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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
August 31, 2019

Shooting suspect was white male in his mid-30s.


REAKING: 5 are dead after the shooting in West Texas, police say.

Shooting suspect was white male in his mid-30s. https://bit.ly/34bLmvP
August 31, 2019

I just contributed to Moms Demand Action

I can’t take this anymore.

August 31, 2019

Black farmers say Warren's farm plan wouldn't solve their biggest problem

More than sixty black farmers, advocates and academics have signed onto a letter critiquing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s farm plan, saying it fails to adequately help African American farmers.

The letter, being circulated among liberal agriculture and civil rights activists, says Warren has failed to take on structural problems at the Department of Agriculture, which they call an “out of control agency” that employs “on-going discrimination” that harms blacks in the farming community, according to a draft of the letter.

Warren’s plan largely focused on consolidation in the agriculture industry and leaves the USDA intact. It does include a section on black farmers and proposes auditing the department to be sure it’s not discriminating, increasing funding to existing initiatives that offer legal services to those in danger of losing their farms, earmarking more funds for loans to minorities and fully funding the department’s civil rights office.

We feel as though you just can’t throw money at the problem at USDA,” said Lawrence Lucas, president emeritus of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees, who helped write the letter and is collecting signatures for it. “You have to do a major overhaul of the system and make it functional.”

In the letter, the advocates said they “applaud” Warren’s efforts to address black farmers and noted that she’s the only potential Democratic nominee to do so. But they also called on her to “correct factual errors” and “refashion” her plan into a proposal that “would provide black farmers, at long last, with some measure of justice,” according to a draft.

The loss of black-owned farmland is a major concern among civil rights groups and academics who say that racist federal policies have led to blacks losing their land at much higher rates than whites and Hispanics. The problem has roots in the post-Reconstruction era but has persisted to modern times, with an estimated six million acres of black-owned farm land dispossessed from 1950 to 1969, according to September cover story in The Atlantic entitled “The Great Land Robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms.”


August 31, 2019

Both Parties See Control of the Senate as Pivotal

New York Times: “As Republicans assess President Trump’s uncertain re-election chances, they see maintaining control of the Senate as their last line of defense against the prospect of Democrats controlling both the House and the White House. Democrats view gaining the Senate as a way to stymie Mr. Trump should he win a second term. And they say that winning the White House only to have Sen. Mitch McConnell remain in charge of the Senate would stifle any legislative effort to undo the effects of the Trump presidency.”

“Strategists for both parties and independent analysts currently give Republicans the edge in narrowly holding on to the Senate given the small universe of highly competitive races. But the distinct possibility of wild cards adding to an already volatile atmosphere was underscored this week by the news that Sen. Johnny Isakson will retire at the end of the year. His departure unexpectedly put another seat in play and gave Democrats a second pickup opportunity in a state they believe is trending increasingly blue.”


August 31, 2019

How Welsh independence burst into the mainstream

Even if you've never seen the original Cofiwch Dryweryn mural, chances are you've seen a replica in the last few weeks.

It's one of the more curious symbols of national self-determination you'd be likely to find anywhere in the world: a crumbling stone wall, adorned with a splash of paint, commemorating the loss of a village swept away by a reservoir more than half a century ago .

For years, it's stood watch over a sharp bend above Llanrhystud, reminding travellers on the Ceredigion coast road of what was taken from Wales to provide for England... provided they understood the significance of the message in Welsh daubed across it.

From time to time, it would be given a spot of love - a slight change of colour scheme perhaps, or a re-emphasising of its lettering. But mostly, it stood unchanged in its inauspicious position next to the A487.

Then, in February 2019, it was defaced, with the word Elvis daubed across it - a bizarre nod perhaps to the area's other famous roadside graffiti in Eisteddfa Gurig? Happily, the original wording was quickly restored.

Until this month, when the wall found its uppermost stones knocked down in an act of apparently deliberate destruction.

It wasn't the first time the site had been damaged. But it was the first time that an act of vandalism had so chimed with a growing section of the national mood.

As anger over the damage grew, recreations of the landmarks started popping up on placards, walls, memorials, vehicles, t-shirts, jewellery and postcards the nation over .

The damage itself? It was hastily fixed, with the destroyed section rebuilt, and the wording restored. Shortly before, the words "I'r Gad!" had been added in smaller type - a long-standing slogan of Welsh-language activists roughly translated as "to the battlefield".

Across Wales, the damage to a humble wall unleashed a widespread sense of wounded national pride. And it came at a time of growing momentum for the idea that Wales could - and should - be an independent nation. Polls suggest support for the idea is growing progressively as the Brexit sees the UK turn in on itself and the tone of political debate becomes ever so toxic.

Let's get things in the right order. The damage to the Cofiwch Dryweryn wall is not the thing that has driven people to want independence. But the timing of the situation has served to many as a potent symbol to how Wales's national identity, heritage and values are being threatened by forces outside their control.

If a simple, derelict wall that commemorates an act of exploitation of Wales by its neighbour can not stand without fear of being demolished, it's not hard to recognise the parallels many see with a broader undermining of the nation's current status.


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 60,061

About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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