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Friday, August 23, 2019

President Donald Trump says he has "hereby ordered" American companies to leave China, after Beijing announced plans to slap new tariffs on US goods. read more

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that the U.S. economy actually created about 500,000 fewer jobs over 2018 and early 2019 than was initially reported, reportedly the largest revision of economic numbers in a decade. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 501,000 fewer non-farm jobs were created in 2018 and the first three months of 2019, with the biggest revisions occurring in the retail, business services and hospitality sectors. read more

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Jewish people in the U.S. who vote for members of the Democratic Party are not loyal. "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." ... "If this is about Israel, then Trump is repeating a dual loyalty claim, which is a form of anti-Semitism," said Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, in a statement to HuffPost. "If this is about Jews being loyal' to him, then Trump needs a reality check. We live in a democracy, and Jewish support for the Republican Party has been halved in the past four years." read more

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country's history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are. read more

Saturday, August 17, 2019

"NO SCAN, NO PAY." Translation: Either attend (and "scan" your ID card to mark your attendance), or take the day off. "Those who are NOT in attendance will not receive overtime pay on Friday." read more



Creator of New York Times slavery project not surprised by conservative meltdown

Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times correspondent and the visionary behind its ambitious examination of racial issues stemming from the 1619 arrival of enslaved people in the English colonies, isn't the least bit surprised by the meltdown among white conservatives reacting to her recasting American history with African Americans and slavery at the forefront.

"The whole reason we did the project in the first place is because our society has been unwilling to grapple with the legacy of slavery, with the centrality of slavery to the development of the United States," Hannah-Jones said in an interview Monday on MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes. "So this isn't shocking to me."

A common complaint among many of the conservative critics was that the project struck them as an attack on President Donald Trump....

"Anyone [who] would call this a propaganda tool or that somehow I'd spent, you know, since February working on this to commemorate the anniversary because we, the New York Times, wanted to get' Trump is, of course, ridiculous," Hannah-Jones said.

"We didn't plan the anniversary to happen in August of 2019, just so it would coincide with Trump's issues with being called a racist."

Instead, Hannah-Jones explained that The 1619 Project "excavates our true nature and is in direct opposition to our founding myths." And, she said, that is why there has been such a negative reaction among many white conservatives who want to cling to a version of American history that places them at the exclusive center of the story.

"I think what a lot of conservatives want is they want to choose which parts of our path we remember and which parts of our path we forget," she said.

"And I don't understand why people are so afraid of, we're simply revealing the truth about our country."

Thanks Snoofy. I appreciate that at least someone is interested in the story. I posted another article last week that tells the story of how trillions of dollars in wealth has been taken from black farmers in the Mississippi delta area over the last half century or so as a matter of laws and practices designed to do just that.

There are reasons black Americans household wealth lags far behind that of white Americans that have nothing to do with individual or cultural rectitude.

Let's talk 20th Century for a moment....

In 1908, a young black man named Green Cottenham was sold to the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. and sent to work in Slope No. 12 of the Pratt coal mines, near Birmingham, Ala. There he labored with 1,000 other men, facing the whip if he didn't dig the required eight tons of coal a day. At night, he slept chained in barracks.

Generations removed from 1619, Cottenham, 22, wound up at the mine for violating an Alabama vagrancy law that essentially made it a crime to be unemployed.

It was one of a tangle of oppressive laws that grew in the wake of slavery, which trapped African Americans in lives of penury and semi-bondage well into the 20th century. When he was arrested and couldn't pay his court fees, Cottenham was conveyed, by prior arrangement, to the company, which paid the money while he served his time at hard labor.

"Almost every law and method ... was employed by the legislatures to reduce the Negroes to serfdom," W.E.B. Du Bois, the African American historian and civil rights activist, wrote in 1903.

South Carolina barred black people from any occupation other then servant or farmer, unless they paid an annual tax, according to Foner, the historian. The flimsy vagrancy laws led to a vast system of arrests and slave labor across the South, Blackmon wrote.

Thousands of poor men and women, often the children of the enslaved, were beaten, abused and killed in mines and on farms after being sold into service by law enforcement officials.

This project is about what happened in the colonial US and US, not how slavery impacted other countries. This isn't about recounting that "slavery is bad," it's about how slavery shaped this nation, our laws, our social structures, our religious practices, our economy, and most every aspect that defines what America was and has become. It's less about blame than it should be about acknowledging and understanding not just the righteous and uplifting parts of the American experiment but also its darkness and ugliness too. There is no browbeating, just an attempt to set the record straight, even the parts that are unarguably hideous upon proper reflection.

It would be unfair to blame Pakistan for things that happened under British rule.

No one is doing that. The European colonists largely created and lived by their own laws regarding the business of slavery.

In October 1705, Virginia passed a law stating that if a master happened to kill a slave who was undergoing "correction," it was not a crime.

Indeed, the act would be viewed as if it had never occurred.

Furthermore, the legislation said, when slaves were declared runaways, it was "lawful for any person ... to kill and destroy [them] by such ways and means as he ... shall think fit."

Short of killing, the law added, "dismembering" was approved.

In practice, toes were usually cut off.

It had been 86 years since a British ship landed in Virginia with the first documented captive Africans to reach the mainland of English North America. And it had been 86 years since the colony's governor and council had convened the first continuous representative assembly of Europeans in what would become the United States.

Those two events, weeks apart in the summer of 1619, would become pillars of the national edifice, as the founders erected a structure of freedom alongside a brutal system of slavery.

If the history of slavery is told in its entirety, start at the beginning.

In the summer of 1619, two warships manned by English privateers raided a Portuguese vessel the pirates hoped was -------- with gold. Instead, they found and divided up an altogether different cargo: some 350 African slaves, taken in ------- possibly from what is now Angola. What happened to all those poor souls may never be known " they were among the early wave of the more than 12 million Africans sent across the Atlantic to live and die in slavery in the New World.

But we do know that, in August of that year, the English privateers appeared not far from the colony of Jamestown, in modern-day Virginia, and bartered 20 to 30 of these Africans for food from the English settlers there. That transaction 400 years ago marked the first landfall of black people on the shores of what would become the United States.

So the very first slaves were STOLEN and then monetized by the English pirates who pilfered them.

Before buyers you had to have the seller.

True, but that has little if nothing to do with what happened to the slaves once they were imported to America and how their very presence shaped the country that would eventually separate itself from British rule. The colonies were far from the only market for slave traders in this hemisphere. To me, this story's relevance isn't about the mechanics and logistics of the slave trade. It's about the totality of effects that slavery had on the economic and social development it facilitated in the land and society now known as America.

When the truth is not a matter of balance, but comes down to a moral question of right and wrong, honest journalism must adapt.

I suspect that Baquet said something significant when he admitted that "newsrooms haven't confronted [a story] like this since the 1960s." For a lot of Americans, not just journalists, the whole question of racism in this country went silent after the passage of the civil rights laws, when Republicans resorted to their Southern Strategy. As Lee Atwater said so graphically, use of the "n" word was no longer acceptable. So racist messages were sent via dog whistles that gave the sender a veneer of deniability. On the surface, it appeared as though the problem of racism had been solved.

But the election of our first African American president combined with rapidly changing demographics sparked a revival of the confederate insurgency. Writers like Doug Muder caught on to what was happening quite a while ago with the rise of the Tea Party. When Donald Trump entered the national political stage by embracing the "birtherism" conspiracy theory, he put his own racism front and center. Over the years, it has simply become more obvious. If recent events finally made that clear to the New York Times, we can welcome them to the party"however late their arrival happens to be.

Baquet got it absolutely right when he said that "this one is a story about what it means to be an American in 2019."

Will a statement like that ignite backlash from those who insist on putting white people at the center of our history? Absolutely! It is precisely why, in the tweet above, Erickson referred to something he calls a "racial lens." To see our history through the eyes of someone who didn't share his perspective is viewed as inflammatory.

But that doesn't make it any less true. Getting to the truth about what it means to be an American is the question that is on the table right now. The answer isn't a matter of left vs. right, but of right vs. wrong. Nancy LeTourneau

REIGN OF TERROR is coming @attackerman

An underappreciated virtue of the Times' 1619 project is its power to reveal who would have defended slavery and Jim Crow in the name of Freedom.

David Frum "" @davidfrum

Good morning America. I see many of you today talking about events tracing back 400 years. Stop that once! Return to talking about ME https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1163063723952676864 ...

In 1805 there were just over one million slaves worth about $300 million; fifty-five years later there were four million slaves worth close to $3 billion. In the 11 states that eventually formed the Confederacy, four out of ten people were slaves in 1860, and these people accounted for more than half the agricultural labor in those states. In the cotton regions the importance of slave labor was even greater. The value of capital invested in slaves roughly equaled the total value of all farmland and farm buildings in the South. Though the value of slaves fluctuated from year to year, there was no prolonged period during which the value of the slaves owned in the United States did not increase markedly.

Slave labor was the foundation of a prosperous economic system in the South. By itself, the South's economic investment in slavery could easily explain the willingness of Southerners to risk war when faced with what they viewed as a serious threat to their "peculiar institution" after the electoral victories of the Republican Party and President Abraham Lincoln the fall of 1860.


The truth of America's history has always been right there for everyone to discover but very few want to look at the truth, much less admit how that truth continues to affect lives today. Already, many that I will call Deniers are lining up to dismiss the truths of history and this nation that unquestionably prove that the slaves themselves WERE the largest source of wealth in the Confederate South, more so than even the value of the land.

America's history is as complicated as it is controversial, but it is both knowable and quantifiable. This immense research document illuminates many of the dark truths kept from our history books and the verbal retellings of this nation's past. No more. Only those who intend to choose to remain ignorant for here is the reality for all to see, learn from, and understand.

Meet Rashida Tlaib's grandma: Who wouldn't be proud of a granddaughter like that?'

Very poignant article that illustrates the current plight of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories. The time is coming very soon where Americans that don't know will fully understand that if this nation truly believes in liberty and freedom our actions need to match our words, not betray their understanding.

When ever has an allegedly strong, vital democracy been willing to try and stifle dissent of its own policies by legally silencing opposing viewpoints and experiences? Weak authoritarian states try to shape and control hostile speech all the time under the guise of national security, when the reality is those same states know that the truth undermines the wrongs perpetrated to maintain power and control over those they oppress. Though it was almost 50 years ago, the echoes of South Africa will reverberate louder and louder until the truth will be too powerful to deny. One must be able to talk about the wrongs done in the name of the Israeli state without being accused of wanting its democratic efforts to fail. But those living under a supposed democracy have to actually be treated in a democratic manner, each and every one held responsible for their individual actions without bearing wholesale responsibility for the violent acts and intentions of others.

Standing up for the rights of the oppressed and suffering to be treated far more fairly and humanely does not make one an advocate of Israel's fall as a democracy. For most it's a charge to Israel to be the type of society that it claims, and to treat all those within its borders with decency and fairness while simultaneously protecting itself from external and internal extremist harm.

Let's say you were born in 1974 and are 45 years old today. You were 14 when George H.W. Bush was elected to office and during your teenage years, those when political understandings first form and begin to harden, the economy fell into recession, the deficit exploded, an era of deep military engagement in the Middle East began.

The two Democratic presidents in your lifetime (Clinton, Obama) produced long economic booms, vast improvements in healthcare, and global cooperation and respect, while the three Republican presidents brought recession, rising deficits, disastrous adventurism abroad, and well, Trump. Furthermore, if you are under 45, your life has been shaped by the rise of a truly global economy, an interconnected world enabled by the Internet, a far more diverse population here at home, and important steps towards greater equality for all. This is the world you know " and it is almost as if Trump and the current GOP have risen to roll back and reject all that you understand America to be.

Not surprisingly, all of this has led to what is becoming a truly consequential divide in American politics " voters under 45 have become overwhelmingly Democratic.

And why do Republicans continue to be given the controls of the federal government over and over again when their track record is an abysmal failure? Their reliance on the very identity politics they claim the Democrats foist on this nation. If it weren't for creating a collection of others and reliance on wedge issues to scapegoat for their own abject incompetence and inability to successfully navigate from the helm, the modern day GOP would have already gone the way of the 19th Century Know Nothings. Make no mistake, there will always be both a need and a place for conservatives in our diverse society, it's just that this nation deserves far better stewardship than this iteration has ever been able to provide as they let the tax cut tail wag the fiscal dog time and time again, while the majority of Americans end up with little more than endless bags full of the wealthy's ----.

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