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Harnessing Federal Power for Police Reform in America

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 9:00pm in

Police kneel alongside a protest in Coral Gables, Florida, on May 30, 2020. Photo credit: That One Photography / Shutterstock.com....

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Missing PM Prompts George Christensen To Offer To Search For ScoMo In Manila

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 9:10am in

George Christensen

With reports of Prime Minister Scott Morrison being ‘missing in inaction’ National’s member George Christensen has volunteered to lead the search party and will do so starting in Manila.

“When my country needs me I am there,” said the Member for Dawson. ”We can’t have our Prime Minister MIA, so I will get straight on the plane and head to Manila to search every strip club and dodgy bar in the city until I find love, er the PM.”

When asked why he thought the Prime Minister would be in Manila of all places, the Member for Dawson said: “Well, I thought where would I head if I’d had as stressful a week as the PM has had.”

“Manilla of course. Now, I know the PM is a man of God so to speak so the last place people would think he would be would be a strip club in the Philippines.”

“However, it’s often the last place we look that we find stuff.”

The PM’s office would not comment on where the PM is currently, other than to say, “Aloha,” when they answered the phone.

Mark Williamson


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Republicans Built and Own This

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 4:00am in



And we as Democrats did not resist hard enough and gave in to the Republican message. It wasn’t the lack of turnout by black Americans causing Trump to be elected. It was not the failure to vote as the numbers of voters exceeded that of the 2012 election. It was the minority of voters who […]

Homeland Security To Ban International Students From U.S. If Their Colleges Adopt Online-Only Instruction

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 10:53pm in

The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status or potentially face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.

That text is from a new order issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security yesterday. (See also this press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)

The impact of the order at this time is not quite clear, as it applies to students enrolled at schools or in programs that will be going “fully online,” and (a) not many schools have made the decision to go fully online and (b) it is not clear how “fully” is to be interpreted.

Many professors have been discussing the option of offering to conduct in-person independent studies with international students, but again it is unclear now whether that would be sufficient to allow international students to lawfully remain in the United States.

Discussion welcome, as are links to informed commentary elsewhere.

More details at:



The post Homeland Security To Ban International Students From U.S. If Their Colleges Adopt Online-Only Instruction appeared first on Daily Nous.

Key CIA-Backed Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 8:49pm in

A sordid example of what happens when the CIA is willing to get in bed with just about anyone to advance what it sees as US interests.

Lib Dems Want More Black History Taught in Schools

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 8:47pm in

Also from yesterday’s I for Monday, 6th July 2020 was a piece by Will Hazell reporting that the Lib Dems have called for schools to teach more Black history. The article on page 15 runs

The national curriculum should be reformed so schools teach children more about black history and uncomfortable aspects of Britain’s imperial past, the Liberal Democrats have said.

The party has also demanded improved teacher training so school staff can avoid “microaggressions”, under proposals worked up with the Diversity Reform Initiative – a new organisation which aims to tackle racial disadvantage in institutions.

In a letter to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, Layla Moran, the Lib Dems’ education spokesperson, said: “Changes to the history curriculum, such as learning about non-white historical figures and addressing the darker sides of British history honestly, are a vital step in tackling racism in our educational system.”  

It’s a good point, and Labour should be demanding the same. Unfortunately they aren’t. Mike put up a piece the other day about how the Labour Party is hemorrhaging members thanks to Keir Starmer’s right-wing leadership. Starmer’s a New Labour centrist, who has done precious little to challenge the Tories, thanks to his decision to advance only constructive criticism during the pandemic. Many of those leaving the party are Black and Asian, who resent his almost total inaction on racism and his halfhearted dismissive attitude towards Black Lives Matter. If the Lib Dems prove to be more serious about tackling racism, they could well attract these disaffected former Labour voters.

That said, I am not impressed by some of the policies suggested by the Diversity Reform Initiative. I am not convinced of the existence of ‘microaggressions’ – I think it is something that has been thought up by oversensitive, resentful individuals to justify their bitter hatred of mainstream society. Of course respect goes both ways, but there is already a problem with discipline in some schools and I think a focus on suppressing ‘microaggressions’ on the part of teachers will only make things worse.

‘I’ Newspaper: Universal Credit Appeals Almost Double

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 8:08pm in

Here’s another story from yesterday’s I for Monday, 6th June 2020. Written by Richard Vaughan, it reports that the number of appeals against Universal Credit increased by 96 per cent in the first three months of this year. The article runs

The number of universal credit appeals almost doubled in the first three months of this year, official figures reveal.

Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice show that in the period between January and March, the number of appeals to tribunals in relation to universal credit soared by 96 per cent to more than 7,300.

It highlights the issue with the benefits system, which critics warn can lead to sanctions against the most vulnerable, leaving them with their payments being cut or stopped.

The Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said: “Time and time again we are told by ministers that universal credit is working but these figures would suggest otherwise.”

The increase in appeals comes as Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey announced the Government would not be extending the three months suspension of sanctions introduced for benefit claimants at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms Coffey told MPs last week that Jobcentres would fully reopen in July. The DWP was approached for comment.

Universal Credit has been a malignant shambles causing nothing but misery and poverty ever since it was introduced by Iain Duncan Smith. I think the sanctions regime was introduced by the grinning Blair and New Labour, but it’s been very strongly supported by IDS and his vile successors. Only a few days ago Mike put up an official report that stated that benefit sanctions are really only good for increasing misery and anxiety. Jeremy Corbyn included in Labour’s manifesto the commitment to ending and properly reforming the benefits system. But this was scrapped and replaced with something much more anodyne by Keir Starmer.

This is no doubt one of the very many reasons people have for leaving the Labour Party. It is disgraceful that the quote criticizing Universal Credit came from a Lib Dem MP. I am fully aware that the I is very much biased against Labour, as is shown by its pushing of the anti-Semitism smears. It’s possible that there are also Labour critics of Universal Credit – indeed, I am absolutely sure there  are – but the I ignored them to promote the Lib Dems.

One the other hand, it may also be that they were silenced by Starmer, keen to continue Tory policies in the New Labour strategy of winning over Conservative voters at the expense of working people.

African Resistance to the Ending of the Slave Trade

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 7:01pm in

One of the most shocking aspects of the history of the slave trade is that its abolition was opposed by many African states. These were kingdoms like Dahomey that profited from the trade. As a rule, it wasn’t Europeans who conducted the slave raids. They were largely confined to merchant ghettos within the African towns and ports serving the trade. The actual warfare and slaving that brought them their human cargo was done by warlike African states. And despite being frequently cheated by European slave merchants – John Newton describes the various ruses used to do this in his 1788 Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade – many African princes grew extremely rich on the profits of the trade. Duke Ephraim of Dahomey was raking in £300,000 per year, an income that exceeded that of many English dukes.

These states were extremely reluctant to give up such a lucrative trade, and resented British insistence that they now turn to more legitimate items, such as palm oil and the other products they believed would be far more useful for British industry after abolition. At the very least, they thought it was hypocritical for their former customers and co-partners in the slave trade to now demand they stop it and lecture them on their wickedness for not doing so. One west African kingdom was so incensed at British refusal to continue slaving that they attacked a British trading fort in order to force them to take it up again. And for a short period bloodshed actually increased. The slave states were faced with keeping large numbers of captives, whom they could no longer sale. As a result there was a series of massacres as they murdered the excess slaves. One of the most notorious was the murder of 300 such captives, which was debated in parliament in one of the many meetings of the Committee of Inquiry held to investigate the slave trade. Some believed that the mass murder was actually human sacrifice, but other witnesses testified that this was not the case. When one of those testifying before the Committee, Captain Denman, was asked if he was surprised or shocked by the massacre, he replied that he was because of the considerable advances this African people had made in the arts of civilization. This statement is itself remarkable as it shows that while Europeans viewed African civilization as inferior, many of those charged with actively ending the slave trade knew it existed and were impressed with Black Africans as cultured, civilized peoples.

Colin McEvedy discusses these negative consequences of the ending of the slave trade in his The Penguin Atlas of African History (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1980) which I reviewed a few days ago. He writes

No one in Africa was going to say thank you for this [the ending of the slave trade]. Most West African states suffered a severe loss of revenue and, though the British granted some of them subsidies in compensation and, in the case of the principalities of the Niger delta, went to considerable trouble to encourage the production of palm oil as an alternative source of income, this was a period of relative impoverishment all along Africa’s Atlantic seaboard. Even the various categories of people who had supplied the slave trade with its raw material can’t be said to have benefited: criminals were once again handed over to the civil executioner and prisoners-of-war to the witch-doctor for sacrifice. This is the reason why the accounts of West African kingdoms in the nineteenth century are so blood-curdling: states like Dahomey that had built up a big slave-exporting capacity now had to consume a lot of unwanted human beings. Their ways of doing so provide a last bizarre flourish to what always had been a sad and sorry business. (p. 97).

This aspect of the slave trade also needs to be taught. Not to try to justify the trade, but to show that Africans were also actively involved in it and not mere victims. We need to remember this so that when the history of the slave trade is taught in schools, it isn’t presented as simply as evil White Europeans preying on noble Black Africans.

Difference between PoMo and MMT may principally be just Strategy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 5:00pm in

Having contributed to a paper which may even appear on the Positive Money (PoMo) website in due course, I wonder if I may at last be able to shed further light on where Sovereign Money Reform (SMR) differs from Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), (which I’d love to rename Sustainable Government Finance – I can hope!)... Read more

Sunak offers £3 billion for the green economy when £100bn is needed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 4:07pm in

As the Guardian notes this morning:

Rishi Sunak is to announce a £3bn package of green investment to decarbonise public buildings and cut emissions from Britain’s poorly insulated homes as part of the government’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan.

They add:

The chancellor will seek to use Wednesday’s summer statement on the economy to fend off criticism that his proposals lack ambition by insisting that he can “kick start” an environment-friendly revival through the creation of thousands of green jobs in the construction industry.

Sunak will say that the extra money for decarbonising houses, schools, hospitals, prisons and military bases will help the UK meet its target of being a carbon net zero economy by 2050, and is likely to say that further green spending will be announced later in the year.

This is pathetic. And it shows that we really are in deep trouble.

There is near-universal agreement that we are heading for mass unemployment in the UK, on a scale that almost no one now alive has seen in their lifetimes.

And there is almost unanimous agreement that whatever threat coronavirus created it is but nothing compared to what is to come from the environmental and biodiversity crises that we face.

I estimate it will cost £100bn a year for a decade to address this issue. And I have shown how to fund that.

And Sunak thinks £3bn will keep anyone happy? This is a pinprick. It will not deliver even a tiny percentage of the jobs that will be required. And it certainly does not deliver the green economy we must have.

Pathetic is too kind to it: this is an insult to everyone who cares about the future of our planet.

Worryingly, it is a sign of a government that does not care.