Saturday News: Gestapo tactics

ICE GRABS DURHAM IMMIGRANT AFTER TRICKING HIM INTO CITIZENSHIP INTERVIEW: Samuel Oliver-Bruno sought to defer his deportation to Mexico after living in the United States for more than 22 years. Oliver-Bruno arrived at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Morrisville on Friday morning for an appointment, joined by his 19-year-old son, Daniel Oliver-Perez; a pastor at CityWell United Methodist Church, Cleve May; and other members of the clergy. May said once Oliver-Bruno completed paperwork, he and Oliver-Perez went to a line to be processed while May and clergy members stayed in a waiting room. “The next thing we know, several men jumped him, and Daniel clung to his father, and they were choking Daniel and trying to pull him off,” May said. Oliver-Perez, who is a citizen born in the U.S., was arrested and charged with assaulting a government employee; law enforcement officials said he assaulted an ICE officer.
https://www.wral.com/dozens-arrested-after-undocumented-man-living-in-durham-church-for-11-months-de...

NC DOT needs to encourage rural transit, not stifle it

Bus route in Henderson County is on the chopping block:

The route serves 150 to 180 people per month with a 12-seat transit van with three trips each morning and three each afternoon. It takes riders from the east side of Hendersonville on a loop that travels Sugarloaf Road, Ridge Road and Pilot Mountain Road to the Edneyville Post Office before heading back into Hendersonville via Chimney Rock Road.

But WCCA can no longer get grant funding for the route under the state’s new interpretation of what constitutes a consolidated system, Crisp told Times-News staff writer Andrew Mundhenk. Henderson County’s website states that the service is being discontinued “due to state budget cuts,” and directs people to call 828-698-8571 for more information.

As readers are likely aware, I'm a big proponent of public transportation. And not just the high-density metro systems, but also smaller systems that connect rural and suburban areas to commercial hubs and county seats. Money is always an issue, but there are two sides to that money debate. Especially in our current economy, physical mobility is critical in the pursuit of financial independence. But people's health is at stake, too:

Friday News: Sinophobia

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NC STATE UNIVERSITY ABRUPTLY CLOSES CHINA-FUNDED CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE: NCSU Provost Warwick Arden said the primary reason for the closure was to better align the university’s China and Asia programs with the rest of the university’s global strategy. But he added, “we’re certainly aware of the concerns that are circulating around Confucius Institutes.” The shuttering comes at a time of more intense scrutiny of the more than 100 Confucius Institutes on U.S. college campuses, and pressure from U.S. political leaders who say the centers pose a danger. In February, FBI director Christopher Wray told the Senate intelligence committee that the FBI was “watching warily” Confucius Institutes, according to a report by McClatchy. He warned of Chinese operatives infiltrating college campuses and “a level of naiveté” by academics in the U.S., according to the report. “They’re exploiting the very open research and development environment that we have, which we all revere,” Wray said, according to the McClatchy story. “But they’re taking advantage of it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article221985800.html

The real Thanksgiving story: The Pequot Massacre

Would you like a little genocide with that turkey and stuffing?

In 1637, the Pequot tribe of Connecticut gathered for the annual Green Corn Dance ceremony. Mercenaries of the English and Dutch attacked and surrounded the village; burning down everything and shooting whomever try to escape.

The next day, Newell notes, the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony declared: “A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children.” It was signed into law that, “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.” Most Americans believe Thanksgiving was this wonderful dinner and harvest celebration. The truth is the “Thanksgiving dinner” was invented both to instill a false pride in Americans and to cover up the massacre.

Sixteen years before this massacre, there was (supposedly) a three day feast in which Puritans and Wampanoag Native Americans took part. There is virtually no corroborating evidence of this idyllic gathering, but oral history of the tribe seems to support the story. But even if it did happen, it is far more important to remember what happened to the Pequots after coming into contact with these particular illegal immigrants:

Thursday News: You can't fix stupid...

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TALK RADIO HACK PAT MCCRORY CLAIMS NC COLLEGE STUDENTS VOTED ILLEGALLY: “In my particular election we had a lot of college students, who were out-of-state college students, vote,” McCrory said. “And they could do it because there was no voter ID which would’ve showed New Jersey license plates, Pennsylvania license plates, you name it. .... And I couldn’t do a thing about it.” “College students may register and vote in the county where they are attending college,” says the website of the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. Pat Gannon, the elections board spokesman, clarified that the rule applies to students who move within North Carolina for college, as well as to students who moved here from another state. “Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there that unnecessarily erodes confidence in our election system,” Gannon said in an email. “We encourage everyone to understand the law and election policies and procedures before spreading inaccurate information.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222039845.html

Tyrants of a feather: Trump's love affair with murderous Crown Prince

If we're not talking about oil, guns, and money, I don't want to hear it:

Tuesday’s message could become something of a blueprint for foreign leaders — a guide to how they might increase their standing in the eyes of the American president as well as how far they can go in crushing domestic critics without raising American ire.

It was also a revealing meditation on the role that Mr. Trump believes facts should play in political decision-making. The C.I.A. concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia had ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s killing, American officials said last week. But on Tuesday, the president dismissed not only that assessment but also the very process of seeking the truth, implying that it did not really matter anyway. (“Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Mr. Trump wrote of Prince Mohammed.)

It's not just the Khashoggi killing that such irresponsible behavior affects; those 85,000 dead Yemeni children will likely be joined by tens of thousands more, because Trump will allow Saudi Arabia to continue with business as usual in that war-torn country. And what may be behind that unflinching support is that Saudi Arabia has only spent a fraction of the money on arms deals that Trump has been bragging about, and the more bombs they drop on Yemen, the more $$$$ may be forthcoming:

Wednesday News: Bait and switch?

NC GOP FLOATS REASONABLY SANE PROPOSAL FOR VOTER ID: It allows for free IDs and a wide range of photo IDs that would be accepted at the polls, including University of North Carolina system IDs. These college IDs weren't allowed under previous voter ID rules that were found unconstitutional by the federal courts. A joint House-Senate committee on elections plans to meet the day before to go over the bill. The following types of ID would be accepted under the legislation, which is still in draft form and may change: An NC drivers license. DMV identification cards for non-drivers. U.S. passports. A new NC voter ID card, as created by this legislation. A tribal enrollment card issued by a federally or state-recognized tribe. A student ID card from a University of North Carolina school. A drivers license or ID card issued by another state, if the voter's registration came within 90 days of the election.
https://www.wral.com/republicans-roll-out-voter-id-bill/18010240/

Tuesday News: Bringing justice to the justice system

BAIL BOND REFORM MAY BE ON THE HORIZON IN NC: Members of the North Carolina Courts Commission are gathering information about the need for changes to the state's pretrial release laws. The state is one of several weighing reforms of the cash bail system. "Those folks can often spend more time incarcerated pre-trial than they could ever get if they were convicted," Smith said. Advocates from several criminal justice reform groups attended the meeting, including Southerners on New Ground. Kyla Hartsfield, an organizer with that group, said they recently bailed out nine people, including single mothers and family breadwinners, who were in jail solely because they couldn't afford to make bail. Hartsfield said the consequences of pre-trial incarceration can be disastrous, regardless of the accused's innocent or guilt. "Lose your job, possibly lose your kids, lose your home," Hartsfield said. "What could I lose in a month? I could lose everything I have."
https://www.wral.com/state-weighs-changes-to-bail-system-to-reduce-burden-on-the-poor/18007860/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Also on the list of post-Thanksgiving shenanigans:

Thomas Farr is the worst possible choice, especially in a district with such a high level of African-American populations. But there may be some hope:

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