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June 17, 2018

I was naive
Posted by Patrick at 05:43 PM * 474 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:

#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:

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:


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:

#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:
«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:

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:

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.


#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

#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!


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:


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

#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.

Lyrics, for those preferring text to audio -

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.

#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:

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:

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

#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:

#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:

#200 ::: Bob Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2018, 03:31 AM:

Please excuse my putting this here, but I can't see a "Contact" page...

I'd like to subscribe to the Making Light RSS feed, but my aggregator, Feedly, can't find it. As Feedly is probably the most-used of all aggregators, I suspect that there's something wrong on your side.

I've bookmarked, but I'm forgetful :-(


#201 ::: odaiwai ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2018, 08:33 AM:

Bob Nelson @ 200:

The RSS Feeds are in the Sidebar:
Full -

Each comment thread also has a feed just above the "Post a comment" text.

#202 ::: Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2018, 01:32 PM:


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...?

Indeed, not only is it “no great insight,” it is the opposite: pseudo-sophisticated bullshit that completely fails to understand the actual situation facing us, and that risks real harm to the effort of opposition. And I mean that in the nicest possible way

#203 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2018, 05:51 PM:

Jim Henley @ 202: That's too harshly said to be of value.

If you'd restate it and say what you mean instead of how you feel about it, I'd be grateful. If your point is that Mueller isn't going to save us, and that organizing to push back by whatever means are forced upon us might, then I would agree with that. And if your point is that cruelty in immigration policy is not meant as a distraction but as actual policy, I'd agree with that, too, with the caveat that the timing does distract but is not the purpose of the act.

Is that what you intend to say, or something like it? Because what I got out of what you said was misdirected anger at someone trying to think through the trouble we're in. That and a hunch you're otherwise thinking similarly to me.

#204 ::: Aidan ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2018, 02:46 PM:

There is literally a manual/strategy guide on how realistically to fix this problem. Once #GenerationSociopath dies off the 40% shrinks to a small enough group that you can happily ignore.
Anyway, too soon to give up without Democratic leadership trying what is laid out in this highly entertaining and useful book.

#205 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2018, 04:24 PM:

Waiting for the old guard to die off is not the way to bet. There is no noticeable shortage of bigoted young'uns, after all (look at Charlottesville), though I'm thankful to say there's no shortage of absolutely wonderful young'uns either. No generation is a monolith.

#206 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2018, 04:29 PM:

+1 to HelenS!

#207 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2018, 04:46 PM:

Full disclosure: I am of course a tail-end Boomer myself, my dad having served in WWII: I was born when he was 44 and my mother 40.

I think Aidan may be a drive-by, as that was a first comment.

#208 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2018, 06:29 PM:

Jim Henley @202: Uh, can you unpack that a bit for me, please? Too many double-negatives for me to parse meaninfully.

#209 ::: Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2018, 07:49 PM:

@Jacque: Fair on the double negatives, though I was extending your own "takes no blinding insight."

Unpacking: No, the child detention policy is not an effort to suck cycles away from the Mueller investigation. The child detention policy is the considered decision of White House personnel who hate immigrants, particularly Latinx immigrants, and who campaigned on reducing immigration. It is sincere executive action on behalf of white supremacy, one third of the three-legged stool that is the guiding ideology of the Trump regime. (The other two legs being patriarchy and plutocracy.)

To imagine a White House steered by Donald Trump, John Kelly and Steven Miller is not wholeheartedly devoted to immigration-policy cruelty for its own sake is naive. Naiveté itself is forgivable.

But compounding that naiveté with the false sophistication of saying its intent was to distract from the Mueller investigation is infuriating. It's infuriating because for a year and a half now, people who imagine themselves as knowing have been demanding the rest of us "not get distracted" from their pet real issue by whatever the latest calamity is.

It is especially infuriating when someone implies the latest calamity is a distraction from the Mueller investigation. The Mueller investigation will proceed at the pace of the special counsel. We the vox pop can do jack shit to hurry it along. It matters, quite a bit, but it matters precisely because the Trump team's conspiracy with Russian intelligence put them in place to inflict these calamities upon us. And it's the calamities - the Muslim ban; child detention; gutting Obamacare; shoveling the Treasury into the purses of the rich; hollowing out the EPA; destroying reproductive choice; constricting the liberty of LGBTQ people; taking the gloves off law enforcement et effing cetera - that do the harm. They are exactly what we need to devote cycles to, and none of them are distractions from some real issue.

Having had to deal with Distraction Theorists since nearly the beginning of the present regime, I'm past the point of being able to tolerate even the lesser forms of it.

I hope the above counts as sufficient unpacking.

#210 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2018, 09:16 PM:

HelenS #205: Hey, kindly note that most of the bigots Charlottesville saw last year were imported from all over the country.

The local who started things has been taking serious flak, and just got pushed into signing a consent decree against use of force.

In the year since, the town also replaced most of its leadership¹, and folks have pretty clear plans to squelch any attempt at a repeat of last year's mess.

¹ Some Council members stayed, but not the old mayor (the new one is a black woman, and a fiery sort) and both the chief of police and the city manager have been replaced.

#211 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2018, 09:56 PM:

I don't expect bigotry to die off with the Boomers. I do expect the quality of leadership on the left to rise.

#212 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2018, 01:13 AM:

Jim Henley @209: Much clearer. Thank you.

#213 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2018, 02:42 PM:

I didn't mean to impugn Charlottesville itself, but the Unite the Right event there. A large proportion of the guys I saw toting tiki torches, wherever they might have been from, looked young, is all I was saying.

#214 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2018, 03:31 AM:

Troll Parade

And when I see those posts hashtag Walk Away
Those Russians trolls more busy ev'ry day

It's walk away they bray
Spewn lies to follow you back home
The empty braincases of Trumpanista memes
So much to blame

From deep inside the tears that I'm forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that now abides

It's walk away they bray
Spewed lies to follow you back home
Election fraud imposed upon our weary eyes
The whole world cries.

It's walk away they bray
Spewed lies to follow you back home
Election fraud imposed upon our weary eyes
The whole world cries.

The Constitution, Bill of Rights meant for us all
Now set aside for greed and Trump's offensive wall

It's walk away they bray
Spewed lies to follow you back home
The empty braincases of Trumpanista memes
So much to blame

#215 ::: Jameson Quinn ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2018, 10:32 AM:

I honestly believe that this is no more than the puppies writ yuge. A trollish minority, taking advantage of flaws in a democratic system to hold power over a majority.

Of course, the consequences are literally a million times worse, but the solution is the same. Fix the democracy so that everybody gets a fair voice and minorities can't rule. Making Light is where that happened for the Hugos... it's unlikely to take that role again, but stranger things have happened.

#216 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2018, 10:35 AM:

#215 ::: Jameson Quinn

I *think* there's a difference between people who cause wreckage because of their own emotional drives and large organizations mobilizing people to cause wreckage.

#217 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2018, 02:20 PM:


Well done, Paula. Good to see more lyric parodies--that's one of the main reasons I come to ML.

#218 ::: Devin ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2018, 02:48 AM:

Nancy Lebovitz @216

I think I agree, but I think both the puppies and the GOP fall in the second category (though the GOP is obviously larger and more organized, so farther along the spectrum.)

If the puppies phenomenon had been one year, okay: some guy blew his stack. But next year? To the degree that it was the same people, they've had a damn year to think it over and they should know better. And the new kids, well, they're jumping aboard having seen what happened before: no better in that small way than anyone who sees the Republican Party as a path to power.

#219 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2018, 04:28 PM:

One of the reasons I retired from government was the fear of being ordered to do something unethical, illegal or unconstitutional.

I am optimistic. I think next year at this time we will be talking about President Nancy Pelosi because the blue wave will be so overpowering it will leaf to the impeachment and removal of Trump or Pence or their resignations.

#220 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2018, 04:46 PM:

From your keyboard to FSM's noodly appendages!

#221 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2018, 06:49 PM:

"Me too," he said. I was so very very full of shit.

The only thing I can add is that the last two years of watching US politics unfold have taught me exactly how and why the Italian left— which includes many among my recently acquired family and friends— managed to decline into such decrepitude.

I would like to believe that some kindness is warranted when considering how to treat that fraction of our social network, which is repelled by the rising power of proto-fascists everywhere, and yet cannot bring themselves to support any realistic means of resisting it. A lot of well-meaning people are just incapable of imagining that our situation could be so irretrievably bad that ordinary means of creating political change could be insufficient for the purpose of restoring normal order. I firmly believe that's the subtext when my less leftist friends warn me that I should be careful what kind of revolution I support, "because the cure could be worse than the disease" or some such nonsense.

#222 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2018, 04:52 PM:

On the surface, this sounds like pure tinfoil-hat territory. But I think it merits consideration and possibly some effort put into developing a counter.

1) When right-wingers accuse those on the left of doing, or planning to do, something, it is almost always true that this is something the right wing is doing or planning to do itself.

2) The right wing has been floating the accusation that the left is planning to cancel or interfere with the election in November.

3) If this is in fact something the right is thinking about doing, what would be the most disruptive time frame in which to do so?

Answer: the day before the election. And it wouldn't take a heavily coordinated effort -- just a few "spontaneous" instances of "civil unrest" in key states, to give the governors of those states an excuse to say "we'll just have to go with the votes already cast, instead of holding the general election tomorrow".

On the principle of "that for which one is prepared does not occur"... VOTE EARLY if it is at all possible for you to do so. It may be critical.

#223 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2018, 05:49 PM:

That would be a first in US history. Even during the Civil War, the Union had the election on schedule.

#224 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2018, 11:17 PM:

Many things about this administration are unprecedented in US history.

#225 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2018, 06:29 AM:

Canceling elections outright seems to me both too obvious an attack on democracy to ignore, and also unnecessary. (Even most authoritarian regimes these days make a show of having elections; they're just rigged in various ways to favor the folks in power.)

What I think is more likely (and indeed, what we're already seeing signs of) is disrupting the election, especially by messing with the voter rolls. This administration has clearly and explicitly signaling its intent to have fewer people vote (claiming "stopping fraud" as a reason). We've already seen voter purges of unusually large sizes (with Ohio's aggressive purge explicitly greenlit by the Supreme Court), and there have been reports from various places that people have found their registrations canceled without a clear reason, or that voter rolls seem to be missing people. We know back-end election administration systems with voter registration information were hacked in several states in 2016, and that will almost certainly be attempted again this time-- and successful attacks could make it quite hard to determine who's a legitimately registered voter. While we have no firm evidence at this point that the actual cast votes were manipulated in 2016, the e-voting machines a lot of places are using are vulnerable to such manipulation, and in many cases make it very difficult to determine whether such manipulation has occurred. (One saving grace has been that most such attacks required physical access to the machines, so it can be hard to hack them at scale, but it turns out that at least one brand of the machines also supports remote access!) And of course I expect to see more of the same hacks to illegally obtain private embarrassing information on targeted candidates, and bot-driven propaganda to spread irrational fear, and/or encourage folks to not vote or throw away their vote, that we saw in 2016.

And yet the national GOP appears to be largely uninterested in committing any substantial funds or effort to improving election-related security (or in prosecuting foreign-based fraudsters and the politicians and campaigns that accepted their help). If you've already got various election disruptions helping you out, along with pre-existing advantages like gerrymandering, strict voter-ID, and other rules that help your party more than the other one, why bother with all the fuss that actually canceling an election would cause?

#226 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2018, 10:18 AM:

various election disruptions helping you out

And if so, why on earth would you fund defenses against them?

#227 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2018, 02:54 PM:

RE: John Mark Ockerbloom@225

Except that, here in Ohio, due to a Special Election for Congressional District 12 on August 7th, the Secretary of State elected NOT to do the purge this year.

I'm guessing they're afraid of eliminating too many Republican voters...

(Which makes me REALLY wonder what the internal polling numbers look like -- must be ghastly.)

#228 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2018, 02:09 PM:

So, now Trump is claiming that the Queen kept HIM waiting for fifteen minutes, instead of vice versa. Does he not understand that there's video showing her waiting? And waiting? And waiting? Does he not understand how evidence works? What kind of an Orwellian world do we live in now???

#229 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2018, 02:40 PM:

Free speech crisis in academia? Not so much.

Money quote:
"But I keep coming back to the denominator here: There are well over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. And multiple attempts to catalog free speech incidents on campus, from different sources, keep coming up with numbers in the dozens. And of those dozens, a fairly large percentage of the targets are liberals, and a fairly large percentage of the others were conservative speakers who seem to have come to campus with the intent of provoking students."

(My interpretation of that last clause: it's the academic version of the 12 Rabid Weasels of SFWA.)

At any rate, our staunch freedom-of-speech defenders should take heart from this; the issue, at least on college campuses, isn't nearly as severe as they've been thinking.

#230 ::: Magenta ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2018, 04:22 PM:

Wasn't there an election in New York City on 9/11/2001 that went ahead as planned?

#231 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2018, 04:36 PM:

Magenta (230): Not quite. There was a primary election in NYC that day. Because of the chaos, they voided* it and held it again two weeks later.

*I'm fairly sure that they closed the polls at some point on 9/11, while announcing the alternate date. But I wasn't actually in NYC that day, so I'm not sure.

#232 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2018, 07:20 PM:

Cassy B. @ #228: Does he not understand that there's video showing her waiting? And waiting? And waiting? Does he not understand how evidence works?

I suspect he understands that he has a sizeable audience who won't trouble to look at the evidence for themselves and won't listen to anyone who tries to tell them it contradicts him.

#233 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2018, 12:23 AM:

Paul A, I am not a doctor and I don't play one on TV, nor am I qualified to diagnose anyone of anything... but his behavior reminds me very strongly of that of my mother when she had mild-to-moderate Alzheimers.

#234 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2018, 02:24 AM:

Cassy B.: Which is by no means the first time someone has made this observation.

#235 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2018, 10:37 AM:

And others who have lived with narcissists notice that part. He's swimming in a large African river, and pretending the many, many crocodiles are really friends.

#236 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2018, 08:50 PM:

This would not be the first time we've had a President with Alzheimer's in office. And Trump's even older than Reagan was.

God-damn, there's your Section 25 cause!

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

he's only two years older than Reagan was at this point in his first term - that's not a big age difference.

#238 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2018, 01:55 AM:

Cassy 228: He's undermined the credibility of the media to the extent that his base believes what he tells them rather than their own eyes.

But their eyes aren't exposed to the reality, because they don't check any news sources other than the state propaganda network (namely Fox News). Which, I'll bet, did not show the Queen waiting for him.

#239 ::: Jim Parish ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2018, 07:41 AM:

238: Snopes defends Trump against this charge. (At least one thing he doesn't seem to be guilty of!)

#240 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2018, 11:54 AM:

From that Snopes article, it seems clear that HRH did not keep Trump waiting, though.

#241 ::: Jim Parish ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2018, 02:29 PM:

Yes, Trump is lying about that - reversing the charges, as he often does - but at least in this case the initial charge seems to be invalid.

#242 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2018, 05:33 PM:

I see that the Chinese government is taking pot shots at Trump's zero-sum-game mentality.

Or to paraphrase a classic: he doesn't believe in a win-win scenario.

#243 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2018, 08:28 PM:

Incidentally, I notice we never finished our recitation of the Declaration of Independence. If I were the kind of person who read omens into chance events, I might make something of the fact that it stalled on the phrase: "He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws".

#244 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2018, 12:07 PM:

Well, okay then:

giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation

And, yes, that does seem, um, ominous.

#245 ::: SunflowerP ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2018, 02:50 AM:

@243/244: This Canuck was enjoying the recitation, and is pleased that it's being resumed.

#246 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2018, 08:49 AM:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:--

#247 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2018, 09:14 AM:

One of my friends had a minute to get out of his burning house.

"I'd never been in a burning building before, but regularly ran the scenario through my head: your house is on fire. You have 1 minute. What do you take? And the answer was always pretty much the same: cat, wallet, keys, phone, laptop, hard drives, laptop charger, journals. Except I never though of the additional complication of...and you're in total darkness. Or your smartphone likes to die early & often. Going forward, I'd definitely make sure flashlights & fire extinguishers are easily accessible in every area of the house. Last night would have went better if I had an emergency smartphone charger stashed in my car, or could find my laptop bag containing a smartphone cable before evacuating. I was disoriented & panicking but consider myself lucky it affected me so much less than the others."

It's possible that the go bag advice should be updated to include more about electronics.

#248 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2018, 09:55 AM:

I'm sorry, that should have been on the Open Thread.

I'm going to copy it to there, and I'd be grateful if it was removed from here.

#249 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2018, 04:53 PM:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

#250 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2018, 07:54 PM:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:--

#251 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2018, 09:02 PM:

PJ Evans, whoa. That's rather on-the-nose....

#252 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2018, 10:06 PM:

So many of these *are*, that it's kind of scary.

#253 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2018, 08:28 PM:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:--

#254 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2018, 09:41 PM:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:--

#255 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2018, 01:06 AM:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

#256 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2018, 11:38 AM:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province,

#257 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2018, 12:01 PM:

establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it

#258 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2018, 01:34 PM:

at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures,

#259 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2018, 03:04 PM:

and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

#260 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2018, 09:15 AM:

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

#261 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2018, 09:28 AM:

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

#262 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2018, 09:55 AM:

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny,

#263 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2018, 10:50 AM:

already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

#264 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2018, 08:25 PM:

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country,

#265 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2018, 09:51 PM:

to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

#266 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2018, 11:34 PM:

"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

#267 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2018, 09:13 AM:

Despite the clickbait headline, this "neuromarketing" technology (analyzing microexpressions and such) isn't quite as new as they imply... but now it's being explicitly applied to politics.

The “neuropolitics” consultants who hack voters’ brains.

#268 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2018, 11:42 PM:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms:

#269 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2018, 10:41 AM:

Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

#270 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2018, 12:21 PM:

A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

#271 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2018, 07:00 PM:

Fits are hitting the Shans. The Deicrats haven't been directly implicated, yet... soon, I hope....

Meanwhile two corrupt Congressional Republicans are in the news for being corrupt Republicans who were also early pmurT supporters...

#272 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2018, 12:16 AM:

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren.

#273 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2018, 04:14 AM:

We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.

#274 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2018, 10:31 AM:

"Deicrats, Gracie?"

#275 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2018, 11:58 AM:

We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.

#276 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2018, 04:06 PM:

So, yesterday I met my first sovcit in person. He seemed fairly quiet, but when he started talking about politics, I fairly quickly went from "okay, now you're getting into crazy talk" (to which his response was "that's what they want you to believe...") to "ah, you're one of those sovcits, aren't you".

Interestingly, at that point, he started dumping his whole conspiracy theory on us, at once, as if once we "heard the truth", we'd have to be convinced. Something about how the New Deal involved taking away, (or maybe selling off) all the land, gold, and silver, and replacing the US government with a corporation overseen from the Holy See.

At no point did he become visibly agitated, but another employee (who was off to the side) noted afterward that he was open-carrying. They found that worrisome, but I figured that if someone like that was likely to invoke their gun in response to being contradicted, they'd have been long since taken off the streets already. In any case, his manner was not at all threatening or visibly "off", it was only the arguments he was advancing that were bizarre.

#277 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2018, 04:51 PM:

Yeah, that argument about what happened to the government is seriously bizarre.

#278 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2018, 03:42 PM:

We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity,

#279 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2018, 06:56 PM:

Dave Harmon @ 276: I figured that if someone like that was likely to invoke their gun in response to being contradicted, they'd have been long since taken off the streets already. That's unclear; there have been observations (which I haven't tried to calibrate) that the police are more likely to try to talk someone down if they're gunwaving-while-white.

#280 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2018, 09:02 AM:

CHip #279: Yeah, but I'm pretty sure they'll still arrest them afterwards.

There's also the matter that we were all in a well-known¹ bookstore which is (almost literally) a fixture of our Downtown, a block away from the police station.

¹ As in, we have people coming in from around the world, some of whom where regulars 40 years ago, while others just followed a recommendation.

#281 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2018, 12:15 PM:

and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf

#282 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2018, 02:08 PM:

to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.

#283 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2018, 04:48 PM:

We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

#284 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2018, 05:38 PM:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of

#285 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2018, 10:45 AM:

our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,

#286 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2018, 10:55 AM:

That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to

#287 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2018, 11:59 AM:

the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain,

#288 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2018, 03:20 PM:

is and ought to be totally dissolved;

#289 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2018, 07:55 PM:

and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace,

#290 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2018, 08:12 PM:

contract Alliances, establish Commerce,

#291 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2018, 09:59 PM:

and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with

#292 ::: Dan R ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2018, 08:57 AM:

Dear Making Light Community,

It's been a while since I visited here, and I arrive this morning somewhat disheartened at the slow-down in posts. Maybe it's a function of social media (I still have a flip phone, so wouldn't know), or else a general moving away from bare-bones forums like these, but even as a lurker and a one-time disemvoweled I've always regarded this place as one of the last bastions of honest, moral discourse on the interwebs.

I'm a grandson of Holocaust survivors, so I understand only too well the dangerous territory we're pressing into. I live in deep-red Florida; during the last election, my street was lined with Trump yard signs. But surprised I am not. I've always understood the cattle-car mentality of this country, all the way back from the 80's and the brain-dead TV watching epidemic to the current neck-down smart-phone age.

Everything seems to be coming to the head now. Outright racism in the speech of gubernatorial candidates. Evangelicals for Satan. Truth is not Truth. Etc.

I hope that sane minds will prevail, but if history offers any clues, we are in for a reckoning. And as a country we might just deserve it, too.


#293 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2018, 09:39 AM:

Dear Dan,

I don't speak for the Making Light community, being a very peripheral part of it (not a friend of PNH or TNH, never been to a convention, not a sci-fi fan, etc. etc.).

I'll respond anyhow, just as a voice to a voice.

I agree with most of what you say, except for the part about deserving stuff.

Things are indeed getting worse, and may get a lot worse. But part of that worseness will consist in exactly the mismatch of merit:

the people who deserve most to suffer will suffer least, and the people who deserve least to suffer will suffer most.

Nations hardly ever suffer as a nation: far more often, parts of it suffer while others inflict the suffering.

The grandson of Holocaust survivors should surely be wary of rhetoric that could have been written in Weimar Germany:
"Our nation is in for a reckoning, and we might just deserve it, too!"

Yes, Germany deserved a reckoning. But the reckoning was not visited on Germany as a nation, but on its Jewish citizens instead.

There are many in this nation who deserve a reckoning: the racists, the oligarchs, the religious zealots, the tax-cut jihadis who loot the national treasury of trillions, the whole basket of deplorables.

Please do not let your anger at those who deserve the whirlwind, prevent you from doing what you can to protect those who will face undeserved suffering on a massive scale.

Children torn from their parents. Citizens shot in the streets without recourse or protection of law. People deprived of health-care. Women forced back into legal subjection. They do not deserve it.

So we must keep a clear eye on who deserves what, and fight as hard as we can to make sure that the innocent do not suffer.

The fight has already begun. It is taking place in phone-banks and GOTV stations, in letters to the editor and town hall meetings.

I hope you are doing everything you can, in honor of your grandparents. They did not deserve it.

#294 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2018, 10:21 AM:

#293 ::: oldster

I'm not sure whether this is a nitpick or not, but the reckoning against Germany included many more people than the Jews. The holocaust killed almost as many non-Jews as Jews, and Nazi military expansionism killed about three times as many as the holocaust.

#295 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2018, 10:46 AM:


I have no quarrel with you or with the other facts you raise.

And I could have pointed to those additional populations as more, undeserving, victims of a reckoning that other Germans deserved.

Because Dan referred to his own family's sufferings from the Holocaust, it seemed more relevant to mention them, less relevant to mention, e.g. the Rom.

But relevance shifts by context, and I may have misunderstood this context. Certainly what you say is true, and highly relevant to some contexts.

#296 ::: SunflowerP ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2018, 09:05 PM:

Dan R. @292: The slowdown in top-level posts is because all the moderators are having ongoing and particularly, erm, generous, servings of Life Happens. (A partial overview can be found here.) I've observed that when top-level ML posts are sparse, the Fluorosphere as a whole tends to become more parsimonious in posting - I've only been a regular for a bit over three years, though, so my observations are at best a snapshot, not at all comprehensive.

#297 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2018, 10:51 PM:

oldster & Nancy: Not to mention the price the rest of the world ultimately paid in getting Germany back in line....

oldster: I would dispute your "peripheralness." ;)

SunflowerP: Your observations of the pace of activity here matches mine.

#298 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 07:19 PM:

with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,

#299 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 07:36 PM:

we mutually pledge to each other

#300 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 08:08 PM:

our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

#301 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 08:58 PM:

My state of birth had no signers--didn't exist at the time.

But since I have been a New Yorker for several decades now, I'll sign for one of them:

William Floyd

#302 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 09:16 PM:

I'll sign for my mother's mother's mother's father's father's father: Roger Sherman.

#303 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 09:17 PM:

(oops, add one more mother in that sequence of mothers...)

#304 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 09:23 PM:

I'm from Georgia originally, so I'll sign for

Button Gwinnett

#305 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 09:35 PM:

#274 Jacques

Religiosity worn on their sleeves and beating other people with, such as Pence, Sessions, DeVos.... And not all of them claim to be Christian.

#306 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2018, 10:05 PM:

I have people in Rhode Island (among other locations - I think South Carolina and New Hampshire are the only then-existing states where I have none - so:
William Ellery

#307 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2018, 01:35 AM:

Robert Treat Paine

(His ancestors emigrated on the same boat as one of mine.)

#308 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2018, 09:55 AM:

Like oldster, my state of birth didn't exist when the Declaration was signed. But I will sign for someone who shares my current home state as well as my religion, Marylander Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

#309 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2018, 10:08 AM:

Stephen Hopkins

The other Rhode Island delegate(and the one wearing the shapeless black hat in the painting)

In honor of my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Tillinghast, whom the British in Newport kidnapped, imprisoned, and let die of the smallpox, between the time Rhode Island declared its independence, and the time the united colonies did so.

My cousin Daniel Tillinghast married Stephen Hopkins' daughter, Lydia.

#310 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2018, 07:24 PM:

I had ancestors in eastern Connecticut, so I'll sign Samuel Huntington, born in Windsor, CT.

#311 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2018, 08:11 AM:

From my home state of Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris

#312 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2018, 10:10 AM:

My state of birth didn't exist in 1776, but one of my ancestors fought in the entire Revolutionary War (signed up just after Lexington and Concord; fought at Yorktown; was in pretty much every major New York and New Jersey battle in between). He was in a New Jersey regiment, so I'll sign:

Abraham Clark

#313 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2018, 02:40 PM:

And I'll sign for one of the fellows from the state I was born in, Virginia:

Thomas Jefferson

(Mr. Adams -- LEAVE ME ALONE!)

#314 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2018, 02:40 PM:

I'm delighted to see that I am not the only reader of ML who is openly revolting.

I wonder which Massachusetts resident is going to grab the name that gets all caps?

#315 ::: Quercus ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2018, 06:20 PM:

Well, since I'm posting from his home city almost in view of his namesake tower, lets' try this:


#316 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2018, 10:42 AM:

"There, I guess King George will be able to read that without his spectacles!"

I was disappointed to learn that this quote is entirely apocryphal.

#317 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2018, 10:43 AM:

One of my many-times-great grandfathers, after whom my grandfather is named and my father and brother are middle-named, founded Berkeley plantation in Virginia, which was later the place of birth (I believe) of:

Benjamin Harrison

#318 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2018, 02:17 AM:

By Mike Pence's flavour of Christianity, was Judas's betrayal of Jesus an evil act? A not-nice but necessary act, or some such ..?

#319 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2018, 01:47 PM:

Joel Polowin @318: Cue up Sydney Carter for discussion. (The rest of his songs are worth looking up, too -- second link is the middle of a record.)

#320 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2018, 01:56 PM:

I was online in June; why did this post show up in the blog feed only in September?

Anyway, comment from someone who's often been called a conservative, usually in hostile tones as I'm conservative only some of the time...

As long as people are screaming across the party line, "Bush was Satan, Obama was Satan, Trump is Satan," what's coming out of the noise sounds a lot like "Hail Satan," or "We LIKE fascism provided that those evil scumbags on the other side are being micromanaged with greater prejudice, detained more often and for longer periods, and tortured more severely."

If people would stop wasting pixels repeating "who likes/hates whom" in primary school terms, and talk about the pros and cons of ideas (in such a way as, conceivably, to educate the powerful, including those who advise Trump), *that* might help.

Trump is not and has never been a gentleman. That is part of his appeal to his fan base. As long as people keep screaming "We can't staaand this pushy, tacky person!!!", Trump is actually delighted because the appearance of elitism is galvanizing his fan base. He *is* smart enough to know how to work *that* angle for gain.

Also, he's not a racist. He's not a sexist. He grew up with White male privilege and shows no interest in giving up anything, but when told that it's unprofitable to discriminate, he's demonstrated an ability to work with people who look different from him. That's about all that can be asked, at his age. Meanwhile, the screeching chorus of "Anything remotely 'conservative' is raaacist" only convinces us Independents, not to mention the likes of Rush Limbaugh, that the screechers are stupid as well as hateful. For a start a lot of neo-cons happen to be Black.

However, at least some people (in both parties and in neither) *are* still interested in rational discussions of policy questions. I'm one. My readers are a few hundred more--have to be, because I shake'em up every few weeks.

Write more for us, please. I've enjoyed this blog for years and wish I saw more updates here.

#321 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2018, 05:22 PM:

I am sorry, but Trump is a racist and a sexist. Look at his deeds, not his words: he appoints white men, rarely white women, and fewer minorities. He still wants the Central Park 5 executed, though they've been completely exonerated. He backs racists and sexists, and is unapologetic about it. (He has the support of racists and sexist, too.)

#322 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2018, 07:02 PM:

He grew up with White male privilege and shows no interest in giving up anything

So then he is racist or sexist, even if not consciously so. His behavior has racist and sexist effects.

#323 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2018, 07:40 PM:

Priscilla 320: Also, he's not a racist. He's not a sexist. He grew up with White male privilege and shows no interest in giving up anything,

This is a contradiction. Having white male privilege and not being willing to give up* that privilege is being racist and sexist.

You're also ignoring the plain evidence of observation. If you don't see his racism and sexism by observing his actions and words, nothing I can say will persuade you.

That's about all that can be asked, at his age.

Bullshit. I personally know people older than he is who are much less racist and sexist. He was raised by a racist and was sued for racial discrimination in housing by the Nixon Administration, ffs.

screeching chorus Yeah, like "screeching" isn't a sexist dogwhistle.

convinces us Independents, not to mention the likes of Rush Limbaugh To your self-description: sporfl. Only hardcore MAGATs can still claim Trump isn't racist and sexist. And I think you're mistaken if you think anyone with the common sense the gods gave a piece of moldy bread is still trying to convince Rush Limbaugh of anything. He's to be politically neutralized, not persuaded, not least because he doesn't even really believe the utter bullshit he vomits out on a daily basis.

I'll stop there. At this point I know I'm shouting down a well, because as someone pointed out on Twitter recently, you can't wake someone who's only pretending to be asleep.

*that is, willing to see dismantled

#324 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2018, 07:42 PM:

Please note that my previous was heavily edited for civility from its, shall we say, very frank original form.

#325 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2018, 10:39 PM:

Priscilla King 320: “when told that it's unprofitable to discriminate, he's demonstrated an ability to work with people who look different from him”

That’s your definition of not-a-racist? That he’s willing to put up with non-white people if there’s money in it for him?

#326 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2018, 11:28 AM:

A lecture about whether Mencken was a racist which looks at various definitions of "racist". This is relevant to the discussion, and also a really cool lecture.

#327 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2018, 12:37 PM:

@Xopher Halftongue, thank you for editing for civility.

@ all you guys...if people have to give up the benefits racism, sexism, and elitism have conferred on us, then you're being racists, sexists, and elitists just by having computers! You'd have to do something about that native fluency in English, and the education that's allowed you to enjoy sites like this one, as well, at a minimum...

I use "racist/sexist/elitist" to describe people who are actively perpetuating those abuses against others today. I don't see *any*body who's rushing to discard the benefits of privilege, or even discount those benefits as they apply to others. You might want to employ an indigenous Mexican who speaks Spanish as a third language, but if you're hiring someone to edit English, sorry, you're going to hire someone with some education in English. And the opportunity to get beyond ENG 102 at a community college is a benefit of major economic privilege.

My point, fellow children of privilege, is not that we should like or vote for Trump (I never have), but that he *has* demonstrated some ability to *learn* from people who address issues and don't merely scream hate at him. So why not stop emoting and give him things he can learn?

#328 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2018, 01:09 PM:

@Avram, I seriously believe that being able to work with people is as warm and fuzzy as Trump gets. If he ever did have an unselfish thought, his image wouldn't allow him to express it. And although I've seen people in their eighties actively looking for new stuff to learn, they do not learn as quickly as people in their twenties do. So I wouldn't waste time trying to teach Trump about unselfishness.

I would, however, try to teach him about market dynamics and popular opinion, and the benefit for him in doing things that might not relate to his own immediate material gain. That seems to wake up his brain in the way a new recipe or knitting pattern wakes up a typical 90-year-old patient's brain.

He's not going to give away all his money and become the most popular teacher at the Anacostia elementary school. He *is* likely to consider, e.g., promoting more non-White people (though they'll still be neo-cons), giving higher priority to issues of concern to non-White people, or even staging photo-ops in non-White neighborhoods with resulting boosts for businesses.

Or, if we prefer not even to think about Trump himself (I do), the system is set up to make it easy to concentrate on influencing people who have lower visibility and more individual power in government.

#329 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2018, 01:46 PM:

Himself doesn't work "with" people; he tells them what he wants to have happen, and expects them to make it so, regardless of everything else. He also has a rep as a micromanager, and has said that his idea how a business should be run is one where all the underlings are fighting with each other all the time. (He thinks that's a good kind of "competition". Everyone else thinks it's a recipe for disaster. And no one who's worked in that kind of place wants to do it again.)

#330 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2018, 04:11 PM:

Priscilla King 327: “I use ‘racist/sexist/elitist’ to describe people who are actively perpetuating those abuses against others today.”

But you insist Trump isn’t racist, even though he built his whole campaign on perpetuating and intensifying abuses against others, and continues to do so.

And what’s up with this weird fantasy you have of somehow teaching Trump about market dynamics? Everyone who’s ever tried to teach him anything says he won’t pay attention to anything longer than a few bullet points.

And this isn’t because he’s in his seventies. People who’ve worked with him for decades say he’s always been an ignorant bully. You may have seen that NY Daily News editorial by Barbara Res, the former vice-president in charge of construction for the Trump Organization, talking about how Trump didn’t know what braille was, and tried to bully the architect into removing it from the elevators? (“As a general rule, Trump thought architects and engineers were weak as compared to construction people. And he loved to torment weak people.”) That discussion involved the plans for Trump Tower. Construction started in 1979, so that argument would have taken place when Trump was in his early thirties.

#331 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2018, 04:11 PM:

You know, I thought of a bunch of words here, mostly about moving the goalposts to the Oort Cloud and like that. But then I realized that Priscilla's argument boils down to this: If Trump is a racist and sexist, so is everyone, so he isn't, QED.

This is not a serious argument. This is trolling.

Go away, troll.

#332 ::: Devin ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2018, 04:57 PM:

Speaking as a racist and a sexist, maybe everyone is! But some people more than others, obvs.

#333 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2018, 11:06 AM:

The question is whether people have positive ideas for the betterment of our society, or just want to sit around bashing the other party.

I have positive ideas. I think the Internet can be used to promote positive ideas. I, personally, prefer not to think about Trump, personally, so much as the people with more direct control over issues of concern to me. (This year, that would be glyphosate.) Others may feel that Trump is so good at getting attention that they want or need to engage him with their issues. I don't. Either way, we have to work with/around Trump. As I see it, the way to do that is to stop locking horns with him and focus on the benefits to everyone, possibly including Trump, in what we want to accomplish.

At this site I'm a lurker, not a troll. I don't know anyone well and have no communication strategy for approaching you. I'm just throwing out my ideas to see if they interest anybody because this site does at least attract writers. I will say, though, that the claim of "everyone outside your party is racist" is trollish.

Since people want to focus on race...I'm torn. My concern with glyphosate is that it has especially nasty effects on specific genetic types of individuals (across species), and in humans its ugliest effects are most noticeable on people of Irish descent. So, if you're not active on the glyphosate issue, you must be some kind of anti-Irish...No. Actually, the probability is that, although you're oblivious to the physical pain currently afflicting Irish people, that's because you've been focussed on things that directly concern you. You're not an active ally of my "racial" interest group, but you're not an active enemy either.

Alternatively, we could focus on the concerns of Black Americans. I don't know the ethnic background of other people here. I'm not Black, but my city is majority-Black so I do know that there's as full a range of political opinion there as in other ethnic groups.

It's possible to talk intelligently about the concerns of specific schools, businesses, writers/publishers, etc., who are Black.

It's possible to identify a few surviving people who are racists in a conscious, blameworthy way. They say or act out things like "If 'hispanic' people were intelligent they'd speak English" and "She'd never qualify to be on the project team, but let's put her in the photo anyway to get a little color in the picture" and "We've hired a few Black people, but they all quit in a few weeks [of hazing]."

Beyond that, if D's are going to whine that not voting for Obama makes you a racist, R's can whine that not voting for Carson makes you a racist, so yes, we're all racists (except me! I voted for Carson, although/because he's more Independent than R), and the word is useless.

Or, if D's want to see actual benefits for Black Americans, they can talk about what those benefits are and how they work for everyone. No, we're not likely to be invited to the White House to tutor Mr. Trump. Yes, our influence on our democratic government *is* likely to reach him, if we stop the childish bickering and actually work on what we want to achieve.

#334 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2018, 12:00 PM:

@Avram, I wasn't able to listen to the lectures @NancyLebovitz recommended, but I did read the NYT editorial. Proof that Trump's not a gentleman, never was and never intends to try to be, for sure. Scott Adams has claimed he does that sort of thing for strategic purposes. Some strategy!

Federal budget cuts are necessary. Some think we need someone who's comfortable with acting like a mean, ignorant jerk to make them, Andrew Jackson style. I'll agree that Trump has that act *down*. My concern is that feeding attention to his obnoxious act only makes it grow.

What's especially alarming is that although Trump can't possibly follow all his publicity in conventional and online media, *someone* does. I tweeted that I was still giving Bill Clinton the title of "King of Tacky" because of his default strategy of blaming all his bad ideas on other people; Trump at least took the blame for his own mistakes. Guess what Clinton's old pal Trump has started doing? Within the week?! Word is reaching him and I'm sure a lot of people here have a lot more social media power than I have.

There are ethnic-minority Americans who have plans for bracing their communities against federal budget cuts. (Carson, e.g.) The claim could be made that White Americans who aren't with *their* programs are hanging back because we're racists. Or, if we weren't racists, instead of blaming the President for the condition of a ghetto school, we'd be renovating the building or teaching the which I'd say that "elitist" is a better word. Black suburbanites avoid Ward 8 too.

If D's aren't able to sell the entire nation on defunding our military budget (cutting aid to disabled veterans) or taxing every income down to the minimum wage, both of which seem hard to sell, perhaps D's should mobilize on a local, pre-political level and concentrate on those positive local goals. In the long term, we may later be able to restore wide-open federal handout programs, or we may find ourselves doing better without them. Either of those outcomes would be good.

I understand now that what you mean by "racist" is "not funding certain race-targeted programs." It's taken me a few days of revisiting this site to figure that out. I don't think most R's would even bother--"Oh that's a D site, ignore it!" Because I'm biased in your favor I now feel that we're getting somewhere. You're at least hinting at positive goals. I probably support some of those goals. (I *volunteered* to work in Ward 8.) I'd like to read more about those goals and what people are doing to meet them on reduced federal funding.

Trump might ignore them...but his social media people will notice them.

Carson will not ignore them. Carson *is* a gentleman, and Trump does seem to recognize how badly he needs Carson.

Present your goals to us "fiscally conservative, socially liberal" Independents, and *some* people in Washington will be listening. And reading. Maybe even funding. Rich R's love a good 501c3!

Who knows how or whether Trump will react. If our concern is with people in Puerto Rico or Baltimore or wherever, we don't *need* Trump.

#335 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2018, 12:49 PM:

Bwa-ha-ha -- "Carson is a gentleman"

Excuse me while I have a hearty belly-laugh. Carson is an idiot, he just hides it better than his boss, and he's an Uncle Tom.

He, and every other bastard Trump has appointed to his cabinet, is trying to tear down every department in the Federal government.

It's a wrecking crew, wreaking havoc on protections that were bought by workers' blood.

The whole damn lot of them ought to be stood up in front of Trump's wall and shot.

#336 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2018, 01:07 PM:

You can have positive ideas, but if your basic assumptions are wrong, your ideas are likely also wrong.

You need to get better sources of information. Fox is not your friend, CNN is not your friend, NYT is not your friend, and the GOP hates women.

#337 ::: Crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2018, 04:13 PM:

Goodness, it looks like someone did a "you people" somewhere above here.

Crazy(and finally found the reference for it - brainmeats are getting old)Soph

#339 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2018, 05:34 PM:

Sorry; to clarify, I'm not sighing about @335–337.

#340 ::: SunflowerP ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2018, 10:31 PM:

Priscilla King @333: 'At this site I'm a lurker, not a troll. I don't know anyone well and have no communication strategy for approaching you.'

Speaking as someone who also mostly lurks here, I've found that a useful communication strategy when interacting with a community in which one doesn't know people well is to take some time to listen to/read what they actually have to say for themselves rather than attributing to them ideas and positions one has encountered elsewhere and proceeding immediately to excoriate the community for ideas and positions they may well not hold.

I'll note, too, that if you don't know anyone here well, the reverse is likely also true. (Particularly just at present; the view-all-by function, which ordinarily gives people a means to see your prior interactions here, seems to have vanished again.) Another technique I've found useful is to make some posts of a more introductory nature. F'ex, have you read any good SFF lately? Do you write poetry?

#341 ::: Mea ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2018, 01:52 AM:

Sunflower, Avram, Jacque, crazy Sophie et al, I’ve been lurking for a long time on this site and really value the community space created. Such a respite for some of the other internet places. Right now I am sitting here with a cat beside me and thinking about how cats really are little dragons. And I’m sure that it was someone on this site that posted a delightful story about a dragon being fed milk and transforming into a cat. But I can’t find the link. Anyone know the story I’m vaguely remembering?

#342 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2018, 06:00 AM:

Mea @ #341:

"The Dragon Tamers" by E. Nesbit has that premise. It's old enough that you can probably find it on the internet fairly easily to check if it's the right one.

#343 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2018, 12:13 PM:

Paul A @342, Mea @341: And it's a fine story, and I re-read it here.

#344 ::: Mea ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2018, 10:42 PM:

Paul A and Tom @342 and 343:

Thank you! Somehow I had vaguely mis-attributed it to Le Guin. Probably in some weird “I like the story and I like Le Guin so...” logical fallacy.

#345 ::: Mea ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2018, 10:46 PM:

Also I know that my comment was rather off topic from the main post but I agree so hard it is painful. The news is just astonishing. So sometimes it is really really necessary to reach out to the folks who are a community of kindness and reaffirm the good things. Thanks for being one of those communities

#346 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2018, 12:15 AM:

There's a whole essay out there waiting to be written on how Le Guin's fantasy is deeply influenced by Nesbit. I absolutely believe it was, and it wouldn't be at all surprising, given when she grew up. (Still off-topic, but hey -- conversations live where they start! Might be worth continuing in the Open Thread, if folks want to say more.)

#347 ::: SunflowerP ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2018, 01:36 AM:

Mea, are you by any chance the same Mea I was e-quainted with several years ago on TC?

#348 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2018, 10:09 AM:

SunflowerP, you're right, and I thank you. Believe it or not, my goal was to encourage Patrick...I'd underestimated how long other people keep returning to this site and didn't expect anyone else to see my original comment. People of good will accomplished some things in spite of the other Presidents and will accomplish some more in spite of Trump.

I feel excoriated by some of the D comments above. I'm used to it, but there we go: Call good people whom I know to be superintelligent (if new in their current field) idiots, and you're telling me you're an idiot, and there's a party line to scream and throw things across, and nothing gets done and nice people get depressed.

Anyway: I'm not a fanatical SF fan but love some SF novels: Elgin, Atwood, early McCaffrey. I've read other SF and written some short stories in the genre. My blog is more about books. I sell secondhand books and am working to get a Real Store open. I also have two writing projects going, one for European publication in English and one for U.S. publication in Spanish, and a Twitter chat...and I love a good excuse to procrastinate!

I write poetry; at the blog the label for my own verses, as distinct from reviews/links to other people's, is "Bad Poetry."

I write about how everybody and their dog should *not* try to immigrate to the U.S., and then, this week, I write about why one particular long-term resident should be awarded citizenship in the U.S.

I write about how some efforts "to help women" have actually killed women outright, and I also write about how women can and should help each other.

I write about the benefits of education, and the need for school choice. And rescuing animals, and the benefits of protecting free-range cats. And the great philosophical paradox that the Highest Good for me will usually involve cooperation with you, but not subjection to you.

I expect to be bashed regularly by left-wingers, starting with "racist." (I'm biracial; have an Irish disease gene so must be White, but at this time of year, strangers who speak to me on a city street usually speak Spanish.) In fact I have ideas in common with many left-wingers, and have worked for some of the best; I just don't see bigger government as a necessary or even useful means to achieve equal opportunity.

I recognize a few names here from the Ozarque blog. I'll try to make the time to follow more people this winter.

Now, back to work.

#349 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2018, 10:49 AM:

E. Nesbit's influence is huge.

Edward Eager was very explicit about his debts to her, and indeed a lot of his work is little more than an Americanization of hers--it's as close to the British original as Steve Carrell's "Office" is to Ricky Gervais' "Office."

Less explicit, but more culturally significant, are Nesbit's influences on C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. What Nesbit brought into fantasy (with some help from Lewis Carroll, it's true) is the realization that children play a special role in magical fiction, because their acceptance of magical events is less problematic.

With fewer years of experience of the non-magical world, children are less shocked by violations of its rules. Plot events that would require an adult to register shock or offer rationalizations are easily absorbed by younger characters. So animals can talk--okay, why not? Now we can get on with the plot.

#350 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2018, 11:31 AM:

The other thing E. Nesbit brought to children's literature was a realistic view of children's motives and actions. Most of her characters mean well and do their best to act correctly, but they aren't the preachily moralistic twits of much children's literature of the time.

#351 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2018, 11:52 AM:

Good point, OtterB.

In fact, Oswald Bastable not only means well and tries to do his best, he also often acts with surprising bravery and resolve, as well as resourcefulness and ingenuity, when the children find themselves in perilous circumstances

That's what the narrator tells us, in any case, and the narrator is surely reliable.

#352 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2018, 12:24 PM:

Priscilla: People out in support of the alt-right side of a white-nationalist rally are not "very fine people". Anyone who says that alt-right marchers and supporters are "very fine" is racist.

"How hard can that be, to say that Nazis are bad?"

#353 ::: Mea ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2018, 12:39 PM:

SunflowerP at 347: since I don’t know what TC is, i’d say no, wasn’t me. My internet presence consists of very, very occasionally delurking on this site.

Oldster at 349 and OtterB at 350 and Tom at 346 - wow, interesting! Although children also dodge the problem of using adults that by the time you are an adult you have made choices and those choices by adult protagonists will inevitable alienate some readers. Shouldn’t since many of us read fiction precisely to be able to walk in someone else’s shoes for a while but returning to the main thread there are just so many times when “my way” becomes “this is the only right way”

Priscilla starting a used bookstore is powerfully difficult, but in my midsized town I saw two absolutely magical used bookstores open up by determined ladies. Very different strategies - one focused on an amazing selection of curated books the other had hodgepodge piles of books but also sold tea - and so sending good wishes to you that you can make another delightful bookstore if that is your goal.

But FYI “left wingers” is a term I see used by people who are not interested in discourse with me and dismiss me for immutable characteristics while I’m sure that others across the aisle have similar experiences being called “right wingers” and I think it is a real limitation in having polite productive political discourse. Sometimes we need to have a shorthand name but shorthand names come with or aquire baggage given how others use the term.

#354 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2018, 09:29 AM:

Joel Polowin: I'll bite, because I'm sooo tired of the trollish cliche...Everyone already knows Nazis are bad. The purpose of blather about "very fine people on both sides" is to avoid calling people on the other side Nazis (and Jonah Goldberg did an excellent job of reversing the charges with that).

You see what we Independents are up against? I'm insensitive to the pain "left-wingers" causes because I don't anticipate being called a "right-winger," which would be imprecise, but not offensive. I have to brace for being called a Nazi.

I reserve the right to identify people who talk *that* way with infants ("screeching," "knee-jerking") because, if that comparison offended anybody, it would be the infants.

Moving gratefully right along...I agree, the whole fantasy genre owes much to E. Nesbit (and Kenneth Grahame).

#355 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2018, 11:54 AM:

Priscilla King: Yawn, straw man, nobody here has called you a Nazi and I strongly doubt that anyone will. Trump called the alt-right marchers and supporters, which included people wearing and carrying Nazi regalia, "very fine people". And therefore is racist.

#356 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 10:41 AM:

Here's the thing, Priscilla.

If you want to talk, all of us here love to talk!

The point of those of us who are frustrated at (or outright frightened by) the current administration and its policies when we point out that Fine People statement, is to highlight the ways this administration is engaging in the very textbook definition of fascism, quoting outright things said by the Nazi government of Germany, and in fact has committed more than half the steps/characteristics on the official definition of genocide, against border crossers legally attempting to engage in claiming asylum.

"They're doing what Nazis do, this is scary, if we let them keep doing it we are all at risk" is our position.

If you want to talk about that, fine. Nobody in this thread has called you one single thing.

#357 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 12:26 PM:

Priscilla: I’ve started browsing through your linked blog, which is very interesting. If I may ask a semi-random question wrt your veep book review, what information leads you to believe that Walter Mondale was trying to legislate compulsory child care, to the point of mandatory removal of toddlers from their parents’ custody?

#358 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 01:28 PM:

Joel Polowin: Fwiw he said "there were" very fine people on both sides. Substitution exercise: "At the football game, there are cheerleaders on both sides" is NOT heard as saying that everyone on either side is a cheerleader.

Why bother spelling this out? Not to make people feel worse than they already do, as reading both sides apparently does for those who cherish the illusion that everyone is on their side. Rather, to help some people at this thread notice the communication barriers created by word usage.

I read both sides and, as a result, seem to be reading and speaking a whole different dialect of English than you are.

#359 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 01:37 PM:

Julie L: I don't have a link to a legislative proposal that was reprinted in a newspaper in 1976. The bill Mondale (sponsored? co-sponsored? in state legislature or Congress?) did not specify that day care had to be compulsory. It specified that it had to be "free (of charge) and universal," which by analogy with the public school system, in 1976, implied that an individual mandate would inevitably be added.

This kind of question is welcome at the Blogspot; if Google tries to steer you through setting up a Google + account in order to comment, please feel free to use e-mail.

#360 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 02:21 PM:

I'm kind of boggling at suggesting a moral equivalency between Charlottesville and a football game.

#361 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 04:59 PM:

Compulsory school is NOT anything like "taking kids from parents". (In fact, kids can legally drop out at 16 - that's the minimum amount of education thought to make them productive citizens.)

Can you be LESS ingenuous/gullible/trusting of reactionaries? It would be much better for your future as well as ours.

#362 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 04:59 PM:

There are no fine people on the fash side in these kinds of demonstrations. None.

The preservation of a "Confederate" statue in Charlottesville was an excuse for a white nationalist rally. There are no fine people among white nationalists. None.

The violence in Charlottesville was planned from the beginning. There are no fine people who set up a rally in order to do violence. None.

The only thing that IS possible is that some kid, naively believing the "heritage not hate" lies or the "states' rights" lies, may have shown up with the idea of preserving the so-called Confederate monument (which was erected in 1924). But that kid would have left as soon as they saw the frothing racists who were leading.

It's just barely conceivable that Trump could have thought there were were well-intentioned people on the fash side, because he's that kind of delusional dipshit. But his behavior before and after make this unlikely in the extreme. He hates people of color, and this is a well-known fact about him.

He was saying Nazis can be fine people. Anyone who says that is a fascist shitstain.

#363 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 06:44 PM:

Priscilla: I've been hesitant to speak up, mainly because I just don't have the dialectical chops for a formal, fact-based debate. What I can say is that, from what I've read so far, I don't sense good-faith interest in our viewpoints here. I don't see open-ended questions seeking specific nuance and clarification, working toward understanding and consensus. What I do see is repeated, pre-emptive opposition to generalized stereotypes. This does not give me confidence that anything I might say in response would be heard, and therefore I'm disinclined to engage.

I'm making this comment less in response to Priscilla's comments, and more in support of and gratitude to the folks who are responding to her substantively.

#364 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2018, 07:32 PM:

Priscilla King @358, re: I read both sides and, as a result, seem to be reading and speaking a whole different dialect of English than you are.

Indeed. You can't manage a syllogism.

Premise 1: No Nazis or their supporters are fine people. No fine people support Nazis. The sets are disjoint.

Premise 2: Only a racist thinks otherwise. Or: Only a racist thinks that a person can be both a fine person *and* a Nazi or Nazi supporter.

Premise 3: Trump thinks that some Nazi supporters are fine people.

Conclusion: Therefore, Trump is racist.

Trip trap, trip trap.

#365 ::: Devin ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2018, 02:56 AM:

PJ Evans @361

Not only that, but "free of charge and universal" also describes lots of things that are not compulsory. Like, say, fire departments or school buses or certain sorts of medical care (depending on country, etc): just because you have to be given those services doesn't mean you're required to use them.

I wasn't alive then, but it's my general understanding that "universal and free of charge" firefighting did generally exist in the US in 1976, no?

I don't find the "well it doesn't say compulsory but it's the gubmint so they would obviously want to take your kids away" line of reasoning very convincing. Possible, yes, but I'd like to see some sort of evidence: a policy paper would be great. Even a GAO report would be illuminating: did the GAO provide a cost estimate on the basis of full enrollment only, or did they provide a range of options depending on how popular the services turned out to be? And if this was to be compulsory, you'd expect to see an outcry from (at the very least) the soon-to-be-nonexistent daycare industry.

#366 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2018, 08:13 AM:

Priscilla: I was hoping that someone else here at ML would have more info/insight about the Mondale factoid. As a double-check that I’m not mischaracterizing your post (, the verbatim quote is

42. Walter Mondale: Kelter and Shellabarger characterize him as “benign, boring, unglam­orous.” He hadn’t always been benign or boring, though. He had once proposed legislation that, if not soundly defeated, would have made day care mandatory for all toddlers at least after age two; the avowed purpose of this lunacy was to keep young children from being influenced by conservative parents.

This seems to be S. 1512, the Comprehensive Child Development Act (1971), which passed both houses of Congress but was vetoed by Richard Nixon. Attempts were made to revive it as the Child and Family Services Acts of 1972 and 1974, both of which passed the Senate but died in the House.

As a drive-by comment to the Charlottesville thread, I would like to point out that our current president’s standards of “very fine people” evidently include and have indeed been partially determined by Stephen Miller and Roy Cohn.

#367 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2018, 09:25 AM:

Julie, #366: So, if I'm reading that quote correctly, the purpose behind the proposed program would have been related to the reasons that so many conservatives hate public education and want to keep their kids trapped in a bubble -- because exposure to the outside world tends to make young people more aware that "different" is not the same thing as "bad".

If it had passed, at any of those points, we might have been spared some of the lunacy we're currently experiencing.

#368 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2018, 10:22 AM:

Comtemporaneous article about Nixon’s veto here:

According to the article, Nixon raised concerns that the proposed $2B/y budget woult bloat up to $20B/y.

Based on elseweb reading, another avenue of opposition was that providing childcare would enable mothers to /re-)enter the workforce instead of staying home. It also would’ve covered a wider range of social support from prenatal nutrition to teen afterschool programs.

#369 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 12:36 PM:

Why am I even typing this? Obviously I'm not winning e-friends at this site. No loss, since although I've enjoyed the comments I've never had e-friends at this site. I would, however, like to leave a ray of hope shining on the gloom this post expresses...

Believe it or not, I'm seeing "different = bad," specifically "conservative = bad," thinking here, notably in @Jacque 's comment.

If good kids go somewhere to express "heritage not hate" or "White pride" and they see people of ill will there, do they rush away? Hmm. There was an extreme left "American Communist Party" that used to proselytize at urban missions. I remember wondering who let them in, whether they were dangerous, and whether their presence would be held against us church school kids. I don't remember anyone trying to flee before the van loaded up...though I assure you, Seventh-Day Adventist church school students and the American Communist Party are very disparate groups. So the premise of the syllogism above is probably false.

As often happens, R's appear to be less intolerant of difference than D's. Any Trump fans lurking here are now entitled to gloat.

You don't have to like me, and you're welcome to chide me (at the Blogspot, even!) for making a wisecrack instead of looking up the details; but "conservatives = bad" thinking does not promote the kind of dialogue and consensus that will alleviate the deep depression people say they feel when their party is not in the White House.

The dialogue that will help is not between factions in one party. It's not even between D's and I's. It's between people who identify with "the Left" and "the Right." When *those* people can agree on things, then real progress can be made.

@JulieL will probably hate my (our) 2012-13 posts, which were written with, by, and for some of Virginia's reddest R's. D bullies can and will hate me, my correspondents, and my audience if they read those posts.

People of real public spirit will, however, ask themselves, "What DO these right-wingnuts and the Bernie Sanders faction have in common?" If they read enough to get past, "Well, they all seem to be carbon-based lifeforms...," then it may be possible to break out of hornlock.

#370 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 01:02 PM:

Priscilla: I have no particular opinion about your posts; I certainly have no issue with your cat sanctuary work, frex.

I’m just continuing to be genuinely puzzled by that one particular veep snippet, esp. the question of “avowed” by whom, and when/where? I really was hoping that someone else here would have more immediate knowledge of the issue than my impromptu Googling. (My only conscious memory of the Nixon administration is of toddling to my mom in the kitchen, tugging her leg, and solemnly saying, “The President just got fired,”)

#371 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 01:15 PM:

@Elliott Mason: R's are blaming Obama Administration policies for the current refugee mess. I've stayed out of it on my web site because I don't know how much of what I'm hearing, from either side, to believe.

There probably has to be a better way to deal with the problem, but in practice it's hard to see what that would be. "Just send'em back where they came from," my neighbors say. "ICE stopped doing that because they used to send people home with a little money in their pockets, and in some places those people would then be murdered for the money or even their new clothes," someone with more information confides.

My web site has no foreign policy, I've been saying for years. That does NOT mean I think either the outrageous numbers of "refugees" or the horrific conditions they're escaping from, in socialist countries, are all right. I don't. I just have no earthly idea what might help.

Neither has Trump. Neither have his advisers. But then, no more had Obama or his advisers.

Glenn Beck made a nice "conservative"-type statement to the effect that he'd order his charity to take charge of anyone being persecuted for being a Christian. I replied that my home has room for six sleeping bags. Apparently when Beck got down to brass tacks, nobody really qualified as being persecuted for being a Christian. Many heartbreaking human rights stories fade, like that, in the light.

What both sides report, I tend to believe is probably true. What both sides support, I tend to believe has a chance of working.

In view of other details at his other recent post I don't like to ask Patrick to host a discussion about that online--although this site has the potential to make some serious light, if he feels up to it. If not, do you have an open-comments site in mind?

#372 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 01:36 PM:

People who are persecuted for being Christians are from the countries where Himself has banned immigration - they're from Africa and the middle-eastern countries like Syria and Iraq.
(This isn't hard information to find.)

Immigration from Mexico is way down. From Central America, where things are much worse, is up - but they're in danger going through Mexico, as they have to do to get here. Most of those immigrants ask for asylum, and they're being denied even though they have that right.
(This isn't hard information to find, either.)

A lot of this is about getting rid of all the brown immigrants, legal or not, citizens or not, because too many people with power in this maladministration are white supremacists.

#373 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 01:50 PM:

ISTR hearing a story about persecution in China of “independent” Christians, i.e. congregations not officially registered with the government. This also seems to be a major problem for Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists.

#374 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 02:22 PM:

Priscilla King @369: Believe it or not, I'm seeing "different = bad," specifically "conservative = bad," thinking here, notably in @Jacque's comment.

Er—what? Where, specifically, did I say anything about conservatives, good or bad? Specific quote, please?

me @363: This does not give me confidence that anything I might say in response would be heard. Worse, it looks like words and attitudes will be attributed to me that I did not write.

The most generous interpretation I can give is that either Xopher Halftongue's @362 or Joel Polowin's @364 got misattributed to me. But even that doesn't improve things much, because neither of them name "conservatives" either. Xopher is talking about white supremacists, Nazis, and fascists specifically. Joel is talking about Nazis, racists, and Trump.

It looks to me like you are making the equivalence, here.

Why am I even typing this?

Yeah, why are you? What is it you're hoping to achieve? Since you have a lovely blog all your own, doesn't seem you lack for places to express yourself. If your objective is to make friends, and what you've written here is how you offer friendship, thanks, I'll pass.

When *those* people can agree on things, then real progress can be made.

Unfortunately, agreement seems unlikely when one side of the conversation takes it upon themselves to claim they speak for both sides, which is what I see happening here. Sorry, Priscilla, you don't speak for me. You haven't even bothered to quote me accurately, or respond to anything I've actually said.

Until that's cleared up, I don't see how meaningful communication can even begin to happen, and I'm not going to try.

This is one of those times when I really miss Teresa. I would love to see her input in this particular case.

Julie L. @370: “The President just got fired,”

Well, technically, he quit. <g,d&r> ;o)

#375 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 04:11 PM:

"If good kids go somewhere to express "heritage not hate" or "White pride" and they see people of ill will there, do they rush away?"

"...good kids go somewhere to express "heritage not hate" or "White pride"..."

"...good kids..."

Very fine people.

#376 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 09:02 PM:

Priscilla King@371:

My only comment addressing you is this one:

I said nothing at all about immigration in that statement. I'm not sure why you wanted to go off on me about immigration at length, but you are certainly free to do so.

Would you like to talk to me about what I actually said? I'm still interested in that conversation.

#377 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2018, 10:12 PM:

Elliott: My best guess is that Priscilla grabbed this phrase out of your comment:

...against border crossers legally attempting to engage in claiming asylum.

and ran with it.

#378 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 12:49 AM:

Priscilla King: When I was at university, there was a liberal cause that I was rather strongly supporting. But when the supporters started including ranty extreme people, and they seemed to have become the leaders of the events, I stopped going. I wasn't going to lend my tacit support to the ranty extreme people. And they were nowhere near as offensive as, you know, Nazis.

It is not the only time that I've reconsidered my position at least partly because some of the people with whom I found myself supposedly sharing it were thoroughly unpleasant.

Even if someone has managed to get hoodwinked into showing up at something like the Charlottesville event without really understanding the issues (really? seriously?), if discovering that one is now apparently out in support of Nazis isn't enough to get one to reconsider one's situation, one is not a very fine person.

#379 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 01:18 AM:

Priscilla 369: If good kids go somewhere to express "heritage not hate" or "White pride"

They don't. Good kids don't do those things. I guess you could make a case for "heritage not hate," but not for "White pride." "White pride" is just white supremacy in funny glasses. There are no good kids who are white supremacists.

#380 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 01:31 AM:

Jacque #377, Priscilla:

Yeah. And the important word in that sentence is genocide. Which is documentably what is happening in concentration camps at our border, right now -- confirmed, factual genocide by the numbers on the accepted international definition.

There is no legal set of immigration policies that leads to genocide. This isn't about controlling the border anymore.

I'm not against the Trump administration's "immigration policy". I'm against genocide, and they need to quit pulling that shit and go back to methods considered ethical in every other democratic nation before I'll even engage with them about who they do or don't want to admit.

#381 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 02:05 AM:

@Priscilla no. 369: I am 100 percent absolutely white. All of me is completely and totally Northwestern European white from as far back as records go. I glow in the dark. I burn like a roast in the sun. My eyes are so blue people have stopped to look at them. In conclusion: white.

No good kid celebrates white pride.

I can tell you about all of the strands in the braid that made me: Irish, Norse (twice), Welsh, English, German. I can trace the progress of my Americanized, and later just American, family from landfall on the East Coast clear to Puget Sound and north to Alaska. Photos, family Bibles, genealogies helpfully scanned by enthusiasts--it's all at my fingertips.

And one thing I can tell you about my white ancestry: Every. Single. White-dominated. Nation. Was. At. War. With. The. Others. At. Some. Point. Their common identity, insofar as they had one, was as Christians, of whatever color (mostly white but hardly anybody cared if you weren't--look up the Medicis sometime, or any illuminated history book), in opposition to non-Christian invaders. The only time they asserted a common white identity was during the days of overseas colonies--when they were defining themselves as masters in brutal control of foreigners who were somehow marked for domination by looking different. White identity means just that: claiming the right to brutally misuse non-whites.

I'm of Irish descent; that's where I got my maiden name. Of English and Welsh descent, and that's where my face came from. German grandparents passed down certain family catch-phrases and recipes, and the nose. I'm pretty sure the Norse passed down the eyes and the way that my siblings and I were all towheads as babies. I don't have a white identity; I have a bunch of them.

Meanwhile my African-American neighbor has a face that might be from somewhere around the Congo River, where they speak a couple of hundred different languages. Some recipes from slavery days in the South. A family tendency to sickle-cell anemia that might, again, locate his ancestors--most of them anyway--somewhere near the Congo River. A surname passed down from the man who owned his paternal ancestors and may have fathered some of them. Possibly also the same short fourth finger? Who knows? Go back a mere 150 years or so and everything is gone. No headstones, no family Bibles, no genealogies, no family portraits, no silhouettes cut by a traveling artist; maybe some of the people named in newspaper articles from back then were his ancestors, but their last names were rarely given and in any case the owners of those escaped or auctioned slaves could call them anything they liked. Read back further than that, and human beings are described as "lots" fresh from "Africa." No towns, no nations. Just numbers on a shipping manifest. Thrown together, perhaps with kidnapees from an enemy kingdom, perhaps with people who were simply foreign. Forced to figure out how to communicate with one another and with the people who had taken them, forced to farm in an alien landscape, hearing strange songs. From what scraps they had left to them they built an identity--a black identity. And flourished in spite of the machinery of Hell.

And with less tearing loss in their past, but still loss, immigrants from across the southern border have built a shared Latin@ identity.

And so on.

And that identity implies solidarity, and that solidarity implies power, and to people who base their own identity on keeping nonwhites down, it's a threat.

So nobody with good intentions toward others in their heart celebrates white identity. Making up a sob story about how we, with a click away, have no community but a color others call us? Pretending that we descend from the grief of utter loss and therefore must protect ourselves against...somebody? Bat puckey. If we aren't determined to define ourselves as masters and overlords, then we don't need white identity.

#382 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 09:22 AM:

At some point when I was browsing through online newspaper archives, iirc there was a Bostonian editorial sometime in the 1890s-1920s range pointing out that the resistance to new immigrants was continuing a long Anglo-American tradition of “I stole this land first” except in anyone of pure Pictish descent. (Though really that last clause would be more accurate wrt Native Americans, who have their own history of internal conflict, and Picts who stayed on the far side of the pond with any remaining notices of “No Celts, Romans, Saxons, or Normans etc. need apply”.) I really wish I’d saved the link.

#383 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 09:31 AM:

Jenny@381: That's marvelously eloquent. May I quote you elsewhere? And if so, how do you prefer to be cited?

#384 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 09:40 AM:

... The Romans first with Julius Cæsar came,
Including all the nations of that name,
Gauls, Greeks, and Lombards, and, by computation,
Auxiliaries or slaves of every nation.
With Hengist, Saxons; Danes with Sueno came,
In search of plunder, not in search of fame.
Scots, Picts, and Irish from the Hibernian shore,
And conquering William brought the Normans o'er.
All these their barbarous offspring left behind,
The dregs of armies, they of all mankind;
Blended with Britons, who before were here,
Of whom the Welsh ha' blessed the character.
From this amphibious ill-born mob began
That vain ill-natured thing, an Englishman....

...Thus from a mixture of all kinds began,
That heterogeneous thing an Englishman;
In eager rapes and furious lust begot,
Betwixt a painted Briton and a Scot;
Whose gendering offspring quickly learned to bow,
And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough;
From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came,
With neither name nor nation, speech nor fame;
In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran,
Infused betwixt a Saxon and a Dane;
While their rank daughters, to their parents just,
Received all nations with promiscuous lust.
This nauseous brood directly did contain
The well-extracted blood of Englishmen.

(from Daniel Defoe's "True-born Englishman", and a lot more where that came from:

#385 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 10:42 AM:

It is, unfortunately, not at all unusual for someone who is getting pushback for being a jerk to proudly conclude that they're being persecuted for their political views and double down. Just look at the whole Sad Puppies mess.

IMO this is generally a combination of Geek Social Fallacy #1 and the Paradox of Tolerance.

Somewhere recently I read a terrific metaphor describing political conversation as the equivalent of a potluck, and making the specific point that if somebody brings a big plate of steaming dogshit, we don't bother "discussing" it or even putting it on the table, we just dump it into the trash where it belongs. Can anybody point me to a link?

#386 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 11:09 AM:

@Elliott Mason no. 383: Thank you for the compliment, and "Jenny Islander" will do.

#387 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 11:10 AM:

@Elliott Mason: If you and/or Patrick and/or others want to talk about ways to help people, with or without the Orange One on board, I'm game.

I think this thread is getting long. About its generating more heat than light, I'm ambivalent. I *have* seen an infuriating hammer-and-tongs debate lead to a consensus--but (a) it took more than a year, (b) it was moderated by a real old-school drill sergeant, not me, (c) most of the participants had limited alternatives, and (d) it was not conducted on someone else's site where the purpose of the discussion was to cheer up the host rather than score off the other party.

I'm game if you are. I cut off the immigration discussion at my own site because I didn't have time to moderate a heated debate, and the right-wingers were heating up.

I would enjoy following a discussion about actual strategies. More positive suggestions (not as in warm fuzzy feelings, as in positive action in the real world) rather than just venting emotions would be nice.

@ hostile commenters: I do (sort of) enjoy feeling superior to you. I've seen this kind of reactions before and they do help me understand how Rush Limbaugh could reply to similar "criticisms" "with half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it even." But I also think Limbaugh's problem was that he got hooked on that feeling, and I don't want to do that.

So go ahead and have your Last Words if you like. I am now officially waiting for positive calls to useful action. I'll continue lurking, but will engage only with content that encourages helping people.

#388 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 01:26 PM:

Priscilla: maybe you should rethink that last comment and its closing paragraph. It doesn't make you look good.
Also, you seem to have mistaken Making Light for some other site.

#389 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 01:32 PM:

Jenny Islander #386: I would likewise like torepost this elsewhere. You have well and truly nailed what's wrong with the "white heritage" concept.

#390 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 02:51 PM:

When defending oneself from accusations of racism, it seems bad form to crow about feeling superior to one’s accusers.

#391 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 03:28 PM:

It's very flattering for folks to want to repost what I said! :) Going back over my post, I do want to add something to the second paragraph:

*They might if they are actually kids, if the costs of arguing with their parents and other adults in the subculture are too high, or if they are too young to have seen beyond the carefully curated environment they were raised in. But "good kids" aren't literally kids. Adults, "good kids" old enough to know better, waved tiki torches in Charlottesville, and they waved them over nothing.

#392 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 05:03 PM:

Priscilla King @387: will engage only with content that encourages helping people.

You know, you could actually give that a try...?

#393 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 06:05 PM:

Priscilla King @358:

"Rather, to help some people at this thread notice the communication barriers created by word usage."

Hmm. I'll take a chance at a question related to this particular bit. Perhaps word usage is creating a barrier right here, and I would like to try to pick at it.

Are you objecting to the usage of the term "racist" as a blanket descriptor for people who march in favor of "white pride" or "white nationalism", or "alt-right" or similar themes?

Because I cannot figure out how said usage is not correct without bending and twisting the word "racism" so that it means nothing.

#394 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 07:36 PM:

AFAIK alt-right discourse has a semantic distinction between “racists” (eliminationist overlords) and “racialists” (extreme separatists). So the latter group might say with alt-righteous indignation, “We don’t want to force brown people into gas chambers or second-class citizenship; we just want them to go be citizens somewhere else because everyone is better off that way.”

My understanding may be incorrect, however. Especially since the current implementation of that last bit seems to involve concentration camps.

#396 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 11:10 PM:

Alan, #395: That's it, thanks! I've transcribed it, because I think the content is relevant here.

I was thinking about the "free exchange of ideas" last night. You know, it's not like a market, it's like a potluck. Everyone brings their own ideas and you sample others and some are familiar with a twist, some are interesting but not to your taste, some are bad, some are lifechanging. You can get into a discussion about recipes or technique or what have you as people talk about the food.

If someone brings mashed potatoes, you can debate the appropriateness for a potluck: is it too bland? Will it get cold on the table? Do potatoes make up too much of our diet?

But if someone puts a steaming platter of dog shit on the table, we're not going to debate it. And when we take it off the table, it's not because we're afraid of eating their dog shit or we think it's going to revolutionize lunch but we don't want to allow that to happen. We tell them to get it off the table because there is no debate to be had. It's dog shit. It's not an open question; it's not a matter of palates or picky eaters.

That's why we don't engage with neo-nazis or white supremacists, and why we don't (or shouldn't) let them come to the potluck.

This is quoted from somewhere else, but the name has been removed.

#397 ::: SunflowerP ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2018, 11:21 PM:

Priscilla King @387: '... where the purpose of the discussion was to cheer up the host....'

Do you mean that this was the purpose of your initial post to the thread, or are you ascribing that purpose to/imposing it on the whole of the discussion stemming from that post?

#398 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2018, 09:19 AM:

Priscilla: when I say "This government is doing dangerous and authoritarian things, which meet the international legal definitions of fascism and genocide, and I want my government to stop committing atrocities," that's not me judging the souls of anyone.

It's not me being angry and growling, "Conservatives BAAAD!"

It's a statement about concrete actions in the world. We need to fight those actions, and fight people treating them as "normal" or even good, because they are monstrous. I don't want a government that thinks it's normal to do monstrous things.

I'm happy to talk to actual conservatives about actual conservative policies -- including border enforcement and the lines of who should be allowed to immigrate or become citizens.

But this is not about that. This is about provable, documented, continuing atrocities and murders being committed in my name.

It needs to stop.

That would actually help people. It would prevent deaths, traumatization of children, suicides, and citizens fearing their own government might kill them.

This is not abstract. It is about facts on the ground, what we want to do about them, and how many people our government is actively, physically, harming.

#399 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2018, 01:50 PM:

Julie L. @394: we just want them to go be citizens somewhere else because everyone is better off that way.

Eons ago, Whoopi Goldberg had a little half-hour syndicated talk show (which was glorious enough in its own right). But one of the guests she had on was David Duke. Because she basically wanted hear what he had to say, in his own words without all the associated freakouts and reactions and noise.

And, nearly as I could work out, what you quote here was the thesis he was espousing.

Whether or not he is/was to believed in holding that view, that's a separate question altogether.

#400 ::: Venus ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2018, 02:58 PM:

Priscilla, my comment is intended to help. This is my perspective on the June ‘18 tragedy. I hope you will read through to my suggested action near the end.

Sometimes, life offers us moments of clarity, opportunities to understand the world, our place in it, each other. Life gave us such a moment when our government placed children in concentration camps.

Are there topics on which people of good will can disagree? Yes, certainly. It is possible to debate, in a spirit of mutual respect but genuine disagreement, aspects of public policy, techniques of administration, systems of regulation, their respective successes or failures over time.

Such debate does not apply to concentration camps for children.

People of good will do not disagree about such things. People of good will look at a child in a cage and say, “This is wrong,” and they say, “This is morally bankrupt,” and they say, “We have become the darkness.”

They do not debate, they do not talk about the balance of policy needs and practicalities. When faced with children in cages, people of good will act to free the children.

To do otherwise is to be a person lacking all moral character.

Now, this evil did not happen by accident, it did not happen only once, it did not happen on a single day or in a single place. These children were taken, on purpose, over time, and by a specific documented policy.

Currently, Republicans hold two of the three branches of the United States government: the Executive branch (the Presidency) and the Legislative branch (Congress). The Judiciary is split, with the tie-breaking seat open; the Supreme Court is not able to implement a significant check at this time.

Therefore: The original policy was chosen and implemented by the Republican Executive branch; it is a Republican policy.

If the Republican party decided they do not agree with this policy, their power and votes in the Legislative branch could override the Executive branch. The Republican party could destroy these concentration camps, return children to their families, begin reparations.

They have not. Republicans support this policy. By action or inaction, they support putting children in cages, in concentration camps.

On the other hand, Democrats oppose this policy, fighting it not only federally but through local means like sanctuary cities.

That is the choice before us. From my perspective, the party differences have been clear for a long time. But I respect that for some, perhaps for you, the starkness of the choice may feel new.

So. How can we help others? We can defeat every single Republican and elect every single Democrat, at every level and in every branch. We can, we *must*, create a wave so blue it swamps the government and ends the nightmare.

While children are in concentration camps, the smaller policies and lesser matters must not hold prominent sway over our choices. As people of good will, if we are such, we must set aside whatever our views might be on those other topics. We must act, with everything in our hearts, to end our slide into darkness, into terror, horror, fascism, depravity, and evil.

These children are but one moment of clarity. There have been others. There will be more. Left unchecked, such darkness spreads. Never Again is right now.

It is painful, so painful, to recognize our own reality, where our world and our government stand, the absoluteness of the choice this coming November, between further fascism and clinging to democracy, but we must. We must.

#401 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2018, 06:39 PM:

Venus @400: Just for the record, there are now three times as many children in those camps as there were on the day the courts required the government to reunite all the children with their parents.

They're still doing it. And they're doing it at higher rates. The growth is clearly visible even in aerial photographs, from increased tent numbers but also from seeing children walking out in the open in groups.

#402 ::: Venus ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 12:31 AM:

Elliott @401 Well, that three times rate is grim. I knew it was worse, but I had trouble reading through all the latest about the Texas move. Some of the photos and details left me shaking.

#403 ::: Crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 07:43 AM:

I have this plate of maple fudge for the gnomes.

Not because I have a comment stuck somewhere. Rather, out of nostalgia, and a desire to share a happy thing.

Said happy thing takes place while I, an American by birth, married to a Dutchman and somewhat peripatetic of abode, am taking some vacation in Japan.

The maple fudge is of my own making, in the self-service apartment we've booked for awhile - the apartment is a niche accommodation long in coming to Japan: used to be you either were in a hotel, or you were manoeuvring the (to us) arcane procedures involving key-money and personal guarantors.

The maple syrup (from Canada, but imported and packaged for a Japanese market - and, from what I've seen in even an overpriced "fashion" convenience store, not hideously differently priced to maple syrup in Europe) was given to me by a local friend. She is a young Japanese woman I met doing aikido (and I can tell you, the Honbu Dojo of the Aikikai Association are proud of their international scope and its contribution to peaceful relations), and even after a couple of years back in our respective lives, we could connect and really enjoy one another's company, and share even some less than happy thoughts about the current state of the world.

She suggested we have pancakes in the flat, once Dear Hubby has joined us. I laughed, answering, "That's a lot of pancakes, even if we have you to help us!"

So,... with some improvisation (measuring cups or spoons? Nope) and one false result (repairable with some help recorded on the Internet by some kind soul), I am now nibbling maple fudge. With a nice, melt-in-your-mouth grain.

I bet the gnomes would like some, too.

Crazy(and with some nostalgia, and perhaps a temptation to do a second batch really soon, just to get the method back into her hands)Soph

#404 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 08:51 AM:

Crazysoph @403, I am not, nor have ever been a gnome, but I thank you for this comment and its reminder of things that are not dire.

#405 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 10:34 AM:

Crazysoph: Thank you. That's something I've been struggling with: to remember that there are good things in the world and (typically American) there is more to the world than just the US.

Aikikai Association

I wonder if they are the same folks who had a dojo here in Boulder some years ago? Lovely folks; I would have joined, but it turns out that (sadly) Aikido just isn't my thing. We had a Japanese sensei come for a week-long intensive which, while exhausting, was great fun. There was one guy (Jim West? From Seattle?) who was incredibly fun to watch: he could roll like an egg. They should be proud of their international connections. They're good at it!

And also: maple fudge? Whatwhatwhat?? <lick> *smack*

#406 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 12:50 PM:

@Elliott Mason, I've been sitting out of immigration and foreign policy discussions for a long time and am now underprepared to help someone I'd like to help. Do you have or recommend web links for someone who's been a legal resident, married a citizen, and now fears being separated from his family because marriage no longer guarantees his right to stay here?

@ those clinging to the "Republicans are racist" meme, this news flash: Even the right-wingnuts in my town do *not* have a problem with brown skin or even with heavy accents. This man has both and, at the same time that some other Mexicans have been told they were unwelcome here, he's become part of an influential family.

The locals have a problem with the wrong sort of people staying around for the wrong reason. They see on TV where "an illegal immigrant committed a crime" or "police helicopters are searching for Mexican drug-running terrorists" or "those 'refugees' the U.N. are sending around are not FAMilies--they look more like invading ARMIES!" and they don't know what to think about other foreigners. Many don't speak either Spanish or Arabic even enough to tell which one foreigners are speaking. But they do know that what they've heard about those horrid foreigners obviously does not apply to this man, just as what they've heard about the trash who end up working in coal mines obviously does not apply to a few people who have successfully "immigrated" from towns like Appalachia.

Maybe this data point will enlighten some people about the difference between "racists" (who actively hate/oppose people who look or sound different) and wary, I'll grant "insular," small-town types who don't exactly rush to embrace "immigrants" from the next town without making sure they're the right sort. It's not about color at all. It's about caution.

They're cautious even about hometown people who've been off in the cities and mingled with foreigners and left-wingers and such. They see me as a flaming liberal and another cousin, who *is* an active Democrat, as acceptable only after they could reframe him as having been an alcoholic long enough to be written off as brain-damaged. (Not that he's stupid, or that they think he is--but they can dismiss his politics as a symptom.)

That they have accepted this man from Mexico as the right sort shows that he's special. I wish there were some way to communicate this to the "icy" enforcers of (Obama-administration-origin) policy in I.C.E.

For those who may be thinking "What about all the other refugees?" I'll say this. *Totalitarian* efforts in et per se generate opposition. The U.N. idea of just randomly dumping groups of young men into selected cities generates intense opposition, especially since we've heard of those men organizing terrorist attacks in Germany. Helping families right away might work better if we consider these families by ones, and identify places where some of them can indeed fit in.

I know that's not fast enough for a lot of people, but it would get refugees out of camps where, inevitably, people are going to act out emotional reactions in ways that get them put in solitary cells (to which the alternatives, heavy sedation or euthanasia, would be even worse).

#407 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 02:07 PM:

@ Priscilla King: You appear to be clinging to the "you people are clinging to the 'Republicans are racist meme'" meme.

Some are. Some aren't. TRUMP IS. The current administration is.

At this point, I seriously question your willingness to participate in honest discourse.

#408 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 02:10 PM:

Correcting a typo: the "you people are clinging to the 'Republicans are racist' meme" meme

#409 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 02:42 PM:

There are fewer and fewer Republicans who are not racist, as the party's fundamental racism becomes harder and harder to deny. Some of the non-racist Republicans become racist as they continue to defend their party's behavior (and, for example, deny the racism of border enforcement policies and voter suppression); others leave the party.

Being a non-racist Republican is quickly becoming an untenable position.

#410 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 03:53 PM:

Priscilla @406: Do you have or recommend web links for someone who's been a legal resident, married a citizen, and now fears being separated from his family because marriage no longer guarantees his right to stay here?

When you say he “has been a legal resident”, does that mean that he entered with a legal visa but overstayed? Or is his residence status still currently legal?

Some people are being scooped up by ICE without any pretext of criminal history (and even when there is some, it’s often for nonviolent offenses such as mostt of a grouo of Iraqi Chaldeans in the Midwest), so that aspect is effectively irrelvant. There’ve been at at least one case where a woman received sanctuary in a church for more than a month while her case was hashed out and she was eventually released.

If I may say so, the level of small-town insularity being described strikes me as, well, deplorable. But I’ve always lived in large urban areas, or at least the close suburbs thereof, and have almost never been anywhere where everyone else looked like me *and* spoke the same language.

Does your person of interest have any immediate risk factors of deportation, such as a vengeful ex?

#411 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 05:03 PM:

Priscilla @406

"The U.N. idea of just randomly dumping groups of young men into selected cities..."

Assumes facts not in evidence.

"...generates intense opposition, especially since we've heard of those men organizing terrorist attacks in Germany."

You've heard wrong. Today's news brought more details about a rightist plot to try to disrupt public events on the Day of German Unity.

Best from nighttime Berlin,

#412 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 09:41 PM:

The U.N. idea of just randomly dumping groups of young men into selected cities

Since when is the UN actually in charge of anything important? This is some Left Behind level of conspiracy theory.

#413 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2018, 10:42 PM:

Well, now we know where Priscilla is getting her "facts", and as a corollary why she's making arguments that don't match reality. Dupe or troll makes no difference, she's torpedoed any shred of credibility that she might have started with.

#414 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2018, 06:55 AM:

I... don't want to make the usual jokes, but,... this still makes me smile, just the same. A young girl swimming with her family in Sweden pulls an ancient sword from the lake.

Crazy(and really wanting to go very Marcus on this story)Soph

#415 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2018, 08:30 AM:

Priscilla King @406: How about hundreds of NATURAL BORN citizens being scrutinized, told their passports are fraudulent, and deported? When they have provably lived here since birth and have valid US birth certificates?

How about military veterans, who specifically joined the military because it's -- for decades -- a route to legal citizenship through loyal and heroic service to the country. Hundreds of those, too.


Anyone trying to divide up the world into "those scary brown people who are probably druggie criminal murderers" and "my friend Jose who's a good guy!" are as loathesome as men who think some women are just sluts and it doesn't matter if you force them, but THEIR SISTER is a TOWER OF PURITY and God help anyone who even kisses her, with her permission.

Your qualifiers don't make it better.

It's not about who is pure of heart and "a racist" or not. It's about how people's concrete actions in the world and habitual speech keep making anyone but a narrow band of white folks "abnormal" and probably "dangerous".

---- refugees

Why in the world do you think internationally approved asylum processes "dump groups of young men into selected cities"? That in no way describes what is happening. For starters, the over 13,000 children currently being baked and abused in desert concentration camps at our border (and the more who were whisked hundreds of miles away with no paperwork kept, so they could be adopted out and never returned to their families) prove it's not all "young men". It's not even mostly "young men". Unless you count boy children in the "men" category, that might get you closer.

And because four guys turned terrorist in Germany is not a valid reason to deny tens of thousands of perfectly ordinary people.

You keep taking a few pathological examples and broadening it to cover everyone you think is superficially like them.

Not a good look.

That terrifies the shit out of me.

#416 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2018, 02:37 PM:

Returning to this thread after a few weeks, I see Pricilla King has provoked a bit of further banter, and I’m having a difficult time thinking of a useful thing to say.

Taking seriously her lament expressed in her first message in the thread, I would offer my own experience to help explain why I don’t much engage in online discussion of public policy anymore: 1. It’s too personally risky. 2. It’s not productive.

My personal risk evaluation is that it’s not safe for me to me to express my political views. I’m Antifa, for one. An atheist, for another. And a socialist. When I hear people openly calling for people like me to be systematically eliminated, I believe them the first time.

My view that online discussion of politics is not productive is more difficult to explain, but it comes from having learned from the inside how social media networks mine the data tailing off their operations and make a market with it in munitions for psychological warfare.

My hunch is that the denizens of Making Light are all pretty smart cookies, and most of them have more or less come to similar conclusions, and that’s why the topic of public policy and political activism isn’t so common here anymore.

#417 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2018, 03:24 PM:

Well, Priscilla, you certainly shot your credibility all to Hell!

Allan @412: The UN vets all refugees, through the Refugee Resettlement program, it's a TWO YEAR process, and NO, Priscilla, they don't just dump them in random places...

US rules are that EVERY refugee is expected to have a sponsor -- and that sponsor is FINANCIALLY responsible for them. Lots of churches will sponsor families, for example my grandmother's church was sponsoring a family from Vietnam when I was growing up as did the Methodist church my parents belonged to -- now it tends to be Christian families fleeing from the mess we've caused in the Middle East, or families from Central America.

I worked for HHS, and our auditors audited the RRP several times while I was with the department, so I have SOME familiarity with the program, and I'm damn tired of the lies the GOP is spreading.

We NEED those immigrants, and they need safe homes -- without them we will not have the numbers needed to keep both Social Security and Medicare viable.

Because we are not replacing our population in the numbers we used to, if we DO NOT get enough immigrants we will find ourselves in the same situation as Japan -- an aging population without enough younger workers to care for them.

#418 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2018, 03:27 PM:

People who were born here, many children or even infants, who can't get official government identification because the government will not recognize their birth certificates: they weren't born in hospitals, and someone has decided that not being born in a hospital means you're probably born in some other country (because some midwives in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas were illegal registering births in Mexico in the US). They're doing this mostly with people with Hispanic surnames, and in states that aren't even close to a border.

(I worry about them deciding that my Ethiopian-born nephew is "illegal" - he's been in the US since he was in his teens.)

#419 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2018, 04:17 PM:

@Lori Coulson no. 417: My childhood church sponsored a woman and her infant son who had barely escaped the fall of Saigon. She didn't have enough English to do her former job, so she started at zero with something different, and is now nationally recognized in her new field. She also believes in stuff like how global warming is definitely affecting the formation of oceanic storms and how living in a state of perpetual warfare isn't actually a good thing. I'm sure people think that we evil liberal conspiracy types brought her to this country in order to indoctrinate her in our evil liberal ways. It couldn't possibly be her lived experience on this Earth that led her to those conclusions.

#420 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 10:21 AM:

@Julie L, No vengeful ex. In fact the wife and stepchildren want very much to keep him around; that's why they want to extend his legal residency before he's deported.

Deplorable insularity? Well, why d'you think I'd be interested in bringing in a little diversity? We need space for all those diverse cultures that make cities rich to develop, too, but young people do need someone to marry.

@Doug: You've already forgotten the rape event? Tsk. I don't imagine any woman ever will.

@Lori: I *said* I've been ignoring this issue. You don't find it "credible" that I have?

@Joel: I figured out some time ago that levels of interest in real bipartisan progress are low. It's been instructive; I may even blog about what I've learned about comparable levels of the Deadly Sin of Sloth among Humanists and churchgoing Christians.

@Elliott: I see a false parallel--between a thought process based on limited information, and a VIOLENT thought process based on false information. (It's not true that anyone deserves to be raped or murdered; it is true that some people deserve to be deported.)

@ anyone using the "WELL, YOU've destroyed any credibility YOU may have had!" vap: I'm rubber, you're glue, that stuff bounces off me and sticks to you.

Sigh. I appreciate that some people are thinking seriously about the humanitarian issues on both sides (and others are trying to lighten things with jokes and literary discussion, which is nice of them). But does anyone seriously think this discussion would push any I's or other swing voters to vote D... ???!!!

#421 ::: Priscilla King ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 10:22 AM:

@Julie L, No vengeful ex. In fact the wife and stepchildren want very much to keep him around; that's why they want to extend his legal residency before he's deported.

Deplorable insularity? Well, why d'you think I'd be interested in bringing in a little diversity? We need space for all those diverse cultures that make cities rich to develop, too, but actually part of our culture *is* appreciating moderate infusions of diversity.

@Doug: You've already forgotten the rape event? Tsk. I don't imagine any woman ever will.

@Lori: I *said* I've been ignoring this issue. You don't find it "credible" that I have?

@Joel: I figured out some time ago that levels of interest in real bipartisan progress are low. It's been instructive; I may even blog about what I've learned about comparable levels of the Deadly Sin of Sloth among Humanists and churchgoing Christians.

@Elliott: I see a false parallel--between a thought process based on limited information, and a VIOLENT thought process based on false information. (It's not true that anyone deserves to be raped or murdered; it is true that some people deserve to be deported.)

@ anyone using the "WELL, YOU've destroyed any credibility YOU may have had!" vap: I'm rubber, you're glue, that stuff bounces off me and sticks to you.

Sigh. I appreciate that some people are thinking seriously about the humanitarian issues on both sides (and others are trying to lighten things with jokes and literary discussion, which is nice of them). But does anyone seriously think this discussion would push any I's or other swing voters to vote D... ???!!!

#422 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 11:55 AM:

Priscilla, have you ever heard of the first rule of holes?

#423 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 12:10 PM:

Priscilla @420: I don’t have any immediate information about visa types or extension processes, but I could prolly help with online research with a bit more info wrt original visa basis (vacation? work? other?). Being the sole source of income or a single parent doesn’t stop ICE; I was about to say that leaves economic benefit to the community, but then I recalled hearing about some cases where the deportees were owners of small businesses with citizen employees.

The ACLU is likely a more reliable venue than feudal boon via Kardashians etc. Really, the current situation sucks. But not enough to convince you and yours to vote D?

#424 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 12:24 PM:

Ah, the descent into grade-school insults commences. Can't say I'm surprised.

#425 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 12:36 PM:

Ok, then. Since I've no desire to be preached at, and I can see no signs of empathy, I'm out.

Have fun gang!

#426 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 01:19 PM:

Priscilla, I think you need to find some place else to spread that brand of fertilizer. It doesn't work here, and blue is so not your color.

#427 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 06:06 PM:

Priscilla King @421: But does anyone seriously think this discussion would push any I's or other swing voters to vote D?

You presume that this discussion has any function other than to express the author's frustration and dismay about the current administration's behavior wrt immigration.

Maybe go start a discussion that is more to your taste on your own blog...?

#428 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 06:46 PM:

I don't think her blog gets eyeballs, so she's trying to use us for that.

#429 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 08:57 PM:

The fact that I'm not a moderator here can be deduced from the number* of vowels in Priscilla's comments.


#430 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 08:59 PM:

But I suppose if Priscilla were disemvoweled, a sock puppet called Pricharibdis would just take her place.

#431 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2018, 11:08 PM:


Now *that* is funny! I did not think anything good would come of this, but that was clever!

Though I think the comparison is quite unfair to the sea-monster, who is rather noble by comparison.

#432 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2018, 01:19 AM:

oldster 431: *bows*

#433 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2018, 07:37 AM:

The threads from before OT 220 aren't showing up on the home page.

#434 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2018, 07:41 AM:

I'm sorry, that should have gone in the open thread.

#435 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2018, 07:54 AM:

@430 Very nice!

Anybody got a full row yet on their troll bingo cards?

#436 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2018, 11:07 AM:

Nancy Lebovitz (433): The front page posts time out when they get too old. It used to be after two months, but it's obviously longer at this point.

#437 ::: Venus ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2018, 10:23 PM:

@400 Welp, that was a fascinating culdesac turn in the conversation I must say.

@416 j h woodyatt, I agree. My personal risk assessment of the world, including the world online, is much stricter now.

@430 Xopher, I lol'd. An excellent name!

#438 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2018, 05:13 PM:

Venus: FTR, I thought your @400 was an excellent summary of the points in discussion.

#439 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2018, 09:05 PM:

Venus 437: Thank you!

#440 ::: Paul Weimer ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2018, 11:31 AM:

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

Yeah, Leonard Cohen has been in my head since November 2016

#441 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2018, 04:56 PM:

Troll, troll, go away
Don't come back some other day
Ooze back to your Rupert Murdoch den
I hope I won't see you again.

Troll, troll, go away
And out of elections I want you to stay
Your screed and lies are taxic waste
And your sources abhorrent for cut and paste.

Troll, troll, go away
Because of your sort there's hell to pay
InJustices fart on Supreme Court seats
And bring hell of earth, freedom's in retreat...

#442 ::: Trey ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2018, 12:52 PM:

Teresa, please come back and help deal with this goober.

#443 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2018, 04:05 PM:

Trey @422: I'm confident some share your sentiment, but I'm pretty sure Teresa is fully occupied elsewhere. :(

#444 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2018, 12:05 AM:

Shameless, but relevant, plug:

My partner, K. G. Anderson, was one of the contributors to several of the Alternative Truths anthologies from B-Cubed Press. She interviewed a lot of the authors to ask what they think now, and has done a blog post compiling the answers, just in time for the mid-term elections. It's an interesting look at how some authors' thoughts have changed so far in the current administration.

#445 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2018, 12:32 AM:

Tom: I had a look at that blog post, and there was one thing there that left me shaking my head: one of the writers quoted "A house divided against itself cannot stand" and attributed it to Abraham Lincoln. To Lincoln! Jesus Christ.

#446 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2018, 08:12 AM:

Lincoln used the quote, without other attribution, in a famous speech, and it's the only place many people--including, until five minutes ago, me--know it from. I had no idea it was Biblical.

#447 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2018, 11:07 AM:

Carrie S. (446) Same here.

#448 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2018, 12:43 PM:

#446 & 447 -- Whoever taught your history classes in school should have been horsewhipped. I never had a teacher in my life who did not point out -where- our leaders borrowed from -- whether it was the Bible, Shakespeare, or Holmes (Oliver Wendell, not Sherlock).

Sigh. I guess it is time schools begin teaching the Bible as literature. You miss half the import of a speech if you don't know what threads the speaker is embroidering with...

#449 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2018, 01:11 PM:

Lori Coulson (448): I doubt this will change your opinion of my history classes, but as far as I can recall, I didn't learn that speech in the context of class at all. We didn't spend a lot of class time on the content of particular speeches.

I did read the Bible as a kid--cover to cover IIRC--but that particular phrase didn't stick. (For one thing, I don't have a very good memory for exact wording, except for texts that I have deliberately set out to memorize.)

#450 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2018, 10:43 PM:

Lincoln himself, of course, likely considered his source as needless to cite as someone here would if they expressed exasperation by saying, "Beam me up, Scotty."

(And yes, I know that nobody in the original series actually said just those words.)

I do hope that nobody mistook my intended tone above, there where I was being consciously clever. We all know the failure mode of clever.

#451 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2018, 01:13 PM:

Mary Aileen -- ouch! I'm guessing a difference in teaching philosophy, I've had others tell me that their classes focused on "when" things happened and less on "why."

I've read the bible cover to cover three times in my life, once in elementary school when I received my first one, the second time in high school when I was being confirmed, and the third time when I converted to the Catholic Church.

My history teacher emphasized going and looking up any references that writers and speakers used to try to understand the "mind-set" of the times they lived in.

Self-defense against the evangelical Jesus-freaks in my high school weaponized my use of the Bible, so that I became hyper-aware of its use in politics.

#452 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2018, 02:16 PM:

Lori Coulson (451): Oh, we had plenty of "why", especially in my high school American History class*, but scrutinizing speeches wasn't really part of it. We did read more and better books for that class (and the follow-up American Government class the next year) than we did for my high school English classes.

*taught by one of the two best teachers I have ever had, in any subject, on any level

#453 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2018, 02:33 AM:

Lori Coulson @451: Self-defense against the evangelical Jesus-freaks in my high school weaponized my use of the Bible

For all the issues I had with my mother (and they were miriad), she got religion right. We moved a lot as a kid, tried out a number of different churches, but none ever "took." ('Cept for my brother, who became a Mormon. o.0)* Oddly, I don't recall my mother ever talking about religion or the Bible, but I did know she had her own white leather-bound copy, in which she marked many verses with very careful shading in colored pencil, out across the fore edge for easy reference.**

But the Campus Crusaders for Christ were on the prowl when I was in high school. One of my classmates approached me and enquired: "May I come over sometime and talk to you about the Bible?"

"Sure," sez I, always curious.

So the appointed hour arrives and, book in hand, he knocks on our door and is invited in. Both my parents happen to be there. He sits down and launches into his pitch. Five minutes in, my mother gets up and gets her Bible.

Discussion ensues. Every assertion he makes, she'd flip to the relevant (or related) verse, and respond. This goes on for maybe an hour. Then my classmate thanked me (us) for our attention, gets up, and leaves. My memory of his mood: chagrined.

And he never brought up the Bible to me again.

Sadly, I don't remember any content of that conversation, (I'd give a lot to get a recording), but I bet it was great.

* My seed was planted when I read The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. Years later, Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, made it clear that I am obviously Pagan.

** This was before highlighters were invented.

#454 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2018, 03:12 PM:

Jacque @453: I would have liked to have heard that conversation.

The most fun I have ever had was pointing out to the Jesus-freaks that the Bible supports reincarnation...

#455 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2018, 08:05 PM:

Jacque 453: That does sound great. I wish I could hear a recording or see a transcript!

Lori 454: The most fun I have ever had was pointing out to the Jesus-freaks that the Bible supports reincarnation...

Wow, really? I could USE that one! Do you remember the specific references, or failing that search terms that will lead me to them?

#456 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2018, 01:29 AM:

Xopher: I don't know what points Lori is thinking of, but there's a passage in the NT (John 9:1-3) where the disciples are asking Jesus if a man was born blind due to his parents' sins or his own past sins. To many readers this implies that at least some of the disciples believed in reincarnation (and even more clearly in something similar to the concept of karma.)

Here's some discussion of Jewish belief relating to resurrection and reincarnation (it varies): Olam Ha-Ba: The Afterlife

#457 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2018, 03:23 PM:

Xopher @455:

There is a passage in the Gospels where the Pharisees are asking Jesus if he is Elijah come again. Jesus answers them that Elijah has already come (John the Baptist) but they "knew him not." I'm blanking on which Gospel, I'd say Matthew, but I'll have to look it up.

The Jews have a tradition that Elijah WILL return, some going so far as to have a plate and glass of wine at the table for him during the Passover Seder (Dumb Supper, anyone?).

#458 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2018, 04:45 PM:

Lori 457: Ah! Of course.

I'd be willing to bet that the most "every word of the Bible is literally true" person would claim that was a metaphor. Either that or my favorite* dodge, which is "well, I'm not a Bible scholar, so the fact that I can't explain that doesn't mean anything."

*by which I mean the one that annoys me most

#459 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2018, 12:18 PM:

Lori Coulson @454: The most fun I have ever had was pointing out to the Jesus-freaks that the Bible supports reincarnation...

Really? My en-passant-level understanding was that Christians*,** were generally clear that you get one shot, and that's it. I'd be fascinated to hear more.

Huh. Maybe this is why I don't take nearly as much delight in missionary-bating as some friends have: I've Seen How It's Done, and I can never hope to attain that standard.

* #NotAllChristians; this is probably in impression garnered from glancing encounters with evangelicals

** as distinct from the Bible

Clifton @456: the concept of karma.

I've heard some compelling speculation that Jesus's Lost Years were spent off in India, studying Buddhism; I've seen discussion of some interesting parallels.

Lori Coulson @457: Passover Seder (Dumb Supper, anyone?)

Translation for the ignorant among us, plz?

Xopher: I was recently reminded of the observation I find fascinating that the salient difference between Fundamentalists and the rest of us (and right vs left, generally) seems to boil down to a tolerance for ambiguity.

Which makes an incredible amount of sense, when you think about it. (And leaves me a little surprised that I'm not further right than I am, given that I have a deep and hoary loathing for ambiguity.***)

*** Frex, my refusal to use the word "Indian" for Indigenous Americans has little to do with "political correctness****," but rather, "Okay, now, which are we talking? Americans or South Asians?"

**** And in any event, I gather a lot of American Indians use the term for themselves. (I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to twig to the Twitter expression "NDN.")

#460 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2018, 12:31 PM:

Jacque @459:

A Dumb Supper, traditionally celebrated on Halloween or sometimes on the anniversary of a beloved person's death, is when you deliberately lay out a place at your table with their favorite food and drink and invite them to be with you.

At the Passover Seder, some Jewish traditions always put out a plate of food and a glass of wine for the firm belief that someday (like Arthur) he WILL return.

#461 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2018, 12:50 PM:

Ah! Interesting. Had never encountered that custom before. Cool! Thanks for the explanation. Is this a customary Jewish thing? Or some other (several?) cultures as well?

Yeah, the place for Elijah I had encountered, at the two (2) Seders I've attended. Didn't retain the name of the [prophet?], however.

#462 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2018, 02:00 PM:

Lori Coulson @460:

I just encountered the idea of a Dumb Supper in a different forum, and there it was described as a ceremonial dinner held in silent reverence (hence "dumb", non-speaking). The context may have involved communion with the beloved dead, but I didn't pick up on it.

#463 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2018, 08:40 PM:

I'm not sure if any tradition involving Elijah's return can be used as straightforward evidence of a belief in reincarnation. One of the famous stories about Elijah is that he never died, but was taken bodily up into the heavens while still alive. When people talk about him coming back, they don't necessarily mean as somebody else.

#464 ::: Devin ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2018, 02:25 AM:

Paul A @463

For the general case, absolutely: "Elijah is coming back, therefore reincarnation" is extremely shaky. (As, similarly, is "Jesus is coming back, therefore reincarnation.") But the notion that he already came back as John the Baptist is quite reincarnation-shaped: John appears to have been a distinct person without Elijah's memories who was born and all, rather than some guy who wandered out of the hills and introduced himself as Elijah. If Elijah came back as John, it was more like reincarnation than a prophet-in-the-mountain/King Arthur scenario.

I've also encountered a Passover tradition of leaving the door open for Elijah, and sometimes calling out it. Knew someone who had a strange dog arrive just after, wander in, and curl up by the heater like he owned the place. Hung out for the seder, had a snack, and left. They never saw the dog again, either.

#465 ::: Quill ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2018, 09:30 AM:

I am no Bible scholar, but I always got the impression that Jesus wasn't being literal--more like "You're waiting for Elijah to come back and announce the Messiah, well, guess what--the Messiah's been announced, and you missed it". Sort of a commentary on the Pharisees only accepting what fits their own very narrow parameters.

On the other hand, if John "leapt in the womb" when Elizabeth met up with Mary, it does imply that he knew something... :P

#466 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2018, 11:01 AM:

Jacque @453: we had some missionaries (I believe they were Jehovah's Witnesses) come by when I was in high school. They took the evolution-is-bosh-so-accept-the-Bible stance, and opened with "Can you imagine how something as intricate as a flower could possibly have evolved?"

I started explaining. They cut me off, clearly disconcerted, made some excuses, said we'd have to continue the conversation later - and never returned.

All: Having just read this entire thread, I can't decide whether I'm happy I missed it, or whether I've just missed this place more than I thought. Or both.

I will say that Priscilla is not a troll. I don't think TNH would disemvowel her, as she's remained quite civil throughout. She's wrong, of course, to imagine that there are fine people on both sides - but that's not the same thing as trolling.

For a while post-Nov2016 I participated in a rather interesting experimental Facebook group starting from the premise that, since we've evolved with different neurological tendencies that tend to express as differing politics, it behooves us to learn how to have discussions with our political counterparts. The conservative mind - wary of the novel and the stranger - has its merits. Priscilla is actually saying exactly that, about her small town.

For maybe the past ... well, yeah, about since this thread started, with the concentration camps that are no longer in the news due to each new week's fresh hell - at any rate, at least since then, I've realized that you can't have a meeting of minds with somebody who literally wants to eradicate you from the Earth. (Or from your homeland, which is equivalent.) Fascism isn't, as was mentioned up there somewhere, just another dish on the potluck buffet. It's steaming dogshit, and the sad truth of the fact is that humankind is so susceptible to it that some people really do think it's ambrosia until they all wake up post-Holocaust and realize they ate some dogshit, and some people, and nothing will ever be OK with the world again.

People do go crazy.

I've been joking about Heinlein's Crazy Years for a while now. But it's just the past few months that I've been starting to realize that I had no clue just what he meant. We're in them now. What terrifies me is that we might just be in the beginning stages.

And the problem is - you can't have a meeting of minds with crazy. (The rhetorical problem here, of course, is that Lord Dampnut is already calling Democrats crazy, in the usual projection technique, which, sadly, works all too well.) I quit that Facebook group. It's a good idea, perhaps for times other than these - but the basic reason is that I'm just too angry.

I don't know how we get through this. I mean, I know how we get through it - the same way we get through everything: one second per second. But a lot of people are going to get hurt no matter what happens.

Priscilla, if you're still listening - I think it's probably important for you to understand that it's not personal. But the reason liberals are reacting poorly to "conservatives" these days (if only there were any conservatives left on the national stage!) is that most of us know the next step, or the step after that, will be killing people. It's already started. 11 dead in a synagogue, the largest anti-Semitic action in America's history. Bombs mailed to the President's political enemies - badly made ones, built by a guy who lived in a van, but ... it's early days. It will get worse. It will get official (it already is official, if you're a refugee - plenty of them are delivered right back directly into the hands of the gang murderers they were fleeing - no blood actually on our hands, not directly). It will get officially official. Now that it's been pioneered, the concentration camp concept might well be rolled out for a larger demographic. At $800 per inmate per night (for no more costs than a tent!), it's simply too profitable not to be lobbied emphatically into wider use.

We're sunk, on the road to perdition, do not pass Go.

Unless people like you start to wake up and smell the Zeitgeist, anyway. You think you still live in a democracy, and Lord knows I hope you're right - but it's more a Weimar Republic than anything else. And yes. You'll bear the cost. We all will. Ask any German.

#467 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2018, 04:23 PM:

Michael: The Crazy Years

The one thing that gives me hope is that, if he was right about that, maybe he was also right about the Covenant. The thing that scares me is that we might not last that long.

#468 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2018, 10:46 PM:

Michelle Malkin's latest column in my local paper (don't worry, they alternate columnists, she isn't the only viewpoint) is titled "Illegal Caravans Threaten Public Health." I think I'm going to start referring to her as Michelle, Lady Haw-Haw.

#469 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2018, 11:10 PM:

Jacque @ 467: if RAH was right, we certainly won't last that long; there were generations of religious dictatorship between the Crazy Years and the Covenant. Or if by "we" you mean the US -- the rest of the world will have passed it by, leaving nothing much to covenant.

#470 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2018, 05:34 PM:

My plan is just to ignore the mainland US, and concentrate on fixing Puerto Rico, which is more doable. Don't worry, the Greater Caribbean Co-Prosperity Sphere will have low orbital launch rates, even for mainlanders.

#472 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2018, 08:47 PM:

I'm finding this whole set of videos really helpful in thinking about this stuff.

#473 ::: SunflowerP ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2018, 04:23 AM:

Jacque @471/472: While I haven't had a chance to do a full watch/listen to the first one yet, I was already planning to check out the series, because it looked like it would indeed be helpful. Thank you for the confirmation of that!

#474 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2018, 12:46 PM:

(Coming back after a few months off) Well I missed ... something.

There's a lot to go through and most of it has already been gone through. I'm just gonna pick one to scream about.

"Trump isn't racist" except for what he says, what he does, who his friends and advisors are, and those awkward little things like that POC who worked at a Trump property and clearly remembers being hidden in the back, with the other POC's, whenever Trump visited. Or the "I want guys with yarmulkes counting my money" story.

I mean, I realize that if Trump was racist this person might have to reconsider some views, but that's a pretty obvious point to miss.

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