Our Current Situation: Resist

SE HABLA ESPAÑOL: Guess who is moving south of the border? American business!

“After Donald Trump’s election, the flow of manufacturers setting up shop south of the border dwindled to a trickle. Ford Motor Co. and Carrier Corp., caught in Trump’s Twitter crosshairs, scrapped plans to move jobs to Mexico in two very public examples of the slowdown.

“But now the pace is picking back up.”


RESISTANCE SCHOOL: The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on Resistance School and gives a shout-out to Tampa.

“Some faculty members also tuned in. Among them was Aaron D. Walker, an assistant professor of communication at Florida’s University of Tampa.

“Since the inauguration, Mr. Walker said he’d seen activism swell in the Tampa area, particularly among people who weren’t previously activists and therefore didn’t have a good grasp of best practices.”

If nothing else, the readings are worth reading or re-reading or re-re-reading.

Readings for Session One

Readings for Session Two

Session three and four readings have yet to be posted.

“[T]he school’s purpose is not just fighting Mr. Trump’s agenda, Ms. Seervai said. “Resistance School is about much more than one man,” she said. ‘What we’re doing is equipping people to think about their progressive values and take actions to defend them.'”

Check out the Resistance School.


GOOD JOB, TAMPA BAY TIMES!: Our local paper did some good reporting on the disparity between black people being shot by police and white people being shot by police. Spoiler Alert! Black people are shot a lot more often.

Why Cops Shoot

Unarmed. Not wearing a seatbelt. Running away. Police are more likely to shoot If you’re black (though, I am not a fan of the weird animation for moving through this story.)

CJR reports on the story.

“The Times’ graphic argument leads readers to back a custom database of the 827 police shootings that took place in the state between 2009 and 2014. Each shooting is summarized, mapped, and linked to shootings with which it shares characteristics—whether a victim was armed, or complied with officers, or fled.”

MORE LOCAL PAPER GOODNESS!: Congratulations to Laura Reiley, food critic at the Tampa Bay Times for her Pulitzer nomination! Her biggest hit last year was a story about the deceptions surround local food sourcing. From Farm to Fable.

The 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Criticism: Laura Reiley of Tampa Bay Times

For lively restaurant reviews, including a series that took on the false claims of the farm-to-table movement and prompted statewide investigations.


THE TRASH OF WAR: For reasons that in retrospect seem completely random I wondered earlier this week about what happens to the trash generated by the US military. Turns out there was an interesting story on this topic in the New Republic last November.

The Things They Burned

“Everything—all the trash of the war—was thrown in a burn pit, soaked with jet fuel, and torched. There were hundreds of open-air garbage dumps, spread out across Afghanistan and Iraq, right next to encampments where American soldiers lived and worked, ate and slept. The pits burned day and night, many of them around the clock, seven days a week. There were backyard-size pits lit by patrols of a few dozen men, and massive, industrial-size pits designed to incinerate the endless stream of waste produced by U.S. military bases. Camp Speicher, in Iraq, produced so much trash that it had to operate seven burn pits simultaneously. At the height of the surge, according to the Military Times, Joint Base Balad was churning out three times more garbage than Juneau, Alaska, which had a comparable population. Balad’s pit, situated in the northwest corner of the base, spanned ten acres and burned more than 200 tons of trash a day.”

And then, because we love our troops so much, we let them breathe in these noxious, toxic, cancerous fumes, let the ash cover them and everything they owned and the places they lived, and then rejected their claim for treatment. We. Are. The. Best!

“On its public health web page, the VA has posted a terse, official statement about burn pits. “At this time,” it reads, “research does not show evidence of long-term health problems from exposure to burn pits.”

“This statement is untrue, in the way that official statements are often untrue: not because it contains an outright lie, but because it twists the meaning of everyday words like research and evidence.As the VA knows, there has, in fact, been significant research into burn pits by reputable scientists at established academic institutions, who have published their findings in major, peer-reviewed publications. And that research strongly suggests that long-term health problems among veterans may well have been caused by exposure to burn pits.”

Apparently, this was a big scandal in 2010, but I wasn’t paying attention. (And, poking around the Internet and various news sites, it’s been reported on continuously for more than a decade.)

The use of burn pits was limited in 2009, but the practice continues.


THE THINGS THEY POKED: Fortunately, the VA and DOD have found a solution. Stick pins in soldiers. Take that, cancer!

“But use of the technique [battlefield acupuncture], once practiced by fewer than a 100 military doctors across the services, is rapidly expanding through a vigorous training program supported by DOD and the VA.” – source

“Dr. Seuss monsters”: The quackery that is “battlefield acupuncture” continues to metastasize


MOONSHOT: Since my New Year’s Resolution was to get in tune with the moon I think I’ll do a special edition of Our Current Situation next week about Trump and the Moon.


The 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Editorial Cartooning: Jen Sorensen, freelance cartoonist

2 thoughts on “Our Current Situation: Resist

  1. Let’s not forget “they” said the fumes from the burning trade center also weren’t toxic.
    “they” were wrong.

    1. Yep. That seems to be a recurring theme for this century.

      Last century it was smokestacks and cigarettes. This century it’s war and terror. (and still some smokestacks and cigarettes.)

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