We Resist: Day 867

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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: Primarily Speaking.

Donald Trump and his gross family are still in the UK, and I still don't feel like writing a single thing about it. So here are some other things in the news today...

[Content Note: Nativism; child abuse.]

Prisons. Detainment centers. Internment camps. Concentration camps. Pick whatever name you want for these horrendous facilities. The fact is this: They are not providing care. They are traumatizing children forcibly separated from their parents or guardians. They are torturing children, and they have shed all pretense that they are doing anything else. Malice is the explicit agenda.

U.S. residents: Find your representative here. Find your senators here.


Chelsia Rose Marcius at the Daily Beast: House Passes Immigration Bill That Would Protect DREAMers, Give Millions a Path to Citizenship. "Cheers of 'Sí se puede!' or 'Yes, we can!' broke out in the chamber after the Democratic-controlled House voted 237 to 187 [to pass a bill Tuesday that would give 2.5 million undocumented immigrants a path to U.S. citizenship]. Seven Republicans voted in favor of the legislation. The bill, called the DREAM and Promise Act of 2019, addresses DACA program recipients and the beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure. This includes DREAMers or those who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Even if the bill is passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, however, the White House has said [Donald] Trump will veto it." Fucker.

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Republicans Who Voted Against the Dream Act Represent over 600,000 People Who Would Have Benefited. "187 Republicans voted against the legislation. These 187 Republicans represent approximately 603,500 immigrants who would have benefited from the bill. ...The immigrants who stand to benefit from the latest DREAM Act and their households contribute $17.4 billion in federal taxes and $9.7 billion in state and local taxes per year. They hold also $75.4 billion in spending power." What they don't have is the right to vote.

Fred Barbash at the Washington Post: Use of Emergency Declaration to Impose Tariffs on Mexico Is Legally Questionable, Scholars Say. No shit! "[Donald] Trump is once again sailing in uncharted legal and constitutional waters. His promise to punish Mexico with escalating tariffs unless it controls what he calls the 'invasion' of migrants across the southern border is premised on a law that has never been used either as a tool of immigration policy or tariffs." That is far, far too polite language for discussion Trump's rampaging authoritarianism and vile nativist agenda.

Rebecca Hamilton at Just Security: Draft Charter of Pompeo's "Commission on Unalienable Rights" Hides Anti-Human Rights Agenda.
On May 30, without fanfare, a notice of intent to establish a State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights was published in the Federal Register. The stated purpose of the Commission is to provide "fresh thinking about human rights" and propose "reforms of human rights discourse where it has departed from our nation's founding principles of natural law and natural rights…to which [Dr. Martin Luther] King called us while standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C."

The Commission's draft Charter, obtained by Just Security, goes beyond the notice of intent in describing the Commission's duties as including "advice and recommendations, for the secretary's approval, to guide U.S. diplomatic and foreign policy decisions and actions with respect to human rights in international settings." This raises concerns that the Commission, which will have the State Department's Office of Policy Planning "supply all staff and support functions" and offer guidance directly to Secretary Pompeo, is designed to bypass the Office of Legal Adviser and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

...The Commission is particularly troubling in the context of attacks on minority communities and human rights defenders on a global scale, including the rise of authoritarian governments that are backtracking on decades of norm development.

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[CN: Climate change; wildfires; environmental harm. Covers entire section.]

Isaac Stanley-Becker at the Washington Post: Trump, Pressed on the Environment in U.K. Visit, Says Climate Change Goes 'Both Ways'. "[Donald Trump] left a 90-minute meeting this week with Charles, Prince of Wales, unconvinced that the climate is warming, which it is, according to overwhelming scientific consensus. ...But the president has other beliefs. 'I believe that there's a change in weather, and I think it changes both ways,' he said in a wide-ranging interview with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain that aired Wednesday morning. 'Don't forget it used to be called global warming. That wasn't working. Then it was called climate change. Now it's actually called extreme weather, because with extreme weather, you can't miss.'"

1. Fuck this guy and his garbage ideas.


Kirk Siegler at NPR: 1 Billion Acres at Risk for Catastrophic Wildfires, U.S. Forest Service Warns. "The chief of the U.S. Forest Service is warning that a billion acres of land across America are at risk of catastrophic wildfires like last fall's deadly Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, California. ...Vicki Christiansen said wildfires are now a year-round phenomenon. ...'When you look nationwide, there's not any place that we're really at a fire season. Fire season is not an appropriate term anymore,' Christiansen said in an interview with NPR at the agency's headquarters in Washington."

Brian Kahn at Earther: Canadian Wildfires Are Already Turning Sunsets Red in the U.S. "The calendar hasn't turned to summer yet, but skies in Canada and across the U.S. already look like August. Smoke from massive Canadian wildfires has made the sun disappear in Edmonton and turned Friday's sunrise blood red as far east as Vermont. More than 900,000 acres of Alberta has gone up in flames, the latest symptom of our overheating planet. ...There are currently 10 fires in Alberta raging out of control according to the province's fire agency."

Damian Carrington at the Guardian: People Eat at Least 50,000 Plastic Particles a Year, Study Finds. "The average person eats at least 50,000 particles of microplastic a year and breathes in a similar quantity, according to the first study to estimate human ingestion of plastic pollution. The true number is likely to be many times higher, as only a small number of foods and drinks have been analysed for plastic contamination. The scientists reported that drinking a lot of bottled water drastically increased the particles consumed."

Well that's just fucking terrific. If your water is contaminated with lead or comes out of your tap on fire from fracking, and if you're privileged or lucky enough to have access to bottled water, then you're filling yourself with plastic particles. Goddammit.

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Everything is fine. (Everything is not fine.)

Dan De Luce and Robert Windrem at NBC News: Trump Admin Gave Green Light to Nuclear Permits for Saudi Arabia After Khashoggi Killing. "The Trump administration approved the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia twice after the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, according to information shared with members of Congress. Citing records provided by the Department of Energy, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Tuesday that the Trump administration had given the green light to U.S. energy firms to export technology and know-how to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 18, 2018 — only 16 days after Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The administration then approved another transfer on Feb. 18."

A perfect and terrible example of what I mean when I say that we're up against a global trend toward authoritarianism. It's bigger than just the U.S. and it's going to take a lot more than a single election to effectively address it.

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[CN: Trans hatred] Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Trump Claims He Banned Trans People from the Military Because 'They Take Massive Amounts of Drugs'. "'They take massive amounts of drugs,' Trump said, when asked to square his declared support for the LGBTQ community with his stance on transgender service members. 'They have to …You would actually have to break rules and regulations in order to have that.' [T]he costs of that medication are minuscule, and in fact pale in comparison to how much the military spends on Viagra. Trump said he was not aware of that fact before doubling down on his earlier claims."

[CN: Homophobia; racism; slurs at link] Tom McKay at Gizmodo: YouTube: No, We Won't Remove These Videos of Racist, Anti-Gay Harassment Because It's Just 'Debating'.
YouTube has chosen not to take action against right-wing video personality Steven Crowder after Vox host Carlos Maza posted clips of Crowder repeatedly harassing him with derogatory, anti-gay, and racist statements, which Maza says resulted in hordes of Crowder's fans doxxing him and subjecting him to abuse on social media.

...YouTube's hate speech policy page specifically bars "content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups" based on a number of attributes including ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation. In a subsection, YouTube specifically writes creators cannot:
Use racial, ethnic, religious, or other slurs where the primary purpose is to promote hatred.

Use stereotypes that incite or promote hatred based on any of the attributes noted above. This can take the form of speech, text, or imagery promoting these stereotypes or treating them as factual.
Invoking hurtful stereotypes of gay men as effeminate to target a specific gay person, as well as disparaging references to that person's ethnic background, seems about as straightforward a violation of this policy as can be. YouTube writes on that page that content in violation of these rules will be removed and can result in a creator having strikes applied to their account.

Perhaps that's why in an obviously insincere apology video uploaded this weekend, Crowder tried his best to come off as indifferent but nonetheless felt the need to insist off the bat he was "not in violation of policy guidelines."

Turns out YouTube agrees! The platform responded on Tuesday by saying it would not take any action on the videos involved. After claiming YouTube takes "allegations of harassment very seriously" and that they had spent days "conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us," the Team YouTube Twitter wrote that while Crowder's language was "clearly hurtful," "the videos as posted don't violate our policies" and will "remain on our site."
What a horrendous, unjustifiable decision.

[CN: Anti-choicery] Jessica Glenza at the Guardian: Doctors' Organization: Calling Abortion Bans 'Fetal Heartbeat Bills' Is Misleading. "America's largest professional organization for doctors specializing in women's health has come out against the term 'fetal heartbeat bill' to describe abortion bans recently enacted by U.S. states. The president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called the bills 'arbitrary' bans not reflective of fetal development or science. 'Arbitrary gestational age bans on abortion at six weeks that use the term 'heartbeat' to define the gestational development being targeted do not reflect medical accuracy or clinical understanding,' said Dr Ted Anderson, president of ACOG." Thank you, ACOG.

And finally, on a hopeful and inspiring note...

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

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