Nurturing Hate.

Christian Picciolini, founder of the group Life After Hate, is pictured. | AP Photo.

If there is one thing the Regime is good at, it’s nurturing hate, encouraging bigotry, and fomenting unreasonable fear. Life After Hate is a small organization dedicated to de-radicalizing those in violent, extremist groups. They have lost their funding, because the Tiny Tyrant & Co. don’t believe in domestic terrorism.

The Trump administration has dropped federal support of an organization dedicated to countering white nationalist and neo-Nazi extremism, a Politico report revealed on Friday.

The organization, Life After Hate, was founded in 2009 and is run by a small staff of men and women who were once part of racist activist and extremist movements, and who now work to de-radicalize others involved in violent extremist groups.

In its final days, the Obama administration awarded the group a $400,000 grant as part of its Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) program. Life After Hate was the only group dedicated to fighting white nationalist extremism to receive a grant under the program.

It’s also in increasing demand: Picciolini told Politico that since President Trump’s election, Life After Hate has seen a 20-fold increase in requests for help, coming “from people looking to disengage or bystanders/family members looking for help from someone they know.”

But Life After Hate Founder Christian Picciolini told ThinkProgress in February the group never received its check from the federal government. And now, the organization has been dropped altogether from the list of grants associated with the CVE program, which the Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday.

[…]

“It sends a message that white extremism does not exist, or is not a priority in our country, when in fact it is a statistically larger and more present terror threat than any by foreign or other domestic actors,” Picciolini said at the time.

[…]

“We can simply look at recent history, from Dylann Roof to Wade Michael Page to countless others who killed innocent victims in the name of white supremacist ideologies,” Picciolini added. “We have hundreds of thousands of homegrown sovereign citizens and militia members with ties to white nationalism training in paramilitary camps across the U.S. and standing armed in front of mosques to intimidate marginalized Americans. The terror threat is already within our borders, yet we refuse to even call it terrorism when it happens.”

Picciolini told ThinkProgress that the Trump administration’s decision to shift away from efforts to combat far-right hate could actually make future terrorist attacks more likely. And, the shift comes at the very moment that reports indicate far-right hate is on the rise.

Think Progress has the full story. Life After Hate.

White Privilege Gets Arrested.

Motorcyclist arrested at Trumpcare protest (Facebook).

A member of the “White Privilege Club” social media group was arrested for attempting to run over Trumpcare protesters in San Francisco with his motorcycle.

The motorcyclist drove at high speed directly at a group of demonstrators staging a “die-in” Wednesday afternoon to protest the Republican health care reform bill, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Some of the protesters were lying down, blocking Seventh Street near Mission Street for about seven minutes, when the man turned the wrong direction down a one-way street and drove directly toward them.

“He was revving and revving, he was gunning it, aiming at people who were laying down,” said witness Tracey Brieger, of Emeryville.

Demonstrators rolled out of the way, and the motorcyclist turned around and drove back toward them from the opposite direction.

“If you want to go to the hospital, here you go,” he yelled, according to witnesses. “You will have health care if you people stop protesting.”

The motorcyclist was quickly surrounded by police, who pointed weapons at him and ordered him off the motorcycle.

“You guys were blocking the intersection and now you’re not — see how that works?” the man said after he was detained, according to witnesses.

No fucking comment.

Full story here.

Not A Threat, No.

Brandon Russell — Fox13 screengrab.

A federal judge in Florida has granted bail to a self-professed neo-Nazi who was taken into custody last month by police who discovered bomb-making materials, weapons and ammo in the his Tampa apartment, reports Fox 13.

Federal Judge Thomas McCoun granted bond for 21-year-old Brandon Russell on Friday, stating there was no clear and convincing evidence “the defendant represents a threat to any person or community.”

According to the police who took Russell into custody, they discovered the weapons and materials used for making bombs in Russell’s garage and that he had a framed picture of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on his dresser. Police also state they discovered Nazi and white supremacist literature on Russell’s computer.

Investigators report that Russell, a member of the Florida National Guard, admitted that he is a Nazi sympathizer and that he previously had created explosives.

[…]

Arthurs fingered Russell, saying he posted on white supremacist websites that he planned to blow up buildings and kill people.

Russell is charged with creating explosive devices and was released over the objection of prosecutors.

Jesus Fuck. I, uh, sputters. I just don’t have words. Apparently, domestic terrorists have gone from “not worth paying attention to” to “just fine and dandy!” Probably said he was a christian or something.

Via Raw Story.

Sunday Facepalm.

Yesterday, I posted about The Tiny Evangelical Tyrant, and that’s a serious problem.  Today, we visit some of the Religious Reich who fervently back the Tiny Tyrant. It is so very easy to roll the eyes over what seems to be, and is, such irrationality, and it’s okay to have the eyerolls and facepalms. After that, though, there’s a need to realize how serious these people are, and what they want to do. The longer the Tiny Tyrant stays in office, the more he’ll give them what they want, and what they want is damn scary. These people never shut up about how awful Islam is, sharia this, sharia that, sharia everything, and so on. What they want, however, is no different. They talk of demons and witchcraft. They talk of the slightest shake of the head against authoritarianism. They talk of degeneracy, of a woeful lack of modesty, looking at women, of course. They decry all the harlotry of the modern age.

The Religious Reich thinks this is time for the crusades again, literally. They are screaming and praying for blood, in an orgy of self righteous lust. They think only in terms of enemies. They wouldn’t have a problem with reinstating an Inquisition, or witch trials. They don’t see that type of thing as bad, and yes, they do believe in witchcraft. So do their congregations. This is what they’d like as the law of the land, along with belief in their psychopathic Jehovah to be the rule of the day everywhere, in schools and the public square. And yes, I know, there’s a tendency to dismiss it all as simply too fantastic to actually happen, but we’re half way there already. Most women are already all too aware of that. Same goes for most of the queer community, as well.

So, take a little delight in the silly, but remember that the Religious Reich is deadly serious about all this, and we must stand as a great wall of resistance and open opposition to their idea of America.

Lance Wallnau is indulging in imprecatory prayer.

“I pray that the words they have spoken even turn back upon them,” he continued, “and that you will cause everyone who dishonors the office of the president, who disrespects the authority of this government, who mocks the president—who is, in effect, mocking you, Lord—I pray now that you are going to turn upon those that are ministering a spirit of strife and contention and dishonor and disrespect and sowing rebellion and witchcraft in the nation, I pray that you cast them out of their position!”

“Those people that are falsely prophesying impeachment, falsely prophesying the destruction of this administration, it’s time this stopped!” Wallnau ranted. “Deliver us from evil.”

Wallnau said that this “warfare prayer” must spread across the nation because “when you’re nervous and worried about the president of America, go on the offense. Just don’t pray for peace; kick that demon! Bam!”

Goodness, I do believe he’s talking about all of us Resistance types. Of course, we’re small potatoes. Wallnau would like that ugly god of his to curse all media outside Fox and christian channels. Fortunately for us, Jehovah/Yahweh/El Shaddai/Adonai doesn’t seem to be the most motivated entity. I guess all that energy expended on tantrums, genocide, wars, murders, rapes, and so on, detailed in the old testament, must have really tuckered him out. Unfortunately, that won’t stop those who adore that mythical psychopath from trying to do “his will”.

Via RWW.

David Whitney, a very nasty piece of work coated in the slime of deep bigotry, has been preaching the evil of … Ariana Grande. Yep.

“Everything she stands for is quite eye opening,” Whitney said. “She is an open advocate for sodomy. She frequently speaks of her interaction with demons. That’s right, demons. She was raised, actually, in a Christian household but now clearly rejects everything that Christianity stands for and she states that she did so for a particular reason—because her brother is a sodomite and so, Christianity she threw out lock, stock and barrel for that reason. She has embraced not only sodomy, but a satanic cult religion … that is called Kabbalah, it is a Jewish cult belief system that is the opposite, in a sense, of our Christian faith.”

No one is as obsessed with sex as much as religious fanatics. They never shut up about it, and they cannot stand the idea of anyone, anywhere having any type of sex they don’t approve of, which is pretty much all of it. As for the whole Kabbalah business, I have no idea, but this goes back to yesterday’s post, and the insistence of christian thought that they are being horribly persecuted if other people believe differently than they do.

“It appears this Ariana is like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, leading a whole generation of young people, and indeed some very young people, to a very dangerous place,” he said, adding that Grande is “indeed a dangerous woman.”

Yeah, yeah, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. We’ve heard this nonsense before. Pretty sure this particular type of idiocy has been heard since the second generation of humans. What was the particular plaint in 200 BCE? In the 10th century? And so on. Every generation of young people are always immersed in the most dangerous of behaviours, and that music, whatever it was or is, is very, very bad!

“What is not surprising,” he continued, “is that she is wildly successful, famous and rich because people who make a pact with the devil and sell themselves to Satan, he often rewards them with riches and fame and power.”

Well, no. It has to do with talent, first and foremost, a little luck, and a fucktonne of hard work. I have no idea what Lucifer is up to these days, but he doesn’t seem to do much either. Perhaps he and Jehovah/Yahweh/El Shaddai/Adonai are busy playing poker or something.

“This dangerous woman is promoting every form of immorality and indeed she is promoting satanism by her music and by her lyrics and by her gyrations,” Whitney said.

Oooh, evil gyrations! I don’t know how old Whitney is, but he sounds like he’s about 200 years old. And promoting love and acceptance! Oh, yes, you don’t get more satanist than that. FFS.

“So while we can measure accurately the damage that the suicide bomber accomplished—we can count the body bags, we can read the list of those in the hospital recovering from their injuries that the suicide bomber caused—it is far more difficult to measure the damage done by this dangerous woman. Exactly how many souls has she led down the path of destruction?”

And there we have it. Religious fanatics, even those on the enemy side, well, they’re just doing what they think is right. A woman singing and dancing? There’s an evil which must be stomped on immediately!

Via RWW.

The Tiny Evangelical Tyrant.

Donald Trump in Cleveland prayer huddle -- (YouTube screen grab)

Donald Trump in Cleveland prayer huddle — (YouTube screen grab).

While the Tiny Tyrant is embroiled in scandals, and the senate is busy doing all manner of evil and nefarious things while people are distracted, Donny found himself in need of people willing to shovel endless amounts of praise into the black void of his ego. He found them in the Road to Majority, an annual evangelical meet up.

While millions of Americans spent Thursday glued to television coverage of former FBI director James Comey’s testimony, Donald Trump took time to bask in the adulation of Religious Right activists who gathered in D.C. for Road to Majority, the annual conference hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Amid these conservative Christians, Trump didn’t need to worry about hearing a discouraging word or being challenged about his habitual lying. “We love him because he is our friend,” said Reed. Trump returned the sentiment, saying, “You didn’t let me down and I will never, ever let you down, you know that.”

And he hasn’t. About the only group Trump hasn’t screwed into the ground is the Religious Reich. As will be made clear as we go on, this is the reason I have no use for the ‘president Pence would be worse!’ excuse to keep Trump in place. No, he wouldn’t be. He’d be the same as far as all the christian crap is concerned. These hateful zealots are Donny’s über faithful, the core of his cult which has actual power.

Reed and Trump both cited the overwhelming support Trump received from white evangelical voters. Trump recalled that he had appeared at the conference last year asking for their support and prayers, and “boy did you deliver.” Reed praised Trump for focusing “like a laser beam” on winning evangelical support “and that’s why he’s the president of the United States today.”

Trump touted his accomplishments: the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, filling the Cabinet with people who “share our values,” withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and his proposed “historic” tax cut. And, of course, he bragged about having signed an executive order “to protect religious liberty in America” and to “stop the Johnson Amendment from interfering with your First Amendment rights.” Perhaps in a nod to those Religious Right activists who were disappointed that his order did not include sweeping exemptions for LGBT discrimination in the name of religion, Trump assured the audience, “Believe me, we’re not finished yet.”

And there you have it. Not finished yet, not by a long shot, and unless this catastrophe masquerading as a human being is ousted, the theocracy will continue marching in, with brutal oppression for everyone.

Trump cited the Bible, reading from a verse in Isaiah, as well as more vaguely stating:

[A]s the Bible tells us, we know that the truth will prevail, that God’s glorious wisdom will shine through, and that the good and decent people of this country will get the change they voted for and that they so richly deserve.

That’s pro forma for Trump, a bunch of shit wrapped in shiny gold foil, but if there’s one thing the Religious Reich is good at, it’s reading into things, deciding “ooh, he meant ____” and then applying pressure for whatever filled the blank.

Trump seemingly, but vaguely, endorsed Christian-nation activists’ goal of returning official prayer and religious instruction into the nation’s schools, saying schools “should not be a place that drive out faith and religion, but that should welcome faith and religion with wide-open beautiful arms.”

Oh goody, shades of Bush Jr with his faith based initiatives and abstinence only crap. This promises to be worse.

Trump also endorsed Religious Right fearmongering about the religious freedom of conservative Christians being under attack in America, saying “It is time to put a stop to the attacks on religion.” He promised, “As long as I’m president, no one is going to stop you from practicing your faith or preaching what is in your heart.”

I am beyond sick to death of this shit. No one stops anyone from practicing your faith (as long as you’re christian, or profess to be) or standing on a street corner screaming yourself hoarse. I don’t care what religion you might be, however, I appreciate it if you keep it in your pocket. I can handle my own affairs, thanks. You aren’t being fucking crucified if someone isn’t interested in your brand of psychopathic salvation, and you aren’t being oppressed if there are people who believe differently from yourself. It’s a free market – a marketplace of ideas, yeah? If people find what you’re selling to be nasty, stale, cruel, and stupid, time to change your product, not insist that everyone else get shut down, so shut the fuck up already.

And in a line recycled from his speech at Liberty University last month, Trump said, “In America we don’t worship government, we worship God.”

And, I repeat, In America, we don’t all worship “god”.  Sure as shit, theists certainly don’t all worship the same “god”. Christians don’t worship the same fucking “god”, for fuck’s sake. First, catch your god. Then define it.

Trump trashed Democrats as “obstructionists” and urged the activists to give him bigger Republican majorities in the House and Senate in the 2018 elections.

There’s something which needs to be fought, tooth and nail.

Reed had kicked off the luncheon by bragging about conservative electoral victories since his coalition was formed in 2010, and mocking mainstream media predictions about the Religious Right’s demise. Among the speakers who preceded Trump were Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Senator Ted Cruz.

Paxton bragged about how many times Texas had sued the federal government during his tenure. Among the cases he cited was a challenge to federal Department of Education rules on transgender students’ access to bathrooms; he said the state’s legal challenge to the Obama administration rules had delayed their implementation until the Trump administration dropped them. Paxton said that if Hillary Clinton had been elected and was able to name a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia, “we were likely going to be in a post-constitutional America.” That didn’t happen, he said, thanks to the prayers and political work of Christian conservatives, “Praise God.”

We all know that prayer is utterly useless, but the Religious Reich will work harder than ever on the political front, and that has to be met with an overwhelming wall of resistance. I know I’m feeling burnt out, burnt crispy, but we cannot afford to stop, we cannot afford to stop countering this evil everywhere.

…Perdue praised Trump for doing what he said he’d do on the Supreme Court, regulation, and immigration and praised his trip to the Middle East. “Look, this president is nobody’s choir boy, right?” said Perdue to chuckles from the audience, “But he is a man of action.”

“No choir boy.” They know exactly what the Tiny Tyrant is, and they are perfectly okay with that, because he’s the instrument by which they think they can bring about the Theocalypse™. This is their one chance to see that hatred and evil win. This is a fight we cannot afford to lose.

Full story at RWW.

Sunday Facepalm.

Okay, this is going to be something of a roundup, because there is a whole lot of facepalm to be had on this fine Sunday. We start with that Prince of Purple Prose, Lance Wallnau, who simply gets goofier and more absurd as he attempts to find good things about the Tiny Tyrant. His latest took place on a Christian Cruise of Nuttery.

“That same unpredictable, erratic Twitter twitch that he has is in the hand of the Lord,” Wallnau said, asserting that Trump’s tweets about China forced Chinese president Xi Jinping to come to America “to try to just get a handle on him because he’s tweeting these crazy tweets.”

That meeting was fortuitous, he explained, because it happened just as Trump ordered airstrikes on Syria for its use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Wallnau said that “it was the hand of the Lord” that Trump bombed Syria while President Xi was visiting because that move showed China that it must take steps to rein in North Korea.

On top of that, Wallnau celebrated Trump’s ignorance about world events, saying that he doesn’t have to understand these sorts of issues because “when you are anointed, you can get away with a lot of things.”

Where to start? I suppose ‘unpredictable, erratic Twitter twitch’ suits Jehovah well enough; it is a bundle of psychopathy, whims, and tantrums. I rather doubt the Tiny Tyrant’s Twitter Twitch has forced anyone to do anything. Meetings with global leaders is standard protocol anytime there’s a new president Fucking Idiot in the white house. The supposed reason for the Syria bombing was Ivana Jr’s upset over those poor babies. I expect it was more in the line of “I can use my toys! Look what I can do!”

I have described the current regime in terms of Nineteen Eighty-Four more times than I can count, and now I don’t think that’s quite enough. Yes, people can get away with a lot of shit here in Amerikkka if they have enough money, are white, and in particular, in politics. We have an outdated constitution, which is closer to dogma than policy, and a highly broken, fucked up political system. It’s not being anointed. Although, I wouldn’t be averse to oil being dropped all over Donny, followed by a ton of glitter. I’m evil like that.

Via RWW.

Yesterday, Religious Right pundit Michael Snyder unveiled “a list of 100 things liberals hate about America,” warning that if liberals get their way, “the country that you and I love so much today will be gone forever.”

The list of things liberals hate about America includes big trucks, big cheeseburgers, Jesus, Israel and Dolly Parton.

Oh, Sweet Zombie Jesus, this post would be a mile long if I tackled each item on the list. I will note that Jesus comes in at #29, well below both Trump and Pence. Pretty sure that qualifies as some kinda sin. If you’d prefer to stay away from Charisma News, and who could blame you, RWW has the full list. And for the record, I like Johnny Cash. Just sayin’.

And then there’s trumPence, trying to sound all veeply, opining over why climate change became an issue at all:

Pence hailed Trump for demonstrating “leadership” by pulling out of the international accords and standing “without apology for the American people.”

He added that he was perplexed as to why people, particularly liberals, even care about climate change: “For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world.”

I can answer your bafflement, sir – we don’t want to fucking die, and we don’t want to live in utter hellholes, tortured in every way, before we fucking die. Not so sure if I mind if you drop dead and spare us the oxygen.

Via RWW.

And last, we have that sterling moron, Wayne Allyn Root, who, after boasting about his abilities to beat the shit out of a liberal, went on to whine about how mean young people are, especially on Twitter. After that, he went on a rant about race. I’ll let you good folks click over and read that part, I haven’t had enough tea or functioning server for that one yet.

Despite his tough talk, Root spent a good portion of his radio program yesterday complaining that vulgar liberals were being mean to him on Twitter, at one point saying that calling him “old” is no different than calling a black person the N-word.

Root said that he has been the target of “the most disgusting, low down, revolting profanity-laced, filthy, wash your mouth out with soap gutter language you ever heard from liberals” on Twitter. He was particularly upset by the fact that “every single young liberal in the world, every single one of them [was] calling me ‘old man,’” despite the fact that he is only 55 years old.

“There’s no difference in when you call someone ‘old’ versus when you call someone the N-word,” Root said. “There’s no difference. It’s a lack of respect. It’s filthy. It’s disgusting.”

Root said he was shocked by the racism of the “millions and millions of Hillary voters, Bernie voters, Obama voters, liberals in general, young liberals who think anyone over the age of 30 should be called an old effin’ white man.”

“Every young liberal in this country, from what I’ve seen answering me, needs a bar of soap to wash their filthy little mouths out and maybe a mother with some class who would have taught them something about how you speak to somebody,” he stated.

I’m 59 years old, looking at 60 in November. Yeah, I’m old. So what? I know when I moan about old people, in particular, old white men, it’s not their age as much as that their brains atrophied about 50 years previously. As an old hippie, I well remember don’t trust anyone over 30. We had that on stickers, man. Nothing new under the sun, and at 55 years old, Root should at least be aware of hippies and the counterculture. It’s not an insult to be called old. Lots of places, societies have a great deal of respect for their elders. I suggest if you’re getting such flak, it’s because your tiny pea brain is indeed atrophied, and there’s that whole fucking idiot business. You really need to climb down off that cross, Mr. Root, it’s very flimsy and about to collapse.

RWW has the full story.

A Smithsonian Noose and Lynching Threats.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (Facebook).

Yet another noose has been found at The Smithsonian, this time on the floor of an exhibition about segregation.

A noose, a symbol of racial lynching, was found on Wednesday on the floor of an exhibit about segregation at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution officials said.

[…]

“The Smithsonian family stands together in condemning this act of hatred and intolerance, especially repugnant in a museum that affirms and celebrates the American values of inclusion and diversity,” the institution’s secretary, David Skorton, told the staff in an internal email. “We will not be intimidated.”

Full story here.

Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has been forced to cancel portions of her book tour, thanks to coverage from Fox News, who painted her as an evil anti-Trump person.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor delivered the commencement address last month at Hampshire College, and Fox News aired a portion of the 20-minute speech Sunday that called attention to her criticism of President Donald Trump, reported The Stranger.

Taylor, a Princeton University professor of African-American studies, described the president as a “racist, sexist, megalomaniac,” and the Fox News report suggested that she was encouraging activists to lawlessly thwart the Trump agenda.

After the report on her “Anti-POTUS tirade” aired, Taylor said she has received more than 50 hateful and threatening emails — some of which were issued with such specificity that she canceled portions of a tour to promote her new book, “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.”

“Shortly after the Fox story and video were published, my work email was inundated with vile and violent statements. I have been repeatedly called ‘n****r,’ ‘b*tch,’ ‘c*nt,’ ‘dyke,’ ‘she-male,’ and ‘coon’ — a clear reminder that racial violence is closely aligned with gender and sexual violence,” Taylor said. “I have been threatened with lynching and having the bullet from a .44 Magnum put in my head.”

She accused the conservative network of airing the report in an attempt to silence her and other Trump critics.

“I am not a newsworthy person,” Taylor said. “Fox did not run this story because it was ‘news,’ but to incite and unleash the mob-like mentality of its fringe audience, anticipating that they would respond with a deluge of hate-filled emails — or worse. The threat of violence, whether it is implied or acted on, is intended to intimidate and to silence.”

This awful reactionary shite on the part of conservatives everywhere is seriously out of hand. Not long ago, PZ had a post up which included a terrifying view of how the GOP thinks, and they think that liberal people are so darn scary, it justifies hiring Three Percenters and Oath Keepers and the like to protect them, because us evil liberals think they are Nazis. Yes, well…if you’re willing to embrace white supremacist ideology and hire Nazis, you should probably expect that sort of thing. People are being murdered; threats are amping up; hate crimes are again spiking. We must carry on fighting, more than ever before.

“Their side uses the threat of violence and intimidation because they cannot compete in the field of politics, ideas, and organizing,” she said. “The true strength of our side has not yet been expressed in its size and breadth, and so they believe they are winning. We have to change this dynamic and begin to build a massive movement against racism, sexism, and bigotry in this country. I remain undaunted in my commitment to that project.”

I stand with Professor Taylor. The right insists that liberals are horrible, violent people, because we do things like criticise, and protest. Oh yes, there are those vicious letter writing campaigns, too. There’s a hell of a lot of projection on the Right Reich’s side, and they are willing to embrace actual violence along with Nazism.

Full story here.

The Dept. of Just Us: Cease and Desist!

Volunteer lawyers wait at the international arrival area for travelers detained at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Friday, March 10, 2017. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast).

The Department of Justice is now insisting that lawyers helping immigrants shut down, and stop offering their services, because helping people, well, that’s a bad thing to do. This all hangs on a technicality, but one which is being exploited by the DOJ to remove legal help which is already scant on the ground for immigration matters. Immigrants do not have the right to legal representation here, which means that legal teams reaching out and offering help are doing it on their own time and dime. This is a devastating attack, yet another one which undermines one of those supposedly great pillars of America. It’s also outright white nationalism.

While the country has been fixated on President Trump’s firings, leaks and outbursts involving the Department of Justice, that agency has itself been stealthily attacking our democracy by telling good lawyers to stop representing people. Four weeks ago, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)—a respected nonprofit in Seattle that represents immigrants in deportation proceedings—received a “cease and desist” letter from the DOJ threatening disciplinary action. The letter demanded that NWIRP drop representation of its clients and close down its asylum advisory program. The reason: a technicality, perversely applied. NWIRP is accused of breaking a rule that was put in place to protect people from lawyers or “notarios” who take their money and then drop their case.

Last week, NWIRP filed a lawsuit to defend itself against the DoJ’s order. What’s at stake extends far beyond NWIRP and the 5,000 people it serves every year. The outcome of this legal battle will profoundly impact access to legal representation for the tens of thousands of immigrants who apply for asylum in the United States every year and the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants whose cases are currently in front of an immigration judge.

Before I explain more, let’s step back for the context: You have no right to counsel in immigration proceedings. If you are not a citizen—or if the government merely alleges you aren’t—you can be taken from your home, jailed, and permanently deported without ever seeing a lawyer. This is perfectly legal. It happened to more than a million people under the Obama administration, which vastly expanded the machinery of deportation. (If you want this to be an “Obama was good, Trump is bad” story, sorry to disappoint.)

[…]

When lawyers rushed to airports this winter to protect our friends, our neighbors, and our Constitution, people cheered. The Trump administration took offense, and now those lawyers are in their cross hairs. The president is taking a sledgehammer to the pillars of our government: the FBI, the Justice Department, the federal courts. America, we are under attack.

The full story is here.

15 Million Dollars.

Chemical warfare, Turtle Island, Oceti Sakowin Camp, November, 2016. © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

New York Daily News writer Shaun King obtained audio where Energy Transfer Partners freely admitted that they worked closely with the Sheriff’s Association, and wow, did they ever. They became one and the same.

Water protectors who lived at camp can attest to ETP and law enforcement’s collusion and fraternization, but the record speaks for itself.

The Sheriffs’ Association has a $3.46 million dollar budget, according to tax forms. Some of this funding comes from corporate sources, like TigerSwan. TigerSwan maintains offices in Iraq and Afghanistan. TigerSwan’s CEO is a former adviser to the multinational private security firm, Blackwater. Blackwater was founded by Erik Prince, a Trump campaign donor and the brother of Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education. Besides funding the Sheriff’s Association, TigerSwan is in charge of Dakota Access intelligence and supervising overall security for the company. Tigerswan works for Dakota Access, while funding and partnering with the Sheriffs’ Association.

The Sheriff’s Association purchased military gear from the U.S. Department’s Defense Logistics Agency thanks to the Defense Department’s 1033 program. Think corporate welfare for the defense industry.

Wait, there’s more. Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren offered to reimburse North Dakota and Morton County for costs due to defending the Dakota Access Pipeline.

So why are U.S. taxpayers forking over $15 million dollars to North Dakota?

Despite the fossil fuel industry’s wishes, America is not an oil company with an army. We should not be bankrolling our own oppression.

Incidentally, the Dakota Access Pipeline is not even operational yet, and it’s already sprung a leak in South Dakota, just southwest of the Lake Traverse Reservation. End this foolishness.

Ruth Hopkins at Indian Country Today has the full story.

That Ol’ Time Christian Nationalism.

CREDIT: AP /Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

As per usual, when things are not going well for the Tiny Tyrant, he runs off to Fox or somewhere else where he knows he can get the warm fuzzies. This time, he ran away to Liberty College, that bastion of future hate machines.

President Donald Trump outlined a deeply religious vision of America while speaking to graduates of a conservative Christian college on Saturday, invoking his own version of Christian nationalism and touting policies friendly to right-wing faithful.

I have noted that most journalistic outlets are now using the title of president. I don’t agree with that move, and I refuse to use it, so when it’s in a quote, you can expect to see it struck out here. Trump may be many things, but a president he is not.

“America is a nation of true believers…When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, they prayed,” he said. “It’s why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation, under God, every time we say the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Oh for fuck’s sake. No. I am not a “true believer”, whatever definition you apply to that one. Pilgrims? Nice, invoking genocidal assholes who just couldn’t wait to judge, torture and slaughter. We don’t proudly proclaim any of that utter shit. One nation my arse. A splintery collection of states, most all of whom hate all the others. As for the pledge of allegiance, oh, there’s that vaunted ignorance again. The phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance on June 14, 1954. That little change is a few years older than I am.

“In America we don’t worship government, we worship God,” Trump proclaimed, to thunderous applause. He later added: “We all bleed the same blood of patriots, we all salute the same, great American flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.”

Oh my. Yeah, you don’t want government worshiped, you want to be worshiped, don’t you, Donnie? As for we worship “god”? No, we don’t. And yes, if you prick me, I bleed,* but I don’t ooze patriotism. Can’t say I’m thrilled by the idea of you being so focused on people bleeding. I am sure as fuck not willing to bleed for you.

The address also appeared to connect religion to the president’s willingness to increase military action in the Middle East, such as dropping the MOAB bomb on Afghanistan. Falwell in particular praised Trump for “bomb[ing] those…who were persecuting Christians,” and the president noted during his speech that Americans will be “hearing a lot about [military actions] next week from our generals.”

* If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that.

– The Merchant of Venice, W. Shakespeare. [Spoken by Shylock.]

Think Progress has the full story.

Those Primitive Indians Just Don’t Understand, No.

Obama Legacy; Bears Ears National Monument.

The Fight for Bears Ears has been going on for a very long time; people have been happy with Pres. Obama’s protective national monument status. Now the GOP is arguing that us dumb Indians, gosh, we just don’t understand. If places are declared national monuments, it will seriously impact our primitive lives, and we wouldn’t be able to do native stuff, like gather firewood, so um, just give us the land, and everything will be great! There really isn’t deep enough mockery for these arrogant colonialists.

Speaking alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about the Trump administration’s order to review — and potentially shrink or eliminate — nearly 30 national monuments, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Native Americans were “manipulated” into their support for the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument southeastern Utah.

“The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness,” Hatch said on Sunday. “Once you put a monument there, you do restrict a lot of things that could be done, and that includes use of the land… Just take my word for it.”

Oh, right. We should just take the word of a white man. Gosh, that’s worked so well in the past.

Hatch’s dismissal of native voices is not only condescending, it is incredibly inaccurate in the case of Bears Ears. Protections for Bears Ears were nearly 80 years in the making. Most recently, the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, which brought together five tribal nations, pushed for the protection of the Bears Ears region. After the group received no substantial response from the Utah Congressional delegation about protecting the area, the group opted to propose that President Barack Obama should create a national monument, which he did in December 2016.

[…]

But variations of Hatch’s argument have been routinely made by critics of the national monuments — namely, Republican politicians in Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has long purported that a national monument would get rid of critical tribal activities, such as firewood gathering. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) similarly stoked fears that the federal government would seize native American land for the monument. Utah state legislator Mike Noel (R), who is looking to join the Trump administration, launched an investigation into the tribal support of a Bears Ears National Monument, calling it a “charade.”

These accusations are part of a continued misinformation campaign targeting tribal members that started during the lead-up to the monument designation. In the summer of 2016, flyers meant to antagonize local Navajo were found posted around towns adjacent to the now national monument. One of the flyers impersonated an Interior Department press release that claimed the government would be taking over four million acres of Navajo reservation land. Others suggested the national monument would ban firewood gathering and Native American access.

Think Progress has the full story.

OH FFS.

This is unbelievably infuriating, but I’ll leave you to discover your own outrage here, as it’s another work day, and I must work, rather than try to figure out what the fuck to say about the latest idiocy from the regime.

President Donald Trump won’t be attending this year’s White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner, but quietly invited some of his favorite news outlets for a small, private reception Monday ahead of the annual event. The group features some of the farthest right and most nationally recognized conservative media outlets and hosts, while networks such as CNN and MSNBC—which the president has repeatedly condemned throughout his first 100 days for reporting on his approval ratings—were left off the guest list.

Instead, the networks and publications invited to the soiree include sites such as Breitbart and The Daily Caller, often accused of Trump propaganda and fake news during the 2016 election season, as well as headlines like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”

The event was called to honor right-leaning outlets after “they were neglected the last eight years,” Sean Spicer said in an interview Monday.

Neglected? Right. They are nothing more than tabloids, with zero credibility, they just make shit up. Oh, yes, right up Trump’s backside, then.

“They’re an important medium to communicate to a massively growing number of Americans who, frankly, have grown tired of mainstream media’s coverage,” Spicer said. “We’ve definitely done our fair share of meetings with mainstream reporters. Once in a while it’s important to appreciate the folks who have really covered the president fairly and covered a lot of issues ignored by mainstream media.”

Making shit up out of whole cloth equals fairness now, does it? Christ. I don’t just want out of this country anymore, I want off this planet. One with no Trumps at all. You can read the full article at Raw Story.

Oh look, it actually gets worse! A Fox and Friends anchor has been declared the new U.S. State Deparment spokeswoman [sic].

“Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the administration’s foreign policy priorities to the American people and the world,” the statement said.

Uh huh. Fuckety fuck fuck. That’s all I got.

Copwatch Premieres At Tribeca Film Festival.

Copwatch Documentary still.

Copwatch will be premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 23rd to April 28th, if you can grab a ticket and watch!

Copwatch is the true story of We Copwatch, an organization whose mission is to film police activity as a non-violent form of protest and deterrent to police brutality. Around the country, a network of regular people take up cameras to bear witness to police actions and hold law enforcement to accountability. Director Camilla Hall profiles several We Copwatch members, including a young California dad who’s found direction in this activism, and Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal Staten Island arrest in the devastating video that has galvanized protestors and activists nationwide. And yet Orta is the only person involved in these incidents who has seen the inside of a jail cell. In her powerful directorial debut, Hall crafts an intriguing and incredibly timely profile of citizen-journalist-activists who are seeking to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence.

—Opal Bennett

If you’re unaware of We Copwatch, please become aware, and if you haven’t supported We Copwatch, please consider doing so now. You can get a snazzy T-shirt or hoodie!