Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"Nice People"


"Nice People"
by Redd Phlagg
In a country run by a small circle of pedophilic billionaires, there is literally not a single moral justification for not engaging in class war. -- Quinn Albright

They call them "nice people" because they're apparently decent, hard-working, law-abiding types. How could anyone who looks as sharp as these folks and acts as charming as they do on occasion be all that bad? You'll realize how that line of logic is nothing but a stinking pile of horse manure after reading the following:


This poor boy worked hard to develop a social movement to rebuild his war-torn country, eventually becoming its beloved leader by being elected in a landslide. It was reported that he loved his dog and acted kindly to his secretaries and his fiancée. He was a devout vegetarian and enjoyed entertaining all types of guests at his dinner parties.


Sounds like a great guy, huh? His name? Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, a.k.a. the Third Reich. You might have heard of him. He's credited with at least 6 million plus deaths.

Please don't tell me now that all "nice people" are worthy of praise and adoration. You know they're not. Their slick outward appearances can hide a rotten core. Money, authority, good-looks, and plentiful media attention does not an admirable human being make. So why does our culture put these a**holes on a pedestal more often than not? What makes the following morally bankrupt capitalists any better than the rest of us?


Martin Shkreli-- the ever-smirking "pharma bro," wannabe mass murderer and investment fraudster. He instituted a 5,000% price increase of Daraprim, a previously cheap drug used to treat HIV, condemning those who couldn't pay it to death.



The Koch Brothers--don't get me started on these demon-spawned siblings that exude noxious evil! Just about anything that is going wrong in our country and around the world can be traced back to them. The Kochs are the most egregious example of how capitalism eats itself alive--along with the rest of the planet--and somehow can't stop its self-destructive behavior no matter how hard you try to convince its sadistic purveyors to stop.



Jeff Bezos--the world's richest individual who won't even allow his lowly warehouse workers to take a leak on company time. Why? Because he doesn't think being valued a measly $168 billion is enough. And this lovely excuse for a human being is helping ICE build facial recognition software to deport even more asylum-seekers (see second blurb below). What a  freakin' "nice" person Jeff is!  Employers like Amazon are true enemies of the workers (see third blurb below).



Jeffrey Epstein--billionaire pedophile owner of the "Lolita Express" private jet, currently charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking once again. He's planning on getting another light sentence this time similar to his first conviction where he spent most of his "jail time" actually working in his office. (He's probably got pictures of all the judges on his private island of sexual escapades, so they know they can't throw the book at him without their dirty little secrets being exposed.) But We the People are fighting back and exposing those who enable this serial rapist (see first blurb below).



Donald Trump--pseudo-president, serial philanderer, failed real estate tycoon, boring TV star, and resident p*ssy-grabber, and, along with former President Bill Clinton, a guest on Epstein's Lolita Express. This MAGA-hat-wearing, all-around xenophobic, racist, lying sack of sh*t is in the running for worst human being ever. He can't even claim to be a vegetarian dog lover like his concentration-camp-building idol Adolf Hitler!




Face it--the planet would be a lot better off without these criminals.

The common thread that links these names together is greed. They worship money and the power that it gives them over life itself. Filthy lucre is their idol. They'll do anything to anyone to get it and keep it and lord it over others. Damn you if you ever get in their way!


We've got to stop being so squeamish and face facts: It's us or it's them. I vote us. We should be the survivors in the climate catastrophe that's already on our doorsteps, not these pedophilic billionaires. We need to take out this elitist class of holier-than-thou-acting-while-we're-screwing-your-underage-daughter-and-robbing-you-blind types. Tomorrow isn't soon enough. We need to take action today.


It's time to eliminate the not-so-nice one-percenters and use their hoarded wealth to create a society where all people have access to health care when they need it along with food and clean water and shelter and equal justice under the law no matter how poor or what color they are. We are the majority. We don't need these rotten apples spoiling the rest of us in the barrel.

In other words: "Nice people do boycott immoral businesses…and protest loudly and frequently against illegal activities such as running concentration camps…and build guillotines if and when they have to."   

History doesn't need repeating if it's a repeat of Hitler's Germany, does it?

More "Nice People" in the News:

Sex Trafficking Scandal Rocks Government (video)
https://youtu.be/zvt7tlVBYVQ

The Fear Like The Cruelty Is The Point
https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/57621-the-fear-like-the-cruelty-is-the-point

Christianity Should Not Be Cruel
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rhetoricraceandreligion/2019/07/christianity-should-not-be-cruel.html

Private Prison Stocks Soar Under Trump Administration
https://money.cnn.com/2017/02/24/investing/private-prison-stocks-soar-trump/index.html


BIO: Redd Phlagg is a mild-mannered citizen by day and a radical revolutionary by night. Redd's goal is to stir up the masses so they're eager to take out our oppressors when the optimal time comes. Be ready!








***

From UltraViolet:


Last Friday, amid growing pressure from the public and UltraViolet members like you, Trump's Secretary of Labor and enabler of child sex-trafficking, Alexander Acosta, announced his resignation.1

This is a HUGE win for survivors of sexual assault everywhere, but, in particular, for the more than 80 young girls--some as young as 14--who were sexually abused by wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. As U.S. attorney in Miami in 2008, Acosta showed a total disregard for these underage survivors by offering Epstein a plea deal with a mere 13-month sentence, even allowing Epstein to leave the prison six days a week, and ending an FBI probe that would have potentially found more powerful people involved in Epstein's trafficking ring.

With new charges against Epstein coming from federal prosecutors this week, and now with Acosta's resignation, survivors of Epstein's heinous sex crimes may finally see justice. This is in large part because of the tens of thousands of UltraViolet members who signed petitions, called their representatives, and donated. The pressure culminated with a light projection action calling for Acosta's resignation that UltraViolet organized with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), CREDO Action, and MoveOn. The message projected onto the Department of Labor building generated a ton of press in numerous outlets, including ABC News and influential Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill.2,3
Light projection onto U.S. Department of Labor building reading, "Acosta enables child sex trafficking."
Acosta's resignation is great news, and it demonstrates that when we come together as a movement, we can take down sexual predators and their enablers, no matter how powerful. But this should only be the beginning. We need to hold all powerful people who engage in or enable sexual abuse accountable, including, most notably, the admitted serial sexual assaulter at the very top: President Trump.

Sign the petition to Congress demanding an immediate investigation into Trump's history of rape and sexual assault.

And--
Check out all of the amazing work that UltraViolet members like you did to secure this huge win.

As always, thank you so much for taking action.
--Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Holly, Kathy, Susan, Anathea, Emma, Natalie, Melody, Lindsay, Pam, Ryan, Sonja, and Kimberly, the UltraViolet team

P.S. If you'd like to chip in to help UltraViolet continue fighting for justice for sexual assault survivors, you can contribute here.
Sources:
1. Trump Labor Secretary Acosta resigning after criticism over Epstein plea deal in sex case, NBC News, July 12, 2019
2. Protesters call for Alex Acosta's resignation, ABC News, July 11, 2019
3. 'Acosta Enables Sex Trafficking' projected onto the Labor Department building, The Hill, July 10, 2019

***
Tell Amazon: Stop powering ICE’s deportation machine
The petition to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reads: "Stop building ICE's deportation machine to harm immigrant communities. Amazon must immediately end all contracts with ICE and DHS, including the sale of facial recognition technology to track immigrants."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►


Tell Amazon: Stop powering ICE’s deportation machine
Trump is ramping up his attacks on the immigrant community – and Amazon is the technological backbone powering his xenophobic immigration policies.

Trump is holding human beings in concentration camps, executing mass raids on immigrant families and communities and forcing millions of people to live in fear every single day. Amazon is choosing to be fully complicit in Trump's deportation machine by providing essential technological infrastructure to help ICE and DHS track, detain and deport immigrants.1
This "Prime Day," we are delivering hundreds of thousands of petition signatures in nine cities to tell Amazon to stop profiting off the dehumanization of immigrants and attacks on our civil liberties. Will you amplify our call by adding your name?

Tell Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Stop powering Trump's surveillance state. Prohibit all government use of Rekognition. Click here to sign the petition.

Amazon's facial recognition technology, Rekognition, is frightening. It can identify people in photos of large groups, crowded events and public places. In the hands of government agencies, Rekognition would supercharge already existing racist and discriminatory policing practices and boost the Trump administration's efforts to suppress and criminalize dissent.2 Recent reports reveal that ICE uses facial recognition technology to scan state drivers' licenses databases to identify undocumented immigrants.3 This is an unacceptable violation of our civil liberties and any collaboration with ICE must be stopped.

Donald Trump has already expanded government surveillance and the policing of communities resisting his fascist regime. ICE and Border Patrol are arresting and deporting immigrant activists.4 DHS is recording immigrants' social media and online activity.5 The FBI is monitoring and jailing leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement.6 And Trump Republicans have introduced legislation to restrict people's right to protest in nearly 20 states across the country.7

Since Trump took office, Bezos has been playing both sides. He publicly condemned Trump's Muslim ban, but also helped normalize and legitimize the Trump regime by serving as a Trump tech adviser.8 Amazon is enabling the tracking, detention and deportation of immigrants. In the first nine months of Trump's presidency, ICE arrests increased by 42% compared to the previous years – and that's in large part thanks to the increase in mass surveillance and targeting of immigrants.9

Tell Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Stop powering Trump's surveillance state. Prohibit all government use of Rekognition. Click here to sign the petition.

Amazon is choosing to be complicit in Trump's deportation machine. We cannot allow Amazon to profit from a mass surveillance system that gives government agencies the power to hunt, track and deport immigrants.
Today, people across the country are mobilizing to fight back against Trump's racist immigration policy and attacks on our civil liberties. We need you to stand in solidarity by adding your name.

Tell Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Stop powering Trump's surveillance state. Prohibit all government use of Rekognition. Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/amazon-stop-ICE?t=10&akid=33222%2E5711904%2EWuJSoX

Thanks for fighting back,
Thaís Marques, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Karen Hao, "Amazon is the invisible backbone behind ICE’s immigration crackdown," MIT Technology Review, Oct. 22, 2018.
  2. Julie Carrie Wong, "'Recipe for authoritarianism': Amazon under fire for selling face-recognition software to police," The Guardian, May 22, 2018.
  3. Catie Edmondson, "ICE Used Facial Recognition to Mine State Driver’s License Databases," The New York Times, July 7, 2019.
  4. John Burnett, "See The 20+ Immigration Activists Arrested Under Trump," NPR, March 16, 2018.
  5. Willa Frej, "U.S. Quietly Announces Plan To Monitor Immigrants’ Social Media Accounts, Search Histories," HuffPost, Sept. 28, 2017.
  6. Nicole Hemmer, "The government prosecution of a “black identity extremist” fell apart. Meanwhile, white supremacists are on the march." Vox, May 19, 2018.
  7. ACLU, "Anti-protest bills around the country," June 23, 2017.
  8. CBS News, "Jeff Bezos joins chorus of CEOs challenging Trump travel ban," Jan. 31, 2017.
  9. Hao, "Amazon is the invisible backbone behind ICE’s immigration crackdown."
 ***
AFL-CIO


Today, on Amazon Prime Day, Amazon warehouse employees in Minnesota are striking for better treatment and working conditions. Here at the AFL-CIO, we stand in support of all workers who come together to demand more for themselves and their families, and that includes the Amazon warehouse workers on strike today. 

This Prime Day strike underscores why we need to strengthen protections for workers and unions across the country. And right now, there’s a bill in Congress that would do just that: the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. So I’m reaching out to ask: Will you tell your representative to support the PRO Act

The PRO Act would provide critical support for unions and workers. Specifically, the bill would make it easier to form a union, help workers secure a first contract and even protect striking workers like those in Minnesota today. Support for unions is at a 15-year high, and yet the right to form a union is under attack—it’s time to bolster workers’ rights by passing the PRO Act. 

Write your representative and tell him or her to co-sponsor the PRO Act today

In Solidarity,
Liz
-------
Liz Shuler
Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO

P.S. Want another way to support Amazon employees today? Add this frame to your profile picture in solidarity.
 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Children In Cages


Children In Cages
by C.A. Matthews

A picture paints a thousand words, but what can a photographic image do? The pen is mightier than the sword, but is video of asylum-seekers being herded into fenced-in areas like so many heads of cattle into a feedlot powerful enough to detonate the entire world? Can the shocked anger Americans voice over this cruelty propel them into action? 

Perhaps it can--until the next outrage comes along to distract us.

There's no need to repeat the horrors witnessed by a recent visit by politicians to one of these border concentration camps here. We've all heard and seen them online. At least some of us have. The mainstream media spinners have been working overtime to convince good-natured Fox News viewers that Latin American children are being treated to  "X-box and teddy bears" upon their arrival at our southern border. And who cares about being separated from your family when you've got lots of fun video games and toys to occupy your time, right?

But still the image remains of children in cages and rumors of women sexually assaulted by Border Control agents and babies ripped from their parents' arms. Told to drink out of the toilet if they're thirsty, seldom fed, children never held when they're crying…the images grow into nightmares that follow us into the daylight and beyond. 

Fleeing the violence of your homeland, searching for safety in the United States--it isn't exactly like going on a trip to Disneyworld, now is it?

Those who debate whether our border facilities qualify as concentration camps or not miss the point. While we argue whether a concentration camp must have an operational gas chamber and accompanying crematorium or not, children's lives are being forever scarred and damaged. It's not a time to argue semantics--it's a time for action. It's time to storm the Bastille of the Borderland and release the prisoners whose only crime is being born in the wrong place at the wrong time and placing their faith in the wrong people to take care of them.

I cry to think this is what we've become--the world our great-grandparents and grandparents fought so bravely against. We are not trustworthy. We have become the very thing so many millions died for, the fascist state of the 1930s and 40s. A world where locking children in cages is as every bit as natural as placing our cat or dog in a kennel when we go on an out-of-town trip, a world where locking up our morals and compassion is as simple as breathing.

Do the thoughts and images of how we treat our neighbors keep you awake at night? I'd like to think I'm not the only one who feels distressed, but I could be. Let me know if you're disturbed by this strange new world we live in as much as I am. Maybe together we can summon the courage to confront the corrupt, immoral system and set the captives free.

"Until we are all free, we are none of us free."  --Emma Lazarus

How true a statement! We enslave ourselves when we deny our humanity and our capacity for suffering.  We become robots, enslaved to the flesh and divorced from the divine truth that we are all brothers and sisters. We can't allow this to happen. We have to will ourselves to stare at the image of children in cages and children dying in the desert and become a part of their struggle--or else we will become a part of our own destruction.

Emma Lazarus knew what she was talking about when she also penned, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." It's on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, standing at an entrance into America for many immigrants from Europe. And the ultimate irony is that the ancestors of these same European immigrants fleeing poverty, war and bloodshed one-hundred-plus years ago are among those who yell the loudest, "Fake news! Trump Camps don't exist!"


Until we are all free, we are none of us free… We must free those who cannot free themselves from their own bigotry by taking them on a trip inside the new Disneyworld springing up along our borders and in rural areas across the nation. It's an attraction that will hopefully wake up their senses and inspire them to take constructive action with us.

People are dying. There is no time to waste. Let's do it today.





Related Articles: 

The U.S. Migrant Crisis is a Test for Christians
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithonthefringe/

The Border Patrol is the American SS
https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/57474-focus-the-border-patrol-is-the-american-ss 

Border Agency Knew About Secret Facebook Group For Years
https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/57471-border-agency-knew-about-secret-facebook-group-for-years 

Second CBP-Linked Facebook Group Shows Derisive Images of Migrants
https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/57478-report-second-cbp-linked-facebook-group-shows-derisive-images-of-migrants

Another Asylum Seeker Dies in Border Patrol Custody
https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/57480-another-asylum-seeker-dies-in-border-patrol-custody

***
 
Preventable deaths are happening at immigration detention centers in the United States. This is a human rights abuse and must end now!

 

Sign Now

 


These deaths are not just flukes: they are symptoms of systematic mistreatment and even abuse. NBC News analysis of federal data revealed dismal conditions at ICE detention centers. In particular, accounts of poor sanitation and limited medical care in these immigration detention centers have surfaced recently.
Children's cells include open toilets in the middle of rooms, no hand soap, moldy showers, infrequent bathings, and lice infestations. In some cases, imprisoned individuals have no access to water, and are told to drink out of toilets. Many inmates are left without heating in near-freezing conditions and must endure bright lights being left on 24-hours of the day. Others have been outright denied medical care until it's too late.
Add your name to this petition to call on the incoming Acting-Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kevin McAleenan, to take the necessary steps to fix this humanitarian crisis. He must audit immigration detention facilities over their hygiene practices and ensure all detainees have access to medical care!
Thank you for caring,
Steff D.
The Care2 Petitions Team
 
P.S. By signing this petition you are sending a strong message to Incoming DHS Acting-Director Kevin McAleenan that people deserve to be treated like human beings, and he must ensure that no more deaths occur at ICE detention centers

***

Sandra ObandoImagine one-third of your neighbors disappearing overnight. That nightmare could be a reality for my community if the Trump Administration is allowed to move forward with their plan to evict all “mixed immigration status” families from HUD-subsidized housing. That’s why I need you to join me and over 10,000 other Americans in submitting a public comment opposing this policy before the comment period closes on July 9.

You can learn all about the proposed HUD “mixed-status” families rule and submit your public comment here.

On May 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a rule that would prohibit “mixed-status" families from living in public and other subsidized housing. (Mixed-status families are households that include both members who are eligible and ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status.) The proposed rule would have devastating impacts, putting over 100,000 people at immediate risk of homelessness and eviction, including 55,000 children. That’s why it’s so important that you add your voice by making a public comment right now!

I live in a public housing community in the heart of Pacoima, a diverse, working-class, immigrant community in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. San Fernando Gardens is home to 448 families, and over 130 of them could face eviction if HUD’s rule went into effect. I have worked with my neighbors for over 30 years to make our neighborhood better: getting a community center built, holding toy drives at the holidays, and improving our schools. So many of the people I’ve worked with over the years were from “mixed-status” families, and it has never mattered one bit to us.

You can read profiles of some of my neighbors who could be evicted by this rule here.

We work together, shop together, go to church together, raise our children together, volunteer at the schools together. We are a community, and we wouldn’t be the same if Trump’s racist, xenophobic policy was allowed to move forward. Please go to https://www.keep-families-together.org/ and comment against this proposal right now.

There’s some important things about this proposal to understand. First of all, it’s already the law (and has been for decades) that no ineligible person receives any rental assistance from HUD. That means mixed-status families actually pay more rent than their neighbors for the same public housing.

Secondly, this isn’t just an attack on immigrants, but on all low-income renters. This proposal would cost HUD an additional $227 million per year. That would mean that after evicting mixed-status families, HUD would have to cut Section 8 vouchers and reduce public housing maintenance. This proposal won’t help any low-income renters, no matter their immigration status.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Donald Trump want us to believe that this proposal is about helping U.S. citizens who are on housing waitlists, and that immigrants are taking away resources from “legitimate” citizens (Dr. Carson’s words). That’s simply not true. Mixed-status families help subsidize HUD housing for everyone by paying higher rents, and every family currently housed has at least one person who is eligible for HUD assistance and entitled under the law to rental assistance.

We know the solution to our housing crisis isn’t to blame immigrants. We need a #HomesGuarantee that dramatically expands truly affordable housing for everyone, including mixed-status families. That’s why I joined People’s Action – to fight for true progressive policies that make life better for all of us. This HUD policy is a step in the wrong direction, and that’s why I need you to join me and comment now opposing the rule!

This proposed rule is an attack on everything I’ve worked for in my life. My heart breaks when I think of 25,000 more families facing homelessness, especially the 55,000 children who would be evicted simply because of who their family members are. The ripple effects this would have on my state, my city, and my neighborhood are devastating. My state of California would be the hardest-hit in the nation, with over 9,000 families who could be made homeless because of this rule. Los Angeles saw a 16% increase in homelessness this year, and we don’t need another 11,000 people out on the streets. My neighborhood would be torn apart by this proposal. Please comment now!

Sandra Obando
People’s Action Member
Board Member, People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER)
Member of People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER) and Ground Game LA


***
From Faithful America:

We've got good news and bad news.

The good news: Last month, after 18,000 Faithful America members signed a petition demanding charges be dropped, church volunteer Scott Warren's trial ended in a hung jury. His alleged crime? Helping immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The bad news: Federal prosecutors announced this week that they have decided to retry Scott on two out of three felony charges.

Sign the petition today: No second trial for Scott Warren -- drop all charges at once!

Scott volunteers with No More Deaths, a Unitarian Universalist ministry that offers water, food, blankets, and first aid along the border. His trial was a clear attempt by the Trump administration to crack down on immigrants -- and on all Americans who welcome the stranger and show love to our southern neighbors.

Eight out of 12 jurors said Scott was not guilty. Yet in a move cruel even for this administration, the Trump Justice Department is proceeding with another trial. Scott could face years in prison, just for giving shelter to those in need.
Let's show the Trump administration that these scare tactics won't work: Christians and other people of faith are still paying attention to this story, we are still committed to human rights for immigrants, and we will not stand for this crackdown on Good Samaritans!

Add your name now to tell federal prosecutors: Drop all charges against Scott Warren.

Thanks!
- Rev. Nathan and the Faithful America team

P.S. Faithful America depends on the support of members like you to continue mobilizing Christians to challenge the religious right and its dangerous alliance with Donald Trump. Can you chip in to support this urgent work today?