Friday links! Unpopular policies edition

Nice to see Frank and Luanne back together

Nice to see Frank and Luanne back together

Well, that was fast: The Combat! blog team is pleased to announce the return of the comments section, after literally several of you wrote in to say you wanted it back. The people have spoken, and they will continue to speak in a designated protest zone under each post. You can all go back to threatening my brother and making in-jokes about SAT tutoring there, while posts themselves will remain the exclusive province of my ill-considered rantings. Today is Friday, and policy is for the people to respond to but not, you know, make. Won’t you gather torches and pitchforks with me?

First, the good news: Donald Trump is “not opposed” to creating a database of Muslims in the United States and maybe making them carry special ID cards. “We’re going to have to do things we never did before,” Trump told Yahoo! News. “And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling security is going to rule.” He added that the US would have to do “certain things we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy.” I’m going to say that ISIS has outsmarted him already. I can’t say for certain which candidate the caliphate that wants war between the West and Islam supports, but I suspect it’s the belligerent one who always does exactly what you would think.

Meanwhile, among less famous assholes who are technically more qualified to run the country, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia has announced that Syrian refugees are not welcome in his city, citing Franklin Roosevelt’s wise expedient of interning Japanese Americans in camps. Here’s the honorable David A. Bowers, in a press release, no less:

I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.

I can understand not knowing about Japanese internment. It’s part of any high school history class, but a lot of those run out of semester by World War I. But how, exactly, did Bowers learn about Japanese internment but not learn that it is universally regarded as bad? It’s like coming out in favor of the widespread speculation that made the stock market so vibrant in 1929. Of course, now that Bower has been shamed across the internet, he will probably remember the consensus version of history.

Internet shaming works. Just ask Megan Phelps-Roper, who joined Twitter to spread the word of the Westboro Baptist and wound up leaving the church. It all started with tweeting to a friendly rabbi who regarded her as part of a hate group—first to insult him, then to argue, then to talk about scripture. Not long after, she started playing Words With Friends with a lawyer who recommended music and books. When church elders disciplined her mother for “overreaching” the authority appropriate to a woman, Phelps-Roper left. It’s a beautiful story about patience and kindness eroding doctrinaire hate. Or it’s about how the internet steadily enforces thought consensus. Psych! It’s both.

Perceptions matter. Here’s a cartoon of Ted Cruz his campaign created:


That’s from a petition on his website calling on President Obama to publicly debate him about “how best to defend America.” Props to Miracle Mike Sebba for the link. I like the way he looks like a Disney prince in this image and not like a wax sculpture of a dishonest Roman, as he does in real life. Please actually tattoo your 2016 campaign logo on your deltoid, Senator Cruz. Also, this cartoon implies he wants to punch the president, which I’m pretty sure is a federal offense.

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