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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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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#NoDAPL!!!

CELEBRATE! Courage, righteousness and tenacity overcome wealth, greed and cronyism in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. For now.

Federal Judge Orders Halt to Pipeline Operation

Every now and again, the good people win.

On Monday, a federal judge’s order to halt operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) reinforced that belief.

The good people in this case are the members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North and South Dakota, other tribes that joined them in their lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps), and people from around the world who supported them as they fought for their sovereignty and human rights.

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“One Nation, Under…” Duress

In the early morning hours of Independence Day 2020, I’ll be standing there, Old Glory in hand, wondering not which way is up, but how and when up became down.

The Flag & The Union:  Up, Down or Out?

If ever there was a nation in distress, it is the United States of America in 2020.

If ever there was a time when the U.S. flag should be displayed upside down as a signal of that distress, the time is now.

Over the next couple of days, my family and I will need to make two decisions.

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#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd, Fargo-Moorhead

Protest sign: “The system in the United States isn’t broken; it was built this way.” We all need to do more to address racism and stop the killing of our brothers and sisters.

#BlackLivesMatter

IV Words is horrified at what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis – yet another death by cop for a black man in this country.

As a white man, my perspective is obviously limited, but what happens to people of color in the United States every day, and it seems especially to men of color, is shameful, soul-crushing, vile. I cannot imagine the daily feelings, from ever-present unease to terror.

For what it’s worth, I stand with all people of color. And today I stand especially with you for George Floyd.

#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #BLM #BlackLivesMatter

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