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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

No fly, no buy?



There is one item that is going to get overlooked in the course of the debates, though it really grabbed my attention. Trump and all the flat out and very easily debunked lies and inflammatory speech coming out of his mouth kind of make it nearly impossible to examine the stances and policies in a serious way. When one candidate keeps saying how proud he is of himself, that he has a winning temperament and ignores the issue and serious questions, the other falls into the trap of responding to this and explaining why he shouldn't be proud, why his temperament is losing rather than having an informative policy discussion describing what the policies are and how they are different. Clinton actually did manage to squeeze policy in there, which was impressive. I mean if she'd have dutifully stuck to the questions as much as I wanted, though, it'd have looked as though she were ignoring him and that's probably not good debate etiquette- not to mention grounds for another round of robot and other conspiracy theories.

Conservatives get up in arms about a 'no fly no buy' requirement because it is a limit on guns and they are against all gun control. Some will even admit some Americans are on it for no reason and we shouldn't limit their right to guns. Liberals worry that using this watchlist criteria for gun control will lead to easy curtailing of other rights with no warning or justification like the right to assemble and the right against unreasonable searches. See:  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2016/06/hillary_clinton_is_wrong_about_the_terror_watch_list.html


and

https://www.aclu.org/blog/washington-markup/use-error-prone-and-unfair-watchlists-not-way-regulate-guns-america

The key here is that it is faulty and that while yes, we need to do more in the way of gun control, it seems the danger is less from terrorists buying guns from dealers that follow these rules than say improved background checks and mental health screening (and care, but that needs more time and space to discuss) and other safety measures.

Clinton's unqualified mention of no fly really rankled me in the debate. I'm all for gun control and even working with people who like guns to make sure it's sensible even though I personally have no use for them, but using the no fly list seems utterly screwy for anyone concerned about civil liberties.

Like I said, I'm all for gun control, but using the no fly list is a bit like using stop and frisk and racial profiling and calling it fair and the most successful programs to date. And she did a great job railing against stop and frisk! She should have used the opportunity to go after the no fly list and called for greater care with civil liberties while increasing gun safety. 


This article is old, but it's a favorite site:
http://www.juancole.com/2015/12/riddled-errors-impossible.html


I don't like Hillary in this area, I think she falls far short, maybe she's trying to win over some moderate Republicans or something with some of her not so progressive stances. It annoys me to no end though. I liked Bernie because he aimed high. You kind of know you aren't going to achieve that in our system, but WHAT IF you could? Plus, in a candidate, I want to know your ideal, your optimal set of policies, not this watered down what do I think we can accomplish and how do we water it down even more to bring on Republicans so we can say we're bipartisan and go down in history as loved and successful in both parties. But this is what we're stuck with. 

This is a theory that could help untangle the seemingly contradictory arguments on both sides:

http://www.salon.com/2016/06/23/everyone_calm_down_the_no_fly_no_buy_bill_was_designed_to_embarrass_republicans_not_to_pass_and_its_working/

Friday, September 23, 2016

Deplorable memes



I've been seeing a lot of disturbing memes after the Charlotte shooting. So sad. People's reactions often deepen the sadness. I expect more from folks than this.

I am reminded of this and hope I can do something equally constructive with my disgust for civilization.



“Where do I get my ideas from? You might as well have asked that of Beethoven. He was goofing around in Germany like everybody else, and all of a sudden this stuff came gushing out of him. It was music. I was goofing around like everybody else in Indiana, and all of a sudden stuff came gushing out. It was disgust with civilization.” (Vonnegut)

So some claim there's no racism because they don't experience it - and when people call BS on that they say- hey, we're all ONE race, human. Nice thought for sure, but NOT reality, we still have much work to do before that is true on the ground. Saying this IS reality is that same old- racism doesn't happen anymore- line. It's a good goal, but conservatives are using coded language again for- I don't see or experience racism, therefore it doesn't happen. I agree that there SHOULD be one race and we SHOULD be living in a post-racial society, but we have work to do.

I mean, saying there's one race seems like an encouraging positive thing, right? But then the rest of the posts surrounding this are- 'I support cops not criminals (unarmed black men)'- 'no Quran in schools, send refugees home'- 'Hillary calls cops deplorable (did that even happen??) but look at these Hillary supporters' (referring to photo of riot)- 'If you follow officers orders, you won't get shot' (. . . ). 



So, you see, we get a different idea of what that phrase REALLY means. A little more bleak.

There's another meme- the photo is a cop, a lawyer, and what they want you to see as a criminal in court, all black, the text- 3 men in 3 different positions In America, color doesn't define your future, your choices do. JUST. NO. WAY. I don't know that I have the words to go into all the issues there and I sure don't have the experience of being black in America, but I know that is all kinds of false. (To clarify. . . some are going to deliberately not see my point, here . . . Not all false, of course, choices do matter, but the point is obviously that there is more to it than that, access to opportunity, living near the poverty line, discrimination and a host of other issues at play, it is most DEFINITELY NOT only just about CHOICES you make.)



And the last item, all the hoping and praying for Charlotte things I've seen, they are nice sentiments , but just won't effect change. This ties in with the point I made about Israel and Palestine when Netanyahu was trying to say that Israel wasn't in the wrong, in fact Palestinians were the ones doing the ethnic cleansing.

Like with Israel and Palestine, thinking people KNOW what the problem is and maybe have ideas to make it better, but the majority aren't willing to do what is necessary to address the sources of inequality that stops the resulting hopelessness that finds expression in violence. Until then, that's what we can expect. More violence. No peace without justice. The Pope quoted there also talked about forgiveness, but justice and addressing those causes is the only way to start down the road where you can hope for peace and be able to forgive. No one can forgive anything that isn't at least acknowledged (and that hopefully this translates to redress or restitution). Any effective dialogues and reconciliation and such won't come before that.

I tire quickly of hearing the word "dialogue." Maybe that is where people will find the answer- addressing the causes and not the effects, but experience and reading some of these dialogues doesn't bear that out. Dialogue when I read it means- oh both sides are wrong, we all need to work together, hope, peace, love. Mostly good things, but clearly NOT addressing the problems that will make the difference.

I don't know what it's like to be black in America, but I want to be an ally, part of the solution. Yes, this is internal dialogue and as such mostly crap, so take it as you wish.


_____________________________________
Edit, Jan 2017 on being black in America:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2014/12/04/the-exhausting-task-of-being-black-in-america/19894223/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HjkfzVuyGk

***

Deplorables- given how Hillary's criticism took off as a point of pride. . . 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2016/09/10/clintons-got-data-supporting-that-basket-of-deplorables/#6a70efa53391

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2016/10/proud-be-deplorable


Friday, September 16, 2016

Gymnastics sexual assault cases

A lot of cases of sexual abuse of gymnasts at the hands of coaches and a team doctor are being reported now. It's sad to know there are so many, but encouraging to see everyone coming forward out of the shadows where they were once relegated to get justice for themselves and to make it easier for girls in the future. 

One (one?? one of MANY) thing bothered me in both Tennessee Watson's case and the Jane Doe from the 2000 Olympic team's case. No one seems to be connecting the dots or really talking about this, but in both situations, the accused was also involved in a program helping kids with autism or disabilities. At first I thought- not that one is better than the other- he might be trying to atone in some way for what he did to other girls, but what makes more sense is depending on the situation, the child might be, sadly, an easier target. I wonder if this a pattern in these cases, preying on more vulnerable kids while looking like a saint in the eyes of the general public for donating their time even though they are famous coaches of elite gymnasts.

*** *** ***

I think this was the story that led me to the podcasts where Tennessee Watson told her story:
http://www.npr.org/2016/08/14/489964163/usa-gymnastics-and-the-history-of-child-sex-abuse

This is Watson's story on The Heart, a four part series:
http://www.theheartradio.org/silent-evidence/nottherighttime

And this is her story on the Reveal podcast:
https://www.revealnews.org/episodes/dropped-and-dismissed-child-sex-abuse-lost-in-the-system/
https://www.revealnews.org/article/justice-isnt-always-done-for-child-sexual-abuse-i-know-firsthand/


*** *** ***

In this recent case I heard about the other day, 2 girls, now women, are accusing the team doctor, Dr. Nassar of various inappropriate behaviors, one being "intravaginal adjustment" for the HIPS. ?!?!
http://olympics.nbcsports.com/2016/09/13/usa-gymnastics-doctor-sex-abuse-larry-nassar/

This link has more details and pervy video of some of his doctoring techniques:
http://heavy.com/news/2016/09/larry-nassar-us-gymnastics-gymnast-medalist-sexual-abuse-lawsuit-rachael-denhollander-photos-facebook-youtube-videos-michigan/



Blaming the victims



There has been a trend lately by Israel of victim blaming. First we have this attempt to call opposition to illegal Jewish settlements built on Palestinian land ethnic cleansing of Jews. They want to distract people from the facts on the ground that Israel is continuing to steal land while agreeing to a two state solution and trying to *squeeze Palestinian citizens of Israel out in a very real ethnic cleansing attempt in the way of house demolitions, inferior education, building permits and other laws while saying it is a democracy.

* http://imeu.org/article/discrimination-against-palestinian-citizens-of-israel


Just this week, I heard of two more similar attempts at trying to turn the tables and change public opinion on who is in the wrong. Now, who is wrong, the oppressor or the oppressed is rarely a thing one needs to examine in very much depth, but in this situation, people get very, very confused. That first accusation was especially absurd given the gravity of the charge and the fact that Israel itself is actually guilty of ethnic cleansing.

These next two items are along the lines of criminalizing dissent among occupied Palestinians (and Palestinian citizens of Israel) and cultural expression, punishing the natural result of decades of injustice and brutal/lethal/illegal subjugation instead of simply addressing the cause and ENDING THE OCCUPATION. Attacking the effects of a bloody occupation and endless military campaigns, strangling and starving an entire population under your control is backwards and will never bring peace. No amount of military operations will get rid of the hate and violence and dissent without removing the injustice.


Now this about Facebook being compliant and willing to accommodate Israel's demands is troublesome due to what we know they consider incitement and offense. Their ethnic cleansing Israel as a state for Jews and land theft in Palestinian territory IS NOT incitement, but opposition to illegal settlements IS incitement and deemed ethnic cleansing. . . 

Facebook Is Collaborating With the Israeli Government to Determine What Should Be Censored

Notably, Israel was represented in this meeting with Facebook by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, an extremist by all measures who has previously said she does not believe in a Palestinian state. Shaked has “proposed legislation that seeks to force social networks to remove content that Israel considers to be incitement,” and recently boasted that Facebook is already extremely compliant with Israeli censorship demands: “Over the past four months Israel submitted 158 requests to Facebook to remove inciting content,” she said, and Facebook has accepted those requests in 95 percent of the cases.

 Granted, Israel could be blowing smoke like any dictatorship, saying that they will be backed in this outrageous measure when they actually have very little or zero support, but they should still be called out on it until they are made to address the cause of the problems- OCCUPATION and its associated ills.


And the next one is about dolls. DOLLS! Dolls are causing Palestinians to not be docile little occupied sheep that don't complain when you flatten their neighborhood or attempt to starve them wholesale.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/dolls-defend-palestinian-culture-160626101353550.html

Criminalizing the culture, making sure they feel as though they don't belong anywhere. That is Israel's crime and the true incitement, denying a person's right to exist.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Equality Warrior's Middle East Peace

Photo source- Facebook, unknown author



The last post was about Netanyahu's childish response to being called out. The world is finally taking notice of the fact that he is occupying land and illegally encouraging Israeli Jews to move there, which would be theft, instead of providing for the existing population as the Geneva Convention requires. What's a guy to do when called out on the world stage? Admit wrongdoing and begin reconciliation and reparations? NOPE! Why do that when you can say, NO, I'm not ethnic cleansing, YOU'RE ethnic cleansing! So there! Isn't that convincing? So this is very obviously trying to reclaim some victimhood status or to somehow occupy the status of both oppressor and victim at the same time. It's the same thing Israel's always done, just a new level of absurdity.

There is another tactic people use when they want to see above the fray- equality, They want to say all parties are bad. Both Republicans and Democrats are equally as bad. You know, I don't follow the Middle East conflicts, but both sides are just as bad. Why don't both stop with the violence and hatred? Peace in the Middle East! In fact, there's a song by Matisyahu, One Day, that makes me think about this argument. I realize a song is supposed to be dreamy and not meant to be an instruction manual on how to achieve peace, but it always makes me think of this thing people say that is really pointless and to repeat American officials "unhelpful"- but BOTH sides are just as bad, how can you blame only one or require only Israel to do this or that?

Here's some of it:

All my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
For the people to say
That we don't wanna fight no more
There will be no more wars
And our children will play

One day this all will change
Treat people the same
Stop with the violence
Down with the hate
Stop with the violence
Down with the hate

 I hear people around me so often say that they personally aren't taking sides, they believe both to be at fault, they both need to stop the violence and hate. But this is like having a broken arm and wishing the pain would just go away. Even if you could magically hit the reset button on the pain in the arm or violence and hate in the conflict, these are EFFECTS, and addressing them without fixing the main cause of the malady gets you nowhere, the effects will return and you shouldn't be shocked. It's pointless to talk about peace if you're unwilling to talk about ending the occupation, right of return, equality, compensation -JUSTICE. Everyone wants to ask why do they hate each other, why is there so much violence, but no one wants to look past yesterday and state the historically obvious -hold Israel accountable for its criminal and inhumane activities. End the occupation. Address the cause for once, don't have talks about having talks about talking about how to end violence!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Netanyahu claims illegal settlers are being ethnically cleansed from stolen land




Netanyahu is now claiming opposition to illegal West Bank settlements is ethnic cleansing. This Al-Jazeera article goes into what he really means by this and how he specifically equated Palestinian citizens of Israel that the right wing has been unable to truly ethnically cleanse (or force out by severe discrimination) and illegal settlers who have been given support of their state to build on Palestinian property, thereby stealing more land.

If, as Netanyahu claims, "societies that demand ethnic cleansing don't pursue peace", what does that say about Israel, a state founded on the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948?

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/09/israel-aims-redefine-ethnic-cleansing-160912083447943.html



Ha'aretz is said to be much much more liberal in the English version than the Hebrew, though I cannot verify that myself. The headline is great though! Netanyahu's claim of 'Ethnic Cleansing' Sets a Guiness Record For Chutzpah. There is added Israeli perspective there that he may be talking crazy to divert attention away from building a railroad on Shabbat. This article recognizes the absurdity, though I don't know that this is the consensus in Israel. . .

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.741275


Reuters is giving us the US response, some would say unusually strong. Inappropriate and unhelpful? A verbal reprimand, a statement of the obvious without calling their unhelpfulness by it's name, a violation of international law and demanding any corrective action or compensation?? That is rough? Oh, and they did question Israel's long term goals and the possibility that Israel's policy can lead to unlimited expansion. Ya THINK?!?! But instead of a thank you, Captain Obvious, we get cries of anti-semitism.

At the end of the article, we are assured that this is only a tone change, not a policy change and so what we just said makes no difference whatsoever to anything or anyone. We are still as ineffective and biased as ever. U-S-A! Go us. 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-idUSKCN11F2UB


And this blog as always is great:
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/09/netanyahus-cleansing-department/

Lots of quotes from the State Department, it's interesting, if meaningless. More facts than ever are stated outright, which is nice, though nothing more than pandering to Israel will be done, as usual.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Trump and the baby. . .and nukes


I had some thoughts when I heard this reported, but upon further research, it may well be nothing. Who knows. With Trump making gaffe after gaffe and Trump being his entitled self, it seemed entirely plausible that he'd have a baby kicked out of a rally.


Here's a link. It should have video and some details:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/watch-donald-trump-throw-crying-baby-out-of-rally-w432269

So of course Trump denied it, which is also typical- but he may actually be telling the truth this time. So says the Washington Post. And why would they lie? He's barred them from a rally before.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/08/06/trumps-right-he-didnt-kick-a-baby-out-of-a-campaign-rally/

He's barred not only them, but protesters too of course:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/04/politics/donald-trump-protests-constitution/

old, but, take their coats?!  http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/265172-trump-tells-security-to-confiscate-protesters-coats

http://gawker.com/black-lives-matter-protesters-violently-thrown-out-of-t-1763066858

So, Trump may be telling the truth. Apparently, he starts by saying he loves babies, what a baby, and it's young and beautiful and that's what we want- a lot of weird stuff, albeit mostly complimentary. Then the mother makes the decision to take the crying baby out anyway and he very subtly jokes that of course he wants that baby out of here and "I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I'm speaking." I think there's a good case for being confused if he's just using this opportunity to say what he thinks again, though it's rude and lacking empathy and maturity or if he really is joking. It appears that he didn't throw someone out this time. If you just heard audio, it was damning.

Since there's a good chance he's not joking with his last comments-he does have a history of throwing people out and saying outrageously insensitive, racist and misogynistic things, I'll say what I thought before an internet search cast some doubt on his intentions.

Before I had a chance to look anything up, I was listening to Radio Dispatch, the Aug 5, 2016 show and they brought up some very good points. I don't want to take credit for those, though I agree.

http://www.theradiodispatch.com/2016/08/show-notes-for-todays-episode-8516/

They talked about this cruel phenomenon, common in middle school I remember personally, where a guy will ask you what you like, you tell him and then he tells you you're stupid for liking this hobby, band, book, movie, etc. Or when caught in a behavior that is rude or immature, the person will switch to hey, I was only joking, and then you don't know if that's true or not. It still feels cruel. This incident kind of felt like that, but that's par for the course. Trump's entire run is pockmarked by these immature, racist, or misogynistic gaffes and odd statements that he vomits out with no apparent control whatsoever. The fact that this one may not be true doesn't erase his many other examples of things we all can't believe he said out loud.

My thought when I heard about this fight with a baby was that he lacks self control in a rally FOR him- when poo hits the fan, we're all going to get covered in it. I mean if he can't even fake baby kissing empathy in a friendly atmosphere like most politicians, what kind of tantrum or firestorm will he unleash when he is actually under stress?! I wonder that regardless of whether this particular incident is true or not.


Shall we talk about the nukes now?? Yes? Ok.
We are all familiar with Trump's temperament. We can and have been talking about whether this will lend itself well to the presidency and diplomacy and all of the work the job ent
ails.

He wants to know why we don't use them if we make them, wouldn't take them off the table, and doesn't seem to understand why we don't use them? Really?!?! How can you

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/08/04/3804985/7-terrifying-things-donald-trump-publicly-said-nuclear-weapons/


http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/03/trump-asks-why-us-cant-use-nukes-msnbcs-joe-scarborough-reports.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-disqualifying_us_57a22e86e4b04414d1f2ffc5

Monday, August 1, 2016

the pro-Trump argument. . .


Ran across this. The Facebook feed is not a place you want to be from here til November.

To The “Never Trumper”- A Biblical Case For Trump

https://lastchanceamerica.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/to-the-never-trumper-a-biblical-case-for-trump/


The title itself is enough to get you chuckling, I'm sure. We all thought this was a joke, a funny blip in the history of failed presidential candidacies. Now that the dust has settled, we see there actually are people who want a racist fascist misogynistic narcissist blowhard in power. There are various reasons, apparently. I could not for the life of me figure out why this election in particular would not simply be about who is qualified, period, so I've been reading. 

So the reasoning goes- ignore the misogyny, his tweets, his racism and narcissism and egomania- these are the media's inventions!! They essentially take Trump's way out- just say it, don't provide any evidence or support for your claim and IT IS SO. Whether it is or not. Reality be damned. People will believe you. Not kidding. Look at Trump.

One of the first things that caught my eye was an argument I've put to my Republican friends when they insist sins must be legislated or that one must vote Republican/Christian/capitalist/pro-gun/pro-fetus/anti-gay rights/anti-equality/anti-welfare to be a real Christian. It gave me a laugh to see a Republican arguing this. Bookmark this and save it for next time!


"  “But Trump is NOT for us!” you object, “his essence oozes the opposite of Christian values!” I would first ask you to remember that we are NOT electing Trump to a sacred or ecclesiastical office. We are electing him to apolitical office. If this was a question of placing Trump in charge of my church or Christian organization, you would have to hogtie and hold me down in order to get me to vote for him. I am not arguing for Trump’s morality here.  "

An apolitical office! This sounds like separation of church and state! It's a position I can assure you doesn't sit well with many conservative Christians I know! (In any other time.) I'm now remembering many conversations about putting prayer back in public school, trying to get intelligent design in schools if you can't get a Bible class in there, fussing about God on money and in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments displayed in or around the courthouses. . . 

I should also insert here some links and arguments that demanded their candidate be the moral choice in years past. . . This is their schtick and now they have to abandon it to elect a demagogue. This should prove it has never been about values and always about politics!! Their moral high ground is GONE- if they ever had any.



As a side note, I am appalled at the way the Body has treated the members of this committee and other evangelical heavy hitters who have endorsed Trump. We are willing to let Dr. Dobson dictate the way we raise our children, yet the instant he speaks out on a political issue, we mock him and call him a coward? We make Kirk Cameron our Hollywood hero, pay big bucks to go see his films, and then call him a sell out when he makes a comment about where we should place our vote? Maybe we should let our ruffled egos settle down for a moment and consider that we would willingly adhere to the wisdom of these men on any other issue. Even if you disagree with their political choice, please have the decency to treat them with the respect that their years of faithful service to the Kingdom have warranted.

And here we have a very condescending parental reprimand to treat these famous Christian people with respect by implying that if you read their book or saw their movie, you MUST vote they way they do or you are disrespecting them and possibly are a hypocrite to boot. And ruffled egos are the problem?? Donald's ego is eclipsing everyone's ego and this guy/girl is worried about Republicans' egos who don't want the misogynistic racist Trump to be leader of the free world for many very good and explicit reasons. Respect their faithful service?? If you are FOR Trump and call yourself a Christian, there is a very definite problem in supporting hatred of women, immigrants and people of color, among many others

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-these-evangelical-leaders-are-firmly-against-trump_us_578d0d14e4b0fa896c3f6fc2

http://www.beliefnet.com/news/articles/a-christian-case-against-donald-trump.aspx

http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-case-against-donald-trump-158733/

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2016/03/03/pastors-take-trump/81277810/


This bit is also pretty hilarious and is dripping with something. . .


I believe that a lot of the discontent over Trump is due to his brash nature, yes, but also because of the blow that was dealt to your pride when an outsider was able to come in and usurp the leadership of your party. This may not be true of you at all, but I am certain that it is a large part of the driving force behind the Never Trump movement. I am simply asking that you examine your motives. If you detect pride as a motivator factor, please pray to be released from it and follow the example of Ben Carson. If anyone had a bone to pick with Trump, it was Dr. Carson, but as he so wisely stated in a Fox interview when asked how he was able to get over the personal insults dealt him by Trump, “If this was about me, I could never get over it. This is about the future of our country.”
Never Trumper…get over yourself. This isn’t about your personal likes or dislikes. This is about the future of your children. If you aren’t willing to overcome your personal chagrin that an outsider could come in and do your job for you, then you have no one to blame but yourself when Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected.

The call to examine yourself and pray about it is dripping with that familiar slimy sentiment you may have experienced when in a theological argument and the person on the other end says "I'll pray for you" in the same way you'd give someone the finger.

Again, the attempt is made at sidestepping (or just telling you to dismiss it entirely) who Trump is, what is his character, what qualifies him to lead in anything and especially the presidency of the United States with this 'examine yourself, a blow was dealt to your ego because MY candidate beat YOURS' nonsense.

And the idea that you should do ANYTHING like Dr. Carson is pretty darn amusing to say the least!! Do you remember that guy?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/05/ben-carson-believes-joseph-built-egypts-pyramids-to-store-grain-and-it-just-may-get-him-some-votes/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ben-carson-holocaust-gun-control_us_5616a7aee4b0082030a185c2

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/09/ben-carson-conspiracy-theory-cleon-skousen

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ben-carson-2016_us_563cba9be4b0307f2cad0ea7


The main takeaway from this article is vote your party this election and REPENT NOW for saying things against Donald Trump and his famous supporters. 

Go on and leave your conscience and values and opinions at home this November. So say pro-Trumpers.


I would like to end by saying I don't want to imagine a world in which Donald Trump is leader of the free world, but we should, as this article below says. I offer it as an alternative to the approach taken in the blog post above and as an answer.



http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/07/26/trump-putin-fallacy-failure-of-imagination/

From the end of the article:
Still, it is unlikely (or I simply cannot imagine) that Trump will do enough damage to democracy in the course of four years to secure a second term. After he is defeated, institutions will begin to recover. Culture, however, will sustain much more lasting damage. Our failure to understand this—and our effort to find foreign explanations for Trump’s rise—may be blinding us to the real threat he poses.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Remembering Bernie




http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/25/clinton_v_bernie_debate_as_turmoil

A lively discussion about the Democratic Party divide- see the link above from Democracy Now.
I enjoyed Solomon's responses to McIntosh. One of the best was when he said, "We’ve got to oppose all of these Wall Street and militaristic policies that are embodied, frankly, in what Hillary Clinton is saying and doing." Her response was about a reason the campaigns were coming together and doing exciting things and putting families first. The last two ended up being more like fillers or empty buzzwords for me since it's not clear what exactly she's talking about- I mean, being a woman, one would hope she'd understand these two challenges, but for me her very troubling record on Israel, militarism and support for Wall Street and corporations stand out as areas she's been more actively involved and interested in. If she weren't Hillary Clinton, Republicans would probably love her. 

So it was pretty hilarious to hear Trump say:


"We're going to get a lot of the Bernie voters by the way, because they didn't treat him right," he told volunteers in Cleveland Friday. "He ran a very, very good campaign and Hillary's people just swamped him."

Bernie Sanders' response was right on target as usual. As frustrating as this change in direction is from farther left and more progressive to politics as usual- and he should feel it the most- he didn't lose sight of the bigger picture.

"Those who voted for me will not support Trump who has made bigotry and divisiveness the cornerstone of his campaign. ‪#‎RNCwithBernie‬," Sanders tweeted Thursday during the Republican nominee's speech.



First Gentleman, anyone?


The Awkward Etiquette of Bill Clinton as ‘First Lady’

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/07/bill-clinton-awkward-first-lady-214101

In thinking of Bill as a first lady, I thought it'd be funny if his hair and wardrobe and each outfit choice were scrutinized and he was reduced to choosing dinnerware, flowers and seating charts- not to mention choosing a noncontroversial advocacy issue and being sent to schools and hospitals while the president made deals and ironed out the big issues of the day. . .

From the article:

"It might just finally expose how out-of-date the “feminine” expectations of the office have become. And there’s a real prospect that Bill might genuinely rethink the role—a long-overdue change to what has become a strange purgatory for a wife who’s often extremely accomplished in her own right."



All joking aside, maybe he could change things for that "office". I'm always disappointed when a first lady doesn't dive into the political issues in her speech and make solid cases for the candidate and chooses only to talk about kids as though this is all a woman is supposed to think about and this is the only experience and knowledge she can possibly bring to the table.


Monday, July 25, 2016

The Evils of political correctness (?!)



I grew up hearing about the evils of humanism, moral relativism and political correctness in church at least once a week. Hidden in there, but not necessarily stated was a contempt for social justice and all things Democratic Party leaning (for example- you are AGAINST social justice because Democrats are generally FOR it, you don't need to examine the merit of individual issues.)

I'm all for religious freedom and the exercise of it, but when you are contrasting that with being politically correct or being in favor of social justice, that's where we have a problem. Not just a problem with me because I disagree, but there should be some cognitive dissonance there. I've written about this before, when I felt I was the only one talking about it. (I probably wasn't the only one, I was just growing into the realization and hadn't heard the other voices yet.) Plus, I just saw this article the other day that makes some of the same points:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/social-justice-is-a-christian-tradition-not-a-liberal_us_578cd7b3e4b05e7343a66564

Not to mention, I was always confused by the notion that in order to be a good Christian, you had to not only NOT have an abortion or engage in homosexual acts, but you had to support legislation banning them and oppose legislation supporting an individual's right to make a different choice than you just made- or, stated differently-  force all to make the same choice you just freely made. Tying these personal moral choices to not only a group but politics through religion seems to violate a number of God- given (for believers) and constitutional rights. But back to the PC problem. . . 

from Merriam-Webster
 conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated

Political correctness as I know it, is a basic standard of politeness, empathy and decency. As you learn more about race or sexuality or disabilities or whatever it is, you should definitely adjust your vocabulary and your behavior to respect others.

People like Trump and his followers enjoy this anti-PC movement as a way to spout racist and misogynistic insults and rhetoric because they may feel threatened by movements in favor of equality. They see equality as a finite quantity and if minorities are getting more, they will get less- this is how it looks to me. The anti-PC movement "speaks their mind" and "tells it like it is" without a second thought to the fact that conditions anyone else experiences might be different or more challenging than their own. It is a license to go on and say those racist epithets and outdated terms and express your white male frustrations under the guise of being in favor freedom or the Bible.


The two sides:
http://www.salon.com/2015/02/04/white_male_temper_tantrums_in_defense_of_black_women_%E2%80%9Cfeminist_killjoys%E2%80%9D/

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/02/25/political-correctness-is-destroying-america-thats-why-am-on-mission-to-destroy-it.html








The RNC. . . or a circus




***
A tiny plastic fetus replica was apparently put in the RNC goodie bags, yes, on purpose! To remind them that this is the only issue on the table? To say that yes Trump hates women, but since joining the Republican party, he loves fetuses? To say that it's cool to hate immigrants, illegal or no, slander people left and right, hate women and minorities, believe firmly in white male power, but if you like fetuses you're A-OK!

https://www.rt.com/usa/352728-rnc-goodie-bag-fetus/#.V5KtgXL9uP4.facebook


@@@
Hahahaha. Assault rifles are free to be carried, here's why tennis balls are banned. . . :

"MEDEA BENJAMIN: They told us this is not a game. You could open up a tennis ball and put feces inside, and it could get thrown at them, and it would be very dangerous."

Nothing could go wrong with a bunch of armed hatemongering nut jobs who feel threatened by anything from made up threats to the thought of white male hegemony disappearing!

Party Loyalty vs. Common Decency


This election underscores like no other that people will vote their party no matter what. It doesn't matter who you put up in that spot, nut job Ben Carson, egomaniac misogynist The Donald, or an actual politician with some idea of what's going on in the world and Washington, you have to unite behind your party because that matters more than any policy, mental stability or potential for disaster ever could. Get your team the win. All this is is a giant football game. Values? Future? Freedom? Nope!

Or maybe we are witnessing what historians will herald as the end of the 2 party system. The popularity of Bernie Sanders, the rise of Donald Trump and disgruntled people all over the map. I know, wishful thinking, there.

Back to actual recent events. . .

The RNC goers just appointed themselves judge and jury! 
http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/20/headlines/lock_her_up_rnc_crowd_speakers_blasts_hillary_clinton

Forget about campaigning against Clinton, they've decided her fate like no proceeding in the real world could:
“Is she guilty or not guilty? Lock her up! Lock her up!”
Much like Trump's nomination, decided by screaming and the whim of the guy speaking.

Is this what values voting means? I know what the law says and she's had a hearing, but I think she's guilty, lock her up! Is this what limited government is all about? Deciding things on a whim? I've always wondered. I guess as long as Republicans can tell you what to do with your body and who you can marry and who should be in jail, all is right with the world and “values” are a priority. Values. Another word that is beginning to mean NOTHING. Empty words are a common occurrence with Trump though.

Take law and order, which he repeats half a dozen times.

By the last time, you start to wonder what does he MEAN? Martial law? State of emergency dictatorship style? Is he planning to go in personally- or send some thugs- to kill anyone he thinks is the problem? He has no idea though, so it'll be up to the thugs. Is THIS how he'll fix things as only he can? What's the plan??

The RNC comes at a moment the nation is in crisis? Isn't it always? But this is nothing like 2008 and the collapse of the economy and John McCain used it as an opportunity to try and get out of a debate and rescue the nation. That was also idiotic, but that was a time of actual uncertainty. I would say the Republican party is in crisis- evidence being Trump's nomination due to lack of any viable candidates.

Winning abroad!! :
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-top-example-of-foreign-experience-a-scottish-golf-course-losing-millions/2016/06/22/12ae9cb0-1883-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html

Fun experiment guys. You CAN get someone elected on money alone and without actually detailing a solid plan for governance. Now, lets get a real candidate somehow.


Trump is not only a Liar (business deals- check out Scotland, reporting of business deals, any speech he's given, under oath in court, you name it!), but also a huge Fraud (see the Trump University scam, among many others)- and even more troubling- a misogynistic egomaniac racist fascist delusional bully who thinks he'll be appointed king, accountable to no one, not a president elected, beholden to voters.


*Trump University
http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trump-university-its-worse-than-you-think

His only real qualification seems to be businessman, but he's pretty terrible at that. . .


Is Donald Trump racist?



Is Trump fascist?



On women:


I'm sure this isn't every one. . .



And another. . . don't vote for this guy!




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Melania Trump, plagiarism, and counterattacks






Melania Trump 'Plagiarised' Michelle Obama ?

http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-36832095?ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=facebook

So Hannity and Breitbart want us to think this latest plagiarism case is like Obama "copying" from Deval Patrick. . . 
Hahaha! Doubt they have the same political consultant or friendship or permission and Melania admits nothing, unlike Obama, but yeah totally the same thing.


And then for both sides we could talk about the phenomenon of hearing something and incorporating it into your own work unintentionally as happens in writing. . .

http://harpers.org/archive/2007/02/the-ecstasy-of-influence/



The Melania Trump Plagiarism Case Is Nothing Like Obama and Patrick’s

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2016/07/19/melania-trump-obama-patrick/


Some conservative answers:


http://dcgazette.com/2016/melania-trump-plagiarize-michelle-obamas-speech/#


http://www.hannity.com/articles/election-493995/flashback-obama-was-busted-plagiarizing-governor-14922331/



Women against women?




So I've just been looking for a better way of explaining an aspect of inequality. So there's the explicit type, but there's also implicit bias and the effect on the present of past inequality.


The article touches on an argument that is made that women perpetuate sexism against themselves (Their own fault! Men are absolved! ). While true to some extent in that women do discriminate against other women, blaming women is not correct. This is the culture created by past concrete and widespread inequality.


The same kinds of things could be said of racism, how it's become institutionalized, but I just read this article on the other topic. . .


Everyone's A Little Bit Sexist

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-knepper/everyones-a-little-bit-se_b_11005180.html