Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Lo, the Tweet Is On the Wing!

  • “Fentanyl is not a contact poison.” – tweet
  • “The deadlock within the Democratic Senate caucus is making it obvious which industries own which senators.” – tweet
  • “South Dakota: state of corruption.” – tweet
  • “Because an embryo is not a child, a fetus is not a child, and women are not to be enslaved.” – tweet
  • “More Brazil than 1984” – tweet
  • “There are some good cops, but there are almost no good police forces.” – tweet
  • “Newsflash! Commission finds that Taney court is not racist!” – tweet
  • In response to a school administrator arguing for a book to counterbalance a book on the Holocaust: “Obviously they need to get a copy of Mein Kampf.” – tweet
  • “The Democratic leadership is finally nerving itself to fight but the fascist Republicans are already fighting.” – tweet
  • In response to Texas Gov. Abbott going full anti-vax: “What plague breaks loose in Texas first? I'm betting on measles.” – tweet
  • “Default on the national debt could be the US version of Brexit.” – tweet
  • “We’ve literally taken a sniveling coward who couldn’t pay their debts and put them on our highest court of justice.” – tweet
  • “Republican leaders, like all sociopaths, are shameless. Please stop expressing surprise at this and do something about it.” – tweet
  • “When all of your public speech is performative, none if it can be taken at face value, Senators.” – tweet

The Tweets, The Tweets –

“This line of reasoning ends up punishing abusers and victims equally. There is a difference between cussing out the people who are beating up on you and being a foul-mouthed brute.” – tweet

In response to one more report that the judge in the Rittenhouse case is sympathetic to Rittenhouse: “They’re going to let him off.” – tweet

In response to Mitt Romney saying exceptionally wrong-headed things about taxing the rich: “Keynes, no slouch as an investor, had some scathing things to say about investments that couldn’t be valued. But I have no trouble believing that billionaires will crash the global economy again if they feel sufficiently affronted.” – tweet

A Keynes quote, in response to Elon Musk saying dimiwitted libertarian things: “When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.” – tweet

“Try ‘confectioner's glucose’ [as keywords for an Amazon product search.] But why not buy it locally? Because, really, fk Amazon and their hellish working conditions.” – tweet

Of the immorbidator, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, “Why is this man not in jail if not on death row?” – tweet

“If anyone had checked that gun before they handed it to Alec Baldwin – anyone! – if Baldwin himself had checked, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. ‘There are no firearms accidents.’” – tweet

To a covidiot: “Well, for one thing, you may have had asymptomatic covid and passed it on. For another, you still can get it.” – tweet

“Facebook: the modernized and equipped-with-jets yellow press.” – tweet

“I think Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that.” – tweet

“We seem to be in an age of permanent beginners, where the ill-thought-out ideas of novices are constantly repeated as wisdom.” – tweet

““Write what you know is a prison, so write what you feel.’ - James Blish. To which I will add, but don’t be a dick about it.” – tweet

In response to Senate hopeful Josh Mandel. “God will not bring them down anymore than history will judge. Bitcoin is a volatile speculation and no lasting store of value.” – tweet

“Lord, that was one stupid robber. Among the many things not understood about firearms: if you are too close to your intended target, they can be taken away.” – tweet

In response to Donald Trump founding a Twitter knockoff called “Truth:” “Donald Trump founds Pravda.” – tweet

The Compromise of 2021?

The Senate is deadlocked, with two Democratic Senators preventing the passage of the moderate progressive agenda of the Democratic leadership. My amber scrying ball is cloudy. But I do have a historical parallel to put forward: the Compromise of 1877.

In 1877, a deeply corrupt election threw the Presidential election into Congress. The Republican leadership, lacking a strong figure like Lincoln as leader, chose to seat their President by throwing away all their ideals. As part of the compromise, white supremacism was allowed to operate unchecked in the South. In addition, the white Southerners got huge subsidies– a railroad line, and their harbors rebuilt. This led, as we all know, to Jim Crow and the system of segregation. Less obviously, it led to the continuing economic failure of the South. In the end, racism turned out to be more powerful than capitalism, and the South remained impoverished. The slave economy, then and now, was a money-losing thing, and easily out-competed by industrial capitalism. And in 1877, how did the Democrats, then the party of racism and slavery, react to losing the Presidency but winning everything else? In Trumpian fashion! Name-calling! Unsubstantiated claims of fraud! Claims of corruption! Then as now, white supremacists are sore winners.

In the north, the power of wealth which Lincoln had inveighed against reigned unchecked. The satirists Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner co-wrote a novel entitled The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today and the title gave us the historical name of the period, the Gilded Age.

Turning to our time, what might be the elements of a Compromise of 2021?

First, the abandonment of a meaningful right to vote in multiple states. Unless some electoral reform bill makes it through Congress, which Senator Manchin so far refuses to allow, both access to the ballot box and the honest count of votes will be a thing of the past in Republican-dominated states.

Second, the continued predominance of wealthy industries and individuals in national policy, regardless of how harmful that policy is. We have Senators Sinema and Manchin defending the pharmaceutical industry’s outrageous price-gouging, and Manchin blocking even modest carbon-reduction efforts. The filibuster will be kept in place to protect many bad actors from any regulation and keep the taxes of the rich down.

And the consequences? I have a long list of nightmares, but I am not at all sure they will come true. The consequences of the Compromise of 1877 were dire, but they were also unpredictable. The same is likely to be true of the (not yet made) Compromise of 2021. Better to avoid it entirely, if this is possible.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Rectification of Language 2: Immorbidize

Immorbidize. To make ill. By analogy with immiseration (to make less) and impoverish (to make poor.) Example: The policies of Governors DeSantis and Abbott immorbidize their states’ populations.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Rectification of Language

As the fascist poet Ezra Pound once said, "When language is corrupt, no truth may be spoken." Being perfectly willing to steal a good line from my political enemies, I offer the following rectifications: 

Rubber bullet. Properly called a ʙᴀᴛᴏɴ ʀᴏᴜɴᴅ or ᴋɪɴᴇᴛɪᴄ ɪᴍᴘᴀᴄᴛ ᴘʀᴏᴊᴇᴄᴛɪʟᴇ; “rubber bullet” is a euphemism intended to make them sound soft, which they are not. A large-caliber (1.5" or 40mm) low-speed bullet, typically these days made of plastic. Can do considerable injury, though they usually do not kill.

Nazi.  1. as a proper noun, a historical German political party, a contraction of Nᴀᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟsᴏᴢɪᴀʟɪsᴍᴜs. 2. As a common noun or adjective, an apocalyptic nationalist (ꜰᴀsᴄɪsᴛ) ideology that promotes mass murder through government action (ᴅᴇᴍᴏᴄɪᴅᴇ.) The adoption of policies which spread covid is nazi in character. 

Fascist. 1. As a proper noun, a historical Italian political party. 2. As a common noun or adjective, an apocalyptic (technically palingenetic, but only historians know the word) ultranationalist political movement. (Definition due to historian Roger Griffin in his book The Nature of Fascism.) Ultranationalist ᴅɪsᴘᴇɴsᴀᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟɪsᴛ churches are inherently fascist because dispensationalism sees history as a series of apocalypses.