Sunday, September 26, 2021

Tweets: "the workings of the world machine are depressing"

"And the end result is we’re stuck with a document that’s at least 100 years out of date and absolutely dependent on the whim of supreme court justices to fill in the gaps. We’ve got plenty of authoritarianism [with a constitution that is hard to amend; the difficulty of amendment doesn't protect us.]" –

On an LA baliff's firearms negligence: "He is a civilian. And there are no firearms accidents." – Tweet

On comments as to how sex positive feminism is going out of style: "You are making, you know, too much sense. American popular culture operates in extremes. In my time we have strong from prudery to prurience and now we are swinging back again. Moderation seems impossible. I fear we are headed towards an updated version of Victorian prudery and hypocrisy, with a feminist gloss." – Tweet

On the observation that our radical right is not primarily economically motivated: "This is an error made both on the left and the right. it is no surprise that capitalists believe in the power of money, but socialists also overestimate the power of economics.' Consider that Jim Crow impoverished the South [- if economics were a primary concern, it would have been abandoned long since.] Yet the socialist critique of the petite bourgeoisie is applicable here. This is a group which is constantly uncertain of its status and so it throws in with the haute bourgeoisie, which is utterly contemptuous of it. Consider how many small businesses were shafted by Trump, yet it is that group which is Trump’s base of support." – Tweets

"Dear Arizona Republicans, dear Republicans nationwide: you lost. Get over it." – Tweet

"Zuck [Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO] likes this. It’s happened just too often to be accident. He likes encouraging people to die and kill." – Tweet

To Tom Nichols: "And I am old enough to remember when we told you it would come to this, well before Trump. History began before 2016." – Tweet

"The party of rape, treason, and plague strikes again." – Tweet

"The ownership of the broadcast media and their senior editorial staff support Trump and the Republicans. Never forget it." – Tweet 

On the Taliban leaders: "These people have crossed the line. Their minds are dominated by a hunger for destruction. They will not cross back." – Tweet 

"@crookedfootball just had occasion to read your post on Kukathas, and it sent me back to my 2008 remarks on the subject, which I will share here, "Oh, you hominids could make the border into a killing field, make a feast for us corvids. That would stop them from coming, probably. The people who ran Abu Ghraib and run Gitmo, they'd be happy to do it for you. And then they'd do it to you. If you don't want more rule by criminals, it's time to start thinking about alternatives. I regret to write that subsequent events have borne this out." – Tweet, Link

"You’re only threatened by antifa if you’re a fascist. Antifa is there to rumble, the fascists are there to kill. And, yeah, antifa are anarchists but they’re mostly the sort of anarchists who are more likely to find you a meal and a place to sleep than throw bombs." Tweet

"Antifa is small and weak. They have nothing like the numbers, power, and wealth of the fascist wing of the Republican party. A better concern, I think, is why is antifa the lead in opposing the authoritarian – fascist – right. Where are the mainstream folk? Where were people like you, Prof. Nichols, when it started to be clear, back in the last 1990s, that this was a proto-fascist authoritarian movement? Why is the activism only coming from a despised minority?" – Tweet

On the execrable conduct of the conservative wing of the Congressional Democrats: "It was that way in 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was passed. Remember? If we wait for the conservative wing of the Democrats to do, well, anything, pigs will fly first." – Tweet

Monday, September 6, 2021

Tweets: Mostly on Covid

On Covid

We shouldn't be opening the schools this fall unless the children are masked, teachers and staff vaccinated, a covid testing system is in place, and the schools have certified ventilation systems. –

We're heading for a health care system crash, soon in red states, in a few months in blue. Don't get sick. I don't see how this ends. Do ICUs start turning away unvaccinated patients as less likely to survive? –

What are we going to do when Covid becomes endemic among children? –

So many deathbed conversions. I wish we would see the conversions before people were on their deathbeds. –

Other Topics

Terrorism works. School boards now need sergeants at arms. Maybe they could enlist school resource officers. –

I have come to the conclusion that the Texas Republican leadership should be strangled with coathangers. -

The MAGA want to make America great again by throwing away everything that made America great. –

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Is Covid a Weapon in a Religious Civil War?

By encouraging the spread of covid among children, Republican governors have made children into vectors of a deadly disease. Is it a deliberate strategy?

If Christian Dominionists and Reconstructionists wanted to destroy the US public education system and crash the US health care system, encouraging the spread of covid among children would be an effective strategy. Have the shadowy figures that set Republican policy at state level adopted this as strategy? It would explain the discipline with which Republican governors work to spread the disease among public school children.

But this is the sort of territory where one risks ending up wearing a tinfoil hat. On the one hand, conspiracies exist. On the other hand, most scary conspiracy theories are not credible. So, here, I’ll lay out the arguments for and against and make a stab at weighing the likelihood.


  1. It explains the zeal with which Republican governors pursue the goal, which otherwise makes no sense.
  2. Destroying the public educational system has long been a goal of Christian Reconstructionist and Dominionist radicals. Protestant extremists want an educational system run by their churches, while the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) similarly longs to reassert its control over education. The Reconstructionist/Dominionist opinion was largely in laid out in Rushdoony’s 1963 book, The Messianic Character of American Education. Trump’s Secretary of Education, Elisabeth Dee “Betsy” DeVos was likely on board with this program. The USCCB position is articulated here.
  3. Reconstructionists and Dominionists are similarly opposed to public health care systems, indeed, opposed to any non-religious health care system. Frederick Clarkson of Political Research Assocites, writing in 1994, commented that in the Reconstructionist Kingdom of God, “No social services would be provided outside the church, which would be responsible for ‘health, education, and welfare.’”
  4. In Texas, one of the states where the governor is committed to spreading covid, a destructive anti-abortion law has been passed, which the Roberts Court, in a remarkably incoherent decision, has allowed to take effect, is very much in line with the Reconstructionist/Dominionist agenda.
  5. Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi has been arguing that religious freedom allows the spreading of covid since last year.


  1. This is a far-too-easy-to-believe conspiracy theory, and a great many people have gone down such ratholes.
  2. I have little direct evidence of this beyond Governor Reeves’ remarks. I have not seen documents that support it and this is a big operation – one would expect some leaks.
  3. The people who would formulate such a strategy would have to be utterly devoid of human sympathy. To deliberately make children into disease vectors is a strategy as cruel as any German Nazis strategy. But this is what is actually being done, so I think this objection falls.

The evidence, though indirect, is strong. In the language of the intelligence community, I regard the hypothesis that Reconstructionist/Dominionist ideology is at least an influence on the decision of various Republican governors to spread covid as highly probable (9 in 10 odds.) That it is part of an organized strategy, I regard as probable (2 in 3 odds.) That foreign actors are involved, also probable. Give weight at least to the thought that very likely there is influence.

As to the idea that this is in fact organized, 2 in 3 odds are not certainty, but they are good reason to investigate further. If I worked for one of the three-letter agencies and had the authority, I would order that investigation.

Saturday, September 4, 2021


Who needs death camps when there is covid? – Tweet

Explaining conservatives killing their base: “They are composed almost entirely of hate for every unfallen creature, but there is nothing they hate more than a useless tool.” (James Blish) – Tweet

A technological preventative for covid was discovered, Then we found out that people would rather be right than healthy, or even alive. – Tweet

Friday, September 3, 2021

Against Supermajority Requirements in a Partisan System

(First in a series on needed constitutional reforms.)

Very sharp Twitter commentator Pé (@4everNeverTrump) pointed out that in a two-party system, it is well-nigh impossible to meet a supermajority requirement, and the Founders did not foresee the emergence of political parties. So the US political system and the constitution was never supposed to be as inflexible as it rapidly became, largely to defend the slave system.

The supermajority requirement for constitutional amendments and various legislative actions has not led to a sensible caution in making fundamental changes, but rather institutional rigidity.

  • The difficult of amending the constitution protected slavery for a century. While in theory some retardation in changes to fundamental law is sensible, in practice that retardation seems to operate in favor of the harshest, most unethical law.
  • The supermajority of the Senate filibuster, which is not even part of the constitution, but a rule adopted by the Senate, has made deadlock on any controversial issue the norm of the U.S. Congress. This has made for all manner of mischief. It protected Jim Crow for nearly a century, as well as preventing the passage of anti-lynching legislation. The overall effect of the supermajority requirement of the filibuster ceding leads to Congress ceding power to the Presidency and the Supreme Court, both of which have become far too powerful.
  • The constitutional supermajority requirements on expulsion of House and Senate members make it near-impossible to expel even member of the poorest character. This is part of why people of appalling character remain in both houses.

It also makes hash of the legal system. Liberals applauded the Court of the mid-20ᵗʰ century. Now conservatives applaud the capricious radical-right Roberts Court of the 21ˢᵗ. We end up with a tortured series of decisions based on complicated interpretations of law because the legislature deadlocks on every controversial issue. Surely it would be better if the legislature legislated as was intended, the executive executed that legislation, and the courts make decisions based on it?

Thursday, September 2, 2021


 These are a bit old, but not, I think, stale.

"the 2022 and 2024 elections are going to be so bad. unimaginably bad" – Talia Lavin

"But that’s all right. 2021s supreme court decisions are going to stink too." – me,

"Time was, we wondered what crazy thing the president would do. Now we wonder what crazy thing the Supreme Court will do." –

"Once inside, some in the crowd began threatening the supervisors tuning in remotely." –

"We are being terrorized by teenage boys and mean girls in adult bodies." – me,

Conservative Men

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden are both decent and devout men, conservative in their personal lives. This is exactly what our right wing keeps saying they want, but they won’t vote for them.