Friday, May 26, 2017
An excellent and forthright liberal speech.
It seems to me now that the contrast between the Democrats and the Republicans is as stark and as harsh as the contrast between Lincoln in 1860, the anti-secessionist and abolitionist Republican, and the opposing candidates who defended secession, slavery, or both.
Imagine the contrast between a speech by Lincoln against slavery and secession and a speech by Jefferson Davis defending both.
Imagine it's the summer of 1860 and issues are coming to a head.
You know you have to choose.
Do you really have the least, tiniest difficulty lining up with the right side?
Not just the speechmaker but the people she was speaking to, her values and theirs, her views and theirs, her anger and theirs.
Hillary supporters or Trump supporters, Lincoln supporters or Jeff Davis supporters, which are your people?
Russian officials are actively investigating claims of a purge of gay men in Chechnya, a process that could lead to a showdown between Moscow and the local Kremlin-backed strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov.
Dozens of men in the southern republic are reported to have been held in extrajudicial detention and tortured as part of a campaign against gay males in Chechnya that began several months ago.
Many have fled and are in hiding in other regions of Russia or have gone abroad.
. . . .
Most of the Chechen men involved are frightened about going public with their allegations because they fear not only for their own safety but that of their families.
Homosexuality is a huge taboo in Chechnya and many fear reprisals from their own families if they come out publicly.
They also fear their families will be made to suffer a “stain on their honour” for having a gay relative.
. . . .
So far, the response from Chechen authorities has been denial and threats.
Kadyrov, in an interview on 22 April, denied the allegations on the basis that there were “no gay men in Chechnya”.
He said: “These are not traditional things, psychiatrically abnormal things. We don’t understand them. Our people do not understand.”
Chechnya’s press and information minister, Jambulat Umarov, wrote on Instagram that Novaya Gazeta should “apologise to the Chechen people” for the “filthy provocation” of suggesting gay people existed in Chechnya.
He also suggested that people “who are more annoyed by your newspaper than we are” would “take care” of the journalists if they continued with their publications.
Gunmen kill 28 in latest attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt
Twenty-eight people, including children, have been killed and 22 wounded in a gun attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of Cairo, the latest in a series of terrorist incidents targeting the religious minority in Egypt.
Local media reported witnesses saying that between eight and 10 gunmen, dressed in military uniform, carried out the attack.
Egypt’s interior ministry said the attackers, travelling in four-wheel-drives, “fired indiscriminately” at a car, bus and a truck in the al-Idwah district outside Minya, roughly 135 miles (220km) south of Cairo.
'They kill defenceless people': thousands flee Philippine city of Marawi
The attack on Marawi, a mainly Muslim city of 200,000 people, by the Islamic State-linked Maute group this week has led to a fierce three-day battle, with the army deploying attack helicopters and special forces.
At least 46 people – 15 members of the security forces and 31 militants – have been killed.
. . . .
In a sign that the long-standing problem of militancy in the south could be expanding, the solicitor general, Jose Calida, said foreigners were fighting alongside the gunmen in Marawi, including Indonesians and Malaysians.
Calida called the violence an “invasion by foreign terrorists, who heeded the call of Isis to go to the Philippines if they find difficulty in going to Iraq and Syria”.
Bozo has a personal foreign policy, hidden behind the conventional internationalism of his national security front men
The agenda beloved of Steve Bannon, Pat Buchanan, the likes of Nigel Farage, and Vladimir Putin.
The Fix Is In; Nato Is Out
[T]his cluster of signs and provocations suggests strongly that we are still in the same place, still in a position where the President of the United States is actively seeking to undermine NATO and – through different modalities and for slightly different reasons – the EU as well.
Each of these aims, each of these goals lines up more or less perfectly with the strategic ambitions of the Russian Federation, which sees NATO as a bulwark of Western/US military strength hemming Russia in behind borderlands it sees as within its proper sphere of influence and with the EU, representing a liberal internationalist order which it has set itself against.
A lot of this thinking comes from the Bannonite/”nationalist” part of the Trump crew, though Trump has espoused elements of this vision for years.
That group, in turn has deep ties to various European rightist parties which share this anti-NATO, anti-EU, politically illiberal stance. Many or most are funded by Russia.
Whether or not this is being done on Putin’s behalf, it clearly lines up within Putin’s and Russia’s aims.
Putin wants a fragmented Europe; Trump does too.
We should not lose sight of this elemental fact in what seems like a herky-jerky parade of provocations and gaffes on this latter portion of Trump’s trip.
The Russia story isn’t just what happened last year.
Or maybe all of this is just a colossal distraction at the end of a trip that was itself a distraction - from the ongoing Russia scandals, sure, but also from the CBO score of the health care bill, from the horrific budget, and from the godawful tax proposals of the Congressional Republicans.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
That was, in fact, the first and only time Article 5 has been invoked.
Stone faces on the leaders of our allies.
The case is quite otherwise for the Brit press.
But that does not mean the leaks are from the US services rather than Brit sources.
Theresa May and the Manchester cops appear to be merely assuming that.
UK police stop passing Manchester bombing information to US over leaks
The Bolivarian Revolution blackens the names of social democracy and liberalism.
The House Republican health care bill would leave 23 million fewer Americans with health insurance by 2026 than under Obamacare, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
The highly anticipated CBO score is likely to trigger another round of negative headlines and more hurdles for Republicans as they look to advance a controversial piece of legislation that was passed in the House earlier this month.
Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana's special congressional election, has been charged with misdemeanor assault after he allegedly body slammed a reporter and broke his glasses on Wednesday night.
The altercation took place at Gianforte's campaign headquarters in Bozeman, Montana, the night before the state's special election.
It sent political shock waves rippling through the race, with two local newspapers rescinding their support for the GOP candidate.
Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for the Guardian, said he had been asking Gianforte about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate "body slammed" him and began shouting, "Get the hell out of here."
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
He announced initiatives further pursuing this strategy and vision of the struggle against Jihad.
He differs from the approach of Democrats only in Bozo's seeming promise to drop human rights criticisms and efforts to support the struggle for liberalization and democracy in the Muslim world.
In Egypt, that suggests less critical support for the authoritarian anti-Islamism of the army regime.
In Saudi, it's tolerance of the entrenched dominance of a version of Islam that has done as much as if not more than any other to supply ideological justification of terrorism and Jihad, Wahhabism, and the regime's global support for that variant and its spread.
Not all the Islamophobes are taking this apparent betrayal of their cause quietly.
By the end of this trip, will Trump have completely betrayed, in substance if not fully in his rhetoric, his campaign period Buchananite vision of an "America First" foreign policy?
Geert Wilders on Trump speech: 'Islam is the problem'
Perhaps Wilders has now made his position clearer than ever.
As the Dutch politician spoke to WND before addressing the American Freedom Alliance’s annual Heroes of Conscience dinner here Sunday night, it wasn’t hard to imagine why he has been under constant protection, courtesy of his government, since November 2004, when two North African Muslims were accused of planning to murder him.
“Islam is the problem,” said Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom, now the country’s second largest in Parliament.
“We can only deal with [the threat] if we first face the truth, [which] might not be too politically correct, but still is the truth, and that is that Islam — and not Islamism or radical Islam, but Islam — is an evil ideology like communism or fascism that has no place in a free society,” he told WND.
“And at the end of the day it will replace us, and we will lose our freedom,” he said.
Robert Spencer calls Trump's speech "utopian."
Trump says if Judaism, Christianity, and Islam can get along, peace in this world is possible.
That may be true, but it’s an essentially utopian vision, because one of those three faiths contains an imperative to conquer and subjugate the other two (cf. Qur’an 9:29, 8:39, etc.).
22 dead, nearly 60 injured.
ISIS claims it, of course.
Remember this when the left claims right wing domestic terrorism is the greater threat in the US.
It is absolutely the greater threat to law enforcement personnel and people connected with providing abortions, and also to ordinary black civilians.
But Muslim terrorism, homegrown or not, is by far the greater threat to ordinary civilians in general, regardless of race, both here and around the world.
And the greater threat to LGBT folks.
Update, 052517, 0757 hrs EDT.
One bomber, yes, but police are hunting members of a cell or network.
The bomber, it appears, was trained by ISIS abroad, outside Britain.
Trump's budget cuts Social Security. His budget director is pretending it doesn't.
Mick Mulvaney, class warrior.
So before we part let us again state the truth clearly.
The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity.
It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery.
This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered.
As a community, we must recognize the significance of removing New Orleans’ Confederate monuments.
It is our acknowledgment that now is the time to take stock of, and then move past, a painful part of our history.
Anything less would render generations of courageous struggle and soul-searching a truly lost cause.
Anything less would fall short of the immortal words of our greatest President Abraham Lincoln, who with an open heart and clarity of purpose calls on us today to unite as one people when he said:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to do all which may achieve and cherish: a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Sunday, May 21, 2017
In Saudi Arabia, global capitol of Wahabbism, the religion of al-Qaeda and the attackers of 9/11, he will tamely denounce religious extremism without offense to his hosts, says CNN.
And absolutely without blaming Islam.
His Islamophobic supporters will flip, and not just them.
Just the beginning.
Remember the attacks on Obama for his bow to the Saudi king?
Friday, May 19, 2017
The sulfurous PB is quoted in Breitbart, bastion of Buchananism and organ of Trump's staffer, Steve Bannon, as retailing what is by now a standard Republican talking point.
I think the comparison is grossly invalid for this reason, I don’t think there’s any crime in what I have read that Comey wrote.
If Comey believed that the President of the United States had engaged in an obstruction of justice, he had a moral and a legal obligation to go to the Deputy Attorney General and tell him exactly what had transpired …
He did nothing like that.
He just put it in his files.
And the later quote:
“To suggest that because Donald Trump said, ‘look, take it easy on General Flynn, he’s had a rough time’ that this is some crime, I think it’s absurd,” Buchanan argued.
But it has been noted by several lawyers in the public discussion of the matter that whether or not what the president said to Comey - rather roughly cited by PB in the above quoted remark - was obstruction of justice depends on whether or not his intent was "corrupt".
And that, taking the remark by itself, such corrupt intent is not egregious is exactly why Comey did not, at that time, rush off and tattle to the AG.
But it is the Democrats' view that the subsequent firing of Comey is evidence, and pretty good evidence, that the president's intention was indeed corrupt in the relevant, legal sense of the word.
Perhaps not conclusive and certainly not impervious to rebuttal, but evidence of exactly that, all the same.
Especially given the president's own revelation regarding the dismissal to Lester Holt.
The New York Times.
“And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’” Mr. Trump told Lester Holt of NBC News.
“It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.”
[Is this in the Breitbart piece true?
I am indeed an old fart.
“Most Americans weren’t even alive back in 1972, 73, 74. I can understand why some people rush and compare one thing to another,” Buchanan said, seeking to explain the prevalence of such comparisons.
“There’s a gross exaggeration and something approaching a sense of insecurity and panic here in town when, again, it’s not justified by the reality.”
That the author is a crackpot is one.
That he is dead on is another.
The Pope’s Marxist Head of the Jesuits
Understanding the adage that personnel is policy, Pope Francis has been planting Marxists throughout the Church, including at the top of the troubled religious order to which he belongs.
In 2016, the Jesuits, with the blessing of Pope Francis, installed as its general superior a Venezuelan, Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, whose communist convictions have long been known.
. . . .
Sosa has written about the “Marxist mediation of the Christian Faith,” arguing that the Church should “understand the existence of Christians who simultaneously call themselves Marxists and commit themselves to the transformation of the capitalist society into a socialist society.”
In 1989, he signed a letter praising Fidel Castro.
Turn down any corridor in Francis’s Vatican, and you are likely to run into a de facto communist: Francis has a communist running his order, a communist running his Council of Cardinals (the Honduran cardinal, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga), a communist running the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (Margaret Archer, a British sociologist who has said that she represents the “Marxian left”), and communists such as the renegade Brazilian liberation theologian Leonardo Boff and the Canadian socialist Naomi Klein drafting his encyclicals.
Something to consider when reading this sort of stuff is the annoyingly general drainage of meaning from key political terms.
Despite the late night pundits of MSNBC, "socialism" entails that all, not some, of the means of production are to be publicly owned while "communism" entails that all, not some, of the means of production are to be held in common.
Not all socialists, and not all communists, are or have been Marxists; and - however oddly - not all of those who have been or are, or who have claimed or do claim to be, Marxists are socialists or communists.
Too, Marxist orthodoxy entails atheism, though people who at least claim to be Christians or theists of one sort or another have claimed to be Marxists.
On the other hand, another thing to remember is that what actually matters is, in the end, who lines up, Cold War style, with soi-disant Marxist revolutionaries in line of descent from Soviet Communism and its historic Leninism.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
between Carl Morck as we see him in the Department Q novels and the same detective as we see him in the Danish TV movies made from some of them.
He is in both presentations a socially inept nihilist very good and dogged at the job.
But the author, Jussi Adler-Olsen, mocks his leading character and makes him a selfish, clownish boor.
Fortunately, none of that comes through in the films.
Reading The Hanging Girl, 2015.
Ryan refused to comment.
The 25th Amendment was not mentioned, though that was the matter under discussion.
Ryan's message was the GOP is moving ahead with its agenda, and he cited a lot of little stuff while claiming they were moving ahead with "tax reform".
And he advocated "border adjustment" as the best way to prevent outsourcing and firms moving overseas.
The 25th Amendment Solution for Removing Trump
Daniel Larison thinks it's a bad idea.
A ’25th Amendment Solution’ Is the Wrong Thing to Do
Robert Merry, still an ideological Trumpist, blames the elites for the mess, rather than the vast swarm of American idiots like himself who knowingly put this clown, this traitor, this Fyodor Karamazov in the White House because they hate the globalist, secularist, inclusive, and moderate social democracy of the real America and the real American government.
Removing Trump Won’t Solve America’s Crisis
Krauthammer thinks it's a horrible idea, that it would be a transparent and contemptible coup shaking the foundations of America's remaining faith in the Republic.
Robert Kuttner thinks it will happen, and soon, and at the behest of the Congressional Republican leadership.
Or anyway he purports to think so.
That is to say, it is blatantly unconstitutional, but widely supported on the left but especially on the right.
Jailing journos is not, though it is accepted in other leading Western nations like Britain and France.
Of course, Trump's advocacy of a change in this matter was and is entirely motivated by a desire to cover up his and his administration's nefarious, foolish, or absurd doings and take vengeance on those who expose them.
But it is in itself a good idea.
Though the journos don't think so, of course.
In effect, they are the only people besides the President of the United States who can with impunity share national defense secrets with the enemy and get away with it.
And they have done so quite annoyingly often.
The Trump news you missed: he asked Comey to jail journalists
The Espionage Act
Oddly, it's about the Muslim ban still blockaded by the courts.
White nationalism, deporting non-white immigrants, and stopping other non-whites from coming have from the first been the heart and soul of her Trumpism.
But to focus on that today?
Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians
At the least, they collaborated with Putin in an effort to make American policy less adversarial toward Russia, the Buchananite/Bannonite agenda.
A less charitable but also objectively accurate construction is that they acted in conscious collaboration with an inimical foreign power in undermining American national security to the particular advantage of that same inimical foreign power.
All that quite apart from any proof of express collaboration with or guilty knowledge of Russian efforts to manipulate the election in Trump's favor.
Some day, someone will write a book about the 2016 campaign with a title something like, "Donald Trump. How an Ally of a Russian President won the White House and set out to undermine American National Security to his advantage."
When told of this, Ryan said it never happened.
When told the press had a recording, Ryan said it was just joking around.
On the recording Ryan tells everyone present to keep McCarthy's remarks secret to protect the Republican bruderbund.
If it was a joke it was one hell of a telling joke, both about Trump and about McCarthy and the GOP boys in the House.
They saw it even before the election.
They know perfectly well, and knew all along, that Trump was out to undermine American national security to the advantage of Putin, and even in collaboration with him.
All the cable networks immediately switched from stories about Trumpgate to blathering about Ailes.
I turned off the tube.
A finger in the eye of Democrats and a deliberate spit in the face of Barack Obama, to even put forward the name of this man with absolutely no relevant experience.
Just like Donald Trump, himself.
A man who viciously betrayed Obama and the Democrats, supporting his buddy McCain - and Sarah Palin, endorsing birtherism, publicly urging claims Obama was a Marxist.
Update 05192017, 1032 hrs EDT.
Senate Democrats reject Lieberman for FBI director
The first line of this report is silly.
President Donald Trump may be dramatically miscalculating how much support Sen. Joe Lieberman would have among his former Democratic colleagues if nominated to become FBI director.
He knew exactly how welcome this nomination would be.
Though some are apparently clueless, I think both Republicans and Democrats get it.
Republicans are lining up behind Lieberman, who left the Senate in 2013 after four terms.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called him a "person of unquestioned integrity and that's what we need."
Added Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has spoken to Lieberman about the job: "If the president picked Joe Lieberman he’d be doing [the] country a good service and, I think, the FBI a good service."
Graham is, of course, personally implicated in Lieberman's history of betrayal of the Democrats.
Collins is, well, Collins.
No one inside the West Wing had to ask how the President's mood was on Wednesday afternoon as aides awaited his return from delivering the commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.
A speech, once intended to offer encouragement and inspiration, became laced with grievances in the hours before the remarks were delivered.
"No politician in history -- and I say this with great surety -- has been treated worse or more unfairly," President Donald Trump told graduating ensigns, before projecting an entrenched battle to come.
"Don't give in," he said. "Don't back down."
Hours later, his words appeared to gain new meaning.
Special counsel appointed in Russia probe
Trump was meeting with FBI director candidates when the White House was formally told that a special prosecutor had been named in Russia investigation.
The White House counsel informed the president.
"It's still sinking in," one administration official said, describing an air of uncertainty in the West Wing.
"We were told about it. Not asked about it."
Deputy attorney general appoints special counsel to oversee probe of Russian interference in election
Puerto Rican Nationalist Oscar López Rivera Is Released
After 35 years in prison on a 70 year sentence.
A terrorist in jail for actual crimes and not mere opinions, despite claims of his unrepentant supporters, this is a guy O would have done better to leave behind bars.
Once in a while, his empathy with minorities got the better of this devoted follower of Rev. Wright.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Emmanuel Macron picks centre-right Édouard Philippe as PM
France’s centrist president, Emmanuel Macron, has appointed a prime minister from the right to lead his bid for a parliamentary majority in June’s elections and push through his plans to loosen strict labour laws.
Édouard Philippe, 46, the mayor of the Normandy port town Le Havre, comes from Les Républicains, the party that was headed by Nicolas Sarkozy until last year and whose candidate, François Fillon, was knocked out in the first round of the presidential election.
Philippe supported Alain Juppé, the moderate, centre-right former prime minister, in the party’s presidential primary race last year.
His appointment is seen as a strategic move by the French president to destabilise the already divided French right and win over rightwing politicians to his La République en Marche (La REM) movement.
Macron, who served as economy minister under the Socialist former president François Hollande, has attracted dozens of centre-left MPs to his new movement and needed to reach out to the right.
The move was also calculated to lure parliamentary hopefuls from Les Républicains as a way of securing the majority he needs to enact his manifesto promises to provide more flexibility for business.
The Western Wall is within those territories.
The Western Wall Is Occupied Territory
US-Israel Tensions Rise After Trump Official Says Western Wall Located in West Bank
But Netanyahu and his religious party allies insist all of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, are part of Israel.
And heretofore the Trumpists have shown sympathy for Bibi and his aspirations, even questioning the US commitment to a two-state solution.
This is now publicly reported in the media.
Just now on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell asked the Secretary of State whether the Russians bugged the Oval Office meeting between Trump and the Russians.
The Secretary laughed, said "I would have no way to know that," waved, and walked off smiling with his foreign visitor.
Interesting the Russians have transcripts.
Sentenced to 35 years in 2013, after more than 2 years awaiting trial, President Obama commuted his sentence before leaving office.
Conditions of confinement were harsh from the beginning, and Manning's gender issues contributed to depression, suicide attempts, and great suffering.
But in the minds of many he was a hero.
Perhaps also, still, even in his own.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Just what Conrad was up to in his Heart of Darkness, 1899.
He opposed the massive hypocrisy of imperialism.
But not necessarily imperialism, nor even colonialism, judging just by this book.
Via this book, he and white people in general have nevertheless been angrily denounced for racism.
As to the latter, racism - specifically, the idea of the racial inferiority of blacks to whites - has historically been used as an excuse for the most unspeakable crimes and the most inhuman rapacity.
That doesn't make it false, though it may well be that.
And it is certainly possible Conrad believed in the racial inferiority of blacks without for a moment buying it as an excuse.
In any case, he was a profound pessimist, atheist, amoralist, and even nihilist.
And a very fine writer.
But he also said it was or would be wholly appropriate for the president to share any information at all that he chooses to share, with anyone he chooses to share it with, because he's the president.
Asked whether the release of that information had been considered beforehand by relevant officials or just done by the president on the spur of the moment he said the president decided on the spot.
The latter, though, he said, would always be wholly appropriate.
Less absurdly, but perhaps not more credibly, he did insist the president in no way compromised any sources or methods.
And that does seem a relevant denial of the sorts of risks others have said the president's revelations created.
Later in the day it was revealed the president would today make a previously unscheduled call to the King of Jordan, a key ally in the Middle East and a valuable source of intelligence.
And Chris Matthews has disgraced himself by having on Pat Buchanan to chummily spar with him about Watergate and the possible implication of the Trumpists in Russian meddling with the US elections.
Pat Buchanan, who should no longer be allowed to appear on television unless in a Klan suit, or sporting a Hitler mustache and swastika armband.
Trump is pure gold for the Republican radicals in the government, exactly what the doctor ordered.
His nonsense keeps his idiot voters on board while it fills the news space with choking, thick, impenetrable black smoke, behind which the Republicans in congress do what they could not do in plain sight at all, or only at huge political cost: push ahead with their radical Thatcherite agenda.
McConnell: This Russia stuff is just 'drama' getting in the way of his tax cuts
Let Pence take over under Amendment 25?
Are you mad?
He is perfect!
Sorensen almost sees it.
Why the latest White House crisis is a really big deal
As soon as they knew what he had done, White House officials scrambled to contact the CIA and NSA, hoping to minimize the damage.
The danger is the Russians can, from details provided by Trump, figure out the source, thus putting the source at risk, and that the outside agency that gave the info to the US government - and perhaps others, as well - will be reluctant to share in future.
It turns out that in many cases the best information available to the US relies on such outside agencies, sharing on just such conditions of secrecy.
Defiant Trump says he had 'absolute right' to share information with Russia
The president does indeed have the lawful right to do this, to declassify anything on the spot by sharing it, a right possessed by no one else in all the US government or all the wide world.
Technically, having declassified the info, it is now unclassified information for anybody at all to lawfully share with anybody at all.
No one has mentioned that unfortunate side-effect of the president's childish blurt, his foolish bragging, his showing-off to the Russians in his office.
They were there partly to please Vladimir Putin, who asked Trump to take this meeting during a phone call, and partly to stick a finger in the eye of people concerned about Trump's Russia connections one day after he fired the man chiefly responsible for running the FBI investigation of those connections.
Meanwhile, the blockhead in the White House who just leaked highly sensitive intelligence to the Russians has demanded people leaking embarrassing information from his White House be found and punished, right now.
Monday, May 15, 2017
But are they really more dangerous?
For a good while, many on the American left have said not, claiming American right wingers actually pose a greater danger to the American people, to our national security, and to the American Republic, itself.
Here is a piece in The Guardian arguing in that vein.
They hate the US government, and they're multiplying: the terrifying rise of 'sovereign citizens'
It seems that of the top four threats of extremist violence cited by DHS, both the leading threat and two others are domestic, non-Islamic, right wing groups.
The threat posed by Islamic terrorism comes in second.
The story does not say what criteria were used to rank threats.
Although the Trump administration is reportedly planning to restructure the Department of Homeland Security’s countering violent extremism (CVE) program to focus exclusively on radical Islam, a 2014 national survey of 175 law enforcement agencies ranked sovereign citizens, not Islamic terrorists, as the most pressing terrorist threat.
The survey ranked Islamic terrorists a close second, with the following top three threats all domestic in origin and sometimes overlapping: the militia movement, racist skinheads, the neo-Nazi movement.
It might be a clue that Jihaders are noted for targeting unarmed, ordinary civilians going about their ordinary affairs, while right wingers, besides targeting abortion providers, ordinary black folks, and other civilians, are noted for targeting law enforcement officials.
And a noted result is that law enforcement officials are far more likely to be killed by right wingers than by Jihaders.
None of which is to say that right wingers pose a greater threat to civilians, or even to people in general, than Jihaders, though perhaps they do.
An interesting note on the ideological kinship of many in the broader movement of the right wing extremists with the most horrific elements of the white nationalist alt.right is seen here.
There was significant overlap between the patriot movement and white nationalism.
One of the movement’s foundational texts was The Turner Diaries, a 1978 novel by white supremacist William Luther Pierce that describes a near future in which a small group of patriots fighting the extinction of the white race work to bring about a race war and the eventual genocide of non-white peoples.
[Timothy - PV] McVeigh, who considered the book a blueprint for the coming revolution, was carrying an excerpt when he was arrested, although he later said he did not agree with the book’s racial content.
Assange was a collaborator in the conspiracy to elect Trump comprising the Russians, Wikileaks, various other Americans, and likely some in the Trump campaign.
If Trump does this is will be more disgusting than Gerry Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon.
But not in the least surprising.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred.
Despite The Guardian and others of like ilk, there is at most a whiff of the odor of fascism in the atmosphere of Europe and America, today.
Too, Franco was not a fascist, and the communists and their tools in Spain, along with the Communists of Russia and elsewhere, did more to wreck the Spanish Republic than fascists, or Fascists, anywhere.
And yet here is The Guardian, eighty years later, regifting the Popular Front "anti-fascist" propaganda of the 1930's Communists, communists, fellow-travelers, and their miscellaneous radical allies and liberal dupes.
Friday, May 12, 2017
The leader of a powerful Indonesian Islamist organization [Bachtiar Nasir - PV] that led the push to jail Jakarta's Christian governor has laid out plans for a new, racially charged campaign targeting economic inequality and foreign investment.
. . . .
"Our next job is economic sovereignty, economic inequality," said Nasir, an influential figure who chairs the National Movement to Safeguard the Fatwas of the Indonesian Ulemas Council (GNPF-MUI).
"The state should ensure that it does not sell Indonesia to foreigners, especially China."
His group organized protests by hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Jakarta late last year over a comment about the Koran made by the capital's governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic-Chinese Christian.
Purnama was found guilty this week of blasphemy and sentenced to two years in prison, raising concerns that belligerent hardline Islamists are a growing threat to racial and religious harmony in this secular state.
. . . .
Former President Suharto blocked Chinese Indonesians from many public posts and denied them cultural expression, forcing them to drop their Chinese names.
Marginalized politically and socially, many turned to business and became wealthy.
The ethnic wealth gap has long fed resentment among poorer "pribumi", Indonesia's mostly ethnic-Malay indigenous people.
During riots that led to the fall of Suharto in 1998, ethnic-Chinese and Chinese-owned businesses were targeted, and about 1,000 people were killed in the violence.
There has been no blood-letting on that scale since then, but tensions have remained.
President Joko Widodo was the subject of a smear campaign on the campaign trail in 2014 that falsely claimed he was a Chinese descendant and a Christian.
Bonnie Triyana, a historian who has chronicled Chinese Indonesian experiences, said Nasir was "scapegoating" the Chinese.
"It's very dangerous for our nation. It's playing with fire," said Triyana, who is an indigenous Indonesian.
"They are spreading bad information to convince people that their role is to save the nation."
In the interview, Nasir said "ethnic sentiment cannot be denied" when it comes to inequality, and the economic power of Chinese Indonesians needs to be addressed.
"The key is justice, and taking sides," he said.
"Justice can be applied if there is a preferential option for indigenous Indonesians from a regulation aspect and in terms of access to capital."
Neighboring Malaysia, also a Muslim-majority nation with a wealthy Chinese minority, has long followed affirmative action policies that grant native Malays privileges, including job reservations in the civil service and discounts on property.
. . . .
Greg Fealy, an expert on Indonesian Islamic groups from the Australian National University, said GNPF-MUI is developing a national agenda following the Jakarta governor's conviction.
"They are trying to harness that movement to link the Islamist agenda with inequality. It is, in effect, targeting Chinese non-Muslims," he said.
"This is all part of a pitched battle in the run-up to 2019."
But the headline is misleading via ambiguity, while the ruling was unfortunate.
Is the West Virginia legislature going to fix this?
Likely not anytime soon.
Took them long enough.
White protesters - there were no others - carried Confederate battle flags and huge signs celebrating President Trump, bearing the slogan, "Make America great again".
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Ostensibly for recommending against charges against Hillary in the emails case.
But perhaps also for getting too close in and candid about the Russians and the Trump campaign.
Gwyneth Paltrow was right.
Americans are a lot stupider than Europeans.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Absolute glee among the "Let them die!" crowd.
This bill would cut $880 billion over a decade from Medicaid, which provides health care to about 74 million Americans -- the poor, the disabled, the elderly -- and another $300 billion that now goes to helping those who cannot afford it buy health insurance.
See why it's the Anti-Health-Care Bill?
Then the Republicans turn right around and plow roughly $595 billion of this money into tax cuts, mostly for the very wealthy.
And that's the real point.
The initiators of this bill don't care a whit about what they do to the health care system or how their bill will endanger the lives of many Americans, including those of a lot of their own supporters.
"Conservatism is something more than mere solicitude for tidy incomes," Russell Kirk, one of the founding philosophers of modern conservatism, wrote in 1954.
We can now say, 63 years later, that Ryan-style conservatism is (BEG ITAL)only(END ITAL) about solicitude for tidy incomes.
"This is who we are," Ryan told his colleagues this week.
"This will define us."
A video released earlier this month compared Le Pen and Trump, and also underscored faulty assumptions in the U.S. that Trump would not win the election.
The video, paid for by a “Jamais Marine” (“Never Marine”) campaign, contrasts comments by former U.S. President Barack Obama saying that he doesn’t believe Trump will win with French officials saying the same about Le Pen.
A smirking Le Pen says in the video: “Never Brexit, never Donald Trump.”
Trump has expressed support for Le Pen, telling The Associated Press in April that she’s the “strongest on borders and the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”
Another similarity between the French and American races is an email hack before the election that left the conservative candidate untouched.
The Macron campaign revealed Friday that a “massive and coordinated” hack dumped campaign and party emails online, but claimed that there were also fake messages among the documents.
Authorities haven’t determined who is responsible, but the French election commission is investigating.
French officials have warned the media not to share leaked information or details about the hack.
France has a two-day media blackout on elections before a vote.
And a move to enable disgusting rapacity.
Trump’s plan to dismantle national monuments comes with steep cultural and ecological costs
Boston doctors found dead in luxury apartment with throats slashed
Two Massachusetts doctors were found in their luxury Boston condo Friday night with their throats slashed, police said.
Authorities in Boston identified the couple as Richard Field, 49, and Lina Bolanos, 38.
They were found dead on the 11th floor of the Macallan Building in their residence, Fox 25 Boston reported.
Police arrested Bampumin Teixeira, 30, in connection with the murders.
The station reported that police responded to a call of a man with a gun in the area.
As police arrived, Teixeira began firing at the officers.
Police returned fire and hit the man several times, but did not kill him.
Teixeira has a criminal record. He pleaded guilty to two bank robberies – one in 2014 and the other in 2016.
In both instances, he passed the bank teller a note saying he had a weapon but never brandished one.
Fox 25 Boston reported that he will be arraigned Monday on a long list of charges.
Not the least hint why.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Comic book movies or other action films.
What filled theaters in the 60s?
Tennessee Williams, Conrad, Shakespeare, Albee.
Or musicals like My Fair Lady.
Reading Mrs. Dalloway.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
This time, the Freedom Caucus is on board and just enough moderates were satisfied by retention of provision for people with preexisting conditions to maybe get 216 votes.
So it's highly probable this is a worse bill for the broad class of people the huge departure from a free market regime in health insurance that was Obamacare was intended to - and did, very significantly - benefit.
And further from Trump's bland, lying assurances throughout the campaign.
The Freedom Caucus are the most radical and bloody-minded of the government-hating and anti-human capitalist revolutionaries who dominate the House Republicans.
How many millions of his countrymen did Mao doom in this power struggle?
This struggle not to be killed?
Before he became, in the end, according to his physician, Tiberius on Capri, as reported by Suetonius.
Who did vastly, inexpressibly less harm to Rome than Mao did to China.
Reading Mrs. Dalloway.
Virginia Woolf, 1925.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Those for whom the rule of law is just so much red tape admire him.
And the innocent killed in his lawless war on drugs?
Anything for the greater good.