31 января, 22:10

Budweiser's Super Bowl LI Ad Is A Story Of Overcoming Xenophobia

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); At some point during Super Bowl LI on Sunday, Anheuser-Busch will run an ad that tells the story of a man fulfilling his American dream in spite of the anti-immigrant sentiment he faced along the way.  In the ad, which was released online Tuesday, a German immigrant arrives by boat in the U.S., where he is told, “You’re not wanted here. Go back home.” In spite of the xenophobia, he continues on, finally arriving in St. Louis where he tells a man of his dream of starting an American brewing company. The story, you probably guessed, is the story of the company’s co-founder, Adolphus Busch, who journeyed as a young man from Germany to St. Louis in 1857. One of more than 20 siblings, Busch went to the U.S. to try and make a life for himself, believing he would not be obtain enough of his wealthy parents’ fortune.  The ad comes just days after President Trump signed an executive order that temporarily banned refugees and people from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the country, and indefinitely banned Syrian refugees. In light of the ban, it seems that Anheuser-Busch is trying to do what it can to avoid becoming antagonizing either side of the political fray. In a statement provided to The Huffington Post, the company emphasized that the idea had been in development for a year ― well before President Donald Trump’s election last November ― and that it was simply meant to celebrate an American success story. “We created the Budweiser commercial to highlight the ambition of our founder, Adolphus Busch, and his unrelenting pursuit of the American dream,” the company said in a statement.  Ricardo Marques, an executive for the Budweiser brand in the U.S., similarly said in an earlier interview with AdWeek that while the story of Busch’s journey is “a universal story that is very relevant today,” it had “no correlation with anything else that’s happening in the country.” Notably, the final cut of the ad also appears to depict less virulent xenophobia than an earlier version of the ad seen by AdWeek, in which one person says, “Go back to where you came from!” and Busch actually gets spat on.  But regardless of what Anheuser-Busch says and does from here on out, it’s hard to ignore the political relevance of a Super Bowl ad in 2017 that depicts an American immigrant overcoming xenophobia to achieve success in the U.S.  Anti-German sentiment was even on the rise when Busch arrived in the U.S. in 1857. Many Germans left their to pursue a better economic lot in life ― as Busch did ― but some were political refugees, too, most famously a group known as the The Forty-Eighters, who left Germany after a failed fight to unify Germany.  All told, more than five million Germans traveled to the U.S. during the 19th century in hopes of a better life, leading to anger and resentment among many U.S. citizens, who harbored that resentment for many years to come. Sound familiar? -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 18:43

Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick, And The Politics Of Football

Football Is Trumpball Lite Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com The Super Bowl is superfluous this year. Who needs a reality show about violence, domination, and sexism, not to mention brain damage, now that we have Trumpball, actual reality that not only authenticates football’s authoritarianism but transforms us from bystanders into victims? Before this game is over, the players may swarm the grandstands and beat the hell out of us. Pro football actually helped prepare us for the new president’s upset victory by normalizing a basic tenet of jock culture: anyone not on the team is an enemy, the Other. And it’s open season on opponents, the fans of opponents, critics, and women (unless they’re cheerleaders or moms). Trash talking is the lingua franca of this Trumpian moment, bullying the default tactic. Yet pro football has also provided us with the single most vivid image of current American resistance to racism. Last summer, before a pre-season game, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the playing of the national anthem as a symbol of his refusal “to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” As the season progressed, he started going down on his right knee when the anthem began, revealing that he was wearing black socks decorated with pigs in police hats.  These, he said, represented “rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments.” He would eventually stop wearing them, convinced that the socks were a tactical mistake. Kaepernick’s non-violent gestures, done initially without fanfare, were the most powerful message from SportsWorld since that other hard year of despair and determination, 1968, when two American Olympic medalists, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raised their black-gloved fists in Mexico City. Incredibly, Smith, Carlos, and Kaepernick were all tutored by the same man, sociologist Harry Edwards. In the 1960s, as a young San Jose State professor, Edwards created the Olympic Project for Human Rights as his protest against racism. Now a retired Berkeley professor, he has been a long-time adviser to the 49ers. Forty-nine years ago, as symbols of the so-called Athletic Revolution -- an attempt to resist the tyrannical rule of coaches and administrators, particularly over African-American football players and college track-and-field competitors -- Smith and Carlos were marginalized. Instead athletic “activism” morphed into hustling for sneaker endorsements.  But this time, Edwards promises, will be different. “The evident trajectory of the Kaepernick ‘movement’ (and the growing support among athletes for its concerns),” he recently wrote, “means that there are going to be some turbulent times over the upcoming Trump era as the pressure on athletes to stand up and speak out escalates.” You won’t be surprised to learn that Donald Trump immediately disparaged Kaepernick’s gesture, telling a Seattle radio station, "I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it’s not gonna happen." He then moved on, as he tends to do -- perhaps because he was already bored or perhaps because it triggered a memory of his own disastrous pro football days. Sports Owner Trump Destroyed His League Donald Trump is an old story for me.  When I first began talking to him in the mid-1980s -- I was then a sports reporter for CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt -- he had just bought the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL), then in its second year of operation. The USFL played its games in the spring and summer to avoid direct competition with the National Football League for fans and TV access, but did manage to bid successfully against the established league for a number of star players, including Herschel Walker, Steve Young, and Doug Flutie. In the course of our first long interview, Trump assured me that he was not a man consumed by his latest purchase. (“If the league isn’t successful, then, you know, it’s off to the next thing.”)  He did, however, boast -- he was already The Donald, of course -- that his involvement gave the USFL “a little bit more warlike posture toward the establishment,” and that the “magic” of Trump Tower would enhance the image of the league. He insisted that he didn’t much like attention himself, but felt obligated to do this interview because I represented “a great show.” Even then, he spoke in the adjectival style (Great! Sad!) now familiar to all Americans.  At the time, though I sensed that it was all mud, I was a journalist and at least it covered the ground. When I asked him about reports that the USFL’s hidden agenda was to eventually merge with the successful National Football League or at least pressure it into admitting some of the upstart franchises, he responded genially, “I hadn’t thought of it to be perfectly honest,” adding, “I don’t think it’s in the cards for many years.” Of course, Trump turned out to be the leader of a group of owners pushing the new league to shift its games to the fall, a direct challenge to the NFL. An anti-trust lawsuit against that league followed, ending in a Pyrrhic victory.  The USFL received a judgment of $3 and collapsed, having lost tens of millions of dollars in the process. It was all so Trumpian, so much the shape of things to come. Maybe I didn’t take him seriously enough then because we both came from Queens, a scorned outer borough of New York City, or because he was already a well-known publicity hound and classic boldface tabloid name. But I did come away with two insights that helped me in later interviews with him (when the subject was real estate or politics): first, that he would always respond to a question, even a needling one, as long as he was its subject, and second, that he had a gift for what I came to think of as predatory empathy.  He was remarkably skilled at reading what his interviewer wanted to hear and then reshaping himself and his answer accordingly. Once he read me as a liberal with a weakness for pop philosophy, he typically answered a question about the moral responsibilities of sports owners by offering this supposed credo: “I tend to think that you should be decent, you should be fair, you should be straight, and you should do the best you can. And beyond that, you can’t do very much really. So yeah, you do have a responsibility.” Then, as if adding a note in the margins of his own bland comment, he added, “I’m not sure to what extent that responsibility holds.” Typically, he had swallowed his own tail and who knew what he meant, including him. Through the 1990s, as the host of a local PBS public affairs show and then back writing columns at the New York Times, I watched his mean-spirited pomposity swell as he filled airtime and notebooks. But what more could a journo ask? Once, for reasons I can’t recall, I returned to that supposed sense of “responsibility” of his, asking him if he’d like to “run the country as you have run your organization.”  “I would much prefer that somebody else do it. I just don’t know if the somebody else is there,” he replied, as if already imagining January 20, 2017. “This country,” he added ominously, “needs major surgery.” “Are you the surgeon?” “I think I’d do a fantastic job, but I really would prefer not doing it.” I’ve thought about Donald Trump ever since -- he did have that effect on you -- and have come to realize that he’s an avatar of the worst aspects of jock culture. (He had, in fact, been a good high school athlete.) His kind of boastful, bullying, blowfish persona is tolerated in locker rooms (as in sales offices, barracks, trading floors, and legislatures) just as long as the big dog can deliver. Which he has done. It’s no surprise that his close pals and business associates in SportsWorld include two other notorious P.T. Barnums, boxing’s Don King and wrestling’s Vince McMahon (whose wife, Linda, is now Trump's pick to head the Small Business Administration). Another typical jock culture trait is rolling over for the alpha(est) dog in your arena, be it the team leader, coach, owner, or even the president of Russia. One wonders, had Trump become a successful NFL owner, would he have wimped out as completely as New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft did when Russian President Vladimir Putin pocketed his Super Bowl ring in 2005 and walked out of their Moscow meeting room with it. It was never returned. Under pressure from the George W. Bush White House, according to Kraft, he claimed it was a gift, only to change his story years later. Kraft is a Democrat, while his coach, Bill Belichick, and his quarterback, Tom Brady, are friends of Trump. The Patriots, the best team of our era, will, of course, be playing the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl. A Jock Spring? Colin Kaepernick, alas, won’t be getting a Super Bowl ring, at least not this year. The 49ers, long a successful and lucrative franchise, ended up with a 2-14 record this season. The 29-year-old Kaepernick is a scrambler with a powerful arm.  Once an exciting prospect who led his team to the Super Bowl in 2013, only his second pro season and first as a starter, he seemed to have lost some of his mojo in recent years. He’s still an interesting character, though: biracial, raised by white adoptive parents, smart, and curious. His torso and arms are tattooed with religious phrases, and he ostentatiously kisses the “To God the Glory” tat on his right biceps after any touchdown, which became known as “Kaepernicking.” His emergence as a progressive hero, however, surprised even Harry Edwards. “Nobody saw [Muhammad] Ali coming, nobody saw Kaepernick coming,” Edwards told Elliott Almond of the San Jose Mercury News. “He was in the tradition of people who tend to open up new paths. Nobody saw Dr. [Martin Luther] King coming.” Putting Kaepernick in such a league may be a tad premature, but he has stimulated what might be called a Jock Spring, and not just because he promised to distribute his first million dollars in salary this season to community charities. Women soccer stars, high school football players and their coaches, National Football League and Women’s National Basketball players all began going down on one knee as the national anthem struck up. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the gesture “dumb and disrespectful” before professing regret for her remark. Time put Kaepernick on its cover.  Trump blamed him, in part, for a decline in the NFL’s ratings. The initial signs of a Jock Spring actually pre-date his protest. Last July, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony posted on his Instagram page an old black-and-white photograph of a dozen young black athletes in suits and ties posed in protest at what was then a summit meeting of sports stars. The front row of that 1967 photo now seems like a sports Mt. Rushmore -- Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Muhammad Ali, whose heavyweight title had been stripped from him after he refused to be drafted into the military.  Anthony’s message called on “all my fellow ATHLETES to step up and take charge. Go to your local officials, leaders, congressman, assemblymen/assemblywoman and demand change. There’s NO more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore. Those days are long gone. We have to step up and take charge. We can’t worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or who is going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change.” It was a surprising statement from a player best known for not passing the ball enough.  A few days later, he joined fellow NBA stars Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and LeBron James onstage at ESPN’s annual awards show, where LeBron declared: “It’s not about being a role model, it’s not about our responsibility to the tradition of activism. I know tonight we’re honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT [Greatest of All Time], but to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence, and renounce all violence.” A month later, Kaepernick sat down. “Athletes have the biggest megaphone in the country,” Edwards said to Almond in their Q-and-A. “Everybody identifies with the athletes. Kap has opened up a conversation about what is probably the most convoluted, the most difficult, and the longest-standing and intractable issue in terms of race relations in this country: This is why it was so important for Colin to take off the pig socks. “I told him that we went through that in the 1960s and it was one of the biggest mistakes we ever made. Ultimately, we are going to have to sit down across the table with the police and hopefully come to some resolution with some of these life-and-death issues.” As the season ended, Kaepernick’s teammates awarded him their Len Eshmont Award for “inspirational and courageous play,” making a mockery of reports in the media that he had been alienating the rest of the team. Edwards describes the media and the sports establishment as clueless when it comes to Kaepernick’s growing support among athletes -- a phenomenon that promises “some turbulent times over the upcoming Trump era.” Kaepernick’s most transcendent transgression has been the way he punctured the comfort of football’s sweaty sanctuary, letting in both light and some hard truths -- including this reality: that objectified and extravagantly well-paid performers can still have real thoughts about the world outside the white lines, a world becoming more and more perilous for those who think Trumpball should not be the national pastime. Trump has said he will not be attending the Super Bowl -- that might even be true -- but he will sit for the usual pre-game presidential interview, this year with Bill O’Reilly of Fox, which will broadcast on the holiest event of the sports calendar. Should you tune in? While we’re still a democracy, make your own decision. Do whatever you did for the Inauguration. Robert Lipsyte is the jock culture correspondent for TomDispatch. He returns after having been on leave to explore the belly of the beast as Ombudsman for ESPN. His most recent book is his memoir, An Accidental Sportswriter. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, John Feffer's dystopian novel Splinterlands, as well as Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 04:15

Mattis Could Resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Shai Feldman Politics, Middle East Finding a way to resolve the conflict without jeopardizing Israel’s security should become an important dimension of the defense dialogue between the two countries. America’s forty-fifth president has indicated on more than one occasion that he would like to see his son-in-law and trusted advisor, Jared Kushner, negotiate a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict—a deal that has eluded all of his predecessors. While there is no reason to doubt Kushner’s abilities, President Trump might consider the importance of involving another member of his team—Secretary of Defense James Mattis—if the history of the failed efforts to resolve the conflict is to be defied. Here is why: first, in a July 2013 Aspen Security Forum, Mattis—who was a retired U.S. Marine Corps general at the time—correctly identified the imperative and America’s national interest in addressing it. He explained why resolving the conflict was critically important for Israel. Mattis assessed that the current situation was “unsustainable” and that settlements in the West Bank were obstructing the possibility of a two-state outcome between Israelis and Palestinians. “It’s got to be directly addressed,” he said. “We have got to find a way to make the two-state solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported.” Mattis further observed that if Israel continued to expand its settlement presence, then it would put its long-term character as a Jewish and democratic state at risk and possibly become an apartheid state. He then proceeded to explain why addressing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was also important to U.S. national interest. “I paid a military security price every day as the commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel,” he said, “and that moderates all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians.” Read full article

31 января, 04:14

Obama Should Stop Trashing Trump

Daniel R. DePetris Politics, Americas Trump’s travel ban is already a fiasco. Obama is only hurting his own reputation by piling on. Barack Obama vacated the White House on January 20 with a 59 percent approval rating, one of the highest that a two-term president has had since Bill Clinton’s time. Perhaps this is why he felt compelled to denounce his successor after just a week into his retirement? If people expected Obama to take a few months off before leveraging his persona and celebrity against President Donald Trump, those beliefs were extinguished today when the forty-fourth president all but encouraged further nationwide protests with the aim of weakening Trump’s executive orders. He would be better off focusing on improving his golf game in Palm Springs, where he is currently vacationing before he returns to Washington, DC. Maybe he can shoot a few rounds of hoops as well. Anything would be better than his comments inserting himself into the brouhaha over Trump’s travel ban. No modern president has been so reckless as to decry their successor right at the outset of their presidency. Through a spokesman, President Obama stated unequivocally that Trump's restrictions on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries are contrary to American values and foolish from the standpoint of U.S. national security. “In his final official speech as President,” Obama’s spokesman said, “[Obama] spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy — not just during an election but every day. Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.” Read full article

31 января, 02:46

Mayors to Trump: ‘Don’t Punish Us’

The new president is turning campaign rhetoric into action and that’s making America’s urban leaders nervous.

31 января, 02:19

Remember WWII? Scapegoating Was The Wrong Answer Then, Too.

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); President Donald Trump’s hastily enacted executive order caused chaos this weekend, leading to the detention of Muslims from seven countries at U.S. airports and the exclusion of many others stopped before they boarded flights to the U.S. The order itself was carefully worded to ban Muslims while not mentioning the religion by name (which would clearly violate the First Amendment). The government used a similar tactic in 1942, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order aimed at Americans of Japanese descent that did not specifically say Japanese-Americans. That order led to the mass “internment” of more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent, many of whom were U.S. citizens. Fred Korematsu, then 23, was one of the few who spoke out against the action, for which he was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order (the conviction was vacated in 1983). In 2004, Korematsu reflected on the extraordinary, decades-long legal battle it took to clear his name and the names of his fellow Japanese-Americans. (In 1988, Congress passed a law acknowledging that the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans had been unjustified and that, according to a Supreme Court ruling, the group never actually presented the threat the government claimed.) Fears and prejudices directed against minority communities are too easy to evoke and exaggerate, often to serve the political agendas of those who promote those fears. Fred Korematsu “Fears and prejudices directed against minority communities are too easy to evoke and exaggerate, often to serve the political agendas of those who promote those fears,” he wrote. “I know what it is like to be at the other end of such scapegoating and how difficult it is to clear one’s name after unjustified suspicions are endorsed as fact by the government. “If someone is a spy or terrorist they should be prosecuted for their actions. But no one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy.” Korematsu died in 2005, seven years after President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but his daughter Karen continues to honor his legacy at the Fred T. Korematsu Institute in San Francisco. Jan. 30 marks Korematsu’s 98th birthday (honored in California as Fred Korematsu Day). We asked his daughter to weigh in on Trump’s Muslim ban and what she thought her father might have said. Here are her emailed replies.  HuffPost: What are your reactions to Trump’s executive order this weekend? What would your father think? Karen: Seventy-five years ago, during World War II, Franklin Roosevelt used the Office of the President to issue Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal and mass incarceration of all Japanese Americans on the West Coast. Specifically, the Executive Order gave the authority to the Secretary of War and any military commander designated by him “to prescribe military areas ... from which any or all persons may be excluded.” Note, and analogous to today, the Executive Order does not mention Japanese Americans by name. While I, and so many other Americans, celebrate my father’s birthday today, I am reminded of the power of Executive Orders considering the news. My father believed that you must stand up for what is right. It is important that we stand on the right side of history and not repeat the dangers of the past. HuffPost: What lessons from your father’s experience should we keep in mind during Trump’s presidency? Karen: In Korematsu v. United States, the government argued that President Roosevelt’s Executive Order and the incarceration of the Japanese Americans was based on military necessity. In his dissent on Korematsu, Justice [Robert] Jackson stated, “[t]he principle then lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.” Forty years later, documents were discovered that there was no military necessity; Japanese Americans had not committed acts of treason to justify mass incarceration; and our government misrepresented the facts before the U.S. Supreme Court and to the American people. The lesson learned is that the government wields incredible power and our leaders must use it responsibly. We must hold our government accountable. What is past is prologue and where there are injustices, in the words of my father, we “must stand up for what is right.” Teddy Yoshikami, who was born at the Tule Lake Segregation Center in California, the largest prison camp the U.S. government built to house Japanese-Americans, told The Huffington Post that she found Trump’s executive order to be “ridiculously flawed” and worried he “has not proved himself well thus far” in dealing with “a tremendous learning curve.” “We are a vital and diverse culture that makes America the great country it is,” Yoshikami added. “No one group should ever be the scapegoats as the Japanese were during WWII!” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 01:48

Behind Trump's Voter Fraud Obsession

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The night Donald Trump won the 2016 election, his 2020 re-election campaign began. His 2.8 million vote loss in the popular vote overshadowed his razor thin electoral win. He beat his opponent in Michigan by 10,704 votes, Wisconsin, by 22,748 votes, and Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes. With those 77.744 votes, he secured victory. He knows his margin of error in 2020 could also be precariously thin. On election night 2016, Donald Trump was prepared for defeat. The pollsters and media had lowered his expectations. But to lose re-election, that would be a humiliation. Almost as humbling as the multi-billion dollar losses from his three Atlantic City casino projects. The dread of that experience foreshadows his fear of losing in 2020. Trump has acknowledged that massive debt sank his casino projects. Massive debt may be the price to carry out his most ambitious projects. The Race Begins In the first 100 hours in office, through executive orders, he has taken the first steps on every major promise he made during the 2016 campaign, including withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; authorizing the building of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; disallowing federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines; banning federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion; imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers; and easing the regulatory burdens of ObamaCare. The results have been positive for the president after a week of executive orders. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump's job performance. Forty-one percent (41%) disapprove. But, it's been only a week since he was inaugurated. While he has issued executive orders, the heavy lifting for these initiatives will take months, likely years. Trump knows there will be economic disruption. Dozens of major trade agreements need to be re-negotiated. Unemployment may actually rise as more workers re-enter the work force. Exports may initially decline. Obamacare's replacement could leave millions without healthcare, especially with a weakened insurance coverage mandate. Which raises Trump's obsession with voter fraud. The 2020 Campaign In the 2020 campaign, Trump again will face an adversarial media, which will attempt to discredit any accomplishments over the next four years. The left will be mobilized. The same swing states will likely decide the election - namely, the 46 electoral votes of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Billionaire George Soros and other liberal donors, as in 2016, will likely fund PACs to mobilize Latinos and other immigrants. Inducing an additional 77,744 voters to vote Democrat in the three key states is not as formidable as preventing undocumented entrants from voting. In California, for example, an estimated 800,000 undocumented residents have received driver's licenses, according to California Department of Motor Vehicles. Starting this year, the state will automatically register most licensed California drivers to vote. Trump's voter fraud rants targeted the 2016 popular vote, but are intended to neutralize the impact of voting irregularities in 2020. And this leads to a prediction. Trump may surprise everyone by pivoting to the left on immigration. Once the wall is essentially complete, and illegal entry along the Southern Border has declined noticeably, Trump will initiate limited immigration reform - most likely starting with children born of parents in America illegally. This frontal attack will defuse efforts to mobilize the immigrant vote. Trump peeled away the Democrats' union and non-union worker base in 2016. In 2020, Trump hopes to erode the Democrats' advantage among newly arrived Americans. And that would be the most effective and reliable defense against voter fraud in 2020. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 01:48

Behind Trump's Voter Fraud Obsession

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The night Donald Trump won the 2016 election, his 2020 re-election campaign began. His 2.8 million vote loss in the popular vote overshadowed his razor thin electoral win. He beat his opponent in Michigan by 10,704 votes, Wisconsin, by 22,748 votes, and Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes. With those 77.744 votes, he secured victory. He knows his margin of error in 2020 could also be precariously thin. On election night 2016, Donald Trump was prepared for defeat. The pollsters and media had lowered his expectations. But to lose re-election, that would be a humiliation. Almost as humbling as the multi-billion dollar losses from his three Atlantic City casino projects. The dread of that experience foreshadows his fear of losing in 2020. Trump has acknowledged that massive debt sank his casino projects. Massive debt may be the price to carry out his most ambitious projects. The Race Begins In the first 100 hours in office, through executive orders, he has taken the first steps on every major promise he made during the 2016 campaign, including withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; authorizing the building of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; disallowing federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines; banning federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion; imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers; and easing the regulatory burdens of ObamaCare. The results have been positive for the president after a week of executive orders. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump's job performance. Forty-one percent (41%) disapprove. But, it's been only a week since he was inaugurated. While he has issued executive orders, the heavy lifting for these initiatives will take months, likely years. Trump knows there will be economic disruption. Dozens of major trade agreements need to be re-negotiated. Unemployment may actually rise as more workers re-enter the work force. Exports may initially decline. Obamacare's replacement could leave millions without healthcare, especially with a weakened insurance coverage mandate. Which raises Trump's obsession with voter fraud. The 2020 Campaign In the 2020 campaign, Trump again will face an adversarial media, which will attempt to discredit any accomplishments over the next four years. The left will be mobilized. The same swing states will likely decide the election - namely, the 46 electoral votes of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Billionaire George Soros and other liberal donors, as in 2016, will likely fund PACs to mobilize Latinos and other immigrants. Inducing an additional 77,744 voters to vote Democrat in the three key states is not as formidable as preventing undocumented entrants from voting. In California, for example, an estimated 800,000 undocumented residents have received driver's licenses, according to California Department of Motor Vehicles. Starting this year, the state will automatically register most licensed California drivers to vote. Trump's voter fraud rants targeted the 2016 popular vote, but are intended to neutralize the impact of voting irregularities in 2020. And this leads to a prediction. Trump may surprise everyone by pivoting to the left on immigration. Once the wall is essentially complete, and illegal entry along the Southern Border has declined noticeably, Trump will initiate limited immigration reform - most likely starting with children born of parents in America illegally. This frontal attack will defuse efforts to mobilize the immigrant vote. Trump peeled away the Democrats' union and non-union worker base in 2016. In 2020, Trump hopes to erode the Democrats' advantage among newly arrived Americans. And that would be the most effective and reliable defense against voter fraud in 2020. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

30 января, 20:21

SALENA ZITO: The Democrats’ diversity challenge. Today the Blue Dogs are decimated, there are onl…

SALENA ZITO: The Democrats’ diversity challenge. Today the Blue Dogs are decimated, there are only 17 left, only two of them women. And every year they face expensive, heated primary battles from progressives, and are about to face the same onslaught next year from the 2018 Bernie Sanders purists who want them out of “their” […]

30 января, 18:29

5 Super Israeli Weapons of War That ISIS Should Seriously Fear

Michael Peck Security, The Islamic State should leave Israel alone.  Israel's 400 advanced fighter jets are its most powerful weapon against IS, or at least if IS goes for a stand-up fight instead of terrorism. The F-16I Sufa (thunderstorm) is the customized Israeli version of the U.S. F-16. Equipped with cutely named air-to-surface missiles like Popeye or Delilah, as well as U.S.-made Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) smart bombs, it can destroy jihadi vehicles and fortifications. Back in 2014, as Islamic radicals were still on a tear taking large swathes of Iraq and Syria, Israeli strategists worried that Israel could become the next target of groups like Islamic State (IS) and the al-Nusra Front. Such a battle seems unlikely. Israel must prepare for conflict with Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, while IS is busy trying to hold on to its conquered territories—and battling the Iraqi and Syrian governments, as well as the Kurds and any other groups they have antagonized. Yet the ignominious withdrawal of the forty-year-old plus UN peacekeeping mission on the Golan Heights, after rebels fought and kidnapped Fijian and Filipino peacekeepers back in 2014, means there is no longer a buffer zone between the Jewish state and jihadi groups who are ideologically compelled to destroy it. In the past IS has racked up remarkable successes against Iraqi and Syrian government forces. Israel would be a different matter. Here are five of the most formidable Israeli weapons that IS radicals won't appreciate: Merkava IV: IS made out like a bandit when they captured an arsenal of U.S. tanks, artillery and other equipment from fleeing Iraqi government forces last summer. They have reportedly moved some of these weapons to Syria. This means that advanced Israeli weapons could be pitted against advanced American tanks. Read full article

30 января, 04:15

The Curious Case of the U.S. Army's M551 Sheridan Light Tank

Sebastien Roblin Security, Americas The Sheridan's greatest shortcoming in the field lay in survivability, as is usually the case with light tanks. The M551 Sheridan light tank is largely remembered as a curiosity, an innovative weapon system that proved an overcomplicated failure in action. However, several hundred Sheridans provided useful service in three wars, and left behind a small but noticeable gap in the force structure since being withdrawn in the 1990s that the Army has struggled to fill. That’s because the Sheridan was easily transported by air and could even be dropped by parachute. The Sheridan, named after the Union cavalry general of the Civil War, was introduced in a time when the U.S. Army was abandoning the concept of light tanks in favor of the main battle tank: why bother with a tank that traded armor and armament for speed when you could design one that balanced all three qualities? But the Patton tanks of the era were still relatively slow, with a maximum speed of around thirty miles per hour, and the airborne divisions lacked a tank light enough to be airlifted to a drop zone. Experience in World War II had shown airborne troops were vulnerable to armored counterattacks after a parachute drop, and could benefit from mobile antitank weapons to counter them. In fact, the U.S. Army had earlier developed the glider-borne M22 Locust tank, which were dropped in action with British paratroopers in the crossing of the Rhine. Furthermore, the Soviet Union began fielding the amphibious PT-76 light tank, and the U.S. Army felt compelled to match that capability. In the end, the Army spent $1.3 billion on the M551 Sheridan “Armored Reconaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle”—which was definitely a tank, regardless of the nomenclature—and produced more than 1,562 of them between 1966 and 1970. Weighing in at fifteen tons and capable of rolling along at forty-three miles per hour, the Sheridan housed a crew of four in a thinly armored steel turret and aluminum hull. A hinged flotation screen could be extended from the top of the hull to permit river crossings at about three miles per hour. Read full article

30 января, 01:06

New Zealand beat Australia by six runs in first one-day international – as it happened

New Zealand 286-9; Australia 280 (47 overs); New Zealand win by six runsMarcus Stoinis’ 146 not out not enough as Australia’s run chase falls short 6.22am GMT New Zealand 286/9 def Australia 280 (47.0 ov) by six runsIt was a thriller at Eden Park that manifested from nowhere. At the forty over mark Australia needed somewhere approaching 110 with two wickets in hand, and about forty minutes later were poised for victory. It wasn’t to be, however, as the ice-veined Williamson corrected the wrongs of an earlier run out attempt with a pinpoint diving finish from short mid-on. While much of the conversation will be about how Australia almost pulled off a miracle, it should be remembered that in a critical moment Tim Southee nailed a yorker and Williamson made the crucial play. They were just about worthy winners, New Zealand. Related: Marcus Stoinis heroics not enough as Australia fall to New Zealand in first ODI 5.59am GMT Need to take a breath after thatWill compose myself and gather some thoughts to summarise. From the top of my head (as ever), this was one of the all-time great ODI performances by an Australian. It will only be soured by the result. It was excellent fielding from Williamson there, who only moments earlier had missed an opportunity to ice the match with a similar run out from the other side. Will be back shortly with some concluding remarks. Continue reading...

29 января, 20:14

SALENA ZITO ON THE DEMOCRATS’ DIVERSITY CHALLENGE: Today the Blue Dogs are decimated, there are onl…

SALENA ZITO ON THE DEMOCRATS’ DIVERSITY CHALLENGE: Today the Blue Dogs are decimated, there are only 17 left, only two of them women. And every year they face expensive, heated primary battles from progressives, and are about to face the same onslaught next year from the 2018 Bernie Sanders purists who want them out of […]

29 января, 12:24

Throwing in the Towel - When It's Time to Retire from Game

The GF left for a week to visit her mother.  Unencumbered, I decided I'd visit some old haunts to see if they were still lively, specifically if there was any revival in the dance scenes I left nearly a decade ago.  The first was the swing dance scene which has become nothing more than a siren call for the millennial virgin-hipster-nerds to congregate and further refine their sperg together.  It was a shame what I saw, with veritable 30 year old virgins, perfectly groomed bears, and rank ugly women/girls despite being in their prime years.The salsa scene was no better.  When I left it many moons ago it was a sausage fest with 3 men for every woman.  The feelers, grabbers, and stalkers scaring away all the good looking girls, leaving nothing but purist salsa dancing females left, who would not dance with you unless you had already ingratiated yourself into their clique.  10 years later it was hands down the worst male-female ratio of about 10 to 1 (I am not joking), where I saw scores of self-disrespecting males chasing after only a handful of females.  It was so bad I paid my cover, walked 20 yards in, turned around, walked out, and refused the doorkeep who offered to refund my cover.  I then went home and played some video games.But these two short forays only served to confirm something I've known for quite some time.  I'm too old for this shit anymore, and though fun at the time, the time I spent chasing tail in hindsight was about a 60% waste.  There was much better shit to do with my life, I just hadn't matured enough to realize it.This epiphany is only natural because as the "manosphere" has aged, so too has its authors and founders.  Certainly us old fogeys now in or rapidly approaching their forties have ran the gambit like any modern day 20 year old, going from a nerdy noob with absolutely no game to an accomplished player.  But like Voyager 2 leaving the Oort cloud, so too will most men leave the pursuit of women, bringing on a new stage of exploration and pioneering.The question is when do you retire from game.There is no magical age or number.  Roosh, for example in this podcast (which inspired this post) is on the later half of 30, and though attached to a girl, AND the topic of the podcast itself is "The Death of Night Game," still carries the reader through the do's and don't's of night game as if it were still a viable option.  I abandoned it long ago and with the advent of texting/social media, etc., I recommend you do the same.  But some people still have it going well into their 30's and 40's and choose to waste hours of their time at loud bars and nightclubs.Others find a quality girl and either get married or get a steady girlfriend.  Slings and arrows from the VirginTOW community aside, they don't care because while the fear of divorce is real, it is a healthy respect and acknowledgement of that fear that allows you to find a quality woman who will not rape you in divorce court or sperm jack you.And then there's just plain age and tiredness.  No matter how fun, no matter how successful, in the end chasing after women gets tiresome and loses it's novelty.  Again I subscribe to the theory that men have a limited amount of energy and it will get exhausted, even if you are successful in slaying the ladies.  But the economics of novelty also come into play.  Using the same tactics on the same bimbos playing the same games with the same lines, while dealing with the same crap over and over and over again, just isn't worth the sexual pay off no matter how good.However you come to this point, if you find yourself unable to conclusively determine that you want to go out and chase tail, and are instead rather tempted by the prospects of staying it, it is time for you, my good sir, to retire from game.  And chances are it was the time anyway a long time ago.If being out of the game for a decade has taught me anything, it's that while you're in the thick of it you don't realize the opportunity costs of investing so much of your life chasing tail.  Blinded by either youthful hormones or just the echo chamber of society telling you "that's what people your age do," you don't realize how much of your time you are wasting, mal-investing it in things that just aren't going to pay off.  Ask any older man whether half the lays he had were worth the time he had to invest getting them, and I'd wager 95% of them would say, "no."  And further ask them what they could have achieved with that time had they not invested it in girls, and they would say "conquer the world."  And it's not until you unplug yourself from the matrix, removing yourself from this environment for a while, so you can look back at it with fresh eyes, will you see just what a waste of time night clubs are, chasing tail is, and what a general time/resource sink the pursuit of women are.This isn't to say not to pursue them, let alone pursue them wisely (setting minimal time/resource investment, insisting on high standards, timeliness, etc.).  Nor am I saying you shouldn't go to a nightclub, fire up the Tinder, ask Suzie Q on a date, or run a little bit of the day game.  But I am asking all men, regardless of age to occasionally stop, say once a year, not pursue women for 2 weeks and take inventory of their success, their life goals, their desires, and what makes them happy.  I'm suggesting men fast from women every year for 2 weeks so they can clearly and critically look back at all their precious time they spent pursuing tail and see if that wasn't a horrendous waste of time.  It's no different than sobering up from booze or drugs, clearing your mind of any chemicals or hormones, to see if they should continue to play a role in your life and if you genuinely have an interest in them.For most men, especially the younger ones, the answer will be yes, they want to keep chasing girls.  And to that I say continue the chase young man, continue the chase.But if you go on a 2 week hiatus, and find yourself in better spirits, and perhaps start taking a stronger intellectual interest in hobbies, your career, philosophy, or just the peace and quiet time you have to yourself, it may be time to throw in the towel and retire from game.  And dare I say start looking for a "girl who's good enough" to settle down with so you never have to go to the frontlines ever again.______________________________PodcastAsshole ConsultingYouTubeTwitterBooksAmazon AffiliateHHR4HM7ZPMV3

29 января, 06:39

'America First' Versus 'One China'

Russell Hsiao, David An Politics, Asia Trump could be laying the groundwork for a stronger U.S.-Taiwan relationship. Donald J. Trump is now the forty-fifth president of the United States. As president of the world’s strongest democracy, Trump is bound by the Take Care Clause of the U.S. Constitution to execute the laws of the land—laws such as the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. Under the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, the executive branch—now headed by President Trump—is responsible for implementing the laws of the land by formulating policies. As president-elect, Trump indicated that his administration’s approach to foreign policy would not be bound by the outdated conventions and self-imposed restrictions toed needlessly by previous administrations. He suggested that those policies would be recalibrated to better suit American interests in the twenty-first century. Indeed, the president-elect took a congratulatory phone call from the democratically elected leader of Taiwan—a key security partner of the United States—and questioned the efficacy of the former administration’s China policy. Despite the public outcry, nothing Trump said or did as president-elect changed U.S. policy or the law. Also, Trump was completely within his legal rights to take a phone call and “question” the former administration’s policies. (Former president Obama said as much when he stated, “I think all of our foreign policy should be subject to fresh eyes.”) Additionally, even if President Trump does change U.S. policy, there is nothing to legally stop him from doing so. Read full article

28 января, 19:57

10 Things You Should Never Buy Used

Like to buy used to save money? Even the most committed bargain hunters should pass up these 10 items on their next thrifting expedition.

28 января, 18:00

There Have Been No Fatal Terror Attacks In The U.S. By Immigrants From The 7 Banned Muslim Countries

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); There have been zero fatal terror attacks on U.S. soil since 1975 by immigrants from the seven Muslim-majority countries President Donald Trump targeted with immigration bans on Friday, further highlighting the needlessness and cruelty of the president’s executive order. Between 1975 and 2015, foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen killed exactly zero Americans on U.S. soil, according to an analysis of terror attacks by the Cato Institute.    Moreover, a report released this week shows that Muslim Americans with family backgrounds in those seven countries have killed no Americans over the last 15 years. Twenty-three percent of the Muslim Americans involved with violent extremist plots since Sept. 11, 2001, had family backgrounds in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen, according to a Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security report released this week. None of those plots resulted in American deaths. Similarly, none of the 19 plane hijackers on 9/11 were from any of those seven countries.  “Contrary to alarmist political rhetoric, the appeal of revolutionary violence has remained very limited among Muslim-Americans,” Charles Kurzman, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of the Triangle Center report, said in a statement. “Let’s use this empirical evidence to guide our policy-making and public debates on violent extremism.”  This is a dramatic and misdirected overreaction to a relatively small-scale problem. Charles Kurzman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor On Friday afternoon, Trump issued an executive order indefinitely banning Syrian refugee admissions, temporarily banning entry of people from the seven aforementioned majority-Muslim countries and suspending visas to countries of “particular concern.” The order, at the end of Trump’s first week as president, is an extension of a presidential campaign in which Trump routinely stirred fears and peddled misinformation about Muslims in America. It also partially fulfills Trump’s 2015 call to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.  “This is a dramatic and misdirected overreaction to a relatively small-scale problem,” Kurzman wrote in The WorldPost Thursday in anticipation of Trump’s executive order. The threat of Muslim American involvement in violent extremism is greatly inflated, Kurzman wrote, and violence by Muslim Americans represents an incredibly small fraction of overall violence in this country.   Kurzman told The Huffington Post he defined “Muslim Americans” in his report as people who had lived in the U.S. at least a year before radicalization. There were 46 such Muslim Americans associated with violent extremism in 2016, according to the report, a 40 percent drop from the year before.  Of those 46 people, Kurzman said, 26 were U.S. citizens, six were of unknown nationality and the rest were immigrants, only one of whom was undocumented.  The extremism of nearly half of those 46 Muslim Americans entailed them traveling or attempting to travel to join militant groups in the Middle East.  Twenty-three were involved or allegedly involved in plots against U.S. targets, resulting in 54 deaths. (Forty-nine of those deaths occurred when 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire in a Florida nightclub in June.) According to the report, that brings the total number of U.S. deaths caused by Muslim American extremists since 9/11 to 123. By way of comparison, in 2016 alone, 188 people were killed on U.S. soil in mass shootings not involving Muslim American extremists, the report says. Meanwhile, there have been 230,000 murders in the U.S. since 9/11. David Schanzer, director at the Triangle Center, said in a statement that “it is flatly untrue that America is deeply threatened by violent extremism by Muslim-Americans; attacks by Muslims accounted for only one third of one percent of all murders in America last year.” Moreover, according to the State Department, of the nearly 800,000 refugees who have come to the U.S. since 9/11, fewer than 20 have been arrested on terrorism charges. But, Schanzer added, “it is also untrue that violent extremism can be ignored as a problem within the Muslim-American community. Collaborative efforts between government agencies and Muslim-Americans to address this problem are justified and needed.” In his WorldPost article Thursday, Kurzman wrote that “instead of inflating the threat of extremism, Trump and the rest of us ought to treat it as the small-time criminal enterprise that it is, matching our response to the scale of the problem.” “Let’s stand strong,” he wrote. “Stop giving terrorists the obsessive attention and inflated importance that they crave.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 января, 18:00

There Have Been No Fatal Terror Attacks In The U.S. By Immigrants From The 7 Banned Muslim Countries

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); There have been zero fatal terror attacks on U.S. soil since 1975 by immigrants from the seven Muslim-majority countries President Donald Trump targeted with immigration bans on Friday, further highlighting the needlessness and cruelty of the president’s executive order. Between 1975 and 2015, foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen killed exactly zero Americans on U.S. soil, according to an analysis of terror attacks by the Cato Institute.    Moreover, a report released this week shows that Muslim Americans with family backgrounds in those seven countries have killed no Americans over the last 15 years. Twenty-three percent of the Muslim Americans involved with violent extremist plots since Sept. 11, 2001, had family backgrounds in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen, according to a Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security report released this week. None of those plots resulted in American deaths. Similarly, none of the 19 plane hijackers on 9/11 were from any of those seven countries.  “Contrary to alarmist political rhetoric, the appeal of revolutionary violence has remained very limited among Muslim-Americans,” Charles Kurzman, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of the Triangle Center report, said in a statement. “Let’s use this empirical evidence to guide our policy-making and public debates on violent extremism.”  This is a dramatic and misdirected overreaction to a relatively small-scale problem. Charles Kurzman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor On Friday afternoon, Trump issued an executive order indefinitely banning Syrian refugee admissions, temporarily banning entry of people from the seven aforementioned majority-Muslim countries and suspending visas to countries of “particular concern.” The order, at the end of Trump’s first week as president, is an extension of a presidential campaign in which Trump routinely stirred fears and peddled misinformation about Muslims in America. It also partially fulfills Trump’s 2015 call to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.  “This is a dramatic and misdirected overreaction to a relatively small-scale problem,” Kurzman wrote in The WorldPost Thursday in anticipation of Trump’s executive order. The threat of Muslim American involvement in violent extremism is greatly inflated, Kurzman wrote, and violence by Muslim Americans represents an incredibly small fraction of overall violence in this country.   Kurzman told The Huffington Post he defined “Muslim Americans” in his report as people who had lived in the U.S. at least a year before radicalization. There were 46 such Muslim Americans associated with violent extremism in 2016, according to the report, a 40 percent drop from the year before.  Of those 46 people, Kurzman said, 26 were U.S. citizens, six were of unknown nationality and the rest were immigrants, only one of whom was undocumented.  The extremism of nearly half of those 46 Muslim Americans entailed them traveling or attempting to travel to join militant groups in the Middle East.  Twenty-three were involved or allegedly involved in plots against U.S. targets, resulting in 54 deaths. (Forty-nine of those deaths occurred when 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire in a Florida nightclub in June.) According to the report, that brings the total number of U.S. deaths caused by Muslim American extremists since 9/11 to 123. By way of comparison, in 2016 alone, 188 people were killed on U.S. soil in mass shootings not involving Muslim American extremists, the report says. Meanwhile, there have been 230,000 murders in the U.S. since 9/11. David Schanzer, director at the Triangle Center, said in a statement that “it is flatly untrue that America is deeply threatened by violent extremism by Muslim-Americans; attacks by Muslims accounted for only one third of one percent of all murders in America last year.” Moreover, according to the State Department, of the nearly 800,000 refugees who have come to the U.S. since 9/11, fewer than 20 have been arrested on terrorism charges. But, Schanzer added, “it is also untrue that violent extremism can be ignored as a problem within the Muslim-American community. Collaborative efforts between government agencies and Muslim-Americans to address this problem are justified and needed.” In his WorldPost article Thursday, Kurzman wrote that “instead of inflating the threat of extremism, Trump and the rest of us ought to treat it as the small-time criminal enterprise that it is, matching our response to the scale of the problem.” “Let’s stand strong,” he wrote. “Stop giving terrorists the obsessive attention and inflated importance that they crave.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 января, 06:14

To Be A Force of Positivity, To Be Everything Trump Is Not: The #WomensMarch Experience

Seven days since the #WomensMarch shook the world and I still can't get out of my head images of women resisting - joyful and determined. I marched in New York City. I came home that day with a thrill I still haven't shaken. A good thing, because mass mobilization may be our most potent weapon against a new administration that has already shown itself to be grossly incompetent, hateful, and acutely dangerous to our health. As a reported 3.3 to 4.6 million women and men marched on January 21st, I wanted to get a selection of stories - first drafts of history - so we can know what this day was really like for many. I sent out the call and received written narratives from 41 marchers (39 women and two men). Fifteen marches were represented: Washington, DC; New York City, Phoenix, AZ; Stamford, CT; Cincinnati, OH; Montpeiler, VT; Dayton, OH; Winchester, VA; Ithaca, NY; Indianapolis, IN; Houston, TX; Portland, ME; Jacksonville, FL; Austin, TX; Lansing, MI; and Des Moines, IA. Here is what they shared. Getting There Some marchers hired buses. Some flew, some drove, others walked. Megean Weidman journeyed just "a few hundred feet" to the march site from her café job in Portland, Maine. Elisabeth Lehr traveled 500 miles each way. "We drove from Northern Vermont to Washington, DC," wrote Lehr. "Every rest top was filled with happy, excited, pussy-hatted women." Instead of marching in NYC's sister march, several New York-based respondents headed to Washington. "I took a bus to DC from Manhattan with a diverse group of women and one righteous man," wrote Shari Berman. "The bus was arranged by moms from my son's school. We sang freedom songs along the way led by a 70 year-old grandmother who had clearly done this before." "Our bus captains jokingly left Depend diapers on each seat," wrote New Yorker Leslie Cain. "We laughed about our ugly clear backpacks that carried water, granola bars, sharpies, battery packs, and tampons on full display. They had to be clear so we wouldn't be deemed 'dangerous' and detained." Some marchers had a simpler journey. "I had a ten-minute drive," wrote Morgen Bermel in Des Moines. "Then a couple rides around the block to find an open parking space." In Houston and Phoenix Uber-riders reported anxiety that their drivers in might be conservative and against the march, but were pleasantly surprised by their support--or at least, neutrality. "[Our Uber driver] was rather indifferent but we got him talking about music," said Beth Weinstein in Phoenix. "He was a big Lady Gaga fan, so we at least felt non-threatened at that point." In Washington, Melissa Sullivan was struck by the journey through DC itself: "As we drove [in] we could see bands of men and women wearing pink hats and holding signs, on their way to the march. We honked at them in solidarity, waving a sign out of the window and cheering as we passed. The closer we got to the Capitol, the larger these groups became. Dozens of tour buses, filled to capacity, unloaded. Throngs of people ascended from the metro. It was amazing." Obstacles Fear ranked number one. Getting over one's fear that the march might get violent or out-of-control. "We had never protested or marched before," wrote Monica Chylla, an East Lansing mother who marched in DC. "I was nervous about potential violent outbursts at the march. I was so anxious I couldn't sleep the night before. But this experience was completely peaceful and people were courteous." "Winchester (VA) is a fairly conservative place," wrote Tamara Haack. "I was worried about what the repercussions would be as far as counter-protests. While watching the Inauguration I realized I needed to overcome my fear because this just too damn important to stay home." Fear of crowds was a major anxiety to overcome. "I feel incredibly claustrophobic and shy in huge crowds," wrote Addie Tsai, who attended the Houston march. "I have never been to any kind of protest or march such as this one, mainly for these reasons." For Pam Hart, who attended the Stamford, CT, march, it was deciding whether to bring a mildly-feverish child who really wanted to go. They decided to bring her and it was fine. "Tylenol and snacks did the trick," wrote Hart. Other obstacles involved logistics. A Maryland mother who prefers to remain anonymous arrived at the Shady Grove Metro at 8:00am and couldn't board until 9:30am. "It was so packed inside the station," she wrote, "we worried we wouldn't get to DC. But police came and staggered the traffic so people weren't crowded in the tunnel leading to the station. It could have been a disaster." At the DC march, marchers struggled to access WI-FI. Marchers who promised to text and find each other were incommunicado. "My family was trying to reach me but they couldn't" said the Maryland mother. "No Internet seemed to be a problem," wrote Carolyn Ferrell. "But then it wasn't. We communicated with each other, shared stories, and enjoyed the signs." The Kids Are Alright As the mother of a six year-old, I thought about bringing my son to the New York City march. But that thought last two minutes - I feared losing him in a large, unpredictable crowd. I feared bathroom asks at bad times. Many respondents reported worrying whether or not the march would be a safe and good place for their kids. Yet many families brought their children and shared how profound it was to march together--with a little planning. "We had such a smooth, positive experience that could have easily turned difficult due to the children," wrote Dr. Christie Boxer, who attended the Lansing, MI march. "We studied the city layout so that we could move about effectively given any conditions - violent outbreak, road closings - and arrived early enough to get a kid-friendly spot." In New York City, Dana Ostomel was proud of her daughter's poise, as were fellow marchers: "My five year-old stood with me in a two x two radius for almost three hours waiting to march. My daughter received a lot of positive reinforcement for coming out, standing with others, and using her voice." At the same march, Jenn Linstad felt her eleven year-old daughter had a profound consciousness expansion. "Her foundations in social justice have been strong," said Linstad. "But by being there, she was able to see, first-hand, the deafening truth in the Audre Lorde statement: 'I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own." Two respondents noted the children as a highpoint. "Perhaps the most beautiful thing about the march were the children who marched alongside their parents," wrote Matt Jones, who marched in Cincinnati. Addie Tsai thought the most poignant aspect of the march experience was "seeing so many children holding signs." At the Houston march, Robin Reagler's 11 year-old daughter carried a sign that said "I compete in rodeos. Don't tell me how girls should ACT." A daughter in DC held the sign: "If One Man Can Destroy Everything Why Can't One Girl Change It?". And I'll never forget the young afroed teen boy I saw sitting above the crowd on NYC scaffolding with the sign "Thank you Obamas! You made us feel great again!" "I'm not sure if my daughter will remember the actual day," added Ostomel, "but I hope it builds a visceral feeling within her memory bank that she can call upon." The March Experience So how did it feel for the adults? "Transformative," wrote Lucy Vagnerova. "Uplifting and invigorating," wrote Pam Hart. "Empowering and transformative," wrote a Long Island mother. "A top ten highlight of my life," wrote the Maryland mother. This may have been a trip of a lifetime, but it wasn't easy. "Cold, muddy, stuck in a crowd - we didn't really get to march or hear the speakers," wrote Nicole Cooley, who traveled to Washington from New Jersey. "But it was so inspiring! A lesson to girls that activism isn't always comfortable." Ami Novak wrote of the #PortaJohnStruggle. "We exchanged supplies with the ladies around us, because the porta-johns were disgusting and nearly overflowing," wrote Novak. "[The ladies in line] gave my friend's daughter an extra pussy hat. She loved it." In Montpeiler, VT, Lea Belair was stunned by the crowd size - an estimated 20,000 in a town of 7500 - and who made a special appearance. "We had a high vantage point from the capitol steps and could see marchers arriving at the rally for literally hours. When Bernie Sanders showed up unexpectedly, the crowd--including me--went wild. When he told us there were so many cars on the interstate they had to shut it down, the crowd erupted." For a New York mom traveling to Dayton, OH, on business, attending the local march was an "incredible" experience. "At first I felt out of place because I'm Black, and the crowd majority was definitely Caucasian. I was also wearing all-black and tall boots, something extremely common in New York City, but not in Dayton. But I loved my displaced experience. It proved to me how from the beginning this era is strong." "At 62 years, it was my first march," wrote the Maryland mom. "It's the best I've felt this election because I realized that there was a sense of solidarity that day. I wasn't alone. I wasn't crazy. The marchers were predominantly white, but people of every hue participated. People were so nice. And that's not a word I use often. Though I would suggest inviting more women of color. It would have been nice to see more diversity." Despite white majorities, marchers of color reported positive experiences. "Although I've heard valid points regarding issues of white privilege at the marches, that wasn't my experience," wrote Addie Tsai of the Houston march. "I found incredible solidarity among bodies of various positions - white, black queer, Asian, etc. Everyone felt very connected, and kind, and generous with their bodies in the space." Leslie Cain wore a placard that said "What a Patriot Looks Like". "The arrow pointed towards my melanin-skinned, afro-haloed self," wrote Cain. "Older white women in particular stopped to take pictures of me all day. Not in a unicorn siting way (I know that feeling), but possibly in agreement." In New York City, marchers spoke of the thrill of marching up Fifth Avenue towards Trump Tower. "Beyond the barricades, non-marchers were cheering us on and holding their own signs," wrote Sirin Thada. "People were waving down from windows and balconies. We heard the sound of church bells along the breeze. As we got closer, 'We Shall Overcome' rang from the top of St. Thomas Church and we sang along. That was such a beautiful moment, to all be of one voice." Rosie Finizio wrote that the high point of marching was knowing "that we are all the heroes of this story, united against an evil Orange Menace." But Finizio had advice for next time around: "Once people get to Trump Tower, they must MOVE." After many hours waiting for a march to start, marchers want to keep it moving for sure. Speakers captivated many of the marchers. National coverage showed the diverse Washington speaking program, featuring activists from Angela Davis to Linda Sarsour to Melissa Mays. Other marches had speakers, too. At the New York City march, Finizio noted Whoopi Goldberg and Cynthia Nixon. "I went early so I was near the platform and got to hear many of the speeches," wrote Michelle Valladeres. "The most poignant one came from a Latino activist who spoke about his mother's journey crossing the border to give him a chance at an education. He described the running, falling down, and fear, in detail. I felt the pain of all of our stories of immigration, discrimination for whatever difference we possess in that moment. I cried." Star encounters were profound, too. Joan Lipkin had a primo spot next to the stage in DC. There she met Harry Potter film star and UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson. Watson is best known for playing girl power heroine Hermione, a character often namedropped on many march signs (ex. "Without Hermione, Harry would have died in book one"). "I told her she was a wonderful actress but that her work as a human rights activist was as important," wrote Lipkin. "She seemed touched. And when I told her that she is the future, she teared up." You can make the case that the real stars of the day were handmade signs--and the handmade hats. "We saw so many creative signs--people actively complimented each other on originality and execution," wrote Lucie Vagnerova, who attended the Washington march. She also met a woman who sculpts medical-grade silicone vaginas for surgical practice, and she had glued a few anatomically-diverse ones to signs staying "Stay out of my vagina," "Grabs back," and "Not Yours to Grab." And so many in the crowd wore hand-knit hats based on a pattern shared before the march. "There were thousands, maybe tens of thousands of pink pussy hats. This is what the patriarchy gets for committing women to arts and crafts for centuries: we really brought it!" At her Phoenix march, Beth Weinstein was moved to see Canadian women marching. "To know that the world is concerned and wants to lend their voices is truly heartfelt," wrote Weinstein. "It also scares me. If they're as concerned as I am, then the administration must be as bad as I anticipate it to be." In Jacksonville, Holly Masturzo simply wanted to listen. Part of their march day was at Suffragette Mary A. Nolan's gravesite. "People were greeted at the gates of the cemetery and given pledge cards for the local Democratic party - a practical gesture, yet not one that felt like the call I wanted to respond to most that moment," wrote Masturzo. "It wasn't a moment to sign for next actions in my view but rather for listening, for tending to the layers, intensely complex ones at that, of the journey of women's suffrage in this part of the world." Photo by Emma-Lee Signs (A Selection) Take your broken heart and make it art! / These are not tears. This is the Sea. /Thinking Women Against Trump (TWAT) / RBG, stay alive!/Black Lives Matter (carried by more than Black people) / Cheeto in Chief / My daughter's more afraid of intolerance than cancer / Women are Literally the Best / Grumpy Cat saying "UGH" / So bad, even introverts are here / Build a wall between church and state / Do the Most Good/ Love trumps hate / They tried to bury us but they didn't know we were seeds / Women's rights are human rights (with the W on Women replaced with a pair of breasts) / RESIST / The revolution starts here (with a diagram of a uterus) / Make America Think Again / Did you assume that I'm wearing my dad's (Navy) hat? Or my brother's maybe? Then YOU are the reason I'm here /Less suffering, more grace / #FreeMelania / Can't believe I have to protest this shit forty years later / Toddlers Against Tyranny / Your guns will have no animals left to kill if you don't take care of the environment / [Signs in Russian] / Show us your taxes / (Caricature of a sad Paul Ryan) Paul Ryan Can't Find the Clit / Excerpt of June Jordan's 'Poem About My Rights' / We Shall Overcomb / America Is Already Great / Don't Forget: White Women Voted for Trump / I'd Call Him a Cunt But He Lacks Depth and Warmth / Never Underestimate the Power of a Fag with a Tambourine / Resistance is Fertile! / Lesbian Moms on Fleek. Stay Woke! / Thou Shalt Not Mess with a Woman's Reproductive Rights. Fallopians 1:21 / Hell hath no fury like 157 million women scorned / Viva la vulva / I will NOT go QUIETLY back into the 1950s / Respect existence or expect resistance / If you build a wall, I will grow up and tear it down / History has its eyes on you / Planned Parenthood saved my life / I'm NASTY AF / Bully Culprit / Oh Hell No What Now? I asked the marchers what they will do next. "What won't I do now is the question," wrote Beth Weinstein. "I'm making calls every day to (Senators) McCain and Flake. Today's calls are regarding (Cabinet nominee) Betsy DeVos." Other marchers pledged phone calls and visits to elected, actions encouraged by the Indivisible guide and congressional staff advising constituents on most effective lobbying techniques. "We must call, email, and write our representatives relentlessly," wrote Dawn Tarney Brunner. "So they never forget what the majority wants." "I'm getting involved with the local Democratic organization," wrote Dr. Boxer, "and using my position as a college professor to educate and guide others to effective actions." Laura Miller Tomaselli, a Brooklyn mother, is busier than ever: "Lots of conversations, social media posts, poster parties, fundraising dinners, rallies, picket lines, voter turnout efforts. Lots of listening, lots of comparing notes." But Miller made a point about current political leadership. "The grassroots certainly showed its stuff last Saturday. Now we are waiting for the Democratic Party to do more than send us daily solicitations. Where are they, I wonder? Is there anything left of that billion we raised for Hillary?" All respondents had some kind of action plan, though some marchers were focused more on personal interactions: "I want to be a force of positivity, to be everything Trump is not," wrote Sirin Thada. "To speak from the heart, but with wisdom, clarity, love and respect. To End with a Beginning When Shari Berman shared her story, she wrote of her group's walk from their parked bus to the Washington march site. I thought it was beautiful. Please allow me to end this piece with a beginning: "Our bus parked three miles from the staging area and, to our surprise, the Metro was at capacity. So we decided to walk the three miles - a sea of pink pussy hats making its way through the streets. And for a day that was filled with inspiration, the three-mile journey was perhaps the most inspiring experience of them all. All along the way we were greeted with lawn signs set in front of private homes not promoting a particular candidate or political agenda but instead featuring spiritually-lifting quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King. The DC police and the National Guard were kind, polite, and welcomed us to their city. A few even applauded us. We passed an African American church where several older people were leaving a religious service. They cheered us on and said that they were with us in spirit. We encountered neighbors handing out free water or playing music to spur us on. A beautiful little girl not more than seven years-old dressed in a Disney Princess stood on her porch and waved to us. It was her future we were marching for and we all waved back! All along the way people took a moment out of their day to thank us for being there and I couldn't have been prouder to be American." -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

27 января, 12:50

Translating Trump and Dealing With North Korea: The Week in Global-Affairs Writing

The highlights from seven days of reading about the world