Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: The New Minority

It's the “straight white male.” 


Can't wait for my set asides and quotas along with the politically-correct sympathy!!

"Colleges seek diversity ideal, but pick different paths to it" by Vivian Yee New York Times  August 05, 2017

NEW YORK —A look at affirmative action policies in 2017 shows that they have achieved their own kind of diversity, evolving from the explicitly race-based quotas of decades ago into a range of approaches that occasionally, not always, near the melting-pot ideal, often by giving preference to low-income students instead of minorities.

“The reason a liberal like me is intrigued by Trump’s actions on affirmative action is that I think it could have the effect of driving universities to really pursuing socioeconomic diversity as a way of indirectly creating racial diversity,” said Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation who has pushed for class-based admissions to replace race-based admissions.

Public universities in California and Washington, forbidden by state law from considering race in individual admissions decisions, have attempted to use socioeconomic factors as a substitute, hoping to draw from the overlap of minority and low-income students.

Others, like the University of Texas, accept a set percentage of the top students at every state high school. Neither method has fully succeeded in composing student bodies that match the racial makeup of their states.

Other colleges with more freedom to curate a student body continue to weigh race as one factor in admissions, which can lead to more diversity. But their decision-making can be so subjective that, in the minds of high school seniors staring down application season, it can border on the occult.

It is this opacity that has left few happy: not Asian-American students who feel that they are being held to a higher standard, and whose complaint against Harvard has become a focus of the Justice Department’s efforts; and not white students who feel similarly penalized.

Also unhappy are those who remain the theoretical face of affirmative action, African-American and Latino applicants who say the assumption that their success depended on their race can shadow them far beyond commencement.

What is interesting is women were also to be included, and yet no mention of gender at all. Don't know if they are messing with the mind with the word choices and unintended puns. Race can shadow them? 

Beyond that, this all reads well but to what end? University has basically become the training ground for the next generation of rulers and those that will staff the bureaucracy along with elite positions. The rest look like they will be saddled with student debt as they plug along in the part-time job they had going to school.

In any event, all of this is to deflect away from the cla$$ divide.

Mike Coiro, who will enter Columbia University in the fall, said he supported affirmative action, partly because his best friend, a Hispanic student who will be the first person in his family to attend college, will also be a freshman at Columbia in the fall.

In states that have rejected affirmative action policies at universities, which include Michigan, Washington and Florida, the new approaches to assembling a diverse student body have tended to give an edge to applicants who have overcome disadvantages like poor neighborhoods, troubled schools, and language barriers, but though these methods may have somewhat increased the number of low-income students of all backgrounds, racial diversity remains elusive......

Any black men gunned down by police yesterday?


Time to turn to gender:

"Google’s new diversity chief forcefully pushed back against a male worker’s argument that a “politically correct monoculture” ignores differences in capabilities between the sexes. The engineer, in a memo that has gone viral, provided a detailed list of what he called possible “non-bias” causes for the underrepresentation of women, saying the company’s left-leaning workplace culture prevents honest discussion. The document, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” was posted by Gizmodo. In response, Google’s Danielle Brown said the worker “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.” His views aren’t endorsed or promoted by the company, she wrote in a memo to employees. “We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company,” said Brown. Many Silicon Valley companies have been vexed by an inability to gain more female and minority workers. All told, 26 percent of computer and mathematical jobs are held by women, down a bit from 1960. Pay for women in tech has also lagged. Female computer and information systems managers receive 88 cents for each dollar paid to their male counterparts, according to government data. In the memo, the author says men have a higher drive for status, pushing them into tech and leadership positions that require “long, stressful hours” while “women on average look for more work-life balance.” The worker expresses concern about diversity initiatives that he believes are discriminatory and about using hiring practices that “lower the bar” for diversity candidates. It offers suggestions that include having an open discussion about the costs and benefits."

While not taking a position on that one way or the other, one is struck that the call for the shutdown of freedom of speech is not coming from the so-called right-wing fascists, but the so-labeled left.

Anyway, they proved his point when he was fired (I'm sure it is Trump's fault). He struck a nerve, they have nothing in common, it should mark a turning point, but wrong again.

And what about her e-mails anyway? 

Good luck getting the job:

"Visa program offers promise to the poor — then breaks it" by Tim Logan Globe Staff  August 05, 2017

It was the type of celebration that’s become commonplace in the Seaport District.

Investors, developers, and other real estate types mingled earlier this summer at a groundbreaking ceremony for Echelon Seaport — $900 million worth of luxury condos and apartments set to rise from a parking lot on Seaport Boulevard.

Under a big white tent, guests sipped cocktails and listened as Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh touted the glassy, gleaming business district sprouting around them.

Away from the festivities, Alex Shing of Los Angeles-based Cottonwood Management — the project’s developer — spoke about the strong interest from investors all over the globe who wanted to buy into Boston’s booming Seaport.

“This is probably the most valuable piece of dirt in the world,” Shing said.

Yet to help finance the project, Cottonwood and its partners capitalized on the high jobless rate of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods to qualify the project for a controversial funding program. It allowed them to raise about $225 million in bargain-rate loans from foreign investors who want to live and work in the United States.

The move — blessed by state and federal regulators — probably saved Echelon Seaport’s developer tens of millions of dollars in financing costs.

The idea behind the program is to create jobs and boost investments in depressed areas, but the rules are so loose as to make that promise a hollow one.

It’s not clear what, if anything, the project will do for the run-down parts of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan that Cottonwood’s consultants used to make the Seaport and its surroundings look downtrodden enough on paper to qualify for the program’s cheap financing.

Cottonwood is one of a growing number of companies using the federal government’s EB-5 visa program, which grants a green card to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in a US business that creates at least 10 jobs.

Started in 1990, the program has in recent years become increasingly popular with real estate developers, who use it to attract low-cost money, often from Chinese investors eager to move cash and — eventually — themselves, to the United States.

There ain't gonna be no war no more, there ain't gonna be no war!

EB-5 has been in the spotlight lately, thanks in part to President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who used it to finance luxury condo towers in Jersey City. The program has helped to pay for New York City’s massive Hudson Yards, a Las Vegas casino, and even the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

It has also gained headlines because of a few high-profile fraud cases, including a scandal involving Vermont’s Jay Peak ski resort, where federal officials last year charged a former executive and his business partner with fleecing foreign investors out of $200 million.

In Boston, EB-5 has been used to finance a few small projects, but until Echelon Seaport just one major development — Samuels Co.’s Pierce condo tower in the Fenway — had tapped the program, raising $50 million.

Developers of the massive One Dalton tower under construction in the Back Bay hope to raise about $150 million to fund a Four Seasons Hotel — which will occupy 23 of the building’s 61 stories — but haven’t yet closed a deal.

To qualify for the most investor-friendly form of EB-5 financing, a project must be sited in an area with an unemployment rate that’s 1½ times the national average: 7.4 percent in 2016 when Seaport Echelon received permits. That allows a foreigner to obtain a green card by making a $500,000 investment, instead of $1 million.

Rules for how big those areas can be are left up to individual states. Like many states, Massachusetts allows developers to string together an unlimited numbers of census tracts — mini-neighborhoods measured by the Census Bureau — until the collective jobless rate is high enough to qualify for EB-5. 

Nothing wrong with fudging the numbers, right?

This cobbling together of census tracts by developers is common. A Government Accountability Office report last year found that 97 percent of EB-5 projects were in high-unemployment areas, and that nearly 40 percent combined 11 or more census tracts to create one. Critics compare it with politicians’ gerrymandering of congressional districts to favor a particular party.

“Basically, every projects qualifies. There’s really no standard,” said Gary Friedland, a business professor at New York University who studies EB-5 financing. “The whole incentive that was created by the government has been turned upside down.”

Welcome to life in the 21st-century, regardless of issue.

For Echelon Seaport, Cottonwood and its consultants filed a map with the state that links 17 census tracts, extending from the Seaport to Mattapan Square, 6 miles away. The map starts in the Seaport before swinging out to capture the edges of South Boston and even the Harbor Islands.

It then dodges the affluent residential parts of Southie, but includes the Mary Ellen McCormack public housing complex, the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester, Grove Hall, and other lower-income sections of Roxbury.

From there, the map crosses Franklin Park to Mattapan. Altogether, the average unemployment rate for tracts on the map was precisely 7.4 percent. The project site is within walking distance of the city’s prosperous downtown and Beacon Hill, but the map was drawn to omit them.

State officials in May signed off on the map, giving Cottonwood the green light to tap into roughly $225 million it had raised from individual investors in China and elsewhere outside the United States.

Citing confidentiality agreements with lenders, Cottonwood’s Shing wouldn’t say exactly how much Echelon Seaport raised through EB-5, only that it amounted to “one-quarter or less” of the $900 million project’s funding. An ad for the project on a Chinese visa website indicated that Cottonwood aimed to raise as much as $225 million.

Whatever the total, EB-5 saved Cottonwood a bundle. The annual interest rate on a loan funded through the visa program typically runs about 5 percent, say EB-5 financing experts, about half the rate charged by more traditional investment firms. On a five-year, $225 million loan, the difference could easily top $50 million.

“It’s the cheapest source of capital they can find,” Friedland said. “The reason it’s cheaper is because the immigrant investors are making the loan strictly to qualify for a visa. They’re willing to accept a negligible return.”

Attracting low-cost capital is often a challenge for developers actually building in lower-income neighborhoods, said Joe Kriesberg, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. He said pumping the money into the Seaport, instead of areas that need more jobs, seems like a missed opportunity.

“We’d like to see these dollars be a little better targeted,” Kriesberg said. “This program provides a chance to invest in lower- and middle-income neighborhoods, and we should be looking at how we can do a better job of that.” 

Or not.

Shing acknowledged he probably could have launched Echelon Seaport without EB-5, but, he said, the financing would have been more complicated. Using the visa program “certainly makes the job a little bit easier,” he said.

When Echelon Seaport is completed, it’s expected to create several hundred jobs, mostly in stores on the lower two floors. It will also employ about 1,500 workers for three years of construction.

Like many developers of major projects in Boston, Cottonwood agreed to a requirement that half of its construction workers live in the city and that a quarter of them be black, Latino, or Asian — though those targets are rarely hit.

As of July, 30 percent of construction hours on the project had been worked by Boston residents, and 30 percent by members of minority groups, city officials said.

While the EB-5 program requires a project to create 10 jobs per investor, including construction positions, there is no language requiring that any of those jobs go to residents of high-unemployment areas that help a project qualify. In the case of Echelon Seaport, that means the developer isn’t required to hire residents of Roxbury or Mattapan.

Illegals dominate the industry labor pool, the Globe won a prize for it as they pushed the agenda for legalizing them, the cheap labor with no required benefits is crucial to the building boom, and that's today's lesson on immigration.

John Barros, Walsh’s head of economic development, said the city wants more EB-5 investment in lower-income neighborhoods.

But, he noted, building activity in the Seaport indirectly boosts those areas by increasing the city’s overall tax base and job opportunities. 

That's rising tide lifts all boats, except we see that 99.99% of them sink.

“In general, we’ve been talking about upward mobility for Boston residents and trying to make sure that opportunities being created anywhere in Boston are serving all Boston residents,” Barros said. “Particularly residents of neighborhoods and backgrounds that have not been included as much.”

Stricter federal requirements could ease concerns about the program, said Elliot Winer, a former Massachusetts state labor economist who today crafts maps to help developers qualify projects for EB-5 funding.

“Nobody would care about the gerrymandering if you had to hire, say, 50 percent of the people from the district,” he said.

With the program set to expire at the end of September, lawmakers in Washington are considering changes, including bumping up investment requirements and tightening the definition of high-unemployment areas.

That's why it got front-page treatment.

One proposal would require that the project itself be in a census tract with a high jobless rate, or immediately adjacent to one.

But the Echelon project already is certified, and construction crews are busily digging the foundation. Cottonwood plans to open its three towers — with 733 condominiums and apartments — in 2020 and will start marketing the condos later this fall.

“I’m confident in Boston, and especially in the Seaport,” Shing said at that swanky groundbreaking earlier this summer. “I mean, just look around.”


RelatedGov. Baker’s immigration bill would cast a wide net for ICE


"Chicago to sue Justice Department over funding threat" Associated Press  August 05, 2017

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city will sue the federal government in defense of its status as a so-called sanctuary city and against threats to withhold US grant funds.

Emanuel said in an interview Friday that the city will be in federal court Monday arguing grants can’t be withheld from cities the administration says aren’t cooperating enough with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. The interview with radio station WLS-AM will air Sunday.

Officials say Chicago this year expects to receive $3.2 million in Byrne Justice Assistance Grants. The money would mostly be used to buy police vehicles.

The cities were Baltimore and Albuquerque, as well as Stockton and San Bernardino in California.

None of the four has declared itself a ‘‘sanctuary city,’’ a term associated with ordinances aimed at shielding illegal immigrants.

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Republican Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry denied his city is a sanctuary for immigrants living in the country illegally and said he has been trying to work with immigration authorities since taking office in 2009.

Berry said ICE staffing at the prison transport center fell in recent years.

Chicago law prohibits police from providing Immigration and Customs officials access to people in police custody, unless they are wanted on a criminal warrant or have serious criminal convictions.

Citizens must obey all laws or else. For illegals its only serious criminal convictions, meaning other crimes aren't serious and don't matter?

Local police are also barred from allowing ICE agents to use their facilities for interviews or investigations and from responding to ICE inquiries or talking to ICE officials about a person’s custody status or release date.

Authorities contend the policy helps encourage residents of the immigrant community to inform police when they are victims of crimes.

Peter Simonson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico, called Sessions’ demands ‘‘a bullying tactic.’’


I suppose there is no connection with Chicago leading the nation in homicides thanks to the violent Mexican drug gangs that use the city as a U.S. base of operations -- and that's the thing. It's allowed to go one, and Rahm's job is to oversee it all.

Also see

"A Northwestern University professor and a University of Oxford staffer accused of stabbing a man to death in Chicago surrendered peacefully to authorities in California, eight days after the attack. Wyndham Lathem, 42, surrendered Friday night at the Oakland federal building at about the same time that Andrew Warren, 56, was turning himself in to police in San Francisco, according to the US Marshals Service. The agency learned Wednesday that the two were in the Bay Area (AP)."

"A man in prison for child rape and an Ohio woman were convicted in Cleveland of dozens of counts related to the sex trafficking of children as young as 9 years old. A jury on Friday convicted Andre Boynton, 42, and Anika George, 39, of North Royalton, on charges that included human trafficking, conspiracy, and multiple counts of child rape and child pornography. They are scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 25 (AP)."

Just some brief asides on a Sunday.

Chicago files federal lawsuit over sanctuary cities threat

That was the New York Times version.

Chicago sues over sanctuary city threat; Sessions fires back

That was found in the the Washington Post and different from my print piece.

"Chicago files federal lawsuit over sanctuary cities threat" MICHAEL TARM and SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press  |  August 07, 2017

It is the latest round in a battle between several major U.S. cities that opt to limit cooperation with federal government efforts to enforce immigration law and the Trump administration, with federal officials threatening for months to withhold funding for sanctuary cities, saying they don't comply with federal laws.

Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said local governments would lose the money if they do not give advance notice when immigrants in the country illegally are about to be released from custody. He also wants immigration agents to have access to local jails. He has argued that the policy makes everyone safer.

Chicago has been a sanctuary city since the 1980s, beefing up its policies in the past decade, particularly since Trump took office.

The city prohibits police from providing federal Immigration and Customs officials access to people in police custody, unless they are wanted on a criminal warrant or have serious criminal convictions. Local police are also barred from allowing ICE agents to use their facilities for interviews or investigations and from responding to ICE inquiries or talking to ICE officials about a person's custody status or release date.

Authorities contend the policy helps encourage residents of the immigrant community to inform police when they are victims of crimes.

The lawsuit, which names Sessions, seeks to remove the immigration-related conditions for the grant applications.

When asked for comment about the lawsuit Monday, the Department of Justice spokesman directed The Associated Press to Sessions' previous comments, including those saying sanctuary cities threaten safety.

"It's especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago's law enforcement at greater risk," said department spokesman Ian D. Prior in an email.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city leaders have rejected that the city's policies protect immigrants with criminal records who are living in the U.S. without legal permission. Leaders of several sanctuary cities and counties, including in Chicago, have also dismissed such statements linking immigrants and crime as discriminatory and misleading.....


Got a place to stay yet?

"Airbnb boots white nationalists headed to ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va." by Kyle Swenson Washington Post  August 08, 2017

After a series of raw-throated public confrontations earlier this year, Charlottesville, Va., is bracing for an influx of white nationalists from across the country to Saturday’s ‘‘Unite the Right’’ rally.

But visitors might have a problem nailing down accommodations. As city leaders worked Monday trying to defuse an increasingly tense situation, the lodging rental company Airbnb quietly booted users whom it believed were searching for lodging to attend the rally.

You would think Charlottesville were Cambridge.

In recent years the park has become a hot spot for controversy. Municipalities across the South have moved to scrub Confederate symbolism from civic life following the 2015 racially motivated killing of nine black church members in Charleston, S.C.


"Wopat played a number of television roles in the 1970s and ’80s, including the Luke Duke role on the “Hazzard” show that catapulted him to stardom. He has also appeared on Broadway and received Tony nominations for his roles in “Annie Get Your Gun” in 1999 and “A Catered Affair” in 2008, according to a biography on his official website. Wopat is also a recording artist....."

Ah, the good old boys of Hazzard and the Bo$$ Hog of Wisconsin:

"It would take at least 25 years for Wisconsin taxpayers to break even on Governor Scott Walker’s incentives to lure Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to the state, according to a fiscal analysis released Tuesday. Walker’s bill would exempt construction materials from the state and local sales tax and hand the company up to $2.85 billion in tax credits based on the number of jobs generated. It also would exempt the company from a host of environmental regulations and borrow $252 million to rebuild Interstate 94 near the plant site. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis of the bill found that Walker’s administration found the cost of the tax credits would exceed potential increased tax revenues by $1.04 billion at the end of fiscal year 2032-33. After that year, payments to Foxconn would end and increased tax collections would ring in at about $115 million annually. At that rate, the break-even point would come during the 2042-43 fiscal year. The break-even point could come even later, though."

Or never, for that matter, and maybe Walker should take a drug test.

In May, white nationalists held a torchlit demonstration to oppose the statue’s removal; counterprotesters held a candlelight vigil the following evening.

You never want to see those two together.

In July, a Ku Klux Klan group held a rally at Emancipation Park in support of the statue. Charlottesville law enforcement spent nearly $33,000 keeping the 30 or so Klansmen separated from the 1,000 counterprotesters who arrived to challenge the group’s presence. Following the rally, police used gas canisters to move counterprotesters from the area.

Twenty-two arrests were made.

It's an ‘‘event to affirm the right of Southerners and white people to organize for their interests just like any other group is able to do, free of persecution,’’ the rally’s Facebook page noted.

That is a pet peeve of mine.

The event’s speakers list is full of free speech provocateurs such as white nationalist Richard Spencer and Augustus Invictus, the self-professed ‘‘most dangerous Libertarian in America.’’ High-ranking members from the National Socialist Movement, the Traditionalist Workers Party, and the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer have also indicated they will attend.

That says it all as far as the pre$$ is concerned. Free speech is provocative. 

And here I went a defended their right to spew.

Just how many attendees all the online attention will pull, however, has been guesswork.

On Monday city leaders announced that they would pull the event’s permit for Emancipation Park because of safety concerns. City Manager Maurice Jones said in a press release that the event could go forward if it was moved to a larger city park more suitable for the expected crowd.

But the rally’s organizer, Jason Kessler, told the Post that the rally would not move. ‘‘I have notified the police of our intention to carry out our First Amendment-protected demonstration at the Lee Statue,’’ he said, ‘‘and we are working with them to do this in as safe a manner as possible given the unwise and unlawful decision of City Council to revoke our permit.’’

The advance warning is key because they then stood down.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors ‘‘hate groups and other extremists,’’ warns that the rally could be ‘‘the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States.’’

Outside of AIPAC.


The space was known as Robert E. Lee Park.

Before continuing I want to make it clear I self-identify with neither side. They are both driven by the same forces in service of the same agenda-pushing goals. The far-left and far-right have been infiltrated and coopted by government and globalist forces for a long time. All protest and opposition (or 99% of it) presented by my pre$$ are controlled and staged events for perception management purposes.

"3 deaths linked to white nationalist rally in Virginia" by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Brian M. Rosenthal New York Times  August 12, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The city of Charlottesville was engulfed by violence Saturday as white nationalists and counterprotesters clashed in one of the bloodiest fights to date over the removal of Confederate monuments across the South.

The first thing I notice is the rewrite, and I figured I would just wing the web version rather than track down the verbatim print copy.

White nationalists had long planned a demonstration over the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. But the rally quickly exploded into racial taunting, shoving, and outright brawling, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency and the National Guard to join police in clearing the area.

Those skirmishes mostly resulted in cuts and bruises. But after the rally at a city park was dispersed, a car bearing Ohio license plates plowed into a crowd near the city’s downtown mall killing a 32-year-old woman. Some 34 others were injured; at least 19 in the crash, according to a spokeswoman for the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Colonel Martin Kumer, the superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, confirmed Saturday evening that an Ohio man, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, had been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and failing to stop at the scene of a crash that resulted in a death. The authorities declined to say publicly that Fields was the driver of the car that plowed into the crowd.

Who the hell is James Alex Fields Jr., and why would he do this?

Witnesses to the crash said a gray sports car accelerated into a crowd of counterdemonstrators, who were marching jubilantly near the mall after the white nationalists had left, and hurled at least two people into the air.

“It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Robert Armengol, who was at the scene reporting for a podcast he hosts with students at the University of Virginia. “After that it was pandemonium. The car hit reverse and sped, and everybody who was up the street in my direction started running.”

I'm taking it for granted that this really happened, although I could be excused for doubting it. There have been so many crisis drills mixed in with false flags and actual events that it is getting hard to distinguish the difference. What they do is reinforce the underlying propaganda narrative time and again.

The planned rally was promoted as “Unite the Right,” and both its organizers and critics said they expected it to be one of the largest gathering of white nationalists in recent times, attracting groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, and movement leaders like David Duke and Richard Spencer.

Many of these groups have felt emboldened since the election of Donald Trump as president. Duke, a former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, told reporters Saturday that the protesters were “going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back.”

That was a long time ago and I'll let you judge the man for yourself. The fact that he is being waved around in my pre$$ tells you something, too.

On Saturday afternoon, Trump — speaking at the start of a veterans’ event at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. — addressed what he described as “the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Va.”

In his comments, Trump condemned the bloody protests, but he did not specifically criticize the white nationalist rally and its neo-Nazi slogans, blaming “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”

“It’s been going on for a long time in our country. It’s not Donald Trump. It’s not Barack Obama,” said Trump, adding that he had been in contact with Virginia officials. After calling for the “swift restoration of law and order,” he offered a plea for unity among Americans of “all races, creeds and colors.”

The president came under criticism from some who said that he had not responded strongly enough against racism and that he had failed to condemn by name the white nationalist groups that were behind the rally.

Related: ‘‘What if we replaced the word ‘white nationalist’ with another group? Would some people still be discussing the merit of the arguments or would there be a universal call for swift action?’’

There would be silence and a recognition of their voice.

Among those displeased with Trump was the mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer. “I do hope that he looks himself in the mirror and thinks very deeply about who he consorted with during his campaign,” he said.

And since he has been president, right?

Late Saturday, the Department of Justice announced that it was opening a civil-rights investigation into “the circumstances of the deadly vehicular incident,” to be conducted by the FBI, the US attorney for the Western District of Virginia, and the department’s Civil Rights Division.

“The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”

The turmoil in Charlottesville began with a march Friday night by white nationalists on the campus of the University of Virginia and escalated Saturday morning as demonstrators from both sides gathered in and around the park. Waving Confederate flags, chanting Nazi-era slogans, wearing helmets, and carrying shields, the white nationalists converged on the Lee statue inside the park and began chanting phrases like “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.”

Hundreds of counterprotesters — religious leaders, Black Lives Matter activists, and anti-fascist groups known as “antifa” — quickly surrounded the park, singing spirituals, chanting, and carrying their own signs.

See: Will the US be solely a country for the antifa left? 

It is being pushed that way.

The morning started peacefully, with the white nationalists gathering in McIntire Park, outside downtown, and the counterdemonstrators — including Cornel R. West, the Harvard University professor and political activist — gathering at the First Baptist Church, a historically African-American church here. West, who addressed the group at a sunrise prayer service, said he had come “bearing witness to love and justice in the face of white supremacy.”

And all those black and brown people in the other hemisphere and down south in this one that have fallen victim to America's wars? 

Somehow they are all left out of this as labels are hurled at people.

At McIntire Park, the white nationalists waved Confederate flags and other banners. One of the participants, who gave his name only as Ted because he might want to run for office someday, said he was from Missouri and added, “I’m tired of seeing white people pushed around.”

But by 11 a.m., after both sides had made their way to Emancipation Park, the scene had exploded into taunting, shoving and outright brawling.

Barricades encircling the park and separating the two sides began to come down, and police temporarily retreated. People were seen clubbing one another in the streets, and pepper spray filled the air. One of the white nationalists left the park bleeding, his head wrapped in gauze.

Meaning they allowed this to happen. They knew what was coming.

Declaring the gathering an unlawful assembly, police cleared the area before noon, and the Virginia National Guard arrived as officers began arresting some who remained. But fears lingered that the altercation would start again nearby, as demonstrators dispersed in smaller groups.

Within an hour, politicians, including Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a Republican, had condemned the violence.

The first public response from the White House came from the first lady, Melania Trump, who wrote on Twitter: “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence.”

I believe they are doing their best.

Sessions said Justice Department agents would support local and state officials in an investigation of Saturday’s events.

“This kind of violence is totally contrary to American values and can never be tolerated,” Sessions said in a statement.

Former President Obama responded to the violence on Twitter with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion... People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.” 

This now has all the hallmarks of a preplanned propaganda campaign.

|After the rally was dispersed, its organizer, Jason Kessler, who calls himself a “white advocate,” complained in an interview that his group had been “forced into a very chaotic situation.”

He added, “The police were supposed to be there protecting us and they stood down.”

Both Kessler and Spencer, a prominent white nationalist who was to speak Saturday, are graduates of the University of Virginia. In an online video, titled “a message to Charlottesville,” Spencer vowed to return to the college town.

“You think that we’re going to back down to this kind of behavior to you and your little provincial town? No,” he said. “We are going to make Charlottesville the center of the universe.”

Later in the day, a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed near a golf course and burst into flames, leaving at least two people dead. The helicopter appeared to have been monitoring the protests.

The violence in Charlottesville was the latest development in a series of dramas unfolding across the United States over plans to remove statues and other historical markers of the Confederacy. The battles have been intensified by the election of Trump, who enjoys fervent support from white nationalists.

Heeeeeeere we go!

In New Orleans, tempers flared this spring when four Confederate-era monuments were taken down. Hundreds of far-right and liberal protesters squared off, with occasional bouts of violence, under another statue of Lee. There were fisticuffs and a lot of shouting, but nothing like the violence seen in Charlottesville.

In St. Louis, workers removed a Confederate monument from Forest Park in June, ending a drawn-out battle over its fate. In Frederick, Md., a bust of Roger Taney, the chief justice of the United States who wrote the notorious 1857 Dred Scott decision denying blacks citizenship, was removed in May from its spot near City Hall.

I'm not taking either side; however, the failure to examine history and wish to scrub it clean disturbs me. Like it or not, it is part of who we are as a nation. I didn't hear anyone complaining when all the Southern boys were dying in the centuries of wars since.

Here in Charlottesville, Saturday’s protest was the culmination of a year and a half of debate over the Lee statue. A movement to withdraw it began when an African-American high school student here started a petition. The City Council voted 3-2 in April to sell it, but a judge issued an injunction temporarily stopping the move.

The city had been bracing for a sea of demonstrators, and Friday night, hundreds of them, carrying lit torches, marched on the picturesque grounds of the University of Virginia, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson.

Many of the white nationalist protesters carried campaign signs for Trump.

University officials said one person was arrested and charged Friday night with assault and disorderly conduct, and several others were injured. Among those hurt was a university police officer injured while making the arrest, the school said in a statement.

Teresa A. Sullivan, the president of the university, strongly condemned the Friday demonstration in a statement, calling it “disturbing and unacceptable.”

Still, officials allowed the Saturday protest to go on — until the injuries began piling up.

Charlottesville declared a state of emergency around 11 a.m., citing an “imminent threat of civil disturbance, unrest, potential injury to persons, and destruction of public and personal property.”

McAuliffe followed with his own declaration an hour later.

“It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly-out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property,” he said in a statement. “I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state.”

Does he mean both sides?

The Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, Ed Gillespie, issued his own statement denouncing the protests as “vile hate” that has “no place in our Commonwealth.”

Ryan agreed. “The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant,” he said on Twitter. “Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.”

That's kind of vague, isn't it?


RelatedHundreds rally on Boston Common following violence in Charlottesville

Globe say it was a war zone and a show of hate. I'm sure they meant well.

"Secessionists push for South to break away from US again" by Jay Reeves Associated Press  August 12, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — As 21st century activists seek to topple monuments to the 19th century Confederate rebellion, some white Southerners are again advocating for what the Confederates tried and failed to do: secede from the Union.

It’s not an easy argument to win, and it’s not clear how much support the idea has, but the idea of a break-away Southern nation persists.

I'm getting an article about it anyway, sigh.

The League of the South’s longtime president, retired university professor Michael Hill of Killen, Alabama, posted a message in July on the group’s Facebook page a day after a rally in support of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, that began, ‘‘Fight or die white man’’ and went on to say ‘‘that means the South will once again be in name and in actuality White Man’s Land, a place where we and our progeny can enjoy Christian liberty and the fruits of our own labor, unhindered by parasitical ‘out groups.’’’

The group’s website says it is ‘‘waging a war to win the minds and hearts of the Southern people,’’

That never seems to work.

While white-controlled government is its goal, the group says in a statement of beliefs that it offers ‘‘good will and cooperation to Southern blacks in areas where we can work together as Christians to make life better for all people in the South.’’ 

As long as it is Jewish, that's fine.

Hill said they’re not advocating for a repeat of a Civil War that claimed 620,000 lives or a return to slavery, the lynchpin of the South’s antebellum economy.....

As if returning to such things were even possible.



"The forecast calls for a lot of beer, barbecue and loud music this weekend at the event in Maine formerly known as the Redneck Olympics. The event gets underway in earnest this weekend in Hebron, Maine, where events include mud runs for trucks, toilet seat horseshoes and a muddy tug-of-war. The event started off as the Redneck Olympics but is now officially known as the "Redneck (Blank)" after the real Olympics threatened to sue. Unlike the real Olympics, athletic skill is not a requirement. Organizer Harold Brooks said the event is all about hard-working people having fun."

Yeah, turns out the "rednecks" who want to secede are all over the place.

Southern Texas wants to secede and join Mexico?

"Advocates stage first big Texas protest against border wall" by Nomaan Merchant Associated Press  August 12, 2017

MISSION, Texas — Hundreds of protesters wearing white and chanting in English and Spanish marched Saturday in Texas’ first major protest against a border wall, crossing the earthen Rio Grande levee where President Trump’s administration wants to build part of the first phase.

The protesters launched what’s expected to be a fierce movement against Trump’s best-known immigration policy priority.

Many of the participants acknowledged they might not be able to stop a project that the US government is already planning, but they hoped to draw national attention to the cause and persuade lawmakers who have yet to sign off on funding for the project.

Aren't Hispanics considered white?

‘‘We might seem small and insignificant. Maybe we are,’’ said Anthoney Saenz, a 19-year-old native of the Rio Grande Valley. ‘‘But when our voices come together, when we band together as a community to try to get a voice out there, we have to hope we get heard.’’

Organizers of Saturday’s protest wanted to make clear the depth of local opposition to the border wall, which as proposed would cut through a federally protected wildlife refuge and split apart several border towns.

About 40 groups took part in the protest, from environmentalists to landowners’ rights groups to immigrant advocates.

The procession set out just after dawn and grew as it headed south toward the Rio Grande.

It ended at La Lomita.....

Which is where I coincidentally ended my reading.



"Some teenagers who entered the United States under the unaccompanied-children program are being illegally detained because of allegations of gang affiliation, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a lawsuit. The suit was filed in San Francisco on behalf of three teenagers recently detained on Long Island. The teens were taken to a government facility in California (AP)."

Also see:

“It seems to me that having a multiracial aristocracy is better than an all-white aristocracy, but it’s still an aristocracy.”

RelatedThe majority of Harvard’s incoming class is nonwhite

Then make it into a gender issue.