- Robert P. Alvarez / Shutterstock.com
- Proud Boys reprised their infantile cosplay in Portland, Oregon, this weekend.
Former President Donald Trump found himself doing what he does best: pissing off his own base while cosplaying as the current Commander in Chief. Trump was lightly booed at an Alabama rally this weekend after he encouraged the crowd to get the COVID-19 vaccine. "You know what? I believe totally in your freedoms," Trump told the crowd. "You got to do what you have to do, but I recommend: take the vaccines. I did it, it's good." He added, "If it doesn't work, you'll be the first to know." Trump, who contracted COVID-19 last fall after making unfounded claims that hydroxychloroquine was a COVID-19 cure, praised his administration for the swiftness with which the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were developed despite recklessly downplaying the virus for months. In Alabama, only 36% of residents are fully vaccinated, which is reportedly the lowest percentage of fully vaccinated people in the nation. Meanwhile, outside the rally, a woman interviewed by the Right Side Broadcasting Network said Trump never left the White House. "He's already here," she said. "He never left. He's the 19th president of the Republic." Woof.
Love was the guise behind a Proud Boys gathering in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, which culminated in a violent clash between anti-fascist demonstrators without intervention by police. Far-right groups gathered for an event touted as the "Summer of Love,'' which commemorated the anniversary of a violent clash that took place between supporters of police and former President Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter activists and ANTIFA last summer. The Proud Boys had gathered together to spew transphobic vitriol and defend those charged for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, referring to the insurrectionists as "political prisoners." Anti-fascist demonstrators and far-right groups brawled in a roving clash across northeast Portland, exchanging gunfire, paintballs, bear mace, and fireworks. One man, Dennis G. Anderson, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm after appearing to open fire at a group of anti-fascists. A motorist was also severely beaten by members of the Proud Boys.
The trial of R. Kelly got underway, with the disgraced R&B star facing, if convicted, 20 years in prison for racketeering, as well as sex trafficking and kidnapping charges stemming from decades of alleged sexual abuse toward a number of women. Of the six victims featured in the case, one "Jane Doe" is believed to be the late Detroit singer Aaliyah, who Kelly secretly married when he was 26 and she was 15. An explosive revelation emerged from the Eastern District of New York courthouse in Brooklyn when Demetrius Smith, Kelly's tour manager from 1984 to 1996, claimed he believed Aaliyah had been impregnated by Kelly while she was a minor, which was the alleged cause behind the rushed marriage. Worried that he might get pushed out of Kelly's inner circle, Smith volunteered to obtain counterfeit identification so Kelly and Aaliyah could legally wed. "I feel like I'm on trial for Aaliyah, shit," Smith said during the testimony, expressing his discomfort in talking about the late singer without her family present.
First toilet paper and car microchips and now ... apples? According to the Michigan Apple Committee, the state is expected to produce 18.25 million bushels of apples, down from last year's nearly 22 million. Per the committee, the reduced apple harvest size is related to chilly temperatures this past April, which, in some growing areas, reported temps in the 20s. Michigan, which ranks third in U.S. apple production, will likely have a larger crop in 2022 barring, oh, we don't know, more global warming nastiness.