Notes and Comment Blog

Intent to deceive

Jun 30th, 2018 10:12 am | By

To the surprise of no one

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months — and that Kim Jong Un may try to hide those facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the Trump administration, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The intelligence assessment, which has not previously been reported, seems to counter the sentiments expressed by President Donald Trump, who tweeted after his historic June 12 summit with Kim that “there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

Analysts at the CIA and other intelligence agencies don’t see it that way, according to more than a dozen American officials who are familiar with their assessments and spoke on the condition of anonymity. They see a regime positioning itself to extract every concession it can from the Trump administration — while clinging to nuclear weapons it believes are essential to survival.

And, luckily for them, Trump is both a moron and a preening narcissist, so it’s a doddle for them to bullshit him into granting concessions all over the place while getting nothing.

While the North Koreans have stopped missile and nuclear tests, “there’s no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production,” said one U.S. official briefed on the latest intelligence. “There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the U.S.”

Four other officials familiar with the intelligence assessment also said North Korea intended to deceive the U.S.

U.S. intelligence agencies have stepped up their collection against North Korea in recent years, and it appears to be paying off with greater insights into a country that has long been the world’s hardest spying target, officials say. NBC News agreed to withhold some details of the latest intelligence assessment that officials said could put sources at risk.

“There are lots of things that we know that North Korea has tried to hide from us for a long time,” a U.S. intelligence official said.

But Trump got his photo op.

Guest post: Getting the job versus doing the job

Jun 30th, 2018 9:48 am | By

Originally a comment by Bruce Gorton on The narcissists won long ago.

The thing that gets me with this research is it always looks at getting the job as an end unto itself.

So you have narcissists are very good at becoming CEOs – but you don’t really have them being good at being CEOs.

I mean if you look at Trump objectively so far his results are booming oil prices, North Korea making a fool of the US, war crimes on the border, increased tensions with Canada and Mexico stifling trade with both countries, and you have examples such as Harley Davidson opening factories elsewhere because his trade tariffs had the predicted result.

If he continues, as I believe he will, in the vein of Jacob Zuma, you can expect at a point for there to be massive revelations around state capture. There are already Bell Pottinger style operations dedicated to running distraction tactics to claim the MSM are in a conspiracy to make him look bad.

Sure he got the job, but how’s he actually done at doing it? How do any of these narcissists actually do and doing the job they so successfully got? Isn’t that kind important?

Because if they’re very good at getting the job, but not very good at doing it, well that doesn’t sound to me like we should be encouraging narcissism, that sounds to me like we should be re-looking at how we pick people for those jobs.

The narcissists won long ago

Jun 29th, 2018 5:31 pm | By

Have a good rant:

According to new research from Queen’s University Belfast, narcissists are some of the most successful people in the world. If you spend your life marauding around with a bellyful of unearned self-worth, it’s claimed, you’ll soon develop a mental toughness that will drive you to beat your more humble peers in education, work and romance.

That may be, but I’d rather live under a toadstool than spend my life marauding around with a bellyful of unearned self-worth. I can’t stand people like that and I would never want to be one.

Everywhere you look, it’s perfectly clear that the narcissists won long ago. Social media drips with wrongheaded opinion masquerading as violent certainty. The buzziest television programme of the day, Love Island, is essentially just a petri dish of obnoxious self-adoration. Untalented colleagues get promoted above you because they are unafraid to gelatinously network. The world’s sole remaining superpower, for crying out loud, is run by a man who looks like the cartoon you’d draw for a monkey to make it understand the basic concept of narcissism.

Ah that’s good. Well done.

It’s telling that Dr Kostas Papageorgiou, whose brainchild this new research was, had to pretzel himself into all sorts of contortions just to make narcissists seem even remotely decent people. “Narcissism is considered as a socially malevolent trait,” he said. However, he added that things would be so much different if only “we could abandon conventional social morality, and just focus on what is successful”.

Oh stupid conventional social morality, why are you always getting in the way of success? Can’t you see all these subclinical narcissists desperate to gobble up the world and fart it out for their own stupid means? Look into their eyes, and see what your basic expectation for them to be even superficially pleasant people is doing to them. You’re draining them of their life force.

Hooray for conventional social morality subhead treating other people decently.

H/t Lady Mondegreen

He mad

Jun 29th, 2018 4:14 pm | By

It turns out Rosenstein was not happy about that whole fire-Comey memo setup.

In the days after the F.B.I. director James B. Comey was fired last year, the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, repeatedly expressed anger about how the White House used him to rationalize the firing, saying the experience damaged his reputation, according to four people familiar with his outbursts.

In public, Mr. Rosenstein has shown no hint that he had second thoughts about his role — writing a memo about Mr. Comey’s performance that the White House used to justify firing him. “I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it,” Mr. Rosenstein said to Congress last year.

But in meetings with law enforcement officials in the chaotic days immediately after Mr. Comey’s dismissal, and in subsequent conversations with colleagues and friends, Mr. Rosenstein appeared conflicted, according to the four people.

He alternately defended his involvement, expressed remorse at the tumult it unleashed, said the White House had manipulated him, fumed how the news media had portrayed the events and said the full story would vindicate him, said the people, who in recent weeks described the previously undisclosed episodes.

Soooo I wonder why he accepted the job in the first place. Everybody already knew Trump is a very bad man – it’s not as if he’s ever kept it a secret.

In the months since, Mr. Rosenstein has reached out to people — including in late-night texts — to discuss how his reputation has fared and his frustrations with the White House and members of Congress who have targeted him, according to people who spoke to him.

Mr. Rosenstein’s conversations last spring offer new insights into the tumultuous week that followed Mr. Comey’s firing.

In a series of meetings at the Justice Department, senior F.B.I. officials argued for Mr. Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel to run the Russia investigation and investigate Mr. Comey’s firing, according to people briefed on the matter. Some of Mr. Rosenstein’s own allies turned on him, accusing him of sullying his reputation by allowing himself to be used by the president.

What I’m saying. You agree to work for Trump, you take the chance of being flung into a pit of muck.

On the afternoon that Mr. Mueller’s appointment was announced, Mr. Sessions was in the Oval Office with the president discussing candidates to be F.B.I. director when they both learned that Mr. Rosenstein had made his decision. Mr. Trump erupted in anger, saying he needed someone overseeing the investigation who would be loyal to him. Mr. Sessions offered to resign.

Trump is more of a mob boss than a president. I know we’ve all been saying that all along, but still that’s striking – “Trump erupted in anger, saying he needed someone overseeing the investigation who would be loyal to him.” That’s not how investigations are supposed to work, unless the mob has taken over.

More recently, Mr. Rosenstein has emerged as one of the chief interlocutors for House Republicans seeking sensitive information about the open investigation. Citing their oversight authority, Republicans close to Mr. Trump have peppered the department with increasingly bold demands and congressional subpoenas; when the Justice Department or F.B.I. has balked, Republicans have threatened Mr. Rosenstein’s job and, in some cases, called for him to step down.

In a hearing on Thursday, Mr. Rosenstein angrily pushed back on House members who questioned his integrity. “You should believe me because I’m telling the truth and I’m under oath,” he said.

Democrats say Republicans are merely picking fights to give the president cause or cover to fire Mr. Rosenstein and replace him with someone who will undercut the Russia investigation.

Not how any of this is supposed to work.

Stop the Killings in Central Nigeria

Jun 29th, 2018 3:29 pm | By

A press release from Leo Igwe:

The Humanist Association of Nigeria (HAN) is deeply concerned over the persistent violent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Central Nigeria. The association condemns very strongly the killings in Plateau state over the weekend that left over 100 people dead and several hundreds injured. It urges that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

HAN deplores the poor and ineffective handling of the herdsmen/farmers crisis by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari especially the government’s apparent inability to take strong measures to stop the killings by herdsmen in central Nigeria and beyond. HAN calls on the Buhari government to rise to the challenge of protecting the lives and property of all Nigerians and of enforcing of the rule of law without ethnic and religious fear or favour. We demand an overhauling of the state security, policing and intelligence agencies so that they can fulfill their constitutional duties without bias. HAN urges herdsmen, farmers and others in the affected regions to explore peaceful and non-violent means of resolving their differences.

Leo Igwe (Ibadan) Mubarak Bala (Kano) Zacham Bayei (Kaduna) Andrew Nandip Paul (Jos).

For the Humanist Association of Nigeria.

By donating $14.88

Jun 29th, 2018 3:09 pm | By

I can quote the SPLC again, so here’s David Neiwert saying Milo Yiannopoulos isn’t being “ironic” when he says he looks forward to seeing journalists slaughtered.

Yiannopoulos appears to be dead serious – that is, he sincerely believes that right-wing assassins should begin taking out targeted reporters. He’s been saying so on a number of forums, and it’s clear that he isn’t being simply “ironic” in the classic alt-right hall-of-mirrors fashion.

Yiannopoulos’ career has been in precipitous decline over the past year, following his sudden rise to media stardom as a leading figure in the alt-right, due largely to his influential role during the “Gamergate” controversy, then as an editor at Breitbart News. However, after an interview surfaced in February 2017 which he suggested sexual relations between adult men and young boys could be beneficial, he lost his sponsorship by the Mercer family, was dropped by his publisher, and resigned his position at Breitbart. Then in October, his close dalliances with white nationalists while at Breitbart (including an evening of karaoke with Richard Spencer) were exposed by Buzzfeed.

He’s not “just” a troll and never has been.

He’s also edged closer to making “ironic” signals in the direction of the racist alt-right, notably by donating $14.88 – an amount identical to the numbers used to signal the overt neo-Nazi faction of the alt-right – to a Jewish journalist who had pleaded for financial help in an online fundraiser.

His most recent venture has involved participating in a “soft coup” in his native England, a takeover of Nigel Farage’s floundering right-wing United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) by members of the “alt-lite” brigade. Along with Infowars reporter Paul Joseph Watson, YouTube personality “Count Dankula” (real name: Mark Meechan), and  Carl Benjamin, aka “Sargon of Akkad,” another YouTube personality, the faction wants to “Make Britain Great Again” by taking over the UKIP leadership and making the party a safe space for the like-minded.

When Guardian reporter Will Sommer asked Yiannopoulos about his decision to join UKIP, he responded by email that he “can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight!”

Since then, he has doubled down on his call for violence against journalists. On Instagram, he responded to a similar query from Mediaite reporter Amy Russo with a post that has since been removed.

“If journalists keep lying, deceiving and manipulating the public, then they will reap the same hatred they are sowing against Trump and his voters,” he wrote. “Truthfully I take no pleasure in the prospect; I’d rather beat you in a debate hall than a wrestling ring. But you did this to yourselves, and you deserve what’s coming.”

Saying he takes no pleasure in the prospect – now that’s trolling. Of course he does.

Violence has accompanied Yiannopoulos at a number of steps in his career, notably during his 2016-2017 “Dangerous Faggot” speaking tour. At the University of Washington in Seattle on the night of January 20, 2017 – the evening of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president – a man involved in protests outside a Milo speech was shot by a couple of angry alt-right activists; they are both still awaiting trial. A speech in Berkeley shortly afterward was canceled due to threats of violence from both sides, provoking threats from Trump on his Twitter account.

That’s one reason I say he’s not a troll. He does get giggles from it, yes, but he also means it.

Milo regrets nothing

Jun 29th, 2018 10:11 am | By

Milo Yiannopoulos was wishing gun slaughter on journalists the other day, just in time to be ahead of the actual mass gun slaughter of journalists yesterday.

Milo Yiannopoulos encouraged vigilantes to start “gunning journalists down” just two days before a Maryland newspaper was targeted in a shooting that killed five people.

Yiannopoulos, the prominent right-wing figure who used to work as a senior editor at the far-right news website Breitbart, told the US news website Observer over text message: “I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”

He was responding to a request about a longer feature about a restaurant he is said to frequent, according to the outlet. When asked to elaborate by the Observer, Yiannopoulos said the statement was his “standard response to a request for comment.”

With his usual taste and generosity, he posted a picture of himself with a gun and a sneer.

Special guy

Jun 29th, 2018 9:53 am | By

The Times lets us know, rather belatedly, that Trump and Anthony Kennedy have a link.

But they had a connection, one Mr. Trump was quick to note in the moments after his first address to Congress in February 2017. As he made his way out of the chamber, Mr. Trump paused to chat with the justice.

“Say hello to your boy,” Mr. Trump said. “Special guy.”

Mr. Trump was apparently referring to Justice Kennedy’s son, Justin. The younger Mr. Kennedy spent more than a decade at Deutsche Bank, eventually rising to become the bank’s global head of real estate capital markets, and he worked closely with Mr. Trump when he was a real estate developer, according to two people with knowledge of his role.

During Mr. Kennedy’s tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump’s most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago at a time other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history.

How very cozy.

Listen up, ladies

Jun 29th, 2018 8:38 am | By

Seen on Facebook – a recruiting poster for the joys of attending the University of Adelaide:

Updating to correct: actually not for the University at all: those are two separate posters.

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Hostile climate

Jun 29th, 2018 8:25 am | By

Back in mid-October 2016 the Times ran a story on rabid hostility to journalists at Trump rallies.

[E]ven reporters long accustomed to the toxic fervor of Trump rallies were startled — and even frightened — at the vitriol of a Cincinnati crowd on Thursday evening as more than 15,000 supporters flashed homemade signs, flipped middle fingers and lashed out in tirades often laced with profanity as journalists made their way to a crammed, fenced-in island in the center of the floor.

The Trump supporters crowded by the metal barriers protecting the area, leaning over to get in one last insult before returning their attention to the stage as Rudolph W. Giuliani strode out.

Mr. Trump’s efforts to discredit news media organizations, painting them as part of a broad conspiracy with the Clinton campaign, have reached an intensity never before seen from a presidential candidate — so much so that the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit group often focused on defending press freedoms in war-torn and totalitarian countries, made a rare statement regarding American elections.

“Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values,” Sandra Mims Rowe, the chairwoman for the group, said in a statement Thursday night, announcing that the group had “passed a resolution declaring Trump an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists and to C.P.J.’s ability to advocate for press freedom around the world.”

And that was nearly two years ago, and he wasn’t president yet. It’s only gotten worse since then.

The news media has often been a frequent target of Mr. Trump’s wrath, but he has escalated his attacks over in recent days afternews accounts that he behaved abusively toward women.

Naturally. He’s an evil aggressive violent man who brags of assaulting women, so naturally when the news media report his bragging and his assaults, he makes it their fault.

“The establishment and their media neighbors wield control over this nation through means that are very well known,” Mr. Trump told a crowd in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday. “Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and morally deformed. They will attack you. They will slander you. They will seek to destroy your career and your family. They will seek to destroy everything about you including your reputation. They will lie, lie, lie, and then again, they will do worse than that. They will do whatever’s necessary.”

And yet, weirdly, Trump provides abundant evidence that he is indeed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and morally deformed by raging on Twitter every single day. He volunteers the information non-stop while raging at the news media for reporting the obvious.

Will Trump call it fake news?

Jun 28th, 2018 1:29 pm | By

And then this.

Maybe the choice of target was completely random, and Trump’s constant venomous attacks on the press had nothing to do with it.

And maybe not.

Trump is exactly like King

Jun 28th, 2018 12:10 pm | By

What’s going on today:

House Republicans on Thursday mounted a multi-front effort to rebuke and embarrass the GOP-led Justice Department, hauling Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein before an “emergency” hearing of the Judiciary Committee just as the House voted to accuse him of flouting congressional document requests.

Face-to-face with Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte invoked the Church Committee — the 1975 investigation into federal surveillance abuses against figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. — and suggested history was repeating itself in the ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia on its election interference efforts.

So, to be clear, Goodlatte compared Trump to King, and the illegal surveillance of King with the investigation of Russia’s intervention in the Trump campaign. To be clear, that’s not a reasonable comparison. To be clear, I don’t for a second believe that Goodlatte thinks it is reasonable, he just thinks it’s good PR.

“Whatever you got, finish it the hell up,” added House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). “This country’s being torn apart.”

Endless investigations of emails and Benghazi on the other hand were good for the country.

Thank you for making clear it’s not personal, Mr Jordan

Jun 28th, 2018 11:59 am | By

Wow. This is astonishing. These are Republicans, grilling a Republican Deputy Attorney General in a Republican administration, accusing him of lying under oath. It’s not “partisanship” as normally understood, it’s something even sicker – it’s deranged and pernicious loyalty to one monstrous human being whose only real party is himself.

Rosenstein keeps his cool but he’s obviously not impressed.

Jordan: “I asked if you said it.”

Rosenstein: “Said what?”

J: “What I just read you.”

R: “No I did not.”

J: “Well now who are we supposed to believe, staff members who we’ve worked with, who’ve never misled us, or you guys, who we’ve caught hiding information from us, who tell a witness not to answer our questions, who we supposed to believe?”

R: “Thank you for making clear it’s not personal, Mr Jordan.”

Jordan starts to bluster-answer while Rosenstein says, sharply, “You should believe me because I’m  telling the truth and I’m under oath.” Jordan comes back with, “I know these staff members.”

They’re both Republicans.

Maybe the difference is simply that Jordan is elected while Rosenstein is appointed, so that Jordan is playing to what he takes to be the mentality of people who voted for him. Or maybe it’s simply loyalty to Trump versus loyalty to the laws, the Constitution, the justice system, the Department of Justice.

At any rate, it’s astonishing.

Let’s hire that sexual harassment guy

Jun 27th, 2018 6:07 pm | By

Of course.

Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive who was close to Roger E. Ailes, the network’s ousted chairman, is expected to be offered the job of White House communications director, according to four people familiar with the decision.

Mr. Shine, who was forced out as co-president at Fox News last May for his handling of sexual harassment scandals at the network, has met with President Trump in recent weeks about taking the West Wing communications job, which has been vacant since Hope Hicks left the job in March.

Yeah! Fox News and an enabler of sexual harassment; win-win!

Four people familiar with the decision said it was likely to be announced and that the president had offered him the job. But the move has not been finalized, in part because of the president’s mercurial decision-making process and also because of Mr. Shine’s reluctance to walk into a chaotic West Wing.

Oh but think of all the fun, the glamour, the chocolate cake.

Mr. Shine’s stature at the network weakened in the wake of the revelations against Mr. Ailes, which included multiple allegations of sexual harassment and several multimillion dollar settlements with the women who made the accusations against him.

Mr. Shine was accused in several lawsuits of covering up Mr. Ailes’s behavior and dismissing concerns from women who complained about it. Mr. Shine has denied any wrongdoing or knowing about Mr. Ailes’s behavior.

Several former employees at Fox News reacted with alarm — but not surprise — to reports that Mr. Shine may move into the top communications job at the White House.

Several who spoke on the condition that they remain anonymous said they were aghast that Mr. Shine would receive an offer to work in the White House while women who came forward to accuse Mr. Ailes of harassment have seen their television careers founder.

Mr. Shine’s connection to the accusations against Mr. Ailes could be particularly sensitive for the president, who was also accused of sexual misconduct during the 2016 campaign. Mr. Trump has denied those accusations, and officials at the White House said they are aware that they may face blowback for appointing someone so closely tied to Mr. Ailes and the culture of harassment toward women at Fox News.

Of course they’re aware; that’s why he’s doing it. Trump loves to shove it in women’s faces. And all of ours.

The language rules for women

Jun 27th, 2018 5:43 pm | By

Kathleen Stock has thoughts on the new language rules:

I reject the near-pathological zeal with which trans activists, ‘trans allies’, and ‘woke blokes’ generally, seek to monitor and control natal women’s language in this domain: not just with respect to discussing whether trans women are actually women, but also in uses of particular names and pronouns, and gender attributions.

One basis for self-identifying as a trans person is the condition of gender dysphoria. It is assumed by many medical practitioners that, on diagnosis of this condition, treating a person ‘as if’ belonging to their self-identified gender is helpful to their well-being; whereas confronting them with their ‘birth-assigned’ gender, or the biological facts of their sex, is not. We might easily interpret this as a kind of benevolent role-playing or method-acting, extending from the medical practitioner out into the wider community: act as if a trans woman is a woman, in most social contexts. But this is completely compatible with denying that trans women really arewomen, in a more committed sense.

Somehow, though, in recent years, a respectful concern for the well-being of trans people has supposedly morphed into a literal claim about category membership: trans women really are women. That is: trans women belong unambiguously in the category of women; the concept of woman literally applies to them. For most trans activists, this is supposed to be true whether the trans woman is a post-operative transsexual, or a trans woman on hormones, or whether she belongs to the significant proportion of trans women who are neither. She ‘is’ a women, whether she transitioned in her teens, or in middle-age; whether thirty years ago, or yesterday. Moreover, for many trans activists, not only are trans women literally women, but if they have children, they can be mothers. If they have female partners, they can be lesbians. They can be victims of misogyny. And so on. One by one, the familiar words women have used to describe themselves tumble like a chain of dominoes.

Such claims are usually unargued-for. They are presented more as self-evident truths; the outcome of revelation, perhaps, or as some article of faith which it would be downright evil to try to deny or complicate. As this description suggests, agreement with such claims is ruthlessly socially enforced by trans activists.

And that’s putting it mildly. The enforcement stretches to threats and even outright violence.

It doesn’t matter if your subject matter is Labour party all-woman shortlists, what to do about children who think they are trans, medical discussions, biology teaching, or presumably, your own relatives; you are never, ever, ever supposed to describe trans women as men or male, ‘deadname’, ‘misgender’, or use the ‘wrong’ pronouns out loud. Even trans women themselves aren’t supposed to do these things: see the bullying treatment that trans women in the UK such as Miranda Yardley, Kristina Harrison, and Debbie Hayton get, when they deny that they themselves are ‘really’ women, and seek a different narrative.

This is in itself quite striking, as for other false claims about category membership, people are normally socially permitted to assert them. Take the claims: “Elton John is straight”. “Marvin Gaye is white”. Those claims are obviously false, but there was, presumably, no inward gasp of horror as you just read them. Now contrast with: “Caitlyn Jenner is a man”; “Lily Madigan is biologically male; he is a man”. Even though I mention these as exemplary sentences, rather than assert them myself, I assume that at least some readers think I just wrote something awful.

Or maybe they don’t, but pretend they do if anyone is watching.

The point

Jun 27th, 2018 5:12 pm | By

Seriously. I wish I had one.

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Jun 27th, 2018 12:26 pm | By

Well, as the saying goes, it’s all over.

Kennedy is retiring from the Supreme Court.

The Times, twisting the knife, includes McConnell Says Senate Will Move Swiftly on a Replacement in the headline.

We’d all emigrate, but no one would have us, and who can blame them.

Trump will be able to impose authoritarian rule with the Court’s blessing (possibly literal).


In no way, form, or fashion

Jun 27th, 2018 9:48 am | By

No automatic alt text available.

Teehee titter guffaw

Jun 27th, 2018 9:08 am | By


Among the top worst

Jun 26th, 2018 4:59 pm | By

David Cole, national legal director of the ACLU, on today’s Supreme Court fubar:

The Supreme Court’s approval of President Trump’s travel ban barring entry to some 150 million people from five overwhelmingly Muslim countries is likely to be judged by history as one of the court’s greatest failures — in a league with Dred Scott v. Sandford, which helped bring on the Civil War, and Korematsu v. United States, which upheld the wartime detention of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans and noncitizens of Japanese descent.

Gee, what might the common element be? Singling out a particular group – a non-white group – for Special Treatment and thus general social odium? Yes, that’s the one.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., perhaps recognizing the disturbing parallels, sought to distance the court from this critique by declaring, nearly 75 years after the fact, that Korematsu “was gravely wrong the day it was decided” and that it has “nothing to do with this case.” But it has everything to do with this case: In Trump v. Hawaii, as in Korematsu and Dred Scott, the court was asked to stand up for the rights of the vulnerable against the biases of the powerful — and failed.

Refused. It’s not as if the 5 tried and failed; they refused.

In Trump v. Hawaii, there was overwhelming evidence that Trump’s ban targeted Muslims. As a presidential candidate, Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” because, he asserted, “Islam hates us.” He explained that he would do so by using territories as a proxy for religion, because “people were so upset when I used the word Muslim.” One week after taking office, he did just that. In case there were any doubt, he said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that day that the order would give priority to Syrian Christians over Muslim refugees.

The foreigner has no rights which the Trump man is bound to respect.