Porn. It is bad. Dirty. UnChristianlike. Sinful. A darn public health crisis! Well, at least the Republican Party declared it so earlier this month during their draft party platform meeting earlier this month. CNN reports that North Carolina delegate Mary Frances Forrester , aka Ms. Prude, proposed this amendment while clutching her pearls and waving a… Continue Reading →
Fascism has been working itself into the American arena for a couple of decades now. Like a lot of people, I prefer to think it can’t happen here — but I know that’s not true. We’re uncomfortably close these days.
And last night’s chants of “Lock her up!” at the RNC made that clear. We are now at the point in our political discourse where Democrats are not just opponents, they are enemies. They are criminals.
Josh Marshall, who trained as a historian and recognizes historical patterns, wrote:
This is not a disagreement about a matter of law: it is a demand for vengeance and punishment, one rooted in the pathologies of the current Trumpite right and inevitably to some extent about the fact that Clinton is a woman. If you have a chance, rewatch the speeches by Rudy Giuliani or even more ret. Lt. Gen Michael Flynn. These are not normal convention speeches. It is only a small skip and a jump to the state legislator in West Virginia who demanded Clinton be executed by hanging on the National Mall. In such a climate, don’t fool yourself: worse can happen.’
This is the way authoritarians think, to be sure. And the Trump Party is authoritarian through and through. But this sloganeering about how Clinton belongs in jail is sadly not confined to the right. There is an element of the left which consistently says the same thing, at least if my social media feeds are any example, with certain members of my own tribe calling for Clinton to be dragged off in chains for … well, the crimes don’t really matter.
I know most of you aren’t watching the Republican convention. God knows, I wouldn’t if I didn’t have to. But I have to tell you, there’s something really disturbing going on out there. I am actually afraid for my country — and maybe my own physical safety.
Look at the plagiarism story. I don’t think Trump is actually trying to gaslight us with his obvious lies — it’s about breaking the standards of national dialogue. It’s about eroding our collective will to fight against his lies, and bending it to his. I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve read with reporters who admit they’re too afraid of what the Trump organization will do to them if they aggressively question him.
This is how totalitarianism worms its way in.
And this is why, for all these years, I have fought the media narratives. Whether it’s pushed by individuals or groups, false narratives are destructive to a democracy. And if we lose that, what do we have left?
Jane Mayer has once again written the must-read article of the 2016 election season, this time about Tony Schwartz, the writer who ghost-wrote Trump’s Art of the Deal. It is a chilling, devastating and revealing interview. Here’s a taste, but just read the whole thing. “I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a… Continue Reading →
Says he should have called it “Art of the Sociopath.”
So it seems Trump used to listen in on his resort guests’ private phone calls. Creepy, yes?
New Study Shows What Americans Think About Our Racial Divide…And Who Republicans Blame A study released on Monday by the Pew Research Center offers keen – and often disheartening – insight into how Americans perceive race across the country in 2016, where racism is believed to exist and the impact that President Barack Obama has had… Continue Reading →
This is an excellent piece from McClatchy, and lines us with what I already suspected. I don’t believe the Orlando shooter was a terrorist, but our national ADD makes us want easy answers to everything:
Focusing on extremist ideology as the driver of radicalization, rather than as the end result, is often misleading and even dangerous, according to experts who’ve studied the backgrounds of violent jihadists.
“It can make us less safe. It means that we’re missing a really important conversation about all the other drivers, and all the other complexities that we might be able to address,” saidQuintan Wiktorowicz, a former White House senior adviser on countering violent extremism who’s now a managing partner of Affinis Labs, a Virginia-based startup incubator whose projects include apps to combat radical messaging.
A reporter for The New York Times posted more than 150 numbered tweets related to the Islamic State angle; prominent Washington policy figures implored her to stop, given the many unknowns in the case. Cable news channels splashed Arizona Sen. John McCain’s statements that President Barack Obama was “directly responsible” for the Orlando killings because of his policies toward the Islamic State – with little discussion of the weaknesses of such a charge.
Continue Reading →
Well, this is an interesting twist that makes the whole “terrorism” explanation a little less plausible and a hate crime explanation just a bit more solid. Omar Mateen, the shooter, apparently frequented the Pulse nightclub several times ahead of the shooting. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Mateen had visited Pulse at least a dozen times, a… Continue Reading →
He seems nice!
Remember when the Trump co-chair in New Hampshire was indicted for his participation in the Malheur Refuge takeover and the media all pretended it didn’t happen? Well, here’s a Trump delegate, indicted for possession of child pornography, a machine gun, and explosives. The Department of Justice reports that Maryland resident Caleb Bailey, age 30, was indicted… Continue Reading →
As a friend told me once, “We black folks are the experts on white machinations. We’ve seen it all before. You think we haven’t heard ‘wait your turn,’ or ‘you’ll hurt your cause’ before? We’ve heard and seen it all. Liberals think a position paper should mean something to us. They think appointing a black woman as press secretary means something to us. You think we are fooled by a black shield. What we know is this. We weren’t invited to be on his staff. Hell, we weren’t even invited to his table. We see whites feed off each other’s privilege, which is the status quo. We see white progressives as part of and supportive of the status quo.”
Suddenly we white folks are concerned about the manners of the black activists as we sit at our computers or with phone or tablet in hand offering criticism, which, of course, is for their own good. White bloggers and pundits, along with most of us social media types, have weighed in with our critiques of the behavior of Black Lives Matter activists. Some of us go so far as to search out quotes by black bloggers and pundits critical of BLM, even though we never cared before about their opinions.
I’ll offer my advice, for what it’s worth. White folks, don’t get your feelings hurt because all you ever see are videos or articles about bad cops committing horrific acts. Don’t say 95% of cops are good guys and gals. BLM isn’t about good vs bad cops, in my opinion. The movement is trying to change a corrupt and incestuous justice system that hires, harbors, and protects racists at the cost of black lives. A system that we white folks may not have actively put into place or nurtured, but we’ve helped it thrive by our apathy and inaction. And it’s not just the justice system either. Racism thrives in educational and banking and housing institutions along with every other part of American society.
Settle down. Calm down. Black Lives Matter isn’t about your feelings or my feelings. So what if Black Twitter poked fun at us for our Cecil love. Save your indignation for the institutions that oppress minorities. We have no right to criticize the BLM activists when we enable the very institutions that oppress them. So what if they rudely disrupted Bernie Sanders. If he can’t handle that, he has no business running for President. And whatever you do, don’t tell black folks you won’t support their cause if they don’t do such and such. You know why? Because we are not supporting their cause. We are watching from the sidelines.
And please remember that we have the privilege of being normal: walking down a street, driving a car, and going shopping without being harassed or worse. Our kids are likely to graduate from school without a mark on their record. We can live any place we can afford; in fact, a lot us don’t even know what red lining means. We don’t have to teach our children how to avoid getting shot by a government agent. It’s highly unlikely our 15 and 16 year olds will be thrown into and left in a prison like Rikers for years without charges ever being filed. White privilege is getting to be normal. My guess is that’s what black folks would like, too–just to have the privilege of normalcy.