“At least it was a peaceful transition”

I’ve heard in a few places something along the lines of “well the election was rough but it was a peaceful transition and for that we should be thankful.” But the amount of violence that the Trump campaign carried with it isn’t inconsiderable.

The constant encouragements from top to bottom to assault and even kill those that disagree, or those that are different; the constant threats during the campaign to levy the coercive force of the state against his opponent, the press, protesters, latin@s, Muslims; the direct violence threatened and now in the process of being perpetrated on some thirty million Americans soon to lose healthcare they’re paying for; the violence involved in wresting from women self-determination over their own bodies; these are all things that occurred not only throughout the campaign but have carried over in the transition and into the new administration.

The only thing we’re missing at this point is for Trump to begin that levying of state power against Clinton as he repeatedly promised in the form of illegitimate prosecution, or utilize the same or similar resources to directly pursue and punish journalists that published anything not laudatory. And we’re only one day into his term.

This wasn’t a peaceful transition. The specter of violence threatening life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for anyone not white, male, healthy, able-bodied, and Republican has been ever-present and continues to loom over the Capitol.

For god’s sake, not the windows!


Oh heavens, oh my, oh deary me, the young people are breaking corporation windows in Washington DC. It’s like they’re mad or something, in the week or so in which healthcare was stripped and on the day that climate change and LGBT protection policies were scrubbed, along with the DOJ beginning to drop voting rights protection cases. I for one am shocked that anyone could be angry enough to cause property damage as a cabal of old white men explicitly and purposely wreck their circumstances, country, planet and future.

As the Department of Education is handed to a dilettante billionaire who believes it’s her duty to defund public schooling in favor of private Christian religious education, the Department of Energy is handed to a man that didn’t know what it did but wanted to abolish it anyway, the Environmental Protection Agency is handed to a man that sued it multiple times to block important regulations, the Department of State is handed to an oil executive that’s close enough friends with the anti-gay, anti-human rights authoritarian leader of Russia, and the Department of the Treasury is handed to a Goldman Sachs executive who failed to disclose A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS.

I can’t imagine why people would be angry with a vice president who believes that electroshock torture is acceptable on people with different sexualities, or a president who belittles and sexually assaults women. I can’t imagine why anyone would be angry enough to break a window in a country where an oil pipeline is diverted away from a city over water fears and re-planned to cross through crucial water resources for an already marginalized Native American population. I can’t imagine why a limousine would be vandalized and burned as we discuss creating registries and immigration and visitation rules on the basis of religion.

I for one am aghast that someone would be angry enough to light a trashcan on fire as legislation is proposed in North Dakota allowing motorists to run over protesters or in Indiana empowering police to shut down protests “by any means necessary.”

There is certainly no need for property destruction in the face of an explicit agenda to illegalize countless loving marriages between our gay friends and family, or in the same stroke deprecate useful sexual education and prohibit any access to birth control and safe abortion. Those windows, that limo, that trashcan, they’re all innocent bystanders in this. And certainly there’s no need for anyone to register a note of dissent beyond a strongly-worded letter.

Roll your eyes as protesters block highways or inauguration gates. Clutch your pearls as windows are broken. Change the channel while people die from preventable and treatable diseases and state-enabled violence. But for god’s sake don’t break a window.

Post-inauguration Podcast List

Now that Trump has been sworn in it’s more important than ever to seek out valuable and credible information sources. In that spirit I suggest the following podcasts to subscribe to and prioritize to stay up to date and well-informed on current and emerging national security, domestic and foreign policy issues.

Arms Control Wonk – The nuclear weapons, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation podcast. Companion to the popular Arms Control Wonk blog (www.armscontrolwonk.com). Hosted by Jeffrey Lewis & Aaron Stein. – Arms control experts discussing timely current events topics in the areas of and with the benefit of their expertise. Great for dispelling misinformation and pointing out bad reporting.

Intelligence Squared and Intelligence Squared USTwo great sources for lively discussion and debate, great for expanding the perspectives you consider.

LawfareCompanion podcast to the Lawfare blog, often with talks or panel discussions on national security issues.

Rational Security – A weekly discussion of national security and foreign policy matters hosted by Shane Harris of the Daily Beast and featuring Brookings senior fellows Tamara Cofman Wittes and Benjamin Wittes. – I often disagree significantly with the views put forth here but they’re always intelligent and well-informed and listening and engaging with the views is always beneficial.

Newsletter just shipped

The seventh issue of my newsletter on security, technology, society and other issues just shipped! You can sign up for it over here. In it I talk about rolling dumpster fires, drones, and my big fear about artificial intelligence – not that it will be super smart, but that its stupidity will be weaponized.

Check it out when you get the time!