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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
December 31, 2020

'The US isn't an option anymore': why California's immigrants are heading back to Mexico

(Guardian UK) California’s most vulnerable immigrants have faced unprecedented challenges this year, with some weighing whether it’s worth staying in the United States altogether.

Ten months of a pandemic that has disproportionately sickened immigrants and devastated some of the industries that rely on immigrant labor, combined with years of anti-immigrant policies by the Trump administration have exacerbated insecurities for undocumented people and immigrants working low-wage jobs across California.

For immigrants at the bottom of the economic ladder, it’s never been easy in the US, said Luz Gallegos, the executive director of the immigrant advocacy group Training Occupational Development Educating Communities Legal Center (Todec).

“But California was also always a place where my family – my parents and grandparents – believed they could build a better life,” said Gallegos who was born into a family of immigrant activists and organizers. “It was always a place with potential.”

Until this year. ...........(more)


December 31, 2020

Florida man arrested for using fire extinguisher to dry himself off

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – A Florida man, who was not on fire, was arrested Tuesday night after police said he sprayed himself with a fire extinguisher to try and dry himself off.

Florida State University police found David Mann, 54, on the top floor of a parking garage with an extinguisher and covered in powder, according to the Tallahassee Democrat via the Associated Press.

Mann told police he had been drinking and fell asleep then fell in water when he woke up. Police said Mann told them he was using the extinguisher to try and dry himself off. .........(more)


December 31, 2020

America is a failed state. Biden's inauguration won't suddenly change that

America is a failed state. Biden’s inauguration won’t suddenly change that
If the purpose of government is to protect a nation's people, then by any objective measure our system has failed

DECEMBER 31, 2020 12:00PM

(Salon) In the waning days of the Trump presidency, there's a steady drumbeat coming from the corporate news media and its pundits: the suggestion that, come Jan. 21, everything will suddenly and magically return to "normal."

Never mind the mounting COVID death toll, which on several days this month has spiked above 3,000 a day.

The projection of normalcy is essential to preserving the existing economic order, to organize our self-image as the noblest of nations built on the wisdom of great white men, the landed gentry, who — with the exception of their reliance on slavery — were divinely inspired when they wrote the Constitution.


The Trumpian internecine conflict tore the nation asunder at the granular level. Millions of once close-knit extended families have become alienated from each other over arguments as to the efficacy of wearing a mask or socially distancing.


But to finger Trump alone for our miserable situation fails to not fully grasp the awful truth that's been decades in the making. That true narrative reads more like science fiction than like the accurate, if bleak, recounting of our post-9/11 history it is. .........(more)


December 30, 2020

Florida man wearing gloves steals all the chicken wings at 7-Eleven, officials say

NAPLES, Fla. — A Florida man was arrested Tuesday after stealing all of the chicken wings and other hot food available at a Naples 7-Eleven.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office was called to the convenience store around 8:23 p.m. after a man put gloves on, took the food items and left the store with them, WWBH reported.

The clerk said the man, who has not been identified, has been in the store before. The last time, he ate three chicken wings in front of the clerk and then left without paying, the employee said. ...........(more)


December 30, 2020

Canada: Ontario Finance Minister faked Twitter posts to conceal Caribbean holiday

(Guardian UK) Ontario premier Doug Ford is under pressure after admitting that he has known for weeks that his finance minister – who faked social media posts to conceal his location – had ignored a coronavirus lockdown to go on holiday in the Caribbean.

Posts on Rod Phillips’s social media accounts suggested that he remained home over Christmas, but it emerged on Tuesday that the minister flew to the island of St Barts in mid-December – despite his own government’s advice to avoid non-essential travel.

On Wednesday afternoon, Ford admitted he had learned about Phillip’s tropical vacation two weeks ago and said he regretted not demanding his minister return immediately.


“He never told anyone he was leaving. He never told me he was leaving,” said Ford, who said he planned to have a “tough conversation” with Phillips when he arrives home tomorrow. .....(more)


December 30, 2020

Dallas: New rail delivered for DART's Silver Line in Plano

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) received new rail Dec. 18 for its Silver Line project in Plano.

A total of 200, 80-foot rail sections, or 16,000 feet of rail, were delivered by special train from Steel Dynamics, Inc., of Indiana, to a location east of Shiloh Road in Plano, Texas, and off-loaded adjacent to the existing tracks.

The 26-mile Silver Line Regional Rail project is currently under construction. Providing passenger rail connections and service that will improve mobility, accessibility and system linkages to major employment, population and activity centers in the northern part of the DART Service Area, the commuter rail line will traverse seven north Texas cities between DFW Airport, Grapevine, Coppell, Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson and Plano.

The Silver Line will interface with three DART light-rail lines: The Red/Orange Lines in Richardson/Plano, the Green Line in Carrollton and the Orange Line at DFW Airport. With 10 new stations planned across the alignment as well, the Silver Line is scheduled to begin service in early 2023. ............(more)


December 30, 2020

How California went from a leader in the Covid fight to a state in despair

(Guardian UK) At the San Joaquin hospital in California’s Central Valley, nurses cover infectious Covid-19 patients with clear, tent-like barriers – or, when those aren’t available, white sheets – as they are wheeled through the ICU.

“It’s for everybody’s protection,” said Jessica Vasquez, an ICU nurse at the hospital – the sheets ensure that infection doesn’t spread to other patients and medical staff. But like so many of the protocols that the hospital has implemented since the coronavirus pandemic struck, it feels uncanny.


When the virus first hit California, Vasquez was relieved to see the state implement a lockdown – it was the first American state to do so. Back in March, personal protective gear for medical staff was in short supply and hospitals were scrambling to understand the best practices to treat an illness they had never encountered before, but at least, “people understood this was serious. They stayed inside, if they could – and California avoided the fate of New York and Louisiana.


California is a large, decentralized state, in a very large, decentralized country, Gandhi said. “And that sort of system is just not the most effective during a respiratory pandemic.”

In this latest, winter stretch of the pandemic, “it’s the inconsistencies that have really agitated residents,” said Fernando Guerra, a political scientist at Loyola Marymount University. The governor, as well as local mayors, tried to at once pacify rightwing sheriffs who openly flouted public health measures, address the needs and demands of stretched school boards and teachers unions nervous about restarting classes, and help out small businesses facing economic disaster – while trying to contain the spread of disease, Guerra said. The result was a policy mess. ............(more)


December 30, 2020

But they seem like such a warm, loving couple......

Trump is fuming at Melania, demanding her renovations at Mar-a-Lago be removed immediately: report
The president is reportedly taking his post-election loss frustrations out on his wife

DECEMBER 29, 2020 8:43PM

According to a source speaking to CNN, President Trump was upset with renovations at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida -- many of which were overseen by his wife, Melania.

"He was not happy with it," the source said, adding that the renovations didn't appeal to the aesthetic that Trump prefers. Trump was reportedly so upset with the additions, which consisted of white marble and an abundance of dark wood, that he demanded they be removed immediately -- which they were.

According to CNN, Trump's displeasure with the renovations may be due to a larger souring of his mood over developments coinciding with the waning days of his presidency. .........(more)


December 29, 2020

The final, desperate days of our psychopath in chief: How bad will it get?

The final, desperate days of our psychopath in chief: How bad will it get?
Our pathological president is sunk in worsening delusion, with three weeks to go. And none of this had to happen

DECEMBER 29, 2020 12:00PM

(Salon) We must face the alarming truth. Our irrational and reckless president will spend his last 23 days in office harboring the hope that a military coup in our country will allow him to remain in power. Or that Congress will overthrow the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6. Donald Trump is totally preoccupied with his existential survival as the walls of reality are closing in on him. He has been repudiated in the election. His psyche cannot comprehend how he could have lost to such an ordinary, mortal man. He is beside himself with embarrassment and humiliation. He is driven by revenge. He wants to settle scores. His thin veneer of greatness and superiority is crumbling away. He is desperate and flailing.

Trump is a psychopath. He has all the defining characteristics in spades: narcissistic, sadistic, antisocial, paranoid. This is malignant psychopathology in the embodiment of our president. He has the kind of personality pathology that should be unacceptable in our top public servant. Trump should have been rooted out in 2016. A psychopath should never have been elected to the highest office in the land. We have been suffering for it ever since: division, tribalism, hostility, racism, xenophobia, terrorism and more.

Some mental health professionals voiced concern about Trump's mental health after his election in 2016. In late 2017, 37 mental health professionals described Trump's dangerousness and unfitness in a bestselling book, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump." But the publication of that book did not open the floodgates for mental health experts to voice their opinions in the media. In fact, there was considerable pushback from concerned colleagues. Plus, the mainstream media showed a rather strong allegiance to the antiquated "Goldwater rule" advanced by the American Psychiatric Association. Mental health experts were largely rebuffed by the media. As a result, the public was ill-informed and Donald Trump was elected.


He is willing to use corruption and seditious behavior to subvert democracy for his personal gain. He is trying to find the right conspiracy theory or voter-fraud narrative that will allow him to hang onto power. He does not understand why the guardrails of democracy are deterring him. He cannot fathom why the U.S. Supreme Court has not come to his rescue, especially after he has appointed three "Trump" associate justices. He does not treasure democracy. If anything, he sees it as an annoying obstacle to his goal of establishing a family dynasty. He wants to be a dictator or, better yet, a king. ............(more)


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