Impeachment so No Immunity

white house

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Finally some action from the Democrats who could, who knows, get bold?  Let’s hope #BLM, #INCITE #WARN, #Desert on Anarchist Free Library. There should be impeachment so there is no impunity let alone immunity with Trump pardoning himself.  Enough.

This is the very definition of overreach.  Here’s where I think it is worth doing homework our homework at the Anarchist Free Library.

Biden Better Defund the Capitol Police + Do a Mulvaney, Now Please

Boy, was I not thinking.  I turned on the mainstream television news yesterday.  It was hard not to.  The images.*

I don’t know the details yet (the Capitol police are taking their time), but listening to them explain, I have to wonder, “Where were you?”  Then, after 6 PM, how did they clear the Capitol so fast? It’s collusion, of course.  Selfies between the police and the Trump mob say it all. 

Defund the Capitol Police, Biden, for sure. If you can’t protect the Capitol, where you served most of your career, who are you?

By evening, when ABC and CBS were calling the pro-authoritarian, racist, misogynist white supremacists “anarchists” — anarchists,of all things — I went to sleep in defeat.  Being a PwD will sadly do that.

Still, I am a mother, and a teacher of graduate students. I’ve spent my entire career in the only public university that is truly public — CUNY.  This means we teach the very best.  As a result, I’ve had a running argumentative discourse with my sons and with more than one fantastic seminar I taught several times called Contemporary American Political Thought. “Contemporary” means alive.**  And this semester I’m teaching a hybrid version of it under a new name — Women of Color Impacting Politics.

I call it WIP for short, since women of color are included in the larger category of women, and it’s only women of color (which I like to think of as women and) or politicians who have at least two identities that put targets on their backs, like AOC and the rest of the Squad. 

WIP differs from my other seminar, Power, Resistance, Identities and Social Movements (PRISM)***. None of that came to pass after Occupy Wall Street, so I retooled it, though not until I first went out to the more radical campuses led by sociologists to hear what the 18-year-olds had to say about the political time we all occupy — and not before I finally got to team teach with DP David Waldstreicher, a scholar not only of history but of American Studies too boot.

What’s the difference between the two?  The latter seminar looks at social movements, whereas the former spends more time on the only political thought exported to Europe, as well as other nations that are active, such as Greece and a few more. More importantly, though, it shows the way for all those with energy to run for office — the flag wavers.  

There are a tiny few in American politics, such as AOC, who, along with the aspirational Green New Deal and the Squad, are not leading the way, they are flagging it.  Their teeny-tiny foothold in federal government has its consequences.  They constitute the hopeful 1 percenters in this country.  Sure, they can’t pass legislation, let alone a policy like the Green New Deal. That’s not why they’re there. They’re doing flag duty.

As that 1 percent in the House of Representatives, they are flagging the way to the fortress of American political representation — Congress.  Not the Senate, but the House of Representatives, through which — if the corporate capitalist Democrats and Republicans had not been Tweedledee and Tweedledum for so many decades, with the highlight expressed in the 1924 GOP and Democratic platforms that included the KKK, delaying the New Deal for sure, but only by four years — we would have had a different country, a different New Deal.

Now is the moment of truth.  The mob descended. And they took selfies with the Capitol police. What more indictment do we need than that? Biden, better defund the Capitol Police.

You can’t blame Trump for lighting the match, or can you? Well, if you do, quit.  And quit today. Don’t delay.  Stop being complicit in the GOP executive-branch machine.

Trump did not do this alone. I can’t hear that explanation one more time without demanding that all conservatives go back to class — civics, that is.  It’s absurd when the executive branch has more than 4,000 partisan positions alone that have to be vetted and go before the Senate.  Come on. That logic defies credibility in a country of almost 400 million.  We have institutions, national ones at that, that deserve better protection from the police.

*Cleveland Lovett, one of my very best undergraduates that Bard College enticed away from the CUNY Bac program, is playing outside Hannah Arendt’s house.  He understands not only Arendt’s The Human Condition but the triangulation of discrimination, public health, and jazz (or music in general) in New York.  Plus the flood of memories from running errands from hall to hall in the Capitol for two summers and as many months from my junior year until I went off to college.  (Then of course I selected a college with “men” in the title as a youthful rebellion against my mom, who insisted that I come back to California — and could apply and go anywhere except her alma mater, Berkeley, or the university that harmed one of her most beloved cousins, Stanford.). If I was going into politics, where better than into the belly of the beast?  She raised me as a fierce feminist, more by her doings than by her sayings, to be sure.    

**This led to my second solo book series, called Heretical Thought.  Here the bottom line is if you don’t have a fatwa or aren’t in danger of being burned at the stake — or, like me, don’t like to open hate mail or have groups like the Weasel Zippers after you, going so far as to send people to the 92nd Street Y when my Obama book came out — then your ideas are not seismic enough. Gerry Martini was one of the most insightful members of this seminar, as I recall.#

President Trump’s Memorandum Criminalizing Antifa Link

 

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Purpose.  One of the fundamental purposes of our Government is to ensure the safety of our citizens.  Consistent with the purpose of creating peaceful and prosperous communities, Federal law ensures immigration benefits may be granted only to those individuals who will follow the laws that govern all United States citizens.  Accordingly, section 212(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3), renders inadmissible aliens who have engaged or who are likely to engage in terrorist activity and those aliens who seek entry into the United States to engage, principally or incidentally, in unlawful activity.  Active membership in a criminal association is relevant to the determination of whether an applicant for a visa or other immigration benefit is seeking to enter the United States to engage in unlawful activity.  Accordingly, law enforcement organizations, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, should continue to provide the Department of State with current information appropriate for updating the list of criminal organizations in the Foreign Affairs Manual at 9 FAM 302.5-4(B)(2).  This information should include assessments of whether aliens involved with such associations pose a threat to the safety of our communities.

In particular, reliable reporting suggests that the movement known as Antifa is directly or indirectly responsible for some of the recent lawlessness in our communities, and has exploited tragedies to advance a radical, leftist, anarchist, and often violent agenda.  In fact, Antifa has long used otherwise permissible demonstrations to engage in lawless, criminal behavior to further its radical agenda.

Between February and August 2017, during a series of protests in Berkeley, California, Antifa protesters physically assaulted several individuals and caused significant property damage.  Specifically, reports indicate that during the August 27, 2017, protest, black-clad Antifa protestors viciously attacked a rally, including targeting at least one person because of his conservative political beliefs.  These protests resulted in 13 arrests on a range of charges, including assault with a deadly weapon and obstructing a police officer.  During the demonstrations on February 1, 2017, 150 black-clad agitators contributed to an estimated $100,000 worth of property damage in Berkeley.  Separately, on June 29, 2019, individuals affiliated with Antifa physically attacked conservative journalist Andy Ngo while he was covering demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, leaving him hospitalized.

Those affiliated with Antifa have also repeatedly threatened violence, including against law enforcement officers.  For instance, in June 2018, a Twitter account linked to Antifa shared the names of more than 1,500 Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees, leading others to track and publicly post some employees’ social media profiles, phone numbers, and home addresses, which, as intended, resulted in the employees being harassed.

In late September of 2020, individuals in a moving truck distributed riot equipment — including shields, masks, and a sign emblazoned with an Antifa symbol — in Louisville, Kentucky, before riots ensued there.  Hours later, the violent situation resulted in the shooting of two police officers.  And on October 5, 2020, reported Antifa activists in Portland were captured on video attacking a woman carrying an American flag.

The Department of Justice has already publicly confirmed that actions by Antifa and similar groups meet the standard for domestic terrorism.

The violence spurred on by Antifa — such as hurling projectiles and incendiary devices at police, burning vehicles, and violently confronting police in defiance of local curfews — is dangerous to human life and to the fabric of our Nation.  These violent acts undermine the rights of peaceful protestors and destroy the lives, liberty, and property of the people of this Nation, especially those most vulnerable.

Sec2.  Inadmissibility of Antifa Associates Based on Terrorist and Unlawful Activity.  (a)  The Secretary of State shall, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, review information received from the Department of Justice and other authorities to assess whether to classify Antifa as a terrorist organization under section 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi) of title 8, United States Code.

(b)  The Secretary of State shall take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, to consider listing Antifa in 9 FAM 302.5-4(B)(2)(U) Aliens Who Are Members of an Identified Criminal Organization.

Sec3.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

3 – 126 or 118 Representatives Trying to Overturn 2020 Presidential Election

126 Names of Representatives Pledging to Overturn 2020 Presidential Election*

I am still looking for a better quality list of the 118 that BuzzFeed suggests is now 126, who are committed to Trump to the point of overturning the Presidential Election today.  It’s gotten extra nasty now that Georgia Senate upset occurred putting Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff into the Senate and knocking out Mr. Turtle, Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.

I was surprised when one of my colleagues didn’t know who Senator Chuck Grassley was.  He had a long career first in the House of Representatives, and then later in the Senate, always featuring whistleblowers. 

While I’m no fan of the Republicans and I’m sure if I looked closely at his record, I’d find many a person who blew the whistle given his legislation and it only put a target on her back. That said, at least the idea exists and Grassley spearheaded the campaign to make the federal government follow its own laws pertaining to employees, particularly discrimination against women and all other identities. Not everybody needs to escape to Vermont. 

Essential? Whose Body is It Anyway?

Essential is such a funny word.  Having watched doctors fill in forms for my reasonable accommodations since the 1990s you start to get a feel for medicine and why some physicians are M.D.s and some are O.D. or D.Os as well as who is entrepreneurial in the field of medicine starting, for instance, physical medicine (dominated now by Physical Therapy or PT) and even more importantly what doctors contribute to the ever increasing and expansive field of “public health.” Were I home, look at my  neighbor Cornell Tech and its initiatives.

Not surprisingly public health is one of those fields that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg favors. Doing good by algorithm or at least taking the drama (read female) out of who lives or dies. To me, public health is really about what or whose bodies matter. The politics behind it, forget economics, gets translated into law.

I mean with behavioral economics out there like Freakeconomics, we don’t need to think there’s any one rational person that creates a standard for all. Thanks to AI we can quantify irrationality as well as rationality. This is actually quite serious or essential when you think about it. The American rule of law is based on that so-called rational person or human being, yet AI has replaced it with some courts going so far as mandating their judges use algorithms to determine sentencing.

Now that we’ve got “essential” workers (truck delivery, restaurants, meat processing plants, K-12 teachers), as opposed to those on the frontline in public health, what is to become of them?  

The term is perverse, risking your life and the life of your extended family all for minimum wage and life in a gig economy that cements working poverty as well as institutional racism and injustice. 

Checking out careers and professions as I’m won’t to do with two sons in their twenties, I noticed that K-12 teaching as a profession dropped out of the top fifty professions.  What a shame.  Meanwhile, of all things, Political Scientists still don’t beat economists, but one site had them ranked as 47th. I can never get comedian Robin Williams’ pronunciation of the term out of my mind.

Meanwhile, those on the frontline can feel proud as they helped stop death and hindered harm.  

The rest of us, as Harvard’s Ethic Professor Danielle Allen noted, are remote and will be the last to return to work.  I got notice that CUNY is going back. No more remote. I’m happy for what I learned but I can’t wait to get back into the seminar room.  

It’s hard to know how well one connects remotely unless we get great training. Fall 2019, I happened to be teaching one seminar on social justice and the ADA in the workplace at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies (SPS). Being the semester before COVID I happened to have gotten excellent training.  I was so happy to have learned my way around Blackboard. 

One happy surprise was that the post writing aspect of remote work makes the online teaching sometimes profound, more profound than utterances in the seminar room.  I suppose we all have a voice and some integrity late at night or in the wee hours of the morning when we’re composing our thoughts and committing them to our online or remote machine.