Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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good morning, it's 18 april 2017

Norwescon was pretty neat, I'll post more about that to the band blog later.

"KUOW Employee Woke Up to Find Swastikas Painted on Her Cars, and Cars All Down the Block." That's near here. "Trump’s favorite conspiracy theorist claims he’s just a ‘performance artist.'" That's not, and I need to see what the channers are thinking about this. Hopefully, it's hilarious. "Dortmund attackers wanted to incite backlash against Muslims" - you probably haven't heard about the Dortmund bombing, this is why.

"Alt-Right Ringleader Mike Cernovich Threatens to Drop ‘Motherlode’ If Steve Bannon Is Ousted." PLEASE. YES, DO THIS, THANKS. "Polls show Americans voted for Trump out of "fear of diversity"" shocks nobody except the LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU crowd.

"Westboro Wannabes Picket Norwescon" - that's where I was. "Does the Furry Community Have a Nazi Problem?" Yes, but that's not where I was.

"The Editors of a Major Scientific Publication Are Urging Readers to Attend the March for Science" - that's THIS WEEKEND, folks.

"Trump will keep list of White House visitors secret" went through a few headlines, but it's a big DRAIN THIS to his voters, who absolutely do not care. "Trump's pivot is real — he's more right-wing than ever" is what the GOP cares about. "100 Days of Horror" is mostly a list of what has been managed, mostly by putting white supremacists and neofascists in positions of power. And, as we already know, the "EPA emerges as major target after Trump solicits policy advice from industry."

Finally, "Yes, You Can Measure White Privilege."

Sorry for short shrift on analysis, I'm playing catch-up.

----- 1 -----
KUOW Employee Woke Up to Find Swastikas Painted on Her Cars, and Cars All Down the Block
by Sydney Brownstone • The Stranger | Apr 17, 2017

Bond Huberman, social media producer at KUOW, woke up this morning to find that someone had spray-painted a swastika on her car. But it wasn't only her car. The Vanpool Community Transit car she drives and eight other cars on her block had swastikas on them too.

A ninth had been spray-painted with something different: "Trump."

Huberman, who lives in Edmonds, said she reported the vandalism to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. The Stranger is still waiting to hear from the Sheriff's Office as to whether they're investigating the incident as a hate crime. Edmonds police also received reports of one block tagged with swastikas. Two victims had come forward to report swastikas drawn on their car, and another house had been tagged with swastikas on the windows.

----- 2 -----
Trump’s favorite conspiracy theorist claims he’s just a ‘performance artist’
Alex Jones doesn’t want his violent rants to get in the way of his child custody case.
Zack Ford | | Apr 17, 2017

Alex Jones of InfoWars has developed an incredible following for his show and site, where he often promotes some of the most bizarre and extreme conspiracy theories. Even President Trump is a fan. But if Jones’ lawyers are to be believed, Jones is just a “performance artist” and his InfoWars persona is just a “character.”

Jones is fighting his ex-wife, Kelly Jones, for custody of their three children. According to Kelly, Alex Jones really is as maniacal as he seems in his many public outbursts. “He’s not a stable person,” she said. Over the next two weeks, a jury will decide whether there are two Alex Joneses — and whether it matters.

Kelly argues it doesn’t, and she doesn’t want her children around him. “He broadcasts from home,” she explained. “The children are there, watching him broadcast.” She shared with the court a 2015 clip of Alex when he had their 12-year-old son on the show to share some videos the son had made with help from the InfoWars team. Alex called their son a “good little knight who’s going to grow up, I know, to be a great fighter against the enemy.”

But Jones’ lawyer, Randall Wilhite, told the court, “He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist.”

----- 3 -----
Dortmund attackers wanted to incite backlash against Muslims
The Times of London | 16 April 2017

German police have raised the terror threat level after warnings of more attacks on high-profile events, including football games and concerts, following last week’s bombing in Dortmund.

Police said military-grade explosives were used to target the bus of the city’s football team. They believe that these were planted by members of the far right rather than by Islamists.

The pipe bombs, filled with shrapnel, exploded near Dortmund’s vehicle, injuring the Spanish defender Marc Bartra and a police officer.

An official document leaked to Die Welt newspaper yesterday suggested the bombers wanted to incite a backlash against Muslims. Three letters nearby, which claimed the bombing on behalf of Islamists, were fabricated, said the investigators.

----- 4 -----
Westboro Wannabes Picket Norwescon
16 April 2017

[This is the convention I've been on concom for since forever, and under which the music festival I founded, nwcMUSIC, operates.]

So, I’m in my hotel room at Norwescon. I don’t have a dealer table, and my panel appearances are kinda limited, so I’m making the best of it by getting a much done on Black Powder Goddess as I can. I’m deep into revisionland when all of a sudden a load, distorted voice from a megaphone starts shouting at me to repent my sins.

Now, understand something; I am on the tenth floor of the hotel. So this megaphone is putting out some serious decibels, if not clarity. I step out onto my balcony, and see that there are people with massive signs bouncing them up and down in front of the con hotel as megaphone-preacher predicts a future of eternal fire for me.

----- 5 -----
Alt-Right Ringleader Mike Cernovich Threatens to Drop ‘Motherlode’ If Steve Bannon Is Ousted
The Pizzagate conspiracy theorist claims to have a cache of dirty secrets that he’s willing to deploy.
Ben Collins | The Daily Beast | 04.14.17

A week after President Donald Trump began to publicly distance himself from White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, alt-right ringleader Mike Cernovich threatened to release a “motherlode” of stories that could “destroy marriages” if Bannon is formally let go from the administration.

Cernovich made the claims that he’d release a series of “scoops” if Bannon is officially pushed out of the White House on an eleven-minute, self-recorded Periscope Thursday night.

“If they get rid of Bannon, you know what’s gonna happen? The motherlode. If Bannon is removed, there are gonna be divorces, because I know about the mistresses, the sugar babies, the drugs, the pill popping, the orgies. I know everything,” said Cernovich.

“If they go after Bannon, the mother of all stories is gonna drop, and we’re just gonna destroy marriages, relationships—it’s gonna get personal.”

----- 6 -----
The Editors of a Major Scientific Publication Are Urging Readers to Attend the March for Science
Charlotte Alter | Time Magazine
Apr 12, 2017

The scientific journal Nature has endorsed the March for Science, scheduled to take place on April 22 in support of the importance of science in policy-making.

In a rare show of support for a political protest, the editorial board of the most highly cited research journal signed on to endorse the March for Science, urging readers to put aside their criticisms of the internal divisions of the March and join the protest to defend the scientific community against proposed budget cuts and increasing public skepticism of science.

The March for Science is scheduled to take place on April 22 in Washington, D.C., and at least 514 other cities around the world. The March aims to demonstrate public support for the scientific community, reject research budget cuts, and advocate for science as a democratic virtue.

"We encourage readers to get involved, to show solidarity and to speak out about the importance of research and evidence — not just next weekend, but more often and more forcefully," the editors of Nature wrote. "These worldwide protests give scientists an opportunity to think hard about what they value about science, to recognize the commonalities in the goals they share with others and to reaffirm the scientific process as the best way of informing policy — even if it won’t always get the final say."

----- 7 -----
Polls show Americans voted for Trump out of "fear of diversity"
14 April 2017 | | Chauncey Alcorn

[By "Americans," they of course mean "white Americans.]

Racial resentment drove supporters of President Donald Trump to vote for him in November more than any other factor, new research shows.

Political researchers Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel published a report in the Nation in March detailing their latest study on what motivated Trump voters to go to the polls.

Their findings, which mirror similar reports showing racial bias among Trump supporters, illustrate an inherent fear or anger about perceived threats of increasing diversity, compelling many to vote for Trump.

"Opinions about how increasing racial diversity will affect American society had much more impact on support for Trump during the 2016 election," the authors determined. "Racial identity and attitudes have further displaced class as the central battleground of American politics," they added.

----- 8 -----
Yes, You Can Measure White Privilege
Michael Harriot
14 April 2017 | The Root

Whenever anyone slips the words “white privilege” into a conversation, it immediately builds an impenetrable wall. For some white people, the words elicit an uneasy feeling because, for them, the term is accusatory without being specific. It is a nebulous concept that seemingly reduces the complex mishmash of history, racism and social phenomena to a nonspecific groupthink phrase.

But white privilege is real.

Instead of using it as a touchy-feely phrase that gives white people the heebie-jeebies because it conjures up images of Caucasians sitting on plantation porches drinking mint juleps while they watch the Negroes toil in the Southern sun, we should use it as a proper noun, with a clear definition. White privilege does not mean that any white person who achieved anything didn’t work hard for it. It is an irrefutable, concrete phenomenon that manifests itself in real, measurable values, and we should use it as such.

Imagine the entire history of the United States as a 500-year-old relay race, where whites began running as soon as the gun sounded, but blacks had to stay in the starting blocks until they were allowed to run. If the finish line is the same for everyone, then the time and distance advantage between the two runners is white privilege. Not only can we see it, but we can actually measure it. If we begin viewing it as an economic term—the same way we use “trickle-down economics”—then it might be debatable, but it becomes a real, definable thing that we can acknowledge, explain and work toward eliminating. Race might be a social construct, but white privilege is an economic theory that we should define as such:

----- 9 -----
Trump will keep list of White House visitors secret
By John Wagner April 14 2017
the washington post

The Trump administration announced Friday that it will not follow
former president Barack Obama's policy of voluntarily disclosing the
names of most visitors to the White House complex, citing “grave
national security risks and privacy concerns.”

The announcement — from an administration that has faced pointed
questions about its commitment to transparency — marks a
significant shift from the Obama White House, which released the names
of nearly 6 million visitors, including scores of lobbyists.

Instead, the Trump administration said it would release information
under far more limited circumstances: when Freedom of Information Act
requests are filed for those visiting offices of the White House
characterized under the law as separate agencies, such as the Office of
Management and Budget.

----- 10 -----
Trump's pivot is real — he's more right-wing than ever
Goldman Sachs runs the economy; Jeff Sessions runs civil rights.
Matthew Yglesias | Vox | Apr 14, 2017

Donald Trump’s long, improbable journey to political power has been marked by a nearly endless procession of fallacious media conceits. The latest of these posits that the apparent downfall of chief strategist Steve Bannon, driven by personality clashes with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and substantive policy disagreements with National Economic Council chief Gary Cohn, mark the dawn of a new, more “moderate” or “centrist” version of Trumpism.

The truth is closer to the opposite. Bannon himself was no prize pig, and the country is in many ways better off with his influence diminished. But the emerging Trumpism 2.0 is in most respects more extreme than what it’s left behind.

You can see this in the recent actions and seemingly undiminished stature of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man deemed too racist for a federal judgeship in the mid-1980s but kosher to serve as the nation’s top cop 30 years later.

Over the course of the past few weeks, Sessions has indicated a desire to roll back civil rights oversight of abusive police departments, stampeded over states’ objections to immigration enforcement raids at courthouses, dropped efforts to improve forensic science, directed federal prosecutors to dedicate a larger share of their resources to deporting immigrants, launched a new crackdown on high-tech guest worker visas, and indicated a desire to bring back old-school “war on drugs” policies, including a stepped-up federal crackdown on marijuana use.

These notions are congruent with Bannon-style politics. But across his long career in the Senate, Sessions never fused them into the kind of idiosyncratic populist mélange that Trump offered during the campaign. Instead, his harsh authoritarianism simply sat alongside hard-right policies on everything else under the sun. And with Bannon’s star falling, that appears to be the true synthesis Trump is moving toward.

----- 11 -----
100 Days of Horror
The Opinion Pages | The New York Times
Charles M. Blow APRIL 17, 2017

With Donald Trump’s 100th day in office fast approaching, White House staffers are reportedly trying desperately to “rebrand” the colossal failure of the first 100 days as some kind of success.

Trump’s legislative agenda has been stymied. The drip, drip, drip of negative news about connections between campaign associates and Russia — and Russia’s efforts to impact our election — continues unabated. He seems to have no real strategy for governance other than pouting and gloating. His advisers are at each other’s throats. And the public has soured on him to a historic degree.

His failures so far, I suppose, should bring resisters like me some modicum of joy, but I must confess that they don’t. Or, more precisely, if they do, that joy is outweighed by the rolling litany of daily horrors that Trump has inflicted.

The horrors are both consuming and exhausting. For me at this point they center on an erosion of equality. This by no means downplays Trump’s incessant lying, the outrage of his draining the Treasury for his personal junkets, or his disturbing turn toward war. But somewhat below the radar, or at least with less fanfare, our access, inclusion and justice are being assailed by a man who lied on the campaign trail promising to promote them.

----- 12 -----
Susan Rice Did Nothing Wrong, Say Both Dems and Republicans
by Ken Dilanian | 17 April 2017 | NBC News

A review of the surveillance material flagged by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes shows no inappropriate action by Susan Rice or any other Obama administration official, Republican and Democratic Congressional aides who have been briefed on the matter told NBC News.

President Donald Trump told the New York Times he believed former National Security Adviser Rice broke the law by asking for the identities of Trump aides who were mentioned in transcripts of U.S. surveillance of foreign targets. Normally, the identities of Americans are blacked out in transcripts circulated by the National Security Agency, but they may be "unmasked," if their identities are relevant to understanding the intelligence.

Rice did not dispute that she requested the identities of certain Americans in the waning days of the Obama administration, but she denied any wrongdoing in an interview with NBC News' Andrea Mitchell. Her denial came after Nunes said he believed the names of Trump aides had been inappropriately unmasked and circulated.

Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees from both parties have traveled to NSA headquarters to review the relevant intelligence reports.

"I saw no evidence of any wrongdoing," said one U.S. official who reviewed the documents, who would not agree to be identified further. "It was all completely normal."

----- 13 -----
EPA emerges as major target after Trump solicits policy advice from industry
By Juliet Eilperin April 16 2017 | The Washington Post

Just days after taking office, President Trump invited American
manufacturers to recommend ways the government could cut regulations
and make it easier for companies to get their projects approved.

Industry leaders responded with scores of suggestions that paint the
clearest picture yet of the dramatic steps that Trump officials are
likely to take in overhauling federal policies, especially those
designed to advance environmental protection and safeguard worker

Those clues are embedded in the 168 comments submitted to the
government after Trump signed a presidential memorandum Jan. 24
instructing the Commerce Department to figure out how to ease
permitting and trim regulations with the aim of boosting domestic
manufacturing. The Environmental Protection Agency has emerged as the
primary target in these comments, accounting for nearly half, with the
Labor Department in second place as the subject of more than one-fifth,
according to a Commerce Department analysis.

Among the notable items on industry’s to-do list:

●BP wants to make it easier to drill for oil and gas in the Gulf of
Mexico by reducing how often companies must renew their

●A trade association representing the pavement industry wants to
preclude the U.S. Geological Survey from conducting what the group says
is “advocacy research” into the environmental impact of coal tar. The
Pavement Coatings Technology Council says this research could limit
what it uses to seal parking lots and driveways.

●The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to reduce the amount of time
opponents have to challenge federal approval of projects. Challenges
would have to be filed within two years, down from six.

●The Chamber also wants to jettison a requirement that employers report
their injury and illness records electronically to the Labor Department
so they can be posted “on the internet for anyone to see.”

----- 14 -----
Does the Furry Community Have a Nazi Problem?
What we know about the cancellation of this year's annual Rocky Mountain Fur Con, and what that means for the community
By Eric Killelea, Rolling Stone | 15 April 2017

Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2017 – a convention for enthusiasts who wear animal costumes ingrained with human characteristics for roleplaying – has been canceled. On Monday, the RMFC board of directors organizing the 10th annual event, set to be held in Denver next August, posted a statement that a "movement has grown into a community that promotes violence" which resulted in a "sudden and drastic increase in security costs" exceeding a third of the event's operating budget.

The announcement came after the founder of the Furry Raiders, an outlier group within the anthropomorphic subculture, adopted an armband which featured a black paw on a red background that some thought had a striking resemblance to a part of the Nazi uniform. Convention chairman Zachary Brooks did not directly name the Furry Raiders in his account, but convention staff identified the Furry Raiders as being at the center of the controversy after being labeled a neo-Nazi group throughout the community, which largely exists online.

Lee Miller, the 29-year-old Fort Collins furry who wears the armband as his Foxler Nightfire fursona, has in turn been accused of being a neo-Nazi. He denies any connection between his armband and that of the Third Reich. Online forums have characterized the Furry Raiders as a "neo-nazi cult-like group" recruiting members with "gifts, grooming and manipulation," according to Dogpatch Press, a blog covering the furry community. But Miller does not agree with such descriptions. "We have a strong stance about keeping equal rights and personal creativity within the fandom," says Miller, who adds that he has never been banned from a convention contrary to other furry beliefs.

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Tags: fascism watch, politics
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