Officers with Hamilton County Sheriff's Office replaced the U.S. flag with their own "thin blue line" flag Sunday, hoisting the desecrated version over the Justice Center in Cincinnati.
ABC News reports that sheriff Jim Neil said the U.S. flag was stolen by protestors. Neil does not convincingly explain why he replaced the U.S. flag with a different one.
“Should have been replaced with American flag immediately,” fellow Democrat Chris Seelbach tweeted back. “Not replaced with a politically charged blue lives matter flag when thousands are protesting in our streets because #BlackLivesMatter. Sheriff Neil has only made things worse. Again.”
In the police flag, the colors of the union flag are replaced with black and white but for a "thin blue line" symbolizing the police. The line divides the country in two, replacing one of the bars that traditionally represent the original 13 colonies.
The desecrated flag is a regular subject of criticism and parody, especially its plain implication that the U.S. is (or should become) a police state.
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During a totally unhinged coronavirus briefing that was a verbal abuse session and campaign rally, impeached and manifestly unfit U.S. president Donald Trump said "When somebody is the President of the United States, the authority is total." Read the rest
My latest Locus Magazine column is Jeannette Ng Was Right: John W. Campbell Was a Fascist, which revisits Jeannette Ng's Campbell Awards speech from this summer's World Science Fiction convention.
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Two Proud Boys, members of the violent far-right street gang founded by Gavin McInnes, were jailed for four years Tuesday. Maxwell Hare, 27, and John Kinsman, 32, were convicted of gang assault and rioting for attacking protestors outside a speech given by McInnes to New York City's Metropolitan Republican Club.
Judge Mark Dwyer called them McInnes' “soldiers” and compared them to Nazi Brownshirts: “I know enough about history to know what happened in Europe in the '30s when political street brawls were allowed to go ahead without any type of check from the criminal justice system.”
The Proud Boys describe themselves as "proud Western chauvinists" and advocate political violence. The group has chapters across North America and beyond - including in the UK and Australia.
Hare and Kinsman were jailed in a case that centres of a fight that erupted after a speech by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes at Manhattan's Metropolitan Republican Club in October 2018.
CCTV footage showed the Proud Boys members beating up a group of four anti-fascist activists - known as "antifa" - who had come to protest against Mr McInnes' appearance.
This incident was obscured by serious failures of journalism. The NYPD initially implied that the Proud Boys were the victims and some media thumbed the scales for days afterward, casting the beatings as acts of self-defense against Antifa.
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Viktor Orban and his far-right, xenophobic, conspiratorial Fidesz party have led Hungary through a string of catastrophes, from its handling of Middle Eastern migrants to its ouster of the internationally famous Central European University to the passage of a slave labor bill that allowed employers to require hundreds of hours of mandatory overtime that needn't be paid for for years to the creation of a parallel system of partisan "administrative courts" to investigate government corruption and electoral fraud.
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As our political betters are always there to remind us, civility is important, the key to getting things done -- that's why Gerning Joe was so pallsy wallsy with segregationists -- you wouldn't want to offend the eugenics movement, because there's good people on both sides.
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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
Mass protests have wracked Serbia after critics of nationalist strongman president Aleksandar Vučić were attacked in a series of failed assassination attempts, compounding Vučić's own human rights abuses and indifference to popular will.
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Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro rode to power on a platform of racist and gendered discrimination, genocide for indigenous people, homophobia, torture apology, and the abolition of human rights; he owes his victory to political spamming and conspiracy theories spread on Facebook at Whatsapp.
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Since protests over changes to Nicaragua's social security system began last April, over 300 people have been killed and, at a minimum, 500 people have been incarcerated for their part in calling out Presidential Daniel Ortega's corrupt self-serving bullshit. There's a lot to be angry about in the Central American nation.
Non governmental organizations have been doing what they can to bring the wrongs committed by the Nicaraguan government to light. In a bid to shut NGO cake holes, Ortega and his cronies have begun to strip the outfits of their legal status.
From the Associated Press:
Nicaraguan police have raided the offices of five nongovernmental organizations and an independent media outlet, alleging that they participated in seeking the government’s overthrow.
The raids were the latest strong-arm actions taken by the government of President Daniel Ortega. Since popular street protests destabilized his government in April, Ortega has reconsolidated power and methodically pursued perceived enemies.
Police on Thursday forced open doors and carried off documents and computers from the Nicaragua Center for Human Rights, Segovias Leadership Institute, River Foundation, the Center for Communication Research and the Foundation for Municipal Promotion and Development.
The Nicaraguan government and police have had much to say about the raids or the closures of the NGOs--when you're rolling with a dictatorship, you're not accountable to anyone...until the people rise up en masse to topple your government, I guess. Oh, and that 'independent media outlet?' It was called Confidencial: a joint that produces a website and two news programs. Read the rest
Fascism is a word we've been hearing a lot of over these past few years, but are the mouths it's falling out of using it correctly? Some times, yeah. Many times, not so much.
This brief video delves into the history of the word "fascism" and explains that, while we're collectively barreling towards a particular flavor of this unsavory state of being, there's plenty of ways, with left and right-wing leanings, to be a fascist. Read the rest
Full-on white supremacy and fascism, folks. Nothing to hide anymore. Read the rest
Jair Bolsonaro -- Brazil's authoritarian, "sexist, racist and homophobic" presidential candidate -- was supposed to have the election sewn up, with the Brazilian left in retreat.
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Here's former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on J.R.R. Tolkien, often seen as a reactionary but also the creator of a myth of Englishness completely opposed to fascism and other rotten boughs of capitalism.
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So, how do we now respond to Tolkien’s imagined world, a world that is hierarchical, notoriously short on female agents, and which was accused by the poet Edwin Muir of being populated exclusively by different-sized schoolboys? As with Lewis, the complaint about implied misogyny is regularly coupled with worries about racial stereotyping, the romanticising of violence and the reduction of moral issues to cosmic battles between absolutes.
It is worth noting that Peter Jackson’s superbly visualised film versions of Tolkien’s novels if anything intensify some of these problems. But things are not quite that simple. ...
...he ends up writing, despite himself, a story that is more of a novel than a myth. Myths have no authors, it has been said. Even with the apparatus of invented language and ethnography, Tolkien’s history and “legendary” are haunted by the self-awareness of a particular type of 20th-century author: English, Catholic, academic, intensely aware of the devastation of a very specific England by industrialisation and urbanisation, more stoical than optimistic, yearning for a shared social narrative that would reaffirm certain solidarities of faith and mutual respect; deeply conservative but just as deeply opposed to unexamined power and the tyranny of profit.
Part Four of SomeNews's series on Facism clearly shows how Trumpism is Facism. Read the rest
This past Friday, the citizens of Nicaragua declared a national strike in protest of their president, Daniel Ortega, and his oh-so corrupt government. In the city of Managua, pro-government paramilitaries and the police cornered roughly 200 protesters in a church and opened fire on the building. During the siege, the pro-Ortega forces murdered two of the unarmed protesters trapped inside of the church and wounded several others.
The Pro government El 19 called the protestors “terrorists” and “thieves”: in effect, they declared the people, brave enough to demand that a dictator return their country to them, an enemy of the people. This labelling of Nicaraguans who would dare to speak out against their government as terrorists, is kind of a thing now. According to El Nuevo Diario, Roger Martinez, a respected psychologist with a practice in the Nicaraguan city of Granada, has been given the same label. He was picked up, along with 23 others by, you guessed it, police and paramilitaries, during a national “cleanup operation.” At the time that this post was written, Martinez was still in prison. Yesterday, Dr. Blanca Cajina and Dr. Irvin Escobar, were whisked away from their lives as well. They’re the latest in the growing number of professionals and intellectuals and community leaders, to be accused of terrorism by the Ortega government. As this handy guide from the U.S. Holocaust Museum notes, cracking down on a nation's intellectuals is one of the signs that your nation is well on its way to being controlled by a fascist regime. Read the rest
Conservatives have been dealing with the horrors of "incivility" in the good old U.S. of A. for a long time. It's an American tradition to refuse service to fascists and their enablers. From a December 1, 1938 United Press article: Read the rest