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Messages - Wayward Son

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1
But is there really much difference between classism and racism?

Racism was used over the decades to make sure certain races (blacks, hispanics, etc.) were kept in the lower economic levels, which is most likely the primary reason large fractions of these minorities are still in those levels.

Classism keeps people in their current economic levels.  Which means that blacks, hispanics, etc. are still being kept in the lowest levels.

So while discrimination may not be occurring just because they are part of certain minorities, they are still being discriminated against, and because they or their parents were part of those certain minorities.  The effect is the same, and perpetuates the same thing.

A rose by any other name...

2
General Comments / Re: The Squad
« on: August 12, 2020, 04:06:19 PM »
Probably something like a propaganda machine, like Fox News or Brietbart. ;)

3
Quote
These protests have a "violent core" attached to it that have been from present from the start, and the presence of the Feds simply provided them a target to focus their attention on, rather actually escalate the violence in and of themselves...

The Portland protests aren't about Black Lives Matter, and never really have been, although many of its participants like to think they were. The Portland Protests are all about waging psychological warfare.

This exemplifies what is pissing us off, Deamon.

First you talk about the "violent core," which by implication is a minority of the protesters.  (If it were a majority, it wouldn't be a "core" now, would it? ;) )

Then you make a blanket statement that "the Portland protests aren't about..." based on what this core minority does.

This is what we mean when we say that you are blaming the entire protest on the actions of a minority.  Suddenly the intentions of everyone outside of the "violent core" is subsumed by this "core."

Have you ever considered that the protests are really all about Black Lives Matters and justice for all Americans, not just the ones that look right, and it is this "violent core" that is exploiting it to wage their psychological warfare against the will of the majority? ;)

4
General Comments / Is Our Partisanship a Threat to Our Democracy?
« on: August 05, 2020, 06:32:01 PM »
FiveThirtyEight has a frightening essay on how fragile our democracy is.

Quote
She, and other experts, consider our current time period one in which authoritarianism poses a serious risk — but not because of what is happening with the DHS in Portland. Instead, it’s more likely that recent events are a symptom of something bigger, a risk that has steadily grown in the last several decades. Instead, they point to the political polarization evident in public opinion on Portland as indicative of the danger we’re in.

When it comes to Portland, specifically, the partisan divide is definitely real. In a survey fielded by Data for Progress on July 28, respondents were split about Trump’s decision to send DHS to Oregon, with 42 percent calling the deployment of federal police “essential” and 45 percent calling it an “overstep.” And that split was highly partisan. Broken down by party affiliation, nearly three-quarters of Republicans favored the decision while a similar proportion of Democrats opposed it...

That, by itself, isn’t much of a shock. We are, for better or for worse, used to all sorts of issues dividing public opinion. The terrifying thing is the way it links partisan politics and authoritarianism. According to a recent report by the Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group, support for democracy is in no way universal. In fact, their findings show that 1 in 3 Americans have, at some point in the last three years, supported some kind of authoritarian view, and only about 20 percent said it was very important to live in a democracy.

And separate polling, commissioned by Mazumder before Portland, from YouGov Blue, an arm of YouGov that primarily serves Democratic and progressive clients, underscores this as well. Although it found that Republicans were less supportive overall of democracy — 1 out of 4 Republicans said that democracy is a “very bad” or “fairly bad” way to govern the country compared to just four percent of Democrats. There was also more support for a strong leader, defined in the survey as someone “who does not have to bother with Congress and elections” among Republicans. But it wasn’t just Republicans driving these anti-democratic views. A significant percentage of Democrats said they preferred to have “experts, not the government” make decisions on what they think is best for the country...

Since 1994, Pew Research Center has asked Americans about the amount of partisan animosity they held. In that time, the percentage of people who rate the opposing party as “very unfavorable” has climbed from about 20 percent to more than 50 percent. In fact, as of 2016, more than 40 percent of both Republicans and Democrats said they saw the other side as a threat to the nation.

That poses a real threat to our democracy, too. “If we view that if one party gets into power they’ll be a threat to my way of life or the nation as a whole, we’ll do whatever we can to keep them out or keep ourselves in,” said Jennifer McCoy, a professor of political science at Georgia State University. That, she added, is when people start to tolerate the violation of democratic norms. “The goal is to stay in power or get in power and it overrides the value of respecting democratic principles,” she said...

Looking at situations in American history and around the world, McCoy, Mettler and other experts have found that extreme polarization is one major red flag that shows a democracy is in trouble. That’s because people will condone all kinds of violence in the name of protecting themselves, said Christian Davenport, professor of political science at the University of Michigan. Violations of norms — even the law — become justifiable depending on who is doing the rule-breaking and who is being targeted.

Through that lens, it makes perfect sense why Americans are politically divided on Portland: It’s actually a divide over whether you see the protesters as a threat. And that should make us all very uncomfortable — no matter which side of the aisle we’re on. Because evidence points to the fact that many Americans, regardless of their party affiliation, are willing to condone violence and repression against their political opponents.

Back in March, McCoy and other researchers surveyed nearly 3,000 Americans about their support for various anti-democratic policies under different scenarios where one party, or the other, was in power. The results from this survey have not yet been published, but their preliminary analysis finds significantly higher support for such policies as prosecuting journalists, banning protests and disqualifying political opponents from elections in situations when a respondent’s preferred party was in power — and hoping to stay there. The effect was larger among Republicans hoping to consolidate Republican power. But it existed for Democrats, as well. For instance, while 23.6 percent of Democrats and 22.7 percent of Republicans said the president should do what the people want, even if it goes against existing laws, when their party was out of power, those numbers jumped to 29.6 percent and 35.1 percent, respectively, when the rule of law became inconvenient to keeping the other side at bay.

Are we approaching a point where we will throw away our rights by denying them of our political opponents?  :o

5
Quote
Up to this point it has only been FPS and the Portland Police defending the building. At this point "The Federal Storm Troopers" are brought in.

So up until July 3 or so, the violence consisted of graffiti, broken windows and damaged fences, from what I can see.

And according to this site, Federal Officers confronted the crowds on July 1.  So they were already there on July 3.

So as far as I can see, the "Federal agents turning up to protect Federal Buildings from being set on fire" (which seems to have happened with fireworks on July 4, if I read this correctly--what a surprise! ;) ), actually had not happened until AFTER they showed up.  Which means the Federal agents were not a reaction to up-ticking violence, but most likely vice-versa.

6
The best case you can make is that their presence was inciting violence. And if anyone has a problem with a LEO simply being present in a public space, especially one they're charged with protecting, there are larger problems that need addressed, and it isn't the LEO.
Yes, this is exactly what people have pointed out - the introduction of the stormtroopers predictably escalated tensions, and the completely predictable actions/reactions on both sides fed into each other.

Knowing that introducing the stormtroopers would escalate tensions and the resulting conflicts is on the administration.  Responsibility for any particular instances of violence in on each protester or stormtrooper. Whether human nature is such that people should automatically respect police authority, and that any resulting lack of respect is something that can be "addressed" is an interesting question, but quite separate from the actions of the administration leading to escalating violence.

The "Federal Stormtroopers" didn't turn up until those "peaceful protesters" had broken into the federal building, after several nights of attempts being foiled by the Portland Police, and started causing property damage inside the building.

So you're saying Federal agents turning up to protect Federal Buildings from being set on fire, something which had already happened, would cause things to escalate to people trying to burn down the Federal Building... Something they were already doing?

OK.  What day was it when the protesters broke into the Federal building, which building was it, and what damage did they do to it?  I'm curious to review the timeline of this.

7

That really depends on your confidence in that fact that Trump sent them knowing it would cause problems, and even because it would cause problems. That's a lot of bad faith, which may or may not be warranted (I find it difficult to make any determination about that).


The thing is, Fenring, if Trump didn't expect the Federal officers riling things up, then what was the purpose of sending them when he did?

From all reports that I had heard, the protests and crimes were deescalating before the Federal officers showed up.  Sure, there was graffiti and broken windows, but it costs a lot less to fix those than pay for all those officers. :)  If there was little violence to quell, what do you think Trump expected to see when he sent in the troops?  A faster de-escalation?  :)

No, the only reasonable expectation was a re-escalation of the protests, maybe helped by a few questionable arrests of people off the street.  That's the kind of flashy result that Trump likes.  He isn't the kind of President that does things quietly, in the background, with the full consensus of local mayors and governors.  He is the Reality Show President. ;)

In this instance, he knew what he was doing and what he expected to happen.

8
“We’re going to be doing a health-care plan. We’re going to be doing a very inclusive health-care plan. I’ll be signing it sometime very soon...Might be Sunday. But it’s going to be very soon.”--Donald Trump, July 19, 2020.

Of course, it could have been anytime in the past four years.  Once you've decided not to worry about delivering on your promises, it really doesn't matter when you say you'll do it. :)

9
The perfect is the enemy of the good.  So is the inadequate, the band-aid and the token. :)

10
It's not so much we are ignoring AntiFa, but rather don't look at it the way you do.

AntiFa is a loosely knit "organization" (if you can even call it that) of people who decide to man the frontline against Fascists.  There is no membership, no leadership (AFAIK), nothing beyond people who call each other up and decide to dress in black.  Their only distinguishing factors are their dress (which isn't that distinct) and their pledge to fight fascists.

Compare this to simple rioters, looters and guys who just like to burn things. :)

When the right-wing media says that AntiFa is causing the trouble, how do you know it is AntiFa, rather than some random troublemakers?  In fact, from what I understand of them, unless they determined that Federal buildings are Fascist, they would not target them at all.  It seems to be that right-wing media is using them as a boogey-man to get people scared that there is some grand conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government with these kids, doubtlessly with the boogey-man George Soros behind it all!

The only reason AntiFa has come to our attention is because they are the only ones who will meet the violence from the Right head-on.  Which scares the Right.

So unless your evidence shows a grand structure to this "organization," follows the money (assuming there is any), and provides the documents that are sent to the shock-troops, you're right, no amount of evidence will convince us.  Because it isn't really evidence. :)

11
From the same article:

“I read a lot. You know, I read a lot. They like to say I don’t read. I read a lot. I comprehend extraordinarily well, probably better than anybody that you’ve interviewed in a long time. I read a lot.”

Anybody here read a lot?  Anybody here who reads a lot who would say, "I comprehend extraordinarily well?"  Anybody here who reads a lot who thinks that someone who reads a lot would say, "I comprehend extraordinarily well?" Instead of, let's say, "I have extraordinary comprehension." :)

He doesn't even lie well.  ::)

12
When Axios News asked about whether he discussed the bounty on American troops with Putin on July 23, President Trump said:

"No, that was a phone call to discuss other things. And frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news."

Think about it.  The President decided not to talk about that issue because "many people said."  Not his top experts.  Not his trust sources.  "Many people."  He couldn't even name who those people are.

The President won't defend American troops because "many people say" it isn't true.  And he doesn't bother to find out for sure, one way or another.  >:(

This is the leader of the Republican Party.  The man they stand behind and support.

13
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: July 29, 2020, 10:45:19 AM »
Stuart Stevens, Republican Political Consultant, Senior Strategist for Mitt Romney's Presidential campaign:

Quote
I spent decades working to elect Republicans, including Mr. Romney and four other presidential candidates, and I am here to bear reluctant witness that Mr. Trump didn’t hijack the Republican Party. He is the logical conclusion of what the party became over the past 50 or so years, a natural product of the seeds of race-baiting, self-deception and anger that now dominate it. Hold Donald Trump up to a mirror and that bulging, scowling orange face is today’s Republican Party.

I saw the warning signs but ignored them and chose to believe what I wanted to believe: The party wasn’t just a white grievance party; there was still a big tent; the others guys were worse. Many of us in the party saw this dark side and told ourselves it was a recessive gene. We were wrong. It turned out to be the dominant gene.

What is most telling is that the Republican Party actively embraced, supported, defended and now enthusiastically identifies with a man who eagerly exploits the nation’s racial tensions. In our system, political parties should serve a circuit breaker function. The Republican Party never pulled the switch...

How did this happen? How do you abandon deeply held beliefs about character, personal responsibility, foreign policy and the national debt in a matter of months? You don’t. The obvious answer is those beliefs weren’t deeply held. What others and I thought were bedrock values turned out to be mere marketing slogans easily replaced. I feel like the guy working for Bernie Madoff who thought they were actually beating the market.

Mr. Trump has served a useful purpose by exposing the deep flaws of a major American political party. Like a heavy truck driven over a bridge on the edge of failure, he has made it impossible to ignore the long-developing fault lines of the Republican Party. A party rooted in decency and values does not embrace the anger that Mr. Trump peddles as patriotism.

14
Meanwhile, some white supremists apparently have been instigating violence while pretending to be Antifa, just to make things a little more interesting.  ::)

15
The main problem, wm, is that the most obvious anti-American activities going on right now are from Trump, sending in unidentified para-military troops to beat and arrest people in unmarked vans, in spite of the pointed objections of the local mayors and governors--actions that seem far more natural in a dictatorship than in a democracy.

And while conspiracy theories about BLM and the Trump Virus seem natural, the dead bodies from both are proof that they aren't some manufactured crises.  They are very few people that will give their lives to make Trump look bad.  (He does that so well himself. :) )

16
No one, I think, is arguing that either side are "saints."  The rioters definitely need to be quelled.  The destruction and violence by some of the protesters must be addressed and stopped.

But the response has not been appropriate.  Police have been overreacting, if not outright being thugs.  And while I do not condone lawlessness on the part of the rioters, I am not responsible for it.  We have even seen some protesters trying to quell the rioters themselves.  (See, for example, the link to the guy who was ready to attack police with a hammer from earlier in this thread.  Did everyone notice the woman who was there who tried to pull the guy away from the door before the police burst out?  Compare that to the police who walked over the 70-yr-old man bleeding from his ear...)  The actions of some do not condemn everyone.

However, we are all partially responsible for the actions of the police.  They are our legal representatives.  They are acting on our behalf, with our authorization.  If they act in a lawless fashion, we are responsible to put an end to it.

Condemning the actions of the rioters is a given.  That is why we have police.  But we must not excuse lawless or inappropriate actions of the police just because  there are actions by the "other side" that are wrong.  Two wrongs don't make a right, you don't have to ignore the law to uphold it, and we have some control and responsibility for the actions of the police.

Remember, taking responsibility for the actions of the police is what these protests are all about.

17
I'm sorry if showing Navy veterans being beaten with a club for asking a question, or 14-year-old girls being piled on by helmeted thugs is just us trying to "make things look bad."  (I loved how that one officer tried to step on her hand while looking around, just to help restrain her.) For most people, they make things look bad without explanation.

Now here's a question to contemplate:  how could Trump threaten to send almost 70% of the DHS officers to cities to quell riots?  How could the normal tasks at DHS be performed with so many personnel diverted from their regular jobs?

Macus Ranum has a simple solution:  many (if not most) of these guys may be hired mercenaries--aka "Blackwater."

Makes sense.  Hire extra law enforcement personnel to cover the short-term increase.  Who cares if they are not trained police officers.  They are fighting criminals, after all.  If a few laws are unintentionally (or intentionally due to special circumstances) broken, who cares?  Order must be preserved.  Protests must be quelled.  Rights are secondary.

So when you look at these videos of people being beaten-up and hauled into unmarked vans, remember that you may not be seeing actual police officers holding the "thin blue line."  They very well may be hired mercenaries, similar to those who kept order in so well in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.  Just think: your sons and daughter may soon be treated as well as we treated the Iraqis and Afghanistan.  Just warms your heart, doesn't it? 

Or something down around your gut...

18
General Comments / Re: Voting mechanisms
« on: July 27, 2020, 05:10:00 PM »
That may not work, since no one keeps track of what these felons owe.

Which means they provided a way for them to vote which could not be used.  Which shows who is really running Florida.  (Hint: it's not the voters.)  :(

19
Just imagine Trump saying this:

Reporter: "What do you think of the Jeffrey Dahmer situation?"

Trump: "I don’t know – I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish him well, frankly. I have met him numerous times over the years, especially since I have a house in Milwaukee, and I guess he lived in Milwaukee. I even had dinner with him once. But I wish him well, whatever it is."

I think that will give you a good idea how it sounds to most of America. :)

20
From our Very Stable Genius President: "Because, yes, the first few questions are easy, but I'll bet you couldn't even answer the last five questions. I'll bet you couldn't, they get very hard, the last five questions."

Here's a copy of the test President Trump is referring to.

Can anyone tell me which five questions he was referring to?  You know, the "very hard" ones. :)

Then tell me why I should vote for a man who thinks these are "very hard" questions.  ;)

22
Meanwhile, clueless in the White House tweets:

“Thank you for the good reviews and comments on my interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News. We may have set a record for doing such an interview in the heat. It was 100 degrees, making things very interesting!”

23
Unfortunately you missed what Lightfoot wants in your analysis, Fenring.

What Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked for was:

Quote
Please stop with the rhetoric and find the moral courage to simply support the needed actions listed above: enact common-sense gun laws, partner with our law enforcement actors through providing investigative resources, deliver on community-based resources for public safety, and invest in our neighborhoods and residents...

In the end, we very much want to partner with an executive branch that respects our city, inclusive of all of our residents, regardless of race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, sexual orientation or ability...

What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago...  Any other form of militarized assistance within our borders that would not be within our control or within the direct command of the Chicago Police Department would spell disaster.

She doesn't want the Federal government stepping in and doing whatever they please or think is a good idea, even if it is to address the problems she specifically listed.  She want helps, locally directed and controlled, so that the help actually doesn't make things worse.

Now you believe that Trump isn't sending in shock troops.  But will they be coordinating with local police and the local police will be in charge?  If they are not going to coordinate, how effective do you think they will be, being unfamiliar with the city?  And if they are going to coordinate, why hasn't the Chicago police chief informed her of his talks with the Federal agents coming in? 

Seriously, is this the reaction of a person getting the help she wants and feels she needs?

Quote
Mr. President or not—I don’t care one bit what your name is. I will not allow troops in Chicago, and I will do everything in my power to stop you.

This indicates to me that Trump hasn't directed his agents to work with the Chicago police to aid them however they ask.  He had directed them to go in and do something.  And what else are they going to do but direct action on the street?  You can't be nuanced in unfamiliar territory. 

Now, I may be wrong.  The agents may work in the background with the Chicago police and we won't even see them.  They may only work as directed by the Chicago police.  This may be a very quiet operation that does a lot of good.

Want to make a bet on it?  ;D

24
Quote
If you are marching with this group, even if you don't yourself light something on fire or throw something at the police.  You are just as guilty as the ones that do.  You can't claim that you were just there to protest peacefully.

Tell me, did you believe this during the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally?  When protestors came with clubs and shields and were beating other protestors?  When one of the protestors ran down a thirty-year-old woman in cold blood and hitting many more?  When Vanguard America's leaders lamely said that he was not a member and that "The shields seen do not denote membership" as they were "freely handed out to anyone in attendance," did you believe that they should have been held accountable, too?

I suppose you believe that every one of those people who came to protest the removal of the statues of Confederate generals were just as guilty as James Field and others.  That they all should have been arrested for assault and battery, murder and attempted murder.

After all, if you were marching with people who beat others up, you can't claim you were there to protest peacefully, no matter what you actually did.  So you believe the President really was lying through his teeth when he said there were "fine people on both sides," and really was standing with the racists and murderer.  Because by your reasoning, they were all as guilty as those who actually committed the violence, and should all be treated as such.

Personally I believe that people should be held accountable for their own actions, not the actions of others.  That some of the people came there just to peacefully protest, not to cause trouble, like the many church groups that were there.  But it appear that you disagree.

So, did you only recently realize what a bunch of criminals all those protestors at the Unite the Right rally really were, or is this something you always believed? ;)

25
Quote
Okay, let us rewind the clock a bit. Take your pick, we can go back to the late 1950's and 1960's and talk about "Federal Stormtroopers" coming into the deep south to clean out system abuse of minority populations.

You know, Deamon, it really takes a lot of chutzpah to compare this action to civil rights abuses in the 60's, even in passing.

Back then, the local and state governments were beating, arresting, and worse to prevent people from protesting, and the Federal government came in to stop the government from doing it.

Today, the local governments are NOT beating, arresting, and worse to the Federal government's satisfaction, and so the Feds are coming in to do it instead, IN SPITE of the local and state government's protests.

They are not the same thing.  In fact, they are the opposite thing.  The local governments in the 60s were a bunch of bullies and thugs who thought they could beat the people into submission.  Today, it's the Feds who are the bullies and thugs.  You are using the actions that were meant to protect people from government bullies and thugs to justify the actions of government bullies and thugs.

Takes a lot of chutzpah...

26
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: July 20, 2020, 10:11:10 AM »
Senator Ben Sasse, Republican, Nebraska:
"I want more briefings but, more importantly, I want the whole White House to start acting like a team on a mission to tackle a real problem. Navarro’s Larry, Moe and Curly junior-high slap fight this week is yet another way to undermine public confidence that these guys grasp that tens of thousands of Americans have died and tens of millions are out of work."

27
Here's an account of a couple that were taken in by these unidentified Federal officers in unmarked vehicles:

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In the early hours of July 15, after a night spent protesting at the Multnomah County Justice Center and Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, Mark Pettibone and his friend Conner O’Shea decided to head home.

It had been a calm night compared to most protesting downtown. By 2 a.m. law enforcement hadn’t used any tear gas and, with only a few exceptions, both the Portland Police Bureau and federal law enforcement officers had stayed out of sight.

A block west of Chapman Square, Pettibone and O’Shea bumped into a group of people who warned them that people in camouflage were driving around the area in unmarked minivans grabbing people off the street.

“So that was terrifying to hear,” Pettibone said.

They had barely made it half a block when an unmarked minivan pulled up in front of them.

“I see guys in camo,” O’Shea said. “Four or five of them pop out, open the door and it was just like, ‘Oh *censored*. I don’t know who you are or what you want with us.’”

Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off...

But interviews conducted by OPB show officers are also detaining people on Portland streets who aren’t near federal property, nor is it clear that all of the people being arrested have engaged in criminal activity. Demonstrators like O’Shea and Pettibone said they think they were targeted by federal officers for simply wearing black clothing in the area of the demonstration.

O’Shea said he ran when he saw people wearing camouflage jump out of an unmarked vehicle. He said he hid when a second unmarked van pursued him.

Video shot by O’Shea and provided to OPB shows a dark screen as O’Shea narrates the scene. Metadata from the video confirms the time and place of the protesters’ account.

“Feds are driving around, grabbing people off the streets,” O’Shea said on the video. “I didn’t do anything *censored*ing wrong. I’m recording this. I had to let somebody know that this is what happens.”

Pettibone did not escape the federal officers.

“I am basically tossed into the van,” Pettibone said. “And I had my beanie pulled over my face so I couldn’t see and they held my hands over my head.”

Pettibone and O’Shea both said they couldn’t think of anything they might have done to end up targeted by law enforcement. They attend protests regularly but they said they aren’t “instigators.” They don’t spray paint buildings, shine laser pointers at officers or do anything else other than attend protests, which law enforcement have regularly deemed “unlawful assemblies.”

Blinded by his hat, in an unmarked minivan full of armed people dressed in camouflage and body armor who hadn’t identified themselves, Pettibone said he was driven around downtown before being unloaded inside a building. He wouldn’t learn until after his release that he had been inside the federal courthouse.
“It was basically a process of facing many walls and corners as they patted me down and took my picture and rummaged through my belongings,” Pettibone said. “One of them said, ‘This is a whole lot of nothing.’”

Pettibone said he was put into a cell. Soon after, two officers came in to read him his Miranda rights. They didn’t tell him why he was being arrested. He said they asked him if he wanted to waive his rights and answer some questions, but Pettibone declined and said he wanted a lawyer. The interview was terminated, and about 90 minutes later he was released. He said he did not receive any paperwork, citation or record of his arrest.

“I just happened to be wearing black on a sidewalk in downtown Portland at the time,” Pettibone said. “And that apparently is grounds for detaining me.”

Just imagine the government doing this at the next rally for Confederate statues.  Men in camouflage and body armor picking up anyone who looks like a neo-Nazi and tossing them in unmarked vans.  How well do you think that would go on before going downhill fast?  Before Hannity and company decry this as actions of a police state and call for the removal of the President?

We have know for a while that Trump is a bully.  Now he's instructed DHS to be bullies and thugs for him. And Republicans are just fine with that.  >:(

28
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/07/16/acting-secretary-wolf-condemns-rampant-long-lasting-violence-portland

Did anybody read this?  Wolf ends the statement with "a snapshot of the lawless destruction and violence of the past several weeks that Department of Homeland Security and its subcomponents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and Federal Protective Service have faced."

You know what most of that "lawless destruction and violence" is? 

Graffiti.

Quote
05/29/2020

Violent anarchists broke a front window at the Hatfield Courthouse.
Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse.
Overall, the cost of damages on federal property done by the violent mob this first night was estimated at $5,000.
05/30/2020

Violent anarchists graffitied the BPA Building.
Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse.
Violent anarchists graffitied the Edith Green-Wenell Wyatt Building.
Violent anarchists graffitied the Terry Schrunk Plaza.
Violent anarchists graffitied the 911 Federal Building.
Violent anarchists graffitied the Pioneer Courthouse.
Violent anarchists graffitied the Gus J. Solomon Courthouse.
06/01/2020

Violent anarchists graffitied the Hatfield Courthouse.
Violent anarchists graffitied Terry Schrunk Plaza.
Violent anarchists graffitied The Pioneer Courthouse.
Violent anarchists graffitied The Gus J Solomon Courthouse.
06/02/2020

Violent anarchists graffitied the U.S. Custom House....

7/01/2020

Violent anarchists graffitied new plywood covering the windows at the Hatfield Courthouse and ripped down plywood on the other side of the building.
A group of over 200 violent anarchists blocked access to the building and proceeded to launch aerial fireworks at federal property...

07/15/2020

Violent anarchists doxed members of federal law enforcement.
Violent anarchists attempted to damage the Hatfield Courthouse by throwing objects at it and spray painting it. Numerous fireworks were also lit.
Violent anarchists trespassed on federal property and destroyed a card reader at the Justice Center.

Notice they are all also "violent anarchists."  Apparently, painting graffiti is "violent."  Doxing is "violent."  Refusing to stay off federal property is "violent." Refusing to immediately comply with orders is "violent."

There are a couple of handfuls of actual violent acts cited.  But most of it wouldn't be considered "violent" in the usual sense--a direct physical threat to a person's body.

It is so heart-warming to see that our Department of Homeland Security--the agency tasked to defend our country against terrorists and such--are spending their precious time defending government buildings from taggers.  ;D  But, hey, we gotta keep our country safe from "violent anarchists."  ::)

29
Meanwhile, Oregon state officials are pretty PO'd.

Quote
"This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety," [Gove. Kate] Brown said. "The president is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government..."

"I told acting Secretary Wolf that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets," Brown said. "His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm's way. This, coming from the same president who used tear gas to clear out peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., to engineer a photo opportunity..."

"Trump is looking for a confrontation in Oregon in the hopes of winning political points in Ohio or Iowa," she said...

"A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump's secret police," [U.S. Senator Ron] Wyden wrote on Twitter. "Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media..."

"Federal forces shot an unarmed protester in the face," [U.S. Senator Jeff] Merkley said. "These shadowy forces have been escalating, not preventing, violence. If Sec. Wolf is coming here to inflame the situation so the president can look like a tough guy, he should turn around and leave our city now."

But I guess Trump knows better than the most senior elected officials in the state, doesn't he? :)

30
I don't care what Trump is saying or how he said it. If you don't like the Atlantic or the Denver Post as sources, how about the actual text of the bill?

...

Sure reads like all registered voters are going to get ballots under this bill, introduced by house democrats and passed by house democrats.

Thank you very much, Drake.  You are right; this does read as requiring all ballots be sent to all registered voters, so they can return them by mail.  (A logistical nightmare from what I've read, and something that probably could not be accomplished in the time remaining before the election.)

This is what I was looking for.  Source material, not opinions.  I did not think this existed, and thought that this was just more spin as in Trump's words, where he says this has already been enacted.

I will try to vet my information better in the future, although it is very difficult to search for something that you think does not exist.

31
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: July 17, 2020, 10:19:22 AM »
How about Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who wrote an op-ed subtitled: "I'm a GOP governor. Why didn't Trump help my state with coronavirus testing?"  (Hint: Trump is only interested in things he can claim credit for.)

33
I believe you have been lied to, Deamon.  And now you are spreading those lies.  But please, prove me wrong.

I think you should probably do your own research before calling someone a liar. I found those links in three minutes.

I'm not calling you a liar, Drake.  I'm saying that you are not vetting your information properly, and so are falling for lies.  For instance:

Quote
The most recent House Democrat proposal mandates that every state mail a ballot to every registered address in the country for the 2020 election, even when the state suspects a registered voter has moved or died. Not only does this type of mandate waste taxpayer dollars by sending undeliverable mail, but it is impossible for the states to safely implement this system before voting begins.

linky

That is an opinion piece that simply states it.  Which proposal is it?  What is the wording?  Is he interpreting it correctly, or spinning it?  I have no information from that piece to answer those questions, and neither do you.

Quote
Quote
Those proposals include calls from Democrats and election-law reformers to preemptively mail all eligible voters a ballot, as five states do now, or to require all states to allow their residents to vote absentee for any reason. In the 28 states that already allow this “no excuse” absentee balloting, partisan struggles are nevertheless looming over whether to make the voting process easier.

linky

I would contend that "preemptively mail ... voters a ballot" is not the same as "simply."  "Simply" implies just sending them out nilly-willy, without properly vetting the votes that come back.  "Preemptively" means using all the safety procedure currently being used for Absentee ballots, without the requirement of having to request one.  Which means they would be as safe from voter fraud as the preemptive ballots.

And if sending them out like five states do now is making them less secure, what does that mean for the current absentee ballots in those five states?  Should we conclude that those five states are currently rife with fraud and all their votes shouldn't count?

And while making "the voting process easier" could make it less secure, you can't categorically state that it is until you see what precautions are implemented.

When Trump spews obvious BS like:
"But in California, the governor sent, I hear, or is sending millions of ballots all over the state... Millions. To anybody. To anybody. People that aren't citizens, illegals, anybody that walks in California is gonna get a ballot."

or makes the false assertion:

"Unless you’re an absentee, in which case they have to go through a whole process. In order to vote, they have to go through a very strict process. The equivalent of going to a voting machine, or maybe even sometimes better."


or tweets:
Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history - unless this stupidity is ended... We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!

you need to look carefully at what the basis of such accusations are.  Because some people will just echo Trump's BS.  And some will take a kernel of truth and spin it into lie.  A lie that says that mail-in ballots cannot be trusted, but absentee ballots are perfectly safe, because of maybe some minor, insignificant differences of who gets them now vs later and what they have to do to request them.

34
Uh, not with what the Democrats were wanting to do.

They were going to simply mail the ballot to the registered voter, not request for a ballot needed.

For an absentee ballot, you have to request it.

Where did you hear that?  Show me the proof of that statement, that they will "simply mail the ballot to the registered voter."

I don't know of any state that has a different process for absentee ballots vs "mail in" ballots.  It would be stupid for such a thing to happen.  You have an existing system, developed over years, to ensure the identity of the voter, and suddenly you throw that out just because?  Why would any state do that?

I believe you have been lied to, Deamon.  And now you are spreading those lies.  But please, prove me wrong.  Show me the states that just simply mail the ballots and do not follow the process they have for absentee ballots.  Show me the ones that are specifically proposing that.  I will gladly join you in condemning it.

But it better be solid proof, and not just some rumor from the lying President or one of his lying minions.

35
And then there's this bit of deep thinking from our President:

Quote
Absentee Ballots are fine because you have to go through a precise process to get your voting privilege. Not so with Mail-Ins. Rigged Election!!!

The answer is quite obvious, of course.

Either A) Only allow Absentee Ballots for the next election, or B) make the process for Mail-Ins be the same as for Absentee Ballots.  How long do you think it would take the states to implement one or both of these solutions?  ;D

37
General Comments / Re: Home schooled, school at home
« on: July 14, 2020, 06:32:15 PM »
As Electoral Vote points out, "There is no question that, under pandemic-free circumstances, students are best served by in-person instruction. But the barriers that school districts face under current circumstances are substantial."  They also point out that some schools districts have already said that students may attend a couple of days a week, if possible (although it looks unlikely now).

They then provide a nice list of some of the barriers:

Quote
Space: Most schools do not have enough space to allow students to sit in a classroom and maintain social distancing. They could (and presumably will) wear masks, but that's not going to get it done when sharing space for 6-7 hours a day. And that's before we talk about communal situations like cafeterias, hallways, locker rooms, and so forth.

Student Risk: It is true that younger people seem to be less likely to contract COVID-19, and less likely to have really bad outcomes if they do. On the other hand, consider the Fauci item above and think about what we did not know about COVID-19 six months ago, or even three months ago. Then consider what we might find out in the next six months. Maybe it turns out that the current thinking is entirely wrong, and that kids are just as vulnerable as anyone else. Maybe it turns out that certain populations of kids—say, those of a particular ethnicity, or who are lacking a particular gene, or who have an underlying health condition, or who live in a particular climate—are at risk. Do we want to turn the nation's schools into the world's largest virology experiment?

Faculty and Staff Risk: A major part of the reason that schools were shut down in the first place was to protect faculty and staff, many of whom are senior citizens (or near-senior citizens) and/or have underlying health conditions that are known to put them at higher risk for COVID-19 (and for serious complications from the disease). One would hope that Americans would not wish to put these folks at risk. And regardless of what Americans think, the faculty and staff themselves may not be willing to play Russian roulette. One survey, way back in May, revealed that 20% of teachers were unwilling to return to the classroom while the pandemic is underway. A more recent survey, covering only the city of Chicago, put the figure above...70%. At a time when resources and faculty time will be spread very thin, the loss of 20% of your labor force would be a backbreaker. Anything above that, and it gets even more grim.

Online Classes: Online classes are a very different beast than in-person classes, with different forms of presenting information, different kinds of assignments, etc. It is challenging for both students and teachers to shift back and forth. And it is nearly impossible for a teacher to simultaneously prep and teach both sorts of classes. There just isn't time. So, any model that involves "18 students will take the in-person version of the class, and 14 others will take the online version" is not plausible without additional faculty.

Educational Experience: Again, in-person is almost always better than online, all other things being equal. But if students have to wear masks, and if they can't have recess time, and they have to eat lunch in shifts, and their teacher has to step out for a month due to illness to be replaced by whatever substitute the district can find, and so on and so forth, they are going to have a lousy educational experience and aren't going to learn a whole lot. Further, even the most optimistic folks aren't trying to say that no students will get sick. What happens if a student is incapacitated for a month, or six weeks, or longer? Can they plausibly catch up? Probably not, especially with teachers stretched too thin to give them one-on-one help. And if that's the case, then what? Do they just go through the motions and repeat a year, lagging their cohort for the rest of their educational career? Do they take a long vacation and try again in Fall 2021?

Legalities: Nobody's talking about this, as far as we can find. However, there are some significant legal issues that are likely to come into play here if schools proceed injudiciously. One of the biggies is that most faculty and staff are protected by unions, and the unions can be expected to hold the line on safety, particularly for high-risk faculty and staffers. Imagine that a school district orders a 56-year-old asthmatic 8th grade teacher with hypertension back to work, and that teacher refuses for (justifiable) health reasons. Then what? If the school tries to fire the teacher (and probably even if they try to withhold pay for a year), they'll be hit with a grievance, which takes even more time and money to fight, and still leaves the classroom unstaffed. Another big issue here is the Americans with Disabilities Act, which gives substantial protections to both faculty/staff and students for a broad range of conditions, including underlying chronic health problems. If the parents of a fifth grader with a history of circulatory issues insists that their child simply cannot be exposed to COVID-19, and demands that they be accommodated, the school district would probably be compelled to offer them an alternate (online) mode of instruction. And then we're back to the problem above, that one faculty member can't plausibly create two versions of their course at the same time.

In some ways, it could be a bit better, if, for instance, a class of 30 is divided into three classes of 10.  During those days when the kids are in, those 10 would get more attention than usual.  But overall it will be worse than usual.  But there is no scenario, until the virus is no longer a threat, that it will be good.  All options are bad.

38
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: July 13, 2020, 12:23:06 PM »
Former Republican Representative, Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen: Trump is "taking us down the road to tyranny."

39
The President of the United States says:

“I know many in business and politics that work out endlessly, in some cases to a point of exhaustion. It is their number one passion in life, but nobody complains. My ‘exercise’ is playing, almost never during the week, a quick round of golf. Obama played more and much longer rounds, no problem. When I play, Fake News CNN, and others, park themselves anywhere they can to get a picture, then scream ‘President Trump is playing golf.’ Actually, I play VERY fast, get a lot of work done on the golf course, and also get a ‘tiny’ bit of exercise. Not bad!”

CNN points out that he has played more golf at this point in his Presidency.  (Just in case you ever doubted it. :) )

41
That is so cynical, Drake, and so...convenient.

You truly think that politicians are so much smarter than the average Joe?  You guys think that they plan, years ahead, taking into account every contingency in case they get elected, especially to a high office, so they won't get caught?  :D

Politicians aren't much smarter than we are.  They are playing it by ear, just like everyone else.  Sure, they find advisors to help them avoid the obvious pitfalls, but they are not super-geniuses that play 4D chess and can out-think every reporter and prosecutor around and cover every track.  Most of them are as honest as most people.

It is only the truly corrupt, like Trump, who use the blunt instruments of denial, obstruction, intimidation, lawyers and dirty tricks to cover their sins.  But you can smell them a mile away, just like the majority of voters could smell Trump before he was elected.

While I admit I haven't been perfect in my taxes, there is still a big difference between someone who overestimates a clothing donation to charity and someone who underestimates the value of his real estate holdings for tax purposes, but overestimates their value when applying for a loan.  There is a difference between minor sins and major ones.  And I am truly sorry that you consider yourself to be one of those "cheaters" who thinks he has committed some major sins. :(

42
Lambert, how can you seriously believe he is a unifier when his approval polls haven't budged from 40 percent the entire time he has been in office?  :o

Doesn't it follow that someone who unifies the country is actually popular in that country?  Wouldn't a unifier have less than half the country consistently disapprove of him?  Can you name another unifiers that was as unpopular as Trump??

The only thing he unifies is the polarities to their extremes.  Those who love him are more unified; those who hate him are even more unified.  But that is a far cry from someone who unifies everyone in the country together.

43
His tax returns, Bill.  You know, those returns that Trump promised he would release way back during his first campaign once they were "not under audit" (not that ever mattered).  The things that every other major candidate for President has released since I was born, if not before.  The things that he is fighting tooth-and-nail at the Supreme Court to prevent from being given to Congress, even though the law clearly states that they have the right to look at them.  The things that are due for this year one week from today.

He lies to you about what he will do.  He thumbs his nose at norms that every modern candidate has followed in the past.  He spits on our clearly-stated laws.  And you don't understand why we think he isn't "transparent?" :D

47
Quote
So California's legislature seeking to pass ACA-5 to repeal the Equal right protection in their state constitution for the purpose of being able to award millions of dollars worth of contracts to minority and woman owned businesses on the basis of their race, gender, or sexual identity is not racist, sexist, or bigoted in any way shape or form? They decided these people are unable to compete on the basis of those things, so we need to enact special laws "to help them" do so?

The problem is that just because everyone says they are not discriminating doesn't mean they are not.  You can say that people are not discriminating based on these criteria, but how can you be sure if you don't look at the statistics?

The statistics show that minority businesses used to get 30 percent of the contracts.  Now they get 3 percent.

Is it because they can't compete?  If so, why?  Why is it that these minorities can't compete with white businesses?  Is there something wrong with "those" people that prevents them from being as efficient?  Or is it because they are "those" people that the system prevents them from being as efficient?  Or is there something in the system that makes them to be not as efficient?

Remember, that law was enacted back during Pete Wilson's governorship, when the idea that pretending that no one sees race and such was supposed to make people not see it.  Instead, it just meant that some wouldn't have to admit to seeing it, find other reasons to reject minorities, and then declare that it race wasn't the reason because they didn't even notice it.

If you assume that minority businesses are just as efficient as white businesses, then they should get a proportional amount of contracts.  If you don't assume that, then why don't you?  Is there something "wrong" with those people?

48
Quote
The far left currently defines it as unequal outcomes, period full stop, which makes racism a systemic statement, not a matter of whether you believe X or Y.

The problem with this definition is that it is very hard for a person's beliefs not to influence their actions.

If someone believes that blacks are inferior, then when they see a black name or a black face applying for a job, they will probably come to the belief that that person would be an inferior worker, whether consciously or not, and not hire them.  Similarly, a police officer who believes that blacks are more violent than whites will tend to find a black person's actions more threatening than a white person's, and may react with greater force to the black person's actions, up to and including deadly force.

And so you get unequal outcomes. :(

Prejudice, bigotry, and such are all part of racism, if only by being the underlying causes.  That makes them no less racist than overt, conscious actions.

Now, admittedly, we cannot completely control our thoughts.  And I do believe that, at least subconsciously, everyone is racist in one way or another.  But there are those who try to mitigate their own racism.  There are others who deny it, ignore it, or even embrace it.  And I think we can all agree that Trump does not try to mitigate his own racism.  Nor acknowledge it.  And while he may not have embraced it to the point of taking direct, overt action on it, I don't think anyone could say that his behavior shows anything better than denial.  And even a person who denies he is a racist can be a racist.

49
Remember, TheDeamon, there are also different degrees of racism.

You don't have to be a full-fledge KKK member who wants to ship back all the blacks to Africa to be a racist.  Just quietly believing that black are less intelligent, less moral, and inferior to you and/or everyone else would also be considered racist.  As would turning a blind eye to racist actions by others.

All these types of racism are not equally bad, but they are all forms of racism.  You don't have to actively be trying to hurt blacks or others groups to be racist.  But that doesn't mean a person is not racist.

50
Quote
Chances are good he probably didn't even watch the full thing, so he wasn't even aware of how it concluded.

TheDeamon, you are so ill-informed on this one.

Look at the retweet here.  The man yells "white power" in the first ten seconds of the video.  Are you saying the President can't even concentrate for ten seconds on something that he reposts?

And as so far as what he's thinking--he better damn-well explain himself, don't you think?  And apologize for it.  Because right now it appears that he is perfectly fine with the idea of "white power," or that he thinks that "black power" is a joke you can make fun of.

Either way, just another piece of evidence that our President is a racist.

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