Mr. Tweet: Witch Hunt! Witch Hunt! Witch Hunt!

Old drawing of the death of Giles Corey (Sept. 19, 1692) by being pressed with heavy stones for failing to enter a plea to the charge of being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials.

Mr. Tweet has been at it again, this time screaming WITCH HUNT in all caps.

Trump: “You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!

Okay, let’s talk American witch hunts. While they never reached the same pitch and ferocity of those in other countries, the devastation was still tremendous, as it always is, when people are singled out for being different, or for various personal reasons, condemned, tortured, and executed. Lest we all forget, the Tiny Tyrant is highly favourable to singling out people for being different, or on the basis of personal bias. Trump is not the sort of person who would be persecuted, he’s the type who would be (and is) a persecutor. As always, wealth defines position, and power.

It’s infuriating when fucking idiots decided to screech “witch hunt!” over the slightest of criticisms, let alone over the consequences of their own actions. These things have absolutely no resemblance to a witch trial in any way, shape, or form. Even if you want to stick to ‘American political witch hunt’, as always, Donny is wrong. I’m pretty sure that the McCarthy hearings and the The House Un-American Activities Committee win that one. We can go farther back, too, but the bottom line here is that there is no terrible witch hunt, political or otherwise happening. Not that history would have any meaning to the Tiny Tyrant, why history didn’t include him! The whole crying witch hunt has always gotten stuck in my craw, especially now, because I saw that Christie’s will be auctioning off a rare deposition from the Salem witch trials, a deposition which helped to seal the fate of a poor, 76 year old widow. Margaret Scott was hanged, along with Mary Eastey, Martha Corey, Ann Pudeator, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Alice Parker, and Wilmot Redd. This was the last group to suffer and die at the hands of hysterical christians.

The deposition of Mary Daniel against Margaret Scott (August 4, 1692), sworn to on September 15, 1692 then introduced as evidence, with autograph endorsement signed by Stephen Sewall as clerk to the Salem court. Margaret Scott was one of the people executed during the Salem Witch Trials (courtesy the Eric C. Caren Collection/Christie’s).

It’s important to remember that people died, many of them in the worst and most gruesome ways, and it is not alright to decide that criticism or having to take responsibility for yourself is in any way a witch hunt.

You can see and read more about the deposition at Hyperallergic.

As for the not-a-witch-hunt investigation, Think Progress has the full run down.

Another Bad Bush.

John K. Bush, one of Trump’s federal judicial nominees, found himself in the position of having defend previous blog posts, which cited heavily from WorldNetDaily, the batshit christian conservative’s “news” source. Bush is a profound birther, and rabidly anti-choice. In spite of all this, he will most likely end up confirmed, unless some rethuglicans root around and find both a brain and a conscience.

Given Bush’s prolific history as a political blogger, those opinions were on full display during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Birtherism came up after Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) noted a blog post where Bush relied heavily on World Net Daily, a conservative site famous for touting conspiracy theories such as the birther libel against President Obama. In the post — which bears the grammatically-dubious title “‘Brother’s Keeper’ — As In, Keep That Anti-Obama Reporter In Jail!”  — Bush touted a World Net Daily story claiming that one of the publication’s reporters was being held by immigration officials in Kenya after the reporter went there to investigate Obama’s Kenyan half-brother.

[…]

In any event, Bush felt that he needed to distance himself from the birther website he once cited, telling Franken that “I was certainly not intending to endorse any views of another group, as far as birtherism goes,” when he wrote this particular blog post.

Questionable citations aside, many of Bush’s other blog posts stated much more directly how the judicial nominee views the world. In one post in particular, for example, Bush claimed that “the two greatest tragedies in our country” are “slavery and abortion.”

After Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Bush if he still held this view, Bush attempted to paint his views on Roe v. Wade as relatively innocuous. “I believe that [Roe] is a tragedy,” he said, “in the sense that it divided our country.”

Later in the hearing, however, Bush revealed that he either does not believe that all divisive decisions are tragic, or that he has a very poor command of American history.

“Wouldn’t you characterize Brown v. Board of Education,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Bush, as “a case that divided our country?” In response, Bush first pled ignorance, then gave an historically-inaccurate answer.

“I wasn’t alive at the time of Brown,” Bush said. “But I don’t think it did.”

Well. There’s a heaping dose of flaming stupid. I didn’t exist at the time of Brown either, but I’m certainly aware of it, and aware of the massive divisiveness it caused, ripples of which abound to this day. You would have to be somewhere in the realm of complete dedication to ignorance to claim unawareness in this regard, especially if your career in life is that of a fucking judge. Fucking Idiot does not even begin to cover this.

In fairness, Bush’s ignorance of American civil rights history, while certainly not an optimal trait in a judge, might not prevent him from performing the core responsibilities of an appellate jurist. Typically, judges spend far more time parsing statutory language and consulting legal precedents than they do digging into political history.

But Bush is not like most people named to the federal bench. In a 2009 panel hosted by the conservative Federalist Society — an organization which has played a major role in selecting Trump’s judicial nominees — Bush aligned himself with originalism, the belief that the only valid way to interpret the Constitution is to apply its text in the way those words were originally understood at the time they were drafted.

Whatever the virtues or demerits of originalism as an interpretive method, it only works if the judges applying it have a deep command of history and the skills necessary to sort good historical arguments from bad ones. After all, how can someone figure out the original meaning of a text if they don’t understand the historical and political context that brought that text into being?

The fact that Bush knows so little about one of the most famous judicial decisions in American history does not suggest that he is up to this task.

I’d say that’s quite the understatement. The reality? Bush is yet another toady who will do whatever the Tiny Tyrant wants, regardless of law.

Think Progress has the full story.  * RWW watch also has this, along with video of the questioning by Franken.

Samurai Age.

Samurai Age.

Have a craving to put Samurai armor on your cat? Dog? Child? Partner? That big bottle of Saké? Samurai Age has you covered.

While it’s been over 150 years since the heyday of the samurai class, the fascination with them lives on. The talented craftsmen at SAMURAI AGE are doing their part to honor samurai tradition with handmade, high-quality samurai armor for you and your pets.

One of the selling points of this Fukuoka-based brand’s armor is how lightweight it is. Unlike traditional samurai armor, which could sometimes weigh over 60 pounds, SAMURAI AGE’s pet armor is constructed from light plastic that they claim can be worn for long stretches of time without tiring out its wearer. So although your pet will probably not be protected from any katana strikes, they will at the very least feel both badass and comfortable.

Samurai Age.

Human-sized armor for adults and children is also available for purchase, as well as helmets and bottle covers. All items are made of the same materials as the pet armor. The website suggests wearing the armor for birthdays or special occasions, but given the stylish, lightweight material there’s no reason not to wear it on a regular basis, too.

For those interested in a more “casual” look, SAMURAI AGE offers samurai helmets fashioned from polyester baseball caps. Customers can choose helmet designs based on those worn by famous Japanese historical figures such as Tokugawa Ieyasu, Oda Nobunaga, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

A cap based on Fukuoka daimyo Kuroda Nagamasa’s helmet. Mustache included. Samurai Age.

You can see and read more at Spoon & Tamago.

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.

As Hate and Bigotry Rise, Time to Slash…

Shoes confiscated from prisoners at Majdanek, on loan from the State Museum of Majdanek, Lublin, Poland. –US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

$3 Million Dollars from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Yep. Whose fucking idiotic idea was this, you ask? The Tiny Tyrant’s, of course. Why?

According to the budget proposal, the cut “will assist in meeting the President’s budget objectives, while still providing adequate funds to cover pay increases and rising costs for current services for the Museum’s facilities and collections. The decrease is achieved by reductions in staff and selected non-pay areas.”

There has been, for once, a united backlash against this incredibly stupid move. That said, I have to wonder why it entered Donny’s little pea brain to cut funding from this specific museum. There are many museums to pick on, certainly there are many in Washington D.C., but Trump chose to single out the Holocaust Museum. With his history of refusing to speak out against domestic terrorism, and the sharp spike in hate crimes, along with his not-so-subtle embrace of white supremacists, I’m sure everyone has been shocked right out of their socks over this move. Apparently, having a Jewish daughter and son-in-law don’t count this time around, or they don’t much care, either. Personally, I think if the Fucking Idiot is so damn determined to fuel yet more monies into the military machine, he can start scooping out of his own capacious pockets.

The Hill has the full story.

Cool Stuff Friday.

The Creatures of Yes take on climate change; Maizz maps endangered animals onto trees in Mexico; and the importance and controversy of colour, along with the white is right is might connection.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

You can see and read more about Animal Watching at The Creators Project.

The Apollo Belvedere, now at the Vatican Museums, was viewed in the 18th century as the model of beauty. Artists became fascinated with the statue after its discovery in the late 15th century, including Albrecht Dürer. (photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia)

The Apollo Belvedere is the basis for much of racist thought and models, which persist to this day. This beautiful sculpture became a model for the epitome of beauty, proper physiognomy, and of course, the best skin colour, white. The whiter the better. The study of classical antiquity was of all consuming importance in previous generations, and many wrong and devastating conclusions were formed. Greco-Roman works were considered to be of a higher order and very pure, because everything was overwhelmingly white. Except it wasn’t. Science has confirmed that many ‘white’ works weren’t, they were painted, and reflected the diversity of the Greco-Roman world. This is, of course, very upsetting to people for pretty much every reason under the sun. It is a shock to see these pale works come to life in vivid, unapologetic colour, and it changes our perception greatly. No longer do such works have such a detached, pale, cerebral feel.

Modern technology has revealed an irrefutable, if unpopular, truth: many of the statues, reliefs, and sarcophagi created in the ancient Western world were in fact painted. Marble was a precious material for Greco-Roman artisans, but it was considered a canvas, not the finished product for sculpture. It was carefully selected and then often painted in gold, red, green, black, white, and brown, among other colors.

A number of fantastic museum shows throughout Europe and the US in recent years have addressed the issue of ancient polychromy. The Gods in Color exhibit travelled the world between 2003–15, after its initial display at the Glyptothek in Munich. (Many of the photos in this essay come from that exhibit, including the famed Caligula bust and the Alexander Sarcophagus.) Digital humanists and archaeologists have played a large part in making those shows possible. In particular, the archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann, whose research informed Gods in Color, has done important work, applying various technologies and ultraviolet light to antique statues in order to analyze the minute vestiges of paint on them and then recreate polychrome versions.

We are a visual species, and colour is of extreme importance in artistic representations, and it’s absurd to think that all of the astonishing art of the Greco-Romans was utterly devoid of colour in some sort of odd worship of paleness. There’s a great deal of resistance to the evidence of colour, which not only upsets set ideas and perceptions, but it’s yet another stake in the heart of persistent systemic racism. Much of modern white supremacy is founded on the white purity of Greco-Roman art, and people will cling stubbornly to that blind belief in white. It’s time to see reality, and reality is full of colour. Hyperallergic has an in-depth and excellent article on why we need to see the classics in colour.

From Integrity to Trumpery.

The crest, right, that President Trump displays at his American properties is a coat of arms, left, that British authorities granted to another family. Click for full size.

LONDON — At the Trump National Golf Club outside Washington, which hosted the Senior P.G.A. Championship this weekend, the president’s coat of arms is everywhere — the sign out front, the pro shop, even the exercise room.

The regal emblem, used at President Trump’s golf courses across the United States, sports three lions and two chevrons on a shield, below a gloved hand gripping an arrow.

A different coat of arms flies over Mr. Trump’s two golf resorts in Scotland. The lions on the shield have been replaced by a two-headed eagle, an image the company has said represents the “dual nature and nationality” of Mr. Trump’s Scottish and German roots.

But this emblem was not just about honoring his heritage.

The British are known to take matters of heraldry seriously, and Mr. Trump’s American coat of arms belongs to another family. It was granted by British authorities in 1939 to Joseph Edward Davies, the third husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the socialite who built the Mar-a-Lago resort that is now Mr. Trump’s cherished getaway.

[…]

In the United States, the Trump Organization took Mr. Davies’s coat of arms for its own, making one small adjustment — replacing the word “Integritas,” Latin for integrity, with “Trump.”

Joseph D. Tydings, a Democrat and former United States senator from Maryland who is the grandson of Mr. Davies, learned that Mr. Trump was using the emblem, at least at Mar-a-Lago, when he visited the property. Mr. Trump had never asked permission.

“There are members of the family who wanted to sue him,” said Mr. Tydings, a lawyer who wears his family’s coat of arms on a ring. “This is the first I’ve ever heard about it being used anywhere else.”

[…]

The College of Arms, which oversees coats of arms in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, provided more detail. The emblem originally submitted in 2007 by Mr. Trump to Britain’s trademark office matched one that had been granted to Mr. Davies, an American of Welsh descent who once served as ambassador to the Soviet Union.

“It couldn’t be a clearer-cut case, actually,” said Clive Cheesman, one of the college’s heralds, who oversee coats of arms, their design and their use.

“A coat of arms that was originally granted to Joseph Edward Davies in 1939 by the English heraldic authority ended up being used 10 or 15 years ago by the Trump Organization as part of its branding for its golf clubs,” said Mr. Cheesman, a lawyer by training. “This got them into difficulty.”

The White House referred questions to the Trump Organization, which did not respond to requests for comment.

The organization has trademarked the Davies coat of arms in the United States, which has far less attachment to such symbols. It is used on the company’s website and is a prominent branding detail of Mr. Trump’s many American golf courses and resorts — emblazoned on golf balls, shirts and bottles of body lotion.

When the Trump Organization created a Civil War memorial at the golf course near Washington commemorating a battle and a “river of blood” that never occurred, a plaque marking the fictitious event was embossed with the coat of arms.

The NYT has the full, sordid story. There is not one thing which is genuine when it comes to Trump, he’s a cheap plastic shell surrounding a vacuum of screaming ego. #Trake – If It’s Trump, It’s Fake. You can see some of the choice tweets over this matter here. My favourite:

Climate Accord: Trump To Pull Out.

“Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, center right, after appearing to be pushed by Donald Trump, center.” CREDIT for caption/photo: AP/Matt Dunham.

There’s been a great deal of anxiety laden speculation over the Paris Climate Accord, as that represents our last, best hope. It seems it’s a last, best hope that the Tiny Tyrant wants no part of, and plans to withdraw from.  This is not yet formal, and the Tiny Tyrant is subject to doing rapid turnabouts on a whim, but he’s never been secretive about his scorn for the climate accord, or his desire to pull out. The damage he has already done here in uStates is tremendous, it won’t be long before we’re back to 1970s levels of pollution, with smog alerts and steeping in trash and toxicity once again. Naturally, this will lead to a much sicker populace, one which will not be able to take care of themselves, thanks to the Fuck You Care Plan. There’s one other country which is also adamantly against the climate accord. Bet you don’t need three guesses, either. It’s Russia.

President Donald Trump has privately told “confidants” he intends to leave the Paris accord on climate change, “according to three sources with direct knowledge,” Axios reported Saturday.

After persuading voters that America isn’t great anymore, Trump apparently intends to make sure of it — by having this country lead the effort to kill humanity’s last, best hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

Quitting a unanimous agreement by 190+ nations after a two-decade negotiating process would make us a rogue nation, a global pariah, like Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And, it could make Putin happy, as we’ll see.

While Trump tweeted out Saturday from Italy that “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the G7 meeting, “The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory.” She added, “Here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one.”

Axios notes that “Although Trump made it clear during the campaign and in multiple conversations before his overseas trip that he favored withdrawal, he has been known to abruptly change his mind.” They add, however, top political appointees at EPA “were relieved” when Trump refused to join a consensus G7 statement reaffirming “their strong commitment” to the Paris accord.

While the White House’s attack on domestic climate action already undermines the global effort to avert climate catastrophe, we shouldn’t discount the importance of a U.S. withdrawal from Paris — especially if Trump teams with Russian President Vladimir Putin to undermine the whole global negotiating process.

Think Progress has the full story.

“…they should be LYNCHED!”

CREDIT: screengrab.

One Karl Oliver, a rethuglican representative, has made an open, unapologetic statement about the removal of monuments to slavery. Specifically, he wrote:

“The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific. If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, ‘leadership’ of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State.”

I haven’t heard one thing about these statues being destroyed. Removed from the public square, yes. The state could always put them up for auction, so hateful bigots like Oliver and his pals who approved his statement, could fork over serious money for them, and plant them in their backyard, where they could continue to worship hatred, bigotry, and slavery. The money could go for education, so we end up with fewer ignoramuses of Oliver’s type.

As Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, there is a difference between the memory of history, and the reverence of it, and that sentence says all that is needed. These monuments, like the confederate flag, are not a type of aide-mémoire to history; they are a paean to horrible, blood-soaked, hate-fueled times in our recent past. And while we should certainly remember such times and actions, to remind of us of how easily we hate, and how easily we are willing to kill for that hate, that’s not, and never was, the purpose of these monuments. They were created to have some sort of victory; to bolster a sense of self-righteousness in the fight to keep the right of owning other humans.

Not only do I think it’s past time for these types of monuments to go quietly away, I also think the confederate flag, that handy American version of the swastika, should go as well. People such as Karl Oliver need to walk off into the sunset as well, being little more than bags of puffed up, vitriolic bigotry. We don’t need you anymore, either.

Think Progress has the full story.

Speaking of Apocalypses…

As the ongoing Apocalypse was the subject of today’s Sunday Facepalm, it reminded me that I’ve had some time to look at the artwork in The Bamberg Apocalypse, an 11th-century richly illuminated manuscript containing the Book of Revelation and a Gospel Lectionary. Look at those beautiful beasties! One day, I shall embroider them. Click for full size!

Bamberg Apocalypse Folio029v Woman And Dragon.

Bamberg Apocalypse Folio031v Dragon Pursuing Woman In Wilderness.

Bamberg Apocalypse Folio033v HornedBeast.

In Pursuit of Pigment: Addendum.

Orpiments, Kremer Pigments Inc.

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about art pigments, and naturally, I left things out because morning. I don’t function well in the morning. I did manage to mention that historical pigments are still available, and often used by artists. There’s a lot to love about the old pigments, look at that colour! There’s a lot to love in making your own paints, too. One of the best places to acquire your pigments, in varying grades of coarse to very fine, or bits of mineral, resin and so forth, is Kremer Pigments. If I was ever to find myself in NYC, I’d make a beeline for them, and it might not be possible to get me out. Ever. Fortunately for me, there’s also online shopping.

You do have to go through the requisite red tape on a number of pigments, like the Orpiment pictured above. These days, you don’t get to just buy a pocket full of arsenic without red tape. As these things go, it’s fairly painless. I’m saving up for a few different things, Cinnabar, Dragon’s Blood, Tyrian Purple, aaaaaaaaaaaand so much more. There’s a lovely set of Icelandic Earth Pigments I’d like too. Okay, I want all of it.

So have a visit, and get lost for a while in the awesome world of colour.