FEATURE

What’s Not In The Latest Terrifying IPCC Report? The “Much, Much, Much More Terrifying” New Research On Climate Tipping Points

By Jon Queally Common Dreams (10/9/18) If the latest warnings contained in Monday’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—which included pronouncements that the world has less than twelve years to drastically alter course to avoid the worst impacts of human-caused global warming and that nothing less than keeping all fossil fuels in the ground is the solution to avoid future calamities—have you at all frightened or despondent, experts responding to the report have a potentially unwelcome message for your already over-burdened heart and mind: It’s very likely even worse than you’re being told. After the report’s publication there were…

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Hey, Youngsters, America’s Old Farts Have A Message For You: “Don’t Vote!”

An edgy Knock the Vote social media ad has been gaining social media traction this week features old white seniors Trump supporters taunting younger citizens into not voting in the upcoming November elections. “Tax cuts for the rich? Hell yeah, I’m rich as fuck,” one old fart declares in the ad. Another declares: “Climate change? That’s a you problem. I’ll be dead soon.” The ad concludes with a bitter bit of prediciiton: “We’ll be there, but you won’t because we’re a generation of doers, not whiners. We’re doing great.” Link to 1-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018….


Brett Kavanaugh Reveals The Smug Banality Of The Bipartisan Ruling Gang

  By Meagin Day Jacobin (10/2/18) The masters of the universe, it turns out, are losers. The Brett Kavanaugh hearing was a kaleidoscope of family and God and prestigious clerkships spliced with boofing and ralphing and brewskis. It was a thorough dressing-down. In the end, one was left with the impression of an unremarkable guy who was born on a conveyor belt to power, without much obligation to distinguish himself from his peers. On the contrary, his success was relatively guaranteed on the condition that he didn’t distinguish himself from them, that he simply play nice with the fellas — and not…


‘Fresh Air’ Review: Smart, Unsentimental ‘Heartland’ Pays Tribute To America’s Working Class & Exposes The Class Warfare That Exploits Their Lives

  “It’s a hell of a thing to grow the food, serve the drinks, hammer the houses and assemble the airplane that bodies with more money eat and drink and occupy and board while your own body can’t go to the doctor.” By Maureen Corrigan Fresh Air (10/3/18) Sarah Smarsh is a daughter of the white working class. Born in rural Kansas, Smarsh traces her lineage back through five generations of family farmers. She also traces herself back through generations of teenage pregnancies; Smarsh’s mother was just 17 when she had her. During the 1980s, when Smarsh was growing up,…


Great News For Mass Shooters: One Year After Las Vegas, A New Texas Company Is Selling Murderous Bump Stocks

  By Alex Yablon The Trace (9/28/18) When a gunman perched in a Las Vegas hotel room used rifles affixed with bump stocks to commit the deadliest mass shooting in American history, Slide Fire Solutions went from an obscure Texas manufacturer of a gun world novelty to the main purveyor of a notorious and widely condemned product. As federal and state lawmakers of both parties called to ban bump stocks, and attorneys filed lawsuits, Slide Fire announced in April that it was shutting down. But on the one-year anniversary of the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, bump stocks remain not only…


Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” Lays Bare The Dangerous Crossroads We Are At And What We Need To Understand From Steve Bannon

  Tyrant. Liar. Racist. And a hole in one.   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (9/24/18) This past weekend I saw Michael Moore’s new documentary film Fahrenheit: 11/9. You will find a detailed review of the film below, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here other than to say it is an extraordinary film — in my opinion, his best — that lays out the path of how this nation has come to the dangerous crossroads with fascist totalitarianism we now confront. As Moore explains, it is not hyperbole to talk in such terms and his…


American Fascism: Trump Is The Symptom, Not The Problem

Concern regarding ascendant fascism isn’t necessarily misguided— the question back is: where have you been for the last fifty years? [Editor’s Note: This is an especially insightful column that peels away to “the” problem we are facing in our political and tilted economic system. — Mark L. Taylor] By Rob Urie CounterPunch (9/17/18) From Whence ‘We’ Came Fascism is a loaded topic for Americans. The term is usually put forward as oppositional, as the flip side of representative democracy, e.g. authoritarian. Left unaddressed is whose interests’ American representative democracy represents. Twenty years of research by political scientist Thomas Ferguson strongly supports the…


Bernie Sanders: A Growing International Authoritarian Axis Demands An International Progressive Front

  The Tip Of The Problem By Bernie Sanders The Guardian (9/13/18) There is a global struggle taking place of enormous consequence. Nothing less than the future of the planet – economically, socially and environmentally – is at stake. At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the world’s top 1% now owns more wealth than the bottom 99%, we are seeing the rise of a new authoritarian axis. While these regimes may differ in some respects, they share key attributes: hostility toward democratic norms, antagonism toward a free press, intolerance toward ethnic and religious minorities, and a…


History They Don’t Want You Know: How Depression Era Co-Ops Built A Healthy Alternative Economic Model

Public domain photo. The idea of a genuine economy shorn of Wall Street contrivance touched a chord.  By Jonathan Rowe Yes! Magazine (9/14/18) he mood at kitchen tables in California in the early 1930s was as bleak as it was elsewhere in the United States. Factories were closed. More than a quarter of the breadwinners in the state were out of work. There were no federal or state relief programs, nothing but some local charity—in Los Angeles County, a family of four got about 50 cents a day, and only 1 in 10 got even that. Not long before, America…


Of Course We’ll Slash Your Hard-Earned Social Security & Medicare To Fund Tax Cuts For The Wealthy, Republicans Admit

  By Rebekah Entralgo Think Progress  (8/21/18) Slowly but surely, Republicans that supported the trillion dollar Trump tax bill are revealing their true motivations: slashing Medicare and Social Security. During a Sunday interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) urged entitlement reform as the deficit continues to balloon as a result of the GOP tax cuts. [Language Note: Social Security and Medicare are not ‘entitlements’. They hard earned benefits people have invested in through wage deductions. — Ed.] “I do think we need to deal with some of our spending,” Stivers said. “We’ve got try to figure out how…


Weasel Walker’s Foxconn Bait-And-Switch: Fewer Jobs & Business For Other States

Is Walker’s big deal turning into just another empty election year promise? By Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30 Green Bay Progressive (9/8/18) GREEN BAY, WI – Since Governor Walker’s initial announcement of the Foxconn deal he has been promising it will create 13,000 jobs. But anyone who remembers his promise back in 2010 to create 250,000 jobs during his first term in office knows to take such promises with a large grain of salt. The same day that Walker made his promise of 13,000 new jobs, Foxconn’s owner Terry Gau would only commit to creating 3,000 jobs and even President…


The Great Betrayal: Neoliberal Policies Sold Out Workers & Divided Democrats From Their Voters

Democrats’ Embrace Of Neoliberalism Dlievered The Nation Into Trump’s Paws A good chunk of Trump’s support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal.  By Naomi Klein The Guardian (11/9/16) They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and…


Shabba rebot domda moko-dabba reboo-boo — We’re Done With Jezebel … All Praise To Trump!

Total Gibberish   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (9/3/18) There is crazy and then there is Trump Crazy. And then there is right down the old rabbit hole evangelical Trump Crazy. The video below is a little mind boggling to watch but I urge you to because it gives a raw glimpse into an element of energized Trump support and delusion that is both real and an active part of what is going on in the nation. The video is of a recent sermon by Alabama Pentecostal Pastor John Kilpatrick of the Church of His Presence, in Daphne,…


A Decade After ’08 Financial Crash, The Timid Left Has Reason To Be Full Of Regrets

  By Larry Elliot Port Side (8/31/18) Placards are being prepared. Photo-opportunities are being organised. A list of demands is being drawn up by a coalition of pressure groups, unions and NGOs. Yes, preparations are well under way for protests to mark next month’s 10th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers – the pivotal moment in the global financial crisis. Make no mistake, the fact that events will take place in all the world’s financial centres is no cause for celebration. On the contrary, it is a sign of failure. The banks were never broken up. Plans for a financial transactions tax are gathering dust. Politicians toyed with…



A Military Man Speaks Out On What Would Really Improve Our National Self-Defense … Properly Funded PreK Through 12 Education

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/22/18) Retired Admiral Bill McRaven spent 37 years in the military. He led the U.S. Special Operations Command and masterminded the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. Last week he made a blistering comment about Donald Trump’s revocation of national security clearance for one of his critics, former CIA director John Brennan. In a Washington Post op-ed, McRaven called for Trump to revoke his security clearance as well, noting, “I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the…


Give ’em A Reason: Democrats Must Do Much, Much More Than Simply Oppose Donald Trump

  By Gary Younge The Guardian (8/9/18) For quite some time during the primary season for the 2016 presidential race, Democratic party leaders were delighted that Donald Trump was leading the Republican pack. They assumed the brash reality TV star would expose the bigotry of the Republican base before flaming out and leaving a more plausible candidate beholden to an energised mob, and consequently unelectable. After Trump insulted Heidi Cruz (a Goldman Sachs executive and wife of fellow Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz) for her looks, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Deborah Wasserman Schultz, said: “I want Donald Trump to talk…


To Curb Capitalism’s Toxic Impacts, Warren Unveils Plan To Give Workers More Control Over Corporate Decisions

By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/15/18) Taking aim at the heart of America’s toxic economic status quo—which has over the past several decades produced soaring corporate profits and CEO pay while keeping workers’ wages stagnant—Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would “give workers a stronger voice” in the decision-making of major businesses and put an end to corporations’ single-minded commitment to maximizing shareholder value at the expense of employees. “Because the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households own 84 percent of American-held shares, the obsession with maximizing shareholder returns effectively means America’s biggest companies have dedicated themselves to making the rich…


DNC Dems Are Plagued With Democratic Socialism Derangement Syndrome

By Kate Aronoff & Miles Kampf-Lassin NBC (8/16/18) After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shocking victory in New York earlier this summer, pundits warned of a socialist takeover. The front page of the New York Post put the city on “Red Alert,” cheekily depicting the likely incoming congresswoman in bright red lipstick. Following the primary elections on August 7 — where leftist challengers Abdul El-Sayed and Kaniela Ing lost their bids — just as many outlets declared socialism dead on arrival. Then on August 14, a string of progressive insurgents — including Ilhan Omar, Jahana Hayes, Randy Bryce and Christine Hallquist — clinched victories, leading to a…


Snared: When A Young Trump Went To Russia

  By Craig Unger The New Republica (8/15/18) On a frigid December day in 2017, Oleg Kalugin opens the door of his house in Rockville, Maryland, an upper-middle-class suburb of Washington, D.C., to meet me. Nothing in particular distinguishes his split-level suburban home from those of the other professionals in the neighborhood, but the man who lives there is very much out of the ordinary, a former KGB spymaster who is now an American citizen. Born in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), Kalugin, at 83, now lives just half an hour’s drive from the White House, which for decades was dead…


A Climate Scientist Talks To A Psychologist: The Best Medicine For My Climate Grief

  “I actively work to be hope-oriented.” By Peter Kalmus Yes! Magazine (8/9/18) Sometimes a wave of climate grief breaks over me. It happens unexpectedly, perhaps during a book talk, or while on the phone with a congressional representative. In a millisecond, without warning, I’ll feel my throat clench, my eyes sting, and my stomach drop as though the Earth below me is falling away. During these moments, I feel with excruciating clarity everything that we’re losing—but also connection and love for those things. Usually I don’t mind the grief. It’s clarifying. It makes sense to me, and inspires me to…


SOLD! Democrats Reverse Ban On Donations From Fossil Fuel PACs

  ‘Absolute Failure’ By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (8/10/18) Just two months after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was celebrated by environmentalists for banning donations from fossil fuel companies, it voted 30-2 on Friday to adopt a resolution from Chair Tom Perez that critics said effectively reverses the ban and represents “an absolute failure by the DNC.” The Huffington Post‘s Alexander Kaufman tweeted Friday: @AlexCKaufman Replying to @AlexCKaufman UPDATE: resolution passed in a 30-to-2 vote. from DNC epic: “After hearing concerns from Labor that this was an attack on workers, this resolution acknowledges the generous contributions of workers, including those in energy, who organize and donate…


Rep. Ron ‘Wall Street’ Kind Betrays The Needs Of Wisconsin With Cowardly 0-For-5 Stance On Bills Important To Our Future

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/9/18) For those who closely watch Rep. Ron ‘Wall Street’ Kind there is a clear understanding of the two Ron Kinds. The first is the upbeat, sunny, good looking, glad-handing pol with the rolled up sleeves waving to the crowds at the annual Westby Syttende Mai parade. The second is the corporate D.C. functionary casting reliable votes making things easier for Wall Street bankers and, with his recent falling into line to support the mind bending $717 billion annual War Department budget, military contractors. The democratic republican As the story below details, on…


Socialism On The Rise As Americans Seek Out Bold, Humane Alternatives To The Failed Brutality Of Trump & Capitalism

If you want to learn about the central role of socialism in American history then read this book! By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (7/31/18) The thousands of democratic socialists in the United States who have been organizing and fighting for justice in political obscurity for years likely never thought their ideas would be the subject of heated debates on prominent talk-shows like “The View” or feature pieces in such establishment mainstays as PBS and NPR. But—driven in large part by the persistent popularity of Bernie Sanders’ brand of politics and the recent landslide victory of self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s congressional primary—the past several weeks have…


Immigrant Youth Detention Centers: “If You’re A Predator, It’s A Gold Mine”

  By Michael Grabell & Topher Sanders ProPublica (7/27/18) Just five days after he reached the United States, the 15-year-old Honduran boy awoke in his Tucson, Arizona, immigrant shelter one morning in 2015 to find a youth care worker in his room, tickling his chest and stomach. When he asked the man, who was 46, what he was doing, the man left. But he returned two more times, rubbing the teen’s penis through his clothing and then trying to reach under his boxers. “I know what you want, I can give you anything you need,” said the worker, who was later convicted…


Hard Truth: You Can’t Vote Out Fascism. You Have to Drive It From Power!

  By Perry Hoberman Counterpunch (7/20/18) I’ve been noticing a increasing phenomena on MSNBC and other mainstream media outlets: as the Trump/Pence regime resorts to ever more outrageous behavior, the various pundits — when asked to explain this or that monstrous action or statement — just shake their heads and admit that they’re simply baffled as to why anyone would do something so irrational, so clueless, so counterproductive, so cruel. There’s an unspoken implication that the regime can’t possibly understand what they’re actually doing — which in turn suggests that this can’t go on forever, that the whole thing will implode due to their painfully evident incompetence and/or…


What America Has Become: Migrant Children Detail Horrific Experiences Done In Our Name In Border Patrol Stations & Concentration Camps

  “The way I have been treated makes me feel like I don’t matter, like I am trash.” [Editor’s Note: Nothing better exemplifies the degradation of this nation than the institutionalized, for-profit terrorizing and abuse of immigrant families and — most especially — their kidnapped children. As we can expect, many of the most brutal and base among us are drawn to manning the icy holding cells and hidden interrogation rooms of the appropriately named ICE. But make no mistake; as long as this casual corporate brutality continues we are all — every single taxpayer and voter — collectively responsible…


It’s Not Just Trump. Obama Also Shattered Tens Of Thousands Of Immigrant Families

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (7/19/18) Ryan Grim, of the investigative news site The Intercept, sends out a weekly newsletter update of stories. Recently he was looking back through the newsletter archives when he found a 2014 HuffPost story on the tens of thousands of immigrant families broken apart the year before by Obama administration policies of detention and deportation. In that year, 2013, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department deported over 72,000 immigrants who had one or more American-born children. In 2012 the number deported between July 1, 2010, to Sept. 31, 2012 was 200,000. In fact,…


ICE Agents Claims Of ‘Just Following Orders’ May Not Shield Them From Personal Liability For Children’s Suffering, Legal Scholars Warn

[Editor’s Note: Falling back on the mindless and morally empty excuse of “just following orders” does not exonerate soldiers, police or prison guards from bearing personal moral or legal responsibility. This was one of the principles that came from the Nuremberg Trials of World War II Nazi war criminals. Be careful what orders you follow, officers. — Mark L. Taylor] By Julia Conley Common Dreams (7/11/18) A new report finds that individual Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents could be held personally liable for the suffering of families and children under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy—and warns that the…


Majority Of Dems Want Candidates More Like Bernie Sanders, Poll Finds

  By Tim Marcin Newsweek (7/11/18) Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders might have lost his 2016 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he certainly won a number of supporters along the way. To wit: A new poll released Wednesday by YouGov showed that a majority of Democrats want candidates in 2018 to be more like the independent, democratic socialist candidate. The polling firm asked: “Do you wish the candidates who run for Congress this year will be more or less like Bernie Sanders?” A full 57 percent of Democratic respondents said “more like Bernie Sanders” in response. Sixteen percent said less while 27 percent responded…


America’s ‘Justice Democrats’ Show How A Newly Energized Left Can Challenge Corrupt Power & Win

  By George Monboit The Guardian (7/11/18) Even at first sight it is exhilarating. The overthrow of one of the most mainstream and senior Democrats in Congress by a 28-year-old Democratic socialist with a radical programme and one tenth of his funding is, you might think, interesting enough. But since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th district (meaning she will almost certainly enter Congress in November), I’ve been interviewing some of the people who lit the fuse that caused this detonation. What has emerged is just how marginal and improbable their movement was when it began, and…


Months After GOP Approved $1.5 Trillion Giveaway To The Obscenely Rich, Candidate Ocasio-Cortez Shreds Those Questioning How To Pay For Bold Proposals Like Medicare For All

    By Julia Conley Common Dreams (7/9/18) In a viral tweet on Tuesday, progressive New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crystallized the absurdity of arguments against Medicare for All and other bold proposals—as conservatives and centrist Democrats frequently claim the United States lacks a robust social safety net because of an inability to pay for one. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ✔@Ocasio2018 New Rule: anyone that was cool with the GOP inventing $2 trillion out of thin air for freebies for people with yachts that have tiny yachts inside doesn’t get to demand how we pay for people who need chemotherapy treatments….


Trump’s Growing Acts Of Brutality Are Conditioning Nation To Accept Greater Fascist Barbarism To Come

Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but simple test-marketing for barbarism. By Fintan O’Toole Irish Times (6/26/18) To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism. It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is….


Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Files Request To Hire Poorly Paid Foreign Workers Instead Of Americans — Again

  By Mary Papenfuss The HuffPost (7/7/18) Just over a year after Donald Trump signed his  “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, his Mar-a-Lago golf resort has filed for permission to hire 61 foreign workers. Trump’s Palm Beach business filed requests with the U.S. Labor Department for additional visas for foreign servers and cooks, according to records submitted Thursday and Friday. The employees would work October through the following May. Servers would earn $12.68 an hour and cooks would be paid $13.31 an hour. Since late 2015, Mar-a-Lago has filed 10 separate requests for multiple temporary work visas for foreign employees. The…


In ‘Stunning Indictment’, ICE Officers Call For Own Agency To Be Dissolved Amid Growing Outrage Over Immigration Policy

***** “How To Talk To ICE? Give ’em The Cold Shoulder.” — Protest sign, La Crosse, WI (6/30/18) By Julia Conelly Common Dreams (6/29/18) As the demand to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spreads across the country—and with community members building protest encampments outside ICE facilities in several cities this week—some officers with the 15-year-old agency have now added their voices to the growing call to dissolve it. The agency’s targeting of undocumented immigrants has weakened its employees’ ability to carry out other work, argued 19 officers who signed the letter, which was obtained by the Texas Observer. The agents work in ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations…


The Biggest Lesson From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Win? Run On Democratic Socialism.

The energy in the party lies squarely with its left wing.  By Miles Kampf-Lassin In These Times (6/28/18) On Tuesday morning, just hours after unseating one of the most powerful Democrats in U.S. Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in which she offered a succinct, yet compelling, rundown of her insurgent campaign’s “laser-focused” message: “Economic, social and racial dignity for working-class Americans, especially those in Queens and the Bronx. We were very clear about our message, we were very clear about our priorities and very clear about the fact that, even if you’ve never voted before, we are…


Your Choice: Where Would You Be In This Picture?

  Go along or resist. Stand up or lay down. Speak out or be silent. There will be no neutral. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/31/18) The arrival of government detention — concentration — camps for an oppressed and dehumanized minority group means that politics in America is about to become far more personal and much, much more consequential. The kidnapping of children into for-profit concentration camps has added an especially grotesque dimension. The forcible separation of parents from their infants and children into concentrations camps have made it official: We are living in a fascist state now. With…


History Of Fascist Spain Government Child Abductions Will Become Model For Trump’s Kidnapping Program

  “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” — Winston Churchill By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/28/18) As the brutal Trump child kidnapping program continues on with arrogance, cruelty and casual incompetence we are going to see many of the 2,300-plus children now incarcerated permanently stolen from their parents; they will never be reunited. There are already reports of parents deported back to Central America while their children remain in U.S. concentration camps. (And make no mistake, that is the proper term for these camps. And, no, it is not “separation”, it is kidnapping.) History provides insight on where this will go…


Legendary Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: Media Today Must Cover Yemen & Trump Policy, Not Get Distracted by Tweets

  Democracy Now! (6/20/18) “Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News,” President Trump tweeted last week, in his latest attack on the nation’s press. A week earlier, federal prosecutors revealed they had secretly captured years’ worth of phone and email data from journalist Ali Watkins, who broke several high-profile stories related to the Senate Intelligence Committee. A former top aide on the committee, James Wolfe, has been charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with the press. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders recently dropped the United States to number 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom. When the group…


‘Womp, Womp’ — You Think Things Are Bad? Steel Yourself As Former Trump Aide Reveals All

  As practised and professional a liar as he is, in that moment Corey Lewandowski was the most honest man in America. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/21/18) Sometimes there is moment, a single glimpse, a small flash of reality that slices through mountains of reports and hours of media, and reveals more insight than weeks of punditry. It may be an unguarded flash in a politician’s eye, a shift in posture at a critical moment, a small gesture, a reflexive, unguarded retort, a certain tone of voice that suddenly embodies the core truth of a person or…