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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Reactions To Biden's Speech To Congress - Adding Juan Cole's Updates

A refreshing take on Biden's speech to congress:


 ~ From Truthout:


Biden's Speech Pointed to a Possible End to Reagan's Rancid Legacy

 

 "Here in New Hampshire, the real governing is done at the town level by Boards of Selectmen, a council of elected officials who ride herd over the rawest, purest form of democracy practiced in the country. Majority vote rules, proposals are raised at “town meeting” and subsequently voted on by whoever raises their hand. Sometimes the room is packed, other times most seats go empty, but decisions are always made by the ones who show up.

Last night, for a brief moment, President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress looked like one of those New Hampshire town meetings. Here stands Biden, asking the Board for funds to purchase a new city plow so the streets can get cleared faster after a storm. Better for business and safer for families, is his argument, and it is sound. Oscar Wilde would recognize the scene in an eyeblink.

The mirage, alas, was punctured by the image of Ted Cruz’s eyes rolling up in his head like a guy who’d spent too much time in Cancun. Yes, this was Congress in all of its squalid glory, the man at the podium was the president, but the difference between now and last year is the difference between a friendly shoulder rub and being devoured by a hammerhead shark.

“Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President,” said Biden as he began. Those words had never been spoken in that chamber before. It was an intense moment, a piece of long-awaited history, and seemed to promise a day to come when all three seats in that upper podium will be occupied by women.

As for the content of the speech, well, it was a time warp all its own. Biden’s list of policy proposals represents something of a rewiring of the American experience, from work to family to school to medicine and science, from transportation to elder care. Much of what he proposed came thanks to the sustained pressure of progressives, which started the minute Biden won the nomination.

It was that very slate of markedly progressive proposals that kept the Republicans in their seats as if they were nailed to them. Even behind his mask, the smile on Bernie Sanders’s face when Biden said, “Health care is a right, not a privilege,” could be seen from space.

Could Biden have asked for more in his proposals? Absolutely, and progressive members of the House are marshaling their forces to see if they can improve upon them. “Congressional Democrats are planning to pursue a massive expansion of Medicare as part of President Biden’s new $1.8 trillion economic relief package,” reports The New York Times, “defying the White House after it opted against including a major health overhaul as part of its plan.”

To underscore this effort, newly elected progressive House Rep. Jamaal Bowman offered a rare Democratic rebuttal to a speech delivered by a Democratic president. Bowman praised Biden for his accomplishments to date, before daring him to do more. “The proposals that President Biden has put forward over the last few weeks would represent important steps — but don’t go as big as we’d truly need in order to solve the crises of jobs, climate and care,” said Bowman. “We need to think bigger.”

“With Democratic control of Congress and the White House,” reports Sharon Zhang for Truthout, “Bowman said now is the time to pass the bold policies that he highlighted in his speech. He mentioned climate bills, such as the Green New Deal for Public Housing and Green New Deal for Cities, introduced earlier this month by fellow progressive colleagues, including Ocasio-Cortez, to provide funding for more climate-friendly public housing and cities. Bowman also drew attention to the THRIVE Act, a $10 trillion infrastructure and climate justice bill of which Bowman is a lead sponsor. The bill, Bowman said, could potentially create 15 million union jobs to help the U.S. economy bounce back while at the same time addressing the climate crisis and environmental justice issues.

There will be more of this, you can count on it, because Biden to date has revealed a very important aspect of his leadership style: When it comes to some issues, at least, he can be pressured and he can be moved. Progressives in Congress intend to use their influence at this unique juncture to maximum effect.

Pundits on the non-Fox networks heaped praise upon Biden and his soft, unassuming delivery. After four years of screams and rants from that podium, an hour of just business, the people’s business, was a balm. Comparisons to Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and even Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” were bandied about.

The president can certainly take that as a compliment, but he ain’t no LBJ, and he ain’t no FDR. Not yet, anyway… and in a very important sense, he should hope to rise above those legacies if he can. Johnson’s grand plans were devoured by a ruinous war in Vietnam, and Roosevelt only achieved his lofty goals after cutting deals with racists and secessionists which exacerbated the horrors of the Jim Crow South.

The nose count does not favor the president at present. “Democratic senators had a 23-seat advantage during Roosevelt’s presidency and a 36-seat advantage during Johnson’s,” according to The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein. That, simply, makes legislative life a hell of a lot easier. Also, and not for nothing, but neither LBJ or FDR had a Joe Manchin lurking like a pulmonary embolism, waiting to find a place to clog up the works.

Biden’s slim majorities, and the short timetable to election 2022, make the road to fulfilling his intentions fraught with peril. Speeches like this are always wish lists. Last night, the president wished for the moon and stars. Now we see how much of it he can get.

The Republican rebuttal by Sen. Tim Scott provided a vivid counterpoint to the agenda set forth by the president. No policy ideas were offered beyond the rote recitation of right-wing culture war grievances. According to Scott, the violent divisions loose in this nation are the fault of Democrats. He said this in response to a speech delivered in the chamber that was sacked by hyper-violent Trump voters only four months ago.

At bottom, last night contained an important element of defiance: a full-throated declaration of war against the rancid legacy of Ronald Reagan. “Trickle-down economics has never worked,” the president announced to a mighty roar from half the chamber. Forty years of supply-side feed-the-rich economics has delivered us to this shabby estate, and the agenda laid out last night — if realized — would at long last begin to dismantle that legacy.

Former President Clinton can take note, too: The era of big government is back, maybe. The idea that government can help has been well-served since January, as Biden’s vaccine program has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Infection rates are dropping across the board, and while we have many masked miles to go before we sleep, we are in this better place because competent government has finally served the people like it is supposed to.

The wind at Biden’s back, even with his slim congressional majorities, is the simple fact that his proposals are wildly popular. Combine that with the increased public trust in government that has erupted in 2021, and Republicans face a grim task trying to throw rocks in this road. They will, of course they will, but ‘22 is coming, and the people are watching like hawks."

 

~~~~~ 


 ~ From PBS:

 

Brooks & Capeheart - April 30, 2021

 

 

 

~~~~~ 

And keep in mind, David Brooks IS a Republican - the good kind though. Anyways, no progress so far on the COVID vaccines for the Health Workers (Doctors & Staff) in Rosarito, my knee is completely gone & projects are not being finished, Paris gets her stitches out tomorrow, Totsie's eye is much better, my stitches come out on Sunday & oh surprise...making tacos over the weekend, grinding my teeth over the super radical left for chastising Biden over "not doing enough" or classifying him as an "Empire" President and the resistant GOP.

I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid, I just want him to succeed.  Good Luck Joe !

Will be back with the April totals for the local drug war - I can say this: There seems to be between TIJ & Ensenada a race to tie as far as the executions go, I have never seen that before.

 

UPDATE/edit: 05/03/21:

 We are all waiting to read or hear more developments on the horrible smuggling boat crash in front of the tidepools on the tip of Point Loma. Who was the Captain, where was the boat embarked (and with that many people going aboard you mean to tell me no one noticed or even said anything? Unless that was done under the cover of darkness in an isolated area), the conditions of the victims and their nationalities. Any idiot would know about the rough conditions there and not to pilot into and onto a freakin reef, wow. Also, I feel bad they booed Mitt Romney, what jerks. Liz Cheney has some gumption, way to go !

Meanwhile, caught this this morning - check it out & will be back soon with the drug war stats:

 

 ~ From Informed Comment with video:

 

The Real Morning in America: ~ 2/3's  Are Optimistic Under Biden: Majorities Want Gov't To Fix The Economy and Blame GOP For Obstruction

 

 

 

"Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – A new ABC News/ Ipsos poll finds that 64% of Americans are optimistic about the next twelve months. It is the first time we have felt that way about ourselves since before George W. Bush crashed the economy by deregulating everything.

“Morning in America” was the slogan of the minor Hollywood actor and right wing opponent of working people Ronald Reagan, who shilled for the rich and cut their taxes, denying key services to everyone else. Reagan and Reaganism were mirages disguising an all-out assault on the US constitution in the form of the Iran-Contra scandal, in which Reagan sold the ayatollahs Pentagon weapons under the table and used the money to fund far right wing militias in Nicaragua.

Being Hollywood, Reagan was about the images. His team were good at glossy photos of sunrises and of Mr. Reagan on horseback. Reagan’s policies put the poverty rate up from 11% in the 1970s to as high as 15% in the 1980s, before it fell to 13% later in the decade. Reagan began the process of breaking the unions, which has driven workers’ salaries and benefits into the basement ever since. Reagan deregulation of banking led to the Savings and Loan Scandal, which foreshadowed the much huger mortgage finance scandal under Bush. Reaganites, as Alan Greenspan later admitted, have trouble conceiving that a banker would steal from his own bank (they don’t have much of an imagination, much less common sense). It was actually midnight in America for a lot of people.

Joe Biden is actually bringing morning to America, and may be the perfect anti-Reagan. Subdued rather than flashy, owner of a mean dog, with a low level of tolerance for malarkey, Biden isn’t giving us photo-shopped pictures of sunrises.

He’s giving us vaccinations and jobs, thus gradually bringing to an end both the pandemic and the recession it caused. And making us optimistic.

And that is what the American people want. Reagan made it fashionable to threaten the middle class that the Democrats would raise their taxes. What he and his successors wouldn’t admit was that cutting taxes on the rich hobbles the government and prevents it from providing needed services. It also promotes vast inequality in American society, creating a small class of billionaires well placed to buy our politicians and capture policy while shipping jobs overseas to add further to their obscene piles. Republicans so worshiped the idle rich that they even thought an unbalanced real estate developer who kept going bankrupt and was terminally corrupt and fatally incompetent would make a good president.

The Ipsos/ABC poll suggests that this GOP scam may finally have run out of steam. In their poll, a majority, 52%, said that right now, having the federal government spend money to help the economy, even if it increases taxes, is more important.

A plurality said taxes should be kept the same even if it meant preventing the government from helping the economy.

That’s right. A majority of Americans thinks the government can and should rescue us from the Trump pandemic/recession, even if it means raising taxes.

Reaganism, if it is not dead, seems to be on life support.

Then there was the Republican tactic that was applied to Obama, of saying ‘no’ to everything and then blaming Obama for not accomplishing anything. In 2016, the public had a chance to punish the GOP for this obstruction and for trying to take away people’s health care and other benefits. They didn’t seem, however, to know who the bad guy was and actually rewarded Mitch McConnell for torpedoing anything that seemed likely to help everyday folks as opposed to Koch Industries. The Republicans in Congress kept telling Obama they would support some bill, but then after they got him to water it down, they still voted against it. Since Obama seemed not able to deliver anything to his constituents, some of the latter turned on the party. There is always party competition, but the freeze-out of Obama on the Hill surely was unprecedented.

President Biden campaigned on bipartisanship, and his programs certainly have the support of large numbers of Republicans. But most of the Republicans in Congress do not actually represent their constituents back home, or at least don’t primarily do so. They represent the big corporations who pay for their campaigns. And many of those corporations and the billionaire class whose vehicles they are hate Biden like the devil hates holy water. I say “billionaire class” but there are really only 724 of them. Each Republican congressional representative and Senator represents roughly 2.8 billionaires. And they don’t want Biden to raise their taxes or convince people that government can do things better than their corporations can.

So not a single Republican voted for Biden’s Covid relief measure, and most likely none of them will vote for infrastructure or anything else Biden tries to accomplish.

But the American people seem finally to have Mitch McConnell’s number.

Asked, “Do you think Joe Biden is doing too much, too little, or about the right amount to compromise with the Republican leaders in Congress on important issues?” a majority of 51% said that Biden is doing “about the right amount.” Another 9% thought he was bending over backward with the Republicans a bit too much. So 60 percent say Biden is being perfectly accommodating of his colleagues across the aisle. Only 39 percent disagree, which is to say, the third of Americans who are Republican Party members plus a few independents. Most independents are clearly breaking the other way.

Asked, “Do you think the Republican leaders in Congress are doing too much, too little, or about the right amount to compromise with Joe Biden on important issues?” over two-thirds, some 67%, said “too little”!

So they know who is obstructing bipartisanship this time, and they don’t think it is the president.

A quarter of Americans think the country is more united since January, and nearly half think it at least isn’t more divided than it already was. Among those who think it is more united, 87 percent give credit to president Biden.

Only 28 percent think America is more divided, which would mean that not even all Republicans think that."

——

 

I'll say it again...Good Luck Joe ! Stay Safe Y'all...

 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

La Doctora Dice: "They Forgot About Us" - And Various Updates - Remember Hurricane Katrina ?! Not To Mention "Harvey"

 

We are waiting for Biden's address to Congress & I'm having a heck of a time trying to type due to a pretty bad finger injury which I'm taking antiobiotics for- also, Totsie had a foxtail in her eye which had to be taken out and she hates the eye drops, Paris had her foot bandage changed and she is still on meds, sick to death of it poor baby.

 

Meanwhile, here is an analysis of Biden's first 100 days in office from....

  ~ From Foreign Policy :

The Biden 100-Day Progress Report

 

All the latest news & interviews:

 

Democracy Now!

 

The latest State Department Report on Mexico: 


Travel.State.Gov

 



 

Regarding:  Mexicali

 

However, I think the State Department needs to tell their employees to be careful not to run over the bodies thrown onto the the Scenic Highway between Ensenada and TIJ. There have been four in the past few days, you can read about the fourth one in the report following this report.

As far as the drug wars in our region, what can I say ? It is bad . In Tijuana, we are up to 150 executions this month, bringing the YTD total to 634 deaths.

I think it is pretty clear why we want to leave...the violence and the ocean contamination among other issues.


~~~~~


 How many of you have been to the Red Cross in Rosarito Beach for emergency health issues?  Here is a link in case you're not familiar with the Mexican Red Cross.  Several years ago in the middle of the night I stepped on a large piece of glass and went to the RB Red Cross & although at that time there was a long line of people waiting for emergency treatment, the line moved pretty fast and I received excellent treatment.  My neighbor fell and broke his hand, he was treated there; Mike was bit by a dog here at SADM and went to the RB Red Cross and was treated professionally (plus 10 stitiches). Seven days ago, I cut my finger on an open can putting trash in the can. Well, more like a deep slash.

So once again in the middle of the night we drove to the Red Cross. No long waiting line this time, just the best absolute best professional service.  The Doc cleaned up the finger, numbed it and applied six stitches and an anti-biotic.  We had a lot of fun laughing and making fun of Trump (although we shouldn't be laughing that hard kiddos), and I asked the Doctor if she and her staff had received COVID-19 vaccinations. Nope.

This early afternoon we returned to have the stitches removed - which were not removed, they need to stay  in another four days.  But I asked again, this time a different Doctor and staff - how many had received COVID-19 vaccinations? The answer was shocking again, not one of them including the ambulance drivers, the paramedics or EMT's.

How can it be that these essential front line people who provide emergency services to our community cannot get vaccinated ? It is just like the second Doctora said, "they forgot about us."

Please donate to this essential and wonderful organization and spread the word...I can't because as a foreigner legally living here, I am not allowed to be involved in Mexican affairs. 

Stay Safe ya'll. 

 ~~~~~

 

UPDATE/edit: 04/29/2021

 

I know you remember these guys

 

Anyone remember Hurricane Katrina? Back then, we could still surf and swim in front and there really was still I think an aura of innocence and hope surrounding Mexico and the future, even at that late date. I wish it could be that way again, but time flies and slips like sand between our fingers. Probably many of you have already thought about this and I am ashamed I did not mention it before. Here is the Wiki breakdown of the Mexican Aid, including their Red Cross to assist in the Katrina aftermath:


 ~ From Wiki:


Mexican Response To Hurricane Katrina

 

Simply put, it is payback time. The best I can do is write letters to the U.S. officials and of course donate, hope ya'll do the same and maybe the Mexican power people can put a foot on the gas and get these front line Doctors and Staff their shots. Let's go ! Gracias !


Not to Mention "Harvey"...


 ~ From Reuters:


Mexican Volunteers Cross Border To Aid Texas After Hurricane Harvey

 
By

 

~~~~~

 

The Mexican Red Cross Just Seems To Do Everything Right: 


 ~ From The American Red Cross: April 13.2021


Red Cross Aid To Asylum Seekers and Migrants At The U.S. - Mexico Border

 

 

end edit.


 

~~~~~

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Chauvin Guilty On All Three Counts: But We Have a Long Way To Go

Worth a listen:

 

" President Biden & Vice President Harris Address the Nation on the Derick Chauvin Trial Verdict" 

 

 

 

 ~~~~~

 


 
 
~~~

 Robert Frost was JFK's favorite poet. Stay Safe you guys.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Gun Violence In The USA Is Out Of Control - Biden Flips On Migrante Quota

I was trying to keep tract of all of the shootings in the United States since last month and I simply lost count. And, it seems the Republicans are not going to budge an inch on gun control, which is shameful.

Here are the most recent reports which will probably be updated in the next few hours to include the Austin shooting and the Minnesota National Guard being fired on which appears as a video on the link.

 

 ~ From CNN: CNN lists the carnage:

 

The US Has Reported at Least 50 Mass Shootings Since the Atlanta Spa Shootings

 

 

Updated 6:55 PM ET, Sun April 18, 2021

 

~~~~~

 

 

Mass Shootings and The Chauvin Trial Force America To Confront Its Culture of Violence 

 

Updated 12:03 AM ET, Mon April 19, 2021

 

 "America is being forced to confront a basic failure to keep its own citizens safe with a murderous daily churn of mass shootings and the nation on edge for the end of the trial into George Floyd's murder.

That core duty of any political system is being undermined by polarized cultural and ideological divides that have so far made it impossible to adequately address gun violence, police misconduct and racial inequality.
 
While there have been a flurry of efforts at local levels, the usual outcome at moments like this is political paralysis as Washington -- where national polarization is institutionalized -- fails to produce even marginal reforms to law enforcement or gun safety.
 
The question now is whether a nation that has lost more than 560,000 people in a pandemic, which disproportionately affected minorities, is willing to accept a return to its old normal. Events of recent days suggest that there is no end in sight to a grim cellphone video showreel of Americans of color dying at police hands and regular mass killings.
 
Jurors in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minnesota cop who left his knee on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while he died last May, will hear closing arguments on Monday before retiring for their deliberations.
 
The need for a functioning and fair court system requires them to base their verdicts on two murder charges and one manslaughter count solely on the evidence raised during an often harrowing trial.
 
But that has not stopped the trial from being seen in the United States and around the world as a watershed moment that will highlight unfairness in how the American law enforcement system treats Black and minority Americans.
 
Given the deeply disturbing footage repeatedly aired at the trial of Floyd's agonizing last moments, the need for unanimity among the jury, and the high profile of the trial, there is concern about what could follow not guilty verdicts.
 
"I don't think anyone in Minneapolis, frankly, anyone in the United States or over a good part of the world would understand any other verdict other than guilty," California Rep. Karen Bass told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."

Verdict is only the first step

If Chauvin is convicted, the sentencing phase of the trial will also be crucial, Bass said. "The verdict is step one, but what we've seen in too many of these cases, in the rare time there is a guilty verdict, we have seen people get off with minimal sentences," added Bass, the sponsor of the Democratic police reform bill named for Floyd.
 
Her comments were an example of the extraordinary political pressure surrounding the trial in Minneapolis, from which the jury will be insulated by being sequestered for as long as it takes to complete their deliberations.
 
The idea that the case, which stirred massive nationwide and global activism after Floyd died last year, would prove in itself to be a change agent has been belied by a stream of recent police killings and harassment of Americans of color. 
 
The shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a police officer in a Minneapolis suburb a week ago, for instance, highlighted how routine law enforcement stops can still quickly escalate with tragic consequences. Tensions are high in Chicago after the release of body camera footage after a police officer shot dead 13-year-old Adam Toledo in March. The heartbreak of these incidents lies not just in the young lives lost, but in the fact that they feel so routine.
 
Still, despite the continuing violence, some activists see the Chauvin trial as a highly consequential moment.
 
"The outcome that we pray for in (the) Derek Chauvin trial is for him to be held criminally liable for killing George Floyd because we believe that could be a precedence of finally making America live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all," civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said Sunday.
 
"We have to finally have this racial reckoning, America, because if we don't, then people are going to continue to have these emotional protests," Crump, who acts for Floyd's family, said on ABC's "This Week."'
 
Whatever the outcome of the trial, it will be up to America's political leaders to determine what level of action is required to tackle a culture of impunity that reinforces discriminatory and even lawless behavior in police dealings with minorities.

The realities of a deadlocked Senate

The Democratic-led House has already passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which takes a series of steps including setting up a national registry of police misconduct and overhauling qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that critics say shields law enforcement officers from accountability.
 
But like most other issues before the Senate, the package faces an uncertain future in a 50-50 chamber amidst a tense political atmosphere that is prone to demagoguery from radicals on both sides of the political aisle.
 
Republicans, for instance, have seized on demands by a minority of left-wing Democrats to defund and dismantle police departments, to portray the entire bill as a passport to eliminating policing entirely. That's a position that even Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has said he disagrees with.
But those attacks, portraying the bill as part of an extreme liberal crusade, put moderate Democrats, like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin -- a crucial vote in the caucus -- in an uncomfortable position. Other Republicans, meanwhile, are likely to object to the bill by arguing that it imposes unworkable and undesirable federal solutions on local jurisdictions.
It is also unclear how much political capital President Joe Biden will invest in the effort, given his personal political priorities including infrastructure, a desire not to alienate moderate Republican voters he has courted and given his historic kinship with police unions. Still, Biden is under intense pressure on the issue given that his victory in the Democratic primary was largely based on the support of African American voters -- who were also critical constituencies in big cities in the swing states like Georgia and Pennsylvania that handed him the White House.
Bass, however, said on "State of the Union" that she was hopeful common ground could be forged in the Senate, especially under the leadership of South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott.
"I believe that the Republicans that I am working with are operating in good faith," Bass said. "Again, it's one thing to pass legislation in the House. It's a super hurdle to get it passed in the Senate."

The mass shootings just go on and on

The weekend brought no respite from the firearms deaths.
 
Three people are dead after someone opened fire inside a tavern in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Another three people were killed in a shooting that police said appeared to be related to a domestic incident in Texas. Authorities said a potential mass shooting was averted at San Antonio airport when a parks officer stopped a man with a box full of ammunition and a .45 caliber handgun.
 
Such events underscore the easy availability of deadly weapons. The 19-year-old who killed eight people in a massacre at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis late on Thursday bought his two assault rifles legally, police said over the weekend. According to a CNN analysis, the United States has suffered at least 50 mass shootings since March 16, when eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area spas. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent. 
 
Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, who is most identified with the fight against Covid-19, bemoaned the incessant loss of life from gun crimes during an appearance on "State of the Union."
 
 
"I mean, in this last month it's just been horrifying what's happened," Fauci told Bash when asked whether gun violence was a public health emergency. "How can you say that's not a public health issue?" 
 
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last week that he planned to bring legislation to the Senate floor to address the "epidemic" of gun violence. Given that there is little sign that the political dynamics of gun control have shifted, Schumer's efforts seem most likely to amount to symbolism.
 
Republicans have little political incentive to cooperate with Democrats given the antipathy to any form of firearms restrictions among grassroots conservatives persuaded by GOP arguments that any restrictions are unconstitutional. But there is often less attention on the freedoms to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness denied the multiple victims of mass shootings.
 
For example, when Biden recently used executive power to enforce some modest measures, including limiting self-assembled or handmade firearms made from directions and materials available online, he was falsely accused by former President Donald Trump -- still the most powerful voice in the GOP -- of seeking to overturn the Second Amendment. 
 
Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have been seeking Republican votes for a set of limited reforms to background checks and restricting gun sales to the mentally ill.
But Republicans argue that Democrats use mass shootings as an excuse to take away guns from law-abiding Americans who need weapons to defend themselves in such situations. 
 
So the chance of any serious gun control measures reaching the threshold of 60 votes in the Senate to overcome Republican blocking tactics remains slim. Hopes for police reform could dissolve for the same reason, rooted in the entrenched politics of an internally estranged country."
 
 
~~~~~
 
 
 If this rash of insanity continues at the current levels, it is going to make Mexico look like a cake walk. So be careful out there.
 
 
Meanwhile Biden flips on the quota:
 
 ~ From Informed Comment : (with video)
 

 

 
 

"Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – About one quarter of one percent (0.25 percent) of the US population consists of refugees — some 838,000.

This minuscule number was too much for the white supremacist Trump administration, which drastically cut back refugee admissions from an average of 70,000 to 80,000 per year earlier in this century to only 30,000 in 2019 and to only 18,000 in 2020. (The pretext for the latter was the pandemic, but I think we know the real reason).

President Biden came under pressure from his own party activists to reverse Trump’s heartless policy, especially since Biden had campaigned on doing so. He now aims to recognize 62,500 asylum-seekers as refugees by October.

Mind you, Pew reports that Trump did not actually cut down on immigration in general very much. It was only desperate asylum-seekers that he barred. In 2019, 710,000 people received lawful permanent residence status in the US through family sponsorship. In all, about a million people were let in, which is par for the course in the US.

That is, Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric had little practical effect in most sectors of immigration. He was fine with well off people coming in, in droves.

He denied the most miserable and needy applicants, that is, the asylum-seekers. You might call it the sadism immigration policy.

The US, despite priding itself as a refuge for the huddled masses, does very little for asylum-seekers compared to many of its industrialized peers, and does less even than some developing countries.

The UN High Commission for Refugees estimates that there were 80 million forcibly displaced people around the world as of last summer, a little over half of them internally displaced, and the rest of them forced abroad. Some 30-34 million are children.

An average of one person is displaced every 2 seconds. Despite what you think, it could at any moment be you.

About 26.3 million have been granted refugee status, and another 4.2 million are still only pressing such a claim, and so are considered “asylum-seekers.”

ConcernUSA.org explains, “Refugee is the classification for someone who is forced to flee their country of origin due to conflict, violence, or persecution. They are unwilling or unable to return based on a demonstrable threat due to their race, religion, political stance, or social status.” In international law, because of the danger to the refugee of being returned to the country of origin, this process or “refoulement” is forbidden. The Trump administration thumbed its nose at this principle of international law, however.

ConcernUSA.org defines the next category this way: “Asylum-seeker is the classification for someone who is seeking international protection from danger in their country of origin, but whose claim for refugee status hasn’t been finally decided. Every refugee begins as an asylum-seeker, but not every asylum-seeker will be granted refugee status.”

Most of these externally displaced people, some 67%, come from just five countries. Some 6.6 million are from the Syrian Arab Republic, 3.7 million from Venezuela, 2.7 million from Afghanistan, 2.3 million from South Sudan and 1 million from Myanmar.

Some 39% of those displaced abroad are hosted by just five countries, mostly neighbors of the country from which people have been violently expelled. Turkey has 3.6 million Syrian displaced people (DPs). Columbia has taken in 1.8 million, largely Venezuelan DPs. Pakistan still has 1.4 million Afghans. Uganda hosts 1.4 million DPs. Germany has taken in 1.1 million DPs.

Despite the hype by white supremacists in the US and Europe about invading hordes of black and brown displaced people, 86% of DPs are hosted by developing or by the least developed countries. That’s right, of the tens of millions of Externally Displaced People (EDPs), only 14 percent are taken in by the rich countries.

Some wealthy states are exemplary. Sweden takes in more refugees than most of its wealthy peers, and 2.7 percent of its population is refugees. In Germany, 1.5 percent of the population are refugees.

The US can and should do more, and better. The refugees America has taken in have been among its most productive and outstanding citizens. Moreover, our gargantuan carbon emissions and our military conflicts have themselves created many DPs. We owe them. We owe humanity."

—–

~~~~~

 

Another slight emergency here; Totsie had to go in to have a foxtail removed from her eye. So now I have two little sick ones, Mike is better.

See you guys later.  

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Still Here

It has just been crazy. My other knee went out, so the projects ground to a halt (sigh),  Mike has been home sick for the past two days with a stomach bug but SIMI took care of it, Paris had foot surgery so she is down for the next couple of weeks, I'm afraid to go up to the states due to the rash of active  & Police shooters, pissed off at Biden for keeping the Trump cap on the migrantes, refrigerator is acting weird we think due to the jolts of electricity here on and off on and off on and off, one neighbor has called CFE a billion times but they keep telling him nothing is wrong but there is something really wrong like a bad transformer, given up on looking for places up north with the exception of Pacific Grove - too much crime in Santa Cruz plus the ocean is polluted but I still love the redwoods, we did watch Nomadland and spent days talking about the characters and society in general, also had to take more medication for the knees which makes me loopy who knows maybe the doc will finally do a double replacement...I wonder if I could still surf with that? Anything would be better than this.  Computer people will be here tomorrow for the eleventh time, but we want to give them a chance since they are fighting the goliath Telnor.

Meanwhile, I hope you are all staying safe ! Oh right, Prince Phillip's funeral is today,very sad. It truthfully is the end of an era.We can pick up Sky News here, Mike will turn it on in the morning.

Look: he looks like he could have been a surfer: 

From BBC - Phillip getting ready to do MacBeth  

 

 So, I'm wondering if he would say about the funeral, "Just get it bloody fucking over with !"

 

Over and out for now.

  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Something a Little Bit Different: "Alma's Not Normal"

 



Speaking of the Royal Dysfunctional Family and the fact that we are all stuck in the ongoing pandemic and dysfunctional societies more or less, Mike is constantly finding interesting films and shorts for us to watch so we don't completely lose our little minds. What a better way to take away the stress (other than gardening) ?

Last year he downloaded the first episode of "Alma's Not Normal" and we never got around to watching it until this evening. We love British  shows, all of them. "Alma" imho is a winner. This year BBC2 will be airing the first six episodes - exactly when I don't know yet, so we are waiting on pins and needles for the official announcement date.

Meanwhile, here is the first episode which aired last year around the same time for y'all to enjoy.  It runs just short of 30 minutes:

 

 

Alma's Not Normal - episode 1 from Daniella Pearman on Vimeo.

 

~~~~~

 

stay safe out there !

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Trying to Catch Up

One subfloor accomplished, one more to go...the backlog here is crazy... and my knee is killing me.

After seven drowsy days on antihistamines, Paris is doing  much better, she goes in tomorrow to get a Cytopoint shot, she had a spa treatment today and when she doesn't feel well, she is cranky.  I had to turn on the A/C a couple of days back for her and hook up the vornados - it was a shocking 90 degrees here. Totsie has been sharing her gerbers baby food with her buddy Paris..we go through this every year with her allergies.

In between times, I have not been watching the Derek Chauvin trial due to not having the time and the intense emotionality of it - Mike thinks Chauvin will get off on manslaughter.  However, the highlights are here and if you watch Don Lemon, Cornel West has been making guest appearances which is a real treat.

 ~ From CNN:

 Derek Chauvin Is On Trial For George Floyd's Death 

 

More mass shootings across the U.S.; after the Orange county shooting, CNN writes:

" T his is at least the 20th mass shooting since the Atlanta-area spa attacks two weeks ago that left eight people dead. CNN defines a mass shooting as a shooting incident that results in four or more casualties, dead or wounded, excluding the shooter."

 

 And, gun sales are up.

 

Scary.

~~~~ 

Let's not forget Georgia:


 ~ From Truthout:

Georgia's New Voting Law Is Rife With Hidden Horrors

 

 

Trying to Catch Up

One subfloor accomplished, one more to go...the backlog here is crazy... and my knee is killing me.

After seven drowsy days on antihistamines, Paris is doing  much better, she goes in tomorrow to get a Cytopoint shot, she had a spa treatment today and when she doesn't feel well, she is cranky.  I had to turn on the A/C a couple of days back for her and hook up the vornados - it was a shocking 90 degrees here. Totsie has been sharing her gerbers baby food with her buddy Paris..we go through this every year with her allergies.

In between times, I have not been watching the Derek Chauvin trial due to not having the time and the intense emotionality of it - Mike thinks Chauvin will get off on manslaughter.  However, the highlights are here and if you watch Don Lemon, Cornel West has been making guest appearances which is a real treat.

 ~ From CNN:

 Derek Chauvin Is On Trial For George Floyd's Death 

 

More mass shootings across the U.S.; after the Orange county shooting, CNN writes:

" T his is at least the 20th mass shooting since the Atlanta-area spa attacks two weeks ago that left eight people dead. CNN defines a mass shooting as a shooting incident that results in four or more casualties, dead or wounded, excluding the shooter."

 

 And, gun sales are up.

 

Scary.

~~~~ 

Let's not forget Georgia:


 ~ From Truthout:

Georgia's New Voting Law Is Rife With Hidden Horrors

 

 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Super HOT News From Democracy Now ! & The Daily Beast On the Immigration Dilemma - AMLO Blames Biden - The PEW Report - Looks Like Everyone With No Sense Is Down On Joe

I am late, sorry.  Paris had to go to VCA last Friday, Mike was there all day and didn't get back home until after 10:30 - Paris is on a really strong antihistamine so she does not feel well, and I popped my knee again trying to do things around here, it has been crazy. Well, the good news is that Paris does not have the nasal carcinoma like little Freidamuffin had, just a bad allergy.

 If you don't read or watch anything else, please check this out  - I have not checked to see if the Mexican or USA  Corporate Media is covering this, I'll let you know. Look, I want to give Biden a chance...so I'm also including the recent PEW Report on what he has accomplished on the border, despite AMLO blaming him for the mess. I can't say anything about AMLO, other than what he said and another article from Zeta rubbed me wrong way. Here we go:

 ~ From Democracy Now ! 

  Border Invasion? Mexican MAGA Influencers Push "Damaging" Conspiracy Theories About Asylum Seekers  - for Espanol hit" espanol "top right corner of report on the link

 

 

 

~~~~~ 


Here is the Daily Beast Report: 

 

Courtesy the Daily Beast...gosh, Maybe They Should Have Included AMLO In The Pic ?  

 

 Mexican MAGA Conspiracy Theorists Fan Flames At The Border

 

By,  Jean Guerrero

 

 

 ~~~~

 ~ Here's AMLO on  (GASP!) Fox "news":

 

No Comment

 

 Mexico's President Says Biden Immigration Policies Prompting Border Surge

 

 

 

 ~~~~

 

  ~ From the PEW Research Center: 

 

Key Facts about U.S. Immigration Policies and Biden's Proposed Changes 

 

By Jens Manuel Krogstad and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera

 

~~~~~~ 

 

I believe Biden will hold a press conference tomorrow Thursday and looks like Kamala will be running the Immigration show; I wonder if AMLO will insult her too ? 

Well Joe, look...with friends like these (with the exception of PEW & Kamala)) you certainly do not need enemies.  Hang tight. BTW, it is also crazy with executions everywhere in Baja, Christ.

 

Stay safe guys.

 



~~~

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

"I Pity the Poor Immigrant" - Happy St. Patrick's Day BTW ! - Adding Link to Zeta and U.S. General Glen David VanHerk Covered by Carlos Alvarez

 

Courtesy CNN


We are still here - I am up to my eyeballs in home improvement projects, trying to make up for lost time and an attempt to beat the heat when I just wilt.  Notably and most important and not covered down here was Biden's super victorious American Rescue Plan, which truly was,"... for all its flaws, it remains a major achievement, and one hell of a good start."

But, for weeks and especially now, the Republicans (and others) are rubbing their greedy little hands together hoping and praying that Biden will fall into ruin due to the immigration dilemma. It is an act of pure schadenfreude if ever there was one.  My question is, who spread the misinformation that the United States was now granting free access particularly during this pandemic with mulitple variants of concern?  

Several years ago back in 2014 there was general agreement that the Drug Cartels themselves were encouraging the migration of thousands upon thousands of children  to create a diversion - to confuse and humiliate U.S. law enforcement.  These days, it's difficult to pin the blame on any one group - although several come to mind: Russia, Iran,  the insane brother and sister act of North Korea...and jealousy and bitterness runs deep around the world as many countries that simply handled the COVID -19 virus poorly and are so far behind in vaccinations  is incredible. Their dwindling societies remain suffering with lack of hope, stifled by the pandemic and economic disaster. Depending on how you feel, there have been obstructions for a smooth transition from the Trump Reign of Terror to the Biden Days:

 ~ From The New York Times:

Mexican Law Halts U.S. From Turning Back Some Migrant Families 

 By,  Zolan Kanno-Youngs


I believe it is fair to say that San Diego detainment facilities are at capacity with unaccompanied migrant children as we speak.  So, here are some highlights:

 

  ~ From the National Immigration Forum:

 Fact Sheet: Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UACs) 

 By Danilo Zak |

~~~~~ 

 

 ~  From CNN:

~~~~~ 


 ~ From Democracy Now !:

Immigration

 

~~~~~ 

 - Adding this link so you are up to date on the drug war carnage down here;scroll through "Noticias del Dia " - and  also click "Ensenada". I need to note that Carlos Alvarez  is covering the statements of General Glen David VanHerk.  No es bueno amigos:


Zeta Tijuana

 

~~~~~

 

 

Meanwhile...Happy St. Patrick's Day Y'all !


 
 
The island it is silent now But the ghosts still haunt the waves And the torch lights up a famished man Who fortune could not save Did you work upon the railroad Did you rid the streets of crime Were your dollars from the white house Were they from the five and dime Did the old songs taunt or cheer you And did they still make you cry Did you count the months and years Or did your teardrops quickly dry Ah, no, says he, 'twas not to be On a coffin ship I came here And I never even got so far That they could change my name Thousands are sailing Across the western ocean To a land of opportunity That some of them will never see Fortune prevailing Across the western ocean Their bellies full Their spirits free They'll break the chains of poverty And they'll dance In Manhattan's desert twilight In the death of afternoon We stepped hand in hand on Broadway Like the first man on the moon And "The Blackbird" broke the silence As you whistled it so sweet And in Brendan Behan's footsteps I danced up and down the street Then we said goodnight to Broadway Giving it our best regards Tipped our hats to Mister Cohen Dear old Times Square's favorite bard Then we raised a glass to JFK And a dozen more besides When I got back to my empty room I suppose I must have cried Thousands are sailing Again across the ocean Where the hand of opportunity Draws tickets in a lottery Postcards we're mailing Of sky-blue skies and oceans From rooms the daylight never sees Where lights don't glow on Christmas trees But we dance to the music And we dance Thousands are sailing Across the western ocean Where the hand of opportunity Draws tickets in a lottery Where e'er we go, we celebrate The land that makes us refugees From fear of Priests with empty plates From guilt and weeping effigies And we dance

https://www.letssingit.com/the-pogues-lyrics-thousands-are-sailing-1f8k9s8
LetsSingIt - The Internet Lyrics Database
 
"The island it is silent now
But the ghosts still haunt the waves
And the torch lights up a famished man
Who fortune could not save

Did you work upon the railroad
Did you rid the streets of crime
Were your dollars from the white house
Were they from the five and dime

Did the old songs taunt or cheer you
And did they still make you cry
Did you count the months and years
Or did your teardrops quickly dry

Ah, no, says he, 'twas not to be
On a coffin ship I came here
And I never even got so far
That they could change my name

Thousands are sailing
Across the western ocean
To a land of opportunity
That some of them will never see
Fortune prevailing
Across the western ocean
Their bellies full
Their spirits free
They'll break the chains of poverty
And they'll dance

In Manhattan's desert twilight
In the death of afternoon
We stepped hand in hand on Broadway
Like the first man on the moon

And "The Blackbird" broke the silence
As you whistled it so sweet
And in Brendan Behan's footsteps
I danced up and down the street

Then we said goodnight to Broadway
Giving it our best regards
Tipped our hats to Mister Cohen
Dear old Times Square's favorite bard

Then we raised a glass to JFK
And a dozen more besides
When I got back to my empty room
I suppose I must have cried

Thousands are sailing
Again across the ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery
Postcards we're mailing
Of sky-blue skies and oceans
From rooms the daylight never sees
Where lights don't glow on Christmas trees
But we dance to the music
And we dance

Thousands are sailing
Across the western ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery
Where e'er we go, we celebrate
The land that makes us refugees
From fear of Priests with empty plates
From guilt and weeping effigies
And we dance"


Writer/s: Philip Chevron

 

 Back to the salt mines...stay safe...