Sunday, May 23, 2021

Last Call For All About The Idiocracy Performance, Con't

It seems the only qualification for being a Republican House member is to get on TV and the internet as much as possible and say vile bullshit to piss off Democrats

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) doubled down on her controversial comments comparing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the Nazis because of her mask rules for the House, telling a local Arizona reporter that she had said nothing wrong, and “any rational Jewish person should also oppose “what’s happening with overbearing mask mandates.”

On a Thursday Newsmax appearance, Greene criticized Pelosi for “running a tyrannical, oppressive workplace,” and then made the Nazi comparison:

This woman is mentally ill. You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.

Bianca Buono, a reporter with Arizona’s 12 News, spoke to Greene after the event she held in Mesa, Az. with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and asked her if she stood by her comments “comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust.”

“No one should be treated like a second-class citizen for saying ‘I don’t need to wear a mask,’ or saying that my medical records are my privacy based on my HIPAA rights, and so I stand by all of my statements,” Greene replied. “I said nothing wrong.”

As Mediaite’s Michael Luciano observed regarding HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), “it is impossible for Pelosi or any other non-healthcare provider to violate the act, which prohibits medical providers from disclosing private medical information.”

“And I think any rational Jewish person didn’t like what happened in Nazi Germany, and any rational Jewish person doesn’t like what’s happening with overbearing mask mandates and overbearing vaccine policies,” Greene added.

“Do you understand, though, why some would be upset and offended by the comment?” Buono asked.

Greene didn’t budge, asking Buono if she understood “how people feel about being forced to wear masks or being forced to have to take a vaccine or even have to say that whether they’d taken it or not? These are just things that shouldn’t be happening in America. This is a free country, and it’s just ridiculous to have these kinds of conversations.”
The entire point of Greene is to say horrible things and dare anyone to do anything about her. Since nobody will vote her out of office, and nobody will expel her from the House, she can continue to do this for years if not decades. She remains useful to her GOP colleagues as a lightning rod to occasionally deny.

It's all performance art, and the performance will never, ever, stop.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Nearly three-quarters of Black folk believe police killings of Black and brown youth have gotten worse in the last 12 months in a new Axios/Ipsos poll, while only one-third of white respondents do.

Nearly seven out of 10 Black Americans say police treatment has gotten worse in the past year, and about the same percentage believe police shootings of Black and brown youths have become worse in that time, according to an Axios-Ipsos poll.

The big picture: The poll, conducted a year after George Floyd's death, suggests that the relationship between Black Americans and the police not only hasn't improved, but is a profound and escalating crisis.  Far from seeing the police's role as one to protect and serve, a majority of Black Americans now say that calling the police or 911 often does more harm than good. And that distrust is backed by personal experience. Black and Hispanic Americans are significantly more likely than white or Asian Americans to encounter threatening situations at traffic stops, like guns drawn or extra officers called in. 
More results from the poll will be released later today in the latest of Axios' "Hard Truths" series of deep dives on systemic racism, this one focusing on the criminal justice system.

By the numbers: 68% of Black respondents said police treatment of Black Americans has gotten worse in the past year, with just 6% saying it has improved.
42% of Hispanic respondents and 37% of Asian respondents agreed that police treatment of Black Americans has become worse. By contrast, just 25% of white Americans agreed, with 61% saying police treatment of Black Americans had neither improved nor worsened in the last year.

Likewise, 72% of Black Americans said police shootings of Black or brown youths have gotten worse in the last year — a view that was shared by 49% of Hispanic Americans, and comes after the deaths of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant and 13-year-old Adam Toledo in recent weeks. 32% of white respondents and 44% of Asian respondents agreed.

Most Americans still have a positive view of police and law enforcement. But that's not true of Black Americans. Just four out of 10 said they have favorable views of police and law enforcement, while 57% said they have unfavorable views.


I've had some iffy experiences with cops at best, but only had one truly bad interaction with police here in Kentucky, and I was almost accused of stealing my own car at the time because my plates had expired in NC, but apparently the officer either didn't want the hassle (it was late, dark, and snowy) or he just gave up on trying to bring me in. He did give me a $350 ticket though and 30 days to pay it, or I would go to jail he promised. I 100% believed he was going to make sure to follow up on that threat.

If I hadn't been able to come up with the money, yeah. Jail, no job, a record. Good luck getting hired again, as Kentucky makes sure that stays on your record for five years. He figured I didn't have the cash and that I'd be disappeared.

Black Lives still matter.

Sunday Long Read: One Versus A Country

Our Sunday Long Read this week comes from essayist Alexander Chee in GQ, writing about his experiences with his father's lessons on self-defense, self-reliance, and self-awareness being Korean in America, something very relevant given the massive rise in hate crimes here against AAPI folks.

Born in 1939 during what would be the last years of the Japanese colonial occupation of Korea, my father, Choung Tai Chee, also called Charles or Chuck or Charlie, came to the United States in 1960. He was flashy, cocky, unafraid, it seemed, of anything. Wherever we were in the world, he seemed at home, right up until near the end of his life, when he was hospitalized after a car accident that left him in a coma. Only in that hospital bed, his head shaved for surgery, did he look out of place to me.

A tae kwon do champion by the age of 18 in Korea, he had begun studying martial arts at age 8, eventually teaching them as a way to put himself through graduate school, first in engineering and then oceanography, in Texas, California, and Rhode Island. He loved the teaching. The rising popularity of martial arts in the 1960s in Hollywood meant he made celebrity friends like Frank Sinatra Jr., Paul Lynde, Sal Mineo, and Peter Fonda, who my father said had fixed him up on a date with his sister, Jane, in the days before Barbarella. A favorite photo from his time in Texas shows him flying through the air, a human horseshoe, each of his bare feet breaking a board held shoulder high on each side by his students.

When I complained about my wet boots during the winters growing up in Maine, he told me stories about running barefoot in the snow in Korea to harden his feet for tae kwon do. His answer to many of my childhood complaints was usually that I had to be tougher, stronger, prepared for any attack or disaster. The lesson his generation took from those they lost to the Korean War was that death was always close, and I know now that he was doing all he could to teach me to protect myself. When I cried at the beach at the water’s edge, afraid of the waves, he threw me in. “No son of mine is going to be afraid of the ocean,” he said. When I first started swimming lessons, he told me I had to be a strong swimmer, in case the boat I was on went down, so I could swim to shore. When he taught me to body-surf, he taught me about how to know the approach of an undertow, and how to survive a riptide. When I lacked a competitive streak, he took to racing me at something I loved—swimming underwater while holding my breath. I was an asthmatic child, but soon, intent on beating him, I could swim 50 yards this way at a time.

For all of that, he was an exceedingly gentle father. He took me snorkeling on his back, when I was five, telling me we were playing at being dolphins. There he taught me the names of the fish along the reef where we lived in Guam. He would praise the highlights in my hair, and laugh, calling me “Apollo.” And as for any pressure regarding my future career, he offered something very rare for a Korean man of his generation. “Be whatever you want to be,” he told me. “Just be the best at it that you can possibly be.”

Only when I was older did I understand the warning about being strong enough to swim to shore in another context, when I learned the boat he and his family had fled in from what was about to become North Korea nearly sank in a storm. In Seoul as a child, he scavenged food for his family with his older brother, coming home with bags of rice found on overturned military supply trucks, while his father went to the farms, collecting gleanings. His attempts to teach me to strip a chicken clean of its meat make a different sense now. I had thought of him as an immigrant without thinking about how the Korean War made him one of the dispossessed, almost a refugee, all before he left Korea.

When I began getting into fights as a child in the U.S., he put me into classes in karate and tae kwon do for these same reasons. He loved me and he wanted me to be strong. I just wasn’t sure how I was supposed to take on a whole country.

A country that would accept you, to a point, as long as you were one of the "good ones". Yeah, I can relate.
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