Sunday, September 24, 2017

Meanwhile in the Middle East

FOR YEARS AS a reality TV star, Donald Trump demanded that the United States leave Afghanistan. Among other things, he said that the U.S. had “wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure” and “wasted lives” there, that the war was “nonsense,” and that instead we should “rebuild the USA.”

  The Intercept
Or destroy Syria.
The intensity of the air and artillery bombardment on Raqqa – primarily by US forces – closely correlates with high casualty reports on the ground.


In total more than 1,000 civilians have now credibly been reported killed since the assault began on June 6th, according to Airwars monitoring.


US-led Coalition forces are firing record numbers of bombs, missiles and artillery shells into besieged areas of Raqqa city – part of a bloody campaign to dislodge so-called Islamic State (ISIS) from its self proclaimed capital. The assault is also reportedly killing hundreds of trapped civilians every month – a charge the Coalition strenuously denies.

On average one Coalition bomb, missile or artillery round was fired into Raqqa every eight minutes during August, according to official data provided to Airwars.


By way of comparison, US-led forces fired ten times more munitions into Raqqa during August than were released by US aircraft across all of Afghanistan for the same month (503), according to recent data issued by Air Force Central Command (AFCENT).

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Cracking Down on Journalism

Viscious and Vindictive

The Trump administration has unveiled new travel restrictions on certain foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen as a replacement to a central portion of its controversial travel ban signed earlier this year.


In a statement Sunday night, the White House called the new restrictions a "critical step toward establishing an immigration system that protects Americans' safety and security in an era of dangerous terrorism and transnational crime."


The new list of countries notably includes several non-Muslim majority nations, including North Korea and Venezuela. In most instances, travel will be broadly suspended, while in other cases, travelers will have to undergo enhanced screening and vetting requirements.


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that with the new restrictions, "the President is carrying out his duty to protect the American people."

No he's not. He's just being vindictive and mean. North Koreans don't come here anyway.
The US Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the legality of the travel ban next month.
Never in modern times has there been an occupant of the Oval Office who seemed to reject so thoroughly the nostrum that a president’s duty is to bring the country together.


Over the course of just 17 hours this weekend, President Trump assailed John McCain, Chuck Schumer, Stephen Curry, the National Football League, Roger Goodell, Iran and Kim Jong-un — the “Little Rocket Man.” And that was on his day off.


[A]ny notion that Mr. Trump may soften his edge, even under the discipline of a new chief of staff, seemed fanciful. While he has restrained himself for brief stretches, his penchant for punching eventually reasserts itself.


Relentlessly pugnacious, energized by a fight, unwilling to let any slight go unanswered, Mr. Trump has made himself America’s apostle of anger, its deacon of divisiveness.


“The Trump credo seems to be so many people to attack, so little time,” said Peter Wehner, a former strategic adviser to President George W. Bush.


Intentional or not, many of his most divisive comments charge directly into one of the most delicate issues in American life, race, whether it be his attacks on illegal immigrants, his “both sides” equivocation after the racial violence in Charlottesville or now his blasts at African-American football and basketball stars like Mr. Curry, the Golden State Warriors player who said he did not want to visit the White House for a traditional champions ceremony.


“We’ve never had a president who so relishes producing animosity and hate among Americans, and who does it so consistently, so gleefully and so intentionally,” [Wehner] said. And when there are no obvious targets, he added, Mr. Trump goes in search of them. “He seems to have a psychological need to keep everyone around him on edge and at each other’s throats.”


H. W. Brands, a biographer of Reagan and other presidents at the University of Texas at Austin, said other presidents were tactically divisive.


“Trump’s divisiveness looks different,” Mr. Brands said. “It appears more impulsive and more a matter of simply stirring the pot. It makes sense from the perspective of one who has long sought to attract media attention. There doesn’t seem to be any larger purpose. I really can’t see what he hopes to win by taking on the N.F.L.”



And I guess that's when he'll apologize to Ghazala Khan?

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

HE Found a Suckup and a Team to Visit the White House

Dotard J Trump has been retweeting a sort of cheerleader the last couple of days.

She's just a Jill of all trades, isn't she?

He's lapping it up.

And he retweeted this one (those are just today's Donna Warren retweets - he retweeted similar meme-type tweets yesterday):

I hope whoever this poor guy is, he's one who tweets back to say he gave his legs so that Americans could take a knee in protest.

That, too.

And then Dolt 45 tweeted his own sentiment:

Kneeling is not disrespecting the flag.  Using it in multiple numbers as a backdrop to a photo-op, on the other hand...

I'm pretty sure Kaepernick, et al., are saying MAKE AMERICA GREAT without calling for people to get fired for their views.

Oh, yeah. He found a team to come to the White House. Hockey team, apparently. They're rough and tough, not afraid to hit.  And apparently the only sport left where players aren't taking a knee during the anthem (yet).

Also, aside from the Steelers, the Seahawks and Titans stayed in their locker rooms during the anthem.  My previous post about the teams' reactions has been updated twice to take into account all the activity around the shameful tweeting and  trash-talking of our so-called president.  Players and owners are united on this.  And good on them.  Check it out.  Or read this New York Times article to get the full impact.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Never Forget

APPEAL from a decree of a District Court of three judges enjoining the enforcement of a regulation of the West Virginia State Board of Education requiring children in the public schools to salute the American flag.

JACKSON, J., Opinion of the Court


Under the Federal Constitution, compulsion as here employed is not a permissible means of achieving "national unity."

Trump is asking NFL owners to do something which seems clearly unconstitutional.

Way to Be, Jags & Ravens .... and Steelers

Where are the white boys in solidarity?  Hopefully, they're just at the other end of the line.
Taking the field in London, Ravens Coach John Harbaugh joined his players, linking arms, and Ravens Hall of Famer Ray Lewis took a knee. Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, who had contributed $1 million to the Trump inauguration, locked arms with his players and the Jaguars’ coaches in what is believed to be the first visible participation in relation to anthem protests by a league owner.


One owner who was placed in an awkward position was the Patriots’ Robert Kraft, who also gave $1 million to Trump’s inaugural and presented him with a Super Bowl LI ring. In a statement Sunday, he said he was “deeply disappointed by the tone” of Trump’s comments.

“I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities,” Kraft said. “Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports and, unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

Amen.  (Except calling this an "anthem protest" may be a little misleading.  It's a racial injustice protest.)

At least it looks like the whites locked arms with the black players. I'm not a football fan, but this video actually kind of choked me up.
(Staff standing behind kneeling players even have arms linked.  If clicking on the picture doesn't get you the video, click here and scroll down to it - about half way.)

Never let anyone - let alone a racist, narcissistic bigot - dictate your conscience.

Three more NFL games coming up at noon.  And, the whole Steelers team is staying in the locker room.

 Giving the so-called president, who will probably next tweet that nobody watches NFL anyway, a big F.U.  Trumped!

UPDATE: Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin's rationale:

"We're not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from the circumstance. People shouldn't have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn't be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn't be separated from his teammate who chooses not to. So we're not participating today. That's our decision. We're gonna be 100 percent. We came here to play a football game. That's our intentions, and we're gonna play and play to win."
  Sporting News
FURTHER UPDATE: Also not taking the field during the anthem: Seahawks and Titans.

Say what?? You idiot. Locked arms is in solidarity with the kneelers. Pull your head out of your big ass.
Reports from 1 p.m. games around the county showed that dozens of Broncos players knelt in Buffalo. About 10 Saints sat for the anthem at Carolina.

Spectators at the Colts’ home Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis booed loudly after many of the Browns players kneeled in a huddle during the national anthem. Colts players locked arms during the anthem despite the boos.


In Philadelphia, Eagles and Giants players and coaches locked arms as a massive American flag was unfurled over the field and military jets performed a flyover. A few players raised fists or knelt, while Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie locked arms with his players and police officers.


Rex Ryan, the former Jets and Bills coach who once introduced then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Buffalo, expressed his regret on the morning show “Sunday N.F.L. Countdown.”

“Everyone’s always been united. Yeah, the views are different but lemme tell you: I’m pissed off,” said Ryan, who now works as an ESPN commentator. “I’ll be honest with you. Because I supported Donald Trump. When he asked me to introduce him at a rally in Buffalo, I did that. But I’m reading these comments and it’s appalling to me and I’m sure it’s appalling to almost any citizen in our country. It should be.”


Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots and a longtime friend of the president’s, was among the first to reply [to Trump's slam against NFL protesters and call for owners to fire them], saying in a statement:

“I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

N.F.L. owners, most of them conservative and many of them large donors to President Trump, joined with Kraft and backed their players’ rights to protest during the national anthem and condemned Trump’s criticism.

Colts owner Jim Irsay said, “I am troubled by the president’s recent comments about our league and our players.”

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said, “I support them as they take their courage character and commitment into our communities to make them better or to call attention to injustice.”

Chargers owner Dean Spanos said, “The N.F.L. and its players, more than anything, have been a force for good.”

From Jimmy Haslam, owner of the Cleveland Browns: “We must not let misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify.”

Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement on Sunday morning that “what makes this the greatest country in the world are the liberties it was founded upon and the freedom to express oneself in a respectful and peaceful manner.”

He said the franchise was unified by “this divisive political situation.”



...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Dolt 45's Dangerous Ignorance

Unless you WANT Iran to develop the bomb.

Not really necessary. It's a given.

On that I would agree, but maybe not in the case of Iran. Iran has stated that if all the other countries in the agreement remain and only the US pulls out of the treaty, it will still honor the agreement. So, we'd essentially just be the fool everyone now knows we are, only globally shunned.  Still dangerous, though.

The Fate of Humanity in the Hands of Infantile Egotists

What a world.

Peas in a pod.  Overfed and pampered babies with ridiculous hair.