Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

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George the original one
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Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by George the original one »

23 days they've been deployed to Portland to "protect Federal property". The most impressive feat so far is that Mayor Wheeler was tear gassed by the Feds last night while walking towards the Mark O. Hatfield courthouse after stepping off the podium from which he had addressed the protesters.

It's been reported these Federal agents are from Customs & Border Patrol. Does that mean protecting borders is less important than vandalism? Does that mean Trump's unfinished border wall is already providing adequate protection?

As far as I can tell, it's been great political theater that plays well with Trump's political base, but in actual fact the only thing they've done is galvanize the protesters and increase their active numbers.

P.S. I wonder if the agents are being lodged in the courthouse? If not, then if Portland is so unsafe, how are they getting to/from their hotels unscathed? [If you don't know, there are service tunnels linking Portland's Justice Center (police bureau & jail), Multnomah County Courthouse, Portland Building (city offices), City Hall, & Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse which reside in a 3x3 block area downtown that could be used, but all the street exits/entrances would be visible to the protestors].

tonyedgecombe
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by tonyedgecombe »

Don’t worry, all those people with guns will save you from this despotic government. That’s what the constitution guarantees after all. 😀

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Dream of Freedom »

Well we do need police reform.

The police are often called in when health and human services would be a better fit. I also don't think people should be pulled over for most traffic violations. Just send it to them in the mail. People get nervous and their instinct is to flee. It gets more people killed than you think.

Tyler9000
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Tyler9000 »

George the original one wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:22 pm
23 days they've been deployed to Portland to "protect Federal property". The most impressive feat so far is that Mayor Wheeler was tear gassed by the Feds last night while walking towards the Mark O. Hatfield courthouse after stepping off the podium from which he had addressed the protesters.
For the full story, I think it’s important to also note the part about rioters starting a fire at the courthouse and the mayor being attacked by the same crowd he was trying to appease.

https://katu.com/news/local/tear-gas-de ... courthouse

Regardless of the agency name on the uniform worn by law enforcement on one side, it’s hard to have any sympathy for the agitators and their apologists on the other.
Last edited by Tyler9000 on Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jean
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Jean »

As someone following those event from a safe distance and different new sources, I would say that the worse thing about it is that no major source is even trying to give a full picture of the situation, which is only making it worse.
You (americans) are at a point where who ever wins the election, the loser side will believe that the election has been stolen. Which completly defeat the purpose of democracy, and is likely to lead to a violent outcome.
If I had one advice, that would be: "please read and have people around you read sources you usually don't read".
That migt seem paternizing, but I think the begining of this topic is enough to know that even here, such an advice might help.

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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by jacob »

George the original one wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:22 pm
As far as I can tell, it's been great political theater that plays well with Trump's political base, but in actual fact the only thing they've done is galvanize the protesters and increase their active numbers.
Trump moves are much easier to understand within the framework of an ongoing reality TV show. Step one: Create new crisis of own making. Step two: Play it up with drama and "stay tuned for next week". Step three: Resolve crisis by removing whatever created it in the first place. Rinse and repeat. If the Trump presidency is ever turned into a TV show ala The West Wing, they writers won't have to jump through hoops trying to finish issues within the same one episode. It's practically already run in the format of a TV procedural.

Another thing that made it click was that the Trump campaign or at least Trump truly believes what they're putting out. The "Biden is demented"-play backfired once Trump took a cognitive test and sincerely believed that he just aced an IQ test only to have people generally clarify that it involved the ability to read a clock, count backwards from 100, identify a camel, and the likes... really more intended to see if someone should be allowed to continue having a driver's license than gain entry to Intertel.

Here's the test: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/ne ... assessment (on the right)

The mainstream economy isn't great yet and coronavirus isn't playing with the older suburbian demographics (about half of all Americans now know someone directly who has had COVID, so it's harder to believe it's just a little flu) now that it's no longer just New Yorkers dying, so the new campaign play is setting Trump up as the "law&order"-president and Biden as the "chaos president who will defund the police".

Hence the increased use of federal troops/agents. The first ad kinda backfired (sometimes it's really hard to make this up) using a picture from Ukraine (of all places). However, when you're president, you can create your own domestic news, hence the surge. To put the "surge" in perspective, Chicago has 12000 officers and Trump is sending 150 federal somethings. That's a little over a 1% increase, but that increase will be in front of the cameras.

Of course if you put hotheads in the same room^H^H^H^Hstreet, you can expect them to clash and create the desired conflicts for the cameras. This self-created crisis can also be ended fast by simply pulling back the federals again and this is likely how it will happen if/when it ends afterwhich victory will be declared or we'll simply move on to the next crisis. Of course, the protestors could choose to go home too, but it's doubtful that they take orders centrally or all simultaneously realize what role they're playing in the election campaign.

So overall, this depends on how well this campaign plays with the GOP voters. Some ideological conservatives aren't happy with unmarked officers rounding people up: It's just a bad look. Others, sportsball fans, think it's fantastic because it's happening to democrats in cities run by democrats (officers weren't sent elsewhere) which confirms their existing beliefs that blue cities are crime infested. (In reality, crime has been declining for decades.)

Administration-wise, the military clearly doesn't want to be involved, but Homeland Security and Border Patrol seem willing to play ball. As long as someone is willing to do it, the WH can keep it going.

TL;DR - I have a hard time seeing this as anything but a self-made crisis made for TV to promote the new "law&order"-based election campaign.

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Lemur
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Lemur »

@Tyler

Sending federal agents to protect the "crime infested cities caused" by the "radical left" ? I guess after more protests/crises are provoked, we will need these federal agents to help protect the polls come this November. Sounds like fascism 101 to me...I think the GOP wants this conflict for that reason alone and I don't think it is a stretch that some of these protesters are seeing it from that point of view. Hard not to sympathize with there cause.

Ask the Honk Kong protesters to nicely protest and not start any riots. I'm sure China will listen.

^^Replace with Portland, Oregon and US. Its heading that way.

nomadscientist
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by nomadscientist »

Just as wars are no longer as flashy and bangy as they once were, nor involve so many, nor admitted to actually be wars, civil wars aren't either.

Left wants open season for their mobs on any of their opponents or anyone else it's in their interest to pressure.

Right wants to hold the line, fighting here so they're not fighting on their own lawns in the suburbs. Also, Trump needs to get back in the news somehow after all corporations coordinate to blank him, and he's using his old play of doing something apparently outrageous so they'll give him free air time with attacks.

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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Jason »

Lemur wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:23 pm
Sounds like fascism 101 to me
At minimum, Fascism involves the elimination of oppositional political parties and competing governmental bodies, not to mention the complete politicalization of the military/police. The US is far from that point. Your very ability to write that statement without fear of reprisal refutes it's truthfulness. We just had a major Supreme Court Decision that existentially wounded the party of the holder of the Executive branch, while half the legislative branch and all of late night TV calls him an idiot to his face. Ending up on the wrong end of a twitter feed is far cry from pummeling rocks in Siberia. We are having a free election in a few months. An independent group of citizens have taken over a portion of a city. If I needed to get to work and a bunch of unemployed recent college grads who stick out their tongues and put their fingers in their ears when hearing counter-narratives were impeding my walk to work, I'd want the Federal government to clear me a path. In any event. this whole situation is like a poorly produced high school rendering of The French Revolution. This is a student loan crisis dressed in revolutionary garb.

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Lemur
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Lemur »

@Jason

The general populace is certainly stressed out. Student loan crisis, generational feelings about racism, COVID-19 job loss, division of media. A friend of mine told me recently he basically "doesn't know what to believe anymore." This general confusion is orchestrated to stop people gathering to take any real action. I agree with Dr. King that a riot after-all is the language of the frustrated and the unheard.

Instead of our beautiful government starting a real dialogue, they would rather up the ante with federal agents to provoke an already stressed out populace. Division of people through which side of the media football you like, race, class...authoritarians love that; divide & conquer.

Oh well - maybe my big picture look here is exaggerated. I am sort of agreeing with you here that is a bit overblown. I mean I watched all those Vietnam War documentaries - the hippie protests were 5x more 'hardcore' then these protests are and we didn't get fascism from that.

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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by jacob »

"Fascism" is being thrown around too easily these days (since WWII?). Since nobody themselves a proud fascist anymore, it's turned into a generic insult. That, of course, doesn't mean that fascist sentiment or mentality went away. It has just taken new forms, and so now it's called neofascism (as opposed to paleofascism, I suppose), just like there are other neo*isms. Although again, nobody calls themselves a proud neofascist either.

I'm not aware of a descriptive term that "both sides" find fair. However, there's always the duck test, and here it is:

According to wiki (the final arbiter of internet truth), neofascism checks the following boxes
  • ultranationalism
  • racial supremacy
  • populism
  • authoritarianism
  • nativism
  • xenophobia
  • opposition to immigration
  • opposition to liberal democracy
  • opposition to parliamentarianism
  • opposition to capitalism
  • opposition to liberalism
  • opposition to communism
  • opposition to socialism
So obviously it's a matter of degree, but it would be fair to say that these sentiments exist and that there are individuals, movements, and political parties promoting these ideals.

Paleofascism sought a new form of government different from the other isms (parliamentarianism, capitalism, .... ) with nationalism, populism, national struggles, ... just being the means to secure that system of governance. Neofascism is the other way around and as such neofascists recognize the need to play parliamentary ball and so usually accept some kind of democracy order to gain influence. That is, instead of beating people up in the street and taking power with a coup, they seek power through democratic means.

Once in power, the term currently used to describe the way power is yielded is illiberal democracy. This is basically a liberal (here liberal takes the original meaning of "free") democracy in appearance only. Elections are still held but voting is difficult for some and access to power also has a separate road like e.g. money or family. Likewise, the legal system still exists, but the government does not apply it equally or fairly (judges are appointed or heavily influenced according to how they carry out the government's wishes). Policing still happens, but it is applied selectively towards the opposition of the government. The press can technically still write what they want, but the government will sideline it or individuals if their criticism becomes too influential. IOW, freedom still exists in principle, but in practice it is being discretionarily allowed by the government.

The problem with this level of nuance is that it doesn't fit well within a slogan. It will be interesting to see what the future 20-40 years from now will call the current era.

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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Riggerjack »

Eh. We are in a weird situation. The WH thinks riots make them look good come November. Law order, and don't switch president in the middle of a war... Blah, blah.

The blueshirts think protests make them look good come November. Look at the public outrage and the orange clown, wouldn't everything be better with your senile grampa drooling in the oval office?

Every branch of the media knows that both sides of the story sells. Look at the peaceful singing protestors getting pepper sprayed and beat down! Look at the lawless looters burning and attacking police! Look at the people who are angry about one narrative or the other! Chaos! Clicks!

And then there are the rest of us, watching the sportsball behavior, and burning our old shirts, red or blue. And hoping the fanboys of American Political Telemundo don't actually succeed at anything, because it's all fun and games until the cannons roar.

At some point, one has to ask: Why rioters are attacking fed buildings, if not to provoke a photogenic overreaction. If one's loyalty belongs to the protestors, do rioters attacking buildings represent your values?

Why are plainclothes feds picking up protestors in some bizzarro world catch and release program, unless to fuel the hate and paranoia of protestors? Does this match your values? Is this the kind of governance you want?

Or is this some kind of political theater, and both the actors and the audience are pretending that tickets weren't sold. All the pomp, flash, and drama of a WWE WrestleMania, with just as much realism.

I'm waiting for the Cheeto in Chief to pick up a folding chair...

Jason
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Jason »

Sentiments aside, we do not live in a fascist state. It's not even close. We live in a democracy where people are permitted to say all types of things but bluster aside, we are still from a practical sense, comfortably trending toward the center. Mussolini was a fascist. Stalin was a fascist. Hitler was in practice an anarchist as his em oh was to destroy the state apparatus in areas outside Germany i.e. Poland, Ukraine in order to create territories where he could carry out mass executions free of the rule of law. Basic "Law and order" is not fascist. It's just something pulled from Goldwater's 68 playbook which provides a somewhat analogous historical reference point to our current situation and was probably whispered into his ear by the ghost of Steve Bannon. It's not outside Constitutional interpretation. Time will tell if if it's still politically effective. Bottom line, we are living in a time where all the elements are in play for a fascist regime to arise, and it hasn't. Guaranteed somewhere in the US is a Mussolini, or a Stalin but he/she is certainly not living in the White House watching Fox News and tweeting in his underwear in between rounds of golf. I'd bet Bigato's conscience that Trump spells the word fashist whereas the guy who's playbook he actually stole, Vince McMahon, could actually score some scrabble points using the word.

nomadscientist
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by nomadscientist »

The US is a country in which there are few and ever fewer things that one can say, but there's practically nothing you cannot say because of opposition from the right. If you want a 1930s terminology the word you're looking for to describe the US is Communi-


edit: changed phrasing because post below seems to have misinterpreted the original
Last edited by nomadscientist on Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jason
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Jason »

I believe it's the exact opposite. It's the left that has co-opted discourse. It's on their terms that the arguments are made. We had a major party candidate that was self-avowed socialist. No one blinked at that. Ben and Jerry's is not posting on their websites "Yes, we had a slavery but we are the only country that ever went to war over it" or "If hold everyone to absolute moral perfection no one passes muster." And now, not-surprisingly they are beginning to eat their own. JK Rowling's book sales go down because she tweets a certain physiological criteria for the basis of one's sexual orientation. She ain't exactly William Buckley, Jr. Sorry, cancel culture is not emanating from the right.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Hristo Botev »

Further to Jason's point, DW coincidentally just sent me this on the self-censorship side effect of the cancel culture thing: https://www.cato.org/publications/surve ... expression. It's from the Cato Institute, so, obviously, consider the source and assume the survey was engineered at least a little bit to be narrative supporting.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Laura Ingalls »

@Jackrigger
I don’t think we often intersect politically but that was a great post. I would argue both the presumptive nominees are drooling grandpa’s. Different flavors of dementia definitely but the nuero decline is real. I still don’t understand the whole capitulation of the Democratic nomination. I keep fantasize about some awesome 3rd party nominee appearing.

I have also thought about a late family member that worked US Border Patrol, Customs, and INS. His politics were very middle of the road. I suspect he would have been pretty vocal that the recent events are not the mission or role for US Border Patrol.

Freedom_2018
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by Freedom_2018 »

Overall crime down, shootings and murders up:

https://www.npr.org/2020/07/20/89241824 ... ngs-are-up

From the article:
Even so, University of Chicago professor Jens Ludwig, the head of the university's Crime Lab, says it's a big puzzle why shootings and murders haven't dropped while other crimes have.

Unsurprisingly, it takes a professor type to be surprised by the obvious.

I think what Jean said above about reading from opposing news sources is true. I would go further and look for disconfirming evidence and experiences. I would also add that it is important to have your own lived experience vs getting info only from reading second/third hand info on online forums/news etc.

giskard
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by giskard »

Unpopular opinion, but I think that because the local police force has failed to be effective for a variety of reason it makes sense to have a federal response (though the administration handled this in a ridiculous manner).

I live in south Minneapolis and after several days of looting and burning buildings blocks from house I was happy to have the national guard come and finally stop the chaos. At one point we were so afraid our building would burn down we left and spent a night in a hotel in the suburbs.

I think people feel differently once they get a taste of anarchy. I know I was very left leaning a few months ago. Not so sure anymore... I think a lot of the left is now terrifying and not in alignment with my beliefs. I would guess that lots of people, especially property owners and business owners in cities where there was significant looting and arson happened feel the same.

I have mixed feelings seeing some random federal troops from homeland security come to put down a riot. But the state and local governments have failed to uphold the law and protect people and property. What is the answer here otherwise?

ertyu
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Re: Assessing Federal agents deployed to Portland

Post by ertyu »

When people wonder why the Chinese support their authoritarian gvt so strongly or why you'd find people in Russia telling you how great Stalin was, remember the above comment. Democracy is a front. All people want is the suppression of those below them so they personally aren't inconvenienced.

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