Thursday, January 19, 2017

It all goes to hell starting tomorrow

Ok, two months without a post, but barely a day without a freak-out. This heap of appointments just keeps getting worse -- who thought that even an Education Secretary could feel like a threat to the future of the nation?!? I can hardly write about it, but I thought maybe I'd feel better if I did a blog dump of everything that's been wiring me up, so here it is.

Bad news about the Trump era:
  1. Policy hints, competence
  2. Flashes of fascism
Good news about/in these troubled times:
  1. Resistance
  2. Actual positive signs. We can use them.

Monday, November 21, 2016

This Week in Trump Outrages

You honestly can't make this stuff up -- Trump is well into the Orwellian approach to appointments made so popular during the Reagan years, with lots of people put into agencies whose basic missions they hate. There may be a little sanity injected on the foreign affairs fronts, but domestically, it's all rape and pillage the nation for the banksters and oligarchs, stomp civil liberties for increased profits. Hoo-hah.
  1. Most obvious crime, putting Jeff Sessions in as Attorney General, a man considered too racist to be a federal judge, but apparently just right to enforce federal laws on civil rights and all the rest.
    Sessions also called the American Civil Liberties Union and NAACP “communist-inspired”...
    Perfect for the Trumpian paranoia world. He's also been characterized as amnesty's worst enemy, so he should be in good position when the interments deportations begin...

  2. Then there's presumptive National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who is considered unhinged by people familiar with his prior career and rhetoric during Trump's campaign.
    He was reportedly effectively forced out of the DIA after clashing with superiors over his allegedly chaotic management style and vision for the agency. According to the New York Times, Flynn exhibited a loose relationship with facts, leading his subordinates to refer to Flynn's repeated dubious assertions as "Flynn facts"
    So we may hate his policies, and along the way he may create chaos in the security and defense fields, snuggle up to Russia, and maybe even push us into a war!

  3. Then there's the real right-wing demagogue Steve Bannon, who the New York Times has called "Turn on the Hate" Bannon, and who Trump has named as his Chief White House Strategist. Ok, Priebus is the Chief of Staff, but with this guy setting "strategy," we're unlikely to see an end to the hatefulness of the campaign period -- his time at Breitbart pretty much was stop #1 for alt-right talking points and fake news narratives -- what the Southern Poverty Law Center (a place you should consider supporting over the coming years!) has called a "white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill."

  4. Then there's Trump himself, self-styled "business guy," whose tax plan has already been shown to be a disaster when tried at the state level. (Of course, those of us who lived through the Reagan/Bush Sr. years already knew that "trickle down" just means huge deficits and cuts to services.) But his personal shamelessness is already on full display, as he encourages foreign dignitaries to stay at his new hotel and starts to leverage his future office for other business advancement. Barely two weeks post-election and he has us well on the way to being a huge new cleptocracy! oy.

  5. Edited to add this example from Argentina, where Trump wasted no time asking for help with a building project.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Looks like it might be time to dust this thing off

I think I started this blog because of frustrations screaming to get out, and I can tell that a Trump Presidency (oy) is going to send me into outrage overload again. But now with some serious fear thrown in. So I think I might as well face up to that and get myself back into the habit of venting here rather than spraying my heartache all over the place by email. Dunno, will see... Things that are scaring me this week:
  • The 14 Features of Eternal Fascism -- it's not hyperbole; it's a degree of parallel that should make us take notice. And be vigilant.

    Related: How quickly the system can be upended:

    That's maybe the scariest prospect of all.

  • Donald Trump’s Transition Team, Or Lack Thereof, Is Causing Real Panic I'm sympathetic to the fact that they ran a small-staff campaign, and that they didn't think they were going to win. But they need to be ready to RUN A WHOLE COUNTRY in a couple of months, so they can't act like angry babies with a shiny toy or we'll end up with a country run by incompetents. As it is, the national security people want nothing to do with Trump (this just the latest; they seem unable to find anybody with experience who will say yes). That leaves some terrible prospects for evil + incompetence. Plus, nobody talking to most of the departments that need staffing, Trump working with no briefings, etc.

  • Here's one member of Congress willing to tell it like it is -- but will anybody listen? I mean, we're already at the point where a new House UnAmerican Activities Committee has been suggested, and the media is still covering the lovable preparations for a transfer of power.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

To ten years

(with Spouse, that is, not this dusty rag...)
It is something — it can be everything — to have found a fellow bird with whom you can sit among the rafters while the drinking and boasting and reciting and fighting go on below.
– Wallace Stegner
(via A Mindful Life, many years ago)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Quote of the era

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
― Isaac Asimov
(via MetaFilter)