Open Thread: Elderly Austrian Immigrant Yells At Trump & Other Nazi Supporters

(h/t commentor Jim, Foolish Literalist)

It’s All Fun & Games, Until Somebody Loses Their Kid

It’s sad (no lie!) that the New England Cosplay Association had to cancel a long-scheduled public gathering because some nitwit college kid got a permit to let Nazi wannabes swarm Boston Common. But this is serious:

Y’know, I’d have trouble picking Insane Clown Posse songs out of a general metal sound-off, but if the Very Serious Pundits could get past their bourgeois prejudices, the classic Juggalo is exactly the type of disadvantaged, Appalachian-heritage ‘Working Class White’ that they slobber over so endlessly. And it would probably cause at least one cardiac incident if this were pointed out to a roomful of Media Village Idiots…

How Do You Cope?

Someone asked last night how we all cope. It’s worth considering that. Even Erick Son Of Erick tweeted that he doesn’t see how the country survives 3.5 more years of this. It’s hard on us individually, too. We need to think and act deliberately to maintain and protect our mental health. It’s different for everyone. Ric (at top) loves my orange and black caftan. Zooey likes at least partial enclosure.

As I walked out of the house to go shopping this morning, I had to stop and look at the sky and mountains and take a deep breath. I’m lucky to have great views, but there is usually something beautiful – the pattern of raindrops on asphalt or a flower peeking through cracks in concrete. I also listen to and play music – the Enigma Variations, which I posted a while back, are still in my car’s cd player, so I listened to them on the way to the store.

People are important too. I’m having lunch with a friend today, and I’ve got a bunch of connections going in different ways. The internet has been a boon to my interactions. The community here is comforting.

How do you cope?

Evening Open Thread

The stuff is hitting the fan too fast for me, but here are tonight’s developments, each of which might have occasioned a week’s worth of coverage in that alternative world we lived in only a year ago.

Steve Bannon called the editor of the liberal American Prospect and talked like he is really the President of the United States. Twitter tells me the site is down, but I have a page up in my tabs, so if you can’t reach it, say so in the comments, and I’ll quote more.

“To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”

Bannon’s plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. “We’re going to run the tables on these guys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re in an economic war and they’re crushing us.”

Trump Lawyer Forwards Email Echoing Secessionist Rhetoric

The email forwarded by John Dowd, who is leading the president’s legal team, painted the Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms and equated the South’s rebellion to that of the American Revolution against England. Its subject line — “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” — was a reference to comments Mr. Trump made earlier this week in the aftermath of protests in the Virginia college town.

“You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington,” the email reads, “there literally is no difference between the two men.”

And, finally for me, although you may have found other insanities out there,

Cartman in the Oval Office

Update Thank you to Adam for finding live footage of Trump’s current Cabinet meeting:

This Is Bothering Me

On Twitter, I’ve been discussing my post from the other day with experts on North Korea. A significant number of them think I’m right: North Korea’s statement about a possible attack on Guam, prefaced by a statement of concern about flights over South Korea by US B-1B bombers based in Guam, is an offer to negotiate.

North Korea has followed up that statement with another that says that Kim Jong Un has reviewed the plan and has decided to wait for a US move before putting it into action.

There may be an opening to dial the rhetoric back and to avoid the nuclear war that Donald Trump threatened and the attack on Guam that Kim threatens. It’s our move: propose negotiations.

Nobody outside of our group of experts seems to see this. The media are reporting as if the North Korean statements about the overflights don’t exist and the threat against Guam came out of nowhere. They see Kim’s review of the plans and putting them aside as knuckling under to Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s strong statements.

Let me be very clear on this. The opening may be illusory. Negotiations may not work. Nobody who was discussing the issue with me last night thinks we should give up anything; just that we should test that opening.

There is no indication that the administration has picked up on the opening to negotiate. Continuing on the current path risks war, and both sides have threatened it will be nuclear.

Down in Durham

It was erected in 1924. Almost all Confederate veterans were dead by then. Durham County has always had a significant African American population so a statue supporting slavery standing in front of the courthouse has its own meaning.

Be careful out there.