else, if you put in place tax policies that redistribute wealth up the economic ladder, if you make it even harder for people at the bottom of the economic ladder to succeed, to gain education, to gain jobs that pay living wages, if you do all of these things, you’re locking into place and inegalitarian, hierarchical system of governance, a method of organizing society, that’s going to be with us for decades.

So you’re absolutely right that this isn’t just the story about whether we impeach Trump because of what he said with the president of Ukraine. This is a conversation about what Trump is doing to the fabric of our community, what he’s doing to this country, and what policies he’s unraveling that are going to take years and years and years to fix. This is going to be a healing process. If we find that we wake up tomorrow and Trump is no longer the president, we are going to be recovering and trying to heal from the Trumpian years, I suspect for many, many decades. It’s going to be the single greatest challenge of the next many cycles of American politics.

MARC STEINER: And that’s what our next generation faces, and we have to stand with them to make sure this is a better place, not a worse place. And Sasha Abramsky, thank you so much for your time with us today. I deeply appreciate it. And I look forward to seeing what you write next and getting you to join us again soon.

SASHA ABRAMSKY: Be happy to. Thanks again, Marc.

MARC STEINER: Thank you so much. And I’m Marc Steiner here for The Real News Network. Thank you all for joining us. Please go to our website, let us know what you think. Take care.

DHARNA NOORL Hey y’all, my name is Dharna Noor and I’m a climate crisis reporter here at The Real News Network. This is a crucial moment for humanity and for the planet. So if you like what we do, please, please support us by subscribing at the link below. Thank you.

https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-alters-us-impeachment
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Money Over Democracy: 😈 Trump Sold Out Our Allies & The American People! 😱
3,911 views•Oct 9, 2019


Thom Hartmann Program
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Is Donald Trump's Only Principal Money?

It is pretty clear that Donald Trump is not working for the American people but for other oligarchs, Thom Hartmann goes through the lack of principals in the Trump administration that led to the betrayal of our Allies the Kurds

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