Saturday, June 30, 2018

Jenny Frum Da Block Aint...,

Breitbart  |  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Party’s rising socialist star, describes herself as “a girl from the Bronx” to project a working-class image. However, this claim is only half true – to borrow a phrase from the left-wing website PolitiFact.

“Well, you know, the president is from Queens, and with all due respect — half of my district is from Queens — I don’t think he knows how to deal with a girl from the Bronx,” Ocasio-Cortez said this week on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

She similarly told the Washington Post: “I wasn’t born to a wealthy or powerful family — mother from Puerto Rico, dad from the South Bronx. I was born in a place where your Zip code determines your destiny.”

The congressional candidate, who pulled off an upset win against high-ranking establishment Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), was indeed born in New York City’s Bronx borough. She currently lives there, too.

So what’s the issue? For most of her formative years, Ocasio-Cortez was actually raised in one of the United States’ wealthiest counties.

Around the age of five, Alexandria’s architect father Sergio Ocasio moved the family from the “planned community” of Parkchester in the Bronx to a home in Yorktown Heights, a wealthy suburb in Westchester County. The New York Times describes her childhood home as “a modest two-bedroom house on a quiet street.” In a 1999 profile of the area, when Ocasio-Cortez would have been ten years old, the Times lauded Yorktown Heights’ “diversity of housing in a scenic setting” – complete with two golf courses.

The paper quoted Linda Cooper, the town supervisor, describing Yorktown as ”a folksy area where people can come, kick off their shoes, wander around, sit in a cafe, listen to a concert in the park, or go to the theater.”

DNC Pretending To Feel The Heat From Below...,

consortiumnews |  Conventional wisdom said that powerful Congressman Joseph Crowley couldn’t be beat. But his 20-year career in the House of Representatives will end in January, with the socialist organizer who beat him in the Democratic primary in the deep-blue district of the Bronx and Queens poised to become Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 
In a symbolic twist of fate, the stunning defeat of Crowley came a day before the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic Party voted on what to do about “superdelegates,” those unelected Democratic Party elite who’ve had an undemocratic and automatic vote in presidential nominations since 1984 to prevent leftwing candidates from being nominated.    

Crowley’s defeat shows how grass-roots movements can prevail against corporate power and its pile of cash. The Crowley campaign spent upward of $3 million in the Democratic Party primary. The Ocasio-Cortez campaign spent one-tenth of that. He wielded the money. She inspired the people. 
As the 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez was quick to say after her Tuesday night victory, her triumph belongs to everyone who wants social, economic and racial justice. She ran on a platform in harmony with her activism as a member of Democratic Socialists of America and an organizer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

Conventional wisdom said superdelegates—who exerted undemocratic power over the selection of the party’s presidential nominee in 2016—couldn’t be stopped from once again putting the establishment’s thumbs on the scale.

But on Wednesday afternoon, the party committee approved a proposal to prevent superdelegates from voting on the presidential nominee during the first ballot at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. (The last time the party’s convention went to a second ballot was 1952.)

As NPR reported, the committee “voted to drastically curtail the role ‘superdelegates’ play in the party’s presidential nominating process. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted 27 to 1 to block officeholders, DNC members and other party dignitaries from casting decisive votes on the first ballot of presidential nominating conventions.”

Make no mistake: Those in the top echelons of the Democratic Party aren’t moving in this direction out of the goodness of their hearts. Grass-roots pressure to democratize the party—mounting since 2016—is starting to pay off.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Harley John Wayne Got Real Life Imitating A Rob Zombie Movie...,

KansasCity |  "I’m glad my clients can finally put this nightmare behind them," Hinrichs said. "The last few years have been really difficult. This (settlement) has provided them some closure."

The suit named E.I.E. LLC, the company doing business as Whiskey Tango, as a defendant. It also named five men who worked there or continue to work there: Shawn Brown, the owner of E.I.E.; Harley Jon Wayne Akin, a manager of security overseeing the bouncers; Michael Anthony Malick, a bouncer; Cody Reese Atchley, a bouncer; and Fredrick R. Failing, a bouncer.

Four of the men have pleaded guilty to criminal charges or face trial: Akin, Atchley, Malick and Failing. Brown was not charged.

The country bar, at 401 S. Outer Road, hosts poker, beer pong and flip cup tournaments, according to its website. It has a mechanical bull. Blake Shelton made an appearance there a few months before the women were wrongly imprisoned.

The website advertises the bar as the best nightclub in Kansas City and a top spot to meet people. 

Around midnight on the night of the incident, the sisters were at a restaurant in a different city when an unknown woman bought a Bud Light with the counterfeit bill, the suit says.
About 90 minutes later, the sisters arrived at the bar with their cousins. 

Around 3 a.m., shortly before the bar's closing time, a man approached Mariel and accused her of using the fake bill. She adamantly denied the accusation, the suit says.
As the sisters left, multiple bouncers wearing skull or camouflage masks pursued them into the parking lot and "restricted them from leaving," the suit and criminal records say.

Back in the bar, Akin accused Mariel of using the fake bill. Audrey grabbed Akin by the front of his shirt and told her sister to run, according to criminal records.

Mariel fled, dashing into the woods toward a gas station about a half-mile away.

Security supervisors Justin Wilson and Akin told Atchley, Malick and Failing to "pursue her," the suit says.

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The Choice America Is Making Now

eand |  Predatory capitalism has long fuelled the American economy — the middle class hollowed out to make the rich richer. But they don’t have any money, savings, or income left to give. And yet the only thing that American economy was built to do was prey. So whom will it prey on now?

Do you see the problem? The machine was built to generate “growth” by taking things from people — their money, their time, their imagination, their courage, their empathy — and in return jacking up the price of the basics of life, healthcare, education, finance, to astronomical prices. Not exactly a fair trade to begin with. But people now have nothing left to give. They have been bled dry. So what happens now? What will the machine consume to keep itself going?

Well, whom can it prey on now? Maybe more camps will have to be built, and more kids put in them, and each one made a profit center. Maybe all those private prisons will have to be filled up with dissidents. Maybe all those tech companies will start reporting you as dangerous. Maybe all those TV shows you watch will be used to make a profile of whether or not you are a good citizen. It’s not a coincidence they built concentration camps in old Walmarts — it’s a perfect metaphor for an implosive economy.

The point is this. Profits have to propped up, by more and more violent and coercive means, because America’s economy isn’t really capable of producing much that is real or valuable anymore. Nobody in the world really wants to buy what America has to sell — guns, Facebook ads, and greed, to put simply. But America’s own broken middle class doesn’t have anything left to give now. So the ways that such a predatory economy can “grow” are few now: by imprisoning people for profit, by abusing them for profit, by expropriating their wealth, or by putting them to work. What are those ways, in particular?

So the third thing “implosion” implies is a violent, spectacular process. When a society is collapsing, it is run by plutocrats. But when a society is imploding, it is run by mafias and warlords. That is basically where America is, though maybe it wouldn’t like to admit it. What other kinds of people smile as kids are shot in schools? Mafias and warlords exact their tribute. It doesn’t matter who pays, or whether payment is made in gold, silver, or bodies — it only matters that the mafias are paid.

That is why predation is now taking on a very different tone now. It is going from the hidden, soft predation of crap jobs and raiding pension funds and shifting debt from bailed out hedge funds onto students — to something harder, something more lethal, whose teeth and claws are finally being revealed. So implosion means, in this second sense, that predatory institutions are ready to use hard force, real violence, to accomplish their means. They are ready to consume everything that is left now, with very real abuse and systematic human rights violations. Hence, the camps.

But the camps are just a beginning. For an economy which has no good way left to grow, which makes mostly nothing the world wants, and whose people are too poor to buy what the world makes, the endgame is clear. Such an economy is going to have start resorting to more and more spectacularly violent means of repression and subjugation, to alleviate fast-spreading poverty. So today’s camps, as terrible as they are, are only a starting point, not an end point.

He Who Has A Why Can Bear Any How Everything Else Is Merely Consumerism...,

NYTimes |  It wasn’t long ago that the term “middle class” suggested security, conformity and often complacency — a cohort that was such a reliable feature of postwar American life that it attracted not just political pandering but also cultural ridicule. The stereotype included everyone from men in gray flannel suits to the slick professionals of “Thirtysomething,” stuck or smug in their world of bourgeois comforts.

“Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America,” a timely new book by the journalist and poet Alissa Quart, arrives at a moment when members of the middle class are no longer a robust demographic but an embattled and shrinking population, struggling to hold on to their delicate perch in an unforgiving economic order. These aren’t the truly poor but those in the “just-making-it group,” or what Quart also calls “the Middle Precariat.” The people she talks to believed their educations and backgrounds (most of them grew up in middle-class homes) would guarantee some financial stability; instead, their work is “inconstant or contingent,” and their incomes are stagnant or worse.
“They are people on the brink who did everything ‘right,’” Quart writes, “and yet the math of their family lives is simply not adding up.”

Quart describes her own experience of slipping into the “falling middle-class vortex” after the birth of her daughter seven years ago, a time when she and her husband were freelance writers facing new child care costs and hospital bills. She eventually became the executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit organization founded by the journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, but her family had a “few years of fiscal vertigo.” Quart includes herself in the group she’s writing about; her book succeeds and suffers accordingly.

As she puts it in her introduction, the concerns of her subjects “were not abstract to me.” Quart is a sympathetic listener, getting people to reveal not just the tenuousness of their economic situations but also the turbulence of their emotional lives. A chapter on middle-age job-seekers who once worked as computer programmers or newspaper reporters captures the fallout of a discriminatory job market, which tells older unemployed people they should buck up and start over while also making them feel superfluous.

“I’ve tried to reinvent myself so many times,” an aeronautical-engineer-turned-website-designer-turned-personal-chef tells her. “To be honest, it hasn’t worked.” The woman is now in her 50s, with two grown daughters and plenty of debt from culinary school. “The world has evolved beyond me,” she says.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Surveillance State Exists To Destroy The Lives Of The Poor

prospect |  During the last two decades, policing has become synonymous with surveillance: the intense scrutiny of persons in public spaces. Poverty and the symptoms of drug addiction signify criminality to the police in ways similar to race. This surveillance targets the most vulnerable people in American society: people of color and poor whites. L. experienced a form of social oppression well known to people of color, targeted because their presence is considered a threat to others, because of their appearance, race, or presence in certain public spaces. 

Mass incarceration in the U.S., is largely thought of as a problem for black and brown communities. But this characterization risks masking the pervasive injustice that befalls others who live in and around those communities. The threat of surveillance has fallen disproportionately on African Americans and Latinos for decades. But during the era of mass incarceration, surveillance has increasingly become further disconnected from any legitimate suspicion of criminal behavior.  

The new approach makes surveillance seem like a primary responsibility of government. But this purported governmental “responsibility” (which does not appear in the Constitution) is rapidly overtaking the right to be free from surveillance, a protection that the Fourth Amendment to the Bill of Rights guarantees. 

We live in a country where the poor are often presumed guilty, since they have failed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. This “failure” has profound consequences. As Barton Gellman and Sam Adler-Bell, a senior fellow and senior policy advocate at the Century Foundation, noted in the 2017 Century Foundation report, “The Disparate Impact of Surveillance,” the gaze of the state is “heaviest in communities already disadvantaged by their poverty, race, religion, ethnicity, and immigration status.” 

How Many Deeply Impoverished Americans Are There?

WaPo  |  The Trump administration says the United Nations is overestimating the number of Americans in “extreme poverty” by about 18.25 million people, reflecting a stark disagreement about the extent of poverty in the nation and the resources needed to fight it.

In May, Philip G. Alston, special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights for the U.N., published a report saying 40 million Americans live in poverty and 18.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty.

But in a rebuke to that report on Friday, U.S. officials told the United Nations Human Rights Council there only appear to be approximately 250,000 Americans in extreme poverty, calling Alston's numbers “exaggerated.”

The rift highlights a long-running debate among academics over the most accurate way to describe poverty in America, one with enormous implications for U.S. policy-making and the nation's social safety net. It also sheds light on the ongoing feud between Trump and U.N. officials over Alston's report on American poverty, with U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley last week calling the report “politically motivated” and arguing it “is patently ridiculous for the U.N. to examine poverty in America.”

But who is right about the number of Americans in extreme poverty?

It depends on how you define it.

The U.N.'s numbers come from the official Census definition that has been kept for decades by the U.S. government, defining extreme poverty as having an income lower than half the official poverty rate, Alston said in an interview. (For 2016, that was about $12,000 a year for a family of four.) By this criteria, the poverty rate in America has only slightly ticked downward since the mid-1960s.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez Did Not Take Any Corporate Money Yet....,

vogue |  But Ocasio-Cortez’s challenge goes far beyond surface level; Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, a leftist organization that has helped buoy the campaigns of dozens of outsider candidates running on very progressive platforms in places where Democrats like Crowley are used to winning—handily. Some of Ocasio-Cortez’s positions include fighting for Medicare for All and a federal jobs guarantee, abolishing ICE, and insisting on much more severe policing of luxury real estate development (part of the reason she has refused corporate donations). Her push on economic justice has exposed ways that Crowley, as a powerful Democrat who sits on the House Committee on Ways and Means, pays lip service to the post–Donald Trump resistance while maintaining largely centrist politics. Newcomers like Ocasio-Cortez and Cynthia Nixon, who is hoping to unseat Governor Andrew Cuomo (Nixon and Ocasio-Cortez have endorsed each other), have already helped spur a leftward shift in some of the stances of their opponents.

Ocasio-Cortez spoke to Vogue on the phone last week before heading to a child detention center in Tornillo, Texas. Trump’s family separation policy has been a flash point not just along partisan lines, but also between Democrats: those who denounce ICE’s action but refuse to call for its dismantling, like Crowley, and those who believe it should not exist. It’s an issue that has also created a debate around “civility,” as pundits squabble over whether or not Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, for example, should have been heckled out of a Mexican restaurant last week. As the people’s millennial challenger, Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on what needs to change in New York, in elections, and in how we talk about holding those in power accountable.

Corporatist Nihilism With A Happy Ending?

truthdig |  The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.

The Democratic Party, which helped build our system of inverted totalitarianism, is once again held up by many on the left as the savior. Yet the party steadfastly refuses to address the social inequality that led to the election of Trump and the insurgency by Bernie Sanders. It is deaf, dumb and blind to the very real economic suffering that plagues over half the country. It will not fight to pay workers a living wage. It will not defy the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Medicare for all. It will not curb the voracious appetite of the military that is disemboweling the country and promoting the prosecution of futile and costly foreign wars. It will not restore our lost civil liberties, including the right to privacy, freedom from government surveillance, and due process. It will not get corporate and dark money out of politics. It will not demilitarize our police and reform a prison system that has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although the United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population. It plays to the margins, especially in election seasons, refusing to address substantive political and social problems and instead focusing on narrow cultural issues like gay rights, abortion and gun control in our peculiar species of anti-politics.

This is a doomed tactic, but one that is understandable. The leadership of the party, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tom Perez, are creations of corporate America. In an open and democratic political process, one not dominated by party elites and corporate money, these people would not hold political power. They know this. They would rather implode the entire system than give up their positions of privilege. And that, I fear, is what will happen. The idea that the Democratic Party is in any way a bulwark against despotism defies the last three decades of its political activity. It is the guarantor of despotism.

Trump has tapped into the hatred that huge segments of the American public have for a political and economic system that has betrayed them. He may be inept, degenerate, dishonest and a narcissist, but he adeptly ridicules the system they despise. His cruel and demeaning taunts directed at government agencies, laws and the established elites resonate with people for whom these agencies, laws and elites have become hostile forces. And for many who see no shift in the political landscape to alleviate their suffering, Trump’s cruelty and invective are at least cathartic.

Democratic Party's Fraudulent Identity Politics FAIL

downwithtyranny  |  How cynical is the Democratic Party's support for identity politics? To this observer, it seems impossible not to notice that those in control of the Democratic Party care about "identity politics" — about supporting more women, more people of color, more LGBTQ candidates, etc. — only when it suits them. Which means, if you take this view, that their vocal support for the underlying principles of "identity politics" is both cynical and insincere.

As I said, this has been apparent for some time. I've never seen it documented so well in one place, however, until this recent piece by Glenn Greenwald. 

The Past as Prologue: Cynthia Nixon

Apparently, however, Democratic Party interest in electing strong progressive women (Hillary Clinton includes herself on that list) has dissipated in the smoke of the last election. As Greenwald notes, "Over and over, establishment Democrats and key party structures have united behind straight, white male candidates (including ones tainted by corruption), working to defeat their credible and progressive Democratic opponents who are women, LGBT people, and/or people of color. Clinton herself has led the way."

The article is replete with examples, from the Brad Ashford–Kara Eastman battle in Nebraska, to the Bob Menendez–Michael Starr Hopkins–Lisa McCormick three-way contest in New Jersey,  to the Ben Cardin–Chelsea Manning primary in Maryland. In all cases, the Party backed the white male candidate (or in Menendez's case, the whiter male candidate) against the woman, the person of color, and the LGBTQ candidate. Not even the smoke of 2016's identity fire remains. 

The Ocasio-Crowley Battle Is a Very High-Leverage Fight

A second point: I recently wrote about the importance of progressives involving themselves heavily in high-leverage races — like the Bernie Sanders 2016 race, for example — where the payoff would have been huge relative to the effort. (You can read that piece and its argument here: "Supporting Aggressive Progressives for Very High-Leverage Offices".)

The Ocasio-Crowley contest is similarly high-leverage — first, because he's perceived as vulnerable and acting like he agrees, and second because it would, to use a chess metaphor, eliminate one of the most powerful (and corrupt) anti-progressive players from House leadership in a single move.

Again, Crowley is widely seen as the next Democratic Speaker of the House. He would be worse by far than Nancy Pelosi, and he's dangerous. He has blackmailed, as I see it, almost all of his colleagues into supporting him by the implicit threat of, as Speaker, denying them committee assignments and delaying or thwarting their legislation. He also controls funding as Speaker via the leadership PAC and the DCCC. Even Mark Pocan, co-chair of the CPC and normally a reliable progressive voice and vote, is reportedly whipping support for Crowley among his colleagues.

Crowley plays for keeps. Taking him off the board entirely, removing him from the House for the next two years, would produce a benefit to progressives far in excess of the effort involved. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Pelosi/Schumer: "Maxine Are You Out Of Your Cotton-Picking Mind?!?!?!"

DailyCaller |  California Rep. Maxine Waters burst into tears Monday on MSNBC as she used “the children” to deflect away from the harassment comments she made over the weekend.

“I did not call for harm for anybody. The president lied again,” Waters said.

She then turned to “the children.”

“But let’s not talk about that. Let’s focus on the children. That’s what this is all about. It is about the fact that children have been snatched from their parents’ arms,” Waters said, moving away from the controversy over her comments.

Waters then burst into tears after being confronted with the fact that major Democrats are denouncing her harassment claims.

“They don’t really say I’m out of line. What they do is try to find a way talk about civility without attacking me or anybody else as the leader of the Democratic Party, I expect that she would do everything that she could to make sure nobody believes that Democrats are out here harassing anybody or causing any violence,” Waters said of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who denounced Waters’ harassment comments Monday.

Waters made comments over the weekend about getting out and pushing back on people with differing political ideologies, saying, “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome any more, anywhere!”

Be Careful What You Wish For Maxine...,

WashingtonTimes |  President Trump slammed Rep. Maxine Waters on Monday afternoon, after her speech calling for supporters to heckle members of the Trump administration went viral over the weekend.
Mr. Trump and Ms. Waters have crossed each other several times. The president has called Ms. Waters “a low IQ individual” at a rally for Rick Saccone in March 2018, and she has repeatedly called for his impeachment.

Ms. Waters told her supporters to “push out” members of the Trump administration from public spaces.

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Ms. Waters said Saturday during a rally in Los Angeles.
Fellow California lawmakers House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have both denounced Ms. Waters’ statement.

Tuning Up Political Antagonism In The U.S.

Independent |  American citizens now own 40 per cent of all guns in the world - more than the next 25 top-ranked gun ownership countries combined - with the number only set to grow, according to new research.

According to a decade-long survey released by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, not only do Americans own the highest number of guns per capita, but also between 2006 and 2017, US gun owners acquired some 122 million new guns. That represented more than half of the 207 million new civilian-owned firearms around the world during that time.

“The biggest force pushing up gun ownership around the world is civilian ownership in the United States,” said Aaron Karp, one of the authors of the report.

Kunstler |   It’s one thing to ignore the economically foundering, traditional working-class constituency of actual US citizens who are having a tougher time every year making a living; it’s another thing to bring in a several-millionfold population of non-citizens to replace them.

Anyway, it’s a pretty poor strategy for success in the coming mid-term election. The effort got a boost over the weekend from Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Cal) who called for Trump administration employees to be thrown out of department stores and other retail establishments as well as restaurants. Why stop there? Why not enslave Trump employees and supporters? Force them to work without pay in the Chick-Fil-A regional distribution warehouses? One wonders what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thinks of Ms. Waters’ proposal. Other Democratic party leaders zipped their pie-holes about it.

The trouble is that the entities waiting to replace both the useless, careless, feckless Democrats and Republicans are chaos and violence, not reconstituted parties with coherent political programs. The US, and really all the so-called advanced nations on earth, are heading into an era of scarcity and austerity that is likely to present as mortal conflict.

Like Slaves, Illegal Aliens Are Profitable As Hell To Somebody

wikipedia |  The economic impact of illegal immigrants in the United States is challenging to measure and politically contentious. Since it is a challenging field to quantify, it leaves room for varying methodologies of study, and so the definitive results of the economic impact can change[1]
One possibility is that foreign workers entering the country illegally can lower wages and increase overall costs of production. This comes from the theory that when there are more illegal immigrants in the country, there will be more immigrants looking for employment because most illegal immigrants prefer to work.[2] This increases competition among low-skilled local workers, and this will push wages for the domestic low-skilled labor market down. Simultaneously the increased supply in unskilled illegal migrants can offset technological developments and "reduce the country's economy's competitiveness in the international market".[3] The opposing theory is that even though this can happen in some areas with more low-skilled employment, on the net illegal immigration increases the welfare of domestic workers because their additional consumption outweighs the costs of welfare.[4] Along the same lines it is argued that illegal immigrants work for lower wages, then domestic residents recognize these profits and can choose to either spend or save this new revenue,[5] so the net outcome can be decided by the net of these two economic forces. Studies have shown that overall in the long run illegal immigration benefits the country in terms of its general production, but introducing many people in the labor market can lead to income distribution that can tend towards domestic workers and immigrant workers on other occasions. The net short-term impacts of some aspects of illegal immigration can be inconclusive.[6] Though this net effect changes, the number of immigrants crossing the border illegally is less unclear.

There were approximately 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2016, roughly unchanged from the prior year but well below the 12.2 million peak in 2007. There were an estimated 8 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. civilian workforce in 2016, roughly 5%.[7] The Congressional Budget Office reported in 2007 that "the tax revenues that unauthorized immigrants generate for state and local governments do not offset the total cost of services provided to them" but "in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use."[8] Unauthorized immigrants demand goods and services[9] while an estimated 50 to 75 percent pay taxes.[10] Due to cheaper labor, they contribute to lower prices in the industries where they work, such as agriculture, restaurants, and construction.[9]

Monday, June 25, 2018

Any Minute Now - Dookie Pie Will Start To Fly

WaPo |  OVER THE WEEKEND there was a fair bit of argument about the decision by a small restaurant in Lexington, Va., not to serve dinner to President Trump’s press secretary. It wasn’t the first time recently that strong political feelings have spilled into what used to be considered the private sphere. We understand the strength of the feelings, but we don’t think the spilling is a healthy development.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders was dining with a few other people at the Red Hen in Lexington Friday night. Several of the restaurant’s staff are gay and objected to Ms. Sanders’s defense of Mr. Trump’s discriminatory policies against transgender people. The staff also objected to the administration’s recent actions leading to the separation of thousands of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Respecting her staff’s wishes, the restaurant owner politely asked Ms. Sanders to leave, and Ms. Sanders politely acceded. She then tweeted about the episode, turning it into a public controversy.

This followed by a few days the very public heckling of two architects of that border policy, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, at Washington restaurants. Last month a Nebraska sociology professor was found guilty of vandalism for spraying false blood at the home of a National Rifle Association lobbyist in Alexandria.

It’s not a new tactic for protesters of one sort or another to target a public official’s home or private life. But never-at-rest social media have blurred the line between work hours and private time. Cellphone cameras make it ever easier to intrude and broadcast.

Maxine Waters NEVER Caped This Hard For A Black Constituent

thehill |  Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Saturday called on her supporters at a rally to confront Trump Cabinet officials in public spaces like restaurants and department stores to protest the administration's policies. 

"I have no sympathy for these people that are in this administration who know it is wrong what they're doing on so many fronts but they tend to not want to confront this president," Waters said at a Los Angeles rally on Saturday

"For these members of his cabinet who remain and try to defend him they're not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they're not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they're not going to be able to shop at a department store, the people are going to turn on them, they're going to protest, they're going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they're going to tell the president 'no I can't hang with you, this is wrong this is unconscionable and we can't keep doing this to children,'" she continued.

Waters' call comes as the Trump administration faces major backlash over the handling of its "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which has resulted in the separation of immigrant families. 

Protesters confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., last week, yelling “shame” at Nielsen and “End Texas concentration camps.”

Demonstrators in a separate incident on Friday blasted audio of crying migrant children who had been separated from their parents outside Nielsen's home. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has also faced public backlash for her work in the administration, recently being told by one of the owners of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va., to leave due to her role in the administration. 

“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

ICE Linkedin Profiles

archive |  As ICE continues to ramp up its inhumane surveillance and detention efforts, I believe it’s important to document what’s happening, and by whom, in any way we can.

To that end, I’ve downloaded and made available the profiles of (almost) everyone on LinkedIn who works for ICE, 1595 people in total. While I don’t have a precise idea of what should be done with this data set, I leave it here with the hope that researchers, journalists and activists will find it useful.
You can find the full data set, including profile photos, previous employment info, schools, and more, on this GitHub repository. Details of each user are located in the “profiles” folder as .json files, each containing whatever information ICE workers have chosen to make publicly available about themselves on LinkedIn.

You can also see a very simple overview of the data at  

I find it helpful to remember that as much as internet companies use data to spy on and exploit their users, we can at times reverse the story, and leverage those very same online platforms as a means to investigate or even undermine entrenched power structures. It’s a strange side effect of our reliance on private companies and semi-public platforms to mediate nearly all aspects of our lives. We don’t necessarily need to wait for the next Snowden-style revelation to scrutinize the powerful — so much is already hiding in plain sight.

Of course, ICE has a presence on many online platforms besides LinkedIn, each are worth investigating. For example, they publish b-roll and propaganda videos on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, videos which I’ve previously explored in an attempt to provide a birds-eye view of how the institution positions itself in the public narrative.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Judaism's Strange Gods

thesaker |  The Saker: Now, turning to your books on Rabbinical Phariseism, could you please summarize the main theses of your books on this topic? What is, in your opinion, the true nature of Rabbinical Phariseism, what are its core tenets/beliefs? What would you say to an average person are the myths and realities about what is referred to as “Judaism” in our society?

Hoffman: Orthodox Judaism, which is the scion of the religion of the ancient Pharisees, is above all, self-worship, and pride is the paramount destroyer. In the occult scheme of things, the ideology closest to it was Hitler’s National Socialism, in that it shares this predominant characteristic of pathological narcissism. Christians and many other goyim (gentiles) have been deluded into imagining that Judaism, while being somewhat flawed due to rejecting Jesus, nonetheless manages to be an ethical religion reflective of the prophets of the Old Testament. Hillel, the first century A.D. Pharisee who is believed to have been a contemporary of Jesus, and Moses Maimonides (“Rambam”), the medieval philosopher and theologian, are most often held up as exemplars of this supposed ethical Judaism.

The myth of the benevolence of these two can only be sustained by ignorance. The problem is, that when a scholar begins to unearth facts that undermine pious media legends about men like Hillel and Maimonides, they enter “anti-Semitism” territory: if they dare to retail the truth, their ability to earn a living and keep their good name and reputation will be damaged, sometimes irreparably by the myth-makers who have the power to permanently stigmatize them as “haters and anti-Semites.”

I’m beyond those fears, so I can venture to say that Hillel offered theological grounds for the molestation of children and invented a “prozbul” escape clause for evading the Biblical command that no loan shall be in force more than seven years. Maimonides detested Jesus Christ with a volcanic hatred that led him in his writings to urge the murder of Christians when it is possible to do so without being detected. These facts are documented in my books Judaism Discovered and Judaism’s Strange Gods.

Meanwhile, if you google “Hillel” or “Maimonides,” or you consult Wikipedia, you’ll find them described in terms of saccharine sainthood and humanitarian benevolence.

Orthodox Judaism, I regret to say, is a religion of lying and deceit. Duplicity and mendacity are formally inculcated. They are not incidental. There isn’t even a great deal of trust among Talmudists themselves. Witness what Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, one time head of the reconstituted Sanhedrin in Tiberias, and premier translator of the Babylonian Talmud, has pronounced on this matter: “Rabbis are liable to alter their words, and the accuracy of their statements is not to be relied upon.” (The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition [Random House], Vol. II, pp. 48-49). In BT Yevamot 65b permission is given to lie “in the interests of peace,” a category so broad it is capable of serving as an alibi for countless situations in which scoundrels wish to conjure excuses for their falsehoods. There is also the general permission to lie to a gentile (BT Baba Kamma 113a).

These facts are not published in major media such as the New York Times. Yet the Times does not shy from insinuating that Shiite Islam is a religion of liars: “…there is a precedent for lying to protect the Shiite community…part of a Shiite historical concept called taqiyya, or religious dissembling.” (New York Times, April 14, 2012, p. A4).

Another defining theological aspect of Orthodox Judaism is its dogma that non-Jews are less than human. This is how the goyim are viewed in the Talmud and its sacred successor texts. In certain branches of Kabbalistic Judaism, such as the politically powerful and prominent Chabad-Lubavitch sect, their founder, Rabbi Shneur Zalman, formally promulgated the doctrine that goyim are not just less than human, they are non-human trash — “supernal refuse” — which is a reference to their Kabbalistic status as kelipot who possess “no redeeming qualities whatsoever.”

The Saker: My personal research has brought me to the conclusion ever since the recognition by Christ as the Messiah promised by the prophets of the Old Testament by one part of the first century Jews and the rejection of Him by the other part, the latter group began by developing an “anti-Christian scriptural toolkit” which included, of course, the forgery of the so-called Masoretic text, the development of the Talmud and the various commentaries, interpretations and codification of these texts. The goal was to develop a “polemical arsenal” so to speak. At the same time, the first kabbalistic concepts were developed for the internal use inside the anti-Christian communities. Would you agree with this (admittedly summarized) description and would you then agree with my personal conclusion that Rabbinical Phariseeism is at its core simply a religion of “anti-Christianity”?

Hoffman: I think you’re correct up to the Renaissance, which is the point at which members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy including many popes, were secretly initiated into Kabbalistic mysticism. The belt of that transmission is chronicled in detail in The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome. Rabbinic Phariseeism is more than a religion opposed to Jesus for this reason: in its beginnings in the time before Christ, it had existence as a creed founded upon esoteric oral teachings that nullify the Bible itself.

Orthodox Judaism is an anti-Biblical religion. Yes, it has a “Moses” and a “Noah” as its patrons and it names other patriarchs too, but these are not the Moses and Noah of the Bible. These are radically falsified figures who bear those names. Pharisac Judaism is contemptuous of the Biblical Noah about whom, in the Midrash, it makes scurrilous claims. There is even contempt for Moses. About Isaiah, who said that Israel has filthy lips, the Talmud teaches that Isaiah was justly killed by having his mouth sawed in half for “blaspheming Israel.”

In both Left-wing New Age and Right-wing neo-Nazi circles, the heresy of Marcion is alive and well and the Old Testament is execrated. It is equated with the Talmud (most famously on the Right by Douglas Reed in The Controversy of Zion). The problem with that tack is that the Old Testament is absolutely not a book of self-worship of the Jews. It is radically different from the Babylonian Talmud. The Bible is an antidote to self-worship. The Old Testament excoriates Israelites in the strongest possible terms.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Feminism, New Age, and Satanism

insightjournal |  Gloria Steinem (1934-) has long been celebrated as one of the world’s leading feminists, and so seems to have always been in the public eye, with every aspect of her life scrutinized.  A look at a less examined chapter in her life finds that in addition to her many efforts on behalf of women, she managed to find the time and the energy to become involved in the craziest episode in the history of modern psychiatry, which actually victimized thousands of women.
In the 1980s, there was a three-pronged epidemic that shook up psychotherapy in the English-speaking world. This affair started with the dubious idea of recovering “repressed” memories. Trauma is something you cannot shake off, but over the past 50 years, some self-described trauma experts have claimed that many trauma survivors have lost their memories to dissociation or repression. The step was the more dubious idea that the phenomenon of multiple personality is widespread, but unrecognized.

Dissociative phenomena include such things as loss of memory (amnesia), or temporary loss of identity. In extreme cases, individuals have been described as suffering from identity fragmentation, or multiple personality. For 100 years, dissociative disorders, if at all real, were considered extremely rare. Following a wave of claims about memories of sexual abuse, recovered during psychotherapy, there was a meteoric rise in the number of individuals diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (MPD).  Whereas before 1980 the number of cases in the literature was under 100, by 1995 there were tens of thousands of such cases. The number of reported personalities in one body skyrocketed and the record was 4,500. Ninety-five percent of the cases were diagnosed in North America, and 95% of them were women.

In tandem, the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation (ISSMPD) was founded in 1984  by the psychiatrist Bennet Braun. Braun attracted a number of mental health professionals and a movement was formed. Soon dissociation was not only a movement, but a cause.

The ISSMPD was responsible for the next stage of the epidemic. The assumption was that MPD was the result of a massive childhood trauma. In 1988, Bennet Braun connected MPD with Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA).  Leaders of ISSMPD started educating the public about an underground intergenerational network of Satanists, responsible for killing thousands of children every year. Children born into Satanic families witnessed their siblings, or other children, being sacrificed, and were subject to other forms of abuse. The resulting trauma led to dissociation and MPD.  The therapists who were telling the world about dissociation, trauma, and Satanism were supposedly relying on evidence from clients who, during intensive treatment, recovered memories of childhood abuse. Braun and his colleagues suggested that the uncovered connections, which had been neglected or overlooked, between childhood trauma, repressed and recovered,  MPD and SRA, was a major breakthrough in the history of psychiatry.

In 1989 Braun’s partner, the psychiatrist Richard Kluft, expressed concern about a “hidden holocaust” perpetuated by Satanic cults. (Kluft remains a believer and in 2014 he stated “I remain troubled about the matter of transgenerational satanic cults”).

How is Gloria Steinem tied to these events?

How Did Degenerate POS Jeffrey Epstein Escape #MeToo?

DailyBeast  |  But the Weinstein Effect seems to have spared one Jeffrey Epstein—a 65-year-old billionaire and convicted sex offender who’s palled around with former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen, and other high-flying friends whose names were revealed in his “little black book” and flight logs for his private jet. Many of them enjoyed jaunts to Epstein’s private Caribbean island and mansions in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida. 

Even President Trump was among the deviant philanthropist’s admirers. “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Jeffery’s “social life,” according to police and a score of lawsuits, involved a pedophile ring of dozens of underage girls, whom he groomed and then loaned out to powerful friends. But aside from a minor conviction in Florida—for which he served a mere 13 months—Epstein has emerged remarkably unscathed. New York authorities have never charged him with any crime, and he still drops into his Upper East Side mansion, where women have been photographed coming and going, according to tabloid reports. His sex offender registration lists his primary address as St. Thomas.

The mysterious financier’s sick world was unmasked in March 2005, when the stepmother of one 14-year-old victim phoned police and said a wealthy man had molested her child. She’d received a call from a schoolmate’s mom, who overheard her own daughter discussing “how [the victim] had met with a 45-year-old man and had sex with him and was paid for it,” a police report said. Around that time, a teacher found $300 in the girl’s purse.

Palm Beach detectives would soon unearth five girls who claimed that Epstein had lured them into a ring of sexual abuse. By the time Epstein inked his plea agreement, the feds had identified 40 victims. Police said Epstein was enlisting his employees and other young women to recruit underage girls—many of them underprivileged or from broken homes—for massages at his home. One recruiter told police that Epstein advised her, “The younger, the better.”

Friday, June 22, 2018

DoD Ranks Top Threats From Synthetic Biology

npr  |  New genetic tools are making it easier and cheaper to engineer viruses and bacteria, and a report commissioned by the Department of Defense has now ranked the top threats posed by the rapidly advancing field of "synthetic biology."

One of the biggest concerns is the ability to recreate known viruses from scratch in the lab. That means a lab could make a deadly virus that is normally kept under lock and key, such as smallpox.

"Right now, recreating pretty much any virus can be done relatively easily. It requires a certain amount of expertise and resources and knowledge," says Michael Imperiale, a microbiologist at the University of Michigan who chaired the committee convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to assess the state of synthetic biology and offer advice to defense officials.

As an example of what's possible, Imperiale pointed to the recent and controversial creation of horsepox, a cousin of smallpox, in a Canadian laboratory. "These things can now be done," he said.
Another top danger listed in the report, which was released Tuesday, is making existing bacteria or viruses more dangerous. That could happen, by, say, giving them antibiotic resistance or altering them so that they produce toxins or evade vaccines.

And one scenario pondered by the experts is the creation of microbes that would produce harmful biochemicals in humans while living on the skin or in the gut. This possibility, the report notes, "is of high concern because its novelty challenges potential mitigation options." Public health officials might not even recognize that they were witnessing a biological attack if the dangerous material was delivered to victims in such an unusual way.

All in all, the committee examined about a dozen different synthetic biology technologies that could be potentially misused. For each, they considered how likely it was to be usable as a weapon, how much expertise or resources would be needed, and how well governments would be able to recognize and manage an attack.

Herpes and Alzheimer's

genomeweb |  Based on network analyses spanning transcriptomic, genomic, and proteomic features of brain viromes in aging individuals with or without late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), a team led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine and Arizona State University has proposed potential ties between human herpesvirus (HHV) infection, amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism, and AD.

"This study represents a significant advancement in our understanding of the plausibility of the pathogen hypothesis of Alzheimer's," corresponding author Joel Dudley, a genetics, genomic sciences, and multi-scale biology researcher affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine and the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center, said in a statement.

As they reported online today in Neuron, Dudley and his colleagues sequenced RNA in hundreds of postmortem brain samples, representing unaffected controls and preclinical AD cases, meaning symptom-free individuals with AD neuropathology. Their data revealed a dramatic over-representation of HHV-7 and HHV-6A strains in the preclinical AD endophenotype.

The team shored up this apparent association using data for individuals from additional cohorts of clinical AD cases and controls without AD pathology or symptoms. Network analyses based on whole-exome sequencing, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and immunohistochemistry data, along with mouse model experiments, suggested that this association may stem from interactions between viral abundance, transcriptional regulators, and other modulators of APP metabolism.

Studies stretching back several decades have raised the possibility that microbial infections and the immune response mounted against them might contribute to the onset or progression of neurodegenerative conditions such as AD, the authors noted. Even so, they wrote, such research has been "suggestive of a viral contribution to AD, though findings offer little insight into potential mechanisms, and a consistent association with specific viral species has not emerged."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Supreme Warmonger Ceasara Flickerman's Crocodile Tears...,

townhall |  What's the latest? Kids in cages, separated from their moms! Oh no! That only happens to every other criminal ever. Well, every American criminal ever. Illegal alien criminals, who drag their kids through scorching deserts to break the law because their own countries are The Term That May Not Be Spoken But Trump Spoke It (which itself created a mini outrage a while ago) are, I guess, supposed to be a special kind of criminal that doesn’t get separated from his/her/xer kids upon arrest. Wait, does that sound right? Why would they be treated differently…I don’t think…STOP!

Don’t think! Get outraged! Let your feelings run free, feelings generated by pictures of kids in cages (under Obama, but shhhhhh!), by super selective Bible readings on MSNBC, and by pious Fredocons whining about how we’re better than that and oh well I never!

That’s the thing – when you’re caught in an outrage monsoon, you aren’t supposed to think. You are supposed to be infuriated, aroused, and activated, like a ravenous running zombie hungering for the virtue signaling lobe of the human brain. You are not supposed to ask questions that interrupt the narrative, like why would this particular subset of criminal get special privileges? Don’t we separate families every day when mommy (or daddy) commits a crime? Why don’t they just not come here?
Facts are the enemy when it comes to liberal policies, so they don’t want you messing with the message by bringing them up. Instead, they want you outraged, and your mind clouded with ginned-up anger, ready to do their bidding.

Someone, oh someone, please think of the children! But not about how their illegal alien parents put them in that position. Because if you start thinking too much, the truth starts to become clear. Liberals want illegal aliens in the country because they want to replace intransigent American citizens like you with pliable foreigners who won’t be so darn uppity. So, they don’t want illegal aliens to be treated like the criminals they are (because entering the country illegally is a crime) because they want to let them stay here – this is all about reinstating catch and release. So, they create a fake outrage about how these criminals are – oh no! – being treated like any other criminal so, they hope, you will demand we go back to catching and releasing them. Before the zero tolerance policy, we caught them and released them on their promise to show up at their hearing, which of course they never, ever did, thereby swelling the ranks of Replacement Americans, which liberals hope to someday amnesty (assisted by the GOP establishment saps) and turn into Democrat voters.

Mr. Obama's Dubious Detention Centers

NYTimes | The family detention centers the Obama administration has been operating in Texas and Pennsylvania have been an expedient way to handle the soaring numbers of Central Americans, many of them young children, who have arrived at the Southern border since 2014. They give a sense that Homeland Security has the border situation under control, and they supposedly send a message to other would-be refugees not to come.

But these privately run, unlicensed lockups are no place for children. Or mothers. Their existence belies President Obama’s oft-professed concern for the humane treatment of people fleeing crime and violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

And the centers stand on dubious legal ground. Last year, a district judge ruled that the administration was violating a 1997 court-ordered settlement, called the Flores agreement, that governs the treatment of underage migrants who seek asylum or enter the country illegally. The judge said the children were being held for too long, and ordered the administration to release them as quickly as possible to the care of relatives or other guardians as their cases move through the immigration courts.

The administration appealed, saying that the agreement applied only to children who had crossed the border alone, not those who were accompanied by parents or other adult relatives. On July 6, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disagreed, upholding the district ruling that Flores covers all children, accompanied or not. But it said the administration could still detain their parents.

Which leaves things pretty much where they were — unsettled, unsatisfactory, unfit for a country that aspires (or once did, anyway) to be an example to the world in its welcome for desperate refugees. The administration hasn’t said whether it will appeal, but it’s hard to imagine that it will use the appeals court ruling to break up families — sending children to foster care, maybe, while continuing to hold their mothers behind bars. On a separate issue not addressed by the Ninth Circuit ruling, plaintiffs have accused the administration of subjecting children to miserable conditions at Border Patrol stations.

If the Obama administration took its principles to heart, it would be closing its family prisons and abandoning its emphasis on border crackdowns in favor of greater efforts to connect Central Americans with pro bono lawyers and to provide family- and community-based alternatives to detention. Much money and effort have been spent to deter and detain them, to speed them through court, to hunt down those who are later found to be deportable.

It would be far better to to score a humanitarian victory by reuniting children and families, especially since data show that Central Americans with asylum claims are far more likely to show up in court — and win their cases — when they have lawyers.

The DEI vs. Zionist Intranecine Conflict Continues More Publicly...,

NYTimes  |   The New York Times is astonishing its readers, especially those of us who monitor its tradition of biased and dishonest repor...