Friday, December 9, 2016

Last Call For Climate Of Hostility

The Trump administration is preparing the Great Purge of the Unworthy from civil service positions, starting with (of course) Trump's Energy Department hunting down the scientists, policy experts and administrators behind the Obama administration's climate change initiatives.

Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are developing plans to reshape Energy Department programs, help keep aging nuclear plants online and identify staff who played a role in promoting President Barack Obama’s climate agenda. 
The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules. The advisers are also seeking information on agency loan programs, research activities and the basis for its statistics, according to a five-page internal document circulated by the Energy Department on Wednesday. The document lays out 65 questions from the Trump transition team, sources within the agency said. 
On the campaign trail, Trump promised to eliminate government waste, rescind "job-killing" regulations and cancel the Paris climate accord in which nearly 200 countries pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions. Trump, though, hasn’t detailed specific plans for federal agencies. The document obtained by Bloomberg offers clues on where his administration may be headed on energy policy, based on the nature of questions involving the agency’s research agenda, nuclear program and national labs.

Under Obama, the department played a major role advancing clean-energy technology through loan guarantees and incubators, while writing efficiency rules for appliances. The department leans heavily on tens of thousands of contractors, who supplement the work of its roughly 13,000 direct employees. 
Two Energy Department employees who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the questionnaire and said agency staff were unsettled by the Trump team’s information request.

I would be too, because they will be the first heads to roll.  When I said that the Trump administration's official position on climate change is that it's a best bad science to be eliminated and at worst a dangerous hoax, either way Trump was going to claim that Obama cost the nation billions and that this "government waste" was always going to be purged.

"Science" in the era of Trump is whatever Trump and his billionaire corporate cabinet and junta council of generals wants it to be.

Dissent In The Age Of Trump

And the stifling of dissent in the age of Trump begins in earnest as Trump's inauguration committee is making sure no protesters are allowed anywhere near Washington DC landmarks in the first days of the Trump administration.

For the thousands hoping to echo the civil rights and anti-Vietnam rallies at Lincoln Memorial by joining the women’s march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration: time to readjust your expectations. 
The Women’s March won’t be held at the Lincoln Memorial. 
That’s because the National Park Service, on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, filed documents securing large swaths of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities. None of these spots will be open for protesters.

The NPS filed a “massive omnibus blocking permit” for many of Washington DC’s most famous political locations for days and weeks before and after the inauguration on 20 January, said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a constitutional rights litigator and the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.

Previously, Verheyden-Hilliard has led court battles for protest access on inauguration day itself.

But banning access to public land for protesters days after the inauguration is “extremely unique”, she said in a press conference held by the Answer [Act Now to Stop War and End Racism] Coalition. 
“It hasn’t come up in any way previously, where you’ve had a groundswell of people trying to have access on the Saturday, January 21, and thousands of people want to come, and the government is saying we won’t give you a permit,” she said. 
“What they’ve done is take all of these spaces out of action,” she said, many of which, the Answer Coalition noted in its press release, are “historic spaces for dissent”. 
It’s partly a practical issue. Inauguration bleachers and viewing stands started being erected on 1 November and it will take until 1 March to completely clear the major public spaces from all of the inauguration works, said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the NPS. 
“They’re construction zones, effectively,” said Litterst. 
But the plan greatly limits the options for public protesting.

Now, if this is standard practice by the National Park Service to lock down the area around the National Mall for four months during a presidential inauguration for security that's one thing.  But in 2009 I remember the Mall being open to the public so millions could get seating, and while Barack Obama gave his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in the days before his inauguration I certainly don't remember the landmark being off limits for months after the inauguration.

But of course Trump isn't going to allow it.  That's something America will need to get used to. Bush's "free speech zones" where protesters were roped off miles away from Bush events were all too common in the man's second term disaster.  Trump is doing this from day one.

Or maybe we should, you know, not get used to it and fight it.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

It's safe to say at this point that Black Lives Matter is the catch-all boogeyman of racist Trumpmerica, and the fact of the matter is people will blame the movement for everything from hangnails to global conspiracies.  But it's blaming BLM (and by extension all black people in America) falsely for criminal acts that is going to end up causing bloody consequences.

A New York firefighter was arrested after allegedly setting fire to his own home in an apparent attempt to smear anti-police brutality activists. 
Jason Stokes pleaded not guilty Tuesday to arson in connection with the August fire at his house in Endicott, reported WBNG-TV
A family member said at the time that they believed their home was targeted because of the “Blue Lives Matter” flag flying out front. 
Investigators found the message, “lie with pigs, fry like bacon,” written on some siding outside the burned home. 
The slogan apparently referenced an incident from August 2015, when some demonstrators chanted, “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon,” during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Minnesota State Fair that was widely reported by conservative media. 
Pro-police websites blamed the fire at Stokes’ home on “terrorists” associated with the civil rights group. 
Prosecutors now believe the 41-year-old Stokes wrote the message to help cover up his crime, although they’re not sure why.

Why a firefighter would burn down his own home?  Who knows?  Insurance fraud, domestic violence, job stress as a firefighter, there are reasons.  But the pre-meditated plan to blame Black Lives Matter was obviously because Stokes thought he could easily get away with it.  And in other places in America, he would have.  Nobody would have questioned his story.

As it is, investigators didn't charge Stokes for four months.  In the meantime, while all of these angry "Blue Lives Matter" folks were running around avenging an attack on one of their own, how many black people in Broome County, New York were questioned, harassed, surveilled?  How many were falsely connected to this crime?  They were more than willing to call Black Lives Matter "terrorists" here in this incident.

So what happens when the next white firefighter or cop or first responder commits a crime, and blames Black Lives Matter for it when Trump's Homeland Security is in charge?

What happens when that blood runs red in the streets?  Because that day is coming, and probably a lot sooner than you think.

What's to stop them?  Maybe this time the actual bad guy got caught.  As a black person in America, I'm betting my life on not "fitting the description of the suspect" on a daily basis.  What happens when the description and scene of the crime matches me?  It was bad enough before, but in the Trump era?

People are going to die.  That's a fact.  Another hashtag, another news story, another trial, possibly, but no justice.  That I know.


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