Showing posts from September 8, 2017

Today's Trumpery


White Christians are now a minority of the U.S. population, survey says

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[We don't collect 'race' data in Canada but for somewhat of a comparison, non-immigrant Christians still made up over 55 percent of Canadians in 2011. But I really have no idea how, exactly, 'White' would compare with 'Non-Immigrant,' statistically. *RON*]

Rachel Zoll, Associated Press / PBS News Hour, 6 September 2017
NEW YORK — The share of Americans who identify as white and Christian has dropped below 50 percent, a transformation fueled by immigration and by growing numbers of people who reject organized religion altogether, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

Christians overall remain a large majority in the U.S., at nearly 70 percent of Americans. However, white Christians, once predominant in the country’s religious life, now comprise only 43 percent of the population, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, or PRRI, a polling organization based in Washington. Four decades ago, about eight …

In Canada, an Immigration Minister Who Himself Is a Refugee

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[I suppose this does give the appearance of a stark contrast with the US under Trump. Yet Trudeau has proven to be far more about appearances than about implementing meaningful change. Lord knows, having Jody Wilson-Raybould as Justice Minister hasn't done the First Nations community a whit of good. *RON*]

Catherine Porter, New York Times, 6 September 2017

TORONTO — He arrived in Toronto, an exhausted 16-year-old, carrying nothing but a small gym bag packed with a change of clothes. As a Somali, he applied for asylum and was jettisoned into adulthood. He registered for high school, learned to cook and landed his first job all on his own.

Over the next 25 years, he put himself through college and law school, worked his way up from pouring coffee to advising one of the country’s most powerful leaders and was elected the first Somali-Canadian member of Parliament.

Last January, he set another milestone for refugees to Canada: Ahmed Hussen was name…

I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump

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[An old piece a friend posted in Facebook this week. Very good on Trump supporters and race relations, but all you really need is this one graph:

Jonna Ivin, Stir Journal, 1 April 2016

From the era of slavery to the rise of Donald Trump, wealthy elites have relied on the loyalty of poor whites. All Americans deserve better.
I’m just a poor white trash motherfucker. No one cares about me. I met the man who said those words while working as a bartender in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas. It was a one-street town in Benton County. It had a beauty parlor, a gas station, and a bar where locals came on Friday nights to shoot the shit over cheap drinks and country music. I arrived in Arkansas by way of another little town in Louisiana, where all but a few local businesses had boarded up when Walmart moved in. In Arkansas, I was struggling to survive. I served drinks in the middle of the afternoon to people described as America’s “white un…

The healing power of nature

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[New Age hoo-haw? I always find a nice long walk in the forest rejuvenating to a high degree. I believe that the idea that immersing yourself in forests and nature has a healing effect is far more than just folk wisdom. *RON*]

Rebecca Lawton, Aeon, 6 September 2017

‘The longer the trip, the more healing occurs,’ says the geologist Peter Winn, who has been leading expeditions down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon since the 1960s. ‘Healing happens for people almost without exception.’

The most dramatic transformations that he’s observed have been in disabled military veterans on 16-day kayaking trips organised by a group called Team River Runner. ‘One army communications expert came home from Iraq so full of shrapnel, he’d lost his ability to do even simple math, and would only say “Fuck you.”’ By the end of the trip, he spoke eloquently and at length, in appreciation of both the Canyon and his fellow boaters. ‘Later his wife wrote to thank th…

Kate Millett, 1934-2017

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[As much as feminism has evolved since her day, Sexual Politics remains a model for combining rigor and passion, and as a manifesto for a revolution that we're still waiting to see completed. *RON*]

Stassa Edwards, Jezebel, 7 September 2017

The feminist writer and activist Kate Millett died on September 6 at the age of eighty-two. The cause of death was cardiac arrest. Millett was in Paris with her wife, Sophie Keir, when she died.

Millett became an influential feminist writer and critic in the 1970s when her book Sexual Politics, a dissertation turned feminist manifesto, became a best-seller in 1970. While part of the publishing push of second wave feminism—its publication came in between Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch—Millett’s Sexual Politics was more of an intellectual assertion, less interested in the Friedan project of equal opportunities and significantly more queer-friendly than Friedan or…