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Clayton Haapala
Software development, bass (guitar and vocals), Lutheran. Enjoys the road less traveled, on foot or bicycle.
Software development, bass (guitar and vocals), Lutheran. Enjoys the road less traveled, on foot or bicycle.

Clayton's posts

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So, literally a false flag operation.

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I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election:
1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to google.
3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They're holding signs and marching every week.
4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone's forgotten he's kind of a jerk.
5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.
6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of anti-depressants.
7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.
8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.
9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust and cognitive dissonance.
10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than they did last year.
11. Everyone knows more about legislation, branches of power and how checks and balances work.
12. Marginalized groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.
13. White people in record numbers have just learned that racism is not dead. (See #6)
14. White people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.
15. Stephen Colbert's "Late Night" finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows, and Seth Meyers is finding his footing as today's Jon Stewart.
16. "Mike Pence" has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since Nov. 9th.
17. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.
18. Travel ban protesters put $24 million into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.
19. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.
20. Live streaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.
21. Massive cleanup of facebook friend lists.
22. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell's "1984" increased by 10,000% after the inauguration. (Yes, that is true. 10,000%. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)
23. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.
24. Now, more than anytime in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.

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From the Twitter Machine: "Trump shouldn't be allowed to pick a Supreme Court justice in the last year of his presidency." 

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On 25 September 1940, Walter Benjamin, then a refugee, committed suicide upon being told he would be repatriated to Nazi Germany.

Bertold Brecht wrote this poem about him.

Zum Freitod des Flüchtlings W. B.* (ca. 1941)

Ich höre, dass du die Hand gegen dich erhoben hast
Dem Schlächter zuvorkommend.
Acht Jahre verbannt, den Aufstieg des Feindes beobachtend
Zuletzt an eine unüberschreitbare Grenze getrieben
Hast du, heisst es, eine überschreitbare überschritten.
Reiche stürzen. Die Bandenführer
Schreiten daher wie Staatsmänner. Die Völker
Sieht man nicht mehr unter den Rüstungen.
So liegt die Zukunft in Finsternis, und die guten Kräfte
Sind schwach. All das sahst du
Als du den quälbaren Leib zerstörtest.

On the suicide of the refugee W. B. * (ca. 1941)

I am told that you raised your hand against yourself
Anticipating the butcher.
After eight years of exile, observing the rise of the enemy
Then at last, brought up against an impassable frontier
You passed, they say, a passable one.

Empires collapse. Gang leaders
are strutting about like statesmen. The peoples
Can no longer be seen under all those armaments.

So the future lies in darkness and the forces of right
Are weak. All this was plain to you
When you destroyed a torturable body.

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1933, but maybe at a pace 1.5x or more.
What's your exit strategy? 
Warning: This is not a piece about cute dogs!
Read the text here before clicking through.

The piece below is not a cheerful one. It started out as a comment on an earlier post, but it grew into a piece in its own right. I was trying to answer +Enclosed Grand Dad's question of why certain groups are particular targets of the Trump regime; that, in turn, grew into discussing what might be coming down the pipe next.

I come from a family for which thinking these things through, and knowing when to jump, has been a critical survival skill. The things in this post are the sorts of things people talk about quietly, while doing silent calculations about their options, but rarely talk about in public. This time, I thought I would share some of the innards with you.

Why the picture of the puppy? Because I stuck several pictures of cute animals, and links to even more, inside this article. They make this easier to deal with.

I'm going to go pet my dogs now.
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