Some Americans plan to commit fraud to ensure they have the freedom to travel

Pictured: Genuine vaccination card of the first person to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at the Javits Center in March 2021. Photo by New York National Guard.
Pictured: Genuine vaccination card of the first person to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at the Javits Center in March 2021. Photo by New York National Guard.
This one’s legit. Vaccine card of the first person to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at the Javits Center in March 2021. Photo by New York National GuardCreative Commons

As someone who writes regularly about immigration, I’m curious about many of the Americans hoping to buy a fake vaccination card in order to travel to their business or pleasure destination of choice. Will they also sympathize with the immigrants who arrive here without documentation in the future in order to work the jobs which American businesses are offering them?

If their plans to jet around with fake papers are AOK because freedom, then surely they’ll understand why impoverished migrant workers might come here looking for work, hoping to figure out the legality part later on.

Because the market for…

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Like cryptocurrency, NFTs work within a tragedy of the commons

Hashmask #15753 created by Suum Cuique Labs GmbH. The artist released the copyright for this image to the NFT token owner, who then released the image into the public domain. (Crop of original image)

Anyone remember “I Am Rich”? This essentially featureless “app” sold for $999.99 on Apple’s app store in 2008 and consisted merely of an image of a glowing red gem, which someone could easily screen cap to replicate it.

Global Climate Change and Its Impact Upon Migration and Sovereign States

The United States seen through fencing at the border of the U.S. and Tijuana, Mexico. A Border Patrol vehicle can be seen through the chain-link fence. Photo by Robert Stribley.
The United States seen through fencing at the border of the U.S. and Tijuana, Mexico. A Border Patrol vehicle can be seen through the chain-link fence. Photo by Robert Stribley.
U.S. Border Patrol vehicle seen through fencing at the border of the U.S. and Tijuana, Mexico. Photo by Robert Stribley.

“Among migrants, homo sapiens is king.” — Sonia Shah, The Next Great Migration

Climate change has always been a major motivating factor behind changes in human migration. However, the last few years have seen a backlash against climate migrants among the planet’s more advanced states, and the march of global warming and climate change will certainly exacerbate this issue. In fact, according to the widely circulated estimate by Oxford researcher and environmentalist Norman Myers, some 200 million human beings may be migrating to avoid severe climate change by 2050. Some estimates even place that number as high as 1 billion.

Venmo’s default payment options may have made the Florida Representative’s shady private life public data.

Photo of Florida Representative Matt Gaetz posing with Donald Trump for a selfie
Photo of Florida Representative Matt Gaetz posing with Donald Trump for a selfie
Matt Gaetz poses with Donald Trump for a selfie — Photo from Gaetz’s public Twitter profile

The Daily Beast reported yesterday that in May 2018, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz may have paid for the sexual services of a teenager, when he sent his friend Joel Greenberg $900 via Venmo. It seems since payments made on Venmo are public by default, reporters were able to piece together that Greenberg then passed on three payments the next day to three different women with amounts also totaling $900.

Gaetz isn’t the first person to have his alleged vices showcased for all to see via this Venmo feature, just the most famous. And it may end up contributing to his…

Critics of immigrants—particularly undocumented immigrants— point to their numbers in federal prisons. It’s meaningless as an indicator of immigrant crime rates.

Cover photo: Immigrant Make America Great — Photo by Nitisha Meena, Unsplash
Cover photo: Immigrant Make America Great — Photo by Nitisha Meena, Unsplash
Immigrant Make America Great — Original photo by Nitisha Meena, Unsplash

When you highlight the fact that crime is lower among the immigrant population—including undocumented immigrants—in the United States than in the general population, someone eventually pipes up to ask, “Then why are there so many immigrants in federal prison?”

This question hopes to serve as a “gotcha” moment. It’s calculated to provoke the fear that, if so many immigrants are in federal prison, they must be more likely to be violent criminals, mass murders and drug traffickers, etcetera. Arguably, it’s an attempt to make infamous Trump’s “murderers and rapists” slur more palatable by gussying it up as a statistic.

We’ll never know if Joan of Arc was a transgender man but she was ultimately executed (via Catholic doctrine) for refusing to adhere to the gender binary. — 1903 engraving by Albert Lynch, Figaro Illustre, Public Domain

One of the most frustrating things about interacting with transphobic people is how frankly sanctimonious they can be about their behavior. However unexamined their beliefs may be, they often express those beliefs in the tone of someone who is taking the high road, who exudes a sort of justified moral superiority, who simply defends legitimate social and moral norms—even as they are being confronted for denigrating transgender people. It’s a neatly working self-defense mechanism because it enables such people to feel self righteous about the misinformation or even the venom they’re deploying, even as their beliefs remain unexamined.

I have…

Greg Abbott Reaches for Donald Trump’s Playbook to Villainize Immigrants

Caricature of Texas Governor Greg Abbott by DonkeyHotey, Flickr, Creative Commons License

It was March 2nd with COVID-19 still boiling across the great state of Texas, and Governor Greg Abbott proclaimed that he was reopening the state. No more mask mandates. “EVERYTHING” would open again at 100% capacity. Then, almost immediately after the telling Texas to return to normal, Abbott hastened to blame immigrants for the spread of the virus.

On Twitter the next day, he claimed, “The Biden Administration is recklessly releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants who have COVID into Texas communities. The Biden Admin. must IMMEDIATELY end this callous act that exposes Texans & Americans to COVID.”

Remembering the last few days of normalcy and the moment we realized the pandemic was about to hit

NPR host Lulu Garcia-Navarro posted a tweet this past week, which resonated with many of us. A year into this COVID-19 pandemic, she asked, “We all have #TheMoment when we knew things were going to be different. Where were you and what were you thinking a year ago?” A remarkable cascade of touching and emotional stories followed—all the more humanized when you could see familiar figures and friends responding to her question.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro’s tweet asking people to remember #TheMoment
Lulu Garcia-Navarro’s tweet asking people to remember #TheMoment

Lulu’s prompt certainly struck me because as a street photographer, I spent much of the first few months of the pandemic photographing everything on long walks to keep…

Without Exception, the Best-Known “Free Speech” Platforms Ban Users and Their Content, Too

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze —Image from The Met, public domain

To hear it these past few months, a hardy band of patriots have been fording a stream of free speech oppression unleashed by some of our better known social media platforms in these United States, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. They’ve cast themselves much as Emanuel Leutze cast our first President in his 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware: They are strong, forward-looking, resolute in their determination to forge a path for “free speech” among all the chattering social media channels of the 21st century. They’re cornering the market by creating platforms, which cater to those who truly care…

Donald Trump Mastered DARVO, the Strategy of Abusers. We’re Still Suffering the Consequences.

President Garrison (who looks like Donald Trump) explains DARVO — Screen capture from an episode of South Park
President Garrison (who looks like Donald Trump) explains DARVO — Screen capture from an episode of South Park
The President explains DARVO — Screen capture from an episode of South Park

By the time he left office, Donald Trump’s record at attempting to overturn the election stood at 1 in 65 in the courts. The solitary case he won didn’t prove any election fraud or shenanigans in the 2020 election either. And yet tens of millions of Americans still believe he won the election. That’s a titanic triumph of disinformation.

The playbook is simple and Trump and many of his most avid supporters have mastered it. You can examine the dynamics from different angles. You can look at social media. You can examine the practice of Russian disinformation or dezinformatsiya. …

Robert A Stribley

Writer. Photographer. Interests: immigration, privacy, security, human rights, design. UX: Publicis Sapient. Teach: SVA. Student: NYU’s Global Affairs program.

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