Turnout: England, 8 June 2017

The “youthquake” was a key component of Corbyn’s 10-point advance in Labour’s share of the vote — exceeding even Tony Blair’s nine-pont gain in his first 1997 landslide. No official data exists for the scale of this but an NME-led exit poll suggests turnout among under-35s rose by 12 points to 56% compared with 2015. The survey said nearly two-thirds of younger voters backed Labour, with Brexit their main concern.

— Alan Travis, The Guardian, Saturday, 10 June 2017

Danger!: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 3 May 2017

Signage, Cork:

DSCN1591

How will Brexit impact Ireland? No one knows for sure.

What’s next for America?

DSCN1114

Reading The Guardian, March 2017

As luck would have it, self began reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon:

DSCN1109

Self’s reading of THE DECLINE AND FALL gave self all sorts of premonitions.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Zoe Williams in The Guardian, 20 April 2017 (So déja vu)

  • As awful as this is, your despair will make it worse. — Zoe Williams, The Guardian

After watching (on Twitter) a broken-hearted spouse say good-bye to his partner, the policeman killed on the Champs Elysée (was it a week or two weeks ago, who can remember), and feeling like I am about to crack up (dispensing with “self” again — who knows, this may become a thing), I remember what grief I and probably 85% of the citizens of San Francisco felt after the Donald became SCROTUS.

What a bizarre situation to find ourselves in: when Theresa May called a snap election the question wasn’t even whether or not to despair. Obviously I’m in despair, and so are you. Just admit it. Rather, it was in the nature and extent of the despair. We have an unelected Conservative prime minister enjoying a lead in the polls that is higher for an incumbent than at any time since some younger voters have been alive.

Theresa May, the vicar’s daughter, was meant to be the George Washington of probity; her straightforwardness was putatively her redeeming feature, and here she is, doing the thing she has expressly been saying she wouldn’t do, ever since she’s been in post. The Tories have steered us straight into oncoming traffic, to the certain destruction of our international standing, the probable destruction of our prosperity, the possible destruction of our kingdom.

To cement which outrageous victory, they now want a rematch, only this time against an opposition with radical bearing and retail policies, the most unelectable combination imaginable. How can the Conservatives lose? Yet what breadth and depth of damage can they do if they win? Part of me wants to reconcile now to their victory, just so I don’t wake up on 9 June feeling 100 times worse than I did last 24 June after the EU referendum, 1,000 times worse than 9 November after Donald Trump’s victory, and a million times worse than I did after the 2015 general election, which now looks like an election picnic.

To all of which, I can simply say: I feel ya, Zoe Williams.

Stay tuned.

 

More From Mary Beard

Self just loves writing that name so much: Mary Beard. Mary Beard.

It’s a wonderful name for a writer. Maybe if self was a man, she would still like to be called Mary Beard.

Anyhoo, in SPQR, Mary Beard tells us that the Imperial Roman Army was divided into centuries (So that’s where that word comes from!). These centuries were not all equal: even the rich served, so in the army the top “eighty centuries of men” were from “the richest, first class, who fought in a full kit of heavy bronze armour.”

Following these were four more centuries, “wearing progressively lighter armour” (“the richer you are, the more substantial and expensive equipment you can provide for yourself”).

The lowest class of centuries “fought with just slings and stones.”

The “very poorest . . . were entirely exempt from military service.”

#Huh

Would the reasoning go something like: The rich have the most to lose, so they would make the best warriors. The poorest class have nothing to lose, so we can’t trust them to defend the motherland with the same determination (Plus, if they can’t afford their own armor, the poor things would be killed quite handily)

Thinking of the modern-day American Army, it is an all-volunteer Army. No rich man needs to fight. Neither do the children of the rich.

You will see that certain states are more well-represented than others. Such as, for instance, West Virginia. Most people who sign up for the Army do so because they can’t afford to pay for college on their own; if they sign up, the Army will pay for college. So, they take their chances.

(Self has seen recruiting stations in malls in Daly City and South San Francisco, NEVER in Palo Alto, Cupertino, Menlo Park, etc etc Not even in downtown San Francisco. Need you ask why?)

This organization had a parallel in the voting structure (At least Imperial Rome recognized the vote!): Each century had just one block vote (like our American electoral college): “If they stuck together , the eighty centuries of the richest, first class . . .  could outvote all the other classes put together . . .  The richest citizens were far fewer in number than the poor, but they were divided among eighty centuries, as against the twenty or thirty for the more populous lower classes, or the single century for the mass of the very poorest.”

Fascinating.

Stay tuned.

#amreading: Talk of the Town, The New Yorker, December 19 & 26, 2016

. . .  congressional Republicans are feeling bullish about finally achieving a goal that they’ve sought for years: getting rid of federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides health services like cancer screening and contraception, as well as abortion. If a Trump Administration succeeds in dismantling the Affordable Care Act, or simply in eliminating the mandate that health plans include contraception coverage, many more women will lose access to health care and, especially, to more expensive, but also more effective, long-acting contraceptive methods, such as the I.U.D.


Under Jeff Sessions (new Attorney General), the Justice Department is unlikely to provide robust protection for abortion clinics.


For Labor Secretary, Trump has in mind Andrew Puzder, the C.E.O. of the company that runs Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. An opponent of raising the minimum wage and of expanding overtime pay, Puzder, referring to the company’s ads, told the magazine Entrepreneur, “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.”

Trump won the Presidency despite a well-documented penchant for the vulgar belittlement of women, and with the help of a fan base energized by chants of “Lock Her Up.”

Quote of the Day: Andrew Marantz

What exactly is alt-right? Other than an inflammatory hashtag?

Here’s one definition. It’s in an essay called “Trolls for Trump,” by Andrew Marantz (The New Yorker, 31 October 2016):

a loose, on-line affiliation of white nationalists, neo-monarchists, masculinists, conspiracists, belligerent nihilists, and social media trolls. The alt-right has no consistent ideology; it is a label, like “snob” or “hipster,” that is often disavowed by people who exemplify it. The term typically applies to conservatives and reactionaries who are active on the Internet and too anti-establishment to feel at home in the Republican Party.

The essay then goes on to show how the alt-right is seeding social media with misinformation.

As if any thinking person didn’t know that already?

She never presses “like” anymore unless she’s vetted the tweeter. Whereas in the old days (pre-Nov. 8), she would just blithely follow back.

Then she’d discover — days, weeks, or even months later — that the person endorses the Muslim Ban and the Muslim Registry. And it fills her with so much shame.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading: Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker Article on Kellyanne Conway, “Taming Trump” (17 October 2016)

Conway went to Trinity Washington University, a Catholic college in Washington, DC, and received a law degree from George Washington University. She pointed out that, while Hillary Clinton failed the D.C. bar exam in 1973, before passing in Arkansas, Conway was allowed into the D.C. bar after passing the exams in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Conway said she thought about that during the first debate: “Boy, she really can cram a lot of information into her head for one performance. How the heck did she fail the D.C. bar?”

#thatlastquestion #snark

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Graydon Carter, Editor’s Letter, Vanity Fair, December 2015

The political arena has always held its attractions for business leaders who believe that wisdom picked up at the coal face of American industry can be applied to civics. On the surface, this seems like a natural transition. But it isn’t. Most people who succeed at business do so with a relentless, single-minded ego thrust that crushes the opposition and tosses aside the weaklings who stand in the way. Wait, that does sound like what it takes to win at national politics.

What’s interesting is . . .  the way voters keep seizing on the idea that someone from the business world (Lee Iacocca? Ross Perot?) is the ideal candidate to lead us into the Promised Land when the only real business titan we’ve ever had as president was Herbert Hoover. And look how that worked out.

To the Last

Obama:  How do we make sure that we don’t change, even as we protect our people?”

— quoted in The Economist, 26 November 2016

Hillary

“I think that if you live long enough, you realize that so much of what happens in life is out of your control, but how you respond to it is in your control. That’s what I try to remember.”

« Older entries

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

fashionnotfear.wordpress.com/

Fear holds you back, fashion takes you places!

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

"Stories makes us more alive, more human. . . . "---Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

FashionPoetry by Val

Sometimes, I write down my thoughts (and other random stuff) and I share them

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog

Jean Lee's World

Finder of Fantasy & Adventure in Her Own Backyard