Keep Your Head Up & March On

Tupac Shakur:

And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up.

The Populist Approach

The Economist:

All populists are at heart conspiracy theorists, who pretend that easy solutions exist to society’s woes and have only not been tried to date because elites are wicked and deaf to the sturdy common-sense of decent, ordinary folk.…

This new vision for popular government, with its patriotism tests and demands for total allegiance, is not tolerant of dissent or even of those expressing qualms.

The Never President

John Cassidy:

We’ve never had a President who has adopted the public persona of a professional wrestler, baring his teeth, railing at his opponents, and trying to fling to the canvas anyone he deems to have crossed him, even members of his own party. We’ve never had a President with a far-flung business empire that he has refused to give up, placing him, according to many ethics experts, in contravention of the Constitution. We’ve never had a President who seems to spend most of his time watching cable news and firing off salvos on social media. We’ve never had a President who openly expresses admiration for an authoritarian Russian leader while simultaneously pouring scorn on U.S. intelligence agencies.

Finally, it’s hard to recall a President who had such little interest, or expertise, in the details of governing.

Never my President.

Sick Day

I am taking today off to get away from all the madness. I am going to spend time with my kids and unplug from TV, internet, and social media. It’s so depressing that we had gone from a historic leader to a horrific liar. The bar could not set any lower. Dark days are ahead, but let’s not allow the president “of birtherism, of Mexican ‘rapists,’ of Muslim registries, of ‘grab them by the pussy,’ of bankruptcies and lawsuits and colossal conflicts of interest” fucking up America.

Protect the Republic

David Remnick:

[T]he Constitution is not by itself an insuperable barrier against the authoritarian temptation… A President can at least try to constrain freedoms, issue racist decrees, intimidate, coerce. And, if that becomes the case, it will be on us, resolute citizens, to protect the republic—to demand, as [Benjamin] Franklin said, that we keep it.

The President Who Reads

Michiko Kakutani:

During his eight years in the White House — in a noisy era of information overload, extreme partisanship and knee-jerk reactions — books were a sustaining source of ideas and inspiration, and gave him a renewed appreciation for the complexities and ambiguities of the human condition.

I can’t wait to read his memoirs in the near future.

Who’s Got the Last Laugh Now?

Emily Nusbaum:

Jokes were a superior way to tell the truth—that meant freedom for everyone.

But by 2016 the wheel had spun hard the other way: now it was the neo-fascist strongman who held the microphone and an army of anonymous dirty-joke dispensers who helped put him in office. Online, jokes were powerful accelerants for lies—a tweet was the size of a one-liner, a “dank meme” carried farther than any op-ed, and the distinction between a Nazi and someone pretending to be a Nazi for “lulz” had become a blur. Ads looked like news and so did propaganda and so did actual comedy, on both the right and the left—and every combination of the four was labelled “satire.”

Real Sacrifice

David Remnick on John Lewis:

The sacrifices that Lewis has made for his country and for the cause of justice are manifest in the scars on his skull. It is a safe bet that he will not be wounded by any tweet. And there are those who know well what he has done to advance the cause of justice and human rights.

Take that! You ignorant piece of shit.

Meryl Streep on You Know Who

Meryl Streep:

[T]here was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.

Another reason to love this talented actress.

A Message From a Scalia Law Professor

Dear Colleagues

Some of us have spent time at colleges or universities where people are sometimes punished for expressing a particular thought or having a particular identity—institutions where everyone knows that it is not safe to say something or be someone that some professor (or professors) or some administrator (or a whole administration) does not approve of. In those environments we have learned fear—fear of the price of being who we are and of saying what we believe. It is a tragic thing to have to live that way. I am confident that I speak for the people who lead this law school—the professors and the administrators—when I say that our law school is *not* such a place. There is no need for fear here. Be who you are, say what you think, and welcome everyone else in our community (and all of our guests) to be and do the same. But it can be difficult to unlearn fear. And so it is entirely understandable that you might worry about such things even at our school, until you gain confidence that we are who we say we are: a constantly changing and growing, yet consistently honorable and civil, community of inquisitive and energetic students and practitioners of one of the essential components of any decent society: the law. I cannot guarantee you that everyone will always be a perfect manifestation of all that good stuff (indeed, I suspect none of us ever will be), but I am quite sure that we try in good faith. Nor, I am sure, will this note be enough by itself to fully reassure anyone who has known the kind of fear I mentioned at the top of this message. But I do hope it helps.

This is a school where we work together to make the most of a great educational environment, to elevate each other, and to make the world a better place. To the extent we can show the rest of the world how to do those things, all the better!