Sunday #JusticeForGeorge

Artwork by @benwildflower …click image for more information.

This is too much déjà vu…how many times have we seen the phrase “justice for…” used to represent the murder of a black man or woman or child?


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I deserve to feel safe when I go outside, I have the right to be treated like a human being. My skin color does not define me. I matter, we matter. #blacklivesmatter #wematter #listentous

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By @ashleyskywalker taken at #AFROPUNKAtlanta

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.#saytheirnames

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“I have always wanted my art to service my people. To reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential” ⭐️ DC-born African American artist, Elizabeth Catlett, was known for her powerful sculptures, paintings, and prints that explored themes around race and feminism. The grandchild of freed slaves, Catlett was instrumental in pioneering a style that merged abstraction and figuration in a Modernist aesthetic – curvaceous figures and features with thick sharp lines – whilst also bringing in influences from African and Mexican art traditions ♥️ Whilst alive (she passed in 2012 age 96) she divided her time between Mexico and the US which heavily informed her approach to form and printmaking. Catlett's artistic aim was to convey social messages through her heavily political work which saw her reflect the civil rights struggles in which she participated.

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This photo took my breath away. I hope everyone is taking care of themselves as best they can, and I hope my white friends and followers are doing something this weekend – whether it’s donating money, signal boosting or putting your body on the line. This is a problem we created and one we benefit from – it’s our job to fix. (📷: @daisugano at @mercnews)

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57 years ago & what has changed? Take action. #gloriarichardson

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People are in pain. We must listen.

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The entire country has erupted in protests over the murder of George Floyd, another unarmed black man who was killed by the police in Minneapolis, MN. Even as hundreds of thousands of people are dying and suffering because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this has not stopped the police from murdering black people in the street. Despite the looming fear of contracting the virus, protesters gathered in the streets all around the city to demand justice for George Floyd and the countless others who have been murdered by police and to declare that black lives matter. These photos are from the rally that took place in Brooklyn, New York. Note: Activist NYC has always been a photo project documenting peaceful protesters and depicting people in a positive light. I started this project because I hate how the media always portrays protesters with violence to garner clicks and headlines. All these photos from today were captured with permission from the people. . . @peoplespowerassemblynyc @equality4flatbush #georgefloyd #justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklivesmatter #whitesupremacy #fightwhitesupremacy #whitesupremacyisterrorism #BLM #stopwhitesupremacy #stopwhiteterrorism #fuckthepolice #FTP #policebrutality #stoppolicebrutality #stopkillingblackpeople #nojusticenopeace #silenceisviolence #jailkillercops #wewillnotbesilent #documentaryphotography #photojournalism #activistny #blacklivesmatter✊🏾 #policeaccountability #policeaccountabilitynow #endpolicebrutality #stoppoliceterror #stoppoliceviolence #icantbreathe #noracistpolice #justiceforfloyd

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Reposted from @seedingsovereignty Catch the fire, y’all. – #regrann

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America has watched so much happen in 2 minutes this week.

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The protest are growing…last night my daughter sent me this message as she was driving back from Florida:

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This guy reporting for CNN in Philly just caught the cops chasing a few guys who were walking at Broad and Sansom, tackling one of them to the ground violently. At least 3 cops on top of one (black) guy. The reporter made it clear that the guys were not doing anything dangerous and for all we know they could have just been walking home. Right. Curfew is in effect unless you are essential workers. And they had no way of knowing if these guys were essential or not. Instead they attacked. Our neighbors watched the cops at 4th and South redirect a black couple, not letting them cross the street, and then allow a white woman. I just watched live footage of a white guy shoving the stuff he looted into a Mustang and drive off, unharmed. Facts. Also, be careful with dropping "they" and "them" as code for black protesters because there are/were plenty of white folks out there starting fires and looting. Black people are in PAIN. White supremacy continues to EXHAUST. If you're white, please just take a beat before you pass judgement. People > property.

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President Trump on Saturday denied that his tweet earlier in the day suggesting a “MAGA night” at the White House was meant to incite racial tensions, saying it was meant as a question because he had heard his supporters wanted to be at the protests around the country following the death of George Floyd. “These are people who love this country, I have no idea if they are going to be here, I was just asking,” he told reporters in brief remarks outside the White House. “By the way, they love African American people, they love black people, MAGA loves the black people, I heard MAGA wanted to be there, I have no idea whether that’s true or not. But remember MAGA loves our country.” The president attacked Minneapolis’s handling of the protests — adding a tangential that he’d had great political success in Minnesota by almost winning it in 2016 — and slammed Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey as a “probably a very good person but a radical left mayor.” Earlier, Trump tweeted a harsher critique of Frey, writing that the mayor “will never be mistaken for the late, great General Douglas McArthur or great fighter General George Patton.” Read more by clicking the link in our bio.

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ur Fireman in Chief races to help stoke the flames. In Minneapolis and elsewhere. #trump #covid19 #minneapolis

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God bless this courageous woman. Thank you @chicagosmayor (And just wait and see how the Republicunts will feign shock at how crass she’s being. You want crass? “Grab them by the pussy, shit-hole countries, some very fine people…” Need I go on?)

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When they gone charge the other 3 it’s called accessory or that don’t apply to (white) 👮 🤷🏾‍♂️🖤

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I feel this:

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“Este es el corazón de la Isla.” “This is the heart of the island,” punctured by nails. This street art speaks to the difficulties and heartbreak that the Cuban people have experienced over the years while struggling under a repressive government. I think this sentiment also rings true today in the United States of America—the heart of America has also been punctured by deep wounds. So much pain and so much suffering for our Black brothers and sisters oppressed by systemic racism and white supremacy. #cuba #artecubano #sanisidro #habanavieja #havana #oldhavana #streetart #streetartphotography

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And also this:

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“Dear non Black POC, The dismantling of white supremacy starts when we stop hiding behind the complacent belief that our ethnicity is a substitute for blackness.” -Mujer Muralista No one gets to sit this one out, no one. White and non Black POC got to step the fuck up. If I see any “yeah but…” comments, please take a long look in the mirror and work out your feelings there. Do. The. Work. ✌🏼 #blacklivesmatter #checkyourprivilege #dothework #gettowork #healingwork #decolonize

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And so it is⚔️🧿⚔️ . . . . . RP via @iamthecreatress 💓 #blacklivesalwaysmattered #collectivehealing #ancestralhealing #ancestorsspeak #spiritualguidance #focus #courage #healing #brujasofinstagram #healersofinstagram #thehoodwitch

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This is an open thread.


Lazy Caturday Reads: Tinderbox America

Good Morning!!

The photos in today’s post are by Chinese photographer Wu Hongli, who has photographed street cats across China and several other countries. Read more about him and his project at National Geographic.

This week the U.S. added 1968-style violent protests to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and the growing madness of the monster in the White House who is doing his very best to make both of these crises so much worse.

Michelle Goldberg: America Is a Tinderbox. Scenes from a country in free fall.

The last two and a half months in America have felt like the opening montage in a dystopian film about a nation come undone. First the pandemic hit and hospitals in New York City were overwhelmed. The national economy froze and unemployment soared; one in four American workers has applied for unemployment benefits since March. Lines of cars stretched for miles at food banks. Heavily armed lockdown protesters demonstrated across the country; in Michigan, they forced the Capitol to close and legislators to cancel their session. Nationwide, at least 100,000 people died of a disease almost no one had heard of last year.

Then, this week, a Minneapolis police officer was filmed kneeling on the neck of a black man named George Floyd. As the life went out of him, Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe, echoing the last words of Eric Garner, whose 2014 death at the hands of New York policemen helped catalyze the Black Lives Matter movement. Floyd’s death came only days after three Georgia men were arrested on charges of pursuing and killing a young black man, Ahmaud Arbery, whom they saw out running. A prosecutor had initially declined to charge the men on the grounds that their actions were legal under the state’s self-defense laws.

In Minneapolis protesters poured into the streets, where they met a far harsher police response than anything faced by the country’s gun-toting anti-lockdown activists. On Wednesday night, peaceful demonstrations turned into riots, and on Thursday Minnesota’s governor called in the National Guard.

For a moment, it seemed as if the blithe brutality of Floyd’s death might check the worst impulses of the president and his Blue Lives Matter supporters. The authorities were forced to act: All four of the policemen involved were fired, police chiefs across the country condemned them and William Barr’s Justice Department promised a federal investigation that would be a “top priority.” Even Donald Trump, who has encouraged police brutality in the past, described what happened to Floyd as a “very, very bad thing.”

But Trump can never allow himself to support human beings against authoritarian power.

But on Thursday night, after a county prosecutor said his office was still determining if the four policemen had committed a crime, the uprising in Minneapolis was reignited, and furious people burned a police precinct. (One of the officers was arrested and charged with third-degree murder on Friday.) On Twitter, an addled Trump threatened military violence against those he called “THUGS,” writing, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Whether Trump knew it or not, he was quoting a racist phrase from the 1960s used by George Wallace, among others. The president later tried to tamp down outrage by saying he was just warning of danger — the Trump campaign has hoped, after all, to peel off some black voters from the Democrats — but his meaning was obvious enough. This is the same president who on Thursday tweeted out a video of a supporter saying, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”

The Trump presidency has been marked by shocking spasms of right-wing violence: the white nationalist riot in Charlottesville, Va., the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the mass shooting targeting Latinos in El Paso. But even as the country has simmered and seethed, there hasn’t been widespread disorder. Now, though, we might be at the start of a long, hot summer of civil unrest.

It certainly looks that way.

Julie Pace at the Associated Press: Analysis: Trump fuels new tensions in moment of crisis.

Over 48 hours in America, the official death toll from the coronavirus pandemic topped 100,000, the number of people who filed for unemployment during the crisis soared past 40 million, and the streets of a major city erupted in flames after a handcuffed black man was killed by a white police officer.

It’s the kind of frenetic, fractured moment when national leaders are looked to for solutions and solace. President Donald Trump instead threw a rhetorical match into the tinderbox. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he declared ominously in a late-night tweet.

Trump’s words were so jarring that Twitter attached a warning to his post — as well as to an identical message from an official White House account — saying that the president of the United States was “glorifying violence.” It’s the first time the social media giant has taken such a step with any world leader, prompting new claims of bias from Trump and some of his conservative allies.

The episode encapsulated Trump’s approach to the presidency and to this time of national crisis, which has upended nearly every aspect of American life and put his November reelection prospects at risk. He’s latched on to personal grievances and cast himself as a victim, while making only occasional references to the staggering loss of life across the country. He’s willingly stoked partisan divisions over public health, and now racial divisions in the face of a death, rather than seeking opportunities to pull the nation together.

Read the rest at AP.

Matt Zapotosky and Isaac Stanley-Becker at The Washington Post: Gripped by disease, unemployment and outrage at the police, America plunges into crisis.

America’s persistent political dysfunction and racial inequality were laid bare this week, as the coronavirus death toll hit a tragic new milestone and as the country was served yet another reminder of how black people are killed by law enforcement in disproportionately high numbers. Together, the events present a grim tableau of a nation in crisis — one seared by violence against its citizens, plagued by a deadly disease that remains uncontained and rattled by a devastating blow to its economy.

“The threads of our civic life could start unraveling, because everybody’s living in a tinderbox,” said historian and Rice University professor Douglas Brinkley.

Barbara Ransby, a historian at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a longtime political activist, said the toll of the coronavirus outbreak made long-standing racial inequities newly stark. Then, images of police violence made those same disparities visceral.

“People are seething about all kinds of things,” said Ransby, the author of “Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century.” “There are major turning points and ruptures in history. . . . This is one of these moments, but we’ve not seen how it will fully play out.”

Read more at the WaPo.

This seems really ominous from James LaPorta at the Associated Press: Pentagon puts military police on alert to go to Minneapolis.

As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests.

Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours. The people did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations.

The get-ready orders were sent verbally on Friday, after President Donald Trump asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper for military options to help quell the unrest in Minneapolis after protests descended into looting and arson in some parts of the city.

Trump made the request on a phone call from the Oval Office on Thursday night that included Esper, National Security Advisor Robert O’ Brien and several others. The president asked Esper for rapid deployment options if the Minneapolis protests continued to spiral out of control, according to one of the people, a senior Pentagon official who was on the call.

I’m not a lawyer, but I thought it was illegal for the U.S. military to police American citizens. More from the AP story:

The person said the military units would be deployed under the Insurrection Act of 1807, which was last used in 1992 during the riots in Los Angeles that followed the Rodney King trial.

“If this is where the president is headed response-wise, it would represent a significant escalation and a determination that the various state and local authorities are not up to the task of responding to the growing unrest,” said Brad Moss, a Washington D.C.-based attorney, who specializes in national security.

Members of the police units were on a 30-minute recall alert early Saturday, meaning they would have to return to their bases inside that time limit in preparation for deployment to Minneapolis inside of four hours. Units at Fort Drum are slated to head to Minneapolis first, according to the three people, including two Defense Department officials. Roughly 800 U.S. soldiers would deploy to the city if called.

One more and I’ll end this catalog of horrors. I read this post at bellingcat a couple of days ago, and Michelle Goldberg discusses it in her NYT op-ed quoted up top: The Boogaloo Movement Is Not What You Think.

As Minneapolis exploded over the death of a another black man at the hands of police, members of a weird political subculture weighed a response.

On the internet, meanwhile, a largely white, and far right movement publicly contended over what risks its members should take to support a black man killed by police.

Wu Hongli and his rescued cat

On the Facebook page, Big Igloo Bois, which at the time of writing had 30,637 followers, an administrator wrote of the protests, “If there was ever a time for bois to stand in solidarity with ALL free men and women in this country, it is now”.

They added, “This is not a race issue. For far too long we have allowed them to murder us in our homes, and in the streets. We need to stand with the people of Minneapolis. We need to support them in this protest against a system that allows police brutality to go unchecked.”

One commenter added, “I’m looking for fellow Minneapolis residents to join me in forming a private, Constitutionally-authorized militia to protect people from the MPD, which has killed too many people within the last two years.”

These exchanges offer a window into an extremely online update of the militia movement, which is gearing up for the northern summer. The “Boogaloo Bois” expect, even hope, that the warmer weather will bring armed confrontations with law enforcement, and will build momentum towards a new civil war in the United States.

Mostly, they’re not even hiding it. And for the last several months, their platform of choice has been Facebook.

Like many other novel extremist movements, the loose network of pro-gun shitposters trace their origins to 4chan. What coherence the movement has comes from their reverence for their newly-minted martyrs and a constellation of in-jokes and memes

The article describes how this subculture has used Facebook to advance its agenda. Facebook is aiding numerous violent right wing movements and actively enabling the campaign of Donald Trump. Read more at these links:

Zeynep Tufekci at The Atlantic: Trump Is Doing All of This for Zuckerberg.

John Stanton at The Daily Beast: Mark Zuckerberg Profits from Rage as Much as Donald Trump Does.

Donnie O’Sullivan at CNN Business: Mark Zuckerberg silent as Trump uses Facebook and Instagram to threaten ‘looting’ will lead to ‘shooting.’

That’s it for me. What do you think? What stories are you following today?


Friday Reads: Tin Soldiers and Trumperz Coming

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Last night I watched Ali Velshi reporting from South Minneapolis where a fire was just beginning to take out a car and spread to a pawn shop.  It eventually turned in to this: “Minneapolis police station torched amid George Floyd protest. I lived in Minneapolis awhile and I know the area well. It’s been shocking but not surprising which is the biggest theme of the Trumpist Regime to date.

I was 12 in 1968 when the family station wagon drove around The Paseo Avenue neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, to get to my Grandfather’s rest home during the Holy Week Uprising. It was a bit of unique response because it didn’t happen the day that Chicago and LA lit up.  It was a few days later. We had to skirt and skate that part of town.

The first signs of disorder in the streets of Kansas City was a stable student march, in response to the government failing to close schools across the city on April 9, the day of King’s funeral. This was seen as a lack of respect for King by the students.[1] The riot was sparked when Kansas City Police Department deployed tear gas to the student protesters when they staged their performance outside City Hall.[1][2]

The deployment of tear gas dispersed the protesters from the area, but other citizens of the city began to riot as a result of the Police action on the student protesters during a meeting with Mayor Ilus W. Davis. The resulting effects of the riot resulted in the arrest of over one hundred adults, and left five dead and at least twenty admitted to hospitals.[3]

 

I remember watching protest against the treatment of Black Americans on TV since the Early 1960s.  I keep seeing that we continually take to the streets over the same damn thing including the clueless people that don’t understand how after decades of seeing nothing much happen, the protests eventually turn angry.

The protests in Ferguson seemed relatively tame in comparison but they were just another sign that we treat Black Americans horribly different in this country still.  The Orange Snot Blob made a campaign theme of any one protesting taking the knee in a quiet silent protest.  Well, now Derrick Chauvin took his knee to murder a Black Man in plain sight of cameras and citizens and Trumperz has the audacity to threaten the city and the state like that’s his role in this.

BB was in Harvard Square for protests against the war that later turned into riots at the same time.  I also remember the riots in LA for the police beatings of Rodney King in 1992 but like most of us, I watched that from the safety of a couch in front of a TV . So, when BB described the morning news as a mix of 1968 and 1918 it seemed quite apropos.

I don’t know about you but I’ve just had enough of this …

 “… some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses”

 

So, here’s some of the headlines today that seem a lot like history repeating itself  …

Jason Hanna from CNN:

A CNN crew has been arrested while covering Minneapolis protests, and the governor has apologized  —  Minnesota police arrest CNN team on live television  —  (CNN)A CNN crew was arrested by Minnesota state police Friday morning while giving a live television report in Minneapolis

Arresting reporters at a protest is an affront to the First Amendment

The reporters were released this morning.

Jimenez could be seen holding his CNN badge while reporting, identifying himself as a reporter, and telling the officers the crew would move wherever officers needed them to.
An officer gripped his arm as Jimenez talked, then put him in handcuffs.
“We can move back to where you like. We are live on the air here. … Put us back where you want us. We are getting out of your way — wherever you want us (we’ll) get out of your way,” Jimenez said to police before he was led away.

“We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection,” Jimenez continued.

Fires set, businesses looted and 1 man killed as George Floyd ...

Fortunately, the Governor of Minnesota took umbrage with this and they were released.  (Any one remember Dan Rather and Mike Wallace been roughed up on air during the 1968 Convention by Security Guards?)

So, the  (via AP) “Governor acknowledges ‘abject failure’ in protest response” from Minnesota State Police backed up by Minnesota National Guard.  (Hmmm, what memory does that drudge up sister and brother Old people?)

With smoke drifting over Minneapolis, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday acknowledged the “abject failure” of the response to this week’s violent protests and called for swift justice for police involved in the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white officer knelt on his neck.

Walz said the state would take over the response and that it’s time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering.

“Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard,” Walz said, adding. “Now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world — and the world is watching.”

Meanwhile, over in Louisville, Kentucky “7 shot in downtown Louisville at Breonna Taylor protest. Here’s what we know” from the Louisville Courier/Journal.

At least seven people were shot as hundreds of protesters in downtown Louisville gathered Thursday night to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old ER tech who was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police in March.

Some shots were heard on scene just before 11:30 p.m., and a police spokeswoman confirmed the injuries at 1 a.m. in a statement. Two victims required surgery.

“There have been some arrests, but at this time we are not able to tell you how many as the situation is ongoing,” spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said in a statement.

Police officers did not fire their guns, Smiley said.

7 shot during protests in Louisville, police say

That city is also burning.

Courier Journal reporter Cameron Teague Robinson was on the scene at Jefferson and Sixth streets Thursday night when shots were fired at the protest over the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home.

He said he was looking over to the police barricade before turning to find one of his fellow reporters when the shots started. He said he ran behind Metro Hall where some cops were stationed with guns.

“They weren’t trying to shoot anybody,” Teague Robinson said. “I think they knew people were running away, but they just (had) guns aimed, aimed up, yelling at people to leave and get out of there. So once I kind of ran into a cop with a gun, I kind of just kept running.”

His path took him beyond Fifth Street.

Here’s the latest on officer Derek Chauvin who is officer who suffocated George Floyd by keeping his knee on his throate even Floyd was subdued and clearly telling the office he was in distress.  Chauvin has been taken into custody.

 

There is more information coming out on Chauvin and his victim daily. This is from The Grio: “George Floyd and officer Derek Chauvin worked together at nightclub in 2019.”

Maya Santamaria, the former owner of the El Nuevo Rodeo Club, says that she knows both men at the center of Minneapolis’ recent protests. How? She hired them both at her club in 2019, but she cannot recall if the two actually knew each other, according to KSTP-TBan ABC local affiliate.

“Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open,” says Santamaria. “They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside.”

George Floyd death and Minneapolis protests: Live updates

Chauvin’s earlier excessive abuse charges were handled by Amy Klobucher.  This is also from The Grio.

George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis by the hands of a cop has created a furor and protests over police brutality. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is now under scrutiny for failing to pursue charges against the officer involved when she was chief prosecutor.

Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derick Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes as he struggled to breathe on Monday. He and three other officers have since been fired but the incident with Floyd was not the first controversial one in his police jacket. Chauvin has at least 10 complaints of misconduct against him according to the database that registers complaints against police.

Klobuchar, Minnesota’s Democratic senator—and a possible vice presidential running mate to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has demanded a “complete and thorough” investigation into Floyd’s death.

Well, I’d say that’s all over.

Meanwhile, the Russian Potted Plant in the Oval office and Racist-in-Chief did exactly what you’d think he’d do. He race baited and stood with the Ku Klux Blue.

 

 

Image

Okay, so this:

President Trump called the Minneapolis protesters “thugs” and implied looting demonstrators could be shot in two tweets posted early Friday morning, which Twitter later said violated its rules against promoting violence.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City,” the president wrote, adding that Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, must “get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”

It was unclear if the president intended to send additional troops after Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard to help restore order in the Twin Cities. But the president said he was prepared to have the federal government “assume control.”

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,” Mr. Trump wrote of the demonstrators, “and I won’t let that happen.” He added, “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The tweet containing that quote was placed behind what Twitter called a “public interest notice,” which warned users that it “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence” and required readers to take an extra step to read the president’s full comment.

Well… this is good by seeing that he’s actually tweeted  52.1 K tweets over time make me wonder if twitter troll is his full time job because he certainly is not presidenting.

So, I’m with Andrea Brown of the Houston Chronicle: “ Opinion: After George Floyd, I will not watch another video and witness another atrocity”.

The amount of death that I’ve seen is unnatural for a person my age. It would be easy to pass this statement off as a hazard of my job. I’m an educator in an area of town that’s been plagued by violence for years. I’ve wept at the loss of life of at least one student for six years straight. It’s much worse for the students I serve in the Third Ward. Death has turned many of them cold because they haven’t had the privilege of being shielded from the pain of violence in its many forms.

This is the same community that was home to George Floyd, a black man who was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police. He was beloved by his community. Now, images of his lifeless body have traveled the world, sparking protests, tears, outrage and empty apologies. This is a cycle that continues to repeat itself. Each time it happens, it feels like a bandage being ripped off of a gaping wound. It never heals.

 

Enough! I’ve watched this play out since the early 1960s on the news … it’s way too much and we’ve done way too little to stop it.

The institutions of the United States of America should protect and serve all Americans equally and treat them all with respect and with the view of equality under the law.  Police need to stop KILLING our Black Brothers and Sisters!  NOW!!!!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 

 


Thursday Reads: Pink Houses For You And Me (Ain’t That America?)

By Richard Ernst Eurich

Good Morning!!

The fake “president” claims to love the Second Amendment, but he’s not so fond of the First Amendment–or, for that matter, the Constitution itself.

Trump is trying to take steps to shut down free speech.

Reuters: Trump executive order takes aim at social media firms: draft.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to order a review of a law that has long protected Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google from being responsible for the material posted by their users, according to a draft executive order and a source familiar with the situation.

News of the order comes after Trump threatened to shut down websites he accused of stifling conservative voices. It follows a dispute with Twitter after the company decided to tag Trump’s tweets about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting with a warning prompting readers to fact-check the posts.

The order, a draft copy of which was seen by Reuters, could change before it is finalized. On Wednesday, officials said Trump will sign an executive order on social media companies on Thursday. It was not, however, listed on Trump’s official schedule for Thursday released by the White House.

What’s in the draft order?

The executive order would call for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to propose and clarify regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law largely exempting online platforms from legal liability for the material their users post. Such changes could expose tech companies to more lawsuits.

The pink house, Newburyport, MA, by Melissa Abbott

The order asks the FCC to examine whether actions related to the editing of content by social media companies should potentially lead to the firms forfeiting their protections under section 230.

It requires the agency to look at whether a social media platform uses deceptive policies to moderate content and if its policies are inconsistent with its terms of service.

The draft order also states that the White House Office of Digital Strategy will re-establish a tool to help citizens report cases of online censorship. The tool will collect complaints of online censorship and submit them to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

It requires the FTC to look into whether complaints violate the law, develop a report describing such complaints and make the report publicly available….

The draft order also requires the attorney general to establish a working group including state attorneys general that will examine the enforcement of state laws that prohibit online platforms from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts.

Congressional Republicans are helping out. The Hill: Republicans working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Wednesday separately announced they were both working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal protections that ensure the company is not held liable for what is posted on its platform.

The lawmakers began work on legislation following Twitter’s decision to add warnings to two tweets by President Trump this week in which he railed against California’s decision to expand mail-in voting. Trump tweeted without evidence that mail-in voting could increase voter fraud.

Plum Island Pink, by Heather Karp

Both Hawley and Gaetz argued that Twitter’s decision to flag the tweets called its legal liability protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act into question. Section 230 protects social media platforms from facing lawsuits over what users post.

Hawley sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday questioning why the platform should be given Section 230 protections and tweeted that he would soon introduce legislation to end “government giveaways” under the legal shield.

“If @Twitter wants to editorialize & comment on users’ posts, it should be divested of its special status under federal law (Section 230) & forced to play by same rules as all other publishers,” Hawley tweeted. “Fair is fair.”

Hawley questioned Dorsey on whether Twitter’s “fact check” was part of an effort to “target the President for political reasons” and raised concerns that Twitter fact-checkers were biased against Trump.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted yesterday that Twitter will continue to correct false information about elections that is posted to his platform.

From the Associated Press: Trump continues to claim broad powers he doesn’t have.

Threatening to shut down Twitter for flagging false content. Claiming he can “override” governors who dare to keep churches closed to congregants. Asserting the “absolute authority” to force states to reopen, even when local leaders say it’s too soon.

As he battles the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has been claiming extraordinarily sweeping powers that legal scholars say the president simply doesn’t have. And he has repeatedly refused to spell out the legal basis for those powers….

First it was Trump’s assertion that he could force governors to reopen their economies before they felt ready. “When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,” he claimed.

Pink House, by Julia Kamenskikh

Trump soon dropped the threat, saying he would instead leave such decisions to the states. But he has revived the idea in recent days as he has tried to pressure governors to allow churches and other places of worship to hold in-person services, even where stay-at-home orders and other limits on large gatherings remain in effect.

Asked Tuesday what authority he had to enforce such a mandate, Trump was cagey.

“I can absolutely do it if I want to,” he said. “We have many different ways where I can override them and if I have to, I’ll do that.”

Trump simply doesn’t care about any constitutional limits on his powers. He will continue to push the limits and get away with more than any past president.

Trump “certainly does not have the power under any reasonable reading of the Constitution or federalism to order places of worship to open,” said Matthew Dallek, a historian at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management who specializes in the use of presidential power.

But Dallek said that just because Trump doesn’t have the authority to do most of the things he’s threatened, doesn’t mean he won’t, for instance, try to sign executive orders taking such action anyway — even if they are later struck down by the courts.

“What has limited Trump previously? Not very much. So I think he will do whatever seems to be in his best interest at any particular moment,” Dallek said.

Trump, he said, also could try to abuse his powers to leverage other instruments of government, from the Department of Justice to the IRS, to push for investigations or launch regulatory crackdowns to punish states, cities or companies. Trump also has showed he’s willing to exercise powers that modern presidents have largely avoided, including his recent purging of inspectors general.

Brian Klaas at The Washington Post: Why does Trump get away with everything?

In January 2016, Donald Trump said something unintentionally profound: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” We’ll hopefully never find out whether Trump really could get away with murder. But we now know he can at least falsely accuse someone of murder without triggering a political exodus.

Pink House, by Carol Bouville

This “Fifth Avenue problem” is a central puzzle of the Trump presidency. Somehow, Trump can tweet something that would destroy any other politician when he wakes up, and it’s forgotten by lunchtime.

Don’t believe me? In the last week, Trump didn’t just make a false accusation of murder. He also praised one of the United States’ most virulent anti-Semites as a man who bestowed “good bloodlines” on his descendants. He retweeted a man who called Hillary Clinton, the first woman to be a major-party candidate for president, a “skank.” Trump shared an image with Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve as House speaker, with duct tape over her mouth and then mocked her physical appearance. And he repeatedly fabricated lies about voter fraud.

If Joe Biden behaved like that, it would destroy his career. But when Trump does it, it has no significant impact on his support. His depravity is now just widely assumed. It’s baked in.

That presents a paradox: The last three years have felt like we’re collectively strapped into the world’s worst roller coaster — of endless scandals, tweets in search of reality and new lows for presidential conduct. Yet for all those disorienting twists and turns,and the seemingly endless plunge of presidential standards, Trump’s approval rating has remained pretty much the same.

Read the rest at the WaPo.

We passed a terrible milestone yesterday, and that is likely the reason for Trump’s attempts to distracts us with his wannabe dictator claims.

Meghan O’Rourke at The Atlantic: Grappling With a Terrible Milestone: One Hundred Thousand Dead.

That number—100,000 dead from the coronavirus—is hard to grasp. For those who have lost someone, the pandemic’s scope is not just a statistic; within the abstraction lies an intimately life-changing event. For the rest of us, it is a fact we must try to wrestle into perspective. One hundred thousand people is nearly the population of the city I now live in; it is a neighborhood’s worth of people in Brooklyn, my longtime home; it is perhaps 10 times the total number of people most of us will cross paths with in our entire lives. It is graveyard upon graveyard upon graveyard. It is mass burials at Hart Island, bodies stacked in refrigerated trucks outside hospitals and nursing homes. It is PTSD for the nurses and doctors in the hardest-hit areas. Mostly, it is the shocking echo that follows the loss of even one person: zero, zero, zero, zero, zero. A lament: O, O, O, O, O.

Please go read the whole essay at The Atlantic.

Melinda Saminski The Pink House in Cape May

Ed Pilkington at The Guardian: As 100,000 die, the virus lays bare America’s brutal fault lines – race, gender, poverty and broken politics.

A country that prides itself on its exceptionalism can now without ambiguity claim that title for its experience of the virus. The United States stands head and shoulders at the top of the world league table of confirmed cases, as well as the total number of deaths.

There will be much to analyse in coming years about how the US responded to this contagion, including how many lives have been lost needlessly as a result of Trump’s maverick response.

Already one lesson of the pandemic is clear: America’s deep and brutal fault lines – of race, partisanship, gender, poverty and misinformation – rendered the country ill-prepared to meet the challenges of this disease. The ravages of Covid-19 have revealed the deep cracks in the glittering facade of the richest and most powerful nation on Earth.

Head over to the Guardian and read the rest.

More stories to check out, links only:

The Washington Post: For a numbers-obsessed Trump, there’s one he has tried to ignore: 100,000 dead.

Tony Schwartz at Medium: The Psychopath in Chief.

NBC News: George Floyd protest turns deadly; Minneapolis mayor requests National Guard.

MPR News: Photos: Fires, looting devastate Minneapolis after George Floyd’s death.

The Washington Post: ‘This invokes a history of terror’: Central Park incident between white woman and black man is part of a fraught legacy.

The New York Times: Trump’s ‘Horrifying Lies’ About Lori Klausutis May Cross a Legal Line.

NBC News: Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases may be more common than suspected.

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

 


Wednesday Reads: Happiness is a warm pug, bang…

Good morning?

I want to start this post with something warm and cute, be sure to play the video…

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Happiness is a pug ❤❤❤ ☛FOLLOW☛@xavningjingpug for video and pics like this. AND ☛FOLLOW US☛@PugDepot for more cute pics and videos of all PUGS!

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Because the rest of the thread is fucking disturbing and disgusting as hell.

I take it you all are aware of the murder that took place in Minnesota?

The image is graphic, but you need to click on the tweet above to see the powerful statement in full.

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George Floyd was killed by 4 police officers yesterday. Today they were all fired. This is just the beginning of justice, there needs to be a thorough investigation, and measures put in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Police violence against Black communities is the result of systemic racism. Eric Garner, Freddy Gray, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Michael Brown, and Philando Castille should still be with their loved ones, along with countless others. We know that this systemic racism is blatant because people like Amy Cooper weaponize it against Black folks. Amy Cooper knew exactly what she was doing when she called the police on a Black man and pretended that she was being threatened by him. We have to hold racists accountable until they don’t act like this anymore and address anti-Blackness in all forms, including within our communities.

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As American as apple pie and conflating inconvenience with tyranny. #GeorgeFloyd #sayhisname #kkkops #policebrutality #blacklivesmatter #blm #thedailydon

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For some of us, “big feelings” have come to mean “bad feelings" or "ugly feelings." ⁣ ⁣ when I think about “big feelings,” I think about anger and rage, and frustration, and sadness, and grief. ⁣ ⁣ some of us are not granted the same compassion and safety when feeling these feelings. some of us belong to communities that are perpetually read as “over reactive” and “over sensitive:” black, indigenous and other racialized communities; queer and trans communities; women and non-binary folks; survivors of sexual assault and IPV; Muslim communities; and many others.⁣ ⁣ writers and thinkers like Audre Lorde, Leanne Simpson, bell hooks, and Sara Ahmed have long written about the cultural, racial, gendered, colonial (etc.) politics of emotion –amongst other great thinkers (though they are often conveniently left out of conversations on trauma and healing). about how some of us have been pre-defined as “too much,” “violent,” “aggressive” and “overbearing." how certain folks are not “permitted” to feel their rage, and anger, and sadness without consequence –without becoming ostracized, deported, coded and re-coded as “threatening, ” diminished and silenced (to name a few consequences).⁣ ⁣ we see these narratives show up when survivors of sexual violence describe quieting their anger in order to be viewed as the “good victim,” the “believable” one. when immigrant and refugees are read as “ungrateful” when asking for basic human needs and rights. when indigenous and black communities are deemed “aggressive” and “disruptive” for demanding accountability and justice. and it doesn’t solely happen in the public –these narratives show up in our own lives, our own relationships and spaces, too.⁣ ⁣ some of us see these narratives showing up within ourselves. in the ways in which we feel shame alongside our big feelings. doubt as to whether we are over-reacting, or being over sensitive. deny ourselves space to feel and explore them. ⁣ ⁣ so for anyone who needs this reminder: you are allowed to feel big feelings – – and I'm sorry this world does not always grant you the safety, compassion and care you deserve, to feel and hold space for those feelings.

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Meanwhile:

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Reposting this for George Floyd, murdered by Minneapolis police while saying “I can’t breathe”. Meanwhile, Kyles and Karens everywhere are upset with the tyranny of mask-wearing to keep others safe. #GeorgeFloyd #Merica #blacklivesmatters #kkkops #blm #thedailydon

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In other news:

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Christian Cooper was birdwatching in the woods of Manhattan’s Central Park when he noticed a rogue dog digging up the shrubbery around him. Many of the birds he spots come for the plants, so he approached the dog’s owner early on Monday with a request: Could she leash up the canine, as the park rules required? But when Christian Cooper asked Amy Cooper (the dog's owner) to follow the rules, she refused. He keeps dog treats on hand for noncompliant pet owners, he said, and tried to toss one to the dog. Then he started recording their interaction. Amy Cooper then said she would be calling the police. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” the white woman told him, pulling out her phone and dialing 911. “Please call the cops,” he said on video. “Please tell them whatever you’d like.” She did, assuming an increasingly loud voice over the phone that to some on social media made her sound as if she was being physically attacked. In the meantime, she wrapped a blue leash around Henry, seemingly choking the yelping dog before clipping it on. Less than 24 hours later after a video of their exchange went online, Amy Cooper has lost her dog, her anonymity, and her job. On local news she offered an apology to Christian Cooper and his family. “It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended,” she said Monday evening. “Everyone who thinks of me in a lower light — I understand why they do.” Read more by clicking the link in our bio.

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Visit link in bio for full story.

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That is it…it’s all got me so pissed off.

What about you?