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Algernon Moncrieff

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Member since: Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:49 AM
Number of posts: 5,099

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The Heartbreak of Raising a Black Daughter in a Red State


I am consistently jolted back to reality, and not just by evidence on the internet, like a video that surfaced of two white parents teaching children to be “patriotic” by vandalizing a mosque. My reminders come in the form of my daughter’s answers to “How was your school today?” One recent afternoon she reported that two girls she considered friends could no longer play with her. The reason: She’s brown.

My daughter, who’s 8 now, has been called “the maid” by her white classmates. Even more devastating, in some ways, is when she absorbs the attitudes the other kids seem to have learned from their parents. The other day, she asked me why “Mexicans are so dangerous.” I had to calm the tremor in my voice before I could correct her.

I’m well aware that bigots weren’t invented on Mr. Trump’s Inauguration Day, and I know that these experiences could occur in any state at any time. But I would be naïve to believe that living through a time when racism is spewing from the lips of the president of the United States — and in a place where so many people agree with his views — was not introducing ugly attitudes into my daughter’s life. After all, in the aftermath of the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that “a wave of incidents of bullying and other kinds of harassment washed over the nation’s K-12 schools.” The organization called it “the Trump effect.”

I worry that kids with same-sex parents are subjected to similar ridicule. I think about the children who are immigrants, and I can’t imagine what they hear from their classmates when they are out of the earshot of teachers.

Note: This article was published by a media organization labeled as an enemy of the people. Please weigh it accordingly.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Jul 29, 2018, 09:32 PM (6 replies)

WaPo - Is centrism dead?

Karen Tumulty

In interviews conducted with voters in a dozen states, Third Way says it found little concern for income inequality, something Democrats talk about a lot.

Instead, it heard anxiety about what people sense is happening in their own lives — that good jobs are vanishing; that they don’t have the right skills for a digital, globalized economy; that prospects for their children will be worse.

The think tank has put forward its own set of proposals, to deal with what it calls a “crisis of opportunity.” Among them are replacing unemployment insurance with a program that would also fund job-skills development, and vouchers to help people move to places where there are job openings; a minimum wage that would vary by region; and eliminating all tax on the first $15,000 of earned income.

None of these is likely to generate much excitement on the left. Nor are they proposals you will hear much about during this campaign season, given that midterm elections tend to become referendums on the president’s performance.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Jul 25, 2018, 11:03 PM (11 replies)

What The Rise Of Kamala Harris Tells Us About The Democratic Party


In the days after Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the two people who seemed like the Democratic Party’s most obvious 2020 candidates, then-Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, hinted that Clinton had gone too far in talking about issues of identity. “It is not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman; vote for me,’” Sanders said. Other liberals lamented that the party had lost white voters in such states as Ohio and Iowa who had supported Barack Obama, and they said Democrats needed to dial back the identity talk to win them back.

But that view never took hold among party activists. Liberal-leaning women were emboldened to talk about gender more, not less, after the 2016 election. We’ve had women’s marches and women running for office in greater numbers than ever — all while emphasizing their gender. President Trump’s moves kept identity issues at the forefront, too, and gave Democrats an opportunity both to defend groups they view as disadvantaged and to attack the policies of a president they hate.

The Democratic Party hasn’t simply maintained its liberalism on identity; the party is perhaps further to the left on those issues than it was even one or two years ago. Biden and Sanders are still viable presidential contenders. But in this environment, so is a woman who is the daughter of two immigrants (one from Jamaica and the other from India); who grew up in Oakland, graduated from Howard and rose through the political ranks of the most liberal of liberal bastions, San Francisco; who was just elected to the Senate in 2016 and, in that job, declared that “California represents the future” and pushed Democrats toward a government shutdown last year to defend undocumented immigrants; and who regularly invokes slavery in her stump speech. (“We are a nation of immigrants. Unless you are Native American or your people were kidnapped and placed on a slave ship, your people are immigrants.”)

Sen. Kamala Harris has not officially said she is running in 2020, but she hasn’t denied it, either, and she’s showing many of the signs of someone who is preparing for a run, including campaigning for her Democratic colleagues in key races and signing a deal to write a book. The Californian ranks low in polls of the potential Democratic 2020 field, and she doesn’t have the name recognition of other contenders. (Her first name is still widely mispronounced — it’s COM-ma-la.) But betting markets have her near the top, reflecting the view among political insiders that Harris could win the Democratic nomination with a coalition of well-educated whites and blacks, the way Obama did in 2008.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Jul 25, 2018, 01:47 AM (14 replies)

Brookings: Is increasing diversity positive for the U.S.? A look at the partisan divide

According to a Gallup survey released on July 18, the American people now regard immigration as the single most important problem facing the country, and the share of the population expressing this view stands at the highest level ever recorded. This surge of concern crosses partisan lines: the share of Republicans and Independents who name immigration as the top issue has more than tripled during the past year, and it has more than doubled among Democrats.

Unlike most demographic projections, this one has received wide publicity and has evoked diverse reactions. A Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey released earlier this week found that while 64 percent of Americans regard increasing demographic diversity as mostly positive, there are deep partisan divisions: Democrats believe that it’s mostly positive by an overwhelming margin of 85 to 13 percent, as do Independents by 59 to 34 percent, but 50 percent of Republicans regard it as mostly negative, compared to only 43 percent who favor it.

A closer look at the data reveals the sources of this cleavage. There are no gender differences, and age differences are much smaller than expected, with 57 percent of Americans 65 and older taking a positive view of rising diversity. Racial and ethnic differences are significant but not dispositive: 78 percent of both African-Americans as Hispanics see diversity as a plus, but so do 56 percent of white Americans. Much the same holds for regional differences: although 72 percent of respondents from the West and Northeast approve of increasing diversity, so do 60 percent of Midwesterners and 57 percent of Southerners.

The key drivers of partisan division are educational and religious differences among white Americans. Sixty-nine percent of whites with a BA or more have a mostly positive view of demographic diversity, compared to just 50 percent of whites without college degrees. As for religion, 52 percent of white Catholics and 56 percent of white mainline Protestants think rising diversity is mostly positive. By contrast, just 42 percent of white evangelical Protestants favor these changes, while 52 percent think they’re mostly negative. Two-thirds of whites without college degrees supported Republicans in the 2016 elections, as did eight in 10 white evangelicals.


Two comments: 1) It's Gallup data, so Caveat Emptor. 2) I think the immigration divide (the way I read this) like many other political divides, is really a product of education and religion.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jul 23, 2018, 01:24 AM (0 replies)

Rick Steves: Travel as a Political Act

Last week, travel broadcaster/writer/blogger Rick Steves put a brief clip on his Facebook page from the former KGB prison in Berlin. Reaction was predictable and partisan. So today, Rick posted this:

With so much discussion about how travel and politics mix here on this page (two million people saw Wednesday's post about KGB prisons, Putin, and Trump), I’d like to share the newest version of my most important talk, produced by KCET. You’ll either love or hate this one-hour lecture. In it, I share the most important lessons learned from a lifetime of traveling out of my comfort zone. I’ll explain how, when we travel thoughtfully, we gain an empathy for the other 96 percent of humanity and come home with the greatest of all souvenirs: a broader perspective. Watch just the first 10 minutes. I dare you.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Jul 22, 2018, 09:52 PM (16 replies)

ABC - FBI believed Trump campaign aide Carter Page was recruited by Russians


New documents show that one month before the 2016 elections, the FBI sought permission to surveil Carter Page, the one-time foreign policy adviser to the campaign of Donald Trump, because they alleged he had been recruited by the Russian government.

“The FBI believes the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Trump’s] campaign,” the application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said.

Page is alleged in the documents to have had “established relationships with Russian Government officials, including Russian intelligence officers.”

In more than 400 pages made public Saturday as a result of a Freedom of Information request by media outlets, and first reported by the New York Times, the government laid out its case for secretly monitoring Page in a series of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- or FISA – warrants, each of which was approved by the FISA court. The documents, which include an application and a warrant for surveillance of Page, were first filed in secret in October 2016, are blacked out in the version that was made public. He stepped away from the campaign a month earlier.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jul 21, 2018, 09:41 PM (5 replies)

For your consideration. Cori Bush - MO 01


When Cori Bush says she is the people she represents, it's not a campaign slogan.

Cori Bush is a former early childhood educator, a community-based mental health registered nurse, and an ordained pastor. She is a single mother and a community activist and organizer.

Cori has felt the burden of being uninsured and the pain of homelessness. She has endured racism and sexism. She is a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence. Cori experienced the challenges of raising children on her own, living paycheck to paycheck, making just above minimum wage, taking on student loans to continue her education.

And Cori Bush stands tall, using her experiences as fuel to fight for the disadvantaged, the disenfranchised, and the voiceless.

Cori is a tireless advocate for creating dramatic change. Now is not the time for baby steps. Incremental change is no change at all when her patients can’t afford medication, and families are struggling to put food on the table and find justice in the streets.

A native of St. Louis, Cori Bush is running to bring transformative change to Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. Stand with Cori, because she stands with you.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jul 21, 2018, 08:45 PM (118 replies)

Father of Parkland School Shooting Survivors Killed in North Lauderdale Armed Robbery

The father of two Parkland school shooting survivors was fatally shot at his own North Lauderdale convenience store during a robbery, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

Ayub Ali, a father of four, died Tuesday. Just five months prior, his son and daughter survived the mass shooting that killed 17 and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

According to a BSO report, Lauderdale Lakes BSO deputies and Tamarac Fire Rescue paramedics found the injured 61-year-old store clerk when they arrived at Aunt Molly's Food Store, located at 1691 S. State Road. Ali was transported to Fort Lauderdale's Broward Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The suspect forced Ali to his store's back office, where he was shot.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Jul 20, 2018, 12:21 PM (4 replies)

Larry Fedora, the War on Football, and Every Argument You've Ever Had With a Conservative

This is going to seem like a post on sports. And it is. but it isn't.

For those who don't know, Larry Fedora is the Head Football Coach at the University of North Carolina.

Full disclosure: I like football.

UNC coach Larry Fedora says football is 'under attack' is an article that was published in the Chicago Tribune. The content in the article has been published elsewhere, tweeted, and discussed in on talk radio (Will Cain talked about it on ESPN Radio today).

Let's start with this Tweet from Matt Fortuna:


At ACC media today, Fedora credited America's military excellence -- not with the training of our troops or the billions we've spent on equipment -- but football. We are great -- not simply because we play football, but because we don't play soccer.

...OK - he didn't quite say that -- but he implied it. Full disclosure - the World Cup annoyed the Hell out of me.... once Denmark and Iceland were gone.

"I don't think that the game of football, that it's been proven that the game of football causes CTE," Fedora said. "But that's been put out there. We don't really know yet.

So here is where this becomes the start of every argument you ever have with a conservative. It isn't proven. There's no proof Russian meddling cost Hillary the election. There's no proof rising CO2 causes global warming. Hell - the causal link between tobacco and cancer is tenuous at best. Next you'll say drinking causes liver disease.

Step 2

No, no, that's not what I meant," Fedora said. "How's the game under attack? To me, it's more about people twisting the data and the information out there to use for whatever their agenda is.

It's the answer to everything over in conservativeland. Present numbers on gun deaths, and you know what you'll hear next - "you can make numbers say anything you want." Hopefully these people aren't in professions where the accuracy of statistics means something, like oddsmaking or actuarial science. When CNN reports CTE found in 99% of studied brains from deceased NFL players, to hear Fedora tell it, the statistic is twisted, or CNN has "an agenda."

To be fair, Fedora stated that, "Any time you're changing the game for the betterment for the health and safety of the players, you're doing a great thing." I think we would all agree on that. But then he goes on to his great leap:

"Oh yes, I fear that the game will get pushed so far to one extreme that you won't recognize the game 10 years from now," Fedora said. "That's what I worry about. And I do believe if it gets to that point, that our country goes down, too."

If football goes..our country goes. Forget Putin. Forget nationalism.Forget kids in cages. it's football. And the implication is that if football goes down, then America becomes a nation of....well I can't write what most conservatives would say to complete that sentence. America will become soft (that seems safe). Like those soccer-playing surrender monkeys, the French - America will go down if we keep changing his beloved game. This is the other endlessly tiresome conservative argument - we are lost as a nation because we don't all love going camping and hunting. You've never seen the wonder in a child's eyes like the wonder of the first time s/he field dresses a deer and then buries the gut pile.

Alex Kirshner on SB Nation wrote:

The general Fedora talks about here isn’t the only person who thinks football ties into military dominance. Structurally, this sport lends itself to warfare comparisons:

Football gets likened to war because it’s a territorial struggle. Football plays are the distribution of players across open space. When you think of it like that, it makes sense. If you’re going to conquer the space — a football field — you should understand its constraints.

And America’s got an ongoing cultural tendency to attach football to war in all kinds of subliminal ways. We do this when we talk about “ground attacks” and “battles” and “flankers,” and even when we talk about teams getting the “territorial advantage.”


He [Fedora] ticked off a few things North Carolina’s done to promote player health, like monitoring head impact with helmet technology and having a concussions expert on hand.

“Again, I’m gonna say the game is safer than it’s ever been in the history of the game, but we will still continue to tweak the game as we go,” Fedora said.

It wasn’t clear if he thought those tweaks would bring about the end of American society as we know it.

What I never saw addressed was what happens if there are changes to the game and players kneel for the Star Spangled Banner?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Jul 20, 2018, 01:31 AM (0 replies)

Public backs action on global warming - but with cost concerns and muted urgency


Public awareness of global warming is up and support for action is broad, with eight in 10 Americans saying the federal government should try to achieve the same deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions called for in the international treaty rejected by Donald Trump.

Sixty-one percent in a new national survey also say the federal government should be doing “a great deal” or “a lot” about global warming, up 8 points since 2015 to the most since 2009. A mere 10 percent say the government in fact is doing that much – down 5 points in three years.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jul 16, 2018, 12:41 AM (0 replies)
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