Looking Back, November 2016

Self is doing catch-up reading of The New Yorker. She’s currently reading The Talk of the Town of the 3 February 2020 issue:

  • In the dazed aftermath of the 2016 election, as a vast portion of the country tried to come to terms with the fact that a fixture of the tabloids and of reality TV would be the next President of the United States . . .

Steve Bannon announces the new President’s agenda in an interview to — not The New York Times, not the Wall Street Journal, not the Washington Post, but to The Hollywood Reporter which would have been telling except we were all too dazed from shock to grasp the direction the wind was blowing:

We’re going to build an entirely new political movement.

Four years later, here we are. The new political movement turns out to be nothing more than a transparent and clumsy power grab by the most rank amateur ever to occupy the White House. All that fanfare, all that hoopla — all just a distraction, all smoke and shiny mirrors. To call it tinsel-town Hollywood would be an insult to the actual Hollywood.

Does self sound bitter? That’s because she is. She voted for Hillary and really, really thought that American women would have their moment. Instead, we got the president who’s a serial cheater and the First Lady who was so enthusiastic about being First Lady that she re-negotiated the terms of her pre-nup before she agreed to move into the White House.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

The True Face of Freedom Wears a Mask

Kwame Anthony Appiah in wsj, Sat/Sun Aug. 8 – 9, 2020:

What’s the iconic image of American freedom? To judge by countless rock and country songs, it’s rolling down the highway, possibly with the wind in our hair. Sure, there were comforts back home, but also expectations and obligations, and now, rockin’ down the highway, you’re free from all that.

But what does it take to roll on down the highway? Well, a highway, for starters. The federal government built the interstate highway system, using its constitutional prerogative of eminent domain hundreds of thousands of times to keep it straight, while collecting taxes to pay for its construction and maintenance. And then you can only speed down your lane because you know that the other cars are moving in the same direction. Governmental power, exercised through a veritable trailer-load of law, is what makes it possible to keep truckin’ on.

Minimal-state libertarians tend to revile regulations while prizing private property and the free market. But property rights are meaningless without legal procedures to sort out ownership and mechanisms of enforcement to protect it.


The piece is extremely long and takes up most of page C4 in tiny print, so self will resist quoting too much. The upshot is: There’s precious little freedom in the sick ward and less still in the graveyard.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

IMMIGRATION NATION Premieres on Netflix

Quoting from Vanity Fair’s Don’t Look Away from Immigration Nation, HWD Daily, 3 August 2020:

  • Few docuseries are as urgent and infuriating as Immigration Nation, which premieres on Netflix today. Filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau gained rare access to ICE agents and detention facilities, following officers, bureaucrats, and asylum-seekers through our broken system. “Most of the time,” Sonia Saraiya writes, “what emerges is a system increasingly designed to maximize the immigrants’ suffering.” Particularly under the current administration, “it seems that the immigration process has been changed primarily to make immigration as difficult and painful as possible. Donald Trump cannot, on his own, outlaw immigration. But he can cruelly disappoint those who dare to hope that the U.S. could be their home. It’s striking that these apparent undesirables are mostly guilty only of believing they could belong in America; they’re being punished for believing in a dream.”

Watch, and stay safe.

 

 

Monday Read: THE FILIPINOS: PORTRAIT OF A PEOPLE, by Manuel D. Duldulao

p. 13: “the past comes rushing back . . . ”

  • On election day, in full view of more than 700 foreign and local journalists, and millions of concerned citizens, Marcos’s men ripped up ballots, bought others and muzzled voters. As many as three million names were stricken off the voters’ list.

p. 16 features a description of self’s favorite Filipino dessert, halo-halo (Literal Translation: mix-mix):

  • This delicacy, served in a tall sundae glass, contains diced bananas, sweet mango, chickpeas, kidney beans, strands of macapuno (the succulent meat of a variety of coconut) — all of these in syrup — plus pinipig (kernels of crisp and delectable rice), mongo beans, corn, langka (jackfruit), sweet potato, jello, ube (purple yam preserves), and leche flan.

HUNGRY.

Sunday Read: wsj, Tuesday, 28 July 2020, p. A3

DSCN0097

Eric Murfitt, controller of Mercantile Portland, a downtown clothing retailer who “said he supports the fight for racial justice” but “blames Portland’s leaders for letting the protesters go too far and holds federal agents responsible for turning them into martyrs” told wsj: “They’ve gotten a lot of sympathy from a lot of people . . . None of that . . . should have gotten sympathy.”

Justin King, owner of Rooks Barbershop, whose “windows were broken three times at his downtown store” and “regularly participates in demonstrations,” said it happened “while I was out getting tear-gassed. It was pretty frustrating.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is “a sixth-generation Oregonian” struggling to straddle the line between police reform and ceding control to the only black member of the Portland City Commission.

Oh by the way:

“Last week . . . the city council in Washington D.C. . . . approved a . . . roughly 3% cut to the police budget” (which, in self’s humble opinion, seems pretty WEE, given all the weeks of protest)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Currently Listening To

The New Abnormal, podcast launched by The Daily Beast in April.

Hosts: Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson

Money Quote: “. . . between Mary Trump, Demon Sperm, and the world still in chaos . . . ”

Yes. Yes. We are in the Last Days of the Trump Presidency, and it is a wild and crazy time, involving  bad hydrochloroquine sell jobs, threats to end TikTok and the US Post Office (and even the elections), and the U.S. Secretary of Education telling America their kids are “natural stoppers” for corona virus hence they should do their patriotic duty by GETTING OUT THERE, ATTENDING SCHOOL, and SAVING THEIR COUNTRY.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Portland a ‘Test Case’ for Feds: USA Today

AP20205504989491_t653.jpg

Critics said the president is testing out heavy-handed enforcement in Portland, a largely white city known as one of the most progressive in the nation, before moving on to more diverse cities. They also accused the president of creating more conflict amid national protests over racial injustice and police brutality against Black Americans.


“They have done this paramilitary (stuff) to immigrant communities with ICE … and now they’re seemingly testing it out in Portland,” he said. “I think this is their first attempt to roll it out on a major American city and on white people. I think they thought they were going to get away with it. And we are not going to let them get away with it.”

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama, March 7, 1965

March 7, 1965: the March on  Selma

John Lewis, in light coat, on the ground

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Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

Thank you for your service, sir.

America After George Floyd

As self told one young man on Twitter: This is your moment. Better not waste it.

I won’t, he said.

(In his very next tweet he called Joe Biden an “Andrew Jackson Democrat” and she was so confused but didn’t have time to figure out what he meant so she blocked him)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

COVID Report, England

From Chris Evans, Editor of the Telegraph:

Sixteen weeks have now passed since the nationwide lockdown was announced. As the Government continues to mitigate the virus’s spread, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has revealed that there are more than 100 outbreaks of Covid-19 in the country each week.

Excuse me, what? Did you say “more than 100 outbreaks of Covid-19 in the country each week?”

America has thousands of new cases, EACH DAY. Georgia had something like over 4,000 new cases in just one day last week. Also last week, California had 149 covid-related deaths in one day, a record.

In other news, mark the day: JULY 11, the day Trump finally wore a mask in public, on a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD:

106612135-1594503568290ap_20193778608110.jpg

WOO HOO!

He didn’t seem happy about it.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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