A scary peek at a ‘worker’s paradise’ out of 1984. Mixed Emotions. Their Regime Is Horrible.. If You See The City Lights From Space, There Are Black Spots In Horrible Places:Afghanistan. Or North Korea. But that regime is staffed by people, who’d die by the millions if a war came between the USA and North Korea.
Got the Trump book making the round, Fire and Fury, and looking forward to reading it. If course 40%, who hate Trump, will have their beliefs affirmed, that Trump neither has the character and sanity necessary to be president. And the 40% that follow Trump, his fascist cadres, will think it’s fake news, and the remaining 20%, politically inert, will shrug their shoulders and continue to video binge.
I’m really hoping they don’t get to be as bad as the American Republicans, but that seems to be where they are heading.
- made up “facts”
- threatening anyone who disagrees with them
Lougheed would be appalled.
“This is alarming. As blogger Susan Wright observed in a New Year’s Eve blog post, Mr. Gotfried’s threat to turn his research staff loose on Dr. Leach is an abuse of process and his unsavoury implications “a new low even for the UCP.”
The general uproar strongly suggests Mr. Kenney’s pious vow to “raise the bar” of political decorum in the province is insincere. Well, in fairness, he was only speaking about doing this inside the Legislature. More seriously, it indicates that threatening and defaming credible critics who challenge the UCP leader’s made-up facts will become standard operating procedure for the party. No surprise, there, of course. We’ve already seen them in action, and the tactics are pulled right out of the UCP’s well-thumbed copy of the Republican Party playbook.”
“In a hastily-thrown-together funding package passed just before Christmas, Congress agreed to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six months, backdated to September when they allowed the program covering roughly 9 million children and pregnant women to expire. That nearly $3 billion emergency stopgap was supposed to carry CHIP until the end of March, but states are reporting that they could run out of money in just a few weeks.”
“When the history of the end of the republic is written, it may be fairly said that a hostile foreign power helped elect an authoritarian president, and the American people allowed him to stay, only to have the riches of the nation stolen from them.
Unless we don’t. There’s no time to wait. Not for Mueller, not for investigations of investigators. Pressure must be maintained every day—until the president either resigns, or is impeached. Full stop.”
Via Mara Gerstein
“When it comes to purging names from the voter rolls, the state of Ohio is second-to-none. Since becoming secretary of state in 2011, Republican Jon Husted has excised more than 2 million voters from the state’s registration lists. On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in a high-stakes case over whether one of Husted’s controversial methods for removing voters violates federal law. And if the court sides with Husted, it will open the door for states across the country to use what amounts to a legal loophole to cancel the registrations of millions more Americans.”
Aye! I’m rockin’ my birthday week in COLORADO next week with EarthCry / Anthony Thogmartin and Cualli! Would love to see my Colorado crew! Who’s in town?
1/9 Hodi’s Half Note, Fort Collins
1/10 Cervantes, Denver
1/12 Ullr’s Tavern, Winter Park
1/13 eTown, Boulder
∞ <3 ∞
Thank you, Mr. Perry, who writes, “The #MeToo movement is not a witch hunt. It’s not a lynch mob. It’s not like the Holocaust, Japanese Internment, McCarthyism, or the Inquisition. Every time we get a little bit closer to holding powerful men accountable for their actions, bad historical metaphors tumble forth from people who are eager to appear to be concerned about overreach and due process. Overreach is always possible. Due process is important. But comparisons that equate holding the powerful accountable with the systematic persecution of marginalized people are both offensive and intended to obfuscate the truth. #MeToo is a rebellion against the kinds of entrenched powers that persecute; it is not an act of persecution.
As a historian and journalist, the use of these loose metaphors to protect the powerful has concerned me for years. This latest push against serial sexual harassment in media and entertainment, as noted by BuzzFeed journalist (and Pacific Standard contributor) Anne Helen Petersen, has driven the bad historical metaphors to new heights (or depths). In a recent New Yorker article by Dana Goodyear about Hollywood following the Weinstein revelations, various industry sources compared the practice of re-shooting scenes that featured sexual predators to “Soviet Union-style erasure,” as if losing screen time were equivalent to being consigned to a gulag. It’s not “blacklisting” when someone chooses not to hire an accused sexual predator. It’s certainly not a sign of incipient Holocaust or gender-based despotism. Nevertheless, a male comedy producer calls Hollywood a “reverse Handmaid’s Tale society.” One industry insider told Goodyear, “Men are living as Jews in Germany.”
This is all nonsense, but nonsense with a purpose. Powerful men, mostly white men, are not Jews in Nazi Germany, black Americans in pre-civil-rights U.S., heretics and witches before the Salem magistrates or the Inquisition, alleged Communists before the House Un-American Activities Committee, or political dissidents in Soviet Russia. Losing a job, losing screen time, losing influence—these are not equivalent to the loss of life or freedom. Every time the playing field tilts a bit toward level, the powerful start to cry, “Help, I’m being repressed!”
Our metaphors matter. They shape the way we respond to social change and social pressure. We cannot allow the persecutors to casually appropriate the rhetoric of oppression to hold off accountability. The very people who now worry about witch hunts, it seems to me, are the ones who would have gleefully lit the pyres beneath wrongfully accused women in other eras.
“Though the exact details of the proposed bill are not yet known, Macron said the law—which would apply only during campaigns—would boost transparency online by mandating that social media platforms must reveal who is paying for sponsored content, as well as impose a cap on how much can be spent. He said judges would be empowered to take down false content and even block access to websites where such content appears. The country’s media watchdog, the CSA, would be given additional powers to “fight any destabilization attempt by television channels controlled or influenced by foreign states.””
Swamp draining 2018
“Congressional Republicans allowed a tax on oil companies that generated hundreds of millions of dollars annually for federal oil-spill response efforts to expire this week — a move that amounts to another corporate break in the wake of lawmakers’ sweeping tax overhaul late last month.
The tax on companies selling oil in the United States generated an average of $500 million in federal revenue per year, according to the Government Accountability Office. The money, collected through a 9 cents-per-barrel tax on domestic crude oil and imported crude oil and petroleum products, constituted the main source of revenue for the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.”