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Young Boots Riley

"For to be poised against fatality, to meet adverse conditions gracefully, is more than simple endurance; it is an act of aggression, a positive triumph."
––Thomas Mann

Refugees Are in the English Channel Because of Western Interventions in the Middle East
PATRICK COCKBURN, © Counterpunch
January 15, 2019

A black rubber inflatable boat was found abandoned earlier this week on the shingle at Dungeness on the Kent coast. Eight men, reportedly Iranians or Kurds, were later found close to the beach or in the nearby village of Lydd.

An Iranian living in south London was later charged with helping the migrants to cross the Channel illegally from France to the UK.

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"Endurance is patience concentrated. "
––Thomas Carlyle

The Next Likely EPA Chief Has Almost Completed His Former Coal Client’s Wish List
REBECCA LEBER, © MotherJones
January 16, 2019

Bob Murray is a 79-year-old coal baron who brags to news outlets that he calls many of the shots after “eight years of pure hell” under the Obama administration. Murray thinks most environmental, health, and worker safety protections are unlawful, often putting him at odds with other industry interests that appreciate some regulatory oversight.

Murray was an early supporter of President Donald Trump’s, campaigning with him, donating $300,000 to his inauguration, and another million dollars when he wanted Trump to prop up the industry. Shortly after Trump’s election, Murray submitted an action plan in two memos to the Energy Department and Vice President Mike Pence in the White House laying out almost 20 changes to existing policy. His target was primarily the Environmental Protection Agency, but also the DOE and the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. After only one year, Murray boasted that the Trump administration had already “wiped out” the first page of his almost four-page plan.

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"Have you ever tried to eat a McDonald’s french fry that’s gone cold? That’s one of the circles of hell. The gulf between the warm, fresh, lightly salted McDonald’s french fry and the cold McDonald’s french fry is as great a gulf as any I know."
––Viggo Mortensen

Court Blocks Trump’s Plan to Add a Citizenship Question to 2020 Census
By Jonathan Topaz, © ACLU
January 15, 2019

A federal court has blocked the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, stating that it constitutes an “egregious” violation of federal law. The ruling deals a serious blow to the administration’s plan to use the 2020 census to attack the financial and political resources of immigrants and communities of color.

In a decision released Tuesday, Judge Jesse M. Furman determined that the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, “would undermine the proposition—central to the rule of law—that ours is a government of laws, and not of men” and that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in many different ways — “a veritable smorgasbord of classic, clear-cut APA violations.” In the end, Judge Furman concluded that if the Trump administration got its way and a citizenship question was put on the census, “hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of people will go uncounted in the census.”

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Why the ‘Green Book’ Controversies Don’t Matter
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, © The Hollywood Reporter
January 14, 2019

As awards season scandals pile up, dwelling on its historical inaccuracies, or the race (or boneheaded past actions) of its writer and director, misses the deeper value of an Oscar-worthy film, writes the NBA great and Hollywood Reporter columnist.
Historical movies are never about history. Nor are they meant to be.

Current historical films like First Man, The Favourite, On the Basis of Sex, Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody, BlacKkKlansman and Mary Queen of Scots purport to tell us about important historic people and events, to present the facts that explain why the subject is so significant. Yet a Google search of each of these titles will produce a long list of factual inaccuracies. And that’s OK — because these films are not about facts, they are about something much more elusive and important: truth. Specifically, they are about how the events of the past illuminate the choices we face in the present. That’s why the fuss around the historical accuracy and perspective of Green Book, a small film with a modest budget ($23 million) and a modest story that has received three Golden Globes and other awards, is so misplaced.

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