Social Criticism – Horatians http://horatians.org/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 04:40:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://horatians.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-4-150x150.png Social Criticism – Horatians http://horatians.org/ 32 32 Don’t give social ills the color of a community: Pinarayi Vijayan | Kerala news http://horatians.org/dont-give-social-ills-the-color-of-a-community-pinarayi-vijayan-kerala-news/ http://horatians.org/dont-give-social-ills-the-color-of-a-community-pinarayi-vijayan-kerala-news/#respond Wed, 22 Sep 2021 04:18:45 +0000 http://horatians.org/dont-give-social-ills-the-color-of-a-community-pinarayi-vijayan-kerala-news/

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid the clamor of the opposition over the “love and drug jihad” refusing to settle down, Kerala’s Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan finally went on the offensive.

Without referring to Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, who sparked controversy earlier this month by claiming there was “numbing jihad” going on in Kerala, Vijayan attacked attempts to cast a bad light on a particular community.

“There is an increasing tendency to attribute social evils to a particular community. It needs to be nipped in the bud,” said Pinarayi Vijayan on the occasion of the centenary of the Travancore student protest.

“Those who promote social evils are those who indulge in anti-social and illegal activities. That should not be equated with a specific community,” said the Prime Minister.

“It widens the divide in society rather than strengthening unity in the face of such evils,” he said.

Vijayan also relied heavily on attempts to glorify extremist organizations, the conclusion drawn from recent pro-Taliban comments on social media.

“Giving terrorism a good face will also hinder our unity. Some have elevated such organizations to the level of the struggle for freedom. It must be clear that such primitive thoughts only endanger our freedom,” warned Pinarayi.

Quote Guru and King

Vijayan, who went to Facebook earlier in the day to pay tribute to social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, also quoted American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

“On this day we remember Guru who taught us to think beyond the limitations of caste and religion, and we must commit to opposing those who use caste and religion as a weapon.

“As Martin Luther King said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do it. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can,'” added Vijayan.

Vijayan had previously stated in a Facebook homage to Guru on the anniversary of the death of the social reformer that Kerala was far from a society without caste and religious discrimination, as the Guru imagined.

“Common thoughts and remnants of the caste system remain shamefully stronger before us. We cannot withdraw from the progress made so far on the humanitarian front, ”wrote Vijayan.

The Prime Minister added that it was high time society “loudly proclaimed” that “no caste or religion is greater than humanity”.

The governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan, also tweeted a message on the occasion. “My pranams to #SreeNarayanaGuru on his samadhi day. #Guru has put people at the center of all existence and advocated individual self-improvement as the only hope for society and the world, ”the governor tweeted.

CM finds an unlikely ally

In the meantime, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi supported the Pinarayi-led LDF government in the “jihad” series.

Gopi said the government is doing what needs to be done.

The actor-politician responded to media representatives who asked him whether the time for the state government to intervene in the ongoing controversy was up.

“The government goes what has to be done. He (the CM) has to maintain the dignity of his office. Why should he react? He just has to act (take steps),” said Gopi.

His statements are gaining in importance, as criticism of the silence and alleged inaction of the left-wing government and the CM regarding the statement of the bishop has been received from various quarters.

The BJP called on the government to enact a law to review religious conversions in the name of marriages “with the aim of recruiting them for terrorist activities.”

The party’s senior leader and general secretary of state, George Kurian, said the BJP is not against love marriages, but against love relationships for the sake of conversion.

Girls from the state were recruited for terrorism through conversion after feigning love for Afghanistan and Syria, he claimed.

“Love jihad can only be eradicated by strong legislation. Therefore, the state government should introduce a law to check religious conversions in the name of marriages after they have been specifically recruited for terrorist activities,” Kurian said here at a press conference.

Those who say that the term “love jihad” has not been defined should not forget that not even “religion” was declared in the constitution, the leader claimed.

In Kerala, laws similar to those introduced by states like Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh were to be passed to curb the alleged practice of love jihad, and only then would the distance between the religious communities be bridged.

Otherwise, all related discussions are superficial, added the BJP boss.

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Facebook reacts to criticism of user safety, misinformation, hate speech http://horatians.org/facebook-reacts-to-criticism-of-user-safety-misinformation-hate-speech/ http://horatians.org/facebook-reacts-to-criticism-of-user-safety-misinformation-hate-speech/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 19:41:30 +0000 http://horatians.org/facebook-reacts-to-criticism-of-user-safety-misinformation-hate-speech/

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook fired back after a series of damning reports in the Wall Street Journal reported that the company had failed to protect users.

The company is under relentless pressure to protect itself from being a platform for misinformation and hatred to spread while remaining a forum for people to speak freely. It has been difficult to respond to.

A number of recent Wall Street Journal reports said the company knew its Instagram photo-sharing tool was affecting the mental health of teenage girls and that its moderation system was double-yarded to allow VIPs to bypass rules.

One of the articles cited Facebook’s own research, saying that changing its software in 2018 ultimately fueled political outrage and division.

But Facebook announced Tuesday that it has spent more than $ 13 billion in the past five years on teams and technology dedicated to combating abuse.

Around 40,000 people now work for the Californian technology giant on security and protection; according to Facebook, the number quadrupled in 2016.

“How technology companies deal with complex topics is questioned intensively and often without important context,” claimed Facebook in a blog post.

The social network launched a website about.facebook.com/progress to showcase its anti-abuse work.

Facebook’s Nick Clegg also attacked the coverage in a blog post on Saturday, saying the articles were unfair.

“At the heart of this series is a downright false claim: Facebook researches and then systematically and deliberately ignores it when the results are inconvenient for the company,” he wrote.

The Journal stories, in part, cited studies commissioned by the company that had troubling revelations such as, “We make body image problems worse in one in three teenage girls.”

Clegg said the stories selectively used quotations in a way that provided a deliberately one-sided view of the company’s work.

“We will continue to ask ourselves the tough questions. And we will continue to improve our products and services as a result, ”he said at the end of his contribution.

Facebook recently launched an initiative aimed at users working together on the platform to promote real-world violence or conspiracy theories, starting with the dismantling of a German network that is spreading Covid misinformation.

The new tool is designed to detect organized, malicious attempts that pose a threat but do not comply with the social media giant’s existing rules against hate groups, said Facebook security chief Nathaniel Gleicher.

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Military historians are fighting to boycott the Texas meeting http://horatians.org/military-historians-are-fighting-to-boycott-the-texas-meeting/ http://horatians.org/military-historians-are-fighting-to-boycott-the-texas-meeting/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 07:07:21 +0000 http://horatians.org/military-historians-are-fighting-to-boycott-the-texas-meeting/

The Society for Military History is divided over how long it plans to hold its annual conference in Texas next spring, amid the state’s new six-week abortion ban and other controversial laws affecting suffrage and transgender youth.

The debate over the location of the conference escalated in the last few days after Peter Mansoor, President of the Society and General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at Ohio State University wrote to members. Mansoor argued against rescheduling the conference and wrote to his fellow military historians: “There are good reasons to continue on our current course. Postponing the conference at this late date would cause serious financial damage to the company, “up to $ 90,000 in cancellation penalties. Hotel workers and local businesses are also affected, he said.

On top of the cost, Mansoor wrote, “We are an inclusive organization that includes members of diverse political views, races, genders, occupations, religious beliefs, and other characteristics. To be truly inclusive, society must be impartial, apolitical and make decisions based on society’s mission. “

“Going against Texas law,” he argued, would “take us beyond the mission of society” to advance military history, “into politics.”

Mansoor based his opinion in part on public statements policies adopted by the Society’s Governing Council during the Trump administration. Prior to adopting this policy, the Society’s Council signed a statement from the American Historical Association condemning Trump’s 2017 White House travel ban from a number of Muslim-majority countries. Dozens of other historical organizations have also joined the AHA declaration. However, in the face of criticism from a vocal minority of its members that the Society had acted politically inappropriately, the Council voted to limit further public statements to those relating to exceptional circumstances determined by the Society’s Board of Trustees and only if they did Circumstances have an impact on the company’s mission.

Mansoor, who declined an interview request, said no decision has been taken on the conference and that the council will meet on October 11 to discuss the matter. However, some members have argued that the publication of a letter was over Company letterhead expressing a strong opinion against rescheduling the conference suggests that a decision has already been made. Additionally, in discussions that are now spilling over to social media, members have argued, isn’t Mansoor’s letter in itself a political statement – the kind of statement he thinks society shouldn’t make? And isn’t it a political choice not to do anything to move the conference?

“When you make a statement that you will not make a statement on political struggles, you are making a political statement that you find certain positions acceptable and welcome,” tweeted Adam H. Domby, associate professor of history at the Auburn University Organization. “It would have been better not to say anything.”

“Military history is women’s history is political,” tweeted another military historian. Another said, “This letter is how @SMH_Historians will lose a generation of young historians.”

Barbara Keys, history professor at Durham University in the UK and former president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, a sister organization that shares some members with the Society for Military History, said Inside Higher Ed On Monday she was “shocked to see that the President had posted a letter on the company’s letterhead expressing his personal opinion on a matter that the Governing Council had not discussed”.

Should something similar happen elsewhere, Keys argued, “the council would likely apologize and withdraw from the president and convene a council meeting to make the political decision.”

She added: “It also strikes me as problematic that the president is leading a ban on political statements while essentially making a political statement.”

Primarily questioning the legitimacy of the politics of political utterance, military historian Chris Levesque, a librarian at the University of West Florida, said in a series of tweets that the society had admitted part of its membership – those who came across 2017 upset incident – to “force a change in their policy to take even narrow political positions”. This recent “debacle,” he said of the Texas debate and letter, “is a legacy of that decision.”

In his letter, Mansoor, a retired U.S. Army colonel, didn’t rule out weighing the laws in question. “The Council recognizes that there may be opportunities to examine legislation through the lens of military history, and I encourage panel or round-table submissions on these issues,” he wrote, noting that the Society is extending the deadline for proposals got to pick up additional ideas. But if Mansoor’s opinion prevails, these discussions will take place in Texas.

According to Mansoor’s testimony about the cost of rescheduling the conference, professional organizations tend to sign function rooms and hotel contracts years in advance and risk heavy financial losses if they cancel. At the same time, professional associations in the humanities and social sciences are generally not so reluctant to address political issues that focus on their members. Society’s reluctance could be influenced by the US military tradition of being apolitical. Many members have had military careers or have worked in military institutions, or both.

At the same time, this type of apolitics can conflict with the inclusion goals of society, both in terms of what is considered and valued as military history and in terms of the members of the group.

Some members have raised concerns that pregnant women traveling to Texas for the conference could put their health at risk in the event of a medical emergency requiring all reproductive health options. Others refuse to spend time or money in a state where such laws apply or are on the table. Others still see the potential to influence politics. A military history conference that typically attracts 600 to 700 scientists is most likely not going to move the needle. But one major conference boycott movement that society might participate in is a different story. For example, the boycott of North Carolina by the National Collegiate Athletic Association helped that state repeal a divisive “bathroom law” regarding transgender people in 2017.

Kara Dixon Vuic, LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt, professor of War, Conflict and Society in 20th Century America at Texas Christian University and a trustee and therefore a councilor of the society, said Monday the council wished it could meet earlier than October 11 meet to discuss both conference location issue and declaration policy, but that prior to this point it was unable to accommodate members’ busy international schedule.

In the meantime, she said, “We take very seriously the concerns of members about these two issues, as well as the larger issues they raised about organizational governance, communication, transparency and inclusivity. We welcome feedback and concerns from our members and look forward to important discussions. “

Gregory Daddis, USS Midway Chair in Modern US Military History at San Diego State University and another board member and councilor, said the ongoing debate “shows how academic societies must absolutely be committed to diversity and inclusion while striving to be in to be impartial to our present ”. hyper-politicized moment. ”He also said it was“ incredibly important ”to point out that the concerns of many members were not simply“ political ”but“ moral and ethical, very personal and absolutely legitimate ”.

Daddis, who is relatively new to the board of directors, said he was “encouraged by how many of our trustees are earnestly looking to address the real and legitimate concerns of our members. These behind-the-scenes efforts are often lost in the heated exaggeration of social media. “

Currently, Daddis plans to attend the Spring Conference, but “in a way that underscores the legitimate concerns of our members who believe that the current flurry of Texan laws violates basic human and civil rights.”


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For Florida school authorities, criticism becomes personal as problems worsen http://horatians.org/for-florida-school-authorities-criticism-becomes-personal-as-problems-worsen/ http://horatians.org/for-florida-school-authorities-criticism-becomes-personal-as-problems-worsen/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 20:00:24 +0000 http://horatians.org/for-florida-school-authorities-criticism-becomes-personal-as-problems-worsen/

Caprice Edmond knew what was coming before the speaker opened his mouth.

Since advocating a strict mask mandate in Pinellas County’s schools, the first-semester school board member has received criticism – not just of her position, but of her home and family. It happens in the boardroom, in the community, and also on social media.

And this time it shouldn’t be any different.

Pinellas School Board member Caprice Edmond. [ Courtesy of Caprice Edmond ]

The speaker began by saying that trying to impose mask requirements without giving parents the option to opt out was “criminal and unlawful” and then quickly turned to the question of how the maker of the motion was “criminal” in the Has family and this “must”. Edmond’s husband, a civil rights activist, has been charged with a crime in the past and some of her opponents have posted information about it on Twitter and other channels.

She said she wished CEO Carol Cook had cut off the comment earlier.

“It’s horrible,” Edmond said of the repeated attempts to pull her family into their political position. But she insisted it didn’t intimidate her.

“I think people voted for me for a reason,” said Edmond, who launched her re-election bid for 2022 on Friday. “I will continue my job.”

The school board member’s job has been scrutinized over the past few months as boards have confronted some of the hottest problems in the country in a way that directly and directly affects children and families. Topics included masks, racial relations, and transgender student rights, and people got angry.

The resulting struggles, which at times became physical, have resulted in high-ranking politicians like Governor Ron DeSantis being urged to focus on overseeing local bodies to implement preferred policies. Republicans in the House and Senate have passed legislation to convert bipartisan board seats into partisan positions.

Political action committees have started to support the candidates. And efforts have not always remained focused on the issues.

Florida School Boards Association executive director Andrea Messina fears that when board members see their families drawn into the picture, some people who would otherwise be drawn to the civil service might turn away.

“The real problem is that in this country we have always valued the civil society discourse,” said Messina. “It’s gotten vicious. It has become unnecessarily partisan. And it has become threatening to many members of the community, as well as to the district staff and officials. And it’s not okay. “

When people run for public office, they understand that they are opening up to the public and accepting that criticism can follow. But they don’t necessarily expect their family members to be attacked.

“It has become a challenge,” said Messina.

And it happens to board members from across the political spectrum.

Member of the Pasco County School Board, Megan Harding.
Member of the Pasco County School Board, Megan Harding. [ Courtesy of Megan Harding campaign ]

Megan Harding, a member of the Pasco County’s school committee who supported parents’ choice of masks, came to a recent board meeting angry that some residents who were pushing for a mandate had them on social media through her husband’s Facebook posts had attacked.

They peeled off some of his gun and government comments, calling Harding and her husband “Q Followers” to convey a “twisted agenda” to the district.

“It has nothing to do with my job,” said Harding, who is aiming for a second term in 2022, later. “He’s my favorite person in the whole world. But that doesn’t mean that we always agree. “

She added that she had asked her husband to stop posting incendiary material, and he agreed. Still, she argued, his comments shouldn’t reflect her.

Wendy Jaeger, a parent of Zephyrhills who shared some of the posts, couldn’t have objected anymore.

“My mindset about each of these board members is seeing what they post online and what their spouses post, it tells you a lot about who they really are,” she said.

Jaeger called the idea of ​​Harding distancing himself from her husband’s views “crap” and said she expected Harding “to try to portray herself as something she is not”.

Like some of the Pinellas residents who attacked Edmond, Jaeger said she would do “everything in my power” to oust board members she disagrees with. With some residents showing up outside board members’ homes to protest, some wonder how far that could go.

“I have 2 million followers on Facebook,” said Pinellas County’s anti-mask activist Jonathan Riches, the local board during a meeting. “We share these videos. We talk about you. … we have pictures of you without masks. We know who you are. “

Riches declined to be interviewed for this story.

Bridget Ziegler, member of the Sarasota County School Board.
Bridget Ziegler, member of the Sarasota County School Board. [ Facebook ]

Bridget Ziegler, a member of the Sarasota County School Board, whose downright conservative views have made her a target in her community, said she had also become familiar with personal and family attacks. They’ve gotten worse since their first election in 2014, she added.

Over the years, she has been accused of dressing her then 10-month-old daughter as a “little whore”. She tried to undermine her regular employment. She recently received a message on social media saying, “Your mother should have planned parenting.”

“The personal attacks are disgusting,” said Ziegler, who described it as “tragic” that the bourgeois debate about politics seems to have fallen by the wayside. “There are definitely moments when I pause and think, ‘Is it worth it?'”

Like Harding and Edmond, she plans to be re-elected next year. For Ziegler, it’s about influencing the school environment for one’s own children and their peers.

“I understand the impact these choices have on real life,” she said.

Harding said that when she is discouraged, she remembers her “why”.

“I want the students and teachers to make sure they get the top-notch education they deserve,” she said. “I wake up every day and I still love what I do and I’m still impressed that the community chose me for it.”

Edmond also looked past her critics who accused her husband of illegal activities and protested outside her home. Paying attention to them distracts from the important issues, she said, despite admitting steps to protect her family.

“I’m not going to be intimidated,” said Edmond, drawing courage from her “extremely supportive” base in southern Pinellas County. “If problems arise, I can stand up for them. Love is real. “

• • •

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Criticism of the protest in front of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s house http://horatians.org/criticism-of-the-protest-in-front-of-tanaiste-leo-varadkars-house/ http://horatians.org/criticism-of-the-protest-in-front-of-tanaiste-leo-varadkars-house/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 07:52:00 +0000 http://horatians.org/criticism-of-the-protest-in-front-of-tanaiste-leo-varadkars-house/

There was criticism from politicians from various parties to an anti-vaccine protest that took place yesterday afternoon in the house of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

A video of the incident shows around 25 people present at the demonstration holding several posters with false anti-vaccine messages in their hands.

Another video showed homophobic slurs against Varadkar by a person who recorded the scene.

Both clips show that a poster was placed on the door of a residential building at the location of the protest.

Several gardaí were present at the scene.

An Gardaí Síochána said in a statement:

“Gardaí was alerted on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at around 1 p.m. in front of a number of demonstrators in front of a residence in Dublin 8. Gardaí took part and the protest ended without incident. “

A similar anti-vaccine protest took place outside Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly’s house last week, and one of those involved said on a video that “we visit every politician”.

Politicians from government and opposition parties criticized yesterday’s protest in front of Varadkar’s house.

Fine Gael Minister Simon Harris, whose own house was staked by another group of protesters a few years ago, said yesterday’s demonstration was “gross, disgusting and disgusting.”

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald TD said: “The homophobic, bigoted intimidation witnessed at Leo Varadkar’s home today is outrageous and shameful. The perpetrators must be held accountable. “

Social Democrat TD Gary Gannon said: “What happened outside Leo Varadkar’s house today was nothing short of hideous. Obvious homophobia has no place in our republic and should be confronted wherever it occurs. “

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Instagram boss faces criticism after comparing social media to cars http://horatians.org/instagram-boss-faces-criticism-after-comparing-social-media-to-cars/ http://horatians.org/instagram-boss-faces-criticism-after-comparing-social-media-to-cars/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 19:38:28 +0000 http://horatians.org/instagram-boss-faces-criticism-after-comparing-social-media-to-cars/

(NewsNation Now) – Facebook’s Instagram boss comes under fire after comparing the negative effects of social media to cars.

“Cars have positive and negative consequences,” said Adam Mosseri on the Recode Media podcast. “We know we know that more people die in car accidents than usual. But by and large, cars create a lot more value in the world than they destroy. And I think social media is similar. “

It comes days after Facebook confirmed that it has data showing that at least a quarter of its youngest Instagram users make feelings of low self-esteem and poor body image worse. Critics say the company should have used this data to make positive change.

At least three senators have written a letter to the company asking it to rethink its upcoming Instagram platform for kids.

There are some, including Heather Gardner, hostess of Divided State of America, who believe the Senators should do more.

“It lacks at [social media] Federal and state regulation, ”Gardner said Thursday in NewsNation’s The Donlon Report. “So compare [social media to cars] is definitely not apples for apples. “

The effects on children can be long-lasting. Dr. Katherine Kuhlman, an Arizona psychologist, said one of the things about children that is meant to help them grow could be negatively affected by social media.

“The brain of adolescents and children is very elastic, which is ideal for learning. It means they are like a sponge and can soak things up, ”Kuhlman said on NewsNations On Balance with Leland Vittert. “But that also means that they are much more vulnerable and susceptible to this type of manipulation.”

It’s about dopamine, which the brain releases as a kind of pleasure substance.

“Above all, we need to help our teenagers educate them about the way these platforms are designed,” said Dr. Wendy Dickinson on On Balance. “They are supposed to be addicting. Every time something refreshes or you get a different like, you get a shot of dopamine, which makes you come back. “

When Facebook was asked to comment on the data it collected earlier this week, Facebook pointed us to a blog post saying that even trying to understand the numbers was evidence that the company cares about its users takes care.

Although it uses a different wording from Mosseri, the company’s underlying message is similar.

“A lot of people question is whether social media is good or bad for people. The research on this is mixed; it can be both, ”they say.


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Biden government plans to deport Haitians in Del Rio, Texas http://horatians.org/biden-government-plans-to-deport-haitians-in-del-rio-texas/ http://horatians.org/biden-government-plans-to-deport-haitians-in-del-rio-texas/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 04:03:00 +0000 http://horatians.org/biden-government-plans-to-deport-haitians-in-del-rio-texas/

This week the United States resumed deportation flights to Haiti under public health ordinance. Immigration and Customs Services repatriated around 90 Haitians on Wednesday.

Among those deported were families with young children, according to the Haitian Bridge Alliance, an advocacy group that also said they had been expelled under Title 42. Many Haitian families have claimed fear and will not be deported, the official said.

ICE Air uses chartered aircraft that have a capacity of approximately 135 people. The Department of Defense is also expected to provide some aircraft to take migrants to other border stations to help reduce overcrowding in Del Rio. ICE has flown migrants from Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio to El Paso, Tucson and San Diego for handling.

In recent months, the administration has increased the number of deportation flights to Mexico, Central America and South America. According to Tom Cartwright, who tracks ICE Air flights for Witness at the Border, an advocacy group, there were 99 likely deportation flights in August, compared with 46 in July and 35 in June.

Haitians make up a small percentage of cross-border commuters, or about 4 percent of migrants, who were hit by border officials in August, dwarfed by Central Americans and Mexicans.

But their number has increased in recent months. Nearly 28,000 Haitians were intercepted by border patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border in the current fiscal year ending September 30, compared to 4,395 in 2020 and 2,046 in 2019. Of the nearly 28,000, fewer than 4,000 were turned over to the latest border dates, covering arrests through late August, under the public health rule.

Despite public health measures, the United States has not expelled migrant families with young children along some stretches of the border because Mexico refused to accept them. And on some days, Mexicans tell border officials that their accommodations are full and that they can only accommodate a certain number of migrants.

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Does the BJP have an advantage in Uttar Pradesh? http://horatians.org/does-the-bjp-have-an-advantage-in-uttar-pradesh/ http://horatians.org/does-the-bjp-have-an-advantage-in-uttar-pradesh/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 14:43:38 +0000 http://horatians.org/does-the-bjp-have-an-advantage-in-uttar-pradesh/

For the next six months, politics in India will revolve around politics in Uttar Pradesh (UP).

This is not only due to UP’s demographics; its geographic extent and social diversity; his presence in parliament; and its central role in India’s history of development.

This is also due to the fact that the UP policy is seen as a model for the national mood. This is not always the case – there have been several cases of parties who were able to form the government in Delhi without performing well in UP, or parties who performed well in UP but unable were to make this a success in the struggle for Delhi. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 29 of the state’s 85 seats in 1999 (up from 58 seats in 1998), but managed to run a five-year coalition government without any problems. The Congress won only nine seats in the state in 2004, but later led the Union government. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won the 2007 parliamentary elections but failed to repeat its performance in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections; the Samajwadi Party (SP) won the state polls in 2012 but was reduced to five seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. It is true, however, that dominance in state politics at the national level can lead to election dividends – as the BJP demonstrated in the 2017 general election and in 2019 in the Lok Sabha elections.

But beyond the election matrix, UP plays a key role in setting the national sentiment – take the main ideological debates, from Ayodhya to farm protests, from so-called “love” Jihad“Narrative about the representation of Muslims in a democratic community, and they all played out in UP. It affects the morale of other parties – remember, Nitish Kumar moved from the anti-BJP camp to the BJP umbrella shortly after the 2017 UP polls. It affects the ability of the central government to push through its plans and agenda. And it steers leaders for a national role – Amit Shah’s work at UP in 2014 made him a natural choice for the BJP President, JP Nadda’s work in the state in 2019 increased his credibility, Mayawati was unsuccessful but developed in third place national ambitions front leader in 2009, Mulayam Singh’s only deployment in the center as defense minister in the mid-1990s was due to the influence of the SP in UP politics, VP Singh’s by-election victory in Allahabad in 1988 made him a serious alternative in the eyes of the people Rajiv Gandhi of the opposition.

All of this makes UP crucial. But this time it’s even more important. For the BJP, a comfortable victory will restore its presence as a national hegemon after a series of setbacks at the state level (after failing to win Bengal and Delhi in 2019, losing power in Maharashtra and Jharkhand, and having to reform a coalition government in Haryana-Assam was the only real success). It will be a test of how citizens see the center and the state’s Covid-19 management. It will critically establish Yogi Adityanath as the party’s strong leader at the national level (he will be the first post-independence leader to first serve a five-year term and then be re-elected for another five years in the state), the political significance of the new for strengthen the state responsible BJP, Dharmendra Pradhan, and possibly give him a larger organizational role in the future; and cement the reputation of the state organization’s secretary general, Sunil Bansal, as the party’s most formidable second-generation strategist (he helped Shah in 2014 and led the 2017 and 2019 election campaigns). It will also dampen criticism of business management and the democratic record, making the BJP the clear front runner for a third term in 2024.

For the opposition, particularly the SP, which is the BJP’s main rival in the state, a victory will mark Akhilesh Yadav’s arrival as his own leader (he still had his father’s helping hand in the 2012 general election and has lost three elections in the country since then ). It will undermine the political strength of the BJP in northern India. (It is in coalitions in Haryana and Bihar; Uttarakhand is also voting at the same time and the BJP starts at a disadvantage after shuffling three Chief Ministers (CMs) within six months; Rajasthan and Delhi in the north, Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha in the east all belong to non-BJP parties). And it will intensify attempts at an opposition alliance and build confidence that the BJP can actually be defeated.

And so there is a lot at stake for everyone involved. But at the moment – with the proviso that six months in politics is an eternity, alliances are unclear, the ticket distribution has not yet taken place, the election campaign is not yet in full swing and the situation may well change – the BJP has one step ahead. Here’s why.

The BJP’s cross-caste and cross-class social alliance in the state is their greatest strength. Despite differing opinions from Brahmin leaders, there is still little evidence that the core of the party’s upper caste (20%) has left. Despite calls for a caste count and the lack of a final result to subcategorize the other backward classes (OBCs), it also appears that backward communities outside of Yadav (close to 30%) remain largely with the BJP. The only major exception to this is the Jat community in West UP – peasant protests will hurt the BJP’s rate of success, but the losses could be less than anticipated. And despite efforts to portray the BJP as an anti-Dalit, a significant portion of the Dalit votes (especially from non-Jatav communities) remain with the party. If over 60% of the members of these communities vote for the BJP, even if over 75% of the Yadavs and Muslims (who together make up just over 30% of the electorate) join forces behind the SP, the incumbent will be back.

Complement this social calculation with religious polarization. If anything, the Hindu-Muslim divide in the state has only widened in the last five years, and the BJP’s explicit attempts at Hindu consolidation continue, as does its efforts to portray the rest of the opposition as pro-Muslim. Add to this the question of the leadership in which the Narendra Modi-Yogi unite, and their inevitable campaign flash, backed by substantial resources and a public relations offensive, will bring the BJP’s message to every budget in the state. Mix it now with the narrative about governance and welfare – and a combination of calls for improved law and order, electricity and water supplies, income support for farmers and rhetoric about industrialization will be pushed forward and reinforced. Also take into account the fact that the BJP has a comfortable margin (it won 312 seats out of 403 in 2017), which means that even if the party loses 100 seats, it will still return to power, despite the question will raise leadership and lead to a push for a new CM.

But a party doesn’t win an election. The others have to lose it too. Congress is a marginal force. The GNP may be staring at its worst performance ever. And while Akhilesh Yadav conjures up nostalgia as someone with good intentions who did a good job on infrastructure, the popular belief is that he lacks the energy and drive to take on the BJP machinery and didn’t make it has to expand the social base of the party.

Predicting elections is a risky endeavor, especially in a volatile, fragmented landscape. It is also unwise, because elections should be used as an opportunity to understand societal changes. But it is worth assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the parties at the beginning of the campaigns. And in this context, the BJP has the edge in the state that may be most important to India’s future.

letter@hindustantimes.com

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San Francisco mayor defends criticism after video caught her dancing in a nightclub without a mask – CBS San Francisco http://horatians.org/san-francisco-mayor-defends-criticism-after-video-caught-her-dancing-in-a-nightclub-without-a-mask-cbs-san-francisco/ http://horatians.org/san-francisco-mayor-defends-criticism-after-video-caught-her-dancing-in-a-nightclub-without-a-mask-cbs-san-francisco/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 02:06:00 +0000 http://horatians.org/san-francisco-mayor-defends-criticism-after-video-caught-her-dancing-in-a-nightclub-without-a-mask-cbs-san-francisco/

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Mayor London Breed conducted damage control Friday after he was caught on video dancing without a mask during a night at a San Francisco club.

Some accuse the mayor of breaking her own strict masking rules.

CONTINUE READING: 2 children from Gov. Newsom test positive for COVID-19

The video showed Mayor Breed dancing without a mask in a rare live performance by the Oakland R&B group Tony! Toni! Volume! Thursday night at the Black Cat Club in San Francisco.

“We don’t need the funny police that come in and micromanage us and tell us what to do or not to do,” Breed said in an interview to address the controversy.

The city’s health ordinance states that participants of live indoor performances must remain masked unless they are actively eating or drinking. Breed claimed that she was drinking at the time.

“My drink was at the table,” said Breed. I got up and started dancing because I felt the ghost and wasn’t thinking of a mask.
Some say the mayor disobeyed the same strict rules that some SF business owners have complained about.

CONTINUE READING: Rising crime near the Oakland homeless RV camp has worried local business owners

The mayor has fueled a lot on social media.

One person posted on Twitter: “You are the mayor and should lead by example.”

Another person who said they followed the masking rules expressed disappointment.

“I am a registered Democrat and I voted for her,” it says in this post. “I love you, Madame Mayor, but it’s all over the news … you need to go public.”

The mayor called the whole controversy exaggerated.

“No. I’m not going to slurp and put my mask on, slurp and put my mask on, eat and put my mask on,” said Breed. “While I eat and drink, I keep my mask off:

This isn’t the first time Mayor Breed has been slammed for her actions during the pandemic.

Last November, she was criticized for gathering with people outside her household for dinner in the French Laundry during a fall COVID spike.

MORE NEWS: VIDEO: Smash-and-grave thieves steal jewelry at the Serramonte Center in Daly City

While not breaking health protocols, she appeared to defy warnings she had issued the week before about gatherings with large groups.


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After a summer of criticism, the political pressure on Kamala Harris is easing – for now http://horatians.org/after-a-summer-of-criticism-the-political-pressure-on-kamala-harris-is-easing-for-now/ http://horatians.org/after-a-summer-of-criticism-the-political-pressure-on-kamala-harris-is-easing-for-now/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 16:14:49 +0000 http://horatians.org/after-a-summer-of-criticism-the-political-pressure-on-kamala-harris-is-easing-for-now/

The past few weeks have been some of the toughest for me President Biden, who has received bipartisan criticism for the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and national frustration over the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But politics is a strange business. And, paradoxically, the negative attention Biden received has taken some of the pressure off the vice president Kamala Harriswho spent the early part of summer angry about the huge surge in migrants en route to the US-Mexico border.

The number of Central Americans eager to cross the border remains high, but you haven’t seen quite as much of Harris – who was tapped by Biden in March to lead diplomatic efforts in the area – on your television screens in recent weeks.

Good morning, and welcome to Essential Politics, Kamala Harris edition. This week I’m going to discuss why a little rest can, for now at least, help a Vice President struggling with opinion polls.

Flashing will be a new punching bag

Harris said little about Afghanistan and, in general, did not give many interviews; instead, it has stuck to largely scripted events for the past few weeks.

First of all, let’s be clear: The problems that the Biden government is facing are incredibly important. The conditions at the border, the suffering in Afghanistan and the deadly pandemic are humanitarian crises that The Times has extensively documented.

But these issues also have political ramifications, including for the Vice-President, and that is what I will look into here.

For much of the spring and early summer, Harris served as a shock absorber for Biden. Republicans struggled to attack the president. It felt like none of their mortars were going to dent his political armor. Conservative politicians and Fox News made some headway when they blew Harris up, however. They called her the “border tsarina” even though Biden hired her to work on the “root causes” of the migration, not the problems associated with processing people at the actual border.

The problems are related, but the nuances have been put aside.

Over the past few weeks, Biden has shown himself to be more vulnerable to Republican attack as his approval numbers drop in polls as the pandemic flared up and the Afghanistan exit appeared chaotic and poorly planned.

While Harris bragged about being the last in the room when Biden made his decision to leave Afghanistan in April, she wasn’t the face of withdrawal.

Instead, we saw Secretary of State for two days Antony J. Blinken They fought their way through the House and Senate hearings this week when Republicans and some Democrats described the withdrawal from Afghanistan as a disaster and surrendered to the Taliban.

Defense Minister Lloyd J. Austin III refused to testify, leading to a subpoena threat from Sen. Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee.

My colleague Tracy Wilkinson, who covered the hearings, wrote that Blinken defended himself by pointing out the role of the Trump administration in reaching an agreement with the Taliban that paved the way for the pariah to regain power.

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Ride the Newsom train

After Blinken completed his testimony on Tuesday, Harris spoke briefly on behalf of the gubernatorial candidate at a private fundraiser in Virginia Terry McAuliffewhich, according to the organizers, raised more than $ 500,000. That followed her gig last week in the Bay Area, which for Gavin Newsom to fend off a callback.

When Harris arrived for Newsom, he had a comfortable lead on the polls, which allowed Harris to claim a profit without the potential embarrassment of losing. Biden himself showed up on Monday, shortly before Newsom’s major victory.

“If you’ve stalled a little, hopping on a fast-moving train is a good strategy.” David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Obama, tweeted about Biden’s visit.

The same goes for Harris, who also has to take care of her political base in California if she wants to run for president again.

Last week Harris and I traveled to Hampton University, where she promoted STEM education and the importance of historically black colleges and universities. Politicians love STEM education, even if the rest of us struggle to remember the quirky acronym that stands for “science, technology, engineering, and math”.

It was one of the most enthusiastic receptions I’ve seen for Harris. The students oh and ah when she made an unscheduled visit to a business school classroom. An even larger group cheered loudly as they walked to an outside rope line before entering the Vice President’s motorcade.

Events like this are unlikely to add to Harris’ falling approval numbers; Controlled round table discussions and staged tours through scientific laboratories do not make it into the cable news. Harris also didn’t answer questions from traveling reporters about the day’s news, which may have caught their attention on the cable news.

The consolation she displayed as Biden’s runner-up has apparently evaporated, and these quiet events could help her regain political footing. She needs to find it urgently – holding back is not a successful long-term strategy for a politician with presidential ambitions.

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The view from Washington

– Harris urged lawmakers on Wednesday to support laws that she said would expand access to childcare and raise daycare wages, reports Erin B. Logan. The push came on the same day that Biden is reported to have met with a pair of centrist Democrats who have indicated that they do not support the total cost of the party’s $ 3.5 trillion spending plan.

– Meanwhile, Jennifer Haberkorn reports that the Democrats are sharply divided as to whether they should demand price negotiations from drug manufacturers with the federal government, which puts the entire effort at risk.

– Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda is set to be the federal government’s largest investment in decades, and on Thursday Biden designed the package as a long overdue opportunity to reshape the modern economy. It is also a test of what government voters want.

– The United States will equip Australia with nuclear submarine technology as part of a new defense partnership, one of many steps Biden is taking to strengthen alliances as a bulwark against China, writes Chris Megerian. Tracy Wilkinson reports that the move angered not only Beijing but America’s oldest ally – France.

The so-called China Initiative, a comprehensive program launched under the Trump administration in November 2018 to combat trade secret theft, hacking and industrial espionage, has resulted in several failed law enforcements. Don Lee has the story of how the initiative came off.

– One of 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment former President Trump for his role in instigating the January 6th Uprising in the US Capitol announced Thursday that he will not run for re-election in Ohio next year.

– Despite a U.S. district judge’s decision that the State Department must expedite processing of visa lottery winners in Afghanistan by September 30, Afghans and their supporters consider it unlikely that the U.S. government will meet that deadline, writes Meena Venkataramanan .

The view from California

– After California voters overwhelmingly opposed an attempt to oust Newsom in Tuesday’s recall election, they appear poised to sign him for a second term in 2022. Phil Willon reports on a new survey by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, co-funded by the Los Angeles Times.

– From Melanie Mason and Seema Mehta: The California Republicans thought they had found a unifying reputation in trying to recall. Instead, the campaign revealed – and actually got worse – some longstanding arguments, while the question of how the party can end its losing streak in the state remained open.

– Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became governor of California after being recalled in 2003, said he was relieved that Newsom had kept his job, reports Mehta: in crazy and changing everything around. “

– President of the Los Angeles City Council Nury Martinez announced Thursday that it had ruled out running for mayor and said the city needs stable political leadership as it emerges from the pandemic and the accompanying economic downturn, David Zahniser reports.

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