On another note, Vladimir Putin is doing his best to convince me that he did in fact interfere in the 2016 election and Donald Trump is doing his best to convince me that he thinks that’s just great.
So you know what? In the past, I’ve been skeptical, and in general, I am skeptical of classified evidence, but they’re giving me every reason to believe it’s all true. When guilty folks tell me they’re guilty and I have no reason to suspect a coerced confession, what else am I supposed to think?
Assuming Keaira Booker’s claims are correct—and I have every reason to suspect that they are—there is absolutely no excuse for this cop’s conduct. The right to film is well-established; the dropped disorderly conduct charge against her appears to be a pretext.
I have mapped where I have found guns or other weaponry gratuitously displayed here. There are two locations, namely in South Park (the park) and North Oakland (Pittsburgh, near University of Pittsburgh, not far from Carnegie Mellon University), here that are not in or near economically distressed areas that appear to me to have high proportions of Blacks among their populations. The rest all are. Most are on the south or west side of the Monongahela River. Three are on the north or east side of that river. I have not yet found such weaponry on display in other locations, although I believe that more get wheeled out around Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
There is not, by any means, a one-to-one correspondence between gratuitous displays of weaponry and disadvantaged areas. I see many more, over a wider area, of the latter. But the proportion with which the former, nine out of eleven at this writing, are placed in or near the latter is what raises my suspicion.
These are all locations I have observed while driving for Lyft so a bias exists in that I am more likely to notice these weapons in places I frequent.
When I first heard about U.S. forces coming under so-called “friendly fire” from Turkish forces invading Syria, I remembered the U.S.S. Liberty, a reconnaisance ship that came under attack by Israel. The ship was well-marked and should have been identifiable as a U.S. ship at a considerable distance. Further, the Israelis deployed a form of electronic attack that took out U.S. military communication channels. But, in what’s widely believed to have been a cover-up, the U.S. and Israeli governments have said it was all a mistake and the sailors on the Liberty are under a permanent gag order. An Intercept story on the incident is a classic example of “he said, she said” journalism, and inclines toward the official account, providing yet more evidence in support of J. Herbert Altschull’s thesis.
Sometimes “friendly fire” really is just “friendly fire.” Those of us (myself included) who have never been in battle cannot really imagine the pandemonium.
I know the weather has changed in California. The wildfires there now are unlike anything we had before. And to hear many people talk, a few recent years of relatively normal rainfall might as well have been Noah’s Flood. Their disorientation is understandable: California has suffered many more dry years than wet during my entire adult life.
I’m starting to hear that the weather is indeed also different in Pittsburgh. Summers are wetter and winters are less cool, a passenger told me yesterday. She blamed climate change for Dutch Elm disease (trees are more vulnerable when stressed, including by climate change) and lightning (presumably from severe storms that could be more common as a result of climate change) that had killed some trees around her driveway. She is blind, but she could feel the difference in the pavement: It was cool before; now it is hot. She also conflated the issue of fracking-induced earthquakes. But she’s a believer in the climate crisis.
By the way, she identifies herself as a conservative—I couldn’t identify what tendenc[y|ies]. As I’ve mulled it over, my initial, so-preliminary-that-I-probably-shouldn’t-say-it guess would be traditionalist.
Solastalgia describes the feeling of distress caused by environmental change, and it was coined by Australian environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht. “It was important to give that feeling a name because it was missing from our language,” Albrecht says from his small farm in Australia’s Hunter Valley region in the eastern state of New South Wales.
It’s hard for me to address the weather difference here in Pittsburgh from my own experience. I lived here for a couple years as a kid and my memories from fifty years ago are hazy.
But the pattern I don’t much remember but have seen a lot so far this year has been of a rapid increase in temperature and humidity, followed by rain or thunderstorms. The latter bring some relief, but the temperature rises again following them. This has been happening a lot, even on days when the forecast calls for a relatively low chance of rain.
I do remember walking to the Mount Lebanon swimming pool as a kid. I’m pretty sure I had a bicycle but with the hills around here, it’d have been easier just to walk. People still go to swimming pools, sometimes taking a Lyft to do so. And I see them in the Dormont pool which is visible from McFarland Road (between Beverly Road and Banksville Road).
But it’s kind of hard for me to imagine doing that now; the chance of thunderstorms seems much higher than the forecasts ever indicate. Though there are a number of massive antennae about that I’m pretty sure also serve as lightning rods, a swimming pool is not a wise place to be during such a storm.
I’ve taken to watching the cumulus clouds as I drive around. It seems like they’re here every day. When even only some turn dark, it seems I can be sure that some precipitation is coming, even if it’s only a few big fat drops on my windshield.
One has to take pronouncements, such as this one about the possibilities of war and ethnic cleansing, by Pakistani politicians with a grain of salt. I have noticed a tendency towards hyperbole. But there is absolutely zero up-side to India’s move to revoke Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status. Zero. None. Nada. The risks of a conflagration between these two nuclear-armed countries are considerable and it is entirely worthwhile to wonder what India’s intentions are.
I’m an anarchist, remember? Which probably should mean I would prefer a republic to a monarchy. Both are authoritarian, but the republic at least has some representation. Which isn’t real democracy and falls a long ways short of what’s actually needed but is at least something.
Here’s someone pointing out, with some considerable justification, however, that British royalty is making a hell of a lot more sense than British politicians. This is the part I really like:
It is typical of the age that anyone allying themselves with an optimistic vision – what if we could avert climate catastrophe? What if we stamped out prejudice? – is immediately greeted with this kind of ire. The mean-spirited arguments are constructed on a foundation of bad faith. Only the underprivileged can talk about privilege; only the excluded can talk about bigotry; only the monk can talk about consumption. The ploy is quite clear: virtually nobody counts as quite deprived enough to have ambitions for a better world, so everybody should just pipe down.
Ouch. There remains the issue of speaking for others, but if you read to the end of her chapter, which a certain professor emeritus I know of might never actually have done, Linda Alcott explains that those of us with some privilege should speak on behalf of others, but in consultation and cooperation with them. Ouch anyway.
Linda Martín Alcott, “The Problem of Speaking for Others,” in Who Can Speak? Authority and Critical Identity, Judith Roof and Robyn Wiegman, eds. (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1995), 97-119.↩
I have to say, the weather here in Pittsburgh seems a bit extreme. There isn’t just rain, but flash flood warnings (and a lot of them). There aren’t just thunderstorms, but severe thunderstorm warnings. It isn’t just hot, but there’s an excessive heat warning. And so it goes. People don’t talk about it much so I don’t quite know what to make of this.
Last night, as I went to bed, the lightning and thunder started in earnest. Yesterday, as I was driving some folks to Monroeville, the downpour was so intense that 1) people actually slowed down, and 2) I ran the windshield wipers on very fast (it rarely does any good so I generally don’t do this) almost the whole way.
I don’t remember it being like this when I was here for a couple years as a kid, fifty years ago. But there are other differences: The alerts come on my phones now: I always know about the alerts and warnings today where I don’t know if there even was an alert system when I was a kid.
The resignations have begun as Boris Johnson, the prime minister-apparent, prepares to take over 10 Downing Street.
Image attributed to alicejoy1248 on Tenor, January 6, 2017, fair use.
I am deeply suspicious, given the culture evident at Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that no amount of proof will be sufficient for non-whites to avoid deportation:
Immigrants apprehended in Iowa, Nebraska or other inland states would have to prove to immigration officials that they have been in the United States continuously for the past two years, or they could end up in an immigration jail facing quick deportation. And it could be relatively low-level immigration officers — not officers of a court — making the decisions.
This sounds more like it to me:
“This new directive flows directly from the racist rhetoric that the president has been using for the last week and indeed months, but this new rule is going to terrorize communities of color,” said [Vanita] Gupta, who was head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama. “It really reads as a send-them-all-back policy,” she added, referring to the audience’s “Send her back!” chants at a Trump rally last week in response to the president’s attacks on a Somali-born Muslim congresswoman, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
David Leopold, a Cleveland immigration lawyer and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said expanding the expedited-removal program shifts the decision-making to immigration officers who might not have much experience with such a policy and means that many immigrants who might have the right to remain in the country will not be given the opportunity to show it.
But let’s be clear: The new policy flows from a law signed by Bill Clinton whose administration limited its enforcement. The George W. Bush administration expanded that enforcement along the southern border. Donald Trump is just taking advantage.
Though he certainly tried, even Mike Pence couldn’t completely manage to whitewash conditions in the concentration camps.
The vice president’s office said it specifically instructed the Border Patrol agents not to clean up or sanitize the facility beyond what is routine so the American people could see the overcrowding and scarce resources, like lack of beds, and see how serious the crisis is at the border.
While CNN was told by a [Customs and Border Patrol] official at the Clint facility the environment was the same on Wednesday [June 26] as it was last week when legal monitors visited, a CBP source with firsthand knowledge of the facility said, “Typical. The agency prepped for you guys.” The source added, “It’s a never-ending cat and mouse game.”
Of course they “prepped” the facilities for Pence’s visit. No assertion to the contrary can be considered even remotely credible. And even if they were spotless and even if everybody had a king-sized bed to sleep on and even if families were not separated and even if the toilets were made of gold and even if butlers were serving sparking water in silver chalices, they would still be concentration camps, as I wrote earlier:
Finally, I guess I need to dredge out that definition of a concentration camp again:
a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard —used especially in reference to camps created by the Nazis in World War II for the internment and persecution of Jews and other prisoners.
Notice that it contains no reference to the conditions under which human beings are being held. These centers are concentration camps no matter how much money you throw at them.
The ridicule Pelosi is piling onto AOC, Pressley, Tlaib and Omar is pretty wild when you consider they all supported her for Speaker while Josh Gottheimer egged on a challenge from the right and then blew up Pelosi's border bill. https://t.co/VSPLYHh07U
It’s not even July 4th yet and people around here are shooting off fireworks like there is no tomorrow. I can’t, for the life of me, understand the appeal. I hate the noise.
Department of Homeland Security investigators have now confirmed much of what has previously been reported but Trump administration and Customs and Border Patrol officials denied about conditions in the concentration camps for migrants along the southern border.
.@B_resnick, in light of conditions to be found in Border Patrol facilities reported by multiple sources and the secret Facebook group reported by @propublica, you must retract your claims about @PhilZimbardo. You were wrong when you made those claims and you are now complicit.
Believe the worst. Believe the absolute worst, no matter how over the top it may seem. And remember, I didn’t tell you so, but Philip Zimbardo did. And Brian Resnick, from whom I’ve still not seen a retraction, must be judged complicit. As is the National Border Patrol Council (a union) attempting to dismiss members of an absolutely repugnant Facebook group as exceptions rather than the rule. Zimbardo addressed that too.
“If you want water, just drink from a toilet.” That’s what border patrol told one thirsty woman we met on today’s #DemsAtTheBorder trip. These are the same CBP personnel who threatened to throw burritos at members of Congress. Changes must be made. #DontLookAwaypic.twitter.com/dW34DRduDA
I have to tell you: For me, folks such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have infinitely more credibility than anyone working for the Department of Homeland Security, including the inspector-general who denies that detainees are forced to drink from toilets. And there is so much more than what I present here, indeed, more than what I can bear to even look at.
“CNN and other media outlets toured the Clint facility last Wednesday [June 26] but were barred from taking any pictures or video.” They found relatively sane conditions and an apparently well-supplied facility, but:
While CNN was told by a CBP [Customs and Border Protection] official at the Clint facility the environment was the same on Wednesday as it was last week when legal monitors visited, a CBP source with firsthand knowledge of the facility said, “Typical. The agency prepped for you guys.” The source added, “It’s a never-ending cat and mouse game.”
Incredibly, some alleged ‘experts’ still try to deny that San Francisco is becoming a place where only the really rich, not even techies earning six-figure incomes, can afford to live, while the realities of gentrification, homogenization, homelessness, and destitution set in for all. Now the Guardian joins the fray saying pretty much what any ‘non-expert’ could and would tell you: It’s true and it sucks. Those so-called ‘experts’ need to get the fuck over themselves.
But also, the techie whiners who don’t have it even remotely so bad as the folks they shoved aside so they could move in to San Francisco. Because there’s an obvious at least partial solution to affordable housing there: They stole the city from people who had lived there all their lives, even for generations. They can easily live elsewhere. They could all move the fuck out.
Given the letter of the law as previously reported, I do not see how the administration has a defense on withholding Donald Trump’s tax returns. I would think a summary judgment would be in order. But I guess it’s harder than that.