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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 46,182

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Monday Toon Roundup 1 - Pardoning Evil














Joe Biden - 'We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation'

The former vice president calls on Americans to do what President Trump has not.


By JOE BIDEN

In January of 2009, I stood waiting in Wilmington, Delaware, for a train carrying the first African American elected president of the United States. I was there to join him as vice president on the way to a historic Inauguration. It was a moment of extraordinary hope for our nation—but I couldn’t help thinking about a darker time years before at that very site.

My mind’s eye drifted back to 1968. I could see the flames burning Wilmington, the violence erupting on the news of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the federal troops taking over my city.

I was living history—and reliving it—at the same time. And the images racing through my mind were a vivid demonstration that when it comes to race in America, hope doesn’t travel alone. It’s shadowed by a long trail of violence and hate.

In Charlottesville, that long trail emerged once again into plain view not only for America, but for the whole world to see. The crazed, angry faces illuminated by torches. The chants echoing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the 1930s. The neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists emerging from dark rooms and remote fields and the anonymity of the web into the bright light of day on the streets of a historically significant American city.

If it wasn’t clear before, it’s clear now: We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation.

more
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/joe-biden-after-charlottesville/538128/?utm_source=quorumcall&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=goodwill

Sunday's Doonesbury Toon - The Sanest Person In The World!

Trump Cybersecurity Advisors Resign, Citing His Insufficient Attention to Threats

A quarter of the members of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, whose purview includes national cybersecurity, have resigned. In a group resignation letter, they cited both specific shortfalls in the administration’s approach to cybersecurity, and broader concerns that Trump and his administration have undermined the “moral infrastructure” of the U.S.

The resignations came Monday and were acknowledged by the White House on Tuesday. Nextgov has recently published the resignation letter that the departing councilors submitted. According to Roll Call, seven members resigned from the 27-member Council.

Several of those resigning were Obama-era appointees, including former U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil and former Office of Science and Technology Policy Chief of Staff Cristin Dorgelo. Not surprisingly, then, the issues outlined in the resignation letter were broad, faulting both Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords and his inflammatory statements after the Charlottesville attacks, some of which came during what was intended to be an infrastructure-focused event.

“The moral infrastructure of our Nation is the foundation on which our physical infrastructure is built,” reads the letter in part. “The Administration’s actions undermine that foundation.”

more
http://fortune.com/2017/08/26/trump-cybersecurity-advisors-resign/

Wait, Do people actually know just how evil this man is?

by NATHAN J. ROBINSON
If you are a Trump supporter, the president has just pardoned “America’s toughest sheriff,” a man who was willing to fight illegal immigration using any means at his disposal. If you are a liberal, Trump has pardoned a despicable racist, a man who spent decades casually violating the civil liberties of Latinos. And if you are a balanced and neutral news organization, Trump has pardoned a “controversial” sheriff who faced “accusations of abuse” and “defied a court order.” These are the terms on which the debate about Arpaio is had: is he a vindictive bigot who neglected his prisoners or a steely lawman who dared to enforce immigration policy when the Feds wouldn’t? (Perhaps we’ll just call him “polarizing.”)

But none of these perspectives actually capture the full truth about Joe Arpaio. And I am worried that even those who detest Trump and are appalled by this pardon do not entirely appreciate the depth of Arpaio’s evil, or understand quite how indefensible what Donald Trump just has done is. Frankly I think even Trump may not fully realize the extent of the wrongdoing that he has just signaled his approval of. And I think it’s very important to be clear: the things Joe Arpaio is nationally infamous for, the immigration crackdown and the tent city, these are only the beginning. The word “racist” isn’t enough. The word “abusive” isn’t enough. Joe Arpaio’s actions over the course of his time in office were monstrous and sickening. As Arpaio’s officers were harassing, detaining, and beating citizens and non-citizens alike, with jail employees routinely calling inmates “wetbacks” or leaving them to die on the floor, Arpaio let hundreds of serious sexual abuse cases go uninvestigated, in one case resulting in a child being continually raped. He was not just a “tough” sheriff, but a cruel and incompetent one, faking clearance reports for serious crimes while abusing the power of his office to arrest and intimidate journalists, judges, and county officials. Some of Arpaio’s acts bordered on the psychopathic: in a deranged re-election plot, Arpaio oversaw a scheme to pay someone to attempt to assassinate him, even supplying the man with bomb-making materials, so that he could entrap the fake “assassin” and send him to prison, ruining the hapless man’s life. Arpaio treated the Constitution with contempt, inflicting what the Mayor of Phoenix called a “reign of terror” upon the city’s Latino community. Anybody with a hint of a conscience should be revolted by both Arpaio’s record and Trump’s pardon.

Marty Atencio was a third-generation military veteran who had served in the Gulf War. Upon returning to civilian life, Atencio would struggle for years with schizophrenia and homelessness. In 2011, he was arrested for “aggressive” behavior outside a convenience store and taken to the Maricopa County Jail. The arresting officer noted that Atencio seemed to be suffering from a mental illness, and when he arrived at the jail he appeared “off his rocker.” Atencio informed jail staff that he was having suicidal thoughts and was placed in an isolation cell. Later, according to a lawsuit filed against the Sheriff’s office, officers began to make fun of Atencio’s mental state, and when he refused an order to take his shoes off, closed in on Atencio and began beating and tasering him. They dragged Atencio’s unconscious body back to his cell, where he was stripped naked and left on the floor. His was found “covered with bruises, lacerations and puncture marks,” and would never regain consciousness. Atencio would be buried with full military honors, with Maricopa County having to cough up a large wrongful death settlement for his family.

During the more than two decades that Joe Arpaio served as sheriff of Maricopa County, overseeing the jail system, millions of dollars would be paid out in lawsuits over the deaths of inmates. In 1996, Scott Norberg died after being suffocated in one of Arpaio’s “restraint chairs,” after being descended on by “fourteen guards beating, shocking, and suffocating [him].” They were, said an eyewitness inmate, “like a pack of dogs.” After the Sheriff’s Office was accused of discarding evidence in the case, including the deceased’s crushed larynx, his family received an $8 million settlement. In 2015, Felix Torres was pulled over on his bicycle for riding the wrong way up the street, and found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. While in jail awaiting trial, he was taken to the County Medical Center for severe stomach pain. Though Torres said he had a history of ulcers, doctors decided he had a hernia, and gave him a drug not recommended for people with ulcers. After being returned to jail, Torres, “spent the next few days crying, writhing in pain, and begging guards to help him or take him to the hospital.” Torres began “banging on his cell door and asking for help,” but an officer told him “You’re bullshitting… go to sleep.” On the night he died, Torres asked multiple officers for help, telling them he was dying. “You’re fucking faking it,” one replied. Torres’s family would receive $1 million. (And while it should make no difference, we might bear in mind that at the time of his death, Felix Torres was an innocent man.)

more
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/08/wait-do-people-actually-know-just-how-evil-this-man-is

Weekend Toon Roundup

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War





Resistance





Health







Trumpers




Pentagon waives repayment of more than $190 million from California National Guard members

Source: LA Times

The Defense Department will let California National Guard members keep more than $190 million in disputed enlistment bonuses and other payments — far more than previously acknowledged — after the military spent six years trying to recover the money from veterans who had served at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In all, repayments were waived for 17,092 California Guard soldiers who were given what were later deemed questionable bonuses, according to a Defense Department report obtained by The Times. Those who already repaid their bonuses are being reimbursed.

The report, which was sent to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees this month, concludes that the overwhelming majority of California Guard soldiers did nothing wrong in accepting bonuses of $15,000 to $80,000 each. Only 393 soldiers have been ordered to return the money, chiefly due to disciplinary or criminal conduct.

The sweeping forgiveness represents an almost total retreat by the Pentagon and the California Guard, which drove the aggressive recoupment effort against thousands of military veterans — including some who were wounded in combat — and has yet to publicly apologize to them.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-california-guard-bonus-20170824-story.html

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Toon - Important Op-Ed Columnist, coming through!

Friday Toon Roundup 3 - The Rest

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