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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Reposted from The Daily Kos

Warren gives remarkable and unprecedented speech on racial injustice and Black Lives Matter

by Josie Duffy

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren expressed her emphatic support for the Black Lives Matter movement and called for racial justice reform in a Monday, Sept. 28 speech at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United State Senate.

This was arguably the strongest and most supportive of any speech given by a politician since the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement, and emphasized the need for racial justice and equality, police reform, and voting rights.

Warren listed the ways that America has historically disenfranchised and discriminated against black people—through violence, economic injustice, and denying them the right to vote. She lauded the civil rights movement as a turning point, noting that it “pushed this country in a new direction.”

But, she said, “fifty years later, we have made real progress toward creating the conditions of freedom—but we have not made ENOUGH progress.”

I speak today with the full knowledge that I have not personally experienced and can never truly understand the fear, the oppression, and the pain that confronts African Americans every day. But none of us can ignore what is happening in this country. Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets.

Most politicians and presidential candidates have long been hesitant to throw their full support behind the Black Lives Matter movement, expressing agreement in cautious and distant statements. Many on the right have used the movement as a way to stoke fear in the public, branding the movement for black lives as a hate group.But Warren has taken the most courageous stance of her peers, highlighting the inequality that persists in black America. Her goal is to force people—mainly white people, although she doesn’t say that directly—to critically examine the way that race functions across the nation.

“Listen to the brave, powerful voices of today’s new generation of civil rights leaders. Incredible voices. Listen to them say: “If I die in police custody, know that I did not commit suicide.” Watch them march through the streets, “Hands up don’t shoot” – not to incite a riot, but to fight for their lives. To fight for their lives.”

See more below.

Warren explicitly called for police reform, stating that “police are not occupying armies. This is America, not a war zone—and policing practices in all cities, not just some—need to reflect that.” Her support for de-escalation and increased community involvement in policing echoed what police reform and racial justice activists have been calling for.

Warren also identified voting rights as an area where justice had not yet been served, and addressed the laws passed by republicans that restrict or prevent people from voting. “It’s time to call out the recent flurry of new state law restrictions for what they are: an all-out campaign by Republicans to take away the right to vote from poor and black and Latino American citizens who probably won’t vote for them.”

She then identified the economic injustices that plague communities of color, from big banks and their predatory mortgages to wage stagnation and high unemployment among blacks. “Our task will not be complete until we ensure that every family—regardless of race—has a fighting chance to build an economic future for themselves and their families,” Warren said.

While Warren’s speech doesn’t use the phrase white supremacy, she also seems to hint at its role in the continued police discrimination, voter discrimination, and economic discrimination that stand in the way of many black people in America.

This is, undoubtedly, the most remarkable speech any politician has given on black lives, especially in the past year. Already it has been widely supported by police reform and racial justice activists, including Deray McKesson, who told the Huffington Post that “Warren, better than any political leader I’ve yet heard, understands the protests as a matter of life or death—that the American dream has been sustained by an intentional violence and that the uprisings have been the result of years of lived trauma.”

That being said, the fact that it is so unusual brings about yet another sobering reality. Warren tells the truth and asks for nothing more than equality, justice, and for America to live up to the virtues it claims to hold dear. In order to have a reflective and honest democracy, more politicians must do the same. Warren’s speech is both beautiful to read and yet troublesome in its isolation.

Yet Warren’s firm stance for justice and her demand for change indicate that the movement is working. This speech signals that even the powerful can recognize rampant racial injustice.

“This is the reality all of us must confront, as uncomfortable and ugly as that reality may be,” she stated. “It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter.”

Senator Warren ended the speech by invoking the late Sen. Kennedy and his fight for social justice.

“As Senator Kennedy said in his first floor speech, ‘This is not a political issue. It is a moral issue, to be resolved through political means.’ So it comes to us to continue the fight, to make, as John Lewis said, the ‘necessary trouble’ until we can truly say that in America, every citizen enjoys the conditions of freedom.”

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I dare to blog because I care. I have conversations with long time friends, family and associates on a wide range of topics but when the discussions about Government and issues related the thoughts are fairly universal. We are saddled with an inefficient Government primarily because of us! Too many of us do not want to pay taxes , even though the country functions on money from the taxes we pay. It is true that our government has for years used the taxes  poorly and we have allowed it because we never knew the truth and we trusted them. That trust  has been violated time and time again yet we accepted it out of ignorance. We (the public) should have realized there was a problem in the early 1970’s after first gasoline crisis. Europe got the message years ago and designed cars and energy-saving devices then (or before). We now find ourselves in a position where education is suffering, manufacturing is suffering and the people are suffering. Europeans pay substantial taxes that cover most of the items we are now complaining about costing too much (healthcare, education to name a couple). We have become used to lower taxes or no taxes and that is becoming our downfall. We need to buck up right now and do the following:

1. elect true statesmen to represent us

2. Stop railing against paying taxes

3. Pay more attention what the current seat fillers are doing (or not)

4. Demand accountability from our representatives by using social media, snail mail or phone calls (if you are on face book or any other social media, this is an opportunity).

5. Ignore the “entertainment” news” and seek out the truth in the media wherever it is.

The “greatest country in the world” should be a leader instead of a follower in education and healthcare, higher taxes will do this and eliminate the conversations and rhetoric about no new taxes. There is no way we can move forward with changes in our country’s well being without understanding what it really takes to restore functionality to the government. It is the privilege of the people to make changes in the government by electing the right people regardless of race, religion and personal preferences.

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Conservatives as defined modernly appears to be people who espouse reducing government controls over the US citizens is no more than dictatorship cloaked in “Americanism”. If let to continue un restrained could lead to the end of  public works, medical care for all and an increase in the poverty level of the United States. We should be extremely concerned now that John Boehner has stepped down and will be leaving the Senate. The young conservatives who feel victorious will eventually run us into the ground or put us in a place where we  do not want to be. If they achieve their goals we as a country will be in a position that will take us years to correct. One of the mainstreamers , Ted Cruz was  Born in Canada, Naturalized in US in 2005 and recently renounced his Canadian citizenship (that’s scary in itself). Ordinarily this would be a non item but here is a man who started off with a secret (no matter how minor).  The Dupublican party has so many rifts as to be dysfunctional and using every means to gain a foothold in the Congress. It is quite easy to make pronouncements about what’s wrong and to assert what they will and could do if they were in command but leading is a lot harder when you are actually leading.  The conservatives (fueled by huge money donors whose sole purpose  is have lawmakers do what is best for their interests) who plan to dismantle Affordable care act, deny funding for Planned Parenthood based on a made up video (which was better than anything Hollywood film makers could produce). If these people gain control of our government , even a portion of it ,we will be in a long winter of  decline which will weaken our Government and by extension our world status. It is easy to cite what is reported in the media but a bit harder to actually pursue the truth by reading as many sources as are available to gain a well founded perspective. We have had people talk about terrorists (primarily related to Muslims) but we have had for years several separatist groups within our borders. They are all American citizens but anti government non the less and not opposed to violence if necessary. This is not to say they are completely wrong but they do have some extreme  ideas about how things should be. Unfortunately some are Racist, anti religious, super religious (cultish) and totally anti government (while living under the auspices of that government). It important to remember where we as a nation started, the first colonists clashed with the natives who existed here in good ways and bad ways, once established they began to push the natives out of their ancestral lands with no compensation other than death. It’s just in recent history that reparations began for them but the damage was done and will take years to assuage, meanwhile their languages and cultures are diluted to the point of extinction. We should keep in mind the  “wars” we have been involved in since the end of WWII, all of these actions have cost millions of lives to no good end but greatly benefitted the military industrial complex sanctioned by our Congress with  information gathered from sometimes flawed intelligence. All of this is due in entirety or  in part to the so called conservatives whose conservation efforts are directed to their own well being and thus to their handlers.

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The Kentucky clerk who refuse to do her job due to religious objections is no different than the religious radicals who are wreaking havoc in the middle east
except so far she has not planted a bomb or otherwise physically assaulted anyone. In context, she has caused mental anguish to many people. She is supported by many, who like her interpret the bible in a skewed fashion (think Radical Islam) because she does not approve of a life style. This is the same thinking that unfortunately still exists for radical sects who oppose anyone who is not white but are religiously stunted and in a word a bigot on many fronts. It is unfortunate that our country has progressed so far only to have these types of incidents point out our lack of progress in ALL areas. If the “Anti’s” would really take a good look at themselves and their own place in the world perhaps they would see that this is one of the few countries where they can air these issues without being jailed for life (however you can be jailed for defying a legal court directive).

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Tue Sep 22, 2015 at 02:47 PM PDT

“You should all be in jail,” and “we’ll nuke you soon anyway”

by Gaius Septimus

I have a Muslim friend who happens to work close to my place of work and so we often meet and, as he is as much a political junkie as I am, we inevitably talk about the presidential election. He is married and has two children. And he has been growing more and more despondent over the past few months. We met today and I was startled to hear him talk about how he feels and what his fears are for the future. Startled, because he is the quintessential optimist and because we both live in New York where religion is not usually an issue. Startled, moreover, because although I have followed the current wave of gratuitous Islamophobia on display in the GOP field (see my diary here) I had not realized how far things have gone and because, frankly, only Muslims know the many ways in which they feel threatened or degraded by what is occurring.

He told me that at his son’s school, some kid told his boy that “all Muslims should go to jail”. This after the hoopla surrounding Ahmed Mohamed’s clock that has become a landmark for the conservative xenophobic circus of politicians and media pundits. And that a teacher said something to the effect that it was “inevitable” that sooner or later the United States will have to simply nuke the Muslim world and “solve all these problems”.

“Where can we go,” my friend said, “how will I start again from scratch?” I realized with a shock that he has been thinking and quite seriously about leaving the country. Upon probing further, I realized he believes that a wave of Islamophobia is on the horizon. “If not this time,” he said, meaning the 2016 election, “then sometime soon” the country will elect someone in the mold of Trump or Palin and it will become intolerable for Muslims to live here.

Seeing him like this has made me angry.

And it should make any patriotic American angry. I said above that the GOP’s Islamophobia is gratuitous. And I stand by this statement. There is absolutely no reason for it. Quite apart from being appalled that a 13-year old kid should be told that he and his co-religionists deserve jail and/or death, I am disgusted by the short-sightedness of people who continue to stir anti-Islamic passions.

First of all, we need to realize that it is in the Western world’s power, right now, to nurture the moderate, peaceful tradition of Islam that we have all been yearning about. Why? Because for many of the Muslims who come to live in the United States (and those who have been living here for generations) as well as for many of the refugees who are knocking on the doors of Europe, there is no more immediate concern than the concern that is common to all of us – to have a peaceful life, to devote time to raising their families, to ensure their children have a better future. In the meantime, they would like to worship in peace. Isn’t this what the United States is about? Isn’t it?

If we accept them here, if Europe accepts them. If they feel welcome, feel like a part of the community, then don’t you see? They will have a stake in our democracy, they will have a stake in preserving the spirit and tradition of tolerance. For, as my friend says, where else can they go? I ask you… Where else can our Muslim citizens find the kind of life that they have here? The (relative) peace – I say relative because it cannot be really complete with what has been occurring – the freedom to pursue careers and self-enrichment (in the spiritual sense). I ask you… Where else?

It is time for us to realize that we, here, in the US and Europe PROVIDE the alternative to ISIS and al Queda. By embracing the Muslim community and making them feel at home, we do nothing less than prove all radical and militant Muslims the world over WRONG. We need this. We need this not merely from a strategic point of view – in the sense that having a peaceful and democratically integrated Muslim community is good for our country and good for the world. We also need it because believe it or not there are those Muslims who are not plotting the Islamic takeover of the United States, or the next spectacular terror attack. There are those of them who simply want what we all want – to live well, raise a family, have kids and grandkids.

Secondly, though, we have to realize that Islamophobia has become fashionable among the GOP not merely because the 9/11 psychosis and not merely because a lot of GOP voters have no understanding of Islam but have been taught to fear and loathe it. We have to realize that Islamophobia is nothing less than the sublimation of racism that has gripped the rightwing conservatives, from Evangelical crazies to run-of-the-mill Tea Party racists. When an African American is president, when a gun wielding white supremacist wacko single-handedly (and VERY VERY unintentionally) brought down the Confederate flag throughout the South, and in the wake of Ferguson and Baltimore and Black Lives Matter, Islamophobia is the only socially accepted racism that can be spouted by public figures with a great deal of impunity. It is the latest expression of the “other” that we have to fear and fight. The latest incarnation of the public enemy.

I am really glad that both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton came out and declared Carson’s remarks unacceptable. I am even gladder that some in the GOP field (Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz of all people) took him to task. Carson, as an African American, should be especially ashamed of himself for what he said and I am especially angry at him for having said it.

But it is not enough.

We need to make sure our Muslim American citizens feel integrated and appreciated. Like I said in my previous diary, America is the place of hope and the place of peace. That hope and that peace is for EVERYONE who is a citizen. It is why China can never replace America as a cultural symbol. It is why America remains and abides … We need to make sure America remains what it is meant to be. The GOP has apparently decided otherwise. So, it is up to us.

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 Posted from the Daily Kos

Thu Sep 17, 2015 at 03:17 PM PDT

“They didn’t think he had a bomb.”

by BSSanders

Great Post Sent to Me Today

I said: it’s sad they thought that kid had a bomb.
She said: they didn’t think he had a bomb.
I said: yes, they thought he made a bomb and even called the police.
She said: They just wanted to humiliate a little Muslim boy. They didn’t think he had a bomb.
I said: Don’t be a conspiracy theorist. They might be a little prejudiced, but I’m sure they thought he had a bomb.
She said: OK.
But they didn’t evacuate the school, like you do when there’s a bomb.
They didn’t call a bomb squad – like you do when there’s a bomb.
They didn’t get as far away from him as possible, like you do when there’s a bomb.
Then they put him and the clock in an office: not like you do when there’s a bomb
Then they waited with him for the police to arrive, and then they put the clock in the same car as the police.
Then they took pictures of it.

I said: Damn…..They never thought he had a bomb.

The Irving PD, & the School Admin will be rightfully sued.
They can now pay Ahmed’s way to MIT.
“They never thought he had a bomb”

Originally posted to B S Sanders on Thu Sep 17, 2015 at 03:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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It is absolutely amazing how little research is done on information presented by people who are seeking the nomination for the Presidency. For Instance Planned Parenthood: taking this issue on based on altered video and audio along with misinformation on how the Government funding is used. These people will seek to defund programs that they know little to nothing about. We still have voters who are chewing on the old disproven bone that the current President is a Muslim! If they aspire to be the leader of the  world icon of freedom, then their focus needs to be on the big picture instead of the theatrics of politics. It is easy to pot shot, cherry pick and otherwise ignore facts however making choices based on true facts takes more work. Using real intelligence from reliable sources is what keeps us safe not speculative ideas from people who enlist or solicit information from unilateral  non mainstream sources. It clear to me that in this electronic age fewer people know the truth since fewer people bother to investigate news and the sources. These are the people who believe that anything on the internet is true regardless of the source. Truth begins with a basic understanding of the subject and subsequent personal investigation from other sources to back it up and again not speculative information.
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Why is it that so many folks attack, tweet and otherwise vilify Fox News? If you do not agree with them why waste time viewing them? The best way to deal with “Faux” news is to not look at them. It is common knowledge that the media “giant” is not a valid presenter of real news and an ardent purveyor of  “check out stand “style information. This station has long been an outlet that values misinformation above real journalism. Look at its luminaries ”

Bill O’Reilly-History teacher out to sell books at any cost

Glenn Beck- Ultra Conservative newsman who was a darling of the Republican party until he wasn’t

Elizabeth Hasselback- Semi knowledgeable presenter- error prone-

Ann Coulter- Racist incarnate , has one aim sell book that denigrate whoever it takes to sell a book and play to the insecurities,  racial hatred of certain segments of the population (who if they knew her would hate her).

We as hopefully rational people need to proceed cautiously in our support of incorrect and misapplied  information, while your personal beliefs are your own, they should be supported by truth rather than speculation and again misapplied information. It is entirely possible that failing to look at all sides of an issue will result in a poor judgment in electing our representatives. Anyone can present information that you like but not many present what you don’t like.

This posting from the Daily Kos speaks volumes, note the Orange text which echoes a previous posting from me.

If there’s one thing that is sure to send Republicans into an apoplectic, screaming rage, it’s the prospect of the most successful President in modern memory deliberately tweaking them where it hurts the most–namely, in their phony pretensions of patriotism:

“This whole anti-immigrant sentiment that’s out there in our politics right now is contrary to who we are. Because unless you are a Native American, your family came from someplace else,” Mr. Obama said. “Don’t pretend that somehow 100 years ago the immigration process was all smooth and strict. That’s not how it worked.” The grandparents and great-grandparents of politicians taking a hard line on immigration, he said, were also “somehow considered unworthy or uneducated or unwashed.”“When I hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different from my kids or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care, I think that’s un-American,” Mr. Obama said.

In one sentence the President managed to tie immigration, patriotism and religious faith together and frame it as an indictment of the Republican platform. With one carefully timed, barbed phrase he baited the entire Republican field, including the blowhard idiot with the orange hair, into responding, while turning the Republican meme of his “otherness” on its head and serving it up to them on a cold dish. If you don’t think the right is already churning up its outrage meter, Google “Un-American” on your news feed of choice and take a look at who is reporting on this.America will now have the pleasure of watching the Republican candidates weigh in on the President’s characterization of their entire hateful, anti-Latino and Hispanic crusade. It should be the first question asked in the debates. Go ahead, Mr. Trump. Explain to your sycophants why implementing a cruel, massive deportation scheme impacting 11 million people can be reconciled with American “values,” as you understand them. Tell them why we need to build a “wall.”  Tell them what kind of twisted notion of “God” or even basic human decency would support this kind of scheme. Your audience will eat it up. The rest of the country–maybe not so much.

With the corporate media reduced to a useless, drooling circle-jerkfest over everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth, the President is busy moving into Iowa to weigh in on the “debate:”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest made no secret that Mr. Obama flew to Iowa to try to influence the 2016 discussions.

Rather than “dropping in” for a ceremonial visit, the President held a Town Hall meeting, fielding questions about education, economic policy, and most of all, immigration, where he continued to torment the Republican candidates into defending the consequences of their policies:

Mr. Obama got animated when asked about the children of illegal immigrants having education benefits, and he immediately tied it to the debate on the 2016 campaign trail.He said it makes “absolutely no sense” for politicians to block young people who “are American kids by every other criteria except for a piece of paper” from being “full-fledged parts of this community and this country.”

It has to be terribly galling for a party that spent the last two decades demonizing Democrats with accusations that they are somehow less patriotic, somehow less devoted to their country and its citizens than the chest-beating Republicans, to have the “un-American” label pinned onto them. It has to be doubly galling after they failed so spectacularly in trying to block the Iran accord, aligning themselves with the desires of Israeli hard-liners rather than the interests of the U.S.  It has to be triply galling after it was recently revealed that they’ve conspired to sabotage international efforts supported by the U.S. to combat the effects of climate change.Sometimes the truth just hurts. But don’t worry, Republicans. You’ll get your chance to explain yourselves tonight.

President Obama is bringing the popcorn.

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With the recent spate of Racially based crimes on buildings and individuals it is not hard to connect the dots. Our Congress since the election of Barack Obama has tacitly condoned (renewed) Racism. The vitriol over most programs presented by the President have met more opposition than possibly any of his predecessors. What we have is big money powering the anti’s coupled with the innate racism of some members of Congress. While it is not necessarily quantifiable, it is feasible to imagine that some members of Congress while advocating for their districts have seeded their “home” speeches with racial epithets that serve to invigorate the supposed or perceived Racial differences in America. While are we giving so much attention to “old flags”  the Oligarchs are pushing to enslave us all as they have enslaved our government ( Congress). Be aware that our Congress contrary to popular belief is not as independent as they would have us believe, they have all benefitted from the largesse offered from the Oligarchical coffers. Our political system is all about who can spend the most money while many voters are in dire need of healthcare, jobs and basic living standards all of which was promised by the people we elected to Congress to make this happen. The amount of funding provided by the oligarchs apparently is too tempting to ignore but comes with a price – “their Souls” . We have issues that should be clear to all Americans since this is the only country we have and it is just over 200 plus years in existence wouldn’t you think we should be more caring about it and our fellow Americans of all races (since these assorted Races are what make up America). From the beginning when the first landers on the shores of what is now the United States, they began to push the Real Americans (Natives) around and became upset when they fought back. From that point on it became open season on non whites (who had already been here for Eons), then there was the import of slaves , stolen from their home country because the New Americans wanted cheap (free) labor. It is small wonder that Americans as a whole have less respect around the world and that has translated into disrespect for our current President and his initiatives (which if he were White would be less of an issue). Our current and past Congress have all been at fault due to their short-sighted thinking and allowing “white Privilege ” to make a joke out of our Democracy. We have people who are aspiring to run for the Presidency who are advocating another round-up of “illegals” to provide jobs for Americans yet not many Americans want to do the jobs that these immigrants do which is why “Americans” hire them. Our Congress is more of a hindrance to better government than any of the left or right wing groups in combination. We voters (every  multi-ethnic one of us) should pay careful attention to who we elect as bombastic speeches do not make a competent legislators. Indolence in our voting will be our downfall as history has shown in the past.

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