Joanne Dixon

Everyday Erinyes #67

 Posted by at 10:18 am  Politics
Mar 252017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

I assume everyone has heard of the white supremacist who took a bus to New York City for the express purpose of killing one or more black men, and who did in fact kill one, Timothy Caughman, by stabbing, in the "Hell's Kitchen" neighborhood, with a short sword.  The white supremacist then apparently turned himself in, asking to be arrested lest he kill again.  In a nation where we are still arguing about whether Michael Brown deserved to die (spoiler: he didn't.  At least, not if you are an actual human being with a grain of empathy), it probably will not be a surprise that the reporting of this incident in the MSM left something to be desired.

FAIR.org (the acronym stands for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) addresses that poor reporting in the linked article.  OK, I grant you it's easy to pick on the New York Daily News – for one thing, it has "a history of smearing black suspects simply on the say-so of the NYPD."  But, even so, Mr. Caughman was not a suspect; he was the VICTIM, for heaven's sake.  What does ANY prior record have to do with the story?  He was not stabbed to death because of his record; he was stabbed to death because he was black.  The stabber said so.

Coughman [sic] lived in transitional housing on West 36th Street that serves people with HIV/AIDS. Praxis Housing Initiatives holds a contract with the city. He has 11 prior arrests, including for marijuana, assault, resisting arrest and menacing. 

Just for the records, the "transitional housing" is transitional NOW, but Caughman had lived there for twenty years.  That's hardly "transitional."  And, of course, anywhere between one and eleven of the eleven prior arrests could easily have been in reality for walking whie black or breathing while black.  No attempt seems to have been made to determine whether any arrests led to charges, let alone (gasp!) conviction.

As bad as the News reporting is, the New York Post managed to go one better, turning "eleven prior arrests" into "careeer criminal."

Katie Halper, writing for Raw Story, took the trouble to look up Caughman's Twitter account.  Yes, he has one.  Yes, he supported himself by gathering and redeeming bottles and cans, but he was literate, and perceptive, by his tweets.  He loved America.  He loved the Obamas.  He – well, he didn't exactly love Donald John Trump.  He tweeted about art, and about BLack History Month.  You can go to the link to read these tweets, or, if you are on Twitter, his name there is @timrock715.  Was @timrock715.  The stream is so vibrant, I forgot for a second.  Megaera, I think grudgingness is going on here.  If that's a word.  I'm sure you understand.

I'm sure everyone also remembers the Saffron Stalin's second attempt at a Muslim Ban, which was issued on Ash Wednesday, and blocked the same day, just before it actually went into effect, by U. S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii.  Is is a surprise that this patriot and national hero is receiving death threats?  Surely not.  The size of the threat, measured by the response to it, may, however lift an eyebrow or two. 

The U. S. Marshals Service "will do a critical risk assessment, look at the threat, make an analysis, and determine the level of protection needed," they say.  In this case, the level of protection needed is about a dozen deputies to provide 24/7 protection.

Unrelated really, but it's interesting that the journalist reporting this on Daily Kos is Walter Einenkel, whose own life was threatened (to the point of him having to be hospitalized for, I believe it was a week.)  Niemöller's quote still rings true, doesn't it?  We are all at risk.  Tisiphone, please help protect Judge Watson.  He is desperately needed.

Now, THIS is a surprise, although maybe it shouldn't be, given what we all know about Seven Mountains Dominionism, and other mock-Christian forms of Shari'a Law.

You can call it a God Squad.

An Alabama megachurch is seeking to establish its own police department — and a bill that would green light the force is already moving through the state senate. 

Because Sandy Hook.

Seriously.

It's only a false flag when they can't find some way to profit from it.

The legislation has a powerful sponsor — Senate Majority Leader J.T. "Jabo" Waggoner, who represents the area and is one of the longest-serving members of the Alabama Legislature.

The ACLU of Alabama is urging Waggoner and other lawmakers to vote no to the Briarwood police force — and no to another bill called The Alabama Church Protection Act that would enable to churches to tap gun-toting congregants for security and provide them with legal protections if they shoot anybody.

The ACLU realizes that this legislation would be unconstitutional

Sgt. Jack Self of the Sheriff's Department of Jefferson County (one of the two County Sheriff's Departments already responsible for policing the church campus) says he's never before heard of a church having its own police force, except maybe the Vatican.  But, Alecto, I think this is one to stop BEFORE it gets started and becomes unceasing.

In parting, I just want to quickly mention that anyone who is hoping for the Mango Mussolini's connections to Russia, or to organized crime, or any kind of perversion, extortion, rape, murder, pillaging you can think of, will bring him down, you may want to rethink that, if only for the sake of your own blood pressure.  The linked article's chart in particular probably deserves more than a brief mention, but the Furies are busy enough for one week.  We'll need to digest it ourselves.   (Or not.  Got your barf bags handy?)

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4044209

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Everyday Erinyes #66

 Posted by at 2:15 pm  Politics
Mar 182017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

One of the detainees released from Guantánamo by President Obama before leaving office was Abdul Zahir.  It's not clear how long he was held after the government conceded that he was not the man they had intended to arrest, another Abdul (not Zahir) who shared a nickname ("Abdul Bari") with him.  This is as if white supremacist terrorists had bombed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), not on account of public lands, but because they were under the impression that it was Black Lives Matter (BLM).

I don't want to go into everything that Zahir suffered while in Guantánamo, though it would make a column by itself – possibly two.  Rather, I want to emphasize, with the author of the linked column, that release after fourteen years of being unlawfully detained (and tortured) may be a step in the right direction – but it does not by any means constitute justice.

Moving on could be difficult for Zahir. Many former Guantánamo and CIA black site detainees continue to face mental health problems even after being released, such as depression and post-traumatic stress. That makes it difficult for them to readjust into normal society. This means true justice for Guantánamo detainees entails more than just releasing them to another country. It also must include redress for the torture inflicted upon them and the physical, mental and emotional problems resulting from that abuse.

However, true justice does not currently seem within reach for current and former Guantánamo detainees. There arecurrently 41 detainees in Guantánamo, including 26 held in indefinite detention — people whom the government does not have enough untainted evidence to prosecute but claims are too dangerous to release.

I think that the details of Abdul Zahir's suffering (though I didn't share them), as well as the sufferings of those still detained (though I don't have those details) make this a case for you, Tisiphone.  I should note also that the photo here shows protestors, NOT actual current or former detainees.

Next, I'd like to share a story from California (but which I'm sure has its counterparts all over the US and likely the world). 

In what is commonly called “pay-to-stay” or “private jail,” a constellation of small city jails — at least 26 of them in Los Angeles and Orange counties — open their doors to defendants who can afford the option. But what started out as an antidote to overcrowding has evolved into a two-tiered justice system that allows people convicted of serious crimes to buy their way into safer and more comfortable jail stays.

An analysis by the Marshall Project and the Los Angeles Times of the more than 3,500 people who served time in Southern California’s pay-to-stay programs from 2011 through 2015 found more than 160 participants who had been convicted of serious crimes including assault, robbery, domestic violence, battery, sexual assault, sexual abuse of children and possession of child pornography.

California law allows someone convicted of a misdemeanor to serve his/her time in the county jail of the county in which convicted, with judicial discretion.  But judges are allowing the privilege to felons, and extending it past county lines, neither of which is an option specified in the law.  Perhaps what shocked me most in this story, though, is that there are cities with jails which actually ADVERTISE their services on their websites"The Pay to Stay Program assists persons interested in serving their commitments over a series of weekends, who need a program that permits them to attend work daily or who are simply searching for a less intimidating environment.  Options such as these provide the opportunity to preserve career standing, maintain family support obligations and the ability to serve a commitment in safety and with dignity."

Some people are saying, like John Eum, a detective with the LAPD, that "The whole criminal justice system is becoming more and more about: How much money do you have? Can you afford better attorneys? Can you afford to pay for a nicer place to stay?”  Others, like be, believe that this has always been the system, but it is certainly coming more and more out into the open.  Alecto, is there anything you can do?

With 65 prior Erinyes columns under my belt, plus one special edition, you may wonder just what it would take to render me speechless.  Well, wonder no more.  It is not a huge atrocity with blood and guts and explosions.  It it just so darned petty that I can't find words for it.

A ban on crayons. That’s what it came to at the visitors’ center at the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas, one of three immigration detention centers that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) currently uses to house mothers and children who’ve been stopped seeking asylum in the United States. Six volunteer lawyers who work with detained families wrote a letter to ICE explaining why they liked to bring crayons when they met with clients: “Having children color and draw provides a distraction for children while their mothers relate incidents of trauma, violence and abuse. Other children sit outside the interview rooms and draw at the tables, so they are not forced to listen to their mothers’ harrowing narratives nor witness their mothers’ fragile emotional states during these interviews.” But ICE determined some of the children were doing “damage” to tables and walls in the visitors’ center while coloring. The crayon ban was just another blow to children already essentially being housed as prisoners by the federal government. The latest memos from the Department of Homeland Security outlining plans for enforcing the executive orders on immigration issued by President Donald Trump mean the numbers of children and mothers being detained this way (in America) will only swell.

A. ban. on. crayons.

My. God.

Megaera, could this possibly be the definition of "grudging"?

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4042940

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Everyday Erinyes #65

 Posted by at 8:05 am  Politics
Mar 112017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are always many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

I am going to simplify things for the Furies this week, because, expected to come up next week, there will begin the confirmation hearings for the position in the Trump administration which has the greatest potential to do the longest lasting harm to the American people.  More harm, and longer lasting than Scott Pruitt?  I hear someone ask.  Yes.  I am talking about Neil Gorsuch, the Resident's nominee to the Supreme Court.

Paul Gordon, for People for the American Way, has prepared a report on Judge Gorsuch.  It's called "Real People, Real Lives: The Harm Caused by Judge Gorsuch."  Now, I am sure that even a President who is himself a Constitutional lawyer will ask for recommendations when there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court to fill.  That isn't a problem.  This is a problem:

When Donald Trump was running for president, he outsourced his future selection of potential Supreme Court nominees to two right wing organizations, the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. They provided him a list of 21 people who were acceptable to them, Trump promised to select a nominee from the list they gave him, and they and their right wing colleagues agreed to support him. Neil Gorsuch was nominated as the product of this political arrangement.

Mr. Gordon, after this introduction, sets forth twelve cases actually decided by Judge Gorsuch during his tenure as a judge, and then ends with a conclusion.  Here is his Table of Contents:

 1 No Understanding of Sexual Harassment in the Real World
 2 Medical Device Maker Pushes Misuse of Product
 3 Gorsuch and Children with Autism
 4 No Leave Extension for Leukemia Patient
 5 Excessive Force
 6 Worker Dies Due to Inadequate Training
 7 Die or Be Fired
 8 Defer to the Governor, Facts Notwithstanding
 9 No Understanding of Another’s Perspective
10 Sex Discrimination
11 The Most Vulnerable
12 The Sixth Amendment: Undermining the Right to Counsel
13 Conclusion

That makes it sound like the report is practically a book.  It isn't really.  If you printed the whole thing out as a PDF, it would be 26 pages, or roughly 2 pages per case discussed.  In 16 point type (you're used to seeing 12 point), with the chapter headings in 28 point, with a lot of space between them and the text before and after.  So it's practically a walk in the park to read through (except for the ourageous results, which are hard on the blood pressure.)  But I'll provide here a little information about a few of the cases whose nature is not obvious from the title.

In Chapter 5, for instance, titled "Excessive Force," the force in question was a taser aimed from about 10 feet away at the victim, who died of it.  His bereaved parents brought suit against the City.  Judge Gorsuch dismissed the case.  made sure it did not even get to trial.

In Chapter 7, "Die or Be Fired," a trucker was hauling cargo in subzero weather, and his brakes froze.  He stopped and reported the problem to the company, then waited for a repair person.  Who did not show (may never have shown – it's not exactly clear who did come to do the repair.)  The heater in his cab was not working, and, remember, this is subzero weather.  After a couple of hours, he was numb and his speech was slurred.  He called the company twice more, the second time to notify the company he was going to unhitch the cab and drive for help and return (already an iffy plan with the shape he was in.) The company told him not to leave the cargo (in the trailer with the frozen brakes.  Right.) 

He drove for help anyway, and returned within about FIFTEEN MINUTES with assistance.  A week later, he was fired.  For abandoning his cargo.

Fortunately this case did not end tragically, since the Labor Department found for him, and it was upheld upon Administrative Review in the Tenth Circuit.  With Judge Gorsuch dissenting.  The law, he said, protects a driver who refuses to drive an unsafe vehicle.  It doesn't protect a driver who drives in a way he was instructed not to.
 
In Chapter 11, "The Most Vulnerable" applies to children with disabilities (and by extension to their guardians.)  The case hinged on the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) requirement that before going to court, a claimant must have exhausted all IDEA administrative remedies.  Simply put (and probably from a legal standpoint inaccurately), Judge Gorsuch's position was that if you get a school district to the point of agreeeing that your child has a disability (but won't do anything about it), you will never be able to exhaust administrative remedies, because you will have "settled."  Gordon quotes another judge who explains how – um – against Congressional intent that is.

Dear Furies, I am not going to ask you to go after Judge Gorsuch.  He ia a lost cause.  No, instead I would like for Alecto to concentrate on all of the Democratic Senators and help them stiffen their backbones to filibuster and do whatever they can to prevent this confirmation.  You can (and probably should) share this report with them and encourage them to ask hard questions in the hearings based on the stupidest of the decisions.  Megaera and Tisiphone, I'd like for you to concentrate on the Republican Senators.  If we can keep the Democratic Senators firm (I know, that's a big if – maybe Tisiphone should pick up Manchin), it will only take two Republicans to deny him confirmation.

Gorsuch is only 49.  That is quite young for a Supreme Court Justice.  He could be there for as much as forty years.  I find that unthinkable.  Ladies, best of luck.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4041623

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Mar 042017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  I try to present incidents from the news which call for outrage, in order to help with keeping it alive.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

But I am giving the Furies a week off – at least from me.  In "The Resistance #40" (in TomCat's Open Thread for March 1  and also on the YouTube GQ channel), Keith covered exactly the kind of atrocities I try to cover, covered more of them than I would have room for, and covered them in a fiery icicle-dripping tone (oxymoron, yes, but I stand by it) that I can't begin to match in print.  So I am sending the ladies over to him to follow up on those incidents, while I indulge some of my passion for art.

Now, of course, we all know there are two kinds of Christians, real ones and fake ones.  And probably some of us know there is another way to divide Christians where both divisions contain both realies and fakies, and that is liturgical or non-liturgical.  "Liturgy" comes from the Greek words for "people" and "work," though today we think of it mostly as doing church services with the same words every time, or verbal ritual.  Probably the Catholic Church is the most liturgical on the western side (as opposed to the orthodox denominations), keeping its verbal ceremonies in obsolete languages long after they are obsolete, and keeping them always the same.  But it's not just verbally that Catholics are liturgical.  We like movements (ever been to a Catholic service and wonder whether you had accidentally read "catholic" when it was really "calisthenic"?) and we like objects.  In that way, a new ager focusing energy through a crystal or a wiccan focusing on a tarot symbol is also being liturgical.

During Lent (which started Wednesday), one liturgical exercise that a Catholic (or anyone who wants to) can do is called The Way of the Cross (or the Stations of the Cross or the Via Crucis, or the Via Dolorosa).  You will see around most Catholic churches a series of picture, fourteen in number, often seven up one side and seven down the other, showing incidents which happened before, during and after the Crucifixion.  It's the same 14 incidents everywhere, at least since about 1588, and there are some prayers that are traditional, but the idea is that you can go round them and contemplate each one, and so do a mini-pilgrimage.

Sometines they will be outdoors (there is a remarkable outdoor set in Colorado's San Luis Valley), and it is an outdoor one that made me want to share this today.

Coexist House at this point is a vision for a new ecumenical landmark in London, England.  But they have coordinated with people and institutions in Washington, DC, to "build" a (mostly) outdoor Stations of the Cross from existing art.

This unique exhibition—held in 14 locations across Washington, D.C. —  will use works of art to tell the story of the Passion in a new way, for people of different faiths. The Stations weave through religious as well as secular spaces.  In this pilgrimage for art lovers, viewers  will travel across the District, from the United Methodist Building adjacent to the Supreme Court, to the National Cathedral.  Instead of easy answers, the Stations aim to provoke the passions: artistically, spiritually, and politically. 

I won't show an illustration of every station, but the fourteen works selected for this different incidents are:

Station One
​Jesus is condemned to death by the mob
The United Methodist Building
Ndume Olatushani 'Disrupting the Cradle to Prison Pipeline ' 2017

Station ​Two
Jesus takes up his cross and begins his journey
West Potomac Park
Lei Yixin, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, 2011

Station ​Three
Jesus falls the first time
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
George Segal, Depression Bread Line, 1991 and Leonard Baskin, The Funeral Cortege, 1997

Station ​Four
Jesus meets his mother
Vietnam Women's Memorial
Glenna Goodacre, 1993

Station ​Five
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
Marine Corp War Memorial – Iwo Jima
Felix de Weldon, 1954

Station Seven
Jesus falls for the second time
National Gallery of Art
Barnett Newman, Stations of the Cross: Lema Sabachthani, 1958-1965

Station ​Eight
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
First Congregational United Church of Christ
Leni Diner Dothan, Dead End, 2017

Station ​Nine
Jesus falls the third time.
Church of the Epiphany
Michael Takeo Magruder, Lamentation for the Forsaken, 2016

Station ​Ten
Jesus is stripped of his garments
Catholic Charities
Timothy Schmalz, Homeless Jesus, 2013

Station ​Eleven
Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart at Georgetown University
Altar Cross, 17th century

Station ​Twelve
Jesus dies on the cross
American University Museum
Fernando Botero, Abu Ghraib 73, 2005

Station ​Thirteen
Jesus is taken down from the cross
St. Sophia Orthodox Cathedral
Epitaphios

Station ​Fourteen
Jesus is laid in the tomb
Washington National Cathedral
Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea

Some of these choices, I think, are obvious, but most are anything but, and some are so striking they just grab the imagination and won't let go.  Here is a link to the page which provides a small picture of each, explains the rationale for each choice, and gives the hours, a map, and a short podcast for each.  Everything you'd need to know.  For those here who are not Christian or not liturgical, hopefully you can still appreciate the art, and perhaps the inspiration the art is intended to evoke.  I am not trying to proselytize, but to share.

Let me end with an image of the face of Jesus which I have found to be extremely moving; I have often tried to describe it (usually eliciting responses like "yeah, yeah, whatever."  I don't think it can be described; I think it has to be seen).  As far as I know, the only place it can be seen is in a book by Frederick Buechner called The Faces of Jesus, which contains over 150 photographs, all but about a dozen of which were taken by Lee Boltin, who holds the copyright.  I think showing one out of about 140 (with full credit) constitutes fair use here.  Beyond here, maybe not so much; if you want to share it beyond here, I'd appreciate you having your friends come here to see it.   The original, by an unknown sculptor, is in a private collection.  The book is still in print in paperback, about 3/4 of the size of my hardcover.  The images range in time from about the 6th century to yesterday, in space from all over the world, in artistic ability from children's refrigerator art to great masters, in medium from bronze through stone, wood, tapestry, and paper, to almost anything you can think of, including one sliding steel door.  I hope that at least some others here will appreciate seeing this one.

The Furies and I will be back.

 

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4040239

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Everyday Erinyes #64

 Posted by at 9:34 am  Politics
Feb 252017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

With Keith, and Sam, and John Oliver keeping us up on many if not most of the more far-reaching things that are going on, and also the administration of Schmuck à l'Orange deliberately switching gears and moving as fast as possible in order to keep us as confused as possible, I am trying to find things which may have gone unnoticed, but which are still telling.

Perhaps my favorite for the week is the story of the Texas State Senator who was holding a hearing on three anti-abortion bills.  A NARAL intern was giving pro-choice testimony and went a couple of seconds over the allotted two minutes, saying

 …stop playing with women’s health care as if it’s your own political puppet… 

when the Senator brought down his gavel so hard he shattered a glass-topped table.

A few minutes later,

[Senator Charles] Schwertner allowed the president of the anti-abortion Texas Alliance for Life lobby group to extend his testimony, including a quote attributed to Catholic saint and scholar Thomas More, for the same length of time as Hennessy’s, without an interruption. Schwertner is the chair of the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee…. Schwertner’s aggressive gaveling appeared to be limited to Hennessy’s testimony. When others' statements went over time, the senator instead warned them by repeatedly thanking them for their testimony. 

Obviously channeling Mitch McConnell.

To her credit, the intern, Maggie Hennessy (FINALLY someone with an Irish name who is on the correct side), was not discouraged.  Megaera, I hope you can arrange it so that the Senator IS discouraged.

While I was researching in Cosmopolitan (I hear Teen Vogue also has grest political news, better than the New York Times – not that that is such a high bar), I found this:

The plan is for large numbers to join in casting a spell on the Pussygrabber-in-Chief every night of a waning crescent moon "until he's driven from office."

The spell was publicized by Michael M. Hughes, who (whether alone or with assistance I'm not sure) "tweaked" it from multiple spells he saw going around private witchcraft groups.  He then published it on the internet, and it quickly spread with events being formed around the country.

    Hughes explained that he chose a binding spell because "we're not wishing harm on anyone, we're just trying to stop the harm they're doing. It's not the equivalent of punching a Nazi in the face, it's the equivalent of tying him up and taking his bullhorn away."

The ritual itself is pretty standard magic working, binding Trump from doing harm to others and to himself, rather than asking any forces to do harm to him. There are objects to represent the elements and to represent Trump himself. The tarot card of the Tower represents ambitions built on lies, which are struck down by a lightning flash of truth. For those who believe in witchcraft, it looks to be an effective spell. 

If anyone here is a Wiccan or has friends who are, they are most welcome to engage, and, in fact, everyone is welcome, whether Wiccan or not, even complete skeptics.  Yes, I know the introductory ritual was last night, but the last I looked, it takes the moon at least a week to wane.  It's worth checking the almanac.  Alecto, maybe you can give them a hand, help them focus, send them strength.

Of course deportations are a thing this week.  I could probably write all week on it and not run out of material.  But instead, I'd like to share a couple of stories from people who have not been deported, but are terrified they will be.  They are farm workers, continuing to go to work and do their jobs (and incidentally paying their taxes).

The United Farm Workers, who shared the stories, already assigned them false names, but I just have a whim to use "Jane Doe" and "Richard Roe," only in Spanish.

So.  Ricardo Corzo lives and works in the area around Fresno, CA.  The story he tells happened on February 8 (and things have gotten worse since.)

At an intersection that many farm workers pass while going to work ICE pulled over our van. One of the farm workers in my van was handcuffed and it looked like they were going to take him and some other farm workers in, but then the agents got an emergency call of some type and they were let go. I had read the Know Your Rights card that the UFW gave myself and other workers but in the heat of the moment we were just paralyzed to even remember anything. This is why I appreciate the upcoming know your rights meetings the UFW is holding that will give us the opportunity to role play how to respond and prepare us.

The "know your rights meetings" the UFW is holding include role playing, since, as "Ricardo" points out, in the heat of the moment one gets paralyzed.  The web page is requesting donations to support such meetings, but it's not a requirement, and I think it's important for us to know these stories.  Even people with empathy don't always have the imagination to predict what bullies will come up with to scare vulnerable people.

Juana Gama lives and works in Ventura County.  She feels people are being targeted by the color of their skin.

I have heard about the immigration raids in my community. Everyone is afraid they will be next. I am very thankful that the United Farm Workers organizes “Know Your Rights” information sessions. The information is very helpful, but we are very nervous.

Recently I began to receive mail at my house addressed to a strange name. I write “return to sender” and “does not live here”, but the letters have continued. Soon after I began to hear loud knocks on my front door from police officers asking for the same name on the letters. Since Donald Trump announced his expanded deportation orders, I have been afraid to answer the door when the police have come. They have come often enough that my neighbors have noticed and they are also worried. We are working hard trying to earn a living, feed our families, feed this great nation. It’s not right. We can’t let hate divide us. That’s not our America. I hope you can help us.

I found that chilling.  And I was born in the USA and am blonde.  The little fact of Law Enforcement being at the wrong place has been proven not to prevent the occupants of a home from getting killed.

Oh, yeah – the picture is of one of the PRIVATE "detention facilities" doing ICE's dirty work of "holding" people (in at least one case, "holding" a young mother with a brain tumor.)  Tisiphone, please see what you can do.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4038937

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Everyday Erinyes #63

 Posted by at 7:16 am  Politics
Feb 182017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction.

So – which one of you ladies is in charge of devious?  Megaera possibly.  Well, Megaers, we have a real doozy of devious right here.

Trump is caught between two camps. His supporters count the end of deportation protections as a key component of his promise to strengthen immigration enforcement. In campaign speeches, Trump repeatedly promised to end the program on “day one” of his presidency and called the protections “unconstitutional executive amnesty.”

On the other side…. Some Republican strategists are concerned that suspending DACA could energize Latino voters and liberal activists in key congressional districts during the midterm elections next year.

But senior Trump aides … have examined at least two options that would not directly involve Trump, according to two immigration policy advisors to the White House: a lawsuit brought by states, and new legal guidance that details who is a priority for deportation.

$!@#%&*)(+.  (That's my personal opinion.  Condensed.)

The "legal guidance" mentioned above would be from none other than Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.  It would be what you would expect.  As for the states, yes, there are plenty which would gleefully join in a lawsuit suchas is proposed.  However there are also some which would willingly file as amici curiae on the right side.

Faithful America does have a petition which is pertinent.

If you read TomCat's open thread yessterday, and watched/listened to Keith, you know some of the crap ICE is already doing (and there is more in last week's Erinyes.)  This, however, kind of frosted me –

Diagnosed with PTSD …served two tours in Afghanistan and pleaded guilty for cocaine conviction and is a resident and VETERAN… Perez may likely get deported.

Judge reviewing the case and Tammy Duckworth has written a letter on his behalf. 

Daily Kos user "Vetwife" has this to say –

I do not condone this veteran’s activity but he fought for America and was willing to take a bullet.   Now America or a so called America cannot say, “ We owe you a place here with your family”? 

And I must say I agree.  Tisiphone, maybe you can look into this whole topic?

You may or may not know that a lot of veterans who were non-citizens mistakenly thought that their oath to protect the nation made them a citizen.  That has never been true, although a lot of us think it ought to be, and ought always to have been.  In theory, I guess, it should be pert of a recruiter's duty to make that clear.  In practice, many recruiters believe their duty is to sign up their quota.

Frankly, too, there is so much going on that it is difficult to stay even marginally focused.  If you read over TomCat's posts for the last few days, you already know that ICE has gone nutters.  If you read or see any news, you know that Thursday was to be a "Day without Immigrants" to make a point – amy you probably also know that one pink slip today (not sure whether there was an actual pink slip or if they were just told) read:  "You and your family are fired.  Love you."

How much of the immigration brou-ha-ha is to distract us from the Pumpkin Psychopath and his – "handling" – of classified information, ya think?  Two tidbits have managed to achieve a little notice, not from prior Russian influence, but simply happening now.  The first is that he has intelligence so worried what he might do with information that they are simply not giving it to him.  I don't mean the truncated briefings that Mother Jones has brought up – I mean they are deliberately withholding things.

And his sheer carelessness with classified information is now way beyond the wunsecured-obsolete-smartphone stage.  Last week he left a key to classified information in plain sight on his desk while meeting with the CEO of Intel.  AND REPORTERS.

Then there was the debacle at Mar-a-Lago where he was transacting classified business, in person and on the phone, clearly audible – with whatever member of the club just happened to feel like coming over.  One of them thought it would be fun to have his picture taken with the nuclear football – so he did – and posted it on Facebook!  (It was nice of the UK Independent to scramble the face – but anyone can go to google and find it with the face intact; you don't have to be on Facebook.)

Alecto, since this is happening constantly, perhaps you can step in?

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4037577

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