We Must Take Strong Measures to Protect our Nation…

To slightly modify the President’s remarks at this year’s State of the Union address we must take strong measures to protect our Nation from radical Islamic white Christian terrorism!

To go further, and to once again slightly modify his remarks from the October 9th, 2016 presidential debate, the President’s wisdom and counsel are important in these dark times.

Whether we like it or not, and we can be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not there is a problem. And we have to be sure that when Muslims white Christians come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on they have to report it. But as an example in San Bernardino Portland many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many peoplethreats on social media and the multiple arrests and convictions for violent felonies of the one man who killed two and wounded a third, horribly wounded he’ll never be the same. Muslims White Christians have to report the problems when they see them. And, you know, there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that it’s a very difficult situation for our country. Because you look at Orlando and you look at San Bernardino and you look at the World Trade Center the University of Maryland bus stop attack and you look at Mother Emmanuel Church and you look at the Murrah Federal Building and you go outside and look at Paris Quebec City look at that horrible, these are radical Islamic white Christian terrorists. And she I won’t even mention the word. Nor will President Obama Vice President Pence. He They won’t use the term radical Islamic white Christian terrorism. Now to solve a problem you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least state the name. She I won’t say the name. President Obama Vice President Pence won’t say the name, but the name is there. It’s radical Islamic white Christian terror. And before you solve it, you have to say the name.

An April 2017 Government Accountability Office report states:

of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far-rightwing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73%) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27%).

It is incumbent on our white Christian leaders, like Vice President Pence, Senator Cruz, Governor Huckabee, Reverend Jerry Fallwell, Jr,  Reverend Franklin Graham, Reverend Pat Robertson, and many, many others to speak out and condemn these horrific acts. And it is incumbent on our white Christian neighbors that if they see something, they must alert the government and say something!

Across the nation, we’re all part of communities. In cities, on farms, and in the suburbs, we share everyday moments with our neighbors, colleagues, family, and friends. It’s easy to take for granted the routine moments in our every day—going to work or school, the grocery store or the gas station. But your every day is different than your neighbor’s—filled with the moments that make it uniquely yours. So if you see something you know shouldn’t be there—or someone’s behavior that doesn’t seem quite right—say something. Because only you know what’s supposed to be in your everyday. Informed, alert communities play a critical role in keeping our nation safe. “If You See Something, Say Something™” engages the public in protecting our homeland through awareness–building, partnerships, and other outreach.

 



Saturday Morning #PopCulture Open Thread

(h/t Adam)

If you ever saw Gene Rodenberry speak, you probably heard him describe how the Paramount suits demanded, after watching the Star Trek pilot, that he drop either the female second-in-command or the alien science officer. “So I married the woman and kept Mr. Spock,” he would finish, gleefully, “… because in California, it was illegal to do it the other way around!”

Forty years later…

Also, the new Wonder Woman movie is already drawing raves, so one Texas-based movie chain had a brilliant marketing idea. As described by a (male!) critic at Film School Rejects:

A few days ago, the Alamo Drafthouse did what the Alamo Drafthouse does best: announce a special event themed to one of its upcoming releases. In celebration of Wonder Woman, the first female-driven superhero movie in the current wave of Marvel and DC productions, Alamo announced that they would be holding a special women-only screening on Tuesday, June 6 at their downtown location in Austin. If you identify as a woman, you could spend a night at Alamo’s very own Themyscira and enjoy the film with an all-female audience and staff.

Almost immediately, the company was inundated with both positive and negative responses. The Drafthouse’s initial Facebook post became ground zero for both the worst and best responses to the event; some fans celebrated the fact that Drafthouse was using Wonder Woman as an opportunity to celebrate intersectional feminism, while others decried the event as just another example of liberal snowflakes and their need for safe spaces…

On paper, it’s hard for anyone to defend why they’re upset with the two special screenings of Wonder Woman. There are an additional 31 screenings (three-one) of Wonder Woman in Austin that same Tuesday; that doesn’t even include non-Drafthouse locations, an extra level of math I have no interest in doing. Hell, there’s even one additional late screening of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz for those who really want to see the film in the heart of downtown Austin…

But I personally hope that those who click for the controversy will stay for the affirmation. For every person who has expressed outrage at the screenings, another has expressed excitement at the opportunity for a bunch of women to gather together and watch a kick-ass movie that celebrates women. I’ve seen people discussing sponsoring tickets for non-profit organizations focused on women and women’s health, making plans to drive down to Austin with a close sibling or parent, or simply cheering on those who will attend the screening even if it’s not targeted to them…

Alamo Drafthouse, of course, takes full advantage:

And, finally, happy news about a no-longer-nearly-as-popular “culture”:

What else is on the agenda as we start the holiday weekend?



Today in Domestic Terrorism: Anti-Muslim Attack in Portland Oregon

Earlier this evening two people were killed and another wounded attempting to intervene with a man who had been bullying a pair of women for being Muslim.

Portland’s KATU News reported that:

Witnesses told KATU’s Joe Douglass the stabbing suspect was hurling racial insults at two women with dark skin, one of whom was wearing a headdress. Two men who came to the woman’s defense had their throats slashed by the suspect, witnesses said.

Another witness says she saw two women who appeared to be of Middle Eastern-descent get on the train. At least one of them was wearing a headdress. The suspect was asking them questions when he got belligerent. When another bystander tried to calm him down, the man took out a knife and began stabbing people.

“He said, ‘Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here,’ [he said he] doesn’t like Muslims, they’re criminals,” Evelin Hernandez said.

Portland’s KGW News also reports that:

Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said the man was yelling hate speech on the train. While Simpson said the rants weren’t exclusively anti-Muslim, he said at some point the man began directing his speech towards two younger women are believed to be Muslim. One was wearing a hijab, Simpson said.

While the man was yelling, other passengers began trying to calm him down. That’s when the man attacked three of the people who intervened, Simpson said. One person died at the scene and one later died at a hospital. The third victim is expected to survive. They have not yet been identified.

The suspect then ran from the train into a nearby neighborhood, where police took him into custody. Simpson said it’s not yet known what prompted the man’s behavior.

None of the news reports identify who the suspect is or provide a description of him.

(H/T: Timurid)

 

 



Comey Strikes Back!

Gonna be one of those Tuesdays!

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo that Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of the memo to a Times reporter.

In the same article The NY Times also reports the White House’s response to their breaking this news.

“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” the statement said. “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”

Much more at the link!



Breaking: Grand Jury Issues Subpoenas in FBI’s Russia Investigation

Washington (CNN)Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year’s election, according to people familiar with the matter. CNN learned of the subpoenas hours before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI’s broader investigation begun last July into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
The subpoenas issued in recent weeks by the US Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia, were received by associates who worked with Flynn on contracts after he was forced out as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, according to the people familiar with the investigation.
Robert Kelner, an attorney for Flynn, declined to comment. The US Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, the Justice Department and the FBI also declined to comment.
CNN reports that this was not just leaked tonight – they’ve been working on the story for several days. And their reporting is a sign that it will not be easy for the Administration to simply make this all go away now that they’ve fired James Comey. Though the President’s surrogates are making those suggestions as they make the rounds on cable news this evening.
Andrea Chalupa reported earlier this evening, on her twitter feed, that:
Source: Comey at the “rocket docket” yesterday in Virginia that expedites cases, submitting intel. Trump panicked.
Members of Congress, in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle, are now calling for a special prosecutor and/or an independent investigation. Pressure will continue to build. And we do not have to passively wait and see what happens. We can help to increase the pressure. Call your members of Congress, both representatives and senators. Tell them you expect them to support the appointment of a special prosecutor and the creation of an independent investigation. Tell your senators that you expect them to take no action on the nomination for a new FBI Director until the Administration provides answers. Tell both your representatives and your senators that you expect no business that is not absolutely necessary to keep the government functioning, such as raising the debt ceiling, to be conducted until a special prosecutor is appointed, an independent investigation is established, and the Administration is forthcoming with answers. Tell them this is not a partisan issue. It is an issue of patriotism. Of country before party. And that you will vote against any senator or representative that puts party before country. America exists because of the participation of its citizenry in a self governing republic. Now we all must take the steps necessary to conserve and preserve our inheritance as Americans for those Americans yet to come. The fate of the Republic is in all of our hands. It is worth fighting for even if it isn’t perfect. And fighting for it is far better than giving in to despair.


Saturday Morning Open Thread: Sporting

The President-Asterisk’s Yuuuge Win was as hard on satirists as the rest of us sane people, but Owen Ellickson has found inspiration at his new gig. Believe me, it’s worth clicking over to read the rest!

(I’ve been collecting stories & snippets about Gorka’s tribulations all week, but is it really worth the bother of bricolaging them into a post here?)

Happy Kentucky Derby Day, from the NYTimes:

Today, even as the sports section real estate set aside for horse racing shrinks each year, the Derby still captures the attention of casual sports fans. To the rare few of us who consider the sport of kings to be the king of sports, it’s a hallowed date even if we have only an inkling of which horse is the best bet to win.

I, for one, have no idea. That is both a statement of fact and a comment on my typically desultory talent at handicapping the Derby, which even for the savviest horse-pickers is a feat astronomically more complicated than the already difficult skill of picking a winner in, say, a middle-of-the-week feature at your local racetrack. The Derby is the only race in America with 20 entries (most races have only seven or eight competitors), and the X-factor of such a large number of colts competing at the unusual distance of a mile and a quarter for the first (and often only) time in their young lives can tax the confidence of even the most cocksure handicapper.

This year is especially tricky. Unlike in most previous years, none of the starters established himself this spring as the horse to beat. There are an inordinately high number of genuine contenders in the field, mostly because none of the horses towers over his cohort in natural ability. Add in the prospect of heavy rain all week in Louisville, where the race is held, and so the likelihood of a muddy racing surface, and today’s Derby is a tricky race for the bettor and racing fan to get a bead on, much less to beat…

And finally, good news / bad news for Game of Thrones fans, from the Washington Post:

There’s big news for “Game of Thrones” fans. HBO has hired four writers to develop spinoffs of the show, which wraps next year. That doesn’t necessarily mean all will make it to the screen. But there will almost undoubtedly be more sinister scheming in Westeros and Essos in our future.

Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have long said they won’t stick around for any sequels or prequels. But Entertainment Weekly reported Thursday that the pair will indeed be involved to a lesser extent than they have on whatever series comes out of this, as executive producers. And they’re not the only ones returning. George R.R. Martin, who wrote the series “Game of Thrones” is based on, will be fairly hands on. He’s helping develop two of the four spin-off ideas, collaborating with Jane Goldman (“Kick-Ass,” “Kingsman”) and Carly Wray (“Mad Men,” “The Bastard Executioner”).

This is good news — in a way. Of course we want the man who invented such a vivid world to help create any extensions of that universe. But there’s a downside, too: Is Martin ever going to get around to finishing his “Game of Thrones” books, which fans have been eagerly awaiting for years? It’s not looking good…

You can hardly blame the poor man — it’s gotta be more fun to be lionized by fans at glamorous venues than to sequester himself to further torture his unwieldy crew of hapless characters. It seems to me that Game of Thrones has reached the sort of stature “classical in their way” genre creations like Sherlock Holmes or Star Trek achieve; with or without their creator, the GoT universe will go on, handled well or badly by a myriad of volunteers…
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Apart from entertainment, what’s on the agenda for the weekend?



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Star Wars Day

And for those of us who are so old we remember the days before Star Wars…

Remembering Leonard Nimoy is an intimate journey into Leonard Nimoy’s personal life. Featuring stories from his childhood growing up in Boston, his early career in Hollywood, his big break out role on the Star Trek series, highlights from his remarkable career- to the remaining years of his life battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The film features interviews with Leonard’s closest family members including his children, Julie and Adam, his wife, Susan, step-son, Aaron and his six grandchildren sharing poignant stories and special memories. This memorable documentary also includes never-seen-before home videos and photos…

What else is on the agenda for the day?

Because on-topic, leftover from the pre-dawn scare…