Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Discuss Trump with Children - A Choice for Parents as in the Former Soviet Union

Mikhail Iossel in The New Yorker brings us to the time of the late Soviet Union, when parents were very cautious about discussing politics with their children in fear that they would tell a teacher or another adult what their parents said.  The same is taking place in Russia now, too—at least, in intelligentsia families: What’s the point of discussing Putin? Putin is as Putin does.

En his article entitled, "Welcome to the World of Soviet Feelings," Iossel equates the Russian situation to the present United States, where parents in the face a choice whether or not to honestly discuss Trump.

 "Trump is a distinctly ugly thread in the narrative of the American Presidency, a human disaster unto itself. What are responsible American parents supposed to say to their children about Trump? 'Sorry, kids, America has screwed up bigly this time around'? This sort of national calamity wasn’t supposed to happen in America. This is the Soviet kind of narrative, if you will: the rulership of the worst sort of people—the reckless, the ignorant, the avaricious, the lethally indifferent. That danger presented by Trump, the precariousness of U.S. democracy—that’s something, possibly, to tell one’s children. And to tell them, also, that it might be best not to talk about any of that with strangers. This is the end of American-bound innocence for the new generation of America’s children—and for their parents, too. Welcome to the world of 'Soviet' feelings."

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/welcome-to-the-world-of-soviet-feelings?mbid=social_facebook_aud_dev_kw_paid-welcome-to-the-world-of-soviet-feelings&kwp_0=563002

White Republicans Lead in NRA Funding, Democrats are Way Behind

The New York Times has released the list of the most funded congressional representatives in receiving money from the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.). The article, entitled "Thoughts and Prayers for Texas. NRA Funding for Washington" lists with pictures the top 10.

All of the top ten Senators and Representatives are white Republicans. Eighteen of the twenty are men. 

The highest ranked Democrat in the House is Sanford Bishop, who ranks 41st in career donations from the N.R.A. Among the top 100 House recipients, 95 are Republican. In the Senate, the top two Democrats are Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who rank 52nd and 53rd — behind every Republican but Dan Sullivan of Alaska.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/06/opinion/nra-funding-prayers-texas.html

White Men - Key to Why We Have So Many Mass Shootings

According to Newsweek, white men have committed mass shootings more than any other group. However, in our society, we have been slow to identify them as a group.

In hierarchies, top groups are given the "isolated incident" pass. When members of their group do something that is undesirable, it is assigned to a reason other than entitlement, as the Newsweek article suggests is at the root of the anger in white men.

If Muslim men or black women had committed a disproportionate number of mass shootings, then we would notice them as a group. Instead we say white males are mentally ill, but mentally ill women are not shooting hundreds of people they don't know.

 http://www.newsweek.com/white-men-have-committed-more-mass-shootings-any-other-group-675602?amp=1

Friday, October 27, 2017

Hats Off to Tom Steyer

All people at the top of our wealth hierarchy aren't clueless.

Billionaire Tom Steyer has instituted a $10 million dollar ad campaign calling for Donald Trump to be impeached. Watch it here.

http://ktla.com/2017/10/27/trump-calls-billionaire-pro-impeachment-activist-tom-steyer-of-california-wacky-unhinged/

Whitefish - People at the Top Aren't Held Accountable

Usually people at the top are a little more discrete about taking what they want with little opportunity for accountability. But Interior Secretary's Ryan Zinke ignored even that when he gave a contract to a small Montana energy company worth $300 million dollars to supposedly rebuild power systems in Puerto Rico.

Not only is there no accountability for awarding the contract, but a copy of the deal obtained by reporter Ken Klippenstein reveals that the government isn't allowed to "audit or review the cost and profit elements" under the agreement, allowing the company greater discretion and secrecy for how it spends the $300 million to restore power to the island. Puerto Rico is rebuilding after two major hurricanes wiped out most of the island's electrical grid.

Whitefish contract also states that the Puerto Rican government "waives any claim against Contractor related to delayed completion of work." 

Under Trump/Pence and the Republicans, people at the top expect and get what they want at the expense of the rest of us.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/357473-whitefish-energy-contract-bars-government-from-auditing-deal

Monday, October 16, 2017

New World Record - People Dressed as Rosie the Riveter

3,755 girls and women dressed as Rosie the Riveter gathered at the Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center in Ypsilanti on Saturday, October 14, breaking the world record.

Dressed in blue shirts and red bandanas, the youngest was six months old, and the oldest 110.

Rosie the Riveter was a patriotic symbol pictured in a poster of a woman wearing a bandanna and flexing her muscles under the slogan, "We can do it!" The character was inspired by Michigan native Rose Will Monroe, one of thousands of women who worked at the Willow Run plant producing B-24 bombers during World War II.

And women are still refusing to stay in lower rungs of our country's hierarchies, and are creating change, here and across the world.

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2017/10/michigan_smashes_world_record.html

Extremes at the End of the See Saw

As explained in Everyone Jump Together, that is downloadable for free on this website, people clinging to hierarchies have moved out to the extreme end of the see saw, being motivated by people who want to end hierarchies. Chaos continues to emerge.

In "The Republican Civil War is Spreading," Paul Waldman describes the civil war that is spreading in the ranks of the Republican Party.

"They are beginning to tear themselves apart over the question of who is to blame for their current difficulties, with one side saying it's the fault of a feckless establishment that is insufficiently loyal to President Trump, and the other side saying — mostly sotto voce, but occasionally out loud — that the responsibility lies with Trump himself."

Also, Waldman predicts that if tax reform going down in flames, the conflicts within the GOP will get even uglier.

http://theweek.com/articles/730474/republican-civil-war-spreading?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=afternoon&utm_medium=10_14_17-article_1-730474