An Armed Militia Detained 300 People at the U.S.-Mexico Border Because This is Still the Trump Era

Charles P. Pierce
Photo credit: PAUL RATJE - Getty Images

From Esquire

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog's Favourite Living Canadian)

Photo credit: PAUL RATJE - Getty Images

Meanwhile, out in the country, the Era of Trump goes merrily on. From CNN:

"My office has been informed that this week, an armed group has detained nearly 300 people near Sunland Park, New Mexico," Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a written statement. "These individuals should not attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement."

Videos posted online purportedly showing migrants held by the United Constitutional Patriots group and handed over to the US Border Patrol drew swift condemnation from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico.

"We cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum," the ACLU said in a letter to state authorities denouncing the actions and asking the government to step in. "We urge you to immediately investigate this atrocious and unlawful conduct."




A statement on the United Constitutional Patriots' Facebook page describes the group as "Americans that believe in the constitution and the rights of every American that will stand up for there rights in unity and help keep America safe."

"We're just here to support the Border Patrol and show the public the reality of the border," spokesman Jim Benvie told The New York Times, noting that his group had been camped near El Paso for the past two months. Benvie's group "plans to remain on the border until the extended wall proposed by President Trump is built or Congress changes immigration laws to make it harder for migrants to request asylum," the Times reported.


This is purely a function of the times we're in and of the political attitudes and ideological rot that is the modern conservatism that made someone like the current president* not only possible, but also inevitable.

Photo credit: PAUL RATJE - Getty Images

Here's a primer on these sad vigilante bastards. By any reasonable definition, they are armed kidnappers-which, under some interpretations of the statutes, would make them terrorists as well. They should all be in the can, and the estate of Johnny Horton should sue them for every penny they have.


Photo credit: COREY SIPKIN - Getty Images

On Friday, Senator Professor Warren threw a spanner into the 2020 presidential election, to say nothing of putting a number of people on the spot. From NBC News:

Warren, of Massachusetts, said her announcement was based on the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller. Warren tweeted, "The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States."

Somebody had to say it.

For good or ill, this question is now an issue in the presidential race, and it's also grown teeth in Washington. For months, we've heard that the Democrats needed something more substantial than simply being anti-Trump. That's certainly not a problem for Warren, whose spent the past two months rolling out one major policy proposal after another. And it forces the issue on congressional Republicans, especially the ones who have to run for re-election with what should be by all rights a millstone around their necks. It may or may not be the best thing for Warren's campaign, but even that is something worth watching.

This is a goddamn terrible story. From the Irish Independent:

Lyra McKee, 29, was shot in the head in what police are treating as a "terrorist incident", amid disturbances in Derry on Thursday evening, and died later in hospital. Police Service of Northern Ireland officers were carrying out a search operation in the Creggan area of Derry aimed at disrupting dissident republicans ahead of this weekend's commemoration of Irish independence, when a situation developed during which more than 50 petrol bombs were thrown at officers and two cars were hijacked and set on fire...

Lyra McKee was a first-class journalist who did a great job covering both sides of the Irish border in the years since the Good Friday Agreement, a towering feat of diplomacy now imperiled by the blundering government of the United Kingdom and by the thuggish opportunists who are taking advantage of the chaos on the other side of the Irish Sea.

Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images

McKee is now a signature victim of people who, for whatever their twisted reasons, want the Troubles back. While the rioting was going on, Nancy Pelosi was in the Dail, explaining to the British government that, as a signatory to the GFA, the United States isn't going to let its stupidity break down that signature achievement. From Euronews:

Pelosi, who is leading a Congressional delegation to Europe, reaffirmed in Dublin a message she had delivered just two days before in London that it is vital, after Brexit, to keep a "seamless border" between the Irish Republic, an EU member state, and Northern Ireland, ruled by Britain. "I've said it before and I’ll say it again, we must ensure that nothing happens in the Brexit discussions that imperils the Good Friday accord, including, but not limited to, the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland," Pelosi told a special joint sitting of Ireland's Parliament. "As you face the challenges posed by Brexit, know that the United States Congress, Democrats and Republicans in the House and in the Senate, stand with you," she added.

...a backstop agreement included in the Withdrawal Agreement agreed by British Prime Minister Theresa May and EU leaders in November was heavily criticised by Brexiteers and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May's minority government. It plans for Northern Ireland to remain in the bloc's customs union should another solution not be found before the end of a transition period. The Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected three times by British lawmakers. Pelosi's comments are likely to annoy members of the ruling Conservative party who insist that a hard Brexit - which include the UK leaving the bloc's single market and customs union - is necessary in order for the country to strike trade agreements with third countries.

The Brexiteers, who include the current president* of the United States, are well on their way to screwing up the world and now, there's arguably a body count. And Lyra McKee was killed on the cusp of Good Friday.

Good Friday.

Damn poetry sometimes.

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click:"Nerva and Dumbo" (Robert Walter): Yeah, I still pretty much love New Orleans.

Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here is the debate in Dail Eireann over the treaty ending the War of Independence, a treaty that had consequences we are living with to this day. The guy up on the flagpole is an interesting take. History is so cool.

In space, my favorite machine celebrated its 29th birthday with a cool picture of a spidery thingamabob. Meanwhile, folks have found what may be the first building block. From CNN:

And although HeH+, the helium hydride ion, has been proposed for years as that first molecule, scientists couldn't find any evidence of its existence in space-until now. The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Nature. After the Big Bang, HeH+ formed in a molecular bond when helium atoms and protons combined. Later, these would break apart into hydrogen molecules and helium atoms. Both elements are the two most abundant throughout the universe, with hydrogen first and helium second.

Scientists were able to demonstrate the molecular ion in a lab in 1925 and study it, which sparked a decades-long search for HeH+ in space. "The chemistry of the universe began with HeH+. The lack of definitive evidence of its very existence in interstellar space has been a dilemma for astronomy for a long time," said Rolf Güsten, study author and astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, in a statement.

So everything began with an H. That's going to play hell with the alphabet.

One of the more remarkable sidelights of the Mueller report is the clear view we have of what a poltroon the president* is. In the report, he's forever telling underlings to fire other underlings and, when they refuse, doing nothing about it. They always wind up quitting at their leisure. One of the more disgusting sidelights is the revelation of how central Julian Assange was to the promulgation of the vicious smokescreen surrounding the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. This is a bureaucratic Bosch painting from top to bottom.

Is it a good day for dinosaur news, SciNews.com? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!

Dr. Khishigjav Tsogtbataaar from the Mongolian Academy of Science and colleagues found a new species closely related to Hadrosauridae, Gobihadros mongoliensis. An almost complete and undeformed skull and skeleton of this dinosaur, as well as extensive referred material, were unearthed in the Bayshin Tsav region of the Gobi Desert. An anatomical analysis revealed that Gobihadros mongoliensis doesn’t quite fit into Hadrosauridae, but is a very close cousin, making it the first such dinosaur known from complete remains from the Late Cretaceous of central Asia.

“Gobihadros mongoliensis did not directly give rise to later Asian hadrosaurs,” the paleontologists said. “Instead, those Asian hadrosaurs appear to have migrated over from North America during the Late Cretaceous.”

“The new species and its close Asian relatives seem to disappear as these new hadrosaurs enter Asia, suggesting that the invaders might have ultimately outcompeted species like Gobihadros mongoliensis.”



Nobody tell the president*. He'll make this another argument about open borders, instead of what it is, another example of how dinosaurs lived then to make us happy now.

The Committee is always happy to learn new things. So the members enjoyed Top Commenter Jack Schroeder's little lesson in Alabama legislative history.

Adelbert Carl "Del" Marsh has been a member of the Alabama state senate for 19 1/2 years. He has been the President Pro Tempore for 9 years and acting President until three months ago. Now we learn that 57% of the respondents to the Mason-Dixon poll did not recognize his name. He's like a black hole for achievements. And those potential voters are not the yeoman farmers that Thomas Jefferson saw in his mind.

OK, so we're not that into cultural stereotypes, but we do like the odd Jefferson reference. That'll get you 81.11 Beckhams, good sir.

I'll be back on Monday, assuming that nothing untoward happens over the weekend. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snakeline, or a hadrosaur might just set up shop in your yard.

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