January 29, 2017 (Sunday)

by Yule Heibel on January 28, 2018

What a thing this “presidency” is turning into, fast. It’s the reign of Donald FUD, Prez. On Friday he issued an Executive Order (EO), banning all refugees from seven countries, including Syria, Iran, Iraq, etc., but excluding Saudi Arabia and Pakistan – some of the worst hotbeds of radicalism. This EO – and I have no idea why – led to customs officers denying entrance to returning legal immigrants, including green card holders and people with standing visas. I.e., they (the border patrol/ customs people) basically arbitrarily revoked those people’s standing. This provoked so much outrage that airports were flooded by protesters who demanded the release of these legal immigrants. Terminal 4 at JFK was so mobbed, it shut down (for a while, anyway). NYC taxi drivers went on a strike in support of the protesters, while Uber drivers actively ignored it. A couple of days ago Elon Musk tweeted somewhat cautiously about supporting Rex Tillerson (as a voice of sanity who could talk to Trump), which led to a longer interview published online, which led in the wake of yesterday’s protests to people (some, anyway) tweeting that they’ll be selling their Tesla stock because Musk “supports” Trump. Others are tweeting lists of companies to support / avoid based solely on whether they’ve ever taken any kind of a stance vis-à-vis Trump.

X., meanwhile, when I emailed to say that this EO is creating chaos and isn’t the best way to go, wrote back to say “those countries” (on the list) are “hellholes” anyway, so good riddance. What’s missing in that view is that we’re turning the US into a “hellhole” with the extreme strategies – and the FUD-style implementation – the Trump administration uses. He stirs things up, then watches – like a sadist – as it all devolves into chaos. He’s like the cruel child who pokes an ant colony with sticks. X., I suppose, thinks there’s still some purpose – some good purpose – here, but the events of yesterday leave me hanging, grasping for some rhyme or reason. I’m personally also upset because I find myself in the position of implicitly defending “Muslims,” when in fact I have an underlying hostility to all and every fundamentalist faith, whether it’s ultra-orthodox Judaism, fundamentalist or evangelical Christianity, or traditional, anti-feminist, anti-enlightenment, medieval Islam. It’s like we’re all being pushed into 110% camps where we can’t differentiate or discriminate (i.e., discern, choose), and instead it’s the whole enchilada 24/7. Either you “support” a “Muslim” ban (which is also unconstitutional, from what I understand; ergo: turn this country, the US, into a country like any other, yet another hellhole, if you believe that it’s our Constitution which sets us apart and makes us “best”), or you oppose it (and on the basis of opposition embrace religious freedom, and before you know it, you’re defending the rights of benighted, backwards religionists who deserve no defense)… What a fucking mess.

On a less depressing note: yesterday afternoon I dragged W. to B. Public Library for an event: Localvision, hosted by Sean D. and his wife (name escapes me), to talk about how to support local initiatives that are visions-at-the-action (or ready-for-action) -stage. It was a bit “kumbaya”-ish, but got better. Joan A. of the Zen Center spoke about HEARTH, her vision for a kind of community center. And afterwards we met and chatted with some interesting people.

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