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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
November 29, 2023

Man responsible for weakening military complains about weakened military

(MSNBC) Earlier this month, several Senate Republicans decided they’d seen enough of Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s unprecedented blockade on confirming U.S. military leaders. In fact, these GOP members publicly accused the Alabama Republican of, among other things, being dishonest, damaging the military during international crises, assisting U.S. adversaries abroad, and relying on tactics that are “ridiculous” and “dumb.”

If the goal was to encourage the far-right senator to be more responsible, those efforts have apparently had no effect. HuffPost reported overnight:

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) is coming under fire after he insulted the U.S. military on Monday evening. “We’ve got the weakest military that we’ve had in your or my lifetime,” he told Newsmax’s Eric Bolling as he complained about diversity initiatives. “Infiltrating our military is all this wokeness.”

There was, of course, a degree of irony to the circumstances: The politician responsible for weakening the military whined on national television about the military being weak.

Soon after, former Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said Tuberville isn’t just wrong; he’s “an idiot.” ..............(more)


November 29, 2023

This Cheap Street Fix Saves Lives. Why Don't More Cities Do It?

This Cheap Street Fix Saves Lives. Why Don’t More Cities Do It?
“Daylighting” intersections to improve visibility for drivers is an effective way to make crosswalks safer for pedestrians. Here’s why it works so well.

By John Surico
November 28, 2023 at 12:36 PM EST

(Bloomberg CityLab) After a string of tragic traffic fatalities, a community board in Queens, New York, endorsed a call in June for city officials to make all intersections more visible to road users, particularly the most vulnerable. Then, in October, a board’s transportation committee in Brooklyn did the same. In the weeks since, full boards in Brooklyn and Queens joined the pack. Several boards in Manhattan are considering it as well.

The non-binding resolution is noticeably rare for community boards. Historically, the citizen-led bodies — which play an advisory role but are often looked to as local gauges of support — have been slow to support safety-minded street redesigns, favoring car parking over measures like bike lanes or road diets. But recently, things have changed, said Paul Kelterborn, an author of the resolution in Brooklyn’s Community Board 1, which represents Greenpoint and Williamsburg.


That action is called daylighting, a process that pays close attention to the schematics of the street where most crashes occur: the corners of crossings. The idea is that if intersections are clear of obstructions like parked cars — or “brighter,” to follow the expression — then drivers, pedestrians and cyclists would all be able to see one another better. Better sightlines, less likelihood of crashes, the formula goes.

Daylighting can take many forms. Curb extensions, painted or built out with concrete, and sometimes with rain-absorbing plantings, are often cited. Curbside cycling amenities, like bikeshare docks or racks for micromobility vehicles like e-scooters, are increasingly common. Outdoor dining sheds can help with daylighting, too. Others use granite blocks or giant concrete balls. Even affixing a “no parking past this point” notice to a stop sign can help. ............(more)


November 29, 2023

Trump's aberrant behavior is getting worse. Why are Americans ignoring his decline?

Trump’s aberrant behavior is getting worse. Why are Americans ignoring his decline?
Mental health experts plot out what they believe is Trump’s increasingly psychopathic behavior

Senior Writer

(Salon) In evaluating his public and private behavior, America’s leading mental health professionals have concluded that Donald Trump is mentally unwell, and likely a sociopath — if not a psychopath. In even more direct terms, Trump has shown himself to apparently have a diseased mind, which in turn amplifies his already corrupt morality and ethics, attraction to violence, and overall capacity for evil. Ultimately, if he were to become president again, such an outcome would be a disaster for both the United States and the world.

In a new essay in the New York Times, Thomas Edsall consulted with mental health professionals from some of America’s most prestigious institutions about this emergency. Their conclusion: Donald Trump’s aberrant behavior is getting worse.


Leonard Class, who is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, told Edsall that:

If Trump — in adopting language that he cannot help knowing replicates that of Hitler (especially the references to opponents as “vermin” and “poisoning the blood of our country”), we have to wonder if he has crossed into “new terrain.” That terrain, driven by grandiosity and dread of exposure (e.g., at the trials) could signal the emergence of an even less constrained, more overtly vicious and remorseless Trump who, should he regain the presidency, would, indeed act like the authoritarians he praises. Absent conscientious aides who could contain him (as they barely did last time), this could lead to the literal shedding of American blood on American soil by a man who believes he is “the only one” and the one, some believe, is a purifying agent of God and in whom they see no evil nor do they doubt.


Collectively, the small group of mental health professionals who followed through on their “duty to warn” the American people about Trump and his dangerousness were marginalized, harassed (including death threats) and in at least one example suffered sanctions and loss of employment. Their warnings about Trumpism and the ascendant neofascist movement and the type of widespread harm, including violence and mass death (as seen with the Trump regime’s negligent if not outright criminal response to the Covid pandemic) have proven to be prescient. Trump’s plans to become America’s first dictator are creating a cataclysmic synergy between his diseased mind, with its megalomania and God complex, and a fascist political party and movement that is eager to rubbleize democracy with the goal of creating an American apartheid Christofascist plutocracy. .............(more)


November 28, 2023

"It's a revenue problem": GOP panic over plummeting finances as donors grow frustrated with Trump

(Salon) The Republican Party's finances are heightening concerns amid party members, advisors to Donald Trump and other operatives involved in the 2024 election effort, 10 people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. The Republican National Committee revealed that, as of Oct. 30, it had $9.1 million in cash on hand, the lowest amount its recorded in any Federal Election Commission report since February 2015. At the same point in the 2016 and 2020 election cycles, the RNC had about $20 million and $61 million, respectively. In contrast, the Democratic National Committee reported having $17.7 million as of Oct. 30.

“It’s a revenue problem,” Tennessee RNC member Oscar Brock told the Post. “We’re going through the same efforts we always go through to raise money: the same donor meetings, retreats, digital advertising, direct mail. But the return is much lower this year. If you know the answer, I’d love to know it. The staff has managed to tighten down on expenses to keep the party from going into the red.” RNC donor support has dwindled in recent years while the party's small-dollar program has also taken a hit, sources told the outlet. Some donors aren't giving money to the RNC because they believe doing so will aid Trump, the sources added, while others said they prefer to wait until 2024 to make a donation. Some have also grown frustrated by party leadership, sources close to major donors said. ..........(more)


November 28, 2023

"Don't waste your time": Marjorie Taylor Greene's memoir a flop at bottom of Amazon best seller list

(Salon) Looks like people couldn't care less about Marjorie Taylor Greene’s self-titled autobiography, which has received a slew of negative reviews following its recent release. Titled “MTG,” the memoir reveals Greene’s “personal account of the battles she fights in the halls of Congress and beyond,” according to its plot synopsis. It further tells the story of Greene’s rise in politics from “small town business owner to MAGA firebrand!”

Nearly a week after its release, “MTG” appeared at the very bottom of Amazon’s best seller list at No. 9,805. The book is also ranked at No. 26 on Amazon’s list of Political Commentary best sellers. For comparison, Ted Cruz’s Audible audiobook “Unwoke: How to Defeat Cultural Marxism in America” is currently ranked at No. 6, according to Newsweek.

As for its reviews, “MTG” has earned 1.8 out of 5 stars with many online critics poking fun at the memoir’s title and calling it straight-up “garbage.” ...........(more)


November 28, 2023

A quiet swing state crackdown

(Salon) The 2024 presidential election is a full year away – and many of the rules that will govern the pivotal contest have already been written.

The past three years make up one of the most prolific periods for election legislation in American history. Over 560 new laws governing our elections – many of them containing pages and pages of changes – have become law in states all across the country.

While voters in states like Michigan and Nevada will experience more voting options than ever, new restrictions in states like North Carolina and Georgia will create significant barriers in 2024 – barriers that didn't exist just four years ago.

The University of Virginia Center for Politics projects that the outcome of the elections in just eight states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – could determine our next president in 2024. ..............(more)


November 28, 2023

It's a good thing women won't date Trump voters

It's a good thing women won't date Trump voters
Now the Washington Post has joined a campaign to shame women for having the bare minimum "no Trump voters" standard

Senior Writer

(Salon) It's an amusing truth that comes up with regularity: Men who love Donald Trump struggle on the dating market. This is neither surprising nor regrettable. Supporting Trump is much like refusing to bathe, blowing your nose in your hands or farting loudly on purpose. It's a repugnant habit that makes you repulsive to normal people. The whole point of dating and marriage is to find happiness, not to spend the rest of one's days suffering in silence while the racist you live with cackles over Greg Gutfeld's latest hateful diatribe disguised as "comedy."

This should be common sense. Yet our sexist culture remains too enamored by stories of female self-sacrifice to accept that it's just fine if Trump voters never get laid. Even people who really should know better have taken to bullying liberal women for their refusal to date male Trump voters. "If attitudes don’t shift, a political dating mismatch will threaten marriage," declared a recent headline of a Washington Post column by the editorial board. To make it even grosser, the op-ed was published the day before Thanksgiving, as if to arm "concerned" relatives who planned to spend the holiday pestering single women at dinner over when they will get serious about finding a husband.

In this unsigned essay, the authors fret that the "ideological divide" between young men and women is preventing Gen Z — who range in age from 9 to 27— from getting married. Women under 30 are far more likely to be liberal than men, who are far more likely to identify as conservative. Citing data showing Democratic voters generally refuse to date Trump voters, the Post editors argue that people should be more willing to date across party lines, and learn to appreciate "alternative perspectives that may at first seem odd or offensive."


Marrying a Trump voter isn't just a matter of minor political differences, or expecting someone to be exactly like yourself. For women, in particular, it's about being able to be safe and respected inside your own home, which is a very minimum standard all people deserve. Voting for Trump means backing a man who has been accused of sexual assault by two dozen women, and who a judge and jury deemed responsible for rape. It means backing the man who repeatedly brags about how he got Roe v. Wade overturned. In addition, the MAGA media consumed by most Republicans is hardly neutral on the question of sexism. They are all for it, from the tired sexist jokes on Fox News to bizarre internet trends like "tradwives." For a woman, marrying a Trump supporter isn't about being with someone who has different views on tax rates. It's bringing someone into your home who ascribes to an ideology in which you are not fully human. .................(more)


November 27, 2023

Paris mayor quits X, calling social media site a 'gigantic global sewer'

(Guardian UK) The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has announced she is quitting X, formerly Twitter, calling it a “gigantic global sewer” that is “destroying our democracies” by spreading abuse and misinformation.

After buying Twitter in 2022, the billionaire Elon Musk laid off thousands of employees, including many who moderated content on the platform. Rebranded as X, it has lost several major advertisers and has been criticised, including by the White House, for not doing enough to curtail antisemitism.

“I have made the decision to leave Twitter,” Hidalgo wrote in lengthy posts in English and French on Monday, citing manipulation, disinformation, antisemitism and attacks on scientists, climatologists, women and liberals.

“Twitter, far from being the groundbreaking medium that initially made information accessible to the greatest possible number of people, has in recent years become an impressive tool for destroying our democracies,” she added. ............(more)


November 27, 2023

The insidious rise of "tradwives": A right-wing fantasy is rotting young men's minds

The insidious rise of "tradwives": A right-wing fantasy is rotting young men's minds
There's serious money in peddling fantasies of female submission online, but it may be exacerbating male loneliness

Senior Writer

(Salon) If the average American were asked what they imagine the priorities of the feminist movement are these days, most people would likely cite concerns like "fighting abortion bans" or "getting justice for sexual violence victims" or boring mainstays like "equal pay for equal work." But if you listen in to the world of right-wing social media influencers, they have a different answer. To them, feminists are single-mindedly obsessed with destroying women who identify as "tradwives."


"Tradwife" is internet slang for "traditional wife." It's largely a social media trend of conventionally attractive white women putting out TikToks and videos gushing about the joys of submissive marriage and "modesty," though notably this "modest" clothing often leaves little to the imagination.

It's a neat marketing trick from tradwives to position themselves as a dangerous threat that feminists are desperate to take out. It helps sell the central, lucrative fantasy to credulous audiences: That female submission is a woman's natural desire, one that's being stolen from them by sinister feminist forces. And that you, male viewer, would be gifted with a compliant helpmeet of your very own, if not for those dastardly feminists. But these brave women of YouTube, with their picture-perfect make-up and slender-but-curvy physiques, will stand up to those bitches and restore your birthright: A smoking hot 22-year-old housewife who never talks back, never gets tired, never says "no," and never gains weight, no matter how many children she has.

By feeding conservative audiences a largely imaginary war with feminists, the tradwives are also pulling off another sleight of hand: distracting from how their content preys upon men, especially young men, by selling them a silly fantasy as reality. In the process, they're contributing to the male loneliness epidemic, by discouraging young men from developing the skills and mindset they need to get a real girlfriend, instead of just subsisting on a steady stream of social media delusions. .............(more)


November 26, 2023

'Archaic': the Tennessee town that made homosexuality illegal

(Guardian UK) For five months this year, homosexuality was prohibited in a Tennessee college town.

In June, the city council of Murfreesboro enacted an ordinance outlawing “indecent exposure, public indecency, lewd behavior, nudity or sexual conduct”. The rule did not explicitly mention homosexuality, but LGBTQ+ people in the town quickly realized that the ordinance references 21-72 of the city code, which categorizes homosexuality as an act of indecent sexual conduct.

The ordinance was essentially a covert ban on LGBTQ+ existence.

Erin Reed, one of the first and only national journalists to cover the ordinance earlier this year, noted that Murfreesboro isn’t “the only community that has these old archaic bits of code that target homosexuality”. ...............(more)


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