September 15, 2018

Anonymous the Anonymous

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Check It Out,In the News — Katrina @ 8:42 pm

So last week the New York Times published an Op-Ed by… no one knows! But they claim to be resisting the Orange Thing from the inside. Let’s have a look…

The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

Intriguing. Do go on.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

In other news, the word “leader” wants to sue you for defamation.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

Awww, poor Orange Thing with all the shit he and his party brought on themselves.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I mean, he might know now. But then again, how would you know?

I would know. I am one of them.

Ah.
(more…)

September 11, 2018

Never Forget What?

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Think About It! — Katrina @ 10:59 pm

We must never forget September 11th, 17 years ago today.

Though maybe we should try to remember just what it is we should be remembering.

It’s been 17 years. Certainly we can’t still act like it only just happened, though individuals may have their own feelings about it still, particularly if they were present at the attack sites or lost a loved one. After all, people who are now the age I was at the time would have no memory of it. I do remember it. I was in college. But, this far out, what does observing today mean? Some have declared it a day of service, and today some new memorials are being unveiled and ceremonies are taking place. There can be a certain connection to one’s own emotions to recall such horrific events.

But I think what we need to remember is what happened afterward. The healing, for one. The Pentagon has been repaired. The rubble has been cleared, and there are two memorial pools where the towers stood, beside the new tower, One World, which I visited two years ago.

What else?

I remember how I felt about the attack, sure. But I also remember the foreboding, wondering what would happen after this. And what did happen. There was big stuff like the “war on terror” and increased airport security and the Patriot Act. There was also the often violent scapegoating of Muslims and anyone who looked like them, with serious concerns over whether we’d see a return of internment camps. There was how for days after the attack all media outlets had turned into 24 hour news channels, disrupting usual entertainment to run footage of the attacks and George W Bush’s speeches over and over. There was how for months after the attack everything seemed to allude to us living in a “time of terror”. There was a marked increase in showy patriotism, with, once they started playing music again, radio stations playing songs like God Bless the USA all the time, and avoiding certain others. There was the insinuation that if you objected to or questioned any of this in the slightest, then you’re letting the terrorists win.

When the attacks happened, we were shocked and hurt and looking for answers. We were vulnerable.

And in the time that followed, our vulnerability was exploited.

We were kept scared while being told we were brave. We were told they could never take our freedom while we allowed our freedom to get taken by those telling us this. Our fear and anger were encouraged by those who found it useful.

And suddenly September 11th was the go-to excuse for everything for any agenda no matter how remotely if at all linked, from the War in Iraq to some truly shameless anti-drug campaigns.

I wouldn’t worry about forgetting the attacks happened. You won’t forget that.

What we must never forget is that ultimately the best way to honor those lost on that dreadful day is to heal and move on, at our own pace. And to not get swindled into supporting even more atrocities and loss of civil liberties in their name.

September 2, 2018

Somebody’s Talking About It

Filed under: Shut the Hell Up!,Teh Interwebs,What the hell? — Katrina @ 1:00 pm

Now for an insufficiently newsworthy edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

A form of clickbait that especially irritates me are the articles that feel the need to append something like “and nobody’s talking about it” to the title. Seriously, I will not click it if it says that no matter what the preceding text might have been about. It’s obnoxious. Cut it out.

For one, you’ve made clear from the get go that whatever isn’t being talked about isn’t what you intend to talk about either. Your point is to grandstand about this lack of coverage of the thing rather than the thing itself. If you want to talk about the thing, talk about the thing. And if you’re talking about the thing, hey, look, someone is talking about the thing!

Of course, this is assuming this assertion that said thing isn’t being talked about is even accurate. Oftentimes, when it’s claimed that the mainstream media is ignoring something, particularly if this is being stated in an image macro with no citations, one of three things is happening.

1. The thing happened ten years ago.

2. The thing isn’t actually real.

3. The thing actually is being extensively covered on the major news outlets which a five second glance at Google News would confirm, but the person claiming this either doesn’t check any news source besides their local half hour evening news or is more interested in manufacturing outrage than having an ounce of honesty, perspective, or social responsibility.

Insufficient news coverage of certain events is certainly an issue. I mean, the top priority of the news lately is “look what the Orange Thing tweeted now!” News coverage priorities leave a lot to be desired. Even so, sometimes important things fall out of the spotlight not because they’ve been resolved in any way (Puerto Rico, Flint water, separated immigrant kids, etc.) but because other stuff keeps happening. A lot of this is simply the reality of news media.

But, okay. Let’s say something that isn’t being covered well is finally getting more attention. All good, right?

Well, then I found this Facebook post of mine from a few years ago…

Saw an ad for the evening news earlier saying “How will the attacks in Syria be affecting your wallet?” … I just… don’t… words…

Sometimes saying nothing might be better.

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