Lazy Saturday Reads

Booklover, by Josephine Margaret Muntz Adams

Good Morning!!

Trump is enjoying another long weekend of golf in Florida, so presumably he won’t blow up the world between now and Monday. However, he did leave behind a couple of stunning announcements: one is just ludicrous and the other could be disastrous.

Vice News on the ludicrous one: Trump announces Sexual Assault Awareness Month with heartfelt, typo-ridden memo.

President Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 19 women and who was once caught on tape bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy,” announced Friday that April would be “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.”

In a typo-riddled White House statement, Trump pledged to raise awareness of sexual assault and to hold offenders accountable, since “these heinous crimes are committed indiscriminately.”

“We must not be afraid to talk about sexual assualt [sic] and sexual assult [sic] prevention with our loved ones, in our communities, and with those who have experienced these tragedies,” he said. “We must encourage victims to report sexual assault and law enforcement to hold offenders accountable, and we must support victims and survivors unremmittingly [sic]. Through a concerted effort to better educate ourselves, empower victims, and punish criminals, our Nation will move closer to ending the grief, fear, and suffering caused by sexual assult [sic].”

Trump also announced that the White House will create the Sexual Assault Victim Intervention Services Technical Assistance Center, which will help local organizations understand how to best support survivors of sexual assault.

Who knows what prompted that announcement. I doubt if Trump even knew about it.

The more serious announcement was Trump’s remark in a “speech” in Ohio that “We’ll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now.” CNN reported:

Girl Reading, by Vera Alabaster

President Donald Trump said Thursday that the US would “be coming out of Syria like very soon,” just hours after the Pentagon highlighted the need for US troops to remain in the country for the immediate future.

“We’re knocking the hell out of ISIS. We’ll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now,” Trump told supporters at an Ohio event on infrastructure.

“We are going to have 100% of the caliphate, as they call it, sometimes referred to as land … But we are going to be coming out of there real soon. We are going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be,” Trump added.

One US defense official directly familiar with the ISIS campaign said it is unclear what the President meant by the comments. The military’s current assessment is that now is not the time to consider withdrawal, citing numerous challenges in Syria.

By the way, this came in a “speech” that was supposedly about infrastructure. More from CNN:
Who stands to gain if Trump pulls the US out of Syria?

The President’s apparent desire to exit Syria as soon as possible is likely to raise concerns among US backed groups in the region, particularly the SDF, and could embolden the forces of the Syrian regime, Iran and Turkey, all of which have mostly resisted attacking US allies in Syria due to concerns about US retaliation….

If the US were to withdraw, the de facto spheres of influence that have spared eastern Syria the same kind of fighting and bloodshed that the civil war has brought to the west would likely collapse, inviting a major escalation in the conflict.
That chaos could be exploited by ISIS which has already benefited from Turkey’s actions in northern Syria.

Earlier this month, the US warned that ISIS has begun reconstituting in some areas of Syria because a Turkish military offensive against a northern city has pulled the US’ Kurdish allies away from the fight against the terrorist group.

“We are very concerned about the effect fighting there has had on our defeat ISIS efforts and would like to see an end to the hostilities before ISIS has the opportunity to regroup in eastern Syria,” said Pentagon spokesman US Army Col. Rob Manning, discussing the Turkish offensive against Afrin.

Portrait of Lucie Reading, by Jacques-Emile Blanche

The State Department went a step farther, saying that ISIS has already begun to rebuild in places.

“The fighting in western Syria over the last two months, including in Afrin, has distracted from the defeat ISIS campaign and provided opportunity for ISIS to begin reconstituting in some areas,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said last week.

I guess Jim Mattis will be busy trying to explain all this to the moronic dunderhead when he returns from his golfing trip. I wonder what the new National Security Adviser John Bolton will think about it?

Obviously racism is alive and and thriving in Trump’s Amerika. Black men are regularly shot and killed by police officers, and this White House thinks that’s just a “local matter.” The Root: Police Shooting and Killing Black Men? It’s Not the White House’s Problem, Sarah Huckabee Sanders Says .

On March 18, two police officers in Sacramento, Calif., shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark in the backyard of his grandparents’ home. It is not the first extrajudicial execution of a black man by police, and if there is no change soon, it likely won’t be the last. The nation is watching the aftermath of this shooting play out, and understandably, many of us have questions for both local and national government leaders as to what—if anything—will be done to prevent something like this from happening again.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, aka Suckabee, was asked if the White House had any response to the public outcry for justice in the shootings of black men and women at the hands of police. Sanders said, “This is something that is a local matter, and that’s something that we feel should be left up to the local authorities at this point in time,” adding that the president is in full support of law enforcement officers.

I’m sure Attorney General Jeff Sessions agrees.

More on the Stephon Clark murder at the LA Times: Hundreds protest Stephon Clark killing as autopsy raises new questions.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Sacramento late Friday and early Saturday morning as new details emerged about the police killing of an unarmed African American man earlier this month….

The Pink Dress, by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, (1841-1920) The pink dress

It was the latest of numerous demonstrations in support of Stephon Clark, an African American man killed by police who, according to an independent forensic pathologist’s report Friday, was shot six times in the back.

Dr. Bennet Omalu conducted an autopsy days after Clark was killed by police. He told reporters that his examination showed that Clark was hit by eight bullets, and all but one entered while his back was turned toward the two officers.

One bullet entered Clark’s left thigh from the front and was probably fired while he was on the ground and had already been shot multiple times, Omalu said.

The independent autopsy finding raises new questions about Clark’s shooting, which is now the subject of investigations by both local and state officials. The county coroner’s official autopsy results are not expected to be completed for several weeks.

Clark, 22, was fatally shot in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18 by Sacramento police, who were looking for a vandal in the neighborhood. More than 20 shots were fired. Clark was found with a cellphone. No weapon was recovered.

But these police officers will likely get away with this murder by claiming they were “in fear of their lives” from a guy with a cellphone in his grandparents’ back yard. We know this because white cops get away with murdering black people on a regular basis. Look at the case of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA.

The Washington Post: Baton Rouge police release video showing fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, plan to fire one officer.

Police in Baton Rouge announced Friday night that they will fire Officer Blane Salamoni for violating department policies during the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling in July 2016.

A Reclining woman reading, by Albert Ritzberger

The announcement came three days after state prosecutors announced that Salamoni and Officer Howie Lake would not face criminal charges in the shooting, which came at a time of intense national scrutiny of police use of force and prompted massive local protests. Lake, the department announced Friday, will be suspended for three days.

Police Chief Murphy Paul said in a news conference Friday that Salamoni had violated the department’s “training and organizational” standards….

As it announced Salamoni’s firing, the department also released new, graphic videos of the confrontation that led to Sterling’s death, captured by the body camera Salamoni was wearing.

While the department had initially reported that the officer’s camera had fallen off and had not captured relevant video, one of the video clips released Friday shows Salamoni arriving on the scene and immediately shouting profanities at Sterling and threatening to shoot him in the head.

“What I did, sir?” Sterling responds at one point.

“Don’t move or I’ll shoot your f—ing ass, b—h!” Salamoni replies. “Put your f—ing hands on the car or I’m going to shoot your f—ing head!”

Sterling replies “All right” and tells officers that they are hurting his arm. The officers proceed to shock Sterling with a stun gun and tackle him before ultimately shooting him.

Sterling had a gun in his pocket and did have a criminal history, but Louisiana has an open carry law and the gun was legal. It’s difficult to see how Sterling could have gotten the gun out of his pocket while he was pinned down by two cops.

And then there’s the black woman in Texas who is being sent to prison for voting. The Washington Post: Texas woman sentenced to 5 years in prison for voting while on probation.

Jeune femme lisant, by Jean-Charles Tardieu (1865-1930)

If she had known it was illegal, Crystal Mason said she would have never cast a vote in the 2016 presidential election.

The 43-year-old former tax preparer hadn’t even planned on voting until her mother encouraged her to do it. She had only recently been released from federal prison for a 2012 tax fraud conviction, in which she pleaded guilty to inflating returns for her clients, her attorney, J. Warren St. John, told The Washington Post.

She was still on community supervision at the time of the election — but no one, including her probation officer, St. John said, ever told her that being a felon on supervision meant she couldn’t vote under Texas law.

Now, she’s going back to prison for casting a ballot illegally — for five years.

Mason was indicted on a charge of illegal voting in Tarrant County, Tex., last year and found guilty by State District Judge Ruben Gonzalez on Thursday, despite her protestations that she simply was not aware that she was barred from casting a ballot and never would have done it had she known.

Unbelievable.

So . . . what else is happening? What stories are you following today?

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12 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a nice Easter weekend, Sky Dancers!

  2. joanelle says:

    You too BB – enjoy the sunshine while we can!

    • Enheduanna says:

      Hope you guys have clear skies and warm weather. Tonight is another Blue Moon – look for it around midnight.

  3. quixote says:

    The story about FIVE YEARS for a black woman voting while on probation is

    … No words. Just no words.

    • Enheduanna says:

      That’s cruel and unusual punishment right there. These goons don’t care about tearing apart the families of POC. I hope the ACLU will intervene.

    • NW Luna says:

      I am ragingly furious. It’s all about intimidation of black voters. I hope the ACLU takes up her case.

  4. dakinikat says:

    The Syria news is a stunner. I watched MSNBC last night and the programs were on that. He’s doing what’s best for Putin and no one else.

    • NW Luna says:

      …it is unclear what the President meant by the comments.

      No one ever does. Intelligent and reasonable military leaders (and the troops) must be constantly shaking their heads. Not to mention planning ways to work around Trump.

  5. quixote says:

    By the way, bb, the pictures are, once again, and thank you!, an escape I can float away into.

  6. RonStill4Hills says:

    The black woman being sent to prison for voting is an outrage. Trump supporters who voted illegally face no jail time.

    The murder of Stephon Clark is another outrage in a long list of outrages.

    But Charles Barkley goes on TV to say the black voters need to start holding Democrats accountable. I wonder if he is planning any Jill Stein rallies toward that end.

    According to Roseanne Trump is cracking down on Satanist Democrat Sex Trafficking rings in Hollywood. Did I say Fcuk Roseanne? I must not have said it loudly enough.

    • NW Luna says:

      We hear you, Ron!

      Reading about Stephon Clark’s murder brought tears to my eyes. When will these murders stop? When will these murdering white cops face justice?