Redlining and guns

Redlining

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.[1]

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.

The labels are the addresses (from Google Maps) from where I shot the photographs. I transcribed the geographic coordinates from the photographs to map the locations. They thus do not pinpoint the locations of the weapons themselves but rather vantage points (with slight variations if I used more than one) I used in taking the pictures. Clicking on a point will bring up the photograph and and address. The complete photograph album is publicly available and I have preserved the metadata in the photographs.

This is an ongoing project. More points may be added later.


Migration

Priscilla Alvarez, Geneva Sands, and Tami Luhby, “Three federal judges hit Trump on immigration policy changes,” CNN, October 11, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/11/politics/green-card-public-charge-rule-blocked/index.html


Kurdistan

When I first heard about U.S. forces coming under so-called “friendly fire” from Turkish forces invading Syria,[2] 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,[3] providing yet more evidence in support of J. Herbert Altschull’s thesis.[4]

So guess what happens? Now the soldiers who came under attack—the Turks knew damn well where they were—insist they were intentionally targeted.[5]

The Israelis might have been covering up a slaughter of Egyptian prisoners of war.[6] The Turks may have wider territorial aspirations than they claim.[7] But Donald Trump abandons the Kurds.[8]

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “U.S. Forces Come Under Turkish Fire As Ankara Presses On In Syria,” Global Security, October 12, 2019, https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2019/10/mil-191012-rferl01.htm

  1. [1]David Benfell, “The banners and the guns: Flagrant racism in Pittsburgh,” Not Housebroken, October 12, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/09/20/the-banners-and-the-guns-flagrant-racism-in-pittsburgh/
  2. [2]Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “U.S. Forces Come Under Turkish Fire As Ankara Presses On In Syria,” Global Security, October 12, 2019, https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2019/10/mil-191012-rferl01.htm
  3. [3]Miriam Pensack, “Fifty Years Later, NSA Keeps Details of Israel’s USS Liberty Attack Secret,” Intercept, June 6, 2017, https://theintercept.com/2017/06/06/fifty-years-later-nsa-keeps-details-of-israels-uss-liberty-attack-secret/
  4. [4]Herbert Altschull, Agents of Power: The Media and Public Policy, 2nd ed. (White Plains, NY: Longman, 1995)
  5. [5]Dan Lamothe, “U.S. forces say Turkey was deliberately ‘bracketing’ American troops with artillery fire in Syria,” Washington Post, October 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2019/10/12/us-forces-say-turkey-was-deliberately-bracketing-american-forces-with-artillery-fire-syria/
  6. [6]Miriam Pensack, “Fifty Years Later, NSA Keeps Details of Israel’s USS Liberty Attack Secret,” Intercept, June 6, 2017, https://theintercept.com/2017/06/06/fifty-years-later-nsa-keeps-details-of-israels-uss-liberty-attack-secret/
  7. [7]Dan Lamothe, “U.S. forces say Turkey was deliberately ‘bracketing’ American troops with artillery fire in Syria,” Washington Post, October 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2019/10/12/us-forces-say-turkey-was-deliberately-bracketing-american-forces-with-artillery-fire-syria/
  8. [8]Kareem Fahim, Sarah Dadouch, and Asser Khattab, “Turkey launches offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria,” Washington Post, October 9, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/with-turkish-offensive-looming-syrian-kurds-mobilize-civilian-defense/2019/10/09/4efca794-ea02-11e9-a329-7378fbfa1b63_story.html; Bethan McKernan, Julian Borger, and Dan Sabbagh, “Turkish troops advance into Syria as Trump washes his hands of the Kurds,” Guardian, October 9, 2019,
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/09/turkey-syria-attack-latest-news-kurds-trump; Dion Nissenbaum and Gordon Lubold, “Trump’s Call to Leave Syria Draws Fire From GOP Allies,” Wall Street Journalhttps://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-begins-pullback-from-northern-syria-clearing-way-for-turkish-offensive-11570439862; Richard Spencer, “Turkey steps up airstrikes on Kurds as 60,000 civilians flee,” Times, October 11, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/turkey-steps-up-bombing-of-kurdish-positions-in-northern-syria-g88fr0x5n; Robin Wright, “Defying the World, Turkey Launches a War Against a U.S. Ally in Syria,” New Yorker, October 9, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/defying-the-world-turkey-launches-a-war-against-a-united-states-ally-in-syria; Stephen Zunes, “This Isn’t the First Time the US Has Abandoned the Kurds,” Truthout, October 10, 2019, https://truthout.org/articles/this-isnt-the-first-time-the-us-has-abandoned-the-kurds/

Boris Johnson doesn’t want a Brexit deal. He wants an election he foolishly thinks he can win.

Brexit

Joe Armitage, “How Henry VIII powers could allow the government to cut through the Surrender Act,” Telegraph, September 27, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/09/27/henry-viii-powers-could-allow-government-cut-surrender-act/

Kevin Rawlinson, “Language in Brexit debate ‘unacceptable’, warn C of E bishops,” Guardian, September 27, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/27/c-of-e-bishops-call-for-amelioration-of-brexit-rhetoric

Danielle Sheridan, James Crisp, and Tony Diver, “Brexit latest news: Britain is approaching ‘moment of truth’, Stephen Barclay says as EU talks resume,” Telegraph, September 27, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/09/27/brexit-latest-newsboris-johnson-parliament-no-deal-barnier-conference/

Henry Zeffman and Steven Swinford, “Brexit row: Divisive language harms chance of a deal, Tories warn Johnson,” Times, September 27, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/brexit-row-divisive-language-harms-chance-of-a-deal-tories-warn-johnson-kw2mwjptf


Whistle blowing

There is a new blog post entitled, “The New York Times at least very nearly exposes a whistle blower.“

Maanvi Singh, “New York Times faces backlash after revealing details about whistleblower,” Guardian, September 27, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/sep/26/new-york-times-trump-ukraine-whistleblower-published


Migrants

Maria Sacchetti, “Federal judge blocks Trump administration from detaining migrant children for indefinite periods,” Washington Post, September 27, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/federal-judge-blocks-trump-administration-from-detaining-migrant-children-for-indefinite-periods/2019/09/27/49a39790-e15f-11e9-b199-f638bf2c340f_story.html


The weather, it is a-changing

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.[1]

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.


Trade

But Donald Trump is a “master of negotiation.” Brilliant. Absolutely fucking brilliant.

Stephen Bartholomeusz, “Trump is escalating a trade war he isn’t winning,” Sydney Morning Herald, August 5, 2019, https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/trump-is-escalating-a-trade-war-he-isn-t-winning-20190805-p52dxf.html


Ridesharing

This[2] adds to the pile.[3]

Laura Bliss, “How Much Traffic Do Uber and Lyft Cause?” CityLab, August 5, 2019, https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/08/uber-lyft-traffic-congestion-ride-hailing-cities-drivers-vmt/595393/


Migration

2019-8-5-libya-security-migrants
This is a refugee camp. Image by Ismail Zitouny on July 3, 2019, via Public Radio International.[4]

James Reinl, “Libya’s hellish refugee centers remain open despite calls for closure,” Public Radio International, August 6, 2019, https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-08-06/libyas-hellish-refugee-centers-remain-open-despite-calls-closure


Kashmir

One has to take pronouncements, such as this one about the possibilities of war and ethnic cleansing,[5] 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.[6] 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.

Diaa Hadid, Scott Neuman, and Abdul Sattar, “Pakistan Warns Of War After India’s Move To End Kashmir’s Special Status,” National Public Radio, August 7, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/08/07/748957876/pakistan-warns-indias-move-to-end-kashmir-s-special-status-could-lead-to-war


Brexit

I’ve heard about the difficulties of re-erecting a hard Irish border, as would be required in a “no deal” scenario,[7] in the abstract. But here they are in a damning first person account.[8]

Séamas O’Reilly, “Hard Brexiters’ stance on the Irish border is nonsense – I can tell you, I grew up there,” Guardian, August 7, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/northern-ireland-hard-border-brexit-customs


Royalty

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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] Ouch anyway.

Zoe Williams, “I never thought I’d see the royal family as a beacon of hope,” August 7, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/post-referendum-britain-royals-progressive-meghan-markle


Police

I wanted to put a line in my blog post yesterday, “Of course the cops don’t care about white supremacism,” about people of color being more likely to be shot by police.

A quick search indicated that might be wrong and it seems the story remains unclear. Brentin Mock goes into all this in some detail.[12]

Brentin Mock, “What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings,” CityLab, August 6, 2019, https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/08/police-officer-shootings-gun-violence-racial-bias-crime-data/595528/


  1. [1]Will Higginbotham, “Are You Climate Homesick? He’s Got a Word for That,” Ozy, July 26, 2019, https://www.ozy.com/rising-stars/are-you-climate-homesick-hes-got-a-word-for-that/95504
  2. [2]Laura Bliss, “How Much Traffic Do Uber and Lyft Cause?” CityLab, August 5, 2019, https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/08/uber-lyft-traffic-congestion-ride-hailing-cities-drivers-vmt/595393/
  3. [3]Emily Badger, “Is Uber Helping or Hurting Mass Transit?” New York Times, October 16, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/upshot/is-uber-helping-or-hurting-mass-transit.html; Katie Dowd, “Why is San Francisco traffic so bad? Uber and Lyft are to blame, says city,” SFGate, December 13, 2016, http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-traffic-Uber-Lyft-SFMTA-blame-10791265.php; Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, “SFPD: Uber, Lyft account for two-thirds of congestion-related traffic violations downtown,” San Francisco Examiner, September 25, 2017, http://www.sfexaminer.com/sfpd-uber-lyft-account-two-thirds-congestion-related-traffic-violations-downtown/; Nikil Saval, “Uber and the Ongoing Erasure of Public Life,” New Yorker, February 19, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/dept-of-design/uber-and-the-ongoing-erasure-of-public-life; Faiz Siddiqui, “A new study says services like UberPool are making traffic worse,” Washington Post, July 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2018/07/25/a-new-study-says-services-like-uberpool-are-making-traffic-worse/; Heather Somerville, “San Francisco investigating whether Uber, Lyft are public nuisances,” Reuters, June 5, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-san-francisco-rideservices-idUSKBN18W2F3 See also David Benfell, “San Francisco’s war on Uber and Lyft drivers,” Not Housebroken, September 27, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/2017/09/27/san-franciscos-war-on-uber-and-lyft-drivers/
  4. [4]James Reinl, “Libya’s hellish refugee centers remain open despite calls for closure,” Public Radio International, August 6, 2019, https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-08-06/libyas-hellish-refugee-centers-remain-open-despite-calls-closure
  5. [5]Diaa Hadid, Scott Neuman, and Abdul Sattar, “Pakistan Warns Of War After India’s Move To End Kashmir’s Special Status,” National Public Radio, August 7, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/08/07/748957876/pakistan-warns-indias-move-to-end-kashmir-s-special-status-could-lead-to-war
  6. [6]Niha Masih, “India revokes special status of Kashmir, putting tense region on edge,” Washington Post, August 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/india-revokes-special-status-of-kashmir-putting-tense-region-on-edge/2019/08/05/2232fcd0-b740-11e9-8e83-4e6687e99814_story.html
  7. [7]Karla Adam and William Booth, “Could Boris Johnson’s ‘no-deal’ Brexit break up the United Kingdom?” Washington Post, July 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/could-boris-johnsons-no-deal-brexit-crack-up-the-united-kingdom/2019/07/29/b871ebac-b1e6-11e9-acc8-1d847bacca73_story.html; Daniel Boffey, “However you look at it, the logic of a Brexit backstop refuses to yield,” Guardian, June 24, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/24/however-look-logic-brexit-backstop-refuses-to-yield-irish; British Broadcasting Corporation, “Irish deputy PM Coveney: No deal Brexit would mean customs checks in Ireland,” July 21, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-49062367/irish-deputy-pm-coveney-no-deal-brexit-would-mean-customs-checks-in-ireland; Amanda Ferguson and William Booth, “Northern Ireland’s politicians don’t agree on much. Except that Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit would be a disaster,” Washington Post, July 31, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/northern-irelands-politicians-dont-agree-on-much-except-that-boris-johnsons-no-deal-brexit-would-be-a-disaster/2019/07/31/c209affa-b2eb-11e9-acc8-1d847bacca73_story.html; Peter Foster and Camilla Tominey, “Boris Johnson warned that ‘no deal’ Brexit will require return of ‘direct rule’ in Northern Ireland,” Telegraph, July 26, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/26/boris-johnson-warned-no-deal-brexit-will-require-return-direct/; Conor Humphries, “Irish PM says hard Brexit would raise issue of Irish unification,” Telegraph, July 27, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-ireland-nireland-idUSKCN1UL280
  8. [8]Séamas O’Reilly, “Hard Brexiters’ stance on the Irish border is nonsense – I can tell you, I grew up there,” Guardian, August 7, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/northern-ireland-hard-border-brexit-customs
  9. [9]Zoe Williams, “I never thought I’d see the royal family as a beacon of hope,” August 7, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/post-referendum-britain-royals-progressive-meghan-markle
  10. [10]Zoe Williams, “I never thought I’d see the royal family as a beacon of hope,” August 7, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/post-referendum-britain-royals-progressive-meghan-markle
  11. [11]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.
  12. [12]Brentin Mock, “What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings,” CityLab, August 6, 2019, https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/08/police-officer-shootings-gun-violence-racial-bias-crime-data/595528/

It might as well be the Nazis

There is a new blog post entitled, “Heil Trump.”


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.


Brexit

The resignations have begun as Boris Johnson, the prime minister-apparent, prepares to take over 10 Downing Street.[1]

William James and Elizabeth Piper, “UK minister quits before Johnson becomes PM, decries ‘dark cloud’ of Brexit,” Reuters, July 22, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-idUSKCN1UH0UE


Migration

tenor.gif
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,[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5] Donald Trump is just taking advantage.

Maria Sacchetti, “Trump administration to expand its power to deport undocumented immigrants,” Washington Post, July 22, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-administration-to-expand-its-power-to-deport-undocumented-immigrants/2019/07/22/76d09bc4-ac8e-11e9-bc5c-e73b603e7f38_story.html


  1. [1]William James and Elizabeth Piper, “UK minister quits before Johnson becomes PM, decries ‘dark cloud’ of Brexit,” Reuters, July 22, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-idUSKCN1UH0UE
  2. [2]Sam Levin, “‘Happy hunting!’ Immigration agents swapped cheery messages about raids, records reveal,” Guardian, July 3, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/03/ice-us-immigration-messages-raids; Geneva Sands and Nick Valencia, “2nd Customs and Border Protection-connected secret Facebook group shows mocking images,” CNN, July 5, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/05/politics/cbp-second-facebook-group-images/index.html; A. C. Thompson, “Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes,” ProPublica, July 1, 2019, https://www.propublica.org/article/secret-border-patrol-facebook-group-agents-joke-about-migrant-deaths-post-sexist-memes
  3. [3]Maria Sacchetti, “Trump administration to expand its power to deport undocumented immigrants,” Washington Post, July 22, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-administration-to-expand-its-power-to-deport-undocumented-immigrants/2019/07/22/76d09bc4-ac8e-11e9-bc5c-e73b603e7f38_story.html
  4. [4]Maria Sacchetti, “Trump administration to expand its power to deport undocumented immigrants,” Washington Post, July 22, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-administration-to-expand-its-power-to-deport-undocumented-immigrants/2019/07/22/76d09bc4-ac8e-11e9-bc5c-e73b603e7f38_story.html
  5. [5]Maria Sacchetti, “Trump administration to expand its power to deport undocumented immigrants,” Washington Post, July 22, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-administration-to-expand-its-power-to-deport-undocumented-immigrants/2019/07/22/76d09bc4-ac8e-11e9-bc5c-e73b603e7f38_story.html

Even Mike Pence can’t whitewash the concentration camps

Migration

Though he certainly tried, even Mike Pence couldn’t completely manage to whitewash[1] conditions in the concentration camps.[2]

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.[3]

But,

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.”[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]

Associated Press, “Trump asks Supreme Court to unfreeze border wall money,” Washington Post, July 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/trump-asks-supreme-court-to-unfreeze-border-wall-money/2019/07/12/d865c8ea-a4f6-11e9-a767-d7ab84aef3e9_story.html

Josh Dawsey and Colby Itkowitz, “‘This is tough stuff’: At Texas detention facility, Pence sees hundreds of migrants crammed with no beds,” Washington Post, July 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pence-tours-detention-facilities-at-the-border-defends-administrations-treatment-of-migrants/2019/07/12/993f54e0-a4bc-11e9-b8c8-75dae2607e60_story.html


Nancy Pelosi

Eugene Scott, “The bad optics of Pelosi vs. the ‘newly elected women of color,’” Washington Post, July 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/11/demoralizing-disrespectful-ocasio-cortez-pressley-pelosi-singling-out-women-color/


Joe Biden

Branko Marcetic, “Joe Biden Didn’t Just Vote for the Iraq Invasion—He Helped Lead the March to War,” In These Times, July 8, 2019, http://inthesetimes.com/features/joe-biden-iraq-war-vote-democratic-primary-2020.html


Tropical Storm Barry

This 72-hour gif (allow plenty of time for these large, animated images to load) is as of about 8:00 am Eastern. You can see the storm organize itself.
gm
And here, as of about 10:00 pm Eastern:
gm-2019-07-13-22
Jason Samenow, “Barry heads inland with high risk of flash flooding in Louisiana,” Washington Post, July 13, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/07/13/barry-predicted-strike-louisiana-hurricane-saturday-with-excessive-rainfall-threat/


  1. [1]Josh Dawsey and Colby Itkowitz, “‘This is tough stuff’: At Texas detention facility, Pence sees hundreds of migrants crammed with no beds,” Washington Post, July 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pence-tours-detention-facilities-at-the-border-defends-administrations-treatment-of-migrants/2019/07/12/993f54e0-a4bc-11e9-b8c8-75dae2607e60_story.html
  2. [2]Priscilla Alvarez, “Lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez, lash out over conditions following border facility tours,” CNN, July 2, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-clint-texas-facility/index.html; Caitlin Dickerson, “‘There Is a Stench’: No Soap and Overcrowding in Detention Centers for Migrant Children,” New York Times, June 21, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/migrant-children-border-soap.html; Adam Harris, “An Astonishing Government Report on Conditions at the Border,” Atlantic, July 3, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/07/government-report-details-inhumane-conditions-migrant-facilities/593242/; Miriam Jordan, “Judge Orders Swift Action to Improve Conditions for Migrant Children in Texas,” New York Times, June 29, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/29/us/migrant-children-detention-texas.html; Alejandro Lazo and Jacob Gershman, “Lawsuit Alleges Government Mistreatment of Migrant Children,” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lawsuit-alleges-government-mistreatment-of-migrant-children-11561608969; Sam Levin, “‘Happy hunting!’ Immigration agents swapped cheery messages about raids, records reveal,” Guardian, July 3, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/03/ice-us-immigration-messages-raids; Katie Mettler, Mike DeBonis, and Reis Thebault, “Border agents confiscated lawmakers’ phones. Joaquin Castro captured photo and video anyway,” Washington Post, July 2, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/02/ocasio-cortez-says-dispute-with-border-patrol-agents-started-after-one-tried-take-stealth-selfie/; Geneva Sands and Nick Valencia, “2nd Customs and Border Protection-connected secret Facebook group shows mocking images,” CNN, July 5, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/05/politics/cbp-second-facebook-group-images/index.html; Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley, “Migrant kids in overcrowded Arizona border station allege sex assault, retaliation from U.S. agents,” NBC News, July 9, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/migrant-kids-overcrowded-arizona-border-station-allege-sex-assault-retaliation-n1027886
  3. [3]Josh Dawsey and Colby Itkowitz, “‘This is tough stuff’: At Texas detention facility, Pence sees hundreds of migrants crammed with no beds,” Washington Post, July 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pence-tours-detention-facilities-at-the-border-defends-administrations-treatment-of-migrants/2019/07/12/993f54e0-a4bc-11e9-b8c8-75dae2607e60_story.html
  4. [4]Priscilla Alvarez, “Lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez, lash out over conditions following border facility tours,” CNN, July 2, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-clint-texas-facility/index.html
  5. [5]Meriam-Webster, “https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/concentration%20camp,” n.d., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/concentration%20camp
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Neoliberals gotta be neoliberals,” Irregular Bullshit, June 29, 2019, https://disunitedstates.com/2019/06/29/neoliberals-gotta-be-neoliberals/

Migration and the 4th of July, even before the 4th of July

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.


Migration

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[1] about conditions in the concentration camps for migrants along the southern border.[2]

Katie Mettler, Mike DeBonis, and Reis Thebault, “Border agents confiscated lawmakers’ phones. Joaquin Castro captured photo and video anyway,” Washington Post, July 2, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/02/ocasio-cortez-says-dispute-with-border-patrol-agents-started-after-one-tried-take-stealth-selfie/

Maura Dolan, “Trump may not use military money for border wall, federal appeals court decides,” Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-trump-border-wall-military-funds-9th-circuit-20190703-story.html

Adam Harris, “An Astonishing Government Report on Conditions at the Border,” Atlantic, July 3, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/07/government-report-details-inhumane-conditions-migrant-facilities/593242/


Nike

There is a new blog post entitled, “Colin Kaepernick is right.”

Eli Rosenberg and Michael Brice-Saddler, “A GOP governor wants to cancel a Nike contract after flag-shoe flap, but the city it’s headed for isn’t backing down,” Washington Post, July 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/03/gop-governor-wants-cancel-nike-contract-city-its-headed-isnt-backing-down/


Census

Noah Bierman and David G. Savage, “Citizen question may be back on 2020 census as Trump administration reverses course again,” Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-census-immigration-tweet-supreme-court-20190703-story.html


  1. [1]Adam Harris, “An Astonishing Government Report on Conditions at the Border,” Atlantic, July 3, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/07/government-report-details-inhumane-conditions-migrant-facilities/593242/
  2. [2]Priscilla Alvarez, “Lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez, lash out over conditions following border facility tours,” CNN, July 2, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-clint-texas-facility/index.html; Caitlin Dickerson, “‘There Is a Stench’: No Soap and Overcrowding in Detention Centers for Migrant Children,” New York Times, June 21, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/migrant-children-border-soap.html; Miriam Jordan, “Judge Orders Swift Action to Improve Conditions for Migrant Children in Texas,” New York Times, June 29, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/29/us/migrant-children-detention-texas.html; Alejandro Lazo and Jacob Gershman, “Lawsuit Alleges Government Mistreatment of Migrant Children,” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lawsuit-alleges-government-mistreatment-of-migrant-children-11561608969; Katie Mettler, Mike DeBonis, and Reis Thebault, “Border agents confiscated lawmakers’ phones. Joaquin Castro captured photo and video anyway,” Washington Post, July 2, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/02/ocasio-cortez-says-dispute-with-border-patrol-agents-started-after-one-tried-take-stealth-selfie/;

Drink from a toilet, why don’t you?

Migration

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.[1] And Brian Resnick, from whom I’ve still not seen a retraction, must be judged complicit.[2] 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.[3] Zimbardo addressed that too.[4]

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.[5] 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,[6] 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.”[7]

As I have previously written,[8] this situation[9] looks precisely as Zimbardo might predict, only now, even more so.[10]

A. C. Thompson, “Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes,” ProPublica, July 1, 2019, https://www.propublica.org/article/secret-border-patrol-facebook-group-agents-joke-about-migrant-deaths-post-sexist-memes

Priscilla Alvarez, “Lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez, lash out over conditions following border facility tours,” CNN, July 2, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-clint-texas-facility/index.html


San Francisco

Incredibly, some alleged ‘experts’ still try to deny[11] 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.[12] Now the Guardian joins the fray saying pretty much what any ‘non-expert’ could and would tell you: It’s true and it sucks.[13] 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.[14] 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.

Julia Carrie Wong, “‘We all suffer’: why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed,” Guardian, July 1, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jul/01/san-francisco-big-tech-workers-industry


Donald Trump

Given the letter of the law as previously reported,[15] 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.[16]

Jeff Stein and Rachael Bade, “House Democrats sue Trump administration over president’s tax returns,” Washington Post, July 2, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/07/02/house-democrats-sue-trump-administration-over-presidents-tax-returns/


Census

Noah Bierman and David G. Savage, “Trump administration abruptly gives up fight over citizenship question on the census,” Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-census-trump-citizenship-20190702-story.html

Ann E. Marimow, Matt Zapotosky, and Tara Bahrampour, “2020 Census will not include citizenship question, Justice Department confirms,” Washington Post, July 2, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/2020-census-will-not-include-citizenship-question-doj-confirms/2019/07/02/0067be4a-9c44-11e9-9ed4-c9089972ad5a_story.html


  1. [1]Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (New York: Random House, 2008).
  2. [2]Brian Resnick, “The Stanford Prison Experiment was massively influential. We just learned it was a fraud,” Vox, June 13, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/6/13/17449118/stanford-prison-experiment-fraud-psychology-replication; Brian Resnick, “Philip Zimbardo defends the Stanford Prison Experiment, his most famous work,” Vox, June 28, 2018, https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/28/17509470/stanford-prison-experiment-zimbardo-interview
  3. [3]National Border Patrol Council, “National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) Issues Statement on ProPublica News Article Regarding Facebook Group ‘I’m 10-15,’” July 1, 2019, https://bpunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/July-1-2019-Press-Release-Facebook-Group.pdf
  4. [4]Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (New York: Random House, 2008).
  5. [5]Priscilla Alvarez, “Lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez, lash out over conditions following border facility tours,” CNN, July 2, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-clint-texas-facility/index.html
  6. [6]Priscilla Alvarez, “Lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez, lash out over conditions following border facility tours,” CNN, July 2, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-clint-texas-facility/index.html
  7. [7]Priscilla Alvarez, “Lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez, lash out over conditions following border facility tours,” CNN, July 2, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-clint-texas-facility/index.html
  8. [8]David Benfell, “It’s time to be clear: Migrant children are being held in concentration camps and the Trump administration is fascist,” Not Housebroken, June 24, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/06/24/its-time-to-be-clear-migrant-children-are-being-held-in-concentration-camps-and-the-trump-administration-is-fascist/
  9. [9]Priscilla Alvarez, “Lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez, lash out over conditions following border facility tours,” CNN, July 2, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-clint-texas-facility/index.html; Caitlin Dickerson, “‘There Is a Stench’: No Soap and Overcrowding in Detention Centers for Migrant Children,” New York Times, June 21, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/migrant-children-border-soap.html; A. C. Thompson, “Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes,” ProPublica, July 1, 2019, https://www.propublica.org/article/secret-border-patrol-facebook-group-agents-joke-about-migrant-deaths-post-sexist-memes
  10. [10]Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (New York: Random House, 2008).
  11. [11]Melissa Caen, “Experts Say Article Claiming San Francisco ‘Broke America’s Heart’ Is Misleading,” KPIX, May 22, 2019, https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/05/22/experts-say-article-claiming-san-francisco-broke-americas-heart-is-misleading/
  12. [12]Karen Heller, “How San Francisco broke America’s heart,” Washington Post, May 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-san-francisco-broke-americas-heart/2019/05/21/ef9a0ac0-70ea-11e9-9eb4-0828f5389013_story.html; Dan Kopf, “San Francisco’s Diversity Numbers Are Looking More and More Like a Tech Company’s,” Atlantic, May 9, 2016, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/05/san-francisco-diversity-migration/481668/; Alexis C. Madrigal, “Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?” Atlantic, April 19, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/04/san-francisco-city-apps-built-or-destroyed/587389/; Julia Carrie Wong, “‘We all suffer’: why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed,” Guardian, July 1, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jul/01/san-francisco-big-tech-workers-industry
  13. [13]Julia Carrie Wong, “‘We all suffer’: why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed,” Guardian, July 1, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jul/01/san-francisco-big-tech-workers-industry
  14. [14]Julia Carrie Wong, “‘We all suffer’: why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed,” Guardian, July 1, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jul/01/san-francisco-big-tech-workers-industry
  15. [15]Brian Faler, “Treasury misses congressional deadline for turning over Trump’s tax returns,” Politico, April 10, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/10/trump-tax-returns-congress-1342027
  16. [16]Brian Faler, “Treasury misses congressional deadline for turning over Trump’s tax returns,” Politico, April 10, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/10/trump-tax-returns-congress-1342027

That asinine argument on ‘safe and sanitary conditions’

Migration

I have a new blog post up entitled, “It’s time to be clear: Migrant children are being held in concentration camps and the Trump administration is fascist.

Ken White, “Why a Government Lawyer Argued Against Giving Immigrant Kids Toothbrushes,” Atlantic, June 23, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/why-sarah-fabian-argued-against-giving-kids-toothbrushes/592366/


Student Loans

I can only wish that Bernie Sanders’ proposal[1] had even a snowball’s chance in hell of being enacted. I’m on income-based repayment, but with my career prospects being nil, interest is accumulating far faster than I can pay. I was at something over $300,000 when I finished my Ph.D. That number is closing in on $400,000 rapidly.

Jeff Stein, “Sanders proposes canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle,” Washington Post, June 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sanders-to-propose-canceling-entire-16-trillion-in-us-student-loan-debt-escalating-democratic-policy-battle/2019/06/23/1eed053a-9561-11e9-aadb-74e6b2b46f6a_story.html


Pete Buttigieg

The man is running on his record as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Apparently he’s okay with letting people freeze.[2]

Charles Bethea, “What Pete Buttigieg Has and Hasn’t Done About Homelessness in South Bend,” New Yorker, June 24, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/what-pete-buttigieg-has-and-hasnt-done-about-homelessness-in-south-bend


Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson will probably be prime minister anyway.[3]

To imagine—or perhaps to hope—that questions about Johnson’s character might undermine his chances of becoming the next Prime Minister would be to overlook the crucial point governing the Conservative Party’s leadership election, which is that Johnson’s character—jocose, undiplomatic, entitled—is the thing that Tory members like the most about him. It is hardly that questions about Johnson’s character have not been raised before: the list of offenses he has committed, professional and personal, minor and major, is well known. Did he embroider the truth and fabricate facts as a journalist? Yes. Did he tell voters on the campaign trail that voting Tory would “cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3”? Yes. Was he obliged, only last year, to apologize to the House of Commons after failing to declare outside income as an M.P.? Yes. Has he been known, even celebrated, for decades, as a world-class philanderer? Yes. Has he deployed his old Etonian charm, and a rhetorical charisma honed in the vaunted chamber of the Oxford Union, in the service of a vacuous superciliousness that has propelled him almost to the top of Britain’s political establishment? Most certainly.

That Johnson is undisciplined, careless, and arrogant could not be more widely documented or better known. That these qualities are cherished in him by the Conservative Party faithful—who will, because of the peculiarities of British parliamentary democracy, get to choose the Prime Minister for the rest of the country—could not be more transparent.[4]

Rebecca Mead, “Will Boris Johnson’s “Late-Night Altercation” Sink His Bid to Become Prime Minister?” New Yorker, June 23, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/will-boris-johnsons-late-night-altercation-sink-his-bid-to-become-prime-minister


Turkey

I mostly covered this yesterday.[5] A detail I did not have at that time—or possibly just missed—was that “initial results showed that with 99% of ballots counted the People’s Republican party (CHP) candidate had increased his lead in March, of 13,000 votes, to an astonishing 777,000, or 54%.”[6] It’s a lot harder to plead ballot tampering with that kind of a margin.

Bethan McKernan, “Erdoğan party defeated in controversial rerun of Istanbul mayoral poll,” Guardian, June 23, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/23/erdogan-faces-scrutiny-once-more-as-istanbul-goes-back-to-the-polls


  1. [1]Jeff Stein, “Sanders proposes canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle,” Washington Post, June 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sanders-to-propose-canceling-entire-16-trillion-in-us-student-loan-debt-escalating-democratic-policy-battle/2019/06/23/1eed053a-9561-11e9-aadb-74e6b2b46f6a_story.html
  2. [2]Charles Bethea, “What Pete Buttigieg Has and Hasn’t Done About Homelessness in South Bend,” New Yorker, June 24, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/what-pete-buttigieg-has-and-hasnt-done-about-homelessness-in-south-bend
  3. [3]Rebecca Mead, “Will Boris Johnson’s “Late-Night Altercation” Sink His Bid to Become Prime Minister?” New Yorker, June 23, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/will-boris-johnsons-late-night-altercation-sink-his-bid-to-become-prime-minister
  4. [4]Rebecca Mead, “Will Boris Johnson’s “Late-Night Altercation” Sink His Bid to Become Prime Minister?” New Yorker, June 23, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/will-boris-johnsons-late-night-altercation-sink-his-bid-to-become-prime-minister
  5. [5]David Benfell, “What? Are you trying to tell me that row Boris Johnson had with Carrie Symonds might reflect on his character? Really? Surely you jest,” Irregular Bullshit, June 23, 2019, https://disunitedstates.com/2019/06/23/5520/
  6. [6]Bethan McKernan, “Erdoğan party defeated in controversial rerun of Istanbul mayoral poll,” Guardian, June 23, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/23/erdogan-faces-scrutiny-once-more-as-istanbul-goes-back-to-the-polls

Theresa May to reject new Scottish referendum on independence: Daily Bullshit, March 15-19, 2017

There is a new blog post up.


Updates

  1. March 15, 3:05 pm:
    • Lyft earned a bump in ridership from Uber’s woes.[1]
    • Northern Ireland may also seek a vote on leaving the United Kingdom.[2] (Irish reunification)
    • In the wider controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s claims that Barack Obama ‘wiretapped’ him, Scott Ritter points out that transcripts appear not to have been ‘minimized’ as the law requires.[3] (Golden Showers) (text here corrected at 4:18 pm)
  2. March 16, 3:04 am:
    • Jim Geraghty catches the irony of the Left’s new-found interest in Secession.[4]
    • Lane Kenworthy thinks we can’t do much about rising male Unemployment and that it isn’t that important anyway.[5]
    • Another Muslim Ban, another court injunction against it.[6]
  3. March 16, 1:03 pm:
    • A judge has added an injunction to the restraining order (apparently these are different types of orders) already in place against Trump’s Muslim Ban[7]
    • Theresa May now wants Scots to wait for their referendum.[8]
  4. March 17, 3:14 am:
    • Intelligence committee leaders in both the House and Senate have now denied having seen any evidence supporting Trump’s wiretapping claim.[9] (Golden Showers)
    • Jonathan Turley is stupid in his defense of his objections to a rising number of rulings against the Trump administration on its Muslim ban.[10] (Muslim Ban)
  5. March 18, 1:15 am:
    • The Congress that should be on Trump’s side just isn’t buying his wiretapping claim.[11] (Golden Showers)
    • Nicholas Kristof penned an op-ed for the New York Times criticizing the allegedly Catholic Paul Ryan’s budget for its treatment of the poor[12] and James Freeman replies in the Wall Street Journal, suggesting (not entirely accurately) that Kristof’s argument places government in the role of Jesus.[13]
    • The Trump administration is appealing a Maryland court’s order blocking its Muslim Ban.[14]
  6. March 18, 1:11 pm:
    • The Department of Justice apparently responded to the House Intelligence Committee’s demand for information relevant to the Trump administration’s relationship with Russia satisfactorily.[15] (Golden Showers)
    • The BBC has a more comprehensive article on Theresa May’s decision to turn down a bid for a second referendum on Scottish independence.[16] (Scottish Independence)
  7. March 19, 1:57 am:
  8. March 19, 3:26 pm:

Scottish Independence

In my previous installment, I wrote of the effort to seek a new referendum on independence,

Suffice it to say, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May does not agree,[18] which makes it hard to see how this can go anywhere, but the counterargument seems to be that the onus will now be on the U.K. parliament to deny Scots their right to self-determination, which yeah, looks pretty ugly.[19] (My own skepticism[20] might rely too heavily on the dim prospects for secession movements in the U.S.)[21]

It would seem that Theresa May has decided to go with ugly.[22] But on the face of it, this would seem to support Nicola Sturgeon’s claim to have hit a “brick wall of intransigence” in trying to deal with May.[23] And that Sinn Fein’s leader is saying something similar about the British government also has to help.[24]

As to Theresa May’s suggestion that “‘now is not the time’ for a second referendum,”[25] I have an idea. How about they hold the Irish and Scottish referendums first, albeit on an accelerated timetable. That way, May (or her successor) would really know whom she’s negotiating for. Then it might be a good time (if such a thing exists) to invoke Article 50. That she is in such a rush to negotiate a departure from the European Union on behalf of people who plainly want nothing of it should be a huge red flag.

But instead, May turns this on her head: She wants Scots to see the (probably not so wonderful) deal she’s going to negotiate with the European Union before voting.[26] Which is, again, to miss the point. Scots apparently want nothing of this. And it should be up to them to decide whether they want to place their fate in May’s hands.

Guy Faulconbridge, “May to reject Scottish referendum demand – Times newspaper,” Reuters, March 13, 2017, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-scotland-may-referendum-idUKKBN16K2QG

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Scottish independence: Referendum demand ‘will be rejected,'” March 16, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-39293513

Philip Georgiadis, “PM: ‘Now Is Not the Right Time’ for Scottish Vote,” Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2017, https://city.wsj.com/stories/3d6e5ffa-3409-4cb2-8c7d-15f5b4c4f6a1.html

Quentin Ariès, “Scotland’s Sturgeon: ‘There will be an independence referendum,’” Politico, March 19, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/nicola-sturgeon-there-will-be-an-independence-referendum/


Uber

Emma Hinchliffe, “Yep, Lyft gained users from #DeleteUber, and we now know how many,” Mashable, March 14, 2017, http://mashable.com/2017/03/14/delete-uber-lyft-1010data/


Irish reunification

Ian Graham and Conor Humphries, “Sinn Fein wants vote on Northern Ireland leaving UK ‘as soon as possible,'” Reuters, March 13, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-nireland-idUSKBN16K28M


Golden Showers

There’s a mysterious naïvete that seems to expect intelligence agencies to abide by the law.

Scott Ritter, “Trump’s Wiretapping Charge Could Contain Some Explosive Truth,” Truthdig, March 14, 2017, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/trumps_wiretapping_charge_could_contain_some_explosive_truth_20170314

Rema Rahman, “Senate Intel Leaders: No Wiretapping at Trump Tower,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, March 16, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/senate-intel-chairs-no-wire-tapping-at-trump-tower

Karoun Demirjian and Ed O’Keefe, “Members of Congress demand cooperation from administration on Trump-Russia probe,” Washington Post, March 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/is-there-an-investigationgraham-demands-answers-from-fbi-on-russia/2017/03/15/9d98c330-097a-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html

Max Greenwood, “House Intel Committee ‘satisfied’ with info DOJ gave in wiretapping probe,” Hill, March 17, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/324599-house-intel-chairman-applauds-doj-for-turning-over-wiretap


Secession

Jim Geraghty, “Liberals’ New Separation Anxiety,” National Review, March 14, 2017, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445752/donald-trump-liberal-resistance-left-embraces-secession


Unemployment

Lane Kenworthy, “The Trouble With Male Unemployment,” Foreign Affairs, March 14, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2017-03-14/trouble-male-unemployment


Muslim Ban

I’m probably not going to pay much more attention to Jonathan Turley on this issue. Actual judges just aren’t adopting his view of the matter, which seems to ignore that the Constitution is the highest law in the land and that there is ample cause to suspect that no matter how Trump dresses up his order, he is really acting out of religious bias. Whatever we think of the competence of the legal work defending these orders and whatever we think of the case law Turley thinks supports them, the emerging reality is that the courts seem to disagree with Turley when he dismisses the charge of religious bias and to disagree with Turley on the relevance of the Constitution.[27]

And as for Donald Trump claiming this judge’s order “makes us look weak,”[28] do I really have to say the obvious, that it is these Muslim ban orders that make us look pathetic? Do I? Really?

* * *

I doubt Turley read the foregoing, originally written on the 16th, but he is now pointing to five judges on the Ninth Circuit who have dissented from the decision upholding a lower court ruling on the original Muslim ban. I may not be correctly understanding what’s going on here, but it sounds like five judges who didn’t hear the case second-guessing the three (Turley says four, but I believe this includes the lower court judge) who did. Which sounds to me like not even a good example of cherry-picking. By the way, the Ninth Circuit is a huge court; even five judges is still a relatively small number. But Turley writes,

The blistering dissent showed that a significant number of Ninth Circuit judges strongly disagreed with the decision of the panel. (Some judges may have not approved of the panel decision but did not see the need for a rehearing). The strongly worded dissent belies the claim that the original executive order was legally unsustainable. To see this type of vociferous dissent in a withdrawn appeal is remarkable in itself but it also shows the depth of opposition to the panel’s decision among other judges.[29]

Really? Turley purely speculates with his parenthetical remark and in his claim that the dissent “also shows the depth of opposition to the panel’s decision among other judges.” In any event it would seem that a motion for an en banc review was denied—hence the ‘dissent.’[30] Which would seem to me to add a few judges to the score supporting the lower court order. In the absence of a better explanation, I’m calling bullshit.

Brent Kendall and Ian Lovett, “Trump’s Revised Travel Ban Blocked by Hawaii Judge,” Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hawaii-judge-blocks-trumps-revised-travel-ban-1489618057

Laura Jarrett, “Federal judges block Trump’s travel ban,” CNN, March 16, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/15/politics/travel-ban-blocked/index.html

Brent Kendall, Justice Department Appeals Maryland Judge’s Decision to Block Trump Travel Ban,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-appeals-judge-s-decision-to-block-trump-s-travel-ban-1489780586

Jonathan Turley, “Five Ninth Circuit Judges File Rare Dissent Rebuking The Panel In Immigration Ruling,” March 17, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/03/17/five-ninth-circuit-judges-file-rare-dissent-rebuking-the-panel-in-immigration-ruling/


Government and the Poor

I take this up in “Government, religion, and the poor.”

Nicholas Kristof, “And Jesus Said Unto Paul of Ryan …” New York Times, March 16, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/opinion/and-jesus-said-unto-paul-of-ryan.html

James Freeman, “Mere Budgetary Christianity,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/mere-budgetary-christianity-1489780327


  1. [1]Emma Hinchliffe, “Yep, Lyft gained users from #DeleteUber, and we now know how many,” Mashable, March 14, 2017, http://mashable.com/2017/03/14/delete-uber-lyft-1010data/
  2. [2]Ian Graham and Conor Humphries, “Sinn Fein wants vote on Northern Ireland leaving UK ‘as soon as possible,'” Reuters, March 13, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-nireland-idUSKBN16K28M
  3. [3]Scott Ritter, “Trump’s Wiretapping Charge Could Contain Some Explosive Truth,” Truthdig, March 14, 2017, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/trumps_wiretapping_charge_could_contain_some_explosive_truth_20170314
  4. [4]Jim Geraghty, “Liberals’ New Separation Anxiety,” National Review, March 14, 2017, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445752/donald-trump-liberal-resistance-left-embraces-secession
  5. [5]Lane Kenworthy, “The Trouble With Male Unemployment,” Foreign Affairs, March 14, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2017-03-14/trouble-male-unemployment
  6. [6]Brent Kendall and Ian Lovett, “Trump’s Revised Travel Ban Blocked by Hawaii Judge,” Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hawaii-judge-blocks-trumps-revised-travel-ban-1489618057
  7. [7]Laura Jarrett, “Federal judges block Trump’s travel ban,” CNN, March 16, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/15/politics/travel-ban-blocked/index.html
  8. [8]Philip Georgiadis, “PM: ‘Now Is Not the Right Time’ for Scottish Vote,” Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2017, https://city.wsj.com/stories/3d6e5ffa-3409-4cb2-8c7d-15f5b4c4f6a1.html
  9. [9]Rema Rahman, “Senate Intel Leaders: No Wiretapping at Trump Tower,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, March 16, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/senate-intel-chairs-no-wire-tapping-at-trump-tower
  10. [10]Jonathan Turley, “Five Ninth Circuit Judges File Rare Dissent Rebuking The Panel In Immigration Ruling,” March 17, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/03/17/five-ninth-circuit-judges-file-rare-dissent-rebuking-the-panel-in-immigration-ruling/
  11. [11]Karoun Demirjian and Ed O’Keefe, “Members of Congress demand cooperation from administration on Trump-Russia probe,” Washington Post, March 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/is-there-an-investigationgraham-demands-answers-from-fbi-on-russia/2017/03/15/9d98c330-097a-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html
  12. [12]Nicholas Kristof, “And Jesus Said Unto Paul of Ryan …” New York Times, March 16, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/opinion/and-jesus-said-unto-paul-of-ryan.html
  13. [13]James Freeman, “Mere Budgetary Christianity,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/mere-budgetary-christianity-1489780327
  14. [14]Brent Kendall, Justice Department Appeals Maryland Judge’s Decision to Block Trump Travel Ban,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-appeals-judge-s-decision-to-block-trump-s-travel-ban-1489780586
  15. [15]Max Greenwood, “House Intel Committee ‘satisfied’ with info DOJ gave in wiretapping probe,” Hill, March 17, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/324599-house-intel-chairman-applauds-doj-for-turning-over-wiretap
  16. [16]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Scottish independence: Referendum demand ‘will be rejected,'” March 16, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-39293513
  17. [17]Quentin Ariès, “Scotland’s Sturgeon: ‘There will be an independence referendum,’” Politico, March 19, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/nicola-sturgeon-there-will-be-an-independence-referendum/
  18. [18]Andrew Learmonth, “Nicola Sturgeon to seek second referendum on Scottish independence,” National Scot, March 13, 2017, http://www.thenational.scot/news/15152259.Scotland_to_have_second_referendum_on_independence/; Tom McTague and Charlie Cooper, “Scotland pushes for independence post Brexit,” Politico, March 13, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/nicola-sturgeon-calls-for-second-scottish-independence-referendum/; Reuters, “‘Politics is not a game,’ says May after Scottish referendum call,” March 13, 2017, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-scotland-game-idUKKBN16K1XW
  19. [19]Tom McTague and Charlie Cooper, “Scotland pushes for independence post Brexit,” Politico, March 13, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/nicola-sturgeon-calls-for-second-scottish-independence-referendum/; Alastair Sloan, “If Scotland leaves, England will lose the Brexit game,” Al Jazeera, March, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/03/england-big-loser-brexit-170312092648577.html
  20. [20]David Benfell, “Scottish parliament to vote on Brexit,” (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, February 10, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/02/10/scotland-parliament-to-vote-on-brexit-daily-bullshit-february-7-2017/; David Benfell, “Probably not a possible way forward for Scotland,” (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, March 4, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/03/04/probably-not-a-possible-way-forward-for-scotland-daily-bullshit-march-4-2017/
  21. [21]David Benfell, “Still evading the issues,” (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, March 14, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/03/14/still-evading-the-issues-daily-bullshit-march-8-10-2017/
  22. [22]Guy Faulconbridge, “May to reject Scottish referendum demand – Times newspaper,” Reuters, March 13, 2017, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-scotland-may-referendum-idUKKBN16K2QG
  23. [23]Nicola Sturgeon, quoted in Tom McTague and Charlie Cooper, “Scotland pushes for independence post Brexit,” Politico, March 13, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/nicola-sturgeon-calls-for-second-scottish-independence-referendum/
  24. [24]Ian Graham and Conor Humphries, “Sinn Fein wants vote on Northern Ireland leaving UK ‘as soon as possible,'” Reuters, March 13, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-nireland-idUSKBN16K28M
  25. [25]Philip Georgiadis, “PM: ‘Now Is Not the Right Time’ for Scottish Vote,” Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2017, https://city.wsj.com/stories/3d6e5ffa-3409-4cb2-8c7d-15f5b4c4f6a1.html
  26. [26]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Scottish independence: Referendum demand ‘will be rejected,'” March 16, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-39293513
  27. [27]Jonathan Turley, “Judges In Seattle and Boston Reach Opposing Opinions On Trump Executive Order,” February 4, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/02/04/108507/; Jonathan Turley, “Ninth Circuit Rejects Motion For Immediate Reinstatement Of Executive Order But Schedules Expedited Argument For Monday,” February 5, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/02/05/ninth-circuit-rejects-motion-for-immediate-reinstatement-of-executive-order-but-schedules-expedited-argument-for-monday/; Jonathan Turley, “Ninth Circuit Briefing Completed Today For Ruling On Trump Appeal,” February 6, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/02/06/ninth-circuit-briefing-completed-today-for-ruling-on-trump-appeal/; Jonathan Turley, “Ninth Circuit Deliberates Appeal Over Trump Executive Order,” February 8, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/02/08/ninth-circuit-deliberates-appeal-over-trump-executive-order/; Jonathan Turley, “Trump Says Administration Will Issue New Immigration Order Next Week and Appeal Ninth Circuit Ruling,” February 16, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/02/16/trump-says-administration-will-issue-new-immigration-order-next-week-and-appeal-ninth-circuit-ruling/; Jonathan Turley, “Executive Redux: Administration Set To Issue New Order On Immigration,” February 20, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/02/20/executive-redux-administration-set-to-issue-new-order-on-immigration/; Jonathan Turley, “Trump signs new immigration executive order,” March 6, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/03/06/trump-signs-new-immigration-executive-order/
  28. [28]Brent Kendall and Ian Lovett, “Trump’s Revised Travel Ban Blocked by Hawaii Judge,” Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hawaii-judge-blocks-trumps-revised-travel-ban-1489618057
  29. [29]Jonathan Turley, “Five Ninth Circuit Judges File Rare Dissent Rebuking The Panel In Immigration Ruling,” March 17, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/03/17/five-ninth-circuit-judges-file-rare-dissent-rebuking-the-panel-in-immigration-ruling/
  30. [30]Jonathan Turley, “Five Ninth Circuit Judges File Rare Dissent Rebuking The Panel In Immigration Ruling,” March 17, 2017, https://jonathanturley.org/2017/03/17/five-ninth-circuit-judges-file-rare-dissent-rebuking-the-panel-in-immigration-ruling/