We Resist: Day 440

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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.

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Earlier today by me: Yesterday Was a Troubling Day in Mueller News and On Trump Being an Anonymous Source and the Political Press Being Stenographers for an Authoritarian Liar and The Trade War Is Escalating Quickly.

Here are some more things in the news today...

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago today. Given his prominent role in United States social justice movements and resistance, I want to lead off today's We Resist thread with this beautiful, wrenching, must-read piece by Kirsten West Savali at the Root, accompanying a must-watch video: 'We've Gotta March Again': Sanitation Workers Remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last Battle Cry.
Despite the relentless antagonism and mockery he faced, he came back to Memphis because he had made a promise to the sanitation strikers.

Dr. King had committed himself to their struggle, because within it, he saw the struggle of every black person in this nation: the dehumanizing, back-breaking, soul-destroying realization that white supremacy demanded that they remain in poverty, in servitude, and, if all else failed, dead and buried.

So, despite his bone-deep weariness, he spoke before a crowd of thousands on the night before the day he would be assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, getting them ready for the next march in solidarity with the sanitation strikers scheduled to take place on April 8, 1968.
And here is another recommended piece by Senator Kamala Harris at the Grio: On Martin Luther King's Dream and Continuing Fight for Equality. "The genius of Dr. King was that he was both aspirational and a realist. He had the deep faith to believe that we could live up to the ideals embodied in the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, that we are all and should be treated as equals. But he also understood that we would not get there overnight or through faith alone. And he was able to help people appreciate how his cause was theirs as well."

And Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was on the balcony with Rev. King when he was killed, writes in a New York Times op-ed:
As the nation prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we should dwell not merely on how Dr. King died but also on how he lived.

He mobilized mass action to win a public accommodations bill and the right to vote. He led the Montgomery bus boycott and navigated police terror in Birmingham. He got us over the bloodstained bridge in Selma and survived the rocks and bottles and hatred in Chicago. He globalized our struggle to end the war in Vietnam.

How he lived is why he died.

...America loathes marchers but loves martyrs. The bullet in Memphis made Dr. King a martyr for the ages.

We owe it to Dr. King — and to our children and grandchildren — to commemorate the man in full: a radical, ecumenical, antiwar, pro-immigrant, and scholarly champion of the poor who spent much more time marching and going to jail for liberation and justice than he ever spent dreaming about it.

...We are in a battle for the soul of America, and it's not enough to admire Dr. King. To admire him is to reduce him to a mere celebrity. It requires no commitment, no action. Those who value justice and equality must have the will and courage to follow him. They must be ready to sacrifice.

The struggle continues.
I'm all in.

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Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: 'I Just Didn't Think That Our Legislature Would Hate Us This Much': Oklahoma Teachers Speak Out. "'I didn't go into [teaching] for money or anything like that, but I just didn't think that our legislature would hate us this much,' Barger said. She had waited three hours in line earlier in the day along with thousands of other rallygoers to get into the State Capitol Building while being 'whipped around' by gusty 20 to 30 mph winds. 'I just feel like in the 19 years I've been teaching, that the Oklahoma government has systematically just cut and cut and cut and given us no respect. We're almost a hated profession in this state.'"

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Thomas Novelly, Mandy McLaren, and Morgan Watkins at USA Today: All 120 County School Districts Close in Kentucky as Teachers Rally Against Bill That Would Hurt Their Pensions. "All of Kentucky's public schools were closed Monday as thousands of teachers protested a surprise pension reform bill at the state Capitol. ...Many parents brought their children — babies, preteens, high-schoolers — with them to the protest. A trio of young girls were part of the chanting crowd, excitedly yelling, 'This is what democracy looks like!' Late Thursday, the Kentucky Legislature passed Senate Bill 151 to overhaul the state's pension system. Teachers say they were not allowed public access to the process that produced the 291-page bill, and more than 500 teachers flooded the Capitol the next day to protest."

Dana Goldstein at the New York Times: Why Teachers Are Walking Out and What to Expect. "Teachers in multiple states have walked off the job or are making plans to do so after a statewide teachers' strike in West Virginia last month yielded a pay raise and significant public support. Oklahoma teachers clogged the State Capitol on Tuesday, protesting budget cuts and demanding higher wages. It was the second day of a widespread walkout. At least 50 school districts were closed across the state, including those in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The protests continued in Kentucky, too, where many teachers are on spring break but have swarmed their own Capitol to denounce a pension reform bill. In Arizona, teacher organizers have mounted a grass-roots effort to recruit school representatives across the state, and are particularly interested in building support in rural areas for a potential statewide walkout."

I take up space in solidarity with public educators across the country who want a livable wage in exchange for their labor and the benefits they have been promised as part of their contracts.

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Frank Bajak at the AP: U.S. Suspects Cellphone Spying Devices in D.C.
For the first time, the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages.

The use of what are known as cellphone-site simulators by foreign powers has long been a concern, but American intelligence and law enforcement agencies — which use such eavesdropping equipment themselves — have been silent on the issue until now.

In a March 26 letter to Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that last year it identified suspected unauthorized cell-site simulators in the nation's capital. The agency said it had not determined the type of devices in use or who might have been operating them. Nor did it say how many it detected or where.

The agency's response, obtained by The Associated Press from Wyden's office, suggests little has been done about such equipment, known popularly as Stingrays after a brand common among U.S. police departments. The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the nation's airwaves, formed a task force on the subject four years ago, but it never produced a report and no longer meets regularly.

Meanwhile... Joe Uchill at Axios: Outgoing White House Emails Not Protected by Verification System. "The security advocacy group Global Cyber Alliance tested the 26 email domains managed by the Executive Office of the President and found that only one fully implements a security protocol that verifies the emails as genuinely from the White House. Of the 26 domains, 18 are not in compliance with a Department of Homeland Security directive to implement that protocol. Why it matters: Imagine the havoc someone could cause sending misinformation from a presidential aide's account: Such fraudulent messages could be used in phishing campaigns, to spread misinformation to careless reporters, or to embarrass White House employees by sending fake tirades under their names."

I can imagine that! In fact, I imagined precisely that scenario when Hope Hicks casually testified that her email was hacked. Cough.

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[CN: Gun violence] Yesterday, a 39-year-old woman named Nasim Aghdam entered YouTube's headquarters with a gun and began shooting. She shot three people, none fatally, before killing herself. Although early reports suggested she had shot "her boyfriend," San Bruno police later stated that "at this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted."

Aghdam's family had reported her missing, and her father "told the Mercury News that he informed authorities his daughter might be going to YouTube because she 'hated' the company."

The police located her in a Mountain View parking lot, sleeping in her car. In a statement, they say: "The woman confirmed her identity to us and answered subsequent questions. At the conclusion of our discussion, her family was notified that she had been located."

After the police told them where she had been located, her brother Googled the location and discovered it was near YouTube HQ, prompting him to quickly call back the police with another warning:
"I Googled 'Mountain View' and it was close to YouTube headquarters, and she had a problem with YouTube," her brother said. "So I called that cop again and told him there's a reason she went all the way from San Diego to there, so she might do something."

He said police told the family they would keep an eye on her, but 12 hours later, the shooting happened.

"So they didn't do anything and she got killed," her brother said. "And three or four more people got hurt."
There absolutely must be an investigation into whether the police should have done more, given Aghdam's family's multiple warnings and her plethoric posts on social media detailing her grievances with YouTube.

But still this is another situation in which perhaps the police did all they were legally able to do. Again what we're left with is this: Perhaps the only crack through which Nasim Aghdam fell was legal gun access.

I hope that her victims have access to the resources they need to make full recoveries. I am so sad and so angry that they were harmed.

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[CN: Nativism; carcerality] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: ICE Held Teen Girl in Majority-Male Detention Center for More Than a Month. "On the afternoon of March 23, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a 15-year-old girl and her father from the Berks County Residential Facility, one of three remaining family detention centers in the nation. Berks held the pair for 32 days and for a bulk of the young girl's detainment, she told Rewire.News, she was the only female in an otherwise all-male facility. ...Astrid turned 15 while in Berks and for her birthday, two of her teachers from Easton Area Middle School came to visit her bearing gifts. Anticipating she needed personal items in detention, one of her teachers brought her a large bath towel. According to Donohoe, the teen was thrilled to have a towel that 'covered her body.'" Rage seethe boil.

[CN: Nativism] Alfonso Serrano at Colorlines: Department of Justice Sets Quotas for Immigration Judges to Speed Up Deportations. "On Friday (March 30), the Department of Justice (DOJ) unveiled new production quotas for immigration judges aimed at expediting deportations. The directive will require judges to clear 700 cases a year or face negative performance reviews. The announcement comes as the Trump administration weighs other measures that would speed up deportations of children arrested at the border. ...[I]mmigration judges — and the union that represents them — expressed concern that immigration cases, which vary in complexity, will be rushed through the court system, jeopardizing judicial independence and integrity. 'This is a recipe for disaster,' A. Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, told the The Journal." Fucking hell.

[CN: Birtherism] Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Trump Appointee Resigns for Promoting Conspiracy Theory Trump Popularized. "A Trump administration appointee at the Department of Defense announced his resignation Tuesday after a CNN report revealed that he posted conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama's place of birth and shared a video that claimed Obama was the Antichrist. The appointee, Todd Johnson, is a former Trump campaign New Mexico state director who joined the Defense Department as an advanced officer in 2017." Jesus fucking Jones, this administration.

[CN: Animal endangerment] Darryl Fears at the Washington Post: A Fierce Opponent of the Endangered Species Act Is Picked to Oversee Interior's Wildlife Policy. "Susan Combs, a former Texas state official who compared proposed endangered species listings to 'incoming Scud missiles' and continued to fight the Endangered Species Act after she left government, now has a role in overseeing federal wildlife policy. Combs was selected by Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke as acting secretary for fish, wildlife, and parks. Zinke made the move after his bid to make her an assistant secretary for policy, management, and budget stalled in the Senate."

Maggie Fox at NBC News: 'Nightmare Bacteria' Are Trying to Spread in the U.S., CDC Says. "A new program for testing suspect bacteria turned up unusual antibiotic-resistance genes 221 times in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. And 11 percent of people screened for these superbugs carried them, even though they had no symptoms, the CDC said. 'CDC's study found several dangerous pathogens, hiding in plain sight, that can cause infections that are difficult or impossible to treat,' said the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat. 'While they are appearing all over the place, an aggressive approach can snuff them out.'" If only we had a government that would actually support that! Oh well. Time to become a doomsday prepper.

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

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