The plan to wait until 2028 assumes a fundamental change in the country or the appeal of DeSantis. Either change is as likely as a change in the gravitational constant of the universe.
I don't think the DeSantis plan factored in his support collapsing as soon as he stepped outside of Florida.— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 25, 2023
"I would like to say 'This book is written to the glory of God', but nowadays this would be the trick of a cheat, i.e., it would not be correctly understood."--Ludwig Wittgenstein
"Talk to me about the truth of religion, and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolation of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand."--C.S. Lewis
Friday, March 24, 2023
Nobody Could Have Foreseen
MTG Lied? 🤥
I’m (almost) shocked!
I just exited the DC Jail on behalf of @OversightDems. The actions of our Republican colleagues inside the facility and their lies about the visit are shameful.— Congressman Robert Garcia (@RepRobertGarcia) March 24, 2023
When we saw the inmates, my Republican colleagues rushed to them and treated them like celebrities rather than people who attacked our capitol police and our very democracy.— Congressman Robert Garcia (@RepRobertGarcia) March 24, 2023
So prison has reformed them? Or have they been cruelly cut off from news of Dark Brandon?
As we left the facility, the January 6 inmates started chanting “Let’s Go Brandon.”— Congressman Robert Garcia (@RepRobertGarcia) March 24, 2023
Suck It Up, Buttercup
Kyle Rittenhouse laments Kenosha shooting lawsuit: ‘I pray they don’t win’ https://t.co/ZTyREK71Sv— Raw Story (@RawStory) March 24, 2023
But he now faces a civil suit from Gaige Grosskreutz, the surviving person he shot — and this week, he appeared on OANN's "Real America with Dan Ball" to complain about his new legal predicament.
"Kyle, let me apologize for this whacko, his attorney and the judicial system the way it is today, because you were completely exonerated in your criminal case," said Ball.
"So they're suing me in the Eastern District of Wisconsin for emotional damages, pain and suffering, humiliation, a bunch of other things, I think conspiracy is one of them," said Rittenhouse. "And it's quite honestly ridiculous, it's frustrating, and I'm just praying it doesn't go anywhere because if they win, this is a new standard for people who defend themselves and are rightfully acquitted in a criminal court. If they're proven to use lawful self-defense, they're gonna say, hey, I know you were found not guilty, but we're gonna come after you in civil court, we're gonna take your money and we're gonna file these lawsuits against you and we're gonna drown you in a mountain of debt."American jurisprudence is rooted in British law. In British legal history civil suits like this predate criminal cases by centuries.
Trump whipping up unrest is all 'part of the strategy': CNN's Abby Philliphttps://t.co/LO0pGweZ1F— Raw Story (@RawStory) March 24, 2023
He doesn't see any downside to upping the ante," said Phillip. "And why would he? Every time that he's escalated the rhetoric, the response on Capitol Hill from Republicans, even the ones who are typically more measured about Trump, has been to circle the wagons around him. So these things really feed on themselves. When trump sees the reaction to one post, the previous one, calling on his supporters to protest, and he sees that the only consequence of that had been that Republicans basically said, we've got to defend Trump, he goes one step further, and I think that's what we're seeing here. We don't know what's going to happen. We don't know what Alvin Bragg is going to do. But Trump is raising a lot of money off of this kind of rhetoric. And I think that he does not care if he does, in fact, spin up unrest. That's part of the strategy."Please to be defining the word "strategy" here. What is strategic about crazed, racist and race-baiting rants from Shouty Grandpa about "death and destruction" and "the work of the devil"? And does anyone imagine Trump would stop this immeduately if Gym Jordan didn't dance like a marionette on Trump's strings? Or would Trump just yell louder?
"Well, he raised a whole lot of money by saying, oh, I'm going to be — you know, insinuating that he was going to be indicted on Tuesday, right raise money off of that," agreed anchor Don Lemon. "But this is really disturbing me, because he's been doing this for a while, and I think we can't talk enough about it, where he's been calling these prosecutors who happen to be African-American, saying that they're racist. He called Alvin Bragg a 'Soros-backed animal.' He's turning to his old tricks here of, you know, being racist or racist-adjacent, using that type of language for people."
Not as much money as before. In fact, his donors seem to be tapped out. As long as we’re sticking to facts.
"And as someone who's covered trump for years, if you go back and you read his rhetoric — I mean, this goes actually all the way back to the 80s," said Phillip. "Trump has a very long history of calling Black people racist or dumb or using, you know — talking about Baltimore as being, you know, filthy, rat-infested, the same thing with Congressman John Lewis' district in the Atlanta suburbs. So he has a long history of that. These are — I don't know if we can even call them codes at this point, because I think that it's pretty transparent, but they are signals to his base, who are much more prone to see Black people, in positions of power in particular, in a racial lens, even though what the D.A. is doing at this moment actually has absolutely nothing to do with race."
"I think we've got to just stick with the facts here, wait for them to unfold and not get distracted by what Trump is trying to do, which is to rile up his his base from a political perspective on this issue," Phillip added.And for God’s sake don’t call it racism! Even “racist-adjacent” is not “objective” enough! Do it like this:
Yeah: Soros is just like Adelman. Because "the liberal left" has vilified Adelman relentlessly and turned his name into a shibboleth. You know, the old trick of being racist or racist adjacent.
"Always." pic.twitter.com/QUoeC6LnTU— emptywheel (@emptywheel) March 24, 2023
Russian email accounts sent a series of hoax bomb threats targeting the Manhattan district attorney and court buildings for three straight days this week amid a grand jury investigation of former President Donald Trump. https://t.co/AuoNOxrDoQ— Law360 (@Law360) March 24, 2023
The unsubstantiated threats, now under investigation by the New York Police Department and FBI, were emailed to local government officials at a Manhattan community board, according to police. They came from Russian email addresses in the early morning hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, listing government buildings and schools as the targets of alleged pipe bombs, according to the local board official who received them.
"The FBI told me that they appear to be coming from Russia," said Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, who read the emails to Law360 Friday. The board received four email threats over the three days, often sent from @mail.ru domains under different names, she said. The NYPD confirmed the board was the recipient of the original bomb threat on Tuesday.
“@mail.ru”? Are they even trying anymore? And if this:
Separately on Friday, a suspicious white powder was delivered to the offices of District Attorney Alvin Bragg in an envelope marked "Alvin," according to the NYPD.
A spokesperson for the district attorney said that "it was immediately contained and that the NYPD Emergency Service Unit and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection determined there was no dangerous substance."
A police spokesperson could not say whether the envelope contained any message or information about its sender.
meets the legal standards for “terrorism,” well and good. But it’s not the blood ‘n’ thunder, death & destruction reign of terror we were led to expect.
So maybe we shouldn’t have expected it.
The air is escaping that balloon faster and faster.
1 Of The 31
That’s a BFD.
NOW: Trump attorney Evan Corcoran departs DC federal court house after testifying before a special cousnel grand jury for what appears to have been more than 3 hours. pic.twitter.com/LQN91gKDGo— Rob Legare (@RobLegare) March 24, 2023
I can’t imagine this won’t affect judicial orders if Trump is indicted and arraigned. Secondary to the picture is Trump’s continuing idea that what matters most in vote counts.
Donald Trump just posted a photo of him holding a baseball bat next to a photo of DA Bragg. This is totally cool, @SpeakerMcCarthy, right? pic.twitter.com/7sLJl6iRmn— Spiro’s Ghost (@SpiroAgnewGhost) March 23, 2023
Nothin' But Good Times Ahead!
If she meant the one that discriminates between non-white and white, between rich and poor, I'd agree with her.
Ummmm… I dunno. It certainly seemed like an insurrection, Marge. https://t.co/rKkrpaQ10J pic.twitter.com/FAOj5GGY0O— Sally Canfield 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@TheLifeofSally) March 24, 2023
NEW -- Trump's election lies led to the deaths of four of his own supporters and five police officers. Another 140 cops were injured during his literal coup attempt.— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) March 24, 2023
Dozens of GOP operatives are working to put him back in the White House anyway.https://t.co/QlNInORfJf
holy shit lol. it's a cult. pic.twitter.com/wHd2iRUgyJ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2023
Corcoran said he wouldn't plead the Fifth. One wonders if he didn't...
Update: Trump attorney Evan Corcoran just left the courthouse, just under 3.5 hours after he went into the grand jury. Didn't answer questions on his way out, didn't say if he's done for the day or if this is a lunch break (but he exited the building, not headed to the cafeteria)— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 24, 2023
President Biden repping Team @GrittyNHL up North. https://t.co/rjQfLXLW7n— frates (@frates) March 24, 2023
I have it on good authority he's looking at the Conservative Party Canada members as he says that.
OMG -- after Biden says "both of us have cabinets that are both 50 percent women for the first time in history," he seems to address some Canadian men who weren't applauding and says, "even if you don't agree, guys, I'd stand up." pic.twitter.com/ZNi1hkVO50— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2023
Dark Brandon wants to bring manufacturing back to America. And Marge is wailing about people being in jail for criminal acts, and McCarthy refuses to speak to the insanity of Trump:
Biden on the Willow Project: "My strong inclination was to disapprove of it across the board, but the advice I got from counsel was that if that were the case, we may very well lose in court."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2023
Adds that his ultimate goal is to conserve sea and land in Alaska. pic.twitter.com/8HZLS0Kloh
Nothin' but good times ahead!
McCarthy ignored a question about Trump's "death and destruction" post pic.twitter.com/KR4HeSmWup— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2023
“…and justice for all.”
Isn’t that kind of the point?
If you made hush money payments to a porn star and failed to disclose them to the Federal Election Commission, you too may be targeted by the Manhattan DA. https://t.co/Btx4GKbFHO— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 24, 2023
When The Facts Are Against You, Pound On The Law. When The Law Is Against You, Pound On The Facts."
Trump Team shut down in court as judge orders top aides to testify in Jan. 6 probe https://t.co/wyOJQkvudr— Raw Story (@RawStory) March 24, 2023
"The DOJ is continuously stepping far outside the standard norms in attempting to destroy the long accepted, long held, Constitutionally based standards of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege," a Trump spokesperson said in a statement. "There is no factual or legal basis or substance to any case against President Trump. The deranged Democrats and their comrades in the mainstream media are corrupting the legal process and weaponizing the justice system in order to manipulate public opinion, because they are clearly losing the political battle."
"When both are against you, pound on the table." Legal adage usually attributed to Clarence Darrow.
Except the jury in the court of public opinion is not the jury in a court of law, so in actuality, Trump's people are just pounding sand. The conduct of any trials is going to mean a lot more to public opinion than cries of "FAKE LAW!"
It’s the excuse he’s busy “reviewing DA Bragg’s letter” that makes it art.
Asked Rep. Jim Jordan what he makes of Trump’s warning about “potential death & destruction” if indicted; Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post. When I showed this to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses. He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter. pic.twitter.com/24QfpyVdpV— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) March 24, 2023
Beginning with "I think that he is venting," Miller told the host, "This is a deranged person. We can look at the politics but also just the reality for a second. If you were reading these bleats that he has been sending out for 24 hours out loud in a coffee shop, people would be running away from you and calling for the manager."
"These are the utterings of an insane person," he continued. "Not somebody that has the mental capacity to be president in 2024. I think that is important to say that clearly. I think it is a reflection he is both angered and upset about the possibility of these impending indictments. Also, sees the political benefit."Coffee shop, halls of Congress. Pretty much the same thing, right?
Since The Manhattan Grand Jury Won't Meet On Trump Again Until Monday...
Classic example of the "uncanny valley."
I can’t imagine how many hours he spent in front of a mirror with Casey practicing his new fake laugh. It’s a work in progress. They will go back and look at the tape and adjust. pic.twitter.com/QNbhmfJ83G— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 24, 2023
But I really came here to discuss books.
I read “The Life of Rosa Parks” into the record to make a point about book bans—and @RepChipRoy vehemently denied many times that it’s been banned.— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) March 24, 2023
I triple checked & then searched the records at every Duval County Public School Library.
It’s banned. Which means he's lying. pic.twitter.com/k6pDZtckfd
https://t.co/4heWPEScdB It’s on the banned list— xtinextine (@xtine128) March 24, 2023
Here’s more receipts on book bans. https://t.co/PfFOGbMco5— M Robeson (@brooksidemb) March 24, 2023
The MAGA HR 5 bill makes it easier for other parents to ban books your child can read. The bill destroys privacy & makes it easier for other parents to know if your child has an eating disorder.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 24, 2023
The bill PITS PARENTS AGAINST PARENTS, and will backfire on the GOP.#FridayFeeling https://t.co/HRrEYJdckQ
C) Lieu: There are radical, extreme provisions in this bill that will destroy students privacy and let other parents know about your child.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 23, 2023
"Is our children learning?"
.@RepMaxwellFrost on H.R. 5: “This bill is just a vehicle for hate and political nonsense...It's not about policy, it's about politics. It's not about freedom and liberty, it's about the fear of a problem that doesn't exist.”— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) March 23, 2023
The civil rights community opposes this legislation. pic.twitter.com/5eNd5MCNDa
In his speech before the bill passed, Speaker Kevin McCarthy declared, "We believe parents should know what your children is [sic] learning."
Among other things, H.R. 5, also known as the “Parents Bill of Rights Act,” would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to require schools to provide parents with a list of books and reading materials available in the school library as well as posting curriculum publicly.It would also require elementary and middle schools that receive federal funding to obtain parental consent before “changing a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name on any school form; or allowing a child to change the child’s sex-based accommodations, including locker rooms or bathrooms.”
Do other parents get a say? It's a "bill of rights," right?
Additionally, the legislation affirms parents’ rights to address school boards and receive information about violent activity in their child’s school.
If you're not getting that already, you need to be more involved in school board elections.
Brought to you by conservatives who think government is too big! Unless it's doing what they want done.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the Republican bill “will not see the light of day” in the Senate and has called the legislation “Orwellian to the core.”In remarks on the Senate floor Thursday, Schumer described the measure as a “school control bill.”“If passed, schools across the nation would be forced to adhere to a panoply of federal regulations that take power away from parents and school districts. Again, let me repeat that: it would take power away from parents and school districts, away from educators, and put it in the hands of elected politicians. Again, the GOP that treasured small government, local control, is long since gone, replaced once again, by hard right MAGA ideologues,” Schumer said.
March 24, 2023I agree with this argument/example, even though: A) Nobody reads the Bible; and B) it isn't meant to be read by children; C) or as a novel, or an ethics manual, or in any manner except as the scriptures of a religious community (and so read in the context of that community). This passage from Ezekiel, for example, is aimed at Israel for its faithlessness which has landed it in Exile (Ezekiel writes from Babylon). It's really not unusual language for the Exilic prophets in denouncing Israel, but no, it's not the stuff I would read to an elementary school kid. And it definitely needs to be read in the context of a believing community, not as history or a narrative or even literature. (I have nothing against teaching the Bible as Western literature. I've done it myself. But if you're going to provide context for Twain's use of the "N-word" in Huckleberry Finn, well....).
"So much of it"? All of it. Just simply: all of it.
so much of this Republican freakout over PARENTS RIGHTS is just a reaction to the idea their kids might learn about something in school that pierces their own regressive worldview pic.twitter.com/4AGI1D99LZ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2023
@StormyDaniels 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/wH0M5qJqDb— Julio Diaz (@juliodaysdiaz) March 24, 2023
I'm so ready for this case to leave the grand jury and enter the courthouse. The number of legal pundits who haven't a clue but KNOW Bragg does/does not have a case, is growing tiresome. The most wrong a lawyer can be is to be sure he/she knows the quality of another lawyer's case that the first lawyer has NO involvement in.
This is the statement Cohen wrote. It is old news from early 2018 before I came forward. I think it's HYSTERICAL that tiny is trying to spin this as some kind of new information.There's a clip of this from the @jimmykimmel show& I discuss it in my book "Full Disclosure" https://t.co/XjGWZ7Ptua— Stormy Daniels (@StormyDaniels) March 24, 2023
None Dare Call It Racism
God forbid the obvious should be stated: the "ties" racism and it's subset, anti-semitism.
What it looks like when the refs have been thoroughly worked pic.twitter.com/ZhuheIWRV9— Oliver Willis (@owillis) March 24, 2023
Why can't the NYT do that much? Too grey and too much of an old lady?
I wish my colleague Jason Stanley were still on Twitter, as he would have a lot to say about the layers of meaning in “Soros-backed animal.” But this piece does a good job explaining the context and history behind it https://t.co/ifGf7XLwQY pic.twitter.com/gknDKHhzAy— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) March 24, 2023
Remember When We Were Supposed To Republish This Stuff?
Because ignoring it just made it worse?
Normal night. pic.twitter.com/Tzv9WtvkIE— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 24, 2023
Happy Crime Fraud Exception Day!
31 lawyers. Holy crap! 💩
This post includes a list of at least 31 lawyers (or fixers with a JD, like Boris Epshteyn) known to be witnesses or subjects of one or several of the investigations into Trump.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) March 24, 2023
I'm sure I'm missing some, tho.
We’re Finished Here
Manhattan DA sends scathing response to GOP’s request for testimony https://t.co/RfE0dL2gfs— Axios (@axios) March 23, 2023
Why it matters: Bragg’s response leaves Republicans with little room to maneuver in their effort to dent the probe’s credibility — forcing them to decide whether to venture into the uncharted territory of subpoenaing a local prosecutor.
What she’s saying: Dubeck [Bragg's counsel] listed four ways in which, she argues, the House GOP’s request for testimony is improper.
The letter seeks “non-public information about a pending criminal investigation, which is confidential under state law.”
The requests are an “unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty” under the 10th Amendment, which is understood to prevent congressional inquiries into matters delegated to the states. This
Congress is “not the appropriate branch” to review a pending criminal case. Instead, Dubeck wrote, the courts are the “proper forum” for a challenge.
Requests for information about the use of federal funding are “an insufficient basis to justify these unconstitutional requests.”
The other side: “Alvin Bragg should focus on prosecuting actual criminals in New York City rather than harassing a political opponent in another state,” the House Judiciary Committee GOP tweeted after the release of the letter.
Jordan told Axios he is “reviewing the letter” and declined to weigh in on a possible subpoena.That's weaselspeak for “We’re finished here.” Jordan is not going to bother trying to obtain an unenforceable subpoena.
Thursday, March 23, 2023
No One Could Have Foreseen
In an exclusive, The Salt Lake Tribune obtained a copy of the parent’s petition for the book review of the Bible. The request is to specifically remove the book from shelves at Davis High School.https://t.co/m8SIynkFnu— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) March 23, 2023
“Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,” the parent wrote in their request, listing topics they found concerning in the religious text. “You’ll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1227, has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition.”
The parent points to action by Utah Parents United, a right-leaning group that has led the efforts to challenge books here for being inappropriate. It has largely centered on texts written by and about the LGBTQ community and people of color.
Based on the new Utah law, something is indecent if it includes explicit sexual arousal, stimulation, masturbation, intercourse, sodomy or fondling.
According to state attorneys, material doesn’t have to be “taken as a whole” in those situations or left on the shelf during a review. If there is a scene involving any of those acts, it should be immediately removed.
Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who sponsored the bill to remove pornographic books from school libraries, called the request to pull the Bible “antics that drain school resources.”As opposed to requests he approved of; those don’t drain resources.
He also acknowledged the parent who submitted the request “really had to go through their Bible study” to come up with the list of examples they found inappropriate. He added: “I hope they paid attention to other parts of the Bible, though.”He’s clearly not familiar with another book, called a concordance. (A list of all words found in the KJV, and the verses where they can be found.)
"Which is being banned from school libraries?”
Check out Bagley's latest cartoon.https://t.co/odDLudSOuO— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) March 23, 2023
I Guess He Knows They Can See Him
(Still not a legal defense.)
Trump is easily having his most deranged, psychotic day yet and he will clearly only get worse every hour. He is dangerously insane. pic.twitter.com/n1MyK8pRNV— Spiro’s Ghost (@SpiroAgnewGhost) March 23, 2023
I Don't Know What's Been Established About Tik-Tok
I do know what kind of hearing is going on in Congress today. I don't expect any useful information to come from it.
Imo there are three kinds of congressional hearings.— Lizzie O'Leary (@lizzieohreally) March 23, 2023
1. Public verbal stoning.
The TikTok hearing today is one of these. Lots of angry statements and rending of garments. Everyone adheres to a script. No minds are changed.
And whenever anybody says "Everybody knows," I just discount the allegation automatically.
3. Markups/committee business— Lizzie O'Leary (@lizzieohreally) March 23, 2023
Rarely covered. Stuff actually happens. Work gets done, mostly by staffers.
I mean, wasn't that Snowden's argument about the entire internet? Except it wasn't China he was afraid of? So color me skeptical on this topic, until I'm better informed from better sources. In the meantime:
Sure but aren't the facts pretty clear on TikTok, it's essentially Chinese spyware; I mean we all acknowledge that & some people choose to still put it on their electronic devices. Banning it for government officials and government employees seems like the easiest decision ever.— Jeff A 🧙♂️ (@Mithrandir48) March 23, 2023
I know what's going on with Twitter.
For those asking: Twitter is, like TikTok, partially foreign owned, in Twitter's case by the Saudis, Qataris, and a Canadian-based Emirati.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) March 23, 2023
The Saudis already got busted infiltrating Twitter with a spy so they could monitor dissidents. AND
Elmo has opened the files to the likes of Mattydickpics and Bari Weiss, so it's not beyond reason he's opened them to foreign governments, too. He publicly buys into the most ludicrous GOP promoted conspiracy theories. Twitter is clearly once again home to racists and white supremacists and Lord knows how many Russian and/or Chinese bots. So why aren't we hanging him out to dry? Is it because Twitter is HQ'ed in America? And Tik-Tok is out of China?
Like TikTok, Twitter is not only a vehicle for disinformation campaigns, but Elmo has given foreign disinfo campaigns PREFERENTIAL access with his blue check program.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) March 23, 2023
Entire point of Twitter Files effort seems to make Twitter safe for Russian and other disinformation campaigns.
I Told You The Courts Are Not Blind...
...or stupid, or mindless automatons.
Breaking—— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) March 23, 2023
There will be an anonymous jury in Carroll v. Trump, a judge rules, citing Trump's record of attacking "courts, judges, various law enforcement officials and other public officials, and even individual jurors in other matters."
Background: https://t.co/V9yOvJOaD1 pic.twitter.com/o00jjThvh6
E. Jean Carroll's civil case against Trump is going to Trial in April, and the judge is wise to Trump's tactics. https://t.co/i85rHFHe00— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) March 23, 2023
Dominion, Smartmatic, FoxNews, and Mike Lindell, Would Like To Have A Word
What about this seems like a political winner in a GOP primary? Or even in Florida? Without Sullivan, FoxNews and Lindell would be in an even greater world of hurt, because Dominion and Smartmatic wouldn't have to clear the high bar of "actual malice." (It's still remarkable FoxNews made that so easy for them. But imagine a world where that wasn't necessary.)
DeSantis says "there's no way you could ever have a defamation action" under current libel laws, which is just patently untrue https://t.co/OZz3sE0Dle— Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) March 23, 2023
Meanwhile: Best of Dying Twitter
still can’t believe this happened pic.twitter.com/gSUNOszvLQ— Hurt CoPain (@SaeedDiCaprio) March 21, 2023
March 19, 2023😂
my friends and I have fun pic.twitter.com/gqCUUw8wey— shauna (@goldengateblond) March 19, 2023
It's Also Not A Legal Defense
It it a dog whistle to call a Black prosecutor an "animal" controlled by a Jewish financier? Or is it more like an elephant klaxon? pic.twitter.com/ZPuAxtUIaP— Liz Dye (@5DollarFeminist) March 23, 2023
Thanks to the 5th Amendment, we'll never see Trump in court answering these charges from the witness stand, under oath.
Based on this morning's all caps racist screed, maybe Bragg is just waiting for Trump to tire himself out, like a toddler melting down over nap time.— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 23, 2023
And boy are they having fun!
Does anyone take Trump’s panicky Truths seriously at this point besides the prosecutors printing and logging them?— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 23, 2023
Trump’s lawyers, on the other hand, are not having fun.
"Can you believe they want us to be PEACEFUL?" certainly sounds to me like a call to violence https://t.co/Zfdi2CDcAX— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) March 23, 2023
Interestingly, this is exactly the kind of post I would put on social media were I a target in a criminal investigation and I wanted to be denied bail. pic.twitter.com/yy79EcCHbs— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) March 23, 2023
“Every single person investigating me is crazy,” he said, crazily.— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 23, 2023
I'm not sure that just being in Manhattan is a problem for the jury pool for Trump anymore. Being anywhere among civilized people is more of the problem, now.
Dimitri Simes (of the Mueller report) concurs with Russian state TV propagandist Vladimir Solovyov that "black racism" is to blame for the looming prosecution of Donald Trump. https://t.co/aQzX6us5m0— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) March 23, 2023
Instead of stories about the “political firestorm” that occurs whenever officials even contemplate enforcing the law against Trump, maybe there should be stories explaining that Trump seems to prefer threats and attacks on the legal system to defending himself on the merits. https://t.co/oNF0TxqPY9— Dr. Kristy Parker (@KPNatsFan) March 23, 2023
Remember When Republicans Were All About "Small Government"?
Yeah, that was actually kinda nice.
We shared this yesterday with FL legislators as we referenced HB1069 and SB1320 which would add teachers’ personal libraries to the bureaucratic process of our taxpayer funded media centers.— Florida Freedom to Read Project (@FLFreedomRead) March 23, 2023
It restricts the ability for parents/teachers the get the right book to the right child.
One R rep repeated a regular talking point: if parents knew what was on the shelf, they would want this government oversight.— Florida Freedom to Read Project (@FLFreedomRead) March 23, 2023
Parents know enough to not be concerned over books on a shelf.
We would like government oversight of guns, but they aren’t pushing for that.
One R rep repeated a regular talking point: if parents knew what was on the shelf, they would want this government oversight.What, the classroom is closed to them? They're afraid of books? Of ideas? Do they imagine school teachers keep The Story of O on their shelves? Or Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book? Or The Communist Manifesto?
Is it fascism if it only takes one person to overrule all the rest of us? Asking for a friend...
One outlier parent having the power to end a career for something the majority of the community would consider uncontroversial is just a great incentive to get into education.— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 23, 2023
I of course started to respond to this until I realized that, despite various attempts, and occasional skims, I haven't read The Sickness unto Death.
You will recall I last tackled Kierkegaard a few years ago (The Concept of Anxiety) and did a blog post and you had a few comments. I'm not sure that Kierkegaard is quite as (Protestantly) orthodox on soteriology--there he seemed to conclude that Adam brought sin in the world, not uniquely, but as each of us does. In my skims of TSUD I haven't seen so much of atonement as another excruciatingly painful bout of self-examination.
I can't fault your overall read of the gospels. If I had to put a label on it I would call it Christian humanism, and I share it. But for all my enthusiasm for what might also be called Erasmian Christianity I have also a growing appreciation of what, in modern times, has been a mostly Protestant venture in juxtaposing human beings with God--ala Kierkegaard or Barth or even Tillich. We come up radically short. And of course the result of that isn't, for the vast majority, a depth of Kierkegaardian anxiety and despair, or Barth's sense of the fearful otherness of God. But for those of us nuts enough to think theology valuable, these kinds of deep dives help keep us from the complacency that sometimes passes for Christian comfort.
Give me a year or two and I'll give you a response that's actually informative!
First, a confession: I still have to read COA (I think I have the Lowrie translation, The Concept of Dread. I do prefer the Hong translations, they're much more readable.) SK probably isn't terribly orthodox on soteriology. I just find myself wholly unorthodox these days.
Let's have a beer and talk about it!
I resonate with Annie Dillard's idea of the complete Otherness of God, one she roots in Judiasm (though she is Christian). I have vague recollections of her description of it from one of her essays: something about if God actually paid attention to worshippers they might all be blasted to bits by the gaze. Very in keeping with depictions of encounters with the Almighty in the Hebrew scriptures, you understand (Moses glowing from the reflected glory of God on Sinai; Elijah meeting God in an earthquake and a whirlwind, but God is not in either; Ezekiel seeing only the glory of God (the light shining off the Presence) atop the throne chariot; even Paul on the road to Damascus, struck down by a blinding light (the glory, again). That kind of thing.) To me that's the basis and reason for worship (to wander off task a bit): it's for us, not for God (the usual modern critique of worship: why does God need it?). I (wandering further) tried to lead worship in a way that the encounter with God (however it came) was enough to change your view of the world for the rest of the week. It was meant to be the inverse of "recharging your spiritual batteries" so you could "face the world again." Rather than God being a battery charger, the living presence of God was so fundamentally Other that the world, by contrast, was a piece of cake.
There's also the root there for Christian humility, which I place more in the "first shall be last, last first" teachings, and in the Matthean parable of the sheep and goats: "Lord, when did we see you?" Take that seriously, along with the absolute Otherness of God, and you've got good grounds to be humble.
And so we come back to "How should we then live?", Tolstoy's question which has become so important to me, especially as I am as out of touch with other people as I have ever been (I don't lead a church, I don't teach a class, I don't practice law and have clients; not anymore). No, that's not self-pity or a sad thing. But I'm well aware I'm effectively on a desert island, and my interactions with other humans are in crowded stores and noisy restaurants (excepting the people who work in these places whom I encounter for mercantile reasons). So I'm a bit less interested in "The Individual," and much less enamored of what I see as SK's emphasis (in SUD) on Augustine's "God-shaped hole" (which is not what Augustine meant any more than SK meant a "leap of faith" is a leap in the dark, but anyway....). I don't think our hearts are restless until they rest in God. But I do think the value of Christianity, and the salvation of Christianity. lies in how we live, not in how we confess ("confess" here not carrying the meaning of "confession of sins," which is a practice of Christian humility and not to be idly gainsaid or even ever set aside. Indeed, I read somewhere that that Catholic practice of the confessional came out of the practice of the Irish monks as a spiritual discipline among them. I wish there were a Protestant counterpart. I could have used a confessor when I was in parish ministry. I'm not sure it would have changed any outcomes (most of the ministers I knew and trusted were as helpless as me), but it would have made life a bit easier.).
I think the root of my objection is the fundamentalist/evangelical culture we both grew up in. I've seen true charitable work done by the large Southern Baptist church here in town, but too much of the theology is about soteriology is about having the right ideas, or at least claiming to. As Jeremiah said, speaking for God: "The heart is devious; who can fathom it? I, God, test the heart..." We are known by what we do, in other words.
"Lord, when did we see you?" "What you did for the least of these, you did for me."
So I don't think I'm tossing out the baby with the bathwater (nor did you say I am!). It's the Romanticism of SK I can't hold onto anymore. I admire the Romantic movement, we are all living in its utter transformation of how we understand ourselves in the world. But the emphasis on the personal, rather than the communal, is a bit more than I can give credit to, anymore.
Let's have a beer and talk about it!* 🍻
(*Something I understand Luther liked to do. You can't too much dislike a man like that!)
Old Enough To Remember...
Then AG John Ashcroft ordering the statue of Justice that stood behind his DOJ podium be draped because the female figure was topless.
"Mein Gott! We can't let our children be exposed to degenerate art!" said some other people in Germany a long time ago. https://t.co/aP63pBrFcr— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 23, 2023
Maybe it just needs a figleaf:
A reader points out, "This was literally a #Simpsons episode lol"https://t.co/oBDPyXfqcN pic.twitter.com/uiSfpbVSVj— Jim Rosica (@JimRosicaFL) March 23, 2023
However, the difficulty in claiming that Matt Groening and his writers "predicted" the censorship of Michelangelo's "David" lies in the fact that campaigns to cover up nude works of art in general, and "David" in particular, have existed for centuries. The prevalence of fig leafs on classical statues is testament to that, as Alexxa Gotthardt wrote for the website Artsy in 2018:Take Michelangelo's famous sculpture "David" (1501–04), a muscular, starkly naked depiction of its namesake biblical hero. The work scandalized the artist’s fellow Florentines and the Catholic clergy when unveiled in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria in 1504. Soon after, the figure’s sculpted phallus was girdled with a garland of bronze fig leaves by authorities.60 years later, just months before Michelangelo’s death, the Catholic Church issued an edict demanding that “figures shall not be painted or adorned with a beauty exciting … lust.” The clergy began a crusade to camouflage the pensises and pubic hair visible in artworks across Italy. Their coverups of choice? Loincloths, foliage, and — most often — fig leaves. It has became known as the “Fig Leaf Campaign,” one of history’s most significant acts of art censorship.A more recent example, described by the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, came in the mid-1800s, when the Grand Duke of Tuscany presented Queen Victoria with a 6-meter-high cast of the original statue:"The story goes that on her first encounter with the cast of 'David' at the Museum, Queen Victoria was so shocked by the nudity that a proportionally accurate fig leaf was commissioned. It was then kept in readiness for any royal visits, when it was hung on the figure using two strategically placed hooks."
There is indeed nothing new under the sun.
Your Sand Is That Way, Congressman 👉
I really want to see Gym go to the full House for a subpoeana which a judge then refuses to enforce for so many reasons I can't begin to catalog them all, but starting with the fact Congress has no legislative interest in interfering with the lawful conduct of an investigation by a state into violations of its law.
"Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene. Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry." https://t.co/6lRURpAKrv— David Weigel (@daveweigel) March 23, 2023
How Does AI Improve On This?
Tucker isn’t giving away the ballgame here. Tucker is reinforcing his position,
Oh dear https://t.co/15Qc2wQ2Al— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 23, 2023
Hoist On His Own…
Donald Trump is about to be a loser, several of his attorneys sayhttps://t.co/7mIW3egBIL— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) March 23, 2023
The intense media scrutiny on the Trump case and his global notoriety also make it unlikely that other venues would make jury selection any easier, says Beidel. “Where can he go that’s not media-saturated? Where is the place where no one knows about this case or investigation at this point?”So the argument is Trump can’t get a fair trial anywhere because he’s successfully sought notoriety and media attention all his adult life?
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
And this has what to do with a secure border?
NARRATOR: the Manhattan DA has nothing to do with securing the southern border. https://t.co/awBVDN3hcj— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) March 22, 2023
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan Issues Sweeping Information Requests To Universities Researching Disinformation https://t.co/WtpuP3rDH7 via @TPM— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 22, 2023
House Republicans have sent letters to at least three universities and a think tank requesting a broad range of documents related to what it says are the institutions’ contributions to the Biden administration’s “censorship regime.”The letters are the latest effort by a House subcommittee set up in January to investigate how the federal government, working with social media companies, has allegedly been “weaponized” to silence conservative and right-wing voices. So far, the committee’s investigations have amplified a variety of dubious, outright false and highly misleading Republican grievances with law enforcement, many of them espoused by former President Donald Trump. Committee members have cited supposed abuses that include the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, its investigations of Jan. 6 rioters and the Biden administration’s purported use of executive powers to shut down conservative viewpoints on social media.
Asking for a friend.
It’s open, but they were “stopped”. I’m confused. https://t.co/qHoOkSbazB— John Sipher (@john_sipher) March 22, 2023
I really hope his lawyers are getting their money up front.
Every article, written by Judge Jeanine. Every show, hosted by Judge Jeanine. https://t.co/NzUzhnM5Zo— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 22, 2023
"My death, is it possible?" Does he understand the main drawback to martyrdom is that you don't get to enjoy it?
I'd be really curious who Trump considers martyrs. https://t.co/B6zSQqQcuL— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 22, 2023
Mostly why I'm not getting to wound up about it. That, and I'm old. I'm too old to get excited about much of anything.
I think it’s entirely likely the theme of Trump’s campaign - maybe overtly - is “Don’t lock me up.”— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 22, 2023
Which is why Moms take their young children, right?
They both feature “Hop on Pop!” https://t.co/DADgEszQaH— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 22, 2023
Yeah, you'll never make 'em happy.
good news for Republicans who insisted on Trump being indicted on graver charges https://t.co/NlI8sVpXFB— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 22, 2023
I love the idea that we kinda know fake from real now (if it weren’t for algorithms and modern technology), but in the future we won’t be able to know at all. Especially juries!
Huge problem. Wrote about it in my last book. https://t.co/FOKDGZmYAx— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 22, 2023
Trump is a LOT fatter than that (on the right) and he could be taken down by two healthy 10 year old girls, you wouldn’t need 10 cops (“big guys, with tears in their eyes”). These are both clearly fan-fic.
Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins says Midjourney banned him from using the AI image generator.— Emil Protalinski (@EPro) March 22, 2023
Higgins had used Midjourney v5 to generate images of a Donald Trump arrest, which promptly went viral.
Midjourney also banned the word "arrested" in its tool.https://t.co/6NV1uyKjFr
When you point a finger at me, three more are pointing back at you.
"She'll be under investigation for years. She'll be with trials. Our country, we have to get back to work," Trump said of Hillary Clinton on Nov. 4, 2016.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 22, 2023
He added the next day, "If she were to win, it would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis."
I guess that works!
Trump was not arrested yesterday and he’s not going to be arrested today but trump has raised 1.5 million dollars since he truthed that he was going to get arrested on Tuesday.— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) March 22, 2023
"A fool and his money 💰 are soon parted.” 💸
angry about my dad facing charges? Here's what you can do TODAY. Give me your money! pic.twitter.com/EI9YRfQqvk— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 22, 2023
You can stop anytime you want. I think we all get it.
It’s hard to imagine we’re still explaining him. pic.twitter.com/6irU26HGJA— AntiNarcopathyPharmD (@narceducator) March 22, 2023
March 22, 2023The wisdom of crowds.
The "genius" of the right.
Brigitte Gabriel says if conservatives will just boycott Disney they would be finished because liberals don’t have children. pic.twitter.com/6ztsrnE1Hg— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 22, 2023
Trump wistfully remembering a time when his lawyers could throw sand in the gears and buy him months at a time.— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 22, 2023
And your reminder that local criminal practice is local.
I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that from time to time not all of the information Trump provides to the public may be accurate https://t.co/WuFfRfjAYY— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) March 22, 2023
Bookkeeping matters, too.
Eye-opening statistic via NYT:— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) March 22, 2023
“False business records charge is the bread and butter of the district attorney’s office … since Mr Bragg took office in 2022, prosecutors have filed 117 felony counts … against 29 individuals and companies.”
Dovetails with my convo @OutFrontCNN pic.twitter.com/Ec92wUoURc
And there was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions had an experience of schadenfreude all at once.
It’s back on.— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) March 22, 2023
“The Manhattan DA plans to convene the grand jury again Thursday, according to two sources familiar with the matter.”https://t.co/kdD8cuLNzO
May You Live In Interesting Times
Could be even more interesting:
And, in any event, if client provides false facts to counsel to provide to govt, that is a crime (obstruction and false statement to govt), and crime-fraud exception applies. You can't commit a crime through a lawyer intermediary.— Andrew Weissmann 🌻 (@AWeissmann_) March 22, 2023
An overnight briefing schedule like we appear to have seen here is almost unheard of. Assuming it was at DOJ’s request, they would have to show pretty extenuating circumstances—especially in a case involving as sensitive an issue as crime-fraud in relation to a former president.— Scott R. Anderson🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@S_R_Anders) March 22, 2023
I don’t think DOJ could persuade them to move at this speed just because DOJ wants to indict sooner. That’s a self-imposed timeline DOJ could invoke in all sorts of cases. It’d be a bad precedent.— Scott R. Anderson🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@S_R_Anders) March 22, 2023
One explanation does make sense to me though: what if DOJ presented evidence that there may still be classified information in Trump’s hands and that Corcoran’s testimony and evidence could help DOJ recover it.— Scott R. Anderson🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@S_R_Anders) March 22, 2023
One possibility is that Howell felt the need to weigh the issues carefully but DOJ feels more comfortable pushing now that they have a trial court win.— Scott R. Anderson🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@S_R_Anders) March 22, 2023
Or now that DOJ has won at the trial court, it may be seen as creating new risks that things will be moved or destroyed.
There would also have to be reason to believe that Corcoran’s evidence could help remedy the underlying harm by facilitating recovery.— Scott R. Anderson🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@S_R_Anders) March 22, 2023
But that’s not hard to imagine: maybe they have evidence that docs were moved, but only Corcoran might have evidence as to where.
Inquiring minds want to know!
This is all highly speculative to be sure. But nothing else I can think of makes sense. The timing is too singularly unusual.— Scott R. Anderson🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@S_R_Anders) March 22, 2023
Anyone have a better explanation? Let me know, I am very open to alternative explanations!
Don’t count your chickens… 🐣
Cannot emphasize enough how Corcoran's testimony vs. Trump on Espionage Act and obstruction may be the single greatest threat to him. Allegedly with notes and recording this may be the final blow.— Jennifer "Pro-privacy" Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) March 22, 2023
If the documents have been surrendered, any further appeal is moot. Corcoran is going to testify, sooner or later. If this is about national security/Espionage Act violations, this could be very, very bad for Trump. Maybe even 14th Amendment bad. 🤔 (Yeah, I’m really spitballin’ there.)
Corcoran now reportedly scheduled to testify before GJ on Friday, and also reportedly was ordered to turn over his documents today. So events moving very quickly.— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) March 22, 2023
The B-52's on SNL, January 26, 1980. Incredible. pic.twitter.com/l9Nlan7vaG— Christian Schneider (@Schneider_CM) November 12, 2022
"LOCK 'EM UP!!!!"
As I never tire of saying (but should): if you're clamoring for your political opponents to be arrested and jailed because you don't like whatever it is they are doing (my personal choice is Gym Jordan at the moment) you're literally no different from empty greene.
Now it’s time to arrest Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg for prosecutorial misconduct after hiding hundreds of pages of exculpatory evidence!— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) March 22, 2023
Bragg is on the verge of indicting an innocent former President and top Presidential candidate against the opposing ruling party.
Not That I'm Surprised
But now the appealing parties have to get the Supreme Court to take an interlocutory appeal (or whatever it would be. What do I look like, an appellate law expert?) if they can, and get an administrative stay out of them.
BREAKING: The appeals court has DENIED effort by Trump team to block Judge Howell's order turning over *documents* to special counsel Jack SMITH's team.— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 22, 2023
Details are under seal. pic.twitter.com/5yVn4irelA
Eh. Dismissed for mootness. Although consideration might affect electoral outcome.
I suspect we're going to start seeing consideration of a constitutional question not yet widely considered. Can a sitting President be subject to criminal indictment if his trial was already underway when he was elected President?— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 22, 2023
Once Again, My Commenters Are Ahead Of The Curve
Puddin’— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 22, 2023
DeSantis Eating Pudding With His Fingers Will End 2024 Bid https://t.co/8Fv1WzuDS5
Never trust a Florida governor who eats pudding with his fingers where he can be seen doing it.
Fear And Loathing On The Metaphysical Campaign Trail
So I'm trying to read The Sickness Unto Death and I just can't do it. No, not because it's hard (it's remarkably easy, really); because it's so dated. The premise is Augustinian: that the individual soul without full awareness of God is in despair, and only via the right theology of Christianity can this despair be remedied.
Kierkegaard would kick at that reductio description, but I'm sticking with it. And I'm just so through with this metaphysic and the soteriology built on it that I just can't wade through S.K.'s argument. To begin with, S.K. is Augustine read through Luther (who was an Augustinian monk) filtered through early Romanticism (i.e., the 19th century). The link to S.K. is through Luther, because S.K. was a seminary student all but ordained into the Danish Lutheran church. This family tree yields the fruit of an excessive (to my mind now) emphasis on the individual and individual salvation (the hallmark of Romanticism and, later, of American fundamentalism). S.K.'s emphasis is on the internal nature of the individual and the self which is a relation of the self to the self. Yeah, I get what he's getting at, but I can't but see it as all persiflage and handwaving.
You will say I am rejecting Xianity, but I'm not. I'm embracing what I understand are the true teachings of the gospels, and I don't see anything in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth (even from John's gospel) that dwells hard on the metaphsyics of the soul and the internal necessity of soteriology leading that soul to a relation that relates the self to itself grounded in the Power that posited it. Mostly I see Jesus telling us to live a full life, we must live for others; put them first and ourselves last. And while I see the humility Kierkegaard is trying to enforce on the soul before the Power that posited it, I don't see that as the same humility as the first being last, and the last first. Because that humility only works within a society. Kierkegaard's meditation might work for a lost soul on a desert island, but in a society I think the emphasis needs to be less on "the individual" (S.K.'s favorite subject) and more on the individual's relation, not to the relation of the self to the self, but to one's brothers and sisters. Who are, after all, the Christ. "Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me."
Not a lot of concern there for your inner angst, or lack thereof.
So what is my concern with the state of my self that wants to eliminate despair by "relating itself to its own self and by willing to be itself the self is ground transparently in the Power which posited it"? Maybe cloistered monks seek that goal, but I know even the anchorites didn't, because this seems to posit some very powerful navel-gazing. And do I really need to "Get right with God!" (the fundies are ever with me) before I can offer help to someone who needs it? Jesus said don't bring your offering to the temple until you've squared things with those you have wronged, or who have wronged you. Isn't that the direction? Isn't worrying about the internal state of my eternal soul (the self is, but is not, the soul. Don't worry about his metaphysics too much here.), a peculiarly Lutheran preoccupation, I might add, rather like ignoring the needs of my brothers and sisters (who are everyone who is not me) while I ponder too long over an attractive floor covering?
The large rooms of which you are so proud are in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold crowds--and also big enough to shut out the voices of the poor....There is your sister or brother, naked, crying! And you stand confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.
Ambrose, 4th Century
Or, you know, the state of my despair. Yeah, I just think the parable of the sheep and the goats is a better lesson on how I should then live. There's just too much Luther (the person) and 19th century Romanticism here for me.
Which would put me out of sorts with Fear and Trembling, too. If it weren't for the panegyric on Abraham, and the description of the perfectly quotidian and middle-class Knight of Faith which caused me to write in the margins, in the early '70s, that he was describing my father. And the general discussion of the nature of faith (rather than the metaphysical nature of the soul) which Derrida picked up in The Gift of Death. Yeah, I owe too much to Fear, misunderstood as it so often is (that whole "leap of faith" thing is not the idea so many people think it is). Besides, it gave Hunter Thompson the title of the greatest piece of reportage on a political campaign ever written: Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail '68. Come to think of it I need to look for a copy of that....
Except for some of the Edifying Discourses (and even then!), I fear I'm leaving S.K. further and further behind. The 19th century was an age ago, wasn't it?*
*I should expound on this, or defend my thesis; but more and more I don't have the energy. Or maybe it's the interest. I grow more and more comfortable with what I think, and less and less interested in imagining objections to it which I must answer. Old age that is tied to me as to a dog's tail, I guess. Or maybe it's an old man's contentment. It would be unwise to call it an old man's wisdom.
(Let me put it this way: what is important to me as a Christian is my relationship to others (and I don't mean "friendly" or even "kindly," but simply my connection, my actions toward, others), not my relationship to myself (back to the question of talking to myself, and who is talking to whom?). Christianity teaches me to be in relationship, and the state of my self is the least important element in that relationship. Which is not the same as advocating self-abnegation (too far to the other extreme), but this intense focus on the state of the self (and its nature) is just too much Romanticism for me, and the worst part of it (from Wordsworth to Byron, and back again. If, as I do, you see them as the two poles of that preoccupation with the "individual."). I just think the question of "how am I doing with God?" is answered with the parable of the sheep and the goats, or indeed most of the teachings of Jesus' ministry: "How are you doing with your brothers and sisters who need food right now? Or a visit? Or a coat? What's your relationship with 'the least of these'?" Because the law and the prophets are all about how we treat each other; not about how we align ourselves metaphysically with "the Power" that posited the relationship so we can shake off feelings of discomfort and disquietude. I mean, even the heathen can do as much!)