Oh, it's all right. I've planned ahead.
We're just three miles from a primary target. A millisecond of brilliant light and we're vaporised.
Much more fortunate than the millions who'll wander sightless through the smouldering aftermath.
We'll be spared the horror of survival.
- Look, we might gain a few years. Perhaps time enough for you to have a son and watch him die.
But humanity planning its own destruction...
That a phone call won't stop.
Something passed by, Johnny thought. That's what the scientists had said, almost six months ago. Something passed by. That was the headline in the newspapers, and on the cover of every magazine that used to be sold over at Sarrantonio's newsstand on Gresham Street. And what it was that passed by, the scientists didn't know. They took some guesses, though: magnetic storm, black hole, time warp, gas cloud, a comet of some material that kinked the very fabric of physics. A scientist up in Oregon said he thought the universe had just stopped expanding and was now crushing inward on itself. Somebody else said he believed the cosmos was dying of old age. Galactic cancer. A tumor in the brain of Creation. Cosmic AIDS. Whatever. The fact was that things were not what they'd been six months ago, and nobody was saying it was going to get better. Or that six months from now there'd be an Earth, or a universe where it used to hang.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I wanted to raise a question about the issue of an action strategy, or an action in response. And perhaps I’m hopelessly naive, but somehow when the notion of a Muslim registry was being bandied about, I had this impression that people would be “required to register.” That it would not be voluntary, but I wasn’t taking into account the existence of vast networks of surveillance and existing lists. And so one of the responses from the community that I’m part of is, “They’re gonna count Muslims, they’re gonna have to take my name too. We’ll all just add our names to such a list.” And I’m curious to know what your response is - if you think, “well, that’s absurd, because they won’t … they don’t need people to sign up,” or if you think this is a way that others of us can express solidarity, or if you think it’s hazardous.
LANE RYO HIRABAYASHI (Sociocultural anthropologist, UCLA’s Department of Asian American Studies; Inaugural Chair, Japanese-American Incarceration, Redress, and Community): I'm really a cynic. I think that when World War II broke out, they knew how to round up the Japanese-Americans. It was all a done deal. And that's, you know. That's the '40s. Can you imagine the amount of ... So I don't think ... I think the whole thing of this Muslim registry was like a political trial balloon. Because I think they totally know, y'know? I just don't believe that they don't have tracking on everyone coming in.
HIROSHI MOTOMURA (Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law, UCLA; author, Immigration Outside the Law): So, I mean, I would say - and we've gotten this question quite a bit. And kinda given the age that we live in ... and I agree with you [Lane], like, if they make this decision, you can go and stand in line, but there's nobody [who's] going to be on the other side of that.
The mental image that most American harbor of what actual authoritarianism looks like is fantastical and cartoonish. This vision of authoritarian rule has jackbooted thugs, all-powerful elites acting with impunity, poverty and desperate hardship for everyone else, strict controls on political expression and mobilization, and a dictator who spends his time ordering the murder or disappearance of his opponents using an effective and wholly compliant security apparatus. This image of authoritarianism comes from the popular media (dictators in movies are never constrained by anything but open insurrection), from American mythmaking about the Founding (and the Second World War and the Cold War), and from a kind of “imaginary othering” in which the opposite of democracy is the absence of everything that characterizes the one democracy that one knows.
Still, that fantastical image of authoritarianism is entirely misleading as a description of modern authoritarian rule and life under it. It is a description, to some approximation, of totalitarianism. [...]
The reality is that everyday life under the kinds of authoritarianism that exist today is very familiar to most Americans. You go to work, you eat your lunch, you go home to your family.* There are schools and businesses, and some people “make it” through hard work and luck. Most people worry about making sure their kids get into good schools. The military is in the barracks, and the police mostly investigate crimes and solve cases. There is political dissent, if rarely open protest, but in general people are free to complain to one another. There are even elections. This is Malaysia, and many countries like it.
Everyday life in the modern authoritarian regime is, in this sense, boring and tolerable. It is not outrageous.
I think that, y’know, using digital media … I think some of the response, for example, in Spain. After incidents occurred in Spain, where there was just an outpouring of public support for the Muslim and the immigrant community in the country, those are the things that, I think, will frankly be noticed by a President Trump. He will notice when public opinion shifts against the actions that he takes.
Do you think most of the women who protested this weekend were paid to do so by George Soros, or not? (Trump Voters Only)
Senate Democrats, who have spent weeks in hearings and meetings evaluating Trump Cabinet nominees, say they’ve been surprisingly impressed by Carson — both in his written answers to the banking committee and in the one-on-one interviews they conducted with him before his hearing.
They admit the bar is low but say Trump’s HUD nominee has cleared it relative to Trump’s other picks. “I think some of these members in these private meetings, they were not terrified by him,” another Senate Democratic aide said.
Among the Carson statements they’ve highlighted:
To the surprise of some Senate Democrats, Carson promised to enforce lead standards and work with “bipartisan” experts on how to reduce rates of lead poisoning.
In his written statement, Carson also said he would “without hesitation” enforce HUD’s Equal Access Rules, which ensure gay and lesbian housing applicants aren’t discriminated against in their housing applications.
Carson also promised to advocate for investments in rental assistance for the homeless, and to advocate that spending for housing be part of the infrastructure program Trump has promised to implement.
That being said, they're being extremely bold and naked with their intentions under Trump's leadership. They're putting forward very controversial, ignorant, wasteful, and blatantly dictatorial policies and behavior, working under an unpopular president whose poll numbers are already in post-Katrina Bush levels, with no sign of reconsidering plans that will harm huge numbers of people and with no hint that they're afraid of electoral reprisal or retaliation from the public over their actions even in the face of a great deal of public resistance and anger.
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