❝ Saturday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in Melbourne, Florida, where he attempted to defend his controversial “Muslim ban” executive order by pointing to the consequences of migration in Europe. He focused on an unspecified event that took place “last night in Sweden:”
“When you look at what’s happening in Germany, when you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
❝ The only problem is that nothing happened the prior night in Sweden. The Swedish daily Aftonbladet quickly compiled a list of of noteworthy things that happened on Friday; they included a drunken-driving arrest and “some technical problems” during 87-year-old crooner Owe Thörnqvist’s rehearsal prior to the Melodifestivalen song competition.
❝ …Trump, in the grand tradition of the Bowling Green Massacre, simply invented a terrorist attack allegedly committed by immigrants out of whole cloth.
❝ …Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt tweeted “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?” Ikea and Abba jokes flew fast and furious using the hashtag #SwedenIncident
❝ Jokes aside, though, there’s a very real question going on here: What on Earth was the president of the United States talking about? What does he think is going on in Sweden?…
If you spend any time in the conservative media, particularly alt-right or anti-Islam sites, there’s a clear narrative about Sweden: Muslim migrants are raping Swedish women at unprecedented numbers.
❝ Breitbart…Virginia Dare, an alt-right site focusing on immigration…Pamela Geller, a widely-read anti-Muslim blogger who once published a piece alleging that Barack Obama was the love child of Malcolm X, wrote a piece titled “Sweden Crumbling: Demands for military intervention as thugs turn Malmo into ‘no-go zone.’”…
❝ …The odds are, given the consistency of the narrative about Sweden in the right-wing mediasphere, that Trump heard…claims about a Swedish refugee rape epidemic somewhere — and appropriated them to justify his travel ban.
The problem, though, is that this “rape epidemic” is as fake as the Bowling Green Massacre.
It all fits within the filthy state of mind that is characteristic of American racism. Anyone less white than a bar of Ivory soap must be slavering over our white wives and daughters. If they’re furriners – all the more reason to suspect them of planning mass rape. And if you accept lies as racial characteristics, well, then, they must be happening. Only the mainstream ain’t reporting it.
The paranoia that afflicts a populace that can’t decide which lifestyle it prefers – ignorance or stupidity – will continue to accept both as gospel.
Semi blown over in Marina, California
❝ One of California’s strongest storms in years – dubbed a “bombogenesis” or “weather bomb” – has hit the state, killing at least four people and bringing torrential rain and floods.
Power cuts hit 150,000 households and sinkholes swallowed cars.
Hundreds of homes were evacuated amid fear of mud slides near Los Angeles…
❝ One man was killed after a tree fell and pulled a power line onto his car in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles.
A second person died in a vehicle when it was submerged by a flash flood in the town of Victorville…
Two others died in car accidents in the San Diego area.
❝ Ryan Maue, a meteorologist for WeatherBell Analytics, told the Los Angeles Times that 10 trillion gallons of rain would fall on California in the next week, enough to power Niagara Falls for 154 days…
❝ It is feared that areas that have been previously hit by forest fires could be more susceptible to mud slides as there is less vegetation to break the flow of running water.
Terry Anzur of KFI News told the BBC the dry, scorched ground that had been “saturated” with the heavy downpour was turning streets into “rivers of mud”…
❝ Meteorologists describe the “bombogenesis” as an intense extra-tropical cyclonic low-pressure area, or “a weather bomb”.
“It is likely the strongest within the last six years and possibly even as far back as December 2004 or January 1995.”
Gusts of 87mph were reported on the Big Sur scenic coastal highway.
If you’re sitting in a Million-dollar McMansion you ain’t worried about more than getting out to buy more of the right lite beer to slug down while watching reality TV. Not the reality the rest of us face; but, good enough to keep Fox News in business.
You, too, can call yourself a true Republican-style hunter.
❝ The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to legalize the killing of black bear cubs and their mothers at their dens in Alaska’s national wildlife refuges.
The controversial measure, backed by the National Rifle Association, overturns a ‘Fair Chase’ rule, promulgated by the Obama administration, that also limited baiting, trapping, and the use of airplanes to track and shoot bears and wolves on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands in Alaska.
❝ The vote was met with an outpouring of criticism from wildlife and conservation groups.
❝ “Alaska’s extreme predator control policies lack scientific support, contravene conservation mandates on national wildlife refuges and defy traditional wildlife management principles,” said Jenny Keatinge, federal lands policy analyst with Defenders of Wildlife. “H.J. Res. 69 would cede federal management of iconic wildlife to the state’s misguided program on over 76 million acres of national wildlife refuges that belong to all Americans.”
❝ Safari Club International, a group that has been criticized by both sportsmen and animals rights groups for advocating canned or captive “hunting” and elite trophy hunting, joined the NRA in pushing Congress to overturn the Fair Chase rule.
As a lifelong hunter, I oppose any hunting of predators under damned near all conditions. Destroying nature’s own checks and balances to satisfy the ego of trophy hunters ain’t my idea of how we evolved as hunter-gatherers.
Add in the demented profiteering of gun lobbyists like the NRA and you have so-called hunting that fits the mold of ruling-class creeps in 19th Century English hunt clubs.
How can you tolerate missing out on this?
Americans are moving at the lowest rate on record, and recently released Census Bureau data show that a primary reason is that Millennials are moving significantly less than earlier generations of young adults.
In 2016, only 20% of Millennial 25- to 35-year-olds reported having lived at a different address one year earlier. One-year migration rates were much higher for older generations when they were the same age. For example, when members of the Silent Generation were ages 25 to 35 back in 1963, 26% reported moving within the prior year. And in 2000, when those in Generation X were the age that older Millennials are today, 26% of them reported having moved in the previous year…
It may seem counterintuitive that Millennials would be contributing to a trend toward less geographic mobility. After all, according to Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data, they are less likely than earlier generations to have three things that tend to be impediments to moving for a young adult:
A spouse…A house…A child…So, if Millennials are less hampered by spouses, houses and kids, why are they moving less than previous generations did at their age?
Labor market opportunities may be a factor. Millennials were hit hard by the Great Recession in terms of job-holding and wages. For many young adults who moved in the past year, job opportunities were a prime motivation for moving, and the modest jobs recovery may not be providing the impetus Millennials need.
RTFA. Interesting, provoking. To my mind – which still thinks it’s 26 years old and keys in on non-conformity to cultural traits and standards stuck into the past – all mostly positive developments.
Oklahoma ranks second behind Louisiana for the sheer number of abortion restrictions passed since 1973. And they’re still at it:
Governor Mary Fallin brags her state is the most anti-abortion state in the nation
❝ HB 1441…is disturbing, devoid of any nuance and completely unconstitutional. Written by another of the chamber’s freshmen, Rep. Justin Humphrey, the legislation would require a woman seeking an abortion first to obtain written permission from her sexual partner. It would also require her to provide his name to her doctor and would forestall the procedure if the man wanted the opportunity to challenge paternity.
❝ Just as quickly as they were disposed of the first time around, both pieces of legislation have re-emerged: On Thursday afternoon the measures were put back on the committee agenda — slated for hearing on Valentine’s Day.
…“I think it’s universally viewed that our state, Kansas, and a few others are really the worst out there” for reproductive rights, said Rev. Shannon Speidel, a minister in Enid, Oklahoma, and a current member of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice’s board.
❝ Speidel has worked on issues of reproductive justice in Arkansas and on the national stage as a member of the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute, which is sponsored by the Center for American Progress. “Especially with the institute I hear a lot about this work all over the country, and every single state has their fights — even the most progressive ones. Ours is recognized as one of the most hostile states in the nation.”…
❝ Of all the bills filed this session, HB 1441 has been most troubling to coalition members, said Speidel. “This one, by far, was the one that bothered us the most,” she said. “There were a lot of feelings about it. In a state that doesn’t really spend a lot of time on domestic violence issues it really just showed ignorance regarding what relationships can be for some women.”
Humphrey explains his reasons this way:
“I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said of women. “I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,” he explained. “So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.”
I haven’t anything civil to say about folks like this. Opinions which fail the smell test as thoroughly as any law advocating slavery or opposing universal suffrage have no place in American political discourse. The First Amendment protects stupid as well as ignorant; but, 19th Century minds waste the time and cost of running a legislature with crap like this.
Even if Congressional Republicans and their evil twin in the White House get to mess with the Supreme Court, I hope that civil reliance on the virtues of our Constitution give the state of Oklahoma nothing more than an outsize bill for their backwardness and patronizing beliefs.
Well, Trump could bring in General Flynn for advice – if he still worked at the White House. Lasted 24 days.
“Here’s a man I can really trust”
❝ The acting attorney general informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail, current and former U.S. officials said.
The message, delivered by Sally Q. Yates and a senior career national security official to the White House counsel, was prompted by concerns that Flynn, when asked about his calls and texts with the Russian diplomat, had told Vice President-elect Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed the Obama administration sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, the officials said….
When Yates advised Trump his Muslim Ban was unconstitutional – he fired her. Apparently he then ignored her info on Flynn, as well, since he went ahead with Flynn’s appointment as National Security Advisor.
❝ Flynn resigned Monday night in the wake of revelations about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
❝ Current and former officials said that although they believed that Pence was misled about the contents of Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador, they couldn’t rule out that Flynn was acting with the knowledge of others in the transition.
Are we to believe the Big Boy himself had no idea of Flynn’s flouting of law? Provided no guidance to Flynn’s statements to Putin guaranteeing removal of Obama’s sanctions over Russian electoral hacking?
Wait a minute. I have to put on my Wellies.
(…I’ll get even with those schools that turned me down)
❝ Seventeen elite universities including Harvard, Yale and Stanford have joined forces to fight President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. by refugees and citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries.
The schools say in court papers the ban threatens their ability to recruit students, faculty and scholars from abroad and to “meet their goals of educating tomorrow’s leaders from around the world.”
❝ The schools filed papers Monday in Brooklyn federal court seeking a judge’s permission to join a lawsuit fighting the ban. The American Civil Liberties Union and immigrant rights groups’ lawsuit has already led to a national order barring the government from relying on the ban to deport those who arrived on U.S. soil.
The other schools joining in the request are Brown, Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Vanderbilt.
❝ …In Brooklyn, the schools say it’s their mission to attract the world’s best scholars, faculty and students as they strive to foster a rich educational environment and draw from all over the world. During the 2015-2016 academic year, more than 1 million international students studied at U.S. universities, according to the schools.
The sort of vulgar education generally favored by Trump chumps – and the Chump-in-Chief – kept in place sufficiently long will drag down the overall level of education in the United States from mediocre to pitiful. If Republican neo-cons and their Teapublican cohort continue to get their way in Congress.
Give ’em enough time. The traffic will reverse and they’ll not only lose one of their chief worries about furriners — those smartass kids who actually study science, the arts, fact-based history and economics will be leaving, too. Only student who obey will enter Mudville U.
❝ US veterans are returning to Standing Rock and pledging to shield indigenous activists from attacks by a militarized police force, another sign that the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline is far from over.
Army veterans from across the country have arrived in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, or are currently en route after the news that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the oil corporation to finish drilling across the Missouri river.
❝ The growing group of military veterans could make it harder for police and government officials to try to remove hundreds of activists who remain camped near the construction site and, some hope, could limit use of excessive force by law enforcement during demonstrations….
❝ “We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” said Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, who arrived at Standing Rock with a group of vets late on Friday. “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”
RTFA. Truly heartwarming to see veterans of our often-unfortunate wars putting their skills and courage to work for Native Americans at the leading edge of resistance to corporate might. Power to you – sisters and brothers.