I like the photos of Hillary where she is not artificially smiling. But that's not why I am adding this photo of her onto the others I've put on this blog. I'm told the woman is now wearing full body armor and that is why she became dehydrated. Look at her body in that outfit. She does look very stiff.
From USA Today (Sept17, 2016)
A few weeks ago a an August rally in North Carolina, Trump suggested that armed citizens could stop a hypothetical president Clinton from putting justices who favor gun control on the Supreme Court.
"Take their guns away," Trump said. "She doesn't want guns. Let's see what happens to her. Take their guns away. It would be very dangerous."Why does no one arrest Trump for inciting violence against Hillary Clinton?No republican even condemns these threats, they do not mention them. Imagine what the woman feels when she puts on this body armor. He is torturing her.
The analogy is that of a man who threatens his ex-wife or girl friend, who throws out half-threats. The police cannot arrest him for words; he must act on it. Trump is abusing her the way men have abused women since women were able theoretically to get police protection. Does no one care? that he knows intuitively how to abuse a woman and not bring police down on him.
This is so horrible -- it's beyond minimal decency; it's unsafe for her. But he's not her husband; she is an important person now and in wide public life. What are the authorities afraid of? Is it really they are afraid of the type of white male who took over the Oregon center some months ago -- the militia let them stay there for months, and one white man only was killed. Had that been black people, Indians, the compound would have been attacked almost immediately.
Trump is like Hitler inciting his brown-shirts.
It was in fact heroic of her to soldier on --if ill advised since she ended up de-hydrated with pneumonia symptoms (cartoon from the Progressive populist, not exactly a bastion of Hillary support).
In fact two major events went unreported altogether until Amy Goodman video-taped one (in her capacity as a journalist); a third has been reported as far as I can tell only in the Nation. And there has been a thorough exposure of Trumps's charities as filled with money by others and spent by him and on himself, with a real defense of the Clinton Foundation.
In this past three weeks' news Amy Goodman has been alone in reporting on how a group of oil and gas companies plus banks have been instrumental in getting state officials and enforcement agents to stop all protests, arrest and now attack Native American protesters. No one reported on this nation-wide until Goodman went there and filmed; only on the 9th did the Washington Post report it and then to frame it as a backward unacceptable demand of the Native people to their land and burial sites
Here is Goodman's report on DemocracyNow. Org as of this evening, September 12th
Here she tells you about the arrest warrant: the reason the gov't agents want to stop her is her video has gone “viral” on social media on the Internet.
About three weeks ago there was another murder of a black man by police officers; the video appeared briefly on face-book and then at the request of the police department involved and other officials was pulled off. There have been no videos since then and I'm inclined to suspect that large social media are now determined to help suppress this kind of indisputable information about black lives on US streets.
Amy Goodman is also the only reported and place I've seen reporting a prison strike on the anniversary of the horrifying attack on prisoners at Attica some 5 decades ago in response to a protest against prison conditions that turned into a major demonstration and demand by the prisoners for human conditions. The result was Nelson Rockefeller sent in the state militia and others, many prisoners and the hostages were all killed by guards and guards died too.
Heather Ann Thompson who has written a thoroughly research book on Attica, the brutal aftermath and the terrible conditions since is also interviewed: Blood in the Water: the Attica uprising of 1971 and its legacy
The third story she reported on is a lock by Long Island University of all its teachers. The teachers had voted not to accept a contract which cut back their health benefits, cut adjuncts salaries, and the response of the university was to lock them out, and replace them with unqualified people. It was also reported in the Nation by Deb Schwartz:
It's an open attack on the very legitimacy of the profession. Who needs any expertise in an area? who needs any education in education? who even needs experience. It's a mock - -and they hadn't even set a strike.
And what is the mainstream media doing: attacking Hillary Clinton for her emails, undermining her heroic endeavour to campaign ceaselessly in brutal heat – which caused dehydration and pneumonia the other day. In the Washington Post there was an important story by (in Gwen Ifill's words on PBS reports) David Fahrenthold from The Washington Post went through everything that — went through the Trump charities, essentially, and found out that — a couple of interesting things just by going through public records, among them, that Donald Trump raises money — raises other people’s money and then doles it out under the name of the Trump charities. Kind of remarkable.
The story was briefly discussed by Monday night's regular pundits:
TAMARA KEITH: Yes, and that Donald Trump gets credit for it, but that he hasn’t put his own money in for several years.
This reporting is really solid. This is the kind of reporting that we all should aspire to, where you go through the records, you’re methodical. He’s been calling hundreds of these charities, trying to find out which donations were given and from what pots of money. Very impressive reporting.
GWEN IFILL: And, in one case, actually solicited — broke the law by using some of that money to buy a 6-foot-tall painting of himself at auction, or Melania did, I suspect.
The question is, how does something that, which maybe on a day like today, how does that compare to the Clinton Foundation questions that have been raised?
SUSAN PAGE: You know what’s remarkable is that these are devastating — this is a devastating story that’s solidly backed by public records. It’s not some leak from some anonymous source.
Finally, why is Clinton's charitable foundation which does much good work attacked and Trump's breaking the law hardly grazes consciousness in mass media? what is it but misogyny towards her. Look at the cartoonI found in the Progressive Populist above.
Their charity does good; his is a fake.
Friends and readers,
There are forms of political experience beyond electing officials. Many are part of our daily life. One I've experienced from several angles -- my daughter's, my own, that of college students in my classes and friends -- is that of disability. Experience has taught me that not only do many people react adversely to slight non-conformities in social behavior, but many become hostile in the presence of disabilities. In the 20th century toleration, a willingness to help and even sympathy towards visibly disabled people, has been inculcated to the point it's socially unacceptable to deride, parody, or openly reject the disabled, including by law invisibly disabled people. The reality is such rejection goes on. Donald Trump's open mockery of a disabled reporter at one of his rallies shows how he accepts and encourages people to dismiss the disabled, and the laughter he got (no mattet if it's a minority) suggests this atavistic idea should not be put on a referendum.
I write this blog to call attention to an excellent article that appeared in the New York Times, Sunday August 21st, 2016: Rosemarie Garland-Thomas's Becoming Disabled. Some of the important realities she describes: the common slogans which argue against seeing disabled people as vulnerable is at odds with a common impulse to "rescue" people from such categorization; disability is everywhere and is defined as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” This then includes depression, anxiety-attacks, anorexia, lasting disorders from traumas, failures from aging. She remarks people who have these disorders are not taught how to be a disabled person; they are encouraged to ignore the disability, which by definition they can't, in lieu of techniques for coping with the disability and with people who instinctively react hostilely or simply keep away. I am naturally taken by her emphasis on how depression functions as a disability, for that has been my experience.
Our consciousness and how we regard and treat one another needs to be transformed. We need also to accept ourselves, recognize what is our disability, not hide. Deafness is so often taken as a classic example of how before the society flexed for the disabled people (helped them develop and acquire a sign language, and then schools); recently there's been a tendency within such groups to cut themselves off from non-deaf people as if they were a separate culture that could survive independently of the rest of the world: I've read articles where two parents who are deaf deliberately bring up a child who could be part of the hearing community in ways that discourage using their hearing as far as is possible. This is dangerous because the child could lose both parents; it's an angry destructiveness that wants to own the child. Self-name yourself so as to recognize and respect what you can do and what you can't, develop what you can -- usually all things but the areas where the disability is found - and coping mechanisms.
I should mention Garland-Thomson has written a good book on physical disability in American culture and how it appears in American literary texts: Extraordinary Bodies. She has a book which begins with the concept of staring. Many of her lectures seem to focus on physical disability as that is what has until recently been recognized as disability. She often lectures on the importance of images in our society, and how they influence us. Here is a typical lecture by her:
I'd like also to add to Garland-Thomson's article my own review of Martha Stoddard Holmes's Fictions of Afflication on how disability was treated in Victorian novels and memoirs since she treats equally of invisible disabilities. Two sections are especially relevant:
the evidence of her book demonstrates how the majority of people tenaciously cling to hegemonic norms to distinguish themselves as "normal" (191-95) and to punitive practices that demand (among other things) the disabled person do what the disability prevents. This is especially true of the autistic which some of the characters in the novels covered correspond to. The hegemonic point of view then and now is unwilling to accommodate bodies and personality profiles that don't fit what many people ground their sense of security and individual power upon ...
The evidence was plain that once educated, disabled people could maintain themselves, but due to social behaviors and norms outside the specific disability, they would mostly end up in workhouses or on the streets (107-8). Holmes makes the point that unfunded provisions in the 1870 Education Act reveal how little real interest there was, in what disabled people needed (206-8). She remarks more than once that the common response to borderline cases of disability is "fascinating." Elsewhere she implies borderline afflictions disturb abled people as such afflictions disturb their own self-image (2-15). (The verb "annoy" could also have been used here.) This need to keep "normal" people separate from the disabled as a category may be seen in the demand for utter dependency before any help is offered, a demand resulting in deceit on the part of the disabled while they are scrutinized and then often coerced into trying for an impossible independence. All the while, the interdependence of people is obscured (121-130).
A disabled person at a picture gallery
He has hired as his campaign manger Kellyanne Conway. We are told she "has been close to Trump for years." In physical type she resembles his wife, Melania, only with a much much harder face. A resume appears on wikipedia. Reading around, she is closely linked Fox News and affiliates, with Dan Quayle (Bush senior's vice-president), Gingrich, Pence, Cruz; she has been involved with those who have been bitterly pursuing the Clintons for years. She's one of these power-money-high prestige hounds who fancies she knows what women want: women don't want to hear about what's called women's issues, but how they are accomplished, and how to achieve power and influence.
If you can endure the sound, Bloomberg press gives an apt characterization along these lines of the public reasons for the relationship between Trump and this woman and why he chose her: she is said to be an expert on how to appeal to women, and Trump gets along with her, listens to her. A similar line from the New York Times. Another angle is how she began as a lawyer. Not all lawyers chose the profession so as to do honorable work of justice, equity, in law. The word repeated over and over again, is she's now and has been for years a pollster, paid as a pollster. Her husband is the lawyer. Are pollsters valued because they produce polls which predict the candidate the person who pays them wants?
Think about how it's said Roger Ailes, now accused of continual sexual harassment, raping of his employees is now also said to be next to Trump. Was it Ailes that recommended her? (Or Trump's previous long knowledge .... )
It doesn't take much to find Conway uttering anti-women comments on rape. Her husband was one of those getting up Paula Jones's suit against Bill Clinton. So she does think about women's issues we see. This woman is a feminist? On what grounds? what integrity can she present herself with?
She has starved herself at times and is even now unnaturally thin. In some photos her breasts look unusually large for a person of her weight and cragged body type:
Mark A Patterson (Washington Post, A15, Aug 18, 2016) wrote: Not just presidents and vice-presidents voluntarily, but "dozens of nominees to Cabinet and sub-cabinet level positions in the Treasury Dept, Social Security Admin, Dept of Homeland Security, US Trade, and other agencies and those in gov't, who want security clearances are required to submit their tax returns to the Senate to be reviewed by appropriate committtees. Senior federal appointments, no exception for those who work for the IRS, nominees are asked detailed questions about current and recent audits. This tax review process for those on the Senate Finance committee can take three years. Interviews of nominees are included. It's often presented as making sure they are not susceptible to blackmail. By his refusal, he reinforces the justifiable suspicion he has not paid any taxes for years. This symbolizes a flagrant disregard for what was once presented as a civic duty of a citizen: "Paying taxes is a fundamental obligation of citizenship, and the public deserves to know whether its [proposd] leader has fulfilled this obligation"
Hal Crowther today first detailed the history we know: Trump was a special protege of Roy Cohen, a cynical and amoral power broker in the 1960s; beyond his fraudulent university, and bankrupting of people in Atlantic City, there have been 3,500 lawsuits, ruined fleeced investors (&c). He then wrote very powerfully: "No responsible grownup anywhere near his right mind would vote to give this evil, infantile, ridiculous man the most powerful job in the world. Conversely any one who would cast such an irresponsible vote is far beyond the reach of reason or persuasion, in any form .... a hustler ... who speaks, acts, and presumably thinks like an emotionally disturbed adolescent .... his ghostwriter (The Art of the Deal) helped him turn his outbursts into sentences [and has now revealed him as a] sociopath. Trump's boorishness and tastelessness, symptoms of a putrefying national culture defy all precedent." Like others Crowther shows how Trump's success is the natural outcome of the decades long Republican use of race-baiting, contempt for "the elite" (not the rich but those who are educated, those who merit jobs by their skills and talent and knowledge. He suggests Trump is just the most outlandish of a growing group of horrors, some of which we saw on stage on the debates in the Republican primaries.He suggests we are going to see more of such people running for powerful offices even if Trump loses. (Progressive Populist, Sept 1, 2016, pp 1 and 8).
Owell defined double-speak as saying one thing and doing its opposite; Trump has perfected this in reverse: he does things and says the opposite; he smears his rivals by accusing them of what he is and he does.
Last week there was sudden proliferation of parodies of Trump. I laughed and laughed at this one which caught perfectly his drivel, meanness of outlook, active malice at the close.
Stopping by the Woods on a snowy evening:
I have a pretty good idea whose woods these are, believe me.
And let me tell you something, my people say he’s a complete nobody.
This guy lives in the village. So what if he sees me stopping here?
I dare him to sue me! I dare him!
And by the way, this snow is pathetic.
These are by far, the least downy flakes ever!
I hear they had to import them from Canada.
I don’t know. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn’t. We’re looking into it.
My horse – he’s the most incredible horse, seriously,
I have the greatest, the classiest horses –
My horse doesn’t even know what the hell we’re doing here.
The horses love me though. They do.
They’re always shaking their bells at me, it’s very loving.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Let me tell you something, these woods are an embarrassment.
They’re not dark. They’re not deep. They’re nothing. They’re for losers.
And I cannot wait to sue this guy.
I cannot wait to sue this guy.
The author is probably Rotting Post (gravator a cat with glasses assiduously reading)
Alas I am still worried this man could win. Richard Cohen began to look at Trump as so much entertainment "Now that it seems that Trump will lose." I'm not so sure.
So I interweave with the humor the dangers he represents beyond not seeing why we (US) should not use a nuclear weapon and not being against their proliferation. Importantly for anyone reading this blog, he would be "in favor of closing the Internet" under certain circumstances, indicated he will do what he can to rewrite libel laws (appoint judges to do this), revoked press credentials of the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Univision, the Daily Beast , the Des Moines Register and Politico. He shows no respect for law, the judiciary, has himself been involved in nearly 2000 law suits, bankrupts people, is under indictment for his fraudulent university, does what he can to pay as little wages as possible, smears judges when they come to a conclusion against his interests. Had a cease and desist order silence the man who wrote The Art of the Deal not to tell that Trump wrote almost none of it.
Here's Marcus Bales:
I write tremendous poems.
I'm a very good poet.
I write the best poems.
This journal needs great poems,
and I write them.
I went to top poetry schools
with top poetry teachers.
I am a very smart person.
Editors love my poems.
They publish my poems.
A few -- just a few --
editors do not publish my poems.
I want to hit them so hard.
I mean right in the face.
Especially the short ones.
And the women.
I guarantee you these poems are terrific.
They will be featured poems.
If they are not
it will just prove
this whole process is rigged.
The Post showed how Trump had been at work to prevent ingress, egress, reporting on the Tower he is building on Pennsylvania Avenue, where the old Post Office once was. He sued DC for "Civil Justice" (he likes to use Orwellian reverse speech, accusing others of what he is -- so Hillary Clinton is a "dangerous liar" when that's him). He didn't win but he'll be back. I remind my readers that he came out for torture, summarily ejects African-Americans from his rallies, called all immigrants criminals, wants to ban all Muslims from coming here and profile those here already, calls Roger Ailes a great guy after a class action lawsuit has been filed against him for decades of sexual harassment of women who work on his station. Trump says women who have abortions without asking permission (of whom? men of course) should be punished. While campaigning for the nomination, Tump called for protesters to be "roughed up" and "carried out on a stretcher," offered to pay the legal fees of people who assault protesters, deployed expensive private security to intimidate and remove protesters (one of his campaign managers has been assaulting people regularly). Recently he had protest signs outside Trump Tower in NYC destroyed. He screams at Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy, but will not release his own tax returned. Is it he has paid no taxes for years? How rich is he? He makes fun of disabled people, insults families who sons have died in these endless wars.
And one more:
As of this week: His numbers in the polls are down, and he is beginning to cry that if he doesn't win, the election is certainly rigged. Still he held a rally in Pennsylvania (where there are desperately impoverished places, no jobs, all industry long ago left) and 2000+ people showed up. Have you seen how Bernie Saunders's tweets exposed Trump's economic plan for what it is: an enormous gift to the top 1%. Read them here: Sander eviscerates Trump on trade and taxes: Trump's own business practices show how he regards working people. As fodder.
I've left out how he suggested that people who are "2nd Amenders" take justice into their own hands, what do they have these guns for? she is going to abolish this amendment. Surely they should act. The clear implication was Kill her. At long last the Secret Service has visited him and threatened him with arrest if he carries on like this.
"They are surely happy," said the prince, "who have all these
conveniencies, of which I envy none so much as the facility with
which separated friends interchange their thoughts."
---Samuel Johnson, Rasselas
Dear Internet, FB, and all sorts of friends,
Think about all the fun we have with our cats ...
The Internet today (Louis Wain, 1860, in Cat Museum of San Francisco) -- before Trump presidency
A few thoughts on the further debasement of Yahoo services:
As a long time user of Yahoo, nowadays a listmoderator for one active list, Trollope19thCStudies, and one where there are still a few friends who try to find time to read together and post, I'd like to suggest what the latest debasement of Yahoo portends about a Trump presidency.
What happened? Verizon has bought Yahoo. Now Verizon has been working elsewhere and in courts to privatize Internet routes so they can have slow and fast lanes. They may have instituted slow lanes for ordinary yahoo users. Early on I liked Yahoo; it had flaws but it did what it said it would: platform for talk, files, albums, archives, places to get help. When they switched to "Neo" then the debasement began. I have made two face book pages for the two listservs that are still alive but I'm not sure how many will come over and also the whole feel of face-book is so different.
If Trump should win, all this will change. He will appoint millionaires, CEOs, and ruthless pro-industry and corporate people to the FCC and positions of power for communication and public transportation (a wolf watching the chicken coop). Private companies will go after ISPs to close down anything that might interfere with profits. It will mean the end of the Internet as we have known it for these short 20 years or so (PCs spread to ordinary people in 1995). We will all be turned back to isolation. Right now private emails are monitored. Trumps says he will "open up" the libel lies: appoint judges who will work to silence newspapers, silence TV news, silence ordinary critizens by litigation that breaks them financially. Face-book would feel the heat too if Trumpish came into powerful offices..
Liebling said freedom of the press belongs to the person who owns one. Those of us who have been publishing essays, fictions, scholarship, who have been reading other people's essays on what they read, their life-writing, made friends will again find ourselves excluded and disabled. I have now participated in or "taken," "followed" three Future Learn courses from Open University in the UK: they are for. The Anthropology of Social Media; The Power of Social Media; a course in how to read and analyse common usages of word, symbols and behavior on the Net: all three showed how pervasive the Internet is, how so many people use it daily to contact friends, business associates, do common needed tasks about essentials; also (this counts) a place to get good information, find emotional support, express ourselves, share views. All this will be badly maimed; it might become as limited as it is in China or Russia. Why do we post? we post to live better, more safely, more in a community.
Yes Hillary Clinton might collude with the corporations. She likes private-public partnerships. Such things exclude individual people, but I think her solution will resemble Obama's as he likes private-public partnerships too. She is an organization woman, someone who shares, cooperates, respects the rights of others so I imagine if in her administration there is some pull back from insisting the Internet is a utility and Net neutrality (everyone having access to the same cables at the same speed), it will be contained. More pay walls will probably be the result of pressure on her. I doubt she'd change on copyright issues: these are local problems. She is on record for fostering communications; it's her basic style. Remember the churchlady who was so active in your community when you were young (read the Garrison Keillor column linked in). Or the woman who headed the Parents-Teachers Association. That's her.
Trump would just wipe us away: he regards all criticism of him as vicious attacks and seeks to retaliate and punish. Remember how he said spontaneously oh yes women getting an abortion without telling the husband should obviously be punished. He would want control and profits for himself and his buddies.
So if you are hesitating over Hillary, remember the Internet as you type out your hesitation to your friend, on a blog, website, twitter or face-book.
Edward Gorey -- large areas of the Internet possibly after Trump
He is himself a disabled man too.
Bloomberg tells hard realities about Trump and tells you why we must vote for Hillary because Trump is a dangerous demagogue. We must unite for the good of our country. This is too important to sit out ....
It is unspeakable how Trump has responded to the Khans' justifed deeply moving questioning of Trump's fitness to be president: he consistently smears the characters of anyone who criticizes him:
Friends, I am disturbed about the democratic convention too. Apart from my distrust that Sanders's policy initiatives will be followed, and Clinton's choice for vice-president (politics as usual there), there was not one feminist speech in this convention. Barber did not mention women as a group. It's not enough to elect Hillary Clinton, though it will go a long way (we may hope) to helping women and children specfically now that she and not her husband is president.
Sanders in his speech said the election was about a poverty-stricken woman with a small child living on a minimum wage and food stamps whom he met in Ohio. I fear it's not about her. When she is brought up, she is smeared and lied about with contempt (Reagan's "welfare queen"); it was known when the old welfare laws were erased that most women would not be able to find jobs, not have money to pay for good care for their children. No one protested; some naive women (middle class ones who couldn't imagine what finding a job as a working class woman is like) professed to believe that this would lead to independent lives. It has led to near homelessness, continual movement, abysmal conditions for children (including living in cars). Even Sanders did not identify her properly. That this comes of being a woman will just not be believed. It was a welfare program for women. Sanders perspective was this one: Where a great proportion of the people are suffered to languish in helpless misery, that country must be ill policed, and wretchedly governed: a decent provision for the poor, is the true test of civilization. Samuel Johnson
As promised, each time I see a photo of Hillary Clinton which brings out aspects of her character not sufficiently emphasized, I put the photo on this blog. The first was of her shopping at a Farmer's Market, the second was of her undergoing yet another humiliating gruelling from powerful men intending to destroy her (they failed as they have no evidence for any indictment after 25 years of paying teams of people to scrutinize all files about her everywhere); neither of these were of a beautiful woman with a conventionally uplifting expression on her face:
Four decades of hard work, mostly achievement, often for the vulnerable, passionately on behalf of women and children.
The double standard for race also never ceases to operate: Imagine if Obama or Hllary had put as their chief speakers for endorsement their 5 children from 3 previous marriages, and what was got together for the spouse was plagiarism. Trump has said repeatedly the first thing he'll do is "open up the libel" laws. Not that easy; he's got to appoint or use or bribe judges to silence the newspapers that way. A really insightful article by Jane Mayor on Schwartz's book The Art of the Deal and what Schwartz learnt about Trump is now silenced as Trumps' lawyer has put a cease and desist order on the man. Schwartz won't be able to get a court decision to counter that before the election. If Trump got to be president, he'd ban far more newspapers from his conferences and put the equivalent of a cease and desist order on us all, especially imposing silence on the Internet by any means possible -- national security issue would do. While I'm here, this article details Trump's financial ties to Putin. There is a photo of Putin scowling unconsciously at her; he does not like women to have power either.
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 ...