We Resist: Day 579

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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: Hillary Is Back — and So Is Garbage Press About Her and #PrisonStrike and "It is clearly designed to sow confusion, conflict, and fear among those who criticize Mr. Putin's authoritarian regime."

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

Let's start with some GOOD resistance news!


Jane Stancill at the News & Observer: Protesters Topple Silent Sam Confederate Statue at UNC. "The monument was ripped down after 9:15 p.m. Earlier in the evening, protesters covered the statue with tall, gray banners, erecting 'an alternative monument' that said, in part, 'For a world without white supremacy.' Protesters were apparently working behind the covering with ropes to bring the statue down, which happened more than two hours into a rally. It fell with a loud clanging sound, and the crowd erupted in cheers. After Silent Sam tumbled to the ground, people darted in and out of the crowd through a haze from smoke bombs. Atop the statue someone placed a black cap that said, 'Do It Like Durham,' an apparent reference to the toppling of a Confederate statue there a year ago." Right on!

And finally: An important action in protest of Donald Trump's nativist agenda... Alfonso Serrano at Colorlines: Immigrant Caravan to Travel from L.A. to D.C. to Protest End of Deportation Protections.
A caravan of immigrants protesting the termination of deportation protections by the Trump administration began a 12-week journey on Friday (August 17) that will take them from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

...On the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on Friday, city leaders and immigration advocates rallied against the administration's deportation policies and announced the TPS Journey for Justice Caravan, led by National TPS Alliance, the Central American Resource Center, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is eyeing a 2020 presidential run, was among those who underlined the fate of TPS holders and helped launch the 12-week caravan that will lead immigrants through dozens of cities before descending on Washington, D.C.

"Let me start with a message for every TPS holder in Los Angeles," said Garcetti, per the Los Angeles Times. "We will stand with you and we will fight for you. Because Los Angeles is a city where everyone belongs and you belong here at home."

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[Content Note: Nativism; family separation] Juan Luis García Hernández, Pía Flores, David Yaffe-Bellany, and Jay Root at the Texas Tribune: "Where Is My Son?": A Migrant Father Was Deported in May; His Son Is Still in a Texas Shelter. In early May, David Xol and his 7-year-old son Byron "travelled through Mexico for three days in a wooden crate stowed in the back of a tractor trailer..."
When they reached the U.S. border in mid-May, Xol and Byron crossed the Rio Grande on a raft and were apprehended by Border Patrol officers, at the height of the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy.

A few days later, at the processing center, Xol was separated from Byron. "Don't worry, son, it's all part of the journey," he said as he was led away in shackles. On May 21, Xol pled guilty to illegal entry in a mass trial at the federal courthouse in McAllen. When he returned to the processing center, immigration officials informed him that under "the new law signed by [Donald] Trump," he wouldn't see Byron again anytime soon.

"Your son is going to the U.S. and you to Guatemala," he said the officials declared as they handed him an immigration document. "Sign, because if you don't, you are going to be sent to Guatemala anyway."

Xol, 27, begged the officials to let him stay in the country with Byron — or at least to deport them together. But when they wouldn't budge, he finally relented, signing a form the Americans described to him as his own deportation order — all of it written in English, which he doesn't understand. He was deported to Guatemala on May 28.

"To not cause any problems, I signed," he said in Spanish in an interview earlier this month. "I am the type of person who, if you tell me to do something, I complete it."

Nearly three months later, Byron remains in a shelter in Baytown, east of Houston, where about once a week he calls his mother, pleading with her in their native Q'eqchi' — a Mayan language spoken in the Americas since long before the Spanish conquest — to send him back to his family in Guatemala.

Neither the U.S. nor the Guatemalan government offered an explanation for the family's continued separation. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to comment on the case. Brian Marriott, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees a network of shelters where thousands of immigrant children are held, said the agency's "focus is always on the safety and best interest of each child" and that the government is "working rapidly to reunify children and their parents." He declined to comment on Byron's case.
Rage seethe boil.

[CN: Nazism] Josh Marshall at TPM: Righteous Act; Malign Purpose. "Early this morning, ICE deported 95-year-old Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi SS guard at a labor camp in German-occupied Poland, to Germany. ...Palij joins a small but shameful list of one-time US citizens whose Nazi pasts were exposed and who were eventually stripped of their citizenship and deported. (One of the most notorious was John Demjanjuk.) But in this case, while the deportation is a righteous act, it is not hard to see a malign political motive in the White House's press campaign surrounding the deportation. ... The DHS recently formed a 'denaturalization task force' which has been tasked with reviewing the histories of naturalized U.S. citizens to see whose citizenship can be revoked and deported. ...Few of us would disagree that former Nazis who participated in war crimes should not be given refuge or citizenship in the U.S. But denaturalization is extreme and fraught device which should be employed only in the most extreme circumstances. There are very few Nazi war criminals left. ...[It's clear the White House] is using Palij's story to troll for denunciations of other U.S. citizens for denaturalization and deportation."

Related Reading: New Federal Office Established to Strip Citizenship and Trump's War on Immigrants Continues Apace.

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Jonathan Watts at the Guardian: Arctic's Strongest Sea Ice Breaks up for First Time on Record. "The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer. This phenomenon — which has never been recorded before — has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere. One meteorologist described the loss of ice as 'scary.'"

Lisa Friedman at the New York Times: E.P.A.'s New Coal Pollution Rules Will Lead to More Deaths, Agency's Numbers Show. "The Trump administration on Tuesday made public the details of its new pollution rules governing coal-burning power plants, and the fine print includes an acknowledgment that the plan would increase carbon emissions and lead to up to 1,400 premature deaths annually. The proposal, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, is a replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which was an aggressive effort to speed up the closures of coal-burning plants, one of the main producers of greenhouse gases, by setting national targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions and encouraging utilities to use cleaner energy sources like wind and solar. The new proposal, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, instead seeks to make minor on-site efficiency improvements at individual plants and would also let states relax pollution rules for power plants that need upgrades, keeping them active longer."

Brian Kahn at Earther: Can We Afford to Keep Rebuilding in the Line of Wildfires? "California has been at the epicenter of a fiery crisis over the past year as everything from iconic locales like Wine Country to interstate towns like Redding burn. More generally, across the West towns small and large have been decimated by wildfires in recent years thanks to rising temperatures, more human-sparked fires, and more humans living in harm's way. It raises an uncomfortable question that coastal residents, policymakers, and insurance underwriters have been forced to grapple with in recent years: Is it worth it to build (or rebuild) in a landscape primed for explosive fires? The answer — for now — is yes, but that calculus could change as rising temperatures and more frequent droughts conspire to make the forest a riskier place to live."

John Tibbetts and Chris Mooney at the Washington Post: Sea Level Rise Is Eroding Home Value, and Owners Might Not Even Know It. "Boineau is one of many homeowners on the front lines of society's confrontation with climate change, living in houses where rising sea levels have worsened flooding not just in extreme events like hurricanes, but also heavy rains and even high tides. Now, three studies have found evidence that the threat of higher seas is also undermining coastal property values as home buyers — particularly investors — begin the retreat to higher ground."

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[CN: Police misconduct; racism] Kia Morgan Smith at the Grio: Police Use Stun Gun on Black Father as He Holds onto His Two-Month-Old Baby. "Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik said that a confrontation with Ray Brown resulted in the father being stunned with several volts of electricity while holding his baby because he allegedly was being 'aggressive' and uncooperative when police approached. ...In a video, Brown can be seen, holding the baby while officers order him to give the baby to its mother. Police said that Brown refused causing them to react. Brown was stunned with the taser while holding the child, but the mother, Nichole Skidmore, was close enough to grab the baby as the infant fell from the father's arms. Thankfully, the baby wasn't hurt. ...After the cellphone video of the incident was posted, Westland police are now being heavily criticized on how they handled the situation."

[CN: War on agency] Elham Khatami at ThinkProgress: Rand Paul Introduces Amendment to Cut Planned Parenthood Funding. "Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is continuing his years-long crusade against Planned Parenthood, filing an amendment to a massive Senate appropriations bill last week that would cut federal funding from the organization, as well as others that perform abortion procedures. ...The amendment would bar any clinics that perform abortions — except in cases where pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or if the abortion-seeker's life is in danger due to the pregnancy — from receiving federal funds." The Hyde Amendment already prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion procedures, so this is a bill that would deny federal funding for other healthcare services if they are provided in a facility that also performs the healthcare service of abortion. It's a direct attack on (primarily) women's healthcare.

[CN: Trans hatred] Caitlin Emma at Politico: Transgender Students Asked Betsy DeVos for Help; Here's What Happened. "After his graduation in 2017 Howe filed a complaint with federal civil rights officials at the Department of Education, hoping to ease the way for other transgender students at his school to use the bathrooms of their choice. But an examination of federal records by Politico shows that his complaint is one of at least five involving transgender students denied bathroom access that was thrown out by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has halted such investigations. Another transgender student interviewed by Politico and also speaking publicly for the first time said his bathroom-related complaint hasn't been dismissed, but his case has stalled for three years."

Esther Wang at the Slot: Congratulations to Scott Pruitt on His $43,000 Phone Call. "Remember shameless grifter and former Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt's $43,000 phone booth, which he argued was 'necessary for me to be able to do my job?' It turns out that he made only one, five-minute phone call to the White House from the safety of that phone booth, according to a new report from the Washington Post. The existence of this call, which happened on January 29, came to light as part of a Sierra Club lawsuit. An EPA spokesperson declined to tell the Post what the call was about. According to acting EPA administrator and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, the lightly used phone booth is still in his office, sitting there like a turd."

One turd in an entire bowl full of 'em.

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

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