RSS feed for entries
 

 

Hollow Laughter

My God. The ink isn’t even dry on Sturgeon’s silly — and I do mean silly — trans Self ID bill. It hasn’t even gone into effect yet. The echoes of how bigoted it is to worry about predatory men taking advantage of Self ID haven’t even died away in Holyrood. Just about mid-sentence in blathering about how it’s just a bit of admin and won’t make any difference, the first thug is already trying to work the system.

Adam Graham / Isla Bryson, convicted of two rapes, suddenly discovers he’s trans and needs to be in a women’s jail.

And — this is the part that beggars belief — the authorities were all set to send him to one AFTER THEIR RISK ASSESSMENT.

After the risk assessment. After that.

If there’s a louder way to say women don’t count for shit (shit, after all, can’t be completely ignored), I don’t know what it is.

After two days of shock among the public, Sturgeon decides that maybe inflicting this by now well known rapist on women will be bad publicity. She apparently still plans on inflicting other stalkers and assaulters on women, just not this one.

Yvette Cooper, a UK Labour MP who’s been submerged in the trans tank forever, suddenly says it’s just common sense not to put sex criminals in women’s jails.

O rly? Hoodathunkit?

Now transfer out Karen White/Stephen T. Wood and all the other predators you’ve foisted on female prisoners before feminists forced enough media to notice this crime against humanity.

    Print This Post Print This Post

I have to admit I’m disappointed

In my secret heart I’ve always hoped that greater inclusion of women in running things — schools, businesses, corporations, governments, worlds — would mean it raised the tone of the place.

Which means I’ve always harbored a secret conviction that women are somehow, somewhere, better than men.

Well, Liz Truss has been as much proof as even I need that mediocre women can now rise to the heights, just like mediocre men. Maybe not in quite the same overwhelming numbers, but still, they’re starting to pop through.

And now we have Nicola Sturgeon distinguishing herself. She is not mediocre. But why does her role model have to be Machiavelli?

What’s she done? She’s spent way too long pushing through gender identity laws that basically allow easy self-ID. Women, who’ve had too much experience of male predation, object to being made even more vulnerable. Parents object to the lack of thought given to safeguarding minors. (The issue in both cases is not transness as such but opening the door to pervy males. I mean, Boy Scouts, anyone?) England objects to having different definitions of women depending which side of the Scottish border you’re on.

Polling says 59% of the Scottish population is against having males in women’s spaces or girls’ sports or all the rest of the usual examples. Thirty eight percent think it’s a good idea.

Yet in the face of such opposition, Sturgeon, with her politician’s sixth sense for following the crowd, has instead been ramming through this grossly unpopular bill. Because it’s so important to help trans people, she says.

Really?

It didn’t fit. She’s never had principles before. Why now? Why this?

She’s been pro-Scottish independence since way back, and that is a popular stand. Just shy of popular enough to win referendums, at least so far, but fairly close to 50%.

So it looks like she’s forced the trans issue to create a heads-I-win tails-you-lose situation. The UK government in London either has to let her ignore the UK-wide Equality Act, which guarantees women rights that self-ID steps on, or they have to say UK law supersedes Scottish law, which will inflame Scottish nationalism and fracture the UK even more.

Either way, she wins. She can either preen about being the wildly progressiive First Minister who gave trans people everything they want, or she can be an icon of Scottish Self-Rule leading the nation out of its chains.

Machiavelli couldn’t have set it up better. And he would have been just as happy to use a minority as mere gunpowder. If she’s a friend to trans people, they don’t need enemies.

    Print This Post Print This Post

Only women are asked to put trans rights first

 
That’s the title of an article in today’s London Times and, really, it says it all.

Only women are asked to put trans rights first.

You’d think that would be enough to red flag the issue for anyone. But no. Misogyny is a hell of a drug.

Women count for so little, any male’s passing malaise is worth any and all damage to women.

And there are millions of women who’ve swallowed that, hook, line, and sinker. The misogyny comes wrapped in a cookie labelled Cool Girl. Which is all it takes.

 

    Print This Post Print This Post

It’s The Teachers, Stupid

Headlines about how behind the kids are after lockdown and not going to school. How in-person school is essential.

I actually know something about this so I’m a-going to hold forth. Brace yourselves.

For me, it started in the late 1990s at the dawn of the widespread web. I’m a major hermit. People are okay but not very necessary, y’know? So I thought online teaching and learning would solve all our problems. I won’t bore you with the whole process. Here are the take home lessons after decades:

  • Fully online learning without a specialized online-adapted curriculum is only suitable for advanced students who already have considerable knowledge of their subject.
  • Online learning is significantly facilitated if the participants meet and get to know each other in person. Australians have spent decades teaching children by correspondence and now online. (It’s that far-flung outback with hundreds of miles between houses.) At some point(s) in the school term, the kids travel all the way to a boarding-type school for a week or so and have classes together. Without this, there is just not enough engagement.
  • Online learning at basic levels takes more, more, much more tailored curriculum and teacher time and specialized training in some of the teaching skills than in-person. It takes more time and costs more money to achieve the same level of learning. Not less.

It never works when some educrat expects the real world can magically go virtual. It especially doesn’t work when the educrats decide it’s a great time to save money on teachers and materials. After all, they’re just sitting at home on their butts doing nothing, amirite? None of the tools, time, or money were applied. What you get then is this:

detailed pencil drawing of the back half of a horse, showing just about every hair in the tail, becoming sketchy in the middle, and then the head end is just a four year-old's crooked rectangle for a head and two sticks for front legs

You can’t really say it’s the children who’ve fallen behind. They learned what they were taught, which wasn’t much. Especially when, also magically, parents without any teacher training were somehow expected to fill in for teachers. Early in the pandemic lockdowns there was some recognition of the gap. It seems to be gone now.

There’s one other giant massive awful fact that goes unmentioned and has nothing to do with online-ularity. A huge number of children lost parents and people dear to them because of covid. Even with the best in-person schools and the kindest teachers, grief and stress set children back. That’s not news. That’s a reason to approach pandemics more rationally and usefully.

My personal hopelessly cynical take on this all-in-person-all-the-time-damn-the-viruses-full-speed-ahead business?

People have already forgotten that teachers are a essential component. They cost money, after all. It makes it harder to cut costs if you recognize what they do.

No, the real motivation is to get the kids out of the house and off the parents’ hands to where somebody can babysit them for a while. The “think of the children learning!” is just a BS cover story. If they were really concerned about learning they’d be lobbying for small class sizes. Also for lighter teaching loads to enable individual attention to the students. Because if you let teachers do their jobs, children learn. It’s right there in the name of the profession.

    Print This Post Print This Post

Thoughts from an ethnic Russian on Ukraine

Actually, just one thought. There’s so much talk about how Ukraine has its own language and culture and history and therefore “deserves” to be independent.

To me, this is bollocks.

I speak English and live in an English-speaking country but we’re not part of Britain.

The culture where I am is next to indistinguishable from our nearest neighbor. We were even, for a while, going to be one country with that neighbor. But we’re not, and nobody here or there feels an overwhelming urge to charge in and reunite the two by force.

The point is: you don’t need a distinct language or culture to be a separate nation. You just need a group with a desire for self-determination. Ideally, it’s a big enough group to be an economically viable entity, but that’s a practical side issue. The main point, the principle of the thing, is that a group of people who want to be independent have the same right, and to the same extent, as any other to self-determination.

Ukraine needs no other justification. It’s not something you “deserve.” It’s something you are.

Ukrainian woman telling Russian soldier to carry sunflower seeds so flowers will sprout when he dies on Ukrainian soil
Ukrainian woman confronts Russian soldiers in Henychesk, Kherson region. Asks them why they came to our land and urges to put sunflower seeds in their pockets [so that flowers would grow when they die on the Ukrainian land] (from Ukraine World)
    Print This Post Print This Post

On Understanding Nothing

I just had a gobsmacking experience. A glimpse into another way of thinking that I didn’t even know existed.

There was an interminable thread discussing among other things the validity of self-ID with regard to gender. (I came upon it via brilliant Rebecca Reilly-Cooper.)

This exchange cropped up:

Unavailable to the Mortal Man @EdwinDroom Dec 29, 2021
Nope, you’re misunderstanding the difference between the categories existing, and them being recognised and given a name. Hydrogen and Helium really exist as separate elements, and did within a very short time of the Big Bang. They didn’t have those names, sure.

Mary @xmarylawrence Dec 29, 2021
Nope, those categories don’t exist separate from humans categorizing them.

Unavailable to the Mortal Man @EdwinDroom Dec 29, 2021
Nope. Hydrogen really exists. So does helium. They existed with all their properties long before life, let alone humans, evolved. This isn’t a debate, Mary. You’re simply wrong.

Gem @_____Gem Dec 29, 2021
It is AMAZING what people are prepared to argue in the service of gender ideology.

Mary @xmarylawrence Dec 29, 2021
Yeah how dare people recognize what a social construct is

The Iron Labia @TheIronLabia Dec 29, 2021
Hydrogen isn’t a social construct.

Mary @xmarylawrence Dec 29, 2021
Oh I’m sorry, when we discovered hydrogen was it wearing a name tag? Did it introduced itself [by] name? [emphasis added]

Unavailable to the Mortal Man @EdwinDroom Dec 29, 2021
Something existing and having clear, distinctive properties and something having a name are not the same thing, Mary. How are you still struggling with this?

Mary @xmarylawrence Dec 29, 2021
But you’re avoiding the whole entire point. How was helium classifying itself prior to humans doing it? Did it have a name prior to our existence? Did it have noble-gas parties were they all got together and shot the shit?

Unavailable to the Mortal Man @EdwinDroom Dec 29, 2021
That’s not the whole entire point, Mary. Either you know this, and it’s pointless continuing, or you’re so far from knowing it … it’s pointless continuing.

This exchange is like finding out that babies don’t have object permanence. When Mother hides behind a cupboard, she’s gone.

Mary apparently can’t imagine a situation where anything has objective existence outside of its name. To her, the naming of a thing really is “the entire point.” (She’s right, of course, that names don’t exist outside of human constructs. But, really?, she thinks the name is the same as the thing in itself? Mother disappears when she has no name?)

How could she possibly have avoided noticing that facts are those things that continue existing whether you believe them or not? I mean, in my world, even when I believe everything in the laundry bins is clean, it stays whiffy. But in her world, presto!, she never has to do laundry?

Amazing.

It’s a way of thinking with no relation to reality. But, as I think about it, there’s nothing unusual about that. Humanity has spent most of its millenia believing bizarre legends. So just because in the last few hundred years we’ve found a much more effective method based on paying attention to facts, that doesn’t mean the fantasists will necessarily come to their senses.

Scary.

    Print This Post Print This Post

Medicine has been too successful

People have lost their fear of disease. It only took about two generations without major deadly infections. That comes as a surprise to me. I thought people understood cause and effect. But, no. Apparently, if you’re not in immediate and personal danger of dying, it’s Somebody Else’s Problem. And a SEP field, as Douglas Adams astutely pointed out, is the only proven way to make anything invisible.

Years ago, 1990s?, I read an article about attitudes to vaccination. In places like Bangladesh, where they actually had to contend with actual disease, people were overwhelmingly in favor of it. More than 85% of the respondents were incredulous you could have any other attitude. (This was before extremists started spreading paranoia about Western contamination.) It was only in well-to-do parts of the wealthier countries that people had the luxury of fantasizing about what vaccines would do to their precious bodily fluids.

The loss of healthy fear towards something that can kill you has made too many people incapable of understanding where a lethal threat fits into the scheme of things. You see sentences like, “But the extent of the European lurch toward mandatory measures has also prompted unease and questioning over loss of freedom.”

The mind reels. Do they not understand that your freedom ends where your threat to my life begins?

(Rights, unlike people, are not all equal. Some depend on others. Some are a precondition for everything else. There is not one single freedom that can be enjoyed if you’re dead. Of course it’s more complicated than one right always being first. The link goes on about the intricacies.)

 

 

Public health measures to prevent the spread of disease take precedence over people’s convenience every single time.

Mask wearing, social distancing, and temporary lockdowns are all merely inconvenient. There is no, absolutely no, rights-based argument to make against them.

Contact tracing does raise privacy issues. But there again: you can’t enjoy privacy when you’re dead. Privacy is a secondary consideration. It must be respected to the extent possible while the primary public health priorities are achieved. For instance, we’re horrified the government could be using our cell phones for location data to track covid contacts, as they did in South Korea. That is nonsense. Location tracking to save your life is a Good Thing. It should be done from the start to the end of a pandemic. After that the data should be expunged.

What should not be done is using that data to sell us fast food, or to store it forever to target political ads at us, or to deny us jobs based on some AI bullshit model of who we are based on where we’ve been. And yet, we put up calmly with the latter while throwing fits about lifesaving temporary public health tracking. Commercial tracking, which should be illegal, has made us allergic to lifesaving tracking. It’s insane. And I suspect it’s all because we feel powerless against corporations but not the government.

Vaccination is the third major public health measure, and it does intersect with the basic right to control your own body. When two foundational rights conflict — the right not to be harmed and the right to control your own body — then the scale of the harm on each side is important.

Vaccines can cause nanoscale harm. Things like sore arms, a day of lethargy, or even super-rare blood clots which can be effectively dealt with if doctors know they should look for that. Compared to the megascale harm from disease — death, long term disability, sickness for millions — there is no contest at all . The greatest good of the greatest number is the right criterion to apply when the difference is so stark. Vaccine mandates are justified to bring the cost of non-vaccination home to anti-vaxxers. As are mandates that limit them from any place where they could potentially spread the disease they’ve refused to prevent.

There is zero place for any “unease and questioning over the loss of freedom.” [Ed. note: idiots.]

    Print This Post Print This Post

Oil majors! Working on global warming!

We’re doomed, aren’t we.

ConocoPhillips’ oil project in Alaska calls for inserting giant “chillers” into the melting permafrost, so the ground is stable enough to drill for oil.

Melting permafrost causing houses to topple in Shishmaref, Alaska
“With the ground melting beneath them from global warming, Alaskan lawmakers are calling for more oil drilling to deal with the problem.” (Vox, 2017)
    Print This Post Print This Post

Bwahaha

I don’t subscribe to the Financial Times, so I can’t read the article, but the front page shows this:

US women consider parenting alone after coronavirus. By Patti Waldmeir.

And a couple of days ago I saw that the patriarchal fossils running China are so frantic about similar thoughts they are nabbing women and punishing them (how, I don’t know and hate to think) for having such ideas.

The whole point of stuffing women into the sex caste is to use their bodies. For sex, certainly. But also for producing children.

It’ll be hilarious when, after centuries of pretending having families was a terrible burden foisted on them by women, a “ball and chain,” and so forth and so on, suddenly men find themselves on the outside, looking in.

Everything human beings actually care about is on the other side of that glass. And I’m not sure another smash and grab wreckage will be tolerated a second time around. Been there, done that.

    Print This Post Print This Post

The Coup That Was

There’s an easy sense that internet violence is just some fantasy. Just cosplaying. Just nothing.

I’ve long thought that was a mistake when it came to the vicious threats thrown at women. That regularly bleeds over into real life.

But I wrote off the radical right wing yammering about destroying the government as stupid fantasists full of cosplay.

That’s the transformative power of not being the target.

Well, these goonies with their GoPros and gear and internet messages asking for the snacks are obviously cosplayers. The part I missed was that doesn’t stop it from bleeding over into reality.

Just because they’re clowns doesn’t mean they can’t kill real people.

 
 

They believed the stuff about this being the beginning of the real war which would put them on top. (evidence: all over Parler)

They had a President telling them to go to it. Jenn Budd:

 
“Trump ordered his supporters to come to DC on January 6th. They made shirts that said “Civil War January 6, 2021.” Then once there, he spoke in public to them and told them to march on the Capitol.”
 

They had collaborators inside the Capitol Police (and elsewhere no doubt?). The “Pentagon” (i.e. Trump’s very recently installed Acting Secretary of Defense, Chris Miller) put significant restrictions on D.C. Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests.

 
When help finally came, it was VP Pence who sent it, not Trump.
 

The rioters constructed hangmen’s platforms with rope nooses near the Capitol.

 
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP
 

Their fantasy included the execution of the “enemies of the people.” (evidence: all over Parler)

Some of them carried zipties to handcuff people.

 
from Phil Bird
 

It doesn’t take much imagination to see the people, “enemies,” being led off to those newly constructed gallows.

The President who told them to go to it had a tent with video feeds and drinks and food and cronies where they could all watch the progress of the Glorious Victory.

 
Screenshot from video from Samira Edi
 

Their grip on reality was so pathetic they couldn’t see that their Klown Kar Koup was never going anywhere. But that changes nothing.

They were hoping for a coup.

It won’t be enough to laugh and move on. They were hoping for a coup. It has to be treated like one. The whole mentality that led to it has to be rooted out. That has to start with evicting Trump from the Presidency now. Yesterday. Anything less shows stupidity about the scope of the disaster.

Otherwise this is our last warning. Next time the Klowns will have more than cosplayers. They’ll have a planner or two.

 

 

Update Jan10: Something heartening: Igor Bobic filmed a quick thinking Capitol Police officer, by himself, as he eggs on a mob to chase him (toward his backup…) instead of charging in to the Senate room with Senators still inside.

    Print This Post Print This Post

The Abuser Gets Worse When You’re Leaving

So the only thing Trump and McConnell and the gang are doing now is trying to make sure that Social Security and the Post Office and Federal lands and the Arctic and cybersecurity and the economy and all international relations and the pandemic and, well, Absolutely Everything, are as awful as possible so Biden starts out with massive failures everywhere.

Which they’ll then try to blame him for and try to use to worm their way back into power in all of Congress in 2022.

There’s only one thing to say and Jeff Tiedrich said it.

holy fucking shit, the president of the united states is up late at night plotting a military coup to overturn the election and I guess what I want to know is, why do we even have a 25th amendment if we’re not going to use it on this fucking unhinged raving anti-American lunatic

    Print This Post Print This Post

Thoughts About Self-Sacrifice On Remembrance Day

Amidst the well-deserved recognition of war heroism among men, I’ve always had an irritation like a sand grain in my eye. Small in one sense, and yet overwhelming.

Consider, for instance, this headline last week: Virtual schooling has largely forced moms, not dads, to quit work. It will hurt the economy for years.

Why? Why has it forced mothers to quit paying work more than fathers? Yes, there’s more social humiliation for men in not having paying work. But the single biggest reason is women’s unwillingness to see their children suffer. Women pay any price to avoid that, including the destruction of their own futures.

Fathers also self-sacrifice, of course, but the threshold for most men is a higher level of suffering in their kids, judging by the points at which they take action.

The sand grain I contend with is that when men sacrifice they get a great deal of remembrance and recognition and statuary. Women get taken for granted.

It’s uncommon for women to fight their way through Benavidez levels of sudden injury. (It’s exceedingly uncommon for men too.) But just because it’s not the same kind of pain, it’s a mistake to ignore women’s superhuman endurance of harm. (I’m being polite calling it a mistake. Mostly it looks like intentional ignorance.) And many women fight for their children against huge odds and massive pain for more than months or years on a battlefield. They endure for their whole lives, without support or recognition.

It reminds me of the research showing that in hunter-gatherer societies women provide about 65% of the calories [see Results in pdf], including a similar proportion of the protein calories by consistently trapping small game and fish. But when men lay the occasional wildebeest low, it’s a big deal. The societies are even called hunter-gatherer instead of gatherer-hunter. (Yes, there’s recent research showing that women also hunted big game. That’s not my point. The point is the lack of recognition for women’s larger, continual, and consistent supply of food.)

We need remembrance for the selfless service women provide. We need recognition of its scale. I’d bet it’s probably about two thirds of the glue that holds civilization together. To say nothing of the sacrifices required to produce the actual people without whom a human world can’t exist.

women rebuilding Berlin, brick by brick, after enduring bombing for years
Women rebuilding Berlin, brick by brick, after enduring bombing for years
    Print This Post Print This Post

May her memory be a revolution

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a marvel. Amanda Litman said it best. May her memory be a revolution.

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg when a young woman
Ruth Bader Ginsburg when a young woman. (Photographer unknown)

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, middle years
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, middle years. (Photographer unknown)

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg at a social event with her husband, Marty Ginsburg.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg at a social event with her husband, Marty Ginsburg.
(Photographer unknown)

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg being sworn in
Ruth Bader Ginsburg being sworn in. (Photographer unknown)
    Print This Post Print This Post

I have a dream

Imagine all the people out in the streets, as outraged as they are now, about women being murdered for existing while female. Outraged that women are tortured constantly to put them in their place. Outraged that women suffer the mental, moral, emotional equivalent of Abu Ghraib every hour of every day.

Exaggeration? Not really. Those atrocities were carefully calibrated to give men the psychological trauma of rape. The big difference to the lifelong traumas of women is that most of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib were men.

Don’t come at me about freeriding on someone else’s struggles. If you can’t see the horrible similarities between the treatments of different oppressed groups, you’re the freerider. I’m pointing out the similarities not to downplay them. That would be freeriding. I’m pointing them out to think about how amazing it would feel to see this level of support for women.

Then there’s the fact that an awful lot of the freeriding that does happen takes place using women, not the other way around. Women were the loudest voices in the US for the abolition of slavery. Blacks were officially emancipated in 1861. The laws against coverture were never really articulated as an atrocity against civil rights. They began to lose support in the later 1800s, but elements of them still operated almost to the new millenium.

What’s coverture you ask? The law that said all of a woman’s possessions and money and wages passed to her husband on marriage. There were other laws that said he could beat her if she didn’t behave the way he required. Rape in marriage wasn’t even a thing. She was his property. The concept she could have some right to be treated like a human being was so absurd as to be laughable.

If you’re sitting there protesting to yourself, “No, no, no. That’s completely different. Some women were well-dressed and went to Society balls,” then congratulations. You’ve just understood from the inside how slavers felt about blacks. They didn’t count. They weren’t really human beings. The concept that they could be was so absurd as to be laughable.

Just as a coda to that: black men in the US officially got the vote in 1870. Women in 1920. The Civil Rights Act requiring equal treatment regardless of race creed or national origin has been a law since 1964. The law requiring equal treatment regardless of sex is still just a dream. Imagine how it would feel if people, including men, cared.

And if you retreat all the way to insisting that, no, this really is different because women aren’t being murdered by cops, then you’re still wrong. The number killed by cops in the official execution of their duties is an order of magnitude less than men. But women are also more than an order of magnitude less violent than men so they’re that much more rare in situations that develop into violence. Interestingly, there don’t seem to be (easily available?) statistics showing whether the per capita murders of women by police are lower when the situations are similar. Further, what’s indisputable is that it’s almost always women who are victims of sexual assault by officers. I trust nobody is going to argue that adding a sexual component to being brutalized by policemen is an improvement. Even further, something like 40% of policemen abuse women they’re involved with. And sometimes kill them. And because they’re policemen, that doesn’t get investigated or prosecuted either. Nor do they get fired. All in all, the police violence is painfully similar. One difference is that there’s rarely someone around with a camera. The other one is that the victims are women.

If you point out that white women are less oppressed than black men, I’d say that firstly it needs a #NotAll tag in front of both categories. But even more to the point, if it’s important to focus on the most oppressed first, why aren’t these protests about black women? Breonna Taylor was killed by cops in March, months ago. It’s starting to be mentioned now because some of us are shouting that half of black people are being a bit erased and that maybe that’s not such a good look.

Another big thing I keep hearing is how terrible it is that black men can’t walk safely down the street. Pardon me while I do my best to shut down my hollow laughter. You are seriously going to lecture women about feeling safe on the street? The people who have to hold their keys sticking out between their fingers in the forlorn hope it’ll give them a chance during an attack? The people who have to plan their routes going anywhere, at any time, in case some rando decides to destroy their life that day? You clearly have no idea how much of a luxury it would be to have only cops, in their well-marked uniforms, to worry about.

So don’t tell me how terrible it is to be targeted and humiliated and attacked and killed. There’s too much of that in my world, too. And maybe, if you really understand how terrible it is, you’ll join me in dreaming of a day when all of it is just awful history and we can all, black, white, male, female, live our lives in peace.

    Print This Post Print This Post

Feeling Ephemeral

I have to tell you I consider one of my (rather few) talents is having a sense of where the future is headed.

So how did I miss the way this pandemic would engulf the world?

I’ll tell you. Give you a good laugh it will.

I figured we lived in a world where the germ theory of disease was well known. So all you had to do was understand how a given disease was transmitted, start the necessary public health measures, use the wealth of modern societies to pay for testing and tracing and treatment and provide the income support to avoid as much of the economic fallout as possible. And Bob’s your uncle.

After a few months of effort, it would all be over. We know how to do this, I thought.

Instead it turns out that we never really climbed out of the Dark Ages and we’re still living at the whim of so-called strongmen.

They’re not really strong, you know. They surround themselves with guards so they don’t have to stand much of anything. They don’t know how to persevere or take on burdens or never give up. Their only talent is not caring. They don’t care a used tissue’s worth about anyone else. About you or yours or your friends or your neighbors. To some people for some reason that looks like strength.

So now we’re dying by the hundreds of thousands. Once we’re done dying of this particular disease, the hundreds of millions of unemployed and bankrupt and ruined will continue dying with other causes listed on the death certificates.

There’s no point at all asking for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee. Maybe yesterday already. Maybe now. Maybe again. Maybe tomorrow. Any minute, anybody.

Same as everyone else, I’m like the Frenchman who, when the doctor started speaking of dying, said, “But I always thought an exception would be made for me!”

There’s no other way to live life except to ignore that it’s a terminal condition.

Until you can’t and some tinpot dictator rubs your face in the fact that they can rip up your life in a heartbeat. Then you tiptoe through the days knowing everything can shatter, and that you’ll have to walk on the fragments till they’re ground into dust and blow away.

 

    Print This Post Print This Post

Trump is a monster. Just face it.

Update with some links at end

Enough already. I keep reading shock and horror that the thing in the White House is letting people die, doesn’t care, how can he?

This is what he has always been. His “management style” is to set the underlings squabbling and then extract power or profit or praise, or all three, from the free-for-all. (I’ll get links eventually. That’s in a biography written years ago by ? not sure, Tony Schwarz?)

That’s what bullies do. He’s always been a bully. Bullies work by setting people against each other and then picking off the defenceless with a following of the fearful.

The people who voted for him wanted a bully. They wanted someone who would hurt the “right people” for them. His campaign in 2016 wasn’t going much of anywhere until he stood on a stump and bleated about Mexican rapists. Then his popularity shot up, and stayed up as long as he was dumping on somebody.

The only difference now is that he has the power of the Presidency to amplify him. Of course that leads to suffering and death. It always would have. If not from disease then from one of the other three horsemen of the apocalypse. Plus, they’re still there. A disease doesn’t have to be the end of it.

People don’t and never have meant anything to him. He has always been that way. In his mind, people are about as significant as aphids are to you or me. He is never going to see the suffering or death of aphids as something he needs to consider. Stop being stupidly shocked and start acting on the knowledge of what he is to limit the damage!

Now the structure of his latest crimes against humanity are starting to loom through the fog of chaos.

Steve Sack, July 27, 2018

There’s an epidemic in China, so he (and his cronies, of course) profit from selling medical supplies and protective equipment to them. Once covid-19 is a pandemic and it’s here, the US runs out because too much was sold off overseas. And now he’s using taxpayer money to funnel half the imported supplies to private business. (See, e.g. Katie Porter.) They sell at black market prices to the states that he’s made sure have to fight each other for what they need. And somewhere in there I’d bet the entire farm he and his cronies are getting their cut at every stage of the extortion.

Remember what Adam Schiff said? If you give him a pass on extorting Ukraine, next he’ll extort the USA. [Correction 2020-05-20: It was Pam Karlan who said that, not Adam Schiff.]

It’s the truth. It has to be faced. Hoping that ignoring it will make it go away before we die is not working well for us.

 

News of the transnational crime syndicate parasitizing the government and hijacking — HIJACKING — essential supplies away from hospitals is popping up everywhere. In no particular order:

In Pursuit of PPE | NEJM       [The New England Journal of- freakin Medicine!]

Feds are seizing coronavirus supplies, hospitals say – Los Angeles Times

Denver Post, Editorial: Trump is playing a political game with our lives during coronavirus

Josh Marshall “Another endangered GOP senator, another ventilator announcement. They’re almost like campaign contributions at this point”

The Coronavirus and How the U.S. Ended Up with Nurses Wearing Garbage Bags | The New Yorker

Hospitals Face a White House Blockade for Coronavirus PPE. NY Magazine

    Print This Post Print This Post