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April 10, 2022

Comments

And this came up just after I posted

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/apr/10/sunak-orders-investigation-leak-wife-non-dom-status

I'm sure Sunak thinks asking people to investigate him is the Olympian heights of self-sacrifice.

His best effort was referring to it all as "smears".
Which seems to be the new term for true but inconvenient or embarrassing facts.

The most irksome point to me is that he held a green card - effectively declaring himself a permanent resident of the US - while actively campaigning for Brexit in the UK.

No doubt this will be put down to an oversight, but it does exemplify how the seriously wealthy tend to be detached from the rights and responsibilities - constraints, one might say - of citizenship.

Nigel, was Sunak a die-hard Brexiteer or just one who clambered on the band-wagon later? The Wikipedia page doesn't give many details.

Obscure backbencher at the time, so not prominent.
I get the impression of an ambitious politician who sensed early on what would serve his ambitions best within the Conservative party.

His stated position at the time (which reads pretty boilerplate - ie conviction free - to me):
https://www.rishisunak.com/news/why-i-will-vote-britain-leave-eu-0

Totally with Nigel on the Brexit/Green Card issue (rather like Farage applying for German citizenship through his wife the day after the referendum), and indeed on everything else hereabouts. What a bunch of morally corrupt swine they are.

"I'm sure Sunak thinks asking people to investigate him is the Olympian heights of self-sacrifice."

I'm not sure about that. Seems to me more like a tactic attempting to turn the tables.
If it's a civil servant, then leaking personal data is a sackable, likely criminal offence, and the Tories will revel in the opportunity to express outrage.
If (as is perhaps more likely*) it's a political opponent in his own party, then it would be much to his advantage.

*The consequences for civili servants breaching confidentiality are sufficiently severe (and leak enquiries are pretty uncomfortable affairs even for the innocent) to provide considerable deterrence.
Most political journalists will confirm that the great majority of leaks come form politicians.

There are two investigations here: one, by the Independent Advisor on Ministers’ Interests, intended to declare that Sunak acted within the letter of the regulations, the other by the Treasury and Cabinet Office, intended to identify and punish the leaker and so make it less likely that other Ministers will have to go to the trouble of having their corrupt dealings whitewashed.

An appropriately cynical description...

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/putin-purges-150-fsb-agents-in-response-to-russias-botched-war-with-ukraine-lf9k6tn6g

Have just tried twice to post a link to a Times article about Putin's purging of 150 FSB agents. Despite using my GftNC handle, which normally works when I'm posting links, it seems to have vanished.

Fixed -- wj

Thanks, wj!

Recently I have been considering starting tai chi and have been visiting all sorts of kung fu and qi gong related websites and fora int he process. Was reminded in the process of all of the tension between Falun Gong and the Chinese government, but the qi gong crowd seems pretty ambivalent there and anxious to avoid political commentary.

Which is the context and backdrop for my return to one of the firearms forums I lurk on and monitor. Surprise, surprise...the COVID paranoia and disinformation subforum there is full of anti-Chinese, anti-vax material that filters in from an assortment of "natural medicine" sites that seem mostly to be repackaging material from the Falun Gong owned Epoch Times.

Interesting.

Chinese cult influencing 2A RWNJs.

We live in a very discordian timeline.

The ULA and NASA have restarted their wet dress rehearsal with the Space Launch System. Due to anomalies in a helium valve, they won't be fueling the second stage. So near as I can tell, they are willing to fly the Artemis 1 mission using a second stage that has never been fueled on the launch pad.

It's one thing when SpaceX blows up the occasional $100M rocket early in its lifetime. (Using the standard measure, the Falcon 9 is now the safest heavy-lift rocket ever flown.) It's another thing entirely to risk blowing up a $2B rocket because you skimped on the testing. $4B if you believe the NASA Inspector General on the proper way to do the accounting. And the second copy of the SLS won't be finished for at least two more years.

It was probably the right decision, given his injury hostory and age.
https://www.mlb.com/news/clayton-kershaw-removed-from-perfect-game

But it hurts to see someone pitch 7 perfect innings, and then get pulled from the game. And after only 80 pitches -- is that really a long outing, even this early in the season?

The Space Launch System wet dress rehearsal failed again today. Tanks on the core stage were filled to about 5% with LOX and LH2 before a hydrogen leak required them to stop. The leak appears to be in the ground facilities, not the rocket. They have begun draining the tanks. No word yet on whether they will attempt another partial test in the near future, or haul the rocket back to the assembly building.

I am so glad I'm not working on a rocket that is so expensive to build and launch that the first flight has to be perfect, or the entire project is at risk of being cancelled.

Anything can be extremely expensive when it's coated with politics and cover-your-ass.

In addition to other problems, it will be interesting to see if SLS can survive the retirement of Alabama Senator Richard "NASA's manned space program will always be built in Alabama" Shelby.

It will be interesting to see if Alabamans decide to hedge their bets in that regard by electing a Democrat to follow Senator Shelby. Could economics be strong enough?

Your Friday smile:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/15/florida-dont-say-gay-says-dont-say-straight-too/

It will be interesting to see if Alabamans decide to hedge their bets in that regard by electing a Democrat to follow Senator Shelby. Could economics be strong enough?

With tongue only partially in cheek, will a new Senator of either party be able to get Congress to continue ignoring economics? Of the three companies that are likely to be involved in NASA's human space flights this decade, only the United Launch Alliance has or will have significant operations in Alabama. And ULA is starting to look very much like the high-priced option for everything.

Now some of that's not their fault. Congress saddled them with reusing the Shuttle engines in the SLS, which also stuck them with LH2 fuel and solid-fuel boosters. Congress made them stop buying Russian-built engines for the Atlas V, although Russia would almost certainly have stopped delivering them to ULA by this point anyway because of Ukraine.

With tongue only partially in cheek, will a new Senator of either party be able to get Congress to continue ignoring economics?

Of course, Alabamans may be blissfully (resolutely?) unaware that even a Senator of the "right" party might be unable to keep Congress doing so. Heaven knows voters seem able to ignore reality on other fronts.

Yup.

How Russia Media Uses Fox News to Make Its Case

Well worth reading in toto, but it examines (with stats) four ways Russian media has used Fox News to bolster the government’s narrative about the war:

1. Blaming NATO Expansion
2. Buttressing Conspiracy Theories
3. Questioning the West's Aims
4. Criticising President Biden


https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/15/technology/russia-media-fox-news.html

Yes, because the enemy of both the Russian nationalist and the Fox viewer is modernism and the liberal nation state. And both groups are fronted by oligarchs hoping to become the new feudal overlords when crisis capitalism kills the Westphalian system.

Of course, Alabamans may be blissfully (resolutely?) unaware that even a Senator of the "right" party might be unable to keep Congress doing so.

The commentariate at Lawyers, Guns & Money regularly puts Alabama Senator Tuberville in the competition for "dumbest Senator". I will give him credit for saying, during the hearings process for President Biden's nominee to head NASA, "Bill Nelson [former Democratic Senator from Florida] understands that NASA's rocket program needs to run through Huntsville."

“ 1. Blaming NATO Expansion
2. Buttressing Conspiracy Theories
3. Questioning the West's Aims
4. Criticising President Biden”

I don’t have a problem with most of that. NATO expansionism is partly to blame. Not as much as Mearsheimer says, but events tend to be multi causal. Conspiracy theories” is vague. Like everyone else, I believe some and not others. Apparently thinking Nuland had something to do with the change in Ukraines’s government in 2014 is something the NYT called a conspiracy theory in a different piece. One should question the West’s aims. Governments are almost intrinsically hypocritical. Biden is a gigantic hypocrite on human rights,to the extent one can take anything he says seriously. He and Putin should share a prison cell.

Tucker’s motives, of course, are undoubtedly cynical. But then in different ways so are the motives of the NYT. I have seen them distorting facts in ways that contradict their own reporting— for instance, they claimed the Russians used to accuse Syrian dissidents of being members of Al Qaeda, yet they reported back in 2013 that when Obama put Al Nusra on the terrorist list this was opposed by Syrian dissidents because Al Nusra was the strongest force against Assad. They weren’t members but they were allies. Ben Rhodes and other pro interventionists in the Obama administration felt the same way.

The MSM goes into propaganda mode when the US is in something very close to a direct war with an enemy. It has been fascinating to see how this war is covered vs the way some others are. I don’t watch Tucker even though he occasionally has people on who I would like to see, like the Amazon labor union organizer. But I avoid him because he is slimy and not for those four reasons.

Biden is a gigantic hypocrite on human rights,to the extent one can take anything he says seriously. He and Putin should share a prison cell.

I'm trying to remember when Biden ordered the invasion of a neighboring (or any) country. Or when troups under his command engaged in multiple, ongoing torture of civilians and other war crimes.

Help me out here Donald. Or are you just signing on to the Trumpian "everybody is equally bad" position?

I wonder when Donald will call for He, Trump to share that prison cell with Putin and Biden.

Who else would Donald lock up? Who would Donald make warden?

Putin would lock Donald up, either before or after poisoning him. So would Biden, right?

Morality is good. Morality is noble. We need morals. Hypocrisy is bad. Hypocrisy is detestable. We can do without hypocrisy.

All we need now is a Grand Arbiter of Morality and Hypocrisy. Anybody want the job?

--TP

I'm guessing that the alleged Biden crimes in question are mostly the use of drone strikes and artillery in mixed environments in Afghanistan and Iraq, the aerial bombing in the former Yugoslavian states, and the drones-and-special-forces actions in Yemen. Beyond that, Donald has pointed to his continued enabling of Saudi and Israeli aggression that human rights activists argue have often risen to the level of international war crimes. Which is to say that he (and we) enable - and outsource - a lot of state sponsored violence that we know crossed the line into grave violations under the guise of the "fog of war."

Not arguing for Biden to be up on charges with the ICC here, or that the nature and scope of our own failings leave no bright lines between us and Putin, just trying to fill in the details of what I think is in question from our previous discussions here.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I see a significant distinction between committing an offense and merely failing to stop it.

Not to say that one has no obligation to stop something bad if one can. Just that the level of offense is far greater for actively doing something than for failing to stop someone else from doing the same thing.

Personally, I'm rather with Tony P. The real world allows precious few "bright lines", I'll take what I can get.

What Tony P and GftNC said, but in more words:

The defendants at Nuremberg were not charged with the crime of Hypocrisy against humanity, and had they been, they would have been found innocent, the facts being what they fucking were.

When the victims of the Holocaust disembarked from the trains at the concentration camps with ash gently falling on their heads, they didn't accost the Nazi guards directing them to the left or right and express outrage at the latter's hypocrisy in having mislead the families as to their ultimate destinations.

"Your leaders said we were being transported to health spas and new lives. Now, what do you have to say for yourselves, you hypocrites? THIS, I say, is travel agent brochure hypocrisy!"

Harry Truman told Henry Wallace after the bombing of Nagasaki that "he didn't like the killing of all those kids."

Presumably, had he "liked" the idea of killing all those kids, we could rest a little assured that, well, at the very least, the man was not a hypocrite and then we could go about our business with a morally pristine attitude.

Which we mostly did anyway.

I sense that at the root of the creepy affection between the leader of North Korea and Donald Trump, and the malignant sympathies exchanged between Trump and Putin, was a mutual admiration of the absolute absence of hypocrisy in each of them.

Various governors and state legislatures, scrambling to remain absolute moral virgins, except when they are fucking their constituents at the motel on the edge of their racist gerrymandered district, are outlawing abortion, even in the event that the pregnancy is the result of rape and violence, AND pregnant women experiencing miscarriages and other medical problems during pregnancy are going to have their care compromised.

We will soon read about a woman, probably married, who was denied proper medical care during her pregnancy, because her doctor was afraid and intimidated by the threat of prosecution if he or she possibly contravenes some obtuse language in the new "laws", and the doctor's will die, as might her fetus.

The hypocrisy that will follow, especially authored by me, when that manslaughter is committed by vermin Christian conservatives, is going to be spectacular.


Hillary Clinton is a terrible hypocrite, so the American people, like von Hindenburg appointing Hiltler to the Chancellorship in 1932, in their earthy moral wisdom, went with a racist, pussy-grabbing, genocidal, immigrant-murdering, tax cheating fraudster psychopath whose subhuman larcenous cruelty comes straight from an honest heart of pure shit, because he sez-what-he-means is cash on the barrel-head to yer average plain-spoken American dunce.

And he means what he sez when he steals every election going forward.

True, a few opted in 2016 for the "What's Aleppo" dude, thus choosing a kind of stoned and blinkered geographic ignorance, and thereby preserving their carefully curated political hymens.

Because not knowing what an Aleppo is comes in handy when someone else wipes it off the face of the Earth.

It's fascinating that Putin and 80 million vermin conservatives in this country engage, in nearly identical words, their solidarity in absolute hatred of hypocrite Hillary Clinton.

"Governments are almost intrinsically hypocritical."

All that means is that each of us are individuals free of hypocrisy until we occupy a leadership position in government to carry out the policy preferences of 280 million non-hypocrites, for the non-hypocrites, by the non-hypocrites and of the non-hypocrites.

On each of our first days in office, we will sign our names and the Presidential Seal to massive wheelbarrows full of hypocritical compromised bullshit, as one hypocrite to another.

Charges of hypocrisy always seem to me to miss the point, like when I miss both legs of my pants as I try to jump into them with both feet simultaneously every morning.

I agree with Donald and nous that we must try harder.

But when, for example (because I guffaw every time I think about), a guy sez the thing that he doesn't care for about guns is that they are too noisy and bother his ears, I'm thinking his aim at the main target ... the point of what is fundamentally evil about weaponry ... is not true.

I mean, they give guys about to be shot by firing squads blindfolds, not earplugs.

The conservative operatives (fully groomed by the conservative second amendment groomers) who shoot up public schools are never, that I know of, charged with violating noise ordinances in leafy suburban neighborhoods.

I suppose if the shooters promised their mothers as they left for school in the morning that no, Mom, I won't shoot anyone at school today, we could get them on charges of hypocrisy as well.

Anyway, I don't disagree with Donald in the essence of what he writes, but short of a massive asteroid taking out the entire human race on Earth, I know of no way to eliminate both absolute EVIL and it's morally compromised and ambivalent sidekick, hypocrisy.

Well, I am the hypocrite. I said the other day I wouldn't be back until next week, and here I be.


I strongly suspect that Biden will wind up being the second US President to spend time in jail.

For speeding. In Washington DC. Just like Pres. Grant did.

(Grant could have tots beat the charge, the radar evidence being very shaky, but he was honest and copped to the charge)

OTOH, Putin should share a cell with Dubya and Cheney. For a few days, while the scaffold is prepared.

I don't, for the record, think that there is anything to be gained by trying to put Biden (or Obama, or Bush, or Clinton) in prison for war crimes. I would like to see such a thing happen to Putin or to Assad (and possibly to Erdogan) if only because the only way for that to happen would be for them to have fallen out of power, and I do sincerely wish for them to be out of power.

I would like to see the US become the sort of nation state that ratifies UN conventions and binds itself to international standards, but that's not going to happen. Maybe whatever political institutions come after the US might do such a thing, but this nation won't.

And even if we did ratify the conventions that we pay lip service to, I don't think that we have effective enforcement mechanisms in place to make sure that the conventions are upheld.

Don't mistake unromantic assessment for idealism. The goals I put effort into are all much smaller than our collective problems and are the sorts of things we can do with a small footprint and without a broad international consensus or problems of sovereignty.

nooneithinkisinmytree: The hypocrisy that will follow, especially authored by me, when that manslaughter is committed by vermin Christian conservatives, is going to be spectacular.

In an attempt to get ahead of the curve, I will point out that Kyril, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, seems to be one of those vermin Christian conservatives. Perhaps like the oft-mentioned Rod Dreher, perhaps not.

Religion is at the bottom of all atrocities (except the hypocritical ones) because "if you believe absurdities, you can commit atrocities". Certain "Christians" wish to exclude themselves from that dictum, but that's just majoritarian hypocrisy.

Happy Easter to the schismatics and heretics who (unlike Kyril and my Greek relatives) will be celebrating it tomorrow.

--TP

On the other hand, this is the guy who should be in a cell with Putin. Sorry if you think it's overly sentimental - despite his (absolutely no doubt) many flaws, I don't:

https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/1515466820203032580?s=20&t=unmxIA3Izwj6vINdpuE1Bk5DU1e1nPmEl6wz_Sl4IF0

Biden was a strong supporter of the invasion of Iraq. He continued to support the Saudi war in Yemen, including the blockade which is actually responsible for the majority of deaths there. And he is currently starving people in Afghanistan. ( Link in a moment) He supports Israeli oppression of Palestinians. There is the usual jabber about a 2ss. It means nothing.

The UNDP says a child dies in Yemen or war caused starvation every nine minutes, or 160 per day. The press could be writing about this every day. Some of these deaths are due to the Houthis who are also war criminals. The majority are from the blockade. This crap has been going on for seven freaking years and I have never once seen ribbons on trees or heard daily comments on the press about the horrors we support. There is a story now and then. It isn’t common knowledge, because the message sent by the press is that daily coverage of one set of atrocities vs sporadic coverage of another implicitly tells you which ones are important. Probably all political cultures are hypocritical to some degree. But Westerners should stop lying about what they are. We are a society that blathers on about the war crimes of our enemies and mostly looks away from our own. Perfectly normal human behavior, but people can rise above that. On the subject of war crimes we are roughly where the US was on the subject of freedom in the late 1700’s. It took centuries and we still aren’t there, but we did gradually start to see the immense hypocrisy of talking so much about freedom while supporting slavery and then Jim Crow, sundown towns and redlining and police brutality..
On Native Americans it dawned gradually on whites that both sides committed atrocities but whites were the aggressors. That also is an issue that hasn’t been resolved, but what progress has occurred began with recognizing our hypocrisy.

We could genuinely do better, but the first step is admitting the problem.

Ilhan Omar has been talking about this for awhile. She wants the US to join the ICC. The kerfuffle about her last June came about because she asked Blinken about where the victims of war crimes committed by the Taliban, Hamas, the US and Israel could go to get justice. There were cries of outrage by the leading hypocrites in both parties. How dare she compare democracies with terrorist organizations? Israel and the US are democracies which have functioning judicial systems. Yeah, Palestinians and parents in Yemen will be glad to hear it. Blinken was part of the 2015 decision to support the Saudis, thinking it would be a quick war, which is probably what Putin thought. In a slightly better world both would be in The Hague. In a somewhat better world the West at least would be as good as it pretends to be and Biden’s moral outrage towards Putin wouldn’t look like the hypocritical crap it is.


I don’t expect either Putin or Biden to be tried unless there is a revolution. There is a chance ( probably small) Trump could be tried, but not as a war criminal but for January 6.

Right now, step 1 is for the US to join the ICC. Step 2 would be to drop the BS about how the ICC is no threat to our political leaders, bureaucrats and military because we have a functioning judicial system, as does Israel. It’s a joke. Governments don’t have a history of holding themselves accountable for crimes of that magnitude. I remember when the issue of the US joining the ICC was first came up under President Clinton. Conservatives were opposed because they feared US troops would be falsely accused of war crimes in a foreign court. The liberals replied that there was no danger of this because the ICC only steps in when a country has no functioning judicial system capable of holding its own forces accountable and we have that. In short, both sides of the debate were full of crap but in different ways.

More broadly, there needs to be a worldwide movement to make the UN
a place where all war crimes can be investigated impartially. It can’t happen now because the US and Russia are part of the Security Council and can veto such things. It probably won’t happen anytime soon as Jon Schwarz pointed out in the Intercept because no government is going to give up that much power. But I don’t think it is hopeless. Ordinary people can stop accepting the BS that is spoon fed to them by governments and their media stenographers. It starts there.

Ezra Klein on Biden and Afghanistan

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/20/opinion/afghanistan-starvation-biden.html?searchResultPosition=26

This is valuable because Ezra is basically on the border between mainstream liberalism and the far left, so he can empathize with the liberal bureaucrats in the Biden Administration who defend their policies while being able to step outside and see how insane and morally indefensible the policy is.

I think things like this happen because Americans in the Beltway ( and people who identify too closely with a given political party) can’t or won’t do what Klein does here.

“ Perhaps I'm wrong, but I see a significant distinction between committing an offense and merely failing to stop it.”

So if we funneled weapons to Putin, gave him logistical support for his war and he imposed a blockade supported by us that killed hundreds of thousands of children this would be “ failing to stop Putin’s atrocities”.

No doubt, but it seems to me it would be a bit more than that. It also seemed that way to some lawyers in the Obama Administration who worried that Americans could be tried for complicity in war crimes.


Anyway, that’s the end of my ranting for the day.

Westerners should stop lying about what they are

Emphatically agree.

If “stop lying” seems too strong, feel free to substitute “gain some self-awareness”.

She wants the US to join the ICC.

FWIW, so do I.

More broadly, there needs to be a worldwide movement to make the UN a place where all war crimes can be investigated impartially.

A laudable idea, but in my opinion likely to take as long as the setting up of The United Federation of Planets, and not just because of the veto.

support the Saudi war in Yemen, including the blockade which is actually responsible for the majority of deaths there.

I'm with you on this. We had a golden opportunity at the beginning of the Afghanistan War. The Iranians (not historically our biggest fans, to put it mildly) offered us free transit across their territory. Like idiots, we decided instead to pay big bucks to Pakistan to cross their territory; money that Pakistan's ISI funneled to the Taliban, who we were fighting.

But if we'd worked with the Iranians, we'd have had the flexibility to move away from the Saudis. Sure, the Iranians run a theocracy. But so do the Saudis (in everything but name). And at least the Iranians a) didn't staff al Qaeda and b) have been civilized for millenia, so there's some basis for a relationship.

The result would be that we wouldn't have felt any need to support the Saudi aggression in Yemen. And, because the Saudis would have known that, they might even have refrained from attacking in the first place.

Alas, we went with the stupidity of the fantasy "Axis of Evil."

Two weeks ago I had two classrooms full of students who were upset that no one was doing enough to prevent the UN's Six Grave Violations of children's rights in armed conflict. They wanted to round up all the violators and put them through the ICC.

Two weeks of research later, I have two classrooms full of students who have shifted their attention to trying to help the children who have survived these grave violations to reintegrate, to manage the effects of trauma, and to live happy, productive, peaceful adult lives.

The ICC is an important institution, and the UN conventions and protocols are important aspirational goals, but we have to break the cycle of violence and its legacies of human damage to actually do any of that, and we need to do that in a way that flows around the obstructions that the superpowers place on issues of justice and sovereignty, because those obstructions are not going anywhere.

wj: Alas, we went with the stupidity of the fantasy "Axis of Evil."

"We" means wj and me -- and Donald! -- plus our 300 million closest friends. "We" sort-of-elected Dick and Dubya, who made that stupid decision.

But of course, had "we" elected Al Gore he would have done the same thing because there's not a dime's worth of difference between the major political parties in the US. Or in any democracy for that matter. So the moral thing to do is wash our hands of them. Like Pontius Pilate.

Somewhere in the maelstrom of news this past couple of months, I read something to the effect that Jarred Kushner's sugar daddy MBS is pissed at Biden for not supporting his war on Yemen enough, so no Saudi oil for you! Could be bullshit, I don't know. What I do know is that weaning "ourselves" off oil has always been our best hope for cooling the jets of the petro-theocrats. And one party has been resolutely opposed to that. But the other party is just as bad, right?

--TP

"We" sort-of-elected Dick and Dubya, who made that stupid decision.

Well, here's the thing about democracy. "We" elected him only if we voted for him. I don't know about you, but I didn't. (And I'm guessing that you didn't either.)

Now you could argue that we are responsible because we failed to educate the majority of the population who did vote for him. But at least in my case, a solid majority of my friends and neighbors (i.e. my state) also didn't vote for him. There's limits about how much responsibility I am prepared to take for the ignorance of people who live thousands of miles away from me.

Why even worry about taking responsibility? Align your actions with repairing the damage that's already done, and align your intentions with mitigating future damage and altering course as much as we can.

Whoever is a part of that process is part of the solution, whatever their past responsibility. Work out restorative measures after we start fixing the problems going forward.

We need a restorative justice approach that lets people into being part of the solution and finding their way back to community.

Amen

This,
https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/will-macrons-centrism-defeat-frances-growing-right-wing

via LGM might be a way to look at this from the outside. As Goldhammer points out, Macron has to appeal to populist urges while the left calls him a sell-out, which sounds like here. Of course, Macron got to his place on the greasy pole by simultaneously standing up against Marine La Pen and tacking to the right of Hollande

So you paint this picture of Macron going further right than people like us might have hoped. And yet that seemed to be not quite far enough for the French electorate, and that’s what I’m just trying to understand.

I think you’re quite right. It doesn’t seem completely warranted. The rate of immigration, both legal and illegal, has been curtailed, in part by covid. There’s no particular reason for anxiety. I think the beheading of Samuel Paty in broad daylight on a public street, by a Chechen refugee, was a major source of anxiety. There’s a trial going on right now of the surviving terrorist involved in the Bataclan attack in 2015. So that’s a reminder that terrorism is an omnipresent danger in France. But still it goes too far. Macron’s critics attack him for being anti-democratic in their view, but here he’s responding to a clear popular demand, where polls showed that seventy per cent of the French think he hasn’t gone far enough. So he’s caught between a rock and a hard place.

A lot of Western countries faced violence from Islamic terrorism over the past two decades, but it seems in most of these countries it’s somewhat faded as a major issue, and certainly as a central issue in Presidential campaigns.

I think the French have had more recent reminders. The Paty murder was extremely shocking because of its nature. And there also has been a change in the French media landscape. There are now two channels that have adopted the Fox News formula of going with shocking stories around the clock: BFMTV and CNews. CNews is owned by a billionaire similar to Rupert Murdoch, a guy named Vincent Bolloré, who was one of the promoters of Éric Zemmour. He meets frequently with Zemmour and gave him his own show, so Zemmour had several hours a week of airtime to vent his Islam-hostile views.

This isn't to defend Macron, but I see similarities in the situations. I also like nous' point that trying to figure out who is responsible is a fool's errand, especially when you are on the level of comments in a blog.

Just a few days ago just a case for jokes in a youtube comment section, now seemingly serious:
https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/maddowblog/pointing-critical-race-theory-florida-rejects-math-textbooks-rcna24791

Admittedly, I already poured cold water on those jokes by naming historical precedents of using math textbooks for indoctrination. E.g. in the 3rd Reich math word problems were used to push euthanasia and in the GDR to promote the armed forces. I could easily see something similar in the US (How much tax money is wasted on illegal immigrants/fighting the black crime wave compared to higher funds for border security? How far could we lower taxes, if we got rid of social security for the unworthy? How much money is China stealing from us through the trade deficit and how high have the tariffs to be to compensate for that? etc.)

The fraction 3/5's still figures prominently in white trash racist genocidal Christian vermin republican conservative math texts.

Banking math, such as compound interest, will add up via eliminationist subtraction in subhuman republican conservative minds to the mathematical elimination of Jews in Putin/Trump America:

https://www.mediamatters.org/diversity-discrimination/doug-mastriano-and-other-republicans-are-speaking-conference-hosted

Them bankers again .. helping outnumbered pregnant women on the run from pigfucking Texas Christians mobs:

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/south-texas-el-paso/news/2022/03/21/republican-texas-lawmaker-issues-warning-to-citigroup-over-its-abortion-policy

Here's a Republican who was fucking dumb enough to give military weaponry to his armed conservative enemies who will kill him and his family, and then they will murder everyone to his left ... us:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/fred-upton-death-threats-congress

Ya think, Fred?

Genocide is nothing new to theocracies that rule by the gun:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a39751133/supreme-court-school-prayer-kennedy/

Number theories of race, religion, and elections. It ain't the numbers; it's the counters:

https://digbysblog.net/2022/04/18/is-the-mar-a-lago-machine-working/

Republican Governor vetoes bill to ban trans athletes, but signs bill to permit the unlicensed carrying of weapons that murderous Christians, even those many who carry the genital herpes virus, will use to kill LGBT and trans humans.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/22/indiana-governor-vetoes-transgender-girls-sports-bill

Here's a numbers game: The countdown to violent race and religious Civil War in all 50 states in America. It's already well underway, so count backwards real fast to catch up.

There will be no Kansas/Nebraska Compromise this time around. These evil fucks want all of it.

Trump is the risen perverted conservative anti-Christ.

Round about next Easter, Joe Biden will be crucified.

Mitt Romney may not be slippery enough to avoid being crucified along with Biden as murderous all-American Christians and their high Court Judges do their worst ... once again:

https://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/mormon.asp

I'm not gonna get my testicles tanned, because I've seen what happens when you fry Rocky Mountain oysters, but I'm thinking about having my Tucker Carlson bleached.

Christianity on the march:

https://juanitajean.com/thats-my-story-and-im-sticking-to-it

It's a murderous, genocidal worldwide movement.

Glasnost between conservative American killers and conservative Russian killers, all with yachts converging on Golgotha, as Ronald Reagan intended.

The Ark of the Trump/Putin Covenant.

They crucify everyone but the thieves.

Any lurking conservative republicans here would who like to translate?

https://vpk.name/news/379169_na_flagmane_chernomorskogo_flota_budet_hranitsya_chastica_kresta_gospodnya.html

That story about the Texas legislator trying to threaten Citi Bank is . . . I was going to say "amazing" except that it isn't actually even surprising. No doubt he is unaware (or doesn't give a damn) that underwriting municipal bonds isn't that big an earner for banks. All that his threatened action would do is increase the interest costs for Texas municipal bonds. Especially if other banks land in the same category.

But then, watching Abbott run up the cost of groceries for Texans, what else would one expect? Except maybe that Abbott had gotten their first.

The first time I encountered someone going nuts over tanning was over 50 years ago in a Marine barracks in Quantico, Virginia.

We were on the second floor with windows opening on a first-floor roof.

One of the guys would go out on the roof nude to sunbathe. But, I think in his case, it was just a compulsion to tan every square centimeter.

Some officer housing was on a hill overlooking the barracks. And there were complaints. I don't know whether it was men or women complaining. Could have been both. He wasn't that good-looking.

All that his threatened action would do is increase the interest costs for Texas municipal bonds.

Yeah, I had thoughts about the very conservative rural/exurb communities in particular in Texas suddenly having to pay much higher fees for underwriting services because a Houston-area Republican did this.

The debate over the US joining the ICC sounds a lot like some of the dialog in Captain America: Civil War.

The debate over the US joining the ICC sounds a lot like some of the dialog in Captain America: Civil War.

Wakanda Forever!

The CDC is unconstitutional:

https://www.afj.org/document/kathryn-mizelle-background-report/

I'm flying in June. I'm a realist about the marginal benefits of masking in the vicinity of subhuman unvaxxed and infected conservative and libertarian vermin, but I will nevertheless be masked and I look forward to any verbal trash talk directed my way at 30,000 feet.

Otherwise, also looking forward to savagely violent Civil War on every street in America.

Seems the only thing that will remain constitutional in fascist racist vermin conservative America, except perhaps slavery, is killing with automatic weapons, because that semi-shit seems so biggus dickless to that bleached bullshit orifice, Tucker Carlson.

'As Trump judge Amy Coney Barrett put it: “Adherence to originalism arguably requires, for example, the dismantling of the administrative state, the invalidation of paper money, and the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education.”'

It will be "put" one day soon to Amy Coney Barrett the way the Founders put it to British subhuman conservatives and Lincoln to cracker racist republican slaver conservatives, whom we apparently neglected to "put it to" with utter eternal murderous finality when we had the chance.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/04/what-is-going-on-at-montpelier

There are 29 Madison-authored Federalist Papers.

If you rip them out of the book, they make for good kindling.

There's a Quentin Tarantino movie with a scene depicting the fiery end of Leonard Leo's Federalist Society.

I won't trouble you again with its prescience for subhuman fascist conservative America.

On the other hand, slave-wanna-be Clarence Thomas might look good in short pants fetching my mint julep, if he can keep his pubes away from the ladies of the house.

May he survive conservative movement putin genocide in Ukraine to get his weaponry and killing chops back stateside to wipe out the racist subhuman election-stealing conservative murderers in America.

https://twitter.com/PaulRieckhoff/status/1516205215267102724

I very strongly dislike nooneithink's remark about Clarence Thomas.

As Trump judge Amy Coney Barrett put it: “Adherence to originalism arguably requires, for example, the dismantling of the administrative state, the invalidation of paper money, and the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education.”

In search of optimism, this thought occurs to me. Suppose, as must happen sooner or later, Justice Alito and Justice Thomas pass from this mortal coil. Suppose further that this happens while the Democrats still control the Presidency and the Senate. At that point, the conservative 6-3 majority falls to a 4-5 minority. And with not much prospect of changing back in their favor very soon.

Now I believe Chief Justice Roberts cares enough about the law (and about the Court) that he will be willing to spend years writing dissenting opinions. But I'm thinking that the partisan hacks that Trump appointed may decide that they'd rather resign and maybe take up a safe red Senate seat instead. No point in staying on when you can't trash the Constitution in pursuit of your preferred ideological ends.

"I very strongly dislike nooneithink's remark about Clarence Thomas."

I'm not too hot on it myself, but unelected Thomas and his co-Supreme Court Justice administrative state wife would vote against the two of us, as politically incorrect speech is first of all constitutionally-protected verbal violence, and second of all, he likes it, and third, because if both sides don't do it, it's only half the fun for freedom-loving Americans like himself.

And make that a Sazerac.

And then there are the five other conservative votes on the Court, which makes it 7-3 against you and me holding our sensitive tongues.

I strongly dislike non-Judge Thomas' coming vote to throw Brown vrs Board of Education under the Jim Crow II wheels of constitutional originalism.

But by then, you won't be able to hear speech on account of the incessant gunfire, also constitutionally protected.

"In Search of Optimism."

Zelensky's memoir of that title has been banned in 21 formerly American states on account of the nudity depicted among raped and murdered Ukrainians carried out by Putin's Russian Republican National Committee for the Restoration of Trumps Who's Got it, Keeps it, and Them's Who Don't, Don't.

As Trump judge Amy Coney Barrett put it: “Adherence to originalism arguably requires, for example, the dismantling of the administrative state, the invalidation of paper money, and the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education.”

In the quote's context, she doesn't argue that any of those things should be done.

Congressional Originalism

Arguably, her stint so far on the Supreme Court and the sudden appearance of conservatively originalist bespoke cases, assembly-lined by right wing "legal" outfits, in obvious preparation for her appointment to the Court, proves her statement several paragraphs later in the paper to be along the lines of a typical Trumpian "I'm the least racist, and most honest person in the universe' statement.

"No one is likely to ask
the Supreme Court to rethink arguably nonoriginalist decisions like
the constitutionality of the Social Security Administration, paper
money, or segregated public schools—and if anyone did ask, the
Court would deny certiorari."

Arguably, her stint so far on the Supreme Court and the sudden appearance of conservatively originalist bespoke cases, assembly-lined by right wing "legal" outfits, in obvious preparation for her appointment to the Court, proves her statement several paragraphs later in the paper to be along the lines of a typical Trumpian "I'm the least racist, and most honest person in the universe' statement.

"No one is likely to ask
the Supreme Court to rethink arguably nonoriginalist decisions like
the constitutionality of the Social Security Administration, paper
money, or segregated public schools—and if anyone did ask, the
Court would deny certiorari."

"No one is likely to ask
the Supreme Court to rethink arguably nonoriginalist decisions like
the constitutionality of the Social Security Administration, paper
money, or segregated public schools—and if anyone did ask, the
Court would deny certiorari."

The MAGAts have more urgent fascist priorities to be dealt with first, and in any case those issues would come up on the Shadow Docket where fingerprints are not left, and speed and stealth are of utmost importance.

Coney Barrett is either lying to Leonard Leo or to everyone else:

https://www.acslaw.org/expertforum/trumps-judge-whisperer-promised-to-take-our-laws-back-to-the-1930s/

Lying is Christian conservative and constitutionally protected speech, and then is elevated to religious dogma to make sure.

Except when you lie to Leonard Leo, so I guess the rest of us are the suckers.

Bullshit.

The purpose of conservative and libertarian commentary at OBWI is to show up a day late and three dollars short to admit that "well, I didn't see that coming", as the malignant conservative movement proves to be as malignantly sincere as I have predicted since before Moe Lane spit shined Erick Erickson's wife's shotgun.

And speaking of the Census Bureau, Joe Biden must convene by executive order a redo of the 2020 Census.

If the Supreme Court doesn't like it, then the question becomes .. acutely .... how many divisions do those popes have:

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2022/04/14/trumps-handling-of-the-2020-census-was-even-worse-than-you-think/

"I very strongly dislike nooneithink's remark about Clarence Thomas."

I'm not crazy about it myself, but would just remark for anyone who has forgotten that the "pubes" comment (although not the most offensive bit) refers to Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearings, where (the highly credible, now-Law Professor) Anita Hill alleged that during his sexual harassment campaign against her, involving multiple discussions of pornography, he claimed someone (possibly himself?) had put a pubic hair on his soft drink, and used the porn name "Long Dong Silver". He denied everything, of course.

If Clarence Thomas were lily-white, and had said and written every word that he has in fact said and written since he got his ass on the SCOTUS, would anyone object to calling him a "slave-owner wannabe"?

Maybe somebody would, on the grounds that Thomas has never explicitly in so many words stated a desire to personally own a single slave. Such fastidiousness may be commendable, but it's also mighty convenient from a MAGAt point of view.

I have begun to think that the US needs another 4-6 years of MAGAt misgovernance before the survivors rise up and rid themselves of would-be totalitarians masquerading as "originalists".

--TP

I have begun to think that the US needs another 4-6 years of MAGAt misgovernance before the survivors rise up and rid themselves of would-be totalitarians masquerading as "originalists".

I would hope, though not necessarily be confident, that another round of MAGAts in power would have that result.

But I would far prefer, and be more confident of, having the MAGAts start losing elections. Not because I think it would change any of their (putative) minds. But because those who have been toadying to them simply to gain power would decide they needed a different path. And cut them off.

(Not to mention how vastly less damaging to the nation it would be to avoid having them back in power. Even for a day, much less several years.)

...would anyone object to calling him a "slave-owner wannabe"?

There's no symmetry between oppressor and oppressed. If racist rhetoric is acceptable here so long as it's directed at bad judges, I'll be off.

There is no doubt that racist rhetoric should be unacceptable here, and everywhere.

Clarence Thomas seems strongly inclined to side with the oppressors against the oppressed at every opportunity. "Originalists" are like that.

Most of us around here find racist rhetoric unacceptable. We libruls are like that.

Now, I can't tell whether Pro Bono at 6:36PM meant to compare, or to contrast, the snippet he quoted from my 4:13PM comment with nooneithink's 8:47AM remarks, for which Pro Bono expressed his strong dislike at 11:15AM. It would be helpful to know what the "racist rhetoric" was.

BTW, is it racist to observe that Vladimir Putin is a lily-white mass murderer? Or to note that his pet POTUS and the MAGAts who clamor to be governed by that pasty-ass grifter again are not all white, but sure do spew racist rhetoric a lot? Can anybody tell the difference between actual racist rhetoric (backed by a patent desire to actually oppress people) and colorful blog comments?

--TP

Dana Milbank explains, with examples (lots of examples), how one of the math books which Gov DeSantis has banned from Florida schools (Precalculus With Limits) would inflict forbidden topics and beliefs on children.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/19/florida-math-textbooks-critical-race-theory/

It would be helpful to know what the "racist rhetoric" was.

Tell me how this is not racist? Colorful my xyz...

slave-wanna-be Clarence Thomas might look good in short pants fetching my mint julep

Faculty on my campus are abuzz with the news yesterday that a former undergraduate student here was being charged in court for weapons violations and threats to the campus. This was news to most of us who didn't know that a) he's already been arrested and tried once and that b) he'd been out on probation and started preparing for it again.

1000+ rounds of .300 Blackout ammo, an illegal firearm purchased out-of-state, and illegal magazines that exceed the state capacity seem like a pretty solid threat. It's disturbing to note that there was a three year history of this person and problems and credible threats, but we only found out any of it a month after the latest of those threats was dealt with. Dude had been posting McVeigh quotes on his twitter page and sending threats to administration, and the people who were on the ground heard not one bit of it until well after the fact.

Going to a physical classroom on an open campus is very much an act of faith these days.

novakant - agree that it's a racist framing, even if I think that the racism was being performed ironically for rhetorical effect. I think this is one of those cases where the framing drowns whatever affect is hoped for.

Going to a physical classroom on an open campus is very much an act of faith these days.

True, apparently, of any and every school, from university down to (and maybe beyond) kindergarten. Also of any place of business. Even something as apparently non-controversial as Hone Depot can find itself firebombed during business hours.

Gun control is obviously urgently needed. But it seems like vastly improved mental health facilities are as well. To the point that I would argue for reinstituting state mental health hospitals as part of the recreation of the necessary infrastructure.

What nous said @3.02.

It's hard to ridicule the hatefulness of the people nooneithink is trying to ridicule, without straying into extreme offensiveness (of various kinds, as we have often identified). Best not attempted, but nooneithink is a highwire operator, who doesn't often look down.

To the point that I would argue for reinstituting state mental health hospitals as part of the recreation of the necessary infrastructure.

Perhaps you should vote for Shellenberger.

But it seems like vastly improved mental health facilities are as well. To the point that I would argue for reinstituting state mental health hospitals as part of the recreation of the necessary infrastructure.

Perhaps you should vote for Shellenberger.

"I’m also going to create a statewide psychiatric and addiction care system, “Cal-Psych,” that will be a model for the U.S. A statewide system will allow us to treat addicts and the mentally ill in parts of California where the cost of living is lower. This statewide system will be more cost-effective than the individual county systems, which are failing to do the job. If California is going to treat America’s drug addicts and mentally ill, then I will make sure we are reimbursed for it by the federal government. California is being taken advantage of, and I will put an end to it."
Shellenberger for Governor: Homelessness

The moderation pit is filling up...

Absolutely magnificent comeback by Mallory McMorrow, a Dem State Senator in Michigan, in response to a fundraising ad by Senator Lana Theis accusing her of grooming and sexualising children:

https://twitter.com/MalloryMcMorrow/status/1516453738403143681?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1516453738403143681%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fopinions%2F2022%2F04%2F20%2Fmallory-mcmorrow-james-carville-wokeness-democrats%2F

As long as Clarence Thomas carries Strom Thurmond's water on states' rights issues pertaining to racist gerrymanders and equal voting rights, affirmative action, women's rights, LGBT matters as implied by the coming striking down of Obergefell and more, religious indoctrination by conservative Christians attempting to turn the Establishment Clause inside out, and to enable the shoving down our throats of all of the above by arming the conservative movement to the teeth and grooming the gun owners for just that anti-government eventuality, and whatever else he and his fellow white ilk plan on bringing our way, he might as well fetch me a drink too while he's up.

As long as his wife carries Timothy McVeigh's and Donald Trump's water to enable the stealing of Presidential and other elections and the wholesale destruction of the Federal Government, the color of her skin is irrelevant to the dealing out to her of the just desserts of extreme counter-rebellion.

I know a couple of radical Radio Rwanda Hutus when I see them, and the rest of we moderate Hutus and all Tutsis in America are in grave danger from them and theirs.

Let me dig myself a little deeper on to this high wire framing, in which I seem to be framing myself for a fall without a net.

How is it that Peter Thiel is the only openly gay individual in America who is not being accused by every conservative political figure and media figure in America of grooming American children for the latter's sexual molestation, as they are despicably accusing public (and only public, you'll notice) school teachers, all liberals, and Joe Biden of, including the money-groomed man of Thiel's dreams, fake hillbilly race- and gay-baiter, the oh so innocent faced groomed Trump choir boy, J.D Vance?

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/04/peter-thiel-buys-new-mcmansion-for-his-sock-puppet

In the meantime, I agree with pro bono, novakant, GftNC, and those who haven't yet risen to rightly condemn ... which should happen in any normative time which now escapes us ... my racist, "framing" of this matter, but I'm no longer playing this spiderwebby conservative movement game of neo-"political correctness" the conservative scum have us in wrapped us up in like Shelob stinging and immobilizing Frodo ... they pride themselves loudly on their racist, homophobic, anti-Mexican, anti-foreigner statements and policy prescriptions and then accuse US of practicing "political correctness" and "wokeness"*, and .. wait for it .. hypocrisy, if we defend the OTHER they despise, which shifts emphasis from one election cycle to another to keep the haters fine tuned.

Condemning me for what I wrote is a little like condemning the actor James Anderson, who played the racist, child-molesting Robert E Lee "Bob Ewell in the film "To Kill A Mockingbird" for reciting the lines author Harper Lee and screenwriter Horton Foote observed in the mouths of their Jim Crow neighbors and family members and southern confederate politicians.

In 1988, the jerry-rigged photo of Willie Horton did the trick for the racist conservative base's "they-all-look-alike numbskulls, who, had the Republican Party run Clarence Thomas' photo by accident instead, would have been just as effective in igniting their racist bloodlust.

I'm going to be THEM on THEIR terms they've chosen because I want the conservative movement dead. Not wounded, dead, however it can be accomplished, and utterly.

And my opinions or my policy preferences, which are generally somewhat to the left of center, are irrelevant to this goal.

I don't like the cut of their jibs. I don't like the way they operate. I hate them ruthlessly just as they hate me, as an exact replica of their hatefulness.

So anyway, I'm an idiot. I encourage pro bono and whomever else feels they must leave OBWI on account of me to not be foolish enough to deprive others here of your presence and thoughts.

Say the word, and I'll leave. I don't mind. 'Cause it doesn't seem like I'm going to change my tune in these introductory days of the second American Civil War.

*I notice loud-mouthed genius Elon Musk is now complaining that Netflix is suffering from "woke mind virus". Doesn't he know that the muscle car jagoff, protein-supplemented thick necks among the masculine testical tanning conservative movement and their gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing, oil drilling land barons and paid off right wing politicians find the entire idea of electric cars and solar power slightly woke, as in a little, ya know, light in the loafers, not quite the manly American vehicular testosterone we've come to expect from red-blooded Texans.

Yeah, I'm the problem.

https://www.mediamatters.org/coronavirus-covid-19/idaho-lt-gov-janice-mcgeachin-rallying-stew-peters-pro-putin-conspiracy

They will kill us.

...find the entire idea of electric cars and solar power slightly woke, as in a little, ya know, light in the loafers, not quite the manly American vehicular testosterone we've come to expect from red-blooded Texans.

As I told my friend whose (expensive) hobby used to be amateur racing at places like Road Atlanta, "Gasoline ICE aficionados must have been crying about the auto ads during the Super Bowl this year."

Tell me how this is not racist?

my own take on this:

it's certainly rude. is it racist?

it's hard for me to disentangle racism from pretty much any and everything, at least here in the US. in other countries, the markers may be different. here in the US, skin color, as arbitrary and insignificant as that is, persists as one of the things that distinguish "us" from "them".

I take Pro Bono's and nous' points about the rhetoric, and fine with me if we say racist rhetoric in any context is unacceptable.

noone's comment alludes to race, and alludes to our national history, in ways that raise some of the uglier bits right up to the surface. it does so in the interest of calling out the bullshit of originalist SCOTUS jurisprudence.

because the blessed founders, the secular saints of originalist dogma, would nearly to a man have sold Clarence Thomas' ass to the highest bidder.

intent is significant, IMO. noone has been posting here for, at this point, a decade. Maybe two - have we been here that long? does anyone think he is a racist, above and beyond the degree to which any of us are infected by our persistent national virus?

I'm fine with calling the comment out, but can we also please recognize the realities of the moment?

Worrying about the political correctness of our rhetoric is a luxury. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Gun control is obviously urgently needed. But it seems like vastly improved mental health facilities are as well.

CA has done about as much as it can, unilaterally, on the regulation front...more in some mostly pointless cases (microstamping was always a dumb idea).

Federal action is exceedingly unlikely in the current political climate, and I worry that law enforcement will use further regulations differentially against minority citizens when such things are left to their discretion.

Liberal firearm associations do exist, but all of them that I have found take the same hands-off approach to regulation as the RW associations do for the same anti-government reasons. A lot of their members are LGBTQ+ or BIPOC or both and deeply mistrustful of both government and of law enforcement, especially in this political moment when the right is coming after them hard.

Sensible, moderate, informed gun policy of the sort you find in civilized nations is nowhere on the table.

All that aside, the individual in question here had already been placed on a 5150 hold back in 2019. Being held was one of the sources of his grievance against the university.

Again, I don't know what we can hope to accomplish with locking the mentally ill up that is not going to be a deep source of concern for everyone on the left if the current RW politicians and law enforcement decide to take those tools and use them against anyone that they see as a threat.

One more tightrope act in a high wind.

Rod Dreher’s wife had filed for divorce.

On a personal level, this is a sad event, having been through it myself.

But it won’t be me in some nearer time than we imagine supporting an orthodox constitutional made-up legal position that divorce between a man and a woman shall be prevented by a theocratic gummint, and love and dedication among LGBT married couples and living parents shall be torn asunder by an intentionally perverted activist Supreme Court.

He’ll be OK. He’ll return soon to America with a sexy Hungarian nationalist chick on his arm who believes George Soros is the gay Jew anti-Christ commie Jew and letting Putin also into her pants.

I fear for his children, who obviously his devotion to Christ has prevented him from attending to, unlike agnostic me.

He closed comments to that thingy at the Anti-Other Conservative , for fear his wife my show up.

He’s a gentle soul who accuses the rest of us of grooming. And then denies it.

Just noticed Charles WT's note about moderation, I've released the two comments he had, but there were no others.

And about the kerfluffl-y stuff, I'm in a similar frame of mind as Russell. Calling the comment out, no problems. I think one of the things that is in exceedingly short supply is people looking at a comment and saying 'wait a minute, if you say that, then...' Words do matter, and if you find a problem with someone's words, by all means, say it. But, speaking of highwire acts, it is a bit problematic to threaten to withdraw participation as an additional threat. my 2 cents.

Seems like a song is called for:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg_TRaiWj4o

But, of course, everyone knows what it's like, and my eyes aren't blue, but I'm headed for karaoke and thought I'd give it a shot.

lj, thanks.

Rereading my last comment, it was a bit fuzzy. I think that there are a lot of people picking at each other's words, but not so much in the spirit of 'here's my take, but it's just the impression I get' One reason I like this little Beau Geste out on the edge of the internet is that more people do that here than in other places.

intent is significant, IMO. noone has been posting here for, at this point, a decade. Maybe two - have we been here that long? does anyone think he is a racist, above and beyond the degree to which any of us are infected by our persistent national virus?

We are all a bit racist, but it's entirely possible that nooneithink is less racist than I am.

I do not seek to detect or eliminate racist thoughts. I do not seek to determine how racist a person might be and judge them for it. Those things are too hard for me.

The racism that matters is expressed in words and deeds, and exists independent of the private thoughts of the speaker or actor. Therefore, I use the word 'racist' to describe words or deeds, but seldom people.

it is a bit problematic to threaten to withdraw participation

OK. It wasn't intended as a threat, in that I made no demands. I simply don't want to be (a very minor) part of a community where what nooneithink wrote is generally thought acceptable.

As I see it, nooneithinkisinmytree is engaging in obvious satire regarding a Black American who is integral - at the very highest of levels - to an American political movement that overtly attempts to marginalize Black Americans. There's nothing racist about his words other than the racism those words satirize.

Fox Business headline: "Time for Disney and corporate America to stay out of culture wars"

I won't click on the link because it's Fox Business, but the headline alone is a thing of beauty. Where to start?

As I see it, nooneithinkisinmytree is engaging in obvious satire regarding a Black American who is integral - at the very highest of levels - to an American political movement that overtly attempts to marginalize Black Americans

I agree with this, and with russell's point that Clarence Thomas enthusiastically espouses an approach (originalism) that if followed consistently would result in his enslavement. Which, of course, was partly the point of nooneIthink's comment. What I meant about the highwire act is that noone's extraordinary performance art inexorably involves him in unacceptable stuff, because that is what he is (in hsh's word) satirising. Or using reductio ad absurdum, or something. I don't have the proper words for what noone is doing, actually, but I can see how often it involves deeply uncomfortable-making wording. Everyone has to make their own decisions about how much is too much, and everyone does, I guess. It's a shame, because I think the thousand flowers of our community are very worthwhile when they bloom. But so it goes.

It come to this.

  • Money is speech.
  • Corporations have free speech, per the conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
  • However, speech type free speech, as opposed to giving money speech, is not allowed to corporations. (With possible carve-outs for speech supporting, rather than opposing, reactionary politicians and culture wars positions.)

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