The personal roots of “political” rage

When you feel helpless, are in need of the consoling connection to others that all living creatures require, a common response to this desperation is anger.  You derive energy and a feeling of righteousness from galvanizing your hurt into rage.  You can also turn anger on yourself, blaming yourself for feeling helpless, hopeless, weak, abandoned and so forth, but this self-directed rage inflicts even more damage than what has already been done to you.   Turning the anger outward requires only a good story, a good enough story (it can actually be a completely incoherent story), to let you know who is to blame for the pain you are in.   Once you can ascribe blame you’re on your way.

Today’s radical right wing has become expert in keeping the rage turned up all the time.   You feel fucked?   We’ll tell you why — it’s that senile puppet Joe Biden’s fucking fault, like it was Obama’s before him, and fucking Clinton’s before that.   The only time you were watched over tenderly in recent memory, these extremists preach, was under Donald Trump and Dick Cheney.   Radical antidemocratic oligarchs like Charles Koch have no hesitation to use any tactic that works to convince millions that large societal problems aren’t being solved, not because of the zero sum divisive political warfare he has been relentlessly waging for decades, and the lawmaking gridlock their obstructionist tactics have caused, no! — it’s the fault of the fucking communists who have taken over one of the major political parties in the country!   

I suspect that every person susceptible to this “argument” — that everything was, more or less, perfect until these “woke” libtard cucks took over the party of our enemies and are constantly acting like “snowflake” victims, cynically exploiting “identity politics,” to win rigged elections that always favor majoritarian tyranny — has personal reason to be angry.  Focusing the free floating personal anger and anxiety on enemies, who can be blamed, hated and, in a perfect world, publicly executed, is the genius of the radical right, has been all throughout history.  It exploits the feeling of justice we have every time we put a bully on his ass.

On a personal level we can often see the roots of rage quite clearly.   An abusive parent, insisting they never abused anyone.  A rape that nobody in the legal system, unfortunately, is going to be able to do anything about.  That one day hesitation to report the crime proved fatal to the legal case against the rapist fuck.   Indigestible things happen to us sometimes, and those things are food for anger, which, like water, can take on any shape, fit any container perfectly, and is always flowing.   The ratings king of rage, the guy with the puckered brow who just keeps asking innocently leading questions of his gigantic audience, Tucker Carlson, has only recently revealed the partial roots of his always boiling, though jovially presented, “just asking” anger.

For many years, Tucker Carlson was tight-lipped about the rupture [with his mother]. In a New Yorker profile in 2017, not long after his show debuted, he described his mother’s departure as a “totally bizarre situation — which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all.” But as controversy and criticism engulfed his show, Mr. Carlson began to describe his early life in darker tones, painting the California of his youth as a countercultural dystopia and his mother as abusive and erratic.

In 2019, speaking on a podcast with the right-leaning comedian Adam Carolla, Mr. Carlson said his mother had forced drugs on her children. “She was like, doing real drugs around us when we were little, and getting us to do it, and just like being a nut case,” Mr. Carlson said. By his account, his mother made clear to her two young sons that she had little affection for them. “When you realize your own mother doesn’t like you, when she says that, it’s like, oh gosh,” he told Mr. Carolla, adding that he “felt all kinds of rage about it.”

All kinds of rage, you know.  Many different forms of rage.  Rage rages, it’s all it can do.  It may rage quietly or loudly, but everything it does is in the service of keeping the righteous feeling of being totally fucking right pumping away.   And, as everybody knows, there are few feelings to equal the satisfaction of knowing that you are totally fucking right and justified, in anything you do to bring justice to the vicious fucks you blame for hurting you.

Being propagandized to in our age of instant information is lazy and stupid

A friend, making the point that the left and the right both live in echo-chambers today, asked me if I believed things I heard from the media sources I generally trust.   I told him I did.   He smiled and rested his case — everybody on both sides faithfully believes the bullshit of their own political side.   I smiled and let it slide, as we were having a nice dinner, and there was no need to further comment on this unending, rapidly escalating, dark money funded march to one-party rule, the open oligarchy that has been plowing ahead for decades here, during our long “culture war”.   It occurs to me that next time we have dinner I have to clarify one thing.

When I read something that surprises me, or hear something that sounds too outrageous, or convenient, to be true, I consult the world’s knowledge base that is in my pocket.   It is so fucking easy to find corroboration or refutation in a few seconds of research by looking at a few disparate sources.   If Democracy Now!, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal all agree that certain things actually happened a certain way, it’s a pretty safe bet they happened that way.  

Certain claims are easy to dismiss out of hand, like the brief rumor during Donald Trump’s alarming rise to power that Trump and his friend Sheldon Adelson gang banged a thirteen year old girl — and videotaped themselves doing it.   You wouldn’t put it past men of their high moral standing, maybe, but at the same time, I knew the story was clearly bullshit.   That one I didn’t need to check.   But there are claims that shock, like that all but twelve House Trumpists recently voted against lowering the price of insulin, and those claims are easy to find multiple sources to confirm or refute, or spin according to echo chamber.   Verification takes literally seconds.  Here you go:

So, yes, I generally trust Ari Melber, Mehdi Hasan, Amy Goodman or Glenn Kirschner, when they make statements about reality, or present complex issues.   I generally dismiss the vapors that come out of things like furrow browed TV dinner heir Tucker Swanson Dansby Dickhead Carlson’s puckered blow hole.   Make a false equivalence between these sources of information/disinformation if you like, but also, do an honest ten seconds work before accepting statements from any of those sources and we’ll compare notes afterwards.  Then I’ll join you on your armed trip to that DC pizza place to liberate those child sex slaves Hillary and Barbara Streisand keep chained up there for Tom Hanks to molest and bleed, for his Satanic pleasure.

Transparency, anyone?

The truth is important, for its own sake and to advance intelligent decision making. It is impossible for the governed to give informed consent about anything if important information is hidden.   Those who don’t know all the facts can’t decide anything knowingly, can’t meaningfully consent to anything. 

Would it have hurt a presidential candidate if the voters knew he paid off a porn actress and a Playboy model to keep quiet about having sex with him while he was married to his third wife?   We’ll never know, but keeping that damaging information secret certainly didn’t hurt him in the polls.  The only person who paid any price for the crime of using campaign funds to buy the silence of hired adulterous sex companions was the henchman who did some time in jail carrying out his Evangelical Christian-endorsed master’s wishes for absolute secrecy.   

The best policy for those who would hide shameful or otherwise damaging things, it appears, is simply not to be transparent.  It doesn’t take a dictator to realize this.   Here’s an example from the recently elected DA of NY County, Alvin Bragg.   He decided he didn’t want to risk being the first to criminally prosecute Donald Trump, it was too dangerous for him, or for whatever his reasons are.  He kept everything nice and opaque as he brazened his way through quietly dropping the case.

His predecessor, a fairly cowardly (or just compromised) man named Cyrus Vance, Jr. hired two experienced, specialized lead prosecutors to try Donald Trump for his regular, fraudulent, wildly changing valuations of his properties.  Vance convened a criminal grand jury, put the crack legal team in place to collect the evidenve and then announced he would not run for reelection as Manhattan DA.  His successor, Alvin Bragg, appeared to be dragging his feet on the criminal prosecution of Trump’s business empire. The grand jury hadn’t heard testimony for weeks, there was rumbling as the gathering case suddenly stood still.  Then the two top Trump prosecutors resigned.   

Bragg immediately announced that his criminal probe was going forward, that the two lead prosecutors who’d resigned would be immediately replaced by a lawyer who had defended many powerful white collar defendants in Trump’s position.  In response to requests for the resignation letters, he claimed he could not release them because they contained information that might compromise the prosecution of Trump.   A ridiculous claim, since no experienced prosecutor would include compromising info in a resignation letter.   Bragg refused to release the letters, but he appeared to be letting the grand jury’s term expire, quietly running out the game clock, ending the prosecution before an indictment could be filed.  In this case, appearance was soon confirmed as reality.

Eventually things come out.  Sometimes it is decades later, but in this case, only a few weeks.   The NY Times published Mark Pomerantz’s resignation letter yesterday.  It reads, in part:

As you know from our recent conversations and presentations, I believe that Donald Trump is guilty of numerous felony violations of the Penal Law in connection with the preparation and use of his annual Statements of Financial Condition. His financial statements were false, and he has a long history of fabricating information relating to his personal finances and lying about his assets to banks, the national media, counterparties, and many others, including the American people. The team that has been investigating Mr. Trump harbors no doubt about whether he committed crimes — he did. . .

. . .You have reached the decision not to go forward with the grand jury presentation and not to seek criminal charges at the present time. The investigation has been suspended indefinitely. Of course, that is your decision to make. I do not question your authority to make it, and I accept that you have made it sincerely. However, a decision made in good faith may nevertheless be wrong. I believe that your decision not to prosecute Donald Trump now, and on the existing record, is misguided and completely contrary to the public interest. I therefore cannot continue in my current position. . .

. . . To the extent you have raised issues as to the legal and factual sufficiency of our case and the likelihood that a prosecution would succeed, I and others have advised you that we have evidence sufficient to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and we believe that the prosecution would prevail if charges were brought and the matter were tried to an impartial jury. No case is perfect. Whatever the risks of bringing the case may be, I am convinced that a failure to prosecute will pose much greater risks in terms of public confidence in the fair administration of justice. As I have suggested to you, respect for the rule of law, and the need to reinforce the bedrock proposition that “no man is above the law,” require that this prosecution be brought even if a conviction is not certain.

source

Jesus, no wonder Bragg tried to keep the letter secret.  It questioned his good faith belief that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute (while refusing to call further witnesses for even more grand jury evidence) and makes a pretty good argument for that questioning.   Bragg openly saying he had decided it was too risky (for his career) to prosecute Trump, and fail, would not have flown, virtually no American politician would have done that.  So, you do next best thing — tell a few lies, keep everything nice and opaque and count on the two second attention span of overwhelmed consumer/citizens who will soon turn their shattered attention to the next titillating outrage.  It happens every few seconds in our frantic 24/7 news cycle.  No worries.  I’m just sorry I wasted my vote on this lying sack o’ non-transparency.

Roots of Klan terror and banning history

The white men of the Confederacy who went to war to defend states’ rights to keep the Blacks in chattel slavery were not wrong to be terrified of the righteous retribution people they tortured for hundreds of years might rightfully visit upon them once free. That there was little of it was no reason not to fear a bloodbath. They themselves would have wished to do no less to their former enslavers, finding themselves no longer in chains.

After the war was lost Confederate veterans formed white terrorist gangs for a preemptive strike against a potentially powerful enemy. From the KKK point of view it was terror motivated survival, common sense to use terror against a terror they rightfully feared. They dressed up in disguises (many of them were respectable local professionals), ride at night, in numbers, shoot into their houses, their churches, whip the snot out of them, burn their houses, burn crosses, if he is an outspoken man they grab him at gunpoint, whip him bloody, sometimes, before they killed they tortured, cut off body parts, ears, nose, lips, fingers, breasts, genitals, then, if a man, castrate him, set him on fire and hang him slowly, so he can do one last dance for the boys. Pregnant women’s could be sliced open during hanging, a KKK twofer. Their argument: they’d do no less to us if they had the chance!

The irrefutable logic of hatred, the echoes that are so easy to hear in their populist modern day version.

Their logic is always the same, if we don’t dominate them they’ll seek justice against us, just like we would if the roles were reversed and they had the power.

The roots of the klan, a crazed terrorist organization if there ever was one, was the terror of righteous retribution, the recognition of what they themselves would have done in the freed slaves’ position, after centuries of rape and brutality, their anguished Jeffersonian mortal terror of a just God’s certain, terrible punishment of a long crime so wicked.

No reason to traumatize our own kids by making them read descriptions of this ugly war that needs to be fought everyday… ban history.

Volodymyr Zelensky footnote

After the 2014 Ukrainian revolutionViktor Yanukovych abandoned his office and fled the country. He was subsequently impeached, and replaced by Oleksandr Turchynov as the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, who serves as acting president when the office is vacant. Early presidential elections were held on 25 May 2014 and won by Petro Poroshenko; Poroshenko was inaugurated as the fifth president on 7 June 2014. On 18 June 2015, Yanukovych was officially deprived of the title of President of Ukraine.[2]

After defeating Poroshenko, the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky was inaugurated as the sixth and current president of Ukraine on 20 May 2019.

Hurting a Nazi’s feelings, so mean!

Six months ago President Biden nominated the scholar and historian Deborah Lipstadt to the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. Although her credentials for this position seem impeccable, people in Trump’s party have a problem with confirming her. Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin, a racist, lie-embracing asshole, based on his public pronouncements, took offense at Lipstadt’s frank appraisal of his racism.

In March 2021, Lipstadt tweeted an article about a statement by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who said he would have been more concerned by the Jan. 6, 2021, mayhem at the Capitol if the rioters had been “Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters” instead of Trump supporters. Lipstadt tweeted: “This is white supremacy/nationalism. Pure and simple.”

During Tuesday’s hearing, Johnson said Lipstadt engaged in “malicious poison” when she criticized his comments. She said her comments were not nuanced and she would not do diplomacy by tweets. She said that while she disagreed with what Johnson said, she was sorry if it seemed like a personal attack. She noted she has criticized Democrats as well, describing herself as “an equal-opportunity foe of antisemitism.”

From today’s Washington Post

So yes, racists and antisemites of all stripes tend to be very sensitive about the people they hate calling their motives into question. “Malicious Poison, Jew, to call me a fucking racist just because I’m more comfortable with a violent mob of my own people than a horde of savage others!”

Understandable, of course, to take that stance. We all want to believe that we behave according to a moral code. The Nazis had a moral code, Donald Trump has a moral code. For some reason, hard to explain, Trump never put anybody in this Special Envoy position during his chaotic four years as the most important person in the world. Hmmmm…

If approved by the Senate, Lipstadt will have the rank of ambassador, unlike her predecessors. She would oversee the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, which was created by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004 under President George W. Bush. The position of envoy was mostly vacant during President Donald Trump’s term

Very fine people, on both sides, on both sides!

Yikes

In April 2021, Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight noted that “Of the 293 Republicans who were serving in the Senate or House on Jan. 20, 2017—the day of Trump’s inauguration—a full 132 (45 percent) are no longer in Congress or have announced their retirement or resignation.” Under pressure from the former president, the party continues to radicalize, with firebrands like Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Gosar gaining influence.

source

In a more perfect union — imagining Rittenhouse public service/truth & reconciliation

Like everything else today, the acquittal of a white teenager who brought an assault rifle to a tense, racially-charged confrontation and wound up killing two people, and dismembering another, while arguably in fear for his life, is a fiercely tribal moment seen through reflexively tribal lenses. Though the injustice on trial in this particular case appears to many obscene, we would all benefit from taking a breath about this particular flashpoint of the long building war between the tribes, before logging it as merely another example of the other tribe’s intractability.

It is undeniably sickening that a white kid who goes to an understandably tense racial justice protest (Kenosha cop would face no charges for shooting an unarmed citizen seven times, four times in the back) with an AR-15, a weapon designed for mass killing in a war zone, (a gun perfectly legal to openly carry under Wisconsin law, if he’d been a year older) and winds up killing two people and destroying the arm of a third, is not accountable to the law in any way, tried in a state that also has a George Zimmerman law. It is an outrage that people like him are free, in many states, to do exactly what Rittenhouse did, fund raise off it and avoid legal consequences. Had he been Black, he would likely have been dead at the scene, a victim of “law and order”. Undeniable. That an unhinged president immediately hailed Rittenhouse as a hero, and the little working class killer’s $2,000,000 bond was quickly raised and paid, and he had an OJ-like team of lawyers who rehearsed and war-gamed his defense with consultants and jury experts, who put him through his paces before putting him on the stand — this white high school kid enjoyed privileges usually reserved for only the wealthiest criminal defendantsan outrageous pouring of salt in the wounds. Compare the outcome to someone who’d done exactly what Rittenhouse did, who hadn’t been able to post bail, had spent a year and a half locked up in prison and was represented by an overworked public defender. There’d be a plea deal and a sentence of years in prison, there is virtually never a trial in the case of someone unable to post bond and hire the best legal team a mountain of money can buy.

There is much to be legitimately outraged about, but there is also a point that has been mostly sliding by — under Wisconsin law, and based on the evidence the jury saw during the trial, their verdict was what the (unjust, racially biased) law provided for.

If we put the tribal lens aside for a moment, (which is a mighty task today, see, for example, the rest of this sentence) we can see that this case is a reflection of the larger injustice in courts bound by laws written by the NRA. These laws are an outrage and a reason to fight to change these gun-crazed laws, but in this particular case there was one killer on trial, not the systemically unjust legal system. The problem with talking about a public trial is that most of us know few of the legal details and the case stands as easy code for everything else. I will attempt to break some of this into smaller parts and look at the verdict beyond the tribal POV.

The kid’s crying on the stand was either the perfectly understandable reaction of a young criminal defendant, under tremendous stress, on international television, facing decades in prison, possibly traumatized by what he’d done (not every kid who supports Trump is automatically a cold blooded killer), the clever act of a well-coached murderer, or some combination of those things.

Multiple things may be true at the same time. Our justice system is the opposite of colorblind — again, a Black AR-15 wielding shooter at that same time and place would likely have been killed by police on the spot, and the shooting justified, forget about any kind of trial by his peers, or anyone else. This pleasant faced white kid, a big fan of cops, was not molested by police after he shot three people and was allowed to leave the scene of the killings with the weapon that did the killing. That by itself is pretty fucking maddening.

The other day I reflexively referred to the biased judge in the case as a Ku Klux Klansman, based on a few seemingly racist comments and decisions he made during the trial, which was not fair of me. I have no way of knowing if Judge Schroeder is a bigot or not. Another way of seeing the clearly biased jurist, with the eyes of the world suddenly fixed on his every word, is as a sympathetic older man, suddenly far beyond his depth, who felt compassion for a kid, already villainized by half the country, facing the full force of the justice system as punishment for America’s original, never addressed sin of slavery and the racism that justified it.

As a frame, systemic racism, as reflected in countless legal proceedings, is impossible to ignore in this case, unless you pretend, as the right does, that systemic racism, like Critical Race Theory (illuminated brightly by the polarizing Rittenhouse case, where a white killer was extended privileges usually reserved for the wealthy and given a fair trial) is bullshit and that making laws banning “CRT will make it — and all claims of racism — go away.

Think of the close to 1,000 enraged white rioters, including armed white nationalist militia members, allowed, by the too-late deployed National Guard, to peacefully go home the evening of January 6th after the sacking of the Capitol, another in-your-face moment for peaceful racial justice protesters locked up immediately, wrapped in a police net five minutes after curfew (in New York City, mind you), or gassed, charged by officers on horseback and shot with rubber bullets on instruction of Bill Barr so the president could be photographed awkwardly brandishing a bible in front of a famous church.

There is another issue in this case, though, a much more straightforward strictly legal issue, which is hard to see in the glare of this moment. It is a much less satisfying way of looking at the case, but no less important.

In light of the evidence presented to the jury did the prosecution overcome Rittenhouse’s self-defense argument?

That is separate from everything else, and really the only relevant consideration in evaluating the justness of the actual verdict.

I heard an analysis of the trial by Glenn Greenwald yesterday, a guy who sometimes annoys me with what seems like a trollishly contrarian view, who made several excellent points, including the one immediately above. The slightly left-leaning side of corporate mass media has framed this trial as a trial of White Supremacy vs. the rest of us who can see the dangers these fearful haters pose — the kid had crossed state lines with an illegally-possessed assault rifle to provocatively confront protesters and rioters because he’s a racist, like many of Trump’s most vocal supporters. Right-wing mass media framed it as spineless liberal puppet prosecutors using an innocent kid who went to protect property in a town near where he lived, shops threatened by BLM violence, to prove a point about their politically correct “wokeness”.

Everyone had a strong opinion when Rittenhouse was acquitted. Few of us had followed the trial in detail, viewing it instead through the glimpses provided by opinionated pundits, in newspaper articles and on “social media”. Greenwald said he watched the whole trial, saw everything that was presented to the jury. Like most other Americans, and citizens all over the world, I saw only selected excerpts, always framed by the presenters. Who is in a better position to evaluate the fairness of the verdict?

The judge, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, suddenly thrust into the national spotlight, may well have behaved like an asshole, I certainly saw several instances of him leaning over backwards to rule for the defense. In one instance he admitted he knew nothing about technology, but told the prosecutor it was his burden to prove the arguably self-evident proposition that enlarging things on a video screen is essentially the same as using a magnifying glass. The only person disputing that was the defense attorney trying to block introduction of the evidence, who also admitted he didn’t understand the technology or its “logarithms”. It was an asshole position for any judge to take — the two of us are uniquely ignorant about the issue so that is your problem, counselor.

But back to the facts and the law. To prove murder the prosecution must overcome a self-defense defense if it is raised. When you see the defense’s video that the jurors saw, the kid’s fear was understandable when you see that he was chased by at least one of the people he killed, a probably mentally ill man who clearly (and, to many, not unreasonably) wanted to stomp the shit out of Rittenhouse, if not kill him with his own assault rifle. You can say, as I would, that Rittenhouse had no business being there, provoked them by showing up with an AR-15, loaded and ready (and the lack of meaningful gun laws here is appalling), but what the prosecution had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that when he killed those men he was not actually in reasonable fear for his life.

The gun charge was dismissed because under a Wisconsin law, probably drafted by the NRA and passed with the help of ALEC (the Stand Your Ground folks), an AR-15 loaded with 30 rounds does not fit the strict and restrictive legal definition of a gun that a 17 year-old can be prosecuted for bringing to a volatile street confrontation. Bruce Shroeder may well be an asshole, even a klansman, but the law is the law and in this case there is no avenue to appeal, based on the law, the judge’s dismissal of the gun charges against the kid who came to a scene of violence armed to take on thirty people. The same goes for most of the rest of the judge’s asshole rulings. The problems are with the law itself, annoying as Shroeder’s thumb on the scale for the defense was.

Predictably, Greenwald has been attacked from the left for his conclusion that the jury’s verdict, based on the evidence presented, in light of Wisconsin law, was correct. It is hard, in our angry, moronic times, to make that kind of distinction when half the country treats the kid as a hero and the other half thinks life in prison is fair punishment for what the smug little Trumper did.

I was reading comments under Greenwald’s video, most of them praising him for his honesty and integrity. This comment caught my eye, and for the first time ever, I responded to a Youtube comment:

I wrote asking the guy if he had a source for this. It changes the narrative drmtically, if true. But the comment above, and my reply, are buried in a haystack of thousands of comments and I have been unable to find a reply anywhere. I was hoping for an email notice, but so far, nada. This guy’s comment, a narrative game changer if true, is the perfect illustration of the problem with relying on unsourced (and thus unverifiable) “facts” gleaned from the internet.

As I was walking last night, taking what used to be called a “constitutional”, I had a thought about how productive it would be if we could all take a step back from the reflexive tribal reactions, isolate some of the larger problems and discuss them on a deeper level of understanding. In spite of the seeming impossibility of doing this in a culture of monetized misinformation, it is the best shot we have as a society on the brink of another bloody civil war. I pictured us all living in a more perfect union, a place of actual discussions focused on the real problems and solving them, instead of the zero-sum, adversarial, strictly profit-driven gotcha society we live in.

I thought of the many lessons members of a more advanced society could take from something like the Rittenhouse trial. I imagined an opportunity for real cross-tribal insights. I pictured people like him, instead of being simply judged a murderer or a victim/hero, required to perform public service after his trial, maybe on a panel with Jacob Blake, the man in a wheelchair for life after taking seven police-justified bullets from a Kenosha policeman and Rittenhouse’s surviving victim.

It would be much more instructive than what we have now, this kid as a vicious murderer who went free or a totally vindicated celebrity of MAGA-world, already publicly courted by several of the most angry, provocative and extremist members of Congress, who have already offered Rittenouse jobs he is as unqualified for as they are for their own jobs.

Imagine an alternative reality where the young man is required to spend a certain number of hours communicating to the public what he learned from his experience. His public service would start with help from skilled mediators who could ensure he listened to victims of vigilante violence, and understood the point of view of those at the protest where he wound up shooting three people. He could reflect on what he may have learned from the whole ordeal, how it feels to actually end the lives of random strangers (suppose he really does have regular nightmares about it, instead of the expressed desire to shoot BLM protesters and the smug posing he did right after– would that be a step in the right direction in talking about fucking guns?). Think of the discussion this kid’s court-mandated public speaking could open, in a more perfect union, where everything is not immediately weaponized to threaten and kill the other side with.

This messianic daydream scenario would only work, of course, in a society where honest reflection was encouraged, where truth and reconciliation are valued, where people are seen as capable of learning, evolving and becoming wiser, instead of a ruthlessly profit-obsessed casino where the only move for the people forced to gamble there is doubling down until you’re out of chips.

Fair and balanced bipartisanship

Trumpists must not allow anyone in their Congressional cohort to break ranks to vote for ANY bipartisan bill that could politically help the illegitimate, lying, wildly unpopular anti-bipartisan Joe Biden. Purge and punish, it’s the Trump way.

Here is an expert on those things, with an unapologetically opinionated entertainment editorial.

Here’s a version of the same story by the Enemy of the People, the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — One caller instructed Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to slit his wrists and “rot in hell.” Another hoped Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska would slip and fall down a staircase. The office of Representative Nicole Malliotakis of New York has been inundated with angry messages tagging her as a “traitor.”

Investing in the nation’s roads and bridges was once considered one of the last realms of bipartisanship in Congress, and President Biden’s infrastructure bill drew ample support over the summer from Republicans in the Senate. But in the days since 13 House Republicans broke with their party leaders and voted for the $1 trillion legislation last week, they have been flooded by menacing messages from voters — and even some of their own colleagues — who regard their votes as a betrayal.

The vicious reaction to the passage of the bill, which was negotiated by a group of Republicans and Democrats determined to deliver on a bipartisan priority, reflects how deeply polarization has seeped into the political discourse within the Republican Party, making even the most uncontroversial legislation a potentially toxic vote.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/10/us/politics/republicans-backlash-infrastructure-bill.html