Human Rights Crisis on the Border- Children of Immigrants Warehoused.

Immigrant Children

Officials from the Trump administration have been snatching children from their parents upon their arrival at the border, hoping to create a deterrent to immigrant parents trying to enter the United States.

Their concept is that fewer parents will ever try to enter the United States if they fear their children will be stolen from them.

Using the misery of children as a way to manipulate their parents is the act of a terrorist, not a president. Not only is this a cruel and savage policy, it isn’t even working. Leave it to the Republicans.

Friday’s revelation that the Trump administration separated 1,995 children from 1,940 adults between April 19 and May 31, according to a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, has painted more of the picture for us, in stark and ugly relief.

The administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which was announced by the Department of Justice in April, separates children from their parents or legal guardians because the adults have been referred to DHS for prosecution for illegal entry into the United States.

The officials could not say whether parents were allowed to say goodbye to their parents before they are separated. Some reports have said parents are told their child is being taken to a separate facility for a bath, only to never see them again. In some cases, the children have been sent to places as far away as Chicago.

Separating parents from children was rare under the Obama administration and even the early Trump administration according to Reuters. They just started doing this, and it’s already been two thousand little kids. That’s approximately 46 children per day, over a six-week period.

We are not going to forget about those kids, and we’ll make sure no one else does, either. I wish there was more I could do.

The people who are responsible for this show no signs of allowing themselves to be held accountable by civilian authority. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, when he tried to visit the facility on June 3, was turned away at the door. They also show no signs of planning to give those children back.

This is not the way things are done in the country we grew up in.

It seems like common sense to us, but not to the chief law enforcement officer in the country, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who used a Biblical passage on Thursday to try and justify these cruel and extreme actions.

“I would like to cite to you the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13,” Sessions said in a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sessions went on to insist that the Bible argues Christians must “obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

That same Bible passage was formerly used to justify slavery. It’s worth remembering here that Coretta Scott King herself warned us about Jeff Sessions.

As a brief aside, there are few things worse than using the sincere and earnest faith held by others as a way to convince them to go along with something ugly. The history of Christianity in America is full of that already, and we’re not about to accept this anymore. Do not drag the Bible through the mud.

As it becomes more clear that our worst nightmares have come true with this president, it becomes more clear as well that we have come up against something here that we have really got to resist.

This is not a game, nor a faux revolution. They’re locking up children in warehouses and holding them hostage. You cannot look something like that in the face and turn away without having made a choice. Silence is consent.

Hitler could never have come to power without the “ordinary Germans” who were willing to turn their backs on it all, for a comfortable life and trains that ran on time.

The comparisons to Nazis grow harder to ignore by the hour. The White House barked at MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough for coming out and saying it, but he was right, of course.

If only Trump took not acting like a Nazi as seriously as he seems to take not looking like one.

We have to hold out hope that there are still people out there in his camp that can still be convinced not to support him, by shining light on what he’s doing and making it impossible to ignore. We will accept any help, we will work with anybody.

Going forward, we can keep the pressure on them by raising awareness about what they are doing. Trump’s new policy is repugnant even for him.

This is a human rights issue, one that may well be the biggest of our time, and history will not look well upon those who are on the wrong side of it.  We’ve got to keep speaking out until they finally hear us.

If ever there was a time for a widespread moral outcry, this is it.

Mueller Indicts Russian Trolls- Trump Proved Wrong!

#TrumpIsWrong

It had been looking like a rough month for the Russiagate investigation. Trump has seemed panicked and disjointed, and his slanders have grown desperate and shrill. The Nunes memo, the attacks against the FBI, the talk of firing Robert Mueller, the accusal of bias toward Trump on the part of investigators involved with the case.

All of it pointed a giant red arrow toward something big coming down in their direction. And on Friday, we found out what.

Three defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft. They were also charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Department of Justice announced Friday.
“The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said.
Trump was quick in taking to Twitter to point out that this hasn’t proved collusion yet, but come on. As Bob Dylan once said, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
The indictment is sweeping and describes in detail an unprecedented campaign by Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. The longstanding conclusions of the US intelligence community have now been fully vindicated.
It is also completely at odds with Trump’s repeated denial of those conclusions, which has continued throughout his first year in office. According to CNN, Trump is still not convinced that Russia meddled in the election, and of course, we know he’s ignored Congress in upholding the sanctions on Russia.
Trump is always talking up how he knows everything about everything. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that he knows everything about this topic, at least.
The indictment gave us many new details, of communications between unnamed Trump campaign officials and the Russian defendants.

A personal anecdote. The editor of Millennial Democrats was online alongside legions of others, out there for HRC from 2015 onward, every day, for many hours. Anyone who was there back then can tell you. It can be stated categorically that there was a tangible, palpable disinformation campaign going on.

You would go into groups and talk to people, who were steadfast in their refusal to listen far beyond the bounds of reason or even fanaticism. These guys were professionals.

It was like they were getting paid per response. They all seemed to be equipped with the same list of hit points about Hillary Clinton. This became clear after a while because the very same slanders would be laid out every time, in sequential order. In many cases the wording was actually identical, although most took the time to switch about at least a thing or two. And they were just as prevalent on the left as on the right.

It got especially bad during the last month of the Democratic primary, which was a very horrible time filled with chaos and division. During this time, we were savagely attacked. Anything we posted would be Reported as Spam/Abuse by political adversaries from both the far right and left. We were barraged with nasty messages and threats. One particularly rabid group of Bernie Sanders supporters told one of our contributors that they hoped she was gang-raped. The list is very long, and very sordid.

Therefore, when we found out today that according to the indictment, Russia’s Internet Research Agency had a “strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system”, including the election, it was far from a surprise to us.
At the time, nobody wanted to listen. We were treated like we were crazy. But it became clear before long that we were not paranoid, although it was difficult not to come off that way in real life conversations. We expected a certain amount of eye-rolling, and we got it.

We didn’t blame the people, though. The whole thing was unprecedented, not to mention pretty implausible. Even our intelligence agencies were not fully aware of what was going on. This kind of thing has never happened here before. This sort of attack has in the past been used only by superpowers against small, Third World countries. We were never considered so vulnerable.

The anger and despair caused by the 2016 election opened a door. The smear job on Hillary Clinton represented a quarter- century’s work and God only knows how many millions of dollars on the part of the GOP. They had long ago ensured there was no end of mud to sling. And trusty Wikileaks was always around to make sure there was no shortage of new indecencies. We were all online for this, every single day.

The new information, as confirmed today by Robert Mueller’s indictment, states clearly that thirteen Russians posted “derogatory information about a number of candidates”.
They bought ads and communicated with people tied to the Trump campaign and others in order to coordinate political activities. They even went so far as to coordinate their activities on our soil.
The indictment also mentions a February 2016 memo to Internet Research Agency staff. The instructions given were to post political content on US social media sites and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).” No wonder his people don’t want him to touch “the Russia thing”.
This is solid confirmation of what we have been saying all along. The specific mention of Trump and Sanders shows that the Russian government decided early on to oppose Clinton. Looks like we finally know for sure why Bernie would not vote to sanction Russia.

Being involved as a Democratic activist has often been really scary because of the constant Russian harassment. It was a violation of everything we are entitled to as American citizens. Russia used their disinformation machine against us with tremendous effect, just as they have done in Ukraine or Syria. We were actively being targeted, by foreign agents, for participating in our own electoral process.

We had wanted to make our voices heard, and to make a difference in our own futures. Instead, we found ourselves on the front lines of a virtual battlefield, fighting the first skirmishes in this new kind of proxy war we were to be fighting with the Russians.

 

This, combined with the blatant insanity of the Trump base, and the rabidly overzealous conduct of a dangerously high percentage of Bernie Sanders supporters made for an extremely nasty cocktail of filth for the Russians to fling about on social media, amplifying their messages through a mixture of robot armies and highly targeted advertising.

It is to be hoped, now that our American leaders know, that they will do something to give us a hand. We are still here, and ready to be of service, and as warriors of the information age, we are the ones best placed to do it.

The best defence against Russian trolls is a well-educated public and a lot of tech-savvy Democrats beating them back. No amount of disinformation can ultimately prevail against facts. The key is to get our message out there as far as we can, to as many people as we can. Raising awareness constitutes the one sure path to an ultimate victory.

Typical Trump Voters- What We’re Up Against.

Deplorables up to their gig

 

It’s election time again in 200 days. This is the year that #TheBlueWave washes across this country once and for all. And that means engagement with the public.

We have to reach out to the people all we can. We have to fight our hearts out for every last vote.

We’ve got to beat back hundreds of primary challenges nationwide from the so-called Justice Democrats. Without doing that we won’t make it to the real fight with a party that’s still blue. We’ve got to avoid pukey pea soup Libertarian green. And there’s only one way to do that.

We have to overwhelm the opposition with the strength and the logic of our argument.

The means by which we win this battle will be those which allow us to influence the information process the populace uses to make up their minds.

No one gets hurt or killed, and nothing is destroyed. The goal is to maintain our democracy without civil war.

We have to remain nonviolent, but prepared. The other side is crazy.

For example, one particularly pleasant fellow came onto the Millennial Democrats Facebook Page (Check us out! Join the debate) and threatened us with mass murder.

“Understand this Democrats”, he said, without using a comma, “If Trump gives the order I will kill as many of you as I can.”

When you looked at the guy, you saw a deeply unattractive and angry little guy. To say such a thing, to be focused on your own rage and desire for mayhem to that sick of an extent, you’ve got to be a very unhappy person.

One at a time, such people are pretty pitiful. But when they collect into large groups, with a wicked leader to guide them, they fill up death camps. That sort of viciousness cannot and will not be given a platform here in America.

At Millennial Democrats, we welcome dissent, and we welcome the chance to engage in a dialogue with people with every worldview, as long as they’re willing to be respectful and have an open mind.

Murdering savages will be excluded.

The foreign radicalism of the type that produced those events never took deep root here, and it’s our job to make sure it never does. Our eyes are open now.

We were defeated in the last election because nobody knew we’d be up against a foreign power.

Our message was sound, hopeful, and practical. We have only to alter a few techniques. We will adapt and strengthen ourselves so that we can do precisely that kind of thing to our enemy in the next war. If we understand them better than they understand us, we will always have the advantage.

For this reason, we’ve put some hours in, taking a look at the thinking process of the typical Trump voter.

There’s a number of serious personality dysfunctions keeping these poor people from living happy lives. 

One common trait is called authoritarian personality syndrome, a well-studied and globally-prevalent condition among radical extremists. It refers to a worldview characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to the hierarchy of social order and one’s personal authority. It is rampant like a plague throughout Trump’s base.

Fearmongering demagogues create and exploit fear in those with the syndrome. In this way, they are able to depersonalize minority groups in the eyes of their constituents.

This is how Nazis are created. This is how the bedlam at Charlottesville got started off last summer. This is why Heather Heyer is dead.

A distinct but related dysfunction is called social dominance orientation, or SDO. This refers to people who have a preference for the social hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones.

Here’s an observation- People who spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not others are inferior to them are pathetic.

Don’t worry about your place in the social hierarchy, it isn’t important. Treat others well and do your best at every task you find in front of you. That is what matters.

At any rate, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.

A higher level of contact with diverse groups of people has been shown to reduce prejudice.

2016 study found that “the racial and ethnic isolation of white people at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” As such, it’s important to note that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. 

This makes it much easier to fear and hate the people they consider outsiders.

Another reason to resent members outside the majority group is called relative deprivation. This refers to the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.

The old-fashioned word for it was jealousy. These days, we call it being a hater.

 

 

 

 

It’s become clear to everyone on both sides of the fence that the lines have been drawn. The age-old struggle between dictatorship and democracy is going to be fought yet again in this generation, and we have gotten good at it.

There are entire playbooks written on how to resist a tyrannical government like Trump’s is becoming. How to tell the difference between when to fight and get mad, and when to smile and hand a rose to the soldiers or police.

 

A new type of World War seems to be looming on the horizon, a sort of mass, worldwide Civil War, with populists from the right and left squaring off in numerous countries and across borders around the world.

This could be a conflict in which trenches are dug through backyards and in between houses. Nationalism has been and will be an excuse, but the struggle will transcend all ideological boundaries and sides will have to be taken.

Our nation will turn 242 on the Fourth of July. 

Reasonable people sat in Philadelphia and declared their unwillingness to remain contentedly subject to an authoritarian command. Like us, they were driven to extremity by the hideous conduct of a mentally fragile and bipolar monarch.

America is not just a country. It is an idea. The first Americans fought a war, over what Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, called inalienable rights. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Of them all, the most important is freedom from tyranny. Not just from tyranny abroad, but also from any homegrown autocrat who might be lacking loyalty to all those who have fought and died to preserve this noble experiment. Going forward, we will have to redouble our efforts.