Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
May 31, 2022

Why Canadians Are Warning About the Collapse of American Democracy

Why Canadians Are Warning About the Collapse of American Democracy
Bought-off Republican stooges in Congress and state legislatures — along with their allies on the Supreme Court — are openly trying to bring our country down, to destroy a 240-year-old democracy...

Thom Hartmann
31 min ago

Tucker Carlson and Fox “News,” rightwing billionaires, a bought-off Supreme Court, polluting industries, and the politicians they all own have screwed up America so bad that Canada — Canada, for G-d’s sake! — is worrying about us.

Until about eight months ago, Vincent Rigby was the National Security and Intelligence Advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Now, instead of just warning PM Trudeau, he’s joined a top-shelf group of national security experts to warn all of Canada.

He’s warning them about us.

In a new report prepared for both the Canadian public and national security and police officials across the country, Rigby and his colleagues argue that if Donald Trump (or, presumably, somebody similar to him) becomes president of the US in the 2024 election, all bets are off.

As Thomas Juneau, co-director of the task force and associate professor at the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC):

“When we think about threats to Canada, we think about the Soviet military threat, we think about al-Qaeda, we think about the rise of China, we think about the war in Ukraine. All of these are true.

“But so is the rising threat to Canada that the U.S. poses. That's completely new. That calls for a new way of thinking and new way of managing our relationship with the U.S.”


Tucker Carlson called Justin Trudeau a “Stalinist dictator” and claimed the progressive Prime Minister had “suspended democracy and declared Canada a dictatorship.”

Canadians take that sort of thing seriously: when America’s top cable host tells such vicious lies about their nation and its elected leaders, they worry about what may come next.

Carlson, after all, has promoted the White Replacement Theory that led to the recent murders in Buffalo, New York; how many killings might similar rhetoric spark in Canada if they were directed against residents of that nation? ............(more)


May 31, 2022

The NRA Is Shrinking. Its Politics Are Stronger Than Ever.

The NRA Is Shrinking. Its Politics Are Stronger Than Ever.
On the scene at the group’s annual convention in Houston, Texas.

MAY 30, 20225:00 PM

At the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Friday, National Rifle Association members spent hours in line, waiting to be cleared by the Secret Service to enter the marquee political event of the group’s annual convention. Chairs were distributed along the queue so that attendees, who skewed conspicuously white and old, could get off their feet as they waited to hear from NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and former President Donald Trump.

There were some children waiting, too. One, a blond-haired toddler, played with a plastic key fob shaped as a semi-automatic rifle, which his mother had given him as a distraction. He dropped it to the ground, leading a short, gray-haired man in a Trump hat and American flag shirt to declare in mock surprise, “He’s got a gun!” The boy’s mother laughed, “What’s wrong with kids today!,” she said. “But you can’t joke, not with what’s happened.” She handed the fob to the boy, who put it in his mouth to teeth on.

As the line advanced, protesters became visible through a wall of glass that looked across the street, Avenida De Las Americas. The man in the Trump hat warned his neighbors to “never trust the federal government” and to be careful about those who — like the protestors — claim to be into peace. “They are the most terrifying people you ever want to meet,” he said. “And you cannot argue with them.”

Nearby, a man wore a shirt that declared: Alex Jones Was Right! (Jones fueled the conspiracy theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.)

Once inside the assembly hall, where firearms and other weapons were banned, a series of speakers that included LaPierre, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and Trump followed a script the gun group has honed following mass shootings — in this instance the killing of 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school three days earlier in Uvalde, Texas, less than 300 miles away. The speakers offered words of mourning, spoke of the shooter’s depravity, and insisted that stricter controls on firearms were an assault on liberty and had no role in preventing such bloodshed. .............(more)


May 31, 2022

Now the far right is coming for college too -- with taxpayer-funded "classical education"

Now the far right is coming for college too — with taxpayer-funded "classical education"
Republicans are channeling tax dollars to right-wing institutes at colleges across the nation. What's the endgame?

PUBLISHED MAY 31, 2022 6:00AM (EDT)

(Salon) Last fall, when professors at Flagler College, a private liberal arts school in St. Augustine, Florida, gathered for a faculty senate meeting, they learned that the college administration had worked with their local legislator to propose a new academic center on campus, the Flagler College Institute for Classical Education. To administrators, it was an exciting prospect: the chance to receive $5 million from the state to shore up their "first year seminar," a universal core curriculum for incoming freshmen intended to help students, particularly first-generation students, prepare for the rigors of college.

But some faculty members felt concerned, reading between the lines in a state that has become ground zero for the nation's education debates — where Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump-style Republican with his eyes on the White House, has imposed gag orders and mandates on K-12 schools and described universities as "hotbeds of stale ideology" and "indoctrination factories."

Flagler's institute would, the proposal said, promote "free inquiry" and "critical thinking," which struck some faculty members as a confusing restatement of what was already their primary job. Then there was the promise to promote "a balanced world-view," "the value and responsibilities of citizenship," or what the college's president characterized as classical education without an "ideological slant," which sounded like potentially coded language for the sorts of measures DeSantis and his allies had been promoting.


While the outcome at Flagler is still unclear on multiple levels, there were legitimate reasons for faculty to be alarmed, given the range of recent conservative assaults on public education, particularly but not exclusively in Florida. At a number of prominent colleges and universities around the country, big-money conservative interests are proposing and creating a roster of educational centers dedicated to conservative ideology or laissez-faire economics, often wrapped in the language of "classical education," "civics" or "freedom." The concept in itself isn't new; right-wing philanthropists have been creating academic programs in their own image for decades. But these days, the model has been adopted by Republican-led legislatures too, effectively using taxpayer dollars to implant conservative ideology in public institutions.

"It's not that the faculty suspect the administration is scheming or duplicitous in any way," said Flagler history professor Michael Butler, director of the school's African American studies program. "The concern is that the culture wars of 2022 are moving into higher education, and we're not sure what that means for Flagler College. This proposal does not come in a vacuum." ............(more)


May 31, 2022

Man exposes himself, defecates in surf shop, police say

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. - A Treasure Island surf shop had quite a mess to clean up after police say a Lakeland man defecated on its floor and used a shirt to wipe up.

According to the Treasure Island Police Department, Gary Peter Bush, 69, walked into the Surf Style shop, located at 10701 Gulf Blvd., exposed his genitalia and proceeded to defecate on the floor near the dressing room.

Witnesses told police Bush wiped himself with a shirt belonging to the store, creating a biohazard out of the top.

Bush was arrested later in the day after being recognized by the store manager. ........(more)


May 31, 2022

Florida man Corey Anderson threatened to go to 'nearest school' with weapons: sheriff

A Florida man posted images of himself suggesting he was heavily armed and headed to the “nearest school,” according to authorities over the weekend.

Corey Anderson, 18, was arrested Sunday at a home in Lutz after authorities received a tip earlier in the day that he had made the online threat while posting photos of himself with what appeared to be a rifle, handgun and tactical-style vest, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The photo was accompanied by a caption that read, “Hey Siri, directions to the nearest school,” authorities said.


Anderson of Lutz was charged with threatening to conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism. His bond was set at $7,500. Anderson was no longer listed as in custody early Monday, jail records show. It’s unclear if he’s hired a lawyer. ............(more)


May 30, 2022

What makes us subconsciously mimic the accents of others in conversation

What makes us subconsciously mimic the accents of others in conversation
"Linguistic convergence” is something you’ve likely done at some point

PUBLISHED MAY 30, 2022 9:00AM

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Have you ever caught yourself talking a little bit differently after listening to someone with a distinctive way of speaking?

Perhaps you'll pepper in a couple of y'all's after spending the weekend with your Texan mother-in-law. Or you might drop a few R's after binge-watching a British period drama on Netflix.

Linguists call this phenomenon "linguistic convergence," and it's something you've likely done at some point, even if the shifts were so subtle you didn't notice.

People tend to converge toward the language they observe around them, whether it's copying word choices, mirroring sentence structures or mimicking pronunciations.


What, exactly, is convergence?

But before getting into the specifics, let's talk about what convergence is and how it's related to other speech adjustments like code-switching, which refers to alternating between language varieties, or style-shifting, which happens when a person uses different linguistic features in different situations.

Convergence refers to the shifts people make to their speech to approximate that of those around them. This is an intentionally broad definition meant to encompass all sorts of adjustments, whether intentional or inadvertent, prominent or subtle, or toward entire dialects or particular linguistic features. .............(more)


May 27, 2022

After Buffalo and Uvalde, America feels broken: Where do we go from here?

After Buffalo and Uvalde, America feels broken: Where do we go from here?
Feeling grief, confusion and despair right now is normal. How do we turn that into something constructive?

PUBLISHED MAY 27, 2022 6:30AM

(Salon) America is in big trouble. I think we all feel that way.

The country will not somehow "be fine" or find healing any time soon. Do not listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. They are lying to you. Although the clinical language may not apply perfectly, it feels as though we are experiencing a national nervous breakdown, a collective mental health crisis on a grand scale. It feels both societal and personal.

Less than two weeks ago in Buffalo, an apparent white supremacist terrorist killed 10 Black people at a supermarket. Ten days later in Uvalde, Texas, a deranged gunman attacked an elementary School, killing 19 children and two teachers. In both cases, the shooters used the AR-15 assault-style rifle, for all intents and purposes the same weapon used by the U.S. military. It fires standard 5.56mm bullets, which would typically strike the human body at a speed of 3,251 feet per second with 1,300 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. Some of the parents in Uvalde had to provide DNA samples so their children could be identified.

Both alleged killers were 18 years old. What personal, social or psychological emptiness leads such a young person to commit such a horrific act? We look for answers and do not find them.

We know that too many Americans love guns more than they love children, or life itself. They are possessed by the totemic power of the gun and what it represents in American history and society. Guns provide a temporary cure for death anxiety by conferring the ability to deliver death to others. These pathological attachments are camouflaged by all sorts of nonsensical rhetoric about "freedom." It is almost too perverse to be credible: The "freedom" to own as many guns as one wants trumps the freedom to live without reasonable fear of dying by gunfire.


Thomas Lecaque is an associate professor of history at Grand View University where he specializes in apocalyptic religion and political violence. His essays and other writing have been featured in the Washington Post, Religion Dispatches, the Bulwark and Foreign Policy.

We live in a country where half of the 500 or so people who make all the laws that govern this nation are begging the other half to help them save lives, and yet, no matter how many children die in a classroom, no matter how many people are murdered in a grocery store, no matter how many bodies pile up, the other half will say "thoughts and prayers," wash their hands of the whole affair and collect their 30 pieces of silver from the NRA. And we accept that this is a society. That this is a nation worth saving. That the Golden Calf that the Second Amendment has become to the right is worthy of the sacrifice of innocents, day after day, week after week, my entire life. ..............(more)


May 20, 2022

Pine Knob welcomes new marquee, full concert season as it turns 50 and reclaims old name

(Detroit Free Press) A quiet spring Friday in Clarkston was the prelude to a loud summer ahead.

Officials with 313 Presents staged a media event to herald the return of Pine Knob Music Theatre, a milestone anniversary and the arrival of the first full concert season since 2019.

A new marquee bearing the old Pine Knob name greeted guests heading onto Bob Seger Drive off Sashabaw Road, as the historic amphitheater returned to its original moniker after two decades as DTE Energy Music Theatre.

When the season kicks off next Friday with New York AJR — the first of nearly 50 shows — fans will find a venue teeming with signage sporting the Pine Knob logo and commemorations of the amphitheater’s 50th anniversary.

“How fun it is to say ‘Welcome back to Pine Knob Music Theatre,’ ” said 313 Presents President Howard Handler. ................(more)


May 20, 2022

Scammers and price gougers are taking advantage of desperate parents seeking baby formula

(Salon) Just as Terri Bair's second son was born, baby formula maker Abbott Laboratories issued a huge recall of its baby formula products. The recall, which occurred in February of 2022, included several lots of Abbott's Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas, and occurred after two infants died and some reported bacterial infections.

When Bair heard about this, she was disappointed, but didn't fret too much: she preferred Similac, but didn't mind a more generic brand, which was in stock.

Until two weeks ago.


Bair turned to a Facebook group called Moms Helping Moms: Formula Shortage Donations, specifically designed to help parents find formula during this shortage, where she came across a post from a man selling extra formula cans he had in his possession. She paid him the shipping fee, and within an hour she had the tracking number. The transaction worked: a couple days later, she had the formula in her hands.

Then she saw another post from a woman who claimed to lived in a small town whose stores were well-stocked with formula. Bair asked her if she'd seen any Enfamil Gentlease.


Bair sent her money on PayPal for formula, and later another PayPal payment for shipping costs, which totaled $22.32. The woman sent Bair a tracking number. Later when Bair checked the status on her delivery, the update only said that a label had been created. The status didn't change the next day, nor the next, nor the next. Other members of the group connected with Bair, put the pieces together, and realized that they were being scammed. When Bair repeatedly asked for her money back, the seller blocked her on Facebook Messenger. .................(more)


May 20, 2022

Man in ape mask used sledgehammer to rob laundromat, deputies say

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man was arrested Tuesday for using a sledgehammer to steal over $800 from a laundromat.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said around 10:45 on May 8 Michael Justin Rowe, 32, and Taylor Marie Farrell, 34, went into a laundromat. Pictures show Rowe was wearing an ape mask and holding a sledgehammer.

Rowe used the sledgehammer to smash a coin change machine, taking about $800 from it, deputies said. ...........(more)


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 77,252
Latest Discussions»marmar's Journal