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I originally thought we should put the Confederate monuments into a museum setting of some sort -- as teaching lessons about history.

After Charlottesville, I say tear them down.

Most of them were raised in the early 1900s as part of Jim Crow. They have no place in America now.
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1947 Anti-Fascism Video -- starts mostly around 2:16 -- "I thought Nazis were crazy people -- fanatics" --

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So, we are now reading articles about how a 'war' might look?

It only took 7 months with Jabba in office! Granted, the North Korean situation has ben very flammable for a long time...it's just that Jabba has no skill -- is over his head -- is antagonistic and stupid.

I don't have enough expletives to describe what I think of him.

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Sorry for this long, jumbled post. I don't think i have a point here.. just a list of jumbled thoughts and general observations about the precipice we are standing on.

Fear -- Common Thread

1) The Republican party is not about common good -- it is strictly a grasp for more power. Centralized politics always is leads to power grabs, but I have never seen it this naked before. I read a tweet the other day about how it seems that Republicans are voting as if they will never have to run in a free election again - in other words, they are not afraid of losing an election based on their votes in Congress.

2) The people who are supporting Trump seem to be 'white people first' people -- 'Make America Great Again' really is 'Make America White Again'. Being white myself, I don't say that with the intention of insulting. -- it's just my perception that MAGA is really about white people feeling threatened.

3) The people supporting him also tend to be conservative Christians. Same issue -- Christians feel threatened not being in the majority anymore. I read somewhere that 911 caused an upsurge in atheism! I suppose it's because 911 was due to religious extremism -- done in the name of god.

4) The people supporting him are afraid -- maybe afraid of losing their 'place' in the world. And Fox (let's call it the 'state news') is constantly drumming the fear beat.

5) The people supporting Trump seem to mostly be rural...and indeed rural society has broken down. Seriously -- I don't think urban people realize how broken society has become in rural areas. This is a source of fear for rural people.

The common thread is fear. I see the fear, but I don't feel it.
--> If a MAGA person sees a person in a turban...they become afraid, probably thinking 'what will this turbaned person do to me'?
--> When I see a turban on a co-worker, I tell him that I really like the color of the turban! (the man I'm talking about is Sikh and wears red turbans a lot, and I like the color red.)

I'm not acting all 'high and mighty' here -- just seriously, I don't feel the fear -- quite possibly because my life in general is pretty stable right now. Of course, I do have a good deal of concern about the children of immigrants becoming radicalized...and that radicalization is so very violent in nature. It seems to be a situation where the children become distant from both their own culture -AND- the dominant western culture. And radical ideology fills the void.

But to me, closing the doors to immigrants feels less like 'closing the doors to immigrants'...and more like 'closing the gates to pen Americans in' -- I worry that the gates are closing in the way they did for Jews who waited too long as the Nazis came to power, and then could not get out.

Speaking of power grabs

As I read the article about the Federal Commission wanting personal data on every voter since 2006, I saw this quote in the article: “…Kobach 'has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas....'"

And that made me think of this Maya Angelou quote: When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.


Existential Dread

This article spoke to me:
"Terror management theorists believe anxiety over death is the driving force behind politics, art, literature, religion, science, and the rest of what we call civilization. In order to manage the terrible yet inescapable knowledge of our own impermanence, we seek out projects that offer us some promise of immortality, either literal or symbolic."

Breakdown of institutions --
Loneliness is a vacuum that yearns to be filled. And when established institutions are unable to meet that need, fringe ideologies come to replace them. Thus Hannah Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism that “totalitarian domination as a form of government … bases itself on loneliness, the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.”

Basically, the terror management thinking is that all of civilization is a reaction against the existential dread we all have! And the breakdown in the community ties that bind is what has resulted in our political situation.
"Trump seized the White House by utilizing the oldest known recipe for legitimating political power: Cultivate an aura of immortality; remind your subjects of their own mortality by nourishing their fear of an alien Other; promise the extinction of that Other, and an escape from death’s shadow, in return for loyalty."

I can't tell if we are still on the precipice..or falling at this point.

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I don't even have words for Jabba...I see the end game (#Russia)...but it's being executed in such a stupid way...

And these people are completely insane....

It was a fricken typo, and Jabba was careless and let the tweet stay up for hours....but when I listened to the audio -- Spicer seems to be saying it was perfectly fine because a small group of people knew what he meant.

I mean damn -- EVERYONE KNEW WHAT HE MEANT -- from the context. The point is that this yokel typed a completely bad tweet...and didn't check behind himself...and doesn't have aides who would double check for him.

And if Spicer had just said it was a late night typo, it would have been odd...but not completely INSANE sounding! https://t.co/w998vxHd3J

One nice thing about having my language prefs set to Portuguese is that apps present a lot of Brazilian search results, etc. to me. When I clicked to see Tweets tagged with #covfefe, these were in my first page or 2 of results.

These Tweets made me laugh...

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Title is from a sign at the March for Science in DC today. Rainy and cool = kinda miserable...so after making an appropriately long appearance, the friend I was with texted other friends for brunch :)

Science March DC



Washington Monument


Apr. 10th, 2017 07:18 pm
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But the third rope was still moving: the child too light was still breathing...
"For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer.
Where He is? This is where -- hanging here from this gallows..."
That night, the soup tasted of corpses.

I just read a book written by a child who spent time with his father in Birkenau and Auschwith concentration camps.

His descriptions are pretty shocking in places. The author, Elie Wiesel, died last year.

It's hard for me to believe that there are Holocaust deniers -- most of whose "talking points" seem to quibble with the number of people killed -- by the way, the "6 million" was a number that came from a member of the German SS.

Documentation exists for 3 - 4 million people killed, and when you read eye witness accounts like this book, listen to videos of eye witnesses, read excerpts from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goebbels_Diaries>Joseph Goebbel's diaries, it becomes patently obvious that a rounding up of people for forced labor, and then death by starvation, illness, shooting, hanging and gas chambers occurred. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/how-to-refute-holocaust-denial

Eisenhower ordered documentation to be created -- https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/General-Eisenhower-Holocaust-Verification

Video of French survivor:

There are very few survivors anymore, which is why Ellie Wiesel's book and other sources are so important.

Will this sort of thing happen again? Almost surely. Hell, purposeful attempts at genocide have happened repeatedly already during wars.

Why do Holocaust deniers exist? Certainly, anti-Jewish bias is a cause. But there's more to it than that. I haven't been able to completely put my finger on it...but if the deniers admitted the Holocaust, they would have to change their opinion of 'the other' -- meaning the deniers would have to change their belief system and recognize other people and other cultures as valuable. It's almost as if the deniers are resentful of the attention that Jews got because of the Holocaust.

I didn't time this post to happen during Passover -- it's just the timing of finishing a book. But it is probably an appropriate post.

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After Republicans in House and Senate voted to allow ISPs to sell your personal browsing history (and I imagine that Jabba will sign the bill), I began to look at how I could surf using a VPN -- to protect my browsing history.

I have no desire to share browsing history with advertisers -- do they really need to know about that personal 'thing' I might have had, lol? And how exactly would advertisers make use of my interest in Old French to sell me something?

It already annoys me when I look at, say, underwear online, only to see that same underwear offered as an ad in a website. Not only is it intrusive, it's the VERY SAME FRICKEN UNDERWEAR that I just looked at! I didn't buy it the first time -- why would I want to see it again???

As I get older, I have less need to buy shit. (I also am cursing more.) And I have no need for advertisers to come find me -- i'll find them when I need something!

Anyways...I digress...

Opera comes with a free built in VPN. I figure 'free' means maybe not as robust as it could be. But free is always good, and it probably serves my purpose. So, I have switched to Opera!

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I knew from day 1 that Jabba was lying and making shit up the entire time he was campaigning. He would say whatever he could to please the crowd (a Hitler trait, I might add). So if I could see Jabba for who is is, why the fuck couldn't someone like this see how dangerous he was/is?

When Helen Beristain told her husband she was voting for Donald Trump last year, he warned her that the Republican nominee planned to “get rid of the Mexicans.”

Defending her vote, Helen quoted Trump directly, noting that the tough-talking Republican said he would only kick the “bad hombres” out of the country, according to the South Bend Tribune.

Months later, Roberto Beristain — a successful businessman, respected member of his Indiana town and father of three American-born children — languishes in a detention facility with hardened criminals as he awaits his deportation back to Mexico, the country he left in 1998 when he entered the United States illegally.

“I wish I didn’t vote at all,” Helen Beristain told the Tribune. “I did it for the economy. We needed a change.”

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I mean, we suspected that there were Russian connections with Jabba...but even though there were the suspicions, you didn't really want to believe it...

What's a poor, gay, Buddhist guy to think? It's pretty amazing, deeply disturbing, and almost admirable that Russia was able to infiltrate the US government so deeply!
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One thing I hate more than anything is lying bullshit. This is such bullshit..."welcoming" -- gimme a fuckin' break, mac!


Welcoming like when a woman was arrested right after she had a court date to get a restraining order? And I read it was the abuser who called ICE on her.

Welcoming like when a 70+ year old Austrailian children's author was detained and reduced to tears, saying she would not be visiting the US again?

Welcoming as when the woman with a brain tumor was taken from the hospital?

So fucking welcoming....I can barely contain my feelings of goodwill...


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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."