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Sobbing Roseanne Barr Tries Again to Defend Herself Over Racist Tweet: ‘I Didn’t Know’ Valerie Jarrett Is Black

June 24, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

The comedian cried while discussing the May 2018 controversy that resulted in her show's cancellation.


Comedian Roseanne Barr tried to defend herself—again—after a series of racist tweets prompted the cancellation of her highly-rated ABC sitcom, insisting she “didn’t know” former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett is black.

“When ABC called me and said, ‘What is the reason for your egregious racism?,’ I said, ‘Oh my God, it is a form of racism,’” Barr told Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, her spiritual adviser, in an interview posted to Soundcloud on Sunday. “I guess I didn’t know she was black, and I’ll cop to it, but I thought she was white.”

Barr said she “horribly [regrets]” her racist tweet about Jarrett, who she said resembles what a person would look like if “[the] muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.”

“It’s really hard to say this but, I didn’t mean what they think I meant,” she said. “And that’s what’s so painful. But I have to face that it hurt people. When you hurt people even unwillingly there’s no excuse.”

Barr added she apologizes to “anyone who thought, or felt offended and who thought that I meant something that I, in fact, did not mean.”

“It was my own ignorance, and there’s no excuse for that ignorance,” she continued. “But I didn’t mean it the way they’re saying I meant it. And that’s really weird too because if I don’t speak for myself, who will speak for me.”

Barr also noted that she has black children in her family and would never say “they are a monkey.”

“I just wouldn’t do that,” Barr insisted. “I didn’t do that.”

“I horribly regret it,” the comedian said. “Are you kidding? I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything. And I said to God, ‘I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong. I’m going to accept what the consequences are,’ and I do, and I have. But they don’t ever stop. They don’t accept my apology, or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it’s …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump Calls for Asylum Seekers to Be Expelled 'Immediately' — Without 'Judges or Court Cases'

June 24, 2018 in Blogs

By Hunter, Daily Kos

Donald Trump is, of course, the same person who whined, “Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”


This morning Donald Trump again made the goals of his new policies clear–and again escalated his demands, this time to declare that refugees entering America be sent back 'immediately', and without trial.

We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. [...]

Sending asylum-seekers fleeing violence back to their home nations without hearings is both unconstitutional and a clear international human rights violation, although there are few remaining Republicans who would be concerned by either. It is also enforcing American complicity in the violence they are fleeing from. It is the most expeditious path towards getting them killed.

Trump, a virulent racist, knows this. The “zero tolerance” policy was from the outset designed to block legitimate refugees from the country. We need not speculate on that: White House chief of staff John Kelly himself explained the flatly racist intent.

They're overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from – fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don't speak English, obviously that's a big thing. They don't speak English. They don't integrate well, they don't have skills. They're not bad people. [...] But a big name of the game is deterrence.

As Trump's team pursues policies of open white nationalism, he is becoming more and more impatient with even the pretense of following U.S. laws. That, too, is part of the White House plan. Fascism requires dismantling the laws barring discrimination, expulsion and (in the case of forcibly deporting asylum-seekers back to the people they are fleeing) state-sponsored murder, and there can no longer be any debate over whether Trump, his team, and his Republican enablers are seeking precisely that. He repeats it constantly; his staff openly brags about the laws they have been able to undermine.

His current target is immigrants. As in, all …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Evangelical Historian Explains How Christians Came to Put Trump Ahead of Jesus

June 24, 2018 in Blogs

By Paul Rosenberg, Salon

“How do we reconcile the white evangelical politics of fear with the scriptural command to ‘fear not’?”


John Fea is an evangelical Christian and a historian. When Donald Trump was elected with 81 percent of the self-described white evangelical vote, Fea was both stunned and surprised. “As a historian studying religion and politics, I should have seen this coming,” he notes. Yet he did not. Which was why Fea ended up writing his new book, “Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.”

On its own terms, the book clearly succeeds in making sense for Fea and others like him, with potential for reaching wavering Trump supporters as well. He identifies and lucidly explores three fundamental flaws in evangelical thinking that have led them to embrace a leader who is wholly unfit by their own once-cherished moral standards, in pursuit of ends they cannot possibly achieve — restoring 1950s America via government action. In a key passage, Fea explains:

For too long, white evangelical Christians have engaged in public life through a strategy defined by the politics of fear, the pursuit of worldly power, and nostalgia for a national past that may never have existed in the first place. Fear. Power. Nostalgia. These ideas are at the heart of this book, and I believe they best explain the 81 percent.

Fear is Fea’s central concern, and the one most directly at odds with the Bible. “The Bible teaches that Christians are to fear God – and only God,” Fea writes. “All other forms of fear reflect a lack of faith, of failure to place one's trust completely in the providential God who has promised to work all things out for good for those who love him.”  

That's a specific reference to Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” But this teaching seems lost on those who shout about God the loudest and the most, and it’s far from clear how Fea’s book can help change that. What it can perhaps …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'Deeply Offensive And Wholly Inappropriate': Fox News Distances Itself From Ex-Trump Advisor's 'Cotton-Picking Mind' Slur

June 24, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

Fox News guest David Bossie apologized for the comment Sunday.


Fox News distanced itself from a comment made by former Donald Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie, who told a black Democrat he was out of his “cotton-picking mind” during a Fox & Friends segment Sunday.

“David Bossie’s comments today were deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate,” a Fox News spokesperson said. “His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of FOX News and we do not in any way condone them.”

Bossie made the remark Sunday during an exchange with Democratic strategist Joel Payne. 

“'Cotton-picking mind?’” Payne replied. “Brother, let me tell you something. Let me tell you something. I've got some relatives who picked cotton and I’m not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that.”

Host Ed Henry briefly addressed the comment later in the show, telling viewers, “Fox News and this show, myself — we don’t agree with that particular phrase.” 

“It was obviously offensive, but these debates get fiery,” Henry said. “That’s unfortunate. We like to have honest and spirited debates but not phrases like that, obviously. So I will just leave it at that.”

Bossie later apologized to Payne and Fox News in a statement he posted to Twitter.

“During a heated segment on Fox & Friends today, I should have chosen my words more carefully and never used the offensive phrase that I did,” he wrote. “I apologize to Joel Payne, Fox News and its viewers.”

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…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Detained Migrants Are Being Told They Can Reunite With Their Kids If They Sign Voluntary Deportation Orders

June 24, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

A private attorney cautions it's highly unlikely these migrant children will meet their parents at the airport.


Migrants held in a detention facility in Houston separate from their children are being told they can reunite with their kids if they agree to sign a voluntary deportation order, the Texas Tribune reports.

A Honduran man told the Tribune at least 20 to 25 Central American men have been separated from their children, with most receiving the voluntary deportation offer. Authorities have reportedly told these men they will reunite with their kids at the airport if they agree to deportation.

The Honduran man told the Tribune he signed the voluntary deportation order and “abandoned his asylum case” in order to see his six-year-old daughter whom he was separated from in May.

“I was told I would not be deported without my daughter,” the man, who used the pseudonym “Carlos,” told the Tribune. “I signed it out of desperation… but the truth is I can’t go back to Honduras; I need help.”

In a statement, ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok accused the Tribune of “unprofessional and unfair” reporting for documenting the man’s allegations without offering identifying information about the individual making them.

“It is unprofessional and unfair for a media outlet to publish such allegations without providing names, dates and locations so that these allegations can be properly researched,” Rusnok said.

Cynthia Milian, a private attorney, cautioned that given the sprawling border control bureaucracy and the different department that handled immigration, it’s unlikely anyone who signs a voluntary deportation order would be met at the airport with their kids.

“I doubt they would put his child on a plane to get her to where he would get deported out from, especially if she’s in Arizona,” Milian said. “I just don’t see that happening.”

 

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Turkey's Lira Takes a Dive and Inflation Soars

June 24, 2018 in Economics

By Steve H. Hanke

Steve H. Hanke

For the Turkish lira (TRY), the month of May has been brutal. It
has seen the lira shed 15% of its value against the U.S. dollar
(USD). This is a big move, and an important one. Indeed, I have
repeatedly warned that the lira was President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan’s Achilles’ heel.

Since Erdogan became President in August of 2014, the lira has
lost a stunning 56% of its value against the greenback. And, just
since May 14th, when Erdogan announced that he planned to grab Turkey’s
monetary policy levers, the lira has depreciated almost 10% against
the USD.

With the collapse of the lira, Turkey’s inflation has surged.
The most important price in an economy is the exchange rate between
the local currency and the world’s reserve currency — the
U.S. dollar. Changes in the exchange rate can be reliably
transformed into accurate estimates of countrywide inflation rates.
The economic principle of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) allows for this
transformation
.

I measure the implied annual inflation rate on a daily basis by
using PPP to translate changes in the TRY/USD exchange rate into an
annual inflation rate. The chart below shows the course of that
annual rate. At present, Turkey’s annual inflation rate is 39.2%.
So, my measured rate of inflation is 3.6 times higher than the
official rate of 10.85%.

Just what lies behind the lira’s weakness? Well, it’s all about
supply and demand. On the supply side, the Central Bank of the
Republic of Turkey has been too loose, for too long. And that was
before Erdogan indicated that he wanted to get his hands on the
tiller, so that he could goose the money supply. By employing the
tried and true Quantity Theory of Money (QTM), we know that that
conclusion is on firm ground.

The QTM states that MV = Py, where M is the
money supply, V is the velocity of money, P is
the price level and y is real GDP. When made operational
and stated in terms of percentage changes in M,
V, P and y, we can determine the
“golden growth rate” for broad money. It is the money
supply growth rate required to hit a stated inflation target:
ΔM = ΔP + Δy – ΔV. So, the growth rate of broad money
equals the inflation rate plus the percentage change in real GDP
minus the percentage change in the velocity of money.

With this QTM equation, we estimate Turkey’s golden growth
rate for the money supply; the rate that would be consistent with
the Turkish Central Bank’s 5% …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Anti-Blasphemy Laws Are Blasphemous

June 24, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The profane long has coexisted with the sacred. During earlier
ages the secular authorities often sought to protect established
faiths by punishing blasphemy. Even where organized religion is
dying, the rule sometimes lives on. In October, Ireland will vote
on whether to eliminate a clause banning blasphemy from its
constitution.

The provision, and the corresponding criminal law, have not been
enforced for years. But they are not without support. Five years
ago the Catholic Order of the Knights of Saint Columbanus and
Islamic Cultural Center both argued for retention of the measure at
a constitutional convention. But almost certainly the poll will
doom even the theoretical possibility of blasphemy
prosecutions.

However, as the Islamic Cultural Center’s support might
suggest, similar prohibitions are alive, well, and badly abused
throughout the Muslim world. Although prosecutions sometimes target
Muslims, religious minorities and atheists are most at risk. In
such nations as Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, and Pakistan, blasphemy
laws have become a powerful tool of religious persecution and
repression. Nor is the law the only risk faced by those accused of
blasphemy. Mobs kill defendants and sometimes lawyers who defend
them and the judges who acquit them.

And they’re a threat to
religious liberty.

Last year the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
published a study by Joelle Fiss and Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum
entitled “Respecting Rights? Measuring the World’s
Blasphemy Laws.” The report surveys laws “which
penalize expression or acts deemed blasphemous, defamatory of
religion, or contemptuous of religion or religious symbols,
figures, or feelings.” The commissioners emphasized that
“while it is legitimate to speak out against blasphemy, we
believe that laws against blasphemy are detrimental to religious
freedom.”

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion
carefully made the same point, while attempting to avoid offending
the UN’s many Muslim-majority members: “At the national
level, blasphemy laws are counter-productive, since they may result
in de facto censure of all inter-religious or belief and
intra-religious or belief dialogue, debate and criticism, most of
which could be constructive, healthy and needed. In addition, many
blasphemy laws afford different levels of protection to different
religions and have often proved to be applied in a discriminatory
manner.”

The Fiss/Kestenbaum report explored in greater detail the
challenges presented by anti-blasphemy laws. At the outset, such
measures “position states as arbiters of truth and ultimate
deciders of what is or is not offensive to the sacred, an
assessment with inherent subjectivity.” Moreover, the laws
are directed at protecting religious doctrines, not actual people,
whether practitioners or critics. Indeed, blasphemy bans help
insulate dominant faiths, or more accurately, the institutional
structures and established leaders of dominant faiths, from even
well-deserved scrutiny and criticism.

Those who defend these measures …read more

Source: OP-EDS