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Full Version: USA under presidency of a know-nothing, neo-fascist, racist, sexist, mobbed-up narcissist!!
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Cliff Varnell Wrote:Mister Trump -- the American people demand to see your wife's work papers from the 90's.

She was an illegal alien then, and working [modelling, nude modelling, et al.], but she was an attractive, White, European - so that makes it 'OK' by current standards (sic.). There are lots of Europeans working and living in the USA illegally - but NONE will be targeted. This is racism and racism is used by fascism to spread fear, to control and to later move the target of the police state to others, such as dissidents to the system - coming to the USA within the next months. BLM and environmental demonstrators are likely first, but others will soon join the list of 'terrorists' - which under current law allows arrest without legal process and detention without legal protections.

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt

[Image: image02-5-700x470.jpg] Administrator Scott Pruitt's address to EPA employees, February 21, 2017. Photo credit: EPA
The Feb. 22 release of thousands of pages of emails from Scott Pruitt, approved by the Senate on Feb. 17 to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only confirms what many environmentalists feared: the Trump administration will be fossil-fuel friendly to a fault.
Indeed Pruitt, formerly Oklahoma Attorney General, had views that seemed to dovetail with Trump's ideas about the obligations of businesses to protect the environment none.
Case in point: When the Trump Organization asked the state of South Carolina to provide millions of dollars to clean up a polluted site there once owned by the president's son Donald Jr., it typified Trump Sr.'s attitude toward the environment: He sought to shift the responsibility onto the state. The state rejected his plea.
That scenario sets the stage for what will become the president's positions on global warming and on the environment that big business's responsibility is to make money and to create jobs, and any spillovers from those pursuits are to be dealt with later, if at all.
Pruitt is pro-business and pro-energy development and, while serving as Oklahoma's top lawyer, was a staunch advocate for oil and gas businesses in the state.
He, in fact, has sued the EPA 14 times and has been the lead attorney taking on the carbon-cutting Clean Power Plan as well as regulations dealing with ozone air pollution and the public notification of chemicals used to frack for shale gas.
His cozy relationship with energy industries is revealed in the trove of 7,500 pages of emails, released last week by the Center for Media and Democracy, which had sued the Oklahoma Attorney General's office to get access to them. More emails are expected by March 3, unless the Oklahoma Supreme Court grants a stay request at a hearing set for today.
"I wouldn't read too much into Pruitt's emails; there's no smoking gun as far as I can tell," says Rob Barnett, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. "We already knew that President Trump and Pruitt were aiming to refocus the EPA and to make it more fossil-fuel friendly."
But now that he leads the EPA, the question is whether he can distinguish between his role as a state attorney general loyal to Oklahoma fossil fuel industries and move closer towards being a federal regulator someone whose job it is to oversee the companies for which he once advocated.

Big Oil Ventriloquism

Generally speaking, the roughly 7,500 emails only highlight what has long been suspected that Pruitt is closely linked to the oil and gas industries in Oklahoma and that he has flexed his muscle on their behalf. It was The New York Times that originally published the story in 2014 showing that a letter from the former attorney general had been taken verbatim from an oil company that had suggested the wording.
"Thank you to your respective bosses and all they are doing to push back against President Obama's EPA and its axis with liberal environmental groups to increase energy costs for Oklahomans and American families across the states," says an August 2013 email by Matt Ball, an executive at Americans for Prosperity that is funded in part by Koch Industries.
To be sure, Oklahoma's economy is dependent on oil and gas for both jobs and tax revenues. It should not come as a huge surprise that the state's leadership is sympathetic to the issues for which it advocates. But the larger questions are whether Pruitt can extract himself from those constraints to represent the environmental interest of the entire country, and whether Trump's experiences with environmental regulators will weigh on the new EPA chief.
[Image: image00-5-1024x576.jpg]Image prepared by EPA to promote Administrator Scott Pruitt. Photo credit: EPA

Most Senate Democrats have grave concerns about that. Even though they begged their Republican colleagues to wait and see what the emails would reveal, they failed to defeat Pruitt's nomination on February 17.
Ditto for the Center for Media and Democracy, which sued to compel the release of the emails. The environmentalists fear that they will have no voice and that darker days lie ahead for the causes of clean air and water.
"There is no valid legal justification for the emails we received … not being released prior to Pruitt's confirmation vote other than to evade public scrutiny," said Arn Pearson, general counsel for Center for Media and Democracy, in a statement.
The emails show an especially close relationship between Pruitt and Devon Energy, an oil and gas developer based in Oklahoma City. Some of the emails show exchanges between the two on how the attorney general could help stave off regulations dealing with drilling on public lands and on methane gas the most potent greenhouse gas of them all.
"Any suggestions," says one email from a Pruitt staffer in 2013.
"Here you go," responds Bill Whitsitt, a Devon executive, who asked the staff to look at his edits.
In a separate email, Devon Energy organized a meeting between Pruitt and members of the Federalist Society as well as a coal industry lawyer. The aim had been to create a clearinghouse to assist attorney generals in addressing issues of states rights versus federalism. The attorney general is driven to return power back to the states, which he feels are closer to the issues.
On Tuesday, in his first public statements since taking the lead at EPA, Pruitt signaled that he would be a listener and that his role would be to create a more certain regulatory environment in which businesses could operate. The economy and the environment do not need to be at odds with one another, he proclaimed.
"Regulations ought to make things regular," he told EPA's staff, adding that Congress has given the states more leeway to draw their own conclusions to engender their trust and to see the federal government as partners, not adversaries.
The voids in his logic, however, are apparent: The state regulatory bodies don't have the muscle that the federal government has and many states are biased toward their domestic industries, giving them greater latitude to craft the laws of those states.
Oklahoma is a case-in-point: oil and gas companies contribute to the campaigns of state legislators and office holders. And by extension, they help write the laws there laws that may not adhere to federal standards. Witness the close interaction between Pruitt and the companies there.
And true, businesses want and need regulatory certainty, which is what the Obama administration had tried to provide. There's no doubt that the global community is moving toward a low-carbon future where sustainable technologies are encroaching on the turf now held by the traditional fossil fueled industries. To that end, the Clean Power Plan is attempting to make things "regular" while the Trump administration continues to lean more toward the traditional forms of energy.
It's more than just Trump's statement calling global warming a "Chinese hoax." It's also his most recent pronouncements the ones in which his staffers have said publicly to expect some executive orders that would try to re-define the social and economic cost of carbon. Those Trump initiatives would extend to the Clean Power Plan the Obama EPA's proposal to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and to the Paris Accord, an international agreement that seeks to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius by mid-century.
"I expect Pruitt will work to dismantle many of former President Obama's climate-focused regulations, though I wouldn't expect any immediate wins," says Barnett, with Bloomberg Intelligence. "It's almost certain that he'll try to roll back the Clean Power Plan, for example, but he's going to need cooperation from the courts or Congress to unwind most Obama-era rules."
Trump proposes a massive defense build up so the USA "can win wars again," openly pushes for a clash of Christianity against Islam (which he imagines Russia will go along with) but because he sucks Putin's dick he's a man of peace!::peaceflag::::doorhide::
Yes, the USA under Trumpf is looking for war, likely a 'holy war' or Crusades III (or is it IV). He was greatly backed by and has in his Administration people who openly talk about the USA as a 'Christian Nation' and believe in radical Christian fascist ideas, as has been critiqued in detail here by Chris Hedges. We are in a very dangerous situation, as such stupidity and hate will fuel [and was the underlying cause to create any] animosity within mainly Muslim and non-Christian Nations against the US [and by extension Europe]. 'Winning wars' when one is the aggressor, and even that aggression is based on lies such as the false flag 911 and other such falsehoods, we are entering the 1984 scenario of perpetual war, Big Brother, fascism, a police state, permanent hate, permanent strife, lack of compassion, downward mobility of all but the few at the top. It will be very hard to ever reverse this madness or repair the damage. Even a few years of this shit would take decades to centuries to repair, sadly. The demons are out of the box. I think given the situation the system can do little to fix this, it is now up to the People in the street - but few seem to realize how dire the situation is now. This is not the USA doing what it has always been doing...or at least this is a quantum leap worse. I'm sorry to have to be alive to witness what comes next - it will not be pretty and will make the past horrors of the USA pale, IMO.

Sadly, religious/resource warfare is only one of the many horrors being unleashed now. None is new, but the intensity and out-of-closet character of this Administration and the secret forces behind it is unprecedented. My country has really lost its way, and only the People can take it back - if they move firmly, and quickly. The level of evil being unleashed now is epic. :Hitler:
Yes, it's not a pleasant thought - a vicious warlike and cruel-hearted nation getting an ever bigger budget for foreign wars and to keep the defence industry chiefs in champagne, yachts and luxury - and doubtless overseas bolt holes in case things go wrong.

The defence budget has been on a steady upwards arc since 2002 (excepting a temporary dip circa 2012/13).

And the US has been waging religious wars for the past 15 years (longer, in fact) anyway, along with war directed against Russia, Syria, Iran and heating things up with China too - all featuring Muslims pitched against Muslims - as part of the grand US strategy for global hegemony.

Meanwhile, I can't think of anything more cynically religious than creating the murderous event we call 9/11 that resulted in the deaths of thousands of American citizens -- and then using that event to justify wars in Afghanistan and Iraq followed by wars against the others targets of the 7 nations in five years neocon strategy, either.

Waging war is as American as apple pie, McDonald's burgers and gooey Disney films.

What would be exceptional for a self proclaimed exceptional nation, would be be someone coming along who wants peace and to direct tax revenue to benefit all citizens - not just the top 1% or so. ::hush::

Americans should focus their wrath entirely on the tiny elite who run America and expend all their energy doing something about it. Directing their angst at state managers who are the tools of various elite factions is not only counter productive but misses the whole point - and is a guarantee that the same twisted system of control and theft will remain in force in perpetuity.
David Guyatt Wrote:And the US has been waging religious wars for the past 15 years (longer, in fact) anyway, along with war directed against Russia, Syria, Iran and heating things up with China too - all featuring Muslims pitched against Muslims - as part of the grand US strategy for global hegemony.

I would say the decades of (cold) war against communism was also a religious war. Zealots. Beyond reason and logic.

Also the US is moving ISIS into Afghanistan and Pakistan. Will cause problems for the Chinese and Russian assets there.
Yes, China and Russia are official 'enemies' [and friends when needed for trade and loans, etc.] - and always have been. China for being non-'Western'; both for being Communist - even though China now is in name only. Once a Communist - always a Communist in US thinking. Also, once an enemy, always an enemy [with the Axis powers being the exception]. Also, the Deep Political War and Hate Machine is not just 'Christian', but born-again, evangelical, Protestant and Mormon. They don't really relish the Catholics, but tolerate them if they are not of the liberation theology ilk. They certainly do NOT like the Eastern Catholic Church, which is what most Russians are in. They hate the Chinese for limiting Christian churches in China. Certainly they have created provocations among the Chechens and Uyghurs. The Chinese and some of the Eastern Russians are not considered part of the 'master race' anyway by the Alt-Right and their fans.

Korea and (maybe) Vietnam were the last wars the US fought to 'win' [at first], then realizing they could not, decided to just kill, torture and destroy as much as they could. The more recent wars were never meant to 'win' anything more than to steal all they could, destroy the rest and the stability of the societies so that puppet governments of the US could be installed and that too has mostly failed [except the theft, death, destruction, and destabilization].

We already have a military budget that is larger than the next ten nations combined!...and now they are calling for will likely be larger than the next 15-20 or so nations combined. The only purpose for this [other than the profits for those who own the companies that make profit off of war and war supplies] would be World domination. For defense, one would need only 15% of what we now have - maximum.

It has already been announced that some of the money for the military will be coming from EPA which is to loose 20% of its staff and all of its 'regulatory authority'. Some more will come from Education - an unnecessary thing anyway in a know-nothing society. The rest will certainly make the lives of the average US Citizen much worse in so many ways, and enrich the rich by leaps and bounds not seen before. The piranha's are out of the tank and swimming freely now. What was done before but hidden behind smoke and mirrors/closed doors is now done in braggadocio fashion by the spokesmen for the government.

Hitler could sue for following so closely his script. These are indeed sad and dangerous days....nothing was good before, but this is unprecedented. I can only hope people wake up and see what is now so perfectly obvious. This should have been seen all along, but now there really is NO excuse. Soon [another month or two] if one is not part of the solution, then you'll be part of the problem.

The Deep State's Hatred of Trump Is Not the Same as Yours

Posted on Mar 2, 2017
By Paul Street
[Image: smugapp_590.jpg]
Jim Lo Scalzo / Pool image via AP
Last October, three weeks before the presidential election, I wrote an essay for left progressives titled "The Ruling Class's Hatred of Trump is Different Than Yours." People on the left, I noted, loathed the white-nationalist, quasi-fascist Donald Trump because of his sexism, racism, nativism, authoritarianism, militarism, "law and order" police-state-ism, anti-intellectualism, his regressive arch-plutocracy, fake populism, climate denialism and promise to "deregulate energy" and thereby escalate the petro-capitalist, greenhouse gassing-to-death of life on earth.
The establishment's contempt for the orange-haired beast, I noted, was different. The nation's unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money and empire were perfectly willing to live with most, if not all, of what the left hated about Trump. After all, I reasoned, they'd been backing or tolerating most or all of those terrible things under presidents from both major United States parties for decades.
Trump, I wrote, faced ruling-class disdain because he was considered bad for transnational capital and the American empire. For the most part, the "deep state" masters who backed Hillary Clinton did not appreciate The Donald's blustering promises to roll back the neoliberal "free trade" agenda in the name of the forgotten working class. The foreign policy and "national security" establishment especially hated his criticism of Washington's long march toward war with Russia.
They did not relish the related threat Trump posed to Brand America. It is longstanding, bipartisan, U.S. ruling-class doctrine that this country is the world's great beacon and agent of democracy, human rights, justice and freedom. American reality has never matched the doctrine, but smart rulers knew that it would be especially difficult to align those claims with a president like Trump.
As a presidential candidate, Trump openly exhibited racist, nativist, sexist, arch-authoritarian, police-state-ist, Islamophobic, pro-torture, and even neofascist sentiments and values. "If our system of government is an oligarchy with a façade of democratic and constitutional process," the veteran congressional staffer Mike Lofgren wrote last summer in the preface to his book "The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government," "Trump would not only rip that façade away for the entire world to behold; he would take our system's ugliest features and intensify them." They also had policy differences with Trump's "isolationist" and "anti-trade" rhetoric. That is why the nation's economic and foreign-policy elites preferred Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio over Trump in the Republican primaries and Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Flash forward to the present. Horrified at the rise of an Insane Clown President who evokes chilling echoes of classic fascism, millions have taken to the streets. The issues that concern the swirling, record-setting crowds that have arisen from coast to coast are evident on their homemade signs.They include women's and civil rights, climate change, social justice, racism, nativism, the police state, mass incarceration, plutocracy, authoritarianism, immigrant rights, low wages, economic inequality (the top tenth of the upper U.S. 1 percent now owns more wealth than the nation's bottom 90 percent), hyper-militarism and the devaluation of science and education. The marches and protests are about the threats Trump poses to peace, social justice, the rule of law, livable ecology and democracy.
Meanwhile, the national corporate media and the U.S. intelligence community have been attacking Trump for a very different and strange reason. They have claimed, with no serious or credible evidence, that Trump is, for some bizarre reason, a tool of the Russian state. The charge is as wacky as anything Glenn Beck or, for that matter, Trump (former leader of the preposterous "birther movement"), used to say about President Obama. Citing vague and unsubstantiated CIA reports, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other forces in the establishment media want Americans to believe that, in Glenn Greenwald's properly mocking words, "Donald Trump is some kind of an agent or a spy of Russia, or that he is being blackmailed by Russia and is going to pass secret information to the Kremlin and endanger American agents on purpose."
Beneath the wild and unsubstantiated charge that Trump is some kind of Moscow-controlled Manchurian president is a determination to cripple and perhaps remove Trump because he wants to normalize U.S. relations with Russia. Why, you might ask, would smoothing things over between Washington and Moscow be a terrible thing? It wouldn't be for everyday Americans who don't want to see themselves, their children and their grandchildren blown up in a nuclear war over, say, Ukraine (where the Obama administration provocatively helped create a fascist, NATO-affiliated regime on Russia's western border) or Crimea (where the vast majority of the population welcomed reversion to Russia).
The U.S. power eliterooted in key deep-state institutions like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, The Washington Post and The New York Timesthinks differently. As Mike Whitney recently explained on Counterpunch, Trump's failure to grasp the necessity of the New Cold War with Russia "threat[ens] … Washington's broader imperial strategy to control China's growth, topple Putin, spread military bases across Central Asia, implement trade agreements that maintain the dominant role of western-owned mega-corporations, and derail attempts by Russia and China to link the wealthy EU to Asia by expanding the web of pipeline corridors and high-speed rail that will draw the continents closer together creating the largest and most populous free trade zone the world has ever seen. … The economic integration of Asia and Europe must be blocked to preserve Washington's hegemonic grip on world power."
This is CFR-led, U.S. "Open Door" Imperialism 101.
Don't be fooled by how much CNN's anchors enjoy broadcasting images of mass anti-Trump popular protests. The U.S. imperial, financial and corporate establishment doesn't care about the plight of the Standing Rock water and climate protectors, livable ecology, Muslim communities, Latino immigrants, Black Lives Matter activists, poor blacks, civil liberties, the working class (white and nonwhite) or Trump's recent, insane, budget-busting call for a 10 percent increase in the U.S. military budget.
The Trump presidency is a problem for the American establishment for some very different reasons. He's a public relations and marketing disaster for Brand USA. How do you sell the United States as a great model and agent of freedom, democracy and cultural diversity when its visible state is captained by vicious, white-nationalist authoritarians like the Twitter-addicted "thin-skinned megalomaniac" Trump and his quasi-fascist "alt-right" Svengali, Steve Bannon?
Trump is seen by many American elites as too stupid, narcissistic and crude to head the world's most powerful nation. It's an understandable concern. As The New York Times noted, Trump "spent the first 48 hours of his presidency bickering about the size of the inauguration crowd."
We've never heard a U.S. president say anything as dangerously idiotic as what Trump proclaimed to the nation's governors on Monday while calling for an over-the-top and dead-in-the-water increase in the Pentagon budget. "We have to start winning wars again. … We never win," said the new commander in chief, who stands atop a giant nuclear stockpile (the U.S. owns more than 5,100 nuclear warheads) with the capacity to blow the world up many times over. "When I was young, in high school and in college," the Vietnam-era draft dodger added, "everybody used to say we never lost a war. America never lost. Now, we never win a war."
Talking so flippantly and childishly about wars and the nation's need to "win" themthis without even referring to any purportedly legitimate war aims in the nuclear erais beyond the ruling-class pale. It's not that the establishment is pacifist or squeamish about killing people. Far from it. The American empire's body countruns into the many millions over the last half-century alone. But Trump's juvenile language makes the U.S. look all too transparently like a recklessly daft rogue state, not the wise and "indispensable nation" it has long been purported to be.
Recall Trump's talk to the CIA on his first full day in office. In a rambling speech broadcast on CNN and other cable news outlets, he complained like a petulant junior high student about the media's supposed underestimation of the number of people at his inauguration. Then he told stone-faced senior intelligence officials that the U.S. might get another chance to go into Iraq and "get the oil."
The world shuddered two weeks ago when a U.S. Army officer posed for a photograph with a wealthy patron at Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf resort while carrying the "nuclear football"the suitcase that carries the launch codes for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The new president is going to spend many of his presidential weekends at his opulent Mar-a-Lago resort, where the membership fee doubled to $200,000 after he was elected, and members now have new rules to follow.
George W. Bush also was over his head in the White House. Still, with his longstanding, ruling-class, establishment pedigree and his history as a graduate of Yale's secret Skull and Bones society, he had the decency and, well, the class, to know his limits and place. He subjected himself to certain rules of conduct imposed by his vice president and other more competent and knowledgeable handlers.
The malignant narcissist and Twitter-addicted Trump is a different breed. He might be able to clean himself up enough to read a semicivilized and half-conciliatory speech to Congress (earning thereby a fantastic description as "presidential" from the noted sycophant Van Jones). Still, he seems unable to stop himself from doing and saying things that shred the veneer of a wise, far-seeing and benevolent American empire.
Then there's been his related failure to grasp the necessity of focusing his dangerous imperial energies on Russia.
Has Trump and/or the people around him gotten the message on Russia? Perhaps. He agreed to get rid of his incompetent and insufficiently anti-Russian national security adviser, Michael Flynn, under establishment pressure. Flynn's replacement is Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who views Russia as a "hostile revisionist power" that "annex(es) territory, intimidates our allies, develops nuclear weapons, and uses proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries." Two weeks ago, the White House said Russia needs to return Crimea to Ukrainea preposterous statement that may reflect a newfound willingness for play along with New Cold War rhetoric. In his first annual address to Congress on Tuesday, Trump signaled strong support for Russia's great antagonist, NATO.
Still, don't expect the Trump-as-a-tool-of-Russia talk to go away. It's too irresistible for Democrats to drop. Besides working to delegitimize Trump (something Democrats hope to turn to their advantage in 2018 and 2020), the blame-the-Kremlin narrative helps New Cold Warriors atop both reigning parties keep the heat on Moscow. It helps them hedge in Trump's lingering promise of rapprochement with Russia.
At the same time, the Russia card helps the corporatists atop the Democratic Party avoid responsibility for blowing the election. After defeating the progressive Democrat Bernie Sanders (who would have defeated Trump) in dubious ways, the neoliberal Democrats ran a hopelessly wooden, Wall Street-captive and corruption-tainted candidate (Hillary Clinton) who couldn't mobilize enough working- and lower-class voters to defeat the hypernoxious and widely hated Trump. The "Moscow stole it" story line is a fancy version of "the dog ate my homework" for a dismal, dollar-drenched Democratic Party that abandoned the working class and the causes of peace, social justice and environmental sustainability long ago.
The moneyed masters in charge of the "inauthentic opposition" party (the late, left-liberal political scientist Sheldon Wolin's all-too-accurate description of the Democrats nine years ago) would rather not take a long, hard and honest look at what that political organization has become. It does not want to concede anything to those who dream of turning it into an authentically progressive opposition party. The "Russia did it" imputation works for establishment Democrats hoping to stave off demands from more progressive and populist types (who recently came close to claiming the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee) in their own party. So much better to blame external others for the richly deserved near-collapse of their party at all levels.
The Russia card also has proved tempting to U.S. progressives who should and may know better. Their understandable passion for seeing Herr Trump humiliated and removed from office has led some of them down a disturbing path. As Gareth Porter has noted, "Many people who oppose Trump for other valid reasons have seized on the shaky Russian accusations because they represent the best possibility for ousting Trump from power." It's a big mistake. Porter reflects and warns:
But ignoring the motives and the dishonesty behind the campaign of leaks has far-reaching political implications. Not only does it help to establish a precedent for U.S. intelligence agencies to intervene in domestic politics, as happens in authoritarian regimes all over the world, it also strengthens the hand of the military and intelligence bureaucracies who are determined to maintain the New Cold War with Russia.
Those war bureaucracies view the conflict with Russia as key to the continuation of higher levels of military spending and the more aggressive NATO policy in Europe that has already generated a gusher of arms sales that benefits the Pentagon and its self-dealing officials.
Progressives in the anti-Trump movement are in danger of becoming an unwitting ally of those military and intelligence bureaucracies despite the fundamental conflict between their economic and political interests and the desires of people who care about peace, social justice and the environment.
Do serious progressives committed to democracy, peace and social justice really want to lie down in the same warmongering and pro-surveillance bed as the CIA and the Pentagon? Doing so is bad for their souls and moral integrity. It's also bad for democracy and for peace to help empower and legitimize the imperial system's unelected and infamously nefarious deep state "intelligence" bureaucracy, "maybe the only [Washington] faction worse than Donald Trump," according to Greenwald. As Whitney wisely counsels, "Leftists should avoid the temptation of aligning themselves with groups and agencies that might help them achieve their short-term goal of removing Trump, but ultimately move them closer to a de facto 1984 lock-down police state. Misplaced support for the deep state Russophobes will only strengthen the national security state's stranglehold on power. That's not a path to victory, it's a path to annihilation."
Take to the streets (and highways, town plazas, fossil-fuel extraction sites, shop floors, assembly halls, airwaves and airports, etc.) against Trump, by all means. But also take to the streets against the grim neoliberal Democrats who opened the barn door for his dangerous presidency and against the unelected "deep state" interests working always to increase the ever-upward concentration of global capitalist wealth and power. We don't want to bring Trump down just to help install an administration more properly suited to selling and otherwise advancing American empire, inequality and ecocide.

David Guyatt Wrote:
Peter Lemkin Wrote:The level of inhumanity/hate being unleashed and shown/directed out of the White House is truly amazing. How much longer before they try death camps?....and I ask that seriously. This IS what fascism looks like! starts on the 'other'...and then it comes to you and everyone! If you are living in the United Snakes and are not a Native American, YOU are an illegal alien! Wake UP! :Hitler:

Quote:In Texas, ICE officers removed an undocumented immigrant asylum seeker from a hospital, where she was being treated for a brain tumor, and returned her to a detention center. Lawyers for the Salvadoran woman, who's identified only as Sara, say immigration agents cut off all communication with her family and attorneys, and bound her hands and ankles as they transferred her from the hospital to the for-profit Prairieland Detention Center near Dallas. The lawyers say Sara has been suffering convulsions, nosebleeds and severe headaches, and needs brain surgery if she's to survive.

That's really horrible and inhuman.

The Ugly Details....
AMY GOODMAN: As President Trump continues his crackdown on immigrants, we turn to a shocking case of an asylum seeker from El Salvador who's being detained as she battles a brain tumor. Sara Beltran Hernandez first came to the U.S. by crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in November of 2015. She immediately gave a sworn statement to Border Patrol agents that she sought to escape death threats she had received from gang members in her home town because her partner is a police officer. Since then, she's been held in various jails, detention centers, while her asylum case is pending.
Then, on February 10th, Sara Beltran collapsed while she was held at the Prairieland Detention Center near Dallas, Texas. The 27-year-old mother of two was taken to the Texas Health [Huguley] Hospital. She was also bleeding from her nose and reportedly suffering convulsions and memory loss. Doctors diagnosed her with a brain tumor, more than half an inch in diameter, and said she needed surgery. It took eight days before she was given permission to call her relatives to tell them where she was and the state of her health. Her lawyer asked she be transferred to a hospital in New York City, close to where her family lives, but the request was rejected.
Last week, the staff at the Huguley Hospital reportedly told Beltran she would be transferred to another hospital for an operation. But instead, she was removed from the hospital with her wrists and ankles shackled together in handcuffs and taken back to jail. This week, doctors told Sara Beltran she has a large pituitary macroadenoma tumor that is not life-threatening but, quote, "could continue to grow" and needs close monitoring and regular MRIs. She still suffers from severe pain in her head, numbness in her face, has difficulty walking. Today, she has a bond hearing before an immigration judge, who could grant her release.
For more, we're going to Dallas, Texas, to speak with Sara Beltran Hernandez's attorney, Fatma Marouf. She is also the director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at Texas A&M University, where she's a professor of law. Also joining us in Dallas is Bryn Esplin, assistant professor in the Department of Humanities in Medicine at Texas A&M School of Medicine, where she teaches bioethics. On Monday, Esplin accompanied Sara to her doctor's appointment and has spoken to her in detention about the care she received. Here in New York, Justin Mazzola joins us, deputy director of research for Amnesty International USA, which has launched a campaign calling on ICE to release Sara immediately.
Welcome to all of you. Let's begin with Fatma Marouf. You are her lawyer. Can you tell us how it's possible that this woman suffering from a brain tumor is taken out of the hospital in shackles back to the detention center?
FATMA MAROUF: It came as a great shock, I think, to all of us. It happened a day after I had attempted to visit her in the hospital and was refused entry into her room, where she had two guards from the detention center posted at all times. The hospital
AMY GOODMAN: She had two guards. This woman
FATMA MAROUF: Yes. She was
AMY GOODMAN: Had she committed a terrible crime?
FATMA MAROUF: She has no criminal history whatsoever. She was simply fleeing for her life. So, the detention center, when they took her to the hospital, they left two guards, who never left her side. And she spent, as you mentioned, several days there, almost a week, and was denied access to her attorneys, as well as to her family. So she was just alone, terrified, not speaking English, and having just been told that she has a brain tumor.
AMY GOODMAN: How did you find her, Fatma?
FATMA MAROUF: So, after I went to the hospital to try to understand what was happening, and subsequently talked to people within the Department of Homeland Security, as well as within the hospital, we were told that she would be moved to a hospital in Dallas. And then, suddenly, the next day, she was taken back. So, we're not exactly sure what happened. There's a couple different discharge notes in her medical records, and it seems that the doctors decided that she was stable all of a sudden that day and released her back to immigration custody. But they had scheduled an appointment for her the following Monday. And we were very concerned about the sort of break in her healthcare, where she was going to have to go back to the detention center, where the care is extremely limited. She's visited only once a day by a nurse in the detention center. She's receiving Tylenol for a brain tumor. And we didn't know how urgently she needed the surgery at that time.
AMY GOODMAN: So she was in the hospital for eight days. No one knew where she was
AMY GOODMAN: when she had just been given information that she had a brain tumor?
FATMA MAROUF: That's right. So, I think when she first got there, she somehow managed to make a call to her mother and told her mother where she was. But then what happened was, ICE put her on what they called a no-contact list, which is something I've never heard of before. But it basically keeps the location of the patient a secret, and so she's not even registered at the hospital. So, when her family tried calling the hospital to ask for her, they would just say, "There's nobody here by that name." And so, as somebody locally in the area, I was asked to go and see if she was there, and I found her there. But I was denied access by those guards in the room, who actually, you know, yelled at me and said no one's supposed to even know she's here.
AMY GOODMAN: Bryn Esplin, can you talk about your concerns, as a bioethicist, about what has happened to Sara Beltran, a woman who is fleeing violence, fleeing for her life, from El Salvador to the United States?
BRYN ESPLIN: Sure. So, from a bioethics and medical ethics standpoint, there are numerous concerns, some of which we've hinted at already. I was made privy to the case and concerned when I heard that she was on a no-contacts list. And I thought that I could prevail upon other hospital services, such as the chaplaincy or social work, to get involved and to offer her some support, because, as you said, she was told that she was suffering from a brain tumor. And the nature of a neurological condition like that, obviously, impacts the ability to comprehend, to have memory. She had symptoms that were aligned with this injury. Not being able to reach out to social support to share in decision-making, to talk about her condition, were extremely problematic. So, I was thinking that that would work. The chaplaincy seemed very receptive to intervening and providing spiritual care. And so, at that point, I sort of recused myself and thought that all was well.
And then, as we mentioned, she was discharged suddenly back to the detention center and told that she would have a follow-up appointment on Monday with a neurosurgeon. And so, at that point, I felt a moral obligation to go and meet with Sara in person at the detention center to get a sense of how she was doing, just from a human being standpoint, but also what she understood about the nature and extent of her condition, what opportunities she had to ask meaningful questions, how I could better support her. Because her English is limited, it was very difficult for her to comprehend all of the nuances of a neurological injury like a pituitary tumor. And so I asked if it would beif she would feel comfortable with me coming with her to her appointment on Monday, and she enthusiastically agreed. And so, I had her sign a written statement to that effect and also sign a document releasing health information to me.
And so, I showed up early to her appointment and met with the clinical staff, explained who I was, in a patient advocacy capacity, and waited for her to arrive. And I can confirm unequivocally that she arrived not only in handcuffs, but shackled from the hands, waist and feet, brought into the clinic, where all the other people in the visiting room were made privy to this, could see and hear her, and was escorted back to the examination room. And it was only when a clinical staff asked her to sit on the patient examination table, and she struggled to do so in these chains, when the officer was prompted to then remove the shackles.
And so, I sat there with her, held her hand, tried to make the best of a telephonic interpreter that Ithat the officers were trying to use to help her fill out this past medical history and forms. That was not working. Both the connection was terrible and the nature of these technical medical jargons was just very difficult to translate, and so the hospital staff insisted that a person come and translate. And so we waited for nearly 45 minutes to an hour for that person to arrive. Sara was still suffering from severe symptoms, laid down, held her head, had to be aroused when the nurse came back into the room. And then we met with the doctor.
And it was just concerning to me that all of these other people, not just the clinical staff and the physician, were made privy to very personal health information. And so, it's difficult to talk about and be honest about past medical information, such as HIV status, heightened protected health information like psychiatric history. And all of a sudden these strangers are in her room hearing her past medical history, her current prognosis and diagnosis. And I think that that, from an ethical standpoint, really impedes the ability to give accurate information and feel trusted and be able to then ask questions in a meaningful way.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to bring Justin
BRYN ESPLIN: And so, all of those were concerning.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to bring Justin Mazzola into this conversation, the deputy director of research for Amnesty International USA, which has launched a campaign aimed at winning Sara Beltran's release from detention. Now, we just had the Statenot exactly a State of the Union address, but President Trump's address to the joint session of Congress, and he keeps on repeating he's going after the "bad hombres," he's going after the criminals that threaten our national security. Can you talk about how Sara Beltran fits into this, who she is, this woman from El Salvador?
JUSTIN MAZZOLA: Right. Well, I think, first of all, you have to remember that she was detained under the Obama administration in their response to the flood of families, and even unaccompanied children, coming up from the Northern Triangle, who are fleeing instability and violence in those countries, including El Salvador, where Sara is from. And the policy of the administration then was deterrence asdetention as deterrence. And so, they wanted to send a message that if you do come, this is what you're going to face. And Secretary Jeh Johnson was very vocal about that and was criticized for that, but continued the policy. And so, you have asylum seekers, people who are fleeing violencegang violence, in Sara's casealso domestic violence, who are coming up here, and as they cross the border and say that they have a fear of going back to their home country, they're immediately detained pending a determination on their case.
AMY GOODMAN: We have 45 seconds. So, explain what you're calling for right now.
JUSTIN MAZZOLA: So what we've been calling for all along is that ICE should be using their discretion with regards to their parole process to release her, so that she can get adequate medical care and be able to live with her family, who are already here.
Peter Lemkin Wrote:The Deep State's Hatred of Trump Is Not the Same as Yours

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They look like two vultures waiting to move in and scavenge the corpse. Waiting...waiting...