My partner and I went to hear Dr. Dyson speak about his latest book. And his line about Trump got a nice laugh and nods from the crowd. But Dr. Dyson’s words stunned me. The wheels of my mind are…
Whether this country can recover and restore itself to a functioning democracy is an open question, but the answer will be “no” without a drastic change in tactics by all of us, without a recognition of the challenges we face and the nature of the Trump/Republicans’ war on democratic values. For Trump is unraveling, becoming more unhinged and erratic, more despotic, almost by the day. He is in open cognitive decline. You don’t have to be a shrink or neuropsychologist to see it. Read the transcript of any of his recent speeches: He is incoherent, free-associating, and paranoid, as he warns that his live TV appearance will be “leaked.” He mixes up words, can barely utter a complete sentence. (Don’t mock his confusion of “oranges” for “origins.” It’s a function of dementia, not stupidity.) That cognitive decline would be scary and destabilizing enough on its own, but married to the character traits of a sociopath, it is even more dangerous. The rage and lack of capacity, the flailing, the insults, the paranoia and conspiracies, the self-aggrandizement, the raw hatred, the lies, the attacks on others, the rejection of facts, the assaults on the most basic of democratic institutions,
The US president had published a video intertwining images of a speech by Ilhan Omar and the 9/11 attacks. Lawmakers have condemned Donald Trump, saying the “dangerous video” risked the Muslim representative’s safety.
On April 12, 1997 I received a call from my brother, Private First Class Tayyib M. Rashid, a newly minted U.S. Marine. He had called to tell us he had just graduated from boot camp. Ours is an immigrant family, and his service was a source of pride and validation for all of us. We were Americans in a new sense now. This year I filed to run for Virginia Senate — an extension of the American dream my immigrant family and I have cherished. But the fact is that Muslims have been in the United States before the states were created — let alone united. Historians believe that 15 to 30 percent of Africans enslaved and trafficked here were Muslim. Yet, some 400 years later we’re still considered outsiders. Conservative outrage over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comments at a civil rights banquet hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) exemplify this exclusion. Speaking about the need for strong civil rights protections, especially for Muslim Americans, Omar said: “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
In fact, we should be paying all kinds of attention to Omar’s words and actions. She is principled and outspoken against all types of human rights abuses, having criticized Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen, spoken out against Chinese repression of the Uighur population, stood with the Sudanese people in their uprising, opposed American intervention in Venezuela, grilled Elliott Abrams about his atrocious human rights record, and more. She is a cosponsor of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, and has already introduced the Protect Against Unlawful Lobbying Act of 2019, and the Federal Worker Childcare Protection Act of 2019. Most recently, she cosponsored a bi-cameral bill to end Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. And she only began her job in January. It’s no wonder that so many people, some from her own party, want to shut Ilhan Omar up. She has a lot to say and she says it. I for one will be listening closely.
Bannon has steadily been building opposition to Francis through his Dignitatis Humanae Institute, based in a 13th-century mountaintop monastery not far from Rome. In January 2017, Bannon became a patron of the institute, whose honorary president is Cardinal Raymond Burke, an ultra-conservative who believes organised networks of homosexuals are spreading a “gay agenda” in the Vatican.
In Instagram and Twitter replies to the attacks, Omar opponents called for her deportation or murder. Death threats are against Twitter and Instagram’s terms of service. But both sites, as well as other social media platforms, like Facebook and YouTube, have been criticized for allowing violence to proliferate in violation of their rules. Threats piled into the comments on those sites, including in response to anti-Omar comments by the leader of the Republican National Committee.
At a fundraiser in San Antonio, Texas, President Trump expressed disappointment that his troops-rough-up-asylum-seekers-at-the-border fanfiction has yet to become a reality. “Our military can’t act like a military would act,” said Trump. “Because if they got a little rough, everybody would go crazy.” Trump also used the roundtable to spread more lies about dangerous migrants and the effectiveness of his fantasy wall. [NY Times/NBC News]
One Microsoft Partner employee reportedly wrote in the email that she “was asked to sit on someone’s lap twice in one meeting in front of HR and other executives,” stating that they didn’t do anything in response to this violation of the company’s policy. “The person said that he did not have to listen and repeated the request a second time,” she wrote, according to Quartz. “No one said anything.” Another female Microsoft employee said that an employee of a Microsoft partner company threatened to kill her during a work trip if she didn’t engage in sexual acts, according to reports. She also reportedly described HR’s alleged complicity and failure to investigate or discipline the involved party. “I raised immediate attention to HR and management,” she wrote, according to Quartz. “My male manager told me that ‘it sounded like he was just flirting’ and I should ‘get over it’. HR basically said that since there was no evidence, and this man worked for a partner company and not Microsoft, there was nothing they could do.”
The list of names of women who were killed in cold blood, where the murderer got away or received a lenient sentence under the category of “honor crime’ is long. It goes on and on, to be the father, brother, husband, lover, cousin, and uncle. Any woman or female can easily be killed because justification and argument are ready for any murderer, and the first protector is society, not law.