Friday, May 20, 2022

The More Tweets The Strangier

Proof history is a flat circle. I was pretty sure we already had, unless independent AI designed, built, launched, and monitored all the crafts that have told us what we know about Mars. Oh, set foot on it! ๐Ÿฆถ Who cares? 2001 came and went without any bases on the moon, or even a space station accessible by PanAm shuttle and housing a Hilton.

I suppose the woke mind virus destroyed my 1968 dreams.
That woke mind virus turns brains to Swiss cheese ๐Ÿง€. "The wrong people are getting what I can’t have.”

 Though we just started calling it “zero sun” recently, this bit of demagoguery is at least as old as the republic.
I post this partly because of the coincidence: the SI cover on the left is probably the first swimsuit SI cover I ever saw. But I have no complaint with the cover on the right. What amuses me is the reactions to it on Twitter. See? 

In Classical Greek art, through the Renaissance which revived it, down to Dejeuner Sur l’herbe and Grand Odalisque, art would recognize the beauty of the woman on the 2022 cover.

But don’t try to explain that to the morons on Twitter. You might as well explain deconstructionism to a pig. Actually, I think you’d have more success with the pig. By all accounts they are very intelligent.
She seems nice. I guess Abbott deleted his tweet. Because I'm quite sure Musk didn't wise up.  I'm also sure Musk got more likes and rewtweets than that.  Abbott is not the avatar of millenial Texans. Welcome to the Perpetual Outrage Machine. Wonder how that got started? Wonder what keeps it running? Have we finally discovered perpetual motion? Pennsylvania is full of slackers and Dr. Oz is here to give 'em a swift, smiling kick in the butt! That is, if he wins the primary.... Word is leaking out that the Emperor might just possibly maybe could be we aren't sure yet but some people say, be naked. Film at 11. Just noted because the quote there is from the guy who wants to raise taxes on all Americans, cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and wants the GOP Senatorial candidates (at least) to run on that platform. As I said before, I didn't think irony was this good at her job. And on the way out the door, a reminder: don't judge, and you won't be judged.

Let Ross Perot Be Your Inspiration

Or ignore history, because what does history know?

(No, he’s not gonna do this or buy Twitter or move to Mars. He’s a perpetual adolescent and the nation’s troll. ๐ŸงŒNothing else.)

Kneeling In Awe At The Splendor

I was going to defend Carlson because these e-mails were written before he realized Hunter Biden had a laptop.

Then I found out the story is these e-mails were found on the laptop attributed to Hunter Biden.

Up until now I really didn't think Irony was that good at her job.

Thursday, May 19, 2022


I saw Linda Ronstadt in concert only once. She opened the concert with “Lose Again.”  In the dark arena a spotlight lit her up and she opened the song with the first brave note as the first note we heard in the concert. Completely unaccompanied. She hit that note as purely and clearly as if she were ringing a bell.

She had everyone at the concert in the palm of her hand the rest of the night.

How could I not post a Linda Ronstadt video?

(I won’t mention I had a kid’s record player…as a kid. I still remember all the cheesy records for it, too. At some point we shoved it in the closet in our (my brother and I) bedroom. I tried wiring more speakers to it by wiring them in sequence off the speaker in the player. Yeah, I was not a prodigy electrical engineer. No, it didn’t work.)

This Is The National Discussion On Pregnancy And Childbearing We Deserve To Have

Because, you know, the Constitution doesn't include the word "privacy," so:  EOD.

(Babies are a fuel source?  Has anyone told Jonathan Swift about this?)

Does Trump Control The GOP, Or Not?

Inquiring minds want to know.

(In matters of political analysis, polls are shit. What matters are election returns. But polls drive narratives, and narratives interpret election results.)

More Screeds About Babies and Birth

The common law arose out of lived experience. And when it got too far removed into abstraction, equity from the church courts provided a new measure of fairness and justice. The final leg of the triad was Parliament, which provided laws for the common good based on representation. Each part sought the same telos from different perspectives.

And each part is equally at risk of losing contact with lived experiences. That’s the most fundamental flaw of the Dobbs analysis: all that matters is a proper interpretation of the law. It is not even a proper interpretation, but it adheres to that standard as a shield people with preferences and power can hide behind. They hide behind it because that makes it easier to deny the humanity of others and affirm only theirs.

Human beings will be affected by the repeal of Roe. How fundamental that opinion is now is that it still sets the terms of the discussion. Trimester, viability, weeks of the pregnancy. Roe didn’t invent these terms, but we still assess abortion on its terms. Any discussion that is not about an absolute ban (life beginning, inviolate when sperm enters egg), is predicated on the structure of Roe.  Even Texas' abortion law, commonly known as SB8, is written with the terms of Roe in mind; not just to provoke a court review of Roe, but because any discussion of "something" (v. no possibility of choice at all) is done in terms of weeks of pregnancy.  Which is the framework established by Roe.

The argument returns to the terms of Roe, over and over again. Who is in charge? The woman? Or society?  Whose interest must the served?  The woman's? Or society's?  When is the fetus "human"?  At conception?  Heartbeat?  Quickening? Viability outside the womb?  We haven't changed the importance of any of those terms, crucial to Roe as well; and we haven't really moved viability down below the threshold Roe recognized.  Even then, it's a question of technology and access:  a woman in Houston has far greater access to neonatal care that can establish true viability, than a woman in rural Arkansas or New Mexico; or much of Texas west of San Antonio and east of El Paso, for that matter.  "Viability" is not the absolute term some want it to be.  So much depends, not on a red wheelbarrow, but on a trained medical staff, the medical facilities, and, yes, insurance or the ability to pay.

We do not impose any of this on men. We do not mandate they reproduce, or get vasectomies. We don’t sterilize women (anymore), either. But we will demand they reproduce if they find themselves pregnant?

What is the legal basis for that?

The only legal argument presented in Dobbs is that we can't stop it, so we might as well enforce it.  You can't force a person to perform the terms of an employment contract, but you can force any pregnant woman to carry the pregnancy to term?  Perhaps even prosecute her if there is a spontaneous abortion?  Do you think the states that want to declare life present at "conception" won't do that?  The legal reasoning in Dobbs (such as it is), is a conclusion searching for foundation, and it finds that foundation in the idea that "privacy" is not a word used in the Constitution, so we cannot extend the idea from the 4th amendment to even privacy in our telephone calls.  Oh, wait, we can, because such calls involve any and all members of society.  But extending "privacy" to a woman's decision to carry a pregnancy to term?  No, that was not contemplated by the "Founding Fathers," or they'd have made sure the word was in the Constitution (or in the Bill of Rights, which actually amended that Constitution shortly after it was ratified.  But some amendments are more "embedded" than others, and the 14th is still johnny-come-lately enough we can refuse to find the concept of privacy a matter of equal protection or due process.  Because tradition, donchaknow?  And "Founding Fathers."  And women, who really should be subject to men.  I mean, that's traditional, too, right?  So it must be more legal than Roe.)

It all comes down to a matter of control. It is always a matter of imposing the will of those with the power on members of society who, because of simply their biology, are deemed subject to society’s will. Conceptually it is literally no different than slavery. We cannot force people to work against their will, even if they are paid to do so. You can’t enforce an employment contract by specific performance. Even if you pay for the labor under the terms of the contract, a court order that you provide that labor is an order imposing slavery. The courts will not do that, but will allow laws to force women to bear a pregnancy to term? Even to criminalize pregnancy that ends prematurely? It will even enforce those laws?

What justice is that? What equity is that? How is that in any way in keeping with the best traditions of the common law? How is that cruelty, that intrusion into the lives of people based solely (as American slavery was) on biology, in the best interests of society?

Especially when those "interests" are defined by these people:
"You may call me 'Doctor.' Rep. Asshole." You'd have paid good money for that show, huh? Dan Bishop thinks he's clever. The point he's trying to make seems to me that women should be subject to a law that would otherwise constitute slavery under the 13th Amendment. Because "women," right? Because states' rights, that's why! And we DID NOT fight a war for/against slavery on that principal! Well, not according to people who think the wrong side won that war.... None of those rights exist unless the Supreme Court says they do. Aye, there's the rub; the Court giveth, and the Court taketh away. And yet the Court wants us to all say "Blessed be the name of the Court." Fat chance.

“Woke Mind Virus”?

Honestly, if he wasn’t rich everyone would treat Elon like the troll he is. And the idiot he is. As long as they spell his name right, I guess. Does anybody really give a shit how Elon votes? Does anybody think it really matters?

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Fools Rush In Where They Are Most Ignorant

Get off Twitter.

Get yourself a law degree.

Get yourself a law license.

Get a job with a DA's office, or some other public prosecutor's office.

Go after Tucker Carlson and FoxNews to your heart's content.  

Or until your boss fires you.  Whichever comes first.

Konstitooshinal Skollar Mike Lee

The Founding Fathers were holy men whose names your unclean mouth is not fit to hold!

By the way, this is not a democracy.  Mike Lee said so.  The Founding Fathers told him.  Because only progressives want democracy, so they can enact their false agenda at any cost, and give us a false sense of national destiny, when everybody knows it is America's destiny to force all women to stay pregnant, and force all non-whites to respect the delicate fee-fees of all white people!


"And I'd say right now, the Republican party — the same Republican Party that we just talked about, that has not lifted a finger against Trump — is up eight points in the generic battle in battleground states," he said. "That means that the average, unnamed Republican is beating the unnamed Democrat in crucial districts by eight points."

Given Barnette's support of Donald Trump's so-called "big lie" and her election loss, some of her disappointed supporters are adopting the Trump strategy of suggesting the election was rigged, without any credible evidence, though the final days of the Pennsylvania primary showed polls with Barnette almost eight points higher than where she ended up on Tuesday.

"Eight points" is the new "rule of threes."  If it's "eight points," it's true.

Then again, nobody votes for the "generic ballot."

Got Them Old Electric Blues Again, Mama!

Chuck Todd said last Sunday that midterms are usually decided by May, because voter sentiment is locked in by then. Looks like we’re going to put that theory to the test:

On Thursday, Texas’ power grid operator told at least one power plant to delay its scheduled repairs and keep operating to help meet demand during hotter-than-expected May weather.

The next day, the plant went offline anyway when some of its equipment stopped working properly, according to energy giant Calpine, which owns the plant. Calpine declined to identify the plant.

By just after 5 p.m. Friday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced that six power plants had gone down unexpectedly and asked Texans to turn up their thermostats to 78 degrees for the weekend and avoid using large appliances during the hottest hours of the day to reduce strain on the power grid.

No, it wasn't February 2021 all over again.  But it's not August, yet.  It has been unusually warm for May.  But the norm in Texas summers is 90-100 during the day, and not much below 78 at the coolest at night .  That kind of heat builds over the summer.  I had a book explaining Texas to non-Texans, and it included a visual representation of Texas weather.  It was a map of Texas on fire.  That was "Spring".  The fire progressed through Summer, and in August the map was fully engulfed.  "Winter" was the burnt map, extinguished.

That's about right.

So August is our February, but for heat rather than cold.  And where February can be mild, even for a Texas winter, August is always ungodly hot, and only like to be hotter with such an early start to the hot season down here.  Whatever hand-waving Abbott and the GOP did in the last session to make the Great Freeze go away, isn't working for the summer.

Richmond said ERCOT is “taking a top-down approach” in determining when to tell companies to delay needed repairs and “doesn’t take into account what these complex machines need to make sure they get maintenance done.”

“When you start to tell generators during the season they’re supposed to be doing maintenance that they can’t, then you’re trying to squeeze more out of plants than what is safe and reliable,” she added.

ERCOT approves planned maintenance requests from energy companies months and even years in advance because of the complexity of the work and the need to maintain a minimum level of generation capacity at all times.

Over recent weeks, portable toilets, tents and large cargo containers have been assembled at power plants across Texas for repair crews that allow the facilities to run at full strength during the hot Texas summer.

Dozens of contract workers at many sites erect scaffolding — some even bring in cranes to move heavier equipment — and take apart the plants’ turbines and fix rotating blades. Depending on the scope of the work, a plant can be down for days or weeks.

“Our companies want to be on in the heat of summer, our companies want to be on when customers need us to provide power,” Richmond said. “We also want to do it reliably and safely. Part of reliability of a power plant is taking scheduled maintenance to not only run safely but run at max performance, just like you don’t want to do maintenance on your car when you’re on a cross-country road trip.” 

So we're all about to go on summer vacation and we can't get the family car readided for the trip, which means it will probably breakdown somewhere in the desert between Central Texas and California (hint: that's almost all desert), with few places to get repairs done.  But it's okay, the Lege prepared for that, too:

The Public Utility Commission of Texas, which is in charge of ERCOT, is considering a new rule that could shorten the maintenance season when plants can go offline for repairs. The new rule is based on a provision in Senate Bill 3, the state Legislature’s response to last year’s freeze, when millions of people were without power for days in subfreezing temperatures and hundreds died after a combination of cold weather and skyrocketing energy demand shut down power plants as well as the natural gas facilities that supply them with fuel.

Richmond said the new rule is flawed because it doesn’t outline specific metrics to tell ERCOT when a plant needs maintenance, which she said could be a problem with a shorter maintenance season.

Officials from multiple power companies contacted by the Tribune this week questioned whether the rule would give them enough time to make necessary repairs during maintenance season because there are a limited number of qualified repair crews and they travel the country repairing power plants during the milder months of the year. The companies asked not to be identified because power plant outage details have not yet been publicly disclosed by ERCOT. 

The sensible solution to this mess would be to put Texas on the national power grids.  Some parts of it, at the geographical fringes, are.  Most of Texas is on the Texas grid.  An aging grid designed for a much lower population using much less electricity. (Our genius political leaders encouraged crypto currency “miners” to set up servers here. How’s that gonna work out now? More electricity consumption for worthless fake coins?)

We'll see how that all works out between now and November.  Which, ironically enough, is about the time it actually starts to cool down in Texas. No, I'm not kidding.

Could be a very long summer indeed for Greg Abbott. 

The Central Problem With Twitter/The Intertoobs

We all know (or have encountered) somebody this stupid.

Now the whole world does.

Polling, Polling, Polling

Isn’t that the race Barnette was supposed to take away from everybody? Why yes, yes it is. And all the MAGAheads hated Oz, so he was doomed, the pundits said.

There won’t be a runoff, but there will be a recount.
Yeah, that’s the best part.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Poutine Will Not Replace Our Chili Fries!

Especially when he uses racism as a distraction to cover up his racism.  "Open borders"?  What, are we at risk of being overrun by Canadians bringing us socialized medicine and Tim Horton's?

I guess this is what the Senator is objecting to:
Nah! I still think it's the risk of widespread acceptance of poutine!

Thank You For Coming To My Ted Talk

I was a huge fan of Tom Swift when I was a kid. There's a high probability I had this book, although I don't remember at all which ones I had. My nostalgia-driven inner child sees this and wishes I'd kept the ones I had (yeah, like I'd have dragged them with me through high school, college, and 45 years of marriage.) OTOH, I still have all my paperback (Bantam!) copies of Ray Bradbury books, which I scouted in drug stores (back when they had racks of paperbacks, the kind I only see now in Half-Price Books) in my adolescence (after I'd turned my back on the works of Victor Appleton II). All those covers with bleak landscapes and wild imagery for The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Golden Apples of The Sun.

Each one boldly emblazoned with the legend:

"The World's Greatest Living Science-Fiction Writer"

What 12 year old boy could doubt it?

Bradbury wrote that he'd collected Sunday comic strips of "Prince Valiant"("in the days of King Arthur") in his childhood, and still had them in boxes in his attic.  I collected Bradbury paperbacks, and still have a shelf full of them in a bookcase.  I discarded Tom Swift and seldom think about it.  I'd as soon lose my wife and child as lose those Bradbury books.

It’s Not Racism If White People Say It Isn’t

And once again, with feeling: Trump is not the disease, Trump is the symptom. Trump is not leading the parade, he’s just making sure he stays in front of it. The problem is, the GOP has collapsed, and this is what’s left. Trump’s only contribution is the exaggeration, a purely Trumpian touch. “Invasion” is a white supremacist touch, but there’s never been any question of Trump’s racism. He didn’t bring that to the party either. Racism was already there, brought to the fore by the election of Obama (McConnell was doing it before Trump was anything more than a small-time reality TV host), but present as another reason the GOP replaced the Democrats in the south. Obama was the last straw for them. He was the first crisis, Covid the second, the 2020 election the third. Trump didn’t change the party; Trump is what the party has become after long and unstinting effort.

Why the Democrats can’t do more with that is another sign party no longer matters, except for easy ballot access. The GOP is functioning from the ground up, toxic and deranged as those roots are. Democrats can’t function at the ground level well enough to challenge the GOP outside of where they win now.  Or so all the pundits say. Most of them are just surprised to find out how many of their fellow citizens are racists.  Then again, the pundits pretty much don't associate with the people they are shocked to find populating America.

We'll see what happens in November.

Especially When The Right People Do It!

See? Not political at all!

Mean Girl

MTG has a lotta problems with you people!

"Our government, it's not the same government. It's a regime. They're communists. They are waging a war against America," Greene opined. "Anyone that went inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, whether they just walked around or they fought with police officers or they broke their way in, no matter what level they were on, they have become political targets. They have been arrested. They're being prosecuted."

And she slammed Nina Jankowicz, who has been selected to lead a Department of Homeland Security disinformation board.

"The ministry of truth is absolutely absurd and that woman, we have a lot to say about her," Greene remarked. "The very idea that they can make her the decision-maker of what's true and what isn't true and she's just clearly a far-left woman who seems miserable in her own right."

"And I just feel sorry for her child to have that kind of mother," she concluded. 

But saying anything similar about MTG is just mean!

"They create me as someone to not be liked," Greene told conservative podcast host Lisa Boothe. "They make me out as if I'm angry or crazy or basically just unintelligent, which, you know, is completely unfair. But they say give me all the 'isms.' You know, 'ists.' Like the racist, the homophobic, um, you know, anti-Semitic. They put all those labels on me and none of them are true."

"That's pretty frustrating so I think people get the wrong idea about me," she added.

It's just not fair!

Worth It!

Those damned elitist doctors can’t tell us what to do!

Monday, May 16, 2022

It's All Fun And Games Until Somebody Gets Hurt

No, no, he was being "non-racist" when he spoke of "replacement theory."

"I've never spoken of replacement theory in terms of race. I was speaking in race-neutral political terms about how Democrats in many urban cities have failed their voters of all color and kind," Gaetz said. "Thus, I charge that Democrats seek unchecked immigration to replace the people who have relied on them most to their detriment."

See?  Nothing to see here! And if you do see something, you're part of the "sycophant media" (I guess "fake news" doesn't apply when they have your words in writing, from your pen):

In a statement to Newsweek, [Elise] Stefanik's senior adviser, Alex deGrasse, said that any implication or attempt to "blame the heinous shooting" on the congresswoman is a "new disgusting low for the Left, their Never Trump allies, and the sycophant stenographers in the media."

"The shooting was an act of evil and the criminal should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," DeGrasse said. "Despite sickening and false reporting, Congresswoman [Stefanik] has never advocated for any racist position or made a racist statement." 

Yeah, it's the shooting you should be focusing on.  As for "never advocated for any racist position or made a racist statement," well, there've been plenty of them.

Upstate New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking member of the House GOP, has faced the most criticism since the shooting. A series of paid Facebook ads her campaign ran last fall that explicitly used great replacement theory rhetoric.

“Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION,” read one of the ads. “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”

That would have been this one:

It's even less subtle than the text alone suggests.  Meanwhile, even Mr. DeGrasse himself has had replacement theories to espouse:

After Stefanik’s ads were highlighted by critics, she doubled down on Monday morning, declaring “It is a FACT that DEMOCRATS have been explicitly pushing for amnesty for years—specifically for political and electoral purposes,” while her team accused reporters of a “dishonest and dangerous” smear campaign. 

“We thank the groveling hacks in the media for reminding voters that Republicans oppose amnesty and will secure the border while Democrats support mass amnesty and voting rights for illegals,” Stefanik senior adviser Alex Degrasse said in a statement.

As we recall from history class, "illegal immigrants"  includes the near majority of immigrants who are "illegal" simply because they've overstayed their visas.  What, you think that's changed radically in 16 years?  Why?  Besides, "illegal immigrants" is a term clearly meant to stir up fears of a brown planet, rather than too many Europeans who aren't keeping up with bureaucratic procedures.

Besides, "overthrow" and "permanent liberal majority" is replacement theory updated from the 19th century for these modern times.  "Voting rights for illegals" is kind of a tell, too.

"Racist Subculture" Is A Dog Whistle

I'm going to put the WSJ editorial board in the "I just wouldn't want my daughter to marry one" camp of American racism, until further notice. Mind, my thesis is that all Americans are racists: we grow up being told race matters, and I don't mean in the "black lives matter/blue lives matter/all live matter" sense.

I mean we exist in a culture that explicitly and implicitly categorizes people by race and ethnicity, and so we have to identify "Hispanics" and "Latinos/as/x" and "Asian," which further breaks down into Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc. etc.  

There is a value in this, I understand that, too.  My auto mechanic, who I've been using for nearly 30 years, is Vietnamese.  I think.  He works in what is now a new "Korea town" in Houston.  They say so themselves, the business owners in that area.  They have a large billboard proudly proclaiming it.  I like it, understand.  There is an Asian Indian population here, with enough Hindus to have built a large Hindu temple that looks like it was dropped in Houston from somewhere in India.  We have Vietnamese serving crawdads cajun style because they ate similarly in Vietnam, and they're making their mark on BBQ, too. 

There's Polish food (restaurants, I mean), and Thai and Vietnamese noodle shops, and...well, you get the idea, all within shouting distance of where I sit.  I try not to think of these people in terms of race, but I can't help but do it with African-Americans (I used that term deliberately, to show my age.  In my lifetime the accepted term went rapidly from "Negro" to "black" to "African-American" to....again, you get the idea.)  I think in terms of race:  black, "Mexican" (which actually means mestizo.  I mean, have you seen Patti Jinich?), "Asian", "Indian" (Asian Indian; not many Native Americans around here).  I do it because I was raised to do it.  And from those classifications comes hierarchies, like day follows sunrise.  Am I a racist?  Well, yeah, I recognize my weaknesses.  Do I hate people based on race?  No, I don't.  Do I still treat them differently, based on race?  Yeah, I'm sure I do.

If you go back to "Othello," he is a Moor (i.e., black) because this makes him a complete outsider to Ventian (and European) society.  He needs to be in order to be the dupe who falls for Iago's every lie.  That's not just Othello's character, it's his isolation in European culture.  It's clear from Shakespeare's treatment that 19th century racism is still centuries away.  But when I assigned that play, even if I explained this, my students couldn't help but see Othello's story in racial terms.  That's not in the story; that's what they bring to the story.   Does that make them racist?  They wouldn't think so; they would think they were spotting racism in the other characters.  But racism is complete anachronism in Shakespeare's play. If you see it there, it's because you bring it there.  Othello is naive in ways even the pure and virtuous (to the point of being inhuman) Desdemona is not.  She is not fooled by Iago, although she never accuses him, either.  Othello is sucked in for the very reason that he doesn't imagine the perfidy of a European court.  You can understand Roderigo and Cassio; in Shakespeare's day, leaders were worthy of their position by virtue of their character.  Cassio and Roderigo are not the leaders Othello is supposed to be, or the Duke.  So they are a bit more vulnerable to Iago's lies (Roderigo, lower down the ladder, more than Cassio).  Othello's failure is partly character (the tragic flaw), but partly expected: he's not the creature of court that Iago and Desdemona are.  How can he be?  He's from another culture entirely.

That's how Shakespeare sees the matter.  In America we divide culture based on race:  Jews, even, but also Asians and "Mexicans" and blacks.  But black American culture, especially, is a culture that understands white culture (and think about how recent that concept is!) because it is constantly looking at it from the outside.  Black culture understands white culture better than most whites do.  And blacks see that a great deal of white culture, is racist.

Re-read Dr. King's letter from jail.  He addresses white churches who will not speak up for racial justice, who will not acknowledge the evils of racism, who will not see the laws and the many ways white culture and people assert dominance over non-whites in America.  You want to know what CRT is in sum and simple terms?  It's there in Dr. King's letter.  We may not all be afraid of CRT being taught in elementary school, but we still prefer to remember only Dr. King's dream, and not the reality he so often limned.

It's not a "subculture."  It is the culture. When Bakari Sellers says:

But until Republicans, face it, this country -- and let's be extremely clear -- white folk in this country combat racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, bigotry -- until we have that conversation, nothing else matters."

Racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, bigotry--and why does he say "white folk in this country" have to combat those things?  Well, because black lives matter; but you can't say that without upsetting people, and the people most likely to be upset?  White people.  News reports claim baby formula is being shipped to the border to feed infants held in federal custody, and the people outraged by this news and screaming about it on FoxNews or in the halls of Congress?  White people.  When there is a mass shooting based on "replacement theory," who does the shooting?  A white man.  Who does he fear is being "replaced"?  White people.

When people get upset beause "CRT" is being taught in schools, and it's making children feel "guilty," who is afraid of the guilt?  White people.  Who is afraid of what they think CRT is?  White people.

It's not a sub-culture.  It is the culture.  Because the culture is still controlled and defined and understood in terms of:  white people.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.  Especially if the enemy is racism, and "us" is white people.

Panem et Circenses

Twenty-two minutes later: And 19 minutes prior to the "press release": The penny finally dropped and I realized Elmo Musk was re-considering the data on how many people are actually on Twitter (v. bots) partly because it affects his decision to load Twitter with $40+ billion in debt. But it also means there aren't nearly as many people on Twitter as tout le Twitter imagines. It's certainly more likely to be public figures and journalists who make the TV talking heads rounds than anyone else. Still, it's fun to watch the mud fight.

I mean, I can no more toss Elise Stefanik out of office than I can replace Ted Cruz with Beto O'Rourke.  And I woulnd't vote for Liz Cheney for dog catcher.  It's a sign how far to the right the GOP has moved that Cheney is now the moderate (she used to make her father look like a moderate).

But the enemy of my enemy is my friend; temporarily, at least, and as was once said about Sunday morning church, it's a pretty good show for a buck!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Mental Health

Lara Trump claimed on Sunday that the mass shooting at the Geneva Presbyterian Church on Sunday was motivated by pro-choice rhetoric. 

Speaking on her Fox program, the daughter-in-law of the former president claimed, with no sense of irony, that it’s "very dangerous" when you have a president "who just kind of says crazy-sounding things."

To See What Is In Front If Your Nose

This has been obvious (or should have been) since 2016.

We Are All Ruled By Webster's

Well, by definitions, anyway.

Note that the discussion there turns on the idea of "conception."  When does that happen?  When the egg enters the sperm?  And we know that happens in particular, how?  By "in particular," I mean in the uterus of the woman in question.  Of course, the egg is not viable until it implants in the uterus.  Sometimes that happens in the wrong place (I speak as a lay person trying to describe this as carefully as I can, but I don't know human biology all that well), and you get an ectopic pregnancy.  The embryo can't thrive, but it can threaten the life of the woman.

Tough shit?  Get another one and try again, bub?  That fertilized egg is a life, and it gets absolute priority?

And there are what medicine calls "spontaneous abortions," where the pregnancy simply fails, usually because the fetus is no longer viable (or perhaps never was.  There is a great deal we don't know in the particular, but only in the general.)  As a doctor explained to me, that's nature's way of ending what isn't going to be born.  It's a fairly efficient system when it happens early in the pregnancy.  Emotionally devastating, probably (I've had family members suffer through it), but still, better than a stillbirth after 9 months.

"Better" is admittedly a relative term. Again, I'm trying to be sensitive here.  Doin' the best I can.

So nature sometimes aborts (i.e., stops early) a pregnancy.  Life may begin at conception, but that doesn't mean it lasts until old age, barring accident or disease.  And now we're back to that notion of implantation.

If an IUD interferes with implantation, is that an abortion?  Is that "killing the egg"?  What if the body itself "kills the egg", outside of any contraceptive effort?

Does the law assume sexual intercourse leads to pregnancy every time?  That every failure to concieve is an abortion?  Every miscarriage a criminal act?  Is this a rebuttable presumption?  Or does the state only have to prove that intercourse took place and a miscarriage occured sometime later (many miscarriages occur but are perceived only as regular menstrual flow)?  Seems to me the solution there is not to go to the hospital if you (the woman) aren't sure.  Based, at least, on the experience of the poor woman in south Texas who's hospital visit ended up with criminal charges against her.

So women aren't entitled to full access to healthcare because they are required by law to be baby containers, whether they can be or not?

This is rapidly devolving into insanity.  Or to the 13th century that Justice Alito seems so enamored of, when men were men and women were chattel.  It's harder and harder to deny that's the definition many would like to put back into place, maybe because women shouldn't be having sex in the first place, and if they do, it should be only to make babies.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

News O’ The Day

Which is reprehensible, disgusting, and, as the Sheriff  in Buffalo said, “Pure evil.” It’s also purely American: But can we blame FoxNews? After all, I’m not blaming Father Coughlin. The accused murderer blames boredom brought on by Covid, and 4chan. But, you know, everything’s connected: Yes, yes it clearly is: And what goes around, comes around. Or it should, anyway: Yeah, that’s not gonna happen, either. We’ve been down this road once or twice before. This is just another episode in our national Groundhog Day.

And just because I can connect it to Texas, I will.
Who’s going to sue Twitter while they still cap?

“Originalism” Means….

...what I want to be found there is ALL that can be found there. And history is the deadest of dead hands, which shall be lifted nevermore! ๐Ÿ’€ 

Yeah, that’s completely in line with the history and traditions of the common law. I mean, the whole purpose of the common law is to never let things change, right? 

What good is a dead hand if you can lift it? 
Yeah, I don’t have much use for “originalism.” It has all the intellectual integrity of “because I want it that way.”


How Are We Defining "Chinese Babies"?

Yes, this question of definitions will continue to plague us.

But "Chinese babies."  Does the honorable gentlewoman mean babies in China, or babies of Asian parentage?  Because there are a number of those in this country, quite legally, and probably most of them American citizens.  They may be with their birth parents; they may be adopted by "American" parents (who may be of Asian/Chinese descent, too).  

Which "Chinese babies" are we to be concerned about?  Or should we make it simpler, and simply restrict access to formula to "white" babies?  Because we know they're American, right?

It Couldn’t Be Clearer

The leak was from a radical leftist antifa law clerk.

Because that’s obviously where the problems are on the Court.


Again, it's Twitter; take it with a grain of salt.  The report on Abbott that led to this "crisis," I mean.

I'm old enough to remember when there wasn't enough toilet paper, and bleach and sanitizers of any fashion or form were in such short supply distilleries were making alcohol based gels for hand washing.

The problem here is primarily a market-based one, IOW.  And IMHO.  Still, I wouldn't want to be trying to feed an infant right now.

That said, Republicans trying to make hay off of it are only giving their base some jollies.  Those people are going to vote for Republicans anyway, provided they aren't convinced it's all rigged and why should they bother.  But that's a GOP problem, too.

I'm quite sure most of America has never heard of Elise Stefanik, and don't really care that she's jumped on this bandwagon (I doubt most Texans know Abbott has, either).  This is all, as they say about MCU movies especially, "fan service."

It is, on the other hand, likely to create more of this:
Which may motivate a few more Democrats and Democrat-leaning voters to bother in November.  But November is still 6 months off.  Most people still aren't paying attention, especially in states like Texas where we haven't even finished the primaries yet (runoffs still about 2 weeks away).

We'll see if anybody remembers this by then.  And keep in mind, it's only a "crisis" because it affects wealthy white women.  If it didn't, nobody would notice.
Funny how many rocks covid is turning over.  That's really the reason for this season of our discontent, from George Floyd forward (not to diminish the death of Mr. Floyd, but the anger it provoked can be tied to the societal response to covid, too).

"Three-day agitporn cycle" is about right.

Carry on.


The funniest part about this is how it brings out the arm-chair warriors stoked on fantasy movies about man v. animal, or gladiators in the Coliseum v. lions tigers and bears, oh my!

Yeah, they're all sure they could take an animal, as large as a gorilla in some cases.  Most think a wolf would be easy pickings.  I doubt seriously they have any idea how powerful a gorilla can be, and couldn't take down a large dog unless he was old and toothless and tired.
That's more realistic. Me, I figure I could take on a squirrel; or maybe a possum. I'll go up as big as a racoon.

Anything beyond that, I'd just turn and run.  Probably wouldn't take those on, tbh. I know my limits.

My emojis remind me of James Bond fighting off a giant squid trapped by Dr. No for the purpose of eating prisoners the Dr. doesn't like.  I'm not making this up.  You thought the movies were crazy.  The books are even worse. ๐Ÿฆ‘ (for the record, he had neither sword, shield, nor spear, but still managed.  Because, of course he did. And of course giant squids live only to eat people.)

Friday, May 13, 2022

Speaking Of Word Choices For Slogans

(As we were...)

I thought the "pro-life" position was that all babies are sacred? "Illegal babies"? How is that even a concept? This actually started with the Washington Examiner, but Abbott picked up the shiny bauble as fast as he could: Let him be known by the company that keeps him.

Let Us REASON Together

Well, of course they are. Please, Twitter, enlighten us! Or we could look at the fact that Abbott reportedly controls 80% of the formula market. The other story is that there are only 3 (or 4, accounts vary) formula manufacturers in America. Where is the Sherman Anti-Trust Act when we need it? But let's blame the lack of imports, instead. (Curiously, the cry now is for domestic oil production, v. unreliable foreign sources (hem-hem, Russia). But baby formula? Why can't we get more from Europe? In a word: labels. Yes, says REASON, blame "inane labelling requirements." Why is this important? Because rich white women who write for "REASON", and their peers, agree: European is better! And our labelling laws are bad! Even though the EU has similar requirements on American products: There is some acknowledgment of a problem at Abbott (who goes unnamed here): How much have you heard about the "unsanitary American factory" being a cause of this problem?  Had the FDA listened to the whistleblower (assuming there was one; this is Twitter, after all), would the situation be any different now?  By which I mean, would people be praising FDA for protecting babies?  Or would they be screaming "WHERE'S MY BABY'S FOOD!????!!!!!?????!!!!"

And there's also this perfectly reasonable question: European car makers make right-hand drive cars for the British market, and cars conforming to US standards for the American market.  How hard would it be to print labels satisfactory to the FDA?

But the simpler answer, according to REASON, is: if the FDA relaxes label requirements for European baby formula, they have to relax label requirements for all products. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander; just ask the courts, who would be dragged into that dispute lickety-split! And then labelling requirements crater, and we don't know what we're buying to eat, be it foreign or domestic. But as long as we're getting European baby formula for rich people's babies (formula is expensive, especially to people on the low end of the income scale. I remember it well.), who cares? Right?

I'll retire to Bedlam....