the behan school of economic theory

Let me admit up front that I understand economic theory about as well as I understand quantum field theory. I have, at best, a vague grasp of some of the concepts. This is one of the reasons I belong to the Brendan Behan School of Economic Theory. It may be simple but I find it easy to understand and support. I advocate:

“…that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.”

That’s a solid foundation; start right there and build on it. We should…no, wait. I meant to write about the debt ceiling bullshit. How’d I get distracted this quickly? Okay, rewind. Hit ‘start’.

I find all of this fuss about the debt ceiling to be simultaneously offensive and boring as fuck. It’s perfectly obvious to everybody that the Republican Party is threatening to fuck up the US economy–and the global economy to some extent–unless President Uncle Joe agrees to their demands. What’s less obvious is the astonishing fact that the GOP can’t even agree amongst themselves what their demands are. They’re basically saying, “We’ll shoot your dog unless you agree to do a thing and we’ll let you know what that thing is after you agree to it.”

I’m hoping President Uncle Joe has a secret plan up his sleeve. Or tucked away in a hidden pocket. Or under his hat. He’s been pretty good at teasing the GOP along, then quietly kicking them in the nuts. So it’s a real possibility that he’s openly cooperating with the House Republicans, knowing they’ll never come up with a workable solution, at which point he can say, “I tried to be reasonable” and then just kick them in the nuts.

Personally, I’d prefer it if he just told them to go fuck themselves. He should just tell the Treasury Department to mint the platinum trillion dollar coin and deposit it in the US’s savings account. This idea has been floating in the econoverse for a few decades. Is it legal? Who knows? Do it anyway. Let the Republicans legally challenge it and take it to SCOTUS. That’ll take some time, during which the debts will be paid by the coin and the global economy will continue to totter on.

“Your Honor, justice DEMANDS that we be allowed to fuck up the world’s economy!”

And what happens if SCOTUS says, “Uncle Joe, my dude, you just can’t mint a coin and spend it like that”? Fine, at that point Uncle Joe should just issue an executive order saying the notion of a debt ceiling violates the 14th Amendment. Let the Republicans legally challenge that and take it to SCOTUS. That’ll take more time, during which the debts will be paid and the global economy will continue to totter on.

And if SCOTUS says, “Sorry Uncle Joe, but dude you’ve interpreted the 14th Amendment incorrectly”? Fine, at that point Uncle Joe should just issue an executive order saying the debt ceiling violates the Contracts Clause of the US Constitution. Let the Republicans legally challenge that as well, and take it to SCOTUS. That’ll take still more time, during which the debts will be paid and the global economy will continue to totter on.

And if SCOTUS says, “Uncle Joe, c’mon, that’s not how the Contracts Clause works”? Fine, at that point Uncle Joe should just issue coupon free bonds. I don’t have a clue what a coupon free bond is, but I’ve heard the idea offered as a wonky solution to the debt ceiling. It might be complete bullshit. I don’t care. Whatever it is, let the GOP legally challenge it and take it to SCOTUS. That’ll once again take more time, during which the debts will be paid and the global economy will yada yada yada.

You get the point. If the GOP keeps fucking with the national debt, POTUSUJ should keep fucking with the GOP. He should keep making the Republican Party AND/OR the Republican Party’s SCOTUS responsible for trying to NOT pay the debt. Keep that stupid shit up until it’s time for the 2024 election. Campaign on the GOP (and the sociopath they choose as their nominee) trying desperately to ruin the US economy.

I’ll admit, that’s a shitty way to govern a nation. But the GOP has been enshittifying the US for decades. They’ve succeeded in making the US a fairly shitty nation. But shitty is as shitty does. It’s time we make the Republican Party eat its own sociopathy.

EDITORIAL NOTE: None of this is well thought out. It’s not really a plan. This is just me on a Saturday morning rant while I’m drinking coffee. You’d have to be an idiot to take me serious when I’m talking about economics.

please tell me this doesn’t say what i think it says

Two semi-related things. First, I have a new bike (about which I will almost certainly write, because that’s the sort of thing I do), but I’ve also been uncharacteristically busy, so unable to ride it as much I’d like. I’ve done a few short jaunts around the area, but that’s it.

Second, over the last couple of years, I’ve developed a habit of stopping when I see bike path graffiti. Sometimes the graffito is chalk art, sometimes it’s bits of philosophy, sometimes it’s a sort of editorial opinion. Regardless of what it is, the notion that somebody has deliberately made their way down a bike path and stopped to express themselves pleases me. I keep telling myself I should start photographing all those graffiti; it might make an interesting project.

So last Thursday, when I took a short ride, and saw some bike path graffiti, I did just that. Stopped, read it, photographed it, then went on my way. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the graffito itself since a) my mind was largely occupied by what I’d been working on before I went for a ride and b) a word in the graffito had been smudged out.

This greenspace is located between a commercial area and some townhomes.

It wasn’t until later, when I actually looked at the photo, that I tried to figure out what the smudged word was…and why it had been smudged out.

The [blank] never happened… but it should have!!!

Google Lens has an image-to-text application, so I tried that first. It suggested The halogen never happened, which didn’t make a lick of sense.

I tried to think of things that should have happened but didn’t. Because a lot of bike path graffiti deals with either matters of the heart (you know, stuff like Chad hearts Becky) or inspirational comments (like ‘Life is Good’), I initially focused on words that would make the phrase sweet or celebratory. The first smudged letter seems to be a ‘b’ or an ‘h’. Boyfriend…no. Backstory…no. Bahamas…maybe? The Bahamas never happened, but it should have. Possible.

Then I just tried to find words that would fit. Hangover…possibly, if the writer was into self-punishment. Harlequin…unlikely. Horseplay…don’t think so. Hologram…probably not. Holo…oh, fuck.

I’m hoping this isn’t as ugly and hateful as I think it might be.

Holocaust? The last smudged letters COULD be and ‘s’ and a ‘t’. And Iowa has increasingly become a Red-MAGA state. Our governor and legislature have been actively encouraging and passing more hateful, authoritarian policies. So this sort of irrational hate is very possible. It doesn’t matter that Jews make up less than 1% of Iowa’s population; antisemitism is never based on reality.

As much as I hate to say it…or even think it…holocaust seems to fit.

In the first photograph, you can see there’s another graffito just a few feet away. One word, maybe one short line. I didn’t even stop to look at it. Again, my mind was largely elsewhere when I stopped. But tomorrow, weather permitting, I’ll get back on the bike and ride this path again to see what it says. Maybe it’ll add some clarity.

I’m really hoping somebody can decipher that smudged word in a more positive way. But even if there IS a better interpretation, I’m disheartened by the fact that my worst-case rendering seems so very possible.

EDITORIAL NOTE: We must burn the patriarchy. Burn it to the ground, gather the ashes, piss on them, douse them in oil and set them on fire again. Burn the patriarchy, then drive a stake directly through the ashes where its heart used to be, and then set fire to the stake. Burn the fucker one more time. And keep burning it, over and over. Burn it for generations. Then nuke it from orbit. Then have tea.

Also? Include antisemitism.

ADDENDUM: I went back yesterday to look at the other graffito. It’s also been smudged, which leads me to assume it was equally ugly. I can’t make out the word, though it seems to start with ‘JE’. Here it is:

small-town life at its best

Keene, Texas. It’s a small town about 30 minutes south of Fort Worth. The population is around 6500, about half of whom identify as white and a third are Latino. Maybe the only surprising thing about Keene is that the town has a semi-pro soccer team. According to the local Chamber of Commerce, Keene “offers residents and visitors the charm and warm hospitality of small-town life at its best.”

That might actually be true. If you first accept the fact that in modern America, small town life includes occasional gun violence. Last Saturday, at Keene’s Sonic Drive-thru burger joint, a 12-year-old boy shot and killed a 33-year-old man with an AR-15 semi-auto rifle.

Sonic, 301 South Old Betsy Road, Keene, TX

Sonic is an old school drive-in restaurant chain, with over 3500 locations in the US. You want to eat a burger or hot dog without having to leave your car? Sonic is for you. You literally drive into a parking bay, order your meal over an intercom, and a carhop will fetch it for you. On roller skates. I am NOT making that up. Sonic is very determinedly 1950s.

There’s a problem with this sort of car-centric dining, though. Bathrooms. Sonic restaurants have bathrooms for their employees, but whether those bathrooms are also available to Sonic customers depends on the individual location. Some Sonic bathrooms are open to the public, some aren’t.

I don’t know the actual policy of the Sonic in Keene, Texas. However, when Angel Gomez of Fort Worth arrived with a full bladder, he chose to relieve himself in the back parking lot.

Yeah, that’s tacky. But if you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. There’s no reporting about whether or not he tried to use Sonic’s bathroom. Maybe he did and was told it was for employees only. Maybe there was an ‘Employees Only’ sign on the bathroom door. Maybe Gomez simply didn’t care and decided to take a leak outside because fuck you, this is America. We don’t know.

What we do know is this: Sonic employee Matt Davis went to Gomez and spoke to him about the propriety of publicly pissing in the parking lot. Apparently, this started an argument. Again, we don’t know the nature of the argument. Maybe Davis interrupted Gomez mid-micturition, which Gomez resented. Maybe Gomez expressed an opinion that Keene, Texas isn’t communist Russia and he had a Constitutional right to piss wherever he wanted. Maybe Davis was unfamiliar with Sonic’s bathroom regulations; he’d only moved to Keene and started working at that Sonic only a couple of weeks earlier. Maybe Davis was rude, maybe Gomez was rude, maybe both were rude. We don’t know.

All we know is that they argued. And that argument upset the 12-year-old boy who’d accompanied Gomez to the Sonic. So he decided to interfere in an effort to stop it.

There are lots of mature ways to interrupt and end an argument. You can suggest each party step back and take a deep breath. You can find areas of agreement between the two parties, and emphasize those. You can encourage both parties to communicate respectfully with each other, and avoid using personal attacks or derogatory language.

But that’s asking a lot of a 12-year-old kid. In this case, the boy took a more direct approach. He chose to interrupt the argument by shooting Davis. Multiple times. With an AR-15. Because this is Texas and in Texas people routinely drive around with unsecured, fully loaded semi-auto assault-style firearms.

Gomez and the boy fled the scene after the shooting, but eventually returned and surrendered themselves to police. Gomez has been charged with tampering with evidence (by fleeing the scene with the AR-15); that charge may be amended later. The boy is being held in a local juvenile facility. Who knows what the fuck will happen to him. Since this is Texas, they may decide to charge him as an adult.

First responders called for a Care Flight helo to tranport Davis to a nearby hospital. But the characteristic wound ballistics of an AR-15 aren’t always amenable to treatment. Davis died. He had a son two years younger than the boy who killed him.

A whole lot of lives were massively fucked up in Keene last Saturday. Some folks will blame it on a lack of civility or respect–if Gomez hadn’t decided to take a leak in public, this never would have happened. Some will blame it on the lack of public restrooms–if Sonic (or the town of Keene) had provided adequate bathroom facilities, this never would have happened.

And some will acknowledge the obvious and blame it on the simple fact that there was a loaded AR-15 lying about unsecured in a vehicle where a 12-year-old boy could grab it and shoot the shit out of somebody over an argument about pissing in public.

Somebody had to hose off the mess in the parking lot before the carhops could safely resume roller skating meals to Sonic customers. You don’t want to get blood and bits of bone in your polyurethane wheels. It gums them up.

It’s all part of the charm and warm hospitality of small-town life at its best.


I didn’t watch the Trump Show on CNN last night. The notion that any serious news channel would give Comrade Trump a national platform to speak was ridiculous and offensive. I understand CNN’s desire to draw viewers; viewers draw advertising and advertising pays the bills. I get it. But to sacrifice journalistic integrity in order to…wait. Who am I kidding? Journalistic integrity? CNN started sacrificing that when it saw Fox News making serious coin by openly prostituting itself.

So no, I didn’t watch CNN last night. That said, I will admit to being curious about it, especially when I learned Kaitlan Collins would be given the job. She always seemed like a solid reporter. I mean, nobody would be able to stop Trump from his firehose lying, but maybe Collins would find some journalistic equivalent of a whip and a chair, and keep Trump partially at bay. It seemed unlikely, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

Reader, I was wrong.

This morning I’ve watched a few clips of that horrorshow. And Jesus suffering fuck, it was like that scene in Aliens when the xenomorphs are shredding the Colonial Marines. Kaitlan Collins tried her best, but she was overrun. Not just by Trump’s lies, but by the audience as well.

Since it was a supposed ‘town hall’ affair, I assumed there’d be a live audience. It never occurred to me that CNN — or any actual news organization — could be so massively stupid as to gather an audience “[c]omprised of Republicans and otherwise undeclared voters planning to participate in the 2024 GOP primary.” In other words, they invited a Trump-friendly crowd.

Let me just say that again. CNN voluntarily and knowingly held a ‘town hall’ meeting in New Hampshire, the most conservative state in New England (I mean, their goddamn motto is “Live free or die”), hosting the only twice-impeached POTUS in history — a man who fomented an actual insurrection in an attempt to illegally remain in office — the day after he’d been found liable for sexual assault, and then invited an audience of his followers to attend.

That is deeply stupid. That is stupid all the way down at the cellular level. CNN basically asked Kaitlan Collins to interview a great white shark in a pool of sharks and then spooned in chum. They fucking ate her alive.

At one point, Trump turned to Collins and called her a “nasty person.” And the audience laughed. Laughed and applauded. All I could think about was Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified under oath about being sexually assaulted by Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. When asked why she was so confident about her memory of the assault, Ford said:

“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”

Emotional trauma is literally encoded on memory. The levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain sparked by the trauma sort of tattoo that experience onto the hippocampus — the part of the limbic system that consolidates information from short-term memory to long-term memory. Beyond the physical trauma of the assault, it was the casual, unthinking cruelty of the laughter that seared itself on Dr. Ford’s memory.

Cruel laughter. Trump called a respected television journalist a “nasty person” and his supporters cheered and laughed. It was exactly what they wanted. It’s what CNN gave them.

I was not surprised by Trump’s behavior last night; that’s who he is (and CNN had to know that). I’m shocked, but not surprised by the behavior of the audience; that’s who Trump supporters are (and CNN had to know that). But I am surprised and outraged that CNN, knowing who they were dealing with, deliberately brought those two explosive elements together and allowed them to detonate on a nation audience.

Fuck CNN in the neck.

the names don’t even seem real

Yeah, I don’t quite know why I subject myself to this. I like to think it serves a purpose, but that might just be wishful thinking. Regardless, every so often, after a mass murder event, I’ll stick my beak into FreeRepublic to see what the ‘patriots’ there have to say about it.

Their first priority, of course, is to assure themselves that the person who committed the mass murder is not/was not/never had been a MAGA conservative. Because MAGA conservatives are responsible gun owners who only use their weapons for 1) target practice, 2) maybe hunting, or 3) self defense against a) thugs, b) crazy people, and/or c) a tyrannical government bent on depriving them of their freedoms. Also? MAGA Freepers are keenly aware of the overwhelming difficulties facing White Hetero Christian Men these days. BUT they don’t have a single racist thought, because they understand they occupy their place in society because they’ve earned it.

Why would anybody think this guy was a white supremacist?

Once the innocence of MAGA conservatives has been established to their satisfaction, Freepers always, without fail, tend toward two broad general theories about just what the fuck happened. Either the shooting was a result of drugs/mental illness OR it was a federal false flag operation. These false flag ops are designed to destroy the republic, usually by creating a situation that would allow the government to implement a firearm seizure plan.

Here are some examples from one thread, which indicated the shooter MAY have expressed an extreme white supremacist ideology (which, by the way, suggests there’s a white supremacists ideology that ISN’T extreme) on a Russian social media site:

I wonder which F_I dweeb was role-playing online as this nut? I don’t believe a word of this.
by Major Matt Mason

I looked.. the names don’t even seem real.
by momincombatboots

Now, Russia? This is sounding all too neat, all too programmed. He has touched EVERY ONE of the left’s talking points. Call me paranoid, but I wonder if the Deep State is somehow controlling these people. Experts say that mind control is now a possibility. Stopping short of that, who knows who was influencing his views online? The FBI has a history of manipulating unstable people into crime.
by Steve_Seattle

Who was his FBI handler?
by Jim Noble

Heh, that’s hilarious
Too bad it is so close to the lies and spin from the government / Media.
by LegendHasIt

This story is an FBI fabrication and spread widely by the MSM. These are the same people who said that Trump colluded with the Russians, the events of January 6th were on a scale with Pearl Harbor, COVID was the new Black Plague and required crippling business, the George Floyd riots were “mostly peaceful”. Meanwhile, not a word from the FBI about the rantings of the shooter who.killed six people at a Christian school in Nashville.
by Wallace T.

Rumor was going around that the Buffalo shooter and the Uvalde shooter were, both, talking to “Armand”, a “retired” member of a three letter agency.
by Eagles6

It has been reported that a particular FBI agent had been in contact with several these kill-crazy mental cases each in the month before the shooting. For someone who is already depressed and paranoid subtle and not so subtle suggestion can channel the insanity into desired directions.
PM by arthurus

The Buffalo shooter used very unusual language to describe what he was doing. It seemed like he was replaying a plan given to him from someone else.
by freeandfreezing

It is my FIRM BELIEF the the FBI is on line chatting up these unstable people in some damn chat rooms PUSHING THEM into these dastardly deeds so OUR firearms are removed from us!! They have NO WAY to control the masses as long as we are armed!! SOME unstable people seem to become MORE paranoid with psychotropic medications!!! If someone online is chatting them up consistently the paranoia could become much worse!!!
by Trump Girl Kit Cat

Why that ‘deep state’ plan to seize all the guns has never been implemented is a mystery. I mean, consider how many mass murders have been committed since the Columbine High School murders in 1999. We’re talking about almost a quarter of a century of high quality false flag operations. Yet when it comes to actually seizing the guns, the ‘deep state’ refuses to pull the trigger. So to speak.

It’s easy to write these people off as harmless cranks…because, for the most part, they really are harmless cranks. As individuals, they’re harmless. But as a collective, they propagate a culture that undermines the notion of verifiable fact. I’m going to quote Maria Ressa here:

“If you don’t have facts, you can’t have truth. If you don’t have truth, you can’t have trust. Without these three, we have no shared reality. We can’t solve any problems. We have no democracy.”

It’s wise, I believe, to question authority–to be cautious when it comes to accepting the claims made by the people in power, regardless of their political persuasion. It’s wise to ask for–and even demand–evidence. But it’s also important to accept verifiable evidence, even when it contradicts your beliefs or preferences. It’s their insistence that belief is as valid as evidence that prevents Freepers from being simple harmless cranks.

confirmed, not convicted

It’s been nearly 24 hours since eight people (at last count) were murdered while shopping at an outlet mall in Texas. We’re still in that interstitial political period between ‘giving the families of the victims some privacy so they can grieve’ and ‘it’s time to move on and deal with other issues.’ Mass murder has a weird shelf life.

So here’s another issue: today a Manhattan jury will hear the closing arguments in the civil lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll against former president Comrade Donald J. Trump. She’s testified under oath that he raped her in the mid-1990s; he’s posted on social media that she’s lying. Her attorney has brought in supporting witnesses, whose testimony has substantiated Carroll’s claim; his attorney hasn’t offered any affirmative defense.

Remember, this is a civil matter rather than a criminal case. That means the standard of proof is lower. In a criminal case, a jury has to be convinced ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ In a civil case, the jury only has to believe ‘the preponderance of evidence’ favors one side or the other.

Given that the standard of proof is the preponderance of evidence, and that Comrade Trump’s lawyer hasn’t offered any evidence in defense (other than “What? Trump rape? Her? C’mon.”), the verdict seems pretty predictable. Except that juries are, by nature, unpredictable beasts.

If the jury does what any common sense jury would do, Comrade Trump becomes a confirmed rapist. Not a convicted rapist, but a confirmed one. And remember, twenty-six different women have accused Trump of some form of sexual assault. Twenty-six!

Will the Republican Party choose a confirmed rapist to be their nominee for President of the United States? Will they support a man who will very likely be facing even more damning criminal charges? Yep. Almost certainly. That’s the state of the modern GOP.

The next few days will be interesting. We may get a quick verdict’ possibly even today. Almost certainly by tomorrow (this is assuming there are no disruptions in the closing arguments–and that’s NOT a safe assumption).

Regardless of the verdict, Trump is scheduled to hold a ‘town hall’ meeting on CNN on Wednesday night. Will he be there if he’s found liable in the Carroll suit? If he shows up, will CNN ask him about the trial? Will they mention the other 25 women who’ve accused him of sexual assault? Will Comrade Trump, for maybe the first time in his adult life, actually be held accountable for JUST ONE of the countless awful things he’s done?

I don’t know. This is a weird time in history. We can’t rely on anything being ‘normal’ anymore. But…lawdy, we’re close and getting closer.

ADDENDUM: For some reason, the images of Ms. Carroll I see in the news lately make me think of Eowyn in Lord of the Rings.

A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”
“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”
Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am.”

Which also reminds me:

EDITORIAL NOTE: Burn the patriarchal system to the ground. Burn it, pound the ashes into dust, scatter the dust, and salt the fucking earth. Then nuke the site from orbit; you know why.

UPDATE 5/9: Jury has found Trump liable for Sexual Abuse, Forcible Touching, Injury of E. Jean Carroll, Willful and Wanton Negligence, Defamation. False Statements. Malicious Intent, Injury for Defamation, and Acting Maliciously. NOT liable for rape. US$5 million in damages.

well, fuck, I guess it’s time for another mass murder post.

I just checked; I’ve written 36 mass murder posts over the last 12 years. Thirty-six. And just to be clear, I’m talking about mass murders — not mass shooting events. Mass shootings are basically unsuccessful mass murders. They’re attempted mass murders, and they’re a lot more common. Also, remember that technically mass murder excludes so-called ‘domestic’ mass killings. You know, like all those cases in which a guy decides to kill his spouse and their kids, and maybe his spouse’s parents. Those aren’t included in the official ‘mass murder’ definition. Also too…gang-related mass killings. They don’t count either.

So I’ve averaged three mass murder posts per year. I’m running out of stuff to say. So I’m just going to cannibalize some of my old blog posts. Here’s part of what I wrote after the 2019 Dayton, Ohio mass murder, which took place about 13 hours after the El Paso, Texas Walmart mass murder.

Who would this guy [Connor Betts] in Dayton be without his AR15? Who would Patrick Crusius be without access to an AK-47? He’d be just another angry young white guy with a dodgy understanding of history and the influence of social forces. Just another inadequate person man who wanted so very desperately to believe he had an important part to play in some imaginary racist redemptive narrative.

Who would Stephen Paddock be? Who would Devin Kelley or James Holmes be? Adam Lanza, Nikolas Cruz, Omar Mateen, Robert Bowers — who would these guys be without easy access to guns and high capacity magazines? Without the guns, they’d be…insignificant. These guys think the guns might make them matter.

Sadly, they’re right. It’s the guns

Guns and high cap magazines, there it is. Connor Betts, the Dayton mass murderer, was killed by a police officer approximately 32 seconds after he started shooting. That’s right, thirty-two SECONDS. Now that’s a seriously rapid police response. But Betts fired 41 rounds in those 32 seconds. In that brief wink of time, he killed ten people and wounded 17 others. In contrast, it took six minutes for police to respond to the El Paso Walmart mass murder. Patrick Crusius, the shooter, had time to kill 23 people, wound another 23, get back in his car and drive away.

I also wrote this:

You want to tell me guns don’t kill people — people kill people? Fuck you. Jumping off buildings doesn’t kill people — deceleration trauma kills people. You want to tell me the majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens and shouldn’t be punished because some asshole misuses a firearm? Fuck you in the neck, life doesn’t work that way. I’m not going to cook meth, but I still can’t buy Sudafed without a huge amount of fuss because some asshole misuses it. You want to tell me you can also kill people with a knife or a baseball bat? Fuck you, you half-witted ballbag. That’s so damned stupid it doesn’t deserve a response. You want to tell me the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun? Fuck you, fuck your whole family, fuck everybody you know. Texas is jammed with ‘good guys with a gun.’ But Crusius was still able to waltz through the aisles of Walmart shooting folks IN TEXAS, walk out unmolested, get in his car, and start to drive away before police officers stopped him.

Texas is a goddamn Petri dish for gun culture. It’s a shallow transparent dish used to hold growth medium in which firearm lunacy can be cultivated. After the 2018 Santa Fe, Texas high school mass murder (ten dead, thirteen wounded), Governor Greg Abbott created the Texas Safety Commission to look into ways to prevent that sort of mass murder tragedy from happening again. Here’s what Abbott said on releasing the findings of TSC report:

In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Santa Fe, we had discussions just like what we are having today. Those discussions weren’t just for show and for people to go off into the sunset and do nothing. They led to more than 20 laws being signed by me to make sure that the state of Texas was a better, safer place, including our schools for our children.

That report was issued two days BEFORE the El Paso Walmart mass murder. And those “20 laws” intended to “make sure that the State of Texas was a better, safer place”? They generally loosened existing restrictions about where Texans could carry guns based on the astonishingly stupid theory that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with gun.

This asshole is part of the problem.

If that was true, Texas would be the safest state in the nation. But it’s clearly not true; when Abbott became governor, Texas had around 3000 gun-related deaths per year. Now the state is experiencing around 4600 gun-related deaths. And we’re approaching the one year anniversary of the Uvalde school shooting (21 dead, 17 wounded).

But I have to admit, I was wrong, sort of. For years I’ve been saying it’s the guns. The guns and high capacity magazines. And that’s absolutely true, as far as it goes. But it doesn’t go far enough. I’ve omitted one variable in the calculus of mass murder.

It’s the guns, it’s the high cap magazines, and it’s Republicans. Without that last variable, we could fix the first two.