Monday, January 30, 2017

Combating the Sore Loser Meme

The Boston Globe published a story today about the mammoth pro-refugee/immigrant rally in Copley Square yesterday. I was still nursing a broken toe and didn't go and I'd be kicking myself for missing it but...broken toe.  On the other hand I forsee plenty of chances to rally and protest in the near and far future so I'm not heartbroken.  There were two quotes from Republicans in the Boston Globe story. Charlie Baker gave Mitch McConnell's response which was to pretend that this was all business as usual and that "the courts" would fix things, somehow.  Not a constitutional crisis, not an unconstitutional act, not immoral, just...kind of not great but if we'd all calm down and let the grown ups handle it things would be better. The other was from Trump's MA campaign manager--interesting that they couldn't get one or two of our few Republican State Reps to comment--and he gave the other party line "you were warned, you can't complain now."  Actually, what he said was even more interesting, deliberately drawing attention to the fact that President Obama had delivered this mild rebuke to the Republicans after his election he said "Elections have consequences and President Trump promised to do all this during the campaign." (Paraphrasing).

We are going to hear a lot of this in the future. But its not really an answer to the protests. We aren't protesting because we don't realize the election had a consequence that put Trump into power. We are protesting because his actions are illegal, immoral, and we don't like them. This has nothing to do with the legitimacy, or otherwise, of his election.  And it has nothing to do with numbers for or against his policies. It has to do with legal, illegal, moral, immoral, justice, and injustice.

And this is a point we need to be making to the remaining Trump voters as well as to the voters and non voters who were essentially on the fence, or ignorant of the choice they were making, or voting out of spite.  We need to emphasize (as people already do in their signs) the larger moral and safety issues.  I also think we need to start banding together in affinity groups and showing up at rallies as groups--I suppose I'm thinking this because now that I am a Social Worker I finally have a ready made group to affiliate with.  But no one will be surprised when Social Workers show up en masse.  I am thinking of smaller but bigger groups--PTA, a whole street, churches, new mothers, grandmothers, bowling leagues.  I'm also a Weight Watcher and I want to organize a "Weight Watchers Against Deportation" group.  I think back to a sign my mother saw forty years ago at a big Anti-Nuke rally in NY "East Village Weight Watchers Against The Bomb!"  When every subgroup in society comes out, loud and proud, and its not clearly "interested parties" or the phantom "paid advocates" we will start to see cracks in the complacent ice that is the majority of white people in this country.  I hope.  



Friday, January 27, 2017

Long Time No See

I went back to school this fall--just slightly before the crack of doom that threw the entire country on this dystopian footing.  Because I am getting my MSW (that's Master's in Social Work for those not in the know) I have mixed feelings about maintaining a blog.  But I was reviewing my posts today so I could send my daughter some of my Proust posts and I decided that, come hell or high water or, in the case of our post Trump world, both, blogging my experiences as a Social Work student, intern, and practitioner is worth doing.  So here goes!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

On The Occasion of Our Twenty First Wedding Anniversary


 The Second Day of July... will be the most memorable Epocha in the History of America--John Adams to Abigail Adams

Mixed Media Anniversary Gift.  Aimai to Mr. Aimai
Hand Made Pryographia Glove Box (1906), Ketubah Poem, Carved Shell Buttons, Gilded Vintage X, Found Iron, Antique Postcards, Found Images, Tin Hand, Hand Made Book, 19th Century Newspaper Clipping on the Duties of Husbands
Left Hand: 13th Century Hebrew Poem from Our Ketubah
Right Hand: Meditation on A Midsummer Night's Dream


I have had a most rare
vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to
say what dream it was... The eye
of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not
seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue
to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream
was.




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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Grandfather!

  This is a link to a Vimeo which has just appeared.  I'm not sure whether its a clip from Jerry Bruck's film about Izzy, or where it comes from. The person who posted it on Vimeo isn't sure either.  There's only so much footage out there about Izzy and though I've seen bits of this before I haven't seen any film of him in a long time.  I want to thank the person who put it up on Vimeo.  I miss my grandfather very much, and wish he were here to comment, pungently, on the current state of US politics.

https://vimeo.com/172233617

Thursday, June 23, 2016

These comments are in support of Betty Cracker's brilliant blog post today "Quibbling Over The Script." 

"Christ! Between the bernie leftists for whom no democratic initiative is effective if it doesnt involve birds, giant puppets, or farting and the ACLU’s crack team of concern trolls worried that the democrats will lose the commanding heights of the moral hillock if they once stoop to noisy street theater, cruel manipulation, broad strokes, politics even (faints!)Or anything that smacks of stooping to conquer its no wonder we can’t have nice things. if the various flavors of left purity trolls could stop stabbing us and each other in the back perhaps hillary clinton and the kick ass dems could start to commit some god damned political winning up there. Oh, ok, I think I should take this one. I referred to the ACLU (and I’m a member, by the way) because djw, over at LGM, in a staggeringly stupid thread, referred to himself as an ACLU’er at heart. The ACLU are not concern trolling us here–but concerned citizens are behaving like concern trolls and using the ACLU’s issues and concepts as the method by which they do it."
"Here’s the thing–and stay with me for a moment–the ACLU does a very specific kind of legal work. Their opinion on a matter of politics, and especially electoral politics, is not dispositive. For one thing they tend to think in terms of end products (a law) with a specific set of possible precedential outcomes in a court battle. But a politician, even one who is engaged in potentially writing a law has a different set of priorities, a different understanding of the stages by which an idea becomes a law and then gets submitted for review when challenged in a court case. For one thing a legislator has to deal with time, committees, negotiations, trade offs, gestures, outside pressure, tv, as well as the bald language of the legislation. All of these things intervene between the proposal (we should do something about something) and the execution (this is the thing we are going to do). Short circuting that process for fear that the Democrats are going to turn into the Republicans on minority or muslim rights, or that their very proposal gives aid and comfort to the Republicans is absurd and, frankly, insulting.
And the proof of the pudding, by the way, is in the eating. The Republicans are so terrified of linking gun rights (constitutional right, fetishized idol) to the NFL and the Terrorist Watch List that they literally had to shut down congress to escape debating it. I always know when a thread is over–because that’s when I really get started posting! I want to say something else about the ACLU/naysayers group of commenters. There’s a whole lot of accusations floating around that people who applaud the Dem sit in are “acting like Republicans” and “using Cheneyite” language, or blurring a necessary distinction between our essential Democraticness (goodness, honesty, openness, purity of speech and deed) and their essential Republicanness (ugly, lying, mean, etc…). Politics–the art of the possible, always local, etc..etc..etc… is, in this model, irremiediably filthy and therefore not becoming to Democrats. Because politics always involves a lot of stuff that seems kind of wrong. Like accusing your opponent of pig fucking just to make him deny it. Or putting your oponent into the position of telling you when he stopped beating his wife. Or drawing his policies out to their absurd conclusion and making fun of him. All these things are certainly very messy, and involve passion (and faking passion) and involve arousing the passions of the voters. They are not the platonic ideal of rational debate of a subject on the merits.
Well–boo fucking hoo. If that is what it takes to get stringent gun laws passed I’m for it. I’m not for extra scrutiny for Muslims, the no fly list, or stripping my fellow citizens of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but I am for damned sure pro getting guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens.
Time is what makes kittens into cats, and what keeps everything from happening all at once. The Democrats are fighting just to get the chance to talk about gun laws at all. After that we can argue about how new legislation gets drafted. And if you think anyone is listening to the details and will throw in the Democrats faces that they once, for a day, argued that “terrorists” should not be able to buy guns, well–you really don’t know the first thing about the American Public which would have to be hit in the face with a two by four, repeatedly, day after day before they woke up and said “huh? Whuh hoppen?”
These comments are in support of Betty Cracker's brilliant blog post today "Quibbling Over The Script."  ">Christ! Between the bernie leftists for whom no democratic initiative is effective if it doesnt involve birds, giant puppets, or farting and the ACLU’s crack team of concern trolls worried that the democrats will lose the commanding heights of the moral hillock if they once stoop to noisy street theater, cruel manipulation, broad strokes, politics even (faints!)Or anything that smacks of stooping to conquer its no wonder we can’t have nice things. if the various flavors of left purity trolls could stop stabbing us and each other in the back perhaps hillary clinton and the kick ass dems could start to commit some god damned political winning up there.
@Halcyon
Oh, ok, I think I should take this one. I referred to the ACLU (and I’m a member, by the way) because djw, over at LGM, in a staggeringly stupid thread, referred to himself as an ACLU’er at heart. The ACLU are not concern trolling us here–but concerned citizens are behaving like concern trolls and using the ACLU’s issues and concepts as the method by which they do it.
Here’s the thing–and stay with me for a moment–the ACLU does a very specific kind of legal work. Their opinion on a matter of politics, and especially electoral politics, is not dispositive. For one thing they tend to think in terms of end products (a law) with a specific set of possible precedential outcomes in a court battle. But a politician, even one who is engaged in potentially writing a law has a different set of priorities, a different understanding of the stages by which an idea becomes a law and then gets submitted for review when challenged in a court case. For one thing a legislator has to deal with time, committees, negotiations, trade offs, gestures, outside pressure, tv, as well as the bald language of the legislation. All of these things intervene between the proposal (we should do something about something) and the execution (this is the thing we are going to do). Short circuting that process for fear that the Democrats are going to turn into the Republicans on minority or muslim rights, or that their very proposal gives aid and comfort to the Republicans is absurd and, frankly, insulting.
And the proof of the pudding, by the way, is in the eating. The Republicans are so terrified of linking gun rights (constitutional right, fetishized idol) to the NFL and the Terrorist Watch List that they literally had to shut down congress to escape debating it.
ReplyReply

  • 287
    aimaisays:
    I always know when a thread is over–because that’s when I really get started posting! I want to say something else about the ACLU/naysayers group of commenters. There’s a whole lot of accusations floating around that people who applaud the Dem sit in are “acting like Republicans” and “using Cheneyite” language, or blurring a necessary distinction between our essential Democraticness (goodness, honesty, openness, purity of speech and deed) and their essential Republicanness (ugly, lying, mean, etc…). Politics–the art of the possible, always local, etc..etc..etc… is, in this model, irremiediably filthy and therefore not becoming to Democrats. Because politics always involves a lot of stuff that seems kind of wrong. Like accusing your opponent of pig fucking just to make him deny it. Or putting your oponent into the position of telling you when he stopped beating his wife. Or drawing his policies out to their absurd conclusion and making fun of him. All these things are certainly very messy, and involve passion (and faking passion) and involve arousing the passions of the voters. They are not the platonic ideal of rational debate of a subject on the merits.
    Well–boo fucking hoo. If that is what it takes to get stringent gun laws passed I’m for it. I’m not for extra scrutiny for Muslims, the no fly list, or stripping my fellow citizens of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but I am for damned sure pro getting guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens.
    Time is what makes kittens into cats, and what keeps everything from happening all at once. The Democrats are fighting just to get the chance to talk about gun laws at all. After that we can argue about how new legislation gets drafted. And if you think anyone is listening to the details and will throw in the Democrats faces that they once, for a day, argued that “terrorists” should not be able to buy guns, well–you really don’t know the first thing about the American Public which would have to be hit in the face with a two by four, repeatedly, day after day before they woke up and said “huh? Whuh hoppen?”
  • Monday, June 20, 2016

    Cargo Cult Campaign


    John Frum, He Come

    Donald Trump, reports Maggie Haberman, has fired Corey Lewandowski in what could be seen as either the most recent campaign shake-up, or merely the latest iteration of an endless power struggle that has seen figures like Lewandowski, Roger Stone, and Paul Manafort cycle in and out of the candidate’s earshot. When the operation in question is a garbage fire like the Trump-for-president operation, terms like “campaign manager,” which imply a cohesive entity that is managed in some hierarchical fashion, may not even apply.

    Trump’s campaign, reports the Associated Press, has 30 paid staff on the ground across the United States of America. That is a smaller number than the Hillary Clinton campaign has in many states. Clinton’s massive ground advantage is supplemented by an even more massive television-advertising advantage. The current ratio of Clinton to Trump television-ad spending in battleground states is one to zero. (Data via NBC News, chart via the Washington Post.)

    This sounds oddly familiar to me.  I wonder...wonder...where we've seen behaviors like this?
    Cargo cults often develop during a combination of crises. Under conditions of social stress, such a movement may form under the leadership of a charismatic figure. This leader may have a "vision" (or "myth-dream") of the future, often linked to an ancestral efficacy ("mana") thought to be recoverable by a return to traditional morality.[1][3] This leader may characterize the present state as a dismantling of the old social order, meaning that social hierarchy and ego boundaries have been broken down.[4]...
    Cargo cults are marked by a number of common characteristics, including a "myth-dream" that is a synthesis of indigenous and foreign elements; the expectation of help from the ancestors; charismatic leaders; and lastly, belief in the appearance of an abundance of goods.[7]
    The indigenous societies of Melanesia were typically characterized by a "big man" political system in which individuals gained prestige through gift exchanges. The more wealth a man could distribute, the more people in his debt, and the greater his renown. Those who were unable to reciprocate were identified as "rubbish men". Faced, through colonialism, with foreigners with a seemingly unending supply of goods for exchange, indigenous Melanesians experienced "value dominance". That is, they were dominated by others in terms of their own (not the foreign) value system; exchange with foreigners left them feeling like rubbish men.[8]
    Since the modern manufacturing process is unknown to them, members, leaders, and prophets of the cults maintain that the manufactured goods of the non-native culture have been created by spiritual means, such as through their deities and ancestors. These goods are intended for the local indigenous people, but the foreigners have unfairly gained control of these objects through malice or mistake.[9] Thus, a characteristic feature of cargo cults is the belief that spiritual agents will, at some future time, give much valuable cargo and desirable manufactured products to the cult members.[9]
    Symbols associated with Christianity and modern Western society tend to be incorporated into their rituals; for example the use of cross-shaped grave markers. Notable examples of cargo cult activity include the setting up of mock airstrips, airports, offices, and dining rooms, as well as the fetishization and attempted construction of Western goods, such as radios made of coconuts and straw. Believers may stage "drills" and "marches" with sticks for rifles and use military-style insignia and national insignia painted on their bodies to make them look like soldiers, thereby treating the activities of Western military personnel as rituals to be performed for the purpose of attracting the cargo.[10] (From the Wiki on Cargo Cults)