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'Esos mensajes que le hacían soportable el encierro'

Nueva entrega de nuestros 'Relatos de un Extraño Verano', salidos del Taller de Escritura Creativa de Clara Obligado y basados en las sensaciones que nos generó y genera el confinamiento y la pandemia. La entrada 'Esos mensajes que le hacían soportable el encierro' aparece primero en EL ASOMBRARIO & Co..
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Petri Dishes with Alexandra Petri (Oct. 27)
Humor columnist Alexandra Petri takes your questions on the news and political in(s)anity of the day.
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washingtonpost.com
Americans Have Lost Sight of What Fascism Means
How do Americans decide what to be outraged about? It seems like ancient history now, but that was one of the questions The New York Times inadvertently raised in June when it appended an editor’s note to an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton—a piece that some on the Times staff saw as presenting a physical danger not only to the country but to themselves.The op-ed called for American troops to be sent to “restore order” to cities experiencing violent protests. Outside and inside the Times, it was widely condemned as “fascist” or fascist-adjacent. More recently, though, the Times published an op-ed of a similar vein, except this time readers had the opportunity to glimpse what actual fascism looks like. Fascism, in today’s context, isn’t mere authoritarianism, but the attempt to suppress all dissent, public or private, in the name of the nation; it is the expression of a regimented society that elevates order as both the means and end of all political life.The October 1 op-ed, by Regina Ip, a member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council, captured such sentiments well. Ip laid out the case for a new Chinese-backed security law that would effectively criminalize anything that might be perceived as “subversion.” Included was one of the most disturbing passages I have read in an American publication: To some, the new national security law is especially chilling because it seems simultaneously vague and very severe. But many laws are vague, constructively so. And this one only seems severe precisely because it fills longstanding loopholes—about subversion, secession, local terrorism, collusion with external forces. One person’s “severe” is someone else’s intended effect. This time, though, no staff revolt occurred, even though Ip’s article was an elaborate if refreshingly frank endorsement of real fascism.[Read: Hong Kong is a colony once more]Outrage is always selective. I could have written about something else, but I decided to write about this. The question remains: Why did readers who were infuriated by Cotton’s argument seem to shrug off Ip’s?Words matter because they help order our understanding of politics both at home and abroad. If Cotton is a fascist, then we don’t know what fascism is. And if we don’t know what fascism is, then we will struggle to identify it when it threatens millions of lives—which is precisely what is happening today in areas under Beijing’s control. Chinese authorities have tightened their grip on Hong Kong. And while the world watches, they are undertaking one of the most terrifying campaigns of ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide since World War II in Xinjiang province, with more than 1 million Muslim Uighurs in internment camps, as well as reports of forced sterilization and mass rape.For morality to operate, moral proportion is required. Unfortunately, the Trump era has badly damaged our ability to see what’s right in front of our noses.[Read: Saving Uighur culture from genocide]Today, the United States is consumed by internal divisions, which means that the flow of ideas is the reverse of what it otherwise might be. Instead of solving problems through the very democratic institutions that once gave inspiration abroad, we now import foreign notions from Europe’s dark past in an attempt to comprehend what seems incomprehensible here in our own country. Donald Trump’s election led to a whole cottage industry of thinking that fascism is near, right here at home. It has grown steadily, reaching its culmination in the lead-up to the November election. In the past month alone, readers have seen Mussolini comparisons from eminent historians, explainers on what it’s like to live through a civil war, and an endless stream of warnings about Reichstag fires and a “fascist coup.” Here, Trump deserves some of the blame. He has a knack for bringing out the worst in his opponents, giving them license to use the very hyperbole and distortion that they criticize in others. This is one of many reasons to hope he is voted out of office.If America doesn’t descend into fascism—and Joe Biden wins by a comfortable margin and Republicans accept the result, however reluctantly—then Americans will be able, once again, to gain a proper perspective on their long, four-year episode of unreason and myopia. Sometimes, life is elsewhere. In some places, democracy, or what’s left of it, is truly under threat. One of those places is Hong Kong.The Chinese regime’s authoritarian impulses are still more evident in Xinjiang, where the sterilization of Uighur women is systematic, with the intent to decrease the Muslim population. Chinese companies have made beauty products for export with what appears to be the human hair of Uighurs in internment camps. Chinese authorities have organized the “Pair Up and Become Family” campaign, in which more than 1 million party cadres have been dispatched to live in Uighur households, monitoring families’ every move, with new male “relatives” sleeping with Uighur women and forcing marriage, while many of their actual male relatives are detained in the camps. There is another name for this, and it’s rape.Americans are not unusual in caring less about tragedies in countries other than their own. The atrocities committed against the Uighurs, however, attract less attention than they should in part because of whom they’re committed by. Getting large numbers of people genuinely worked up about what China does is difficult. Abuses at home make mainstream commentators and analysts wary about highlighting them in authoritarian regimes, if only because Americans feel our own hypocrisy is more glaring. “The United States cannot credibly speak against abuses in other nations,” Alexandra Schmitt of the Center for American Progress has argued, “if its own policies are perpetuating human rights abuses abroad or if it is failing to uphold and protect rights at home.”[Read: Uighurs can’t escape Chinese repression, even in Europe]When I requested comment about the Times’ decision to publish Ip’s op-ed, the acting editorial-page editor, Katie Kingsbury, responded in a statement that the paper had also published a variety of prodemocracy opinions, including from its own editorial board. “Regina Ip’s Op-Ed,” the statement continued, “allowed our readers to hear another side of the debate from a member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong.” Yet Ip’s piece was less a reasoned argument than an explicit assertion of Beijing’s right to repress. This is not a debate that requires a careful exposition of both sides, in part because there isn’t another side to defend. It is one thing for American news outlets to publish perspectives from authoritarian heads of state in the interest of informing. It is quite another to publish actual, and not merely imagined, articulations of the kind of fascism and totalitarianism that the Chinese regime upholds daily.Liberals and liberal institutions feel understandable discomfort in portraying China as an enemy, since this is what Trump has done—often with considerable resort to xenophobia and without distinguishing between the Chinese regime and the Chinese people. To attack and focus attention on China also runs the risk of boosting the Trump administration’s narrative that China is America’s new enemy. That Trump might be right on one thing is certainly possible, but that doesn’t make the idea of agreeing with him any less uncomfortable.This can sometimes lead to a moral equivalence, where the United States, under Trump, is relegated to the same plane as the Chinese regime on issues such as digital surveillance. It follows, then, that trying to exclude Chinese technology from American networks and markets would be the height of hypocrisy, as Sam Biddle has argued in The Intercept. This summer, Trump’s efforts to pry the popular app TikTok away from its China-based parent company prompted the writer (and former Times editorial-board member) Sarah Jeong to wonder, “‘Is the United States better, worse, or the same as China?’ … In 2020, this is becoming a genuinely difficult question to answer.” After all, Jeong reasoned, “China brutally represses its political dissidents; in America, law enforcement in military camouflage have grabbed protesters off the streets and shoved them into unmarked vans.”Jeong went further than most in drawing an equivalency between China and Trump’s America. Still, the Chinese regime does tend to garner more respect and deference among a certain kind of American observer than the Trump administration does. China, if one puts human-rights abuses aside, can seem tantalizingly efficient—a technocrat’s dream paradise, where unelected leaders “get things done.” Some of this fascination with the Chinese miracle was on display in a 2018 Times article with the suggestive headline “The American Dream Is Alive. In China.” Its authors took at face value polling that the Chinese are now “among the most optimistic people in the world—much more so than Americans and Europeans.” Since then, China’s seemingly effective response to COVID-19 has only made American incompetence starker.[Read: How history gets rewritten]These developments, some of them quite recent, conspire to China’s advantage. After all, Trump is a greater threat to the American self-conception than China is. The dislike and even hatred directed toward the Trump administration is partly born of the gap between expectation and reality, one that has widened perilously over the course of the past four years. Americans believe that they can, and should, be better. Few have any such expectations about China’s morality or inherent goodness. Many feel a sense of futility that nothing much can be done.But this is no justification for twisting the meaning of words such as fascist beyond recognition. Doing so has been a long-standing practice. As George Orwell wrote in 1944, “I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.” But as citizens of a country apart, across an ocean, Americans were spared at least some of this lexiconic plasticity—until now.A world where a Republican senator in a democracy—even a flawed democracy—is deemed fascist and therefore beyond the bounds of respectable discussion, while actual authoritarians, or worse, are free to propagate their views with little public censure is a world that is upside down. Words should mean something, and if Americans insist on instrumentalizing them for political objectives, however just, then journalists and analysts will no longer have the language to describe the worst threats from the worst actors.What the Chinese Communist Party is doing is not unspeakable. It can and should be spoken about, however difficult that may be. Moral clarity requires us to seek both accuracy and proportion. Anything less does a disservice to those who have actually struggled, fought, and died against fascism. If Americans, even for just a moment, could look beyond Trump, they might realize that another world—one where fascism is a living, breathing thing—awaits them.
theatlantic.com
Boy, 3, dies at his birthday celebration after accidentally shooting himself
A 3-year-old boy has died at his birthday celebration after finding a family member’s gun and accidentally shooting himself in the chest.
abcnews.go.com
Air Force vet would be California's first Black GOP woman elected to US House
An Air Force veteran in Southern California would be the state’s first Black Republican woman elected to a U.S. House seat if she’s able to unseat her Democratic opponent in November, according to a report.
foxnews.com
Op-Ed: The COVID-19 vaccines are coming. Here's how they should be rolled out
Well before Operation Warp Speed delivers COVID-19 vaccines en masse, we need to be prepared to distribute them effectively. Here's how we should do it.
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latimes.com
Op-Ed: Is 2020 shaping up to be 2016 redux?
A blue-state Democrat and a red-state Republican discuss the week in politics.
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latimes.com
NFL Week 7 roundtable: Which quarterbacks most need to turn things around?
The pressure is rising for several quarterbacks throughout the NFL, and a few could be on the verge of getting the hook as starters.       
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usatoday.com
Big Ten power rankings: Ohio State stays on top while Penn State falls
Ranking the Big Ten from first (Ohio State) to worst (Michigan State) after the league's opening weekend.        
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usatoday.com
Letters to the Editor: No, the Democrats haven't been trying to overturn the 2016 election
A letter writer accused Democrats of trying to overturn the 2016 election. Here is why that's wrong on so many levels.
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latimes.com
Op-Ed: The pandemic made me a farmer again
An acre in the suburbs is not a farm of course, laid out within earshot of city hall and the state highway. Yet garden work can be farm work.
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latimes.com
Editorial: If shopping malls across California can reopen, museums should be able to do so too
Our vigilance toward reopening malls amid COVID-19 should be accompanied by a willingness to adapt museums to have visitors again as well.
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latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: Catholics value dispassionate reasoning. Our courts could use more of that
It may not appeal to the left, but the kind of sober, reasoned thinking emphasized by the Catholic Church propels our legal process.
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latimes.com
Editorial: U.S. should go warp speed on testing too
It's not too late for the U.S. to make up for it's failure on coronavirus testing. That's the only way to safely reopen schools, churches and businesses before there's a vaccine that's widely available.
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latimes.com
D.C.-area forecast: And now for something totally different
A dreary, damp and cool Sunday is a dramatic shift from recent days. More rain possible by Wednesday night and Thursday.
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washingtonpost.com
Letters to the Editor: We can build all-electric buildings today. Cities should require them
Architects are already designing and building all-electric structures. Cities like Los Angeles should not wait for state mandates before acting.
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latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: Every L.A. neighborhood needs a 'mask cop' like Charles Dirks
The 81-year-old college professor who harangues maskless walkers and praises people whose faces are covered earns mostly praise from our readers.
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latimes.com
How Biden has more paths than Trump to 270 electoral votes
Poll of the week: A new Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll of likely Pennsylvania voters finds former Vice President Joe Biden at 51% to President Donald Trump's 44%.
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edition.cnn.com
2020 Election, Coronavirus Surge, Fall Cocktails: Your Weekend Briefing
Here’s what you need to know about the week’s top stories.
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nytimes.com
Sally Pipes: BidenCare would bring socialized medicine and end private health insurance
When President Trump accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at their debate Thursday of supporting socialized medicine, Biden called the claim “ridiculous.” But in fact, Trump is right.
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foxnews.com
Cartoonist and Journalist Joe Sacco on How He Earns His Sources’ Trust
In his new book Paying the Land, Joe Sacco takes us through the painful history of the Northwestern Territory’s indigenous people.
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slate.com
Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and the politics of unconditional love
What the vice president’s relationship with his son tells us.
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washingtonpost.com
As elections officials process voters’ mail-in ballots, some envelopes contain surprises
Thank you notes, copies of identification cards, and errant signatures are among the things officials have seen.
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washingtonpost.com
The Good Lord Bird and the Bloody Comedy of John Brown
It’s the rare adaptation that deepens and enriches the novel on which it’s based.
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slate.com
From coronavirus to race to the economy, Wisconsin is a microcosm of the forces roiling America
The state may be the tipping point in the presidential election, and deservedly so.
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washingtonpost.com
A winter storm may soon be a natural fire hydrant to Colorado's East Troublesome Fire
Despite red flag weather warnings, officials battling the Colorado East Troublesome Fire said conditions are improving to bring the blaze under control.
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edition.cnn.com
Adele Doesn't Want To Be Too Political, Thanks Sarah Palin 'For Everything' In SNL Monologue
The Grammy-winning singer said she was "absolutely thrilled" to be hosting SNL after first appearing on the show as a musical guest in 2008.
2 h
newsweek.com
Jennifer Lawrence said she confronted Anderson Cooper after he accused her of fake Oscars fall
Actress Jennifer Lawrence last week revealed the time she let CNN's Anderson Cooper have it over his accusation that she faked her fall climbing the stage steps to accept her 2013 Oscar.
2 h
foxnews.com
White House Sought to Silence News of Vice President COVID-19 Outbreak: Report
Mike Pence's chief of staff has tested positive for COVID-19, while there are reports of other members of his staff having been diagnosed.
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newsweek.com
Saturday Night Live Presents Last Week’s Debate, But With Jokes!
Starring Jim Carrey, Alec Baldwin, Maya Rudolph, and one member of the show’s cast.
2 h
slate.com
They're key allies of Benjamin Netanyahu. They're also fueling Israel's big COVID-19 spike
Israel's ultra-Orthodox are key to Benjamin Netanyahu's bid to stay in power, but their resistance to coronavirus restrictions is causing tensions.
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latimes.com
The Woman Who Led Kamala Harris to This Moment
Sharon McGaffie was used to a full house. One evening in early 1969, her cousin Aubrey LaBrie did what he would often do—he brought over a handful of his friends to her West Berkeley duplex. Her home would turn into an impromptu hub for young, Black intellectuals, a place for them to have friendly squabbles over the latest news, which at the time was dominated by the civil-rights struggle and the newly elected president, Richard Nixon. McGaffie, then just a teenager, would do her homework while her mother and another cousin whipped up a pot of Louisiana gumbo, a family favorite.But that night, there was someone new whom McGaffie had never seen before: a tiny, sari-clad woman named Shyamala Gopalan. “She stood out a little bit because she was Indian,” McGaffie said. But Gopalan didn’t seem to feel out of place. She joined in on the debates and, at one point, went to the kitchen and struck up a conversation with McGaffie’s mother. “She fit right in,” LaBrie told me.Gopalan spent much of her life fitting in where she wasn’t supposed to. When she left India in 1958 to pursue a graduate degree at UC Berkeley, she was one of the few Indian women enrolled at the university. In fact, the 19-year-old was one of the few Indian women in the entire country. Five years later, she bucked the Indian tradition of an arranged marriage and fell for a budding economist named Donald Harris. They named their first daughter after the Sanskrit word for “lotus”: Kamala.The first Black and South Asian woman on a presidential ticket, Kamala Harris has repeatedly invoked her mother, who passed away from colon cancer in 2009, in embracing the historic nature of her candidacy. Harris, who declined multiple requests for comment for this story, brings up Gopalan so often on the campaign trail that their relationship has become a recurring theme of her candidacy: In her speech at the Democratic National Convention in August, she called her mother “the most important person in my life,” an inspiration on par with women such as Fannie Lou Hamer and Shirley Chisholm. “There’s another woman … whose shoulders I stand on,” she said. “And that’s my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris.” During the vice-presidential debate earlier this month, she noted all the barriers she was breaking as Joe Biden’s running mate and said that Gopalan “must be looking down on this.” Even her Secret Service code name, Pioneer, is a wink and a nod to her background.But years before Harris was even born, Gopalan was breaking through her own barriers. Her attitude was “This is who I am,” says Lenore Pomerance, one of Gopalan’s lifelong friends, who met her in 1961. It’s a mentality that seems to have followed Harris from her childhood in Berkeley to the cusp of entering the White House. “Don’t let people tell you who you are,” Gopalan told her. “You tell them who you are.”When Gopalan left India for Berkeley in 1958, there were very few Indian women living in the United States. (Courtesy of the Joe Biden Campaign)The daughter of a high-ranking bureaucrat under the British raj, Gopalan had a comfortable childhood. She was born in the southern city of Madras, now Chennai, but her father’s work took the family to Bombay, Kolkata, and New Delhi—where Gopalan spent most of her formative years. When she was 9 years old, India broke free from British colonial rule. A year later, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. After India gained independence in 1947, her father, P. V. Gopalan, led the resettlement of refugees fleeing current-day Bangladesh for India.Those experiences helped shape Gopalan’s sense of what was possible. She got a bachelor’s degree in home science—which in India was meant to groom women for domesticity—before deciding that she wanted to become an actual scientist. But at that time, few Indian women went to graduate school. Even if Gopalan wanted to, Indian students generally chose a career track by the end of high school, and switching gears would have been difficult, if not impossible.[Read: Kamala Harris and the ‘other 1 percent’]She got word of a doctoral program at Berkeley in nutrition and endocrinology, and applied. “When Shyamala wanted to go to California, [my father] said, ‘Go ahead,’” Gopalan Balachandran, Shyamala’s younger brother, told me. “He left his home [as a young man] and came to Delhi to work on his own without knowing anybody. So he had no problem with Shyamala going.”Even for an upper-caste family like Gopalan’s, that was remarkable. India is deeply patriarchal today, even more so when Gopalan left for Berkeley. Literacy rates for women significantly lag rates for men, and sex-selective abortion, though technically illegal, is still common. Not unusual for Indian women of the era, Gopalan’s mother never attended high school. Sixty years ago, sending her daughter thousands of miles away to pursue an education abroad was exceptionally progressive.But although deciding to leave her family behind in India was hard enough for Gopalan, coming to the United States as a teenager wouldn’t have been any easier. Indian Americans now number about 4 million, giving many new immigrants a built-in community they can fall back on, but Gopalan arrived at a time when discriminatory immigration laws placed severe quotas on Asian immigrants: The number of Indians allowed to move to the U.S. was capped at 100 people a year. Gopalan became one of just 12,000 Indian Americans living in the country, the majority of them men. Those who were here faced significant racism; McGaffie told me that Gopalan felt discriminated against at work. “Every woman coming from India at that time was a little bit of an outsider,” says Anirvan Chatterjee, an amateur historian of South Asians in Berkeley.When Gopalan arrived, Americans were protesting everything—racial injustice, imperialism, the Vietnam War—and Berkeley was at the center of it all. Gopalan was all in.In 1960, when Black students in North Carolina staged a high-profile sit-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in protest of Jim Crow, Gopalan joined a sit-in at the local Woolworth’s as a display of solidarity. She also joined a group of Black students who met regularly to study the works of Black writers such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Ralph Ellison. The group, known as the Afro American Association, helped establish the field of Black studies at colleges nationwide and provided much of the intellectual firepower for the Black Panther Party. “It was an incubator for Black consciousness and Black power,” said LaBrie, who was also involved. Gopalan was the only non-Black member.It was through her civil-rights activism that she got to know Donald Harris, a fellow Berkeley grad student from Jamaica. Harris was giving a talk at an event off campus, and when he finished, Gopalan introduced herself. The two started dating and married a few years later. “They just went to the courthouse on their lunch hour,” Lenore Pomerance told me. The couple had two daughters, Kamala and then Maya, who is now an attorney and a top adviser to her sister.[Read: ‘Howdy, Modi!’ was a display of Indian Americans’ political power]In eschewing an arranged marriage and choosing a Black partner, Gopalan had lit a match under convention and blown it up. Anti-Black racism and colorism are pervasive in India and across the diaspora: When a 2012 poll from the Pew Research Center asked Indian Americans how well they get along with African Americans, nearly a quarter responded “not too well or not at all well.” Just 7 percent said the same about white people. Gopalan’s relationship with Harris “was definitely groundbreaking,” says Sooni Taraporevala, who wrote the screenplay for the film Mississippi Masala, in which an Indian woman falls in love with a Black man. “When we did Mississippi Masala, it was in the 1990s. And even then, it was extremely rare.”In the 1960s, it was a scandal in India. Balachandran, Gopalan’s brother, said that his parents were hurt and disappointed about the marriage, but that their reaction wasn’t about race. “They had not met the bridegroom before” the wedding, he told me. “I don’t think they had any issues that he was Jamaican or anything like that.” But Gopalan believed that not all Indians would be accepting. “I heard her talk about how she could not take her girls back [to India] because she married outside of her race and she married a Black man,” said McGaffie, whose mother often took care of Kamala and Maya after school.In 1971, Gopalan filed for divorce. If her marriage was cause for controversy, her divorce was no less so. India has among the lowest divorce rates in the world in part because of the intense stigma around it, especially for women. Harris’s own description of the divorce suggests that it was a difficult moment for her mother, and a source of family strife. “I think, for my mother, the divorce represented a kind of failure she had never considered,” she wrote in her memoir, The Truths We Hold. “Her marriage was as much an act of rebellion as an act of love. Explaining it to her parents had been hard enough. Explaining the divorce, I imagine, was harder. I doubt they ever said to her, ‘I told you so,’ but I think those words echoed in her mind regardless.”“If you don’t define yourself,” Gopalan would tell Harris, “people will try to define you.” (Courtesy of the Joe Biden Campaign)Harris talks about her mother all the time. She often mentions how her mom would bring her along to protests “strapped tightly in my stroller.” She has devoted an entire campaign video to Gopalan and credits her for instilling “in my sister, Maya, and me the values that would chart the course of our lives.”One of those values was a refusal to be boxed in by societal expectations. Gopalan never hewed to other people’s notions of where she did and didn’t belong, and she was explicit that her daughters should do the same. “If you don’t define yourself,” she would often tell them, “people will try to define you.”By the time she divorced, Gopalan had completed her doctorate and was working as a cancer researcher at Berkeley. She retained custody of Kamala and Maya, who saw their father, a Stanford University professor, on weekends and during summers off from school. When Harris was 12 years old, Gopalan accepted a job at McGill University, and the family moved to Montreal.Gopalan was a devoted and fiercely protective parent: She volunteered in her daughters’ classrooms and would always keep the house stocked with freshly baked cookies. But as a single mother, she had little tolerance for frivolity. In the mornings, she’d give her daughters breakfast drinks or Pop-Tarts because, as Harris has written, “breakfast was not the time to fuss around.” When Kamala or Maya came home upset from something that had happened at school, Gopalan made them reflect on their own culpability, asking, “Well, what did you do?” And she was blunt about the challenges her kids would face as biracial children. “She didn’t talk little-kid talk,” McGaffie said. “She had real conversations with them.”[Read: Kamala Harris’s ambition trap]The family traveled periodically to visit relatives in India, where Harris would take long walks along the beach with her grandfather and learn how to pray at a Hindu temple. At home, Gopalan would cook up Indian meals such as dal, idli, and bhindi ki sabzi. But even after the divorce, Gopalan was keen on raising her daughters as Black. Kamala and Maya sang in the children’s choir at a Black Baptist church. On Thursday evenings, “Shyamala and the girls,” as the trio were known around the neighborhood, were familiar faces at Rainbow Sign, a Black cultural center in Berkeley. Her mother, Harris has written, “knew that her adopted homeland would see Maya and me as black girls, and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women.”It was an unlikely choice for an Indian at the time. “It’s not that she didn’t give a damn,” LaBrie said. “But this is the way she’s conducting her life, and if nobody agrees with you, so be it.” Years later, Harris herself would sound almost exactly the same note: “I am who I am. I’m good with it. You might need to figure it out, but I’m fine with it.”Harris’s approach to politics today as the just-maybe next vice president has traces of her mother’s influence. Although Democrats are torn between progressives and moderates, Harris is one of the few leaders in her party whose politics don’t neatly align with either camp. During her time as a prosecutor in San Francisco, and then as California’s attorney general, Harris wasn’t exactly a paragon of progressivism: She rejected a request for additional DNA testing that could have exonerated a man on death row and resisted calls from local activists to investigate police shootings of Black men, moves that have irked leftists.Though she’s tacked to the left in recent years—in 2019, she had one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate—she opposes Medicare for All and has kindled a warmer relationship with Silicon Valley than most other progressives. During the Democratic primary, when the left-wing stalwarts Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were centering their campaigns on a “political revolution” and “big structural change,” Harris told The New York Times that she’s “not trying to restructure society.”“She sort of defies being labeled,” Ron Hayduk, a political scientist at San Francisco State University, told me. “She has taken positions that are not one or the other. It’s both/and, not either/or … It has also led some voters to question the authenticity of her convictions. People have said she’s trying to have it both ways.”Harris’s self-proclaimed tendency to “reject false choices” didn’t seem to help her during her own bid for the presidency: She dropped out of the race even before voting got under way. “She was trying to be in the middle,” Hayduk said, “but who cares about that person in the middle who is trying to go from one lane to the next?” However, the fact that Harris isn’t tightly linked to any one of the party’s ideological poles may have been exactly what made her an enticing vice-presidential pick for Biden.In campaign speeches, Harris often mentions how Gopalan would bring her along to protests “strapped tightly in my stroller.” (Courtesy of the Joe Biden Campaign)Gopalan is no longer around to tell Harris to ignore other people’s expectations, but the potential vice president likely wouldn’t be in this spot without her. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Harris staged a protest as a middle schooler in Montreal, demanding the right to play soccer in the courtyard of their apartment complex. “I’m happy to report that our demands were met,” Harris wrote of the incident. When Harris mounted a long-shot run for San Francisco district attorney in 2003, Gopalan was an integral part of her campaign, chauffeuring her to events, directing volunteers, and drumming up support for her daughter’s candidacy. There was no lawn her daughter couldn’t play on, no office she couldn’t hold.“I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman—all of 5 feet tall—who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California,” Harris said during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. “On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America.” But throughout her life, Gopalan had continually expanded the notions of what was possible: That her daughter would one day reach the upper echelons of American politics may be just the kind of thing she would have imagined.
2 h
theatlantic.com
Vice President Mike Pence to Remain on the Campaign Trail Despite Chief of Staff's COVID Diagnosis
The vice president plans to continue his travel schedule despite the infection in his inner circle, less than 9 days before election day.
2 h
newsweek.com
'SNL' mocks final debate, voters whose 'entire personality is hating Donald Trump'
"Saturday Night Live" satirized last week’s final presidential debate in this weekend's cold open by first making fun of the novel mute button that was introduced Thursday to keep the candidates from interrupting each other.
3 h
foxnews.com
Powerball Results, Numbers for 10/24/20: Did Anyone Win the $102 Million?
The winning numbers in Saturday evening's drawing of the Powerball were 18, 20, 27, 45, and 65. The Powerball was 6 and the Power Play was X2.
3 h
newsweek.com
'That was insane': Rays stun Dodgers in Game 4 with epic World Series finish
The Rays stunned the Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series with a walk-off victory to even the series 2-2.       
3 h
usatoday.com
The world needs more kindness. Here's how to develop your practice
Kindness is a way of being that can be carefully cultivated. Houston Kraft, author of "Deep Kindness," has spoken at hundreds of schools around the world, and gives kids tools to develop intentional kindness and try to shape a more just world.
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edition.cnn.com
NYPD looking for cop ‘impersonator’ who crashed into NYC mounted police stables
Police are looking for an odd character who walked into the NYPD’s mounted police stables Saturday night and announced himself as “Inspector Tates.” Confronted inside the stables at W. 53rd Street and 11th Avenue, the fake inspector dashed outside again, police sources told The Post. He jumped into a black Mercedes-Benz and struck a parked...
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nypost.com
Father-to-be asks if he's wrong for dismissing pregnant wife's idea to name daughter 'Karen'
The man said he couldn't "okay" the name, which has taken on a different meaning in modern times.
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foxnews.com
'My Fiancé and I Started Camming—People Pay to Watch Us Have Sex'
The ability to earn money directly while performing intimate acts was like nothing we'd ever seen before. So we started, got hooked and have never looked back.
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newsweek.com
An early preview of winter for the western half of the US
More than 100 places from the Pacific Ocean to the Great Lakes region could set record cold temperatures during the next few days as Old Man Winter arrives early.
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edition.cnn.com
US reports second highest day of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The highest day was Friday
The pandemic has created a second crisis in India — the rise of child trafficking
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edition.cnn.com
US reports second highest day of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The highest day was Friday
As the fall surge continues, the United States has reported its second highest day of new Covid-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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edition.cnn.com
This Should Be Your Next Big Stroll in NYC
Anthony PalettaYou might be marooned by COVID-19 right now in some dreary northeastern apartment sustained only by reveries about Miami, Los Angeles or Mumbai, or some other place you won’t be visiting anytime soon—and overlooking one of the best Art Deco neighborhoods in the country—right in the Bronx.It’s time to get out of the house and catch up on attractions in your own backyard. The area surrounding the Grand Concourse in that borough contains over 300 Art Deco and Art Moderne buildings, one of the densest concentrations in the US. These generally aren’t civic icons on the level of the Chrysler or Empire State buildings (few things are!) but there are a ton in one spot, and not one charges an entry fee. If you’ve any interest in the style and are anywhere nearby, you have no excuse for failing to head over.The architecture of the Grand Concourse is not pastel-splashy at the street level like its semitropical cousins. The buildings that first come to mind as exemplars of balmier Art Deco are often hotels or theaters or commercial buildings. Their dramatic marquees, spires, crowns, colors, and lighting schemes were advertisements in themselves, designed to draw in new customers every day. The Bronx buildings are overwhelmingly residential and didn’t need to lay on the charm quite so aggressively at the facade level but they often do, in a huge way, once you step inside. A number of their lobbies are as exuberant as the form can get; it’s the hard-working South Bronx outside, but South Beach inside.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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thedailybeast.com
Halloween Stream: Revisiting Tobe Hooper’s Terrifying ‘Salem’s Lot’
Moviestore Collection Ltd / AlamyIt’s a mystery that will haunt me until the end of my days: How did a CBS miniseries starring the guy who’d just wrapped up playing Hutch of Starsky & Hutch turn out so goddamn traumatizing?Tobe Hooper might be best known for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, but his 1979 Salem’s Lot adaptation deserves a greater share of his legacy. The miniseries is downright tame next to the director’s other work—an acquiescence to the broadcast television conventions of the time. But even from within constraints, Hooper brings not only the plot of Stephen King’s work to screen, but also the demons that make it so haunting in the first place.Perhaps the most improbable aspect of this production is its star, David Soul—the erstwhile “Hutch.” As Ben Mears, a horror author who’s returned to his sleepy Maine hometown to write about a creepy local mansion called the Marsten house, Soul delivers an earnest, no-frills performance. He’s a perfectly capable, totally forgettable good guy. Another actor could have done more with the role, but Soul’s performance is more straightforward than incapable.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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thedailybeast.com
Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen suffers more World Series heartbreak
ARLINGTON, Texas — Clayton Kershaw isn’t the only accomplished Dodgers pitcher with a history of shaky Octobers. Kenley Jansen added to his imperfect résumé Saturday night with what his manager Dave Roberts called “an un-perfect storm.” Jansen took the loss in the 8-7 Rays victory, with World Series Game 4 ending in one of the...
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nypost.com
When Senator Charles Sumner Was Almost Beaten to Death—on the Senate Floor
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Library of CongressThe 116th and 34th Congresses of the United States have a lot in common: tensions running high between political parties deeply divided on nearly every question; incendiary speeches made and personal barbs publicly thrown; and a disturbing number of bystanders, those so-called gentlemen of Congress (in the 34th, at least, the culprits were necessarily men) who accept no responsibility for the outrages happening around them.But there is one major difference. In today’s Congress, these vicious ideological battles haven’t resulted (yet) in the near murder of a colleague on the Senate floor.In May of 1856, America was a little less than five years away from the opening shots of the Civil War, but the conflict was already starting to feel inevitable. The seeds of discord that had been planted when the first slave ship arrived on the shores of the “new” land were finally beginning to bloom as the 34th Congress tackled the question of Kansas.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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thedailybeast.com
Wisconsin Is a COVID Mess. Here’s How Our College Stayed Open.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesLike millions of Americans, we students have had our lives turned upside down by COVID-19. As we anticipated a return to campus at our college over the summer, the biggest question was: How do we enjoy the social aspect of college during a global pandemic?In recent months, we’ve seen many colleges adopt a strict approach to get students to follow the rules, and mitigate the risk of campus outbreaks, like suspending students for attending a party or ignoring COVID-19 safeguards. But it’s hard to expect us to come back to campus, be locked in our rooms, and not talk to anyone or socialize at all. And punishing college kids for socializing can be harmful and ineffective.We’ve tried doing things differently at Beloit College, a liberal arts school in Wisconsin. And even though our state is a coronavirus hot spot, we’ve (so far) avoided disaster.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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thedailybeast.com
The Lincoln Project Isn’t Helping Anyone but Themselves
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyThe rise of Donald Trump has created a new class of disaffected former conservatives. They have rebranded as conscientious objectors to Trump and Trumpism, so motivated by the present threat that partisan politics and policy preferences must take a backseat.While the Never Trump movement contains myriad smaller organizations fighting for shared resources and often duplicating efforts in the process, its goals are most clearly expressed by a group of former conservative campaign hands and staffers called the Lincoln Project. They’ve set out to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, targeting even the most liberal-leaning Republicans in the Senate. The group purports to target disaffected conservatives and provide the reassurance and support they need to vote for Democrats.But what the Lincoln Project fails to acknowledge is precisely what led to Donald Trump’s election in the first place: that for millions of American conservatives, policy-oriented convictions are important enough to vote for a conservative candidate they may not like.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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thedailybeast.com