Posted: November 12, 2016 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Winter is coming
I’m feeling even worse this morning than I did yesterday. I woke up in fear, my heart pounding. I’ve been reading a lot this morning, but I’m not ready to do a real post. I just can’t. I hope you guys can fill in for me a bit for now. I’ll try my best to write something later today. I can’t guarantee anything though.
I’m not giving up, but I’m going through an emotional reaction that could take some time. I’ve said before that it feels like a death in the family. It’s similar to how I felt when my father died, but in some ways it’s worse. My dad lived a long and productive life. His time came and he went quickly. This could mean the death of democracy, the death of everything we hold dear, everything that made the U.S. a place of hope, despite its many serious flaws.
I wish all of you the best today. I love you all and care about you. I’ll definitely be back later, but right now I need to take care of myself as best I can.
He tells her that the Earth is flat—
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.
The planet goes on being round.
This is an open thread.
Posted: November 11, 2016 Filed under: 2016 elections | Tags: Elections have consequences
It’s Veterans Day.
Many of us have family who fought against fascism and white nationalism back in the day. I’m sure none of them thought it possible for a man brandishing these viewpoints and values to be headed to the White House. I’m not sure what the Greatest Generation would say to us about undoing all their sacrifice and by putting a man as President whose idea of sacrifice is taking his Daddy’s money and building stuff but I’m sure it wouldn’t be particularly flattering. We’re about to see the Constitution challenged in way that hasn’t occurred since the Civil War. Prepare for a war in the courts.
This is my daddy who I sorely miss. He’s been gone just over two years now. He was a Vet of WW2. He served in the US Army Air Corps and once his squadron was led by Captain Jimmy Stewart. Imagine hearing that voice over your com! Remember all those movies and bond drives to make sure that Europe was free from Fascism and that we would never see them here?
Daddy was a bombardier who flew out of Ipswich in England. He bombed targets between Belgium and Germany so Allied forces could advance into Berlin. He was on many missions where few planes returned to England. He was my hero on many levels.
My father fought fascism. I’m glad in some way that he didn’t live to see a Fascist in the White House. He knew first hand the cost of white nationalism.
It costs dearly. This Veteran’s Day I keep a special thought for the Khans. I know Memorial Day is for Gold star families but it’s still the day to thank all our Vets. I certainly hope we can hold on to our Constitution and to our laws out of respect for their sacrifices.
I have a list of attacks on minorities of all sorts for you. In the last three day, we have numerous reports of children crying and afraid to go to school. We’ve had reports of verbal assaults and attacks on Muslims, African Americans, Jewish people, women, and Hispanics. The North Carolina KKK will be holding a parade to celebrate the election of their glorious leader to President. Damascus is happy. The Russians are ebullient. The Chinese are pleased. The OIC countries are threatening to remove their embassies from this country should Trump follow through with his promise to move the US Embassy to Israel into Jerusalem.
Multiple TRIGGER WARNINGS:
Ohio: Racist graffiti, swastikas mar Clintonville in night
Women Rush To Get Long-Acting Birth Control After Trump Wins
Minnesota: Secret Service probing van’s violent, vulgar message aimed at Clinton on I-94
Maple Grove School Investigating Racist, Pro-Trump Graffiti
North Carolina: Downtown Durham graffiti takes aim at black voters
A rash of racist attacks have broken out in the US after Donald Trump’s victory
It is not an external enemy that has done this.
Pence has promised Dobson that the first rights to be removed will be those of GLBT. We’ve already had physical attacks and verbal abuse of gays over the last 3 days.
During an interview with James Dobson, host of the wildly homophobic Focus on the Family, Mike Pence assured his interviewer and his supporters that any progress made toward protecting LGBTQ rights under President Obama will be swiftly undone under President Trump. Issue by issue, he asserted over and over again a plan to marginalize and invalidate an entire group of citizens whom he is about to lead as vice-president.
Remember President Obama issuing orders to protect transgender citizens from being exposed to transphobia, hatred, and violence in public restrooms inside schools and federal buildings? Those protections are over.
I’ve got many more examples, but I think you can see that this is turning ugly.
Has any other election brought us to a situation where children are afraid to go to their schools and are crying about it?
Here is an article by Bill Moyers I thought I would share. It’s titled: Farewell, America. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently.
We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone. In its absence, we may realize just how imperative that politesse was. It is the way we managed to coexist.
If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: “He says the things I’m thinking.” That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool’s paradise. Now we aren’t.
This country has survived a civil war, two world wars, and a great depression. There are many who say we will survive this, too. Maybe we will, but we won’t survive unscathed. We know too much about each other to heal. No more can we pretend that we are exceptional or good or progressive or united. We are none of those things. Nor can we pretend that democracy works and that elections have more or less happy endings. Democracy only functions when its participants abide by certain conventions, certain codes of conduct and a respect for the process.
The virus that kills democracy is extremism because extremism disables those codes. Republicans have disrespected the process for decades. They have regarded any Democratic president as illegitimate. They have proudly boasted of preventing popularly elected Democrats from effecting policy and have asserted that only Republicans have the right to determine the nation’s course. They have worked tirelessly to make sure that the government cannot govern and to redefine the purpose of government as prevention rather than effectuation. In short, they haven’t believed in democracy for a long time, and the media never called them out on it.
Democracy can’t cope with extremism.
I wish I could say that things will get easier or better from here on out. That maybe the Fascist in waiting will rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the list of cabinet suggestions. It’s Orwellian. They’re some of the biggest fattest cats of all the Washington insiders. There’s also plenty of crazy to go around. I’m trying to put this information to you in links so you can see it if you want. I’m sticking to the broader theme of why I am very despondent and very full of fear. I have the right skin costume albeit the wrong reproductive parts. There are neighbors, friends, colleagues and family that will be very much threatened.
The callous notes that bother me the most are the ones that tell me that maybe this all will work it. It reminds me of the people that kept saying that awful campaign was going to look more presidential. Not.GOING.to.HAPPEN.
I’ve turned off the TV. I may watch a few escape programs but I cannot under any circumstances deal with TV News. I have, however, found out that pool reporters are being denied access all over the place. Amazon stock has taken a hit on the market because Jeff Bezos own WaPo and President elect Trump has threatened revenge.
There are all kinds of protests out there still. There are all kinds of petitions. The problem is that none of it will work. Only the type of organization and movement led by Dr. King with folks of total discipline and manner and in it for the long run are going to make a difference. Now is the time to organize. Now is the time to steel the nerves of Democratic Congress Critters. Now is the time to stop any Vichy-style collaborators. After all, the Democrats received none for 8 long years.
I agree with Joseph Cannon. It is time to mount The White Rose Society for our country.
I can only heal right now.
Take care and I love you all.
Discuss whatever among st yourselves.
Posted: November 10, 2016 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics
Trump Tower AKA Mount Doom
The light is fading; the darkness is rising. We are on the precipice of a national tragedy, a global cataclysm. We must take time to mourn and then gird ourselves for political battles. Young people are our hope for the future now. We must support them and use what wisdom we have to help and guide them. This is the what the electoral map would have looked like if only voters aged 18-25 had voted.
I’m not capable of writing much today. It feels like a death in the family. I woke up this morning and for a moment everything seemed normal. And then I remember the horror that has befallen our beloved country. At least there were people out in the streets protesting in cities around the country.
On the Boston Common:
Berkeley High school students on the UC Berkeley campus:
In New York City:
Outside Trump Tower in Chicago:
And in many other places.
This morning I talked to my brother on the phone and we both cried. I’m so fearful for my nephews, but I’m determined to do anything in my power to protect and support them. Yesterday an old friend called me to see if I was OK. She was sobbing. It’s going to take some time to process what has happened and figure out how to react to it. But I refuse to give up. I will keep writing on this blog and I’ll try to find some ways to volunteer and/or donate to help others.
I’m going to post a bunch of links and let you decide which ones you want to click on. Every time I think about posting excerpts I have a huge amount of resistance because I don’t to traumatize myself or anyone else with unwanted information. Dakinikat suggested that I post this letter from Aaron Sorkin to his wife and daughter, so here it is. I haven’t even read it yet, but I trust Dak’s judgment.
Well the world changed late last night in a way I couldn’t protect us from. That’s a terrible feeling for a father. I won’t sugarcoat it—this is truly horrible. It’s hardly the first time my candidate didn’t win (in fact it’s the sixth time) but it is the first time that a thoroughly incompetent pig with dangerous ideas, a serious psychiatric disorder, no knowledge of the world and no curiosity to learn has.
And it wasn’t just Donald Trump who won last night—it was his supporters too. The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons. Angry young white men who think rap music and Cinco de Mayo are a threat to their way of life (or are the reason for their way of life) have been given cause to celebrate. Men who have no right to call themselves that and who think that women who aspire to more than looking hot are shrill, ugly, and otherwise worthy of our scorn rather than our admiration struck a blow for misogynistic shitheads everywhere. Hate was given hope. Abject dumbness was glamorized as being “the fresh voice of an outsider” who’s going to “shake things up.” (Did anyone bother to ask how? Is he going to re-arrange the chairs in the Roosevelt Room?) For the next four years, the President of the United States, the same office held by Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., J.F.K. and Barack Obama, will be held by a man-boy who’ll spend his hours exacting Twitter vengeance against all who criticize him (and those numbers will be legion). We’ve embarrassed ourselves in front of our children and the world.
And the world took no time to react. The Dow futures dropped 700 points overnight. Economists are predicting a deep and prolonged recession. Our NATO allies are in a state of legitimate fear. And speaking of fear, Muslim-Americans, Mexican-Americans and African-Americans are shaking in their shoes. And we’d be right to note that many of Donald Trump’s fans are not fans of Jews. On the other hand, there is a party going on at ISIS headquarters. What wouldn’t we give to trade this small fraction of a man for Richard Nixon right now?
So what do we do?
First of all, we remember that we’re not alone. A hundred million people in America and a billion more around the world feel exactly the same way we do.
Second, we get out of bed. The Trumpsters want to see people like us (Jewish, “coastal elites,” educated, socially progressive, Hollywood…) sobbing and wailing and talking about moving to Canada. I won’t give them that and neither will you. Here’s what we’ll do…
Read the rest at Vanity Fair.
People participate in a protest against the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in New York, New York, USA, 09 November 2016. EPA/ALBA VIGARAY
Here’s one more from Garrison Keillor at the WaPo: Trump voters will not like what happens next.
So he won. The nation takes a deep breath. Raw ego and proud illiteracy have won out, and a severely learning-disabled man with a real character problem will be president. We are so exhausted from thinking about this election, millions of people will take up leaf-raking and garage cleaning with intense pleasure. We liberal elitists are wrecks. The Trumpers had a whale of a good time, waving their signs, jeering at the media, beating up protesters, chanting “Lock her up” — we elitists just stood and clapped. Nobody chanted “Stronger Together.” It just doesn’t chant.
The Trumpers never expected their guy to actually win the thing, and that’s their problem now. They wanted only to whoop and yell, boo at the H-word, wear profane T-shirts, maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple of six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls. It was pleasure enough for them just to know that they were driving us wild with dismay — by “us,” I mean librarians, children’s authors, yoga practitioners, Unitarians, bird-watchers, people who make their own pasta, opera-goers, the grammar police, people who keep books on their shelves, that bunch. The Trumpers exulted in knowing we were tearing our hair out. They had our number, like a bratty kid who knows exactly how to make you grit your teeth and froth at the mouth.
Alas for the Trump voters, the disasters he will bring on this country will fall more heavily on them than anyone else. The uneducated white males who elected him are the vulnerable ones, and they will not like what happens next.
To all the patronizing B.S. we’ve read about Trump expressing the white working-class’s displacement and loss of the American Dream, I say, “Feh!” — go put your head under cold water. Resentment is no excuse for bald-faced stupidity. America is still the land where the waitress’s kids can grow up to become physicists and novelists and pediatricians, but it helps a lot if the waitress and her husband encourage good habits and the ambition to use your God-given talents and the kids aren’t plugged into electronics day and night. Whooping it up for the candidate of cruelty and ignorance does less than nothing for your kids.
We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long, brisk walk and smell the roses.
Read more at the WaPo. Revenge will not be so sweet for those of us who aren’t as wealthy as Keillor, but it will still be interesting to see the Republicans try to deal with their madman and watch the yahoos come to their rude awakening. But it’s a good piece and it gets better, so do read on at the WaPo link.
And just one more from fantasy novelist Saladin Ahmed: Fantasy and the Real World.
Let me tell you a few stories
Story #1: After years of abuse at the hands his foster family, a talented British boy escapes to private school, which holds challenges of its own.
Story #2: A small group of agents from several nations works to destroy a powerful weapon of mass destruction before it falls into the hands of the enemy.
Story #3: Terrifying creatures, neither women nor men, lurk near the privies, waiting to snatch unsuspecting children and turn them into similar creatures.
Story #4: Savages stand poised to destroy the Eagle Republic. Traitors threaten it from within. Only the Orange Man and his Great Southern Wall can protect us.
Which of these stories is fantasy? Which is a story from the real world? Which of them is “true?” Stories 1 and 2 are of course ‘real world’-toned descriptions of Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings, respectively. On the other hand, stories 3 and 4 are fantasies that millions of American voters have accepted as accurate descriptions of the real world around them. All of these fantasies have the power to shape not only our own realities, but the real lives of millions of other human beings….
Despite the best efforts of those who insist that we somehow –magically, one might say– keep politics out of the stories we tell, our fantasies are, inevitably, shaped by the world around us. And, perhaps more to the point, the world around us is shaped by stories. The stories we choose to live by, the fantasies we choose to believe in, matter.
“Why should a man be scorned,” Tolkien once wrote, “if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?” Fantasy provides us a noble escape from an imprisoning world, he reminds us, and we must not “confuse the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter.”
That escape, however, is always temporary. Eventually we are dragged, kicking and screaming, back to prison. What then? “The night is dark and full of terrors,” George RR Martin writes, and at its best fantasy is not only an escape from those terrors but a bulwark against them. Magic glasses that help us recognize and counter the bad fantasies at work in the world around us. The best fantasies offer us true and beautiful stories that do battle with the ugly fever dreams of the real world.
UT students block bridge in Austin, TX
More headlines in no particular order.
WaPo: Moscow had contacts with Trump team during campaign, Russian diplomat says.
Charles Blow: America Elects a Bigot.
Daily Beast: Team Trump Struggling to Fill National-Security Jobs.
Reuters: Trump due in court before Oval Office.
Here’s a weird one: Trump Win Dashes Dreams of UFO Disclosure.
Politico: President-elect Trump invites British prime minister for a visit.
NYT: World Is About to Find Out What Donald Trump Really Believes.
NYT: Trump Rides a Wave of Fury That May Damage Global Prosperity.
Linda Greenhouse: The Choice Confronting the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice.
Nieman Lab: The forces that drove this election’s media failure are likely to get worse.
Buzzfeed: Secretary Of Education Ben Carson? Here’s A List Of Potential Trump Cabinet Picks.
The New Yorker: Hillary’s Powerful Concession.
Market Watch: Siemens warns wave of populism threatens business.
CNN: Mexico stunned by election of Donald Trump.
The Economist: What does Donald Trump’s victory mean for the world?
Reuters: Tough reality check for Trump’s pledge of better heartland jobs, wages.
NYT: On Late Night, Comedians Grapple With Trump’s Victory.
If you want to, please share how you are doing after this incredible shock to our political and cultural systems; and post any other comments and links you want in the comment thread. Courage Sky Dancers!
Posted: November 9, 2016 Filed under: just because
I’ve nothing to say.
Patton Oswalt Sums Up Election Night In One Tweet | Huffington Post
Unfortunately, Oswalt has a point. After taking a step in the right direction eight years ago by electing its first black president, America is now uncomfortably close to voting into office a man who not only earned the support of the nation’s white supremacists, but was recorded saying he could grab women “by the p***y” because he’s famous.
‘Whitelash Against a Black President’: Van Jones Blows Up Over Election Results | Mediaite
CNN’s Van Jones had a pretty grim take (to put it mildly) on the results showing a likely Donald Trump presidency.
“People have talked about a miracle. I’m hearing about a nightmare,” he said. “It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bully.’ You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bigot.’ You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared.’ And then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of ‘How do I explain this to my children?’”
He said that there are Muslims and immigrant families out there who are “terrified tonight.”
And then he made this declaration:
“This was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president, in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes. And Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people who he insulted and offended and brushed aside.”
Video at the link.
What are we going to do?
What is to become of us?
This is an open thread.
Posted: November 9, 2016 Filed under: U.S. Politics
Sorry about this. I’m not a in a very good mood right now. I’m trying to figure out what to do next. I’m in a pretty precarious situation and I can’t afford to lose my Social Security and Medicare. My living situation is up in the air too. I may have to leave most of my belongings behind and move in with my mother in Indiana.
I just can’t believe this is happening. My dream of a woman president looked as if it was about to be realized, and instead we may end up with a psychopathic sexual predator doing his personal business out of the White House. A psychopath who is a willing puppet of Vladimir Putin. Thanks to Jim Comey. Thanks to the FBI, Thanks to the fucking assholes in the media who spent 600 days obsessing about emails and let Trump get away with not releasing his taxes. Thanks to CNN for hiring all those idiotic Trump surrogates to trash Hillary.
Hillary technically could still pull this out, but it’s not looking good. NATO is massing troops in Eastern Europe, the stock market is crashing, and all those people who voted for Trump are going to lose whatever retirement funds they had along with their health care. But they don’t care, because they wanted hate to win.
This is an open thread.