If there is one thing I have learned it is that people love bullshit. They buy bullshit stories from professional bullshit artists, accept bullshit philosophies, purchase bullshit how-to-books, vote for bullshitting politicians.
More from David Rothkopf
If there is anything to be thankful for in it, it is the hope it will serve as a wake-up call to those who do not realize the threats that lie ahead. Recent elections have reminded us how important it is to wrest democracy out of the hands of the donor class that's seized it.
Our recent experiences have also made it painfully clear that our system contains deep imperfections that assure that a minority will have disproportionate power in our Senate, our electoral college and, thanks to the Senate, our courts.
Either we, the majority that elected our next president, will continue our activism & engagement & work to fix what's broken in that system or we will drift further toward the kind of dysfunctionality that has led to so much suffering around the planet.
Our work, in short, has just begun. Removing Trump was an essential step toward preserving our democracy. But it was just one of several such steps. Winning back the Senate, rebalancing the courts, changing our campaign finance and election laws, are all essential.
If Rod Rosenstein had not told Mueller to stay out of investigating Trump's finances and to narrowly define his investigation, the coup attempt would never have taken place.
If Mueller had not gone along with Rosenstein and had followed all of the investigations into Trump's ties to the Russians and his finances, we would not have seen months of attempts to attack and weaken our democracy.
If Mnuchin had not blocked the attempts to release Trump's tax returns and had followed his constitutional responsibilities and the law, millions would not be out of work due to COVID.
If McConnell had fulfilled his Constitutional obligations and had conducted a Senate trial in which evidence was presented and the GOP had not reflexively defended Trump despite all his abuses, millions of US children might not be going hungry now.
It's an assault on facts and reason. It's an assault on good governance. It's an assault on the bureaucracies that are being discounted. It's an assault on science and history. But it is also an assault on one of the underpinnings of democracy.
We live in a system that is grounded on the idea of collaborative government. Leaders may have a final word but even then, there are typically checks and balances. Hopefully, in this case, such checks and balances may work. But they also are being tested.
The president's position that he is smarter than all the world's scientists, than the entire intelligence community, than experts who have studied any issue all their lives, is, of course, asinine. But his belief that government turns solely on his opinion, is monarchic.
Louis XIV reportedly said, "L'etat est moi." That he was the state. Trump asserting that he knows better than all, discounts all advice, that his brain is enough to chart the course for America alone, is essentially saying the same thing.
...the enduring appeal of Trumpism, the effectiveness of GOP campaigns for the Senate or the House, the mistakes made in Dem campaigns for the House, vice versa on both the preceding counts, the role of the GOP disinformation echosystem, COVID, the economy...
...mobilizing progressives, mobilizing centrists, racism, anti-racism, the movement to defund the police, the use of the word socialism, media blunders, voter ignorance, the impeachment process, corruption in DC, campaign finance abuse, the power of the establishment...
...the power of the Murdoch's, the hard right, the evangelicals, the Russians, the young, the old, whites, Latinos, blacks, women, men or any of the other countless factors (divine intervention, etc.) that have been cited in the media, by pols, on social media, in the days since.
For Dems, this is definitely not the time for finger pointing and division. There must be a laser-like focus on winning the run-offs in Georgia. There should be a widespread effort to mobilize the broadest possible support for the agenda of the Biden-Harris administration.
People in a free society are entitled to any point of view no matter how obviously wrong or outlandish or destructive provided they do not impose their views on others.
But suggesting that something ignorant or divorced from reality warrants the same kind of treatment in public debate as something based in fact or at least credible is absurd and when done on behalf of a society in public media or academic settings it is self-destructive.
We would not grant media coverage or much bandwidth at all to a group that argued that unicorns exist or that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet views like denying climate change or basing policy decisions on sweeping, obvious lies, are just as unsound.
Somewhere, somehow, judgments must be made. Some behaviors are wrong and must be condemned. Someone must challenge lies and demand facts. Coddling people who embrace idiocies does not help them no matter how loudly they demand to be coddled.
More from Life
The reality is 99% of people's "hustle" is just them hustling themselves. Hustling yourself out of life and into a worker cog. The exact opposite of what you want to become when you're an entrepreneur. You're becoming the same system you sought to destroy.
To build a successful business it takes way more than just plain old hard work. I am a huge believer in American grit, not American hustle. You need hard work, but if that is all you can bring to the table, you have no place running a business.
People work hard because they believe in what they're doing or they feel they have to make it happen. I get that. We have families and people counting on us. But you are failing them all when you live in your office.
We are privileged in even being able to run a business. If you are lucky enough to do that, you owe it to yourself, your loved ones, and the people counting on you to do it the right way. Be healthy. Sleep. Live your life. Be more than your career. 🖤
And here at ACLU-MA, we know that justice is a labor of love. Here are some of our favorite moments of love and justice in the last year, to brighten your #ValentinesDay.
Almost exactly a year ago, our clients Hanz and Maudy were reunited after being separated by the cruel "Return to Mexico" policy.
Yesterday, a family of asylum seekers were reunited. Hanz & his son were subjected to #MPP, a cruel policy that forced them into dangerous cities in northern Mexico. We sued on their behalf, allowing them to rejoin their family in Massachusetts. pic.twitter.com/Kce6MTpS9C— ACLU Massachusetts (@ACLU_Mass) February 7, 2020
#Fauxmance THREAD ⬇️
1⃣ Avoid giving away too many personal details when speaking online to someone who you’ve never met in person; this could lead to your identity being stolen.
2⃣ Stay on the platform’s messaging service until you meet in person. Criminals will want to quickly switch to other platforms that are less regulated and have better encryption, so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.
3⃣ Whatever reason they may give to move away from the site where you met, consider – if they’re genuine, they'll accept your decision to stay on the platform until you meet in person.
4⃣ Most online platforms have a reporting tool. You can use this if you suspect someone online is using pictures that don’t belong to them, if you're suspicious of their behaviour, or if they ask you for money.
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The answer is artist Will Hulsey...
Will Hulsey was the undisputed king of the animal attack pulp cover. You name it, he'd paint it attacking you in a pool of stagnant water.
Very little is known about Will Hulsey, but he worked on a number of men's pulp magazines in the 1950s and early 1960s including Man's Life, True Men, Guilty, Trapped and Peril.
Their audience was ex-GIs: during WWII the US Council of Books in Wartime had given away over 122 million books to American servicemen to read; this led to a post-war surge in paperback and magazine sales amongst these newly enthusiastic readers.
As a result the 1950s saw a raft of men's pulp magazines being published to tap into this market - almost 200 different titles!
...are going to be expecting a story about black people trying to safely navigate the country (real history) and instead will get a white savior film. Like folks went to see Detroit thinking it was about the riots...
Anywhoo, I know Mahershela is fantastic in it. He was the best thing about the trailer. As rich as the history behind the creation of ‘The Green Book’ is/was, as amazing as Dr. Don Shirley’s story is, WHY is this film about a random, racist driver and his family?
This feeds into the ignorant anti-Black American stereotype of “Black Americans don’t have any culture/history/mythology” or whatever. That our stories are still both being used while simultaneously erased in 2018 is wild to me. It’s gonna clean up come award season. 🤦🏾♀️
And now, if black filmmakers WANTED to make a film about The Greenbook, guess what it can’t be called🙃. Just like if someone wanted to make a film about the actual Detroit riots, guess what it can’t be called? Then those filmmakers would run into...
Switch from WhatsApp to Signal and enable disappearing messages. Most of us cannot stop using WhatsApp entirely but at least turn off back ups to Google Drive or iCloud. 2/n
Do not have private conversations using the messaging service on any social media platform like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 3/n
Switch from Gmail to ProtonMail or any other secure email service provider. 4/n
Switch from Google Docs to CryptPad or RiseUp Pad.
My new theory: A lot of it is guilt.
2/It's true that in some circles - the media, universities, many big corporations - liberal norms *are* enforced to some degree, and the enforcement has probably gotten stronger in recent years.
But I don't think this explains all of the Right's obsession.
3/The stereotype is that people on the Right tend to be more threat-sensitive. That would help explain the perception that liberal norm-enforcers are lurking everywhere, ready to pounce and anathematize anyone who makes a misstep.
But I don't think that's all of it either.
4/And of course, it's always fun - whether you're on the Right or the Left, or playing a video game, or whatever - to style yourself as the brave iconoclastic rebel fighting against the oppressive forces of blah blah blah.
But I don't think this is all of it, either.
5/The reason I think it's more than these things is that even *in private*, people on the Right express their "crimethink" ideas very gingerly and hesitantly.
I get the sense that they're not just afraid of external censure, but have also internalized liberal norms.