We’re Looking For a Few Good Reads

Lots of interesting things on the Web in this first week of 2018. For example:

Worrisome article over in The Nation. James Carden, in Russiagate Is Devolving Into an Effort to Stigmatize Dissent, argues that Russian attempts to hack the 2016 election have become the new tool by which mainstream Democrats are attempting to suppress dissent. If you suggest, say, that Secretary Clinton lost the election all by herself, without significant sabotage of her campaign, then you quickly singled out for censor, and, sometimes, legal action.

More positive, and also in the Nation, Melanie Oliva’s fascinating image Smash the Patriarchy gets front and center billing in the magazine OppArt series.

Back to the worrying. The Atlantic is running Robinson Meyer’s The President Doesn’t Care to Understand Global Warming. In it, Meyer argues that Drumpf doesn’t care whether global warming is happening, or not, because it doesn’t direct him effectively…ergo, it is false, or at least unimportant. Of such hubris disasters are made.

Meanwhile, The New Yorker has a scary article by Bernard Avishai entitled Democracy and Facts in the Age of Trump. It is scary because it reveals a recent survey of political scientists at major academic institutions showed that even these specialists weren’t sure that a common agreement on what “facts” are is really necessary for democracy. In other words, they felt that an electorate that might disagree with itself on the very nature of reality was healthy. That any learned individual could think politics based on “alternative facts” isn’t doomed to failure is really quite terrifying.

Interesting and perhaps instructive article on the Daily Beast this week. The Toxic Loyalty of Trump’s Hardcore Zealots by Jared Yates Sexton. In it, Sexton looks at how Trump’s fanatics and stormtroopers have excused everyone of his transgressions, or blamed it on someone else, or claimed it was fake news…no matter how awful the things he’s done and said. The instructive part of the piece is that it may prove that we cannot hope to win over his supporters, except for a select few, and will have to win with our own votes and our own energies.

Good ole Mother Jones, meanwhile, offers us Samantha Michaels and Madison Pauly’s Private Prison Companies Are About to Cash In on Trump’s Deportation Regime. Yes, the private prison industry (which was in decline not so long ago) is now riding how high on hopes of lots more “clients” in their cells, thanks to Der Drumpf and his men.

Interesting article at Counterpunch, and reproduced on PopularResistance.org, by Johnathan Feldman, Seymour Melman And The New American Revolution. Feldman writes about the late, great Seymour Melman, a theorist and activist who had a particular interest in the systems that may come after capitalism—and not always in the traditional socialist sense. He had, for instance, a fondness for co-ops, and particularly he Mondragon Industrial Cooperatives in the Basque regions. Feldman’s article, and Melman’s books, are definitely worth a glance.

And, lastly, Lying Like A Rug…

From the “oh, really?” file comes this story from The Washington Post, In a 30-minute interview, President Trump made 24 false or misleading claims by Glenn Kessler.

It seems that during a somewhat impromptu interview with The New York Times the other day, the Orange One answered questions, or at least pretended to, for half an hour. Fact-checkers then determined that during that period he lied or shaded the truth almost once a minute (well, okay, roughly once every minute and a quarter, but you see the point).

Thus, he accused Democrats and Clinton associates of being in league with Russian interests(something about projection comes to mind), claimed that he’s created an economic boom in coal country, said that Roy Moore would have lost by more votes if he hadn’t endorsed him, and …well, and on, and on.

You do have to give the boy credit. He may be a lying sack of shit, but he’s consistent.

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