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A YEAR WITHOUT A PRESIDENT

It seems like forever, but it was just one year ago that Donald Trump was elected president. So what have we learned about the presidency and who is running the country? 

1. The first big thing we’ve learned is that Trump is not really the president of the United States – because he’s not governing.

A president who’s governing doesn’t blast his Attorney General for doing his duty and recusing himself from an FBI investigation of the president.

A president who’s governing doesn’t leave the top echelons of departments and agencies empty for almost a year.

He doesn’t publicly tell his Secretary of State he’s wasting time trying to open relations with North Korea. Any president with the slightest interest in governing would already know and approve of what his Secretary of State was doing.

He doesn’t fire half his key White House staff in the first nine months, creating utter chaos.

A president who is governing works with his cabinet and staff to develop policy. He doesn’t just tweet new public policy out of the blue – for example, that transgender people can’t serve in the military. His Secretary of Defense is likely to have some thoughts on the matter – and if not consulted might decide to ignore the tweet.

He doesn’t just decide to withdraw from the Paris Accord without any reason or analysis.

A president who is governing works with Congress. He doesn’t just punt to Congress hard decisions – as he did with DACA, the Iran nuclear deal, insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, and details of his tax plan.

He doesn’t tell a crowd of supporters that he’s ended the Clean Power Plan – “Did you see what I did to that? Boom, gone” – when any such repeal requires a legal process, and must then withstand court challenges.

Instead of governing, Donald Trump has been insulting, throwing tantrums, and getting even:

Equating white supremacists with people who protest against them. Questioning the patriotism of NFL players who are peacefully protesting police violence and racism.

Making nasty remarks about journalists, about his predecessor as president, his political opponent in the last election, national heroes like Congressman John Lewis and Senator John McCain, even the mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico.

Or he’s busy lying and then covering up the lies. Claiming he would have won the popular vote if millions hadn’t voted fraudulently for his opponent – without a shred of evidence to support his claim, and then setting up a fraudulent commission to find the evidence.

Or firing the head of the FBI who wouldn’t promise to be more loyal to him than to the American public.

A president’s job is to govern. Trump doesn’t know how to govern, or apparently doesn’t care. So, logically, he’s not President.

2. The second thing we’ve learned is that Trump’s influence is waning.  

Since he lost the popular vote, his approval ratings have dropped even further. One year in, Trump is the least popular president in history with only 37 percent of Americans behind him.

Most Republicans still approve of him, but that may not be for long.

He couldn’t get his pick elected to a Senate primary in Alabama, a state bulging with Trump voters.

Republican senators refused to go along with his repeal of the Affordable Care Act. And they’re taking increased interest in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Business leaders deserted him over his remarks over Charlottesville. They vacated his business advisory councils.

NFL owners have turned on him over his remarks about players. Tom Brady, who once called Trump “a good friend,” now calls him “divisive” and “wrong.”

There’s no question he’s violated the Constitution. There are at least three grounds for impeachment – his violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution by raking in money from foreign governments, his obstruction of justice by firing the head of the FBI, and his failure to faithfully execute the law by not implementing the Affordable Care Act. And a fourth if he or his aides colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.

But both houses of Congress would have to vote for his removal, which won’t happen unless Democrats win control in 2018 or Republicans in Congress decide Trump is a political liability.

3. The third big thing we’ve learned is where the governing of the country is actually occurring.

Much is being done by lobbyists for big business, who now swarm over the Trump administration like honey bees over a hedgerow of hollyhocks.

But the real leadership of America is coming from outside the Trump administration.

Leadership on the environment is now coming from California – whose rules every automaker and many other corporations have to meet in order to sell in a state that’s home to one out of eight Americans.

Leadership on civil rights is coming from the federal courts, which have struck down three different versions of Trump’s travel ban, told states their voter ID laws are unconstitutional, and pushed police departments to stop profiling and harassing minorities.

Leadership on the economy is coming from the Federal Reserve Board, whose decisions on interest rates are more important than ever now that the country lacks a fiscal policy guided by the White House.

Most of the rest of leadership in America is now coming from the grassroots – from people all over the country who are determined to reclaim our democracy and make the economy work for the many rather than the few.

They stopped Congress from repealing the Affordable Care Act.

They’re fighting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s plan to spend taxpayer money on for-profit schools and colleges that cheat their students.

They’re fighting EPA director Scott Pruitt’s crusade against climate science.

And Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s attempts to tear down the wall between church and state.

They’re fighting against the biggest tax cut for the wealthy in American history – that will be paid for by draconian cuts in services and dangerous levels of federal debt.

They’re fighting against the bigotry, racism, and xenophobia that Trump has unleashed.

And they’re fighting for a Congress that, starting with next year’s midterm elections, will reverse everything Trump is doing to America.

But their most important effort – your effort, our effort – is not just resisting Trump. It’s laying the groundwork for a new politics in America, a new era of decency and social justice, a reassertion of the common good.

Millions are already mobilizing and organizing. It’s the one good thing that’s happened since Election Day last year – the silver lining on the dark Trump cloud.

If you’re not yet part of it, join up.

anonymous asked:

(part 1) ur gonna roast me for this but im legit curious why mafia AUs are so bad? im asking in a non confrontational way, i get it romanticizing mafia is wrong, but i also believe that 1)most mafia AUs are a really toned down type of mafia;2)they do make for some interesting kinds of dynamics with fanart and with fics; 3)in a fic specifically u can create your own world and call something mafia and still make it so they don't kill innocent people but only idk members of other gangs or sth

(part 2) plus theyre a way to put ur charas in a completely diff context and see what theyll do. i mean i dont believe that writing ships in a certain context (like mafia) equals romanticizing that context. mafia AUs arent even my fav things to read (in fact i almost never do), im sure many ppl romanticize it and i obvs dont agree with that but im just trying to udnerstand bc i believe fandoms are a way to explore things that we normally wouldnt.

I’m not gonna roast you don’t worry xD okay wait let me check if I replied to this already if yes I’m gonna c/p because it’s half past midnight otherwise I’ll just go at it again wait *checks tags* fff obviously I don’t have a general post but anyway pls read this after you’ve done with my post and then this which is also choke-full of links. plus for a (not nice) laugh: here. AH WAIT I FOUND THE POST.

okay, so, let’s have it out of the way: I have nothing against mob aus or crime aus. I have a problem against calling them mafia AUs because in the US mafia = organized crime at large, in Italy mafia = ACTUAL EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE ACTIVELY HARMFUL. now that I introduced the topic I’ll c/p you the reply I gave to another anon who while discussing the issue pointed out that most writers don’t even know Italian mafia is a thing, which is pretty much on the same discourse so…

*The thing is - in the US it might not be enough of a deal anymore and I honestly do get why people make the mafia = regular mobsters, since the mafia was the first foreign organized crime being exported to the US via italian immigrants (sorry if this sounds horrible in English but I just woke up and I still didn’t have coffee) so I understand that mafia became the umbrella term.But the thing is that - as you said, these people don’t even know that there’s a mafia in Italy anymore or where the word comes from.

 I’m going to link to italiansreclaimingitaly’s tag about the mafia and its perception outside Italy because they posted about this extensively and it’s an excellent resource, but meanwhile I’m gonna do a very short bullet point list and about the topic:

  • Mafia might not be a big deal in the US, but it still is here. We have the beauty of four different mafias (Cosa Nostra - the Sicilian one, camorra which is the one in Campania but has tendrils spread everywhere, the ‘ndrangheta which is in Calabria and the Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia) which are all active [especially camorra and 'ndrangheta] and whose actions have direct impact (negative) on our economy and on our society. Actually mafias are one of the main reasons we’re currently economically fucked up, and if I start talking about how mafia culture keeps some areas literally backwards I could talk about it for three months.
  • There are still people who are killed for standing up against them. These days the most prominent personality is Roberto Saviano who is a writer who dared to put together a book documenting minutely the way camorra works and he’s been living under protection for years by this point. Like, they want him dead because he wrote a book. And I’m sorta sure that he was talking about leaving Italy and going to the US after years of sticking with it here because he can’t take it anymore but I don’t know if it was a taken decision or if it’s still debating it.
  • It wasn’t even thirty years ago that we had the stragi di mafia - in english it’d be something like the mafia slaughters, basically around the beginning of the nineties there were a number of bombs planted by the mafia targeting people who were trying to oppose it including judges Falcone and Borsellino, actually the anniversary of Falcone’s death is like… tomorrow. And they’ve killed people for way longer than that. Here is a list of only Cosa Nostra victims including the ones from the eighties/nineties. And people are still dying because of it. The slaughters I’m referring to are just the ones in the nineties which are enough of a number.
  • They also perpetuate a culture where if you testify against your mafia-employed relatives you’ll be shunned forever. There are women who testified against their families and couldn’t see their children anymore never mind that they weren’t automatically considered a relative anymore the moment they sided against the mafia. Some people have committed suicide after becoming witnesses also because our police force/justice system can be terribly non-supportive in this kind of situation so they got left on their own. Never mind that back in the day - it was the beginning of the nineties? - I recall at least a particular story of - I think, correct me if I remember wrong but I can’t remember the names for the life of me - where this guy testified against the local mafia when he either used to work for them or was forced to pay them the pizzo and in retaliation his six-year old (or five? Anyway he had a son younger than ten for sure) got kidnapped, killed and thrown into acid to dispose of the body. That happened in what, 1993? 1994? It’s pretty much yesterday. And now the camorra is doing the same - there’s a list here of camorra victims among which accidental passerbys that got killed because they were in the way which I can tell just by glancing is not complete. And I’m not even going into the 'ndrangheta. That is to say, here mafia still kills people and cripples our country.

Now, I get that it’s a word, but the point was: let’s say that instead of the Italians the Japanese came to the US first and the umbrella word for organized crime was yakuza rather than mafia and let’s say yakuza was still what it was originally in Japan while in the US it stopped being a big deal and people write yakuza!AU instead of mafia AU. Let’s say someone Japanese gets angry at that and goes like 'listen the yakuza is a real deal it does this this this and that and it’s a plague in our country so can you please at least look it up before writing your fanfic’, which is what had happened way back then when this whole mafia and fanfic thing blew up. A bunch of people told us to get over it because it’s just a word and if it’s a problem in Italy it’s not in the US so why should they care? Now, if we had been Japanese (or Chinese or Russian or Mexican) would they have said the same thing? Considering the general tumblr attitude I’m pretty sure they would have received either an apology or 'this is an important deal let’s keep that in mind’ with signal boost reblogs and stuff. 

It’s the fact that we should get over people not knowing that it’s still a real problem for us and that they can’t take five seconds to google it that is the problem imo. Especially when instead of mafia au you can just say mobsters au or tag it as organized crime and everyone is a lot happier, mostly because as the tag above explains romanticising the mafia is a good thing for them because it means they can act outside Italy with less stigma because everyone thinks that the mafia is dead or not relevant anymore, if I’m explaining myself. (And it’s active outside Italy - like, there was a mafia kill in Germany in 2007 where six people died (sorry the link is in Italian but there isn’t an English wiki page, if you look the city up you’ll find something probably) and it was because of the 'ndrangheta.

I’d really like to not get worked over it because it meant it was a thing of the past y'know, but the problem is that it isn’t and I’d rather spread some awareness in hope some of these writers look it up (because it’s a good thing that people know what mafia is since as stated they have tendrils everywhere - if you read Saviano’s book the entire first chapter is about how camorra regularly deals with Chinese import/export in Italy for one) than shrug and figure that since they’ll think everything is good for fanfic then it’s not even worth my time.*

Now, ^^^ that was the c/p-ed reply that should answer most of your doubts. What I didn’t address was:

im sure many ppl romanticize it and i obvs dont agree with that but im just trying to udnerstand bc i believe fandoms are a way to explore things that we normally wouldnt.

aaaand as we say here in Italy, this is where the donkey falls (sorry we have weird sayings), because in theory there’s nothing wrong with that… except that in 99% of the mafia aus I’ve seen around the thing is that they’re supposed to be cute.

like, I see a lot of shit with TINY MAFIA BOSS STEVE ROGERS with RUSSIAN ENFORCER BUCKY (????? bucky isn’t even russian???) and the yoi thing I saw before had the japanese character being the leader of a russian mafia gang which is… like… guys it doesn’t happen it really doesn’t, and a lot of them re-use wrongly terminology taken from the godfather without context or knowing what the hell it means, and it’s always from the criminals’ pov and they’re somehow seen as criminals doing justice where the police can’t (???) and like… no. mafia bosses/enforcers/employees are bad people period, and at least here if you try to leave or repent they kill your family in retribution. like, not even ten years ago there’s been a woman who used to belong to a mafia family (or one colluded with the mafia) who testified and her entire town/family shunned her and she couldn’t take it anymore and… killed herself drinking acid if I don’t recall wrong. it’s not even special cases. this shit is not funny, it’s not cute, it’s not adorable and it’s not good fodder for your imagine your otp scenario (srsly I saw one like.. let me find it,

LIKE. just look at this shit. in a regular context, the enforcer goes to the show owner to force them to pay a monthly sum to their boss lest they destroy their shop and their lives and their family’s life never mind that mafia culture is deeply homophobic so the mafia enforcer flirting with the shopkeeper is like completely fucking out of the question. I mean, people here like to shit on the sopranos but that show was actually excellent representation of Horrid Criminals Who Were Never Supposed To Be Good People and the small arc that happened when one of tony’s friends turned out to be gay (closeted) was REALLY well done. btw, it ended that when they found out he was gay most of the crowd rejected him and thought badly of him until I think they killed him also for other reasons, but that spiraled from finding out he liked dick. and that’s american mafia that they actually based on well-done research of the culture in Italy it came from, I assure you that here it doesn’t work that differently. like. the shit above is so inaccurate and frankly offensive, it’s like… I get people romanticizing problematic stuff but the thing is that when you tell them that it’s actually offensive you get brushed off as ‘ah well you’re being too sensitive it’s just a word u__u’. now, I’m all for exploring shit we wouldn’t be into, but not like THAT, because that’s like mafia romantic comedy and that’s not how it works. now, you wanna do a fic where the mafia characters are deeply flawed and bad people and the police tries to catch them? fine, great, go ahead. you wanna do a fic where the enforcer above deals with dunno an entire life of internalized homophobia when he finds the shopkeeper attractive and feels conflicted over having to con money out of him and doing horrible shit for a living and maybe understanding that crime isn’t worth it and then he actually collaborates with the police and gets shit from about everyone he knows and loves for that? okay, awesome, go ahead. nothing bad in that.

but the shit above is not exploring things we wouldn’t/writing darkfic, it’s THINKING THAT A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION WHICH IS STILL A THING IN OUR PART OF THE WORLD IS CUTE AND ADORABLE. and that only plays in their favor because it takes the bad aura out of the word and we really should not let that happen. like. that is what is bad about mafia aus and mafia discourse, that people don’t realize the mafia is alive and well and thriving and not a thing that doesn’t exist or a generic word for organized crime.

you wanna write the shit above? okay, CALL IT CRIME AU or mob au, not mafia au.

btw, add-on: idk if I mentioned it in the above post or not, but in case I didn’t, I said that people would balk at the idea of a mexican cartel au. sadly since then I’ve found out a fandom where not only there is one but it’s also extra cutesy and people apparently love it and it has a bunch of kudos/comments and idek I’m not even touching that with a ten foot pole but like… I’ve avoided it and everything that author wrote because to me it’s just… nope. like, nope. if you do mafia aus don’t make them fucking cute. (also: in the same fandom I had to mute a v. famous fanartist whose art I actually liked but did cutesy mafia aus and.. like… haahahhaahahahahaha nah sorry. can’t go there. nope.)

Clashes in Venezuela ahead of Sunday’s election

Rock-throwing Venezuelans braved tear gas and rainstorms on Friday, blocking streets in protest against a legislative superbody to be elected on Sunday that critics call an attempt by President Nicolas Maduro to create a dictatorship.

The election of a constituent assembly has been broadly condemned by countries around the world as a weakening of democracy in a country whose economy has been crippled by recession despite its vast oil resources.

Opposition demonstrators said urgency was increasing as they set up barricades along main roads in the capital, Caracas, pelted by sheets of rain and teargas canisters fired by police.

“If this election happens on Sunday, we lose everything. We lose Venezuela,” said a 23-year-old-woman who identified herself as a student, face covered against the gas, declining to give her name.

Confrontations with security forces, which have left more than 110 dead over the last four months, were modest on Friday as protesters and police were doused by tropical downpours.

The government banned protests from Friday to Tuesday but opposition figure Henrique Capriles called on followers to block streets again on Saturday and to hold protests along the country’s main roads on Sunday.

Venezuelans have been protesting against Maduro to demand he respect the opposition-led Congress and resolve chronic food and medicine shortages that have fueled malnutrition and health problems. (Reuters)

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An anti-government activist is arrested during clashes in Caracas on July 28, 2017. (Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

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Anti-government activists clash with riot police during a protest in Caracas on July 28, 2017. (Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

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A protester shoots a firework from a pipe at the national guard members during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela on July 28, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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A wounded protester receives treatment by paramedics during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela on July 28, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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A member of the national guard fires his shotgun at protesters during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela on July 28, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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Protesters take cover behind home made shields and throw fireworks at the national guard members during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela on July 28, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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A demonstrator is detained at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 27, 2017. (Photo: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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A man receives help after being injured with rubber bullets at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 27, 2017. (Photo: Marco Bello/Reuters)

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A man plays a violin at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 27, 2017. (Photo: Marco Bello/Reuters)

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An anti-government activist is grabbed by a member of the National Guard during clashes in Caracas on July 27, 2017 on the second day of a 48-hour general strike called by the opposition. (Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

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A man with a Venezuelan flag stands in front of riot security forces while rallying against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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A demonstrator throws a tear gas canister at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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Demonstrators take cover at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters)

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Riot security forces pass through a roadblock during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

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A demonstrator receives help at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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A demonstrator is detained at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

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A demonstrator falls down while running away at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

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An opposition demonstrator wearing a mask takes part in an anti-government protest in Caracas, on July 26, 2017. (Photo: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images)

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Demonstrators clash with riot security forces at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

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An injured man receives help at a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

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Anti-government protesters run from advancing Venezuelan Bolivarian National Guard officers on the first day of a 48-hour general strike in protest of government plans to rewrite the constitution, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Ariana Cubillos/AP)

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A demonstrator prepares petrol bombs during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

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A opposition demonstrator uses a sligshot to clash with police during an anti-government protest in Caracas, on July 26, 2017. (Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

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Demonstrators prepare a petrol bomb at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela July 26, 2017. (Photo: Marco Bello/Reuters)

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Demonstrators use a tire on fire to block a street at a rally during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Andres Martinez Casares/Reutes)

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Demonstrators gather at a roadblock during a strike called to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, July 26, 2017. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

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Me, looking at a country whose economy is over 70% privately owned

Yup its socialism alright. It’s also communism, because words don’t mean anything.

finetalpies  asked:

So now my mom is saying we should all vote Green because voting strategically to remove the Liberals is "bad" and also that John Horgan acted like a jerk during the debate and she believes all the crap aboot the NDP ruining the economy. It's frustrating because I know she used to be an NDP voter but suddenly she's gulping down the anti-NDP propaganda. Can you help me out with resources again? I'm specifically looking for the posts talking aboot how the economy actually fared during NDP/Lib govs

Fact Check: Did the NDP really spark a ‘decade of decline’ as Liberals claim? (the answer is mostly no)

This article on the BC NDP in the 1990′s also busts a lot of myths about the economy:

BC’s Economy: Whose Was Best?

Fact: The BC NDP’s economy in the 1990′s was better than Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals were in the 2000′s.

Another account comparing the BC NDP & BC Liberals in power:

ARE THE BC LIBERALS BETTER FISCAL MANAGERS THAN THE NDP?

Pro-tip: The BC NDP come up on top again.

The BC NDP left the BC Liberals with a 1.5 Billion dollar surplus, the BC Liberals lied about it:

Campbell Misled Public on NDP Finances

On the BC Liberal side here’s some resources:

20 times Christy Clark got caught making stuff up about the economy

3 staggering charts show how big the gap between rich and poor is growing in British Columbia

B.C. has Canada’s highest inequality of wealth: report (2014)

B.C. has second-highest poverty rate in Canada: Think tank

Vancouver homeless count reveals 10-year high (2016)

Running on ‘Debt Free BC’ Slogan, Clark’s Liberals Added $10.85 Billion to Debt in Four Years

I think that’s probably good for now. But if you want more resources, let me know.

The Harsh Reality of Student Loans

Reading about the changes in student loan debt, rising interest rates, and horror stories from graduates dealing with paying back these ridiculous loans has my stomach so messed up.

Then we have the oldies and rich folks who lived in an easier time (economy wise) or whose parents had enough money to support their college education saying it’s our fault and we’re just entitled.

Bruh, I’m not a liberal in the least. I might have been years ago but growing up has made me realize the harsh reality of life. I know I chose to take out these loans and go to school. I also know it was the stupidest choice of my entire life, and I still have (hopefully) at least 60 more years of living to do.

I signed that contract and my life vanished at that point. Except I didn’t know it. My parents had no clue how loans worked. I was 18 and obviously stupid as hell. I wasn’t taught in high school about interest rates or paying debt or budgeting or anything. I was only told “you have to go to college to be successful and have a good paying career”. Boy, were these people lying.

I had no idea my college debt would result in me developing severe anxiety before I even graduated. I had no idea the reality of it before I signed that contract.

Also, those contracts make absolutely no sense. They’re written for attorneys and not the general public. I had no idea what I was reading. All I knew was I had to go to college to have a good life. Most people would say they’d do anything to be successful or be happy, am I right? Well, that’s what I did. I signed a contract with a blood sucking parasite also known as a bank. Two of them to be precise.

And guess what? When I realized my mistake, TWO YEARS LATER, you better believed I left the college that I loved and was getting so much experience at to go back home and attend a local school. I have paid out of pocket for the entire last two years of my schooling, totaling over $12,000. All the while only working part time because school takes up my whole life.

But I’m still left with $55k in debt from my first TWO years in college. Because I was uninformed, I was pressured, and I felt I had no other choice at the moment. I admit I made a terrible decision. And that is SO sad.

I believe in education so much. I love learning. I have loved school since I was 6 years old. I was so excited to go to college. And I HATE that it has now become my biggest regret and the biggest cause of my stress. I HATE that I will try my hardest to pave the way for my children to be successful without going to college, or working to save money during their first 18 years of life so they don’t have to feel this pain like I do.

Student loans are the biggest joke ever. All you high school students out there, pay out of pocket if you can. Forget the fun experiences if you want to go. Get your education. Or skip college, go to a trade school, or work on moving up in a basic job that will pay decent. You’ll probably make more money getting $10 an hour working 40 hours than you will getting paid your $18-25 working 50+ hours while you struggle to pay your student debt.

DO YOUR RESEARCH. DONT SIGN THE DANG CONTRACT. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT FIRST. UNDERSTAND THE RAMIFICATIONS OF YOUR DECISION.

sure you’ll get to enjoy college, but that debt will likely stick with you for decades after graduation. That is NOT a burden you want.

To conceptualize globalization adequately, the classical distinction between spatiality and temporality has to be made more relative. Interpreted from what is wrongly considered to be the margins of the world, globalization sanctions the entry into an order where space and time, far from being opposed to one another, tend to form a single configuration. The domestication of global time proceeds by way of the material deconstruction of existing territorial frameworks, the excision of conventional boundaries, and the simultaneous creation of mobile spaces and spaces of enclosure intended to limit the mobility of populations judged to be superfluous. In the regions of the world situated on the margins of major contemporary technological transformations, the material deconstruction of existing territorial frameworks goes hand in hand with the establishment of an economy of coercion whose objective is to destroy “superfluous” populations and to exploit raw materials. The profitability of this kind of exploitation requires the exit of the state, its emasculation, and its replacement by fragmented forms of sovereignty. The functioning and viability of such an economy are subordinated to the manner in which the law of the distribution of weapons functions in the societies involved. Under such conditions, war as a general economy no longer necessarily implies that those who have weapons oppose each other. It is more likely to imply a conflict between those who have weapons and those who have none.
—  Achille Mbembe, “At the Edge of the World: Boundaries, Territoriality, and Sovereignty in Africa”
In the Country of Real and Imagined Labyrinths

We weren’t ready but inevitably we came

to this place, constructed

full of intricate passageways

and blind alleys.

Over the drone of our own discomfort and inward movement,

we heard the sound of prayer

coming from locked rooms—

it made us feel awakened

to the possibilities

as if we could begin again,

speaking a new language

through the bullshit niceties

and accepted forms.  

You throw me a torch,

we move out onto city streets,

it’s almost dusk

I see myself written in the almanac

of your fate

and the prophecy of my zodiac

printed in the local newspaper

right next to the comics

which we choose to read first

putting off the inevitable

work we must permit ourselves—

understanding the inexhaustible connotations

of union and the promise of identity;

exploring, the false starts and dead ends

with words like

Me;

               I;

                               Lost;

You.

It’s here we’re forced to acknowledge the mystery,

the teeth,

their grinning imperfections

and what white lies

seek to tell and hide

in the tradition of interpretations.

 

 II.

There is only one way to interpret

a calamity—

we watched buildings burning.

As we approached,

a fireman stopped us,

everything is secure prior to its collapse,

he muttered from the rubble.

You remembered burning the eggs

three times in one morning

driving smoke through the windows

through real and imagined nomenclatures

of what we called holy,

and we walked

looking for a church

where the alters have not collapsed

in priestly abandonment

god-forlorn and waiting.


III.

It was midnight when the sky broke

and the streetlights candled

small luminescences

on hard-to-pronounce streets.

Feathers lined a network

of alleyways.  Through a window

we saw executives around

a conference table.  We imagined them dreaming strategies

of global markets whose forests

compete in an economy of trade.  I still smell

smoke, you say,

we look but the buildings are gone.

The street peddlers,

their mandolins vibrate into the air

we want it to sound like Bach

or cowboys

but it doesn’t sound like anything, really.

A magician pulls rabbits

from ceramic globes and astronomical clocks

making furry multiplications of meanings

we are now, too tired to work through,

but how happy we are

there are so many interesting people

out on the streets.

Suddenly, there are flights and flights

to our climbing up stairs

that look almost medieval.

I am remembering a story,

I say, of Icarus,

and how he fell into the sea.

 

The sailors remember his body

on the third Sunday of June every year,

their ships

are faint occurrences in his coral eyes

his clam mouth and pebbled hands,

his mind a current

carrying the ocean’s continuation.

I feel we have become a hostility here,

Or at least to ourselves anyway, you say

we notice the walls

graffitied by our need,

our incomprehension and inability

to find the way

any way,

back

to the land of easily understandable things.  


“The nature of New Orleans is to encourage the optimum development of New Orleanians: It’s an environment for a specific life-form, a dreamy, lazy, sentimental, musical one, prey to hallucinations (not visions), tolerant, indolent, and gifted at story telling. This goes against the very grain of American civilization as we know it. We live incongruously in the way of the thrifty, Puritan America whose concerns, including environmental ones, are driven by the logic of economies and planning. We and our ways, are marked for elimination; there is no room in an efficient future for what we embody. This is a city of night, fog and mud, the three elements against which all the might of America is mobilized.”
–Andrei Codrescu, New Orleans Mon Amour, Twenty Years of Writing From The City

Keston Sutherland’s statement for ‘Revolution and/or Poetry’ 

 I 

Once upon a time, Ezra Pound: ‘The common or homo canis snarls violently at the thought of there being ideas which he doesn’t know. He dies a death of lingering horror at the thought that even after he has learned even the newest set of made ideas, there will still be more ideas, that the horrid things will grow, will go on growing in spite of him.’ Earlier but closer to us now, Rosa Luxemburg: ‘No coarser insult, no baser defamation, can be thrown against the workers than the remark “Theoretical controversies are only for intellectuals.”’ The most influential modernist poetry fashioned its aesthetic priorities on the dogmatic basis that the majority of people are stupid. Pound’s assurance to the loyal cognoscenti of BLAST, that ‘of course the homo canis will follow us’ because ‘it is the nature of the homo canis to follow’, is not just a festering scrap of leftover Nietzsche, but also a defamation of working class experience. Its judgment (posing as a rollicking mannerist exercise in fascist ribaldry) is that the power of art to move is the same power that keeps stupid (working class) people unfree. Where it moves, they must follow. Art proves the necessity of blind compulsion. Its power depends on the unequal distribution of intellect as the condition of aesthetic possibility; its immortality depends on the inexorability of that unequal distribution and the power of art to exploit it. Luxemburg’s account of the worker whose living labour is already theoretical is the true blast. What might be the complexion and activity of a poetry that started from the principle that all people are equally intelligent? How might poetry shape its technical priorities and depths of feeling in response to the proposition of Jacques Rancière, that ‘there is inequality in the manifestations of intelligence, according to the greater or lesser energy communicated to the intelligence by the will for discovering and combining new relations; but there is no hierarchy of intellectual capacity’? What would a poetry sound like, how would it move, whose principle is that radical egalitarian activism—activism aimed at abolishing social hierarchies—depends on the communication of energy to the intelligence? 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I do want to say something about the mafia thing real quick. IDK how long ago it was, but it was something I saw. I think when people write mafia AUs, they're not even going off Italian Mafia. They're going off of what they perceive is how the American mafia worked during the time of, say, Al Capone. I don't know how the Italian Mafia works, but I can say that the American mafia isn't a big deal anymore. Most mafia AUs I've ever read are set in the US, during the prohibition era. Very US-centric

Not that the American mafia was glamorous either, but writers generally romanticize. Especially fanfiction writers. I’m not saying it’s cool to make light of things. It’s not. But honestly, I don’t even think most of these writers are even aware that the Italian mafia is a huge deal. I’m not even sure they know there’s an Italian mafia. Writers romanticize a hell of a lot of things. Mobs, war, homelessness, you name it. I guess I just honestly don’t think getting worked over the word.

Yeah you are perfectly on point about what exactly they romanticize when talking about mafia, thought actually that is also kind of a problem because when I see posts praising Al Capone for being ‘the right kind of criminal/a criminal that did things honorably’ I wonder if people have even watched Untouchables in their spare time because he definitely was not. But the thing is - in the US it might not be enough of a deal anymore and I honestly do get why people make the mafia = regular mobsters, since the mafia was the first foreign organized crime being exported to the US via italian immigrants (sorry if this sounds horrible in English but I just woke up and I still didn’t have coffee) so I understand that mafia became the umbrella term.

But the thing is that - as you said, these people don’t even know that there’s a mafia in Italy anymore or where the word comes from. I’m going to link to italiansreclaimingitaly’s tag about the mafia and its perception outside Italy because they posted about this extensively and it’s an excellent resource, but meanwhile I’m gonna do a very short bullet point list and about the topic:

  • Mafia might not be a big deal in the US, but it still is here. We have the beauty of four different mafias (Cosa Nostra - the Sicilian one, camorra which is the one in Campania but has tendrils spread everywhere, the 'ndrangheta which is in Calabria and the Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia) which are all active [especially camorra and 'ndrangheta] and whose actions have direct impact (negative) on our economy and on our society. Actually mafias are one of the main reasons we’re currently economically fucked up, and if I start talking about how mafia culture keeps some areas literally backwards I could talk about it for three months.
  • There are still people who are killed for standing up against them. These days the most prominent personality is Roberto Saviano who is a writer who dared to put together a book documenting minutely the way camorra works and he’s been living under protection for years by this point. Like, they want him dead because he wrote a book. And I’m sorta sure that he was talking about leaving Italy and going to the US after years of sticking with it here because he can’t take it anymore but I don’t know if it was a taken decision or if it’s still debating it.
  • It wasn’t even thirty years ago that we had the stragi di mafia - in english it’d be something like the mafia slaughters, basically around the beginning of the nineties there were a number of bombs planted by the mafia targeting people who were trying to oppose it including judges Falcone and Borsellino. And they’ve killed people for way longer than that. Here is a list of only Cosa Nostra victims including the ones from the eighties/nineties. And people are still dying because of it. The slaughters I’m referring to are just the ones in the nineties which are enough of a number.
  • They also perpetuate a culture where if you testify against your mafia-employed relatives you’ll be shunned forever. There are women who testified against their families and couldn’t see their children anymore never mind that they weren’t automatically considered a relative anymore the moment they sided against the mafia. Some people have committed suicide after becoming witnesses also because our police force/justice system can be terribly non-supportive in this kind of situation so they got left on their own. Never mind that back in the day - it was the beginning of the nineties? - I recall at least a particular story of - I think, correct me if I remember wrong but I can’t remember the names for the life of me - where this guy testified against the local mafia when he either used to work for them or was forced to pay them the pizzo and in retaliation his six-year old (or five? Anyway he had a son younger than ten for sure) got kidnapped, killed and thrown into acid to dispose of the body. That happened in what, 1993? 1994? It’s pretty much yesterday. And now the camorra is doing the same - there’s a list here of camorra victims among which accidental passerbys that got killed because they were in the way which I can tell just by glancing is not complete. And I’m not even going into the 'ndrangheta. 
  • That is to say, here mafia still kills people and cripples our country.

Now, I get that it’s a word, but the point was: let’s say that instead of the Italians the Japanese came to the US first and the umbrella word for organized crime was yakuza rather than mafia and let’s say yakuza was still what it was originally in Japan while in the US it stopped being a big deal and people write yakuza!AU instead of mafia AU. Let’s say someone Japanese gets angry at that and goes like 'listen the yakuza is a real deal it does this this this and that and it’s a plague in our country so can you please at least look it up before writing your fanfic’, which is what had happened way back then when this whole mafia and fanfic thing blew up. A bunch of people told us to get over it because it’s just a word and if it’s a problem in Italy it’s not in the US so why should they care? Now, if we had been Japanese (or Chinese or Russian or Mexican) would they have said the same thing? Considering the general tumblr attitude I’m pretty sure they would have received either an apology or 'this is an important deal let’s keep that in mind’ with signal boost reblogs and stuff. It’s the fact that we should get over people not knowing that it’s still a real problem for us and that they can’t take five seconds to google it that is the problem imo. Especially when instead of mafia au you can just say mobsters au or tag it as organized crime and everyone is a lot happier, mostly because as the tag above explains romanticising the mafia is a good thing for them because it means they can act outside Italy with less stigma because everyone thinks that the mafia is dead or not relevant anymore, if I’m explaining myself. (And it’s active outside Italy - like, there was a mafia kill in Germany in 2007 where six people died (sorry the link is in Italian but there isn’t an English wiki page, if you look the city up you’ll find something probably) and it was because of the 'ndrangheta.

I’d really like to not get worked over it because it meant it was a thing of the past y'know, but the problem is that it isn’t and I’d rather spread some awareness in hope some of these writers look it up (because it’s a good thing that people know what mafia is since as stated they have tendrils everywhere - if you read Saviano’s book the entire first chapter is about how camorra regularly deals with Chinese import/export in Italy for one) than shrug and figure that since they’ll think everything is good for fanfic then it’s not even worth my time. 

Ugh sorry for the rant I didn’t mean for it to get this long /o\ but thanks for giving me the chance to and pointing the fact out because it’s something I’ve suspected for a while so it’s good to have external perspective on it. I just hope that I explained myself decently /o\

I feel like sites like Gaia Online and Neopets are prime examples of why a laisse fair approach to the economy can be absolutely detrimental when there are people whose goal is to earn as much money as possible. The whole notion of buying low and selling higher results in inflation and screwing other people off down the road who come in later. 

anonymous asked:

Forgive me if I missed it but where would you place yourself on the political-economic spectrum? E.g., libertarianism & socialism, fascism & communism?

“Unlike the anti-capitalists of the far Left, New Rightists do not oppose the market or free enterprise per se, only a dog-eat-dog capitalism unaccountable to anything other than the bottom line. As Benoist writes, “I would like to see a society with a market, but not a market society.” Against both the liberal creed of laissez-faire and the Left’s statism, New Rightists favor an organic economic system in which market activity is geared to the general welfare. For this reason, they advocate a “recontextualization” of the economy within “life, society, politics, and ethics” in order to make it a means rather than simply an ends. Long-term development, innovation, and risk-taking enterprises (frowned on by the short-term profit concerns of anonymous managerial boards and institutional investors) would, they claim, actually benefit from a market subordinated to supraeconomic considerations, as such historical opponents of liberal capitalism as Bismarck’s Germany, Henry Carey’s America, Franco’s Spain, or the present East Asian “tigers” demonstrate. Economic freedom and healthy enterprises, they add, cannot long be sustained in atomized, impersonal, and indifferent societies geared solely to economic interests, prone as they are to unrest, uncertainty, and the loss of commonly accepted beliefs.

In rejecting liberalism’s market dogma, whose principal concern is financial speculation, the New Right by no means advocates a Soviet-style command economy (whose impetus, incidentally, was not sociocultural but economic). Guillaume Faye thus argues that while middle- and long-term economic objectives are rightfully the prerogative of the state, since they impinge on the welfare of the entire commonwealth, the execution of national economic strategies ought nevertheless to be in the hands of entrepreneurs free of bureaucratic micro-management. Unlike the present European situation, in which the economy is subject to the predatory laissez-faire forces of the global market, as well as to highly-regulatory, exorbitant-taxing domestic bureaucracies, identitarians propose a “liberal” functioning market, unhampered by unnecessary state controls, supportive of free initiative, protected from foreign interests, but nonetheless subordinate to the national interest.

Similarly, New Rightists emphasize that the “good society” is not necessarily the wealthy one, for the ability to generate the means of existence is hardly the same as the generation of existential “meaning.” Markets may be ideal in facilitating certain kinds of exchanges, but in the higher realms they lack all relevance. A landscape painting sold in a supermarket, for example, may be “economically more efficient” — cheaper to make, easier to distribute, even aesthetically more appealing to the vulgar — than a canvas of John Constable or Claude Lorrain, but to what effect if one loves the real thing? It might likewise make perfect economic sense from a banker’s or manager’s perspective to downsize workforces, divert investments abroad, eliminate national tariffs, and open borders, but healthy communities, with stable tax bases, fairly paid workers, and secure living standards to support family life inevitable pay the price. Above all, the market’s quantitative priorities, emphasizing profits accrued from exchange, rather than the productive needs of the nation, are not even “economically” viable. As Friedrich List, Karl Bücher, Othmar Spann, and certain other Central European economists have shown, liberal economies focused on exchange value are driven by profit and private gratification, not wealth creation. “The power to create wealth [, though,] is more important than wealth itself…[for] prosperity is not a matter of riches or exchanges…but of the degree to which the productive forces are developed.” Markets might therefore generate immense profits for multinational corporations, but, from a societal or national perspective, this has little to do with infrastructural developments, industrial innovations, the training of skilled workforces, or even efficient distribution systems. For once the well-being of individual investors and international financiers, not the productive forces of the nation, are taken as the “bottom line,” the market’s principal concern is no longer the economy, only the self-interest of those seeking to maximize their returns within it.”

— Michael O’Meara, New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe

The history books, which have almost completely ignored the contribution of the Negro in American history, have only served to intensify the Negroes’ sense of white supremacy. All too many Negroes and whites are unaware of the fact that the first American to shed blood in the revolution which freed this country from Britain oppression was a black seaman named Crispus Attucks. Negroes and whites are almost totally oblivious of the fat that it was a Negro physician, Dr, Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the first successful operation on the heart in America, and that another Negro physician, Dr. Charles Drew, was largely responsible for developing the method of separating blood plasma and storing it on a large scale, a process that saved thousands of lives in World War II and has made possible many of the important advances in postwar medicine. History books have virtually overlooked the many Negro scientists and inventors who have enriched American life. Although a few refer to George Washington Carver, whose research in agricultural products helped to revive the economy of the South when the throne of King Cotton began to totter, they ignore the contribution of Norbert Rillieux, whose invention of an evaporating pan revolutionized the process of sugar refining. How many people know that the multimillion-dollar United Shoe Machinery Company developed from the shoe-lasting machine invented in the last century by a Negro from Dutch Guiana, Jan Matzeliger; or that Granville T. Woods, an expert in electric motors, whose many patents speeded the growth and improvement of the railroads at the beginning of this century, was a Negro?

Even the Negroes’ contribution to the music of America is sometimes overlooked in astonishing ways. Two years ago my oldest son and daughter entered an integrated school in Atlanta. A few months later my wife and I were invited to attend a program entitled “music that has made America great.” As the evening unfolded, we listened to the folk songs and melodies of the various immigrant groups. We were certain that the program would end with the most original of all American music, the Negro spiritual. But we were mistaken. Instead, all the students, including our children, ended the program by singing “Dixie.”

As we rose to leave the hall, my wife and I looked at each other with a combination of indignation and amazement. All the students, black and white, all the parents present that night, and all the faculty members had been victimized by just another expression of America’s penchant for ignoring the Negro, making him invisible and making his contributions insignificant. I wept within that night. I wept for my children and all black children who have been denied a knowledge of their heritage; I wept for all white children, who, through daily miseducation, are taught that the Negro is an irrelevant entity in American society; I wept for all the white parents and teachers who are forced to overlook the fact that the wealth of cultural and technological progress in America is a result of the commonwealth of inpouring contributions.

The tendency to ignore the Negro’s contribution to American life and strip him of his personhood is as old as the earliest history books and as contemporary as the morning’s newspaper. To offset this cultural homicide, the Negro must rise up with an affirmation of his own Olympian manhood. Any movement for the Negro’s freedom that overlooks this necessity is only waiting to be buried.

— 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Taken from his last book “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” (1967) (pages 41-43)

theguardian.com
The top 10 words invented by writers

‘Authorisms’ – neologisms coined by authors which have entered the wider language – have been enriching English for centuries.

From Shakespeare to Joseph Heller, Paul Dickson selects his favourites

1. Banana Republic

A politically unstable, undemocratic and tropical nation whose economy is largely dependent on the export of a single limited-resource product, such as a fruit or a mineral. The pejorative term was coined by O Henry (William Sidney Porter) in his 1904 collection of short stories entitled Cabbages and Kings.

2. Beatnik

This one was created by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen in his column of April 2, 1958 about a party for “50 beatniks.” Caen was later quoted, “I coined the word ‘beatnik’ simply because Russia’s Sputnik satellite was aloft at the time and the word popped out.”

3. Bedazzled

To be irresistibly enchanted, dazed or pleased A word that Shakespeare debuts in The Taming of the Shrew when Katharina says: “Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes, that have been so bedazzled with the sun that everything I look on seemeth green.” Several of the websites that track the Bard’s words have, in recent years, commented on the fact that a commercial product called The Be Dazzler had come on the market and was taking some of the shine from the word. The Be Dazzler is a plastic device used to attach rhinestones to blue jeans, baseball caps and other garments. One site commented: “A word first used to describe the particular gleam of sunlight is now used to sell rhinestone-embellished jeans. “

4. Catch-22

The working title for Joseph Heller’s modern classic about the mindlessness of war was Catch-18, a reference to a military regulation that keeps the pilots in the story flying one suicidal mission after another. The only way to be excused from flying such missions is to be declared insane, but asking to be excused for the reason of insanity is proof of a rational mind and bars being excused. Shortly before the appearance of the book in 1961, Leon Uris’s bestselling novel Mila 18 was published. To avoid numerical confusion, Heller and his editor decided to change 18 to 22. The choice turned out to be both fortunate and fortuitous as the 22 more rhythmically and symbolically captures the double duplicity of both the military regulation itself and the bizarre world that Heller shapes in the novel. (“’That’s some catch, that Catch-22’,” observes Yossarian. ‘It’s the best there is,’ Doc Daneeka agrees.’”) During the decades since its literary birth, catch-22, generally lower-cased, has come to mean any predicament in which we are caught coming and going, and in which the very nature of the problem denies and defies its solution.

5. Cyberspace

Novelist William Gibson invented this word in a 1982 short story, but it became popular after the publication of his sci-fi novel Neuromancer in 1984. He described cyberspace as “a graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system.

6. Freelance

i) One who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them. 

ii) An uncommitted independent, as in politics or social life . 

The word is not recorded before Sir Walter Scott introduced it in Ivanhoe which, among other things, is often considered the first historical novel in the modern sense. Scott’s freelancers were mercenaries who pledged their loyalty and arms for a fee. This was its first appearance: “I offered Richard the service of my Free Lances, and he refused them – I will lead them to Hull, seize on shipping, and embark for Flanders; thanks to the bustling times, a man of action will always find employment.”

7. Hard-Boiled

Hardened, hard-headed, uncompromising. A term documented as being first used by Mark Twain in 1886 as an adjective meaning “hardened”. In a speech he alluded to hard-boiled, hide-bound grammar. Apparently, Twain and others saw the boiling of an egg to harden the white and yolk as a metaphor for other kinds of hardening.

8. Malapropism

An incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, often humorous utterance. This eponym originated from the character Mrs Malaprop, in the 1775 play The Rivals by Irish playwright and poet Richard Brinsley Sheridan. As you might expect, Mrs Malaprop is full of amusing mistakes, exclaiming “He’s the very pineapple of success!” and “She’s as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile!” The adjective Malaproprian is first used, according to the OED, by George Eliot. “Mr. Lewes is sending what a Malapropian friend once called a ‘missile’ to Sara.”

9. Serendipity

The writer and politician Horace Walpole invented the word in 1754 as an allusion to Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. Walpole was a prolific letter writer, and he explained to one of his main correspondents that he had based the word on the title of a fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. The three princes were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not looking for.

10. Whodunit

A traditional murder mystery. Book critic Donald Gordon created the term in the July 1930 American News of Books when he said of a new mystery novel: “Half-Mast Murder, by Milward Kennedy – A satisfactory whodunit.” The term became so popular that by 1939, according to the Merriam-Webster website, “at least one language pundit had declared it ‘already heavily overworked’ and predicted it would ‘soon be dumped into the taboo bin.’ History has proven that prophecy false, and whodunit is still going strong.”

mage-marquisearchive-deactivate  asked:

What do you think of Dolly Madison? I know the age difference in her marriage was beyond creepy, but she seems like a pretty cool gal other then that. (she's also smirking in all of her portraits? what's up with that?!)

OKAY LITERALLY I AM GOING TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION BUT I HAVE TO MAKE A QUICK ASIDE AND SAY THAT I MISREAD “DOLLY MADISON” AND THOUGHT YOU SAID “DARTH MAUL” WHICH MADE THE REST OF THE MESSAGE REALLY INCREDIBLY CONFUSING.

I’M GLAD DOLLEY/DOLLIE/DOLLY MADISON SAVED THAT PORTRAIT OF GEORGE WASHINGTON WHEN D.C. WAS BURNED IN THE WAR OF 1812 AND SHE HERSELF SEEMS LIKE A PLEASANT ENOUGH LADY WHO HELPED SHAPE AND DEFINE THE OFFICIAL ROLES OF THE FIRST LADY IN THE OVAL OFFICE, BUT I’M ALSO FORCED TO REMEMBER THAT SHE WAS A SLAVEOWNER AS WELL, ONLY SELLING HER SLAVES TO SETTLE THE DEBTS SHE WAS LEFT WITH AFTER HER HUSBAND’S DEATH. 

MUCH OF MY OPINION OF HER IS INTERTWINED WITH HER HUSBAND JAMES MADISON, HONESTLY. THE AGE DIFFERENCE (17 YEARS) WAS SOMEWHAT CREEPY, BUT ON JAMES’ PART, NOT DOLLY’S, AND GIVEN HOW MUCH TIME JIMBO SPENT STANDING NEXT TO LITERAL CHILD MOLESTER THOMAS JEFFERSON, IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE SMALL POTATOES. 

ONE OF THE REASONS I HAVE TROUBLE WITH DOLLY IS THAT SHE WAS INCREDIBLY LIKABLE AND CHARISMATIC, WHICH DID A LOT TO BOOST THE NUMBERS OF JAMES MADISON AND WHAT IS NOW REFERRED TO AS THE DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY, WHOSE POLICIES TENDED TO PUT AN EMPHASIS ON THE SOUTHERN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY (YOU KNOW THE ONE, WHERE SLAVES DID ALL THE WORK AND THEIR LAZY CAPTORS MADE ALL THE MONEY?) AND EXPANSION INTO THE WEST (THIS DIDN’T BODE WELL FOR THE NATIVE AMERICANS!)

I CAN’T EXACTLY BLAME HER FOR ALL THAT, THOUGH, THAT’S MORE JIM AND TOM’S FAULT, BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT HER REPUTATION AS AN ALTRUIST IS SOMEWHAT MARRED BY THE FACT THAT SHE AND HER HUSBAND OWNED LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF SLAVES AT MONTPELIER, AND THE ONLY SLAVES THEY FREED WERE THE ONES WHO BOUGHT THEIR FREEDOM, AND THE REST WERE SOLD OFF ALONG WITH THE PLANTATION TO COVER THEIR DEBTS

ALSO AS FOR THE SMIRKING I THINK THAT’S JUST WHAT SHE LOOKED LIKE

5

Manila The African Money Of The Slave Trade

Copper was the “red gold” of Africa and had been both mined there and traded across the Sahara by Italian and Arab merchants. The early Portuguese explorers of the 1470s observed that copper bracelets and legbands were the principal money all along the west African coast. They were usually worn by women to display their husband’s wealth. The Portuguese crown contracted with manufacturers in Antwerp and elsewhere to produce crescent rings with flared ends of wearable size which came to be called “manilla,” after the Latin manus (hand) or from monilia, plural of monile (necklace).

Although Gold was the primary and abiding merchandise sought by the Portuguese, by the early 16th century they were participating in the slave trade for bearers to carry manillas to Africa’s interior, and gradually Manillas became the principal money of this trade. By the end of the 1500s the Portuguese had been shouldered aside by the British, French, and Dutch, all of whom had labor-intensive plantations in the West Indies, and later by the Americans whose southern states were tied to a cotton economy . A typical voyage took manillas and utilitarian brass objects such as pans and basins to West Africa, then slaves to America, and cotton back to the mills of Europe.

The Africans of each region had names for each variety of manilla, probably varying locally. They valued them differently, and were notoriously particular about the types they would accept. The price of a slave, expressed in manillas, varied considerably according to time, place, and the specific type of manilla offered. Internally, manillas were the first true general-purpose currency known in west Africa, being used for ordinary market purchases, bride price, payment of fines, compensation of diviners, and for the needs of the next world, as burial money. Cowrie shells, imported from Melanesia and valued at a small fraction of a manilla, were used for small purchases. In regions outside coastal west Africa and the Niger river a variety of other currencies, such as bracelets of more complex native design, iron units often derived from tools, copper rods, themselves often bent into bracelets, and the well-known Handa (Katanga cross) all served as special-purpose monies.

4

April 9th 1865: The American Civil War ends

On this day in 1865, 150 years ago, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union general Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, thus ending the civil war that had ravaged America since 1861. Sectional tensions over slavery, which had existed since the nation’s founding, came to boiling point with the election of the anti-slavery Republican Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860. The outraged Southern states feared the government would attempt to emancipate their slaves, whose labour provided the basis for the Southern economy, and thus seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Hopes for peace were dashed when shots were fired upon the Union Fort Sumter in April 1861, and the nation descended into civil war. The Confederacy, largely led by General Lee, initially had great success and defeated the Union in key battles including at Manassas and Fredericksburg. However, the Union’s superior resources and infrastructure ultimately turned the tide of war in their favour, crushing the Confederates at Gettysburg and with the destruction of Sherman’s march to the sea. Lee surrendered to Grant when hope of Confederate victory was lost, though Grant - out of respect for Lee and his desire for peaceful reconciliation -  defied military tradition and allowed Lee to keep his sword and horse. While more armies and generals had yet to surrender, Lee’s surrender essentially marked the end of the deadliest war in American history, which left around 750,000 dead. Union victory ensured the abolition of slavery, opening up questions about what was to be the fate of the four million freedpeople. These debates, as well as how to treat the seceded states and how to negotiate their readmission into the Union, defined the challenges of the postwar Reconstruction era. The Civil War remains a pivotal moment in American history and in many ways, 150 years later, the nation is still struggling to unite the sections and cope with the legacy of slavery. 

“The Confederates were now our countrymen, and we did not want to exult over their downfall.”
- Grant upon Lee’s surrender

150 years ago

I have to point out that I am an American negro. And I live in a society whose social system is based upon the castration of the black man, whose political system is based upon castration of the black man, and whose economy is based upon the castration of the black man.

A society which, in 1964, has more subtle, distinctive, deceitful methods to make the rest of the world think that it’s cleaning up it’s house, while at the same time, the same things are happening to us in 1964 that happened in 1954, 1924. They came up with a civil rights bill in 1964, supposedly to solve our problem, and after the bill was signed, three civil rights workers were murdered in cold blood. And the FBI head, Hoover, admits that they know who did it, they’ve known ever since it happened, and they’ve done nothing about it. Civil rights bill down the drain.

No matter how many bills pass, black people in that country, where I’m from, still our lives are not worth two cents. And the government has shown its inability, or either its unwillingness to do whatever is necessary to protect black property where the black citizen is concerned. So my contention is that whenever a people come to the conclusion that the government, which they have supported, proves itself unwilling, or proves itself unable to protect our lives and protect our property, because we have the wrong color skin, we are not human beings unless we ourselves band together and do whatever, however, whenever, is necessary to see that our lives and our property is protected, and I doubt that any person in here would refuse to do the same thing if he were in the same position, or I should say were he in the same condition.

Just one step farther to see if I am justified in this stance, and I am speaking as a black man from America which is a racist society. No matter how much you hear it talk about democracy, it’s as racist as South Africa or as racist as Portugal or as racist as any other racialist society on this earth. The only difference between it and South Africa, South Africa preaches separation and practices separation, America preaches integration and practices segregation. This is the only difference, they don’t practice what they preach, whereas South Africa practices and preaches the same thing. I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.

— 

Malcolm X, Oxford Union Debate, Dec 1964

Half a century on and not a damn thing has changed.