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Does conservatism have a point?

At this point the word “conservative” has lost its meaning. The people it’s applied to have made it synonymous with moneygrubbing bullies who have the moral code of an earwig.

Conservatism does have a dictionary definition, however. It’s obviously about conserving. The only question is what.

Officially, officially, they’re supposed to be just as solid on foundational rights as everybody else. They’re supposed to have the same respect for the Magna Cartas, Bills of Rights, Constitutions, and rule of law in the world as all the other stripes of democratic political thought.

They’re called conservatives because they’re supposed to place a higher value on conserving existing institutions rather than changing them when there’s not enough evidence that would solve problems. They’re not supposed to be against all change. They’re just supposed to be more cautious about fixing things that may not broken.

Anyone who’s aware of what happened with the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, ISIS/Daesh, Lord’s Resistance Army (which started out with some idealism!), and on and on and on, should be able to see why smashing the paradigm, or whichever buzzwords one prefers, does not necessarily end well.

Conservatism in the dictionary definition does have validity.

Granted, most of the systems in our current world are irretrievably broken. Start with the existential threat posed by climate change. On its own, even without the dozen other urgent problems, that requires changes in capitalism, social structure, and almost all industrial methods. (I have ideas on the full scope of that. Of course I do.) Climate change desperately needs a real, well thought out global revolution with funding levels appropriate to a global war. (See e.g. me twelve — 12! — effing years ago.)

Classical conservatism is not the solution now, but even now it is still good — it is always good — to tread carefully and to make sure that creative destruction is actually creative and not just destruction.

Modern “conservatism” is never a solution. It’s nothing but a grab to own women, weaker countries, anybody who doesn’t count. It’s conservative only in the sense that it’s the same thing tyrants have always done.

But it’s vital not to get carried away. It’s vital to remember that actual conservatives could have a point. In future, as the problems pile up and we get more desperate, it may be a very important point.

 

Brought on by David Roberts, Ed Burmila, neither of whom I disagree with at all in their analysis of what modern “conservatism” has become.

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The cost of war

The cost of war

Andrew Harper (? not sure, see image)

 

This little four year-old was found by the UN workers in the photo, walking through the desert from Syria to Jordan. All he had was the shopping bag he carried, and all it contained was some clothes belonging to his dead mother and sister, killed in Syria.

(Seen here.)

We need a new world. STAT!

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Democracy works

We should try it sometime.

From Kaivan Shroff:

  • He used rallies often
  • He fed off of white male rage
  • He refused to release his tax returns
  • He had no detailed policy plans
  • His campaign was illegally supported by the #Russians
  •  
  • Hillary Clinton beat him by millions of votes
 
Bernie Sanders on the left, Trump on the right, both in the same 'I'm holding forth' attitude.

 
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About the Debrowning of the USA

After all the testerical yelling about ridding the country of aaaaack-CRIMINALS-!!!!! we’re deporting people brought in as toddlers, who hold jobs (doctors, astronomers, teachers), and have families.

Most recently, a father of five has been in the news. Sole support of his family, his wife is pregnant, and one of his children is struggling with leukemia. The father has not held up a pharmacy or anything. All he’s done is be brown in the USA. So ICE has to get rid of him.

Let us, just for a moment, entertain the fantasy that something is to be gained by debrowning the country.

People who’ve done the arithmetic point out that it’s impossible, merely by the numbers. Forget the cruelty involved.

But just as a thought experiment, what happens when you give the project your all and throw out every brown person you physically can? Not taking any legal or other resistance into account. This is about ideal conditions according to the Trumpalo philosophy.

You reduce the browning of the country by five years.

Five years.

That’s all. You buy yourself a slightly whiter country for a grand total of five years. And the price is endless suffering and a shredded Constitution.

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We’re having a slo-mo Kristallnacht

The parallels have moved on from words to deeds.

There’s a huge difference of course. The US approach is not systematic. It’s scattershot. And it relies on non-state actors to commit the actual rapes, tortures, and killings. For the most part.

Ask any woman who has to avoid dark streets, subway stations, buses, parking garages, and who has to put bars on the windows and doors of her home how effective non-state terror can be.

Disorganization and using other people to do your dirtiest work does not actually prove you are better than the classical Nazis.

It just proves you’re more dishonest.

 

Burned mosque in Victoria, Texas. January 2017

(Bob Daemmrich)
 
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A thousand thanks to black people

You’ve saved us all from the worst. Again. Talk about the value of diversity.

I remember the first time this hit me between the eyes. David Duke decided to challenge Edwin Edwards for the governorship of Louisiana. Duke, card-carrying Nazi white supremacist. Edwards, not totally awful, fairly competent incumbent governor who’d used his position for some truly massive corruption. It was so bad he eventually got sent to Federal jail for ten years. But at the time he was out and about. And we all had bumperstickers: Vote for the Crook. It’s Important.

Well, Edwards won, but I was aghast to see that if it had been up to whites we would have woken up to the Nazi. Sixty percent of the white vote went to the card-carrying Nazi. Sixty percent.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the blacks of Alabama. Thank you to the NAACP who had the sense to work on voter registration and turnout. Thank you to all the other groups who helped facilitate voting. Thank you to Doug Jones who had the sense to understand that people needed help voting. And thank you to the large minority of white women and the smaller minority of white men who were capable of telling right from wrong. At a time like this, it’s useful to remember that good people come in all shapes and sizes.

We really are stronger together.

black woman hugging white woman in a crowd

 

(Mickey Welsh)

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Language, people. Mind your language!

I see this headline:

At least as many voters want religious freedom as marriage equality.

Sounds good. Religious freedom sounds good. Marriage equality sounds good. Both sides sound reasonable. How to decide? So difficult. So very very difficult.

But … really?

We know what marriage equality means. Same sex marriages should have the same legal standing as other sex ones. That seems to say what it means and mean what it says. So far so good.

How about religious freedom? In context, what they’re talking about is permission not to recognize other people’s gay marriages. They want to treat others according to their own religious beliefs. To, for instance, not rent to a gay couple. Or quite possibly not employ them.

But religious freedom refers to you living according to your own religion (within the bounds of civil law). Forcing others to live according to your beliefs is the opposite of religious freedom.

Calling it “religious freedom” is a shameless attempt to drape coercion in the respectability of civil rights.

And assisting the shell game by parroting the self-serving terminology is aiding and abetting the deception.

Being a reporter or opinion writer means being as objective as you can, and it doesn’t mean acting as a stenographer for every interest group’s flimflam for their agenda.

Call things by their right names. Religionist coercion is anything but religious freedom.

Regurgitating deceptive names is the same nonsense that has allowed people to call themselves pro-life when they seem totally uninterested in helping anyone to actually live. After a few decades of that newspeak, de jure forced pregnancy is almost back.

These things matter. Words matter.

Truth is not lies and lies are not truth. Until we start using language as if it means something, the slide into meaningless bullshit will only accelerate.

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Why sexual assault is fine and abortion is not

Honestly, people. This isn’t hard. You just have to keep your priorities straight.

Sexual assault makes everyone without a man card try to be invisible. That makes life much easier for real people who do have man cards.

Forced pregnancy keeps women chained to their biology and, bonus!, can never be used against real people with a man card.

You could of course use any part of biology to accomplish the same thing. You could withhold food or air or keep the nobodies immobile in a cage. But that’s crude. And besides, this way you can give yourself a nice little halo for caring so much about something that doesn’t exist while making sure that women, who do exist, don’t count.

So, if you’re trying to keep your cozy, nice high status man card, of course assault is okay and abortion is the end of all things.

For God’s sake, if women could just walk around loose, how would you keep them down on the farm?

“End sarcasm” tag perhaps. See comments.

 

Equality is poison when your worth depends on power over others.

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One man gets it. One doesn’t.

Ben Rosenbaum outlined the price of patriarchy for men.

Lexi Alexander @Lexialex Oct 5:
Do men ever look at the week’s news and think “what the fuck is going on with men?”

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum
Replying to @Lexialex
sadly i think i know exactly what’s fucking going on with men 🙁

i am never surprised by the horrible shit men will do to stave off the terror of feeling dependent, inadequate, dominated, out of power …

… by the fever dream of entitlement, the desperate lies we tell ourselves, the starvation of human emotion that results when every …

…interaction is a struggle to dominate and failing to dominate feels like destruction….

…every oppressor class imagines themselves oppressed because the removal of privilege feels like death, but sexism is uniquely cruel…

…b/c it demands of men that, to be men, we poison our first & deepest love relationships w/ contempt, & conceal this from ourselves…

…if you wanted, from first principles, to design a broken & dangerous group of humans, you’d teach them love os weakness…

…dominance is safety, vulnerability is danger & that they are entitled to everything & losers if they cannot win it…

…& that losers are undeserving of love, of existence, that not winning is oblivion. and this is no accident. like other oppressions…

…sexism has a functional design & purpose in maintaining status-hierarchy societies. you cannot get a large # of humans to reliably…

…kill other humans w/o mangling their ability to feel, their self-knowledge, & their self-trust as emotional agents…

…but it’s not just the soldier class; the pattern developed there permeates the rest of patriarchy. My own conversational style, even…

…after 40+ years of struggle, is warped by the dictates of scholar-class patriarchal emotional starvation & warfare….

…tl:dr; men be fucked up; we are brutal to boys to make them brutal, much of it invisible to us; hug your sons & expect humanity of them.

i mean you probably knew all that @JustineLavaworm 🙂
but you asked!

i hope none of this sounds like “oh poor men, so coddle oppression”

denounce men’s behavior, destroy men’s privilege, have zero tolerance…

…for sexism. expect men to act like fucking humans. a command to heal, not an excuse to avoid healing. cutting it the fuck out is step 1

The joke-not-joke among women is that the comments on any post or piece or tweet about feminism proves the need for feminism. The same is obviously true for men trying to throw off the shackles. Within minutes, the following showed up.

Selor @SelorKiith
/14 Until such Men are deemed more desireable, nothing will change… We all have to work on this… on ourselves if we want a better world.

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum 1h1 hour ago
but being shitty to other people out of fear of loneliness is a shitty way to live, and not actually very sexy in the final analysis.

consider the possibility that standing up for what you believe in and being who you really are is a) more satisfying and b) probably sexier.

Selor @SelorKiith 1h1 hour ago
Forced to be alone with your thoughts. sitting there in your dimly lit room, a microwave meal-for-one the only thing giving you company.

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum 1h1 hour ago
I get the fear of loneliness; patriarchy does have a stick.
But fight back & you might actually find lots of comrades on the barricades.

Selor @SelorKiith 59m59 minutes ago
It’s not a fear, it’s bitter reality… also: I don’t want comrades, I want Love, I want Family, that is not achieved by casting myself out

The mind reels. At least mine does. There’s a caste system to limit women to cages (and men to being prison guards) and this guy thinks the problem is that some people escape? Because then they’re not there when he wants to use them? And he calls that “love.”

I wonder why no free agent wants anything to do with him.

 

Eastern Sierra. Beautiful, impassable, a walk in the park.

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Just call US a Dark Age dictatorship

The global gag rule the Dump in the White House signed not long ago will kill women. But officially that’s an unfortunate unintended consequence.

Not this. The whole point is to go out and find people minding their own business and kill them. [Update 2017-10-08] It’s about more than gays. It also supports the death penalty for apostasy (leaving a religion), blasphemy (saying things like “Christ on a bike!”), and adultery. At this rate, the planet’s overpopulation problem could soon be solved. (Ostensibly, this US vote is because of the dreadful risk it might interfere with their ability to off prisoners when they want to.)

US votes against UN resolution condemning gay sex death penalty, joining Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The full list:

 

And you shall know them by the company they keep.

 
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Picture where The Donald would be without affirmative action

They haven’t thought this push against affirmative action through very well.

Take away the preferences white boys have been getting and colleges will be swamped by women and Asians.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s the outcome Sessions and Co. are looking for when they say they want colleges to purify themselves of “intentional discrimination.”

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This dude. And his kidneys. Should run for US Congress.

Sometimes you just stand there, with a mouth full of teeth, gaping, dumbfounded.

The following thread happened on twitter:

The Motherhub: So furious everytime I hear reference to the ‘debate’ on abortion. How come the whole country gets to debate on my body? My rights?

Stephen McKillop: In fairness there’s more to it than just that. There’s an unborn child whose life and future is also affeccted by this issue.

Victoria Smith: Do you worry this much about the lives and futures of those who might benefit from that extra kidney of yours?

And the dude’s gobsmacking response:

“But I’ve genuinely no idea what relevance the kidney point has to pregnancy.”

Jesus take the wheel.

Really? I mean, really?

What do you think pregnancy is? The woman as some kind of ceramic pot? She carries a homunculus around until it’s grown big enough, no doubt by absorbing quintessence straight from the aether, to be born?

There’s this thing called a placenta. It’s a stupendously complicated organ that interfaces with the fetus’s circulatory system and allows the mother’s lungs and digestion and kidneys to perform all the vital functions for the fetus.

The fetus is using her kidneys, as if she was a human dialysis machine. Her kidneys allow it to live.

Just as your spare kidney could be removed and given to someone who’s dying for lack of a transplant.

So, now that you know she’s not just a pot, and you apparently feel people must save others’ lives at the cost of their own bodies, you’re going to understand when a kidney is surgically removed from you, right?

After all, there’s an adult human whose life and future are affected by that issue.

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Fighting the weather

So, this is a thing Tomi Lahren (Ph.D. Bobblehead Studies) twittered in ref to the latest London attack. (No link to source. Search for it if you need to.)

Hey liberals, this is what we are fighting against while you fight weather.

Since you don’t get out much, let me show you the sequence.

Climate change → drought in Syria → some people ruined → some of the ruined young men join angry groups → Daesh (=ISIS or whatever they’re calling themselves today).

It’s not even many steps. Maybe you could follow them.

So I’ll fix your tweet for you.

Hey liberals, we’re shouting at the thunder while you’re building lightning rods.

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Retirement isn’t in the bible, so…..

Hell. At this rate I’m going to have to start a category for Stupid Garbage Spewed By Congresscritters. And I try hard to avoid that “news.”

(just a small sample: Utah, why stop at global warming?. This is how our world ends. Congressmen should have at least room temperature IQ.)

Electricity. Also not in the bible.

And now? Now this from Greg “Body Slam” Gianforte who is (was?) running for Congress from Montana:

“There’s nothing in the Bible that talks about retirement. … Nowhere does it say, ‘Well he was a good and faithful servant, so he went to the beach.’ It doesn’t say that anywhere.

Forgetting for a moment that little thing about separation of church and state, you know what else isn’t in the bible?

America. That’s what. Neither North, South, or Central.

So I guess you just better vanish, Mr. Greg. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

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It’s lucky Nixon obstructed justice

The Comey firing seems to have sent a tremor through the inert (dead? or sleeping?) body politic.

Even a few Republican congresscritters are saying ZOMG. That’s just so Nixon. That’s what he did. It’s exactly what he did. Omigod. Maybe we have to actually, perhaps, like, take steps.

You know what Nixon did, right? He tried to bug the Democratic headquarters to get the jump on his political rivals. At this point, that’s pretty well Standard Operating Procedure. Even Bernie Sanders snooped on his rival’s campaign info. Nobody cares. That’s what Nixon tried to do when the technology wasn’t as easy.

So, yes, in his case, obstructing justice was a way more serious crime, especially since he was President and supposedly a prime upholder of justice in the land.

Donnie “Two Scoops” Trump, on the other hand, has committed sexual assault, fraud, all indications point to heavy duty money laundering, and has handed over intelligence and god-knows-what-else to a hostile foreign power because Putin seems to have some major hold over him. Truckling to a hostile foreign power is treason.

Treason.

Treason. Committed by a thug installed in the White House by voter suppression.

That is just a tad worse than trying to get your opponent’s secret election-winning sauce.

But that’s not what the headlines are about. It’s as if right and wrong don’t exist anymore. The only way to understand whether something awful happened is if it echoes an event clearly labelled back in the day, when we still knew up from down.

So, as I say, thank God Nixon obstructed justice. There’s obviously nothing wrong with selling the country to Putin for personal benefit because Nixon never did that.

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What do you mean, “Russia TRIED to hijack US election”?

BBC: Russia ‘tried to hijack US election’

Have you noticed who’s sitting in the White House (when he’s not golfing)?

 

(Admittedly, Putin had lots of help. Crosscheck dumped over 7,000,000 likely Democrats off the voter rolls, and the tRump got the Electoral College by all of around 77,000 votes in a few key districts. Small subset of effects of Crosscheck:)

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