Current #US #nuclear launch process “poses clear and present danger to country and the world” declare 17 former nuclear launch officers!

Former Missileers Warn: “No Individual, Especially Donald Trump, Should Hold The Absolute Power To Destroy Nations”

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 11, 2018
Contact: Brett Abrams | 516-841-1105 | brett@unbendablemedia.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a new open letter to members of Congress, seventeen former nuclear launch officers issue a grave warning regarding President Trump’s unfettered access to nuclear weapons, declaring that the current U.S. nuclear launch process “poses a clear and present danger to the country and the world: No one — not the secretary of defense, not the attorney general, not Congress — can veto that order. There are no reliable safeguards in place to contain this power.”

The letter comes on the heels of last week’s alarming tweets from President Trump in which he boasted about having a “much bigger and more powerful” nuclear button on his desk than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

VIEW THE LETTER HERE 

The missileers argue that there are currently “a number of good proposals before Congress right now that would rein in the president’s power to order the first use of nuclear weapons. Whether it’s assigning the defense secretary and attorney general a role in certifying a launch order, requiring a Congressional Declaration of War before the first use of nuclear weapons, or ending the policy of nuclear first use entirely, any of these common-sense measures would reduce the risk we now face. ”

“We cannot stand idly by as Donald Trump holds us all hostage to his petulant mood swings,” said Dr. Bruce Blair, a veteran nuclear launch officer and co-founder of the Global Zero movement to eliminate nuclear weapons. “Donald Trump is the last person who should possess the nuclear codes and the power to start a nuclear conflagration. Our weapons have the power to destroy entire nations, including our own nation if he initiates a nuclear war. As a former steward of the nuclear launch keys, I’ve learned about the stability, competence and temperament it takes to hold such a responsibility, and Donald Trump has shown us all he possesses none of those qualities.”

For more information on the former nuclear launch officers’ letter or to request an interview with representatives from Global Zero, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@unbendablemedia.com.

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STATEMENT BY FORMER NUCLEAR LAUNCH OFFICERS

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In the final weeks of the presidential election, we sounded our alarm over Donald Trump’s fitness to serve as commander-in-chief, with absolute authority over the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Joining hundreds of leaders across the political spectrum in questioning Trump’s temperament, judgement and indifference to expert advice, we warned that Trump should not be allowed to have his finger on the proverbial “Red Button.”

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One year into the Trump presidency, our alarm has only intensified and we must raise our voices again. The president has had ample opportunity to educate and humble himself to the grave responsibilities of his office. Instead, he consistently shows himself to be easily baited, stubborn in his ignorance of world politics and diplomacy, and quick to brandish nuclear threats. The reality of this presidency is worse than we feared.

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Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has put the United States on a collision course with North Korea. The most recent back-and-forth with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over the size of their “nuclear buttons” is dangerous and risks catastrophic miscalculation. Threats of “fire and fury” and total destruction of the Kim dictatorship undercut diplomatic efforts and increase the likelihood of stumbling into conflict. Worse, it appears the president is operating under the belief that these threats of nuclear war are working; we can only expect this behavior will continue.

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Every one of these episodes points to a flaw in the nuclear launch process that poses a clear and present danger to the country and the world: Every American president has absolute authority to order the first use of nuclear weapons. No one – not the secretary of defense, not the attorney general, not Congress – can veto that order. There are no reliable safeguards in place to contain this power.

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As former nuclear launch control officers, it was our job to fire nuclear missiles if the president so directed. Once the president orders a launch, we could have missiles leaving their silos in several minutes. They cannot be recalled. The missiles would reach their destination – whether Russia, China or North Korea – within 30 minutes. There is no act of greater consequence, and it should not rest in the hands of any one person.
There are a number of good proposals before Congress right now that would rein in the president’s power to order the first use of nuclear weapons. Whether it’s assigning the defense secretary and attorney general a role in certifying a launch order, requiring a Congressional Declaration of War before the first use of nuclear weapons, or ending the policy of nuclear first use entirely, any of these common-sense measures would reduce the risk we now face. All are backed by top experts and worthy of consideration. Whichever path we take, it is essential officials on both sides of the aisle come together to reform the system.

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We and our nation cannot abide being hostages to the mood swings of a petulant and foolish commander-in-chief. No individual, especially Donald Trump, should hold the absolute power to destroy nations. That is a clear lesson of this presidency and one that we, as former stewards of the launch keys, embrace with full conviction.

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Timothy J. Allen
Ellsworth AFB, 1991-92
F.E. Warren AFB, 1992-96
Offutt AFB, 2002-05
Bruce G. Blair
Malmstrom AFB, 1972-74
Victor D. Bras
Whiteman AFB, 1968-72
Grand Forks AFB, 1983-85
Ken Franklin
Minot AFB, 1967-70
Frank G. Goldman, ESQ.
F.E. Warren AFB, 1988-91
Peter Hefley
F.E. Warren AFB, 2005-07
Calvin W. Hickey
Malmstrom AFB, 1975-76
Geoffrey Kanner
Malmstrom AFB, 1980-84
David Macpherson
Malmstrom AFB, 1969-72
Michael Miller
F.E. Warren AFB, 2009-13
Emma Poon
Malmstrom AFB, 2005-09
James Robertson
Malmstrom AFB, 1999-2003
Ryan William Schmoll
F.E. Warren AFB, 2005-09
David C.W. Wagner
F.E. Warren, 2005-09
Brian Weeden
Malmstrom AFB, 2000-04
Theodore F. Weihe
Whiteman AFB, 1965-70
Thomas C. Xander
Whiteman AFB, 1967-70


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Traumatised children and the Impact on the physiology of the brain

Parental Alienation

Research shows that children and adults with histories of child abuse often respond excessively to minor triggers. Traumatised children (and adult survivors) become increasingly responsive to relatively minor stimuli as a result of decreased frontal lobe functioning (learning and problem solving) and increased limbic system (amygdala) sensitivity (impulsiveness) (Streeck-Fischer & van der Kolk, 2000).

Decreased cortex activity

The cortex or the more rational, outer-layer of the brain is the seat of our thinking capacity. The cool, rational cortex is in constant communication with the amygdala and the hippocampus (the limbic system). The frontal lobes are situated in the cortex and are responsible for learning and problem solving. The capacity to learn from experience requires events to be registered in the prefrontal cortex, compared with other experiences and evaluated for an appropriate response (Streeck-Fischer & van der Kolk, 2000).

When children are under threat, the fast tracts of the limbic system are…

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Don’t be fooled – these #FreeSpeech obsessives approve of #NoPlatforming!

Don’t be fooled – these free-speech obsessives approve of no-platforming |  | THE GUARDIAN | 10 January 2018

The establishment voices who vilify student ‘snowflakes’ are routinely excluding political ideas they don’t like. Socialism or environmentalism, for instance.

US students at the COP22 climate conference hear of Donald Trump’s election.

US students at the COP22 conference hear of Trump’s election. ‘The US agriculture department says the terms ‘climate change’ or ‘greenhouse gases’ should not be used in its publications.’ Photograph: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty

When people obsess over a trivial issue, it usually means they are avoiding a more important one. The intense focus on student politics, and in particular no-platforming, by middle-aged journalists – columnists and leader writers at the Telegraph, Spectator, Times, Mail and Sun – suggests to me that there is something they would rather not see.

As it happens, I agree with them: the no-platforming of people whom students find offensive is often wrong (though not in the case of direct hate speech towards minorities, or the incitement of violence). But I also believe that, on the scale of global importance, this issue ranks about 12,000th. This is student politics, for God’s sake. Daft ideas and failed experiments are its raison d’etre.

Yet this middle-aged obsession is taken so seriously by a government that is otherwise slashing the state that it has set up a new public agency to police student follies. This is the body – the Office for Students – that caused such controversy by appointing no-platform obsessive Toby Young to its board (he resigned on Tuesday after realising he had been a bit too free with his own free speech). Why does this issue command such attention? What is it that these people would prefer not to see? Perhaps it is the far graver no-platforming that prevails across adult public life.

For instance, the incoming vice-chancellor of Edinburgh University is a man whose views, if they belonged to a student, would be quickly condemned. In his current post, as University of Hong Kong vice-chancellor, he signed the following letter: “We treasure freedom of expression, but we condemn its recent abuses. Freedom of expression is not absolute, and like all freedoms it comes with responsibilities. All universities undersigned agree that we do not support Hong Kong independence, which contravenes the Basic Law.”

Digging his hole deeper, he now claims that the phrase “recent abuses” refers not to the pro-independence protests at universities but tounrelated instances of hate speech. How can this meaning be deduced from the letter? Is a man who first rails against free speech, then engages in such sophistry, fit to serve in this role? Shouldn’t the minister responsible for the OfS take an interest in the matter? Or is easier to attack a handful of confused 18-year-olds?

Another resounding silence concerns the US government’s deletion from its websites of thousands of documents that mention climate breakdown. The US agriculture department instructs that the terms “climate change” or “greenhouse gases” should not be used in its publications; and the federal government bans the words “vulnerable”, “entitlement”, “diversity”, “transgender”, “foetus”, “evidence-based” and “science-based” from an agency’s budget reports. This is real censorship, not a feeble attempt by a few teenagers to prevent their peers using trigger words. Could it be that our free speech crusaders quietly approve?

Lord Lawson gave a lecture last year, claiming that “the suppression of freedom of speech in the universities now is one of the great problems of our time”. Somehow he forgot to mention that he served in the government that banned Sinn Féin and 10 other organisations in Northern Ireland from being heard on television and radio broadcasts, regardless of what they were saying. This was not an occasional no-platforming but full-on prohibition.

But perhaps the real discomfort is that the worst no-platforming of all takes place within our newspapers. In the publications most obsessed with student silliness, there is no platform for socialism, no platform for environmentalism, no platform for those who might offend the interests of the proprietors. In the Telegraph, as its former chief political commentator Peter Oborne says, there is no platform for criticism of – or even embarrassing news about – some of its major advertisers.

In the Daily Mail, Dominic Sandbrook warned that universities “are becoming bubbles of received opinion, echo chambers in which the same lazy prejudices … reverberate unceasingly.” Yes, that’s the Daily Mail, which has made its own contribution to free speech on campus by calling on readers to report views it disagrees with: “Have you – or do you know anyone – who has experienced anti-Brexit bias at university? Email university@dailymail.co.uk.”

A column in the Sun warns: “Universities risk looking more like places of darkness, intolerance and ignorance.” This admonition comes from a newspaper that during the EU referendum campaign, according to research at Cardiff University, published 220 pro-leave letters and one pro-remain letter.

The newspapers that claim to be so incensed about no-platforming are not above seeking to deny people a platform. When the broadcaster Chris Packham spoke out against the shooting industry, both the Mail on Sunday and the Telegraph published articles that sought to have him sacked from the BBC. The BBC resisted this attempt, but – disciplined by both press and government – across much of its output it has unthinkingly succumbed. For instance, while it broadcasts series such as Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets and Elizabeth & Philip: Love and Duty, it provides no documentary platform for those who seek to break the stranglehold of patrimonial wealth and power. Where’s the balance?

I’m not claiming that journalists try to distract attention from their own industry. Quite the opposite. Projection is something we do unconsciously, to avoid facing uncomfortable truths. We should all seek to challenge ourselves unceasingly, in the forlorn hope of combating this tendency.

I believe that a healthy media organisation, like a healthy university, should admit a diversity of opinion. I want the other newspapers to keep publishing views with which I fiercely disagree. But they – and we – should also seek opposing views and publish them too, however uncomfortable this might be. Otherwise media organisations are vulnerable to the charge they level so freely at students: creating a safe space in which only the views they find congenial are heard.

Yes, to use their unpleasant term, there are some snowflakes at university. But there’s a blizzard in the newspapers.

 George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

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Critical thinking is the fulcrum between political correctness and confirmation bias


#RaceRelations #Equality #Discrimination: The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility!

The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility Anna Kegler | HUFFPOST blog | 6 December 2017

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about how terms like “white privilege,” “inclusion” and “unconscious bias” all sound just… too nice. Don’t they seem a little on the pleasant side for words used to address a system of racist oppression? It reminds me of how, in Minnesota in January, the meteorologists will say it’s going to be a “cool evening” as they stand in front of a map showing temperatures that will literally freeze your nostrils together when you take a breath.

Something’s definitely up.

I’m reminded of how, in the novel 1984, the creepy futuristic government acts as if it’s “Opposite Day” all the time, using the Ministries of Love, Peace, Plenty and Truth to handle fear, war, rationing, and propaganda. The deliberate distortion of words is called doublespeak and we actually see it frequently in real-life politics (for example, the Clear Skies Act makes it easier to pollute the air and “enhanced interrogation“ means old-fashioned torture). Words are powerful.

The language we use to talk about racism is obviously distorted, a big clue that something is being hidden. It’s pretty easy to pinpoint the source: most White people can’t handle talking about racism. We flail. We don’t understand the subject, we get really uncomfortable, and we either clam up because we don’t want to say the wrong thing, or we bust out the whitesplaining (FYI, this is a best-case scenario. It can be much worse).

To mitigate our shortcomings, we surround ourselves with comforting words. Words that feel neutral. Words that don’t point fingers (at us). Words that center Whiteness, while erasing the harshness of discrimination and segregation. We reject words that we feel are too direct, that might reveal complicity on our part.

Let’s be clear that these linguistic gymnastics are only fooling White people. People of color have been aware that corporate pushes for “diversity” are often flimsy CYA efforts to mask sustained homogeneity, and “inclusion” is often code for tokenism. Scholars of color have been writing about the nuances of privilege and oppression for a longlongtime while watching White people invent different ways to either wriggle out of, dominate, or shut down the conversation. These same scholars have also been watching White writers and educators whisper the same exact thing they’ve been shouting, and magically draw a crowd.

I am writing this piece with the understanding that some White people will be more likely to listen to me because I am White. This is part of the underlying problem of White Fragility. White Fragility is the thing that restricts our knowledge, shuts down conversations before they start, and invites us to lie to ourselves. I’ll get into it more in the next section.

Finally, while I do want to nerd out a little dissecting some of the words we use, this piece is not about proposing new language. Our language is just a symptom. The underlying White Fragility is the problem we need to fix.

JOHN LAMB VIA GETTY IMAGES

White Fragility: Living in a Bubble and Also Being in Everyone’s Business

Dr. Robin DiAngelo, a White critical racial and social justice educator who created the term “White Fragility,” breaks it down like this:

White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.

Here is a list of things that cause White people racial stress, and why:

2016-07-11-1468243391-8355961-table.png

As an illustration of the above, let’s look at Donald Trump. Trump is known for speaking in vague generalities and declaring simplistic solutions for complex problems. He avoids policy and fact-based conversations, and gets angry and disgusted at the drop of a hat. Now imagine that when it comes to conversations on race, White people in America act a lot like Donald Trump. We generally lack knowledge, but we always have an opinion. We lack the skill set for nuanced conversations, so we pretend they aren’t necessary. When we can’t avoid, we deflect, or we get upset. We’re thin-skinned.

There are a lot of reasons White people have such a low threshold for discomfort. For one, we tend to lead segregated lives, and we think of ourselves as individuals as opposed to members of a group. We receive constant messages that Whiteness is valuable, and we’re used to feeling a sense of belonging in most spaces. All of this leads to a huge sense of entitlement to being not only comfortable, but correct, at all times. And even once we get exposed to the existence of these dynamics, we are often at a loss as to how to talk about it. We do everything to avoid talking about race in any real way, including saying nonsense like “Mohammad Ali transcended race” when we really mean “was retroactively deemed safe by fragile white people.”

Linguistic Tricks to Outsmart Racial Stress Triggers

Terms like “inclusion” and “white privilege” are designed to sneak past the racial stress triggers of White Fragility. They center Whiteness in a way that makes White people comfortable, while deflecting from the stressful realities of the racist harm that Whiteness causes. Imagine how many racial stress trigger alarm bells would go off if we were using words like “discrimination awareness” and “white undeserved advantages” instead.

Our overly-pleasant terms are the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. When you’re sick, do you still need a spoonful of sugar? Probably not, because you understand how medicine works. You’ll expect some bitterness, and be fine with it, because you want to get better.

The person who needs a spoonful of sugar doesn’t even know they need it. They have not developed an understanding of why they feel bad or what will fix it. If the medicine doesn’t taste good, they’ll spit it out. They’ll wonder, “why are you punishing me with this terrible tasting thing?” And then the next time, you better be really slick with the sugar, because if they suspect you’re trying to hide bitterness, even if they really, really want to feel better, they’ll clamp their teeth shut. Once they’re on to you, oops, it’s time to be more creative.

I’m going to run through a few terms and briefly outline some thoughts on the relative “sweetness” of the terminology, and the degree to which White audiences have caught on to the sleight of hand. While I might throw out some examples of alternate terms for the purpose of contrast, I’m not seriously trying to propose new terms here. White Fragility has to shift before the language can shift. To start effecting that shift, we can think more critically about what words we’re using now, and why.

Diversity

The word “diversity” is really common when people are talking about hiring. It started out as a neutral word meaning “variety” that’s supposed to describe a group, but somewhere along the way people started referring to individual people as “diverse”, like “we’re looking for a diverse candidate for this role.” So “diverse” is now code for “person of color” or “woman.” It’s been really distorted and linked to a destructive binary related to ability: “diversity” is associated with “lowering the bar.” So “diverse = person of color/woman = low ability” and “not diverse = White man = high ability.”

This word is really a mess. Ava Duvernay was just talking about how much she hates it because it’s a “medicinal word with no emotional resonance.” It’s interesting that she uses the word “medicinal” because this word has been around long enough that there’s not enough sweetness to fool anybody anymore.

White supremacy

Things we call “supreme”: The most delicious desserts. The most well-known and glamorous Motown singers. The highest court in the land. Um… God.

It has bothered me for years that linguistically, white supremacy sounds kind of great. Almost holy. It would sound more appropriately scary if it were called something actively negative, like “White domination” or “White oppressorship.” Once again, imagine the White stress level skyrocketing.

Some disambiguation is necessary with this term. “White supremacy” is a system that prioritizes whiteness regardless of the presence or absence of racial hatred, but a “white supremacist” is a person who embraces overt racial hatred. It’s like a spectrum. By default, all White people are on the spectrum of complicity in upholding a system of White supremacy, but we only give the negative label of “White supremacists” to the really hateful people at the far end. This allows the rest of us to say “we’re not them.”

White privilege

White privilege is a term popularized by Peggy McIntosh, a White women’s studies professor at Wellesley in the late 1980s. While “white privilege” is the term that stuck, many scholars and feminists of color – bell hooks, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Patricia Hill Collins – had been discussing the same ideas, particularly in the context of intersectionality. The discussion also goes back to Sojourner Truth and Anna Julia Cooper, who were discussing racism and sexism as two separate kinds of oppression in the late 1800s. When we ask ourselves why “white privilege” was so catchy among White people, it’s pretty obvious. As Ta-Nehisi Coates said in a recent interview, it’s “a word that we have created to make white people comfortable.”

Hua Hsu, Vassar College professor of English, has a great way of describing this: “Like the robot in a movie slowly discovering that it is, indeed, a robot, it feels as though we are living in the moment when white people, on a generational scale, have become self-aware.” The term “white privilege” is an extremely gentle way of easing White people into awareness. The use of the word “privilege” conjures up images of wealth, something Americans typically associate with merit. As I mentioned earlier, the term easily could have been something like “White undeserved advantages” but that would only serve to shut down conversation if the listener is a fragile White person.

Inclusion

As attorney, educator, and nationally recognized expert Vernā Meyers says, “diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.” So “diversity” is the hiring part, and “inclusion” is the “making sure your employees don’t find themselves in a hostile environment and leave“ part (companies are now pairing “inclusion” with “diversity” and calling it “D&I”). The thing that bugs me about “inclusion” is that it sounds like a neutral word but it’s not. It begs the question: “Who is including who? Who does this space belong to?” It sounds like an act of welcoming instead of everyone being on equal footing. And I guess that is what’s happening: predominantly White spaces are trying to be more welcoming, without having to relinquish White ownership of the space. “Inclusion” sounds a lot like a cousin of “All Lives Matter.”

Unconscious or implicit bias

“Unconscious bias” and “implicit bias” trainings are very popular now, and it’s easy to see why. When we frame the problem as one where White people are participating in a system of oppression unconsciously, without malice, it absolves all blame and affirms a state of racial innocence: “We’re not bad people, we’re just powerfully-socialized good people.” Articles and podcasts around the invisible psychological forces that shape our behavior are all the rage, so it makes sense that this term speaks to us in a really sweetened-up way. “Unconscious bias” says “you are good. It is not the conscious part of you that is to blame.”

White Fragility

“White Fragility” is the newest of these terms, and I chose to frame this piece around it because while it’s new and flashy, it’s not so sweet. It positions whiteness as weak and lacking instead of “privileged” or “supreme” while acknowledging the damage and violence this “fragility” has the power to cause.

To explain why she came up with this new term, Dr. DiAngelo said:

I think we get tired of certain terms. What I do used to be called “diversity training,” then “cultural competency” and now, “anti-racism.” These terms are really useful for periods of time, but then they get coopted, and people build all this baggage around them, and you have to come up with new terms or else people won’t engage. And I think “white privilege” has reached that point. It rocked my world when I first really got it, when I came across Peggy McIntosh. It’s a really powerful start for people. But unfortunately it’s been played so much now that it turns people off.

This so perfectly describes the “we see the medicine coming, so the sweetness loses its power” phenomenon. But while I think the term “White Fragility” is less sweet than some of the former terms, I’m not letting it off the hook. It is still a term invented by a White person for other White people, and it has quite a hefty dose of innocence built into it. What things are fragile? Newborn babies, fine china, snowflakes. Fragile things are usually valuable, and they need protection. Here we go again.

The good thing about the word “fragility” is that it pisses people off to be called “fragile” instead of “strong” or “resilient.” It pokes at insecurity, revealing something that has real destructive power to be built on a house of cards. As we’ve seen with the concept of “fragile masculinity,” the act of calling out something as weak can put some serious cracks in the foundation and lead to productive conversations.

The Lie at the Root of White Fragility

Imagine that people of color start learning about race and racism from childhood, and go on to earn the equivalent of advanced degrees in the subject just to get through everyday life. But most White people are given a pat on the head in 2nd grade, a fake diploma, and told we can skip all the other classes, because this subject doesn’t really apply to us. What’s written on our diploma? “Racists are bad people. But you are good.”

The “diploma” language is important because our brains just love a nice crisp binary. There’s something so satisfying and certain about good/bad, right/wrong, up/down.

When I was talking about White supremacy earlier, I mentioned that we can think about our participation as part of a spectrum. This can be very uncomfortable. When you’re on a spectrum, there’s always some ambiguity. A spectrum forces you to deal with the ways in which you are participating in a racist system. It doesn’t let you just opt out. But a binary lets you! A binary says, “Don’t worry about it, you are a Good Person. Nothing bad is associated with you, definitely not racism. End of conversation!” No wonder we love binaries so much.

When we learn that “racists are bad people”, we automatically put ourselves into the opposite category: non-racists who are well-meaning, good people. Here’s how it organizes our world view:

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Source

This good/bad binary is designed to prevent conversations. It keeps us focused on racism as an individual problem that “bad” people have, as opposed to a system of social control that implicates us. And it sets in place a hair trigger by which we experience any challenge to our racial worldview as a challenge to very our identities as good, moral people. Our lizard brains cannot handle contradictions to our goodness as people.

The truth is that “good” White people do and say racist things all the time. They appropriate black hairstyles like cornrows, baby hair, and bantu knots and rebrand them as “boxer braids”, “slicked-down tendrils”, and “mini-buns.” They dress up as stereotyped members of other cultures for Halloween, and argue the Redskins name is tradition. They say things like “I don’t even see color” and “All Lives Matter.”

Because these racist things don’t rise to the level of overt malice, they don’t trigger the good/bad binary. We can fall back on “good intentions” or “well-meaning” and presto: we’ve killed all potential for productive conversations about racism, and we’ve given ourselves permission to keep doing and saying a wide range of racist things without feeling bad about it.

Dr. DiAngelo asserts that “the most effective adaptation of racism over time is the idea that racism is conscious bias held by mean people.” Key word here is “adaptation.” Racism today doesn’t look the way it did in 1865, 1965, or 2000. It stays alive by shape-shifting over time, and the good/bad binary is just part of its insidious current form. The only way forward is to step outside of it.

If the occasional college workshop or workplace diversity training were enough to address all the insidious ways racism persists, white supremacy would already be over. And it’s not. As Assata Shakur said, “No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them.”

To that, I would like to add “the education White people need will make us uncomfortable.” Our choices are to stick with the binary, or to leave it behind and pursue knowledge that will challenge our worldview and bring discomfort. We have to build up our ability to feel uncomfortable without allowing the Chicken Little of our self-identity to squawk that the sky is falling.

We’re a long way away from that right now. The words we use to talk about race are very revealing of our investment in our own comfort, even when we’re trying to learn and to do better.

We Already Have Everything We Need

We’ve had all the basic ideas we’ve needed to understand racism for a long time. The only reason to pay attention to the packaging is to observe that it’s pointing to the real problem: the idea that we as White people are entitled to be lazy. We expect to be served knowledge about race and racism in palatable doses. We expect to rest in our fragility.

The solution: Put in work. We are not newborn babies or fancy teacups. We have the ability to actively seek knowledge and understanding.

As Vernā Meyers says, “not enough White people have done their work”:

After all the resources spent and goodwill extended, many white people, in exasperation, ask me why we haven’t gotten further in racial understanding or increasing the diversity in our workplaces and lives. Sometimes, they don’t like my response. I tell them what I have come to believe. Not enough white people have done their work: the work of seeing the barriers to true meritocracy, the work of putting themselves in the shoes of black people to learn more about their experiences and perceptions, the work of understanding how being white has shaped their worldview and self-perceptions, and the work of gaining the skills of deciphering and managing cross-racial and cultural dynamics. That’s a lot of work, but without it you cannot create fundamental change in your sphere of influence.

She leaves us with this: “Stop trying to be good people. And start trying to be real people.”

What will your next step be? Here are some ideas: BooksBlogsPodcastsYouTube channels.

The crimes of Winston Churchill

Churchill suggested “100,000 degenerate Britons should be forcibly sterilised/others put in labour camps to halt decline of British race”. He also went on to suggest that “for tramps and wastrels there ought to be proper labour colonies where they could be sent”.

Crimes of Britain

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England celebrates their genocides. The ‘Winston Churchill note’ has enteredcirculation. Honouring a man who swilled on champagne while 4 million men, women and children in Bengal starved due to his racist colonial policies.

The trial of Churchill:

Churchill was a genocidal maniac. He is fawned over in Britain and held up as a hero of the nation. He was voted ‘Greatest Briton’ of all time. Below is the real history of Churchill, the history of a white supremacistwhose hatred for Indians led to four million starving to death, the man who loathed Irish people so much he conceived different ways to terrorise them, the racist thug who waged war on black people across Africa and in Britain. This is the trial of Winston Churchill, the enemy of all humanity.

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THE TRIAL OF WINSTON CHURCHILL:

Afghanistan:

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Churchill found his love for war during the time he spent in Afghanistan. While there…

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#PostColonialism: Flaunting British Neo-Imperialism in Asia-Pacific!

Flaunting British Neo-Imperialism in Asia-Pacific | Joseph Thomas | Global Research | New Eastern Outlook | Counter Information | 8 January 2018

 

For over a century, the British Empire exerted control over Asia-Pacific, outright colonising India, Burma, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia while influencing and encroaching upon greater China, Siam and beyond.

It exploited the people and natural resources of the region, fuelled conflict as it waged war with rival European powers seeking to carve out their own colonies in Asia and left an enduring impact on the region, including ethnic and territorial feuds still unfolding today, e.g. the Rohingya crisis in present-day Myanmar.

Rather than make restitution for its decades of war, conquest and exploitation, the United Kingdom today eagerly seeks to reassert itself in the region alongside the United States who has also spent over a century in the region pursuing what US policymakers openly admit is American “primacy.”

The Diplomat, a US-European geopolitical publication focused on Asia-Pacific, described this development in its article, “The British Are Coming (to Asia).”

The article featured a single image, that of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the UK’s newest warships and its largest. It is one of two “colossal warships” UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson recently pledged to send across the globe to aid Washington in its growing confrontation with Beijing.

The author, US Air Force Major John Wright currently serving as Japan Country Director, International Affairs, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Honolulu, Hawaii, attempts to construct a positive argument for the UK’s involvement thousands of miles from its own shores.

The article admits that the US has few capable allies in the region willing to “comply with mutual defence needs beyond their own territory.” It admits that the US has increasingly looked beyond Asia for partners. The UK then, is about as beyond Asia as any potential partner could be.

The article notes that the UK has already deployed warplanes to Japan in addition to the aforementioned future deployment of British warships to the region. It also suggests that:

…the U.K. could revive the old trick of acting as a “fleet in being;” its ability to steam where and when it pleased while possessing no major territory would throw off regional rivals’ military calculus and force them to commit precious reconnaissance assets to monitoring the United Kingdom.

In other words, a European military would be deployed in and harass “rivals” across Asia alongside US warships already engaged in regional meddling. This, the author concludes, “would be a great benefit to stabilising the security troubles of the region.”   

Yet, when considering what actually drives “security troubles of the region,” it is evident that the presence of US forces far beyond US territory, for example, stationed in South Korea and conducting military exercises along North Korea’s borders in a deliberate attempt to provoke Pyongyang is the problem, not the solution. The addition of British warships and aircraft in the region will only further multiply “security troubles” evident in the author’s own comments regarding the need for “regional rivals” to commit to tracking and keeping in check British warships.

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Omitted from Major Wright’s nostalgic review of the UK’s historic role in Asia-Pacific was the concept of “gunboat diplomacy,” where the British Empire coerced Asian states into making lopsided concessions to London or face British naval firepower. Chunks of Siam were carved off under threat of British “gunboat diplomacy,” Hong Kong was outright seized by it and other nations likewise were forced by threat of military aggression to make concessions that benefited only the British.

US “primacy” in Asia-Pacific today closely resembles British “gunboat diplomacy.” While literal gunboats training cannons on the capitals of targeted states is no longer feasible, other means of coercion are. These include options categorised under “soft power” including US-European-funded opposition groups which may or may not include armed components. There is also economic warfare. When Thailand ousted US-proxy Thaksin Shinawatra and his political allies from power, the US pursued a campaign of economic sabotage aimed at Thailand’s seafood industry and tourism sector.

The US also employs terrorism as seen in the Philippines where Manila’s failure to heed US demands was swiftly followed by the appearance of militants from the Islamic State (IS) armed and funded by Washington’s allies in Riyadh. The militant group’s sudden appearance pressured Manila to continue accommodating the US military’s presence on its territory.

Of course, just as the British Empire hid naked imperialism behind the fig leaf of “spreading civilisation,” modern-day neo-imperialism hides behind the pretext of bringing “stability” as well as fostering “democracy” and “human rights” to the four corners of the globe. In reality, UK warships confronting “regional rivals” thousands of miles from London is a direct attempt to upend stability in Asia-Pacific. The British imposing their will upon Asia through the threat of military might undermines regional and national self-determination, the very opposite of fostering democracy.  And a nation imposing its will by threat of force is an obvious affront human rights.

Despite these obvious facts, we can expect publications like The Diplomat to continue promoting US-British meddling across Asia-Pacific. We can also expect the many aspects of US-European “soft power” across the region to likewise promote such meddling. However, it should be noted, that Washington’s need to find allies in Asia as far beyond Asia as northwest Europe illustrates America’s waning influence in Asia to begin with. British involvement in Asia-Pacific will only delay the inevitable removal of US influence from the region. The only question is, for how long and at what cost to both the British taxpayers and the people of Asia who must stave off attempts to disrupt, destabilise and destroy their hard-earned independence and achievements post-British Empire.

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Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

All images in this article are from the author.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/flaunting-british-neo-imperialism-in-asia-pacific/5625425

By Joseph Thomas Global Research, January 09, 2018 New Eastern Outlook 8 January 2018 For over a century, the British Empire exerted control over Asia-Pacific, outright colonising India, Burma, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia while influencing and encroaching upon greater China, Siam and beyond. It exploited the people and natural resources of the region, fuelled conflict […]

via Flaunting British Neo-Imperialism in Asia-Pacific — Counter Information

India: The Legacy of British Colonialism — Historic Injustice and Impunity

“Old and new imperialist powers have never accepted responsibility for their numerous horrifying crimes against their victims, and for the historical legacies of their enslavement, colonization, and their unending forms of subjugation, dehumanization, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Some, when pressed to some level of admission, have made token amends. But advocates of reparations, world-wide, have kept collective memory, resistance, and demands for historical justice alive, and have fueled new movements with a strong historic sense of their revolutionary mission. Among these are the advocates of British reparations to people in India. — Frontlines ed.”

Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

[Old and new imperialist powers have never accepted responsibility for their numerous horrifying crimes against their victims, and for the historical legacies of their enslavement, colonization, and their unending forms of subjugation, dehumanization, ethnic cleansing and genocide.  Some, when pressed to some level of admission, have made token amends.  But advocates of reparations, world-wide,  have kept collective memory, resistance, and demands for historical justice alive, and have fueled new movements with a strong historic sense of their revolutionary mission.  Among these are the advocates of British reparations to people in India. — Frontlines ed.]

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Apologies and reparations to India

It started a few months after the end of the first world war when an Englishwoman, a missionary, reported that she had been molested on a street in the Punjab city of Amritsar. The Raj's local commander, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, issued an order requiring all Indians using that street to crawl its length on their hands and knees. He also authorized the indiscriminate, public whipping of natives who came within lathi length of British policemen. On April 13, 1919, a multitude of Punjabis  gathered in Amritsar's Jallian wala Bagh as part of the Sikh Festival "Baisakhi fair" and to protest at these extraordinary measures. The throng, penned in a narrow space smaller than Trafalgar Square, had been peacefully listening to the testimony of victims when Dyer appeared at the head of a contingent of British troops. Giving no word of warning, he ordered 50 soldiers to fire into the gathering, and for 10 to 15 minutes 1,650 rounds of ammunition were unloaded into the screaming, terrified crowd, some of whom were trampled by those desperately trying to escape. Amritsar Massacre "The Indians were 'packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies'; the people 'ran madly this way and the other. When fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, and the fire was then directed on the ground. This was continued for eight or ten minutes, and it stopped only when the ammunition had reached the point of exhaustion".....Winston Churchill Dyer then marched away, leaving 379 dead and over 1,500 wounded. Back in his headquarters, he reported to his superiors that he had been 'confronted by a revolutionary army,' and had been obliged 'to teach a moral lesson to the Punjab.' In the storm of outrage which followed, the brigadier was promoted to major general, retired, and placed on the inactive list. ''I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.'' ......Dyer's response to the Hunter Commission Enquiry General Dyer said he would have used his machine guns if he could have got them into the enclosure, but these were mounted on armoured cars. He said he did not stop firing when the crowd began to disperse because he thought it was his duty to keep firing until the crowd dispersed, and that a little firing would do no good. He confessed he did not take any steps to attend to the wounded after the firing. ''Certainly not. It was not my job. Hospitals were open and they could have gone there,'' came his pathetic response. However, the misery suffered by the people was reflected in Rattan Devi's account. She was forced to keep a nightlong vigil, armed with a bamboo stick to protect her husband's body from jackals and vultures. Curfew with shoot-at-sight orders had been imposed from 2000 hours that night. Rattan Devi stated, ''I saw three men writhing in great pain and a boy of about 12. I could not leave the place. The boy asked me for water but there was no water in that place. At 2 am, a Jat who was lying entangled on the wall asked me to raise his leg. I went up to him and took hold of his clothes drenched in blood and raised him up. Heaps of bodies lay there, a number of them innocent children. I shall never forget the sight. I spent the night crying and watching..." General Dyer admitted before the commission that he came to know about the meeting at Jallianwala Bagh at 1240 hours that day, but took no steps to prevent it. He also admitted in his deposition that the gathering at the Bagh was not a concentration only of rebels, but people who had covered long distances to participate in the Baisakhi fair. This incredibly, made him a martyr to millions of Englishmen. Senior British officers applauded his suppression of 'another Indian Mutiny.' The Guardians of the Golden Temple enrolled him in the Brotherhood of Sikhs. The House of Lords passed a measure commending him. The Conservatives presented him with a jewelled sword inscribed "Saviour of the Punjab." A young Sikh teenager who was being raised at Khalsa Orphanage named Udham Singh (aka Mohammad Singh Azad) saw the happening with his own eyes. He vowed to avenge the Amritsar massacre.  On 13 March 1940 at 4.30 p.m. in the Caxton Hall, London, where a meeting of the East India Association was being held in conjunction with the Royal Central Asian Society, Udham Singh fired five to six shots from his pistol at Sir Michael O'Dwyer, who was governor of the Punjab when the Amritsar Massacre had taken place, to avenge the massacre. On the 31st July, 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville jail, London "He was the real culprit. He deserved it. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I [had to] crush him." Udham Singh, telling the trial court why he killed Michael O'Dwyer.  It started a few months after the end of the first world war when an Englishwoman, a missionary, reported that she had been molested on a street in the Punjab city of Amritsar. The Raj’s local commander, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, issued an order requiring all Indians using that street…

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Deprivation of #liberty in relation to #children and young people

Deprivation of liberty in relation to children and young people | Caroline Bennett | RESEARCH IN PRACTICE | 8 January 2018

A child or young person cannot be deprived of their liberty unless it is justified and lawfully authorised. Caroline Bennett, author of the latest Research in Practice Strategic Briefing, discusses the area of decision making and mental capacity for children and young people.

I am the Assistant Director for Social Care at the Council for Disabled Children(CDC), part of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB). Since the age of 16 I have volunteered or worked directly with disabled children, young people and their families. My previous roles have varied from a 1:1 support volunteer for a child with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) to a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered manager of a local authority short break service supporting children and young people with complex needs, including those with behaviour that challenges.

In all of these roles I was involved in systems, assessments and planning processes that employ a variety of approaches to meeting the needs of children and young people with a focus on promoting their wellbeing and keeping them safe. On reflection, the majority of them also created opportunities to regularly review and ensure the least restrictive approach was taken, the ‘zone of parental responsibility’ was understood and to identify where a child might be deprived of their liberty (DoL) however it was rare to explicitly consider it in that context.

‘Depending on the age and maturity of children and young people, it would be entirely normal to expect their liberty to be restricted through day to day family life and the exercise of parental control to keep them safe. However, as they get older they start to take on their own decision making responsibilities and increase their independence.

For some children and young people these restrictions may continue or increase as they get older, for example where there is a mental health need, learning disability, behaviour that challenges or other risk of harm such as child sexual exploitation or radicalisation. Restrictions such as these may be absolutely necessary for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people however, it is also the case that robust safeguards must be in place to ensure that children and young people’s rights are respected.’ – Deprivation of liberty in relation to children and young people: Strategic Briefing

The area of decision making and mental capacity, including ‘Gillick’ competency, for children and young people has become increasingly recognised as an area requiring significant focus and practice development. Particularly in the context of legislative change in relation to the Children and Families Act 2014, the Care Act 2014 and the implications of case law.

The landscape surrounding this sensitive issue is complex but the underpinning principle is not.

We know that everyone has a right to liberty under article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This protects the right to liberty and security of a person and set outs that no one should be deprived of their liberty unless it is justified and carried out in accordance with article 5.

In other words, a child or young person cannot be deprived of their liberty unless it is justified and lawfully authorised. The challenge arises when we start to consider the number of children and young people who might be currently deprived of their liberty, in various settings, and to explore the systems available for identifying and authorising a DoL.

The duties in the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which applies to those aged over 16, and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards which apply to those over 18 who are in a care home or hospital means that many approaches have been developed in Adults’ Services, but their implications have not been considered for children and young people.

‘A fundamental finding of both the Law Commission’s report and the consultation paper on Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty was that a person’s age or disability should not be the starting point for considering the right to protection. The judgment of Birmingham City Council v D [2016] EWCOP 8 concluded that the present law places young people at a distinct disadvantage compared to those over 18.’ – Deprivation of liberty in relation to children and young people: Strategic Briefing

Moving forward, there will need to be clear processes in place for identifying where children and young people are likely to have their liberty restricted and for obtaining lawful authorisation where they are deprived of liberty.

Given the current pressures on Children’s Services it is vitally important that wherever possible processes are aligned with the existing systems that are set up to support children and young people. Such as:

  • The Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment, planning and review process;
  • The duty to carry out a transition assessment under the Care Act 2014;
  • The processes surrounding looked after children such as visits, reviews and pathway plans including the role of Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs), social workers, providers and foster carers.

The new Research in Practice Deprivation of liberty in relation to children and young people: Strategic Briefing shares top tips for developing practice in this area under a number of key themes:

  • Leadership
  • Systems, assessments and planning
  • Record keeping
  • Commissioning.

Related resources


About the author

Caroline Bennett is the Assistant Director for Social Care at the Council for Disabled Children, part of the National Children’s Bureau.


References

Bennett, C (2017) Deprivation of liberty in relation to children and young people: Strategic Briefing. Dartington: Research in Practice.

Government Legislation (1998) European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Legilation.gov.uk. Available online: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/schedule/1/part/I/chapter/4


Privacy, the common law and a celebrity divorce

“Toulson LJ gave the main judgment in the Court of Appeal which he started as follows:
[1] Open justice. The words express a principle at the heart of our system of justice and vital to the rule of law. The rule of law is a fine concept but fine words butter no parsnips. How is the rule of law itself to be policed? It is an age old question. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes—who will guard the guards themselves? In a democracy, where power depends on the consent of the people governed, the answer must lie in the transparency of the legal process. Open justice lets in the light and allows the public to scrutinise the workings of the law, for better or for worse. Jeremy Bentham said in a well-known passage quoted by Lord Shaw of Dunfermline in Scott v Scott [1913] AC 417, 477: ‘Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion and the surest of all guards against improbity. It keeps the judge himself while trying under trial.’”

dbfamilylaw

Court divorce papers: how private?

Under the headline ‘Jamie and Louise Redknapp’s divorce papers to be kept secret as a judge blocks the release of documents’ the Transparency Project reported last week-end that a London court had ‘blocked the release of papers that would normally be made public and he has not given a reason why’. The Daily Mail, TP said, had complained: ‘A judge has thrown a blanket of secrecy over the’ couple’s divorce. TP replied resolutely:

‘What rubbish. A judge has probably refused to allow the press access to something that they weren’t entitled to in the first place and that they knew and the judge knew and we all know probably contains nothing of… public interest. What do the Family Court rules (FPR) allow the press to see? The short answer can be found in rule 29.12 which basically says – if you aren’t…

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69% of Children in NHS Out of Area in inadequate hospitals pledged 1.4 billion.

This Govt is promoting an undemocratic and devious policy for profit of commoditising vulnerable children, built on contempt instead of respect for established family life and anti-social work decisions rubber-stamped at court as ‘welfare’ and ‘best interests’.
“As ‘mental’ health moves into schools, and we are told a fifth of our children have a ‘diagnosable disorder’.
Within a mendacious system that gerrymanders ‘out of area placements’ to, at worst , place vulnerable children wherever commercially convenient, or at best, treats them without having the correct infrastructure in place.
Allowing children to linger for years, hundreds of miles away from their families regardless of the damage caused.
We must consider the outcomes of such ‘treatment’ and the huge amount of money spent on it.
And ask why ?”

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out of area mental

The British Medical Assassination FOIA notices revealed 69% of child and adolescent admissions to mental hospitals in 2016/17 were classed as ‘out of area’

7 out of 10 children are sent away miles from parents, family, school and friends

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/09/seven-ten-children-severe-mental-health-problems-sent-hospitals/

The highest rise was in south-west England with a 106% increase in inpatients treated out of area, the second being a rise of 92% was in Yorkshire and Humber.

And this is years after a government pledge to end all such placements by 2021.

But instead, the definition of ‘out of area’ appears to have changed to allow NHS England to claim children sent up to 200 miles from home are “in area”.

So children sent from Cornwall to Gloucestershire are not now ‘out of area.’

This new method of calculating out of area placements, only came to light after the BMA’s FOIA requests last year.

After NHS England stated…

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