Full video at @MSNBC: https://t.co/JM6em7GNou
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) January 16, 2021
It’s scary out there right now. It’s going to be scary for some time to come. What has been unleashed, what has been revealed, is ugly. It is what makes democracies die.
In the despair, it is easy to lose perspective. I certainly do all the time. But from time to time, I step back and try to remember where we are as a country on the arc of things.
And I see then that this is both a very dark time and, potentially, a very bright time. It’s important to hold these truths together.
When I look down at the ground of the present right now, I feel depressed. If I lift my head to the horizon, I see a different picture.
This is not the chaos of the beginning of something. This is the chaos of the end of something.
When I’m not overtired and overwhelmed, this has been my feeling. I keep hoping to have the energy to turn back to climate solution research and action.
Here’s a kitty, hoping against hope it will be warm enough for the patio door to be opened (they won’t stay outside if the door is closed because, I don’t know, cats?) As long as they stay in the backyard and come when I call, they will continue to have backyard privileges. Just not when it’s 30 degrees out.
Every time they say last gasp, they are wrong. We have a long, long fight ahead of us.
What a great idea for a thread. Thanks TaMara. And Gabe! Got some stuff to do, but will check in later.
@Walker: Yes. Somehow white supremacy has an exceedingly long tail. It doesn’t help that our political system was intentionally structured (at its inception) and has randomly evolved to magnify its power.
@Walker: Liberalism didn’t die out during the conservative/revanchist ascendancy that has taken up much if my life time. We can’t expect the reverse. We, however, can work to make sure that they are voices squeaking from the sidelines.
The past weeks I keep thinking about how, while I was growing up in the 1980s, the idea of same-sex marriage was absolutely inconceivable. Like, the idea of two men being legally married or two women being legally married was not a thought in anyone’s head, certainly not in the area I grew up. And now, 35 years later, it’s the law of the land.
Hell, when I was born a married woman still couldn’t have a credit card in her own name.
I think it becomes easy to look at the ugliness, and the cruelty of white patriarchy, and miss the fact that it has steadily been losing ground for a long time now. We still have a long way to go. But are things better now for people who aren’t white, Christian, heterosexual men than they were when I was a kid? Yes. And I believe they’ll be even better when I’m an old lady, too.
Counterrevolutions are scary, and we’ve just lived through 4 years of one, but, for all the ways Trump and Trumpism shattered a lot of my optimistic views about America, fact is, a majority of Americans NEVER wanted him. A majority of Americans voted for progress and fairness, and it’s just rules set in place by white patriarchs hundreds of years ago that let this happen in 2016. And by 2020, we were ready to fight that system and we beat it, and had a plan in place to take the Senate while we were at it. Not too shabby.
Racism has hundreds of years of history here, and sexism has thousands, but while my high school French teacher could have been fired had it got out into public knowledge that he was gay, my son’s 4th grade teacher cheerfully shared with the class on Monday the things he and his boyfriend had gone out to do over the weekend. That’s what I hold onto.
Plenty of work still ahead, but that’s okay. May we all follow the campsite rule of life, and try to leave things a little better than how we found them.
Just wanted to see it again.
74 million voices can squeak pretty damn loudly, especially when many of them are armed.
We will ultimately win this one, but it could be messy for awhile.
I see the word “hope” has triggered some of you.
Yep. It was also interesting to see how public shifted into acceptance. And even during the Obama administration, there were people complaining that Obama was really against same-sex marriage, or was too slow at changing things, but things just moved ahead.
I also recall a number of conservatives insisting that Western society would collapse if there was same-sex marriage.
And we are all still here.
Well, we did get Trump. What conservatives didn’t tell us is that they would be the instrument of the collapse.
@Baud: Well, they had to prove their point, didn’t they?
Wherever we may be on the long arc of justice, tRump has had four years at his bullshit pulpit telling the yahoos that they have “their” country back, so we’re gonna be in damage control mode for some time.
Yeah. Sigh. Thanks for trying.
Jumpy and on edge here, waiting for pardons to be launched. Only four days left, we know they’re coming, just DO IT, already.
Part of me — there’s a small sliver of Pollyanna in here somewhere — hopes that the vindictive bastard is figuring that if he goes down, everybody goes down, so he’ll just try to pardon himself, and let everybody else reap the sharknado. But he’ll probably include his immediate crime family, if for no other reason than not to do so would make him look bad.
Texas Realtor lady who winged her way to the Capitol shindig in a private jet now says she meant no harm, she was just supporting her President — and deserves a pardon. There either are no words, or there aren’t nearly enough of them.
Well, I for one think this is all hyped out of proportion. First, we have never had a piece of shit in the WH (closest second was GWB) who used the presidency to foment unrest. Second, the crowd that busted into the Capitol were gun-nuts, 2nd amendment loons, and the only person shot was a loon. Most of the “insurrectionists” were dressed in clown suits. The current fortification of the nation’s capital is embarrassing and overkill. Whoever allowed the mob access or gave guidance and support should be prosecuted rigorously. But, let’s easy off on the hysteria. For those of us old enough to remember, bayonets at the Pentagon and dead students at Kent State show how really dangerous things can get.
That Giridharadas clip is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it, TaMara.
After an argument with my father-in-law one night, who trotted out the Right Wing Greatest Hits, including (cue scary music) SAUL ALINSKY, I went out and read Rules for Radicals to see what the fuss was about. What I remember most from the book is Alinsky saying that for every revolution, there’s a counterrevolution and despite this hard and fast rule, revolutionaries are never ready for it. I think none of us recognized what a revolution Obama’s election was, probably because the idea of a white guy not being in charge wasn’t frightening to us, so why should have frightened anyone else? Trump was the counterrevolution. On the bright side, the revolutionaries got it together over the past four years. We just have to stay persistent and recognize the revolution is never done.
@TaMara (HFG): There was a reason I took a break from this place for a couple of weeks. I know that expecting the worst is some people’s coping strategy, but for those who don’t use it for protection it just grinds one down.
It’s morning in America, or whatever it was Raygun said.
You are killing it in this thread. Thank you.
@Nicole: What a wonderful post, I needed that.
@TaMara (HFG): I don’t think it triggered at all- or, not in a bad way. I am hopeful about the next four years, and I’m finding the hope motivating. I’m not a Christian, but I really like the bit in James 2 about faith without works. The hope is the faith, and the work is my responsibility to my faith in a more perfect union, and that’s okay with me.
@Hungry Joe: “I want a pardon – and two scoops!”
@lowtechcyclist: Not worried about them. Also armed and the tape is off the mags.
Cathie from Canada
Just dropping by to say the “last gasp” phrasing is wishful thinking.
It will take a lot of work and leadership from politicians, teachers, reporters and editors, business leaders, etc to turn around the racisim that is destroying American society.
Here in Canada, dealing with systemic racism against First Nations has been seriously worked on for the last three decades and its still going on, in a “two-steps-forward, one-step-back” way. It was leadership from our Liberal prime ministers, from Aboriginal organizations, from schools and universities, from business organizations that identified the priorities and took steps, sometimes baby steps, but progress anyway, to make a difference. And we still have such enormous challenges.
One thing that may end up helping is that, after 1/6, Americans may now be realizing the magnitude of the problem. Google “Oka crisis” to see what gave Canada a wake-up call in 1990.
1/6 is not the end, nor is it the beginning of the end, but it may be the end of the beginning.
Who said “last gasp”? I didn’t hear that in the clip.
Thank you for this. Well stated.
I have to add that my sibling’s child (mid 30s now) is the happiest they have ever been in their life right now. They finally came out as gender queer and finally at peace with themselves. It has been wonderful to see and experience.
That would never have happened 30 years ago. The world is definitely in a better place right now for people who need to feel okay and at peace for who they are.
More needs to be done, of course. But things have changed for the better and the future is full of hope.
We need Woodrow/Asim here to remind us that if Black people gave up as easily as we do, things would be quite different.
@zhena gogolia: Who has the mythos that moves people? I like the chances of those who espouse personal liberty, economic justice, democracy for all, a belief in our global commonwealth (aka our environment) and an openness to the contributions of all cultures. There is a worldwide constituency for this vision.
Fascists, intolerant religionists and those who insist that white males alone can make America great–they hold a losing hand. They have a ton of capital to burn on the game, but our better odds will eventually trump that.
Uplifting and brave
I’m glad it brightened your day. I have had some serious dark nights of the soul these past 4 years over power, and how it lets so many people escape responsibility (I got especially ragey and gloomy every time Trump pardoned another crook), but hearing that Biden is taking Harris’ advice on everything, and seeing Warren praising the Biden-Harris relief package, and oh my God, what all of the citizens working together did in Georgia- all those feet on the ground, all the phone calls, and the postcards (which I wrote some for!) – all aimed at overwhelming the entrenched power structure by the sheer numbers of people without power who showed up to demand their voice be heard, too. It’s inspiring.
I was so frightened in 2016, seeing the GOP win the White House and both houses of Congress, but… for all the terrible things they did, they failed. They didn’t kill the ACA; they didn’t take away marriage equality; their terrible behavior further highlighted the cruelties of racism and sexism so that even average Americans, some REPUBLICANS even, started to say, “You know, I don’t that’s fair…”. They failed. They failed. And if the goddamn Trump judges try to block progress, we’ll deal with that too. We’re on the good side of history; we’ll keep working for it.
Sometimes funerals for ideas take a long time. The point is not there is no reason for despair, but to try not to give in to it. Rather, continue to advocate for progress. It’s a tug of war and you can react to despair with surrender or more resolve (so I tell myself when it starts to be too much).
Thanks for dropping by. As far as the rest goes, yeah, we know.
@zhena gogolia: Who is this we you are talking about?
Amen. And thank you.
It’s times like these when I think of Anne Frank, who said “It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” And then they killed her.
@Nicole: Georgia was inspirational for me too. I had thought maybe Biden would choose Stacey Abrams to be the chair of the DNC, but I see that he has chosen Jaime Harrison for that post. In any event, we need a strong focus on state and local Democratic parties. We should start working on the 2022 mid-terms. I for one am committed to seeing my awful Republican rep lose her job.
Anand Mountain Servant is as phony as they come. He used to cover India for the NYT and the cat’s got his tongue since Modi came to power. He loves waxing eloquent about white privilege and ranting about billionaires (never millionaires, because he is one) but I have not heard a peep from him about his own caste privilege.
And he had a sad when MacKenzie Scott donated billions to HBC
BS media bro is as phony as the senator
ETA: As for the death of white supremacy I will believe it when I see it. We have a fight ahead of us in the years to come. Meanwhile I am celebrating our federal trifecta at the November elections.
Sigh…I know. :-) Come sit 6 feet away from me.
@TaMara (HFG): Sorry, I think many of us are reacting to the piece on the “last gasp” of white supremacy. I am the one who tries to cheer up my husband’s gloomy outlook on tribalism and race in America. I do think things have changed. For instance, I admit to being very fearful about the potential impact of BLM protests and “defund the police” slogans on elections. And tbh, I do think there was some impact, but by and large, the drumbeat of police killings of unarmed civilians, mostly with dark skin, seems to have kindled some positive energy for reform among a wider slice of society. That’s good. I hope and suspect that the out of control mob of white people invading the Capitol is going to make it impossible for conservatives to continue coddling violent white supremacists, which they have been doing for decades. I certainly hope that’s the case.
Just Some Fuckhead
I need to share a pic of my cats Jumbo and Monkey. That would make everything better.
@Just Some Fuckhead: That is a good idea!
@Barbara: The mobs of white people aren’t just going to DC. They are also going to state capitols.
Just Some Fuckhead
@schrodingers_cat: I don’t know how.
Thanks for this and all your other comments in this thread. It’s nice to have some hopefulness to spread around.
I was thinking the other day about “the revolution is never done” idea, which has been on my mind in a vague way over these past several years (several decades? anyone remember Ronald Reagan?) as the Rs have tried to undo the New Deal and a lot that followed it. It has felt recently as if all the gains we’ve made on various fronts (some deeply personal to me since I’m gay) were like modernizing the second floor of the house while rot ate the basement and we didn’t notice.
I had never heard the Alinsky bit about how revolutionaries are never ready for the counterrevolution ……but wow does that seem true to me as I look back over the arc of my life.
Won’t keep rambling — will just repeat: “Thanks!”
@lapassionara: I’d imagine SA didn’t want it.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Then share the fucking pictures. Less talk, more action.
I’ve been thinking about this Emily Dickenson poem on the daily
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
@lapassionara: Yes, the election outcome in Georgia is really encouraging. I have been sitting here in Virginia waiting for the next break in the Southern armor that has been protecting Republican power at the federal level for more than a generation. I thought it would be North Carolina, but I welcome Georgia to this very worthwhile contest!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@lapassionara: My impression is Abrams wants to be governor of Georgia, and has (created) a realistic path. I gave Harrison quite a bit of money last cycle, thinking it was at least the first step in changing South Carolina. I don’t regret a penny of it, but I think the results showed there’s still a lot of work to do there, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in statewide office there in ten years or so. And I think Harrison’s a good choice in that he can remind some of his age cohort that as much fun as the state of twitter can be, it doesn’t actually have any electoral votes and the country as a whole doesn’t look or sound like Brooklyn or Boulder.
@lapassionara: I’m really glad to see there’s an ongoing focus on state and local races, too. That’s one area I think the Dems really took our eyes off the ball over the past 30+ years and it’s going to take work, but we can get there.
Jaime Harrison raised a ton of money, and that’s what the DNC needs, I think. I think he’s a pretty sound choice and it’s a good next step for him. As for Stacey Abrams- I want her to do whatever it is she wants to do. I suspect the DNC wasn’t what she wanted to do next.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Yes, yes!
email them to me: whats4dinnersolutions at live dot com
and I’ll use them in a respite post today or tomorrow. :-)
Just Some Fuckhead
@Omnes Omnibus: I took a pic but it’s all of Monkey and only 60% of Jumbo. I don’t want to be accused of bait and switch.
Not his cat, but here’s a majestic mofo.
@schrodingers_cat: ?? I literally said when I was creating this post you’d arrive in the first 20 comments to tell us how awful this person is.
Glad to see I wasn’t disappointed. Just off by a few comments
Off Topic of good, but new I think — Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s mom may be the lady in the pink hat shouting out directions through a bullhorn inside the Capitol building. She may have also gotten a tour on the fifth.
This is speculative — that is why all of the “may haves” but the pictures I have seen of Boebert’s mom does show a resemblence.
@TaMara (HFG): Sorry not to fulfill your expectation of a good silent immigrant who just nods her head to whatever her benevolent betters on the blog say.
@TaMara (HFG): Here’s some baby duck joy for you.
That’s a great analogy.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Okay, for once, that is a reasonable position. Could you get the other 60% to us at a later date?
@schrodingers_cat: We need your perspective.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Just tell us it’s a sample and if we want the whole thing we have to send you money. You know, “You have reached the end of your free preview of Jumbo” or something like that.
Yes, but isn’t this the most extreme instance of white supremacy? Maybe I’m just hoping this is the beginning of the end. It does kind of feel that way. I’m just hoping I feel the same way this time next week after whatever shenanigans occur before then.
@Baud: I would argue but its pointless with conservatives.
However, if you want to understand the foundations of Western Tradition look no further than the Sacred Band. This shit really gets on my last nerve with these jingoistic asshats.
Let’s just say for argument sake that their panoply, came in around 70 pounds, heavy armor. Oh yeah they carried hoplon another 14+ pounds. Add in a 8 -14 foot long spear or dory which weighed another 2-4 pounds.
These Gay men fought with each other and died together in a Phalanx. Shoulder to shoulder locked together. Citizens of Thebes.
@sab: Thanks for saying that but the Orange Bigot’s years have shown me that I am an outlier in the yes-man chorus that this blog sometimes becomes, especially on the front-page.
A Ghost to Most
If you’re looking for good news, focus on the exploding wind/solar/battery market worldwide, and the steep decline in coal. The world is responding.
Perhaps this has already been said, but I’ve been mulling over the idea lately that the despair was their nuclear bomb. The ugliness and violence of the internet trolls, the former administration’s needlessly cruel policies… Whether it was just basic common sense or Russian psyops, our enemies well understood that social media was a powerful weapon of despair, and in a state of despair we are paralyzed, socially and politically. Trump & Co. were geniuses at creating chaos, confusion, and despair, remarkably able to corral the powers of social media in order to do so. The images of the crying children separated from their parents at the border, and the way we all republished those images endlessly, endlessly, despairing…that was intentional for them. Even back to the misleading Facebook groups in which they sowed doubt among oppressed populations, giving the impression that there is no hope or good in the world. And even still, I see folks on our side doing the work of the fascists by endlessly handwringing and publicizing their engineered atrocities.
So of course it’s a revolutionary act not to give in. To hold onto hope, to consider our options optimistically. To speak in a constructive way when commenting on current events. Stacy Abrams is a clear leader in this philosophy. She knows that despair is useless–action and forward motion is the only agent of change. It’s why they are so scared of her.
@TaMara (HFG): Raining on other people’s parades seems to be some people’s special mission in life. Chips on shoulders never shrink, either.
Thanks for the post.
Coincidentally, storiarts.com is selling that first stanza on a sweatshirt.
Redacted. Too late, as usual.
Just wanted to see that again as well.
@schrodingers_cat: It is true that no one else has ever disagreed with front pagers on anything on this blog.
@C Stars: That’s a good point. Despair can absolutely sap one of the will to do anything and so much willful cruelty can beat down the human soul. You’re right; it is a revolutionary act to continue to hope.
@C Stars: Well said. I have tried to do it in my own small way. By becoming a citizen and getting involved with the local Ds and working to get other Ds elected. I regret that I didn’t vote for HRC. I should have applied for naturalization the summer that the Orange One won the R nomination.
Hope is the Thing with Feathers, by Christopher Cokinos
A book about six extinct bird species. Extinction isn’t a hopeful topic per se, but the book does not feel hopeless, it’s all the more inspiration for persisting in relation to climate change. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but this book was very good — right up there with some of my favorites, like The Boys in the Boat and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
@schrodingers_cat: My husband never reads the comments. I tell him he is missing a lot.
@Omnes Omnibus: We commenters disagree with the FPers but FPers are mostly in agreement with each other.
Whoa. A Maine Coon, truly an avatar of Bastet. Curious about the coloring and eyes: the “points” say Siamese, but the eyes are golden, not blue. Wonder what’s up with that.
I allow myself to be hopeful on odd-numbered days, and doom-gloomy on even-numbered days. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
@TaMara (HFG): I’m going for a cocktail of hope, cynicism, and pragmatism. Joe represents hope to me more than Obama did. But the problem with fighting fascists, authoritarians and racists is that they’re making more every minute. They’re not going away, they’re not ever going to be completely gone, and even if they no longer control the field, the battle against them will never end.
Reading this thread upward to guage sarcasm is making me dizzy…
@different-church-lady: That’s okay. Reading it the other way ’round would have the same effect.
I remember years ago reading an interview with Jimmy Carter about voting in Georgia when he was young. The sheriff sat at a table with the ballot box. Voters handed them their secret ballot, which he read, and then glared at them or not depending on how they voted. A Carter could stare him down. Others less prominent were intimidated into submission. And those were all white people.
Things are getting better. Two steps forward, one step back. And as my t-shirt says, probably quoting someone, the arc of history isn’t going to bend itself.
some ugly shit right here, I’m going back to hoops
@schrodingers_cat: By the way, you did fulfill her expectation. She said you’d comment to challenge her and you did.
I love the idea that silly RW propaganda led you to read Alinsky and gain this insight (and share it here).
@sab: True. But it’s obvious that she’s none too happy about it.
A PBS Newshour poll question popped up on YouTube
So far, 59 percent say YES.
Trump may be going away, but he may still be a mischief maker. And as a private citizen, he is not due any special deference or privilege.
And then I realize Biden’s still going to try to “come together” with the literal supporters of the insurrection to pass COVID relief. What’s ending is this country’s experiment with democracy, sacrificed on the altar of “bipartisanship”.
Wait…what’s this about the basement rotting while we were working on the second floor? That sounds suspiciously like like the Ohio Family homestead.
Is January 6th the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? I don’t know how anyone can say.
I don’t want to get my hopes mixed up with what I see before me, which are the people around me who are very committed to the Republican project in all its forms.
I am happy enough that Trump will be gone in a matter of days, and that Democrats have a slight edge in two branches.
I read that essay the other day. It was something I needed to read.
You can’t possibly be stupid enough to post that in good faith.
@different-church-lady: in our lifetimes, this country has become less racist, less sexist, less homophobic, etc. This drives the racist/sexist/homophobic people crazier than they had been. They are in danger of not having anyone to look down on anymore, and in their minds, they are the people being looked down upon. Trump, Fox News, and social media make them feel seen and justified, and allow them to organize (well, as much as they are able).
There are fewer of these people now than there used to be, but because they have lost their position in the main stream of society, they are more vocal and more violent. They will be a real problem for some years to come. But their beliefs are no longer the dominant ethos in this country, which should fuel our hope and our actions.
@Ohio Mom: FWIW I agree with you.
West of the Rockies
Thank you, TaMara for a great post. I loved that opening clip. Farewell to the defaults: patriarchy, and white, male Christian jingoistic patriotism (and its female and occasional POC enablers).
I saw this ‘last gasp’ argument, but also saw an article from a counter-terrorism expert warning us that we’re at the beginning of an insurgency. So let me explain why for me, at the moment, hope is outweighing fear.
The first thing is that these guys exposed themselves. For a relatively small (relative compared to, say, OKC) body count, they really let the world see who they are. And that’s extraordinarily useful. For at least two decades and probably more, law enforcement and national intelligence has investigated right wing extremism with one, and often two, hands tied behind their backs. Any attempt to coordinate between agencies, or issue bulletins to local law enforcement, or include right wing extremism in the reports on terrorism threats, and the Republican Party would rear up on its hind legs and start screaming. “You’re trying to criminalize our party!” Well, now if they try that, the easy response is to throw up pictures of the gallows, the slavering mob, the Confederate flag, and Auschwitz Man, and say coolly, “Oh? You’re saying this is the Republican Party?” The GOP is going to have to be all in on investigating and rooting out right wing extremism to prove they’re not a part of it. That goes double and triple if it comes out that the insurrectionists had inside help from Congress members or their staffs.
Second cause for hope is the deplatforming. Yeah, law enforcement pundits are whining all over cable news that this will make it harder for them to investigate and keep tabs on these groups, but don’t believe them. They’ll have up squads of cybersleuths in a matter of days if they’re not there already, trawling the dark web posing as disgruntled car salesmen looking for a revolution. But driving these guys off the public internet makes it harder for them to recruit. Harder for some bored teleworker to stumble onto while web surfing and deciding they must save the children from the cannibals.
The radicals that already exist can communicate with one another when they set up private channels, so long as they already know that Wolverine1488 is actually Joe Schmo from Boise. But small groups coalescing into bigger groups (which the counter-terrorism expert who saw parallels to al Qaeda worried about) is going to be harder if they can’t find one another.
And another cause for hope is the fact that in this day and age, every last one of us is an investigative journalist. They’re being identified. They’re being FIRED. They have NO idea who might be taking their pictures. Who’s going to turn them in. Who’s going to LAUGH at them.
And while it’s important for law enforcement to round up these guys and throw the book at them, OUR job is to laugh at them. Because one key element for radicalization is the desire to feel important by inciting fear in some and admiration in others. Ridicule was never part of the bargain. Yesterday I saw a story about a guy who video’d himself storming the Capitol and declaring triumphantly, “They can’t arrest all of us!” The story was about his arrest. So yeah, I laughed.
Sister Golden Bear
As someone who saw LBGTQ rights — and in particular trans rights — quickly advance in ways that I never expected to see in my life-time, I am hopeful about permanent change.
But as someone who saw her rights steadily stripped away these past four years, I’m less sanguine that “This is the chaos of the end of something.”
These racist, sexist, LGBTQ-phobic counter-democratic folks have been with us for close to three centuries and they’re not going away overnight. As others have said, for each major step forward there will be a counter-revolution that we need to be prepared for, least we repeat the mistakes of ending Reconstruction.
I don’t see it as the beginning of the end, more like the end of the beginning. But we will prevail if we keep at it.
@Omnes Omnibus: Same here.
@patrick II: Re: Qbert’s mom: per Adam, here’s some more on her role in all this:
Prior to the Jan. 6 riot, using the Twitter name Shawna Roberts-Bentz, she retweeted White House political advisor Dan Scavino: “See you soon PATRIOTS.”
I have a vague memory of Jimmy Carter on a late night talk show explaining that when he was coming up, dead people were allowed to vote, for a while.
The logic was that if Grandpa had only been gone a few months, you certainly knew how he would have voted, so go ahead and cast an extra vote on his behalf.
But a few years later, it wouldn’t be as clear, or even knowable as new candidates started to run, so you’d have to stop.
I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not but after your story about the sheriff reviewing votes, maybe it wasn’t a tall tale.
Let’s make it three times.
“So of course it’s a revolutionary act not to give in. To hold onto hope, to consider our options optimistically. To speak in a constructive way when commenting on current events. Stacy Abrams is a clear leader in this philosophy. She knows that despair is useless–action and forward motion is the only agent of change. It’s why they are so scared of her.”
I love this. For the first time, I actually can see myself as a revolutionary, rather than a Pollyanna (what my late husband used to call me). Gives me a good feeling.
@Nicole: I was born in 1968. When I was FIVE a married woman still couldn’t have a credit card in her own name. The key legislation there was 1974.
@Ohio Mom: A practical note on dead people voting: These days, with early voting and absentee voting, it is possible for someone submit a ballot prior to election day and then pass away. These ballots are not supposed to be counted, but sometimes the information that the person has died does not get to the election officials. The right cites this kind of thing as election fraud. It is not.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Omnes Omnibus: I liked the way you honed right in on Jumbo being 120%. He had a doc appt this week and was told to start skipping one meal a day.
@C Stars: I remember Adam exhorting us on this very blog, telling us that it was our job to “hold the line” during the Trump presidency – to remember basic standards of decency, of good governance, of citizenship – and fight like hell to maintain and restore them. That resonated with me. Helped me a lot during dark times.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I apologize for fat shaming.
Sister Golden Bear
@JoyceH: I posted this in a late-night thread, but worth mentioning again.
QAnon Woke Up the Real Deep State
As you’ve said, they’ve showed themselves and who they really are, and they’re getting attention — but not in the way they expected. It’s not just the law enforcement-intelligence-national security bureaucracy, but also being deplatformed as you talked about, and companies as a whole shunning (and firing members of) the movement.
I’m also curious how attacking cops (with a blue-line flag no less!) will change law enforcement’s attitude toward them
@different-church-lady: Yeah, but they’re disproportionately getting COVID, their boats sink, and their leaders betray them without a second thought.
They’re also gonna be suffering health problems as a result of sustained dangerous levels of stress and panic. They have to be kept pretty nearly hysterical in order to use ’em, constantly believing the world is ending RIGHT NOW. This is debilitating and disorienting.
Just wanted to see that again.
@schrodingers_cat: I value Nicole’s inspiring words and your reality checks. You walk the walk and inspired me to get more involved in my local politics. I helped get the first ever out Democrat elected to our (allegedly nonpartisan) city council this year. I am now going to vote for him to be a delegate. And I have to chime in to agree about Anand. I followed him on Twitter until he started spouting Bernie love.
@Chris Johnson: They couldn’t be drafted either.
@Sister Golden Bear: I read that article and thought very highly of it – actually quoted some of it at the end of an article I wrote about Boebert recently. My publisher took it out because he thought it sounded too editorializing (and of course, I didn’t disagree with him). But I may just use a bit in a personal communique to Boebert as my technical representative: the very end where he says something like, “you may not have realized that this is what you were doing, but if you now understand the magnitude of the
shotshit coming at you, get out now.”
@raven: Still don’t have to register.
To insert a happy note, I finally gave up on waiting for an ebook version of Christopher Tan’s The Way of Kueh. (Kueh is a type of traditional Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian snack and dessert that has been dying out because they’re effing laborious to make. ) It basically costs the same to order the book from a specialty bookstore in New York as it does to just ship it from Singapore with an extra book covered by the international shipping charge, so international shipping it is. (The other book is Teo You Yenn’s This Is What Inequality Looks Like, but let’s ignore the not so happy book for now.)
Here’s a video of a kueh tutu / putu piring recipe, as an example of one of the many types of kueh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTi48Mjy0JE&ab_channel=theMEATMENchannel
@Omnes Omnibus: Oh well, life is full of little disappointments.
@TaMara (HFG): LOL
Actually, I have been steadily cheering up since the election was called for President-elect Biden.
The arc is long, but it bends toward justice.
@Leto: That cat looks like it makes pronouncements from mountaintops.
I dunno folks; I think we all make a very good case for hope in this thread. :)
I was surprised when I learned that Ohio Son would have to register for the draft when he turned 18.
I figured anyone disabled enough to qualify for SSI was automatically not Army material. Nope, they’ll sort it out when/if a draft is ever reinstated.
@raven: There’s no draft, so it really doesn’t mean shit anyway. Besides, weren’t you a “volunteer?”
@Ohio Mom: Yeah, no sorting at registration.
Here’s today’s Youtube link. At almost 9 hours it’s not long enough.
NO IT DOES NOT!
The arc of justice doesn’t bend any-damn-where unless we push it.
Why, if Cole were to have another mopping accident tomorrow and hit his head, waking up with amnesia of the last 30 years and back to being a RWNJ (albeit the 1990 version of such), we’d all just nod and agree with everything he said.
A wise man who has already absorbed the lesson: Never get out of the boat. Those mangos are rotten.
@Nicole: Well said. I believe it’s part of a purging and healing process, though I still experience rage and terror. But we couldn’t continue without seeing the ugliness and evil of racism so we could emerge from denial about our original sin.
It’s a silly teen show but I’ve been watching “The 100” and it shows many examples of people who should know better doing bad stuff because they think there is no other choice. Right or wrong. I worry about that, now
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Here’s some hope. Josh Hawley was going to have a “fun-filled-family-friendly” weekend fund-raiser at a Loews property in Orlando (Five thousand dollars worth of fun for you family of four!). Now he’s not.
(there’s a “Portofino Bay” in Orlando?”)
Without agreeing/disagreeing with anything else the guy has said and done and how, his argument that inequality should be addressed by policy, and not by the generosity of the plutocrats is a sound one.
Before this, he has soundly criticized Bill Gates generosity, for the same reasons.
As for Mackenzie Scott – I would rather that Amazon has to pay more to its workers, it’s stock price fall , and Mackenzie Scott’s wealth (in Amazon shares) goes poof , than this alternative of Amazon continuing as it is, and Madame Scott hand out favors (however ideal the causes may be)
Anand G. D. maybe a racist, charlatan .. whatever. But this world should not be livable for common people just because of the whims of billionaires, however peachy they may be.
For sure, and as awful as it is to see it, far worse to have to live it, and it’s better that those of us with white privilege see it, so we can join in the fight against it.
@zhena gogolia: I always have to remind myself. Fascist terrorism has been in America’s DNA since its “discovery”. We white people are just starting to barely catch up with its effects.
How about these words. It also mentioned she’s a Life Coach. A LIFE COACH???!???
@PJ: they are not less violent. They were murderous rapist scum back when I was young but had majority support and people (who wanted to live) didn’t point that out much. I am talking about white people who wanted to live. Of course black people were threatened, but most analysis I have read don’t emphasize how they also threatened white people widely and viciously. It can seem like trying to Co opt black suffering, but I just want to open eyes, so you can appreciate how far we have come. So that you can hold on to hope. But I guess it is partly that the past is a lot nastier than gets shown often.
Headline from the website of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel (Augusta, Maine, and Waterville papers):
Juiciest passage from the article, taken from the personal Facebook page of the chair of the Waterville Republicans:
Well, one way to get them to not show up may be as good as another. ;-)
@Kristine: this is the live version of The Lion King we needed ;)
Apparently Native American women have given the QAnon Shaman a new name – Dances With Karens.
Dun dun Dun:
I’m not taking my eyes off this administration until it’s all the way gone, though I am happy with this:
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The junior senator from Missouri is holding events in Orlando Florida?
I suppose it’s part-and-parcel with what some of my Missouri relatives told me; that although Hawley owns property in the state, he’s been living in Virginia for years. Wonder where he pays his state income tax.
@Nicole: Creating from the heart is our greatest weapon. I sometimes wonder if these evil entities (I do believe evil exists) would disappear if we didn’t feed them with our own fear, despair and panic (all of which I battle constantly). So when I get really scared I stop and say to then, “I refuse to be food for your buffet”.
@JoyceH: That made me crack up.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, it’s attached to Universal Studios. Nice hotel, did a local staycation there a few years back
Ha! Love it.
Hopefully working out the details of his exit?
@Brachiator: Seconded. That’s awesome.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Orlando has several hundreds small lakes within the city and more in the area. I grew up there. Middle class could sometimes live lakefront and we did because dad was a water skier who was handy with house repair. There are a lot of BAYs and every other kind of water related names in the area even though it is inland. The whole state is pretty wet.
downside is the roads have to wander all over the place and only a few go through. It makes for a lot of traffic and the tourists are always lost. Pretty though.
I know from an earlier thread that Trump requested a “major sendoff” before he’ll leave the WH.
And I know that Biden’s German Shepherd is named “Major”.
So, I say: sic ’em, Major! Send him off the grounds!
(Though I suspect Major is too much of a good boy to really sink his teeth into toxic waste.)
@Omnes Omnibus: RA
@debbie: OKC bombing was objectively worse when it comes to the amount of destruction and loss of life. It attacked a federal building, but not, of course, one where lawmakers were convened to certify the election of a president. It was also perpetrated by fewer people.
What really bothers me is the kind of people who are exhibiting so much anger. No doubt there are economically distressed and unemployed, rootless individuals in the mix, but based on who is being arrested, for the most part, they are people who are objectively doing fine economically. This is one reason why I want the hammer of the law to come down good and hard on them. They actually have a lot to lose, from the real estate and floral shop ladies in Texas, to the CEO in Illinois and the police officers all over the country. People need to know what they will lose when they decide to join an insurrection. That should, at a minimum, deter others from joining in.
@oldster: Given Clickbait’s hatred of dogs, Major doesn’t have to do much more than show up to get him moving. Clickbait would be just as terrified of being licked in a friendly way as he would of being bitten.
I thought the Bidens had adopted a cat, also?
I haven’t seen anything about that. Did the plans change?
@germy: I think I heard that too…but don’t remember for sure.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Has Josh announced his lawsuit yet? They’re piling up.
I like that one little maverick who swims around to the left instead of the right!
I genuinely believe that a lot of this is Fox News. I’ve read so many stories from people whose parents have retired and turned from sweet pleasant people into hate-filled ragers, just from too much consumption of Fox News.
I’m seeing recommendations that one of the things Biden’s Defense Department needs to do it get Fox off the televisions on bases here and overseas. And I think for the domestic audience, we need to make a serious drive to boycott their advertisers until they weed out the anchors and opinionators who are driving this turn toward fear, hatred, and paranoia.
Because for many people, this mindset is curable! Saw a story from one woman whose parents had been radicalized by Fox – they had her set up their new TV system for them, and she secretly set the child controls to exclude Fox, and told them that the new cable package just didn’t carry it. Said they eventually reverted to their old selves.
@different-church-lady: I’ve been informed that once the Boombers(que scarry music) die off we’ll live in happy fairy gumdrop land.
I think the symbolism of attacking the Capitol outweighs OKC, though I don’t minimize that in the least. And I would bet I’m no less angry than any of the insurrectionists. I just don’t attack and destroy shit.
But you’re definitely right about deterrence. This can’t be allowed to happen again.
Just hopped on for a minute, gotta get back to my desk. BUT I ran across something on Malcomn Nance’s twitter feed, someone comparing faces of Pink Hat Woman at the insurrection to Lauren Boebert’s mother, did a facial overlay changing the opacity levels.I had noticed a video of that individual with a friend of hers, a nice little racist rant, so went back to it. Pink hat lady has shades on, but the closeups are damn similar. One of the things you look at when you have to ID people (liquor) is the T-zone, eyebrows, nose, mouth. The nose is a giveaway. I am thinking someone needs to have a chat with Lauren’s mommy, because Pink Hat lady was the one with the bullhorn giving directions. IF true, this would be absolutely delicious.
I can’t seem to get the Mom video to imbed, it’s in a lengthy feed on Resist Programming, here’s a link to the feed.
PS it takes a lot to get me to want to use the “C” word but this would be it.
@Omnes Omnibus: Gravity doesn’t exist, QED.
We’ve been using the Advent calendar to count down to the inauguration since Christmas. It’s strangely satisfying.
I’ve long been scratching my head at the omipresence of TVs locked to Fox News in government buildings. You can find them everywhere, including on the walls along empty, out-of-the-way hallways. This has been true for years and it’s not just military bases. I used to think Dick Cheney had issued an executive order requiring it, but it was true for the 8 years Obama was in office, as well.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
“I thought the gun-bunny high-school drop-out with a history of petty misdemeanors who tried to start an ammosexual Hooters knock-off would grow into the job….”
Holy Moly! Who would have thought that insurrectionist gun-nut Q-Anon children would have insurrectionist gun-nut Q-Anon parents?
I agree that the photos look really similar. Luckily, we will not have to rely on facial similarity after the FBI gets her phone location info.
What we witnessed on the 6th was Pickett’s Charge. There will still be a long slog to Appomattox, but I think Anand Giridharadas is correct when he tells us that the outcome isn’t seriously in doubt.
@Brachiator: And having out gay people in the military was DEFINITELY going to destroy “unit cohesion”. Then – nothing. Part of it was because many legislators and pundits are old, and the military is mostly not.
@neldob: “It’s morning in America, or whatever it was Raygun said.”
Well, his ad agency anyway.
@Chris Johnson: By 1974 I had already been married 7 years, and I went right out and got a credit card in my name. We still have one credit card (J. C. Penney) for which we have two credit cards, but both have my husband’s name.
Similar fun fact: when he started graduate school in 1968, the natural gas company wanted all my husband’s information and just my first name. I pointed out to them that I would be the person working and paying their bill, and that didn’t matter.
And I argued repeatedly with our local doctors, in this millennium, that if I was working and insured by my job, I was the “responsible party” for my medical bills, not my husband. It’s been a long road for even seemingly simple stuff.
@Kattails: Operationally it’s a slam-dunk. Of course her mother would be aligned with the sedition, and during the set-up when she needs a trusted ally to case the joint and show people where to attack, she can get her ally into the Capitol and anywhere she wants, including her office for private conspiring… because it’s her MOTHER. Of course she’s supposed to be there! She’s my Mother!
@Kattails: Wonder if there’s any infrared photos of her, infrared light moves though sunglasses making them look like just regular glasses.
About this time twelve years ago I was packing for a trip to DC to attend an inauguration. I knew that things were bad, but I had hope that my country had grown up a bit. I had hope.
I never got into the ceremony; I was one of the thousands caught in the crowds (but fortunately not in the tunnel of doom.). So I watched the ceremony in the basement of First Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill. I was surrounded by a large number of likewise disappointed folks, mostly black. As my son and I huddled over the hot cider provided, the Star Spangled Banner started playing and every last one of those black citizens stood and put their hands over their hearts. I was moved to tears then and I am crying again now.
With all they had suffered, those people still believed in this country. I imagine their patriotism has lost some its shine in the last four years, but they didn’t give up. They organized, they ran for office, they campaigned, they voted. And they beat Trump. If they can hope, so can we.
CNN chyron: “Virginia man arrested in DC with loaded handgun, ammunition, and fake inauguration credentials”
@Jinchi: they had/have several TV screens at the Patent Office cafeteria checkout, with one of them being dedicated to Fox News. Extremely aggravating. And I couldn’t even get the TV-B-Gone to work to turn it off.
I remember watching “2001” in Cinerama when it came out in 1968, dazzled by its vision of the future. Well, here we are, no rides to the Moon, but it isn’t 1968 any more. It’s better, much better, for millions of people. Women have far more autonomy than 1968; people of color now have (some) power, and are getting more every day, as Georgia, of all places, has shown. Stonewall hadn’t even happened in 1968, gay sex was a felony in many states, and now we have gay marriage as the law of the land. The Trump reaction, as repellent as it was, was the struggle of the side that knew it was losing. They wanted to violently yank America back to the Alabama of the 1950’s, and they failed.
I’ve made similar comments before but here we go again:
Interesting posts and comments here. Also: terrible, terrible, awful commenting system in almost every way possible. The only good part is that it isn’t jumpy and laggy like the new system at Crooks and Liars.
I did decide to get to comments replied to by right clicking the link (commenter’s name) and choosing Open link in new tab. Helps a little.
Discussion of the relative merits of Biden’s and Trump’s science teams is the next post up.
@Zelma: We were out of town the weekend prior to Inauguration Day 2009. We had canceled a ski trip because it was so cold, but my husband hates Inauguration Week in DC no matter who is president, so we found somewhere else to go. But my kids demanded to be there on the day. The crowds were wild, so we had our au pair drop us at Key Bridge, and we walked the next two miles to our offices. We took photos the whole way. It was awesome. I am of course very happy that Trump is leaving, but it hurts to think about the contrast between then and now.
@Emma: Always check uk book depository as they ship internationally without charge. I used them a lit when I lived in New Zealand and sometimes even in the US to find books i want.
@Brachiator: I’m wondering how much of the sudden drop in Trump’s poll numbers is actually nothing to do with current events being in any way more outrageous, but simply because they yanked his Twitter account (and made it clear that simple workarounds like just using @POTUS in the same way won’t work), so he’s not using it to provide instant spin and tell people directly how to think.
I think we’re going to see a real negative synergy developing between Trump and his supporters. Just think of it! – our nation’s capital is an armed camp to protect the federal government from terrorist attacks carried out by supporters of the current president! The nation and the world got a good look at his supporters, which really diminishes his ability to pose as a credible leader of a mainstream political party. Meanwhile, Trump’s meltdowns and tantrums, and upcoming revelations of even more incompetence and corruption ought to diminish his insurgents’ standing in the minds of those who might otherwise join them – “you’re willing to kill and go to war, in order to gain a nation led by… THAT?”
White Supremacy may be gasping, but it’s still up to us to press a pillow over its face before it can catch another breath.
I remember that after the Oklahoma City bombing,(1995) a writer for the Village Voice suggested that we were seeing the death throes of white male supremacy, making the point that it is when a group perceives itself to be truly threatened that it becomes most violent. The thing is, I think he was right. It just that the death throes are taking a very long time. That doesn’t mean we should lose hope. It means we should increase the pressure on the dying beast. Like all the human beings before us we are in the middle of history and we don’t have the advantage of the long view to tell us how it all turns out. All we can do is add our voices and actions – however seemingly small – to the greater movement in the direction of justice. It is only 25 years from Timothy McVeigh to the storming of the Capitol at the direction of a President waving the flag of white male supremacy. At some point the death throes will end in death. While I personally may not be alive to see that happen, I’m damned if I’m going to give up trying.
That’s the Ds policy too. AG is not saying anything earth shatteringly different. Curious how he pitted HBCUs against the workers at Amazon warehouses.
CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
They are chaos generators and the despair IS their trap. Avoid!
its been hard to read BJ because of all the (rightful) anxiety here. I’m relieved to see a hope thread and I can’t agree more with the notion that we all have to push the arc to bend toward a just world.
Here is some hope that inspired me recently:
brene brown quoting Sonya Renee Taylor: “We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-Corona existence was not normal, other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate, and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment, one that fits all of humanity and nature.”
Let’s sew some more!
and also JFK’s inaugural speech
“All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”