Category Archives: Current Affairs

Soak The Fat Boys & Spread It Out Thin

Hack Looks Askance At Hick Schtick.

Repeat after me: Soak The Fat Boys & Spread It Out Thin.

Thus spake Willie Stark in Robert Rossen’s brilliant film adaptation of Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men. The line was adapted from advice Willie’s fixer Jack Burden gave him in the book after Willie delivered a dull speech:

“Just tell ’em you’re gonna soak the fat boys and forget the rest of the tax stuff…Willie, make ’em cry, make ’em laugh, make ’em mad, even mad at you. Stir them up and they’ll love it and come back for more, but, for heaven’s sakes, don’t try to improve their minds.”

I realize that sounds like something that pardoned felon Steve Bannon would have said to the Impeached Insult Comedian, but it’s sound advice for any politician even an honest one like Joe Biden. It certainly fits the time we live in:

Quite literally, the super-rich got richer, and the poor got poorer during the pandemic.

Repeat after me: Soak The Fat Boys & Spread It Out Thin.

One way to do this is to enact the Biden administration’s increase in corporate taxes. Another more satisfying way is to enact the Wealth Tax proposed by Senator Professor Elizabeth Warren. It will make the fat boys squeal like the pigs they are.

But will the Emperor of the Senate Joe Manchin support such a surtax? He’s from one of the poorest states in the Union but raising taxes became heresy for Blue Dogs after Mondale was blown out in the 1984 election and reinforced by the Gingrich wave election in 1994.

in 1984, Fritz Mondale made it a point of honesty in his acceptance speech:

‘Mr. Reagan will raise taxes and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.’

When I searched for the exact quote, it turned up articles warning Democrats not to raise taxes. All were written before the boom, bust, and boom of the pandemic.

Income inequality began its rise in the Reagan era, and exploded last year. Since the right no longer has an appealing salesman like Ronald Reagan, that makes it time to:

Biden’s infrastructure bill *should* be enormously popular. We can all cite crumbling infrastructure in our states and communities. In New Orleans, the greatest infrastructure need involves our water system. The vast majority of the pipes are over 100 years old. They burst with alarming regularity, which leads to frequent boil water orders. The city needs federal money to replace the system. It will take many years, but we need to get going as soon as possible.

I, for one, am relieved that Mitch McConnell has declared his entire caucus against the American Jobs Act. That means there will be no bad faith negotiations with Republicans as Leader Schumer plans to use the filibuster proof reconciliation process again. As with the COVID relief plan, I consider McConnell’s move to be cynical: GOPers will pop up to support projects if the bill passes.

It’s up to Democrats to find middle ground between AOC and the Man of La Manchin. It may sound hard but it’s easier than getting libertarian creeps like Aqua Buddha to agree to a spending proposal that’s guaranteed to attack income equality while improving roads, bridges, and the like across the country. It’s ironic that the original proponent of internal improvements, Henry Clay, hailed from Kentucky given the Turtle and Aqua Buddha’s posturing but he was a Whig, they’re Trumpified Republicans.

The Republican attack on the COVID relief plan was muted because they knew their states would benefit. I expect the same dynamic to play out here. Besides, the faux populism of Trump has seeded the ground for more government spending. Infrastructure week may have been a running joke under Trump, but President Biden hopes to make every week infrastructure week.

Willie Stark was famously based on Huey P. Long who was a blowhard with authoritarian tendencies, but he was big on infrastructure before it was called that. He talked a lot of rubbish, but delivered massive projects throughout the Gret Stet of Louisiana.

Joe Biden seems an unlikely heir to Long but the mere fact that he’s regarded as a moderate helped pass the first huge spending bill and will help pass the next spending bill if the Man of La Manchin allows it. He should follow the example of former West Virginia Senators such as Jennings, Byrd, and Rockefeller and take the money and run.

Make it so, Joe, make it so.

Soak the fat boys by passing a wealth surtax and/or corporate tax hikes, then spread it out thin by passing the American Jobs act.

The last word goes to the Steve Miller Band:

 

These Little Town Blues

 

The attack on an elderly Filipino women named Vilma Kari in New York City this past week was horrific. I don’t want to make light of it in anyway. But I do want to talk about two related issues to this attack.

The first is whether this was a “hate crime”. There are genuine hate crimes, attacks where the only rational is the victim’s race, color, or national origin. I want to suggest that this might not be the case here.

The attacker, Brandon Elliot, had recently been paroled from prison. He had been sent there as a 19 year old for having murdered his mother by stabbing her in the chest. He had been sentenced to 15 years to life, got out in November 2019 after having served 16 years and was unceremoniously dumped on the streets of Manhattan with no job, no home, no support system. He banged around from flop house to flop house until he ended up at a hotel turned into a homeless shelter for the duration of the pandemic on West 40th Street. That hotel had been made into a homeless shelter because a hotel previously used for that purpose had to be closed because of complaints from the neighborhood residents.

Put a pin in that thought, we’ll get back to it in a moment.

Dermot F. Shea, the NYC police commissioner, put it succulently when he said

“I don’t understand why we are releasing or pushing people out of prison not to give them second chances, but to put them into homeless facilities or shelters — or in this case a hotel — and expect good outcomes”

Why indeed?

Taking a 19 year old kid who obviously had serious mental health issues, so serious that he killed his mother, throwing him in prison for 16 years with no psychiatric therapy or even remedial education or job training, and then releasing him back to society is a recipe for an outcome that is never going to be good. That it took nearly a year and a half for that fetid pot to boil over is amazing in and of itself. That it happened to manifest itself as an attack on an Asian woman in the midst of a national outcry over anti-AAPI hate crimes I submit was just a coincidence.

Perhaps what was going through the unhinged brain of Brandon Elliot was not seeing an Asian and blaming her for COVID-19 but rather seeing an old woman who might have had a slight resemblance to his mother. “You don’t belong here” might have meant “You don’t belong here because I killed you 19 years ago”. It might have meant “I killed you once and paid for it and now here you are to continue to torment me”.

So he did the only thing he knew to do, the thing his life experience in prison had taught him to do. He attacked.

To ascribe this as a hate crime by definition means the perpetrator has to KNOW he is carrying out his actions solely and only because of his victim’s race. Brandon Elliot is, pardon my bluntness, a crazy person. Crazy people listen to the voices in their heads, not to the propaganda from Fox News.

The second point I’d like to bring up concerns the two security guards and the delivery man who are seen in the video of the attack standing around not doing anything to help the victim and then closing the door with the victim still on the ground and Brandon Elliot running off.

Like the voices in Brandon Elliot’s head, those three men did what the voices they heard from on high told them to do. The thing is these voices were real and they all said the same thing.

Don’t get involved.

Their bosses say “don’t get involved because we don’t want you getting hurt”. Nice, but that’s not the real reason. That real reason has to do with insurance and possibly getting sued; sued by the victim, sued by the guards, sued by the perpetrator, sued by the guy who just happens to be walking by. Better to do nothing and be called callous then to do something and get your financial ass handed to you.

The delivery company’s rational is even more cavalier. Don’t get involved because you need to finish your route. Mrs. Fancy Pants has been waiting two days for that special cream from Amazon and if you don’t get it to her by 5pm we’re going to never hear the end of it. The route, the route, that’s the only thing that matters. A crazy person stomped on an old woman outside the building you were delivering to? Too bad, so sad, did you get your deliveries done?

In both cases it comes down to commerce over compassion, keeping your job over being fired.

360 West 43rd Street is located in what they now call Midtown West. Back in my time in NYC we called it Hell’s Kitchen and it was, to be polite, not a nice place to be. It’s the West Side in West Side Story. It’s the dirty streets of Sleepers. It’s where Sonny Corleone had his talk with his brother in law.

Nowadays it’s been renovated into an upper class island of prosperous housing, trendy restaurants, and high end shopping. The kind of neighborhood that has security guards, not doormen, in the lobbies.

Remember that thought I asked you to put a pin in? Time to pull it out.

The hotel that was closed down as a homeless shelter was on 36th Street, four blocks from the hotel Brandon Elliot was now staying at on 40th Street. Four blocks closer to 43rd Street. If it hadn’t been closed down there is a good chance Brandon Elliot never gets near 43rd Street, never sees Vilma Kari, never goes nuts, just remains yet another whack job roaming the streets of New York.

I hope the neighbors who forced the hotel shelter out of their neighborhood think about that. I hope the parole board who released Brandon Elliot think about that. I hope the New York Department of Corrections and Community Service who were handed a mentally unstable 19 year old and turned him into a severally disturbed 37 year old through neglect and inattention think about that.

But they won’t. Like the security guards at 340 West 43rd Street, they’ll just close the door.

A much better version than Sinatra. See what Marty Scorsese and an unlimited budget for cocaine can do?

Shapiro Out

A Postcard From Sacramento

Sacramento Postcard

Welcome to Sacramento, state capitol of California. It’s got a bunch of really neat government buildings, a nice river, and um…let me see.. I think there’s a basketball team but that’s really more a rumor than a verified fact.

It’s a town better known for who has left it (Greta Gerwig, Brie Larson, Raymond Carver, LaVar Burton) than who actually lives here. If you live here it’s a 90% chance you work for the state government or for a company that depends on the patronage of those who work for the state government.

Even elected officials of the state don’t stick around unless they have to. Unlike the other large cities of the state there are no jokes about Sacramento traffic or the high cost of living here because traffic isn’t bad and it costs less to live here than any other major city in California. Yet any day they don’t have to be there most state officials skedaddle back to their home districts.

It’s a nice place to do business, but you wouldn’t want to live here.

And the business this past week was a legal insurrection against the duly elected governor of the state.

Governor Gavin Newsom will face a recall election despite the fact that he is currently polling at 52% approval, has the state’s vaccination program up and humming, and has begun to get the state opened up after the COVID blitzkrieg.

Apparently that’s not good enough for the people who are upset that he made them wear a mask in public and slowly, patiently, safely was reopening the state. Oh and back in November he went to dinner at a fancy restaurant and didn’t wear a mask.

So they have once again opted to go all in on a political coup to unseat a governor. Hey it worked in 2003, maybe it’ll work again.

Never mind that it didn’t work the eight other times it was tried. Yes, this will be the tenth recall election Californians have been forced to deal with. Why? Because it’s stupidly easy to get a recall election called.

To qualify a recall measure for the ballot only requires a petition to be submitted containing the signatures of registered voters that equal 12% of the total number of ballots cast in the last election for the position being recalled. 12.5 million votes were cast in 2018 for governor which means, hold on a sec I gotta get the calculator out, you only need 1.5 million signatures.

I could stand outside a Safeway Market in LA or San Diego and get 1.5 million signatures on a petition to bring back MANIMAL.

The point is in a state where the 2018 election was low in turnout, where 17.5 million people voted for president in 2020, where there are 21 million registered voters, allowing just 7% of registered voters to push through a time consuming, expensive, and unnecessary recall election is absurd.

So who’s behind this recall you ask. Well kids, we’re a state that encompasses many diverse communities and many cultures and…oh who the hell am I kidding you know who’s behind this, the Repugnican Party.

They can’t win elections the old fashioned way by appealing to the broadest number of voters thus getting the most votes. They don’t want to do the work to try and actually govern. So they flounder around, yelling and screaming that Demoncrats are stealing elections and forcing people to not die from a horrible contagious disease because you know FREEDOM!

Instead, pretty much since lockdowns began, they send the QAnon Qwazies to sit at folding tables in shopping centers and have them yell at people to sign their petition to recall the governor because they don’t like the way he’s handling the pandemic and ya know, stuff. If you ask how they would have handled the pandemic they yell about how COVID is no worse than the flu, masks don’t work, that this is just a conspiracy to steal people’s livelihoods, yada yada yada.

To be fair, they actually got a little over 2 million signatures on their petition which would be a good number in just about any other state, but here it’s not even HALF of the number of votes the LOSER of the 2018 election got.  Newsom got almost 8 million.

I know Repugnicans don’t believe in math (hence their love for the Electoral College) but I think 8 million is, hold on let me get the calculator out again, FOUR TIMES more than 2 million.

At a time when politicians should be working to help mitigate the damage from a virus which has killed 50,000 people in California, Repubnigans have chosen instead to try a backdoor, immoral way to undo a fairly won election. No need to storm the capitol, no need to incite violence, tell the QShaman to stay in jail, we’re gonna try this with millions spent on deceptive TV ads and playing to the COVID weariness of the voters.

In other words they are going to do what they do best, ignore the real problem and focus on a fictional one.

Recalls were put into the state constitution as a mechanism to oust corrupt politicians from office. That is the only reason they should happen. I’ve kidded around about the rationale for the recall, but of all the charges laid at Newsom’s feet, none of them involve corruption. They all involve dissatisfaction with his policies or his politics.

The mechanism for recall should be available, but the threshold for getting a recall election is ludicrously low. At least make it equal to the number of votes cast for the other candidates in the prior election. That would have meant the recall backers would have had to collect, hold on one more time for the calculator, three times as many signatures.

Recall is like impeachment. It should be used sparingly and only because serious CRIMES have been committed, you know like inciting a mob to attack the Capitol.  You don’t recall a state official because you don’t like his policies. You wait till the next election, try to convince a majority of voters that yours is the correct position, and vote him out. That’s the way democracy works.

The next gubernatorial election by the way would be exactly one year after this recall election.

Can you say pointless?

 

This is the Scottish supergroup Middle of the Road. They were ABBA before ABBA was ABBA. Why is a Scottish group singing about a California city while cruising down a canal in Amsterdam? It was 1971, that’s all I need to say.

Shapiro Out

Thank You For Your Stimulating Gift

Joe Biden And The Checks

Joe Biden and The Checks sing their #1 hit “Pay Me My Money Down”

 

Thank you Mr. Biden for the gift of the stimulus checks we received recently. It was very kind of you and the Democrats in congress to think of us in this time of need for the entire country.

Just as my parents taught me to always write a thank you note, they also taught me never to speak ill of the dead so I’ll forgo saying anything about congressional Republicans.

The wife (Cruella) and I are in the fortunate position of having been able to weather, so far, the COVID storm financially solvent. We don’t need to use our $2800 to pay past due bills or rent or mortgage or put food on the table as I know many others must. On their behalf I thank you for that small lifeline as well as the extension of unemployment benefits and supplemental aid.

As for us we intend to use that money to do what it’s name implies, stimulate the economy.

Our local economy.

We could go out and buy something big and fancy. Frankly our refrigerator and dishwasher are both on the edge of extinction but they still work and should they stop working we have the space on our credit cards to go out and make an emergency purchase.

The idea of just going on a mad shopping spree and buying “stuff” isn’t very appealing. We have reached the age that makes us think before every purchase “will our kids have to get rid of that when we’re gone?” and in any case the reality is that COVID has made it more difficult to buy truly local. By that I mean just because you bought something at the local Target or Wal-Mart doesn’t mean you bought local. Shopping at the local outlet of those companies doesn’t keep them in business, it just adds to the pockets of the Walton or Dayton Families.

Don’t even get me started on Amazon.

With restaurants beginning to open back up for indoor dining the idea of eating out every night was bandied about, but we’re still a little leery about being in small enclosed spaces with people we don’t know. Besides we both like to cook. Going out to eat every night would be like cheating on our kitchen, a momentary pleasure offset by feelings of guilt every time we put pan to stove.

We’d love to use it to travel, but, well, you know.

Then we had the perfect solution sweep into our laps. A friend told us about a woman he knew who, having lost her job when one of the local wineries had to close their tasting room, had started her own housecleaning business.

  • We get a clean house, she gets the money.
  • We support a new local business, she gets the money.
  • We don’t add to a pile of “stuff” we don’t really need, she gets the money.
  • We stimulate the local economy, she gets to be stimulated.

That last one didn’t come out right but you get the idea.

$2800 will buy us a year’s worth of housecleaning, three hours once every two weeks. Our hiring her will potentially get our neighbors to hire her. They can tell their friends. Pretty soon she can build a business that will purchase supplies, hire others, pay taxes, help send her kids to college, you know, all those things that contribute to what we call the American Dream. That’s what I call stimulating the economy, exactly what your checks were intended to do.

I hope others who are in similar situations to ours will do the same.

If they chose to buy something, I hope they will try and buy it from a local company. Need a new refrigerator? Go to the local appliance store, not the local Best Buy. Want something new to hang on the wall? Support a local artist. Even if they do use the money simply for food, going to the local market will be a better use of the money then forking over to Costco or Wal-Mart. The reality is that local merchants and service providers can’t just issue more stock or take on a higher debt to survive this crisis, their debt is already up to their nostrils. They need butts walking through the door, ie,  the local community to survive.

My economics professor in college put it best. “Remember, when you buy from them, they can afford to buy from the guy across the street, who can then afford to buy from the guy across town, who then buys from your company and you get to keep your job”.

Besides, everybody ought to have a maid.

I was going to use the Nathan Lane Broadway version, but how could I resist Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, and Jack Gilford. Bialystock, Bilko, and Cracker Jack. 

Shapiro Out

FREEDOM MAN!

Q Over the Capitol

Did you know “if” is the middle word of “life”?

Happy Revolution Day!

Today’s the day the Qatriots say they will rise up and retake the country, installing the blessed Saint DonnyJohn as Head Chef and Chief Bottle Washer back into the White House cause you know, FREEDOM MAN!*

Or maybe not.

Now we’re told that oh so special March 4th date is actually a “false flag” sent by the Lame Stream Media to discredit the movement. Like they need anyone else’s help to discredit themselves.

They’ve kicked the metaphorical can down to March 20. Or sometime in April. Or next Tu B’shevat.

Or maybe they are just gonna wait till November of 2024. Yeah, that’s the ticket, that’s when things are gonna change cause that’s when the Lizard Overlords will be defeated by a combination of Jean-Luc Picard, Luke Skywalker, and Buzz Lightyear that will bring peace and harmony to the galaxy (cue majestic music rising to a crescendo).

Honestly, if at this point you are still Crazy for Q it’s time to go back on your meds and realize you got played. You got played by the greatest game players this country has ever seen, the Republican Party of the 21st Century.

That’s the party that has no central governing philosophy other than, um, well, FREEDOM MAN! As of today they are literally taking as their mantra that the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill is bad because, well I can’t really figure out why they think it’s bad. Fiscal responsibility maybe? Too much support for liberal programs like feeding the hungry and keeping people in their houses? The $15/hour minimum wage? Oh wait, they got that struck out of the bill already.

80% of the American public think this relief bill is a good thing and should be passed because 80% of the American public are worried that when the masks come off there won’t be an America worth coming out of the isolation chambers for. This bill isn’t to build some useless naval monstrosity of a ship, it’s to make sure Main Street doesn’t become filled with tumbleweeds instead of shops.

And 80% of Americans understand that.

Yet the Republicans and their shock troops are hating on it because should it pass it will be seen as a “win” for the Demoncrats. And they can’t allow the Demoncrats to win because they told all their voters that Demoncrats are evil and you know, FREEDOM MAN.

I have never voted for a Republican. My father only voted for one, Jake Javits for senator from New York, back when there was this thing called a Liberal Republican. My grandfather never voted for a Republican because he was a solid Tammany Man, but that’s another story. In other words, I’ve been a died in the wool Democrat since birth. But back in the Before Times (in this case1999 GWB) I at least could listen to and understand why Republicans believed as they did. They were the party of big business, small government, and the middle class.

Now they are the party of neo-Nazis, conspiracy theories, and FREEDOM MAN. They win elections through gerrymandering and fearmongering. One of their lawyers even got up in front of the Supreme Court yesterday, a court they have heavily packed, and when asked why it would be bad for everyone eligible to vote answered in essence that if everyone eligible to vote actually did Republicans would never win. They paint anyone, Democrat, Green, even the Libertarians, as the Evil Other who must be defeated so god’s holy white nation will not be corrupted.

Or maybe that’s just a false flag and they’re doing it so they can break up the pedophilia ring that’s being run out of Hillary’s condo in Boca Raton. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Shapiro Out

*FREEDOM MAN is the registered trademark of PETER ADRASTOS ATHAS and is used herein with his official okey-dokey.

She Didn’t Believe in Transcendence

This is a piece about sexual harassment. Reading it may be difficult or upsetting for survivors of sexual violence. If you need to talk, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is available for help and support 24/7 at 800.656.HOPE (4673) & online.rainn.org.

When I heard the news that Andrew Cuomo is a sexual predator, I just felt…really, really tired. I have no emotional investment in him, and frankly I don’t care for any of the Cuomos. Now I care even less. But after 4 years of the trump assault, no one needed this, least of all his victims. There are now 3 women on the record, but we all know there are a lot more. There always are. No one should be surprised either at how freely he treated women in this disgusting manner. No one should be surprised because when they are in a position of power where there is no one to push back, abusive men talk to women like this—degrading comments, intrusive questions meant to humiliate, the literal and figurative breakdown of our personal space—ALL THE TIME.

I was sexually harassed on the job. I had finished my first round of graduate school and was at home for a few months before I moved to Boston with my best friend. I found a long-term temp job that would carry me until we moved and I actually liked it. It was a family-run company that made some kind of light industrial goods that I don’t remember. The secretary was going out for surgery, but as she told me as she trained me my first day, she was never coming back. I could handle the bookkeeping and accounting so I was happy to have the steady income.

The day-to-day management had passed from the father to his son, who was in his 40s and a big flashy spender. He had a fancy car and an airplane and was desperate to impress me.  As it was summer and all of my siblings were working, I got dropped off and picked up as part of the roving family carpool so I’d bring my lunch and eat in the little anteroom to the women’s bathroom. It was clean and private, and I was the only woman working there so it was fine. I always had a book and it was a quiet hour alone. Or it was when my boss didn’t come in to chat with me about whether I had a boyfriend or what I liked to do for fun (sound familiar?). I began to dread my lunch hour.

Luckily the shop foreman saw him go in one noontime and came and called him out to the shop floor. Later the foreman came to see me, apologized profusely for not knowing, told me he’d told my boss never to do that ever again, and gave me the keys to the company pickup truck ostensibly so I could go the bank and make the daily deposits but really so I could get out at lunch time.  I’ve never forgotten his kindness. And naturally that didn’t stop my boss, it just redirected his efforts into trying to let him fly me up to Boston for my job interviews, you know, to save time that we could then spend together sightseeing. Ugh. That bothered me less because it was nowhere as menacing as being shut up in a small room with him, but it was still unwanted, unwelcome, and pathetic.

And that’s the thing the I see so clearly in Cuomo’s behavior:  its pitifulness. It’s the behavior of insecure, socially deficient men, the kind of men that women immediately know to avoid at gatherings. I’ve been online a long time and one of the communities where I hang out is, and has always been, overwhelmingly male. The women who hang out there tend to either be pleasers or tough, intelligent women who stand up for themselves. Over the years, the pleasers have disappeared and the women who stayed insist on being treated respectfully. This sets up a lot of confrontations with a segment of the male membership. There is the obvious group, the ones who call women disgusting names to their virtual faces. And then there are Cuomos, the ones who are obviously forked up when it comes to women but who don’t immediately call you the c word.

Years ago, in a smaller private subgroup of the community, one of the women shared some intimate details. Years later, and in a less private community subgroup, a guy who had once told us that while he was in his truck he threatened to run over a woman he had catcalled and who flipped him off in return (he later told us that he was “joking” and that it never actually happened—he just thought it would be a funny story to tell (of course it really happened)) started a thread to demand she tell him all of the details again. When she got upset, he essentially pulled a Cuomo. It was supposed to be funny! It was just a light-hearted request! OK, well if you were offended then I apologize! Geez! I was only joking! You’re so uptight! Lather, rinse, repeat.

I hope all the women Cuomo demeaned and harassed and assaulted come forward and sink his political career. It’s time for a few small repairs.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Coup Coup for cocoa puffs edition

Well, let’s get the obvious out of the way first, shall we?

1. Trump: “The election was stolen!”

2. Trump: “Let’s all march down to the Capitol building and fight like hell.

(Thugs wearing MAGA hats and waving “Trump 2020” banners trash the Capitol building and kill police)

 

.

(two hours into the riot)

3. Freepers: “It was Auntie Fa.”

At least they know that Julius Seizure has their backs, even if he didn’t show up to lead them like he promised.

A Message From President Trump
Youtube ^ | 01/07/21 | Donald J. Trump

Posted on 1/7/2021, 6:30:05 PM by Enlightened1

He tells angry people to march to the Capitol.

Then this… Very disappointed.

1 posted on 1/7/2021, 6:30:05 PM by Enlightened1
Womp womp womp.
To: Enlightened1

Nice Republic, while it lasted……

4 posted on 1/7/2021, 6:32:14 PM by rickomatic ( )

Of course, there’s always gotta be a killjoy….
To: Enlightened1

In before someone accuses President Trump of stabbing President Trump in the back.

9 posted on 1/7/2021, 6:33:03 PM by Rightwing Conspiratr1

And, of course :
To: Enlightened1

He never did tell Antifa to march to the Capitol.

15 posted on 1/7/2021, 6:34:24 PM by Meatspace

To: Enlightened1

Trump train wrecked his own train wreck.

61 posted on 1/7/2021, 6:49:00 PM by Berlin_Freeper

To: trustandobey

It’s over. There is no super secret save the day.

I wish him well. Pardon Everyone . Give them a finger on the way out.

75 posted on 1/7/2021, 6:53:13 PM by RummyChick (I do not advocate laying siege on the Capitol. Keep me off that list.)

To: RummyChick

There was no Plan. QAnon was always a fraud. Said that so many fell for it.

78 posted on 1/7/2021, 6:54:01 PM by Trumpisourlastchance

Diddums.
To: RummyChick

You obviously haven’t investigated the plan so don’t tell us we are stupid. President Trump knew about the things the Dems were doing, remember he said “the calm before the storm.” This is the storm.

117 posted on 1/7/2021, 7:08:27 PM by Cowgirl

Comment #105 Removed by Moderator
Hmm – wonder what that was about?  Ah – if only the moderators were as diligent about removing replies to deleted posts that quote them…..
To: rightofthefairway
“It’s a sad state when the people he(Trump) duped don’t have a clue for the enmity he has for them.”
(mean and sarcastic reply deleted by me)
That would explain the deleted comment above.
.
Follow below for more Volkssturm und drang!

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Today On Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Burning down the House (and the Senate)” edition

Wow.

Just.

Wow.

Where to begin? I guess I should post these threads (more of less) in chronological order, so let’s start with – Gorn to shitpost!

At The Highest Levels – Part 1 of 3 (Pence is a Traitor and Should Be Arrested; But Can Still Come Through)
NeonRevolt and RonCodeMonkeyZ and Lin Wood ^ | 1-6-21 | NeonRevolt

Posted on 1/6/2021, 7:08:16 AM by CincyRichieRich

This is the kind of series I’d hope I’d never have to write.

And yet, here we are. After three years of doing my best to serve the groundswell that is the Patriot movement in the United States, and six total, being on the total warpath for Trump, I must now bring to you what are possibly the most important articles I will ever have to write which will reveal corruption, and contempt for the American people at the highest levels. This will be a three part series, released over the next few hours, so please, pay close attention to everything I’m about to tell you, because the future of the Republic now hangs in the balance.

 

(400+ words of incoherent rambling snipped by yours truly)

 

But I need to set the stage first. To understand everything I’m about to tell you, we have to go back; back to the fateful night of July 10th, 2016, when the then 27-year-old Seth Rich was found with two gunshot wounds in his back in the Bloomingdale neighborhood in DC, near his favorite bar.

I think PDJT will either announce arrest of Mike Pence and Rod Rosenstein and then ask the audience (2,000,000 or so in attendance) to protect him and to make sure these folks get arrested. Otherwise, Pence, at his wife’s advisement and a flash of honesty, does the right thing and tosses the electors…this will have a downstream effect of downballot challenges, too…like Georgia 2 senate seats.

1 posted on 1/6/2021, 7:08:17 AM by CincyRichieRich

To: CincyRichieRich

“I think PDJT will either announce arrest of Mike Pence…”

Nuts. Folks have gone totally nuts! Arrest VP Pence? Has everyone gone barking mad?

4 posted on 1/6/2021, 7:20:52 AM by Mr Rogers

To: Mr Rogers

FR has attracted lunatics who are here to pimp their own blogs, etc. Attention whores off their meds, like the OP.And this used to be such a reliable, conservative internet forum.

11 posted on 1/6/2021, 7:26:37 AM by LouAvul (The wheels of America are coming off and the media have stolen the lug nuts.)
Stop it, you guys – you’re killing me.
.
One more Lin Wood post, explaining my previous “Gorn” reference, before we jump below the fold to the groovy insurrection parts of today’s post.

Even the Freeperati have quit listening to Lin Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel

Lin Wood bombshell: Sex trafficking, blackmail, and pure evil afoot https://noqreport.com ^ | by JD Rucker January 4, 2021 Posted on 1/4/2021, 8:47:29 AM by Red Badger

His latest bombshell is either absolutely insane or the key to exposing the powers and principalities ruling this world.

Attorney Lin Wood is quickly becoming the most controversial figure on the internet. His Twitter and Parler posts are both wildly popular and ridiculed. The QAnon crowd is torn between whether he’s schizophrenic or crazy like a fox. 4Chan debates about him are just as polarizing.

His latest bombshell is either absolutely insane or the key to exposing the powers and principalities ruling this world.

You already said that once.

I have my own opinions about it, but for once I’m not going to express them. Rather, here is what he posted last night, unedited:

(edited anyway from 500+words of insane gibberish) :

This blackmail scheme is conducted by members of 10 of world’s most well-known & “elite” intelligence agencies. One of those groups was hacked by a group known as Lizard Squad. The blackmail files of rape & murder were obtained by this group & copy was provided to Isaac Kappy.

1 posted on 1/4/2021, 8:47:29 AM by Red Badger
Oh, “Badger badger badger – SNAAAKE SNAAKE’s”  Lin Wood “lizard squad” bullshit is too much, even for the Freeperati :
To: Red Badger

Sorry, when I see Lin Wood, I think lunatic.

4 posted on 1/4/2021, 8:50:28 AM by brownsfan (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.)

To: Red Badger

Bwahahahaha

This clown is Qtard central

What about the lizard men? How are they involved? We want to know about the lizard men, dammit!

6 posted on 1/4/2021, 8:51:38 AM by baclava

To: baclava
13 posted on 1/4/2021, 8:57:36 AM by PGR88
To: PGR88
19 posted on 1/4/2021, 9:03:38 AM by real saxophonist (Yeah, well, you know that’s just like, uh… your opinion, man.)
Ok – enough preamble – let’s go to the shitty nitty gritty!

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Quote Of The Day: Dave Barry Edition

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to Dave Barry’s Year In Review every year. Many shitty things have been said about this crappy year, but I think Dave says it best:

We’re trying to think of something nice to say about 2020.

Okay, here goes: Nobody got killed by the murder hornets. As far as we know.

That’s pretty much it.

In the past, writing these annual reviews, we have said harsh things about previous years. We owe those years an apology. Compared to 2020, all previous years, even the Disco Era, were the golden age of human existence.

This was a year of nonstop awfulness, a year when we kept saying it couldn’t possibly get worse, and it always did. This was a year in which our only moments of genuine, unadulterated happiness were when we were able to buy toilet paper.

Which is fitting, because 2020 was one long, howling, Category 5 crapstorm.

It’s hard to argue that point. Besides, why would I argue with a writer from whom I’ve stolen a signature line: I am not making this up. I only steal from the best.

Dave’s catch phrase has come in handy during the gobsmacking Trump era when bizarre news has become the norm. The good news is that there are only 20 days to go until we replace the weird guy with even weirder hair with Joe Normal. Tick tock motherfuckers.

I’m on the record as disliking New Year’s Eve for its false jollity, joviality, and other J words. This year I’m looking forward to the end result. 2021 cannot possibly be worse than 2020. I hope it’s even worse for the Impeached Insult Comedian. I hope he’s indicted for one of his many crimes next year. That, in and of itself, will make 2021 a better year.

2020 can go fuck itself.

Let’s end on a hopeful note with a Kinks Klassic:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Oprah Winfrey edition

.
(edited to add)
Of course, as soon as I finished this post, I got the news that Adrastos’s wonderful Dr. A tested positive, but this post is NOT about people who take precautions and get infected anyway – it’s about the deniers/flubros at Free Republic.

*******************************************************************************

*******************************************************************************

Well, Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity’s lawsuits are getting shot down like Zeros at the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, Georgia just told The Darnold to go subpoena himself, it’s not like things could get any worse for Team Drumpf…..

Florida Sen. Rick Scott tests positive for COVID-19
nypost ^ | 11/20/2020 | Lia Eustachewich

Posted on 11/20/2020, 10:10:18 AM by ChicagoConservative27

Florida Sen. Rick Scott has tested positive for COVID-19, he said Friday, as he advised Americans to “wear a mask.”

The GOP lawmaker said he was diagnosed with the bug Friday morning after several negative tests.

“I’m feeling good & experiencing very mild symptoms,” he tweeted. “I’ll be working from home until it’s safe for me to return to DC. I remind everyone to be careful & do the right things to protect yourselves & others.”

1 posted on 11/20/2020, 10:10:18 AM by ChicagoConservative27
To: Williams

Seriously!
Why have NONE of the Ds had covid?

12 posted on 11/20/2020, 10:19:00 AM by a real Sheila (Epstein didn’t kill himself, but Hunter probably will.)

Maybe because (unlike the Republicans) they actually take this shit seriously, wear masks, socially distance, and avoid church services and MAGA superspreader events?
.
Just a thought.
.
And the crazy gets even crazier :
.
To: ChicagoConservative27

Another case of COVID-19. So what? On the positive side, common cold and common flu have been eradicated by COVID-19. All tests point to COVID-19. Silver lining to that there COVID-19 cloud.

39 posted on 11/20/2020, 11:13:26 AM by lakecumberlandvet (Appeasement never works.)

Meanwhile:
.
Chuck Grassley ‘Symptom-Free,’ Feeling ‘Good’ After Testing Positive for Coronavirus
Breitbart ^ | 11/18/2020 | Kyle Morris

Posted on 11/18/2020, 3:35:29 PM by ChicagoConservative27Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Wednesday he is “symptom-free” and feeling “good” after he announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.

“I remain symptom free & in isolation. I continue to feel good Thx for all the messages of encouragement & prayers,” 87-year-old Grassley wrote in a tweet.

To: ChicagoConservative27

Should have retired 12 years ago, what is it about politicians who think they have to leave the senate in a casket?

5 posted on 11/18/2020, 3:38:48 PM by Trump.Deplorable

And all this time, I thought it was just a “Democrat hoax”?
.
It’s almost like the “hoax” is gaining impetus, isn’t it?

BREAKING NEWS: Don Jr tests positive for coronavirus and is in quarantine: Trump’s son becomes latest in the president’s inner circle to get infected Daily Mail ^ | Nov 20 2020 | Emily Goodin Posted on 11/20/2020, 5:26:10 PM by Alter Kaker

Donald Trump Jr. has tested positive for the coronavirus and is quarantining at his cabin.

1 posted on 11/20/2020, 5:26:11 PM by Alter Kaker
Oops.
More below the folderino….

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Marmalade Jars

Show me the lie:

And, like, I don’t UNDERSTAND the stupid culture war shit over stuff like this. Even the pronoun nonsense makes more sense than this, and it makes no sense. At least then you might be talking about something you might actually do, or say, or have to change. You can still buy the damn rice. If you didn’t think about racism before this when buying Uncle Ben’s, you don’t need to think about it when buying Ben’s.

(Call me, Ben, we need a discussion about your “roasted chicken” flavor which does not taste at all like a roasted chicken, THAT is worth getting het up about.)

This is the kind of thing that, when someone acts like it outweighs damage to someone else’s actual life, makes me bonkers. I’m sorry you have to buy a new brand of strawberry preserves or whatever, but my friends are being deported and some of them are worried about being killed in the streets. How are those things analogous? How did you become so easily provoked? What is your idea of a proportional response here?

You were momentarily asked to consider an experience other than your own, possibly more than once, and the cumulative weight of that mental labor made you want to SEND A MESSAGE and VOTE FOR THE FLAG and KNEELING AT FOOTBALL GAMES and SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS and MY HALLMARK COMMERCIALS and what the SHIT, even. You feel like you’re under siege as a comfortable white person in America, because of THIS?

I know, by the way, the difference between this and genuine disgust and frustration with a society that helps all of us too little. That you’re in massive debt for a middling college education and that you have no way of seeing a doctor that isn’t like reaching the North Pole on roller skates. That the factories closed and the unions are powerless and the streets aren’t clean anymore are absolutely reasons for anger. You want to say you’re mad nobody is helping you, I agree. (Stop voting for people who kneecap state and municipal governments, but.)

But if your issues are … this? If your issues are that everything is not precisely the same as it was when you last formed a cultural thought? If your issues are that people just aren’t nice enough to you by giving you literally everything you want, and you can’t for a second think about anyone else, you don’t get to claim persecution to a degree that equals John Brown at Harper’s Ferry. Not in the middle of a deadly global pandemic caused by the person you thought would fight back against the food packaging changes.

Calm the fuck down. It’s just marmalade.

A.

Things We Learned in the Fire

HEY

C’MON
COME OUT

WHEREVER YOU ARE

WE NEED TO HAVE THIS MEETING
AT THIS TREE

AIN’ EVEN BEEN
PLANTED
YET

— June Jordan, Calling On All Silent Minorities

I’ve written before about how Mr. A has been nesting. He’s mostly done now. The yard is enclosed by a 6-foot fence with a double-lock gate; Kick can leave her toys absolutely everywhere and I don’t have to yell at her to bring her scooter or her ponies or anything else inside every night. I forget to lock doors, still, so we bought a family “calendar” to assign chores and one of Mr. A’s is to check all the locks because I can’t seem to keep track.

He’s built a storage system in the basement, in what was a massive junk room and is now, thanks to his hard work, a massively organized junk room with the “valuables” (extra food, medicine, paper goods, books) off the floor. In case the basement floods, which it has already done once this year.

We have room for the 22-pound bags of flour now. We have room for the 4 blocks of yeast. If I pickled or canned (“can you?” he asks, hearing about pickled carrots, and I’ve promised to try) we would store jars and jars; it’s a root cellar, like the one my grandparents had.

There is safety in there, of a sort. Grocery delivery has been less spotty than it was in the beginning. My parents offer to bring us meat; they have a meat guy now.

Kick is in a day camp; they stay in tiny groups and wear masks; she comes home exhausted but happier. I read, all day, angry Facebook posts from parents about school opening, about school not opening, and we try to make plans knowing we can’t make any plans. “In two weeks some other unhinged bullshit is going to be happening,” I keep saying, so we plan about four days out.

Our weekends, in summer, are usually a rat-a-tat-tat of activity: farmer’s market, skating lessons, this friend’s house, that friend’s coming over, park, zoo, hike, bike ride, road trip, houseguests. Instead I buy craft supplies and we sit on the porch waiting for fireflies. I feel lazy. This feels unreal.

And every day it seems to get just a little bit worse:

What do you do first, after everything burns down? I heard this so often in the days leading up to the 2016 election, I hear it all the time from conservative commentators and editorial boards: Maybe we need to just sweep our arm across the table, clear the field, bomb it all and start over. It’s not always cheerful nihilism; sometimes it’s hard to see where to even begin.

When there’s so much junk around, left over from the last disaster or six, where do you put the shelves to hold it?

But here’s the thing: There is no fresh starting point. There is no clean slate. There is no place you can go where you won’t feel the aftershocks and all of our great crimes as humans have come from our resistance to either the past or the future. We are going to have to get out of this from the middle of it and that’s impossibly hard, but it’s the only way things go.

What do you do first? Is there such a thing as, like, a consent agenda to just rescind the last four years? We need so much right now: health care, fair wages, justice for the wrongs done in our names over and over and over for years. We need hospitals and schools built for everyone, not just the rich. We need universities free and open to the public, we need as many libraries as we have jails. We need as few jails as we have oceans.

We need to defund the police as they are and rethink what they need to be. We need to undo the Muslim ban. We need to pack the courts. We need to protect trans people. We need honest to god laws against gerrymandering, laws providing universal vote-by-mail, universal basic income for crises like this, so that people can afford to stay home if they have to, and they have to.

We need science and art and we need a culture that doesn’t venerate racial belligerence and aggrieved thwarted fascism. We need support for the things that make us alive: Parks and gardens, free exchanges, beehives, birdhouses.

We need all of it and we needed it yesterday, and we act like we have to WAIT for some moment of perfect cleanliness to begin.

I’ve been saying, when this is over. When this is over, I’m buying the most expensive scotch on the shelf. When this is over, I’m taking my parents on the international trip they’d planned and had to scuttle back in April. When this is over, my kid and I are going to the zoo and we’re staying as long as we want and making as many plastic animals in the Mold-A-Rama as she can carry. We are camping by the snow leopard enclosure until they kick us out.

We are going to work harder for right than we do for simple justice. We are going to fight harder this time. We say it every time, because it’s true every time: You have to keep pushing yourself farther, faster, more.

Kick and I have found a local organization we are growing plants for, and raising money for, and donating food and books and games and art supplies to, and that’s our start. Now that we have space in the storage room we’re setting up a table, sorting out what can go, what needs to stay, and what we can sell.

Mr. A is concentrating hard on several friends, making sure they are okay, staying in regular contact. He’s also handling political donations right now because I am like THROW ALL THE GROCERY MONEY AT WHOEVER and we need to be practical.

We aren’t doing enough but we’re doing what we can. We are well supplied. Our home base is not a place to hide in, as I thought when this all started. I misunderstood it; we were never building a bunker. We were building a launch pad. If I think of it this way, maybe I will be less tired and scared.

When this is over. As if it’s ever over enough to feel over. The next world always starts while the ashes are still hot. While you can still smell the smoke.

And where do you even begin? You begin. Tell me where you are starting from. Maybe we can meet somewhere.

A.

Seminole Bingo

I had my first major masked foray outside Adrastos World HQ yesterday. I believe in masking during the pandemic but have a hard time finding one that fits me. I have a huge head, y’all. My noggin is purt near melon-sized as our rural brethren might say.

I’m in desperate need of new glasses so I masked up and went to Costco Optical. Our former local optical outlet was sold to a big corporation, so I decided to go to a big box operator I’m familiar with. It went okay other than my glasses repeatedly fogging up due to the mask. Holy heavy breathing, Batman. I took a cataract test that reminded me of Space Invaders. Yes. I’m that old.

Not all our potpourri segments involve Florida, but they all involve risky, opportunistic behavior. Hence this weekday theme song:

Carl Hiaasen co-wrote that song. It doesn’t get more Florida than that, y’all.

Classified Pizza? Remember when House GOPers stormed the SCIF during the House impeachment hearings? The ringleader was pinhead Florida Congressman, Matt Gaetz. Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who was there describes their fratty-n-bratty revelry in a new book, which was excerpted at Vanity Fair:

At one point after coming back out from a meeting with Schiff, I returned to the smell of pizza, lots of pizza. The Republicans had brought dozens of boxes of pizza into the SCIF to feed themselves. I hadn’t eaten all day because I’d been dealing with the Republicans’ nonsense. I walked over to one of the boxes, reached across Jim Jordan, and grabbed a slice. I was not going to be physically confrontational. Maybe ten years before I would have been a little more in-your-face and tried to throw those guys out myself, just a goalkeeper clearing out the penalty box. But what would that have accomplished? I would like to think I’ve matured. But I certainly was going to eat their pizza.

There’s one flaw in Swallwell’s account. What kind of pizza? Specialty? Pepperoni? Cheese? Enquiring minds wanna know.

We stay in Florida with our next segment.

Saw It Off? Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is Trumpier than thou. He’s played wingnut ostrich during the pandemic allowing the state to remain as open as an open sore. His administration even fired its COVID-19 numbers person so they could cook the books.

Florida’s loosey-goosey approach to the pandemic has bitten them in the ass. One night in one Florida bar infected 16 patrons and 7 employees. And these are the sort of people flocking to New Orleans right now.

I think Bugs Bunny had the right idea:

I am, of course, joking. It would, however, have the salutary effect of sending Mar-a-Lago out to sea. Hey Bugs. could you please do it when the Kaiser of Chaos is in residence?

Before leaving Florida, an Elvis song:

Let’s move our twisted bingo game North, not to Alaska, but to Columbus, Ohio home of THE Ohio State University

Jugglers, Not Juggalos: There was mass confusion recently in Columbus.  The local constabulary were flummoxed when this bus arrived in town:

Instead of the unicorns of the left, the Antifa, the bus was populated by hippies who are into juggling and other circus-type tricks. The “weapons” were knives for cooking and axes to chop wood for a stove. It’s a good thing Ronald Reagan and Abe Lincoln aren’t around. They were both into using axes as well:

Make sure you read TPM’s Kate Riga’s hilarious account of this incident. Oh yeah, the jugglers got their bus and tools back and beat it out of town.

I wonder if they used to follow the Dead around in that bus. The local cops were often perturbed by Deadhead encampments. Speaking of the Dead and beating it:

Back to the punny segment title: Jugglers, Not Juggalos. I seem to have to confused Insane Clown Posse fans with the Boogaloo Boys who are the wingnuts who wear Hawaiian shirts to protests. As you can see from this tweet, an apology is in order:

Another word that sounds like Juggalo is Gigolo. That’s why the last word goes to my homey Louis Prima:

The Riot Control Bees

From Paul Ryan’s old stomping grounds comes today’s example of someone who has, and I do not say this lightly, COMPLETELY LOST THE PLOT: 

Greg Hoeft of Janesville brought 12 boxes of bees to the event.

The bees were on a trailer that he towed into the post office parking lot, just behind the protestors.

Hoeft, whose name was on the side of the bee boxes, posted his plans on Facebook: “The riot control bees are in their holding yard waiting to clear the streets of Janesville and keep peace to this county. I’m willing to bring them in and kick them over if things get out of control.”

A photo shows Hoeft loading the boxes of bees on a trailer.

Police learned that he planned to release the bees if the protest became unruly.

What the CHRIST, the riot control bees. What went wrong in the raising of you, that this is what you think is a good idea? Forget if there were actually bees in there — now the dude’s friends on Facebook are all pretending it was a huge hilarious joke — the hell is the matter with you that you think like that?

It’s all just bullying, that’s all it is. The alliance of cops and Trump supporters worried about government “tyranny” — I’ve been seeing posts all week about how hypocritical it is and dear Lord above, people, it’s not hypocritical or nonsensical at all. They like bullies. They like beating up on people. Black people especially — the GOP has been screaming for 50 years that the city’s brown hordes would soon overrun the borders of the white-flight suburbs and “ruin” them the way black families “ruined” the places they fled.

Activist Ja’Mal Green organized a rally on Sunday in the 11000 block of South Kedzie Avenue, where protests emerged the night before. The group was met with a large crowd of counter-protesters, which numbered in the hundreds and at points shouted racial slurs, according to DNAinfo. “The other group, which was mostly white, chanted “Blue Lives Matter” and “Trump, Trump, Trump,” reported WBEZ. “They held signs that read “Go home animals” and “You ruined your own communities, Don’t ruin ours.”

This was in 2016, in a neighborhood that is 90 percent white, surrounded by communities that are far more diverse, and where the city’s cops cluster.

This Red State article made the rounds of white complacent Facebook this week, see how it echoes: 

You’re far more likely to die in the suburbs than in the city in this situation. You may think moving the riots into neighborhoods is going to play out the same way. It’s not. You’re at a massive tactical disadvantage. The residents know these streets, the layout of their homes, and the defense capabilities of their residence and themselves.

You don’t. Each home will be different, each resident will have different approaches, and each home may have more than one or two gun wielders inside. The goal isn’t non-violent control of the situation now. It’s not about tear gas and high-pressure hoses now. Now it’s deadly force. You can’t just wash a bullet wound out and keep going. Even if they don’t have guns, they’re not going to stop hitting you with a heavy object or stop stabbing and slashing at you with cutlery until you’ve either been chased out or you stop moving. Understand. The chances of you dying are incredibly high.

Suburbanites have a lot more to lose and are going to be a lot more apt to go to extremes to make sure no harm befalls what they’re protecting. Too much rides on it. In the city, you were the pack of lions seeking whom you may devour. In the burbs, you’re the gazelle.

If government tyranny is an excuse to wave guns and threaten people, they’ll oppose government tyranny. If looters and riots are an excuse to wave guns and threaten people, they’ll cheer as the National Guard rolls in. It doesn’t matter as long as they get to yell really loud that they’re strong and you’re not. Stop looking for consistency and coherent political thought. Start looking for the guns and threats.

This is the stronghold: bullying. Not law and order, not even support of police or the military. The military said Eddie Gallagher shouldn’t be a SEAL anymore and ought to be in prison — we saw what Trump did with that finding. The minute a cop or member of any of the armed or civil services says hey, this isn’t cool, they become a liberal abortionist peacefreak instead of one of the Thin Blue Line.

Research what happened to Cindy Sheehan before you profess shock at what happened to the Khan family, please. Max Cleland left three of his limbs on the ground in Vietnam and he was compared to Bin Laden in an ad by that hero of the resistance, Rick Wilson.

And what frustrates me is there are still cops who think that if they keep the faith, the faith will be kept with them, as if our ‘roided up cop-culture isn’t littered with stories about corrupt cops getting each other killed to keep secrets. There’s no right way to be here if you aren’t a bully.

They don’t give a SHIT about you, and the way you know that is that they are deliberately creating situations that put cops in danger so they can yell things like LAW AND ORDER and LOOTERS WILL BE SHOT. That’s all they care about. If this was about supporting cops somebody would have said a long ass time ago that the easiest way to keep cops safe is to deal with the cops that keep provoking these situations by KILLING UNARMED BLACK PEOPLE.

But they don’t want to keep cops safe, the Trump administration and its allies in the FOP and other police-adjacent lobbying groups. They want to bully. They want to yell. They want to knock over a box full of bees, let it loose into the crowd.

They don’t care how many of their own get stung.

A.

A Product of Their Times

Apropos of being reminded of the existence of an acquaintance I’d memory-holed but apparently forgotten to unfriend, nothing makes me crazier than the idea that someone was just A PRODUCT OF THEIR TIME. Oh, he’s an old man, let him be racist and sexist and garbage and shitty to you and in front of you, he’s a product of his time.

You know who else was a product of their time?

Sophie Scholl.

Sojourner Truth.

Fred Hampton.

Every single goddamn Freedom Rider.

Ida B. Wells was a product of her time.

Nellie Bly, too.

Every last one of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Dick Winters was a product of his time.

Crispus Attucks was a product of his time.

My friend Bob is 100 years old. The last time I saw him and we talked about current events, he stood up and said, “I was antifa before Hitler came to power.” Also, a product of his time.

The problem with the story that we are helpless in the face of the events that shape us is that there have always been people who can see through that crap and who have said that’s enough. That’s why we get better, Jesus, because people decide they’ve had it and want change.

When I was researching one of my books (more on that later today) I came across people who protested for open housing and what we now call marriage equality — in 1910. There have always been people who realize there’s only one rule and it’s if you have power you can use it to crush or you can use it to care for.

We just don’t usually idolize those people until they’re dead. Until WE need them, to make ourselves feel better or justify our complacency because they already won the fight we’re still in the middle of.

Everyone is a product of their time. That’s not a validation of us, it’s an indictment of the times, and it’s never, ever, ever an excuse to hurt anyone else, in word or deed. Because if people could stand up for one another when it was necessary, not just when there was a critical mass of people to protect them, then what is our excuse?

A.

Wake Me Up On Judgment Day

I wrote this post yesterday morning. Since it’s about the big picture, I’ve let it be. The details will remain in dispute for quite some time. Besides, I can’t top A’s Sunday eloquence:

I appropriated the phrase The Fog of History in 2014 during the Ferguson police riot. That’s why it fits our current situation so well even if the image from The Lady From Shanghai isn’t precisely on point; it’s still cool. There *are* echoes of 1967 and 1968 but the context is not the same. A lot of pent-up anger and frustration has been vented on the streets of many of our cities; both short-term and long-term.

The short-term frustrations involve the pandemic and economic calamity brought on us by the Trump regime’s grotesque incompetence. People have been cooped-up for two months, so part of the unrest is down to stir craziness as well as the Kaiser of Chaos’ need to constantly stir the pot. Chaos is all he knows. He has neither the foggiest notion of how to unite the country nor the slightest inclination to do so. He just stirs the pot: consequences be damned. Fuck you. Donald.

The long-term frustrations involve the original reason for the protests, police brutality and racist violence against people of color. The encounter between George Floyd and MPD Officer Derek Chauvin was brief and brutish. It cost Floyd his life and Chauvin his job, which is not a fair trade off for such a cold-blooded act.

Charges have been filed against Chauvin. Allow me to put my lawyer hat on for a minute. The reason he’s been charged with 3rd degree homicide and manslaughter is a pragmatic one. Prosecutors will not have to prove INTENT, which is one reason police prosecutions often fall short. Defense lawyers invariably use a combination of self-defense and resisting arrest arguments to defeat murder charges. Removing intent from the equation strikes me as wise. I think there *was* intent, but convicting Chauvin is the most important thing. The recent case of Philando Castile is a bitter reminder that juries almost always defer to the cop’s judgment.

I nearly leapt into the murky waters of this story on Friday. But I wanted to have a better idea of who was responsible for the arson and looting and why it happened. The fog has lifted somewhat, and it appears that the worst of the non-police violence was instigated by far right and far left extremists. Shorter Adrastos: I see white people.

For all we know, it’s an unholy combination of the extremes. The right-wing extremists want to provoke a race war and the left-wing extremists want to provoke “the revolution” whatever the hell that means in the American context. Thus far, they’re making the streets of some cities look like Berlin in 1930.

The far right and far left have often converged in our history. I’ve closely studied the post-World War II Red Scare and it’s replete with stories of committed communists becoming McCarthyite witch hunters. Whitaker Chambers is the best example. He went from being a Soviet spy to an editor at Time Magazine, which was a festering pit of anti-communist fervor back then. That concludes this brief history lesson.

Back to the current unrest. I’m relieved that much of the violence is down to white extremist agent provocateurs as I think looting and arson are stupid. As Minnesota native Bob Dylan put it in a 1966 song, Absolutely Sweet Marie: “To live outside the law, you must be honest.”

I expect the Kaiser of Chaos and his supporters will overplay their hand and the pot stirring will blow up in their faces. People want their president to lead, not tweet and incite violence from the White House bunker. Any other president would have urged calm and asked both sides to stand down. President* Pennywise is incapable of such leadership. As our Scout Prime said the other day on Twitter, “I wish we had a president.”

I’m not making any other political or legal predictions about recent events. I’m keeping my head down and rationing my news and social media intake. Shit was already hard enough before this shit went down. Repeat after me: I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I realize Wake Me Up On Judgment Day is an odd title for an agnostic to use. It’s the title of a song on an album that’s been my “happy place” this weekend, Steve Winwood’s Back In The High Life Again. That’s why Winwood gets the last word with a song that reflects my unrealistic desire to hibernate until the shit is scraped off the proverbial fan.

The Sound of Kids on the Streets Outside

I know people who were there in ’68, and not just there as in lived through it, but THERE there. A friend who spoke at my wedding was in the National Guard during Kent State, left soon after. Colleagues were in the streets, getting beaten and gassed.

I know people who fought in Europe in World War II. I knew, many years ago, a man who went to Spain to fight the fascists there after writing about it for years.

Their eyes go somewhere else when they talk about it. When they gather, and someone takes a photograph, it’s not of the wrinkles and bones and bent backs. It’s of the children they were, the years falling away from their faces.

People who fought through something together are, in some sense, always together, and always the age they were when they were fighting.

What if the night just keeps coming down? How do you stay who you are when the fight never ends?

There is a great deal of necessary writing about what has happened to George Floyd and why, but two stories pulled me out of the whirlwind this week. The first was from a friend, who lived next door to us for years. She’s beautiful, accomplished, by any measure of America wildly successful, and her son grew up before our eyes: kind, funny, unfailingly generous, brilliantly smart. She’s afraid for him. He gets stopped in the street and the alley and the neighborhood we used to live in, and I cannot fathom, most days, the restraint we ask black people to practice.

The second, speaking to the first, was R. Eric Thomas: 

You learn, at some point, how to perform being non-threatening and you learn that often it matters less how well you perform and more whether the audience for said performance believes it. Or wants to believe it. Or is in the mood to believe it. Or woke up that morning and made a conscious decision not to believe it. And you think: “If it’s futile anyway, if I am powerless over the reception that I get, what does it matter how I approach the world?”

And there’s a freedom in that, for it allows you to prioritize your own voice over the scolding one that speaks nothing but fear. It affirms that the voice asking to see your papers, or calling those in Minneapolis “thugs,” or shouting out a warning “Move along now!” does not belong to you. It belongs to individuals who have been made minuscule and sharp by their addictions to white supremacy and systems of oppressions that are ambivalent about your goodness.

A memory from the video of the shooting of Philando Castile: His girlfriend, sitting next to his bullet-ridden body, called the white police officer who just shot him “sir.” He was screaming at her and her young daughter, she was covered in blood, and she called the officer “sir.” That’s how deep it had to go, the training to be polite. That’s how little it mattered.

The human body isn’t meant to live in fear forever. The response, the coiling of muscles, the pounding of the heart — that isn’t supposed to be a permanent state. Hypervigilance destroys your mind. There’s supposed to come a time when you’re not afraid anymore.

You already know all the things to be said about what Trump has said and is saying, that he knows what he’s doing, and it’s obvious and awful, and I have no more patience for the shock of anyone who’d call themselves a journalist, who still thinks there’s any way out of this but through.

I just … What do you think they say? How do you think this ends? B. Barry Bamz and Dubya come out here and say, “lads, that’s enough now” and all the protesters go home, their heads hung down and chastened? Do you think that’s what it’s about? Like people are marching in the streets because they just haven’t heard the right words from the right men? Men who, let’s be honest, were president when a lot of what’s being protested was happening day in and day out?

Since the pandemic started, and Trump’s administration did what it’s done with every crisis, which is to say some stuff and then fall on its keys, we keep hearing that if only someone would SAY or DO something, this would all just … stop. Joe Biden, who’s another statesmanlike man with a past on these issues, has been out here every day acting like the president we don’t have, saying the things we say we wish someone would SAY.

That’s not what this is remotely about anymore.

This ends when the people in the street say it ends. They’re in charge. That’s what makes all these MAGA jackasses so crazy, that’s what’s got the cops all roided up in every town in the land, and it’s what the president knows and can’t let go of. There has never been a bully on this earth who was able to take it when the punch comes flying back.

You cannot subjugate people forever, and you cannot plan for what happens when they decide they’ve had enough.

Michelle Goldberg, who has been following the right-wing thread of our undoing for so long I can’t believe she’s okay: 

Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s progressive attorney general, told me that lately, when he goes out walking or running in Minneapolis, he feels a “coiled sort of anxiousness ready to spring.” Many people, he said, “have been cooped up for two months, and so now they’re in a different space and a different place. They’re restless. Some of them have been unemployed, some of them don’t have rent money, and they’re angry, they’re frustrated.”

That frustration is likely to build, because the economic ruin from the pandemic is just beginning. In some states, moratoriums on evictions have ended or will soon. The expanded unemployment benefits passed by Congress as part of the CARES Act run out at the end of July. State budgets have been ravaged, and Republicans in Washington have so far refused to come to states’ aid, meaning we’ll likely soon see painful cutbacks in public jobs and services.

People keep saying, oh, you’re mad now, well hold onto that anger and vote in November. Hold onto that anger, as if there’s anywhere to put it down. I do not want to ask anyone to hold this anger for another second. It’s been a sickness inside us for longer than we can name.

The pandemic and the protests, the stay-at-home orders and the state-sanctioned murders, they’re the result of our actions. This isn’t the weather. All week long I’ve been reading stories that back into this, our weakened and passive journalism describing a man’s deliberate killing as a death having occurred following an officer’s knee being placed on his neck, and other such nonsense. I’ve been reading about protesters “clashing” with police, as if they are two equal and opposing forces meeting on neutral ground. A “wave of protests swept over American cities” and “a firestorm was ignited.”

I scream about it on Twitter every time I see it, every time I see “a man is dead after an alleged officer-involved shooting” because: No. A cop fired a gun and killed someone. You’re making value judgments by the words you use and you are placing responsibility, every single day … nowhere.

We did this. That’s the shame of it and always, always, it’s the hope. We look at the hell around us — the sickness, the shutdowns, the deaths in a custody that never needed to be exercised — and don’t see that it presumes the existence of a heaven. That if we made this, we can unmake it.

That’s what people in the streets right now are saying, with as many different voices as they can. We don’t have to live like this, any of us, so let us make the world we want to see.

My old-hand protester friends, the people I knew who were antifa before Hitler came to power, they all had stories about coming home or leaving, about the moment when the struggle seemed to stop or fade away. They got to lay their burdens down when the war was over, and some of them come back to it when they’re needed, and some of them never have.

Not everyone could do that. Everyone’s war doesn’t end. And I don’t think white America has ever thought of what it does to you, to make every cell in your body the record of brutality, a daily reckoning that goes on out of sight. Where does this end, we ask, and the selfishness of it, to ask that.

This is just beginning.

A.

 

You Already Know Where It Goes

So here’s what’s gonna happen.

A lot of people are going to get sick. They won’t know for sure if they’re sick, because there aren’t enough tests, and nobody can afford the ones that we do have.

Because nobody will know anything for sure, and a lot of people will be sick, most businesses will stay closed. Most will be unable to pay their employees, so a lot of people are going to be sick and broke.

Sick broke people make decisions aimed at not being sick or broke no more. Not all of those decisions will be harmless to themselves or others.

The prospect of sick broke people making bad decisions will freak a lot of upper class people out.

Those people will call their suburban police departments, which in case you haven’t noticed are strapped for war every second of the day even though their biggest call in a month is barely a moving violation. Those police departments will respond to every shoplifter like they’re John Dillinger and things will start getting out of hand.

A crime that would barely make a blip in a weekly newspaper’s police blotter will get blown up by the Rush/Fox/morning news industrial complex until I start getting texts from out-of-town relatives who already think living anywhere with two stoplights is asking to be robbed and murdered. Like six guys will knock over a liquor store and ordinarily that’s Thursday, but before the week is out your dad will have sixteen emails from the NRA all saying some variation on “DO YOU WANT YOUR WHITE WOMEN RAPED? CLICK HERE TO ANSWER NO AND GET A FREE T-SHIRT AND A GRENADE LAUNCHER.”

The same types of guys who were dragging their guns around the Virginia statehouse a month ago will be spray-painting LOOTERS WILL BE SHOT ON SIGHT on their garages and then the politicians will start in with JUST ASKING QUESTIONS or some such. Those questions will not be about why people are sick and broke, by the way. The questions will be about how violent white people should get right now, and how few consequences they can possibly face for said violence.

I don’t know where we go after that.

A.

Killing the Conversation

It’s quoting myself which is lazy but:

This gets to the heart of what annoys me about centrism, civility fetishism, and the deploring of partisanship. It’s a way to shut someone up without having to own that you want them to shut up.

I want lots of people to shut up. I want just for one goddamn day for Donald Fucking Trump to shut his festering assmouth so we can have, like, Christmas or Thanksgiving or something without him being like “Merry Holocaust Remembrance Day! I love The Jews!” and then spell something wrong so there are three days of terrible jokes.

I would like anyone sincerely arguing that the spiritual descendants of Nixon bagmen need to be given large auditoriums on major college  campuses in the name of free speech but trans people shouldn’t be allowed to have driver’s licenses with their identities on them, I would like anyone like that to shut up, too.

If you’re out on the street corner screaming at and spitting on teachers on strike, add yourself to the shut-up list.

I want those people to shut up and I have no problem telling them that.

So if you want me to stop saying things like, “we should not cage immigrant children” or “it’s really not that big of a deal to say Happy Holidays” or “possibly after you commit war crimes you should not appear in public,” then you should tell me that.

But don’t say “be civil.” Don’t say “listen to the other side.” Don’t say “let’s not make this political.”

Just say shut up. That’s what you mean.

A.

Our Politicians and Pundits Know Nothing About Politics

This was dumb:

This was dumber:

This has got to be some kind of peak dumbass but what fresh hell will today bring?

I mean, honest to Cheeto Christ, it is astonishing how many of these people are listened to on politics when they don’t understand politics very well.

Take Pete up there, for whom I will enthusiastically vote should he be our nominee, and who has unquestionably the best spouse in the entire race. He’s just saying what he thinks he needs to say, which is that he likes a moderate, because moderation is good, and middle of the road is good, and nothing too extreme is good, and the things Everybody Knows are true. He’s doing what he thinks he’s supposed to do, because he’s supposed to do it, and he’s not thinking about Kennedy’s actual decisions or what they mean, he’s thinking about how he sounds, which is Reasonable.

The goal of all our politics, and the past 36 hours of civility garbage inspired by the World Series crowd booing the orange motherfucker, is to make us all feel Reasonable and Good. And that involves Two Sides Respecting Each Other, and Listening, and blah blah fucking blah de fuckity blah.

What a fucking stupid puppet show. What a goddamn embarrassment, a parade of supposed adults on TV and at podiums talking about how it’s beneath us all to upset anyone. What a fucking load. We’re adults and if we can’t disagree without getting heated oh, the fucking earth will just cave right in, won’t it? God forbid anyone raises their voice, or our fragile bodies might just utterly collapse.

I mean do we hear ourselves, middle class white people of mine, with our book clubs and our tote bags and our declarations of friendship for war criminals? Do we hear our selfish screaming need for comfort not only in life, not in where or how we live, but in our goddamn CONVERSATIONS? Do we hear how absolutely chickenshit we sound? “Oooh, I don’t want to, like, ARGUE with you.” Well guess fucking what, we live in a democracy, so if you’re gonna open your cakehole and yell “blue lives matter” at me I’m gonna give you the hiding you so richly deserve.

We don’t get to create this society and then get out of defending and justifying it because doing so is really hard. Land hard and roll, motherfuckers, because if you want to live like this you’d better be ready to own it in the face of the strenuous objections of the people you’re stomping on to do so. You don’t like to watch the president get booed at a baseball game, well, there’s a really easy way to get out of that happening and it’s don’t elect a fucking cheeto-faced fascist who everyone hates.

It’s really not hard. Give up civility as a goal. We’re almost to the holidays, hell, make it a resolution. Civility is not the meaning of things. If people are nice to each other and keep dying, how does that help anyone? We have a limited time on this planet and your comfort isn’t our priority, shit is on fire.

And if you’re not loaded for bear, don’t show up for the hunt, because once upon a time you might have been able to get away with this stuff because nobody wanted to argue. We want to argue now, and we should.

A.