The Monday Morning Teaser

This is one of those weeks where it’s easy to get sucked into the same story that the news channels have been talking about 24/7: the women accusing Trump of sexual assault and other unwanted boorish attention. And I will link to that stuff for those of you who haven’t already had enough of it, but the point of the Sift is to be an alternative to the news-hype machine, not to participate in it.

So instead of joining the isn’t-this-awful chorus — it is awful, but you don’t need me to tell you that — I decided to focus on the silver lining of the story: The public is getting an education about sexual assault. That could have consequences well beyond the election. This week’s featured post will be “A Teaching Moment on Sexual Assault”, and it will cover four areas where I think the public consciousness is being raised: how ubiquitous sexual assault is, the myths so many of us believe about it, why so many women don’t tell anyone about it, and the tactics men use to get away with it.

I still have some work to do on it, and it’s the kind of topic where I have to check the wording of every sentence to make sure I’m not unintentionally saying something offensive or insensitive, or perpetuating myths of my own, so it may not come out until 10 or 11. (If I do offend you, complain in the comments. There’s a good chance I’ll say “Thank you” and re-edit some part of the post.)

The weekly summary is where I’ll talk directly about the Trump scandal and his responses to it, including a really disturbing revival of what would become a Nazi conspiracy theory if you just added the word Jews to it. (Some of his followers have done that.) Also: more WikiLeaks releases of hacked Clinton-campaign stuff, including transcripts of her Goldman Sachs appearances in 2013. (It turns out they weren’t speeches, but Q&A sessions.)

There’s also a thwarted white-supremacist plot to bomb an apartment complex in Kansas where a lot of Somali Muslims live, and the firebombing of a Republican headquarters in North Carolina. An international agreement made real progress on climate change. The Scots are looking at a post-Brexit independence vote. And probably some other stuff. There will be a closing, but I haven’t picked it yet.

And I turn 60 today. I am now officially entitled to start saying: “Not bad for an old guy.”

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  • Roger Green  On October 17, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Happy birthday, youngster!

  • Kaci  On October 17, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Happy Birthday! May you have many more!

  • Jill Drury  On October 17, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Happy birthday, Doug! I hope you and Deb can have a nice Indian food buffet lunch to celebrate!

  • slehotsky  On October 17, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Happy Birthday!

  • Nancy Graham Holm  On October 17, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Happy Birthday, Doug. I think you are pretty smart to be such a young
    oldster! 60? Bah! Wait 10 years. Then you’ll feel the years creeping up
    on you. Call me: “Spea
    king from Experience.”

  • David Garcia  On October 17, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Well, I guess your birthday is as good a day as any day to say “Thank You!!!” for the incredible service you provide to all who care enough to be curious. You are, without a doubt, one of the best thinkers I’ve run across in my life. As sad as it may sound (and it really isn’t sad at all), I am always excited when Monday morning rolls around, as I know your incredibly insightful review of events will be waiting for me. I sure hope writing the Sift is a labor of love, because it sure means a lot to a lot of us that you do it. I guess you’re right, your work is “not bad for an old guy.”

    I hope you have a very happy birthday. Try to spend at least this one day thinking of something other than Trump. That alone would likely make today the best day of the year.

    David Garcia 602 421-9230


  • stevesidner  On October 17, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Yeah, the 60’s are tough, psychologically. You develop chronic aches and pains and medical conditions that you just have to deal with by sucking up and not complaining. Your mental powers start to fail, although in your case, wisdom is your most valuable attribute and that sort of seems to increase. Socially you feel more isolated and people are nice to you but hey, “not bad for an old guy:. In short you realize you’re on death row in a pretty comfortable prison but with random and accelerating episodes of torture. You start thinking in practical terms about your moment of death and how you arrive there. But is it all bad?! Not at all once you get your head adjusted. There is stronger feeling of clarity and peace and release. You will no longer feel the obligation to lead. You can sit on the sidelines and be follower and just enjoy yourself. Bilbo Baggins will become a role model.

  • Bill Camarda  On October 17, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Happy birthday! I turned 60 in March. It’s OK, hell of a lot better than the alternative. Nevertheless: 60 is definitely the new 60.

  • Tammy Forner  On October 17, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Happiest of birthdays, Doug! And thanks for your very informative and well-considered publications each week. Even when the topics are heavy, your blog is a bright spot in my Mondays.

  • Juanita  On October 17, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Happy Birthday and thanks for your posts. I really enjoy them.

  • Jenny Yates  On October 17, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Happy birthday! I’m a huge fan & frequently link to your writings on my fb page. I really appreciate both your lucid writing and your commitment to underlying truths.

  • firebug2006  On October 17, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Happy birthday!

  • tfm1066  On October 17, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Happy birthday!

  • travelingsztyk  On October 17, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I read your sift often and deeply appreciate the work you do, the research you complete, and the summaries you construct. Finally, an alternative to the news machine hype that is logical and critically thoughtout. Thank you and my sincere wishes for a very happy birthday and many more years of The Weekly Sift.

  • ccyager  On October 17, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Happy birthday, Doug! I hope you have some time to really celebrate the milestone and dance a bit with the autumn leaves swirling in the wind. We get so wrapped up in ourselves and the election, we forget that Nature is out there. I would like to add my “thank you” to you for writing this blog, and with such care and attention. It has really helped me see through the crap, and it’s given me a lot of food for thought. I do wish someone at the debate this week would ask Donald Trump was his conception of the job description for president is. He doesn’t seem to get that a president leads, doesn’t whine and complain and claim to be a victim.

  • Bob Stavers  On October 17, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Happy Birthday young man, keep up this wonderful work.

  • Dan Willis  On October 17, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Happy Birthday. Many thanks for the illuminating blog.

  • Andi Liebenbaum  On October 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Happy birthday. Just celebrated a dear friend’s 60th, and if he’s any indication, you’re just hitting your stride. Well done, and thank you for the always insightful and challenging information.

  • Lydia Spitzer  On October 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Happy Birthday Doug!! Why is “many happy returns of the day” a birthday, rather than an election, blessing? Whatever, my new imaginary website,, has you in its sights!

  • Bryan Smith  On October 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Happy Birthday!

  • windpig  On October 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    CONGRATS. AND HAPPY B-DAY. You’re a year behind me. Keep up the good work. You do a great job. Signed Greg

  • Ed  On October 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Happy birthday! 60 ain’t old, it’s the new 50! I can even remember it.

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