This 2011 video is called Pharaohs-The Great Pyramid of Egypt (How was it built?) – BBC 1 of 6.
And now, a United States Republican politician has another off base pet theory. After his fellow Republican Sarah Palin claimed that dinosaurs and humans used to live at the same time, Ben Carson not only thought he should become president of the USA (before endorsing Donald Trump), but become an amateur pseudo-Egyptologist as well. Mr Carson says pyramids were ‘built by biblical figure Joseph to store grain’.
By Fred Mazelis in the USA:
Trump names opponent of public housing to run Housing and Urban Development
7 December 2016
President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Ben Carson to head the cabinet-level Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) underscores the extreme right-wing character of the incoming administration.
Carson, the 65-year-old retired neurosurgeon who made a name for himself with his right-wing attacks on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which he absurdly compared to chattel slavery, was briefly in the running for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this year. He dropped out last March and endorsed Trump, who has now rewarded him with the cabinet appointment.
The naming of Carson continues Trump’s pattern of selecting top-level appointees whose major qualifications are their hostility to the social programs they are charged with overseeing. Betsy de Vos, who was nominated to head the Department of Education, is the wife of the billionaire owner of the Amway Corporation and has worked for more than 30 years to destroy public education by replacing it with a voucher system. Tom Price, the Georgia Congressman named to head the Department of Health and Human Services, is a fanatical advocate of the privatization of Medicare and Medicaid.
Carson, Trump’s first African-American cabinet appointment, has advanced as his main qualification the fact that he grew up in impoverished circumstances in Detroit. Carson argues that his own career, including 30 years as the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, demonstrates that, as he paraphrased his mother in his autobiography, “if you don’t succeed, you have only yourself to blame.”
The housing nominee is a vitriolic opponent of all government programs to provide affordable housing, alleviate poverty or combat de facto racial segregation. “These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,” he wrote in 2015. As for the growing crisis of poverty and its consequences, he said during his campaign for the presidential nomination that “[W]e the people have the responsibility to take care of the indigent in our society. It’s not the government’s job.”
The nominee also earned a reputation for Islamophobia during the presidential campaign. As summed up by Huffington Post, Carson “thinks Islam isn’t a religion and has argued that there’s a covert Muslim plot to destroy the US from within.” A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement declaring, “Based on his past Islamophobic statements and policy positions, all American should be very concerned on how Dr. Carson would treat Muslim HUD employees or Muslims seeking agency services.”
HUD was established as a Cabinet department in 1965, as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty”. No sooner had it come into being, however, than it became increasingly starved for funds and political support, the victim of the growing economic crisis and its especially severe impact on the older industrial centers of the US. Programs for affordable housing were sharply cut back beginning in the 1970s. Many public housing projects were left to decay, and today the New York City Housing Authority, the biggest and supposedly the most “successful” of public housing departments, faces a capital repairs backlog of nearly $20 billion.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has an annual budget of $47 billion and about 8,000 employees. In a country of 320 million, with several million homeless or one step away from homelessness, where more than one-quarter of the population spends 50 percent or more of their income on housing costs, HUD does not begin to meet basic needs. Much of its operations focus on Section 8 voucher programs, which provide rental assistance to about 4.8 million households. It also provides some mortgage assistance.
The construction of federally-backed affordable housing has slowed to a trickle in recent decades. Today the focus of the private construction industry is on luxury units in gentrifying neighborhoods of cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco and elsewhere, while millions struggle to keep a roof over their heads. This is the “free market,” which will supposedly solve the problems of inadequate and unaffordable housing.
The nomination of Carson likely means the scrapping of anti-discrimination policies established as far back as the 1960s and 1970s. Particular attention has been called to the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Final Rule,” a legal requirement announced in 2015. According to a report in the New York Times this week, it “provides … communities with detailed data on factors like racial demographics, poverty rates, school quality and housing voucher use to help them determine whether lower-income and minority families are isolated from good schools or segregated from opportunity.” These communities are then required “to draft plans to reduce segregation where it exists.”
This is, in short, not a natural place to refine the common touch. It’s gilded and gaudy, a dreamscape of faded tapestry, antique clocks and fresco-style ceiling murals of gym-rat Greek gods. The throw pillows carry the Trump shield, and the paper napkins are monogrammed with the family name. His closest neighbors, at least at this altitude, are an international set of billionaire moguls who have decided to stash their money at One57 and 432 Park, the two newest skyscrapers to remake midtown Manhattan. There is no tight-knit community in the sky, no paperboy or postman, no bowling over brews after work. And yet here Trump resides, under dripping crystal, with diamond cuff links, as the President-elect of the United States of America: here.