Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Dude Fire

Some Arizona anniversaries today. On June 26, 1990, Phoenix hit an all-time record heat of 122 degrees F, and Tucson hit its all-time record of 117. We lived in Flagstaff, which didn’t hit its record (97 F back in 1973), but the day was quite hot for Flagstaff, where home air conditioning is less common because of its normally cooler climate. My Beth was pregnant with our daughter Emily.

Also on June 26, the catastrophic Dude Fire near Payson, AZ took six lives—five inmates from a state prison who were fighting the fire, and one of their guards. We had spent the weekend in that area not many weeks before.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Trump's Grip on the GOP

A favorite writer in The Atlantic has this recent article about President Trump's grip on the Republican Party. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/cult-or-not-trumps-grasp-on-the-republican-party-is-stronger-than-ever/562991/?utm_source=feed "The GOP spent the Barack Obama years protesting that the president was busy turning his back on America’s allies—remember the fracas when Obama dared to even relocate a bust of Winston Churchill?—and naively conferring with America’s nemeses, especially Iran. Obama was assailed as a traitor at worst and a bumbling fool at best for bowing to foreign dignitaries (and even a robot). Some of these critiques are more valid than others, but regardless, nearly all of them apply to Trump this week." He goes on to point out that although Trump is unpopular in the country, he has sufficient influence (including acquiesce from GOP leaders) in primary elections.

Given the president's many lies, inflammatory rhetoric, support for dangerous people along with contempt for allies (and for Americans exercising their right to protest), and other objectionable qualities, this evolution of the GOP--in process for many years--continues to be distressing. This essay, though, suggests possible trends: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/opinion/trump-base-midterms-moderate-republicans.html?action=click&module=Ribbon&pgtype=Article I can't imagine that celebrities declaring "Fuck Trump!" is helpful at all and is, in fact, detrimental.

(One of the president's lies is the claim that Democrats are to blame for separating children from families at the U.S.-Mexico border. https://www.npr.org/2018/05/29/615211215/fact-check-are-democrats-responsible-for-dhs-separating-children-from-their-pare)

Racist Trope

Here's an interesting article in the NYT, about the tenacious and racist trope, "ape caricature of blackness," that comedienne Roseanne Barr recently invoked. The writer discusses how the trope still pervades our legal system.