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Member since: Mon Dec 5, 2016, 05:05 PM
Number of posts: 1,862

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Everyone must care about everyone else's children

Trump continues to take directions from Putin

Last weekend, independent Russian-language media published hundreds of photographs from protests that preceded Monday’s inauguration of Vladimir Putin, who has claimed the office of President for the fourth time. In many of the pictures, Russian police were detaining children: primarily, preteen boys were having their arms twisted behind their backs by police, being dragged and shoved into paddy wagons. According to OVDInfo, a Web site that has been tracking arrests since anti-Putin protests began, six and a half years ago, a hundred and fifty-eight minors were detained by police during the protests, accounting for just less than ten per cent of the day’s arrests.

Ella Paneyakh, a Russian sociologist who studies law-enforcement practices, observed in a Facebook post that the police had clearly been directed to target children. A possible explanation, she suggested, is that social services, which will process the minors, is even less accountable than the regular courts are. While Russian activists have learned to make the work of the courts difficult, filing appeals and regularly going all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, there is no role for defense attorneys and no apparent appeals process in the social-services system. The threat is clear: children who have been detained at protests may be removed from their families. At least one parent has already been charged with negligence as a result of his son’s detention at one of the demonstrations last weekend.

Another possible explanation is that Putin and the system he has created have consistently, if not necessarily with conscious intent, restored key mechanisms of Soviet control. The spectacle of children being arrested sends a stronger message than any amount of police violence against adults could do. The threat that children might be removed from their families is likely to compel parents to keep their kids at home next time—and to stay home themselves.


I think I detect the fine hand of Steven Miller

in Trump's insistence that the Democrats can end the separation of children from their families with a phone call. The phone call would be to agree to fully fund the fucking wall. Trump/Miller is using this cruel policy to force the Democrats to choose between suffering children and their principles. Trump continues to try to muddy the waters so his "base" won't catch on, but I think the message is pretty clear. They tried it with DACA, and the Democrats stood fast. Now they've upped the ante to unspeakable cruelty and are going to continue to insist that it's up to the Democrats to end it.

They do know that "suffer the little children"

doesn't mean "make the little children suffer," don't they?

Dear Donald Trump

This is what a guy who doesn't have to pay for sex looks like:

Blaming the victim? Suicide

People who are on the verge of killing themselves are often not capable of asking for help. It's a well-known symptom of depression that it affects your intellectual abilities, slows down your thought processes, and distorts reality. When you are so depressed that you are genuinely ready to kill yourself, you are in no place to think clearly, much less realize that you should reach out to a suicide hotline.

I know this from personal experience. If my husband hadn't happened on me crying so hard I couldn't speak and forcibly taken me to the doctor's office, I would have parked our van in a secluded area of a nearby park, drunk the bottle of vodka I had in the front seat, and put the plastic bag over my head.

It angers me when the first public response to a celebrity suicide always includes telling people who want to kill themselves to get help. If they were capable of getting help for themselves, they wouldn't be ready to kill themselves, assholes.

If Trump were to pardon himself, would that be an admission of guilt?

From the Washington Post, an article from last year by Eugene Volokh:

1. In 1915, the Supreme Court indeed said, of pardons, that “acceptance” carries “a confession of” guilt. Burdick v. United States (1915). Other courts have echoed that since.

2. On the other hand, a pardon has historically been seen as serving several different functions, one of which is protecting people who were convicted even though they were legally innocent.


He goes on to quote at length from Justice Story, writing in 1833, citing many instances (some very complicated) where accepting a pardon should not be seen as admission of guilt. It seems to me that none of these exceptions would apply to Trump's situation.

Have Trump's legal eagles talked to him about the implications of a self-pardon? I would imagine they have, but I guess the real question is whether Trump would take their advice seriously--and whether acknowledging guilt would have any effect at all on his staying in power (assuming Dems don't take over both houses).

Question submitted by cyclonefence

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Posted by cyclonefence | Tue Jun 5, 2018, 11:33 AM (0 replies)

"Passing" II

My (white) friend Cecilia grew up with the understanding that her (white) mother had been adopted as a baby by a black family back in the 1930s. When she told me this story only a few years ago, I thought about Cecilia's (white) son who had the ability to grow fabulous dreadlocks, the envy of my son and all the other boys in their class. I asked Cecilia if she didn't think it strange that a white parent would want to place her child with a black family back then when being brought up in a black family would be so much more difficult than if the child had been placed in a white family. It hadn't occurred to her, and I wasn't going to press the point.

I met Cecilia's mother several times, a lovely light-skinned woman with straight dark hair and brown eyes. Her adoptive family never came up in our conversations, but I would love to have known what she believed.

So much depends on phenotypes, yet the "one drop" rule seems to carry the day.
Posted by cyclonefence | Mon Jun 4, 2018, 10:02 AM (2 replies)

"Passing" I

Anita Florence Hemmings graduated from Vassar in 1897. But though she was an excellent student, she came very close to not getting her degree at all. That was because just days before graduation, Anita’s roommate uncovered her deepest secret.

In a school that would never have considered admitting a black student, Anita Hemmings had for four years covered up the fact that she was of African American ancestry.

In other words, Anita Hemmings was a black woman who was passing for white, and it almost got her kicked out of Vassar on the very eve of her graduation.

Anita Hemmings was apparently the granddaughter of slaves in Virginia. She lived with her parents in Roxboro MA and with the encouragement of a wealthy white woman (who also paid for her education) applied to Vassar. She easily passed the entrance exam and was an excellent student throughout her four years there. During her senior year, she was visited by her brother (who as a student at MIT--this was a brilliant family), whose skin was darker than her own. Her roommate told her father that to her horror she thought she had been living with a black woman. The father investigated and easily found out that Anita's family was indeed black. This fact was revealed to the president of the college just days before Anita was to graduate, and she was threatened with having her diploma withheld. A sympathetic teacher and the president ruled that since there was no rule against black women attending Vassar (I guess it was so unthinkable a rule wasn't deemed necessary), Anita would graduate with her class.

She went on to work in the Boston Public Library as a foreign materials cataloger (she knew seven languages, including ancient Greek) and married a physician.

Their daughter applied to Vassar and was admitted. Incredibly, Anita's roommate from her college days reported to the president of Vassar that there was a black woman in the class. The president refused to expel her, but the young woman was given a single dormitory room, so no fine white lady would have to share a bedroom with a "negress."
Posted by cyclonefence | Mon Jun 4, 2018, 08:25 AM (7 replies)
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