A world full of ignorant people is too dangerous…
-Paul Verrall from Born Yesterday
This is frightening:
Speaking at a GOP fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago Saturday afternoon, Donald Trump dropped a bombshell. First, Trump talked about the 2016 election, which he won but still can’t get past. He remains distraught over a “rigged system” and wonders why Hillary Clinton hasn’t been prosecuted, among many topics in a free-wheeling speech.
But his off-the-cuff remarks took a bizarre turn when he praised China’s President Xi Jinping for consolidating power and effectively making him president for as long as he wants. It’s an appealing idea to Trump.
“He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great,” Trump said. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”
Pause and think about that for a second. What would possess him to say this out loud? This is scary territory. The remarks were closed to the press but a recording was obtained by CNN.
What the fuck, right?
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said he thinks President Donald Trump will and should have a Republican challenger in the 2020 presidential election.“I do think the President will have a challenge from the Republican Party. I think there should be. I also think that there will be an independent challenge,” the Arizona senator said in an interview for David Axelrod’s show…
More Tweets of note:
I know a lot of you are like me, overwhelmed at all the shit. Who knows, maybe it is just that we are not meant to be up in the morning…Check this out: Can’t get to sleep early? Science is on your side. – Vox
We live in a world that worships the early riser. Think of everything we’re told on the virtues of waking up early:
”The early bird catches the worm.”
”Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man… “ (Ben Franklin’s most famous saying).
”Nice of you to join us today” (snarky dictum of teachers and bosses everywhere).
The message is clear: Starting early is the way to get ahead; lateness is ugly as sin.
In 2016, I reported on the science of chronobiology, which finds we all have an internal clock that keeps us on a consistent sleep and wake cycle. But the key finding is that everyone’s clock is not the same. Most people fall in the middle, preferring to sleep around 11 pm to 7 am. But many — perhaps 40 percent of the population — don’t naturally fit in this schedule.
There are night owls among us — whose whole circadian schedules are shifted later — and morning larks, who are shifted earlier. These traits are determined by genetics and are extremely hard to change. What’s more, the research is finding that if we fight our chronotypes, our health may suffer.
But most striking to me wasn’t the health implications of messing with your clock. It was the stigma late sleepers feel in a society ruled by early risers. Simply put: These late sleepers are tired of being judged for a behavior they cannot easily control. If they can’t change their sleep patterns, maybe society should become more accepting of them.
Then there is a story like this to just get you so pissed off….There’s No Such Thing as ‘Consensual Sex’ When a Person Is in Police Custody | American Civil Liberties Union
On the night of Sept. 15, 2017, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, narcotics detectives with the New York Police Department, pulled over an 18-year-old woman and her two male friends for being in a park after dark. After finding marijuana in the car’s cup holder, they handcuffed the woman and told her friends to leave. The woman says that the detectives then put her in their unmarked police van with tinted windows and raped her as she cried and repeatedly told them “no.” Semen collected in a forensic evidence kit matched the DNA of both men.
In November, Martins and Hall resigned from the NYPD and currently face rape and kidnapping charges. Both pleaded not guilty. Their defense against these allegations is almost as disturbing as the crimes they are accused of. They claim that they had consensual sex with the woman while she was in their custody.
And here’s the thing: This defense might actually work because New York state law allows it.
Read the rest of it at the link…
Tonight is the Oscars…will you be watching?
Hope everyone has a good day and evening…this is an open thread.
For your consideration today:
— POLITICO (@politico) February 21, 2018
On the gun control fight….
But as students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida last week continue to speak out publicly against the NRA’s “blood money,” the gun-rights group has announced that it will send spokeswoman Dana Loesch to participate in Wednesday’s CNN town hall conversation with Parkland shooting survivors.
The move comes as the NRA appears to be attempting to dial down attention to the speech that longtime leader Wayne LaPierre is scheduled to give at CPAC later this week. Instead it is putting Loesch in the spotlight.
Just one week after surviving a massacre that killed 17 people, grieving students confronted Florida lawmakers Wednesday to demand a ban on assault weapons.
As they took up their fight in Tallahassee, students from Palm Beach to Washington walked out in solidarity — disgusted by yet another school massacre with no change in gun laws.
Here are the latest developments:
Go to the link to read the latest…
Here is something of interest, it is the National Rifle Association – Member Discount List this links to the state of Georgia…however, if you go to the page you can search for your own state’s discount list. Funny…one of the lawyers I used to work for is on the Georgia list. He used to tell me all the time, he was a “Christian” first. Hypocrisy at it’s finest.
You may remember this cartoon from last week…
This is an open thread.
What a sunny way to start a Sunday post….a sun on skis. So, the images of today’s thread are from artist Celestino Piatti. You can see a bunch of his work here and read more about the artist here, Celestino Piatti – Swiss Graphic Design Foundation.
Why don’t we start of with a few tweets:
This tweet from @eaglewoman4 seems like a brilliant idea…if it could work:
Read some of the comments. Some claim that there could be precedent for this exact protection, as some tribes afforded protection to citizens during WW2 who faced being placed in internment camps. (I looked online and could not find any information on this…but it was not a very thorough search.) Still, it does seem like an idea to flesh out.
Meanwhile, it appears John Lewis isn’t the only one boycotting the SOTU:
I don’t think we will get anything together unless we go back to using paper ballots:
Over here tRump has been overly suggesting prison for his former opponent Hillary Clinton, in Russia…tRump’s puppet master has done just that:
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday during anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow as rallies continue nationwide.“I’ve been detained. This doesn’t matter. Come to Tverskaya (Street). You are not going there for me, it’s for you and your future,” Navalny tweeted after his arrest.Within minutes of arriving at Pushkinskaya Square, where hundreds of protesters had gathered, Navalny was wrestled into a patrol van by police, in dramatic footage posted on Youtube.Moscow Police said Navalny was taken to a police station for arraignment and to be charged for illegally organizing a protest. If found guilty, he faces 30 days in detention and a fine.
Tweets from Navalny:
Translation: The detention of one person loses any sense if there are many of us. Someone come and replace me
This weekend marks another Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,
There is a key word here…which I think you may miss without knowing it.
It begins with the letter M.
I will leave with this latest breaking news:
Five people were killed and another was wounded Sunday in a shooting rampage in a small town 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State Police said.
Police said four people died at the scene and one died after being rushed to a hospital. The shootings took place at a car wash in Melcroft at about 3 a.m. ET. The facts were still being sorted out, but it was possible the shooter was among the victims, police said.
“There is no threat to the community, no imminent danger,” police said in a statement to USA TODAY. The identity of the victims, three men and two women, were not immediately available, police said.
11:10 a.m. – A source at the scene told a KDKA reporter that the suspected shooter used a semi-automatic rifle. Police have not confirmed the weapon that was used.
This is an open thread.
This tweet by Jim Cantore sums things up into one single word…yeah, that is your latest update on Hurricane Irma.
This post is a quick round-up of links and tweets on the storms. (Don’t forget about Jose.)
One of those cranes just collapsed on a building:
And if all this wasn’t bad enough:
A little humor to lighten the mood:
Houston sunk 2cm, thank you Harvey:
Update in the Mexico earthquake:
Guess y’all heard about the “stupids” in Florida and their plans to shoot at Irma? Even the sheriff had to make a statement.
LOLGOP had the perfect response:
I will end it there. This is an open thread.
Boston Boomer is under the weather today, so I’m bringing you the round up for the day.
First up I have to start this thread with a little tongue in cheek;
Okay, now let’s get serious.
Why do I get the feeling the passengers that were “randomly” chosen for United to “reaccommodate” perhaps had a little more than a random pick behind it?
People are rallying around the passenger who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight on Sunday, in response to what many see as attempts to vilify a victim.
On Tuesday, the Louisville Courier-Journal published an article reporting that the passenger, David Dao, “has a troubled history in Kentucky.” The article cites past drug-related felonies in the early 2000s, noting that the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure allowed Dao to resume practicing medicine in 2015.
Soon after the article published, many people took to social media to criticize the Courier-Journal for seemingly attempting to justify an incident in which Dao was dragged from United Express Flight 3411 by law enforcement officers. Dao suffered injuries to his face, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
None of this man’s past has anything to do with the atrocious treatment he received…but I would not put it past the company to have orchestrated the chosen 4 for just this possible situation. I bet that is part of the protocol. Pick people that can be exploited negatively in the press if you need to…
More tweets of anger at CJ and support of David Dao at that link.
Onward to the shooting and murder of two people at a California primary school.
I mentioned in a comment last week that my dad is part of this survival group, and that there was a rumor going on about the strike force heading to the Korean Peninsula…well, last night he told me the new rumor is that China is dealing with a huge number of refugees from North Korea flooding into the country because of the fear that tRump is going to blow Kim Jong Un off the planet.
I don’t know, the shit is hitting the fan.
I had to do it…
But here are some news links about all that shit.
As for the Syria and Putin and Assad shit. (The word shit has become my go to expression for everything lately, you can take a look at some of these updates.
It is all so disturbing.
Thursday evening, Trump attacked Syria, a sovereign country, with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. This act of war was done without Congressional authorization, even after Trump’s August, 2013, tweet that “Obama needs Congressional approval” before attacking Syria in nearly-identical circumstances.
The following morning, headlines like this one appeared in the business press: Raytheon, maker of Tomahawk missiles, leads premarket rally in defense stocks:
Defense and energy stocks dominated the list of premarket gainers on the S&P 500 Friday, led by Tomahawk missile-maker Raytheon Corp., after U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian air base overnight.
Donald Trump apparently owns Raytheon stock. In May, 2016, Trump reported to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he owned Raytheon stock. Interestingly, this FEC report does not appear to include the extensive web of offshore anonymous shell corporations Trump uses to mask assets.
Since that filing Trump’s assets have not been sold with the proceeds placed into a “blind trust,” and there is no public record of his having otherwise sold the stock. Not only that, but Trump is able to draw cash from his “trust” at any time. He could literally have pocketed cash from his gains from attacking Syria.
Read the rest at the link.
But tRump is not only profiting on the attack in Syria. He is making money on his time off, away from, the White House:
Again, I can’t believe that nothing has been done to move forward with impeachment.
The Sessions’ Justice Department had tried to stop the ruling.
Margaret Atwood—author of The Handmaid’s Tale and dozens of other novels, short-story collections, children’s books, works of poetry and criticism, and the new comic-book series Angel Catbird—is the subject of a lengthy and insightful profile in The New Yorker. She speaks briefly on Donald Trump’s presidency, telling New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead, “If the election of Donald Trump were fiction… it would be too implausible to satisfy readers.” It’s an insightful viewpoint from the writer of speculative fiction (her preferred term over “science fiction”), who’s penned arguably the most influential speculation through the lens of patriarchy. Atwood goes on to say:
Fiction has to be something that people would actually believe. If you had published it last June, everybody would have said, “That is never going to happen.”
This study looks like an interesting read….
Why did the Arab spring fail? Despite a number of revolutions in the Arab world, in the end only Tunisia emerged as a functioning democracy. Results from an interdisciplinary research project at the University of Gothenburg indicate that the problem might be traced partially to the lack of women’s civil rights in the region.
A new study published in the European Journal of Political Research discusses the importance of women’s rights for countries to become democratic. The researchers used a dataset developed by V-Dem, a research institution cohosted by the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and the University of Notre Dame (USA). The dataset includes the state of democracy in 177 countries over the years 1900 to 2012.
The study demonstrates that countries do not become fully democratic without political and social rights for women. This is particularly true for the Arab Spring countries, where the failure to foster women’s rights compromised any attempt at democratic governance in the area.
According to Professor Staffan Lindberg, director of the V-Dem Institute, the result is important because it shows that democratic development is not gender blind: societies transitioning from authoritarian regimes strongly need women in order to develop functioning democratic governments.
This next link is for Dak, another grave for you.
The desert bloom from space….is something to see.
And I will end it on that note.
This is an open thread. I hope BB starts to feel better, and that y’all have a good afternoon.
Another day, another killing spree.
We’re living in the United States of Mass Murder. Where have all the anger and violence come from? How has the second amendment turned from the ability of states to raise and arm a militia to a means of arming insurgents and malcontents? It’s been suggested we need a huge wall around this country. I would like to suggest that we need a huge mirror so that we can examine ourselves and figure out how we came to this. There can be no peace or no justice through violence. It makes no difference if it’s violence against the state or against the people. As one great president said, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
The violence in Dallas last night is the American Nightmare. Anger took aim at a police force that is actually well known for supporting Black Lives Matter and took its role of protecting protesters seriously. The voices of angry men in this country, however, generally wind up in some expression of gun violence. Skipping straight from the first amendment to some warped idea of the second is not how any of this is supposed to work.
Four Dallas police officers and a DART officer were shot and killed in a coordinated sniper attack that followed a Thursday night protest.
Seven other officers and two civilians were wounded after the peaceful demonstration against recent shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.
The shooter, who may have had accomplices, suggested the attack was racially motivated by revenge.
Perched in a parking garage at El Centro College, the man exchanged gunfire with officers early Friday morning before being killed by a robot-planted bomb.
The man was identified by our colleagues at KXAS-TV (NBC5) as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite. A law enforcement official told CNN that Johnson had no criminal record or known ties to terrorism.
On Friday morning, Mesquite officers and crime scene investigators from Dallas were at Johnson’s home on Helen Lane.
Other people of interest were detained for questioning. At a news conference at 7:30 a.m., city officials declined to discuss details about the suspects in custody.
“Now is not the right time,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said.
A commander in the Dallas Police Department, however, described the shooting as a “conspiracy.” He said several people were involved in the planning, logistics and execution of the coordinated attack. He declined to elaborate and requested anonymity.
Police Chief David Brown urged Dallas to get behind its police department in the days to come.
“We don’t feel much support most days,” he said. “Let’s not make today most days.”
The shooting was the deadliest day for law officers since Sept. 11, 2001, when 72 officers died, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said snipers with rifles shot 12 officers and two bystanders from elevated positions about 9 p.m.
At 1:42 a.m. Friday, the Dallas Police Association tweeted that a fifth officer had died.
“We’re hurting, our profession is hurting,” Brown told reporters at the news conference. “There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”
The shooter that was cornered and later killed by a suicide bomber robot has been identified. Every time killings happen the most difficult thing to do is to search out the face of the killer. It’s part of our need to know why this happened. The problem is that the whys tell us less than than the hows. The hows tell us that this happens frequently here and that none of us are safe from people seeking to do bad who have access to weapons that can really do bad.
Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, has been identified as one of the suspected gunmen in an ambush Thursday that left five Dallas law enforcement officers dead and seven more officers injured, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Johnson, who died in the incident, served as an Army reservist until April 2015, defense officials said. He was trained and served in the Army Reserve as a carpentry and masonry specialist, they said.
Police said he told hostage negotiators that he was angry about recent fatal shootings of black men by police elsewhere in the United States and that he wanted to kill white people, especially police officers.
The gunman “expressed anger for Black Lives Matter” and told a hostage negotiator he “wanted to kill [police] officers,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said today.
Police spent hours negotiating with Johnson before he was killed by an explosive strapped to a police robot.
“We’re hurting,” Brown said. “Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city.”
Three other suspects — two men and one woman — have been detained by police, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. Officials said earlier that at least two gunmen were involved.
“I can tell you they’re being pretty tight-lipped at this point,” Rawlings said of the trio.
There is a lot to be learned from the way the two major party presidential candidates framed their take on the event. First, Hillary Clinton who focuses on the lives lost.
Hillary Clinton’s planned rally with Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Friday has been postponed following the shootings in Dallas on Thursday night, the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign announced.
“I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters, for their families & all who serve with them,” Clinton tweeted after the postponement was announced.
Trump referred to this as an “attack on our country” which is hard to figure out given the shooter basically is a citizen and Army reservist who did tours in Afghanistan. That probably is the least useful or correct characterization I’ve seen to date.
“It is a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said.
The statement went on to send support and prayers to the “brave police officers and first responders who risk their lives to protect us every day.”
As usual,the message is to let the surviving family members eat imaginary support and very worthless prayers. None of his words were helpful or healing.
President Obama took to a microphone yet another time to mourn large numbers of American dead who were killed working and living on the streets of their own city. He also spoke directly of the Black Lives Matter movement and its utter frustration with the many instances where police kill unarmed black men unprovoked.
President Obama said Thursday he shares the “anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling” about this week’s police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.
“All Americans should be deeply troubled by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post. “We’ve seen such tragedies far too many times.”
Obama’s first reaction to the shootings was published on the social media site while he was flying on Air Force One to a NATO summit in Poland.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was pinned down by two white police officers and shot dead on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, La. Castile, 32 and also black, was fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop on Wednesday.
Parts of both incidents were caught on video, but Obama did not say if has viewed the footage.
He declined to comment on the specifics of both cases, but he praised the Justice Department’s decision to investigate the Louisiana shooting. It is also weighing a probe of the Minnesota incident.
The twin shootings stirred nationwide anger about police violence against black men.
Obama has been forced to confront a string of deaths in cities such as Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and New York City. And his White House has often struggled to mend frayed ties between police departments and the communities they serve.
“Regardless of the outcome of such investigations, what’s clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents,” Obama wrote. He said they are a result of distrust based on racial disparities between police and urban communities.
The president urged law enforcement agencies to adopt the recommendations of a White House task force designed to close that divide.
Not all Americans are interested in healing the divide. Right wing meat puppet and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh rose to the nation’s crisis by threatening our president. This came in the form of a tweet that hastily went away but was captured by the many who monitor extremists.
Forrmer Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh declared “This is now war” and called for President Barack Obama to “watch out” in a Twitter post reacting to the Dallas shooting that killed five police officers and injured seven.
“This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you,” he wrote in the tweet, which has since been deleted.
I’d like to close this post with some words of Charles Blow who characterizes this situation as “An arms race of atrocities”.
While sitting in on CNN’s coverage of Thursday night’s events, journalist Charles Blow said all protesters want is to make sure everyone — civilian or police — goes home to their families at the end of their day.
“The protests themselves are ultimately about life,” Blow said. “The ability to live out your life and not have life unreasonably taken. Your response to this has to be about life.”
He then pointed out that it’s time to stop making it an “arms race of atrocities.”
“A lot of what I’ve seen over the last few hours have been people rushing to try to figure out ways to see if something adds to an argument or doesn’t add to an argument,” he said. “I don’t understand when you stop being human, enough to slow down and say, yes the two people who were killed, who the protests were about, had families and they are hurt, and they are angry. These people have families too.”
People need to admit that “everybody deserves to go home.”
Here’s hoping that we can get some sensible gun control at some point. It’s incredible to me that we can go through these frequent mass shootings and not actually see any kind of policy attempt to get to the root of the problems.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
What’s going on?