Things That Matter

Canada’s Former Prime Minister Says She Was Joking When She Wished For Hurricane Dorian To Hit Mar-A-Lago, But People Are Not Laughing

Floridians have been warily watching the powerful storm named Dorian that continues to gain in strength just off the coast. Experts project that Hurricane Dorian will make landfall near President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home as a Category 4 or 5 storm on Labor Day. When Former Canadian Prime Minister Avril Phaedra Douglas “Kim” Campbell learned of this, she tweeted out, “I’m rooting for a direct hit on Mar a Lago!” The tweet has prompted outrage from Trump supporters and Floridians alike.

Avril Pheadra Campell is Canada’s first female Prime Minister, serving in 1993 after the resignation of Brian Mulroney.

Credit: @AKimCampbell / Twitter

She served between June and November 1993, one of the shortest-lived serving Prime Ministers in Canada. Today, she’s the chairperson for Canada’s Supreme Court Advisory Board. 

The next day, Campbell tweeted that she hoped the storm would “shake up Trump’s climate change denial!”

Credit: @AKimCampbell / Twitter

As Hurricane Dorian strengthens and threatens the United States, Trump’s administration removed regulations to control the emission of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 10x as damaging to our ozone as carbon dioxide. Our ozone helps to protect the earth from allowing powerful heat from the sun to enter our atmosphere, where it creates a “greenhouse” effect to further heat the earth. Hurricanes thrive in warm water, and climate change experts have long been predicting more powerful and frequent storms, pointing to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria as further proof of climate change.

Campbell has since deleted the tweet and apologized.

Credit: @AKimCampbell / Twitter

This isn’t the first time Campbell has caused controversy around Trump. During the government shutdown, Campbell called Trump a “motherf****r” for deflecting a reporter’s question about paying government employees by responding with a bite about border security.

Still, Floridians have responded with shock to Campbell’s comment.

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

Twitter user and Miami resident Miguel Diaz tweeted, “IT IS UNBELIEVABLE KIM CAMPBELL FORMER CANADAS PM WISHES HURRICANE DORIAN DESTROYS TRUMP MAR A LAGO HOME. I LIVE IN MIAMI AND I KNOW THE DESTRUCTION OF A HURRICANE. THIS LEFT WING MONSTERS LIKE MS CAMPBELL, HAVE A BLACK EVIL SOUL. MAGA 2020 ALL THE WAY!!!” Another Palm Beach resident responded to her apology tweet to let her know, “I live in the area. Thank you. Your rebuke brought tears to my eyes. Most people are so good and compassionate. She has no idea how it feels to have this monster headed in our direction.”

Meanwhile, Canadians are taking it upon themselves to apologize for Campbell.

Credit: @realBrianReid / Twitter

“On behalf of Canada, I’d like to apologize to all our American brothers and sisters for the remarks of our once and very brief PM, Kim Campbell,” tweets Brian Reid. Another Canadian, Twisha, commented, “Meh. Don’t sweat it. I enjoyed it.” Another comforted Campbell by tweeting, “Your comments are totally fine with me Prime Minister. I think them each and every day. You are not alone!”

Meanwhile, others are sarcastically anticipating Trump to scapegoat the damage from Dorian onto Mexicans. “Or the mayor of San Juan.”

Credit: @debbiedonothing / Twitter

“He’ll blame it on the gays,” tweets Kurt in response.  A Puerto Rican comes out to say that, actually, “he’ll blame it on Puerto Rico for not taking the full hit.” Some folks on Twitter are suggesting authorities rename the hurricane from Dorian to “Karma,” for Trump’s family separation policies. 

“Gotta love the pearl-clutching from the Trumpists about Kim’s Mar-a-lago comment,” commented another Twitter user. “Remember, these are the same humanoids that are applauding Cheeto Benito’s genocidal immigration policies, so their alleged concern over human life is predictably selective and certainly laughable.”

Trump has since described the storm as an “absolute monster.”

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

In a video taken in the Rose Garden, Trump said that “we all got lucky, it missed Puerto Rico.” He goes on to say that “it’s looking like it could be an absolute monster,” and that the administration is shipping food and water to Florida. Mysteriously, throughout the video, Trump keeps referring to Dorian as hitting “dead center,” but doesn’t tell us where the dead center is to him.

Nonetheless, Hurricane Dorian is a major storm that should be taken very seriously.

@realdonaldtrump / Twitter

Just yesterday, the Governor of Florida issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for 26 counties within the state. Mar a Lago is settled into Zone B of the disaster areas, and has yet to be ordered to evacuate. According to Trump, “we’re still waiting,” to see. In the meantime, Floridians are preparing by shuttering their homes, filling up gas tanks, and clearing grocery stores of food and water.

READ: Tropical Storm Dorian Could Hit Puerto Rico And People On The Island Aren’t Taking Any Chances

Immigration Advocates Are Sounding The Alarm Over Trump’s Decision To Collect DNA Samples From Asylum Seekers

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Immigration Advocates Are Sounding The Alarm Over Trump’s Decision To Collect DNA Samples From Asylum Seekers

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

In 2005, the DNA Fingerprint Act updated a former law‚ the DNA Identification Act of 1994, which denied authorities to obtain DNA from “arrestees who have not been charged in an indictment or information with a crime, and DNA samples that are voluntarily submitted solely for elimination purposes, from being included in the National DNA Index System.” In other words, the DNA Fingerprint Act was revised to protect the privacy rights of immigrantsIn 2010, the DNA Fingerprint Act was again revised because of then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who said government agencies didn’t have the resources back then to gather DNA from “migrants in custody who weren’t facing criminal charges or those pending deportation proceedings,” so another clause was put in place for them. Now, in another move in the attack on migrants, the Trump Administration wants to change that. 

The Trump Administration is continuing forward with its push to collect DNA samples from every migrant person that enters the U.S.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

According to the New York Times, “a homeland security official said in a call with reporters on Wednesday that the exemption [put in place in 2010] was outdated, and that it was time to eliminate it.” That statement means the government now has resources to sort through and gather DNA, which it didn’t have in 2010. But that assumption is a stark contradiction since border agents, and immigration officials are severely understaffed

Immigration advocates are calling foul on this tactic by the Trump Administration who continues to criminalize migrants who are seeking asylum. Once their DNA is in the system, they will forever be recorded as felons.

Credit: @jherrerx / Twitter

“That kind of mass collection alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation basically to population surveillance, which is basically contrary to our basic notions of a free, trusting, autonomous society,” Vera Eidelman, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told The New York Times

The government began collecting DNA from migrants starting this summer.

Credit: @CREWcrew / Twitter

At some point, this summer border agents began collecting DNA from migrants in order to verify whether or not they were related to the people they were traveling with. Agents were trying to prove whether family units entering the country together were actually related or traveling under false information. The DNA they gathered at the point was just to show family DNA. 

“This was really an investigative tool in attacking the fraudulent family phenomenon,” an ICE official said to CNN about the operation that began this summer. “We’re interested in using this as a tactical law enforcement tool, one of many, to be deployed when looking at a potential fraudulent family scenario.”

This new type of DNA that the administration is aiming to get would provide more extensive information and also would not be shared with other law enforcement agencies.

Credit: @YouGovUS / Twitter

The problem here lies with privacy concerns. For example, if an immigration official gathers DNA information from a migrant who entered the country illegally only to be given asylum later — because the court process takes a very long time — that person, who has the option of becoming a U.S. citizen at some point now has a criminal stain on their record for the rest of their life. 

Writer Kelly Hayes wrote an extensive Twitter thread that exposes the extensive damage and intrusion this form of DNA gathering will have for years to come. 

Credit: @kejames / Twitter

“A DNA registry for migrants,” Hayes tweeted. “Imagine the ugly possibilities of having a marginalized group of people that large cataloged according to their DNA, and that catalog being in the hands of the state. I know folks are focused on Ukraine, but this is a whole thing. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people, including children. With evolving technologies, the potential surveillance applications of a massive DNA registry are ominous AF.”

It’s unclear when this DNA collection will officially begin, even though the New York Times reports that Homeland Security officials have already said they have the right to get DNA from migrants. However, the Supreme Court has already ruled undocumented people have rights just as U.S. citizens do. 

“Though the Supreme Court has found that the constitutional right to privacy applies to everyone within the United States, regardless of their immigration status, a more restrictive interpretation of the Fourth Amendment has been applied within a 100-mile zone of the border, where suspicionless searches are allowed, even of American citizens,” the Times reports. And yet we already know some attorneys are trying to fight that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to undocumented people

READ: A City Claims A Family Can’t Sue Over A Wrongful Death Because Undocumented People Don’t Have Rights Under Constitution

Donald Trump Tried And Failed To Write In Spanish Using Google Translate And This Is Why We Need Spanish Teachers In The U.S.

Things That Matter

Donald Trump Tried And Failed To Write In Spanish Using Google Translate And This Is Why We Need Spanish Teachers In The U.S.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images / Mitú

He has done it again. President Donald Trump’s Twitter is a gift that keeps on giving… us something to talk about. Trump went on a Tweet sesh, expressing his racist rhetoric, yet again.

Only this time, the attack came in the form of a poorly translated meme-like image that has the Internet shook.

Days after campaigning in New Mexico, a 50% Latino state that republicans haven’t been able to secure since George W. Bush’s presidential election, Trump sent his first Spanish-language Tweet ever.

The graphic, which he tweeted out, depicts Trump standing in front of a border wall, and a frown on his face. It reads “NO MÁS” in big bold letters. The usual anti-immigration rhetoric, however, provided some comedy on this occasion. I mean, does the President of the United States really rely on Google Translate to share a message in a different language? We’ll never know for sure. But a first-grade teacher could tell you, that using a robot to translate a human language, will definitely result in an unreliable source.

The auto-translate feature never fails…to fail. So should we even be surprised that not one person in the Trump administration could help to properly translate his insults? Given that it’s a language that the president obviously doesn’t speak and which he knows will make his bigoted white followers uncomfortable, the answer is… yeah, no. As 2020 approaches we can unfortunately expect more of these kind of messages as he prompts his followers into a white panic, relying on the ignorance of his fans. Clearly, the president will be doubling down on the hate that helped him get elected in the first place.

The xenophobic image, in which he was trying to say: “No more fake asylum”, “No more catch and release”, and “No more illegal entry into the United States” stated his usual discourse, and we get what he’s trying to say. But if you’re going to come after people, can’t you at least get someone competent to look over your copy?

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, the president tried his best to appeal to Latinx voters during his rally. And it got weird. At one point, Trump made a comment on how “white” one of his key Latino surrogates looks. “He happens to be Hispanic, but I’ve never quite figured it out because he looks more like a WASP than I do…But I’ll tell you what — there is nobody that loves this country more or Hispanic more than Steve Cortes,” Trump said. Cortes is a Trump supporter and TV commentator, as well as a member of Trump’s Advisory Council.

“Nobody loves the Hispanics more!” Trump continued, before asking Cortes “Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?”

Suggesting that Latinos have dual loyalties.

His answer though was pure gold: “I may have to go for the Hispanics to be honest with you…We love our Hispanics”

After the president tweeted the “NO MÁS” image, Twitter exploded with anger, but more so with mockery. Twitter users dragged the president’s intelligence, pointing out that he doesn’t speak a word of Spanish — and are not even sure that he masters English tbh (remember covfefe-gate?), others simply condemned his flat-out racism. 

Here for your entertainmnent is a roundup of just a few of the internet’s best reactions to the #GoogleTranslateFail.

After a lifetime of watching ‘Inglés sin Barreras’ commercials, it’s about time someone made ‘Español sin Barreras’… and sent a copy to the White House.

Covfefe anyone?

You gotta appreciate the artistry.

https://twitter.com/LuisValLeAnaya/status/1174450976008429570/photo/1

Can we have one sent our way asap?