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Poisoning Babies in Flint

Another case where the Republican “cutting taxes” meme has destroyed a generation of black children…

The beleaguered city’s water problems can be traced back to a controversial move by Michigan governor Rick Snyder.

Children in Flint, Michigan, have such high levels of lead in their blood that Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency on Monday, calling the situation a “manmade disaster.” The origins of the escalating situation in Flint go back to 2011, when Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed an emergency financial manager to balance Flint’s budget—largely by cutting costs on basic public services. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s going on?

In April of 2014, Flint switched its water source from Detroit to the Flint River in an effort to save money. The decision, made by emergency manager Darnell Earley, was met with skepticism: Residents complained that the water was smelly and cloudy. Water tests have since shown high levels of lead, copper, and other bacteria, including E. coli. (GM started hauling in water to its remaining Flint plant last year after noticing that the Flint water was corroding engines.)

According to the Hurley Medical Center study below, the proportion of kids under five with elevated levels of lead in their blood has doubled since the switch to Flint River water, to roughly four percent. In some areas, that number has leapt up to more than six percent. “This damage to children is irreversible and can cause effects to a child’s IQ, which will result in learning disabilities and the need for special education and mental health services and an increase in the juvenile justice system,” wrote Weaver in the state of emergency declaration. In October, the city transitioned back to the Detroit water system, though lead levels still remain higher than the federal action level.

Why are the lead levels so high in Flint?

Flint, the birthplace of General Motors and once a prosperous city, has been in a state of decline for decades. The population has halved since its peak in the 1960’s and 70’s; by 2013, the city had lost roughly three quarters of its property tax base and suffered from a 16 percent unemployment rate. The problem has been met with austerity: Under a controversial law passed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who has been criticized for close ties with the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the state can now appoint emergency managers with the ability to override local policies and make sweeping decisions in the name of “fiscal responsibility”—a policy that stripped half of the state’s black residents of their voting rights.

Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley implemented steep budget cuts, including last year’s decision to save money by changing the city’s water source. In March, Earley nixed a city council vote to “do all things necessary” to switch back to the Detroit system in March, calling the decision “incomprehensible.” He stepped down the next month. The series of events has led to litigation: In November, Flint residents filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that the contaminated water caused them to experience myriad health conditions, including skin lesions, hair loss, depression, vision loss, and memory loss. The same month, the ACLU and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the city, governor, and public officials, claiming that public officials have known for years that drinking Flint River water could result in contamination problems. Michael Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan, said, “In their short-sighted effort to save a buck, the leaders who were supposed to be protecting Flints’s citizens instead left them exposed to dangerously high levels of lead contamination.”

How are residents getting by?

Those who can afford it are buying bottled water, but Flint is one of the poorest cities in the nation—41 percent of residents live in poverty. Many still use city water for bathing and cooking.

What are the effects of lead poisoning?

It’s easy to diagnose someone with high lead levels—it simply takes the prick of a finger and a blood test. The symptoms manifest slowly, often years later. According to the World Health Organization, “Lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioural changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behaviour, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioural effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”

What are state officials doing?

A pipeline connecting Flint and other central Michigan counties with Lake Huron is in the works and scheduled to be completed by late 2016. In the meantime, according to a recent Washington Post article, the state has offered more than $10 million to pay for the temporary switch back to the Detroit water system, in addition to covering the costs of water testing and water filters.

 

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2015 in American Genocide

 

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Going Nazi – The Right’s Howl over Syrian Refugees…

Last I checked there were only about 1,600 SYrian refugees that had made their way to America.

  1. That is less than 5% of the 50,000 or so Sarah Palin “Sovereignty” types who want to destroy the Federal Government of the type who brought us the mass shooting of Sikh people in Temple.
  2. Less than 5% of the 70,000  estimated number of KKK, Christian Identity, or Aryan types who want to murder all non whites and take over the government who brought us the mass murder in Charleston and countless other savage attacks..
  3. About the same number as there are extremist “Patriot” and Militia GROUPS in this country, who brought us the Bombing of the Murrah Building.

And we are supposed to stupid enough to believe the immigration of 10,000 more Syrian refugees is going to rock America’s Foundations?

Cases in point.

Rhode Island Republican wants Syrian refugees held in ‘centralized’ camps: ‘Our country is under attack’

A Rhode Island Republican lawmaker has gone one step closer to the Third Reich’s “Final Solution” by saying Syrian refugees should be rounded up and placed in a concentration camp.

State Sen. Elaine Morgan (R) made the comment in a Tuesday email to a member of the public, which she accidentally CC’ed to other lawmakers, WPRI reports.

“If we need to take these people in we should set up [a] refugee camp to keep them segregated from our populous.” Morgan wrote in the email. “I think the protection of our US citizens and the United States of America should be the most important issue here.”

Morgan also launched into a bigoted attack on Muslim people by lumping the entire religious community together with Islamic State terrorists.

“The Muslim religion and philosophy is to murder, rape, and decapitate anyone who is a non Muslim,” she wrote, also stating, “I do not want our governor bringing in any Syrian refugees. I think our country is under attack. I think this is a major plan by these countries to spread out their people to attack all non Muslim persons.”

Morgan said she meant to edit the message but failed to do so properly because she didn’t know how to edit using her smartphone. On Wednesday though, she expressed similar sentiments.

“I can see taking [Syrian refugees] in, but keeping them all centralized – it sounds a little barbaric, but we need to centralize them and keep them in one central area,” she said.

Morgan then went on to suggest refugees should fight in the civil war instead of fleeing, though most of them are women and children.

Ooooh! Here’s an idea! Little yellow stars! And really big ovens…

Trump crosses the Nazi line: Maybe Muslims should wear special ID badges

Donald Trump stuck a toe across the Nazi line Thursday morning in the ongoing hysteria over Muslim immigrants.

The Republican presidential frontrunner refused to rule out requiring Muslims to carry special identification showing their faith — which the Third Reich required Jews to do with a yellow badge that resembled the Star of David.

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before,” Trump told Yahoo News. “Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule.”

The Nazi policy was based on an anti-Semitic practice in Medieval and Renaissance European nations, and historians say it played a large role in paving the way for acceptance of the Holocaust.

“The German government’s policy of forcing Jews to wear identifying badges was but one of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different (i.e., inferior) to everyone else,”according to the Holocaust Center. “It allowed for the easier facilitation of their separation from society and subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews.”

Trump also refused to rule out warrantless searches as part of his call for increased surveillance of Muslim houses of worship, and he has also suggested that U.S. mosques could be shut down if they are deemed to be a security threat — althoughhe’s not certain that’s legal.

“Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

The real estate tycoon and reality TV star said he was open to registering U.S. Muslims in a special database, in addition to requiring them to publicly identify themselves by their faith.

“We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

Yeah…There are some folks that America would be better off deporting…except they aren’t refugees or immigrants. Raise the effing National IQ level…

 

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The Forgotten Genocide of Black Peoples

Another BBC Documentary explaining how black civilizations and peoples were “erased”…

I had read some time ago an account of a European “explorer” in the 18th or 19th Century who travelled through Southwestern and South Africa destroying evidence of brick and stone buildings and towns such that he could justify that Africans had never developed any form of advanced civilization – but can’t find the reference at the moment.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in Africa, American Genocide, Black History

 

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The Neo-Nazi Underpinnings of Moder Conservatism

Starting in the late 80’s and early 90’s Nazi sympathizer Ayn Rand became a must read in conservative circles.Rand’s “Objectivism” is little more than recycled Nazism. Including the call to genocide of non-white peoples…

In Rand’s work, you can also see the roots of conservative racial projection – ergo, anyone who identifies an act motivated by racism is a racist.

Mass Grave at Wounded Knee for the Executed

 

Libertarian superstar Ayn Rand defended Native American genocide: “Racism didn’t exist in this country until the liberals brought it up”

Ayn Rand is the patron saint of the libertarian Right. Her writings are quoted in a quasi-religious manner by American reactionaries, cited like Biblical codices that offer profound answers to all of life’s complex problems (namely, just “Free the Market”). Yet, despite her impeccable libertarian bona fides, Rand defended the colonization and genocide of what she called the “savage” Native Americans — one of the most authoritarian campaigns of death and suffering ever orchestrated.

“Any white person who brings the elements of civilization had the right to take over this continent,” Ayn Rand proclaimed, “and it is great that some people did, and discovered here what they couldn’t do anywhere else in the world and what the Indians, if there are any racist Indians today, do not believe to this day: respect for individual rights.”

Rand made these remarks before the graduating class of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on March 6, 1974, in a little-known Q&A session. Rand’s comments in this obscure Q&A are appearing in full for the first time, here in Salon.

“Philosophy: Who Needs It” remains one of Ayn Rand’s most popular and influential speeches. The capitalist superstar delivered the talk at West Point 41 years ago. In the definitive collection of Rand’s thoughts on philosophy, Philosophy: Who Needs It, the lecture was chosen as the lead and eponymous essay. This was the last book Rand worked on before she died; that this piece, ergo, was selected as the title and premise of her final work attests to its significance as a cornerstone of her entire worldview.

The Q&A session that followed this talk, however, has gone largely unremembered — and most conveniently for the fervent Rand aficionado, at that. For it is in this largely unknown Q&A that Rand enthusiastically defended the extermination of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

In the Q&A, a man asked Rand:

At the risk of stating an unpopular view, when you were speaking of America, I couldn’t help but think of the cultural genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Black men in this country, and the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II. How do you account for all of this in your view of America?

Rand replied insisting that “the issue of racism, or even the persecution of a particular race, is as important as the persecution of individuals.” “If you are concerned with minorities, the smallest minority on Earth is an individual,” she added, before proceeding to blame racism and the mass internment of Japanese-Americans on “liberals.” “Racism didn’t exist in this country until the liberals brought it up,” Rand maintained. And those who defend “racist” affirmative action, she insisted, “are the ones who are institutionalizing racism today.”

Although the libertarian luminary expressed firm opposition to slavery, she rationalized it by saying “black slaves were sold into slavery, in many cases, by other black tribes.” She then, ahistorically, insisted that slavery “is something which only the United States of America abolished.”

Massive applause followed Rand’s comments, which clearly strongly resonated with the graduating class of the U.S. military. Rand’s most extreme and opprobrious remarks, nevertheless, were saved for her subsequent discussion of Native Americans.

“Savages” who deserved to be conquered

In a logical sleight of hand that would even confound and bewilder even Lewis Carroll, Ayn Rand proclaimed in the 1974 Q&A that it was in fact indigenous Americans who were the racists, not the white settlers who were ethnically cleansing them. The laissez-faire leader declared that Native Americans did not “have any right to live in a country merely because they were born here and acted and lived like savages.”

“Americans didn’t conquer” this land, Rand asserted, and “you are a racist if you object to that.” Since “the Indians did not have any property rights — they didn’t have the concept of property,” she said, “they didn’t have any rights to the land.”

If “a country does not protect rights,” Rand asked — referring specifically to property rights — “why should you respect the rights they do not have?” She took the thought to its logical conclusion, contending that anyone “has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in this country.”

Rand then blamed Native Americans for breaking the agreements they made with the Euro-American colonialists. The historical reality, though, was exactly the contrary: white settlers constantly broke the treaties they made with the indigenous, and regularly attacked them.

“Let’s suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages, which they certainly were not,” Rand persisted. “What was it that they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their right to keep part of the earth untouched, unused, and not even as property, but just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal?” she asked.

“Any white person who brings the elements of civilization had the right to take over this continent,” Rand said, “and it is great that some people did, and discovered here what they couldn’t do anywhere else in the world and what the Indians, if there are any racist Indians today, do not believe to this day: respect for individual rights.”

Rand’s rosy portrayal of the colonization of the modern-day Americas is in direct conflict with historical reality. In his book American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World, American historian David Stannard estimates that approximately 95 percent of indigenous Americans died after the beginning of European settler colonialism. “The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world,” writes Prof. Stannard. “Within no more than a handful of generations following their first encounters with Europeans, the vast majority of the Western Hemisphere’s native peoples had been exterminated.”

West Point appeared to express no concern with Rand’s extreme, white supremacist views, nevertheless. A West Point official offered final remarks after her speech, quipping: “Ms. Rand, you have certainly given us a delighted example of a major engagement in philosophy, in the wake of which you have left a long list of casualties” — to which the audience laughed and applauded. “And have tossed and gored several sacred cows,” he added. “I hope so,” Rand replied.

Read the rest as well as Rand’s circular defense of racism here.

 

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Some Lives Just Matter More

This guy was the former Attorney General under “Governor Gifty”, our former Governor who is now spending time in jail for corruption. The “Chuch” as he is nicknamed also ran for Governor… He lost.

Ken Cuccinelli Says ‘Black Lives Matter’ Insults White People

A panel discussion on CNN got heated Sunday when former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) argued that “Black Lives Matter” is a poor message because it makes white people feel less valued.

After former South Carolina Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) explained that as a black man, he was “the only person at this table whose next interaction [with law enforcement] may cause them to be a hashtag,” Cuccinelli suggested that the “Black Lives Matter” slogan and hashtag should be amended, according to CNN footage shared by Raw Story.

“Adding t-o-o at the end puts it in a context that makes sense,” he argued. Sellers answered that message is already implicit in the slogan.

“Well, you may say that,” Cuccinelli told Sellers. “And there’s plenty of reason to understand that. But I don’t think every American hears it that way. They hear, ‘Here we are. Yes, we have this political motivation that we’re separating out this one category of Americans and saying they matter more than everybody else.'”

Sellers tried to reframe the message for the former attorney general.

“We’re saying stop killing us,” he said.

“I understand that,” Cuccinelli replied, “but that’s why you have the retort, ‘No, all lives matter.’ We’re not leaving these out.”

The push to adopt the “All Lives Matter” message has been widely criticized as ignoring data that shows black Americans face the greatest risks when confronted by law enforcement. Young black people are 4.5 times more likely to be killed by police than any other age or racial group, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, and while black Americans comprise just 13 percent of the U.S. population, they make up 26 percent of those shot by police.

 

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Harry Reid – Yellowback Donkey Award of the Year

Once again the Democrats fold and run…

Assault weapons ban dropped from gun bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid on Tuesday declared politically dead the effort to ban military-style assault weapons, a setback for President Obama and gun-control advocates who are pushing the Senate to move quickly on bills to limit gun violence.

Reid (D-Nev.) is preparing to move ahead with debate on a series of gun-control proposals when the Senate returns from a two-week Easter recess in early April. Although he has vowed to hold votes on measures introduced after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December, Reid told reporters Tuesday that the proposed assault-weapons ban isn’t holding up against Senate rules that require at least 60 votes to end debate and move to final passage.

The proposed ban, “using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That’s not 60,” Reid said.

Still up for consideration are three other bills approved last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee: bipartisan legislation to make gun trafficking a federal crime, a bipartisan measure to expand a Justice Department grant program that provides funding for school security, and a Democratic proposal to expand the nation’s gun background check program.

Step right on up, Harry – and get your “Yellowback Donkey Award” for legislative cowardice.

 

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State of Shame – North Carolina Sterilization Program

North Carolina was one of 26 states which involuntarily sterilized women. Most of those women were black and poor.

Like the Tuskegee Experiments, this one stands out as the medical establishment failing. When you hear the Tea Baggers of today talking about “welfare irresponsibility” – this is inevitably where that leads.

Victims speak out about North Carolina sterilization program, which targeted women, young girls and blacks

Elaine Riddick was 13 years old when she got pregnant after being raped by a neighbor in Winfall, N.C., in 1967.  The state ordered that immediately after giving birth, she should be sterilized.  Doctors cut and tied off her fallopian tubes.

“I have to carry these scars with me.  I have to live with this for the rest of my life,” she said.

Riddick was never told what was happening.  “Got to the hospital and they put me in a room and that’s all I remember, that’s all I remember,” she said.  “When I woke up, I woke up with bandages on my stomach.”

Riddick’s records reveal that a five-person state eugenics board in Raleigh had approved a recommendation that she be sterilized. The records label Riddick as “feebleminded” and “promiscuous.” They said her schoolwork was poor and that she “does not get along well with others.”

“I was raped by a perpetrator [who was never charged] and then I was raped by the state of North Carolina.  They took something from me both times,” she said.  “The state of North Carolina, they took something so dearly from me, something that was God given.”

It wouldn’t be until Riddick was 19, married and wanting more children, that she’d learn she was incapable of having any more babies. A doctor in New York where she was living at the time told her that she’d been sterilized.

“Butchered.  The doctor used that word…  I didn’t understand what she meant when she said I had been butchered,” Riddick said.

North Carolina was one of 31 states to have a government run eugenics program.  By the 1960s, tens of thousands of Americans were sterilized as a result of these programs.

Eugenics was a scientific theory that grew in popularity during the 1920s.  Eugenicists believed that poverty, promiscuity and alcoholism were traits that were inherited.  To eliminate those society ills and improve society’s gene pool, proponents of the theory argued that those that exhibited the traits should be sterilized.  Some of America’s wealthiest businessmen of the time were eugenicists including Dr. Clarence Gamble of Proctor and Gamble and James Hanes of the hosiery fortune.  Hanes helped found the Human Betterment League which promoted the cause of eugenicists.

It began as a way to control welfare spending on poor white women and men, but over time, North Carolina shifted focus, targeting more women and more blacks than whites.  A third of the sterilizations performed in North Carolina were done on girls under the age of 18.  Some were as young as nine years old…


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