Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite! Liberte and Egalite Have Won Edition

liberty-leading-the-people

(Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People)

France’s highest administrative court, The State Council/Council de Etat, overturned the local burkini bans that had popped up in French beach towns over the past several weeks. The panel of three senior judges ruled that the ban:

“has dealt a serious and clearly illegal blow to fundamental liberties such as the freedom of movement, freedom of conscience and personal liberty.”

They found that no evidence produced in favour of the prohibition proved a risk to public order was being caused by “the outfits worn by some people to go swimming”.

 There will, of course, be pushback. The Mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, who is also a member of France’s parliament, has indicated that he will push legislation in the next session to address the issue. Municipal authorities in Nice, Frejus, and Sisco have already stated that they will keep the ban in place despite the ruling. We will now have to wait and see how the different levels of French government, and the French themselves, reconcile themselves to the Council de Etat’s ruling.


Timekiller Open Thread: Trump/Pence None the Richer

This VP-announcement thing, it’s golden. Everybody wants a piece of it. No way is He, Trump gonna waste his big all-networks announcement if there’s any chance it will be preempted by “breaking news” from some place that is not even America. You media people can just suck on it…

Signals! The NYTimes:

Donald J. Trump’s campaign has signaled strongly to Republicans in Washington that he will pick Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, as his running mate, though Republicans caution the party’s mercurial presidential candidate may still backtrack on his apparent choice.

Mr. Trump’s advisers have told national Republican officials that they are preparing to make an announcement with Mr. Pence, according to three people with knowledge of the conversations, who were not authorized to discuss them publicly. His campaign has said that it will unveil a running mate for Mr. Trump in New York on Friday.

Mr. Pence, a former congressman and radio host, emerged over the last week as the strong favorite of Mr. Trump’s political advisers and senior officials in the Republican Party.

But Mr. Trump himself has sent conflicting signals in recent days, as he has subjected his potential running mates to a final round of screening. He addressed a rally in Indiana alongside Mr. Pence on Tuesday night and met privately with him several times…
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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Eid Mubarak!

Per al Jazeera, Eid al-Fitr, the celebration at the end of Ramadan, starts today (started last night at sunset) in the US, UK, Canada, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

According to the British Independent:

On the first morning of the celebration, many gather in local mosques or open-air locations for special prayers called Salat al-Eid, and have breakfast.

Muslims put on their finest clothes for what will be their first daylight meal in a month. Some will exchange gifts, greeting cards and prepare special foods. Eid al-Fitr is to celebrate “the happiness which man feels after successfully completing an important task,” according to Al-Islam.

Gatherings will take place to mark the festival across the UK, including an event hosted by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in Trafalgar Square on 9 July. Highlights include prayers, a food festival, and Arabic arts.

Last year, a record-breaking 60,000 Muslims turned up in a Birmingham park to celebrate the end of Ramadan…

Speaking of London’s Mayor, here’s a mid-May anecdote from The Economist:

EVENTUALLY, every senior politician in Britain is invited to Buckingham Palace to join the Privy Council, the body that notionally advises the queen. In 2009 Sadiq Khan, then transport minister, was asked on which version of the Bible he wanted to swear his oath. He replied that, as a Muslim, he would like to use a Koran. Buckingham Palace had none, so he brought his own. Afterwards, when the palace tried to return it, he asked: “Can I leave it here for the next person?”

On May 5th Londoners voted to make Mr Khan their mayor. Except for the direct vote for the Portuguese and French presidents, he thus holds the biggest personal mandate in Europe. His landslide over the Conservatives (he took 57% of the vote to 43% for Zac Goldsmith, his posh Tory rival) was a rebuke to hardliners of all sorts. At a stroke it became harder for Islamic State’s recruiters to tour public housing estates in Europe and convince young Muslims from immigrant backgrounds that they have no place in the liberal West. The de facto capital of that liberal West had just entrusted its future to a mosque-going, gay-marriage-supporting, proudly Muslim family man with precisely such a hinterland…

The Brexit vote was a speedbump, not a wall.

Apart from celebrating, what’s on the agenda for the day?








Open Thread: Pastor Dobson Has A Sad

James “Focus on the Family (While I Pick Your Pocket)” Dobson is very, very disappointed by all us haterz who cruelly mock his optimistic embrace of “baby Christian” Donald Trump…

And not just the unsaved Christianist-haters, either:

Poor saintly Mr. Dobson just wanted to remora Deadbeat Donald’s #WINNING grift while that shark is still moving — living off a host’s, uh, leftovers is an honorable tradition among his clan. How was he to know how rapidly the gilt would wear off the Trump scampaign, once it was exposed to the acid examination of non-believers?



Monday Morning Open Thread: Happy Summer Solstice!

comrade colette scout repose

From commentor Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

Here’s a new Balloon Juicer pet – we just got an adorable kitten. Scout is a 10-week-old tabby boy with blue eyes and an apparent need for no sleep at all. He’s busy teaching our old kitty Peter how to play again.

Action shot!

comrade colette scout action

Strawberry kitten for the full Strawberry Moon. Monday’s not really the best day for a big pagan party, which is why the prudent Swedes rescheduled theirs to next weekend. On the other hand, I have a bunch of strawberry starts that need to be transplanted into the front-yard strawberry pot this afternoon…

What else is on the agenda as we start another week?



Open Thread: Return of the Cruz-ifiction Candidate

With the Democrats openly rebelling against the NRA (and the GOP candidate flailing on all fronts), a call went out in search of a New Hope. And guess who happened to be waiting by the phone…

From the Hill, yesterday:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attended a confidential dinner with more than 20 top conservatives on Tuesday night to plan his comeback as a movement leader in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

The dinner was at the Virginia home of conservative activist Brent Bozell, and the agenda was to plot Cruz’s future and the future of the conservative movement.

The undertone of the dinner was about how to position Cruz for a future tilt at the presidency and to spearhead the conservative movement from his seat in the Senate, those in attendance said.

Dining with Cruz and his chief of staff, Paul Teller, were some of the most powerful figures in the conservative movement.

The spectrum of economic, national security and social conservatives seated at the table included Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Club for Growth President David McIntosh, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie, National Rifle Association board member and former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, and Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, sources confirmed…

Many of the leaders at the dinner want Cruz to run for president again, and they are viewing Cruz’s unsuccessful 2016 run as similar to Reagan’s failed attempt in 1976 to unseat the incumbent Republican president, Gerald Ford…

Reagan gave the grifting bigots of the “Moral Majority” a comfy seat at the top table, back in the day when AIDS was still a mysterious new “gay plague”. And as far as these good Christianists are concerned, it’s not as though the Orlando massacre involved, you know, actual American people — just pawns of the devil
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ISIL Can’t Kill Us (But They Can Encourage Us to Kill Each Other)

Charles P. Pierce, in Esquire:

[B]efore we start talking about banning anyone from a Muslim country, or even before we wring our hands again about how easy it is to get your hands on an AR-15, a weapon that is built for, and exists only, to kill people in this country, we should all accept that, for all the advancements that have been made in ensuring equal rights for our fellow citizens who are gay, there is still a kind of virulent hate that we can see in its more polite forms in our legislatures and some of our courtrooms, and now we can see it in its most raw and unreconstructed form in our nightclubs.

The events in Orlando do nothing more than demolish our most treasured illusions about ourselves and our country and—most trivially—our politics. How many of the congresscritters now sending “thoughts and prayers” to the victims in Orlando, and to their families, spent a lot of time in their day jobs making the everyday lives of those victims more miserable than they had to be? There’s still an audience for clean-shaven, well-tailored bigotry of all faiths.

Yes, it appears that Mateen might have come to his violence through his religion, which will make him no different from practically any homophobe—including, I would point out, Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Atlanta Olympics. Allegedly, shortly before he opened fire, he called the local 911 operator and “pledged allegiance” (whatever that means to a guy walking into a club intending to slaughter 50 people) to ISIL, which has claimed responsibility, which is what it would do, under the circumstances.
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