Posted: October 4, 2016 Filed under: just because
Thank goodness this debate is almost over.
My stomach is in knots. Mike Pence gets under my skin even more than Donald Trump does. He constantly smirks and lies and lies again in a soft tone of voice. And he interrupts even more than Trump does. He’s a monster.
Anyway, here’s a fresh thread to keep discussing the debate and the media aftermath.
Posted: October 3, 2016 Filed under: Afternoon Reads, just because
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
Well, it’s that part of the campaign cycle where the weirdish rumors are circulating fast and furious! I thought I’d cover a few just of them without creeping too far into conspiracy land with Drumpf and the Dumpsters.
Here’s your all purpose list of “All the terrible things Hillary Clinton has done — in one big list” which is actually a way of making them look all pretty stupid. So, we’ll start out with an Opinion by Brett Arends that none of these are even remotely serious at Market Watch. It’s an oldie but goodie!
Am I supposed to hate Hillary Rodham Clinton because she’s too left-wing, or too right-wing? Because she’s too feminist, or not feminist enough? Because she’s too clever a politician, or too clumsy?
Am I supposed to be mad that she gave speeches to rich bankers, or that she charged them too much money?
I’m up here in New Hampshire watching her talk to a group of supporters, and I realized that I have been following this woman’s career for more than half my life. No, not just my adult life: the whole shebang. She came onto the national scene when I was a young man.
And for all that time, there has been a deafening chorus of critics telling me that she’s just the most wicked, evil, Machiavellian, nefarious individual in American history. She has “the soul of an East German border guard,” in the words of that nice Grover Norquist. She’s a “bitch,” in the words of that nice Newt Gingrich. She’s a “dragon lady.” She’s “Elena Ceaușescu.” She’s “the Lady Macbeth of Little Rock.”
Long before “Benghazi” and her email server, there was “Whitewater” and “the Rose Law Firm” and “Vince Foster.” For those of us following her, we were promised scandal after scandal after scandal. And if no actual evidence ever turned up, well, that just proved how deviously clever she was.
So today I’m performing a public service on behalf of all the voters. I went back and re-read all the criticisms and attacks and best-selling “exposés” leveled at Hillary Rodham Clinton over the past quarter-century. And I’ve compiled a list of all her High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Still a classic! Anyway, wonder who leaked the Donald’s taxes for 1995? Could it be ex wife Marla Maples serving up her revenge ice cold?
But there’s another theory that’s more plausible and arguably even juicier: Marla Maples, Trump’s ex-wife, is the Times’ anonymous source. In a post on Medium, Yashar Ali gathered some of the clues. First and foremost, there is a “Sign-Here” flag on the first page of the New Jersey nonresident tax return, and it points to the spot for Maples’s signature.
And as the Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi noted, Maples had an interesting Twitter exchange on Sunday. Maples, who’s practiced Kabbalah for 20 years, celebrated the arrival of a new season (or her glorious act of revenge) with this tweet:
Politico’s Marc Caputo responded with a joke, and @PoliticalBuffs replied to both of them:
It seems the question was directed at Caputo, but Maples answered:
Many assume that the leaker held off sending Trump’s tax return so it would act as the proverbial “October surprise” (the Times story was first published on Saturday night, October 1), but could there be more to the timing? Maples was suddenly back in the news last week because her ex-husband decided to remind the public that Bill Clinton cheated on Hillary Clinton — which in turn reminded everyone that Trump cheated on his first wife, Ivana, with Maples.
Maples has not publicly disparaged Trump in recent years, but she came very close in the past week. The native of Georgia, who was raised a strict Baptist, very sweetly threw some shade his way in a Timesprofile of their 22-year-old daughter, Tiffany, published on Saturday morning. After their divorce, Maples took her daughter to the West Coast, or as she put it, “I had the blessing of raising her pretty much on my own.” From Tiffany’s remarks about long-distance phone calls with her dad and saving report cards that he scribbled on, it appears that they have not had a very close relationship.
Republicans appear to have launched a Willie Horton-style attack on Senator Tim Kaine whose Catholic faith directs his aversion to the Death Penalty as well as his past law practice. This is sure to coincide with the timing of the VEEP debate. Pence is an old dull sourpuss and I’m sure the Rethugs want to take down Kaine.
The day before Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine takes the debate stage in his home state, Republicans are attacking his record on the death penalty.
In a new web ad that recalls the Willie Horton attack on 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, the Republican National Committee is highlighting two of Kaine’s clients when he was a defense attorney.
Richard Lee Whitley was convicted of murdering a 63 year-old neighbor in Fairfax County, while Lem Tuggle was found guilty of raping, sodomizing and murdering a 52-year old woman from Smyth County.
While numerous executions took place on Kaine’s watch as Virginia governor, he had come up as a defense attorney working to keep people convicted of capital offenses from facing the death penalty.
“The hardest thing about being a governor was dealing with the death penalty,” Kaine told the National Catholic Reporter in an interview. “I hope on Judgment Day that there’s both understanding and mercy, because it was tough.”
The crew of The Apprentice dish on the Donald: O“AP: “Apprentice” cast and crew say Trump was lewd and sexist.” The Short-fingered Vulgarian strikes again. Once again, the icky nasty pedophilia implications rear like one specific tiny little head.
In his years as a reality TV boss on “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, according to show insiders who said he rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he’d like to have sex with.
The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 people — former crew members, editors and contestants — who described crass behavior by Trump behind the scenes of the long-running hit show, in which aspiring capitalists were given tasks to perform as they competed for jobs working for him.
The staffers and contestants agreed to recount their experiences as Trump’s behavior toward women has become a core issue in the presidential campaign. Interviewed separately, they gave concurring accounts of inappropriate conduct on the set.
Eight former crew members recalled that he repeatedly made lewd comments about a camerawoman he said had a nice rear, comparing her beauty to that of his daughter, Ivanka.
Of course, Trump’s beauty pageant fetish isn’t limited to Machado. He owned the Miss Teen USA, Miss Universe, and Miss USA pageants from 1996 to 2015—when NBC and Univision severed ties with Trump’s Miss Universe Organization following his derogatory statements against Mexicans in his presidential announcement speech. Trump was ultimately forced to sell his ownership stake in the Miss Universe Organization to WME/IMG.
Trump would, according to testimony by former contestants and audio first obtained by TMZ
, engage in a troubling practice while overseeing the Miss USA pageant. Dubbed “The Trump Rule,” the ex-reality host would oversee a pre-screening of the Miss USA contestants in revealing outfits and play his own personal game of Hot or Not
, dividing the women into groups. He’d then demand that each beauty contestant nameanother
contestant they felt was the most beautiful, and separate the contestants accordingly.
Listen to the audio of Trump implementing “The Trump Rule” here:
So, we did hear something of the Donald’s love of the “genetically superior” via Frontline and one of his biographers a few days ago.
Donald Trump has been accused of believing in the “racehorse theory” of genetics, which claims some people are genetically superior to others.
In an interview for US TV channel PBS, the Republican presidential nominee’s biographer Michael D’Antonio claimed the candidate’s father, Fred Trump, had taught him that the family’s success was genetic.
He said: “The family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development.
“They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”
BostonBoomer forward this little big to me about the possibility that the Donald got his Draft Deferment based on a gene abnormality. This was like from 2011 so it’s not exactly news or new.
Here is the extract of Trump’s Selective Classification record provided to The Smoking Gun following their TSG records request (click for larger image):
What caught my attention was the line labeled “Entries from Remarks Column” that says, simply, “YXX”.
Huh? Would that be YXX as in one extra X chromosome? The condition, called Klinefelter syndrome, is not uncommon–it occurs in somewhere from 0.1% to 0.2% of males. Aside from having an extra X chromosome, these are symptoms of Klinefelter syndrome:
- Abnormal body proportions (long legs, short trunk, shoulder equal to hip size)
- Abnormally large breasts (gynecomastia)
- Sexual problems
- Less than normal amount of pubic, armpit, and facial hair
- Small, firm testicles
- Tall height
Among other things, the syndrome increases ones risk of attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, autoimmune disorders, depression, and learning disabilities (including dyslexia).
So, while I cannot be certain the “YXX” note really means Trump was disqualified because he suffers a chromosomal disorder, it would explain the medical disqualification. And his lousy memory!
Okay, enough of that!!!
Here’s the notorious RBG’s “Advice for Living.” from The New York Times.
Another often-asked question when I speak in public: “Do you have some good advice you might share with us?” Yes, I do. It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day. “In every good marriage,” she counseled, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.
If there’s one endorsement a candidate wants in Ohio it would have to be Basketball great LeBron James. Nothing but net.
I’m so proud of the more than 1,100 students in my Wheels for Education and Akron I PROMISE Network programs. We’re working on year six now, and my kids have big plans for their futures.
A lot of them didn’t think college was for them, but now I hear they want to become things like doctors and business owners. We even have a future astrophysicist. I can’t wait to see how far these kids can go.
I also tell all my kids how important it is that they give back to the community. Because if basketball has taught me anything, it’s that no one achieves greatness alone. And it takes everyone working together to create real change.
When I look at this year’s presidential race, it’s clear which candidate believes the same thing. Only one person running truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty. And when I think about the kinds of policies and ideas the kids in my foundation need from our government, the choice is clear.
That candidate is Hillary Clinton.
From the BBC: Black Monday: Polish women strike against abortion ban.
Women took to the streets of the capital city, Warsaw, in a pro-choice march on what they are calling “Black Monday”.
It is unclear how many women are taking part in the action and how widespread it will be beyond big cities.
Will Poland impose a total ban on abortion?
If the law – which has cleared one parliamentary hurdle so far – goes through it will make Poland’s abortion laws as restrictive as those in two other countries in Europe: Malta and the Vatican.
Women found to have had abortions would be punished with a five-year prison term. Doctors found to have assisted in an abortion would also be liable for jail time.
Abortion is already mostly banned in Poland.
Have a great day! What’s on your reading and blogging list?
And don’t forget to join us for the live blog on the VEEP debate on Tuesday Night!!!
Posted: September 25, 2016 Filed under: Art, History, just because, morning reads, open thread, psychology, science | Tags: Anaïs Nin, Colette, Flannery O’Connor, Miles Aldridge, New York City’s Public Library system, Walt Whitman
Yup it is Sunday…
And I didn’t forget what day it is this time.
While walking into the local Banjoville Walmart, I was stopped by an employee. He was on his way to bring in carts and it was obvious that being a greeter was not among his regular duties. He said, rather forced, “Welcome to Walmart” and then proceeded to ask abruptly, “Is that tattoo on your arm Arabic?”
Now, picture me…in my long Indian brightly printed yellow, pink and red cotton wrap skirt, a plain bold colored maroon t-shirt, with my head wrapped in a magenta flowered batik bandanna. No…I say to the man. That is a Tibetan tattoo. So is this one, I show him my other arm, they are both Sanskrit. “Are you sure that isn’t Arabic?” he says. Yes, I’m positive. It is calligraphy. He continues to insist…”It looks like Arabic to me. I’m certain it is Arabic.” He would not believe me. I had to get a bit confrontational and walk away. The man would not let up.
I felt like saying. Look, you have to be the most idiotic shithead I’ve come across. First off, what are you doing profiling the shoppers of this store? B) Are you that stupid, do you think this bandanna is a Hijab? And second…no…that is not a pressure cooker bomb under my skirt…my ass is just really that big!
Well, it turned out the dude is considered, “Special Needs” but honestly, that “label” could be used as an excuse for most of the populace today. (For what it is worth, to keep repeating the word Arabic, he must get his news from FoxNews?) I still don’t think having a low IQ should mean that folks should get away with all the foul and disgusting things being said (or done) that are completely out of line. Especially when it comes to the shit-stain running for the Republican presidential ticket.
But I refuse to link to anything that con-orange-weave-wearing-asshole has said or done.
Today the links I will share are all related to Reading. Because I cannot take anymore bullshit…I’m just too fucking emotionally drained to do anything else.
Oh, and many of the images are by photographer Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me. | Blog. | The Creative Directory.
First up, take a look at this video: (I’ve embedded the video below, but if you do not see it, click on this link here.)
Rats still inundate major world cities, spreading disease, undermining buildings and generally grossing people out (even though they make great pets).
But thanks to one hardy biologist’s birth-control innovation, perfect harmony could now become reality.
From rats to bullies? Maybe: This is How Literary Fiction Teaches Us to Be Human
Think about every bully you can remember, whether from fiction or real life. What do they all have in common?
For the most part, they don’t read — and if they do, they probably aren’t ingesting much literary fiction.
This isn’t just snobbery, it’s a case that scientists are slowly building as they explore a field called Theory of Mind, described by Science Magazine as “the human capacity to comprehend that other people hold beliefs and desires and that these may differ from one’s own beliefs and desires.” Inan abstract published by the magazine in 2013, researchers found that reading literary fiction led to better results in subjects tested for Theory of Mind. That same year, another study found heightened brain activity in readers of fiction, specifically in the areas related to visualization and understanding language. As Mic explains: “A similar process happens when you envision yourself as a character in a book: You can take on the emotions they are feeling.”
More recently, Trends in Cognitive Sciences reported more findings that link reading and empathy, employing a test called “Mind of the Eyes” in which subjects viewed photographs of strangers’ eyes, describing what they believed that person was thinking or feeling (readers of fiction scored significantly higher). It turns out that the narrative aspect of fiction is key to this response.
Spend some time with that one by reading the rest at the link.
Another article for you, this time on the work of Walt Whitman: The Millions : An Essential Human Respect: Reading Walt Whitman During Troubled Times – The Millions
We live in contentious times. In these frenzied days, it’s worth returning to Walt Whitman’s book of Civil War poetry, Drum-Taps. First published in 1865, Drum-Taps reflects on the confrontation of grand visions and the human costs of realizing them. It suggests the importance of empathy in the face of significant ideological disagreement.
Whitman took the side of the Union, the vision of which played a major role in both his poetic and political thinking. In his original preface to Leaves of Grass, Whitman called the United States “essentially the greatest poem,” and the visionary project of a poet for Whitman involved the creation of a broader fellowship that transcended the conventional boundaries of society. He viewed the United States as a vehicle for this enterprise of fellowship.
In its record of the Civil War, Drum-Taps homes in on the juxtaposition of vision and the flesh, of aspiration and suffering. For all the great ambition of the antebellum United States, it contained great pain, and the carnage of the Civil War painted in red, white, and gangrene the price of maintaining the hope of the Union. Ideas clashed in the Civil War, but men and women bled. Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust’s 2008 study This Republic of Suffering argues that the magnitude of suffering and death during the Civil War sent shockwaves through American culture; the equivalent of over 600,000 war deaths in 1861-1865 would be over 6 million deaths in 2016.
The horror of this legacy of pain influenced Whitman’s life and poetry. His brother George served in the Union army throughout the war, and Whitman himself had a front-row-seat for the carnage of the Civil War during his time as a medical orderly. He spent countless hours comforting the wounded and sick soldiers in Washington D.C. and elsewhere. In an 1863 report, he reflected on visiting the wounded at the capital’s Patent Office, which had been converted to a hospital:
A few weeks ago the vast area of the second story of that noblest of Washington buildings, the Patent Office, was crowded close with rows of sick, badly wounded and dying soldiers. They were placed in three very large apartments. I went there several times. It was a strange, solemn and, with all its features of suffering and death, a sort of fascinating sight.
Whitman attended to that magnitude of suffering in Drum-Taps. In one of his notebooks, he claimed that “the expression of American personality through this war is not to be looked for in the great campaign, & the battle-fights. It is to be looked for…in the hospitals, among the wounded.” In many respects, the poems of Drum-Taps are songs for and of the wounded.
One of the most famous poems of the collection, “The Dresser” (later titled “The Wound-Dresser”), narrates the experience of tending to those injured in battle:
Bearing the bandages, water and sponge,
Straight and swift to my wounded I go,
Where they lie on the ground, after the battle brought in;
Where their priceless blood reddens the grass, the ground;
Or to the rows of the hospital tent, or under the roof’d hospital;
To the long rows of cots, up and down, each side, I return;
To each and all, one after another, I draw near — not one do I miss;
An attendant follows, holding a tray — he carries a refuse pail,
Soon to be fill’d with clotted rags and blood, emptied, and fill’d again.
That refuse pail, ever filling and emptying, implies the seemingly endlessness of tending to bodies and spirits ravaged by war. The figures of these soldiers are sacred and exalted — that “priceless blood” — but still they suffer.
Whitman’s verse does not hide that suffering, or the price it exacts:
From the stump of the arm, the amputated hand,
I undo the clotted lint, remove the slough, wash off the matter and blood;
Back on his pillow the soldier bends, with curv’d neck, and side-falling head;
His eyes are closed, his face is pale, he dares not look on the bloody stump,
And has not yet looked on it.
With grim irony, these lines attend to amputations suffered in the name of preserving the Union. Beyond the specific details of this wound-dressing, we see also the signs of the psychological pain of the amputee, who cannot even bear to look at the site of his dismemberment. In “The Dresser” and elsewhere, the poetic speaker does not profess an ability to end this suffering or nullify the pain of the sufferers. Instead, he can only act as a witness to this suffering.
Please read the rest at the link, this article is written by, E. THOMAS FINAN who teaches at Boston University.
Reading is a form of relaxation for some, a chance to relate to others, but for one woman the form of a book…the place where books are held, the reading room, a library, was something to capture. How One Woman Photographed Every Library in New York | Literary Hub
When architectural photographer Elizabeth Felicella was not working for clients, she spent her free time photographing all 210 branches of New York City’s Public Library system. Five years later, the resulting work, Reading Room, is essentially an enormous catalog of over 2,000 negatives covering libraries in all five boroughs. We chose some of our favorites to feature below…
Through arrangements with each of the library systems, I worked mornings before the branches opened to the public. I traveled by subway and bus and made six to twelve pictures of each branch, interiors and exteriors, using a 4 x 5 inch view camera. My archive, to date, holds over 2,000 negatives.
(photo)New Dorp Branch Library, Staten Island
The library was a generous subject—it served as a rich source for reflection on both the topic at hand and on my work as an architectural photographer. One of Melvil Dewey’s objectives in establishing his decimal system for library classification was to encourage browsing: materials were organized by subject in open stacks so that a reader might encounter a related, but perhaps unknown book, on her trip to the shelf. I identified with Dewey’s reader and adopted “browsing” as a criterion for shooting—a process that might render more or different things than I anticipated.
I borrowed metaphors from the library and began thinking of my photography in terms of reading and writing. The library offered a reprieve from the often strict conventions of architectural photography. Without abandoning my objective of describing each branch in pictures, I took license to shoot in long and short sentences: big, overall views full of tables and chairs, but also plants, bathroom graffiti, pencil sharpeners (a lot of them), magazine covers, people waiting in line outside. No shot list was applied: I photographed what struck me, following tangents, filling out categories that emerged on their own over the course of the project. The richness of the process was the richness of the branches themselves. I found them beautiful, even and sometimes especially the most neglected, with their layers of use, fragments of earlier arrangements, updates, familiar elements, improvisations, accidents, incongruities: in short, places that look something like what everyday thinking feels like.
More pictures at the link….I only put one of the images up here. Be sure to go and look at the others. There is also more to read about the process of the work…
Here is another interesting story for you: Bad Bitches in the Canon
What if Anaïs Nin and Flannery O’Connor had been friends?
“Lila appeared in my life in first grade and immediately impressed me because she was very bad.” -Elena Ferrante, ‘My Brilliant Friend’
The writers Anaïs Nin and Flannery O’Connor both hit milestones in the 1950s: O’Connor won a whole bunch of literary awards, and Nin married her second husband, (twenty years her junior) while still married to her first. The former was thwarted only by lupus, the latter by the IRS, which would not let both husbands claim her on their tax returns. Such is the life of a literary bad bitch.
Nin is famous for her unexpurgated memoir Henry and June, which details her 1931–2 sexual obsession with the American writer Henry Miller and, now and then, his wife June (who appears in the flesh for about two paragraphs). About three fucks out of every ten thousand, Henry and/or Anaïs wonders if they’re together because they cannot be with June. She is the parmesan to their pasta — what O’Connor, in her letters, would spell as cheeze — but never the main dish. Nin’s memoir should have been titled Henry and…Where’d she go? NY? Oh well. As for O’Connor, well, even Esquire lists her on their predominantly male must-read list. She’s right up there — a few spots ahead of Henry Miller.
The funny thing is, Anaïs Nin is not on that list, even though she was all over Henry Miller. Most people — and by ‘most people,’ I mean ‘most woefully inexperienced freshman English majors,’ by which I mean ‘myself, once’ — read Anaïs Nin to learn how artists love, if not how to be an artist in love. And then they go into therapy.
Ah, that should give you enough to go and finish it off on your own.
And yet, I have one last link for you, yes…it is another literary themed article.
A Beginning, Not a Decline: Colette on the Splendor of Autumn and the Autumn of Life – Brain Pickings
In praise of “the gaiety of those who have nothing more to lose and so excel at giving.”
The weather has seeded our earliest myths, inspired some of our greatest art, and even affects the way we think. In our divisive culture, where sharped-edged differences continue to fragment our unity, it is often the sole common ground for people bound by time and place — as we move through the seasons, we weather the whims of the weather together.
Of the four seasons, autumn is by far the most paradoxical. Wedged between an equinox and a solstice, it moors us to cosmic rhythms of deep time and at the same time envelops us in the palpable immediacy of its warm afternoon breeze, its evening chill, its unmistakable scentscape. It is a season considered temperate, but one often tempestuous in its sudden storms and ecstatic echoes of summer heat. We call it “fall” with the wistfulness of loss as we watch leaves and ripe fruit drop to the ground, but it is also the season of abundance, of labor coming to fruition in harvest.
The peculiar pleasures and paradoxes of autumn are what the great French writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (January 28, 1873–August 3, 1954), better known as Colette, explores in a portion of Earthly Paradise: An Autobiography of Colette Drawn from Her Lifetime Writings (public library) — the posthumously published, out-of-print treasure that gave us her abiding wisdom on writing, withstanding criticism, and the obsessive-compulsiveness of creative work.
Recounting an essay assignment from her schoolgirl days, Colette writes in the autumn of her life:
It has always remained in my memory, this note written with red ink in the margin of a French composition. I was eleven or twelve years old. In thirty lines I had stated that I could not agree with those who called the autumn a decline, and that I, for my part, referred to it as a beginning. Doubtless my opinion on the matter, which has not changed, had been badly expressed, and what I wanted to say what that this vast autumn, so imperceptibly hatched, issuing from the long days of June, was something I perceived by subtle signs, and especially with the aid of the most animal of my senses, which is my sense of smell. But a young girl of twelve rarely has at her disposal a vocabulary worthy of expressing what she thinks and feels. As the price of not having chosen the dappled spring and its nests, I was given a rather low mark.
She considers how autumn haunts the other seasons and signals its superior splendor:
The rage to grow, the passion to flower begin to fade in nature at the end of June. The universal green has by then grown darker, the brows of the woods take on the color of fields of eel grass in shallow seas. In the garden, the rose alone, governed more by man than by season, together with certain great poppies and some aconites, continues the spring and lends its character to the summer.
Depths of dark greenery, illusion of stability, incautious promise of duration! We gaze at these things and say: “Now this is really summer.” But at that moment, as in a windless dawn there sometimes floats an imperceptible humidity, a circle of vapor betraying by its presence in a field the subterranean stream beneath, just so, predicted by a bird, by a wormy apple with a hectically illuminated skin, by a smell of burning twigs, of mushrooms and of half-dried mud, the autumn at that moment steals unseen through the impassive summer…
Even a child cannot respond to everything. But its antennae quiver at the slightest signal.
Of course there is much more at the link, so be sure to read the rest of that thread…I know that you can’t resist it.
That is all for this first Sunday of Autumn in 2016.
This is an open thread.
Posted: September 24, 2016 Filed under: just because, morning reads | Tags: Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture
The first direct morning sun paints the Washington Monument a shade of red near the Smithsonian Institute”s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Jahi Chikwendiu
I’m devoting this post to articles about the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened this morning. I think we all need rest from the campaign and the endless advice on how Hillary should behave at Monday night’s debate.
The Chicago Tribune: New Smithsonian museum chronicling black history opens: ‘It’s absolutely breathtaking.’
Centuries of struggles and strife, decades of planning and pain, and years of hoping for a place that African-American history can call home will culminate as President Barack Obama officially opens the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
A shining bronze beacon on the National Mall, only steps away from a monument dedicated to a slaveholder president, the new Smithsonian will chronicle the complex relationship between the United States and a people it once enslaved, and tell the story of those who worked to make the necessary changes to bring the country to where it is today.
Ida B. Wells
“It doesn’t gauze up some bygone era or avoid uncomfortable truths,” Obama said in his weekly radio and internet talk. “Rather, it embraces the patriotic recognition that America is a constant work in progress, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is within our collective power to align this nation with the high ideals of our founding.” ….
Ground was broken for the new museum in 2012 on a five-acre tract near the Washington Monument after a decades-long push for an African-American museum on the National Mall. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, a longtime civil rights icon, worked with then-Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas to usher legislation through Congress, and President George W. Bush signed into law the bill that allowed the museum to move forward.
Construction was completed earlier this year on the 400,000-square-foot museum designed by British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye. The museum strikes a unique shape on the Mall with its three-tiered bronze exterior panels inspired by an African wooden column. The patterned bronze colored tiles are inspired by 19th century ironwork created by slaves in the South, and allow sunlight into the museum through patterned openings.
Inside, museum officials say they have nearly 3,000 items occupying 85,000 square feet of exhibition space including exhibits like a Tuskegee Airmen training plane and the casket of Emmett Till, a murdered African-American boy whose death helped rally the civil rights movement.
“It’s been 100 years in the making. So many people have dreamed about this fought for this and wanted this to happen,” said U.S. Circuit Judge Robert L. Wilkins, who wrote the book “Long Road to Hard Truth” about the struggle to get the museum open. “It’s going to be a testament to their work and a testament to so many of our ancestors that this museum will open on the Mall.”
The Twin Cities Pioneer Press has a wonderful collection of photos museum exhibits.
As a child in St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood in the 1950s, there were few places Marvin Anderson could learn about African American history.
“You grew up knowing more about European history than you do about your own history,” Anderson said. “African American history was neglected — either though ignorance or through suppression.”
But with the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday in Washington, D.C., his grandchildren will have access to that history.
“A museum that’s constructed to preserve and interpret the contributions and accomplishments of the African American community means a lot to me as a person,” Anderson said. “And it will mean a lot to my grandchildren.”
The Washington Post: African American Museum opening: ‘This place is more than a building. It is a dream come true.’
More than 100 years after it was first proposed and 13 years after it was authorized by Congress, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opens today in Washington.
“There were some who said it couldn’t happen, who said ‘you can’t do it,’ but we did it,” said Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who led the charge to make the museum a reality. “This place is more than a building. It is a dream come true.”
The long-awaited moment is being heralded by a weekend of celebrations across the city, in what the museum director Lonnie Bunch has called a “mini inauguration.” The most anticipated event is the grand opening ceremony on the National Mall, which is being broadcast on C-SPAN and streamed online, including at washingtonpost.com. More than 7,000 official guests heard speeches from Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and former president George W. Bush, who signed the 2003 bill that authorized the museum….
Since the day Obama presided over the museum’s groundbreaking in 2012, an impressive 400,000 square foot structure has been built in the shadow of the Washington Monument. Serving as home to more than36,000 artifacts, the museum exists to both memorialize and educate, and most importantly to museum director Bunch, cement the African American story’s place in the American story.
Jonathan Capehart: Lonnie Bunch: Even if you’re white, ‘the story of slavery is still your story.’
“This is a story that is too big to be in the hands of one community,” saidLonnie Bunch. “It really is the story that has shaped us all.”
That story is that of African Americans. And on this weekend of the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the seventh episode of “Cape Up” is my conversation with its founding director Lonnie Bunch. The stunning structure on the Mall is the physical manifestation of a multi-decade effort that kicked into high gear in 2005 when Bunch, a former Smithsonian curator who was president of the Chicago Historical Society, was tapped to helm the effort.
In 2003, President George W. Bush signed the bill that made the national African American history museum a legal reality. But that was the easy part.
“The biggest part of this job was to make people believe that this could happen. But what it really meant was that I had to find ways to believe it. And to take risks,” Bunch told me at the museum last week. “For example, when we did the groundbreaking, we didn’t have all the money. So what I did is, well, let’s make the hole anyway because I knew that Congress wouldn’t let a hole stand next to the Washington monument.” ….
“We went around the country, stole the idea from ‘Antique Roadshow,’ asked people to bring out their stuff. We didn’t take it,” Bunch explained. “We helped them preserve grandma’s old shawl, that wonderful 19th-century photograph. But what happened was that people get excited and they’d say, ‘Well do you want it?’ And we would say, ‘Give it to local museums first.’ Then if it was really significant it came back to D.C.”
Smithsonian.com: The New Exhibition on Black Music Could Give Other Museums a Run for Their Money.
Music is so much a part of black America, it pops up all over the vast new National Museum of African American History and Culture. From Harriet Tubman’s modest hymnal of spirituals to Sly Stone’s signed Fender Rhodes keyboard and Public Enemy’s boom box that helps close the 20th-century cultural history, there’s no separating the importance of music from the history on hand.
But when one arrives at the entry to the fourth floor “Musical Crossroads” exhibition, heralded by the sparkly red finish on Chuck Berry’s Cadillac, the futuristic fantasy of the Parliament-Funkadelic mothership replica, and Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour fedora, it is as if entering its own inclusive African-American Music History Museum.
And inclusive it is—with displays on African music imported by the enslaved to this country, devotional music that helped bind black communities against all odds, gospel, minstrel music, ragtime, jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, rock ’n’ roll, hip-hop and EDM. Yes, and some country stars of color as well.
One of the challenges of opening the Smithsonian’s newest major museum was acquiring its contents from scratch. Sure, the nearby National Museum of American History already had a lot of artifacts, from Scott Joplin sheet music to Dizzy Gillespie’s B-flat trumpet.
The Root: Emmett Till’s Casket Is ‘One of Our Most Sacred Objects’ at African-American History Museum.
Curating for a museum is no doubt a difficult job, and one of the more difficult decisions that Lonnie Bunch III—founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture—remembers grappling with was whether to include the casket that once held the brutalized remains of Emmett Till.
“I remember struggling with, ‘Should we collect that?’” Bunch said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Even after he accepted the donation of Till’s casket by Till’s family after his remains had been exhumed and reinterred, Bunch wondered if it was “too ghoulish” to include in an exhibit.
Nonetheless, Bunch decided to move forward with the idea, saying that it was essential to explore stories such as that of Till—the Chicago teen who was brutally murdered for whistling at a white woman while visiting family in Mississippi—in order to represent the full story of the African-American experience.
“You couldn’t tell the story of the African-American experience without wrestling with difficult issues, without creating those moments where people have to ponder the pain of slavery, segregation or racial violence,” Bunch said.
Smithsonian.com: Two Hungry Reporters Dig Into the Sweet Home Café at the African American History Museum.
When the National Museum of African American History and Culture hosted a soft opening, we came hungry. The museum, more than 100 years in the making, brimmed with treasures. Untold stories and famous tales burst to life through artifacts in the exhibitions. But we headed straight down the museum’s magnificent central staircase to the below-ground Sweet Home Café. We were on assignment to report on the food. And reader, we did.
The 12,000-square foot café is divided into four stations
, which honor the geographic regions of African-American culture—the North States, Agricultural South, Creole Coast and Western Range. We sampled from each, stuffing ourselves with the rich offerings, Georgia shrimp and Anson Mills stone ground grits, slow-cooked collards and cornbread sticks, empanadas heaped with black eye peas, golden corn and chanterelles, not to mention Johnston County sweet potato pie. What we couldn’t eat, we shamelessly snuck home in our purses—paper napkins lovingly protected a Wild Turkey pecan pie and the remains of a BBQ buffalo brisket sandwich.
To eat the food at the Sweet Home Café is to take a bite out of history—an authenticity of ingredients and culinary skill passed down and reinterpreted by generations of black home cooks and gourmet chefs around the country. This food has been shaped by regional cuisine and distinctive cultures, but also by history, something impossible to be forgotten when you see the counters and stools lining two walls of the 400-seat cafe, recalling the Greensboro sit-ins in North Carolina and the brave civil rights activists that sat down to peacefully protest Woolworth’s white’s-only lunch counter service in 1960. While we eat, images and quotes from historical and modern black voices are the backdrop, from the towering image of the Greensboro Four to a quote by Michael W. Twitty, who pens the food blog Afroculinaria.
“Our food is our flag…it sits at the intersection of the South, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America,” he writes.
I know there’s plenty of other news out there, but I hope you’ll take the time to dive into one of these great articles. Of course this is an open thread, so please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread.
Posted: September 22, 2016 Filed under: just because
Only a few more days till the first presidential debate of 2016, and the campaign is just getting crazier and crazier. Yesterday Donald Trump admitted that he’s still a a birther. Kevin Drum:
Ben Garbarek, a local news reporter in Toledo, asked Donald Trump today what it was that changed his mind about President Obama’s birthplace:
BG: This announcement earlier this week with you saying that you believe President Obama was in fact born in the United States, after all the years where you’ve expressed some doubt, what changed?
Trump: Well I just wanted to get on with, I wanted to get on with the campaign. A lot of people were asking me questions. We want to talk about jobs. We want to talk about the military. We want to talk about ISIS and get rid of ISIS. We want to talk about bringing jobs back to this area because you’ve been decimated so we just wanted to get back on the subject of jobs, military, taking care of our vets, etc.
Just as everyone suspected, Trump made his insulting, half-assed statement that Obama was born in the U.S. because he was hoping to just move on from his 5-year campaign against President Obama’s character and identity. If this isn’t a question in the debate, we’ll know that Lester Holt–who has been outed as a registered Republican–is biased in favor of Trump.
Yesterday, Buzz Feed published an amazing old radio interview with Trump by Laura Ingraham: Trump In Crazy 2011 Interview: “I’m Very Proud” To Be A Birther.
When Ingraham asks Trump in the interview about Gov. Tim Pawlenty saying he believed Obama is a US citizen, Trump replied, “He doesn’t want to be labeled as a birther probably.”
“I’m proud to be,” he said. “I’m very proud of it. I’m very proud of it. I don’t like the term. I think it’s a demeaning term to the people that believe he should have a birth certificate. Some people believe he was not born in this country.
“And when people ask me that question, I just can’t be sure because nobody knows. How about when his family is arguing over what hospital? You know his family members are arguing over which hospital. Then he writes that letter, supposedly to a hospital, and in the letter he puts a cute little sentence — ’the place of my birth’—and the doctors didn’t even know about it. There’s something very strange going on here.”
Earlier in the interview, Trump discussed the possibility that President Obama might not want to release his birth certificate because it might list him as a Muslim.
“He doesn’t have a birth certificate, or if he does, there’s something on that certificate that’s very bad for him,” Trump said. “Somebody told me — and I have no idea whether this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be — that, where it says religion, it might have Muslim. And if you’re a Muslim, you don’t change your religion, by the way. But somebody said maybe that’s the reason why he doesn’t want to show it. I don’t think so. I just don’t think he has a birth certificate, and everybody has a birth certificate.” ….
And there’s this bit of insanity:
“Now, you know, when I hear he took an ad in the paper, his parents, these are poor people,” Trump said. “When did you ever hear of anybody taking an ad in the paper? I see so much fraud in this world. An ad like that could have been staged. I don’t mean staged at the time. I mean could have been computer-generated five years ago, eight years ago, two years ago. It could have been computer-generated.”
I guess to Trump middle-class folks like Obama’s grandparents are “poor people.”
We’ve seen the stupidity of many Trump supporters, but this one takes the cake: A Trump campaign chair in Ohio says there was ‘no racism’ before Obama. The Guardian:
Donald Trump’s campaign chair in a prominent Ohio county has claimed there was “no racism” during the 1960s and said black people who have not succeeded over the past half-century only have themselves to blame.
Kathy Miller, who is white and chair of the Republican nominee’s campaign in Mahoning County, made the remarks during a taped interview with the Guardian’s Anywhere but Washington series of election videos.
“If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault. You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you,” she said.
“You’ve had the same schools everybody else went to. You had benefits to go to college that white kids didn’t have. You had all the advantages and didn’t take advantage of it. It’s not our fault, certainly.”
Miller also called the Black Lives Matter movement “a stupid waste of time” and said lower voter turnout among African Americans could be related to “the way they’re raised”.
Now that’s deplorable, but not all that surprising. After all, Trump himself said on Tuesday that “African-Americans are in their worst shape ‘ever, ever, ever'” I guess he never heard of slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow. Sopan Deb at CBS News:
KENANSVILLE, N.C. — Donald Trump made another eyebrow-raising comment in his efforts to speak to the African-American community Tuesday, telling a rally in North Carolina that blacks in the United States are in their worst shape “ever, ever, ever.”
“We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before,” Trump told the crowd. “Ever, ever, ever.”
Trump’s comments came in a town named for a slaveowner’s family: Kenansville was founded in the early 1800s and the Kenan family, according to the town’s website, owned “20 to 50 slaves.” As he has done in other recent speeches, Trump compared inner city shootings to war-torn countries like Afghanistan.
“You take a look at the inner cities: You get no education. You get no jobs. You get shot walking down the street,” he said.
“They’re worse, I mean honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities.”
Then yesterday afternoon, Trump taped a “town hall meeting” on “African American issues” hosted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity. The audience appeared to be made up entirely of white people. Cleveland.com: Donald Trump calls for expansion of ‘stop-and-frisk’ on ‘Hannity’ Fox News taping in Cleveland Heights.
“I see what’s going on here, I see what’s going on in Chicago,” Trump said, according to a preview video posted on FoxNews.com. “I think stop-and-frisk, in New York City, it was so incredible the way it worked. And, we had a very good mayor. But New York City was incredible the way that worked. So I think that would be one step you could do.”
“Stop-and-frisk” refers to a policy of stopping and searching pedestrians under the theory that it may help police find guns and other weapons, and get them off the street. Opponents question its effectiveness, and say stop-and-frisk is demeaning, and disproportionately targets minorities. A New York federal judge in 2013 declared it unconstitutional.
Bill de Blasio successfully ran for mayor of New York City in 2013 on a platform that involved abandoning stop-and-frisk. Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed unsuccessfully pushed for its implementation in Cleveland in 2014. Other cities that have implemented stop-and-frisk — and later agreed to limit its use — include Chicago and Newark, New Jersey.
The legal basis for stop-and-frisk stems from a 1963 case from Cleveland — Terry v. Ohio — that eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorney Louis Stokes, who later became a congressman, argued on behalf of John W. Terry, who was stopped by a Cleveland police officer while standing on a street corner in front of a jewelry store at 1276 Euclid Avenue.
To top it all off, Trump said on Fox and Friends this morning that his federal stop and frisk policy will consist of police officers taking guns away from black people. DailyKos:
FOX AND FRIENDS: will you explain what that is to my folks down in South Carolina that don’t really deal with stop and frisk? What exactly is it and what are the pros and cons?
TRUMP: Well, there are different levels. and you have somebody coming up who is the expert on it but basically they will—if they see, you know, they are proactive and if they see a person possibly with a gun or they think may have a gun, they will see the person and they will look and they will take the gun away. They will stop, they will frisk, and they will take the gun away and they won’t have anything to shoot with. I mean, how it’s not being used in Chicago is—to be honest with you, it’s a quite unbelievable, and you know the police, the local police, they know who has a gun, who shouldn’t be having a gun. They understand that.
History shows that blacks and Hispanics are primarily the people who get stopped and frisked, and Trump knows it.
Meanwhile, the good news is that Hillary Clinton is doing much better in the polls this week. NBC News:
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump by six points among likely voters heading into the first presidential debate on Monday, according to a brand-new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
The survey – which was conducted after Clinton’s return to the campaign trail following her bout with pneumonia – shows a bigger advantage for the secretary of state than did polls taken during the heightened scrutiny of her health….
“Despite arguably the worst few weeks of her candidacy, the fundamentals still point toward a Hillary Clinton victory,” says Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.
McInturff adds, “Donald Trump has closed the margin since August, but as we head towards the debate, still needs to push this campaign closer. The good news for him is the electorate narrowly agrees with him that America has lost ground and wants to see a change in direction.”
In a four-way horserace, Clinton gets support from 43 percent of likely voters and Trump gets 37 percent, while Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is at 9 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein is at 3 percent.
And the best news of all: Barack Obama is coming and he’s fired up! Bloomberg: Obama Throws Himself Into 2016 Race Hellbent on Clinton Victory.
Barack Obama is about to launch a presidential campaign blitz for Hillary Clinton unprecedented in the modern era, pledging a dramatic commitment of time and resources to a contest he now unabashedly frames as a referendum on his personal and political prestige.
Obama plans to devote at least one to two days each week in October to campaign for Clinton through rallies, targeted radio and television interviews, social media outreach and fundraising, said an adviser who requested anonymity.
In addition, the president’s aides have told the Clinton campaign he would be willing to appear in television ads for her. His wife, Michelle, has already cut radio, online and TV ads for the Democratic nominee, another aide said, also requesting anonymity to discuss internal planning.
Obama’s involvement comes at a critical time, with enthusiasm for Clinton lagging behind support for Obama among the young people and minorities who helped power him to the presidency. At the start of the campaign, Clinton’s camp once questioned how closely to embrace Obama but now her aides are eager to have his help.
“From the beginning, we have been interested to have him out there as often as they can spare him between now and November,” said Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon. “As we get closer to the finish line, there’s no one better to help make the closing argument than President Obama.”
I’ll end with a couple of fun videos.
The Dali Lama makes fun of Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton appears on Funny or Die’s “Between Two Ferns.”
What stories are you following today?
Posted: September 20, 2016 Filed under: just because
As usual I’ve been having a difficult time figuring out where to begin my post. Then I saw the new story by David Farenthold at The Washington Post. This one has to be the story of the day: Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems.
Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.
Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.
In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the size of a flagpole.
In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.
In another case, court papers say one of Trump’s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiff’s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records.
The other expenditures involved smaller amounts. In 2013, Trump used $5,000 from the foundation to buy advertisements touting his chain of hotels in programs for three events organized by a D.C. preservation group. And in 2014, Trump spent $10,000 of the foundation’s money for a portrait of himself bought at a charity fundraiser.
Or, rather, another portrait of himself.
Yes, that was in addition to the $20,000 Trump spent on a six-foot tall portrait of himself. Read many more details at the link.
Next up, Donald Trump Jr. provides evidence that white supremacy is at the core of the Trump campaign. Yesterday Jr. tweeted this message:
It turns out that this is a well-known white supremacist meme. They used to use M&M’s but switched to Skittles after George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin.
Philip Bump at The Washington Post explains the mathematical fallacy behind Junior’s tweet: Donald Trump Jr. inadvertently encourages America to scoop up refugees by the handful.
If there were a bowl of delicious fruitish-flavored Skittles in front of you and three would kill you, you should not pick up a handful and start eating. That would be a very, very bad idea.
This idea easily scales downward. If you had a carton of eggs and three of the eggs were poisonous, you should absolutely not eat from that carton. If I give you three cookies and all three are poisonous, again: Avoid! I am actively trying to kill you for some reason, perhaps because you are bad at math.
The problem for Donald J. Trump, Jr. is that scaling it the other way doesn’t work as well — and that’s why the part in blue doesn’t apply.
So let’s figure out what the analogy is. The libertarian (and Koch brothers-backed) think tank Cato Institute published a report last week assessingthe risk posed by refugees. That report stated that, each year, the risk to an American of being killed by a refugee in a terror attack is 1 in 3.64 billion, as Huffington Post’s Elise Foley noted on Twitter. From the report:
From 1975 through 2015, the annual chance that an American would be murdered in a terrorist attack carried out by a foreign-born terrorist was 1 in 3,609,709. Foreigners on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks, whereas those on other tourist visas killed 1 in 3.9 million a year. The chance that an American would be killed in a terrorist attack committed by a refugee was 1 in 3.64 billion a year.
In other words, for every 10.92 billion years that Americans live — one Skittle, if you will — refugees will kill an American in a terror attack in three.
There’s more logic at the the link, but the real story here is that Donald Trump Jr. gets his news from Brietbart and probably other white supremacist sources.
The Washington Post editorial board is again excoriating Trump: Birtherism is Donald Trump’s Big Lie.
WHAT DONALD TRUMP popularized as a Big Lie — the birther myth about President Obama — is now a shibboleth among his followers and many Republicans. It matters not a whit that Mr. Trump has finally, for blatant political purposes, admitted that the president was born in the United States; large numbers of his partisans, and of Republicans generally, still don’t believe Mr. Obama has a legitimate claim to the office he has held for nearly eight years.
Birtherism, a hoax perpetrated on Americans, is proof positive of the enduring efficacy of the Big Lie, the proposition that people will sooner believe a monumental falsehood than a trivial one, especially if it is repeated often enough. The cost of such a hoax is not only to the truth but also to the democratic process, which is rendered ridiculous by the ensuing debate. Mr. Trump has revealed his own facility with fraud and deceit, and he has also exposed how vulnerable democracy is when confronted with a charlatan-celebrity, bereft of principles and willing to say anything to grab headlines.
The cancer of corruption perpetuated by Mr. Trump’s dazzling dishonesty has infected not only his campaign but also the Republican Party, which falls in line, sheeplike, to defend his every lie.
Now Mr. Trump says falsely that Hillary Clinton was the originator of birtherism? GOP officials say so, too. Now Mr. Trump claims credit for putting to rest an “issue” he himself perpetuated? GOP officials say so, too. No pronouncement is too preposterous for Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and the party’s other unscrupulous grandees.
Read the rest at the WaPo.
Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon
How does Trump get away with it? Dakinikat sent me this explanation from CNBC: Why Trump gets away with huge lies and Clinton gets trashed for little fibs.
…why is Trump getting a pass from the voters? No it’s not because Trump is a man and Clinton is a woman. No, it’s not because some powerful media types secretly want Trump to win. You’ll start to find the real answer when you learn a simple legal rule that boasts a rare combination of enforcing free market fairness and understanding human nature. It’s called “puffing,” and that is the official term that legally protects salespeople and businesses from making boastful claims about their products and services that no one really expects to be provable by empirical facts. Legal protections for puffing are the reasons why you can’t sue Snapple for saying it’s made from the “best stuff on Earth,” or go after Budweiser for calling itself the “king of beers.” You get it, right?
And when it comes to puffing, nobody has done it more and for longer in the public than Donald J. Trump. Every hotel he builds is the most elegant, every golf course the most beautiful and challenging, and every contestant on “The Apprentice” had a 200 I.Q. Trump’s natural state is building up his brand and properties in a way that would make a used car salesman blush. The public is used to it and accepts it just as we accept that used car salesman boasting about the 2005 SUV he’s pushing. If we ever get angry at that boasting salesman, it’s only after that car breaks down. Otherwise, we believe we look like nitpicking maniacs to quibble over every conceited claim.
The voters are giving Trump much of the same kind of a pass for the same reasons. And Trump is helping achieve this result by making sure he maintains his salesman’s image for as long as possible at every public appearance and interview.
Okay, but I don’t buy that this has nothing to do with sexism or the long history of the media viciously attacking Hillary for every tiny “misstep.”
Police around the country are still shooting and killing black boys and men, but somehow they avoided killing terror suspect Amad Khan Rahami and they often do the same when they shoot at white people. It’s just heartbreaking that cops in Columbus Ohio felt the need to kill a 13-year-old boy who was only 5 feet tall and weight less than 100 pounds as he tried to run away from them. Just look at the photo of him in this story in The National Memo:
Tyre King, the 13-year-old African-American boy recently killed by police in Columbus, Ohio, was running away when he was fatally struck by several bullets, according to an independent medical examiner hired by the child’s family. Attorneys representing the family said Monday his loved ones were not allowed to view King’s body on the night of his death and will be forced to wait six to eight weeks for official autopsy results.
The King family hired Francisco J. Diaz, a practicing medical examiner in Wayne County, Michigan, to look into the death. Diaz determined the boy was shot three times. The bullets entered through the left side of his body, any of which could have been the fatal shot. King was struck in his left temple, his left collarbone and in his left flank. King was said to be reaching for a BB gun in his waistband when he was shot three times.
Tulsa police shot and killed an unarmed man with his hands in the air:
In footage filmed from a police helicopter, Terence Crutcher, 40, can be seen slowly walking from the edge of a street north of Tulsa toward his vehicle, which authorities said had been reported abandoned at 7:36 p.m. (8:36 p.m. ET) and left running in the middle of the road.
For several seconds, an officer follows Crutcher from behind with a gun trained on him. Three more officers then converge on the scene as Crutcher lowers his hands and approaches his SUV. While standing beside the driver’s side door, he suddenly drops to the street. Moments later, blood can be seen saturating his white t-shirt.
The Tulsa Police Department also released dash-cam video of the incident. NBC News:
During a news conference Monday, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said that Officer Tyler Turnbough tasered Crutcher, and a second officer, Betty Shelby, fired at him after telling a dispatcher “that she’s not having cooperation from” Crutcher.
Hillary Clinton reacted the clearly unjustified shooting: Policy Mic:
Hillary Clinton expressed outrage over the video released Monday showing police shooting and killing Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man who was stranded in the road after his car broke down, saying incidents like this one are “intolerable.”
Clinton made the comments on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Harvey’s radio show, Tuesday morning.
“How many times do we have to see this in our country?” Clinton said, according to a transcript published by CNN’s Dan Merica. “In Tulsa, an unarmed man with his hands in the air. This is just unbearable. And it needs to be intolerable.”
She went on to say that white Americans need to combat the “implicit bias” that’s led to incidents like Crutcher’s death.
She also said that she personally appeal to white Americans, saying “this is not who we are” and we need to work to end bias in policing.
I’ll add some more links in the comment thread. What stories are you following today?