Thoughts on the Travel Ban (yours, and other people's)

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Marie
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Thoughts on the Travel Ban (yours, and other people's)

Postby Marie » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:40 am

Ordinary Americans carried out inhumane acts for Trump
By Chris Edelson
The Baltimore Sun
2/6/2017

WHEN WE WORRY AND WONDER about authoritarian regimes that inflict cruelty on civilians, we often imagine tyrannical despots unilaterally advancing their sinister agendas. But no would-be autocrat can act alone; as a practical matter, he needs subordinates willing to carry out orders.

Of course, neither Donald Trump nor Steve Bannon personally detained any of the more than 100 people held at airports over the weekend pursuant to the administration's executive order on immigration, visitation and travel to the United States. They relied on assistance. The men and women who reportedly handcuffed small children and the elderly, separated a child from his mother and held others without food for 20 hours, are undoubtedly "ordinary" people. What I mean by that is that these are, in normal circumstances, people who likely treat their neighbors and co-workers with kindness and do not intentionally seek to harm others.

That is chilling, as it is a reminder that authoritarians have no trouble finding the people they need to carry out their acts of cruelty. They do not need special monsters; they can issue orders to otherwise unexceptional people who will carry them out dutifully. This should not be a surprise. The famous Milgram experiment and subsequent studies suggest that many people will obey instructions from an authority figure even if it means harming another person. It is also perfectly understandable (which does not mean it is justifiable). How many of us would refuse to follow an instruction from a superior at work? It is natural to want to keep one's job, even if at the price of inflicting cruelty on another human being, even perhaps a child.

The question we need to ask ourselves is: What will we do? This is not a hypothetical question. Most of us will not face the stark choice employees at airports faced over the weekend. But we are all citizens; ultimately, our government can only act if we allow it to act. Under our Constitution, the people rule. Our elected officials, including the president, are accountable to us.

We possess the power to reject actions we see as out of bounds. We are used to doing this in elections, but democracy doesn't end once the votes are counted. Even after an election is over we can exercise our First Amendment rights to contact elected officials, speak, write and protest.

It is far easier to do nothing, to trust that, somehow, America's dangerous course will be set right. But this is a dangerous gamble, and in fact an abdication of our responsibility as Americans and indeed as human beings.

If we do nothing, that is a choice. It means we accept a government that has demonstrated it is capable of inflicting cruelty on the innocent and defenseless.

What will we do?

Chris Edelson (edelson@american.edu) is an assistant professor of government in American University's School of Public Affairs. His latest book, "Power Without Constraint: The Post 9/11 Presidency and National Security," was published in May 2016 by the University of Wisconsin Press.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinio ... story.html

-Marie
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Lower court's opinion PREVAILS!

Postby Marie » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:39 pm

The Travel Ban is NOT reinstated, per the 9th Circuit. =D>

Not only did the panel agree with the lower court's stay on the ban -- they issued 28 pages of the reasoning behind this decision!

No less a contrarian than Alan Dershowitz said (just now on Greta's new MSNBC show) that in view of the judges' reasons, there's almost no chance that Trump could win in the Supreme Court -- assuming they agreed to hear the case. He said the best route for the administration would be to start over and rewrite it the proper way, with input from all interested parties and legal experts.

The question is -- *will Trump take that advice?

------------
*UPDATE:

Well, we didn't have to wait long for the answer, LOL ](*,)

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 1802515457

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Thoughts on the Travel Ban (yours, and other people's)

Postby dejapig » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:45 pm

He has since indicated they may rewrite the order on Monday...to save time, you know, not his EGO. :lol:
Be who you are & say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind. --Dr. Seuss
Keith Olbermann rocks! --dejapig

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Marie
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Re: Thoughts on the Travel Ban (yours, and other people's)

Postby Marie » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:20 pm

From Twitter:

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(one of my fav photos :-)

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Thoughts on the Travel Ban (yours, and other people's)

Postby Marie » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:10 am

Here's one woman's harrowing story.

(Even though she has financially secure relatives who have established a new life in Ireland, that doesn't mean she and her kids will be allowed in. Maybe they could stay here in the US temporarily while she gets new legs?)

Fatima’s fate: An escape bid that led to severe injury and separation from her children
By Daniel Howden, Refugees Deeply
The Huffington Post
01/31/2017 12:27 pm ET

DESPERATE DESCISIONS on the road to refuge left a young Afghan mother disabled, bereaved and stranded. Her story illustrates the appalling risks Afghan refugees are taking in the face of rising European asylum rejections and deportations.

When Fatima Bakhshi awoke, her first thought was for her children. She did not know where she was, where her two boys were, or what had happened to her mother. Then she realized she could not feel her legs. It would be days before she could emerge from the haze of painkillers to recall the final frantic moments before the crash, which occurred in Serbia. The 29-year-old from Kabul had been crammed with another 14 people into a Volkswagen Passat with its back seat ripped out. Fatima had been crouching with her mother Nadia behind her, and her boys were on their grandmother’s lap.

In broken English, Fatima had pleaded with the driver to slow down as the vehicle began to veer between lanes at high speed. She remembered panicked shouting inside the car, and then nothing. When she regained consciousness, Fatima found herself in a hospital bed in the Serbian city of Niš. An English-speaking doctor told her that after complications and an infection following an initial surgery, her legs had to be amputated above the knee.

For now, Fatima’s desperate attempt to get herself and her family away from Afghanistan has come to a brutal halt in Niš, the city closest to the fatal crash that occurred when the smuggler, fearing interception by the police, veered off the road into a barrier. The collision occurred on December 28, and Fatima spent days without news of her children and mother, as the authorities initially had no way of establishing the identity of the survivors. Two adults and one child had died, but the driver from the smuggling gang was nowhere to be found.

After an agonizing wait, she discovered that her two sons, Ahmed, 4, and Shohaib, 9, had survived the wreck with broken bones, cuts and bruises, and were being treated in a different facility. Her 59-year-old mother, Nadia, had not survived.

Known to friends as Naji, Fatima did not take the decision to leave Kabul and travel to Europe lightly. It was done with the support of her mother, who had watched Fatima suffer at the hands of both her father and an abusive husband. Fatima’s father, Nadia’s husband, was an “oppressive and violent man,” she would later confide to friends in Greece. Of Fatima’s two sisters, one migrated to Germany while the other committed suicide in Afghanistan some years ago by pouring gasoline over herself and setting herself alight. Fatima’s husband proved to be violent, and the pair eventually divorced in 2015 after he began to use heroin. Even after the separation, the man’s family continued to harass and threaten her, prompting their decision to flee the Afghan capital.

After an ordeal experienced by hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants, the four members of the Bakhshi family reached Europe via a rubber dinghy, landing on the Greek island of Lesbos in March 2016. Their arrival came after the closure of Greece’s northern borders. Fatima and her family found themselves in limbo in the Athens refugee camp of Elaionas.

It was in Athens that the Bakhshis became involved with the Melissa Network, which supports refugee and migrant women. “Fatima taught herself English during her journey, over the period of the past nine months, something she takes great pride in,” said Nadina Christopoulou, the head of Melissa, who is marshaling efforts to help Fatima in Serbia. “This was appreciated by all our members, who saw the resilience and determination of these women to create a better life for themselves and the little children.”

Their late arrival in Greece, after more than 1 million refugees and migrants transited the country in 2015, left the Bakhshi family facing an asylum lottery in which Afghans are increasingly the losers. Throughout Europe the rate of recognition for asylum claims for Afghans has been plunging faster than for any other nationality. Where Germany recognized 72 percent of asylum claims from Afghans in 2015, a year later that rate dropped to 56 percent. In Norway, the rate plummeted over the same time period from 82 percent to 30 percent. In Greece, where Fatima applied, recognition dropped from 61 percent to 49 percent last year. The family had strong reasons to fear rejection and deportation.

It was with this in mind that Fatima and Nadia took the fateful decision to skip Elaionas after their neighbors at the camp told them they had decided to use smugglers to continue their journey. The mother and daughter quickly packed the essential items, giving the rest to friends in the camp. For the cost of a little over $3,000, they were told they would be smuggled out of Greece and driven across FYROM (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Serbia into Hungary. Their eventual destination was Ireland, where Nadia’s two brothers, Farooq and Zakhrie Bakhshi, are living.

Farooq heard reports of Afghans being killed in a crash in Serbia, but had no idea his relatives had left Greece. When he got a call from a doctor in Serbia, he began to look for his loved ones and some answers there. An engineer, Farooq arrived in Niš at midnight on January 3, after boarding a bus from Belgrade. With no idea where Fatima was and finding no English speakers, Farooq was forced to speak the little Russian he still knew from the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan to try and communicate.

By the time he found Fatima’s doctor, Zoran Radovanovic, at the Niš Clinical Center, another half day had passed. “I asked her what had happened but it took two or three days for her to be able to explain,” said Farooq. “I told her not to worry about anything, now with technology we can make anything. We can make legs.”

Before returning to Ireland, Farooq was also able to track down Ahmed and Shohaib. They had only spoken to their mother by phone and were in deep shock. Ahmed had a broken arm and leg and was still in considerable pain. "They told me that everything went dark and they didn’t know what happened," he said. "They thought they had gone to another world."

The two uncles are now determined to reunite the family in Ireland. It is not likely to be simple. Afghan refugees from Germany, Sweden and elsewhere in Europe are facing deportation in increasing numbers, while those in Pakistan and Iran are being coerced by the hundreds of thousands to return to a country still at war. Last year was the deadliest in Afghanistan since 2001. Some 620,000 people were forced to flee their homes inside its borders.

The Bakhshi brothers are only too familiar with war. Zekhrie was threatened by the Taliban following his work as a fixer with the BBCjournalist John Simpson. Dr. Zak, as he is known, worked as a translator on a number of high-profile stories including the famous Afghan girl photo by Steve McCurry. After being given refuge in Ireland, he completed his medical studies at Trinity College Dublin. He now practices medicine and is ready and willing to sponsor his niece and grandnephews if Irish authorities will let him.

“My heart is crying now that we didn’t do enough to prevent this,” said Zekhrie. “We knew what was happening, they were running away from brutality and war. We wanted them to get here and be with us, and had faith that they were safe under U.N. protection in Greece, and that through them we would eventually reunite.”

This article originally appeared on Refugees Deeply.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Resettlement agencies must close b/c of Trump's exec order

Postby Marie » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:53 am

I worked with one of these agencies, teaching English to Vietnamese and Cambodian "boat people." It was a rewarding experience. These folks do good work, and their work should be allowed to go on without interruption!

Columbus refugee agency closing, others cutting staff, due to Trump executive order
By Encarnacion Pyle
(Columbus, Ohio) dispatch.com
2/15/2017

AFTER FIVE YEARS in Columbus, a local refugee resettlement group announced it is closing its doors because of a little-talked-about piece of President Donald Trump's executive order affecting refugees and immigrants.

World Relief Columbus will be shutting its doors in mid-July, even after cutting its staff by more than half, officials said. And two other local resettlement groups, Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS) and US Together, also have laid off workers in anticipation of significant budget cuts.

That's because Trump's order cuts the number of refugees admitted this federal fiscal year from a planned 110,000 to 50,000. Since 30,000 refugees have already been resettled since Oct. 1, only 20,000 more can be resettled over the next seven months.

The nonprofit resettlement service agencies say they can't absorb such a drastic decrease, even if the numbers were to go back up again next year after new vetting procedures are put into place. "It's crushing," said Kay Lipovsky, office director of World Relief Columbus. "I fear the entire refugee program is at risk."

Resettlement agencies help new refugees find housing, learn English, develop job skills, obtain medical care and acclimate to American culture. The general goal is for the new residents to be "self-sufficient" within eight months of their arrival.

Nationwide, the nine refugee resettlement groups, six of which are faith-based, are bracing for funding reductions and scrambling to raise money to try to lessen the pain, supporters say. Catholic Charities USA, which is currently serving 45,000 refugees and immigrant families, for example, last week started an $8 million fundraising campaign to bridge any gap created by the refugee program's uncertain future. The group told The Associated Press that an estimated 700 of their 54,000 jobs throughout the country might be at risk because of Trump's executive order. Another group, the International Rescue Committee, hopes to raise $5 million in what it says is its "first-ever emergency appeal" to help its 29 offices nationwide continue to support refugees already here in the United States.

Typically, the annual number of refugees that can be admitted into the United States and the allocation of these numbers by region are set by the president after consultation with Congress at the start of each fiscal year in October. But Trump chose to use an executive order just a week after he took office to reset the 110,000 figure for this year set by President Barack Obama. The Trump administration argues that the ban, which also summarily denied entry to all refugees for 120 days and travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, is needed to keep out Islamic State and Al-Qaeda fighters migrating from Middle East hot spots. Unlike the reduction in refugee numbers, those pieces are currently on hold because of a recent federal appeals court ruling.

While none of the refugee resettlement groups dispute the need to put safety first, they say the reduction in refugee numbers couldn't come at a worse time given circumstances elsewhere in the world and doesn't have to result in such severe action. The number of people worldwide driven from their homes by war and persecution is at an all-time high, they say, so many resettlement agencies had increased their staffs after Obama boosted this year's numbers to 110,000.

The World Relief Columbus office is one of five of the agency's 25 resettlement offices being closed nationwide, officials said. The closures are necessary, they said, because the agency is expecting to go from serving about 11,000 refugees a year to between 5,000 and 7,000. The Columbus office was selected because there are two other resettlement agencies in the area, not because of its performance, according to World Relief national officials. They said the Columbus staff has served with "diligence and sacrifice."

"Many have been with us since this office opened and they have ministered well, often in very difficult circumstances," World Relief President Scott Arbeiter and CEO Tim Breene wrote in a letter to the group's Columbus supporters.

Kay Lipovsky, director of World Relief's Columbus office, said she had cut her staff from nine to four people after Trump issued the order in anticipation of a budget shortfall, but she never expected to close. The office will continue receiving new refugee arrivals through the end of the week, she said, and will serve them through July 15. She is working with the two other resettlement agencies to make sure no one is left behind. Angie Plummer, executive director of CRIS, which is associated with Church World Service, said she laid off nine workers at its Columbus office. Nadia Kasvin, director and co-founder of US Together, which is affiliated with Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, said she eliminated 6.5 positions here because of the anticipated cuts.

"It's just devastating," Plummer said. "The one silver lining to come from all of this is the tremendous support and good will we've seen from people in the community." For example, CRIS is the beneficiary of a YouCaring campaign established by Victoria Beckman, who came to the United States from Columbia in 2001 to work as an engineer for General Motors. She is now a Columbus lawyer who specializes in transnational disputes and foreign law. Her goal is to raise $3,500.

A similar but larger fundraising effort — a goal of $25,000 — has been started for US Together at the same online site.

epyle@dispatch.com
@EncarnitaPyle

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170215/c ... admissions

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Marie
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Trump defies travel ban suspension

Postby Marie » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:49 pm

The law means absolutely nothing to Trump's henchmen, as SCROTUS fears no punishment for defying the judges' decision.

Welsh Muslim teacher denied entry to US on school trip
Juhel Miah from south Wales was removed from plane in Reykjavik, despite suspension of president’s travel ban
The Guardian
2-21-2017

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... chool-trip

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Thoughts on the Travel Ban (yours, and other people's)

Postby Marie » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:05 am

My fav pun of the day, from the Huffington Post:

"TRUMP SLIPS ON BAN APPEAL"

:grin:

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Marie
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Re: Thoughts on the Travel Ban (yours, and other people's)

Postby Marie » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:13 pm

Image

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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