Italy evicts Steve Bannon from $110,000-a-year medieval monastery that was to be was his “gladiator school for cultural warriors”

Arrivederci, asshole.

In Italy, authorities are reportedly evicting alt-right self-promoter Steve Bannon from the medieval monastery he'd planned to transform into a white supremacist radicalization academy, “after reports of fraud in the competitive tender process.”

Being evicted from his fancy Italian gladiator castle is a big setback for Bannon, who's trying to grow an alt-right empire in Europe. Read the rest

Nicaragua outlaws its citizens' right to protest

We haven't talked about Nicaragua for a while. But things still aren't going well down there, so let's get back on that shit.

According to the Financial Times, Nicaragua's national police released a statement on Friday that declared demonstrations--of which, in Nicaragua, there are many--to be illegal. The day after making this declaration, riot police were employed to break up a gaggle of protesters prepping for a march. It's just another step down the country's short, bloody road into becoming a fascist, autocratic state.

Nicaragua's been in turmoil since last April, as protesters took to the streets to first sound off about some pretty shitty reforms to their pension system and other important issues such as a lack of government response to imminent threats from forest fires and the nation's eroding infrastructure. As the protests fell on deaf ears, the protesters started to demand the resignation of the nation's oh-so-corrupt president, Daniel Ortega. Once this happened, it didn't take long for the peaceful protests to turn violent, thanks to the actions of the police and masked paramilitary types loyal to the Ortega government. Defenseless students were fired on whilst taking refuge from the police in a Catholic church. Academics and other individuals deemed to be a "terrorist threat" to Ortega's rule have been carted away by paramilitary units. Hundreds have died in the months since these clashes began. The Nicaraguan economy, which was never all that strong to begin with, is circling the drain as investment in the country has been scaled back in the face of its uncertain future. Read the rest

The Onion offers tips on how to politely engage with people who cage migrant children

"Recent incidents of Trump officials being confronted in public for their role in the administration’s separation and imprisonment of immigrant families have driven renewed concern about the lack of civility in U.S. politics. The Onion presents tips for staying civil in a debate about child prisons."

Avoid unkind generalizations like equating the jailing of ethnic minorities with some malevolent form of fascism. Recall that violently rejecting a tyrannical government goes against everything our forefathers believed in. Make sure any protests are peaceful, silent, and completely out of sight of anyone who could actually affect government policy. Give your political opponents the benefit of the doubt by letting this play out for 20 years and seeing if it gets any better on its own. Realize that every pressing social issue is solved through civil discourse if you ignore virtually all of human history. Avoid painting with a broad brush. Not everyone in favor of zero-tolerance immigration wants to see children in cages—it’s more likely that they just don’t care.

Image: Shutterstock/chatgunner Read the rest

Only conservatives are allowed to harass people in public

Conservatives have nothing but good things to say about James O'Keefe and Breitbart's tactics of using hostile video crews to harass people in public. They don't complain when abortion protestors bomb clinics, or when Trump encourages violence at his rallies. ("Knock the crap out of them, would you? I promise you, I will pay your legal fees.") But they think it's awful when liberals confront Trump apparatchiks who orchestrated the unthinkably horrific practice of mass child cagings. Liberals are rude and uncivil! Bill O'Reilly, who harassed women so viciously that he had to pay $32 million to buy their silence and lost his platform at Fox News, is aghast that a restaurant owner privately told Sarah Huckabee Sanders to dine elsewhere. Some Democrats are also telling protestors to pipe down. But Michelle Goldberg, opinion columnist for The New York Times writes that "we have a crises of democracy, not manners."

The entire column is worth reading, but here is one of many highlights in here piece.

The civility police might point out that many conservatives hated Obama just as much, but that only demonstrates the limits of content-neutral analysis. The right’s revulsion against a black president targeted by birther conspiracy theories is not the same as the left’s revulsion against a racist president who spread birther conspiracy theories.

Faced with the unceasing cruelty and degradation of the Trump presidency, liberals have not taken to marching around in public with assault weapons and threatening civil war. I know of no left-wing publication that has followed the example of the right-wing Federalist and run quasi-pornographic fantasies about murdering political enemies.

Read the rest