Rad Geek People's Daily

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Posts from November 2021

Let Them Through

Shared Article from 8 NewsNow

Large groups of migrants using drains under border barriers to sneak into U.S.

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Border Patrol agents have been seeing larger groups of undocumented immigrants entering the U.S. at once, putting a stra…

Salvador Rivera @ 8newsnow.com

[Border Patrol Agent Justin] De La Torre said smugglers are pushing the migrants into large drains that have been built to help the flow of water from one side of the border to the other.

Typically, they are entering through storm drains underneath the border fence, De la Torre said. Quite frankly, when they bring in large groups at one time, it drains our resources so now our agents are spread thin and it leaves the border a bit more vulnerable in that period of time.[1] . . . According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the large groups of migrants using the drains are mostly from Brazil and Venezuela, and some from Portugal. . . . They’re bringing people through these storm drains, they risk severe injury drowning, falling from steep terrain. Just this year alone, we’ve had 12 fatalities that we know of in this area of migrants being trafficked and smuggled into the area. The Border Patrol’s job is to keep people safe, keep American people safe, our agents safe and to keep the migrants safe as well.[2] … The smugglers, they don’t have that goal; all they care about is making money.

De la Torre says the gates are kept closed when it’s not raining, but agents must open them when storms arrive as a way to maintain the water’s natural flow from Mexico into the U.S.

On the runoff systems we have grates and have put in bars to keep people from coming through, however, the smugglers go down there with power tools and cut through those bars and facilitate illegal entry for the migrants.

As always, border policies and the border cops who enforce them impose horrendous suffering on innocent people, for the sake of inflicting the deplorable, invasive and violent means to an utterly worthless political end. Then they turn around and look at the humanitarian crisis that they themselves have created, they contort their faces into a grotesque mask of feigned pity, and they talk on and on about how it is all so awful, and the smugglers and traffickers are to blame, and the politicians in Washington and the paramilitary patrol on the border all care so, so much and they are all so, so sorry, and this only shows how much harder they need to work at shutting crossings systematically, relentlessly, and completely. So that they can make damned sure to enforce all the laws that keep forcing peaceful, harmless people into these awful conditions over and over again. There is no policy that is worth this, no system of control and enforcement that could justify or even excuse hunting people and leaving them no escape but to crawl through the drains under a goddamned apartheid wall that never should have been built. There is no crisis on the border that is not the direct result of the crisis of the border, no humanitarian disaster that would not be instantly and forever wiped away just by letting people cross peacefully where they want to cross, and letting them stay anywhere that they can find a place or a person willing to have them. All you need to do is stand down, let these people cross freely and openly where they choose, and leave them alone.

See also.

  1. [1][Good. —R.G.]
  2. [2][Sic. —R.G.]

Let Them Out

Shared Article from undark.org

Opinion: ICE Is Leaving Detainees at the Mercy of Covid-19. It’s Inhumane.

Harrison Goodall and Amy Zeidan @ undark.org

This crisis is worsened by the massive, ugly bureaucratized medical negligence and political cruelty of the U.S.’s jails in general and its immigration detention system specifically. It is also only a crisis in the first place because the U.S. government continues to insist on building institutions to hold migrants captive and keep them around in case the state might decide to deport them. Even if they were better at passing around covid vaccines, and even if all the guards wore masks as they prowled around the jail, and even if they more assiduously handed out conditional releases to people with serious pre-existing health conditions, there is no humane way to jail immigrants or hold people for possible deportation. The crisis is not something that’s happening at the jail; the jail is the crisis, and there is one easy, obvious solution: stand down, let people go, and leave them alone. All of them, immediately, completely, and forever.

Let Them In

Shared Article from the Guardian

"Unacceptable": migrants face "desperate situation" at Poland-Be…

Children and families among those being warned to ‘go back to Minsk’ as police hostility and humanitarian crisis worsens

Lorenzo Tondo @ theguardian.com

Needless to say, Alexander Lukashenko is a despot and a contemptible thug, and he, and the rest of the Belarussian government beneath him, both richly deserves the criticism they get from European Union officials.

Be that as it may, there is no question who the villain is in this ghastly diplomatic game. And the villain is not in Minsk, however villainous they may be in other respects. There is nothing wrong with encouraging Iraqis or Syrians or Afghans to pass through and travel towards Poland. There is something wrong with using brutal, coordinated force to stop them crossing. Of course Iraqis and Syrians and Afghans ought to be able to cross freely and peacefully into Poland, and indeed into anywhere else in Europe that they care to freely travel. They have a human right to move freely without being hassled, without being threatened, without being rounded up and held captive or expelled by the Polish government’s border guards, the Polish government’s police, or any other paramilitary or military force patrolling the unconscionable razor-wired walls of Fortress Europe. Every migrant assaulted or beaten, every migrant suffering from hunger or freezing cold, every migrant left at risk of exposure and disease, is entirely the fault of the European authorities trying to seal the borders. There is an easy, and obvious solution to this horrible border crisis: the only crisis is the border. All you need to do to solve it is to stand down, let people come in and leave them alone.

Heavy Metal Manuscripts

So just the other day, I found out (1) that this exists; and (2) that four (4) archival institutions in the United States have copies of it in their collections:

Shared Article from en.wikipedia.org

Shadows from the Walls of Death

Shadows from the Walls of Death: Facts and Inferences Prefacing a Book of Specimens of Arsenical Wall Papers is an 1874 book by Dr. Robert C. Kedzie (1823-1902) of Michigan. The book warns of the dangers then commonly used arsenic-pigmented wallpaper….


Shadows from the Walls of Death: Facts and Inferences Prefacing a Book of Specimens of Arsenical Wall Papers is an 1874 book by Dr. Robert C. Kedzie (1823-1902) of Michigan.[1]

The book warns of the dangers then commonly used arsenic-pigmented wallpaper. The book contains 86 samples of said wallpaper. Due to the dangerous amount of arsenic in the work, of the original 100 copies, only four have survived. Most copies were destroyed by the recipient libraries. These are only handled using special precautions for safety.[2] As of 2021, the remaining copies were held at Harvard University Medical School, the U.S. National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD, and the university libraries of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.[3] The copy in the National Library of Medicine has been digitized and is freely available.[4]

— Wikipedia: Shadows from the Walls of Death
Retrieved 4 November 2021

Because of the samples of poisonous wallpaper in the book, archivists have to make decisions about how to make the booklet available to researchers. If you handle the pages the arsenic gets on your fingers. If you lick your fingers or otherwise ingest the residue, it can make you sick or it can kill you. Some institutions require anyone handling the document to do so with gloves and a mask; one has encapsulated every page so that they can be handled without inadvertently poisoning the researcher. This is simultaneously the most metal fact I have learned all week, and also the most Umberto Eco fact that I have learned all week.

You can now read and see the full book online, in full color, without taking extreme measures to make sure that you do not die from exposure to the pages, because technological civilization is awesome.

Shared Article from collections.nlm.nih.gov

(Read Online) Shadows from the walls of death: facts and inferences prefacing a book of specimens of arsenical wall papers

View Book, Download — Author(s): Kedzie, R. C. (Robert Clark), 1823-1902, author


  1. [1]“Shadows from the walls of death”. search.lib.umich.edu. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  2. [2]Zawacki, Alexander J. (2018-01-23). “How a Library Handles a Rare and Deadly Book of Wallpaper Samples”. Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  3. [3]Kedzie, R. C; Baker, Henry B; Michigan; State Board of Health; W.S. George & Co (1874). “Shadows from the walls of death”: facts and inferences prefacing a book of specimens of arsenical wall papers. OCLC 1194639611.
  4. [4]Zawacki, Alexander J. (2018-01-23). “How a Library Handles a Rare and Deadly Book of Wallpaper Samples”. Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2018-06-16.

Progressive Peace Presidents and Premiers, 2021 Edition

Here’s 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia who has just assumed extraordinary powers under a six-month state of emergency in his government’s ongoing war on Tigray.

The pit which is dug will be very deep, it will be where the enemy is buried, not where Ethiopia disintegrates, he said in a speech at an event at the military’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.

We will bury this enemy with our blood and bones and make the glory of Ethiopia high again, said Abiy, who won the Nobel prize for settling Ethiopia’s longtime conflict with Eritrea.[1]

— Ethiopian leader, marking year of war, says he will bury foes with our blood
Reuters, 3 November 2021

The Norwegian Nobel Committee now gives away about 10,000,000 Swedish kronor a year for this prize.[2], or about $1,000,000. It would probably be better if they retired the prize out of a decent sense of shame, and just donated the money through GiveDirectly.org or Doctors Without Borders / MSF instead; or maybe they could donate $999,980 a year to an organization like Doctors Without Borders / MSF that provides urgent relief in conflict zones, and set aside a $20 a year donation to the Fund for the Revival of Satire in Honor of Tom Lehrer.

Shared Article from Reuters

Ethiopian leader, marking year of war, says he will bury foes 'w…

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pledged on Wednesday to bury his government's enemies "with our blood" as he marked the start of the war in the Ti…

Reuters @ reuters.com (via Jesse Walker on Twitter)

  1. [1]It turns out that Abiy’s 2019 peace deal with Eritrea’s government has provided him with some advantages. Among them, the assistance of Eritrean soldiers to invade and ravage Tigray. All sides in the conflict have committed heinous human rights abuses throughout the civil war; the Eritrean soldiers have been accused of huge responsibility for the blockade and pillaging of Tigrayan villages, and the torture and massacre of thousands of civilians. The ongoing civil war has driven about 2.5 million people across northern Ethiopia out of their homes. —RG.
  2. [2]This increases a bit year over year. and in theory it could depend on the market performance of the securities in the Nobel endowment. Abiy’s cash prize in 2019 was 9,000,000 SEK.
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