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Saturday, August 17, 2019

"NO SCAN, NO PAY." Translation: Either attend (and "scan" your ID card to mark your attendance), or take the day off. "Those who are NOT in attendance will not receive overtime pay on Friday." read more

Economists are starting to get pretty worried that the economy is heading for a recession. Paul Krugman does a good job of explaining why. read more

Thursday, August 15, 2019

"We request the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets be renamed President Barack H. Obama Avenue," reads the request, addressed to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and the City Council. "Any addresses on that stretch of Fifth Avenue should be changed accordingly." That stretch includes Trump Tower, which would make President Trump's address there 725 President Barack H. Obama Ave. read more

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The land was wrested first from Native Americans, by force. It was then cleared, watered, and made productive for intensive agriculture by the labor of enslaved Africans, who after Emancipation would come to own a portion of it. Later, through a variety of means"sometimes legal, often coercive, in many cases legal and coercive, occasionally violent"farmland owned by black people came into the hands of white people. It was aggregated into larger holdings, then aggregated again, eventually attracting the interest of Wall Street. read more

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Almost 40 minutes before ABC News first reported Epstein's death on Twitter, someone posted still-unverified details on 4chan, the anonymous message board popular with far-right trolls and white nationalists. "[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this," read the post, which was published at 8:16 a.m. alongside an image of Pepe, the green frog that has become a mascot for right-wing internet trolls. read more


Meet Rashida Tlaib's grandma: Who wouldn't be proud of a granddaughter like that?'

Very poignant article that illustrates the current plight of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories. The time is coming very soon where Americans that don't know will fully understand that if this nation truly believes in liberty and freedom our actions need to match our words, not betray their understanding.

When ever has an allegedly strong, vital democracy been willing to try and stifle dissent of its own policies by legally silencing opposing viewpoints and experiences? Weak authoritarian states try to shape and control hostile speech all the time under the guise of national security, when the reality is those same states know that the truth undermines the wrongs perpetrated to maintain power and control over those they oppress. Though it was almost 50 years ago, the echoes of South Africa will reverberate louder and louder until the truth will be too powerful to deny. One must be able to talk about the wrongs done in the name of the Israeli state without being accused of wanting its democratic efforts to fail. But those living under a supposed democracy have to actually be treated in a democratic manner, each and every one held responsible for their individual actions without bearing wholesale responsibility for the violent acts and intentions of others.

Standing up for the rights of the oppressed and suffering to be treated far more fairly and humanely does not make one an advocate of Israel's fall as a democracy. For most it's a charge to Israel to be the type of society that it claims, and to treat all those within its borders with decency and fairness while simultaneously protecting itself from external and internal extremist harm.

Let's say you were born in 1974 and are 45 years old today. You were 14 when George H.W. Bush was elected to office and during your teenage years, those when political understandings first form and begin to harden, the economy fell into recession, the deficit exploded, an era of deep military engagement in the Middle East began.

The two Democratic presidents in your lifetime (Clinton, Obama) produced long economic booms, vast improvements in healthcare, and global cooperation and respect, while the three Republican presidents brought recession, rising deficits, disastrous adventurism abroad, and well, Trump. Furthermore, if you are under 45, your life has been shaped by the rise of a truly global economy, an interconnected world enabled by the Internet, a far more diverse population here at home, and important steps towards greater equality for all. This is the world you know " and it is almost as if Trump and the current GOP have risen to roll back and reject all that you understand America to be.

Not surprisingly, all of this has led to what is becoming a truly consequential divide in American politics " voters under 45 have become overwhelmingly Democratic.

And why do Republicans continue to be given the controls of the federal government over and over again when their track record is an abysmal failure? Their reliance on the very identity politics they claim the Democrats foist on this nation. If it weren't for creating a collection of others and reliance on wedge issues to scapegoat for their own abject incompetence and inability to successfully navigate from the helm, the modern day GOP would have already gone the way of the 19th Century Know Nothings. Make no mistake, there will always be both a need and a place for conservatives in our diverse society, it's just that this nation deserves far better stewardship than this iteration has ever been able to provide as they let the tax cut tail wag the fiscal dog time and time again, while the majority of Americans end up with little more than endless bags full of the wealthy's ----.

It's difficult Danni because there isn't just a handful of groups/owners that have profited from dispossession through the years who are readily identifiable. As the article notes, TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - a teachers' pension group) owns 80,000 acres in MS and 130,000 acres total along the Mississippi River including Arkansas. They had nothing to do with the dispossession process in the 20th Century, but they now benefit from it.

As noted, trillions of dollars of wealth has been systematically taken from black home/land owners through the years, and most in the latter 20th Century, far removed from the days of slavery. In Chicago black families were blocked from home ownership by covenant laws put in place to segregate black neighborhoods from white neighborhoods and banks would not loan blacks money even if they otherwise qualified - redlining - as unscrupulous white opportunists would buy up the homes of suburban-fleeing whites and "sell" them to blacks on contracts. Those contracts allowed repossession of the property for missed payments in the same manner the rent-to-own business works today. Even up to the last payment, the owner could repossess the property and resell it to another buyer and start the process again. And all of this was completely legal at the time.

Policies such as these are one of the chief drivers in the tremendous gulf between white wealth and black wealth in the erstwhile middle class. And it also is one of the reasons calls for conversations about reparations are tied to contemporary issues, not just those from slavery and Jim Crow. Discriminatory practices that suck black wealth away into the coffers of undeserving white coffers has not stopped to this day. It just happens in the dark places most people don't ever see because it doesn't affect their lives or livelihoods.

Nothing you just posted contradicts what I've said.

The fact you believe so tells us all we need to know about you.


The fact you equate economic bridge programs and social services with "self sufficiency" seems to ignore that over 90% of those receiving said benefits are citizens. You ignore that these immigrants have paid taxes just like citizens, which should make them eligible under the same qualifying rules for everyone else without it affecting their possibilities for citizenship. They are being singled out because they might struggle economically as millions of citizens do everyday. So this alone should determine their ability to earn their citizenship? More than 12 benefits in 36 months should disqualify someone, perhaps permanently, from achieving their goal of citizenship regardless of their personal story?

It's been pointed out to everyone that before this policy change, a "public charge" was a person primarily dependant upon direct cash payments, income maintenance or government support for long-term institutionalization. These immigrants were more than just struggling persons at the margins, they arguably were true burdens beyond what they'd contributed themselves. Now we want to penalize people who have themselves self-funded the bridge programs that help them to become successful by making sure they survive in hard times that many face without any fault of their own.

That you cannot see the difference is startling and only shows how your own privilege blinds you to the plight of many trying to follow in your own footsteps.

Mass dispossession did not require a central organizing force or a grand conspiracy. Thousands of individual decisions by white people, enabled or motivated by greed, racism, existing laws, and market forces, all pushed in a single direction. But some white people undeniably would have organized it this way if they could have. The civil-rights leader Bayard Rustin reported in 1956 that documents taken from the office of Robert Patterson, one of the founding fathers of the White Citizens' Councils, proposed a "master plan" to force hundreds of thousands of black people from Mississippi in order to reduce their potential voting power. Patterson envisioned, in Rustin's words, "the decline of the small independent farmer" and ample doses of "economic pressure."

An upheaval of this scale and speed"the destruction of black farming, an occupation that had defined the African American experience"might in any other context be described as a revolution, or seen as a historical fulcrum. But it came and went with little remark.

According to the researchers Francis and Hamilton, "The dispossession of black agricultural land resulted in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars of black wealth. We must emphasize this estimate is conservative ... Depending on multiplier effects, rates of returns, and other factors, it could reach into the trillions." The large wealth gap between white and black families today exists in part because of this historic loss.

But money does not define every dimension of land theft. Were it not for dispossession, Mississippi today might well be a majority-black state, with a radically different political destiny. Imagine the difference in our national politics if the center of gravity of black electoral strength had remained in the South after the Voting Rights Act was passed.

Incredibly tragic American story which help explains why things are the way they are today. Theft and discrimination are indeed among American values and always have been.

They aren't being denied services. They are merely being denied a green card until they are self-sufficient, Tony. Get off the public dole and then become eligible for a Green Card.


I really wish you'd actually read the details than get on here with your BS of selective understanding.

Guidelines in use since 1999 referred to a public charge as someone primarily dependent on cash assistance, income maintenance or government support for long-term institutionalization.

Under the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security has redefined a public charge as someone who is "more likely than not" to receive public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. If someone has two benefits, that is counted as two months. And the definition has been broadened to include Medicaid, housing assistance and food assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

"Without a single change in the law by Congress, the Trump public charge rules mean many more U.S. citizens are being and will be denied the opportunity to live together in the U.S. with their spouses, children and parents," said Ur Jaddou, a former Citizenship and Immigration Services chief counsel who's now director of the DHS Watch run by an immigrant advocacy group. "These are not just small changes. They are big changes with enormous consequences for U.S. citizens."

The point is that as hard as it is to maintain life at the margins of our society, we're telling legal immigrants that if they cannot keep from needing any of the combination (each counted separately) of "Medicaid, housing assistance, and food assistance or SNAP" for more than a total of 12 times in a 3 year period (if one used all 3, the disqualifying time frame would be 4 MONTHS) that person would be denied a green card.

And the larger point is that these people can be employed the entire time and STILL qualify for benefits under each and every program, so the net result is that they are penalized for being poor while contributing taxes that go towards paying for these same benefits to American citizens, yet they are denied that right themselves.

Basically the rules are being rewritten to say that a legal immigrant wanting citizenship better find gainful employment which provides income and benefits far beyond that which tens of millions of working Americans receive in today's economy. We're not asking them to pull their own weight, we're asking them to be superhuman compared to all other working poor people who are citizens. The "public charge" has been changed from the actually needy who can't begin to take care of their own needs without direct financial assistance from the government to the majority of those we call the working poor who utilize the very programs put in place because their full time wages and benefits often don't rise above subsistence levels.


Federalist #29

Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

THE power of regulating the militia, and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy.

It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense. It would enable them to discharge the duties of the camp and of the field with mutual intelligence and concert an advantage of peculiar moment in the operations of an army; and it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions which would be essential to their usefulness. This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority.

But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.

There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia, that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests? What reasonable cause of apprehension can be inferred from a power in the Union to prescribe regulations for the militia, and to command its services when necessary, while the particular States are to have the SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS? If it were possible seriously to indulge a jealousy of the militia upon any conceivable establishment under the federal government, the circumstance of the officers being in the appointment of the States ought at once to extinguish it. There can be no doubt that this circumstance will always secure to them a preponderating influence over the militia.

And even then, if they didnt intend for it to cover weaons of war,

Of course they meant it to cover weapons of war for the time they lived in. My statement couldn't have been clearer:

The advance of technology and individualized firepower available today was unimaginable when the Founders created our Constitution and they indeed expected us to amend it as the needs of the future nation dictated.
The 2nd Amendment is no more inviolate than any other amendment and can be changed through the constitutionally described process if that is what the end result calls for.

Fact is the first half of the sentence has nothing to do with the second half as liberals are implying.

Constitutional interpretation is ultimately determined by the SCOTUS, and those interpretations have varied throughout the years. Again, I accounted for that with this statement:

Many Americans of all ideologies believe in the concepts enshrined in the 2nd Amendment, while many also agree that its "unabridged' personal rights interpretation must be balanced with the Founders' language on "a well-regulated militia" regardless of how our SCOTUS has ruled on the subject throughout the years.
Yet again, the meaning of the amendment is only decided by the SCOTUS in its rulings or by Congress they start the amendment process and the states agree with their ascent as well.

Keeping and bearing the arms of the 17th century is not quite the same as keeping and bearing the arms created and intended for nation/state warfare in the latter-20th and early 21st Century. I don't think that is a controversial concept in the least. The individual does not have the right to possess any and all types of "arms" even though the unambiguous wording seems to say so. And that is codified in a ruling from a conservative majority SCOTUS ruling, not a liberal one.

Neither side is willing to accept that maybe their ideology causes a problem so neither side can ever truly be part of the solution.

Maybe the unwillingness is based on the fact that ideology alone doesn't always define the gun divide. Many Americans of all ideologies believe in the concepts enshrined in the 2nd Amendment, while many also agree that its "unabridged' personal rights interpretation must be balanced with the Founders' language on "a well-regulated militia" regardless of how our SCOTUS has ruled on the subject throughout the years.

Many of those technically informed often correct the ignorant that the weapon nor ammunition in and of itself isn't as important as the damage specific combinations can do to human tissue when utilized in non-battlefield conditions. Maybe we do need to start this conversation at how to alleviate the problems and work backward towards solutions that still pass constitutional muster. The advance of technology and individualized firepower available today was unimaginable when the Founders created our Constitution and they indeed expected us to amend it as the needs of the future nation dictated. We shouldn't shirk from this duty right now.

Somewhere along the way our nation has placed more value on the individual's right to keep and bear all types of handheld guns than it has on the safety and concerns of those who both choose not to, or those who don't want to become victims or casualties of another person's rights. There should be plenty of room to accommodate the reasonable desires of both sides without scapegoating unworkable, draconian scare tactics that only the most rigid extremists ever mention.

Officials had long been raising concerns as the Trump administration had imposed a hiring freeze and budget cuts on the Bureau of Prisons.

"All this was caused by the administration," Young said.

Spokesmen for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In congressional testimony earlier this year, Attorney General William P. Barr conceded the bureau was "short" about 4,000 or 5,000 employees and said he had lifted the hiring freeze and was trying to ensure a steady pipeline of new officers to replace those who leave.

"I think this is an area where we have stumbled," Barr said.

There it is....

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