Government officials can also stigmatize drug use in a way that causes accidents, as in 2015, when the state of Indiana had an HIV outbreak. There is no reason that any place in the United States should be having an HIV outbreak in 2015 — we know what causes HIV and how to prevent it. But in Indiana, it was illegal to have a syringe. Thus syringes were in short supply, so people who used drugs were reusing and sharing syringes, leading to accidental HIV transmission.— There Are No Accidents, pp. 121 – 122
“We have learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed . . . America has been tested and we have come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.”
In the US, Trump lost in almost all of America’s big cities in both 2016 and 2020. He also split the American electorate on educational lines, losing heavily among college graduates but winning almost 80 percent of the votes of non-college-educated white men. Little wonder that he remarked in 2016: “I love the poorly educated.”
— The Age of the Strongman: How the Cult of the Leader Threatens Democracy Around the World, by Gideon Rachman, p. 14
On to the Next: #amreading The Age of the Strongman: How the Cult of the Leader Threatens Democracy Around the World
from the Introduction:
Joe Biden has made the global promotion of democracy a central goal of his presidency. But he has come to power in the midst of the Age of the Strongman. Populist and authoritarian leaders are now shaping the direction of world politics. They are riding a tide of resurgent nationalism and cultural and territorial conflict that may be too powerful to be turned back by Biden’s reassertion of liberal values and American leadership.
Even in the US itself, Biden’s victory has not definitively turned the page on strongman politics. Donald Trump did well enough in the 2020 presidential election to spark immediate talk of him running for the presidency again in 2024. Even if Trump himself pulls back from frontline politics, future Republican contenders are likely to embrace the political formula he has identified.
- About the author: Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times. He joined the FT in 2006, after fifteen years at The Economist, where he served as a correspondent in Washington DC, Brussels, and Bangkok.
It’s been a while since self joined this challenge, hosted by Mama Cormier.
Mama Cormier’s trios this week include a fun trio of scarecrows in front of an ice cream store. Self’s is a picture of three young people looking at Israeli artist Micha Ullman’s The Empty Library, an art installation on “one of the many sites of the Nazi book burnings in 1933.” Read more about the memorial in the caption below. The picture was part of an exhibit she saw at the San Francisco Public Library last month.
Last spring . . . I fell in love with an idea, and the idea’s name was Scott. I met him online. Not on a dating site. Not Match.com, or JDate, or Manhunt, not Grindr or Scruff — “Gay Guys Worldwide” ready to hook up with you; what could be more overwhelming? — but a site for long-term survivors of AIDS. Romantic stuff. Survivors, in particular, of the first fifteen years of the global AIDS crisis, 1981 to 1996, from the first reported cases of young gay men dying of pneumonia and a rare form of cancer in New York and California, to the development, release, and marketing of a lifesaving drug regimen, HAART, highly active antiretroviral therapy. Sound technical? It’s small talk on a website for a long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS.“Humoresque”, story #9 in John weir’s collection, your nostalgia is killing me
Not everyone on the site had HIV, but we were all living with HIV . . . Millions around the world had been transfigured by the losses they had endured before there was an effective treatment for HIV. Millions still had no access to lifesaving drugs. More than five-hundred fifty-thousand people worldwide were dead from AIDS by 1996, and more Americans than had died in Vietnam.“Humoresque”, story #9 in John weir’s collection, your nostalgia is killing me
Hate WordPress block editing. There was a paragraph break in the quote. Tried and tried to insert one, but finally had to create two separate quotes. Asked for help. Customer Service: “But BOTH quotes are there, what’s the problem?” Me: “The problem is that these are not TWO separate quotes. Both paragraphs are part of the SAME quote.” WordPress: “HUH?” Me: “DUH?” Finally had to end the conversation; we were going in circles. So frustrating.
Because Krymov has not been charged, he cannot be put on trial. He exists in the limbo of Lubyanka Prison, serving out an indeterminate sentence.
Once a fellow prisoner advised him:
- “You should help them formulate a charge. How about this? Feeling a wild hatred for everything new, I groundlessly criticized works of art that had been awarded a Stalin Prize.”
John Roberts has voiced concern: “Simply because people disagree with an opinion is not a basis for questioning the legitimacy of the court.”
It is all a bit passive-aggressive. It is also somewhat insulting to the intelligence of Americans who feel they are past the stage when the parents must spell out to each other the words they hope will not be understood. What the judges are talking about, when they talk about the court’s legitimacy, is whether the court is acting like just another political branch of government. And everyone knows the answer: of course it is. When Mitch McConnell, then Senate majority leader, refused for 294 days to grant even a hearing to President Barack Obama’s last pick for the court, calculating that doing so might help elect a Republican who would choose someone else, he did not protect anyone’s legitimacy. He advanced ideas of jurisprudence that, by happy coincidence, matched his political objectives. He got what he wanted — not just once, as it turned out, but three times, locking in the conservative majority. Can Americans really be expected to pretend that was not a political act, with a political outcome?
The Ukrainian advances in the east and the south of the country looked like separate operations but in retrospect they appear to be part of a coordinated plan.“ukrainian strategy is running circles around russian forces” by stephen fidler, james marson and thomas grove, wall street journal, thursday, oct. 13, 2022, p. a1
Man and Fascism cannot co-exist. If fascism conquers, man will cease to exist and there will remain only man-like creatures that have undergone an internal transformation. But if man, man who is endowed with reason and kindness, should conquer, then Fascism must perish, and those who have submitted to it will once again become people.— life and fate, pp. 94 – 95