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Saturday, June 03, 2017


At the moment, most readers know as much as or more than I do about the terror attacks in London. All I can do is express my concern for my friends in the UK. Stay safe. And do whatever you can to assure that this outrage does not devolve into an excuse for bigotry or reactionary politics. No commentator can escape the fact that this attack occurs in close proximity to the coming election.

Our British correspondent b has this to say about Theresa May:
She is fighting this election on a platform of readiness to fire strategic nuclear warheads at foreign countries.

She called the election saying she didn't want the next one to be held around the time of the conclusion of Brexit negotiations. That is absolute bullshit, because the negotiations will take until 2019 and the next election would have been a year later.

Could the real reason be that a major war is in preparation?
That last suggestion goes rather too far, in my view. But the times do require level-headed leaders who revere peace.

Death threats in Iowa. Iowan Kim Weaver, a Democratic congressional candidate, is bowing out of the race -- and for the most disturbing reason conceivable.
One consideration has been raised again by recent events at my home. Beginning during my 2016 campaign, I have received very alarming acts of intimidation, including death threats. While some may say enduring threats are just a part of running for office, my personal safety has increasingly become a concern.
She also cites concerns about her own health and the health of her mother. Understandable. But that reference to death threats -- and "recent events at my home" -- should disturb everyone who loves civilization. The exercise of democracy should not require absolute fearlessness.

There was another factor involved in Weaver's decision:
In an interview with the Des Moines Register on Saturday, Weaver added to that rationale, alleging that the state of Iowa's Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman, where she is an employee, saw its budget cut this year as "punishment" for her political candidacy.

The office received a $164,000 cut this year — a 12 percent reduction from the previous year.

"I'm feeling guilty that we lost this funding because I'm running for office," Weaver said, adding that she was prepared to take a "voluntary layoff" if the cut requires a staff reduction.

Weaver said she was told by her supervisor of the connection between her candidacy and the budget cut, and that the supervisor, in turn, was told by a state legislator.
Weaver's opponent, Steve King, is a racist. He will almost certainly prevail in Iowa's 4th Congressional District. The spirit of American neo-fascism is alive and well.
I don't think b's last statement is outrageous, but rather appropriately alarmist. When I read of numerous, tangent and concentric, meetings among Trump's appointees and their counterparts in certain parts of the world, including obscure places where unacknowledged Trump gauletiers meet; of presumed secure communication channels; of Trump's undermining of relations with democratic nation-state allies; it calls to mind von Ribbentrop and Molotov.

Whatever nefarious activities are being planned, you can be sure that Trump's official dissing of the Paris Climate Accords (which are lame at best) is intended as a media and international distraction, and thus far effective.
Watch Portland today, Sunday. Big "Free Speech" rally by far-right planned. Protests expected in wake of double stabbing murder by alt-right nut-job last week.
Head of Republican party in Portland called for armed militia security.
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