The Talking Dog

January 27, 2016, One step forward? Two steps...?

Item: Elite Amherst College in a town by that name in Massachusetts has decided to drop its heretofore mascot, "Lord Jeffery," named after a colonial era soldier, Lord Jeffery Amherst (the college is named after the town, not the man). The charming Lord Jeff supposedly greeted Native Americans with smallpox infested blankets, among such other attributions of genocide, and, in the early twenty-first century, this mascot, evidently adopted in the early twentieth century, is seen as "divisive." American campuses are now at the forefront of free speech controversies these days, and quite frankly, I'm perfectly o.k. with saying that something as, well, banal as a school mascot is something that should be periodically reexamined in light of modern sensibilities (certainly, schools like NYC's own St. Johns U. dropped its mascot "the Redmen" in favor of "the Red Storm" some years ago on this basis). So... if "Redmen" (or "Washington Redskins") gives legitimate grievance to legitimately oppressed First Peoples, why wouldn't someone who, if history is to be believed, Murdered them? So... conditional "good on ya'", merry old Amherst.

Over to Iowa, where Donald "The Donald" Trump promises to sit out a Fox News sponsored debate (presumably because Megyn Kelly is hosting)... maybe he will... and maybe he won't. Can't criticize the man's tactics so far... he can't seem to do anything wrong if he tried... and Lord knows he's tried.

And on to Oregon, where (apparently) one man is dead and a number of "militia members" (including "leaders") are in custody in the standoff over a federal wildlife preserve. Others remain holed up, so the standoff over White men's ability to private exploit federal lands previously stolen from Native Peoples can go on unabated... will apparently continue, at least for the moment.

Overall, things are... who knows? When the biggest company in the history of the universe announces the biggest quarterly profit ever... and it might be greeted as not particularly good news? Don't know... some cognitive dissonance out there... The Donald is tapping into a strange zeitgeist... Oh... I just... don't... know...