We Resist: Day 400

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: A Series of Failures Abetted the Parkland Shooting and The Press Has Learned Nothing.

[Content Note: Genocide; displacement; sexual assault] Colin Dwyer at NPR: Photos: Myanmar Apparently Razing Remains of Rohingya Villages.
For the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar and what authorities describe as a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing, the prospect of returning to their home villages might be more than just daunting. As satellite photographs show, a return home might be simply impossible.

The images released by DigitalGlobe reveal what appears to be a systematic bulldozing operation by Myanmar authorities, with the remains of dozens of predominantly Rohingya villages razed to the ground in a matter of months.

"Many of these villages were scenes of atrocities against Rohingya and should be preserved so that the experts appointed by the UN to document these abuses can properly evaluate the evidence to identify those responsible," Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement released Friday.

The international human rights organization said at least 55 villages have been leveled and stripped of all their buildings, plant life and distinguishing features since last November. Most of these villages had already been at least partially burned to the ground since August, when Myanmar's crackdown against the stateless minority population erupted in response to an attack by Rohingya insurgents.

Since then, some 688,000 Rohingya have escaped Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh, where they live in massive makeshift camps bearing horrific accounts of widespread murder, rape and torture conducted by Myanmar's military. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported evidence of at least five mass graves at just one location; others, including two Reuters reporters who were arrested by Myanmar officials, have also reported evidence mass graves in Rakhine state, where most of the atrocities have been reported.
As I have previously noted: In November, Trump "pledged support" for the Rohingya, but it's not entirely clear to me what that has meant, aside from the United States acknowledging the campaign against the Rohingya as ethnic cleansing. This is the best information I could find on what the U.S. has been doing:
"This is a tragedy that's worse than anything that CNN or BBC has been able to portray about what has happened to these people," Mattis told reporters during a trip to Indonesia, Reuters reports. "And the United States has been engaged vigorously in the diplomatic realm trying to resolve this, engaged with humanitarian aid, a lot of money going into humanitarian aid."
That's absurdly nonspecific, but there doesn't appear to be any better information available — and I suspect that's because the U.S. government isn't actually doing anything meaningful.

(And in case you're wondering: Yes, there are meaningful actions we could be taking. But we have not taken them.)

It's impossible to believe we even could be "engaged vigorously in the diplomatic realm," given the complete collapse of the U.S. State Department.

Trump continues to fail us, and continues to fail the world.

* * *

Tierney Sneed at TPM: Rick Gates to Plead Guilty: Former Trump Campaign Aide to Cooperate with Mueller. This has, of course, been the rumor for weeks now, but it seems like it's finally happening this afternoon.
On Friday, just after noon, Mueller filed a document signaling that he and Gates had reached a plea deal. Soon after, the judge overseeing Gates and Manafort's case, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, scheduled a plea hearing for 2 p.m. ET at the federal courthouse in D.C.

The filing by Mueller outlined two counts that prosecutors were bringing against Gates in a "superseding information." An information typically precedes a plea agreement. Those charges are significantly less than what was in the earlier indictments filed against Gates, suggesting that it is a precursor to Gates pleading guilty in an agreement with Mueller.

The first count is conspiracy against the United States. The second count is for making a false statement. Remarkably the alleged false statement was made by Gates to the Special Counsel's Office and the FBI on Feb. 1, months after the original indictment was issued, according to the information. That suggests Gates lied in the course of plea negotiations. His lawyers moved to withdraw from the case the same day.

* * *

[CN: Gun violence; descriptions of gun injuries.]

This article is incredibly difficult, but it is a must-read:

Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to be actively unhelpful. John Wagner at the Washington Post: Trump: Armed Teachers Would Have 'Shot the Hell out of' Florida School Gunman.
[During a meandering speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference], Trump argued Friday that having teachers armed with concealed weapons would have lessened the carnage during the school shooting last week in South Florida that claimed 17 lives.

"A teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened," the president said of the shooter during an address to a national conservative gathering where he made a full-throated pitch to make schools "a much harder target for attackers."

Trump acknowledged that his idea, which he has been vocally advocating for the past three days, is controversial, but he said even some skeptics are starting to agree with him.

"We need a hardened site," Trump said. "It needs to be hardened. It can't be soft."
No decent people "are stating to agree with" Trump that teachers should be armed! Teachers don't agree! Law enforcement doesn't agree! No sensible person agrees with that proposal!

Furthermore, apparently Trump hasn't heard that even a trained campus police officer, who was armed with a gun, froze and didn't confront the shooter. All of these fucking Recliner Rambos imagine that they would "take out" a mass shooter, but they are full of absolute shit. People whose lives are dedicated to careers in which they're trained to behave a certain way under stress in a chaotic situation often don't behave that way.

Which is to say nothing of the fact that the solution to gun violence is never going to be more guns.

Enough of this garbage. ENOUGH.

* * *

E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration Declares 'War on Terror' Needs No New Vote. "U.S. forces are set to remain in Iraq and Syria indefinitely following a declaration from the Trump administration that it needs no new authorization to keep soldiers in the war. The White House has indicated for some time that [Donald] Trump's administration feels there is no need for a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in order to continue operations in both Iraq and Syria. ...In the case of a new AUMF, both Trump administration officials said that the original 2001 AUMF should not be repealed without a replacement, which in turn would have no time or geographic constraints."

Translation: The Trump administration will use the existing AUMF to justify military intervention wherever the fuck it wants, or it will submit a new AUMF that the Republican Congressional majority will rubber-stamp, which will allow them to launch military intervention wherever the fuck they want.

John Walcott at Reuters: Two Top White House Advisers May Leave over Tensions with Trump. "Longstanding friction between [Donald] Trump and two top aides, the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Staff, has grown to a point that either or both might quit soon, four senior administration officials said. Both H.R. McMaster and John Kelly are military men considered by U.S. political observers as moderating influences on the president by imposing a routine on the White House." Not all political observers.

Zach Everson at the Daily Beast: Trump Hotel Paid Millions in Fines for Unpaid Work. "In the days around Donald Trump's inauguration, the hotel bearing his name in downtown Washington, D.C., quietly settled two liens totaling more than $3 million for allegedly unpaid construction work. In one case, a contractor reached an agreement after receiving a phone call from someone his attorney identified as 'Trump.' The liens had both been previously reported. But their settlements had not." Cool.

[CN: Racism; harassment and bullying] Rebecca Klein at the Huffington Post: Education Department Sees a Major Uptick in Complaints of Racial Harassment in Schools. "The U.S. Department of Education's civil rights division saw a significant increase in the number of complaints it received regarding racial harassment in schools, including post-secondary institutions, in 2017, according to data the department provided to HuffPost. The increase represents the biggest rise in this category since at least 2009, the earliest consecutive year for which we could find publicly reported numbers in this category. ...Catherine Lhamon, who ran OCR during the Obama administration, said she could not speculate on the reasons for this increase, but pointed to outside data showing a surge in hate crimes nationally. 'Our schools are places that encapsulate and reflect the national climate as well.'" Like I keep saying: Trump didn't invent bigotry, but he empowers it mightily.

Josh Lederman at the AP: Adelson Offers to Help Pay for Jerusalem Embassy. "The Trump administration is considering an offer from Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to pay for at least part of a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, four U.S. officials told The Associated Press. Lawyers at the State Department are looking into the legality of accepting private donations to cover some or all of the embassy costs, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the issue publicly and demanded anonymity. The discussions are occurring as the administration plans a ribbon-cutting for a scaled-down, temporary embassy that will open in May — more than a year ahead of schedule. In one possible scenario, the administration would solicit contributions not only from Adelson but potentially from other donors in the evangelical Christian and American Jewish communities, too." This is a spectacularly bad idea. Fucking hell.

[CN: White supremacy; Nazism; anti-Semitism; homophobia; violence] A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan at ProPublica: Inside At0mwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.
Late last month, ProPublica reported that the California man accused of killing a gay and Jewish University of Pennsylvania student was an avowed neo-Nazi and a member of At0mwaffen Division, one of the country's most notorious extremist groups.

The news about the murder suspect, Samuel Woodward, spread quickly throughout the U.S., and abroad. Woodward was accused of fatally stabbing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein and burying his body in an Orange County park.

...Encrypted chat logs obtained by ProPublica — some 250,000 messages spanning more than six months — offer a rare window into At0mwaffen Division that goes well beyond what has surfaced elsewhere about a group whose members have been implicated in a string of violent crimes. Like many white supremacist organizations, At0mwaffen Division uses Discord, an online chat service designed for video gamers, to engage in its confidential online discussions.

In a matter of months, people associated with the group, including Woodward, have been charged in five murders; another group member pleaded guilty to possession of explosives after authorities uncovered a possible plot to blow up a nuclear facility near Miami.

The group's propaganda makes clear that At0mwaffen — the word means "nuclear weapons" in German — embraces Third Reich ideology and preaches hatred of minorities, gays, and Jews. At0mwaffen produces YouTube videos showing members firing weapons and has filmed members burning the U.S. Constitution and setting fire to the American flag. But the organization, by and large, cloaks its operations in secrecy and bars members from speaking to the media.

The chat logs and other material obtained by ProPublica provide unusually extensive information about the group's leaders, wider makeup, and potential targets.
Absolutely chilling.

[CN: Nativism; coercion] Micah Hauser at the Guardian: Their Daughters Were Held at the Border — Then the Blackmail from Fake ICE Agents Began. "The South Texas Residential Family Center sits atop a former camp for oilfield workers in the remote, sloping scrubland of the Rio Grande Valley. It is managed by CoreCivic, a private prison company, and has the capacity to hold 2,400 immigrant detainees. Over the past five months, at least 11 families with relatives — all asylum-seeking mothers and children — detained at the facility have been extorted by impersonators who have demanded payment to stop their loved ones being deported. In total, the victims have paid more than $13,500, none of which has been recovered." Goddammit.

[CN: Trans hatred] Erin Heger at Rewire: Kansas Republicans Mostly Silent on Party Resolution Invalidating Transgender People. "Days after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people, the Kansas Republican Party focused its efforts not on matters of public safety, but on invalidating transgender identities at its convention. The state party committee, made up of about 180 people with delegates from each of the state's congressional districts, endorsed a resolution to 'oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity' and affirms the existence of two sexes by 'God's design.' 'There is no scientific consensus regarding the ethics or effectiveness of attempts to align one's biology with one's self-perception through experimental and exploratory medicine,' the GOP document states." Fuckers.

* * *

[CN: Sexual assault. Covers entire section.]

Hecate at Celebitchy: Terry Crews: 'I Still Have to Send a Check to My Molester'. "Terry Crews has been fighting for justice after a high-powered executive at William Morris Endeavor groped him at a party about two years ago. I'm not saying 'allegedly' because the groper, Adam Venit, was made to apologize and take a one-month suspension as punishment for his actions. But that was it: He was demoted but not fired, and his new position still places him in situations in which he can molest others. Since WME proved they have no interest in protecting victims, Terry has been forced to pursue the matter legally and filed a lawsuit against both Venit and WME. I know, that's enough to make one angry, but, get this, Terry still has to pay commission to them."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus