TBR News June 1, 2020

Jun 01 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. June 1, 2020: Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not
the place to discuss it.

Comment for June 1, 2020:” The entire print and internet news sites are packed to the gills with horror stories about the attacks of the domestic police forces opposing protesters against police brutality.
The police, in general, are behaving like Mongol goon squads, beating, spraying caustic chemicals and ramming with police cars the very large numbers of Americans protesting the Floyd murder by Minneapolis police.
This violence is not a small, local business but is evident throughout the United States.
The right-wing police no doubt expect Trump to pardon them if they are convicted of killing unarmed citizens but given Trump’s defective mental state, such a pardon would never issue.
The motivating factor behind the growing public disturbances is not so much the Floyd murder but general anger at what is obviously a grossly incompetent Administration.”

The Table of Contents
George Floyd: Donald Trump under fire as violence flares across America
• Trump fled to bunker as protests over George Floyd raged outside White House
• He is a destroyer’: how the George Floyd protests left Donald Trump exposed
• Caught on camera, police explode in rage and violence across the US
• A Weekend of Widespread Police Aggression
• Use of force criticized in protests about police brutality
• Breakingviews – Protests may be last straw for U.S. global stature
• African Americans face deadly endemic police violence in US
• Protests over death of George Floyd, police killings spread to London, Berlin, Toronto
• The president is not well: The umpteenth reminders of Trump’s mental state and the consequences
• Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder displayed by Trump
• The Encyclopedia of American Loons

George Floyd: Donald Trump under fire as violence flares across America
President tweets from White House as cities struggle
• Democrat Val Demings: ‘We need leadership’
May 31, 2020
by David Smith in Washington
The Guardian
The chaos and crisis engulfing America came to the president’s doorstep on Saturday night, as protesters chanting “I can’t breathe” and “Fuck Donald Trump!” clashed with the Secret Service and police outside the White House.
It was a visceral warning that after three years of relative peace and prosperity, Trump is in danger of being overwhelmed by cascading disasters: the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken more than 100,000 lives, an economic slump that has cost 40m jobs, and rising social unrest.
If there was ever a time we need leadership in the White House, it is now, to help heal our nation,” Democratic congresswoman Val Demings told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “But I don’t know why I would expect this president to do something that he has never done before and we have never seen before.”
The capital was no exception to nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man who was killed on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck.
People gathered outside the White House on Friday night and returned on Saturday, facing a barricade formed by the Secret Service, parks and city police and their vehicles. The executive mansion resembled a fortress.
Protesters knocked over steel barriers and threw fireworks and bottles. Officers used batons, riot shields and pepper spray. After hours of relative calm and a peaceful march through the city, the situation deteriorated around midnight, as demonstrators were driven back by tear gas.
Breaking into small groups, some set cars ablaze, smashed windows with bats and rocks and looted shops downtown. At the front of the Oval Room, a ritzy restaurant where guests have included former presidents George HW Bush and Bill Clinton, a protester sprayed red paint: “The rich aren’t safe anymore!”
From Atlanta to Chicago to Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, there were similar scenes as peaceful daytime protests were followed at night by fires and looting, police firing rubber bullets and tear gas. There was a demand for courageous moral leadership, to find a way out of the malaise by offering unifying grace notes.
But Trump, who forged his political identity in racist conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s birthplace, has proved unable to articulate the accumulated pain of black Americans over 400 years of slavery, segregation and police brutality, now exacerbated by a pandemic that has taken a disproportionate toll on communities of colour. Instead he has resorted to a series of tweets that critics found divisive, inflammatory and self-serving.
On Friday he branded the protesters “thugs” and warned: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”, a historically loaded phrase that Twitter hid behind a warning, accusing him of glorifying violence. On Saturday he claimed the Secret Service had been ready to deploy “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen” on crowds outside the White House.
He has also blamed the media, Democrats including Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis and an anti-fascist movement known as Antifa. On Sunday afternoon Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night. The Antifa-led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!”
He added: “The United States of America will be designating Antifa as a Terrorist Organization” – a tweet for which the legal basis was not immediately clear.
With an election less than six months away there are fears that Trump, who ran on the slogan “Make America great again”, is motivated more than ever by what plays to his support base, encouraging him to pour fuel on the fire of racial division with a law-and-order crackdown.
Robert Reich, a former labour secretary now a Guardian columnist, tweeted: “More than 100,000 Americans dead, the highest unemployment since the Depression, America in flames, the national guard deployed. Make America Great Again was a sick hoax.”
In such a dark hour, an American president might be expected to address the nation. Trump had no such plans on Sunday. David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W Bush, told CNN: “Well, that’s good, this president’s shouldn’t speak because what could he possibly say?
“He’s already spoken. He’s already conjured up the image of dogs attacking protesters, one of the most powerful anti-civil rights images this country has. That’s what’s on his mind. He’s identifying with the people who unleash dogs on protesters.”
Trump has a long history of racially divisive rhetoric, including his response to deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, when he drew moral equivalence between white nationalists and anti-fascist protesters. As on that occasion, few members of his own Republican party have spoken out to condemn him.
Democrats complained of a leadership vacuum. Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta, told CNN’s State of the Union: “He should just stop talking. This is like Charlottesville all over again. He speaks, and he makes it worse. There are times when you should just be quiet. And I wish that he would just be quiet.
“Or if he can’t be silent, if there is somebody of good sense and good conscience in the White House, put him in front of a teleprompter and pray that he reads it and at least says the right things, because he is making it worse.”
Trump’s re-election hopes had already been damaged by impeachment and his handling of the pandemic. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Democrat Joe Biden leading Trump to 53% to 43% nationally.
Biden said in a statement: “Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us.”

Trump fled to bunker as protests over George Floyd raged outside White House
The president has been widely criticized for his response to the demonstrations, preferring tweets over a national address
May 31, 2020
The Guardian
As protests sparked by the death of George Floyd raged outside the White House on Friday night, Donald Trump was taken into a special secure bunker.
Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on Monday, has sparked unrest and protests in dozens of cities across the US, including Washington DC. Demonstrators have gathered outside the White House since Friday night, with clashes erupting intermittently outside the very perimeter of the White House.
As protesters converged on the White House on Friday, the New York Times reports, “Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.”
Hardened to withstand the force of a passenger jet crashing into the White House, the bunker is the same one that sheltered vice president Dick Cheney during the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. “The president and his family were rattled by their experience on Friday night, according to several advisers,” the Times report said.
Trump has been widely criticized for his response to the protests that have rocked the nation since video of Floyd’s death began spreading on social media.
Despite days of peaceful protests and violent clashes with police in some of America’s major cities, Trump has not addressed the nation and has repeatedly sent inflammatory messages over Twitter.
Late on Friday, Trump tweeted that protesters could have been attacked with “vicious dogs and ominous weapons” wielded by the US Secret Service and accused the DC mayor for supposedly not providing police to protect the White House.
“They let the ‘protesters’ scream and rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them,” Trump said.
“If they had [breached the fence],” the president continued, “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least.”
The president has spoken to George Floyd’s grieving family, but according to Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, the conversation was brief. “He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak,” Floyd told MSNBC.

He is a destroyer’: how the George Floyd protests left Donald Trump exposed
As cities reel under protest and violence, Black Lives Matter leaders say the president has failed his country
June 1, 2020
by David Smith in Washington
The Guardian
Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims. I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon – and I mean very soon – come to an end.”
These were the words of Donald Trump, not in May 2020 but July 2016, as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the national convention in Cleveland. For many observers, there was a distinct echo of Richard Nixon’s 1968 acceptance speech – “We see cities enveloped in smoke and flame” – and a foreboding that history could take a newly dark and dangerous turn.
For three years, the first president elected without political or military experience rode his luck and skirted past disaster. In the fourth year, the fates demanded payback.
Not even Trump’s harshest critics can blame him for a virus believed to have come from a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, nor for an attendant economic collapse, nor for four centuries of slavery, segregation, police brutality and racial injustice.
But they can, and do, point to how he made a bad situation so much worse. The story of Trump’s presidency was arguably always leading to this moment, with its toxic mix of weak moral leadership, racial divisiveness, crass and vulgar rhetoric and an erosion of norms, institutions and trust in traditional information sources. Taken together, these ingredients created a tinderbox poised to explode when crises came.
Trump, they say, was uniquely ill-qualified for this moment. He tried to wish away the threat of the coronavirus and failed to prepare, then paid no heed to how communities of colour bore the brunt of its health and economic consequences. As unrest now grips dozens of cities, he speaks an authoritarian language of “thugs”, “vicious dogs” and “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
The nation waits in vain for a speech that might heal wounds, find a common sense of purpose and acknowledge the generational trauma of African Americans. That would require deep reading, cultural sensitivity and human empathy – none of which are known to be among personal attributes of Trump, who defines himself in opposition to Barack Obama.
“He is obviously in way over his head,” said LaTosha Brown, a civil rights activist and co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
“He doesn’t have a clue. He’s a TV personality. He has a cult following that’s centred around this white power broker persona rooted in white supremacy and racism. Wherever he goes, he carries that role and that kind of persona, but ultimately right now with what we’re looking for in this country is real leadership. He is incapable of providing that because that’s not who he is.”
Brown added: “He’s a personality. He’s used to these dog whistles and, instead of trying to uproot division and seeing that the citizens are actually in pain and hurting, he doesn’t have the capacity to address that. He actually adds fuel to the flames and shows how fundamentally intellectually disconnected he is from what is happening and also how ill-prepared he is as a leader to respond to that.”
Trump is not much a child playing with matches as an arsonist hellbent on burning it all down, Brown warned.
“If it would take the destruction of the country for him to protect his position, he is willing to do that. He has shown that he is willing to kill every single thing in this country, including its people, if it protects him.
“He’s willing to kill democracy. He is willing to kill any sense of real respect or trust in his government. He is willing to kill America’s international and global relationships. He is a destroyer.”
Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, a civil rights advocacy group, said of the current moment: “This is the type of controversy that Trump feels most at home in.
“He didn’t create hostility and division, but he incites it. He creates incentives for it to thrive. He has elevated and put people around him that do that as well.”
The president’s suggestion of moral equivalence between white nationalists and anti-fascist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 failed to loosen his grip on the Republican party. Perhaps it tightened. At the start of this re-election year, feeling emboldened by his acquittal in a Senate impeachment trial and a robust economy, Trump was confident of his re-election chances.
Now, with health, economic and social crises feeding off each other, polls show him trailing rival Joe Biden. But the situation remains volatile and unpredictable. The president has sought to scapegoat anti-fascist protesters, and there would be little surprise if he returned to Nixonian law-and-order rhetoric to rally Republicans and lay a trap for Democrats, portraying them as “soft on crime”.
“Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,” Trump tweeted on Sunday, even as protesters gathered outside the White House for the third straight day. “These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!”
Biden has billed the election as a battle for the soul of the nation – the potential to lurch deeper into disarray with a second Trump term, or to reset, rebuild and plot a new direction. The stakes keep getting higher by the day.
Robinson said: “Presidential leadership, when it comes in the form of real action, is incredibly important.
“When a leader can hear the demand and the concerns and work to solve the problem, that’s the power of democracy. President Trump is not interested in either. He’s not interested in leading or solving problems. Like a lot of things he does, he’s treating this as a game.
“The problem here is that we can focus this simply on Trump or we can also focus on all of those folks that have enabled Trump: the Republican leadership, the corporation that may make statements in support of this work but, on the other hand, do all sorts of things to prop up, support, donate to Donald Trump. You don’t get Trump and Trumpism without a whole host of institutions and individuals that support and enable him.”
DeRay Mckesson, a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement, said: “Nobody’s a magician, so I don’t expect Biden to change everything on day one, but the demands should be for him to change as much of this by the end as humanly possible.
“If Trump has reminded us of anything, it’s that the government can move as fast as it wants to and nobody, no person of colour, no poor person is going to win if Trump is the president again. So I’m not interested in Trump. I am interested in a plan from Biden’s team around ending police violence. I think that needs to come now. I think it is, frankly, late, and I’m hoping to see it soon.”
Trump’s unconventional inaugural address in January 2017 is best remembered for a single phrase: “American carnage”. His entire presidency may be remembered for it too.

Caught on camera, police explode in rage and violence across the US
America’s occupation by militarized police is in full view
May 31, 2020,
by T.C. Sottek
The Verge
Over the past 72 hours, people across the US have captured what may be the most comprehensive live picture of police brutality ever. Any one of the videos we’ve seen could have sparked a national discussion, with people picking apart their elements, searching for context to argue about, and digging through the pasts of everyone involved. But it’s not just one act of violence. It’s everywhere.
Here is just a short list of scenes from the past few days:
• A New York City police officer tore a protective mask off of a young black man and assaulted him with pepper spray while the victim peacefully stood with his hands up
• New York City police officers, in two separate vehicles, rammed a crowd in a street. Separately, an officer in a moving police vehicle slammed someone with a car door and drove away
• Security forces in Minneapolis marched down a quiet residential street and shot paint canisters at residents who were watching from their private porch
• Police in Louisville raided a public square, confiscating and destroying water and milk, which is used to counter irritants like pepper spray
• Atlanta police stopped two black people, inexplicably shooting them with tasers and tearing them out of their car
• A New York City officer used two hands to throw a woman to the ground, reportedly calling her a “stupid fucking bitch”
• San Antonio Police used tear gas against people. So did Dallas police. So did Los Angeles police. So did DC police. The list goes on.
Many people reported being shot by rubber bullets. MSNBC host Ali Velshi says he was shot after state police fired unprovoked into a peaceful rally. A freelance photographer in Minneapolis says she went permanently blind in her left eye after being shot by police.
Police have brutalized lawmakers participating in demonstrations, including New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie
On Saturday, the names of several police officers allegedly seen perpetrating violence in different cities began trending on Twitter as people worked to cross-reference faces from videos with personal information on the web.
The violence appears so widespread and consistent that you could be mistaken for thinking it’s coordinated at a national level. To some extent, it is: President Trump has cheered on police violence like a fan at a sports event, and police departments across the country have styled themselves as military forces after receiving two decades of hand-me-downs from the War on Terror.
“US cities face toll of violent protests,” says a headline at the top of Fox News. “Fury in the streets as protests spread across the US,” says The New York Times. “Fire and fury spread across the US,” says The Washington Post. “Wave of rage and anguish sweeps dozens of US cities,” says CNN. But whose rage? Whose fury? Whose violence?
Here’s another: ABC local news in Utah runs a graphic saying “violent protests in Salt Lake City.” In the background of the video, police knock an elderly man with a cane to the ground. He was simply standing near a bus stop
We can’t deny what we are seeing, and we must describe it accurately. Whose violence? Whose rage? It’s from American police.

A Weekend of Widespread Police Aggression
May 31, 2020
by Claire Lampen
The Cut
The weekend after George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers saw widespread protests across the country. Crowds gathered to demand justice for Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for Ahmaud Arbery, and all other victims of police brutality and racially biased law enforcement. According to social-media posts from protesters, many demonstrations began peacefully, but escalated violently as police began to utilize zip ties, rubber bullets, and pepper spray. Governors in multiple states have activated their National Guards, and faced with a militarized police presence, some demonstrators responded in kind: Squad cars burned, and in some cases, protesters threw firecrackers at officers during aggressive confrontations with crowds. The Associated Press reports that, nationwide, thousands of people have been arrested since Thursday night.
Here’s a look at how some of the bigger protests unfolded over the weekend.
Protests began in Minneapolis last week, with police reportedly deploying rubber bullets; “foam marking bullets,” which physically tag people police suspect of violent behavior for later investigation; and tear gas. On Thursday night, protesters set fire to the third precinct police station, after Mayor Jacob Frey ordered officers to abandon it.
The Twin Cities saw another round of protests over the weekend, and a curfew went into effect at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Not long after, National Guard and Minneapolis police officers were sweeping the streets: One video, posted to Twitter, shows large groups of armed officers following an armored car down a residential street, screaming “light ’em up” and shouting at people to “get inside.” In the video, they can be seen firing paint canisters at the woman who filmed the video from her porch.
Before nightfall, Governor Tim Walz warned civilians, “If you are on the street tonight, it is very clear: You are not with us. You do not share our values. And we will use the full strength of goodness and righteousness to make sure that this ends.” Law enforcement officers dispersed protesters who stayed out in defiance of the curfew, firing rubber bullets, paint rounds, and tear gas on them, according to accounts from protesters.
Freelance journalist and photographer Linda Tirado says she was permanently blinded, apparently after a rubber bullet hit her in the eye. Multiple journalists were reportedly arrested or assaulted by aggressive officers in riot gear, after identifying themselves as members of the media who are not subject to the curfew.
• New York City
On Friday, protesters gathered at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where NYPD officers armed for conflict used aggressive physical force against demonstrators and sprayed them with pepper spray. WNYC’s Gwynne Hogan reported that Assemblywoman Diana Richardson was pepper-sprayed while peacefully protesting, while footage from other people who attended the demonstration shows officers beating civilians with batons and throwing them to the ground (and, in at least one case, calling the victim a “stupid fucking bitch”).
Eventually, the police made so many arrests that they took over an MTA bus to transport protesters. The driver stepped off, refusing to drive it.
Other footage shows an NYPD officer confronting a young black man as he stands with his hands up. The officer “pulls down his mask and pepper-sprays him,” according to one Twitter user.
Protests took place across the five boroughs, with at least 345 arrests made by Sunday morning, and 47 police cars having been burned. In Park Slope on Saturday, officers drove an NYPD SUV into a crowd of people carrying a barricade.
• Dallas
Protesters in Dallas on Friday and Saturday were met with police armed with pepper spray. The situation escalated: Footage from Saturday night shows police deploying tear gas to disperse demonstrators. Some protesters damaged police cars and stores.
Another image has circulated of a woman crying, her face streaked with blood. According to Dallas Morning News journalist Kevin Krause, she said she was walking home from the grocery store on Saturday when “an officer fired some sort of pellet in her face.” She said she was not participating in the protests.
• Denver
On Saturday, the third day of protests in Denver, police officers in riot gear met crowds at the Capitol building with tear gas, flash-bang devices, pepper pellets, and sponge bullets, according to the Denver Post. Demonstrations began peacefully, but after Mayor Michael Hancock announced a curfew, and the mobilization of the National Guard, tension boiled over. Law enforcement dressed in riot gear reportedly fired tear gas on crowds, prompting demonstrators to throw canisters, fireworks, and rocks back at the police, according to the Post.
Police reportedly blocked protests and, as night fell, began sweeping streets with SWAT vehicles. Footage from one person shows an officer spraying a substance directly into his car while he filmed. Other footage shows police firing what appears to be pepper balls or rubber bullets on crowds of people, many of whom had their hands up, chanting “don’t shoot.”
• Atlanta
Peaceful protests began in Atlanta on Friday, but eventually, police and protesters clashed outside the CNN Center, where law enforcement used pepper spray on the crowds on Friday night. Georgia governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard on Saturday, when a 9 p.m. curfew went into effect in Atlanta. (It will now remain in effect through Sunday night.) Footage from CNN shows police outfitted in riot gear surrounding a car after nightfall, and pulling two young black passengers out of the car using what looks like Mace and tasers. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 157 people were arrested yesterday.
• Louisville
Protests in Louisville, where Breonna Taylor was killed, began Thursday night. Although they were calm to start, they reportedly escalated in much the same way as the others: tear gas and pepper balls, fired by officers in riot gear.
“We were on Congress Street near [the] courthouse,” one attendee tweeted Saturday. “Not a single protester was out of line. No violence, just civil disobedience, no one crossed the line. Yet still the tear gas.”
On Friday, a local news station captured live footage of a deep line of police officers shooting pepper balls at a reporter while she was on the air.
And on Saturday, a clip went viral in which plainclothes Louisville police officers can be seen destroying and confiscating protesters’ stores of water and milk, which is used to help calm the effects of pepper spray. Mayor Greg Fischer subsequently claimed, “Interspersed with that water and milk, there were other materials. There were mason jars full of flammable material, other materials that could not be identified that could have been used to be harmful to other protesters, also have been used to be harmful to law enforcement.”
Protesters refuted Fischer’s account

Use of force criticized in protests about police brutality
June 1, 2020
by Jay Reeves and Kat Stafford
Associated Press
As protests grip the nation, officers have doused crowds with pepper spray, struck protesters with batons, steered police cars into throngs, shoved demonstrators and screamed curses. Some police action has been directed against people smashing windows, breaking into stores and burning cars, but many find other instances more difficult to understand — like the elderly man knocked over by police as he walked with a cane on a Salt Lake City sidewalk.
The protests began after the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer who is now charged with murder, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.
Now, some are questioning whether tough police tactics against demonstrators are actually making the violence worse rather than quelling it.
More on the protests:
– US heads into a new week shaken by violence and frustration
– History, right now: Echoes of 1968, and other American years
– Deadly police raid fuels call to end ‘no knock’ warrants
While the protests and subsequent police interactions may be shocking to some, many African Americans aren’t surprised because they’ve endured police brutality for decades, said Chris White, director of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality,
“What’s happening, it’s the way American society has always been,” White said.
U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, who was hit by pepper spray Saturday as scuffles broke out near the end of a demonstration in Columbus, Ohio, said police escalated matters by using heavy-handed tactics against “passionate” young demonstrators who were mostly orderly.
“Too much force is not the answer to this,” said Beatty, who pressed for peaceful tactics on both sides in a video posted on Twitter by Columbus City Council president Shannon Hardin, who also was pepper-sprayed. Both are African American.
In Salt Lake City, a police officer shoved and knocked over an older man who was walking with a cane on a sidewalk near a protest. Another officer stepped in within seconds to assist the man, as did the officer who knocked him down. Police Chief Mike Brown issued a video Sunday saying he’d personally apologized to the man.
“It was hard for me to watch what happened, and I know it was even harder for him to experience it,” Brown said.
At least 4,100 people arrested over days of nationwide protests
In New York, where video showed two police vehicles driving into a crowd, knocking aside demonstrators, Mayor Bill de Blasio decried what he called “structural racism” that leads to violence against minorities, but also defended police.
“It is inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” he said. “That’s wrong on its face and that hasn’t happened in the history of protests in this city.”
Two police officers in Atlanta were fired and three others placed on desk duty over excessive use of force during a protest incident involving two college students Saturday night. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Sunday that she and the police chief made the decision after reviewing body-camera footage.
Footage shown on TV as captured by local reporters shows a group of police officers in riot gear and gas masks surround a car being driven by a man with a woman in the passenger seat. The officers pull the woman out and appear to use a stun gun on the man. They use zip-tie handcuffs on the woman on the ground.
In a message some saw as encouraging police violence, President Donald Trump praised U.S. Secret Service officers guarding the White House amid demonstrations and said any protesters who breached its fence would face “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least.”
In a letter titled “Dear America,” civil rights leader Rev. William Barber II, a pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, said protesters have the right to decry “brutal and inhumane” treatment at the hands of police.
“What if, instead of a President who tweets ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts,’ we had leadership that could unequivocally say, ‘When you use police power in the name of the state to murder, lynch, and destroy, you will be prosecuted for your crimes,’” Barber wrote.
Trump wasn’t alone in using loaded language.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety sent a tweet Saturday saying it would strengthen its response to “a sophisticated network of urban warfare.” Hours later, video emerged of police shooting paint projectiles at people gathered on the front porch of a home after curfew in Minneapolis. “Light ’em up,” a man is heard saying before the shooting began. No one appeared seriously injured.
Activist Meeko Williams organized a peaceful demonstration in Detroit on Friday and later traveled to Minnesota to help support organizers there. Trying to understand what he sees as increasingly aggressive law enforcement tactics, Williams said police shouldn’t “antagonize, provoke or instigate” protesters.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen over these next few days in this country because they want these killer cops arrested and they’re not going to stop until they are,” Williams said, referring to the lack of charges against the other three officers at the scene when Floyd’s neck was pinned under Chauvin’s knee. “People are just sick and tired of being in this predicament, where innocent life has been taken at the hands of those who were to protect and serve us. We have not been heard.”
Some protesters are increasing efforts to protect themselves. On Sunday, Black Lives Matter organizers in Tampa, Florida, had nearly 100 safety marshals in fluorescent vests patrolling their march, trained in de-escalation tactics. The group also had medics and enlisted lawyers and those with legal training to watch out for protesters’ rights from the sidelines.
In New York, a police labor group, the Detectives’ Endowment Association, noted some police there had been attacked and patrol cars set ablaze.
“As we do everything to stop NYC from burning, all we hear from elected officials is criticism,” the group tweeted. “Maybe they should try it on the front lines.”

Across America, police are responding to peaceful protests with violence
Police too often act like squads of armed thugs rather than compassionate and helpful community servants
June 1, 2020
by Nathan Robinson
The Guardian
The footage and photographs are disturbing. These lawless rioters are out of control. They have driven an SUV into a crowd, tossed journalists to the ground and pepper sprayed them, beaten people with batons, and even blinded a woman in one eye. They have been launching unprovoked attacks on peaceful, law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutional rights. The violent behavior of these mobs should be condemned by all. We need to restore order: someone must stop the police.
Around the country over the last few days, following the murder of George Floyd, there have been widespread protests against police brutality. But in city after city, law enforcement agencies seem determined to prove the protesters right, by responding with a hefty dose of police brutality.
There is no shortage of examples of police using excessive force against protesters. In New York, officers who had intentionally covered their badge numbers “pulled down the mask of a peaceful protester, who had his hands up, and pepper-sprayed him in the face.” In Salt Lake City, an older man with a cane was shoved to the ground. In Austin, police shot a pregnant woman in the stomach with a “non-lethal” round. There were scenes reminiscent of the infamously brutal suppression of demonstrators at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. As Reason concluded, officers around the country acted with “total disregard for protesters’ safety or rights.”
There was no real need for those New York officers to disguise their badge numbers. After all, even when police officers’ names are fully known, there is rarely any accountability. The whole reason protesters are angry is that it seems American cops can get away with almost anything. In 2016, an Arizona police officer executed a man who was pleading for his life. It was on video. The officer was acquitted. This was not an exceptional case; it happens over and over. If outright murder goes unpunished, no officer need every worry about getting in trouble for blinding and maiming a few protesters.
Of course, it’s the protesters who are called violent, even when the overwhelming majority do nothing but march and chant – though they do refuse to back down, and challenging authority can be a capital crime in a police state. There have certainly been plenty of instances of vandalism and theft accompanying demonstrations, but it’s important to make a clear distinction between acts of property destruction and actual violence. Setting a police car on fire is very costly to taxpayers, but harm to human bodies should be far more disturbing.
American police have been brutal for a long time, and both Democratic and Republican presidents have failed to successfully reform them. Barack Obama’s Justice Department was admirable for at least investigating a number of egregiously out-of-control departments, though outright criminals like Joe Arpaio managed to remain in power throughout Obama’s term. Donald Trump made it clear from the outset that if it was up to him, police could brutalize people with total impunity – he even explicitly encouraged cops to rough people up during arrests. According to the Trump-supporting head of the Minneapolis police union, Trump has reversed Obama’s policies by “letting the cops do their job, put the handcuffs on the criminals instead of us.” But when cops kill, as in the case of George Floyd, they need to be the ones with the handcuffs on. Otherwise they have a license to freely murder citizens.
There have been commendable exceptions to the pattern of police misconduct. In Michigan, a local sheriff marched with protesters and in New York, several officers shocked protesters by joining them in taking a knee. But it seems to be that there are just a few “good apples” in a generally rotten bunch. The frequency of aggressive, militarized responses to civil demonstrations suggests there is something very deeply wrong with police culture and with policing as an institution.
At the very least, we need to seriously demilitarize the police, so that they do not appear to be an occupying army complete with tanks. But there are serious criminal punishment scholars who have suggested we need to talk about “ending the police” altogether. By this, they do not mean allowing anyone to victimize anyone else without fear of consequences, or ceasing to protect the population from threats. Rather, they mean totally rethinking how laws are enforced and how social problems are addressed. Having a militarized force respond to situations that require social workers trained to deal with mental health issues has often made things tragically worse rather than better. Frankly, fire departments seem like they would do a much better job addressing many of the situations that police are now dispatched to deal with. Firefighters actually protect and serve, while police too often act like squads of armed thugs rather than compassionate and helpful community servants.
In theory, the police are supposed to protect the community. When they are whacking the community with sticks, and firing tear gas into it, they are more like an armed gang than keepers of the peace. When police show no interest in obeying the constitution or treating protesters with dignity and care, then they should cease to command respect. A police force that runs amok does not deserve to be called “law enforcement.” They are rioters, plain and simple.

Newest Excuse for Police Brutality
Throughout the country, police are being given new powers to enforce social distancing—and that can only mean one thing for Black people.
May 5, 2020
by Elie Mystal
The Nation
A fringe benefit of the coronavirus lockdown is that this is the longest I’ve gone as an adult without being harassed by, or fearing harassment from, the police. My home might as well be Wakanda during this crisis: a safe haven, with lots of toilet paper and no colonizers, from which I can watch, but am not directly subjected to, the oppression of white society.
The good times cannot last forever. I suppose I’m lucky to have had any good times at all. Essential workers already have to leave their private sanctuaries and contend with oppression. So has everybody without the financial means to pay grossly inflated prices for groceries and other essentials via delivery services. Black people who just want to catch a bit of fresh air have already caught hell from the police. I’m safe from the cops right now only because I can afford to be.
Eventually, the country will force all of us to “reopen” and, as it does, police will be more empowered than ever to stop and brutalize black and brown people. That’s because the cops will use—are already using—“social distancing enforcement” as an excuse for more racially biased harassment. Reopening will force African Americans back into the crosshairs of two predators. On the one side, Covid-19 will be waiting to kill us in even greater disproportion to white folks than it is now. On the other? Our alpha predator, the American police officer.
Just this past weekend, as spring finally hit the East Coast, New York City was not a tale of two cities so much as a tale of two races. In the West Village, predominately white crowds gathered in blatant violation of social distancing rules. Friendly neighborhood police officers could be spotted handing out masks. Meanwhile, in the East Village, a black man was brutally beaten and arrested for allegedly not keeping social distance from a woman companion as they left a deli. After the beating, one of the plainclothes officers was photographed casually sitting on the man’s head as he lay prone on the pavement.
This is the kind of unequal and brutal treatment African Americans can expect from police as we’re all forced to resume normal routines. “Normal” for black people is being in potentially mortal danger every time we are within six feet of a police officer, whether or not the cop has Covid-19.
The new normal for black people will include all of the old reasons cops use to harass us, plus new excuses that will be used to justify brutality in the name of “public health,” of all things.
Every time we give cops power to interdict citizens, they use that power in a racially biased way. Black people are 20 percent more likely to be pulled over while driving. Black people are more likely to be prosecuted for drug possession or use. Black people are more likely to be stopped for walking down the damn street.
A society committed to racial and social equality would be looking for ways to strip power from police forces that have so completely shown they are unable or unwilling to wield it fairly. Instead, the coronavirus has made this society eager to give even more power to law enforcement.
Consider New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He is one of the leaders in the response to the pandemic, but he has also been one of the leaders in talking tough about the need for penalties for people who violate social distancing guidelines. He wants large gatherings broken up. He wants people to wear masks. He said, at his daily press conference on Monday, that he wants to “empower” local governments to impose fines and penalties to help enforce social distancing rules in their community.
Well, who enforces those rules and guidelines? Who imposes the “penalty” for violating orders? In most situations, it will be a cop on the street who is empowered to determine who is violating social distancing, and what to do about them. Maybe Cuomo trusts the cops to use their newfound power reasonably and responsibly. Maybe Cuomo thinks we’re living in a post-racial utopia where the cops can be trusted to serve and protect all people equally—but I’ve got 41 years of lived black experience to tell him he’s wrong.
What is particularly maddening is that black and brown communities haven’t been the biggest violators of social distancing rules. It’s been the Covid-loving Trump people. White MAGA confederates are the ones menacing state governments with guns. White MAGA confederates are the ones who have decided that wearing a mask is just like “slavery” and that being told to shelter-in-place is like being put in a “concentration camp.” White MAGA confederates have turned public health rules into grounds for a culture war. But when it comes time for cops to crack some skulls, you best believe that the police brutality we’ll see will be visited upon black and brown communities.
We know what’s going to happen, yet no government officials, be they in red states or blue, seem willing to do anything to stop the impending over-policing of places that black people occupy. We know white people will congregate at beaches without keeping appropriate distance from each other, while black people will be chased off courts and playgrounds by police zealously enforcing new rules. We know that white bars will exceed occupancy guidelines with impunity, while black clubs will be fined for packing too many people inside. We know white people who violently threaten police officers trying to enforce social distancing will get off with a warning, while black people who so much as talk back to a cop will get the snot beat out of them, or worse.
We know what’s going to happen, because it’s already happening. Yet many white politicians will end up defending the police for the brutal measures they take to enforce new public health guidelines. And even the best white leaders will only manage to be performatively “shocked” and “appalled” when the thing they allowed to happen inevitably continues to happen.
Whenever the discussion of racially biased police brutality comes up, there’s always a chorus of people who claim that cops wouldn’t harass black people if black people followed the rules. That’s always a ridiculous argument, but the coronavirus is going to expose the weakness of that logic even more than usual. That’s because black people will be harassed for not following social distancing rules, but we’ll also be harassed if we do. Earlier in the crisis, a video went viral of a black man being kicked out of a Walmart for, apparently, wearing a mask in the store.
I cannot emphasize this point enough: Every piece of advice I’ve had scolded into me by my parents tells me to never, ever wear a mask or a scarf or any kind of face covering around white folks, even when it’s freezing. I’ve owned maybe three hooded sweatshirts in my entire life, all of them emblazoned with my university insignia, which in my mind reads, “Don’t Shoot: I went to Harvard.” And I still only wear one on the very coldest days. My 4-year-old son loves his little dinosaur hoodie, and I dread the day when I have to explain to him why he can’t wear it anymore; I know that day is coming when he gets, not older, but merely taller.
I ordered N95 masks for my family back in February, long before the general public was properly concerned about the virus. I think the reason I was so quick off the mark with those was because I knew that we’d need something with the prominent little air filter thingies to keep us safe, not from Covid-19 but from white store owners. Maybe this coronavirus changes white people’s reactions to black people wearing masks, but I’m not willing to bet my life on it.
This is the reality I have waiting for me when the government forces me out of my cop-free quarantine. I will become vulnerable again. One cop could see me as a menace if I walk around with a mask. Another cop could see me as a lawbreaker if I stand too close to my wife. One neighbor might call the cops on me if I invite friends over for a barbeque. Another might call the cops on me if they see a masked black man taking a solitary walk near their home. No matter what I do, it will be my fault for inviting whatever harassment I get.
It’s been wonderful to spend a few weeks worrying about how to survive a virus, instead of how to survive an encounter with police. Quarantine is probably as close as I’ll ever come to living like a white person. I could get used to all this freedom and liberty the coronavirus has provided.
But it won’t last. Our society won’t open up without giving law enforcement additional excuses to put black people back in a choke hold.

Breakingviews – Protests may be last straw for U.S. global stature
June 1, 2020
by Pete Sweeney
Protests roiling U.S. cities may do irreparable damage to America’s global standing. Its sway has been waning under President Donald Trump, but this civil unrest will make it harder to reclaim the moral high ground.
Losing it comes at a high cost.
The fear of U.S. democracy decaying into the same tyranny against which the colonies originally revolted has been predicted at least since French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville visited in 1831.
The Economist Intelligence Unit demoted the country to a “flawed democracy” in 2017. The accumulation of policy errors, which precede Trump, have created a litany of problems including income inequality and a flawed healthcare system.
After a botched federal response to the pandemic, which has already killed more than 100,000 people in the United States, the country is now tearing itself apart over police brutality and racial injustice. It reveals the deep-rooted nature of the country’s problems even as it pushes away its friends.
Trump just cut America’s ties with the World Health Organization, continuing an inward agenda that includes abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would have eliminated some 18,000 foreign taxes on U.S. exports. His tariffs have failed to erase a trade deficit with China and could ultimately cost American consumers as much as $1,000 a year according to some estimates.
Ideological hypocrisy compounds the corrosion. Even as U.S. politicians lambast China for censorship and suppressing human rights in Hong Kong, similar behaviour is flaring up at home. The latest demonstrations were set off by a white Minneapolis policeman choking an arrested African American man to death. Police have since detained and shot rubber bullets at journalists covering the ensuing demonstrations.
A return to normal, whatever that may be, looks difficult. Trump, who retreated to a White House bunker according to the New York Times, instead of addressing the nation, is claiming his opponents are trying to steal the upcoming election.
That sets the stage for even more potential political instability.
Assigning an economic value to moral leadership is tricky. But trust cuts business and trade transaction costs and reduces the need for military expenditures; it is also a good that cannot be bought, as China is discovering.
Its loss entails a cost that is growing by the day.

African Americans face deadly endemic police violence in US
The killing of George Floyd has triggered nationwide protests in the US. But they also reflect larger frustrations with policing and the disproportionate number of African Americans killed by officers.
June 1, 2020
by Alex Matthews
Since the killing of George Floyd in police custody last Monday, protesters have taken to the streets of numerous cities in the United States. They are angry, and they are demanding justice — and not just for Floyd’s death alone, as the signs they hold make clear. The words they bear, “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe,” symbolize a much deeper frustration with police brutality and a desire for demand systematic change to policing, especially towards minorities, in the US.
What are the statistics on police-related deaths in the US?
The advocacy website Fatal Encountersdocuments deaths involving police officers going back to the year 2000. It currently crowdsources its data using 15 different Google Alerts to gather information on police-related deaths and is considered one of the most reliable datasources in the US on the issue.
As of May 27, the website’s total number of records stood at 28,139, with the total for 2020 to date at 802. This number is high. By June 1, it had risen to 854.
“We’re getting significantly more people killed in police encounters this year,” the website’s founder, Brian Burghart, told DW. “It’s on track to be 1,978 [by the end of 2020] and our next highest number was in 2018 and that was 1,854.”
In fact, Fatal Encounter’s database shows that up to May 30, not a single day has gone by this year without a police-related death occuring. It also shows that African Americans are overly represented in those deaths since data collection began.
“You’ll find that African Americans are killed at roughly double their ratio in the population,” Burghart said. “They are about 13% [of the general US population] and they are about 26% represented in the data.”
Of the 28,139 total records, African Americans made up 7,612. They are also significantly overrepresented in some categories of death, including “asphyxiated/restrained,” “medical event” and “beaten/bludgeoned with an instrument.”
Which other deaths involving police officers have sparked widespread protest?
2014 was a watershed year for protests against police-related deaths across the US. In particular, the deaths of African Americans Eric Garner and Michael Brown sparked nationwide outcries about the actions of primarily white police officers.
In July of that year, Eric Garner was arrested by a New York City police officer on suspicion of illegally selling single cigarettes on Staten Island. During the arrest the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, put Garner in a chokehold, with an arm around his neck.
In video footage of the arrest, not dissimilar to that of George Floyd, Garner tells the officer “I can’t breathe” 11 times before losing consciousness. He was pronounced dead at the hospital an hour later. His last words, a final repetition of “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for protesters. It continues to be used to this day, including by those demonstrating today, as Floyd uttered the same words before dying.
The following month, Michael Brown was shot six times in Ferguson, Missouri, by officer Darren Wilson, sparking citywide unrest. People marching through the streets used the slogan “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” implying that Brown — who raised his hands before being shot, according to some witness accounts — and protesters themselves were no threat to officers and should not be targeted.
Another high-profile police-related death took place this past March. Breonna Taylor, a medical worker in Louisville, Kentucky, was shot eight times by plainclothes police who broke into her apartment using a “no-knock” warrant, which allows police to enter a property without announcing their presence or purpose. The police mistakenly believed a drug dealer had been receiving packages at her home. The incident stoked tension in Louisville and has also fed the current nationwide protests.
For many African Americans, the action taken after each death has been nowhere near enough. Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, told CNNin an interview that seeing George Floyd’s death was “just like the murder of my son all over again.”
A medical examiner found Garner’s death to be a homicide, but Pantaleo was never criminally indicted. He was fired from the police force in August 2019, five years after the killing.
Darren Wilson was also not charged in the death of Michael Brown. In fact, according to the project Mapping Police Violence, which uses Fatal Encounters as one of its sources, 99% of killings by police from 2013-2019 did not result in a charge.
In Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer announced last week that no-knock warrants were being suspended in light of Taylor’s death, but civil rights advocates have called for a permanent ban.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck, , has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers present at the time have been fired but face no charges for now.
But a conviction won’t solve the underlying problems, according to Philip V. McHarris, a writer and doctoral candidate at Yale who focuses on race, housing and policing.
“It [a conviction] tries to focus on individual officers or incidents, as opposed to seeing things as a broader structural issue,” he said in an interview with DW. “The focus on individual officers will not lead to police violence ending.”
What is needed to reduce police violence?
McHarris believes that officer training in de-escalation, sensitivity, correct procedure and wearing body cameras — all measures police forces take to try and reduce violence, especially towards minorities — are too narrow in focus, as they do not address systematic abuse and injustice. In an op-ed he co-wrote for The New York Times, he argues that the Minneapolis Police Department “is held up as model of progressive police reform,” but that did not stop Floyd’s death.
Instead of increased police presence and militarization, which is clearly visible in the response to the current nationwide protests, McHarris argues that less police intervention is needed and more efforts must be made to tackle underlying frustrations.
“As opposed to just trying to reform and give police forces more resources and more money, just avoid it altogether,” McHarris told DW. “Redirect those funds from things focused on policing and punishment to other programs and initiatives that actually have the buy-in of the community.”
“The reason George Floyd sparks is because it’s part of a systemic trend where everybody can relate,” he told DW. “For many black people it’s the constant reminder that if that can happen to George Floyd, that can happen to me, and it’s not abstract. They killed a man on camera as bystanders pleaded to intervene to no avail.”

Protests over death of George Floyd, police killings spread to London, Berlin, Toronto
June 1, 2020
by William Booth and Loveday Morris
The Washington Post
Street protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis went global over the weekend, as demonstrators in London, Berlin and Toronto gathered under banners declaring that Black Lives Matter and called for an end to police brutality in the United States and around the world.
In London, hundreds defied rules against large gatherings Sunday to rally at Trafalgar Square and mass outside the new U.S. Embassy on the south bank of the River Thames, where they chanted “no justice, no peace” in solidarity with the U.S. movement against racial bias in the criminal justice system.
Demonstrators there and in Berlin waved signs reading “I can’t breathe” — some of the last words that the dying Floyd, captured by an onlooker’s video, gasped out in Minneapolis as a police officer pressed his knee down on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes on May 25.
Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired over Floyd’s death. Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three are under criminal investigation.
London’s Metropolitan Police said they had made five arrests outside the U.S. Embassy on Sunday — two for assault on a police officer and three for “breaches of COVID legislation.”
“LONDON: lockdown has not been lifted,” Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted on Sunday morning. “The virus is still out there.”
Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, on Sunday called the video of Floyd’s death “very distressing” but declined to criticize President Trump for his tweets about the violent protests that have erupted in Minneapolis and cities across the United States.
Trump tweeted last week that “looting leads to shooting” and “THUGS” were “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd.”
Twitter affixed warning labels, alerting users that “this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
“We want to see de-escalation of all of those tensions and Americans come together,” Raab told the BBC on Sunday.
Raab told Sky News that he wanted to see the United States “come back together” and “not tear itself apart over this.”
In Berlin, demonstrators gathered Sunday for a second day to protest Floyd’s killing. Hundreds marched a mile through the city before gathering at Hermann­platz, a square in one of the German capital’s most diverse neighborhoods.
About 1,500 people took part, according to police reports cited by German news media. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” read one sign. “Being black is not a crime,” read another.
Police said about 2,200 people gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Berlin on Saturday in a demonstration that ended peacefully.
Berlin loosened its limits on demonstrations over the weekend, but protesters are still supposed to keep a safe distance to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In the city’s north, a new mural appeared on one of the remaining strips of the Berlin Wall, an international symbol of tyranny, division and oppression.
It showed Floyd’s face. “I can’t breathe,” it read.
In Canada, several thousand people rallied in Toronto on Saturday to denounce racism and demand answers in the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, 29, who ‘fell’ from a balcony apartment while police were in her home Wednesday.
In the Toronto protests, people chanted “not another black life” as they marched in face masks to control the spread of the virus, according to Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News.
Morris reported from Berlin. Adam Taylor in Washington contributed to this report.

The president is not well: The umpteenth reminders of Trump’s mental state and the consequences
May 5, 2020
by S.E. Cupp
New York Daily News
Every parent has warily confronted the hypothetical question: What would you do if you suspected your child was unwell?
Not physically, but emotionally unwell, or mentally unstable? Imagine learning your teenager, for example, had been yelling demeaning slurs at the girls in his class, harassing them and calling them names.
And that he’d been secretly using his social media accounts to go on late-night rants against perceived enemies, attacking their looks, and again, calling them names in unending, seething, rambling posts.
Or that he’d been increasingly susceptible to bizarre and otherwise implausible conspiracy theories, and was spreading them unprompted to anyone who would listen.
Presumably, you’d be very, very concerned. These aren’t normal behaviors, nor are they signs of a well-adjusted, healthy and happy person. They are, rather, signs of a person who has lost the ability to manage their emotions.
If this were your child, you’d intervene as quickly as you could, getting them the help they clearly needed.
Likewise, if this were your friend, you might suggest they see a therapist to work through some of their anger issues. If this were your coworker, you’d probably alert someone in human resources.
And what if this were the president of the United States?
Not only are these behaviors the norm for President Trump, but they seem to have worsened at one of the most precarious and critical times for our country, as we face a global pandemic that has killed nearly 70,000 Americans.
Less than two weeks after unimaginably suggesting injecting disinfectants might help kill off the coronavirus, the past few days have seen him spiral out of control, proving utterly incapable of staying focused on the biggest crisis a president can face. Instead, he has:
• Spread unfounded conspiracy theories about the origins of the coronavirus, about former President Barack Obama and about an MSNBC cable-news host;
• Made statements that can only be described as delusional, like comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln, inventing a non-existent letter of apology from Joe Biden, and spewing non-science about his favorite drug, hydroxychloroquine;
• Attacked two female reporters for doing their jobs, lamenting that they didn’t behave like “Donna Reed,” an actress synonymous with the gender role-abiding, kitchen-dwelling 1950s housewife she played on television more than 60 years ago;
• Attacked another female cable-news host, calling her a “3rd rate lapdog”;
• And in the middle of the night on Tuesday, at 12:45 a.m., gone on a 234-word rant on Twitter, complaining about an ad released by a Republican anti-Trump group whose leaders include George Conway, husband of his staffer Kellyanne, in which he used words like “deranged loser of a husband,” and “Moonface” to describe him.
It’s a frightening commentary on the slow normalization of this completely abnormal behavior that we can greet the undeniable deterioration of the president of the United States with mere shrugs. And the only concerns from his inner circle seem not to be about the mental instability itself, but the political ramifications of it being exposed in daily press briefings.
“Advisers have argued…they could be alienating some viewers, including senior citizens worried about their health,” an Associated Press report says, and, “Officials at Trump’s reelection campaign have also noted a slip in Trump’s support in some battleground states and have expressed concerns that the briefings, which often contain inaccurate information, may be playing a role.”
The giant orange elephant in the room isn’t that Trump’s impaired judgment might cost him the election; it’s that it may well have already cost American lives.
Waiting until November to get Trump out of harm’s way is the only real option we have. The Constitution’s 25th Amendment, designed to remove a president who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” is inarguably applicable but politically impossible.
So, like worried parents, we’ll just wait anxiously, hope the worst doesn’t happen and that there’s a light at the end of this very dark tunnel. Until then, who knows what our very sick president will do next?

Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder displayed by Trump

•Grandiose sense of self-importance
Grandiosity is the defining characteristic of narcissism. More than just arrogance or vanity, grandiosity is an unrealistic sense of superiority. Narcissists believe they are unique or “special” and can only be understood by other special people. What’s more, they are too good for anything average or ordinary. They only want to associate and be associated with other high-status people, places, and things.
Narcissists also believe that they’re better than everyone else and expect recognition as such—even when they’ve done nothing to earn it. They will often exaggerate or outright lie about their achievements and talents. And when they talk about work or relationships, all you’ll hear is how much they contribute, how great they are, and how lucky the people in their lives are to have them. They are the undisputed star and everyone else is at best a bit player.
Lives in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur
Since reality doesn’t support their grandiose view of themselves, narcissists live in a fantasy world propped up by distortion, self-deception, and magical thinking. They spin self-glorifying fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, attractiveness, and ideal love that make them feel special and in control. These fantasies protect them from feelings of inner emptiness and shame, so facts and opinions that contradict them are ignored or rationalized away. Anything that threatens to burst the fantasy bubble is met with extreme defensiveness and even rage, so those around the narcissist learn to tread carefully around their denial of reality.
Needs constant praise and admiration
A narcissist’s sense of superiority is like a balloon that gradually loses air without a steady stream of applause and recognition to keep it inflated. The occasional compliment is not enough. Narcissists need constant food for their ego, so they surround themselves with people who are willing to cater to their obsessive craving for affirmation. These relationships are very one-sided. It’s all about what the admirer can do for the narcissist, never the other way around. And if there is ever an interruption or diminishment in the admirer’s attention and praise, the narcissist treats it as a betrayal.
Sense of entitlement
Because they consider themselves special, narcissists expect favorable treatment as their due. They truly believe that whatever they want, they should get. They also expect the people around them to automatically comply with their every wish and whim. That is their only value. If you don’t anticipate and meet their every need, then you’re useless. And if you have the nerve to defy their will or “selfishly” ask for something in return, prepare yourself for aggression, outrage, or the cold shoulder.
Exploits others without guilt or shame
Narcissists never develop the ability to identify with the feelings of others—to put themselves in other people’s shoes. In other words, they lack empathy. In many ways, they view the people in their lives as objects—there to serve their needs. As a consequence, they don’t think twice about taking advantage of others to achieve their own ends. Sometimes this interpersonal exploitation is malicious, but often it is simply oblivious. Narcissists simply don’t think about how their behavior affects others. And if you point it out, they still won’t truly get it. The only thing they understand is their own needs.
Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others
Narcissists feel threatened whenever they encounter someone who appears to have something they lack—especially those who are confident and popular. They’re also threatened by people who don’t kowtow to them or who challenge them in any way. Their defense mechanism is contempt. The only way to neutralize the threat and prop up their own sagging ego is to put those people down. They may do it in a patronizing or dismissive way as if to demonstrate how little the other person means to them. Or they may go on the attack with insults, name-calling, bullying, and threats to force the other person back into line. (helpguide)

The Encyclopedia of American Loons

Eric Thomson

Eric Thomson is a pretty obscure neo-nazi, most famous for coining the acronym ZOG – Zionist Occupation Government – back in 1976. ZOG is an iteration of the international Jewish conspiracy traditionally invoked in neo-Nazi, Christian Identity, and white supremacist circles, and the conspiracies associated with ZOG are more or less those of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, just somewhat adapted to more modern times, claiming for instance that Jewish people are controlling every social and governmental institution. It was popularized in part by David Duke, who would use if for more or less everything that doesn’t adhere to the principles of white supremacism.
Thomson was also co-author, with famous neo-nazi Ernst Zundel, of The Hitler We Loved and Why, which argued that “Hitler was well loved and loved in return, but this relationship between the Leader and his people was not the gushy, sickly sweet effusion of an obese Jewish mother for her pimply, draft-dodging son. This was Aryan love. Strong, steady and uplifting.”
Diagnosis: Though apparently somewhat influential, Thomson remains obscure and some of his activities lay so far back in time that we cannot take it for granted that he is still around. It is, in any case, worth being aware of him and his acronym.

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