It's Christmas, the second-most-important Christian holiday and the most important holiday for many Americans. Tonight is Christmas Eve. But for some families, every year, Christmas comes at a moment that seems dark and difficult. Many of my friends are in my thoughts tonight, and my own family is grieving.
This will be our last Christmas with Mom. My mother is in hospice. She spoke during the fall about wanting to make it to Christmas, and she has. I am immensely thankful. I am very sad. We have her; we will lose her. The two truths are not separate.
The idea has taken hold in some circles that a fair number of Bernie Sanders supporters are sexist. Fellow Dagblogger PeraclesPlease describes "leftist misogyny" as "waiting for the right woman [not Hillary]".
At Salon, the reliably misandrist Amanda Marcotte identifies a "Bernie bro phenomenon" consisting "of young men whose enthusiasm for socialism is goosed by an unacknowledged sexism". Slate's more credible Michelle Goldberg contends many male Bernie backers "certainly don’t care about female leadership."
As someone who wallows in politics, in opining, in making fun of those who, if I were the violent type, would be subject to ear pulls and nose-tweaking, I'm still surprised when, like clockwork, these are my thoughts at Christmas time:
What I would love, more than nearly any other possible thing, is for the Republican presidential to shut their mouths about how frightening Daesh is. That's exactly what Daesh wants, and it is shameful that Trump, Carson, Christie, Cruz, and the rest give Daesh that satisfaction. It is still more disgraceful still to give terrorists any advantage in the hopes of gaining political advantage oneself. But my biggest question is, where is their national pride? When did the Republican candidates forget they were Americans?
It all began in July, Donald Trump was on TV continuously, I had a dental appointment coming up. I slept very deeply the night before my appointment and I was dreaming, I mean having a nightmare. I sat straight up in bed scared to death, because I'd dreamt Donald Trump was my dentist. There he was standing over my face, dye job gone wrong red hair and his his skin was a light cheeto tint, it was disturbing and probably true, but I've never been that close to Donald Trump to say that is absolutely factual. His assistant was everything you would expect of a Trump assistant.
Bernie Sanders' Presidential bid received two significant boosts today. First, the 700,000 member Communications Workers of America (CWA) endorsed Sanders. Then, Howard Dean's Democracy for America (DFA) bucked its founder's call for members to support Clinton and instead overwhelmingly opted to back Dean's fellow Vermonter. Here are five takeaways:
Symbols play a very important role in our society, because uniforms, badges, robes and such help us to identify the various roles that people play to hold our society together. That's why it is so important that people who are given symbols of authority represent those symbols well, and it's also important for the public to always remain aware of the psychological impact that symbols have on our psyche.
I know that I'm supposed to fear that the political ascendancy of Donald Trump is just evidence of our society sliding, like Weimar Germany, into unrepentant fascism, but I still think his campaign is a lot of fun because he is a very powerful man bent on speaking truth to power.
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
This kind of radical imagery is necessary if we (religious and secular people of good faith and intentions) are ever going to shatter a cultural symbolic order that seeks to lessen the suffering of others. We ingest this symbolic order through benign daily conversations, and the ideas and images disseminated through television and other forms of media. We are being consciously and sometimes subconsciously conditioned to see some people as less than us.
What happened in San Bernardino represents an unwelcome threshold between the ideal behind Islamic-inspired international terrorism and homegrown violence. Obama made a mistake tonight by elevating a criminal event into an international incident.
Most Americans have embraced a philosophy of "go-along-to get-along," and that's a philosophy that has never served minorities, or the working class, well. It's a philosophy that only serves to maintain the status quo. So if you're at the bottom of the ladder, not being paid a living wage, and being treated unjustly, helping to maintain the status quo virtually guarantees that you'll remain in that condition. On the other hand, if you're one of those lucky few who have managed to accumulate a few of the finer things in life, you're doing a gross disservice to all those people of high moral character and integrity who came before you and made your lifestyle possible.
As is her wont, Hillary Clinton is telling tales on the campaign trail. Eight years ago, she cited her landing in Sarajevo during the Balkans war under sniper fire and having "to run with our heads down" from the plane as evidence that she had more foreign policy experience than then-Senator Barack Obama.
The other thing with terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families."
Collateral Damage is a wonderful term, do you not think.
Yesterday on Morning Joe, Joseph McQuaid, the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, was asked why his newspaper was endorsing Chris Christie for president. Mika Brzezinski asked what successes in Christie's record would stand out as something he could accomplish on a grand scale. Without even blinking, McQuaid rattled off three things. The first two, apparently in order of importance, were these: Christie is pro-life and has vetoed several pro-abortion bills. He has defunded a block funding for Planned Parenthood. (The third one--because there were three--was about Christie keeping taxes in check.)
Australian philosopher and Princeton professor Peter Singer developed a thought experiment in which he asked people if they would jump into a swimming pool to save a drowning child if it meant ruining a thousand dollar suit. Every person asked, without hesitation, answered yes they would jump in to save a drowning child. Then he asked the participants to send the thousand dollars they saved by not jumping in a pool to a charity that helps children dying overseas. This was a much tougher proposition. It’s hard to make sacrifices for people half a world away, harder when they pray to a “different God”, and even harder when they don’t look like you.
“It was pretty glowing about us,” one person who watched the event said. “It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”
What do Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Franklin Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson all have in common? They all accepted campaign contributions from Wall Street tycoons. all successfully imposed regulations on corporations anyway. Sen. Barack Obama was able to tap nearly 4 million individual donors in 2008. On the other, when it came to actual dollars donated, the share coming from small donors was a similar one-third.
It may seem I am harping on this subject but the story is simply enormous. Every day one more layer is peeled back.
This is what happens when the undocumented among us are left uninformed and too afraid to seek answers anyway.
In Flint, Michigan, where the municipal water supply has been contaminated with lead, undocumented immigrants have been turned away from getting emergency water at distribution centers because they couldn’t produce driver’s licenses.