a turning-point, toward darkness

Henry A. Giroux Talks President-Elect, Authoritarianism, and More on CTV News

as posted on

Abandon All Despair Ye Who Enter Here

The City Lights Booksellers & Publishers Blog

by Kennedy Petersen Posted on November 17, 2016

Author Henry A. Giroux appeared on CTV News last week, to discuss American democracy in the shadow of our new President-Elect. Giroux published his book, America at War with Itself, in September through City Lights. Describing America’s radical division as a conflict between “those who want to live in a democracy and those who don’t,” Giroux explains the rise of American authoritarianism, the key subject of this book. He points to the media, and its chasing after ratings, as a key factor in the creation of this unfortunate political climate which champions both celebrity culture and “emotion over reason.”

Watch below as Giroux offers his analysis on the historically unprecedented election, and what this means for America moving forward:

 

Additionally, Robin D. G. Kelley mentions Giroux’s new book in a recent (and excellent) Boston Review piece which offers paths of resistance in the aftermath.

This election was, among other things, a referendum on whether the United States will be a straight, white nation reminiscent of the mythic “old days” when armed white men ruled, owned their castle, boasted of unvanquished military power, and everyone else knew their place. Henry Giroux’s new book America at War with Itself made this point with clarity and foresight two months before the election. The easy claim that Trump appeals to legitimate working-class populism driven by class anger, Giroux argues, ignores both the historical link between whiteness, citizenship, and humanity, and the American dream of wealth accumulation built on private property.”

^^^^^

My Transcript of above video: Dr. Henry Giroux interview with Marcia MacMillan on CTV (Canadian Television) News Channel  November 9, 2016:

CTV:  I want to bring in Henry Giroux, he’s author of American at War with Itself and professor of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. He’s joining me this morning from Hamilton, Ontario. And I am struck by the title of your book, American at War with Itself,—very fitting on this day, when we see that there is a clear dividing line, Henry, between those who supported Trump and those who supported Hillary Clinton. How much healing needs to be done?

HG: I think there’s an enormous dividing line. I don’t particularly think it’s between simply the supporters of Clinton and the supporters of Donald Trump. I think the dividing line is between those who, basically, want to live in a democracy, and those who don’t. Because I think that what we’re dealing with here is the rise of an extremist element in politics that has moved from the fringes to the center of politics. And it strikes me there’s an enormously dangerous move. I mean, I think that what we’re witnessing here is a turning point in American history, and that turning point suggests something very dark.

I mean, democracies are fragile. And I think that when you have a candidate come to power who’s been waging war against some of the most basic principles of American democracy, and actually is able to mobilize huge amounts of anger on the part of the American public, and to transform that anger, basically, into the most sordid language, the most reprehensible forms of misogyny, and racism, and sexism, and ultra-nationalism, while at the same time, mobilizing policies that speak very clearly to what I would call a move into authoritarian society, I think we have a great deal to worry about.

CTV: …A great deal to worry about. Yet, other analysts that I’ve spoken with this morning say, “He can’t do most, Trump can’t do most of those things that he made, those were lofty promises, in the heat of the campaign,” and that, “watch for him to move more to the center.”

HG: Oh, I think that’s—I don’t buy that argument at all. I mean, I think this is a guy who lies. I think he’s intransigent. I think he’s ignorant. I think he represents the triumph of emotion over reason. I mean, I think that he comes out of a celebrity culture in which questions of rationality don’t matter at all.  I mean, I think that Trump will do everything he can to basically avenge the people who criticized him. I think he’ll put enormous numbers of repressive policies in power.

Remember, the Republican Party created him. And I think, in many ways, while they first repudiated him because he exposed the deep, dire, and it seems to me utterly horrible sort of sentiments that they’ve been nourishing since the 1980s, they’ll support the policies that he puts into place. Because those policies are really not at odds, in many ways, with their own policies. I mean, they’ll turn back voting rights, they’ll put a clamp on immigration. They may not build a wall, which would cost thirty billion dollars, and they may not basically export all ‘illegal’ Mexicans. But they”ll move towards creating a police state. I mean, this morning I hear this, I heard his followers and his spokespersons talking about how we really need to beef up law and order in the country. This will happen at the same time, of course, that they undo Roe v. Wade, and basically start punishing women for having abortions.

CTV: What role do you think the media played in creating, not Donald Trump the reality TV star, but Donald Trump the presidential nominee?

HG: Oh, I think that’s a terrific question. And I think it speaks directly to the power of not only celebrity culture to confer enormous amount of authority, but it speaks to the supine nature of the mainstream press, which is always chasing after ratings, and hence, elevates performance over questions of substance and truth. So, you know, what they did was, they gave him two billion dollars worth of air time! This guy could spew out anything he wanted, he could mobilize all kinds of misery out of misfortune, and they treated him like he was on The Apprentice! They basically gave him as much air time as they could, and that helped to reinforce endlessly a message that people heard over and over again. And it was only near the end of the campaign, when people really thought that he might win this campaign, that the press actually started investigating him in ways that did justice to many of the contradictions, the lies, and the policies that he’s advocated.

CTV: Henry Giroux, author of American at War with Itself, I wish we had more time with you. I thank you so much for joining us this morning from McMaster University, in Hamilton.

HG: Thank you for having me on.

CTV: You’re welcome.

See more interviews with Dr. Giroux at his webpage:

https://www.henryagiroux.com/interviews.htm

 

 

 

 

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Yes, Fascism is Here, Folks! Professor Watch List

 

Oh Good, a “Professor Watch List”

The timing of a new website meant to identify liberal academics is grotesque.

target on back.
The watch list puts targets on the backs of liberal professors.

IPGGutenbergUKLtd/Thinkstock

This past Saturday, 200 white nationalists gathered two blocks away from President-elect Donald Trump’s future home, exulting in a victory that has catapulted them out of the shadows. This Monday, an organization called Turning Point USA launched a website called the Professor Watchlist, which provides the full names, locations, offenses—and sometimes photographs—of liberal academics it has singled out for ignominy. In any other year in recent memory on this continent, these would be two unrelated events. But in the United States in late 2016, as the president-elect’s surrogates cite Japanese internment as a “precedent” for what may come, any “watch list” of any sort is worrying. One that targets outspoken intellectuals with views that oppose a mercurial future president who spent the weekend tweeting petulantly at the cast of a Broadway play? Abjectly terrifying.

The mission of the watch list, according to its website, is to “expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values, and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The site invites users to nominate candidates, asking that they “submit a tip” about the nefarious pinkos who teach them (that’s S-C-H-U-M-A-N with one n, by the way). Some of the professors on the list have responded thoughtfully to their inclusion; others on social media have trolled the list with complaints about Indiana Jones and Jesus. Like any soulless golem, I love a good Jesus joke, but today even I can’t muster up the laughter.

Just four years ago, in 2012—the year Charlie Kirk, then a Chicago-based 18-year-old who skipped college altogether, co-founded Turning Point USA—the watch list would have been great fodder for yuks, on par with David Horowitz’s obnoxious 2006 book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, inclusion in which was often a point of pride. Today, though, the Professor Watchlist causes me to fear for the safety of the people on it.

Professor Watchlist.

Screenshot via Professor Watchlist

I contacted Kirk, asking him whether the timing was intentional, and whether the watch list was intended to intimidate, harass, or otherwise harm the people on it. He dismissed my suggestions as “preposterous,” and we had a brief, civil chat on the phone. His organization, he was quick to emphasize, is a mainstream conservative student outreach group, devoted to the usual jazz about free markets and bootstraps and other sundry Rush lyrics. That is: While its website looks like a stock agency for photos of self-satisfied young white people, Kirk stresses that Turning Point USA is in no way affiliated with alt-right or similar hate groups, and is instead a mild-mannered fiscal-conservative outreach group that “believes that every young person can be enlightened to true free market values.”

He told me in no uncertain terms that he “denounce[s] completely” last weekend’s nauseating neo-Nazi Woodstock, and that the watch list’s launch had been planned for “months.” Its dovetailing with the white nationalists’ coming-out party—and the corresponding rash of grim, incredulous press coverage—was an unfortunate coincidence, and one that caused an unanticipated surge of traffic thanks to heightened media attention in the wake of the launch’s inauspicious timing. The intention, he said, is not to threaten or harm the professors—his commitment to free speech means he’ll “fight to the death” for their right to disagree with him—but to raise “awareness” for students and the parents who often pay their tuition.

But the photos? I asked. Did Kirk at least understand my unease about the photos? They’re “just stock images,” he said, publicly available, like all of the other information the site has aggregated—aggregated, he emphasized, not created. Plus, “Nowhere do we say they shouldn’t have the right” to express their views; the site has “no calls to action,” whether that be firing or worse.

I’ve no reason to doubt Kirk’s sincerity, but at this point, I also have to wonder whether the intentions of his watch list make a difference—and whether this is a bell that can be unrung. It doesn’t matter if the site wasn’t meant as a No-Goodnik Intellectual Kill List one day after Richard Spencer and his Jungen screeched Heil Trump. Intentionally or not, the Professor Watchlist, simply by being a self-styled watch list, has aligned itself with the ugly, frightening new political status quo.

This is, indeed, a turning point in our country, a time of fear unprecedented on this continent since the Second World War. Fear of being placed on a list, targeted as undesirable, and subjected to whatever happens next. It’s a time to fight the impulse to create a watch list, no matter how mad you are that some angry feminist professor gave you a B-plus. If you’re a reasonable conservative living in this country two weeks after the election of Donald Trump and you really want to reach out to impressionable young people who loved The Fountainhead, there are plenty of ways to do this that do not involve placing targets on backs.

Yes, it’s true that Turning Point USA didn’t create any original material on its compendium, and its claims of professorial malfeasance—from using swear words to attesting that racism is a thing—are reputably sourced. It’s also true that beleaguered conservative intellectuals have as much of a right to grumble as liberal professors have to grandstand. And I will take Kirk’s word that he didn’t create the site with the intent to intimidate, threaten, or bring harm to any of the human beings on it.

But what the site did do—what it continues to do—is compile a one-stop shop of easy marks and their precise locations, complete with descriptions of offenses against America, God, and the “children of the sun.” Whether it intends to or not, this list watches over us at our country’s darkest turning point, poised to inflame the tinder-dry, gasoline-soaked pitchforks of a mob that has just stepped boldly into the light.

Don’t misunderstand me. The answer is not to take the site down altogether, for that would be censorship, and censorship is not the solution, just like it isn’t the solution when the 45th president of the United States gets his fee-fees hurt. But in this time of national reckoning, responsible conservatives need to pay attention to context. Why not, for example, a site that indexes classroom bias by incident and date, instead of by the professor’s name? All the self-satisfaction with none of the implicit death threats. I like to assume the best about people, and as such, I do not believe the terrifying effect of the Professor Watchlist is the “awareness” Kirk intended to raise about ideological diversity at American universities. As such, I hope his organization will stop stoking the worst impulses of authoritarian populism—before American conservatism reaches a point from which there is no turning back.

Reader responses to this article from over at Reader Supported News Service:

# kyzipster 2016-11-28 09:49

Until we challenge the Conservative’s Culture War in some significant way, this country is over.

Conservatism has destroyed the media, the Democratic Party, the very thinking of millions of voters.

We’ve surrendured so fully that we don’t even want to talk about it, perhaps we don’t even see it anymore. Blaming this election on ‘trigger warnings’ and debates around ‘white privilege’ when it’s conservative identity politics that gave us Trump. No, not all racist perhaps but nearly all of them are intensely tribal with no ability to think outside of their box, informed almost completely by decades of propaganda. Every election plays out this way, Sanders might have impassioned liberals but he would not have won this base over.

Now universities are under attack, conservatives will more than likely succeed eventually, they always do, they never give up. We object loudly with solid intellectual argument but it does no good, they keep pushing until we’re out of breath or people get so tired of hearing it that the criticism disappears in the background.

Facts be damned, professors will someday be forced to present a ‘balanced’ perspective so as not to offend members of the conservative cult.

This is playing out after the election. Liberals blathering non-stop, trying to figure out what we can do to not offend butt hurt, white conservative America. There’s nothing we can do when the very existence of ‘libtards’ offends them.

0 # sashapyle 2016-11-28 10:15

Nazism begins with murderous ideas, proceeds to murderous speech, and ends with mass murders. If we’re a society that escalates the thought and speech, we’ll end with the deed. This is a no-brainer.

Organize Now! Act Now!

As some of you know, my dear family of origin includes members (birth members and in-law members) who also belong variously to several communities and “categories of human beingness” whom our so-called “president-elect” and his cabinet/staff selectees and followers have insulted, attempted to blame and shame, have verbally mocked, castigated, threatened, and in some cases (among some of his followers) have also physically attacked.

Among my family members are Mexican Americans, LGBT persons, Native Americans, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, persons with disAbilities, journalists, war vets and former POWs, war-resisters and peace activists, scientists and climate activists, doctors and women’s healthcare providers, democrats and democratic socialists, Greens and Hillary supporters, and of course women (over half my family members are women!). Members of my family have been victims of bullying and harassment, assault, sexual assault, and/or other human rights abuse, hate crimes and violence by persons belonging to one or more of the following categories: racist Klansmen and other white supremacists, Christian supremacists, homophobes, anti-Semites, nativist/nationalist xenophobes, Islamophobes, misogynists, bigoted abusive police, fascist government agents and employees of covert and overt govt agencies as well as by crazy anti-government militia members.

Then there are my friends, neighbors and colleagues, and the in-law relations and friends of my own in-law family members, etc., many of whom have also suffered from the sort of bigoted, hateful, and violent attitudes, behaviors, and policies supported and advanced by Despicable Trump and his band of deplorable bigots.

So though, as a now ancient, American-born, hetero male who appears thoroughly “white,” I feel no particular additional fear of being personally officially harassed by Trumpist policies (for just now), nor even (much) particular fear of being personally harassed, bullied, or harmed by non-government thugs just while moving about on the street (for just now). But I am personally shocked (not surprised in the slightest, but still really shocked), outraged, disgusted, deeply saddened, and filled with (so-far unrelieved) dread. Frightened not for myself, but for my vulnerable family members and other dear ones, and for the vulnerable dear American people and our fragile world family and planet as a whole.

In my own town, I have seen, since Trump’s domination-designation, only one additional pickup truck flying giant confederate battle flags from both corners of its tailgate. And have witnessed only one verbally violent attack by Trumpists, outside of harassments against the nightly anti-Trump protests. And I’ve seen only one new racist graffito show up—horribly, outside the coffeehouse I haunt most frequently.

graf

{horrible week old racist graffito (“NIGR!”) newly appearing outside my fave coffeehouse}

It’s an international student/faculty  (& sloppy/ grungy hipster and occasional homeless) hangout, so lots of black and brown and yellow and red campus-y and para-campus-y folks from all over the country and the world show up here daily as well as lots of white folks. I’ve only seen anywhere in town just one or two obviously new statement-making undercut hairstyles favored by the yuppie-hipster alt-right neo-Nazis which they fondly called “the fascie.”

richard spencer

{Hilter-loving hate-spewer hipster slimeball and head of National Policy Institute Richard Spencer, who claims to have coined the term alternative-right.}

hitler youth haircut - poster

{Hitler Youth poster.  I’ve recently seen a (non-satirical) mainstream fashion/relationship-advice article promoting this haircut as “the man’s haircut American women love best!”}

These sightings all give me the creeps, of course, literally make my skin crawl, and remind me each time of all the movies and TV shows and docu footage of Germany in the last days before the brown shirts and swastikas started to appear everywhere all the time.

The person designated as our “president-elect” is not only a pompous ignoramus and stupid egomaniacal asshole, he is an angry, hateful, and violent man, a deeply disturbed, mentally ill individual with incredibly hateful, repulsive & vengeful attitudes, speech and behavior patterns, and abysmal policy plans declaring for radically inhumane and illegal mistreatment and violence against millions of human beings—immigrants, Mexicans & other Hispanics, Muslims, gays, African Americans, women, and others. He is quite blatantly a racist bigot, a fascist creep, and an extreme danger to our nation and to the world as a whole. His idiotic climate denial outlook and policy plans alone threaten not only Americans of every category and community, but the entire planet, the lives of all humans and other beings alive now and into the hourly ever more precarious future.

Trump was not elected by the majority of votes cast during the election. Hillary won the popular vote by over 1.7 million ballots already counted (with the final total still being tallied). The presumed “electoral college” vote (which doesn’t occur until December), is not the only factor in Trump’s wrongfully assumed “victory.” Extensive illegal restriction and blockage of voter registration, destruction of existing registration records, and related fraudulent miscounting of votes was perpetrated by Republican officials in numerous states. This constitutes a massive, national-wide criminal fraud directed against Hispanic voters, African Americans voters, and registered Democrats, foisted against all Americans and indeed all freedom-loving persons all over the world.

When the illegally blocked/purged votes are added to the earlier popular vote total, they more than overturn the necessary majority of electoral college votes which it is presumed will go to Trump in December.

Trump was not elected president, he was criminally designated president-elect through a proven conspiracy of illegal fraud by Republicans.  See articles linked below.

This is the “democracy” in which we Americans now live.

Radical Christian Supremacists like Trump’s VP Pence and the coterie of other bigots of various specialties surrounding Trump will make damn sure the Republican voting fraud and the fascism and fascist figurehead strongman it has criminally “enthroned” does not stop simply at declaratively designating who “won” the election and who he appoints to the cabinet! Every day it becomes more clear that the hate-filled insanity of Trump and his staff and followers knows no restraints as more cabinet positions are filled and more executive policies are announced.

We are in for a very rough fight, my friends, to defend and restore our rights as Americans and our rights as humans against the illegal junta that wrongly has been declared “victorious” by the corporatist Establishment of both parties.

Trump was not elected our president, he was fraudulently, criminally designated and installed by rightwing criminals to carry out their shared agenda of bigotry, greed, and violence. And he and they are marching “forward (backward!!) in all directions” with each passing day.

I’m not sure what exactly we can do about all this. It certainly is horrible and it certainly is going to get much worse before it gets better.

But we can at least take heart in knowing that, horrible as is the fraud perpetrated against America and the world, a considerably larger majority of voting Americans than was initially reported or counted did in fact cast their ballots against Trump. One point seven million more votes for Clinton than for Trump have been counted so far. When one adds to these the votes that were criminally kept from being cast or counted, it becomes obvious that the majority of Americans are not quite so insanely self-destructive after all. There are far more Americans of a benign, rational mindset than we have been beaten into thinking was the case. Had the entire population of Hispanic and African American citizens who are registered democrats and who duly and legally attempted to exercise their right to vote been allowed to vote, and had their votes been honestly counted and added to the total, Clinton would have won not only the popular vote (which she did win already on election night), but also would have won the presumed electoral college vote due in December.

It is certainly true that the number of angry, hateful, bigoted, deeply ignorant, self-destructive Americans is larger than we had dreamed. That is horrible enough. But they are not nearly so large and intimidating a minority as we had been frightened into believing, based on the fraudulent initial vote count.

Good Americans, sound-minded humane Americans, those not driven to vote fascist, outnumber the self-destructive, violently angry and/or hateful Americans, the ignorant Americans who voted for Trump either with or without realizing just how bad he is and will be for America and the world. This is something about which we should be very relieved and happy. We are still the humane, rational majority. We can still win against hatred and ignorance and fear. It will be a very, very difficult battle, but we are already far stronger in numbers than the ignorant and/or hateful, and we have remained far stronger all along than we were made to try to accept during the unbelievable past couple of dark weeks.

Much additional gathering darkness, further thickening sickening darkness lies ahead, as Trump’s cabinet choices and policy measures solidify more with each passing day. But we still have the strength of numbers as well as the strength of the moral high ground, the strength of goodwill toward our entire diverse American and human family, the strength of dedication to achieving and maintaining the equal rights and equal protection under the law for all persons as envisioned and enshrined in our constitution. But we must come up with more effective strategies for blocking and overcoming Trump’s inhumane policies before they can be enacted. We must figure out how to organize and act much more effectively than ever before. And we’d better do it immediately.

Greg Palast:  “The Election was Stolen–Here’s how”

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/40246-focus-the-election-was-stolen-heres-how

Greg Palast: “Here’s What We Do NOW”

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/40401-focus-heres-what-we-do-now-a-personal-note

Forty countries

 world-map

As of today, this site has been visited by readers from forty nations:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Czech R., Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, Vietnam, Uruguay, US.

May all nations and all people everywhere live together in peace, harmony, prosperity, mutual camaraderie, universal friendliness and compassion, happiness, and loving-kindness. May all beings actualize and enjoy permanent complete liberation from ignorance and suffering, oppression and unhappiness.

View a map of all the counties with visitors to this site:

https://www.amcharts.com/visited_countries/#AT,BE,BG,BY,CH,CZ,DE,ES,FI,FR,GB,GR,IE,IT,NL,NO,SE,RU,CA,JM,MX,US,AR,BR,CO,UY,NG,ID,IL,IN,JP,KR,NP,PH,TW,VN,HK,SG,AU,NZ

Call and response

As the Tues night voting returns started to add up toward disaster, I started getting lots of messages from friends. I heard suicide watch centers were lighting up. I became worried about some folks’ despondency. I called a meeting for the next night. A few friends showed up. I think we were all still just too much in shock to say much. But it was good to see some people I know and care about. Here are some early messages, followed by my invitation letter, with the letter I got from MoveOn, then more responses from friends.

Do you believe this? Two disliked candidates. & it appears Trump will prevail. Can we get together tonight and talk? healthcare worker

Trump leading in Wisc. He’s going to win a tight race. I don’t know what the hell is going to happen, just trying to absorb it at this point. I’m watching coverage on PBS. Really, the pollsters, as well as TV politicos had it all wrong. As with Nixon in ’72, the Silent Majority is apparently alive and well.  —fellow worker

FBI coup d’etat. KKK police state now.  — professor

I really did believe our country was in a downward spiral but I still thought that we’re basically good people who wouldn’t vote for someone who is as corrupt and lies and manipulates as Trump does. Our educational system is completely failing us. People don’t understand how to think and assess information. I don’t know where to go with this, part of me doesn’t want to leave the house. Usually I can believe in the individual goodness of the people around me, but that asshole swept the country. I need to regroup.    —professor

Trump was seen as the agent of change.–school teacher

 Canadian immigration office websites have all crashed, many yanks will flee. —professor

Yes, it’s impossible to imagine living under one-tenth of the hateful violent things he has threatened.

The Canadian immigration websites all crashed as the votes came in, and people started scrambling to look to escape the fascism now to come. I think Americans serious enough to look into what’s involved in leaving have the right idea. Except, of course, a Trump U.S. will be busy destroying the entire world-planet. But it would be best to just step as far to one side as one can for as long as we have left to enjoy daily existence. I feel too stuck in factors to leave again, but it’s going to be quite the horror show here. Maybe he will be indicted for various crimes and kicked out of office before he gets too far. But then there’s his cabinet of villains to contend with, too. And as you indicate: it’s not the handful of evil idiots who represent such a mindset, it’s the millions of racist white male (& women!) fascist idiots who WANT things to be this way. Unbelievable, but true. The majority of people I’ve talked to in the area in the past year, including many female & male students, were in favor of Trump. Frightening.    Ignorance, stupidity, racist self-absorption, and yes intense ill-will toward scapegoats of all sorts, seems thick and tall as a brick wall in just so many Americans of all ages. It really feels like the dark aspects of the 60s all over again.

Well, if Arpaio can finally be indicted and voted out, maybe Trump will be indicted on multiple federal and lesser charges and removed from office.

If I had any secured income/savings, I’d much rather watch the destruction from retirement in Vancouver, or Bali, or Amsterdam, or any number of places, but I don’t, so I guess I’ll have to stay on semi-active-duty fighting this insanity and just trying to wrap my mind around how zombified and blood-thirsty so many Americans are. It does look like Trump lost the popular vote by a thin margin. I’d say by numbers only about half the population is insane with Trump disease.  What a horrific miasma. writer

Blue-ness has set in from the election ( I though it wouldn’t). Trump’s dogmatic, bombastic way of speaking is so unsettling. We could meet half way if you want to visit.  –fellow worker

Luckily somehow I am blessed with sane students. Not a one of them for Trump. They all came in talking full speed and wondering how this could happen. Maybe the demographics of a community college is different enough from university, or it’s an art class, or some combination of the two. It was a work day and I just started asking them for stories of things in their lives that they thought were funny and enough shared that it helped to lift the gloom.

I’m just stunned at so many things he did that the media didn’t expose, and things he continues to do, while constantly going on about the stupid emails. The death of the fourth estate is seriously to blame for this. The checks and balances the constitution was based around assumed a free and vocal press— and without that the public can’t know what is going on. What a perfect storm of a mess, we have a citizenry that has been taught not to explore ideas and think freely and then they get warped news so unless they work for it (and they don’t) they have no idea what are the facts.

Yes leaving the U.S. would be nice, not going to happen anytime soon… Was surprised that I actually liked Mexico but I don’t think I would live there forever. professor

Here’s my letter:

Dear Friends and beloved fellow humane human beings,

Join in me tonight (Weds) at ____ in ____ 7pm on, just to reassure ourselves together that we can survive this national & planetary disaster. I’m sending out this invite just so we can clap eyes on one another to comfort & reassure ourselves that humane natural goodness survives. But if you belong to organized efforts and want to bring sign-up sheets for mailing lists, phone-trees, grief counseling or triage massage appts, Canadian immigration info tips, exchange shock-alot cookie & brownie recipes, etc. that’s fine with me. I’m more than ready for mo’ better organized resistance/expat exit-relocation-escape plans (& there’ll be lots of that going forward), but personally, tonight I just want to visit with folks who are real, who I admire. Some of you have expressed similar feelings/needs. Let’s just share some immediate friendly-faced togetherness. As you know, I don’t drink, but I understand ____ has some very good beers if you need a glass in which to spill some (more) tears. & it’s a café, so you don’t need to be of legal bar age to come in & join me/us.

Love, ____

____ is not too far from main campus. It’s a food/beer bistro started by some friendly ex-Uni rockclimbers/ mtnbikers. It’s just a friendly place I thought of to gather. Hope to see you there.

Easy to miss, drive slow.

I got this idea from a letter from Anna over at MoveOn. Copied below:

Dear MoveOn member, 

This is a disaster.

We fought our hearts out to avert this reality. But now it’s here.

The new president-elect and many of his most prominent supporters have targeted, demeaned, and threatened millions of us—and millions of our friends, family, and loved ones. Both chambers of Congress remain in Republican hands. We are entering an era of profound and unprecedented challenge, a time of danger for our communities and our country.

In this moment, we have to take care of ourselves, our families, and our friends—especially those of us who are on the front lines facing hate, including Latinos, women, immigrants, refugees, Black people, Muslims, LGBT Americans, and so many others.

And we need to make it clear that we will continue to stand together.

People around the country are coming together tonight to hold peaceful gatherings to signal our solidarity, resistance, and resolve. These are simple, straight-forward, grassroots events from coast to coast. Can you host one tonight in your area? We’ll invite MoveOn members later this afternoon to sign up for events—but someone needs to step up to serve as the host for folks in their area.

Click here to sign up to host an event tonight.

Click here to find events near you. (Events are being added throughout the day. We recommend that you check for one right now, and again after 4 p.m. local time.)

If you don’t see an event near you, it means that nobody has signed up to host one yet. Will you sign up to host?

In the days to come, we will have to pick ourselves up and fight for America’s better ideals.

We’ve known vast darkness before. Each time, brave Americans have risen to the challenge. This time must be no different.

The MoveOn community and our allies will continue to work—tirelessly—to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation’s pendulum back towards sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on.

If you are afraid, know that you are not alone—because we stand together. If you feel despair, know that things will change—because we will change them together.

More than 250 million Americans did not choose Trump. In fact, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The millions of us—MoveOn members and allies—who spent countless hours knocking on doors, making phone calls, and defending democracy, can be proud of what we did together.

We need to take time to process how this happened, what it means, and what kind of country we now live in. One way to start that process is by gathering together tonight.

We’re hosting gatherings tonight for those of us who want to be surrounded by friends, neighbors, and others who share our shock, grief, and resolve. Can you host one in your area? If you do, we’ll help spread the word.

Click here to sign up to host an event tonight.

Click here to look up events near you.

(If you don’t see an event near you right now, you can check later in the day. Or sign up to host your own.)

Together, we will fight to keep our light and resolve alive, sustain our gratitude for each other, and stand unwavering in our conviction that we will never, ever give up.

Thanks for all that you’ve done—and all that you will do in the times ahead.

–Anna, Jo, Manny, Mark, and the rest of the team

Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation’s pendulum back towards sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your ongoing support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?

Yes, I’ll chip in $5 a month and help keep MoveOn strong for the fights ahead.

No, I’m sorry, I can’t make a monthly donation.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON . ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Here’s some more responses from friends:

What a wonderful idea to come together tonight. Here in the South Bay area the mood today was somber.  Take care and I’m glad you’re keeping your friends close. I remember so clearly how we first met at the cafe by the bookstore and bonded over Stockhausen.professor

Sorry, I can’t make it. Feeling too unwell from it all. I’ll try to talk to you maybe tomorrow. I’m just ill right now.  –retired school teacher

Oh, how I wish I could be there tonight. I need comfort and reassurance. I am devastated. I always feared this would happen but in my heart I never thought it would. I am working tonight. Too far away to come but I did tell J. Thank you, for asking.working grandmother

I SO SO wish I could join. Instead, I’ll be going to a gathering here in Nacogdoches. Sending you love and hugs. I cried many times today.  I’ll be in town December. Maybe see you then!

–professor, whose grandparents were murdered in Holocaust death camp.           “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” W. E. B. Du Bois

I appreciate this invitation, friend, and hearing from you on this day of mourning. Am working as dad, taking care of my two-year old tonight so am afraid I cannot make it. Be well and hope to see you soon.  professor & dad

I’ll join you! We both might. I need to be around sane humane folks for a bit —grad student

I’m still shocked how most American voted yesterday!!? Thank you for the invitation but we can’t make it tonight. D. is traveling. But we hope to have a chat with you another time soon.          —laid-off school teacher

Hi from a long lost friend now in LA. Thanks for this! artist & community cultural center administrator

Great idea! Thanks for the heads up. Will see if I can make it. Peace and love❤️✨!

–journalist & former city councilmember

I’ll be glad to join you. Text me for any changes. scholar

I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend, but thank you for doing this and providing hope and positivity in such dark circumstances… Today I am still traumatized from the election results and its going to take time to get over this feeling of disgust. Thank you so much for everything you do and stand for! It’s certainly needed!!!  laid off business office worker

Ok, we both are officially coming 🙂 Can’t wait to see your smiling face!!! —grad student

Thank you for the invite. I have a previous engagement at 8 but will stop by to see you. chemical engineer

 Thanks for emailing this…I’m not yet back there, so i’ll have to take a rain check. Will return first week of December. 

I’ve spent the entire day talking to friends and family in person and by phone. This has hit me very hard as I know it has for many, many others. I take some solace from your email and commend you for your outreach.

I started the day almost puking….I can’t shake the physical and emotional queasy sickness I’ve felt for the past 24 hours. 

Keep up your good work and God bless…  See ya soon….       —government economic projects coordinator

Don’t take this too hard. It is not the choice we wanted, but neither was Hillary. Trump is “unpredictable” which is not necessarily a bad thing.  I worry more about the company he is keeping, especially in the Senate and the House.  I believe that I predicted this outcome, once the Dems “rigged” the system against their best candidate, Bernie.

The House minority leader (our friend from S.F.) stated that she is impressed by Trump’s plan to rebuild the U.S. infrastructure.  I am also impressed if he sticks to this plan.  It is something we needed that Obama completely failed to do.  And Obama has NOT fixed our economy, so his presidency has really been a failure.  His only accomplishment has been health care reform, which has been ineffective and will be repealed by the Repubs.

From my perspective Obama has not been nearly as good as advertised and Trump will not be as bad as advertised either.  It should be an interesting 4 years.

One final thought is that it is time to remove the Electoral College.  It is antiquated and has caused problems in at least 3 elections now (Hayes, Bush and now Trump).  It is time to go to direct popular vote so that the candidate who wins the vote wins the presidency. retired intelligence agency attorney

I’m in boston just now, but I would have come otherwise. What a disaster – and yes, we need to be strong and resist together.  professor

My uncle was making a point about checks and balances, & how odd it will be to see a person who has never held elective office, has never held a job, doesn’t know jack about policy, in most powerful position in the world. Oy! –journalist

World is in for a very rough ride. Huge. Bigly. professor

Sorry. I’m not in the mood tonight for visiting just yet. Thanks for reaching out. I’ll call tomorrow. –retired educator

I’m witnessing the end of this bad impersonation of what has been passing for civilization.professor

Thanks for reaching out to me. I’m trying to remain calm, cool, and collected, must plan to defer to will of others.  insurance office worker

Are you in the area? Would love to talk in person just now. I’m at home. Would you be able to meet?  former journalist

Thanks for sending this email. I’ll see you there. health professional

I was just too out of it to check my email until this morning. Sorry I missed you guys! Let’s commiserate and plan together asap.disabilities agency legal assistant

Autumn: Gorgeous beyond description

Image result for autumn sunset

Somewhere along the way, I realized that the new year doesn’t begin for me in January. The new and fresh has always come for me in the Fall. Ironically, as leaves are falling like rain, crunching beneath my feet with finality, I am vibrating with the excitement of birth and new beginnings…. My year begins in Autumn.

Betsy Garmon, “On birthday cake and pouring oil,” November 5th, 2013

Image result for autumn sunset

The transparent haze which rests upon the mountain-top at noon,—the calmness in the air, and the clearness of the sky, now have a most mysterious influence upon the heart. The “still small voice” of nature makes us thoughtful; and seems to invite us to think upon the swiftness with which our days are passing away. How often at such an hour, have I been startled by the beating of my own heart! And the sunsets of Autumn,—are they not gorgeous beyond description? more so than the brightest dreams of poetry?

Charles Lanman, “The Dying Year,” 1840

Image result for autumn sunset

Yes, it is Fascism. Yes, it’s here now.

Bill Maher: If I could just make a plea, in limited time, to the young people, please:

Like they say in the action motives, “The shit just got real!”

I know you’re young and idealistic, so I’ve heard these young people on the news, and they say things like, “Donald Trump, well, I don’t like him, but Hillary? I can’t vote for a liar.” I mean, first of all, it’s just apples and oranges — and Orange…But, kids, I’ve been doin this for 23 years on TV, I’ve seen a lot, I know politics: This is different.

I promise you, this will not make your life better. And also, once fascists get power, they don’t give it up: You’ve got President Trump for life.

I know liberals made a big mistake, because we attacked Bush like he was the end of the world, and he wasn’t. And Mitt Romney we attacked that way. I gave Obama a million dollars, I was so afraid of Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wouldn’t have changed my life that much, or yours, or John McCain. They were honorable men who we disagreed with, and we shoulda kept it that way. So, we cried “Wolf!” and that was wrong.

But this is real; this is gonna be way different. And we may never get back.

It’s still Autumn!

RoyGeronimo_Autumn_Mystique

Autumn, Roy Geronimo

Autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. She occupied her mind as much as possible in such like musings and quotations…

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.

William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze…
Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny mind—
Thy windy will to bear!

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbykXzZWeTg