563 Comments

Let’s coin a new phrase: “junk Politics.” Like junk food and junk bonds. Cheap and addictive. Engineered to taste good but offering no nutrition. Junk Politics stimulates addictive receptors in the brain - particularly the reptilian brain - that drown out higher powers of thought and reasoning. Purveyors of Junk Politics stir up emotions that offer a kind of emotional gratification while dooming their consumers to ultimate enslavement as their health deteriorates and they become unable to distinguish what’s good for them from what they are addicted to. We stood up against the tobacco companies and held them accountable. Can we defeat Junk Politics? Part of defeating an evil is by naming it for what it is. Democrats need catchy phrases like “fake news.” Why not “Junk Politics!”

Expand full comment

Excellent. Thanks for this. I will borrow your phrase junk politics.

I don't own a television and the radio is broken in my car. Whenever I get around these 2 mediums I am stunned by the mind numbing noise, the invasive barrage of commercials and the contorted faces of so many commentators who are talking too loudly. Junk politics and rampant consumerism reign over our airwaves. The reporters are definitely pushing junk politics.

Lest I live in a bubble one of the places I check in is the Washington Post articles. This is there where I see the right wing trolls. They keep repeating the FOX mantras. And the Post keeps repeating the anti-Biden, false narratives, hyperbole headlines junk politics every day.

I'll scan the news headlines of FOX. Whew! They are truly another Universe.

I believe folks have been seduced into thinking CNN, NBC, New York Times etc. were giving us the big picture. Plus most of the people I work with could care less about what is happening to Democracy right now anyway.

Expand full comment

I so agree about the shouting heads! I refer to them as used car salesmen (a really old stereotype). Why would you buy anything from someone who is talking fast & shouting?

Expand full comment

Because in your youngest years that’s all you knew and it remains what feels safest to you now when the world around you is coming apart at the seams

Expand full comment

And for positive phrasing how about a Democratic mantra- “Invest in America” to counter the “socialist” frame and recall the “we are in this together” FDR era?

Expand full comment

Yes even better!

Expand full comment

I’d rather be a democrat-socialist than a wack-a-doodle Fascist Trumpanzee.

Expand full comment

Trumpanzee — nice!

Expand full comment

Here is an excellent article from Dana Millbank:

"Opinion: The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump. Here’s proof."

Washington Post, Dana Millbank. I give up on links.

Also to be fair. Millbank and Rubin and in the Washington Post are not junk reporters.

Expand full comment

Hi Barbara, My post wasn't so much about the news and the many excellent commentators. It was about the politicians on the right who are selling disinformation, lies, and authoritariansim. Junk. Toxic, dangerous junk!

Expand full comment

Understood. My point is that the media is perpetuating the rhetoric and lies of the politicians. So junk politics=junk media.

And I believe there are many many excellent and ethical journalists today. The problem is they are being drowned out.

Expand full comment

I agree. Milbank, Rubin, and Sargent are excellent and provide context in their opinion columns that the supposed "reporters" refuse to do.

Expand full comment

Yes, Fox, et al are certainly junk media. Or maybe more like "toxic media." And for sure many excellent, ethical responsible journalists and writers out there are doing the best they can. We Dems need to take the "catch phrase" offensive and "Junk Politics" has a ring to it. Let's use this and any other simple phrases we can come up with to counter Trump's undeniable genius for coining simple minded but compelling language.

Expand full comment

Ok then. Let's use toxic media and junk politics. What do you think? You have created the brand name for a movement Ned.

Expand full comment

Not reporters at all — opinion writers. Period.

Expand full comment

Unfortunately the slanted articles are not always labeled as opinion and are not in the opinion section. WaPo often has their headline piece as a hyperbolic headline against Biden.

Expand full comment

Hmmm. Fair point.

Expand full comment

An excellent phrase! I'll use it. We Democrats definitely need catchy, vivid phrases and themes. The voters we need to deprogram don't respond to big words, data, and reasoned treatises.

Expand full comment

Amen, Elizabeth!

Expand full comment

Genius! Labeling has become so popular in politics and people don’t seem to want to be fully informed so “junk politics” a great phrase let’s use it!

Expand full comment

Repugs have been weaponizing words since “the great communicator” linked “liberal” with negativity. They repeat and repeat until their message becomes cliché and no one questions what is meant. Democrats need to use humor and semiotics to put a wrench in this process and force people to consider their contradictions. It’s not just labeling. It has become known as “weaponized flak”. It is the basis of the Mercer’s Cambridge Analytica/aka Emeradata—targeting susceptible groups with a propagandized message.

Expand full comment

EXCELLENT POST!! I will use this term. Thank you!

Expand full comment

GOP: Bringing you Junk Politics for 40 years

Expand full comment

This is not “ junk”. We are fighting for our future and that of our grandchildren. We are in a civil war. I think we oughtto avoid any kind of dismissive language that implies this is not deadly serious

Expand full comment

What Cigarette Do You Smoke Doctor?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUZI0vE0FM

Expand full comment

The GQP will have no platform, no ideas, no agenda for the 2022 elections according to Mitch “no progress” McConnell; but rather will leave all “what we stand for” planks to the authority of one man, whoever gets the GQP nomination in 2024

Doesn’t that kinda describe how dictatorships work?

Expand full comment

And once Roe is gutted, as it presumably will be, how will the repubs recruit?

Expand full comment

Their plan is authoritarian rule. There is no need for recruitment. There will be force by fear.

Expand full comment

That has been my thought. Once abortion is illegal will all the people who only voted GOP because of the sanctity of life turn to the Democrats to save their children from gun violence and school shootings?

Expand full comment

I doubt it. At least, not at first. They have been led by their noses by the lies from their leaders and from right-wing media going on 5 years now. The Special Jan. 6th Committee and the DOJ must get the work done to prove these arrogant neo-Nazis are as corrupt as we know they are. Sentencing and imprisoning them all sends a very strong message. We do have to be prepared for the aftermath and unfortunately, parents like the Chumbleys may come out of woodwork as they are now anyway at school board meetings. Worse would be another insurrection but at least, the military and the WH will be aligned.

Expand full comment

Pretty much does describe a dictatorship...

Expand full comment

Also, since when have Rethuglicans provided a legislative agenda or platform other than cutting taxes and peddling hatred, fear and racism? That's been the case since the 90's but has become more apparent since a Black Guy had the temerity to do Presidenting.

Expand full comment

We now know for sure that the ‘24 platform will be what (or a facsimile thereof) DJT says it is.

Expand full comment

I feel like the GOP is already at the place where they only listen to one man and do as they’re told. There’s not an original thought among them. There are many we don’t hear from but they’re still the worker bees and still strictly follow orders.

Expand full comment

That plus restricting voting rights and overthrowing the elections if they don't win which eventually becomes controlling elections outright.

Expand full comment

What a magnificent tying together of history and actualities! This is an excellent iteration of the basic premises of democracy, socialism, and communism. Rep. Greene is deranged in her understanding, and Gov. Desantis has crossed a line. Thank you for sharing the clarity of a sound mind and your profound understanding of the historical forces that have shaped and continue to inform our hope.

Expand full comment

If Governor DeSantis doesn't scare you, nothing will. Are we really going to pay for a private militia???? (I have the dubious fortune to live in Florida, working in the news industry for more than 30 years.) He is trying to separate the state from federal oversight e.g. last month in special session the legislature approved creating a state-run Occupational Safety & Health Administration (which would need federal approval). To date our Republican-controlled legislature has rubber-stamped everything he has done to impede protections against Covid-19 infection, legislate criminal penalties for peaceful protest, distribute vaccines on the basis of PAC contributions, etc. Is there a point at which my Republican neighbors and legislators will say "Enough already?" Even well-informed citizens are becoming frightened.

Expand full comment

I hope the well informed, frightened citizenry of Florida are unsettled enough to vote DeSantis out when the time comes

Expand full comment

Morning fab Daria….lot of work already into campaigns for Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist. And senatorial challenge that Val Demings presents against Rubio.

More and more “unsettling”. I keep repeating…Scary, but do not be afraid. To preserve democracy, we must use democracy.

Expand full comment

Morning dear Christine. It's lovely to see you as I sit in the car with my cat in an HEB store in Monterrey, MX while my husband picks up some cat food for Isaac the Cat (who is enjoying his road trip, I might add).😽

Expand full comment

😻 my resident Siamese, Lola, woke me up this morning. I swear, I might make an audio using her voice. Would scare away an pesky autocrat.

Expand full comment

Among the dozen, I had a Siamese who found me when she took refuge in a school where I was participating in an exercise class. It was evening and no one would take her. I have loved all my cat family members, but that Siamese, she was really special. Siamese are known for their voices and I must admit, I love conversing with my cats.

While I could not speak cat, I once had a cat who had quite a vocabulary. The family was able to identify between 10-15 different meow intonations so we knew exactly what he was saying or what he wanted. (He had one particular meow for wanting to share a cheese stick!) It was uncanny. I have not had another one like that.

Expand full comment

Sounds like you responded well to his training.

Dogs have masters, Cats have staff!

Expand full comment

😄😄

Expand full comment

I have been reading your comments faithfully for over a year now, daria. Another cat lover, it warms my heart to read this. (I often enjoy the tiny personal tidbits my favorite commenters post) I have had the pleasure of being allowed to live in "my" home with a dozen cats......no, not all at once, over the span of 40 years. I now serve 4 demanding middle aged felines, I have yet to find any who enjoy car rides.

Expand full comment

Miselle, thank you for your kind words. This is Isaac's 2nd pan American venture by car. He has a nice expandable soft crate which allows him movement While in the car. He particularly likes

hotels with balconies.

Expand full comment

We moved 6 cats from San Diego to Manchester, NH in a 7-day drive across the country. The first day they were quite until about hour 10 of the drive then meowing started. Each day after it started earlier. We would take them out of their crates one at a time and hold them and let them over around a little. There were always litter box stop though non would go. Each hotel room was cat proofed before we took them in including stuffing pillows in spaces so they couldn’t get under beds. By day 7 they were all screeching as soon as we got in the car. When we got to our final hotel 3 hours later one escaped into the hallway and ran down the halls like a wild thing set free. It was an experience I will never forget. Some of those cats lived on to move to Hawaii, Texas and back to California. They were big travelers.

Expand full comment

Won't happen. He has painted the picture of the perfect boogie man, runs an emotional campaign, and ascribes all 'your problems' to the other. No thinking is required, just channel the anger. Easy, peasy nothing is faster than stupid. https://media.awakeningtowholeness.net/stupidproof-your-future/

Expand full comment

Wow Charlie!

“No worldview explains everything, so humans prioritize the things that need explaining most urgently. God was the most urgent issue in an age of faith. Science and technology are the most urgent things in an age of materialism. When something new becomes more urgent, worldviews change.

We are caught at the cusp of a change in worldview. The reset is emerging.”

It’s been commented earlier threads that the “most important” thing to people now, people of the “Social Information Age” is social identity. Professing your tribe affiliation takes precedence over whether your tribe is right or wrong. Social death is more critical than one’s physical death.

I think this fact about “social identity” has devolved the worldview's of many.

Expand full comment

If I may. Pre-pubescent ego formation reaction. May explain why so many public officials behave as they were 12 years old.

Expand full comment

Staying in Comfort vs challenge acceptance. One is leadership, one is not.

Expand full comment

This is a fascinating thesis, Ted. Social media seeding a new era of tribalism, with -as you say - social media death being seen as psychologically equal to physical death, ie non-existence, the death of the ego. No wonder the lunatic right wing has such an exaggerated fixation on "cancel culture." "My tribe right or wrong" has replaced the conservative slogans of the Vietnam War era: "My country right or wrong" and "America, love it or leave it!" Evidently, from the 60's through the 90's, it was conservatives, most accustomed to identifying our country as their tribe and patriotism as the absolute membership requirement, who felt most increasingly disconnected and lost and deprived of their traditional ego-supporting identities and affiliations. They felt like it was "their" country/tribe and they thought _they_used to both control it and run it by _their_ norms and values. So all the positive social changes of the last 50 years feel to them like the rest of us "stole" their tribe. I think that's why Trump's fraudulent slogan "Stop the Steal" resonates so deeply with white conservatives. It's not just, or even mostly, the election that feels "stolen" to them. It's everything--their country, their tribe, their ability to fuse their identity with a country that looked like them--white, "Christian", socially conservative, patriarchal--and was run by their rules to benefit them and subordinate all others, keep them "in their place." No wonder "Stop the Steal!" lit them all on fire! Of course, Dumpster has no idea why it succeeds so brilliantly. But wow. If this thesis is accurate, where do qe liverals start, trying to create messaging and the believable, accessible _reality_ to go with it, to convince the less rabid of the MAGA crowd that they can have a place of pride and safety and security IN the new multicultural America where women, blacks, Jews, Muslims, and gays are all welcome members of the new tribe, deserving of the same rights and privileges as white, Christian, hetero men? ( Sorry I wrote such a long post. )

Expand full comment

typo should be "we liberals"... fat fingers on tiny phone keyboard

Expand full comment

I know Charlie. I was just trying to inject a speck of hope into a ghastly situation. 🙁

Expand full comment

Keep injecting Daria. We need it.

Expand full comment

🙏

Expand full comment

Thank you

Expand full comment

Daria, Sad to say, he is up for re-election in 2022, and the candidate pool running against him is so, what can I say, "uninspirational," that the Democratic Governors Association will probably not put any money in the Florida gubernatorial race. https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2021/11/04/no-million-dollar-checks-democratic-governors-may-sit-out-florida-1392319.

Expand full comment

Sammy, I have said previously, this will be the fatal flaw of the Democrats. We watched 4 years of Trump and did little to nothing to preen candidates for 2024. We had all of this time to be proactive, yet we are reactive to what will be a cataclysmic disaster in 2024.

Expand full comment

Linda, Florida Dems have had trouble fielding exciting candidates for quite awhile, although DeSantis' opponent in 2018 almost made it: Popular vote DeSantis 4,076,186 and Gillum 4,043,723. The party just isn't showing up. I'm hopeful that the Dem candidate for the Senate (Val Demings) will beat out Marco Rubio.

Expand full comment

Sammy, I still have my Gillum sign in our garage. (Got hell in my Trumie neighborhood for it!!) Too bad he has had personal troubles and is discredited--he had promise.

I am backing Demings and hope against hope she can pull it off but South Florida may be a big factor. I guess Gwen Graham will never run again!! Charlie Crist is a waffler and Nicki Fried has little chance, I believe, to get traction. She is trying to be "the anti-Ron voice" in the State but her voice gets lost. We are in the hands of a "smarter" Trump.

Wonder what Ron will do in our next major hurricane when he will also need Federal money....he was all smiles with Biden the last time we needed Federal help here in FL. His extreme anti- vaxx efforts could do him in.

Expand full comment

Yes, Florida has had a Democrat problem for quite some time. Unfortunately, that malaise isn't just that State.

Expand full comment

You are spot on.

Expand full comment

What will motivate the DGA? A wholesale attack by his private militia on Black people in a Democratic leaning town? It shouldn't come to that, but I wouldn't put it past him to do it!

Expand full comment

Candidates have to feel supported to choose to run against a nasty frightening machine like DeSantis. Where are the people who will support a candidate? Busy attacking their own and whining because those willing to step up are not good enough

Expand full comment

I think you just connected the dots with Rons paramilitary announcement. He is using it as both a dog whistle to summon his own Jan 6th ‘ers should he lose. And he will use this force to threaten and punish all opponents should he win.

This is some scary stuff.

Expand full comment

Imagine 200 heavily armed deputized thugs showing up at the county elections board to “assist” in the counting of ballots, at school board meetings about “curriculum”, or at the Public Health Department to “secure” your right to spread disease. The threat of Intimidation to obstruct takes things to a new level of low.

Expand full comment

Then the DGA better quit whining about their meager resources. What hogwash. And excuse me about the candidate pool. Both Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist are seasoned politicians.

Expand full comment

What does it take to have an inspirational candidate pool? Why don’t they find that person and promote them heavily. Create messages that will appeal to the voters.

Expand full comment

Nikki Fried has a future. Ron does not.

https://www.fdacs.gov/About-Us/Meet-Commissioner-Fried

Expand full comment

Good candidate…young and has a proven track record. She’s got to be forceful and forthright when it comes to dealing with DeSantis. Ron is loud without using a bullhorn and all he lacks is a Hitler salute.

Expand full comment

God bless Nikki Fried and keep her safe. We need her to win Florida.

Expand full comment

By and large, they are too dumb. And the Democrats' expertise is in forming circular firing squads.

Expand full comment

Agree

Expand full comment

"Is there a point at which my Republican neighbors and legislators will say "Enough already?""

Umm. No. There is not.

Expand full comment

More. They ALWAYS want more.

Expand full comment

Greed is a disease

Expand full comment

To be found under addiction most likely in the DSM

Expand full comment

I’ve already talked with some serious political strategists this morning who work mainly at local and state election levels. Consensus is that DeSantis has made a serious mistake with his militia announcement.

Expand full comment

One can only hope.

Expand full comment

Hammer him. He’s gone full fascist.

Expand full comment

Boy, I hope you’re right about that!

Expand full comment

DeathSantis wants to be a Putin and looks like he wants to kill off as many people as he can via COVID (as a means of not taking responsibility for the deaths). What will help him to do that is that over 30% of Floridians are over 60 and we already know that being elderly is a risk factor for COVID death.

Expand full comment

Maybe his "plan"to kill off as many people as possible will backfire when 99% of those dead are voting rethuglicans.

Expand full comment

Their plan is keep the crisis going. Then disqualify the mail in ballots.

Expand full comment

Well, maybe were are at the point of observing the self limiting nature of the Republican approach.

Vote Republican, then, vanish from the planet.

:-)

Expand full comment

I wrote my state representatives this morning, asking what POSSIBLE reason desantis put forth when he floated the idea he needed his private gestapo. desantis wants millions of tax dollars for his own private militia? Say WHAT? And please, tell him NO.

Expand full comment

I'm curious to know how Florida went from a "red" Covid state to a decline of cases while advocating no vaccines or masks. Do you know?

Expand full comment

My theory? False reporting of numbers.

Expand full comment

Mine as well.

Expand full comment

Yes, Ron supports nasty fairy-tales so he doesn’t allow the big numbers to be broadcasted. Blind and deaf Floridians simply are not “in the know”.

Expand full comment

It probably helps that it’s fall. In Florida that means you can turn off the AC and open the windows, and it’s pleasant weather to socialize outside.

Expand full comment

The Republican Party has had no official policies for years. For the first time in my memory

The ‘Republican Party’ (which was the Trump party by time time of the 2020 nominating convention,) ‘chose’ not to include a policy platform in its formal proceedings. Instead, they acquiesced to Trump’s ‘policy by tweets.’ Nothing on our traditional alliances including NATO, nothing on our traditional alliances, including NATO, nothing on the Middle East, including the 6-nation nuclear agreement with Iran, nothing on economic, social, and infrastructure. NOTHING!

This remains the ‘Republican’ non-policy today and through the 2024 ‘Republican’ presidential convention. They haven’t a clue what they stand for as they await for Trumpimania to play out. Instead, they are intent on fear mongering and opposition to whatever the Democrats do. While President Biden and his professional team iare building an impressive portfolio of success domestically and globally, the ‘Republicans’ are a party of NYET. I believe that this makes them vulnerable in the 2022 elections and during their subsequent ‘stand for nothing’ mishmash.

When Eastman, Clark, and others plead the Fifth Amendment before a congressional committee, they exercise their constitutional right not to engage in self-incrimination. However, if they are granted partial or total immunity, they can then be obliged to testify fully or face criminal charges. Back during Watergate, when Jim McCord, John Dean, and Jed McGruder sought a deal with the prosecutors, the White House wall of take-no-prisoners resistance swiftly crumbled. In the grand jury investigations in New York, there is a possibility of the same occurring. I would not be surprised to see a save-my-own-skin decision by one or more of the Trumpites subpoenaed by congressional committees.

Expand full comment

My apologies for repeating a clause in my commentary. Especially when a person writes with ‘hot blood,’ he/she should seek a more dispassionate individual to proofread the rough draft. Oh well, once again READY, FIRE, AIM.

Expand full comment

SUBSTACK NEEDS AN EDIT FUNCTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Expand full comment

AND A BOOKMARK / SEARCH FUNCTION!!!!!!!

Expand full comment

I like your subtlety, TC.

Expand full comment

Every time they ask those of us who have blogs here what we need, I always send that message, just like that, but they never seem to hear the screaming. :-)

Expand full comment

Medicare may pay for hearing aids.

Expand full comment

I actually Laughed Out Loud

Expand full comment

I'm waiting for that miracle

Expand full comment

You don’t have to apologize to me, I saw one minor typo (iare), it happens to me often, and I don’t write nearly as well as you do, I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Being impassioned is what our group is all about, if we weren’t, we wouldn’t take the time to express ourselves 👍🙏😎

Expand full comment

Absolutely, we all make mistakes. I wish there was an edit function. One time I had so many errors I copied the comment, deleted it, edited the text on my phone, and reposted it!

Expand full comment

"the ‘Republicans’ are a party of NYET. I believe that this makes them vulnerable in the 2022 elections and during their subsequent ‘stand for nothing’ mishmash"

Yeah, but . . . the metamorphosis from McConnell's party of no to Trump's party of nihilism doesn't seem to have hurt the GOP. Their message resonates and their voter suppression is almost insurmountable.

Expand full comment

It’s ALMOST funny that Moscow Mitch now has to eat the Schitt that chump spews non stop. The downside to creating a monster…

Expand full comment

Nothing but chaos and corruption.

Expand full comment

And they say it out loud, and Rupert’s herd of sheep BAA

Expand full comment

These points about socialism and communism cannot be made often enough, so thank you for this. FL Gov. DeSantis gets scarier by the day. He has no compassion for the unemployed; shows no concern for seniors, students, school employees or the public at large in implementing his disastrous Covid policies, and now wants to create his own private paramilitary group accountable only to him. He is seemingly a classic example of the rising autocratic ideology that is becoming much to prevalent and, in some cases, too powerful.

Expand full comment

Some golfing friends and I (from the Boston area) are in Naples, FL for a couple of weeks and yes the weather is beautiful but the overlay of the dumbfounding politics is disturbing ..... some of that is not new. Pick up trucks with trump flags (and of course guns in the back window rack) are common and a scary lot. While on the golf course, we speak with impunity however, this is an open carry state and we avoid any political chat while out and about. That's how creepy it is. We are also among the very few who wear masks in a grocery store; a dead give away we're not from Florida!!

Expand full comment

Watch On Becoming a God in Central Florida on Netflix.

Expand full comment

Cannot find it on Netflix...

Expand full comment

We are in Spain. It may not be offered in your area of U.S. but many there are watching it.

Expand full comment

Soon to be us all, I fear

Expand full comment

Hi, Janet,

Former New England-uh :) but now in Florida many years….sigh. We are NOT an Open Carry state however it is legal to “open carry” if you’re hunting or fishing.

In my county on the opposite coast there was a guy ( calls himself the “Armed Fisherman”)who paraded up and down the causeway with his AR 15, Glock and fishing pole.I believe he does this all over the state.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.053.html

Expand full comment

Thanks for the correction regarding the FL statute on open carry. I was told by someone and I didn't verify the facts (which I usually do). Unfortunately, regulations rarely prevent people with intent from doing whatever they want. After-the-fact is too late with guns.

And, with the guy who walks around with a gun and fishing pole . . . yeesh! I always enjoy visiting FL but couldn't live here :) I thought with more "New England-uh" boomers moving south that perhaps the more progressive politics would follow . . . . Hang in there!

Expand full comment

I’d like to see the day when all these Republican mini dictators (DeSantis, Abbott, Noem etc) begin to turn on each other in their blind ambition for power. Will they come together and back their ‘cause’ or will the eviscerate one another.

Expand full comment

He has, in residence, a “general” in name only to head his paramilitary mish mash and plenty of trump train big wheel pickup trucks as tanks. Flynn and his proud boys (emphasize word boys) will be only too glad to be back in the military mix.

Delusions of grandeur.

Expand full comment

DeSantis ... and his minions ... get scarier by the day. A Dem win for Governor there in 2022 is an uphill battle. More of a mountain than a hill. We can only hope women will be pissed enough about the inevitable outcome of Roe to come out in huge numbers to vote. There is a very short window between the Dem primary and General election, making coalition building from the three campaigns another hurdle to victory.

Expand full comment

As scary as Gov. Abbott, they have drunk the kool aide and think they will take chump’s place as head MAGAt. Boy, will he turn on them

Expand full comment

I bet he thinks he’s going to bring his army with him to the White House.

Oops — we just got rid of a guy with worse delusions than that.

Expand full comment

Basically, insanity.

Expand full comment

Sorry, should be “much too prevalent.”

Expand full comment

Wait! You’re apologizing for a missing “O”!! And a lower case one at that!!!! I think we––that’s me included––are far too nit picky about our writing…along with suffering under the dictates of auto-correct!!! Most of us read right through these tiny typos and have no trouble understanding. We’ve got more than enough to be uptight about to worry about being perfectly proof-read.

Expand full comment

These things are too important to grammar geeks. My level of "geek" was influenced by my two parents, who never permitted either slang or bad grammar in speech or writing.

As an FTO (Field Training Officer; one who teaches people how to become cops) I was always given the "difficult cases" when recruits did not express themselves well in writing. I learned from my FTO that my job as a cop was to take the incident that was being reported, and make sure that the "story" the victims' had was told in a way that accurately reflected what happened, establish the elements of the crime, and insure that the person reading the report from the sergeant who would approve it to the DA that would file charges could understand exactly what had happened.

Two vignettes: One recruit (a lateral hire whose penmanship was awful and used a style of reporting from his old agency that did not mesh with the department's "style") had passed field training, was out making decisions and working, but his reports were "not up to standard". I was tasked with being his "grammar coach". I immediately went out and bought three books on grammar so I could make some semblance of really "teaching grammar". We had this meeting, the "memo of instruction/correction" was read and initialed, and the Sergeant and Lieutenant left the room. The first thing I said was "you are fine. Your writing has a different cant, and they don't like it. I have your first assignment, which won't be documented, but it will show you how serious this situation is. He was ready to take notes. I gave him the memo and said "find the 11 grammatical, spelling or syntax errors in this 3/4 page memo. He found 13. The other was a guy who spent 12 years in the Marine Corps and had been with the department for just under 10 years in the corrections division. He was really struggling with his report writing; he could tell me the report he wanted to write, but couldn't write the report he wanted to write. He, like me, is dyslexic. I told him the tricks I had used, and asked him how he got around that in the Marines. He had a system that worked, and we devised something that fit for us (3 or 4 ways to say how a burglary occurred, or what elements of a crime were present.) He is now the patrol Lieutenant.

Expand full comment

What a super trainer you were: you worked with what they had.

Expand full comment

I like this story! Report writing, or any writing, is sometimes the hardest part of the job, especially in an age of quick emails or tweets. Part of my job was teaching social workers how to write court reports and to expand on the “just the facts” in order to give a complete picture of the family. The work was done, decisions were made, but putting it on paper just didn’t come easily to some.

Expand full comment

Ha! You are absolutely right. As a bit of a “grammar geek,” yet a very imperfect one, I have to admit that I may be more self conscious responding to something HCR has written than to someone else. At least I didn’t mention the one comma that should have been a semicolon or the omitted word toward the end that would have made it flow better. Okay, so just maybe I’m more than a bit of a grammar geek. Thanks. You made me smile despite our political conundrum.

Expand full comment

So that’s where we’re supposed to use the word too, I’m constantly trying to figure that out, thanks for the heads up.👍

Expand full comment

Could Jeffrey Clark's medical condition be Fear?

Expand full comment

Judith, the official medical diagnostic term is “weasel sweat.”

Expand full comment

I was thinking it was lack of a spine.

Expand full comment

Might be missing a conscience.

Expand full comment

That definitely seems to be one of his “conditions,” Bill!

Hope you’re doing well!

Expand full comment

Does he have a note from his doctor?

Expand full comment

Exactly what crossed my mind.

Expand full comment

I grew up in the 50s, etc. loved Ike and thought most republicans were honorable brokers. However it appears that Ike was an anomaly. He certainly would piss on republicans today if he wasn’t stunned speechless that they are the same as the fascists that he fought in WW2. They may have pretended to sign on to parts of the FDR program, but there is plenty of evidence that that too was an anomaly. The Coup of 1933 (See Gen. Smedley Butler); FDR “We must be especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests.” FDR: “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in it’s essence is racism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” HST: Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home-but not for housing. They are strong for labor-but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. The favor minimum wage-the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all-but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine-for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing-but only when the private power companies get their own rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing-so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire the government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Henry Wallace in 1944: American fascists claim to be super patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.” A. Stevenson: “I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. I rest my case!

BTW, Majorie three names is really Marjorie Joe McCarthy. As has already been established, she has absolutely no shame.

Expand full comment

"Henry Wallace in 1944: American fascists claim to be super patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

Great quote. I keep coming back to this post.

Expand full comment

“We must be especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests.”

I guess that group was not so small after all.

And now, those men have found two or three key words and use them to scare people who were pushed into poverty by the very approaches that Republicans still routinely champion.

Expand full comment

Spot on, Jeri.

And I’m going to add here…. If Repubs were not so worried about losing the popular vote once again, they would not be so agitated in their voting restrictions and gerrymandering.

I would like to see criticism about the Democrats less on this forum and a groundswell of support for our less than perfect but always a works in progress Democracy rising to counter not specifically Republicans, but the attempt to replace it with autocracy.

Expand full comment

Hear, hear, Christine!

Expand full comment

Christine I’m inclined to believe that the GOP gave up on the popular vote when they fell in behind their dictator 5 or 6 years ago. That being why all that’s left for them is voter suppression and autocracy

Expand full comment

Oops, racism in FDR’s second quote should read fascism. Lordy, what else, it’s early in Texas

Expand full comment

Many thanks for this incredible post. I will use many parts of this in my writings and comments when I do my weekly excursion into the void at Fox Propaganda stations. Probably time for me to create a pseudonym for protection when I do this Stealth Angel work in that land of vociferous and vacant truth.

Expand full comment

Jeri--Thanks for this thought-provoking collection. I would only add that Truman's whole speech is worth reading and pondering for its echoes. It was given in the 1948 campaign, which he was supposed to lose, amidst right-wing howls about economic disasters and creeping socialism at home. We could use a bunch of "Give 'em Hell" candidates today.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180820043807/https:/www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws?pid=13046

Expand full comment

Thank you! I want to share this (without your name, of course) with my FB friends!

Expand full comment

Me, too. Would you like to be credited Jeri?

Expand full comment

Jeri, excellent comment! I need to read it again. Thank you.

Expand full comment

What are we going to do about gun violence in this country? WE WE WE, the people, what are we going to do about guns sales in this country? So what if a president cried about it? So what about the grieving families of the victims and the shooters? So what if I could fill this comment with information about suicides by guns -- shootings in the streets -- in the schools -- through the windows of homes... and fill another 100,000 comments with news and statistics about gun violence in the USA? What if elected representatives won't do anything about this? What about our children scared to death because they know that they could be shot dead at anytime?

Expand full comment

Terrorism is a fitting charge in this Michigan case. Over 50 Michigan schools closed because the kids are scared. The killer’s parents on the lamb, because they are guilty of aiding, abetting, and indifferent to the murders. And all for what? So a minority can live out their end of days apocalyptic fantasies by stockpiling guns and ammo, buying Even more guns for their kids of questionable sanity? How much more do we need to know? how much can we endure? How many more parents need to suffer? It’s not just the “infrastructure” that is crumbling in this country.

Expand full comment

unreal, these two imbeciles, warned of the actions of their child, refusing to remove him from the school...who the hell are these people? They bought him the gun.

Expand full comment

… and his Mother bragged about buying it for him as an early Christmas gift. That’s who we are now, where we are as a country. The only nation to normalize child on child murder by gun violence.

Expand full comment

It is not normal!!.......shout it out.

Expand full comment

It actually is normal. It is an American phenom.

Expand full comment

How often do these cases come back to a dysfunctional family of origin?

Expand full comment

with the gun purchased by the parents...

Expand full comment

Read The People of the Lie, but M. Scott Peck. He relates a tale of a young man who committed suicide with a gun. When victim's little brother's birthday came around, the parents gave him a gun. The same gun. They were relieved of their responsibilities by state action -- as I recall before any tragedy ensued -- but when questioned why they had done this, the father said, "It was a perfectly good gun."

I'm "quoting from memory," and it's been years since I read the book, so forgive me any inaccuracies in the details. I think I got the gist of it right.

The point being, there are some truly evil people out there. And the worst of them don't seem to realize how evil they are.

Expand full comment

I have investigated a fairly substantial number of suicides by firearm. Universally (I cannot recall, off hand, a single incident in exception) the family wanted NOTHING TO DO with the firearm EVER AGAIN.

There is something deeply wrong with those parents.

Expand full comment

Good morning, Ally!

Like many I’m sure, I am anxious to hear your thoughts on solutions to/lessening gun violence.

Expand full comment

I have an acquaintance whose 18 y/o child chose suicide by his handgun. I know his reasons for having one, he was an independent tradesman who often worked in crime ridden areas and feared for his tools and his life when in these areas. He was/continues to be a very broken man.

Expand full comment

Great book! Great author! ❤️

Expand full comment

Careful, you might get hit with a class-action suit by Imbeciles Disunified. I think the description that’s more fitting is “criminal”. They bought their 15-year-old son, not just any old firearm…they purchased a HANDGUN for their little darlin’! “Nothing says Love like a pistol in your Christmas stocking”. I understand they’re out of the running for “Parents of the Year”!

Expand full comment

They will be republican heroes soon enough…

Expand full comment

🥲🥲

Expand full comment

His parents. It’s a really ugly story.

Expand full comment

Some interesting tidbits from other threads yesterday. One was a discussion of the Kip Kinkle case here in Oregon where his parents, particularly his father, could not accept he was mentally ill. So they stopped his meds and therapy and even more stupid, bought him a gun. He repaid them by killing them and went off to his school in Springfield to shoot a few others. I remember exactly where we were when we heard this news. Everyone was glad that the parents are being charged and one person with inside knowledge suggested victims in this case should have sued the parents' estate.

Then from a current teacher here in Oregon. He was livid about the school authorities because here in Oregon the school is custodial and can search a backpack. He also said the school authorities should be fired immediately.

Expand full comment

I would say that the whole of societal structure is crumbling. So many places we would not go, even without COVID, because people are rude and so many of them are in your face. They do this because they know that most of it is without real consequence, but little by little it erodes.

Expand full comment

The saddest thing for me, over a long life, is watching so many awesome people work to build and make a better world, and then watching the destroyers some along and, in a flash, as Bannon said, destroy the administrative state. Even worse, they are cheered by the “bystanders” and wannabe destroyers.

Expand full comment

I agree. It only took four years of death star donny and all his minions and their eroding corruption to do it completely. I also blame St RayGun for getting some of this underway.

Expand full comment

Has been in the works for decades, another quote if I may. From the St Louis Post Dispatch, Mar 17, 1985. “‘conservative Revolution’ Will Alter All Policies…”. Lewis Lehrman headed the Citizens for America, a grassroots conservative movement, and lobbying mouth-piece for Reagan. “We are at the very beginning of this conservative revolution… we’re not even in the middle of it… Our economic, our social, our international policies are going to be altered in every significant aspect. The President hasn’t even begun the program of constitutional reform and the change in social policy.” But the dye was cast. I googled Lehrman, he was still alive. I wonder if this “GOP” was what he had in mind…

Expand full comment

It has taken longer, but it is devastating to those of us who have given so much to try to make this a better world by working with children, families and communities. I could have been self-absorbed and focused on making money, go live in a house on the beach and f the world. But, I would not do anything differently. Thank goodness the majority of people are caring and loving...and hopefully not brainwashed...because we have a lot of work to do, still. And we have some blueprints established but we need to create some better ones for these new times.

Expand full comment

Last sentence so true

Expand full comment

When there was no white hot raging howl across the nation that shook the foundation of Washington with demands for change when children were slaughtered at Sandy Hook, I lost faith in Americans. Yesterday I read a post regarding the death of Tate Myer that ¨At least his parents know he was a good kid.¨ Enraged, I replied, ¨Shame on you.¨ Her rebuttal was, ¨Fuck you.¨ The disconnect in all areas of Americans grows daily. The ignorance seems to grow daily. More and more, I believe that the best solution is to allow the red states to go their own way. Let them have guns. Let them die from diseases. Let them be ruled by tyrants. Just keep them out of my life

Expand full comment

Gailee, Let's mourn together and not be broken.

Expand full comment

I saw a meme yesterday that absolutely illustrated that. Two kids, hiding under desks in a classroom, while an armed person was outside the door. Kid #1 says to kid #2 "My parents think wearing a mask will stifle me."

Expand full comment

Reminded me of the air-aid drills in elementary school with a difference. Thanks, Ron.

Expand full comment

That's a beaut that tells the truth.

Expand full comment

This is why I say this will come to war. These people will not lie down behind their walls and die. They will come out to kill, conquer, and -- yes -- enslave.

Expand full comment

They finally see a win after decades of having to hide their evil. Emboldened and gaining power every day. Wish I could see something that would reverse this.

Expand full comment

You saying it, Joseph, won't make 'war' happen. What you say about the 'people' may not be true even if you think so.

Expand full comment

That said, I've been self-censoring my comments quite a bit as unhelpful, and this one slipped through. Probably had to do with getting my COVID booster. I've noticed that one of the first things to go when I start feeling that immune-response "under-the-weather" feeling is that I get grumpy.

I apologize.

Expand full comment

No reason to apologize. I just didn't understand your comment, and I usually appreciate your positions and the way you express yourself. I hope you feeling in-the-weather now and that it is pleasant. Salud!

Expand full comment

I am a strongly visual and intuitive person. I always trust my intuition to take me someplace interesting: I do NOT trust it to always be right.

At the risk of oversharing, I'll give an example from just this last week: I had a long discussion with a fellow software developer regarding a thing I won't describe in detail, but it is quite complex. As we were discussing it, I was visualizing the problem, and I "saw" a conflict. He did not see it: he is a very verbal/sequential person, and we were writing the specification, so the words weren't complete. It took me a full day to come up with a proper visualization, render it, and share it, and then I had to explain it in words, and FINALLY, he understood what the problem was. We could then resolve it.

Just a short time after that, I intuited an extremely elegant way to solve a different part of the problem, and after several hours of wrestling with it, I gave up and called it a day.

Then I laughed as I poured myself a glass of wine, because I suddenly remembered an abstract algebra course I had taken more than forty years ago, and something called the Axiom of Choice, and the difference between distance metrics and ordering, and (of course) I saw a visual image: a circle representing all the complex numbers of a fixed absolute magnitude, and its relationship to the Gödel Incompleteness Theorem, all of which came together to say that the solution I'd spent a day on was either intractable, or its full solution was Nobel Prize level work. Which is WAY outside the scope of the damn problem I needed to solve, and it was time to enjoy the wine and start over the next day with duct tape and baling-wire solutions.

This is just how my brain works. And this is the most self-disclosure about that process I've ever made in my life.

When I say I "see" something coming -- something in the future -- I'm referring to intuition and visualization, of course. I don't know how to rigorously verify it, the way I do with software, other than waiting to see what actually happens (or doesn't).

The US is not currently engaged in open civic warfare, so I cannot (of course) literally "see" that happening: it ISN'T happening. What I do "see" is an alignment of ... forces? trajectories? trends? attitudes? My intuition, and my limited knowledge of economics, history, human behavior, and what we have been discussing on this site for however many months, is telling me that open conflict is coming.

I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong. I can certainly say that I wish I didn't see/intuit what I see.

Does that explain what I meant?

Expand full comment

Not yet, but expect to be better by tomorrow, based on past experience. Though as stock-market salesmen always say, "Past performance is no guarantee of future performance."

Expand full comment

I was responding to Gailee, who was suggesting that the Red states should "go their own way" and rot. I.e., Balkanization along state lines. Some would fail, as states, and in failing, would come to the point of raiding other better-off-states to improve their own lot. War.

My saying anything doesn't make it happen. I'm just observing.

Expand full comment

Joseph, What are you literally observing? Might what you wrote be an imagining or a fantasy?

Expand full comment

Nothing. We can and will do nothing because the people running the gun industry have a supernatural choke hold on the American people. Many of our legislators don't give a damn and those who do aren't able to muster enough bipartisan support to change the 2nd amendment and curtail the overreach of gun and ammo manufacturers and lobbyists.

I'd like to say that people will rise up the way they did with drunk driving – think MADD. But wouldn't you agree that the unfortunate number of deadly mass shooting events in the US is not seen in any other sane, developed country? Our stance on guns more resemble that of a developing nation run primarily by thugs and warlords. And wouldn't you say that our country, born and bred of violence and with a passion for gunning down the other, has driven the narrative for centuries? Think of the cowboys and Indians; slave owners against slaves;Street gangs; the make my day middle aged father of 4? Do you really think the gun owning public wants that kind of power to be taken from them?

All of our tears and pleas fall on deaf ears. All of the broken hearts mean nothing to those who control the narrative. Our dead beloved are of no consequence to an industry that revels in death.

Expand full comment

Wow, Daria! A rather depressing post, and unfortunately quite true. The parents of Ethan Crumbly bought him a semi-automatic revolver! What did they think he would do with it? I'm glad they are being prosecuted. These school shootings begin at home.

Expand full comment

Pam, you're right. These school shootings begin at home. The parents are 100% responsible.

Expand full comment

There is an equivalent to MADD and they have done some amazing work. They are up against 70 some million uzi toting wannabe fascists. They need all the help folks are willing to give. https://momsdemandaction.org/about/

Expand full comment

I agree 100%, Daria! And don't forget their crutch ... the irrelevant 2nd amendment.

Expand full comment

Yes. The beloved 2nd amendment. It is a gateway to hell of our own making.

Expand full comment

This shooting struck too close to home. My next door neighbor's 3 kids graduated from Oxford High School. This was totally preventable with the information we now know the school had. After his drawing of the gun (a cry for help?), and before he became "The Shooter", Ethan Crumbley should have been immediately referred to a Community Health ACT Team, with a home visit made by police, and parents evaluated for fitness by Protective Services.

Expand full comment

And, guns should have been removed from that house!

Expand full comment

MaryPat, I will be with you in the following days. Please stop by whenever you like. Tomorrow, I will simply spend a quiet hour open to whatever enters my mind. Rest well.

Expand full comment

Thank You, Fern.

Expand full comment

I have missed you greatly as we go through this violence, social disruption and disorder. I wish we were in our church or shelter or assembly of love together. Peace MaryPat, may we find it

Expand full comment

💞 Fern! Thank You. So painful. We need hallowed ground and a strong steeple. Hugs!

Expand full comment

Amen, MaryPat. We are together and will persist. It is good that we found each other tonight. So fortunate.

Expand full comment

yes. you could do that. someone would want to and might actually shoot you for making them think. Or they might get around to shooting me.

Expand full comment

Evil comes from a failure to think. ... That is the banality of evil.

Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

Expand full comment

Truly, Mike, it is where we are.

Expand full comment

Good morning, dear Fern!

My heart breaks again and again over the gun violence swallowing us.

We can’t combat it with violence, yet peace has no play in lessening it either. Laws? The lawless won’t follow though. 😩

Expand full comment

The pain this causes is at the core. We have to keep looking for approaches. Using the example of the parents of the young Michigan shooter; what can happen by working harder with schools and with police departments? What about portraying the shooters, not only the mass killers but the ones on streets and in homes -- who are they, what's the profile; people with the type of problems you don't want to act on or want to be one of them. We need campaigns crafted by Hollywood's and Ad business's best. Spots all over the place, including social media. Dramatic stuff not boring 'do-gooder' gun control lectures. Dramatic stuff that shoots straighter than a gun.

Expand full comment

Saw a thread where a well armed person who called himself progressive said for him it was about "social safety" which sounded like so much BS to me.

Expand full comment

A thousand hearts to you, Dear Fern. The fixes are so freaking transparent. We of the weakling central government...

Expand full comment

We're here to be together, Kim, and work and work to make it better.

Expand full comment