The new generation of leaders

The Friday Photo

Decatur High School, Decatur, GA

Students walked out or took a knee on Wednesday because #enoughisenough. I stood with them and for them.

What I’m reading about last night

What I’m reading about last night (link to the address is below from the New York Times):

WAPo: “In describing his bleak vision of a ruined United States exploited by foreigners, Mr. Trump wrote a series of checks he almost certainly cannot cash.”

The ugliest moment in the 60-minute address came when Mr. Trump announced the formation of an office on “Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement,” and then introduced families of people allegedly murdered by illegal immigrants. It was an appeal to raw prejudice and fear that will do nothing to promote the national unity he claims to be seeking. (emphasis added)

WAPO: Fact checking demonstrates that Trump continues to take credit for things he didn’t do, including the sourcing for DAPL pipeline materials

WaPo: Why any glow from last night won’t last very long

WaPo: The word you didn’t hear last night

NYT: Video of the address to Congress and NYT Washington correspondents comments and analysis during the speech and the Democratic response

NYT: Did Bannon and Miller talk Trump away from a pivot on immigration during lunch yesterday?

NYT: Five takeaways from last night’s speech

Jay Bookman at the Atlanta Journal Constitution on pouring money into the military,
“In short, this is not a carefully thought-out strategy from the Trump administration, based on consultation with the experts and our allies. Instead, the man who took five draft deferments to avoid fighting in Vietnam, the man who says that he knows better than the generals how to defeat ISIS and who claims he understands the military because he attended a military-themed boarding school, is offering a military strategy fueled largely by his own deep personal insecurities.”

Git yur guns, boys!

What started after the 2008 election with the election of a black man to the White House, threatens to come full circle to a full-on “take back the government” uprising if Hillary Clinton is elected. Jimmy Arno of Georgia is just one of many who say they will be, I don’t know, marching to Washington, D.C., to lead some type of revolution if the election doesn’t go their way. Militia member Charles Keith Cobble claims they screen their fanatic members to make sure they aren’t KKK folks, but really, this type of “background check,” as Cobble calls it, is a farce.

In his conversation with Ryan Lentz of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, Adam Ragusea of GPB rightly makes note that white people carrying guns are usually called militia members, and brown people are called terrorists.

The fear gripping white people, primarily poorly educated, lower-income men (I am making a broad statement and I am not going to go down a rabbit hole with anyone on it), started with racism, and now it has expanded to include women. Donald Trump fed this type of mindset. He started with birtherism, and has woven in a complete and utter disrespect for women into his mixture of hatred and fear.

It bears repeating: we withstood the resignation of one President, and a 5-4 Supreme Court vote for another one. Electing Hillary Clinton will not be the worst thing to happen to this country. And it certainly won’t be worth starting a civil war over.

 

 

Tuesday’s Trumped-up conspiracy theory

Over the weekend Donald Trump demonstrated his lack of, well, connection to other humans, by Tweeting that the murder of Dwayne Wade’s cousin was exactly why black voters should support him.

Today he was spinning trumped-up (no pun intended, but it sure is easy) terrorists conspiracy theories about Huma Abedin, a key staffer to Hillary Clinton.

This stuff isn’t new. Michele Bachmann tried to discredit the native-born American in 2012. The slurs were so unpalatable that Senator John McCain took to the floor of the Senate to defend Abedin.

McCain deserves credit for the times when he has stepped up to speak the truth to the birthers, “Obama’s a Muslim”, and their cronies. What he said in 2012 merits repeating.

Is R&P suffering from writer’s block?

Yesterday two people I respect talked with me about politics, their work, and Rural and Progressive. Conversations like that make me miss the work I have done that is immersed in politics (but not miss it so much that I’ll go back. It is very hard).

I explained that the recent horrors coupled with American politics, have left me unable to wrap my head around the constant hate so prevalent in the world. Two days after the Planned Parenthood clinic shooting in Colorado, I wrote in circles about women’s health care, legislation, and the violence raining down on innocent people who pass through clinic doors. Finally at turned off my computer and moved on to something else. 

This might be an ideal time for others, who can get their thoughts collected and on paper (or a screen monitor), to submit posts for Rural and Progressive. The writer will get full credit, of course. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, have them contact me at katherine@katherinecummings.net  

We’ve seen the photos

The Friday Photo
April 17, 2015

Twenty years ago we saw heartbreaking photos of heroes and the injured escaping from the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Instead of pouring over the pictures from that awful day, listen to stories of survival told by Christopher Nguyen and his mother Phuong, and PJ Allen and his father Willie Watson, both recorded by NPR’s Story Corps.

 

Sharpen your pencils

The Friday Photo
January 9, 2015
This machine kills fascists

These pencils were created by one of my favorite illustrators, Oliver Jeffers, who quotes Woody Guthrie here. This photograph is circulating on the web after the terrorism inflicted on Charlie Hebdo.

If we want to live in a world where ideas are shared freely, all of us must sharpen our pencils.