Trump Confirms His Racism Hours After Fake White Supremacy Statement

found online by Raymond

From Tommy Christopher:

Donald Trump delivered a long-delayed and perfunctory denunciation of white supremacy at the White House on Monday afternoon, a performance that fooled almost no one (almost). But then, the point wasn’t ever to fool anyone in the first place.

Trump’s refusal to denounce Nazis and white supremacists on Saturday, followed by ostensible acts of cleanup by others in his administration, and his forced statement two days later, were all part of a performance art piece intended to do exactly what it did: signal to white supremacists that he’s really on their side and feed his other aggrieved white supporters’ sense that the media is out to get him.

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The Fountainhead

found online by Raymond

From nojo Stinque:

We’ve always been drawn to satire. From Mad to SNL to Spy and beyond, satire has been the refreshment for our soul. We drink it in, savor it, remember it for decades.

Satire makes sense of the world. It brings order to chaos, the rational mastering the irrational. Satire gets at the truth, by revealing the lies. Like jazz, the genius of satire is in what remains unsaid.

We have practiced satire whenever possible. We wrote a satire column in college. We helped produce a tabloid with a satirical undertone. We launched a blog whose dominant theme is satire.

And yet we have produced little satire for a long time.

There was a moment, a year ago spring, where we felt the urge leave us. It was not that the dominant Republican candidate wasn’t ripe for satire — you would think it unavoidable, really — but that satire wasn’t up to the threat he presented. The truths that satire could reveal, the truths that make good satire fun to produce, were unneeded. Nothing was hidden, nothing needed teasing out, nothing needed highlighting. It was all there, for all to see. Satire could add nothing to the picture. It was the wrong tool.

Which really bothered us, because from Nixon on, whether as audience or producer, satire had gotten us through a lot. Through everything, really. And from Nixon on, there’s been a lot to get through. So why, now, when we would need satire to get us through the worst yet, has it failed us?

That question’s been on our mind for more than a year. The answer has been as well, but we’ve seen only glimpses. But we’re starting to get it now, and in a manner that really surprises us:

Satire is a luxury.

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I’m Sure that Magical Truth Detector is Somewhere in my Lab.

found online by Raymond

From PZ Myers:

Last week, Mary Beard was getting sneered at because she agreed that the Roman Empire was ethnically diverse, and that — gasp, shock horror — there were brown people living in ancient Britain. She’s still getting sneered at, of course, because one thing racists really hate is being told their prejudices aren’t empirical facts. But at least the silly contretemps stirred up some excellent responses.

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A Misplaced Focus on “Collusion”

found online by Raymond

From Julian Sanchez:

Public discussion of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election is dominated by the question of collusion: Were senior members of the Trump campaign knowing collaborators in the Russian government’s campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton’s candidacy? My own view is that we’re unlikely to get any truly conclusive evidence of this—but also that it’s a mistake to treat it as the only important question for an investigation to answer.

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Terror By Car

found online by Raymond

From Green Eagle:

I am interested in the large number of commentators that are so quick to compare the right wing terrorist who drove his car into a group of peaceful protesters this weekend, to the several associates of ISIS who have done the same thing in the last couple of years. Nobody seems to have enough memory, however, to make the following obvious comment:

You know, just about anyone on earth can get their hands on a car or a truck, and drive it into a crowd. It’s not high tech terrorism.

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Britain’s Trembling Stiff Upper Lip

found online by Raymond

From Neil Bamforth at MadMikesAmerica:

The British people have, or more accurately, had for many decades been best known for, if nothing else, their ‘stiff upper lip’. The saying ‘stiff upper lip’ referred to the British ability to remain stoic in adversity. WWII was, possibly, the time when the British stoical stiff upper lip was most to the fore.

The British stiff upper lip was admired across the globe. Sometimes in amazement at quite how much the British could tolerate whilst remaining polite and calm and sometimes in the belief that the British were clearly mad as hatters.

Both perceptions probably held a reasonable degree of truth but it mattered not ultimately.

The British would, at all times, regardless of trials and tragedies, regardless of pain and suffering and regardless of insults and grievous setbacks always remain in the face of all adversity calm and composed and behave like gentlemen. It was acknowledged that British women as well were more than capable of ‘the stiff upper lip’ in times of crisis.

‘The stiff upper lip’ was quintessential to being British.

Then came Princess Diana.

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Thoughts on the Charlottesville Riot

found online by Raymond

From Infidel753:

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Neo-Nazis instigating murderous violence is not, in itself, terribly surprising. It comes with the territory of the ideology with which they’ve chosen to associate themselves. People who aren’t violent probably don’t become neo-Nazis in the first place.

What immediately struck me about the attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured many others was that ramming a car into a crowd of people is an established jihadist tactic — they’ve used it several times in Britain and France, and nobody had any hesitation in labeling those incidents as terrorism. The driver in this case may even have gotten the idea from reading about those attacks in the news.

The circumstances fueling our neo-Nazi, Confederate-revivalist, and militant Christian Right movements also resemble those fueling jihadism. In both cases a culturally-conservative society (the USA outside its urban cores, the Middle East) has for decades seen a massive influx of liberal ideas eroding the dominance of a traditional monoculture, challenging that monoculture’s deepest taboos, and shifting the entire society towards cultural pluralism. In both cases, reactionaries angry and frightened at that loss of dominance are trying to re-assert it by embracing extremist ideology and militance against cultural change. The demand is, put everything back the way it was before — before blacks and women and gays started getting uppity, before anti-Semitism became unacceptable in polite society. Back when our belief system was dominant and no one dared question it.

Next, Trump and his “many, many sides” blithering.

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The Moral Shambles That is Our President

found online by Raymond

From John Scalzi at Whatever:

Denouncing Nazis and the KKK and violent white supremacists by those names should not be a difficult thing for a president to do, particularly when those groups are the instigators and proximate cause of violence in an American city, and one of their number has rammed his car through a group of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring dozens more. This is a moral gimme — something so obvious and clear and easy that a president should almost not get credit for it, any more than he should get credit for putting on pants before he goes to have a press conference.

And yet this president — our president, the current President of the United States — couldn’t manage it. The best he could manage was to fumble through a condemnation of “many sides,” as if those protesting the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists had equal culpability for the events of the day. He couldn’t manage this moral gimme, and when his apparatchiks were given an opportunity to take a mulligan on it, they doubled down instead.

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Mike Pence Considering Running for President in 1820

found online by Raymond

From The Borowitz Report:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Vice-President Mike Pence is seriously considering running for President in 1820, various sources confirmed over the weekend.

According to several prominent Republican donors, Pence is already laying the groundwork for such a campaign, outlining what he believes are the most serious challenges facing 1820 America.

In a conference call with donors last week, Pence reportedly said that, as President, his No. 1 priority would be to repeal and replace the Bill of Rights.

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