You know those childhood moments where your entire worldview shifts in a moment? Here is one of mine:
Something happened to me in my late childhood and I told my mom that it “wasn’t fair,” She said “I never promised you that life was fair.”
I remember being shocked by that statement and thinking, “didn’t you?” Hasn’t everyone been telling me life is fair? Wasn’t I constantly being told that I couldn’t behave a certain way because it wasn’t fair? Wasn’t I told that decisions were made because otherwise it wouldn’t be “fair” to everyone involved? Didn’t every story that was read to me end with the good guy winning and the bad guy getting what they deserved? Wasn’t that the “fair” ending?
Life isn’t fair. The earth shook for me.
This is a lesson I have learned, again and again.
If life was fair, Trump would never have been elected president.
If life was fair, our hard work getting rid of Trump would have been rewarded with an easy four years of no worry.
If life was fair, twenty years in Afghanistan would have brought peace and security to the people there.
If life was fair, Trump would be in jail.
If life was fair, this pandemic would be ending.
If life was fair, the earth wouldn’t be warming.
Life isn’t fair.
Realizing that life isn’t fair is hard, but it also brings a great reward. When you believe that life is supposed to be fair, you are outraged and exhausted by every bad thing that happens. You wonder what you did wrong to bring bad things to your doorstep. You keep expecting everything to work out and be easy and when they don’t you feel hopeless and despondent. You get angry. You lash out.
But when you embrace that life isn’t fair, you learn to live with what you have to live with and you learn to try to change what you can change. You know that defeats don’t mean that you did something wrong or are cursed or deserving of bad. Bad things happen. Life isn’t fair. Good things happen too. Might as well enjoy them when they do because you don’t know how long they will last because… life isn’t fair.
I wish more than anything that I could have given you all four years of peace and easiness and relaxation after those four Trump years. In a fair world, you would have gotten that.
But life isn’t fair. And so instead of that, we get the realization that our fight is far from over. We get the knowledge that the far right isn’t going anywhere. We learned that we have to keep fighting for our country, for our democracy, for our fellow humans, and for our planet.
We could whine about how unfair life is, or we could accept that we have to continue to fight for our country and for all the people in the world.
And we need to remember that we are not alone. You can’t give up the fight, but you aren’t responsible for fighting it alone and you aren’t responsible for winning it. Just do your part.
Life isn’t fair, but our kindness and actions can make it more fair for others. Life isn’t fair, but hard work matters. Life isn’t fair, but your aren’t alone. Life isn’t fair, but you can make it better — for yourself, for other people, and for the world. I know because you have already made my life better. And together, we have made our country better. Let’s keep at it.
For those Afghans getting out, Americans wanting to help are stepping up!
If you want to house a[n Afghan] SIV family, especially (but not only) in:
Please fill out this screening form with IRC and AirBnB. They will screen you for safety and then match you.
The resettlement agencies are overwhelmed and a tidal wave of refugees is coming. They have asked for our help reaching out to you.
(thanks Kluger2 for this info)
Some Good Things Happened
It was an awful week to watch the news but good things happened too. Here are just a few of them.
The Environmental Protection Agency will ban the use of a pesticide widely applied on food crops but linked to neurological damage in children, reversing one of the Trump administration’s most fraught public health decisions.
Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, have welcomed a child, the transportation secretary announced on his personal Twitter account.
The news marked a moment of visibility for same-sex partners and parents who, until Buttigieg’s confirmation to the Transportation Department, had not had the representation of an openly gay person serving in a Senate-confirmed Cabinet position.
The U.S. Education Department announced Thursday that it is discharging the outstanding student loans of more than 323,000 borrowers who have significant, permanent disabilities, and will remove barriers for borrowers who qualify for this relief in the future. The announcement will erase some $5.8 billion in debt and marks a significant step toward fixing a troubled debt relief program meant to help borrowers with disabilities.
One of the US government’s most powerful regulatory agencies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has refiled its historic antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, claiming it’s a monopoly that is hurting competition and harming consumers.
The move comes after a judge dismissed the FTC’s initial lawsuit in June for being too vague, which at the time was a big win for Facebook. In response, the FTC has refiled its lawsuit — and instead of taking a new approach, it’s sticking with its main arguments against Facebook but supporting them with more detail. It’s yet another sign that the regulatory push to rein in the power of Facebook and other major tech companies like Amazon and Apple isn’t slowing down when it encounters hurdles.
A federal judge in Alaska on Wednesday blocked construction permits for an expansive oil drilling project on the state’s North Slope that was designed to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day for the next 30 years.
The multibillion-dollar plan, known as Willow, by the oil giant ConocoPhillips had been approved by the Trump administration and legally backed by the Biden administration. Environmental groups sued, arguing that the federal government had failed to take into account the effects that drilling would have on wildlife and that the burning of the oil would have on global warming.
A federal judge has agreed.
Reasons for Election Hope
2022 is going to be a tough year for us but we can win if we fight hard.
Sen. Marco Rubio holds just a 2-percentage-point edge over Democratic challenger Val Demings, according to a new survey released Wednesday morning.
The Senate remains the favorite for reelection, leading with 48% to Demings 46%, according to the latest numbers from St. Pete Polls. That leaves his lead within the poll’s 2.2% margin of error, and the two-term incumbent sits below a critical 50% support level.
There are certainly valid debates about what the government should require, morally speaking. But on the political front, the Republican Party has rather clearly marched itself into a minority position.
on the central battleground — masks in schools — 69 percent of Americans support the mandate, per a new Axios/Ipsos poll. And when it comes to both vaccine mandates and the methods to fight mask mandates that some Republicans are floating, the verdict is also pretty strongly against the GOP.
The Economist and YouGov released a new poll Wednesday asking Americans whether they would support vaccine mandates for a number of groups. And in every case the survey asked about, there was majority — and often 2-to-1 — support
Trump’s M.O. throughout basically the entirety of his presidency was to focus on his base, even if the things he was pursuing were broadly unpopular. This has created an emboldened and passionate GOP base, but it’s also created a situation in which Republicans — whether ambitious ones like DeSantis or simply those trying to respond to their supporters — feel pressure to play to that base. To have a seat at the table in the national GOP right now is to oppose vaccine mandates — which appear pretty strongly popular, and not just in the YouGov poll — and not just fight mask mandates — which many Americans oppose — but to push the envelope in the fight against them.
The Story about Afghanistan is not yet written
You can’t say that what is going on in Afghanistan is good news. But you can say that the story isn’t written yet and hope is not lost.
Was the U.S. mission there a total failure? Here I’d invoke one of my ironclad rules about covering the Middle East: When big events happen, always distinguish between the morning after and the morning after the morning after. Everything really important happens the morning after the morning after — when the full weight of history and the merciless balances of power assert themselves.
And so it will be in Afghanistan — for both the Taliban and President Biden.
Let’s start with the Taliban. Today, they are having a great morning-after celebration. They are telling themselves they defeated yet another superpower.
But will the Taliban simply resume where they left off 20 years ago — harboring Al Qaeda, zealously imposing their puritanical Islam and subjugating and abusing women and girls? Will the Taliban go into the business of trying to attack U.S. and European targets on their soil?
I don’t know. I do know they just inherited responsibility for all of Afghanistan. They will soon face huge pressure to deliver order and jobs for Afghans. And that will require foreign aid and investment from countries that America has a lot of influence with — Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the members of the European Union.
And let’s also remember: When the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001, iPhones, Facebook and Twitter didn’t even exist. Flash forward to today: Afghanistan is not only much more connected to the world, but it’s connected internally as well. It will not be nearly as easy for the Taliban to hide their abuses from the world or from fellow Afghans.
President Biden deserves ample criticism for a clumsily executed, poorly planned evacuation in Afghanistan. (We will see whether he can atone for it in the follow-up rescue operation.) But he should also receive credit for calling out the military’s dissembling about our progress that paralyzed three previous presidents. If people want to know what expertise he brought to the job, look to his ability and willingness to reject two decades of dishonest Pentagon spin.
Post reporter Craig Whitlock’s “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War” contains an eye-popping, meticulous account of the 20-year scam. “U.S. military officials privately harbored fundamental doubts for the duration of the war that the Afghan security forces could ever become competent or shed their dependency on U.S. money and firepower,” Whitlock writes. “‘Thinking we could build the military that fast and that well was insane,’ an unnamed former U.S. official told government interviewers in 2016.”
For all the poetic tributes to Afghan soldiers, including many who sacrificed their lives, the military as a whole was never going to be able to operate independently. Commander after commander privately knew this to be true but consistently told something entirely different to presidents, Congress, the media and the public.
Afghans waving the national flag staged protests in Kabul and other cities Thursday, challenging Taliban fighters in scattered demonstrations marking the anniversary of independence from British rule.
In the capital, men and women carried the black, red and green flag of the Afghan Republic, chanting, “Our flag, our identity,” according to videos posted online.
The protests raised the specter of wider popular opposition to the group, which swept to power across Afghanistan in a stunning offensive this month and is pushing now to consolidate power and assume the reins of government.
Meanwhile, the State Department said it is surging consular officers to Kabul to help with evacuation efforts.
On the lighter side
What can you do to save democracy?
- On August 28, the anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, voting rights groups are hosting five simultaneous marches across the country to demand action to protect voting rights. Learn more and sign up for updates here.
- Run for something! Seriously? Why not you?
- Get involved with the Democratic party. We aren’t perfect, but they are fucking evil.
- Get involved with Swing Left. They are working on races right now!
- Get involved with Postcards to voters! Influence voters in key areas from the comfort of your own home!
- Donate to the AMAZING Florida Rights Restoration! They are taking buses around Florida to empower returning citizens, remove financial barriers to voting, and increase public safety. They are really amazing
- Make phone calls FROM YOUR OWN HOME to protect voter rights. There are phone banks on Wednesdays and on Saturdays.
- The ACLU plays a key role in filing lawsuits that often stop voter suppression. Get involved with them at this link.
- The League of Women Voters work year-round to combat voter suppression through advocacy, grassroots organizing, legal action and public education. You can get involved with them at this link
- Volunteer with Black Votes Matter at this link. They have on the ground work in 10 states and people from other states can write postcards, phone bank, fundraise, and text.
- Spread The Vote works to get voters IDs before voting begins. You can volunteer with them at this link.
- Sign up at Democracy Docket to stay informed about the fight against voter suppression and the fight for voter rights.
Most important: DON’T LOSE HOPE. This is a giant and important fight for us but, win or lose, we keep fighting and voting and organizing and spreading truth and light. We never give up.
That is it for today.
I am so lucky and so proud to be in this with you ✊🏾✊🏻♥💙💚💛💜🧡✊🏽✊🏻
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.