The 2016 election takes a turn for the surreal

This would be a noteworthy and historic election in any circumstances because of the selection of Hillary Rodham Clinton as the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States by a major political party.  And as much as I have problems with many of Clinton’s policy choices over the years, generally speaking I would consider her to be a highly experienced politician and quite well qualified.

Then there’s the other party and their nominee.  If someone had written this story ten years ago as fiction, people would have thought it was totally over-the top.  An egomaniacal reality TV star has gained the party’s nomination for President, and in the meantime, has also pretty much wrenched control of the party away from the establishment.  And to top it all off, there are now questions as to the exact nature of the relationship between Trump and Russia, for God’s sake.

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Sometimes, there’s just too much going on to write

In the time since our last posts, so much has happened in our lives, and in the greater world, and in the world of GoT, that it feels truly overwhelming.  I can’t keep up with it all.  If I was to try to describe everything in great detail, it would take multiple posts of extraordinary length.  And right now I don’t have the time or the energy.

I am just going to try to summarize everything with just one one post.  At least for now.

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Brexit gets uglier and uglier

Well, now that the consequences of the UK voting to leave the EU have had some time to sink in, it is both fascinating and disturbing to see just what a lot of people thought they were voting for.  Much has been made of the reports that a lot of people in the UK were googling terms like “what is the EU?” the day after the vote.  I am not sure whether or not that data is accurate, and apparently there are other people who feel the same way.  Still, it does seem that a significant number of people in the UK are acting as if the “stay” or “leave” question was not based on the UK leaving the EU, but on whether or not non-white and/or non-British people should “stay” in the UK or “leave”.  And in the minds of many of these people, that answer is pretty clear.

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A terrible anniversary today – the Freedom Summer Murders

Fifty two years ago tonight, three young men were murdered by a group of white Mississippians in the Ku Klux Klan.  Among the men complicit in this crime were members of the Neshoba County Sheriff’s office and the Philadelphia (Mississippi) Police Department.

This was a mere six years before I was born.  Many people of my generation are familiar with this event through the 1988 film Mississippi Burning, although the film doesn’t even cover everything that happened that awful summer.

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Wow – there are zika virus conspiracy theories now

This is a thing?  Snopes has to talk about it?  Wow.  OK, where do I start.

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Dear Benioff and Weiss… WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!?

OK guys, I get it.  George just hasn’t been able to crank out the books fast enough, and now the TV show has caught up to the books, more or less.  So now you no longer have all that juicy source material to work from, you just have whatever tidbits GRRM has given you about where the story is going.  That’s fine.

But guys?  I’m worried.  Frankly, you are starting to scare me a little bit.  Not having Book Six or Book Seven to work from does not mean that you should suddenly become nihilists.  It’s not a race to see who can kill more characters.  Moving the story forward does not mean taking a large metaphorical dump on the hopes and dreams of the fans, ok?

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Donald Trump is more of a symptom than the cause of our political mess

I don’t like to talk about politics too much on our blog, because frankly I need more positivity in my life, and these days it is really difficult to find anything whatsoever in politics that gives me cause for optimism.  Still, I am a historian, and I can’t help but think that we are currently experiencing one of those watershed Presidential elections, like the election of 1860 or the election of 1932 or the election of 1968, in which those of us who experience it will talk about in terms of what things were like before, and what they were like after.

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