Nov 262016
 

The results of the recent election should teach us to keep informed and keep learning.  While most progressives likely know the lessons of this article, others don't . . . like perhaps the 62,000,000 who voted Republican and those who did not vote for whatever reason.  The right to vote is a sacred responsibility that needs to be practised.  Embrace your responsibility, learn lots, and practise.

WASHINGTON — By now, you've heard that a populist demagogue whose nativist agenda was supported by the alt-right and other white nationalist forces will be the next president. And your next thought might've been: "What?" With so many "isms" associated with supporters of President-elect Donald Trump, it's time for a refresher class on the ideologies and… Continue reading »

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Nov 262016
 

Well I fell asleep at the switch last night and did not get this finished as I had wanted.  The news is a bit slow but that will change as Trump makes his mark.  He has commented that we will see more proposed cabinet announcements next Friday.  In the interim, it is raining cats and dogs here and I should go out shortly, but I think I'll stay warm and dry.  I prefer my cats dry and purring . . . not a difficult choice.

MSN.com — Canada suddenly has its first hijab-wearing news anchor on commercial television.

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"For me, it's just a step forward in my career," Ginella Massa, who jumped at the chance to fill a vacant anchor chair at the CityNews network in Toronto last Friday night, tells The Hollywood Reporter. But when Massa ended the 11 p.m. newscast just before midnight and checked in with her assignment editor, they agreed Canada had also taken an even bigger leap forward for diversity.

"He said, was that a first? And I said, yes, I think it was, to have a woman in a hijab anchor the news in Canada," she recalls. So Massa marked her career milestone on her Twitter account and on Facebook, where she wrote: "That's a wrap! Thankful to have opportunities like this at a time when there is so much hate and vilifying of Muslims." 

I am very happy for this young woman, and for Canada.  But I am also sad because this should not be news . .  . it should be an everyday occurrence.  Skills should be the measure, not outward appearances.  May we see more barriers broken down!

The Nation — Donald Trump ran on a series of impossible promises, but enough people believed he could deliver on them that he won the Electoral College. His supporters are in for what might be the rudest awakening in recent political history.  

trump_supporters_california_rtr_imgDemonstrators hold signs in support of President-elect Donald Trump in Oceanside, California, November 11, 2016. (Reuters / Sandy Huffaker)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immediately after the election, the candidate who ran against the esreadtablishment, the guy who promised to “drain the swamp,” immediately surrounded himself with party hacks and lobbyists. He announced that Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, perhaps the most prominent face of the dreaded “establishment,” would be his chief of staff. Good-government advocates expect the Trump regime to gut what remains of our already tattered campaign-finance laws. Reuters reports that, “despite his professed opposition to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, President-elect Donald Trump is considering several of the major advocates of that war for top national security posts.” And as Politico’s Ben White put it, “a populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the campaign trail is now putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker’s dream.”

Trump’s not going to make coal cheaper than natural gas and bring back a bunch of mining jobs. He might be able to negotiate some new riders for NAFTA, but they’ll be guided by the same corporate lobbyists who effectively wrote it in the first place, and won’t do anything to bring back jobs that have been sent overseas. There will be no 35 percent tariff on imports from Mexico or China.

Click through for the rest of an interesting read.  As the author concluded, "What’s certain is that they’re headed for an epic case of buyers’ remorse."

Daily Beast — Fidel Castro  13/08/1926 – 25 /11/2016

Fidel Castro relinquished the presidency in 2008, handing power to his brother Raul after a period of illness. Since then he has gradually disappeared from public life, occasionally penning a column for the state newspaper, Granma.

Long after the heroism and mystique of the revolution has faded, Fidel Castro will likely be remembered for his role in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when civilization came as close as it has yet come to nuclear Armageddon. During that 13-day trilateral confrontation, while the world watched the stand-off on black and white television sets, behind the scenes Castro was furiously writing to his Soviet counterpart Nikita Khrushchev demanding that the Ukrainian press the button and incinerate us all by launching a first nuclear strike on the United States. “However hard and terrible the solution might be, there is no other,” wrote Castro. Thankfully Stalin’s former henchman, who by his own admission was “up to his elbows” in blood, chose not to heed Castro’s advice.

There is no doubt that Castro was a thorn in many people's sides, but probably more so in the US's side.  Being merely 90 miles off the south-east coast of the US, Cuba's Castro and the US came to verbal blows many times.  And of course there is the Cuban ex-pat community that grew in the US, particulary in Florida.  Some will celebrate his passing, others, not.  Reuters carried reactions from leaders and others around the world.  "[US] President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday called Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who died on Friday night aged 90, a "brutal dictator who oppressed his people for six decades."

"While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve," Trump said in a statement."  President Barak Obama was much more conciliatory.

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Nov 232016
 

I posted 3 pieces yesterday, an Open Thread on 18/11/2016 and now another OT.  There is so much going on now that needs addressing and not enough time for it all.  Conway says Trump is disavowing the white supremacists and has been all through the campaign.  BS!!!  His advisors and cabinet choices say otherwise.  And what is worse for me, his poison is spreading here too!  I have known for years that we have our  own racists too . . . I have lived in areas where they hide.  But I refuse to be cowed by them.  There is no place in a civil society for racism, bigotry or discrimination of any kind. 

Short Takes

Montréal Gazette — Maxime Fiset was well on his way to becoming a neo-Nazi when he was arrested for inciting hatred.

Fellow skinheads had shaved his head for him, he had a Nazi flag in his room, draped over his copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and books on how to make a bomb, and he had founded the first organization and website in Quebec to bring all the right-wing extremists together — the Fédération des québécois de souche.   

But it wasn’t until his arrest at school in Quebec City, with brass knuckles in his pocket, that he truly became radicalized, he says — and planned to inflict maximum damage. 

In an interview with the Montreal Gazette the week after Donald Trump was elected, as swastikas appeared across the U.S. and in Canada, Fiset, looked back on how he joined the neo-Nazi movement — and how he got out. 

maxime-fiset

Looking for Answers

At 17, Fiset was in a loving home, was good at school, and had everything he needed. 

But he was looking for answers. He had a particularly influential, nationalist high school teacher, and learned about 20th century history, Adolf Hitler and the rise of the Nazi party.

He was also very much pro-independence and frustrated by what he perceived as the “weakening of Quebec culture” and the obstacles to independence — non-francophones and immigrants voting no. 

“I was naive, and searching for answers to questions pretty much everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives — about politics and democracy,” said Fiset.

“I thought the Nazi party answered those questions. It was simple, black and white, and that was seductive … I stumbled into it and got stuck.”

At the end of the school year, Fiset, already an imposing young man, got a job working security for the city, guarding Roland-Beaudin Park in Quebec City. One night he approached a group of skinheads to tell them to leave, but instead began talking to them. They were friendly, he said — and they introduced him to Stormfront.

Self-described as “a community of racial realists and idealists,” the Stormfront website features a weekly radio show hosted by white supremacists Paul Fromm and David Duke, as well as discussion threads on everything from “which religions are acceptable” to the vandalism at a mosque in Sept-Îles. (There is a Quebec Stormfront forum, as well as one specifically targeted to youth).

Though many of the other skinheads were mostly interested in “booze, women and (skinhead music) shows,” Fiset was lured in by the politics.

It is important to understand the underpinnings of a belief system before trying to combat it,  Fiset offers a glimpse into that understanding, a glimpse obtained from first hand experience.  We would do well to listen.  Click through for the rest of Fiset's story.

Daily Kos — According to news reports, and tweets from Kevin Allred, who is a lecturer at Rutgers University, in New Jersey where he teaches gender studies, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in New York City for “psychiatric evaluation” by NYPD police, from his home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn NY. 

The NYPD had been contacted by Rutgers Campus Police who received a report from a student that Mr. Allred was “threatening to kill white people.”  

Allred is white.

Is this to be the new norm for daring to exercising the first amendment right to freedom of speech?

i said: would conservatives care as much abt the 2nd amendment if guns killed more white people? a question meant to expose double standard — Tweet of Kevin Allred 15 November 2016

Click through for the rest of this short piece.  Can you conceive of the first amendment being in danger?  I can and Trump vowed to curtail the freedom of the press, among other things, during his campaign.  He will be a vengeful, small minded little dictator.  On top of that, Washington State Senator Ericksen (R) has proposed a bill that would make protesting an act of economic terrorism.  Another assault on the first amendment.  The shit is going to hit the fan, and Trump has not even been sworn in yet.

Washington Post — President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are drawing up plans to take on the government bureaucracy they have long railed against, by eroding job protections and grinding down benefits that federal workers have received for a generation.

Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January.

These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. But Trump’s election as an outsider promising to shake up a system he told voters is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do in the 133 years since the civil service was created.

“You have the country moving to the right and being much more anti-Washington than it was,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a leading Trump adviser who serves on the president-elect’s transition team.

“We’re going to have to get the country to understand how big the problem is, the human costs of it and why it’s absolutely essential to reform,” said Gingrich, who urged Trump to shrink big government and overhaul the “job-for-life” guarantee of federal work.

Gingrich predicted that Stephen K. Bannon, a former Breitbart News chief who helped steer Trump’s campaign and is now one of his most influential advisers, would lead the effort. “It’s a big, big project,” he said.

Click through for the rest.  I wonder if such can be applied to Representatives and Senators, most of whom would be Republicans, who did not do their jobs over the past 8 years.  They were paid well, had gold plate benefits, but certainly did not represent the interests of the people.  Waste and fraud could certainly be found in the Congress.

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Nov 222016
 

From Alternet

This past week or so has been, what some will say, an outrageous nightmare of monumental proportions as Trump's cabinet and advisory positions are filled with ultra racists, deplorables by any other name.

Fears the incoming Trump administration will deploy race-based tools used by Nazi Germany to target Muslims were validated this week when a top immigration adviser said a national registry of immigrants might be created after taking office. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who drafted tough immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere, said Trump's policy advisers… Continue reading »

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Nov 222016
 

Trump has said that he is now going to unite the country, something he said that Democrats have never done.  But he has a strange way of uniting the country . . . he does it by exclusion.

Former Navy SEAL and Trump surrogate Carl Higbie horrified viewers on Wednesday when he told Fox News host Megyn Kelly that President-elect Trump's Muslim registry has "precedent" in World War II's Japanese internment camps. George Takei, who was forced into an internment camp at a young age, had some strong words in response. "Mr. Higbie used… Continue reading »

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Nov 192016
 

Today has been "one of those days".  I slept late and then spent play time with my three cats which was very relaxing.  It was hard to tear myself away from my furballs, but I did.  After our play time I spent several hours at the local hospital visiting some of our church members who are on my pastoral care list.  One lady, who I call my second mum, did not look like herself at all when I first went in, but that soon changed and we had a wonderful visit talking a lot about her oldest grandson who was in my Sunday School class 20 years ago.  This weekend, I will be visiting my mother and hoping Patty Monster does not kick my butt at Fantasy Football!

Short Takes

CBC — President-elect Donald Trump on Friday named his earliest and staunchest supporter in the Senate, conservative Republican Jeff Sessions, to become the next U.S. attorney general, triggering an outcry from civil rights groups as well as some conservatives outside Congress who are uneasy about Sessions' positions.

jeff-sessions

Sessions is one of three senior leaders Trump has appointed  to his national security and law enforcement teams, including Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA director and retired Lt.-Gen. Mike Flynn as national security adviser.

If approved for the job by a simple majority in the Republican-dominated Senate, Sessions, 69, would lead the Justice Department and the FBI. He brings a record of controversial positions on race, immigration and criminal justice reform that Democrats may target.

OMG!!! or WTH(F)!!!  Can there be any other first reaction to Trump's choice of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General?  Sessions has a reputation as an unabashed racist.  From Wikipedia:

"In 1986, Reagan nominated Sessions to be a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. … At Sessions' confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, four Department of Justice lawyers who had worked with Sessions testified that he had made several racist statements in the context of the Marion Three case. One of those lawyers, J. Gerald Hebert, testified that Sessions had referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" because they "forced civil rights down the throats of people"."

Sessiions has 4 years left in his Senate term which as I understand means that Alabama will appoint another person  (read Republican) to complete the term or run a byelection.  In 2014, Sessions ran essentially uncontested and received 97.25% of the vote, while in 2008 he received 63.36%, far ahead of his Democrat opponent.  I think we should have concerns over civil rights investigations and prosecutions.  Click through for the rest of the article.

Daily Kos — Irish Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin opened the upper house of the Irish legislature (Seanad Éireann) with a statement about the United States’ election of Donald Trump. Mr. Riordáin was responding to the hypocritical congratulatory reactions from fellow Irish politicians. Riordáin opened by quoting the Irish statesman, Edmund Burke.

The only way evil can prosper if for good men to do nothing.

It is good to know that other countries are looking at Trump's ascendancy to POTUS and recognising it for what it is . . . a fascist takeover of the US government.  Il Duce Trump.

Fiscal Times (MSN) — Throughout the presidential election, now-President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to undo the financial service industry reforms contained in the Dodd-Frank Act. The Trump transition team’s website makes it clear that the issue hasn’t been forgotten, saying that Trump will work to “dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies.”

In an appearance on Capitol Hill Thursday, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen delivered her verdict on the suggestion: bad idea.

Yellen was delivering regularly scheduled testimony before the Joint Economic Committee when she was asked by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for her thoughts on the law that placed new restrictions on the financial services industry in the wake of the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession.

Although Yellen does not mention Trump by name, she responds to his proposal to gut financial regulations (Dodd-Frank), she is very clear that this will send the country into a deeper recession than 2008, and we all know how that turned out.  Thank goodness Sanders and Warren are still strong in the Senate.  Although I have not specifically heard anything, it would not surprise me find that Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau becomes "unemployed", unfortunately.

Daily Beast — John Oliver, like most liberal comedians, did his damnedest to prevent Donald Trump and Mike Pence from reaching the White House. He tore apart the former reality-show host for bragging about sexually assaulting women, explained how his scandals were far worse than Hillary Clinton’s, and even offered up his Emmy to Trump if he’d deliver a concession speech and ensure a peaceful transfer of power upon losing.

Well, Trump managed the unthinkable: He won. He is now the president-elect. And Oliver, like more than half of Americans who cast their ballot, is shocked and terrified. 

“It’s true! That happened!” he exclaimed. “It turns out, instead of showing our daughters that they could someday be president, America proved that no grandpa is too racist to become leader of the free world.”

We can always count on John Oliver for some good commentary.  He is so spot on!

My Universe — I don't know the story behind all of these pictures, and a few may well have been staged, but just the thoughts of what is happening, people helping other people or animals is enough to give one hope.  Click through for the remainder.

faith-in-humanity-3Jacqueline Kiplimo, the world-class marathon runner, slowed for several miles to help a disabled man drink. She sacrificed the $10,000 prize for finishing first.

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