There’s an app called NextDoor which is supposed to be a neighborhood-based bulletin board social media platform where people can talk about their garbage cans or post pictures of their yard sale crap or ask about when the next yard waste day is supposed to be. As with all other social media platforms, our particular NextDoor neighborhood has devolved into a cesspool of MAGA vs. everyone else over the chalk messages written on the school—specifically the Black Lives Matter messages that went up last week. What started out as a wonderful, grass-roots show of support was met with a bunch of assholes complaining, people threatening to wash it off, other people threatening to cover it in Blue Lives Matter with spray paint, and finally some douchebag white woman actually going out and trying to wash it off herself. Seriously, trying to erase “NO HATE” written on the wall by children? What kind of a racist robot are you?
The school board had a crew come out and pressure-wash the whole thing and now it’s the same boring brick building it always was. Can I mention how much I hate people?
I really want to hammer this home: every cop in your neighborhood is damaged by their training, emboldened by their immunity, and they have a gun and the ability to take your life with near-impunity. This does not make you safer, even if you’re white.
A third of the country locked itself in a hall of mirrors that it believed to be reality; a third drove itself mad with the effort to hold on to the idea of knowable truth; and a third gave up even trying.
Until a vaccine or another protective measure emerges, there is no scenario, epidemiologists agreed, in which it is safe for that many people to suddenly come out of hiding. If Americans pour back out in force, all will appear quiet for perhaps three weeks.
Then the emergency rooms will get busy again.
I heard the author of this article on The Daily, the New York Times’ podcast, and what he said was sobering. We’re not out of the woods yet—this is going to continue for months. There is no vaccine coming soon. And it’s going to take careful, intelligent government to help us through the pandemic with as little pain as possible—something we haven’t gotten at all.
You didn’t see people in masks standing in the rain risking their lives to vote. Not in America. You didn’t see the leader of the free world push an unproven miracle drug like a late-night infomercial salesman. That was a crisis update. You didn’t see homeless people dead on the street. You didn’t see inequality. You didn’t see indifference. You didn’t see utter failure of leadership and systems.
Jen found this article and read it aloud a couple of days ago, and it really struck home. In Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting, Julio Vincent Gambuto makes the case that this strange reality is the best opportunity we’ve ever had to stop, look, and evaluate our lives, our country, and our future, and prepare to make changes for the better right now before we are lulled back to sleep.
“Dr. Redfield,” she said, “you don’t need to do any work to ‘operationalize.’ You need to make a commitment to the American people so they come in to get tested. You can operationalize the payment structure tomorrow.”
And with that, the doctor waved a white flag.
“I think you’re an excellent questioner,” he said, “so my answer is yes.”
“Excellent,” Porter responded. “Everybody in America hear that? You are eligible to go get tested for coronavirus and have that covered regardless of insurance.”
Mainstream news is still our only check against an increasingly amoral and unequal government, but they are blowing it. And while our elected representatives have our best interests in mind for roughly 3% of their day, it’s somewhat heartwarming to know there are still a few out there fighting for us.
Cortellessa reports that Hogan, who ostensibly left his brother in charge of his real estate brokerage firm when he was elected, has, in fact, maintained ownership and control while serving as governor; the trustees he handpicked to run his company have continued to keep him apprised of its business dealings. And as governor, he has advanced highway and road construction projects that directly boosted the value of land owned by his company.
I grew up listening to Howard Stern on the radio, and when he made the switch to satellite I lost track. Sometime in the intervening years he embraced his ability to be an excellent interviewer. He had Hillary Clinton on last week, and the whole thing is fascinating: he’s empathetic and insightful, and she’s a human being. It’s depressing how much of the current political process strips the personality and warmth from our candidates; I like this Hillary and I wish we’d seen more of this side of her on the campaign trail four years ago.
The New York Times Editorial Board lays out the case against the Great Pumpkin: "Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.". The whole thing is great, but I love this part:
In June, his administration tear-gassed and cleared peaceful protesters from a street in front of the White House so Mr. Trump could pose with a book he does not read in front of a church he does not attend.
...Slavery in the state existed “from the very beginning,” Wright said, from the 1600s until Maryland abolished slavery at the end of 1864, two months before Congress ratified the 13th amendment abolishing slavery nationwide.
We are lucky to have an example of the WPA's portfolio in our town, but I can see why this mural is confronting. I'd prefer not to take it down (it was designed to be integral to three walls of the Post Office) but I understand if they decide to, much like Confederate statues around the country. (previously)
Coup attempts have happened all over the world, and over half have failed. That’s because coups are hard to orchestrate. They are a violation of norms that require quick seizure of multiple levels of institutions with a claim that they are the rightful heir.
Coups tend to fail when government institutions (like elections) are trusted, there is an active citizenry and other nations are ready to become involved.
The role of citizenry is crucial. That’s because during the period right after a coup attempt— when the new government is claiming it is the “real” government — all the institutions have to decide who to listen to.