The Ghost of Stalin Stalks the White House

Masked men. Insignia-free uniforms. No probable cause. No Miranda. Hoods. Unmarked vans. Undisclosed locations. Welcome to the Soviet Union/United States of America.

Trump Declares War on U.S. Cities

The similarities are too much to ignore. Too dangerous to disregard.

“Officers have been using unmarked vehicles… driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation about why they are being arrested…and driving off.”

“A car, or sometimes a disguised commercial van, would park in the street in front of the building. Several officers… knock on the door.”

(He) “used terms such as ‘enemy of the people.’”

“Police operated unpredictably, arresting people not only in the dark of night but also in the light of day. No matter when or where arrests occurred, special trucks outfitted with tiny prison cells hauled the new prisoners to their tormentors in an interrogation prison.”

“I had my beanie pulled over my face so I couldn’t see and they held my hands over my head… It was basically a process of facing many walls and corners as they patted me down and took my picture and rummaged through my belongings.”

These statements describe the “Great Purge” or “Great Terror” in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union in the 1930s and what is happening in Portland, Oregon today.

The similarities are striking.

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Minnesota Racist Outs Herself in Real Time

It felt good to call out a bigot and see some consequences. But at the same time there was no pleasure in it at all.

Thank you, Jean Horn.

There can be no sympathy for this racist woman.

On July 7 OneFargo held a press conference at Justice Island (a.k.a., Island Park) in Fargo, N.D. KVLY-TV streamed it live.

During the press conference, OneFargo leader Wess Philome addressed several issues OneFargo has been working on related to systemic racism in the Fargo community, as well as alleged harassment of a Black resident by Fargo police officers the previous week. Live comments streamed under the live video.

Screenshot from KVLY-TV live coverage of July 7 OneFargo press conference
Screenshot of KVLY-TV coverage of July 7, 2020 OneFargo press conference.

 

Jean Horn of Thief River Falls, Minn., engaged in the conversation. “No one owes YOU and (sic) kind of explanation you baboon.”

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Reopening Should Not Be Part of School Planning Right Now

What states and school districts are actually developing right now are “Limit Illness and Death” plans. Unacceptable.

The Oxymoronics of “Smart Restarts”

The only plan governors, school administrators or boards in the United States should be developing right now are “Keep Kids Safe” plans.

Period.

Make that the absolute, irrevocable guiding priority, and all the questions being bandied about related to mask wearing, classroom distancing, quarantining in the event of a positive test, liabilities, teacher pay in the event of quarantine and on and on disappear.

How/why?

Because the only responsible, logical, science-based response to “How do we keep kids safe?” when it comes to schools is to keep them out of schools. For now.

What states and school districts are developing now are actually “Limit Illness and Death” plans.

Not acceptable.

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Texas GOP Leaders: “We’ll Be There In Spirit”

Nothing like calling it in to save your own skin.

The Texas GOP cares so much about its voters that it was willing to allow them to gather in ill-advised close proximity for its state convention.

Party leaders, meanwhile, planned to speak to them via teleconference.

Nothing like calling it in to save your own skin.

On July 8, “…the operator of Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center canceled the Texas GOP convention.” Even though the in-person convention has been cancelled (not by the Texas GOP, mind you), its message couldn’t have been more clear – 

“We’re going to let you plebes gather together and infect each other with a deadly virus. We’ll give our speeches from afar to protect ourselves. Sound good?”

Or, to put it more bluntly – “We don’t care if some of you get sick and others die.”

The most frightening thing about that is not that the GOP leadership is willing to endanger its own people, but that so many of those people would have participated anyway.

Good grief.

 

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Proactive Naming: Let’s Not Call It “Coronavirus” or “Covid-19” Anymore

A new naming paradigm – Perhaps if we call it something closer to the heart… er, um, hips… people will take the pandemic more seriously.

An insightful individual recently suggested on social media that rather than “PANDEMIC,” we should call what we’re going through a “PLAGUE.”

Maybe then, they reasoned, people would take coronavirus and Covid-19 more seriously. Maybe they’d even adhere to physical distancing guidelines and wear masks in public.

I agree.

To a point. 

Given the resistance to common sense, disregard for their fellow human beings and insistence on “FreeDumb,” I recommend our new naming paradigm be even more direct, if a tiny bit misleading.

Henceforth and forever, coronavirus and Covid-19 shall be called:

The “Mask-Up-or-Your-Dick-Will-Shrink
-to-the-Size-of-a-Wine-Cork” Virus

The “Wear-a-Mask-or-You’ll-Wake-Up-With
-20-Extra-Pounds-of-Thigh-Cellulite” Disease

On the other head, given the fact that these folks aren’t smart enough to believe scientists or take the easiest of precautions to protect themselves and others from death….

Never mind.

P.S. – You have the right to smack me upside the head if I ever write or utter the word “paradigm” again, about coronavirus, Covid-19 or anything else.

 

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Censorship: Careful What We Wish For

Donald Trump is a vile human being who needs to be called on his lies, but the path of censorship is seldom traveled without consequence.

Donald Trump is a liar. He’s also a U.S. citizen.

I cheered when I first learned Twitter called Donald Trump on misleading Tweets about mail-in voting. About time, I thought.

The man cannot open his mouth or move his fingers without lying, it seems, and people believe the untruths he scatters around like so much shot out of a shell. Say it over and over and over enough times and people will believe it – that seems to be Trump’s strategy for just about everything.

It’s worked well for him so far. Look at how many people he got to vote for him in 2016, people who now are willing to defend him with their lives, literally, by going out in the midst of a plague with no thought of protecting themselves or others from infection. No social distancing. No masks. Nothing but guns and flags, U.S. and Confederate.

So, yeah, I was glad to see Trump’s favorite social media platform rein him in a bit. Finally.

But then, by the next morning, I was thinking about 1984.

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