1. Canadian Naomi Klein--sort of a younger, spunkier, more photogenic version of Noam Chomsky--says we should all Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump's Disaster Capitalism. The article, published by The Intercept, begins:
We already know that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst; security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home; weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.
All this is dangerous enough. What’s even worse is the way the Trump administration can be counted on to exploit these shocks politically and economically.
Speculation is unnecessary. All that’s required is a little knowledge of recent history. Ten years ago, I published “The Shock Doctrine,” a history of the ways in which crises have been systematically exploited over the last half century to further a radical pro-corporate agenda. The book begins and ends with the response to Hurricane Katrina, because it stands as such a harrowing blueprint for disaster capitalism.
That’s relevant because of the central, if little-recalled role played by the man who is now the U.S. vice president, Mike Pence.
The rest of it is well worth reading for a number of reasons, whether you just want to have a better understanding of the ideological underpinnings of those who currently find themselves at the Commanding Heights of this radical new American regime, or just want to give yourself a series of terrifying nightmares.
2. This Economist article tries to explain why Russia is about to decriminalize domestic abuse. If you don't like giving clicks to the Economist, here's the most important part:
The debate began in 2016, when the government decriminalised battery, the least violent form of assault on the Russian statute books. Russia is one of three countries in Europe and Central Asia that do not have laws specifically targeting domestic violence. Instead it is treated like other forms of assault, ignoring the fact that spouses and children are more vulnerable than other victims. But when it decriminalised battery last June, the Duma decided to exempt domestic abuse, instead making it subject to the same two-year maximum sentence as racially motivated offences.
That pleased civil-society groups that had been pushing for tougher rules. But the Russian Orthodox Church was furious. Scripture and Russian tradition, the church said, regard “the reasonable and loving use of physical punishment as an essential part of the rights given to parents by God himself”. Meanwhile, conservative groups worried that parents might face jail. They argued that it was wrong for parents to face harsher punishment for hitting their child than a neighbour would.
Under pressure from such groups, deputies have put forward a bill that makes the first instance of poboi—battery that does not do lasting harm—an administrative violation carrying a fine of 30,000 roubles ($502), community service or a 15-day detention. It also returns the crime to the realm of “private prosecution”, where the victim is responsible for collecting evidence and bringing a case. Repeat offences would be criminal infractions, but only within a year of the first, giving abusers a pass to beat relatives once a year.
3. "I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah". Quite a mouthful, isn't it? It's a title that brings to mind both classic "Red Scare" propaganda, as well as those "I Was a Teen Age Whatsis" drive-in science-fiction flicks of the 1950's. Unfortunately, there's nothing funny about Kieran Darkwater's description of her rising anxiety on Election Day, nor about the reason for her anxiety. As she explains:
I grew up in the far-right evangelical conservative (Christofascist) movement; specifically, I was homeschooled and my parents were part of a subculture called Quiverfull, whose aim is to outbreed everyone for Jesus. I spent my teen years being a political activist. I was taught by every pastor I encountered that it was our job as Christians to outbreed the secularists (anyone not a far-right evangelical Protestant) and take over the government through sheer numbers. I was part of TeenPact, Generation Joshua and my local Teenage Republicans (TARS).
When the Tea Party rose in 2009, that was my culture. The Tea Party was step one. I was laying the groundwork for those elections in 2006. These people didn’t come out of the blue like it seemed. This plan, this Christofascist takeover of the US government, has been in the works for decades. When evangelical conservatism started becoming popular and more mainstream around the 1970s, the foundation was being laid for the tragedy playing out right now.
Evangelical conservatives started taking over their local republican parties and founding organizations like Operation Rescue, Homeschool Legal Defense Association, Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, just to name a few.
From that point on, Kieran goes into some deep history, providing plenty of links and evidence to back up her claims, some of which may be startling to those of you who haven't been reading the Dirt, in its various iterations, over most of the past 2 decades. So I suggest you click through, read it, and help spread it around. When you do, I think you'll have to agree with her conclusions about the only proper reaction to all this:
They will not be won over with sit-downs and respectability politics. This kind of dogma cannot be reasoned with; it must be fought against. Trying to convince them to come to the other side is a waste of time unless they’ve already started on that journey themselves. The ones in power, actively harming our lives, are past this point. We can only fight back.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"It’s like being actually led into the Promised Land by Moses."
- Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) talking about guess who.
- As always, if you're interested in historical oddities, trivia about secret societies, political assassinations, paranormal events and other assorted weirdness, be sure to check in with our sister-site, the Useless Eater Blog, for a daily rundown! For instance, did you know that it was on this day in 1987 that CIA director William J. Casey stepped down after six years spent managing Black Ops, Wet Ops and Psy Ops for the Bush/Reagan regime? It was quite the lucky break for Poppy Bush that, only a short time later, Casey should die two days before he was scheduled to testify in the Iran/Contra hearings!
- If you missed our link to Vic Berger's latest video editing masterpiece, which we ran earlier today, then by all means be sure to go back and check it out! As a matter of fact, you might do well to open up the entire Daily Dirt Diaspora website by just clicking on our graphic banner. Do so, and you'll soon have ten days' worth of Dirt served up on a single page!