Today’s comic by Jen Sorensen is Notification bloatification:
Three hundred fifty years after the Pilgrims began their invasion of the land of the Wampanoag, their “American” descendants planned an anniversary celebration. Still clinging to the white schoolbook myth of friendly relations between their forefathers and the Wampanoag, the anniversary planners thought it would be nice to have an Indian make an appreciative and complimentary speech at their state dinner. Frank James was asked to speak at the celebration. He accepted. The planners, however , asked to see his speech in advance of the occasion, and it turned out that Frank James’ views — based on history rather than mythology — were not what the Pilgrims’ descendants wanted to hear. Frank James refused to deliver a speech written by a public relations person. Frank James did not speak at the anniversary celebration. If he had spoken, this is what he would have said […]
Recently, former White House adviser Anthony Scaramucci declared that President Trump is a “blue-collar president” — which some observers find curious, given his wealthy upbringing and boasts about being a billionaire. And in Sweden’s general election in September, the far-right Sweden Democrats finished in third place with 18 percent of the vote, while the center-left Social Democrats had their worst electoral performance in more than a century.
Why? My research in Hungary and Poland suggests that the right-wing populism’s rise and center-left parties’ decline result from the same process: blue-collar supporters shifting away from the left to embrace the populist right.
• Inside Climate News has begun a new series on military readiness in a global warming world. Another reminder that Sen. Bernie Sanders was right but ridiculed when said at the end of a presidential debate two years ago about climate change being the No. 1 threat to national security:
In October, Hurricane Michael slammed Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida, inflicting what officials called “widespread catastrophic damage.” The year prior, the Pentagon spent $1.3 billion to repair bases and equipment damaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. In 2014, flash floods ravaged the critical combat training grounds at Fort Irwin, California, requiring $65 million in repairs.
A recent Pentagon survey at 3,500 military installations found that half of them already face destabilizing weather, including droughts, extreme heat, wildfires, high winds and inland flooding, and many are grappling with multiple threats.
If you’re a highly educated white man without serious disabilities—a description that, not incidentally, fits a large majority of people who make and write about policy in the United States—the economy probably looks like this to you: a web of financial transactions between individuals and companies, with support and guidance from the government. To Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha—a disabled, chronically ill writer and performer—it looks completely different. “Your life is maintained by a complex, non-monetary economy of shared, reciprocal care,” she writes in her new book, Care Work. “You drop off some extra food; I listen to you when you’re freaking out. You share your car with me; I pick you up from the airport. We pass the same twenty dollars back and forth between each other.”
Throughout the book, Piepzna-Samarasinha details how activists in the disability justice movement, led largely by LGBTQ people of color, support and advocate for one other. She describes a neurodivergent person bringing shawarma orders to a social justice conference, crowdfunding campaigns to pay for rehabilitation, and collectively-written best-practice guidelines for closed captioning. When wildfires hit California last year, she writes, “Over and over, it was sick and disabled folks—particularly folks with chemical injuries, environmental illness, asthma, and other autoimmune conditions who had been navigating unsafe air for years—sharing the knowledge that being sick and disabled had already taught us.”
• The ethical quandary of human infection studies: Sometimes infecting volunteers with a disease can lead to new treatments. But how much risk and compensation is acceptable for those in poor nations?
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Last live licks before T-Day. Russian to head Interpol, all law turns inside-out. Trump’s lies are a virus. But Ivanka’s emails. WTF are we doing advising MBS how to duck Khashoggi murder? Oh, P.S.: We’re once again under the cloud of a mass shooting.