Friday, July 22, 2016

TRUMP'S SPEECH

Yes, I watched it. I like to know what my enemies are up to. Even though in the end, I didn't have to watch it to know what it was about. The usual rightwing fear mongering and dog whistles you'd expect.

Outright claims that the country is less safe than ever, when statistics prove the opposite. And what are the threats to our safety? Terrorists and lawless immigrants were named, then the old Nixon dog whistle "law & order" meaning even more African-Americans are going to prison under a Trump presidency, especially the Black Lives Matter protesters.

It was a litany of fears, to which the only solution is strong-man rule by the-bad-Mussolini-imitator Trump (his compulsion to constantly show his profile to the camera, jaw jutting a la Mussolini makes me think he actually studied footage of El Duce's speeches).

His promise to evangelicals to get rid of the Johnson amendment that prevents tax exempt churches from publicly supporting political candidates and parties would make all taxpayers foot the bill for even more rightwing propaganda and proselytizing.

His followers, like Faux News watchers, are incapable of seeing hypocrisy when it's sitting on their own heads, as Trump railed against companies shipping jobs to China to an audience wearing "Make American Great Again" hats that were MADE IN CHINA!

The sad news is, his defeat is dependent on a big turnout of voters for Hilary, so anyone who votes for a third party candidate or stays home out of disappointment in both candidates, will see Trump win and, as he made clear, appoint judges to The Supreme Court that will make previous rightwing dominated courts seem like liberal playgrounds.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

ONCE UPON A TIME

It was early 1966, I was 23, just out of four years in the military, living with my wife, Lee, in a fancy apartment in Brooklyn Heights that belonged to the business partner (who called himself "the frog prince" and amassed a cache of expensive and often antique frog art and artifacts) of my patron (Rita ?), an older successful business woman (in her thirties?) who was supporting me (and Lee) while I wrote what my patron believed would be "The Great American Novel"—that's my portable typewriter on the frog prince's desk and I'm wearing the vest from a cheap three-piece suit I bought for one of my sisters' weddings...this situation only lasted a few months and was my first brief attempt to transform myself into someone "classy" (for the "author's photo")...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MID-AFTERNOON MINI-MINI-RANT

From a comment I left on some Facebook threads: underestimating rightwing leaders and spokespeople as stupid or bumbling etc. has been the mistake of leftists (including me) throughout our lifetime...just the word plagiarism itself they can cast as elitist and therefore easily dismissed by many of his supporters and those to come...he could probably convince many of them that Michelle Obama stole from his wife those words and ideas!...more important was his speech on Saturday to evangelicals saying he would repeal the Johnson (LBJ) amendment that says places of worship lose their tax free status if they openly support candidates etc....they ate that up and will pass on to their churches and gain the evangelical support leftists were predicting he'd never get because of his wives and casinos et. al....we underestimate this con artist at our own peril...

MIDDAY MINI-RANT

I have a rightwing troll on my blog as many of you know. The one whose comments years ago forced me to screen commenters and thus be able to eliminate his comments, though I still get them before I trash them. I usually don't read them because why, but also because they echo all the rightwing propaganda outlets to the point of actually often parroting Fox News commentary or Rush's et. al. verbatim.

But I did notice yesterday a brief comment that suggested I should join the BLM (conservative language masters don't want to even say the name in full—Black Lives Matter—for fear the reality will rub off) and Panthers and go with them to kill cops and he asserts Obama and Hilary won't object!

Talk about the bubble. It's a parallel universe, as I'm sure readers of this well know, that goes beyond intellectual comprehension. It is all feelings based, and the prominent feeling is fear, especially in its manifestations as feeling neglected, overlooked and abandoned. Feelings aren't facts, as we know, but they can win elections.

This particular troll, I grew up with, went to catholic grammar and high schools with. Our reality is that I come from a cop clan, descended from my Irish immigrant cop grandfather, and the house I lived in then was in an ethnic and immigrant neighborhood and could fit into a portion of the lawn of the house he grew up in, in a wealthy, WASPy neighborhood with a few upwardly mobile Irish-American families like his.

I served in the military, he didn't. I had cops in my life on a daily basis, including in my home and immediate family when I was growing up, he made fun of my brother the cop and others in my clan from his privileged family position. And I believe he's typical of the rightwing mindset: petty, delusional, hateful, infantile, and scared to death that their privileged way of life is threatened, or the privileged life they imagine can be theirs is threatened by people more compassionate, experienced, intelligent, honest and hopeful than them.

Monday, July 18, 2016

QUOTE OF THE DAY/WEEK/MONTH/YEAR/ETC.

The way to approach it, I think, is not to ask, “What would it be like to be black?” but to seriously consider what it is like to be white. That’s something white people almost never think about. And what it is like to be white is not to say, “We have to level the playing field,” but to acknowledge that not only do white people own the playing field but they have so designated this plot of land as a playing field to begin with. White people are the playing field. The advantage of being white is so extreme, so overwhelming, so immense, that to use the word “advantage” at all is misleading since it implies a kind of parity that simply does not exist.
It is now common—and I use the word “common” in its every sense—to see interviews with up-and-coming young movie stars whose parents or even grandparents were themselves movie stars. And when the interviewer asks, “Did you find it an advantage to be the child of a major motion-picture star?” the answer is invariably “Well, it gets you in the door, but after that you’ve got to perform, you’re on your own.” This is ludicrous. Getting in the door is pretty much the entire game, especially in movie acting, which is, after all, hardly a profession notable for its rigor. That’s how advantageous it is to be white. It’s as though all white people were the children of movie stars. Everyone gets in the door and then all you have to do is perform at this relatively minimal level.
Additionally, children of movie stars, like white people, have at—or actually in—their fingertips an advantage that is genetic. Because they are literally the progeny of movie stars they look specifically like the movie stars who have preceded them, their parents; they don’t have to convince us that they can be movie stars. We take them instantly at face value. Full face value. They look like their parents, whom we already know to be movie stars. White people look like their parents, whom we already know to be in charge. This is what white people look like—other white people. The owners. The people in charge. That’s the advantage of being white. And that’s the game. So by the time the white person sees the black person standing next to him at what he thinks is the starting line, the black person should be exhausted from his long and arduous trek to the beginning.
—Fran Lebowitz