Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

“Back and Angrier than Ever”

Press Watch My brother’s blogging hiatus is over and, as he put it, “I’m back and angrier than ever.”

The newest offering is The facts need a bullhorn. I guess he’s shrill. But not without reason:

In just over a month, voters will decide the future of the United States, quite possibly sending it into a downward spiral of know-nothing autocracy, oppression, and white Christian nationalism. And if not this November, then quite possibly in 2024.

But far from shouting the news from the rooftops, our elite political reporters are mewling about dueling parties, polarization, and codependency.

They are failing to call out the hucksters, zealots, charlatans, loons, dupes, and agents of chaos who would lead our country to disaster. They don’t merely treat them with equanimity, they express admiration for their strategy and achievements.

There’s more, of course.

Posted in Dan Froomkin, The Media | Leave a comment

Not the Lifetime Achievement Award I Was Hoping For

A couple of years ago I was honored to receive the 2020 University of Miami Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award in recognition of my writing.  Little did I know what was yet to come.

What my name was used to publicize.

Now comes Mashable to identify my highest and best contribution to the world:

The name Michael Froomkin likely doesn’t mean anything to you. That’s because his biggest and most important contribution to the world is a post on Discourse.net where he states, “If You Wait Long Enough, Everything Comes Back Into Style.” It’s not clear if this is true or not, but it seems common enough.

A backhanded compliment, perhaps, but does it mean it’s all over now and I should retire?

Posted in Personal | 2 Comments

Ian Recalibrates, Aims for Tallahassee

Promoted to Ian from TD9, the soon-to-be category 3 (at least) storm has a new projected track. The current projection, still much subject to change,is significantly westward of Friday’s, now avoiding south Florida entirely, before making a now more-leisurely turn to the East, weakening a bit, and heading straight for Tallahassee.

If Ian does hit Tallahassee, don’t hold your breath for claims from local divines that Ian is divine retribution for the recent actions of Gov. Evil™ and the state legislature.

 

Posted in Florida, Weather With a Name | Leave a comment

TD 9 09/22/2022

It’s a cliched scene in old war movies: Sentries are looking out at the world from their fort or embankment, and saying, “It’s quiet out there. Too quiet.”

Well, that’s what it felt like to South Florida this year as we looked at the weather maps. After meteorologists predicted a bumper crop of named hurricanes this year, what storms there have been acted as if Miami were dosed in super-hurricane repellent, with every storm that even looked as it it might come here, aiming elsewhere from an early stage–and staying that course.

Seems now that the quiet might be over.

TD 9 Track as of 9/22/2022

While a five-day track is very often subject to major change, that just means that it can aim more directly at us, as well as go further away.

And the key detail is that little tiny “M” on the track for Wednesday. “M” stands for “major”. Could be a very big one…or nothing for us if it goes to sea and heads for the gulf coast. [Update: the prediction is for Class 3, which ranges from bad to quite bad, but commonly doesn’t rate as utterly disastrous to life in places where buildings are designed to survive it.]

Note: No sharpies were used in the creation of this post.

Posted in Weather With a Name | Leave a comment

Genuinely Weird

This is not Italy

One of the stranger things I’ve seen in the paper recently: Jason Horowitz, Hobbits and the Hard Right: How Fantasy Inspires Italy’s Potential New Leader:

ROME — Giorgia Meloni, the hard-right leader who is likely to be the next prime minister of Italy, used to dress up as a hobbit and attended “Camp Hobbit” a gathering of hard-right youth.

As a youth activist in the post-Fascist Italian Social Movement, she and her fellowship of militants, with nicknames like Frodo and Hobbit, revered “The Lord of the Rings” and other works by the British writer J.R.R. Tolkien. They visited schools in character. They gathered at the “sounding of the horn of Boromir” for cultural chats. She attended “Hobbit Camp” and sang along with the extremist folk band Compagnia dell’Anello, or Fellowship of the Ring.

All of that might seem some youthful infatuation with a work usually associated with fantasy-fiction and big-budget epics rather than political militancy. But in Italy, “The Lord of the Rings” has for a half-century been a central pillar upon which descendants of post-Fascism reconstructed a hard-right identity, looking to a traditionalist mythic age for symbols, heroes and creation myths free of Fascist taboos.

Worth reading the whole article. Incidentally, the article suggests that,

Ms. Meloni …. said she had learned from dwarves and elves and hobbits the “value of specificity” with “each indispensable for the fact of being particular.” She extrapolated that as a lesson about protecting Europe’s sovereign nations and unique identities.

Given the history, I expected her to say it sounded like (20th Century Italian Fascist) corporatism. But, no, it’s just dressing up 21st Century nationalism and bigotry.

Posted in Politics: International | Leave a comment

Attorney General Merrick Garland Speaks at Ellis Island (Take That, Ron)

Attorney General Merrick Garland swore in 200 new citizens at Ellis Island to celebrate the anniversary of the Constitution. Garland spoke about his immigrant grandparents, in an unusually personal and moving talk that serves as a rebuke to the neo-fascists busing and flying immigrants around the country as human pawns.

By the way, this post at Digby’s Blog has fascinating details about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s migrant-shipping flights to Martha’s Vineyard, including a copy of the (false and misleading) brochure prepared to lure asylum-seekers to the airplanes.

Posted in Immigration | Leave a comment