It’s the same old thing as yesterday

It’s the same old thing as yesterday October 30, 2018

• Bad news: The World’s Worst Books were among the 100 novels voted onto this list of America’s favorites. Good news: They didn’t make the cut for the Top 20.

It’s not a horrible list, as far as people’s-choice awards go. My main disappointment is that readers went with Tom Sawyer instead of Huck Finn. Americans siding with Tom Sawyer instead of with Huck Finn is at the root of so many of our problems.

Landlords? We don’t need no stinking landlords.

Congratulations to the Libby Creek Community, Montana’s newest resident-owned community (the 10th in the state).

Congratulations, as well, to the residents of Meadowbrook in Hudson, Massachusetts, who seized the opportunity provided by their states’ right-of-first-refusal law and bought the land beneath their homes:

Since 2008, ROC USA and its affiliates have helped over 130 parks to go coop, building on more than two decades of similar conversions in New Hampshire, a pioneer in cooperative mobile housing. Taken together, the total number of mobile homes put under coop ownership is 14,559. None of the coops has defaulted on its loans or reverted to outside ownership.

Still a very, very long way to go, but that’s two great steps in the right direction and dozens of households in Libby Creek and Meadowbrook who now control their own financial security and are no longer under the constant threat of exploitation.

Paul Campos:

What the reactionary centrist refuses to recognize is that centrism as a political position can only flourish by marginalizing the political fringes. In America today, the ideological fringe is represented by, on the one hand, leftist critics of the Democratic party, and on the other, supporters of authoritarian ethno-nationalism.

The former group has no political power. The latter group now controls the Republican party, which controls the national government. The GOP has been slouching toward authoritarian ethno-nationalism for more than a half century, and now it is finally all the way there.

People who long for the return of some sort of consensus centrist politics should be working toward the destruction of the Republican party. The idea of political compromise with authoritarian ethno-nationalism is not only immoral: from a pragmatic perspective it is deeply absurd.

• Related to the absurd and immoral “idea of political compromise with authoritarian ethno-nationalism”: “A Brief History of Anti-Semitic Violence in America.” Isabel Fattal for The Atlantic.

• More history: The story of Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, one of the slain in Saturday’s right-wing media-inspired massacre in a house of worship. “A Doctor Who Died In The Pittsburgh Shooting Is Being Remembered As A Hero To Patients At The Start Of The AIDS Crisis.”

• “The not-at-all-unusual character of Trump’s anti-Semitic thinking, combined with his very particular bundle of resentment and insecurity, make sense of his words and actions toward Jews. He believes classic anti-Semitic canards, shares paranoid fantasies about Jews — and wants a few around him.”

Gershom Gorenberg on “The Anti-Semite-in-Chief.”

• The title for this post comes from “King of Pain,” by the Police, which is another fine candidate for your Halloween playlist. Any song with black hats, spider webs, and skeletons would seem to fit nicely on such a list.

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