Trump, ‘mad dog’ Mattis new transphobic attack

This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump issues new ban on most transgender troops

23 March 2018

The new memo is in line with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis‘ judgment.

From Associated Press today:

Trump bars most transgender troops against serving in the military, except under ‘limited circumstances’

President Trump issued an order late Friday barring most transgender troops from serving in the U.S. armed forces.

People diagnosed with “gender dysphoria…present considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality,’ the order said.

The Human Rights Campaign lashed out against the administration’s decision.

President Donald Trump released an order Friday night banning most transgender troops from serving in military except under “limited circumstances”, following up on his calls last year to ban transgender individuals from serving.

The White House said retaining troops with a history or diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” — those who may require substantial medical treatment — “presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality.” …

Trump received recommendations from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in February for dealing with transgender individuals serving in the military. The White House said Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen agreed with the policy.


Brazil not forgetting murderd Marielle Franco

This video says about itself:

20 March 2018

As Brazil prepares for more mass demonstrations in memory of Marielle Franco, and protests continue around the world, we speak to David Miranda, a close friend of the murdered activist, and like her, a member of Rio’s City Council and fellow LGBT activist.

Dutch fight for LGBTQ rights, history

Anti-homophobia demonstrators, 1969. Photo Jac de Nijs/Nationaal Archief

This 1969 photo shows a demonstration at the Dutch parliament in The Hague. It was the first ever demonstration against homophobia in the Netherlands.

The signs refer to paragraph 248bis of the Dutch criminal law. Then, for heterosexuals it was legal to have sex at 16 years of age, but for homosexuals only after 21 years. The signs called that paternalistic and demanded a law, equal for all. The campaign was succesful. In 1971, paragraph 248bis was abolished. Police until then had arrested 5,000 people to enforce it.

Remarkable progress in a relatively short time. A few years before, in 1962 there had still been an article in Vrij Nederland weekly praising electrical torture of gay men to ‘convert‘ them to heterosexuality. In Vrij Nederland: considered a liberal voice in the Dutch media.

In 1968, a year before the The Hague demonstration, the Leidse Studentenwerkgroep Homoseksualiteit (LSWHl; Leiden Student Working Group Homosexuality) had been founded at Leiden university. Not everyone liked that: a university bigwig asked: What next? A Sadism Working Group?

The LSWH organised parties. One of them was ‘Flikkers voor Vietnam‘, ‘Perverts for Vietnam‘. The money made by organising that party went to medical care for Vietnamese victims of United States bombs.

186-year old tortoise and gay rights

This video says about itself:

On Saturday 19 March 2016, an historic event took place in the grounds of Plantation House, St Helena Island.

Jonathan the Giant Tortoise – the oldest known living land animal on Earth and creakingly old national treasure at an estimated age of 184 years – was washed for the first time in recorded history by vet Dr Joe Hollins.

Joe explained that the reason for bathing Jonathan came after he cleaned – and transformed – the shell of one of the female tortoises at Plantation House. Joe consulted a tortoise specialist to establish the method of cleaning, which includes gentle, circular scrubbing using non-abrasive materials. Filmed and Edited: Kimberley Yon – Roberts (SHG’s Press Office).

From Wikipedia:

Jonathan (hatched c. 1832)[1][2] is a Seychelles giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa) that lives on the island of Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Jonathan was brought to the island from the Seychelles in 1882, along with three other tortoises at about 50 years of age. He was named in the 1930s by Governor Sir Spencer Davis. He continues to live in the grounds of Plantation House, the official residence of the Governor, and belongs to the government of Saint Helena….

If he really was hatched in 1832 he could now be the oldest known living reptile on earth.

In 1991, Jonathan got a female companion, called Frederica.

They mated quite often, but did not produce eggs.

Recently, Frederica was investigated. It turned out the tortoise was probably male and should be called Frederic.

Dutch NOS TV says this discovery may help LGBTQ equality on Saint Helena. Last year there was a proposal on the island for equal marriage for LGBTQ people, but it failed.

Taking about lack of equal rights, limiting ourselves to Africa: in three African countries homosexuality is punished by the death penalty. They are Mauritania, Sudan and Somalia. Especially the regimes of Sudan and Somalia have strong military ties to the ‘free world’ of the NATO governments. I doubt very much whether President Trump and Vice President Pence of the USA mind these regimes’ death penalty for LGBTQ people.

United States police kill LGBTQ student activist

This video from the USA says about itself:

17 September 2017

Scout Schultz Georgia Tech student KILLED by campus police:

Georgia Tech police killed the president of the Pride Alliance student group on Saturday. Police encountered Scout Schultz after someone

the ‘someone’ was Scout Schultz

called 911 to report a person with a knife and a gun.

Scout Schultz a 21-year-old computer engineering student didn’t appear to be holding a gun

and had only a small pocket knife, which Schultz never opened

in video recorded from a window above the parking lot. Scout Schultz was taken to hospital early Sunday and died there. Almost 700 people have been shot and killed by police in the United States in 2017.

United States campus police have military grade weapons for violence against demonstrating students or university workers. Recently, United States President Trump decided to militarize police even more.

From the Oslo Times in Norway:

US campus police shoot and kill 21 year-old LGBT activist

09:04 AM, Sep 18,2017

Sept 18, Washington DC: A student and LGBT activist Scout Schultz has been killed after the US state of Georgia opened fired on the 21 year old.

According to reports, Schultz was the president of the Pride Alliance at the Georgia Institute of Technology. …

The police had encountered Scout Schultz at a campus in Atlanta after a call about “a person with a knife and a gun” late on Saturday, officials say. …

Schultz’s mother said police should not have used lethal force. …

Schultz’s mother Lynne later said Scout, who was born Scott Schultz, was politically active in progressive causes, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. She added that Schultz had numerous medical issues, suffered from depression and had attempted suicide two years ago. “Why didn’t they use some nonlethal force, like pepper spray or Tasers?” she was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Schultz was the president of the Pride Alliance at Georgia Tech. “We are all deeply saddened by what has occurred,” the group said in a statement.”They have been the driving force behind Pride Alliance for the past two years”, the group said, using Schultz’s preferred pronoun. “They pushed us to do more events and a larger variety events.”

By Trévon Austin and Patrick Martin in the USA:

Protests continued in St. Louis as police kill eight more in US

19 September 2017

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Justice Center in downtown St. Louis Monday night in a show of support for those who remained jailed after police arrested 123 people on Sunday night during protests over the acquittal of a white St. Louis cop who shot a black man to death in 2011. They chanted “free our people,” denouncing police and prosecutors for keeping people in jail for more than 20 hours when they were arrested on misdemeanor charges of “failure to disperse.”

The Sunday night mass arrests, all but three on the failure to disperse, came as police carried out the “kettling” of protesters, surrounding them, trapping them so they could not escape, then arresting them for their alleged refusal to do what had become impossible—to disperse. St. Louis city officials would not reveal how many of those arrested were still in custody nearly a day later.

Protesters march through downtown St. Louis

One of those arrested was a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mike Faulk, who was covering the protest when he was pepper-sprayed and taken into custody after midnight, early Monday morning. Others arrested included legal observers, a doctor, a photojournalist and people who were simply passers-by, but trapped by the police cordon.

The legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Tony Rothert, told the Post-Dispatch that kettling was unconstitutional because it “caused people who were doing nothing wrong to be detained and arrested along with those who were breaking the law.” He added that it had been used against Occupy Wall Street in 2011 and against protesters during the inauguration of President Donald Trump last January.

He said the tactic had not been used by police during the protests three years ago in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, after the police murder of an unarmed 18-year-old black youth, Michael Brown. “It’s really a military tactic for controlling crowds and controversial because it leads to constitutional violations,” he said.

Protests spread Monday to a high school in the suburb of Kirkwood, where more than 100 students walked out of first-hour classes and marched to the school’s football stadium for a rally. A school spokeswoman said the students were organized and orderly, and notified the school in advance about the protest. Another 250 students protested at a high school in Webster Groves, another St. Louis suburb, in an action that the school superintendent described as “peaceful.”

A racially mixed crowd staged a silent march to city hall Monday morning, marking the fourth day of protests over the acquittal of former policeman Jason Stockley, cleared by a judge of all charges in the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley can be heard on a police dashcam telling his partner, “We’re going to kill this (expletive),” in reference to Smith. He planted a gun on Smith that was later found to have only Stockley’s DNA on it. Yet he was found guilty of no wrongdoing.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson told reporters Monday morning that “the days have been calm and the nights have been destructive” for three straight days. She called that pattern “unacceptable” and warned “destruction cannot be tolerated.” The Democratic mayor also tweeted, “Thank you to police & first responders for the outstanding job you have been doing.”

The actual level of violence by anti-police protesters has been remarkably limited given the outrageous character of the acquittal and the belligerence shown by the police as they have been massively deployed against demonstrators.

The police have been heavily armed, with full riot gear and shields, and backed by National Guard troops ordered into the city by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, but not yet deployed against the population. The riot police have conducted themselves with considerable arrogance and aggression, chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!”, in what amounts to a declaration that the police call the shots.

“I’m proud to tell you the city of St. Louis is safe and the police owned tonight,” Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said at a news conference early Monday.

This rhetoric is reflective of the nature of police violence in the United States and efforts by the ruling elite to implement a police state. The use of violence to shut down peaceful opposition and escalation of police violence flows directly from the policies and aims of the ruling classes.

In July, during a speech on Long Island, Trump essentially told police to have no concern for arrestees, telling them, “Please don’t be too nice.” The supposed purpose of his speech was to “declare war” on the Salvadorian gang MS-13, calling them worse than Al-Qaeda, but Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric is an attempt to justify police violence and promote an atmosphere of nationalism and militarism.

Under Trump’s authority, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has carried out a reign of terror against the immigrant population. In March, ICE agents terrorized residents of northwest Chicago when an agent shot and seriously wounded a man in a home where eight family members were present, including a child as young as one.

Today, police within the United States act as a combination of militarized occupation forces and state-sanctioned death squads. They have been given a green light by the fascistic Trump and receive no serious criticism from the Democratic Party, which falsely claims to represent the interests of working people and the poor who are the main targets of police violence.

Both capitalist parties support the escalation of police violence in America. The American ruling establishment sees implementing measures of a police state as necessary to suppress the mass opposition developing within the American working class against unemployment, poverty, the decay of social infrastructure and the growth of economic inequality.

The death toll from police violence continues at the pace of more than 1,000 a year, with the tally maintained on reaching 857 on Monday. During the four days of protests against the whitewash of a police murder in St. Louis, eight more Americans were killed by police.

The most harrowing of these deaths was the Saturday night shooting of Scout Shultz, a student at Georgia Tech who suffered from mental illness.

Shultz phoned the police, giving them a description of an individual resembling their self—young, white, with long blonde hair—armed with a knife and possibly a gun. They left three suicide notes in their room, then went out to meet the police, sure that they would be killed. Despite the fact that the “knife” was a utility tool with a small blade, which Schultz never even opened, and there was no gun, the police riddled the young person with bullets.

Dozens of students and supporters who marched Monday night to protest Schultz’s killing were attacked by Georgia Tech police officers who fired at least one smoke bomb. Three protesters were arrested; all have been charged with inciting a riot and battery of an officer.

Other police killings since Friday’s verdict in St. Louis include a 15-year-old youth shot to death by police in Fauquier County, in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC, who allegedly threatened them with a crowbar; a man wandering in the I-5 Freeway in Los Angeles brandishing a knife, clearly disturbed; an inmate at Angola State Prison in Louisiana, who was unarmed but supposedly charged an armed prison guard; another unarmed man who was fleeing police in his car in Hollywood, Florida, near Miami; and three separate instances where police claimed to have shot armed fugitives—in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; West Milford, West Virginia; and East San Jose, California. Details and even the names of the victims have not yet been made available in most of these cases.

St. Louis Police declare “We’re in control” as crackdown on protests enters fifth day: here.

Hundreds of riot police descend on peaceful protesters in St. Louis: here.

Deaf man [Magdiel Sanchez] shot dead by Oklahoma police as neighbours scream ‘he can’t hear you’: here.

Magdiel Sanchez, 35, was sitting on his porch Tuesday night when he was approached by Lieutenant Matthew Lindsey of the Oklahoma City Police Department. Lindsey had received reports that a vehicle driven by Sanchez’s father had been involved in a hit-and-run accident earlier that night and had arrived at that address: here.

Kshama Sawant, a Socialist Alternative member who was first elected to the Seattle City Council in 2013, is the target of a defamation lawsuit filed by police after she publicly denounced two officers for murdering Che Taylor, a 42-year-old African American man, in February 2016: here.

Trump pardons convicted anti-immigrant sheriff Arpaio

This video from the USA says about itself:

25 August 2017

Trump just signed a memo banning trans people from the military. Brett Erlich, Grace Baldridge, and Amberia Allen, the hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“(CNN) President Donald Trump on Friday directed the military not to move forward with an Obama-era plan that would have allowed transgender individuals to be recruited into the armed forces, following through on his intentions announced a month earlier to ban transgender people from serving.

The presidential memorandum also bans the Department of Defense from using its resources to provide medical treatment regimens for transgender individuals currently serving in the military.

Trump also directed the departments of Defense and Homeland Security “to determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving based on military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law, and all factors that may be relevant,” the White House official said.

The White House official who briefed reporters on the memo on Friday evening declined to say whether current transgender troops would be allowed to remain in the military under those policy guidelines.”

Read more here.

Trump Signs Memo Banning New Transgender Service Members. The move also stops the military from paying for gender reassignment surgeries: here.

By Ryan J. Reilly in the USA:

Trump Pardons Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Who Illegally Targeted Latinos

The self-declared “law and order” president backs a man who defied a court order.

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned a notorious former Arizona sheriff who willfully violated a federal judge’s order by unlawfully detaining individuals his officers claimed might be in the country illegally.

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had previously proclaimed himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” was convicted of criminal contempt last month for violating a 2011 order that barred Arpaio and his office from detaining individuals solely based on suspicions about their legal status. Arpaio, 85, was scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 5.

“Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” the White House said in a statement late Friday. “Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”

Trump’s pardon of Arpaio, the first of his presidency, amounts to a tacit endorsement of Arpaio’s discriminatory tactics and reads as a favor to a political ally. The media-savvy former sheriff, known for parading inmates around in pink underwear, supported the former reality TV star’s presidential campaign and spoke at the Republican National Convention last summer. Both men were prominent promoters of the racist conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

Arpaio, who served as sheriff from 1993 through 2016, had long been accused of discriminatory practices against Latinos. A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division concluded there was reasonable cause to believe that Arpaio and his office engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful policing and racial profiling. Arpaio’s officers called Latinos “wetbacks,” “Mexican bitches,” “fucking Mexicans” and “stupid Mexicans,” the Justice Department found, and Latino drivers were four to nine times as likely to be stopped by his officers as non-Latino drivers were. A lawsuit filed by the Justice Department was settled in 2015.

“With his pardon of Arpaio, Trump has chosen lawlessness over justice, division over unity, hurt over healing,” Cecillia Wang, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement Friday. “Once again, the president has acted in support of illegal, failed immigration enforcement practices that target people of color and have been struck down by the courts. His pardon of Arpaio is a presidential endorsement of racism.”

Arpaio took a break from dinner with his wife on Friday night to call into Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News. Hannity said Arpaio was “convicted… only of criminal contempt” and said he was “very relieved” for Arpaio.

Arpaio said it was “great” to hear about the pardon and that he loves the president.

Hannity, who apparently thought that a former sheriff charged with a federal crime would have somehow landed in his former county jail, joked with Arpaio about the conditions in Arpaio’s former facility, referencing pink underwear and the bologna sandwiches served there.

But Arpaio said incarceration wouldn’t have been that big of a deal.

“Sean, it’s federal, I could play bocce… it would’ve been alright,” he said.

At a Tuesday evening rally in Phoenix, Trump had signaled that the pardon was coming. The president claimed Arpaio had been “convicted for doing his job.” But Trump said, “I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine, OK?”

Ahead of his trial, the Justice Department had argued that Arpaio “viewed his defiance of the federal government’s directives on immigration as a badge of honor” and “bragged about his deputies’ contemptuous immigration enforcement practices to the press.”

In finding Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt, U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton said in July that the former sheriff had shown “flagrant disregard” for the 2011 order banning him from detaining people because he thought they were in the country illegally.

“Not only did Defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise,” Bolton ruled on July 31. “The evidence at trial proves beyond a reasonable doubt and the Court finds that Judge Snow issued a clear and definite order enjoining Defendant from detaining persons for further investigation without reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed; that Defendant knew of the order; and that Defendant willfully violated the order by failing to do anything to ensure his subordinates’ compliance and by directing them to continue to detain persons for whom no criminal charges could be filed.”

Arpaio’s lawyers have since moved for an acquittal, arguing that the government’s handling of the case reeked of “unconstitutional selective prosecution.” They questioned the court’s “motivations” in not allowing a jury trial. They also claimed that the verdict was driven by the desire “to vindicate the authority of a fellow judge.” And they argued that Arpaio had a right to be present for the issuing of the verdict, which was in fact emailed to his lawyers. The prosecution has not yet responded to the defense’s motion.

Trump’s pardon of Arpaio skipped over the typical review process for pardons, which are usually routed through the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney.

The pardon came less than two weeks after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly when a neo-Nazi sympathizer crashed his vehicle into a crowd of anti-racist demonstrators. Trump faced criticism for what was seen as his lackluster condemnation of white supremacists and his attempt to equate the racists in Charlottesville with those who turned out to oppose them. Civil rights advocates like Vanita Gupta, the former chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, warned that pardoning Arpaio ― who she said “personifies the same bigotry and intolerance we witnessed in Charlottesville” ― would sow hate and division.

“If President Trump uses his power to pardon a discredited law enforcement official who persistently engaged in illegal racial profiling of the Latino community, it will not be a dog whistle to the so-called ‘alt right’ and white supremacists, but a bull horn,” Gupta said.

Controversial Trump Adviser Sebastian Gorka Leaves White House. He has long faced questions about his ties to Nazi sympathizers and far-right Hungarian political groups: here.