Friday, October 28, 2016

Senator Richard Shelby Says FBI to Re-open Clinton Email Case Due to New Evidence

"My office was just alerted that the FBI is reopening its investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton's e-mails."

In a Facebook post today Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama claims, according to his office, he has received a letter addressed to the various pertinent committee chairmen stating that new evidence has come to light and the FBI is going to re-open the investigation into Hillary Clinton's personal email server.

The letter is dated October, 28, 2016 and is written on "Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation" letterhead.

In a screenshot of the letter shared on Shelby's Facebook page, Director Comey informs the Chairmen:

"Dear Messrs Chairmen,

"In previous congressional testimony I referred to the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had completed its investigation of former Secretary Clinton's personal email server. Due to recent developments I am writing to supplement my previous testimony.

"In connection with an unrelated case the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation. 

"Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees after our efforts in light of my previous testimony."

The letter is then signed:
Sincerely yours
James B. Comey, Director.

The letter is addressed to Chairman Burr, Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman Grassely, Committee on the Judiciary, Senator Shelby, Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, Chairman Johnson, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Chairman Nunes, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman Goodlatte, Committee on the Judiciary, Chairman Culberson, Appropriations and Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. Chaffetz, Chairman on Oversight and Government Reform.

(See the letter/Facebook post)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Mexico’s ‘Feminist Library’ Aims to Offer Women Something New

FotografĂ­a de perfil de la Biblioteca Feminista en Facebook, publicada masivamente en las redes.
“Neither master nor slave.” Photo: Feminist Library / Facebook

The Feminist Library is a Facebook community that two Mexican women have administered for a little over a year now. Today, the group has more than 9,000 followers. The Library was founded to serve as a collection of information on feminism and women's rights:
We compile materials about feminism and creative women in order to share them with the world. We want to disseminate feminist culture with all its diversity and its contributions to the construction of other possible worlds.
Global Voices spoke with the community's two administrators, discussing feminists and feminism, the need for solid information, and the importance of responsibly sharing this information. In a country like Mexico, where the frequency of femicide and gender-based abuse is alarming, projects like Feminist Library are trying to raise awareness about a problem with strong roots in culture and conventions.

Sharing information involves much more than just clicking on Facebook's share button, however. The amount of information available online is immense and readers don't always look beyond the headlines and photographs. That's why the Library also advocates the idea of “responsibility in publication.” The texts, news, photographs, and articles promoted by the Library are carefully selected, reviewed, and verified before before publication on Facebook. 

The Librarians

As in the case with many other activists, the group's administrators first began contemplating gender roles and feminist movements through their own personal experiences.

The community's founder and her creative approach to feminism are connected to issues of body care, food sovereignty, and ideas about freedom from the state and from market pressures. The group's participants are also dedicated to alternative modes of citizenship, and fighting sexism and abuse against women:
I had to turn into a feminist for survival. When you work on issues of solidarity in the economy, you can't imagine you'll have a partner who harasses you. But that's the reality. Misogyny and machismo also occur in the movements that are considered alternative to the system and our ability to participate is subject to these prejudices and acts of violence. My former partner was the leader of a group, and I was expelled from the community for not wanting to continue that relationship. I was treated very harshly, even by close friends, who told me that my word was worthless for having been involved with him. That is why, for survival, I started searching. You need to find ideas that stop you from thinking it's normal to be treated like this.
The Library's other main collaborator has similar activist experience and familiarity with the faults within women's advocacy groups. Many of these organizations, she says, are particularly flawed when it comes to taking concrete actions:
I had the opportunity to work in a hospital, but that experience showed me that the groups identifying themselves as defending women did not always work in a spirit of solidarity.
The Feminist Library aims to create spaces—virtual or physical—where women can share and reflect together. The group's administrators believe this simple step can be the beginning of many needed changes:
I believe in the power that exists in the spaces for and by women. I do not think that mixed spaces are bad, but the spaces that are managed by women whom I have met are areas in which I have learned a lot, where there is not only theoretical work, but criticism and self-criticism. This process is difficult, even working in organizations devoted to civil society. I think that there is resistance to the work on gender issues, I have met people with a strong background in human rights who show a lack of interest in this topic, and who believe that you try to speak only about women and that you intend to exclude men. Being part of the organized civil society, we often make the mistake of wanting to analyze reality, without questioning privileges.
This work, the group's administrators say, addresses concrete needs:
"It is complicated, but it is also wonderful to find people who are on the same wavelength about your desire to create things. When I was invited [to the creation of the group] I said “Yes!”, because, although I have colleagues who work with community feminism issues, we do not share a workspace. It was also very good to create a virtual space to share and keep creating ideas. The dynamics of this process are stimulating."
Feminism Hurts
The librarians laugh at the negative opinions and the typical fights that take place in spaces dedicated to feminism. The trolls, the aggressive responses, and the protests have become common features of the movement. After some confrontations, the Feminist Library decided to avoid answering comments that are not conducive to constructive debate:
Feminism is an antidote against the things that numb you to withstand the overwhelming amount of misogynist violence you endure every day. Becoming aware hurts, but it is the only way to find what makes you suffer. You realize that what happened and brought you pain is not “natural” or “normal.” You had an intuition, but you did not even dare to name it. You realize that women have lived it for centuries and many have struggled to break free and liberate all of us. Each time I discover the stories and the words of women before me, I feel comforted and motivated. We need to know more about our history—about ourselves. That was the inspiration behind the Feminist Library.
Much of what is published in the Library is also inspirational material. Cases and stories that many would like to see reproduced in different parts of the continent are also shared. One example is the history of the formation of the “Women Front School.” (The video was first published online by the YouTube channel Education in Motion.) In fact, this is the next thing the librarians would like to accomplish: compiling a collective training guide to help women defend their rights.

For safety and privacy reasons, Global Voices has redacted the names of the Feminist Library's administrators.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Study Shows "I" is #DonaldTrump's Favorite Word! That Should Tell "You" Something?

ThinkProgress recently asked a University of Pennsylvania linguistics professor to analyze Trump's use of language. 

The findings should not be shocking to anyone paying attention. 

"I" is Donald Trump's favorite word. 

This shouldn't surprise anyone given the generally accepted understanding that Donald Trump is a dangerous narcissist. 

Republican candidates seem to know this about Trump. They have for a while. 

So why does such a large group of Republicans still seem to fall in line behind him? 

Why are all the other GOP candidates falling into the shadow of Trump's over sized ego?  

Is he just better at their own game than they are?

Here's but a small sampling of what a few other Republicans have said about The Donald: 

"Donald Trump is for Donald Trump. He believes in nothing other than himself. He's not a liberal, he's not a moderate, and he's not a conservative. He's not a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. He's not for anything or against anything. Issues and policies and ideals are not important to him. He's for Donald." - Gov. Bobby Jindal (who has apparently been shuffled into a back room somewhere to fade away)

The fireworks between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump were many and bright. Too soft spoken to compete with the blustering Trump, Bush wound up leaving the race. "We need someone who's not a narcissist" Bush said of Trump. "Donald Trump, you're the loser!"

"He has, I think, some very disturbing traits that I think America should pay attention to. He's a man that said, 'I've slept with peoples' wives,' blah, blah, blah and yet he's also said that he's never had to ask God for forgiveness for anything he's done. He's a narcissist to the highest level and that's exactly the wrong person to put into the Oval Office." - Conservative Mouthpiece Glenn Beck 

"Donald Trump is a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag. A speck of dirt is way more qualified to be president,”- Rand Paul

"Buckley dismissed Trump as a narcissistic and a demagogue, the kind of person who would not qualify to be president." - Bill Kristal in reference to Trump's statement that William F. Buckley would not oppose Trump for president. 

"His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill." - Mitt Romney

"The Republican Party would be split apart if he became the nominee, because we cannot allow the party of Reagan to be taken over by a con man." - Marco Rubio 

Trump is a coward, and like all those who feel the need to boast about being strong and tough, he is neither.” - George Will

Trump has, however, garnered support from a growing number of people and organizations, including the KKK, David Duke, and various other Neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. It isn't hard to wonder why they salute him. 

Although Charles Koch is quoted as saying one of Trump's policy proposals if implemented would "destroy a free society," the Koch Brothers have stated publicly that are not going to throw their money away to block his nomination or influence the primaries, which is in direct opposition to their past heavy investments into influencing campaigns. 


Monday, January 18, 2016

Bernie Sanders MLK Day Birmingham Rally Draws Thousands, Overflows Into the Streets

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday observed the holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by touring the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. The senator stopped beside a plain marker along the side of the church commemorating four girls who were killed in a 1963 bomb blast at the church where King often preached.

“The vision he had for the future in many ways remains unfulfilled,” Sanders said. “If we are serious about remembering his legacy, we will continue the fight for racial justice, economic justice and for a nation in which all people live with dignity. We still have a long way to go.” Sanders also stopped at the Civil Rights Institute, a museum where he touched the bars of the Birmingham jail cell where King was held.

Sanders later addressed a packed nighttime rally at Birmingham’s Boutwell Auditorium. There were 5,700 supporters jammed inside. Another 1,400 braved unusual sub-freezing weather to watch on a jumbo TV in an overflow area outside. 

“There must be a mistake. Somebody told me Alabama is a conservative state,” Sanders said to loud cheers. In his remarks at the rally, Sanders also invoked the memory of King. “To truly honor Dr. King we must fight to carry out his radical and bold vision for America. He saw the relationship between racism and economics and war. That was his courage.”

At one point in the evening Sanders proudly emphasized that the average donation from his supporters is $27. Though a diverse crowd, there was a noticeable preponderance of Millennials who answered his calls for student loan relief and tuition free college with extra vigorous cheering and applause, many yelling "We love you Bernie" to which he replied "I love you too."

Near the end of the rally Sen. Sanders stopped his speech and hushed the room, taking a ten minute break to allow paramedics to tend to a spectator who collapsed in the standing room only crowd.  The room came together in cheers as the person was able to stand and walk out of the main area. Senator Sanders urged members of the crowd to call for water or to be led to a seat if they needed attention as the unexpected influx of supporters stuffed the venue to overflowing.
Sanders finished the night by laying out the key elements of his platform which include single payer healthcare, tuition free public universities and a $15 minimum wage.