This is my response to the Republican convention and nomination for president of Trump, a dangerous, fraudulent man.
A photo of one corner of the National Mall, July 16th, 2016
How many people know that on Saturday, July 16th beyond the half a million that I was told were showing up that there was mass prayer meeting on the Washington D.C. National Mall? It was not reported in the Washington Post (said to be telling news of the region); I saw it on-line nowhere else. You can find flash-y videos about "Jesus" under "Reset 2016;" you are told you will be able to get rid of your depression; and there are sites describing a full day's events in brief. None of these will appear on your computer until you know the phrase "Reset 2016" which I saw on hundreds of T-shirts in and around the Metro this past Saturday.
One group of people who knew by 9:30 included those who run the Metro. I saw both times I was on the Metro extra trains put on the tracks, labelled "special" where people on them and a voice-over told passengers "this is a blue" or "yellow" or other train headed for say "Huntington" or some other final destination. Without these continuing extra trains, downstairs on the Metro could have gotten dangerous. As it was people collapsed from heat prostration on one of the escalators at the two Smithsonian stations, putting that side of entry out of bounds, and causing a huge slow-moving crowd to form on Independence Avenue.
another part of the Metro from the one I tak where people have to get off, take a shuttle bus and then get back on
At 8:30 am I was on my way to an all day seminar on the Beatles and anticipated delays because I would have to get off the train one stop beyond where I get on (King Street), take a shuttle bus for over 20 minutes, and then get back on the train and find my circuitous way to the Smithsonian stop. But when I got onto the station I was startled to see enormous crowds, people in different groups of colored T-Shirts. All white, many of them having traveled a considerable distance from another state to come here. I asked one woman what this was about and recognized a tone I had heard from students in my last years of teaching.
She said they were "Christians," as if the word were a strange one, the name of a beleaguered sect. I never responded to students who talked this way, "Don't you know Christianity is the religion of a majority of the people in the US?" because I thought it useless. Maybe I should start, but I did not on Saturday. Someone told me they were there to pray for the US and to show what a great and good and beautiful nation we are. It was to go on until 9 in the night. I said in reply, "It's very hot out there."
A woman who began to talk more to me said they had water bottles. We were amid this group of people in the same colored T-shirt, and it was apparent to me, the purpose of her group was to feel good about themselves and the world. They were asserting that any fault or evil was that of someone else than they; they were appealing to God to save the world and themselves. I asked her if she was for a ban on assault weapons and she fell silent. Silent. She asked me, "Are you going?" I said I was going to the Smithsonian, a day on the Beatles music group and music, and some talk ensued which led me to reply "I don't believe in God, don't believe any such supernatural being exists." She smiled that self-satisfied smile I've seen many times before, and began to argue the question, and was astonished (really) at my saying, "None of this exists." Did I not feel a comforting presence or want one when I got up. I said "No." She then fell silent.
Suffice to say I got on my train, went upstairs to take a slow bus to a stop near DC (Pentagon City) and then a yellow train to L'Enfant Plaza, and then a silver to Smithsonian. It was 5 to 10. I was 15 minutes late.
[See my blog on The Beatles: an extraordinary creation/production of transformative music.]
When I came out of the Smithsonian 6 and 1/5 hours or so later, it was about 20 to 5. As I neared the Metro stations I saw the same crowds, the blocked station (escalator out of bounds as one person had collapsed on it), and I (as one person not in a group) managed to dart and move through the crowd to near the escalator and a stairway. I walked down the steep stairways with hundreds of people all in these T-Shirts "Reset 2016." Now I noticed sayings from the Bible on these.
I had some trouble identifying which train to take and took one in the wrong direction; when I saw I had done that, I got out and retrieved my position, now waiting on the right side for the right train, which took me to L'Enfant Plaza, and from there I went downstairs to the yellow line to Pentagon City, from which I would eventually be able to take a bus. I look old and probably harmless and found an older woman came up to me to ask me directions. She had on one of these T-Shirts. She told me the mass meeting had ended early because too many people were suffering from the heat, and she was on her way home to Alexandria. It emerged this woman lives about 7 minutes away from me by car.
We got into the right train and someone gave up to me a seat reserved for "senior citizens." (Sometimes I wonder if I look really bad.) For a while no one sat next to me, and then this same woman came over and sat down next to me, much relieved. She was not as old as I but she was clearly sweating, looked weary, and needed to sit. We talked. She lives in a different universe than I do. She said she hardly ever traveled on the Metro. I asked why, and she said, "Isn't it dangerous?" I replied only from the lack of money put into the system which has caused the wires and cable to be rotted and without sufficient protective cover. I said (truly) I had never been in danger from anyone on the Metro. I asked her if she ever went into DC. She said she had no occasion to. This was a rare time for her. I asked her how she had come to know about "Reset 2016." Oh, it had been announced in her church and a group of people from her church had gone. She had been separated from them as they went home by cars. I asked her if she had enjoyed herself. "Oh yes." I asked her if she thought she had done any good? She said, "oh yes." My last question was, was she for a ban on assault weapons being sold to civlizians and was glad she said, "yes." immediately. I did not want to risk a larger question, "Was she for gun control?"
From what I saw and heard most of those I saw came from suburbs in states and they were not poor; they were modest home-owners. They carried backpacks and had made their own picnic lunches. They were staying the minimum time in DC and then back to their homes. To me the faces of these people looked curiously blank; perhaps they were inward looks where they showed themselves one another and to the "non-Christian" world maintained a guarded face.
This woman did open her face to me. I asked her "Who was the chief organizer of this mass demonstration?" She seemed puzzled by this question. I repeated it in another form: who paid the money for the people on the mall to have the stands and the equipment they were using to broadcast prayers? (plain words to this effect). She said she didn't know. "Who were the chief speakers?" She said she wasn't sure of their names. I told her I had never heard of this mass demonstration (as I called it, she did not) before I got onto the Metro at 8:30 am. She smiled a smile like the first woman I spoke to then: "yes, the newspapers never report what Christians do," she said. A glint of anger and resentment. I said it was true that newspapers only reported events they thought set up by respectable, important (these need not be respectable) or controlling institutions (to me the NRA, the reactionary rightest groups run by people like the Koch brothers), or if it was sensational. Rolling Thunder, the annual Vietnam veteran meeting had only begun to be reported a few years ago. I reiterated my question: "I'd like to know who funded this or started it because then we could figure out why it's not reported." She didn't enter into this thought.
I asked her if she read the newspapers or the Internet much? "No." She said something which implied "Newspapers are full of lies." "What news show does she watch" (my question or words to this effect). She said without embarrassment, "Fox news," then, "sometimes CNN."
A bus station in early morning near a Virginia Metro stop
It was soon time for both of us to get off to take the shuttle bus. A ride, 25 minutes. Then we got back on the train, and sat next to one another again. I in the seniors section and she too. (She was cheating.) By that time I realized she had one phrase in mind she kept repeating: "The No 7 going to Fairlington." That was the bus she needed to take when we arrived at King Street. She seemed worried and I assured her the bus would be there. She did ask me if I had a car. I said, yes, and I had parked it near the King Street station where 3 hour parking is allowed. It was a 2-3 minute walk and there my car would be. I remind my reader she was about to take a second bus. So I was a privileged person as I had a car to take when I got off; she had to take another bus.
Quite a trip she had taken to get to this national meeting which ended early lest people like her collapse.
These are deluded people if their purpose was to stop the killing in the streets of the US, or the killing of people and destruction and immiseration of groups of people in the Middle East in order for the capitalist order to keep making huge sums on extracing oil, selling weapons, providing an egregiously luxurious lifestyle for the 1% of this earth. I must say their God has at a minimum neglected the Metro, not made sure their tax money is used for their benefit at all. They were stuffed into the extra or special trains put on the system for the day.
I do not know that many of them will vote for Trump; it's startling to think they may as this man is utterly amoral, has lived an utterly areligious life, but they are hardly Hillary Clinton people. I tell this story in order to bring into public discourse on the Internet in my tiny corner of it, to remind readers of the existence of such people. I fear these people will vote for Trump.
This is my contribution or reaction to the Republican National Convention. An event I witnessed from far, wholly unreported in mainstream media.
Miss Drake who boldly goes where no woman before her has gone ...
I've just witnessed such horrifying pairs of videos that I must write about an encounter I had with a police officer last week over a traffic violation, one I had years ago again over a traffic violation, and a few other verifying experiences either I or a daughter had.
Here are the videos and story.
This will tell of the video taken by Lavish Reynolds just after her boyfriend was killed and what happened afterwards. Lavish Reynolds feared for her life too.
This video shows a group of officers shooting a black man, Alton Sterling, to death as he lays on the ground screaming with fear. It's followed by a news story showing the mother of Sterling's son talking about her husband, her son weeping, followed by the store-owner who took the video.
The first of my personal stories resembles most others I've had over the years, with a couple of exceptions, which I will tell about, that taken together taught me that in the US (and probably elsewhere) if you are a citizen encountering a police officer, you have to be very careful how you will react because they may act hostilely to you with impunity. The first occurred recently after guns have become common, but the previous two occurred in the later 1980s and early 1990s before the proliferation of these deadly weapons.
From a few experiences my daughter had and what I've read and been told by friends, I don't call on police even in emergencies unless it's really dire -- someone's life is in direct danger. For those who have disabled or mentally distressed people in their house, I want to emphasize, from what I've read (numerous articles) and felt I would never call on police if there was someone disabled in the incident lest the disabled person be misunderstood and hurt. Disabled people who are acting unconventionally will be taken in as if they were dangerous criminals or "tasered." How inappropriate this might be as treatment for a disabled person I leave my reader to imagine.
Encounter 1: I was driving up Independence Avenue last Thursday around 11 am, and in a state of nervous stress as it was the first time I'd ever tried to drive myself from Virginia to the Folger Shakespeare Library. I was driving to the Folger because I had bought tickets for my daughter, Izzy, and I to go to a play at the Folger on the Saturday, and felt I needed to practice and to discover if there was parking. I thought I needed to learn how to get us there by car as the Metro was no longer going to be working past July 5th: the blue and yellow lines were not going to go beyond Braddock Road; there would be a shuttle bus to take us to Pentagon City. We or I alone might want to go to the Folger for plays, concerts, poetry readings over the next years.
I was very unused to driving in DC streets around the area. I had just managed all the turns in the highways and was coming up the right avenue and coming close to the Folger. My garmin said "turn right" at an insection in front of the Library of Congess, and cars were behind me pressuring me to turn (I thought) as the light was green, and as I began to turn I first saw a car rushing forward and two pedestrians further back. I stepped on the gas to do this quickly but thought I had done a risky thing. Within seconds a police car was after me, stopped me, and a white male police officer came to my car and said, Did I know what I had done wrong? He then said had it not been that the pedestrian had seen me and stepped back, I could have hurt him, smashed him. I believe I apologized profusely, tried to explain, and he listened and took my driver's license, registration and went back to his car. He came to the car again and asked me to explain and I told that I was nervous, the first time driving on that street, that I realized I should not have tried to make that left turn too late, and I was very sorry. He repeated that I had endangered the pedestrian, and went away and then came back again, and said he had checked the least violation and went over the fine and how I had to pay within 30 days or it would be doubled, or I could contest it. I again explained and felt just terrible, so distressed.
Gentle reader, this situation was directly parallel to Sandra Bland. She was ordered to get out of her car, she was berated, she was yanked out of the car, then yanked on the ground by her hair; she was handcuffed, she was thrown into a police car and arrested. None of this happened to me and my traffic violation was much worse. Three days later she was found hanged in her cell. Verdict: suicide. Now I am wondering if the word LYNCHed should be applied. She must've been very uppity in that jail too. Imagine the scene of her murder.
I got to drive away unhurt, and when I finally got home sent off the $76 and told myself I would not drive in DC unless I had to again. I threw out a list of things I thought I might have liked to go to for the Fringe Festival but thought I was not up to driving into DC.
I had a bad dream about the police officer that Thursday night and took a stronger sleeping pill. I can still see him looking at me as I type this blog.
On the Saturday I drove Izzy and myself to the play; again at the same street, the garmin said turn right. This time there were no pedestrians and no cars and as I turned I saw one coming along, but Izzy said, look there's a car coming. The implication was hurry, turn. We were okay, but she confirmed that this was a bad place to turn left and left turns should not be allowed. I decided that If I drive again, I'll drive up the street much further and see if I can find another place to make a left. I feel embarrassed that I came near to causing a bad accident and worse because I made this left turn again. I didn't learn from my first experience, it took a second one where I was calmer and could see what was wrong to show me what happens on this corner. I so worried lest I not find a place to turn. Only on the second time when I was not nervous, when I was calm, did I see coolly I must find another way to get to this library and start to figure out a way to do it. I comfort myself that nothing fatal or even bad happened to anyone because I lack confidence.
Normally I would not tell this story. I do this tonight to make the point I am persuaded (from previous experiences and what my friends have told me) that this is typical for a white woman, especially older (I am 69) in an encounter with a police officer. Briefly shortly after my husband died, I crashed my car. I passed out for a second and spun round and hit a bas on he side. I was going very slowly and the only person I hurt was me and thing my car. When a young white male police officer came over, I was crying a lot and my older daughter was there. To make a long story short, the police were very polite and again I was given the least violation. I remember the guy said I reminded him of his grandmother. That's important for why I tell this story.
My point is that white people are treated utterly differently from black people by police officers. Perhaps someone reading this will say, "well, duh?" and "everyone knows that." Do they? why in case after case, including the recent murder of Freddy Grey whose spinal cord was severed between the time he was taken into custody in a police vehicle and the time he left it, is no police officer indicted? not even for manslaughter?
The reason for this is for most white people most encounters with police officers are utterly different than encounters black people have with police officers. They just do not believe therefore that black people are in any danger from police officers. Many white people also share the racist fears police officers have of black people which the spread of guns (so that officers have to assume that many Americans will have a gun) has made a lethal (to black people) fear. When they see a horrifying video of a police officer killing a black person, they look for explanations which tell them the black person somehow deserved that. This helps them to feel safe against the police officer.
Why do I not call on police officers in emergencies? I've been told other stories, by white men, of where the police officer was hostile and the man paid a price he felt was unfair in some way -- pricey ticket; by teenagers where it was obvious the officer wanted to ticket the teenager and liked intimidating the teenager -- which worried them; in these cases they were boys and middle eastern. But it's my own experience that I know that warns me. In the later 1980s Jim, my husband, had to take a plain to Cincinnati on a winter evening late at night, deadly cold. I drove him to the airport and coming back on a feeder lane, my car stalled from the cold. Almost immediately I was a bottleneck car on this feeder lane. Within minutes a white woman police officer was there next to me. I got out of my car and explained I didn't know what to do. I didn't carry a phone in those days. She looked at me and I could see didn't like me. She said scornfully, didn't I know how to jump start the car and began to say I should open the front and do this or that. No I didn't know how to do any of that nor have any of the things she said I needed, I said. Well, she said, you're going to have to move it, and stood there. I said I couldn't pick it up and carry it. I could see she was seeing me as this contemptible feminine woman who was unable to cope with a car.
The moment was heated, I saw she had a gun, and felt things escalate, so said I would walk back to the airport and try to get a tow-truck. She said that would take too long and began again on what I needed to do. I said, why didn't she do it? She looked very mad, but then suddenly a white male police officer was there, and (to my relief) he took this woman away, walked back and said he had a phone he carried (a walkie-talkie sort of thing) and would I call this tow company. I did, handed him my credit card. He then said I must walk back to the airport where I would find a cab he had called for me. I did so, and there was a cab there. A Muslim man who I still remember began to tell me how "God was looking out for you," and this was to test me, and would turn out beautifully. He drove me home and politely trusted me to go into the house to get $25 to pay him. He drove away and then next morning I got a phone call from the tow truck company telling me where the car was -- a service station. I did pay for a ticket this woman police officer had filed. Expensive.
In this second incident something beyond reason occurred between me and this woman and what was bad to my mind was she had a loaded gun. She seemed to me to never come near using it. I don't know how to use a gun and never carry one, and the subject never came up. But I was aware of it. The vast proliferation of guns that has gone on was since this time. I am convince that it is the proliferation of guns (and the terror of police they will be killed) that intersects with racism to cause these murders of black people.
Maybe my second story is irrelevant but I think not. I've a third story which involved an upper middle class white woman. When my younger daughter, who has been diagnosed as Aspergers Syndrome, took to bicycling in the neighborhood sometime in the early 1990s, she encountered a couple of bullies who sensing she was vulnerable chased after her. These were black children who lived in an areas down the hill from where we live. She was teased and then menaced by them in front of our house, a white area. I would not have know about this but that in the afternoon of that day a black woman police officer came to my door. She told me a white woman neighbor across the streets had reported this "incident; to the police office, and she had come to reassure me the incident was "taken care of." She and a colleague had gone down to where the black children lived and told their parents to keep them away from this neighborhood and not to bully my daughter. Did I want anything else done so we could feel secure? I said, no. She went away.
I felt very odd about this. I was worried for my daughter when I was told, and was very sad that afterwards my daughter stopped bicyle riding. Unfortunately, she was scared away from it even though the police had acted. At the same time, I felt the white neighbor must have a lot of confidence the police would back her up and go and intimidate black and poorer people in another neighborhood on her behalf. I knew she was a lawyer as well as sold real estate. In fact she came over my house the next day in a very satisfied state of mind. I myself would never have called the police for this. This woman lived in a much more expensive house than us, one several times renovated. There were expensive cars in the garage. She and her hsuband sent their children to expensive out-of-state colleges. I tell this story to present a state of mind of an upper middle class white women in the US; how she looked at the police, what she expects from them, and how they behaved at her summons.
Now for my younger daughter's experiences -- all occurred since she was of driving age. Twice while she was still driving, she was pulled over by a police officer and more than scolded, berated for not driving fast enough. Threatened she'd have her license taken away. All in mid-Virginia. She was made so anxious by these menacing experiences, she stopped driving. On a third experience, she was crossing the street, and upset about something, and jaywalked and a car almost ran into her. A police officer came over and he didn't like her lack of affect, not making eye-contact, and inability to explain herself. He actually began to threaten to take her into the police station but that the people driving the car had not driven away, came out of it, and said it was their fault and they would never press charges. They said all should be forgotten. They were an older white couple in a nice car. So the police officer dismissed them all.
Trival stories perhaps but it's this world of whiteness from which people come who will not convict police officers of misbehavior or even killing after a great deal of evidence shows that police are inadequately trained to be protectors and friends of citizen, and that they shoot to kill black people in the streets of the US happen it seems almost daily. The refusal of the media to acknowledge the continual state of risk and fear that guns everywhere causes is part of this insensibility. One result is a majority white population who will not work to control police officers from killing black people.
Jesse Williams's protest speech last week (before this latest killings)
Update: I just heard Obama's speech: despicable he called the snipers in Dallas; yes but are not the police officers who wantonly murdered Castile and Sterling and so many now named and countless others equally despicable. The gang who destroyed Freddie Grey's spinal cord with their bare hands? Black lives don't matter. Various groups of white people have the right to kill black people in the US, and Obama reinforced that this week.
I continue to fulfill my promise to present photographs of Hillary Clinton which lead me sympathize with her: I love this photo. her stance is of someone enduring this but her instinctive lines on her face tell us of other painful hard impulses to control.
Hillary Clinton this past Saturday enduring another three hours
Millions spent to find something to blame her for in Benghazi, thousands and thousands over her use of servers, emails, internet correspondences, her very Blackberries have been gathered and rigorously scrutinized. This morning the Washington Post said how "extraordinary" was Corney's behavior for coming out to make a 15 minute speech excoriating her. So too last night Judy Woodruff on PBS.
Usually when there is no case, that's the end of it. The fool Ruth Marcus on the Post's opinion page congratulated him for "clearing the air." What? He spewed out lines and lines for Republicans and those who cannot stand the thought of a woman in power as ammunition.
Bad judgement I hear that putative husband say.
Will they never tire of this? not until she goes away, broken. She's not.
The photo: she's looking down. For a moment resting her eyes. The cell phone her barrier. It's the ununsual lack of a hair style that touches me. Would that she pulled her hair back like that more often.
Update, 7//2016: It does worry me this morning that Repubilcans will use this to defeat her and put Donald Trump into the presidency. They don't care that he is in fact corrupt, fraudulent, ought to be indicted for his fake university schemes; all they care is do they individually get into office and they put in place problems to further immiserate the vast majority of Americans and enrichen themselves and their friends. Comey is being gruelled today as to why he didn't indict her. The Post today had a column by someone saying Comey's speech was an egregious abuse of power. When you chose not to indict someone you do not come out and excoriate them. He did it because she's a woman: forsooth women are not to be trusted with "serious things of the world." Thank you to Mike Powe for "Hillary's Problem." As I say in one of my replies below, I feel she was also trying to protect her private ilfe (her daughter is part of that).
Polish cartoon on Brexit:
"Great Britain’s citizens haven’t been losing control over their fate to the EU. They’ve been losing it because their own country’s leaders – as well as those of most other Western democracies – are increasingly in thrall to corporate and financial interests." -- The Progressive
Dear friends and readers,
Although I would have voted for remain, I'm very bothered at how those who voted for leave are being misrepresented in the press and online. My morning newspaper today, The Washington Post followed what I have now heard on PBS reports and see the recent cover of the New Yoker has endorsed: we see elegantly dressed British businessman with their briefcases each jumping off a cliff. In the mainstream press, on US TV, and many many blogs, there are but two kinds of British voters who voted to leave the EU. In the mainstream press and blogs on-line the vote to leave is described as of two types: the bigoted, intolerant, wrongly fearful of “the other” or immigrants and libertarians (the reductive joke is they are against stop signs).
Read the history of the EU in Salon first. The EU has moved from its roots in post-WW2 unity to becoming a neoliberal technocracy.
The third point of view is that the “austerity” policies inflicted (the right word) on the people of Europe on behalf of the investment class is what’s responsible for increasing immiseration among a majority of people, and especially in countries like Greece and Spain. Denmark has never been part of the EU; they have their own currency. The Greeks were afraid to Grexit because they now have Euros and their money would become instantly worthless. Arguably had they been wise or strong enough to keep their own currency, they would have voted to get out of this institution punitive on the vast majority of people in southern Europe and working class, rural, and people in older local kinds of jobs elsewhere. Arguably the Greeks would have been better off if they could have made such a deal; but the EU masters insisted on conditions that would not give them a chance to rebuild their economy. They must bend to the vulture hedge fund people (and the coup in Brazil is now foisting this on the Brazilian people). It should be recalled that Denmark has never been part of the EU; they kept their own currency and they have set up a deal where in accordance with pre-existing parameters, they go for individual negotiations with the EU. There are many subject populations (in effect) who, if you held a referendum would vote to leave and it's not because all these human beings are stupid racists:
UKIP and the tinier Farage parties have 1% of the vote as of the last election and one MP; there is no equivalent of tea party in the UK as in the US, though there is outright Nazism in these small groups. A vote for Brexit is by no means the same thing as a vote for Trump. The analogy is false.
52% of British people voted to get out. I know a majority in Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain; but there were pockets of people in both places who voted to leave, so it was not just English people in the south, London, west country, and the Welsh. I realize a justifiable fear is the next step will be an unravelling of the UK.
It's not clear what will happen in Scotland now. They do have different interests than England; but they would not want to give up their pound or sovereignty once they get it. The Remain versus Leave division was a class division. Upper class university educated young and old people voted to remain; the old working class labor people to get out. Corbyn knew this and that's why he ran a weak campaign.
Here are three cogent arguments for Brexit: the first from a person who used to write from the Guardian (a newspaper now banned by Trump from his forums). the left-liberal and left-radical point of view the comment above comes out of too*
The recent LeCarre films, Our Kind of Traitor may be read as for Brexit. I saw it this past Sunday; I want to see it a second time and read more about the book and then will be writing a blog on it (soon).
Damien Lewis as our moral spy (Hector), Ewan Macgregor and Naomi Harris, the two ordinary people brought into the corrupt amoral deeply sexist world of the luxurious conglomerates 1%
It's getting negative reviews because like his A Most Wanted Man (the last film Philip Seymour Hoffman made) it's not understood.
Remember the first thing the leaders of the EU said in response to the Brexit vote was "our first concern is for our investors," and this morning they are looking to make the conditions on the British exist as harsh as possible so as to scare other countries into staying. Would Europe move gradually into another war if there were no EU? How frightened should be be of ourselves? Britain has the fifth strongest economy in the world; they may weather this just fine.
I suspect what will happen is the party elite of both sides of the Parliament house will try to exit as little as possible. No one even mentiones Keynesian economics; before supply-side and monertarism in the 1940s to later 60s there was Keynesian economics: you tax the wealthy, corporations, and unearned income, and you set up programs for jobs, social services, infrastructure, public schools, health care and gradually a majority of people do thrive.
From my patch of ground in the world on the east coast mid-Atlantic state (US):: I'm a little late on this because I'm only a British subject (when I married Jim I got a card saying I was), so never could vote, and haven't lived there since 1971, but could work, live, use everything about me like everyone else, with all rights; I've visited, spent my life reading British literature and spreading it. Anglophilic. So I register a vote here: remain. I celebrated Scotland remained ("No, thank you") immediately after the election was over (by way of a blog too).
The last few days have persuaded me. It was a series of articles in the LRB articles that clinched it and who is on the side of leave and who remain:
Jeremy Corbyn: remain
So in my usual way a series of informative, insightful essays:
James Meek: how to grow a weetabix: did you know a huge percentage of English farms are still local, and because of the EU rules animals treated infinitely better across Europe (the US is unspeakable in this regard)
A symposium beginning with Mary Beard: human relationships
The red bus with the claim that Britain is giving Europe 350 million pounds a day is a lie:
A majority of lemmings in favor of jumping off cliff
I end on a joke I saw:
Then update on Friday, 6/24/2016: Brexit wins. Before we lambast the working class and poorer and rural people, listen to Naked Capitailsm on why the British went Brexit 52 to 48:
"Brexit represents something much bigger than an economic or political crisis. Although UKIP played shamelessly on the anti-immigration fears, many of the Leave campaigners argued for national sovereignity and self-determination. And the Northern areas that came in strongly for Leave have been left behind as London and environs prospered. It is simplistic, although it will nevertheless be a popular stance among the elites, to depict the Leave vote as yet another proof that technocrats should be in charge. In fact, the very reason that so many UK citizens rejected the dire warnings of what was in store for them if they dared press the red Leave button was that those experts devised and implemented the neoliberal policies that have increased inequality, reduced their economic stability and accelerated political and social change.
Brexit is a crippling blow to the neoliberal order of unfettered trade and capital flows, and citizens being reduced to being consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets, and worse, increasingly isolated worker who are at the mercy of capitalists who are ever more determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves. Whether they recognize it or not, and we’ll find out over the coming months and years how well different Leave voters saw the choice they made, they have chosen a lower standard of living as a price worth paying for a hope of more control over their destinies. Sadly, these voters are likely to realize the first part of that equation rather than the second."
But see Left Unity which deplores the vote: a disastrous outcome. The neoliberal policies of the EU are not going away; they will now be adminstered even more fiercely by local elite.
And this analysis of the Brexit vote is worth reading.
"Great Britain’s citizens haven’t been losing control over their fate to the EU. They’ve been losing it because their own country’s leaders – as well as those of most other Western democracies – are increasingly in thrall to corporate and financial interests."
Caught by a Washington Post photographer, found in DC Style section, June 20, 2016
She became a grandmother for the second time this weekend. Now my grandchildren all have four paws .... .
Meanwhile Trump has now proposed racial profiling. Do you know this poem, reader? from WW2 Germany by Martin Niemoller: directly relevant to Trump's desire now not just to ban Muslims and other "terrorists" but his proposal to begin profiling people, as well as Ryan and other Republicans endorsement of him:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me
I've used this blog to bring together important informative articles, essays and news reports before, and over the past few days new researched information, essays and evidence from the DNC archives about Trump has helped solidify the case that Trump is worse than an allowed (by law) fraud. I have three lucid interviews and two columns to share, and conclude on an opinion piece on the hatred beginning to be spewed out at Mrs Clinton.
First the three interviews, each of which brings out all the evidence that Trump is a crook whom teams of lawyers and American law set up to protect corporate self-enrichening pests continue to protect. See Krugman (below) on the principles of the Republican party:
In the first she interviews Cay Johnstone of USA Today there is "incredibly strong evidence that Trump has committed tax fraud.
Donald has done a very good job of trying to keep a number of things out of the public record and shut down investigations, but I found two tax appeals he filed from the year 1984, one with the City of New York and one with the state. And in one of these two cases, Donald filed something called a Schedule C. That’s what a freelancer files. He reported zero income and $626,000 of expenses, with no receipts and no documentation. That’s something that could be construed as tax fraud.
During the hearing, which lasted two days, the CPA and lawyer who had done Trump’s tax returns for years was shown the tax return, and he said, "Well, that’s my signature, but I didn’t prepare that tax return." Now, it was a photocopy. And, of course, you can put a name on a document with a photocopy machine. My first big national investigative reporting award was for just such a device used by a corrupt Michigan politician. And The Trump Organization didn’t respond to any of my questions—the Trump campaign—about this. Donald was hit in one case with a 35 percent penalty. And in the other case, the 25 percent penalty was not applied, only because nobody could find the original tax return, which I think suggests that a photocopy is what was mailed in in the first place.
It also shows, in these two cases, that in the year 1984 Donald paid no federal income taxes. And there’s very good reason to think he doesn’t pay them now, because of a provision in federal law that allows large real estate professionals to live without paying income taxes.Then she interviewed the two writers of The New York Times who "detail[ed] how Donald Trump bankrupted his Atlantic City casinos, but still earned millions. Reporters Russ Buettner and Charles Bagli write, "[E]ven as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen." Their new article is headlined "How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, But Still Earned Millions."
He bankrupts casinos and garners millions, left contractors unpaid and ruined investors
In the last she interviews Steve Reilly also of USA Today to show that hundreds of former employees and contractors have accused Donald Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Victims have included a dishwasher in Florida, a glass company in New Jersey, a carpet company, a plumber, 48 waiters, dozens of bartenders at his resorts and clubs, and even several law firms that once represented him in these labor lawsuits. "Hundreds Allege Donald Trump Doesn’t Pay His Bills."
This is about:
lawsuits involving allegations of nonpayment against Donald Trump’s companies, and specifically more than 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of other mechanic’s liens, judgments, other filings, which indicate there are allegations Donald Trump hasn’t paid contractors, workers, employees for their services.
Specific examples. The article discusses the Friel cabinetry company, based out of Philadelphia, which did work on the casinos in Atlantic City in the 1980s. They built bases for slot machines, registration desks. And there was a dispute at the end of their work over about $83,000. And the allegation is that Donald Trump didn’t pay the company for the work, which eventually contributed to the bankruptcy of that company, which employed about 80—I’m sorry, 20 workers in the 1980s.
Then two columns making sense of this the larger and immediate political context of the election
The first is by Paul Krugman in the New York Times:
It’s not about the fraudulent scheme that was Trump University. It’s not about his history of failing to pay contractors, leading to hundreds of legal actions. It’s not about how he personally profited while running his casinosinto the ground. It’s not even concerned with persistent questions about whether he is nearly as rich as he claims to be, and whether he’s ever done more than live off capital gains on his inheritance.
Krugman shows that what Trump has done outrageously is done in all sorts of much more circuitous ways by many Republicans and that on principle they are a group of grifters, to them much of it may seem petty but not to the average citizen.
The second is by David Remnick: it's the lead essay in this week's New Yorker Talk of the Town:
Remnick begins with the possibility of a woman president for the first time in US history, but soon moves to the obstacles, among which Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee takes central stage. I call attention especially to these two comments:
The current leadership of the Republican Party and most of its traditional funders show every sign of knowing that a pernicious buffoon has become their standard-bearer
He advises her on the stage to maintain "unassailable poise" in stance. That's hard. He worries:
If her concentration slips, if she falters in the debates or is upended by some ethical failing, if some event (a terrorist act, for instance) takes place that allows Trump to twist its meaning and rally voters to his banner of America First—if any of that happens, not only could the prospect of a female President remain a fantasy but power will be in the hands of a malevolent fraud. And then what? A disaster beyond the imagining of any screenwriter
My own thoughts: The one with Reilly, a younger reporter from USA today was telling. The young guy tried to get the information out and he was too afraid to speak up and speak back and soon it seemed that one dishwasher didn't get paid in 2008 .Trump said he expected better from a USA today reporter. They are so scared of him and he will say anything and loudly .
It's to be expected that Trump rallies would begin to call Hillary Clnton the "b" word, so I close this over-linked omnibus blog by simply saying I've read about three essays this morning in mainstream publications over the past couple of weeks (one I link in is Joan Walsh in Nation) about how the majority of women recognize in Trump an abuser of women, rank misogynist (whose ratings have led Fox to force Megyn Kelly or give up her job to kowtow to Trump, and MSNBC to take a swerve to the right). His brand of misogyny comes out in a particular poisonous way. For example, the twisting of Mrs Clinton's husband's sexual misbehavior into a stream of hatred aimed at her
Related in reality senseless violence wreaked on women: On the day of the Orlando massacre a man stepped up to a known female singer and just shot her dead; the murder (all these deaths this week -- and those from US drones are included are tragic) death of a genuinely liberal Labor leader: first the man came up and tried to beat her and then he shot her dead. Jo Cox, destroyed by senseless violence. Emily Ashton and Siraj Datoo: A woman who believed in a better world and really fought for it (from BuzzFeed)
Sitora Yusify with a male family member -- perhaps a brother
Yesterday writing about how the massacre was enabled by the NRA who make money from the gun industry I began with an article which based on studies shows the idea that people who commit massacres are mentally deranged is a red herring, false, and supported by the gun industry. That article described a type known to me from my reading as the sort of man who inflicted violence on his wife and family regularly.
She was living apart from him; photos suggest they had had a son. It has been discovered she was once to this gay club with him; this is enough to create hostile investigation of her and arrest her.
Update 6/17: i'll take this opportunity to report that the Florida police have now hounded Saleem to where she is said in the press to have "confessed" that Mateen texted her on the day of the massacre. She has told those members of the press she can reach that much tha is being said about her now are either distortions of her life or lies.
We see here a man who manages to get two women to marry him, who holds jobs (however briefly), socializes constantly, himself bisexual perhaps. Yet stories are surfacing about his mental derangement or psychoanalysing him with a view towards compassion.
I've now read two books on women who commit crimes where there is violence and murder: they do it quite differently, indirectly, and secretively if they can. The clearer more cogent one is Patricia Pearson's When She Was Bad, with a sensational cover (alas) and subtitle: How and why women get away with murder. The book does not say women got away with it, as in all cases Pearson was able to research the crime because the woman was caught. The publisher and editor framed the book with implicit distrust of women. The old play Arsenic and Old Lace, so hilarious plays on our intuitive sense that women socially behave differently from men. Both studies attributed this to the circumstances of women's lives, but it is also in their natures. We have yet to see one gun massacre committed by a woman alone.
Nothing grates on me more than these assertive stories about how women drive men to be violent to them because they are violent. Examples are found of women violent first supposedly. The focus on men being raped is used to say see not just women suffer, men do, not to focus on the person who commits rape, and its effect is to diminish concern for women. This is one of the areas where this obscurantist theory of performance and denial that there is an essential genetic character associated with genetic femininity does harm to women, because women are in such circumstances also because it's in their nature to live in groups and set up homes for themselves.
I hope neither of these two women who unluckily connected themselves to a vicious man are scapegoated. I believe one of Trump's positions is it is okay to kill by drones the families of men who are alleged to have committed acts of war outside a state sanction.
A row of Smith and Wesson AK-15s, the assault weapon of choice since WW2 -- on sale to all at a recent gun show in Loveland, Colorado
In the Washington Post a couple of weeks ago, a reporter named Michael S. Rosenwald reports on a paper by Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in "The Anatomy of Evil." He points out the uselessness, counterproductive waste of money of arguing that mass killers are mentally ill and proceeding to pour money into stopping mentally ill people from going on killing sprees. The gun industry has done all it can to promote this, branches of psychological and psychiatric professions don't mind. Mentally ill people don't behave in this kind of coordinated planned fashion. Another category of "killer" is someone with a "personality disorder" it's said (we still cannot face that people can be this way and not abnormal); these are people who "exhibit" "antisocial or sociopathic disorders" like "sever paranoia, callousness or a sever lack of empathy but know exactly what they are doing." (Thurs, May 20 ,2016, A1 and A18). This type of personality is found among wife- and children-abusers. They are average people who when dealing with those not under their power behave in ways that are most of the time socially acceptable. The experience of abuse from the woman’s point of view is to be yoked to an egoistic, ruthless sociopath. But it is a mistake to take such man as crazy. They are not. They are rational people, knowing what power they are given and what they are allowed to do and take advantage of it, most of the time hiding what they know others will fear and or abhor him for. The US is willing to allow such people to buy assault weapons, live bullets and any other kind of gun they want lest (it's said) some "innocent" individual cannot get a rifle because he is somehow stigmatized by controls.
Two days have gone by since yet another huge massacre enabled by the free sale of assault weapons, rounds of ammunition, guns of all sorts to anyone who wants one basically. The man's excuse was hatred for GLBT people and his imagined allegiance to the Islamic state. He was murdering people on behalf of ISIS who of course hate anything but macho male heterosexual behavior. It just happened to be a place filled with hispanic people -- very vulnerable. Meanwhile no one in congress has proposed to reinstatement of a ban on assault weapons that was allowed to lapse 10 years ago.
On the same day the Orlando massacre occur another man, this time white, was arrested by pollce: he had in his car, assault weapons, rounds of ammunition, and guns. He was on his way to a gay pride parade to murder as many people as he could. He was allied to those people in the US who have supported legislation in various states to "protect public bathrooms" from GBLT people; read these laws turn out to be stalking horses for allowing landlords, employers, business people to refuse to rent, hire or allow GBLT service of any kind in their terrain. This is (due to the supreme court's decision in the case called hobby lobby) now called religious liberty. The supreme court majority until the death of Scalia was brought to us by thes same people who have filled state legislations with reactionary republicans (pro-business without qualification).
Today too (a blog is a web diary) I received on face-book today an "X years ago today" type reminder. I am unsure how clicking and sharing these again on one's timeline generates profits for face-book but I feel sure it does. I know the algorithm which allows me to see FB friends' messages on my "home" feed is so structured that I see only 5-10% of these people most of the time, so the way the experience of face-book is generally structured has nothing to do with my needs, what I click on as "I like this," who I comment on, what "pages" I belong to or like. The institutional-business running this page shapes my experience, what is allowed and not. I was invited to share a blog I wrote two years ago, to put it on my timeline; I did so: it was about how the DMV had finally lifted a ban on me from driving and enormous difference I was immediately experiencing in my lfe.
A lesson here.
My experience two years ago was that after a 7 month ordeal with the DMV where this institution refused to believe doctors' reports, my lawyer said because one of them had refused to show my full medical records online (my psychatric/psychological record and drugs prescribed), I was granted a reprieve and could drive again .My life was returned to me. This after I had paid the lawyer some $4000 for services I couldn't have done it without. Mean was the way I was talked to on the phone, condescending and (I think) calculated to make me angry so I would not be able to sound reasonable The DMV is run by people citizens never voted in, people who are part of a local elite, there are appointed offices that are powerful within the state employment service where everyone is anxious about their own jobs and place in the organization.
Today I'm thinking about how Americans continue to endure the control of their lives by institutions, what they ingest, what is put onto their fields (Monsanto's predatory spraying), as if they didn't notice this, as if they didn't mind. The only protest is against those even more vulnerable to these institutions. At the same time as reasonable gun control legislation is not even broached by an irresponsible congress, most individuals of which are like the DMV employees concerned first about their place in the organization, second their jobs (no one has lost an election for refusing to vote aye on gun controls of any sorts that are effective) .It was easy to let the assault weapon ban lapse: no vote needed.
We are told those who follow Trump are angry because they are powerless and their needs unaddressed, but they are not salivating to stop the power of institutions, to have revolution which attempts to return power to the wide electorate (them), but rather hit out at other people suffering as much and worse than them, It is importantly noteworthy that Trump is not only for banning all Muslims in the US and somehow flagging all around them that these people are Muslim (shall they wear yellow stars?) but has banned the post from his press conferences. This is the second mainstream respectable newspaper excluded. Next step when president?
Powerful institutions in US life control our behavior and what are our life's possibilities far more than any gov't group we vote in. The DMV and NRA are alike in this. The NRA is worse because this is a privately-run and owned institution, not subject to scrutiny by the public. They are funded by gun manufacturers. We cannot stop people from hating other people; we can remove deadly weapons from their hands. We need not scour house by hour to remove guns. Bullets become obsolete; you need merely as a stopgap measure control the sale of bullets along with guns. Within two years unless the gun owner has the right (we should call this a privilege but a reactionary supreme court has turned a constitutional amendment meant to give states the right to have armed local militias into the right of an individual to own a gun) to buy more bullets, the guns would be useless to the owners.
Of the four people still taking the stage for the presidency, only one not put on major TV, Bernie Sanders called for an outright ban on assault weapons and effective control on guns, and Obama pointed out that inaction on this is a choice. Neither fingered the NRA. Hillary Clinton blathered on about responsible controls being needed, and I've already repeated what Trump said -- except I left out he insinuated that somehow Obama (because the belief is allowed to let stand in his rallies that Obama is a Muslim) was implicated. Obama has done all he humanly can to promote and actively seek (after a massacre of kindergarton children in Connecticut gun control legislation.
There has been an attempt by Diane Feinstein in the senate to re-vive legislation to keep assault weapons out of the hands of terrorists on a "watch list" -- said to have no chance of passing. Institutions and corporations trump congress in the US easily.
Not all institutions are bad: here is a painting by Jane Goldman (21st century) called Audubon May.