Saturday, November 14, 2015

On the move

Nicholas Powers, writing for Truthout, makes a fascinating connection. After 9/11 Bush II began talking about the War on Terror with Bush talking about the evils of Islam. The Millennial generation, coming of age about that time, noticed that every evil thing Bush and others said about radical Islam was also reflected in American Fundamentalism. Gay rights? Nope. Women's rights? Of course not. Separation of Church and State?

Um, Millennials said, maybe we don't want to join your religion. So the push to demonize gay people backfired in this generation. Thus, says Powers, a result of that War on Terror is the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Yeah, I know, Millennials aren't the only ones who saw the Fundies as the American Taliban. But most of the rest of us already had an opinion of Fundamentalism.

This map shows the magnitude of the African and Middle Eastern refugees streaming towards Europe since 2012. Each dot represents 25 people – about half a bus – in motion. The dots don't show the torturous route taken by the refugees, only the movement from one central dot to another. Yes, there is a bright rush from Syria, especially in the last year, but there are also steady streams from Somalia, Nigeria, Russia (mostly in 2012) and, since they're off the map, I would guess Afghanistan and Pakistan, among many others.

A description of the state of a refugee camp in Calais, France prompted Melissa McEwen of Shakesville to write (emphasis in the original):
Every day, I see news articles and op-eds in which Serious People ask what is going to happen if Europe and the US help all of these refugees. And all I can think in response is: But what is going to happen if we don't?

Shortly after Paul Ryan took over the job of Speaker of the House, Chuck Todd interviewed Ryan and asked Ryan to name just one thing the GOP intends to get done in the next six months. Ryan responds with a list of thing that are wrong – poverty, foreign policy, Obamacare – but he doesn't say how the GOP intends to respond to any of them. Lots of complaints. No solutions. Likely intentional.

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