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December 31, 2021

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May be just a statement about my lack of a social life but I am not aware of anybody of my personal acquaintances that caught it let alone died of it.
No reason to keep one's guard down though.
And the situation may well change when I start with my new career as a schoolteacher next month. The current policy is 'anything but school lockdowns' and unvaccinated schoolkids have to get tested 5 times a week to enable that.

Congrats on the new career, Hartmut.

Be safe.

the problem is... how long can you keep your guard up? COVID simply isn't going to go away.

personally, i'm very content working from home and not going to big dumb indoor parties. i'm living la vida introvert, and loving it.

but most people aren't.

I can be this easily, in times of lost love and deadly pandemic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKlSVNxLB-A

But, sometimes I just gotta get outta here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M3WI4lWYXk&t=1426shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdOExTkx_Hk">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdOExTkx_Hk">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M3WI4lWYXk&t=1426shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdOExTkx_Hk

You'll want to go to the 22:53 mark on that one and experience the acoustics in a bedroom at the Dakota in NYC.

Or:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRuiVyq2Akc

Or:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJwt2dxx9yg


Hmm, this is surprising on the Cook Report re gerrymandering, but cheering if true:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/05/democrats-avoid-gerrymandering-bloodbath/

The analysis finds that in the 34 states that have completed redrawn House district lines thus far, President Biden would have carried 161 of 293 districts based on the 2020 vote totals versus 157 under current lines.

I'm a bit at a loss with the Cook Report as to why they chose to focus on the presidential vote as a measure of effect when presidential elections are statewide. Gerrymandering is specifically aimed at controlling the House in order to monkey wrench the agenda a president of different party affiliation and fast track the agenda of a like party president.

Loss of national majority status is exactly the reason why we have the GOP gerrymandering their states.

So the GOP districts are more competitive and the Dem districts less so. That's the formula for maximizing wasted votes for Dems.

but, GftNC, we've been told by literally every amateur and professional pundit alive that the Dems had already decisively lost 2024. so, predictions at this point are just bad hindsight.

More:

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/redistricting-2022-maps/

'm a bit at a loss with the Cook Report as to why they chose to focus on the presidential vote as a measure of effect when presidential elections are statewide.

Presidential votes are counted statewide to see who will be President. But they are tabulated precinct by precinct. When Congressional (or state legislature) districts are redrawn, you need some way to predict which way they will go next time. Precincts are what get shifted, so those are the data you have.

You can't use the legislative vote for predictions on the new districts, because incumbancy makes a big difference, and current officeholders won't be incumbants in at least parts of the new district. And, given how far ticket splitting has decreased, Presidential votes are the best proxy available for how votes for non-incumbants will go next time.

If found this fascinating.
Megan McArdle: I used to be an electric car skeptic. I’ve changed my mind — but I still didn’t buy one.

Not least because McCardle, dedicated libertarian that she is, says in regard to the infrastructure for charging stations:

That’s a problem the market can’t solve, no matter how cheap or attractive electric vehicles become.
Too true.

The McArdle piece ends with:

It will take uniform state and federal standards, and probably some financial assistance, to clear the roadblocks that currently stand between millions of Americans and our first electric car.

A rare bit of plain common sense from the erstwhile Jane Galt. I was pleased she didn't follow that with "so I'm against it".

Sometimes I think the way to win over conservatives / Trumpites / libertarians / what have you is to just say nothing and let them figure it out for themselves and think it was their own idea in the first place.

Looking forward to the day when she concludes "screw it, I'll just take the bus".

Probably the best summary of what is wrong with US foreign policy that I have seen in a long time—

https://thecolumn.substack.com/p/conservative-crt-panic-liberal-human

They link it with both some liberals who cling to American exceptionalist myths and conservative critiques of anti racist ideology.

I actually have a bit of sympathy for the exceptionalism mythology, so long as people are brutally honest about how far from reality it is much or most of the time. But the ideals are often good.

But they are tabulated precinct by precinct.

Or other administrative unit. Colorado, for one, no longer has precincts. Now that California has gone to a permanent arrangement of sending a ballot by mail to every registered voter, they will quickly figure out that a little-used precinct-level in-person voting add-on is a large expense for little return. (See also Hawaii's new vote by mail system, where there are only eight locations in the entire state where you can vote in-person.)

Now that California has gone to a permanent arrangement of sending a ballot by mail to every registered voter, they will quickly figure out that a little-used precinct-level in-person voting add-on is a large expense for little return.

Point of information. California has precincts, not least because we have a mosaic of overlapping administrative districts: city, agencies (transit, utility, etc.) county, state, and Federal. But any given physical polling location will serve a bunch of precincts.

We may well follow Utah by going all-mail voting. Although, given DeJoy's ongoing efforts to trash the US Postal Service, one might have reservations about the wisdom that.

to balance out McArdle's surprisingly-non-contrarian take, they've got Charles Lane moaning that EVs might not do well in extraordinary circumstances.

no shit?

good thing there aren't any "extraordinary circumstances" that render ICes useless!

i mean besides things like the one we had eight months ago\, of course. that was just an isolated event.

Well after all, if a proposed solution doesn't work perfectly in all possible circumstances, the fact that it is a massive improvement is most circumstances is irrelevant. Best, in that case, to do nothing. Perfect solutions being so thick on the ground, you know.

We may well follow Utah by going all-mail voting.

CA did, mostly. At least you made it permanent that all registered voters will receive a ballot by mail in all elections, including local ones. And I think the same bill finished replacing assigned precincts with county-wide vote centers. Once states get to both of those, they look at how much traffic the vote centers get and ask how many of them they really need.

I've been predicting that AZ will flip from Republican state trifecta to a Democratic one in 2022. If that happens, I expect them to switch from mostly (>80%) VBM to all VBM almost immediately.

I've been predicting that AZ will flip from Republican state trifecta to a Democratic one in 2022. If that happens, I expect them to switch from mostly (>80%) VBM to all VBM almost immediately.

If so, I think the first thing they'll flip will be the current requirement that VBM voters have a physical mailing address to which the ballot will be delivered -- i.e. not a PO box. Which ignores (deliberately) the fact that most Native Americans who are living on reservations do not have such physical mail delivery options.

Which ignores (deliberately) the fact that most Native Americans who are living on reservations do not have such physical mail delivery options.

A few years ago my brother in law in rural Kansas built a new house. The USPS told him at that time that because there had been no previous service at that location, they could not assign a street address for him and he would have to get a PO Box in town. Six days a week the USPS delivery guy drives right by the turnoff for their house where the mailbox would be.

I’d be writing a letter to my member of congress. (And driving it to the post office, I guess.)

they could not assign a street address for him and he would have to get a PO Box in town

I grew up in the country (rural California), and we didn't have a street number until I was in high school. We just had a mailbox down at the road, with our name on it. Yet the Post Office managed to deliver the mail 6 days a week; no problem. (Picked up outgoing, too, if we put the flag up.)

So it's an excuse, not a reason, not to do something. One can wonder why the USPS felt the need to refuse to make deliveries. But it's not like the technical problem lacks a known solution.

There are lots of reason, many detailed here over the past year, to dispair the Republican Party and all its works. But there are still stories like this.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/maricopa-county-election-cyber-ninjas-fraud-trump-senate/2022/01/05/9bc64ace-6e50-11ec-aaa8-35d1865a6977_story.html

Note that the Maricopa County Board, 4 of the 5 being Republicans, not only unanimously rejected and refuted the various insinuations that were the best the Cyber Ninjas could come up with in their "audit". They did so in fairly blistering terms.

“We have seen how people react when they think that an election has been stolen. They storm the U.S. Capitol. They threaten to kill and hang and shoot election workers. And they called other Americans traitors,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates (R) on Wednesday. “The American family cannot stand for that. I will not stand for that.”
Further
During an annual ceremony to elect a new board chairman Wednesday, Gates, the panel’s newest leader, reiterated those sentiments: “The attempt to undermine democratic elections puts at risk everything else we take for granted in a free country — speech, security, economic progress. And that’s why the county has not been silent — and will not be silent — in the face of lies,” he said.
Too bad there aren't more folks like this in the party at the national, and in the case of Arizona state, level.

Meanwhile, the Proud Boys take a tactical page from IS in the wake of their actions from a year ago:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3n338/what-the-proud-boys-did-after-jan-6

“Over the past year, the Proud Boys have worked to embed themselves amongst local activists who haven’t been tarnished by the Jan. 6 insurrection,” said Devin Burghart, executive director of the Missouri-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR). “They’ve enmeshed themselves into local efforts to push back against vaccine mandates, or critical race theory, and other local conflicts, which has allowed them to steer clear of the national discussion about the insurrection and provide them with a base of support that they didn’t have prior to Jan. 6.”

More of that cell-like networking that I've been saying makes it hard to counter the slide on the right.

They will continue to accelerate conflict and recruit until the violent confrontation they crave is met. At some point that confrontation becomes inevitable. And if that confrontation is not initiated by the center right, it will be seen as leftist governmental overreach, and only serve to further energize the insurgent right.

That's how this stuff works, whether here or in Aleppo.

Following nous’ point

https://www.npr.org/2022/01/05/1070199411/5-takeaways-from-the-capitol-riot-criminal-cases-one-year-later

A few weeks after the Jan. 6 riot, NPR first reported on the disproportionate share of people facing charges who appeared to have U.S. military histories. Back then, we reported that around 1 in 5 people charged had served or were currently serving in the military, which is nearly three times the proportion of veterans in the general population.

Though the percentage has gone down since that initial reporting, it is still high: Around 13% of those facing charges have military or law enforcement backgrounds. Those facing charges served in nearly every branch of the military, including the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Navy and National Guard. Among the accused are current and former police officers from police departments serving places as large as Houston and New York City and as small as Rocky Mount, Va. There were friends who served together in the Marine Corps, a cadet at The Citadel, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at least one recipient of the Purple Heart.

I believe that more of the rank and file of the US military is gung ho to murder liberals, blacks, Jews, immigrants, feminazis, gays, lesbians, and federal employees (their civilian fellows) than we dare to imagine, since a failure of imagination is America's ongoing hobby.

Bill Gates? Oh, that Bill Gates.

https://www.newsweek.com/arizona-gop-official-says-family-threatened-slaughter-after-he-defended-elections-integrity-1617208

Have any of those threats been followed up and any arrest results by fucking subhuman conservative law enforcement down there in Arizona?

Maybe they are bolloxed up and confused with THE Bill Gates, who is injecting them with microchips via the vaccine.

If the 13% of the 1/6/2021 conspirators and their White House leaders are not arrested, charged with sedition, and executed, in public, by horrifyingly savage means, then the City on the Hill will be a done deal, which it should have been since racist subhuman Ronald Reagan uttered the words while exempting Sammy Davis Junior on account of the fact that Sinatra like the latter.

A grease spot, a wisp of radioactive smoke after Armageddon, can I get a spell check on that, vermin right wing American Christians?

I know, I know, the kvetching, the whining, the keening from the your moderate stinking conservative in the aftermath: "But ... but ...what about my tax cuts, and geez, ya mean I can't pollute any longer and hate on the cross-dressing niggers?" will be unbearably annoying, like malaria-carrying mosquitos hatching and buzzing round our heads after a rainstorm on a bomb-cratered battlefield in Korea in a war we thought we had won.

But once we get the death squads going, why stop with the 1/6 traitors?

A sampling of the evil Polpotian spawn of Patrick Buchanan, who has been tolerated as a living vermin racist quite long enough.

This epicene punk is maybe 24 years old:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/things-worth-getting-mad-about/

Merry Christmas and a partridge in a pear tree from this 12-year old elf:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-january-6-actually-means/

And natch, the most dangerous American to the world and the Nation, Rod Dreher, hawking fake cracker fascist conservative candidates, who will kill us.

He's fucking Rasputin. Actually the realization of what Rasputin was reputed to be. He's a killer.

Don't let the dumb hat and the very clean hands fool you.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/jd-vance-pat-buchanan-heir-washington-post/

Book sales are strong.

Do NOT fucking trust them:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mcconnell-thune-open-to-changing-electoral-count-act

Booze and .... ax-throwing:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-yorks-ax-throwing-bars-hope-to-cut-through-pandemic-malaise-11603394392?adobe_mc=MCMID%3D29625618524736249253777192912538967248%7CMCORGID%3DCB68E4BA55144CAA0A4C98A5%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1641469534

Just saying.

When the weather warms up, they could have their patrons suit up in armor and joust in the parking lot.

Maybe some crocodile wrestling in a large aquarium behind the bartenders after a round of shots.

Catapulting dwarfs into hot bubbling vats of vegetarian chili.

A bar called "Secondary Effects", in which we keep a hobbled Donald Trump in a cage too small for him on the bar and patrons can pay a fee to poke him with pointy sticks through the cage slats.

Maybe truss up his violence-loving minions from the ceiling like Iberian hams and distribute dull carving knives to the patrons for slicing tasty bits off them.

A competitor bar, called "Cackles" will open soon across the street with a Lindsay Graham- themed recreation room devoted to arcane torments recreated from Rod Dreher's favorite reminiscences of the Christian Middle Ages when leg irons were considered a fashion accessory for all the cool kids.

None of these business ideas are original:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-favorite-part-of-january-6-is-laughing-at-the-trauma?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

This epicene punk is maybe 24 years old

the things the epicene punk thinks we should really be angry about, rather than the riot of a year ago:

* Fentanyl overdoses
* Congresspeople profiting from inside information
* abortion and declining birth rates
* increased divorce rates
* difficulty of home ownership
* COVID "tyranny"
* Massive corporate profiteering during COVID
* "Oligarchic manipulation" of elections, by which he means rich people using their money to influence elections

Most folks here, including myself, are probably on the same page as this guy for at least half of this stuff. And with the exception of support for legal abortion and for COVID vax and mask mandates, there's nothing "liberal" about any of it.

What this guy mostly seems upset about are (a) the effects of gross income inequality and concentration of wealth, (b) financial corruption of public actors and institutions, and (c) all the people who aren't conservative Christians.

for (a) and (b), I'm not sure his understanding of root causes and workable solutions is accurate. I'm also not sure they were uppermost in the minds of the folks running riot in the Capitol last year.

(c) is something he's just gonna have to learn to live with.

I remain unclear on what exactly it is that these people - all the angry conservatives - want. Whatever it is, presenting your case in the form of threats is probably not going to win hearts and minds.

Not mine, that's for damned sure.

I remain unclear on what exactly it is that these people - all the angry conservatives - want.

they want glorious victories for Republicans and the humiliating defeat of all who stand in their way. declared policy goals are subject to change at any time in order to serve the primary goal.

they simply want to beat liberals. that's all their media tells them to want.

they simply want to beat liberals. that's all their media tells them to want.

Or at least whatever cartoon version of liberals they have in mind at any given time.

maybe they just like being angry

just watched Biden's speech about Jan 6 on YouTube. the comments were a trip and a half.

the US is not a united country. we don't all share the same values, don't all want the same things, don't all live our lives the same way.

there's nothing wrong with that.

what makes it even remotely possible for the nation to function is accepting that you aren't always going to get your way. Trump supporters and right-wingers in general appear to have difficulty with that concept. But without it, the deal is off. The operating concept of the country breaks.

They need to bring something constructive to the table. Not threats. And they need to accept that they aren't going to get everything they want.

That's a reality we all live with. I sure as hell do. They need to get it through their own heads as well.

If they want to draw a line in the sand, so be it, we'll all deal with it. But it's not going to improve anything for them, in any way.

When I started reading TAC many years ago it was puzzling, because I frequently agreed with many of their complaints. This was especially true on foreign policy, with Larison as their columnist — he seems to have started out as a paleocon and that was in keeping with TAC, but I think he became much more liberal, with caveats. (I am guessing he is anti- abortion, but that is just a suspicion based on his religion because I have never seen him write about it.) I think he might be what used to be called a seamless garment pro- life Christian. Anyway, he got fired.

The rest of TAC is still paleocon, so you get this mix of criticism of wokeness, capitalism, woke capitalism, military interventionism etc…. I just subscribed to the Washington Post ( one year for ten dollars, gotta remember to cancel next year when it goes up to 100 dollars) and read their long piece on Vance and again it was the same sensation. There is all this stuff about criticism of the excesses of capitalism, but when it comes to actual policies so far the Republicans still go for tax cuts, massive Pentagon budgets ( along with most Democrats) and saber rattling. They care about free speech, but only for themselves. There are exceptions—Rand Paul and a few others are serious about their anti- interventionism but most Republicans would bomb Iran in a heartbeat.

I expect very little from TAC style conservatives. They may talk occasionally about the evils of capitalism and some might be sincere, but nothing will come of it. But all the nasty stuff, the bigotry and so forth—that they will act on.

Nothing like a little bipartisan terrorist violence:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2022/01/january-6-capitol-hill-pipe-bomb/621178/

The DNC is afraid of and wants nothing to do with the terrorist.

The FBI is trying to identify and locate the terrorist.

The RNC is hoping they don't lose the terrorist's vote in 2022 and 2024 and beyond by convincing him/her that they share his evil goal of blowing up Washington DC and the entire political system.

The RNC and Trump terrorists are promising the terrorist(s) they will clean house at the FBI, and prevent the agency from locating the terrorist, leaving the identification to Bannon and House Republican vermin for the purposes of giving him a political appointment overseeing the FBI once their coup of our government is in the bag.

The terrorist would be good Chief of Staff for Ted Cruz or Rand Paul.

Lindsay Graham might put him/her on the payroll too, as the former is always anxious about falling behind in the race to the bottom with conservative jagoff assholes.

Ginny and Clarence Thomas hope to adopt the terrorist after the Supreme Court finds his actions constitutional.

Luke Broadwater:

As Democrats are speaking about the impact of Jan. 6, they are talking mostly to an empty chamber. Not a single Republican is seated in the chamber as Senators Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, and Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, speak about the horrors of that day.

Again with the glorious day of Epiphany, and to Donald's points.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/01/epiphanies-2

Here's the article in question:

https://newrepublic.com/article/164408/young-intellectuals-illiberal-revolution-conservatism

read their long piece on Vance and again it was the same sensation. There is all this stuff about criticism of the excesses of capitalism

Vance is a venture capitalist, and a lot of his $$$ comes from Peter Thiel, one of the ultimate OG SanFran tech bros. And vampire wanna-be, but I digress.

So, there's all of that.

I recognize that life and people are complicated, and I don't expect complete consistency from anyone about anything, really.

But JD Vance as a voice against the excesses of capitalism seems borderline incoherent.

Peter Thiel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z4TGEhtdDA

Peter Thiel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFQlTB4cw4k

Incoherency is the new sincerity.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/jd-vance-pat-buchanan-heir-washington-post/

they want glorious victories for Republicans and the humiliating defeat of all who stand in their way.

In short, they are invested in "their team" the same way pro sports fans are. And have as little awareness, or interest, in what "tbeir team" actually does off-screen.

It should be noted that the same mindset afflicts some on the Democratic side as well. Just nothing like a majority, so they don't (usually) drive the conversation.

McConnell, the Rat AND the ratfucker, tries to re-board the ship, as his fellow mutineers walk the plank:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-mitch-mcconnell-nancy-pelosi-and-other-politicians-are-saying-on-the-anniversary-of-the-jan-6-attack-11641487322?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Hang McConnell and his pirates from the yardarms.

Ginny and Clarence Thomas hope to adopt the terrorist after the Supreme Court finds his actions constitutional.

Of course, they might have to move to Maryland first. Because by then the Court might well have reversed that horribly offensive intrusion into the rights of soverign states that is Loving v Virginia. At which point, they would cease to be a married couple, and so couldn't adopt.

Who'd a thunk it?

In the mail today came one of the usual monthly bills. An enclosure says:
"Due to a nationwide inventory shortage, we are currently unable to provide a return envelope as we typically do for your payment. Please use your own envelope...."

Somehow, that particular inventory shortage had not crossed my mind. (Fortunately, I pay on-line, and so will not feel the lack.)

Looks like the Graham Cracker is still lending cover to the putsch, though.

True Republicans never give up on their team.

True Republicans never give up on their team.

Much as we saw with Real Americans(TM), "True Republicans" . . . aren't.

Somehow, that particular inventory shortage had not crossed my mind.

The electronics shortage hit me this morning. I was going to order another Raspberry Pi 4 since the only I had is now in a project. Out of stock everywhere I would normally check. Some places say order now for delivery after Feb 28, some say they don't know when they'll have stock.

Electronics? Anything with chips (including cars)? Imports generally? Sure.

But envelopes?!?!? All those take is paper, for God sake!

Covid antigen tests, the quick kind, are nearly impossible to procure.

The virus itself seems to possess an uninterrupted supply chain.

Because this is still a new year open thread, I want to recommend a series of books which have given me pleasure in the last couple of years, and which I think some of you might like too.

They are spy books, but of a particularly anti-heroish kind, with really good dialogue and a wonderfully brilliant but grotty main character, Jackson Lamb:

He is the Falstaff of the spying world: obese in body; revolting in personal habits; gratuitously insulting in manner.

Not all are of an exactly equal standard (one at least is very farfetched), but the dialogue sparkles rather demonically, the characterisation is very entertaining, and the setting perfect for Anglophiles who are interested in the more seamy side of the street. I've just read the latest, Slough House, and enjoyed it a lot. I gather from this piece that they are currently filming some of it for AppleTV starring Gary Oldman. Anyway, for those interested:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/jan/15/mick-herron-i-look-at-jackson-lamb-and-think-my-god-did-i-write-that-my-mother-reads-this-stuff

Been reading through the New Republic piece that JT posted above, which I will repost here for convenience:

https://newrepublic.com/article/164408/young-intellectuals-illiberal-revolution-conservatism

If the regime has already been corrupted, usurped by evil forces who will punish anyone who dissents from the woke orthodoxy, what measures aren’t justified to redeem it? If the founding principles have been distorted beyond recognition by an unjust regime, why should the legal parameters of that regime circumscribe acceptable means of rebellion? As Claremont senior fellow Glenn Ellmers recently put it, “Overturning the existing post-American order, and re-establishing America’s ancient principles in practice, is a sort of counter-revolution, and the only road forward.” Liberal democracy as the founders envisioned can only be restored by subverting liberal democracy as it has become. “I think the vast majority of people feel … that this is the end,” Leary told me. “We’ve either got to take control or all is lost.”

One of Buckley’s earliest influences was the idiosyncratic libertarian writer Albert Jay Nock. Nock’s most memorable concept was that of “The Remnant,” a tiny, marginal community of right-thinking people who knew the true nature of state and society. Nock, in a moment of deep pessimism, advised that instead of seeking power through reform or revolution, individualists ought to simply nurture The Remnant—those who, when things got bad enough, would be called upon to restore the good life. The Remnant, as in the Book of Isaiah, are those who remain, who keep the faith, who wait to rebuild in the wake of catastrophe.

I hear these voices all over amongst both my family and their evangelical cadre, and the apocalyptic neo-orthodox christian types on the St. John's College alum lists. The worst who are full of passionate intensity on the right are all channeling the spirit of counter-revolutionary indifference to democracy.

And, yes, lots of Leo Strauss (and beneath the Strauss, Schmitt) in their philosophical foundations. Their mission is to eject or destroy as much of the polity as necessary to restore the true nature of The People. They won't return to any democratic urges until The Remnant has a firm majority in whatever remains after the purge.

If the regime has already been corrupted, usurped by evil forces who will punish anyone who dissents from the woke orthodoxy, what measures aren’t justified to redeem it? If the founding principles have been distorted beyond recognition by an unjust regime, why should the legal parameters of that regime circumscribe acceptable means of rebellion?

Delete the word "woke" from the first sentence (or substitute "reactionary"), and you have an equally cogent pair of questions from the other side. No doubt the author is blind to that reality.

wj - why would he be blind to that reality?

And the more cogent question that faces us - given that the 'horseshoe theory' exists in potentia, how close is that potential to becoming a reality on either side?

As someone who has a finger on the pulse of the radicals on either side, I can guarantee you that the left is nowhere close to staging a violent coup attempt. That level of organization and of militarization just does not exist.

I know you find these equivocations salutary and comforting, but they really are disconnected from practical reality as it stands today.

Delete the word "woke" from the first sentence (or substitute "reactionary"), and you have an equally cogent pair of questions from the other side.

No. You do not. Not even close.

But envelopes?!?!? All those take is paper, for God sake!

And adhesive. Cellophane for the little window if that's the style. People to load the materials into the machinery. Printing. Back in 2020, I really believed that there would be vote by mail snarls in the states that had waited until the last minute to try to scale up because they wouldn't be able to get enough stuff printed.

re-establishing America’s ancient principles in practice

I live in a town that was founded in 1629. I attend a church that was first gathered as a congregation in the same year. That’s not even 400 years, and that’s as old as it gets in this country.

400 years is not ancient. In the context of human history, it’s the blink of an eye.

My wife and I were visiting family in AZ a few years ago and we went to see the original homestead of English-speaking white people in Sedona. It dates from around 1900.

122 years is not only not ancient, it’s barely a sneeze. There are houses in my neighborhood older than that.

There is nothing - not one single thing - in this country that has earned the name “ancient”.

That’s neither here nor there, neither good nor bad. It is what is is. But what it absolutely is not is “ancient”.

When I read stuff like this, I have literally and absolutely no freaking idea what the author is talking about. The author appears to make an appeal to some kind of deep historical precedent for his or her social and political preferences. I’m pretty sure it’s hogwash.

The Remnant, as in the Book of Isaiah, are those who remain

The remnant, in the book of Isaiah and other of the prophetic books in the OT, were Israelis who survived the utter collapse and destruction of the nation of Israel by foreign conquerors. With the bulk of the population having either been killed, or carried off into captivity.

I’m sure it’s flattering to these people to think of themselves as the faithful few persevering in the face of catastrophes like being required to either get a vaccination or wear a mask, or let a trans person use a bathroom, or whatever other abominations the rest of us are inflicting upon them. But it seems a bit overwrought, to me.

the left is nowhere close to staging a violent coup attempt

The left is not only nowhere close to doing so, the left has no interest in doing so. It’s hard to say what “the left” even means in the current day US.

Dwight David Eisenhower would be a radical leftist in the current climate. The term is meaningless.

As an aside, I spent a bit of time today watching Biden’s speech about January 6 on YouTube, and reading the comments. Biden’s speech was remarkable for taking the issue straight to Trump and his sheer inability to get his head around the fact that he lost the fncking election in 2020 - I’m not sure any politician in my lifetime has laid the facts out in plain speech in the way that Biden did today. Well done, uncle Joe.

The comments were overwhelmingly negative, and were remarkable for their complete and utter divergence from reality. I really do think that Trump supporters are lost. They are unreachable.

I have no idea what to do with that.

As someone who has a finger on the pulse of the radicals on either side, I can guarantee you that the left is nowhere close to staging a violent coup attempt.

nous, I am entirely clear. It isn't that the left would. It's that there is no obvious reason why the case for them doing so isn't every bit as (in)valid as the case the far right tries to make for itself.

The more "with-it" companies have already noticed if you mostly pay your bills electronically, and silently omitted the envelopes.

If not, then it's my idea, and they owe me royalties in future.

It isn't that the left would. It's that there is no obvious reason why the case for them doing so isn't every bit as (in)valid as the case the far right tries to make for itself.

I've been looking at the first sentence and I really don't understand it. It might be 1st language attrition (definitely a thing here), but can you spell it out for the demi-lingual speaker I've become.

The more "with-it" companies have already noticed if you mostly pay your bills electronically, and silently omitted the envelopes.

My stodgy old municipal utility company silently omitted the return envelope starting the month after I signed up to pay online.

Almost the only time I get a mailing from my electricity service provider is when my current contract is about up.

Dwight David Eisenhower would be a radical leftist in the current climate. The term is meaningless.

Let's be totally clear. In the current climate Ronald Reagan would be a radical leftist. The term is beyond meaningless.

wj: It isn't that the left would. It's that there is no obvious reason why the case for them doing so isn't every bit as (in)valid as the case the far right tries to make for itself.

lj: I've been looking at the first sentence and I really don't understand it. It might be 1st language attrition (definitely a thing here), but can you spell it out for the demi-lingual speaker I've become.

It's at least as likely to be sloppy phrasing on my part.

What I had originally attempted to point out was that exactly the same phrasing (save a single word tweak) could equally well justify bad behavior from either side. Which someone purporting to be an intellectual (yes, even a conservative intellectual) really ought to be bright enough to realize. Except he obviously wasn't. Or realized, but figured his readers would be too dumb to notice -- which seems typical of the "leaders" on the far right these days.

nous had taken my words to suggest that I saw the left as likely to resort to the kind of violence the original author was trying to justify. So my first sentence was to say that no, I don't think the left is there. I just think the argument is equally plausible either way -- which is to say, not at all.

IMHO, anyone arguing for violently (or even by subterfuge) reversing an electoral result** is implicitly conceding that they cannot make a case which will attract a majority. Which, to my mind, means that they deserve to lose.

Hope that helps.

** A mindset which, in my youth, did have a significant following on the far left. Happily, Che Guevara, Pol Pot, and Mao are no longer a great folk heroes there.

wj - you were musing about how people on the right were being gulled into following Coup Bully Con. That New Republic article is saying that the literate segment of the religious right is not following Trump so much as they are going along with it all because Coup Bully Con at his worst is better than the moral degradation of the Democrats, and the destruction of the state would be better than preserving the republic with the Dems in charge.

I don't care if what they aim to achieve is plausible or not. All I care is that they are willing to try and have been actively working to do so for five years. They may not be able to get their plan to work, but they can certainly break the republic beyond repair and consider that an acceptable outcome.

They may not be able to get their plan to work, but they can certainly break the republic beyond repair and consider that an acceptable outcome.

They do appear to consider that an acceptable outcome. Which only demonstrates, yet again (on the off chance that anyone had missed it) that there's really nothing resembling a real religion in "religious right."

GftNC:

Thanks for the book recommendations.

And further, now that Gary Oldman is on board, I'm on the edge of my seat.

Especially, for a reason we both know, if it's "grotty".

Hutus and Tutsis seemed quite alike to the undiscriminating eye until their FOX News, RTLM, pointed out the differences and then one was standing over big piles of the dead others with machetes.

Hitler's Brownshirts in the early going were ignored as brutish clowns. They replaced a fellow who got a zeppelin named after him.

What's a Serb? What's a Croat? What's a Muslim? What's a Bosnia? What's a Sarejevo? They intermixed for a long time. Then they didn't. They had their FOX News too and then they had a tidal wave of intermixed bloodshed.

The Czar: It's getting better all the time.

The Boshevik: It can't get no worse.

History: You better run for your life, little girl.

Pol Pot: If I see one more of those four-eyed bi-focaled troublemakers, I'm going to start a bone collection.

Jefferson Davis: Lincoln should be shot. I really liked being Secretary of War for the entire country. Especially Kansas.

We're just going to let it happen to us.

The secret is to relax ... until our sphincters set off the alarms.

Stalin: Your crime, no.1, was spelling Bolshevik wrong. Your train leaves in an hour.

_______________________________

I've never trusted the very young, like those quoted in the New Republic article, and those punks at TAC, who presume to don the mantle of Jesus, the Prophets, the Forefathers, the ancient ones.

No one at the age of 23 can presume to have a historical sense, except the insane, by which I mean Newt Gingrich.

They creep me out.

If a guy is walking around calling himself Tacitus, I'm keeping one hand in a fist just in case.

Some dude who fashions himself to sound like Chesterton in his elocution is a wobbling bubble who deserves to be pricked with a spear.

The only mantle I wanted to wear at that age was Mickey Mantle's and Willie May's and that of four lads from Liverpool.

It never occurred to me after reading Sartre to begin smoking Gauloises held with the wrong fingers.

I did aspire to live in a garret and scribble Melvillean tomes. Otherwise, it's minnows all the way down to the vasty deep.

I've finally achieved the garret part.

I do sometimes grip a lapel in one hand and pontificate to the ceiling in the voice of the double-taking Edward Everett Horton and/or Professor Irwin Corey, and if the latter, I always start in the middle of a paragraph.

The profundity is crushing.

Maybe the Reverend Horton Heat, but I ain't anywhere near having the guitar chops for that.

At age 70 (what? when? that can't be) now, however, I have a great sense of foreboding.

I still think I can outrun it in a foot race.

I do wonder if the hammies will hold up.

I'd better stretch.

Thanks. I may be overthinking this, but when you say that what because it would have been possible to change 'woke' to say, 'neoliberal' or 'capitalist' or some other phrase that would flip it from a right to a left thing, the observation is meaningless? Cause to me, this sounds like the 'both sides do it' mindset.

When I read your "It isn't that the left would", it sounds like you are acknowledging that no one on the current actual left is thinking of that now. If that is the case, it is definitely not a both sides do it situation. The para before the quote has this
The key to understanding the attitudes of young conservatives is their pervasive sense that the war for the soul of America has already been lost, their belief that progressives have taken control of every efficacious power center in American society—save a few hours per night of Fox News—and reshaped the country beyond recognition. The most acute expressions of this revolution, in their view, are the normalizing of transgender identities, the pervasiveness of racial “equity,” abortion, cancel culture, and the pornification of media (including for young children). But their catastrophist sense of American affairs is difficult to fully grasp for those of us who don’t feel it. It has a decidedly religious, eschatological dimension. Buckley’s febrile heirs have convinced themselves “that basically we’re at Megiddo,” Butler said, referring to the site of the final showdown in the Book of Revelation. “We’re in the battle at the end of time, and the prince of darkness is already at the door, and the whole world is now a contest between activist left and activist right.”

So just because you can alter the polarity of the statement with a word or two doesn't really deflate the observation that the right has come to believe that it is necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.

Apologies if that's a gross misreading, but that's what I feel like I'm left with.

Will THEY die fast enough, by their own hands, to save the Republic:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/01/is-god-a-bullshit-artist

Or, will the dead republicans be permitted to vote more than once in coming elections by the remaining living republicans, who will then kill us?

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/01/the-republican-party-is-pro-1-6

It's a fair bet that von Hindenburg used the words "heil" and "sieg" in conversation during his lifetime.

But that was different than their later usage by the pure.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/there-are-no-more-frenemies-in-congress-just-enemies?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

They are even fucking up the game of baseball for me.

Let's be totally clear. In the current climate Ronald Reagan would be a radical leftist. The term is beyond meaningless.

Change the words "Ronald Reagan" to "Che Guevara" and "leftist" to "reactionary" and see, it means the same thing!

QED

:)

Have you seen your panic buttons lately?

Bankrobbers, kidnappers, rapists, and yeah, insurrectionists, and the like usually case the joint ahead of time and have inside help:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/6/2073074/-Missing-panic-button-investigation-still-open-one-year-after-Jan-6-attack

Preston Brooks was a piker compared to the confederate murderers now infesting our Congress.

Can the center hold? Oh, my...even Michelle Goldberg!

another take on Christian authoritarianism.

Nothing to see here folks.

Ted Cruz is on fire!

https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1479264723740684288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1479270519937531911%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com%2F2022%2F01%2Flyin-ted-makes-a-brief-exception-to-his-ethos-apologizes-profusely

Hosing him down with raw sewage is not quenching the flames.

Is it time to try gasoline and a match?

Texans own lots of guns. Why aren't they using them now on the conservative traitors to the country that Texans keep stealing money from every time it rains?

What are those guns? Paperweights? Doorstops? Cigarette lighters?

What happened to the good ole spirit of the Alamo?

TAC continues to confuse me. This piece is actually good.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-light-in-the-darkness/

The writer seems to think Republican politicians should emulate Kucinich, but I just can’t see a Republican in the real world running against corporate corruption. To be honest, I don’t expect much from Democrats either, but it is a bit less of a stretch.

It's not clear to me what the TAC writers consider "corporate corruption" to be.

They certainly don't mean Citizens United.

It's much more tied to corporations treating gay and transgender humans to "outrageous" equality with other employees.

The make themselves sound like Henry David Thoreau at times and then, as with him, you find out Walden Pond was right next to a heavily traveled road, Thoreau moved back into town after a mere two years, and today the pond is a mess of litter, though some clean-up has occurred.

Emulating Kucinich? Good luck with that. Which Kucinich? Or just the one who took on the utility company?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Kucinich

For such history buffs, they don't know much.

What's next, Patrick Buchanan tuning in, turning on, and dropping out, like Wavy Gravy?

So just because you can alter the polarity of the statement with a word or two doesn't really deflate the observation that the right has come to believe that it is necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.

so, they want to Burn It Down?

I’m taking wj to mean that the grievances the people cite as justifying their revolution are no greater than the usual grievances just about anyone at any time would have in a pluralistic society. Their not getting their way on what is actually some fairly minor crap falls well short of the tyranny and oppression they claim it to be. People on the left (or of whatever political persuasion) are just as aggrieved as these self-appointed revolutionaries on any number of points. But they aren’t claiming that it’s time for them to take up arms to break the system over it.

Interesting that Democrats Pelosi and company were graciously thanking republican staffers who assisted members during the murderous January 6 onslaught, while elected maskless fuck republicans were hiding out and coughing on the Democrats:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/6/2073143/--Something-s-changed-in-his-values-former-McCarthy-staffer-slams-lawmaker-s-coziness-to-Trump

I'd like five minutes with Trump in a room alone.

Why do these filth conservatives suck his dick?

What's he got on these so-called conservative pussies?

It can't be charisma. It's gotta be dirt, bought and paid for.

Like the Mafia, trump's every sentence to his republican shills when he smells the slightest bit of disloyalty has got to start with the words: "It'd be a shame if ......

A minority fascist rump attempts to rule:

https://apnews.com/article/business-europe-russia-moscow-kazakhstan-3349e68089ccdbcd08e76a5e8fd4a909?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Instructive.

"But they aren’t claiming that it’s time for them to take up arms to break the system over it."

I'd prefer the system (our pretty good one, which the right is attempting to make utterly dysfunctional, not the kazakhstan variety, which should be violently overthrown) take up arms to break the insurrectionist claiments and their fake claims and protect the rest of us.

another take on Christian authoritarianism.

It is, perhaps, telling that "both heaven and hell are absolute dictatorships". (An observation I first encountered decades ago.) It makes religion-based authoritarianism more likely than not.

hsh, thanks for phrasing that far more clearly than I was managing to.

Yes, when the religious reactionaries talk about rejecting liberalism and ancient roots all they really mean is rejecting the pluralism of the Enlightenment. Never mind that what they embrace was causing horribly bloody wars between sects and witch hunts that wiped out thousands.

But in the eyes of Politco the whole of the Thirty Years War comes down to an argument over the aesthetics of communion, so…

Change the words "Ronald Reagan" to "Che Guevara" and "leftist" to "reactionary" and see, it means the same thing!

QED

Exactly wrong. There is no significant group on the left arguing the the positions that Guevara et al held are too conservative to be acceptable today. Whereas Reagan's positions are too liberal for the Faux News and MAGA crowd.

A murderer runs free to murder again:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/7/2073260/-Virginia-Gov-Glenn-Youngkin-demonstrates-how-Republicanism-works-in-one-awful-stroke

wj, you are of course talking about the actual historical Ronald Reagan, not the party saint. And few things will anger his worshippers more than pointing out the differences. Worst of all, it's the few redeeming* things about him that are the greatest heresies as far as the party's current dogma goes.

*and even some of those he imo did out of motives that I do not share.

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