USA News and Discussions

caltrek
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Re: USA News and Discussions

Post by caltrek »

General Mark Milley Delivers Powerful Defense of Studying Critical Race Theory
by Ryan Bort
June 23, 2021

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/p ... s-1188508/

Extract:
(Rolling Stone) Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley delivered a powerful defense of the military’s right to study critical race theory while speaking before Congress on Wednesday.

Here are his remarks in full:

“I do think it’s important for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. The United States Military Academy is a university. It is important that we train and we understand. I want to understand white rage — and I’m white. What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind. I do want to analyze it. It’s important that we understand it. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and guardians — they come from the American people. It’s important that the leaders, now and in the future, understand it. I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with having some situational understanding about the country we are here to defend? I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military — our general officers, our commissioned and non-commissioned — of being ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there while calling out those who have criticized military officials as “woke” for entertaining the theory based on the idea that systemic racism exists in America. [Critical race theory] was started at Harvard Law School years ago and proposed that there were laws in the United States prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being when this country was formed. We had a Civil War and an Emancipation Proclamation to change it. We brought it up in the Civil Rights Act. It took another 100 years to change that. I do want to know. I respect your (Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz's) service and we’re both Green Berets, but I want to know. It matters to the discipline and cohesion of this military.”
This article is slightly dated, but I wanted to note the general's remarks. In addition to Rolling Stone, MSNBC made a point of replaying Milley's remarks several times and commenting upon their importance. They especially focused on the idea put forward on the importance of having an open mind.
caltrek
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Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg Surrenders to Manhattan District Attorney, Will Plead Not Guilty
by Dan Mangan
July 1, 2021

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

Introduction:
  • Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg surrendered to the Manhattan district attorney's office on an indictment that also charges that business of ex-President Donald Trump.
  • Weisselberg is expected to be arraigned in court later on the criminal charges, which are related to fringe benefits awarded by the Trump Organization.
  • "Mr. Weisselberg intends to plead not guilty and he will fight these charges in court," his lawyer said.
  • The Trump Organization blasted DA Cyrus Vance Jr, saying Weisselberg is "being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President."
caltrek's comment: There will of course be those die-hards that will complain that this is a politically motivated prosecution. Those types of comments should be understood as part of the Weisselberg defense. We will see how well that defense holds up in a court of law.
weatheriscool
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2021 6:16 pm

Re: USA News and Discussions

Post by weatheriscool »

caltrek wrote: Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:47 pm General Mark Milley Delivers Powerful Defense of Studying Critical Race Theory
by Ryan Bort
June 23, 2021

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/p ... s-1188508/

Extract:
(Rolling Stone) Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley delivered a powerful defense of the military’s right to study critical race theory while speaking before Congress on Wednesday.

Here are his remarks in full:

“I do think it’s important for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. The United States Military Academy is a university. It is important that we train and we understand. I want to understand white rage — and I’m white. What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind. I do want to analyze it. It’s important that we understand it. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and guardians — they come from the American people. It’s important that the leaders, now and in the future, understand it. I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with having some situational understanding about the country we are here to defend? I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military — our general officers, our commissioned and non-commissioned — of being ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there while calling out those who have criticized military officials as “woke” for entertaining the theory based on the idea that systemic racism exists in America. [Critical race theory] was started at Harvard Law School years ago and proposed that there were laws in the United States prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being when this country was formed. We had a Civil War and an Emancipation Proclamation to change it. We brought it up in the Civil Rights Act. It took another 100 years to change that. I do want to know. I respect your (Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz's) service and we’re both Green Berets, but I want to know. It matters to the discipline and cohesion of this military.”
This article is slightly dated, but I wanted to note the general's remarks. In addition to Rolling Stone, MSNBC made a point of replaying Milley's remarks several times and commenting upon their importance. They especially focused on the idea put forward on the importance of having an open mind.

Slavery was around for tens of thousands of years and practiced by all nations, races and creeds. Too blame it on the united states that took maybe 5 percent of one of the great slave trades is unfair and wrong. Too blame it on one people is also unfair and wrong to its very core. One example of this is the Saharan slave trade between the african kings and the arab world that sold 40-50 million blacks to the arab world. Some of the kings of Africa got so rich that they literally controlled the gold market and could hurt national economies when they visited outside of africa. A few others are the use of slaves to build the pyramids of Egypt and slaves were also used by the Aztecs. No one alive today in this country has ever practiced this evil and fucked up practice and shouldn't be forced to feel ashamed of who they're.

We need to get over ourselves because if we can't then more wrongs will likely follow. This is human nature.
caltrek
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Post by caltrek »

^^^It is true that slavery as an institution existed for many centuries before the United States was even formed as a country. It is also correct that slavery should not be understood as simply an issue of Whites enslaving Blacks in the United States. Certainly, it evolved in part because in Africa Blacks were willing to sell tribal members of opposing clans into slavery. Still, any way you slice it, slavery was a part of American history. It was probably the most important cause of the Civil War. Many Whites in the south have insisted over the years in memorializing that war through statues, parks, museum displays, etc. Some of those memorials are government sponsored, while others were and are paid for strictly through private funding. Attitudes toward Blacks to this day reflect tensions and prejudices attributed to this history and to the way that this history has been presented and remembered. To forget this history is similar to the denial of the holocaust.

As a person of partly German descent, I do not want to forget the holocaust. In fact, I want it remembered so that the mistakes of that era are not repeated. I want genocide to never again be repeated. That desire is not motivated by me being a person of German descent who "cannot get over himself." Rather, it is motivated by a desire to learn the lessons of history so that the mistakes of history are not repeated. Sure, it is not comfortable nor calculated to make me feel good as of partially German descent to review those lessons. Still, that discomfort is better than the alternative: to see such events happen again because we failed to learn from the past. It is also better than denying the very real suffering that my mother experienced having lived through the trauma of living in the time of Hitler.

In many ways, the throne room of the king was as vicious a dungeon of humanity for the monarch as was any prison cell resided in by an imprisoned serf. In remembering that, there is a kind of freedom.
caltrek
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Re: USA News and Discussions

Post by caltrek »

Speaking of people who need to have a better understanding of Critical Race Theory:

Supreme Court Upholds GOP Voting Restrictions in Arizona
by Sam Baker
July 1, 2021

https://www.axios.com/supreme-court-vot ... b13d2.html

Introduction:
(Axios) The Supreme Court today upheld a pair of voting restrictions in Arizona, likely paving the way for new limitations across the country.

Why it matters: It's the court’s biggest voting rights decision in several years. Conservatives’ victory in the 6-3 ruling, authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, is a sign of what’s to come.

Details: The case concerned two voting restrictions in Arizona. The state invalidates ballots that are cast in the wrong precinct, and it also bans the practice known as “ballot harvesting,” in which third parties collect and return other people’s ballots.

Democrats argued those rules end up disproportionately affecting voters of color, and that they, therefore, violate the Voting Rights Act. “Ballot harvesting,” for example, is particularly useful to the state’s Native population, Democrats said, because polling places can be far away and mail service isn’t always reliable.

In a 6-3 ruling, the court said neither of Arizona's rules amounts to racial discrimination.
caltrek comment: "We are not discriminating against Natives, we are just discriminating against folks who live in rural areas with poor mail service." /sarcastic summary :roll:
caltrek
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Pelosi Names Thompson, Liz Cheney to Panel investigating January 6 Riot
July 1, 2021

https://www.cleveland.com/news/2021/07/ ... -riot.html

Introduction:
WASHINGTON (AP via Cleveland.com) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson as the head of a new select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. She also picked Republican Rep. Liz Cheney as a member.

The House approved the committee on Wednesday over the objections Republicans. Cheney, a Wyoming congresswoman who was removed from GOP leadership this year because of her criticism of President Donald Trump, was one of only two Republicans who supported forming the committee.

Pelosi moved to form the committee to investigate the attack by Trump’s supporters after Senate Republicans blocked an independent, bipartisan probe.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has threatened to strip Republicans of committee assignments if they accept an appointment from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to join the new select panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a top House GOP aide said Thursday.
caltrek
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Post by caltrek »

I hate to keep piling it on, yet it is really the conservatives who seem to want to wage an all out cultural war on this topic. One in which the truth may very well end up being the first casualty, and in which racists are given a free pass to continue their destructive ways.

What Racists Don’t Want Us to Know
by Daniel Cubias
July 1, 2021

https://manomagazine.com/politics-racis ... education/

Introduction:
(Mano) When I was a kid, I learned in school that the Lincoln-Douglas debates were intellectual tours de force of democracy in action. But I didn’t hear that Stephen Douglas argued that “this government was made on the White basis, by White men, for the benefit of White men and their posterity forever, and should be administered by White men and none others.”

I also learned that Charles Lindbergh was a hero who exemplified can-do American spirit. But I didn’t hear that he fraternized with Nazis, extolled anti-Semitism, and embraced a bizarre scientific theory that White men should be made immortal so that they could rule for all eternity.

I learned that Black people got out of control and burned down Watts. But I didn’t hear that White people got out of control and burned down Tulsa.

And I believe the Trail of Tears was mentioned once in passing.

You get the idea. I received what was regarded as a well-rounded education. Unfortunately, it was just slightly full of bigoted bullshit.
caltrek
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Analysis Reveals the Profound Damage Wrought by GOP-Packed Supreme Court
by Jessica Corbett
July 2, 2021

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/ ... reme-court

Introduction:
(Common Dreams) Confirming fears progressive critics shared ahead of the confirmations of all three U.S. Supreme Court Justices appointed by former President Donald Trump, an analysis published Friday details the devastating impact of having a GOP supermajority on the nation's highest court.

"The 2020-2021 term that just ended shows that our rights are not safe at the Supreme Court, and that we must work to change the makeup of the court," warns the progressive advocacy group People For the American Way (PFAW) in its latest annual report.

This is the first term that includes Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who Trump appointed after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year. The other two Trump appointees are Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

"This Supreme Court is dominated by Trump-appointed justices, with predictably disastrous results for voting rights as well as workers, consumers, and immigrants this term," said PFAW president Ben Jealous in a statement Friday.

"The harmful rulings coming out of this court make it critical that Congress pass legislation to protect voting rights and shore up our democracy,"
Jealous added. "We also have to build a strategy to reinforce the importance of fair courts and fair-minded judges, so we can counter the decadeslong efforts by the far right to pack our courts, including our Supreme Court, with ultraconservative judges."
caltrek
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Why Republicans Don't Want an Investigation of January 6
by Lucian K. Truscot
July 3, 2021

https://www.alternet.org/2021/07/republ ... -violence/

Introduction:
(Alternet) You want to know what has doomed Nancy Pelosi's attempts to get a bipartisan agreement to investigate the violent assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6? Every time she has talked about why we need a bipartisan commission or the select committee, she said they were necessary "so nothing like this will ever happen again."

Republicans aren't against investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection because they fear it will make them look bad. They're against doing anything to make sure that such an insurrection doesn't happen again.

The assault on the Capitol is already damaging to the Republican Party image, at least to outsiders. The Capitol was attacked by a violent mob of Trump supporters. It's doubtful there were any Democrats among them. The assault took place immediately after a Trump rally on the Ellipse and was incited by the then-president. Several Republican members of Congress joined Trump in addressing the crowd, along with other famous party stalwarts like Rudy Giuliani. It was a Republican rally with a Republican crowd. So was the mob at the Capitol.

Republican members of Congress know it was their supporters out there beating down the doors of the Capitol, ransacking the well of the Senate and looting congressional offices. Republicans don't want to investigate the violence at the Capitol because they want to leave the door open for it to happen again.

Most of them come from safe seats in Republican-majority congressional districts, many of them in Republican-controlled states. Republican senators, not all of them but most, come from Republican states in the South and Midwest. But every one of them can read census numbers, and every one of them understands that their days are numbered, even in states that have been Republican strongholds for decades, like Arizona and Texas. They saw the Election Day returns which showed previously Republican suburbs falling to the Democrats all over the country. They read the depressing voting numbers for millennials and younger voters that show them strongly leaning Democratic. Even a dull, lumbering beast like the Republican Party can tell when a water hole runs dry.
caltrek
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While many state governments are busy passing legislation to discourage voters from exercising their right to vote, the federal government is seeking ways to facilitate that right. In the case discussed below, the target group being physically disabled individuals


Promoting Access to Voting
A Notice by the National Institute of Standards and Technology on 06/16/2021

https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... -to-voting

Extract:
(Federal Register) Based on the requirements of E(xecutive) O(rder) 14019, Promoting Access to Voting, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking information about barriers to private and independent voting for people with disabilities. NIST, in consultation with the Department of Justice, the Election Assistance Commission, and other agencies, as appropriate, will analyze barriers, including access to voter registration, voting technology, voting by mail, polling locations, and poll worker training. Responses to this Request for Information (RFI) will inform NIST's development of recommendations.

...

As stated in Executive Order 14019, Promoting Access to Voting,[1] the right to vote is the foundation of American democracy. Under section 7 of Executive Order 14019, (Ensuring Equal Access for Voters with Disabilities), NIST is directed to evaluate the steps needed to ensure that the online Federal Voter Registration Form is accessible to people with disabilities.

This RFI outlines the information NIST is seeking from the public to inform the development of recommendations regarding both the Federal Voter Registration Form and other barriers it has identified that prevent people with disabilities from exercising their fundamental rights and the ability to vote privately and independently.

Request for Information

... Responses may include any topic believed to have implications for the development of recommendations to promoting access to voting for people with disabilities, regardless of whether the topic is included in this document. All relevant responses that comply with the requirements listed in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections of this RFI and set forth below will be considered.

Comments containing references, studies, research, and other empirical data that are not widely published should include copies of the referenced materials. All submissions, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. NIST reserves the right to publish relevant comments publicly, unedited and in their entirety. All relevant comments received in response to the RFI will be made publicly available at https://www.nist.gov/itl/pva and at regulations.gov.
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