5

My New Goal: Ataraxia

I get the Word of the Day in my inbox every day and if this one isn’t emblematic of what I desperately need right now, I don’t know what is.

Ataraxia “impassiveness, calmness” is best known from and associated with the ethics of the Athenian philosopher Epicurus (341–270 b.c.). It is acquired by shunning politics and obnoxious people, by paying no attention to the gods or an afterlife, and by devoting oneself to trustworthy friends and a simple life.  Ataraxia was important to the Stoic philosophers, also, but for them the final goal was apatheia, which means not “apathy” in the modern sense but “calmness,” imperturbability gained from the pursuit of virtue. Ataraxia (spelled atarxie) entered English in the early 17th century.

Image result for stoic

7

Dear America…

Last night Donald Trump grabbed you by the pussy and you let him do it because he’s a star. I thought you were better than that, but apparently I was wrong.

Now, he’s going to have to deliver on all of his promises: to build a 2,000 mile long wall along the border and make Mexico pay for it; to single-handedly resuscitate a dead coal industry and bring back manufacturing jobs that have left the building long ago, much like Elvis; to tear up trade treaties and climate change pacts, while ignoring the fact that Florida (which he won) will be underwater in the not too distant future; to round up and deport 11 million illegal immigrants, “humanely” by means of a deportation force; to repeal and replace the ACA with…something…causing 21 million people to lose their insurance coverage; to prosecute his political opponent so y’all can “lock her up”; to open up the libel laws so he can sue anyone who says something about him that he doesn’t like; to kick the shit out of ISIS…somehow differently than the way we’re successfully kicking them now; to put justices on the Supreme Court who will show those uppity wimmen who’s boss when it comes to control of their own uteruses; to make everyone say “Merry Christmas,” even though they may not be a *Christian* as he opportunistically says he is.

The list goes on.

I hope you’re happy today. But, not unlike Brexit, when buyer’s remorse sets in later–don’t come crying to me.

I’m done.

 

1

We Repeat, This Is Only a Test

From CNN:
Trump is also set to call for increased vetting of individuals entering the United States by developing a “test” that would question visa applicants on their support of US values and seek to weed out any supporters of extremist ideologies.
The campaign official specifically noted as an example that “large numbers of people” in Afghanistan “may have attitudes about women or attitudes about Christians or gays that would be considered oppressive, even violent.”
“We have no reason to bring someone into our country who is going to harbor that hostility. We want to bring in people who are reformers or who support moderation or who embrace or expand pluralistic ideas,” said the campaign adviser.
The senior campaign official declined to say exactly what such a test would look like, but said it could include a questionnaire to get potential immigrants on record about their views.
And we all know how truthful everyone will be on these tests.
(Note: that was sarcasm, Donald.)
animal testing
0

I Love John Oliver

John Oliver lambasted Republican nominee Donald Trump for his remarks about the father of a U.S. Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, using his Sunday night show to rip into the GOP presidential nominee.
“Trump has managed to say pretty much anything in this campaign seemingly without consequences, and yet, even with that caveat, his response when asked about that speech from Khizr Khan stands out,” Oliver said Sunday on “Last Week Tonight.”
Khizr Khan is the father of Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq. At the Democratic National Convention, Khan spoke of his son’s sacrifice and criticized Trump’s call to ban Muslim immigration, asking if he had read the constitution.

Trump, in response, questioned why Khan’s wife, who was standing next to him, didn’t speak during the convention, suggesting it might have something to do with her religion.

“For a start,” Oliver said, “his wife has explained that she chose not to speak because she gets too upset when she sees images of her dead son’s face, you f-cking a–hole.”

Oliver then showed a clip of Trump talking about his businesses successes and the jobs he’s created in response to a question about his own sacrifices.

“They are self-serving half-truths from a self-serving half-man who has somehow convinced half the country that sacrifice is the same thing as success,” Oliver said.

“Honestly, the main takeaway from these two weeks is that incredibly, we may be on the brink of electing such a damaged, sociopathic, narcissist that the simple presidential duty of comforting the families of former soldiers may actually be beyond his capabilities and I genuinely did not think that was a part of the job that someone could be bad at.”

Oliver likened this surge in popularity to a scary back mole. Trump is America's back mole.

2

That’s a Wrap, Folks

From Andrew Sullivan’s liveblog of tonight’s GOP convention:

11:09 p.m. Just mulling over the events tonight, there’s one obvious stand-out. I didn’t hear any specific policy proposals to tackle clearly stated public problems. It is almost as if governing, for the Republican right, is fundamentally about an attitude, rather than about experience or practicality or reasoning. The degeneracy of conservatism – its descent into literally mindless appeals to tribalism and fear and hatred – was on full display. You might also say the same about the religious right, the members of whom have eagerly embraced a racist, a nativist, a believer in war crimes, and a lover of the tyrants that conservatism once defined itself against. Their movement long lost any claim to a serious Christian conscience. But that they would so readily embrace such an unreconstructed pagan is indeed a revelation.

If you think of the conservative movement as beginning in 1964 and climaxing in the 1990s, then the era we are now in is suffering from a cancer of the mind and the soul. That the GOP has finally found a creature that can personify these urges to purge, a man for whom the word “shameless” could have been invented, a bully and a creep, a liar and cheat, a con man and wannabe tyrant, a dedicated loather of individual liberty, and an opponent of the pricelessly important conventions of liberal democracy is perhaps a fitting end.

This is the gutter, ladies and gentlemen, and it runs into a sewer. May what’s left of conservatism be carried out to sea.

5

Go Ahead. Ask “the Gays.”

From The Hill: 

Donald Trump, who has in recent days called himself the best presidential candidate for the gay community, re-tweeted a photo of himself standing next to anti-gay Pastor Robert Jeffress Friday.

Jeffress, who is known for his anti-LGBT sentiments and controversial views on the Mormon faith, tweeted the photo Friday after meeting at Trump’s rally in Dallas.

Following the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last weekend, Trump has said the gay community should support him over rival Hillary Clinton.

“The LGBT community, the gay community, the lesbian community — they are so much in favor of what I’ve been saying over the last three or four days,” Trump said Thursday.

“Ask the gays what they think and what they do, in, not only Saudi Arabia, but many of these countries, and then you tell me – who’s your friend, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?”

But his newest friend, Jeffress, has previously linked homosexuality and pedophilia and compared being gay to bestiality. 

In February 2015, he was quoted saying the gay rights movement would “pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist.” 

Jeffress has also called the Mormon religion a “cult.” When introducing then-GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry in 2011, he said Christians shouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney because “he’s a Mormon, therefore not a real Christian.”

“Historically, evangelical Christianity has never embraced Mormonism as a branch of Christianity. Mormonism has always been treated as a cult,” he said.

Making America Great Again!

One Short-fingered Vulgarian and a Height-challenged Gay Hater