Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Today's News: A problem with definitions

Some chatter these days about how conservatives and progressives aren't talking to each other very much anymore.
We don't agree on some basic definitions anymore, do we. 
For example, "freedom" to some conservatives seems to mean that they should be "free" to not have to follow any rules or laws about how to treat people. And second, I don't know who is selling this fantasy, but pro-life conservatives in the US are pretending now that US state laws against "abortion" really only ban the pregnancy terminations they don't approve of, while the terminations they DO approve of - ie, the terminations that save a woman's life - aren't really abortions at all and therefore are still legal. The extent of right-wing - conservative anger is getting frightening - it was bad enough in Canada in 2019, throwing gravel at Trudeau, but the FluTruxKlan extravaganza this winter seems to have created a fury of hate. 
 Recent example -- last week in Canmore Alta, a guy destroyed his family business just because he couldn't resist sending an unnecessary transphobic insult email. Here's a good analysis of how this could happen - mainly, because of the right-wing bubble that these people live in, where they believe they are in the mainstream and everybody secretly agrees with them: But there are even hate-crimes happening in little ole PEI, for heaven's sake, just because Trudeau happened to drop in to a Charlottestown pub one day. What is the matter with people like this?
Its hard to figure out how this type of ill-will can end, or where we will be when it does. 

Moving on, here's a recent Ukraine update: 
Historian Timothy Snyder writes: 
 ... what is happening is that Russia is losing. 
Russia's decision to invade Ukraine was a crime, but it was also a mistake. It is hard for any government to admit such a thing (one still awaits a judgement on America's Iraq War debacle). But it is particularly hard for a tyrant whose power rests on his image as a strong man with infallible judgement. Russia has reached the stage in the war in which it is fighting because not to fight would be embarrassing. It has reached this stage quickly. 
The war only ends when Putin realizes that Russia is losing it, in the precise sense that he realizes that his personal position is threatened. In other words, it is not a direct translation from territory held or lost, or from casualties taken or inflicted, but a political conjuncture that is hard to seize precisely. 
Most likely, Russian defeat looks like Ukrainian battlefield momentum that changes the mood in Russia and creates visible tension within the Russian state, thereby forcing Putin to change his story. 
In other news, here's the latest on Trump - Christ, what an asshole! And here's number 956 of the thousand weird things Trump has done, all immediately memory-holed by his supporters: Here are today's palate cleansers:
First, this is a terrific thread:
Second, isn't this beautiful? The farmhouse that my grandparents built when they homesteaded in 1905 looked a little like this.

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