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funeralxempire
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06 May 2020, 7:37 pm

cyberdad wrote:
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


Certainly a portion do, probably even a majority. That doesn't mean every single individual does, and some of those who do now didn't then. While it's easy to insist there's no excuse (certainly, the more knowledgeable you are, the weaker your excuses) but there was also huge amounts of disinformation, some of which was started decades ago by reichwing propagandists and not everyone is as bright as yourself. Misinformed morons make bad decisions, it doesn't mean their bad decisions were always informed and malicious. Well intentioned harmful behaviour is no less harmful than other harmful behaviour, but it's trickier to solve and assign fault.



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06 May 2020, 8:12 pm

An ethnographer tries to understand the anti-lockdown protests erupting across the US

Quote:
The “anti-lockdown” and #Reopen protests in the United States have powerful and secretive backers, but there are real Americans on the streets expressing their opinions.

As an ethnographer, someone who studies cultural participation, I am interested in who those Americans are, and why they’re upset. I spent the last week in what you might call an online road trip, studying 30 posts of protest footage from events in 15 cities. I found some shared themes, which don’t fit well with popular narratives about these protests.

Work is ‘essential’
Despite the economic toll the lockdowns are taking on America’s poor, no protesters put their own poverty on display, such as posting signs asking for help. Instead, they held signs with more general language, like “Poverty Kills,” or expressed concerns like the restaurateur in Phoenix, Arizona, who told a passing videographer he was worried about his 121 “suffering, devastated” employees.

Their messages made clear that they didn’t want to ask for a handout or charity – but they were asking to be allowed to work. Protesters across many states asserted their work – or even all work – was “essential.”

In one video from an “Operation Gridlock” protest in Lansing, Michigan, where activists planned to block traffic, a protester filmed out the window of his car when he drove past a sign saying “Give me work, not money.” The protester himself called out in approval, “Give me work, not money. I hear that!”

A young man at an Olympia, Washington, event described work as a source not only of money but identity: “I wanna go back to work! That pride that you feel every day when you go home from work? That’s like nothing that can...be taken.”

Protest signs in Denver, Colorado, included the plaintive “I want my career back” and the entrepreneurial “Dogs Need Groomers.”

Distancing norms
Despite alarming news reports that protesters were ignoring physical distancing, many of the protesters observed safety guidelines. Photos showed at least some people wearing masks. A TikTok video recruiting participants for Michigan’s Operation Gridlock encouraged protesters to be safe; drone footage shows that most participants at the state capitol stayed in their cars, away from other people.

Protesters’ signs didn’t really downplay the threat of the virus, but rather compared it with potential harm from the lockdown. For instance, a sign in Denver was headed “Trading Lives” and featured a scale with virus deaths on one side, with unemployment, suicide and homelessness on the other.

Anti-science attitude is rare
There were protesters at several rallies who wore anti-vaccination T-shirts and held signs suggesting they don’t trust public health experts and scientists. But only one protest was dominated by that theme. At that one, on April 18 in Austin, Texas, hundreds of attendees chanted “Fire Fauci!” referring to Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been a frequent public face of the federal government’s efforts to fight the virus. That was also the rally where right-wing radio host Alex Jones, who runs a conspiracy-theory website, drove around in a truck egging on attendees’ chants through a megaphone.

At the other events, it appeared protesters had been expecting higher numbers of infections than actually happened. Rather than seeing that as evidence of the success of social distancing, they seemed to interpret this as saying the science was no longer valid. “The models were wrong” was on more than one sign, suggesting protesters had paid attention to the scientific models at first but had come to believe the disease’s seriousness had been exaggerated.

Familiar methods
Even when protesters acknowledged the threat of the virus, few of them were calling for medical experts to provide the solution. I saw none of the demonstrators calling for more widespread testing, for instance.

When they did express concern, protest signs coupled it with a desire to fight the contagion. In Boise, Idaho, one sign read “Freedom over Fear.” In Denver, one said “Don’t let your mask be your muzzle.”

However, the protesters wanted to fight the virus in ways that were more familiar to them and, perhaps, more empowering: In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a giant green truck had “Jesus is my vaccine” scrawled on its side.

Some protesters demanded governments allow people to make their own decisions, and even displayed the pro-choice slogan “My Body My Choice.” Others showed up with guns. One man in Frankfort, Kentucky, blew a shofar, a Jewish religious instrument made from a ram’s horn blown at the start of a battle.

Idea of tyranny
In many of the events across different states, protesters objected to what they called “tyranny,” and held up the Revolution-era “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden flag to symbolise their resistance to government rules. They were not objecting to President Donald Trump’s April 13 declaration that, as president, his “authority is total” over the nation.

Instead, they were objecting to governors’ lockdown rules, which they highlighted as overreaching their power. Many protesters likened the government’s behaviour to Nazis, with protesters adding “Heil” before Democratic governors’ names.

No male governor was targeted as viciously and overtly as female Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A widely circulated poster depicted her dressed as Adolf Hitler, giving a Nazi salute beside a swastika. Other demonstrators talked about Whitmer as though she were mothering them instead of governing them, like one who insisted, “We’re not her children!”

Race is a factor
One clearly visible theme in the #Reopen protests is how white the attendees are – but not just in terms of their own race. Their compassion also seemed limited to fellow white people. None that I saw were calling attention to the fact that the coronavirus doesn’t hit all populations equally: Blacks and other racial minorities had less access to high-quality health care before the outbreak, and as a result are less healthy and less able to fight off the virus when it strikes.

There was overt racism toward the Chinese, too, echoing words of the president and other political leaders, as on the Jefferson City, Missouri, sign that read “Tyranny is spreading faster than the China virus

Is it a movement?
Most protesters did not refer to these protests as a movement. I found just one video offering a vision that they could form one. In that livestream from Operation Gridlock, at one point the videographer shouted, “‘merica!” Then, his unseen companion replied in a meditative tone about the potential he saw on that road: “Together we’re strong, divided we’re weak. That’s the establishment’s biggest fear, for the people to get together and not be divided...That’s what they fear the most. Because we have the power.”

It was not clear if those people with the power included the much greater number of people across America who were sheltered in place.


Michigan Gov. Whitmer wants to ban guns from Capitol after armed anti-lockdown protests
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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to bar weapons from being brought into the state Capitol after anti-lockdown protesters showed up with firearms, she told NBC News in a wide-ranging interview.

The Democratic governor's comments came after gun-toting militia protesters joined a larger group demanding that Whitmer reopen swaths of the state's economy in a demonstration last week. The protesters spilled inside the Capitol, where a number of the armed demonstrators confronted police officers and insisted on being allowed onto the statehouse floor as lawmakers debated an extension of her emergency powers.

Under current state law, it is legal to bring firearms inside the Capitol in the open-carry state.

"There are legislators who are wearing bulletproof vests to go to work," Whitmer told NBC News on Wednesday. "No one should be intimidated by someone who's bringing in an assault rifle into their workplace. And so there is conversation about changing that law. I think it's long overdue, and I absolutely support that change. You shouldn't be intimidated going to be the voice of the people who elected you."

Whitmer said the protesters were "a relatively small group" that was "loud" and "made an impression" but was "not representative of the general public in Michigan."

This week, the Michigan Capitol Commission has sought legal advice regarding whether guns could be banned inside the Capitol. Some Michigan Republicans were critical of the gun-toting demonstrators while others said they were not interested in such a ban. Republican control both the Michigan House and Senate.


U.S. Jewish Groups Alarmed by anti-Semitism, Nazi Symbols in Lockdown Protests
Quote:
American Jewish organizations are concerned by the use of Nazi, anti-Semitic and Holocaust-related symbols and messages in some of the anti-lockdown protests taking place across the United States in recent days.

Several protests against the measures taken by state governors to slow the spread of the coronavirus have featured swastikas, while right-wing activists and elected officials have compared the measures taken to the Holocaust.

Jewish Center for Public Affairs CEO David Bernstein wrote in response to the incidents that he was “really concerned” about this trend and “what it means to a potential growth in anti-Semitism.”

He warned that “when economic times get bad, people everywhere tend to seek scapegoats, and Jews have always been a target of choice. Americans are no exception. We need to be on the lookout for rising anti-Semitism.”

The protests against the lockdown measures have mostly been organized by local right-wing organizations – from local Republican politicians all the way to far-right groups with clear anti-Semitic messaging.

Bernstein wrote: “The biggest threat, it seems to me, is that as more people become economically disaffected, they’ll participate in the protest movement. In so doing, they’ll join forces with white nationalist groups with explicit anti-Semitic and racist agendas and fall under their influence.

“It’s critical,” he added, “that mainstream elected officials and civic leaders, especially those on the right, call out this hatred and urge others to stay away from the haters and their hateful messages.”

The Anti-Defamation League responded on Monday to one specific incident: a speech by the far-right activist Ammon Bundy, comparing the lockdown measures to the Holocaust and blaming Jews for being complicit in their fate. The organization said: “We are sickened by the comments made by extremists comparing the Holocaust to the current stay-at-home orders in Idaho. These comments are not only historically inaccurate, they also insult the memory of those who perished.”

William Daroff, CEO of the umbrella body The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, also responded Monday to one specific incident: the use of Nazi imagery in demonstrations in Michigan. Daroff wrote on Twitter that he was “shocked and appalled by the use of Nazi imagery at protests against lockdown measures.“

The American Jewish Committee also commented on the protests in Michigan, calling the use of Nazi symbols “outrageous.” It accused the protesters who did so of “trivializing the Holocaust and the mass murder of millions of people.”

The protests in Lansing, the state’s capital, have included several documented incidents in which anti-Semitic and Nazi symbols were used.

Detroit Rabbi Asher Lopatin, head of the local Jewish Community Relations Council, wrote in the Detroit Free Press: “It is sad that a serious discussion of how to keep Michiganders safe during this pandemic was perhaps irreparably harmed by a relatively small group of protesters using Nazi and other hateful imagery to criticize Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, social distancing and sheltering-in-place.”

The demonstrations in Michigan also led to criticism of President Donald Trump, who endorsed the anti-lockdown protest movement and praised those participating in it. The Jewish Democratic Council of America subsequently released a strong statement criticizing Trump.

The organization’s executive director, Halie Soifer, compared his support for the anti-lockdown protests to his reply after the 2017 far-right violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he said there were “very fine people” among the neo-Nazis who gathered in the city.

“What kind of depraved elected official calls a heavily armed militia classified as an antigovernment extremist group blocking a governor’s office ‘very good people’? The same one who called neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville ‘very fine people’ less than three years ago,” Soifer said.

Earlier this week, an official in the Trump administration warned that the coronavirus has unleashed a “tsunami” of anti-Semitism around the world, mostly online.


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06 May 2020, 10:40 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Certainly a portion do, probably even a majority. That doesn't mean every single individual does, and some of those who do now didn't then. While it's easy to insist there's no excuse (certainly, the more knowledgeable you are, the weaker your excuses) but there was also huge amounts of disinformation, some of which was started decades ago by reichwing propagandists and not everyone is as bright as yourself. Misinformed morons make bad decisions, it doesn't mean their bad decisions were always informed and malicious. Well intentioned harmful behaviour is no less harmful than other harmful behaviour, but it's trickier to solve and assign fault.


Which will make it all the more concrete that Americans have to take responsibility for their own decisions in exactly 6 months when they go to the polls.

There is a high likelihood that Trump will win again and I am interested to see what numbers he polls. When the COVID-19 epidemic hit his approval rating among Americans was at an all time high (49% of the population think he is doing a good job according to Gallup polls).

I understand if people choose to only watch fox news they can insulate themselves to some extent from reality. However I don't buy it. I have been watching polls for years and there are some common threads.

There's been a pattern all over the western world where there has been a rejection of left wing political parties and one of the pivotal points that is common whether it be Bolsanaro in Brazil, Abbott/Morrison in Australia, Brexit in the UK or Trump in the US is the rejection of political correctness and protections for minorities.

In Australia there has been a backlash against homosexuals and refugees/migrants. Not surprisingly migrants/refugees were a big issue in the UK when they voted to leave the EU and for Americans when they were "salivating" over Trump's comments about building walls to keep Mexicans out when his republican counterparts were more interested in talking about fixing the economy.

I would prefer populations take responsibility for the values of the leaders they elect/support rather than pretend.



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07 May 2020, 3:09 am

cyberdad wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
Certainly a portion do, probably even a majority. That doesn't mean every single individual does, and some of those who do now didn't then. While it's easy to insist there's no excuse (certainly, the more knowledgeable you are, the weaker your excuses) but there was also huge amounts of disinformation, some of which was started decades ago by reichwing propagandists and not everyone is as bright as yourself. Misinformed morons make bad decisions, it doesn't mean their bad decisions were always informed and malicious. Well intentioned harmful behaviour is no less harmful than other harmful behaviour, but it's trickier to solve and assign fault.


Which will make it all the more concrete that Americans have to take responsibility for their own decisions in exactly 6 months when they go to the polls.

There is a high likelihood that Trump will win again and I am interested to see what numbers he polls. When the COVID-19 epidemic hit his approval rating among Americans was at an all time high (49% of the population think he is doing a good job according to Gallup polls).

I understand if people choose to only watch fox news they can insulate themselves to some extent from reality. However I don't buy it. I have been watching polls for years and there are some common threads.

There's been a pattern all over the western world where there has been a rejection of left wing political parties and one of the pivotal points that is common whether it be Bolsanaro in Brazil, Abbott/Morrison in Australia, Brexit in the UK or Trump in the US is the rejection of political correctness and protections for minorities.

In Australia there has been a backlash against homosexuals and refugees/migrants. Not surprisingly migrants/refugees were a big issue in the UK when they voted to leave the EU and for Americans when they were "salivating" over Trump's comments about building walls to keep Mexicans out when his republican counterparts were more interested in talking about fixing the economy.

I would prefer populations take responsibility for the values of the leaders they elect/support rather than pretend.


I would suggest that the problem stems from the left trying to divide people into groups, providing each group with indivdualized "support" while the right generally ignore this (hence all the talk of Democrats targetting "black voters", "female voters", etc. whereas there is no real mention of Republicans doing the same.).

The problem starts when people see what they perceive as the left giving "preferential" treatment to one group at the expence of another, whereas the right will tend to focus on supporting the "nation" or "community" which the left see as being racist because those who are not part of the "nation or "community" are excluded.

The misunderstanding (either intentional or otherwise) by each side leads to the sides pushing further apart.

As an example the claim that people were '"salivating" over Trump's comments about building walls to keep Mexicans out' implying a racist desire (which would sound like a left-wing view of this) could be purely a case of people on the right wanting to protect their jobs and living conditions through limiting the competition for jobs/services/infrastructure from people who had entered the country without legal approval.

If the right were as racist as they are portayed, why don't they hold protests\blockades at legal entry points, for example. Similarly, if the left were as focussed on giving "minorities" more rights than others as the "right" believe, why were all the people from these groups excluded from the final selection for their presidential nomination?



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07 May 2020, 3:36 am

How do you figure trump has a high likelihood of re-election?

The economy is s**t, 75,000 Americans are dead & climbing, and he’s trailing Joe Biden by 20 points in the polls.

It’s not impossible that he could win again, but I certainly don’t see his chances as high.


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07 May 2020, 3:46 am

Brictoria wrote:
The problem starts when people see what they perceive as the left giving "preferential" treatment to one group at the expence of another, whereas the right will tend to focus on supporting the "nation" or "community" which the left see as being racist because those who are not part of the "nation or "community" are excluded.


Yes this probably largely explains the swing to the right. You might remember when John Howard rose from the grave like Lazarus in the bible., His success came from successfully painting Keating as pro-minority (admittedly Keating was annoying with his pro-Asia stance and Australia being part of Asia). Howard made outrageous statements about Asians and about refugees but the public voted for him. I mark 1996 as the death of Australian political correctness and a return to the old ways of anti-minority which were bubbling under the surface.



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07 May 2020, 5:38 am

cyberdad wrote:
Brictoria wrote:
The problem starts when people see what they perceive as the left giving "preferential" treatment to one group at the expence of another, whereas the right will tend to focus on supporting the "nation" or "community" which the left see as being racist because those who are not part of the "nation or "community" are excluded.


Yes this probably largely explains the swing to the right. You might remember when John Howard rose from the grave like Lazarus in the bible., His success came from successfully painting Keating as pro-minority (admittedly Keating was annoying with his pro-Asia stance and Australia being part of Asia). Howard made outrageous statements about Asians and about refugees but the public voted for him. I mark 1996 as the death of Australian political correctness and a return to the old ways of anti-minority which were bubbling under the surface.


The problem is that from one side it LOOKS like an anti-minority, while from the other side it LOOKS like a meritocrarcy - One side wants equal outcomes, while the other looks for equal opportunities, and opportunities do not always lead to the "preferred" outcomes.



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11 May 2020, 4:39 pm

Germany: Thousands of protesters slam isolation measures

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Over 3,000 people rallied in Munich and thousands more gathered in Stuttgart and across Germany on Saturday to demand the lifting of restrictions ordered by the German authorities. Many of the protesters defied the guidelines which call for a limited number of participants and for social distancing to be maintained during such events.

The protesters accuse politicians and medical workers of spreading panic and infringing on the population's rights with the prolonged lockdown. Some of the rallies included anti-vaccination activists.

In Munich, police used loudspeakers to urge the protesters to minimize the infection risk. While the participants failed to heed the instructions, the police decided not to disperse the gathering "on the grounds of proportionality" as the participants were not violent. However, the authorities dispersed a separate right-wing demonstration which gathered around 25 people in the same city, according to the Germany's public broadcaster ARD.

The Stuttgart event also saw thousands of participants take part. Most of them respected the distancing rules, according to the police. Two separate protests were recorded in Berlin, including a smaller one in front of Germany's parliament that ended with the security forces detaining around 30 protesters in order to determine their identity. The larger one saw hundreds of people gather at the Alexanderplatz, in spite of the order which limits the maximum of 50 protesters per rally.

About 150 people, including a group of known right wing extremists, also gathered in the western city of Dortmund, according to the DPA news agency. One of the right-wingers insulted and subsequently attacked a team of reporters, lightly injuring one of them, according to the police. The 23-year-old was arrested. This assault follows an attack of on a crew working for the satirical Heute-Show at a similar protest on May 1 in Berlin, and a separate attack on another team of journalists on May 6 in the same city.

Germany has been slowly easing restrictions introduced in mid-March, with states opening various businesses and public sites starting this Monday. However, a new report by the country's official Robert Koch Institute indicated a steep rise in infection rates on Saturday, possibly prompting the politicians to respond with even more caution.

Over two-thirds of German residents support the need for social distancing, according to the latest research published by the official BfR Institute. However, this still marks a sharp drop from the numbers reported in March, when 92% supported the restrictions.


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11 May 2020, 11:38 pm

Brictoria wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
Certainly a portion do, probably even a majority. That doesn't mean every single individual does, and some of those who do now didn't then. While it's easy to insist there's no excuse (certainly, the more knowledgeable you are, the weaker your excuses) but there was also huge amounts of disinformation, some of which was started decades ago by reichwing propagandists and not everyone is as bright as yourself. Misinformed morons make bad decisions, it doesn't mean their bad decisions were always informed and malicious. Well intentioned harmful behaviour is no less harmful than other harmful behaviour, but it's trickier to solve and assign fault.


Which will make it all the more concrete that Americans have to take responsibility for their own decisions in exactly 6 months when they go to the polls.

There is a high likelihood that Trump will win again and I am interested to see what numbers he polls. When the COVID-19 epidemic hit his approval rating among Americans was at an all time high (49% of the population think he is doing a good job according to Gallup polls).

I understand if people choose to only watch fox news they can insulate themselves to some extent from reality. However I don't buy it. I have been watching polls for years and there are some common threads.

There's been a pattern all over the western world where there has been a rejection of left wing political parties and one of the pivotal points that is common whether it be Bolsanaro in Brazil, Abbott/Morrison in Australia, Brexit in the UK or Trump in the US is the rejection of political correctness and protections for minorities.

In Australia there has been a backlash against homosexuals and refugees/migrants. Not surprisingly migrants/refugees were a big issue in the UK when they voted to leave the EU and for Americans when they were "salivating" over Trump's comments about building walls to keep Mexicans out when his republican counterparts were more interested in talking about fixing the economy.

I would prefer populations take responsibility for the values of the leaders they elect/support rather than pretend.


I would suggest that the problem stems from the left trying to divide people into groups, providing each group with indivdualized "support" while the right generally ignore this (hence all the talk of Democrats targetting "black voters", "female voters", etc. whereas there is no real mention of Republicans doing the same.).

The problem starts when people see what they perceive as the left giving "preferential" treatment to one group at the expence of another, whereas the right will tend to focus on supporting the "nation" or "community" which the left see as being racist because those who are not part of the "nation or "community" are excluded.

The misunderstanding (either intentional or otherwise) by each side leads to the sides pushing further apart.

As an example the claim that people were '"salivating" over Trump's comments about building walls to keep Mexicans out' implying a racist desire (which would sound like a left-wing view of this) could be purely a case of people on the right wanting to protect their jobs and living conditions through limiting the competition for jobs/services/infrastructure from people who had entered the country without legal approval.

If the right were as racist as they are portayed, why don't they hold protests\blockades at legal entry points, for example. Similarly, if the left were as focussed on giving "minorities" more rights than others as the "right" believe, why were all the people from these groups excluded from the final selection for their presidential nomination?

That patronizing tokenism crap mainly comes from corporate sponsored liberals. Most of the populist left rejects that stuff in favor of criticizing the extremely affluent who are the main group opposing necessary economic reform, but the media ignores us. It’s clear media liberals only care about Trump and chiding people who vote for him. It’s a dumb failing strategy, but it’s obvious who they’re protecting. Right wingers don’t interact with left wing people in the ground and thus have no idea what we actually believe.



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11 May 2020, 11:47 pm

Brictoria wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Brictoria wrote:
The problem starts when people see what they perceive as the left giving "preferential" treatment to one group at the expence of another, whereas the right will tend to focus on supporting the "nation" or "community" which the left see as being racist because those who are not part of the "nation or "community" are excluded.


Yes this probably largely explains the swing to the right. You might remember when John Howard rose from the grave like Lazarus in the bible., His success came from successfully painting Keating as pro-minority (admittedly Keating was annoying with his pro-Asia stance and Australia being part of Asia). Howard made outrageous statements about Asians and about refugees but the public voted for him. I mark 1996 as the death of Australian political correctness and a return to the old ways of anti-minority which were bubbling under the surface.


The problem is that from one side it LOOKS like an anti-minority, while from the other side it LOOKS like a meritocrarcy - One side wants equal outcomes, while the other looks for equal opportunities, and opportunities do not always lead to the "preferred" outcomes.

Equal opportunity is a myth. Meritocracy is a myth. Most people either benefit greatly or suffer greatly based on the class they are born into. It also isn’t about wanting to be wealthy. Poor people simply want enough security to not live in constant fear of becoming destitute. Also pretty disgusting if you want to propose social Darwinism on a site for people with a disability. Meritocracy is people who can’t work should just die. Yikes. Scary s**t.



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12 May 2020, 12:01 am

goldfish21 wrote:
How do you figure trump has a high likelihood of re-election?

The economy is s**t, 75,000 Americans are dead & climbing, and he’s trailing Joe Biden by 20 points in the polls.

They’ll blame the economic problems 100% on Dems locking down states. They don’t care about abstract numbers. They only turn when someone they personally know dies. That won’t happen until the death rate is in the millions.

Quote:
It’s not impossible that he could win again, but I certainly don’t see his chances as high.

You are grossly underestimating the danger we are in. Powerful people are causing a ton of problems. The rigid capitalistic worldview most Americans have simply cannot cope with this kind of crisis. We’re in a period of mass confusion. A lot of people seem more comfortable resorting to irrational conspiracy theories than questioning cherished beliefs.



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12 May 2020, 12:06 am

Brictoria wrote:
The problem is that from one side it LOOKS like an anti-minority, while from the other side it LOOKS like a meritocrarcy - One side wants equal outcomes, while the other looks for equal opportunities, and opportunities do not always lead to the "preferred" outcomes.


As a student of Australian history you know that xenophobia in Australia has nothing to do with merit.



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12 May 2020, 5:16 am

Kind of silly there never was a full lockdown...that never even occurred.

But now with states racing to open businesses we'll just have a second wave of even more deaths and by that point an actual lockdown will be necessary.

Congrats america.

Silly people think businesses reopening means the pandemic is under control, it is anything but under control right now.


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13 May 2020, 5:23 pm

I always thought the Left was in favor of working-class resistance to oppression. Not this time I guess. Huh.


Keystone Rebellion
Pennsylvanians increasingly question Governor Tom Wolf’s crisis leadership.

In Pennsylvania, where more than 30 percent of the workforce is now jobless, a battle has erupted over the economic costs of the state’s coronavirus shutdown. The protests, which began outside the Harrisburg state capitol building in late April, intensified last weekend, when commissioners in six counties announced their intention to reopen ahead of Governor Tom Wolf’s mandated schedule. The shutdown, officials in these counties said, had flattened the curve and kept hospitals running—but financially ruined their constituents. “Enough is enough,” wrote Jeff Haste, Dauphin County board chairman, in a letter addressed to “the People of Pennsylvania.” “It is time to reopen . . . and return our state to the people (as prescribed by our Constitution) and not run it as a dictatorship.”


https://www.city-journal.org/pennsylvan ... -lockdowns


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cyberdad
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13 May 2020, 7:01 pm

The left are no better at handling a pandemic than the right.

Except of course fundamentalist conservative christians have some strange ideas about treating coronavirus so they can attend church.

You wouldn't think a republican president of a powerful country like the US would be crazy enough to believe such dangerous ideas?..........oh wait

The leader of the most prominent group in the US peddling potentially lethal industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for coronavirus wrote to Donald Trump at the White House this week.

In his letter, Mark Grenon told Trump that chlorine dioxide – a powerful bleach used in industrial processes such as textile manufacturing that can have fatal side-effects when drunk – is “a wonderful detox that can kill 99% of the pathogens in the body”. He added that it “can rid the body of Covid-19”.

A few days after Grenon dispatched his letter, Trump went on national TV at his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on Thursday and promoted the idea that disinfectant could be used as a treatment for the virus. To the astonishment of medical experts, the US president said that disinfectant “knocks it out in a minute. One minute!”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... oronavirus



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13 May 2020, 7:27 pm

Coronavirus restrictions fuel anti-government ‘boogaloo’ movement

Quote:
They carry high-powered rifles and wear tactical gear, but their Hawaiian shirts and leis are what stand out in the crowds that have formed at state capital buildings to protest COVID-19 lockdown orders. The signature look for the “boogaloo” anti-government movement is designed to get attention.

The loose movement, which uses an ’80s movie sequel as a code word for a second civil war, is among the extremists using the armed protests against stay-at-home orders as a platform. Like other movements that once largely inhabited corners of the internet, it has seized on the social unrest and economic calamity caused by the pandemic to publicize its violent messages.

In April, armed demonstrators passed out “Liberty or Boogaloo” fliers at a statehouse protest in Concord, New Hampshire. A leader of the Three Percenters militia movement who organized a rally in Olympia, Washington, last month encouraged rally participants to wear Hawaiian shirts, according to the Anti-Defamation League. On Saturday, a demonstration in Raleigh, North Carolina, promoted by a Facebook group called “Blue Igloo” — a derivation of the term — led to a police investigation of a confrontation between an armed protester and a couple pushing a stroller.

Another anti-lockdown rally is planned for Thursday at the state Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, site of an angry protest last month that included armed members of the Michigan Liberty Militia. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has been the target of violent threats on Facebook forums, including a private one called “The Rhett E. Boogie Group.”

One user said Whitmer should be “guillotined” after another suggested another governor should be hanged from a noose, according to a screenshot captured by the Tech Transparency Project research initiative.

The coronavirus pandemic has become a catalyst for the “boogaloo” movement because the stay-at-home orders have “put a stressor on a lot of very unhappy people,” said J.J. MacNab, a fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. MacNab said their rhetoric goes beyond discussions about fighting virus restrictions — which many protesters brand as “tyranny” — to talking about killing FBI agents or police officers “to get the war going.”

“They are far more graphic and far more specific in their threats than I’ve seen in a long time,” she said.

The violent rhetoric is dramatic escalation for a online phenomenon with its roots in meme culture and steeped in dark humor. Its name comes from the panned 1984 movie “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” which has become slang for any bad sequel. Another derivation of “boogaloo” is “big luau” — hence the Hawaiian garb.

Far-right gun activists and militia groups first embraced the term before white supremacist groups adopted it last year. And while some “boogaloo” followers maintain they aren’t genuinely advocating for violence, law-enforcement officials say they have foiled bombing and shooting plots by people who have connections to the movement or at least used its terminology.

A 36-year-old Arkansas man whose Facebook page included “boogaloo” references was arrested on April 11 by police in Texarkana, Texas, on a charge he threatened to ambush and kill a police officer on a Facebook Live video.

“I feel like hunting the hunters,” Aaron Swenson wrote on Facebook under an alias, police say.

An April 22 report by the Tech Transparency Project, which tracks technology companies, found 125 Facebook “boogaloo”-related groups that had attracted tens of thousands of members in the previous 30 days. The project pointed to coronavirus crisis as a driving factor.

“Some boogaloo supporters see the public health lockdowns and other directives by states and cities across the country as a violation of their rights, and they’re aiming to harness public frustration at such measures to rally and attract new followers to their cause,” the project’s report says.

Facebook has since updated its policies to prohibit use of “boogaloo” and related terms “when accompanied by statements and images depicting armed violence,” the company said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an alert that said a white supremacist group was inciting followers to shoot through their doors at FBI agents and police officers, federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing. The warning related to “associates” of Bradley Bunn, a 53-year-old U.S. Army veteran who was arrested on May 1 after FBI agents allegedly found four pipe bombs at his house in Loveland, Colorado, the filing said.

Authorities haven’t publicly linked Bunn to any group or movement, but a federal prosecutor said agents intercepted Bunn on his way to an armed protest at the state Capitol against COVID-19 restrictions.

Bunn told investigators that he would be willing to “take out a few” officers to “wake everyone up,” the prosecutor said during a court hearing.

While the anti-lockdown protests have provided the spotlight on the “boogaloo” movement, a police shooting in Maryland has galvanized its supporters.

Duncan Lemp, 21, was shot and killed by police on March 12 as officers served a search warrant at his family’s home. An eyewitness said Lemp was asleep in his bedroom when police opened fire from outside his house, according to an attorney for his family. Police said he was armed with a rifle and ignored commands.

On his Instagram account, Lemp had posted a photograph that depicts two people holding up rifles and includes the term “boogaloo.” His death spawned a hashtag campaign within the movement.

“A lot of individuals are very upset at the way this country is being run and the laws that are getting passed that criminalize law-abiding citizens,” said Mike Harts, a U.S. Army infantry veteran who befriended Lemp through social media.

Harts, 27, says “boogaloo” started as a funny meme but has evolved into a deeper symbol for the “liberty movement.”

Lemp’s family appreciates the outpouring of support but doesn’t want “any violence or unlawful actions to be taken in his name,” family attorney Rene Sandler said in a statement.


Businesses Chafing Under Covid-19 Lockdowns Turn to Armed Defiance
Quote:
When Jamie Williams decided to reopen her East Texas tattoo studio last week in defiance of the state’s coronavirus restrictions, she asked Philip Archibald for help. He showed up with his dog Zeus, his friends and his AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

Mr. Archibald established an armed perimeter in the parking lot outside Crash-N-Burn Tattoo, secured by five men with military-style rifles, tactical shotguns, camouflage vests and walkie-talkies. One of them already had a large tattoo of his own. “We the People,” it said.

“I think it should be a business’s right if they want to close or open,” said Mr. Archibald, a 29-year-old online fitness trainer from the Dallas area who lately has made it his personal mission to help Texas business owners challenge government orders to keep their doors shut during the coronavirus pandemic. “What is coming to arrest a person who is opening their business according to their constitutional rights? That’s confrontation.”

Call it the armed reopening.

While Gov. Greg Abbott this month allowed a wide range of malls, restaurants and other businesses to reopen after a coronavirus lockdown, bars, salons, tattoo parlors and other enterprises where social distancing is more difficult were ordered to remain closed for a longer period.

In at least a half dozen cases around the state in recent days, frustrated small-business owners have turned to heavily armed, militia-style protesters like Mr. Archibald’s group to serve as reopening security squads.

The showy displays of local firepower are creating a dilemma for the authorities, who face public demands for enforcement of social distancing guidelines, but also strong pushback from conservatives in some parts of the state who are convinced that the restrictions go too far.

The broader political split came out into the open this week, when the Republican attorney general, Ken Paxton, issued a warning to three Democratic-led cities — Austin, San Antonio and Dallas — that their local Covid-19 restrictions were illegal under the statewide reopening order issued by Governor Abbott, also a Republican.

The armed gatherings are in some ways a Texas thing — a combination of longstanding antigovernment and pro-gun movements in an independent state where “Come and Take It” flags are commonplace and amateur warriors patrol the southern border with Mexico.

Similar situations have unfolded in other states — armed members of the Michigan Liberty Militia challenged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders recently inside the State Capitol, and armed members of the Michigan Home Guard helped reopen a barbershop in the town of Owosso. But Texas appears to be turning such goings-on into a cottage industry.

Around the state, groups of rifle-carrying demonstrators have volunteered their services to small-business owners, and have taken to social media to urge people to defy the authorities where necessary and reopen with armed support.

Friday’s reopening at Crash-N-Burn in the town of Shepherd unfolded quietly, except for Zeus. In the span of a few hours, the shop had 10 tattoo and piercing customers.

In recent days, Mr. Archibald has also brought his firearms to the illicit reopenings of a handful of bars, gyms and other businesses around the state. Days before the reopening in Shepherd, Mr. Archibald helped organize a protest outside an illegally reopened bar in the West Texas city of Odessa. That one ended with the authorities rolling up in an armored vehicle and arresting several of Mr. Archibald’s armed friends, along with the bar owner.

Mr. Archibald also lent his services at the Dallas hair salon whose owner, Shelley Luther, was jailed for defying the authorities and became a national icon to conservatives opposed to state lockdowns.

Following the confrontations in Odessa and Dallas, police officials and local leaders have found themselves in a bind, especially after the governor spoke out on behalf of the Dallas salon owner and helped get her released by easing the punishment for violating his remaining lockdown orders.

“Why put forth to law enforcement to enforce these orders if you’re not going to have the backbone to stand up and back up what you’ve ordered?” the county sheriff who led the raid on Big Daddy Zane’s bar in Odessa, Mike Griffis, told The Odessa American.

The armed protesters are a varied lot scattered around the state, some of them with long-established groups, others forming new ones or acting as lone operators. J.P. Campbell, 45, a military veteran with the group Freedom Fighters of Texas, met Mr. Archibald face to face for the first time only during last week’s action at Crash-N-Burn.

“It’s not for looks,” Mr. Campbell said as he stood guard with a shotgun draped across his chest. “We’re willing to die.”

The groups walk a thin line between civil disobedience and political street theater in a way that has caused a split within the anti-lockdown movement, some of whose proponents oppose such brazen challenges to the authorities.

Some of the protesters say they are merely engaging in marketing — drawing attention to businesses so that their reopening attracts more customers — while others say they are part of a grass-roots rebellion against oppressive government.

“We go out there because we want peace, but we prepare for war,” said C.J. Grisham, 46, a retired Army sergeant whose gun rights group Open Carry Texas helped the arrested owner of the bar in Odessa get a lawyer. “I hope this never happens, but at some point guns are going to have to cease to be a show of force and be a response to force,” he said.

Outrage followed the Odessa arrests. Sheriff Griffis of Ector County has received numerous threats. Bomb technicians were summoned to his house to inspect his pickup truck after one threat.

Mr. Archibald, who had publicly called for Mr. Griffis to step down and for protesters to rally outside the sheriff’s house, said he had no involvement in any threatening messages. “I have no control over those threats,” he said. “I think a lot of that is just coming from people who have been angry at him and angry about police brutality for a long time.”

The Odessa arrests and the jailing and release of Ms. Luther have energized the protesters and put them in the spotlight. Mr. Archibald said he planned to travel soon to California and New Jersey to help businesses reopen there — though he said he would go unarmed.

“We aren’t going to take any heat because I personally don’t know the California laws,” he said. “Texas is way more lenient.”



Fresno official cited after allegedly assaulting stay-at-home protesters at his home
Quote:
The heated debate on when and how to reopen the country amid the coronavirus pandemic allegedly turned violent Tuesday when protesters confronted a city council member at his home.

Fresno, California city council president Miguel Arias was cited for assault Tuesday after a group of protesters showed up at his apartment demanding that businesses reopen and social distancing restrictions be lifted, police confirmed to ABC News.

A police spokesman said there was sufficient evidence that Arias committed assault against the protesters, but he told ABC Fresno station KFSN that it was the protesters who illegally tried to enter his home.

"I've never had somebody violate -- not only did they go into private property that's gated that requires security to get through, but they showed up to my front door and banged on my front door," Arias told the station.

In a video of the incident, protesters with microphones and cameras can be seen arguing with Arias at his front door at the top of the stairwell when he shoves one of the protesters.

Protesters say they were just there to ask the council member questions because they and California small businesses are suffering financially.

Arias, however, told KFSN that his private home isn't the proper venue for debate.

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand previously told the station that about 25 protesters visited his home Tuesday and had a "peaceful discussion."

Police cited Arias with three counts of assault and told ABC that they are still trying to determine if anyone was trying to break into his home.


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