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June 17, 2018

I was naive
Posted by Patrick at 05:43 PM * 199 comments

I’ve realized that the reason I no longer write blog posts about politics is that events taught me that I was completely full of shit. I imagined I lived in a country that doesn’t exist.

Turns out I live in a country 35-45% of which are super-happy with fascism, including the concentration-camps part. And 45-60% of the same country are insufficiently bothered by this fact to do anything to stop it.

This has me rethinking about hundreds of conversations I’ve had over the decades with people I thought meant well. I was wrong. Most of them didn’t mean well.

I’ve seen the future, baby; it is murder.

Comments on I was naive:
#1 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2018, 08:02 PM:

Ouch. Not much else to say to that.

#2 ::: Bonnie McDaniel ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2018, 11:10 PM:

I'm sorry, Patrick. I can't even disagree with you.

All I can say is, some of us are trying to do something.

#3 ::: Evan ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2018, 01:19 AM:

Yeah. Yeah. That's how I felt the night of the election, and the feeling has grown ever stronger since.

I knew better than to think America was a particularly virtuous country; I thought I was cynical enough. But apparently somehow I still believed in my heart of hearts that America would never elect a fascist, that it couldn't really happen here. I didn't even consciously realize that I believed it... but there's no way I could have felt that betrayed when it happened, if I hadn't had faith beforehand. And the avalanche that started that night just keeps on sliding downhill, and somehow I keep on finding there's another tiny dab of faith waiting to get betrayed.

Well. I'm going to be lighting up legislators' phones tomorrow morning, anyway. It might not help but I'll keep trying. Hope you'll join me.

#4 ::: Proo ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2018, 02:08 AM:

The poor avoid politics because they are too busy surviving. For the rest of us, avoiding politics is privilege. But eventually it always leads to loss of privilege. The core of the problem is right wing media, as long as lies are protected as free speech, we will descend. There is a point where we're in too deep to get out. Hard to tell, we may be there already. Trump has 45% support. Putin has 90% in his country. Tolerating right wing media's existence is suicide.

#5 ::: Cory Doctorow ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2018, 06:34 AM:

This is a question I've been giving a lot of thought to, too. I've been thinking of all those "progressive" Senators who said that, while Ted Cruz was indeed a total asshole, Jeff Sessions was a gentleman, honorable, decent -- just someone whose ideas they disagreed with.

They approved Sessions for AG on that basis, and he architected this kids-in-cages moment. What if they hadn't been misled and instead had gone with "Well, he's fun to chat with in the cafeteria and I'd trust him to return a lost wallet, but you know what, fuck that, because he's also a Dominionist authoritarian who thinks that The Handmaid's Tale is a manual for statecraft. That guy would return your wallet and then rip your kids out of your arms and send them to broil in a prison camp. I wouldn't confirm him for AG if he was the last guy on earth, nice guy and returned wallets be damned."

As it happens, I know a couple of people who know Steve Bannon, and they all tell me that he is full of raw charisma -- an exciting and interesting person to hang out with. I'm sure they're right (provided that you're not adverse to him at that moment) and I'm sure that this charisma is what's gotten him so far.

I laughed when someone first introduced the idea of "charisma privilege" but I think it's time that we started separating the charisma -- or even artistic talent -- of people from their acceptance in our lives. Individually, a charming asshole in our lives doesn't matter, but their collective normalization and acceptance has created this moment.

Contra is Quinn Norton's idea that if you're not talking to the racists in your family and friend group, you preclude the possibility of redeeming them, and you also miss the signals that they're gaining ascendancy and get caught flatfooted:

https://medium.com/@quinnnorton/the-problem-with-white-shunning-56b67cc2d726

#6 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2018, 09:14 AM:

Since the election I have had about a handful of nights when I did not wake up at 2a or 3a and lie in bed racked with grief, or despair, or outrage, or impotent helplessness.

They were good nights, until I woke up.

But despite the low lows, I also cycle through periods of greater hope. Esp. when I talk to young people. There are young Trump supporters, of course. But the majority of young people saw through him, in much higher percentages than the old people did.

I still think we have demography on our side, even if the Republicans will fight it with every tool of voter suppression and racist repression at their disposal.

The long-term question is how to repair the country's immune system. In my youth, it would have been healthy enough to repel a clear pathogen like this.

#7 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2018, 09:39 AM:

I'm doing what I can by volunteering for the country Democratic party. Co-hosting teaching sessions on activism. Running a Twitter feed, helping with press releases.

Oregon's senators are fiesty and not tolerating any bullshit.

#8 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2018, 04:32 PM:

Cory: Charisma is not privilege, it is a form of power itself. Like other forms, it can be amplified by technology, and in modern times it has been thoroughly weaponized.

#9 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2018, 07:53 PM:

Cory, I completely agree with your suggestion that "it's time that we started separating the charisma -- or even artistic talent -- of people from their acceptance in our lives."

I also comprehensively reject Quinn Norton's notion that "if you're not talking to the racists in your family and friend group, you preclude the possibility of redeeming them, and you also miss the signals that they're gaining ascendancy and get caught flatfooted." Indeed, anyone who seriously nods along with this kind of abuse-positive baloney is almost certainly someone who's blind about the degree to which they're privileged.

"Redeeming", my ass. _Redeeming_. Tell it to the dead.

#10 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2018, 07:58 PM:

#6, oldster: "Since the election I have had about a handful of nights when I did not wake up at 2a or 3a and lie in bed racked with grief, or despair, or outrage, or impotent helplessness. They were good nights, until I woke up."

So totally me.

#11 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 02:46 AM:

It's not just the USA.

The politicians lie to us. The media uncritically pass on the lies. And, as we stumble away from the EU, like some shambling zombie of a once-great empire, we get all the Nazi shibboleths, like "Will of the people," while we live through a low-speed coup d'etat.

#12 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 04:20 AM:

Cory @5: " I've been thinking of all those 'progressive' Senators who said that, while Ted Cruz was indeed a total asshole, Jeff Sessions was a gentleman, honorable, decent -- just someone whose ideas they disagreed with.

"They approved Sessions for AG on that basis, and he architected this kids-in-cages moment."

Unless there are Republican Senators who meet your definition of "progressive," that's not what happened. The Senate vote to confirm Sessions was 52-47. All Republicans voted to confirm, except for Sessions himself, who voted "present." Of 48 Democrats, 47 voted against his confirmation. The exception was Joe Manchin of West Virginia, where Trump won 68.7% of the presidential vote. (CNN described this vote as "mostly" along party lines, which I would not have let through if I had been their copyeditor.)

For reference, Loretta Lynch was approved 56-43. Eric Holder was approved 75-21. George W. Bush's three Attorneys General — Ashcroft, Gonzales and Mukasey — were approved by 58-42, 60-36 and 53-40 respectively. Janet Reno was confirmed 98-0.

In regard to Sessions' confirmation, the difference between the parties is crystal clear: Republicans in favor, Democrats against. Are there Republicans who said things against Sessions and then voted for him anyway? Because they might be a proper target for your ire.

Generally, though, I am not seeing any Senators who were misled into voting to confirm Sessions because they thought him personally honorable. The vote was nakedly, and on the Democratic side correctly, partisan. A Democratic majority may not be a sufficient condition for keeping people like Sessions from being confirmed, but it certainly is a necessary one.

#13 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 06:54 AM:

I imagined I lived in a country that doesn’t exist.

I've had the same experience, only wrt. England.

(Scotland is somewhat better, but is no utopia — just, the percentage of the population who are okay with fascism is maybe 10-15% lower.)

Watching America from outside these past 18 months has been horrifying.

Cory @5: I gather that Adolf Hitler was charming, personable, and charismatic, too, when he wasn't off his head on speed or ranting about people like Us. (I sympathize with Quinn's position, up to a point, but I have a sneaking suspicion her family tree wasn't pruned by Nazis back in the day.)

#14 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 07:01 AM:

Incidentally, the embarrassingly overdue novel I'm working on is, in part, embarrassingly overdue because it's set in the near future, and trying to write near-future fiction right now is incredibly demotivatingly depressing — even when it's an alternative, slightly less grimdark, near future.

It's hard to get up in the morning and write this stuff, when we live in an age where Lovecraftian horror turns out to be a viable vehicle for political satire.

#15 ::: Bryan Rasmussen ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 01:55 PM:

I always believed America would elect a competent fascist.

then again, maybe they don't actually exist?

#16 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 02:34 PM:

Since 11/9/2016 I have had insomnia. If I can get to sleep, I either have nightmares involving mushroom-clouds or I wake constantly through the night. If I combine ibuprofen and my fibro meds I can get 6 solid hours.

My Fibro has gone into flare mode, with no respite, and my doctor is reluctant to prescribe anything more than what I currently am taking due to the changes in State law. My blood pressure is up, even with meds...

I have my Senators and Reps phone numbers memorized. The Republican's staff won't answer the phones they let them go to voicemail. I have nice chats with my Democratic Senator's staff folk.

Any time someone on social media complains that Congress is not doing anything, I ask if that soul has bothered to actually contact their Congressman or Senators, and I post the Congressional Switchboard number (202-224-3121).

I seek refuge in meditation and the Liturgy of the Hours, and Adoration...

I am fighting Despair, and I think it's winning.

#17 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 03:33 PM:

Just fighting the sheer amount of misinformation out there is exhausting. And insufficient.

Finding ways to take more practical action can feel impossible, especially a country away. Thank goodness I currently have the cash flow that I can afford donations.
_________

The portal fantasy manuscript I am going to be shopping around in the next few months is set in 2010. This was originally because I didn't want to have to keep updating certain pop cultural references (Even when this meant regretfully not being able to sneak in Hamilton).

For the last year and a half it's been so that my characters don't give up on coming back here, but when they're done with the unsustainable place they're stuck, they just end it all.

Only one of them could be considered even circumstantially suicidal in the regular course of things.

#18 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 04:51 PM:

Patrick, #9: 100% agreement on the "listen to them" thing being a waste of time and energy. They've already said everything we need to hear; continuing to give them a platform is just SSDD.

They have rejected consensus reality and are trying to substitute their own. We must not let them, and trying to take their sense of aggrieved entitlement into account will only hamper our efforts.

I do wonder how the experience of dealing with toxic family influences people's attitudes in this area. Are the ones saying "you have to listen to them, try to understand them, give them chance after chance after chance" the same people who respond to stories about abusive parents by saying crap like "but they're the only parents you have, and you'll be sorry if you don't keep them in your life"? (My bet is yes.)

#19 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 10:25 PM:

I'm fighting absolute despair myself. I've come to the conclusion that the best I can hope for is to die fighting to delay this country's inexorable slide into a dictatorship.

I have enough mental control that I can push it all away for hours at a time...but not days at a time.

I've heard the tape of those children crying out for their parents, and the guard mocking them, and I want to murder that guard. Wanting to murder someone is not a comfortable sensation for me.

I wrote earlier in the week:

Well, we know that justice will not be done with regard to the human rights violations at the southern border. How do we know?
1. They not only keep kids from hugging, but won't let caregivers hug them either. This is like not giving them water, but slower.
2. We live in a country that bans cruel and unusual punishment, and it's better that way. I wouldn't change it.
3. Therefore, Jeff Sessions can't be punished by impalement, and his head can't be mounted on a pike as a warning to others.
4. Therefore justice cannot be done.
I hate it when I know for sure that people who've done monstrous evil will go unpunished, or inadequately punished. I hate myself for thinking about horrible ways to kill them; not because they don't deserve those deaths, but because thinking about horrible death is awful, and because I don't want to be the kind of person that it makes me when I think up horrible deaths, however justified.

#20 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2018, 10:26 PM:

As for being at peace with the Republican party...I refer you to Gandalf, outlining the conditions under which he would have peace with Saruman.

#21 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2018, 12:33 AM:

Xopher -- Gandalf? Or Theoden? "When you hang from a gibbet for the sport of your own crows..."

Week before last, Ontario elected a majority Conservative government, headed by Rob Ford's brother Doug. (Remember the former Toronto mayor Rob Ford?) The best concise way I know to evoke Doug is to say that Doug Ford is to Donald Trump as Canada is to the USA. Not as bad, but a corrupt bully, a shady businessman. (Also a former drug pusher.) A few days before the election, Rob Ford's widow filed suit against Doug, alleging that he had been draining Rob's estate (to which she and her children were partly entitled) to prop up one of Doug's businesses, cooking the books to make it look profitable so he could sell it at a high value. She provided details and dates.

For a week before the election, I had signs on my lawn: "Anyone But Ford", "Doug Ford is Ontario's Donald Trump. We're better than that." But apparently we weren't.

It's hard to watch what's going on in the U.S. With every new outrage, there's the thought that "surely that will make the Republicans wake up and do something", but it just keeps going. Inge likes to watch the news/satire shows: the Daily Show, The Opposition, and Stephen Colbert, but a lot of the time, the humour falls very flat for me.

#22 ::: Another Damned Medievalist ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2018, 03:04 AM:

Not much to add... just agreeing

#23 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2018, 10:10 AM:

Among other things, I've been writing encouraging letters to my senators, since if people only ever write or call to complain that's rather demoralizing, and they've been doing good work. I've also been writing... civil letters to my congressman. As in, if I don't include outright profanity, I have a hope that a staffer won't immediately shred it, but rather will print it on toilet paper so Rohrabacher can wipe his ass with it.

The more I've learned about Rohrabacher since I moved to Huntington Beach, the more horrified I am at just how much of a happily evil and corrupt person he is.

#24 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2018, 01:49 PM:

Mike Godwin has suspended Godwin's Law for the duration.

#25 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 01:49 AM:

Since these people are so fond of selectively quoting from the Bible to justify their monstrous acts perhaps we should let the Bible determine suitable punishment for those acts:

“But whoever who would offend one of these little ones, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

I'm not even remotely religious, but I'd be OK with this being applied to those who decided ripping kids from their parents and caging them with the lights on 24 hours a day was in any way acceptable.

#26 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 07:05 AM:

It was here that I first read someone talk about the rock-bottom level of W's support at 28% as a rough estimate of current bugfuck crazy levels. I took that to heart and have repeated it as wisdom, so I'm not shocked about that part.

(Afraid? Yes. Still.)

What has been a pleasant surprise is seeing people building capacity to resist. That capacity wasn't nearly enough during 43's term to hold him back, and it wasn't there to sustain the Occupy movement.*

Now we're a third of the way through a Presidential term, and people successfully pushed hard enough to make a public policy change. It's still a bad policy--I'll still be at a pro-immigration rally after work today--but the spiritual boost people get from publicly backing an authoritarian down and the corresponding morale drop on the other side is pure power. If it's used well, if politicians don't drain all the effort into electoral politics only, this can be a turning point.

It's not a position I'd've chosen to get into. The suffering at the border and elsewhere isn't "worth it" for change. But it's not a position we chose, is it? It's where we've been forced to by cruel humanoids. That suffering is on their heads.

If we miss this moment, if we fail to learn electoral politics can't be won without a robust non-electoral political movement to maintain us during the times we are out of power--and to remind politicians who claim they are on our side that they can't spit in our faces when they are in power and expect us to smile and take it--then the suffering from that will be on our heads, and quite a few of us will fully deserve what we get from it (though most of us will not).

This is not the 2018 I'd hoped for, but it has great potential. Or you can call it high stakes. Pretty much the same.

*The Occupiers themselves weren't the problem. They were plenty determined. It was a support failure.

#27 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 07:51 AM:

John @26--

It must have been a reference to John Roger's "crazification factor" of 27%. Worth re-reading:

http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/10/lunch-discussions-145-crazification.html

It's first-rate material from the first generation of blogging.

And it will remind you--if you needed it--that the Bush years were just as bad as Trump.
Not on all fronts. Not in a gutting-the-inner-workings-of-a-democracy way. But certainly in a killing-millions-of-innocent-Iraqis way.

#28 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 10:20 AM:

Oldster #27: it's not that Shrub, Bush, and the Reagan crowd weren’t gutting the works — but they kept getting interrupted, and it took a while to get through enough safeguards for their "work" to be effective.

#29 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 02:09 PM:

Dave @28--

fair enough. I agree that Republicans since before I was born have always tried to subvert the Constitution and undermine the norms of popular sovereignty, whether via the Plumbers or Iran-Contra or the blocking of Merrick Garland or voter suppression or you name it.

It's hard to decide when to say "Trump is uniquely bad" or "Trump is simply standard Republicanism, saying the quiet parts out loud."

Both are true, and I think our choice of which to emphasize should be more a question of tactics than anything else (i.e. how to galvanize this good person to action, or demoralize that bad person, or just possibly push this wavering person into the right camp).

#30 ::: dilbert dogbert ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 03:37 PM:

Thanks for posting. It has been a long wait.
At my age, I might not make it beyond 2020. We have children and grand children who will have to experience what comes next. Glod help them.

#31 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 03:41 PM:

I was reading back thru my VAB recently, and came across something I said during Bush II's second term. It was in a discussion of how the Republicans had become much more overt about their intentions and their tactics, and I said that it was because they thought they were in end-game -- that they had enough of a framework in place that we would be unable to stop them no matter what, so they no longer had to hide anything. What we're seeing now is that, dialed up to 11.

I think there's still a chance that they were wrong, but it's going to be hard as hell.

#32 ::: joel hanes ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 04:21 PM:

In spite of all their kind some elements of worth
With difficulty persist here and there on earth.

spontaneous grassroots resistance

'They cannot conquer for ever!' said Frodo
#33 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 11:26 PM:

Joel 21: Quite right. I meant Théoden.

Rob 25: The trouble with throwing them into the ocean with a millstone around their necks is that then you can't put their heads on pikes for people to Vir-wave at.

#34 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2018, 11:27 PM:

I keep waking up in the middle of the night and unable to get back to sleep for thinking about what's going on.

Everything that this government is doing and trying to do is ten times worse even than I'd imagined it would be.

My newest worry is that the Trump administration could be working to set up a Reichstag fire moment - some kind of provocation or shock which can be used to "suspend" civil liberties and rapidly pass new legislation to jail anybody who protests or otherwise opposes the government. Wouldn't that make sense, what with all the blather about the "incivility" of the left, and Hannity shouting about how dangerous the left is and what a threat they pose to the US?

I figure a lot of the "fine people" Trump has brought into his administration probably put the Jews as number 3 on the target list, so as soon as they've made enough progress stomping Muslims and people of color, they'll come for my family.

#35 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2018, 04:19 AM:

Xopher: Nothing says you have to throw all of them in the ocean....

#36 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2018, 12:10 PM:

Xopher Halftongue @33: Not that I wouldn't be pleased to see Trump handing over the keys, and as for surrendering his staff, there's already been a lot of turning over.

#37 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2018, 12:28 PM:

Marcia had to talk me down from a despairing rant last night, saying that I really should involve myself in action if I can't deal with the present situation. True, but it's hard to see what useful action there is besides campaigning and GOTV work -- and even if by some miracle the Democrats can win majorities in one or both Houses, we're still at the mercy of a deranged Executive and a reactionary Supreme Court.

What got to me was the Goebbelsian rhetoric that has become so pervasive. The talk of immigrants as animals, as rapists and murderers, as an "infestation"; of refugee children as potential MS-13 infiltrators. The "lying press", the "stab in the back". Of "crisis actors". The thinly disguised (but also Nazi) antisemitic tropes of "globalist" and "sleepy-eyed". The Himmlerian language urging us to be strong and to harden our hearts against sympathy with the unworthy, whether the migrant, the poor, the hungry, or the unarmed black police victim. The Grepo-like behavior of ICE and CBP, even with US citizens within 100 miles of any border.

I have the feeling that when nearly half of all Republicans would support suspending the 2020 election if Trump requested it, he wouldn't need a Reichstag.

#38 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2018, 11:14 PM:

If there's no 2020 election, it's time to take it to violent resistance.

Now I wish I'd practiced shooting with the gun nuts I know back when we were friends. I think they've become aware that we'd be on opposite sides in any civil war.

Joel 36: His staff is already broken. You can tell by the way they talk off the record.

#39 ::: Hank Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2018, 09:57 PM:

"A republic -- if you can keep it." -- B. Franklin

#40 ::: Blissex ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2018, 07:20 AM:

So you live in a country of sanctimonious hypocrites, devil-take-the-hindmost hustlers, and southern slavers, and what's new?

I sometimes make the point that GW Bush, BH Obama, D Trump have all boasted publicly, for electoral purposes, that they run a large network of junta-style CIA/DOD death squads, who abduct, torture or assassinate USA citizens and others whom the president, in regular secret meetings, sentences on suspicion of being "enemies of the people".
That is *very popular*.

The Trump "moral outrage" campaign is just ridiculous, in particular the "russian connection" campaign is laughable and transparently payback for Trump's birtherism.

«My newest worry is that the Trump administration could be working to set up a Reichstag fire moment»

Ahahahaha! Good one. A bit like the various "jump the shark" moments of Paul Krugman's columns about the "russian connection".

In NYC real estate developers don't get bribed by state officials, they bribe them (and everybody they can) which probably means that D Trump, far from being bribed, has probably bought many democrat (and republican of course) politicians in NY, CA, NJ, and every place he has business interests in, probably even Russia. A recent article showed that according to official records D Trump has been for many years one of the biggest donors to political campaigns (especially Republican).

Of course sanctimonious hypocrites cannot say that.

#41 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2018, 10:17 AM:

I suspect that Blissex is a driveby: one comment, and it's trollish.

#42 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2018, 10:51 AM:

@41--

yup, a troll. And one whose native tongue is not English, and whose main interest is in exonerating the Russians.

#43 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2018, 01:35 PM:

Troll in the thread!!!

Call out the clean-up crew for Aisle #40!!!

#44 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2018, 04:56 PM:

oldster #42: What tells you their "native tounge is not English"? The text is a little stilted, but I don't see any obvious errors.

#45 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2018, 04:57 PM:

Arggh, "tongue".

#46 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2018, 08:07 PM:

I'd rather not give grammar lessons to people who will use them to undermine the western alliance.

(not you, Dave, but the author of #40).

But if you read it aloud, I think you'll find several places at which it rings false.

#47 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 12:54 AM:

Also -- putting quotes inside sideways carets (greater than, less than signs, which are symbols of power and do not show easily in these comments) is not American at all, but European. At least in my experience.

#48 ::: Hank Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 01:11 AM:

It's a verbal trick:

https://www.google.com/search?q=research+voice+tone+conviction+reassurance+politics

#49 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 02:05 AM:

Tom 47: I've just learned that they're called «guillemets». You can get them here with « and ». So «guillemets» gives «guillemets».

< and >, on the other hand, you can get with &lt; and &gt; respectively.

#50 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 02:14 AM:

Thank you, Xopher -- my new word for the day!

#51 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 10:18 AM:

Tom Whitmore #47: Argh, I completely missed that one!

Oldster #46: My first response is "I dunno, I've seen a lot of trolls with similarly, stilted phrasing...". Then I thought about that a bit, and got chills. Just how many Russian puppets are running around our nets?

#52 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 11:47 AM:

How many puppetses? Nasty puppetses. Not that many really. We have amateur trolls, doing it in their spare time for their own twisted fucked-up reasons, for free. Whereas these guys are fast feud workers, paid by the hour, on the clock. It's a volume operation.

#53 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 11:54 AM:

TomB @52:

I am sitting here admiring "fast feud workers."

#54 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 12:26 PM:

«Drat, must tell Fearless Leader that Moose and Squirrel were not tricked.»

I'd thought that Québécois French writing also used the guillemets, but Inge tells me that that's not the case -- many of her patients and colleagues were primarily French. I'm guessing that I got that idea from having read several books in the "J'ai Lu" (literally, "I've read") series, which translated major SF works from English to French. I suppose the publisher is French-from-France.

#55 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 01:41 PM:

Apropos #40, I have noted with interest the appearance of an out-of-the-closet Russian commenter on my own blog, on the second-most-recent thread (about the British media pivot as Brexit approaches).

I'm letting him stick around for the time being because he's interacting reasonably politely with the regular commenters, but OMG the cognitive dissonance implicit in his world-view ... and, more interestingly, the lack of awareness of issues like totalizing national stereotypes in his comments is telling. Not that I would have been any better 30 years ago, mind you, but it is like a bad time travel trip, re-examining all those questionable assumptions.

And I can't help wondering whether in conjunction with #40 there isn't some diversification from the usual twitter/facebook trolling activities to a realization that the traditional blogosphere is still a thing, and maybe those with an interest in skewing public discourse can use it for their own ends.

#56 ::: Robert ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 02:21 PM:

Blissex is a semi-regular commentator on my blog. A major theme of my blog is that mainstream economics, particularly theories of income distribution, have been shown to be incoherent nonsense about half a century ago.

It is Blissex's view that only if you deny this and push a theory that justifies capital income can you expect to succeed in academic economics.

Look at his second paragraph above as somebody who has absorbed a lot of Noam Chomsky.

By the way, did anybody read the Nation article in the last few weeks arguing against the significance of the Mueller investigation? This is not my view, but some honestly hold these views.

#57 ::: Blissex ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 04:27 PM:

«only if you deny this and push a theory that justifies capital income can you expect to succeed in academic economics.»

Not quite -- you can succeed also by working around that rule, for example by renaming "microenomics" as "behavioural economics", or by accepting a lower degree of income and fame in a less prestigious or non-american department.

#58 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 04:36 PM:

56: "By the way, did anybody read the Nation article in the last few weeks arguing against the significance of the Mueller investigation? This is not my view, but some honestly hold these views."

If it's Stephen F. Cohen writing about Mueller because of the Russian connection, then it's practically guaranteed to be Putin apologia, and I would advise applying a discount rate of 100%. Even if it's not Cohen, the publication has been so far out there on things Russian — iirc, legitimizing the seizure of the Crimea, playing along with the notion that the Ukrainians might have shot down the Dutch airliner, etc etc — that anything they publish on Mueller should be viewed with considerable skepticism.

#59 ::: Blissex ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 04:38 PM:

«I sometimes make the point that GW Bush, BH Obama, D Trump have all boasted publicly, for electoral purposes, that they run a large network of junta-style CIA/DOD death squads ... That is *very popular*.»
«Look at his second paragraph above as somebody who has absorbed a lot of Noam Chomsky.»

I simply read the news on mainstream media, and I don't read much of Chomksy, even if he is often, regrettably, quite right about the state of things.

And it is not just GW Bush, BH Obama or D Trump who run networks of junta-style death squads, it is also the UK governments, as boasted recently by their minister of defense, who has sentenced to death over 200 UK citizens:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5153613/Gavin-Williamson-Brits-fighting-be.html
«Gavin Williamson signalled he was prepared to hunt down and use air strikes against the remaining 270 UK passport holders who have travelled to Syria and Iraq. In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said: ‘Quite simply, my view is a dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain.’»
«Earlier this year, the Mail revealed that RAF pilots had been secretly assassinating British jihadists in Syria and Iraq, using drones and fighter jets to work through a ‘kill list’ of targets»

"Enemy combatants", "terrorists", ... nothing new there. And the usual sanctimonious hypocrites worry about D Trump likely bribing a few russian politicians, after he most likely spent decades bribing pretty much the cream of (democrat as well as republicans) politicians in the USA to get favourables decisions and easy tax avoidance...

#60 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 06:25 PM:

Someone is very disciplined in talking his brief (i.e. saying anything to exonerate the Russians).

Too bad he was not as disciplined when he was taking his English lessons.

Let's not show him the mistakes, shall we?

He can get a refresher course from his handlers any time he applies for it.

Don't feel sorry for him; he is paid by the quantity of posts, not by their quality.

#61 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 06:25 PM:

Someone is very disciplined in talking his brief (i.e. saying anything to exonerate the Russians).

Too bad he was not as disciplined when he was taking his English lessons.

Let's not show him the mistakes, shall we?

He can get a refresher course from his handlers any time he applies for it.

Don't feel sorry for him; he is paid by the quantity of posts, not by their quality.

#62 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 06:26 PM:

gah...double post.

Makes me wish that someone was paying *me* for the quantity of my posts.

Sorry about that.

#63 ::: John Adams ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 06:54 PM:

I think people should be prepared for Mueller to come up short of impeachment-grade charges. Treason is hard to prove by design, and Trump has been doing a good job of discrediting Mueller to wavering Republicans. What will turn up is that Trump is crooked as a snake in his business, has been and continues to be. There may be sufficient evidence of profiting off the presidency to move Congress. Short of that, he'll just have to be beaten the hard way, by people.

#64 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 07:58 PM:

63
Treason isn't what they're looking at (it's notoriously difficult to prove). Conspiracy against the US, yes - and that they can prove. Also money-laundering, bribery, stuff like that.

#65 ::: Don Simpson ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 11:01 PM:

I'd like to see those boasts by Bush, Obama, and Trump about ther death squads. URLs to sources?

#66 ::: Nancy Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2018, 11:28 PM:

I think it worth noting that Blissex, Robert, and Hank Roberts all have no posting hustory outside this thread.

#67 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 12:13 AM:

Charlie Stross @55: ...some diversification from the usual twitter/facebook trolling activities to a realization that the traditional blogosphere is still a thing, and maybe those with an interest in skewing public discourse can use it for their own ends.

It'll be fascinating to see how they cope with ML's well-honed immune system.

And, oh god, if they attract Teresa's interest, time to start buying up popcorn futures.

#68 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 05:43 AM:

P J Evans @64: You put your finger on the one thing that has potential to put Trump out off office--recent bribery related to the presidency. I doubt the Russia stuff will touch Trump personally; the old crime will get handwaved away.

But what does that gain us in the best case scenario? President Pence. That might be better for the world, but it'd be worse for those of us living in America. An authoritarian who takes power after Trump has new vistas to explore.

We know that, barring health problems or acts of god, Trump will be on the ballot in 2020. That's the span of political vision I'm allowing myself. It's the most certain milestone to aim for in a scary and uncertain future.

I do not believe the court system or Robert Mueller is going to save us. I'll be glad if they do, because I remember where I was and how I felt when Nixon resigned. But I'm not counting on it. This will be a harder fight.

#69 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 06:56 AM:

The question about Pence, is what has he been up to while Trump pulled all eyes to him?

#70 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 07:25 AM:

I was puzzled initially by the obsession with "networks of junta style death-squads," but then I realized that this is just more Putin apologia.

So this is the Kremlin's pathetic justification for their attempted assassination of Skripal (and a dozen others) in the UK.

#71 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 09:30 AM:

69
Remember, Pence was in charge of the transition team that put some of the indictees in office. And he got to be VP because of Manafort.
So he's tied in to all this.

(Also, he's not all that popular in Congress.)

#72 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 12:43 PM:

The kid and I went to an equestrian event in East Texas over the weekend. it was basically the non-cruel parts of the rodeo plus close-order mounted drill. We had a real blast, even though there was one serious injury. A relatively young woman, young enough that I thought about calling her a girl, got seriously enough injured during a trick ride that she had to be Medivac'd out to Dallas, after lying there in the arena for an hour, bleeding in front of god and everyone.

So what did she do to pass the time? She got on the microphone and entertained/calmed the crowd. And she made sure to tell the people with her to get a good photo to prove her leg really did have a compound fracture.

I say that to introduce something funny that hurts, a great sketch wherein Cecily Strong says, "Lbh nyy jvfu lbh jrer yvivat va 1920'f Cnevf jvgu Onenpx Bonzn. Ohg thrff jung, Ubarl! Lbh'er va 90'f Beynaqb jvgu Gehzcl naq Fgbezl". You can laugh at that, hard, like your leg is broke, or cry at this: The Courts Won't Save Us,

I'm doing both, but mostly laughing. It's not like crying would make any difference.

YMMV.

#73 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 02:40 PM:

I am of the opinion that Mueller will use Flynn and Manafort to take down Pence first.

The classic legal Mafia takedown -- begin with the little fish, and work up the chain to the top.

And, don't whinge at me that this will give us Ryan (if it happens this year) or Pelosi. I doubt the GOP has the stones to go after Trump, and I'm betting Mueller won't release his final report until after the November elections, unlike Comey.

So -- if the Dems take Congress, and if Mueller's report DOES furnish crimes worthy of impeachment, the Dems would be wise to execute the Watergate gambit -- take Pence (the bishop) first, Presi-Dunce Trump chooses a new VP, and if he's smart, he resigns, gets pardoned and gets the Hell out of Dodge.

#74 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 03:38 PM:

...and for the love of God, please don't laugh over your enemy. Wait and laugh over your enemy's corpse.

#75 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 07:22 PM:

The ideal solution here would be for the Dems to take the House the year (and the Senate), and for a Democratic candidate take the presidency back in 2020.

An impeachment of both Pence and Trump is fantasy.

#76 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2018, 08:08 PM:

For what it's worth, I'm not too worried about the possibility of President Pence. At least not if we're talking about a post-midterm administration with the Democrats retaking the presidency in 2020.

Any plausible scenario where Trump gets booted before his term is up is going to fracture the GOP and leave Pence severely weakened and unable to do much additional damage.

#77 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 01:39 AM:

Lori 73: I have a better, if even more unlikely fantasy.

1. Democrats take both houses with strong majorities.

2. Trump is impeached, convicted, and removed from office.

3. Pence appoints a VP. The Senate Majority Leader announces that there will be no vote, not even hearings, on this VP candidate or any other, while Pence is still in office. The Republicans whine that "you can't do that, it's not CIVIL" and "you're required to have hearings." The Democrats answer "Merrick Garland."

4. Pence is impeached, convicted, and removed from office.

5. Nancy Pelosi becomes President of the United States.

(I'm not a huge fan of Pelosi, but the number of magat scumbags and Fox News animate hairdos who would have strokes at her ascension makes my reservations about her seem trivial.)

#78 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 01:53 AM:

Also, in this fantasy, Mitch McConnell has a massive stroke but lives, able to breathe but not talk or move or swallow, and is kept on a feeding tube for the next 20 years.

#79 ::: John Rynne ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 06:15 AM:

Interesting article in the Irish Times: Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow
via The Irish Times
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-trial-runs-for-fascism-are-in-full-flow-1.3543375

#80 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 06:51 AM:

John Rynne @79

Thank you... I think. Fintan O'Toole does not use his words lightly, and... yeah.

Crazy(and wishing she had safe places for all her friends)Soph

#81 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 10:20 AM:

I've loathed Jefferson Beauregard Sessions for decades.

Stephen Miller reminds me of Judenrat types who suicided when they finally realized that their cooperation had only facilitated the genocide of their co-religionists and made it easier, rather than providing an iota of protection--except that they were not partisans of and supporters of and themselves intolerant extremist hardline bigots from schoolkid days onward.

The current psychological landscape of the USA "evolved" from the decisions of the Republican Party to embrace

a) slaver-mentality religious zealots from Dixie and their partisan, pander to Christian Dominionist zealots generally who had eschewed, until Dobson etc. zealously promoted "let us use our religious zeal to convert the USA to the Kingdom and the Republican Party has invited us to remake itself aligned to our goals and values and embracing them!", being politically partisan and highly active, and

b) increase its pandering to robber baron slaver-mentality rich corporatiss, their minions, syncophants, and wannabees/worshippers of abusive vulture capitalism.

There was an evolution of mindshare, propaganda, media outlet takeovers, money talks.... the Fairness Doctrine was eradicated, the Sinclairs and Cox and Fux under Murdoch, etc., took control of the airwaves and similar things happened with newspaper ownership, the attempt to create a progressive radio network was met with extreme prejudice by rightwing interests with advertising money telling radio stations "air ANYTHING from AirAmerica and we will cut off ALL advertising on your station" -- perpetrators or that included M&M/Mars and a whole long list of companies controlled by the robber baron neoslavers, who object to paying livable minimum wages, object to employee rights, object to not having Christianoid Dominists taking over, object to women being treated as people, object to anyone not a white hetero Christianoid male as other than chattel [excepting Tokens who tell everyone else how wonderful it is for everyone else to be a Happislave... tools like David Brock was, nn Cltr has been for years, Clarence Thomas], etc. etc. And Air America collapsed, stations would not carry it... and hatemonger misogynistic white male Christianoid hetero LGBTQ-phobic radio, which produced e.g. Mike Pence and was it Blake Farenthold [he thankfully is gone from Congress, Scott DesJarlais who is no less vile and an extreme hypocrite, however, is still there... ] and put them in Washington to impose their Kingdom, which is hell on earth in other outlooks...

Anyway, it was a gradual process and slippery slope down to the current abyss, proceeding over -decades- to get to where things are today.

#82 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 10:22 AM:

#78 Xopher

I don't want Mitch McConnell kept alive at taxpayer expense...

#83 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 12:42 PM:

Xopher @77, Point 5:

Were you aware that the Speaker of the House does not have to be a Member of that body?

My ultimate fantasy would be the Democrats, having the numbers to impeach in the House and convict in Senate, and pursuant thereto, the House chooses to elect Hillary Clinton to the Speakership...

#84 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 04:25 PM:

The fact that public outrage can make.Dolt45 back down is a positive sign. I keep hearing that this is the last stroke of the snake, but there’s no real evidence for this.

What we do have evidence of is the willingness of certain extremely rich oedipalists to sponsor a segment of the white lower classes, whose continued misfortune is actually the result of capitalist exploitation, to attack people of color, the undocumented, and anyone who disturbs Dolt45’s digestion.

The fact that there are extremely rich people on the side of democracy and liberty is heartening, but isn’t enough. Patrick, you’re forgetting Move to Amend, Indivisible, and a host of local organizations that have sprung up (I’m fighting charter schools; I have this thing about social mobility and liberation through education.).

We are responding. Punching Nazis in the face is not only a diverting exercise. It is also an essential element in the fight for a better, more human country and world.

#85 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 04:37 PM:

Paula Lieberman #81

Stephen Miller = Alfred Rosenberg

Stephen Bannon = Ramón Serrano Suñer

#86 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 05:15 PM:

Fragano, #84: *snerk* "Oedipalists". Took me a few seconds, but I really, really like that.

And you're right, there's no reason to suspect this might be the last anything. 45 is easily led on the one hand, and has zero impulse control on the other, which means that there is absolutely no predicting his behavior. Even the people who are using him to further their own ends don't know.

#87 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2018, 05:27 PM:

And now Kennedy is stepping down from the Supreme Court. He was no prize, but his replacement is bound to be ever-so-much worse.

#88 ::: Hank Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 01:15 AM:

> no posting history outside this thread

Shirley, you jest!

LMGTFY:
https://www.google.com/search?q=makinglight+"Hank+Roberts"

Use the /Tools/Verbatim setting

#89 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 02:10 AM:

Xopher @ 77 - Unfortunately, while we can conceivably flip both houses, we can only get a very thin majority in the Senate. Senators serve 6 year terms, and only 1/3 of them are up every couple of years. Impeachment by the House only takes a simple majority vote; conviction on the impeachment in the Senate takes a 2/3 majority. We can't get to that many Democratic senators on this cycle. I don't see enough, if any, Republicans willing to vote to convict, no matter what Mueller turns up.

#90 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 02:46 AM:

(I see Anne Sheller beat me to the Senate facts, but here are the details if anyone wants ’em.)

The way the Senate works is it’s divided into three classes. When a state joins the union, its two senate seats are assigned to two of the classes (the smallest ones first, then randomly), and from then on, those two seats are in those two classes. So, for example, New York’s two Senate seats are in Class 1 and Class 3, and always will be.

Senators serve terms of six years, and each class is reelected two years apart. This year is Class 1’s turn. Class 2 comes up in 2020, and Class 3 in 2022, then Class 1 again in 2024, etc.

Anyway, here’s a list of who’s in Senate Class 1. Note that it has 23 Democrats, two independents (both of whom caucus with the Democrats, and therefore count as Democrats for purposes of determining the Senate majority), and eight Republicans. That means the very best we could possibly do in this year’s election is to pick up eight seats — that’s if the Republicans lose every Senator, and we lose none.

Right now, the Republicans enjoy a slim majority of 51 seats in the Senate, while the Democrats have 47, and there are those two independents. Under that best-case miracle scenario, that goes to Democrats having a 57-seat majority (55 Dems + 2 indies).

While it takes a simple majority in the House to initiate impeachment, the Senate holds the actual trial, which requires a two-thirds majority (67 out of the 100 Senators) to convict. Removing a president for inability under the 25th Amendment requires two-thirds of both houses.

#91 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 04:46 AM:

Lori 83: Ooo, I didn't!

I love it. Even more strokes among the stroke-worthy population.

#92 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 08:22 AM:

Avram@90

Minor correction. There are actually nine GOP Senate seats up for election this year because of a special election in Mississippi.

#93 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 09:18 AM:

Hank Roberts (88): You must be using a different email address now than in your earlier posts. "View all by"* uses email address to tie posts together, and your current one only shows the three posts in this thread.

*With such a useful built-in tool, why would we use a Google search instead? Especially since "Hank Roberts" is a fairly common name.

#94 ::: Quill ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 10:39 AM:

Is anyone here attending the protests tomorrow?

#96 ::: Quill ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 11:06 AM:

Me @94: Sorry, I meant Saturday. I keep thinking today is Friday.

#97 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 11:08 AM:

I'd go to the protests down in Manhattan . . . but I drove back east to catch up with family, and there's a big get-together on Saturday.

Time for liberals and progressives to raise their kids to become lawyers, and progressive think tanks to pay their tuition and to fund their runs for judge positions, because we need to make this a long game.

Helping out by buying a lottery ticket.

#98 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 11:10 AM:

Fragano Ledgister @84: I keep hearing that this is the last stroke of the snake, but there’s no real evidence for this.

I suppose it's not a blinding insight to figure that the whole immigration disaster is (at least in part) a (successful, for the moment) effort to suck news cycles away from Mueller...?

Cassy B. @87: And now Kennedy is stepping down from the Supreme Court. He was no prize, but his replacement is bound to be ever-so-much worse.

On the other hand, if the Dems can play the game the GOP played with Garland, we can maybe at least have a hung SCOTUS for a while...? (I have to wonder if that idea factored into the timing of Kennedy's decision. Naaaahhh....)

Hank Roberts @88: It would be a kindness to collect your VABs and post a comment pointing to all of them. Better yet, send up a flare to the gnomes to consolidate them.

#99 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 01:35 PM:

First Kennedy, Now Ginsburg? What's next? Will the sun come out tomorrow? Is it just a kiss away?

#100 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 03:00 PM:

John A Arkansawyer: I see what you did there.

I hope.

#101 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2018, 03:11 PM:

@Jacque: You bet your bottom dollar!

#102 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2018, 12:33 AM:

This is the only cure to fascism that I know:

Show up to the protests happening on Saturday nation-wide against Trump's family separation policy.

Find your local Indivisible group.

Phone bank. Text bank. Canvass.

Call your senators. Call your reps. Call your governor. Call your alderman. Follow Celeste Pewter on Twitter.

Take time for yourself. Take quiet time, away time, contemplating time, simple joy time. Surviving is resisting.

It doesn't matter where you put your shoulder to the wheel, but it matters that you do.

Don't listen to the Nazis or the centrists or anyone who wants to tell you that we're fucked. Mandy Rice-Davies applies.

A proudly socialist 28-year-old Latina is going to the US House of Representatives next year to represent Queens. There are more coming up behind her.

We're going to lose more before we win. A lot more. Be prepared for that.

But the fight isn't over until we're dead, and work is the best antidote to despair I've ever found.

Stand up. Limber up. Get ready to move.

Tomorrow is the next day of the rest of the work.

#103 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2018, 07:10 AM:

Preach it, Mr. Riggle! And let the church say "amen!"

(in other words: I agree with you, emphatically, and thank you for your expression of this important message).

#104 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2018, 08:15 AM:

"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. #goodtrouble" -- Rep. John Lewis

#105 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2018, 09:39 AM:

Small note: I think the Twitter Kevin Riggle @102 meant to link to for Celeste Pewter was this one.

"You are not required to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it."

#106 ::: C ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2018, 03:03 PM:

@97: Time for liberals and progressives to raise their kids to become lawyers, and progressive think tanks to pay their tuition and to fund their runs for judge positions, because we need to make this a long game.

Lawyers are not a solution to a problem involving gangs of brownshirts with automatic weapons, especially when they're infiltrating the police and they've taken over the judiciary.

I fear you're about two decades behind the curve, and this one's not going to be settled short of another global great depression and quite possibly a world war.

#107 ::: Charles Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2018, 04:41 PM:

Whoops, sorry, @106 by "C" was me — autofill helpfully semi-deleted my name for no obvious reason.

I'd just like to add that the "I fear" in my last was a significant clause. When I'm not bleakly pessimistic about life (a parent being critically ill in hospital has that effect) I hope that my fears are misplaced. That's all.

#108 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2018, 04:25 PM:

Not a lot to add, but...

* When it comes to Quinn Norton's plea, my first thought is that the possibility of doing any good for people who've plunged themselves into hateful lies must be balanced against others, particularly the risk of wearing oneself out, failing to do them any good, and ending up unable to do good for anyone else.

My next thought is that being able to communicate effectively with people who've chosen to be hatemongers is that it's a combination of talent and skill worth respecting, but not something to expect everyone to do. Not everyone is suited to perform with a band, orchestra, or choir; not everyone is suited to be a professional programmer, surgeon, or welder; and so on. Those who can do it without destroying themselves in the process should, sure, but it's a valid generalization to say that in general, people shouldn't try and set themselves up for failure.

* I can't find rational grounds to expect things to go well anytime soon, particularly when I look at the time likely to really fix crucial social flaws and see the prospect of climate change consuming more and more of available physical and mental resources. But I know I don't see everything, and I can tell a lot of things that would do good if overall circumstances allowed them to, and I do what I can on them so that if I'm all wrong and there's room for hope after all, needed things will be there ready to do their part. I feel a lot more like a Camus protagonist than I'd like.

I have a really hard time sometimes not wanting to discourage people with more positive assessments than me diving in to do hard things, without failing to do something to encourage some preparation for if they don't work out.

This is basically a wordier version of Charlie's comment about hoping his fears are misplaced.

#109 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2018, 05:55 PM:

Jacque @ 98: the game against Garland worked because the Senate had a Republican majority; McConnell and the committee chair in question refused to schedule hearings, and that was that. The Democrats, being a minority, don't have this option -- at least not until next January, which is why Trump and McConnell are being obscenely hasty about announcing and ramming through this pick. I have read that that there are measures that won't work -- e.g., there is no quorum if the Democrats all leave but the Senate president can "compel" a quorum -- but I don't know enough of the workings to be sure the reports are accurate or that there is any mechanism that can work.

#110 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2018, 07:11 PM:

CHip @ 109: Oh, the Democrats should definitely force the Republicans to compel a quorum. Who remembers this senator for anything other than being a groper? He got a bit of manhandling himself:

In February 1988, Capitol Police carried Senator Bob Packwood feet first into the Senate chamber. This occurred after the Senate ordered the arrest of absent senators to maintain a quorum during a filibuster on campaign finance legislation.

please Please PLEASE put Tammy Duckworth into a position to be forcibly carried into the Senate chamber, right in front of the cameras and god and everybody, maybe one leg off and one leg on.

#111 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2018, 09:25 PM:

oldster @103: Thank you!

estelendur @105: You're right! Thank you so much for catching that.

#112 ::: Hank Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2018, 10:31 PM:

> 88, 93

Don't just click on the name you see displayed.

Instead copy the suggested search string and paste it into Google. Then choose/Tools/Verbatim -- that approach makes Google respect the quoted string.

That will search on the actual name displayed rather than on whatever's behind the link on the blog page.

#113 ::: Hank Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2018, 10:32 PM:

Oh, and you can limit searches by including

site:nielsenhayden.com

#114 ::: Ingvar M (with a slightly amended name to make a point) ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2018, 04:49 AM:

Hank Roberts @ #112, #113:

While it's not a bad suggestion, having a "view All By" tracking on the email address you put in (that is never displayed) is a somewhat better way of tracking what a given individual has said in the past, rather than relying on a displayed field entirely under user control.

#115 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2018, 11:53 AM:

At the risk of derailing... a friend in Ireland introduced me to a rather amazing and hilarious Irish ballad, a modern one telling the listener about the hazards of shopping at major supermarket chains.

I suspect that everyone reading this thread can use a bit of a laugh, and I hope this will fit the bill.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL7jyXCQ2Zc

Lyrics, for those preferring text to audio - http://www.mickeymacconnell.com/Lyrics%20Yhe%20Ballad%20of%20Lidl%20and%20Aldi.htm

Crazy(and noticing her voice/writing has started slipping into Irish cadences...)Soph

#116 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2018, 12:57 PM:

Ingvar M, #114: What I'm not getting is why Hank is so determined to make everybody else here go around Robin Hood's barn to do things his way, instead of going along with the established (and much easier) method we already use. It's not rocket science, after all.

crazysoph, #115: Hee! We have an Aldi near us, and the list of things they carry is... only slightly exaggerated.

#117 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2018, 06:42 PM:

Another cheering thing.

https://www.metafilter.com/175103/Whats-the-most-creepily-intelligent-thing-your-pet-has-ever-done

#118 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 03:47 AM:

Nancy @ 117

*clapping of hands* Ooh, and with added silly poetry!! Wonderful!

Crazy(and now ear wormed with that silly cow verse stuff)Soph

#119 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 09:34 AM:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes

#120 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 11:35 AM:

Every time I see Trump doing his "look at me hugging the flag" routine, I imagine it saying "#METOO".

#121 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 12:41 PM:

119
for one people to dissolve the bonds

#122 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 12:50 PM:

which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of

#123 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 01:32 PM:

the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature

#124 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 02:16 PM:

and Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect

#125 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 02:30 PM:

.for the opinions of mankind

#126 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 06:02 PM:

requires that they should declare the causes which impel them

#127 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 07:33 PM:

to the separation.--

We hold these truths

#128 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 07:51 PM:

to be self-evident

#129 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 07:55 PM:

(and when I meet Thomas Jefferson
I'm a compel 'im
to include WOMEN
in the sequel: WORK!)

#130 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2018, 11:23 PM:

that all men are created equal, that they are endowed

#131 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2018, 01:00 AM:

by their Creator with certain unalienable (dammit!) Rights

Joel Polowin @120: LOL Thank you. That image helps a lot!

#132 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2018, 05:51 AM:

that among these are Life,

#133 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2018, 07:35 AM:

Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

#134 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2018, 10:55 AM:

—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—

#135 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2018, 10:57 AM:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,

#136 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2018, 11:16 AM:

I. do. not. consent.

to Tramp and Savonarola, to the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and to any 5-4 decision he is on the majority of and which I do not approve of, etc.

#137 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2018, 01:00 PM:

and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form,

#138 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2018, 01:50 PM:

Jacque @135, Paula @136--

Yes. This is another reason why we should laugh at anyone who responds to critiques of the Electoral College with the tired refrain, "it's not a democracy, it's a republic!"

Call it what you like: if you care about the consent of the governed, then you cannot recognize elections in which the candidate who gets fewer votes winds up in power.

The consent of the governed. The sovereignty of the people.

When Republicans chant their silly, "it's not a democracy, it's a republic!" what they are saying is that they do not care about popular sovereignty.
They do not care about the consent of the governed.

And accordingly, their governments have no just powers. They may have powers, but they have no *just* powers.

#139 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2018, 12:49 AM:

as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed,

#140 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2018, 08:10 AM:

will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly

#141 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2018, 11:40 AM:

all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to

#142 ::: Greg M. ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2018, 01:05 PM:

will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;

#143 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2018, 06:05 PM:

and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that man-kind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,

#144 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2018, 09:29 PM:

than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

#145 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2018, 09:55 PM:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object

#146 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2018, 10:56 PM:

evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism

#147 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2018, 07:31 AM:

it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government,

#149 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2018, 02:11 PM:

and to provide new Guards for their future security.--
Such has been the patient suffering

#150 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2018, 09:56 PM:

of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

#151 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2018, 09:23 AM:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and

#152 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2018, 09:04 PM:

NYTimes/Twitter: US stands firm against... breast feeding?. As Neil Gaiman commented, "Oh, for fuck's sake".

#153 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2018, 10:11 PM:

usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute

#154 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2018, 11:14 PM:

Dave Harmon @152 - I can imagine Trump: "Well, what do those people think breasts are supposed to be for? They'd be wasted on babies. Just wasted."

#155 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2018, 11:41 PM:

Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid

#156 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2018, 11:59 PM:

world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

#157 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 12:08 AM:

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless

#158 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 08:50 AM:

Finally found an explanation for what's going on from someone calling themselves Van Buren Boys in a comment thread elsewhere:

"I’ve thought it over, and I’m pretty sure that what’s happening now is all a hallucination produced by the disembodied brain of Philip K. Dick, which is suspended somewhere in a vat full of nutrient fluids & a complex cocktail of paranoia-inducing psychoactive drugs."

#159 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 09:57 AM:

suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when

#160 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 10:11 AM:

so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.--
He has refused to pass other Laws for the

#161 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 10:18 AM:

accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature,

#162 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 10:23 AM:

accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish

#163 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 03:06 PM:

Joel @ 154: apparently there's no industry so small that the Trump administration won't bully on its behalf -- which ended up making the U.S. look even stupider, as the resolution was finally introduced by Russia (according to the complete story).

#164 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 06:49 PM:

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday, in fairly small type, that said "Make America not embarrassing again." I could do with that....

#165 ::: Cassy B ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 07:01 PM:

I just saw a bumper sticker yesterday which said "Make America Coherent Again". There was something else in tiny print (the source?) but I couldn't read it.

#166 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 09:56 PM:

a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

#167 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2018, 10:57 PM:

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository

#168 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2018, 08:30 AM:

of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

#169 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2018, 07:40 PM:

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.

#170 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2018, 07:56 PM:

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby

#171 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2018, 11:20 AM:

the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State

#172 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2018, 11:40 AM:

remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured

#173 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2018, 03:33 PM:

to prevent the population of these States;
for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners;
refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither,

#174 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2018, 06:00 PM:

and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

#175 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2018, 06:57 PM:

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

#176 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2018, 09:33 PM:

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the

#177 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2018, 10:08 PM:

amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and

#178 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2018, 10:59 PM:

sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

#179 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2018, 12:03 AM:

Once again, Reddit is a pit.

Summary: the founder of the GG8er subreddit KotakuInAction finally decided to shut it down because it had "turned into" a hate group. Less than an hour later, Reddit had it back up again... and locked him out of it.

If you hang out on Reddit, you're supporting and enabling fascists.

#180 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2018, 10:34 AM:

My favorite phrase in the Declaration is "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind."

The sensibility behind it is diametrically opposed to the ethic of bullies, swaggering cranks, and soreheads which seems to dominate the Trump misadministration.

#181 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2018, 01:58 PM:

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

#182 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2018, 02:03 PM:

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

#183 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2018, 10:24 AM:

Lee @179: Tangentially, that illo looks an awful lot like Kelly Freas...?

#184 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2018, 11:22 AM:

Jacque @183: more like Emshwiller to me, but I'm pretty sure it's neither of them.

#185 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2018, 01:47 PM:

Lee #179, Jacque #183, Tom #184:

I agree with Tom; more like Emshwiller, probably neither Freas nor Emsh.

The artist is someone engaged by Berkeley Medallion when they put out Masters of Horror, "edited by Alden H. Norton," Berkeley X1497, back in 1968. ISFDB notes that the book was ghost-edited by Sam Moskowitz.

Sadly, this is not one of the publishers who credited cover artists at that time. And I don't see a signature. Any further guesses?

(Those who wish to read Gahan Wilson's review of this paperback may find it in Google Books.)

#186 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2018, 03:02 PM:

Possibly John Berkey, but he did mostly space art -- the style is similar, though.

#187 ::: the invisible one ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2018, 09:16 AM:

The recent news that some republicans are extremely not pleased about the whole buddies with Putin thing might be hopeful?

I don't know what it looks like from inside the US though.

#188 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2018, 10:29 AM:

#187 ::: the invisible one

The US is a large place, and it can very hard to see what's going on.

What I'm seeing is that Trump is losing some people, but he still has a loyal base.

#189 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2018, 11:02 AM:

Oh, man.

Barack Obama's speech.

I mean, damn.

Go listen.

#190 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2018, 11:03 AM:

It begins at 1:25:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cWYiJKCWdI

#191 ::: alisea ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2018, 02:28 PM:

Stefan Jones @190:
Two of the numbers seem to have changed place: the speech starts at 2:15:00.

#192 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2018, 07:33 PM:

The Daily Mirror has a big headline: "Putin's Poodle". Got me thinking about an old Warner Brothers cartoon with a bulldog and a terrier. "Vlad's my hero! He's so strong!"

#193 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2018, 07:46 PM:

Hmph, I screwed up the link.

#194 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2018, 07:48 PM:

NYT has the text of his speech: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/17/world/africa/obama-speech-south-africa-transcript.html

#195 ::: odaiwai ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2018, 11:38 AM:

P J Evans @ 194 and Stefan Jone @ 190, Thanks for that - it's a great speech and a reminder of the time when the President of the US had enough empathy to consider other people as people and could speak in complete and coherent sentences.

#196 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2018, 12:44 PM:

QUEEN OF THE FAIRIES: You have all incurred death; but I can’t slaughter the whole company! And yet (unfolding a scroll) the law is clear – every fairy must die who marries a mortal!

LORD CHANCELLOR: Allow me, as an old Equity draughtsman, to make a suggestion. The subtleties of the legal mind are equal to the emergency. The thing is really quite simple – the insertion of a single word will do it. Let it stand that every fairy shall die who don’t marry a mortal, and there you are, out of your difficulty at once!

#197 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2018, 03:13 PM:

It is possible to describe Dolt45 as a crazy leader produced by political failure. Someone like former Ecuadorean president Abdalá Bucarám, who called himself “el loco”. It is possible, but it would be wrong.

Dolt45 is a symbol of the failure of part of the national institutional structure of the United States to paint inside the lines. It is the political disease of a faction proclaiming itself the people, and the rest of us, the majority of the population, just going along.

All virtue is not the possession of conservative men and women who know, as if instinctively, how to do the right thing because they, alone, are the chosen of God.

Over the past couple of days, I have watched this château d’Espagne collapse. I don’t like it when people suffer, but I want these people to learn what equal citizenship means.

#198 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2018, 03:13 PM:

It is possible to describe Dolt45 as a crazy leader produced by political failure. Someone like former Ecuadorean president Abdalá Bucarám, who called himself “el loco”. It is possible, but it would be wrong.

Dolt45 is a symbol of the failure of part of the national institutional structure of the United States to paint inside the lines. It is the political disease of a faction proclaiming itself the people, and the rest of us, the majority of the population, just going along.

All virtue is not the possession of conservative men and women who know, as if instinctively, how to do the right thing because they, alone, are the chosen of God.

Over the past couple of days, I have watched this château d’Espagne collapse. I don’t like it when people suffer, but I want these people to learn what equal citizenship means.

#199 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2018, 07:43 PM:

The Oregonian published another of my Letters to the Editor this morning. It isn't up on the publically accessible site yet, but I took a photo of the letter in the print edition:

https://twitter.com/StefanEJones/status/1019597044418150400

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