[guest post by Dana]
Here are a few news items to chew over. Feel free to share your own in the comments. Please remember to provide a link.
First news item
A Republican candidate for Congress in Georgia posted a photo to her Facebook page on Thursday in which she brandished a large firearm and declared conservatives need to go “on the offense” against the “socialists” pictured in the post alongside her…Marjorie Taylor Greene, a believer in the QAnon conspiracy theory, is the GOP nominee in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. Endorsed by President Trump, she’s likely to be elected to Congress in November. The threatening photo says “Squad’s worst nightmare” as a gun-toting Greene poses alongside images of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
Second news item
The White House on Thursday denounced the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and suggested that the United States might retaliate if the Kremlin is to blame, but President Trump has not repudiated the attack himself, prompting criticism that he is once again being soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the poisoning “completely reprehensible” but did not address a question about whether Trump has “made his voice known to the Russian government.”
It was the strongest U.S. condemnation yet of the attack two weeks ago using what a German military lab says was a banned chemical weapon. Navalny survived and is now under treatment in Germany.
Still, Trump himself has remained almost entirely silent about the attack on the most prominent domestic critic of Putin. Trump had said nothing on the matter since last Thursday, when he told reporters the United States was looking into the then-unconfirmed reports that Navalny had been poisoned.
Asked about his view on Navalny at a White House press briefing, Trump said, “I don’t know what exactly happened. I think it’s tragic, it’s terrible, it shouldn’t happen. We haven’t had any proof yet, but we will take a look.” He went on to apparently question why Russia faces so much scrutiny while China doesn’t. “It is interesting that everyone’s always mentioning Russia… but I think probably China at this point is a nation you should be talking about much more so than Russia,” he said.”
Third news item
“[Looting] gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage — which, during COVID times, is widely unreliable or, particularly in these communities, is often not available, or it comes at great risk.” And “In terms of potential crimes that people can commit against the state, [looting is] basically nonviolent. You’re mass shoplifting. Most stores are insured; it’s just hurting insurance companies on some level. It’s just money. It’s just property. It’s not actually hurting any people.”
National Public Radio is scrambling to do damage control this week after it promoted the views of a dangerously ignorant pro-looting activist who is also a gigantic anti-Semite.
In late August, NPR’s Code Switch department published an interview with Vicky Osterweil, author of In Defense of Looting. In the interview, Osterweil was given free rein to spout several major falsehoods, drawing little to no pushback from NPR.
“This Q&A with a provocative author did not serve NPR’s audience,” the newsgroup’s public editor, Kelly McBride, said Thursday. “On top of being wrong about recent events, the author’s characterization of the Civil Rights Movement is a distortion and oversimplification.”
She adds, “In the interview, the author made several statements in support of her hypothesis that could be easily fact-checked.”
Fourth news item
Black Lives Matter was once shunned by the white establishment. But now, it’s chic. And that’s a problem.
BLM banners fly from homes in Silver Lake. BLM posters are taped to the windows of Portland coffee shops. BLM hashtags fill users’ bios on Twitter and Tinder…
[I]n broad terms, there is a distinction between the motivations of white and Black protesters.
Historically, when Black people protest, they are responding to intolerable and immediate injustice — say, the water crisis in Flint. In contrast…white Americans tend to protest over more abstract goals — like the Occupy Wall Street protests against economic inequality or the melting of Arctic glaciers — and are driven by the “fierce urgency of the future.”
“What you’re willing to sacrifice, demand and compromise is going to be different. There is a shared sense of the problem but your immediate objective is fundamentally different.”…
AJ Lovelace. The 28-year old activist filmmaker felt the marches over the summer started off coherent and then devolved into being performative.
“It was obvious to me that people were out there to say they were out there,” “White girls would agitate the police and then cry when they responded. This isn’t how a protest works.”
White co-optation can overshadow those involved in grassroots efforts, and it creates the illusion that “everyone was part of this movement the whole time,” he said. After the dust settled in the 1970s and public opinion shifted, everyone claimed to have been a civil rights activist.
[I]f history shows one thing to be true, it’s that white attention and sympathy for Black social justice is fleeting. It wanes when cameras disappear.
Wut??? White girls co-opting protests and bringing the performative bullshit?? Say it ain’t so!
— Matthew Klug (@MatthewKlug) July 20, 2020
Fifth news item
commercials responding to increasingly dire circumstances pic.twitter.com/aqvWFt9Wn3
— Alex Friedman (@kosherhotdogz) September 4, 2020
Sixth news item
South Dakota is one of the nation’s hot spots for COVID-19 infections. That didn’t stop another large-scale event from kicking off Thursday.
The rural South Dakota State Fair, which reported an attendance of 205,000 people last year, is set to run through Labor Day with more hand-washing stations, social distancing reminders and an encouragement — but not a requirement — for attendees to wear masks. It comes on the heels of the state’s two largest events: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the The Sioux Empire Fair.
In the weeks following those events, South Dakota has emerged as a virus hotbed, according to data analysis. State and national health experts say the rise in cases is likely fueled by a combination of factors, including school reopenings, small gatherings and major events.
Seventh news item
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint and law enforcement affidavit, in late May of 2020, the FBI initiated an investigation into Solomon and Teeter, two members of the “Boogaloo Bois,” and a sub-group called the “Boojahideen.” The Boogaloo Bois are a loosely- connected group of individuals who espouse violent anti-government sentiments. The term “Boogaloo” itself references a supposedly impending second civil war in the United States and is associated with violent uprisings against the government.
The witness told FBI agents that Solomon and Teeter possessed firearms and substantial quantities of ammunition and that Solomon, Teeter, and other members of the Boogaloo Bois and Boojahideen discussed committing acts of violence against police officers and other targets in furtherance of the Boojahideen’s stated goal of overthrowing the government and replacing its police forces.
Eighth news item
America’s real triumph has been its ability to adapt and change over the course of nearly two and a half centuries. The Founding Fathers did not come down from Mount Vernon holding the Constitution on stone tablets. They realized that they were fallible, and that their successors would be too. So they created an ingenious system to be run by imperfect human beings, not by an infallible god or monarch.
When they invented the constitutional republic from whole cloth, the Founders did something unprecedented: They created checks and balances, wrote the opposition into the government, and meticulously divided its powers and responsibilities. Then they complemented the Constitution with the Bill of Rights, a document that is all the more remarkable for focusing not on what the government is obliged to do for its citizens, but on what it may not do to its citizens.
Thus was launched the greatest nation on Earth.
Ninth news item
A retweet by President Trump last weekend set off a storm of misinformation about coronavirus deaths and takes advantage of confusion about the concept of “comorbidity” and how death certificates are filled out.
Trump retweeted a post from a QAnon supporter that claimed, “This week the CDC quietly updated the Covid number to admit that only 6% of all the 153, 504 deaths actually died from Covid, that’s 9210 deaths. The other 94% had 2-3 other serious illnesses and the overwhelming majority were of very advanced age.”
Read the whole thing.
Tenth news item
Jennifer Griffin of Fox News Did Not Confirm ‘Most Salacious‘ Part of Atlantic Story https://t.co/rUpbSWhHac via @BreitbartNews All refuted by many witnesses. Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us for comment. @FoxNews is gone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2020
It’s all about the heatwave here on the left coast:
And because it’s already a hundred and hell degrees outside, here’s a deliciously romantic clip from the old classic, Roman Holiday, to up the temperature even more:
“Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o’clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There’s no hurry, for there’s nowhere to go and nothing to buy…and no money to buy it with.”
t absolutely kills me to say this, but we’re going to have to find the humanity in one another. In our quest to find the humanity in others, I don’t think we can start with people on the extreme fringes. We’re going to have to start with someone who’s just one click away from us and build some muscle.
Have a good weekend.