United States indefinite imprisonment for immigrating

This video from the USA says about itself:

2 October 2017

More information here.

The Supreme Court is about to decide Jennings v. Rodriguez, a case that will decide the fate of thousands of men and women locked up in immigration prisons across the country. The ACLU is challenging the federal government’s practice of locking up immigrants for years without the basic due process of a hearing to determine if their imprisonment is justified.

By Eric London in the USA:

Media, Democrats silent as US Supreme Court rules immigrants can be indefinitely detained

28 February 2018

In a 5-3 decision handed down on Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Jennings v. Rodriguez that the government can arrest and indefinitely detain immigrants, depriving them of the fundamental right to bail.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of immigrants will be locked up in internment camps as their immigration cases proceed, with no opportunity for release until their cases are decided—a process that often takes years. Roughly 450,000 immigrants were jailed in detention centers at some point during the last year, and that number will increase astronomically after yesterday’s ruling.

The decision makes no distinction between undocumented immigrants and those with legal permanent residency. It means millions of immigrants living in the US are subject to arrest and indefinite detention.

This milestone event has passed with virtually no comment in the corporate-controlled press. As of Tuesday evening, the online front pages of the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and Politico had no coverage of the ruling, while the New York Times had a single article far down its page. At the same time, these five sites featured a combined 23 front-page articles on the anti-Russia witch hunt.

No major Democratic Party official has made a statement on the ruling, and the Twitter accounts of Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are all silent.

The case was initiated by Alejandro Rodriguez, a Mexican citizen who was jailed in 2004 and held in detention without bond as his case made its way through the arduous immigration appeals process. In 2007, after being imprisoned for three years, he filed a habeas corpus petition challenging his long detention. The District Court for the Central District of California ultimately certified a class of plaintiffs including thousands of similarly situated immigrants on whose behalf the suit was fought. Many class members have been detained for longer than six months.

Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion shows the depth of support within the ruling class for police-state methods of rule. “Detention during [immigration] proceedings gives immigration officials time to determine an alien’s status without running the risk of the alien’s either absconding or engaging in criminal activity”, the decision reads. The ruling overturns a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision mandating bond hearings after six months of detention. Alito scolded the Ninth Circuit for the “implausible” argument that indefinite detention “raise[s] serious constitutional concerns.”

Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts, mocked the three-justice dissent for “devoting the first two-thirds of its opinion to a disquisition on the Constitution.” Thomas and Gorsuch agreed with the result but said the court should throw the challenge out because immigrants do not have the habeas corpus right to even question the legality of their detention.

Justice Stephen Breyer, whose dissent was joined by Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor, warned:

“No one can claim, nor since the time of slavery has anyone to my knowledge successfully claimed, that persons held within the United States are totally without constitutional protection. Whatever the fiction, would the Constitution leave the Government free to starve, beat or lash those held within our boundaries? If not, then, whatever the fiction, how can the Constitution authorize the Government to imprison arbitrarily those who, whatever we might pretend, are in reality right here in the United States? The answer is that the Constitution does not authorize arbitrary detention. And the reason that it is so is simple: Freedom from arbitrary detention is as ancient and important a right as any found within the Constitution’s boundaries.”

Elsewhere, he added, “We need only recall the words of the Declaration of Independence, in particular its insistence that all men and women have ‘certain unalienable Rights’, and that among them is the right to ‘Liberty.’”

Although the Democratic appointees’ dissent makes additional warnings about the impact of yesterday’s decision, there has been no comment on the role of the Democratic Party in paving the way for the decision. Democratic nominee Elena Kagan recused herself from the decision because she was solicitor general when the Obama administration argued against granting the plaintiffs a bond hearing in the lower courts and in support of indefinite immigrant detention.

The statutes cited by the Alito majority were passed with bipartisan support. When Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch argued that immigrants have no right to even file habeas corpus petitions based on final deportation orders, they cited a statute enacted as part of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which had bipartisan approval in Congress, including from Democrats such as Harry Reid, Dianne Feinstein, Elijah Cummings, Steny Hoyer and Sheila Jackson-Lee, and was signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

The case now heads back to the Ninth Circuit. In rejecting the six-month bond requirement set by that court, the Supreme Court remanded for further deliberation on the merits of the immigrants’ constitutional claims.

Jennings v. Rodriguez is further proof that the Bill of Rights is a dead letter. Both parties have signed off on mass surveillance, illegal war, state torture, black site prisons and drone assassinations of US citizens without warrants or trials. The decision of the political and media establishment to downplay the significance of Tuesday’s ruling shows that there is no constituency for the defense of democratic rights in the American ruling class.

The authorization for a regime of mass indefinite detention is an existential threat to workers of all national origins, regardless of immigration status. There is a history in the US, including during miners’ strikes in Bisbee, Arizona in 1917 and Colorado from 1901 to 1903, of the government indefinitely detaining and even deporting striking workers from one state to another at the behest of the corporations. Not only will the decision be cited as the Trump administration expands the network of immigrant internment camps across the country, it will soon be turned against US citizen workers as well.

Florida school massacre, just a gun control issue?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Gun Control will Not Cure a Society that Produces Monstrous Behavior

24 February 2018

Historian Gerald Horne and host Paul Jay agree – while strong gun control is necessary, it’s not enough to keep schools and communities safe; we must change the unequal and decaying society that produces so much psychosis.

United States National Rifle Association, parody music

This satirical music video from Britain is called Lil Wayne LaPierre – “God Bless America”.

NRA chief Wayne LaPierre comes out in defence of guns via his Lil Wayne tribute act.’

It is a parody of this song, Lil Wayne’s – “God Bless America”.

The lyrics are:

Uh, our streets are full of Bernie bros
All funded by George Soros
These Europe-style socialists
They call us racist and misogynist

Now they wanna take our guns away
‘Cause they hate freedom in the USA
My country ‘tis of thee
Sweet land of shoot ‘em all, because we’re free

God bless America
And Republican senators
Protect our Second Amendment rights
From liberals who hate hard-working whites

Oops, I think I misspoke
All I mean is give folks
A nice gun that they can take to bed and stroke
Uh, let’s arm the teachers in the classrooms
So if there’s shooters they can blast ‘em

Let us live by the gun and die by the gun
This is what it means to be American
Shoot my gun in the air, feel the discharge in my hair
Maybe I’ll go to the Rockies and blast a black bear

All these liberals wanna tell us what we need
But they’ve all been brainwashed by the Marxist creed
Listen, NFL stars who take a knee
You’ve just made a powerful enemy
Yay guns! Think about that

US gun lobbying group the National Rifle Association (NRA) has given more than £5 million in grants to hundreds of US schools in recent years, according to new research by the Associated Press: here.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT GUN MANUFACTURERS While much of the national conversation on gun control following the February mass shooting in a Florida high school has focused on the National Rifle Association, gun manufacturers have largely avoided scrutiny. [HuffPost]

Anti-gun violence demonstrations all over the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Stoneman Douglas Students Protest Gun Laws At Florida Capitol | NBC News

21 February 2018

Following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead, students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School met with state lawmakers and spoke in Tallahassee to protest for stricter gun laws.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Student protests spread over US school shootings

22 February 2018

Thousands of high school students and their supporters rallied Wednesday at the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee, demanding legislative action to prevent further school shootings like the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

There were sympathy demonstrations and school walkouts across the country, involving many thousands of high school students in at least a dozen states, including Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Montana and Washington state.

More than a thousand students walked out of high schools across Indian River County and Martin County, Florida, on the state’s central Atlantic coast. Some 500 students walked out at Fort Pierce Central High School alone.

In the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, hundreds of students walked out of Upper Arlington High School and staged a protest in freezing rain and wind, with speakers reading out the names of the 17 students and teachers killed in Florida last week, and the crowd observing a minute of silence for each one.

The only publicized threat of administration retaliation against student protests came in the Houston, Texas, suburbs, where the superintendent of Needville school district said that all students who took part in demonstrations during school hours would be suspended from school for three days. The threat was posted on the school’s website, and a letter reinforcing the warning was sent to the homes of every student.

By far the largest protest was in Tallahassee, where 100 students from Douglas High School, who made the 400-mile trip by bus on Tuesday, spearheaded a rally of several thousand on the steps of the state capitol. Students and their supporters then surged to the offices of state legislators, demanding meetings on the spot to air their concerns, principally focused on a demand to ban the sale of assault rifles like the AR-15 used by Nikolas Cruz in the rampage in Parkland.

Responding to the usual homilies from legislators, one Douglas student, Sheryl Acqualori, 16, said, “Thoughts and prayers won’t stop my brothers and my sisters from dying—action will.” She continued, “They are our students, our teachers and our coaches. And they died because you failed.”

Many of the state legislators left by side doors to avoid confronting the demonstrators, who raised loud chants of “face us now” and “serve your public, not your pocket” when they saw a Democrat or Republican office-holder. One of the main demands voiced by the protesters was that legislators renounce and return campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA), the principal lobby for the gun manufacturers.

The campaign launched by the Douglas students has led to calls for two national days of action: school walkouts on March 14, to mark the one-month anniversary of the school shooting, and a national demonstration in Washington, D.C., on March 24, with satellite protests the same day in other cities.

Both of the two main corporate-controlled political parties are maneuvering to contain and control the spontaneous movement of the student youth and their supporters.

The Democratic Party is seeking to use the issue of gun control to channel the protests into support for their candidates in the November mid-term elections, while avoiding addressing the source of the outbreaks of violence in America, not only in the schools, but in tragedies like the Las Vegas rampage that killed 58 people last fall, and the massacre at a Texas church in November, when 28 people were killed.

Above all, the Democrats seek to suppress any questioning of the 25 years of unending imperialist war, waged by Democratic and Republican administrations alike, which are at the root of the glorification and promotion of violence in American society.

The Republican Party is also seeking to contain and smother the student protests. In Florida, where the Republicans control the state legislature and the governor’s mansion, and have promoted the full litany of NRA-backed measures, such as concealed-carry and “stand your ground” laws, Republican state legislative leaders have made well-publicized visits to the Douglas High School building that was the site of the attack by Nicholas Cruz, making a display of sympathy and shedding tears, while in practice rejecting any action.

President Trump met with a group of survivors and family members of the Parkland massacre, as well as representatives of parents from Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and 6 teachers were gunned down in 2012, in a televised “listening session” on Wednesday afternoon.

Even though the visitors were politically vetted, excluding the most militant and articulate students, the session was dominated by expressions of anger and pain by parents of those killed and several student survivors.

“I was born into a world where I never got to experience safety and peace”, said Justin Gruber, a student who survived the school shooting, referring to the 19 years since the Columbine High School massacre, which took place before he was born. “There needs to be significant change in this country, because this has to never happen again.”

Another student survivor, Samuel Zeif, asked through tears, “How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How do we not stop this after Columbine, after Sandy?” He concluded, “We need to do something. That’s why we’re here.”

Besides the president, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and other officials feigned sympathy for the students and parents, but offered nothing but measures that would lead to even more violence in the schools.

Trump suggested that school teachers, coaches and other staff should be armed with concealed weapons so that they could shoot it out with a prospective attacker. He cited the example of Aaron Feis, the football coach who threw himself in front of several students to block the bullets being fired at them, sacrificing his own life. “If he had a firearm he wouldn’t have had to run, he would’ve shot and that would’ve been the end of it”, Trump claimed.

When many parents and students indicated their opposition to such a step, which would introduce many more guns into a school setting, creating the potential for much greater violence, Trump verbally retreated, saying, “We can understand both sides. Certainly it’s controversial. … But we’ll study that along with many other ideas.”

He told the visitors, “We’ll be very strong on background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody”, although the White House has relaxed administrative requirements on background checks and proposed major cuts in the funding of mental health services.

Trump came equipped with a crib sheet—inadvertently made public when it was captured in photographs of the session—which reminded him to say that he wanted to hear what the parents and students had to say, and to say that he “was listening.”

Outside the White House were hundreds of students from schools in the District of Columbia and the Maryland suburbs who walked out of class and marched on Capitol Hill and the White House to demand action against the school shootings.

Blue jay relationships, video

This video from the USA says about itself:

Blue Jay Relationship Drama – Did You Know Birding?

6 February 2018

The behavior of Blue Jays is so interesting. They often mate for life but sometimes single males may steal another male’s mate!