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Imagine if one of the speakers at Donald Trump's January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally had said the following:
"We've got to stay on the street, and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business."
What a buzzkill that would have been. Someone using language so lame, tame and mundane would have had Trump fanatics shaking their riots helmets in disgust. They might have gotten booed.
Get more confrontational? Why that hardly would suit a rally that Trump had promoted in a December 20 tweet with this MAGA flair:
"Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"
Trump demanded far more than to "show we mean business." He wanted an election overturned at the U.S. Capitol. He demanded his followers march down to that building and as the New York Times recounted, he wasn't about to settle for just being "more active."
"We are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women," Trump said, "and we are probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them — because you will never take back our country with weakness."
"Trump exhorted his supporters "to fight. We will never give up, we will never concede," Trump said, delighting the crowd by calling Democratic victories the product of what he called "explosions of bullshit."
"'Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!' people chanted in reply."
You don't get that sort of guttural response from some soft talk about confrontations. In other words, you've got to be a lot meaner and nastier than Rep. Maxine Waters was Saturday night in Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Aunty Maxine, as she proudly calls herself, had showed up there fresh off her epic "shut your mouth" takedown of Rep. Jim Jordan at a House hearing Thursday. Waters had come to show solidarity with protesters outraged at yet another death of an unarmed Black man at the hands of police, in this case 20-year-Daunte Wright.
Waters told the protesters she "could not sleep" due to continued police killings. Waters said Officer Kim Potter should be tried for murder rather than manslaughter for shooting Wright.
But the big news came out of what she said in front of the media, as reported by Yahoo News:
"I'm going to fight with all of the people who stand for justice," Waters told reporters at the demonstration. "We've got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue.
"When asked what protesters should do moving forward, Waters said "We've got to stay on the street and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational.
"'We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business.' Waters told reporters, 'I hope we're going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty,' in the Chauvin trial. "And if we don't, we cannot go away.'"
Recognize those words? Yes, Waters used language that would have flopped in Trump world.
But the Republicans went wild anyway.
Enraged at the grave threat posed by this 82-year-old Black lady not comporting herself at all in keeping with the nation's Anglo-Saxon traditions, the Trumpers were besides themselves with the threat she posed to the Republic.
"Impeach and Remove Maxine Waters," declared the New York Post Editorial Board in a Sunday afternoon online screed.
"MAD MAXINE THREAT: CHAUVIN GUILTY OR WE TAKE TO STREETS," blared Breitbart.com.
"Republicans slam Maxine Waters for telling protesters to 'get more confrontational over Chauvin trial," proclaimed FoxNews.com.
Waters caused heads to explode on Twitter, as some of the nation's most noted race-baiters weighed in.
From Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: "Maxine Waters told BLM terrorists to "stay on the streets" and "get more confrontational." BLM terrorists took her orders and took action. She should be expelled from Congress."
From Rep. Lauren Boebert -- retweeted by Rep. Matt Gaetz -- "Why is Maxine Waters traveling to a different state trying to incite a riot? What good can come from this?" Boebert added, "She would already be expelled if she were a Republican.'
From Senator Ted Cruz: "Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence. They want to tear us apart."
From the Arizona Republican Party: "She is a domestic terrorist and a danger of society."
The list goes on. But with each overheated response raging at Waters' words, Republican hypocrisy has become more exposed as to their definition of riot incitement.
In this warped worldview, Water's speech to racial-justice demonstrators was far more dangerous than, say, the January 6 rally. You know, the one at which Trump-- to borrow Cruz's words -- "certainly contributed to the violence that occurred."
Even by Trump's bottom-feeder standards, trying to equate Waters speech to racial-justice protesters with a raging mob trying to overthrow American democracy was a bit of a stretch. Remember some of these greatest hits from the "Stop the Steal" rally?
Trump's son, Donald Jr., warned "we're coming for you" to those Republicans who didn't favor overturning the presidential election.
Rudy Guiliani called for "trial by combat" with Democrats to wrest away the election.
Rep. Mo Brooks told the crowd, "Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass."
Close your eyes and picture Waters having said, "we're coming for you" to white people?" Or calling for "trial by combat" should the "trial by jury" not convict Officer Derek Chauvin. Just imagine Waters saying BLM protesters should be "taking down names and kicking ass."
Funny thing, though. The same right-wingers so distraught over Waters were strangely calm about this whole riot-incitement thing as it pertained to the Capitol insurrection. They parsed every word for its technical context and meaning. They got downright scholarly.
Take the New York Post, please:
"At The Wall Street Journal, former Washington federal prosecutor Jeffrey Scott Shapiro argues that whatever he did, President Trump "didn't commit incitement or any other crime." Under the relevant Supreme Court precedent, "mere advocacy" of violence, not "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action . . . likely to incite or produce such action," is protected speech under the US Constitution. Last week, "the president didn't mention violence on Wednesday, much less provoke or incite it. He said, 'I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.' " Nor did any "public disturbance" occur when Trump spoke. Bottom line: Inflaming public sentiment "does not satisfy the elements of any criminal offense."
Wow. This is the same newspaper that today is saying "Maxine Waters is trying to create a Civil War and her irresponsible rhetoric is inciting violence."
What an interesting contrast to the aforementioned Journal piece about Trump's riot, which appeared under this headline:
"No, Trump Isn't Guilty of Incitement: Inflaming emotions isn't a crime. The president didn't mention violence, much less provoke it."
But Waters is guilty? Really?
Doesn't Water have "protected speech" What "public disturbance" occurred when she spoke? What never mentioned violence, much less did she provoke it. Yes, she suggested confrontation. So did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in pretty much the same context.
And don't forget, as the Journal noted, inflaming emotions isn't a crime, at least not when white people do it. Still, don't try telling that to the Post as it readies itself for civil war.
The right-wing mob, to coin a phrase, wants Waters punished right now. Forget about the fact that the violence they say she caused hasn't happened yet.
She'd never make the grade at a Trump rally.
President Emmanuel Macron urged a change in French law after a man who murdered a Jewish woman in 2017 avoided a trial on the grounds he acted in delirium due to drug-taking, in an interview published Monday.
Jewish groups have reacted with outrage to the decision by France's highest court on Wednesday that Kobili Traore was not criminally responsible for the murder in 2017 of Sarah Halimi.
Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman, died in 2017 after being pushed out of the window of her Paris flat by neighbor Traore, 27, who shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic).
Traore, a heavy pot smoker, has been in psychiatric care since Halimi's death and he remains there after the ruling.
The court said he committed the killing after succumbing to a "delirious fit" and was thus not responsible for his actions.
"Deciding to take narcotics and then 'going mad' should, not in my view, remove your criminal responsibility," Macron told Le Figaro in an interview.
"I would like Justice Minister (Eric Dupond-Moretti) to present a change in the law as soon as possible", he added.
Halimi's murder stoked debate over a new strain of anti-Semitism among radicalized Muslim youths in predominantly immigrant neighborhoods.
This is not the first time Macron has waded into the case after he criticized the lower court's insanity finding in January last year, drawing a sharp riposte from the country's top magistrates who invoked the separation of powers.
"It is not for me to comment on a court decision," Macron told Le Figaro.
"But I want to assure the family, relatives of the victim and all fellow citizens of Jewish faith who were awaiting this trial of my warm support and the determination of the Republic to protect them." added the president.
Jewish groups said the court ruling had made Jews less safe in France, while lawyers representing Halimi's family said they intend to refer the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
French Jews have been repeatedly targeted by jihadists in recent years, most notably in 2012, when an Islamist gunman shot dead three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in the southern city of Toulouse and in 2015 when a pro-Islamic State radical gunned down four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
© 2021 AFP
India will lock down its capital New Delhi for a week from Monday night to try and control a raging coronavirus outbreak, as the hard-hit United States passed a hopeful milestone of giving at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to half its adults.
There was good news from Australia and New Zealand as well as the two neighbours opened a travel bubble that would allow people to travel without a mandatory quarantine.
Infections are skyrocketing in India, however, with hospitals running out of beds and the government forced to reimpose economically painful restrictions again.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the capital's "health system is at a tipping point".
"If we don't impose a lockdown now, we will be looking at a bigger disaster."
Kejriwal said businesses would be shut and movement around the city of 20 million limited to essential services.
The Delhi lockdown came after the vast nation of 1.3 billion people reported a record high of 273,810 infections on Monday -- the fifth consecutive day of more than 200,000 cases.
The restrictions followed similar measures in other parts of India, including in the western state of Maharashtra, home to financial capital Mumbai.
The surge has overwhelmed the healthcare infrastructure in many parts of India, and authorities are scrambling to free up hospital beds and secure additional supplies of oxygen and treatment drugs.
India has the world's second-highest caseload with more than 15 million known infections.
Health workers are bracing for yet another spike as millions of pilgrims attend a religious festival and ongoing regional elections draw huge rallies.
The UK government said Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson's visit to India has been cancelled over the Covid-19 surge there.
US in 'precarious position'
The coronavirus has killed more than 3 million people, devastating the world economy and upending daily life since emerging in China in late 2019.
The United States remains the hardest-hit nation, with more deaths and known infections than anywhere else, but it passed a major vaccine milestone on Sunday with roughly 130 Americans -- half its adult population -- receiving at least one dose.
The country is a world leader in vaccinations, and all its over-18s will be eligible for a shot from Monday.
But its top pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci warned Sunday that the United States remains in a "precarious position".
"We're having a seven-day average of over 60,000 new infections per day. That's a place you don't want to be," he said.
"We also have to make sure that people don't throw caution to the wind and declare victory prematurely. That's not the time to do that."
Neighbouring Canada illustrated the threat of a fresh coronavirus wave, as authorities scrambled to funnel additional health staff and equipment into virus-hit Ontario to battle a surge in infections.
Ontario is Canada's most populous province, and record cases are threatening to overwhelm its healthcare system.
' Cry, hug, kiss'
Some countries have started to ease restrictions despite concerns about new outbreaks, hoping to resume some social activities and kickstart their economies.
Portugal was set to allow restaurants, shopping centres, high schools and universities to reopen from Monday.
Switzerland was also set to start the week with a step towards normality, with outdoor seating permitted at restaurants and bars and cinemas, sports facilities, and in-person classes at universities re-opening.
And in Australia and New Zealand, there was joy and celebration as a long-awaited quarantine-free travel bubble opened across the Tasman Sea.
Family members tearfully reunited at airports in Sydney and Wellington, while others readied for their first outbound flights in more than a year.
"(I'll) yell, scream, cry, hug, kiss, (feel) happy -- all of these emotions at once," Denise O'Donoghue, 63, told AFP as she prepared to board her plane in Sydney.
"What normal's going to be from now on I don't know, but I'm just really, really excited today."
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