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and things didn't look better by the light of day
sparkles
amw
Nope, nope, nope, i am not okay. I woke up several times overnight, and each time the news was worse. Usually my dreams are just some nice place i retreat to that i forget shortly after waking. Last night i dreamt of being turned back at the border, oppressed by police, i dreamt of the fear... I am so not fucking okay with this.

And let's not forget that while all the cameras were trained on the American patriots protesting these despicable immigration changes, news also emerged that the NSC has been quietly reorganized to give an actual real life neo-Nazi propagandist a seat at the table.

I don't want to ignore it, i don't want to stick my head in the sand. I can scarcely believe that we are witnessing the rise of an Orwellian regime in a country that prides itself on its embrace of democracy, its system of checks and balances and its freedom of speech and expression. In books you read about how demagogues exploit the zeitgeist and are swept to power on a wave of public opinion. But is this how it happens in reality? A tiny minority fight dirty to get their guy elected, most people think he's awful, but a plurality don't have the time or energy to vote, or talk about it, or think about it, so - oh well - life goes on. Until it doesn't.

I mean, i guess that's exactly how it happens. There are plenty of "normal" and "reasonable" people living in Russia, and China, and Turkey, and Iran and wherever else that we in the west often see as fairly oppressive and un-free regimes. They just get on with their lives, because what else are you going to do? Maybe humankind is just destined to be awful. Who can blame someone for only taking the time to look out for themselves? Why should those of us who are members of minority expect that anyone else would look out for us? In a pure democracy the freaks are marginalized. In an authoritarian state freaks are marginalized too, they may just be a different set of freaks. It doesn't matter what form of government you have if most people are more concerned about their own lives than they are about social justice. But that's human nature, right?

When the state comes for ravers, i feel it personally. When they come for immigrants, i feel it personally. When they come for transpeople, or gay people, i feel it personally. But do i feel it when they come for people of color, or indigenous people, or people with disabilities... well, yes, i do. But is there a point where i just kind of sit back and let it happen? I hate to admit it, but sure, there is. I am too scared to take part in direct action because i fear deportation. I am too scared of my own mental health issues to give all my money away and live in a co-op. I am too much attached to being able to travel to invest long-term in building a community tied to a physical place. So i write. And i talk. And i swing between being an outwardly critical cog in the capitalist machine and bubbling along in its underbelly with the punx and the hobos and the drug addicts. And then i pop back out and exercise my privilege and what? Fucking nothing is what. Fucking nothing.

It has got to be some kind of epic first world problem to be able to spend as much time as i do worrying about society and the future of humankind. Get a hobby, right? Work harder like the rest of us do. Consume more like the rest of us do. Quit your sad sack moping around and get married again, have kids this time, buy a house like a respectable citizen. Urgh.

Perhaps this idea of sitting on a freighter surrounded by nothing but the purest symbol of globalization - containers - and a whole ocean of hostile nothingness for a few weeks is just what i need to figure out what is next for me. I contacted a few freighter companies last week. I would like to go direct to Taiwan to avoid having too much hassle straight off the bat in mainland China, but it seems most Europe to Taiwan shipping lines do not take passengers. Still looking. When i am less upset about American politics (ha!) i will write some more about this plan i have for April.
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I'm having a similar problem. The refugee policy here has been abominable for years. The resurgence of One Nation is troubling at best. I feel like I should be able to go on, but I've honestly been paying more attention to Trump than what's been going on in my back yard.

Past couple years I've been consoling myself with the fact that I work for a social enterprise that actually does a hell of a lot of good for the disadvantaged, but lately I've been thinking .. this isn't enough. What else can I do?

I don't have an answer yet. I should probably start by educating myself about my own damn country.

Urgh, I remember the already-problematic refugee policy from when I was still living in Australia. I could scarcely believe it when the Nauru files were leaked last year and these scumbag politicians washed their hands of it because apparently Nauru is a black site and not Australia's problem... Like following the example of Guantánamo is acceptable?! There is definitely a lot that can be done in Aus around this stuff.

That said, the executive order signed Friday in the US is evil in a very different way. It's a blanket ban of all people who hold a black-listed passport, with the sole exception of non-Muslims, who may apply as refugees. Muslim refugees fleeing literal warzones? Nope. People who already organized visas for business or holidays in the US? Nope. Dual citizens of "Western" countries with a layover in an American airport? Nope. Even green card holders (American permanent residents) have been turned back, though the administration started to backpedal on that one quicksmart. This is not okay at all.

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When I talk to others, they try to assure me that our government and it's system of checks and balances of our government (legislative, judicial, free press, etc.) will check Trump so that he can't go too far. I'm not sure I trust that our government can withstand this. The legislature is floundering. They can't mobilize and are ineffective. The Republicans - with a few exceptions, are putting party (Trump) loyalty over ethics and personal belief (or - I see it that way) The Democrats are simply in disarray - and in the minority - after the election. The press is being demeaned so much that there is a scary percentage of people that completely disregard it and anything they say. Then there's the judicial - and DT's supreme court pick.

Authoritarian states grow subtly. Sometimes you can't see it until it's too late and it's already happened. I fear for this now.

I think it's easy to catastrophize everything because Trump is such a spiteful and unlikeable person. Without a doubt America will lose a lot of its civil liberties and international respect during this administration - but hopefully no more than it lost during Bush 43. It's distressing because these policies will hurt many of my friends, but I have to concede it is mostly "just" stuff off the standard Republican wish list.

What I do find chilling is the bizarre doublespeak and straight-up lying coming from all White House spokespersons and Trump himself. The press is calling it out a little bit, but not enough in my opinion. I think this is the most dangerous aspect of this presidency. Combined with the many business interests now tired to the top echelons of government I, too, fear a slide into an authoritarian kleptocracy.

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