Hoboism as a way of life. Source: Brktrail.com
The Hobo Ethical Code of 1889. Source: Open Culture
‘…[I]n the wake of Donald J. Trump’s surprising election victory, hundreds of his extremist supporters converged on the capital to herald a moment of political ascendance that many had thought to be far away…
Emboldened by Mr. Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party, [one spokesperson] said he expected people openly associated with the white nationalist movement to run as candidates in the 2018 midterm elections. The rise of populism and the decline of political correctness, he said, present a rare opportunity…’
Source: New York Times
If you are looking for effective advocacy groups and you are particularly concerned about the rise of the rabid right, consider supporting the Southern Poverty Law Center.
University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales warned about a Trump presidency five years ago and was laughed at. But he came from Italy, and drew upon the Silvio Berlusconi parallels. Berlusconi was able to govern Italy for a total of nine years, Zingales says, because of the incompetency of the opposition, and he warns us against making the same mistakes lest we create a Trump dynasty that will last long beyond his age or term limits would allow.
During the campaign, the opposition’s rabid obsession with his personality flaws, Zingales argues, increased sympathy among moderate voters, increased his popularity, and gave him free advertising. And this trend is continuing since his election, The vehement anti-Trump protests are counterproductive.
“There will be plenty of reasons to complain during the Trump presidency, when really awful decisions are made. Why complain now, when no decision has been made? It delegitimizes the future protests and exposes the bias of the opposition.”
The blueprint provided by the Italian experience — of the only two men to win electoral campaigns against Berlusconi — for how to defeat Trump relies on treating him as “an ordinary opponent”, focusing on issues rather than on his character. To ignore this advice would “crown Mr. Trump as the people’s leader of the fight against the Washington caste” and cripple the opposition’s ability to conduct a battle of principles. The Democrats
“should not do as the Republicans did after President Obama was elected. Their preconceived opposition to any of his initiatives poisoned the Washington well, fueling the anti-establishment reaction (even if it was a successful electoral strategy for the party). There are plenty of Trump proposals that Democrats can agree with, like new infrastructure investments.”
“Finally, the Democratic Party should also find a credible candidate among young leaders, one outside the party’s Brahmins. The news that Chelsea Clinton is considering running for office is the worst possible. If the Democratic Party is turning into a monarchy, how can it fight the autocratic tendencies in Mr. Trump?”
Source: New York Times op-ed
‘Nowhere on the surface of the planet have we seen any record cold temperatures over the course of the year so far. Every land surface in the world saw warmer-than-average temperatures except Alaska and the eastern tip of Russia. The continental United States has been blanketed with record warmth — and the seas just off the East Coast have been much warmer than average, for which Sandy sends her thanks… This is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average…’
‘The incoming president… is actively soliciting business from agents of foreign governments. Many of these agents, in turn, said that they will accept the president-elect’s offer to do business because they want to win favor with the new leader of the United States.
In an exclusive exchange with ThinkProgress, Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who previously served as chief ethics counsel to President George W. Bush, says that Trump’s efforts to do business with these diplomats is at odds with a provision of the Constitution intended to prevent foreign states from effectively buying influence with federal officials.
The Constitution’s “Emoluments Clause,” provides that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under” the United States “shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” …’
‘When the cockpit recorder transcript from Air France Flight 447 was leaked to the public in 2011, many startling details emerged. The plane, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board, had been under the control of pilots who were communicating poorly and not realizing one another’s mistakes. The plane’s speed slowed to dangerous levels, activating the stall alarm—the one, in the words of Popular Mechanics, “designed to be impossible to ignore.” It blared the word “Stall!” 75 times.
Everyone present ignored it. Within four minutes, the plane had hit the water.
Alarm sounds are engineered to elicit particular responses in humans. And yet, sometimes, humans choose not to respond, having decided that the situation is not urgent enough or that the sound is a false alarm. Audio alarm designers seek to avoid this by designing sounds that have an intuitive meaning and precisely reflect the level of urgency. But what makes an “awooga” sound more or less urgent than a “ding”? And how do you create an alarm noise that’s annoying enough to get someone’s attention, but not so annoying that said person disables the alarm? …’
Source: Atlas Obscura
‘I keep getting asked one thing repeatedly both in person, over e-mail, and online: “Are there any checks in place to keep the US President from starting a nuclear war?” What’s amazing about this question, really, is how seriously it misunderstands the logic of the US command and control system. It gets it exactly backwards.
The entire point of the US command and control system is to guarantee that the President and only the President is capable of authorizing nuclear war whenever he needs to. It is about enabling the President’s power, not checking or restricting him…
He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen. He doesn’t have to check with anybody, he doesn’t have to call Congress, he doesn’t have to check with the courts… To be sure, the official doctrine that I have seen on the Nuclear Command Authority implies that the President should be given as much advice as possible from the military, the Department of Defense, and so on. But nothing I have seen suggests that this is any more than advisory — and the entire system is set up so that once the President’s order is verified and authenticated, there are meant to be only minutes until launch.
It isn’t entirely intuitive — why the President, and not someone else, or some combination of people? Why not have some kind of “two-man rule,” whereby two top political figures were required to sign off on the use before it happened? The two-man rule is required for commanders to authorize nuclear launches, so why not the Commander in Chief?’
Source: Restricted Data
The only tragedy of this election greater than that the narcissistic child Trump will have the authority to launch nuclear annihilation is that the ignorant American voting public would hand it over to him.
Source: Quanta Magazine
‘Yesterday, Donald Trump’s news cycle was dominated by two stories: first, that the president-elect of the United States of America had a well-developed sense of the sanctity of the theatre, such that any on-stage politicking shocked his conscience to the core; second, that he had settled a lawsuit over Trump University, handing $25,000,000 to people whom he had defrauded…’
Source: Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
Source: Matthew Yglesias, Vox
‘When Mike Pence entered the Richard Rodgers Theatre to see Hamilton last night, the crowd booed him.When the play ended, the cast sent Pence off with a special message. Speaking for the cast, Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who plays Aaron Burr, said this…’
Source: Open Culture
‘President Obama built the most advanced surveillance system ever and in a few short months the keys to that get handed to President Elect Trump which has some people nervous. It’s a sad fact that the folks who are only freaking out about this prospect now were perfectly OK with it when their guy was in charge, and it’s funny watching the country switch sides on this stuff almost over night.
There are a lot of articles flying around about the best ways to protect your privacy under the coming Trump Administration, but if I can humbly recommend a few simple things:
Install Signal. Use this for messaging. Don’t use Facebook messenger or SMS or anything else. Don’t use this “only for the stuff you don’t want getting out” – use it for everything all the time.
Get a VPN and use it. I like Private Internet Access because I have a recurring subscription, but I’ve also used iPredator which I also like but requires constantly prepaying so I forget and my account expires. Feel free to use both!
Use DuckDuckGo for all online searches, and change the default search engine on your browsers to DDG too. They don’t keep logs of everything you search for.
Get a good password manager and make sure you aren’t using the same passwords anywhere. I like 1password…’
Source: Sean Bonner
What do you think? I’m already onboard with DDG and 1Password. Would switch all my messaging to Signal if the people I talk to would buy in and install it too. I use a different VPN but I admit I do not surf through it all the time.
The Morning News said, ‘Interest grows in pushing for California’s secession from the United States. They call it #Calexit. It will be a flash in the pan.’
But why restrict the movement to California? People everywhere insist he is “Not My President” and many everywhere feel as if they do not live in the same country as Trump supporters. Why not a secession from Trumpsylvania, a “Trexit”? The GNP of a nation made up of the blue states would be among the largest in the world, and many would be happy to leave the rest to the Narcissist-in-Chief.
November 15 was Follow Me Here’s 17th Birthday… Thanks for all your support through the years. Enter a comment to let me know when and how you were introduced to FmH.
Ken Krobb at the Bureau of Public Secrets proposes that we can take heart in Trump’s election, which he suggests will hasten the demise of the Republican Party. “…It’s going to be like the proverbial dog chasing a car: what happens if the dog actually catches the car?” With the Republican monopoly of power, there’ll be no one else to blame when they actually have to deliver on their empty promises and can’t accomplish anything.
For instance, if they succeed in dismantling Obamacare, it is pretty clear they won’t be able to come up with some pie-in-the sky superior plan, and they will leave 22 million voters, newly insured under Obamacare, back to their previous uninsured situation.
But so what? Obamacare was admittedly never that popular anyway. How about the most popular social programs in America for decades, social security and Medicare, which Paul Ryan wants to dismantle? As Eisenhower famously noted,
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group of course that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Well, no longer negligible, at least.
Even though Trump’s fanatic base may think they have won a victory against reproductive rights and marriage equality, they are increasingly out of step with the positions of a majority of Americans on those issues. Dismantling existing rights in those spheres and sending us back to the chaos of “leaving it to the states” would be a logistical nightmare… with a backlash, hopefully.
Racism has been a core canon of the Republican Party since Nixon’s “southern strategy” in the 60s, but now it is out in the open rather than covert and deniable. Fervent Trump supporters are already supporting their newfound mandate by viciously harassing and threatening people of color in his name. The Trump Republican Party is going to have to own that, to its shame and detriment.
“[The Republican] party was already heading toward a civil war between its mutually contradictory components (financial elite, tea party, neocons, libertarians, religious reactionaries, and the few remaining moderates). To those general divisions are now added the antagonisms between the new Leader and those who oppose him. Bush at least had sense enough to know that he was an incompetent figurehead, and gladly let Cheney and Rove run things. Trump thinks he’s a genius, and anyone who doesn’t agree will be added to his already very large enemies list.”
And the whole show is so public. With the whole world scrutinizing “President Ubu and his Clown Car administration,” all Republicans will be tarred by association with his inanities, backtracking and failures. “You’re no longer in the Republican Party, you’re in the Trump Party. You bought it, you own it.”
Everyone takes it as a given that responding to this bizarre situation will strengthen the rise of new movements of protest and resistance. With the Republican monopoly control of the government, even those who normally focus on electoral politics must realize that for some time to come the main efforts for political change will be outside the parties and outside the government; “it will be grassroots participatory action or nothing.” And everyone seems to recognize that the defense of those most threatened by the new regime — people of color, Muslims, LGBTQs, Jews, the disabled — will be a strong priority.
“But we will also need to defend ourselves. The first step in resisting this regime is to avoid getting too caught up with it — obsessively following the latest news about it and impulsively reacting to each new outrage. That kind of compulsive media consumption was part of what led to this situation in the first place. Let’s treat this clown show with the contempt it deserves and not forget the fundamental things that still apply — picking our battles, but also continuing to nourish the personal relations and creative activities that make life worthwhile in the first place. Otherwise, what will we be defending?”
So this disaster will hopefully shock people into coming together to care better for one another and themselves and addressing the looming crises of the coming decades more wholeheartedly and with far fewer illusory hopes that the existing system will save us.
[When the Southern racist George Wallace ran for President in 1968, there was an oft-stated scurrilous wish from some on the Left that he succeed, so as to bring on the Revolution. Of course, what we mean these days by Revolution is a little different, but now, nearly fifty years later, Could it finally come to pass? Krobb is not the only one pointing out that this may be the worm that eats itself, and the last gasp of the misogynist white gerontocracy in American politics, dare one hope –FmH]
Should Donald Trump actually succeed in building his long-promised wall along Mexico’s border with the United States, he’ll be in good company. Walls have long been a symbol of—and a tool in—the division between sovereignties, “From the building of the Roman Limes in the second century CE … up to more modern structures such as the iconic Berlin Wall,” as University of Quebec geographer Elisabeth Vallet writes in her book, Borders, Fences and Walls.
Source: Francie Diep, Pacific Standard
Tonight there was a protest in Los Angeles, condemning the pick of Steve Bannon as Sr Advisor to the president. I think Breitbart News is very good at stirring people into a frenzy and very bad at reporting the news. I think picking the guy who runs that for a position equal to Chief of Staff is dangerous. I wanted to go and take photos, my wife Tara wanted to go and hold up a sign. Ripley, my 6 year old son also wanted a sign but I’m not a fan of indoctrinating children to anything, and didn’t want to write up a political sign that him carrying around would suggest he was making the statement. I told him what the protest was about, and asked him what he wanted on his sign. I told him he could put anything that he wanted. He wanted a happy sign that would make other people happy too, so he decided his sign should say “I Love Cats.” I thought it was great. On the other side he decided the sign should say “It’s past my bedtime” because the protest was at night and he would be tired and this would show people that even though he was tired and it was late he was there with them. I loved this sentiment. We drew up the signs and headed out.
Tara and Ripley joined some friends of ours on one side of the crowd and I walked around taking photos. The mood of the evening was largely positive, people were protesting something they were upset about but the crowd working together. There were the expected “Ban Bannon” and “No KKK” signs, as well as some more original and light hearted ones including one older lady with a sign that read “I’ve been protesting this same fascist shit for 50 years!” and a guy with a trans flag and a sign saying “This isn’t the kind of dick I wanted.” Anytime I was near my family people were taking photos of my son and his sign, with many people telling him they loved it and it was the best sign there, which made him smile big.
He got in on the chanting, memorizing the rymes. He waved his sign for people and smiled when they took his photo. This was his first protest and he told me he really enjoyed it. He said he loved seeing all the people together, hoping for the same thing.
By 8:30 it was in fact well past his bedtime and we decided to leave. Tara and Rips started to move to the edge of the crowd and I was behind them. As I turned to leave two younger women tapped me on the shoulder. I only spoke with them for a moment but I’d guess they were late 20’s-ish.
“Hi, can we talk to you for a moment about your son’s sign?”
“It’s very cute, but we are concerned that if someone sees it and takes a photo it will misrepresent the feeling of this event.”
“Lots of people have taken photos of it all night, everyone has been enjoying it”
“That’s the problem, it’s sending the wrong message – I Love Cats? This isn’t about cats”
“He’s 6, that’s what he wanted on his sign. I’m not going to put my politics on a sign and make him carry it.”
“He doesn’t support immigrants rights?”
“There are lots of kids here with political signs”
“Sure, that their parents wrote for them”
“But what will people think if they see this sign”
“I don’t really care”
“YOU DON’T CARE?”
“Are you really upset that a 6 year old isn’t protesting correctly?”
“You wouldn’t be saying that if you weren’t a white man, maybe you should meet an immigrant and find out how they feel, you are mocking the serious people here… Racist!”
I turned around and to walk away and one of them punched me in the back of the head.
I kept walking, they shouted something but I wasn’t listening anymore.
In the 5 minute walk back to our car, at least 10 more people said “Love that sign!!”
As some of you know, my wife is an immigrant…
The sun will rise tomorrow.
Source: Sean Bonner, newsletter
‘The alt-right movement is both “real” and “truly terrifying,” according to conservative radio host Glenn Beck.“I want to make sure that everybody understands that the alt-right is real. It is truly terrifying, in my opinion,” Beck said Tuesday during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
The alt-right movement is a fringe right-wing movement that welcomes white nationalism, anti-Semitism, racism and misogyny. Beck went on to explain that former Breitbart News chief Stephen Bannon — now equal partner to incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus — gave the alt-right and white nationalists a platform at Breitbart, something Bannon confirmed earlier this year.
“He has given a voice and power to that group of people,” Beck explained. “You don’t empower people like that. You just don’t. It’s not smart.”
American University Professor Allan Lichtman, who has been dubbed the “prediction professor,” was one of the only political forecasters to correctly predict President-elect Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House last week. But now he’s guessing it will all come crashing down. “There’s a very good chance that Donald Trump could face impeachment,” Lichtman told CNN’s Erin Burnett Tuesday night.
‘Ultimately, it comes down to a single question that can be asked in two different ways: if you really believe Trump is a fascist who is emboldening white nationalism and will begin systematic persecution of Muslims, blacks, gays, and Jews, how can you sit on the sidelines and not take action to stop him? If you really believe that because of Trump you are “going to die from climate change” how can you not take up arms against him? After all, a majority of Americans voted against Trump, yet he will become President…’
‘News stories are supposed to help ordinary voters understand the world around them. But in the 2016 election, news stories online too often had the opposite effect. Stories rocketed around the internet that were misleading, sloppily reported, or in some cases totally made up.
Over the course of 2016, Facebook users learned that the pope endorsed Donald Trump (he didn’t), that a Democratic operative was murdered after agreeing to testify against Hillary Clinton (it never happened), that Bill Clinton raped a 13-year-old girl (a total fabrication), and many other totally bogus “news” stories. Stories like this thrive on Facebook because Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes “engagement” — and a reliable way to get readers to engage is by making up outrageous nonsense about politicians they don’t like.
A big problem here is that the internet has broken down the traditional distinction between professional news-gathering and amateur rumor-mongering. On the internet, the “Denver Guardian” — a fake news site designed to look like a real Colorado newspaper — can reach a wide audience as easily as real news organizations like the Denver Post, the New York Times, and Fox News.
Since last week’s election, there has been a fierce debate about whether the flood of fake news — much of it prejudicial to Hillary Clinton — could have swung the election to Donald Trump. Internet giants are coming under increasing pressure to do something about the problem…’
‘A remarkable paper claims that staying off Facebook for a week could make you happier: The Facebook Experiment, by Morten Tromholt of Denmark. What makes this study so interesting is that it was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and so was able, at least in theory, to determine whether quitting Facebook actually causes changes in well-being. Previously, there has been lots of research reporting correlations between social network use and happiness, but correlation isn’t causation…’
Source: Emily Crockett, Vox
‘Barack Obama found in 2009 that winning a presidential election is one thing but getting the United States Senate to do what you want is a rather different thing. Next year, Donald Trump will have Republican congressional majorities at his back, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Senate will back all of his priorities. And already, as the transition enters its second week, foreign policy is emerging as a potential trouble spot for Trump. It started with Dave Weigel’s report Tuesday that Sen. Rand Paul would be inclined to oppose John Bolton or Rudy Giuliani as secretary of state…’
‘ “There should be no sugarcoating the truth here: Donald Trump just invited a white nationalist into the highest reaches of the government,” Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a statement…’
‘…[A] lot of Americans are looking for new ways to make a difference and do their part to stop what they consider a dangerous agenda. And some are hoping that their representatives in Congress can act as a check on Trump.For those taking this approach, blogger Emily Ellsworth has some advice: Don’t just tweet, write, or email your representatives. Call them — and go to town halls…’
‘If you’ve ever been to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you know that an inability to communicate can be frustrating, if not a bit scary. But in Arrival, when 12 shell-shaped UFOs land across the world, everything seems to hinge on the skills of Amy Adams’ linguistics expert, Louise—just as the movie itself hinges on making communication compelling.It was up to screenwriter Eric Heisserer and production designer Patrice Vermette to not only bring Ted Chaing’s short story “Story of Your Life” to the
It was up to screenwriter Eric Heisserer and production designer Patrice Vermette to not only bring Ted Chaing’s short story “Story of Your Life” to the screen, but also to create the language the aliens used—and then translate all of it into a gripping drama. Having seen the movie, which opened this past weekend, we can tell you they succeeded. Here’s how…’
“So many of our conflicts and our problems stem from miscommunication.”
‘Shocked by Donald Trump’s surprise victory and the wave of white supremacism he left in his wake, many Americans have taken to the streets to protest. But if progressives really want to fight back against Trumpism, they need to build a mass national movement, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. Put another way, they need a Tea Party of the left.
Fortunately, progressives won’t have to start from scratch. A justice coalition that includes existing advocacy groups could be built up quickly, as proven by Forward Together; for the past four years, this movement has served as a model for how progressives can unite to combat retrograde and sometimes hateful policies by state and federal governments…’
‘Millions of Americans are justifiably afraid of what they’ll face under a Trump administration. If any group demands our support and sympathy, it’s these people, not the Americans who backed Trump and his threat of state-sanctioned violence against Hispanic immigrants and Muslim Americans. All the solicitude, outrage, and moral telepathy being deployed in defense of Trump supporters—who voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes—is perverse, bordering on abhorrent…’
Source: Jamelle Bouie, Slate
Source: The Awl
‘We say goodbye to musical icons in many different ways, from flashmobs, SNL intros, and long retrospectives to live concert tributes featuring the biggest cover band on earth. No matter how outsized the gesture, it never quite seems out of place when it comes to artists of a certain stature. In the case of Frank Zappa, we’ve recently seen jazz orchestra tributes, a “monumental live performance” of one of his own orchestral works, and several Zappa tribute concerts by his son Dweezil.For all their heart and stamina, however, no tribute can compete with the power of those artists’ farewells to us. Both David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, too fragile to perform in their last years, left phenomenal albums we’ll pore over for decades to come. Southern rock great Leon Russell, who just passed away this week at 74, put on rollicking live shows into his final years, and had concerts booked into 2017 when he died. Prince’s final performance was, like all of his performances, stunning. And Zappa? Well see for yourself. Zappa played his way out of the world as he’d played his way into it, with sardonic humor and blistering virtuosity…’
Source: Open Culture
Source: Big Think
It will not be enough, in the coming months, to say that Trump voters were simply angry. Cramer shows that there are nuances to political rage. To understand Trump’s success, she argues, we have to understand how he tapped into people’s sense of self.
Source: Jeff Guo, The Washington Post
Our technology has changed this election, and is now undermining our ability to empathize with each other
Source: Tobias Rose-Stockwell, Medium
“Once again, Bruce Schneier freaks me out“, says Gabe. Schneier writes:
The ultrasonic pitches are embedded into TV commercials or are played when a user encounters an ad displayed in a computer browser. While the sound can’t be heard by the human ear, nearby tablets and smartphones can detect it. When they do, browser cookies can now pair a single user to multiple devices and keep track of what TV commercials the person sees, how long the person watches the ads, and whether the person acts on the ads by doing a Web search or buying a product.
‘On the one side of this fight stands Bernie, plus his youthful followers, plus the progressive Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party (let’s finally say goodbye to the neoliberal, Wall Street-protecting, labor-union-ignoring, white-working-class-insulting global-elite Davos Clinton/Obama wing of the Democratic Party, who’ve handed our government to the GOP). On the other side lurks the army of resentful older white mater fornicators who voted for Trump.
The Trumpists will lose this fight, because our economy is about to be crippled by an unfettered GOP in charge of all three branches of government. The failure of the GOP’s discredited economic remedies will fire up the resentment of their white working class base to the highest heavens (a base who already believes that Washington’s Republicans have done sweet blow-all for them). By the end of his first term, Trump will face a maddened, resentful electorate, burning to stick long pointy needles in his obese effigy.
Get ready for 2020, when Elizabeth Warren will step into the arena and run against Trump. She will generate even more excitement than Bernie did. Trump cannot give his followers the satisfaction they seek — nobody can — and Elizabeth will bury him. In the end, this macho bully will meet his match at a woman’s hands. Maybe that damn Hillary bitch could not quite settle his hash, but this here Elizabeth witch will double-knot his jock strap.
If Trump is a white backlash against Obama, a total swing of the pendulum, Warren will be a progressive backlash against the Trump phenomenon, another total swing of the pendulum.Just you wait: the Donald Trump presidency is making an Elizabeth Warren presidency inevitable…’
Source: The New Yorker
This bystander’s guide to Islamophobic harassment was created by a young illustrator and filmmaker who works in Paris and goes by Maeril. She made versions in both French and English.
Below the guide, Maeril wrote that this technique works for any kind of harassment in a public space, but she was specifically focusing on the Islamophobia she’s witnessed in Paris.
In the wave of reactions to Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the U.S., safety pins have taken on a new meaning in the country.
Some Americans are wearing safety pins as a symbol of solidarity with victims of racism, homophobia and religious discrimination. People have spoken out on Twitter to say that their safety pins show that they are an ally to marginalized groups.
Source: PBS NewsHour
We don’t get to make ourselves feel better by putting on safety pins and self-designating ourselves as allies.
Source: Huffington Post
How a man you’ve never heard of could be our last chance to stop Trump.
Sounds like it may be worth supporting Jackson Cantrell’s Louisiana Senate bid.
In the early hours of Nov. 9, 2016, the winner of the presidential election was declared. As the day unfolded, the extent to which a moral rhinoceritis had taken hold was apparent. People magazine had a giddy piece about the president-elect’s daughter and her family, a sequence of photos that they headlined “way too cute.” In The New York Times, one opinion piece suggested that the belligerent bigot’s supporters ought not be shamed. Another asked whether this president-elect could be a good president and found cause for optimism. Cable news anchors were able to express their surprise at the outcome of the election, but not in any way vocalize their fury.
All around were the unmistakable signs of normalization in progress. So many were falling into line without being pushed. It was happening at tremendous speed, like a contagion. And it was catching even those whose plan was, like Dudard’s in “Rhinoceros,” to criticize “from the inside.”
Evil settles into everyday life when people are unable or unwilling to recognize it. It makes its home among us when we are keen to minimize it or describe it as something else. This is not a process that began a week or month or year ago. It did not begin with drone assassinations, or with the war on Iraq. Evil has always been here. But now it has taken on a totalitarian tone.
At the end of “Rhinoceros,” Daisy finds the call of the herd irresistible. Her skin goes green, she develops a horn, she’s gone. Berenger, imperfect, all alone, is racked by doubts. He is determined to keep his humanity, but looking in the mirror, he suddenly finds himself quite strange. He feels like a monster for being so out of step with the consensus. He is afraid of what this independence will cost him. But he keeps his resolve, and refuses to accept the horrible new normalcy. He’ll put up a fight, he says. “I’m not capitulating!”
Source: Teju Cole, NYTimes.com
Here’s what I am saying: You’ve said all along that you disagree with the ‘inelegant’ things Trump says about all kinds of groups of people. You’ve agreed that his statements about women are abhorrent. You say you like him because he gets stuff done, not because of the way he speaks. And I believe to my core that you agree that all people should be treated with decency.
So, now you get to prove it. It’s actually so simple: Demand that it end. Demand that he finally, vociferously reject the KKK and other white supremacist groups. Every single time he or his surrogates says something over-generalized about any group of people — “all Black people live in inner cities and their lives are hell”; “all/most/many refugees/immigrants/Muslims/whatever are dangerous”; “that woman is only a 7” — hold him to the highest standard you have. Contact him and tell him, “I support you, I voted for you, and I demand that you stop saying these things.”
Across Britain, the verb to trump is a euphemism for flatulence, especially malodorous flatulence. Are you familiar with the slightly scurrilous recommendation for coping with public speaking anxiety that one envision one’s audience as naked? Well, there may be a parallel here for dealing with the profound anxiety and dread so many, including myself, feel in contemplating the reality of Trump’s presidency. I am going to practice visualizing his dangerous and offensive blowhard pronouncements as offensive eruptions of a different sort out of his mouth, and malodorous ones at that.
Source: Boing Boing