The First Two Weeks

February 3, 2017 Leave a comment

We’ve had two weeks of President* Trump (I will add the asterisk because he was elected unfairly and illegitimately), and it’s hard to keep up with everything he and his administration has said and done in that time, but here are some of the big ones: He ordered the contract freeze and media blackout on the Environmental Protection Agency (that’s tyrannical); he went ahead with his proposal to build a wall along the US/Mexico border, saying Mexico would be paying for it with a 20% tax on imported goods (but actually the US would end up mostly paying for that, despite what he says); Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” (which are not facts—they’re lies); Steve Bannon’s bashing of the news media; the promotion of Bannon (an ultra-conservative proponent of the “alt-right”) to chief strategist and senior advisor, despite not going through the proper channels; and the immigration ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries (but unsurprisingly none where Trump has businesses). All these things are infuriating, and it makes me want to tune all of it out, but it’s important to keep informed and know what’s going on. Most people in this country do not support these things the President* is doing (he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes), and his actions are not what America is about, or what it stands for. All he wants to do is win win win, but by insulting people and burning bridges, that’s not what he’s doing at all. The United States is better than this, and I’ll try to do my part to make sure it stays a great country.

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Electing Trump a Huge Failure

January 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Electing Trump was a huge failure. I hope everyone, including people who voted for him, realize that.

Here’s an opinion article from the NY Times, called The America We Lost When Trump Won.

The last two paragraphs say it best:

“Today’s passive, unhappy Americans sat on their couches and chose a strutting TV clown to save us.

What they have done is a desecration, a foolish and vindictive act of vandalism, by which they betrayed all the best and most valiant labors of our ancestors. We don’t want to accept this, because we cannot accept that the people, at least in the long run of things, can be wrong in our American democracy. But they can be wrong, just like any people, anywhere. And until we do accept this abject failure of both our system and ourselves, there is no hope for our redemption.”

Categories: Politics

Women’s March

January 22, 2017 Leave a comment

The Women’s March happened yesterday, and it was very inspiring and a terrific success. An estimated 2.9 million people marched, making it the biggest protest in US history. Here is a breakdown of how many people marched in each city.

I marched (in NYC) because I oppose racism, bigotry, misogyny, and bullying. I also marched because I support public education, women’s right to choose, preserving the environment, gay marriage, affordable health care, and fair elections.

The best signs from the March, from New York Magazine.

The marches that happened throughout the world, from the New York Times.

To keep up the momentum, here are 10 Actions to do in 100 Days.

And here is one picture I took in NYC.

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Golden Globes, Streep, and Trump

January 12, 2017 Leave a comment

At the Golden Globes the other day, Meryl Streep was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and in her acceptance speech, she called out the President-elect on his deplorable behavior of mocking a disabled reporter, saying “Disrespect incites disrespect. Violence incites violence.” He’s a bully (among other things), but just because he was voted in, does not make that behavior OK. He’s not a role model, and should not be emulated.

It’s troubling and alarming that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee and released emails, and spread fake news to influence the election toward Trump. Make no mistake–that was a direct attack on our democracy. He kept saying the election was rigged when he was projected to lose in the polls. It turns out the election was rigged–against his opponent. With new, unsubstantiated revelations about Russia having comprising information about Trump’s personal and financial life, it’s clear why pushed him to victory. Putin will be calling the shots, and that is a very scary prospect.

Now is not the time to sit back and watch the President-elect run the country (and maybe the world) into the ground. Support journalism. Support the arts. Donate to organizations doing important work. Call your representatives. Stand up to hate. Get involved.

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My top movies of 2016

December 31, 2016 Leave a comment

I didn’t see all the movies this year, but I did see a lot. Here’s my top few, with the 1-10 rating in parentheses. (I still haven’t seen La La Land, which has received extremely mixed reviews. Some people I talked to have loved it, while others loathed it.)

Moonlight (9)
Zootopia (8.5)
Everybody Wants Some!! (8.5)
Manchester by the Sea (8)
Arrival (8)
Don’t Think Twice (8)
Captain America: Civil War (8)
Sing Street (8)
Moana (8)
Indignation (8)
The Jungle Book (8)
Captain Fantastic (8)

Categories: Movies

How?

November 9, 2016 Leave a comment

I’m baffled. This morning I was feeling very confident that Hillary Clinton would win. And win big. Fivethirtyeight.com had her at around 76% chance of winning earlier today. NY Times had her above 80%. Obviously, I’m out of touch with the majority of this country, and I’m also highly disappointed. I don’t think people understand how dangerous and damaging Trump can be not just for the United States, but for the world. Here’s what he brings: racism, misogyny, negativity, and bullying. He divides and insults. This is upsetting and sad on so many levels.

Paul Krugman of the NY Times wrote a story tonight called Our Unknown Country.

We still don’t know who will win the electoral college, although as I write this it looks — incredibly, horribly — as if the odds now favor Donald J. Trump. What we do know is that people like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in. We thought that our fellow citizens would not, in the end, vote for a candidate so manifestly unqualified for high office, so temperamentally unsound, so scary yet ludicrous.

We thought that the nation, while far from having transcended racial prejudice and misogyny, had become vastly more open and tolerant over time.

We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law.

It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label.

I don’t know how we go forward from here. Is America a failed state and society? It looks truly possible. I guess we have to pick ourselves up and try to find a way forward, but this has been a night of terrible revelations, and I don’t think it’s self-indulgent to feel quite a lot of despair.”

Hillary Clinton for President in 2016

October 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton is probably the most qualified person ever to run for president. I believe she will lead this country competently, she will keep the economy healthy, she will keep good relations with foreign nations, she will keep the United States respectable throughout the world, and she will keep us safe. None of that can be said of her opponent.

Here are some links supporting Hillary Clinton for President:

“She is one of the most tenacious politicians of her generation, whose willingness to study and correct course is rare in an age of unyielding partisanship.”
Hillary Clinton for President from the NY Times Editorial Board

“In the gloom and ugliness of this political season, one encouraging truth is often overlooked: There is a well-qualified, well-prepared candidate on the ballot. Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation.”
Hillary Clinton for President from the Washington Post Editorial Board

“Clinton not only has the experience and achievements as first lady, senator and secretary of state, but a commitment to social justice and human rights that began for her as a young woman.”
Hillary Clinton for President from the Editor of Rolling Stone

“It is not about choosing between a bad candidate and a worse one. The narrative that Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils is patently wrong. Ms. Clinton is a pragmatic, tough-minded woman of accomplishment and political conviction with a demonstrated mastery of policy. She is politically flawed. However, Donald Trump is a damaged human being.”
Hillary Clinton for President from the Miami Herald Editorial Board

And why Donald Trump should NOT be president:

“Voters attracted by the force of the Trump personality should pause and take note of the precise qualities he exudes as an audaciously different politician: bluster, savage mockery of those who challenge him, degrading comments about women, mendacity, crude generalizations about nations and religions.”
Why Donald Trump Should Not be President by the NY Times Editorial Board

“And so we have now heard the Republican nominee for president of the United States bragging about repeated sexual assault.”
The Sleaziness of Donald Trump

“Donald Trump is a thug. He’s a thug who talks gibberish, and lies, and cheats, and has issues, to put it mildly, with women. He’s lazy and limited and he has an attention span of a nanosecond.”
The Trump Possibility

“We have here the perfect encapsulation of the current Republican presidential campaign:
1) Trump says something very strange.
2) The campaign says he didn’t really say it.
3) Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan.”
Who’s Sorry Now? The Country

“World security experts in both parties are terrified by the idea of a Trump presidency.”
How Could Anyone Vote for Trump?

“Months ago, I worried that Trump was too authoritarian to be entrusted with the presidency. That worry has receded a bit, because authoritarianism requires a ruthless sort of competence that Trump cannot attain.”
Trump and the Intellectuals

“The country has never had a presidential candidate who lies the way that he does – relentlessly.”
Trump’s Second Debate, In Brief

“This is true Trump: mean, erratic, abrasive and pathological.”
Donald Trump, Unshackled and Unhinged

“Trump is in fact the logical extension of toxic masculinity and ambient misogyny. He is the logical extension of rampant racism. He is the logical extension of wealth worship. He is the logical extension of pervasive anti-intellectualism.
Trump is the logical extension of the worst of America.”
Donald Trump, the Worst of America