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Recent Assaults Against Freedom of Speech and the Press
#1
There have been a number of alarming incidents lately.

Trump hails 'great win in Montana' for candidate who body-slammed Guardian reporter

Reporter Arrested in West Virginia After Persistently Asking Questions of Tom Price

A Jury Just Convicted a Woman for Laughing At Jeff Sessions

As far as I know Trump has said nothing about this incident, which happened the day he welcomed Erdogan to the White House:

Turkey Demands US Apology For Interrupting As Erdogan's Bodyguards Beat Up Protesters
Reply
#2
PowerPost
Gianforte’s victory after assaulting reporter reflects rising tribalism in American politics
By James Hohmann May 26 at 11:08 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powe...fb981dba2/

Play Video 2:01
Gianforte apologizes for assaulting reporter

Republican businessman Greg Gianforte won Montana's House seat a day after being charged with attacking a Guardian reporter. He gave an apology during his acceptance speech. (AP)
With Breanne Deppisch

THE BIG IDEA: Greg Gianforte admitted to attacking a reporter and apologized during his victory speech last night, as he kept Montana’s sole House seat in Republican hands. Now he and his party’s leaders are trying to move on.

On the eve of the special election, the wealthy technology entrepreneur flipped out when the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs asked him about the CBO’s score of the health care bill. He now faces misdemeanor assault charges for reportedly throwing Jacobs to the ground and breaking his glasses.

“I made a mistake,” the congressman-elect said at his party in Bozeman. “Not in our minds!” yelled a supporter. David Weigel, who was there, reports that some in the crowd laughed.

-- After his comfortable six-point victory, Republican congressional leaders are making clear there will be no meaningful consequences for his behavior. “Elections are about choices and Montanans made their choice,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement this morning. "Rep.-elect Gianforte is an outsider with real-world experience creating jobs in Montana. He will bring that experience to Congress, where he will be a valuable voice in the House Republican Conference."

Without being asked, Donald Trump turned to a group of photographers following him in Europe this morning and declared: "Great win in Montana.” Then he walked away without saying anything else. In a robo-call recorded shortly before the election, he called Gianforte “my friend” and “a wonderful guy.” “You'll be very proud of him for years to come,” Trump told voters.

A spokesman for Mike Pence, who traveled to Montana two weeks ago to stump with Gianforte, declined to comment yesterday, and the vice president skipped his only public event of the day so he did not need to weigh in.

A Republican congressman from San Diego, who is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department, said this to an AP reporter:

Follow
Mary Clare Jalonick @MCJalonick
Rep. Duncan Hunter said of MT reporter assault, “It’s not appropriate behavior. Unless the reporter deserved it.”
7:32 AM - 25 May 2017

-- Michelle Fields, the former Breitbart News reporter who Corey Lewandowski grabbed when she tried to ask Trump a question last year, believes some Republicans “have put party over civility.” “From the age of the Gipper to our era of the Groper, the state of our politics has declined drastically,” she writes in an op-ed for the New York Times. “It’s hard to imagine the late, great William F. Buckley cheering on a politician who assaulted a reporter. But Buckley’s nephew, Brent Bozell, did just that on Twitter in the aftermath of the Jacobs’s incident.” Bozell runs the Media Research Center:

Follow
Brent Bozell ✔ @BrentBozell
Jacobs is an obnoxious, dishonest first class jerk. I'm not surprised he got smacked.
6:01 AM - 25 May 2017

“Had Ben been attacked by a Democrat, many on the right who are refusing to believe the assault occurred — or outright praising it — would be hailing him as a victim of liberal rage,” Fields adds. “Had Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, rather than Mr. Trump’s, grabbed my arm, I would not have been abandoned by many of my friends and mentors at Fox News, or my employer, Breitbart News. But I was inconvenient to their political narrative.”

-- The Montana donnybrook quickly became a Rorschach Test that highlighted the divide within the conservative media between the serious and unserious outlets. It also showcased how many prominent figures on the right reflexively rally behind Republican politicians, whether the president or a House candidate, even when they are very clearly in the wrong. This is part of a growing tribalism that contributes to the polarization of our political system.


FoxNews.com published a first-person account yesterday by veteran correspondent Alicia Acuna, who witnessed the incident: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.”

Very tellingly, upstart conservative outlets that are trying to steal Fox’s market share by getting to the network’s right spent yesterday trying to poke holes in the story.

Laura Ingraham aggressively questioned the Fox reporter on her radio show: “You can’t body-slam someone by holding both hands on the neck. That’s impossible…Didn’t he grab him near the neck and throw him down? Just asking.” Acuna held firm: “I saw both his hands go up not around his neck in a strangling type of way, but more just on each side of his neck, just grabbed him. I guess it could have been on his clothes, I don’t know. I can’t say that for sure. But he grabbed him and slammed him down. … He had one hand on each side of his neck.”

“Acuna’s account in her interview with Ingraham was consistent with what she published on FoxNews.com, not to mention Jacobs’s own version of events,” Erik Wemple writes. “Now have a look at the headline on LifeZette, where Ingraham serves as editor in chief: ‘Montana Assault Witness Changes Story, Says No Neck Grab; Reporter says firsthand account misstated key aspect of Gianforte incident.’ BuzzFeed has deemed this story ‘FAKE.’”

But fake stuff gets around, Erik notes: On his radio show yesterday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh falsely told his listeners that the Fox reporter had basically recanted her story. He also called Jacobs “a pajama boy journalist” who was “insolent … disrespectful … whiny and moany.” RealClearPolitics reported wrongly that Acuna was “walking back” her claims. The headline on the Drudge Report was: “Witness Changes Story.”

And while the news division at Fox covered the story seriously and showed integrity, at least one commentator said on the air that the reporter had it coming:


John Whitehouse @existentialfish
Fox contributor: Ben Jacobs "was not doing a fair story" and "got a little bit of Montana justice" pic.twitter.com/LvW79GFMgF via @IceManNYR
2:55 PM - 25 May 2017

… to which Republican focus group guru Frank Luntz replied:

Frank Luntz ✔ @FrankLuntz
If Obama had done the same to a persistent journalist, would it have been accepted as "Chicago justice?" https://twitter.com/existentialfish/stat...4418945024
6:09 PM - 25 May 2017

Frank Luntz ✔ @FrankLuntz
If you check the party affiliation of someone who commits assaults before deciding how you feel about it, you're what's wrong with America.
6:18 PM - 25 May 2017

The fever swamps of the internet went even further, though: Mike Cernovich, who has a wide following on the fringes and friends in the White House, raised the bar for required evidence. “Although there is an audio recording of the incident, he said video was needed for the story to be reliable,” Abby Ohlheiser reports. “Gateway Pundit wrote that it was ‘strange’ there was no video.”

It should go without saying that this really does a disservice to the well-intentioned people who look to these sites for honest information. Remember, Gianforte himself has now admitted wrongdoing and apologized.

Play Video 1:36
Montana voters react to GOP candidate’s alleged assault of a reporter

As the polls close for Montana’s special election, voters respond to whether the incident with Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte and a Guardian reporter influenced their vote. (Video: McKenna Ewen,Abbey Nelson/Photo: The Guardian/The Washington Post)

-- Many rank-and-file Republican voters, who follow the cues and signals of their leaders, defended their nominee’s behavior. “I understand the frustration of someone being right in your face,” Luanne Biggs, who voted for Gianforte, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “I feel like it’s a little set up.”

CNN correspondent Kyung Lah went to a polling place to interview voters and reported that nearly everyone she talked with said they weren’t changing their vote:

Kyung Lah ✔ @KyungLahCNN
MT GOP voter, upon learning we're from @CNN: "You're lucky someone doesn't pop one of you."
9:06 AM - 25 May 2017

Kyung Lah ✔ @KyungLahCNN
MT GOP voter to me just now, knowing I work for @CNN: "That audio made me cheer." She smiled as she walked in to vote for Gianforte.
8:53 AM - 25 May 2017

Recall that many of these sorts of voters began identifying with the term “deplorable” after Clinton described some of Trump’s supporters that way during the 2016 campaign. That is why, even before the polls closed yesterday, many Democratic voters in Montana expressed skepticism that the attack on Jacobs would change the outcome of the race. “Greg thinks he’s Donald Trump,” Brent Morrow, 60, told Weigel. “He thinks he could shoot a guy on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.”

-- But at least those people were talking about what happened. The Montana NBC Affiliate reportedly refused to cover the Gianforte story at all on Wednesday night, a shocking blackout. Irate sources inside 30 Rock appear to have called up New York Magazine’s Yashar Ali to complain: “KECI news director Julie Weindel was called by NBC News to see if KECI would cover the story or had any footage of the Gianforte incident that NBC News and its affiliates could use. … She was unyielding in her refusal to share any footage she may have had access to, or run a report on the story. … Weindel said that they weren’t covering the story, though it was running in outlets across the country at the time, explaining, ‘The person that tweeted [Jacobs] and was allegedly body slammed is a reporter for a politically biased publication.’ Weindel then added, ‘You are on your own for this.’ … The station was acquired, last month, by the conservative media conglomerate Sinclair Broadcasting.”


-- Here’s why that’s a big deal: Sinclair Broadcasting just struck a deal with Tribune Media to buy dozens of local TV stations. “Already, Sinclair is the largest owner of local TV stations in the nation. If the $3.9 billion deal gets regulatory approval, Sinclair would have 7 of every 10 Americans in its potential audience,” Margaret Sullivan explained in a column last weekend. “Sinclair would have 215 stations, including ones in big markets such as Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago, instead of the 173 it has now. There’s no reason to think that the FCC’s new chairman, Ajit Pai, will stand in the way. Already, his commission has reinstated a regulatory loophole — closed under his predecessor, Tom Wheeler — that allows a single corporation to own more stations than the current 39 percent nationwide cap…

“When Sinclair bought Washington’s WJLA-TV in 2014, the new owners quickly moved the station to the right … It added conservative commentary pieces from a Sinclair executive, Mark Hyman, and public affairs programming with conservative hosts. (The deal would give Sinclair a second Washington station, WDCW.) And Sinclair regularly sends ‘must-run’ segments to its stations across the country. One example: an opinion piece by a Sinclair executive that echoed President Trump’s slam at the national news media and what he calls the ‘fake news’ they produce…

“During the presidential campaign, Trump’s message came through loud and clear on Sinclair’s stations, many of which are in small or medium-sized markets in battleground states such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, even bragged, according to Politico, that the campaign cut a deal with the media conglomerate for uninterrupted coverage of some Trump appearances. Is there a link between such content — and the expectation of more — and the loosening of federal rules?”


THE BIGGER PICTURE:

-- “The darker forces that propelled President Trump’s rise are beginning to frame and define the rest of the Republican Party,” Karen Tumulty and Robert Costa explain. “When Gianforte assaulted a reporter … many saw not an isolated outburst by an individual, but the obvious, violent result of Trump’s charge that journalists are ‘the enemy of the people.’ … Trump — and specifically, his character and his conduct — now thoroughly dominate the national political conversation. Traditional policy arguments over whether entitlement programs should be overhauled, or taxes cut, are regularly upstaged by a new burst of pyrotechnics. … Trump’s barrage of news-making and controversy drives the GOP even at its lowest levels, with his raucous populism and blustering behavior reshaping its identity. Candidates often are either adopting aspects of his persona or finding themselves having to fitfully explain why they back him despite them.”

-- Many right-wing intellectuals blame Trump for corrupting the conservative movement so much that Gianforte can get away with hitting a reporter:

Charlie Sykes, a conservative former talk-show host in Wisconsin, told Karen and Bob: “Every time something like Montana happens, Republicans adjust their standards and put an emphasis on team loyalty. They normalize and accept previously unacceptable behavior.”

Michael Gerson, a top speechwriter for George W. Bush, recalls a few of the conspiracy theories that the president has floated in his column for today’s Post: “Who raised the possibility that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Who hinted that Hillary Clinton might have been involved in the death of Vince Foster, or that unnamed liberals might have killed Justice Antonin Scalia? Who not only questioned President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, but raised the prospect of the murder of a Hawaiian state official in a coverup? ‘How amazing,’ Trump tweeted in 2013, ‘the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s ‘birth certificate’ died in plane crash today. All others lived.’ We have a president charged with maintaining public health who asserts that the vaccination schedule is a dangerous scam of greedy doctors. We have a president charged with representing all Americans who has falsely accused thousands of Muslims of celebrating in the streets following the 9/11 attacks. … This is a concrete example of the mainstreaming of destructive craziness.”

“Respectfully, I’d submit that the president has unearthed some demons,” Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) told Mike DeBonis at the Capitol. “I’ve talked to a number of people about it back home. They say, ‘Well, look, if the president can say whatever, why can’t I say whatever?’ He’s given them license. … There is a total weirdness out there. People feel like, if the president of the United States can say anything to anybody at any time, then I guess I can too. And that is a very dangerous phenomenon.”
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#3
(05-26-2017, 09:55 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: The 1st Amendment is nothing without the 2nd Amendment.

If you have not already done so, exercise your 2nd Amendment rights to the greatest extent your finances and time allow.

At a minimum, if you can afford it, here is what you need:

1) A close quarters combat rifle. This can be a carbine or longer gun. In this case, ease of handling, rapidity of reloading, and cost of ammo are the key considerations. Given the short engagement distances, ballistics are not as important. In terms of caliber, you should look at .227 to .300.

2) A longer range, more accurate rifle, with optics. This does not need to be a sniper rifle per se. But it does need a reasonable degree of accuracy, easy ability to mount optics, and ergonomics allowing aiming to be easy. Caliber will be .300 or higher. Where legal and if you can afford it, .50 is not unreasonable.

3) A side arm. This is a very personal matter. Most opt for a semi automatic in the 1911 pattern or a Glock. However, if wheel guns are your thing, no problem. For stopping power choose 9MM or higher. Beware of the more powerful ammo, as recoil can become an issue especially if you have smaller hands and are of limited stature.

Beyond these basics, you may also want to consider a semi automatic shot gun. Such arms have seen a vast increase in usage in modern combat theaters and tactical policing.

For more info you can find a plethora of info and videos on line.

Welcome to the world of being a shooter and exercising your Civil Rights.

Remember, all this is moot. If the 1st amendment is not being upheld, as in the case in Montana, then the constitution is moot. The 2nd amendment does not protect your right to bear arms, in that case.

If we must secede from a nation that is trending fascist, then we may need to make sure that CA has the wherewithal to turn back an invasion by the fascists. That will require much more than armed citizens.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#4
(05-26-2017, 01:33 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Remember, all this is moot. If the 1st amendment is not being upheld, as in the case in Montana, then the constitution is moot. The 2nd amendment does not protect your right to bear arms, in that case.

If we must secede from a nation that is trending fascist, then we may need to make sure that CA has the wherewithal to turn back an invasion by the fascists. That will require much more than armed citizens.

I vaguely recall tales of an old incident.  A bunch of angry citizens were marching on a palace, where a line of military guys paid for by the royalty stood waiting.  As a king, it is very very bad, first if the infantry refuses to fire on their own people, and second if the infantry breaks their formation and joins the mob.

When should armed professional military and police refuse improper orders given by a government gone bad?  That question would become important before it falls into the hands of the militia.

Governor George Wallace, back in the awakening, called up the Alabama National Guard to protect the state colleges from being segregated.  The federals federalized the Guard, called it up for national service.  The US pays the bills.  Thus, the Guard general gets court marshaled if he doesn't give loyalty to the feds.  The feds won that time.

There were a few military guys concerned towards the climax of Watergate.  At the time, the Marines were the dominant force in the Washington DC area.  They traditionally had a tight loyalty to the executive branch.  While most everyone else was focusing attention on Nixon, Congress, courts and the press, a few people in the Pentagon were concerned about what mid-Atlantic area military units were apt to remain loyal to who.  As it turned out, even Nixon wasn't ready to take the nation over that cliff.

As a private individual, all one can really do is have a small private arsenal ready just in case the pros don't answer the above questions well.  Hopefully, we won't have to see how many generals are patriots.  However, the question of how many generals are patriots will be very important before the militia decides whether to mobilize, and which side to take.

I will note that when Teddy Roosevelt cut off all funds for training the militia, when he created the National Guard under the regulations for a federal standing army, his new select militia became more federal than state.  The proper militia (all adult males) has officers appointed by the state.

Or it would, except no one has appointed lower level militia officers for a century plus.  In many states, the low level officers were elected by the men who served.

The other question?  If the generals are true patriots, will they have fully inflated balls?
Reply
#5
(05-26-2017, 01:33 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(05-26-2017, 09:55 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: The 1st Amendment is nothing without the 2nd Amendment.

If you have not already done so, exercise your 2nd Amendment rights to the greatest extent your finances and time allow.

At a minimum, if you can afford it, here is what you need:

1) A close quarters combat rifle. This can be a carbine or longer gun. In this case, ease of handling, rapidity of reloading, and cost of ammo are the key considerations. Given the short engagement distances, ballistics are not as important. In terms of caliber, you should look at .227 to .300.

2) A longer range, more accurate rifle, with optics. This does not need to be a sniper rifle per se. But it does need a reasonable degree of accuracy, easy ability to mount optics, and ergonomics allowing aiming to be easy. Caliber will be .300 or higher. Where legal and if you can afford it, .50 is not unreasonable.

3) A side arm. This is a very personal matter. Most opt for a semi automatic in the 1911 pattern or a Glock. However, if wheel guns are your thing, no problem. For stopping power choose 9MM or higher. Beware of the more powerful ammo, as recoil can become an issue especially if you have smaller hands and are of limited stature.

Beyond these basics, you may also want to consider a semi automatic shot gun. Such arms have seen a vast increase in usage in modern combat theaters and tactical policing.

For more info you can find a plethora of info and videos on line.

Welcome to the world of being a shooter and exercising your Civil Rights.

Remember, all this is moot. If the 1st amendment is not being upheld, as in the case in Montana, then the constitution is moot. The 2nd amendment does not protect your right to bear arms, in that case.

If we must secede from a nation that is trending fascist, then we may need to make sure that CA has the wherewithal to turn back an invasion by the fascists. That will require much more than armed citizens.

President Trump is terribly unpopular. His approval rating is below 30% in New York State and below 40% in such states as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin (both of which he won) as well as Virginia. Want to guess about Maryland?

All of the significant centers of communication are in relatively liberal areas -- New York, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles.  That's before I discuss such regional nexuses as Denver, Dallas, the Twin Cities, Miami, San Francisco, and New Orleans. The most conservative large cities are Oklahoma City, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City.

Donald Trump has done much to offend the military and the intelligence communities. They bit their tongues with Obama -- but Obama didn't leak secrets. He didn't insult America's allies. He gave credit where it was due for whacking Osama bin Laden. The Obama years were bad times to be anti-American terrorists. President Trump promotes anti-American attitudes where they had been rare.

I need to remind you that in the Philippines, the armed forces told Ferdinand Marcos that his time was up. The Romanian Army refused to follow criminal orders that Ceausescu issued -- orders to fire upo0n peaceful protesters.

The big question is whether the US Armed Forces have more loyalty to Constitutional norms than to the President. Guessing that senior military officers in their forties and fifties became junior officers when Carter, Reagan, the elder Bush, and maybe Clinton were President, I would guess that none of them would obey orders to do such criminal acts as interfering in an election or attacking peaceful protesters. The ultimate impeachment is a military coup, with which the USA has no experience.

Can anyone see Donald Trump as a right-wing equivalent of Salvador Allende? I almost can. Now that's scary.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#6
CNN reports on a claim by Fareed Zakaria that liberals are intolerant.

CNN Wrote:Fareed Zakaria said Saturday that though many liberals think they are tolerant, often they aren't.

Zakaria noted that "at the height of commencement season," many new graduates across the country had made their political views apparent, from the Notre Dame students who walked out as Vice President Mike Pence gave his commencement address to the crowd members who booed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a speech at Bethune-Cookman University.

"American universities seem committed to every kind of diversity except intellectual diversity. Conservative voices and views are being silenced entirely," Zakaria said.

I'm not sure this is right.  Conservatives were given opportunity to speak.  The Notre Dame students didn't have to listen.  The Bethune-Cookman students spoke back.  There might be an error in liberals inviting in people who will say what the students don't want to hear.

Or is that a mistake?  A lot of the problem is nobody listening to the other guy.  Once a partisan latches on to a world view, he'll reject the opposite, often not listening just in case something new is offered.  Given what Pence or DeVos generally have to say, it's not surprising that well educated kids are apt to reject it.

Is it intolerance if one has a strong opinion and rejects the opposite opinion?  There is sure a lot of opinions and rejection, in America, and on this forum.
Reply
#7
(05-29-2017, 04:22 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: CNN reports on a claim by Fareed Zakaria that liberals are intolerant.

CNN Wrote:Fareed Zakaria said Saturday that though many liberals think they are tolerant, often they aren't.

Zakaria noted that "at the height of commencement season," many new graduates across the country had made their political views apparent, from the Notre Dame students who walked out as Vice President Mike Pence gave his commencement address to the crowd members who booed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a speech at Bethune-Cookman University.

"American universities seem committed to every kind of diversity except intellectual diversity. Conservative voices and views are being silenced entirely," Zakaria said.

I'm not sure this is right.  Conservatives were given opportunity to speak.  The Notre Dame students didn't have to listen.  The Bethune-Cookman students spoke back.  There might be an error in liberals inviting in people who will say what the students don't want to hear.

Or is that a mistake?  A lot of the problem is nobody listening to the other guy.  Once a partisan latches on to a world view, he'll reject the opposite, often not listening just in case something new is offered.  Given what Pence or DeVos generally have to say, it's not surprising that well educated kids are apt to reject it.

Is it intolerance if one has a strong opinion and rejects the opposite opinion?  There is sure a lot of opinions and rejection, in America, and on this forum.

Freedom of speech does not imply the right to an uncritical, sympathetic audience. Most of us have values, and certain speech is incompatible with those values. The demand that people treat nonsense with respect is the demise of freedom of thought, suggesting that official communication is command.

Pence and DeVos represent what few Americans can accept: a hierarchical order in which millions suffer for the indulgence of a few in return for getting right with God and deserving pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die instead of the fire of Hell. I can hardly imagine a more exploitative foundation of society, and if heaven is for the good it is for those who have challenged gross inequity and not for crass exploiters lest one speak of a God unworthy of worship. I could never worship a gangster, after all.

Some things simply do not merit tolerance. Child sexual abuse, something that the System used to tolerate, now has no supporters. Gay-bashing has no ethical justification. Gladiatorial games and human sacrifices would be crimes against all decent sensibilities. We normally expect government to be responsible to the People (and if it is not responsible to the People, then what merit does it have?) corruption has no justification.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#8
The Opinion Pages | OP-ED COLUMNIST

Donald Trump: The Gateway Degenerate
Charles M. Blow
MAY 29, 2017
(his opinion = my opinion... Eric the Green)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/29/opini...pe=article

Last week, when voters in Montana elected Greg Gianforte to fill the state’s lone seat in the House of Representatives, even after he was recorded in a physical altercation with a reporter, many Americans — like me — were left to look on in astonished bewilderment.

There was an audio recording of the altercation. The reporter, Ben Jacobs of The Guardian, says Gianforte body-slammed him while he was simply doing his job, asking questions on the eve of the election. Gianforte’s camp issued a bogus statement basically blaming Jacobs for the incident, but that statement was not at all backed up by the audio.

There were witnesses. A Fox News crew was there, and as Fox’s Alicia Acuna wrote of the altercation:

“Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’ ”

She added: “To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte.”

• Gianforte’s assault is a glaring display of toxic masculinity in an environment made particularly toxic by the man in the White House and...

And yet, as The New York Times reported, “Voters here shrugged off the episode and handed Republicans a convincing victory.”

Three of the largest daily papers in Montana were aghast and withdrew their endorsements of Gianforte. But Republicans in Congress didn’t possess that courage of conviction. Their collective response essentially amounted to, “Eh.”

Other notably notorious Republicans went further. Babbling Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center wrote on Twitter:

“Jacobs is an obnoxious, dishonest first class jerk. I’m not surprised he got smacked.”

Interestingly enough, Bozell commented on Fox about Donald Trump’s hostile relationship to the media, saying: “What Donald Trump is saying is, ‘If you hit me unfairly, I’m going to knock your teeth out.’ And that’s what he’s been doing.”

This rhetoric is overheated, violent and dangerous.

The detestable radio host Laura Ingraham wrote in a couple of Twitter posts:

“Politicians always need to keep their cool. But what would most Montana men do if ‘body slammed’ for no reason by another man?”

And: “Did anyone get his lunch money stolen today and then run to tell the recess monitor?”

Outrageous. Assault is not a game. It’s not a joke. It’s criminal. Any moral person would know better than to treat it so cavalierly. A moral person wouldn’t make a joke; that person would take a stand.

But Republicans in the age of Trump have sadly moved away from morality as a viable concept.

Yes, Gianforte’s assault is a glaring display of toxic masculinity in an environment made particularly toxic by the man in the White House and his media bullying. But more telling and more ominous is the degree to which Republicans no longer seem to care, and their increasing ability to compartmentalize and justify.

This is all an outgrowth of Trump’s degradation of common decency. Trump was the gateway candidate. When Republicans allowed themselves to accept and support him in spite of his glaring flaws and his life lived in opposition to the values they once professed and insisted upon, they moved themselves into another moral realm in which literally nothing was beyond the pale.

It is a sort of by-any-means-necessary, no-sin-is-too-grave, all-facts-are-fungible space in the moral universe where the rules of basic human decency warp.

The moment that they allowed themselves to vote for a man who bragged on tape about assaulting women, appeared in at least two pornos, and once joked about dating his own daughter, they surrendered the mantle of morality.

When they allowed themselves to vote for a man who insulted Mexicans and Muslims, who mocked a disabled reporter, who called for executing the Central Park Five and who had “a long history of racial bias at his family’s properties, in New York and beyond,” according to an extensive report by The Times, Republicans surrendered the mantle of morality.

Republicans sold their souls to this devil and now are forced to defend as right what they know full well is wrong. They must defend his incessant lying, clear incompetence and dubious dealings. What was once sacrilege among Republicans is now sacrosanct.

It is in that context that Gianforte could be charged with assault and Republicans would pat him on the back instead of rapping him on the knuckles.

Republicans, blinded by fear and rage, thirsty for power, desperate for a reclamation and reassertion of racial power, have cast their lot with the great deceiver and all their previous deal-breakers are now negotiable.

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter (@CharlesMBlow), or email me at chblow@nytimes.com.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

(Eric the Green adds): This behavior and attitude is a short step away from brown shirts deciding our history.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#9
(05-29-2017, 04:22 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: CNN reports on a claim by Fareed Zakaria that liberals are intolerant.

CNN Wrote:Fareed Zakaria said Saturday that though many liberals think they are tolerant, often they aren't.

Zakaria noted that "at the height of commencement season," many new graduates across the country had made their political views apparent, from the Notre Dame students who walked out as Vice President Mike Pence gave his commencement address to the crowd members who booed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a speech at Bethune-Cookman University.

"American universities seem committed to every kind of diversity except intellectual diversity. Conservative voices and views are being silenced entirely," Zakaria said.

I'm not sure this is right.  Conservatives were given opportunity to speak.  The Notre Dame students didn't have to listen.  The Bethune-Cookman students spoke back.  There might be an error in liberals inviting in people who will say what the students don't want to hear.

Or is that a mistake?  A lot of the problem is nobody listening to the other guy.  Once a partisan latches on to a world view, he'll reject the opposite, often not listening just in case something new is offered.  Given what Pence or DeVos generally have to say, it's not surprising that well educated kids are apt to reject it.

Is it intolerance if one has a strong opinion and rejects the opposite opinion?  There is sure a lot of opinions and rejection, in America, and on this forum.

Conservatives are being "silenced" and yet somehow they control the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the majority of governorships and statehouses, not to mention the corporations and family businesses that dominate our society. Somehow I have little sympathy with the "conservatives" ' complaints. Obviously, when Republican candidates can assault reporters who ask tough questions, and still win, it is the fact-seekers who are being silenced, not the ruffian and blatantly anti-intellectual, anti-human, anti-nature Republicans who have been allowed to dominate our society. Pence and DeVoss, two examples of these Republicans, have absolutely nothing enlightening to say.

Partisanship by Democrats and liberals is what is needed now. This outrageous 40-year retreat from every progressive value must be resisted, and this is a 4T. Compromise is not an option in 4T's. "There is no substitute for victory" must be our motto now.

If some people can incorporate "listening" into their toolkit for communication, and that can reach some people, that's good. That's a question of tactics. Real people among all voters have real concerns. But our place in history is clear. We are divided, and a permanent choice between us must be made in the next 10 years. Those who share some views with each side, must also choose which side to align with.

Zakaria usually makes sense; this time I'm not so sure.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#10
This is what Trump, Gianforte and Company are creating. May God the Great Spirit bless these 2 great heroes in their journey beyond this life, and my blessings to the surviving hero.

‘Final act of bravery’: Men who were fatally stabbed trying to stop anti-Muslim rants identified
By Amy B Wang May 27
Play Video 1:15
2 men killed after trying to stop anti-Muslim rant

Two men were stabbed to death and one injured Friday on a light-rail train in Portland, Ore., after they tried to intervene when another passenger began “ranting and raving” and shouting anti-Muslim hate speech at two young women, police said.

Portland police on Saturday identified the two slain victims as 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche.

A third victim, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

According to witnesses, a white male passenger riding an eastbound MAX train early Friday afternoon began yelling what “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions,” police said. Some of the slurs were directed at two female passengers, one of whom was wearing a hijab, according to police.

“This suspect was on the train and he was yelling and ranting and raving a lot of different things, including what we characterized at hate speech or biased language,” Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson said at a news conference Friday evening.

At least two men tried to calm the ranting passenger down, but “they were attacked viciously by the suspect” when they did, Simpson said.

“It appears preliminarily that the victims — at least a couple of them — were trying to intervene in his behavior, deescalate him and protect some other people on the train when [the suspect] viciously attacked them,” Simpson said.

About 4:30 p.m. Friday, police responded to calls of a disturbance at the Hollywood Transit Station in east Portland. There, they found three stabbing victims, all adult men. Despite attempted lifesaving measures, Best, a resident of Happy Valley, Ore., was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Namkai Meche, of southeast Portland, died at a local hospital; Fletcher, of southeast Portland, is expected to survive, police said Saturday.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner is conducting autopsies on Best and Namkai Meche and expected to release results late Saturday afternoon, according to police.

Based on witnesses’ statements, officers on Friday were able to locate and arrest the suspect, who had fled the train on foot.

Police identified the suspect early Saturday morning as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, of north Portland. Christian is being held without bail on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation in the second degree and one count of possession of a restricted weapon as a felon.


The stabbing attack shocked the city.

“It’s horrific. There’s no other word to describe what happened today,” Simpson said Friday. “It is simply horrible.”

[‘Brave and selfless’ Oregon stabbing victims hailed as heroes for standing up to racist rants]

The attack shut down the Hollywood Transit Station and Portland MAX trains in both directions for several hours Friday evening.

Simpson noted then that several passengers, including the two young women thought to be the target of the man’s anti-Muslim slurs, had left the train after the stabbings. He urged any witnesses to come forward to give statements to police. Simpson added that it did not appear that the suspect or the victims had any relationship with one another.

“We don’t know if (the suspect) has mental-health issues or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or all of the above,” Simpson said. “With this incident, we’re obviously in early stages of the investigation.”

According to the Associated Press, the FBI and U.S. Attorney for Oregon will work with Portland police on the case. The FBI said it’s too early to say whether the killings qualify as a federal hate crime but U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said Saturday, “There’s a day of reckoning coming, a day of accountability,” the AP reported.

The attacks occurred just as Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, was set to commence at sunset Friday. Simpson said that Portland police had already reached out to Muslim organizations, mosques and imams in the community to talk about extra patrols during Ramadan — and that those extra patrols would continue.

“Our thoughts are with the Muslim community,” Simpson said Friday. “As something like this happens, this only instills fear in that community.”

[Suspected attacker Jeremy Joseph Christian stood out amid rising tensions in Portland]

On Saturday, people mourned the stabbing victims and praised them as heroes for their actions. Namkai Meche’s sister, Vajra Alaya-Maitreya, emailed a statement to The Washington Post on behalf of their family, saying her brother lived “a joyous and full life” with an enthusiasm that was infectious.

“We lost him in a senseless act that brought close to home the insidious rift of prejudice and intolerance that is too familiar, too common. He was resolute in his conduct (and) respect of all people,” she wrote. “In his final act of bravery, he held true to what he believed is the way forward. He will live in our hearts forever as the just, brave, loving, hilarious and beautiful soul he was. We ask that in honor of his memory, we use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change. We choose love.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Saturday said, “Their actions were brave and selfless and should serve as an example, an inspiration to us all,” the AP reported.

By Saturday afternoon, a GoFundMe campaign called “Tri Met Heroes” set up for the victims’ families had raised more than $30,000. A GoFundMe spokesman confirmed to The Post that the company would ensure funds are sent to the victim’s families.

The attack prompted a slew of outraged responses Friday from Oregon residents and lawmakers, as well as nationally.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#11
Political violence has never been an accepted part of American life. It is worth remembering that the struggle for civil rights for Southern blacks became a success because of terrorist violence of the KKK and related organizations.

Of course, neither racial, religious, or ethnic animus serves democracy well. America is for us all or we need to make some basic changes.

Thomas Jefferson Wrote:We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Some people simply do not understand what the USA is about. People who push religious and ethnic bigotry intent on denying the right to live in accordance with their religious traditions make a travesty of what America has been.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#12
(05-30-2017, 11:39 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(05-29-2017, 02:31 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: This is what Trump, Gianforte and Company are creating. May God the Great Spirit bless these 2 great heroes in their journey beyond this life, and my blessings to the surviving hero.

‘Final act of bravery’: Men who were fatally stabbed trying to stop anti-Muslim rants identified
By Amy B Wang May 27
Play Video 1:15
2 men killed after trying to stop anti-Muslim rant

Two men were stabbed to death and one injured Friday on a light-rail train in Portland, Ore., after they tried to intervene when another passenger began “ranting and raving” and shouting anti-Muslim hate speech at two young women, police said.

Portland police on Saturday identified the two slain victims as 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche.

A third victim, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

According to witnesses, a white male passenger riding an eastbound MAX train early Friday afternoon began yelling what “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions,” police said. Some of the slurs were directed at two female passengers, one of whom was wearing a hijab, according to police.

“This suspect was on the train and he was yelling and ranting and raving a lot of different things, including what we characterized at hate speech or biased language,” Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson said at a news conference Friday evening.

At least two men tried to calm the ranting passenger down, but “they were attacked viciously by the suspect” when they did, Simpson said.

“It appears preliminarily that the victims — at least a couple of them — were trying to intervene in his behavior, deescalate him and protect some other people on the train when [the suspect] viciously attacked them,” Simpson said.

About 4:30 p.m. Friday, police responded to calls of a disturbance at the Hollywood Transit Station in east Portland. There, they found three stabbing victims, all adult men. Despite attempted lifesaving measures, Best, a resident of Happy Valley, Ore., was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Namkai Meche, of southeast Portland, died at a local hospital; Fletcher, of southeast Portland, is expected to survive, police said Saturday.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner is conducting autopsies on Best and Namkai Meche and expected to release results late Saturday afternoon, according to police.

Based on witnesses’ statements, officers on Friday were able to locate and arrest the suspect, who had fled the train on foot.

Police identified the suspect early Saturday morning as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, of north Portland. Christian is being held without bail on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation in the second degree and one count of possession of a restricted weapon as a felon.


The stabbing attack shocked the city.

“It’s horrific. There’s no other word to describe what happened today,” Simpson said Friday. “It is simply horrible.”

[‘Brave and selfless’ Oregon stabbing victims hailed as heroes for standing up to racist rants]

The attack shut down the Hollywood Transit Station and Portland MAX trains in both directions for several hours Friday evening.

Simpson noted then that several passengers, including the two young women thought to be the target of the man’s anti-Muslim slurs, had left the train after the stabbings. He urged any witnesses to come forward to give statements to police. Simpson added that it did not appear that the suspect or the victims had any relationship with one another.

“We don’t know if (the suspect) has mental-health issues or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or all of the above,” Simpson said. “With this incident, we’re obviously in early stages of the investigation.”

According to the Associated Press, the FBI and U.S. Attorney for Oregon will work with Portland police on the case. The FBI said it’s too early to say whether the killings qualify as a federal hate crime but U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said Saturday, “There’s a day of reckoning coming, a day of accountability,” the AP reported.

The attacks occurred just as Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, was set to commence at sunset Friday. Simpson said that Portland police had already reached out to Muslim organizations, mosques and imams in the community to talk about extra patrols during Ramadan — and that those extra patrols would continue.

“Our thoughts are with the Muslim community,” Simpson said Friday. “As something like this happens, this only instills fear in that community.”

[Suspected attacker Jeremy Joseph Christian stood out amid rising tensions in Portland]

On Saturday, people mourned the stabbing victims and praised them as heroes for their actions. Namkai Meche’s sister, Vajra Alaya-Maitreya, emailed a statement to The Washington Post on behalf of their family, saying her brother lived “a joyous and full life” with an enthusiasm that was infectious.

“We lost him in a senseless act that brought close to home the insidious rift of prejudice and intolerance that is too familiar, too common. He was resolute in his conduct (and) respect of all people,” she wrote. “In his final act of bravery, he held true to what he believed is the way forward. He will live in our hearts forever as the just, brave, loving, hilarious and beautiful soul he was. We ask that in honor of his memory, we use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change. We choose love.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Saturday said, “Their actions were brave and selfless and should serve as an example, an inspiration to us all,” the AP reported.

By Saturday afternoon, a GoFundMe campaign called “Tri Met Heroes” set up for the victims’ families had raised more than $30,000. A GoFundMe spokesman confirmed to The Post that the company would ensure funds are sent to the victim’s families.

The attack prompted a slew of outraged responses Friday from Oregon residents and lawmakers, as well as nationally.

And another reason to pack heat. Duginist thugs don't like how you're dressed or how you look. They try to knife you. Knife, meet supersonic, or at very least high subsonic, lead.

Or another reason to reject Trump, Gianforte and all the other politicians who are normalizing this behavior.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#13
Civility and terror seem to be near opposites at the least. Political violence is about as addictive as a drug to those who use it, and it creates its own simulacrum of authority. But the authority of violence, except in obvious self defense (self-defense can be more violent than illegitimate aggression, and it might be excused even if homicidal).
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#14
The Gianforte incident is beginning to feel like our "caning of Charles Sumner" event. The rhetoric of the people defending Gianforte's actions sounds almost identical to the Southerners telling Preston Brooks to "Hit him again".

I fear there is nothing that can stop violence and bloodshed breaking out in this country before this 4T ends, now.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
Reply


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