13 December, 2016

The Digest—Tuesday, 13 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: Asshole-in-Chief out-assholes himself with Perry pick, reasons why the Perry pick make such a prickly pecker, fight on, Trouble Every Day, & A Crime to Remember=-


Rick Perry is Donald Trump's choice for energy secretary
Jeff Zeleny, Jim Acosta, and Theodore Schleifer from CNN

This may be the biggest dick move so far—nominating the guy who not only wanted to abolish the department he is now meant to run, but couldn't even remember the name of it during the debate.  He also wanted to abolish the Department of Education—education!!!!! To explain why it's such a dick move, here's a companion piece for context:

Rick Perry's War on Science
Tim Murphy from Mother Jones

Ah, yes. Rick Perry. It would be easy to dismiss him as benignly stupid if he weren't potentially so very, very dangerous, as all True Believers! are. He thinks climate change is a hoax perpetuated by scientists who are lying to make money. 98% of climate scientists in the world are in on this, apparently. This is a common argument, and it's so ridiculous it's almost impossible to refute, which is one of the reasons it works so well. He thinks so little of the profession he attempts to scientify himself:
In his 2010 book, Fed Up!, he wrote that "we have been experiencing a cooling trend" and railed against Democrats who have embraced "so-called science" on climate change.
Oh! Oh, Mr. Perry, sir, thank you so much! I thought years and years of the highest temperatures on record meant things were warming up! How silly of me! These are the people who stand in the street in the middle of winter and declare we're experiencing a "cooling trend" because we still have seasons. This expresses a complete and utter lack of both scientific understanding and the concept of context; that it is patterns and the accumulation of data that express "trends" and produce data. I'm guessing he prayed on it and God told him that numbers and facts and scientists are wicked tools of the devil not to be trusted. Ah, well.

But he gets worse:
As governor, Perry walked the walk. In 2011, my colleague Kate Sheppard (now with the Huffington Post) reported that Perry officials at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had censored references to climate change in an official state report.
Yes, don't trust the scientists with the science, trust the politicians who know best. The same politicians who complain about government intrustion, and who are the first to scold anyone on opposing sides who dare to even comment on subjects outside of their professional expertise. No, science can be edited by political will because it is merely inconvenient. Pay no attention to the vested interests behind the curtain. 

Time to Fight Like Hell
Clara Jeffrey from Mother Jones

I agree with everything in this, but nowhere is there a plea or entreaty or even a mention of running for local office. The GOP has redrawn districts to ensure both the safety of their seats and the diminishment of opposing voters by winning first local and then state elections. They've redrawn the electoral map of this country to drown out the majority (exhibit: Trump loses popular vote; Democrats win more votes for Senate but lose anyway, etc.). 


Trouble Every Day (2002)
By Claire Denis, via AmazonPrime

I will write about this more in Retrospect, but it was interesting for me to watch this again with the layers of life I've had since first viewing. I link a review with hindsight as well. 

A Crime to Remember: "Luck Be e Lady"
via Investigation Discovery

The tale of numerous murders in the 50s apparently perpetrated by a single woman considered to be quite diabolical. I'm not contesting her guilt or advocating her innocence; I don't have all the facts and I won't make that judgment. I am contesting the treatment of this woman by the program, not just the cops at the time, as inherently suspicious because she defied social and sexual norms by seeing men for casual affairs, or for seeing more than one man at a time, or for seeing men without being married. 

The reenactment of the first interview at the police station stresses her sexual liaisons since the death of her husband, and that was the crux of the information given, after which the detective is convinced of her guilt. There is other context, of course, and there is more to the interview, even in reenactment, but the actor portraying the detective seems most disturbed by the nonchalance with which she discusses her sex life, which gives the impression that this is the greatest signal of her guilt: her sin.

I know there is more to it, but the director/producers had to have noticed this, if not intended it. I become automatically suspicious when this attack is turned on women, as if who they sleep with has any bearing on whether they murdered someone or not. I know it did have an affect back then, and it still does today in some cases (sexual histories still being raised during rape trials, for instance, as if previous consent for a few were blanket consent for all), but they could at least comment on this so hysterical femi-nazis like me don't go off the deep end. 

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