Harriet Tubman, one of America’s most famous 19th century abolitionists, is now being honored with a new park in Auburn, New York. This park, officially named the Harriet Tubman National Park, focuses on her post-Civil War advocacy work. Volunteers working at this brand new park hope more Americans will come to visit and learn about the life and legacy of this amazing woman.
Commemoration Of Harriet Tubman National Park in Auburn
People visiting this new park get to see Tubman’s final brick residence, another home she helped build for elderly African Americans, and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church where she attended services. Tubman was buried in a cemetery very close to this new park. This area was officially designated the 414th unit in the U.S. National Park System after Interior Secretary Sally Jewell signed a memorandum.
Jewell and many other New York politicians were in attendance at the dedication ceremony held in Auburn. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told the attendees,
As a New Yorker and an American, I’m deeply proud to see Tubman Park finally become a reality.
Also in attendance at this ceremony was Judith Bryant, Tubman’s great-great-great grandniece. Bryant told reporters she was overjoyed this park got commemorated “on President Obama’s watch.”
Indeed, President Obama gave final approval for the establishment of this park at the start of January. Both the National Park Service and the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc., will be in charge of protecting the buildings on this property. As mentioned above, this park will mainly focus on the abolitionist’s later life. Tubman spent the last 50 years of her life in Auburn, and she spent a great deal of that time advocating for women’s suffrage.
However, this isn’t the only place that honors the legacy of this American icon. There’s also a large museum called the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument located in Cambridge, Maryland. The museum focuses on this amazing woman’s early life, her years of enslavement, and the historic ten years she led the Underground Railroad.
The Life Of America’s Fiercest Abolitionist
Harriet Tubman certainly led a heroic life. She was born in Dorchester County, Maryland, in 1822. Shortly thereafter, Tubman was enslaved for 30 years. She eventually fled to Philadelphia in 1849 and gained her freedom. Once freed, Tubman made it her life’s mission to help as many slaves as she could flee into the northern states and to Canada.
She led the so-called “Underground Railroad” for the next 10 years. Her work on the Underground Railroad earned her the nickname “Moses” from former slaves and fellow abolitionists. Once the Civil War broke out, Tubman worked in the Union Army as a nurse, cook, and a spy. When the war finished, she settled in Auburn and continued to change lives through her advocacy work. She passed away at the age of 91 in 1913.
Tubman’s Legacy Looks Strong
In addition to these major American parks, this world-renowned human rights champion made headlines in 2016 after the U.S. Treasury announced that it will replace President Andrew Jackson with a picture of Tubman on the $20 bill. People in the Auburn community were thrilled once they heard about Tubman’s placement on the $20 bill.
Jewell told reporters she won’t believe Tubman is actually going to be put on the $20 dollar bills until she sees it for herself. Many believe the nation’s estimation of this suffragette and human rights activist is slowly moving in the right direction. All of the volunteers at this New York park hope the increased attention given to this women’s rights leader will inspire young Americans to learn more about her life and live their lives following her example.
The wife of Omar Mateen, who was responsible for the rampage on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in 2016, has pleaded not guilty to charges of helping her husband plan the terrorist attack. Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, was arrested in Rodeo, California, on January 16th. She is now in an Oakland prison awaiting a bail hearing set for February 1st.
Salman’s Arrest And Statement Of Defense
Prosecutors in this case believe Salman knew all about her husband’s terrorist plot months before the deadly shooting on June 12th. Immediately after the shooting, however, Salman told reporters she knew nothing about her husband’s affiliation with the Islamic State or his intention to murder over 40 people at a gay nightclub.
The indictment against Salman was first brought to the media’s attention in the second week of January. The indictment says that Salman knowingly worked with Mateen to coordinate his attack. Officially, Salman has been charged with two counts.
First, Salman has been charged with obstruction of justice. Second, prosecutors charged Salman with a count of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. Salman’s defense lawyer, Linda Moreno, has argued that Salman was a victim of domestic violence and wasn’t aware of any plans for a terrorist attack. As Moreno put it, Salman “had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night.”
Also, Salman’s uncle, Al Salman, told numerous media outlets that his niece didn’t know about her husband’s terrorist plans.Conservatives have been very critical of lawyer Moreno for years now. Moreno has a history of defending many individuals involved in al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. For example, Moreno has defended Jose Padilla and Adham Hassoun, both of whom were eventually found guilty on conspiracy to murder and kidnap overseas.
Moreno also defended Aafia Siddiqui, a member of al-Qaeda who tried to kill U.S. nationals in Afghanistan. Conservatives are also critical of this trial’s defense being funded by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA). Despite these critiques, the hearing is still expected to move forward.
Incriminating Evidence Against Salman
One incriminating piece of evidence against Salman is the fact that she admitted driving her husband to the Pulse nightclub on numerous occasions before the shooting rampage. In addition to driving by the Pulse nightclub, Salman and Mateen often drove around Downtown Disney and staked the area out. Walt Disney World officials actually alerted FBI officials to Mateen and Salman on one occasion.
After the attack, Salman told FBI officials that she was aware Mateen had purchased a great deal of ammunition and firearms. She also said she saw her husband watch a few jihadist videos online. Despite all of this, Salman maintains she never suspected what her husband was thinking of doing with those firearms.
She told The New York Times that she didn’t know about the terrorist attack until she received a text at 4AM from her husband on June 12th. The text told Salman to look at the news. Mateen also sent a message to Salman that said, “I love you babe.”
All Awaiting February Bail Hearing
The world will have to wait until February 1st to find out what is going to happen to Noor Salman. If she is convicted of these charges, she can face a lifetime in prison. Salman’s son will most likely go into the care of her uncle if she is convicted.
Salman, who is now 30, has said very little in her most recent court hearings and has declined to answer questions from the press. Salman was originally from Oakland, and she fled to the nearby city of Rodeo following the Pulse nightclub shooting. She has one four-year-old son.
Image source: Facebook
New reports suggest President Donald Trump could make U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for his proposed wall between the United States of America and Mexico. One of Trump’s key promises since he began his campaign was that he would make Mexico pay for his proposed border wall. Although Trump has vociferously denied reneging on his promise to make Mexico pay for the wall, House Republicans are apparently working on a plan to fund U.S. taxpayer money into the wall project. House Republicans are specifically using a 2006 law signed by President George W. Bush. This legislation was intended to build a southern border and can still technically be enforced. The current POTUS can pick up right where former President Bush left off. However, this project would be funded with money from Congress.
Doubt On Capitol Hill; Certainty in Trump’s Mind
Many Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have expressed serious doubts about Trump’s plan to get Mexico to pay for the wall. For example, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah told reporters:
“There’s a lot [Trump] could do if he wanted to [force Mexico’s hand]. In all honesty, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Some Republican leaders even said they thought that getting the Mexican government to pay for the wall was just a “gimmick.” Besides trying to use the 2006 law, Republican lawmakers will probably try to use the Remittance Status Verification Act of 2015 to extract funding for the wall from illegal immigrants. This 2015 Act was passed forcing cash remittance providers to provide the government with details on every senders’ legal residence. People unable to show proof of residency in the USA could still wire funds, but they would be taxed 7 percent. This tax money could then be used towards border security.
For the President’s part, Trump seems undeterred to at least try to get Mexico to officially pay for the wall. The President’s transition team told GOP Representatives to put funding for the wall into the spending package for April. Even if Americans have to pay for the initial start of the wall, Trump still says he wants to get reimbursed from Mexico. Trump told reporters he will try to use negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement to persuade Mexican authorities to pay the USA for the wall.
Mexico Still Firmly Against Paying For The Border Wall
While Trump and Republican lawmakers may not seem to be on the same page, Mexico is taking a hard stance against paying the USA for a border wall. Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray recently made a television address saying there is no way Mexico can be coerced into paying for this wall. Videgaray said:
“There are no circumstances…not even the best possible trade deal…which would justify taking a step that would violate the dignity of Mexicans to such an extent.”
Although Videgaray is very public against any Mexican support for the wall, he has been one of the key links between the Trump team and Mexican authorities. Mexico’s Foreign Minister has met with Trump’s senior White House adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner on various occasions, and Videgaray told the Mexican press that he has a “very favorable impression” of Kushner. Whether or not these meetings will change Videgary’s opinion on paying for the U.S.-Mexican wall has yet to be seen.
How Much Will This Great Wall Of Trump Cost Us?
President Donald Trump says the total cost for the wall will be around $11 billion, but most engineers believe the final cost will be much higher. As every day passes, it appears more likely that U.S. taxpayers will pay for this 1,900-mile long wall. Some new proposals flying around include making U.S. prisoners construct the border wall. This might reduce the cost for skilled laborers, but the legality of this plan is criticized by humanitarian organizations. Despite all of this criticism and doubt, the President continues to regularly assure Americans via Twitter that he will get Mexico to pay for the wall, one way or another.
Image Source: Wikipedia
President-elect Trump ran on a very tough immigration policy. Yet, when he was elected, he started to backpedal on many of the things that he said during the campaign. Many people are asking Donald Trump to keep the promises that he made during the campaign. Many Republicans and Democrats wonder what Trump’s policies and recommendations will look like once he comes into office. It is important to remember that Trump can only accomplish without legislatures.
What will be Trump’s Immigration Policy?
The election of Donald Trump has left over 700,000 undocumented people who came to the United States wondering where they stand. It also leaves over 5 million people who came to the United States as a parent of a legal citizen wondering where they stand. Trump has said that he will repeal all executive orders that President Obama enacted. In many cases, these people may have to leave the country or face exportation.
Trump could also order the State Department, the executive department that recommends foreign policies, to examine visas much more carefully. Homeland Security, responsible for stopping threats on United States soil, says that 45 million people enter the U.S. each year with a visa. They estimate that 416,500 people are in the country with an expired visa. While it is unlikely that Trump could kick out a whole group of citizens, he could order that the State Department scrutinize visa applications from certain countries more closely.
Trump is probably going to recommend Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama as the head of the Justice Department, which is the highest authority in the U.S., to enforce criminal law. Jeff has been known for promoting tough immigration policies when he was in the legislature.
What Other Actions may Donald Trump Take on Immigration?
He is also likely to recommend General John Kelly who is the former commander of United States Southern Commander as the head of Homeland Security. If Trump makes these two moves, then he is sending a signal to the Border Patrol that he is ready to stop people from illegally crossing the border.
Von Spakovsky, spokesman for the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation says:
“All of that can be done on day one and that’s going to immediately start not only reducing the population that’s in the country, but it will have an immediate effect on the flow into the country because the message will go out.”
Congress, the legislative body in the United States, would have to approve Trump’s appointments, but experts believe that will not be a problem.
Trump would then have to work with Congress to pass further recommendations from his plan. Building a wall and installing additional personnel on the Southern border would require legislative action. Look for Congress to battle out how much money to spend on immigration reforms when they approve the budget bill.
With Trump’s support, look for Congress to take up Kate’s Bill at an early date. This bill named after Kate Steinle who was killed by an illegal immigrant. This bill would escalate prison time for anyone found entering the country illegally more than once.
President-elect Donald Trump is likely to be harder on immigration than President Obama. Look for him to repeal some of the executive orders almost immediately. He will likely step up inspections on visas. He is likely to recommend appointments of Sessions and Kelly sending tough messages to those crossing the United States-Mexico border
illegally. Congress will have to face the battle over the budget very soon which will send strong clues on rather they are willing to support Trump’s tougher immigration stance.
Image Source: Blue Diamond Gallery
Lieutenant Cook, a police officer with the Arlington, Texas, Police Department, was working a security detail when a patron told him there was a teenager smoking marijuana by the door. He saw the teen throw down the joint when he arrived in the area. Lieutenant Cook also smelled the pot. He could have arrested the teen, but he suddenly decided to take a different path. Approaching the young man who remained respectful, he told the teen that he would not pursue charges.
Why Did Lieutenant Cook Think About Push Ups?
The officer says that he had a flashback to his own younger days as he approached the young man. He remembered his football coach who used pushups as punishment. Therefore, the officer told the young man that if he gave him 200 push-ups, he would not arrest him. The boy dropped to the ground and gave him the push-ups. Another person caught the scene with a smartphone and posted it to Facebook. The video went viral.
Lieutenant Cook also went into the movie theater. He found the mother informing her of what happened. The mother gave the officer a hug. According to the officer, she gave her son a stern warning. She then turned to the officer saying:
“I would have made him do more push-ups.”
The officer says that he had never done something like this before. He says that he is thankful that his supervisor supported his actions. Cook also says that he suddenly appreciated what his coach had been trying to accomplish when he was in high school. It is his hope that the young man may someday remember what he did and pass it on one day.
Are There Other Officers Doing Good Things?
While the news is often filled with bad news against the police, there are other officers doing great things as well. These officers often see a need choosing to meet it out of their own pockets.
In September 2016, Officer Zach Stamper answered a call in Roeland Park, Kansas, about a suspicious man in the park. When he arrived, he met a man named Samuel Meixueiro who he discovered walked between five and six hours each day to work. The officer immediately went and got the man a bike and a duffle bag to keep his stuff in.
New York resident Jeff Roberts who was walking to a job interview after looking for months. He stopped a police officer to ask for directions. The police officer realized that Jeff would never get to the interview on time, so he gave him a ride. Despite looking for the cop after the interview to tell him thanks, he has never seen him again.
Officer Jeremy Herwood with the San Diego Police Department, the city police in San Diego, never expected it to be his last meal when he stopped at McDonald’s. While in the restaurant, he befriended a young boy who told him he was hungry. He also told the officer that he had no money. Jeremy brought the boy lunch along with his own. Moments later, he was fatally gunned down in a nearby ambush.
Lieutenant Cook saw a young man in Arlington, Texas, saw a young man smoking pot and told him to do pushups instead of taking him to jail. Other officers have brought transportation for people, gave people lifts, and even brought a hungry boy lunch. None expected anything in return. Maybe, everyone should draw inspiration from these officers examples by looking around them to find a need that needs to be met. In that way, the example of Lieutenant’s Cook football coach will continue to live on.
Image Source: Pixabay