Links for 11/1/18

Happy Feast of All Saints! And belated Halloween greetings. I do not like the fact that Halloween has become such a huge commercial enterprise. A friend devised a "spooky trail" for her nephews and their friends and we all had to dress up in some kind of scary outfit. I was the devil so, in addition to the scary mask and hands, I wore a business suit with dollar bills falling out of all the pockets.

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Next year, perhaps the devil will come as a Fox News analyst. David Ward, a former agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency warned that the Central Americans in the caravan making its way through Chiapas, Mexico, were carrying smallpox. Really? Smallpox was eradicated from the planet almost 40 years ago.

This article in Politico touches on the most consistent theme of this blog all year: There is a cultural divide within the Democratic Party and the liberal elites are more concerned with style and symbolism than with the exercise of political power. I have mostly been concerned with the rural-urban divide but this article looks at how rising progressive stars like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Joe Crowley not by winning over lots of ethnic voters, but by winning rich, white liberals who don't actually care as much about the poor as they think they do, at least not when it demands change in their neighborhoods or tax payments. The closing story about a development project is especially brutal.

From our friends at the Hope Border Institute, a look at the very non-threatening caravan of refugees making its way through southern Mexico. This well-researched article dispels the myths being perpetrated by the Trump administration and Fox News (is that redundant?), thus exposing the so-called controversy for what it is, a domestic political ploy by the Orange Rogue, exploiting the suffering of desperate people to stake resentment and fear among his base. If that chill in the air has a very 1930s feel to it, it should.

Relatedly, at the Working Class Perspectives blog, a look at the attempts to politicize the murder of a young woman, Mollie Tibbetts, this past summer. Her assailant was an immigrant. Tibbetts' family, bless their hearts, wasn't having it and her father, Rob Tibbetts, wrote in the Des Moines Register, "The person who is accused of taking Mollie's life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie."

OZY was pushing this video in which Rosie Perez as part of their promo for some new show, in which she describes herself as a "recovering Catholic" and goes on to repeat a bunch of nonsense. Perez says she is leaving the dogma behind. Which dogma? The one about the universal brotherhood of humankind rooted in the common fatherhood of God? I am sure the movie actress has lined up serious spiritual guides to help her decide what to keep and what to discard, because there are so many people today with the wisdom of an St. Augustine, or St. Thomas Aquinas, or John Henry Newman. C'mon liberals: We will be more credible if we call out this kind of foolishness.

Rosie Perez Describes Herself as a "Recovering Catholic" – Take On America

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.]

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