jump to navigation

Pouring out my whole backlist of Depressing Political Links in one go November 14, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

U.S. officials turned away a 17-year-old Palestinian incoming Harvard freshman last week after he was questioned about his friends’ social media posts, according to the Harvard Crimson.” (It was never about whether other countries are “sending their best people”! It’s racism! It was always racism!)

Connors said the family was asked about family members in the United States they could be released to, but instead of being freed they were transferred to the Berks Family Residential Center, outside Reading, on Oct. 5. […] the Berks County-run facility was not equipped to care for [their 3-month-old] child and that normal caretaking items — such as a container of formula and teething powder — have been confiscated. At one point, her baby had no clothes while staff washed the clothes he arrived with.” (This family is white, British, and crossed over the Canada border by accident. Abolish ICE.)

“The judge agreed that they probably would kill him, just before he denied his asylum claim. He was deported. They did.

2600 Magazine has compiled a full listing of Customs and Border Patrol stations, a number of which are being used to imprison migrants, immigrants, and/or refugees, many of whom are children. In the interests of openness, we are sharing that info here.”

“OCI has produced about the most conservative possible estimate of the subsidies received by fossil fuels in the US. These are solely production subsidies — taxpayer money that goes directly to producing more fossil fuels. […] $14.7 billion in federal subsidies and $5.8 billion in state-level incentives, for a total of $20.5 billion annually in corporate welfare.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a bipartisan report Tuesday calling for Congress to consider new laws designed to prevent foreign interference on social media — the culmination of a two-year investigation into how Russian intelligence agencies sought to manipulate American public opinion in the 2016 election.”

“…the Pew Research Center’s latest rolling poll of U.S. veterans, published Thursday, in which solid majorities of former troops said the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria were not worth fighting. The gaps between approval and disapproval were not even close to the poll’s 3.9 percent margin of error; barely a third of veterans considered any of those conflicts worthwhile.

We need stronger background checks, defective product recalls, and more prosecutions for trigger-happy cops July 1, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

There is “overwhelming evidence” that [deputy stationed at Stoneman Douglas] Peterson heard gunshots, but no evidence that he attempted to investigate. Peterson instead chose to hide near a stairwell as shots rang out on the campus, the report found.” (He’s getting charged — good — but way more harshly than cops who actually shoot innocent children — not good.)

Black family is held on gunpoint (and threatened with murder) by Phoenix police because a 4-year-old child took a dollar-store Barbie without paying. (Video.)

Shaquille Dukes was admitted into the hospital for double pneumonia. He received doctors orders to walk around the hospital. He was stopped by a racist security guard, who called racist cops. He was arrested and accused of trying to steal the IV machine.” (Video.)

“The authorities say they are investigating how Mr. Martin slipped through the cracks of the Illinois law, which the police might have been able to use to confiscate his handgun years ago. And the Illinois State Police said they were reviewing why an initial background check failed to turn up a criminal conviction that should have blocked him from buying the gun to begin with.”

“The Consumer Product Safety Commission can order the recall and repair of thousands of things, from toasters to teddy bears. If a defective car needs fixing, the U.S. Department of Transportation can make it happen. The Food and Drug Administration deals with food, drugs, and cosmetics. Only one product is beyond the government’s reach when it comes to defects and safety: firearms. Not even the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can get defective guns off the market. If a gunmaker chooses to ignore a safety concern, there’s no one to stop it.”

“I shopped the killed piece around for a few days until it piqued the interest of a female editor at Politico, who accepted it as it was on spec. However, my piece was again passed on to a male editor to review — who asked me to change the premise of the piece to shift more of the blame for mass shootings on mental illness rather than toxic masculinity.”

Just to be clear: they’re concentration camps. June 29, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

And “horseshoe theory” — the idea that far-left rhetoric can loop back around and end up awfully close to far-right — is nicely demonstrated by this one person I saw on Twitter saying, in all apparent earnest, that maybe we shouldn’t use that phrase because it’s “appropriating Jewish culture.”

(Look, I am neither Jewish nor an expert in antisemitism, but anyone should be able to figure out the problem with that if they actually stop and think about it for 2 minutes before posting.)

Also, while I’m soapboxing? There is no measurable difference between “concentration camps” and “internment camps” and “forced detention camps.” It’s just a matter of how generous you’re trying to be toward the camp-runners.

“Children told lawyers that they were fed oatmeal, a cookie and a sweetened drink in the morning, instant noodles for lunch and a burrito and cookie for dinner. There are no fruits or vegetables. They said they’d gone weeks without bathing or a clean change of clothes.

Acting locally to help immigrants and refugees.”

There are amazing groups at the border and beyond doing critical work to defend the rights of immigrant and refugee children. If you can, please chip in to support a few of them today.”

A white American journalist tries to re-enter the country: “I told the officers I had nothing to hide, but I felt I had a professional obligation to call an attorney for further advice. Pomeroy said I could not because I wasn’t under arrest; I just wasn’t allowed to enter the United States. I wasn’t allowed to leave the Homeland Security zone, either. I know because I tried to sort of wander out a couple of times and got yelled at. When I actually tried to call a lawyer friend of mine in Austin, Pomeroy stopped me. They held onto my phone from then out.

“Even moderates like Susan Collins repeated assurances by the party’s pseudo-economists that the plan would not increase the deficit. So far, the growth feedback from the tax cuts has made up about 5 percent of the plan’s revenue loss, a mere 95 percent shy of the predictions.

The Cretaceous Period (145 to 66 million years ago) seashore in Alabama vs how Alabama voted in the 2016 election.”

“He recruited the best liars he could find—a group of prisoners at a Massachusetts penitentiary. For a small fee he asked half to tell the truth of their crimes on video and the other half to lie, saying they had committed someone else’s crime. He showed the videos to college students and police. Neither group did particularly well at truth detection (the average person is right about half the time), but the students performed better than the police. Yet the police felt more certain about their conclusions.”

Depressing immigration link roundup June 4, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

She’s a toddler, so she can’t tell me if something bad happened to her. I don’t know if she thinks we chose to abandon her. All I know is she came back pounds thinner, with lice and a hacking cough, and she cried for days, traumatized by a government that keeps children from their parents because they are migrants.” [NYT]

“The Intercept’s and ICIJ’s reporting, which included a groundbreaking review of more than 8,400 reports describing placements of ICE detainees in solitary confinement, found that the immigration agency has used isolation cells to punish immigrants for offenses as minor as consensual kissing, and to segregate hunger strikers, LGBTQ detainees, and people with disabilities.

The Onion pulls no punches: “Saying the incident was so long ago that he had difficulty recalling the girl’s face, ICE agent Ed Thornton couldn’t believe he was being reprimanded Friday for a child who died months ago.

“We followed U.S. law, and asked for asylum at an official border crossing in El Paso, Texas. We were together for one night, and the following day they took him away. I begged them not to separate us. They told me, ‘You don’t have any rights here, and you don’t have any rights to stay with your son.’

“Scott Warren has a far stronger claim as to the sincerity of his religious beliefs than Hobby Lobby did.” December 21, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

“Democrats in North Carolina earned 48.3 percent of the total vote cast in House races but appeared to win only three seats; Republicans had 50.4 percent of the vote and won at least nine seats.” The poisonous effects of gerrymandering. With maps!

If they’re good people looking for refuge, we’re Americans and we should have a heart and we should try to help them. […] How much suffering and effort are they putting forth to get to our border? They are after some freedom and liberty and a better life.” When literally Cliven Bundy thinks your immigration policy is racist and terrible, whoo boy.

Toronto police are investigating a fire they believe was deliberately set at a Toronto hotel housing refugees [in October], stoking fears in some that it was motivated by anti-migrant sentiment.”

Ivanka, a White House senior adviser, used a personal account to send hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, cabinet officials and her assistants – many in violation of federal records rules.” Because of course she did.

“As a 17-year-old girl scout, Cassandra Levesque led a campaign to end child marriage in New Hampshire, and was brushed aside by a state legislator. […] Rather than being deterred, Ms. Levesque decided to take her crusade a step further: She ran for the State Legislature herself, and won.” Such a power move. (I remember the original news story, and I am loving the sequel.)

We were all really supportive at the beginning […] We figured we didn’t know all the facts and something would happen and this won’t be a long-term thing.” So…next time Trump says something that doesn’t make sense, will you keep assuming that he’s actually right because of secret facts that only he knows, or will you catch on?

By the administration’s own estimate, on its current course (if nations around the world do nothing more to respond to the climate change threat) the planet will warm by 7 degrees by the end of the century. It means, as one Twitter commentator pointed out, that climate change is not only real, but catastrophic… and the response is to burn more carbon because we’re all dead anyway.” As always, the people running the con job know exactly how disastrous their ideas are. They just don’t care.

“Six degrees of separation? That sick bastard was in my passenger seat. And I didn’t know because I was too busy loudly proclaiming that I was just exactly the sort of man who couldn’t be trusted with knowing.” (At least for some people, the delayed self-awareness eventually kicks in.)

“Scott Warren has a far stronger claim as to the sincerity of his religious beliefs than Hobby Lobby did. He has a far stronger claim to such devout sincerity than any of the no-cakes-for-gays bakers or florists, too. […] Warren’s actions on behalf of immigrants are in accord with the most-repeated commandment of the Hebrew scriptures and with the very founding of Christianity at Pentecost in the New Testament.” I’m guessing it won’t, but, listen, good for this guy.

“But [research on actually-proven-false rape accusations] suggests that every part of this narrative is wrong. What’s more, it’s wrong in ways that help real rapists escape justice, while perversely making it more likely that we will miss the signs of false reports.” Important!

(Putting this on the December talking meme.)

Dog-walking, napping, and buying mints while black September 11, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

In the surveillance video […] Arreola is seen asking for the price of the mints, then hands over cash to the attendant before pocketing the mints in his jacket. That is all it took for the officer to [draw his gun] and demand that Arreola place the mints back on the counter.” Thank goodness he made it out of that alive.

The 34-year-old grad student in African studies unlocked her dorm-room door in front of police to show that she lived there, but they still asked for her ID.” Her too.

“A police sergeant showed up, Fyffe-Marshall says in her account, and said he didn’t know what Airbnb was. The group showed the police their booking confirmations and phoned the home’s landlord to convince police they were telling the truth.” And them!

“Emory Ellis, a black homeless man in Boston, was hungry so he went to Burger King one morning in 2015. But instead of breakfast, Ellis got a ride to the police station and more than three months in jail after he was wrongfully accused of using counterfeit cash.

[My eight-year-old daughter] cried for an hour and now refuses to go outside with her dog. … I told her she did nothing wrong – but she said she must have or someone would not have called the police on her.”

The Onion: “Deciding his firstborn was old enough to learn about the cultural dangers of having things in his hands, African American dad Aaron Mitchell pulled his son aside Thursday to have “the talk” about holding literally any object.

“Avoid unkind generalizations like equating the jailing of ethnic minorities with some malevolent form of fascism.” July 6, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Talking about imprisoned immigrants at the protest last week, a Jewish woman read this poem.

So yeah, I’ve sent $18 each to HOLA Ohio, Kids In Need Of Defense, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, and the Ohio ACLU.

“The medical staffing shortage is of particular concern. This week, initial tests for tuberculosis came back positive for some new arrivals, and further testing will be required to determine whether they might be contagious. Other immigrants have arrived with rashes and skin legions, which are “basically being put on hold because we don’t have the medical staff to treat them,” says Kostelnik.

“A week later, Mr. Garcia was still being held by immigration officials, and his family was preparing to spend Father’s Day without him. […] Mr. Garcia’s case appears to show just how sweeping ICE can be in making arrests regardless of an immigrant’s legal status or how long ago their criminal case was resolved.

The service members affected by the recent discharges all enlisted in recent years under a special program aimed at bringing medical specialists and fluent speakers of 44 sought-after languages into the military.” This is so transparently, blatantly not about making us safer.

Civility tips from The Onion: “Avoid unkind generalizations like equating the jailing of ethnic minorities with some malevolent form of fascism.”

Republicans Behaving Badly (voter fraud, identity theft, and more) May 5, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: ,
add a comment

“[Kris Kobach] said it was necessary to root out tens of thousands of undocumented aliens who were voting as well as tens of thousands more who he claimed were voting in two states. Two years later, Kobach has produced exactly nine convictions. Most of them were not illegal immigrants but rather older registered Republicans.

“[Clarence Thomas’s] worldview, with its consistent objectification of women, is the one that’s shaping the contours of what’s possible for women in America today, more than that of just about any man alive, save for his fellow justices. And given the evidence that’s come out in the years since, it’s also time to raise the possibility of impeachment.

Jeff Sessions ad-libbed “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.

Volitich boasted about bringing her white nationalist beliefs into the classroom and hiding her ideology from administrators.” This is a middle-school teacher.

“While their cases were in various stages of immigration proceedings, seven people had their identities stolen by the chief counsel for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Seattle.” Because of course.

Killed by police in 2017: 1,129 people January 2, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Final report on 2017 police violence in the US, compiled by Campaign Zero. 1,129 people killed. 92% by shooting. Officers, even those with 1 or more prior shootings, were only charged with a crime 1% of the time.

A 6-year-old boy was fatally shot when Bexar County sheriff’s deputies opened fire on a woman at a Schertz mobile home park after a lengthy manhunt [December 21].”

Trooper Bessner unnecessarily deployed his Taser at Mr. Grimes without legal justification or excuse as Mr. Grimes was traveling at least 35 to 40 miles per hour.” (Note: “Mr. Grimes” was 15 years old.)

Hope Coleman called a local hospital to pick up her son; the police showed up before the EMTs, and ended up fatally shooting him. Oh, and then the police were hospitalized because this caused them so much “stress.” (The police commissioner is quoted as referring to the victim as “this poor kid.” The “kid” was 31.)

A 31-year-old man was shot twice by police in Texas after officers thought he was breaking into his own pickup truck because the alarm was going off.” Lyndo Jones survived the initial attack and was released from the hospital, but rushed back on November 25 for infected wounds.

[Iraq War veteran Denis] Reynoso was shot to death in his apartment by Lynn police officer Joshua Hilton in front of his five-year-old son on September 5, 2013.”

One of the officers on the scene went on to shoot unarmed Malden resident Michael McInnis — who was white, but don’t worry, the All Lives Matter crowd is ignoring it anyway.

“The Georgia police officer who was captured on camera telling a woman during a traffic stop that law enforcement personnel ‘only kill black people’ says he’ll retire amid the backlash.”

People killed by police in the US, 2018. Currently at 6.

If we’re done being thankful, here are some things we need to be angry about. November 27, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Two months after Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, a sense of desperation seems to be yielding to resignation at best. More than half of the island is still without power, and hundreds of thousands of residents are fleeing to the American mainland in an extraordinary exodus.”

“Within months, Deen’s career was back on track. There was initial backlash, but none of it stuck. He continued to make money and win awards. But we were back to the drawing board. The network refused to give us the rights to the show and wouldn’t let anyone watch the already-shot pilot. After two years, we are still not legally allowed to show it to anyone.” How the media is set up not only to excuse rapists and punish their victims, but punish random innocent people who unwittingly worked with them.

“The liver department’s clinical director is Irish. Its academic director is Spanish. The hospital recently tried to hire a German as academic head of department, but he declined: He had been awarded a high-value European grant that he could not take to Britain after Brexit.” The (totally foreseeable) real effects of Brexit on the NHS.

“Trump was reportedly considering deporting Guo until aides talked him out of it—including informing him that Guo happens to be a member of his Mar-a-Lago resort (a privilege that costs $200,000 in initiation fees plus $14,000 in annual dues). The president subsequently changed his mind.”

“ICE agents in Austin scrambled — and largely failed — to engineer a narrative that would substantiate the administration’s claims that the raids were motivated by public safety concerns. Instead, the emails detail the evolution of ICE’s public statements once it became obvious that the Trump administration’s narrative was not true.

Militants detonated a bomb inside a crowded mosque in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday and then sprayed gunfire on panicked worshipers as they fled, killing at least 305 people and wounding at least 128 others. Officials called it the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history.”

“I’m as tired of writing it as you are reading it, but you know good and well that if [this white American terrorist] was a young Muslim — hell, if he had ever even visited a mosque in the past 25 years — that Trump would be tweeting about him right this very moment to tout how essential a Muslim ban is for American safety. […] In this case, though? Crickets.

Remember that time a white supremacist was reduced to a terrified blubbering mess when he realized he might actually get arrested? (Was that really only a few months ago?) A lot of these people are cowards at heart. They treat being Nazis like it’s LARPing. They do not expect actual consequences. Make them suffer consequences.