This book explains how to tell when your country's going to hell and how to stop it

You may have noticed of late that things in America are becoming less, well, American.

A cruel misogynist with dangerously racist beliefs is running the show. Nazis and bigots of all stripes no long fear giving voice to their hatred in public. The nation's journalists and the free flow of information are under attack. The government is working hard to defund the healthcare apparatus designed to protect the country's most vulnerable citizens. Piece by piece, the country's institutions, its heart and soul are being torn asunder, paving the way for something new. After reading Timothy Snyder's most recent book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, I gotta tell you, if you're scared of the outcome of all of this, chances are you're likely not scared enough.

Snyder is a scholar who specializes in the history of the the 20th century and, more pointedly, the holocaust. His knowledge of how a country's slow slide into fascism at the whim of a tyrant can occur is beyond reproach, given his academic street cred: he's the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale, a Committee on Conscience member at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. What I'm getting at is that he knows from bad shit, how it starts and historically, how it's gone down. With the current political and popular climate in a number of nations around the world, he's concerned that the ugliest parts of humanity are ready to rear their heads once again.

On Tyranny's only 126 pages long. Read the rest

How technology's built in "engagement maximization" destroys mental health in the Trump age, and what to do about it

We live in a weaponized news-cycle, a political moment in which a cadre of ruthless looters are destroying the world, magnified by technology's design ethic that uses experimental methodologies to maximize "engagement" (that is, how much attention you give to a tool or application), without any regard to whether your "engagement" is driven by pleasure or anxiety.

The world's scariest Halloween lawn decor: 'A Very Very Trump Halloween'

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood in Alameda, California is "A Very Very Trump Halloween," a lawn display that may well be the world's scariest.

The decor is the brilliant creation of Alamedans Cathy and Dan Balsam who shared, "These decorations are the scariest thing we could possibly think of."

What makes their lawn decor so spooky?

Well, it features an all-star monstrous cast of the ghouliest of all ghouls in American politics.

Like...

Turtle man Mitch McConnell...

Putrid undead Pence...

The ever-grim Steve Bannon...

Dark puppetmaster Vladimir Putin...

(Skeleton Putin riding a horse skeleton is a nice touch on that one.)

Scary Steven Mnuchin...

The eerily-silent Sarah Huckabee Sanders...

Brainless Ben Carson...

Melancholy Melania Trump...

The resemblances are spooky, aren't they?! And, there's lots more frightening faces here.

"A Very, Very Trump Halloween," indeed.

photos by Rusty Blazenhoff

Previously: 'Fuck Trump' projected on a building in California's 'Mayberry by the Bay' Read the rest

'Fuck Trump' projected on a building in California's 'Mayberry by the Bay'

On Tuesday night, the words "FUCK TRUMP," as well as other political statements, were projected on the Odd Fellows building on Park Street in Alameda, Calfornia.

I live in Alameda, and have for many years.

It's a beautiful, quiet island suburb wedged between San Francisco and Oakland. Our public schools are highly rated and it's known as a safe place to raise kids.

In fact, my friend Sunny jokingly coined it the place "where hipsters come to breed," which is funny because it's true. That bumper sticker already exists.

We have a grand Art Deco movie theatre, a world-famous tiki lounge, and a Fourth of July parade that can make the most disaffected feel a tinge of patriotism.

Life moves a bit slower here, literally. The speed limit is 25 MPH on nearly all of the island, a throwback to when the island had a military presence.

Alameda is so quaint that it earned the apt nickname, "Mayberry by the Bay."

We have our issues, though it has felt as if our sheltered bubble had become remarkably unpoppable until the past couple of years.

Still, it was a surprise to see such powerful words broadcast publicly on our main drag. And it wasn't just "Fuck Trump" being featured, there was a whole slideshow of messages with a distinct "Resist" bent. I'm not complaining, it was simply something I'd more expect to see in one of our other, more politically-active, East Bay cities like Berkeley.

A photo and a video of the projections were posted in several closed Facebook groups created for Alameda residents, as well as in the public-facing Resistance SF Facebook page. Read the rest

"Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats benefit ACLU

My friend Gabe created these fun "Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats! All profits go to the American Civil Liberties Union! Gabe says:

On a personal note, making these hats has been a profound and grounding exercise in connecting with others from across the world that I would not have connected with otherwise. I know that the issues we face are complex and that Trump represents much greater forces than just him alone. I also know that this is but a small way to make a difference, but I do believe that it's important to express our dissent and let people know where we stand; that we will not be bullied by him or his supporters.

(And yes, that's Helena Christensen rocking the "Immigrant" hat below.)

Buy "Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats

And follow Fuck Trump on Instagram!

Read the rest

As anti-Semitic bomb threats continue, ADL office evacuated in San Francisco

The terror attacks against Jewish folks in America continue. No one seems to care. Read the rest

Trump's #MuslimBan temporarily blocked nationwide by U.S. judge in Washington state

A U.S. judge today temporarily blocked an executive order by President Donald Trump aimed at travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries after the states of Washington Minnesota advocated for an end to the racist “Muslim Ban.” Read the rest

Silicon Valley technology firms meet to plan legal challenge of Trump #MuslimBan

A group of tech firms will meet today to plan the filing of an amicus brief in support of lawsuit to challenge U.S. President Donald Trump's “Muslim Ban.”

Trump's order was issued on Friday, and restricts immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries in which Trump has no business interests. Adjacent Muslim-majority nations in which Trump does have business interests were left untouched by the ban. Administration staffers took great pains to keep the orders secret from other government officials, and from the public, until it went into effect. Read the rest

Jeff Sessions asked Sally Yates in 2015 if she'd say no to 'improper' presidential orders

”Do you think the U.S. Attorney General has a responsibility to say no to the president if he asks for something that is improper?,” asked Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (R-Alabama) in 2015.

“I believe they have an obligation to follow the law and the Constitution,” replied U.S. Deputy Attorney General nominee Sally Q. Yates. Read the rest

'Resistiré' (I Will Resist), Dúo Dinámico (1988)

“Resistiré,” '80s Euro-pop by the Spanish band Dúo Dinámico. As made famous in Átame (Tie Me Up Tie Me Down), a film by Pedro Almodóvar in which Antonio Banderas, Victoria Abril, and Loles León sing the song while driving. Read the rest