Daily Bread for 2.11.17 – 2017

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be forty-five and partly cloudy. Sunrise is 6:55 AM and sunset is 5:22 PM, for 10h 26m 46s of daytime. The moon is full today, with 99.6% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the ninety-fifth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s annual Freeze Fest at Cravath Lakefront takes place today, with a Polar Plunge from Noon – 3:00 PM to benefit Special Olympics of Wisconsin and a Chili Cook Off 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM.

Thomas Edison is born this day in 1847. On this day in 1842, Territorial Legislature member James R. Vineyard shoots fellow legislator Charles C.P. Arndt shortly after a session’s adjournment.

Recommended for reading in full —

Jason Horowitz reports that Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists: “ROME — Those trying to divine the roots of Stephen K. Bannon’s dark and at times apocalyptic worldview have repeatedly combed over a speech that Mr. Bannon, President Trump’s ideological guru, made in 2014 to a Vatican conference, where he expounded on Islam, populism and capitalism. But for all the examination of those remarks, a passing reference by Mr. Bannon to an esoteric Italian philosopher has gone little noticed, except perhaps by scholars and followers of the deeply taboo, Nazi-affiliated thinker, Julius Evola. “The fact that Bannon even knows Evola is significant,” said Mark Sedgwick, a leading scholar of Traditionalists at Aarhus University in Denmark. Evola, who died in 1974, wrote on everything from Eastern religions to the metaphysics of sex to alchemy. But he is best known as a leading proponent of Traditionalism, a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions.  Evola became a darling of Italian Fascists, and Italy’s post-Fascist terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s looked to him as a spiritual and intellectual godfather. They called themselves Children of the Sun after Evola’s vision of a bourgeoisie-smashing new order that he called the Solar Civilization. Today, the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn includes his works on its suggested reading list, and the leader of Jobbik, the Hungarian nationalist party, admires Evola and wrote an introduction to his works. More important for the current American administration, Evola also caught on in the United States with leaders of the alt-right movement, which Mr. Bannon nurtured as the head of Breitbart News and then helped harness for Mr. Trump.”

Andrew Sullivan considers The Madness of King Donald: “Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him? If you showed up at a neighbor’s, say, and your host showed you his newly painted living room, which was a deep blue, and then insisted repeatedly — manically — that it was a lovely shade of scarlet, what would your reaction be? If he then dragged out a member of his family and insisted she repeat this obvious untruth in front of you, how would you respond? If the next time you dropped by, he was still raving about his gorgeous new red walls, what would you think? Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional. If he kept this up, at some point you’d excuse yourself and edge slowly out of the room and the house and never return. You’d warn your other neighbors. You’d keep your distance. If you saw him, you’d be polite but keep your distance. I think this is a fundamental reason why so many of us have been so unsettled, anxious, and near panic these past few months. It is not so much this president’s agenda. That always changes from administration to administration. It is that when the linchpin of an entire country is literally delusional, clinically deceptive, and responds to any attempt to correct the record with rage and vengeance, everyone is always on edge.”

Greag Sargent believes that A blueprint for resistance to Trump has emerged. Here’s what it looks like: “1) Have (guarded) faith in our system….2) Keep pressuring Republicans to exercise real oversight on Trump….3) Fight hard in the Senate will all available procedural weapons….4) Keep looking to civil society and try to fortify it where possible….5) Keep Trump distracted and off balance, to minimize the damage he can do….”

(I’d say it’s still early, and there will be much more difficult days, with significant setbacks, along the way.)

Rosie Gray asks, and answers, What is the NRx (Neoreaction) Movement?: “White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been in contact via intermediaries with Curtis Yarvin, Politico Magazine reported this week. Yarvin, a software engineer and blogger, writes under the name Mencius Moldbug. His anti-egalitarian arguments have formed the basis for a movement called “neoreaction.” The main thrust of Yarvin’s thinking is that democracy is a bust; rule by the people doesn’t work, and doesn’t lead to good governance. He has described it as an “ineffective and destructive” form of government, which he associates with “war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.” Yarvin’s ideas, along with those of the English philosopher Nick Land, have provided a structure of political theory for parts of the white-nationalist movement calling itself the alt-right. The alt-right can be seen as a political movement; neoreaction, which adherents refer to as NRx, is a philosophy. At the core of that philosophy is a rejection of democracy and an embrace of autocratic rule.”

In Alaska, it’s Moose v. Moose:

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