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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
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Whiteness is a scourge on humanity. Voting for Obama that one time is not a get out of being a racist card

Journal Archives

#ResistTrump today by reading Rebecca Solnits new essay on hope in dark times

One of the things that makes Rebecca Solnit such a powerful and inspiring writer is her ability to talk bluntly and unflinchingly about what is wrong in the world, however grim the facts may be, without giving up on the hope that we need to hold onto if we want to make the world a better place.

In an essay published yesterday in the Guardian, Solnit acknowledges that, yes, here “n the United States we are probably headed for a very grim phase of uncertain duration.” And she reminds us that it is in grim times like these that we have the greatest need for hope.

“Hope is for when you don’t have what you need and for when things are not OK,” she writes. “It is the belief that liberation might be possible that motivates you to make it more possible … .”

It’s in the darkest times that resistance — and the hope that drives it — can make the biggest difference.

“We would do well to study the countries that have sunk into tyranny or despotism and survived,” Solnit notes.


#ResistTrump today by learning from the Tea Party how to put politicians on the defensive

The Tea Party movement, which rose up in the early years of the Obama presidency to oppose pretty much everything he stood for, was a reactionary, often-embarrassing political spectacle.

But as reactionary, often-embarrassing political spectacles go, it was a pretty effective one. Tea Partiers may have had trouble spelling their slogans correctly, but they managed to block a lot of Obama’s progressive agenda.

Now a group of former congressional staffers with years of experience fighting against the Tea Party are urging fellow progressives to adopt some of that group’s most effective tactics to thwart the incoming Trump regime. In an already much-discussed document called Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda, these activists urge Trump opponents to
Stall the Trump agenda by forcing [MoCs] to redirect energy away from their priorities. Congressional offices have limited time and limited people. A day that they spend worrying about you is a day that they’re not ending Medicare, privatizing public schools, or preparing a Muslim registry.

Sap Representatives’ will to support or drive reactionary change. If you do this right, you will have an outsized impact. Every time your MoC signs on to a bill, takes a position, or makes a statement, a little part of his or her mind will be thinking: “How am I going to explain this to the angry constituents who keep showing up at my events and demanding answers?”

Reaffirm the illegitimacy of the Trump agenda. The hard truth is that Trump, McConnell, and Ryan will have the votes to cause some damage. But by objecting as loudly and powerfully as possible, and by centering the voices of those who are most affected by their agenda, you can ensure that people understand exactly how bad these laws are from the very start – priming the ground for the 2018 midterms and their repeal when Democrats retake power.

Stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress (MoCs) who would do his bidding. Together, we have the power to resist — and we have the power to win.

We know this because we’ve seen it before. The authors of this guide are former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party. We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own MoCs to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas
were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism— and they won.

We believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda — but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness. Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional majorities. If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.


Disturbed--The Sound of Silence

As always, a cautionary tale


How the alt-rights sexism lures men into white supremacy

In the wake of the election, perhaps no topic has been more widely discussed and debated than the self-described “alt-right” — the racist, sexist, meme-happy, mostly internet-based movement associated with radical white supremacy that has unexpectedly taken center stage in US politics after the election of Donald Trump.

Though many consider the alt-right to be primarily a fringe movement encompassing multiple ideologies (including white nationalism and white supremacy), its supporters’ unorthodox tactics for promoting those ideologies were fundamental to Trump’s campaign, and thus fundamental to his victory. Said tactics include engaging in extremist discourse, using deceptive irony and racially tinged internet memes to confuse people into dismissing the “alt-right” label as a synonym for internet trolls, and spreading false and misleading information. Thus, it’s no surprise that the movement has become a focal point of the subsequent culture war and narrative surrounding the president-elect’s transition to the White House — particularly outrage that Trump arguably won through racist rhetoric and that his chief strategist is directly associated with the alt-right movement.

But one foundational aspect of the alt-right’s various belief systems has been significantly downplayed following the election — even though it may be the key to understanding the movement’s racist, white nationalist agenda. While it’s true that the movement is most frequently described in terms of the self-stated, explicit white supremacy that defines many of its corners, for many of its members, the gateway drug that led them to join the alt-right in the first place wasn’t racist rhetoric but rather sexism: extreme misogyny evolving from male bonding gone haywire.

The “alt-right” label is tricky to define, but the movement’s top priority is elevating the status of white men
Don’t let the term “alt-right” fool you; despite the fact that it’s the self-chosen descriptor adopted by many white supremacists, the ideology under the hood is still the same. Not only do members of the alt-right support the most extreme version of Trump’s campaign promises to deport millions of immigrants and create a national registry for Muslims, but their ultimate goal is to ethnically cleanse nonwhite individuals from America and establish a completely white ethno-state.


The alarming response to Russian meddling in American democracy

WHY is it unsettling to see Republicans and Democrats squabbling, afresh, about Russian meddling in last month’s presidential election? After all, the basic allegation being debated has been out there for months: namely, that in 2015 and again in 2016 at least two groups of hackers with known links to Russian intelligence broke into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee, as that party’s national headquarters is known, and into the private e-mail system of such figures as John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, then released a slew of embarrassing e-mails to Wikileaks. Before the election a joint public statement by the director of national intelligence and secretary of homeland security saying that intelligence agencies are “confident” that the Russian government directed the hacking—a statement that did little to sway supporters of Donald Trump, who heard their candidate cast doubt on that intelligence finding, and instead revel in the contents of the stolen e-mails as they hit the press. This, Mr Trump, was just more evidence that his opponent deserved the soubriquet “Crooked Hillary”.

All that has changed materially in recent days is that—thanks to reporting by the Washington Post and New York Times—we now know that the CIA briefed senior members of Congress before and after the election that, in the consensus view of intelligence analysts, the Russians’ motive was not just to undermine confidence in American democracy generally, but actively to seek Mrs Clinton’s defeat. These latest revelations have probably not changed any minds at all. Republicans who hate Mrs Clinton are still delighted that she was defeated. Democrats who loathe and fear Mr Trump have one more reason to dislike him. Outside Washington, red-blooded Americans who mostly rather dislike President Vladimir Putin (pictured), according to polls, seem to be shrugging off the latest allegations: President-elect Trump was loudly cheered by spectators when he turned up in Baltimore on December 10th to watch the Army-Navy football game, an annual pageant of patriotism.
And that is what is, or should be, so unsettling. Russian interference in elections across the Western world is like a nasty virus, attacking the body politic. Normally, America is protected by powerful, bipartisan immune responses against such a menace. It also boasts some of the world’s most sophisticated intelligence and cyber-defences, and when spooks tell the Republicans and Democrats who lead Congress and sit on the House and Senate intelligence committees of hostile acts by a foreign power, love of country generates a unified response. That immune response is not kicking in this time.

The problem is not that all Republicans in Congress dismiss the claim that Russia tried to meddle in the election. Committee chairman have promised urgent hearings. “We cannot allow foreign governments to interfere in our democracy,” said Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. Senator John McCain of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and no friend of Russia, told reporters: “Everybody that I know, unclassified, has said that the Russians interfered in this election. They hacked into my campaign in 2008; is it a surprise to anyone?” The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Devin Nunes of California, has said that he believes Russia is guilty, but then turned his fire on the Obama administration, saying that President Barack Obama’s desire for a “reset” of relations with Moscow had led him and his spy chiefs to fail “to anticipate Putin’s hostile actions.” He grumbled that Team Obama had “ignored pleas by numerous Intelligence Committee members to take more forceful action against the Kremlin’s aggression.”


I understand them--Well, kinda

I didn't vote Democrat in National elections until 2000. It took George W. Bush even getting the nomination--to make me realize that voting socialist or writing in some ridiculous name was bullshit. Local elections--I usually voted Dem or Socialist. So I've been down that road, of "look at me, how revolutionary, how cynical I am"

I never ever, ever, at my most cynical, OR my most radical (from a feminist point of view, I thought the patriarchal systems millennials long human failure and needed to be torn down and built up) would have cast a vote for Trump. Or Bernie Sanders for that matter--he would have gotten the side eye from me.

Even when very young, I was politically aware enough to recognize the danger Trump represents. I was not, at that time, exposed to news much more than the TV and newspapers and books. I was on-line in the early 90's, I already was starting to see what we now call "fake news". It was dangerous now, and as it has proliferated, its gotten more dangerous, as mildly curious people form opinions from it without further research, zealots manipulate information to further their belief systems and people like Trump manipulate it to win presidencies.

I don't understand anyone who votes for a bigot, who uses bigotry in campaigning unless of course they are bigots themselves, or buy into on some level a bigots narrative. There is, in my mind no other answer. No other explanation. They own their vote.

I think, or I would like to think it's a guilty conscience--

Because you are right--there is a constant rehashing of primary arguments. A ton of "Dems always lose, we must look in the mirror posts" 'Hillary was flawed had too much baggage" "Emails" etc.

She was hammered on constantly by all sides-but it was her own side, or rather, those that should have been on her side, that did her in. Some of those doing the constant criticism --especially those to the point of voting third party--correctly estimated how bad this hurt her in the GE, but that doesn't make them any less responsible for Trump.

You know the Facebook group Pantsuit nation? It's a phenomenon I never seen before on social media, rich diversity in all it's forms, telling story after story after story--thousands of them- of trying to live in a world of hatred and bigotry, how to fight it. It's not big on finger pointing---I look at all the backgrounds of Hillary supporters and I realize That in supporting Hillary, I had found my tribe, and my tribe is not just white, male, straight. and working class. Oh no. My tribe is diverse as fuck, from inter-racial marriages, inter-cultural marriages to undocumented and documented immigrants to Trans men and women to Christian's and Muslims and Jews and Hindus and Sikhs and atheists. To moms with disabled children, to some in the disabled committee themselves. To Gay men and women, married for the first time and sharing their wedding pictures to Dads encouraging their daughters to be strong in the school yard when boys hurt them "because they like you" These stories, Never. Stop.

I lose myself in stories of a very diverse America, an America where many of these people have just begun to have an actual voice---and America begins to take shape and shade and nuance, and is restored to me.

I also realize just what level of bullshit I'm being fed by the bitter people who lost themselves in a hatred of a women never admitting a man would have sailed through the criticism. Who are self-rightous because they voted for "the lesser of two evils". The "I told you so" ones who were simply a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those many bitter souls are implicit in Trumps election as are those who voted for him or voted third party.

Was Hillary "perfect"? Beyond criticism? Hell no. But her perceived flaws contributed to her loss far more than her actual ones. And the ones who fanned those hyperbolic flames just got burned, and burned bad.

You know who is NOT in my tribe? Racists and bigots. I don't have an answer to them, I don't know how to reach out to them. People who would deny a woman's right to choose-there are many single issue abortion voters--Not my tribe, no clue how to reach them. They are wrapped in false righteousness. Misogynists--oh now that is an insidious one, our entire culture denies its inner misogyny as it denies its inner racism.

The Infuriating History of White Women Voting Against Womens Rights

The 2016 presidential election results were supposed to be history-making. A week before voting day, NPR ran a story with headline "The Gender Gap In This Election Could Be The Biggest In At Least 60 Years," prognosticating that women could vote more liberally in 2016 than they had ever before. Like much of the pre-election coverage in left-leaning outlets, the article had a hopeful message: Hillary Clinton, our first female presidential candidate, would likely become our first female president, ushered into power with the vociferous support of women.

According to three national polls cited in the NPR article, it was clear that "women [preferred] Clinton...while men [preferred] Trump." Since 1980, a higher proportion of women have gone to the polls than men in every presidential election, and exit polls have consistently shown that women voted far more heavily Democratic in each one.

In this year's election, it was estimated that the "gender gap"—the difference in the percentage of women who vote for any given candidate when compared with men—could total a whopping 25 points. The article wasn't far off. According to Clinton super PAC pollster Geoff Garin, the 2016 gender gap was 24 points wide—a number that, read alone, conveys that women in general preferred Clinton. Overall, according to the National Election Pool, 54 percent of women voters filled in the bubble next to Clinton-Kaine. Forty-two percent picked Trump-Pence.

Read more: What You Need to Know to Call Your Representative About Trump

But that statistic does not show that 93 percent of black women who voted supported Clinton, that 67 percent of Hispanic women who voted supported Clinton, and that 78 percent of other non-white women who voted supported Clinton. It also doesn't show that just 43 percent of white women who voted supported Clinton, while the majority—53 percent—supported Donald Trump, a blatant misogynist, racist, and xenophobe.


Want to understand how Trump happened? Study quantum physics

Like THAT's going to happen, but a very interesting article.

Stephen Hawking recently remarked that, “The 21st century will be the century of complexity.” Indeed, the physics of classical geopolitics are being superseded by the physics of complexity. The combination of late-20th-century economic integration, the end of the Cold War, the entry of China, the former Soviet Union, and India into the global economy, increased labor and capital mobility, rapid population growth, the surging demand for African, Latin America, and Middle Eastern commodities, and technological explosion has propelled the world system towards unprecedented complexity. The ancient world of disjointed empires gave way to the disorderly medieval world, followed by the modern order of sovereign states, and now the transition to a global network civilization.

Geopolitical thinking, which is still governed by an antiquated, Newtonian logic, should be looked at through a quantum mechanics lens. Currently, it remains anchored in the writings of the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who saw the world as functioning according to fairly simple mechanical laws. The control over territory trumps all else. When forces collide, one must give way. This is hardly the way to understand our increasingly complex world. It is time for geopolitics to evolve toward a framework capable of grappling simultaneously with accumulating forces beyond 17th-century sovereignty, such as 18th-century enlightenment, 19th-century imperialism, 20th-century capitalism, and 21st-century technology.

Structural change happens every few decades; systems change only every few centuries. Structural change makes the world complicated; systems change makes it complex. International relations among states are complicated, while today’s network global civilization is complex. There is an order of magnitude difference in complexity between hierarchy shifting from one superpower to multiple powers (such as the Cold War) versus today’s system that is constantly reconstructing itself with diverse authorities and networks, with feedback loops across micro and macro scales.
Recent headlines, like Brexit and Trump, have been dominated by stories that require us to trace intangible butterfly effects to fully understand. For example, one of the triggers of the Arab Spring that exploded in early 2011 was the spike in food prices in Egypt and Tunisia. The countries’ main source of wheat imports was Russia, where a drought six months earlier forced Moscow to ban exports for the first time ever. (America’s ethanol-subsidies and global-commodities market speculation also played key roles, not to mention the countries themselves crossing the tipping point of intolerable political and social stagnation.)

As Arab states (especially Syria) collapsed, the refugee surge into Europe deepened a political crisis over migration that tipped the UK’s Brexit vote by just enough percentage points to bring about the most unexpected outcome. And the isolationist populism shared by British midlanders and America’s nativist Trump supporters traces back to the stagnation of incomes resulting from the globalization of industry and finance. And America’s past three decades of trade deficits with China pushed trillions of dollars of capital offshore that effectively subsidized China’s new mercantilism worldwide. The individual acts of outsourcing manufacturing to China and buying more goods from China were not intended to finance African infrastructure and remap its geopolitical loyalties—but they have.


Why misogyny won

After leaked audio showed Donald Trump bragging in 2005 that he can “grab [women] by the pussy” and kiss them without consent because he’s “a star,” Trump’s campaign seemed done for.

Many Republicans withdrew their endorsements in disgust, and those who didn’t faced intense pressure to follow suit. Trump’s poll numbers plummeted — and kept plummeting after women started coming forward to allege that Trump had sexually assaulted them.

But then, the free fall stopped. Media attention turned back to Hillary Clinton’s emails with a little over a week to go before the election. A new accusation against Trump from a former Miss Finland, and a newly surfaced video that showed Trump grabbing and kissing a former Miss Universe after humiliating her onstage in front of thousands, barely caused a ripple.

And then Americans elected an alleged sexual predator to be their president. They chose a man who has now been accused of sexual assault by 15 women — a man who has promised to sue all of those women in the first 100 days of his presidency — to be the next leader of the free world.

How did this happen?

No one factor can fully explain Trump’s victory. America’s out-of-control political polarization means that many people would vote for Trump no matter what he did, just because he had “Republican” next to his name on the ballot. Trump’s strong support among whites demonstrates how racial resentment played into his victory. His dominance in rural areas suggests a deep anxiety over not just economic security, but the loss of an entire way of life. And the role of voters who support authoritarianism can’t be ignored.

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