Libertarian Vaccination Lunacy

I was rooting through my email today looking for spam. I don’t mean the ads for prescription drugs that you can’t buy legally; no I mean the daily if not hourly emailers that you have unwittingly asked to send you messages, and then they drown you in more information than you could possibly synthesize.

I found quite a few of those. Then, at the bottom of the barrel, I see a note from the Travis County Libertarians letting me know that they’ve moved their newsletter from the old Yahoo!Groups site to the new Google Groups site. Well bless their little hearts!

Being bored, in the middle of a task that I had put off for months if not years, I decided to see what was on the latest issue of the newsletter. Ah, the usual. Chat and chews are scheduled. I’ll be skipping those. I’d skip them anyway but I’ll definitely be skipping being face to face with the unvaccinated. The kind of people who think this ad represents any kind of deep thinking:

twitter.com

We can’t force people to get vaccinated? Tell that to the TB-tine scar on my arm. Not only can we force people to get vaccinated, we have before and we should be doing it again. That is how you get to herd immunity successfully, for fuck’s sake. That’s how we wiped out small pox and polio. We could have wiped out the measles, but antivaxxers like the ones that the Libertarian Party is appealing to in that ad have set us all back decades on that goal.

I mean, if they want to thumb their noses at Biden’s policies, Abbott has them beat:

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday issued an executive order prohibiting any entity in Texas from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for employees or consumers, an expansion of a prior order limited to government entities.

Abbott also asked lawmakers to tackle the issue during the current special legislative session, ensuring that “no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine.”

statesman.com

Why does Abbott have them beat? Because he has the office of the Governor, that’s why. Something they will never have because they will never be serious about winning races instead of grandstanding during the race. The libertarians that were serious about winning races became the Tea Party back in 2008, and they have made the Republican party the lunatic fringe that we all know and love today. They are all Trumpists, almost to a man now. The kind of people who will have to be lead to the end of the pandemic at the point of a gun, apparently.

Greg Abbott doesn’t have the power to stop Biden’s orders. Only the Republican delinquents in the Senate stand between effective governance and the anarchy that libertarians crave, and they hope like hell that the citizenry is dumb enough to keep voting Republican so that the government will finally crumble. Here’s hoping they are denied their wish, or if not, that they turn out happier with the results than the anarchists were who backed Stalin’s bid for power in Russia. They didn’t seem too pleased with being sent to the gulag for all their troubles.

Draconian Voter Restrictions

And Draco himself, they say, being asked why he made death the penalty for most offences, replied that in his opinion the lesser ones deserved it, and for the greater ones no heavier penalty could be found.

Plutarch, Life of Solon (wikipedia.org)

As we headed into summer of 2021, Democratic Texas senators fled the state in protest of Greg Abbott’s drive to stop people from voting for Democrats in the state. This isn’t the first time that Texas legislators have broken quorum, and it didn’t end any better this time than it did last time. Which is too bad because being a good citizen in Texas is already hard enough to do. We don’t need more laws keeping people from the polls and that is what this latest effort from the Trumpists who run Texas amounts to.

In the 2020 general election 60% of Texans showed up to vote, and the Republican oligopoly that runs Texas came closer to loosing control of the state than it has since Rick Perry took the Lt. Governor’s office from Bob Bullock in 2000 and flipped the last statewide office to Republican hands. 60% is one of the highest ever modern turnouts for Texas voters, and yet that is just barely over half of eligible Texans taking the time and the risk to go out and do their basic civic duty. Barely over half, and still the Republicans think that is too many people voting.

Finally facing the long-predicted blue wave surging across Texas, a blue wave fueled by young people of color swelling the ranks of minorities across the state, Republican leadership panicked. They panicked just like any threatened dictatorial regime would, and they passed even more restrictive laws to keep even more people from voting for their opponents in the next election. They passed these new laws over the steadfast opposition of the entire Democratic caucus; Democrats who are finally waking up to what it is that they will have to do to win in the South.

They have to win at the ballot box with new voters, and Republicans are dead set against allowing the formerly oppressed minorities the liberty of the ballot box, raising legal threats against anyone who dares to vote against them:

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday called for Texas lawmakers to increase the penalty for illegal voting — less than a month after he signed a bill that lowers the maximum punishment.

texastribune.org

The reduced penalties were part of amendments that Democrats negotiated with Republicans to get into the bill in an attempt to soften the impact on citizenry who are caught up in the draconian new laws Republicans put in place this summer. Mercifully, the Democrats managed to get the provision to allow the Texas State legislature to reverse the will of the voting public removed from the bill, as well as softening punishment.

This was Texas voting law before this summer:

It’s harder [to vote in Texas] than in 49 other states, according to a “cost-of-voting index” compiled by political scientists at Northern Illinois University, Jacksonville University and Wuhan University in China.

texastribune.org

Now there are whole new classes of illegal voting created by the new laws demanded by Greg Abbott and his Trumpist cronies in the Texas state government, and the few things that Democrats managed to get changed in order to soften the burden on Texas voters are now being targeted for reversal.

Make no mistake here, Greg Abbott wants to force Texans to reelect him. That is his goal right now in pandering to the Trumpist voters that make up the majority of Texas Republicans. “Don’t primary me, I’m on your side. Nominate me again and we’ll stick it to those softy Democrats by hook or by crook.” This drive to increase penalties is just another attempt to terrorize Texans into voting for him. Vote for me or face punishment. Vote for me because I will make sure your voice is not heard no matter what you do:

“The story in Texas is very similar to the story across the United States. You’ve got urban areas that are increasingly disproportionately Democratic. And you’ve got rural areas that are disproportionately decreasing,” said Stephen Klineberg, a demographer at Rice University.

“You can’t prevent it. So redistricting becomes one of the major mechanisms by which the party that is in control of the senate, the house, and the governorship has really free rein now to redraw the districts to minimize the power of non-Anglos for the Republicans.”

theguardian.com

Greg Abbott say support him and his boss Donald Trump, or else. Support him the twice-impeached insurrectionist that created the pandemic we are still suffering under and currently is directing the actions of our Texas state government from his hideaway in Mar-a-Lago Florida. Are we Floridians now? Are we New Yorkers who must bow to the will of the corrupt land developers that own the government?

No. We are Texans and we have made it our mission to resist government in all forms since the day we told Santa Anna what he could do with his demand that we declare allegiance to him. Therefore, it is our patriotic duty to kick Greg Abbott and the rest of the Trump-loving fraudsters out of our state government. Wake up Texas and see just what the hell is really going on here.

reddit.com

Regression to the Mean

Republicans:

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facebook.com/Stonekettle

They have made their way for so long on the mantra of resistance and regression that they can’t comprehend a change that is necessary for thier own survival. They would rather die than admit that a tradition was wrong.

The tradition in this case being that the individual is paramount. There can be no such thing as a legitimate public health concern if the public is subservient to the individual. This is the error in accepting individualism as your only ideology.

Vaccine mandates are how this civilization will survive this crisis. It is the only way we will survive and not be swallowed up by the other societies who are instinctively capable of subsuming the individual to the will of the group.

We either force the insanely individualistic to submit to majority will in this instance, or we will devolve into small islands of localized authority that will be gobbled up by the next society to gain dominance in the new reality. The new reality that Donald Trump and his Republican party have made necessary by failing to stop the SARS-COV2 virus from spreading across the world.

This isn’t just about vaccine mandates, either:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill that aims to stop social media companies from banning users or nixing posts based solely on political opinions — the latest salvo by Republicans, who claim that these tech giants are censoring conservative users.

cbsnews.com

The Trumpists that run the Republican party are intent on seeing that their particular brand of insanity can’t be removed from the public arena. They have now given up on the idea of businesses being allowed to go their own way, the unbridled worship of the free market.

Businesses must now strictly conform to Republican views or they will face dire consequences:

If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States,” McCarthy said in Tuesday’s statement. “If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.

Kevin McCarthy via politico.com

This is terrorism, no different than the terroristic threats issued by violent extremists and dictatorial governments elsewhere in the world. Republicans have proven themselves over and over again to be the kind of vicious bastards that would do the things that they threaten to do. Which is exactly the reason why the United States government should act to protect itself now, not wait for the next Congress or the next President to be elected from the Republican party to act in the manner they have already promised to act, and then have the gall to feign surprise at the promised retribution being delivered.

They are threatening us with violence, have been threatening us with violence for decades. These are the same people whose grandparents and great-grandparents joined the KKK and terrorized minority communities in order to get their way. The same people who filibustered against civil rights legislation and voting rights legislation before they switched parties and became Republicans.

They are the direct descendants of terrorists, and we cannot allow them to compete for power in this country any longer unless they are willing to renounce terror as a method of governing. Either they submit to the current government and its completely legitimate concerns for public health, for civil discourse; or the government should use its equally legitimate control of the use of force to ensure that they comply with the needs of society.

Enforced compliance, up to and including the disenfranchisement of the Republican party itself in favor of a party-less system that makes no allowances for party affiliation in the rules of government. The way that representative government in the United States should have been arranged for in the first place. The least amount of party interference in active government that can be achieved; through conscious, objectively designed rules that minimize factional disfunction in favor of just getting the necessary shit done.

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would both prevent a government shutdown and suspend the debt limit in a step toward preventing possible economic calamity.

The chamber approved the plan in a 220-211 vote. All Democrats voted for it and all Republicans opposed it.

As the bill heads to the Senate, Republicans are threatening to block it, which could leave Democrats scrambling to find another way to avoid a federal funding lapse — or even a first-ever default on U.S. debt. Worries about a looming default and the economic damage it would cause contributed to a U.S. stock market drubbing on Monday.

cnbc.com

Conservatism has now resumed it’s traditional place in the United States. It has regressed to its mean; blind support of tradition for tradition’s sake. Pursuit of power for power’s sake. The Republican party has ceased to function as a party that can govern and so consequently should be relegated to the back bench. We should allow some other party to take its place, or allow a combination of parties vie for the prime opposition spot.

We cannot allow public health to be treated as just another thing that we should expect the government to argue with itself about. The average American just wants to be allowed to live their life, and enforcing minimal public health standards will let that happen. Can we all just be allowed to go outside again, please? Get your damn shots.

Graveyard of Empires

I remember those days like a nightmare that you can’t seem to escape. I was walking to work from my remote parking space. I had been loaned out as a draftsman to another firm while working for Graeber, Simmons and Cowan back in 2001. I don’t recall the name of the firm, but I can point you to the building it was in on Congress Avenue if I happen to be driving with you downtown.

A plane had struck the North tower of the World Trade Center at some point during my drive to work that morning. I was late to work as usual when I was under a deadline and working late nights. The second plane struck not too long after we had all settled down to work that day, and I believe we were dismissed early because there was no use in pretending we were going to get anything done on the project with the kinds of things that were happening in the world that day.

I remember the second plane strike most vividly because it was one of the first times that I was forced to use the internet to get essential news updates, there being no television in the office I was working at. We watched the video of the crash over and over that morning, before leaving to go home and contemplate what we had just witnessed.

When the Travis County Libertarians convened later that week to try to pass an antiwar resolution, declaring that Travis County Libertarians were opposed to the war in Afghanistan that the President was proposing, I motioned to table the declaration. With a second and a majority vote, we did table it. The majority of us at that meeting that day knew that blood called out for blood. It was inevitable and probably right for the United States to seek vengeance against the instigators of the plot that destroyed those towers in New York City. I don’t regret doing that; even today, twenty years later I don’t regret it. I regret that we violated parliamentary procedure to get the resolution tabled, but not that we refused to say that the United States had no right to seek vengeance. Blood called out for blood.

By October 7, 2001, when the war against the Taliban started:

The U.S. military, with British support, begins a bombing campaign against Taliban forces, officially launching Operation Enduring Freedom. Canada, Australia, Germany, and France pledge future support. The wars early phase [PDF] mainly involves U.S. air strikes on al-Qaeda and Taliban forces that are assisted by a partnership of about one thousand U.S. special forces, the Northern Alliance, and ethnic Pashtun anti-Taliban forces. The first wave of conventional ground forces arrives twelve days later. Most of the ground combat is between the Taliban and its Afghan opponents.

cfr.org

I was actively planning to go overseas to help rebuild Afghanistan. They needed engineers and experienced construction personnel, and I wanted to put my money where my mouth was, my expertise to work at something that would hopefully inspire a lasting change in the country that had fostered so much hatred for the United States. This was a radical change from the teenager I had been a scant decade earlier. I was ready to go to jail rather than even register for the draft when I turned 18 in 1980. I was that opposed to war.

I knew that if we wanted to avoid a quagmire in Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires, it was going to take finesse and a deft hand on the tiller, and I hoped that the former Texas Governor was up to the job that he had signed himself up to perform as President of the United States. I wanted to be part of the success of that effort. I wanted the cycle we were caught in to end.

My hopes were soon dashed, though. By the middle of 2002, before I had made any headway in deciding if it would be smart to involve myself in Bush II’s ill-begotten war on terrorism, he was already taking his eye off the ball and had begun flirting with conducting a war against his daddy’s nemesis, Saddam Hussein:

There’s an old line: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” And so it was with the Iraq war. Bush and Clinton and Powell and Blair knew quite a bit that wasn’t true. As Robert Draper shows in his book “To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq,” they were certain Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Only he didn’t. They were also certain, based on decades of testimony from Iraqi expats, that Americans would be welcomed as liberators.

nytimes.com

We ultimately squandered the opportunity handed to us by our allies in Afghanistan. Instead of pursuing a limited campaign that would destroy Al Qaeda and kill Osama Bin Laden, George W. Bush betrayed the needs of the nation and instead pursued imperial goals, trying to bring more countries under the direct control of the United States military through a permanent troop presence and a widening field of battle that essentially encompassed the entire globe, much less all of Afghanistan.

Osama Bin Laden left Afghanistan while we were distracted and took up residence under the protection of one of our purported allies, Pakistan. He lived in hiding there for another decade while our President’s dreams of empire were pursued at our nation’s expense. At the cost of nearly a million lives. Iraq’s government was destroyed and the entire region was destabilized because of the War on Terror. President Bush played right into OBL’s hands and attempted to colonize not just Afghanistan but Iraq as well.

We betrayed our allies, the Northern Alliance, the people who should have been the tip of the spear in everything we did in Afghanistan so as to keep our footprint in the country to a minimum, and instead tried to occupy the country. Time and again it was shown to us that this effort was doomed, and yet we kept doubling down on the investment of blood and treasure, with no one in leadership willing to admit that we were never going to be able to leave the country that we stupidly thought we could control.

We know now what that error has cost us. Has cost the people of Afghanistan. Twenty years later, the United States lead war in Afghanistan has finally come to an end, and the war between conservative governing factions in Afghanistan is set to begin. No one knows how long that war will rage, or what the ultimate outcome will be, but there is little doubt that the next war in Afghanistan is about to begin. Begin without our presence for the first time in a generation.

Donald Trump, the only president in history worse that George W. Bush, was left in charge of the United States when it came time to cut a deal to get us out of Afghanistan. President Obama could have done it, should have done it, but he thought he could turn that sow’s ear into a silk purse (the same hope of every leader left in charge of a debacle in the making) and kept us fighting an unwinnable war for the entire eight years of his Presidency.

Barack Obama, to his credit, did finally see to the death of the architect of the attacks on our country, but he failed to realize that with the death of OBL we no longer had a reason to stay in Afghanistan. We should have gotten out then, at least. Instead we kept lying to ourselves about what the ultimate outcome of the boondoggle would be. Another ten years went by.

Donald Trump, in his infinite lack of wisdom, decided the smart thing to do was hand the country of Afghanistan back over to the people we had fought for twenty years. He released the prisoners of war that we had captured and had them sign his peace deal, tying the hands of Joe Biden to the August 31st deadline that we have just gone through.

The Ezra Klein ShowThe Foreign Policy Conversation Washington Doesn’t Want to Have

Make no mistake, Joe Biden understood what needed to be done when he was Barack Obama’s Vice President. He opposed the surge. He wanted us to get out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later. As Ezra sums up in his article in the NY Times, it was always going to end this way. President Biden knew this just as well as Ezra’s guest in the podcast embedded above knows this.

There was never going to be a time when the coddled, corrupt Afghan puppet that we installed as leader of the country was going to be willing to risk his life for the country that we created. The same clearly went for all of the military personnel that we meticulously trained alongside us for twenty years in-country. Without leadership that would stand firm beside them they would melt away, leaving all the technology we had left in their hands in the hands of the enemies that Donald Trump put in charge with a stroke of his pen.

The Northern Alliance might have been up to the task if we had allowed them to lead, to put their blood and treasure on the line as the cost of not supporting the central government in Kabul. We’ll never know, because that eventuality never occurred. Instead we colonized and set up a puppet government just like we did in Vietnam; and the entire façade collapsed without our constant support, also just like Vietnam.

Now. Now we need to be working with Afghanistan’s neighbors to insure that it doesn’t devolve into the hellhole the Taliban made of it before. If we don’t do this work then we will find ourselves once again drawn into conflict there sometime in the future. Drawn into conflict or attacked by terrorists that found safe harbor there just as they did before. This outcome can’t be allowed to occur; and the only way to stop it is to help make Afghanistan the place it should have been all those years ago when we decided to continue being an empire instead of being a republic of fellow humans that needed to see past wrongs righted and the guilty brought to justice.

How can we, the country that still can’t come to peace with its own slave history, its own genocide of the original population of the land our country was founded on, how can we hope to ever show others how they can move past the point were blood calls out for blood? Who else is there that will do this work if we don’t?

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Featured image from: warfarehistorynetwork.com

MAGA: Rising Gas Prices

facebook.com/McGeachinforidaho

Dear wannbe Governor,

I would have sworn that everyone was onboard with oil prices rising so as to save the oil industry? That seemed to be the mantra under the last president. I mean, the oil industry collapsed under Trump and the glut of gasoline that his pandemic failure caused drove oil down into unheard of negative prices per barrel last summer. Republicans were crying left and right for someone to do something to prop up the price of oil. You can’t sell gasoline if no one is driving, and no one was driving last summer or all of last year. This summer, now that people are driving again, there isn’t enough gasoline to go around. Hence the price rise. This is not rocket science, nor does it have a single thing to do with President Biden.

If you want to thank President Biden for something, thank him for the infrastructure bill that he helped guide through congress with bipartisan support. He’s easily been more of a president in his first six months in office than Trump was at any point in his entire four years in the office. I’ll bet Biden won’t be impeached even one time during his presidency. He’s hands down better than the last guy, but probably not better than what might have been if the woman had won in 2016. What was her name again?

President Biden has been good for the country, in any case. There is no point in trying to throw shade at him for the elevated gasoline prices, which are ridiculous right now. Who’s going to disagree with that? Would you like him to institute price controls so that the cost to the consumer doesn’t go up? No? Then what action by the executive will change the price of gas? Nothing. Nothing that the executive branch can do will reduce the price of gasoline at the pump right now aside from that action.

Joe Biden has not been bad for the country. It floors me that Republican hopefuls think that trashing President Biden will earn them points. If anything, Biden and the Democrats should be doing even more than they’ve already done. They should have already killed the filibuster and passed voter protection laws:

They should have passed the bigger infrastructure bill.

Afghanistan? You want to blame Joe Biden for Afghanistan? Obama should have pulled us out of Afghanistan eight years ago instead of waiting for Trump to make a deal with the Taliban to take over when we left. The only thing that would have been better than that is if Bush II hadn’t been dumb enough to try to colonize Afghanistan in the first place (Graveyard of Empires? Hello?) The bullshit coming off the current crop of Republicans is the same odiferous stuff that Trump was shoveling for the last four years. The people who smell what is coming off the Biden administration and think that what they smell is bad for us should remember that. If what is coming out of the White House smells bad, it’s because the staff there haven’t gotten all the bullshit that Trump left in the White House out of it yet. You can take that observation to the bank.

facebook

facebook.com/Stonekettle

Delta Breakthrough Infections Are Transmissable

Delta breakthrough infections are transmissable should have been the headline on the new Coronavirus/SARS-2 masking rules. It should be a phrase in every leading paragraph in every news story about new CoVID-19 outbreaks.

If you are vaccinated and you catch the SARS-2 virus (and a small percentage of people, including the partially vaccinated, can catch mild versions of the infection) the Delta variant is still transmissable, not to mention the new Lambda variant and whatever comes after that. If you are infected and you pass that virus on to other people, you have created a new variant that could possibly bypass the vaccination in other people and start the entire pandemic all over again.

TRMS – Fauci worried about delta variant spread ‘if we don’t do the right thing’ – Aug. 10, 2021
(youtube)

I’d like to thank Texas Governor Greg Abbott for leading the way towards making the SARS-2 pandemic a two-year flirtation with complete social collapse. He is the apple in the eye of anarchists everywhere. It is no surprise that Abbott and Texas conservatives don’t believe that they are committing acts that are tantamount to treason in their negligence of public health issues like this pandemic we are still in.

They reject the findings of science. This includes the veracity of vaccination programs and the need for public health action, and even the basic understanding that viruses evolve based on the pressures we subject them to. If evolution is a myth then of course everything that follows from it, including genetically engineered vaccinations, have to not only be false, but dangerous flirtations with the devil.

It is important to understand what it is that your enemies believe; and if you are a thinking person then today’s conservative movement is your enemy.

Postscript

Greg Abbott is potentially a superspreader. He has been infected under the exact conditions I just mentioned. Vaccinated, now testing positive for infection. How ironic would it be if he was the one infected Texan who starts the pandemic all over again? Would the average Texan recognize that this is a sign from their god that they should stop voting Republican, if what they say about every other act of god is also true here? I doubt it.

He’s also an idiot. He is attempting to take on the US government in the form of dictating that no government offices under his control will be allowed to mandate vaccination or masking requirements. He is working hard to make sure that the SARS-2 death toll in Texas is as high as possible.

As if we aren’t already the laughingstock of the nation. As if the US isn’t the laughingstock of the world over the Trump fiasco and his handling of the pandemic. Any Texan that isn’t outraged at our governor right now doesn’t understand a thing about public health. Greg Abbott is showing the world just how stupid the average Trump supporter is; and since that group represents the majority of Texans who voted in 2020, he is also proving just how stupid the average Texan is. Think about that when you go to the polls in 2022.

Resurrect the Fifteenth Amendment

The only way to protect voting rights is by this thing called the Fifteenth Amendment. That Fifteenth Amendment which has been stuck in a locker for most of its life, except for the voting rights act, which John Roberts eviscerated in twenty-thirteen.

That’s it.

If you don’t have people willing to protect the Fifteenth Amendment then you don’t have voting rights. It’s as simple as that.

Elie Mystal

There were a lot of quotable moments in this podcast episode:

I might eventually get around to writing more about the other subjects in the episode if I ever get more than a few consecutive minutes to write in.

Giving People Money Eases Poverty

Our analyses thus far have yielded a fairly simple story:
throughout the crisis, the level of hardship faced by U.S.
households can be directly linked to the federal government’s
response. Despite historically high unemployment, in July 2020
we found that rates of hardship were stable—and in some cases
declining—following the roll-out of Coronavirus Aid, Relief,
and Economic Security (CARES) Act income support programs
such as Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) and expanded
unemployment insurance. Hardship remained relatively stable
into early fall 2020 before increasing markedly in November and
December 2020 as the economic recovery stalled and Congress
delayed action on further relief measures. The trends we see in
these hardship data are consistent with trends in other metrics
of well-being during the crisis.

umich.edu (PDF)

…This really shouldn’t be news. I am flabbergasted that it is news.

The Indicator from Planet Money – The Jobless Benefits Experiment – June 28, 2021

These people who are being kicked off of their unemployment benefits are going to be out on the street in record numbers, that is what is going to happen. Poor, starving people living out on the street with the other homeless people who represent a vast swath of the population that have been failed by the American dream.

minimum wage in Texas is still 7.25 an hour. 

That isn’t a wage. That is a joke.

Hat/Tip to pacesconnection.com

Putin’s Trump Card

Eventually, the Russians will leak what they had to control Mr. Trump with his anti-American activities.

Gen. Barry McCaffrey

I’ll believe it when I see it. If Trump’s base can be relied upon to double down on their support of Trump yet again (and why not?) then this kind of revelation will only harden opposition to Trump and his supporters. I don’t know how this all ends other than in blood and Civil War, but I do know that anyone who values the country that they knew as the United States in prior times can not be willing to allow a return to power for anyone who supports a traitor like Trump is, and that most of his closest advisors are. They should all be up on charges already and I remain mystified as to why those charges have not been issued.

Why would Russia release this information? Because it will further destabilize the United States. Because Trump failed to do the job he was put into office to do. What job was that? Maria Butina asked the key question in 2015, and Trump promised to fulfill that obligation. Promised to remove sanctions and improve relations with Russia, a job he failed spectacularly at achieving. Scuttling the infidel that failed them, but that is still being encouraged to fight for a return to power, further divides the nation.

We can’t even get a measure designed to ensure access to the vote for all Americans passed through the Senate as it stands now. We are on the verge of becoming a failed state already. A few more nudges may well send us over the edge into oblivion. Perhaps that is Putin’s hope. I know it isn’t McCaffrey’s. He hopes that exposing the truth will take the wind out of Trump’s supporters and the Republican party. I don’t think that any of them believe in truth anymore or would know it when they saw it.

reddit

A Canceled Fear of Missing Out

All violence is an attempt to replace shame with self-esteem.

James Gilligan

I’ve never had a fear of missing out, what the kids these days refer to as FOMO. I really don’t know why this is. Growing up in a remote location you got used to the fact that stuff was happening elsewhere and you couldn’t be part of it. Growing up poor meant that there were things happening right in our own town that I couldn’t participate in because I didn’t have the money to be there for the thing when it happened. You will miss out on something. Accept this fact and move on.

This insight about FOMO does not make me an Iconoclast or a non-conformist all by itself. I aspire to rate a label of iconoclasm, the crusader bent on objecting to accepted norms and beliefs in all their forms simply to illustrate the failings of same; and I loathe the knee-jerk non-conformist when I meet one. The petty, childish “I won’t do it!” that never produces positive results. I’ve never had a group that I put myself firmly inside of that was more defined than trekkie, liberal, atheist or libertarian, and all of those labels aside from liberal are represented by people that I’ve strayed away from and don’t want to be part of anymore. Could I be an iconoclast crusading against the vanillafication of trekdom? Maybe.

In some way this knowledge that you can’t be part of everything important, everywhere that it happens, takes the edge off of FOMO for me. I think this understanding is why I unhesitatingly cancel people every day. If I don’t think a post is interesting and scroll past it? Canceled. If I block somebody because I don’t have time for their stupid? Canceled.

I don’t run around telling everyone “cancel this guy, cancel that girl” I don’t need to be an influencer or a trend-setter. I just do the thing and move on. No one cares what your opinions are anymore than you care what a random stranger’s opinions are when it comes to which shoes you will wear today. If you do care, you need help.

I have canceled people for years now, online. I’ve been actively engaging in this behavior ever since I determined that there is a vast swath of people who post online specifically to stop the passage of information, the forming of understanding between two other people or groups of people. I didn’t call it canceling when I started doing it, but cancel appears to be the word of the day for being selective about who and what will demand your time:

On the Media – Shamed and Confused – June 4, 2021

Conservatives afraid of being canceled? They are so damned predictable. They accuse everyone else of creating death panels, then continue sentencing the poor to an early death just as they traditionally always have done. They accuse liberals of creating political correctness, then pass laws making sure that only their political views are taught in school. They accuse the liberals of creating a cancel culture, then they set about canceling liberals left and right as they see fit. It never ends and it is never surprising.

However, Conservatives are no longer satisfied with having created their own set of facts and their own news organizations that parrot the things they call politics. Things they call politics but are in fact the same religious beliefs that they also claim to be theirs alone. They maintain a broad spectrum of bullshit outlets that spew a carefully constructed view of the world that they won’t find troublesome. This is why we have such high percentages of Republicans that think that Donald Trump is still president right now, they have news outlets willing to tell them this comforting lie, day-in and day-out.

Because of this fact, the spoon-fed nature of their delusions, there needs to be a journalistic standard of ethics that is enforced by law or by the authority of a licensing board, an opinion I’ve aired before:

It is a common concern. How can we continue on as a country or a people if we can’t agree on a set of facts? Donald Trump is not president. Do you know how I know this? Because he is in Mar-a-Lago living in a made-up world that he has the money to create around him. The benefits of being wealthy on paper. He is not president because someone else is sitting behind the resolute desk and that person now controls the US government. That person could squash Donald Trump like a bug if he so desired.

So why doesn’t he? Therein lies the crux of the problem. Vladimir Putin is now sounding off about the persecution of the January 6th attackers and the stealing of the election from Donald Trump. He is doing this because he knows what he would do if he were sitting in Joe Biden’s shoes right now. What would he do? For starters there wouldn’t be a Mar-a-Lago anymore other than a smoking crater where the place once was, and he would have had most of the people opposing him executed or jailed pending execution. People like Vladimir Putin see restraint as weakness, because they don’t respect anything that isn’t bold action.

If Joe Biden shows any inclination to crush the rebellion at play in the United States, he plays right into Vladimir Putin’s hands, and into the hands of people who hate the United States simply for being the United States in all it’s failed glory. But he has to do something because the threat to the reality of the United States’ existence has never been more dire than it is right now. Not even Nazi Germany or Japan had the impact on the reality of the continuing existence of the United States as a global force that Vladimir Putin has had in getting Donald Trump elected to the presidency. That he has in continuing to support this disgraced, twice-impeached, former holder of the office of the presidency.

We need to cancel this cause celeb, this slow-moving coup d’état that is still in progress. There are traitors in our midst, and we need to sort them out of the rest. That requires investigation, and the investigation should have started already. As others have pointed out, Mitch McConnell still holds all the cards as far as getting anything through the Senate because of the filibuster rule, and this includes an investigation that has support from all sides concerned. The filibuster has to go, even if it means removing the senators who don’t want to see it go as a part of the process.

We need to cancel the Republican groups who are currently trying to cancel the American experiment. We need to secure ballot access for all Americans, even if that means that the Republican base will not support anything the rest of us do for a generation. We need not fear missing out on the future they have planned for the rest of us. That future has been painted in vivid color for anyone brave enough to read the speculative fiction that has been penned over the last hundred years. We can rest assured that future is not a thing we want to experience.

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