USA News and Discussions

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caltrek
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Why Fox News Claims 'They' are Destroying 'White Culture'
June 10. 2021

https://www.alternet.org/2021/06/fox-ne ... e-culture/

Introduction:
I'm struggling to explain why a Fox News host would say to the American people, "they're trying to take down the white culture!"

But first, let me back up.

Democracies don't turn into fascist oligarchies by being invaded or losing wars. It always happens from within, and is always driven by an alliance between demagogic, populist politicians and some of the very wealthiest people in society.

Step one for these right-wing politicians and the morbidly rich who support them is to pit one group of people within the nation against others: Marginalize and demonize minorities, deny them access to the levers of democratic power while openly attacking them for trying to usurp the privileges and prerequisites of the majority.

It's played out this way in every democratic country that has fallen to tyranny. It's how it happened in the 1930s in Italy, Germany, Japan and Spain, and today in Hungary, Poland, Egypt, Russia, The Philippines, and Turkey, among others.
caltrek
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We are So Not Out of the Woods, and We Might Want to Take Our Heads Out of the Sand
by Paul Street
June 11, 2021

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/06/11 ... -the-sand/

Extract:
(Counterpunch) What is it about bourgeois liberals and even many lefties who refuse to properly identify the evil staring them in the face? The fourth chapter of my next book is titled “The Anatomy of Fascism Denial.” It examines in painful detail the various absurd and pathetic ways in which liberal and left intellectuals and academics stuck their heads in the sand about Donald Trump and his backers – not just in 2016 but even through the white nationalist and pandemo-fascist Trump insanity of 2020 and the January 6th Attack on the Capitol, when Trump instigated lethal racial-nationalist violence in an attempt to nullify a bourgeois presidential election.

The denialism continues. Here we are just more than five months later after the failed Capitol Complex Putsch. The orange fascist reptile is back on the hate rally trail. He’s doubling and tripling down on his Big Stolen Election Lie, which is straight out of Hitler (a book of whose speeches the lizard kept by his bedside in the 1980s), adding the preposterous claim that he’s going to be “reinstated” in August.

Well more than half of the white nationalist Republican Party supports “the use of force to arrest the decline of the traditional American way of life.” Two thirds or more think Joe Biden’s win was illegitimate. Half believe the insane claim that “antifa was responsible for the attack on the Capitol.”

Red states are removing election officials who certified Biden’s victory, passing bills to roll back minority voting rights, advancing legislation to cancel the popular vote in the 2024 presidential election, enacting bills to criminalize and terrorize liberal and left protest, and criminalizing the teaching of the history of racism in America. They are also getting ready to draw state legislative and Congressional district maps gerrymandered to guarantee continued disproportionate minority white nationalist rule in state and federal government.

The fascist frau and Iowa governor Kim Reynolds has just signed a bill that “bans teaching about white privilege and racial equity in [Iowa’s] K-12 public schools and in public colleges and universities.” Read that again.
Last edited by caltrek on Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
weatheriscool
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North Korean defector says 'even North Korea was not this nuts' after attending Ivy League school
https://www.foxnews.com/us/north-korean ... eague-nuts
As American educational institutions continue to be called into question, a North Korean defector fears the United States' future "is as bleak as North Korea" after she attended one of the country's most prestigious universities.

Yeonmi Park has experienced plenty of struggle and hardship, but she does not call herself a victim.

One of several hundred North Korean defectors settled in the United States, Park, 27, transferred to Columbia University from a South Korean university in 2016 and was deeply disturbed by what she found.

"I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think," Park said in an interview with Fox News. "I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying."

Those similarities include anti-Western sentiment, collective guilt and suffocating political correctness.

Yeonmi saw red flags immediately upon arriving at the school.

During orientation, she was scolded by a university staff member for admitting she enjoyed classic literature such as Jane Austen.

"I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing," recalled Park.

"Then she said, 'Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’"
We must remain an society that values freedom, liberty and the diversity of ideas. If we stop being that then we'll become north korea.
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Time_Traveller
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A different America: How Republicans hold near total control in 23 US states
Tue 15 Jun 2021

Democrats across the US cheered last month, as Texas legislators staged a walkout from the statehouse to block the passage of a Republican bill that would enact a number of restrictions on voting access.

But the victory seemed short-lived, as the state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, quickly announced he planned to call a special session to get the legislation passed.

The walkout and the probably only temporary relief it provides for Democrats demonstrated the immense legislative power that Republicans have in dozens of states across the country and the ability that gives them to pass a hard-right agenda on a vast range of issues from abortion to the ability to vote.

In 23 US states, Republicans hold the governorship and the legislature, giving the party near total control to advance its policies. This year, Republicans have used that power to aggressively push their conservative social agenda – taking aim at abortion access, transgender rights and gun safety, as well as voting laws.

During the Texas legislative session, which concluded late last month, Republicans approved bills to allow permitless carry of firearms, ban abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and increase criminal penalties for protesters who block intersections.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/202 ... -democrats
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.” - Steven Moffat
caltrek
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Senate Confirms Biden's Pick to Powerful Federal Appeals Court

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... uxbndlbing

Introduction:
(CBS via MSN) Washington — The Senate on Monday approved the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia, confirming President Biden's first nominee to the U.S. appellate courts.

Jackson received bipartisan backing from the upper chamber in a 53 to 44 vote. Three Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joined Democrats in confirming Jackson, a judge on the federal district court in D.C. She will fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The D.C. Circuit is considered the nation's second most-powerful court and a springboard to the Supreme Court. Three of the high court's nine members — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh — served on the appeals court in the nation's capital before ascending to the high court.

Jackson is considered a contender for the Supreme Court if a vacancy arises during Mr. Biden's presidency, especially since the president has pledged to name the nation's first Black woman to the high court if there is an open seat.

That prospect has led progressive judicial groups to call for Justice Stephen Breyer, who has been on the Supreme Court for 27 years and for whom Jackson clerked, to retire and allow Mr. Biden to name a successor while Democrats hold slim control of the Senate.
It is good to see that Lindsey Graham is still sticking to his willingness to confirm qualified judicial appointees even from a president of an opposing party.
caltrek
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Reverend Barber Says West Virginians Are Ready for 'Non-Violent Sit-Ins' Against Manchin for Abetting GOP Voter Suppression

https://www.commondreams.org/node/328361

Introduction:
(Common Dreams) Rev. Dr. William Barber II said late Monday that West Virginians are prepared to stage non-violent sit-ins at Sen. Joe Manchin's office to protest the Democratic lawmaker's ongoing obstruction of key voting rights legislation, opposition to an ambitious infrastructure package, and support for the 60-vote filibuster rule.

"He's serving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, not the U.S. Constitution," Barber said in an appearance on MSNBC as he and hundreds of others with the Poor People's Campaign rallied in Charleston, West Virginia to denounce Manchin's stonewalling of popular and urgent legislation, including the For the People Act.

One recent poll found that more than two-thirds of West Virginia voters support the For the People Act, which would counter hundreds of Republican-authored voter suppression bills that are making their way through state legislatures across the nation.

"By filibustering, he's blocking, he's blocking the things that his state needs. He's standing against his own state. They didn't send him there for that," continued Barber, the co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign. "Why would a senator from West Virginia have his office in the lotto building? Maybe because he's gambling with people's healthcare, he's gambling with people's living wages, he's gambling with people's voting rights."
Image
Hundreds rally in Charleston, West Virginia to protest Senator Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) opposition to the For the People Act on June 14, 2021.
(Photo: Poor People's Campaign/Twitter)
caltrek
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So, you might think woke capitalism is a sign that neo-liberal corporations favor things like voting rights because that serves their capitalist interests. If so, how would you explain ALEC?

More Than Three Hundred Progressive Groups Urge Corporations to Ditch ALEC for Pushing Voter Suppression Bills

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/ ... sion-bills

Introduction:
(Common Dreams) A coalition of more than 300 progressive advocacy groups on Monday sent a letter to dozens of corporate executives demanding that companies stop providing financial support to the American Legislative Exchange Council due to its support for the Republican Party's nationwide assault on voting rights.

"Faced with public outrage over legislation that creates barriers to voting rights enacted or proposed in more than 47 states, and the bills' disproportionate impact on people of color, young people, and the elderly, hundreds of companies have publicly denounced any discriminatory legislation that makes it harder for people to vote. Perhaps your company is one of them," the progressive groups wrote in their letter (pdf).

"Nonetheless, your participation in ALEC serves to promote and legitimize the group's anti-democratic efforts to create more barriers to voting," added the coalition, which is comprised of dozens of social justice nonprofits and unions, including the AFL-CIO, Public Citizen, and the Center for Popular Democracy, among many more.
caltrek
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The DOJ Has a Plan to Protect Voting Rights. It Might Not be Enough.
by Cameron Peters
June 13, 2021

https://www.vox.com/2021/6/13/22531888/ ... ck-garland

Introduction:
(Vox) As Republican-controlled state legislatures around the country clamp down on the right to vote, the Biden Justice Department is preparing to push back — but its efforts, hampered by stalled federal voting rights legislation, may only be able to achieve so much.

In a speech on Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland laid out the DOJ plan to protect voting rights and announced that the department’s Civil Rights Division would begin staffing up to aid enforcement efforts.

According to Garland, the voting section of the Civil Rights Division will double its staff of lawyers “within the next thirty days,” and the DOJ will renew its efforts to use existing laws, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the National Voter Registration Act, and the Help America Vote Act, to “ensure that we protect every qualified American seeking to participate in our democracy.”

“There are many things that are open to debate in America,” Garland said Friday. “But the right of all eligible citizens to vote is not one of them. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow.”
caltrek
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MacKenzie Scott Says She's Donated Another $2.7 Billion, Condemns the Wealth Gap
Updated June 15, 2021
By Aimee Picchi

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mackenzie- ... -billions/

Introduction:
(CBS) MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, on Tuesday said she gave away another $2.74 billion of her massive fortune. In announcing the gifts to 286 organizations via a blog post, Scott blasted the wealth gap that she said has placed "disproportionate wealth" into a "small number of hands."

Scott said she and her charitable team are "attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change." Amazon.com's rapid growth has helped lift the fortunes of both Scott and Bezos, with her ex-husband's fortune of almost $200 billion making him the world's wealthiest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. MacKenzie Scott, ranked the 22nd wealthiest person, is worth almost $60 billion.

The gifts come after Scott in December announced she had given away $4.2 billion of her fortune to charities such as food banks and educational institutions, among others. Amazon.com's stock has soared during the pandemic as people shifted their purchases to the online retailer, while smaller businesses often struggled given pandemic lockdowns and other restrictions. Scott's wealth, like Bezos', is tied to the stock market fortunes of the e-commerce company, whose shares have jumped more than 30% in the past year.

"Any wealth is a product of a collective effort that included them," Scott wrote in her blog post of people she says struggle daily against inequities. "The social structures that inflate wealth present obstacles to them. And despite those obstacles, they are providing solutions that benefit us all."

Scott's donation follows an explosive report last week by ProPublica that found that some of the richest Americans, including Bezos, investor Warren Buffett and Tesla founder Elon Musk, pay little in federal income tax as a share of their overall wealth.
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UPI File Photo by Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE
weatheriscool
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Gov. Abbott signs 'constitutional carry' bill allowing Texans to carry handguns without a permit
Source: Houston Chronicle
Gov. Greg Abbott has signed Texas’ “constitutional carry” legislation, allowing Texans over age 21 to openly carry handguns in public without a license starting Sept. 1.

The law, a huge win for guns rights advocates, was one of the most controversial measures passed this session. Bill supporters said the legislation would simply restore Second Amendment rights to law-abiding Texans, while critics have said the move will only lead to more gun violence.

Abbott signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon without immediate comment, per the state’s online bill tracker. His office sent out a media advisory shortly afterward, saying the governor would hold a ceremony in San Antonio on Thursday to sign off on several bills related to gun rights, including permitless carry.

The law will remove the state’s $40 fee to obtain a handgun license, and will also take away training requirements. While gun advocates say they aren’t against safety courses, they assert the training should be voluntary.
Read more: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/politi ... 253153.php
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