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Border Patrol Checkpoints Shut Down Highways In Maine And New Hampshire


      When a criminal is being sought, Law Enforcement will sometimes shut down portions of a road or highway and check out drivers and passengers. Checkpoints can also be set up to prevent smuggling, and at times like New Years Eve to stop drunk drivers. In the case of this story, these highways are being shut down to try and 'get' people who were not born in the United States. This has caused some controversy. There are those who are concerned that nationwide crackdowns on immigrants, and increased Customs and Border Protection at bus and train stops, along with more and longer highway checkpoints, make it hard not to feel that people are living in a "show me your papers" country.


      Border Patrol agents in Maine shut down part of Interstate 95 on Wednesday to stop drivers and ask them where they were born.CreditBangor Daily News
      Such immigration checkpoints on highways have been used by the Border Patrol for years, often along popular smuggling and drug-trafficking routes in the Southwest. But their frequency has increased under President Trump, federal officials have said. The one in Maine was set up several days after agents conducted a three-day checkpoint on a New Hampshire highway, at least the second checkpoint in that state so far this year.
      Inspections have also extended to bus and train stops, where federal agents in Florida, Maine, New York and Washington State have recently asked riders about their immigration status.

      A nearly six-minute video of the Maine encounter offered a window into the reach and power of the Border Patrol at a time when its enforcement of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy has come under intense criticism. The reporters asked a Border Patrol agent why the checkpoint had been set up.

      Border Patrol agents have been given broad legal authority, which has expanded during the current administration, to conduct the stops and other operations, and to ask anyone about their immigration status.

      “It’s just a random checkpoint. It’s within 100 miles of the border,” the agent said. “We just occasionally set them up to see what we can catch.”

      The agent added that the officers look for signs that include how people answer their questions and if they speak with an accent. He argued the stops were fair and free of potential bias because every person who passed through the checkpoint was asked the same question.

      Border Patrol officers have long come under criticism for why they decide to stop some people and not others. They have been accused of making subjective and arbitrary judgments. Customs and Border Protection instructs agents not to consider a person’s race or ethnicity.

      Agents are also barred from considering a person’s language, an issue that surfaced in an encounter in Montana last month. A Border Patrol agent overheard a woman speaking Spanish to a friend inside a convenience store in Havre, a small town about 30 miles south of Canada. He stopped the women and asked for their proof of citizenship, later telling them that their Spanish had raised suspicions. The friends were United States citizens.

      But drivers who encounter the checkpoints have long complained abThe A.C.L.U.’s offices in New Hampshire and Maine have challenged the Border Patrol’s immigration checks on highways and at bus stops. The group filed a lawsuit in New Hampshire last year after a checkpoint in Woodstock resulted in the arrest of several people on drug charges. Last month, a judge agreed and ruled in favor of the A.C.L.U., saying that the stops violated both state and federal constitutions.

      Read the complete article


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      Pundit Post

      George Will Said What?



          George Will is tired of his own party.

          Anybody who is over 30 and has spent anytime reading political columns or televised political punditry know who George Will is. He is a conservative thinker, a Republican, an American who eschews liberalism. To read his words about those of his party, now in control of Capitol Hill, is a stunner. He say's, in so many words, they, the Republicans, need to go. They need to be voted out of office, they need to be made a minority in Congress. Why you may ask? For one, for not putting into play actions allowed by law, if not demanded by law, to removed Donald Trump from office.

          Evidently, based on his own words, even George Will knows his most favored party is being run by nuts and they, the party of national pride, is running the nation into the ground.

          Excerpt ---> "The principle: The congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. So substantially that their remnants, reduced to minorities, will be stripped of the Constitution’s Article I powers that they have been too invertebrate to use against the current wielder of Article II powers. They will then have leisure time to wonder why they worked so hard to achieve membership in a legislature whose unexercised muscles have atrophied because of people like them."

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          Washington, D.C. - The Psychopath Capital Of America


              Most of us knew that many politicians and others involved with politicians were sociopaths/psychopaths, with some being more so than others. We watched Trump prove it, as his Republican Congress enabled him while he expressed his disorder on TV, twitter, rallies and speeches; and along the way, many in Congress proved their own psychopathology.

              Excerpts from the following article are interesting, because evidently a study backs up what we've known all along.

              The result of the study: " The District of Columbia measured to be far more psychopathic than any individual state in the country."

              What this means to me, is that we the voters/constituents, must be ever vigilant in weeding out phonies - those high on the psychopath scale - so that we vote into government those with fewer detrimental characteristics of the sociopath/psychopath,and work to remove those who prove to be high on the scale of the psychopath - such as Trump.

              A new study ranks each state, plus D.C., by their psychopathic tendencies. The race for first? It isn’t even close.

              By DEREK ROBERTSON

              June 23, 2018.

              To psychologists, a “psychopath” isn’t necessarily a Norman Bates or Patrick Bateman lurking with an ax in the shadows; it’s a person with a particular collection of antisocial traits, including a powerful sense of spite and an inability to consider the welfare of others.

              Ryan Murphy, an economist at Southern Methodist University, recently published a working paper in which he ranked each of the states by the predominance of—there’s no nice way to put it—psychopaths. The winner? Washington in a walk. In fact, the capital scored higher on Murphy’s scale than the next two runners-up combined.

              “I had previously written on politicians and psychopathy, but I had no expectation D.C. would stand out as much as it does,” Murphy wrote in an email.

              When Murphy matched up the “constellation of disinhibition, boldness and meanness” that marks psychopathy with a previously existing map of the states’ predominant personality traits, he found that dense, coastal areas scored highest by far—with Washington dominant among them. “The District of Columbia is measured to be far more psychopathic than any individual state in the country,” Murphy writes in the paper. The runner-up, Connecticut, registered only 1.89 on Murphy’s scale, compared with the overwhelming 3.48 clocked by the District.

              This, Murphy hypothesizes, is because psychopaths are attracted to the kinds of jobs Washington offers—jobs that reward raw ambition, a relentless single-mindedness and, let’s admit it, the willingness to step over a few bodies along the way. “Psychopaths have an awfully grandiose way of thinking about themselves, and D.C. has numerous means of seeking and attaining power,” he wrote in an email. The television critics who dismissed Netflix’s “House of Cards” as cartoonish and unrealistic—surely nobody could be that villainous— may have a few apologies to make. “The presence of psychopaths in the District of Columbia is consistent with the conjecture … that psychopaths are likely to be effective in the political sphere,” Murphy writes in the paper.

              Politicians as a class, however, may be another story. In a previous paper, impishly titled “Kissing Babies to Prove You Are Not a Psychopath”—which explored the motivations behind our collective need to witness our leaders displaying empathy—Murphy foreshadowed his findings here, writing that in a system designed to reward the power-hungry, voters are given the unenviable but important responsibility of weeding out the phonies.


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              Pundit Post

              Americans Defy The Trump Regime



                  The American people are taking to the streets

                  The American people are taking to the streets and are resisting Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. This is what resistance looks like. Trump’s executive order didn’t calm the building outrage across the nation. In fact, as the minutes go by and the shock of what Trump is doing passes, people are getting more outraged, and that anger is turning into action. The immigration that Trump thinks will fire up Republicans is likely to backfire and send waves of Democrats to the polls.

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                  It Is Not A Crime To Ask For Asylum


                      This past weeks, ALL news, from every source, has been ablaze with stories of oppression: separating immigrant children, even nursing infants, from their mothers and fathers.

                      To respond to this inhumane practice, Trump has been all over the map, contradicting himself, and of course lying and bloviating, but NEVER did he ever express anything that might pertain to that which would be in the best interest of the children.

                      The following portion of an interview undertaken by Mother Jones, takes us to what used to be, before what can now be described as a tyrant, backed by a Right Wing Congress, took over our government. Eskinder Negash,who led the Office of Refugee Resettlement from 2009 to 2015 and is now the CEO of the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, was interviewed by Mother Jones, and his words may help to put us on the path to learning about what some of the issues and problems are with immigration, the current no tolerance policy which has led to inhumane practices, and what is actually legal and illegal when it comes to immigration policies.

                      Mr. Negash tells us that it used to be important to make a decision based on what was in the best interests of the child. Now, in my view, it seems to be what is in the best interest of Trump, who demands that tax payers to build a border wall that would cost an estimated $60 billion, and immigration experts tell us would not stop illegal immigration.

                      The Mother Jones interview ends with Mr. Negash telling Mother Jones that he believes that referring those who are requesting political asylum to CRIMINAL PROSECUTION is where the problem lies, rather than in existing detention facilities that were meant to hold people no longer than 72 hours. He advises "they shouldn't really criminalize their request. . . .some of them are victims of gangs nd human traffickers. . . these children are victims, and therefore due process is the least we can do as a country."

                      Mr. Negash may not know that now, even those who seek entry at the "proper ports" are often denied entry; that relatives and friends are denied entry at the detention facilities, that children and their parents are kept much longer than 72 hours, and that although separations are now curtailed, there are over 2,000 children that the government will not help to reunite with their parents.

                      “The Most Dangerous and Difficult Journey:” Obama’s Head of Refugee Resettlement Explains the Border Crisis

                      At least 2,342 child migrants have been separated from their parents at the U.S. border in one month, a shocking statistic that has generated nearly nonstop media coverage in recent days.

                      One person who has had direct experience with the challenges of border security is Eskinder Negash, who led the Office of Refugee Resettlement from 2009 to 2015 and is now the CEO of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. By the end of his term in office, officials were projectingthat more than 60,000 unaccompanied minors would be referred to ORR annually. He described the extent of coordination among various government agencies—the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, the Pentagon, and FEMA—that were required “to make sure that the kids are getting proper care,” while still complying with every possible “child welfare rule.”

                      Separating families at the border is not a policy unique to the Trump administration. We asked Negash to put the current treatment of child migrants in context with the actions of former administrations, including the one in which he served. [The Obama Administration]

                      Mother Jones: In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” policy for immigrants crossing the U.S. border illegally. When you first heard this, what was your reaction?

                      Eskinder Negash: I don’t think any administration has any tolerance for people coming in. That’s why we have a system when someone is coming to the US. We give them due process and people apply for that due process. I’m not exactly sure he meant there is going to be “zero tolerance,” unless you prevent people from entering the country. Once you’re in US custody, we have a legal means of processing them. When I heard that, I [wasn’t] exactly sure what would be different.

                      MJ: As a result of this zero-tolerance policy, we have seen many reports of at least 2,000 children being separated from their families at the border. From a policy perspective, is this preventable?

                      EN: Every child coming in unaccompanied goes through a process. If they’re coming with their parent, there’s a process. Both the parents and the child will be going through an immigration system and the court will decide whether they have a case to grant them asylum or to deny them.

                      MJ: The Obama administration dealt with its own rising number of Central American migrants attempting to enter the US. In 2014, specifically, this number shot up to a total of 60,000 unaccompanied minors. How did you and your colleagues in the administration address that problem? And in what ways was that approach different from what the Trump administration has done?

                      EN: This is a policy change. The number-one issue for the administration at that time, and for myself, [was] we have to make a decision based on what we thought was the best interest of the child. Based on that, we felt that keeping the children at detention centers for a long period of time is not a good idea. Therefore, once we found their parents or a legal guardian or a sponsor, we actually ended up releasing them.

                      MJ: Do you think the Trump administration is doing everything it possibly can to find guardians for the children?

                      EN: I’m not sure. I can’t really speak about that, but I can tell you that from what we see now, a lot of the sponsors are quite hesitant to come forward and claim a child—or are willing to sponsor [at all]—because they’re worried. Maybe they entered the country illegally, therefore ICE will probably detain them. That’s part of the challenge: people are not coming forward because they are afraid. They’re scared.

                      MJ: What would you say are other issues that impact this environment that are not being reported, that make it difficult either to find guardians for these children, or to deal with the influx of child migrants?

                      EN: One thing that the media is not really focusing [on] is that the journey to come to the US from Central America, from El Salvador, from Honduras, from Guatemala, is very, very dangerous. Some of these children already have been abused, forced to do a number of things. Some of them are victims of human trafficking, sex trafficking. We have not really focused on the agony, the most difficult things that these children have survived. They are not coming with a cruise line. They’re taking the most dangerous and difficult journey to do this. And I think we’re missing that.

                      MJ: We have seen the places where child migrants are detained described as anything from a “summer camp,” according to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, to “cages” in other media reports. How would you describe them? How long have they been used?

                      EN: These are state-approved facilities. The detention centers, what we call shelters, have to go through a very meticulous process of getting approval, for the state to make sure they meet child welfare requirements. Without that, you can’t open. [But] What we see now is that if the kids are in DHC custody longer than 72 ours, the state doesn't have any legal authority to question how they are being treated. Once the kids are transferred to HHS, they are actually transferred to a shelter. There is education. There is health care. There is food. There is clothing. There is [a] shower. There are outside activities. Summer camp is a good way to compare it. And there are federal staff that monitor all the time to make sure they’re complying with federal regulations.

                      MJ: If you could say anything to the officials, either in the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Justice who are overseeing this process now, what advice would you give them?

                      EN: Referring people asking for political asylum to criminal prosecution is where the problem is, in my view. It’s not a crime to ask for asylum. Whether you are flying from Paris and landing at LAX asking for asylum, or you are coming from Mexico or other places, you are not a criminal. My advice would be to say they shouldn’t really criminalize their request. They have cases—some of them are victims of gangs and human traffickers. To some extent, these children are victims, and therefore, due process is the least we can do as a country.


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                      Pundit Post

                      Are We All Bigots


                          The term “bigot” has been thrown around on this site loosely these days without those individuals recognizing their own bigotry. I do not agree that bigotry is solely associated with “hate”, but I do understand why some assign bigotry to hate. America’s entire history from it’s inception was born out of some form of bigotry, hate, and racism. Some of the people have embraced America’s past openly, while others have done so subtly.

                          In life we must find people and causes that will eradicate systemic racism in this country that leads to the bigotry, hate, and racism that affects the minds, hearts, and souls of those individuals that practices White Supremacy (Racism) overtly and covertly. I have been on the end of a campaign of bigotry, hate, and racism. However, I have come to learn throughout my experiences of this things that “If you have not critics you likely have no success.”

                          It is not my responsibility to change any individuals thought patterns because that is who they are and how they were brought up. It is my responsibility to share with them the truth whether they choose to believe it or not. I challenge those individuals to read Morgan Freeman’s article below and search for the truth within. I also challenge those individuals that see me as anti-anything to answer the following question.

                          How will calling me a bigot, anti-Semitic, and anti-Jewish eradicate White Supremacy (Racism), mass incarceration, police brutality of Black people, murders of Black people by cops, gerrymandering, voter suppression, socio-economic disparity, the Black and White wealth gap, and your lack effort to solving these American problems?

                          “I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.” Malcolm X

                          Black people in America and globally are the most marginalized and hated people in the known universe. The country we live in does not even accept us and that is seen by some of the people in it and the way they vote.
                          SteveLC had it right, Black people need to become economically and politically self-sufficient through the process of using our over $1 trillion purchasing power to obtain property and businesses to build our wealth.

                          “Are we all bigots?”

                          This is a question raised by actor Morgan Freeman in Wednesday night’s premiere episode on a new season of the Science Channel’s “Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman.”

                          Freeman, who serves as the host and executive producer of the show, takes on the role of race and presents scientific data to better understand how implicit bias affects the daily decisions we make.

                          “If you think you see everyone as equal, you’re kidding yourself. We all have biases, and no matter how open-minded we think we are, stereotypes color our judgment of others, and can lead us badly astray,” Freeman says in the opening sequence of the episode.

                          “When did hate become hard-wired into our brains? Are we all born to discriminate against our fellow humans?”

                          Freeman addresses these questions, and many others, by featuring the thoughts and opinions of scientists who are working to unlock those subconscious links within all of us that determine our decision-making processes. Scientific research — such as that conducted by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity — may eventually help to better understand the role implicit bias plays in the judgements we form.

                          “If you ask that question — are we all bigots? — it’s amazing the number of answers you’ll get in the negative,” Freeman told The Huffington Post. “I would stand up and say very quickly, ‘I am not bigoted,’ but then you see the show and realize, ‘Wait a minute, yes I am.’

                          “We hope that will be one of the most provocative shows that we’ve done. I’m almost certain that it’s going to spark a dialogue.”

                          The unrest that has unfolded in Baltimore, Maryland over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured after an arrest, has reignited concerns around policing and black lives. It has also fueled discussions on the role of race in the criminal justice system — however, Freeman and his team are digging deeper to expose the role of race in our own lives.

                          “We’re very sad about recent events that make this [show] so timely,” said Bernadette McDaid, vice president of production for Science Channel.

                          “What we’re hoping is that, by highlighting this inclination toward subconscious bias, from the topics very much being discussed in the public forum, it’ll draw attention to the fact that we are able to overcome that quick-fire bias, so there’s a very hopeful message in the show.”


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                          Pundit Post

                          "Red Wave"? Does Trump Once Again Know Something We Didn't In 2016?


                              Trump tweeted today about a "Red Wave" in the 2018 mid-terms.

                              Uh, we've heard these types of little hints before.

                              Given his claims that the 2016 election was rigged, and his shout out to Russia to find Hillary's emails (a task already underway by the time he said that), should we be concerned about an increased level of voter interference from Russia in 2018?

                              Does Trump, once again, know something we don't?

                              Should there be increased observation in areas where Republicans are being successfully challenged?

                              I think our intelligence community should be all over making sure each voting system in the country has not been or will not be tampered with.

                              I think every state's election aparatus/infrastructure had better be under strict scrutiny and tested before election day. I specifically mean any machines used in collecting and/or counting votes.

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                              If You Voted For Trump, YOU Are The Bad Guy


                                  This is where I have been since Trump first came down that escalator in 2015. I suspect many others have been here for awhile as well. I would like to see this go viral.

                                  Donny Deutsch, who is a friend of Michael Cohen, is now saying if you voted for Trump, YOU are the bad guy. Not just Trump. AMEN!!!

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                                  SATIRE ALERT How Low Can You Go?


                                      SATIRE ALERT

                                      How Low Can You Go?

                                      MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—A group of scholars who have been monitoring the descent of the bar over the past few decades have concluded that the bar can no longer be lowered, the scholars announced on Friday.

                                      The academics, led by Professor Davis Logsdon, of the University of Minnesota, published their conclusion after their research definitively found that the bar had finally dropped to its lowest possible position.

                                      “For those who thought the bar still had room to be lowered, our findings resoundingly contradict that assumption,” Logsdon said. “The bar is now essentially flush with the ground.”

                                      Logsdon acknowledged that he and his fellow scholars have come under fire in the past for claiming that the bar could not be further lowered, specifically when they issued a paper to that effect after the selection of the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee in 2008.

                                      “We got that one wrong,” he said. “Clearly, the bar still had a way to go.”

                                      Now that the issue of whether the bar can be further lowered has been settled, Logsdon and his colleagues plan to examine the question of whether there is anything left to scrape at the bottom of the barrel. “Our findings are preliminary, but it appears that the answer is no,” he said.

                                      Andy Borowitz is the New York Times best-selling author of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news, for newyorker.com

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                                      Pundit Post

                                      In The Footsteps Of Hitler: Rising Authoritarianism Under Trumpism


                                          I have a long time friend, a former student many decades past, who is an outstanding educator in another red state. It is her home state. Born and raised there. She returned there to teach and for many years was happy doing so. Yes, the state was very conservative, very traditional, but many of the GOP were center right and there was a sprinkling of Democrats holding statewide and local offices to provide balance. While elections always seemed to bring out the worst in some people, most remained polite and generally reasonable....no longer. The shift to the right by the GOP, its identification with retrograde, regressive, reactionary movements, and its politics of division that have been in place since the advent of 21st century. Desperate to hold onto a base it has played into a minority, although virulent, body of angry, fearful, vengeful voters. And Trump is the both the result of this playbook and the catalyst for a movement that has shifted into authoritarian territory...here is her reflection/venting from an e mail...sent to me a couple of days ago. The woman, the mother of two fine young men, an accomplished and respected educator whose understanding of history and political science make her observations particularly poignant.

                                          Trump. I hate him. He just keeps furthering the political divide. He keeps calling democrats the problem when they aren’t. He is setting us all up. If his party wins at midterm, I fully expect an end to Mueller investigation.

                                          And I am getting worried that things will become dangerous for Democrats. Fox News, Alex Jones, Brietbart have completely turned the Republican lower class group into a crazy angry mob......with guns.....living on lies.

                                          They literally live to agree with every racist, xenophobic, cult worshipping thing Trump says. I feel like it’s 1933.

                                          The perfect storm is already here, and all we are waiting for is our own "Reichstag fire.

                                          My fear is that too few are paying attention. My fear is that the great majority doesn't believe it can happen here. It can. We already see friends, family, neighbors dead set on what they know to be true and unwilling to listen to any alternatives. The stand proudly with their MAGA hats in place proudly embracing the irrational, rooted in raw emotion. They refuse to look at evidence of his lies. And they shut out the person(s) who try to reason with them peacefully.

                                          Those who are literally defending breaking up families and locking up kids at the border have turned their back on American ideals and values. If they are that far gone I believe they will look the other way when Trump attacks "unAmerican traitors" (i.e. his opponents, the non-believers) among those he is supposed to be serving...indeed who he swore to serve and protect.

                                          A serious foreign terrorist attack right now would be all it would take to move us from Democratic Republic to Fascist State. He has already set us on the path to full conversion into a corporate state only valuing the rich and powerful over workers. He has increased the military budget to war time levels. He has isolated us from the allies who have stood by us and turned to authoritarian dictatorships in admiration and an open hand. He has removed us from international watch groups, and aligned us with dictators who would welcome a US that the world no longer looks to for hope.

                                          We are standing on the edge of a cliff and hardly anyone I know is even vaguely aware of this.

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                                          Pundit Post

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