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Dennis Jernberg
Lives in Near Seattle, WA, USA
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Beware the "Stop Having Fun" Guys! They're deadly serious and they play for keeps. They ruin everybody's fun.

Just sayin'.
 
Two men drove from Iowa to Massachusetts with a trunk full of ammo and guns, boasting about "killing the competition" on Facebook.
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Looks like Scarface Al Capone finally got his wish. The American Mussolini is here.

The joke is over. Get ready to fight.

#thedonald #gopfail
 
This article interests me most for what it misses. 

The body of this article -- which is well-written and worth reading, if you care about the subject -- is about how it's suddenly become evident that Trump's loudly touted and not particularly covert brand of racism, isolationism, and xenophobia isn't just harmless and funny, after two of his followers beat a homeless man into the hospital for being Latino and then praised Trump's speeches while they were being arrested. 

But the interesting thing they miss is hidden in plain sight, right in the headline. For Trump to have stopped being funny, he had to have been funny in the first place. And that joke only ever worked for people with a certain kind of privilege.

Donald Trump has never been subtle about his views. While his hair and his general egomania may be clownish, he was always showing these things off while preaching about how we need to crack down on Latinos, Blacks, immigrants, the Chinese, whoever he's on about on any particular day. He was doing this while calling for mass deportations of tens of millions of people, closing borders, engaging in ludicrously heavy-handed "negotiations" with other countries, and so on. And this has been working: Trump's popularity is because there are people who wonder, "well, why not?" and there is someone out there advocating solutions which sound (a) simple, (b) brutal, and (c) based on beating up people whom they don't see as part of their own society, from whom they can simply "take back" their power. (Although, as these other groups never actually had any such power, what's really meant here is "take")

It is only possible to see that as a joke if you have never had a reason to fear ethnic violence. But the US has just as long and bloody a history of ethnic violence as it has a history. Nothing Trump is suggesting is new; you could have heard it 150 years ago from the Know-Nothing Party, or 100 years ago from the more political branches of the Klan, or 50 years ago from the John Birch Society, each with their own variants.

Nor is it a coincidence that Trump is having these successes in the midst of Black Lives Matter, or in the aftermath of GamerGate; there are powerful movements afoot in our society where groups that were previously excluded are demanding their fair share of the floor, and powerful counter-movements of people who suddenly feel that the one thing they had of their own -- complete dominance of some spaces -- is suddenly being taken away. Trump is a natural mouthpiece for these groups, and he's quite good at it.

(There's some question about whether Trump came out openly in support of GamerGate a few weeks ago, or whether this was just a rogue autoresponder that he let stand, but I would by no means be surprised if he were to say something about it at some point; the complaints of GamerGate align surprisingly well with his rhetoric)

And anyone who watches these issues knows that there is profound violence immediately on deck in all of them. GamerGate was awash in death threats, and a few actual attempts. Black Lives Matter was born in the wake of shootings, and the rate of violence by whites (and especially police) against black youth in this country has hardly decreased. 

You can see another version of this in the part of the Republican press which is highly anti-Trump, not least because Trump is completely disconnected from the party's main political organs. Consider this article by Ben Domenech from The Federalist, which is quite far to the right but unconnected with Trump: http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/21/are-republicans-for-freedom-or-white-identity-politics/ The essential meat of the article is that the party has underestimated Trump's appeal, and in order to curb his lunatic candidacy, the Republican Party should find a better way to express his ideas and so pull his followers back into the mainstream.

And what are these ideas? "White identity politics." Note that the article does not fear that these become part of the Republican platform; it fears that they will become such a large part that they overwhelm the rest of the platform, and so these need to be addressed in a careful way. But there's nothing wrong with pulling them in, Domenech says: "'Identity politics for white people' is not the same thing as 'racism,' nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist."

Pro tip: "identity politics based on racial categories" is actually the dictionary definition of racism, and "identity politics for white people" is the prototype example of the category. Domenech's article isn't about rejecting Trump's racism: it's about finding more socially acceptable ways to express it, so that it can be folded into the party mainstream without taking it over.

For those wondering about Trump from the outside, I can give a simple explanation of his politics: Trump is a classical European far-right party leader. This is why he seems a bit exotic by recent American standards: especially since the 1980's, the American far right has been dominated by the "theological" far right, a very distinctly American political movement which focuses on making the country explicitly into a Fundamentalist Christian country. Trump, although he speaks to a similar (and overlapping) group of people, isn't talking about religion at all; instead, you'll find his politics very similar to that of European far-right politicians, of the sort who like to put "National" in their party names.

On the European spectrum, Trump falls somewhat to the right of Jean-Marie le Pen, perhaps a shade left of the Golden Dawn, and somewhat more populist than Jobbik. If we were running in a parliamentary, rather than presidential, system, he would currently be at the head of a far-right party that was polling in the high teens, and press coverage would be worried about how many seats he would get and whether he would be able to force a coalition to join him. In the US system, he's instead at the head of a far-right wing of a party, and the question is whether he will be able to force the party to adopt his policies wholesale to avoid electoral defeat next year.

So that's the secret thing which this headline hides: Trump was only ever funny if you had never had a reason to be aware of, or to fear, ethnic or sexual violence tacitly supported by the state. 

If you've ever had to be aware of that before, Trump was never a joke.

h/t to +Lauren Weinstein for pointing out the Federalist article.
Win or lose, Trump's campaign threatens to unleash the Great American Stupid
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If a science fiction writer turns the old sexist trope on its head, however...

(in my case, spinning it around enough times to cause vertigo)
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What's wrong with this picture?



(clue: it's not a Kindle or iPhone)

via +Alex Scrivener 
 
The future is a scary place. 
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Annnnnd yet another company says #YoureFired  to #TheDonald . The hits keep rollin'...
#trumpisachump   #gopfail  
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The "Sick Puppies" lost. Right-wing white identity politics lost. The Chinese entry won best novel. Science fiction won... barely.

Exactly as I predicted... on Twitter, of course.

Via +Harold Chester
 
Early this year, that shift sparked a backlash: a campaign, organized by three white, male authors, that resulted in a final Hugo ballot dominated by mostly white, mostly male nominees.

The mainstream press first started reporting on the gaming of the Hugos’ nomination system back in April, when fan-favorite authors who were women and people of color had been largely edged out of the final ballot. But few outside the field really cared. They treated it like nerd-on-nerd violence—unfortunate and ugly, but confined to one of literature’s crummier neighborhoods.

As a longtime sci-fi fan this bothered me. Because recent years have seen more women, minorities, gays, and lesbians winning Hugo awards a bunch of primarily white males got their knickers in a knot and protested. When did we decide that sci-fi was the realm of white males only? When did we decide only white males could write good sci-fi worth reading? No, sci-fi is for everyone regardless of sex, race, or sexual orientation. Just because you don't like sci-fi written by women, minorities, or homosexuals doesn't mean it's not good sci-fi. It just means you're a bigot who can't see beyond your narrow worldview. 
After a group of fans tried to guarantee a whiter, more male slate, the big Hugos instead went to "No Winner."
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#Spanner   #amediting  update:
I now have all the final chapter titles for Enter the Monkeywrench Book 1! And more...
As of today, all the chapters in Enter the Monkeywrench Part 1 now have their final titles: Intro Interlude 0: The Monkeywrench Cometh 0. First Blast of the Trumpet 1. On the 13th Floor 2. Red Skies in Morning 3. Angel of Cha...
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#trumplogic :
Lessee... If all Mexicans are rapists, and Jeb! married a Mexican, does that make Jeb! a rapist too?

#trumpisachump   #weshallovercomb   #yourefired   #gopfail  
With a retweet, immigration hardliner Donald Trump let his followers know on the Fourth of July that fellow Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush "has to like Mexican illegals because of his wife."
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THE OBAMA INVASION OF TEXAS HAS BEGUN!!!1!1!
(according to the conspiracy theorists who rule Texas, that is)
#txfail   #gopfail  
The multi-state U.S. military training exercise dubbed "Jade Helm 15," which has spawned myriad conspiracy theories and vexed public officials who struggled to allay the concerns of constituents, is finally here. The "unconventional warfare" exercise is scheduled to begin Wednesday and run until Sept. 15. Training is planned for certain areas of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. California, Colorado and Nevada...
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Shared by my brother +Shawn Deem and our uncle Don Jernberg on Facebook. I'm no Christian myself, but I agree this is spot on.
We who call ourselves Christians lost a great deal over the past few days, though it's probably not in the way you might think. 1) We lost the chance to be loving. So many professed followers of Je...
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Chris Reher's profile photoDennis Jernberg's profile photo
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+Chris Reher Me, I was afraid it would be something typically right-wing like so many on that side of my family (especially the pastors), but Don's a good person. I was surprised he picked this to share and I found it worthy to repost.
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Professional hacker of memes
Introduction
Novelist, blogger, cartoonist (mangaka in training), rocker (singer, guitarist, and keyboardist also in training), tech geek, political junkie, public intellectual, professional slacker, and hacker of memes.

My first novel, Chaos Angel Spanner  (originally planned as a manga in 1992), is currently undergoing its fifth and final revision for publication later this year. (WARNING: contains NSFW material, political incorrectness, and live mind viruses, so read at your own risk!)
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