Knowing nothing has a great history among fascists

For [Elizabeth] Neumann, her nightmare scenario of globalized white supremacist terrorism was coming to life…the U.S. government was doing far too little about its own homegrown extremists — often “lone wolves” radicalized online by white supremacist websites and fueled by hostility toward immigrants and minorities. …White House officials didn’t want to talk about the rising domestic extremist threat or even use the phrase “domestic terrorism.” The administration’s relentless, single-minded focus on immigration enforcement — coupled with nonstop turnover on the National Security Council — constantly pulled senior DHS leadership away from everything else. And her ultimate boss, President Donald Trump, was part of the problem…

“At least in this administration,” Neumann said, “there’s not going to be anything substantive done on domestic terrorism.”

Trump supporters are rarely more advanced, comprehensive than their Fearless Leader. “Furriners” are always suspect whether terrorist in inclination or not. Why consider some fellow-American to be a danger? Especially if the political and social analysis he clings to matches your own.

“Stranger Fruit”


Unchanging, perpetual, the American Pietá

There is a demand put upon you with “Stranger Fruit.” That much is clear. The photographs of mothers and sons, of Black bodies—whole and unpierced, yet still Christ-like in death—do not gently plead with viewers any more than street protesters merely invite police to change. These are Black mothers, sitting, standing, kneeling with their lifeless sons, staring straight at the camera, straight at the viewer, straight at the nation, commanding your attention, and it costs you dearly to see them. But it costs more to look away.

“What we’re experiencing now is just this series of reliving these traumas as far as the African-American community,” says Brooklyn-based visual artist Jon Henry. His “Stranger Fruit” exhibition is based on police killings of Black people. It draws on the song “Strange Fruit,” Nina Simone’s interpretation of the Billie Holiday requiem for lynched bodies “swinging in the Southern breeze, strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.” It compels you to consider the grief of families and communities left on their own and trying to move on. “It’s difficult to keep living these over and over again, sort of like a perverse Groundhog Day where these murders just keep on happening,” Henry says.

So say we all!

[Click on the photograph up top for Lady Day’s original]

Coronavirus infections increase 21% among children. Please ignore Trump!


The mask that Trump should be required to wear

A report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association shows 74,160 new cases of coronavirus among children from August 6 to August 20. According to the report, this is an increase of 21 percent in cases over the past two weeks…

In regard to hospitalizations, between 0.2 percent and 8.6 percent of children diagnosed with coronavirus were hospitalized. “At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children,” the report said.

They don’t get as sick as the people around them that they infect.

An entire fourth grade-class in Mississippi was forced to quarantine and move to online-only learning after multiple teachers tested positive for coronavirus. Adam Pugh, Superintendent of the Lafayette County told The Associated Press that 200 students were told to quarantine after a majority of students were exposed…

You’d think there might be rational limits to stupid. You’d be wrong. After more than 500 students, faculty and staff tested positive at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox ordered all bars in the city to close down for two weeks.

I’m not certain how useful the reasoning was.

BTW, there is no right to vote in our Constitution


James Madison, framer of the Constitution

…Only people who owned land debt-free, without mortgages,
should be able to vote.

If you’re looking for the right to vote, you won’t find it in the United States Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights recognizes the core rights of citizens in a democracy, including freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly. It then recognizes several insurance policies against an abusive government that would attempt to limit these liberties…

But the framers of the Constitution never mentioned a right to vote. They didn’t forget – they intentionally left it out. To put it most simply, the founders didn’t trust ordinary citizens to endorse the rights of others.

Though this article expands upon the elitism that held sway over the minds of America’s ruling class in the 18th Century…most legislation that followed on through the 19th and 20th centuries only expanded equal rights to civil opportunity. Not the right to vote.

We still have no shortage of 18th Century minds in government.

If Trump blocks election decision, Nancy Pelosi becomes Acting President

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano told “Varney & Co.” on Thursday whether Pelosi would automatically assume the role of acting president if the 2020 election is delayed.

…”President Trump’s term ends at precisely noon on Jan. 20, 2021. If the Electoral College has not yet named a successor, presumably either Donald Trump or Joe Biden, then whoever is the speaker of the House would become the acting president of the United States.”

He explained, “If the Democrats retain their majority in the House, and it appears likely that they will, but if they do, and if they choose Mrs. Pelosi, knowing at that point that they’re choosing the president of the United States, then it would be she.”

Har!

Might be you don’t want to take a human to a gunfight in the sky?

Last week, a technique popularized by DeepMind was adapted to control an autonomous F-16 fighter plane in a Pentagon-funded contest to show off the capabilities of AI systems. In the final stage of the event, a similar algorithm went head-to-head with a real F-16 pilot using a VR headset and simulator controls. The AI pilot won, 5-0.

The episode reveals DeepMind caught between two conflicting desires. The company doesn’t want its technology used to kill people. On the other hand, publishing research and source code helps advance the field of AI and lets others build upon its results. But that also allows others to use and adapt the code for their own purposes.

Others in AI are grappling with similar issues, as more ethically questionable uses of AI, from facial recognition to deepfakes to autonomous weapons, emerge.

The US and other countries are rushing to embrace the technology before adversaries can, and some experts say it will be difficult to prevent nations from crossing the line to full autonomy. It may also prove challenging for AI researchers to balance the principles of open scientific research with potential military uses of their ideas and code.

Trust your enemies? Trust your friends? Or worry about them behaving exactly how someone truly corrupt might recommend – like, for example, Congress!

Not publicly, of course.