Archive | The Regime

I wish I could be optimistic

But I’m not. Every day looks worse for what’s left of our democracy:

I don’t actually have confidence that we will have a functional democracy by 2020. It’s entirely possible that historians, assuming the exist in a century, will see 2016 as the end of a period of American history where rights generally expanded. That’s because Trump, Giuliani, Sessions, Gingrich, Flynn, etc., etc., and most importantly huge chunks of the Republican base, simply do not respect the fundamental tenets of democracy and they are seeking to roll back two generation of social progress. Despite what I might have believed a mere few weeks ago, they are in fact reasonably likely to succeed. And I am disappointed in myself for not seeing this more clearly before the election. Democrats and liberals were holding on strictly to the presidency as a buffer between us and the apocalypse. Between gerrymandering, voter suppression, and a bloody ineffective DNC strategy to operate on the state level, Republicans had already grabbed most of the levers of government. And while Trump is uniquely bad in some ways, in many others, he really isn’t that much worse than your bog-standard mainstream Republican governing class such as Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Paul LePage, Rick Snyder, or, of course, Mike Pence.

All we really have in the end is massive resistance. That is where we are heading–acquiescence or resistance. You and I will all need to make our choices about whether we will stand up against oppression in ways that a lot of our ancestors did not stand up to Jim Crow, to Chinese Exclusion, to the Japanese internment camps, etc.

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Normalizing the abnormal

German Officers 1940s 8

It’s bizarre, watching TV bobbleheads still trying to normalize the black cloud of chaos descending on our country. I don’t think we’re going to see any thoughtful Edward R. Morrows emerge from this particular pack; I dunno, maybe someone will surprise me.

Make no mistake, we are in real trouble. It won’t be long before we see street mobs, and protests that turn into mass police crackdowns.

The people who survived in the past stuck together. They got to know their neighbors, they looked out for each other. Let me put it this way: When they announce a mandatory Muslim registry, you might give some serious thought to registering as a Muslim. Because everyone in Holland registered as a Jew, and it saved lives.

Michael Moore throws the gauntlet with Christians

@DonJohnstonLC : RT @dcexaminer: Michael Moore defends working-class Trump supporters https://t.co/WQ9AIJKuDw https://t.co/d0A0V4umyN

Appearing on MSNBC’s AM Joy, filmmaker Michael Moore challenged white Americans to stand up for minorities and women who are coming under attack since the election of Donald Trump to be the next president. Since Trump’s stunning win on Election Day, attacks on Latinos, Muslims, African-Americans and women have skyrocketed, causing many to fear going out… Continue Reading →

Jake Tapper grills Paul Ryan over hate crimes spawned by Trump win: ‘Americans are terrified’

Ryan Trump says victory unite, and Republicans, to work the vow 'hand in hand'

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Sunday said that Donald Trump supporters who bully women and minorities were not welcome in the Republican Party. During an interview on CNN, host Jake Tapper pointed out to Ryan that there had been countless incidents of harassment against minorities and women since Donald Trump won the presidency. “There are… Continue Reading →

U.S. formally accuses Russian hackers of launching political cyber attacks

cómo las empresas pueden tratar con robo de datos de información privilegiada

Several progressive blog sites were hit by Russian DDOS attacks last week. Just a coinky-dink?

By Jonathan Landay and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Friday formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations during the campaign for the Nov. 8 presidential election. U.S. officials have said in the past few months that they believe cyber attacks were orchestrated by hackers backed by… Continue Reading →

Scope of FBI porn sting raises key privacy questions

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It’s not just porn, it’s also some of these faux terrorism arrests of dopes who never would have done a thing without an FBI operative egging him or her on. Lots of legal issues to look at:

On the heels of a sweeping federal sting operation targeting individuals involved with the distribution and possession of child pornography, a growing chorus of attorneys and social watchdogs are raising serious questions about the FBI tactics used as part of its “Operation Pacifier.”

Critics suggest that the strategies, which ultimately proved extremely successful, pose a real threat to internet privacy going forward and in actuality produce greater injustices than the crimes they are designed to stop.

Background of Controversial Sting Operation

In the springtime of 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was entrenched in a significant initiative designed to ferret out cyber criminals suspected of distributing and/or possessing child pornography on the “dark web.”
Continue Reading →

Priorities

Pentagon

When you think of all the things they tell us we can’t afford:

The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. The “forced” adjustments rendered the statements useless because “DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.”

Disclosure of the Army’s manipulation of numbers is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades.

The report affirms a 2013 Reuters series revealing how the Defense Department falsified accounting on a large scale as it scrambled to close its books. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money.

The new report focused on the Army’s General Fund, the bigger of its two main accounts, with assets of $282.6 billion in 2015. The Army lost or didn’t keep required data, and much of the data it had was inaccurate, the IG said.

“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning.

I can’t tell who the good guys are anymore

Kurdish YPG Fighters

But this sounds like an improvement!

Ecstatic Syrian civilians have been shaving off their beards, burning their burqas, smoking and dancing in the streets after being freed from Isis.

The jubilant celebrations were seen in the Syrian city of Manbij on Friday, where militants have been driven out after months of fighting by US-backed rebel groups.

Families ran through rubble-strewn streets, past the ruins of buildings destroyed in air strikes, carrying their babies and belongings.

Men jubilantly had their beards cut off as women ripped off their veils and set them on fire in an act of rebellion after years living under Isis’ brutal interpretation of Sharia law.

One middle aged man broke down in tears of relief and joy, while female fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) shared emotional hugs with civilians.

Christ, I hope it sticks.

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