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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

Journal Archives

'How did we get here?': Trump has normalised mayhem and the US is paying the price

'How did we get here?': Trump has normalised mayhem and the US is paying the price
More than 100,000 have died in a pandemic and troops are on the streets. The rate of fresh affronts has outpaced the ability to digest them

(Guardian UK) The sheer tumult of the Trump era, the unceasing torrent of events that were unthinkable even hours before, has left a nation constantly off balance, unable to find its bearing and grasp how far it has traveled.

The developments of the past 24 hours were a reminder of how slippery the downward slope has been.

More than a hundred thousand Americans are dead from a pandemic after the government’s botched response; there are armoured cars and troops outside Washington metro stations; men in combat gear carrying sniper rifles were seen perched in the open door of a helicopter flying low over the commercial district. A military chopper buzzed a crowd of demonstrators so close to the ground they were buffeted around by the wind from the rotor, a dispersal technique learned in counter-insurgencies abroad.

On Monday, an entirely peaceful protest was driven out of a city square in front of the White House with teargas, baton charges and mounted police, so Trump could pose in front of a church with a Bible.

A priest and a seminarian, who had been distributing water and hand sanitizer to protesters from the steps of St John’s Episcopal, were driven away by police with helmets and riot shields to create an uncluttered tableau. A Bible was procured for Trump from inside the church for him to hold aloft. Journalists asked if it was his Bible. “It’s a Bible,” he replied. ........(more)


I know it's been said before, but at a time of multiple, historic crises.....

.... we have the WORST POSSIBLE PERSON leading the country. A DSM-level psychopath whose first (ok, only) concern is how epidemics/recessions/unrest affect him. I just hope we make it to November 3 in one tattered piece.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”
― Hannah Arendt

Guardian UK: 'Words of a dictator': Trump's threat to deploy military raises spectre of fascism

'Words of a dictator': Trump's threat to deploy military raises spectre of fascism
The president suggested the US could use troops against Americans – true to the instincts of a man surrounded by sycophants

David Smith in Washington
Tue 2 Jun 2020 06.00

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross,” goes an oft-quoted line of uncertain origin.

On Monday evening, Donald Trump, with four US flags behind him, threatened to send in the military against the American people, then crossed the road to pose for a photo outside a historic church while clutching an upside-down Bible.

He was only able to get there after heavily armed police and horse-mounted national guardsmen fired teargas and rubber bullets to chase away peaceful protesters and journalists.

The shocking split-screen moment probably left millions of Americans shaken, frightened and outraged. Comparisons to dictators, fashionable during Trump’s political ascent, have fallen out of favour in recent years. Now they might be in for a comeback. Certainly top Democrats did not hold back.

Ron Wyden, a Democratic senator for Oregon, tweeted: “The fascist speech Donald Trump just delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens. I fear for our country tonight and will not stop defending America against Trump’s assault.” ...........(more)


N.J. commuting will change forever as state slowly reopens. Here's what to expect.

N.J. commuting will change forever as state slowly reopens. Here’s what to expect.
Commuting, transit agencies and highway traffic will be affected by how and where employees work, with those continuing to work from home being the biggest game changer, experts told NJ Advance Media.

Larry Higgs
nj.com (TNS)
Jun 1st, 2020

What will a post-coronavirus commute be like when New Jersey reopens? Nothing like the traffic and transit crowding we saw before the pandemic, experts said.

Commuting, transit agencies and highway traffic will be affected by how and where employees work, with those continuing to work from home being the biggest game changer, experts told NJ Advance Media.

COVID-19 non-essential worker restrictions increased the number of employees working remotely to 60% of the workforce, said Bill Castellano, a professor in the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations and a former Wall Street human resources executive.

Castellano expects some of those work-from-home orders will remain even when travel restrictions are lifted, while other companies will experiment with staggering work hours or work weeks, he said. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey already tried that, rotating office hours where one-third of staff is in-office at any given time while the other two-thirds work from home. ...........(more)


Naked Florida man spent 24 hours vandalizing school

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) — A 21-year-old naked man broke into a South Florida high school and spent almost 24 hours vandalizing the building, police said.

Security cameras caught Matthew Crandall on video trashing Miramar High School. He wore only a hat and headphones while smashing computers and televisions, Miramar police said in a tweet.

The video showed Crandall broke into the school around 7 a.m. Monday. He caused flooding in hallways and vandalized classrooms, walls and hallways throughout the school in Broward County, police said.

A school custodian discovered the damage, which was estimated at about $100,000, police said. ...............(more)


Coronavirus tracked: Charting Sweden's disastrous no-lockdown strategy

(Independent UK) Sweden has taken the ignominious title of the country with the world's highest death rate from the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The title, which was was briefly held by the UK in late May, comes after Swedish officials decided to ignore the lockdown advice of countless health experts and keep the country open during the pandemic.

The number of deaths per capita in Sweden is now more than four-times that of any of its Scandinavian and Nordic neighbours.

And while its death toll of around 4,500 may still be just a fraction of other badly affected countries like the US (105,000+) and the UK (38,000+), it is the death rate that reveals the true impact of Sweden's no-lockdown approach.

The rolling seven-day average for new confirmed deaths per million people in Sweden is now nearly twice that of the US, and more than five-times that of France, which had the highest death rate in the world in April. ...............(more)


New Trump public land rules will let Alaska hunters kill bear cubs in dens

(Guardian UK) The Trump administration is finalizing rules that will allow hunters in Alaska’s national preserves to shoot bears and wolves, and their cubs and pups, while they are in their dens.

The National Park Service is reversing regulations written by the Barack Obama administration, which banned some of the much-criticized practices for hunting the predators, including luring bears with food like doughnuts.

Jesse Prentice-Dunn, policy director for the Center for Western Priorities, called the rule change “amazingly cruel” and said it was “just the latest in a string of efforts to reduce protections for America’s wildlife at the behest of oil companies and trophy hunters”.

The park service’s deputy director, David Vela, said the change would “more closely align hunting and trapping regulations with those established by the state of Alaska”. ...........(more)


'Every Night Is Friday Night': Home Booze Sales Defy Reopening

(Bloomberg) Bars and restaurants are slowly reopening, but many Americans are content to keep drinking on the couch.

Sales of liquor for home consumption surged when bars and restaurants closed in March amid nationwide quarantine rules. A cold beer or a crisp chardonnay helped ease Americans’ mounting anxiety about the pandemic, not to mention the stress of juggling work and parenting duties from home all at once.

But even as drinking establishments in some states welcome a limited number of customers back in their doors, that hasn’t stunted the astronomical growth of liquor delivery services like Drizly, where sales are still about 400% above historical levels.

“Sales have continued to distribute across the week as more consumers are home during the work week,” Drizly said on its website. Or, as an analyst at Evercore ISI put it: “Every night is Friday night for people.” ..........(more)


The Supreme Court Is About to Make Seismic Rulings on Reproductive Rights

The Supreme Court Is About to Make Seismic Rulings on Reproductive Rights

BYMarjorie Cohn, Truthout
May 31, 2020

The rights of women to terminate their pregnancies and to receive free contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are on the chopping block. Those challenges to reproductive freedom are consistent with Trump’s agenda of pandering to the religious right while erasing Barack Obama’s achievements. The Supreme Court will rule on these cases during the month of June.

Burdening the Right to Abortion

Although the Court does not yet have a case that contests the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade, it has the opportunity to chip away at the right to abortion as opponents continue to erect obstacles to reproductive health care. Their strategy is to bring about death of abortion by a thousand cuts.

Four years ago, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the high court struck down a Texas law that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the location of the abortion. The Court held that the law did not provide “medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes” and erected “a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitut(ing) an undue burden on abortion access.”

In June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, the high court is now facing the same issue it resolved in Whole Woman’s Health. Louisiana has a law identical to the overruled Texas law. If upheld, the Louisiana law would leave only one doctor in one Louisiana clinic to perform abortions. The lower court found that closing all other clinics in the state would impose a heavy burden on low-income women, requiring them to travel long distances to obtain abortions. ............(more)


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