Workers’ wages fall after passage of GOP tax cuts – ThinkProgress

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a new release detailing the “real earnings summary” through May 2018.

The true revelation was tucked away at the bottom of the release, in the “Production and nonsupervisory employees” section: “From May 2017 to May 2018, real average hourly earnings decreased 0.1 percent, seasonally adjusted,” it read.

In today’s dollars, that’s a change from making an average of $22.62 per hour last May to making $22.59 per hour this May.

via Workers’ wages fall after passage of GOP tax cuts – ThinkProgress

Robert Reich (The 15 Warnings Signs of Impending Tyranny)

The 15 Warnings Signs of Impending Tyranny
MONDAY, JANUARY 2, 2017
As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:

1.  Exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote.

2.  Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections.

3.  Call anyone who opposes them “enemies.”

4.  Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum.”

5.  Hold few if any press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements.

6.  Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.

7.  Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them.

8.  Attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.

9.  Threaten mass deportations, registries of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.

10. Seek to eliminate or reduce the influence of competing centers of power, such as labor unions and opposition parties.

11. Appoint family members to high positions of authority

12. Surround themselves with their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public.

13. Put generals into top civilian posts

14. Make personal alliances with foreign dictators.

15. Draw no distinction between personal property and public property, profiteering from their public office.

Consider yourself warned.

via Robert Reich (The 15 Warnings Signs of Impending Tyranny)

10 Ways to Tell if Your President Is a Dictator – Foreign Policy original post Nov 23,2016

6. Stacking the Supreme Court.

Trump will likely get the opportunity to appoint several Supreme Court justices, and the choices he makes will be revealing. Does he pick people who are personally loyal and beholden to him or opt for jurors with independent standing and stellar qualifications? Does he pick people whose views on hot-button issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and campaign financing comport with his party’s, or does he go for people who have an established view on the expansiveness of executive power and are more likely to look the other way if he takes some of the other steps I’ve already mentioned? And if it’s the latter, would the Senate find the spine to say no?

via 10 Ways to Tell if Your President Is a Dictator – Foreign Policy

The complete guide to how Trump can make himself the first American dictator — Quartz

For the first, the model is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But FDR was repeatedly blocked by the courts, as Trump would surely be if he sought to exercise dictatorial power. With the Senate on his side, however, he could appoint Trumpian judges and justices; he could even beat the Supreme Court into submission by threatening to pack it as Roosevelt did. Still, I think none of this will come to pass. Even if Trump is elected, he will not have FDR’s majorities in Congress, or last as long as FDR, or command as much popular support. Working with congressional support, he could do some of the things he says he wants to do—end Obamacare and build a Mexican Wall (assuming that he really wants to do these things, which I doubt). But then by definition he is not acting as a dictator. The possibility that a president Trump uses a temporary political majority to strengthen executive power and demolish the remnants of the opposition, in the manner of Hugo Chávez, is a possibility but not one that is (yet) worth considering.

via The complete guide to how Trump can make himself the first American dictator — Quartz

Democracy to Dictatorship,How the most infamous dictators in history fooled their people:

In 1980, Robert Mugabe was democratically elected to be the president of Zimbabwe. When a ruler is elected democratically, it’s usually difficult to imagine the word dictator next to their name just a few years later. What makes that concept even more difficult to believe is Mugabe has been reelected several times and still maintains his station as ruler of his country. However, he has edged himself into the category of tyrant with his policies, both attempted and actualized, and with violent war efforts that have killed tens of thousands.

In the year 2000, for instance, Mugabe tried to expand his presidential power to absolute power by altering the Zimbabwean constitution. He also famously had 20,000–30,000 Ndebele people killed as part of a campaign to destroy any remaining opposition to Zimbabwean independence. As The Independent puts it, “He interfered in the economy, and, when the money ran out, tried to pay for his rash promises to ‘war veterans’ (some born after the liberation struggle) by stealing white farmers’ land.” All of these facts certainly don’t seem like the kind of behavior one would expect from a democratic president, but these events did indeed happen. As a result, Mugabe’s rule serves to point out perhaps one of the most dangerous characteristics of a dictator—their ability to turn democratic power into totalitarian power and abuse their own and other countries for personal purposes.

via How the most infamous dictators in history fooled their people:

With Janus ruling, Supreme Court seals a 40-year campaign to eviscerate worker rights

Once the conservative majority was restored by the appointment of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the anti-union crowd brought forth Janus, which emerged from Illinois.

As Kagan noted in her dissent, the 1st Amendment aspects of all these cases is mere window dressing. The plaintiffs’ real goal, as it was in the California ballot initiatives, is to silence public employees, who can constitute a potent bloc for progressive ideals.

via With Janus ruling, Supreme Court seals a 40-year campaign to eviscerate worker rights

Hate Thy Neighbor! (not the series)

It is 2:22 A.M. I can’t sleep, I get up go to the washroom return to bed and turn on CNN. Nothing different, we’re still caught up in kids being stopped at the US border and detained for accompanying their parent, fleeing injustice in their home country, Central America, Mexico, and other places around the world in Crisis!

Day after day we do the same things, get up make our tea/coffee turn on the news, Facebook or check out who is tweeting what, the proliferation of HATE in the world HAS NEVER BEEN SO RAMPANT, or perhaps we never had it so close to our hearts, with our iPhone/Smartphone in the top shirt pocket or as close as your handbag, such things as “immigrants will infest our country” and Muslims are a threat to our safety All the rhetoric sounds like the stuff my Father put his life on the line from 1939 to 1945 to stop, had he not survived I would never have been born.

Beware what hatred may bring, it has been trying to destroy mankind for a long time, the rise of Nazism  for instance or the want of a narcissistic leader to have ultimate power to name a couple. Link: Narcissistic Leaders

I am not very religious, but I have had good exposure to religion attending the Baptist church in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood where I was a member of the Cub Scouts through the Salvation Army and attended a public school with a lot of Jewish students, diversity, I’d say. So my point is I have had a lot of chances to HATE although I did not have much contact with Black students as it was just the way it was, growing up in a mostly white neighborhood, didn’t even see a Black student until about the third grade.

My first encounter with racism was not until I was 30, that’s right thirty years old, my employer sent me from Toronto, Canada on a five week training course to Dallas, Texas, we were a group of about 15 employees, over the weeks of training I befriended a couple of Blacks from New York, one night I said to “Livingston, (he was about 10yrs my junior) lets go and get pizza for dinner.” “Yeah good he said” sitting in a pizzeria that was by no means busy having a conversation about the days training not really paying attention to our surroundings until 30 minutes had gone by and I said to Livingston “whats with the service,” no one had come to wait our table, He looked at me and said “look at you and look at me, this is Texas you’re white and I’m black, lets go they won’t serve us here!”

I was floored having grown up in Canada and never been taught the colour of your skin would make a difference between getting Pizza or not made no sense to me, this is something that has stuck with me since then and I still don’t understand how people can be so mean to each other.

Well here it is now 4 AM and I am feeling better about venting my anger about mans injustice to man, it does nothing to solve the problem of hatred on a daily basis, try today when you have your coffee and switch on the Internet and you see those tweets and FB posts calling everyone down for “invading your country” think about the children in tow behind their parents, not really understanding why they are traveling or where they are going, try just to think of them as scarred little children wanting a warm bed, a hot bath and to kiss Mom & Dad goodnight! Central American Children at Customs

 

US poised to announce exit from UN human rights council – CityNews Toronto

The Trump administration is set to announce Tuesday its departure from the United Nations’ main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will deliver the verdict on the U.N. Human Rights Council in a joint appearance at the State Department, according to four officials familiar with the matter.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly preview the decision, the specifics of which are to be laid out by Haley.

Haley threatened the pull-out last year, citing longstanding U.S. complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel. But the announcement will also come just a day after the U.N. human rights chief denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.

The move extends a broader Trump administration pattern of stepping back from international agreements and forums under the president’s “America First” policy.

via US poised to announce exit from UN human rights council – CityNews Toronto