One year after her first false denials, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still trying to pretend that she doesn’t want to ban airplanes and cows

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 29, 2020

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just stated  the following:

“… as we’ve discussed the Green New Deal, I’ve noticed that there’s been an awful lot of misinformation about what is inside this resolution – a tremendous amount of wild claims – everything from saying we’re seeking to ban airplanes to ending ice cream…”

You can see and hear her saying those words in this video. Skip to 1:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Fma_esNe4

While it’s true that the specific resolution that she is referring to does not say anything about banning airplanes and cows, Ocasio-Cortez herself does support such a ban.

A year ago, Ocasio-Cortez put a document on her official Congressional website which said she wanted to get rid of airplanes and cows.

After a huge number of people criticized her for this, she took the document down.

Fortunately, the internet archive has a copy of that same webpage from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website at this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20190207191119/https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq

The original link (which no longer works) to the page at Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq

In addition, NPR (a highly reliable source, which liberals love) published a copy of the same document at this link: https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

And in case NPR ever takes that page down, here is the internet archive of that NPR page: https://web.archive.org/web/20190207164217/https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

Here are Ocasio-Cortez’s exact words, as reported by NPR:

“Yes, we are calling for a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases. Anyone who has read the resolution sees that we spell this out through a plan that calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy. Simply banning fossil fuels immediately won’t build the new economy to replace it – this is the plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically. We do this through a huge mobilization to create the renewable energy economy as fast as possible. We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.”

The version from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is slightly different, as it replaces the phrase “farting cows” with “emissions from cows.” Since the version that she gave NPR is funnier, that’s the version that I quoted.

Anyway, that’s proof and more proof that Ocasio-Cortez really does want to ban airplanes and cows.

So her recent statement that she does not want to ban airplanes and cows is a lie.

And this is not the first time that she tried to pretend that she never said she wanted to ban airplanes and cows.

Her earlier denial from a year ago, as reported in this article by the Washington Post, was that Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, blamed “typos” for the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website said that Ocasio-Cortez wanted to ban airplanes and cows.

The Washington Post reported that Chakrabarti said:

“People are trying to take the focus away from the big picture to these little typos.”

Typos?

Seriously?

I’m not buying that.

A “typo” is when you type “pwn” instead of “own.”

There is no way that the following text from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is a “typo”

“The Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.”

There’s no way that those words are a “typo.”

Someone deliberately typed those words into the document.

And who might that someone be?

Well, as I explained in this previous post, the document’s metadata proves that the document was created by Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff.

That’s the same Saikat Chakrabarti who blamed “typos” for the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website said that Ocasio-Cortez wanted to get rid of airplanes and cows.

Chakrabarti’s lie about “typos” is just as unbelievable as the other lie that I mentioned in my previous post, where Ocasio-Cortez advisor and Cornell Law School professor Robert Hockett blamed “Republicans” for starting a rumor about the document being on Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website. Here’s the video of that again. Skip to 1:06

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qyx6eDkrmw

At the end of that previous post, I wrote:

“Hockett is a Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. So I’m 100% certain that he is familiar with the laws against defamation. I hope that he will apologize to the “Republicans” that he falsely accused of lying about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s positions on the above issues.”

Hockett must have read my post, because he later admitted that he had been wrong.

So first they blamed this on “Republicans.”

And then later, they’re blamed it on “typos.”

And now, with Ocasio-Cortez’s most recent statement, she’s still trying to pretend that she does not want to ban airplanes and cows.

Again, to be clear, Ocasio-Cortez was telling the truth when she said that the current resolution does not say anything about banning airplanes and cows.

Her lie is when she said that it’s a “wild claim” that she wants to ban airplanes and cows.

It’s not a “wild claim,” because she said it on her own Congressional website, as well as in a document that she gave to NPR.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

February 29, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Global warming hypocrite and wealth inequality hypocrite Bernie Sanders just took a private jet for a 10 minute flight

Bernie Sanders claims to be against global warming.

He also claims to be against wealth inequality.

But he just made both of those problems worse by spending his campaign donations to take a private jet for a 10 minute flight.

What a hypocrite, and what a hypocrite!

Here are some other blog posts that I wrote about Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders does not want you to see these photographs of the health care that regular Cubans get

The only way that rich people could pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax would be by selling enough stock to get the money to pay the tax. This would drive down stock prices, and would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela

 

February 29, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders Boards the Wrong Private Jet … Campaign Brain Fart

https://www.tmz.com/2020/02/29/bernie-sanders-boards-wrong-gulfstream-private-jet-campaign/

Bernie Sanders Boards the Wrong Private Jet … Campaign Brain Fart

February 29, 2020

Bernie Sanders is on the go all the time — which seems to have given him a momentary case of a campaign brain fart as he accidentally boarded the wrong jet.

The Democratic front-runner was spotted Saturday making his way off of a private Gulfstream between campaign stops in South Carolina and Massachusetts — the latter being where he held a rally at Boston Common ahead of Super Tuesday.

Fact is … the S.C. primary looks like it’s gonna go to Joe Biden, as he’s well ahead of everyone else in the latest polls. Looks like Bernie’s cutting his losses and moving on.

As for this little mix-up here, it’s kinda funny. Bernie’s been flying all over the country for different campaign events — so the guy’s definitely busy and has a preoccupied mind at the moment. Mistakes like this (getting on the wrong Gulfstream) are bound to happen.

Some have criticized Sanders for flying private at all — seeing how he rails against billionaires and elites. In fact, earlier this month … he was spotted boarding a private aircraft while Liz Warren got on her own jet as they both flew back to D.C. from different locations just 36 minutes apart. The implication … they coulda flown together, spared the air, etc.

Down in South Carolina, someone alleged he had as many as three Gulfstreams to himself to get somewhere just a couple hours away. Unclear if that’s true, but here’s something to keep in mind.

Most of, if not all, the candidates fly private at some point — so if you critique one ya gotta do ’em all. And while BS spent the most for private air travel in the last quarter of 2019, he’s also bought carbon offsets to balance things out — as have others. Pick your poison.

February 29, 2020. Tags: , , . Bernie Sanders. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders does not want you to see these photographs of the health care that regular Cubans get

Commentary by Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 28, 2020

In Cuba, if you’re a tourist with U.S. dollars, you get great health care.

And if you’re a high ranking government official, you also get great health.

But if you’re just an average Cuban citizen, you get the kind of health care that’s in these photographs.

All of these photographs are from the internet archive of the website therealcuba.com. The reason I’m using the internet archive is because the account at the original website “has been suspended.” I don’t know the reason for the suspension.

Source for all photos: https://web.archive.org/web/20100404025459/http://therealcuba.com/Page10.htm

The caption for the above photo says, “Floors full of excrements, bare mattresses, terrible food and even worse medical attention.”

Comment from Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill): The above photo shows one of Cuba’s environmentally friendly green ambulances, which does not burn any fossil fuel.

The caption for the above photo says, “Gentiuno reporters counted 27 dead roaches on the floor.”

The caption for the next four photographs below states:

These photos were taken at Havana’s psychiatric hospital, known as Mazorra, in early January of this year and taken out of the island by people who risked their lives to show the world what really is happening in Castro’s Cuba.

These are several of the more than 40 patients who died of hypothermia at the hospital, when temperatures near freezing hit the area where Mazorra is located.

These patients died because of the negligence of those in charge of this hospital, and after they died, hospital officials threw them on a table, one on top of the other, like bags of garbage at the local dumpster.

This is the fantastic healthcare that Cubans receive, according to Michael Moore and other useful idiots.

Patients are treated worse than animals. It is the cruelty of that brutal regime that has been oppressing the Cuban people for more than 51 years, while the dictator murdering and oppressing Cubans is referred to as “president,” and embraced by Latin American leaders who were democratically elected.

Many show marks that indicate that patients were beaten before they died.

The caption for the above photo says, “Yes, those black marks are flies.”

 

February 28, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Health care. 5 comments.

In Cuba, this doctor’s home has running water for only one hour a day

Here’s a six minute video on what it’s like to be a doctor in Cuba.

At 4:53, when the doctor is at her home with her husband and their daughter, the narrator says:

“… they only have running water one hour a day…”

If that’s how Cuba treats its doctors, I wonder how they treat the average citizen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBC5w2O4jVI

February 28, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Communism, Health care, Sanitation. Leave a comment.

A Firsthand Account Of Child Abuse, Castro Style

https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2000/05/a-firsthand-account-of-child-abuse-castro-style/

A Firsthand Account Of Child Abuse, Castro Style

By Armando Valladares

May 16, 2000

I was in solitary confinement in Fidel Castro’s tropical gulag — where I spent 22 years for refusing to pledge allegiance to the Communist regime — when I heard a child’s voice whimpering. “Get me out of here! Get me out of here! I want to see my mommy!” I thought my senses were failing me. I could not believe that they had imprisoned a child in those dungeons. Later on, I learned the story of Robertico.

He was 12 years old when they arrested him. A captain in the political police had left his gun in his open car. When he returned to the car he saw the child playing with it. He slapped Robertico and took him into custody. The child was sent to an adult prison in Havana, where he was condemned to spend the rest of his youth. He would not be released until he reached the age of 18.

Robertico was sent to a galley with common criminals. Within a few days, those soulless prisoners raped him. He spent several days in the hospital for treatment of rents and hemorrhages as a result. By the time he was released, his file had been stamped “homosexual” and he was taken to the prison area reserved for this classification. Robertico was so slender that his body fit through the bars of the cells. One night he slipped out to watch cartoons on the guard’s television. When he was discovered, he was sent to the punishment cells. He was taken out of those cells three times a week for injections because he was suffering from a venereal disease. A guard told me he was so young he did not even have pubic hair.

When I think of Elian Gonzalez, Robertico always comes to mind. This is the Cuban society to which Elian may return: a society where all rights are violated in the interest of subordinating all individuals to the will of the supreme leader.

Sadly, some in America still believe that the Cuban revolution was a triumph of good. It is worth remembering that many also refused to believe the horrors of the Nazi extermination camps. Then, the world had to wait for eyewitness accounts from journalists and photographic evidence from their camera crews before finally accepting the horrible reality of what had happened.

Many other Americans seem to believe that even if savage things once happened under Fidel Castro, the situation has now changed. Yet the same dictatorship, which sanctioned the abuse of Robertico and has tortured thousands of political prisoners, is still wielding absolute power over the Cuban people. Fidel Castro has never recanted or apologized for the atrocities that have been reported by those who have escaped his grasp. And there is a stream of evidence that the brutality and repression continues. Last month the United Nations Human Rights Commission condemned Cuba, for the eighth time, for its systematic violation of human rights. Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department have done the same.

It is standard practice around the world to transfer the custody of children to the surviving parent when the other dies. That is what is normal. But Cuba is not a normal place. If Elian is returned to Cuba, he will be sent back to a place where most people dream every day of escape. It is an island prison where a cruel tyranny has now lasted almost half a century. A fifth of the country’s population — around two million people — have fled, and more than half-a-million have been courageous enough to apply for visas to leave. Outside of Cuba, Elian will grow up as a free person with a free conscience. But if he returns, he will be “reprogrammed,” as Castro himself has made clear. The Cuban government has already shown the world the residence where psychiatrists and psychologists will instruct Elian on how to despise and hate anyone who is against communism — including his own mother, who gave her life to bring him to freedom. In a few years she’ll be nothing but a traitor to the Revolution. If Elian returns to Cuba his father will have no authority whatsoever to make decisions related to his education. Cuban “law” gives that authority to the Communist government.

Children are indoctrinated in Cuba from the moment they start to read. They are taught that the Communist party is owed loyalty above everything else. And they are taught that they must denounce their parents if they criticize or do anything against the Revolution or its leaders.

For Elian, absolute control by the Communist party will begin in elementary school with the so-called “Cumulative School File.” This is a little like a report card, but it is not limited to academic achievements. It measures “revolutionary integration,” not only of the student but also of his family. This file documents whether or not the child and family participate in mass demonstrations, or whether they belong to a church or religious group. The file accompanies the child for life, and is continually updated. His university options will depend on what that file says. If he does not profess a truly Marxist life, he will be denied many career possibilities.

From his elementary school days on, he will hear that God does not exist, and that religion is “the opium of the masses.” If any student speaks about God, his parents will be called to the school, warned that they are “confusing” the child and threatened. The Code for Children, Youth and Family provides for a three-year prison sentence for any parent who teaches a child ideas contrary to communism. The code is very clear: No Cuban parent has the right to “deform” the ideology of his children, and the state is the true “Father.”

Article 8 of that same code reads, “Society and the state work for the efficient protection of youth against all influences contrary to their Communist formation.” It is mandatory for all Cuban children over the age of 12 to do time in a Communist work camp in the countryside. Away from all parental supervision for nine months at a time, children there suffer from venereal disease, as well as teenage pregnancy, which inevitably ends in forced abortion.

When the reprogramming plan for Elian is complete, we will see him repeating the slogans of the Revolution. He will have lost his liberty, his ability to dream, his youthful innocence, and perhaps even hope. And should he ever do anything that angers the regime, we must hope he will not end like Robertico, cornered in a cell, calling for his mother. This time, she will not be able to save him.

February 28, 2020. Tags: , , , . Communism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders didn’t mention the dark side of education in Castro’s Cuba

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/484878-bernie-sanders-didnt-mention-the-dark-side-of-education-in-castros-cuba

Bernie Sanders didn’t mention the dark side of education in Castro’s Cuba

By Gregory J. Wallance

February 27, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeYCIfmeW70

Plain ignorance is the most charitable explanation for the misleading defense of communist Cuba offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on CBS News‘ “60 Minutes.” While saying he was opposed to Cuba’s “authoritarian nature,” Sanders insisted that “it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing?”

Sanders correctly stated that education became universal in Castro’s Cuba, but he ignored the deeply Orwellian nature of the educational system. Literacy was not sought by the Cuban regime just for the sake of literacy. From the outset, the regime viewed education, as two experts on Cuba explained in The Atlantic, as the “key to the revolution taking hold and creating a literate population loyal to the government.”

Cuban children were taught in school that their highest loyalty is to the Communist Party. They were instructed to denounce their parents to authorities for counter-revolutionary tendencies. If parents, in the privacy of their own home, explained ideas to their children that conflicted with communist ideology, they could be jailed for three years under the Code for Children, Youth and Family.

The school system stifled private religious beliefs. Cuban children were taught that God does not exist and that religion was the “opium of the masses.” If a child mentioned God in a class, the child’s parents were called in for a stern lecture that they were “confusing” the child and given a warning.

Starting in elementary school, a student’s progress was recorded in a so-called “cumulative school file.” The file not only recorded academic progress but also measured the “revolutionary integration” of both the student and the student’s family, such as whether they participated in mass demonstrations. The file was updated throughout the life of the child, whose education and work options would be determined by what it contained.

Cubans are literate, but the regime severely constricts how they can use their literacy. Freedom House describes Cuba as “a one-party communist state that outlaws political pluralism, suppresses dissent, and severely restricts basic civil liberties.” Only a small percentage of Cubans have access to the internet. Cubans cannot read viewpoints critical of, or disapproved by, the regime, and expressing such views means running considerable risks.

One example of political repression, among too many, is the Cuban dissident Dr. Óscar Elías Biscet, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he was awarded in absentia by President George W. Bush. Dr. Biscet has been repeatedly arrested for his non-violent political activities (as recently as last week) and held in horrific conditions. He was once sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. (Biscet was released after four years following international protests.)

But there is a less charitable explanation for Senator Sanders’ defense of an Orwellian system than simple ignorance. In 1985, Sanders visited Nicaragua and then defended the Soviet-backed Sandinista regime despite its serious human rights abuses, including the suspension of Nicaraguans’ civil liberties. He refused to call the Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro a dictator even though Maduro had rigged his election and banned the elected legislature from passing laws. After a visit to Cuba in the mid-1980s, Sanders said that he was “excited and impressed by the Cuban revolution.”

That last comment is reminiscent of what Lincoln Steffens, the famous muckraking journalist, had to say in 1921 after a visit to the nascent Soviet Union. “I have seen the future, and it works.” Evidently the heady revolutionary spirit and the glittering but false promise of a utopian society had blinded this otherwise tough-minded reporter to a nightmare. Something like that may have happened to Bernie Sanders when he went to Cuba and Nicaragua. But in refusing to acknowledge the brutal reality of these regimes, Sanders demonstrated that he is just as soft on left-wing dictators and autocrats as Donald Trump is on right-wing ones.

February 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders Misleading Narrative on Communist Cuba

https://townhall.com/columnists/johnrlottjr/2020/02/25/bernie-sanders-on-communist-cuba-n2561825

Bernie Sanders Misleading Narrative on Communist Cuba

February 25, 2020

With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) becoming the odds on favorite to win the Democrat nomination, the media rehabilitation efforts have begun. First up on Sunday evening was CBS’s 60 Minutes, which moved to protect Sanders against attacks that he is a communist.

Host Anderson Cooper didn’t ask Sanders about his decision to honeymoon in the former Soviet Union or about past proposals for “public ownership of utilities, banks, and major industries,” proposals that Sanders has never disavowed. However, Cooper did ask Sanders about some positive statements that he has made about Communist Cuba.

In explaining why Cubans didn’t help the U.S. overthrow Fidel Castro, 60 Minutes first played an old interview of Sanders explaining it failed because people liked Castro. He “educated the kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society.” No mention is made of the police state and Castro killing or throwing his political opponents in prison.

“You know it is unfair to simply say that everything is bad,” Sanders told Cooper. “When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

Sanders can’t acknowledge it, but the push in communist countries to make sure that everyone could read had a dark side — the literacy programs were a massive indoctrination effort. The communist governments used the education system the same way that they take over at the same time and use television, radio, and newspapers. Controlling information is the reason that communist governments would regularly jam radio Voice of America’s broadcasts in their countries during the Cold War.

That is the same pattern that we have seen in other noncommunist totalitarian countries such as Nazi Germany. But undoubtedly Sanders wouldn’t be as effusive in his praise of the Nazi education system. In both the Nazi and communist systems, even simple math problems contained indoctrination lessons for students.

Education was just another part of the police state to control people. If you could teach people from a young age how wonderful the government is and how horrible the lives are for people in freer countries, you didn’t have to spend as much money on the secret police.

Cuba, other communist countries, and other totalitarian countries spent a lot more on education than freer countries with the same per capita income. Totalitarian countries also start public schooling at younger ages than freer countries, and they did so because they wanted to weaken the connection between children and their parents and replace the parent’s values with those of the government.

Sometimes these governments went much further than simply starting school at younger ages. For example, during the 1920s and 1950s, the Soviet Union experimented with raising children in communal children’s houses and dining halls that almost completely removed children from the influence of their parents. While fighting in Afghanistan during the 1980s, the Soviet government forcibly took tens of thousands of 3-and 4-year-old Afghanis to the USSR and raised them away from the influences of their families. The hope was that when later returned to Afghanistan, they would form the core of a loyal government administration.

In 1989, immediately before the fall of the Soviet Union, former President Ronald Reagan pointed out, “the biggest of Big Brothers is helpless against the technology of the Information Age.” Unlike Sanders, Reagan understood that part of winning the Cold War was breaking the control that communist governments had over the information that their citizens received.

Sanders is not alone in praising Cuba’s health care system. Of course, when Fidel Castro got very ill, he went to Spain for medical treatment. Their most significant bragging right was their improvements in infant mortality rates. But while infant mortality rates were improving dramatically between 1960 and 1971 in all the rest of North, Central, and South America, Cuba alone saw things get worse. Cuba’s big improvements occurred long after the attempted overthrow of Castro. To lower the infant mortality rate, the government forced abortions for high-risk babies. The government also took many pregnant women away from their families and ordered that they stay in special maternity homes. By 2000, the Cuban government was ordering 40 percent of mothers to stay in these homes for at least a portion of their pregnancy.

Cuba was able to eventually get an infant mortality rate slightly below that in the United States, but Anderson Cooper didn’t ask Sanders any follow-up questions about how the Cubans accomplished this “transformation.”

Communist countries from Cuba to Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union impoverished their citizens, though their leaders lived lives of luxury. The general citizens had miserable lives. Bernie Sanders might not want to acknowledge it, but their supposedly fabulous accomplishments had a real dark side.

February 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

The Moral Failing of Bernie Sanders

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/bernie-sanders-support-communism-moral-failing/#slide-1

The Moral Failing of Bernie Sanders

February 26, 2020

Sanders was not a liberal during the Cold War. He was an outright Communist sympathizer.

According to CNN, Bernie Sanders “has been consistent for 40 years.” Some find this reassuring. Bernie is not a finger-in-the-wind politician who tacks this way or that depending upon what’s popular. On the other hand, if someone has never changed his mind throughout 78 years of life, it suggests ideological rigidity and imperviousness to evidence, not high principle.

Why make a fuss about Bernie’s past praise of Communist dictatorships? After all, the Cold War ended three decades ago, and a would-be President Sanders cannot exactly surrender to the Soviet Union.

It’s a moral issue. Sanders was not a liberal during the Cold War, i.e. someone who favored arms control, peace talks, and opposed support for anti-Communist movements. He was an outright Communist sympathizer, meaning he was always willing to overlook or excuse the crimes of regimes like Cuba and Nicaragua; always ready to suggest that only American hostility forced them to, among other things, arrest their opposition, expel priests, and dispense with elections.

Good ol’ consistent Bernie reprised one of the greatest hits of the pro-Castro Left last week on 60 Minutes. When Anderson Cooper pressed the senator by noting that Castro imprisoned a lot of dissidents, Sanders said he condemned such things. But even that grudging acknowledgment rankled the old socialist, who then rushed to add, “When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing?”

Actually, the first thing Castro did upon seizing power (note Sanders’s whitewashing term “came into office”) was to march 600 of Fulgencio Batista’s supporters into two of the island’s largest prisons, La Cabana and Santa Clara. Over the next five months, after rigged trials, they were shot. Some “trials” amounted to public spectacles. A crowd of 18,000 gathered in the Palace of Sports to give a thumbs-down gesture for Jesus Sosa Blanco. Before he was shot, Sosa Blanco noted that ancient Rome couldn’t have done it better.

Batista was a bad guy, one must say. But summary executions are frowned upon by true liberals.

Next, Castro announced that scheduled elections would be postponed indefinitely. The island is still waiting. Within months, he began to close independent newspapers, even some that had supported him during the insurgency. All religious colleges were shuttered in May 1961, their property confiscated by the state. N.B., Senator Sanders: Castro also found time to knee-cap the labor unions. David Salvador, the elected leader of the sugar-workers union had been a vocal Batista opponent. He was arrested in 1962 and would spend twelve years in Cuba’s gulag.

The Black Book of Communism recounts that between 1959 and 1999, more than 100,000 Cubans were imprisoned for political reasons, and between 15,000 and 17,000 people were shot. Neighbors were encouraged to inform on one another and children on their parents. During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, Cuba imprisoned gay people in concentration camps. Like other Communist paradises, Cuba’s greatest export was boat people. About two million of the island’s 11 million inhabitants escaped. Countless others died in the attempt. Did Sanders ever wonder why a country that had done such great work on literacy and health care had to shoot people to prevent them from fleeing?

Bernie Sanders has credulously repeated the other great propaganda talking point about Cuba: its supposedly wonderful “universal” health-care system. It’s not wonderful. Even those wishing to give Cuba the benefit of the doubt note the lack of basic necessities. Many hospitals in the country lack even reliable electricity and clean running water. A 2016 visitor found that patients in one Havana hospital had to bring everything with them — medicine, sheets, towels, etc.

The only working bathroom in the entire hospital had only one toilet. The door didn’t close, so you had to go with people outside watching. Toilet paper was nowhere to be found, and the floor was far from clean.

Yes, Cuba has high rates of literacy, but the state wanted readers in order to propagandize them. Granma tells people what to believe and forbids access to other sources of information. To this day, the regime controls what people can know. There are two Internets on the island. One for tourists and those approved by the government and the other, with restricted access, for the people.

Bernie Sanders has access to all the information he can absorb, and yet he remains an apologist for regimes that violate every standard of decency. Unlike the Cuban people, he is responsible for his own ignorance and pig-headedness. He claims to be a “democratic socialist,” but as his Cuba remarks suggest, the modifier may be just for show.

February 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Cuban Americans Tell What Life Under Castro Was Really Like

https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/02/24/cuban-americans-tell-what-life-under-castro-was-really-like/

Cuban Americans Tell What Life Under Castro Was Really Like

February 24, 2020

When Sebastian Arcos and family members tried to travel from Cuba to the United States, authorities stopped them in what turned out to be a sting operation to arrest one of his uncles, who had advocated and fought for Fidel Castro’s revolution more than 20 years earlier.

That was Dec. 31, 1981, and for trying to leave the island nation, Arcos was jailed for a year.

His uncle spent seven years in jail. His father, also a political supporter of the communist revolution and like many other citizens soured on the broken promises of democracy, was imprisoned for six years.

“For the sake of argument, let’s say both the [Cuban] health care system and education system are perfect, which they are not. There have been thousands of political executions, tens of thousands of political prisoners, and 3 million Cuban exiles,” said Arcos, 58, today associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.

“So, the question to ask when we are told to consider the good things is: What is the price for the good?” Arcos told The Daily Signal.

Arcos said that he is “surprised when talking heads in the United States will give Fidel Castro the benefit of the doubt.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a professed democratic socialist, has defended comments he made in the 1980s, when he said of Castro: “He educated their kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society.”

In defending those remarks during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Sanders said:

We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office [in 1959], you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

https://twitter.com/60Minutes/status/1231732950540132355

Castro handed control of the government to his brother, Raúl Castro, before his death at age 90 in November 2016.

Miguel Díaz-Canel was named president when the younger Castro stepped down at age 87 in February 2018, but is largely considered a figurehead. Raúl Castro, head of Cuba’s Communist Party, is said to make major government decisions.

Sanders noted that President Donald Trump has had kind things to say about authoritarian rulers such as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Arcos joined the Cuban Committee for Human Rights in 1987, providing reports to the United Nations Human Rights Commission before coming to the United States in 1992.

He said people should know better than to concede gross human rights abuses in Cuba, and then point to health care and literacy.

“That’s been the regime’s argument for decades,” Arcos said. “Whoever makes that argument is just repeating their lines.”

Cuba’s military dictatorship controls 80% of the economy. Political prisoners are common, and courts face political interference.

The Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Cuba at 178th among the world’s nations based on how free its economy is.

Cuba did adopt some free market policies about a decade ago, but the government hasn’t been a strong effort to implement the reforms. Private property is allowed, but is strictly regulated by the government.

According to Heritage’s index, low state-dictated wages increase poverty in Cuba. The state runs the means of production, property seizures without due process are common, and the top income tax rate is 50%.

Repression in Cuba is on the rise, said Janisset Rivero, 50, a human rights activist who lived in Cuba until age 14. Her family was wrongly accused of engaging in seditious speech against the Cuban government because they received a letter from family abroad.

“Health care and education are not as good as the propaganda claims,” Rivero said. “It’s indoctrination more than education. The Cuban system doesn’t tolerate critical thinking.”

The two former Cuban citizens interviewed for this story gave similar accounts of health care in Cuba

They said the health care system has two tiers: One is for tourists, elites, and the military, which is top rate and what people see. The other is for the general population. When Cubans go to those hospitals, they have to bring their own food, water, bed sheets, and pillows.

Of support inside the United States for Cuba’s communist system, Rivero said, “It’s ignorance. Some people are ignorant.”

However, she suspects that in some cases, it’s worse.

“Some people simply support socialism and communism with a big state that can take control of people’s lives,” Rivero said. “Some supporters know exactly what is going on in Cuba and believe it would be OK here because they believe they know best.”

Frank Calzon, who retired last year as executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, was born in 1944. His parents sent him to the United States after the Castro-led revolution. He became active in human rights causes and led the center for 22 years.

“A lot of claims the Cuban government makes should be suspect,” Calzon said. “Cuban students are not really more educated now. In 1951, the country had 75-80% of students [who] knew how to read and write.”

A strong spirit exists in Cuba for freedom, he said, pointing to the group Ladies in White as one example.

“The Ladies in White is a group of mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters of political prisoners,” Calzon said. “They try to march to Mass on Sundays, but Cuban police intercept them and take them to prisons. They release them that evening, but they take them several miles out of their city.”

February 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

A New D.C. Suburb Bus Stop Should Have Cost $20,000 to Build. Instead, It Cost $1 Million.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/d-c-suburb-bus-stop-130000253.html

A New D.C. Suburb Bus Stop Should Have Cost $20,000 to Build. Instead, It Cost $1 Million.

February 23, 2020

Politicians love infrastructure, but many local government projects seem awfully wasteful. We’ve all seen the questionable spending—the half dozen union guys standing around while one digs, the needless reconstruction of sidewalks, the dangerous bike‐​lane schemes on city streets, the empty city buses clogging traffic, and those digital announcement signs on highways with no useful information.

Local governments are flush with cash, and they waste it. Where I live in Virginia, a local government spent $1 million on one bus stop that should have cost $20,000.

Kevin Kosar flagged a news story yesterday about Washington’s terribly mismanaged transit agency. ABC7’s Sam Sweeney found:

Metro has spent $3.8 million and taken five years to build two unfinished bike racks—at East Falls Church and Vienna Metro Stations.

WMATA originally budgeted $600,000 for each rack, but the price tag has soared to $1.9 million each.

The covered bike shelters will house 92 bikes, putting the price tag at more than $20,000 per bike. Future costs to finish the projects could raise that number even higher.

The projects were supposed to be completed in December of 2015 but remain unfinished in 2020.

… In January 2020 signs at the fenced‐​off construction site said the project would wrap up in late 2018. After ABC7 aired its story in January, the signs were removed.

February 26, 2020. Tags: . Government waste. Leave a comment.

‘We can’t be afraid.’ In a Cincinnati church basement, black women take a class together: learning how to fire guns

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200221/we-cant-be-afraid-in-cincinnati-church-basement-black-women-take-class-together-learning-how-to-fire-guns

‘We can’t be afraid.’ In a Cincinnati church basement, black women take a class together: learning how to fire guns

Ariel Gresham, left, and Nancy Robb, both of the Cincinnati area, hold unloaded revolvers during an all-female concealed carry and weapons class Saturday, February 8, 2020, at New Prospect Baptist Church in Roselawn sponsored Arm the Populace.

Kai Brown of Bond Hill gets instruction on how to hold a gun from Timm Penrod and Henry Ware, right, with Arm the Populace during an all-female concealed carry and weapons class at New Prospect Baptist Church Saturday, February 8, 2020.

By Sharon Coolidge

February 21, 2020

CINCINNATI – New Prospect Baptist Church has one of the largest black congregations in Cincinnati. On any weekend, you’ll find weddings, funerals and three Sunday services.

On Feb. 8, you would have found 179 women firing .22-caliber handguns in the church basement.

The church had opened its doors to what state officials believe is one of the largest women-only, concealed-carry certification classes in the state.

Over and over, the women cited the same reason for taking the class. They were tired of being scared — of guns, of being alone in a home, of walking in some neighborhoods.

Karen Bolden, 56, was so scared of her husband’s guns that she asked him to get rid of them when they married two years ago. He did, but she’s working to conquer her fear. When Bolden’s sister alerted her to the class and suggested they go together, she jumped at the chance.

“This is why this class is so important,” Bolden said. “We can’t be afraid.”

The class was organized by two men: the church’s pastor, the Rev. Damon Lynch III, and Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor, a Republican who appeared at the class sporting a T-shirt reading “All gun control is racist.”

The 179 women showed varying comfort levels with guns. Some had never touched one. Others own a gun but wanted the license needed to carry it. Some came because their mothers or sisters or friends suggested it.

The class was taught by Cincinnati-based Arm the Populace, a certified concealed-carry licensing business. The intense nine-hour class used a shooting range created just for the class in an empty storage area above the church’s community center.

Women paid $25 each to cover the cost of the space; that’s cheaper than the typical $65 class fee.

Arm the Populace donated its time.

A Pew Research Center report in 2017 delved into “America’s complex relationship with guns.” It found that gun ownership varied considerably by race and gender. Among men, 39% said they owned a gun, compared with 22% of women. And while 36% of whites reported that they were gun owners, only about a quarter of blacks and 15% of Hispanics said they were.

In the Cincinnati church class, 169 of the 179 women were black.

The class was broken into five groups, rotating into lessons about safety, laws, how to get a CCW license, which only a sheriff can issue, and then target practice.

Douglas Cooper, Arm the Populace’s founder and chief instructor, started the class by explaining: “The Second Amendment is for everyone,” he said.

Instructor Bill Maltbie then told the class why women-only classes are important.

“We do them so there are no men sitting there ‘mansplaining’ because they’ve played a lot of video games,” Maltbie said. “We’re not here for ‘Call of Duty.’ I just want to make sure I can go home at night and see my family.”

The pastor, Lynch, is not a proponent of guns, but he said: “New Prospect Baptist Church is more than a church. It’s the heart of the community.”

Without a recreation center, the church serves that need.

“I’m not a gun lover; I don’t own any guns, but people have Second Amendment rights to own a gun,” Lynch said. “In the African American community, the conversation is usually about buying guns back. But if people are lawfully trained and learn how to be responsible, they will probably never use one. It sets them on a different course. As opposed to a person who gets a gun and thinks, ‘I have to go shoot.’”

And that, Lynch said, “is a good thing.”

The shooting range was built with input from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was bare-bones: a sheet of wood tacked to a wall, on which targets were placed.

Tape was passed around. Bolden used it to hang her target on the wall.

Arms straight. Legs apart. Ten shots. An instructor guided her stance. She hit the target within a centimeter of the bull’s-eye.

Her sister, Sonya Jackson, was next. Same stance. An instructor lightly guided her arms into better position. Two bullets hit the target.

“I didn’t have my glasses,” Jackson noted to her sister.

Bolden told her, “You’ll just have to go with me to the range. Practice. Practice. Practice.”

February 26, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Guns. Leave a comment.

Fabiola Santiago: I went to school in Cuba under Castro. Here’s what it’s like, Bernie Sanders.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fabiola-santiago/article240425431.html

I went to school in Cuba under Castro. Here’s what it’s like, Bernie Sanders.

By Fabiola Santiago

February 25, 2020

Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago, pictured in third grade in Cuba, was ostracized for not wearing her school uniform with the required scarf of the young Communist pioneers.

Look at the little girl in the picture.

In her serious demeanor, a front for fear — and in her story — you might find, Senator Bernie Sanders, some of the profundity lacking in your populist bid to become the Democratic nominee and 46th U.S. president.

This girl’s real-life experience is the antidote to your cheap, propagandist talking points on Cuba’s education system and Fidel Castro.

The banner behind her tells you her school in the city of Matanzas is confiscated property. “Intervenida” is the euphemism the new government led by Castro used to swoop in and appropriate every asset in the country, not only from the wealthy but from the middle class, too.

And, to make the point that this is now Castro country, take it or leave it, the private school is renamed after his 26th of July Movement.

“You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program,” you told “60 Minutes” host Anderson Cooper. “Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

https://twitter.com/60Minutes/status/1231732950540132355

Let’s break it all down.

The girl is 8 and in the third grade, the daughter of a beloved and respected teacher forced to resign over her refusal to teach Communist dogma to her students. (More on the mother later.)

Her father, a merchant of flour goods, sees his small, one-man business operation confiscated, and when he declines to continue to operate it as an employee of the state, he is sent to work in the agriculture fields as punishment.

Everyone in town knows the family is leaving the country to the United States.

Like the thousands before them and thousands along with them, they’re branded “gusanos,” worms — and this creates a lot of tension for the children in your idyllic “literacy system.”

The girl has never scored below a 96 on any test.

She’s No. 1 on the honor roll — and the principal wants her to wear the state-mandated red scarf of the Communist youth organization, los pioneros, or she’s out. Her parents refuse. Her mother is called in for a conference. The women argue.

The truce: The price for not wearing the pañoleta is being knocked down to second place for lack of revolutionary spirit. The top spot will go to a boy who is an eager and loyal pionerito (like decades later, a returned Elián González would be, too).

The girl is sad to lose the place she worked hard for over a scarf she sort of liked and everyone gets to wear, except for her and her little brother. But she loves her friends, no matter whether they’re leaving or staying, or if they chant every morning —“Pioneers, for Communism! We will be like Che” — or stay silent like she does.

Communist indoctrination

As the years pass and the wait for a visa wears on, she learns to work around the Communist indoctrination.

When she’s asked to write a glowing essay on Fidel Castro, she writes biography, complete, thorough, but no glowing appraisal because at 10, she knows more than Bernie Sanders at 78.

She’s a little more effusive with Camilo Cienfuegos, the more charismatic comandante who mysteriously “disappeared” during a plane flight. Even she, a child, suspects foul play.

Her little brother, a smart-aleck class clown, also has to make adjustments.

When his teacher asks him to form a sentence with the words “agrarian reform,” her brother eagerly chimes in out loud: “The agrarian reform is very sour!” His sentence rhymes in Spanish — and it’s a hit with classmates, but not with the teacher, an ardent revolutionary.

She is so mad she grabs him by an ear and pulls so hard and long that the boy bleeds all the way home. The next day, the mother goes to school and she could be heard screaming to the teacher that if she ever touches one of her kids again, she’ll be the one dragged down the street.

The girl fears that her mother could go to jail and she would be without parents. But her mother is still respected because she had earned the place she gave up on principle.

Literacy predates Castro

See, despite your claims, senator, that it was Castro who started a literacy program in Cuba, a common and often-repeated lie, the girl’s mother worked in a literacy program in the countryside after graduation from a teacher’s college in the early 1950s.

Teachers had to do so to earn their spot in a city classroom.

She drove a Jeep (bought by her oldest businessman brother, who paid for her schooling) part of the way, then she rode a horse that was brought to her so she could reach the one-room school house.

This isn’t a tall tale of Cuban exiles in Miami. There are photos of all the above to prove it.

In one, she’s tending to the garden planted in front of the school, while a student peeks from inside. The back is inscribed: “First school where I was able to practice my profession as a teacher. San Gregorio Farm. Ceiba Mocha, Matanzas, Cuba.”

Yes, by the time she leaves Cuba in 1969, this girl knows that the Cuban education system is dogmatic and abusive to innocent children who are ostracized for their parents’ beliefs.

Her parents’ heart-wrenching decision to leave it all behind and start a new life in Miami, saves her from worse. After their 12th birthdays, her friends have to enroll in la escuela al campo. They have to leave their home and their parents to live in barracks in the countryside and work in agricultural fields.

Because the “free education” in Cuba isn’t free, and the Castro literacy program the American left has bought into is rooted in indoctrination and devotion to the one-party political system.

Your apparatchik views on Cuba, senator, are as old and dated as the photos of me and my mother.

Sixty-one years of unrelenting dictatorship later, and in the year 2020, the least Florida Democrats looking forward to the primary in March deserve from the front-runner is lucidity, not more obfuscation.

But when you can’t even verbalize on “60 Minutes” how you’ll fund your signature healthcare project, pay for all that free college and child care you’re offering, what else can be expected on Cuba?

You are who you are, a populist riding a wave of discontent, as unfit for the presidency as your rival on the other side of the political spectrum.

Truly not yours, the little girl in the photograph, a registered Democrat in swing-state Florida.

February 26, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Education. Leave a comment.

It’s been over six years since Princeton professor Imani Perry called the police because I criticized her in a blog post. I have still not been arrested. But she has! Ain’t karma wonderful?

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 25, 2020

In July 2013, I wrote this blog post where I criticized a section of this article, which had been written by Imani Perry, a professor of African-American Studies at Princeton University.

After I wrote that blog post, I wrote the following email to Dr. Perry:

“I welcome you to show this to your students and anyone else whom you think might like to read it and comment on it.”

Dr. Perry responded to my email by writing the following email to me:

“I will be reporting you to the police for harassment.”

Prior to this, I had thought that Ivy League universities only hired professors who were interested in having discussions and debates over topics with which they disagreed. It had never occurred to me that one of them would call the police simply because someone disagreed with something that they had said.

Which is why I was totally shocked to find out that Dr. Perry had called the police on me.

Well, it’s been more than six years since Dr. Perry called the police on me, and I still haven’t been arrested.

In the meantime, I recently did some googling to see what Dr. Perry has been up to.

And it turns out that Dr. Perry herself has been arrested!

It actually happened four years ago, but I just found out about it now.

In February 2016, the New York Times reported:

The police in Princeton, N.J., released a dashboard video of the traffic stop of a black Princeton professor…

The video shows what appears to be a routine traffic stop with the professor, Imani Perry… She was then arrested…

After pulling Dr. Perry over, the male officer told her he had clocked her driving at 67 miles per hour in a 45-m.p.h. zone…

Fifteen minutes elapsed before the officer returned to her car to tell Dr. Perry that her license had been suspended…

About two minutes later, the officer returned to tell her she had a warrant out for her arrest over a parking offense from 2013.

Ain’t karma wonderful?

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

February 25, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Political correctness, Racism, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

I recently found these three hilarious images on the internet

I did not create these images.

I do not know who did create them, so I cannot give credit to their creators. I am including links to show where I got them from.

https://i.redd.it/9m5hi78dkyi41.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/FIhlEwh.jpg

https://i.redd.it/fiw5auk0jyi41.jpg

February 25, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Humor, Politics. 1 comment.

YouTuber Arielle Scarcella: I’m A Lesbian Woman and I’m Leaving The INSANE “Progressive” Left

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzYHBPTfXCI

February 25, 2020. Tags: , , . LGBT. Leave a comment.

The Young Turks’ Progressive Founder Urged His Staff Not To Unionize

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-young-turks-progressive-founder-urged-his-staff-not-to-unionize_n_5e540686c5b6ad3de3823a32

The Young Turks’ Progressive Founder Urged His Staff Not To Unionize

In a tense meeting with employees, Cenk Uygur argued that a union doesn’t belong at a small news network struggling to make profits.

February 24, 2020

Top leadership at the progressive news network The Young Turks held an all-staff meeting at its office in Culver City, California, on Feb. 12. The regularly scheduled gathering was supposed to deal with personnel matters, but instead the focus turned to the staff’s nascent union campaign, which had just gone public.

Earlier that day, a Twitter handle claiming to represent TYT employees had announced on the social media platform their intention to form a union. In the staff meeting, the network’s co-founder and influential host, Cenk Uygur, urged employees not to do so, arguing that a union does not belong at a small, independent outlet like TYT, according to two workers who were present. He said if there had been a union at the network it would not have grown the way it has.

His talk ― at times emotional, the staffers said, with Uygur throwing his papers to the ground at one point, and chastising an employee ― seemed to contradict the progressive, worker-first ethos that TYT broadcasts to its millions of lefty followers. Jack Gerard, who is acting as the company’s chief operating officer as Uygur runs for Congress in California, told the staff they were not discouraging unionization.

But the message from Uygur was clear ― and, to at least some staffers, discouraging.

“We generally feel disappointed, but unshaken,” said one staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. “We feel it’s the right thing to do because of what TYT values.”

In an interview with HuffPost, Uygur said he is a strong supporter of unions, especially at large corporations that aren’t sharing profits with their workers. But he said he worries a unionized workforce would bring new legal and bureaucratic costs that TYT can’t sustain. The network has a growing subscription base and has raised venture capital money, but faces many of the same headwinds as other online media dealing with the collapse of ad revenue.

“The reality is we’re in a precarious position,” Uygur said. “We’re in a digital media landscape where almost no one makes money or is sustainable.”
He added, “For a smaller digital media company, those are absolutely real considerations. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a union. Everyone should know the full context … If folks say they don’t believe we’re in a precarious position, OK. And that’s their decision to make.”

Uygur said he was caught off guard by the union effort that appeared on Twitter the day of the meeting, and that it was so early in the process he wasn’t sure if it was real or if he was “being punked.” He acknowledged that he threw papers in the meeting ― in a downward direction, not toward anyone, he noted ― and that he reprimanded an employee whom he believed to be smiling. According to staffers, Ugyer said it would be funny “later” — an ominous statement they found unsettling. He told HuffPost it wasn’t meant to be a threat.

“The person smiling seemed to be openly mocking the idea that the company might not survive after 18 years. And we put all this blood, sweat and tears into it,” he said. “I don’t find the idea of us going down funny.”

Media has become fertile ground for union organizing in recent years, with workers at both old, legacy newspapers and newer, web-only outlets seeking the protections of a collective bargaining agreement. The union push has made for some awkwardness at organizations with liberal reputations, where management may resist collective bargaining despite overseeing labor-friendly coverage.

The campaign at TYT comes with another wrinkle: Uygur’s attempt to fill the Congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Katie Hill, a Democrat who resigned in October amid an ethics probe into her relationship with a staffer. Uygur is running to the left in the Democratic primary. The front-runner, Christy Smith, a California assemblywoman, generally has the backing of the party establishment and many labor unions.

As the union spat became more public, Uygur suggested on Twitter that the union campaign was politically motivated by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union trying to organize TYT employees. IATSE endorsed Smith in the race. But staffers said their first organizing discussions date back more than two years, and their recent attempt to round up support began shortly before Uygur declared his candidacy ― a timeline confirmed by a union organizer.

IATSE has asked TYT management to voluntarily recognize the union through “card check,” saying a clear majority of staffers who would be represented have signed union cards. That has often been the course at liberal media organizations, so staff can avoid the pressures of a union election. IATSE would represent the production and post-production staff ― about a quarter of the company’s 65-employee workforce.

But TYT management has proposed having the workers vote in a secret-ballot election to be administered by a third party, outside the National Labor Relations Board. Management has also disputed the union’s proposed bargaining unit, saying some of the employees should be considered managers.

Uygur told HuffPost he wants a secret-ballot election because a few employees told him after the meeting that they do not support a union ― “some, not all,” he said.

“Am I supposed to say, ‘I don’t care what you want?’” he said. “That’s crazy.”

In recent cases where liberal outlets have resisted a union drive, such as at Slate, employees have typically ended up unionizing anyway, either through an election or a public pressure campaign that wears down the employer. Uygur acknowledged his position on the union poses a political problem in his Congressional bid ― indeed, Smith has already dinged him for it ― but said he wants staff to know the potential downsides of unionizing.

“Look, at the end of the day, my opinion on it is irrelevant,” he said. “It’s the employees who get to decide and who should decide.”

The TYT staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity described support for the union as “a solid majority,” and said it hasn’t frayed despite the turmoil of the past week and a half. The staffer also said colleagues are insistent on the company recognizing the union without a secret-ballot election, and including all the staff they believe should be part of it. They expected plenty of disagreements in bargaining a contract, but not a fight over the formation of the union.

“We love the company,” the staffer said. “We’re just getting the company to live by its principles.”

February 25, 2020. Tags: , , , . Unions. Leave a comment.

Palestinian workers prefer to work for Israeli employers

https://www.jns.org/report-palestinian-workers-prefer-to-work-for-israeli-employers/

Report: Palestinian workers prefer to work for Israeli employers

Higher salaries, legal protections and lack of discrimination are among the reasons most Palestinians would prefer to work for Israeli firms.

February 16, 2020

The United Nations “blacklist” of businesses operating in Israeli settlements was lauded by the Palestinian leadership following its publication last week, but a recent report indicates that Palestinians actually prefer to work for Israelis rather than Palestinians.

Titled “Why Palestinians prefer to work for Israeli employers,” the report, by Israel-based media watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, affirms that whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to leave their jobs with Palestinian employers. The report cites an article in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that praises the Israeli-employment sector.

According to senior PMW analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik, who co-authored the report with PMW director Itamar Marcus, there are a number of reasons Palestinians prefer Israeli employers.

“First, the salary from Israeli employers is more than double that of the Palestinian sector, but that is not all. Palestinians working for Israelis are protected by the same laws as Israeli workers, including health benefits, sick leave, vacation time and other workers’ rights, whereas these protections are not granted by Palestinian employers. Also there is no gender or religious discrimination in the Israeli sector.”

Speaking on the official P.A. TV show “Workers Affairs,” Israeli-Arab labor lawyer Khaled Dukhi of the Israeli NGO Workers’ Hotline said Israeli labor law is “very good” because it does not differentiate between men and women, Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews. However, he explained, “Palestinian workers who work for Israelis still suffer because Palestinian middlemen ‘steal’ 50 percent, 60 percent and even 70 percent of their salaries, especially those of women.”

The higher Israeli salaries have been consistent for years, according to surveys published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Labor Force Survey for the second quarter of 2018 showed that the average daily wage for wage employees in the West Bank was NIS 107.9 ($31.5) compared with NIS 62.6 (18.3) in Gaza Strip. The average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and the Israeli settlements reached NIS 247.9 ($72.3) in the second quarter of 2018, compared with NIS 242.5 ($70.8) in the first quarter of 2018.

 

February 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Politics, Racism, Religion. Leave a comment.

Bernie Rally Features Trotskyist Seattle Council Member Whose Party Wants To Seize Control Of Banks

https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/18/kshama-sawant-bernie-sanders-socialist/

Bernie Rally Features Trotskyist Seattle Council Member Whose Party Wants To Seize Control Of Banks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PCc740TeIk

 

February 18, 2020

Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, a socialist who belongs to a Trotskyist organization that wants to seize control of America’s banks, was a featured speaker at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2020 campaign rally in Seattle on Monday.

In her speech to Sanders’s supporters, Sawant called for a “powerful socialist movement to end all capitalist oppression and exploitation.”

Sawant is a member of Socialist Alternative, a fringe Trotskyist group that is open about its goal of a “socialist United States and a socialist world,” according to its website.

The Trotskyist group’s platform includes taking control of the “top 500 corporations and banks that dominate the U.S. economy” and paying compensation “on the basis of proven need to small investors, not millionaires.”

Additionally, in order to put an end to layoffs, the socialist group calls for taking “bankrupt and failing companies into public ownership.”

Sawant was formerly an activist in the progressive Occupy Wall Street movement. Following Trump’s election, she used government resources to help organize anti-Trump “Occupy Inauguration” protests.

Neither the Sanders campaign nor Sawant returned a request for comment.

February 22, 2020. Tags: , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Ilhan Omar DID marry her brother and said she would ‘do what she had to do to get him “papers” to keep him in U.S.’, reveals Somali community leader

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8013283/Ilhan-Omar-DID-marry-brother-reveals-Somali-community-leader.html

Ilhan Omar DID marry her brother and said she would ‘do what she had to do to get him “papers” to keep him in U.S.’, reveals Somali community leader

* Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm

* Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States

* It has long been rumored that Omar and Ahmed Elmi are siblings, but because of a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia, proof has never been uncovered

* Osman said: ‘She said she needed to get papers for her brother to go to school. We all thought she was just getting papers to allow him to stay in this country’

* Omar was married to her second husband Elmi in 2009 by a Christian minister – although she is Muslim

* She was first married to Ahmed Hirsi in 2002 in a Muslim ceremony, before they split in 2008 – but she later had another child with Hirsi while legally wed to Elmi

* Osman said: ‘When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the community’

* He added: ‘When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it… No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the certificate years later’

February 20, 2020

‘Squad’ congresswoman Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm.

And now for the first time one of those friends has come forward to reveal exactly how Omar and Ahmed Elmi scandalized the Somali community in Minneapolis.

Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi.

But hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him.

‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, exclusively told DailyMail.com.

Osman’s revelations are sure to renew calls for an investigation into the Minnesota freshman representative who has repeatedly refused to answer questions on her marriage to Elmi.

She originally said the idea that the spouses were also siblings were ‘baseless, absurd rumors’, accusing journalists of Islamophobia, but has since stayed quiet.

Her spokesman told DailyMail.com that Omar, 37, does not comment on her family or personal life.

‘The Congresswoman is focused on the work her constituents sent her to Washington to accomplish,’ he said.

Omar married her first husband Hirsi in 2002 in a Muslim ceremony that, like many in the immigrant community, was not registered with the state.

Their first child Isra was born the following year and a second followed.

But in the late 2000s Elmi appeared in Minneapolis, said Osman, who referred to Hirsi by his nickname ‘Southside’ throughout the interview.

‘People began noticing that Ilhan and Southside (Hirsi) were often with a very effeminate young guy,’ Osman said, who spoke in Somali through an interpreter.

‘He was very feminine in the way he dressed — he would wear light lipstick and pink clothes and very, very, short shorts in the summer. People started whispering about him.

‘[Hirsi] and Ilhan both told me it was Ilhan’s brother and he had been living in London but he was mixing with what were seen as bad influences that the family did not like.

‘So they sent him to Minneapolis as ”rehab”.’

Osman, who runs a popular Facebook blog called Xerta Shekh, which comments on Somali issues, said that Omar kept her marriage to Elmi quiet, with no one from the Somali community invited to the wedding.

He explained: ‘When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the Minneapolis community.

‘I would say there were 100-150 people there.’

But, he said: ‘When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.’

Osman said at the time Hirsi was better known than Omar among Somalis. ‘He was a footballer, he promoted a lot of Somali shows, he was very popular.

‘So the scandal was about [Hirsi’s] brother-in-law more than Ilhan’s brother.’

It has long been rumored that Omar and Elmi are brother and sister.

But because of a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia where they were both born, positive proof of their relationship has never been uncovered.

The first report that Omar and her husband were siblings appeared on the website Somalispot in 2016. It said of Elmi, 34: ‘As soon as Ilhan Omar married him he started university at her alma mater North Dakota State University where he graduated in 2012.

‘Shortly thereafter, he moved to Minneapolis where he was living in a public housing complex and was later evicted. He then returned to the United Kingdom.’

The New York Post reported last month that the FBI was investigating the marriage and had met with a source in Minneapolis who handed over ‘a trove of documents’ related to the marriage.

Any findings were to be shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Department of Education, the paper reported. Anyone found guilty of committing marriage fraud faces up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000.

Elmi and Omar married on February 12, 2009 at a Hennepin County office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis, their marriage license shows. Omar said she and Hirsi had separated in 2008, and because their faith-based union was never recognized by law, neither is their separation.

Elmi and Omar said they lived together at an address in Columbia Heights, a suburb on the north side of the city.

The marriage was conducted by Christian minister Wilecia Harris. When DailyMail.com approached her last year, she would not discuss the ceremony or why a Muslim couple would have asked her to marry them.

She and her husband Marcus run the Great and Mighty Works Ministries in Richfield, Minnesota, which is described on its Facebook page as a ‘nondenominational, Bible believing, Bible teaching, and Bible living ministry that believes in being a living example of Jesus the anointed one!’

In a Facebook message, Marcus Harris told DailyMail.com: ‘My wife doesn’t want to be involved or interviewed about Congresswoman Omar.’

‘It’s not going to happen, not now and not never.’

After their marriage Omar and Elmi moved to Fargo, where they both attended North Dakota State. But Omar and Hirsi were still together as husband and wife, Osman said.

‘She said she needed to get papers for her brother to go to school. We all thought she was just getting papers together to allow him to stay in this country.

‘Once she had the papers they could apply for student loans.

‘They both moved to North Dakota to go to school but she was still married to [Hirsi]. In the Somali way, the only marriage that mattered was the one in the mosque.

‘Ilhan came back to Minneapolis all the time to see her family, but her brother didn’t come with her.’

Osman believes Elmi and Omar sought out someone outside the Somali community to conduct the ceremony because an imam would have known they were related and would have refused to marry them.

Osman, who is confined to a wheelchair after contracting polio before he moved to the United States in 2004, said he got to know Hirsi well in his first few years in Minneapolis. They are the same age, both having been born in January 1980.

They originally met when Hirsi was working in a barber shop and when they both regularly ate at the now-defunct Indian Ocean restaurant. When Hirsi opened his own business, Urban Hookah, which is also now closed, Osman occasionally helped out at the till.

Omar and Elmi eventually divorced in 2017 and she remarried Hirsi — with whom she had a third child — in a civil ceremony the following year, just in time for her election to Congress.

Osman scoffs at the idea that this was a real remarriage. ‘They never parted,’ he said.

But last year she moved out of the family home and into a luxury penthouse apartment in the trendy Mill District of Minneapolis.

DailyMail.com then revealed that Omar was having an affair with her chief fundraiser Tim Mynett, a married father-of-one, whose company received more than half a million dollars from her campaign last year.

Hirsi and Omar divorced in November. He married pediatric nurse Ladan Ahmed 37 days later.

Mynett and his wife Beth Jordan divorced in December. During the hearing in a Washington, D.C., courtroom, Jordan attempted to read out a statement about her husband’s affair with the congresswoman but was cut short by the judge.

Omar is running for a second term in Congress — where she has aligned herself with fellow leftist first-term congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts in the so-called ‘Squad.’

She faces three opponents in the Democratic primary to be held in August.

February 22, 2020. Tags: , . Ilhan Omar. Leave a comment.

Poll: Michael Bloomberg and Paul Harvey each made a comment about farmers. Which one do you think is more accurate?

Commentary and poll by Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 18, 2020

Below are two videos. In the first, Michael Bloomberg talks about farmers. In the second, Paul Harvey talks about farmers.

Please watch both videos. Then please vote for which person’s comment you think is more accurate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKDA3uR-ml8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRDaPEaDJ7E

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

February 18, 2020. Tags: , , , . Polls. Leave a comment.

Larry Schweikart tweeted a link to my blog!

https://twitter.com/LarrySchweikart/status/1229405075677663232

https://twitter.com/LarrySchweikart/status/1229405075677663232

https://t.co/fBct189sqw?amp=1

NY environmental whacko group BK ROT forces employees to use feet as brakes on their bikes “Fred Flintstone style” going DOWNHILL with over 100 lbs of loads.

Welcome to the WL future.

February 18, 2020. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

A New York City environmental organization called “BK ROT” violates OSHA safety regulations by forcing its employees to dangerously use their feet as brakes, “Fred Flintstone style,” on a bicycle, while hauling “almost eight hundred pounds” down “substantial hills”

* A New York City environmental organization called “BK ROT” violates OSHA safety regulations by forcing its employees to dangerously use their feet as brakes, “Fred Flintstone style,” on a bicycle, while hauling “almost eight hundred pounds” down “substantial hills.”

* Sandy Nurse, the organization’s founder, is running for political office.

* Nurse also thinks she shouldn’t have to pay back her college loans.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 15, 2020

In New York City, a woman named Sandy Nurse created an environmental organization called “BK ROT.” The organization collects food scraps and other organic waste, and turns it into compost.

As part if its green mission, all of its employees travel by bicycle.

The New Yorker recently wrote the following about this:

Five days a week, Victor Ibarra rides a bicycle through North Brooklyn, collecting food waste from restaurants, coffee shops, and other small businesses and packing it into plastic tubs on a trailer that he tows with his bike. There are two substantial hills on his route, and when the tubs are full the entire load—waste, trailer, bike, Ibarra—adds up to almost eight hundred pounds. “Uphill is really hard,” he said the other day. “But, actually, uphill is a lot easier than downhill. Going downhill, I have the hand brakes pressed on, but the bike is still going.” To stop completely, he has to use his feet, Fred Flintstone style.

Ibarra is twenty-three. His employer for the past six years has been BK ROT, a nonprofit hauling-and-composting operation in Bushwick.

This is very dangerous, and certainly a violation of OSHA safety rules.

Nurse also thinks she shouldn’t have to pay back the money that she chose to borrow for college, even though she chose to sign a legal document promising to pay the money back.

CNBC recently wrote the following about this:

Sandy Nurse doesn’t see why she needs to be $120,000 in debt “just for trying to improve my understanding of the world.”

And so, after a decade of struggling to repay her student loans, she plans to stop trying. She hopes others will join her, too, in a national strike against the country’s outstanding student loan debt, which is marching toward $1.7 trillion.

“It’s a way not to look at ourselves as failures because we’re failing to pay back an excessive amount of money for knowledge,” said Nurse

Nurse’s comments are despicable. Instead of admitting that she is a deadbeat and a liar, she is trying to falsely portray herself as being a victim.

I wonder how Nurse would feel if her customers who paid for their compost with a credit card were to call their credit card companies and have the charges removed, and Nurse ended up not getting the money that her customers had promised to pay her.

To make matters even worse, Nurse is running for political office to become a member of New York’s City Council.

We already know that, in the name of being green, Nurse forces her employees to use their feet as brakes like in The Flintstones.

Since Nurse is running for political office, I wonder if she wants to force the entire population to do the same thing.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

February 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Karlyn Borysenko: After attending a Trump rally, I realized Democrats are not ready for 2020. I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years, but my experience made me realize just how out of touch my party is with the country at large

https://gen.medium.com/ive-been-a-democrat-for-20-years-here-s-what-i-experienced-at-trump-s-rally-in-new-hampshire-c69ddaaf6d07

After Attending a Trump Rally, I Realized Democrats Are Not Ready For 2020

I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years, but my experience made me realize just how out of touch my party is with the country at large

By Karlyn Borysenko

February 11, 2020

I think those of us on the left need to take a long look in the mirror and have an honest conversation about what’s going on.

If you had told me three years ago that I would ever attend a Donald Trump rally, I would have laughed and assured you that was never going to happen. Heck, if you had told me I would do it three months ago, I probably would have done the same thing. So, how did I find myself among 11,000-plus Trump supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire? Believe it or not, it all started with knitting.

You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role knitters have played in our culture. I started noticing this about a year ago, particularly on Instagram. I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it. But it was impossible to ignore after roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep in their ideology. Knitting stars on Instagram were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for seemingly innocuous offenses. One man got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch. Many things were not right about the hatred, and witnessing the vitriol coming from those I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake-up call.

You see, I was one of those Democrats who considered anyone who voted for Trump a racist. I thought they were horrible (yes, even deplorable) and worked very hard to eliminate their voices from my spaces by unfriending or blocking people who spoke about their support of him, however minor their comments. I watched a lot of MSNBC, was convinced that everything he had done was horrible, that he hated anyone who wasn’t a straight white man, and that he had no redeeming qualities.

But when I witnessed the amount of hate coming from the left in this small, niche knitting community, I started to question everything. I started making a proactive effort to break my echo chamber by listening to voices I thought I would disagree with. I wanted to understand their perspective, believing it would confirm that they were filled with hate for anyone who wasn’t like them.

That turned out not to be the case. The more voices outside the left that I listened to, the more I realized that these were not bad people. They were not racists, nazis, or white supremacists. We had differences of opinions on social and economic issues, but a difference of opinion does not make your opponent inherently evil. And they could justify their opinions using arguments, rather than the shouting and ranting I saw coming from my side of the aisle.

I started to discover (or perhaps rediscover) the #WalkAway movement. I had heard about #WalkAway when MSNBC told me it was fake and a bunch of Russian bots. But then I started to meet real people who had been Democrats and made the decision to leave because they could not stand the way the left was behaving. I watched town halls they held with different minority communities (all available in their entirety on YouTube), and I saw sane, rational discussion from people of all different races, backgrounds, orientations, and experiences. I joined the Facebook group for the community and saw stories popping up daily of people sharing why they are leaving the Democratic Party. This wasn’t fake. These people are not Russian bots. Moreover, it felt like a breath of fresh air. There was not universal agreement in this group — some were Trump supporters, some weren’t — but they talked and shared their perspective without shouting or rage or trying to cancel each other.

I started to question everything. How many stories had I been sold that weren’t true? What if my perception of the other side is wrong? How is it possible that half the country is overtly racist? Is it possible that Trump derangement syndrome is a real thing, and had I been suffering from it for the past three years?

And the biggest question of all was this: Did I hate Trump so much that I wanted to see my country fail just to spite him and everyone who voted for him?

Fast-forward to the New Hampshire primary, and we have all the politicians running around the state making their case. I’ve seen almost every Democratic candidate in person and noticed that their messages were almost universally one of doom and gloom, not only focusing on the obvious disagreements with Donald Trump, but also making sure to emphasize that the country is a horribly racist place.

Now, I do believe there are very real issues when it comes to race that we as a society have yet to reckon with. I believe that everyone from every background of every gender should have equal access to opportunities, and that no one is inherently more or less valuable or worthy than anyone else. And while the 2017 protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to a tragedy precipitated by real racists and real nazis and real white supremacists, I started to see that those labels simply don’t apply to most people who support Trump.

But with all of this, I was still reticent to even consider attending a Trump event. I do not believe that Trump’s attitude is worthy of the highest office in the land. I abhor his Twitter. I am vehemently opposed to so many of his policies. But still, I wanted to see for myself.

I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, so I thought I would start my day in familiar territory: at an MSNBC live show that was taking place a few blocks away from the rally. I decided to wear my red hat that looks like a Trump hat but with one small difference — it says “Make Speech Free Again”—as my small protest against cancel culture. I even got a photo with MSNBC host Ari Melber while I was wearing it, just for kicks.

The funny thing about that hat is that it’s completely open to interpretation. When I wear it around left-leaning people, they think I’m talking about the right. When I wear it around right-leaning folks, they think I’m talking about the left. It’s a stark reminder of how much our own perspectives and biases play into how we view the world.

In chatting with the folks at the taping, I casually said that I was thinking about going over to the Trump rally. The first reaction they had was a genuine fear for my safety. I had never seen people I didn’t know so passionately urge me to avoid all those people. One woman told me that those people were the lowest of the low. Another man told me that he had gone to one of Trump’s rallies in the past and had been the target of harassment by large muscle-bound men. Another woman offered me her pepper spray. I assured them all that I thought I would be fine and that I would get the heck out of dodge if I got nervous.

What they didn’t know is that they weren’t the only ones I had heard from who were afraid. Some of my more right-leaning friends online expressed genuine fear at my going, but not because they were afraid of the attendees. They were afraid of people on the left violently attacking attendees. This was one day after a man had run his car through a Republican voter registration tent in Florida, and there was a genuine fear that there would be a repeat, or that antifa would bus people up from Boston for it. Just as I had assured those on the left, I told them I thought I would be fine, because we don’t really have antifa in New Hampshire.

But I’m not going to say it didn’t get to me a bit. When everyone around you is nervous for your safety, it’s hard not to question if they have a point. But it also made me more determined to see it through, because it was a stark reminder that both sides view each other exactly the same way. They are both afraid of the other side and what they are capable of. I couldn’t help but think that if they could just see the world through the lens of the other for a moment or two, it would be a stark revelation that they don’t know as much as they think they do.

So, I headed over an hour and a half before the doors were scheduled to open—which was four hours before Trump was set to take the stage—and the line already stretched a mile away from the entrance to the arena. As I waited, I chatted with the folks around me. And contrary to all the fears expressed, they were so nice. I was not harassed or intimidated, and I was never in fear of my safety even for a moment. These were average, everyday people. They were veterans, schoolteachers, and small business owners who had come from all over the place for the thrill of attending this rally. They were upbeat and excited. In chatting, I even let it slip that I was a Democrat. The reaction: “Good for you! Welcome!”

Once we got inside, the atmosphere was jubilant. It was more like attending a rock concert than a political rally. People were genuinely enjoying themselves. Some were even dancing to music being played over the loudspeakers. It was so different than any other political event I had ever attended. Even the energy around Barack Obama in 2008 didn’t feel like this.

I had attended an event with all the Democratic contenders just two days prior in exactly the same arena, and the contrast was stark. First, Trump completely filled the arena all the way up to the top. Even with every major Democratic candidate in attendance the other night, and the campaigns giving away free tickets, the Democrats did not do that. With Trump, every single person was unified around a singular goal. With the Democrats, the audience booed over candidates they didn’t like and got into literal shouting matches with each other. With Trump, there was a genuinely optimistic view of the future. With the Democrats, it was doom and gloom. With Trump, there was a genuine feeling of pride of being an American. With the Democrats, they emphasized that the country was a racist place from top to bottom.

Now, Trump is always going to present the best case he can. And yes, he lies. This is provable. But the strength of this rally wasn’t about the facts and figures. It was a group of people who felt like they had someone in their corner, who would fight for them. Some people say, “Well, obviously they’re having a great time. They’re in a cult.” I don’t think that’s true. The reality is that many people I spoke to do disagree with Trump on things. They don’t always like his attitude. They wish he wouldn’t tweet so much. People who are in cults don’t question their leaders. The people I spoke with did, but the pros in their eyes far outweighed the cons. They don’t love him because they think he’s perfect. They love him despite his flaws, because they believe he has their back.

As I left the rally—walking past thousands of people who were watching it on a giant monitor outside the arena because they couldn’t get in—I knew there was no way Trump would lose in November. Absolutely no way. I truly believe that it doesn’t matter who the Democrats nominate: Trump is going to trounce them. If you don’t believe me, attend one of his rallies and see for yourself. Don’t worry, they really won’t hurt you.

Today, I voted in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary for Pete Buttigieg. I genuinely feel that Pete would be great for this country, and maybe he’ll have his opportunity in the future. But tomorrow, I’ll be changing my voter registration from Democrat to Independent and walking away from the party I’ve spent the past 20 years in to sit in the middle for a while. There are extremes in both parties that I am uncomfortable with, but I also fundamentally believe that most people on both sides are good, decent human beings who want the best for the country and have dramatic disagreements on how to get there. But until we start seeing each other as human beings, there will be no bridging the divide. I refuse to be a part of the divisiveness any longer. I refuse to hate people I don’t know simply because they choose to vote for someone else. If we’re going to heal the country, we have to start taking steps toward one another rather than away.

I think the Democrats have an ass-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens, because they’re existing in an echo chamber that is not reflective of the broader reality. I hope it’s a wake-up call that causes them to take a long look in the mirror and really ask themselves how they got here. Maybe then they’ll start listening. I tend to doubt it, but I can hope.

February 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Donald Trump. Leave a comment.

A DC elementary school accidentally gave the wrong second-grader to a child-welfare worker

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dc-elementary-school-accidentally-gave-200737572.html

A DC elementary school accidentally gave the wrong second-grader to a child-welfare worker

February 12, 2020

* A DC elementary school mistakenly turned over the wrong 8-year-old student to a child-welfare worker.

* When the student’s relatives arrived to pick him up later that day, they realized he was missing and panicked.

* Washington City Paper reported that the mix-up happened when the case worker arrived and requested the student he was supposed to pick up, and school officials brought out a different student who shared the same distinctive first name.

An elementary school in Washington, DC, accidentally handed over the wrong 8-year-old student to a child-welfare worker, causing the young boy’s family to panic when they arrived at the school to pick him up that day and realized he was missing.

Washington City Paper reported that a Child and Family Services Agency case worker arrived at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School on January 31 to pick up a child for a visit with his father.

But the school brought out a different student who happened to have the same distinctive first name, and the case worker left the school with the incorrect child around 2 p.m. that day.

The mistake wasn’t caught until the student’s relatives arrived at the school that afternoon to pick him up, and learned he had left with a child-welfare worker.

In response to a request for comment, the CFSA directed Insider to comments from its director, Brenda Donald, quoted in The Washington Post. Donald told the newspaper that the case worker had not previously met the child he was supposed to pick up before arriving at the school, and the child he mistakenly picked up never raised any questions about why he was taken from his classroom.

“He’s a little kid, and usually the schools are trying to explain in a nice way that here’s a nice person from CFSA who is going to take you to McDonald’s to have lunch,” Donald told The Post. “It was a mistake, and it’s explainable. And again, I can understand the family being upset.”

The school’s principal, Amanda Delabar, sent a letter to parents confirming that a “student went briefly missing from school premises after being picked up incorrectly by Child and Family Services,” according to the letter obtained by Insider.

Delabar said in the letter school officials had made “every effort to protect the student’s and family’s privacy,” and said all staff had been reminded of school security protocols that include mandatory sign-ins and sign-outs, and identification requirements for any outside agencies picking up students.

But the family of the child who was mistakenly removed from school remained livid, telling Washington City Paper they had feared the boy was harmed.

“I just can’t understand,” his grandfather, Jason Myers, told the newspaper. “Anyone can come with a badge and take anyone’s kid.”

February 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Education. Leave a comment.

Next Page »