Not Ready to Reenter White Society

This article by Elie Mystal appeared in the Nation on March 23, 2021:

I’ve said, here and elsewhere, that one of the principal benefits of the pandemic is how I’ve been able to exclude racism and whiteness generally from my day-to-day life. Over the past year, I have, of course, still had to interact with white people on Zoom or watch them on television or worry about whether they would succeed in reelecting a white-supremacist president. But white people aren’t in my face all of the time. I can, more or less, only deal with whiteness when I want to. Their cops aren’t hunting me when I drive through my neighborhood; their hang-ups aren’t bothering me (or threatening me) when I’m just trying to do some shopping.

That’s because I haven’t been driving or shopping in person. White people haven’t improved; I’ve just been able to limit my exposure to them. I’ve turned my house into Wakanda: a technically advanced, globally isolated home base from which I can pick and choose when and how often to interact with white people.

To be clear, it’s not that most or even many of my interactions with white people are “bad”; it’s that I’m able to choose when to expose myself to interactions with potentially bad white people. That choice is a privilege I’ve never really had until this past year. Going out into white society for me is a little bit like a beekeeper going to get honey. I know what I’m doing: If I put on the right protection and blow enough smoke, most of the bees will leave me alone and the ones who don’t won’t really cause me that much pain. But I’ve got to put on the suit and the hat with the mesh and carry the smoke machine and be careful every time I want some goddamn honey. This year, it’s been like somebody said, “You know the honey comes in bottles now, right? You don’t have to risk being stung every time you want some food.”

It’s been a revelation, but it can’t last. With vaccination (I get my second shot next week) comes reentry into the larger society. I’ve been the “default” skin color in my personal life for a year, but as I open back up, I’ll be thrust again into a world where I’m treated like an “other,” one where white people feel empowered to just walk around like they own the place.

A weekend trip to CVS showed me that I’m not ready. I’m not ready to go back to accepting that, in a diverse and pluralistic society, some white people are allowed to just impose their implicit biases on the world, and the rest of us have to suck it up.

On Sunday, my wife went to CVS to buy Easter candy. It was exactly the kind of nonessential trip we’ve been avoiding for the past year, but the weather was nice, and she wanted the walk. She texted me when she was nearly done to pick her up, so she didn’t have to carry the heavy bags, and I took the kids with me for a nice little car ride.

Read more.

The author, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, is the justice correspondent at The Nation.

In the rest of this article, Elie Mystal recounts an incident in the CVS parking lot which affected him deeply. While sitting in his car waiting for his wife, an older white woman pulled up in front of him and shouted a question at a young Black teenager standing outside the store, “Is this where you get the vaccines?”

The Black teen ignored her, the white woman shouted the question again, and the Black teen ignored her again. The white woman then drove off after “yelping” in disgust, “the service,” having mistaken the Black teen for an employee. It must have been a loud and coherent “yelp” for him to have heard it. That was it, but the incident had a profound effect on Mr. Mystal, which he analyzes.

It is so sad that Mr. Mystal feels so uncomfortable around whites. Harvard must have been an ordeal for him. Even now, his encounters with his fellow editors and white employees at The Nation must be terribly painful. No wonder he enjoyed his voluntary COVID isolation!

The incident he described was typical of the sort of lived experience that Blacks must encounter every day. Add that to the explicit and implicit bias, microaggressions, inequities, and low expectations. No white, even the most woke, can ever understand what Blacks go through.

If only there were a Wakanda for Mr. Mystal to retreat to. But, alas, no majority-Black country in Africa would meet his standard of living, so he will have to stay in the United States and continue to endure its intolerable whiteness.

Whiteness Is a Pandemic

This article by Damon Young appeared in The Root on March 17, 2021. It also appeared in Yahoo!News.

I don’t have much to add here today that hasn’t already been said.

Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people—white people and people who are not white, my mom included. There will be people who die, in 2050, because of white supremacy-induced decisions from 1850.

A line can and should be drawn from the actions of the white supremacist who walked into three Atlanta-area massage parlors yesterday, and allegedly killed eight people—six of whom were of Asian descent—to the relentless anti-Asian rhetoric pollinating national discourse over the past year. The former president, and the party of the former president, can and should be blamed for this and the sudden increase of racist violence against Asian Americans. The line doesn’t stop there, though. It extends back 400 years and has tentacles clawing everywhere white supremacy exists here, in America, which is everywhere.

There’s a line connecting this act of terror to the 11 people killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018, and the nine people killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015, of course. But also to gentrification, to red-lining, to racial profiling, to gerrymandering, to voter oppression, to mass incarceration, to the war on drugs, to the subprime mortgage crisis, to the vast disparities in both COVID deaths and who receives COVID vaccinations, to how the men and women who stormed the capitol just went home and had dinner with their families afterward. […]

White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it.

Read more.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of the blog Very Smart Brothas (sic), an opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker. He is anti-white, which is not racist because he is Black. As established by critical race theory, he is rather a victim of systemic racism espoused by all whites, who are white supremacists from birth.

Damon’s suffering from white oppression is constant and only partly relieved by the catharsis of writing. The encouragement of white editors at Yahoo! and the NY Times does nothing to relieve his pain and his mounting rage. Nor does their support cleanse them of their white supremacism and systemic racism. It just makes them work harder to earn his acceptance.

If only Damon could see that progressive whites, who struggle for his rights over and above their own, truly love him and all Blacks unconditionally. Yet, through intersectionality, they remain indelibly racist … which means that nothing will ever change.

From Lefticon:

Critical race theory (CRT) – the application of the philosophy and techniques of Critical Theory and critical legal studies to the study of race.

Critical race theory began with an informally organized group of scholars in the area of race law and theory in law schools in the 1980s. A reaction to a perceived deficiency in critical legal studies, it held its first conference in Madison, Wisconsin in July 1989. Early proponents were critical legal scholars who felt marginalized when other critical legal scholars failed to focus sufficiently on race as it interfaced with law and politics. Because of the transcendent importance of race to concerned social activists, critical race theory has become its own discipline in the social sciences.

Critical race theory seeks out and identifies specific manifestations of the pervasive systemic racism in our dominant culture, with its power structures built on whiteness, white privilege, white hegemony, and white supremacy. It characterizes racial groups as either oppressor (white) or oppressed (all others but especially Black).

In the presence of systemic racial inequalities, critical race theory challenges biological essentialism and the repressive values of meritocracy and objectivity. In a system so heavily skewed in favor of whites, it conceptualizes racial identity as a social construct without a necessary basis in biology or genetics, and racism as a multidimensional oppression which, through intersectionality, can coexist with other oppressions, such as sexism and homophobia, and thereby further synergize the disempowerment of people of color, especially Blacks.

Narratives of personal experiences by victims of racism are used widely in CRT research and presentations. Through anecdotal counternarratives of lived experience, CRT empowers people of color and challenges them to find centrality and commonality in their experiences and to respond to the prevailing narratives of white supremacy. Any individual experiences outside the approved narrative, however, are actively rejected as perpetuating racism.

Whiteness – a genetically-determined category of skin pigmentation due to a relatively low melanin content which, together with a characteristic bone structure and a compulsion to dominate and oppress other races, defines the white (Caucasian) race.

In critical race theory, which reaches beyond biology and genetics to the social sciences for the conceptualization of racial identity as a social construct, whiteness is a state of mind associated with

    • systemic racism with oppression, suppression, and repression of minorities;
    • slavery, colonialism, mercantilism, imperialism, nationalism, and fascism;
    • self-proclaimed superiority in intelligence and creativity;
    • behavioral dominance and hegemony;
    • intolerance, bigotry, bias, discrimination, and hate.

Intersectionality – the conceptualization of multiple social identities coexisting in an individual, along with multiple synergistic oppressions.

For example, a victim of oppression can identify as poor, Black, homosexual, and female. These come together within the individual to form that individual’s composite social identity, which can then make her vulnerable to multiple forms of oppression intersecting as a system, each component of which is acting synergistically with the others.

An individual can also have multiple social identities that, rather than being synergistic, are in internal conflict. Such disparate subjectivities can result in a hybrid identity that is both oppressor and oppressed, e.g., a white (oppressor), affluent (oppressor), cisgender (oppressor), fat (oppressed), disabled (oppressed) female (oppressed).

Russia threatens to block Twitter within 30 days over ‘banned content’

This was reported today by Chris Pleasance in the Daily Mail:

Russia has threatened to block Twitter within 30 days unless the site acts to remove what the government refers to as ‘banned content’. 

Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of watchdog Roskomnadzor, said on Tuesday that the ban would come into effect unless Twitter removed the content, which he said includes child porn and information on child suicide and drugs.

But critics say the crackdown is actually an attempt to stop Putin’s political opponents organising rallies, as they did in a number of cities earlier this year.

Subbotin issued his threat just a day after Putin’s main critic, Alexei Navalny, posted his first update from inside jail – sharing an image of himself with a shaved head.

‘Twitter is not reacting to our requests as they should. If the situation carries on then it will be blocked in a month without a court order,’ Subbotin said. 

It comes a week after Subbotin announced that Twitter’s internet speed would be slowed down unless it removed the offending content.  

Meanwhile Twitter is also being sued in Russia for allegedly failing to delete material encouraging children to join anti-Putin protests.

Twitter said at the time that it was worried about the impact on free speech despite Russian laws specifically outlawing children attending protests. 

Russia has also railed against social media sites for censoring state-controlled media such as RT, which have been branded propaganda sites by foreign governments.

Back in January, Putin personally accused social media giants in January of ‘controlling society’ and ‘restricting the right to freely express viewpoints.’

Around 9 million Russians are thought to use Twitter, just eight per cent of the country’s total population, though it is the favoured means of communication for Putin’s critics.

Read more.

The Twitter managers should have no technical difficulty meeting the Russian request. Along with the other social media based in the United States, they have become quite adept at censorship.

Their censorship experience, however, has been limited to material that does not agree with their politics and ideology. This makes the Russian request highly problematic because porn, child porn, and drug addiction are largely condoned and promoted by people who share the same politico-ideological viewpoint as theirs.

It will be interesting to see how they respond.

From Lefticon:

Morality – a code of abstract values and behavioral norms that defines what is good and bad, right and wrong, virtuous and evil.

Anyone who is rational and not sociopathic would agree that it is intrinsically wrong to steal, cheat, lie, harm another, or kill except in defense of self or family. This simple and universal code can be explained as natural law, developed over millennia in the process of civilization, and transmitted from generation to generation, person to person, as a cultural meme.

The origin of natural law was pondered by Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Thomas Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke and numerous other thinkers, none of whom disputed its existence or basic precepts. Curiously, there was little interest in natural law by the great thinkers of the left. A case in point is Engels, who in his defense of Marxism (Anti-Dühring, 1877) rejected all moral absolutes, which would include natural law:

We therefore reject every attempt to impose on us any moral dogma whatsoever as an eternal, ultimate and forever immutable ethical law on the pretext that the moral world, too, has its permanent principles which stand above history and the differences between nations. We maintain on the contrary that all moral theories have been hitherto the product, in the last analysis, of the economic conditions of society obtaining at the time. And as society has hitherto moved in class antagonisms, morality has always been class morality; it has either justified the domination and the interests of the ruling class, or ever since the oppressed class became powerful enough, it has represented its indignation against this domination and the future interests of the oppressed.

As Engels reminded us, morality is political and based on standards which vary with the political interests of a specific class at a particular time and place, rather than being absolute and universally binding. His words are an expression of the moral relativism which was progressive for its time and remains a given today, a legacy of Marxism and the neo-Freudian neo-Marxism of the Frankfurt School, supplemented by nihilism, deconstructionism, and existentialism.

Religions with moral dogmas, on the other hand, base morality and human rights on the revealed dictates of a God or His representative, with further modifications and additions by esteemed early followers, later scholars, renowned clergy, or councils of a hierarchy. Those foundational revelations vary from religion to religion but are held to be absolute within each religion. One major religion, Christianity, accepts the moral tenets of natural law and applies them in principle to all people, rather than exclusively to one’s own tribe, coreligionists, or ethnicity.

Maybe a Biden hologram can handle his public speeches

This article by Sharyl Attkisson appeared on March 10, 2021, in The Hill:

Joe Biden isn’t a hologram. But the relative absence from the public stage of a newly elected U.S. president and leader of the free world is sparking no small amount of speculation and chatter about the brave new world of possibilities offered by technological advancements and the unprecedented control over information on the internet.

So far, under Biden, there have been none of the extended press availabilities to which we got accustomed under President Trump. No impromptu sessions with the media where he fields questions and attacks, dealing with dozens of wide-ranging topics. President Biden even skipped the traditional live, in-person February address to Congress. We’ve only seen him primarily in the form of various “proof of life”-like video clips distributed on the internet, where he reads scripted remarks from a teleprompter. 

Even some officials who work in the Biden administration told me they can’t help but wonder why. And it has them mulling over farfetched speculation that, upon further examination, starts to look almost like it is not completely outside the realm of the possible.

In June 2019 I published a story on “deep fake” technology. It explored how artificial intelligence (AI) computer technology has put special effects, once reserved as expensive and time-consuming accomplishments of Hollywood films, in the hands of most anybody with a computer and the desire to use it. 

As I showed in the report, this AI technology can make people who didn’t say or do something look very much like they said or did the thing. I urge everyone to watch the story here and keep in mind two things: First, the technology has advanced further by leaps and bounds since my original report. And, second, our intelligence agencies have capabilities far beyond whatever it is we see in public.

Some years ago, a government source with access to intelligence at the highest levels explained to me — without divulging any classified information — that any technological thing we can imagine is actually being researched or accomplished in the secret channels of our government. And, he told me, things that are beyond our ability to imagine also are being done.

Some of the things we know are already possible: Scientists can build lifelike robots or droids that are getting harder and harder to distinguish from humans. They can even interact and take part in rational-sounding two-way conversations. Hologram-like figures can make campaign appearances (as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi did, as early as 2012) or even be resurrected from the grave (as pop star Michael Jackson was) for “live” performances.

What would be necessary if powerful interests wanted to construct a believable artificial reality surrounding the most powerful political position on the planet? First, of course, the technological capability. Beyond that, it seems to me, they would need to have a pretty tight grip on the information landscape — meaning, primarily, the internet — so that any material exposing the effort or contrary to the goal could be discredited or expunged. And, finally, there obviously would have to be a serious element of secrecy — a willingness and ability among all of those with knowledge and information to keep the whole thing under wraps. Seems pretty unlikely, except in the movies.

Read more.

Coming from a real journalist with an impeccable reputation, this is not a frivolous suggestion. Some of the best medical and technical minds in the US and internationally (excluding Russia, of course) must now be working around the clock to find a way to improve the cognition of the President.

Wouldn’t it be great if President Biden could hold scheduled press conferences, and even unscheduled ones on the lawn like his predecessor did before boarding the Marine One helicopter? It would be a nice friendly touch that his loyal press corps would appreciate. After all, they worked so hard to get him elected.

On the other hand, a Biden hologram is not such a bad idea. The real Biden, even in his prime, was known for his gaffes. In today’s cancel culture, there is no place for that. A Bidogram (or HoloBide) can be programmed to be gaffe free. It can even give a flawless State of the Union address, if need be. And there is no need for a hologram to wear a mask.

The next step, beyond holography, may be in the realm of transhumanism.

From Lefticon:

Transhumanism – a belief in the achievement of the full potential of the human species through applied technology.

Based on the recent exponential growth in data, cloud, robotic, 5G, AI, quantum, nano, and genetic technologies, transhumanists envision the following changes over a period of decades rather than centuries:

      • indefinite prolongation of life;
      • resurrection (with intact memories) of those preserved by cryonic flash-freezing;
      • superintelligence;
      • freedom from disease and aging;
      • reversal of aging when applicable;
      • freedom from stress, anxiety, depression, and despair; and
      • a mental state of sublime and constant bliss.

These changes will be incremental and take effect as the necessary technology is perfected. The methods already exist, but in varying stages of development. There will be a transitional period during which an enhanced form of humanity, known as transhuman, will emerge.

Transhumans will be more than a social construct. Becoming a transhuman will not be a simple declaration of transhuman identity, but rather a commitment to and the result of proactive interventions necessary to overcome the fundamental limitations of humanity. It will be more like the full transitioning that occurs in transgenderism but involving multidisciplinary procedures far more invasive than simple reconstructive surgery and hormonal replacement.

The final endpoint of transhumanism will be a posthuman, a transcendent life form unlike any other now in existence. It will be a good kind of genetically modified organism (GMO), not the bad kind that has contaminated our food supply. And it will also be robotically modified—an RMO, so to speak—to achieve super strength and superintelligence (artificial, of course).

These GRMO posthumans will be gender-neutral, robot-human hybrids. Once man has reached this perfected state, there will no longer be a place for religion or belief in God, creationism, virtue, sin, or an afterlife of heaven or hell. Posthumans, the ultimate elites, will live in their own sustainable heaven on earth.

It will not be possible for all humans to be transformed into posthumans, a limitation which could result in an equality gap between the GRMO posthumans and the organic, non-GRMO humans. Fortunately, this problem has already been addressed. Posthumans will be programmed to be friendly to organic humans, and their genes will be edited to make them anti-gun. They will be free of all traces of sociopathy and psychopathy, which alone will make them superior to our current, organic, ruling-class elites.

Their sweet and friendly nature will make the posthumans an easy prey of organic humans. While free of disease and aging, their potentially eternal life will still be vulnerable to trauma and the effects of improper maintenance and repair, unhealthy lifestyle, war and natural disasters, vehicular collision, or assault with a deadly weapon (such as an assault rifle).

It is possible that some posthumans will be programmed for security and intelligence purposes, just as organic humans were in the CIA Project MKUltra. A serious concern is that a posthuman trained for nefarious purposes can reach a critical level of development whereby it becomes autonomous and self-replicating, an end-state called singularity. According to leading futurists who have envisioned this development, the state of singularity can occur suddenly and without warning, resulting in a super-being capable of taking over the world and enslaving humanity.

Note:  Transhumanism is not to be confused with transgenderism and trans-speciesism, which also relate to expanding human agentic potential but are restricted to gender and species transformation. Transhumanism can, however, include gender and species transformation as part of the transhumanization process.

Transgender surgery is now free for military, thanks to Biden executive order

This was reported yesterday by Tori Richards in the Washington Examiner:

Taxpayers will now foot the bill for gender reassignment surgery for active military personnel and veterans, with some treatments costing upward of $200,000 under an executive order signed by President Biden.

Tucked inside Biden’s Jan. 25 transgender order, “Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform,” is a clause that repeals an Obama-era policy that prohibited federally funded reassignment surgery. This was followed up by memos from both Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough specifically stating that surgery is now an added benefit.

“This revised policy will also ensure all medically-necessary transition related care authorized by law is available to all Service members,” Austin wrote.

In a VA email to employees, McDonough echoed: “Perform an assessment of the necessary steps to eliminate the exclusion of ‘gender alteration’ (gender affirmation surgery) in the medical benefits package.”

Neither official stated how much the added benefit would cost but rather pledged to undertake an analysis.

Online charts by the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery show a plethora of elective surgeries for both men and women that add up to $100,000-$200,000. Although Biden stated in his order that the cost of treating transgender troops would have minimal impact on healthcare costs, that is not borne out by a 2019 USA Today investigation. The news analysis revealed that the Pentagon spent $8 million to treat just 1,500 transgender military officials, which included hormone treatments and some surgeries. It was not clear why the surgeries were allowed at that time.

A federal study revealed that more than 15,000 service members and  134,000 veterans identify as transgender.

Read more.

On January 25, President Biden reversed Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military. Unlike President Trump, he was aware of the proven correlation between diversity and strength. He knew that the more women, gays, and transgenders in our armed forces, the stronger and more formidable they would be in confronting our enemies at home and abroad.

Our educational establishment, the authors of children’s books, and the parents of theybies will surely be there to help in this worthy effort. The more they promote gender questioning—it is never too young to start—the more future warriors from the most desired minorities.

What better way to recruit transgenders than to cover the medical and surgical costs of their transitioning? There was a time when young men joined the military for the educational benefits. Now they will join for the medical/surgical benefits. Just like the migrants flocking to our southern border, we will see transgenders overwhelming our recruiting stations.

Our adversaries will undoubtedly adopt similar programs, leading to a “new normal” arms race in weaponized transgenders.

Number of migrant children in US custody TRIPLES in last two weeks

This was reported by Geoff Earle today in the Daily Mail:

President Joe Biden’s administration faces logistical and humanitarian struggle at the border with the crush of childhood arrivals tripling in a mere two-week period.

The influx comes as the administration continues to urge people not to send unaccompanied children across the border, as a wave of immigrants appears to be drawn by Biden’s pledge to relax restrictions and provide a path to citizenship for people who are already living here.

More than 3,250 unaccompanied minors are currently being held at the border. Lacking sufficient facilities and amid coronavirus burdens, more than 1,360 have been detained beyond the three days allowed by law, according to New York Times data. 

The number tripled over a two-week period. 

Nearly 170 of those being detained are younger than 13, NBC News reported.  A total of 9,000 unaccompanied children crossed the border in February, according to data reviewed by the network. 

Due to issues obtaining facilities, many are held in Customs and Border Protection holding cells known as iceboxes or ‘hieleras,’ according to the network. They have concrete rooms and metal benches but do not have beds.     

Shelters are within two weeks of surpassing their occupancy, according to the latest data.   

Amid the crush, Health and Human Services Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has asked his agency for volunteers to assist with the ‘overwhelming’ number of migrants.

‘Today, I activated the Volunteer Force to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as they face a surge in migration along the Southwest Border,’ Mayorkas said in a staff email, Fox News reported.

Read more.

After four years of obstructing President Trump’s attempts to control migration at the southern border, the Democrats are now in charge. They have dismantled everything he achieved and are getting the open borders that they hoped for. The influx has been overwhelming.

Yes, this is a crisis. But it is also a refutation of systemic racism by people of color who are positioned to know. Would they risk their lives and the lives of their children to enter a country dominated by irredeemably-racist white supremacists?

From Lefticon:

Open borders – unrestricted immigration and commerce between nations.

An example is the European Union, which has had open borders between its member states since 1958 by virtue of the Schengen Agreement.

Open borders in the United States have long been a political issue between the progressive Democrats and racist Republicans. In 2019, caravans of refugees from Central America, along with throngs of Mexican migrants, swarmed across the southern US border, overwhelming the border controls. Many cities, in defiance of the federal authorities, welcomed the new immigrants and became their safe havens, offering them full welfare services and protection from deportation. These cities, all of which had Democratic mayors, came to be known as sanctuary cities.

True to their devotion to diversity and compassion for the oppressed, progressives support an open border with Mexico. If that were to happen, the vision of Emma Lazarus (1883), memorialized at the base of the Statue of Liberty, would become full reality:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me…”

If the masses of the world (not only Mexico) were to respond to Ms. Lazarus’s wishes, and America opened its borders and welcomed them, the US would become a sanctuary nation, a coast-to-coast megalopolis with everyone in the world an American. The huddled masses would arrive first, followed later by their elites who would have no one left to rule. The rest of the planet could then return to its existential purpose, an undisturbed habitat for all its wondrous plants and non-human animals. The goals of UN Agendas 21 and 2030 and the vision of Count Coudenhove-Kalergi would be fulfilled. The ruins of civilizations could remain for archeologic study and tourism.

Senate COVID Relief Bill Retains 15 Weeks of Paid Leave for Federal Employees

This was reported by Erich Wagner in Government Executive on March 4, 2021:

Senate Democrats on Thursday unveiled their amendments to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which still contains a provision that would provide federal employees with up to 15 weeks of additional paid leave for COVID-related matters.

The provision would grant up to 600 hours of paid leave—capped at $1,400 per week—to all federal workers, including U.S. Postal Service employees, if they are suffering from symptoms of the coronavirus, if they are caring for a family member who has COVID-19, if they are getting vaccinated or experiencing symptoms related to the vaccine, or if they are caring for a child whose school or child care center is closed or engaging in virtual learning due to the pandemic.

The additional leave would be available from between when the bill is signed into law and Sept. 30. Gone is a provision in the original House version of the bill but stripped during the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s markup process requiring feds to exhaust all other forms of sick leave before they can tap into the new leave fund. The bill sets aside $570 million to pay for the new benefit.

The leave cannot be used concurrently with any other form of paid leave, and any paid leave provided under this provision would reduce the “total service” used by the federal government to calculate federal retirement benefits.

Republicans largely have expressed opposition to the bill, and some have begun citing the paid sick leave provision as wasteful and a “bailout” to federal employees.

Read more.

The bill containing these provisions passed in the Senate today. It is a just reward for the dedicated civil servants who held our nation together despite violent incursions on our democracy by right-wing insurrectionists and domestic terrorists.

In addition, the encompassing legislation goes a long way to fulfilling the dreams of the distinguished sociologists, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Together with the continuing economic disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the newly-welcomed masses of immigrants heeding the call of freedom at our southern border, we are now seeing the working of a Cloward-Piven strategy.

Thank you, Chuck Schumer and President Biden.

From Lefticon:

Cloward-Piven strategy – a strategy for overloading the welfare entitlement system of a nation to incite social chaos and economic collapse.

Two visionary Columbia University professors of sociology, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, postulated in 1966 that, after an economic collapse, welfare would be replaced by a guaranteed annual income for the poor. They devised a strategy to mobilize the poor to overwhelm local and state governments with more welfare applications than the system could handle. Upon which, they would incite them to demand their entitled payments and create civil disorder, thereby bringing about the desired economic collapse. It was essentially a socially engineered run on the welfare bank.

The social disruption and economic distress that they envisioned was on local and state levels, while the solution by guaranteed income was on a national level. This strategy assumed that the federal government would remain solvent after widespread insolvency of its components and the resulting social chaos, and that it would choose to placate rather than suppress the rioters.

Interestingly, the Cloward-Piven strategy can also be applied to bring down the national government and replace it with socialism. Aside from welfare, there are many other obligations that could cumulatively overload the system, such as the salaries and pensions of government employees, the cost of serial wars and interventions, unrestrained borrowing and debt, flooding a country with unskilled immigrants and refugees, and the chain migration of their families.

 

 

Minneapolis to pay influencers from minority communities $2,000 during Derek Chauvin’s trial

This was reported by Lauren Fruen in the Daily Mail on February 28,2021:

Minneapolis officials have announced plans to pay six influencers $2,000 each to ‘help dispel potential misinformation’ during Derek Chauvin’s trial. 

The social media stars picked by the council will be from minority communities in an effort to spread ‘city-generated and approved messages’, authorities say.  

The city council is keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s violence in the wake of  George Floyd’s death on May 25 when white police officer Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck while he pleaded he couldn’t breathe. 

Jury selection for Chauvin’s trial begins March 8 with opening statements March 29. Chauvin faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges; three other fired officers go on trial in August.  

Councilors voted Friday to approve the $1 million communication plan. It is not known which social media platform the council will target. 

They said in a statement: ‘The City is collaborating with social media partners to share public information with cultural communities and to help dispel potential misinformation during the upcoming trials of the former officers involved in the killing of George Floyd.’

But the move has sparked among some in the city, with activist Toussaint Morrison telling  CBS : ‘The key word here is ‘city-approved’. What do you think the message is going to be? It’s going to be pro-city, it’s going to be anti-protest.’     […]

Barbed wire and concrete barriers already surround the courthouse where the former Minneapolis police officer will soon go on trial. 

Mayor Jacob Frey and Gov. Tim Walz, both Democrats, were sharply criticized for failing to move faster to stop last summer’s looting and destruction, which included the torching of a police station. 

Anything less than a murder conviction for Derek Chauvin is likely to test them — and the city — once again.  

Thousands of people took to the streets of Minneapolis after Floyd’s death. 

Many demonstrated peacefully. But for several nights, the unrest spiraled into violence, with stores looted and set ablaze along the Lake Street commercial artery that included the 3rd Precinct police station, which was home to the officers who arrested Floyd. 

The station itself was eventually abandoned by police and burned by rioters.

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What a great deal! For a mere million dollars, with only 6 x $2,000 or $12,000 of that to be spent on influencers, Minneapolis officials will have averted a replay of the peaceful protests of last summer. These can’t be the right figures, unless they’re also bringing in a real influencer like Al Sharpton.

From Lefticon:

Influencer – one who can change the thoughts and behavior of others.

This term commonly applies to those who have a large Internet social media following and use their influence on their followers to market products and/or political views.

Most influencers are celebrities, athletes, Hollywood stars, late-night TV hosts, reality TV personalities, and pop-music artists and singers, including hip-hop (rap). Others are bloggers and YouTubers whose following derives from the informational value of their posts or the entertainment appeal of their presentation. The most successful market themselves to young viewers who use the Internet and its social media as their main source of news and entertainment.

Influencers replace the traditional beliefs of the past with the approved sociopolitical groupthink of the present.

Note:  Lobbyists and power brokers are also influencers, but on a different level.

Groupthink – conformity to the consensus of a group and the suppression of conflicting opinions at the expense of individual thinking and initiative.

Groupthink is common among believers of an ideology, religion, cult, political party, or sports team. The talking points and spin of a political party are examples of applied groupthink.

The educational system, and especially the elite universities that train the world’s future leaders, are the main generators of sociopolitical groupthink; the mainstream media are its main propagators; and the Internet social media are its beehive of true believers and enforcers. Groupthink dominates the social media, where everyone takes a side on every issue and generates a following of like-minded followers. Its most prominent practitioners—those with the most followers—are revered as “influencers.”

Groupthinkers are not advocates of free speech; their enforcers made the cancel culture possible.

Peaceful protest – a direct action in which there is no significant physical violence or loss of life.

Looting, plundering, pillaging, and burning (arson) do not disqualify a protest from being designated as peaceful. Since most participants in these events are under the age of 30, such activities can be attributed to youthful exuberance along with an opportunity to take an advance payment on what is rightfully theirs (reparations for slavery).