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June 2018

15 Actions That Can Shut Down Trump’s Assault On Immigrant Families

Thwarting Donald Trump’s war on immigrants and dismantling the vast deportation machine is possible. It won’t be easy, but it has to be done. Simply put, Trump’s plan is ethnic cleansing. His actions go far beyond snatching 2,342 children from parents fleeing violence-ravaged countries. From creating a taskforce to strip naturalized U.S. citizens of citizenship so they can be deported to severely curtailing asylum claims to his Muslim travel ban, Trump has made no secret of his disdain and contempt for people who, frankly, don’t look like him. He even traffics in the language of ethnic cleansing—warning of illegal immigrants who seek to “pour into and infest our country.” Momentum is building around a movement to slow the president’s deplorable treatment of immigrants, including blameless children. Protests have been going on for weeks.

The Next White House Chief Of Staff Likely To Be Even Worse

Mr. Mulvaney’s title seems uninterestingly bureaucratic—director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). But as Trump’s chief hatchet man extraordinaire, Mugger Mick Mulvaney is easily one of the cruelest, most vicious presidential henchman in modern American history. From his powerful perch next door to the White House, he is carving a bloody trail against tens of millions of Americans who are poor, disabled, frail, and elderly. He has gone after defenseless children and injured or sick patients with little or no access to health care. It is difficult to exaggerate the relentless, savage delight that this former Congressman from South Carolina—handpicked for Trump by the brutish, oil funded Heritage Foundation—takes in attacking the most vulnerable members of our society.

City-Level Action Is The Right Way To Tackle Emissions

Countries seeking to meet Paris Agreement targets on CO2 emissions must get a grip on the amount of pollution produced at city level, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA). In a new study, published in Science Advances, the researchers set out a framework for gathering and analysing local information about how cities contribute to pollution levels, and show how these insights could be used to target climate mitigation initiatives most effectively. Using China as a model, the team has compared emissions data from 180 cities across the country, looking at the industrial make-up of each city, its socioeconomic profile, and the types of energy produced and consumed. The researchers used the data to classify cities according to different levels of industrial development and worked out the potential for emission reduction amongst the different groups.

Protesters Block Expressway After Officer Who Shot Antwon Rose Granted Bail

Protesters shut down a portion of the Tri-Boro Expressway outside Pittsburgh on Thursday after the officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose was released on bail. East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld shot Rose, who was unarmed, three times, including once in the back as the teen fled a traffic stop on June 19. Rosfeld, 30, was charged with criminal homicide and released on a $250,000 bail on Wednesday, despite opposition from prosecutors, according to The New York Times.  About 85 people blocked an area of the Tri-Boro Expressway, demanding Rosfeld’s bail be revoked, Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs told HuffPost. “[The police] are allowing them to proceed right now, as they are peaceful in the area in they are in, as the police are able to divert traffic around them,” she said.

The Economic Atom Bombing Of Syria

Washington’s long war on Syria comprises three major elements: a proxy war waged by Islamist insurgents; an occupation of almost one-third of Syria by US and allied troops [1]; and a program of economic warfare. If we understand war to represent an attempt by one state to impose its will on another, then all three elements, including the economic one, are expressions of war, and Washington’s long war on Syria must be understood as a multi-faceted enterprise involving more than aerial bombing, firefights, cruise missile launches, and suicide attacks, however much the military aspects of the war command attention and the economic aspects evade it.

Targeting The Most Vulnerable: Children In Detention In The US And Palestine

Americans are grappling with the incarceration of 10-year-olds and the concept of “tender age detention centers” while morally bankrupt politicians wring their bloodied hands. As courts begin to respond, many folks across the political spectrum are wondering, “What happens to the children caught in this catastrophe?” Interestingly, there is much we can learn from research in the US and from the Israeli experience with regard to children and prisons. The US and Israel both perceive themselves as enlightened “western democracies,” yet both have high incarceration rates, particularly for children of color, sometimes involving the same global prison industries.  In both countries, these kinds of children are perceived as the “other,” the “enemy,” the “invading hordes ready to destroy America,” the “Muslim terrorists seeking to kill Israelis.”

Syrian Child Refugee Choir From Canada Cancels US Trip Over Trump Policies

MONTREAL, Canada - A Canadian choir composed of Syrian refugee children will not perform at an event in Washington, DC, later this week because organisers and parents feared the kids would be turned away at the US-Canada border. The Toronto-based Nai Kids Choir, composed of about 60 Syrian refugee children who have been resettled in Canada, was invited to participate in the Serenade! Choral Festival last autumn. However, Fei Tang, the choir’s founder and general manager, said her initial excitement quickly “was clouded by what was happening in the US” under the Donald Trump administration. Since taking office, the US president has repeatedly used racist and incendiary language to describe refugees and asylum seekers, and last year he imposed a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, including Syria.

They Walked Out On Birthright To See Palestinians — And Created Their Own Conflict

Katie Fenster says that she wasn’t planning on walking out on her Birthright Israel tour when she arrived. But during the free 10-day trip, she grew increasingly frustrated that the answers to her questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “all came from one perspective” and did not include Palestinian views. “We felt like we weren’t being engaged with honestly,” she told the Forward. So on Wednesday, the final day of activities on her trip, she and four other women staged a walkout in Tel Aviv, meeting up with the controversial anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence for a tour of Hebron in the West Bank, where they met with Palestinians and saw a shrine dedicated to an Israeli terrorist.

Federal Agents Interrupt CBS Interview With Former ICE Spokesperson

"This is why people won't come out and speak against the government," said James Schwab, a former ICE spokesman who quit after refusing to spread the Trump administration's lies. In a nationally televised incident that "should disturb every single person living in the United States," agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General's Office on Wednesday interrupted an interview with former ICE spokesperson James Schwab, who resigned from his position in March after he was asked to perpetuate lies on behalf of the Trump administration. "This is intimidation," Schwab told CBS reporter Jamie Yuccas after the agents left his doorstep. "And this is why people won't come out and speak against the government."

How Credit Card Wars Lead To Greater Inequality

In the name of the fight against terrorism, the United States is currently waging “credit-card wars” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Never before has this country relied so heavily on deficit spending to pay for its conflicts. The consequences are expected to be ruinous for the long-term fiscal health of the U.S., but they go far beyond the economic. Massive levels of war-related debt will have lasting repercussions of all sorts. One potentially devastating effect, a new study finds, will be more societal inequality. In other words, the staggering costs of the longest war in American history -- almost 17 years running, since the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 -- are being deferred to the future. In the process, the government is contributing to this country’s skyrocketing income inequality.

How Neoliberalism Is Killing Democracy

Democracy across the world is under siege. This according to the latest Freedom House report documenting that for 2017, “democracy faced its most serous crisis in decades” as  seventy-one countries experienced declines in freedom or fair government, including the United States,  and only thirty-five an improvement.  This was the twelfth consecutive year of decline in democracy world-wide. The question is why? Why has confidence in democracy retreated? Freedom House does not provide an answer, but there is a reason.   It is democracy’s marriage to neo-liberal capitalism has fostered the conditions leading to its own undoing, similar to the way Karl Marx once described in the Communist Manifesto the “gravedigger thesis” (What the Bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all,  are its own grave diggers”) where capitalism would produce the conditions that would undermine its own existence.

Dismantling A Society: How US Empire Steals From The United States

Nikki Haley released a ferocious rebuke of a UN report detailing poverty in the United States. As if she could will away or dismiss its findings simply by how angry she denounced it. The life expectancy in the United States sits at 78.6 years (2) whilst Cubans can expect to live to 79.5 according to the World Health Organisation(3). Cuba is of course a country that has been economically embargoed by the United States for over half a century. Nikki Haleys ferocious retort comes amid a United Nations report examining poverty in the United States. 40 million Americans live in poverty, 18.5 million americans live in extreme poverty and 5.3million live in “third world conditions of absolute poverty” (4).

National Unity Fast For Children Separated From Their Parents

Fifty years ago, in 1968 Chicano activist and farm worker organizer Cesar Chavez started his 25 day his fast. While running for President, Robert F. Kennedy, flew to meet him and break bread break the fast. This past weekend in McAllen, Texas, RFK’s daughter, Kerry Kennedy joined by Delores Huerta, the co-founder of the American Farm Workers Union in a new fast. This time around it won’t be Chavez’s life threatening 25 days, it will be 24 hours for each individual person which will then be passed along to the next person. 24 hours for 24 days for the 2400+ children separated from their parents.

The Immigration Con: How Duopoly Makes Public Forget About Roots Causes Of War And Economics

Many are focusing on the travel ban, largely targeting Muslim countries, and the separation and detention of asylum seekers separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The the U.S. media and political establishment has put the issue of immigration front and center, causing all manner of political venting and pro and anti Trump venom to spew forth. A silver lining seems to be that it has helped raise issues that -- unlike the Russiagate story much of the establishment media has obsessed over -- at least have some currency with the general public. But the manner in which immigration issues have been focused on has obscured the root causes of those issues. Desperate migration is ultimately caused by economics, like so-called trade deals, corrupt Central American governments, often U.S.-backed, U.S.-backed coups and other policies.

Meet America’s New Climate Normal: Towns That Flood When It Isn’t Raining

I spend the afternoon in Shorecrest, a neighborhood a couple of miles north of downtown Miami. To get there I leave the beach behind and drive past Arky’s Live Bait & Tackle, Deal and Discounts II, Rafiul Food Store, Royal Budget Inn, Family Dollar and Goodwill. As I continue north, the buildings all lose their mirrored glass and their extra floors, until most are single story and made from stucco. It isn’t raining when I arrive in Shorecrest, and there isn’t a storm offshore; the day is as clear and as blue as the filigree on a porcelain plate. But the streets are still full of water. I watch as a woman wades ankle deep across Tenth Avenue. She has gathered her long russet-colored skirt in her right hand, and in her left she holds a pair of Jesus sandals. When she reaches the bus stop, she sits and puts her shoes on.
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