August 11, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 7:50 PM


Versace apologises for T-shirt mislabelling Hong Kong, Macau as countries (CASSANDRA BAIN, 8/11/19, SBS)

Italian luxury label Versace and its artistic director Donatella Versace apologised after one of the company's T-shirts was widely criticised on social media for labelling the Chinese-controlled territories of Hong Kong and Macau as countries.

Posted by orrinj at 7:47 PM


Bernie Sanders staffers manhandle press at Iowa State Fair (Joseph Simonson, August 11, 2019, wAHINGTON eXAMINER)

The confrontation erupted after members of the campaign relentlessly pushed the local journalists to make room for Sanders as he made his way to various attractions at the fair on Sunday.

At MoJo this reads "Rightwing press tries to prevent sanders from campaigning."  At least no one had their elbow grabbed....

Posted by orrinj at 7:38 PM


What Changed in Charlottesville (Karen L. Cox, Aug. 11, 2019, ny tIMES)

Two years ago this week, hundreds of white nationalists descended on Charlottesville, Va., under the pretense of protesting the city's decision to remove a monument to Robert E. Lee from a public park.

They were joined by old-guard white supremacists like David Duke, and before they were through, a young man, inspired by this gathering and the white supremacist ideology, drove his car into a crowd of peaceful counterdemonstrators, injuring several dozen and killing a young woman, Heather Heyer.

Until Charlottesville, the debate over Confederate monuments was mostly about history, pitting claims about the preservation of Southern heritage against the monuments' historical ties to slavery and Jim Crow. What has become crystal clear in the last two years is that these monuments are no longer relics of a horrendous past -- they have been resurrected as symbols of white nationalism.

The people who showed up in Charlottesville were not there because of their nostalgia for the Confederacy. Many had no Confederate ancestry, nor were they Southern. They arrived angry about being displaced, or perhaps replaced, by immigrants; by women; by African-Americans; by anyone who, in effect, challenged white male patriarchy. They saw the potential removal of the Lee monument, a statue with historical links to white supremacy, as a siren call for their movement.

Posted by orrinj at 7:35 PM


Trade and the division of labor (Michael Hicks, Aug. 11, 2019, Star Press)

 Tariffs are taxes on trade. For much of the world's history, tariffs were popular because there was no other easy way to collect taxes. As technology permitted governments to collect sales, income and property taxes, tariffs began to disappear. The average tariff rate has dropped by fivefold worldwide since 1900. Tariffs became less popular as more nations came to appreciate the benefits of specialization of labor and more aware that tariffs are mostly used to prop up unproductive domestic businesses.

It is worth noting that maintaining unproductive businesses makes us much worse off over the long run. But, over the short run it does benefit those who own or work in that business. The process of unproductive firms closing, whether through trade with China or Kentucky, or through automation can be difficult. It often displaces workers and disrupts families and communities. This may well call upon the resources of government to better train and educate workers and insulate families from these events. That we single out trade with a foreign nation, but not automation or trade with Kentucky, is an comical side note to our understanding of labor market disruption.

Today we have embarked on a Trade War, whose primary benefit is reminding us of the immense benefits trade brings. The cost of this trade war is simply the suspension of the benefits of trade. By raising taxes on products by 10 to 30 percent, the trade war is forcing firms to pay rising prices or move their suppliers to different, more expensive places. Alone, none of these things is sufficient to cause a recession. However, the uncertainty surrounding new tariffs and the shift of thousands of product lines from one nation to another, combined with wholly predictable retaliation by our trading partners is enough to slow economic growth. Whether it is sufficient to cause a recession is a question time will shortly answer.

Posted by orrinj at 6:25 PM



American and Mexican law enforcement officials say nearly all of the gun violence in Mexico is fueled by the illicit import and sale of U.S. firearms.

The underground trade of weapons to Mexico is worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually--with American guns used to kill tens of thousands of Mexicans each year.

In addition to weapons from the States working better, Mexico cartels view firearms as status symbols, retired DEA agent Jack Riley told The San Diego Union-Tribune: "It is really important to these criminal organizations, who stay in business by the threat of violence and through the use of violence; and the tools that they prefer to do that with are American-made guns."

Tijuana's Director of Public Safety, Marco Antonio Sotomayor, says most of the guns flowing into his city come from north of the border.

"There's no way for people to buy guns like these in Mexico. They're American-made guns," Sotomayor told the Union-Tribune. "We know they're being illegally trafficked through California into Tijuana."

Posted by orrinj at 6:20 PM


Norway Mosque Gunman Expressed Far-Right Views, Admiration for El Paso Shooter (DANIEL POLITI, AUG 11, 2019, Slate)

Hours before the attack a user of the same name as the alleged gunman posted on the 4chan messaging board expressing admiration for the gunman who killed 51 people at two New Zealand mosques earlier this year. The post included a meme that described that gunman as a "saint" and praised the alleged El Paso shooter for "reclaiming his country." The post was made on a new messaging board called Endchan and the older site 4chan.

Trumpbots all the way down...
Posted by orrinj at 6:16 PM


Pro-Trump Movie Cancelled, Thanks to Trump (KYLE SMITH, August 11, 2019, National Review)

For once, a genre movie was built around an anti-progressive premise. The Hunt, which was due for release on September 27, at least sounded contrarian. But our film-critic-in-chief got it cancelled. President Trump doesn't have the most finely tuned irony gauge; he seemed unable to understand that the globalists in the film are plainly the bad guys and that the trailer was satirizing rather than saluting the hunters it portrays. We weren't meant to see events from their point of view, but were to put ourselves in Deplorable shoes. For once, a major Hollywood film studio was about to release a movie sympathetic to Trump voters.

Yet after Fox News and Trump egged each other into a frenzy about the film, Trump went on Twitter to blast The Hunt (without mentioning its title), saying, "The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!"

Posted by orrinj at 2:09 PM


The brand label that stokes Trump's fury: 'Racist, racist, racist.' (Philip Rucker and Ashley ParkerAugust 11, 2019, Washington Post)

President Trump considers himself a branding wizard, but he is vexed by a branding crisis of his own: how to shed the label of "racist."

As the campaign takes shape about 15 months before voters render a verdict on his presidency, Trump's Democratic challengers are marking him a racist, and a few have gone so far as to designate the president a white supremacist.

Throughout his career as a real estate magnate, a celebrity provocateur and a politician, Trump has recoiled from being called the r-word, even though some of his actions and words have been plainly racist.

Following a month in which he leveled racist attacks on four congresswomen of color, maligned majority-black Baltimore as a "rat and rodent infested mess" and saw his anti-immigrant rhetoric parroted in an alleged mass shooter's statement, the risk for Trump is that the pejorative that has long dogged him becomes defining.

Being called a racist has infuriated Trump, gnawing at him in recent days as he lashes out -- in tweets and in public comments -- over the moniker...

A majority of voters say President Donald Trump is a racist, Quinnipiac University poll finds (William Cummings, 7/31/19, USA TODAY)

A narrow majority of Americans voters say President Donald Trump is a racist, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. 

Fifty-one percent of voters say they think Trump is a racist. Forty-five percent say they do not think so, and 5% don't know. 

Posted by orrinj at 1:28 PM


Barrington Pheloung obituary (Paul Loewenthal, 11 Aug 2019, The Guardian)

In 1987, the Australian composer Barrington Pheloung, who has died aged 65 of respiratory failure, provided the haunting theme and incidental music to the ITV crime drama series Inspector Morse. The combination of the complex, grumpy detective, played by John Thaw, the Oxford setting of the underlying novels by Colin Dexter and the 100-minute length of each episode created scope for a very distinctive approach.

As Bazz (or Barry, or Bazza) recalled: "Morse is a very melancholic character, so the tune had to be melancholic, and he was a lover of classical music, so it should be an orchestral score and not a synthesiser. He has a very cryptic mind, he loves doing crosswords; we came up with the obvious idea - his name is Morse and we use Morse code in the music." The spelling out of his name fitted into a rhythm that suggested a harmonic structure: "I picked up my guitar and there was the tune."

Over the course of 13 years, 33 episodes of Morse were broadcast, and Bazz also provided the music for a sequel, Lewis, later Inspector Lewis (2006-15), with Morse's sergeant (Kevin Whately) moving centre stage. He did the same for a prequel, Endeavour (2012-17), with Shaun Evans as the young Morse.

Posted by orrinj at 10:53 AM


Democrats' 2020 Problem: How to Be Tougher on Trade Than Trump (Ana Swanson, Aug. 10, 2019, NY Times)

For years, Democrats in Congress have been warning that China is an economic aggressor bent on undermining American industry. They have denounced the North American Free Trade Agreement for outsourcing jobs and criticized China for manipulating its currency to make Chinese products cheaper. They have vowed to use federal procurement, tariffs and other tools to help American workers.

Mr. Trump has stolen that playbook and gone further. On Monday, his administration formally designated China a currency manipulator, a step some Democrats have demanded for years. Last week, the president moved forward with plans to tax nearly every toy, laptop and sneaker that China sends to the United States. Mr. Trump has also renegotiated NAFTA, imposed tariffs on foreign metals and strengthened "buy American" rules so that federal projects use more materials from the United States.

So far, many of these efforts have not produced the kind of change Mr. Trump promised. 

Posted by orrinj at 10:26 AM


Fed remains a target as economy falls short of Trump's ambitious goals (Howard Schneider, Ginger Gibson, 8/11/19, Reuters)

"Reasonably good" is not what Trump promised to deliver during his 2016 campaign, and at this point he heads into a reelection year short of the key economic goals he set and worried a recession could undermine his bid for a second term.

Growth is ebbing and well below the 3% annual rate he said his administration would hit; the trade deficit has widened and there is no sign of the "easy" victory he said would come in a trade war with China; far from the surge in investment he promised would follow a corporate tax cut, business capital spending of late has been a drag on growth overall.

Each month there are more jobs. But that has been true for nearly nine years, and as on many fronts the best days of "Trumponomics" may be in the past as the economy's performance reverts to an Obama-era trend of around 2% annual growth.

Posted by orrinj at 10:18 AM



President Donald Trump would endure a resounding defeat against potential 2020 contenders Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, according to a new SurveyUSA poll that surveyed registered voters about their preferred choices in hypothetical, head-to-head matchups.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and independent Senator Bernie Sanders, both currently competing for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, would trounce Trump by eight points in the popular vote, according to the poll.

Posted by orrinj at 10:15 AM


Posted by orrinj at 10:14 AM


Posted by orrinj at 10:01 AM


'Trump is ruining our markets': Struggling farmers are losing a huge customer to the trade war -- China (Emma Newburger, 8/10/19, CNBC)

U.S. farmers lost one of their biggest customers this week after China officially cancelled all purchases of U.S. agricultural products, a retaliatory move following President Donald Trump's pledge to slap 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports.

China's exit piles on to a devastating year for farmers, who have struggled through record flooding and an extreme heat wave that destroyed crop yields, and trade war escalations that have lowered prices and profits this year.

"It's really, really getting bad out here," said Bob Kuylen, who's farmed for 35 years in North Dakota.

"Trump is ruining our markets. No one is buying our product no more, and we have no markets no more."

Ain't gonna work on MAGA farm no more.
Posted by orrinj at 9:58 AM


Feds Indict Trump Supporter For Threatening Ocasio-Cortez (Oliver Willis, August 11, 2019, National Memo)

"A screen shot was provided to USCP of a news story related to the member of Congress with linked comments that stated: 'She should be shot. Can't fire me, my employer would load the gun for me,'" the department noted.

Charging documents reveal that when Ireland was questioned about the post by Lawrence Anyaso, a special agent with the Capitol Police, he said he was "very proud" of the post he had made.

A search warrant was executed on Ireland's home on Aug. 2. They found .32-caliber and .45-caliber ammunition.

The day before Ireland posted his threat, Trump tweeted his attack on Ocasio-Cortez.

"The 'Squad' is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!" he wrote.

That was part of a campaign that started several days before, when Trump told Ocasio-Cortez -- along with Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar -- to "go back" where they came from.

Ireland's Facebook page, which is still online, shows several pro-Trump, anti-Democratic posts. One meme he posted reads, "We hated Obama like you hate Trump." Another referred to President Barack Obama as the leader of ISIS.

He also praised Trump for declaring a national emergency at the southern border "to aid America," and claimed that Obama had declared national emergencies to aid several foreign countries.

Posted by orrinj at 9:55 AM


MSNBC Host: Banning Semi-Automatic Weapons Is the 'Most Pro-Police Thing You Can Do' (Cameron Cawthorne, AUGUST 11, 2019, Free Beacon)

MSNBC 's PoliticsNation host Al Sharpton on Saturday claimed banning semi-automatic weapons would be the "most pro-police" proposal Congress could come up with.

"This president has always attacked those of us that questioned some police when there are things that we consider police going over the line," Sharpton said. "Banning automatic weapons, banning semi-automatic weapons, banning these kinds of military-style weapons is the most pro-police thing you can do because they are the first responders."

Posted by orrinj at 9:35 AM


The Completely Predictable Death of Jeffrey Epstein (ANDREW COHEN, August 11, 2019, New Republic)

[I]nmate suicides are such a regular part of life in American prisons and jails that none of us should be surprised whenever they occur. They are the leading cause of death behind bars, and have been for many years, and the problem seems to be getting worse. The latest statistics, from 2014, tell us the rate of suicides in jails was the highest it's been since at least 2000. This even though there is more public awareness surrounding the phenomenon and a cry for better records (and details) about the number of suicides that take place each year.

Inmates suicides are an epidemic corrections officials won't talk about. The deaths transcend race and geography. They occur, as we saw with Epstein, in federal jails in a big city and they occur in lonely rural prisons. They occur where a pretrial detainee has been jailed just days earlier, as was the case with Sandra Bland in Texas, and they occur where a convicted prisoner has been left to languish for months or years in solitary confinement. Not every suicide can be prevented, of course, but scores of inmates could be saved every year if corrections officials would just earnestly protect those in their custody and control.

These deaths occur not just because guards are poorly trained and jails understaffed, or because often the procedures in place to protect suicidal inmates are woefully outdated and inadequate. The biggest problem is one of attitude. Inmates are able to commit suicide because their guards have dehumanized them to the point where they don't care enough whether they live or die. Epstein's death reminded me of the remorseless, cruel attitude that allows inmates to be kept shackled even in death, when they leave for the local morgue.

Why are suicide rates so high among corrections officers? (Associated Press, January 9, 2018)

The annual suicide rate among union members exceeded California's overall suicide rate of 10.3 per 100,000 people in 13 of those 17 years, according to an Associated Press analysis of union data. The number peaked at 13 in 2012, a rate more than four times that of the state's general population.

Now, a first-in-the-nation study coordinated among the union, California's corrections agency and University of California, Berkeley researchers is trying to figure out why and what to do about it.

Inmate suicides have been intensively studied, but until now there has been limited research on how the job affects correctional employees, Berkeley researcher Amy Lerman said -- and virtually none on programs that might help officers cope.

"I think it reflects a growing recognition across the country that correctional staff and law enforcement are experiencing these types of issues and it needs to be taken seriously," Lerman said.

About 10 percent of prison guards say they have considered or attempted suicide, a rate nearly three times that of the general U.S. population, according to data provided to the AP from a survey completed by 8,300 of California's 30,000 correctional and parole officers.

It's even higher among retired guards -- about 14 percent, similar to the suicide risk among military veterans.

Half of correctional officers expressed at least one symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Researchers cited officers' frequent exposure to violence and injury, their perception of constant danger, and their reluctance to share traumatic experiences with family members or counselors.

Posted by orrinj at 9:17 AM


Lack of G7, IMF support seen dimming impact of U.S. move on China's yuan (Andrea Shalal, David Lawder, 8/11/19, Reuters) 

China is unlikely to face serious consequences from the Trump administration's decision to label it a currency manipulator given the apparent lack of G7 and IMF support for the move, former and current U.S. and G7 officials said.

Posted by orrinj at 7:11 AM


'National conservatism' is 'Elizabeth Warren conservatism'  (George F. Will, 8/11/19, The Washington Post)

Their agenda is much more ambitious than President Nixon's 1971 imposition of wage and price controls, which were temporary fiascos. Their agenda is even more ambitious than the New Deal's cartelization of industries, which had the temporary (and unachieved) purpose of curing unemployment. What national conservatives propose is government fine-tuning the economy's composition and making sure resources are "well" distributed, as the government (i.e., the political class) decides, forever.

What socialists are so fond of saying, national conservatives are now saying: This time will be different. It never is, because government's economic planning always involves the fatal conceit that government can aggregate, and act on, information more intelligently and nimbly than markets can.

National conservatives preen as defenders of the dignity of the rural and small-town -- mostly white and non-college educated -- working class. However, these defenders nullify the members' dignity by discounting their agency. National conservatives regard the objects of their compassion as inert victims, who are as passive as brown paper parcels, awaiting government rescue from circumstances. In contrast, there was dignity in the Joad family (of John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath"), who, when the Depression and Dust Bowl battered Oklahoma, went west seeking work.

Right-wing anti-capitalism has a long pedigree as a largely aristocratic regret, symbolized by railroads -- the noise, the soot, the lower orders not staying where they belong -- that despoiled the Edenic tranquility of Europe's landed aristocracy. The aristocrats were not wrong in seeing their supremacy going up in the smoke from industrialism's smokestacks: Market forces powered by mass preferences do not defer to inherited status.

Although the national conservatives' anti-capitalism purports to be populist, it would further empower the administrative state's faux aristocracy of administrators who would decide which communities and economic sectors should receive "well"-allocated resources. Furthermore, national conservatism is paternalistic populism. This might seem oxymoronic, but so did "Elizabeth Warren conservatives" until national conservatives emerged as such. The paternalists say to today's Joads: Stay put. We know what is best for you and will give it to you through government.

Populism is driven by the entirely justified terror that competition will leave you and your cohort behind.

Posted by orrinj at 7:07 AM


Trump cracks jokes about Equinox scandal, kamikaze pilots at Hamptons fundraiser (Jennifer Gould Keil and Emily Smith, August 9, 2019, NY Post)

Talking about South Korea, Trump said it makes great TVs and has a thriving economy, "So why are we paying for their defense. They've got to pay." He then mimicked the accent of the leader Moon Jae-in while describing how he caved in to Trump's tough negotiations.

On his remarkable friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, "I just got a beautiful letter from him this week. We are friends. People say he only smiles when he sees me. [...]

Trump also made fun of US allies South Korea, Japan and the European Union -- mimicking Japanese and Korean accents -- and talked about his love of dictators Kim Jong Un and the current ruler of Saudi Arabia. [...]

Turning to Japan, Trump then put on a fake Japanese accent to recount his conversations with Shinzo Abe over their conversations over trade tariffs.

Trump spoke about his friendship with Abe and how fascinated he was with Abe's father, who had been a kamikaze pilot. Trump asked Abe if the kamikaze pilots were drunk or on drugs. Abe said no, they just loved their country. Trump remarked, "Imagine they get in a plane with a half a tank of gas and fly into steel ships just for the love of their country!"

Posted by orrinj at 6:54 AM


Trump Retweets Conspiracy Theory Tying Clintons to Jeffrey Epstein's Death (DANIEL POLITI, AUG 10, 2019, Slate)

As soon as media outlets began reporting that Jeffrey Epstein had died of an apparent suicide, commentators on social media started touting conspiracy theories about his death. On Saturday evening, Donald Trump joined the bandwagon.

The president first retweeted a message that claimed "documents were unsealed yesterday revealing that top Democrats, including Bill Clinton, took private trips to Jeffrey Epstein's 'pedophilia island'." A bit later, he went full-on conspiracy theorist, retweeting a message from conservative comedian Terrence K. Williams that pretty much accuses the Clintons of killing Epstein. [...]

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, a devoted Trump ally, tweeted that "Epstein should have been at least on Arkanside Watch," referring to Clinton's home state of Arkansas. A Florida Republican official also asked on Twitter if it was "even debatable at this point" that Clinton had something to do with Epstein's death. And an editor at conservative news website the Blaze said that it looked like the "Clintons got another person to 'commit suicide'."

Posted by orrinj at 6:40 AM


Relative of Norway mosque shooter found dead after attack (AFP, 8/11/19)

The post seemingly praised the attacker who opened fire at a New Zealand mosque in March and ended with the words "Valhall awaits," a reference to Norse mythology.

Norway was the scene of one of the worst-ever attacks by a right-wing extremist in July 2011, when 77 people were killed by Anders Behring Breivik.

"One of our members has been shot by a white man with a helmet and uniform," Irfan Mushtaq, head of the mosque, told local media.

Mushtaq said that the man had carried multiple weapons, but that he had been subdued by a member of the mosque.

Mushtaq himself had arrived at the scene shortly after being alerted about the gunman, and had gone to the back of the building while waiting for police to arrive.

"Then I see that there are cartridges scattered and blood on the carpets, and I see one of our members is sitting on the perpetrator, covered in blood," Mushtaq told Norwegian newspaper VG.

He said the man who apparently overpowered the shooter was 75 years old and had been reading the Koran after a prayer session.

According to Mushtaq, the mosque had not received any threats ahead of the shooting.

The attack took place on the eve of the Muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha, marking the end of the Muslim pilgrimage Hajj.

Police said Saturday they would be sending out more officers so that those celebrating would "be as safe as possible".

There has been a recent spate of white nationalist attacks in the West, including in the United States and in New Zealand where 51 Muslim worshipers were killed in March in shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

The Wall Street Journal ran a cowardly, race-baiting article on 'Islamic England': I live there. They're dead wrong (Alex Lockie Aug. 31, 2018, Business Insider)

Ngo visits pockets of Muslims living in London to paint a picture of a terrifying and restrictive land governed by religious law, which is an absolute fabrication that must have required him to willfully ignore facts.

I should know, because I've lived on the exact streets discussed by Ngo for a year.

"Muslims walked in one direction for jumu'ah, Friday prayer, while non-Muslims went the opposite way. Each group kept its distance and avoided eye contact with the other. A sign was posted on a pole: 'Alcohol restricted zone.'"

Looking past Ngo's eye contact judgement for now, mentioning the alcohol restricted zone in connection to the mosque represents the first of many attempts to portray Islam as dominating parts of London.

In fact, the alcohol free zone outside the mosque is one of many all around the UK imposed by the elected government, not zealous Muslim overlords, to prevent "anti-social behavior," such as drunkenness and public urination.

Honestly, I live around the corner from this zone and it took me months to realize it was alcohol-restricted. Before I read the sign on the pole highlighted by Ngo, I first noticed a large mosaic depicting the Jewish star of David on a planter directly outside the Mosque.

86 Times Donald Trump Displayed or Promoted Islamophobia: Just in case SCOTUS needs any more evidence of the xenophobic, bigoted intent behind Trump's Muslim Ban (Medium, 4/19/18)

A Long History of Islamophobia

9/4/2010 -- Trump Suggests the U.S. is at War with Muslims
Five years before announcing his candidacy, Trump discusses the Park51 Islamic Community Center in Manhattan on The Late Show. Host David Letterman asks, "Does this, in fact, suggest that we are officially at war with Muslims?" to which Trump responds, "Well somebody knocked down the World Trade Center... somebody's blowing us up. Somebody's blowing up buildings, and somebody's doing lots of bad stuff."

3/30/2011 -- Trump States there is a "Muslim Problem"
In an interview with Fox News, Bill O'Reilly asks Trump if there is a "Muslim problem" in the world. Trump responds, "Absolutely. I mean, I don't notice Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center. There is a Muslim problem in the world, and you know it and I know it."

4/12/2011 -- Trump Doubles Down on Claim that there is a "Muslim Problem"
In an interview with CBN, Trump took remarks he made in his interview with Bill O'Reilly a step further, saying that the Quran "teaches some very negative vibe [sic] ... when you look at people blowing up in the street in some countries in the Middle East ... when you look at 250 people who die in a supermarket while shopping .... there's a lot of hatred there someplace."

3/13/2012 -- Trump Supports Surveillance of Muslims
Trump tweets, "NYC's top cop acted wisely and legally to monitor activities of some in the Muslim community. Vigilance keeps us safe."

More CVE for White People: The Radicalization Process Revisited (Quinta Jurecic, Benjamin Wittes, August 6, 2019, Lawfare)

And at the end of the piece, we offered a simple test of our theory:

There's a simple measure for whether our basic theory here is, in a general sense, right: If it is, we will see a significant spike in white supremacist violence over the next few years. The Trump campaign has provided a baseline undemocratic ideation to hundreds of millions of people and also provided a platform through which extremists, both violent and non-violent, can recruit and cultivate. If our collective understanding of the process of violent radicalization is correct, the result will be blood.

The past few years have unfortunately provided a dramatic test of this theory; more unfortunately still, the theory has held up well. By nearly any metric, white supremacist violence is up significantly, the lethality of attacks has risen dramatically, and the link between the ideation and action has become particularly clear. President Trump plays a key role in this ideational cauldron--though pinning down the precise role of his rhetoric in any one incident is a mug's game.

Consider first the raw data. According to FBI data, 2017--the most recent year for which data are available--saw a sharp jump in hate crimes over 2016. Crimes motivated by race, ethnicity or national origin leapt from 3,489 in 2016 to 4,131 in 2017. Crimes based on religion jumped from 1,273 in 2016 to 1,564 in 2017. Data for 2015 are roughly consistent with the data for 2016 and follow a gentler rise from 2012, 2013 and 2014, when levels fluctuated. While these numbers don't specify the particular political valence of the attack, around 70 percent of crimes motivated by religion are consistently directed against Jews and Muslims, and around 60 percent of crimes motivated by race, ethnicity or national origin are consistently directed against Black and Latino victims.

2017 FBI Hate Crimes Statistics

Hate crimes are a crude measure. They include lots of offenses well short of violence against people. Thirty-seven percent of all 2017 offenses, for example, involved what the FBI terms "crimes against property"--which includes vandalism and the like. 

That said, what the FBI terms "crimes against persons" rose in 2017 as well. In 2016, the FBI reported 3,765 incidents, affecting 4,720 victims, and committed by 4,353 offenders. By contrast, in 2017, there were 4,090 incidents of crimes against persons, affecting 5,084 victims, and committed by 4,442 offenders. (These numbers include all hate crimes, not just those motivated by race and religion.)

Then there are the most violent attacks--the ones that blur the lines between hate crimes and terrorism.

An April 2019 analysis by the New York Times, relying on data from the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland, reported a "surge" in "white extremist" attacks in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand dating back to a spurt of anti-immigrant violence in Europe in 2015 and possibly sparked by the 2011 attack in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik. While the raw numbers for 2017 and 2018 remain below that of 2015, the numbers of white extremist attacks are still high. Most of this surge is the result of anti-immigrant violence in Europe and has little to do with conditions in the United States. But it's also clear that an international ecosystem of far-right racism has emerged that has contributed as well.

In the United States alone, "attacks jumped" in 2017, the Times writes, with nine deadly acts of violence that year; preliminary data for 2018 show five deadly attacks. The data presented by the Times suggest that the deadliness of white extremist attacks may be rising, too, particularly in North America. Until 2018, the deadliest white extremist attacks in the U.S. included a 2012 shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple that killed six people and the 2015 shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina, church that killed nine. Compare this to the El Paso shooting this past weekend, which killed 22 people.

Certainly, there is no body of attacks in the recent pre-Trump era like the current period--in which we have multiple mass shootings in a compressed period of time conducted on the express basis of hatred of foreigners, immigrants, or religious minorities. According to the database cited by the Times, far-right extremists perpetrated three deadly attacks in 2015 (in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; in Charleston, South Carolina; and at Umpqua Community College in Oregon). No deadly attacks took place in 2016.

The list of attacks in the years since Trump's election is quite striking. Before El Paso was the March 2019 shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 50 people. Then there was the April 2019 shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California, in which one person died; in that case, the letter posted by the shooter blamed Jews for "white genocide." Before that was the 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, before which the shooter posted about Central American immigrants as "invaders" assisted in entering the country by Jews. Eleven people died in that attack.

Posted by orrinj at 6:33 AM


DONALD DOSSIER: THE WAY OF THE GUN (Daniel Malloy, 8/11/19, Ozy)

You can trace certain pillars of Donald Trump's presidency back decades. He's long been a trade protectionist and advocate of tougher immigration policy. On other issues, though, he's shown a ballerina's dexterity.

Such as guns.

In his 2000 book The America We Deserve, Trump wrote: "I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons, and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun."

At the time, so-called assault weapons -- certain types of semiautomatic rifles similar to the kinds used in the Dayton and El Paso massacres -- were banned for sale (though with ample loopholes), along with high-capacity magazines. Last weekend's mass shootings have revived calls to bring back the ban.

But in Trump's evolution into right-wing hero and wildly successful first-time politician, he's embraced the National Rifle Association and waxed poetic again and again about the Second Amendment. Gun rights are a core value in rural America, for individual liberty or protection against feral hogs.

It's similar to his approach to abortion and other religious conservative tenets, in which Trump showed little interest before running for president but has proven powerful in bringing together and maintaining his coalition. (Or as another president once said, rural Americans "cling to guns or religion.")

If he weren't doing genuine damage to immigrants, the economy, the social fabric, the rule of law, etc., the contempt he has for Republicans would be more enjoyable as would be the eagerness with which they lap it up and call it holy water.

Posted by orrinj at 6:22 AM


A Common Trait Among Mass Killers: Hatred Toward Women (Julie Bosman, Kate Taylor and Tim Arango, Aug. 10, 2019, NY Times)

The man who shot nine people to death last weekend in Dayton, Ohio, seethed at female classmates and threatened them with violence.

The man who massacred 49 people in an Orlando nightclub in 2016 beat his wife while she was pregnant, she told authorities.

The man who killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., in 2017 had been convicted of domestic violence. His ex-wife said he once told her that he could bury her body where no one would ever find it.

The motivations of men who commit mass shootings are often muddled, complex or unknown. But one common thread that connects many of them -- other than access to powerful firearms -- is a history of hating women, assaulting wives, girlfriends and female family members, or sharing misogynistic views online, researchers say.

As the nation grapples with last weekend's mass shootings and debates new red-flag laws and tighter background checks, some gun control advocates say the role of misogyny in these attacks should be considered in efforts to prevent them.

The fact that mass shootings are almost exclusively perpetrated by men is "missing from the national conversation," said Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Monday. "Why does it have to be, why is it men, dominantly, always?"

All the assault allegations against Donald Trump, recapped (PBS, Jun 21, 2019)

Sixteen women have come forward with allegations against President Donald Trump, each accusing him of inappropriate conduct. The most recent, from writer and columnist E. Jean Carroll, appeared in NY Magazine on Friday.

The women's charges range from unwanted touches and aggressive, sudden kissing to the latest accusation against Trump -- that he attacked a woman in a dressing room and forced his penis inside her. Donald Trump, his campaign and the Trump White House have insisted all of the stories are fabricated and politically motivated.

So far:

Tea Party Supporters: Who They Are and What They Believe (BRIAN MONTOPOLI, DECEMBER 14, 2012, CBS News)

They're white. They're older. And they're angry.

CBS News and the New York Times surveyed 1,580 adults, including 881 self-identified Tea Party supporters, to get a snapshot of the Tea Party movement. There is a lot of information to unpack; let's begin with the demographics.

Eighteen percent of Americans identify as Tea Party supporters. The vast majority of them -- 89 percent -- are white. Just one percent is black.

They tend to skew older: Three in four are 45 years old or older, including 29 percent who are 65 plus. They are also more likely to be men (59 percent) than women (41 percent). [...]

They are better educated than most Americans: 37 percent are college graduates, compared to 25 percent of Americans overall. They also have a higher-than-average household income, with 56 percent making more than $50,000 per year.

More than half (54 percent) identify as Republicans, and another 41 percent say they are independents. Just five percent call themselves Democrats, compared to 31 percent of adults nationwide.