Ex-US President George H. W. Bush, his AIDS policies, his necrologies

This 3 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Remembering George H.W. Bush’s Inaction on AIDS at Home While Detaining HIV+ Haitians at Guantánamo

George H.W. Bush died on the eve of World AIDS Day, an irony not lost on many HIV/AIDS activists who remember the 41st president of the United States for his lack of action in the 1990s as the HIV/AIDS crisis raged on.

Bush said little about the crisis during his years as vice president under Ronald Reagan, who didn’t even mention AIDS until the penultimate year of his presidency. Despite promises to do more after he was elected president, George H.W. Bush refused to address and fund programs around HIV/AIDS education and prevention, as well as drug treatment.

We speak with Steven Thrasher, journalist and doctoral candidate in American studies at New York University. He was recently appointed Daniel H. Renberg chair of media coverage in sexual and gender minorities at Northwestern University. His recent article for The Nation is titled “It’s a Disgrace to Celebrate George H.W. Bush on World AIDS Day.”

Not so long ago, George H.W Bush was in the news about a #MeToo sexual harassment incident. #MeToo accuser interrupts tributes to revive groping allegations against George H.W. Bush: here.

The Holocaust and the Bush family fortune: here.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Media, political establishment laud George H. W. Bush

3 December 2018

Former President George H. W. Bush died late Friday at the age of 94. Born into a ruling class family of wealth and privilege, he lived a life a world away from the struggles and sufferings of the working class.

In his decades as a political representative of American imperialism, the most murderous and reactionary force on the planet, Bush helped insure that millions of people around the world did not have a chance to live the full and comfortable life he led. Instead, they were shot to death, bombed or otherwise annihilated by the armed forces of the United States, or starved, jailed or tortured by governments backed by the CIA and doing the bidding of Washington.

Few people in recent American history have had so long a record of “service” to the US ruling elite and its state machine. Few have participated in the crimes of American imperialism in so many ways: legislator, diplomat, CIA director, commander-in-chief. As a member of Congress for four years, 1967-71, Bush voted repeatedly to fund the war in Vietnam. As US ambassador to the United Nations, 1971-72, he was the public voice of the United States government, defending its crimes in Southeast Asia before a world audience. As US envoy to China in 1974-75, he carried out the Kissinger policy of wooing Chinese Stalinism as a counterweight to the USSR. As CIA director in 1975-76, he oversaw Operation Condor, the joint venture in the assassination of leftists conducted by the CIA and the US-backed military regimes in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries.

While vice president in the Reagan administration (1981-1989), he was complicit in the terrorist “contra” war against Nicaragua and the death squad operations in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, in which hundreds of thousands died, as well as the dispatch of US troops to Lebanon, the invasion of Grenada and the bombing of Libya. In the first year of his presidency he ordered the invasion of Panama and in the final year the occupation of Somalia. In between came the greatest crime of all, the waging of the first Persian Gulf War, deliberately instigated by the Bush administration, in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqi conscripts were incinerated by US bombs and missiles.

Bush’s political record at home was less openly murderous but equally reactionary. He was a consummate political cynic. While his father Prescott Bush, a Wall Street banker and Republican senator from Connecticut, had been a social moderate, George H. W. Bush tailored his political positions to the reactionary climate of Texas in the period before the dismantling of Jim Crow segregation. In his first campaign for office, as the Republican candidate for US Senate in Texas in 1964, Bush ran as a Goldwaterite, opposing the 1964 Civil Rights Act as an infringement on freedom (to discriminate) and condemning the impending establishment of Medicare as “socialistic”. He later denounced “the militant Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

As chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973-74, Bush defended Richard Nixon throughout the Watergate crisis. After memorably branding the supply-side policies advanced by Ronald Reagan as “voodoo economics”, during the contest for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, Bush worked assiduously to become Reagan’s running mate. As vice president, he supported all the right-wing domestic measures of the Reagan administration, from the firing of the PATCO air traffic controllers in 1981 to the deregulation of business, cuts in social programs and tax reductions for the wealthy and big business.

In the 1988 presidential campaign, Bush pledged a “kindler, gentler” America, implicitly acknowledging the brutality of the Reagan administration’s onslaught on the poor and the working class. But his campaign unleashed the Willie Horton ad against his Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis, which used the image of a black convict who had committed rape and armed burglary during a weekend furlough from a Massachusetts prison to paint Dukakis as soft on crime. This brazen appeal to racism was part a deliberate effort to cement the gains of the Nixon-Reagan “southern strategy”, which recruited racist elements in that region, formerly dominated by the Democrats, and made it the stronghold of the Republican Party.

The Bush presidency carried forward right-wing policies in both foreign and domestic areas. Bush bailed out the savings & loan industry at taxpayer expense—his son Neil was a prominent executive of a failed S&L—while seeking to slash spending for domestic social programs. He suffered a political embarrassment when he inadvertently revealed his distance from the daily experiences of ordinary Americans by expressing surprise at the use of barcode readers in a supermarket.

In 1991, he nominated the ultra-rightist Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court to replace the retiring Thurgood Marshall. As he left office in January 1993, Bush issued pardons for Caspar Weinberger, Reagan’s secretary of defense, and five other officials who had been indicted or convicted for their roles in the Iran-Contra scandal.

But it was in foreign policy that his administration made its mark and established its “legacy” in the eyes of the American ruling elite. The Bush presidency coincided with the collapse of Stalinism, beginning in Eastern Europe in 1989 and culminating in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Weekend obituaries hailed Bush for adroit management of the crisis, although in truth he had little to do beyond accepting the surrender of Soviet Stalinist leader Mikhail Gorbachev. His one distinctive contribution was the decision to back the reunification of Germany in 1990 over the objections of British Prime Minister Thatcher and French President Mitterrand, both of whom feared the consequences of the reemergence of Germany as a world power in the center of the continent.

The implications of the dissolution of the Soviet Union for world politics were laid bare in the crisis that erupted after Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait in August 1990. The Reagan administration had backed Saddam Hussein during the bloody Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, and Bush continued this policy, even hinting in July 1990, through a US envoy, that the US was neutral on Saddam’s border clash with Kuwait, which was siphoning oil from Iraq’s Rumailah oilfield. Saddam seized Kuwait, but soon found himself caught in a trap, as hundreds of thousands of US and allied soldiers were mobilized to the Arabian Peninsula along with hundreds of warplanes and warships armed with cruise missiles.

When the war began in January 1991, it was a one-sided slaughter of the soldiers of a Third World country by the most powerful military force on the planet. But Bush decided not to expand the war by marching on Baghdad, in part because Saddam Hussein was still viewed as a counterweight against Iran, but even more because he was allied to the Soviet Union, whose existence provided a check on US military options that no longer existed by the time Bush’s son entered the White House ten years later.

The atmosphere in the George H. W. Bush White House during this time was one of imperialist triumphalism, summed up in Bush’s pledge to create a “New World Order.” Bush’s former defense secretary Richard Cheney, who was vice president under George W. Bush, gave a glimpse of this mood during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” program on Sunday. Cheney recalled fondly the budget process of the George H. W. Bush administration when the president and his top aides set spending levels. “When it was time to put the budget together,” he said, “defense came first. We’d decide what the top line was going to be for defense, and I was free to go spend that. Then everybody else got what was left. That’s a great way to operate, if you’re secretary of defense.”

There was little truth about this record of reaction and militarism in the obituary published by the New York Times, which ran to 10,000 words, or the similar 6,000-word tribute in the Washington Post. The two leading US newspapers set the tone for the reverential media coverage, which will continue at full blast on cable television through Wednesday’s national day of mourning. This will be a day off for bankers, stock traders and capitalist politicians, but not for most workers, a class difference that is peculiarly appropriate for this particular dead president.

All sections of the US political establishment joined hands to sing the praises of George H. W. Bush. The Trump White House, whose occupant has made no secret of his hatred of the Bush family, released a statement hailing Bush’s leadership during the “peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War”, adding, “ As president, he set the stage for the decades of prosperity that have followed.” Enrichment for Wall Street, of course, not the working class.

The Democrats were even more fervent in their declarations, in part seeking to contrast Bush with the current president, even as they seek “common ground” with Trump’s fascistic rants.

Former President Bill Clinton said in a statement that he considered Bush’s friendship “one of my life’s greatest gifts.” In an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Clinton gushed: “He was an honorable, gracious and decent man who believed in the United States, our Constitution, our institutions and our shared future. And he believed in his duty to defend and strengthen them, in victory and defeat.”

Other Democrats chimed in: “He set the standard for decency”, said Thomas A. Daschle, the former Senate majority leader. Former Vice President Joe Biden described Bush as “decent, kind and welcoming.”

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who entered Congress shortly before Bush became president, called him “a gentleman of the highest integrity and deepest patriotism,” and said it was a privilege to work with him. She added that Bush demonstrated “great humility, unwavering compassion, deep faith, and extraordinary kindness in and out of the political arena.”

The state funeral for George H. W. Bush and the ritual of oligarchy: here.

The lying campaign by the ruling class to mythologize George H.W. Bush reached absurd new heights with the elevation of his service dog, “Sully”, as a symbol of mourning and national unity: here.


United States Republicans back Saudi war on Yemen

This video says about itself:

🇾🇪 ‘Where are my brothers?’ pleads Yemen school bus attack survivor | Al Jazeera English

10 August 2018

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for an independent investigation into a Saudi-Emirati led coalition airstrike in Yemen that hit a bus full of school children.

In all 50 people were killed.

The bus was attacked near a crowded market in Saada province …

One of the children who survived the attack refused to receive medical attention until doctors updated him on the fate of his two younger brothers.

“I have two brothers, Hassan and Yehia, who are smaller than me,” the boy said. “Where are my brothers? … I don’t want help until I see my brothers.”

The coalition says the air raids were aimed at legitimate military targets.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammad Adow reports from neighbouring Djibouti.

By Julia Conley in the USA:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Despite Famine, Khashoggi, and School Bus Massacre, House GOP Moves Swiftly to Keep US Involved in Saudi-Led War on Yemen

“Apparently, neither Saudi Arabia‘s brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi nor its mid-summer bombing of a school bus packed full of children were enough to break the ice surrounding House Majority Leader Paul Ryan‘s heart.”

United States Republicans and nazis

This video from the USA says about itself:

Hitler-Loving Republican Running Unopposed

5 February 2018

Arthur Jones is the only GOP [Republican] candidate running for an Illinois congressional seat. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, the hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“He’s a Holocaust denier, he’s a white supremacist and he’s set to get the Republican nomination for a major congressional seat in Illinois. Arthur Jones, a Prairie State anti-Semite who has been unsuccessfully running for office for decades, is poised to get closer than ever to office this year after emerging as the only GOP candidate for a congressional spot representing parts of Chicago and its suburbs.

Jones has made no secret of his view that the Holocaust is a “racket”, and he has even made that a prominent part of his latest bid for public office. His campaign website features a page called “Holocaust?” that includes a typed note calling the murder of 6 million Jews by Nazis “the biggest, blackest, lie in history” and falsely claiming there is no proof of the Holocaust beyond “a few professional concentration camp survivors.”

The website also features a page calling the Confederate flag “a symbol of White pride and White resistance” and the LGBT rainbow flag “an attack on traditional Christian morality and religious freedom”.

Twitter erupted after [Trump‘s] Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department is launching a “religious liberty task force.

Jones’s campaign includes the slogan “It’s time to put America First!” likely referencing President Donald Trump’s “America First” campaign. Trump’s slogan itself is taken from the America First Committee, an anti-Semitic and non-interventionist group from World War II. Jewish groups including the Anti-Defamation League asked Trump to stop using the phrase during his presidential campaign because of its anti-Semitic origins.”

Read more here.

Republican congressional candidate Arthur Jones says he has much more to offer his district than just neo-Nazi rhetoric. “There’s more to me than being a denier of the Holocaust”, he said in a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I’m an American patriot”: here. ‘Patriot’ probably as in the United States ‘Patriot Act‘ abolishing civil liberties.

A synagogue in Indiana has received an outpouring of support from the community after it was vandalized with Nazi symbols.

Trump Won’t Return White Supremacist Donations To 2020 Campaign: here.

GOP CANDIDATE ‘POSED WITH FAKE DEGREE’ Republican candidate Melissa Howard, who is running for a state legislative seat in Florida, has been accused of doctoring a university diploma and posing with the fake degree. [HuffPost]

GOP CANDIDATE ADMITS FAKING DIPLOMA Republican candidate Melissa Howard, who is running for office in Florida, has admitted she faked her university diploma — but said she will not exit the race. [HuffPost]

FAKE DIPLOMA CANDIDATE DROPS OUT GOP candidate Melissa Howard has finally dropped out of the race for the Florida state House after admitting she faked her diploma. [HuffPost]

GOP GROUP IGNORES TIES TO WHITE SUPREMACISTS Republican state lawmakers are openly embracing racist or extremist figures across the country. And the Washington-based Republican State Leadership Committee, which helps elect Republicans to state legislatures, says absolutely nothing. [HuffPost]

PROUD BOYS WELCOMED BY GOP Proud Boys leader Gavin McInnes spoke at a GOP club in New York last week — then his followers violently attacked leftist protesters. The hate group leader’s address is the latest indication of fascist creep within the Republican Party. [HuffPost]

In a wildly tone-deaf profile of Gavin McInnes, The New York Times went to great lengths to avoid calling the Proud Boys founder a racist, sexist, fascist gang leader — even though that’s exactly what he is.

On October 12, Gavin McInnes, the leader of a fascistic street gang called the “Proud Boys,” was invited to address the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York. Afterwards, his followers participated in a violent brawl with protesters outside the event: here.

BIGOT BUMPED FROM BLAZE Gavin McInnes, the founder of the neo-fascist Proud Boys, was fired from Blaze Media, and his YouTube account was disabled. [HuffPost]

United States Republican-Christian fundamentalism-anti-Semitism connection

This January 2010 video from the USA says about itself:

President Obama and Uganda Gay Genocide

The Rainbow Sash Movement is calling on President Obama not to attend this prayer breakfast with [Ugandan homophobic politician] David Bahati, sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation in February. Murdering people based on homophobia is wrong for individuals as it is for Nations such as Uganda.

The secretive fundamentalist theocratic Fellowship Foundation, aka The Family, based in the USA, was pushing to have a law in Uganda condemning LGBTQ people to death.

They used to have and still have many influential supporters, like the late Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. Tony Blair, ex-British Prime Minister, addresses their meetings.

From The Young Turks in the USA:

July 25, 2018

By Ken Klippenstein

Maria Butina, the alleged Russian agent arrested by the FBI last week, is said to have attended the National Prayer Breakfast in order to cultivate Republican officials.

But Butina is far from the religious group’s only questionable association.

The organization that runs the National Prayer Breakfast, the Fellowship Foundation, sent Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) to Romania in May of last year to meet with an infamous anti-Semitic political operative, Marian Munteanu, according to federal travel disclosure records. Once there, Aderholt met with Munteanu on two separate occasions. Other travel records show they met in May of 2015 as well, again at the behest of the organization.

The purpose of the trips was to “build new and maintain old relationships with business leaders and officials from throughout the region”, according to the travel records.

The relationship that the Fellowship Foundation has with Munteanu doesn’t seem to be limited to Aderholt. Last year, Munteanu said in a post on his Facebook page that the Fellowship Foundation’s founder, Doug Coe, was a “close friend”. Also, Munteanu’s personal website includes a photo of him with Coe.

Fellowship Foundation founder Douglas Coe with Marian Munteanu. Photo via Marian Munteanu’s personal website, munteanu.ro.

Coe passed away last year.

Munteanu attended last year’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, according to a Romanian report quoting Munteanu’s Facebook page. The report does not identify who invited him.

Neither the Fellowship Foundation nor Aderholt responded to multiple requests for comment.

The Fellowship Foundation is a Christian group that counts top business and political leaders among its ranks. It is also famously secretive; its members take a vow of silence about Fellowship activities.

Last week, TYT reported that the Fellowship sent Aderholt to several eastern European countries shortly after Donald Trump won the Republican primary. TYT also reported that the Fellowship, along with its Ukrainian affiliate, sent at least four Republican members of Congress to various eastern European countries, where they worked with political advocates of anti-LGBT policies which could jeopardize E.U. membership.

Steve Bannon, President Trump’s former White House Chief Strategist, told The Daily Beast last week that he plans to spark a political revolution in European politics by starting a right-wing foundation that would rival George Soros’ Open Society. Bannon said the foundation would be called “The Movement”—similar in name to a political organization Munteanu previously led, “Movement for Romania”.

Movement for Romania was a far-right, Christian-nationalist organization that modeled itself on one of Europe’s largest fascist movements of the 1920s through the 1940s, the Iron Guard. While leader of the group, Munteanu signed a statement saying that Jews “obtain illicit moneys from Romanian people through disinformation and manipulation of public opinion, with the complicity of treacherous elements who infiltrated the Romanian institutional structures.”

In April of 2016, Munteanu criticized a law against anti-Semitic speech and Holocaust denial, saying there is hardly any anti-Semitism in Romania, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post citing the Romanian newspaper, Evenimentul Zilei.

Explaining his rationale, Munteanu said, “We are all philo-Semites because we are all Christians.”

The Jerusalem Post also cited a report in Romania’s national news agency, Agerpres, that The Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of Holocaust said Munteanu “presents a concern” for statements “minimizing or denying” the Holocaust.

On May 29, 2017, Aderholt’s originally planned itinerary describes a lunch with Munteanu for the purpose of “Catching up on spiritual and personal lives and current events.” The day prior, Aderholt attended a dinner with Munteanu. The original itinerary noted it as “Dinner with long term friends” and listed Munteanu as a host.

Planned itinerary for Rep. Robert Aderholt’s 2017 eastern European trip sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation

In May of 2015, Aderholt’s itinerary shows plans to dine with Munteanu and his wife.

Munteanu was not the only figure of controversy with whom Aderholt met during his 2017 trip. Aderholt also met with a number of scandal-plagued political and business elites.

On May 29, 2017, Aderholt met with the Prime Minister of Romania, Sorin Grindeanu, whose ministership would end up lasting all of five months. Several months prior, Romania had been rocked by the largest protests in decades in response to a decree issued by Grindeanu that decriminalized certain forms of corruption, protecting dozens of politicians from prosecution. Less than one month after Aderholt’s visit, Grindeanu was forced out by an overwhelming vote of no confidence—241 to 10.

On three separate occasions, from May 27 to 29 of 2016, Aderholt met with former defense minister of Albania, Fatmir Mediu. Like Grindeanu, Mediu’s government role came to an abrupt end: He resigned in 2008 after an arms dump he was in charge of accidentally exploded, raining shells on nearby villages, killing 16 people, injuring almost 300, and destroying homes.

Later in 2008, a U.S. envoy accused Mediu of covering up an illegal arms deal. Albania’s prosecuting general also reportedly launched an investigation into Mediu’s personal finances, citing discrepancies.

IOWA NEWSPAPER SLAMS KING The editorial board of The Sioux City Journal has endorsed Rep. Steve King’s Democratic challenger for Congress, reversing its longtime support for one of the GOP’s most openly racist lawmakers. [HuffPost]

GOP CHIEF NIXES JEWISH CONSPIRACY TWEET House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) deleted a tweet that warned three wealthy Jewish Democrats are “buying” the midterm elections for their party. [HuffPost]

Michigan, USA Republicans want far-right education

This video from the USA says about itself:

Economic Inequality and Its Implications for Youth

11 June 2018

Presented by Trina R. Williams Shanks, PhD, Associate Director Vivian A. & James L. Curtis Research Training Center Associate Professor, School of Social Work University of Michigan

Dr. Shanks is currently Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She has a PhD in Social Work from Washington University and a Masters in Comparative Social Research from the Univerity of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Her Research interest include the impact of poverty and wealth on child well-being; asset building policy and practice across the life cycle; and community and economic development.

Dr. Shanks is currently one of the national network co-leads for the Social Work Grand Challenge: Reversing Extreme Economic Inequality. She has been a research investigator for the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) demonstration problem and consults with several other child savings account initiatives, including one started in Lansing Public Schools and at a non-profit organization in Detroit.

By Debra Watson and Ed Bergonzi in the USA:

Social studies teachers denounce anti-democratic changes to Michigan education curriculum

26 June 2018

More than 200 social studies teachers, high school students, parents and others packed a meeting at the Oakland Intermediate School District building in Waterford, Michigan, north of Detroit on Wednesday. There were furious denunciations of several changes to the state’s social studies curriculum, centered on the charge that the changes would undermine teaching about civil rights, global warming, and LGBT issues.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is sponsoring a series of “Listen and Learn” town hall-style meeting statewide to discuss changes in the social studies curriculum that will have a wide-ranging effect on what is taught and on what children are required to learn.

The meeting began with a collective groan and loud boos when representatives from the State Board of Education claimed the reason for changing language about teaching “core democratic values” to “core values” was in the interest of being “balanced” and “politically neutral”, by avoiding use of the word that appears in the name of the Democratic Party.

It quickly emerged this was only one of numerous proposed changes in the curriculum motivated by far-right Republican State Senator Patrick Colbeck, one of four candidates for the Republican nomination for governor this year, who was invited to join the MDE standards panel after pressure from a cabal of right-wing Michigan state senators.

Over and over, teachers asked how Colbeck even got on the panel in the first place and why no Democrats were invited to be participants. Teachers were particularly angered by the fact that the panel had apparently extended invitations to other notorious right-wing legislators in addition to Colbeck.

Colbeck elsewhere has claimed that the United States was founded as a republic, not a democracy, an argument that is current in ultra-right-wing circles in the United States, particularly since the stolen election of 2000. It is associated with the rejection of the right to vote as a basic right, made notorious by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, when he declared, supporting the Bush v. Gore ruling, that Americans had no fundamental right to vote for president (in his view, state legislatures could simply appoint electors to the Electoral College without bothering with a popular vote).

When teachers were finally able to make contributions from the floor at the end of the Waterford meeting, the really sordid role of Colbeck’s influence on politics in the state and on the MDE was documented.

As one teacher declared, “In this age of ‘alternative facts’ why do we want to change American from a democracy to some sort of republic thing?’”

Hussein Bedoun, who teaches history and social studies at Dearborn’s Edsel Ford High school, which has a substantial Muslim and Arab-American population, joined other speakers in denouncing the dropping of any mention of religions besides Christianity from sections of the text. He spoke directly of Colbeck’s influence on the curriculum proposed.

He asked the MDE representatives: “How can you entrust our children’s future to an imbecile like that?” He then reviewed some of Colbeck’s racist and anti-Muslim statements in the past. He noted that Colbeck is known for claiming Muslims are trying to take over the country.

Colbeck is not really running to win the Republican nomination. He has used his campaign to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria, centered on denunciations of one of the Democratic candidates for governor, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, former Health Director in Detroit, claiming that he represents the Muslim Brotherhood and would impose sharia law in Michigan if elected.

Teachers denounced the removal of a mention of the KKK from one part of the standards, as well as the elimination of the word “genocide” from a section about the Holocaust. MDE panelists defended the deletion, saying that they were trying not to be repetitious.

There were several attempts by the representative from the private company hired by the state board to “facilitate” the meeting to dampen down the loud and frequent outbursts that punctuated the rest of the meeting. There was a great deal of concern from teachers who felt their questions were not being answered.

There were questions about how the panel was selected. One speaker pointed out that there was no representation from Detroit, Saginaw or Flint. Few would not know that these are major urban areas where questions of democracy, civil rights, poverty, and inequality are everyday issues.

Marsha Lewis, a teacher from the Detroit Public Schools, said that racism, civil rights and social issues had to be included at the center of the standards. “I say this not just because I am a teacher. I don’t want my child to live in a world where she thinks she will be forgotten.”

One teacher questioned why the world history standards for high school were changed to begin with the 1500s. She said this was aimed at presenting a Euro-centric view of the world.

This was the third of six such meetings planned for various locations around the state this summer. The two already held, in Flint and Saginaw, were smaller in size but just as contentious. The Waterford meeting is the only one in the Detroit area. The three remaining will be next week in the Upper Peninsula, in Lansing, the state capital, and in Grand Rapids, in the western part of the state, the home town of US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her ultra-right billionaire family.

When asked at the end of the meeting why the right-wing partisan Colbeck was invited to be part of the process, panelist Linda Forward from MDE admitted, “I cannot give you any rationale that would hold any water here.”

Sadye Belcher

Sadye Belcher, a college student in Flint, Michigan, spoke passionately during the public comments at the end of the meeting. She began by saying that the United States was founded on dissent, but that in this curriculum, “That knowledge of dissent is being taken away.”

“Students need to learn that history”, she told the assembled teachers, “including the history of the civil rights struggle and other struggles, to have the tools to take up the serious issues they face today.”

She expanded on her remarks later, speaking to the World Socialist Web Site: “I have a little theory of my own. I think this is how fascism comes. When I was reading the standards, I saw all these red lines striking out such important history and topics. It was jarring. You can go online and actually see this. They show the old, 2007 standards side by side, and you can see the important sections removed.

“We will be teaching kids who will not be able to do anything because they do not have the foundation in history. Our foundation was dissent, and they are taking away that foundation.”

Rita Chester is a retired teacher who lives in Waterford, Michigan, where the meeting was held. She told WSWS reporters after the meeting: “My granddaughter in Seattle called me and said ‘Grandma, you have to go down there! They are trying to change the education standards!’ She read about it online out in Seattle and called me. One thing she was concerned about was that references to LGBTQ were being removed, other things were being removed. So here I am!”

Emily Halls is studying music education at Michigan State University. She told the WSWS that she and her “peers” are much more aware of politics now than ever before. This is because so much is going on in the world today that affects us.

“When I saw online that in the new standards sections were removed that relate to climate change and to civil rights, I knew I had to come here tonight. Even though I teach music, my students are going to be affected by politics.

The effects of climate change are happening now, and they are happening rapidly. By removing key parts of the topic from the main text, bringing these problems to students’ attention will not be a priority in every classroom.

“We had the luxury for a long time of not paying attention. This is especially true in the case of climate change. But now every student and young adult is starting to pay attention. Everyone needs to know what the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Treaty means. No one can afford to be uninformed.

“Even as a music educator, I feel I should be well-versed in these things. We talk about music for music’s sake. The way the changes were made here is explained as consolidation. But it is troubling that things like the NAACP, Roe V. Wade, are removed.

“We say about a piece of music that there is not one way to understand it, one way that is right and one way that is wrong. This is an important lesson that applies to how students should think about things. They should have all the information.”

Sudden closure of for-profit Education Corporation of America leaves 20,000 students without an education: here.

California anti-Semite official Republican candidate

This live music video, recorded in London in 1977, is called Ramones – California Sun.

Unfortunately, in California there is not only sun, but also far-right racist politicians.

By Alyssa Fisher in daily The Forward in the USA:

Anti-Semitic Republican Candidate Sails To General Election In California

June 7, 2018

Even without the support of the California Republican Party, an anti-Semitic Republican running in the state’s 11th District northeast of Oakland has advanced to the general election.

John Fitzgerald won 24.8% percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary, nearly twenty points higher than the third-place candidate and good enough to help him advance to November due to the state’s top-two primary system. He will face Democratic incumbent Rep. Mark DeSaulnier.

Fitzgerald’s campaign website includes false claims that 9% of U.S. government officials are dual citizens of Israel and that Jews played a “prominent role” in the African slave trade, and celebrates a “courageous” elderly German woman who was sentenced to two years in prison for denying the Holocaust.

“Why is the holocaust the ONLY historical issue that cannot be questioned without fear of fines and/or imprisonment in eighteen countries–and counting– throughout the world?” Fitzgerald wrote on May 16.

And this GOP congressional candidate thinks “diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American”.

Corey Stewart, a politician with associations with neo-Confederates, the “alt-right” and a well-known anti-Semite, is the Republican nominee for Senate in Virginia: here.

A Republican state legislature candidate in North Carolina wrote on his website that God is a racist white supremacist and that Jews descended from Satan, The Charlotte Observer reported. Russell Walker is running for state House District 48, which includes Scotland and Hoke counties: here.

Illinois [Republican] Governor Won’t Call For Vote Against GOP [Republican] Nazi Candidate: here.

‘EUROPE IS WAKING UP… WILL AMERICA… IN TIME?’ Representative Steve King (Republican-Iowa) has been pilloried for retweeting Mark Collett, a well-known British bigot who has described himself as a “Nazi sympathizer.” [HuffPost]. See also here.

THE GOP’S WHITE SUPREMACIST Rep. Steve King of Iowa is a white supremacist. And his Republican colleagues just don’t care. [HuffPost]

GOP Congressional Nominee Seth Grossman Shared White Nationalist Articles: here.

A British politician who has been accused of anti-Semitism for his remarks about the “Jewish lobby” will head to Pennsylvania next month for a private fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Lou Barletta, The Citizens’ Voice, a local newspaper, reported Thursday. Nigel Farage, an ally of Donald Trump who was one of the biggest backers of Brexit, will help raise money for Barletta, a congressman from Hazleton, Pennsylvania who is trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Casey: here.

These 9 Candidates Have Ties To White Nationalists Or Nazis — And They’re All Republicans. By Juliana Kaplan and Alyssa Fisher.

‘WHO IS AMERICA?’ EXPOSES GEORGIA REP. Jason Spencer, a state representative from Georgia, is likely updating his resume after appearing on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” shouting the N-word, flashing his buttocks, and making fun of Chinese people. [HuffPost]

Rhode Island Democratic Party Endorses ‘Alt-Right’ Supporter: here.

United States racist Republican election candidates

This 6 June 2018 video says about itself:

White Nationalists Running For Office

Holocaust deniers and advocates for segregation run for office in the USA.

STATE SENATOR COMPARED MICHELLE OBAMA TO ‘CHIMP’ Republican Karin Housley, a state senator running to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate, compared then-first lady Michelle Obama to a “chimp” in 2009. [HuffPost]

GOP CANDIDATE ADMITS SWASTIKA MISTAKE Republican Senate candidate John James of Michigan admitted a “terrible error” by inadvertently showing a swastika in his campaign’s first TV ad of the general election. [AP]

COMPANIES ABANDONING MISSISSIPPI REPUBLICAN Major League Baseball wants the campaign of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) to return a $5,000 donation. Walmart, AT&T, Leidos, Union Pacific and Boston Scientific have all made similar requests after reports that she recently made a joke about attending a “public hanging.” [HuffPost]