Category Archives: Cuba

The Little-Known Story of Joanne Chesimard and the Black Liberation Army

The story of the Black Liberation Army, a radical armed Black revolutionary Marxist movement in the 1960’s-1970’s,  is little known. Although at first they were little more than thugs turned revolutionaries, they carried out some spectacular actions and seemed to always be one step ahead of the cops. You know that’s got to count for something. I believe in giving respect where it is deserved.

I always had a soft spot for the Black Liberation Army.

One of the leaders of the BLA was Joanne Chesimard, aka Assatu Shakur is fairly well known because of lying propaganda that she shot and killed a cop and subsequently is near the top of the US Most Wanted List. The truth is she is 100% innocent of that charge. She is probably guilty of some other things and she is certainly guilty of a spectactual prison break, but she is innocent of shooting that cop.

In fact, she was shot and badly wounded in the incident where the police officer was killed. She and four other BLA members were pulled over by the police in New Jersey and a wild shootout ensued. I believe the police officer was killed with his own gun. The man who killed the cop was also shot dead. Joanne was badly wounded, but she never fired a weapon during the whole shootout. In fact, I believe she was not even armed. Nevertheless, she has been charged with the officer’s murder though she had nothing to do with it. She was given political asylum by revolutionary Cuba. One of the US’ stupid and arrogant demands of the Cubans is that they give up Assata. Raul Castro said they never will. They should not. She’s innocent anyway.

Chesimard and other BLA members were very good, always escaping from close calls with the cops and even escaping from police custody a few times. Chesimard and some others escaped from a federal prison in Florida in 1979 disguised as laundry workers. Fellow BLA members disguised as laundry workers and drove a laundry truck in and broke the BLA out of a maximum security prison! There was a vast manhunt on for Chesimard all over the US, but she could never be found. There were a lot of people hiding her and they were very good at it. Suddenly, three years later, she popped up in Cuba and said she had been given asylum. No one knew how she got there, and no one has ever figured out where she was for three years.

This is one reason I can never get into any serious anti-Black racism. John Brown is one of my ultimate heroes! I don’t care how many people he killed. So what! A revolution is not a picnic! I liked the Black Panthers a lot too, and I still like them to this very day. I rather like the idea of armed Black revolutionaries running around waging a revolutionary war against the system. Good for them! And the Black Panthers’ armed self-defense was also a good thing. I loved Huey Newton and love Elaine Brown. I even have a soft spot for Stokely Carmichael and even Eldridge Cleaver. How can I be an anti-Black racist? What crap!

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Filed under Blacks, Caribbean, Corrections, Crime, Cuba, Florida, History, Latin America, Law enforcement, Left, Marxism, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Revolution, South, US, USA

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, “This Land Is Our Land”

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

And I went walking that ribbon of highway
And saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me the golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me, a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing
This land was made for you and me

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of a steeple
By the Relief Office, I’d seen my people
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me

When the sun come shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

Written by Woody Guthrie. Sung by Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger (age 80).

From the great inauguration of Barack Obama in 2008. I was in a doctor’s office and the news came on that Obama had won. I saw the crowds mobbing the streets, all marching towards the main park of Chicago. The volatile Spike Lee was there. “This changes everything!” He effused. There was a little Black girl sitting next to me, maybe seven years old. I asked her if she liked Obama. She nodded her head shyly. I had tears in my eyes. How dare these idiots call me racist! What sort of racist cries tears of joy when he hears that America just elected its first Black president?

The three bolded sections above are the “forbidden lyrics.” Although Guthrie included them when he wrote the song in 1940, they are seldom performed in modern versions as they were considered subversive as promoting socialism or Communism. The song is actually a great socialist anthem. Woody Guthrie was definitely a leftwinger.

Given the choice, I would rather have the land owned by me (the state) than owned by some private individual. What’s so great about private ownership of land? What’s better for me, land that I can walk on or land that I can’t walk on? How bout the land that I can walk on?

One of the reasons for China’s great success is that the state owns all the land. Everybody just leases the land where their home or farm is. In The Netherlands also, the state owns all the land. Everybody just leases out whatever land they use. Same thing in Cuba, but in Cuba now, almost everyone owns their own residence. And a great argument for China’s success against India’s failure is that much of the poverty, malnutrition, etc. in India is caused by the private ownership of land, especially in the rural areas. India said they were going to do land reforms and they claimed to do them over and over but the truth is that no real land reform has ever been done in India, and semi-feudal relations still prevail in the countryside. Hence the horrific poverty, starvation, etc.

One of the all-time great folk songs ever written. A purely American song like virtually no other. I believe we should replace that horrible Star Spangled Banner with this much better song. This song also captures the true American spirit. The land does indeed belong to all of us, you and me. All that land the government owns, it doesn’t belong to the government. It belongs to me! It’s my land, dammit! How dare the rich give away my land to malign corporations and the 1%! Forget that. You take my land, and you give it all away to the corporations and the rich to abuse and destroy. What sort of democracy is that?

Plutocratic rule is never democracy. How can it be? The plutocrats are what? 1% 5%? Where do idiot Americans get it in their heads that rule by the rich or the ruling class is somehow democracy. Aristocratic rule is never democracy at any time or in any place. It can’t be. You either have conservatism, which is rule by the rich or the aristocrats, or you have democracy, which is rule by the people. That’s your only two choices. One or the other? Which one do you want? The rich will never rule in favor of the people. They can’t. They literally cannot. They must rule in their class interests. It’s nearly a law of social science as hard and fast as a hard science rule.

Written by Woody Guthrie! One of the best working class folk singer-songwriters who ever lived. He was also a tough, macho guy, a redneck, a worker, a blue collar roughneck with a cigarette dangling from his mouth James Dean style. This is what the Left used to be before it was taken over by effeminate men, butch women, man-hating feminists, White-hating minorities who idolize common street thugs, anti-nationalists advocating to turn all of America into a teeming Third World Calcutta, all manner of sexual identity and sexual orientation freakazoids with so many weird subgroups that they are almost beyond classification, and in general idiots, fools, deviants and dumbasses.

Woody Guthrie is what the Left used to be. He’s what the Left is supposed to be. He was born too soon. He was Alt Left before there was an Alt Left!

This guitar kills fascists!

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November 22, 1963: The Day the Music Died

A very nice comment from one of my commenters.

A friend of mine had lunch with a former attorney for LBJ who had worked in the LBJ Administration. He later got wrapped up in Watergate somehow, I believe as part of the prosecution. Keep in mind that LBJ’s own personal attorney says that LBJ was part of the plot to kill Kennedy. .Some of the gunmen were part of LBJ’s own “hit squad.”

Believe it or not, a lot of big US politicians have their own “hit squad goons.” I believe that George Bush did and I believe the Dick Cheney did too.

In fact, I think that Cheney’s goons killed Paul Wellstone by sabotaging his plane. Barbara Boxer herself has hinted the Cheney killed Wellstone, but she also hinted that everyone who knows is too afraid to speak on the record about it.

Bush’s goons will do things like break into your home, poison your dog, etc. His goons poisoned three dogs belonging to one whistleblower, killing all of them. Some of Bush’s enemies have ended up dead “drown in bathtubs” and by mysterious “heart attacks” in cheap hotel rooms.

Drowning you in your bathtub is a favorite CIA/Mossad/KGB intelligence agency way to kill people. I believe that all three of these agencies are capable of injecting you with a drug that will give you a heart attack and leave no trace.

This man, a high ranking member of the LBJ Administration, told my friend that JFK was killed by “the foreign policy establishment of the United States.” That’s a long way of saying Deep State.

Ever since then, I think every President knows that the punishment for going against the Deep State is “the Kennedy treatment.”

As much as I despise Trump, I realize that the Deep State has it in for him mostly for kissing up to Russia, telling NATO justifiably to go to Hell, and making pretenses at a less imperial foreign policy with fewer wars and armed conflicts.

There was an internal coup in the White House and Steve Bannon etc were sidelined in by a crowd around (((Jared Kushner))). (((Kushner)))’s group were the Deep State neocons. Soon after the coup, Trump attacked Syria as if he were ordered to by his new masters. Trump is now just another neocon in addition to being by far the most Jewish, or really Jewy, President in history.

These Alt Right antisemites need to think this over. Trump is New York, in flesh and bones. Forget Israel. New York is the Jewish state. These idiot Nazis are supporting a fanatical Zionist who is frankly the most Jewish President we have ever had. He’s a Judaized Gentile, but still, if you see Jewishness as a spiritual feature as opposed to an ethnic or religious one, Trump is surely more Jewish in spirit than any President we have ever had. Why these Nazis are falling all over themselves from President Donald SuperJew is beyond me. I think these guys didn’t get the memo.

RL: Everybody who was alive back then knows exactly what they were doing when they shot the President.

When democracy died. When the dream of America died with the Deep State coup. When the joke of American democracy was shown as the pathetic sham it’s always been, a think veneer for Deep State and oligarchic rule, the very story of America itself.”

CB: The day the music died.

Eisenhower warned in his farewell address of a dangerous military-industrial-scientific elite; he’d separately spoken of the CIA’s “legacy of ashes.”

Over the following three years, Kennedy, a womanizer and drug user who very likely owed his victory to vote fraud in Chicago,

  1. Engaged in back channel contacts with Khrushchev and Castro (the public didn’t know of course, but doesn’t the charge sound familiar?).
  2. Turned down the Joint Chiefs’ Operation Northwoods Plan to use false flag attacks (a precursor to 9/11) to justify an invasion of Cuba.
  3. Refused airstrikes in support of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.
  4. Fired CIA director Allen Dulles and his top deputy.
  5. Refused a first-strike nuclear attack during the Cuban missile crisis.
  6. Secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets pulling their missiles from Cuba.
  7. Told associates he would splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the wind, etc.

The Deep State was mightily pissed with Kennedy, and Kennedy knew he was in danger.

The same Deep State still runs things of course, and they are much more open in their hatred for Trump than they were with Kennedy (Hillary was the Deep State/Establishment choice, beloved by the intelligence agencies (at least the people at the top), Goldman Sachs and the other big banks, the EU, the Bilderbergers, the CFR, the Chinese, Rupert Murdoch and most other billionaires, the Bushes, etc. etc. The same media types that covered up for the real assassins of the Kennedys and MLK (and continue to cover up subsequent Deep State crimes) are even more rigidly controlled now than during the days of Operation Mockingbird, open in their allegiance to their Deep State masters.

You don’t have to like Trump to consider that he, like Kennedy, has made some excellent enemies.

Peter, Paul, and Mary were good, and I even saw them in concert once, as well as at Newport. But the song that gave me chills in 1963, and still today, was Dylan’s Masters of War.

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Venezuela: The Lies Never Stop

Tulio: Left wing economics aren’t working out in Latin America either. Let’s face it, Latin America is dysfunctional whether it’s run by the left or right. I know Robert is a Chavista and all but the results speak for itself. They are probably a few clicks away from outright civil war.

The poster’s problem is that he gets all his Venezuela news from the Western media. You will not read one true thing about that country in the Western media. It is an all out propaganda war from Day One. If you want to read the truth about Venezuela, go to Venezuelanalysis. It’s all straight up 100% facts there, no spin. And many articles are quite critical of the government.

Yes, it is a civil war because the Right is running through the streets rioting, killing people, burning down buildings, buses and police cars. Let me ask you something. Suppose when Obama was in, Republicans went on a rampage all over the US, rioting, burning stuff down, killing people, firing guns, setting up snipers, setting off bombs, throwing grenades, killing lots of cops. Would you blame Obama for that? Because that is exactly what the commenter is doing.

This is part of the Right’s project down there. They lost the election, so they are trying to overthrow the government by force. What exactly is the state supposedly do about what is in effect a rightwing insurgency?

What they are trying to do is to create so much chaos that the military steps in and does a rightwing coup. Barring that, they are creating so much chaos and disorder that the US steps in with the military, invades and overthrows the Chavistas in the name of humanitarian intervention. It’s the exact same scheme we pulled in Syria when we turned ISIS and Al Qaeda loose on secular regime.

The US government’s official policy in Venezuela now is regime change. Mattis himself said so. The riots, destruction, arson, murders and political assassinations are all being coordinated with the US. We are the cause of all that violence down there.

There are no poor results of Chavismo. Things were booming along for many years. The rightwing has been sabotaging and boycotting the economy since Day One.

Norway is far more socialist than Venezuela. China is orders of magnitude more socialist than Venezuela. There’s nothing socialist at all about Venezuela. The economy is 100% capitalist controlled.

All Chavismo did was take a lot of that oil revenue and spend it on the people. If you think that’s a failed model, I do not know what to say to you.

After the oil price crashed, the government could no longer cover up for the business sector’s sabotage of the economy.

There are shortages? How can there be shortages in a 100% capitalist controlled economy? Answer me that. There cannot be. If there are shortages, why don’t they import some food? Why don’t they make some stuff that is in shortage?

The business sector is refusing to import products, and they are refusing to make products in short supply.

You need to go study how Kissinger and Nixon blew up the Chilean economy. They did the exact same thing, down to the letter. This is the Chilean Model down to the letter.

“We will make the Chilean economy scream.

–  Henry Kissinger.

Every week they seize huge warehouses full of products that are being hoarded by the capitalists in order to create artificial shortages. You heard of a shortage of syringes? A warehouse full of 21 million syringes was recently seized. If you read the Venezuelan papers, these seizures happen all the time, maybe every other day.

Why is there inflation? The capitalists have caused artificial shortages by hoarding stuff, refusing to produce stuff and refusing to import stuff. These artificial shortages of course caused inflation.

This economic sabotage has been going on from Day One, but when the oil prices were high, the government could cover up for the Economic War by importing their own products and selling them to people for cheap. Hence the state covered up all the artificial shortages caused by the refusal to import and manufacture products. When the oil price crashed, the state no longer had the money to import goods to cover up for the shortages, and furthermore, the Economic War went into high gear.

Furthermore, since Maduro has come in, he has made a hard turn to the Right from Chavez. His administration of full of rightwingers and representatives of the business sector. He caves to opposition demands over and over. They are always demanding hikes in the controlled prices, and he keeps raising them. No matter how much they raise the prices, the capitalists do not produce one more item. It’s all a scam.

Keep in mind that the economic crash has occurred against the background of a hard right turn in the government under a government that is now about 50% rightwingers and people from the business community. They can’t get a handle on things either. Did you hear what I said?

The economy crashed as the government turned Right and filled the executive with people from the business sector. According to the poster’s logic, rightwing economics is responsible for the crash.

That’s not really true either. Neither Right nor Left economics is responsible for the crash. The ministers from the business community can’t control the problems either. No one can.

There is a problem with currency, but that was created by the capitalists too. Currency controls were put in because the capitalists were taking all their money out of the country. No country can put up with that for long. So currency controls were put in, but that causes a black market in currency.

Price controls were put in because the capitalists staged a lockout strike that caused horrible shortages and sent prices skyrocketing.

Incidentally, despite currency controls, the business community still takes $50 billion out of the country every year. Do you know how much more they would take out if the currency controls were taken off?  The system would probably collapse.

The fake excuse all along was that price controls make it so the producing the price controlled products is not worthwhile. This is their fake excuse for the shortages. Now the price controls have been almost completely lifted, and they are still refusing to make stuff or import stuff. What’s their fake excuse now?

I agree that the standard Communist model caused a lot of economic problems, but the lie is that Venezuela is a Communist country like Cuba or the USSR, and this is the cause of all the problems. It’s caused by “socialist failure.” Why isn’t socialism failing in Europe? Why isn’t it failing in China? Why isn’t it failing in most of the world that runs social democratic systems?

The Chavistas were simply trying to produce a European style social democracy in Venezuela. Even that’s too much for the Venezuelan elite.

I will have you know that the rightwing Venezuelans the poster cheers for are some of the racist people on Earth. The commenter is Black. I assure you that the people he cheers for hate him because he is Black. Their word for Chavez was Mono. That means monkey. They call him monkey because his White blood is mixed with Indian and Black.

When they came into power, the first thing they did was take down the portrait of Bolivar because they said he looked too dark. They put up a new portrait that showed him as White as a Swede. These are the racists that this Black commenter is supporting.

The government is screwing up badly by not floating the currency, but that’s not a Right versus Left thing so it’s not a fault of Left economics. It would be a very unpopular decision, and Maduro is a weak and not very good leader and he does not have the balls to put in.

Hence I agree that the problems in part are caused by failures of the regime, but those failures having nothing to do with Right or Left economics. They’re not dealing with the currency problems, and that’s a failure on their part, but it has nothing to do with capitalism or socialism or any of that.

The price controls were put in to fight inflation. The Right screams about inflation and about price controls. They took all the price controls off, and the prices went way up. Now they are screaming because the prices went up. They criticize the problem, and they attack the solution to the problem.

You can’t win with these people.

I agree that the Communist model leaves a lot to be desired, and the lie is that the problems of Cuba and the USSR are being replicated in Venezuela. It’s a lie because Venezuela never even made it to social democracy. Venezuela is a capitalist country through and through.

I will ban any posters who attack Venezuela as a failure of Left economics because it’s nothing of the sort. Now if  you want to talk about problems with the Cuban model, go for it.

 

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“Iran: Socialism’s Ignored Success Story,” by Ramin Mazaheri

Iran: Socialism’s Ignored Success Story

May 23, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

Iran just completed their presidential election, but this article will not discuss the candidates, the result or the political consequences.

I work for Iran’s Press TV, which essentially makes me a civil servant, and I think it is correct for me to not reveal who I voted for in order to preserve my independence within the government. I’m quite happy to work for “the people” instead of “a person” – as in private media – and I will support which ever candidate the people choose.

Why will I support Iran’s government, whoever is in charge? Truly, it is not for my paycheck.

I support Iran because I support socialism where ever I can find it, and Iran has socialism in abundance.

Iranian Socialism has been so successful at redistributing wealth to the average person; has safeguarded the nation’s security despite being ringed by US military bases and repeated threats; has grown the economy despite an international blockade; has produced a foreign policy motivated on political principles; and has fought against the divisive identity politics which undermine human solidarity.

I have actually seen Iran over the decades, unlike 99% of the journalists who claim to understand Iran, so you can’t dissuade me.

And I’m not even going to try to persuade you. This is not that article, either.

This article is to lay out for left-wing readers and supporters of socialism what should be crystal clear: Iran is a socialist nation. Even more than that: Iran is a socialist success story.

Iran, like all nations, has had its unique developmental history; of course we have been reading Marx just as long as anyone else, as well.

But the most convincing and simplest way I can put it to non-Iranians is this: Europe came to socialism through industrialization, theory and war, but Iran came to socialism through its religious and moral beliefs. The ends are the same, and that is all that should matter to anyone who is truly trying to promote socialism for the benefits it brings to the average person.

The Problem Is Not Us, It Is You

I repeat: The problem is not us, it is you…when it comes to looking at Iran’s contributions to socialism.

I believe that around 99% of Westerners have no idea at all what Iran is really like. Unfortunately, this total ignorance about Iran and the Muslim world is the historical norm in the West.

The greatest contribution of Middle East scholar Edward Said was that his book, “Orientalism”, definitively proved through historical scholarship that the West has never, ever, ever been favorable towards the Muslim world.

Not in the 8th century, when Muslims were occupiers of the Iberian Peninsula, not in the following centuries when Islam was an ideological competitor to Christianity; not in the 15th century, when the Ottoman Empire occupied the Balkans; not in the 19th century, when the Europeans occupied the Middle East & North Africa; not in 1916, when they redrew the borders for the West’s benefit; not in 1945, when they bombed countries like Syria which had fought on their side against the Germans and the Italians; not in the 1960’s, when their reaction to independence was neocolonialism; not in 1979, when they created the forerunner of the Taliban; not during 2 wars in Iraq, a war in Syria today, etc.

Said’s point was: Never has the West viewed or treated the Muslim world as equals, much less intellectual equals.

Given this history, why should us Iranians expect the reality of our high-achieving modernity to be accepted and admired?

LOL, believe me, I am over it! I write this to enlighten you, not me! I humbly hope that it works.

I will address the elephant in the room, and quickly: Yes, I assume that a large part of this prejudice is religious. Some Christians cannot accept that Islam promotes the most recent prophet of the monotheism which they both share.

Such religious prejudices are not my problem, and they do not blind my analysis of 2017 Iran.

No socialist believes in a “clash of civilizations” or “religious war”, anyway.

My point is not to criticize Europe for a lack of brotherhood with their fellow Abrahamic religion: My point is to criticize them in 2017 because most Westerners believe that that even the most leftist Iranian cannot even qualify as merely a “conservative social democrat”!

Can There Never Be a Muslim “Democrat” or an Iranian “Republican”?

The proof of this bias is the decades of Western support for the oppression of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian Revolution and any Muslim attempt to allow their religion into their politics. This is even though Christian Democratic parties governed Europe for decades after WWII, and it is absurd to think that the Christian dogma is not upheld and promoted in European politics today.

So, if Iranians cannot even be allowed to fulfill 19th century notions, why would the West accept that 2017 Iran can be even more truly leftist than the merely centrist ideology of European social democracy?

Of course, the average European cannot accept this, and this is why Western Socialists are aghast at my idea that Iran is an “ignored Socialist success story”.

The radical left of European Socialism, which seeks to destroy organized religion, is especially aghast, but they are a tiny minority and on the way out, thankfully. They do not realize that they have already been drastically tempered, if not ousted, in the still-Socialist countries they purportedly admire: Cuba is full of Santeria and Pope pictures, yin-yangy Confucianism is being promoted in China, etc.

But these Western radicals are a minority who simply cannot accept that spirituality cannot be rubbed out, largely because they see it as a choice or a social conditioning instead of a part of many people’s intrinsic nature (if not theirs). A modern Socialist must accept that this fight has already been fought and decided. The capitalists certainly advance as we chase our tails….

Even if leftist detractors can get past religion, they immediately will talk about Iran’s human rights faults.

I respond: Yawn yawn yawn African-Americans fill US jails; Muslims fill France’s jails; this is the centenary of the British-orchestrated Persian Famine, which killed 8-10 million people and actually made Iran the biggest victim of WWI, that is just one Western/capitalist inspired famine/death/human rights violation yawn yawn yawn.

I am not here to say Iran is perfect – only God can be – I am saying that Iran is absolutely no worse than the West. It is an undeniable fact that the current Islamic Republic of Iran has far less blood on its hands than most – and Iran has not invaded a country in 300 years!

Religion, human rights – these are all classic diversions from the facts presented against socialist societies, and Iran certainly is one.

Iran Checks All the Boxes as a Socialist Nation and as Revolutionary Socialist

What are the key components of socialism? Let’s clarify our terms.

The first is leadership by an avant-garde party committed to defending the revolution: Iran certainly has this, and it crosses over Principlist/Reformist party lines.

The second is central planning of the economy: Whoever had won, they would be largely implementing the 6th Five-year plan (2016-2021). And there is also the “Resistance Economy” approach promoted by many, which is certainly anti-globalization.

The third is control over the media: This is mixed – I would say Iran does not really have this in the traditionally Socialist sense. Cuba has no private media, for example, while Iran has dozens of private newspapers and innumerable TV satellites. But Iran does have limitations, so let’s check this box.

The fourth is support for foreign liberation movements: When the history of Palestinian liberation is finally written, just as a now-free South Africa thanks Cuba for sending troops to Angola, will not Palestinians do the same for Iran’s decades of support? The same with Lebanon and now Syria, correct?

The fifth is democratically devolving as much democracy as possible in order to empower the average person: There is no doubt that Iran is the most vibrant democracy in the Middle East, and by a huge margin. The difference between Iran’s social-democratic procedures and guarantees in 2017 when compared with 1978 is obviously laughable. I write this from Paris, a nation in an 18-month state of emergency with no end in sight….

If your country has these five crucial components: Congratulations! You are in a socialist country!

A little bit more on each for the naysayers….

An Avant-Garde Party

Iran is a one-party system – that party defends the 1979 Revolution. China is a one-party system – promoting Chinese communism. Many would say that the US is a one-party system – promoting imperialist capitalism.

The difference between Iran & China and the US is that in the former their one-party systems are formalized, explicit and well-known; in the US it is informal, but just as strong, and maybe even stronger.

I don’t think this needs much further explanation but, for example, you cannot propose to end the Iranian Revolution and run for office. In France a presidential candidate in their recent election (Jean-Luc Melenchon) won 20% of the first-round vote by proposing to abolish France’s current 5th Republic.

Like all socialist countries, Iran is criticized for not having democracy but they do: it is simply within their own particular structure. Just as in the USSR, there was lively debate about how to advance their own system – should we following the right-wing model of socialism of Bukharin/Khrushchev or the left-wing model socialism of Lenin/Trotsky? – but there was no debate about deviating from their chosen national system, i.e. communism. When they did allow such debates under Gorbachev, Soviet Socialism was almost immediately subverted by capitalist reactionaries and consigned to oblivion.

Again, please examine the repression of communism in the US, South Korea, Greece, Italy, Chile, etc. for historical examples of capitalist “one-party systems”, which are definitely NOT avant-garde and promoting socialism….

The idea that Iran has no avant-garde party but is some sort of totalitarian structure governed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is only expressed by those who are supremely ignorant about Iran. For the second presidential election in a row Hassan Rouhani won despite not seeming to be Khamenei’s preferred candidate, after all.

Central Planning of the Economy

I think I can illustrate Iran’s state of economic socialism with this anecdote: Back in 2013 all 8 presidential candidates were pushing for more privatization…not to promote capitalism, but because everything has already been nationalized for so long, LOL!

So Iran has already done the nationalizing, and maybe they need to do more? However, socialist countries have increasingly agreed that some revenue-producing businesses are needed to meet some of the basic needs of their people: North Korea has the Kaesong Industrial area, Cuba’s Port Mariel is giving some space to completely foreign-owned businesses, Vietnam and China have plenty of state-run capitalist enterprises, etc. The reality is that even producing things as simple as soap need some expertise, and very often only capitalist corporations can have that expertise.

That’s why the Iranian government went on a spending spree in 2016, but it was decidedly not your typical capitalism. (I do not want to appear to credit only the Rouhani administration because economic policy is produced by the entire government in 5-year development plans, as already noted.)

Iran was feted like a king in places like France and Italy because they were prepared to spend dozens of billions of euros. But what pleased me was how Iran spent: They demanded equal partnerships, joint ventures and technology transfers.

These are the ways in which foreign investment can be mutually beneficial and not exploitative – this was good for France too. I am not a dogmatic person who is absolutely against all capitalism, but I am against all exploitative capitalism.

My point is: It was a socialist spending spree, not a capitalist one. Iran did not just give money away; they did not waste money on vanity projects; this was not one billionaire dealing with another for their own benefit; they invested in Iran via long-term central planning, i.e. the socialist view of economic management.

This is not like France’s ruling “Socialist Party” recently selling off national industrial jewel Alstom to the United States’ General Electric: The French people got nothing for that. That was capitalism; that was globalization

Iran is not in favor of globalization – they are not even a member of the World Trade Organization, unlike 164 other countries. Some will say this is solely due to the opposition of the United States, but it is not: As many in Iran said during the election: membership in the WTO is against Iran’s principles…and these are socialist principles regarding the economy – there is nothing about the WTO in the Koran.

Control over the Media

It’s true you can’t have Charlie Hebdo in Iran – hardly a major loss –but Iran is certainly no Cuba.

Iran’s refusal to crack down on TV satellites which permit reactionary, anti-revolutionary channels like BBC Persian and VOA Persian (UK and US government-funded respectively) appears to be a dangerous fire which Havana will not tolerate. This tolerance does give Iran “human rights” credibility with the West – well it doesn’t, but it should!

I would suggest that Iran is simply confident that foreign propaganda cannot overwhelm the obvious successes of the 1979 Revolution. I imagine that Cuba feels that they cannot take chances, being just 100 kilometers from the USA.

Of course, Cubans simply laugh at Western propaganda channels like the US government’s pathetic Radio Marti. Cubans are supremely intelligent politically and, after all, their education programs are decades older than Iran’s.

Iran, like Cuba and China, bans pornography. I note that such respect for sexuality and for women is a very basic tenet of Socialism. If your utopia includes unfettered access to porn I suggest that you are a libertarian, and not a socialist.

I remind again that the media glasnost implemented by Gorbachev was a major driver in the catastrophic implosion of the Russian Revolution. To privatize media means, necessarily, that you are giving those few people rich enough to actually start newspapers the chance to promote their obviously capitalist worldviews.

I, for one, am not about to cry over the lack of published capitalist, imperialist, sexist, racist, regressive anti-revolutionary nonsense, and neither are most Iranians. As sad as the Dutch may be about it – Iran is not Amsterdam!

Support of Foreign Liberation Movements

Some will say that Palestine is just a “distraction” from Iran’s own problems. Nonsense – this is a point of pride to all Iranians. This is a point of admiration for Iran from the entire Muslim world, just as it is a negative point for much of the Western world.

This is another way Iran is revolutionary Socialist country: they support oppressed countries on the basis of ideology. Perhaps Iran is not the “Mecca of Revolutionaries” which Algeria was in the 1960’s, but let’s agree that the rate and scope of revolutionary movements worldwide are at a much lower level today, sadly.

Russia may support Syria, for example, but it appears more for Moscow’s self-interest and the idea of national sovereignty – which is the idea of national self-interest – rather than a moral-based ideology.

Call Iran the same as Russia – no insult there – but you cannot deny that Iran supports Palestine for reasons which are clearly to the detriment of their own success, i.e., they do it out of solidarity and morality. Were Iran to recognize Israel they would surely have the international dogs called off them…but Iran is a revolutionary Socialist society, as you are hopefully agreeing with by now.

Iran is also an anti-racist society, like all modern socialist societies.

They constitutionally protect minorities, with parliamentary seats for Armenians, Assyrians, Christians and Jews, despite their small numbers. Iran may not promote them, but their tolerance of local languages like Azeri and Kurdish far exceeds that of many minorities in Western Europe. Iran accommodates the 5th-largest number of refugees in the world, while French authorities put up gates and even ‘’anti-migrant boulders’’ to deny refugees even the barest shelter.

When it comes to religion they are extremely tolerant of ancient Iranian Zoroastrianism and all of the pre-Prophet Muhammad Abrahamic religions. Any religion after Prophet Muhammad? Well…it is an “Islamic” Revolution, after all.

This is perhaps a pedantic point but an important one on a verbal, Foucauldian level: Has there been any “revolution” in the world since WWI which was not “socialist”? I can’t think of any, because without a socialism component it cannot be a revolution – it can only be a continuation of the capitalist/feudalist/bourgeois status quo, or a military coup.

Empowering People

The two fundamental tenets of socialism are redistribution of wealth and empowering the average person so that they can reach their full potential. Dismantling the social roadblocks thrown up by capitalism against the non-wealthy has clearly been a major goal of the Islamic Revolution, and I can quite easily prove it has been achieved with a tremendous amount of real-world success.

Since 1990 – when the West’s attack dog of Iraq was beaten off – no country’s Human Development Index has improved more than Iran’s, with the lone exception of South Korea.

Everyone should take notice, especially Socialists, as it is we anti-capitalists who prize human development – not economic development – above all.

That’s why I’m going to leave the Human Development Index as the only proof of success. For me, I have so many other econometrics, anecdotes and personal reflections to prove that Iran has succeeded in creating a new, better, modern society that to do so is quite boring.

Bottom line: It is obvious that I do not have to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Despite the tremendous amount of opposition, violence and propaganda, Iran has advanced the most in the past 3+ decades.

I say “the most” because, unlike South Korea, Iran has done this without 30,000 US troops currently on its soil; it was not preceded by decades of brutal dictatorship which slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people (mainly leftists); and they did not collaborate with the Americans in the division of their nation which currently causes the greatest possibility of thermonuclear war.

Iran didn’t get to #1 as many others did: by capitalism and imperialism.

Iran’s recent election had a 73% voter turnout rate, ranking it #12 in the world. Unlike many of these other 11 countries, Iran does not compel citizens to vote. There is obviously tremendous support for the Iranian system from the Iranian people because…they are not blind to success, I would say!

The hardest thing to get people to do when it comes to socialism (or Iran) is to think realistically: Nobody can achieve “perfect” socialism. No country has 100% voter turnout. No country has zero human rights violations.

But for Iran you have add on another layer of misconception: Many of the “restrictions” in Iranian society predate 1979 by centuries: women were largely wearing the hejab before then; unmarried people, especially young women, also lived at home before 1979; alcohol could send you to prison then and now.

My point is: Iran is a culturally conservative nation, and it was like that long, long before 1979. You will have to simply trust me that Iranians don’t need a government to make them want to live in a society which appears conservative to modern Western standards.

Again, Iran is not Amsterdam, LOL! Maybe you can talk about the royal court in Shiraz in the 14th century as being a hotbed of drunken poetic reveling, but this is does not reflect the reality of life for the average person.

Only an Iranian will agree quickly with this statement and move on: Take away the 1979 Revolution and you would still have many of the same rules in place – they would just be enforced informally.

I will, lastly, put it this way: Take away the mullahs, and you still have to deal with my grandmother!!!!!

But to believe that the government has not empowered people since 1979…well, back then the average woman had 7 children, was illiterate 70% of the time, and the UN was not calling its health care system “excellent”.

Today, the birthrate is 1.7 children per woman, the overall literacy rate is 93% and the right-wing Washington DC-based think-tank the Brookings Institution runs dumbfounded articles with headlines like “Are Iranian Women Overeducated?”.

All in 30+ years…and have you thought it was capitalism that did it?!

Socialists Who Ignore Iran Are Not Really Socialists At All

Do you still want to think that Iran is a country solely motivated by religious radicalism and not the ideals of socialism? Well, then I place you on the right and the left, and that is the point of this article.

It is bad enough that the right (capitalists, imperialists) not only co-opt Socialist ideas as their own (social security, Medicare, Medicaid, affirmative action programs, welfare, free schooling, free nurseries, etc.), but it is laughable when the left refuses to see the leftism in Iran because it does not fit with their preconceived, totally inflexible notions.

Any true Socialist/Communist should realize that attacking Iran is doing a capitalist’s job for them.

And how can someone who proclaims to be a “leftist” have the exact same interpretation of Iran as a right-wing capitalist does?

Again, it is simply laughable that Iran is “not” what it really is.

But this is what always happens: Chinese communism “is not really communism”…despite having 1-party rule, a state-run economy, control over the media, support for Vietnam and North Korea, and the 2nd highest HDI improvement from 1970-2010.

North Korean communism is just a “cult of personality”…despite expelling the Japanese, resisting the Americans, maintaining their independence, security and high-level of education. Cuba is just the Castro dictatorship and, again, not communism.

This is all anti-socialist propaganda – for capitalism there can never be ANY “Socialist success story”.

You remain adamant that you do not want to implement all the principles of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in your country?

Fine, it is your country to decide for as you like. Like I wrote, no worries – Iran hasn’t invaded in 300 years and it sure seems like our military is necessarily focused on defense.

But just because you disagree with some aspects of the 1979 Revolution I encourage you not to throw the baby out with the bath water. I remind you that I needed only one fact to prove that Iran has been improving at a rate which is essentially the best in the world over the last 3 decades – how far below Iran does your country rank, hmm?

I write this article because practically no media in the English language will ever pursue the links between Iran and socialism. We leftists know this not just anti-Iran bias, but a much larger anti-Socialist bias.

However, it is truly suicidal to ignore the left-wing successes in Iran because, even if you reject some of them, Iran has clearly found MANY modern solutions to our MANY modern problems: surely some of them can be of use to you, right? Is Iran ALL wrong?

Of course not – only Satan can be all wrong.

Therefore, I advise those fighting against capitalism and imperialism: Please afford Iran a bit more respect and interest than you would afford Satan!

And Now I Take Our Victory lap

I can only laugh at those who say Iran’s revolution has failed!

“Oh really? Who was the puppet that was installed? Who was the king that was restored? What is the name of the popular democratic revolution which replaced the peoples’ one of 1979, because I have not heard of it and I still see many familiar faces from 1979?”

The revolution has succeeded, and I am not sorry to say so.

Not that I care about your opinion – this is for YOUR own benefit: YOU will not win socialism, anti-capitalism or anti-imperialism in your country if you cannot learn from the successes of others.

But sadly, your inability to recognize socialism in Iran imperils all of us, because the people worldwide cannot win in the long term if even like-minded leftists cannot stick together to work against fascism, capitalism and racism.

But Iran, Cuba, China, etc. – we can win enough of these things for ourselves, at least.

We are doing just fine – steady as she goes, eh? All thanks to central planning, as the capitalists veer from crisis to crisis, with the 1% sucking up a greater percentage every time. Our election had huge participation rates, as usual, dwarfing the European cultures who probably want to claim they invented voting, along with everything else. Asia has heard it all before….

For the non-Western readers: I know that the vast majority of you already support Iran. I have talked with too many of you over my life – I know better. I also know that for us “field slaves” we have to give that impression in order to survive, sometimes, or at least to avoid annoyances.

Anyway, many Westerners appear to misunderstand Socialism completely: they don’t realize it is intrinsically a global idea; they think the Franco-German-Russian (European) variety is the only one. More Eurocentrism blinding them to reality, and necessarily limiting them….

But I look across the West and I see nothing but leftist failure after leftist failure: The fall of communism in Russia, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the obvious absorption of “left” parties into the dominant right-wing parties, the rise of austerity, the advance of globalization at the expense of national interests….

So the next time you look at Iran, you should applaud it as a rare socialist success. Iranians will certainly keep living their path of creating modern socialism, Inshallah.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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Something Wrong with America? or Why Is America Hated? By A. J. Harvey-Hall

An interesting piece from a reader and financial supporter (thank you!) of this website. Hope you enjoy it.

Something Wrong With America? or Why is America hated?

By A. J. Harvey-Hall, Australia

Where do I start?

I originally wrote this in 2013 when I was mad as hell, and here we are in 2015, and I am still mad as hell at you guys. Most of what I have written has come true.

Don’t believe me – ask your Remote Viewing (Project Stargate) people to drop in and check me out. It works both ways in case you are unaware.

Coming from Australia I can tell you a hell of a lot of where America “went wrong”. I am not saying Australia is/was perfect – it’s just a fact we were the last large island/continent settled by the so-called enlightened Westerners – due to distance we saw where everyone else stuffed up and decided as a whole not to do that (Commonwealth knowledge?).

Canada is very similar to Australia, so look to them as well. One thing’s for certain – everyone gets a fair go in this country. We are multicultural and tolerant. Early Western settlers did not treat the Aboriginals appropriately, but in summary, it was probably no different to any superior culture that overtook another at some time in history. It’s easy to look back and say what the Westerners did to Aboriginals was disgraceful.

I have a right to tell you how it is because Australia is the only country that has fought every war alongside America all through WW1 and WW2 and several “police” actions.

Let’s revisit some words spoken by one of your greatest presidents in the course of the America’s Cup back in 1962 when Australia was still a country of 10 million:

Quoting Kennedy –

Ambassador, Lady Beale, Ambassador and Mrs. Berckmeyer, Ambassador and Lady Ormsby Gore, the Ambassador from Portugal, our distinguished Ministers from Australia, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I know that all of us take the greatest pleasure in being here, first of all because whether we are Australian or American, we are all joined by a common interest, a common devotion and love for the sea.

And I am particularly glad to be here because this Cup is being challenged by our friends from Australia, this extraordinary group of men and women numbering some 10 million, who have demonstrated on many occasions, on many fields, in many countries, that they are the most extraordinarily athletic group in the world today, and that this extraordinary demonstration of physical vigor and skill has come not by the dictates of the state because the Australians are among the freest citizens in the world, but because of their choice…

Australia became committed to physical fitness, and it has been disastrous for the rest of us. We have the highest regard for Australia, Ambassador. As you said, we regard them as very satisfactory friends in peace and the best of friends in war. And I know there are a good many Americans of my generation who have the greatest possible reason to be grateful to the Australians who wrote a most distinguished record all the way from the desert of North Africa, and most particularly in the islands of the South Pacific, where their particular courage and gallantry I think met the strongest response in all of us in this country.

But I really don’t look to the past. I look to the present. The United States and Australia are most intimately bound together today, and I think that — and I speak as one who has had some experience in friendship and some experience in those who are not our friends — we value very much the fact that on the other side of the Pacific, the Australians inhabit a very key and crucial area and that the United States is most intimately associated with them. So beyond this race, beyond the result, rests this happy relationship between two great people.

– President John F. Kennedy, Newport, Rhode Island, September 14, 1962

Let’s go back to the (your) War of Independence:

The English were wrong in what they were doing – hence independence – not a problem. In gaining independence however you put in place the building blocks that as of today are not crumbling – they have already crumbled.

Every builder in the world knows that unless your foundations are spot on and repaired when cracks appear, a structure cannot live for hundreds of years. You must update and repair as you go to ensure the building is viable for hundreds of years ongoing – not just paper over it.

The building I am referring to is the “United States of America”. It has now crumbled as a result of a demarcation dispute between your two political parties that act worse than our Australian Parliament. Each party is only out to make a name for itself and has lost the understanding of “serving the people”.

Let’s talk about your constitution – ohhh – am I upsetting you already? Remember I am an outsider who is looking in giving you an unbiased opinion.

When your Constitution was framed it was OK, for the day!

It is now the oldest ‘out of date’ Constitution in the world. Don’t stand behind your outdated constitution. Start again. Be bold.

Yes – you have made amendments, but those amendments are just papering over extensions – you need to go back and look at the foundations and do the work there.

Take one example – a right to bear arms.

It was OK 200 years ago when things were a bit rough – it is not acceptable in the 20th or 21st Centuries, but you will not remove that right. How many people have died in your country as a result of that one so called right?

Your gun culture is one of the bases (not basis) that has crumbled. This is ultimately why you have numerous police forces that are happy to shoot first and ask questions later.

Your children and work colleagues will continue to die in massacres as a result of this “right“. They will continue to die in soft target areas such as schools, mass transport, malls, parades (early days – wait for it).

Hang on – maybe the British, Russians or Communists are still coming to invade. Pity you don’t update your Constitution the same way you enforce updates to laws you force upon people who want to trade with you.

You allow gun lobbyists to “set the course” with government officials, senators and the public.

Since when did lobbyists of any ilk run the government? Since when did they represent “the people”?

You continue to think of arms as a gun – they are no longer guns – instead are bombs, viruses or maybe even the Internet itself. But it’s OK because you have a right” to bear arms.

Let’s talk about your medical care.

Actually let’s save time and refer to Michael Moore. He is spot on. How can you allow your own citizens suffer and even die on the streets because they don’t have medical insurance? And some of your citizens applaud this stance.

How about your returned veterans – even wounded veterans have to fight to get medical assistance upon return – why – because you outsourced the process and someone applied expiry dates that wounded veterans were not aware of. It then requires an act of Congress or a law to be passed to allowed them back into the system.

More veterans have committed suicide upon return that you lost in actual combat. That is an absolute disgrace.

Even that poor, small country across from Florida – Cuba – does it better than you. A pissant island makes you look like a disgrace. Ohhh that’s right…you won’t interact with them because they put one over you in the Cuban Missile crisis. Get over it – you eventually did with Vietnam. And that leads me to another chapter – Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia…or shouldn’t I mention all the “minor” illegal wars you waged?

You lost LOST the Vietnam War – admit it. You will also lose the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars. The Middle Eastern wars are also bankrupting your country – why can’t day to day Americans see this? No one (starting with Alexander the Great) has ever conquered Afghanistan – get real or get out.

If you think those wars are over, and as G. W. Bush said, “Mission completed”…think again. You have effectively put people in charge who are far worse than the dictators that were already there in Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Afghanistan etc. and now you are trying to do the same in Crimea via the Ukraine. You are responsible for the extremists that are now running around the Middle East, and I don’t mean Al Qaeda. You are responsible for the creation of ISIS.

Let’s look at all those African refugees (including Syrians, Lebanese etc.) who are risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe. The USA is totally responsible for all these simply because of WMD lies that resulted in the invasion of Iraq. All Middle East actions from thereon are his fault. He is a war criminal – oopps did I break one of your laws saying he is a war criminal in the land of the free and home of the brave? The land of free speech?

Fact – history is written by the victors.

The USA is trying to run the Middle East like a corporation – all the top executives from the G. W. Bush era on are criminals lining their own pockets.

Starting wars in the 21st century will no longer get a country out of a recession. It’s simply profit-making. Why don’t you take Saudi Arabia to task for 9/11? Ohhh that’s right, they control the oil flow. Don’t upset them – why don’t you find an alternative to Middle East oil?

Are you getting a message here?

The entire world dislikes and even hates you. You have acted the bully for many years after The Korean War, effectively destroying the good will you established in the early 20th century. You are hated across all lines – economic, religious, social, political and otherwise.

What is your obsession with Israel?

Fact – Israel was founded by Jewish terrorists. They set off bombs, killed people and destroyed property to achieve their aims. Because the world had ‘sympathy’ for Jews after WW2, it happened and a blind eye was turned. Today Middle America strongly believes in the Bible literally and as such wants to see Israel succeed in order the “Second Coming” results.

People – the Bible is a guide. It is not Gospel.

Why? In the early centuries, the Roman Catholic Church held conferences and decided which books, writings and teachings ended up in “The Bible”. God did not decide which early Christian books ended up in The Bible – so it is absolute rubbish for someone to state that the Bible guides what the United States should do. Too many real accounts of Jesus’ workings were excluded. The Roman Catholic Church is responsible for closing our eyes to the real Christ.

Hopefully Pope Francis can arrest this BS.

There are numerous United Nations resolutions that Israel has refused to comply with. By the way – are you (USA) financially paid up with the UN, or do you still refuse to pay in a timely manner in order to attempt to remind them that you rule over them?

How about the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq that lead to invasion? Colin Powell held up a drawing and said – here is the proof. You never found proof and never admitted you were wrong. Yes – Saddam Hussein was a bastard but he had the warring clans under control. It was all ALL about oil and nothing else. When the mud got too deep, you changed tact and said it was all about democracy. How far is Greece from Iraq? – damn closer that the USA. If the Greeks could not influence them – you sure in Hell can’t.

You can resolve the Palestinian problem in a matter of weeks, but you won’t due to that “minority” in the Middle East. This bullshit has been going on for 60 years.

Everyone knows (sorry – obviously you don’t) – the longer a problem festers, the harder and more costly it is to resolve.

I worked in the finance industry for many years and can only say that the number of times “we” (non-Americans) had to change our processes and rules etc. because the USA had set ‘”new standards” makes me sick. The standards set were not improvements – they were changed to line your pockets.

Look at Sarbanes Oxley for example – the world spent hundreds of billions of $’s attempting to comply because the USA would not do business with another country unless they did so only to see the USA itself found it too costly to implement itself! What a joke!

We now have many European countries in dire straits as a direct result of the exporting of American ways.

You destroyed the financial industry with your Subprime rubbish.

What about changes to financial models and makes etc. of any product or service that demand that people buy the “updated” version to reline your pockets. This is simply to keep the money wheel turning. You are desperately trying to ensure it keeps turning long enough for your problems to be passed to some other country or the next generation.

Ever thought about how much you spend on items such as defense, spying, war, inventing, manufacturing and using machines of war? Just imagine if only half of that was diverted to your health programs, science or to the benefit of other countries less fortunate? What about converting the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines into an international force for peace and relief of local and international disasters?

How can you allow a company to have a patent on the human breast cancer gene? You have to be kidding the world – but then again that’s your Constitution at work. No one owns human genes!

What happened to the “United States” that I remember as a child? That far-off country whose technology was so far advanced we could never dream of equaling.

What happened to that country that every county – even Russia in the old days – feared  -a form of respect?

Oh – and how long before I get the FBI, CIA, and all your other bullshit muscle agencies to frame me for some rubbish and shut me down…

A parting true story:

In late 1978/early 1979 my family traveled to Washington state where my father was working on behalf of a company in Australia. Unfortunately, departing Auckland NZ they had an emergency which meant we had to go back, dumping fuel on the way. 24 hours later we took off again after repairs and finally landed in Honolulu. My mother was pretty savvy and said get to the front of the Customs line so we can get to the connecting flight to LA.

Well – I was at the front of the queue, 18 years old, looking at an overweight female Customs officer wearing a gun strutting back and forwards. Her welcoming words to the Australians and New Zealanders were, “If you step over that yellow line, I will shoot you!” What a fucking joke – in 1978! No wonder you have a gun problem.

Welcome to America!

Congratulations to the NRA who lobby the most congressman/women on both sides.

Fact – I was born in July 1960, and in November 1963 I still vividly recall my parents being very upset when they heard of the news of Kennedy’s death despite my being three years old. All the more remarkable is the fact that we lived in Papua New Guinea – a protectorate of Australia at the time – literally a colonial backwater. I was too young to understand but remembered the words Kennedy and death and vaguely remembered the Cuba Crisis. We cried in the backwaters of the Pacific!

I fully understand that the Kennedys had their dalliances. Small beer in the scheme of things.

He and his brother are the standard you must return to.

Did Kennedy not say “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country?”

And in closing, written on the base of the Statue of Liberty…

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazurus

My country totally lacks world-shaking oratory ,but I think we more than make up with it in our actions.

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The True Story of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe

RL: Yeah, and 1/2 of the Black population was starving. It is not like that now.

Jason Yiddish: This is in reference to Rhodesia? Interesting, sources?

It’s well known and I did a piece on it, actually.

Yeah, sure Rhodesia was a food exporter. Because all their food was going for export! How bout that?

This is not dissimilar to many Latin American countries where half the population is starving, yet they are also “food exporters” because all of the crops grown are cash crops for export on land owned by a few rich people in countries were 2% of the landowners own almost all of the land. All the rest of the people are landless peasants working for peanuts or scraping out a living on marginal land. The country does not grow enough food to feed their people. For a long time the project of the Left down there, described as Communism by the US and the US media, was actually more like, “We are trying to figure out a way to feed our people.” A pretty simple project. Apparently if you are trying to figure out a way to grow food for your people, according to the US government, you must be a Communist.

About 2% of the landowners owned almost all of the good land in Rhodesia. Coincidentally, they were all White people! Gosh, how did that happen? All of these crops were grown for cash exports. The country was not growing enough food to feed their people. All of the rural Blacks were either landless peasants working on White farms for peanuts or forced onto marginal land which they farmed inefficiently, resulting in poor yields. Incidentally, large scale farming on marginal land was causing a lot of erosion, and this was getting to be a serious problem. Much of the country was literally eroding away.

As part of the transition, the 2,000 White farmers who owned all the good land were supposed to sell their land. But the US and especially UK (because the farmers were mostly British) dragged their heels and dragged out the process endlessly. Bottom line is they were not going to sell out for any money, with the support of the US and UK.

Most of Mugabe’s supporters were war veterans. The war veterans wanted the land situation resolved. They were getting increasingly angry about the situation. Mugabe kept warning the Anglos that the situation was getting out of hand, and he would not be able to control his supporters any longer. The Anglos did nothing but continue to drag their heels.

Eventually the situation exploded and the war veterans rioted all across the land, seizing the White farms. It was not as violent as the racists make it out to be. Seven Whites were killed, but that wasn’t all of them. There were 25,000 in the country. Mostly the Whites just left.

The Blacks did not know how to run the farms, so they basically destroyed them and in a pretty moronic way to boot. When this happened, it was what Mugabe had been trying to avoid all this time, but it was his supporters doing it, and he felt he could not go against them, so he cheered it on. He also did not want the farms dismantled by them. Mugabe wanted the Whites to sell out peacefully and then continue to have large farms run more or less by the state or just break them up into small farms. The Blacks did not know how to run large farms. A large farm is a business, and it requires quite a bit of smarts to run one, which the Blacks did not have. But of course the Blacks could grow food crops on small plots! They’d been doing it for millennia! Blacks even started plantation agriculture in East Africa before Discovery.

Unfortunately this turned into a disgusting meme egged on by the corporate media called more or less, “Niggers Are So Stupid, They Can’t Even Grow Food!” Although this meme was rather humorous, obviously that’s not true because that is how they survived there for millennia. Of course all of the White nationalists on the Web continue to flog this dead horse endlessly. Did you know? Black people are so stupid that they can’t even grow food? They’re too dumb to even grow food! How dumb can you get?

You have to admit that this whole mess was pretty racist. The US and UK holding a whole country hostage because 2,000 Whites, who own all the good land, refused to sell out. The Blacks scraping away an existence on marginal land and the country eroding away as a consequence. Half of the Blacks starving and malnourished.

This is a hardcore racist foreign policy any way you cut the cake. And this was going on during the Presidency of Bill Clinton, supposedly a friend of Blacks who was jokingly regarded as the First Black President. So we are still a quite racist country in how we conduct our foreign policy, even when we have a so-called liberal Democrat president! God forbid how we act when Republicans get in. Black people better duck and cover.

For standing up to the US and UK, the two countries put the Zimbabwe under severe financial sanctions. No bank on Earth could deal with them. Of course, after a while this completely ruined the economy. Thing is, Blacks eat better now under Mugabe than they did in Rhodesia.

Mugabe has been beaten to Hell and back by the corporate media and the Anglo governments. Boy, do they hate him. You see, he stood up to us, gave us the finger, and told us to go fuck ourselves. Remember Castro did the same thing. So did the Iranians and Hezbollah.

The Empire does not tolerance insolent brats among its slave colonies. America usually declares war in some way or other against anyone who has the balls to stand up to us and tell us to fuck off. The US usually organizes guerrilla wars against these countries, tries to topple them with coups, puts them under sanctions to ruin their economies, etc. All the above entities got that treatment. We just won’t tolerate any uppity non-Whites, and we certainly do not tolerate slave rebellions in our colonies. The only appropriate way for most countries to address the US is, “Yes massa?”

Yes, Zimbabwe was screwed up for a long time, but that was 100% due to the sanctions and 0% due to anything else. They have managed to climb out of most of the mess. The farm situation is slowly being resolved. Whites have even been asked to come back to farm lands, under strict regulation of course.

A reporter recently went to the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare, and said it was nothing like how the media described it. It was clean and peaceful. Couples ate lunch in the parks on work breaks. All medical care is free, and he visited a brand new imaging center run by competent physicians. He even went to the worst slums, which were not so great. However, he said that those were probably the nicest looking slums in Africa. In other words, every other country has worse slums than Zimbabwe. Mugabe is a socialist, and the state has all sorts of social programs to help the people, and this keeps the country from collapsing to typical Sub-Saharan levels of chaos.

Mugabe has enjoyed strong support all through this mess. The people stood by him even when the place had completely fallen apart. The Opposition only has the support of 1/3 of the population at most. They are deeply in bed with the US and the UK and their project is full neoliberalism with privatization of all state functions. Zimbabweans have had a taste of Mugabe’s socialism, and they like it. They are not real keen on free market economics (in fact, they are not popular anywhere in Africa), and most African ruling parties have the words socialist, Left, progressive, popular, labor, etc. in their names. In fact, such is the case in most of the world. The US is one of the few populations that actually supports neoliberalism. Everyone else hates it.

The Opposition in Zimbabwe are also seen as Quislings, traitors and sellouts to the West. Mugabe is the man who led an anti-colonial rebellion and liberated their homeland from the colonists. Mugabe gives the people a sense of pride, whereas the Opposition seem like a bunch of sellouts. So here we see as in the Arab World and South Africa that people would rather be poor and free than wealthier and in chains.

The media turned the collapse of the Zimbabwean state then turned into “Niggers Can’t Even Run Countries!” This meme was also populated by the corporate media and both the US and UK. Like everything was going fine when Whites were running the show and growing the food, but everything quickly went to Hell when the country was turned over to Blacks because Niggers can’t run countries or grow food. You know, only White people can do that.

The whole matter is disgusting. Almost no one knows the true story, and the behavior of the US government and the corporate media has been so racist, it is sickening.

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Anatomy of a Lie: All Latin American Revolutions Came from Cuba and the USSR

Jason: Also, the left not only believes the other side will torture them like on Hostel, but they believe the US is aiding the right. I suppose at one time, the right thought the USSR was aiding the left, but I think the real facts were exaggerated.

They have good reasons to think that. Do you realize that hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have in fact been tortured like in Hostel? All with the approval, coaching, cheerleading and assistance of the US?

The USSR was aiding the Left only in a sense. In only a very few countries had an armed revolutions had sprung up and Cuba was aiding them. Russia gave the Cubans lots of arms and the Cubans smuggled them to Nicaragua and then to the rebels in El Salvador. That was it as far as I can tell.

The revolutionaries in the following countries never got one bullet or one nickel from Cuba or the USSR:

Guatemala: URNG and others 1954-1994
Colombia: ELN, FARC 1964-present
Peru: focos in the 1960’s, Sendero Luminoso 1980-present, MRTA 1984-1996
Ecuador: Sendero Luminoso 1990
Venezuela: small focos in the 1960’s and 1970’s
Brazil: urban guerrillas in the 1960’s
Uruguay: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Bolivia: Sendero Luminoso 1990, MIR 1960’s
Paraguay: recent guerrillas supported by the FARC 2012-present
Argentina: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Nicaragua: Sandinistas 1964-1979
Honduras: small guerrilla bands in the 1980’s
Chile: Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front 1970-1989, Lautaro Front 1990’s

As you can see, armed revolutions started up in all of those countries at one time or another usually for very good reasons. The Right tried to blame all this revolutionary activity on the USSR bogeyman. But the USSR never gave any of those groups one bullet or one dime. The Right also claimed and still does that everything was peachy clean and hunky dory in all of those countries except for the evil Soviets coming in and stirring things up by giving those university students all those funny ideas. This is complete nonsense. The truth is that if you have a decent country, you never get Left guerrillas, rural, urban or otherwise.

You only get an armed Left when your country is a complete Hellhole. The way to defeat an armed Left is to create at least a semblance of a decent society. If you do that, the Left will lay down its arms and even join the government.

The US always wants to say that rebels have no agency.

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Only Whites Are Expats?

Trash: White are COLONISTS essentially. We do not have the same primitive tribal link to the land that Mestizos or Africans do. So you move to Sydney and write your parents every day on e mail. Maybe a once a year trip.

I know many whites who moved to Australia from California. They did it simply to get away from NAM’s and be in a White individualist country. They were happy to do so…like I was happy to leave Greater Detroit.

First of all, residents of Europe are not colonists at all. They have all lived right where they are. The only White colonists are in South Africa, the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

And what makes you think Australia is individualist? Last time I checked, it was quite socialist.

And for exactly the same reason that you say Whites leave the US, many people all over the world leave their lousy countries to move to a better country. There is an economic element of course, but there is also the notion that their own country is a Hellhole.

Bottom line is people all over the world move all over the place all the time.

Inside Latin America, there is huge migration. Costa Rica is now full of Nicaraguans. Cuba is full of Jamaicans and Haitians. The Dominican Republic is full of Haitians. Argentina is filling up with Bolivians and Peruvians. Plenty of Colombians have moved to Venezuela. Central Americans move to Mexico. And many Latin Americans have moved to Spain now due to the common language. The Whiter ruling class of Latin America seems to live about half their lives in Spain.

Many Latinos have come to the US and even Canada now. People from all over Latin America come to the US. Most are from Mexico and Central America – mostly from Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. From the Caribbean, we have many Cubans, Dominicans, and Haitians. Many South Americans such as Colombians, Brazilians, Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, Chileans, Peruvians, Argentines, Uruguayans, and Bolivians. I have met South Americans from all of these countries in the US.

South Asians pour into the UK, US, Canada and the Gulf states.

Europe is filling up with Black Africans. Many North Africans moved to France and the Netherlands. All of Europe is filling up with Syrians. There are a lot of Iranians in the Nordic states. Turkey is full of Syrians, Crimean Tatars and Kirghiz.

Black Africans flood into South Africa and also the Arab states of North Africa. Libya and Egypt are full of Black Africans, mostly Nigerians. Right now there are some Nigerians in SE Asia and there are quite a few in China. Nigerians appear to be one of the more mobile groups of Africans.

Filipinos flood into China, the US, Australia, the Gulf and Jordan. Chinese move to Australia, the US and Canada. Koreans move to the US. China is full of Koreans.

Palestinians and now Syrians have been living all over the Arab World for some time now. Lebanese move to Australia.  Quite a few Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Syrians, and Yemenis moved to the US. Many Uighur Chinese have moved to Syria.

Polynesians move to the US and Australia.

Central Asians pour into Europe and the US. Residents of the Stans such as Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan move to Russia.

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Alt Left on Donald Trump: Oppose Completely

Below is a list of Donald Trump’s positions on many issues taken from his Wikipedia site. Each position is marked Yes, No, or Neutral depending on whether or not I agree with it. Note that I am conflating my opinions on Trump’s positions with the Alt Left’s, but that’s not so strange.

The results were:

No:      282

Yes:     97

Neutral: 9

So the Alt Left opposes Trump on 282 issues, supports him on 97 issues and is neutral on nine issues.

We oppose Trump on 77% of the issues, support him on 25% of the issues and are neutral on 2% of the issues. That’s pretty bad. I do not see how the Alt Left can support Donald Trump at all based  on this survey. I suppose you could support him on accelerationist grounds, but that’s about it. No Alt Left person should support Trump, and the movement must oppose and renounce him thoroughly. The way I see it is that Trump is one of the enemies of the Alt Left. I realize that one Alt Left faction, the Left Wing of the Alt Right, went heavily for Trump, but they are being renounced by a number of Alt Leftists for various reasons. Personally I renounce them simply based on their support for Trump. If this faction ever wants to stop supporting Trump maybe I will see about revoking that renunciation.

It would be nice to do a similar survey of Hillary Clinton to see the Alt Left’s position on her positions on the issues, but that will take a lot of time and I am not sure if I am up for it.

On August 8, 2016, Trump outlined a new economic plan that involved significant income tax cuts at all levels of income. NO

He proposed to reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, and replace the rates ranging from 10% to 39.6% with 12%, 25% and 33%. NO

He proposed to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. NO

He proposed to repeal the estate tax, which applies to inheritance for estates valued at $5.45 million for individuals and $10.9 million for couples, or roughly the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans. NO

Trump also said he would eliminate the carried interest loophole. YES

Trump’s plan would also “eliminate the alternative minimum tax and the 3.8 percent net investment income tax, which was levied on high-income households to help fund Medicare expansion under the Affordable Care Act.” NO

An analysis by Lily L. Batchelder of New York University School of Law estimated that Trump’s new tax plan would cost more than $5 trillion over ten years and would raise taxes for lower and middle income families with children. NO

According to the Tax Policy Center, Trump’s economic plan would raise taxes on many families. NO

For instance, families with head-of-household filing status making between $20,000 and $200,000, including many single parents, would pay more under Trump’s plan than under current tax law. NO

However, in the September 2016 presidential debate, Trump said that using loopholes to avoid paying income taxes in the 1970s “makes me smart.” NO

Last fall Mr. Trump suggested that he would break with Republican orthodoxy by raising taxes on the wealthy. But then he unveiled a tax plan that would, in fact, lavish huge tax on the rich. And it would also, according to non-partisan analyses, cause deficits to explode, adding around $10 trillion to the national debt over a decade.” NO

Economist Mark Zandi estimated that if Trump’s tax cuts and spending increases were fully implemented as proposed, the national debt trajectory would worsen considerably, with debt held by the public rising from 76% GDP in 2016 to 135% GDP in 2026, considerably above a current policy baseline that rises to 86% GDP in 2026. If only some of Trump’s policies were implemented under an alternative scenario of more moderate changes, the debt figure would rise to 111% GDP by 2026.[72] In May 2016, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget placed the 2026 debt figure under Trump’s policies between 111% GDP and 141% GDP, versus 86% under the current policy baseline. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. YES

Unlike his rivals in the 2016 Republican primary race, Trump opposes cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits. YES

Trump supports proposals that would grant Congress the ability to audit the Federal Reserve’s decision-making and take power away from the Federal Reserve. NO

Trump favors returning to the gold standard. NO

Trump supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a $700 billion emergency bailout fund that rescued banks after the sub-prime mortgage crisis. YES

In May 2016, Trump said that if elected president he would dismantle “nearly all” of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a financial regulation package enacted after the financial crisis. NO

Trump promised to roll back existing regulations and impose a moratorium on new regulations, with a specific focus on undoing environmental rules that he said curtail job creation. NO

In October 2016, Trump proposed to eliminate as many as 70 percent of federal agency regulations. NO

However, In May 2016 Trump’s campaign co-chair, Sam Clovis stated that the ideas being prepared by the campaign included getting government out of student lending; requiring colleges to share in risk of loans; discouraging borrowing by liberal arts majors; and moving the Office of Civil Rights from the Education Department to Justice Department. NO

In an October 2016 speech, Trump said that he favored having student loans repayment capped at 12.5 percent of borrowers’ income, with forgiveness of any remaining debt after fifteen years of payments. YES

Trump has criticized the federal government for earning a profit from federal student loans. YES

The campaign does opposes Hillary Clinton’s proposal for debt-free public higher education, Bernie Sanders’s plan for free public higher education and President Obama’s proposals for a state-federal partnership to make community college free for new high school graduates, citing federal budget concerns. NO

Trump supports investment in American infrastructure to help create jobs.He wrote in his 2015 book Crippled America that “Our airports, bridges, water tunnels, power grids, rail systems – our nation’s entire infrastructure is crumbling, and we aren’t doing anything about it.” Trump noted that infrastructure improvements would stimulate economic growth while acknowledging “on the federal level, this is going to be an expensive investment, no question about that.”In an October 2015 interview with the Guardian, Trump stated: “We have to spend money on mass transit. We have to fix our airports, fix our roads also in addition to mass transit, but we have to spend a lot of money.” YES

Trump said: “We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people. If we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges and all of the other problems—our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had—we would’ve been a lot better off.” YES

Trump has expressed support for high-speed rail, calling the U.S.’s current rail network inferior to foreign countries’ systems. YES

When Trump was asked on Fox & Friends about supporting Russia’s idea on a Bering Strait tunnel project, he replied: “I wouldn’t be opposed to any idea that can create jobs.” YES

Asked if the federal government should set a floor (a national minimum wage), Trump replied: “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. NO

In February 2016, Trump said on a radio program: “My position on unions is fine, but I like right to work. My position on right to work is 100 percent.” NO

Trump has frequently spoken in favor of deregulation, and if elected president is viewed as likely to oversee an Occupational Safety and Health Administration that conducts “less enforcement and practically no rulemaking” on issues of workplace safety and health. NO

Trump first addressed childcare costs on August 8, 2016, where he said he would “[allow] parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes.” NO

According to a report by the RAND Corporation, Trump’s proposed health-care policies would result in 19.7 million more people without insurance and widen the federal deficit by $33.1 billion in 2018. NO! Way to go, morans!

As the 2016 campaign unfolded, Trump stated that he favors repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) – which Trump refers to as a “complete disaster”- and replacing it with a “free-market system.” NO

Trump’s campaign has insisted that the candidate has “never supported socialized medicine.” NO

In March 2016, Trump reversed himself, saying that “Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.” NO

In March 2016 Trump released his health care plan, which called for allowing health-insurance companies to compete across state lines and for making Medicaid into a block grant system for the states. NO

He also called for elimination of the individual mandate for health insurance, for allowing health insurance premiums to be deducted on tax returns. NO

…and for international competition in the drug market. YES

Trump acknowledged that mental health care in the U.S. is often inadequate but offered no immediate solution to the problem, instead stating that “there are promising reforms being developed in Congress.” NO

Trump also emphasized the removal of market entry barriers for drug providers and improved access to imported medication corresponding to safety standards. NO

Though he characterized the Canadian health-care system as “catastrophic in certain ways” in October 2016. NO

Trump identifies himself as a “free trader.” NO

…but has been widely identified as a “protectionist” YES

Trump has described supporters of international trade as “blood suckers.” YES

According to the New York Times, since at least the 1980s, Trump has advanced mercantilist views, “describing trade as a zero-sum game in which countries lose by paying for imports.” YES

On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has decried the U.S.-China trade imbalance—calling it “the greatest theft in the history of the world”—and regularly advocates tariffs. YES

In a 60 Minutes interview in September 2015, Trump condemned the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying that if elected president, “We will either renegotiate it, or we will break it.” YES

In January 2016, Trump proposed a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the United States to give “American workers a level playing field.” YES

Trump has vowed to label China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office. YES

Trump has pledged “swift, robust and unequivocal” action against Chinese piracy, counterfeit American goods, and theft of U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property; and has condemned China’s “illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards.” YES

In a May 2016 speech, Trump responded to concerns regarding a potential trade war with “We’re losing $500 billion in trade with China. Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?” YES

Trump has vowed to impose tariffs – in the range of 15 to 35 percent – on companies that move their operations to Mexico. He has specifically criticized the Ford Motor Co., Carrier Corporation, and Mondelez International. YES

Trump has pledged a 35% tariff on “every car, every truck and every part manufactured in [Ford’s Mexico plant] that comes across the border.” YES

n August 2015, in response to Oreo maker Mondelez International’s announcement that it would move manufacturing to Mexico, Trump said that he would boycott Oreos. YES

Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying “The deal is insanity. That deal should not be supported and it should not be allowed to happen … We are giving away what ultimately is going to be a back door for China.”Trump has asserted that the TPP will “be even worse than… NAFTA… We will lose jobs, we will lose employment, we will lose taxes, we will lose everything. We will lose our country.” YES

Trump has called the World Trade Organization (WTO) a “disaster”. YES

When informed that tariffs in the range of 15 to 35 percent would be contrary to the rules of the WTO, he answered “even better. Then we’re going to renegotiate or we’re going to pull out.” YES

Trump has also expressed support for a variety of “limits on legal immigration and guest-worker visas,” including a “pause” on granting green cards, which Trump says will “allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages.” YES

Trump’s proposals regarding H-1B visas have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign, but as of late July 2016, he appears to oppose to the H-1B visa program. YES

Trump opposes birthright citizenship (the legal principle set forth by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that all persons born on U.S. soil are citizens). Trump has asserted that the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to children of illegal immigrants (whom Trump refers to as “anchor babies”). YES

The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. YES

The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. YES

Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. NO

In addition to his proposals to construct a border wall (see below), Trump has called for tripling the number of Border Patrol agents. NO

Trump has repeatedly pledged to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border, and has said that Mexico would pay for its construction through increased border-crossing fees and NAFTA tariffs. NO

Experts also note that on federally protected wilderness areas and Native American reservations, the Department of Homeland Security may have only limited construction authority, and a wall could cause environmental damage. NO

Trump has proposed the mass deportation of illegal immigrants.During his first town hall campaign meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, Trump said that if he were to win the election, then on “day 1 of my presidency, illegal immigrants are getting out and getting out fast.” YES

Trump has proposed a “Deportation Force” to carry out this plan, modeled after the 1950s-era “Operation Wetback” program during the Eisenhower administration. YES

However, on August 31, 2016, Trump reiterated that all illegal immigrants are “subject to deportation” and all those seeking legalization would have to go home and re-enter the country legally. NO

According to analysts, Trump’s mass-deportation plan would encounter legal and logistical difficulties, since U.S. immigration courts already face large backlogs. NO

However, in a major speech on August 31, Trump laid out a 10-step plan reaffirming his hardline positions, including the deportation of “anyone who has entered the United States illegally,” with priority given to undocumented immigrants who have committed significant crimes and those who have overstayed visas. He also repeated his proposal for a deportation task force. According to a Washington Post analysis, if Trump’s criteria for immediate deportation as of September 2016 are met, the number of individuals prioritized for removal by ICE agents would range between about 5.0 and 6.5 million. YES

In August 2016, Trump suggested that “extreme views” would be grounds to be thrown out of the U.S., saying he would deport Seddique Mateen, the father of Omar Mateen (the gunman in the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting), who has expressed support for the Taliban. NO

Specifically, Trump stated, “When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.” Trump later referred to the reformulation as “extreme vetting”. YES

Trump has proposed making it more difficult for asylum-seekers and refugees to enter the United States… YES

…and making the e-Verify system mandatory for employers. YES

Trump has on several occasions expressed opposition to allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. – saying they could be the “ultimate Trojan horse” – and has proposed deporting back to Syria refugees settled in the U.S. By September 2015, Trump had expressed support for taking in some Syrian refugees and praised Germany’s decision to take in Syrian refugees. YES

While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump stated “I’m pro-life and I’ve been pro-life a long time” and acknowledged that he had “evolved” on the issue. NO

In August 2015, Trump said that he supported a government shutdown over federal funding for Planned Parenthood. NO

In an interview later that month, Trump acknowledged that there must be “some form” of punishment for women if abortion were made illegal in the U.S. Trump issued a statement later that day reversing his position from earlier by saying, “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.” NO

Trump has said that abortion should be legal in cases involving “rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk.” NO

In May 2016, when asked if he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, Trump stated: “Well, they’ll be pro-life. And we’ll see about overturning, but I will appoint judges that will be pro-life.” In the same interview, Trump stated of the anti-abortion cause: “I will protect it, and the biggest way you can protect is through the Supreme Court.” The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, praised Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees as “exceptionally strong,” while the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America called the candidates on the list “a woman’s worst nightmare.” NO

Short of overturning Roe v. Wade, Trump has pledged to sign legislation from Congress banning abortion at the 20-week mark (Roe v. Wade protects a woman’s right to an abortion before a fetus is viable, which anti-abortion activists have argued is at the 20-week mark). NO

Trump chose leading anti-abortion advocate Marjorie Dannenfelser, who opposes abortion even in cases of rape and has said that contraception increases the rate of abortion, to lead his campaign’s “Pro-Life Coalition.” NO

Trump has on several occasions suggested that Christians are being discriminated against, for instance, stating that “Christianity is under tremendous siege.” NO

He has vowed to end an IRS rule that prohibits tax-exempted non-profits from campaigning on behalf of candidates, believing the rule undermines Christian influence in U.S. politics. NO

Trump has suggested that he is being audited by the IRS “maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian.” NO

He has suggested that he would have an easier time getting a ban on Christian immigrants passed than one on Muslims. NO

Trump has been critical of department stores that do not greet their customers with “Merry Christmas” anymore, stating that things will change if he gets elected president: “I’ll tell you one thing: I get elected president, we’re going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again. Just remember that.” NO

Trump has said that if elected, he would loosen defamation laws so that when journalists write “purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” NO

In a 1989 interview with Larry King, Trump stated: “The problem with our society is the victim has absolutely no rights and the criminal has unbelievable rights” and that “maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done.” NO

In 2016, Trump decried the fact that Ahmad Khan Rahami, a U.S. citizen charged in connection with the bombings in New York and New Jersey, would be provided with medical treatment and the right to counsel, calling this “sad.” NO

At the second presidential debate, which took place in October 2016, Trump said that if he was “in charge of the law of our country,” rival presidential contender Hillary Clinton would “be in jail. In the same debate, Trump also pledged that if elected, he would direct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to “look into” Clinton. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook called the remark “chilling” and said: “Trump thinks that the presidency is like some banana republic dictatorship where you can lock up your political opponents.” The remark was viewed as part of “a litany of statements [Trump] has made during the campaign that many legal specialists have portrayed as a threat to the rule of law.” Later that October, Trump spoke fondly of the “Lock her up” chants at his rally, saying “Lock her up is right.” He also said that Clinton’s legal representatives “have to go to jail”. NO

In August 2016, Trump said that he “would be fine” with trying U.S. citizens accused of terrorism in military tribunals at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. NO

Trump has offered qualified support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which aims to protect those who oppose same-sex marriage based on their religious beliefs from action by the federal government, such as revocation of tax-exempt status, grants, loans, benefits, or employment. Trump said, “If Congress considers the First Amendment Defense Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signatures and enactment.” NO

In July 2016, Trump expressed support for North Carolina House Bill 2, which eliminates anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people… NO

…and legislates that in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. NEUTRAL

In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump stated in response to the murder of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd that he wanted a more “tolerant society” and he would “absolutely” support hate crime legislation on the basis of their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. NO

Trump is the first Republican nominee to mention the LGBT community in a GOP nomination address, saying in his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016: “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” YES

In an October 1999 appearance on Meet the Press, Trump said gays openly serving in the military was “not something that would disturb me.” YES

Regarding whether gay couples should have the same access the same benefits as married couples, Trump said that his “attitude on it has not been fully formed.” The Advocate, an American LGBT-interest magazine, characterized Trump’s Supreme Court picks as “LGBT-unfriendly,” noting that “not all have ruled in LGBT rights cases, but those who have are largely unsympathetic, and some have the backing of anti-LGBT activists. NO

Trump signed a pledge in July 2016 that he would work to combat both legal pornography and illegal pornography, such as child pornography. In the pledge, he promised to “give serious consideration to appointing a Presidential Commission to examine the harmful public health impact of Internet pornography on youth, families and the American culture and the prevention of the sexual exploitation of children in the digital age.” NO

Trump has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and accuses President Obama of “dividing America.” NO

Trump has said that if elected president, he might direct his Attorney General to look into the Black Lives Matter movement. NO

When asked if he believes there to be a racial divide in America, Trump answered, “Sadly, there would seem to be…and it’s probably not been much worse at any time.” NEUTRAL

When asked if he believes police treat African Americans differently than whites, Trump answered, “It could be.” NEUTRAL

Trump describes the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as “tough to watch” and criticized the “terrible, disgusting performance” by police. NO

Trump said that he could relate to the systemic bias African Americans faced against whites, saying, “even against me the system is rigged when I ran … for president. NO

When asked if he could understand the experience of being African American, Trump replied, “I would like to say yes, but you really can’t unless you are African American. You can’t truly understand what’s going on unless you are African American. I would like to say yes, however.” NEUTRAL

On November 19, 2015, a week after the November 2015 Paris attacks, when asked if he would implement a database system to track Muslims in the United States, Trump said: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.” NO

On November 21, Trump expanded on his stance, saying that he would order “surveillance of certain mosques” to combat “Islamic extremism” after the Paris attacks. YES

Trump justified his proposals by repeatedly saying that he recalled “thousands and thousands of people … cheering” in Jersey City, New Jersey, when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001. NO

On National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, Trump says that he “tends to err on the side of security” over privacy. Trump supports bringing back now-expired provisions of the Patriot Act to allow for the NSA to collect and store bulk telephone metadata. Trump said: “I assume that when I pick up my telephone, people are listening to my conversations anyway.” NO

In February 2016, Trump urged his supporters to boycott Apple Inc. unless the company agrees to build a custom backdoor for the FBI to unlock the password-protected iPhone connected to one of the perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, a move that Apple argues would threaten the security and privacy of its users.[386] Trump himself still uses his iPhone to send out tweets. NO

Trump opposes same-day voter registration… NO

…supports voter identification laws… NO

…asserted that Obama won in 2012 due to voter fraud… NO

…has charged that the election system will be rigged against him in the 2016 race… NO

…and has equivocated on whether he would accept the outcome of the 2016 election. NO

In the September 2016 presidential debate, when asked if he would honor the outcome of the election, Trump said that he “absolutely” would. Four days later, Trump appeared to have reconsidered his statement from the debate, saying “We’re going to have to see. We’re going to see what happens. We’re going to have to see.”In early- and mid-October 2016, Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged, alleging media coordination with the Clinton campaign, citing Saturday Night Live as an example of the aforementioned rigged media, and alleging that “The election is absolutely being rigged… at many polling places” even though no polling places had opened. NO

That same month, Trump asserted that the federal government was allowing illegal immigrants to come into the U.S. so they can vote. NO

Trump has claimed that “dead people voted for President Obama” and that “dead voters… helped get President Obama elected.” On election night 2012, Trump expressed skepticism about Obama’s victory, saying, among other things, “This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!” NO

In August 2015, Trump said he would support women in combat roles “because they’re really into it and some of them are really, really good. YES

While Trump has repeatedly expressed support for “the idea of campaign finance reform…” YES

…He has not outlined specifics of his actual views on campaign-finance regulation. For example, Trump has not said whether he favors public financing of elections or caps on expenditures of campaigns, outside groups, and individuals. NEUTRAL

According to Chris Christie (leader of Trump’s White House transition team), Trump would, if elected President, seek to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Obama…NO

…and could ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire public workers. NO

Trump has provided “little detail regarding his positions on disability-related policies,” and his campaign website makes no mention of disabled people. As of June 1, 2016, Trump had not responded to the issue questionnaire of the nonpartisan disability group RespectAbility. NEUTRAL

Trump attracted criticism for mocking the physical disability of New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis. NO

In an interview with the Washington Post in March 2016, Trump said that though he didn’t yet have a position on statehood, it would be something that “I don’t think I’d be inclined to do”. NO

He also said that “having representation would be okay…” YES

Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools. On school choice he’s commented, “Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you’ll wonder if they weren’t college-level tests. And we’ve got to bring on the competition—open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition – the American way. NO

Trump has blasted the Common Core State Standards Initiative, calling it a “total disaster”. Trump has asserted that Common Core is “education through Washington D.C.”, a claim which Politifact and other journalists have rated “false”, since the adoption and implementation of Common Core is a state choice, not a federal one. NO

Trump has stated that Ben Carson will be “very much involved in education” under a Trump presidency. NO

Carson rejects the theory of evolution…NO

…believes that “home-schoolers do the best, private schoolers next best, charter schoolers next best, and public schoolers worst”… NO

…and wants to “take the federal bureaucracy out of education. NO

Trump has proposed redirecting $20 billion in existing federal spending to block grants to states to give poor children vouchers to attend a school of their family’s choice (including a charter school, private school, or online school). Trump did not explain where the $20 billion in the federal budget would come from. Trump stated that “Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice and charter laws.” NO

Trump has called eminent domain “wonderful” and repeatedly asked the government to invoke it on his behalf during past development projects. YES

In October 2015, Trump stated that “you have to be careful with” paid family leave as it could impact keeping “our country very competitive”. NO

In September 2016, Trump posted a list on his web site of regulations that he would eliminate. The list included what it called the “FDA Food Police” and mentioned the Food and Drug Administration’s rules governing “farm and food production hygiene” and “food temperatures”. The factsheet provided by Trump mirrored a May report by the conservative Heritage Foundation. NO

According to the Chicago Tribune, Trump has not addressed the gender pay gap in his 2016 presidential bid (as of July 2016). NEUTRAL

“Trump’s past statements on women in the workplace have included calling pregnancy “an inconvenience.” NO

…telling a voter in New Hampshire last year that women will receive the same pay as men “if they do as good a job.” NO

Colman McCarthy of the Washington Post wrote in 1993 that in testimony given that year to the House Natural Resources subcommittee on Native American Affairs, Trump “devoted much of his testimony to bad-mouthing Indians and their casinos,” asserted that “organized crime is rampant on Indian reservations” and that “if it continues, it will be the biggest scandal ever.” Trump offered no evidence in support of his claim, and testimony from the FBI’s organized crime division, the Justice Department’s criminal division, and the IRS’s criminal investigation division did not support Trump’s assertion. Representative George Miller, a Democrat who was the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee at the time, stated: “In my 19 years in Congress, I’ve never heard more irresponsible testimony.” NO

Trump bankrolled in 2000 a set of anti-Indian gaming ads in upstate New York that featured “a dark photograph showing hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia,” a warning that “violent criminals were coming to town,” and an accusation that the St. Regis Mohawks had a “record of criminal activity.” The ad—aimed at stopping the construction of a casino in the Catskills that might hurt Trump’s own Atlantic City casinos was viewed as “incendiary” and racially charged, and at the time local tribal leaders, in response, bought a newspaper ad of their own to denounce the “smear” and “racist and inflammatory rhetoric” of the earlier ad. NO

The ads attracted the attention of the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying because they failed to disclose Trump’s sponsorship as required by state lobbying rules. Trump acknowledged that he sponsored the ads and reached a settlement with the state in which he and his associates agreed to issue a public apology and pay $250,000 (the largest civil penalty ever levied by the commission) for evading state disclosure rules. NO

In 2015, Trump defended the controversial team name and mascot of the Washington Redskins, saying that the NFL team should not change its name and he did not find the term to be offensive. The “Change the Mascot” campaign, led by the Oneida Indian Nation and National Congress of American Indians, condemned Trump’s stance. NEUTRAL

While campaigning in 2016, Trump has repeatedly belittled Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts by calling her “Pocahontas” (a reference to Warren’s claim, based on family lore, of Native American ancestry, which she has been unable to document). Trump’s comments were criticized by a number of public figures as racist and inappropriate. Gyasi Ross of the Blackfeet Nation, a Native American activist and author, criticized Trump’s “badgering of Elizabeth Warren as ‘Pocahontas'” as “simply the continuation of his pattern of racist bullying. NO

Trump has espoused Barack Obama citizenship (“birther”) conspiracy theories over time. NO

He falsely accused Hillary Clinton of having started the “Birther” movement. NO

Trump has been critical of the ways in which veterans are treated in the United States, saying “the vets are horribly treated in this country… they are living in hell.” YES

In a statement, he said he believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded with recent technology, hire more veterans to treat other veterans, increase support of female veterans, and create satellite clinics within hospitals in rural areas. YES

Trump’s proposed plan for reforming the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs includes provisions for allowing veterans to obtain care at any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare, increasing funding for PTSD and suicide prevention services, and providing ob/gyn services at every VA hospital. Trump’s plan calls for greater privatization of veterans’ care. YES

Trump’s plan makes no reference directly to letting veterans get health care outside the VA system but Trump adviser Sam Clovis in May said the candidate was looking into such plans. NO

Trump’s plan calls “for legislation making it easier to fire underperforming employees…NEUTRAL

…increasing mental-health resources and adding a White House hotline so veterans can bypass the VA and bring problems directly to the president.” YES

Trump opposes the current G.I. Bill. NO

Trump skipped a televised Republican debate in January 2016 to host a rally to raise money for veterans. In early February, the Wall Street Journal reported that many veterans’ groups began to get their checks only after the Journal asked the Trump campaign why they had not. NO

In April, the Journal reported that the funds had yet to be fully distributed. NO

Trump caused a stir in July 2015 when he charged that Senator John McCain with having “done nothing to help the vets…” NO

Trump added that McCain is “not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” NO

At a rally on August 9, 2016, Trump accused his opponent of wanting to “essentially abolish the Second Amendment…” NO

By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.” NO

Trump supports barring people on the government’s terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons, saying in 2015: “If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely.” YES

In January 2016, Trump said: “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, and – you have to – and on military bases… My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.” NO

n May 2016, Trump made ambiguous comments on guns in classrooms, saying: “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms. Although, in some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms.” NO

In June 2016, Trump stated that, “it would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight” to see Omar Mateen shot in the head by an armed patron in the Pulse nightclub shooting, reiterating his stance that more people should be armed in public places. NO

Trump has asserted that the presence of more guns in schools and public places could have stopped mass shootings such as those in Paris, San Bernardino, California, and Umpqua Community College. NO

On the campaign trail, Trump has praised the National Rifle Association (NRA),[493] and received the group’s endorsement after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee. NO

Trump has described himself as a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment. NO

Trump has said that concealed carry “is a right, not a privilege.” NO

He has called for an overhaul of the current federal background check system, arguing that “Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system.” YES

…while campaigning for the presidency in 2015 and 2016 has called for the expansion of gun rights. NO

…rump has proposed eliminating prohibitions on assault weapons, military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines (which Trump described as “scary sounding phrases” used by gun control advocates “to confuse people”)…NO

…as well as making concealed carry permits valid nationwide, rather than on the current state-to-state basis. NO

According to the New York Times, many of Trump’s statements on legal topics are “extemporaneous and resist conventional legal analysis,” with some appearing “to betray ignorance of fundamental legal concepts.” NO

Trump has stated that he wants to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court with “a person of similar views and principles”. He has released a list of eleven potential picks to replace Scalia. The jurists are widely considered to be conservative. All are white, and eight of the eleven are men. The list includes five out of the eight individuals recommended by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.Trump had previously insisted that he would seek guidance from conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation when it came to picking Supreme Court candidates. NO

Several of the judges listed by Trump have questioned abortion rights. NO

Trump has claimed that he “would probably appoint” justices to the Supreme Court who “would look very seriously” at the Hillary Clinton email controversy “because it’s a criminal activity.” NO

Trump has criticized Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, as a “nightmare for conservatives,” citing Roberts’ vote in the 2015 decision in King v. Burwell, which upheld provisions of the Affordable Care Act. NO

He has also blamed Roberts for the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. NO

In February 2016, Trump called on the Senate to stop Obama from filling the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. NO

An analysis by FiveThirtyEight shows that, under the assumption that Scalia’s vacant seat on the Court will not be filled, and taking account of the advanced age of three of the sitting justices, that a Trump presidency would move the Supreme Court “rightward toward its most conservative position in recent memory”. NO

Trump has long advocated for capital punishment in the United States. NO

In May 1989, shortly after the Central Park jogger case received widespread media attention, Trump purchased a full-page ad in four New York City newspapers with the title “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY!” NO

Five defendants (the “Central Park Five”) were wrongfully convicted in the case and were subsequently exonerated. By October 2016, Trump still maintained that “Central Park Five” were guilty.  NO

In December 2015, in a speech accepting the endorsement of the New England Police Benevolent Association, Trump said that “One of the first things I do [if elected President] in terms of executive order if I win will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that … anybody killing a police officer—death penalty. It’s going to happen, O.K.?” NO

However, under the current U.S. legal system, these prosecutions usually take place in state court under state law, and the president has no authority over such cases.Furthermore, 19 states have abolished the death penalty, and mandatory death sentences are unconstitutional, as held by the Supreme Court in Woodson v. North Carolina (1976). NO

Trump has stated that he would be “tough on crime” and criticized Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s criminal justice reform proposals. NO

In January 2016, Trump said that along with veterans, “the most mistreated people in this country are police.” NO

Trump supports the use of “stop and frisk” tactics, of the kind once used in New York City. NO

In 2000, Trump also rejected as elitist and naive the arguments of criminal justice reformers that the U.S. criminal justice system puts too many criminals in jail. NO

Trump is in favor of at least one mandatory sentence, where using a gun to commit a crime results in a five-year sentence. NO

Trump has on several occasions asserted that crime is rising in the United States. Trump’s assertion that crime is rising is false; in fact, both violent crime and property crime have been consistently declining in the U.S. since the early 1990s.[540] Trump’s claim that “inner-city crime is reaching record levels” received a “pants-on-fire” rating from PolitiFactNO

On November 22, 2015, Trump retweeted a graphic with purported statistics—cited to a nonexistent group—which claimed that African Americans were responsible for 81% of the homicides of White Americans and that police were responsible for 1% of black homicides compared to 4% of white homicides. Trump’s retweet earned PolitiFact’s “Pants on Fire” rating and was called “grossly inaccurate” by FactCheck.org the next day. PolitiFact wrote: “Trump cast blacks as the primary killers of whites, but the exact opposite is true.” NO

Blacks were responsible for 15% of white homicides according to FBI data for 2014. The breakdown of the racial differences in police killings in Trump’s retweet was also inaccurate. Based on the percentages, the number of whites killed by police would be almost 4 times greater than the number of blacks. Data from the Washington Post for 2009 to 2013 showed a ratio of 1.5 white deaths by police for each black death. A separate estimate by Peter Moskos, associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice attributed 10% of white homicides to police and 4% to police for blacks. When asked about the statistics, Trump maintained that the statistics came “from sources that are very credible. NO

In his campaign for the presidency in 2015 and 2016, however, Trump adopted “drug warrior” positions and has sought advice on the issue from William J. Bennett, who served as the U.S. first “drug czar” in the 1980s “and has remained a proponent of harsh 1980s-style drug war tactics.” NO

Trump has voiced his opposition to video game violence. After it was reported that the Sandy Hook shooter frequently played violent video games, Trump tweeted, “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!” NO

Trump said that he would push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress, so that members of the House of Representatives could serve for a maximum of six years and Senators for a maximum of twelve years. NO

Trump also pledged to re-institute a ban on executive branch officials from lobbying for five years after leaving government service. YES

…and said that he supported Congress instituting a similar five-year lobbying ban of its own, applicable to former members and staffYES

A 2016 report in Scientific American graded Trump and three other top presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein—on science policy, based on their responses to a twenty-question ScienceDebate.org survey. Trump “came in last on all counts” in grading, with scientists and researchers faulting him for a lack of knowledge or appreciation of scientific issues. NO

Trump is opposed to net neutrality, asserting that it is “Obama’s attack on the Internet” and saying that it “will target the conservative media.” NO

The Free Press Action Fund, a group of tech policy activists, rated Trump the worst 2016 presidential candidate for “citizens’ digital lives,” citing his positions opposing reforming the Patriot Act, favoring Internet censorship, and opposing net neutrality. NO

In 2014, after a New York physician returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa and showed symptoms of the disease, Trump tweeted that if the doctor had Ebola, “Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!” When the doctor was later confirmed to have developed Ebola in New York, Trump tweeted that it was “Obama’s fault” and “I have been saying for weeks for President Obama to stop the flights from West Africa. So simple, but he refused. A TOTAL incompetent!” NO

Trump also criticized President Obama’s decision to send 3,000 U.S. troops to affected regions to help combat the outbreak. NO

As Dr. Kent Brantly returned to the U.S. for treatment, Trump tweeted that U.S. doctors who went abroad to treat Ebola were “great” but “must suffer the consequences” if they became infected and insisted that “the U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our ‘borders.'” NO

When an Ebola patient was scheduled to come to the U.S. for treatment, Trump tweeted, “now I know for sure that our leaders are incompetent. KEEP THEM OUT OF HERE!” NO

On August 11, 2016, Trump said that he was in favor of Congress setting aside money to combat the Zika virus. YES

Trump believes that childhood vaccinations are related to autism, a hypothesis which has been repeatedly debunked. NO

In May 2016, Trump asked U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota – described by Reuters as “one of America’s most ardent drilling advocates and climate change skeptics” -to draft Trump’s energy policy. NO

According to Reuters, four sources close to Trump’s campaign say that Trump is considering nominating Oklahoma oil and gas mogul Harold Hamm as energy secretary if elected President. According to Reuters, Hamm would be the first-ever U.S. Secretary of Energy “drawn directly from the oil and gas industry.” Hamm has called for expanded drilling, criticized environmental regulations for limiting oil production, and called for less dependence on Middle Eastern oil producers. NO

On May 2016, Trump said that he could solve the water crisis in CaliforniaNO

He declared that “there is no drought,” a statement which the Associated Press noted is incorrect. NO

Trump accused California state officials of denying farmers of water so they can send it out to sea “to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.” NO

Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate changeNO

He has said that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive..” NO

Trump criticized President Obama’s description of climate change as “the greatest threat to future generations” for being “naive” and “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard.” NO

According to a report by the Sierra Club, Trump would, if elected President, be the only head of state in the world to contend that climate change is a hoax. NO

In May 2016, during his presidential campaign, Trump issued an energy plan focused on promoting fossil fuels and weakening environmental regulation. NO

Trump promised to “rescind” in his first 100 days in office a variety of Environmental Protection Agency regulations established during the Obama administration to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, which contribute to a warming global climate. NO

Trump has specifically pledged to revoke the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule, which he characterizes as two “job-destroying Obama executive actions.” NO

Trump has said “we’re practically not allowed to use coal any more,” a statement rated “mostly false” by PolitiFact. Trump has criticized the Obama administration’s coal policies, describing the administration’s moves to phase out the use of coal-fired power plants are “stupid.” NO

Trump has criticized the Obama administration for prohibiting “coal production on federal land”…Trump has vowed to revive the U.S. coal economy. NO

Trump wrote in his 2011 book that he opposed a cap-and-trade system to control carbon emissions. NO

At a rally in May 2016, “Trump implied that the regulations on hairspray and coal mining are both unwarranted” and incorrectly asserted that hairspray use in a “sealed” apartment prevents the spray’s ozone-depleting substances from reaching the atmosphere. NO

Trump pledged in his May 2016 speech on energy policy to “cancel the Paris climate agreement” adopted at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (in which 170 countries committed to reductions in carbon emissions)…A U.S. move to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as Trump proposes is viewed as likely to unravel the agreement; according to Reuters, such a move would spell “potential doom for an agreement many view as a last chance to turn the tide on global warming. NO

In Trump’s May 2016 speech on energy policy, he declared that if elected president, he would “stop all payment of U.S. tax dollars to global warming.” This would be a reversal of the U.S. pledge to commit funds to developing countries to assist in climate change mitigation and could undermine the willingness of other countries to take action against climate change.programs.” NO

In his May 2016 speech on energy policy, Trump stated : “Under my presidency, we will accomplish complete American energy independence. We will become totally independent of the need to import energy from the oil cartel or any nation hostile to our interest.” The New York Times reported that “experts say that such remarks display a basic ignorance of the workings of the global oil markets.” NO

In January 2016, Trump vowed “tremendous cutting” of the budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if elected. NO

Trump has charged that the “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abuses the Endangered Species Act to restrict oil and gas exploration.” NO

In 2011, Trump said that would permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern AlaskaNO

In July 2016, Trump suggested that he was in favor of state and local bans on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), saying, “I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it. I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, they don’t want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that’s up to them… if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that.” NO

Trump has promised to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed project to bring Canadian petroleum to the U.S. NO

Trump has financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66 who are both directly involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline. The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners is a campaign donor for Donald Trump. NO

In his 2015 book Crippled America, Trump is highly critical of the “big push” to develop renewable energy, arguing that the push is based on a mistaken belief that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. NO

Despite criticizing wind farms in the past (calling them “ugly”)…Trump has criticized wind energy for being expensive and for not working without “massive subsidies”. He added, “windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles. One of the most beautiful, one of the most treasured birds — and they’re killing them by the hundreds and nothing happens. NO

Trump has said that he does not oppose the wind production tax credit, saying: “I’m okay with subsidies, to an extent.” NO

In his official platform, Trump claims that he will reduce bureaucracy which would then lead to greater innovation. NO

His platform mentions “renewable energies”, including “nuclear, wind and solar energy” in that regard but adds that he would not support those “to the exclusion of other energy”. NO

Trump supports a higher ethanol mandate (the amount of ethanol required by federal regulation to be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply)…Trump vowed to protect the government’s Renewable Fuel Standard and the corn-based ethanol. NO

In October 2016, the Humane Society denounced Trump’s campaign, saying that a “Trump presidency would be a threat to animals everywhere” and that he has “a team of advisors and financial supporters tied in with trophy hunting, puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and other abusive industries” NO

In a New York Times interview in July 2016, Trump “repeatedly defined American global interests almost purely in economic terms,” with the nation’s “roles as a peacekeeper, as a provider of a nuclear deterrent against adversaries like North Korea, as an advocate of human rights and as a guarantor of allies’ borders” being “quickly reduced to questions of economic benefit to the United States.” NO

Two of the advisors on the list “view Islamic Sharia law within the U.S. as a dire threat. NO

One of the advisors “has accused the State Department’s top official for Ukraine and Russia, Victoria Nuland, of “fomenting” the 2014 revolution that overthrew Ukraine’s government.” YES

However, like Trump, Flynn has been a critic of the U.S.’s military involvement in Iraq and Libya as well as its support for the Syrian opposition, and has advocated for closer ties with Russia. YES

Previously when asked about who he was consulting with on foreign policy during an interview on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe, Trump responded with “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” NO

Some of Trump’s foreign policy ideas have been met with opposition by the GOP foreign policy establishment. YES

The Economist Intelligence Unit placed a Trump victory in the presidential election fifth in their list of ten global risks for 2016, citing his foreign policy positions which increase the risk of trade war, him being used as a potent recruitment tool for jihadi group and weakened efforts to contain Russia’s expansionist tendencies. YES

Trump stated in a December 2015 Republican primary debate that “Our military is a disaster,” and in a July 2016 radio appearance described the U.S. military as “depleted and in horrible shape.” NO

In July 2016, retired U.S. Marine Corps General John R. Allen, who supports Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton gave a forceful speech against Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Trump responded by calling the four-star military leader “a failed general” and saying that he had never met him. YES

Trump has stated on a number of occasions that if elected president, he “would increase [spending] on the military.”Trump claims that the U.S. military will be “funded beautifully” if elected President. While Trump has not offered specifics on defense spending under a Trump presidency, he has repeatedly called for a U.S. military buildup and has criticized President Obama’s military spending strategy.Trump has criticized the decline in the numbers of active-duty armed forces, Navy ships and Air Force planes since the end of the Cold WarNO

Trump has pledged to rein in wasteful spending in the military. LIE!

Trump has stated his intention to provide presidential leadership with strong diplomacy to restore “respect” for the United States around the world and he supports a robust national defense. YES

Trump has stated, “We Americans are laughed at around the world for losing a hundred and fifty billion dollars year after year, for defending wealthy nations for nothing, nations that would be wiped off the face of the earth in about 15 minutes if it weren’t for us. Our ‘allies’ are making billions screwing us.” Trump has called for allied countries, including Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea to pay the United States for helping protect their nations. YES

In an interview, Trump stated “You have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. … When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” When pressed on what “take out” meant, Trump said the U.S. should “wipe out their homes” and “where they came from.” NO 

Later, in August 2011, Trump criticized the Obama administration for not helping former Mubarak keep power, citing Mubarak’s positive relationship with Israel and the negative effect that Mubarak’s removal would have on other allies’ faith in the United States. In 2012, Trump reiterated his criticisms of the Obama administration’s handling of Mubarak and asserted that “Egypt is now our enemy” and that “Israel is in trouble.” NO

In September 2016, Trump described the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as a “fantastic guy”, praising his handling of the 2013 anti-Morsi uprising that led to the removal of then-president Mohamed Morsi from power. Trump said that there was a “good feeling between [them]”. NO

In June 2016, Trump maintained that “Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East and on the road to nuclear weapons.” NO

Trump opposes the international nuclear agreement with Iran (negotiated with the U.S. and five other world powers) that was made in 2015, calling it “terrible” and saying that the Obama administration negotiated the agreement “from desperation.” NO

Trump opposed the sanctions relief in the agreement, saying: “We’re giving them billions of dollars in this deal, which we shouldn’t have given them. We should have kept the money.” NO

Trump has claimed that “when those restrictions expire (in the Iran nuclear deal), Iran will have an industrial-size military nuclear capability ready to go…” NO

Trump was critical of State Department officials as they negotiated the Iran deal, saying that “It’s a one-day deal. This whole thing should have taken a day.” NO

In July 2015, when explaining his opposition to the Iran agreement, Trump cited four American prisoners being held prisoner in the country. NO

In September 2015, Trump told CNN that he believed the agreement would compel the U.S. to side with Iran in the event of war: “There’s something in the Iran deal that people I don’t think really understand or know about, and nobody’s able to explain it, that if somebody attacks Iran, we have to come to their defense. So if Israel attacks Iran, according to that deal, I believe the way it reads […] that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.” NO

According to Trump, nuclear weapons, not global warming, is the world’s biggest problem. NO

Trump said that any deal with Iran should stipulate that inspectors have 24-hour-a-day access immediately to all nuclear sites and made reference to U.S. nationals imprisoned the country. NO

In the September 2016 Presidential Debate, Trump said that the Iran deal should have contained provisions that Iran “do something with respect to North Korea. And they should have done something with respect to Yemen and all these other places.” NO

In October 2016, it was reported that despite Trump’s denouncement of Iran as a “big enemy” and assertions that donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation charity amounted to evidence of corruption, the Trump Organization did business with one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks from 1998 to 2003. NO

Trump’s positions on defeating ISIL have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign. Trump has claimed that he would “bomb the hell” out of Iraqi oil fields controlled by ISIL. NO

In the aftermath of the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris, which were committed by ISIL, Trump reiterated his statements about ISIL from November 12, 2015, when he stated he would “bomb the shit out of ’em” and said “I’d blow up the [oil] pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, and you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there in two months… and I’d take the oil.” NO

Trump said in an interview with Anderson Cooper “There is no Iraq. Their leaders are corrupt.” NO

In 2015, when asked how he would deal with Iraq’s condemnation of strikes on their oil fields, Trump replied that Iraq is a corrupt country that is not deserving of his respect. NO

Trump said he “got to know [Vladimir Putin] very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes’, we were stable mates, we did well that night.” NO

Trump said he approved of Russia’s intervention in Syria, stating: “If Putin wants to knock the hell out of ISIS, I’m all for it 100 percent and I can’t understand how anybody would be against that … He’s going in and we can go in and everybody should go in.” During his speech at the Oklahoma State Fair, Trump accused his opponents of wanting to “start World War III over Syria.” YES

Trump stated in November 2015, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.” NO

In June 2016, Trump stated that he “[likes] the idea of using NATO and also neighbors that aren’t in NATO” to “take [ISIL] out” and that “it’s very possible that we should use NATO” to fight ISIL. YES

Jonathan Russell, head of policy for the anti-radicalization think tank Quilliam, warned that Trump’s “anti-Muslim rhetoric” helps ISIL’s narrative, saying “Trump will contribute to Islamist radicalization. NO

In the aftermath of the Orlando nightclub shooting (June 2016), Trump accused the Obama administration has actively “supported” the Islamic extremist group that became ISIL. NO

In August 2016, Trump repeatedly and falsely asserted that President Obama was the “founder” of ISIL. YES

Trump responded to Hewitt’s attempt to reframe Trump’s comment as one that said Obama’s foreign policy created the conditions in Iraq and Syria that allowed ISIL to thrive, by saying “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do….He was the founder. The way he got out of Iraq — that was the founding of ISIS, OK?” NO

Regarding the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, Trump said in a July 2016 interview, “I give great credit to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] for being able to turn that around.” When asked if Erdoğan was exploiting the coup attempt to purge his political enemies, Trump did not call for the Turkish leader to observe the rule of law, or offer other cautions for restraint. NO

Trump stated in the July 2016 interview that he believed he could persuade Erdoğan to step up efforts against ISIL. NO

When asked how he would solve the problem of Turkish attacks on Kurds who are fighting ISIL, Trump said “Meetings.” NO

On September 11, 2002, when asked by radio talk-show host Howard Stern if he supported an invasion of Iraq, Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.” NO

On March 21, 2003, one day into the Iraq War, Trump was interviewed by Fox NewsNeil Cavuto. Trump said that the war appeared to be “a tremendous success from a military standpoint”, and expressed hope that it would continue to be so. NO

Later that week he publicly called the war a “mess”. Later, Trump publicly and explicitly criticized the war in an interview published in Esquire in August 2004, sixteen months after the invasion. Trump said: “Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in,” criticized the George W. Bush administration’s handling of the war, dismissed the idea of Iraq becoming functionally democratic, and predicted that “Two minutes after we leave, there’s going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he’ll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn’t have.” YES

Trump has been highly critical of the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel, stating that “Israel has been totally mistreated.” NO

Trump lent his personal jet to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani so that the latter could show solidarity for terror victims in Israel in 2001…NO

..and he was the grand marshal of the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York in 2004. NO

Speaking in 2006, Trump said that Israel was one of his favorite countries, adding: “I know that you’ve been through a lot recently… I believe Israel is a great country.” NO

Trump released a video endorsing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2013 Israeli electionsNO

In 2015, when Trump won the Liberty Award at the Second Annual Algemeiner Jewish 100 Gala in honor of his positive contributions to Israel–United States relations, he stated: “We love Israel, we will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent, it will be there forever”. NO

In December 2015, Trump told the Associated Press that an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord would depend very much upon Israel, remarking: “I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to,” come to a peace accord. “A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal – whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.” YES

…a day later, Trump postponed his visit to Israel until “a later date after I become President of the U.S.”, stating that he did not want to put Netanyahu “under pressure”. NO

Trump said that he would not take sides in any Israeli-Palestinian agreement in order to be a neutral negotiator in the peace talks…LIE

…despite also adding that he is “totally pro-Israel”. NO

At a press conference in March 2016, Trump said that as president, he would require nations to re-compensate for the foreign aid that they have received. YES

When specifically asked whether his previously stated stance on charging U.S allies for defense spending would extend to Israel, he replied, “I think Israel would do that also. There are many countries that can pay, and they can pay big-league.” However, immediately after the press conference, Trump reversed himself on that position of aid to Israel, adding, “They [Israel] help us greatly.” NO

However, immediately after the press conference, Trump reversed himself on that position of aid to Israel, adding, “They [Israel] help us greatly.” NO

Trump has said on more than one occasion that if elected president he will move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which he described as the “eternal capital of the Jewish people”… NO

Trump has vowed that as president he will veto a UN imposed Israel-Palestine peace agreement, stating: “When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the U.N. to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.” NO

He added that “The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable.” NO

Trump has criticized the Palestinian Authority for the absence of peace, saying: “the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. …[and they] have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred… They have to stop the teaching of children to aspire to grow up as terrorists, which is a real problem. Of course, the recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is also a major sticking point, with the current Palestinian leadership repeatedly refusing to meet that basic condition.” NO

However, Trump breaks with long-standing bipartisan U.S. policy, by supporting continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, saying that Israel ‘has to keep going’ and that ‘there shouldn’t be a pause’ with the settlement construction. If elected, Trump’s seemingly broad support of Israeli settlement development would constitute a significant shift in US policy, as previous US administrations, Republican and Democrat, have described such West Bank construction as illegal. NO

Meeting with Netanyahu in September 2016, Trump’s statement said “under a Trump administration, [we] will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.” NO

In 2009, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi rented space through intermediaries on Trump’s Seven Springs estate in the suburb of Bedford, New York. (Gaddafi rented Trump’s land to camp in a “Bedouin-style” tent while in the U.S. to attend the UN General Assembly.) The situation created controversy when the tents were raised on the property, and Trump forced Gaddafi off the property saying that he was unaware of the arrangement. In 2011, Trump told Fox News that he had “screwed” Gaddafi on the deal, touting the affair as evidence of foreign-policy experience. NO

Trump was a strong supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya, arguing “fervently” on a number of occasions that U.S. military intervention was necessary to advert humanitarian disaster in Libya and warning that it would be “a major, major black eye for this country [the U.S.]” if it failed to depose Gaddafi. In a February 2011 video blog, Trump said: “I can’t believe what our country is doing. Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage … Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick.” Trump made similar comments in a March 2011 appearance on Piers MorganNO

In 2011, Trump also advocated U.S. seizure of Libyan oil. NO

While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump reversed his earlier position, stating on several occasions that the U.S. would be “so much better off” or “100% better off” if Gaddafi remained in charge of Libya. YES

In June 2016, Trump again reversed course, saying on CBSFace the Nation that he would have supported “surgical” bombing, against Gaddafi in particular. NO

In December 2015, Trump said that the days of the Saudi Royal Family buying off American politicians will end if he is elected President. YES

In February 2016, Trump blamed Saudi Arabia for the September 11 attacks, saying: “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi – take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.” YES

Trump has called for Saudi Arabia to pay for the costs of American troops stationed there: “They should pay us. … The primary reason we’re with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. Now we don’t need the oil so much …” YES

Regarding the Chinese, Trump stated in 2011, “I don’t think they’re friends. I think they’re enemies.” NO

In 2011, Trump stated that he would “send [China] a bill for the value of the secrets that they’ve stolen,” referring to alleged Chinese theft of U.S. stealth technology. YES

Trump has criticized China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization, alleging that it caused job losses in the United States. YES

Trump has been critical of Chinese intellectual property theft, alleging that “they [the Chinese] are stealing billions and billions of dollars of our intellectual property.” YES

Trump has spoken favorably of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and of closer alliance with IndiaNO

…has said that he would be willing to meet North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, saying that he would have “no problem” doing so. YES

Trump described Kim as a “maniac” but also claimed that Kim deserves “credit” for being able to overcome his rivals in order to succeed his father. YES

Trump has advocated placing greater pressure on China, including through restrictions on trade, to rein in its ally North Korea in the wake of the January 2016 North Korean nuclear test, saying that China has “total control” over North Korea and the U.S. has “tremendous” economic power over China. NO

He also argued that the Iran nuclear deal should have included a component about Iran-North Korea relations. NO

In September 2016, Trump expressed his opposition to the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba achieved in July 2015. NO

Trump said that he would only restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba if the Cuban regime met his demands to restore political freedoms and free political prisoners. NO

In February 2016, Trump said that he opposed the Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows any Cuban who reaches U.S. soil to remain in the country legally and apply for residency. YES

On the first day of his presidential campaign for the 2000 election, Trump held an event in Miami where he vowed to maintain the embargo on Cuba and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power. However, according to reporting by Newsweek in September 2016, Trump had conducted business in Cuba in violation of the embargo seven months before his vow. NO

In a July 2016 interview, Trump said of the European Union, “the reason that it got together was like a consortium so that it could compete with the United States.” YES

Trump has been critical of German chancellor Angela Merkel and her handling of the European migrant crisis, saying “Everyone thought she was a really great leader, and now she’s turned out to be this catastrophic leader. And she’ll be out if they don’t have a revolution.” YES

In July 2016, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated that he was concerned about what he sees as Trump’s contradictory promises to “make America strong again” while simultaneously reducing involvement overseas. Steinmeier said that Trump’s proposed policies “would be dangerous not only for the United States, but for Europe and the rest of the world as well”. YES

In regards to British voters voting to leave the European Union, Trump stated, “I think it’s a great thing that happened… Basically they took back their country. That’s a good thing.” YES

One reason that Trump was enthusiastic about the outcome of the vote was that it lowered the value of the British pound, which was good for business at his golf course in ScotlandNO

In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump argued that European countries used NATO as a pathway to place the burden of international responsibility on the United States while “their conflicts are not worth American lives. Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually.” YES

In a July 2016 interview, Trump “explicitly raised new questions about his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies,” questioning whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members. YES

In a July 2016 interview, Trump stated that he would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions on Russia that were imposed after Russia began aiding self-proclaimed separatist republics in eastern Ukraine seeking to undermine the new, pro-Western Ukrainian government. YES

He added that Russia could help the United States in fighting ISIS terror organization. YES

Also in July 2016 Trump referred to a recent leak of Democratic National Committee email leaks, thought to be connected to a cyberattack widely thought to have been carried out by Russian intelligence services. Trump stated that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, saying: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” NO

Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin over a series of years, developing what CNN called a “long-established track record of…fondness for the autocratic Russian leader.” YES

In response to a question in October 2015 about the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown and the U.S. intelligence community’s “confident” assessment that pro-Russian separatists shot it down, Trump responded, “Putin and Russia say they didn’t do it, the other side said they did, no one really knows who did it, probably Putin knows who did it. Possibly it was Russia but they are totally denying it.” YES

Trump has stated that the U.S. should open fire on Russian planes if Russia rejects calls to stop the approaches. NO

Trump criticized former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as not having “a firm enough hand” controlling Russia… YES

…mentioning China for effectively handling the situation during the Tiananmen Square massacre, saying: “they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.” NO

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2014, Trump stated that Putin was taking “the heart and soul” of Ukraine because he believed Crimea was “where all the money is” and went on to predict “the rest of Ukraine will fall, and it’s predicted to fall fairly quickly.” Later that month, Trump stated that the Russian takeover of Crimea “should never have happened.” NO

In July 2015 Trump opposed U.S. involvement in the Ukrainian crisis (in a rally in July 2016 he implied that this could have led to World War III), describing Crimea as “Europe’s problem.” YES

In July 2016, Trump stated that he would “look into” recognizing Crimea as Russian territory. YES

In August 2015 Trump stated he “did not care” about Ukrainian membership in NATO, saying that both membership and non-membership would be “great.” NO

Speaking to the Yalta European Strategy conference in September 2015, Trump criticized Germany and other European countries for not doing enough to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, saying, Ukrainians are “not being treated right.” NO

Trump has expressed support for South Korea and Japan having nuclear weapons if they would be unwilling to pay the United States for security. NO

In March 2016, Anderson Cooper asked, “Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?” Trump answered: “Saudi Arabia, absolutely.” NO

Trump has been critical of Pakistan, comparing it to North Korea, calling it “probably the most dangerous country” in the world, and claiming that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons posed a “serious problem.” YES

He has advocated improving relations with India as a supposed “check” to Pakistan. NO

Trump said in a December 2015 rally, “We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.” NO

Trump said that the Internet should be shut off to countries that have a majority of their territory controlled by terrorist organizations. NO

In his announcement speech, Trump said that the U.S.’s control is getting weaker and that its nuclear arsenal is old and does not work… NO

During 2016, Trump has called for the resumption of waterboarding, and has repeatedly expressed support for the use of torture by the U.S. for the purpose of trying to get information from terrorists, if Congress allows it. NO

On one occasion, Trump has called waterboarding “your minimal form of torture”; on another occasion he has said, “Nobody knows if it’s torture”. NO

On the effectiveness of torture, Trump has said: “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work – torture works”… NO

Trump referred to those who “came up with this international law” as “eggheads“… NO

At a Republican primary debate in March 2016, when asked whether the U.S. military would obey orders to torture in violation of international law, Trump stated: “Frankly, when I say they’ll do as I tell them, they’ll do as I tell them”. NO

In October 2013, Trump wrote in a Twitter message that NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden “is a spy who should be executed… NO

On November 19, 2015, a week after the November 2015 Paris attacks, when asked if he would implement a database system to track Muslims in the United States, Trump said: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.” NO

Trump justified his proposals by repeatedly saying that he recalled “thousands and thousands of people … cheering” in Jersey City, New Jersey, when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001NO

In 1999 Trump proposed a massive one-time “net worth tax” on the rich to wipe out the national debt. YES

But then he unveiled a tax plan that would, in fact, lavish huge tax cuts on the rich. And it would also, according to non-partisan analyses, cause deficits to explode, adding around $10 trillion to the national debt over a decade.” NO

In 2011 Trump called for a balanced budget amendment… NO

Economist Mark Zandi estimated that if Trump’s tax cuts and spending increases were fully implemented as proposed, the national debt trajectory would worsen considerably, with debt held by the public rising from 76% GDP in 2016 to 135% GDP in 2026, considerably above a current policy baseline that rises to 86% GDP in 2026. If only some of Trump’s policies were implemented under an alternative scenario of more moderate changes, the debt figure would rise to 111% GDP by 2026. In May 2016, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget placed the 2026 debt figure under Trump’s policies between 111% GDP and 141% GDP, versus 86% under the current policy baseline. NO

In two interviews in May 2016, Trump suggested that he would “refinance” the U.S. federal debt as a means to relieve the debt. Trump said that he would not seek to renegotiate the bonds, but rather would seek to buy the bonds back at a discount. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. YES

Trump supports proposals that would grant Congress the ability to audit the Federal Reserve’s decisionmaking and take power away from the Federal Reserve. NO

He reiterated the critique of the Federal Reserve as an arm of the Democratic Party… NO

In September 2016, Trump said: “We reject the pessimism that says our standard of living can no longer rise, and that all that’s left to do is divide up and redistribute our shrinking resources.” NO

Economist Mark Zandi wrote in June 2016 that due to the sizable income tax cuts, “[t]he tax code under Mr. Trump’s plan will thus be much less progressive than the current tax code.” NO

In August 2015, in a televised interview, Trump said “Having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country.” NO

On November 10, 2015, speaking at a Republican debate, Trump said he opposed increasing the U.S. minimum wage, saying that doing so would hurt America’s economic competitiveness. At the same debate, Trump said in response to a question about the minimum wage and the economy as a whole: “…taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.” NO

Trump has expressed support for adopting English-style defamation laws in the U.S.; under UK law, it is easier for plaintiffs to sue newspapers and other media outlets. NO

Trump has called for police to arrest those who protest at his rallies, saying that fear of an “arrest mark” that would “ruin the rest of their lives” would be a deterrent and that then “we’re not going to have any more protesters, folks.” NO

On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has frequently “railed against” the press, referring to the media as “the most dishonest people” and “absolute scum.” The Trump campaign has barred reporters (from Politico,The New York Times, The Des Moines Register, The Huffington Post, and Univision, among others) from its campaign events, “often in the wake of critical coverage.” In October 2016, NBC News reportedly held off on airing a video of Trump making lewd and disparaging remarks about women due to concerns that Trump would sue the network. NO

In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump said he supported amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include the category of sexual orientation and supported federal hate crime legislation that would cover sexual orientation. YES

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