Saturday, August 18, 2018

Last Call For Hard Seven Going On Eight in China

China has sharply expanded an internment program that initially targeted ethnic Uighur extremists but is now confining vast numbers of the largely Muslim minority group, including the secular, old and infirm, in camps across the country’s northwest.

Up to one million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in China’s Xinjiang region, have now been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to U.S. officials and United Nations experts.

As the camps have swelled in size, some Uighurs living outside China say that relatives—mainly, but not all, older people—have died in detention or shortly after their release.

Satellite images reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and a specialist in photo analysis show that camps have been growing. Construction work has been carried out on some within the past two weeks, including at one near the western city of Kashgar that has doubled in size since Journal reporters visited in November.

The full extent of the internment program was long obscured because many Uighurs feared speaking out. Now more are recounting experiences, including six former inmates interviewed by the Journal who described how they or other detainees had been bound to chairs and deprived of adequate food.

“They would also tell us about religion, saying there is no such thing as religion, why do you believe in religion, there is no God,” said Ablikim, a 22-year-old Uighur former inmate who asked to be identified only by his first name.

Stage seven, Preparation, is where Beijing is now: we're in the middle of the "Final Solution" of ridding China of Uighurs in the name of "re-education" in detainment camps.  Stage eight, Persecution, means that the detained will never leave the camps alive.

Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. In state sponsored genocide, members of victim groups may be forced to wear identifying symbols. Their property is often expropriated. Sometimes they are even segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. They are deliberately deprived of resources such as water or food in order to slowly destroy them. Programs are implemented to prevent procreation through forced sterilization or abortions. Children are forcibly taken from their parents. The victim group’s basic human rights become systematically abused through extrajudicial killings, torture and forced displacement. Genocidal massacres begin. They are acts of genocide because they intentionally destroy part of a group. The perpetrators watch for whether such massacres meet any international reaction. If not, they realize that that the international community will again be bystanders and permit another genocide.

At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. If the political will of the great powers, regional alliances, or U.N. Security Council or the U.N. General Assembly can be mobilized, armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance provided to the victim group to prepare for its self-defense. Humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. and private relief groups for the inevitable tide of refugees to come.

No such UN Security Council action will come, because China will veto it.  No such military action will come, because China has the troops and weapons to make any such action Pyrrhic. No such financial or economic action will come, because China is too important a trading partner to the world.

The Uighurs will be massacred, and we will soon proceed to stage nine, Extermination, and stage ten, Denial, afterwards.

Billions will be rightfully horrified by this.  But others will see a blueprint for future action.

The Late Women Of Late Night

In the #MeToo era where white guys still run everything, Hollywood still has a massive problem with women hosting late night shows.

Well, that was fast. On Friday, Netflix quietly pulled the plug on The Break with Michelle Wolf, one of the only “late-night” shows on “television” hosted by a female comedian, just three months after it premiered.

The streaming service also ended the short-lived Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale, but it was the news about Wolf’s show that came as a much bigger shock. That’s because, when The Break premiered in May, Wolf was riding higher than pretty much any other comedian in the country after her breakthrough performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. As recently as last week White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was still talking about how much her jokes stung.

At the time, the general consensus was that she was suddenly a hot commodity and Netflix was lucky to have her after she decided to leave first Late Night with Seth Meyers and then The Daily Show. Now, after just 10 episodes, Netflix has decided not to order any more.

“None of us can believe how classlessly Netflix has handled this,” a source connected to the show told The Daily Beast after the news broke, noting that the entire writing staff and even the showrunners found out they had been fired on Twitter.

The move comes just a couple of weeks after BET announced it was cancelling The Rundown with Robin Thede after its first season. That cuts the number of late-night-style shows hosted by women in half, with only TBS’ Samantha Bee and Hulu’s Sarah Silverman left standing.

The utter opacity of Netflix’s model makes it impossible to know how many people were watching The Break on a weekly basis, but the show’s cultural impact could be felt on a near-weekly basis. Wolf is an expert at outraging conservatives—perhaps something Netflix was less-than-thrilled about—from her “God bless abortions” segment over the 4th of July to her commercial parody that equated ICE to ISIS a couple of weeks later.

The later segment made heads explode on Fox News, including comedy aficionado Mike Huckabee, who declared, “You know, comedians are supposed to be funny, they’re supposed to make us laugh. I love satire, it’s one of my favorite forms of comedy, but her form of comedy is not satire, it’s angry, bitter hate.”

Wolf and Thede are gone, let's not forget that the right has also called for Silverman's head and Trump himself demanded that Samantha Bee lose her show.  If Hulu and TBS had folded their cards earlier this year as the right wanted, there would be no women hosting late night.  That still may happen now that the number of women late night hosts has been halved in August and the right now will focus again on Bee and Silverman, emboldened by their obvious wins.

That's exactly how they right wants it.  They want subservient, meek, obedient women, not biting, funny, smart ones.

The Dark Road From Eighty Years Prior

History tells us that the bad old days of European white nationalism are definitely back.  Austria's Freedom Party, Greece's Golden Dawn, Italy's Lega, France's National Front, Hungary's Jobbik and Fidesz, all are virulently anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, anti-black, and very much pro-white. Poland has already fallen to these forces of proto-fascism, where critics of Polish President Andrzej Duda are being deported and banned from the EU.

The right-wing Polish government is continuously breaking new ground in its attacks on democracy and the rule of law. But now it has set a truly astonishing precedent. Warsaw has just used its European Union powers to deport a government critic and banned her from entering any country within the European free movement zone. The implications are ominous – and not only for Poland.

Lyudmyla Kozlovska, a young Ukrainian human rights defender, is a fervent promoter of democratic Poland. Since she left her home country for Poland a decade ago, she has put considerable effort into promoting the model of Polish democracy to emerging countries through the Open Dialog Foundation, her Warsaw-based think tank. She has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Polish politicians and officials for the cause.

This week, the Polish government deported Kozlovska. The authorities have not provided any explanation, but the likely reason is clear enough. She and her Polish husband, Bartosz Kramek, had criticized the government for what they see as its efforts to undermine the country’s democracy.

“It’s evil irony I ended up in the same situation that I helped many people to avoid,” Kozlovska told me. Now back in Ukraine, she is completely cut off from her life on the other side of the border, including her family and husband. But it didn’t come as a complete surprise. Kozlovska says she has lived through more than a year of government harassment after her husband posted a statement on Facebook criticizing the democratic rollback in Poland and calling for peaceful civil disobedience. The post went viral.

Sweden too is on the edge of disaster as the openly neo-Nazi Sweden Democrats are rapidly gaining power.

Around 4,000 far-right supporters gathered on the grounds of a ruined castle last weekend to plot the downfall of the socialist ideas that have come to define their progressive country.

Their views — anti-immigration, anti-establishment and often anti-Muslim — are not new amid the populist tsunami that's crashed into much of the West.

But this is Sweden, where socialists have dominated every election for the past 101 years, making the Nordic nation something of a lodestar for leftists around the world.

Some polls predict that the supporters' favored party, the Sweden Democrats, with roots in neo-Nazism and white nationalism, will win as much as 25 percent of the vote in an election scheduled for Sept. 9. Such a result would likely earn the Sweden Democrats more seats in Parliament than any other single party.

At the party's annual summer festival here, speeches were interspersed with heavy metal music as supporters gathered at Sölvesborg Castle for the headline act: an address by Jimmie Åkesson, the 39-year-old leader of the Sweden Democrats.

"He's the only politician I can trust," a retiree named Jan shouted above the din. "We need him for our country. I don't have so many years left, but for my children and for my grandchildren."

This is where the Trump regime wants to go, and if they maintain control of Congress in January, we're all headed down this path to the end of the republic.  The same forces that gave rise to Trump are loose in Europe.  The results will be far nastier I expect.

We've been here before, 80 years ago.

It's Mueller Time, Con't

The Trump regime is corrupt through and through, and that means the Republican party is corrupt through and through as well.

The Justice Department is investigating whether longtime Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy sought to sell his influence with the Trump administration by offering to deliver U.S. government actions for foreign officials in exchange for tens of millions of dollars, according to three people familiar with the probe.

As part of the investigation, prosecutors are scrutinizing a plan that Broidy allegedly developed to try to persuade the Trump government to extradite a Chinese dissident back to his home country, a move sought by Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to two of the people.

They also are investigating claims that Broidy sought $75 million from a Malaysian business official if the Justice Department ended its investigation of a development fund run by the Malaysian government. The Malaysian probe has examined the role of the former prime minister in the embezzlement of billions of dollars from the fund.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment. Christopher Clark, an attorney for Broidy, declined to comment.

Broidy’s alleged activities were detailed in news reports earlier this year that cited hacked emails. The Los Angeles-based venture capitalist, who served as top fundraiser for the Republican Party and President Trump, has said that allegations against him are an effort by his enemies to smear him.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, an attorney for Trump, said he had no knowledge of any request for records related to Broidy. The White House referred a request for comment to the Republican National Committee, which declined to comment.

If you thought the kleptocracy was limited to only Trump and his family, well, the reason why all those Republicans enabled him was so that they could benefit as well with their own scams.  Broidy's tens of millions laundered through the RNC was no different.  Our government is 100% for sale.

Meanwhile the retaliation against intelligence community Trump critics continue, and they're not even trying to hide that it's political targeting of critics anymore.

The White House has drafted documents revoking the security clearances of current and former officials whom President Trump has demanded be punished for criticizing him or playing a role in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to senior administration officials.

Trump wants to sign “most, if not all” of them, said one senior White House official, who indicated that communications aides, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Bill Shine, the newly named deputy chief of staff, have discussed the optimum times to release them as a distraction during unfavorable news cycles.

Some presidential aides echoed concerns raised by outside critics that the threatened revocations smack of a Nixonian enemies list, with little or no substantive national security justification. Particular worry has been expressed inside the White House about Trump’s statement Friday that he intends “very quickly” to strip the clearance of current Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

It is absolutely Nixonian, and it is being done to win the news cycle.

While he has frequently called Mueller’s inquiry a “rigged witch hunt,” and did so again Friday, Trump’s move against Brennan, and threats to move against others, has brought the controversy to a new level. Sanders announced the Brennan decision Wednesday, citing what she called his “erratic conduct” and “wild outbursts” on television, as well as allegedly erroneous statements he had made.

The senior White House official acknowledged that the step against Brennan had been prepared in late July, when Sanders first said Trump was considering it. But the decision to take that step was made this week to divert attention from nonstop coverage of a critical book released by fired Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman.

Consideration is being given to holding other prepared documents in reserve for similar opportunities in the future, the official said

Expect more naked retaliation to be made in order to move the press off the coming bad news for Trump and the GOP.  When Trump runs out of security clearances to revoke, will he start directing the Justice Department to prosecute his critics?

Be assured that Robert Mueller is aware of all of this.

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