Your Morning Cup of Links

If you’re surprised that half of Americans don’t know where chocolate milk comes from, you haven’t been paying attention for the last year.

The right continues to become the left. They even have their own “I need a safe space” anti-free speech hecklers now. Pathetic. It’s like a Pandora’s Box of stupid has opened in this country in the last year. “Hey guys, there’s a play about the dangers of mob response to misguided political violence. Let’s be that mob!” Truly the dumbest time to be alive. (P.S. It’s an anti-assassination play, guys.)

This woman is a bitch, but she didn’t kill anyone. This verdict is absurd. As is this one, but I think we all saw it coming.

This secretive billionaire makes the cheese for Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s

Bermuda’s laid-back allure

The scariest thing about the Congressional baseball shooter? His politics weren’t that odd, and his Facebook wasn’t that weird.

The first thing to say about the attempted massacre of congressional Republicans on a baseball field in suburban Virginia is that the motivations of the shooter were unusual. By which I mean that, based on what we know, James Hodgkinson had surprisingly normal political beliefs. He hated Donald Trump, he liked Bernie Sanders, he wanted higher taxes on the wealthy. He was not a Communist or a paranoid knight on a shadowy crusade, but an ordinary Midwestern Democrat with far more rage but the same frustrations as many decent liberals. Where modern assassinations are concerned, such normal partisan motivations are more unusual than you might think.

Hodgkinson’s seeming normalcy, his angry but relatively mainstream Democratic views, might be a warning sign for the future of our politics. The turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s generated segregationist terrorism on the right and a revolutionary underground on the left, but it did not produce much partisan terrorism, violence inspired simply by fear and hatred of the opposition party. Now, though, we hate each other simply for being Democrats and Republicans more than ever — and violence inspired simply by the polarization of the major parties would be a unique and novel threat.

We have the space to keep our bearings — which includes remembering that hot political rhetoric is a normal part of high-stakes debate, that lies are wicked but insults are very small-d democratic, that comparing self-aggrandizing presidents to Caesars is as American as apple pie, and that martial metaphors are not incitement. Only incitement is incitement. Police what you say for lies, for slander, for stupidity, for simple vileness. Don’t be Sean Hannity; don’t be Kathy Griffin. Abjure the sword, the gun, the bomb. But don’t parse your every word for what a maniac might make of it. This is a free country, and still, thank God, a mostly peaceful one. Say what you believe.

“If we follow the course we are on, we will see more unhappiness, more violence, more repressive national-security policies, less prosperity, less freedom, and less of anything that looks like the quite-good-enough America we already have….So, the election didn’t go your way. That means America is finished, defeated, corrupted beyond redemption? Grow up. Nobody said being free would be easy. We, all of us, have work to do — childish fantasies and childish temper tantrums aren’t getting it done. The next time you feel yourself tempted to call one of your fellow Americans a “traitor,” you should give some serious consideration to the infinitely preferable option of keeping your damned-fool mouth shut.”

Oh no, I hope they don’t bring value and convenience to American food consumption. That would be just terrible.

From Russia with blood

“The Bell Tolls For ‘Whom'” #TeamWhom

The Whitney’s identity problem

The reality of Joyce’s Ulysses

Why do Americans smile so much?

 

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Filed under Around the World, Politics, Uncategorized, Unusually Stupid Primates

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