Sunday, June 26, 2016

You say you've experienced discrimination?

An interesting bit on NPR this morning. There are a few Evangelical pastors in Orlando who are reconsidering their position on LGBT people after the massacre there two weeks ago. Well, yeah, they are still declaring homosexuality is a sin. But the demonization appears to be gone, replaced with support for the shooting victims and perhaps even a call for state-wide or even national civil rights protections for LGBT people. This is a big improvement! We don't know yet how much of a long-term commitment is behind these words. We hope the change of heart lasts longer than the raw emotions still felt in Orlando.

Beautiful! An Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Washington DC wanted to show support for those killed in Orlando. They did that by spending an evening at a nearby gay bar. They happened to choose one with a predominantly black clientele. Yes, this was foreign territory for most of those who made the trip. They talked. They lit candles. They shared a few Jewish blessings. They bought a round of beer. They shared in the pain. Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, who led the visit, wrote:
I learned that when a rabbi and members of an Orthodox synagogue walk into a gay African American bar, it is not the opening line of a joke but an opportunity to connect; it is an opportunity to break down barriers and come together as one; it is an opportunity to learn that if we are going to survive, we all need each other.

The FBI heard the claims that the Orlando shooter might have been gay, that he used gay hook-up apps, that he had a "friend with benefits." The FBI reports they did not find such an app on the shooter's phone and after searching his computer did not find photos, text messages, or gay porn. They say they have found no evidence the shooter had a secret gay life.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine produced a compromise bill for gun control. This actually has a chance of passing – if it ever came up for a vote. So how to handle that without allowing Dems to gloat over the GOP and run with a campaign issue? To table a bill means to postpone or suspend it. So the Senate voted to not table it. Yes, that means a vote is supposed to be scheduled. So, the GOP will do that … um … never? Which means they won't go on record voting against it.

This is why Trump has gotten as far as he has. A new poll shows 72% of Republicans believe discrimination against whites has become as bad as discrimination against blacks and other minority groups. Among Trump supporters that number is 81%.

Um, guys, you don't have a clue about what discrimination actually means and how it is experienced daily by minorities.

Hunter of Daily Kos wrote:
This isn't about flippin’ economic insecurity or disillusionment with government functions. This is a great wide fart of racism and xenophobic paranoia, writ in nice big block letters for everyone else to see.

Trump is doing such a bad job of raising money, including money the Republican National Committee can use to fund down-ballot races, the party is getting nervous. Various candidates also don't want to be seen with Trump and are afraid his loose mouth will tarnish the whole party.

That is why Melissa McEwen of Shakesville is sure the GOP will find a way to dump Trump.
But seriously: This is why I continue to be gravely concerned that the Republicans are going to try to find a way to push Trump out of the race. It's not just the White House that the GOP stands to lose, but their Senate majority, House seats, governorships, all kinds of offices up and down the ticket. Naturally, that prospect couldn't make me happier, which is exactly why I'm pretty sure it's never going to happen!

Ludovico Einaudi performed a piece titled "Elegy for the Arctic." This performance is a bit different. The piano is on a raft in a Norwegian Fjord. The raft is covered to look like an ice floe. All around the raft are chunks of ice calving off the nearby glacier – and at one point falling ice adds to the soundtrack. The video was made on behalf of Greenpeace.

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