Protest 4 Sep 2020

The piece in our local paper on the demonstration is pretty good! It has a lot of Tweets in it with film clips attached and covers it all in a sympathetic manner.

Had an online discussion about the role that racism plays in the police overreactions and excesses we've seen lately. A good piece here takes a lengthy, detailed look at the demand of the "Defund Police" movement, concluding that, while racism is not the reason for police brutality and the wave of white police killing black, unarmed people, it is certainly a major contributing factor.
As many people pointed out, when a white couple "defending" their home that, really, was in no danger at all, gets lionized and held up as positive examples by the President, it's a straight line to a 17-year old boy (who was a serious fan of President Trump's) to get his mother to drive him to a protest across state lines with an illegal Smith & Wesson AR-15 style rifle and to then end up killing a few peaceful protesters. Yes, in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, a spokesperson for the President said: “President Trump has repeatedly and consistently condemned all forms of violence..." but when asked what he thought of Rittenhouse's actions, Trump got all wobbly and equivocal and the headline ended up saying he defended the young murderer.

Police in the background
Police in the background. They did a good job protecting the march.

Allegedly, Wallace Fountain and his wife, Beverly Fountain, were simply concerned about their U-Haul trucks having gas siphoned out of them and so, armed, they lay in wait. A Black man and his 10-year old son drove up and parked. The father began the process of entering all of the necessary data into his phone when the Fountains opened fire on them! It's hard to say whether they were genuinely confused or whether they saw black people and instantly went into a panic of some sort. As the two Black people hadn't even gotten out of the truck, it's kind of a jump in logic to conclude "These must be the thieves." So is this racism or just an over-active imagination? Hard to say.


Trump Administration appears to be engaged in this insane "Trigger the Libs" campaign! They've taken it into their heads that they had to eliminate
...any training on 'critical race theory,' 'white privilege,' or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”
That, of course, pushes back strongly against the liberal view that America must be improved upon, that there is legitimate room for making the US better, fairer and more inclusive.
Another problem that I wasn't aware of until a very short time ago. but has apparently been proposed for a while, was the proposal to shut down the military newspaper Stars and Stripes (Founded 1861). A bipartisan group of senators (11 Democrats and four Republicans) wrote to prevent the shutdown and the House passed a bill to keep it going. The President apparently wanted to shut down a source of independent thought and criticism, but finally reversed course and sent out a tweet suggesting that he fully supports the paper.


The 2020 Democratic Convention went quite well. Democrats decided early on that the convention was going to be all-virtual, so they had plenty of time to arrange it. One of the standout memorable speakers was the former First Lady Michelle Obama. Her segment starts at the 1:47 mark on this video. She makes it very clear that our current President simply isn't up to the job.
One thing I really enjoyed about this virtual convention that I think should be used in future conventions was the roll call at the 1:01 mark. Huge difference between getting clips from every state as opposed to speakers from a stage!


Former President Obama spoke on the third night at the 1:35 mark, speaking with a sense or urgency about the need to replace the President in November. At the 1:54 mark, he turned it over to the Vice-Presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris. Finally, Presidential candidate former Vice-President Joe Biden, spoke at the 1:55 minute mark here.

more signs

A few select passages from Biden's speech:

But while I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn't support me as I will for those who did.
That's the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.
Ahh! what a breath of fresh air! What a contrast to the incumbent!
We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful, and more divided.
A path of shadow and suspicion.
Or we can choose a different path, and together, take this chance to heal, to be reborn, to unite. A path of hope and light.
Hoo yah!

the crowd

And then there was the Republican Convention. It was kind of a mess because it was planned as a live, in-person convention until the last minute. It was grossly, blatantly and straightforwardly illegal because a lot of it was conducted on government property. Obviously, incumbents are going to use the White House for limited polticking purposes, but they're not supposed to use for convention speeches as that's a violation of the Hatch Act. Holding a naturalization ceremony for new citizens and pardoning a felon who had served his time were, if not outright violations of the Act, were acts that

“It may not be a technical, legal violation, but these things look like an abuse of power,” said Nick Schwellenbach, a former communications director at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which enforces the Hatch Act.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, girlfriend of Don Jr,, certainly delivered lots of great visual "Bwah-hah-hah" moments.
The First Lady made her biggest public splash by destroying the Rose Garden, ripping out the beautiful colors and the crabapple trees and replacing them with a dull, pedestrian lawn.

head of march

The Atlantic printed a story about how the President disparaged the troops, calling them "losers" and "suckers." He was in Europe to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood, where 1,800 Marines lost their lives. Trump didn't really care about the battle, nor did he understand why people venerate and look up to those Marines. Numerous journalists confirmed the details of the story, including a reporter from Fox News.
I looked at the President's activities between his acquittal from his impeachment (he wasn't cleared or proven to be innocent) and his declaration that the coronavirus was a serious danger and found he spent most of that time going after "enemies," people who were challenging his hold on power. The wife of the deceased Steve Jobs owns The Atlantic, so Trump sent out a tweet disparaging her. As I've said many times, Trump is a wannabe fascist dictator.

rounding a corner

Good news! Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has been found to have not only pressured employees to contribute to Republican candidates, but reimbursed them via bonuses, both of which are very highly illegal!