Monthly Archives: January 2017

GEORGE CARLIN ON DEALING WITH THE 2016 ELECTION, THE HYPOCRISRY OF POLITICIANS, ENEMIES, WAR AND PENISES

Even though he passed on from this world, George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)  still rules when it comes to telling it like it is.

Here are three videos where he speaks like the very talented, humorous, critically thinking and intelligent man that he was.

The first is an excerpt from George Carlin on Charlie Rose: 3-26-1996.

 

 

 

 

He is right that people in the end get just what they deserve, especially in the 2016 elections of those who not only voted against the lives and value of their fellows citizens, but, also voted against their own best interests.

 

 

Nothing like a pissing contest to start wars and destroy everyone and everything the world over.

Then there are the pro-lifers who don’t give a damn about the living children walking around. Children they would piss and shit on instead working to make life better for these defenseless ones.

Way to go George.

You are missed.

 

 

 

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2017: THE YEAR FOR #OSCAR SO BLACK?

The year 2016 has given the viewing public many various films to whet its movie-going appetite.

Up for possible nominations for the 89TH Academy Awards are films about a group of highly skilled mathematical genius women who happen to be Black–Black women who worked during the time of Jane Crow segregation at NASA and through it all, managed to help land a man on the Moon with Apollo 11;  a working class Black sanitation worker who was once a champion in the disbanded Negro Baseball League and the family members who live in his world; a young Polynesian girl who defies all odds to bring help to her people and take them to a new land; a divorced husband who writes a novel that may or not be a veiled threat against his former wife; a film about two men who have been in denial of their homosexuality and how it affects their lives through the years; and a sci-fi film about beings who come to Earth who may or may not have a sinister motive for arriving to our planet.

In 2016 before the Oscars telecasted, on one side, there was the “Why don’t you White Oscar voters nominate films by and starring Blacks!”; on the other side, there were the “Well, ya’ll just don’t make any quality films then we just might nominate them!”

This year is a whole lot different where films are concerned.

Contenders on the list for everyone’s dollars are Manchester By the Sea, Moonlight, Fences, Hidden Figures,  La La Land, Arrival, Moana, Nocturnal Animals, to name just a few.

Photo of Manchester by the Sea still movie poster.

Moonlight poster.

Photo still from Moonlight.

Poster of Fences.

Photo still from Fences.

 

Photo still of Hidden Figures from 20TH Century Fox Studios.

Photo still from Hidden Figures.

Poster of La La Land.

Arrival film poster.

Moana film poster.

Nocturnal Animals film poster.

 

Many of the films I have not seen yet, some I have seen: Hidden Figures, Fences, Moana, Moonlight, Arrival, and Nocturnal Animals.

Wow.

I have not seen that many films in a 6 month and less time period in decades.

Just shows that once in a Harvest Moon, Hollyweird can actually put out some films that can earn my hard earned dollar.

Most notable on this list are many films that address issues that affect the Black community as well as point out those parts of everyone’s life that revolve on a universal note.

Films which bring to light hitherto unknown and unheralded eras in this nation’s history as well as the usual Hollywood fare.

At the top of the list are films which some might consider so-called black films:  Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and Fences.

Hidden Figures tells of the story of the wonderful Black women mathematicians who worked at NASA in the early days of America’s space race and exploration in helping to get astronauts into space, a man on the Moon, and to put the United States ahead in the era of spaceflight. I originally wrote on the West Computer Black women here.

Fences, starring Viola Davis and starring and directed by Oscar winner Denzel Washington, is based on the late and great American playwright August Wilson’s Tony-winning play. The film tells of the life of Troy Maxson and his family, and it took years to bring this play to the silver screen because Mr. Wilson stipulated that if his play Fences was ever given the Hollywood treatment, it must be directed by a Black director.

Then there is Moonlight, a story of two young Black men groping their way through youth, trials and tribulations, adulthood, and coming to terms with their homosexuality.

Unlike last year’s #Oscar So White, when there were no strong contenders nominated that involved Black actors, directors, and producers, 2017 has many great films that will surely test the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hand.

Will Fences take home a sweep of Oscars?

Will Hidden Figures upset all the other nominees?

Will Moonlight be the dark horse in what seems to be an #Oscar So Black year?

Will any of these films even get nominated for any Oscars?

It remains to be seen if this year of 2017 will be just another soooooooo very, very white Oscar night.

 

Oscar. Trademark of AMPAS.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST: JANUARY 27, 2017

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

On January 27 each year, the United Nations (UN) remembers the Holocaust that affected many people of Jewish origin during World War II. This day is called the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. It also commemorates when the Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945.

January 27 is a special day to remember World War II’s holocaust victims.
©iStockphoto.com/Dan Moore

What Do People Do?

Holocaust survivors and various leaders make their voices heard on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Many of them speak publicly about the Holocaust or their experiences around the event, its aftermath and why the world should never forget what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Many statements emphasize the need for future generations to learn about and remember the Holocaust and for everyone to work towards preventing genocide.

The UN organizes and supports events such as: concerts by musicians who survived the Holocaust or are survivors’ descendants; art exhibitions influenced by the Holocaust; presentations of special stamps; the introduction of special educational programs; and film screening and book signing focused on the Holocaust.

Israel and many countries in Europe and North America mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Many academics present discussion papers or hold seminars or round table discussions on the Holocaust and its legacy in the modern world. Schools or colleges may also have special lessons on the Holocaust. The Holocaust and how people commemorate it receive special attention on the Internet, television, radio, print media.

Public Life

The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The Holocaust, or Shoah (Sho’ah, Shoa), is the term used to describe the deliberate murder and desecration of millions of people prior to and during World War II in Germany and German occupied areas in Europe. Many of them were Jewish but the Roma people, Soviet civilians and prisoners of war, ethnic Poles, people with disabilities, homosexuals and political and religious opponents were also killed. Many people died in concentration and death camps spread across Nazi-occupied Europe. One of the most notorious camps was Auschwitz-Birkenau, near Oświęcim, Poland. More than one million people died in Auschwitz-Birkenau before Soviet troops liberated it on January 27, 1945.

On January 24, 2005, the UN General Assembly commemorated the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Following this session, a UN resolution was drafted to designate January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The resolution called for education programs on the Holocaust to help prevent genocide. It also rejected denials that the Holocaust occurred. On November 1, 2005, the assembly adopted this resolution so the day could be observed each year. It was first observed on January 27, 2006.

Many Jewish groups, particularly in Israel, also observe Yom HaShoah, which is a day of mourning for Holocaust victims on 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which falls in April or May of the Gregorian calendar.

Symbols

The symbol of the “Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme” consists of four elements on a solid black background. Two elements are the words “Remembrance and Beyond” and the UN symbol, both depicted in white. The UN symbol consists of a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole surrounded by two olive branches.

The other two elements are a piece of barbed wire and two white roses. The strands of the barbed wire merge into the stems of the roses. The barbed wire represents: the concentration camps; the loss of freedom of Jewish people and many other groups before and during World War II; and their pain and suffering.

The white roses represent peace, freedom and remembrance. These flowers also remind people of the White Rose, a non-violent resistance movement that was active in Germany from June 1942 until February 1943. In the United States and United Kingdom, white roses symbolize the investigation, remembrance and prevention of genocide.

2017 Theme: “Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future”

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Wed Jan 27 2010 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Thu Jan 27 2011 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Fri Jan 27 2012 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Sun Jan 27 2013 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Mon Jan 27 2014 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Tue Jan 27 2015 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Wed Jan 27 2016 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Fri Jan 27 2017 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Sat Jan 27 2018 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Sun Jan 27 2019 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance
Mon Jan 27 2020 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust United Nations observance

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 1-22-2017

LOIS DICKSON RICE, TRAILBLAZING EXECUTIVE BEHIND PELL GRANTS

Lois Dickson Rice with her daughter, Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, in 2015. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

Lois Dickson Rice, a janitor’s daughter who became a trailblazing corporate executive and helped persuade Congress to provide federal subsidies, known as Pell grants, to tens of millions of needy college students, died on Jan. 4 in Washington. She was 83.

The cause was pneumonia and cancer, her daughter, Susan E. Rice, the national security adviser to President Obama, said.

In the business world, Lois Rice was a director on several major company boards, including those of Firestone, McGraw-Hill and the Control Data Corporation, the supercomputer manufacturer. She was also a senior vice president of Control Data.

She joined the College Entrance Examination Board (now known as the College Board) in 1959. As an executive there, she promoted and helped shape the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program, whose chief sponsor was Senator Claiborne Pell, Democrat of Rhode Island.

The program, begun in 1972, awards grants rather than loans, mostly to undergraduates, on the basis of financial need. (A grant is designed to fill the gap between the cost of college and the family’s estimated contribution. This academic year, the maximum grant is $5,815.)

Mr. Pell died in 2009. His grandson Clay Pell IV, a former deputy assistant secretary of the Education Department, said in a statement after Ms. Rice’s death, “This program was not inevitable, and it would not have come into existence without her, nor survived in the decades since without her passionate advocacy.”

Lois Anne Dickson was born on Feb. 28, 1933, in Portland, Me., the daughter of David Augustus Dickson and the former Mary Daly. Her father was a janitor at a music store; her mother was a maid. Both were Jamaican immigrants who sent all five of their children to college.

She graduated in 1954 from Radcliffe College, where she majored in history and literature and was president of the student body.

Her marriage to Emmett J. Rice, an economist and a governor of the Federal Reserve, ended in divorce. In addition to her daughter, from that marriage, she is survived by a son, E. John Rice Jr., the chief executive of Management Leadership for Tomorrow; four stepchildren; and four grandchildren. Dr. Rice died in 2011.

Ms. Rice later married Alfred B. Fitt, general counsel of the Congressional Budget Office and of the Army. He died in 1992.

Since 1991, Ms. Rice had been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, researching higher-education policy and promoting racial diversity. Last June, she and Susan Rice, a former Brookings senior fellow, were honored as the only mother-daughter research duo in the think tank’s history.

“Lois was a giant in the field of education,” Arne Duncan, the former secretary of education, said in a statement. “For so many of us, she was a hero, a role model and an example of what true service is all about. She helped create a pathway to college for literally millions of low-income and first-generation college goers, changing the trajectories of their families forever.”

SOURCE

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EUGENE CERNAN, LAST HUMAN TO WALK ON MOON

Eugene A. Cernan on the last human mission on the moon’s surface, in December 1972. Credit Harrison H. Schmitt/NASA

Eugene A. Cernan, the commander of the Apollo 17 lunar-landing mission in 1972 and the last human to walk on the moon, died on Monday in Houston. He was 82.

His death was announced by NASA.

A ferocious competitor with a test pilot’s reckless streak, Mr. Cernan (pronounced SIR-nun) rocketed into space three times, was the second American to drift weightless around the world on a tether, went to the moon twice and shattered aerospace records on the Earth and the moon.

He also slid down a banister on a visit to the White House and once crashed a helicopter in the Atlantic while chasing a dolphin. Skimming the lunar surface in a rehearsal for the first manned landing, he erupted with salty language heard by millions when his craft briefly spun out of control.

But he made spacewalks and romps over the lunar surface look routine, and in a way they were.

Three and a half years after Neil A. Armstrong took mankind’s first step onto the lunar surface in 1969, Mr. Cernan, a Navy captain and one of the nation’s most experienced astronauts, landed with a geologist-astronaut near the Sea of Serenity in the final chapter of the Apollo program, America’s audacious venture to fulfill President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 pledge to put Americans on the moon.

Captain Cernan was the last of 12 Americans to set foot on the moon in six Apollo landings. Two other missions were lunar orbital test runs, and Apollo 13 was an aborted landing after a malfunction. While Apollo 17 conveyed the drama of televised moonwalks, the awesome historicity of the Armstrong flight had faded, along with public interest in lunar missions that by 1972 had begun to seem repetitive.

They Walked on the Moon

Eugene A. Cernan, who died on Monday at the age of 82, was the last of a dozen men to leave footprints on the moon. He did so almost 45 years ago. Here is a look at the 12 astronauts who walked on the lunar surface.

Still, his mission was a technological triumph. While Ronald E. Evans, a Navy commander, piloted a command ship in lunar orbit, Captain Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt, the first scientist to go to the moon, descended to the virtually airless, soundless surface in a four-legged lander that settled in a narrow valley of boulders and craters. After a 250,000-mile voyage from Earth, they put down 300 feet from their target.

“The Challenger has landed,” Captain Cernan announced in a broadcast to the world the Apollo crew saw hanging in the sky. “I’d like to dedicate the first step of Apollo 17 to all those who made it possible.”

As color video pictures streamed across the gulf of space, the astronauts collected bluish-gray and tan rocks four billion years old, drilled eight-foot heat-probe holes and journeyed to a 7,000-foot mountain called the South Massif and to the edge of a deep crater. There they found a fumarole, an ancient vent for volcanic gases, and collected strange orange and red soil samples.

On three rover excursions that took them 21 miles to craters, rock slides and mountain walls, and in 22 hours of moonwalks, they collected 250 pounds of rocks and soil to carry home and left experiments that delivered data for years. The captain also scratched his daughter’s initials — TDC, for Teresa Dawn Cernan — in the lunar dust, a talisman that might last eons on a lifeless world.

The mission completed, the captain took his last steps on the lunar surface and spoke for posterity.

“America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow,” he said in words slightly garbled on recordings. “And as we leave the moon and Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”

Eugene A. Cernan preparing for a simulation in 1970 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In 1972, he commanded the Apollo 17 lunar-landing mission. Credit NASA

Dr. Schmitt climbed into the lander, followed by Captain Cernan. With a graceless farewell from the captain — “Let’s get this mother out of here” — the two astronauts blasted off and rejoined the orbiting command module. The trip back to Earth and the splashdown in the South Pacific, on Dec. 19, 1972, went like clockwork.

In the decades since the Apollo program, the wonder of America’s early achievements in space has been overtaken by space shuttles, international space stations, unmanned explorations of the solar system’s outer worlds and the possibility of a landing by humans on Mars.

Captain Cernan’s name has sometimes been linked with Armstrong’s as the first and last humans to walk on the moon. But with budget constraints and other worlds beckoning, his lofty hopes for another generation to return have not been realized. No human has set foot on the moon in the 44 years since his mission, and there are no plans to return.

Eugene Andrew Cernan was born in Chicago on March 14, 1934, to Andrew Cernan, a supervisor at a naval installation, and the former Rose Cihlar.

He graduated from Proviso Township High School in Maywood, Ill., in 1952, and received an electrical engineering degree from Purdue in 1956 and a master’s in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in 1963. As a naval aviator, he logged 5,000 hours of flying time and 200 landings on aircraft carriers.

The first and last men to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, left, and Mr. Cernan, appeared on Capitol Hill in 2011 to testify on human spaceflight. Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Captain Cernan became a NASA astronaut in 1963. In his first spaceflight, Gemini 9 in 1966, he joined Col. Thomas Stafford of the Air Force on a three-day orbital mission testing rendezvous and docking procedures. He also circled the world twice as a tethered spacewalker. At 32, he was the youngest American to go into space.

His second spaceflight, with Colonel Stafford and Cmdr. John W. Young of the Navy in 1969, was Apollo 10, the final rehearsal for Apollo 11, which months later landed Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. The eight-day Apollo 10 trip included a Cernan-Stafford descent in a lunar module to within eight nautical miles of the surface. It did everything but land. It also photographed landing sites and sent back the first live color television pictures from the moon.

Captain Cernan’s final spaceflight, the capstone of the Apollo series, did not generate the worldwide excitement of the Armstrong-Aldrin adventure. But it did set records: the longest lunar landing flight (nearly 302 hours) and the longest lunar surface extravehicular activities (22 hours and 6 minutes). Captain Cernan also set a career record of 566 hours in space, 73 of them on the moon’s surface.

After Apollo 17, Captain Cernan helped develop the United States-Soviet project Apollo-Soyuz. In 1976, he retired from the Navy and NASA and became an executive of Coral Petroleum in Houston. He founded the Cernan Corporation, an energy and aerospace consultant, in 1981 and was chairman of the Johnson Engineering Corporation from 1994 to 2000.

Mr. Cernan, who lived in Piney Point, a suburb of Houston, contributed to ABC’s coverage of space-related news; narrated and was featured in documentaries; and wrote (with Don Davis) an autobiography, “The Last Man on the Moon,” published in 1999.

In 2010 congressional testimony, he and Armstrong, who died in 2012, criticized President Obama’s plan to cancel NASA’s program to send astronauts back to the moon and later to Mars and to invest in private companies for new space technologies. Mr. Cernan called the budgetary decision a “slide to mediocrity” and “a blueprint for a mission to nowhere.”

Correction: January 20, 2017
An obituary on Tuesday about Eugene A. Cernan, the last person to walk on the moon, erroneously attributed a distinction to him. When he first went into space, in 1966, he was the youngest American to do so, not the youngest man. (Mr. Cernan was 32 at the time. A number of Soviet cosmonauts had preceded him in space at earlier ages; Gherman Titov, who was 25 when he orbited the earth in 1961, was the youngest.) The obituary also referred incorrectly to the live television pictures sent by Apollo 10, Mr. Cernan’s second spaceflight, in 1969. They were the first color pictures from the moon — not the first pictures of any kind. (Those had been sent by Apollo 8 in December 1968.)

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SKYWATCH: SEE BRIGHT ASTEROID VESTA, LOOK FOR MERCURY AT DAWN, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Tracking Down the Milky Way’s Most Distant Stars

Sky & Telescope

The most distant stars discovered in the Milky Way might have been ripped away from a companion galaxy.

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Akatsuki Spies Massive Wave on Venus

Sky & Telescope

Japan’s Venus orbiter has witnessed a huge atmospheric wave that spans the globe.

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Proxima Centauri b Likely a Desert World

Sky & Telescope

Astronomers suspect the Sun’s closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, desiccated its potentially rocky exoplanet, destroying the planet’s chances for habitability.

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New Mass Estimate for the Milky Way

Sky & Telescope

Astronomers have observed the motion of distant star clusters (such as the one pictured here) to measure our galaxy’s mass. The new estimate places the Milky Way in the lightweight class of galaxies.

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Voyagers Flying Through Galactic Clouds

Sky & Telescope

Astronomers have combined data from the Voyager spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope to probe the stuff between the stars.

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1,000 Black Holes in Deepest-Ever X-ray Image

Sky & Telescope

The Chandra X-ray Observatory has gazed at a small patch of sky for almost 12 weeks, revealing 1,008 X-ray-emitting sources – most of them supermassive black holes.

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OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, January 20 – 28

Sky & Telescope

After dinnertime, the bright, equilateral Winter Triangle glitters in the southeast. Early in the dawn of Sunday the 22nd, spot the waning crescent Moon hanging in the southeastern sky.

Look up…

See Mercury First, Then Have Breakfast

Sky & Telescope

Late sunrises make it easy to follow the parade of planets at dawn, including a nice apparition of Mercury this week and three successive lunar conjunctions.

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Vesta, Brightest Asteroid, Now High Overhead

Sky & Telescope

Vesta is at opposition, shining at 6th magnitude in Gemini as it awaits your binoculars or small scope.

Look closer…

Tour January’s Sky: Spot Two Star Clusters

Sky & Telescope

Download our monthly astronomy podcast to spot Venus and Mars in the west — and two star clusters high up — after sunset.

Tune in…

COMMUNITY

Join Alan Stern in S&T‘s Next Live Webinar!

Sky & Telescope

You won’t want to miss S&T‘s live webinar on Saturday, January 28th. Hear Alan Stern’s personal take on how NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft got to Pluto and what we learned once it got there.

Sign up…

The Incredible Skies of Namibia

Sky & Telescope

S&T Contributing editor Govert Schilling explores two unique astronomical sites that lie under the dark skies of Namibia.

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HATEWATCH: HEADLINES FOR 1-19-2017

January 19, 2017

Trump praises bikers attending inauguration; More bomb threats hit Jewish centers; Whitefish is giving the green light to Nazi march; and more.

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Right Wing Watch: Donald Trump praises far-right biker group planning vigilante ‘wall of meat’ against inauguration protests.

Talking Points Memo: Another wave of bomb threats hits Jewish community centers in 17 states around the country.

Reuters: Head of Austrian far-right Freedom Party to visit Washington at time of inauguration.

ABC/Fox Montana (Missoula): City of Whitefish says it will approve future neo-Nazi march.

Media Matters: Meet the mysterious, Facebook-verified page pushing fake ‘Patriot’ news to nearly 5 million followers.

Slog (Seattle, WA): Are these stickers that promote white supremacy showing up in your neighborhood?

Think Progress: Oklahoma considers an extreme pro-discrimination anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ bill.

The Advocate: American anti-LGBT activists are trying to poison Romania with homophobia.

Raw Story: CNN commentator Michael Eric Dyson draws a direct line between anti-Obama racism and Trump’s election.

Press Connects (Binghamton, NY): White supremacist couple murdered black man over phony rape claim, police say.

Vox: White America is quietly self-segregating, demographic trends show.

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THE TRUMP TEAM: AN SPLC ANALYSIS

The Trump Team

The following are SPLC articles, statements and reports about several of President-elect Donald Trump’s choices for Cabinet posts and advisory positions.

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