How Not to Fix a Problem


PROBLEM: Certain people in the “Muslim world” believe that non-Muslims, mostly those in Europe and the United States, are at war with Islam. They respond to this with terror attacks.

SOLUTION: Not what Trump has done.

Our Dear Leader has signed an executive order that bars all people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen from entering the United States for 30 days and suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days.

So that’s fantastic. It’s a bad, stupid idea, and one that’s already causing chaos. It’s also a lot more useless than you’d expect. Why? Notice who isn’t on that list. Can you see it? Take a guess. If you still can’t figure it out, do you remember what country most of the 9/11 hijackers came from?

Saudi Arabia.

Also not on the list, Russia. The idiots who attacked the Boston Marathon came from there.

Surprisingly, I don’t see Afghanistan or Pakistan on there, either, despite the fact that both of those countries have a great deal of problems with terrorism.

Notably the countries that are on the list are all ones where (this is going to be an awkwardly-worded sentence), no one from them living in the USA has engaged in any terrorist attacks here since 1975.

Further, I can only assume people who believe that terrorists are flooding into our country disguised as refugees are really, really ignorant. Can you imagine spending two or three years in a refugee camp, going through all the rather time-consuming vetting, and then finally getting over to wreak havoc on in the west? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just get yourself a passport, and a visa, and an airline ticket? Visitors from all over the world arrive in this country every day. If you want to come over and be a terrorists, that’s the way to do it.

But of course, this has nothing to do with actual reality. It has to do with Trump’s stupid, paranoid version of reality, in which the United States is a weak and vulnerable nation, subject to all sorts of abuses from everyone in the world. He’s basically a fucktard, and if you think this is a good idea, you are, too.

Trumpocalypse – Toward a Better Tomorrow


I had planned to write today about the various mistakes the Democrats have made and what they need to fix going forward. Then I realized that the first part was covered in a previous article, and the second part was already planned to be covered in this one. So here you are.

We’ve got four years, friends. Four years to try and remake the Democratic party into something better, that can appeal to a broader base. It’s not going to be easy, but we have to try, because the alternative is two terms of a man who’s decided that white nationalism is just fine.

So we’d best get our shit together because we really need to win four years from now.

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Jackass 2020

We Need to Stop Ignoring Key Demographics

“…in their desperation they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand. Some men aren’t looking for anything logical. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” – Alfred, The Dark Knight

It turns out that largely rural, largely poor, largely white voters are still largely voting in large numbers. The time will come when they’re less relevant and outnumbered  by others, but for now, they’re quite powerful.

This is the most important lesson to learn from this election, and we ignore it at our peril. The rural parts of this nation are suffering. They’re desperate, and it’s quite understandable that they are. And as I said the other day, the Republicans respond to this desperation by pandering and promising the moon, the delivering about 60 attempts to repeal Obamacare. The Democrats respond to it by ignoring these people or mocking them as backwards hicks.

This has to change. Trump is no on these peoples’ side, as they’re about to learn. When 2020 rolls around, they’re going to be primed to vote Democrat, but only if we can make it clear to them that we’re they’re best hope, and offer them something other than despair.

Now this doesn’t mean that we have to neglect other demographics. We can still stick up for minorities in all forms. This isn’t a zero-sum game. We can push for plans that will help everyone in need; not just urban blacks and Latinos, but also rural whites.

Yes, this will require a lot more effort than the usual from Democrats, but we can pull it off. We have to, or we’re basically fucked.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Letter to Hillary


 

I’m taking a day off from the Trumpocalypse articles because I have company over for the evening. So here, instead, is a letter to Hillary. You can write one, too, and send it to the following address:

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Dear Ms. Clinton;

I wish to take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration and hope for generations of Americans.

Thank you for standing up on behalf of those who, for so much of our history, have thought no one stood for them.

Thank you for fighting back against hate and sexism and misogyny with grace, style, and élan.

Thank you for trying as hard as you could to elevate political discourse, and focusing on the issues that matter.

Thank you, odd though it may seem to say, for being a woman of power in a position of power and for showing everyone, especially younger girls, what it can be like when a powerful woman fights for them.

I am very sorry that the rest of our country couldn’t see the real Hillary Clinton, and instead voted against the “cartoon version” of you. I had hoped for, fought for, and expected more from, the people of our nation. It is to our great shame that we failed you and failed ourselves.

Thank you again, and know that while this election might not have turned out the way we hoped, your cause is right and just, and we will continue to fight for it.

Yours sincerely:

Chris Swanson

Election 2016


Yeah, I’d meant to be live-blogging this. But I’m glad that I didn’t. How does one blog vomit?

My thoughts are complicated, but none are happy right now. As I write this, it’s looking more and more unlikely that Hillary is going to win, and very probable that Donald Trump is going to be our next president (fun fact: it took my four tries to type that last part. My fingers are trying to rebel!). Florida is going for him. Ohio went for him, as did North Carolina.

I’ll publish my full thoughts on this tomorrow. In the meantime, I grieve for my nation. We are poised to replace our first black  president with a fascist. I had expected much, much better.

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The anger will, I assure you, come later.

A Good Court Thing


A court in France has struck down laws banning women from wearing so-called “burkinis”.

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These things make me roll my eyes hard. The outfits in question are silly, and I think that wearing any clothes at all at the beach is a bit odd, but if it’s what a woman wants to wear, let her do it. If a guy wants to wear this, let him. Hell, go really extreme and allow people to wear black socks with sandals (hello, every British tourist).

And, yes, as the previous paragraph implies, I don’t care if people want to be naked at the beach. Why shouldn’t they be? Simply nudity is no big deal. If someone is masturbating while at naked at the beach, or harassing people, that’s different. But in that case, punish the behavior, not the lack of clothing.

I believe strongly in freedom. So if a woman wants to wear this, more power to her, and it’s good that the courts of France will, in theory, allow her to do so.

A Bit on Brexit


I was still out of the blogging game when the whole Brexit thing went down. I’m still mildly astonished that it happened, but somewhat not. I mean, many democracies, including the one I live in, have a history of voters voting against their own self-interest (see: Reaganomics), but seldom have I seen one that was quite this major.

It really was a stupid vote. Cameron should never have allowed it, and it really is clear that no one who is actually in charge of making it happen wants it to happen.

And there’s no reason it should have happened. The United Kingdom was fine being in the UK. Things were going well for them. They weren’t getting regularly fucked by the organization’s banking system (see: Greece), and were at the top of the economic heap. They had tremendous financial and political influence and now they’ve basically thrown that all away.

What a senseless, stupid waste.

Anyhow, here’s a fun little video on the subject.

Feeling Penceive


Donald Trump has, apparently, picked Indiana governor Mike Pence as his vice-presidential candidate.

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This guy…

For those who are now saying, “Who?” allow me to remind you of something I wrote about a year-and-a-half ago. Yes, this is the douchebag who is all in favor of allowing people to discriminate against, and mistreat, minorities for religious reasons.

He’s a pretty terrible person, from what I can tell, supporting all sorts of extreme positions, none of which are very good. He’s kind of like Trump in many ways, only he has at least something of a filter.

This is, in many ways, a great chance not for Trump, but for Hillary. If she now picks someone other than an old, white male, as her VP, just imagine the contrast. Imagine seeing her and someone like Julian Castro up on a stage, and then contrast that with these two old assholes.

Trump has delayed announcing officially who his VP choice is, due to the mess in Nice. So Pence could still turn out to not be the one. But for now, I feel good about this guy. He’s as terrible as his lord and master, and only helps Hillary.