The Dakota Pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux

In 2016, protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline attracted worldwide attention. The oil pipeline was designed to run from North to South Dakota, across Iowa, and into Illinois. The Standing Rock Sioux objected to the pipeline’s path on the grounds that it violated treaty rights and threatened the tribe’s water supply, grave sites and sacred land. Thousands camped out at Standing Rock to try and stop the project . . . In December 2016, the Obama administration blocked construction of the pipeline’s most contested section.

A month later, newly inaugurated president Donald Trump reversed the decision. By June 2017, oil was flowing. In the tumultuous first year of the Trump administration, the media moved on. In September 2017, Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman David Archambault II, a hero while the spotlight was trained on the controversy, was voted out of office.

— Chapter 10, Oak Flat: the Fight for Sacred Land in the American West

This is a fascinating book, as self keeps saying. She hopes she can finish it tonight and return it to the library tomorrow, because it’s way overdue and someone’s put a hold on it.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

More About Daddy, the Trump Supporter

Hugely enjoying Ayad Akhtar, let her tell ya. Self, too, is trying to understand the mystique of The Former Guy.

Here, Akhtar continues to try to de-construct his father’s support for DJT:

I think Father was looking for an image of just how much more his American self could contain than the Pakistani one he’d left behind. I think he wanted to know what the limits were. In America, you could have anything, right? Even the presidency? If an idiot like Trump could get hold of it, couldn’t you? Even if you didn’t want it? After all, the idiot apparently didn’t want it, either. He just wanted to know he could have it. Or maybe the emphasis there needs to shift: he wanted to know he could have it.

— p. 23, Homeland Elegies

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

2016 Redux

Homeland Elegies brings self back to that time of innocence, pre-Former Guy, when we thought all he was good for was palaver.

Father: He’s not going to win . . . You’re smart enough to know that. He doesn’t even want to win. He’s trying to send a message.

Ayad Akhtar: I thought you said he was trying to start a channel.

Father: Same thing.

AA: He’s running for an election he doesn’t want to win so he can start a channel to send a message?

Father: The system is broken . . . I’m saying he won’t win, so you should calm down.

— pp. 18 – 19, Homeland Elegies

And then he did win.

Self still remembers how, on the evening of Election Day, she took Caltrain from Palo Alto to the City, and the packed train car was full of anxious buzz buzz buzz. She finally asked the young woman next to her what was going on.

The young woman said: “Trump’s winning. I’m scared.” The woman held up her cell. Polls on the East Coast had just closed, and the numbers were shocking.

The next morning, when self turned on her cell, the first message was: Your representation has changed. Then, a long long list of newly elected candidates ending with: The President of the United States: DT!

That night, the smell of pot was stronger than usual from the apartment above. Self remembers there were people hanging out on the fire escape, and she could distinctly hear their conversation: “Can you believe he WON? What’s going to happen NOW?”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day? No, Sentence(s) of the Day!

Puerile pleasures, that’s what Father was learning again — we all were — and Trump was our tutor. I really can’t imagine that my father, this man I know and love, whom I still admire in so many ways, I can’t imagine he didn’t sense something was amiss. But somehow, he just kept looking the other way, seeking some worthwhile reason for the widespread abasement.

pp. 16 – 17, Homeland Elegies

If you want to laugh, dear blog readers, especially after seeing hashtag JoeIsaPedo trending, then Homeland Elegies is the book for you!

When Daddy Is a Trump Supporter: A List

A breakfast place in Waukesha where we were the only nonwhites enjoying brunch for the weekend after Trump entered the race with those infamous remarks about Mexican immigrants being rapists and murders. “I don’t know what you’re so worked up about. He’s a showman. He’s drawing attention. He doesn’t really mean it.”

The mental contortions he performed to make sense of Trump’s nonsense, which made me wonder if he was going senile. “Everything he says about the media is right. It is rigged. Rigged to make money.”

For a thoughtful man — at least one who’d evidenced instances of thoughtfulness with reassuring frequency over the years — the man seemed to be turning into an imbecile, his hodgepodge views like mental flatulence, one fetid odor after another.

Homeland Elegies, by Ayad Akhtar, p. 16

Why did no one prepare self for the delight.

And to think she was reading such depressing books before! Homeland Elegies is exactly the mind-cleanse self needed, especially after the garbage of 35 GOP Senators blocking a bill that would have investigated why they were threatened by a mob on Jan. 6. (Keep threatening us, mob! We like you, we really, really like you!)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

First Ayad Akhtar: HOMELAND ELEGIES

Reading a book is something like going on a blind date: you don’t know if it’ll be a hit or a miss. It’s not you, I promise. You begin with hope.

Abundance, for some reason, did not work out.

Self is starting Homeland Elegies, which opens with a timeline which gives much prominence to various “encounters with Trump” and includes “diagnosed with syphilis” (2015).

Opening sentence:

  • My father first met Donald Trump in the early 90s, when they were both in their midforties — my father the elder by a year — and as each was coming out from under virtual financial ruin.

Well, you certainly got self’s attention, Mr. Akhbar.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The Birth of the Birther Conspiracy

44 remembers the exact date.

It was Feb. 10, 2011, during Trump’s speech at the CPAC convention that year.

p. 675, Trump at CPAC:

  • “our current President came out of nowhere . . . The people that went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who it is. It’s crazy.”

It’s not like 44 goes around dropping exact dates of when this or that person said something negative about him. And the book ends at 705 pages. Yes, Obama did indeed serve up this nugget, a mere 30 pages from the end.

You don’t think 44 has a score to settle? Self thinks he has a score to settle.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: The Economist, 20 Feb. 2021

The fact that only seven of them mustered the courage to join the entire Democratic caucus in voting against Mr. Trump suggests that the impeachment power is now in effect defunct.

— from “Marred but at largio: Donald Trump lives to fight and incite another day,” p. 22, The Economist (20 February 2021)

So Long, Won’t Be Missing You

_________________________________________________________________________________

His tweets and retweets, which came “at a favored rate of more than a hundred a day,” provided “talking points right-wing media outlets,” and were “absorbed as doctrine by millions of faithful constituents.” (The New Yorker, The Talk of the Town, 25 May 2020)

A sample of adjectives used by 45 in his tweets: “pathetic,” “dopey,” “a total nut job,” and “low-class slob.”

He declared “They will have to drag me out of the White House!”

Well, you’re gone, gone, goooooooone.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day, 2nd Wednesday of 2021

Silicon Valley’s moves to eject President Trump from social media represent a display of power the companies have avoided making for nearly four years.

— “Big Tech Firms Flex Muscle With Bans” by Sarah E. Needleman and Georgia Wells, Wall Street Journal, 11 January 2021

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