One way out of meeting that man

Greenland

I was hoping Denmark’s disinterest in selling Greenland was the end of the matter. And it was really rather petty that Donald Trump couldn’t think of anything worth meeting Denmark’s leader about other than buying Greenland.[1] And I figured being underappreciated[2] would have its benefits: Surely Mette Frederiksen was breathing a huge sigh of relief at not having to meet such a horrible man.

On Wednesday, Frederiksen joined a growing list of public figures — mostly women — whose words and deeds Trump has described as “nasty” since entering politics.[3]

But of course this is our racist, misogynist, delusional raging narcissist-in-chief we’re talking about. And Frederiksen had called the notion of selling Greenland to the U.S. “an absurd discussion.”[4] No matter that she was utterly diplomatic otherwise, even as other Danish lawmakers were outraged by Trump’s cancellation.[5] So Trump has created a diplomatic incident.[6]

Jim Townsend, who handled Arctic and Europe issues in the Pentagon under the Obama administration, said proposing to buy Greenland from Denmark at this point is “foolish and stupid.” But it is probably prompted in part by a growing realization across the U.S. government that more attention needs to be paid to the Arctic, in light of both climate change and Russia and China’s interest in the region, he said.[7]

In the meantime, call me paranoid, but I can’t help but wonder if Trump’s interest has something to do with the melting glaciers.[8] He denies climate change, let alone the crisis, so it’s a bit hard to imagine. But then we’re talking about insanity here and it’s best not to try to make any sense of it.

Seth Borenstein, “Greenland’s glaciers are melting. It’s as if Earth’s refrigerator door were left open,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2019-08-20/greenlands-glaciers-are-melting

Alex Leary, “White House Cancels Trump’s Visit to Denmark After Greenland Flap,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-he-will-postpone-meeting-with-denmark-prime-minister-11566347264

Rick Noack, John Wagner, and Felicia Sonmez, “Trump attacks Danish prime minister for her ‘nasty’ comments about his interest in U.S. purchase of Greenland,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/danes-furious-over-postponement-of-trumps-visit-call-his-behavior-insulting/2019/08/21/82d0a5f4-c3b8-11e9-8bf7-cde2d9e09055_story.html


Wildlife

There is a new blog post entitled, “On feeding wildlife.”


Guns and racism

I’ve been pondering further my conflation of the gun rights movement with white supremacism.[9]

On the one hand, coming here to Pennsylvania from California, much is different. Racial divisions are much more apparent. It’s quite clear to me that many of the areas I travel on a near-daily area were redlined and that these are poorer, Blacker areas.

And the guns. My god, the guns. A local gun store, across from Allegheny County Airport, has a tank painted in a blue and white camouflage pattern out front. There’s no subtlety to it at all. Really no subtlety.

There’s no subtlety with the redlining either. Or that the guns seem concentrated around redlined areas. Along with all those oh-so-white Memorial Day banners commemorating war dead that are still nearly everywhere to be found.

It’s not the kind of argument I can put together as a syllogism. But in that tangled weave of braided cords we call culture, how can I separate them?

At the very least, there is something very sick here.

Now that school seems to be going back into session, I’ve actually seen a couple white people get pulled over in the last couple days. It’s a surprise, first, that there’s any traffic enforcement at all; and second, that whites are getting pulled over. Maybe the assholes in their testosterone trucks will have to behave themselves for a while.


Capitalism

There is another new blog post entitled, “Saving capitalism from itself. Again.

Stephen Bartholomeusz, “Listen up! Shareholder value no longer everything for big business,” Sydney Morning Herald, August 21, 2019, https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/listen-up-shareholder-value-no-longer-everything-for-big-business-20190821-p52jau.html

David Ignatius, “Corporate panic about capitalism could be a turning point,” Washington Post, August 20, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/even-the-business-moguls-know-its-time-to-reform-capitalism/2019/08/20/95e4de74-c388-11e9-9986-1fb3e4397be4_story.html


Migration

The Flores rule has been troublesome for the Trump administration which has made clear its view that even having to provide bedding, showers, soap, and toothpaste to migrant children in concentration camps is an unacceptable imposition.[10] Now it moves to replace this rule, supposedly to allow children to be kept with their families longer,[11] but Marshall Fitz fears, really to remove any protection from migrant children in the camps whatsoever.[12]

Marshall Fitz, “The Trump administration’s new rule could prove devastating for migrant children at the border,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/08/21/trump-administrations-new-rule-could-prove-devastating-migrant-children-border/

Maria Sacchetti, “Trump administration moves to terminate court agreement, hold migrant children and parents longer,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-administration-moves-to-terminate-court-agreement-hold-migrant-children-and-parents-longer/2019/08/21/c268bb44-c28b-11e9-9986-1fb3e4397be4_story.html


Anti-Semitism

What does anti-Semitism even mean anymore?

Certainly Donald Trump’s remarks[13] were ignorant. Certainly they were stupid. Certainly they reflect a narcissistic self-image. None of that’s new.

But I think when the meaning of the term anti-Semitism expands to the extent it seems to have here,[14] it has lost all meaning.

Marcy Oster, “Jewish groups see Trump’s disloyalty remarks as ‘dangerous’ and ‘textbook anti-Semitism,’” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, August 21, 2019, https://www.jta.org/2019/08/21/united-states/jewish-groups-see-trumps-disloyalty-remarks-as-dangerous-and-textbook-anti-semitism


  1. [1]Alex Leary, “White House Cancels Trump’s Visit to Denmark After Greenland Flap,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-he-will-postpone-meeting-with-denmark-prime-minister-11566347264
  2. [2]Rick Noack, John Wagner, and Felicia Sonmez, “Trump attacks Danish prime minister for her ‘nasty’ comments about his interest in U.S. purchase of Greenland,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/danes-furious-over-postponement-of-trumps-visit-call-his-behavior-insulting/2019/08/21/82d0a5f4-c3b8-11e9-8bf7-cde2d9e09055_story.html
  3. [3]Rick Noack, John Wagner, and Felicia Sonmez, “Trump attacks Danish prime minister for her ‘nasty’ comments about his interest in U.S. purchase of Greenland,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/danes-furious-over-postponement-of-trumps-visit-call-his-behavior-insulting/2019/08/21/82d0a5f4-c3b8-11e9-8bf7-cde2d9e09055_story.html
  4. [4]Mette Frederiksen, quoted in Alex Leary, “White House Cancels Trump’s Visit to Denmark After Greenland Flap,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-he-will-postpone-meeting-with-denmark-prime-minister-11566347264
  5. [5]Rick Noack, John Wagner, and Felicia Sonmez, “Trump attacks Danish prime minister for her ‘nasty’ comments about his interest in U.S. purchase of Greenland,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/danes-furious-over-postponement-of-trumps-visit-call-his-behavior-insulting/2019/08/21/82d0a5f4-c3b8-11e9-8bf7-cde2d9e09055_story.html
  6. [6]Rick Noack, John Wagner, and Felicia Sonmez, “Trump attacks Danish prime minister for her ‘nasty’ comments about his interest in U.S. purchase of Greenland,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/danes-furious-over-postponement-of-trumps-visit-call-his-behavior-insulting/2019/08/21/82d0a5f4-c3b8-11e9-8bf7-cde2d9e09055_story.html
  7. [7]Rick Noack, John Wagner, and Felicia Sonmez, “Trump attacks Danish prime minister for her ‘nasty’ comments about his interest in U.S. purchase of Greenland,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/danes-furious-over-postponement-of-trumps-visit-call-his-behavior-insulting/2019/08/21/82d0a5f4-c3b8-11e9-8bf7-cde2d9e09055_story.html
  8. [8]Seth Borenstein, “Greenland’s glaciers are melting. It’s as if Earth’s refrigerator door were left open,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2019-08-20/greenlands-glaciers-are-melting
  9. [9]David Benfell, “‘Gun rights’ as white supremacism,” Not Housebroken, August 4, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/04/gun-rights-as-white-supremacism/
  10. [10]Maura Dolan, “Court upholds ruling that children held at border must have adequate food, bedding, sanitation,” Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-08-15/children-border-sanitary-conditions-flores-agreement-9th-circuit; Miriam Jordan, “Judge Orders Swift Action to Improve Conditions for Migrant Children in Texas,” New York Times, June 29, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/29/us/migrant-children-detention-texas.html; Ken White, “Why a Government Lawyer Argued Against Giving Immigrant Kids Toothbrushes,” Atlantic, June 23, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/why-sarah-fabian-argued-against-giving-kids-toothbrushes/592366/
  11. [11]Maria Sacchetti, “Trump administration moves to terminate court agreement, hold migrant children and parents longer,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-administration-moves-to-terminate-court-agreement-hold-migrant-children-and-parents-longer/2019/08/21/c268bb44-c28b-11e9-9986-1fb3e4397be4_story.html
  12. [12]Marshall Fitz, “The Trump administration’s new rule could prove devastating for migrant children at the border,” Washington Post, August 21, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/08/21/trump-administrations-new-rule-could-prove-devastating-migrant-children-border/
  13. [13]Marcy Oster, “Jewish groups see Trump’s disloyalty remarks as ‘dangerous’ and ‘textbook anti-Semitism,’” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, August 21, 2019, https://www.jta.org/2019/08/21/united-states/jewish-groups-see-trumps-disloyalty-remarks-as-dangerous-and-textbook-anti-semitism
  14. [14]Marcy Oster, “Jewish groups see Trump’s disloyalty remarks as ‘dangerous’ and ‘textbook anti-Semitism,’” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, August 21, 2019, https://www.jta.org/2019/08/21/united-states/jewish-groups-see-trumps-disloyalty-remarks-as-dangerous-and-textbook-anti-semitism

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