June 24, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 7:27 PM


The U.S. Military Has a Boogaloo Problem: Some of the largest private Facebook groups catering to the boogaloo movement have scores of members who identify as active-duty military. (Tess Owen, Jun 24 2020, Vice News)

Meanwhile, there's growing concern among intelligence officials about the public-safety risk posed by the boogaloo movement. In late May, the Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement around the country that "anarchist and militia extremists" could try to exploit the protests against police brutality with the goal of sparking the "boogaloo," Politico reported.

In early June, the FBI arrested three "Boogaloo Bois" -- an army reservist, a Navy veteran, and an Air Force veteran -- for allegedly planning to throw explosives into a Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas to sow confusion and chaos.

On June 15, authorities issued an intelligence assessment warning that "violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology" could target Washington D.C. due to the "significant presence of U.S. law enforcement entities."

The following day, federal prosecutors announced charges against Air Force Staff Sgt. Steve Carrillo for a deadly ambush on federal security officers outside a courthouse in Oakland, California.

Carrillo, who was already in custody for allegedly killing a sheriff's deputy, allegedly had ties to the Boogaloo movement. Investigators said they found explosives, firearms, and a tactical vest with a boogaloo patch on it inside his van. They said he'd also used his own blood to scrawl slogans associated with the boogaloo movement, including "BOOG," on the hood of the white van.

Prosecutors say that Carrillo sought to exploit the pain and suffering driving the protests against police brutality to advance the goals of the boogaloo movement.

"We have mobs of angry people to use to our advantage."

"Go to the riots and support our own cause," Carrillo allegedly wrote on Facebook the day of the ambush on the federal officer. "Use their anger to fuel our fire. Think outside the box. We have mobs of angry people to use to our advantage."

It's hard to square the violent anti-government aspirations of the boogaloo with the oath of induction taken by military personnel to protect the U.S. and enemies "foreign and domestic." But the involvement of service members in anti-government extremist movements is nothing new, said Kathleen Belew, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Chicago and author of 'Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America.'

Active-duty service members or veterans have the potential to "dramatically escalate the impact of fringe activism, pass on explosives expertise, urban warfare expertise," said Belew, which is why extremist groups have long-sought to radicalize and recruit those individuals.

"This is not a problem we should take lightly," said Belew.

Posted by orrinj at 4:48 PM


Planned Parenthood Fires Top Executive Over Allegations of Racism (Mary Margaret Olohan,  June 24, 2020, Daily Caller)

A top executive at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has been fired over allegations of racism.

The organization's board of directors announced Tuesday that it had "parted ways" Monday with Laura McQuade, who had served as chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York since 2017, The New York Times reported. The news came after allegations of both abusive and discriminatory behavior toward Black Planned Parenthood employees.

Posted by orrinj at 4:31 PM


Pew Poll Shows That a Majority of Democrats Favors Abortion Restrictions (MICHAEL J. NEW, June 23, 2020, National Review)

Last week, the Pew Research Center released an analysis of the results of a previous survey the group conducted on life issues. The poll had surveyed more than 4,000 people between late July and early August 2019, asking them not only about their attitudes toward abortion but also about whether they agreed with their party's stance on the issue.

The survey found that 59 percent of self-identified Democrats support some limits on abortion; only 40 percent said abortion should be "legal in all cases." It also found that 29 percent of Democrats said they either agreed with Republicans on abortion policy or did not agree with either party's position.

The shift rightwards will only accelerate as conservative non-whites are trapped in the party by GOP Nationalism and suburban and Evangelical Republican change parties because of that racism.

Posted by orrinj at 1:30 PM


Above the Law: The Data Are In on Police, Killing, and Race (Lyman Stone, Jun. 23rd, 2020, Public Discourse)

Police officers kill about 1,700 Americans every year. In other words, police killings have made up about one out of every twelve violent deaths of Americans between 2010 and 2018. That's including American military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere during that window. Indeed, more Americans died at the hands of police officers during that period (about 14,400) than died while on active military duty (about 9,400).

Police violence in America is extraordinary in its intensity. It is disproportionate to the actual threats facing police officers, and it has risen significantly in recent years without apparent justification. Its effects are felt across all racial groups, with non-Hispanic whites making up half of all people killed by police officers, even as African Americans are killed at disproportionately high rates compared to any reasonable baseline.

Ultimately, high levels of police violence are a problem for all of society. They exemplify the increasingly unaccountable and militarized nature of police forces, over which elected officials struggle to maintain any kind of control. [...]

To summarize: police killings have risen despite no increase in social or criminal violence generally. Police killings have risen despite a decline in actual killings of police officers (and, as related data show, a decline in assaults of police officers, too). Police killings have risen, but this rise is not driven by reported officially justified homicides, nor is it associated with a larger share of police killings involving armed victims. Instead, what we've seen is a rise in police killings across the board, untethered from actual threats to society, with the victims often being unarmed innocents. About 15 to 25 percent of police killings are of unarmed people.

This killing is largely driven by the same kinds of bureaucratic malfeasance and self-dealing that conservatives have criticized in other public sector unions. When incompetent DMV workers are not fired, when abusive teachers are reshuffled around schools, when bureaucrats use administrative gimmicks to thwart the electorate's desire to rein in excessive spending, we conservatives are quick to (correctly!) identify the pernicious work of public-sector unions. Whereas all workers should have some say in their employment conditions, such as via unionization, public-sector workers already get a say in their employment conditions without a union: they get to vote on who their boss is! Public sector unions give the bureaucrats double the "votes" of the rest of us.

Police unions, which cause higher rates of police killings by shielding bad cops from discipline, are an especially horrible case of the general problem. Police killing is not the work of vigilant warriors defending society at great personal cost, and sometimes going too far: it is the day-in, day-out petty tyranny of a taxpayer-funded bureaucratic lobby group. The difference is that, unlike other public sector unions, police unions have military-grade equipment they can use to violently crush protests against their abuses, and they are legally immune from most consequences. They're teachers' unions, but with tanks and endless get-out-of-jail-free cards.

Posted by orrinj at 1:13 PM


Neo-Nazi Memoir Describes Terror Group's Acid-Soaked Ram Sacrifice (Ben Makuch and Mack Lamoureux, Jun 24 2020, Vice News)

The nearly 3,000-word memoir, which references internal details that would only be known to members who operated inside The Base and had access to its internal communications network, appeared in an encrypted chat thread used by neo-Nazis earlier this year and was tipped to VICE News, which vetted the tale.

"In the course of history men have always found themselves dissatisfied with their current political situation," the author writes. He blames the rise of liberalism for social decay, which leads to he and his compatriots thinking, as he has it, "The only way to truly change society was to rape society." He then describes how some neo-Nazis believe the collapse of society is nigh and that the only way forward is to either hasten the fall, prepare for it, or both, which leads to them meeting up in person to "materialize out of the internet and into the world." (This is what Nazzarro intended when he first established The Base: The aim was to corral internet neo-Nazis and make them into a real-world insurgency.)

The writer of the memoir says that his generation of neo-Nazis is collectively driven by vicious prejudice and the difficulties of being a "young man during an age of ever progressive liberal ideologies," and added that he felt alienated by modern society.

"In 2019 I found myself in The Base, which at the time I found to be a delightful organization full of like minded individuals preparing for what we considered the inevitable... The impending collapse of our social order and the nation as we know it."

Following closely on James Mason's Siege--an insurgency manual considered scripture to many militant neo-Nazis--The Base metastasized its worldview: A race war was coming and they needed to be ready to strike. Their preparations, in his telling, involved creating cells across the country, with armed, paramilitary training camps getting members, some of whom were former servicemen, ready for the violent struggle that would ensue after the fall of the U.S. government. At that point, the group could enact its bloodlust: Out of the smoldering rubble of America, it could take over a swath of land and make a white ethnostate.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


The Declining Case for Municipal Recycling (Howard Husock, June 23, 2020, City Journal)

When Operation National Sword took effect in 2018, China insisted that it would accept only the noncontaminated recyclables that its manufacturers could use. As a result, the market for recyclables collapsed, and imports from the U.S. and elsewhere plunged.

Since then, newspapers and other materials that municipal sanitation departments (or private firms) had picked up from city residents, who had dutifully sorted the materials and placed them in blue boxes, have increasingly piled up in warehouses or have been sent to landfills. Yet, despite their reputation, landfills--once infamous for leaking into groundwater--have become federally regulated and are far more environmentally safe. It remains true that recyclable materials may be reused--but there is no assurance that this will happen, especially for plastics.

Meanwhile, the economics of municipal recycling has been turned upside down. Those city departments responsible for trash pickup now incur significant costs, over and above what they would have to pay in the absence of recycling. These costs include the personnel and equipment for separate additional refuse collection (or payment to a contractor to provide the service), as well as the cost of paying firms to accept recyclables, now that they no longer can be profitably resold.

Some recyclables--notably, aluminum cans--continue to have a relatively high market value. But they are mixed with other materials that have little value and therefore require expensive sorting.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Texas was one of the first states to reopen. Now it's seeing record numbers of the coronavirus and its Republican governor is urging people to stay home. (Rosie Perper, 6/24/20, Business Insider)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told state residents on Tuesday to stay home unless absolutely necessary as the number of new cases in the state reached record highs. 

The number of new cases in Texas has been steadily rising over the past few weeks. On Tuesday evening, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported 5,489 new cases, the highest number of new cases in the state since the outbreak began.

"Texas will report an all-time high in the number of cases of people testing positive of more than 5,000," Abbott said in an interview with local TV station KBTX. "The hospitalization rate is at an all-time high. Coronavirus is spreading in Brazos County and across the entire state of Texas, which is exactly why action is being taken."

He told the station that despite the state's relaxed social distancing measures, residents were advised to stay at home.