The first thing to say is that Kid Rock is not Chris Rock.

Both are shocking, but Chris is often very funny and I’m all but sure he votes blue.

Kid, I’m certain, does not.

His governing philosophy: Don’t Tell Me How To Live!

You should watch at least a minute of it, because it sets the tone for:

An ex-Nazi worth listening to . . . 

“Everything happening right now is the skinhead’s dream of the 1990s coming true,” Picciolini told me. “Donald Trump’s ideas are not new, but he has made people in influential positions comfortable in expressing racism. In a relatively short time, we’ve gone from not talking about these things, even if they were always there, to no longer feeling shame about it. Tucker Carlson, other right-wing pundits, congressional representatives like Paul Gosar and Mo Brooks, are saying exactly what I was saying when I was a Nazi. They are using softer terms, but the message is the same.”

Picciolini says he understands how this strategy has played out. “We advised infiltration,” he said, “infiltration of law enforcement, the military and political offices with low barrier of entry, like the school boardtown councilcounty election positions. And that’s exactly what we are seeing now: a widespread, coordinated effort for the far right to take power at the local level.”

He specifically means the use of racial paranoia and panic, through invented culture-war issues like “critical race theory” and “voter fraud,” as a pretext for far-right political victories.

. . . which I urge you to read in its entirety.

Scary, no?

Putin’s choice for President . . . a man who called torch-carrying marchers “very fine people” . . . whose grandfather was Friedrich Drumpf . . . whose dad was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally . . . and who himself kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside . . . has brought us to a dangerous place.

Putin is having a field day.

The judo black belt has succeeded in setting us against each other, amplifying our distrust, feeding our worst wolves.

From Jesse Kornbluth’s post:

Hanukkah starts today in the shadow of an alarming expression of ignorance of 20th century history. From the Guardian:

<< Almost two-thirds of young American adults do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and more than one in 10 believe Jews caused the Holocaust, a new survey has found, revealing shocking levels of ignorance about the greatest crime of the 20th century. . . .>>

What can a decent person do to reach these people? If you recall my short story, The Pied Piper of Park Avenue, I’m a big believer in ignoring adults and reaching out to their children, because when kids take on a mission, the parents have to deal with it. And how do you reach kids? Stories.

Amazon says that “Number the Stars” is an excellent book for kids 10 to 12 — 5th to 7th graders — but I can’t think of a more appropriate book for Americans of any age to be reading right now. Lois Lowry published this 135-page novel in 1989. It won the Newbery Medal — the highest honor for a children’s book — the following year. It has become one of the best-selling children’s books of all time. In short, it’s that rarest of novels: important and addictively readable. [To buy the paperback from Amazon, click here. For the Kindle edition, click here.]

In 1940, Denmark couldn’t have fought Hitler; its surrender was prudent. And in 1943 the German presence isn’t a concern for Annemarie Johansen, a 10-year-old fourth grader who lives with her parents and younger sister in Copenhagen. King Christian X still rides his horse through the city, and the Danes, sharing his disdain for the Germans, go on about their lives. But now life is starting to change — as Annemarie and her best friend Ellen Rosen run home from school, two German soldiers stop them, just because they can.

Small inconveniences become real threats. Jewish businesses suddenly close. Jews take unannounced “vacations.” Ellen’s parents vanish, and Ellen comes to live with Annemarie’s family. And then the Germans, aware that Ellen and Annemarie are friends, visit the Johansens in the middle of the night. . . .

It’s impossible to read this book now and not think of… you know.

A ton of things are going right — come back tomorrow.  But you can’t listen to Kid Rock, watch the footage of January 6, and read Picciolini’s warning, and not be deeply concerned.  There’s an iceberg ahead.  We can avoid it.  But we have to be leaning on the tiller now, while still at the helm.



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