Rightwing “Boogaloo boy” killed cop — used Black Lives Matter protest as cover


Mugshot of USAF sergeant Steven Carillo

A California man charged with killing a federal officer and a sheriff’s deputy has ties to the far-right “Boogaloo” movement, according to federal authorities.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo, 32, was charged with killing federal service officer David Patrick Underwood, 53, near a Black Lives Matter protest at an Oakland courthouse on May 29…

A second man, Robert Alvin Justus Jr., was charged with aiding and abetting after he admitted to serving as Carrillo’s getaway driver in the drive-by attack on the officers…Inside the vehicles used by Carrillo, police found a patch linked to the “Boogaloo boys” movement, as well as bomb making equipment, ammo and guns, the FBI said. The movement seeks to use peaceful protests as cover to launch attacks in hopes of sparking a race war.

Not a new tactic for the fascist-minded. Given the right circumstances and a dull-witted investigation, they might just getaway with something like this. After all, we’ve had days of lynching and racist massacres in the past in this land…provoked by nothing more than rumors.

Texas’ official says grandparents are ready to die for US economy — and they must!

The lieutenant governor of Texas argued in an interview on Fox News Monday night that the United States should go back to work, saying grandparents like him don’t want to sacrifice the country’s economy during the coronavirus crisis.

Patrick claimed after speaking to over a hundred people over the phone that there’s a consensus that they don’t want to “lose our whole country” over the current public health crisis and face an economic collapse

Health experts have made clear the coronavirus poses a particular danger for older patients – 60 years old and older – who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of COVID-19.

This rightwing asshat calls 100 “experts” who agree that sending folks back to work rather than sheltering in place – halting quarantine from a highly-infectious disease – makes economic sense in his distorted understanding of what the result could be.

Aside from his obvious failing at essential humanity, Patrick’s ignorance of cause-and-effect in the firestorm of a plague is downright criminal. First, he thinks the death of thousands [or millions] is OK if it returns our economy to profitability. Second, the man is a fool if he thinks this coronavirus plague will not infect a critical mass of people of all ages if turning your back on public health standards of conduct and sanity is allowed to prevail. Crushing the US economy.

No doubt his “experts” qualify as such because they donate to political campaigns for cretins – candidate and voters alike.

Republicans never read a civics book — and, now, they want to run foreign policy!

Asked about the open letter of 47 US Senators to Iranian leaders, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, responded that “in our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy. It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history. This indicates that like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content.

Zarif expressed astonishment that some members of US Congress find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own President and administration. He pointed out that from reading the open letter, it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy.

Foreign Minister Zarif added that “I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfil the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.

The Iranian Foreign Minister added that “Change of administration does not in any way relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor in a possible agreement about Iran`s peaceful nuclear program.” He continued “I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with the stroke of a pen, as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law…

The Foreign Minister also informed the authors that majority of US international agreements in recent decades are in fact what the signatories describe as “mere executive agreements” and not treaties ratified by the Senate.

The death spiral of Congressional Republicans continues apace. The silliness of midterm elections aside – I still think they reflect as much stupidity as ignorance – domestic policies that confront interference from idjits and ignoranuses proceed as well as can be expected. American foreign policy remains trapped within the confines of a declining imperial power.

The response of Democrats in general is to maintain the obedience characteristic of our two-party hypocrisy. As long as they accept that we are the cops of the world – and that benefits corporate wealth first and foremost – policies based on military might prevail.

This latest comic opera by Congressional Republicans is worthy of a Charlie Chaplin movie. Ted Cruz is obviously set for the role of the Italian Fascist, Benito Mussolini. Either of the Koch Brothers is a shoo-in for Adolf Hitler. There are damned few Democrats capable of getting the support and laughter deserved by this clown show. Elizabeth Warren and the very independent Bernie Sanders come to mind.

Nope. We’re stuck with blivets in the Congressional Right who need the foreign minister of a Middle Eastern theocracy to explain not only international convention; but, U.S. law to them.

Elite Israeli veterans refuse to continue serving Apartheid government

boycott

Denouncing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians under occupation, a group of veterans from an elite, secretive military intelligence unit have declared they will no longer “take part in the state’s actions against Palestinians” in required reserve duty because of what they called “our moral duty to act.”

In a letter sent Thursday night to their commanders as well as Israel’s prime minister and army chief, 43 veterans of the clandestine Unit 8200 complained that Israel made “no distinction between Palestinians who are and are not involved in violence” and that information collected “harms innocent people.” Intelligence “is used for political persecution,” they wrote, which “does not allow for people to lead normal lives, and fuels more violence, further distancing us from the end of the conflict.”

The letter, revealed Friday in Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper as well as The Guardian in Britain, echoes similar periodic protests by reservists over the years, including a group of 27 pilots who refused to participate in what Israel calls targeted assassinations, and 13 members of the vaunted commando unit known as Sayeret Matkal, both in 2003. But it is the first public collective refusal by intelligence officers rather that combat troops. Unit 8200 has a special role in Israeli society as a coveted pipeline to its high-technology industry.

“After our service we started seeing a more complex picture of a nondemocratic, oppressive regime that controls the lives of millions of people,” said one of the group’s organizers, a 32-year-old sergeant major who was on active duty from 2001 to 2005. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because the military prohibits Unit 8200 members from being publicly identified.

“There are certain things that we were asked to do that we feel do not deserve the title of self-defense,” he added in a telephone interview. “Some of the things that we did are immoral, and are against the things we believe in, and we’re not willing to do these things anymore.”

The new refuseniks said their group began a year ago and was not motivated by Israel’s battle with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip this summer, which a member said was “just another chapter in this cycle of violence.”

RTFA. Please. A rare divergence from US/Israel foreign policy. Our own government exhibits no concern whatsoever for the lot of Palestinians living under the heel of brutal colonial repression – in the name of Lebensraum for Israel.

The 80-20 rule persists, whether discussing markets or military. Though the whole of participants may appear to come from a homogeneous population, there generally is a small percentage with perception and the ability to decide to wander away from the herd in search of something better. In this case, honesty, loyalty to a standard of democracy ignored by Israel’s government for decades, ignored by a United States government more than satisfied with a nation of legionnaires prepared to commit any crime to satisfy policies natural only to the greediest of elites.

Of course, as in the US military, fear of political and criminal retaliation reduces that percentage of those willing to act publicly, to speak out as citizens of decency. The pressure to live whatever passes for a normal life is usually sufficient to quiet most dissent. Especially in a time and place that treats dissent as the greatest enemy of governance.

These members of Unit 8200 deserve recognition for their courage.

Thanks, Mike

Paul Krugman lectures the hawks who persist in crying wolf

According to a recent report in The Times, there is dissent at the Fed: “An increasingly vocal minority of Federal Reserve officials want the central bank to retreat more quickly” from its easy-money policies, which they warn run the risk of causing inflation. And this debate, we are told, is likely to dominate the big economic symposium currently underway in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

That may well be the case. But there’s something you should know: That “vocal minority” has been warning about soaring inflation more or less nonstop for six years. And the persistence of that obsession seems, to me, to be a more interesting and important story than the fact that the usual suspects are saying the usual things…

The Times article singles out for special mention Charles Plosser of the Philadelphia Fed, who is, indeed, warning about inflation risks. But you should know that he warned about the danger of rising inflation in 2008. He warned about it in 2009. He did the same in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was wrong each time, but, undaunted, he’s now doing it again…

The point is that when you see people clinging to a view of the world in the teeth of the evidence, failing to reconsider their beliefs despite repeated prediction failures, you have to suspect that there are ulterior motives involved. So the interesting question is: What is it about crying “Inflation!” that makes it so appealing that people keep doing it despite having been wrong again and again?

Well, when economic myths persist, the explanation usually lies in politics — and, in particular, in class interests. There is not a shred of evidence that cutting tax rates on the wealthy boosts the economy, but there’s no mystery about why leading Republicans like Representative Paul Ryan keep claiming that lower taxes on the rich are the secret to growth. Claims that we face an imminent fiscal crisis, that America will turn into Greece any day now, similarly serve a useful purpose for those seeking to dismantle social programs…

But while easy money may in principle have mixed effects on the fortunes (literally) of the wealthy, in practice demands for tighter money despite high unemployment always come from the right. Eight decades ago, Friedrich Hayek warned against any attempt to mitigate the Great Depression via “the creation of artificial demand”; three years ago, Mr. Ryan all but accused Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman at the time, of seeking to “debase” the dollar. Inflation obsession is as closely associated with conservative politics as demands for lower taxes on capital gains.

It’s less clear why. But faith in the inability of government to do anything positive is a central tenet of the conservative creed. Carving out an exception for monetary policy — “Government is always the problem, not the solution, unless we’re talking about the Fed cutting interest rates to fight unemployment” — may just be too subtle a distinction to draw in an era when Republican politicians draw their economic ideas from Ayn Rand novels.

Which brings me back to the Fed, and the question of when to end easy-money policies…

But the last people you want to ask about appropriate policy are people who have been warning about inflation year after year. Not only have they been consistently wrong, they’ve staked out a position that, whether they know it or not, is essentially political rather than based on analysis. They should be listened to politely — good manners are always a virtue — then ignored.

Freshly-educated, modern economists completely ignore, wholly reject the crap that is economic dogma for Republicans. Whether they are social moderates or the more fascist-minded.

Another organic tie between modernists like Krugman and political progressives is dedication to the needs of the mass of American workers and their families. We are the real source of value created to make a cushy life for the one-percenters. We deserve more than a minimal safety net or education barely-sufficient to moderate an obedient class of producers.