Notes and Comment Blog

No YOU’RE the racist

Nov 5th, 2018 10:51 am | By

CNN, NBC, FOX and Facebook have all rejected Trump’s racist ad. Apparently reporters asked him about it this morning on his way to another fascist rally.

My hope for tomorrow: Democrats win in House and Senate and Trump’s head explodes at 11 p.m. Eastern time.

Updating to add the video where he says it:

Now that we’ve pocketed the $$$ we’ll stop

Nov 5th, 2018 9:27 am | By

Really? How much effort does it take to figure out that Trump’s racist campaign ad is racist?

NBC said on Monday that it would no longer air an immigration-themed advertisement approved by President Trump that CNN had refused to run after deeming it “racist.”

“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” NBC Universal said in a statement.

After further review – come on. That might pass if the people who approved the ad were all newly arrived from a distant planet, but otherwise, no.

But then of course NBC is the network that landed us with this monster in the first place.

The 30-second prime-time ad, paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, aired in the middle of a highly anticipated “Sunday Night Football” broadcast, stirred fear of a migrant caravan making its way through Mexico that is still hundreds of miles from the United States border.

Football and racism. It’s too bad NBC didn’t manage to figure it out before airing it in the middle of a football game.

It was a shorter version of an ad that the president shared on Twitterlast week, which falsely claimed about Mr. Bracamontes that Democrats “let him into our country” and “let him stay.” CNN dedicated substantial editorial coverage to the longer ad, sometimes showing clips as anchors and chyrons declared it “racist.”

The 30-second version run by NBC did not include the false claim about Democrats, but it still drew a direct connection from immigrants to crime, a tactic the president has repeatedly used. (Many studies have shown immigrants do not drive an increase in crime.)

Inch by inch by inch. Genocidal regimes don’t form overnight; it takes years of prep work. We’re in the prep work phase, and it’s not the least bit clear that we’re going to reverse course.

Updating to add: even Fox has stopped running the ad (after several days and only hours before the election).

They cannot even implement an order of the country’s highest court

Nov 5th, 2018 9:01 am | By

Asia Bibi’s lawyer has left Pakistan to avoid being murdered by the fanatics.

Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry defended the government against allegations that a deal reached with an Islamist party was capitulating to extremists.

He said the government would “take all steps necessary” to ensure Asia Bibi’s safety.

One, of course it’s capitulating to extremists. What else would it be? The court ruled, the murderous theocrats rioted, the government made a “deal” with the theocrats by preventing Asia Bibi from leaving Pakistan to escape the fanatics who want to murder her. That’s capitulation.

Two, of course the government won’t take all steps necessary to ensure Asia Bibi’s safety; it rescinded the very first step necessary to ensure her safety. It’s already reversed itself on one such step so why should anyone believe it will take all the others?

Mr Mulook, however, called the agreement “painful”.

“They cannot even implement an order of the country’s highest court,” he told AFP before he boarded the plane to Europe.

Mr Mulook said he had decided to leave as it was “not possible” to continue living in Pakistan, adding: “I need to stay alive as I still have to fight the legal battle for Asia Bibi.”

Pakistan is such a train wreck.

Normal presidents encourage us to vote

Nov 5th, 2018 8:43 am | By

Voter intimidation straight from the president of the US.

Jesus 2.0

Nov 5th, 2018 8:21 am | By

Erm, what?

Image result for billboard trump word became flesh

One billboard outside St Louis, Missouri:

A billboard on Interstate 170 near St. Charles Rock Road is catching drivers’ attention.

A large electronic billboard that features President Donald Trump with the bible verse, “The word became flesh”, can be seen along the southbound lanes of the highway.

Yes but which word?


You’re welcome

Nov 4th, 2018 4:24 pm | By

What did David use to kill Goliath?

Nov 4th, 2018 3:03 pm | By

Aw yeah, we’re a model for governments around the world that like to kill their people if they get too protesty.

The Nigerian Army, part of a military criticized for rampant human rights abuses, on Friday used the words of President Trump to justify its fatal shootings of rock-throwing protesters.

Soldiers fired this Monday on a march of about 1,000 Islamic Shiite activists who had blocked traffic on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja. Videos that circulated on social media showed several protesters hurling rocks at heavily armed soldiers who then shot fleeing demonstrators in the back.

If Trump can they can, yeah?

Human rights activists and many Nigerians were outraged at the military’s response, which echoed a similar confrontation in 2015, when soldiers killed nearly 350 protesters from the same group, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the largest and most recognizable face of Shiite Islam in the country. The group organizes frequent protest marches.

Early Friday morning, the military responded to the criticism.

The army’s official Twitter account posted a video, “Please Watch and Make Your Deductions,” showing Mr. Trump’s speech on Thursday in which he said rocks would be considered firearms if thrown toward the American military at the nation’s borders.

“We’re not going to put up with that,” Mr. Trump said in the clip. “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back.”

With guns and ammunition. Pow.

On Friday, John Agim, a spokesman for the Nigerian Army, said the initial posting of the video was a response to Amnesty International, which had criticized what it called the military’s use of excessive force.

“We released that video to say if President Trump can say that rocks are as good as a rifle, who is Amnesty International?” he said. “What are they then saying? What did David use to kill Goliath? So a stone is a weapon.”

“Our soldiers sustained injuries,” he continued. “The Shiites even burnt one of our vehicles, so what are Amnesty International saying?”

That you can’t kill people for burning a car?

They’re packing coolers

Nov 4th, 2018 11:58 am | By

Of course they have.

Gun-carrying civilian groups and border vigilantes have heard a call to arms in President Trump’s warnings about threats to American security posed by caravans of Central American migrants moving through Mexico. They’re packing coolers and tents, oiling rifles and tuning up aerial drones, with plans to form caravans of their own and trail American troops to the border.

Fantastic. Just what we need – Nazi-like paramilitary groups flooding the scene. Kristalnacht here we come!

The Texas Minutemen, according to McGauley, have 100 volunteers en route to the Rio Grande who want to help stop the migrants, with more likely on the way.

“I can’t put a number on it,” McGauley said. “My phone’s been ringing nonstop for the last seven days. You got other militias, and husbands and wives, people coming from Oregon, Indiana. We’ve even got two from Canada.”

Asked whether his group planned to deploy with weapons, McGauley laughed. “This is Texas, man,” he said.

Haha. Haha. So funny. Guns are hilarious, gun battles are uproarious, mass shootings are just the funniest things ever.

The blue-eyed thespian

Nov 4th, 2018 10:48 am | By

A puzzler:

One of the leading lights in British black theatre was wrestling with the question of what makes a person black last night — after it emerged that he has previously described himself as white.

Anthony Ekundayo Lennon has benefited from taxpayer support to aid his development as a black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) leader in the arts. But last week some black thespians expressed disquiet that an apparently white man had taken a black person’s place on a Bame scheme.

Lennon was named last year as one of four “theatre practitioners of colour” who had been awarded a paid two-year residential traineeship as part of an Arts Council England-funded programme. Recently he was an assistant director on Britain’s first all-black production of Guys and Dolls.

The thing is, though…he’s not actually “of colour.” The middle name “Ekundayo” is his own self-naming.

He wrote a book ten years ago.

In the book Photo ID, the blue-eyed thespian describes how he was born Anthony David Lennon in Paddington, west London, in 1965 to white Irish parents. His high cheekbones and curly hair set off gossip that his mother had had an affair, but when his brothers, Vincent and David, developed similar features, it became clear it was a family trait.

That’s a deeply weird claim – curly hair and high cheekbones set off gossip? There are no high cheekbones in Ireland? No curly hair? Maybe Paddington was just full of people with nothing better to do.

He claims he was taunted.

Owing partly to the taunts, the boy with the caramel skin had discovered his blackness. He started to wear a Rastafarian hat. “Up until the age of about 13, 14, I hadn’t really thought about it at all,” he later told friends.

His fictitious “blackness”; his “blackness” that wasn’t there.

In 1990 the 24-year-old Lennon appeared in a BBC Everyman drama documentary exploring race called Chilling Out. Viewers were told: “All of us in this programme are actors, but this is not a fiction. All of us are speaking as ourselves, and from our own experience.”

Pressed on his identity by black actors in the documentary, he said: “When I’m alone in my bedroom looking in the mirror, thinking about stuff I’ve written down, thinking about my past relationship-wise, pictures on the wall, I think I’m a black man. I’ve not said that to anyone. And I won’t say it outside.”

Lennon’s father, Patrick, who died in 1999, did not react well to this self- exploration. “He says to me I’ve got an identity problem, and the sooner I sort myself out, the better,” said Lennon in the film.

The actor Lennie James, later to become famous as a star of The Walking Dead, responds in the documentary by accusing Lennon of cultural appropriation. “Sometimes I feel like you are watching me. Watching me to say this equals a black man. Then you’re taking it from me, and sticking it on yourself.”

But Lennon got funding anyway.

Lennon’s residential traineeship is part of the Artistic Director Leadership Programme (ADLP) to help Bame creatives. Arts Council England provided a £406,500 grant to a consortium of theatres to “deliver a comprehensive programme of talent development for future Bame leaders”.

Lennon started as trainee artistic director at Talawa, a black-led theatre company in Shoreditch, east London. The scheme was advertised as “open to people of colour”. Lennon applied as a “mixed heritage individual”.

One black actor said: “When I discovered his background I thought it was unfair that a white man had taken a black person’s place on a Bame scheme.”

Everybody’s of “mixed heritage”; that doesn’t mean anything. Also, how “mixed” can it be when both his parents were Irish and white?

The consortium that awarded the funding said: “We received 113 applications . . . and 29 were appointed to the ADLP. Talawa were satisfied Anthony was eligible for the opportunity as a result of a relationship with him over a number years, in which he has identified as a mixed-heritage individual.”

Ah yes, the magic “identified as” – justifies everything, doesn’t it.

Theft in broad daylight

Nov 4th, 2018 10:14 am | By

Brian Kemp, Republican candidate for governor, sues the other party two days before the election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Sunday announced an “investigation into the Democratic Party of Georgia” over a “failed attempt to hack the state’s voter registration system” — two days before an election in which he is competing against Democrat Stacey Abrams to become governor.

The announcement, which contained no details on the alleged “cyber crimes” in which it suggests state Democrats were involved, was immediately condemned as a political ploy by Democrats and some commentators, who believe Kemp should not oversee an election in which he is competing.

That’s not some whimsical squishy “belief”; of course he shouldn’t. It’s corrupt as fuck.

By midmorning, the headline “AFTER FAILED HACKING ATTEMPT, SOS LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY” sat front-and-center on the secretary of state’s government website — directly beneath a voter’s guide to polling locations.

“While we cannot comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation, I can confirm that the Democratic Party of Georgia is under investigation for possible cyber crimes,” Kemp’s press secretary, Candice Broce, was quoted saying in the statement. “We can also confirm that no personal data was breached and our system remains secure.”

Abrams, who four years ago started a nonprofit group whose goal was to sign up hundreds of thousands of unregistered people of color, has clashed repeatedly with Kemp, whom she calls “the architect of voter suppression.” Kemp investigated the group, which Abrams is no longer affiliated with, for fraud but found no wrongdoing.

Kemp, 55, who has argued that the policies are aimed at preventing voter fraud, also has been criticized for having purged more than a million voters from the rolls during the past year. He has rejected calls, including one from former president Jimmy Carter, that he should step down as the state’s top elections official while he is running for governor.

Although lawmakers and elections officials in Republican-controlled states have cited concerns about cheating to enact strict voter registration and identification laws, there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the United States.

It’s a filthy business.

They drank a LOT of coffee

Nov 4th, 2018 9:46 am | By

Queen Melania’s PR person is furious about reporting on the queen’s lavish way of spending our money.

First lady Melania Trump racked up an astonishing $95,000 tab at a Cairo hotel at the end of her African goodwill tour last month, according to federal records.

That was more than the taxpayer bill for President Donald Trump for a two-day stay with his entourage in Scotland after a visit this summer to England, noted Quartz, which was the first to report the first lady’s Cairo tab.

The first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, was furious that the initial report — later picked up by The Hill — said Melania Trump spent the night at the Semiramis Intercontinental Cairo. In fact, she spent only six hours there, Grisham told both Quartz and The Hill in angry Twitter posts.

Ah! Yes, spending 95k for a six hour pit stop is much better than spending it on an overnight.

Melania Trump stopped in Cairo after visiting children in orphanages and schools, meeting with leaders and viewing animals during her tour in Ghana, Malawi and Kenya.

A nice little junket for her, that we paid for.

The former model was criticized by the media and on social media for her out-of-date “Out of Africa” fashion choices, including a white pith helmet seen by many as a painful symbol of colonialist Africa.

She complained afterward that people should “focus on what I do, not what I wear.”

In an earlier provocative fashion choice on her way in June to visit immigrant children being detained in Texas, she wore a jacket that said on the back: “I really don’t care, do U?”  She said later in an ABC interview that it was a direct message to the “left-wing media who are criticizing me.” She added: “I want to show them that I don’t care.”

She spends our money, but she doesn’t care…yet we should focus on what she does as opposed to what she wears? I think telling us she doesn’t care is what she does.

Biblical Basis for War

Nov 4th, 2018 9:26 am | By

Freedom From Religion Foundation:

Washington State Rep. Matt Shea recently released a video admitting that he distributed an openly violent screed titled “Biblical Basis for War.” The Freedom From Religion Foundation condemns the document as dangerous and staggeringly hypocritical.

The “Biblical Basis for War” begins with a list of “4 Ways to know its [sic] time to fight,” all of which amount to an unjustified belief that God is on one’s side. Sections such as “Organizational Structure for War” leave no doubt that this is meant to be a guide to literal, not figurative, war.

The document specifically contemplates overthrowing “tyranny,” but it quickly defines a “tyrant” as “someone who rules without God.” Thus, it appears to call for violence against any political leader who does not share Shea’s personal religious views. By Shea’s definition, the United States, a secular democracy founded on a godless constitution[,] is tyrannical and meant to be overthrown. As a state legislator, Shea swore an oath to uphold that godless Constitution, whose only references to religion are exclusionary, including a prohibition against religious tests for public office in Article VI.

Most alarming of all, it lists four “options” for “biblically dealing with tyranny,” one of which is “Assassination & Sabotage.” It explains that “Assassination to remove tyrants is just, not murder,” citing a biblical verse that praises “treason,” by name, in overthrowing a non- theocratic government.

And that’s along with saying that tyranny=someone who rules without God, so he’s recommending assassination of anyone in government who doesn’t share his religious belief. That’s quite something.

Rep. Shea, who reportedly wrote and distributed the manifesto for Christian sharia, defended it in a recent video. With a stunning lack of self-awareness, Shea condemned “Islamists,” apparently unaware that his written plan for a theocratic armed rebellion is identical to the goals of radicalized Islamists, only based on a different book.

Well yeah. My holy war not your holy war. Team me not Team you. Our tribe not your tribe. My book not your book. My prophet not your prophet. The Team is All.

Shea’s document promises that martyrs will be rewarded in the afterlife, citing the Old Testament. It also instructs holy warriors to “Make an offer of Peace before declaring war,” demanding total submission to biblical law. If this is refused, the instruction is to “kill all males.” It lists a “Law of Booty” that requires that plunder be given to the “Church & Ministry,” not to the government.

Adding another layer of hypocrisy, the document is openly anti-democratic, stating that “God doesn’t use majorities. The majority is usually wrong.”

FFRF urges Rep. Shea to re-read the Constitution that he swore to uphold when he took office.

Continue reading

H/t Carrie Chapman

Across the corporate landscape

Nov 3rd, 2018 4:59 pm | By

Don’t forget: Trump is the choice of the working stiff, the coal miners and Walmart clerks, the single mothers and displaced factory workers.

Suuure he is.

In the final months of the Obama administration, Walmart was under pressure from federal officials to pay nearly $1 billion and accept a guilty plea to resolve a foreign bribery investigation.

Barclays faced demands that it pay nearly $7 billion to settle civil claims that it had sold toxic mortgage investments that helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis, and the Royal Bank of Scotland was ensnared in a criminal investigation over its role in the crisis.

They were saying no, we won’t – and along came Trump to say there there, you don’t have to.

Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission have yet to charge Walmart, and the Justice Department reached a much lower settlement agreement with Barclays in March, for $2 billion. R.B.S. paid a civil penalty, but escaped criminal charges altogether.

Across the corporate landscape, the Trump administration has presided over a sharp decline in financial penalties against banks and big companies accused of malfeasance, according to analyses of government data and interviews with more than 60 former and current federal officials. The approach mirrors the administration’s aggressive deregulatory agenda throughout the federal government.

The New York Times and outside experts tallied enforcement activity at the S.E.C. and the Justice Department, the two most powerful agencies policing the corporate and financial sectors. Comparing cases filed during the first 20 months of the Trump presidency with the final 20 months of the Obama administration, the review found:

• A 62 percent drop in penalties imposed and illicit profits ordered returned by the S.E.C., to $1.9 billion under the Trump administration from $5 billion under the Obama administration;

• A 72 percent decline in corporate penalties from the Justice Department’s criminal prosecutions, to $3.93 billion from $14.15 billion, and a similar percent drop in civil penalties against financial institutions, to $7.4 billion;

• A lighter touch toward the banking industry, with the S.E.C. ordering banks to pay $1.7 billion during the Obama period, nearly four times as much as in the Trump era, and Mr. Trump’s Justice Department bringing 17 such cases, compared with 71.

Not just letting them get away with bad practice, but also throwing away all those billions.

Early voting

Nov 3rd, 2018 3:19 pm | By

Everyday Screaming:

Houston mother’s drive to vote at the polls Thursday was interrupted by a man’s racist road rage rant about President Donald Trump deporting her “illegal cousins.”

Janet Sabriu recorded video showing the enraged stranger’s bigoted remarks directed at her while her 2-year-old daughter watched from the backseat. Sabriu, who has been a U.S. citizen and Houston resident for nine years, was on her way to early voting Thursday afternoon along Wirt Road when she crossed paths with the man identified on social media as Charles Geier. The man’s rant repeatedly refers to Sabriu as a “bitch” as he demands that she leave “his country.”

“You’re driving in two lanes, you stupid bitch.” Geier can be heard screaming out of his driver’s side window. “That’s not how we drive in America. Trump’s deporting your illegal cousins today. Bitch.”

It’s funny how Newsweek doesn’t think to call the road rage rant sexist or misogynist, even though the target is a woman, and the screamer calls her “biiitch” over and over again, and her small daughter is in the back seat.

Anyway. It’s ugly. Ugly America.

Sir no sir

Nov 3rd, 2018 1:00 pm | By

The military doesn’t share Trump’s pretend-panic about The CaRaVan.

Military planners anticipate that only a small percentage of Central American migrants traveling in the caravans President Trump characterizes as “an invasion” will reach the U.S. border, even as a force of more than 7,000 active-duty troops mobilizes to prevent them from entering the United States.

According to military planning documents, about 20 percent of the roughly 7,000 migrants traveling through Mexico are likely to complete the journey.

The assessment also indicates military planners are concerned about the presence of “unregulated armed militia” groups showing up at the border in areas where U.S. troops will operate.

As in, you know, random civilians showing up to play soldier, in a situation that the president has called an invasion. What could possibly go wrong?

Seizing on immigration as his main campaign theme ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, Trump has depicted the caravans — at least four have formed, though they remain hundreds of miles away — as a grave danger to U.S. national security, claiming they are composed of “unknown Middle Easterners,” hardened criminals and “very tough fighters.” He also insists the number of migrants heading north is much larger than estimates put forward by U.S. and Mexican government officials.

In other words it’s shit he just made up, in hopes of making Americans even more racist and xenophobic and stupid than we already are. Not something a normal president would ever do.

There were real political costs to talking about white supremacy

Nov 3rd, 2018 12:10 pm | By

The Times (the NY one) has a big piece by Janet Reitman on the way federal law enforcement has ignored the danger of racist groups for decades, and how that has (surprise!!) allowed them to flourish like the green bay tree.

White supremacists and other far-right extremists have killed far more people since Sept. 11, 2001, than any other category of domestic extremist. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has reported that 71 percent of the extremist-related fatalities in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were committed by members of the far right or white-supremacist movements. Islamic extremists were responsible for just 26 percent.

(Sorry to interrupt but “Islamic extremists” are members of the far right, albeit a rival far right. They’re definitely not left.)

 Data compiled by the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database shows that the number of terror-related incidents has more than tripled in the United States since 2013, and the number of those killed has quadrupled. In 2017, there were 65 incidents totaling 95 deaths. In a recent analysis of the data by the news site Quartz, roughly 60 percent of those incidents were driven by racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, antigovernment or other right-wing ideologies. Left-wing ideologies, like radical environmentalism, were responsible for 11 attacks. Muslim extremists committed just seven attacks.

(That at least acknowledges that Muslim extremists don’t belong in the left-wing column.)

These statistics belie the strident rhetoric around “foreign-born” terrorists that the Trump administration has used to drive its anti-immigration agenda. They also raise questions about the United States’ counterterrorism strategy, which for nearly two decades has been focused almost exclusively on American and foreign-born jihadists, overshadowing right-wing extremism as a legitimate national-security threat. According to a recent report by the nonpartisan Stimson Center, between 2002 and 2017, the United States spent $2.8 trillion — 16 percent of the overall federal budget — on counterterrorism. Terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists killed 100 people in the United States during that time. Between 2008 and 2017, domestic extremists killed 387 in the United States, according to the 2018 Anti-Defamation League report.

Ok but starting the count the year before 2002 would have changed the numbers sharply. 2001 was an outlier but no one knew that at the time.

“We’re actually seeing all the same phenomena of what was happening with groups like ISIS, same tactics, but no one talks about it because it’s far-right extremism,” says the national-security strategist P. W. Singer, a senior fellow at the New America think tank. During the first year of the Trump administration, Singer and several other analysts met with a group of senior administration officials about building a counterterrorism strategy that encompassed a wider range of threats. “They only wanted to talk about Muslim extremism,” he says. But even before the Trump administration, he says, “we willingly turned the other way on white supremacy because there were real political costs to talking about white supremacy.”

Because…? Because there are still so many ardent white racists in the US? And they vote?

Well, yes, duh. Silly question.

During the first year after Donald Trump’s election, protests and riots erupted across the country, often involving men with criminal histories who, by definition, were on the law-enforcement radar. During the so-called Battle of Berkeley in March 2017, for instance, a far-right agitator named Kyle Chapman became a hero to the alt-right after he reportedly pummeled an anti-fascist counterprotester with a billy club. Chapman was a 41-year-old who had two previous felony convictions. He proceeded to travel around the country, engaging in violence at other protests, now under the online moniker Based Stickman — a cheerful reference to the Berkeley attacks.

Chapman was one of a number of known white supremacists to align with the Proud Boys, a nationalist men’s movement founded in 2016 by the anti-immigrant “Western chauvinist” Gavin McInnes, a founder of Vice Media. There was also the Rise Above Movement (RAM), an alt-right group composed largely of ex-cons, many with ties to Southern California’s racist skinhead movement. Over the past two years, each group engaged in violent confrontations with their ideological enemies — a lengthy list including African-Americans, Jews, Muslims, nonwhite immigrants, members of the L.G.B.T. community and the progressive left — and generally escaped punishment.

The DHS put out an intelligence report on the rise of far-right extremism in April 2009, and it was jumped on by online warriors and by…Republicans in Congress.

Congressional Republicans, answering to a nascent Tea Party movement and the American Legion, soon took issue with the label “right-wing extremism,” which John Boehner, then minority leader of the House, charged was being used by the Department of Homeland Security “to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation.” Boehner was particularly bothered by the report’s mention of veterans. “To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable,” he said in a statement. Several G.O.P. lawmakers called for Napolitano’s resignation, as well as that of Johnson, who, in their view, equated conservatives with terrorists.

Johnson was appalled. “I never anticipated such an aggressive, vile backlash,” he told me recently. It was puzzling: Just a few months before his April 2009 report was published, the department released an assessment of the cyber threat posed by “left-wing extremists,” like the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. Legislators, the media and the public at large — including progressives — had no objection to that terminology. But the political firestorm over “right-wing extremism” had caused such an uproar that the Department of Homeland Security ultimately avoided using ideological terminology like “right-wing.” A few weeks after the report was released, Napolitano formally apologized to veterans, and after intense pressure from veterans’ groups, the department withdrew the report.

It’s the basket of deplorables all over again. It’s the reaction after every mass shooting all over again. “How dare you say we are a threat, do it again and we’ll kill you.”

And now here we are.

Those are the facts

Nov 3rd, 2018 9:01 am | By

Evil Monster Junior Twitter-complains that CNN refused to run Evil Monster Senior’s disgusting racist campaign ad. CNN explains why.

The group dressed up as a wall

Nov 3rd, 2018 8:40 am | By

Make Murka Grate Again.

Incorporating Donald Trump’s border wall into a Halloween costume is questionable at best — especially if you’re an elementary school teacher.

That’s exactly what a group of staff members discovered at an elementary school in Middleton, Idaho.

Pictures, which were posted on the Middleton School District Facebook page but have since been deleted, showed the group dressed up as a wall with the phrase “Make America Great Again” on it. Another group in a second picture was dressed up with sombreros, carrying maracas and wearing fake black mustaches, which some parents called racist.

Not to mention dumb, ignorant, patronizing, clueless, so last century, mean, childish…

The district superintendent apologized.

Beth Almanza, an immigrant rights advocate with the Idaho DACA Students group called the photos “extremely disheartening” and “heartbreaking.”
“Imagine how some of the students felt when they walked into their classrooms on Halloween and saw their teachers (people they look up to) dressed like this?” she posted. “Students deserve better.”
According to data compiled by Idaho Ed Trends, almost 13% of the school’s population is Hispanic.
So they all wear sombreros to school, right?

Womxn of Acxiexmxnt

Nov 2nd, 2018 4:55 pm | By

It’s spreading.

It’s the wy DOUBLEYOU see ay – doubleyou for women. Not womxn, women. Women should be able to have things for them just as men are. I don’t think the YMCA has started referring to men as mxn so WHY IS THE YW REFERRING TO WOMEN AS WOMXN? Why is it always women who have to give way? Why is it so often women who rush to agree to give way?

Oh no, they slipped up.

Girls? GIRLS? Not gxrls? WHY NOT? Quick, somebody shove the girls aside too, before they start to think they’re real people just like boys.

Someone dared to question.

Wonder no more!

The YWCA Women of Achievement is now Womxn of Achievement. Why? YWCA is using this more inclusive and intersectional language to encompass a broader range of identities.

What “broader range of identities”? And what is too narrow about “women”? Why exactly can women not be allowed to have things that are just for women, not women and a broader range of identities? Why is it always women and women only who have to share?

And how does sticking an x into the word “women” make it more inclusive and intersectional anyway? What the fuck does it even mean? If I spell rabbit “rabxit” does that make it rabbits and skunks? What is magic about the letter x? Who squeals with joy at being included by “womxn” who felt left out by “women”? Anyone? Anyone at all in the whole fucking universe?

This shit gets on my nerves.

Guest post: Nominate a scientist for the new £50 note

Nov 2nd, 2018 4:09 pm | By

Originally a comment by latsot in Miscellany Room.

There’s a new £50 note being issued soon. One of those new plastic ones that spring clean out of your hand and away on the breeze if you try to fold them. Anyway, the Bank of England is accepting nominations for who should be featured on the note. It has to be a British scientist.

You know what’s going to happen here. The nominations are going to be Dawkins, Hawking, Cox (Cox has already nominated and argued for Hawking) with the more historically minded going for the likes of Crick, Darwin, of course (deserving but has already been on a note), Faraday, Halley, Higgs, Jenner, Dirac…. Well you get the idea. Deserving scientists all (although note that I didn’t say deserving of what) but obvious choices for an obvious reason.

If you feel like voting, you can pick my personal favourite, Mary Anning:

Or you could choose, say,

Harriette Chick

Eva Crane

Deborah Doniach

Rosalind Franklin

Monica Grady

Helen Gwynne-Vaughan

Wendy Hall

Anita Harding

Joanne Johnson

Ada Lovelace

Elsie Widdowson

Florence Nightingale

And thousands of other people guilty of doing science while female.

I’ve only met one of those on this list (guess who and no even I’m not *that* old) and I’d love to see her on a note. Also, some of these people (including her) are alive and therefore not eligible but fuck it: a) a lot of people are marauding around on places like Twitter nominating people who are alive and b) it’s worth finding out about all the people on that list regardless, if you don’t already know about them.

But if you do one thing I instruct you to this year, vote for someone who is not an obvious suspect and preferably not a man. You don’t even have to be British, any bugger can vote. If your browser tells you you can’t… see me.

Also, as a personal favour to me, whatever you do, don’t pick Tim Berners-Lee. We…. have some history. I would hate to have to punch holes in any £50 note I inexplicably managed to get hold of. Especially not these new ones, they are quite hard to kill.

And anyway, just vote for Mary Anning. Particularly if you have ever been to the Natural History Museum in London.