The military, defying Trump, bans confederate flags on all its properties

One of the consequences of the way that US politicians pander to the military is that it weakens their ability to go counter to the military on the rare occasions when the military is ahead of them on some issue. We see this with the recent moves to remove all things that honor the leaders of the confederacy, be they statues and other monuments or the naming of buildings and institutions. Trump clearly has white nationalist sympathies and has said that he opposes the renaming of military bases named after confederate generals and would veto any legislation that seeks to do so. But the Pentagon has already set in motion studies on this issue and one has to think that it will eventually happen.
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Film review: Disclosure (2020)

I watched this recently released powerful documentary from Netflix a couple of days ago that has members of the transgender community talk about their life experiences.

DISCLOSURE is an unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, and Chaz Bono, share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments. Grappling with films like A Florida Enchantment (1914), Dog Day Afternoon, The Crying Game, and Boys Don’t Cry, and with shows like The Jeffersons, The L-Word, and Pose, they trace a history that is at once dehumanizing, yet also evolving, complex, and sometimes humorous. What emerges is a fascinating story of dynamic interplay between trans representation on screen, society’s beliefs, and the reality of trans lives. Reframing familiar scenes and iconic characters in a new light, director Sam Feder invites viewers to confront unexamined assumptions, and shows how what once captured the American imagination now elicit new feelings. Disclosure provokes a startling revolution in how we see and understand trans people.

DISCLOSURE shows audiences that decades-old stereotypes, memes, and tropes in the media both form and reflect our understanding of trans issues. They have shaped the cultural narrative about transgender people, and inform everything from dating and domestic violence, to school policy and national legislation. Since 80% of the population have never met a transgender person, all they know is rooted in media depictions, which are predominantly problematic and have rarely included participation by actual trans people. Disclosure is aimed at that 80%.

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A minor jailed for not doing her homework

The US loves putting people in jail and in prisons, doing so for all manner of offenses that are non-violent and quite minor, such as inability to post bail or pay fines. This explains why the number of people incarcerated is far greater than in any other country. What is worse is that it also jails minors and ProPublica describes a particularly egregious case.
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What next? Death squads?

It is a feature of despotic societies for the government to use unidentified paramilitary forces in unmarked vehicles to seize opposition people and protestors off the streets and take them to secret locations for questioning. Very often these people were killed and their bodies never recovered. These kinds of things were notorious in many Latin American dictatorships and around the world (Sri Lanka was another example where such squads operated with impunity during the civil war and the insurrection) and the calls by mothers to return the ‘disappeared’ became rallying cries.

Yesterday’s revelations of what is going on in Portland, Oregon have disturbing similarities to those events.
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The Goya company should re-think this endorsement

Robert Unanue, chief executive of the Goya company that sells food products associated with Hispanic cuisine, attended a White House event organized by Trump to try and gain Hispanic support and fulsomely praised him. This angered many people who called for a boycott of Goya products.

So what does Trump do in response? He posts a photo of himself with a bunch of Goya products and his daughter Ivanka did the same, raising ethics questions about the propriety of using their official government positions to endorse products. (Readers can now pick themselves off the floor after laughing heartily at my using the words ‘Trump’, ‘ethics’, and ‘propriety’ in the same sentence.)
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