Archive for August, 2017

Charlottesville: Trump’s Chickens Come Home to Roost

August 15, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the August 17 – 24 edition of the Hartford News.

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! http://www.sometroradio.com/   Next show: August 29. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/
Community Party Radio Podcasts

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio/

 

Community Update

Last month the Community Party contacted the Office of Legislative Research regarding corporate welfare in Connecticut.
We requested data on how many jobs were created by each CT corporation that has received tax subsidies from the state.
A report by CT Voices for Children found that corporate welfare is basically unregulated, while the full cost is unknown. I received this response from OLR last week. Stay tuned for updates.
http://www.ctvoices.org/TaxBreaks

Hello David,

Our email program misdirected your July 29 email to our spam folder – apologies for the delayed response.
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development has the most information on this topic – in particular, see its annual reports and the databases listed under the “CT Open for Biz” section on this page of DECD’s website: http://www.ct.gov/ecd/cwp/view.asp?a=1105&q=251248
(Unfortunately it appears DECD’s Tax Credit Portfolio database is not working. You may want to contact DECD directly to request this data.)
If you need additional research assistance, the Connecticut State Library’s Government Information desk can also help – they can be reached at 860-757-6570.

Christine McCluskey

 

Policy Watch 

The Trump Presidency

 

President Donald Trump’s statement on the events in Charlottesville being caused by “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides”, and conservatives’ denial of the connection between Trump’s white nationalist platform and white supremacists like David Duke, who invoked Trump’s name at the Charlottesville white nationalist rally, is a prime example of the southern strategy described by Republican strategist Lee Atwater in 1991. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/southern-strategy/

 

Trump  claimed that the anti-fascists who clashed with white supremacists in Charlottesville engage in the same “hatred, bigotry and violence” as these terrorists. Activist Heather Heyer was killed, and 19 people were injured by James Fields’ car attack. Trump, who’s quick to label car attacks by ISIS sympathizers as terrorism, walked a political tightrope, saying something about the domestic terrorism in Charlottesville while being careful not to offend his base. Republican lawmakers urged Trump to specifically acknowledge the Charlottesville attack as terrorism by white supremacists.  The neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website used Trump’s Charlottesville statement to duck responsibility for their terrorism.  https://twitter.com/soledadobrien/status/896492127911149568

Trump, reading from a teleprompter, finally called out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis by name Monday, then went back to blaming antifa Tuesday.

 

 

Minnesota Mosque Bombing Largely Ignored by the Press

A Minneapolis-Area Mosque Was Bombed but Received Scant Media Attention

The Real News Network  http://therealnews.com/t2/

JAISAL NOOR: An early-morning bombing of a Minneapolis mosque has been called “an act of terrorism” by Minnesota governor Mark Dayton. The FBI took over the investigation Saturday of the bombing that caused no injuries.

OFFICER JEFF POTTS: The first responders, when they arrived, observed some smoke and some damage to a limited portion of the community center. Good thing in this event here, there were no injuries. We’ve been able to confirm throughout the day that no one was sent to the hospital and that there are no injuries. As soon as we determined that the scene was safe, we began working with our law enforcement partners and anytime there’s a fire or an explosion in a place of worship, that by itself will get a response from the ATF and the FBI.

J. NOOR: Anti-Muslim incidents have risen sharply in the United States over the past year, according to a review by The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Minneapolis area bomber.

FBI AGENT RICK THORNTON: It was an improvised explosive device that was set off early this morning. Moving ahead, our investigation will continue all the things that you would expect. It’s ongoing, interviewing witnesses, sending items to our various labs for further analysis, looking at videos, cell phone data, all the potential areas that we can go.

J. NOOR: Police in Bloomington, Minnesota, were called at 5:05 a.m. about an explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Mosque after a bomb was thrown through the window of the imam’s office while worshipers were gathered for morning prayers. Again, there were no injuries.

HAMDY EL-SAWAF: We assure those who do not have the consciousness of who we are, we will never come to our knees in front of them. We will keep resisting ’til we’re assured that the value of this country are in the highest level ever. It cannot be perpetrated by one individual or a group of people or a group of terrorists. We’re here, all together, in order to defend the values of our country, the values of our faith, the values of our people.

J. NOOR: According to CAIR, the number of biased incidents in 2017 has increased by 24% compared to the first half of 2016, from 986 incidents to 1,302.

FATHER DENNIS ERIN: We are always gonna stand together with people of good will to promote peace and to denounce any forms of senseless violence. We pledge to you our prayers and our solidarity as we go forth from here.

ASAD ZAMAN: Hate is not okay. We need a better America. We need an America where people are safe with their neighbors. Targeting people because of their race, their ethnicity, or their religion is absolutely un-American.

J. NOOR: Experts link spikes in hate crimes against Muslims not only with Donald Trump’s rhetoric but also US foreign policy. We’re bringing you a portion of a previous interview with author Arun Kundnani.

DONALD TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

ARUN KUNDNANI: The rhetoric of Trump, it corresponds to many policies that have already been in place for some time after 9/11. We already rounded up thousands of Muslims within the United States and deported them simply because they are Muslim. We already have put every mosque in New York City under surveillance by the New York Police Department simply because they are mosques. You already had politicians across the board asking that no Syrian should be able to come as a refugee just because they were from Syria. We already had 1.2 million people on the terrorism watch list. I think for the mainstream political culture, denouncing Trump as somehow saying stuff that is beyond the pale for the mainstream isn’t quite right. He’s not an outlier. What he’s doing is, as I said, just making explicit what has already been implicit in our mainstream political culture. He is a symptom of a widespread problem of Islamophobia.

We have been sold a story by so-called experts now for 20 years, which is that there is some kind of inherent connection between Islam and terrorism. That argument is made in many different ways. But essentially it boils down to that claim and the claim is obviously false. We have created a new kind of racism in the United States directed at Muslims. It comes out of, obviously, a much longer history of racism in the United States.

From the Washington Post…  ” ‘We are wondering why President Trump has not tweeted about this,’ Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, told BuzzFeed News. ‘He seems to want to tweet about security and terror issues.’
‘Silence on the part of public officials at the national level only serves to empower Islamophobes,’ Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement calling for Trump to condemn the attack, according to the Los Angeles Times.”

I don’t care about Trump’s tweets or his approval rating.
I’m concerned about Democratic and Republican presidents going back decades who support fascism, endless wars, for-profit health care that is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, and the corporate, surveillance, police and prison states. I’m concerned about poverty. I’m concerned about liberals whose idea of #resistance is a preference for Democratic Party fascism, over Republican fascism.
I’m concerned about the bipartisan attack on the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women, and the indifference of both corporate controlled parties to workers rights. I’m concerned about the political duopoly, and the American Legislative Exchange Council spearheading the concentration of corporate power in government. These problems were here way before Trump, and will be here long after he’s gone.

The U.S. conducted military maneuvers with stealth bombers (undetectable by radar, capable of carrying nuclear weapons) in Korea during Barack Obama’s presidency, provoking North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. Hillary Clinton wanted to establish a no-fly zone in Syria. Pentagon leaders who testified in front of Congress last year said a no-fly zone would trigger a war with Russia, a nuclear armed power. Trump is threatening North Korea, another nuclear armed power, with “fire and fury”. Jill Stein’s Peace Offensive was a central piece of her presidential campaign platform. No, I don’t regret voting for her.  Read Dr. Stein’s Peace and Human Rights platform here. http://www.jill2016.com/platform

Colin Kaepernick Update

Fox Sports 1 Undisputed co-host Skip Bayless reported last week that John Wooten, a former NFL player and executive who founded an advocacy group to promote the hiring of people of color for NFL coaching, scouting and front office positions, attempted to set up a summit for Kaepernick, modeled after the 1967 summit in support of Muhammad Ali that included Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bayless said that the Kaepernick summit would have included Brown and retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
Bayless said that Wooten, who has a strong reputation as an activist, was unable to reach Kaepernick to confirm his participation, and that Wooten then backed out after Kaepernick’s girlfriend posted a Twitter photo dissing Lewis, who has been critical of Kaepernick’s protest.
Co-host Shannon Sharpe said he spoke with Kaepernick, who said he didn’t know Wooten’s history, and that he also had reservations about doing the summit with Lewis and Brown, who he pointed out were both used as props by President Donald Trump. Brown and Lewis met with Trump in highly publicized visits to Trump Tower, after Trump was elected. Sharpe said he thinks Kaepernick will do research on Wooten and that a summit may still happen.
In my opinion, Kaepernick did absolutely the right thing. Brown lost credibility after allowing himself to be used by Trump, and Lewis, who snitched on his friends to get out of a 2000 double murder in Atlanta, has no credibility, period. Kaepernick said he wants people who have been riding with him, and that definitely isn’t Lewis.

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch and Seattle Seahawks DE Michael Bennett protested tCharlottesvillehe anthem prior to preseason games last week.  ESPN football analyst Louis Riddick was blunt about Baltimore Ravens backup QB Ryan Mallett’s poor performance last week against Washington. Riddick said, “You can’t win with him… Mallett should be out of the picture.” Riddick added that the Ravens need to stop hemming and hawing regarding whether or not they’re going to sign Kaepernick, who Riddick said is clearly better than Mallett.  Ravens starting QB Joe Flacco is out with a back injury.  There is no definitive timetable for his return. Flacco has been out about three weeks; estimates on his recovery time have ranged between one week and six weeks.

Visit the #StandingforKaepernick website for info on how you can get involved.

https://standingforkaepernick.org/

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948 Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/ ; Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/). Contact us at samuelssloflo@aol.com.

 

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio August 15

August 12, 2017

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, August 15. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. We’ll air our interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew. Topics include police accountability, the state budget crisis, single payer health care, workplace bullying and urban policy issues that are ignored by the corporate media.

 

Other show topics include President Donald Trump’s response to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, which included a domestic terror attack on anti-fascism protesters  that killed activist Heather Heyer and injured 19, and an update on Colin Kaepernick. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific.  http://sometroradio.com/

Resources

Interview with Dan Drew on single payer health care.

 

 

Southern Strategy

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/southern-strategy/

 

#StandingforKaepernick

https://standingforkaepernick.org/

 

 

 

 

Southern Strategy

August 10, 2017

by David Samuels

This column appears in the August 10 -17 edition of the Hartford News.

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! http://www.sometroradio.com/  Next show: August 15. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/

 

Community Party Radio Podcasts

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio/

 

PROGRAM ALERT

The Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew will air Tuesday, August 15 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Topics include police accountability, the state budget crisis, single payer health care, workplace bullying and urban policy issues that are ignored by the corporate media.

http://sometroradio.com/

The podcast of the August 1 edition of Community Radio is available in the Resources section, at the end of this column. Topics include the concessions deal between Gov. Dan Malloy and state employee unions, and an exclusive interview with a Black state employee who is a survivor of workplace bullying. The employee, who we are calling Joanne to protect her identity, was sexually harassed by a white boss. We also provide an update on Colin Kaepernick.

 

Community Update 

 

Concessions Deal

Community resident Joan O’Brien succinctly summed up the concessions deal between Gov. Dan Malloy and state employee unions, that was approved by the Connecticut General Assembly last week. Joan posted her analysis on Facebook in response to the Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio segment on the deal  with guest contributor John Hollis, a retired state employee and former union steward.

“Good to hear some truth about the extorted so-called ‘concessions’ agreement which is wealth extraction from the middle and working class unionized state employees for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful. One pernicious provision is the degradation of current elderly retirees health care by involuntarily transferring them from government Medicare with wraparound supplement onto ‘Medicare Advantage’ administered by UnitedHealthcare. The retirees were not allowed to vote on this change. Despite the many stories about UnitedHealthcare’s aggressive and apparently legally and ethically improper practices, approximately 49,000 elderly state of Connecticut retirees are being transferred onto UnitedHealthcare ‘Medicare Advantage’, putting the health and financial security of vulnerable retirees in the hands of what appears to be a criminogenic private insurer. They then misrepresent that the increased enrollment in their plans shows that their plans are popular. The State is claiming that ‘Medicare Advantage’ is ‘more cost effective’ which is the opposite of the truth. This not only degrades retiree health care benefits, it makes the state government an accomplice in the destruction of the Medicare Trust Fund and the fraudulent bilking of Medicare through ‘upcoding.’ It appears that ‘Medicare Advantage’ denies expensive but needed care to the oldest and sickest which is why people tend to leave ‘Medicare Advantage’ when they get sick. ‘Medicare Advantage’ is a Trojan horse to privatize Medicare and should be eliminated and the billions of taxpayer money wasted on private profit should be used to improve Medicare. Let’s stop the ‘Medicare Advantage’ scam and put our health care dollars into health care for all.”

State employees have agreed to concessions three times since 2009, while Malloy and the Democratic Party controlled legislature continue to dish out unregulated corporate welfare, and refuse to implement a progressive tax system.

 

Corporate Welfare

The Community Party has contacted the Office of Legislative Research, for data on how many jobs were created by each Connecticut company that receives corporate tax subsidies. A report by CT Voices for Children found that corporate welfare in this state is basically unregulated, while the full cost is unknown.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/connecticut-budget-crisis-state-employees-get-blamed-corporations-get-paid/

 

Policy Watch

Racists?  We’re Not Racists! 

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger’. By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this’, is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger’. ” ~ Republican strategist Lee Atwater

I make it a point to share this quote periodically, because it’s a confession from a top political operative who helped Republicans win elections, including President George H.W. Bush. Atwater died in 1991. This is how structural racism works. I thought about Atwater’s words a lot last Wednesday; first in the morning as I watched the latest news on Colin Kaepernick, and again in the afternoon as I watched two Connecticut Valley Hospital managers become unhinged, as I confronted them about CVH’s systematic protection of white employees who engage in misconduct. Black employees are fired at a rate of 71%, compared to just 22% for whites.

Finally in the evening, I could hear Atwater’s southern twang as I watched CNN’s Jim Acosta call out White House senior adviser Stephen Miller on President Donald Trump’s racist immigration policy.

 

 

The RAISE Act mirrors lobbying by anti-immigrant groups including FAIR and NumbersUSA.

telesur  http://www.telesurtv.net/english/index.html

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced a huge shake-up of immigration laws that would halve legal immigration by 50 percent over 10 years by slashing family reunification visas, prioritizing English-speakers and cutting the number of refugees allowed into the country.
Promoted by the White House senior adviser Stephen Miller as a so-called “pro-American immigration reform,” the new bill – known as the RAISE Act – would prioritize high-skilled immigrants by setting up a merits-based system similar to those used by Canada and Australia while also doing away with green card preferences to the adult children or extended family of immigrants who already reside legally in the U.S.

The bill was developed by Republican senators David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and resembles the demands pushed for years by the so-called “nativist” anti-immigration lobby in the United States, such as the English language proficiency requirement and putting an end to the Diversity Visa Program.
The bill would also stop immigrants from joining family members already living in the U.S. – which nativists refer to as “chain migration.”
“Once you get here, you have a green card and you can open up immigration not just to your immediate family, but your extended family, your village, your clan, your tribe,” Cotton has said about the reunification process.
Refugee organizations said permanently limiting the number of refugees allowed in the country goes against the U.S. value of offering safe haven to people fleeing violence and oppression.

“The RAISE Act represents a stealth attack on our immigration system that would begin to unravel the reforms of 52 years ago, when Congress discarded a racist quota system that discriminated against people who weren’t white and northern European,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement. “Its provisions reflect the shameful agenda of nativists and white nationalists who fear the growing diversity of our country.”

Both (FAIR and NumbersUSA) were founded either directly or indirectly by John Tanton, a white nationalist who has ties to neo-Nazi organizations. In 1993, the eugenics proponent argued that a “European-American majority” was needed “for European-American society and culture to persist.”

 

Last week Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti solicited public prayer, along with conducting a poll of fans and sponsors, regarding whether or not the team should sign Colin Kaepernick. Bisciotti also asked retired Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to weigh in. The Ravens have had players on their roster who were accused of murder (Lewis), and convicted of domestic violence and other crimes. The Ravens never took these steps before.

 

The Ravens feel the need to pray because they’re afraid of ticking off racist whites. Football is the true religion of White America, and Kaepernick is the heretic. These whites are fine with Negroes as long as they’re catching touchdowns, making 90 yard TD runs, sacking the quarterback, running back a Pick Six and dancing in the end zone, but an uppity Black man like Kaepernick must hang from the tallest tree.

 

White bigots definitely aren’t alone in terms of stupidity, when it comes to  Kaepernick. Last week on Facebook I read a post by someone who said some Black people think Kaepernick’s national anthem protest was a ‘publicity stunt because he wasn’t playing well.’ If you’re Black and believe this, you need a checkup from the neck up.
Kaepernick has donated $1 million dollars of his own money to grassroots social justice organizations, in addition to starting his own (Know Your Rights Camp where he’s actively involved) . http://kaepernick7.com/ The publicity stunt accusation is nonsense.

 

Athletes do publicity stunts to build their brand and get commercial endorsements. Kaepernick is radioactive: corporate America won’t touch him. Kaepernick is currently being blackballed by the NFL; his career may be over, but you don’t see him doing an I’m Sorry media tour, begging for a ‘second chance’. Kaepernick is clearly prepared to move on. Any Black person who’s bashing Kaepernick is just trying to rationalize their support of a racist football league. Stop being stupid.

 

Fox Sports 1 Undisputed host Shannon Sharpe used facts to counter the explanations being used to justify the Miami Dolphins signing Jay Cutler over Colin Kaepernick.
Sports commentators talked about Cutler having his best season in 2015 with the Chicago Bears, where Dolphins coach Adam Gase was an offensive coordinator. Sharpe pointed out that while Cutler’s personal statistics were indeed improved,  in 2015 the Bears ranked #23 out of 32 teams in both scoring and passing. Chicago finished the season with 6 wins and 10 losses.

 

It’s highly unlikely that the Dolphins would have signed Kaepernick if Cutler, who reportedly refused the Dolphins’ initial job offer, wasn’t available. Kaepernick drew a lot of heat last year for wearing a t-shirt with the photo of Malcolm X and Fidel Castro. Miami has a huge population of Cuban anti-Castro exiles. That issue rightfully would have required a resolution. The Dolphins got lucky, because they can justify signing Cutler as a football decision. Change.org has launched a petition calling for a boycott of the NFL,  including folks canceling TV packages such as NFL Sunday Sports Ticket,  if Kaepernick isn’t signed by a team this season.  Support Kaepernick by saying NO to the NFL!

https://www.change.org/p/roger-goodell-nokaepernicknonfl-boycott-nfl-games-if-colin-kaepernick-doesn-t-play-this-season

The August 15 Community Party Radio interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew includes a discussion about structural racism at Connecticut Valley Hospital. CVH is located in Middletown. I have filed another Freedom of Information Act request for internal CVH emails. Stay tuned.  You can get information on how to file an FOI request here. http://www.ct.gov/foi/site/default.asp

 

Resources

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio August 1 podcast.

 

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948 Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/). Contact us at samuelssloflo@aol.com.