Everyday Erinyes #107

 Posted by at 10:47 am  Politics
Jan 062018
 

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.”

Some truly terrible things have happened or become public this week, but tough to keep resisting when a story is so awful it sends you to pray at the porcelain altar.  So I won’t go into any detail about the woman in Russia who died this week of internal injuries after surviving for two years in a coma induced by the violent rape.  That may be the kind of incident that makes us feel life would be a lot better if there were more women running things  But let’s not get carried away:  the wrong women in power are just as bad as men, often worse.

For instance, let’s hope God tells Michele Bachman in no uncertain terms NOT to run for the Republican nomination for Senate.  But she is far from the only nut-job-ette out there, I’m sorry to say.  Take Arkansas (please, with apologies to Lenny Bruce).

In Arkansas, a – person – named Jan Morgan has been drumming up support from the right wing – the far right wing – looking toward the May Republican primary for Governor.  Here is how she, according to her website, think the state should keep people safe:

Crime has continued to rise in parts of the state. We must ensure we have the resources to protect the public.  This means prioritizing funding for our prisons, courts, and law enforcement over welfare programs and non-essential functions of government. We cannot fail on keeping our people safe. That is one of the primary purposes of state government.

She also supports gun rights and cutting taxes, and opposes Sharia law.  You can see that in the video at Mother Jones (click through) if you can stand to watch.  One of her objections to the current Republican Governor, Asa Hutchinson, is that he failed to sign a bill which would have outlawed Sharia Law in Arkansas’s court system.  Part of me wishes that he had signed it – if only we had the resources to challenge all the things that Fox Evangelicals want the law to say which are just like Sharia.  But we don’t.  We have bigger things to resist.

Alecto, would it be asking too much of you to monitor all the women candidates for public office and try to weed out the nut jobs?  Not that the male candidate bench isn’t also hip deep in nut jobs, but that really is too big to ask you.

And then there’s Twitter.  It has become a major harassment tool.  Among others, white nationalists and Nazi trolls love to play there.  Twitter has suspended many white nationalists, and decertified leaders of the “alt right,” but there is more work to do.

Yair Rosenberg was, according to the Anti Defamation League, the second most harassed Jesish journalist on Twitter during the 2016 election cycle.  That cycle is over, but the harassment of Rosenberg is not.  He decided to help do something about it.

And so last November, in the wake of Trump’s victory, I decided to turn the tables on them. My target? Impersonator trolls.

You probably haven’t heard of these trolls, but that is precisely why they are so pernicious. These bigots are not content to harass Jews and other minorities on Twitter; they seek to assume their identities and then defame them.

How does an impersonator troll work?  Well, he (or she) creates a new account that like the person they target, get and use the person’s own avatar, and then get into Twitter conversations and say things which – let’s just say the victim would never say – to make the victim look bad.

What would you think if suddenly TomCat started talking like Roy Moore, just to take a far out example?  PRetty scary?  Well, Rosenberg got assistance to create a bot to smoke them out.

Using a crowdsourced database of impersonator accounts, carefully curated by us to avoid any false positives, the bot patrolled Twitter and interjected whenever impostors tried to insinuate themselves into a discussion. Within days, our golem for the digital age had become a runaway success, garnering thousands of followers and numerous press write-ups. Most important, we received countless thank-yous from alerted would-be victims.

The impersonator trolls seethed. Some tried changing their user names to evade the bot (it didn’t work). Others simply reverted to their openly neo-Nazi personas. A few even tried to impersonate the bot, which was vastly preferable from our perspective and rather amusing.”

So guess who got banned?

You got it.  The bot.  The Nazis won.  Why???

This month, Twitter suspended the bot again, and this time refused to revive it. The company’s justifications were both entirely accurate and utterly absurd. “A large number of people have blocked you in response to high volumes of untargeted, unsolicited, or duplicative content or engagements from your account,” we were informed. This was true; Impostor Buster had been blocked by many neo-Nazis. “A large number of spam complaints have been filed against you.” Yes, by neo-Nazis. “You send large numbers of unsolicited replies or mentions.” Yes, to neo-Nazis.

The real threat, apparently, was not these trolls — who today continue to roam the platform unchallenged — but our effort to combat them.

Megaera, maybe you would look into this?

Finally, it is, I fear, time for more news on the 2020 Census and what the current regime is doing to destroy it.

Civil rights advocates have raised alarms because the Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Census to include a question about citizenship in its 2020 national survey. But the way the Trump administration has framed this request also shows it’s poised to make proof of citizenship the latest voter suppression tool.

As many civil rights groups have noted, asking immigrant families to disclose undocumented relatives will push people to evade Census takers or simply lie, causing an undercount and diverting federal funds away from locales with immigrant populations.

I feel pretty confident in saying there has NEVER been a question about citizenship on the Census “short form.”  One of the rights groups contesting this only went back to 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was enacted, to prove there has not been one since then – but I can’t imagine there having been one at ANY time before that.

Alabama already requires citizens to produce paper proof of citizenship when they register to vote in state elections, as do a handful of others.  But Federal voter registration is set up so that “every person who registers must declare they are a citizen and that their signature is a sworn legal oath.”

Republicans are interested in proof of citizenship to vote because they have noticed who is least likely to have it – minorities, the poor, the elderly, married women who changed their name upon marriage.  As many as a third of voting-age women may not have proof of citizenship that reflects their current name.

Speaking as a married woman who uses her married name, I can prove my citizenship, I think.  I cannot do it with a single document.  I have a contemporary copy of my birth certificate (a copy from 1945).  I think I have my first Social Security card in my maiden name – but, if I don’t, it’s on my DD214 with my maiden name.  I have my original marriage certificate, and I have my current Social Security card, showing the same number that was attached to me in my maiden name.  I have no idea whether THIS Department of Justice would accept that collection of documents.  I had a passport once, but I fear it’s been lost – and, in any case, it was in my maiden name too.

The Catch-22 here is that I believe if we VOTE in a new Congress we can win this.  But we need to be able to vote.  It might not hurt for all of us to check our files and be sure we have whatever documents we need in order to satisfy Big Brother.  Now.  Additionally, all our GOTV efforts need to address this issue in the communities they are working in.

Tisiphone, please educate and assist all our campaign staff and all our volunteers to be aware how important this is … including that we may need additional campaign funds to help people get their documents.  It seems to me like a poor use of campaign funds – but it might well turn out to be an extremely good investment.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 HERE.

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Dec 222017
 

As we wind down toward Christmas, the site and Care2 are both getting very slow.  I plan to keep going, so there is something for those that remain. Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten signed the Republican Tax Scam this morning.  See the Cartoon.  TGIF!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:23 (average 5:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Inequality Media Channel): The Big Picture: How We Got Into This Mess, And How Get Out of It

 

The Reich on the left drew it right.  Spread it around!  RESIST!!

From Huffington Post: More than 100 countries defied President Donald Trump on Thursday and voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favor. A total of 128 countries backed the resolution, nine voted against and 35 abstained.

Trump’s threat appeared to have some impact, with more countries abstaining and rejecting the resolution than usually associated with Palestinian-related resolutions.

Nevertheless, Washington found itself isolated on the world stage as many of its Western and Arab allies voted for the measure.

Kudos to all nations that voted against Fuhrer Nincompoop Nazi and for peace. RESIST!!

From Think Progress: During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan Republican Pete Hoekstra earned a reputation for xenophobia and racism, for attempting to capitalize on terrorist attacks to advance his political career,  and for spreadingfalse information. [sic]

Nearly seven years since he vacated his House seat, little has changed. A month ago, Hoekstra was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, on a voice vote, to be Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, his birthplace. Already, he has been caught in multiple lies by a Dutch journalist.

At a 2015 conference hosted by the pro-Islamaphobia David Horowitz Freedom Center, Hoekstra made false claims that some parts of the Netherlands were so dominated by Muslim extremists that non-Muslims could not even safely enter those communities — “no-go zones” — and that these extremists were actually setting fire to politicians. Many Dutch citizens have expressed concern about having a U.S. Ambassador who spread such completely false Islamaphobic conspiracy theories.

Dang! I didn’t know the Republican Reich sent Hoekstra to the Netherlands. Now I understand why Lona is leaving!! RESIST!!

Cartoon:

1222TrumpTurd

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Everyday Erinyes #103

 Posted by at 8:42 am  Politics
Dec 022017
 

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.”

You may remember from last August a small protest in a little place called Charlottesville, VA.  And that a car ran into a group of unarmed peaceful protesters, injuring 19, and killing one – Heather Heyer.  You may even remember that a comment made on Facebook about a news story at the time went viral because it was so ugly.

“Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn’t block roads,” Conrad Lariviere commented on a news story noting “one dead, 19 injured.”

If so, you’ll be happy to know that Officer Lariviere has been fired from the Springfield (MA) Police Department.

“It was determined that Officer Lariviere impaired the operation of the Springfield Police Department or its employees and discredited the department,’ Commissioner [John] Barbieri explained. 

The mayor of Springfield agreed.  “I stand by and agree with Commissioner Barbieri’s decision to fire Officer Conrad Lariviere over his insensitive and uncalled for Facebook remarks,” Mayor Domenic Sarno stated.

But you’ll likely be less happy when you hear that the police union wants him reinstated.  And one City Councilor agrees with the union.  The union statement includes “His point was that such disorderly behavior has serious consequences, and both sides of the dispute bore responsible for the disruptions,” which sounds to me sort of like “His point was that no matter how peaceful you are, if someone doesn’t agree with you, it’s open season on you.”

The City Councilor has a different viewpoint.  His beef is that there is another office on the force who deserves to be fired even more, but hasn’t.  And, actually, he is right.  The problem is, with this other officer, the city’s hands are tied.  The union contract includes what is essentially a 90-day statute of limitations, and this officer’s misdeeds were not discovered within that time period.  So the Department is forbidden by the contract from taking action, other than suspending him for 60 days and demoting him to the records department.

Alecto, what I think is that, when the union contract comes up for renewal (which I hope is soon), the Department needs a tougher and better negotiator.  And smarter.  Better able to foresee contingencies.

Mohammed Suleiman is a six-year-old boy who carries Down syndrome 21.  He is sufficiently developmentally disabled that he is not able to speak.  Yet, a substitute teacher called the police and filed a report that the child is a terrorist, because he kept repeating the words “Allah” and “boom boom boom.”

If you listen to the video on the site, you may also gather the teacher said the child “sexually harassed” her.  Right.

The Police Department is no longer investigating the matter of the report.  I personally would have thought that filing a false police report was a crime and that they ought to be gathering information to charge the teacher, but I do realize that some things are challenging to get legal evidence for.

Child Protective Services are also still investigating  I hope that means they are investigating the teacher, who is obviously so dangerous she should not be around any children ever, and not the child’s family.  But one never knows.

Megaera, if no one is investigating the teacher, maybe you can.  And, if they are, maybe you can help.

There are two other incidents I want to give some attention to without a lot of detail.  The first – which comes with a strong TRIGGER WARNING – is that of the little girl, aged 10 years, who was bullied to the point that she hanged herself.  A few more details are available, but some are also missing.  It happened in Colorado, in Aurora, and her name was Ashawnty Davis and she was adorable.

The second incident – well here’s the title:  Alt-righter insists his ‘Pepe the Frog’ hot sauce isn’t racist — it’s meant to mock people with autism.  And, you know, that’s exactly what he said.

“So it was originally intended to be a chicken-tendie sauce, like, you know, ‘These autistic kids go crazy about chicken tendies.’  So it’s a spicy tendie sauce. But it’s actually a very tasty hot sauce.”

Matt Furie’s attorneys have sent this dude a cease and desist order, which he intends to ignore, because “He never trademarked it.”  No, you jerk, he didn’t need to trademark it, because he HOLDS THE COPYRIGHT.  And he has the books to prove it.  He’s not required to register the copyright in order to hold it (although registering it give one a few additional rights, so he probably did.)

Tisiphone, in between dealing with bullies, I realize it’s going to be somewhere between difficult and impossible to get some sense into this dude.  But maybe you can make him cease and desist.

Late update:  Sarah Sims charges DROPPED.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 HERE.

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Nov 302017
 

The end of November is upon us, and I’m about to get busier than a long-tail TomCat in a rocking chair factory.  Tomorrow, I’ll change the poll.  Then I’ll make all the graphics and collect all the data needed to prepare the Monthly Report for November.  I’ll write the monthly report on Saturday.  I’m a little slow today, because I have a new mouse and keyboard, a Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Combo 2000.  After over five years of very heavy use, keys and buttons on the old one weren’t reliable.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:33 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Jeff Merkley Channel): Climate Disruption Quiz Episode 8

 

I missed #3. It surprises me that Trump missed blocking the report. Oregon leads the way. RESIST!!

From YouTube (CSPAN Channel): Point of Order raised in British House of Commons regarding President Trump’s tweets

 

The tweeting twit that grabs twat has made us an international pariah again! RESIST!!

From NY Times: Gun rights legislation that would allow concealed-carry permit holders from one state to legally carry their guns to any other state passed a key House panel along party lines on Wednesday and appeared to be headed for a vote on the floor of the House.

The measure is the first gun-related legislation to move in Congress since two of the most deadly mass shootings in United States history, in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, and would hand a long-sought victory to gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association.

Representative Richard Hudson, Republican of North Carolina and the bill’s original sponsor, called the measure “a simple, common sense solution” and “one of the most important pro-Second Amendment measures in Congress.”

Democrats on the committee, along with gun control advocates and big city law enforcement officials, put up fierce opposition, warning that the bill would have disastrous effects on public safety in states and cities with more restrictive concealed carry laws. The bill, they said, tramples the rights of states to determine their own laws, but a series of amendments offered by Democrats to halt it failed.

We need to keep fighting this one. Republican Ammosexual maniacs ranging the country with concealed weapons is a huge threats to public safety. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

1130Cartoon

"I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s."

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Oct 152017
 

Here is the one hundredth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Republican Nazi organizer Richard Spencer. He is so honored for his Republican attitudes about women’s rights, his Fuhrer, and Caucasians’ place in society.

1015SpencerWhite Nationalist Richard Spencer’s tiki torch rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, and his distant dream of forming a white ethnostate steal headlines, but his views about women—that their role in politics be shrunk down to a barely visible place that would be unrecognizable to almost anyone in modern America—is seldom highlighted.

I spoke to Spencer this week, and in the context of a discussion about two documents that he admires, the American Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1795, laws that once set out rules for the United States in limiting naturalization to only free white persons of good moral standing, I pointed out that the U.S. was a fundamentally different country at the turn of the 19th century. More specifically, I asked him if he wanted to return to a time in which women weren’t allowed to vote.

"I’m not terribly excited about voting in general," Spencer said. "I think that mass democracy is a bit of a joke to be honest."

I pressed him on the question again.

“I don’t necessarily think that that’s a great thing,” Spencer said of women voting in U.S. elections… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Newsweek>

That ought to be enough to give this Republican a parade all by itself.  However, just in case you forget who this Republican is, here he is celebrating the infestation of the White House by his Fuhrer.  You need to see this no matter how much it makes you cringe!

Barf Bag Alert!!

Do you want this Republican Nazi hate to become standard here?

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Which Republicans?

 Posted by at 12:32 pm  Politics
Oct 092017
 

Since Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten has infested political life there has been a major uptick in demonstrations by Republican white supremacist Nazis and/or Klan.  They have marched all over the USA, screaming hatred and often committing acts of violence.  Now it turns out that it can be hard to tell which Republicans are organizing the demonstrations, American Republicans or Russian Republicans?

1009NaziPutin

Last May, nearly 100 demonstrators gathered around the Islamic Da’wah Center in downtown Houston, squaring off against one another in competing camps.

The “Stop Islamization of Texas” protest was, on its face, largely similar to any number of other tense, vitriolic demonstrations that percolated through 2016. On the one end: a crew carrying Confederate flags, #WhiteLivesMatter banners, and heavy weaponry. On the other: counter-protesters with signs decrying Islamophobia, calling for communal unity, and a bubble machine going at full blast.

Despite the presence of AR-15s [Russian Weapons], the demonstrations ended without violence. The white supremacists screaming “Fascist and proud!” dissipated, as did those supporting the Islamic center.

The organizers behind the anti-Islam protesters, however, never showed. And now, over 16 months later, we know why.

As CNN reported last week, the protest was put together by the “Heart of Texas” Facebook page – a page that was revealed last month as one of the fake accounts operated out of Russia

Inserted from <Think Progress>

When you come right down to it, whether a white supremacist demonstration is organized by American Republicans or Russian Republicans, does it?  After all, it’s the Russian Republicans that control the Party.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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