By Robert A. Vella

Today we’ll examine a lot of evidence indicating that fundamental change is happening in America and around the world specifically regarding police reform and generally concerning the legacy of western imperialism which has been based inexplicitly on social stratification since the collapse of monarchism in Europe following World War I.  This underlying sentiment has been building in western democracies for decades after the neoliberal revolution of the 1980s, although it manifested itself more expressively as a reaction to longstanding racial injustices in the U.S.  The spark that ignited the massive protests now occurring across the globe was, of course, the brutal videotaped murder of George Floyd by a white policeman (Derek Chauvin) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  However, that populist firestorm would never have erupted had not an explosive tinderbox of discontent been continuously fed by a callous and self-serving social hierarchy.

Sir John Dalberg-Acton (a.k.a. Lord Action) wrote in 1887:

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.

That quote is the most revealing appraisal of authoritarianism in human history, at least in my opinion.  Individuals simply cannot be entrusted with undue social influence or political power because their baser instincts will inevitably dominate their behavior.  It is incongruous with stable, civilized society.  Autocrats always end up destroying more than what they had promised to construct.  In January of 1933, Adolf Hitler declared the beginning of a “Thousand-year Reich.”  Just twelve years later, Germany and much of the world lay in ruins.  Dictators always make such grandiose proclamations.  In 2016, Donald Trump promised to “Make America Great Again.”  Four years later, America has been devastated by a deadly pandemic, economic collapse, institutional distrust, cultural strife, and international ridicule.

Like all things in nature, social imbalances are always rebalanced.  People can be suppressed, oppressed, injured and killed;  but, only up to a certain point.  Sooner or later rebellion occurs.  That is what we are witnessing today.  It’s pent-up populist angst suddenly an unexpectedly released.  What results from this moment in history has yet to be determined.  Change is unpredictable.  However, the sins of commission and omission are eliciting both admissions of guilt and stubborn defiance.  Those in power are torn.  Some are trying to rectify the injustices of society, while others are adamantly trying to perpetuate it.  For the rest of us, their choices are easy to see.  Who is doing right and who is doing wrong?  You already know the answers.

Here’s the news:

From:  Big majorities support protests over Floyd killing and say police need to change, poll finds

Americans overwhelmingly support the nationwide protests that have taken place since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, and they say police forces have not done enough to ensure that blacks are treated equally to whites, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.

President Trump receives negative marks for his handling of the protests, with 61 percent saying they disapprove and 35 percent saying they approve. Much of the opposition to Trump is vehement, as 47 percent of Americans say they strongly disapprove of the way the president has responded to the protests.

The poll highlights how attitudes about police treatment of black Americans are changing dramatically. More than 2 in 3 Americans (69 percent) say the killing of Floyd represents a broader problem within law enforcement, compared with fewer than 1 in 3 (29 percent) who say the Minneapolis killing is an isolated incident.

From:  Violence gives way to street fair vibe outside White House

WASHINGTON — That massive fence erected around Lafayette Park has become a do-it-yourself gallery of protest art. Messages, posters and portraits, ranging from loving to enraged, almost blot out the view of the White House across the way.

One block away at the corner of 16th and I streets — a constant flash point for most of last week — the calliope version of “La Cucaracha” rang out from an ice cream truck parked just outside the police roadblock. In front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, it was so tranquil Monday afternoon you could hear the birds chirping while a white visitor paid for a $20 Black Lives Matter T-shirt with Venmo.

As the nation’s capital emerges from a violent and chaotic 10-day stretch of protests and street battles, a different mood is taking hold. The anger has given way to something closer to a street fair as community leaders, members of Congress and the D.C. government have rallied to the protesters’ cause.

See also:

Protesters in Europe push for a new reckoning of their own countries’ racism

Peaceful Demonstrations Continue In Manhattan And Brooklyn On 12th Day Of George Floyd Protests In NYC

Court orders the implementation of immediate changes in Minneapolis Police Department

[Mayor Jenny] Durkan faces calls to resign as Seattle City Council talks ban on chemical weapons on protesters

More protests planned in Philly Tuesday; City Council demands 15 police reforms

Eyeing US, New Zealand drops plans for armed police patrols

French police abandon chokeholds as part of wider reforms

California legislative leaders back state ‘sleeper hold’ ban

Union Leaders Join BLM Los Angeles In Calling For Defunding Of LAPD

Defying Police Unions, New York Lawmakers Ban Chokeholds

Portland police chief resigns after 6 months amid George Floyd protests

Police superintendent strips officer of police powers, moves him to administrative tasks following obscene gesture at protesters

NYPD officer who shoved female protester to face criminal charges

Man Who Drove Into Seattle Protest Appears In Court [his brother is a policeman]

St. Paul man [a recently fired security guard] charged in connection with Minneapolis police precinct arson

‘Get Rid of Them’: A [slave trader] Statue Falls as Britain Confronts Its Racist History

London mayor says statues of imperialist figures could be removed

Army to consider changing names of forts named after Confederate generals

George Floyd updates: Removal of Confederate statues spreads across country

Virginia judge [temporarily] blocks governor’s demand to pull down Confederate statue

For the following story, note that:

  • Republicans are in control of the state government.
  • Republicans are worried that Georgia could swing towards Democrats in the 2020 election.
  • The largest concentration of Democratic voters reside in the Atlanta area.

From:  Widespread voting issues reported around Atlanta on Georgia primary election day

Significant voting system failures have been reported this morning throughout the metro Atlanta area, from malfunctioning voting machines to precinct locations with no new machines whatsoever, in an ominous sign for Georgia’s much-contested new voting system.

In many instances voters have headed to the polls, donning masks and spacing themselves out in line amid the coronavirus pandemic, only to find themselves waiting hours with no progress in sight.

Voters have reported issues in essentially every single metro Atlanta county, from Canton to Riverdale to nearly every corner of the city of Atlanta.

See also:

DC mayor: Trump treated military ‘like toy soldiers’ to intimidate Americans

Former US ambassador to EU: Trump reminds me of Mussolini

GOP senators urge Trump to back off Murkowski threat

Barr contradicts Trump, says Secret Service called for him to be moved to bunker

Most fencing put up around White House during protests to be removed this week

From:  Most states are not following CDC guidelines on reporting Covid-19 cases

At least 28 states are not following US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on reporting new Covid-19 cases — half of which saw the trend of new cases increasing in the last week.

Those states are not reporting probable cases, according to the daily case count listed on the CDC’s website. Probable cases include those that show evidence of an infection without the confirmation of a lab test and cases where coronavirus was listed as a cause or contributing cause of death but are not confirmed with a lab test.

Some of the states with the largest populations — like California, Florida, New York and Texas — are among those listed as not reporting probable cases, despite CDC guidance that they should be included in the case count.

This comes as 26 states see an increased or steady rate of new cases. Accurate rates of new cases are among the metrics that help officials track how the disease is spreading in the US and make decisions about how to reopen and loosen restrictions put in place to mitigate its impact.

See also:

University of Washington forecasts 145,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths by August

South Asia Virus Cases Rise at Fastest Rate Across the Globe

Coronavirus: Asymptomatic spread ‘appears to be rare,’ WHO official says [but describes spreading by “pre-symptomatic” people]

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