Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What Trump Hath Wrought

On Saturday, for the second straight day, Florida crushed its previous record for new coronavirus cases, reporting 9,585 infections. Another 8,530 were reported on Sunday.
And:
Seven states are reporting new highs for current coronavirus hospitalizations, according to data tracked by The Washington Post — Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — as the number of infections continues to climb across the South and West.
And:
Arizona’s Republican governor shut down bars, movie theaters, gyms and water parks Monday and leaders in several states ordered residents to wear masks in public in a dramatic course reversal amid an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases nationwide.
I am not saying that Trump could have prevented the pandemic. What I am saying is that forthright action, based on science and not wishful thinking, would have mitigated a lot of it.

What did Trump do in response to Covid-19? He first ignored it for nearly two months. When it couldn't be ignored anymore, Bunker Boy went on TV daily, turning what was first put forth as a source of information into a daily airing of Trump's grievances and a full-on display of his tendency to act like a spoiled toddler. His daily briefings were so full of lies, half-truths and insanity that most networks stopped airing them. [1]

His actions, such as they have been, have been based on magical thinking (the virus will go away in the heat! it'll disappear in April! We're doing a great job!). When it comes to taking measures that people can do in order to reduce the spread of the virus, wear masks and practice social distancing, Trump has turned those measures into yet another culture war. As in everything else, Trump saw the pandemic as way to turn his base against other people.[2]

A different president, even one as inept at George W. Bush, would have attempted to lead, to get Americans to act together for the benefit of the country. A president who was also a savvy politician would have seen it as a golden opportunity to show those who hadn't supported him that he could indeed do the job and was worthy of their support.

Not Trump. He veered between silence, then being angrily combative on everything while handing off any meaningful response to his Prince of Merde, and then, once most states opened back up and the idiots came out to play, going back to silence. From Trump's inactions in recent weeks, as the coronavirus came roaring back and infection rates began going back up, you'd think that having a couple of hundred thousand more dead people is no big deal to him.

This stadium holds 107,000 people:


Fill that up, twice. That's how many people didn't have to die. That's how many people wouldn't have died if Trump had been good at his job.

Combating the pandemic is not rocket science for a good leader: Listen to the recommendations of the epidemiologists. Acknowledge that this is a new virus and that countermeasures will evolve as our understanding of the virus does. Lead, for God's sake! Urge people to do what can be done to slow down the spread: Wear a mask in public. Practice social distancing. Stay home as much as possible. Don't go into crowded places, especially indoors. Wash your hands.

None of that is difficult to understand. None of that is difficult to communicate. None of that has been advocated by Donald Fucking Trump.

This is on him. This is on his acolytes in the GOP who have been taking their clues from Trump. This is on the Right-Wing Noise Machine, which has been pushing scientific illiteracy for decades.

But first, foremost and most of all, this is on Trump.

And if you vote for him in November, this is on you.
______________________________________
[1] Take a drug that proved to be harmful! Flush your body with bleach! Shove UV lights up your ass! Trump's daily screeds showed that he was listening to the ideas of his similarly batshit-crazy friends and not to those of scientists and doctors.

[2] It may be coincidental that Trump pivoted from "we have to beat the virus" to "we have to open everything up" when reports began surface that Covid-19 was hitting Black and Latinos far harder than white people. But it may not be a coincidence.

Of Course Trump is Lying About the Russians

Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.

The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues at the time that he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.
Trump, through his Duty Liar, has denied any knowledge of this.

One might wonder when the Republicans are going to start asking why Trump is so soft on Putin; soft enough that the question should be asked just what Putin has on Trump.

If Lindsey Graham starts asking hard questions, then you'll know Trump's done.

More From the St. Louis Karens



Sunday, June 28, 2020

Trump Blasts the Steam-Whistle of Hate, Again

President Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted approvingly of a video showing one of his supporters chanting “white power,” a racist slogan associated with white supremacists. He later deleted the tweet and the White House said the president had not heard “the one statement” on the video.

The video appeared to have been taken at The Villages, a Florida retirement community, and showed dueling demonstrations between Trump supporters and opponents.

“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Trump tweeted. Moments into the video clip he shared, a man driving a golf cart displaying pro-Trump signs and flags shouts ’white power.”
The hell he didn't hear it.

Trump was blowing on his hate-whistle. The Nazis in his base herd it loud and clear.

Timely Humor



1911A1


The audio is a little iffy in places.

A Number That Hasn't Changed in Three Years and Five Months

The Max (737)

It may fly by August. Maybe.

But Boeing's got a two-decades' record of fucking the pooch, so who knows.

So now there'll be two reasons not to take an airline flight: The Pandemic and the Max.

That'll Leave a Mark

The Lincoln Project on our Traitor-in-Chief

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tell These Fuckers to Leave. Charge Them With Trespassing If They Refuse.


Depending on your local jurisdiction, presenting that fake card may be a crime for presenting false government documents. The card has the DoJ seal on it, which makes using it a federal felony (18 USC 1017).

My thought would be to get the idiot's name, kick them out and then do whatever steps are necessary to ban them from the premises forever. That would elevate a return visit to criminal trespass.

Caturday; Guest Critter Ed.

A bunny is breakfasting on a dandelion:

Friday, June 26, 2020

Voldemort May Have Been an Autocrat and a War Criminal, Sending Hundreds of Thousands of Americans to Fight and Die for Big Oil and Halliburton, But Nobody Ever Accused Him of Being Stupid

Unlike, say, Trump and Pence.

Trump's Buddy/Boss Is Paying People to Kill Americans

American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.
...
The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.
Of course Trump isn't going to do anything. Putin is, in essence, Trump's boss. Almost everything that Trump does with regard to foreign affairs can be predicted by asking yourself "what benefits Russia?" That's what Trump will do.

So Trump will do nothing about this.

(And neither will Moscow Mitch.)

People In the South Are Idiots; Pandemic Ed, or
Why I Despair For Our Country



Texas and Florida reversed course and clamped down on bars again Friday in the nation’s biggest retreat yet as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day in the U.S. surged to an all-time high of 40,000.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all bars closed, while Florida banned alcohol at such establishments. The two states joined the small but growing list of those that are either backtracking or putting any further reopenings of their economies on hold because of a comeback by the virus, mostly in the South and West.

Health experts have said a disturbingly large number of cases are being seen among young people who are going out again, often without wearing masks or observing other social-distancing rules.
As a nation, we had had some success in flattening the curve. That is until the scientifically-illiterate politicians, almost all of them Republicans, in states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona, paid more attention to the Trumpist ideology of ignorance than to actual scientists.



This wasn't hard to foresee. Flattening the curve took social distancing, avoiding congregating in large groups and wearing masks while out in public-- all things that the Trumpanzees refused to do because Bunker Boy denigrated doing those things. Because our Stable Genius in Chief believed that the virus would magically disappear in April because it would be getting hot out.

As I type this, it is 109degF in Maricopa County, Arizona. 85 in Houston. 86 in Miami. The CDC is forecasting that the pandemic will have killed 150,000 Americans by the middle of July. The EU is planning to ban travelers from the US because we don't have this shit under control.

What is the response of the Trump Administration?

Pence recommends prayer.
“I’d just encourage every American to continue to pray,” Pence said Friday during the first White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing in weeks (Trump stopped them in late April, tweeting they weren’t worth the time anymore). “Just continue to pray that, by God’s grace, every single day, each of us will do our part to heal our land.”
That's pretty weak sauce, about what one would expect from the Administration of Bullshit, Lies and Prayer.

Instead of coming up with plans, Trump and Pence veer between blaming other people, saying that it's up to the governors to fix the pandemic, offering prayers and making the taking of concrete measures to stop the pandemic into yet another culture war. Measures such as social distancing, not congregating in large groups and wearing masks in public brought out the entitled white people with their rifles, screaming "muh rights".

This is why I despair for our nation. We have an entire political party and large numbers of peolpe who believe that science and facts are subservient to ideology. Such thinking is why Germany wasn't a powerhouse in physics for decades after 1933 and why "Soviet biologist" was an oxymoron.

If we are going to make policy decisions based on ideology instead of facts and science, then we are far down the road to becoming a banana republic.

The No.1 Book on Amazon Today Is....


In case you wish to pre-order.

Because It's Friday

Virginia & Truckee RR:

Thursday, June 25, 2020

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Shit's going on offline that has nothing to do with any of y'all.

Surf the blogroll.

Back tomorrow. Or not.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

You Thought That You Were Having a Bad Day.....

John Bolton is a Cowardly Sack of Shit

Bolton revealed himself to be a weaselly sack of shit on the the Late Show last night.








It's pretty clear, after all that, that Bolton chose to keep his mouth shut until he was in a position to sell a shitload of books. When he could have had an impact on the impeachment process, he sat on his hands. He's got some bullshit rationale that there were Republicans in the House of Representatives who would have supported the impeachment process if it was done differently. If Bolton truly believes that, he has been using some seriously mind-altering drugs.

Bolton also said that he reported Trump's actions to the appropriate officials, the White House lawyers and the Attorney General. That's about as effective an action as reporting what Michael Corleone was doing to Tom Hagen.

Of the interviews I've seen with Bolton, this one was pretty hardball.

If you want to read the book, I humbly suggest getting it from your local library.

Remember, You Can't Be Pregnant If You Don't Pee On the Stick

That is the logic of President Ostrich: Hide your head in the sand and pretend it's not happening.

Bunker Boy's minions are doing what he wants.
The Trump administration is planning to end federal support for local coronavirus testing sites across the nation at the end of the month — including seven in Texas, where confirmed cases of COVID are spiking.

Texas officials are urging the White House to rethink the move, warning of “catastrophic cascading consequences” of pulling federal support for testing sites, four of which are in Houston and Harris County and administer thousands of tests per day. City officials consider two of those sites — the largest in the city, administering up to 500 tests each per day — the backbone of Houston’s testing efforts.
Running away from unfavorable data and trying to pretend that the pandemic isn't ongoing are the actions of a gutless coward. Which is to say that they are entirely in keeping with the character of Cadet Bone Spurs, aka the Bunker Boy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Enfield Rear Sights

Forgotten Weapons on the sights of the No.4 Enfield:


I will second one of his points, that the No.4 rifles, postwar, used the Mk.1 rear sight. The rifles made in Rawlpindi were No.4s with the Mk.1 rear sight. What's interesting is that the Pakistanis made the more modern No.4 while the Indians kept on with the Mk.III.

The Enfield is a fantastic rifle.

The Christian Taliban Loves Getting COVID-19

A church in eastern Oregon that defied the governor’s stay-at-home order has become the state’s hot spot for new cases of COVID-19.

Two-thirds of 356 members of Lighthouse Pentecostal Church tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to The Associated Press.
Because those clowns had to gather, in person, to demonstrate their fealty to Jesus, their county will probably get more restrictions.
A video deleted from the church's Facebook page earlier this month reportedly showed several hundred congregation members standing close together while attending a service on May 24, according to The Oregonian.

Union County, with a population of roughly 26,800, has confirmed 263 virus cases as of Tuesday, according to data published by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Cases reportedly associated with the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church account for 89 percent of the total figure. The recent surge in Union County's virus cases prompted local officials to recommend that the region re-implement Phase 1 restrictions last Wednesday.
The virus doesn't care what Fluffy Lord you worship. It doesn't care if your political leaders don't think that the virus is real. If you're dumb enough to gather in large groups without taking precautions, the virus will be happy to take advantage of it. The virus will be there and slowing down testing, as one rather drain-bamaged orange-skinned gibbon has recommended, won't change a thing.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

You Can Almost Feel the Sad

Trump, getting off AF1, looked like a guy who was taken to the cleaners at the blackjack table:



No better at the White House:


For a guy who has always been so self-conscious of his image, this is a pretty bad look.

The Lincoln Project didn't waste any time:



Heads are going to be rolling in his campaign staff.

Bunker Boy Draws Less Than a Full House


The AP story said that the house was 2/3rds full. The city fire marshal said there were less than 6,200 attendees, or under 1/3rds full in a 19,000 seat area.

Dumpy's campaign, remember, claimed that a million people requested tickets.

So, in a state that Bunker Boy won by 2 to 1, or over 500,000 votes, he couldn't persuade 19,000 people to come take in his freak show of racism, conspiracy theories and pandemic denialism?

Trump and pence planned to speak before the indoor rally at an outdoor overflow rally outside of the area. That was canceled for lack of interest. He wasn't happy.
Mr. Trump was furious about the unused outdoor stage and the comparatively thin crowd in the stadium, according to two people familiar with his reaction. News broadcasts carried video of the partially empty stadium, and even the Drudge Report, a reliably conservative website, carried an all-caps headline that said “MAGA LESS MEGA” with a picture of rows and rows of empty blue seats.
Only losers blame the public for not buying a product. And Trump, make no mistake about it, is a a product: Finely refined political snake oil.

By the way, this is desecration of the Flag:

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

Starting and flying a Spitfire in formation:

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Desperate Donnie Describes This as a "Win"

A federal judge ruled Saturday that former national security adviser John Bolton can move forward in publishing his tell-all book despite efforts by the Trump administration to block the release because of concerns that classified information could be exposed.
Trump's Butt-Boy, Billy Barr, sued to stop publication of the book and lost.

But somehow, Trump regards that as a "win":



Trump sued to stop publication of the book and lost. If that's a victory, he should have been doing PR for Bobbie Lee at Appromattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

The Bunker Boy


As one of the commenters said: "You know how we used to listen to presidents and laugh at comedians? Now, it's the other way around." (lightly edited)

Bill Butt-Monkey Barr Is Bunker Boy's Thug. Never Forget That.

Attorney General William P. Barr on Friday night abruptly tried to fire the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, who has investigated several of President Trump’s closest associates, but Mr. Berman said he would not leave.
...
Mr. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his team have been at the forefront of corruption inquiries in Mr. Trump’s inner circle. They successfully prosecuted the president’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who went to prison, and have been investigating Mr. Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.
Trump wants to appoint a corporate tool who is neither a prosecutor nor a litigator, just a guy who will take orders from Trump as to whom to prosecute and whom to let alone. Doesn't matter if there's probably cause to investigate or not. Donnie the Bunker Boy's cronies could be caught red-handed and let go, while Trump will use the prosecutors to harass those he dislikes.

Barr's complicity in this shows that Barr is an utter tool, lacking in ethics, morals and a sense of justice. Even Smirky the Racist Elf had more integrity.

But Butt-Boy Barr has no integrity. He has all the toughness of overcooked angel-hair pasta.

Caveat Emptor; Gun Ed.

Ian McCollum looks at an AK that makes a Kyber Pass Special look like a masterpiece.


Some explanatory text.

Caturday

Chip was sleeping but the phone rang just as I pushed the shutter button.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Epic Tap-Dancing

Watch Trump's Duty Liar try her best not to answer the question of why Trump keeps hiring people he describes as incompetent whackos.



Remember, this is the lady who told the press that she wouldn't lie to them and then immediately did.

The Aerial Leviathan

Here's a "long read" from the Beeb about the 747.

Because Its Friday

British steam at speed.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Racist Trump is On Drugs

President Donald Trump is seeking to take credit for making Juneteenth -- a day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States -- "very famous," after rescheduling his first rally since the start of the pandemic to avoid further criticism for seeming to co-opt it.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal that "nobody had ever heard of" the holiday before he brought it up.

"I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous," Trump said in reference to the rally date in an interview published Thursday. "It's actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it."
"Nobody heard of it" means that Trump never heard of it. Remember that Trump is the clown who thinks that most people didn't know that President Lincoln was a Republican.
President Trump believes that most Americans don’t know that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

“Great president. Most people don’t even know he was a Republican,” Trump said while addressing attendees at the National Republican Congressional Committee Dinner. “Does anyone know? Lot of people don’t know that.”
"Party of Lincoln" was evidently a phrase that Trump had never heard.

He also forgot that his own administration has issued Juneteenth statements for the last three years.

Trump Keeps Blowing the Steam-Whistle of Hate

He's not subtle.
Facebook has removed a campaign ad by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that featured an upside-down red triangle, a symbol once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, communists and others in concentration camps.

The company said in a statement Thursday that the ads violated “our policy against organized hate.” A Facebook executive who testified at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday said the company does not permit symbols of hateful ideology “unless they’re put up with context or condemnation.”

“In a situation where we don’t see either of those, we don’t allow it on the platform and we remove it. That’s what we saw in this case with this ad, and anywhere that that symbol is used, we would take the same action,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, the company’s head of security policy.

Bolton Is Like Trump, In One Regard

Regardless of the revelation in John Bolton's book (which are probably accurate), there is one think that I am keeping in mind: Bolton probably doesn't give a shit about this country any more than Trump does. They are both out for themselves, first and foremost.

When the impeachment inquiry was going on, Bolton could have spoken up. He could have talked to the investigators and told them what he knew. If he felt that the inquiry wasn't looking in the right place, he could have told them where to look and what to examine.

But he didn't. He kept his flap shut. I suspect that he kept his silence because he wanted the information to come out in his book, so that he could make a shitload more money. Michael Wolff likely made millions from Fire and Fury; Bolton undoubtedly wanted a chunk of that.

So while he may be telling the truth and he should be listened to, don't lose sight of the point that Bolton's still a grifter.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Trump Lies About Obama and Whines That People Should Accept Police Brutality If They Have Jobs

We achieved the lowest black, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment rates in American history. And we will do it again. We’ll do it again. We’re fighting for school choice, which really is the civil rights of all time in this country. Frankly, school choice is the civil rights statement of the year, of the decade, and probably beyond — because all children have to have access to quality education. A child’s zip code in America should never determine their future, and that’s what was happening. So we’re very, very strong on school choice, and I hope everybody remembers that. And it’s happening. It’s already happened, but it’s happening. We have tremendous opposition from people that know they shouldn’t be opposing it. School choice.
...
And I just want to say we’ve done incredibly well. We’re doing well. Things are happening that nobody can even believe. Our country is opening up. And it’s opening up rapidly. We had the best unemployment and employment. We had best unemployment and employment numbers — think of that — in the history of our country. We’re up to almost 160 million people working. There was never anything even close. And that’s for almost every group including black, Hispanic, Asian, women, young people, old people, young people without a high school diploma. Every group. Everybody was thrilled. Everybody had — just about –high-paying jobs.
You have that right. When the topic du jour is cops killing people of color, Trump whines about the economy and school choice. Trump also bleated about equal opportunity, blithely forgetting his own racist past when he was actively discriminating against Black people looking for housing.

He also just keeps lying about Obama.
President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their eight-year period. The reason they didn’t try is because they had no idea how to do it. And it is a complex situation.
That is a massive and honking lie. As I've explained in my previous post, Trump not only stopped ongoing efforts to deal with police misconduct, he actually encouraged more misconduct. President Obama stopped transferring military gear to civilian cops, Trump resumed it. Trump abandoned investigations into police misconduct. Obama opened civil rights investigations into brutal police misconduct, Trump abandoned the ones that were going on and sharply reduced new ones (if not canceling them outright).

The truth of the matter is that Trump has been agreeable with police using excessive force and killing people of color. Trump figured that as long as the economy was peachy, nobody would notice that the cops have been murdering folks.

To shift gears a little:



Trump's little trip to Walter Reed turned out to be, as I suggested at the time, a pack of lies. And so is this.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Police Violence: Trump Owns Part of This

Trump has not been shy in encouraging cops to treat people harshly:
In President Donald Trump’s speech Friday afternoon [7/28/17 detailing his plan to fight back against MS-13 gang violence, he implored law enforcement, “Please, don’t be too nice,” to the people they are arresting.

Trump outlined a scenario in which a police officer would be careful not to harm a person they are arresting and instructed officers not to worry about that, saying:

“When you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. Don't hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”

There was a pause after Trump’s delivery, and then the officers behind him began to clap and cheer.
More substantively, the Trump administration backed away from holding police departments accountable for violating civil rights. Three years ago, Trump backed away from using consent decrees to police the police. Smirky the Fascist Elf, on his way out of the DoJ, issued orders further restricting the use of consent decrees.

Bunker Boy's message to the cops was loud and clear: Go ahead, use unjustifiable levels of force, for we won't be watching and even if you get caught, we won't hold you accountable.

Meanwhile, in Albuquerque, white supremacists with guns showed up at a protest against police violence and, sure enough, somebody got shot. Trump probably was grinning to see that.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Heh. Heh. Heh.

As calls increase to change the names of US military bases named for Confederate officers, there are fears that some beloved lesser-known installations – that are also named for former enemies of the United States – will have to be sanitized as well in the name of progress.

“I fear if this goes too far that AFB Ho Chi Minh will also lose its name – which would be a terrible shame.”

Similarly, US Army soldiers stationed at Fort Hitler expressed concern that the name they have come to know and love will be forsaken in the name of being woke.

"Just a Few Bad Apples," My Ass



The Supremes Give a Giant "Fuck You" to the Christian Taliban (and to Bunker Boy)

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.

The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
Trump, of course, sees it differently because those in his base who are Talibanistas want him to:
The Trump administration will scrap ObamaCare's nondiscrimination protections for sex and gender identity under a final rule released Friday.

In a statement, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the government's interpretation of sex discrimination will be based on "the plain meaning of the word 'sex' as male or female and as determined by biology."

According to HHS, the new policy makes clear that "the substantive protections prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, and sex remain in effect."
Trump's move was motivated solely by his need to placate the bigots in his base (read to the end of this post). Based on the ruling today by the Supreme Court, a challenge to his rule would likely succeed.

The Greatest Loss of Life in NYC in the 20th Century

The Paddlewheel Steamer General Slocum, an "excursion steamer", caught fire and burned in the East River on this day in 1904. There were over 1,300 passengers, mainly women and children, on the ship, possibly more. Most of them, over 1,000 died. She had been chartered for the day by the St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church, whose congregants were mainly German-Americans. Each year, they chartered an excursion steamer for a picnic on the north shore of Long Island.

For reasons good or ill, the captain didn't immediately head for shore. The lifejackets were rotted, the lifeboats had been painted into the davits and were immovable. Those who stayed on board died in the fire, those who jumped into the river drowned, as most couldn't swim and the heavy clothing worn back then worked to drag the wearers under.

Among the dead was a NYPD officer, Tom Cooney. He and his partner commandeered a tugboat to rescue people. Cooney jumped into the river and brought a lot of survivors to the tugboat. He drowned on his last rescue. Other cops in boats rescued more people, one NYPD boat put itself up against the burning ship in order to save people, but only a little over 300 survived. The NYPD's Harbor Unit and other watermen spent days pulling bodies out of the river.

Back then, immigrants lived in clusters; they stuck together for their own support and protection. The Slocum fire tore the heart out of the Lower East Side German-American community known as Kleindeutschland (Weissgarten was its central neighborhood, as it was surrounded by white wooden fences). Surviving families often fell apart. In what should come as a surprise to nobody nowadays, suicides were not uncommon. The residents eventually dispersed, many moving north to another Manhattan neighborhood, Yorkville.

The Slocum fire, though, while not exactly forgotten, never captured the popular imagination beyond New York City. Unlike the Titanic disaster some years later, there weren't famous rich victims. The victims of the Slocum fire were mainly German immigrants, a group that would not exactly be favored by the middle of the century.

The documentary Fearful Visitation was released in 2004 and posted on YT a few years ago:


It covers a bit of the history of Kleindeutschland.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The South Surrenders Again?

As southern states proceed with aggressively reopening their states and the numbers of COVID-19 cases rise in those states, one has to ask:

Has the South decided to surrender to the virus?

China's Cultural Genocide

It involves forcing Uighurs to confess to made-up offenses and then convicting them at sham trials. The detainees get to pick from a menu of seventy offenses to be charged with. One of them is "quitting smoking".

It's pretty horrible stuff, and you should read the article. Because of China's economic power, most of the world, including the Islamic world, stays silent.

(H/T)

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The Blue Angels:

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Caturday

Bella cools out on a family heirloom:

Friday, June 12, 2020

A Short Message to Activists

I have seen activists, on either side of the spectrum, talk about how they won't support a candidate unless that candidate signs onto their pet issue.

Here's the message: At noon on January 20, 2021, one of these two men will be sworn in as the President of the United States: Donald Trump or Joseph Biden.

That's it. There is no other choice, no viable third option. You get Trump or you get Biden.

Pick which you'll support, which you will vote for, which one you will donate your money and/or time to. And then do it.

Or not. But if the answer is "not", then go fuck yourself and shut the fuck up until 1/20/25. If you won't play within the parameters of the existing system, then until the system is changed, your opinions are of no weight whatsoever.

Biden or Trump. Choose one and get fucking busy.

Go Back to Your Bunker, Donnie Boy

The mayor of Seattle on Wednesday told President Donald Trump to "go back to your bunker," after Trump appeared to suggest he would intervene in the city's growing protests and called for law and order.
Bunker Boy's greatest ambition, now, is to have soldiers fire on protesters with live ammunition. That fat old coward is basically a psychopath who is too fearful to do anything himself other than maybe rape and hit pre-roofied women.

You may recall that Trump kept saying that it was up to the states, up to the governors, to take measures to fend off the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 100,000 dead Americans is not enough to get Trump to do anyting substantive, he hardly mentions the pandemic anymore. But a handful of protesters in the streets rouses his blood lust.

It's pretty clear, by now that Trump has given up trying to unify the country, if indeed he ever had a thought of doing so. he is the president of his base; the course he has chosen is to write off everyone else and turn out his supporters by blowing his racist steam-whistle of "The Darkies Are Coming For Your Women"-- you know, the GOP's Southern Strategy.

But this time, it may not be working for him. The impression one gets is that the rest of the Party of Trump knows that they are being set up for a shellacking.

Because It's Friday

Australian night steam:

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Loyalty, Above All, to the Constitution

Army Gen. Mark Milley, the nation’s top military officer, said Thursday he was wrong to accompany President Donald Trump on a walk through Lafayette Square that ended in a photo op at a church. He said his presence in uniform amid protests over racial injustice “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”
...
“We must hold dear the principle of an apolitical military that is so deeply rooted in the very essence of our republic,” he said. “It takes time and work and effort, but it may be the most important thing each and every one of us does every single day.”
That's going to torque off El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, who would make the military swear an oath of personal loyalty to him if he could get away with it. If he tried, even Lindsey Graham might desert him over it.

Nah. Who am I kidding?

It's Chicago, Fuggedaboudit

More than a dozen Chicago police officers and supervisors were captured on video “lounging” inside a congressional campaign office and even appeared to be making popcorn and brewing coffee as people vandalized and stole from nearby businesses while protests and unrest spread across the city, a visibly angry Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday.
Maybe they figured there wouldn't be any kids lying in the street that they could shoot.

News That Should Surprise Nobody

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday welcomed President Donald Trump’s reported plan to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops from Germany, saying it would help bolster security in Europe.

Trump has reportedly signed off on a plan to cut the number of troops stationed in Germany from 34,500 to no more than 25,000.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “we would welcome any steps by Washington to scale down its military presence in Europe.”
One mihgt suspect that Putin knows that he stands a good chance of losing his asset in D.C., so he wants to get what he can get while the getting is good.

It's Official: Bill Barr is a Nasty, Corrupt Piece of Shit

A former federal judge appointed to review the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss criminal charges against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn said there was evidence of a “gross abuse” of prosecutorial power and that the request should be denied.

Former U.S. District Judge John Gleeson said in a filing Wednesday that the government “has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President.” He urged the judge handling the case to deny the motion and argued that Flynn had committed perjury.
Any idea why Bunker Boy is too frightened to just go ahead and give Flynn a pardon?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

High Potential for an Epic Fail

The White House is preparing a speech on race relations written by Stephen Miller, who crafted the Trump Administration’s immigration plan along the southern border with Mexico.
Of everyone in the Trump Administration who might be tasked with reaching out with empathy to minorities, Stephen Miller would have to be at or near the bottom of the list.

It'd be like asking Jared, the Prince of Merde, to write a speech on fair housing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Bunker Boy Is Losing His Shit

"What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is." -- Dan Quayle

One would have to be either insane or a hardcore Trumpanzee to believe this shit:


Those two categories are not mutually exclusive.

Vandals With Badges

Two law enforcement agencies acknowledged Monday that officers patrolling Minneapolis during the height of recent protests knifed the tires of numerous vehicles parked and unoccupied in at least two locations in the midst of the unrest.

Video and photo images posted on the news outlet Mother Jones show officers in military-style uniforms puncturing tires in the Kmart parking lot at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue on May 30.
It wasn't "a few" vehicles, which the duty liars for the cops said. It was a shitload of vehicles. It was all of the cars in a Kmart parking lot.

The official liar said that the cops "deflated" the tires. No, they slashed them. If they wanted to deflate them, they could have cut the valve stems, but no. They vandalized those cars. Oh, the cops like to talk about how they try to protect people's property, but then they go around vandalizing cars with wild abandon.

The departments involved should be sued within an inch of their budgets. Every nickel that people had to pay to replace thier tires should come out of the departments' budgets.

"Defund the Police" is Both a Misleading and Stupid Slogan

This morning on NPR, a political organizer named Amiee Allison, who founded a group named She the People, said that Joe Biden was making a mistake by not signing on to defund the police. You can listen to the story here.

What she said was that "defund the police" is shorthand for serious policy proposals to end the cycle of police violence. She then said it wasn't a call to eliminate police departments.

What she is ignoring is that if Biden said those words, what he would do is hand a golden bullet to Donald Trump. Donald Trump would say: "Joe Biden wants to defund the police. Defund the police." Then Biden would be on the defensive (right where Trump wants him), having to explain over and over that "defund the police" doesn't mean what the plain meaning of the words imply: Take all of the money away from the police.

For example: What the hell do you think Republicans mean when they say "defund Planned Parenthood"?

"Defund the police". The GOP attack ads almost write themselves. There would be images of anarchy lifted right out of the Purge movies and the Gotham series. It plays right into the Republicans' decades-old racist Southern Strategy of frightening white voters that they are going to raped in their homes, a trope that racists have been using for centuries.

Words have power. As soon as the slogan "Black Lives Matter" was uttered, the conservatives began twisting it. Don't hand them another chance to do that

"Defund the police" is a bad message. "Reform the police" "Reimagine policing", maybe. Come up with a better slogan.

Unless, those pushing it are actually GOP false-flag organizations. Then it makes sense.

Monday, June 8, 2020

The In-Cell Incel

A Virginia man inspired by notorious “incel” mass shooter Elliott Rodger fantasized about blowing up a shopping mall and killing “hot cheerleaders,” according to an FBI affidavit.

On June 2, Cole Carini of Richlands, Virginia, showed up at the Clinch Valley Medical Center with a missing hand. Several fingers on Carini’s other hand were also gone, and he had shrapnel wounds to the neck and throat. A local sheriff’s deputy arrived to interview Carini, who claimed his gruesome injuries were the result of a gardening accident.
I love that Stumpy claims that he lost one hand, several fingers on his other hand, and got shrapnel wounds from a lawnmower accident. It doesn't seem that he explained how chunks of his flesh ended up being embedded in the ceiling of his bedroom from the alleged lawnmower accident.

What She Said

Sen. Duckworth on Commandante Bone Spurs's desire to use the Army to crush protests (like the Chinese did).

Billy Barr's "Little Green Men"

In the ranks of cops and other goons at the protests in D.C., there have been men who, from all appearances, are indistinguishable from white supremacists: Rifles, helmets, black, unmarked uniforms.

Politico has a long article about those thugs, which you may want to peruse.

Every American should ponder the fact that Trump is protecting himself with unmarked, unidentifiable, faceless storm troopers.

Failure of a Basic Job Function; NYT Edition

The New York Times' opinion editor has resigned amid outrage over a piece by a Republican senator calling for military forces to be sent to cities where anti-racism protests had turned violent.

James Bennet stepped down after Senator Tom Cotton's article "Send in the Troops" caused revolt in the newsroom.
...
Mr Bennet, who has been the opinion editor since 2016, later admitted that he had not read the piece before its publication.
One would think that an op-ed page editor would read an opinion piece before approving it for publication. But sadly, no. For tht reason alone, he needed to go.

I have little doubt that when Cotton wrote his screed, he didn't consider that he was writing in the shadow of the anniversary of the Tienanmen Square Massacre, when the Communist Chinese regime did exactly what Cotton was advocating.

We all know, by now, that Trump approved of massacring those protesters. Only by an eyelash, did we dodge Trump's desire to do the same.

Cotton is one of Trump's enablers, a person who hates freedom of expression and freedom of assembly when those speaking out disagrees with him. He needs to retire to a wingnut welfare program.

Bunker Boy sure seems to like living behind high fences. One has to wonder if he is subconsciously acting out his future.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Too Many Cops?

If the crime rate has been going down, why not the number of cops?


Cops, in a lot of places, are evaluated based on the number of arrests. So if there is a high level of cops, are they going to be looking for bullshit reasons to arrest people?

If that's the case, one guess as to which racial group gets looked at.

Tackling a Conservative Meme

So, this one is floating around:


Let's examine that.

One of the criticisms of the Muslim community, post 9/11, was that Muslims needed to police themselves, that they needed to do something about the radicals amongst them. The exact same criticism can be leveled at the police. They are not only not interested in getting rid of the bad apples in their ranks, they actively protect them.

If other cops are not denouncing the rotten apples, if they are protecting them, then they are complicit. The stain of being a bad cop is on them.

if they are not denouncing acts of police thuggery, then they are part of the problem.

The "blue wall of silence" exists to protect bad cops. It is maintained by cops who probably think that they are good people.

But they are not. Every cop who sees another officer manhandle someone unnecessarily, who stands by while brutality is committed, who prevents even their own from aiding a person hurt by a brutal cop, is complicit in police brutality, in police terror.

"A few bad apples"... horseshit. Those bad apples have spoiled the entire barrel.

(This, from four years ago).

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

Grumman S2F (later redesignated the S-2) "Stoof"


The Navy was very happy to replace the Stoof with the Hoover, because that meant that the Navy could cease keeping aviation gasoline on its carriers.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Trump's Quid Pro Fuck You

President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to pull nearly 10,000 troops out of Germany by September, which would mark a sharp drawdown in a country that is home to the largest number of forces in Europe, it was reported Friday.

Pentagon officials on Friday said they were unaware of the plan. But the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed government officials, said White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien recently signed off on it.
One obvious reason for this is that it will plese Trump's handler.

The other reason is that Trump is piqued at the Germans and, like any undisciplined toddler, he lashes out.
Angela Merkel has rebuffed Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a G7 summit, which the U.S. president is keen to portray as a symbol of a return to normality from the upheaval of the coronavirus crisis.

"The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit at the end of June in Washington. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told POLITICO Friday.
Trump wants to show his base that he's still effective on the global stage. The Germans are not really interested in being a prop to a wannabee dictator.

Guess Trump could invite Duerte, Putin, Bolisarno, Orban, Netanyahu and Xi and form the Thug-7.

Just Going to Leave This One Here; BLM Ed.

Caturday

Priss, our outdoor cat:


She's "ours" in that we feed her and provide her with a place to sleep in the garage and a litterbox. She comes and goes as she desires. The most we can do for other care is try to get some Revolution bug shit on her each month. Which she hates.

Friday, June 5, 2020

How Low We Have Sunk As a Free Nation

That it is now necessary to have a website that tracks police abusing reporters.

This is the sort of shit that was supposed to happen in shitholes like Russia, Iran, Belarus or one of the former Soviet *-stans.

The United States of America was once a country that took pride in freedom of the press. Those days are gone under the misbegotten reign of King Donald the Nutter.

We are now just another nation that is teetering on becoming a failed state that is ruled by an authoritarian thug, codenamed Bunker Boy, who hides behind fortifications.

Let's Play 2020 Bingo!

Here's your card:


Stolen from Tam's FB page.

Brutality in Buffalo

An old guy went up to talk to some cops. Two cops shoved him hard, the old man fell down and cracked his head. When another cop began to kneel to help the old man (who was bleeding from his ears), one of the cops who did the shoving pulled him back.


The first thing that the police brass did was to lie about what happened ("he tripped"). The cops in Buffalo are pretty damned stupid if they haven't figured out, by now, that there are video cameras in people's hands everywhere.

The shovers have been suspended. The City of Buffalo should warm up its checkbook.

Because It's Friday

The Essex Valley RR Polar Express:


I didn't know that they were operating two trains at a time.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Profiles in Gutlessness

President Donald Trump’s inability to unify the nation at a time of grave unrest is testing his uneasy alliance with mainstream Republicans, some emboldened by Gen. James Mattis’ plea for a leader who lives up to the U.S. ideals of a more perfect union.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Thursday called the rebuke by Trump’s first Pentagon chief “necessary and overdue.”

“Perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally, and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up,” Murkowski said.
This is what it took for some of those birds to speak out against the fecklessness of Donald Trump? All the other shit, the corruption, the enriching himself and his relatives, business associates and political appointees grifting at the public trough, the coziness with authoritarian regimes, the destruction of global relationships with democratic governments, all of that made no nevermind with you, Lisa?

You knew Trump was corrupt and has been betraying his oath of office since the day he gave it. But did you do anything about it, especially when you had the chance? No. You couldn't be bothered.

But only now, when it's becoming possible that Trump and a lot of his fellow Republicans are going to be ejected by the voters, not to mention the near certainty that history will not be kind to either Trump or his enablers, now you speak up?

Spare me your handwringing, you rotten suckup, you fucking weathervane. You're not much better than Miss Lindsey Graham. At least he's a loyal toady.

Riot Humor




One Amusing Thing

The very same political class that twisted themselves into knots over an imagined military takeover (Jade Helm 15) are now clamoring for the military to take over American cities and shoot everyone on the streets to who dares to lift up their eyes.

Tom Cotton, in particular, has forgotten that the time that troops were sent into his state, it was because his side was reacting to integration with violence. Dollars to doughnuts that if Cotton was in politics back then, he'd have been the first to decry the use of troops.

James Mattis Speaks Out

IN UNION THERE IS STRENGTH

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.

When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.

What Happened in Minneapolis Was No Accident

About 20 percent of Minneapolis’s population of 430,000 is black. But when the police get physical — with kicks, neck holds, punches, shoves, takedowns, Mace, Tasers or other forms of muscle — nearly 60 percent of the time the person subject to that force is black. And that is according to the city’s own figures.
...
Since 2015, the Minneapolis police have documented using force about 11,500 times. For at least 6,650 acts of force, the subject of that force was black.

By comparison, the police have used force about 2,750 times against white people, who make up about 60 percent of the population.

All of that means that the police in Minneapolis used force against black people at a rate at least seven times that of white people during the past five years.
"Minnesota nice", my ass.

This is a part of what is going on in the streets the last few days. Brutality against black people by the police is still acceptable to a lot of people. Policing directed against minorities is still acceptable.

This shit has been going on for a long time.

And people are fed up.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Big Fucking Deal, All They Sold Were Fudd Guns, Anyway.

Walmart Inc said on Wednesday it shifted firearms and ammunition out of sales floors of some U.S. stores amid nationwide protests over the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police last week.
Color me unimpressed. The last time that I looked at a gun case in Walmart, other than a couple of shotguns, they had nothing that was even remotely usable for riot defense.

It is where Fudds shop, now.

Barack Obama Speaks Out

As millions of people across the country take to the streets and raise their voices in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing problem of unequal justice, many people have reached out asking how we can sustain momentum to bring about real change.
Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times. But I believe there are some basic lessons to draw from past efforts that are worth remembering.

First, the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States. The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support, not condemnation — something that police in cities like Camden and Flint have commendably understood.

On the other hand, the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause. I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back. So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.

Second, I’ve heard some suggest that the recurrent problem of racial bias in our criminal justice system proves that only protests and direct action can bring about change, and that voting and participation in electoral politics is a waste of time. I couldn’t disagree more. The point of protest is to raise public awareness, to put a spotlight on injustice, and to make the powers that be uncomfortable; in fact, throughout American history, it’s often only been in response to protests and civil disobedience that the political system has even paid attention to marginalized communities. But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.

Moreover, it’s important for us to understand which levels of government have the biggest impact on our criminal justice system and police practices. When we think about politics, a lot of us focus only on the presidency and the federal government. And yes, we should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a U.S. Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it. But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.

It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions. In some places, police review boards with the power to monitor police conduct are elected as well. Unfortunately, voter turnout in these local races is usually pitifully low, especially among young people — which makes no sense given the direct impact these offices have on social justice issues, not to mention the fact that who wins and who loses those seats is often determined by just a few thousand, or even a few hundred, votes.

So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.

Finally, the more specific we can make demands for criminal justice and police reform, the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away. The content of that reform agenda will be different for various communities. A big city may need one set of reforms; a rural community may need another. Some agencies will require wholesale rehabilitation; others should make minor improvements. Every law enforcement agency should have clear policies, including an independent body that conducts investigations of alleged misconduct. Tailoring reforms for each community will require local activists and organizations to do their research and educate fellow citizens in their community on what strategies work best.

But as a starting point, here’s a report and toolkit developed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and based on the work of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing that I formed when I was in the White House. And if you’re interested in taking concrete action, we’ve also created a dedicated site at the Obama Foundation to aggregate and direct you to useful resources and organizations who’ve been fighting the good fight at the local and national levels for years.

I recognize that these past few months have been hard and dispiriting — that the fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and hardship of a pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life. But watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful. If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.

Let’s get to work.
(From here. Emphasis and links in the original have been preserved.)

Meanwhile, Herr Twitler has been bleating overnight. You can go find those spewings if you wish.