Mexican Truckers block cross-border traffic

Commercial traffic at a key South Texas border crossing has stopped after Mexican truckers on Monday blocked north- and southbound lanes on the Mexico side of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in protest of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to have state troopers inspect northbound commercial vehicles — historically a job done by the federal government.

The bridge connecting Pharr and Reynosa is the busiest trade crossing in the Rio Grande Valley and handles the majority of the produce that crosses into the U.S. from Mexico, including avocados, broccoli, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes. On Monday, with trucks backed up for miles in Reynosa for the fifth day in a row, some produce importers in Texas said they have waited days for their goods to arrive and already had buyers cancel orders…

International bridges elsewhere in the Valley, as well as in Eagle Pass, El Paso and Laredo, have also seen delays, with many commercial products produced in Mexico — like electronics, vehicle parts and medical instruments — also held up. A similar protest appeared to be playing out in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on Monday afternoon, affecting traffic into and out of El Paso, according to Border Report.

In response to the Biden administration’s recent announcement that it plans to end Title 42 — a pandemic-era emergency health order that lets federal officials turn away migrants at the border without the chance to request asylum — Abbott on Wednesday ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to increase its inspections of commercial vehicles…instead of the usual practice of relying on Federal inspectors.

Abbott was bound and determined to demonstrate his power as a Rightwing governor who cares less about the United states than he does for Donald Trump and the Republican neo-fascist playbook. The confrontation builds. Truckers only planned on a comparatively brief encounter before continuing on with their schedules. I doubt Abbott gives a damn.

Trump’s Looneyvision Huawei fear guarantees crap 5G cell service

5G networks are still a work in progress, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom…According to a series of tests conducted by Opensignal, the United Kingdom has the worst 5G speeds, with the United States not far behind.

The United Kingdom features average download speeds of 32.6Mbps, with the United States posting speeds around 33.4mbps. The U.S. speed is only about 1.8 times faster than 4G. The fastest 5G speeds can be found in Saudi Arabia and Canada, the Saudis posting an average download speed of 144Mbps, or 14 times faster than 4G. Canada posted average download speeds of 90Mbps, which is consistent with the wireless architecture in that country.

…The U.S. offered exceptional 5G wireless availability, with 19.3 percent coverage. The UK was last, with roughly 4.5 5G wireless coverage. Saudi Arabia again led the way, delivering a 5G connection 34 percent of the time.

Dunno if Trumpo gets his tech advice about cell security from QAnon or AA; but, there is no one in any executive position in any portion of Homeland Security who will demonstrate a butt-kissing willingness to affirm Trump’s blather over Huawei. The UK is merely demonstrating their historic fealty to American conservative nutballs…as a proper USA/USA-client state.

Georgia politicians shut down abortion rights. Netflix will answer by shutting down production.


Click to enlargeJoeff Davis

❝ Netflix has become the first major Hollywood company to take a stand against Georgia’s recent passage of a strict abortion law, with chief content officer Ted Sarandos saying Tuesday that the streaming giant would “rethink our entire investment in Georgia” if legislation known as the “heartbeat bill” became state law…

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Sarandos said in a statement. “It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there — while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia…”

❝ The bill’s passage earlier this month comes as Georgia has become a vital production hub for the film and TV industries. The region known “Y’allywood” is responsible for more than 92,100 jobs and nearly $4.6 billion in total wages in the state, according to the MPAA. State officials said that for the fiscal year ending June 30 film and TV production generated $2.7 billion in direct spending.

Boycotts are a time-honored tool against racism in the Confederacy and across the United States. The tactic is overdue IMHO against bible-thumping bigots who would impede women’s rights. They deserve the same opportunity to feel the hurt where they care the most. In their wallets.

Major Advertiser walks away from Fox Ingraham Show

❝ At least one major advertiser has dropped Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show in the wake of her comments on Monday about immigrant children separated from their parents. With advertising time on the conservative daily talk show down since Monday night, it’s possible that other companies have also bailed on “The Ingraham Angle.”

…The day after Ingraham’s statements, David Hogg, a survivor of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, called on advertisers, including IAC, to boycott Ingraham, a reprise of the highly successful boycott campaign he launched against her in April, after she insulted him on Twitter.

During her show on Monday night, Ingraham described the detention centers for immigrant children separated from their parents on the Mexican border as “essentially like summer camps,” further comparing them to “boarding schools.”

❝ The previous dust-up between Ingraham and Hogg sprouted from her mocking the Parkland survivor and gun-control activist for lamenting on Twitter how he had been rejected from some colleges. Though Ingraham’s advertising has recovered somewhat from that boycott campaign — which saw companies like Bayer, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Nestlé and Hulu drop the show — her advertising load had not reached her previous levels.

Creeos who make their living from advocating against human rights get what they deserve. Sometimes.

Right-wing moneygrubbers say they are being silenced by the folks who sign the checks

❝ There is a delicious irony when free market zealots become victims of the very system they celebrate…When the market tells them: “You know what? You’re losing us money. We couldn’t care less what you did or how much you made for us yesterday. Get lost.”…

❝ For critics and scholars who have for decades pointed to the acute dangers connected to corporate control of the media, howling from the far-right over O’Reilly, Hopkins and Hannity rings hollow for a couple of reasons.

First, an individual who invokes Nazi ethnic cleaning terminology in relation to Muslims, or was involved in so many sexual harassment lawsuits that his employer had to pay $13m in settlement deals, are hardly poster children for journalistic free speech. At the broader level, however, these are people who have served a political ideology that has pushed deregulated markets conducive to the concentration of corporate control – which in the case of media also means excessive advertiser influence…

❝ Breitbart, Fox News, the Daily Mail and Daily Express are all alive and well. Bill O’Reilly wasn’t replaced by Noam Chomsky. He was replaced by Tucker Carlson, who provides a very similar brand of far-right vitriol … just without the sexual harassment accusations. And will LBC now be bereft of far-right anti-immigration voices? Fear not. You can always tune in to Nigel Farage’s show on the same station.

❝ So when senior people at Breitbart and on-air talent at Fox News start saying they are only now realizing the extent of corporate and advertiser power? Cry me a river. They are liars, naïve or have been in a coma for the last 50 years.

RTFA for more dissecting of rightwing moneybags whining about losing their profitable squeeze. Couldn’t happen to a more perfect class of hypocrites and scumbags. Profits are still more important than people, guys. Isn’t that what you wanted?

Ivanka Trump fashions dropped by Nordstrom following boycott


“Can I blow in your ear?”

❝ Fashion retailer Nordstrom has dropped a clothing line by Ivanka Trump.

It’s after campaigners called for a boycott on stores doing business with the president’s family. But the company blames the move on poor sales.

❝ The US firm says it makes “buying decisions based on performance” and that cutting brands “is part of the regular rhythm of our business”…

❝ The #GrabYourWallet campaign urged customers to boycott firms which have supported the Trumps.

It was started by two women angry about the president’s comments about women which came out in October.

❝ Co-founder Shannon Coulter reacted on Twitter, saying: “Big news everyone. You did this. I am in awe #GrabYourWallet.

“Those who voted against Donald control $7 trillion in spending.

“Never forget it. Never forget our power. Together, we can change a lot.”

A bit more detail in the article including Nordstrom softpedaling on the boycott. Folks just “stopped buying the Ivanka brand”. Same as a boycott as far as I read.

North Carolina gets a lesson in the co$t of bigotry from the NBA

Bye bye, NBA

The NBA announced Thursday it will move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte due to North Carolina’s law that bars local governments from extending civil rights protections to gay and transgender people.

“The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019,” the league said in a statement.

“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” as the law is commonly known…

The NBA’s decision is the latest fallout for North Carolina from the controversial law, which has been widely criticized as discriminatory. The law, which was passed in March, requires transgender individuals to use public restrooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificates. In April, Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in Greensboro. Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr and Boston likewise have canceled shows, while Cirque du Soleil bypassed two scheduled performances. PayPal canceled plans to open a new payment center in Charlotte, while Deutsche Bank did away with plans to expand its operations in Cary, costing the state an estimated 650 jobs. Since April more than 120 companies have called for a repeal of the law, as PepsiCo, American Airlines and Wells Fargo have all raised concerns…

❝ “The NBA is taking an important stand against North Carolina’s unconstitutional and discriminatory HB2,” Heidi Hess, senior campaign manager for the social change organization CREDO, said in a statement. “This is further evidence that hate and bigotry are bad for business.”

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory reacted by issuing a statement that said blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

The All-Star Game alone would have generate $100 million of revenue for the state, according to Athlete Ally. Since the law was passed, the state has lost $329 million in business, according to Equality NC.

Gates Foundation dumps all of its BP stock


Photo/Rich Talk

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold off its $187 million stake in the oil giant BP sometime between September and December of 2015, according to a recent filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The move came after the foundation sold off $824 million in ExxonMobil stock, as disclosed last fall.

The foundation has been under pressure from climate activists demanding that it drop all investments in fossil fuel companies. The Guardian’s “Keep It in the Ground” campaign and the Gates Divest campaign have both been particularly dogged in focusing on Gates.

But the foundation has refused to comment on its investment decisions, so the significance of these recent oil-stock sell-offs is unclear. Bill Gates, the billionaire cofounder of Microsoft, has been skeptical of the fossil-fuel divestment movement and last year called it a “false solution.”

According to public records, the Gates Foundation held about $1.4 billion of investments in coal, oil, and gas companies at the start of 2014. Now it holds only about $200 million of those stocks, according to the Guardian…

Divestment is a sensible part of any movement to boycott corporations, political entities. Anti-human, environmentally corrupt policies deserved to be punished by public investors. Voting with your dollar$ is often the only sort of democracy these creeps recognize.