This Is Not Who We Are: The Baraboo High Nazi Salute and American Fascism

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This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Nazi Salute at Baraboo High

11-29-2018  Almost all the boys of the 2019 class of Baraboo High in Wisconsin posed for a picture doing the Nazi salute. The first reaction of many was, “This is not who we are.” Clearly it is. What to do about this American fascism?

nazi salute at Baraboo High, nazi salute, Heil Hitler, Sieg Heil, Hitler greeting, Baraboo High, Baraboo Wisconsin, fascism, fascism in America, American fascism, This is not who we are, history, history Germany, World War Two, Holocaust, Nazi Germany, history education, high school history education, free speech, freedom of speech, hate speech, censorship, social engineeringBaraboo High Superintendent Lori Mueller’s first reaction to the Nazi salute in an email was a version of America’s first reaction to these events: This is not who we are: “The school district is investigating the situation and is working with parents, staff and local authorities. We want to be very clear: The Baraboo School district is a hate-free environment where all people, regardless of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or ancestry, are respected and celebrated.” Almost all the boys of the 2019 class in the only high school in town just did the Nazi salute. Clearly, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Lieutenant governor-elect Mandela Barnes was a bit more realistic: “Wish I was shocked, but the comfort they share in embracing supremacist culture is the most obscene part,” he tweeted. “It cannot be tolerated, ignored, or inconsequential. This will not be us.”

At heated council meetings there was more denial. Baraboo High Parents argued about the students’ intent. Some claimed that no, they didn’t intend anything fascist; they were just being silly; they were clearly just waving goodbye before going off to Prom. Waving goodbye. Really! American fascism denial at its finest. Others: They were clearly giving the Nazi salute; they knew exactly what they were doing. But too many folks in this camp will then say, “This is not who we are,” which is not any less dismissive in the end.

This article in The Daily Dot brings attention to the knee-jerk reaction to everything bad that happens in this country: “This is not who we are.” President Obama said it 46 times during his presidency. It’s the collective denial of American fascism. This is exactly who you are. Only by acknowledging that and taking the bull by the horns can you make the changes that will allow you, maybe, some time in the future, to realistically say, “This is not who we are.”

Sources:

  • Grasso, Samantha. ‘This is not who we are’ Meme Wants You to Realize This Is Exactly Who America Is. The Daily Dot. November 27, 2018. https://www.dailydot.com/irl/this-is-not-who-we-are-meme/

Header image: Snopes.com

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Nazi Salute at Baraboo High: Freedom of Speech or History Education?

11-30-2018  Almost all the boys of the 2019 class of Baraboo High in Wisconsin posed for a picture doing the Nazi salute. Do the students have freedom of speech? Did they know what they were doing? If not, why not? The Auschwitz Museum -- yes, the museum at the site of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp in Auschwitz, Poland! -- even responded to the Baraboo High Nazi salute in a tweet, which should be a deafening wake-up call: "We need to explain what is the danger of hateful ideology rising. Auschwitz with its gas chambers was at the ...
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This Is Not Who We Are: The Baraboo High Nazi Salute and American Fascism

11-29-2018  Almost all the boys of the 2019 class of Baraboo High in Wisconsin posed for a picture doing the Nazi salute. The first reaction of many was, "This is not who we are." Clearly it is. What to do about this American fascism? Baraboo High Superintendent Lori Mueller's first reaction to the Nazi salute in an email was a version of America's first reaction to these events: This is not who we are: "The school district is investigating the situation and is working with parents, staff and local authorities. We want to be very clear: The Baraboo School district is a ...
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ICE and the Justice Department: Covert Government Centralization?

American fascism is likely to come in small steps, via gradual government centralization (02-15-2018, updated 07-11-2018)  One element of fascism is consolidation of government.  After all, a fascist government has one leader with absolute power. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) really wants to join the intelligence community. Such centralization of government would give them access to more information and surveillance in their search for illegal immigrants. With Trump as president this dream could become reality. He loves ICE. The less mercy they show the better. More children yanked away from their parents, more teens sent to countries they don't know -- it all translates to more support from ...
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Angola: From Slave Trader Isaac Franklin to Prison Plantation

The 13th Amendment Loophole Kept Slavery Alive. Angola is a prime example: it was a slave plantation and now it's a prison plantation (01-16-2018, updated 07-11-2018) The 1800s interstate slave trade between the slave-breeding states and the Deep South was especially lucrative. One of the interstate slave traders, Isaac Franklin (1789 - 1846) became one of the South's richest (possibly the richest) men and the owner of land in several states. He named one plantation in Louisiana 'Angola'. The Slave Economy The slave traders Franklin and Armfield were the biggest in U.S. history. Their agents bought slaves all over Virginia and Maryland and they had their ...
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American Eugenics Programs, Hitler, Nazi Breeding Programs and Genocide

Hitler found inspiration in American eugenics programs for his Nazi breeding programs, experiments on twins, concentration camps, the Holocaust,  and more (12-19-2017, updated 07-11-2017)  An article I saw yesterday: "The Nazi Breeding and Infanticide Program You Probably Never Knew About". Yeah, there's a reason you probably never knew about this. In the 1920s Hitler was impressed by American eugenics programs. Rich Americans gave Germans the funds, science and technology to develop their own programs. When the Germans ran with it, Americans were quick to take credit for introducing them to the science. But when news of the concentration camps and other atrocities, like ...
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the poorly educated, Trump's propaganda, MAGA, Make america great again, Trump's propaganda, propaganda, propaganda in mein kampf, hitler's ideas on propaganda, Trump's propaganda,

Hitler and Trump: Propaganda for the Poorly Educated in Mein Kampf

Trump bases his propaganda directly on Hitler's ideas in Mein Kampf: focus solely on the lowest common denominator -- the poorly educated (11-26-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  "I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and I wouldn't lose any voters," he said at a rally. That tells you what he thinks of his voters: they're schmucks, useful idiots. Hitler's thoughts exactly. One of Trump's ex-wives, Ivana, said that he greatly admired the bastard, and that he always had a copy of a collection of his speeches on his night stand. I doubt he reads them anymore; his mind is almost completely shot. That's why I also doubt that Trump ...
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2nd amendment, fascism, Antifa, militia, racial disparity, impeach trump and pence demonstration, impeach trump and pence 11-04-2017 austin, anti-trump demonstration, homeless, militias, impeach trump and pence 11-04-2017, homelessness, homeless, racial inequality, inter-racial discrimination, racial wealth gap, gun nuts, second amendment rights, militias, november 4 demonstration, get rid of trump and pence, austin, austin tx,

Talking Fascism With Militia and Homeless at Fake Anti-Trump Demonstration

The anti-Trump demonstration was a dud, But I did (try to) chat with a militia guy about fascism, the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment and Antifa, and with two homeless guys about racial disparity and how Nigerians should just shut up. (11-04-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  I went to the Impeach Trump and Pence Demonstration at Republic Square Park today. Turned out later that it was somewhere else. They must have changed the location but forgotten to change the location on all the web sites. So I get to the park half an hour before the demonstration is supposed to start, but it doesn't look good. One guy with a sign with something about ...
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after Trump, american fascism, post-trump america, fascism, trump, authoritarianism, manipulation, propaganda, nationalism, american exceptionalism, political solutions, educational solutions, el paso police, homeless, fascism in america, fascism in america part 11 conclusion, fascism in america part 11,

Conclusion: American Fascism Won’t Be Gone After Trump

Pulling American fascism out by the roots: My honey-do list for America after Trump has left the White House (10-30-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Most of you Americans on the left were gobsmacked when Trump won the election. You completely underestimated his allure. So we now have a wanna-be fascist in the White House. Apart from dealing with the matter at hand, you all also have to think about post-Trump America. Being There Also, from the beginning of Trump's run for president to the present, pundits have tried to compare Trump to various fascists. Trump is like Hitler. No, Trump is not like ...
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suppression of dissent, censorship, Trump propaganda, Trump TV, Propaganda, government propaganda, indoctrination, indoctrination starts with children, book burning, banned books, gag rules, gag laws, daughters of the confederacy, boy scouts, hitler youth, goebbels, Government propaganda outlets, trump propaganda outlets, fox news, confederate catechism, ,

Propaganda, Censorship and Other Suppression of Dissent

Book bans are censorship, gag rules are a form of suppression of dissent, and Fox News is a propaganda outlet for Trump. American freedom of speech isn't that great. (10-29-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  The fascist attitude: if you're not for us, you're against us and therefore an enemy of the state. Suppression of opposition is key. Book bans, book burning, press censorship, etc. The flip side of government suppression of dissent is government propaganda. Distorting facts and history to create a convenient story to force-feed to the masses. The Press in 1930s Germany The constitution of the Weimar Republic had quite modern freedoms of the press, ...
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dictators, dictatorship, male aggression, #me too, hypersexuality, anti-intellectualism, toxic masculinity, trump, trump rally,

Toxic Masculinity: Male Aggression, Anti-intellectualism, Dictators, War

Trump is the epitome of toxic masculinity: he admires male aggression and dictators, he takes anti-intellectualism to the next level, and his childlike fascination with war is frightening (10-26-2017, updated 07-11-2018)   Machismo is a problem the world over, but in 'the West" America is unique in some aspects of society that nurture and encourage male aggression and toxic masculinity. Gun ownership, football, anti-intellectualism and the need and pressure to all be leaders. Also: more comparisons between Trump and Hitler. Violently Active A violently active, dominating, intrepid, brutal youth—that is what I am after. Youth must be all those things. It must ...
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Government Violence, Militias and Intimidation in American History

Trump's calls for aggression seen in America's long history of government violence, government-sanctioned violence and intimidation by militias, KKK and other hate groups (10-24-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  Fascists don't mind violence, as long as they're meting it out, with violent and intimidating government policies and actions, and by encouraging a militarized citizenry. This post explores America's history of government violence. government-sanctioned violence and intimidation, Hitler's Nazi Party in Germany,  Trump rallies, and his encouragement of violence against his opposition. America's History of Violence and Intimidation The Wild West Several Native American nations fought brutal wars, others were mostly peaceful. The different warring ...
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American Totalitarianism: Authoritarianism and Christian Dominionism

Both authoritarianism and Christian dominionism are powerful forces in America. Theocracies are among the severest examples of totalitarianism. Will democracy prevent a Christian States of America? (10-21-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Sinclair Lewis wrote in his 1935 book It can't Happen Here: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying the cross". Totalitarian governments don't acknowledge individual liberties. Everyone must support the state. If America was a theocracy, there wouldn't be a Bill of Rights. No freedom of speech, dissent, democratic elections, or a free press. North Korea is a totalitarian state, and so are theocracies like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. In a ...
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presidents, the president, teachers, principals, respect for authority, police, police state, scapegoats, dog-whistle talk, antisemitism, racism, ainti-immigrant sentiment, police training, holocaust, russian interference in 2016 presidential election, limits of presidential powers, freedom of speech, kneeling NFL players, police brutality, human rights, public schools, American public schools, American education, education, police shootings, respect for authority, authoritarianism in america, authoritarianism, respect, police powers, abuse of powers, police violence, police in schools, school resources officers, presidency, president Trump, public schools, discipline in public schools, submission to authorities,

Authoritarianism: Respect for Authority — the President, Teachers, Police

Americans, your respect for authority is out of control. You adore your president like a god, you forget that the police is supposed to serve and protect you and that teachers are supposed to teach and care for your children. That's authoritarianism. (10-20-2017-updated 07-08-2018) The president is virtually untouchable, you hand your childrens' lives over to teachers and principals, and you live in a police state without even knowing it. It's ridiculous how you let authorities abuse their powers to the extent that they do. Powers that, half the time, they shouldn't even have. You sacrifice your freedom with your unquestioning respect for authority. You really need ...
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Dutch Police Training: From Authoritarianism to Deescalation Strategies

In World War Two, the Netherlands felt what authoritarianism does. Respect for authority declined after the war. Dutch police training adapted, and focused on social skills like deescalation strategies. (10-13-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  Now I first need to talk about the Dutch police, respect for authority, and 1980s Dutch police training, which focused more on deescalation strategies than on using force. You will then better understand where I'm coming from when I discuss American authoritarianism. After the War The German occupation (1940-1945) was a watershed moment for us. Before World War Two, before the German occupation, the Dutch in general had an unquestioning respect for authority. For the police, for instance ...
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nationalism, patriotism, fascism, pledge of allegiance, the pledge, american flag, national anthem, standing for the national anthem,

The Flag, the Pledge, The Anthem: Patriotism or Nationalism?

Patriotism or nationalism? Indoctrination with national symbols and rituals like the flag, the Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance have primed America for a fascist take-over. (10-10-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  Patriotism or nationalism. The American flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem--these are supposedly meant to instill patriotism and unity in Americans. But they are not to be questioned, which goes against America's basic values: freedom of speech and freedom of thought. Patriotism is a love of country. Nationalism demands conformity and incites hatred toward The Other. Indoctrination: The process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically. In ...
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Fascism and Its Language: America is the Greatest Country on Earth!

Fascism and its language can take a folks from patriotism to xenophobia. Propaganda and demagoguery use mythologizing language: "America is the greatest country on Earth!" and dehumanizing language: "They're all animals!" (10-3-2017)  Have you ever heard any politician refer to America as just “America” in a speech? Usually it’s at least “this great nation”. And everybody knows America is the greatest country in the world because Americans have heard that since they were toddlers. If you watch Fox News, you probably hear it several times a day. So it must be true, right? That's what propaganda and demagoguery do. What’s so terrible ...
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fascism, nationalism definition, american exceptionalism definition, exceptionaism definition, american exceptionalism, international arrogance, dangerous naivete, nationalism,

American Exceptionalism Is a Dangerously Naive Form of Nationalism

American exceptionalism is not a magic shield. In fact, the notion that a nation is special is a form of extreme nationalism. You aren't special or immune to fascism. Trump is proof (10-01-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  I have said for decades that it's dangerous to make kindergartners pledge allegiance to the flag, because it's nationalist indoctrination and it can easily lead to fascism. The response was always a breezy "Oh, that would never happen here. We're just proud of our country--nothing wrong with that." Fascism and nationalism go hand in hand, as I said in the introduction to this series about Fascism in America, and in ...
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American fascism, what is fascism, fascism in america, charlottesville,

What is Fascism and What Does American Fascism Look Like?

The coming posts will address some fascist phenomena--and how they do or don't manifest in American fascism--as well as related terms like nationalism, authoritarianism, etc. (09-30-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  I was invited to speak at an anti-fascist group meeting today, to talk about the German Occupation of the Netherlands during World War Two and American fascism. I had way too much information just getting through a definition. That's okay, though. It gave me fodder for another series of posts (and a year later  it's the reason I'm starting a separate blog on the topic, and which will serve as a suppository of material for ...
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Patriotism: NFL Players Kneeling for National Anthem Have American Values

What is patriotism? Do the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem have American values? Or are they disrespecting the troops? Are they patriots or traitors? (09-26-2017) NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem! They're trampling on American values! That's not patriotism -- they're traitors! They're  disrespecting the troops! You are confused, but I understand. The symbols have become so important to you that you forget what they stand for. Do I need to remind you what your ideals are? Well fine, if you insist. Here's a little refresher, from an immigrant. You're welcome. Ideals and Symbols Just as there are ...
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Charlottesville: From Patriotism to Nationalism to Malignant Nationalism

Too many Americans can't distinguish between patriotism and nationalism, let alone malignant nationalism. Recognizing the difference is extremely important to any democracy that doesn't want to devolve into fascism (09-05-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  Optimists still think that the white supremacists in Charlottesville were outliers, or that this is when everything changes. I'm not that optimistic. To many outsiders, America already lives with "a very quiet kind of fascism". I've always felt that America is primed for a fascist takeover. I'm sure most readers will still think, even after Charlottesville, that I'm overreacting, But I don't think I am. What is Blood and Soil? When I Googled "Blood and Soil" ...
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are you a racist, am I a racist, white privilege, white responsibility, racial disparity, racial discrimination, america's original sin, slavery, suppression of blacks, racism, Trump country, you're in Trump country now, the Trump era,

The Blurry Lines Between White Responsibility, White Privilege and Racism

Some thoughts about my own white responsibility, my white privilege and my unconscious racism, and a few peeks at living while black in Trump Country (08-31-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  Topic: white privilege and white responsibility for racial disparity in the Trump era. What is racism? Am I a racist? Are you a racist? Many whites say they're not racist, but neither are they responsible for race problems they didn't cause. Here are my thoughts, about historic Dutch responsibility, my personal privilege and responsibility, and more. The Big Apple, 1992 When I was in New York with my now-husband long before I moved here, we walked past ...
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post-Trump America, fascism, religion in public schools, history education, wir haben es nicht gewusst, American re-education, America after Trump, Geography education, re-education hitler youth, re-education americans, re-education hitler youth

Recognizing Fascism: Introducing History Education in Post-Trump America

Fascist marches, violence, everyone who isn't a white American male the target. You never saw it coming. Recognizing fascism requires history education -- real history education. In post-Trump America others may have to set that up. (08-15-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  Trump, Charlottesville, nobody saw them coming. Recognizing fascism requires history education. In post-Trump America you may need to hire outsiders to set that up. When Will It End?  Fascist marches in the streets, militias out in force, hatred and violence rampant. Trump doing nothing to discourage any of it. It's anyone's guess by now where and when this is going to end. Even after this incident the Republican ...
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domestic abuse victims, domestic abuse, Trump's base, cognitive dissonance, working-class Trump supporters, fake news, denial of facts, fake news, fake news echo chamber, cult followers, climate change deniers, collective Stockholm syndrome, battered wife syndrome, working class republicans, poor white republicans, members of religious sects, religious sects, domestic violence, domestic abusers, hostage takers, hostages, what is Stockholm syndrome, Stockholm syndrome definition, trump fans, Stockholm syndrome, epistemology,

Collective Stockholm Syndrome, Battered Wife Syndrome and Trump’s Base

Hostages, Battered Women, White Southerners, Trump's base--could collective Stockholm Syndrome and Battered Wife Syndrome explain their cognitive dissonance? (08-14-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  Reading this I sympathized. Just like Trump's base always believes him, despite overwhelming evidence that he's lying. They won't face facts either.  Why do they act against their own interests? Collective Stockholm Syndrome and Battered Wife Syndrome could offer some insight. Working-Class Trump Supporters Poor and working-class Trump supporters who, even when they hear that he wants to take away their Medicare, still insist that their lives have changed for the better since he moved into the White House. Countless poor and working-class white ...
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boy scouts parents, 2017 national jamboree, the scout oath, the scout law, the scout oath and law, boy scouts of America, the boy scouts, trump and boy scouts , trump at boy scout jamboree 2017, trump's speech at boy scout jamboree,

To Livid Boy Scouts Parents: Trump’s Speech at the 2017 National Jamboree

Open letter to the angry Boy Scouts' parents, concerning Trump's speech at the 2017 National Jamboree: it's too easy for your children to "degrade themselves" -- they have an unquestioning respect for authority (07-29-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  Dear BSA parents, those of you who were shocked, livid, dismayed, appalled, about Trump's speech at this year's National Jamboree, Tom Horneman probably spoke for a lot of Boy Scouts parents when he wanted the BSA to apologize:  “You had to know he would say something dumb/offensive/ridiculous — and he did, of course. In the process, he got Scouts to degrade themselves and embarrassed those of ...
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hate crimes, hate crimes against muslims, Trump's Muslim ban, Muslim ban, ban on Muslim refugees, ban on refugees from majority Muslim countries, American extremists, Trump extremists, hate crimes by Trump supporters, the scream by edvard munch,

Trump’s Muslim Ban and Hate Crimes Against Muslims by Trump Supporters

Trump's Muslim ban on refugees from majority Muslim countries that isn't a Muslim ban or any ban, and Trump Supporters' hate crimes against Muslims from the Middle East who were Hindus from India (02-25-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  Trump has ordered a ban on refugees from majority Muslim countries, although it's either a ban or not, and a Muslim ban or not,  at different times of day, depending on what Trump has last heard Sean Hannity call it on Fox "News", maybe? It's anyone's guess. The purpose of whatever it is seems to be to keep America safe from Muslim extremists who aim ...
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fox and friends, fox news, fake news about Sweden, President's day, Trump's tweets, trump and fox news, mad king george, king goerge ii,

Trump and Fox News and Fake News and Sweden

Trump doesn't understand that when the President of the United States tweets Fox News fake news about Sweden (and on Presidents Day), all of Sweden lets us know it's fake news (02-22-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  We spent Presidents' Day weekend in a cabin without Internet, so gloriously Trump-free. When we came back not much had changed; it was the weekend after all, so the president had been mostly spending the taxpayers' money golfing in Florida. One thing our fibbing Fox fan-in-chief did do was mention something that happened in Sweden. Correction: something that didn't happen in Sweden. He thought something happened there ...
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authoritarianism, american democracy, america's democracy, democracy in america, federal judges, checks and balances, DHS, Department of Homeland Security, pussy grabbing video, State Department, career bureaucrats, three branches of government, separation of powers, judicial branch, legislative branch, executive branch, Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, Trump supporters, Syrian refugees, Muslim ban, Trump

American Democracy Is Only As Strong As Its Separation of Powers

American democracy, the checks and balances, the separation of powers over the three branches of government only work if everyone sticks to the rules.  (01-30-2017, updated 07-13-2018)  When you elect a president who doesn't play by the rules, can he replace American democracy with a dictatorship? Or will the separation of powers protect us -- can the legislative branch and the judicial branch hold up against authoritarianism? The March for Women's Rights was nice and all, and it's encouraging to see so many people flock to airports around the country to protest the Muslim ban, but overall I'm extremely pessimistic right now.  Many pundits, journalists, bloggers (like me) have ...
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trump won the electoral vote, trump lost the popular vote, millions of illegal immigrants committed voter fraud, voter fraud, voter fraud in the 2016 election, 2016 presidential election, illegal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, Trump lies, Trump inauguration crowd

Millions of Illegal Immigrants Committed Voter Fraud, Trump Insists

Trump insists that he would have won the popular vote, were it not for those millions of illegal immigrants and others who committed voter fraud. How stupid is this? Let me count the ways (01-25-2017, updated 07-13-2018)   1. It makes him weak. Trump won the electoral vote--he's the president now. By continually bringing up the fact that he didn't win the popular vote, he's demonstrating his insecurity. If anyone missed that one speech where he mentioned it, that's okay, he'll mention it again in the next speech. So it's safe to say that by now the entire world knows how insecure Trump is. This makes him a ...
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protest, dissent, trump's inauguration day crowd, 3m people show in for the women's march, electoral vote, popular vote, difference between hillary clinton vote and trump vote, trump inauguration, 2016 presidential election, women's march, women's march austin capitol

After Inauguration Day: Women’s March to Protest Trump a Huge Success

Three million people turned up nationwide for the Women's March the day after Inauguration Day, the difference between the votes for Trump and Clinton, to protest Trump's presidency (01-22-2017, updated 07-13-2018.) The march to protest the degenerate-in-chief was a yuge success. Shall I count the ways? I think I shall. 1. The Women's March drew far more people than anticipated in most places. In Austin, where I marched with R and T, they expected about 20,000. The most conservative estimate of the turnout was 40,000. Kudos, too, to all those determined people who stood up, alone in their community, for what ...
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bullies, safety pin, bigotry, racism, bullying, aggression,

The Safety Pin: My Pledge of Intolerance to Bigotry, So Bullies Beware

I pledge intolerance to bigotry. I will wear a safety pin as long as Trump is president, as a warning to any bullying Trump-supporting bullies (12-01-2016, updated 07-13-2018) So, bullies beware: I'm a middle-aged white woman suffering from obesity, and I'm not afraid to use it. I will not stand by and do nothing. Things changed profoundly in this country on November 8. Mostly for the worse. In so far as things changing for the better, as far as the better half waking up and smelling the shit--it was all too little, too late. The media did too little to stand up to half the voting ...
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prevent fascism, how to prevent fascism, preventing fascism, Glenn Beck, fake news, Glenn Beck University, Donald Trump, president-elect Trump, alarmism, fascism in America, electoral college, super delegates,

Last Chance to Prevent Fascism in America: The Electoral College

Wake up, America! This is not alarmism -- the Electoral College is your last chance to prevent fascism in America (11-15-2016) The only reason I could see for superdelegates was to prevent fascism or any other a constitutional train wreck, but they wimped out. You have a second chance with the Electoral College. If it doesn't throw Trump out, that's it. We will see the rise of fascism in America. I know that anger is one of the stages of grief, as pundits are pointing out right now, but you know what? This isn't grief. This isn't about something that's lost already--it's about something that ...
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trump wins, steve bannon, million women march, checks and balances, no checks and balances, hate crimes, bigots emboldened by trump, trump is president-elect, president-elect, 2016 presidential election, safety pin, ACLU, Sierra Club, REnewable energy sector, fascism, fascism in america, swastika graffitti, post-election swastika graffitti, antisemitism,

The First Days After Donald Trump Wins the 2016 Presidential Election

Trump wins the 2016 presidential election. He is now the president-elect. Five days later I'm still reeling (11-13-2016, updated 07-13-2018)   Well. The 2016 presidential election came and went. This is day five since Trump was elected to be the next president of the United States. Come January, all three branches of government will be Republican. There will be no checks and balances. Grief and Anger I started crying around 11 pm on election  night, and didn't stop for almost two days. On Wednesday morning, as I was driving R to school, I told her to stay calm at school if Trump ...
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presumptive Republican nominee, 2016 presidential election campaign, separation of powers, armed militias, police brutality, police violence, supreme court judges, attorney general, state attorney general, Judge Curiel, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, talk show hosts, right wing talk show hosts, 2016 presidential election, presidential candidate Donald Trump, trump not presidential

2016 Presidential Election: Trump Is the Presumptive Republican Nominee

We are halfway the 2016 presidential election campaign and Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. When will he become presidential? (06-07-2016, updated 07-13-2018) We see how Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee,  treats every demographic that isn't white males. If elected president, he would silence judges, shut down the press, encourage even more police brutality, and we'd have many armed militias at his beck and call. He tells us daily how he would treat ethnic minorities and Muslims as president: he'll build a wall, round up 11M Mexicans and deport them. Ditto with Muslims. We are four months into the 2016 presidential election campaign, ...
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trump is the republican candidate, christian fundamentalists, epistemology, fake news, immigrant bashing, 2016 presidential election campaign, authoritarianism, fascism in America, american fascism, american authoritarianism, american politics, american political system, american public education, pledge of allegiance, hitler youth, indoctrination in school, trump,

Trump is the Republican Candidate: It’s a Bit Late to Face American Fascism

American fascism has led to this: Trump is the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election. He shows all the signs of a wannabe fascist leader. Have we passed the point of no return? (05-30-2016, updated 07-14-2018)   I've got nothing left to say other than "I told you so, America".  Too bad that it took Trump to open some eyes. Glad as I am that eyes are opening, it's hard to remain optimistic. For decades, I have been railing against the American political system, American authoritarianism, America's flirtation with fascism, the dangerous lack of education and critical thinking skills. I have alienated people--my husband's ...
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universal healthcare, obamacare, affordable care act, Bernie Sanders, social democrat, social democrats, social democracy, democratic socialist, democratic socialists, democratic socialism, universal helathcare, Obamqacare, affordable care act, Finland'

Bernie Sanders: Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat? Why It Matters

Bernie Sanders is not a democratic socialist -- he's a social democrat. So what is the difference? What is social democracy? What is democratic socialism? (03-20-2016, updated 07-14-2018)  Bernie Sanders is not a socialist and neither are his ideas. They are social democratic -- democracy and capitalism, but benefiting everyone, not just the few who can afford anything. That's social democracy. Bernie Sanders is a social democrat. Democratic socialism is an oxymoron as is a democratic socialist. I don't understand why he uses the term. It puts people off and it's incorrect. This article by a Finn explains perfectly what social democracy entails. It's not ...
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Under a President Trump, Would Democracy Survive or Would Fascism Win?

What if we had a President Trump? Would American democracy be at risk? Would the American political system hold? Or could the country descend into fascism? (02-03-2016, updated 07-14-2018)  Trump came in second in the Iowa caucus. Many pundits predict that this is the beginning of the end for Trump, but who knows. This is just the Iowa caucus; there's a lot more to come. I suspect that a lot of relatively reasonable folks are wondering if they still wouldn't prefer Trump to Bernie Sanders, if Sanders were to be the Democratic nominee. Well, let's see. With Sanders, in the worst case scenario ...
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Was Trump Success in the Republican Primary a Surprise? Look at History!

Only in America and only to Americans is it a surprise that Trump is doing so well in the Republican primary. Why would he not? Everything's in place for history to repeat itself (01-31-2016, updated 07-14-2018)  In an otherwise good article, Ann Marie Cox claims that Trump having such success in the Republican primary race could not have been foreseen with logic or by looking at history. Really? I've Been Telling You! Over the years I've written about many different aspects of American society that I find disturbing. The ubiquitous nationalism gives me the heebie-jeebies.  I've written about the pledge of allegiance, how Europeans ...
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Trump’s Muslim Registration and Identification Plans: Why History Matters

What American kids should be learning in History class: Just because something starts off small doesn't mean it's not a big deal. Trump's Muslim registration and identification plans are definitely a big deal. (11-20-2015, updated 07-14-2018)  In an interview on NPR a few people discussed Trump's Muslim registration and identification plans. One person immediately brought up the Holocaust. Another thought it wouldn't hurt anyone to just register Muslims and require a Muslim ID. Yeah, this is where it doesn't help if you studied World War Two in American history education and you know that D-Day was on June 6, 1944, and not on June ...
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Lies My Teacher Told Me: A Look at American High School History Education

Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen, explains why American high school history education results in the nationalism, the heroification of individuals, the lack of historical perspective, and the notion that universities are left-wing breeding grounds. (11-18-2015, updated 07-14-2018)  Loewen argues that high school history textbooks are the source of the problem with American high school history education. In some states, the state school board decides which textbooks are used, in some states it's the local school boards. School boards. Not a committee of historians or even history teachers. Imagine being a school textbook publisher. You want your history textbooks to ...
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What Passes for American History Education is Pathetic, and Now I Know Why

American history education is comprised mostly of disjointed, unimportant personal anecdotes, dates of battles and numbers killed. Cause and effect are barely touched upon. I can see why kids think, "Booooring!" (11-17-2015- updated 07-14-2018)  The average American's lack of history knowledge and insight has always boggled my mind. When I went back to college to get a degree in literature in the Rio Grande Valley, I had to take a summer course in World History. Five weeks. Because having spent five years on it in my Dutch high school didn't count. It was five weeks of facts, and not even that ...
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American Islamophobia: Sixteen States Plan to Refuse Syrian Refugees

France and America want to bomb ISIS in Syria. Sixteen U.S. states refuse entry to the subsequent Syrian refugees, because some of them might be terrorists. American Islamophobia is alive and kicking. (11-16-2015, updated 07-14-2018)  So here we are. I guess they have to attack ISIS in Syria; for one thing, ISIS is killing regular citizens, which is resulting in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe. But the idea that we could eliminate ISIS or extremist Muslims whatever their name of the hour is, seems completely hopeless. There has to be something else that can be done at the same time ...
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Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and his Campaign Demagoguery

Angry goldfish and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made scapegoating the main theme of his campaign demagoguery. This is when high school history education comes in handy, if you've had any. (11-12-2015) Donald Trump vilifies "illegal immigrants", claims they are all rapists and murderers and drug dealers. He riles up the people who have always hated "Mescans", and emboldens them. Here's some of Trump's campaign demagoguery: They are taking your jobs; they are bringing the country down; they will rape and kill your daughters; they should be dealt with by  the millions. I have the solution. I say it like it is; I don't have time ...
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Fans of SRO Ben Fields v. Lawsuits for Excessive Force and Racial Profiling

SRO Ben Fields had lawsuits filed against him, for excessive force and for racial profiling. Yet the police and the school were okay with letting him loose on kids, and so are many others. (11-01-2015, updated 07-14-2018)  School Resources Officer Ben Fields had two lawsuits filed against him, for excessive force and for targeting black students (which I guess is a synonym for racial profiling, but for schools). Were these the first ever incidents that he was perceived as violent and racist? It's possible. But one his nicknames was Officer Slam. If he had been violent before (racism is harder to prove), then it was pretty careless hiring on ...
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What’s the Purpose of American Public Schools, Education or Discipline?

How is it acceptable to have Officer Slam in American public schools? And why is discipline seen as the be-all, end-all in American public education? (10-29-2015, updated 07-14-2018)  If you had asked me last week what a school resource officer was, I wouldn't have known, but my guess would have been someone who was somehow involved in directing students to the appropriate resources for whatever they needed, be it the school library, the counselor, a local college, whatever. But no, SROs--School Resource Officers--are police officers who have been placed in American public schools "to keep the students safe". School Discipline 20 Years ...
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Spring Valley High School Student Violently Arrested by SRO Ben Fields

SRO Ben Fields  -- School Resources Officer -- at Spring Valley High School (S.C.) violently slammed a black female student to the floor and then threw her several feet toward the door. She was arrested for using her cell phone in class. (10-28-2015, updated 07-14-2018)  When a sixteen-year-old girl at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was caught with her phone, the teacher told her to hand it over. She refused. The teacher then ordered her to go to the principal's office. She refused.The teacher called the assistant principal, who then told her to leave the classroom. She refused. So ...
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the information age, Planned Parenthood, ignorance, conspiracy theories, epistemology, ignorance, misinformation, fake news, fake news bubble, birthers, information age, Internet, misinformation, disinformation,

Lies, Disinformation and Conspiracy Theories on the Internet

Conspiracy theories and other craziness -- what to do about the disinformation and lies on the Internet that don't contribute to the betterment of mankind? (10-13-2015, updated 07-14-2018)  Previously I wrote that I believe that in the long run humanity is getting better, in part due to the Internet. In the short term, though, easy access to information has its downsides as well. Anyone can find the most ridiculous claims online, then google them and find myriad sites that all support said claims. If someone has not learned to consider the source of information, those sites that all support one another ...
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Kim Davis, ISIS and the Syrian Refugees: Theocracy and Religious Freedom

ISIS is fighting for strict Muslim government everywhere. The Syrian refugees are fleeing these groups. However, Kim Davis, in fighting for her 'religious freedom', would want America to be a theocracy, too. (09-28-2015, updated 07-14-2018)   Well, Pope Francis has been and gone, so this is a good moment for another post about religion. We've had religion come at us from all angles lately: ISIS and the Taliban and Islamic fundamentalism in general in the Middle East, Christian fundamentalists here in America screaming bloody murder about the fact that same sex marriage is now the law of the land, and now the pope, ...
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Don’t Blame the Koch Brothers — American Education Was Always Awful

Don't blame the Koch brothers for bad American education -- it was terrible long before they were born. (07-05-2015, updated 07-14-2018)   When I saw this video on  Facebook, it didn't surprise me how many Americans don't know that the Fourth of July celebrates the American Revolution, and independence from Britain. What did surprise me, although I suppose it shouldn't have, were a lot of the comments blaming the GOP and the Koch brothers for the state of American education. To all of you out there blaming bad education, especially bad American history education on the GOP and the Kochs: Give me a ...
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The Confederate Flag Will No Longer Fly at the South Carolina State Capitol

The governor is removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State Capitol, but Southern politicians are still careful not to offend the folks who are proud of their Confederate heritage. (06-22-2015, updated 07-14-2018)  Southern politicians are falling over themselves in their haste to leap over the fence or off the fence, so they're on the record as having been on the right side of history. Only just in time, but hey, at this point, who's counting hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries? And yet, most of the politicians who are now claiming that the confederate flag should be removed from the ...
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White Man Kills Nine Black People in Church Shooting in Charleston S.C.

A young white man has killed nine black people in a church shooting in Charleston S.C. Several republicans, including some presidential candidates, are saying  the church shooting wasn't a hate crime. (06-20-2015, updated 07-14-2018)   One NRA board member of the historically black church, African-American himself, claims that the pastor who was shot brought it upon himself, because he was against open carry laws.  The  Charleston morning newspaper with the headline about the church shooting carried an attached ad for a gun store. I don't know what to say anymore about any of this. But not saying anything makes it look like I'm oblivious. All I know ...
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police training, firearms training, police firearms training, firearms, police shootings, lethal police shootings, police, poli ce brutality, excessive police force.,

Better Firearms Training, Less Lethal Force, Fewer Lethal Police Shootings

During police firearms training, why not teach officers to aim for the shoulder or leg? There would be decidedly fewer lethal police shootings if cops didn't have the license to use lethal force every time they felt threatened. (12-10-2014, updated 07-14-2018)  In my opinion the police license to use lethal force any time they feel threatened needs to be reevaluated.  The notion that any time someone reaches in their pocket, officers can empty their clips into that person is just ridiculous. In cases when they feel that using their gun is the only way to prevent further danger, why can't they aim ...
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How to Get Independent Quality Police Training and Police Accountability

For police accountability and guaranteed quality, police training must take place on a state level, independent of the culture within individual police forces. (12-07-2014, updated 07-14-2018)  It seems that in America many police forces do their own training. So the police teach recruits what they think the police should know and how they should act. Where's society's input? Where's the police accountability? During my time with the police training school De Boskamp, there were five schools that trained entry-level police in the Netherlands. One of them trained for state police, which was responsible for highways and small towns that were too ...
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1984: Dutch Police Training Adjusts to Society’s Anti-Authoritarianism

Dutch police training was revised when the police realized the need to adapt to post-war society's anti-authoritarianism.  They shifted from rigidly applying the law to focusing on social skills such as deescalation strategies. The   American police might need to do something similar. (12-06-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  The American public calls for changes in police training after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the choke hold death of Eric Garner in New York City. This is the first post in a series of suggestions. In 1984, I applied for a job as librarian at one of the five Dutch police training ...
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Police Shootings, Militarization and the Absence of the NRA in Ferguson MO

Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Demonstrations against police shootings have been going on since, which the police have met with tanks and army gear. They aimed military-grade weapons at the town's citizens. (08-22-2014, updated 07-15-2018) We've all heard the following three statements over and over again, not just in this case: The police are supposed to serve and protect the public. The first priority is the safety of the police officers. An officer can use deadly force if he reasonably believes that his life is in danger or that he is in ...
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Time Eternal in The Assault: Events Put in a Larger, Timeless Perspective

The tinkering with time and events in The Assault (see the previous post) leads us to what Harry Mulisch calls 'time eternal' -- the elements in his writing which put the historical events into a larger, more timeless perspective. (05-11-2014, updated 07-26-2018)  In Mulisch's work, linear, chronological time (which leads inevitably to death) can be conquered, among other things, by deification or mythologization; and by returning to the origins, to the mother, by taking the place of the father (1). The element of deification is related in part to the metafictional aspects of the novel. Mulisch demonstrates to the reader that a writer has godlike powers ...
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Familiar Imagery from Dutch History, Culture and Politics in The Assault

Imagery of iconic people and events from Dutch history are interwoven in The Assault, as well as --then--current events. Two novels about resistance fighters, both based on true stories, had just been made into movies. Mulisch uses some of their most memorable images. (05-11-2014, updated 07-26-2018)  Although Harry Mulisch demonstrates, especially in the case of the names of the houses and the signs in the gravel, that even the symbols disappear, and even though he explicitly claims within The Assault that it is fiction, Dutch readers, especially in the 1980s, recognized many of the elements from Dutch history in the novel ...
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History Changes, Then Solidifies in Historical Fiction, As in The Assault

To Harry Mulisch, history is a matter of selection (what is remembered, recorded and by whom) and reduction (what is deemed worth preserving). Ultimately, what remains of history -- what makes it permanent -- is historical fiction. (05-10-2014, updated 07-26-2018) In the last post we saw how Harry Mulisch addresses the fact that historical events, as well as events on a personal level, are determined by both causality and sheer coincidence. History is also a matter of selection and reduction. Anton is twelve when the assault takes place and he notices things a twelve-year-old boy would notice: when he and his parents ...
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Causality and Coincidence in History, Historical Fiction and in The Assault

It has been argued that The Assault by Harry Mulisch is not real historical fiction, since many of the events are determined by accident; however, this view denies that history is, in fact, a combination of causality and coincidence. (05-08-2014, updated 07-26-2018) As we have seen, Mulisch believes that the purpose of history education is to explain the present, and therefore it should be taught in the reverse. He claims that: since history does not 'start' with the Assyrians, but with the previous second, history education should not start with cracked clay tablets, but with yesterday's paper. Does geography education begin with ...
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The Changing Past: The Assault Is the History of an Incident

The narrator in The Assault by Harry Mulisch mentions that this is the history of an incident". Not history, consisting of a series of incidents will be described, but the history of an incident--an incident that changes over time. (05-07-2014, updated 07-26-2018)  Mulisch's philosophy about time is inevitably connected to his views on history and writing about it. He has stated: that one can visit the location of past events, but not the time. The past changes in  the same way that locations change--skyscrapers where there were once rhubarb fields, and sometimes the other way around. In our memory, skyscrapers are constantly being built ...
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Time Stands Still: The Petrifaction of Anton’s World in The Assault

The Assault by Harry Mulisch represents clearly two of the author's recurring themes: petrifaction and isolation. Everyone is alone in his own present. As long as he touches nothing, he is surrounded by the past, while he, in turn, is history to everyone else. (05-06-2014, updated 07-26-2018)  In The Assault by Harry Mulisch, time comes to a standstill for Anton, and this isolates him from the rest of humanity. Mulisch comments on isolation in time elsewhere: Space is also always temporal. When I look at the stars, I look at the distant past. Even when I look at the sun, I see her ...
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The Five Forms of Time in the Historical Novel The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is structured as a Greek tragedy. At this level the novel is a timeless epic. The element of time plays an important role in most of Mulisch's work. To him, a writer deals with time in many different ways. (05-05-2014, updated 07-25-2018)  Anton's story is about an incident at the end of the Second World War and its aftermath; however, by structuring it as a Greek tragedy, Mulisch puts it into a larger perspective. At this level, The Assault (De aanslag) is a timeless epic (1). And so we arrive at the element of time, which ...
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Structure and Narration in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is structured like a Greek tragedy. Apart from the five episodes, it also has a prologue and epilogue, and the author himself has commented on the exodus at the end, and the choir. (05-04-2014, updated 07-25-2018)  The prologue sets the stage for the action, and it mirrors the main themes of the book. Anton watches a man push a barge forward with a pole, "a man walking backwards to push something forward, while staying in the same place himself" (p.5). This fits perfectly with the way Anton moves through time and history in the course of the novel. In addition, the last part ...
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A Summary of The Assault by Harry Mulisch

A Summary of The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is divided into five episodes, covering a time span of thirty-six years, in which the protagonist Anton Steenwijk, suffers the violence and guilt of the German occupation of the Netherlands. The following is a brief summary. (05-03-2014, updated 07-25-2018)  In the first episode of The Assault by Harry Mulisch, “1945”, the Steenwijk family is sitting together in their living room in Haarlem one evening during the hunger winter, when they hear shots fired outside. Members of the resistance have assassinated the Haarlem chief of police, Fake Ploeg, and his body lies on the street, in front of the ...
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The Time Capsule: An Introduction to the Concept of History in The Assault

In The Assault, in the winter of 1944-45, Anton reads a magazine article about a time capsule buried in 1938, to be unearthed six thousand years later. There's a lesson about the concept of history in the description of the contents of the capsule and what the reader knows about the events since 1938. (First published 05-02-2014)  Anton was reading an article in Nature and Mechanics. For his birthday he had been given a secondhand bound copy of the 1938 edition: “A Letter to Posterity”. A photograph showed a group of well-fed Americans in their shirtsleeves looking up at a large, shiny ...
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Post Series on De Aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

Post Series on De Aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

De aanslag / The Assault by Harry Mulisch is a historical novel par excellence. It's historical fiction, it's meta fiction about history and writing about history, and Mulisch has incorporated historical events and people so realistically that some Belgian television people came looking for the exact location of the assault. (05-02-2014, updated 07-25-2018)  The following posts are a breakdown of a paper I wrote in graduate school  for a class about historical novels on The Assault (De aanslag), a novel by my favorite Dutch author, Harry Mulisch.  It's not for everyone, but I feel that it will help make this novel--one of Mulisch's ...
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Authoritarianism: Response to Police Misconduct? A Slap on the Wrist

Authoritarianism: when police misconduct is accepted. A cop trips up students on a soccer field for kicks; a woman is thrown to the ground, handcuffed and crammed into a police car by four officers, for jaywalking. In what other profession could anyone behave that way? (04-30-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  Have you seen this video of a Georgetown cop at a high school football game? Georgetown is a smaller town north of Austin. Clear police misconduct, no? Did he get fired on the spot? No, he got suspended. Suspended! In what other field of work could you willfully kick, push and trip up ...
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African-American history, African American history, black history, django unchained, books about slavery, movies about slavery, books and movies about slavery, django unchained, slavery, 12 years a slave, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Amistad, A Black Man of Color, The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, book review, movie review,

A Few Books and Movies About Slavery I Can Recommend

A rather random list of books and movies about slavery, I know, but It's my list. If you want a longer list, google it. (04-03-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  So, someone asked me if I could provide a list of books and movies about slavery. The list could be endless, especially the list of books about slavery, and if you want an endless list, you can google it. This is just a relatively random list of books and movies I have seen, that I can remember right now, anyway, and that I think are worthwhile. Of course the first on any list of books about ...
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black history, African-American history, African American history, reconstruction era, civil rights movement, black union soldier and family, blacks fight with the union army, emancipation proclamation, reconstruction, black code, kim crow, president Abraham Lincoln, black regiments, runaway slaves, slaves as contraband, Civil War, abolition, union army, ,

What Would Black History Look Like if the Reconstruction Had Continued?

If the Federal Army had stayed in the South longer, if the Reconstruction had lasted longer, if America didn't experience the century-long setback that came after the Federal Army left, what would black history look like now? (04-02-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  Lincoln went to war to get the South back into the Union. Although the war was mostly about slavery, his initial aim was not to abolish it. He wrote as much in a letter in 1862: If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves ...
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white supremacists, black history, Mississippi Burning, committing violence while in disguise, anti-KKK law, federal army, federal army presence, five military districts, committing a crime while in disguise, race riots, civil rights movement, carpetbaggers, black officeholders, Meridian county courthouse, meridian riot meridian race riot, meridian riot of 1871. meridian race riot of 1871, KKK, white supremacist groups, reconstruction, reconstruction era, Meridian Mississippi, freedmen, post-civil war era,

The Meridian Race Riot of 1871: The Failure of the Rickety Reconstruction

The Meridian race riot of 1871 illustrates the battles between freedmen and the KKK and other white supremacists in the South during the Reconstruction era. (03-25-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  And now for the piece of Southern history I've been working up to: the Meridian race riot of 1871. A sad and horrific moment in black history, and the perfect illustration of the pathetic ending of the Reconstruction. To us, it was just a random dot on the map on our way home to Austin, Texas on a recent trip. We were going to spend the night in Jackson, Mississippi, but I stupidly stuck my credit card ...
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federal army presence, reconstruction era, Southern states, Southern whites, rebuilding Southern infrastructure, temporary mayors, temporary governors, segregation, segregated society, separate water fountains, General E. Lee surrenders to general Ulysses S. Grant, post-civil war era, reconstruction, black code, Jim crow era, Jim crow, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Charles B. Rutherford, carpetbaggers, scalawags, African-American history, African American history, black history, civil rights movement, Ku Klux Klan, intimidation by the KKK, right to vote, black mayors, black state representatives, black federal representatives,

The Reconstruction: Federal Army, Carpetbaggers, and Blacks in Office

Then, in 1875, federal army and the carpetbaggers leave, the KKK wins, Black Codes are put in place and the Jim Crow era begins. The Reconstruction is barely even mentioned in history textbooks. (03-24-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, in 1866, the Radical Republicans came into power in Congress, and they came down on the South like a ton of bricks to make sure they freed the slaves and gave them equal rights. But let's back up a little. Ultimately, it was in large part due to the slaves themselves that abolition was pushed through. During the war, ...
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slavery, abolition, militant immediatists, slaveholders, white slaveholders, black slaveholders,

Slaveholders, Militant Immediatists and Others on the Abolition Spectrum

White Slaveholders, Black slaveholders, gradualists, immediatists, persuasive abolitionists,moral abolitionists and those who wanted all blacks shipped to Liberia -- they covered a broad spectrum of opinions that ranged from pro slavery to unconditional abolition. (03-21-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  Yesterday I promised that I would qualify the abolitionist movement. In my very broad overview of slavery in America I mentioned that the North was largely against slavery and the South was largely for it. Well, the white South, that is. But of course things were never quite that black and white, pardon the pun. To give an abolitionist definition isn't easy. I won't bother ...
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manumission, Latin model of slavery, abolition, abolition of slavery, slavery, free people of color, gens de couleur libres, new orleans, placees, placement, underground railroad, runaway slaves, fugitive slave act, kidnapping, freedom papers, indentured service, tignons,

Free People of Color: Before Abolition It Was a Freedom with Qualifications

Before the abolition of slavery, freedom didn't mean the same thing for free people of color as it meant for whites. There were lots of formal and informal restrictions. (03-20-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  Slaveholders would sometimes free their slaves (manumission) in gratitude for special services or for fighting the British. Slaveholders' children by black female slaves were often given their freedom around New Orleans (when it was French and it had the Latin model of slavery, which was different from the American), though sometimes only after decades of indentured service somewhere else. These children usually had some level of education, from learning a trade ...
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slavery in history education, Civil War, civil war battles, old schoolhouse, history education, american education, american history education. high school history education, history education in America

What Is Good History Education: Civil War Battles or Why They Were Fought?

In good history education, the focus is not the war itself. (In this case the American Civil War.) It's why it was fought (slavery), the effects of a war on the following years, decades, centuries, and most importantly, what we learned from it. (03-19-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  Let me pause for a moment and make an even stronger disclaimer than I made in last night's post. My focus is on slavery in this series of posts, so I focus on slavery when discussing the Civil War. Like I mentioned, it was about a lot of things, including general philosophical differences concerning the reach of ...
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American civil war, slave ship, the middle passage, slave trade, slavery, history education, slavdery in history education, slavery in american history education, slavery in dutch history education, civil war, confederate states of america, union army, confederate army, Roots, 12 Years a Slave, abolition movement, abolition of slavery, American independence,

Slavery and the American Civil War: A Quick When and Why

There's really no such thing as a quick overview of slavery and the American Civil War, so this is turning into a series. (03-18-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  A Dutch friend said that she didn't learn that much about American slavery in high school. I learned a lot--enough to argue viciously with my distant relatives in Bakersfield, California when I visited them at the annoying age of 18, anyway. Perhaps most of my knowledge came from independent study projects I did at my particular school. However, I know I had a picture like the one above in my 9th-grade history book. In any ...
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Southern history, museum, slavery, sugar plantations, louisiana, slave cabins, laura plantation, laura plantation louisiana, creole plantation, the big house, slavdry,

Laura Plantation: A Sugar Plantation Tour With Barely a Mention of Slavery

Laura Plantation is a museum of sorts -- the remains of one of the old sugar plantations of the Deep South, which depended completely on slavery for their success. They were brutal places where the death toll among slaves was always higher than the birth rate. You wouldn't know it from the tour. (03-16-2014, updated 07-15-2018)  The plantation in Vacherie, on the River Road along the Mississippi River in Louisiana, is named after Laura Locoul Gore, granddaughter of the Frenchman Guillaume Duparc who settled there in 1804. It's one of the thousand or so Creole plantation homes that used to line the Mississippi from New Orleans on up to ...
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Czech Republic, Great Britain, patriotism, what is patriotism, patriotism definition, Netherlands, Australia, America, Britain, Vietnam, nationalism,

I Pledge Allegiance — No, This Is Not the Same Post: What is Patriotism?

Two days after my last post, the daily prompt is "I Pledge Allegiance". Very funny. The question: "Are you patriotic, and what is patriotism to you". (08-30-2013, updated 07-15-2018)  It has never meant one country that I love above all others. When I lived in Australia, I couldn't wait to go back to the Netherlands, because my grandfather, who was a teacher, told me that in the Netherlands teachers go to jail if they hit a child. When I lived in the Netherlands, I loved school, and I loved my jobs later on, but I felt that Holland was flat and boring ...
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dissent, pledge of allegiance, nationalism, national symbols, nationalistic symbols, nationalism, Montessori school, Maria Montessori, world citizens,

Battling Nationalism for Maria Montessori: I Pledge Allegiance to the Earth

The time I stood up for world citizens and Maria Montessori, battled nationalism and boycotted the Pledge of Allegiance in my kids' school and won ... sort of, with a lot of help from my imagination. (08-29-2013, updated 07-15-2018)  Ipledgeafallegiance just changed the lyrics to the song "God Bless America". Which reminded me that I once wrote my own version of the Pledge of Allegiance in protest of the nationalism in my children's Montessori school. . It was not too long after 9-11 and my three-year-old daughter's teacher decided to start each school day with the Pledge of Allegiance. For my foreign ...
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Koch brothers, real issues, real problems, ignorance, history education, independent thinkers, critical thinking skills, Texas republican platform, Republican strategists, right-wing media, Glenn Beck, talk show hosts, right wing talk show hosts, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Fox News pundits, pundits at Fox News, Fox News is a Republican mouthpiece, Real America, Real Americans, Middle America, small town america, Americans who built this country, manipulation, indoctrination, big oil CEOs, universal healthcare, pension, paid overtime, education,

Hey, Real Americans Out There In Real America, What About the Real Issues?

What's more important, Real Americans, staking out exactly where your Real America is or solving some of your real issues? (08-12-2015, Updated 07-15-2018)   One response to my open letter to police chief Mark Kessler by Steve Harmon includes the following line: "The Chief, God bless him, is simply trying to unpussify my America." I'm not sure he thought that through, but the point is: My America. In a response to my post about media coverage of guys like Mark Kessler, dskall wrote, "How about put on your wooden shoes and get out of the house and go visit the real America. Middle ...
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are you a U.S. citizen?, respect for authority, internal checkpoints, border patrol checkpoints, border checkpoint, police powers, american authoritarianism, authoritarianism, police, second border checkpoints, civil liberties,

Are You a U.S. Citizen?: Crossing Internal Checkpoints While Alien

How to deal with American authoritarianism when crossing internal checkpoints. What do you answer when asked, "Are you a U.S. Citizen?" What do you answer when you're a resident alien? (05-08-2013, updated 07-15-2018)  Earlier I was mad about the liberties police take daily in regular, non-threatening situations, and  that nobody has a problem with it. Not enough to say anything. Americans and your endless respect for authority! This, of course, is not completely true. The Rio Grande Valley borders on Mexico in southern Texas. In Texas, from El Paso to Brownsville, the Rio Grande is the entire border between the USA and ...
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Holocaust museum photo archive, America is a police state, photo archive holocaust museum, land of the free, freedom of speech, individual rights, Abraham lincoln, lincoln memorial, holocaust museum, reese witherspoon, police powers, police abuse of powers, traffic stops, authoritarianism, authoritarianism in America, American authoritarianism, police state, driving while intoxicated, verbally assaulting a police officer,

Reese Witherspoon v. Police: America Is a Police State and Nobody Minds

Last week Reese Witherspoon's husband was arrested for driving drunk. But Reese was arrested, too. Why? She got out of the car! Reese v. the police -- guess who won? America is a police state and nobody seems to notice, or mind. (05-06-2013, updated 07-15-2018)   Last week Reese Witherspoon's husband was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Bad! Bad-bad-bad-bad-bad! You get no argument from me there. But Reese was arrested, too. Why? She got out of her car! That's not all. When the cop ordered her back in the car, she told him she had a right to stand on American soil. Gasp! The horror! ...
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Alex Jones, mental health issues, second amendment rights, alex jones, right wing talk show hosts, conspiracy theories, gun control, second amendment, school shootings, mass shootings, gun violence, common sense gun laws, gun restrictions, mental health laws, right to bear arms,

Gun Restrictions For People With Mental Health Issues, Like Alex Jones

Piers Morgan tries to chat with Alex Jones about gun rights. The guy has some serious mental health issues (Alex Jones, that is), and if there was ever a case for gun restrictions, this guy is it. (01-12-2013, updated 07-15-2018)   When Dickens visited America in 1842, he was shocked  at the pride Americans took in carrying weapons. A few days ago, another Englishman attempted to confront an American who just loves his right to bear arms. . . Okay, forget the awkward segue from Dickens to second amendment rights. Honestly, I just want to show this video. If anything should convince ...
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nazis, nightmares, Paquette la Chantefleurie, dreams, recurring nightmare, crazy Paquette from Victor Hugo's Hunchback of the Notre Dame, Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of the Notre Dame, Les Miserables,

Paquette and the Nazis: or: Books and Babies, the Stuff of Nightmares

A random writing prompt: Write about being locked in a room with your greatest fear. I was reading The Hunchback of the Notre Dame while staying at my in-laws' with our baby. The nightmares I had from empathizing with Paquette were like being locked in a room with my greatest fear, I suppose. (01-10-2013, updated 07-15-2018)  When B was about six months old, we were staying with my in-laws for what was supposed to be a week to ten days, because the front windows in our house were being replaced. It ended up taking more than two months. But don't get me started on ...
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