05 December, 2016

The Digest—Monday, 5 December, 2016

[The Digest is a collection of articles, videos, and other media I've viewed and found significant throughout the day. It is a way to divest myself from other social media that is more reliant on likes, click-bait, and peer-approval rather than quality, intelligence, and diversity of opinion, which are the qualities I find important. It is also a way to devote myself to daily contributions to this space...at least in theory.]

-=Summary: Stunter-in-Chief, the Oakland housing crisis & fire, Virginia pulls To Kill a Mockingbird, byebye police reform, Ben Carson and bootstraps, Clinton did NOT ignore the working class, & Game of Thrones=-


The Stunt Presidency
Julia Turner from Slate

In addition to Asshole-in-Chief, he is also Stunter-in-Chief. The staging of events and stunts and gimmicks that played over and over during his campaign, now with the weight of the Presidency behind it. DO WHAT I SAY CUZ I'M PRESIDENT NOW NOW NOW. It doesn't matter if he "saves" anymore jobs because he already pulled the Carrier stunt and "proved" himself. Policy doesn't matter beside anecdote. 

Oakland warehouse fire is product of housing crisis, say artists and advocates
Sam Levin from The Guardian

Indeed, the pricing out of artists from their communities will lead to desperate and dangerous situations. I fear the backlash won't reach this problem, however, and instead focus on the "irresponsible" tenants and owners who allow such conditions, when they are often the only conditions people can afford. 

To Kill a Mockingbird removed from Virginia schools for racist language
Danuta Kean from The Guardian

Oh, mother in Virginia, I'm so sorry if the history of race relations in this country offends you. Please continue to shield your child from reality so he or she has no comprehension of how this country used to, and still does, work. 

Is Police Reform Possible Under Police State Trump?
Candice Bernd from Truthout

I'm personally of the opinion that police officers should be held to higher standards of behavior due to the power they wield and the values they are supposed to represent. Trump and his ilk seem to think police can do no wrong. Much of the public seems to believe the same, as with this week's hung jury for a cop caught on video shooting someone actively running away in the back. 

Ben Carson, Poverty Fighter?
Russell Berman from The Atlantic

"By the bootstraps" mentalities are so. Not. What. This. Country. Needs. That mentality blames those in poverty for their poverty and considers those who don't succeed obviously just lazy and unmotivated, completely ignoring the systemic barriers that exist toward economic justice. 

The Dangerous Myth That Hillary Clinton Ignored the Working Class
Derek Thompson from The Atlantic

How does continuing to ignore the evidence and the facts helpful? Isn't this what liberals were screaming about during the entire campaign? Were they not paying attention? Can they not recognize social backlash? Do they just not want to? The following is something many people fail to comprehend: 
After the election, some people called for an end to “identity politics” that promotes niche cultural issues over economic policy. But any reasonable working-class platform requires the advancement of policies that may disproportionately help non-whites. For example, hundreds of thousands of black men stay out of the labor force after being released from prison sentences for non-violent crimes. For them and their families, criminal justice reform is essential economic reform, even if poor whites see it as a distraction from that “real” issues that bedevil the working class, like trade policy.
Trade issues still affect minority communities; the loss of manufacturing jobs hurt African American communities immeasurably. But there are other issues, like the one mentioned above, that are barriers to economic justice and so systemic and so rarely seen as vital to anything beyond the talking points that our privileged position pushes it as a social justice issue to the picked apart and railed against instead of as the vital, life-sustaining issues they are. 


Game of Thrones, season 3, episodes 5 & 6

I'm rewatching this with a friend, and it's so fun to observe someone experiencing this story for the first time. Jamie's bathtub confession is just as intense, and episode 9 is soooooo cloooooose. I can't manage anything more intelligent right now. Brainz on fire. 

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