injustice

Not What We Mean When We Say Foreign Service

#trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

A protester holds a photo of journalist Jamal Khashhoggi, later acknowledged to have been slain by the Saudi government. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

Annieli, at Daily Kos, writes:

Those who wonder why we should care about Khashoggi’s death should ask whether we want an autocratic thug to be directing US foreign policy? Why is America’s president covering up a brutal extra-territorial murder? All this whabboutery serves MBS. Is that what we want?

And this is an important question: All of President Trump’s equivocation and excuses serve foreign interests.Remember that Donald Trump still thinks he is doing business, and this is reflected in conservative language; among Republican excuses for the President’s behavior, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), often seen as a critic of the administration, mewled and rolled over:

A key consideration in the administration’s mind, according to Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), is the belief that the crown prince can salvage Kushner’s stalled peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians. “A lot of the Middle East peace plan is based upon their support. They feel like they have a lot of equity there,” Corker said.

(Dawsey, Hudson, and Gearan)

“Equity” is a curious word. Certes, the Trump family has invested tremendous “political capital”. There are a handful of Congressional Republicans willing to speak against President Trump, and the general criticism runs that tweeting disapproval is pretty much all they do compared to their voting records. And in this moment, Mr. Corker, the retiring U.S. Senator, is lending his voice in aid and comfort to presidential pandering on behalf of foreign interests. The Washington Post goes on to explain:

Trump allies acknowledged that the White House’s equivocations would probably result in growing calls from Congress for a more credible accounting of events from Saudi Arabia, but they doubted it would damage the president politically.

Equity. This is just an investment. And if Sen. Corker, a Republican, wishes to be seen in opposition to President Trump, “equity” is the wrong word. Consider an actual Trump ally, such as evangelical preacher Pat Robertson:

“We’ve got to cool the rhetoric,” Robertson said. “Calls for sanctions and calls for punitive actions against the Saudis is ill-advised … You’ve got a hundred billion dollars worth of arms sales—which is, you know, that’s one of those things—but more than that, we’ve got to have some Arab allies. We have to have it! We cannot alienate a biggest player in the Middle East who is a bulwark against Iran.”When Robertson’s co-host Wendy Griffith argued that we cannot have governments killing critical journalists with impunity, Robertson dismissed those concerns.”We’ve had so many people killed,” he responded. “We’ve had CIA people killed in Lebanon. People have been taken hostage over the years. I know it’s bad, but we’ve had all kinds of stuff, but you don’t blow up an international alliance over one person. I mean, I’m sorry.”

(Mantyla)

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The Difference

VIII. Adjustment.

Michael Gerson, for the Washington Post:

Whatever their intentions, these people are doing great harm to the cause of religious liberty and to the reputation of their faith. Davis’s defiance is the wrong test case for the protection of religious freedom.

The Supreme Court’s far-reaching Obergefell decision legalizing gay marriage will have radiating consequences for people who hold traditional moral views on marriage and family. Some challenges will concern religious institutions — colleges, social service providers, aid organizations — that interact in various ways with government. Other controversies will concern the ability of closely held businesses to refrain from providing services.

But there is no serious case to be made for the right of public officials to break laws they don’t agree with, even for religious reasons. This is, in essence, seizing power from our system of laws and courts.

The punch line, of course, is that, “They can’t tell the difference”, but such niceties fail to suit Mr. Gerson’s purpose, and it is worth attending.

Mr. Gerson recalls politics and presentation and process, but one particular requires reminding: What Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement sought was an end to institutional supremacism; what Kim Davis demands is nothing more than institutional supremacism.

In the end, this point should never escape our awareness.

____________________

Gerson, Michael. “Kim Davis is no Rosa Parks”. The Washington Post. 7 September 2015.

The Supremacist’s Lament

Zombie Republic: The Demon Sisters cope with the results of their plan.  (Detail of frame from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, episode 8, '… Of the Dead')

“Public officials are ministers of God assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous.”

Win Johnson

The disgraceful derby scrambling in the wake of Obergefell has yet to settle out; with presidential candidates struggling to find ways to evade the U.S. Constitution, or taking up the notion of just calling the whole marriage thing off, an Alabama attorney named Win Johnson has appealed to Gov. Robert Bentley (R) to opt out of the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Johnson, for his part, is a state official, a director at the Administrative Office of Courts, which in turn oversees the courts for state Chief Justice Roy Moore.

It seems a striking letter; Charles J. Dean reported, for AL.com:

In harsh words and a lecturing tone, a lawyer who works for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has written a letter seemingly directed at Gov. Robert Bentley rebuking him for saying Alabama will obey the U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring same-sex marriage legal.

More appropriately, it really is a striking letter, so wild-eyed and seemingly irresponsible that the Souther Poverty Law Center has called for Johnson’s resignation.

And let us be clear; part of the problem with excerpting the letter is that the whole thing really is a show and a half. Christian supremacism, abdication of duty, rejection of the Constitution, and hey, even a Godwin violation just to hit for the cycle. Again, let us be clear: All for hatred in Jesus’ name, amen.

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A Note on Conscience and Freedom

Fight: Mikasa awakens ― Detail of frame from Attack on Titan episode 6, 'The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2'.

Look … there are … there are some things in this world ....

It began when Kallio found a lump on his breast just three months after a mammogram. He had a second mammogram, then a biopsy and, when weeks went by without receiving any test results, he just assumed everything was fine. That changed when he suddenly got a phone call from the doctor who performed his biopsy — and who was not his primary physician.

“She said to me, ‘Hi, I was just curious how you were doing with your diagnosis.’ And I said, ‘What diagnosis?’ She sort of spurted, ‘[Your doctor] hasn’t called you yet?'” Kallio remembered.

The biopsy confirmed that Kallio had “very aggressive” breast cancer, and Kallio knew he needed treatment immediately, especially as the pain in his breast intensified.

“It felt like getting shot slowly. It felt like it was heading right for my heart. So I was getting nervous. I still get nervous when I think about it,” he said.

Even after that, Kallio’s doctor still wouldn’t contact him, which came as a huge surprise considering his doctor was head of surgery at a major hospital in “great big blue Manhattan,” a liberal city where Kallio expected “embracing care” from “competent experts.” The physician eventually got in touch when Kallio made moves to have his case transferred, but the conversation did not go as he hoped.

“The first thing [the doctor] said was, ‘I have a real problem with your transgender status.’ And he said, ‘When I found out you were transgender, the first thing I wanted to do, my first impulse was to send you to psychiatry,'” Kallio said. “So this is what a breast surgeon wanted to do with my breast cancer, is first send me to psychiatry.”

(Buxton)

Conscience. Freedom. Equality.

This is what they’re asking for when demanding freedom to opt out of equality for the sake of conscience.

____________________

Image note: “The world is a cruel place” ― Mikasa awakens, ready to fight. (Detail of frame from Attack on Titan, episode 6, “The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2”.)

Buxton, Ryan. “This Trans Man’s Breast Cancer Nightmare Exemplifies The Problem With Transgender Health Care”. The Huffington Post. 15 June 2015.

Christian Faith and Character in Tennessee (Double Down Devil Mix)

"Remember, Satan was the first to demand equal rights" (Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle; March, 2015)

This is just strange:

A sign posted by a Knoxville church continues to raise eyebrows and spark both discussion and outrage after it was posted online.

The sign posted by Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle Church read “Remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights.” Many people posted the picture to the WATE 6 On Your Side Facebook and Twitter pages, starting a debate about what the sign really means.

The pastor says the purpose of the sign was to send a message about unity and spark conversation in the community. He says it wasn’t meant to offend anyone.

“Our sign referencing Satan demanding his equal rights to ascend into the heavens and be God was simply ‘I’ and all about that individual,” said Pastor Tony Greene. “It was not a statement against any one group in particular, you know what about the rights of the unborn babies, the rights of children, the rights of everyone?”

(Holloway)

There are a few things here, but let us, please, simply start with the obvious: Did he just turn that into a plea for equal rights?

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An American Disgrace

Justice is blind ... just kidding. No, really, did you read the Sixth Circuit ruling? Jaded eyes, jaded eyes ....

“Almost seven years ago, a troubled 11-year-old girl reported that she had been raped―twice―in her Northwest Washington neighborhood. Despite medical evidence of sexual assault, records show that no suspects were arrested and the cases were given only sporadic attention by the police. Instead, in the second case, the police had the girl ... charged with filing a false report.”

Joanna Walters

Let us be blunt: Why do we try so hard to aid and abet rapists?

Try it this way: Every rape survivor is a victim; not every victim survives. There are enough in our society who resent the survivors so deeply that they will labor to continue victimization.

Perhaps law enforcement in D.C. envies the rapists, since the best police seem able to do is taking part after the fact.

Consider that this one case has been going on for seven years

Last fall, after inquiries from The Washington Post, the department launched new investigations into the cases and the way they were handled, according to the Bests and a law enforcement officer familiar with the matter.

―but it’s only when the press is sniffing out the trail that―

The Bests say that after The Post approached the police, [DC Police Chief Cathy L.] Lanier telephoned the family to apologize.

Still, the department refusess to confirm any of this is going on.

It is a hard story to read. It is a discouraging story, too. The thought occurs, “And yet we are expected to give law enforcement our unequivocal support”, but then dances away in shame because, really, are we really going to dredge up the bit about how the police expect “unequivocal support” for their actions?

And, yes, this is a discussion Americans need to be having.

What support do we owe law enforcement when it aids and abets rape?

And, yes, this becomes political, too. What happens in D.C. falls under Congressional purview. Let us see if the Republican bicameral majority has what it takes to govern, or if they will just let this one go as their silent―(“We gave at the office”)―contribution to rape culture.

This is unacceptable. Yet this is what we do, and this is how we do it.

A child is raped, throw her in jail. How do we begin accounting for everything wrong about this outcome?

This is America. And this is a disgrace.

____________________

Walters, Joanna. “An 11-year-old reported being raped twice, wound up with a conviction”. The Washington Post. 12 March 2015.

Baltimore police union releases statement on NYPD shootings”. 21 December 2014.

The Heart of the Fight

Stand.  Speak.  Fight.

Warren Blumenfeld writes:

History is replete with groups and individuals facing colossal odds for simply expressing their truth, and for that, they were often forced to pay the ultimate price. Governments and powerful individuals have devised ways of silencing opposition for the purpose of maintaining and extending its control and domination. They commit genocide upon the true human liberators, the profits, the visionaries who advocate for a just and free world. These visionaries, who were persecuted in their own time, have achieved not only exoneration, but more importantly, have become venerated as the visionaries they truly are.

The list of who we have lost along the way is a tortuous exercise in heartbreak. The list of who we have yet to lose is a terrifying mystery.

This can be the year. This should be the year. We can save our world from ourselves. We have every reason to, and we’re well past out of excuses for not.

____________________

Blumenfeld, Warren. “Trans* People Murdered for Truth Telling”. Tikkun Daily. 16 February 2015.