Racism is as American as apple pie

A number of competent economists have written of the origins of racism as a “successful” defense of slavery. In the days of slavery being one of the supports of the economy of this new nation fighting to survive disengagement from status as a British colony – a believable rationale was needed to defend the white, rural, wealthy supporters of our revolution who relied on an economic system centuries out of date that worked “well enough” to keep and maintain their political power.

It worked well enough to survive the Civil War. It worked well enough to keep Democrats in power in the Deep South for decades after that war. It worked well enough to supplant the Democrats with Republicans when the strength of the new civil rights movement challenged the core of American racism.

So, now, Trump and his followers wheedle their support for “very fine people on both sides” – a tagline that worked well enough to satisfy a majority of electors in the 2016 election, the leaders of the Republican Party ever since.


Photograph by Mark Peterson

” New York’s December 23, 2019–January 5, 2020 issue confronts America’s growing white supremacy movement through a photo-documentary portfolio by Mark Peterson and an essay by poet and National Book Award–nominated author Claudia Rankine. “It is our inheritance,” Rankine writes. “Institutionalized since the Civil War by a government that only recently, and tentatively, began to address domestic terrorism for what it is…”

” James Walsh, a writer at New York, contributed additional research and reporting in order to bring readers more context to the phenomenon. He spoke with Nate Snyder, a former counterterrorism official in the Department of Homeland Security, who notes that Trump’s rhetoric has had an impact on the movement’s rebirth. After Trump’s comments about Charlottesville, his infamous words about “very fine people on both sides,” Snyder says: “You saw activity on [neo-nazi site Stormfront] exponentially spike. “It was a validation point. You started seeing posts like ‘We now have an ally in the White House…'”

RTFA. The time to speak up on a national scale, from pages and pulpits that thrive on moderation, is overdue. Nice folks can no longer turn their back on the most vicious, reactionary stream polluting American culture.

At least Boeing landed the Starliner OK

” Boeing Co’s Starliner astronaut spacecraft landed in the New Mexico desert on Sunday, the company said, after faulty software forced officials to cut short an unmanned mission aimed at taking it to the International Space Station.

The landing at 7:58 a.m. ET (1258 GMT) in the White Sands desert capped a turbulent 48 hours for Boeing’s botched milestone test of an astronaut capsule that is designed to help NASA regain its human spaceflight capabilities.

” “We hit the bull’s-eye,” a Boeing spokesman said on a livestream of the landing…

” The Starliner capsule was successfully launched from Florida on Friday, but an automated timer error prevented it from attaining the right orbit to meet and dock with the space station. That failure came as Boeing sought an engineering and public relations victory in a year that has seen corporate crisis over the grounding of its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes of the aircraft.

I watched live coverage of the portion of this adventure that was intended to include docking with the space station. Initial response by commentators may have oversimplified the “error” that made the linkup impossible. Essentially, someone gave the Starliner the wrong time zone for rendezvous with the ISS. Not the first time for an error like this. Might not be the last, either.

Trump not only doesn’t understand wind power. ..he doesn’t understand telling the truth!

” Trump referred to wind turbines as “a bird graveyard” telling the crowd that if they “go under a windmill someday, you’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen ever in your life.”

Facts First: Research suggests that while wind power does contribute to bird deaths, more birds are killed by cats or other types of power plants…

” Trump was adamant…”a windmill will kill many bald eagles. It’s true. And you know what? After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off…”

Facts First: It’s misleading to claim that after a certain amount of eagles die, the government makes wind farms “turn the windmill off.” However, there is a limit of incidental eagle deaths the wind farms are expected to remain within…

” Trump claimed…specifically that the manufacturing of wind turbines results in “tremendous amount of fumes and everything.”

Facts First: Wind power has the smallest carbon footprint compared to other energy sources, according to the Department of Energy. A 2014 study additionally found that after operating for five to eight months, the average wind turbine will have offset the energy expended during its manufacturing…

” “You know what they don’t tell you about windmills?” Trump told the crowd, “After 10 years…You got to replace them. A lot of times, people don’t replace them. They need massive subsidy from the government in order to make it.”

Facts First: The government does not provide subsidies for wind turbine repair or replacement. Though wind farms receive a tax credit if they produce a certain amount of energy within their first decade, this subsidy will be phased out by 2020. Furthermore, the average lifespan of a wind turbine is 20-25 years, not 10…

” Trump claimed, “If you own a house within vision of some of these monsters, your house is worth 50% of the price.”

Facts First: This is not the first time Trump has claimed proximity to a wind turbine impacts property values. However, several major academic studies found no statistically significant decrease in the average property value due to wind turbines in the US…

The original article is over here. You probably should read it. I imagine any Trumpublicans you engage in conversation are just like their Fearless Leader. They wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them on the whatsit!

The Social Media group based in Cyprus and run by Russians

” TheSoul Publishing…is one of the largest media publishers in the world

” We focus on the bright side of life, with our many brands and platforms offering an abundance of universally shareable positive content.

We make it our mission to engage, inspire, entertain and enlighten people of all ages, everywhere.

…..

” What the heck is TheSoul Publishing? I’m still honestly not sure.

“Here’s what I do know: Measured in terms of views and subscribers, it had the third-largest reach of any group of entertainment channels on YouTube in November—outranked only by Disney and WarnerMedia. It is run by Russian nationals and based in and managed from Cyprus, with U.S. operations housed in a shared work space in New York. It funds itself with ad revenues from YouTube and Google worth tens of millions of dollars. And in 2018, it purchased a small suite of Facebook advertisements targeting U.S. citizens on political issues—and it made those purchases in rubles.

RTFA. Interesting. Mostly accurate…though the odd mistake in Russian history viewed by an American can show up.