Sunday, November 22, 2020

Rittenhouse

“I had to protect myself. I would have died that night if I didn’t.” – link

I think that:
  1. If Rittenhouse feels he is threatened by a Black person and,
  2. if he has deadly force available and,
  3. he knows there will be no penalty,
he will kill again without remorse, just like any racist police officer.

This young man ought never have been released.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

My Morning Snarks: the White Working Class, Liberals, Miserliness, and Republicans

What you call 'white working class' is not working class at all, but rather petty bourgeoisie. Look at the Trumpists! They are not sales clerks, nurses, gardeners. They're contractors with trucks, people with incomes and positions a few rungs up that they want to protect. You look at rural white voters - it's the same story. Follow @SarahTaber_bww for lots of detail. (And Bernie Sanders doesn't know this. Hmph.)” – tweet

The LA Times is not a liberal paper. I am not sure there are any liberal newspapers. The people you are lambasting as liberals are polite conservatives. The whole left attack on ‘liberals’ goes back to the bad old days, when liberals were not violent enough to get with a Stalinist program.” – tweet

Robert Cruikshank: “It doesn’t require federal help. WA has a GDP of $600 billion.” My reply, “And a government which draws on it will be out of power in two years. We are too miserly.” – tweet

Scott Edelman, sf author: “The Republican Party is the party of Death.” Me: “And rape and sedition and treason.” – tweet

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Black Christmas

On my local Nextdoor, one of the automated interest generator posts is a survey: “How do you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving this year?” Several people replied they were going to have a regular Thanksgiving and celebrate life.

Well. No, not well. COVID-19 is surging throughout the USA. Transmission at family gatherings is common. There are four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year; about enough time for some who gets COVID to die.

It is going to be a black Christmas.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Whim of the Court

So here we are. Joe Biden has won a clear victory in the Presidential race, and we have Secretary of State Pompeo saying, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration” snickering through the entire answer. It was probably a lame joke, but it was something he should never have said at all.

The election was honestly run, and the count is clear. State governors, state legislators and state secretaries of state say so. The only way Trump can win a second term is if somehow votes are thrown out. The state governments, all three branches, have so far found no reason to do that despite numerous frivolous lawsuits on the part of the Trump campaign. Which leaves the Federal government, which has no authority over how states run their elections, so long as it is within the law.

…or does it?

US Attorney General William Barr announced a new policy that would allow federal prosecutors to look into “substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections.” Richard Pilger, the head of Department of Justice’s election crimes department, has resigned in protest. The Trump campaign has sued in federal court, demanding that the state throw out thousands of ballots. Reportedly they are asking the Republican legislature to throw out the election results in Michigan. Georgia’s Senators Loeffler and Perdue have asked the Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger, a Republican, to resign. He has refused.

This is not like the 2000 election, where the whole case hinged on a few hundred votes; the Trump campaign is asking for tens of thousands of votes to be thrown out. In Michigan, they are trying to get all the state votes thrown out. Could the campaign succeed?

If the Trump campaign can get enough state courts or legislatures to override state laws, or pressure state executive officials, perhaps. If the campaign can get a case to the Supreme Court, where three Justices participated in the theft of the 2000 election, perhaps. By the Constitution the Supreme Court has little authority over voting in the states. It would be a constitutional crisis if the Supreme Court intervenes. Still, they might. This is in many ways like the attack on the ACA. If they can throw enough mud at the wall, perhaps some of it will stick. Biden’s Presidency may stand or fall on the whim of the Supreme Court’s “conservative” justices.

Don’t give up hope. Keep fighting. If you have the money and the will, donate to the Biden Fight Fund.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Tweets to a Never Trumper

It's about racism and sexism, Tom, and all the long years as conservatives were making deals with the authors of this result. I cannot name one who dissented until, finally, Trump's vulgarity pushed them over the edge. Maybe the left does not have the answer, but the right danced us to the gates of hell. Most of them – most of you – entered in. It is to your credit that you finally turned away and to your shame that you walked this road as far as you did. – Tweet

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Twisted Justice

So, Amy Coney Barret:

This is, even for a conservative judge, an unusually uncompassionate series of rulings. If you read her decisions, she is all very rational and collegial as she destroys the lives of little people. I am very much reminded of smart abusers I have known and read of, who can talk their way out of almost anything. Barrett has twists in her character. I worry about her children.

If Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court we will have a twisted fanatic, a rapist, a sexual harasser, and a perjurer on the Supreme Court.

Twisted justice, indeed!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Aristocratic Personality Disorder

Look at Brett Kavenaugh, look at Neil Gorsuch, gods help us, look at Amy Coney Barrett. All three seem deficient in some basic empathy. Kavenaugh, who probably raped dozens of women as a young man. Gorsuch, who opined that it was just fine for a trucking company to fire a man for leaving a load so as to avoid freezing to death. Barrett, with decisions making excuses for rapists and racists.

Surely these people are deranged. Surely there is some problem with them, some aristocratic personality disorder.

The history of aristocracies says they are not. The history of African slavery in the United States says they are not. Rather, they are normal people who have been raised to privilege. When people are raised to believe they are above all others, some will behave this way – it has happened over and over in history. If we want compassion to become a norm, we must teach it and reinforce it.

Now: look at white people in the United States. Are they not also an entitled class? Does this class not also have a significant faction of brutal members – white supremacists, rapists? Do the brutal not also have wide support among the less brutal members of the class?

We only thought we ended aristocracy with the Revolution.

What would it take to truly end aristocracy?

We would have to teach egalitarian values and compassion throughout society. We would have to limit extremes of wealth and poverty.

Could we do it? Would it lead to a workable, lasting society? I do not know. Trying is surely worthwhile.