2018.11.06 Link Blog – Waiting for Election Night in CET time zone

[originally written for my facebook friends] Sziasztok!, JD here,,,, Hello my fellow EUros & others,,,, Welcome to the USA Midterm elections – this means ALL of the seats in the House of Representatives are open and 33 of the Senate seats are open – no this is not a presidential election (unfortunately)

I will make *NO* predictions!!! After 2016 no one will humiliate themselves like that ever again. :'(

The stakes could not be higher for the world – As Chomsky says: ‘The most dangerous organisation in the world today is the US Republican Party.’

It is not ONLY a question of voter turn out, but also will poor and black and latino people be **allowed to vote.**
Seriously – the Repubs have created dozens of small subtle ways to keep people from voting – please ‘like’ investigative journalist Greg Palast to understand this better.

I do not believe the US electoral system could pass a UN or european OSCE style electoral monitoring team inspection – but people feel (correctly so) they must collectively work to tip the scales of electoral injustice against the Repubs, regardless. (also watch the Allan Nairn video below).

And finally, Trump has made lying a new art form. Not merely stretching the truth or exaggerating – but total complete fiction. The Dems have NOT found a way to counter this for the last 3 years. (see the PBS video in the comments)

I will be watching the live web coverage of the elections tonight by watching the livestream at Democracy Now! (with people from The Intercept)
– starts at 1am CET <–––– (Yawwwwnnnn!!)

(yes, you can share this, if you like)


transcript: https://www.democracynow.org/2018/11/1/allan_nairn_the_us_is_facing

video on facebook https://www.facebook.com/democracynow/videos/490130108136354/

Artist: Seth Tobocman
Artist: Seth Tobocman

PBS NewsHour (23 Oct 2018)
‘…Since the president took office, they’ve identified 2,915 claims that cannot be verified by the truth…’

Immanuel Wallerstein writes:

‘…What is wrong with these analyses is the assumption of long survival of the victorious electoral behavior. Office-holders die. People are chased from office. The economic realities change drastically and with such change there often follows a change in political atmosphere, despite previous electoral results.

We must not forget that we are living in the chaotic fluctuations of a structural crisis of the modern world-system. Wild fluctuations are the basic reality. Nothing lasts too long. Catastrophe today, salvation tomorrow. Catastrophe then again.

To be sure, we must still vote as we think best to prevent short-term negatives. But the victories are necessarily short-term – important but never decisive…’


Adam Curtis
why we need a new kind of radical politics

‘…“You’ve moved away from the idea that you can manage people through things like focus groups. What’s replaced them is this idea that somehow network systems or computers can assemble you in groups and deliver you in different ways, both as consumers and as voters. I think that’s running out of steam now as well.”
“A lot of Obama’s politicking was based around that – micro-targeting. Trump and Brexit are the reaction to the limitations of that.

Curtis continues: “If you manage the world by assembling people into these groups online, then you isolate them from other parts of the world and that’s why we didn’t see Trump and Brexit coming. It’s a world outside that.”

“As far as I know, Trump didn’t do any focus groups or any of the micro-targeting that Obama did through social networks. What Trump did was pre-Bernays. He created a powerful nationalist narrative for people who felt marginalised,” Curtis says.

“That is an old idea of how you deal with irrationality, you whip it up into a force which gives your nation an identity.

“Despite the fact that he’s a business-person, it’s not a consumer model of politics. It’s a grand narrative and we’re frightened of grand narratives, we have been ever since the Second World War.

“I see Trump as part of the past rather than the future – I hope.”…’


The Neuroscience of Hate Speech
– Humans are social creatures who are easily influenced by the anger and rage that are everywhere these days.

By Richard A. Friedman

‘…Of course, it’s difficult to prove that incendiary speech is a direct cause of violent acts. But humans are social creatures — including and perhaps especially the unhinged and misfits among us — who are easily influenced by the rage that is everywhere these days. Could that explain why just in the past two weeks we have seen the horrifying slaughter of 11 Jews in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, with the man arrested described as a rabid anti-Semite, as well as what the authorities say was the attempted bombing of prominent Trump critics by an ardent Trump supporter?

You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to understand that the kind of hate and fear-mongering that is the stock-in-trade of Mr. Trump and his enablers can goad deranged people to action. But psychology and neuroscience can give us some important insights into the power of powerful people’s words.

We know that repeated exposure to hate speech can increase prejudice, as a series of Polish studies confirmed last year. It can also desensitize individuals to verbal aggression, in part because it normalizes what is usually socially condemned behaviour…’


In Detroit, surviving without running water has become a way of life

‘…For years, city officials said the vast majority of shut off customers have water running again within 48 hours when they are put on payment plans.

Now, new city records obtained by Bridge Magazine show occupants of least 1,500 homes – and perhaps as many as 2,715 – still remain without water after disconnections this year.

That’s at least 1 in 7 of the city’s 11,422 shutoffs so far this year. More than 900 of those occupied homes have been without water at least three months.

For the first time this year, the city’s Department of Water and Sewerage is tracking the number of occupied homes that aren’t reconnected, following a five-year collections campaign that has shut the taps to more than 112,000 homes…’


The Myth of a Southern Democracy

‘…While slaveholders in the cotton South occasionally paid lip service to democracy throughout the Jacksonian era, by the 1850s many of the region’s leaders were openly touting the benefits of oligarchy and aristocracy, while condemning the free states for rule by mobocracy. They fully realized that non-slaveholding whites outnumbered them, and thus had the power to challenge slaveholder interests.

[….] From poll taxes to residency requirements, the master class easily maintained control over the political privileges of poorer whites. Men who had been previously convicted of certain crimes, or who did not have a long period of continuous residence in a certain state and locality, or could not afford to pay a poll tax of close to a day’s wages, were liable to become disenfranchised. In South Carolina, the most anti-democratic state in the South, paupers were particularly singled out as ineligible for the franchise. A person’s poverty could be used to render them politically impotent.

Widespread illiteracy and semi-literacy among the lower classes — as well as the South’s stringent censorship laws — further prevented poorer whites from involvement in the political process. When the rich did allow the non-slaveholders to vote, they were still able to control the outcome of elections, as one man observed, by “means of the votes of the poor whites whom he owns, in owning all by which they can live for another day.”…’


Rigging the vote: how the American right is on the way to permanent minority rule

Rigging the vote: how the American right is on the way to permanent minority rule

‘…The American right is in the midst of a formidable project: installing permanent minority rule, guaranteeing control of the government even as the number of actual human beings who support their political program dwindles.

Voter suppression is one, but only one. [….]

The two most recent Republican presidents have entered office despite receiving fewer votes than their opponent in a national election, thanks to the electoral college, which systematically over-represents small states. (California gets one electoral vote per 712,000 people; Wyoming gets one per 195,000.) With the presidency in hand in the run-up to the 2020 census, minority rule will be further entrenched by adding a citizenship question to the census. This will result in systematic undercounting of the population in heavily Democratic areas, which will in turn further reduce their influence as legislatures draw maps based on the data…’


EXPOSED: Who REALLY Created the Caravan?

Wait for it.Or read our exclusive report here: https://bit.ly/2RzAWiH(Your support makes our independent journalism possible. To become a member go to TYT.com/JOIN.)

Publiée par The Young Turks sur Vendredi 2 novembre 2018

US voter suppression:
why this Texas woman is facing five years’ prison

28 Aug 2018

‘…When Crystal Mason appears in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, this week she has been warned by her lawyers to be prepared for the worst. Pack a bag, they told her, talk to your children, be ready to go to prison [….] Mason, a 43-year-old mother of three, has been sentenced to five years in Texas state penitentiary – with extra time pending in federal lock-up. All because she committed the crime of voting.

On 8 November 2016, as the world waited with bated breath for the outcome of the Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton election, she walked to her local Fort Worth polling station to perform her civic duty as a US citizen. To her surprise, her name wasn’t registered on the voting rolls, so she cast a provisional ballot pending further checks.

In the small print of the form it read: “I understand that it is a felony of the 2nd degree to vote in an election for which I know I am not eligible.” She didn’t read those words, focused as she was on correctly entering her personal details.

Nor did she know that under Texas’s strict electoral laws, she was ineligible to vote. By dint of a previous conviction for tax fraud, for which she had served five years in prison, and for which she was now out on supervised release and living back home, she was one of 500,000 Texans barred from the electoral process…’


Crystal Mason is in prison today…

Crystal Mason begins prison sentence in Texas for crime of voting
– Mason, in a case seen as emblematic of voter suppression, faces over five years in prison for a mistaken vote that was not counted

Watch: Florida voting rights activist Desmond Meade lays out the “almost ridiculous” ways a person can be convicted of a felony in the state and lose their right to vote.

FL voters will decide this issue in tomorrow’s election through a ballot measure called Amendment 4: http://ow.ly/dP0X30mvuPE

Florida to decide Amendment 4 voting rights measure

Watch: Florida voting rights activist Desmond Meade lays out the "almost ridiculous" ways a person can be convicted of a felony in the state and lose their right to vote. FL voters will decide this issue in tomorrow's election through a ballot measure called Amendment 4: http://ow.ly/dP0X30mvuPE

Publiée par Democracy Now! sur Lundi 5 novembre 2018

AMY GOODMAN: You may never practice law because you had served time in jail.

DESMOND MEADE: Because I had served—because I was—not because I served time in jail. Remember, I said, over 75 percent of people convicted of felonies each year do not go to prison. They don’t. And so, that is something that, you know, I did. I went to prison. I was bad, you know. But because—not because I went to prison, but because I was convicted of a felony, of a felony.

So, how many of you all in the audience ever had those like balloons that says “Happy Birthday” or “Get well soon” or “Congratulation, graduate”? Raise your hand if you have. Raise it high in the air. How many of you all ever went to a—keep it raised, keep it raised. How many of you all ever went to a memorial, you know, where you have the white balloons and you release them into the air? Raise your hand. If you’ve ever released a balloon in the air, raise your hand. All of you all would be felons in the state of Florida, if you were caught by law enforcement, and you would not be able to vote for the rest of your life.


DESMOND MEADE: Because it is a third-degree felony.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m a New Yorker. I’m a New Yorker.

DESMOND MEADE: It’s a third-degree felony to release multiple helium-filled balloons in the air. If you’ve ever—if you’ve ever—you’re walking to class, and there’s construction going on.

AMY GOODMAN: Wait, wait, wait. We have—since we have cameras here that are videoing this, we have to get each face of each person who’s released a balloon.

DESMOND MEADE: Yes, right? No, don’t do that. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. But even when you’re walking to work or you’re walking to a class or whatever, and you happen to take a shortcut, and it may allow you to cross a construction site, trespassing on a construction site is a third-degree felony, and you could lose your rights for life. If you like to catch lobsters and you catch one and the tail is too short, that’s a third-degree felony. And so, there are just so many ways that an individual can get a felony conviction in this state that it’s almost ridiculous. But to think that that one mistake that you make—you’re walking with your friend on the beach, and you disturb turtle nesting eggs, third-degree felony. You lose your rights for life. You are no longer an American citizen.

The American Economy Is Rigged
– And what we can do about it
By Joseph E. Stiglitz

‘…The notion of the American Dream—that, unlike old Europe, we are a land of opportunity—is part of our essence. Yet the numbers say otherwise. The life prospects of a young American depend more on the income and education of his or her parents than in almost any other advanced country. When poor-boy-makes-good anecdotes get passed around in the media, that is precisely because such stories are so rare.

[….] America has long outdone others in its level of inequality, but in the past 40 years it has reached new heights. Whereas the income share of the top 0.1 percent has more than quadrupled and that of the top 1 percent has almost doubled, that of the bottom 90 percent has declined. Wages at the bottom, adjusted for inflation, are about the same as they were some 60 years ago! In fact, for those with a high school education or less, incomes have fallen over recent decades. Males have been particularly hard hit, as the U.S. has moved away from manufacturing industries into an economy based on services.

[….] In the U.S., the market power of large corporations, which was greater than in most other advanced countries to begin with, has increased even more than elsewhere. On the other hand, the market power of workers, which started out less than in most other advanced countries, has fallen further than elsewhere. This is not only because of the shift to a service-sector economy—it is because of the rigged rules of the game, rules set in a political system that is itself rigged through gerrymandering, voter suppression and the influence of money. A vicious spiral has formed: economic inequality translates into political inequality, which leads to rules that favor the wealthy, which in turn reinforces economic inequality…’