Things That Are Not Working….


A partial list:

  • Becoming outraged
  • Sharing one’s outrage on social media
  • Screaming into the wind
  • Being all like, “I KNOW!!!” when someone else expresses outrage
  • Reading about all the ways people have become outraged
  • Sharing articles about all the ways people have become outraged
  • Watching TV until you throw up
  • Surfing the internets (which I think are a series of tubes) until you pass out
  • Refusing to pay attention
  • Going with the flow
  • Waiting for somebody else to fix it

Things That May Not Actually Be Working — at least in the short term — But Have The Potential To Work If We Have Faith

A partial list:

  • Reading enough news to stay informed, but not so much that you freak out
  • Avoiding self-reinforcing social media
  • Refusing to see “the humor” in any of this; it is not funny; it is dead serious
  • Trying to set aside your presumptions about “the other side,” because both sides will have to come together (or at least work together) to fix this
  • Considering the possibility that you could be wrong — or at least not entirely correct — about some things…or about a lot of things
  • Cultivating compassion and practicing good citizenship: remembering that you are a “brand ambassador” for your side, and taking pains to represent the brand as well as you can — especially to the other side; do not condescend; do not be a jerk
  • Engaging people, but mostly listening to people so we can be ready when the time comes for us to work together
  • Practicing what you preach — something many liberals are notoriously bad at; being nice to people who already are your friends doesn’t count
  • Contributing positivity; rightly or wrongly, we have a lot to overcome and it doesn’t matter whose damn fault it is; keep your eyes on the prize
  • Finding joy where you can, even if you have to manufacture it

It Just Keeps Getting Better!

More email….


RG to the gang re the current State of the Union:
“Well, there’s what is actually happening, and what people THINK is happening. I think the prosecution can rest on the issue of DT’s mental health. Now we have to examine who’s pulling the strings and why. I’d start with determining the ultimate goal — and Bannon’s is grim. Everything else — all of the manipulations — are designed to serve Bannon’s preferred eventual outcome. Everybody else is just a chess piece.

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My Barber Was On Vacation

When it’s time to adjust my HRS (hair replacement system), Monday night is barber night at the mall. It’s perfect for me because nobody’s there, so the shop offers a 20 percent discount (although I still tip based on the full price). But when I arrived this evening, I was informed that my regular barber (Claude) had gone on vacation and wouldn’t be back until tomorrow. To paraphrase Salvatore Tessio, this “spoiled all my arrangements.”

Tessio realizes he's about to take his last ride.
Tessio realizes he’s about to take his last ride.

Now what? I’d already spent a dollar for two hours of parking (at the mall where I get my hair cut, $1 buys you either one or two hours of parking; I always opt for the “two” because, why not?; and if there’s any time left over on my receipt (which there always is), I wedge the receipt behind the space-number sign in case an eagle-eyed cheapskate such as myself wants to use my remaining time because, Fight The Power!).

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Seeking a Better Villain

(h/t: Dr. Richard Reiss)


Washington Monthly:
The White Working Class Deserved a Better Villain to Blame

“Women and minority voters, of course, needed no such villain to be named.  They already knew–and rightly so–that racism and sexism are chiefly to blame for their economic difficulties. One of the most common responses to the claim that economic anxiety caused the white working class to vote for Trump is that minority voters did not respond the same way. But of course they didn’t! Historically speaking, ethnic majorities have always responded to economic crisis with xenophobia, while the disadvantaged in society have turned to socialism…. [B]eing chewed up and spit out by the merciless thresher maw of late-stage capitalism is a comparatively new experience for the white working class….Somebody screwed them and they want revenge. The only question was whom they would get revenge on. That’s what economic populism is all about.”

Frederick Douglass: A Life

February is Black History Month, so this morning the Educator-in-Chief offered us a l’il history.

Frederick Douglass. Huge with the blacks.
Frederick Douglass. Huge with the blacks.

“I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.”

He didn’t have time to cover everything, so I’ve made a short list below of things you probably didn’t know about Frederick Douglass. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

  • gaining traction
  • huge impact
  • very big with the blacks
  • invented peanut butter
  • and the stoplight
  • integrated the Brooklyn Dodgers
  • “skyhook”
  • phenomenal singing voice
  • sat in the front of the Underground Railroad
  • made millions from the hot comb
  • married a Kardashian
  • “The Greatest”