I would like to propose a constitutional amendment that prohibits Sen. Ted Cruz (F-TX)1 from speaking or tweeting for seven days after a national tragedy. I’d also be fine with an amendment that prohibits him from speaking ever. The “F” designation stands for Fascist. The party to which Cruz nominally belongs is more aligned with WW2-era Axis dictatorships than those of a legitimate free civil democracy. ↩︎
From an article recently on the BBC Russian Service: Блокировка уходящего президента США в “Твиттере” и “Фейсбуке” привела к необычной ситуации: теоретически Трамп еще может начать ядерную войну, но не может написать твит. “Blocking the outgoing U.S. President from Twitter and Facebook has led to an unusual situation: theoretically Trump can still start a nuclear war, but cannot write a Tweet." In only a week, he won’t be able to do either.
That “reality bubbles” contribute heavily to increasing political polarization is well-known. Customized media diets at scale and social media feeds that are tailored to individual proclivities progressively narrow our understanding of perspectives other than our own. Yet, the cures are difficult and uncertain. Often, though, we’re advised to consume media from the other side of the political divide. A sentence from a recent piece in The Atlantic encapsulates why I think this is such a fraught idea:
EU to ban Americans over coronavirus / John McCain’s 2008 campaign manager with a brutal commentary on Trump.
Share of wealth held by 35 year-olds of different generations has declined strikingly.
He tells them every single day not to trust anyone, not to believe in the healing power of love and redemption and peace.
Books and podcasts that I’ve been cogitating about.
Opposite day Trump lawyer and all-around whackadoodle Rudy Guiliani claims he’s the most ethical person ever. Of course, his association with one of the least ethical people ever suggests otherwise. Thus, it prompts me to articulate “Duncan’s Law.” Succinctly stated, if someone claims absolute superiority in some particular characteristic, his actual performance in that characteristic is actually somewhere between average and the least performant.
Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke exploring role as Fox News contributor - sounds about right. Yes, the guy who rode into D.C. on a horse. Please find the man a sad horse to ride home.
Trumphannity Yes. Yes, they’ve done a fine job for “you”. But what about the rest of us? Moreover, what about the “us” in perpetuity, those who will have to deal with the erosion of civic norms? I’m an atheist, but I’m familiar enough with the Christian canon that this photograph of “President” Trump with “journalist” Sean Hannity reminded me of a verse from the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 16, verse 26):