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.

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Donald Trump’s transphobia, Frank Sinatra parody song


This satiric song from Britain is called Frank Sinatrump – “The Lady is a Trans“.

It is a parody of ‘The Lady is a Tramp‘ by Frank Sinatra.

It says about itself:

27 July 2017

More from Donald Trump’s Frank Sinatra tribute act, live from Mar-a-Lago.

LYRICS:

She was a lady, but now she’s a dude
For military spending, I think it would be shrewd
If this kind of person we were to exclude
Because the lady is a trans

Zero point zero zero zero zero zero zero seven per cent
Of our annual military budget is spent
On trans medical costs, and this I resent
Because the lady is a trans

She likes to not be referred to as ‘she’
She’s gender-fluid or non-binary (or some shit like that)
But if I could, I still would grab her by the pussy
But alas, the lady is a trans

This could play well with voters in the Rust Belt
They don’t want progressives like Teddy Roosevelt
We’ve all got to go with the cards we were dealt
Don’t change what’s underneath your belt

Donald Trump declares war on transgender people


This video from the USA says about itself:

President Trump Tweets: TRANSGENDERS Can’t Serve in Military in ANY CAPACITY 7/26/2017 [BREAKING NEWS]

President Trump bans transgender service members: Transgender people will not be allowed to serve ‘in any capacity’ in the US military

By Paige Lavender in the USA:

Donald Trump Says Transgender People Won’t Be Allowed To Serve In Military

He said he made the decision “after consultation with my Generals and military experts.”

07/26/2017 09:10 am ET

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming………victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”

In June 2016, the Pentagon lifted a ban against transgender men and women serving in the military.

“Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission,” then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said. “We have to have access to 100% of America’s population for our all-volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified — and to retain them.”

Trump ― who argued during the 2016 campaign he was better for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans than his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clintondodged the draft a total of five times, once arguing he couldn’t serve in the U.S. military because of bone spurs in his heels.

Three weeks ago, there was already a discriminatory Pentagon decision. Then, it still looked like it might be just a temporary postponement of more equal rights. That impression now turns out to be wrong.

Sarcastically, taking into account the endless wars killing so many United States soldiers and Iraqi, Afghan, Yemeni, etc. civilians so far away from the USA, one might say that Trump’s decision might be a good decision … IF it would not just apply to transgender people, but if heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc. etc. people would be banned from the United States armed forces as well. However, now it is governmental transphobia, fitting in Trump‘s and his acolytes‘ crusade against LGBTQ people.

GUIDELINES FOR MILITARY TRANSGENDER BAN INCLUDES THE CESSATION OF PAYMENTS FOR CURRENT SERVICE MEMBERS’ MEDICAL BILLS And a plan to deny enlistment to transgender men and women in the future. [HuffPost]

1964 US presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was a pioneer in dragging the Republican party to the right, pandering to racism in former slave states etc. However, he said about LGBTQ people in the United States armed forces that one does not need to be ‘straight’ to join, one should only shoot straight. Trump probably considers Goldwater a communist hippie or whatever.

The National LGBTQ Task Force in the USA, reacting to Trump, writes that many trans people try to enlist in the armed forces because of discrimination by other employers.

According to the U.S. trans survey, nearly 1 in 5 trans people in the US are currently serving or have served in the military.

Amsterdam Pride reclaimed for liberation


This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

AMSTERDAM GAY PRIDE 2015 | OFFICIAL AFTERMOVIE

3 September 2015

Amsterdam Gay Pride is a nine day festival to celebrate that you can be who you are and love the one you want. We share love and accept differences.

The city turns into a rainbow of events in gay and open-minded venues, from dance parties to film festivals, sporting events, debates and culture. The second weekend we blow your mind with a weekend of outdoor parties, the world famous canal parade and a Human Rights Concert on the closing Sunday.

About the 29 July-6 August 2017 Amsterdam Pride, especially the 5 August canal parade, from We Reclaim Our Pride:

We Reclaim Our Pride!

Because we do not wish to celebrate the freedom of one group at the expense of other groups.

What’s going on?

Where Pride once began as a movement that fought for freedom, these days it has grown into a party about commerce and money. What is more, Pride has become a celebration that involves the participation of certain corporations and political parties that are far removed from this fight for freedom. But for us there is no Pride in arms trade and the construction of destructive pipelines like those financed by the ING [banking] Group. There is no Pride in the ethnic profiling of youth of colour by police, or in joining the war over natural resources. And there is certainly no pride in the racism and nationalism of the VVD [political party, part of the Dutch coalition government]. Just like in the Stonewall times, our Pride is intersectional: we cannot celebrate the freedom of one group at the expense of the freedom of other groups.

We also see how LGBTQI+ rights are being used for a racist, populist, and far right smear campaign against Muslims and refugees. They are said to threaten ‘our values’. This homonationalism is misguided, because The Netherlands isn’t really that ‘tolerant’ and many white people discriminate on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. Like many other people who are fleeing poverty or war, LGBTQI+ refugees are mercilessly being deported. Moreover, in many non-western countries a battle is being fought against sexuality and gender oppression, and in those countries there are also people who do not want to be put into the dominant sexuality and gender categories. People who value LGBTQI+ rights should actually support this rather than employ it in a politics of racism and Islamophobia.

Where are we from?

Forty seven years ago the Stonewall riots in New York―led by Sylvia Rivera and Marcia P. Johnson―marked the beginning of the Pride movement as we know it today. The constant intimidation and threatening by the police, combined with their disadvantaged position in society, were the final straw. The group that came into action, consisted primarily of women, transgender people and people of colour from the lower classes of society.

Although the LGBTQI+ movement has made significant progress since the Stonewall riots, there is still a lot to gain when it comes to the liberation from hetero/cis-normativity and sexism in the Netherlands. Because of these forms of oppression people are not safe out on the streets, and are being forced to hide their sexual orientation and gender identity. Many among us do not dare to hold hands in public for fear of being confronted with homophobic slurs or even violence: on the streets, in school and at work. Stonewall teaches us that it is important to pay attention that the degree of exclusion and discrimination often depends on colour, race and gender. And that we must strive for an emphasis on intersectionality in our struggle!

What do we want?

These radical roots of Stonewall seem to have been forgotten in the mainstream celebration of Pride. This is why we want to gather―in all our diversity―on a big bridge, during the Canal Parade on August 5th, to show what the LGBTQI+ fight is about: radical liberation.

We stand up against our rights being hijacked and used for racist political arguments and homonationalism. We want the Pride to be ours again, instead of a commercial party.

Because we do not want to celebrate the freedom of one group by oppressing others. That is why on this day we will reclaim our Pride and bring it back to the fight for our liberation.

Stop the scapegoat politics!

WHAT: Anti-capitalist Decolonial Intersectional Queer Solidarity Block!!
WHEN: August 5th
WHERE: Location will be announced a.s.a.p.
TIME: gathering at 8.30AM is crucial for this action

Anti-capitalist Decolonial Intersectional Solidarity Block Coalition

Co-signed in solidarity:

Gloria Wekker
University of Colour
vreer
Amsterdam Black Women Meetup
International Socialists
Haar Minaret [Muslim women]
Les Minas
MVVN [Organisation of Moroccan women in the Netherlands]
Prisma
Utrecht voor Iedereen
Feministisch Verzet [Feminist Resistance]
Muslims for Progressive Values
Doetank Peer
Expreszo [LGBTQ young people]
Geender
ROOD [youth organisation of the Dutch Socialist Party]
De Verrekijker
Amandla Awethu!
Joke Kaviaar
Partij voormalig Artikel 1
The F Word Festival [Amsterdam feminists]

The activists on 5 August 2017

Report: here.

Trump’s ‘mad dog’ war secretary keeps transgender people out


This 3 June 2017 video from the USA is called ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Rolls Back Obama Era Decision To Let Transgender Individuals Serve in Military.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant today:

US Defense Secretary postpones admitting transgender recruits

A decision to allow transgender recruits to join the armed forces has been delayed by the US government for six months. …

In 2016, the then [Obama administration] Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the ban on transgender persons in the army would be lifted. … Carter’s deadline for lifting the ban was 1 July [2017].

Last week, the defense department received a request from the commanders of the army, air force and navy to postpone the final decision on the admission of transgender people. … [Donald Trump‘s Secretary of War ‘Mad Dog’] Mattis has listened to this call with his delay of six months. Many Republicans in the US Congress are opposed to allowing transgender recruits. …

The American Military Partner Organization, a group dedicated to LGBTQ rights in the US army, is disappointed by Mattis‘s decision. It’s an unnecessary delay that causes transgender people to wait longer before they can be honest about their identity when they join. Human Rights Watch agrees.

Trump’s policy is clear: Civilian casualties don’t matter in the War on Terror. Multiple air strikes on cities and the use of white phosphorus – a probable war crime – guarantee a growing death toll. The Nation, June 21, 2017, by Phyllis Bennis.

Homophobic violence in the USA


This video says about itself:

2016 Deadliest Year for LGBTQ Community in U.S.

30 June 2017

The LGBTQ community in the U.S. just experienced its deadliest year in addition to countless — and often unreported — non-fatal sexual violence, stalking, bullying, physical assault and verbal harassment.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual high schoolers report ‘tragically high’ suicide risk: here.