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The_Walrus
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03 May 2020, 10:09 am

That old joke about anti-vaxxers actually being pro-disease has never seemed more appropriate...



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03 May 2020, 11:25 am

I just feel like sharing some thoughts although there are other threads where I could share similar thoughts.

a.) I think there's a tendency for some people to want to say things to suggest the situation is hopeless, almost as though that were the case. These people are anxious to share anything to suggest that no vaccine or medical treatment can help, etc. They will also try to shoot down anything of a hopeful nature. In fact, some of these protesters are probably influenced by the fatalism to which this way of thinking leads.
b.) In fact, some of the most alarmist predictions have already proven not true. In mid-March, when the outbreak got started for real in my state, a lot of people were predicting the capacity for hospitals to treat the most seriously ill patients would be overwhelmed and many dying patients would be denied treatment. Didn't happen. In fact, many emergency facilities that were set up to treat the overflow never got used.
c.) Confucianist societies in Asia are better able to deal with this sort of situation. In China and other East Asian countries they were able to bring things under control because they were able in some cases to force people to remain locked inside their apartments without even being allowed to go out to buy food. The streets were 100% empty for weeks. Under those conditions there's simply no way for any contagious disease to spread. Also, some places have reopened schools but the pupils have to wear both a face mask and a plastic visor all day which Western kids would simply not tolerate. Think about that for a minute.
d.) Something that hasn't gotten a lot of publicity yet is contact tracing. In the US, states have put thousands of statisticians, epidemiologists, and Big Data experts together to build a data base and computational ability to identify active carriers and those they are likely to infect. Google is also developing an app that will contribute to the data collection and alerts. Sadly, that app will require the user to consent to some invasion of their privacy. Again, a case of Confucianism maybe not being such a bad thing. Nevertheless the technology for doing this is very mature nowadays. Ten years ago this would probably not be possible. I predict that by the end of May we'll start seeing a measurable benefit from this.
e.) We are lucky that our ability to conduct business virtually has greatly lessened the societal impact compared to what it would have been 20 or even 10 years ago. Nobody need worry about being able to contact and do business with their bank, their insurance agency, local government, their physician, etc. All continue to conduct business "virtually".

Having said this, I have to say that all these contrarian "experts" shouting out their theories on YouTube and the idiots who take them seriously are the single biggest reason why this pandemic could deal our society long-lasting damage, so yeah that's how I feel.


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03 May 2020, 7:40 pm

Whitmer says Michigan protests 'depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history'

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said protests inside the state Capitol last week, featuring demonstrators with assault weapons, swastikas and Confederate flags, depicted some of the “worst racism and awful parts” of the nation’s history.

“Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our Capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country,” she said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“The behavior you've seen in all of the clips is not representative of who we are in Michigan,” she added.

President Trump tweeted Friday in defense of the protesters, calling them “very good people.”

“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal,” Trump tweeted.

Whitmer on Sunday doubled down on her defense of the stay-at-home order and suggested she won’t be swayed by political pressure to lift restrictions.

“The fact of the matter is we are in the global pandemic. This is not something we negotiate ourselves out of and is a political matter. This is a public health crisis that has taken the lives of almost 70,000 Americans,” she said.

“Whether you agree with me or not, I'm working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan,” Whitmer added.

Michigan reported a total of 43,207 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4,020 deaths statewide as of Saturday.


Birx On 'Stay-At-Home' Protests: 'Devastatingly Worrisome'
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The coordinator for White House coronavirus response efforts says it is "devastatingly worrisome" to see crowds of demonstrators protesting stay-at-home orders while also refusing to follow social distancing guidelines or wear masks.

Asked about demonstrations last week where crowds swarmed Michigan's capitol building — some, brandishing firearms — Dr. Deborah Birx told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that protesters may inadvertently jeopardize the health and lives of their family members.

"It's devastatingly worrisome to me personally because if they go home and infect their grandmother or their grandfather who has a co-morbid condition and they have a serious or a very — or an unfortunate outcome, they will feel guilty for the rest of our lives," said Birx.

Birx said regardless of where states are in their response to the virus, Americans should continue observing the recommendations of public health officials.

"We also made it very clear to the American people, this is what you need to continue to do to protect yourself. You need to continue to social distance. You need to continue to practice scrupulous handwashing," Birx said.


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03 May 2020, 8:39 pm

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04 May 2020, 2:34 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
President Trump tweeted Friday in defense of the protesters, calling them “very good people.”


Wait....Trump did it again??

But aren't the Nazis protesting against his lockdown??



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04 May 2020, 6:38 pm

Cellphone data shows protesters dispersed across Michigan, raising concerns of spreading coronavirus

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At "Operation Gridlock," last month's right-wing protest in Lansing over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus executive orders, many participants rebelled against social distancing guidelines by standing close together and not wearing face masks. Afterward, Whitmer chided the protesters, saying they could have spread the virus across the state.

That fear is backed up by newly released cellphone data, which shows the protesters dispersing to smaller communities across Michigan in the following days. A map was released by an advocacy group called the Committee to Protect Medicare, which raised concerns that the protesters could have carried the disease to smaller, rural communities that are ill-equipped to deal with COVID-19 patients.

The data was collected by a firm called VoteMap, which showed more than 300 opted-in devices gathered at Lansing on April 15. The firm collected the data using geo-location data from other downloaded apps. (According to the group, the data is anonymized for privacy.)

The Committee to Protect Medicare executive director Rob Davidson called the data "a bright red flag that the irresponsible behavior of a few hundred people could potentially set off a COVID-19 time bomb that will put even more people at risk in communities that are the least equipped to handle a surge of critically sick people."

"Every public health expert and medical professional has been warning America that people who don’t maintain physical distance could be dispersing a highly contagious, lethal virus into their communities and endangering their neighbors and their loved ones," Davidson said in a statement. "These reckless actions threaten to set back all our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the rate of infections. When more than 63,000 Americans have lost their lives, we must redouble our efforts in following science and data to flatten the curve and save lives and that means staying home, staying safe and avoiding dangerous publicity stunts like we’ve seen in Michigan and elsewhere."

Those concerns are backed up by new data that shows coronavirus cases increasing across the state beyond the initial hotspot of metro Detroit. A Metro Times analysis found at least 24 counties reported a higher rate of increase in new cases over the past 10 days than those in metro Detroit's tri-county area.


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04 May 2020, 6:59 pm

cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
President Trump tweeted Friday in defense of the protesters, calling them “very good people.”


Wait....Trump did it again??

But aren't the Nazis protesting against his lockdown??


Against state lockdowns. There is no federal one. Trump wants things back to business as usual so the economy looks good for his re-election campaign. Only 2 quarters to go before election time in November, so he needs people back to work ASAP padding his campaign numbers.


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04 May 2020, 7:08 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
President Trump tweeted Friday in defense of the protesters, calling them “very good people.”


Wait....Trump did it again??

But aren't the Nazis protesting against his lockdown??


Against state lockdowns. There is no federal one. Trump wants things back to business as usual so the economy looks good for his re-election campaign. Only 2 quarters to go before election time in November, so he needs people back to work ASAP padding his campaign numbers.


Yes understand the state/federal conflict (we have similar squabbles here in Australia). I am more interested in Trump openly declaring that swastika adorned paramilitary are fine folks? fool me once?



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05 May 2020, 11:14 pm

Far-right movements have cozy relationships with local sheriffs across the country — and they plan to use them

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This past weekend, there were over 160 anti-lockdown protests, ranging from a bevy of armed militia members storming the capital in Michigan to angry protesters screaming “diaperface” at masked healthcare workers in Oregon. FreedomWorks and other right-wing, anti-union organizations have begun to support such protests publicly, while the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which tracks the far-right, has located 492 organizations and close to 2 million people affiliated with them.

The protests themselves are a confluence of angers; some understandable, like the dwindling bank accounts of those temporarily unemployed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and others simply a defiant statement against doing whatever the forces of social liberalism ask them to do.

“There is some really dumb stuff that is being done in the name of protecting people from the virus,” Suzanne Monk, the founder of Reopen America and Trump supporter, told me when I spoke to her about them. “We don't want people to be destitute, not able to get medical care for anything else, not able to go to church.”

Monk’s group is just one of hundreds of groups that are attempting to bring an end to “shelter in place” orders. These measures were the baseline that health experts recommended to stem what could have caused deaths on an unprecedented scale — something which could still happen if reopening happens faster than public health officials say is wise.

Like the Tea Party during Obama’s presidency, or the surge of right-wing “free speech” rallies that took place after Donald Trump’s election, these anti-lockdown events have become an entry point for far-right groups. Militia organizations like the III%s, far-right street gangs like the Proud Boys, and even white supremacists have become commonplace, as they attempt to use this unbridled anger as a way to slip back into political relevance.

While most of these protesters have been met with mockery — or their threat reduced to the immediate danger their uncovered, closely crowded faces offer amid a pandemic – it is their ability to sway regional public policy that could have a profound effect on public health.

“We actually are going to start talking with the sheriffs’ departments across the country,” said Monk about what strategies their movement will work to end shelter-in-place orders. “Some sheriffs’ departments have started not to enforce, or softly enforce, the order. And I think that has in those states given those people more liberty to get back to work.”

In Arizona, two sheriffs refused to enforce Governor Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order this week, and in Snohomish County, Washington, Sheriff Adam Fortney has also said he will not enforce the local order. Fortney is identifying as a “constitutionalist,” a phrase that will be familiar for those who have tracked the Patriot movement.

Appealing directly to the sheriff has a long history for far-right sectors of the militia movement, who have in the past pushed many of these local authorities to say they will stand down on new control restrictions or federal land use laws. The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPCA) was formed in 2011 by Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack (also a board member for the Oath Keepers) and is meant to unite law enforcement against what they see as overreach of the federal government. The implication is that they will not enforce what they see as unjust laws. Barry County Michigan Sheriff Dar Leaf, who the CSPCA claims on social media as a member, said that he would not enforce the stay-at-home order in the way that the governor had issued in mid-April. Three other northern Michigan sheriffs agreed, showing that a break in the chain between policy and enforcement was possible. Michigan eventually pulled back on the shelter order early anyway, likely a sign as to where the political lever of the counties was pulling.

Right now the sheriffs’ injunctions on coronavirus measures are minimal, but the mechanism is clear because it has been exercized in the past. Rural right-wing movements have been built on harnessing the power of regional elected leadership, which have the ability to refuse orders that are politically unpopular with a radicalized base. This is an audience than much of the urban liberals fighting for tighter restrictions do not have access to. These movements have also gotten the ear of far-right politicians in major office, like member of the Washington House of Representatives Matt Shea, who has been speaking in support of the anti-lockdown protests and has a cozy relationship with the militia movement. In Grants, New Mexico, Mayor Martin Hicks decided to defy the order entirely and re-opened businesses, a move that he seemed to hold as a badge of honor.

The anti-lockdown protests have many of the same constituencies as those who protested land use issues in Nevada or the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. They have deep roots in rural areas of the country, where they are used to pushing regional politicians like the sheriff to break with consensus policy. The fact that they ordinarily do not have the ear of major politicians and decision-makers may simply not matter: they have the ability to break the chain in command if they can get sheriffs and regional leaders to stand down on enforcement. And with the interconnected world we live in, we are only as safe as the least observant counties in the country.

While the organizations that prop up these movements are often far outside the mainstream of American politics, they have found a point of leverage that could blow open containment of the virus. And it doesn’t take a lot of political power to do this; just an organized group of people determined to see their vision through.


Protesters return to Dr. Amy Acton’s home
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About 30 protesters staged a second protest at the home of Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, the same day the governor asked people to target him, not his cabinet.

One girl at the protest carried a sign that read “Jewish Leaders John 7:1,” a reference to Christian Scriptures. Specifically, the New Living Translation of that verse reads, “After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death.”

Protesters came to the Bexley neighborhood by 5:30 p.m. May 4. A protest, apparently staged by a different group, was held May 2.

Katie R. Forbes, a freelance photographer who lives in Columbus, said people carried red, white and blue “open” banners on one side that had the American flag on the other.

They sang “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin and “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie.

Forbes said this protest was louder than the one on May 2 and included heavier presence from law enforcement, including Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, who parked in the driveway of Acton’s home.

“They’re more attacking the science today,” she said.

The group of protesters was younger than the previous group, and no one carried weapons. Forbes said that at the May 2 protest a neighbor told her one man carried a gun.

“There were about seven children under 18,” she said. “The rest were adults.”

Clinical escorts, people who escort women to abortion clinics, sat on Acton’s lawn at the May 4 protest, Forbes said, whereas at the previous protest they stood on the tree lawn.

DeWine addressed the protesters and efforts at intimidating Acton and the media at his May 4 press conference. A protester approached WCMH reporter Adrienne Robbins April 30 and berated her for wearing a mask, saying that Robbins was “terrifying the general public.”

“As I shared with all of you, Fran and I grew up in Yellow Springs,” the home of Antioch College, DeWine said. “We grew up in a town (that) values the First Amendment to a great extent. And as we were growing up, demonstrators were in Yellow Springs a lot, and so that is something we’re used to and something that we respect. And so I am fair game.”

He said it is not fair game “to disrespect” or “be obnoxious” to the news media.

“You should come after me,” he said. “Reporters, photographers who are doing nothing more than following that First Amendment. They’re informing the public about what you think, what you say and what you think is important. The best way for you to get that across is the news media’s going to cover you. But to treat them with disrespect, to not observe social distancing with them, to be just obnoxious, I just find that very, very sad.

“Let me say what else is not fair game,” he said. “I’m the elected official. I’m the one who ran for office. I’m the one who makes the policy decisions. Members of my cabinet, Dr. Acton included, work exceedingly, exceedingly hard. But I set the policy. So when you don’t like the policy, again demonstrate against me. That is certainly fair game. But to bother the family of Dr. Acton, I don’t think that’s fair game. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think it’s necessary to get your point across. You can get your point across very, very easily any day of the week with demonstrations of what I am doing and what policies you disagree with.”

James Pasch, ADL regional director in Cleveland, decried the protest.

"It is outrageous for anybody to target Dr. Acton for her faith or who she is, and anti-Semitism has no place in the state of Ohio," he told the Cleveland Jewish News on May 5. "Dr. Acton should be applauded for her hard work in trying to save the lives of Ohioans and we call out any anti-Semitic or hateful protests."

Lee C. Shapiro, regional director of AJC Cleveland, expressed similar sentiment.

Citizens have the right to protest government policies with which they disagree," she wrote in an email to the Cleveland Jewish News. "However, it is abhorrent, that some have used words and images in their efforts to personally demonize those with whom they disagree. Antisemitism and hate have no place in Ohio - and certainly not at Dr. Acton's home."
Forbes was raised in Shaker Heights and grew up going to Anisfield Day Camp in Beachwood and Camp Wise in Claridon Township. She also worked for the JCC of Greater Columbus’ day camp.

“It’s just so intimidating,” Forbes said. “This is not the world I want to live in.”

Anti-Semites using ANTIFA tactics. Inevitable I guess.
Irving Berlin whose song they were singing was Jewish by the way.

Masks become a flashpoint for protests and fights as businesses, beaches and parks reopen
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As Florida lifted some its coronavirus restrictions this weekend, sunny weather beckoned crowds to gather at newly opened parks and beaches, where public officials sanctioned the springtime outings as long as people wore masks and kept their distance.

Over three days, more than 7,300 people showed up at Miami Beach parks without covering their mouths and noses, Miami Beach police said in a statement on Facebook. Hundreds more failed to maintain the mandated six feet of social distancing.

The rule-breakers cost everyone the chance to enjoy the city's popular beach at South Pointe Park, which the city closed again Monday after park rangers issued thousands of verbal warnings between Friday and Sunday, police said.

"There is no way to effectively enforce social distancing when hundreds of individuals refuse to do so," Miami Beach city manager Jimmy Morales told CNN.

The scofflaws in the southern Florida city are hardly alone. People in many states have resisted guidelines that encourage or require face masks in public spaces to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The masks are hot, uncomfortable, and annoying for many. Others view the mandate to cover their faces as government overreach. Escalating tension over the precaution has spurred protests, rebellions, fights and even an alleged murder.

Police arrested a man in Decatur, Illinois, on Friday after he shoved a gas station clerk who insisted he wear a mask while paying for fuel on the first day of the state's newly imposed rules that require people to cover their faces inside businesses.

Officers in Michigan are searching for a man who allegedly wiped his nose on a Dollar Tree employee’s sleeve on Saturday after she told him he had to wear a mask to shop inside, the Detroit Free Press reported. And a man shot and killed a security guard at a Family Dollar in Michigan after the guard had an argument with a woman who refused to comply with the statewide executive order that requires people to wear masks inside shops, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said at a news conference Monday.

The small city of Stillwater, Oklahoma, had to revoke a local order requiring residents to don face coverings inside stores and restaurants that reopened over the weekend after workers endured harassment and threats.

Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine similarly reversed a statewide edict to require masks because people "were not going to accept the government telling them what to do."

Even states that have largely embraced public health experts' advice, like California, have seen some rebellions over masks. In a San Diego suburb, a man wore a Ku Klux Klan hood to the grocery store in an apparent protest of the store's mask requirement for shoppers. Meanwhile, the San Francisco police chief barred officers from wearing masks decorated with "Thin Blue Line" imagery.

As many elected officials and doctors plead with the public to wear masks if they leave their homes, some politicians are leading by example in the other direction.

Vice President Mike Pence drew criticism last week when he violated a mask requirement during a visit to the Mayo Clinic. On Monday, he issued a mea culpa and admitted that he should have worn a mask despite being tested frequently for the virus.

"I didn't think it it was necessary," Pence said Monday, "but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic."

Similarly, Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parsons refused to sport a mask as he visited small businesses in his state. In photos, he stood barefaced among workers wearing masks. He told reporters at a news conference that he did not believe the government should force people to cover their faces, despite guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommend face masks.

"It really goes back to your personal responsibility," Parsons told reporters, the Kansas City Star reported.

He said choosing to wear a mask, or not, is a personal choice.

"I chose not to," he said.

In Ohio, where protests against the state's stay-at-home policies have grown increasingly testy in recent days, a state lawmaker justified his lack of a mask with a religious argument.

"We're created in the image and likeness of God," state Rep. Nino Vitale, R-Ohio, said in a video clip he posted on Facebook. "When we think of image, do we think of a chest or our legs or our arms? We think of their face. I don't want to cover people's faces."

Although resistance to wearing masks appears to split along ideological lines in many instances, with protests against the measures organized largely by conservative activists and championed by Republican lawmakers, polling has consistently indicated that most Americans support the social distancing precautions in place to prevent the spread of covid-19 and many have been willing to wear masks.

And if social distancing policies continue as businesses reopen and people return to work, even some ardent skeptics may be persuaded to cooperate and don a mask, according to Robert Kahn, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis who has studied Americans' attitudes toward masks.

"If I can go to work and the cost of marginal improvement in my life is wearing a mask, maybe Americans of both parties do accommodate ourselves to it," Khan told The Washington Post last month.

The resistance to masks by some has troubled public health experts, who view the practice as an important precaution for people who cannot distance themselves from others.

Deborah Birx, who is the White House coronavirus response coordinator, expressed dismay on Sunday at images of protesters without masks standing close to each other inside the Michigan capitol building.

“It’s devastatingly worrisome to me personally because if they go home and infect their grandmother or their grandfather who has a co-morbid condition and they have a serious or a very - or an unfortunate outcome,” Birx said on Fox News Sunday, “they will feel guilty for the rest of our lives. So, we need to protect each other at the same time as we’re voicing our discontent.”

If they want freedom to not wear masks why are they willing to despense vigilante justice on people for wearing one?


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05 May 2020, 11:38 pm

cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
President Trump tweeted Friday in defense of the protesters, calling them “very good people.”


Wait....Trump did it again??

But aren't the Nazis protesting against his lockdown??


I thought the original tweet was that there were *some* very good people on both sides, indicating that not all people on either side were good, although this was reported as "meaning" all the protesters were "good people".

Of course, there was no indication of which people were the "good people" in the initial tweet, so I guess the reporters picked who they "believed" the "good people" were based on their own preferences.



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06 May 2020, 12:26 am

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06 May 2020, 1:34 am

Brictoria wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
President Trump tweeted Friday in defense of the protesters, calling them “very good people.”


Wait....Trump did it again??

But aren't the Nazis protesting against his lockdown??


I thought the original tweet was that there were *some* very good people on both sides, indicating that not all people on either side were good, although this was reported as "meaning" all the protesters were "good people".


That was certainly Trump's quote from Charlottesville back in 2017. Just confirming he said it again in the current lockdown protests?



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06 May 2020, 1:31 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Brictoria wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
President Trump tweeted Friday in defense of the protesters, calling them “very good people.”


Wait....Trump did it again??

But aren't the Nazis protesting against his lockdown??


I thought the original tweet was that there were *some* very good people on both sides, indicating that not all people on either side were good, although this was reported as "meaning" all the protesters were "good people".


That was certainly Trump's quote from Charlottesville back in 2017. Just confirming he said it again in the current lockdown protests?


https://globalnews.ca/news/6892207/coro ... ald-trump/


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06 May 2020, 7:23 pm

U.S. President Donald Trump described hundreds of armed, primarily white protesters who stormed the Michigan Capitol building as “very good people,” amid accusations that the gun-toting demonstrators were acting like “terrorists”

Ok that confirms what we suspected back in 2017 that he knew what he was saying....

His dad was arrested back in 1927 in a KKK riot so at least he is being honest about his sympathies/values now.



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06 May 2020, 7:27 pm

cyberdad wrote:
U.S. President Donald Trump described hundreds of armed, primarily white protesters who stormed the Michigan Capitol building as “very good people,” amid accusations that the gun-toting demonstrators were acting like “terrorists”

Ok that confirms what we suspected back in 2017 that he knew what he was saying....

His dad was arrested back in 1927 in a KKK riot so at least he is being honest about his sympathies/values now.


What a shocker, one far-right extremist sympathizes with other far-right extremists. That's like pointing out young pinkos are supportive of Bernie.

Trump's sympathies are obvious, it's up to the American people to hold him accountable if they'd prefer to not be represented by Papaya Pinochet.



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06 May 2020, 7:34 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Trump's sympathies are obvious, it's up to the American people to hold him accountable if they'd prefer to not be represented by Papaya Pinochet.


The 46.1% who voted for him also knew what they were doing....lets call a spade a spade