The #MeToo movement took down many entertainment industry “stalwarts” — this American Spring is now taking down many historical “heroes” — Americans are having quite the moment setting the record straight.
Pulitzer-Prize winning biographer John Toland wrote that Hitler was inspired in part by the Indian reservation system: “Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of United States history.”
In South Korea, unemployment rate in January 2020 — when coronavirus hit the nation — was 4%. It went DOWN to 3.8% by April; leaders there moved fast to roll out test kits and prevent Covid-19 from damaging the economy, avoiding the lockdowns US, Europe, Australia, etc needed.
In Australia (has universal healthcare), which went into lockdown (had only 102 total coronavirus deaths) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went up to 6.2% in May 2020 from 5.2% in February; so US is unique among developed nations with such a dramatic jump in unemployment.
On Friday, Florida's Department of Health reported a new single day record for coronavirus cases since the state began reopening. Florida coronavirus rates twice as high in black, Hispanic areas, internal state data shows. palmbeachpost.com/news/20200605/…
On the left, Italy’s coronavirus curve. On the right, Florida’s = 3 times as many cases as Italy despite having 35 million fewer people. Florida achieved little by its lockdowns and will now become a no-go zone for many international tourists who will instead flock to Italy.
Majority of frontline workers in Florida’s economy are black and Latino and getting disproportionately infected by Covid-19. Many such workers lack healthcare and are paid hourly ($10/hour). Lawmakers could ensure such workers are paid at least $30/hour for the risk but won’t.
1. As Amnesty International documented in the wake of Ferguson and Baltimore riots and uprisings over police killings, hundreds of US law enforcement officials from FL, NJ, PA, CA, AZ, CT, NY, MA, NC, GA, DC have traveled to Israel for training, picked up such brutal techniques.
2. Killing and harming unarmed combatants, including activists and journalists, is pretty common in Israel/occupied territories. In 2003, American activist and college student, Rachel Corrie, was killed by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) armored bulldozer in the Gaza Strip.
3. Allowing US law enforcement to be trained by the Israeli military, security and police systems that have racked up documented human rights violations for years was inevitably going to result in US public being brutalized by our police and security systems.
What a surprise that a character who filed bankruptcies multiple times to dodge paying creditors, someone who ditched two wives and cheated on the third with a porn star, a playboy playmate, paying the latter two hush money, would turn record economic expansion into total chaos.
Floyd was murdered by the police for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. Trump discarded millions of dollars in debt by filing bankruptcy (casinos fined for money laundering). His mismanagement of coronavirus cost 110,000 lives. His re-election campaign is raking in millions.
It’s these “two Americas”—and specifically a system rigged for the uber wealthy/connected, designed to not just help them survive but thrive in a manner that the poor simply cannot—that many are protesting.
The head of BLS, William Beach, came from Koch-funded Mercatus and right wing “think tank”, Heritage Foundation. At this point, protests are a more reliable indicator of people’s satisfaction with their economic condition more so than any rosy unemployment figures BLS puts out.
You have to ask if these unprecedented riots and protests would be occurring if people were satisfied about their economic future and general direction of the country. During the stay at home, many had time to reflect on their tenuous economic condition and many are not happy.
This administration is notorious for misleading with facts and numbers (remember Trump said no US soldiers were harmed during Iran’s retaliation for US assassination of Iranian general in January and misled on coronavirus) so can’t be ruled out that BLS is putting out BS numbers.
Unemployed people hunkered in homes due to a pandemic that’s still raging (20,000 new cases today); protests in nearly every major city; store windows barricaded with plywood to thwart lootings; the military facing off against the public; new fencing around the “People’s House”…
Sweden’s top epidemiologist has admitted his strategy to fight Covid-19 has caused too many deaths—Sweden’s coronavirus death toll is 20X neighboring Norway’s which has similar population demographics but, unlike Sweden, did not gamble on “herd immunity”. bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
At 43 deaths/100,000, Sweden’s mortality rate is among the highest globally; far exceeds that of neighboring Denmark, Norway, which imposed much tougher lockdowns at the onset of the pandemic. On top of the deaths, Sweden’s economy is facing its worst economic crisis since WW2.
So far limited evidence that Sweden’s decision to leave much of its society open will support the economy. Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson recently warned that Sweden is facing its worst economic crisis since WW2, with GDP set to slump 7% in 2020, roughly same as rest of EU.
When you go from promising to build a wall to protect Americans from a foreign “invasion” to building a “wall” to protect yourself from Americans, is that winning?
White House—1966 vs 2020: The “People’s House” cutting itself off from hearing the people’s voices in this fashion is only going to guarantee that the voices get louder for real change.
My old office was right across from the White House. During lunch on many days, I’d walk up to that fence to admire the manicured lawns and hear the gentle babble of the fountain—the lack of this kind of fencing projected a confidence in American civil society we should restore.
Everyone has a breaking point—the wool is falling from the sheep’s 🐑 eyes 👀 as they take in this horrific cascading series of interlinked events. Would Floyd have been alive today if he hadn’t been laid off from his job due to Trump’s coronavirus mismanagement?
Interlinked debacles: Trump’s trade war with China caused massive US retail sector losses and jobs layoffs, while his egging on the police alongside coronavirus mismanagement caused more layoffs, confrontations with law enforcement, which culminated in deaths, protests, lootings
Fact that George Floyd got Covid-19 infected and got laid off isn’t a minor point—many in the African American and Latino communities were/still are in this situation—battling a disease with no health safety net on the one hand, combating joblessness+discrimination on the other.
Mattis basically suggesting Trump should be removed from office before he completely destroys the American experiment: “We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.”
Militarization of America’s police has focused on the accumulation of war-grade vehicles and artillery and the spread of paramilitary SWAT teams. What has gone largely unstudied, however, is the impact of large number of military veterans migrating into US law enforcement.
2. Even as departments around the country have attempted a cultural transformation from “warriors” to “guardians,” 1 in 5 cops is literally a warrior, returned from Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere, complicating relations between police and the communities they are meant to serve.
3. A Marshall Project investigation obtained data from two major-city law enforcement agencies, and anecdotal evidence, suggests veterans are more likely to get physical, but lack of official record-keeping on issues of police violence makes comparisons on use of force difficult.
Ferguson, Baltimore happened against the backdrop of Republicans smearing Obama as an illegitimate president. When Obama won in 2008, Mitch McConnell vowed to make him a one-term President, used GOP-controlled Senate to obstruct key reforms, while Trump led birtherism campaign.
Racial animosity sowed by Republicans for decades led to increasing police brutality and deaths of unarmed black men. But the birtherism campaign Trump led against Obama had far reaching social consequences, shaped how many white police officers came to treat black population.
In 2014, Ferguson’s largely white police department was headed by a bumbling police chief, Tom Jackson, who sent cops outfitted in military grade riot gear to intimidate demonstrators who protested unarmed black teenager Michael Brown’s shooting death by a white police officer.
Australia’s PM, Scott Morrison, has called for an investigation after police in Washington DC were captured on TV assaulting journalists from Australia’s Channel 7 news network on Monday, when crowds were forcibly cleared for Trump’s bible photo op.
Another angle of police assaulting foreign journalists in Washington, DC — Trump’s use of military force and the bible photo op has been compared to tactics used by dictators.
Hard to overstate how rapidly US stature is falling globally—first with the Covid-19 debacle which propelled US to the top of the deaths & infections leaderboard, now this lawlessness which is getting coverage by foreign media in real-time (can’t blame this on US media bias).
Macy’s in New York is experiencing some looting but such losses pale in comparison to the hundreds of millions of dollars it lost in 2019-2020 due to drop in international visitors, Trump’s trade war with China and his coronavirus mismanagement.
Retail sector lost tens of billions of dollars and 170,000 jobs under Trump—this is before the coronavirus struck—in part due to his China trade wars. Riots and lootings get the headlines, but many US retail stores were toast long before these looters entered the frame.
Despite a “booming economy” retail store closings set a record in 2019: 9200 stores shuttering —~60% higher than 2018 — the retail apocalypse of 2019 triggered by Trump’s China tariffs and trade war disproportionately hurt women (many single parents) who lost jobs in that sector.
“I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back. So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it.”—Obama
“If we want American society to operate on a higher ethical code, we have to model that code ourselves…But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws…that happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.”medium.com/@BarackObama/h…
Key point Obama makes: “elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels…mayors, county executives that appoint police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions…”
Pivotal moment—Trump wants to demonstrate that he is a Law and Order POTUS but in a heavily armed nation, this could easily create more targets for attacks, more opportunities for mistakes and escalate into more bloodshed (as it did on the grounds of Kent State on May 4, 1970).
In 2011, as protests and unrest mounted in Syria, Assad deployed the military to keep the peace. Soldiers began firing on civilians, went on house-to-house searches, escalating tensions that landed Syria in a bloody civil war, which scattered Syrian refugees across the globe.
China had agreed to buy US farm goods worth $36.5 billion for 2020 as part of phase-one trade deal signed in Jan. Following Trump’s attacks on China for coronavirus, China imported just $3.35 billion in US agricultural products, lowest since 2007; US farmers will need a bailout.
If US farms go under because Trump couldn’t work it out with China, could hurt him in key battleground farming states in November elections. Trump’s previous $28 billion farm bailout is being investigated by GAO,amid allegations that the money was mismanaged, allocated unfairly.
Psychologists who analyzed the 2011 London riots/looting found that the more aggressive, violent and erratic law enforcement behaved, the more violent the public response was. Strongarm tactics in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq all led to revolutions, rebellion against leaders.
2. US has a long history of people rebelling against aggressive government tactics and police brutality. Yet, police departments (and there are 18000 of these) across the nation have not learned from the lessons and riots of the past.
Violence and aggression begets violence and aggression: This is not rocket science. We greatly expanded the police state, hired incompetent people, and gave them military weapons. Demilitarizing the police while ensuring everyone gets a basic course in psychology should be tried.
Many feel it isn’t their own house they are burning down. As MLK noted, “There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society."
2. Trump’s rhetoric and repeated flouting of the rule of law has left many feeling they don’t factor in his vision of how to “make America great again”—his mismanagement of coronavirus cost millions of jobs and 105,000 lives (hardest hit were low-income black, Latino families)
Look for those blaming “outside agitators” for protests and riots in US to spin these global protests as the work of “outside agitators” as well. The outside agitator trope is frequently used in US anytime there are “race riots”—was even used to smear Martin Luther King Jr.
In his letter from Birmingham Jail, MLK calls out the use of the term “outside agitators” to discredit the civil rights movement. The term popped up again and again during the Ferguson uprising in 2014 and subsequent BLM protests and now in 2020.
In 1965, the White Citizens’ Council posted over two hundred billboards throughout the South attempting to crudely discredit Martin Luther King Jr by associating him with communism. Red-baiting accompanied King wherever he went in the South.