Reasons not given

Jun 3rd, 2020 11:59 am | By

Carolyn Sale at the Centre for Free Expression on another shunning:

In late March, Kathleen Lowrey, an associate professor at the University of Alberta, was asked to resign from her role as the Department of Anthropology’s associate chair, undergraduate programs, on the basis that one or more students had gone to the University’s Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights and the Dean of Students, André Costopolous, to complain about her without filing formal complaints. All Professor Lowrey has been told is that she is somehow making the learning environment “unsafe” for these students because she is a feminist who holds “gender critical” views. 

Imagine, if you will, a black associate professor being asked to resign from a role as as the Department of Anything’s associate chair of undergraduate programs on the grounds that she is an anti-racism activist who holds anti-racism views.

It makes every bit as much sense. Feminism advocates equal rights for women, anti-racism advocates equal rights for black people. There’s more to it than that in both cases; both forms of activism are based on analysis of the roots of the existing inequality; nevertheless that’s the core. Students who want feminists with gender-critical views silenced want feminism silenced. You can’t have feminism that’s not allowed to be for and about women any more than you can have anti-racism that’s not allowed to be for and about people of color. White people don’t get to say what anti-racism can talk about, and men don’t get to say what feminism can talk about, even if those men say they are women.

Apparently, Lowrey’s very openness about her views is a problem. Should a course have gender or sex as a central theme, on day 1 she offers a summary of her views along with the declaration that no student need agree with her about any of it, as she did this year with her course “Anthropology of Women.” As she cleaves to a feminism that asserts the continuing importance of biological sex and feminist projects of resisting patriarchal oppression, her views put her out of step with much current thinking about the nature of gender, which from the seminal work of Judith Butler forward takes sex to be a social construct.

The “seminal” work of Judith Butler should not be made mandatory in universities. Agreement with Judith Butler should not be made mandatory in universities. Judith Butler should always be optional.

Lowrey refused to resign from her service role and insisted that if the University wished to dismiss her from it, it would need to put its reasons for doing so in writing. She subsequently received a letter from the Dean of Arts Lesley Cormack dismissing her from her service role without offering any specifics as to why. The letter simply declares that the Dean believes that “it is not in the best interests of the students or the University” for Lowrey to continue in it.

Honestly it’s as if trans ideology were plutonium in reverse – if you refuse to touch it YOU NEED TO BE SCRUBBED WITH WIRE BRUSHES AND BLEACH.

Having been disciplined without any concrete charges presented to her, Lowrey refers to what is happening to her as “McCarthyite.” As she has been confronted not with any specific complaint, but only with the broad claim that her views constitute an amorphous “harm,” we might find ex officio proceedings during the English Reformation an equally apt analogy for what she is experiencing; ex officio proceedings permitted those accused of supposedly heretical beliefs to be excommunicated, sometimes even executed, on the basis of secret disclosures to ecclesiastical judges of evidence never made public. Whichever analogy you prefer, this kind of disciplinary action against a professor, in which administrators refuse to offer any specific charges in relation to student complaints about a professor’s ideas, is inappropriate at a university in a democratic country twenty years into the twenty-first century. 

If the “harm” is amorphous then it’s not really harm.

At its most alarming, the University of Alberta’s position appears to be that where students have a “perception” that an idea or a set of ideas harms them, it does not matter what the precise complaints are in regard to the person holding the ideas (or indeed whether there is any precise complaint). Lowrey has been expressly told that it doesn’t matter if any of the claims students are making about her are true.

I wonder if this applies in any other discipline at the University of Alberta. Can students try that with economics? Physics? Computer science?

Asking that question is itself a crime, isn’t it.



Who are these guys?

Jun 3rd, 2020 11:12 am | By

This is not good.

Word is they’re required to identify. Without insignia and names they could be anybody – Proud Boys, KKK, Stephen Miller’s private army, anybody.



Inspection time at the bunker

Jun 3rd, 2020 10:03 am | By

Oh hey it turns out Trump didn’t go to the bunker to hide from the meany protesters, he went to inspect it. Because that’s what presidents do: they inspect the various rooms in the White House. They inspect for rat turds, for termite damage, for mold, for leaks, for fire hazards, for slippery bits, for toxins, for toadstools growing up through the floor, for rust, for stains, for splinters, for spills, for scratching by cats or weasels or gerbils, for bats, for spiders, for sour milk, for canned goods that have passed their “best by” date, for light bulb failures, for crooked blinds, for ugly curtains…frankly it’s a never-ending job.

During an interview with Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday morning, Trump denied reports that he had taken shelter in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center out of safety concerns, claiming that he had gone down there for a mere inspection during the day on Friday before the protests turned violent that night.

“I went down during the day and I was there for a tiny little short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection,” he told Kilmeade.

Much more. Definitely. Presidents need to inspect the bunker because who the hell else is going to do it? Presidents also do all the cooking and the cleanup afterwards.

“Nope, they didn’t tell me that at all,” he replied when the Fox News host asked if the Secret Service had told him they needed to bring him down to the bunker for security reasons. “But they said it would be a good time to go down, take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it.”

“Sir, take a look, sir, because, sir, maybe you’re sir going to need it sir. You might sir need it sir, so right now would sir be a fabulous sir time to sir go look at it sir. Looking sir at it is crucial sir to its sir effectiveness sir.”

Trump claimed he’s visited the bunker “two or three times, all for inspection” (later in the interview, he said the visits were “two and a half, sort of, because I’ve done different things”).

He pissed in it? He raped a staffer in it? He drew on the walls in it?

The President insisted again that he was only down there “for a very very short period of time, very very short period of time.”

What I love about his use of language is the scrupulous avoidance of redundancy.

“I can’t tell you who went with me, but a whole group of people went with me as an inspecting factor,” he said.

Oh good, more eyes. Always good to have more eyes. You can’t have too many eyes inspecting the bunker.

The President also addressed his widely criticized photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday, which he had reportedly done merely to be seen outside the White House after having become upset by reports that he retreated to the bunker.

He denied ordering law enforcement to forcibly remove non-violent protesters and people at the church (including clergy) with teargas in order for him to stage the performance.

“I didn’t say, ‘Oh, move them out.’ I didn’t know who was there,” Trump told Kilmeade.

Oh really? Who did order it then? Who’s the freelance?



Fancy dress

Jun 3rd, 2020 9:39 am | By

Robert Kagan in the Post:

Anyone concerned about the state of America’s democracy ought to have been troubled Monday at the sight of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, striding behind Donald Trump during his presidential show of force at Lafayette Square. Dressed in combat fatigues and walking with Attorney General William P. Barr, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and others, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer did more than make himself part of the tableau of Trump’s photo op and campaign commercial. Milley gave tangible meaning to the president’s threat to deploy the U.S. military to put down “domestic terror” in the United States.

Why combat fatigues forgodsake? Why on earth? He wasn’t going into combat, so what the fuck? He was walking to a church a block away from the White House for a photo op, not addressing troops in a war zone. Why did he put on a costume?

The president’s call for military deployments against protesters was not some random Trumpian effusion. He and his advisers and supporters are building a legal justification for deploying troops on American streets. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper advised the nation’s governors to “dominate the battlespace,” by which he meant American cities. Prominent Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.), a close Trump ally and presidential aspirant, called for deploying “the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry — whatever it takes,” against the “insurrectionists,” a deliberate reference to the Insurrection Act of 1807, which gives the president broad powers to deploy federal troops. Trump tweeted that Cotton’s suggestions were “100% Correct.” This is the context in which Milley appeared with the president in his battle fatigues. It is the context in which a U.S. Army helicopter descended to rooftop level in Washington’s Chinatown hours later, frightening and scattering protesters in a “show of force” that snapped trees and nearly injured the fleeing civilians.

They are at the very least toying with the idea of a military coup. They’re not shying away from it in horror, they’re considering it and testing the waters and staging dry runs. They’re doing this at the behest of a cheap corrupt real estate developer who race-baited and pussy-grabbed his way into the presidency. Why? I don’t know. Profound genuine love of fascism, maybe.

Trump's defense secretary DIDN'T mean to be in church photo – Ny ...


An oath of office

Jun 3rd, 2020 8:37 am | By

Another one quits:

A Department of Defense adviser has resigned, effective immediately, from the military’s science board, citing what he believed to be a violation of conduct from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

In his resignation letter to Esper, which was obtained by The Washington Post, James Miller Jr., who served as the US undersecretary of defense for policy from 2012 to 2014, recalled that he swore an oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” and “to bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” similar to what the defense secretary had done before he took office.

“On Monday, June 1, 2020, I believe that you violated that oath,” Miller wrote to Esper.

It was the one where they gassed peaceful protesters to clear the way for Trump’s Walk to the Church photo op. Esper and Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, went with Trump on that walk of shame.

“Law-abiding protesters just outside the White House were dispersed using tear gas and rubber bullets — not for the sake of safety, but to clear a path for a presidential photo op,” Miller wrote. “You then accompanied President Trump in walking from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church for that photo.”

And by doing so he endorsed it. Constitution? Remember that?

“You must have thought long and hard about where that line should be drawn,” Miller wrote. “I must now ask: If last night’s blatant violations do not cross the line for you, what will?”

“Unfortunately, it appears there may be few if any lines that President Trump is not willing to cross, so you will probably be faced with this terrible question again in the coming days,” he added. “You may be asked to take, or to direct the men and women serving in the US military to take, actions that further undermine the Constitution and harm Americans.”

That’s a safe bet.



The senators who still gambol around his ankles

Jun 2nd, 2020 4:45 pm | By

George Will has torn a long painful strip off Bunkie. It’s a good read.

… this weak person’s idea of a strong person, this chest-pounding advertisement of his own gnawing insecurities, this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron.

…The president’s provocations — his coarsening of public discourse that lowers the threshold for acting out by people as mentally crippled as he — do not excuse the violent few. They must be punished. He must be removed.

Social causation is difficult to demonstrate, particularly between one person’s words and other persons’ deeds. However: The person voters hired in 2016 to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” stood on July 28, 2017, in front of uniformed police and urged them “please don’t be too nice” when handling suspected offenders. His hope was fulfilled for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on Minneapolis pavement.

The measures necessary for restoration of national equilibrium are many and will be protracted far beyond his removal. One such measure must be the removal of those in Congress who, unlike the sycophantic mediocrities who cosset him in the White House, will not disappear “magically,” as Eric Trump said the coronavirus would. Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting.

If Trump reads it he won’t understand it. Too many hard words.



Guest post: Profoundly political

Jun 2nd, 2020 4:22 pm | By

Originally a comment by Tim Harris on Like an awkward impulse buy.

Many plays by Shakespeare and writers of his time are profoundly political (European visitors were shocked at what the English companies got away with, for you simply could not be so political in any other European country), and if the director does not recognise this, or seeks to foist on plays some obvious contemporary ‘relevance’ that has nothing to do with the issues that are addressed in the plays, then that is a recipe for rendering the plays as dead as doornails. European (non-Anglophone) productions of Shakespeare, and particularly Kosintsev’s great film versions, often recognise the politics of the plays far better than most Anglo-Saxon productions do. I think that after the Civil Wars, it became difficult to address political matters on the English stage, and then in the Victorian Age, individualism, the growing lack of a sense of the common weal, and mere pathos came to dominate the theatre – and this continued into the 20th century in the Anglophone world. ‘Politics’ was thought to be in rather bad taste, an attitude that pervades modern journalism in the Anglophone sphere, particularly the USA, with its ‘both-sides-ism’. ‘”Hamlet” is about Hamlet,’ said Peter Brook in an interview on Japanese television about his pared-down version, a very unsatisfactory remark that went with a very unsatisfactory production – it is this attitude that I take strong issue with in my essay on the production. This is not to say that there not have been productions that recognise the importance of the political: Michael Bogdanov’s come to mind, and there is a very good RSC production of ‘Julius Caesar’ with an all-black cast, directed by Greg Doran. Speaking of this last play, there’s a wonderful film of it performed in Italian by the denizens of a high-security prison in Italy (that is, by men who are members of the Mafia and other ‘societies’): these men absolutely understand hierarchy, intimidation, vaunting, the politics etc from the inside, and it shows: ‘Caesar Must Die’, directed by Paolo & Vittorio Taviani.

There was also the matter of censorship: censorship in Shakespeare’s time was there, of course, but it was rather loose. But in 1737 a law was brought in that put the Lord Chancellor’s office in charge of licensing plays for performance – Robert Walpole didn’t want any satirical takes on his government appearing on stage. In the 19th century, Ibsen was banned from the British stage. The first great British political play in Britain in the 20th century was Harley Granville Barker’s ‘Waste’ (1907), which was banned from public performance by the Lord Chamberlain’s office, and remains still too little known.



The police didn’t believe her

Jun 2nd, 2020 3:45 pm | By

And speaking of popes and the Catholic church

Seven months pregnant, Manuela, a mother of two, said she miscarried at her modest home in rural El Salvador. But the police, and a judge, didn’t believe her. They charged and convicted her for aggravated homicide, sentencing her to 30 years in prison.

But Manuela only served two of those years. In 2010, she died alone in a hospital of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a disease her lawyers say caused her to miscarry. 

More than 140 women have been charged under El Salvador’s total ban on abortion since 1998, incarcerated for up to 35 years in some of the world’s most notorious prisons. Like Manuela, many say they never had an abortion, but instead claim that after suffering a miscarriage they were wrongfully convicted when their doctors accused them of intentionally terminating their pregnancies. 

Women’s bodies belong to everyone but themselves.

For more than 20 years, El Salvador — a tiny Central American country struggling with brutal gang violence and a record-high homicide rate — has completely banned abortion, including in situations when the procedure could save the patient’s life. The total ban was lobbied for by the Roman Catholic Church, an institution that became particularly powerful in the country after its devastating civil war. In 1998, the church was successful in cementing the ban into El Salvador’s constitution, adding an amendment to say that “life begins at conception.”

“No one should act against a life once it has been conceived,” said Father Edwin Banos, a social media savvy millennial priest based in Metapan, El Salvador, who’s thrown public support behind the country’s anti-abortion laws.

Easy for him. He’ll never have his body taken over by someone else without his consent. That happens to other people, people not like him, and he thinks he has the right to force them to share the inside of their bodies with someone else even when they don’t want to.



Will a visit to a pope statue help?

Jun 2nd, 2020 3:35 pm | By

Even Catholic archbishops don’t want Trump polluting their sites.

President Trump drew fresh criticism from religious leaders on Tuesday when he and first lady Melania Trump visited a shrine to Pope John Paul II in Washington, D.C.

The trip to to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine drew a sharp response from Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, who said, “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles.”

They do have some principles in common, like the subordination of women for instance.

The visit took place less than 24 hours after an Episcopal bishop said the president had used the Bible as a prop during a photo op outside the historic St. John’s Church.

Trump uses everything as a prop. He doesn’t value anything for itself, he values only what makes him look richer or more dominant or both. His wife is a prop, his children are props, the Oval Office is a prop, that desk that he keeps naming is a prop, Tony Fauci is a prop, Barr is a prop, generals are props, soldiers are props, the crowd is a prop, the helicopter is a prop, the Rose Garden is a prop. People who call him Sir are a prop. We’re a prop.

The Saint John Paul II National Shrine, which sits on the edge of the campus of Catholic University, was created by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s fraternal group. It was designated a national shrine by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2014.

Why do the bishops get to designate a national shrine? For that matter what is a national shrine, and why do we have any? We don’t have a state religion, so why should we have national shrines? I certainly don’t see any pope as a national anything; the papacy is a monstrous institution.



Yes it’s photoshopped

Jun 2nd, 2020 3:13 pm | By



Checkcheckcheck…

Jun 2nd, 2020 2:55 pm | By

Via Casey Rae on Facebook:

No photo description available.

He says it’s a poster that was for sale at the Holocaust museum in DC.



If Hitler had had Twitter

Jun 2nd, 2020 11:05 am | By



The best side of everyone here

Jun 2nd, 2020 10:52 am | By

Erm…what?

I’m as baffled as the people who jump up shouting “What are you doing?!”

The Post and Courier talked to him afterwards:

“I am not your enemy,” Givionne “Gee” Jordan Jr. told the officers. “All of you are my family.”

Emotion caught his voice. Other protesters crouched over him, their hands on his shoulders as he spoke. “I love each and every one of you. I want to understand all of you. I want to. I would love to see the best side of everyone here.”

So, naturally, they arrested him.

In an interview with The Post and Courier, Jordan, a 23-year-old Charleston resident, said he spent the night in the county jail. He was charged with disobeying a lawful order, according to a police report.

The police chief says yes but we had told them to disperse. We told them many times. We said they’d be arrested if they didn’t.

Ok but then that takes the question back a step: why did the police tell them to disperse?

Reynolds did not say why officers seemed to single Jordan out from the crowd. Jordan said he was arrested around 5 p.m., well before Charleston’s 6 p.m. curfew.

Reynolds stressed that officers were also on high alert Sunday after a night of unrest Saturday, which included fires and looting.

Ok but does a guy kneeling and talking passionately about love and understanding suggest a guy bent on fires and looting?

Jordan was among a crew who volunteered to clean up downtown Sunday morning. He swept the streets and carried plywood to help business owners board up their storefronts. In the afternoon he headed to Marion Square, near King Street.

A crowd of about 200 gathered. At some point, Jordan, a black man, knelt on the ground.

“My plan was to get all the people beside me, kneeling behind me, kneeling with me,” he said in an interview. “Showing the cops that we are no threat. We are no threat at all. We just want to make the world better.”

In the video, several white protesters can be seen crouching around him, placing their hands on him.

They started doing that when his voice started breaking.

“I would love to see the best side of everybody here,” Jordan told police. “This is not the best side of everybody here.”

So they uttered not a word, and arrested him.



An example

Jun 2nd, 2020 10:06 am | By

One part of the picture:

A Twitter account that tweeted a call to violence and claimed to be representing the position of “Antifa” was in fact created by a known white supremacist group, Twitter said Monday. The company removed the account.

Before it emerged the account was run by white supremacists, Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s son, pointed his 2.8 million Instagram followers to the account as an example how dangerous Antifa is.

The revelation of the account comes as President Donald Trump increasingly blames left-wing activists for violence occurring at protests across America.

Trump and Fox News and the Matt Gaetz types and all their fans.

The phenomenon of people on the right creating fake Antifa accounts predates the current wave of protests. The takedown Monday is not the first time a fake Antifa account linked to white supremacists has been suspended by Twitter, the spokesperson confirmed.

Is there anyone available to shout “FAKE NEWS!”?



Putin helped

Jun 2nd, 2020 9:46 am | By

Some commentary and information.

It is all very Putin, isn’t it.

Note: Val Demings is a former Orlando police chief.

https://twitter.com/sivavaid/status/1267787295085735939


The guts

Jun 2nd, 2020 9:20 am | By

Oh yes, the guts. So much the guts.

After the path has been cleared by violent men gassing citizens? How does that take guts?

Also –



Clearing a path for Trump

Jun 2nd, 2020 8:52 am | By

The Post on Trump’s fascist overture:

President Trump began mulling a visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday morning, after spending the night devouring cable news coverage of protests across the country, including in front of the White House.

The historic church had been damaged by fire, and Trump was eager to show that the nation’s capital — and especially his own downtown swath of it — was under control.

Not, be it noted, that the nation’s president gave a rat’s ass about the casual murder of a black suspect by a white cop, but that the nation’s president’s neighborhood was under control. How to demonstrate that? Well, as luck would have it, there were protesters just outside, in Lafayette Park – which is indeed right across the street from the north side of the White House. How handy.

And so — shortly before the president addressed the nation from the Rose Garden at 6:43 p.m. Monday and roughly a half-hour before the District’s 7 p.m. curfew went into effect — authorities fired flash-bang shells, gas and rubber bullets into the crowd, clearing a path for Trump to visit the church immediately after his remarks.

In other words “authorities” perpetrated a violent attack on citizens in a public park.

The split screen as Trump began speaking was dark and foreboding — an angry leader proclaiming himself “an ally of all peaceful protesters” alongside smoke-filled mayhem and pandemonium as protesters raced for safety.

An angry, dangerous, uncontrollable, authoritarian, violence-loving dictator. He’s not any kind of leader, he’s a dictator.

When Trump had returned safely to the White House less than an hour later, the verdict seemed clear: The president had staged an elaborate photo op, using a Bible awkwardly held aloft as a prop and a historic church that has long welcomed presidents and their families as a backdrop.

In the process, protesters had been tear gassed and attacked, and Trump had taken a raging conflagration and doused it with accelerant.

He was in a tantrum about news coverage of his bunker night, and about news coverage of his phone call to the Floyd family which he of course thought had been wonderful but no one else did, and about new coverage of protests near his bunker.

Jason Miller, a former senior adviser on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, defended the president’s decision. He said Trump was elected in part on law-and-order themes, which he needs to continue to hammer, while simultaneously talking to black supporters about some of his initiatives, such as criminal justice reform.

“You’re going to have to go and knock some of the bad guys around a little bit,” Miller said. “Once they get tear gassed or pepper sprayed, they don’t want it to happen again.”

So people peacefully protesting in a park are “the bad guys” and Trump needs to knock them around with tear gas or pepper spray.

He added that Trump had been reminded by allies that he was elected as a “get-things-done president.”

“He’s not the hand-holder or consoler in chief,” Miller said. “He was elected to take bold dramatic action and that’s what he did.”

And “getting things done” means enacting violence on people who object to police violence against racial minorities. “Bold dramatic action” means violently ejecting citizens from a public park for no good reason and with no warning. What “bold dramatic action” will we be seeing next? Massacres? Mass lynchings? Immolations?

The action began less than an hour before the District’s curfew, and in the moments before Trump was set to speak. Just after 6 p.m., hundreds of protesters were gathered on H Street NW, facing Lafayette Square. Though members of the National Guard — wielding shields that said “Military Police” — were lined up behind barricades, along with Secret Service and other law enforcement officers, the protesters remained peaceful. Several played music, and one painted on an easel.

But shortly thereafter, Attorney General William P. Barr visited the scene, and, about 6:30 p.m., the National Guard moved just yards from the protesters, prompting some screams. Some protesters threw water bottles, but many simply stood with their arms raised.

Then, the chaos began.

That is, then the unprovoked attack began.

Members of the National Guard knelt briefly to put on gas masks, before suddenly charging eastward down H street, pushing protesters down toward 17th Street. Authorities shoved protesters down with their shields, fired rubber bullets directly at them, released tear gas and set off flash-bang shells in the middle of the crowd.

Protesters began running, many still with their hands up, shouting, “Don’t shoot.” Others were vomiting, coughing and crying.

As Trump began to speak, some protesters took a knee several blocks from the White House, again yelling, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” But they were never able to stay kneeling for more than a couple of minutes, because authorities kept pushing them forward, as a thick, yellow cloud of smoke hung over the crowd.

Trump was talking while this was going on. He threatened protesters and then said with his usual moronic coyness “And now I’m going to pay my respects to a very, very special place. Thank you very much.” What, the toilet? No, he meant The Church. What’s so very very special about that? What does very very special even mean? Besides that Trump has no words?

Then he and Princess Ivanka and a small crowd of white men loped off to the very very special place.

Trump seemed to take in the scene and paused in front of St. John’s, turning to the cameras and holding up a black Bible in his right hand.

For what purpose? Is he auditioning for a biopic about Fred Phelps?

Asked if it was a family Bible, he said, simply, “It’s a Bible.”

And why is he brandishing it at us? To announce our debut as that new thing, a theocratic oligarchy?

Soon after the church event, the president’s top law enforcement and military officials, including the secretary of defense, attorney general and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, walked across parts of downtown Washington in an unusual show of force.

That is, in an unusual threat of military dictatorship aided by the attorney general. Yeah, that is “unusual.”

Some local officials were livid. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser upbraided Trump on Twitter: “I imposed a curfew at 7pm. A full 25 minutes before the curfew & w/o provocation, federal police used munitions on peaceful protesters in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of @DCPoliceDept officers more difficult. Shameful! DC residents — Go home. Be safe.”

The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, said she learned of the president’s visit by watching it on the news.

“I am outraged,” she said, with pauses emphasizing her anger as her voice slightly trembled. “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call that they would be clearing with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop, holding a Bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to inflame violence.”

Oh who cares what she thinks – it’s Trump’s church, not hers, because everything is Trump’s, because he’s the god-king-emperor-bishop-general.



No no no and no

Jun 2nd, 2020 8:08 am | By

This. This is a coup move.



Coup in progress

Jun 1st, 2020 5:45 pm | By

The Guardian Live reports:

Trump is predictably painting a picture of violent protests, focusing on “professional anarchists” and “Antifa”.

He says “we are ending the riots and lawlessness” and “innocent people have been savagely beaten”.

The president has threatened to send in military if governors don’t act. He said he also encouraged governors to bring in the National Guard, which many states have already done.

He’s not allowed to send in the military…unless he invokes the Insurrection Act. We don’t want him doing that.

While he was threatening martial law –

In a startling scene, police are using teargas to disperse crowds of protesters near the White House while Trump is speaking in the Rose Garden.

Here’s the exact language of Trump’s threat from the brief press conference:

I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.

Again: he can’t.

Trump’s extraordinary remarks have sparked widespread concern, with some noting that he is threatening to deploy the US military against citizens of this country. His speech took place as police were simultaneously teargassing protesters outside the White House. In his remarks, Trump also said the 7pm curfew in DC would be “strictly enforced”. The teargassing began prior.

This is an absolute fucking horror show.

He says (1:50) “as we speak” he’s “sending thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers and military personnel” – which, again, presidents are explicitly barred from doing.

This is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.



An hour like the past one

Jun 1st, 2020 5:15 pm | By

Bad bad bad bad.