Friends, as we all know we have a lot of problems that we the people must address here in our country, that is if we wish to continue to have a country. Most of the problems we are not addressing at all, this tends to make these problems worse not better. I am going to try to address some of these problems here tonight and I would like your feedback on these issues if you have the time to do so. Poverty is the first thing on my agenda tonight. I know that almost no issue has only one side to it or one cause of it and certainly poverty is a worldwide curse which afflicts at least a couple billion people worldwide, but I am only going to try to address the U.S. problem here tonight.
A lot of our countries problems are generated because of poverty, what I am saying is that if we had no poverty here in our country a lot of other issues would for the most part disappear. The federal government says that the official unemployment rate is hanging out at about 4.2%, but most everyone I would think knows that this is simply a government generated farce. If you dig into the real numbers you find that the long-term unemployed (the people who have been unemployed longer than their unemployment checks) are not counted. Another outlier in the government’s figures is that if a person is able to find a part-time job the government counts them as being employed. These people are the folks usually referred to as the real unemployed and the underemployed. By what I hear from many of the “talking heads” on the radio I believe that the real unemployed/underemployed figure should be at least 10%. Of course some markets are better than others, some places may be 4% while others are 20%. Some people say that if you are in one of the bad areas just move to a better market. There is a problem with that line of thought though, what are these people suppose to use to move on, their good looks? Gas, rent, cars, deposits, these are things that most people in these situations simply do not have. As most everyone knows poverty causes many other problems besides major depression. People are going to need a roof over their head if they have any possibility to obtain employment, somehow people need to be able to pay their rent and utilities. Food, now that is an issue for humans even if they live under a bridge. People need jobs that will at least pay the minimum bills such as rent, utilities, and food. For most good jobs, (those that haven’t already left the country), people need real job skill training.
For about 30 years I was a commercial cross-country truck driver, in this job you get to see the reality people around our country are having to live in that you would never get to see if you were working in an office or a factory. Out here you see 60+ year old women with obvious physical ailments working at fast food joints, jobs that the politicians seem to think only high school kids are doing. You see one-armed men working at guard gates checking in trucks and cleaning toilets in truck stops. Adults are doing these type jobs because it is all they can get and a lot of these jobs are just part-time so that the companies (just like at your local Wal-Mart) won’t have to pay any benefits. You know, people aren’t doing jobs like these because it is their life long ambition to work and live like this. Also, these type jobs are almost always paying at or very near the minimum wage. I know some folks will say that I am lying about seeing adults with these physical problems working like this because they could just file for social security and live on that. Have you ever tried to collect social security? If you are very lucky you will get your turn down notice within 12 months, then you can go get an attorney (they will work pro-bono) and refile, hopefully within 6-9 months you will get your next turn down. You and your attorney can then go before a judge (who is paid by social security), hopefully it will only take you about three months to see the judge then usually another couple of months before you get his decision. You see the problem most everyone has is that they don’t have anyway to survive while all this is going on, no food, no housing, nothing. If you are in that spot, what are you suppose to do? What would you do if it was you? Hopefully you have a wealthy family that will be willing to keep you and your family alive while you are trying to get your disability checks, very few are that fortunate. Some folks will say, well, they could get government housing. Even if you are lucky enough to live in a low crime area like where we live there is this thing called, a waiting list, I checked here, the waiting list is 42 months.
People all over our country are hurting badly even though the media doesn’t say much about it when one of their beloved far left democrats is setting in the White House, and no, I am not a republican. It is very common to see a three bedroom apartment being rented by three adults, or maybe three couples, this is not because people wish to live communal, it is so they have three paychecks to help split the rent (remember the comedy program Three’s Company)? So often I see adults in different fast food uniforms walking to their jobs. It’s not for the exercise for most folks, it’s because they can’t afford a car. With minimum wage jobs you have no extra money to spend on anything, cars, gas, insurance, or food and rent. If you are lucky enough to be in a position where you think I am blowing smoke up your behind, look in your local news paper for the cost of rent, now take a minimum wage paycheck after taxes and see how well you are going to be able to live, folks, it isn’t pretty.
As you travel around the country and you go through the cities you see things that will make you sick at heart. You see all the poverty and the slums, the graffiti, the trash. You also see all the bars on business windows and on the homes, you see homeless people wandering the streets along with the working girls and guys with so many strung out on one habit or another. You see people congregating under bridges as well as boarded up burnt out homes where the lucky homeless can find shelter as long as they are not one of the many crack houses. You know, many in politics want to get away from having any blame for any of our people s problems, but I believe that out government is the biggest problem that all of us Americans have. I am setting here in our living room watching the Presidents State of the Union Address, so much BS on both sides of the aisle. We here in America are a ship without a rudder, I wish we as a country had actual leaders who cared about the Constitution and our freedom more than their bank accounts. I guess I’m just dreaming.
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Washington (CNN)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that “civilization as we know it today is at stake” in the 2020 presidential election, saying that she does not want to “contemplate” the possibility that President Donald Trump could be elected to serve as second term in office.
“Let’s not even contemplate that,” Pelosi said at a CNN town hall Thursday evening in response to an audience question about what checks will exist in the House of Representatives if Trump is reelected and the impeachment process is over.
“Civilization as we know it today is at stake in the next election, and certainly our planet,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s participation at the town hall event came on the same day that she announced that the House will take the momentous step of moving forward with articles of impeachment against Trump. That announcement adds a new level of intensity to the impeachment effort and likely paves the way for Trump to become the third President in US history to be impeached.
Pelosi called her decision “quite historic” during a CNN town hall moderated by Jake Tapper.
In response to an audience question, she said, “I have to admit that today was quite historic. It was taking us, crossing a threshold on this that we just had no choice. I do hope that it would be remembered in a way that honors the vision of our founders, what they had in mind for establishing a democracy.”
‘I’m not on a timetable, I’m on a mission’
Pelosi, who is guiding House Democratic caucus through the impeachment process as the top Democrat in the chamber, sidestepped a question whether she would step aside if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020.
“I’m not on a timetable, I’m on a mission,” Pelosi said, an answer that met with applause from the audience.
As House Democrats grapple now with how to draft articles of impeachment, Pelosi said during the town hall that Democrats are working “collectively” on determining what will be included in the articles.
Asked by Tapper whether she would proceed if Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler recommends including obstruction of justice charges from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Pelosi said, “We’re operating collectively. It’s not going to be — somebody puts something on the table. We have our own, shall we say, communication with each other.”
Pelosi declined to go further. “We’re not writing the articles of impeachment here tonight.”
Articles have not been finalized, but Democrats are now signaling that the articles of impeachment could go beyond the scope of the Ukraine investigation that has dominated Washington for the past two months.
Asked by Tapper during a CNN town hall about her reaction during her weekly press conference to the question, Pelosi cited her Catholic upbringing and responded, “The word hate is a terrible word … so for him to say that was really disgusting to me.”
The California Democrat added, “I’d rather like to think that America is a country that is full of love, whatever we think about what somebody else might believe that might be different from us, that that isn’t a reason to dislike somebody. It’s a reason to disagree with somebody.”
Pelosi issued a stark warning to the reporter from Sinclair who had asked her the question, responding forcefully, “Don’t mess with me” — a sign of the tension amid the House of Representatives’ impeachment push.
During CNN’s town hall, Pelosi questioned whether the person who asked the question is actually a reporter, saying, “Was that a reporter? Is that what reporters do?” when Tapper asked about the exchange.
‘I don’t think we’re headed for a shutdown’
Pelosi also predicted during Thursday’s town hall that there will not be a government shutdown later this month.
“I don’t think we’re headed for a shutdown. I don’t think anybody wants that,” Pelosi said.
“We’re on a good path, if we were not, we would just go to a continuing resolution until after Christmas,” Pelosi said, referring to a stop-gap measure to keep funding in place.
Lawmakers will need to take action to avert a government shutdown before the end of the month, making the month even busier in Congress as the impeachment inquiry dominates headlines in Washington.
The President’s contacts with Ukraine are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry and investigators have focused on probing the now-famous July 25 phone call where Trump asked the President of Ukraine for a “favor” and pushed for investigations into the family of a potential political rival, former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The President has argued that the call was “perfect,” and congressional Republicans have defended the President and his administration, saying that Trump did not commit an impeachable offense.
This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.
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(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)
US act on Hong Kong ‘completely unnecessary, unjustifiable’: HKSAR chief executive
16:02 UTC+8, 2019-12-03
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on December 3, 2019.
The Hong Kong-related act recently passed by the US Congress and signed into law by the US president is “completely unnecessary and unjustifiable,” Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday.
At a media briefing before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam said the HKSAR government strongly opposes the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, and regards it as a “very regrettable” move by a foreign legislature and administration to interfere in the Hong Kong affairs through their own legislation.
Stressing that the human rights and freedom of Hong Kong residents are well protected by the HKSAR Basic Law, Lam pointed out “we enjoy a high degree of freedom in many aspects, including freedom of press, freedom of assembly and demonstration, as well as religious freedom.”
Lam noted that the major chambers of commerce here have been strongly opposing the act, adding that the act may even bring harm to US companies, considering that there are more than 1,300 US enterprises that have operation or even regional headquarters in Hong Kong.
As for the suspension of reviewing applications to visit Hong Kong by US military ships and aircraft and the sanctions against some US non-governmental organizations announced by the Chinese central government on Monday, Lam said the central government shall be responsible for the foreign affairs related to the HKSAR, and the HKSAR will cooperate and follow up in accordance.
Source: Xinhua Editor: Wang Qingchu
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In this Oct. 18, 2019, file photo, Algerians take part in a protest against the government in Algiers. Algeria’s presidential campaign is in trouble. Candidates are struggling to fill rally venues, two campaign chiefs have quit, voters have pelted candidates’ headquarters with tomatoes and eggs, and a 9-month-old pro-democracy movement calls the whole thing a sham. Poster reads “An illegitimate Government that decides the Future of the Country.” (AP Photo/Toutik Doudou, File)
Algiers- Asharq Al-Awsat
Algeria´s presidential campaign is in trouble. Candidates are struggling to fill rally venues, campaign managers have quit, voters have pelted campaign headquarters with tomatoes and eggs, and the country´s 9-month-old pro-democracy movement calls the whole thing a sham.
The five candidates seeking to replace President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the Dec. 12 election have failed to captivate a disillusioned public. Bouteflika was pushed out in April after 20 years in power amid an exceptional, peaceful protest movement, and now demonstrators want a wholesale change of political leadership.
Instead, the election is managed by the long-serving power structure of this oil- and gas-rich country with a strategic role in the Mediterranean region. Instead of new faces, two of the candidates are former prime ministers and one is a loyalist of Algeria´s influential army chief.
The Hirak protest movement held their 41st weekly demonstrations Friday, denouncing the presidential election. But for the first time, thousands of pro-government supporters held their own rally Saturday.
The candidates have tried to convince voters that taking part in the election is the only alternative to chaos, an allusion to the civil war that ravaged Algeria in the 1990s. But that argument falls flat among the protesters, who have been overwhelmingly peaceful, with demonstrators calming each other down and ensuring that no one provokes police. It´s a sharp contrast to the sometimes deadly protests and security crackdowns shaking Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries in recent weeks.
Former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, considered a leading candidate, was heckled in Tlemcen, Guelma, Oued Souf, Annaba, while he had to cancel a meeting altogether in Maghnia on Algeria´s western edge.
His campaign director in the important region of Kabylie resigned, citing pressure from his family. Many in Kabylie oppose holding the election at all.
Candidate Abdelamdjid Tebboune, considered the candidate of army chief Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, had to cancel his first rally in Algiers because not enough people signed up.
His campaign manager also resigned, without explanation. And then one of his leading campaign funders was jailed on corruption charges.
Another candidate, Abdelakder Bengrina, began his campaign on the esplanade of the central post office in Algiers – the emblematic site of the protest movement. He had to interrupt his speech to dive into his car under police cover to escape a crowd of angry demonstrators. The portrait on the balcony of his campaign headquarters has been bombarded with eggs and tomatoes.
Many poster boards around Algiers meant to hold candidates´ portraits remain empty. In other sites, Algerians have covered the portraits with garbage bags and signs reading “candidates of shame.”
In some towns of the Kabylie region, protesters have blocked access to campaign offices by piling the entrances with bricks.
Tensions mounted last week when Algerians started holding evening marches to denounce the elections. Several demonstrators were arrested, and some have already been convicted to prison terms for disturbing election campaigns or destruction of public property, according to protest organizers.
Given troubles in the capital and Kabylie, the candidates are focusing on small campaign events in areas where the protest movement is less active.
The president of the body overseeing the election, Moahamed Charfi, has minimized the campaign troubles, saying the candidates are “accepted by the population.”
Army chief Gaid Salah has yet to publicly acknowledge the problems either, instead praising Algerians in a recent speech for “the adherence of the people around their army, chanting, with one voice, patriotic slogans expressing their collective the will to head massively to the polls on December 12, in order to make the presidential election succeed and thus contribute to build a promising future.”
If no candidate wins more than 50 percent in the first round, the election goes to a second round in the ensuing weeks.
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Protesters in Hong Kong on Thursday night could be seen waving pictures featuring the image President Trumprecently shared of his face superimposed on the body of Sylvester Stallone’s fictional boxer Rocky Balboa.
The Washington Post reports many protesters in attendance at the “Thanksgiving Rally” were draped in American flags and cheered on Trump.
The president on Wednesday signed legislation affirming the United States’s support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong shortly after the bill was signed in Washington.
The legislation made its way to Trump’s desk quickly after it cleared both the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities.
The legislation imposes sanctions on individuals who commit human rights violations in Hong Kong and blocks them from entering the United States.
Trump’s signing of the bill grew his popularity in Hong Kong, with the Trump-Rocky photo serving as a fitting symbol of the demonstrators’ approval of the president.
The Post noted that some protesters even sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the demonstration.
Pro-democracy protests have gone on for months in Hong Kong, escalating in recent weeks as demonstrators have clashed with police. The uprising was initially sparked by a bill that would have allowed some citizens to be extradited to mainland China. The bill has since been withdrawn, which did little to quell the protests.
In total, 1.467 million people voted in the last poll in 2015, when 3.1 million people were registered to vote.
More than 1,000 candidates are running for 452 district council seats which, for the first time, are all being contested. A further 27 seats are allocated to representatives of rural districts.
Currently, pro-Beijing parties hold the majority of these seats. Counting will start immediately after polls close at 22:30, and results are expected to start coming in before midnight.
Police were seen outside some polling stations and on the streets but correspondents said they kept a low profile.
“Facing the extremely challenging situation, I’m pleased to say… we have a relatively calm and peaceful environment for [the] election today,” Carrie Lam said after voting.
Ballots send a message
By Jonathan Head, BBC News, Hong Kong
This was a local election, for largely powerless district councils, yet it felt far more significant.
Queues formed early at Taikoo Shing in beautiful sunny weather, and by the time voting began they snaked around the block. The picture was similar at other polling stations. Local issues were on the minds of some voters, but the importance of this election as a clear test of support for the government and its opponents was lost on very few.
Some voters were uneasy about expressing any opinions in front of others. The sight of Democratic Party candidate Andrew Chiu sitting outside, chatting to reporters, and showing the bandaged left side of his head where an assailant bit off part of his ear earlier this month, offered a grim reminder of how far Hong Kong’s crisis has divided communities and families.
Nonetheless some told us they treasured this opportunity to send a message with their ballots, a free vote with a wide choice of candidates they said they were all too aware is not available in other parts of China.
Ten out of thirty-five seats in this district were uncontested at the last local council election, where pro-government parties have long enjoyed the advantage of better funding. This time every seat is being contested.
The opposition pan-democratic alliance has adopted the five demands of the protest movement as its slogan, and hopes public sentiment over the five-month crisis will give it an opportunity to take control of many of the district councils for the first time.
Why are these elections important?
District councils themselves have very little actual power, so usually these elections take place on a very local level.
But this election is different.
Hong Kong district elections
479seats across the territory
1,090candidates – all seats being contested for the first time
4.13mregistered voters – the highest number ever
117councillors sit on committee that elects chief executive
Source: Hong Kong government
They are the first elections since anti-government protests started in June, so they will act as a litmus test, reflecting how much support there is for the current government.
“People in Hong Kong have begun to see this election as an additional way to articulate and express their views on the state of Hong Kong in general and the government of Carrie Lam,” Kenneth Chan, associate professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, told Reuters news agency.
Then there is the issue of Hong Kong’s chief executive. Under Hong Kong’s electoral system, 117 of the district councillors will also sit on the 1,200-member committee that votes for the chief executive.
So a pro-democracy district win could translate eventually to a bigger share, and say, in who becomes the city’s next leader.
Who is running?
There are some notable names running in the elections, including pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho, one of the most controversial politicians in the city. He was stabbed earlier this month by a man pretending to be a supporter.
The lawmaker has openly voiced his support for Hong Kong’s police force on multiple occasions. He was in July filmed shaking hands with a group of men – suspected of being triad gangsters – who later assaulted pro-democracy protesters.
Jimmy Sham, a political activist who has recently risen to prominence as the leader of the Civil Human Rights Front – a campaign group responsible for organising some of the mass protest marches – is running for the first time.
Mr Sham has also been attacked twice, once apparently with hammers. Photographs showed him lying on the street covered in blood.
Who is not running is also notable. Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was barred from running in the elections, a move he referred to as “political screening”.
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This comes after police said the demonstrators inside the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong had no option but to come out and surrender. The protests began peacefully in June and were sparked by proposed legislation that would have meant criminal suspects could be extradited to the mainland. Although the bill was withdrawn, the protests had broadened into a resistance movement against the territory’s government and Beijing.
Many of the protesters wear masks to shield their identities for protection.
China’s ambassador to Britain accused the UK and the US of meddling in the country’s affairs and warned that the Chinese government “will not sit on our hands” if the Hong Kong situation “becomes uncontrollable”.
Cheuk Hau-yip, the commander of Kowloon West district, said: “These rioters, they are also criminals. They have to face the consequences of their acts.
China has warned they will cease control of Hong Kong (Image: GETTY )
The protests kicked off in June and have strengthened in size (Image: GETTY )
“Other than coming out to surrender, I don’t see that there’s any viable option for them.”
China’s ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaming has said that China has the “resolution and power” to end Hong Kong unrest amid protests.
Liu said that the People’s Liberation Army could be deployed in Beijing, warning: “They are already there in the Hong Kong garrison. They are there to show sovereignty and are responsible for defence purposes.
Seven pro-democracy lawmakers either were detained or faced arrest in Hong Kong on Saturday in a move that could escalate ongoing protests against Beijing on the semi-autonomous Chinese island.
Police said three lawmakers were arrested and charged with obstructing the local assembly for their participation in a raucous May 11 meeting over a now-shelved bill that would allow for Hong Kong residents to be extradited to mainland China. The other four lawmakers received summons to arrive at police stations Saturday to face arrest, according to The Associated Press.
All seven are to appear in court Monday.
The move could serve to intensify anger toward the local government a day after demonstrators rushed to the streets to protest the death of a 22-year-old university student. Chow Tsz-Lok was killed this week after falling from a parking garage when police fired tear gas during clashes with pro-democracy protesters.
Chow’s death revived a conversation over alleged abuse of power by local police against demonstrators.
Other pro-democracy lawmakers panned Saturday’s escalation, saying it is intended to provoke more violence to set up an excuse to postpone or cancel district elections scheduled for later this month.
“We’ll say no to their plans,” lawmaker Tanya Chan told a news conference. “It is a de facto referendum for all Hong Kong voters to cast their vote and say no to police brutality and say no to our unjust system.”
Patrick Nip, Hong Kong’s constitutional and mainland affairs secretary, said the arrests were a result of a police investigation and were not tied to the upcoming elections, according to the AP.
Hong Kong has faced months of unrest as protesters have called for a litany of changes, including universal suffrage and an independent investigation into allegations of excessive use of force by police in dealing with protesters.
The protests began with pro-democracy demonstrations against the extradition bill. Protests expanded after the bill was suspended and declared “dead” to include several other demands as concerns grew that Beijing was looking to tighten its control over the territory.
More than 3,300 people have been arrested thus far, according to the AP.
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