The Bahamas and Donald Trump

The acting chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, has offered new assurances to Bahamian survivors of Hurricane Dorian that they will be allowed entry into the United States, less than a day after dozens of evacuees were forced off a ship bound for Florida because they didn’t possess visas. “We will accept anyone …

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Voting machines: in the age of Trump can they be trusted?

A report by the New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice examined the number of aging or outdated voting equipment used throughout the country and found that during the 2018 midterm elections, 34 percent of local election jurisdictions were using voting machines that were at least a decade old as their primary form of voting. …

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Borrowing like there is no tomorrow

The US federal government will rack up $12.2 trillion in deficits through 2029, according to a new projection from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), an $809 billion increase from its last projection in May. CBO, Congress’s official budgeting scorekeeper, said that the deficits would average 4.7 percent of GDP through the next decade, a …

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“Let us bring in the workers we need to succeed”

The London “Evening Standard” is hardly a left-wing publication.  On most issues it backs the Tory views.  However, back on July 17th they publicised a plea to the government to “let us bring in the workers we need to succeed”.  It was issued by a consortium of business groups representing thousands of companies.  They are …

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Ideologies of the extreme Right

  White replacement theory is said to be the driver behind much of the gun violence in America. It claims that white people will be systematically replaced by black and brown migrants, and comprises two sub-conspiracies: the so-called “great replacement theory”, originating in France: western identity is under siege by massive waves of immigration, mainly …

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The endless US gun murders – an Epicurean view

There are so many simple, clear steps that lawmakers can take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in America.  The following policies are actually supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans and even many gun owners: Universal background checks. Closing the gun show loophole. Banning assault weapons such as AR-15s. Banning bump stocks. Addressing …

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Trump Justice Department to resume federal executions

From The Hill The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced  that it will resume capital punishment for the first time in nearly two decades. Barr’s announcement comes as the number of executions in the United States has declined over the last decade amid concerns about whether capital punishment disproportionately impacts African Americans. Only three federal …

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Home schooling in Britain

From The Week: One effect of schools “off-rolling” low-achieving pupils has been an increase in the number of children who are home-schooled. Almost 60,000 children in England are estimated to have been educated at home last year – double the number in 2014 – though since there is no national register of home-schooled children, the …

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Three expert comments on fighting the climate crisis: who is right?

1. Report by The Guardian A study released last week suggests that planting one trillion trees would be one of the most effective – and cheapest – ways to tackle the climate crisis. As ever, the question is whether mankind can organise itself enough to actually start planting. In view of the surge in Amazonian …

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Scientists fired from Environmental Protection Agency

Trump has told all agencies to cut at least a third of their advisory committees by September, thus  weakening the science-based regulations process that the administration has pushed back against since Trump took office. 462 committees are potentially on the chopping block, excluding agencies that are mandated by law.  The exclusion of scientists from health …

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Profiteering from migrant kids held in detention camps

The Trump administration has been holding migrant children -whether they came to the U.S. alone or were forcibly separated from their guardians – in a network of makeshift tent camps. An unnamed official at the Department of Health and Human Services told NBCNews that housing costs $775 per child per day.   That’s more than a …

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Know-Nothing Administration: don’t bother me with facts

Trump has told all agencies to cut at least a third of their advisory committees by September in order to weaken the science-based regulations process and remove scientific oversight.  462 committees are potentially involved, even without the agencies mandated by law.  At EPA and Interior, advisory committees provide scientific and technical expertise from people who are …

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Abortion laws in America

Here are some details on the newest American abortion bans, by state. * Important note: Supporters of reproductive rights have filed multiple lawsuits against this type of law. None of these early abortion bans are currently in effect or are being enforced. Alabama – No abortion after 0 weeks. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life …

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Reform the current capitalist system!

American capitalism transformed the lives of millions and thereby did a good job for the majority.  Arguably, happiness seems to have peaked in the 1950s.  But now the system has clearly  become self-serving, exploitative and unfit for purpose, creating massive wealth disparities and harming young people in particular with its employment policies.  It has been …

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Beware the creeping coup!

It is now clear that Dr, Thomas Hofeller—who has been called “the Michelangelo of gerrymandering”— was the author of the idea of adding the citizenship question to the 2020 US census in order to create redistricting rules that would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”?  He conducted research showing  that the citizenship question would significantly harm the political power of Latino communities. This is part of …

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Talking past one another

Prime Minister Teresa May has called the visit  of President Trump to London “a significant week for the special relationship and an opportunity to further strengthen our already close partnership”. She stressed the need to build closer trading ties (she is a out to depart, unmourned). Trump’s US ambassador in the UK, Woody Johnson, has …

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The Pentagon could learn from Agincourt

During the Battle of Agincourt,  the “humble and effective English longbow made short work of the expensive and vulnerable French cavalry”. Is America at risk of suffering the same sort of military humiliation? Christian Brose, the former staff director of the Senate armed services committee, believes so. The traditional model of US power – based …

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A Brexiteer living in a bogus, imaginary past

Jacob Rees-Mogg is a very rich Conservative Brexiteer politician (who has parked his fortune in an offshore tax haven to demonstrate his patriotism.  (Irony intended).  He has quaint ideas about “making Britain great again”.  The following is a review of his book on British 19th Century history.  The views of the reviewer seem to be shared …

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Painkillers and corruption

The billionaire founder of a leading US drug manufacturer has been found guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe a highly addictive painkiller to patients, many of whom did not need it. John Kapoor, of Insys Therapeutics, was convicted of fraud and racketeering, charges stemming from the tactics his firm used to sell Subsys, a spray …

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Hard to comprehend such a massive difference in values!

Earlier this year, the National Rifle Association opposed a bill that would prevent convicted stalkers and abusive boyfriends from possessing guns. “Why? Because any gun purchase increases profits for gun manufacturers, and any regulation – even common-sense measures – is to be opposed.” Having arrived at this indecent and immoral policy the NRA leadership deserves …

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