A discussion thread

I know the news is full of things I’d normally be commenting on, but I’m on vacation and a). don’t have time to write nearly as much as usual, and b). much of the news is depressing and I’d rather look at tropical reef fish than be splenetic.

HOWEVER, there are several items that readers are welcome to comment on below. In other words, this is a discussion thread. Here are some suggestions:

a. Journalist Andy Ngo was pelted with milkshakes, beaten up, and had his camera stolen while reporting on a confrontation between white supremacists (“Proud Boys”) and Antifa in Portland, Oregon. The right-wing media sees this as an instance of extremist left intolerance and violence, while many on the Left are excusing the violence, either saying it’s time to confront the fascists with physical resistance, or, at any rate, Ngo brought it on himself, covering the confrontation in order to provoke violence on himself and become a victim.  Weigh in below.

b. Nike withdrew its introduction of a “Betsy Ross” sneaker, shown below in the NYT article, after ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a spokesperson for Nike, criticized the design, which apparently had been used by a few right-wing extremist and white supremacist groups, including the Klan, in their literature. (It was also prominently hung from the Capitol during Obama’s inauguration—see below—but that wasn’t mentioned in the NYT article.)

 

Was this okay for the Obama inauguration but not now because, in the interim, it’s been used by a couple of odious groups? Does the appropriation by such groups of an early American flag associated with the nation’s foundation render that flag unusable for the indefinite future because it’s now a symbol of racism?

c. Trump is having a military display, which apparently costs a lot, for today’s Fourth of July celebrations in Washington D.C. There are tanks and fighter jets in it. France also has parades with military vehicles, which apparently inspired Trump. Are anti-Trumpers right to make a big deal of this?

d. It’s now clear that there is an immigration crisis at the border, with more than 144,000 immigrants coming across the southern border in the last month—the most ever. Conditions look dire, at least according to the photos I’ve seen. What is to be done about this? Is there a credible solution to the problem that does not leave us with open borders but still allows Democrats to promulgate immigration reform? (Some on the Left have indeed called for the abolition of any border controls.)

Discuss, have a hot dog, and enjoy the Fourth. As for me, I’m off with mask, snorkel, and fins to swim along the reefs.

A yellow tang in a tide pool, photographed from above the water:

 

158 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    As for me, I’m going to go have a beer at a cookout with friends and try to ignore civic affairs for a few hours.

  2. Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    The border crisis is driven by asylum policy. It is too restrictive.

    We should admit anyone claiming asylum, house them with families intact, and after a medical check for infectious disease within a day or two, release them as free people into the United States of America.

    To avoid long wait, we should multiply the doctors/medical at the border by 10-fold, so the confirmation of not-infectious is quick. Then, another family can occupy the suite or hotel room immediately.

    • Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      This is, in effect, an open-border policy, because anyone wanting to immigrate to the U.S. would claim asylum, and there would be no way to verify those claims. You don’t mention whether their claim of asylum, which by law must be based on fear of persecution in their home countries, would even need to be checked.

      • Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        For better or for worse, international agreements on asylum, which the US is a signatory to, requires this to be a possible outcome. Anyone on the soil of the state for which they which to apply can apply. There are then further restrictions on what can happen as a result of the application, but it has a process, etc. This is where the US (and Canada, I might add for my fellow Canadians) is falling down.

        Now, one can withdraw from the agreements …

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      This issue is much more complex than you are saying. Asylum is a right that can be claimed by anyone. But it has to be investigated and decided by a court if it gets to that. All of it takes time and lots of people. The system currently cannot handle the numbers and frankly has been falling down on the job for a long time. Trump is just making it worse. The whole process must be fixed but you don’t accomplish it by simply letting people go totally free. You also do not fix it by ignoring the problems at the origin country but we are doing that as well.

      • Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I should have added that this would be a stalking horse for open borders. I support completely open borders except for infectious disease.

        Randal, I should have said that I am aware of the current investigation/court cycle, and am suggesting we ditch it.

        • Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Get back to us on that open borders thing when China ships over 50 million ‘migrants’.

          • Flint
            Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            I need a memory refresh. When boatloads of immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, how many of them were caged, or turned away, or refused entry? Did they need documented evidence of sufficiently severe persecution back where they came from? What exactly were the requirements and restrictions? Didn’t we set quotas, which are much too large ever to be met by nations populated by superior people and much too small to meet the demands of the shithole countries.

            I do recall that boatloads of Jews from Germany were refused entry and sent back early in WWII. (And Americans of Asian descent were sent to secure compounds while their property was confiscated, not to be returned in their lifetimes). I wonder if we are proud of these actions.

            My take is, we are a nation of immigrants (possibly excepting Native Americans), but we have been careful to be immigrants from favored nations mostly for racial reasons. We are trying to keep people out mostly for racial reasons as well. The people seeking asylum are like people jumping from a burning building – probably fatal, which is better than definitely fatal. I doubt we’d ever face 50 million Chinese, and we should welcome those Chinese who immigrate.

            • Posted July 4, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

              1) You conflate immigration with asylum-granting. The former is subject to any quota a sovereign nation choses to impose. The latter is regulated by international law. Between 11 and 30 million illegal immigrants are in the US, nearly all of them economic migrants with no valid asylum claim. The recent surge of asylum seekers is a crisis that needs to be dealt with. Refugees, however, are not simply let into another country and given citizenship;

              2) “We are a nation of immigrants” is an utterly vacuous statement. We as a nation today can and must decide what levels of immigration is in our best interest;

              3) The assertion of racism is unfounded — and a cheap ploy, tbh;

              4) The detention of Japanese-Americans during WWII was unconscionable, but it has nothing to do with current immigration policy;

              5) If there are no restrictions on immigration, and no discussion on what is a maximum sustainable population for our country, we could easily see 50-100 million or more new immigrants in short order.

              • Flint
                Posted July 4, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

                Matt,

                I understand what you’re saying here. I admit I wonder whether your distinction between immigrants and asylum seekers means much in this context. The real question is, are these people potentially a boon or a burden? If they are a burden (looking down the road — all waves of immigrants have been mostly unskilled, illiterate, and discriminated against initially), the national interest is to restrict their numbers. If they are a boon, then the national interest is to grease the path to productive citizenship. My reading is that the dreamers have become productive and welcome members of society with few exceptions.

                The assertion of racism is prima facie stone obvious. The current cruelty for the sake of cruelty doctrine is from Stephen Miller, and no honest person would deny he’s a racist. The whole idea of the wall is to keep colored people out of the country. What do you THINK Trump mean by “shithole countries” except countries with colored people? Why do you THINK he asked for people from Norway – the whitest nation he could think of? Claiming there is no racial component of a totally racist policy has no credibility. I mentioned treatment of Jews and Japanese to emphasize the racial nature of many of our policies. Why do you THINK we dropped the atomic bomb on the gooks and not the white Germans? Coincidence? The war was basically over on both fronts at the time… Alas, racism is as indelibly American as mother pie and applehood.

                Your repeated preposterous assertion of 50-100 million immigrants apparently blinds you to the reality of what’s going on here. The question isn’t how many people our country can hold, the question is how rapidly we can absorb people. And the answer to that depends on the willingness of those being absorbed to adopt the language, culture, and traditions of their adopted country. Europe suffers today because the influx of Syrians and others from the Middle East refuse to relinquish their practices – their religion, dress codes, language, and iron-clad intolerances. These people are as hard to digest as rock.

                Now, I understand that totally open borders, at least in the short run, is problematic. It’s hard to absorb that many people that fast, and the US is currently also suffering a brain drain as scientists move away as unskilled people move in. But I think a sane educational policy is a different topic. It was quality universal public education that made the nation what it is. Maybe these immigrants could become citizens and vote for better education policies.

              • Posted July 5, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

                @Flint,
                I’ll address your historical & racial claims in a separate comment, the rest succinctly here.
                1) We have 20-30 million illegals now, 1 million more entering each year. With open borders, rapid influxes in the 10s of million, and longterm >100 million, is not preposterous, but rather a certainty;

                2) How large a population our country can sustain is a vital question that isn’t being addressed. No sane policy can be crafted without an answer based on science, not emotion;

                3) You correctly note the importance of cultural assimilation by immigrants. All the more reason for caution when accepting immigrants from cultures very different from, or even antagonistic to, ours. (That is not racist);

                4) The US is not experiencing a ‘brain drain’ — on the contrary, we are ‘draining’ high-end talent from the world, India most notably. However, most legal, and virtually all illegal, immigrants are poorly-educated & unskilled. As such, they are a net burden to the economy.

            • XCellKen
              Posted July 4, 2019 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

              “My take is, we are a nation of immigrants (possibly excepting Native Americans), but we have been careful to be immigrants from favored nations mostly for racial reasons”

              Italians, Poles, Jews, etc were NOT considered “White” when they first arrived in America. Just sayin’

              • Posted July 5, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

                And the Irish were depicted as apish subhumans in caricatures.

          • allison
            Posted July 4, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            I’d be delighted with 50 million new Chinese immigrants to my country (the U.S.). Get ’em registered to vote ASAP.

            • Posted July 4, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

              Where are you planning to put them, Allison?

              And what makes you think they’d vote the way you’d like them to?

              • Flint
                Posted July 4, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

                Well, let’s see. 50 million immigrants would be about a 14% increase, fairly easy to handle over a couple decades or so.

                How they would vote is an excellent question. People tend to vote their perceived self-interest considered generally — that is, economically, socially, religiously. So, what would a massive influx of Chinese see as their self-interest? How would Chinese immigrants see same sex marriage, abortion, progressive taxation, government subsidy of evangelical schools, health care for the wealthy preferentially, etc? I don’t know. Hell, how will all these Latinos’ votes change as they become more affluent and have more to lose than to gain? Voting patterns have always been the haves defending their turf against the have-nots who want it.

              • rickflick
                Posted July 4, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

                I would think a large percentage of Latinos’ from central and South America are Catholics. Catholics of a certain conservative strain I suppose. How would they vote? Anti-abortion, for sure.

        • aljones909
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          “Open borders” would be a dramatic change to American society. Shouldn’t it be subject to a democratic vote? You don’t have national referendums so I’d suggest someone in favour of completely open borders stands for President.

          • Flint
            Posted July 4, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            Great idea! Let’s have a democratic vote about open borders — except, of course, those who would benefit from open borders wouldn’t be allowed to vote! Didn’t we once have votes about slavery, but slaves couldn’t vote? How did that work for us?

            In brief, it’s very difficult to have a “democratic vote” to determine the fate of those not allowed to vote in the first place.

            • aljones909
              Posted July 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

              What?

      • DrBrydon
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        A hundred years ago, we would have just sent the Marines in to Guatemala. (Interestingly, I think it’s one of the few Caribbean and Central American nations that we didn’t.) It’s clear that the problem needs to ultimately be sorted there. I am surprised Mexico isn’t more active here, as this is no better for them than for us.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Military intervention in Guatemala wasn’t necessary since the CIA did such a good job with covert intervention.

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      July 3 Trump tweet: “Many of these illegals aliens are living far better now than where they came from, and in far safer conditions.”

      While he meant to claim we were treating them well enough, he also inadvertently admitted they have a legitimate claim to asylum – where they came from they were living worse and less safe, which must be pretty dire.

      This is a global problem, affecting Europe as well as the US. It is going to get worse and worse, as political turmoil roils in the less developed countries, and as climate change renders parts of the world uninhabitable.

      We have to decide if we are

      A: “fair weather humanitarians,” who will help the downtrodden only up to the point where it starts to disrupt our own lives, or

      B: committed humanitarians, who will help the downtrodden come “hell or high water,” both of which seem to be on their way.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        It seems to me the right answer is: to get more involved with the nations sending forth their down-trodden. Offer them a deal they can’t refuse. A lot of money, well spent, can boost their economies and remove the main cause of unrest. Of course the 600 lb gorilla is global warming. There, we’ll need to spend a lot of money and attention to saving the huddled masses as well as our own coastal cities.

        • Historian
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          Yes, what is largely missed in the discussion of mass migrations such as being experienced at the U.S. southern border is that it is due in large measure to climate change. See these articles.

          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/06/us-mexico-immigration-climate-change-migration

          https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/climate-migrants-report-world-bank-spd/

          What this means is that there is no ready solution to this crisis. Fences and machine guns can perhaps temporarily stem the flow, but the people will keep coming out of total desperation. Mass migrations in other parts of the world will soon take place, if not already happening. Since substantively little is being done to address the issue, and soon any measure will be too little or too late, millions will die and the world will be in chaos. Can the United States and other western nations feel safe behind their fences? I doubt it in the long run. But, for the moment, be happy and enjoy the 4th. Trump has his tanks and is making America great again. As with seemingly all problems, the U.S. government, with partisan deadlock, kicks the can down the road. Unfortunately, the road is near its end as it approaches a very deep canyon.

          • Filippo
            Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

            Wed 7/3/19 NPR “Morning Edition” had a segment on how much this extra stuff was costing the U.S. taxpayers. But no figure was given for how much the usual stuff cost the U.S. taxpayers yearly.

            Do I correctly recall that the U.S. military has some significant presence at Super Bowl games, including jet flyovers of the stadium? How much does that cost U.S. taxpayers? And is that the only commercial event seeking to exploit the U.S. military?

            • rickflick
              Posted July 5, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

              I think any current costs you can think of will be dwarfed by the effects of carbon in 50 or 100 years. A worldwide plan is necessary. Don’t cancel your barbecue, vote for a sane government.

          • Steve Pollard
            Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            All too right. I am afraid I keep being reminded of the episode early on in Orwell’s 1984, where Winston describes seeing a ‘war film’ at the cinema in which a boatload of refugees is machine-gunned and bombed from a helicopter, to laughter and applause from most of the audience.

            Already Salvini and his lot in Italy are criminalising those who are trying to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean. How long before Orwell’s dystopian vision becomes acceptable policy?

          • Nicolaas Stempels
            Posted July 6, 2019 at 1:33 am | Permalink

            If global warming (I prefer ‘global warming’ to the innocuous sounding ‘climate change’) is one of the main causes, there are ready solutions to this crisis.
            Go completely, or virtually completely, solar. Solar technology (including batteries) has become better and cheaper over the last decade, so it has become feasible.
            Alas, the present admin has been active in dismantling the modest efforts started by the previous one.

            • rickflick
              Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

              And don’t forget trees. Planting billions of trees would sequester millions of tons of carbon in a fairly short time. And, it’s cheap.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted July 5, 2019 at 2:34 am | Permalink

          Yes, I think the most effective way in the longer run to stem the flow, would be a kind of Marshall plan for Central America.
          In the mean time, there should be a an urgent increase in (serious) asylum courts, and implementation of plans such as Mr Obama’s highly successful ‘Family Case Management Program’.

          • rickflick
            Posted July 5, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            I did not know Obama’s handling of the issue was considered highly successful. But, I’m glad to hear it. That emphasizes that we can take a better path by simply voting for a sane government.

            • Nicolaas Stempels
              Posted July 6, 2019 at 1:14 am | Permalink

              It was not his complete handling that was very successful, but that specific program was. The ‘Family Case Management Program’ was a pilot project that worked pretty well (at 36 U$/d): close to 99% of asylum seekers under that program appeared for their hearing. Of course is was scrapped by the Trump administration.

        • Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          And in particular – stop fooking around with them. Take, say, Nicaragua. We (Canada and US) supported the recent (2009) coup and have sent assistance to the government there. Stopping this and “harder” interventions will help to mitigate the problem by minimizing the amount of people in question.

          Further, we should atone for our mistakes by letting them live with us if they want – to whatever degree seems proportionate. (In Canada’s case I dare say we should allow as many Haitians in as want to come, given our stuff there, but …)

      • Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        … he also inadvertently admitted they have a legitimate claim to asylum – where they came from they were living worse and less safe, which must be pretty dire.

        A desire to improve one’s general living conditions does not constitute a legitimate claim to asylum. The only basis is a:
        well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion….

        https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/protection/basic/3b66c2aa10/convention-protocol-relating-status-refugees.html

      • Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Option A.
        When it is high water, contact neighbouring countries for a consensus and most importantly the source country to sort out the problem.
        Option A but they should be helped differently.

        • Steve Gerrard
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          I suspect that is right. It is a bit like the airline’s instruction to “fit your own oxygen mask first, then care for the children.” There is no point in destroying ourselves in an attempt to help others.

          What we will need to do, as already stated above, is figure out a better way to help some of these countries fix their problems.

          • Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            The logically prior step is to also stop creating problems in the countries ourselves.

  3. Kenneth Webb
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The flag in all its historical versions is surely bigger than any misuse of it by a particular group. If all innocent and well-intentioned uses are abandoned, the field will be left open for only the other kind. How is that helpful?

    • harrync
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Agree. That is the first national flag. How do we win by giving it up to the right wing fanatics? Nike needs to reclaim that flag, not give it up to the right wing just because one of their employees is somehow offended.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted July 5, 2019 at 2:37 am | Permalink

        The reason Nike removed the Betsy Ross is wrong, but on the other hand putting a flag on shoes, where it gets easily soiled, is not really something I think right wing nationalists would approve of.

  4. Wunold
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I have the uttermost respect for all of the journalists who put themselves in danger to report about the things that happen while we are living our everyday lives elsewhere.

  5. rickflick
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The slight distortion of the tang is a metaphor for the warm, intoxicating feelings of a vacationing done well.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Will give you the same advice they give to those driving in a heavy rain. Turn around, don’t drowned. Actually, have fun out there.

    Another item in the immigration mess has risen to the top as of yesterday and that is the question Trump wanted to add to the census. As of yesterday the govt. said the forms were already in print and the question would not be on the form, per the court. That is all the way to the supreme court. However, DOJ was contradicted by another Trump tweet saying he still wanted the question on the form. So today, many lawyers at DOJ are probably doing holiday overtime pay attempting to figure out how to do something that cannot be done. A federal court has told them, tomorrow is the final deadline to get back with something or nothing.

    Trumps thinks maybe an executive order will do the trick. So he is about one tweet away from a really nice impeachment offense if he does not back off. Frankly I hope he does not back down and gives us all the gift of impeachment. Meanwhile you can go down to Washington DC and look at a tank.

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      I liked this summary of the topic by a commenter on LGM:

      1) try something obviously evil.
      2) lose in court.
      3) everyone involved who has a real job, however corrupt or unqualified they may be, understands that they lost and have to do the census the normal way.
      4) the guy whose job is watching Fox News and who does not understand what courts are changes the entire government’s position by typing something on his phone.

      ‘Tis a sad state of affairs.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Very good.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like a scenario for a book of fiction, followed by the movie. Who could play the guy typing on his phone? Alec Baldwin.

  7. DrBrydon
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    1) Antifa are just leftist thugs, as was their namesake. You can’t excuse political violence in support of your own position, and credibly condemn your opponents for it. One you accept it, you eliminate civil discourse.

    2) Screw Nike and Kaepernick.

    3) Trump is an El Presidente looking for his banana republic. He has the same sensibilities, style, and values. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to design himself a uniform. At least, if he dressed like Castro, you could excuse the terrible fit of his clothes. I am pretty sure he envies the North Korean leader cult.

    4) The numbers of immigrants coming now are unmanageable, as the conditions show. Frankly, the President should be working with Mexico to stop the flood on their southern border. Letting them come here isn’t doing them any favors. Congress collectively is to blame for not sorting this out years ago. They keep hoping the courts will save them on tough issues.

    • Filippo
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      I reasonably assume that Nike pays Kaepernick (K) a substantial chunk of change to do whatever it is he does for them. Assuming Nike didn’t hire him for purely public relations reasons, why didn’t Nike request his advice PRIOR to marketing and stocking in retail stores the shoe in question?

      It strikes me that for the same stated reason(s) K and his ilk could similarly question the use (commercial exploitation) of any U.S. flag up to at least 1865. And why not at least up to 1965 and beyond?

      To the extent one or more U.S. flags/emblems exist of which K approves, based on my limited knowledge of his views, I gather that he thinks it quite alright to commercially exploit national emblems. I wonder if K thinks it would be quite alright for the U.S. gov’t to contract with Nike to have its “swoosh” adorn the uniforms of U.S. military service members going in harm’s way.

      I personally don’t like the idea of the U.S. flag being used as a sartorial item of any sort. (Sweat-drenched U.S. flag bandannas are a common sight. When does a flag end and a chemise begin? Has it become chic to sport a pair of star-spangled drawers?) I think it should be manufactured only in the U.S. One would think that U.S. conservative (and Christian) types, refulgent in their “American Values” bloviation, would have a similar view. But I gather that I am “on the wrong side of history” when the likes of economist, former Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate Phil “I Am That Man” Gramm thinks it peachy-keen to have the U.S. flag manufactured off-shore. Today across the fruited plain are Amuricuns celebrating “The Land of the Fee and the Home of the Craven”?

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      Your third point immediately brought to mind the ridiculous uniforms that Richard Nixon had designed for the White House Guard back in the day http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/comments/nixon_palace_guard, though he didn’t get around to designing one for himself.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump did something like that. Of course he would have the most splendid dictator’s uniform for himself, then dress White House staff with uniforms a la Nixon.

      Perhaps Ivanka, with her fashion expertise, can design them.

  8. JAH43
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that the entire tenor of the internment policy would be different if residency in the camps were made “voluntary” in the sense that the government would, at the internee’s request and at any time, provide a ticket so the internee could go home. The cost of the tickets would be negligible, less than the cost of one day’s keep in the camps, and yet would remove the incentive to make the trek North. Adopting such a policy would certainly not be an answer to the many concerns raised by the border situation and would not excuse the practice of keeping people under poor living conditions. But it would at least remove the element of forcible incarceration, which is a particular Injustice against people who have committed no real crime other than trying to make a better life for their families.

  9. tubby
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    A military parade is inappropriate regardless of the person in power. Trump’s politicizing it in order to use it as a symbol of military support for him makes it worse. France’s traditions don’t matter. France has a state religion, so maybe you never-Jesusers are are getting your panties in a twist over nothing and should just get over it.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      “France has a state religion”.

      No it doesn’t. It has a secular constitution with a strict separation between the state and all forms of religion. The 14 July (Bastille Day) military parade has been a key part of French national culture since 1880.

      I presume your comments about “never-Jesusers” is intended to wind people up. It won’t.

      • W.T. Effingham
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Most non-Jesusers I’m familiar with are former Jesusers, not never-Jesusers.

      • tubby
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        My mistake.

        Never-Jesusers is meant to parallel never-Trumpers, as in some cases Trump support seems to have the trappings of religion.

        France’s tradition of military parades still has no bearing on if we should also do so in order to sooth and fluff a politician’s ego. Doesn’t matter if it’s Trump or anyone else.

    • Posted July 4, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      You wanna stop dissing the other commenters, please? Your last sentence is totally uncivil.

      • tubby
        Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        I apologize

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      I do not really mind a military parade, the least of the problems the US is facing, although I gather it is not really an American tradition.
      What I really find unconscionable is the millions stolen from the National Parks to finance it.

  10. pablo
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    RE Andy Ngo: I love that some SJWs in the media are completely fine with a group of white men beating up a gay Asian man because of politics. It really puts their talk of hierachies of oppression, and of empathy into perspective. I’m ambivalent about high crimes laws, but I hope Oregon prosecutes those antifa thugs under one.

    • aljones909
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      A professor was part of the antifa group at Berkeley in 2017. He was masked and whacking people on the head with a bicycle lock. This could easily kill someone. Internet nerds managed to identify him (despite the fact he was wearing a mask). In 2018 four felony assault charges were dropped, he pleaded guilty to “simple battery” – 3 years probation. That’ll teach him.

    • pablo
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      “High crimes” is supposed to read hate crimes. Don’t know how that happened.

  11. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Just a bit of breaking news. About a half hour ago a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in California. Around the Bakersfield area. Not sure of damage?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Ridgecrest is the town, around China Lake. Some damage reported and a few fires. I think this was a rolling earthquake, lasting a good 30 seconds or so and many aftershocks. Loss of power as well.

  12. Linda Calhoun
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Re: the border situation – No matter what flavor of idea or solution anyone does or does not come up with, child abuse should be off the table.

    Leaving kids packed in like sardines, and then NOT allowing them to touch each other (Catch 22, much?), no soap or toothbrush, no showers, no toys, no medical help, “guarded” by tyrannical, sadistic people is just gross. The people who are doing this, and the people who support them, are not JUST doing it, they’re ENJOYING it. We need to be screaming at the top of our lungs about it. We need to constantly show pictures. Every time an oversight attempt is cut off, we need to be screaming about that, too.

    Enough is enough. This is being done in our names, with our tax money. I was a shrink long enough to tell you all what level of damage is being done to these kids, and much of the damage will be long-term for them.

    Re; Trump’s ego display for this holiday – they are doing a political rally for the Republican Party with MY tax money. Tickets have only been distributed by the White House and the RNC, and no Democrat of any kind has even been invited, much less given tickets to hand out.

    Shine a light on these crooks, major media. Grow a spine, and do your job, instead of treating all of this as the norm.

    L

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      You sound like I feel on this whole thing. It is pathetic how things are being handled at the boarder and I believe Trump likes it this way. He says, if they don’t like the treatment then don’t come. No beds, no water, no change of clothing, no medicine for the kids, no doctors.

      88 people in a room for 40 people. Living like this for weeks and very poor food. It is a joke and worse, when our media and democrats go down to inspect, they are not let in, not allowed to talk to the people. Border control is out of control.

      • Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        if they don’t like the treatment then don’t come

        Trump doesn’t seem to realise that these are children. They were brought by their parents. They didn’t come by choice.

        I really don’t understand this situation. Anybody with a shred of humanity must surely realise that what is happening is an absolute disgrace. Trump’s approval rating is still around 42%. How is it that 42% of Americans are OK with this?

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          His cult only watches FOX news. FOX doesn’t cover the suffering and the children, only the mobs and caravans. A lot of his supporters are racist as well, so they welcome the cruelty.

          Also keep in mind that an approval of around 42% doesn’t equate to 42% of Americans.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Keep in mind that Trump and his administration wants the suffering of immigrants and their children. It’s a feature, not a bug. Cruelty and racism are at the heart of their agenda. That’s why they spend millions on some idiot display of killing machines, but can’t afford toothbrushes or soap. It’s also why he can call a National Emergency to spend billions for an ineffective wall, but not for the humane treatment of fellow human beings. Our country continues it’s inevitable spiral down the toilet.

      Oh, and also (no surprise) they want to make some cheddar. Trump’s ex-chief of staff John Kelly is on the board of the private company that is running the concentration camps. They charge $750/per child/per day. So there’s also that.

      I heard the baby Trump blimp will be floating near by. Hope the media shows some footage. I think only FOX and CNN are covering the charade.

  13. Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    What stops Neo-Nazis here in Germany is outnumbering them 5 or 10 to one and just blocking their march and hoping the police keep things in order. No one in their right mind would throw a milkshake at them, let alone try any form of violence with them.

    My question for anyone who thinks it’s useful to punch a so-called Nazi is, what do you hope to achieve with that? What will you do when they start hitting back?

    Trump already wanted tanks at his inauguration, didn’t he? Someone managed to rein him in back then, but those days are well and truly gone, aren’t they.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      “…what do you hope to achieve with that? ” (punching a Nazi). Exactly.
      Sometimes I wonder if this whole ‘Antifa’ thuggery is not a false flag operation to give the ‘left’ a bad name. Cui bono?

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted July 5, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        I have wondered it too but have heard too many well known lefty feminist SJW types advocating and justifying it.
        Rebecca Watson and Steve Shives, and old favorite PZ Myers being some examples.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted July 6, 2019 at 1:40 am | Permalink

          Good point.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      “…what do you hope to achieve with that? ” (punching a Nazi). Exactly.
      Sometimes I wonder if this whole ‘Antifa’ thuggery is not a false flag operation to give the ‘left’ a bad name. Cui bono?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      “…what do you hope to achieve with that? ” (punching a Nazi). Exactly.
      Sometimes I wonder if this whole ‘Antifa’ thuggery is not a false flag operation to give the ‘left’ a bad name. Cui bono?

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 1:39 am | Permalink

        Sorry, how did that ‘triple’ happen? My apologies.

  14. Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    1: Andy Ngo: The right are correct on this one.

    If you’re attacking journalists for reporting on what you’re doing, guess what? You’re the bad guy.

    And you know you’re the bad guy – otherwise you wouldn’t be assaulting journalists for reporting on your activities. Nobody ever assaulted the media for reporting a kitten rescue.

    2: Nike: Don’t much care TBH. Wokeness is all about finding petty bullshit nobody really cares about whinge over as a means of avoiding scrutiny for the child/slave labour involved in making the shoes.

    3: You have concentration camps on the border. The president wanting a military parade is the least of your problems.

    Honestly both 2 and 3 illustrate something profoundly wrong in the human psyche, the way we focus on stuff that is all symbolism while doing nothing about the actual underlying problems.

    Same issue we have with PC language, as if we can fix serious social ills simply by finding the right synonym.

    4: Being hard on immigration while beggaring your neighbour hasn’t exactly worked with regards to stopping illegal immigration. Make Mexico a place where more Mexicans want to live – and you don’t have this problem anymore.

    • John Dentinger
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you on all of the above, except for the Mexico part of the problem–as I understand it, it’s more of a Central American problem, which is where our efforts to improve lives should be focused.
      That said, treating Mexico like an enemy doesn’t help, either.

    • paablo
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      The right might be right on Mr. Ngo, but they sure are applying the standard selectively.

  15. Filippo
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Contemplating the record influx of immigrants, I wonder what if anything the U.S. should do (a la FDR’s 1930’s “Good Neighbor Policy”) in terms of foreign aid in Latin America, so as to somehow help improve their economies and make it more attractive for Latin Americans to stay in Latin America. (Though the U.S. in not in the best possible position to do that, what with CIA activities in Guatemala in 1954 and Chile in 1973, among other such past adventures. What if anything shall the U.S. properly do regarding Venezuela?)

    The NY Times recently informs me that economic migration is currently in the ascendant. Yet I gather that (drug) gang violence and oppressive regimes remain significant migratory motivators.

    Accordingly I understand the motivation to migrate, legally or not, by whatever means. The drowning of the twenty-three-year old father – and the twenty-three-month old son helplessly strapped to his back – is a tragic event. I trust that anyone else contemplating crossing the Rio Grande or any other body of water will consider the efficacy and wisdom of first acquiring (by theft if necessary) and donning a life jacket or some other flotation device. It’s one thing for an adult to cross a river without a flotation device. It’s another to impose that reckless tactic on a helpless child. Perhaps it would be an excellent humanitarian project to ship and distribute mass quantities of life preservers along the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. (So long as one is not accused of undermining Mexican commerce. That wouldn’t do, eh?)

    If open U.S. borders are alright, then it seems reasonable that the U.S. should join the European Union (what with its open borders, at which Brexiteers chafe) and submit to the authority of Brussels. (Obama made a taxpayer-paid special trip to stand on British soil and admonish the Brits to remain in the EU. If it’s such a good thing the U.S. should also do it.)

    • rickflick
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I think (drug) gang violence and oppressive regimes stem from economic instability, so, indirectly failed economy is the most important cause of emigration. All the problems can be addressed by helping their economies. I think there is enough expertise around to make good suggestions, but it would probably take an outside influence ($US)($World Bank)(UN).

      • Flint Cowden
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if you might have it backwards. The US has an apparently insatiable appetite for recreational drugs, however addictive they may be. We consider it immoral, so we’ve been fighting a war on drugs for decades. We have succeeded in enriching the drug cartels, multiplying the violence, distorting the economies of supplier nations, shifting actual power from governments (now basically drug cartel employees) to the crime bosses, and spending billions. We have succeeded in the US in incarcerating a higher percentage of our population than any other nation anywhere in the world any time in history.

        What we have NOT accomplished is reducing American drug consumption, not even a little.

        The US has spent a bundle of money trying to prop up Central American governments, with the intention of improving the lives of those who live there. We have, unfortunately, managed to purchase only corruption. Until we change our domestic drug laws, we will continue to subsidize the corruption and violence people are fleeing. But no politician will propose this, for fear of his opponent saying he favors addicting our children. As Pogo used to say, we have met the enemy and they are us.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 5, 2019 at 12:42 am | Permalink

          Good points. Yes, if drugs were legal but regulated, the black market would dry up. That would help a lot. Other factors, like climate change will become more important as time goes on. It doesn’t look promising does it?

  16. jpetts
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Bret Weinstein interviews Andy Gno. Very good indeed.

    • jpetts
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Or even Ngo.

  17. Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    A) Assault is assault. Unless Ngo physically attacked Antifa people, which I doubt, this act should be condemned by all.

    B) Nike can do what it wants, but the idea that the Betsy Ross flag is racist is absurd.

    C) Trump acting like a turd as usual.

    D) This a difficult one. The indigenous people are being oppressed by the Guatemalan dictatorship including murder and torture. Anyone fleeing this oppression should be given asylum if they can show cause. But we cannot have open borders.

  18. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    1. Andy Ngo was beaten up and that was a bad thing. Antifa are basically dickheads.
    I see no soul-searching going on on the right about white supremacists turning up armed with guns in opposition, and it seems to be a secondary concern in this question, but absolutely, yes, the usual revolting suspects on Twitter engaging in apologetics for this bullshit depresses the hell out of me.
    They seem to think it’s legitimate to beat up an innocent journalist because…what? He got in the way? ‘Collateral damage’ as the neocons these antifa f—wits spent the noughties yelling at might have put it.

    2. I thought Nike recalling some shoes because Nazis were buying them sets a pretty stupid precedent. The alt-right love this type of shit, where they co-opt something innocent and poison it.
    OTOH, Nike’s stock gets a bump every time they do this and I can see that they don’t want the associations either. Again though, it sets a precedent. Personally I hope the alt-right try and co-opt Michael Buble, or the Fast and Furious movies. I’d like to see both of them recalled and subsequently pulped in a shoe factory.

    3. Strip this military parade of any context whatsoever then you could maybe, just about, argue that there’s no problem with it. However, think about it as it actually is, ie. the grand dream of a wannabe dictator who has bragged about ‘having the army’ behind him, and who has threatened his opponents with the words ‘we have the guns’…then yes, it’s pretty bloody alarming.

    4. I really don’t know enough about immigration in America to be confident either way. I’m frustrated every time I heard Democrats veer away from tackling it head on in the debates since it is essentially the only genuinely heavy-hitting issue that the Republicans seem to have in their arsenal.
    OTOH, the figures for immigration have been dropping precipitously for forty years in America so I also find it hard to take claims of a ‘crisis’ seriously. The figures for last year were something like a third of the figure in Dubya’s first year.

    • Filippo
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Personally I hope the alt-right try and co-opt Michael Buble . . . .”

      Since you bring him up, my subjective, imperfect perception of Buble is that he has an oleaginous, preening Vegas “lounge lizard” style/affect. Apparently a lot of the wimminfolk like that. At the same time he has an excellent voice. He sings primarily from “The Great American Songbook,” about which I myself am most enthusiastic.

      At least one can take ones nieces/nephews/grandchildren to his concerts without fear, as compared to the likes of rapper Young Dolph, what with his most inspirational and edifying “Get Paid.”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      From the actions of antifa, I think I would be safer in a crowd of white supremicists. I know there are more of the alt-right goons but when they demonstrate they seem to be less violent except when they are extremely violent. Antifa seems to just attack anyone and attack to kill, every single time: whacking people with reinforced knuckled gloves, a lock in a bag (as mentioned above – Jesus they do that in prison) & putting quick drying cement in “milkshakes” to burn your eyes. And they do this indiscriminately because they are full of violent sociopaths. Video exists of them pulling people out of cars – innocent by-standers & attacking elderly people. These are terrorists and they should be treated as such.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Legalistically, they should be arrested and prosecuted individually. Punishment should match the damage caused, as in proper jurisprudence.

  19. Minroad
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    1) The assault on Andy Ngo was wrong, and the “mainstream” writers defending it disgust me.

    2) Allowing the right to constantly usurp patriotic symbols is a HUGE gift to them.

    3) The military parade is idiotic, but the hysterical overreaction plays right into Trump’s hands.

    4) The immigration discussion has become ridiculously polarized like the rest of our politics. There are reasonable positions in between a de facto open borders policy (i.e. let everyone in that isn’t a murderer or terrorist) and walling ourselves off like a fortified medieval city.

  20. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    The Betsy Ross sneaker just seems nuts to me. I guess a flag earlier than maybe 1950 is off limits now. Lets scrub all that history away so as not to offend anyone. Book burning will continue until all problems are removed. Kaepernick will have respect from no one if he keeps this up.

    • Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      It is utterly crazy. If you want something to be associated with fascists, the absolute best way to do that is to ban it in any non fascist context.

      This is the first version of the flag of the USA. The absolute last thing you want to do is surrender it to fascists. You should be handing it out to everybody on 4th July so it loses any force as a right wing symbol.

      • Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Pelmon
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Exactly.

      • GBJames
        Posted July 5, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Yes, indeed. This is exactly why I fly a flag on our house year-round. I refuse to hand the symbol over to right-wing types like the fellow next door.

  21. Steve Gerrard
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I comment on the Ngo incident as a Portland resident. Portland tolerates these annual summer “events” as free speech on the part of the “Proud Boys”, and free opposition speech on the part of “Antifa.” Not allowing them creates a whole new set of problems.

    It is worth noting that “Antifa” is not an organization, any more than motorcycle gangs are a national organization. Each group forms and operates independently in their city. It is not possible to take action against “Antifa” as a group.

    The police have to spend their time maintaining the perimeter around the event, to insure it doesn’t spill over into other areas. They also put effort into keeping the two groups physically separated, to avoid violent interaction. This sometimes fails later in the day. It happened last August, for instance, and it happened this time.

    Normally everyone else stay outside the area, or on the perimeter to watch, so injuries to
    non-participants don’t happen. Ngo chose to walk with the Antifa group inside the perimeter. The police were not in a position to guard him against harm, as their focus was on the perimeter and the separation of the two groups.

    The thug who ran up to Ngo and punched his face (I think with a heavy object in hand) is obviously guilty of assault. However it might seem to some, they cannot charge “Antifa” with the crime, only the assailant. It will be all but impossible to identify him.

    Most people in Portland are okay with letting the two groups have a dust up now and then, as long as it stays inside the perimeter and they are only smacking each other around. It is not seen as dangerous to anyone else outside the event, and such events are the only time “Antifa” crops up here. We just know to stay out of the zone while it is happening.

    So, there is in fact one member of Portland “Antifa” that saw fit to do bodily harm to a journalist. There is not a whole lot anyone can do about it, and not much point in making sweeping generalizations about it either.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Oh, well, that’s OK then. Nothing to see here. Move on.

      What part of ‘free speech’ involves a gratuitous assault on a journalist? Come to that, what part of ‘annual summer events’ involving ‘free speech’ entails the acceptance of ‘violent interaction’?

      I’m glad I don’t live within 5000 miles of Portland, Oregon. You’re welcome to it.

    • dd
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      HI Steve, good to read report from planet Portland.

      Meanwhile, here is Ngo in a Wall Street Journal interview:

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/antifa-attacks-a-journalist-11562021361?mod=e2fb&fbclid=IwAR3fZBeD1_PB8ubxTfJlu0h7zPAU6E8POnOIHPh4W9Mh1XH6GxT6qXmG0k0

      • Steve Gerrard
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        The rhetoric I object to is “the severe beating that a left-wing mob gave” when it was one guy who threw the hard punch. The rest was the usual string cheese and throwing eggs.

        There is a video of it in a tweet, you can clearly see the thug run up from behind Ngo, and clobber him on the left side of his face before running off again.

        I’m no fan of “Antifa” (I’m not sure anyone not a member is), but it was one guy who did it. I think most people would like to see him arrested, if he could be identified. It does not rise to the level of an embrace of violence by the left, as seems to be claimed.

        (I didn’t read the rest of the link, as I am not a subscriber to WaPo.)

        • dd
          Posted July 5, 2019 at 1:35 am | Permalink

          A longer video….with more details about the attack

          https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-leftist-mob-attacked-me-in-portland-11562109768

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

          I thought there was at least two punches and two hard kicks to the groin area.
          And I can assure you that throwing an egg very hard at someone could do damage.

          There was a lot more than one guy who did, with other people throwing stuff at him from behind and the side. ‘They’ are violent scum with zero moral standing.

    • XCellKen
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      “However it might seem to some, they cannot charge “Antifa” with the crime, only the assailant. It will be all but impossible to identify him.”

      RICO ???

  22. Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    nota bene: Under international law, Mexico is the “first country of asylum” for Central American refugees, and is obliged to care for them while it assesses their claims. Instead, Mexico is letting the ‘caravans’ pass through to the US border.

    Diplomatic pressure should be applied to induce Mexico to meet its obligations as a signatory of the relevant treaty. Trump blustered for a few days about imposing tariffs, then declared victory by waiving a letter from Mexico promising to talk about things at some date in the future. Art of the Deal, my ass.

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Is “first country of asylum” laid out like that for all countries? I was not aware of that. Wouldn’t the people have to apply to Mexico for asylum before they could be evaluated like that?

      It would be great if we could get Mexico to handle some of the influx.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 1:47 am | Permalink

      It is a good point you’re making, Matt, but not a very practical one. Mexico is not equipped to handle such a crisis at all, at least much less than the US.

      • Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Part of strong diplomatic pressure on Mexico could include an offer of financial & material assistance to meet its treaty obligations.

        Other commenters have also suggested direct humanitarian intervention in the countries of origin. That should have begun long ago; that it hasn’t yet is a sign of our severe national dysfunction.

  23. Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like some Democrat candidates are taking the “woke” position on the Betsy Ross flag. Why don’t we just hand Trump a second term on a silver platter?

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2020-democrats-weigh-in-on-nike-betsy-ross-shoe-controversy-they-are-right-to-listen

  24. Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Street violence is wrong. It’s unacceptable that Antifa (/Black Bloc) attack a bystander or reporter. This should be evident on its own, however, if political activists really need further reasons, they should consider that it always rubs off to everyone else, including the many peaceful protestors.

    But that’s always and anyway the case. One lone idiot who punches or throws rocks is enough for Right Wingers to cry bloody murder. They want to make you believe that a bike-lock strike or concussion is about the same as killing sprees or sending bombs to political opponents.

    It’s also unclear what exactly Mr. Ngo did before he was assaulted. He appears to have a habit to shove his camera into the face of people who wish to remain anonymous and who have a legitimate interest in it, as political opponents are known to use identity information to intimidate, harass or worse. He would not be much better off had he pestered gang members, or involve himself between people during a bar fight.

    The matter looks yet more different when he was in the company of Proud Boys, in which case he cannot be assumed a neutral observer. It depends on what he did exactly. I admit that I do not trust right-wing sources, for they have a history of deceptively editing such street footage. The moments before the assault are conspicuously missing in the footage that was circulated.

    Ngo is known to film Antifa, and that way he is seen as helping their opponents. In a normal situation, there might be nothing wrong with filming in public. But Antifa’s opponents are not nice people who just want to have a chat on the internet over some disagreement. Pretending that normal rules apply is ignoring the fact that white supremacist and such groups can be very dangerous.

    I know that some people are sticklers for principle, but that flies against Common Sense. Even without the detail: Hooligan groups during a political rally are not a normal street scene.

    Finally, I notice for a while that Alt Right media instigates and films such as street protests, and then use edited material to fear-monger. Ultimately, I’m in awe how much mileage Right-Wingers got out of the story.

    • cottontail
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      And it’s important to keep the statistics of extremist violence (right-wing v. left-wing) in mind. The asymmetry is large. False equivalence of the scope of the problem is a danger.

      https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/09/12/study-shows-two-thirds-us-terrorism-tied-right-wing-extremists

      https://www.adl.org/news/op-ed/right-wing-extremist-violence-is-our-biggest-threat-the-numbers-dont-lie

      https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-far-right-extremism-united-states

      • XCellKen
        Posted July 5, 2019 at 12:05 am | Permalink

        SPLC ?

        • cottontail
          Posted July 5, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

          XCellKen?

          What in the report that they themselves were just reporting on did you find in error?

          And, of course, the stats quoted in their report on the report jive with other statistics gathered by other entities.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 5, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          The FBI’s own stats on terrorist killings over the last 10+ years have the right responsible for something like 73% of them, Islam responsible for 23% and the left responsible for some small part of the remaining percentage points.

          The right are an order of magnitude more violently dangerous than the left.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      That reprehensible behavior is right there before your eyes yet you are constructing every possible potential blame the victim scenario.

      Could you give me a link to a Proud Boys killing spree.
      Or was that Andy Ngo who was on the killing spree.

      I am truly puzzles as to why you are drawing these irrelevant comparisons other than to justify the violence.

  25. Pelmon
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Ngo was beaten for filming in public, by thugs in black wearing masks. It’s indefensible. So is defending it, which I see many leftists doing.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      Yes exactly.
      It is there, unambiguous and obvious and yet there is so much ‘but the right is worse’ or ‘he shouldn’t have been there with a camera’ or whatever.

      Disturbing.

  26. Pelmon
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    AntiTrumpers should be careful to make only a small thing of it. Instead many will fall into the trap of sounding extreme and anti military. It’s neither a threat nor a portent. The right take I think is: it’s an egotistical waste by an egotistical president; Eisenhower led the army and saw no need for such display. I’d rather see his tax returns.

  27. dd
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Writer’s Jesse Singal’s twitter feed on the antifa assault on Ngo is worth reading:

    ?fbclid=IwAR35vfZ4Xrrf_I_1hitzrtPvrab8OXwZuA0-bz9cPcpd4YgdicAm8pw0h0I

  28. dd
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I just saw this from Peter Beinart at the Atlantic, which essentially denies that there is support, at least much, on the left for what Antifa did to Ngo….

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/conservatives-conjure-liberal-support-antifa/593164/?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=the-atlantic&utm_term=2019-07-04T10%3A00%3A14&utm_content=edit-promo&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR3LREAheeSGjy2w6h3EP458pO77kcDC3VZXT51UzgUf4p1Ut7U6WcH6RzM

    Beinart has become a very different writer than the one who wrote this:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-democrats-immigration-mistake/528678/

  29. Roo
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    This is more a general commentary on the Left vs. Right aspect of all of the above:

    – The far Left (not the Left in general, and not even all of the far Left, but some of them,) seem more and more like they are just looking for a fight for any reason these days. I think they are starting to come off more as aggressors than defenders (perhaps those on the far Right always saw them that way, but for most people, I think traditionally the Left was seen as more about protecting rights in the face of majority unfairness.)

    – I am concerned about the way the democratic primaries are shaping up. (I would be more concerned if not for the fact that us 24-hour-news-cycle Americans, self included, have incredibly short attention spans, and whatever is going on now will be but a faint memory if a memory at all by 2020. Perhaps the candidates know this as well.) The ‘highlights’ of the first debates were:

    1) Kamala Harris randomly yelling at Joe Biden about bussing in 1969 – an issue that is both half a century old and *continues to be unpopular even half a century later. Also with apparently pre-printed tee shirts of herself to underscore how self-consciously “look how poignant I am” scripted the moment obviously was. Not only this, but the media was falling all over themselves the next day to talk about what a score this was for Harris? Really? It was rude *and fake, in my humble opinion.

    2) Open borders (and yes, you can haggle, but making illegal entry a small civil offense and eliminating detainment is pretty much open borders) with the promise of free health care (plus the things that are already free, like schooling and such,) for any immigrant who comes here illegally? You might – MIGHT be able to make the argument that things that are already free to US citizens would be fine, as presumably immigrants will work and pay taxes and so it would balance out (I would have to know more about how those things are funded, if they pay for themselves via taxes or if they’re heavily subsidized from other sources). But universal healthcare is something we haven’t managed even for current citizens, Ceiling Cat knows how we’re planning on paying for this for an unknown number of immigrants. Not to mention that presumably, at least for the first few years, accommodating immigrants would be resource intensive, as they will arrive here with next to nothing and, ideally, have access to help and services in starting a new life. (Regarding immigration in general – I think the only true solution is to improve conditions in the countries from which people immigrate. Global inequality is a huge and disturbing issue, but it won’t be solved by unlimited immigration to wealthy countries.)

    Less in the spotlight but still prominent are issues such as reparations, which a large majority of Americans oppose (this at a time when a large majority of Americans agree on almost nothing.) These are all pet topics of those fairly far to the Left, while there are so many issues that many people, from the moderate to the far Left, pretty much agree on – the need for prison reform; concern about expanding healthcare coverage from the foundations laid by the Affordable Care Act; improving wages for the working class. I get that candidates have to duke it out amongst themselves during the primaries but geez, I hope things improve once they’re over. I think it’s important to remember that only about 27% of the US population are democrats, and of those, many are probably centrist democrats, making the market for sentiments that are fairly far Left rather limited, probably well under a quarter of total voters. I think the Dems sorely need a more unifying vision and message by 2020. I get that campaigning is no easy job and I sympathize – it’s not like I think I could do better – but even so, I hope they come up with a more positive strategy.

    • Posted July 4, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Roo, You are 100% correct. The Democrats should listen to you or they’ll wind up handing the 2020 election to Trump. I don’t need to read the political pundits. I just need to know what you’re saying.

    • Posted July 4, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Roo, You are 100% correct. The Democrats should listen to you or they’ll wind up handing the 2020 election to Trump. I don’t need to read the political pundits. I just need to know what you’re saying.

      • Roo
        Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        I think pundits do a good job with breaking down complex topics that the average listener has neither the time nor the background to unravel quickly. New proposals, foreign policy, internal dynamics and so on. But ever since pretty much everyone got Trump’s campaign and election so wrong, I have been skeptical of their political predictions. I don’t know if that’s a Left / Right thing so much as a show business thing – I feel like surviving and thriving in the world of media requires a skill set, particular set of worries, and background that is pretty specific to that career and lifestyle.

    • cottontail
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      So you’re saying you want the Democrats to nominate a Republican.

      Support for Medicare for All is high
      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/05/15/poll_medicare_for_all_support_is_high__but_complicated_140327.html

      Even Fox News viewers want to tax the rich more and increase spending.
      https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fox-news-poll-voters-favor-taxing-the-wealthy-increasing-domestic-spending

      • Roo
        Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Cottontail – I didn’t say anything about Medicaid for all (all citizens, at least) or taxes / spending, so I don’t know what this has to do with my post. Also, saying that I don’t believe in open borders means I want the Democrats to “nominate a Republican”? That is exactly the kind of “catering to one very specific far Left group” kind of thinking that I’m talking about. The idea that a belief in national borders is exclusively the purview of Republicans would have been ridiculous just a few years ago.

        Regarding Medicare for all – I think it’s better than nothing, but my prediction (or perhaps just anxiety / worry) is that, given the dynamics of the US, it will result in an extremely unequal two tiered healthcare system. (Unless you force people to give up private insurance, which a) Is not gonna happen and b) Would likely quash the kind of innovation, cutting edge medicine that the US is known for – the kind that people come *from Canada to receive if they need specialized treatment.) I recall reading in two excerpts from autobiographies (Trevor Noah’s and Vladmir Putin’s, an eclectic mix,) scenes from their past in which someone had to be taken to the hospital and their is discussion over whether they are going to go to the “good” hospital or the “other” hospital (which presumably is the crappy one.) Those made an impression on me and I fear we will see that happening here one day. Given how healthcare is one of the few places you *don’t always see geographical class division in the US (I’m sure it’s there, but there are also often big teaching hospitals in or near inner cities) and you *do see it in most other facilities, from schools to parks, my worry is that those living in poverty would go to something like the VA system while the middle class would continue to go to current style hospitals. Then there would be endless hand-wringing and promises made about the situation during every election cycle but for the most part, once entrenched, the system would stay in place for a long time. Perhaps I’m a pessimist though. I think that torte reform and some limits on end-of-life care might be a better way to cut healthcare costs and expand coverage, but realistically, I know that ain’t never gonna happen, so we probably will end up with some version of “Medicare for all who don’t have insurance”.

        Regarding domestic spending on infrastructure – I think this is one area that pretty much everyone, even over to conservatives – agree on. Which is why, apparently, we are never going to hear about it and are going to talk about busing instead. “Taxing the rich” will end up meaning what it always means – “taxing the upper middle class, while the truly rich sock much of their money away elsewhere” – but, so be it I guess. Funds have to come from somewhere, and anything more than a nominal tax on the monolith companies in the US could cause them to set up shop elsewhere and thus hurt the economy a great deal.

  30. Charles Sawicki
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    This Antifa violence seems to be the far left version of “Make America Great Again.” Sounds similar to Left-Right conflict in Germany before the rise of the Nazis.

    • Posted July 4, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      It’s a contemporary situation in Europe. Protests, or Demos and counter-protests are completely ordinary. Americans worry about the wrong things.

  31. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Bill Maher has been doing a running bit with a Dictator Checklist and each month or so it seems Trump meets more of it. Here is a link to his tweet: https://twitter.com/billmaher/status/1104842415808995328?s=20 with one of the episodes and the list is below.

    – Name on buildings
    – Appoint family members
    – Hold scary rallies
    – Threaten to “lock up” opponents
    – Military parades
    – “President for life”
    – Personal financial gain
    – Love other dictators
    – Lie as you breath
    – State run TV

    So, with this new military parade, watch out for Trump wearing a military costume all the time.

    • Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Does the President get a uniform for his Commander in Chief role?

  32. Jim Swetnam
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    About immigration: The writer Edward Abbey once quipped that every migrant that appeared on the border illegally should be given a rifle and a box of ammunition and sent back home. This did not make him popular in the Latino community, and it was only semi-serious. However, it is on point: Central America, in particular Honduras is, I am told, a hellhole. Power needs to be given to the people or taken back by force, if necessary. Isn’t that the ideal and action we’re celebrating today? But we, as a government have never supported that particular action in this hemisphere unless it’s anti-communist like the Bay of Pigs. But people, given the chance, have an annoying habit of choosing their own forms of government, and dog forbid that they should ever choose socialism, or *shudder* communism. And capitalism has not been kind to the banana republics. We, more often than not, choose to arm and support right wing neo-fascists, even to the point of actively overthrowing democratically elected leaders.

    Like it or not, admit it, or not. This crisis is largely of our making at its source. If the people in Honduras, say, did take up arms in a socialist/communist revolt against the thugs who rule them now who do you think we would support?

    • Dominic
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 3:49 am | Permalink

      Navigating from a system ruled by nepotism & corruption to one with the rule of law where all get an equal chance & are equal before the law, that is the conundrum…

  33. Posted July 4, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    BTW, as to “where to put them”, the United States is not even close to being over populated. At 13 persons per square mile, it is in 174th place in population density.

    http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/countries-by-density/

    • Posted July 4, 2019 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      I take that back. I have no idea where the world population survey gets that number. Crunching the numbers myself, I get about 90 persons per square mile. Fake news, I guess.

    • Posted July 4, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Here is a better source. The US is in 146th place at 87 persons per square mile. Still lots of room.

    • Posted July 5, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Not all square miles are the same. The ecosystem of much of the country is not suited to extensive human habitation. My county in the California Sierras has 100 people/ mi sq., and I can tell you we are full up — we don’t have the water, for one.

      Population density on the Eastern coast parallels that of Europe. Our urban and suburban areas are already severely congested.

      Overpopulation in India, China, and much of Africa have driven them to the brink of economic and environmental collapse.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 1:58 am | Permalink

        +1

        • Dominic
          Posted July 8, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          +2

  34. Posted July 4, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    This just in: Kamala Harris says busing should be an option for local school districts, but needn’t be federally mandated…

    … the exact position she attacked Joe Biden for taking all those years ago.

    I warned you all — Kamala makes Machiavelli look like the Dalai Lama.

  35. Dominic
    Posted July 5, 2019 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    Borders: fight corruption & fight for democracy in the countries those people come from, & support efforts – with money – to do those things, & you will be removing much of the problem at the source. Everything else is just fire-fighting…

  36. Dominic
    Posted July 5, 2019 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    SHOEGATE / SNEAKERGATE / TRAINERGATE(is anyone calling it that?!): Just because one group adopts a symbol that does not make it inherently bad…

  37. Posted July 5, 2019 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    HOLIDAYS: all right for some! 😥

  38. Posted July 5, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Flint wrote:

    The assertion of racism [in US immigration policy] is prima facie stone obvious.

    Argument by assertion.

    The current cruelty for the sake of cruelty doctrine is from Stephen Miller, and no honest person would deny he’s a racist.

    Miller is a notorious provocateur; his detention policies were intended to elicit from the left exactly the emotional overreaction it did.

    Nevertheless, Trump’s immigration policy vs. open borders is a false dichotomy; let’s please move beyond that.

    The whole idea of the wall is to keep colored people out of the country.

    We already have c. 700 mi of wall with Mexico, from and through which nearly all illegal immigration stems. It is vacuous to assert the purpose is to keep out PoCs, as there are no almost no non-PoC illegals.

    What do you THINK Trump mean by “shithole countries” except countries with colored people? Why do you THINK he asked for people from Norway – the whitest nation he could think of?

    Norwegians are some of the highest educated and skilled people on the planet. Their culture is also quite similar to ours. They’d make excellent immigrants, but would be foolish to leave Norway for here.

    Claiming there is no racial component of a totally racist policy has no credibility. I mentioned treatment of Jews and Japanese to emphasize the racial nature of many of our policies…. Alas, racism is as indelibly American as mother pie and applehood.

    Events from 80 years ago, one an asylum case, the other not even related to immigration. Are you truly claiming America’s racist attitudes have not vastly improved since then?

    Why do you THINK we dropped the atomic bomb on the gooks and not the white Germans? Coincidence? The war was basically over on both fronts at the time.

    The Trinity test explosion took place on July 16, 1945. Germany had surrendered on May 8, 1945. CORONET, the planned invasion of mainland Japan, was tentatively scheduled for March, 1946.

    • Flint
      Posted July 5, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure what position you’re trying to take here. Racism is a notorious American problem. Denying it is fatuous.

      The issue isn’t Trump vs. open borders, the issue is trying to ameliorate a complex issue of immigration, quotas, drug gangs, incompetent/corrupt government in Honduras and Guatemala, economic imbalances, and related factors. The solution to these complex issues isn’t walls or cages. I’m amazed you regard public reactions to keeping people packed into filthy cages as “emotional overreaction.” Should we instead say, ‘Oh well, it’s Stephen Miller doing his thing, nothing to see here?’ Try LOOKING.

      (And I shouldn’t have to mention that nobody thinks the wall would deter migrants, but rather it’s a symbol saying that America’s doors are closed to those regarded as undesirable.)

      Yes, Norwegians are capable people. So are many Indians, Indonesians, and Chinese. US immigration quotas correlate closely with ethnic background. Why do you choose to ignore this? The quotas were established explicitly for this purpose.

      (Also, I’m very aware that humans are breeding like bacteria, have probably already exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet, and we’re fussing about inevitable side effects like climate change. Yes, I can foresee a time when wealthy nations will take increasingly draconian steps to keep the riffraff out. But there’s only one planet, and this effort won’t succeed for very long.)

      I agree that America’s racial laws and policies have improved in the last 80 years. Separate but equal is dead de jure, if not de facto. Blacks are incarcerated at 4 TIMES the rate of whites, for exactly the same offenses. I would argue that the guy walking in the hospital parking lot in a hospital gown pushing his IV drip mechanism, and the cops arresting him for stealing equipment, is symptomatic of our attitudes. You have to be willfully in denial to believe a white person would be ASSUMED to be a thief, under those circumstances.

      Blacks grow up learning that the police will take it for granted that they are violent criminals placing the patrolman’s life in danger. The police will be twitchy, ready to defend themselves against anything that can be misconstrued as hostility.

      As for the war being basically over when the atom bomb was dropped, this is true. Dropping the bomb had no tactical or strategic influence on Japanese war plans — the actual fighting had essentially ended even if formal surrender hadn’t been signed. If you can’t see anything racial about our willingness to bomb the yellow people but not the white people (and we could have), you need to give it a bit more thought.

      • Posted July 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        I enjoy giving my horse his head now and again, but I’m not going to try and keep up with your gish gallop. So just a couple of responses:

        1) Blacks are incarcerated at 3x the rate of whites, because they commit crimes at 3x the rate. Blacks commit violent crimes at much higher rates; for example, half of all murders are committed by blacks;

        2) Are you suggesting we didn’t nuke the Germans because they were white, and not because they had surrendered three months before the bomb was ready?

        3) Japan was out of its collective mind, and was going to fight to the death. They were ready to use poison gas, and were training children as suicide bombers. Its final defeat would only have been realized in late 1946 after a costly invasion and a predicted 1 million US casualties. You are the first person I’ve ever heard describe that situation as “the war was basically over.” As it turned out, the emperor announced Japan’s surrender six days after the bombing of Nagasaki. The atom bombs had an immense strategic impact.

  39. Posted July 5, 2019 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    How many humans does USA need, anyway? Must we pack every habitable square meter of the place with humans, squeezing out all other large animals, until the resource base collapses? ?
    As for those who contravene US laws in crossing the borders, we are continually reminded by the press of their “desperation.” Spanish-speakers have a word for such persons:”desperados.” Why must we encourage the influx of waves of desperados? Does this signal virtue, or stupidity?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:06 am | Permalink

      Now that is what I’d call a semantic trick.
      That being said, I agree ‘open borders’ in the present situation is not a good idea.

      • Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        It’s also one of my favorite Eagles’ songs.

        That being said, I’m happy about my state being turned into a Hotel California.

  40. paablo
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Not excusing violence, but calling Mr. Ngo a “journalist” is extremely generous. “Propagandist” would probably be more accurate.


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