The South Will Rise AGAIN!

If zombies are real, that is.

Wary readers should note that these maps are from today’s New York Times, so there’s that to consider. Dark on the orange to purple map means high infection rates, the darkest are Covid hotspots. Darker on the green vaccination map means higher vaccination rates.

Please note that when I mock the former Confederacy it is their radical right wing leaders I am mocking, the ones who continue to represent, according to their time-honored ways, our Death Sentence Loving Bible belts. The average person in the former Confederacy is about is fucked as the Confederate citizen who opposed slavery during the war, but was obliged to serve in the army of the Confederacy or die by hanging or firing squad.

The correlation between the map of high Covid-19 infection rates, low vaccine rates and the former Confederacy, turf of the strongest Trump support, of course, could be purely a product of the Lyin’ New York Times, and you can confirm that with Q, or Mike Flynn, Sidney Powell, Ron Deathsantis, Kristi Noem, Steve Bannon, Mo Brooks, Lauren Boebert, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin or Roger Stone, for that matter. The NY Times, according to millions, lies more than Lyin’ Ted Cruz, or even the irrepressible Orange Polyp himself!

Check out the color of “moderate” right winger Joe Manchin’s West Virginia on the respective maps. Pale in terms of vaccine density, and going for Mr. Trump in the 70% range [1] in the stolen, fake, Chinese Communist-rigged election of 2020, they are a nice dark tone on the Covid infection map. Wait, that infection color is supposed to be… ah, never mind. THE PEOPLE REST!

beautiful head of hair, Don

[1] Damn near a million votes!

Capitalism’s mania for “improvements”

Progress, in capitalism, means steady market growth and constant product improvements, whether people want to be marketed to or have the useful products they rely on redesigned or not. Most people of a certain age are familiar with the term “planned obsolescence”. For those who are not:

a policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of nondurable materials.

The plan is to make ever greater profits by forcing people to keep buying new things to replace consumer goods designed to become obsolete, outmoded, uncool, unfashionable, useless for their customary purpose. Corporations steadily produce groundbreaking new consumer items, branded, unveiled and advertised with fabulous fanfare, that have to be replaced frequently with updated models. For good measure we have designed a new, improved power cord that won’t fit your current device or older devices, we don’t sell the old power cord anymore, just upgrade your phone and toss all the old ones. This is a trillion dollar business model that has produced countless innovative billionaires (as well as, sadly, a mountain of deadly products left to poison the earth).

Everyone today knows the short term version of the drill as simply “updates” or “upgrades”. In computer and phone-related retail, for the short-term game, all you need to do is force people to constantly update their devices and all sorts of wonderful things can be achieved. My podcast player keeps upgrading its ability to deliver ads that cannot be defeated. The ads of savagely competitive Jeff Fucking Bezos are the best, his undefeatable ads play at top volume OVER the podcast you are trying to listen to. When the ad is done you simply rewind to catch the five to fifteen seconds that were drowned out by the sound of an ear shattering jackhammer being muted, finally, by the noise canceling headphones fucking Bezos is hamfistedly trying to sell to everyone.

Rooms full of Andys [1], creative engineering types on the spectrum, are kept busy constantly tweaking the devices and applications we are constantly using. The “updates” do not always improve the product, often disabling familiar, essential features, but… fuck it, just buy a new device if your old one is giving you crap. Life is change. Capitalism certainly is — as long as the change keeps the extractive engines humming full throttle and new customers are cultivated in every corner of the world.

Here’s a mildly sickening example of forced updates nobody but the seller would ever want. I used to run an animation workshop for elementary school kids, I’d bring a small digital camera, a camera stand, a few small lights and a Macbook laptop computer into the room. Within ten minutes the workshop was humming. While kids choreographed and shot their animations, another team would be swapping out the camera’s SD card, uploading the new frames to the computer, opening the program iMovie and starting to make the day’s single frame animation. Music would be added from a program called Garageband, which allowed kids to improvise and easily remove any mistakes they made. The beauty of the macBook, running Operating System 10.6.8, or earlier, was the seamless integration of its various creative programs. Kids could create music in Garageband, easily drag into iMovie from Garageband. They could overdub multiple tracks of narration on top of the music, frames could be tweaked in an onboard graphics program, dragged into iMovie.

Once I stupidly updated the macBook. The new operating system updated and reconfigured all the programs. Suddenly Garageband became more automated, based on customer feedback, or the quirky whims of a room full of Andys, I suppose, and it became impossible to quickly correct mistakes on the fly. When an 8 year-old sound engineer tried to fix a mistake the old command gave a new result– auto-quantize– make your track adhere more strictly to the metronome. The kids never used the metronome. It was very frustrating how hard it became to fix mistakes that in the previous version were so simple to fix that second and third graders mastered it instantly and quickly taught others to do it.

Yes, an engineer at Apple told me on the phone, not everybody liked the newly disabled programs, he didn’t like it himself, and, of course, they were driven by corporate greed (why give things for free when you can claw them back and sell them?) but once the update was done there was no way to revert back to the previous version of the program. Best bet, he told me, was to buy a used MacBook running 10.6.8 or earlier and never update it. They eventually disabled enough features of iMovie that it became impossible to do single frame animation in iMovie, you had to buy a “professional” program from Apple to do what once came included in your computer.

I am tapping away on WordPress, which “improved” their writing editor in ways that made it more cumbersome than it was before. They touted this brilliant new “blocks” system, which replaced a perfectly useful one, even as they made the “theme” I am using obsolete. The tech term for this is “not supported”. You can use it, but nobody at WordPress can do much except urge you to switch to a supported theme. It’s true you could lose all of your content, which can no longer be backed up easily (we eliminated the RSS feed which used to allow you to cut and paste all content into a form you could save) but your experience will be enhanced, as the rooms full of WordPress Andys designed it to be.

The other day I was able to type on WordPress without straining my eyes. I’d see the words like this:

On the updated viewer, the best one can do is this:

If that’s hard on your old eyes, dude, just get stronger glasses, man. What the fuck do you want us to do, bro? Many people think this is a cool new improvement, (asshole…) OK, we just made that up, everybody hates it, but — you know what? Fuck them all and, with respect, sir, fuck you. We are the vanguard of the new world, innovative masters of the digital universe, and you are a carping dinosaur. Why not just simply go extinct if you don’t like the way we do things now?

Well, anyway, it is hard on my old eyes tapping away here. I devised a workaround, that I will use for all future posts. I will henceforth write in a word processing program, OpenOffice, wonderful, free and open-sourced, then select all, copy, paste into this fucking editor which I can then squint at like the bitter old fuck I am.

And make no mistake, when it comes to predatory fucking capitalism, a massive machine that never apologizes for any crime and is always quick to justify any “externality” (when people are killed in the name of profit, like in Bhopal, India, for example, that’s an “externality” the corporation has to account for, a small portion of the profits will go toward a secret settlement with the families of the dead, assuming they have excellent lawyers that can hold us to account) — I am an extremely bitter old fuck.

[1]

I had a friend named Andy, bright, witty, socially maladroit and occasionally locked up in a laughing academy until his wilder moods could be stabilized, who made a nice living writing computer code. He was responsible for how websites acted, where the buttons were to make things work and so forth. I’d observed many times how idiosyncratic Andy was, he always radically adjusted your desk chair when he sat in it, immediately retuned your guitar (breaking a string once in a while) and so forth. I later realized he was probably somewhere on the Asperger’s spectrum. What was intuitive and useful to him was by no means universal, is what I’m trying to say.

Trumpism at its bitter heart

I sometimes wonder why the poor whites of the Confederacy fought to the death in a war for the wealthy that their neighbors who owned enough slaves (twenty) were exempt from fighting in. It turns out one big reason is that the Confederacy was ruthless in hunting down and executing deserters. The same beefed up patrols that hunted down runaway slaves hunted down “disloyal” white men who would not fight and die to defend “home rule”. The leaders of the Confederacy kept it simple: this is a war to defend our noble way of life, uplift the white race and keep the inferior race where it belongs. If you are a traitor to our glorious cause we will hunt you down, kill you and perhaps also burn your family home to the ground.

Life is damned complicated, which is one reason a system that simplifies the world, no matter how grotesquely, is so appealing to so many. There has always been a large wedge of the US population that has no interest in nuance, cause and effect, the reverberations of history recurring like a bad meal. They want to keep what they have, get more, be entertained and believe what they want to believe and you can kiss their asses over whether what they believe is “correct” or not.

Covid-19? Obviously a deadly scam run by Joe Biden and the Chinese Communist Party, first to steal the election from the Man of the People who actually won in a landslide, then to tyrannize the population into abject surrender to the coercive government. Global warming and so-called climate catastrophe? So much liberal fucking bullshit, these regular new record high temperatures, killer storms, droughts, floods and so-called wild fires are just nature being nature. These themes resonate with desperate people who truly do not give a fuck about anything but “winning”. What do they actually win? Membership in the winners’ circle, cuck.

Not that long ago, in this great nation, people assembled to be entertained and uplifted by the public torture and murder of some purportedly demonic bastard, most often Black. We couldn’t make laws to outlaw this popular entertainment because all federal bills to criminalize lynching were filibustered or vetoed in the interest of maintaining power relationships just the way they were between the races. Politicians in areas where lynching was popular knew that allowing a vote to make this wildly popular sport a federal crime would kick their career in the nuts, not that they’d ever dream of supporting this kind of federal overreach, not after fighting a long and bloody war for “States’ Rights”.

The following is from a long, excellent discussion of the roots of American fascism. The author notes that Fascism was always about entertainment, however: the deep root of its poison was that it made hatred entertaining.”

Public lynchings in the United States, at which thousands sometimes gathered in the early 20th century, functioned as a spectacular display of white power that terrorised the black population and exhilarated white audiences with a sense of their own racial superiority. But they were sold as amusement. Lynchings were often advertised ahead of time in the local press and on neighbourhood flyers, just as a funfair or circus might have been. Sometimes street vendors sold popcorn and other snacks.

Lynchings were the violent obverse of folk traditions such as minstrelsy that had long unified white crowds over the degradation of black people. Whether through ostensibly comic mockery or overtly sadistic violence, both were performed for the pleasure of a crowd enjoying its political dominance by dehumanising other people. The forms that lynching took included not only hangings, but public torture, dismemberment, castration and burning alive, sometimes for hours. Spectators took photographs that circulated openly in the mail as postcards, and collected body parts as souvenirs. It was all just another carnival.

That lynching was a barbaric form of mass entertainment was perfectly clear at the time. The influential journalist HL ­Mencken observed as early as 1917 that lynchings were a local “sport” that took “the place of the merry-go-round, the ­theatre, the symphony orchestra and other diversions” in larger communities.

Within a few years, movie theatres were advertising Westerns with a “special added attraction” of exciting footage showing the “Klu Klux Klan in Action” during a “midnight initiation”. In 1934 the New Yorker published a cartoon that showed a grandmotherly white woman holding up a small girl in a large crowd in front of a burning house while excitedly telling her neighbour: “This is her first lynching.”

Then, as now, groups like the Klan were motivated not purely by racial hostility, but by a sense of economic grievance they had been encouraged to understand in terms of race. In a 1926 pamphlet called “The Klan’s Fight for Americanism”, the Klan’s imperial wizard argued that the organisation’s members were the “average citizen of the old stock” motivated by “economic distress” who found themselves “increasingly uncomfortable and finally deeply ­distressed” as “the assurance for the ­future of our children dwindled. We found our great cities and the control of much of our industry and commerce taken over by strangers, who stacked the cards of success and prosperity against us.” But the Klan was also itself a money-making venture, a pyramid scheme populated by grifters and hucksters, literally setting up stalls at state fairs so that racial violence and economic ­resentment could make a buck [1].

source

Racism, xenophobia (fear of “others”) and cultural and economic resentment continue to be great for the old fascist bottom line. One of Trump’s most glorious “fuck you” pardons (which the DOJ should challenge as corrupt and integral to his seamless pattern of ongoing obstruction of justice, quid pro quos for the silence and perjury of criminal co-conspirators like Stone, Manafort and Flynn) was of Steve Bannon, arrested (by the US Postal Service!) aboard a Chinese billionaire’s yacht for fleecing a crowd of loyal Trump supporters out of their hard earned money in a fake “Build the Wall” campaign.

Welcome to the winners’ circle, chumps.

The Fuhrer walks little girl to gas chamber

[1]

Of course, don’t try teaching any of this ugly history in Florida, Texas or any other GOP-controlled Covid hotspot state. There are new laws, in these “Right To Work” states that will put you out of a job right quick if you bad mouth the Klan, or the Texas Rangers, who began their existence chasing down and killing Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches and Mexicans who were on disputed (by the Texans) Mexican territory. Texas justice, y’all. Who doesn’t get excited at a good old neck tie party?! Don’t try peddling this kind of dogshit (see below) in Texas!

Despite the fame of their deeds, the conduct of the Rangers during this period (post-Reconstruction] was illegally excessive. In particular, Leander H. McNelly and his men used ruthless methods that often rivaled the brutality of their opponents, such as taking part in summary executions and confessions induced by torture and intimidation [20] . . .

. . . The Rangers were responsible for several incidents, ending in the January 28, 1918 massacre of the male population[23] (15 Mexican men and boys ranging in age from 16 to 72 years) of the tiny community of Porvenir, Texas, on the Mexican border in western Presidio County. Before the decade was over, thousands of lives were lost, Texans and Mexicans alike. In January 1919, an investigation launched by Texas lawmaker José Tomás Canales found that from 300 to 5,000 people, mostly of Hispanic descent, had been killed by Rangers from 1910 to 1919, and that members of the Rangers had been involved in many acts of brutality and injustice.[24] The Rangers were reformed by a resolution of the Legislature in 1919, which saw the special Ranger groups disbanded and a complaints system instituted.[25]

source

Just sayin’

As you will recall from the two impeachments of America’s Greatest Compulsive Liar, the mere attempt to do something, if done by or on behalf of the sitting president, is not a high crime or even a misdemeanor. Ukrainian president Zelensky never actually went on CNN to announce an investigation into Hunter Biden, so… no crime, no quid pro quo. On January 6, a mob may have tried to stop the certification of the election, at Trump’s strong suggestion, even succeeded for a few hours, but an ATTEMPTED coup is not the same as a successful coup, which is why Pence, Pelosi, AOC, Liz Cheney, Kevin McCarthy and company are all still alive to talk about it.

We need to recall this principle, even though it might seem objectively absurd, and the above purely academic definition, as we march toward authoritarianism.

Biden Derangement Syndrome

I got a nice collection of political cartoons emailed to me by a friend in Tennessee. She picked some good ones, every one of them hit the current ugliness right on the nose. I thought of another cartoon the cartoonists should be working on about now.

There is a reason millions of Americans felt sick when the DNC orchestrated Biden’s nomination by jockeying him into the front-runner position as all the other “moderates” bowed out of the primaries on the same day, on the eve of that big primary when Biden sprung from the back of the pack to become a contender and then the DNC-chosen candidate.  Many of us felt, at the time, that with literal Nazis and Klansmen literally howling at the gates, and after the vast amount of damage their deranged leader had done in a mere four years to create “American carnage”, the smiling, compromising, moderate who couldn’t muster an apology for Anita Hill or a hint of regret for any of his many bad acts during a long career in the Senate, was not the one to be standing up for democracy, particularly against an irrational and violent movement led by an insane and sadistic narcissist whose constant lies are promulgated to tens of millions of credulous followers by a well-oiled mass media disinformation machine.

Sarah Lazarus at Crooked Media reported a sickening item last night that I hadn’t seen, instantly giving rise to that all-too familiar DNC-induced existential nausea:  

  • Democrats aren’t ready to boldly counter all forms of GOP obstruction just yet. During a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, President Biden said that as much as the filibuster sucks ass (paraphrasing), eliminating it entirely would “throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done.” (You know, by contrast to the relentless legislative juggernaut we have now.) On the bright side, Biden did voice his strong support for a return to a talking filibuster, and said he might be willing to go further if the filibuster causes total gridlock. (The For The People Act would like a word.)

Seriously, the president doesn’t yet understand what he’s up against?   How is it possible?  He doesn’t understand that the filibuster was a tool of slaveholders and then the Klan, almost exclusively?   And that McConnell took the trusty flintlock pistol of the filibuster, which at least required the effort of standing there and pulling the trigger, and transformed it into an email nuke that any one of his minions can deploy any time, while lying on their couch drinking vodka, to block debate on anything– permanently.

Silver lining? There’s a good cartoon in that quote, the Capitol in flames behind him, Confederate flags and swastikas all over it, Biden, in a gas mask, surrounded by panicked looking Secret Service “ending the filibuster would throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done.”

Vug him and the “moderate” corporate, status quo-committed whores he rode in on…

USA!   USA!!!

You Like the Idea of The Fourth Reich?

I wake up almost every morning, the grandchild of two people who had their entire families massacred one August night in 1943, to the banging of drums and the caterwauling of drunken Ukrainians (all relatives of my other two grandparents disappeared, with no trace at all, into the fog of Nazi genocide), slightly sick to my stomach at the latest news of how heartily homegrown fascism is growing in our promising democracy. The antidemocratic insurrection that came to an ugly head the day a Jew and a Black tipped the balance of a closely fought Senate is still openly in progress as feckless liberals ring their hands and vow to get to “the truth”.

It is a supremely sickening subject, one detail more vomit inducing than the next, so we must not speak about it, it is too upsetting, plus we are utterly helpless to do anything about it but watch in horror, let’s talk about anything but what is taking place right in front of us! So I sit to write every day, and try to clear my head a little bit, lessen the sick feeling in my gut. Some days it works better than others.

We live in a country that, as a culture, does not believe in history. Six months back might as well be fifty years ago, two hundred years. Since nothing happened to really refute the lies Trump told about the effect his explosive lies had on the followers he incited to storm the Capitol to stop certification of the election he lost, well, who’s to judge him? Nobody has ever held him accountable for anything, why start now? In additional, there are important institutional questions to be debated before we act hastily, about the administration of justice, the Supreme Court, prosecuting the organizers and inciters of the MAGA riot.

Who among us has not wanted to have people who hated us shot to death by riot police, the military? What his fans love about him is that he does exactly what they would do if they were in charge. Even when he lies, he’s telling a larger truth anyone who is really angry can instantly identify with. Enemies? Fucking kill them, what’s the problem? They’d do the same to you, if they could.

In every new book about the previous regime, led by a giant two-year old in a perpetual temper tantrum, we learn more details about how destructive a giant angry “populist” baby can be when in charge of a country with violently emotional divisions.

Russia, we learned the other day, again, made a calculation in 2016 based on the usefulness of a vain, insecure, easily flattered and manipulated American president of strong opinions and limited intellect, an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex” according to a leak of Russian documents reported by The Guardian[1].

This claim by a super-liberal British fake news rag is pure propaganda to tens of millions of Americans who may not agree with everything their leader does, but who know that he has their best interests at heart, even as he weaponizes vaccination (he himself quietly took the vaccine, and softly admitted on FOX that everyone should get it), exacts revenge on everyone on his long, ever-expanding enemies list, humiliating even those most loyal to him once he feels they failed him, and continues to fan the flames of the audacious, violence-stoking lie that, but for the grace of God and some Capitol police who fought against overwhelming odds, would have cost his supremely loyal Vice President his life (along with others). He plays to rage, his particular “genius” is inspiring greater and greater bonfires of rage in his followers. He will say literally anything to keep them mad as hell, fired up, ready to take names and kick disloyal, unAmerican commie ass.

At least 40% of America is in denial about their destructive champion, no matter how much evidence of his destructiveness is revealed by people close to him who remained fatally silent when it mattered most to reveal these alarming details (“just shoot the protesters” “I need a favor, though” “support my self-serving lie or I’ll end your fucking career”). This man, aided by the able, and morally supple Bagpiper Bill Barr, sent a death squad to execute an unresisting American citizen they believe had murdered a Trump supporter in a street brawl in Portland.

Forget the Three Percenters (their name is based on the myth that only 3% of British colonists in the New World actively supported the American Revolution, and that was enough to start it), 40% of the electorate, angry and motivated, in a country whose electoral system was designed to protect the minority power of slaveholders, can decide the destiny of our experiment in democracy.

This group is glad to believe that it’s irrationally angry Blacks who are the racists, not White Christians. The teaching of history, they believe, must not be political, it must be patriotic. They are happy to renounce the vaccine that their leader once touted among his greatest accomplishments, the result of his brilliant and history making Operation Warp Speed. They are willing to die en masse for the freedom to ignore the best advice of infectious disease scientists. They belong to a death cult they fervently believe is a cult of freedom.

My friends, in a way, are right. There is very little any of us, as individuals, can do to change any of this supremely depressing stuff. If one million people a day read this blahg, where I attempt to make sound arguments based on actual facts, it would make little difference, would change almost no minds that didn’t already agree with my point of view. The price for my success would probably be dozens, if not hundreds, of trolls telling me every day that I need to take a fictional red pill to really understand the seriousness of the Satanist cannibal pedophile ring that runs the world (speaking in a heavy Yiddish accent, of course).

On the other hand, things looked hopeless for flipping the Senate as the Georgia run-off approached. It seemed unbelievable that after all of the clear fuck-ups of the giant peevish baby’s disastrous (except to the rich and religiously extreme) administration so many of his most ardent supporters easily won reelection. Why the Democrats didn’t take a dozen seats, including Lindsey Graham’s, McConnell’s, was a perplexing mystery to people like me.

As the Georgia run-off approached, Sekhnet and I attended Zoom meetings and did everything possible to get Georgia Democrats to the polls. On January 6th a Jewish journalist and a Black reverend made history, becoming the first of their kinds to be voted in as Georgia senators. That victory was quickly swallowed up in an outburst of organized rage that the Party of Patriots is defending, counter-factually, as a lawful protest, based on a patriotic reaction to an infuriating allegation advertised to the tune of $50,000,000 plus dozens of influential, free, presidential tweets and speeches in the weeks leading up to the deadly siege. Democrat (sic) determination to investigate the MAGA riot is just another example of a child-blood drinking radical leftist witch-hunt against a man whose only crime is trying to make America great again, and rid us of the rule of murderous pedophiles.

No facts can really enter this existential debate. Facts are malleable, subject to definitive refutation by allegations of alternative facts, as we’ve learned. Here is a nice quote from a powerful, ambitious Republican who never tired of the taste of his leader’s crusty nether sphincter:

Here are a few other quotes that jumped out at me, wound up flapping around in my stomach acid:

General Mark Milley, who’d accompanied Trump on his triumphant walk through used tear gas canisters to awkwardly and defiantly hold up a Bible for a photo op of a Strong president who showed cowardly governors how to dominate the protesters, distanced himself from the stunt, regretting his involvement. A few months after that he, a student of history, referred to these very fine Nazis by name. He at the time had

See also the Lyin’ Ted quotes above. The Leader has the right to say anything, no matter how much it might rile up some very fine Nazis, even who he would or would not Do a coup with.

The most loyal asslicker in US presidential history, Mike “No Homo” Pence, was unable to convince his master that he lacked the power to stop the certification of votes on January 6. He lacked the courage or the character to speak to him frankly, suggesting that perhaps the lawyers could have the final word, but not Rudy or Sidney Powell, nor Flynn or the My Pillow Guy. Never mind. He proved himself an unworthy coward, and such a person, in the eyes of a lynch mob, is richly deserving of kicking at the end of a rope.

Not a problem. The guy was a coward, you kick his ass to the curb, like that guy who married a dog (the only woman who would have him) and whose father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. We’ll leave colossal piece of shit Bill Barr with the last supremely aggravating word:

That, and the fact that he ran against the second most hated politician in America in 2016 (fuck Barr and his fucking last word).

[1]

The second big story came this morning in the form of an article from The Guardian, which purported to reveal leaked documents from the Kremlin in which Putin and Russian leaders agreed in January 2016 to make Trump president to sow discord in the United States in order to get U.S. sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Crimea overturned. The documents described Trump as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex.”

There are many reasons to be skeptical of this “leak,” but, in the end, whether true or not, it doesn’t tell us much that we don’t already know. There is ample evidence, articulated most clearly in the Senate Intelligence Report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, that Russia worked hard to get Trump elected in 2016.

source

Nazi talking point: there is no systemic racism in American law

A favorite technique of abusers, and their admirers, is to blame the victim. This happens literally all the time. Nobody wants to feel they’re doing something for a shitty reason, we need to feel justified in our actions. So if I beat you to a pulp I have to believe, and convince everybody else, that you richly deserved your beating. My story will include a host of provocations that would have tried the equanimity of Buddha. Sure, you got hit, but look what you did to me over and over leading up to it.

We hear this in defense of deadly police shootings and chokings — “the video doesn’t show what happened right before the officer justifiably reacted with deadly force!” Part of this syndrome is claiming the other party has no right to feel upset or angry about how things are — that they are, in fact, ungrateful fucks who deserve whatever punishment they provoke.

It is easiest to make the argument that there is no systemic racism in America (and therefor it is the fault of angry Blacks when they are met with deadly force) by attacking a theory that lays out how racism is not only an individual belief system, but has long been embedded in American law and law enforcement. A theory making the case that racism in American institutions is not an aberration, it’s the norm.

If you look at disparate results by race (street stops, arrests, police killings of unarmed civilians, long prison sentences, death sentences) you will not win many arguments on this score, based on data, based on the facts.

So it is much better, before the largely uninformed (or deliberately misinformed) jury of public opinion, to attack a law school theory that says our institutions are, to a largely unacknowledged extent, marred by racist assumptions and practices (see, e.g., bloviating Bagpiper Bill Barr‘s asinine ‘argument’ to refute this self-evident truth — a “small handful” of unarmed Blacks are killed by police every year, what’s the big deal?).

The theory’s name plays into the talking point that this theory critiquing racism in American law is itself racist. Critical (mean, carping, negative, often unfair, nobody likes a critic) Race (mentioning race is itself an indication of racism, we’re colorblind!) Theory (an argument supported by facts, a very unfair way to make a point!).

Here is a capsule description of the controversial graduate school theory:

As Nazi piece of shit, pardoned immaterial perjurer Mike “Lock Her UP!” Flynn, caller for martial law to overturn the presidential election, follower of the rabid QAnon conspiracy “theory”, urges his people “where we go one, we go all” — take over all local school boards and stop this BLM/antifa/Commie bullshit in its goddamn tracks before it poisons more of our white Christian youth !!!! The problem is the goddamned colored people who hate us for no reason! They are the racists, not us! That’s why they must not be allowed to vote, and if they do vote, why their votes should not be counted! USA! USA!!!

Makes me wanna holler, it really does.

Why do they keep attacking the guy?

Unscrupulous prosecutors are now going after the small family business of the former president, the Orange Polyp, for allegedly cutting corners (and keeping two sets of books) the way any hugely successful business does to pay less tax. The man is out of office, out of power, all he does now is appear at rallies to continue insisting that the 2020 election was stolen from him and that he will ruin anyone in his party who says otherwise.

He is still immensely popular among his solid 39% base, he works closely with the RNC (who supported him in him in his literally hundreds of fruitless anti-voting suits) and his party leaders and foot soldiers obey him unconditionally, but otherwise, it’s not like he’s an active threat to democracy, unless the laws passed in many states based on his transparent but galvanizing lie about rigged elections work as designed and his candidates win majorities in both houses in 2022. Of course, that scenario is about as likely to happen as thousands descending on, and hundreds overrunning, the US Capitol building in the belief that they’ve been deputized to stop an injustice in progress by their lawful president.

Look, to be honest, the only thing they actually have on him are that his “university” was a fraud, though he didn’t have to admit it when he shut it down and paid only $25,000,000 to settle the case. They also have the fraudulent charity he ran, a charitable foundation that gave almost no money to charitable causes and was shut down after negotiations with vengeful NY State authorities.

Paying off a porn star for silence about having sex with her right after your wife gives birth? Nothing, at worst a technical violation of some kind of campaign finance law nobody ever heard of. Hundreds of pious Christian pastors defend him for that bit of prudent adultery, not nearly as bad as what God’s other flawed vessel, Kind David, did when he sent Bathsheba’s husband off to die in battle so he could possess the woman he coveted. And the union between King David and Queen Bathsheba gave us King Solomon, so, God indeed works in mysterious ways!

The rest of the accusations agains the Orange Polyp are all just allegations: his perfect call to Ukrainian president Zelensky asking for a political favor, arguably a tiny bit imperfect, his call to Georgia Secretary of State Raffensberger to get him to “find” 11,780 votes, that might have crossed a line, even violated a local Georgia law that makes it a crime to try to influence an election outcome. The fact is, they have nothing really concrete and airtight on the guy. Sure he’s on tape doing everything possible to get Raffensberger to change electoral results that have already been recounted and certified, but why wouldn’t he do that?

Sure, some “evidence”-based court may find differently at some point, after other indictments begin rolling out (hello, Fania Willis in Fulton County, GA!) but at least 74,000,000 of our fellow Americans believe that these cases will all be witch hunts, like the toothless witch hunt Mueller headed (he found nothing, less than 140 points of collusion with Russia, no collusion!), and the second so-called impeachment over simply making a speech that supposedly set off an “insurrection”, because when you’re a big star they let you get away with all these nickel and dime “offenses” they are trying to throw at the former celebrity pussy-grabber.

The rule of law is crucial to the administration of justice. Which is why these partisans have no business trying to come up with supposedly legal ways to get this guy. His trial, if any, should only be in the court of public opinion. If the public repudiates him, his ratings will go down and he will have less influence, that’s the way Free Market democracy is supposed to work, after all.

It’s not like he actually did shoot somebody in the face on Fifth Avenue (which, by the way, the law would have allowed him to do, without consequences, had Pence done his fucking job and made him president for life). People are always so brutally unfair to the true prophets of their age! They crucified Jesus, just for speaking God’s truth, and they’re trying to crucify this guy, just because he may have lied a few thousand times. Sheesh.

What don’t you understand about our boiling climate crisis?

Robert Reich nailed it very succinctly the other day:

Understandably, those who extract billions in profit from the earth in a way that is destroying it do not want any radical change to some commie regenerative, “sustainable” forms of energy production. Fortunately for them, they are served by very able lobbyists and lobbyist/legislators (and a 6-3 corporatist Supreme Court) who will make sure this dreaded Marxist plan for “sustainable energy” is thwarted at every turn.

“We have the fossil fuels you all love, the infrastructure all in place to search for more, suck it out of the earth, pipe, refine and distribute it — the occasional heat-wave or five hundred year storm be damned — and we’re going to extract every last drop from under the earth and the seas, and the remaining polar ice caps, and you’re going to love it. Fossil fuel is what makes this country the greatest on earth. USA! USA!!! Live free or die!”

And, truly, what argument do any of us have against that?

Barr, we didn’t forget

As corrupt, partisan, untruthful culture warrior William Pelham Barr embarks on his rehabilitation tour, I heard a great capsule summary of Barr’s career as Trump’s penultimate Attorney General. It was delivered by this guy:

“This is the Attorney General who interfered with the deployment of the Mueller Report, he interfered with the whistleblower in the Ukraine case, he interfered in the Mike Flynn prosecutorial decisions, in the decisions around Roger Stone, he interfered with the events of Lafayette Square, he interfered with the firing of the SDNY top prosecutor. All of those things Bill Barr was happy to do. Bill Barr was also happy to go tell Wolf Blitzer that there were reasons to question the integrity of the mail ballot. He was happy to cross all those lines, so the suggestion that he wasn’t willing to cross one final line to kneecap and topple our democracy by undermining the election, look, give the guy credit for that, but I mean… it’s not much credit in terms of his career at the Department of Justice”

source

The quote is from the video below, which is worth checking out. Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner points out that from the moment Barr, head of the DOJ, told Trump that his department had fully investigated and Trump’s claim of voter fraud was “bullshit”, Trump had clear knowledge that he was lying about the election. This would establish the criminal intent, mens rea, behind his actions when he continued to falsely insist (as he does to this day) that there was massive bipartisan election fraud (Republicans like the disloyal, runt governor of Georgia and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger were in on it!!!) that stole his landslide victory from him and when he organized and provoked a crowd to storm the Capitol to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying his loss.

How does Trump reward over-the-top loyalty? By calling for his devoted poodle, Mike Pence, who finally refused to break the law in an ill-planned attempt to usher in a Trump dictatorship, to be hanged by the traitorous neck until dead. Trump had done no less to the loyal Jeff Sessions, he mocked him and gloated after supporting Tommy Tuberville’s successful ouster of Sessions in the Republican primary. What kind of schmuck listens to frigging “ethics” advice in business or government?

Sheesh.