If you never read any other blog post here…

“…overview of the Posse Comitatus Act, which restricts the participation of the (US) military in domestic law enforcement activities under many circumstances.”
Overview of the Posse Comitatu Act, by RAND, pdf

“…restricts the participation of the (US) military in domestic law enforcement activities under many circumstances.” As in ALL circumstances, possibly excepting a foreign military invasion, as in circumstances especially restricted to misuse the US Military in a presidential election stunt. Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if America can recover from this presidency. And, no, that’s not an invitation for a military coup, please, we’ve been very lucky, if not blessed, for a very long time. Let’s try very much to keep it that way, thanks.

“‘We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.'” General James N. Mattis, USCM (Ret.)
James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution, by Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, 3 June, 2020

“It is an attack on civil society and democratic accountability.”
The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It., by Jamele Bouie, NYT, 5 June 2020

Norman Mailer had things to say about police riots in “Miami and the Siege of Chicago (NYT on the reissue). Mailer’s book is worth reading if only to understand some of the reasons why we’re where we are today, alas.

Also, cities and whatnot, really need to teach their law enforcement to police themselves. In my city, the majority of the LAPD are decent people like you and me; let’s find a way for them to safely and effectively stop the few sociopaths in their own ranks. This is the police’s job in society, and now it must be their job in their job, alas.

“One might imagine that there were appropriate checks and balances in place to establish guidelines and guardrails for this militarizing of US law enforcement. Yet the culture at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, which for years were impossible to audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), appears antagonistic to oversight. It’s hard to keep a publicly-funded program like 1033 accountable to the public if citizens are unaware of the program—and the Pentagon has largely succeeded at fending off auditing: there have only been two, in 2018 and 2019, and the agency failed both of them on compliance, inventory accuracy, and accounting issues. According to a survey by the Pentagon-affiliated think tank, the RAND Corporation, roughly half of respondents, or 48 percent, are unaware of programs that provide law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment. In an effort to keep the 1033 program accountable, the GAO went so far as to initiate in 2017 an undercover sting operation, creating a fake law enforcement agency that was able to acquire more than a million dollars’ worth of military equipment. Aside from the waste, fraud, and abuse this exposed, the episode showed how low the barriers are and how serious the lack of accountability is with the Pentagon program’s supply of matériel to the thousands of law enforcement agencies across America.”
How Police Became Paramilitaries, by Michael Shank, NY Review of Books, 3 June 2020

“…fake law enforcement agency that was able to acquire more than a million dollars’ worth of military equipment.” And if the GAO can do that, what clever criminal organizations might be doing that, too? Perhaps the US Military should get out of the arms business, y’know, as a vendor, completely OUT OF IT, thanks. I wonder how long the US Military has been an arms dealer; the North Hollywood Shoot-Out was in 1997.

Mike Davis explains why the LAPD is militarized, only partly due to the war on drugs, but mostly due to Parker and Gates deforming it because they were sentimental about their Marine days, well, Parker at least and Gates was at his feet for his entire career. Also David Graeber discusses the NYPD’s militarization after 9/11 in “The Democracy Project,” his book on Occupy Wall Street. Anyone remember Occupy Wall Street?

“Before he beheaded his 14-year-old daughter with a farming sickle, Reza Ashrafi called a lawyer. His daughter, Romina, was going to dishonor the family by running off with her 29-year-old boyfriend, he said. What kind of punishment, he asked the lawyer, would he get for killing her? The lawyer assured him that as the girl’s guardian he would not face capital punishment but at most 3 to 10 years in jail, Mr. Ashrafi’s relatives told an Iranian newspaper. Three weeks later, Mr. Ashrafi, a 37-year-old farmer, marched into the bedroom where the girl was sleeping and decapitated her.”
A Daughter Is Beheaded, and Iran Asks if Women Have a Right to Safety, by Farnaz Fassihi, NYT, 7 June 2020

10 years? Reza Ashrafi is dangerously insane and should be locked up forever.

“The words were emblazoned in huge yellow letters on a piece of tarmac that stretched two full blocks. Just days before, protesters were brutally dispersed by teargas on the street so Trump could have a photo op in front of a church.”
Washington mayor stands up to Trump and unveils Black Lives Matter mural, by Lauren Aratani, The Guardian, 6 June 2020

Ben Denzer, artist
I like this artwork. Too bad more of this blog post isn’t about art.

“The popularity of comics in libraries has been one of the biggest stories in both sectors in recent years—but neither has been spared the effects of Covid-19. Library lockdowns have led to furloughs, layoffs, and uncertainty over future funding due to expected declines in state revenues. In the comics industry, stores have been closed temporarily (and in some cases permanently), and Diamond Comic Distributors, the dominant distributor to the direct sales market, halted shipments of new comics for seven weeks, leading to dramatically altered release schedules and cash flow issues for publishers. However, it isn’t all bad news: in 2019, the newly organized Graphic Novel and Comics Round Table finished its first full year as an official ALA organization. The new unit accomplished many of its goals, and has many more on the table for its incoming board in 2020.”
Libraries Offer Access to Graphic Novels in Pandemic, by Heidi MacDonald, PW, 5 June 2020

“Former President George W. Bush also weighed in on the side of the protesters, writing, ‘The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving. Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America.’ Bush didn’t name Trump directly, but it’s still a telling rebuke from a former president of the same political party.”
If Republicans Are Ever Going To Turn On Trump, This Might Be The Moment, by Lee Drutman, 538, 4 June 2020

How interesting after Bush II, aka the Cheney Admin, ignored protests of the Iraq “war”. However and nevertheless, kudos GWB, or to your writers, for sentiments that I approve of. God, blogging today is totally wearing me out.

“Today, librarians are all trying to understand how the novel coronavirus spreads and what that means for library environments. Coughing and sneezing? Speaking? Breathing? How does the virus travel on the airflow? We’re desperate for an authoritative answer on how long the virus lives on different surfaces. We’re learning more every day about the troubling role asymptomatic people play in spreading the disease, about contact tracing and how it works. We’re trying to understand what the presence of antibodies really means in terms of immunity. And with a puzzling, Kawasaki-like inflammatory disease attacking young people, what can be done with our children’s libraries, given that kids will never learn to practice social distancing?”
All By Ourselves, by Brian Kenney, PW, 5 June 2020

“The U.S. Marine Corps on Friday issued detailed directives about removing and banning public displays of the Confederate battle flag at Marine installations — an order that extended to such items as mugs, posters and bumper stickers.”
U.S. Marine Corps Issues Ban on Confederate Battle Flags, by Jenny Gross, NYT, June 2020

Thank you, Marines.

Quotes:

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every revolutionary ends up either by becoming an oppressor or a heretic.
Albert Camus

Every sentence spoken by Napoleon, and every line of his writing, deserves reading, as it is the sense of France.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every spirit makes its house, and we can give a shrewd guess from the house to the inhabitant.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every time somebody speaks of my honesty, there is someone who quivers inside me.
Albert Camus

Every wall is a door.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everybody believes in something and everybody, by virtue of the fact that they believe in something, uses that something to support their own existence.
Frank Zappa

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The extermination of Amerindians, the persecution of Jews, the oppression of Mexican-Americans, and every other conceivable inhumanity done in the name of God and country—these brutalities can be analyzed in terms of the white American inability to recognize humanity in persons of color. If the oppressed of this land want to challenge the oppressive character of white society, they must begin by affirming their identity in terms of the reality that is antiwhite. Blackness, then, stands for all victims of oppression who realize that the survival of their humanity is bound up with liberation from whiteness.

“This understanding of blackness can be seen as the most adequate symbol of the dimensions of divine activity in America. And insofar as this country is seeking to make whiteness the dominating power throughout the world, whiteness is the symbol of the Antichrist. Whiteness characterizes the activity of deranged individuals intrigued by their own image of themselves, and thus unable to see that they are what is wrong with the world. Black theology seeks to analyze the satanic nature of whiteness and by doing so to prepare all nonwhites for revolutionary action.

“In passing, it may be worthwhile to point out that whites are in no position whatever to question the legitimacy of black theology. Questions like “Do you think theology is black?” or “What about others who suffer?” are the product of minds incapable of black thinking. It is not surprising that those who reject blackness in theology are usually whites who do not question the blue-eyed white Christ. It is hard to believe that whites are worried about black theology on account of its alleged alienation of other sufferers. Oppressors are not genuinely concerned about any oppressed group. It would seem rather that white rejection of black theology stems from a recognition of the revolutionary implications in its very name: a rejection of whiteness, an unwillingness to live under it, and an identification of whiteness with evil and blackness with good.
Reverend James H. Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation, Chapter 1, pp 7-8, 1986 edition, 1st ed. 1970

“American white theology has not been involved in the struggle for black liberation. It has been basically a theology of the white oppressor, giving religious sanction to the genocide of Amerindians and the enslavement of Africans. From the very beginning to the present day, American white theological thought has been “patriotic,” either by defining the theological task independently of black suffering (the liberal northern approach) or by defining Christianity as compatible with white racism (the conservative southern approach). In both cases theology becomes a servant of the state, and that can only mean death to blacks. It is little wonder that an increasing number of black religionists are finding it difficult to be black and be identified with traditional theological thought forms.”
Reverend James H. Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation, Chapter 1, p 5, 1986 edition, 1st ed. 1970

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