This program was recorded on SUNDAY, November 22 at about 4:30 AM. Due to Covid-19, shows are being prerecorded beginning March 13th and until further notice. We miss our live call-in participants, and look forward to a time we can once again go live.
Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show airing live every Monday night from 3-4 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My co-host and Editor is Andrew Ferguson.
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For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:
- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.
SIGNOFF QUOTE[s]: “At one point he [Trump] started to attack the press and I said, ‘You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing this? You’re doing it over and over and it’s boring and it’s – it’s time to end that. You know, you’ve won the nomination and, uh, why do you keep hammering at this? And he [Trump] said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’ He said that. So, put that in your head for a minute.” ~ Lesley Stahl (“Deadline Club”, May 21, 2018). Excerpt from “Kasie DC”, May 27, 2018
POSSIBLE TOPICS: Voting info; COMMENTARY: At this point, we must acknowledge that what we are seeing is an attempted overthrow of elected government under color of law; 3rd Party Food Delivery; Driver dies after vehicle T-boned by HPD patrol unit responding to call; These Texans were rescued by the U.S. government after getting stranded in Peru. Now, the bills are arriving; Portland’s anarchists say they support racial justice. Black activists want nothing to do with them; Secret UN report reveals fears of long and bitter war in Ethiopia; New York and the crisis in mass transit systems; Air pollution particles in young brains linked to Alzheimer’s damage; MORE.
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- Make sure you are registered to vote!
- VoteTexas.GOV – Texas Voter Information
- HarrisVotes.COM – Countywide Voting Centers, (Election Information Line (713) 755-6965), Harris County Clerk
- Fort bend County Elections/Voter Registration Machine takes you to the proper link
- GalvestonVotes.org (Galveston County, TX)
- LibertyElections.com (Liberty County, TX)
- Montgomery County (TX) Elections
- Brazoria County (TX) Clerk Election Information
- Waller County (TX) Elections
- Chambers County (TX) ElectionsFor personalized, nonpartisan voter guides and information,
- Consider visiting Vote.ORG. Ballotpedia.com and Texas League of Women Voters are also good places to get election info.
- If you are denied your right to vote any place at any time at any polling place for any reason, ask for (or demand) a provisional ballot rather than lose your vote.
- HarrisVotes.com – Countywide Voting Centers
- HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: Do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- Fill out a declaration at the polls describing a reasonable impediment to obtaining it, and show a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of ID:
- A government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificate
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- A certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
- You may vote early by-mail if:
- You are registered to vote and meet one of the following criteria:
- Away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period;
- Sick or disabled;
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote.
- Make sure you are registered:
- Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar
- CHECK REGISTRATION STATUS HERE
- CLICK How to register to vote in Texas
- Outside Texas, try Vote.org.
- HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: Do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- VoteTexas.GOV – Texas Voter Information
- At this point, we must acknowledge that what we are seeing is an attempted overthrow of elected government under color of law by Trump, and by the Republican Party writ large. Next, in 2021, we’ll be watching Republicans try to further consolidate minority rule by gerrymandering.
- So Donald Trump, with the active or acquiescent assistance of the Republican Party, is now trying to overturn a decisive victory by Joe Biden; a victory that as so far has won 51% of the vote, with a near-record turnout among eligible voters estimated at 66.5%.
- This is no longer a matter of ‘letting the matter work its way through the system’. The lies, attempted coercion of election officials, and other actions of Donald Trump, his minions and his enablers and apologists, now are rising to what in normal times in any other country, the United States would call an attempted coup d’etat and a perversion of a legitimate election.
- The Republican Party, as represented by various individuals, has so far been passive or actively complicit in this attempted coup by Donald Trump.
- Americans must fight against this attempted to overthrow our elected government by ant peaceful means available to them.
- Further, Americans must be vocal about insisting on fair election districts at all levels of government, from local to State to Federal.
- The alternative is a continuation and further entrenchment of minority rule in the United States.
- Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country.
- In the 2000 election, Al Gore won the popular vote by 543,895*, so the majority of America was under minority rule for 4 years.
- In the 2016 election, Hillary won the popular vote by 2,868,686 votes, so the majority of America was under minority rule for ANOTHER 4 years.
- In the 2020 election, with 98% as of 21, 2020, 6:00P.M, Biden is winning by 6,020,054 votes.
- 3rd Party Food Delivery: Restaurants must work harder now to create a seamless customer experience.
- Driver dies after vehicle T-boned by HPD patrol unit responding to call
- Police said the officers were responding to a weapons disturbance before crashing into the Cadillac. They added the … patrol unit did not have its lights or siren on. …
- Two HPD officers suffered minor injuries and are expected to survive.
- The identity of the driver who died has not been released as HPD is still working to notify next of kin.
- As Trump campaign challenges election results, El Paso has a different question: Where is our money? – El Paso is one of several Texas cities facing budget shortfalls because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected the border area. The president’s team still owes the city a 2-year-old debt of more than half a million dollars. by Julián Aguilar | TEXASTRIBUNE.ORG | Nov. 19, 20205 AM
- EL PASO — Throughout November, President Trump’s reelection campaign has aggressively solicited donations to support its widely debunked claims of a rigged presidential election. Here in Texas, the president’s team still owes the city of El Paso a 2-year-old debt of more than half a million dollars.
- In February 2019, Trump held a campaign rally at the El Paso County Coliseum that cost the city $470,000 in security and other related expenses. After that initial invoice went unpaid, city officials tacked on an additional $99,000 in late fees.
- The city considered, and then decided against, suing the campaign earlier this year to recoup the funds. City Attorney Karla Nieman didn’t explain what led to that decision but said her office is still considering other ways to collect on the debt.
- “We’re on unprecedented territory by having to collect an outstanding invoice from a sitting president,” she said in a statement. “We continue to explore various options.”
- The Trump campaign did not respond when asked if or when the debt would be settled. …
- These Texans were rescued by the U.S. government after getting stranded in Peru. Now, the bills are arriving. – The U.S. State Department has sent letters to Americans rescued abroad during the pandemic asking for repayment for the repatriation flights and threatening to withhold tax refunds or social security payments if the debt goes unpaid for months. by Shannon Najmabadi | TEXASTRIBUNE.ORG | Nov. 17, 202013 hours ago
- Iqra Beg is one of dozens of Texas tourists who were stranded in Peru in March, after the South American country abruptly shut its borders because of the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic.
- Under a military-enforced curfew, the Texans spent days frantically trying to contact the unresponsive U.S. embassy and consulate, spending hundreds of dollars extending their hotels and AirBnBs and growing increasingly panicked when they couldn’t find open flights back to the U.S. to their jobs and families.
- They thought the nightmare was over when government-chartered planes arrived to fly them to Miami.
- Months later, the bills arrived.
- The U.S. State Department has sent letters to Texans like Beg in recent weeks asking for repayment for the repatriation flights and threatening to withhold tax refunds or social security payments if the debt goes unpaid for months. Many of the tourists signed promissory notes before boarding the flights back promising to pay, without knowing exactly how much they would owe until they received the bill.
- Those Texans are among the more than 100,000 citizens and permanent residents the State Department has helped bring back during the coronavirus pandemic, with less than half taking government chartered-flights and agreeing to pay the cost, a department official said. Most of the remainder bought tickets for commercial flights and, in rare cases, a U.S. military or government aircraft was used, according to the official.
- Lawmakers in Congress have tried unsuccessfully to waive payments for the repatriated Americans — with U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat, saying “for many, getting home meant thousands of dollars in unanticipated expenses incurred through no fault of their own.”
- But a bill co-sponsored by Masto and six other lawmakers — none from Texas — has failed to pass.
- The Texas Tribune interviewed or reviewed bills received by a half-dozen Texans marooned in Peru, most of whom was charged around $1,300 for an evacuation flight, and said the cost was higher than they expected. Interest will be added if they don’t pay within a month of the due date, and they could be placed in the crosshairs of a private debt collection agency, have their credit damaged or their wages garnished if the debt goes unpaid long enough, the letters say. Their payments are due in October and November.
- “The reimbursement amount established is the reasonable commercial air fare immediately prior to the events giving rise to the evacuation, or the cost of the charter divided by the number of passengers, whichever is lower,” the letters say. …
- The State Department is required by law to seek reimbursement for “evacuation assistance” up to what would be considered reasonable commercial airfare in a normal time, the official said. It has sent some 24,000 billing notices worth about $41.4 million and received about $21.5 million in payments so far, according to data provided by the State Department official. It had received approximately 25,700 promissory notes as of last week. …
- the official said the State Department “did not set or control the prices,” “does not have authority to do so” and that private carriers who did determine the bills “stepped up to offer commercial rescue charters under extraordinary circumstances from difficult locations.”
- “These are not ‘business as usual’ commercial flights during normal times, and they cost significantly more to operate,” the official said. Financial risk assumed by the airline and the fact that one leg of the plane’s journey would be without passengers are factors that could drive up the cost, the official said. …
- … Donald Trump initially seemed to blame the tourists for being stuck in Peru, and some said they felt abandoned as other nations came to retrieve their citizens. Beg and others holed up in hotels or hostels, traded information and worried about those who were missing work or running low on medicine as the days ticked by. Armed officers patrolled the streets, and the Americans were instructed to only leave to go to make essential visits, like to get food or medical care. …
- “You’re just in such a desperate state to get out…. You’re like: ‘If I miss this flight, will I be able to get another one?’” she said.
- [Jana Miller, a 34-year-old from Richardson, TX] was prepared to pay but expected the bill would be for a “reasonable amount.”
- “Flights were averaging, like $350. And so [her] thought was: ‘This is a one way ticket. Surely it’s not going to be so extravagant that it’s going to be unmanageable,’” she recalled. … [A] bill for $1,300 arrived seven months later …
- … Lauren McKinney, a junior at the University of Texas at Austin …thinks her bill was sent to her old apartment because her sister — who was in Peru volunteering before becoming stranded with McKinney — already got one for around $1,300. She has requested that a bill be sent to her virtually and is hoping to work out a payment plan with the government as she doesn’t have the ability to pay that amount of money. Her sister’s bill is due in mid-November, McKinney said.
- “I was hoping since there’s a pandemic still going on and people are still asking for stimulus checks… Not that this would be waived, but it just seems a little odd that it’s so clear that so many Americans are struggling financially currently, and this is the time they chose to send the bill,” she said.
- Portland’s anarchists say they support racial justice. Black activists want nothing to do with them; By Richard Read, Seattle Bureau Chief | LATIMES.COM | Nov. 16, 2020, 2 AM
- PORTLAND, Ore. — The day after President-elect Joe Biden delivered his victory speech, telling the nation it was time to heal and unite, a clandestine Twitter account … summoned Portland anarchists … calling for black garb and vigilance to evade police for a protest “in solidarity with BLM” — Black Lives Matter.
- The 50 or so people who showed up — nearly all of them white — looked like ninjas as they put on balaclavas, hoods and scarves. Some carried gas masks.
- The call to action had declared “No Masters” — leaders, in the parlance of 19th century European anarchists — but the crowd huddled around one young man as he lambasted liberals for celebrating the defeat of President Trump while capitalism and the political system remained entrenched. …
- Word spread through the group that the target tonight would be the local headquarters of the Democratic Party.
- Somebody started beating a drum as a chant broke out: “F— Joe Biden!”
- Then the anarchists marched into the upscale neighborhood, intent on destruction.
- For months, Portland has been a significant face of the Black Lives Matter movement, in part because of the national attention that self-described anarchists brought to nightly protests throughout the summer.
- They set fires, launched fireworks at authorities and spat in their faces to draw them into violent confrontations that made headlines around the world.
- The election of Biden has only antagonized the anarchists — and exposed their differences with the Black activists they claim to support.
- Black activists and community leaders, who generally view the defeat of Trump as an opportunity for change within the system, said the anarchists are hijacking the movement and undermining the push for racial justice by continuing to commit violence.
- “When people set fire to a building, it really does not liberate me one bit,” said Mingus Mapps, a Black resident who won a seat on the Portland City Council this month. “It does the opposite. It fuels the political culture that makes racism possible.”
- The former political science professor, who peacefully participated in several demonstrations, plans to advocate for police reform beyond budget cuts passed by the council and a measure approved by voters to create a police oversight board. …
- The anarchists believe working within the system is futile and say the political order and capitalist economy must be torn down. …
- Distrusting the media, all refused to give their names. But pamphlets distributed at a recent rally outline their far-left philosophies.
- “Abolish All Mayors” — the title of one booklet — advocates “the complete democratization and community control of all city bureaus and the abolition of the police.”
- “Why We Break Windows” advocates an end to private property and invokes the Boston Tea Party to explain the point of “political vandalism” during revolts.
- “Shop windows represent segregation,” it says. “To smash a shop window is to contest all the boundaries that cut through this society: black and white, rich and poor, included and excluded.”
- In some ways, the anarchists have served the Black Lives Matter movement in Portland, creating a spectacle that drew attention to the cause of racial justice after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. …
- But the violence has also caused problems for Black Lives Matter.
- In June, Black community leaders denounced an arson attack by protesters on a building that houses a police station and Black-owned businesses on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
- “When I hear about somebody burning something down, I think about that as an act that’s always been used against Black people,” Ron Herndon, a longtime Black activist, said at a news conference the morning after police used tear gas to disperse protesters firing paintballs. “You are not helping us.” …
- Secret UN report reveals fears of long and bitter war in Ethiopia – Confidential papers warn that, despite talk of success, army faces heavy resistance and regional stability is at risk; By Jason Burke | THEGUARDIAN.COM | Sat 21 Nov 2020 11.42 EST, Last modified on Sat 21 Nov 2020 15.14 EST
- … The UN document and more than a dozen interviews with aid workers from other international organisations give the most comprehensive overview so far of the fighting, and will deepen international concerns that the two-week-old conflict threatens to become a long and brutal battle, destabilising one of Africa’s most fragile regions. …
- The UN assessment, interviews and other international aid organisation analyses all suggest any expectation of a rapid and decisive victory is optimistic, and that resistance is likely to stiffen as Tigray troops fall back into mountains east of Mekelle. …
- Ethiopia has long been a linchpin of US policy in the fragile east African region and so far Washington has supported Abiy.
- Tibor Nagy, US assistant secretary for African affairs, told reporters last week: “This is not two sovereign states fighting. This is a faction of the government running a region that has decided to undertake hostilities against the central government, and it has not … had the effect they thought they were going to get.”
- New York and the crisis in mass transit systems – Patrick Foye, chairman and CEO of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, hands out masks on a subway this week. By Gregory Meyer | Financial Times via LATIMES | Nov. 19, 2020, 7:18 PM
- [T]he Long Island Rail Road, [was] once known as the “Route of the Dashing Commuter.” …
- As chief executive of the New York region’s public transportation agency, [Patrick Foye’s] vinyl seat provides a stark view of the effects of the coronavirus crisis. The parking lots at Port Washington are plains of empty asphalt. The LIRR’s rail cars are carrying a quarter of their normal daily load of more than 300,000 passengers. Office workers no longer dash — they Zoom.
- A collapse in fare and tax revenue has opened a $12-billion fiscal hole at his New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. … Without more aid from Congress, Foye may furlough 8,000 employees, eliminate billions of dollars of planned capital spending and gut service on New York subways, buses and railways, including the LIRR. …
- The pandemic is setting in motion structural changes in how employees do their jobs with profound implications for urban settlement, transport networks and energy use.
- Such a scenario could seriously weaken the finances of public transit systems that underpin great cities. No other mode of transportation can efficiently deliver millions of workers into dense central business districts. …
- We “would have to think about right-sizing service and taking steps to reduce the cost to get it commensurate with the long-term decline in revenue,” he said. …
- Driving revival – Suburban railways lost the most trade as white-collar workers and students worked remotely. Buses have regained about half the passengers they had before the first outbreaks, reflecting demand from those with fewer options. The “transit-dependent” tend to have lower incomes, are more often people of color and include some of the essential workers keeping hospitals, kitchens and warehouses open during the pandemic.
- As more affluent office workers desert transit, they may be less willing to see taxes support it. …
- [C]ar traffic … is now back to about 80% of pre-pandemic volumes in metropolitan areas …
- [Said James Hughes from Rutgers University,] “This is now a watershed moment in the world of work. The coronavirus shock may have exposed an outmoded white-collar workplace structure. “Work is now being recognized as much more of an activity, rather than as a place.” …
- Employers are already making decisions that will have lasting effects on commuting trips. JPMorgan Chase’s headquarters rises just north of Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal. The financial giant’s corporate and investment bank will now be rotating its more than 60,000 employees in and out of offices across the world. …
- Some companies are exiting the city completely. …
- Kevin Krumm’s tech recruitment company Objective Paradigm recently signed a 10-year office lease adjacent to a section of the [Chicago] Loop … [Krumm said,] “You don’t have to be within a commutable proximity. I feel like that’s a big shift. I feel like this whole talent, geography, labor-cost arbitrage is underway.” …
- “The transit system is going to have to adapt to the modern workforce,” said Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University. …
- Air pollution particles in young brains linked to Alzheimer’s damage – Exclusive: if discovery is confirmed it will have global implications as 90% of people breathe dirty air; Damian Carrington Environment editor (@dpcarrington) | THEGUARDIAN.COM | Tue 6 Oct 2020 08.00 EDT, Last modified on Tue 6 Oct 2020 23.37 EDT
- Tiny air pollution particles have been revealed in the brain stems of young people and are intimately associated with molecular damage linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- If the groundbreaking discovery is confirmed by future research, it would have worldwide implications because 90% of the global population live with unsafe air. Medical experts are cautious about the findings and said that while the nanoparticles are a likely cause of the damage, whether this leads to disease later in life remains to be seen.
- There is already good statistical evidence that higher exposure to air pollution increases rates of neurodegenerative diseases, but the significance of the new study is that it shows a possible physical mechanism by which the damage is done. …
- The causes of neurodegenerative disease are complex and not fully understood. “There’s definitely going to be genetic factors and there’s highly likely to be other neurotoxicants,” said Maher. “But the thing that’s special about air pollution is how pervasively people are exposed to it. I don’t think that human systems have developed any defence mechanisms to protect themselves from nanoparticles.” …