Reading the coverage of Donald Trump’s latest philippic calling for the prohibition of Muslims traveling to the United States, I noted that some reporters and commentators mentioned Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, his imagining of a United States taken over by a fascist dictator.
It can't happen here...
but something else could.
The United States has always been a cauldron of anti-intellectualism and Know-nothingism.
So deep is the unreason in present society and consciousness, so consistent is my experience of it, that i (joke?) that communication between humans is not possible...
Props to those here who strive to base their comments, understanding and action in reality. My apology for falling prey to my own lack of discernment, and degrading threads by sniping unreasonably with unreason. Despite falling into it, i will pick myself up again, and practice careful and intentional contribution...
Not that you are wrong but years ago I learned that I was lucky that I had a job that allowed me to listen on the radio to news shows, NPR, the BBC, Pacifica etc. I could also spend hours at night reading news sites like CD etc. It was my habit to read several newspapers every day and chat with news junkies whenever.
One day I was struck at how much time (which for me was available) I spent studying the news. Most people did not. Their days were spent away from the news for the most part. Only writers, reporters, news junkies and policy wonks kept up with the daily barrage of news like I did.
Okay... maybe my wife let me have a broadside one day and pointed out to me that I had the time to be a news junkie and she didn't nor do most people.
I remember when I was a youngling that adults would socialize and one individual would 'concentrate' on a story or an event and they would 'inform' the others (eating bagels and crumb cake on a weekend evening) about what they had learned. I never realized that that socialization was also a collective study group (plus a deplorable amount of gossip) in action.
Every block had their social group whereas we have our websites instead. This forum is a news junkie social group. Most people don't have one and lose interest when they fall behind or can't keep up. I'm thinking the majority of people here are retired or at home a lot. Or they are pros in one way or another. No one else has the time anymore to study the news.
So where's the crumb cake?
I doubt any person younger than fifty has even heard of Sinclair Lewis and these days few kids at all seem to read books or to understand even how to do it. It is an ongoing battle to get kids to read now as books seem so passive compared to video games and the like. I try to encourage them to read the stories and add the emotion that is behind the words. Frankly if reading is boring, the truth is a lot more likely to indicate that they are the ones who are boring because, as Gertrud Stein is said to have said about Oakland, 'there's no there, there.' IOW of a lack of active content inside their heads.
I have spent most of my adulthood raising kids, going to college, working, and taking care of an ailing husband. When I got bitten by the Obama bug in 2008 I started reading various online news sites to see how he was doing; I have been cured of my disease for many years now, but I am still addicted to the news sites; thankfully, I found some good sites that actually tell what's really going on. I think you're right about the regular commenters on sites like this one having become a 'study group' of sorts -- one of my fellow students' wrote her Master's thesis on bloggers and the 'community' that they create. I never considered having a blog of my own when I was working on my Master's but now I have one.
One last point -- many of us on these sites seem to open up more with our fellow commenters than we do with people at work, or school, etc -- I have shared much more about my life online than I ever have with 'real' people.
Everyone here, if of an age (and an era that is now long past), was permanently affected by the trauma of unexpressed political argument during the those heady anti Viertnam War/ pro civil rights/pro women's rights/ pro rights in general Sixties!
We came of age hearing "I don't want to talk about the war!" and "I don't want to argue about equal rights!" and so forth.
To say this inability to rant and vent adequately bugged us to no end for decades afterwards does not fully explain the high divorce rate of the peace and love generation which despite all the peace and the love was just as bad as any other generation.
The reason why study groups sounded wonderful but proved mostly theoretical and illusory was that everyone thought is was a wonderful idea to hold the floor and lecture people about what they had painstakingly learned but nobody wanted to sit there and listen to anybody else while waiting their turn.
Along comes the internet where in those early days people mistakenly thought they could communicate with others in chat rooms and eventually blog sites.
CD was an early one that tried to communicate often rarely heard left voices. Enter the professional left and worse... (ahem)... the dedicated community forum where all may say and few may listen.
We are amazingly enamored of seeing our words and having them responded to by others. Equally amazing is how angry some people get when others disagree with them or fail to come around to their way of thinking.
If you ask someone about freedom of speech they will agree unless you don't agree with them in that case they don't want you to say so.
What do you mean that you don't believe that the Illuminati control all battery powered flashlights? What do you mean that the fall of the Roman empire has nothing to do with lack of public transit in Omaha? You must be a troll! Etc. etc.
The problem is of course that if everyone has a blog then who will read that many blogs?
So we (if we are lucky) find a group that thinks and is willing to say so in a forum. Are there really so few of us since we seem to come from all over? Maybe all the sites have a similar number.
In any case ... this is our study group and like any good study group...lol ... we do like to argue, to nit pick, to pick at, to quibble and dribble etc etc.
Wolfess - we have met the political pains in the ___ and they are us!
Always were us too lol.
I like it. Where else can you find people to talk politics because they want to talk politics?
Just don't call it a study group... because someone will start arguing about the characterization!
When I first started college, my history instructor encouraged all of us to get into study groups -- I loved it b/c my notes were the ones they all followed, in fact, the instructor said that he had students who would pay for my notes As my years in school progressed, study groups fell by the wayside so I guess we outgrew them -- the emojies are broken ...
I didn't learn to hate war until the last few years and when my peers were protesting Vietnam I was having babies and trying to understand why Mike behaved the way he did. It took a lot of years for me to realize that most of my adult experiences were tied to Vietnam and all the hell war is. The Mike that I married came back completely different, and our kids never had a chance so now I rail against the things that should be done differently -- it's that old quote: those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it; I don't want the current generation to repeat our goof-ups.
Now, I don't have any crumb cake, but I did bake brownies yesterday!
Welcome to our study group ( Brownies!!! Really? Um? Here I saved you a seat next to me...lol)
"What would say was the cause of death doctor?"
"Suicide by brownie! Old coot knew better but he darn near ate a dozen!"
By the way, my brownies have chocolate chunks and cream cheese pudding in them, and cream cheese frosting on top.
So did my brownies, which is why I have the arteries of an Egyptian mummy. I need cap and trade for my cholesterol!
I found real cheesecake (one box mix + four eggs + one for the mix + a full pound of creamcheese + sugar and vanilla) brownies were a good reason to have a heart attack...lol. I liked adding raisins ...yum.
One day I was making them (in case of an emergency) and realized I hadn't enough raisins. Luckily I had a some emergency rasinets around and figured what the hey/
What a find!!! Perfect. The milk chocolate around the raisinet melts and softens the raisin and sweetens it. I never used frosting though.
Death by brownie but what a delicious way to go!!!
Try the raisinet trick. lol
Are raisins good covered in chocolate ... what am I saying, EVERYTHING'S good covered in chocolate [she said, popping another Riesen in her mouth]!
Ok now, you buy one of those boxed cheesecake mixes and add it to your brownie mix -- yum! I wonder how it would taste if you used honey nut flavored cream cheese ... And as for the raisins, they're good for you so that just allows you to eat as many brownies as you like b/c the more you eat, the more good the raisins are doing! (I'm a postmenopausal witch, I can justify anything [and often do])!!!
I have taken to doing a lot of my grocery shopping online as it actually saves me quite a bit of money over the month, so early this next week when I 'shop' again I am going to try your brownies!!! Thank you!!!!
Shame the writer reveals US racism but then goes on to reveal that he is, in fact, also a racist antisimite by accusing all Israelis of being evil.
I do not see a difference.
Conclusion, don't accuse others of racism, if you are one yourself.
Aiding and abetting felony brownies? Okay guilty... way too guilty actually. Here's why.
I've never used a cheesecake pudding mix. I made real cheesecake from scratch and basically baked it on top of the brownies...lol.
Real cheesecake is easy that's why. Here's the artery clogging recipe short and sweet.
1 box Brownie mix plus Raisinets. The chocolate melts around the raisin and softens it but gets absorbed into the brownie so you wouldn't even know you used raisinets instead of regular plain raisins except for really sweet soft raisins later.
I liked the cheesecake part best so I made a lot. You can make a swirl cheesecake brownie like normal people using less cream cheese than me.
I used two 8oz pkgs of cream cheese. Holiday season is good because they always have cream cheese on sale. Anyway use :
- 8oz pkg. cream cheese ... let soften or soften in microwave for a few seconds.
- half a stick (or less...lol) of butter.
- a half cup (or more...lol) sugar
- vanilla ( just pour some in ...lol the "that'll be good" measuring method)
- at least two eggs probably three (I used 4 or 5 for the double cream cheese version)
Beat the crap of the mix using an electric mixer ... and set aside.
Hand mix the brownie mix ( always added a dollop of the cream cheese mix) but I always used an extra egg too. I liked the cakey type brownie not the denser chewer one.
Spread out three quarters of the brownie batter in the pan. Coat with a ton and a half of raisinets and bake for about five or seven minutes until the batter starts to rise a little (develops a tiny bit of surface you can touch and the raisins are sinking.
Then add the cheesecake mix on top of the brownie batter. drop in the remaining 1/4 brownie mix in dollops around the pan. swirl once... trust me. one ziggy zaggy swirl is enough. too much swirl mixes the batters too much. What looks nice (the swirl pattern) visually actually tastes best.
Bake until the cheesecake surface is a light caramel brown. Let cool.
Control yourself and place in refrigerator. These brownies taste best after they have set. Tomorrow or at least after several hours.
I'd half control myself and eat half (yeah really...what can I say) and then enjoy the rest like a human being instead of a bear during the week.
These are actually food by the way. Lots of real protein and even fruit.More nutrition than a bagel and cream cheese for example. Serious food.
I should feel guilty for sharing this because just reading the recipe adds about a pound to your overall weight and makes any diet book go up in smoke!
Lol... nobody but nobody for many a decade ever not liked these brownies. Including people who say they don't like brownies. I was one of those. That's why I started making these. The brownies that brownie haters actually like.
THIS IS GREAT!!!! Monday when I order my next batch of groceries I am going to get the ingredaments for your brownies and I will happily serve them and give you credit for creating the recipe!
*I tell people that in my postmenopausalness all I have to do is look at food and I gain 5 pounds. I'm 5'11" so 5 pounds here and there really doesn't show
I have really enjoyed our 'conversation' on this thread -- thank you!! And even better than that -- I have a new brownie recipe to try!
Quite frankly, I haven't listened to the news much since the horrific 9/11 attacks, since it's so depressing.
Hmmmm...sounds like an interesting recipe! Mouthwatering, too!
Lol the brownies are better than the news!
I think we were lucky that in America we had saved the world in WW2 and then invented the technological world of the future for so many decades. We lived in the richest country in the world and expected everything to be good most of the time. Americans could tune out the rest of the world because we thought life was great.
Civil Rights woke us up to the reality that it wasn't great for everybody. Women's Rights woke us up to the reality that women weren't being treated the same as men. It was all on the news... The inside world plus the outside world.
Somewhere we lost our connections. "Change the channel" became our motto. We sought out that golden moment when life was good if you were American. We became American islanders - isolated - insulated - inoculated from the bad things in the rest of the world.
Us. Our generation had it all.
We made a mistake though. A really big one. We were rich and wanted to be richer. We had it all and wanted more. We embraced being rich but as we did , we also began to be more and more selfish. We became 'us' and the rest of the world became 'them'.
And we lost our confidence!
We spent our riches on weapons and wars because we were self confident when we were generous (WW2 era) but when we grew selfish and disconnected from the suffering around the world we grew paranoid. We ended up with the heavy burden of a gigantic military when there wasn't a war. It ate up our wealth and became a career. We became insecure because we weren't part of the world and everybody wanted what we had. We became bullies not brothers and lost that sense of goodness within and without. Our gigantic military is now too big to be able to protect us. Had we been generous instead of greedy a small military would have been more than enough in a world of friends. Nobody attacks a friend who is helping them.
So here we are in front of our TV changing channels and shutting out the world we help make. We don't want to know anymore. It all should have been like back in that golden time when everyday you felt proud to be American back when we invented great stuff which helped the world and we had our American dream and everybody in the world wanted to be American. Now we are hated and murder by drones. What the hell happened to us?
We never new that the cost of maintaining a wartime sized military during peacetime would be the very thing that ruined us and drained our strength. Look at us now... We have become afraid to be Americans in spirit and now rely on that military to project strength. We gave up our constitution and our privacy as human beings and more. Are we even still Americans? Maybe we gave that up and became commodities only to the oligarchs?
But the clock ticked and metal rusts. America has that super huge military but not one maglev high speed train. It is symptomatic. Our bridges are crumbling and everything is in disarray. The power and strength of this country is owned by a few people and even our buildings and most iconic corporations are owned by our competitors. America looks like it is strong and waves that big stick that we can't use because it now to expensive (I'll gladly pay you tuesday for a war today mentality?) But how strong are we if we need to borrow money to fight a war? If we are so weak inside that we can't afford to fix our bridges?
I honestly think that we made the world this way after WW2. We could have made it great but we got greedier and became bullies and now the world and us reap what that lost opportunity sowed.
The news was always depressing but years ago people were involved and talked about the news together. We were people then and members of the worldwide community. Now we want to shut out the world because it is just too depressing.
Times up...change the channel...oops nothing's on!
Might as well watch the news but they don't tell us anything anymore anyway.
Hmm? Let's see what people are saying on CD? That's more interesting. People talking about the news with an intelligent viewpoint and perspective. On sites like CD even depressing news seems different because people are engaged and trying to change things.
It is on sites like CD that you find the real Americans and we are not afraid of peace and hope for the future. We are not selfish bullies.
We are progressives and people of goodwill (most of us).
So discuss the news with us. It's less depressing when you hear about people doing something positive about it.