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Celerity's Journal
Celerity's Journal
August 31, 2020

Some good new from Sweden, we have not had a COVID-19 death for 7 days now

This is official government data from Folkhälsomyndigheten, our state health agency


We still have had zero deaths from COVID-19 amongst schoolchildren (our schools never shut down except for some high schools and most universities)

We have had one death, months ago, of a 4 year old with multiple comorbidities

Zero deaths from 5 to 19 years of age since the beginning

10 deaths total 20-29yo

16 deaths total 30-39yo

so 27 total deaths for the entire duration pandemic for the lower half, age wise, of the population (which is around 5 million people)

around 99% of the deaths were 50 years of age or older

96% of deaths were 60 years of age or older

90% were 70 years old or older

almost 70% were 80 years old or older

26% were 90 years old or older

Still no lock-downs the whole time and I still see almost zero people with masks, literally I would say 1 in 500 to 1000, and so many days I see none as I go around the city. All our friends confirm this, and that is all over Sweden, not just Stockholm. We (my wife and I) are still in the antibody and t-cell count immunity study and so far no drop in either, and it has been almost 5 months now since we were infected (with zero symptoms.)

Also, contrary to a lot of disnfo that I see pushed (especially in the US news) our economy contacted far less than the EU overall (the EU contracted 40% more, and multiple nations contracted close to, or more than double ours), and we are on track to go back to positive growth by Q1 or Q2 2021. The vast majority of our contraction came from a drop in exports, mainly from the supply chain for raw materials freezing up, and also from external demand from other countries diminishing.

August 31, 2020

Buzzcocks - What Do I Get? (Official Video) + Orgasm Addict

United Artists Records - 5C 006-60429, United Artists Records - 5C 006-60 429
Vinyl , 7 ", 45 RPM, Single

United Artists Records - UP 36316
Vinyl , 7 ", 45 RPM, Single
28 Oct 1977

A Woman With a Scalpel: Linder Sterling assembles and disassembles “Orgasm Addict,” a meat dress, herself

August 30, 2020

COVID-denier in Orange County, CA claims to have a disability and says corona is a "fraud" + more


Anti-masker in Alaska gets kicked out of Walmart & has a public meltdown


Anti-masker gets debunked & you can hear the pain in his voice realizing he's a dumbass


Anti-masker at Chipotle wants to speak to the manager & threatens to file a lawsuit.

This is a joke right? That shirt is perfect. Rolling on the floor laughing

August 30, 2020

Trump Has a Different Definition of Corruption

The president helps himself to public resources, but that doesn’t count—as long as he upholds “Republican values.”


On Wednesday, in response to criticism that Donald Trump and other administration officials violated federal law by using government resources at the Republican National Convention, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows declared, “Nobody outside of the Beltway really cares. They expect that Donald Trump is going to promote Republican values.” If Meadows is referring to those Americans outside the Beltway who dislike Donald Trump, he’s wrong. Anti-Trump voters may have never heard of the Hatch Act, but they care about Trump’s assault on the rule of law. During the Ukraine scandal earlier this year, a plurality of all Americans and more than 80 percent of Democrats told pollsters that Trump should be impeached. But Meadows has a point—a deeply disturbing one—about the president’s supporters. For the most part, they don’t care about Trump’s brazen legal transgressions during the Republican convention, or at any other point in his presidency. This isn’t because they don’t care about corruption. It’s because of the way they define the term: less as the violation of America’s laws than as the violation of America’s traditional hierarchies. Thus, so long as Trump promotes “Republican values,” he can’t be corrupt.

As I have previously noted, the word corruption can connote different things. It’s used to describe the betrayal of public trust for private gain. But, etymologically, it is also linked to contamination, debasement, and impurity. And throughout American history, Americans have often labeled as “corrupt” people who undermined not the rule of law but the preexisting racial or gender order. In public discourse for much of the 20th century, the Reconstruction era—in which Black southerners gained some political representation—was synonymous with corruption. In fact, as Ta-Nehisi Coates has pointed out, the Jim Crow era that followed Reconstruction constituted the real “kleptocracy”; Black citizens were robbed of their political rights, their economic freedom, their possessions, and their land. But many white Americans associated Reconstruction with corruption because it had corrupted the white dominance that they considered essential to legitimate government. After Black people in the South won the right to vote again in the 1960s, their political participation was deemed corrupt yet again. In his book Rumor, Repression, and Racial Politics, the University of Maryland historian George Derek Musgrove notes that, at one point in the 1980s, the Department of Justice investigated Black politicians at five times the rate it investigated white politicians. He cites a study in which the Iowa State sociologist Mary Sawyer concluded that allegations of corruption against Black officials “were pursued on the basis of less evidence” and news stories about alleged corruption were “printed with less solid information.” The reason, she argued, was that some white people “are personally affronted and threatened by the prospect of blacks having power over their lives.” Black power constituted corruption in and of itself.

That racialized definition of corruption remains very much alive today. Consider the presidency of Barack Obama. Obama’s supporters look back on his presidency as admirably scandal-free. But to many Republicans, Obama personified corruption. After all, a majority of Republicans, as late as 2017, told pollsters they believed that Obama had been born outside the United States. Which means that simply by assuming the presidency, he was violating the Constitution. No wonder Trump—who used birtherism to launch his national political career—has fumed about a fictitious “Obamagate” and called the Obama administration the “most corrupt in history.” The accusation of corruption was also central to Trump’s 2016 campaign against “Crooked Hillary.” And it proved highly effective. The most common reason Americans gave for disliking Clinton, according to a June 2016 Morning Consult poll, was that she was “not trustworthy.” The second most common reason was that she was “corrupt.” In fact, according to Politifact, which evaluates the veracity of politicians’ statements, Hillary Clinton’s are almost four times as likely to be rated “true” or “mostly true” as Trump’s. But, like Obama, Clinton was seeking a job previously held by white men only, and thus threatened one of America’s most sacred hierarchies. As the Yale researchers Victoria Brescoll and Tyler Okimoto found in a 2010 study, female politicians who are characterized as “power-seeking” often evoke “feelings of moral outrage (i.e., contempt, anger, and/or disgust).” In other words, many Americans viewed Clinton’s bid for power as inherently corrupt.

In his book How Fascism Works, the Yale philosopher Jason Stanley argues, “Corruption, to the fascist politician, is really about the corruption of purity rather than of the law. Officially, the fascist politician’s denunciations of corruption sound like a denunciation of political corruption. But such talk is intended to evoke corruption in the sense of the usurpation of the traditional order.” To use Meadows’ language, if you’re defending “Republican values,” you can’t actually be corrupt—even if you’re using federal employees and property for political purposes, even if many of your aides and close associates have been convicted of crimes, even if taxpayers have paid your businesses $900,000 during your presidency. In 2016, when Trump faced a woman running to succeed a Black president, his fascistic conception of corruption helped win him the election. So far, it has proved less effective against Joe Biden. It has proved less effective because, by the standards of Trump and many of his supporters, Biden really is less corrupt just by being a white man. His presidency would constitute less of a “usurpation of the traditional order.” No wonder “Corrupt Joe” has not yet caught on.

August 29, 2020

A Carnival of Disinformation

Republicans warmly welcomed voters into their post-truth convention.


Americans who tuned in to this week’s Republican National Convention were treated to a slickly produced, four-day dispatch from an alternate reality—one in which the president has defeated the pandemic, healed America’s racial wounds, and ushered in a booming economy. In this carnival of propaganda, Donald Trump was presented not just as a great president, but as a quasi-messianic figure who was single-handedly preventing the nation’s slide into anarchy. Every presidential-nominating convention is, to a certain extent, an exercise in hype and whitewashing. But Trump’s 2020 convention went further—rewriting the history of his first term with such brazenness that it seemed designed to disorient. The setting of the convention’s final night reinforced the surreality: the made-for-TV stage on the White House’s South Lawn; the cheering, unmasked audience of more than 1,000 standing shoulder to shoulder; the speakers blaring Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” loud enough to drown out protesters at the gate. “This election will decide whether we will defend the American way of life, or whether we allow a radical movement to completely dismantle it,” the president declared in his speech formally accepting the Republican nomination. “That won’t happen.” By one count, the address contained at least 20 false or misleading claims.

Many of the Republican strategists I spoke with this week flatly acknowledged that their party was presenting a version of recent events that veered toward fan fiction. But given the bitter mood of the country and the dire state of the race, they said, the campaign’s desperation was understandable. “In some ways, the speeches are reminiscent of the speeches one hears at a memorial service, where … everyone stretches the truth to say nice things,” A. J. Delgado, who worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign, told me. “And we’re all in the audience muttering, ‘Well, that’s not true, but I get it—what else can you say?’” The rat-a-tat of distortions and conspiracy theories began with Trump’s address to delegates on Monday, when he accused Democrats of trying to rig the election with universal mail-in voting, which he called “the greatest scam in the history of politics.” (It is not.) Later, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana claimed that Joe Biden had “embraced the insane mission to defund” the police. (He has not.) Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida warned that Democrats would “disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door.” (They will not.) And Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said Democrats wanted to “keep you locked in your house until you become dependent on the government for everything.” (They do not.)

When the coronavirus—which has so far killed more than 180,000 Americans—came up during the convention, it was in service of Trumpian revisionism. “From the very beginning, Democrats, the media, and the World Health Organization got the coronavirus wrong,” the narrator said in a video that aired Monday night. But “one leader took decisive action to save lives: President Donald Trump.” That this narrative was untethered from reality—Trump’s early refusal to take the virus seriously is well documented—didn’t stop his lib-owning fans from exchanging high fives on social media. “That video is going to make all the right heads explode,” tweeted the conservative talk-radio host Erick Erickson. The myth that Trump has already beaten the virus pervaded the convention. As my colleague Russell Berman has noted, the pandemic was repeatedly referred to in the past tense. “It was awful,” Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said in his speech on Tuesday. Bryan Lanza, a former Trump adviser, defended this warped account as simply a “glass-half-full” version of the president’s record. When I challenged him on that, he countered, “What do you view as defeating the coronavirus? Because I know this administration is measuring by the death count.” I pointed out that more than 1,000 Americans are dying every day from the virus. “Every death is a tragedy,” Lanza replied. “But remember where we were in March, when people were estimating 3–5 million deaths? Three hundred thousand is a fraction of that.”

Much of the Republican convention seemed to be organized around erasing the national memory of Trump’s bigotry. He presided over a naturalization ceremony. He surprised an ex-felon with a presidential pardon. A slate of Black speakers was invited to say nice things about the president, defend him against accusations of racism, and tout his role in passing a criminal-justice-reform bill. Of course, in between these feel-good stunts and testimonials were bleak warnings about the “Marxist revolutionary” forces that are wreaking havoc in American cities—and could be coming for you next. The most potent of these segments featured the McCloskeys, an affluent Missouri couple who went viral after pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their house in June. “Make no mistake,” Patricia McCloskey told viewers, “no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.” Protesters, she said, are “not satisfied with spreading chaos and violence into our communities. They want to abolish the suburbs altogether.” Police brutality—the issue at the heart of this summer’s unrest—received only glancing mentions during the convention.

August 28, 2020

Amsterdam solved its "wild peeing" problem with hemp planters you can (legally) urinate in


Amsterdam has a public peeing problem. The city is surprisingly short on public restrooms, and unsuspecting tourists can be caught off guard when restaurants and cafes charge up to one euro just for a little relief. The lack of readily accessible toilets has turned the city’s canals into glorified pee troughs, and to combat the issue, the city is trying a new, environmentally friendly approach by introducing hemp-filled urinals, located at public peeing hot spots, where people can empty their bladders and do something good at the same time.

These public facilities, called GreenPee, were provided by Dutch company Urban Senses and have started cropping up around the city. The urinals are designed to look like planters with a bit of modern aesthetic flair, with metal exteriors and greenery growing on top. The planters offer a large opening on the side with a target zone for people to point their streams toward. Instead of offering a standard flushing mechanism that would send the waste spiraling through the city's plumbing system, the containers are filled with hemp that captures the urine.

According to CNN, the GreenPee planters first started popping up in the city in 2018 as part of an ongoing effort to curb the amount of public urination, or "wild peeing," as Amsterdam officials call it, that was occurring. After the pilot program proved to be a success, the city just installed eight additional planters earlier this month. Prior to their introduction, Amsterdam had tried a number of other solutions. Officials issued large fines, up to 140 euro (about $165) for people caught engaging in the act of peeing where they aren't supposed to. The city has also attempted to install outdoor urinals to direct people to at least pee in a designated area if they insist on doing it in the open air. While the effort has largely been targeted toward men, Amsterdam has also introduced retractable outdoor urinals for women to use. Since being introduced, officials claim that the GreenPee urinals have reduced the levels of wild peeing in parts of the city by up to 50 percent. They have already installed 12 of them, and are looking into expanding the effort to include female and gender-neutral options, according to The Telegraph.

Wild peeing has all sorts of negative side effects that harm the city, the environment, and even the people peeing in public. An average of 15 people per year die in Amsterdam while trying to pee into the canals. Urine also tends to have a corrosive effect that can eat away at the city's historical buildings when people decide to empty the tank in an alleyway. It can also be harmful to some ecosystems when people relieve themselves into green spaces, as the body may be expelling things that it can't otherwise digest. Those downsides are largely negated by GreenPee, which not only gives people something to aim at when they need to go, but also turns that urine into something functional. The urinals use the pee to produce an organic fertilizer that can be extracted from the boxes and used to feed plants throughout the city. The planters also manage to attract bees and other insects that are necessary for a healthy ecosystem, and use considerably less water to process waste than a traditional toilet would. If you absolutely have to pee in public, you might as well do some good in the process. GreenPee makes that possible.

August 28, 2020


In his latest blog the director of the Federal Trust, Brendan Donnelly, argues against suggestions in the British press that the EU underestimates the determination of the UK government in the Brexit negotiations. If there is a 'no deal' Brexit, it will be because of a lack of common ground between the EU and the UK, not because of misunderstanding.


In an interesting article in this weekend’s Sunday Times, its political correspondent Tim Shipman warns that the chances of a “no deal” Brexit are higher than usually assumed. He attributes this risk largely to misunderstandings by the EU and UK of each other’s negotiating positions. Such an analysis is on the face of it persuasive. There may well be “no deal” and there are certainly misconceptions cherished by the UK and the EU about each other. But these misunderstandings are unlikely to be decisive. If there is “no deal” it will be because insufficient common ground can be established between the negotiating parties. It is far from clear that enough common ground has ever existed in the Brexit negotiations or can be conjured into existence by clever diplomatic formulae.

How the negotiations developed

It is a familiar reflection that the EU initially attributed to the British government after the Article 50 notification much greater negotiating coherence than was factually the case. It only slowly dawned on EU officials and politicians that the UK had no blueprint, no strategy and no roadmap for Brexit. The single British aspiration for Brexit was to retain as many of the benefits of EU membership as possible while shaking off what it regarded as the burdensome obligations of membership. It took several years for the British government to understand that this was a wholly unachievable outcome.

The EU, well-co-ordinated by its chief negotiator Michel Barnier, from the beginning of the Brexit negotiations was unwilling to countenance what it regarded as British “cherry-picking.“ The Union has been unbudging in its insistence that there needs to be a more radical rearrangement of rights and obligations to meet the fundamentally new circumstances of Brexit. Successive British governments have struggled and continue to struggle with the conundrum of what this rearrangement might look like, sometimes stressing the desire to maintain benefits, sometimes the desire to be rid of obligations. Successive British governments have been inhibited in their attempts to solve the Brexit conundrum both by the deliberate incoherence of the Brexit model presented to the British electorate in 2016; and the well-grounded fear that any specific model of Brexit would highlight to the British electorate the drawbacks of Brexit when compared with the UK’s present situation as a member of the European Union. Angela Merkel’s repeated warnings since 2016 that after Brexit there must be a clear differentiation between the balance of benefits and obligations open to members and that open to non-members encapsulated the dilemma for British negotiators over the past five years .They had to produce a model of Brexit that was simultaneously better than present arrangements for domestic consumption and worse than present arrangements to make it acceptable to the EU.

The present British government, composed of and in thrall to the most radical wing of its Eurosceptics, has completed the zig-zagging process begun by Theresa May’s government, and arrived at a position whereby the avoidance of obligations towards the EU looms larger in British strategy than the maintenance of benefits. The UK will be leaving the European Single Market and the Customs Union in any event at the end of the year, with all the bureaucratic and administrative formalities that entails. The hopes of the government seem now to be focussed largely on obtaining an arrangement with the EU whereby no or minimal tariffs will be imposed on trade between the EU and UK; and no or minimal quotas will be imposed on this trade. This will be presented as a transient negotiating triumph, even if it is unlikely long to outlive the chaos at the Channel Ports in 2021 which leaving the Single Market and Customs Union will inevitably bring in its train.

Where the negotiations are going

But it is far from clear that Boris Johnson’s government will be able to avoid quotas and tariffs in its future trading relationship with the EU. The EU is unwilling to construct such a favourable relationship with the UK without reliable assurances that the UK will not abuse this preferential treatment by what the EU regards as unacceptable practices in regard to state aid, to environmental regulation, to social standards and to taxation. Johnson’s government has been reluctant to give such reliable assurances, both for the ideological reason that it is unwilling to cede such a degree of control to the EU after Brexit; and for the practical reason that it cannot give undertakings about its future economic conduct when it anyway has no clear vision about what this future economic conduct might be. Because of its current dysfunctionality, the Johnson government wishes to preserve not merely its sovereignty towards the European Union, but also its sovereignty towards its future unpredictable self.

It may be that the European Union underestimates the profundity of the intellectual and political dilemma the Johnson government has created for itself by its internal incoherence and obsession with a narrow view of national sovereignty. There may well be over-optimism in Brussels about the British government’s capacity for eventual rationality. But it should not be assumed that the Union’s negotiating stance has been hardened or even greatly influenced by this misconception. The Union does not regard tariff-free and quota-free access to its market as being in any event a right which the British are entitled to claim unconditionally. Because the UK is geographically so near to the EU and has left the Union, it must in the EU’s view pay a non-trivial price for favourable access to the Internal Market, a price tailored to the specific circumstances of the UK. To do otherwise would be to indulge a departing member’s desire for “cherry-picking.” The Level Playing Field, with its restrictions on future British sovereignty, is the price being demanded by the EU. The precise form and quantum of this price is capable of negotiation. But it seems inconceivable that the Union will be prepared to forego its Level Playing Field demands entirely. If the British government wishes to have any access to the Single Market going beyond minimal WTO terms it will need to respect the political commitment of the Political Declaration to an appropriate level of Level Playing Field conditions.

The official analysis of the British government is that it should still be possible to come to an agreement in September or October, an agreed stance which conceals considerable differences of view within governmental ranks. There are some Cabinet Ministers and influential backbenchers for whom “no deal” would be an entirely acceptable outcome, while others who would much prefer to make an agreement, even at the cost of compromise. Others again are pinning their hopes on the predicted willingness of the EU to retreat from its negotiating demands at the last moment, as it supposedly did in the matter of the Irish Protocol last year. If there is a dangerous misconception infecting the Brexit negotiations, it is this third attitude, which reflects more the desire of those holding it for reassurance than any externally observable reality. The EU’s “retreat” on the Irish Protocol last year was in fact a concession by Boris Johnson and the EU rightly thinks itself better prepared for a “no deal” Brexit than the UK. The hope that the EU will compromise on vital principles later in the year is simply the latest iteration of the chronic over-estimation of the UK’s bargaining power and underestimation of its opponents which lies at the heart of Brexit.

What can Johnson do now?......

August 28, 2020



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August 28, 2020

An Illegal, Exploitative Nightmare

While you’ve likely already watched the third night of the convention, it’s important to emphasize what happened on Tuesday.


WASHINGTON, DC -- Donald Trump might be the luckiest crook in politics. He’s responsible for most of the 180,000 American lives that’ve been lost so far due to his maliciously reckless response to the pandemic. We’re in the midst of the deepest recession in the history of keeping track of the gross domestic product. There are millions of Americans out of work with an unemployment rate in the 10 to 16 percent range. He and most of his inner circle have been either investigated, indicted, or incarcerated. There’s documented evidence he tried to cheat in the election and that he continues to do exactly that today. The list of trespasses goes on and on, including thousands of other things. And yet there’s no guarantee he’ll lose the election. In fact, I’d wager there’s still a solid chance that the cheating, the foreign attacks, and the other structural impediments like Voter ID and voter purges will push him over the top in the Electoral College. Again. In other words, tyranny has arrived and this election might calcify it here. Aiding in Trump’s inconceivable march to possible re-election are a handful of cable news and internet journalists who simply can’t wait to give Trump the benefit of the doubt -- who can’t scramble over themselves fast enough to shoehorn the term “presidential” or other form of unearned, unsubstantiated praise of Trump into the national debate. You know the usual suspects: Ryan Lizza, David Brooks, Chris Cillizza, Gloria Borger, Van Jones, and others who seem to constantly revert to the default position of superimposing “normal” things onto this president despite being anything but. It happened again this week following the second night of the Republican National Convention.

While you’ve likely already watched the third night of the convention, it’s important to emphasize what happened on Tuesday. It was perhaps the most horrendously cynical and exploitative political event I’ve ever witnessed -- and that view was shared by historians, other journalists, and citizen observers alike. By now, you’re probably aware of the Hatch Act, a law that, among other things, makes it illegal for anyone but the president and vice president to engage in politics on federal land or in federal buildings. NeverTrumper Rick Wilson tweeted, “It's less like a series of Hatch Act violations and more like a Hatch Act violation festival.” There were the speeches, including all the speeches by Trump’s adult children, that took place inside the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, a federally owned building -- a building that, technically, we all own. By the way, Florida’s Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez spoke from the Mellon auditorium and pilloried socialism throughout her remarks, which was ironic given that she was standing in a room that was financed by socialism. There were the portions of the night that took place in the White House and outside the mansion in the former-Rose Garden, too. Anyone and everyone who works for the government, including Trump’s staff and cabinet officials, broke the law by participating. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows blew it off by saying “nobody cares.” Perhaps not, but the rule of law cares. And, frankly, every American ought to care that their taxpayer money helped to finance the Republican convention whether they like it or not. Incidentally, I’m old enough to remember when Al Gore was nearly crucified in the press for making a fundraising call from the wrong phone.

But the Hatch Act violations were only part of the outrageousness of night two. One of the truly unforgivable aspects of the evening had to do with the cheap exploitation of the White House and of the citizenship naturalization process. The president used both the building and the ceremony as props in his desperate campaign for re-election, piggybacking his toxic politics onto newly sworn-in American citizens who he otherwise hates -- y’know, being brown people from “shithole countries” and all. Worse, this president has done everything in his power and even beyond his power to demonize immigrants. He’s banned certain immigrants from legally entering the country based on religion or point of origin. He’s locked up migrant children in internment camps where many have been raped or left to die. He’s currently ignoring the Supreme Court’s ruling on DACA in order to deport more Dreamers. We even learned today that he wanted to maim, electrocute, and attack with heat weapons anyone who dared to seek the American dream in the land of the free. That ceremony was unpasteurized horseshit, and I feel sorry for the new Americans who will forever have their citizenship tainted by the exploitation of a fascist tyrant. Trump turned a solemn and sacred event into something dirty -- something gross. Meanwhile, I hope everyone who attended Melania Trump’s speech in the former Rose Garden was eaten alive by mosquitos. By the way, thanks to the First Lady, the Rose Garden went from colorful and dignified to resembling the Google Street View of modern day Chernobyl. Not only were the dignitaries not socially distanced, not only were they not wearing masks, but they all endorsed with their presence the charade that took place, with the majestic White House colonnade as an illegal backdrop.

Worst of all, the way Trump was cynically and deceitfully described by everyone who spoke, including his Soviet-uniformed wife, was so completely opposite of what’s actually true, the show literally and perpetually insulted the intelligence of 60 percent of American voters who still accept factual reality as reality -- those of us who still value the truth. The story of the night should’ve been the exploitative and lie-filled event we all watched. Yet Ryan Lizza and the others couldn’t wait to frame it as a victory for Trump, ignoring the repeated law breaking. Lizza, for instance, called the naturalization ceremony a “softening effort on immigration.” He described Trump as having “beamed” while the ceremony took place. Lizza’s headline claims Melania “spruced up her husband” as if that’s even possible in this or any other universe. Melania referred to her husband’s “honesty” and that he “doesn’t play politics,” each being huge lies and neither of the whoppers were mentioned in Lizza’s piece. Lizza said Melania’s speech framed the president as a “unifying figure of empathy and compassion with moderate policies,” without mentioning any of the millions of reasons why he’s not. Chris Cillizza described Melania as having “empathy.” How the hell does he know what she feels? Wolf Blitzer summarized the First Lady’s remarks as, “A very moving speech,” not that it was filled with glaring falsehoods or even that Trump signed illegal hush-money checks to his mistresses in the room immediately behind where she stood Tuesday night.

I think you get the point. The great irony with this aggravating tendency for some of these cable news people to backstop Trumpism is that Trump hates them all. Given the opportunity, Trump would lock up every single one of these so-called “enemies of the people.” Maybe that’s why some members of the cable news media are soft-pedaling their coverage. Who knows. But I do know that they’re doing a great disservice to the public with their dissembling and whitewashing, given how even the most non-partisan observers believe our democracy is on the brink of collapse -- disrupted, pillaged, and usurped by a professional con-man who keeps getting away with it all. In a matter of months, everything we cherish about our nation could be disappeared, and the press has a responsibility to give it to us straight: the who, what, when, where, why and how it’s all going to happen. Many of them have, but the valiant efforts of some of our best journalists are being dragged down and endangered by some of our worst.
August 27, 2020

NBA players boycott? Why 'boycott' is not the correct term


As professional sports contests evaporated Wednesday afternoon to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., LeBron James posted a brief message on Instagram. “BOYCOTTED,” the Lakers star wrote, “NOT *POSTPONED.”

What started with the Milwaukee Bucks refusing to take the court for Game 5 of their NBA playoff series against the Orlando Magic quickly led to the league’s two other scheduled games, including the Lakers facing the Portland Trail Blazers, not taking place. The actions to draw attention to social injustice and police brutality spread to MLB, MLS and the WNBA, where some or all scheduled games were called off.

But what’s the correct term for what happened? Boycotts? Postponements? Strikes? Or something else? “From a pure legal standpoint, I would term these wildcat strikes,” said Joseph Longo, an adjunct professor who teaches sports law at Loyola Law School. He’s also an attorney and MLB player agent.

Despite James and other players referring to the actions as boycotts, the traditional definition of the term revolves around an organized effort to hurt an entity financially in order to drive change or attract attention. That doesn’t fit this situation. The players aren’t trying to damage their employers — or affiliated entities like sponsors or television networks — but instead want to draw attention to the Blake shooting and social injustice. “I think it’s a euphemism for a work stoppage,” Thomas Lenz, a law lecturer at USC and attorney specializing in labor and employment law, said of players describing the postponements as boycotts. “When employees decide to withhold their services … that is technically strike activity.”


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