Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for June 23rd, 2015

Yes, the confederacy was about slavery. And so, to a degree, is modern conservatism

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic:

It’s mostly links to here, the Civil War Trust, dedicated to preserving the battlefields.

And before anyone gives the Republicans of South Carolina and Mississippi too much credit, hear what the Rev. William Barber said on DemocracyNow:

REV. WILLIAM BARBER: …[President Obama is saying … that to talk about race…We have to recognize…what Lee Atwater explained about the Southern strategy, that Kevin Phillips designed in 1968. He said, “I know how to win the South, but we have to move away from talking about race openly. We can’t do like George Wallace or Goldwater. We have to find a way to talk about race without sounding like it.” And he listed a number of things—tax cuts, forced busing, states’ rights—as code language for talking about race. Ronald Reagan used it when he started his campaign…. by being in Philadelphia, where Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were killed, it was clear.

And so, today, what the president is saying, you’ve got to look at structural, systemic racism. That’s what that young man [murderer Dylann Roof] meant when he said, “Somebody’s trying to take over and destroy my country.” He had heard politicians and others saying the president is ruining the country;… Only the willfully deaf, said one author that wrote a book called Racism Without Racists, cannot hear the racialized implications of that kind of rhetoric, in that kind of policy, which is why I agree with the president that we have to talk about race in terms of systemic racism and institutional racism. For instance, why is it that of the 24 states that are denying Medicaid expansion, six out of 10 African Americans live in those states? Why is it that we talk about entitlements in a way that suggests that it’s about them? The very programs that lifted up white Americans in the ’40s and ’50s, after the ’60s, became an anathema in certain arenas. Why is it that we don’t talk about the fact that our schools are resegregating faster now than they were in the 1970s?

We have to talk about wage disparity, both generally for all Americans, but then the disparate impact upon black people and brown people. And we’ve got to get black and brown and poor white people to understand that, in many ways, we are being played by an oligarchy that knows how to use these racialized code words to create wedge issues rather than to create the kind of moral transformative fusion of blacks, whites and browns that need to happen in this country, particularly in the South, to move us forward.

So, fine, clean up the symbols. But we will look to the policy to reach a judgment on whether your hearts have truly changed. When the policies you promote end up with people unable to vote, unable to influence what laws are made, unable to get a decent education, unable to get decent wages, then they are not free. Southern conservatives and more generally the American oligarchy is trying to reimpose slavery, not only on African Americans, but on all of us, and not only in the South, but everywhere.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Here, they die silently, invisible

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2015

Frances Ryan, The Guardian:

If the government would care for an insight into what its “safety net” has become, it could do worse than looking at the case of Nick Gaskin.

Gaskin, who has primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), cannot walk, feed himself or talk but, last month, received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) informing him he should attend an interview about “the possibility” of getting a job.

People who have such severe disabilities they are unable to work are – by definition of being put in the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) – not required to attend mandatory meetings. As Gaskin can only communicate through blinking, it was his wife, Tracy, who called the jobcentre in Loughborough to explain this. The DWP now says it will apologise over the “misunderstanding”. But not before Tracy was told that if her husband did not attend the interview his benefits would be stopped. [Had the crisis occurred earlier, in the midst of Tracy’s cancer therapy, it’s likely Nick Gaskin would have lost his benefits, endangering both him and Tracy.]

Currently, Iain Duncan Smith is embroiled in a row over burying figures that show how many people have died within six weeks of their benefits being stopped…. It gives an insight into Duncan Smith’s thinking that when confronted on the issue in the House of Commons, it was the campaign to disclose the statistics – rather than the deaths themselves – that he called “disgraceful”.

I have written about some of the people who fell past the edge. Malcolm Burge, the retired gardener who had his housing benefit cut by 50% and drove to Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and set his car on fire. David Clapson, the diabetic jobseeker who had his benefits sanctioned and was found with no food in his stomach and CVs next to his body.

Here, helpless people shoved off of the SSI or Food Stamp/SNAP rolls die silently, invisible to our media. At least in the U.K., one newspaper mentions them.

Sure, there are cheaters on the rolls here. Partly that’s because the benefits that they provide are nopt enough to actually live on, so people supplement them with money made from hustling or by claiming more than they are entitled to. But, sure, there are some real out-and-out fraudsters. So… how many helpless people are we willing to kill in order to punish the undeserving?

The answer is that we don’t know and, with our current media, never will.

Posted in abuse of power, Media machine, poverty | Comments Off on Here, they die silently, invisible

The Corporate Party of America and the Trade Deal

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2015

Meteor Blades:

Democrats who voted for cloture[on the TransPacific Partnership “trade” deal]:

Michael Bennet of Colorado, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Chris Coons of Delaware, Dianne Feinstein of California, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Even Ron Wyden, who has been so good on privacy.

It’s definitely time to nominate Bernie Sanders as the first step in telling the Corporate Democrats to fark off.

Added: A great comment from Eschaton about Hillary and her triangulation on trade.

willf -> JeffCO • 16 minutes ago

I think democrats should follow her example, and wait on the “supporting Hillary” question until after the election.

Posted in Congress, Democrats, international | 2 Comments »

 
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