folks buying groceries refreshing the tree of liberty

As Thomas Jefferson famously wrote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Oh, and kids in school. And folks shopping for groceries, if they’re not white.” Yesterday, while I was enjoying a pleasant…what?

Okay, some of you are saying, “Greg, old sock, I don’t think you’ve accurately quoted our boy TJ.” Maybe you’re right; this may not be an exact quote, but it’s close enough to the way it’s interpreted by a lot of people who identify as right-wing lunatic gun nuts. Okay, okay, maybe they don’t actually identify themselves that way, but stop calling me old sock.

I mean, sure, TJ was talking about Daniel Shays, a farmhand in western Massachusetts who was having trouble paying his taxes, partly because he was also having trouble collecting the pay he was supposed to have received as a grunt in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. There’s still a lot of debate about what TJ meant by that tree of liberty bullshit, but the right-wing lunatic gun nuts take it as an article of faith that TJ was suggesting folks need to periodically have a good old fashioned bloody war of rebellion against the legitimate government. This is exactly WHY the term lunatic is included in the name of ‘right-wing lunatic gun nuts’.

But even right-wing lunatic gun nuts have trouble explaining how mass murder events at schools, mall, movie theaters, and grocery stores fit into that ‘blood of patriots and tyrants’ business. Especially when…oh yeah, and churches, I forgot to include churches. And temples and mosques. Anyway, right-wing lunatic gun nuts have trouble explaining how that blood of patriots stuff fits with those mass murders committed by white men specifically against victims who aren’t white. Or men. Or people who don’t quite fit into the right-wing lunatic gun nut definition of ‘men’.

So the right-wing lunatic gun nuts have developed a pair of sure-fire (get it? Sure-fire? See what I did there? I’m a hoot) responses to those events. First, they…well, wait. I say ‘first’ as if this is the preferred response, which would be inaccurate on account of these two responses are pretty much equally relied on. So when I say ‘first’ I’m just admitting that I can’t share two responses at the same time. These responses are numerical, not sequential. Or the other way around, maybe? Doesn’t matter.

First, they blame the mass murder on emotional health. As in “This kid who shot up the supermarket in Buffalo must be CRAZY because, yeah sure, he says he was motivated by hate and he says white folks are being replaced by non-white folks who breed faster and yeah sure, that’s exactly what Tucker Carlson says on FoxNEWS every night, but c’mon, you’d have to be CRAZY to believe that, so there, it’s a mental health issue.”

Second, they claim the mass murder is a false flag event perpetrated by Democrats or Jews or some other Satanist-pedophile group in order to TAKE OUR GUNS, or at least distract us from Hunter Biden’s laptop. They seem to think this is a perfectly reasonable thing to believe.

Sometimes they combine the two responses, suggesting Democrats and Jews and other Satanist-pedophile groups convince mentally ill white folks to commit mass murders to distract the population from some vague but really awful thing that Democrats, Jews, and other Satanist-pedophile groups really enjoy.

But as I was saying (you may have to refer back to the beginning of this blog), yesterday, while I was enjoying a pleasant 30-mile bike ride from one bike pub to another bike pub, some white kid went to a supermarket in a predominantly black community and killed a whole bunch of folks who were just buying groceries.

Mentally ill (probably) white kid led astray (probably) by Democrats, Jews, of some other Satanist-pedophile group (probably), but clearly guns aren’t the problem.

Right now on television (I don’t actually know this, but I know this) some conservative is on a national news Sunday program explaining that the mass murder in Buffalo would never have happened if we had better mental health programs, which we can’t afford to make free because that would raise taxes, but maybe for-profit insurance companies could include mental health anti-mass murder options for people who can afford it, but guns don’t kill people, mentally ill people kill people and if they didn’t have guns, they’d do it with axes, do you really want to ban axes, and besides guns are good because an armed patriot inside the store could have returned fire and prevented more needless death, and sure there was a security guard who did return fire and hit the killer, but the shooter was wearing tactical body armor which is protected by the Second Amendment, however a highly trained patriot could have shot him in the head–or at least the part of his head that wasn’t covered by his tactical helmet–and that would have ended the tragic situation, but there’s nothing in the Second Amendment that says private citizens should have to undergo training to carry a weapon, and did I mention the kid was mentally ill, because that’s the problem. Unless if was a false flag event.

So it turns out TJ, whatever he actually meant, was right about the blood and the tree of liberty. We are refreshing the fuck out of that tree.

failed russian flatworm strategy

Even flatworms have demonstrated the ability to learn from experience. Flatworms, like mammals, have a centralized brain; they can be trained to remember a behavior and perform it on cue. They can also be trained to avoid behaviors.

The same apparently isn’t true of Russian Army field commanders.

Your basic flatworm–not clever, but capable of learning from experience.

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the staggering incompetence of their field commanders, who repeatedly fail to take even the most basic precautions to protect their troops. I mean, anybody who has spent any amount of time in military harness just assumes their commanders are fucking idiots who are casually trying to get them killed. The difference is that in the Russian Army, that appears to be true.

Behavioral psychologists back in the 1950s trained flatworms to avoid electric shocks. The Russian Army has failed to learn that lesson. In the weeks since they invaded Ukraine, the Russians have repeatedly left troops and vehicles in vulnerable, stationary positions. And the Ukrainian military has repeatedly shelled the shit out of them.

Last week, the Russians decided to take the town of Lysychansk, which meant they had to cross the Siverskyi Donets River. Crossing a river in a combat zone is a big deal. It’s a complex tactical situation for a couple of reasons. First and most obvious, the troops and vehicles crossing the river are terribly exposed. There’s no cover or concealment on a bridge. Second, you have a LOT of vehicles and troops concentrated in the same place, waiting to take their turn crossing the bridge. So they’re exposed, vulnerable and stationary. An army has to prepare to cross a river.

The Ukrainians knew the Russian Army needed to cross the Siverskyi Donets River. They sent a guy named Max–an engineer and an EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) officer–to scope out the situation. He took a recon unit along the river, found the best place to ford it, and left some recon troops in place to keep watch. They prepared to defend the river.

And hey, the Russians showed up as expected. The Ukrainians let them build a pontoon bridge. They let a few troops and combat vehicles to cross over. Then they shelled the shit out of the bridge and the troops and vehicles waiting to cross over. When the artillery subsided, the Ukrainian Air Force showed up and did some close quarters bombing. The Ukrainian recon units hunted down and killed the troops that had already crossed the river and had no way back.

A flatworm wouldn’t have made this mistake.

We don’t have any solid numbers, but it appears the Russians lost over 50 armored combat vehicles and anywhere from 1500 to 2000 troops–and that includes specialized combat engineering troops, which are really hard to replace. That’s effectively a couple of battalion tactical groups eliminated. It’s a staggering loss for the Russian Army at a time when they’re already getting their ass kicked.

This was clever work by the Ukrainians, but it was made possible by the incompetence of the Russians. They failed to do any reliable reconnaissance before the operation. They failed to have reliable real-time drone recon information. They failed to establish and provide any artillery protection for their troops. They failed to provide close air support. They failed in every possible way.

A flatworm can learn from experience.

As a supporter of Ukrainian independence, I’m glad to see Russia get bloodied. But as a military veteran, I hate seeing any troops get killed because of the rigid stupidity of their leaders. The Russian Army has demonstrated it can’t win a traditional, linear ground war, not even against a smaller nation.

The Russian Army is dumber than a flatworm.

UPDATE: It appears the Russian Army attempted to cross the Siverskyi Donets River three times. They failed in their first attempt as reported, so they made a second attempt AT THE SAME LOCATION. I’m not making that up. And hey bingo, they got the same result. Lots of destroyed vehicles, lots of dead troops. So, being the Russian Army, they decided to try cross the river a third time AT THE SAME LOCATION AGAIN. With the same result.

EDITORIAL FLATWORM NOTE: Okay, this has nothing to do with Russia or Ukraine, but there’s an exceedingly cool thing about flatworms and memory. Like a lot of other types of worms, flatworms can regenerate themselves. If you whack off a flatworm’s tail (and really, you shouldn’t, because what’s a flatworm ever done to you?), in a couple of weeks it’ll grow into an entirely new flatworm, complete with a shiny new centralized brain.

But that’s not the cool thing. The cool thing is that if the original flatworm had been taught to run (well, not run–it’s a flatworm, after all) a maze, the newly regenerated flatworm would remember how to run the maze too. Which suggests memory isn’t limited to the centralized brain. Memory MAY be somehow stored in other cells. How cool is that?

in the neck (again)

I just want to say this right at the start: fuck you, Sam Alito. Fuck you in the neck.

I was going to write a few paragraphs describing the role of SCOTUS draft opinions, because that’s important. I was also going to natter on about how Comrade Trump and the GOP have gutted the integrity of the Supreme Court. And I thought about saying something about unenumerated rights in the Constitution. All that stuff is important and deserves to be discussed. But mostly I just want to say why Justice Sam Alito should go fuck himself.

First off, he writes this: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” Obviously, I disagree. But that’s not why Alito should go fuck himself. I mean, I disagree with lots of folks about lots of things. Believing Roe was wrongly decided is a valid opinion even though I happen to think it’s stupid.

Fuck this guy

No, Alito should go fuck himself, in part, because in his draft opinion he goes on (oh, it occurs to me that I should include a link to the actual draft opinion in case you want to read it, so here it is) to make this argument:

It’s time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives. “The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations, upon it, are to be resolved like most important decisions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.” That is what the Constitution and the rule of law demand.

This is a bullshit argument for a metric fuck-ton of reasons. First and foremost, it’s galling for SCOTUS to claim the answer is voting AFTER they’ve helped states gut voting rights. Fuck you, Sam Alito, in the neck. If SCOTUS says 1) states can gerrymander voting districts (which are also Congressional districts), and 2) states can impose arbitrary partisan restrictions on voting places and voting times, and 3) states can impose partisan methods of voting identification (like accepting a concealed weapon permit, but rejecting a student ID), and 4) states can impose arbitrary restrictions on absentee voting or voting by mail, then SCOTUS is an irresponsible asshole for claiming the answer to any important civil question is voting.

You CANNOT eviscerate voting rights and then claim voting is how important decisions should be made. Fuck SCOTUS and Sam Alito in the goddamn neck.

But wait, there’s more. Alito also argues that any ‘unenumerated right’ “must be strongly rooted in U.S. history and tradition.” Unenumerated rights are those NOT specifically mentioned in the Constitution. The right to privacy is an unenumerated right. There’s nothing in the Constitution that explicitly says we have a right to privacy. But a LOT of SCOTUS cases have depended on that right. For example:

  • Skinner v Oklahoma, which said a law allowing convicted criminals to be sterilized was unconstitutional.
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, which said a law banning contraceptives was unconstitutional. The case made it legal to use birth control.
  • Loving v. Virginia, which said a law banning inter-racial marriage was unconstitutional. The case made it legal to marry somebody of a different race.
  • Lawrence v. Texas, which said a law against two persons of the same sex engaging in certain intimate sexual conduct was unconstitutional. The case essentially made it legal for gay folks to have sex.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges, which said a law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The case made marriage equality legal.

That’s five cases I can think of without any real research. None of the issues in these cases are mentioned in the Constitution; they all depend on the unenumerated concept of a constitutionally protected right to privacy. If, as Alito argues, these rights “must be strongly rooted in U.S. history and tradition” in order to be constitutional, then all of these cases can be overturned. I mean, there WAS NO history or tradition of allowing inter-racial marriage when Loving was decided. Hell, for that matter, there WAS a history and tradition of banning inter-racial marriage.

If/when Roe is overturned, then look for marriage equality to be threatened. Look for the right to contraception to be threatened.

That’s why Sam Alito should go fuck himself. So should Clarence Thomas, and Brett ‘I Like Beer’ Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett. And so should every motherfucker in the Senate who voted to approve them for the Court. And so should everybody who voted for every motherfucker in the Senate who voted to approve them.

There are a whole lot of people who should go fuck themselves in the neck.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Burn the patriarchy. Burn it to the ground, Burn it to the ground, collect the ashes, and grind them into powder. Bury the powder deep in the earth, and salt the ground above it so nothing will ever grow there. Pour cement over the salt. Then nuke the entire site from orbit (it’s the only way to be sure).

human decency 101

Fischer Wells just wants to play field hockey. The State of Kentucky says she can’t. I’m not making this up. Kentucky passed a law to make sure this twelve-year-old girl won’t be able to play field hockey at her middle school. Think about how fucked up that is.

You know what? It’s more fucked up that you think. Consider the process of passing a law in Kentucky (or any other state, for that matter). It’s a time-intensive process. You have to cobble together the language of the bill you want to become law, including defining all the elements. Then you have to present the bill to…wait. Here, look at this:

This is the amount of effort the State of Kentucky went to in order to keep 12-year-old Fischer Wells from playing field hockey at school. Note Step 11: “If bill is vetoed, it goes back to each chamber. If approved by a constitutional majority in each chamber, the veto is overridden and the bill becomes law.” That actually happened with this particular bill.

Andy Beshear, a Democrat and the Governor of Kentucky, vetoed the bill because it “most likely violates the equal protection rights afforded by the United States Constitution.” The Republicans, who control both legislative chambers, voted to override the veto.

Why would Republicans go to so much fuss and bother to pass this law? Because Fischer Wells is a trans girl. She’s the ONLY known trans girl playing in middle or high school sports in Kentucky. She’s in the 8th grade. She’s not much of a threat.

12-year-old Fischer Wells

A number of states have passed similar laws designed to prevent trans students from participating in middle school, high school, or college sports. They claim they’re doing it in the interest of ‘fairness’. Their reason can be summed up in this comment by Robby Mills, the Kentucky law’s GOP sponsor:

“Boys have athletic advantages even before puberty in cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, speed, agility and power tests. A lot of time and effort is put into achieving a certain level of mastery in a sport and it would be crushing for a lady to train her whole career to have it end up competing against a biological male in the state tournament or state finals.”

Sure, that would be tough on a ‘lady’. But Mills and his fellow (should I call them bigots? I mean, the law is bigoted, to be sure. And it’s supported by anti-trans bigots. But it’s possible, I suppose, for a legislator to support the bill NOT because they’re a bigot, but because they want the votes cast by a bigoted public. But fuck that, if you vote for a bigoted law, you’re a bigot) bigots seem to be under the insane impression that there are guys out there in the sports world who consider themselves male BUT are so insecure in their ‘mastery in a sport’ that they’re willing to temporarily identify as female simply in order to win a high school sports championship.

And that’s fucking ridiculous. You have to be astonishingly stupid to believe that.

At the college level, where sports participation starts to really pay off, they’ve already taken steps to insure fairness. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has a complete policy outlining transgender student-athlete participation. In theory, it applies to both trans men and trans women; in practice it’s directed primarily at trans women. It says trans women have to be taking hormonal treatment for gender transition for a certain period of time in order to participate in women’s sports. Trans men, on the other hand, don’t have to be taking testosterone in order to participate in men’s sports.

I’m not entirely convinced the NCAA actually needs to do this, but at least it’s an honest and sensible approach to ‘fairness’ regarding trans folks in college sports.

But the ‘fairness’ issue is really just a mask for all trans-related fear and hatred. Banning trans athletes isn’t just unfair to openly trans athletes, it actively discourages trans kids from even considering participating in sports. It actively discourages trans kids from letting their family and friends know they’re trans. It actively encourages trans kids to hate themselves. It actively increases the likelihood of trans kids self-harming or killing themselves. It actively encourages transphobic people to bully trans kids or find other ways to harass trans people. It normalizes trans fear and hatred.

On the surface, this seems to be a partisan political issue. Republicans pass anti-trans laws, Democrats try to protect trans rights. But some (how much, I don’t know–maybe a lot, maybe a little) of GOP anti-trans legislation is an aspect of their performative politics. It gets their base motivated, so they don’t give any thought to the repercussions. And yet at least one GOP governor demonstrated some basic human decency.

Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah vetoed an anti-trans sports bill passed by his own party–a bill that, like the Kentucky bill, only affected a few kids. Cox wrote this in his response:

“Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports. That’s what all of this is about. Four kids who aren’t dominating or winning trophies or taking scholarships. Four kids who are just trying to find some friends and feel like they are a part of something. Four kids trying to get through each day. Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few. I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live.”

I want them to live. There it is. I don’t understand what they’re going through or why they feel the way they do. BUT I WANT THEM TO LIVE. You don’t have to understand (though it would be nice if you tried). You don’t have to agree with their choices. Just refrain from cruelty. Just let other folks live and be comfortable in their bodies.

There have been thousands–tens of thousands–of Fischer Wells, who’ve grown up afraid. There are lots of adult Fischer Wells out there, trans women who worry about going out in public, who wonder if they look fem enough to avoid harassment, to avoid assault, to avoid being targeted and killed.

If you vilify a 12-year-old trans girl who only wants to play field hockey, you create the social conditions that can keep her scared and uncertain and anxiety-ridden and alienated her entire life.

Just let Fischer Wells play. Let every Fischer Wells play. Just stop being assholes. Just make some attempt at some basic human decency. That’s really what this is about. Letting other people get on with their own lives. Letting people be themselves. It’s really not that hard.

loathsome, feculent

The good news? Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States. Light the fireworks, cue the herald angels singing, hand out tissues for the tears of joy.

Then remember that loathsome, feculent pillocks like Judge Trevor N. McFadden are also sitting on Federal courts. Before he became a judge, McFadden specialized in defending white collar criminals–including people accused of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (which prohibits people and businesses from bribing foreign officials) and money laundering. There’s nothing wrong with that; every person accused of a crime deserves to be represented by a good attorney. The problem, of course, is that people and entities who can afford to bribe foreign officials and need to launder money can also afford really good attorneys while people caught shoplifting Oreo cookies generally can’t.

Judge Trevor N. McFadden

But that’s not what makes Judge McFadden a loathsome, feculent pillock. Neither is the fact that he was appointed to the court by Comrade Trump (also a loathsome, feculent pillock). No, what makes him a loathsome, feculent pillock is that as soon as he put his pale ass on the bench, he began doing exactly what Trump expected him to do: protect Trump.

For example, back in 2019 Trump, pissed off because Congress wasn’t giving him the money he wanted to build his stupid wall on the border of Mexico, decided to divert US$6 billion from military construction and from counter-drug operations and piss it away on his stupid wall. Congress sued to stop him. McFadden, being loathsome and feculent, dismissed the suit, saying Congress lacked standing to sue POTUS (although a couple of years earlier, when the GOP controlled Congress and Obama was POTUS, the court agreed Congress DID have standing to sue POTUS…go figure).

Another example: when the House Ways and Means Committee tried to get Trump’s tax returns as part of his first impeachment, McFadden (loathsome and feculent) slow-walked the matter, making it impossible to get the tax information in time to press the impeachment.

But wait, there’s more. When Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian “internet entrepreneur” sued BuzzFeed News for libel after they published his name in connection with the investigation into Comrade Trump’s Russian connections, feculent and loathsome Judge McFadden was assigned to rule on a subpoena seeking information. The defendant asked McFadden to recuse himself, since 1) he was appointed by Trump, 2) he’d donated money to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and 3) he’d been a volunteer on Trump’s presidential transition team. McFadden refused to recuse himself, saying there was no reason “to question my impartiality.”

But wait again, there’s still more. Despite expressing his belief that the January 6th Insurrectionists were being treated more harshly than the rioters in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, the loathsome and feculent McFadden has been assigned to some of the cases resulting from the insurrection. Yesterday, McFadden became the only judge to issue an outright acquittal of one of the Insurrectionists. Matthew Martin argued that he believed the Capitol police had allowed him into the Capitol, so didn’t realize he was trespassing. Prosecutors argued that the broken windows and blaring alarms should have given Martin a hint. McFadden said, “I do think the defendant reasonably believed the officers allowed him into the Capitol.”

But wait one more time, because Jesus suffering fuck, there’s still more. One of the Insurrectionists, Jenny Cudd, who was indicted on five federal counts, including one felony, had requested she be allowed to leave the jurisdiction in order to attend a company retreat at a resort in Mexico. McFadden allowed her to go. Cudd eventually entered a plea agreement–she would plead guilty to one misdemeanor (entering and remaining in a restricted building) and the other charges (including the felony count, which was punishable by up to 20 years in prison) would be dropped. The misdemeanor is punishable by a year in jail and a US$5000 fine. Although Cudd has said she was proud of her part in the insurrection, McFadden loathsomely and feculently sentenced her to two months probation.

But lawdy, wait one more fucking time because yeah, there’s more. One condition of Cudd’s probation forbade her to own or possess any “firearm, ammunition, destructive device, or dangerous weapon.” That’s a common probation condition. Today, Judge McFadden (feculent, loathsome) restored Jenny Cudd’s right to possess firearms.

So yes, we should absolutely celebrate soon-to-be Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. And we should keep celebrating her, because she deserves it and we deserve a celebration too. But let’s not get too starry-eyed; let’s not forget that Comrade Trump (with the help of a loathsome, feculent Republican Congress) installed a metric shit-ton of Judge McFaddens throughout the Federal Court system. And they’ll continue to stink up the judiciary for years.

lawdy, these degenerate fuckers again

Okay, first let me say this: even Nazis have free speech rights. I absolutely defend their right to wear swastikas on their clothes and to wave swastika flags; I defend their right to gather and say ugly, despicable, hateful things. And to do all that in public.

Saturday, a couple dozen Nazis did just that in Orlando, Florida. Gathered, wore swastikas, waved flags, shouted ugly, despicable, hateful things.

A bunch of fucking Nazis

Yay First Amendment and all, but Jeebus on toast this is disgusting. If it seems this sort of appalling bullshit is becoming more common, it’s because this sort of appalling bullshit IS becoming more common. The Overton Window has shifted so far to the right that…what?

You’re wondering, “Greg, old sock, what is this Overton Window of which you speak?” Again, stop calling me old sock. And it’s a concept created by a policy analyst named Joseph P. Overton. It refers to the ‘range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time.’ For example, there was time–and not that long ago–when it would have been unacceptable for a politician to publicly support violent insurrectionists attempting to overturn the result of a fair election. That would have been outside the Overton Window, outside the range of acceptable and tolerable positions for a politician to take. Now it’s horrifying common. The window has shifted.

Another fucking Nazi

It’s still outside the Overton Window for politicians to support Nazis. But now they can at least cast doubt on whether people wearing swastikas and waving Nazi flags and shouting “Jews rape children and drink their blood” are actual Nazis. A spokesperson for Florida governor Ron DeSantis actually did that. She tweeted (and later deleted) “Do we even know they’re Nazis? Or is this a stunt…?”

No, it’s not a stunt. It’s not like these folks just happen to have Nazi flags and swastika arm bands lying around the house and thought, ‘You know what would be funny? If we put on these armbands and the black uniforms that can be found in most Florida households and stood the street yelling that Jews rape kids…wouldn’t that be a hoot?‘ To even suggest it’s just a stunt expands the Overton Window by implying this sort of monstrous and reprehensible behavior is merely distasteful hijinks.

A few more fucking Nazis

If you call yourself a Nazi, then you’re a fucking Nazi. If you act like a Nazi and talk like a Nazi and dress like a Nazi, then you’re a fucking Nazi. You don’t need to carry an official Nazi Party ID card. Don’t get distracted by some distinction between neo-Nazis and regular off-the-shelf Nazis; they all just fucking Nazis. This is pretty simple.

The question we have to answer is this: what’s the proper response to Nazis? Ignoring them doesn’t do any good; they’ll just get louder and more crude. What about punching them? I’ve written about this before; if you’re willing to accept the consequences of punching a Nazi, then punch away. I can’t–and won’t–actively advocate punching Nazis, but punching Nazis has real merit.

Still more fucking Nazis

Probably the best thing to do about Nazis is to close the Overton Window on them. Right now, I’m 100% confident folks on the internet are looking at the photos of these Nazis, studying their faces, learning their identities, and contacting their employers. Very few employers–even those in Florida–are going to want to be associated with Nazis. Make it less acceptable to be a Nazi.

And always remember this: Nazis are like cockroaches. If you see one, you know there are more of the creepy little fuckers hiding in the cracks. They have the right to exist. But we don’t have to make it easy for them.

twins

Well, isn’t this a surprise. Kyle Rittenhouse and Travis McMichael are offering twin self-defense arguments. Sure, the circumstances of each killing are different. Rittenhouse had to travel for an hour or so to bring a firearm to a volatile situation on the off-chance that he might ‘need’ it, whereas McMichael only had to travel a few blocks to bring a firearm to a volatile situation on the off-chance that he might ‘need’ it. But each of these guys deliberately armed themselves then inserted themselves into a situation where they might ‘need’ to shoot somebody.

And hey bingo, Guess what? Turns out they both somehow (seriously, who could have guessed something like this might happen?) found themselves in situations where they believed they ‘needed’ to shoot somebody. What a coincidence.

He’s very sorry and cries very sorry tears.

I mean, all they did was 1) arm themselves with a deadly weapon 2) to protect property they 3) didn’t own and 4) which nobody asked them to protect against 5) an unarmed person who 6) may have been on or near that property. Then when they 7) confronted that unarmed person and, 8) brandished their deadly weapon, and that unarmed person 9) was uncomfortable having a deadly weapon brandished, and 10) decided to try to disarm them, they 11) were forced to shoot that unarmed person in order 12) not to become an unarmed person facing an armed person.

It’s logic! An armed person is a threat to an unarmed person, so it was clearly necessary for Rittenhouse and McMichael to shoot an unarmed person before they become armed. You know…in self defense. They’re both very sorry they had to kill unarmed people. They both cried about it. They’ve suffered so much.

He’s also very sorry and cries very sorry tears.

What? You think none of this would have happened if both Kyle Rittenhouse and Travis McMichael had just stayed home and watched Lethal Weapon on television? But then who would have protected that property? What? You say none of the victims dead people were killed near the properties that were supposedly being protected? Doesn’t matter; the issue is self defense. Against unarmed people. Trying to take guns away from patriots selflessly willing to put themselves at risk to protect other people’s property.

Did I get that right?

Jesus suffering fuck.

fuck those guys

Here’s a headline from this morning’s Washington Post:

In wake of Bannon indictment, Republicans warn of payback

If you can read that and not wonder ‘What in the pumpkin spice fuck is wrong with these people’ then…well, I don’t know what. Just think about that for a moment. Republicans say they want payback because Steve Bannon…I mean Steve Goddamn Bannon…was indicted for refusing to obey a writ legally issued by a Congressional committee to provide testimony and produce evidence.

Steve Bannon showing up for arraignment this morning.

Payback? Fuck those guys. Payback is a casual way of saying revenge–a retaliatory act taken in response to some alleged/perceived harm or injustice. Republicans apparently feel harmed and aggrieved that the law applies to them as if they were ordinary people. They apparently feel subpoenas only matter if they’re issued by Republicans. They’re distressed to find that a subpoena isn’t a suggestion; it’s an order. If you choose NOT to abide by a subpoena, there’s a penalty.

I mean, it’s right there in the goddamn name. Subpoena–Latin sub, meaning ‘under’ and poena meaning ‘penalty’. A subpoena means you have to show up and/or produce evidence under penalty of law. This has been part of the common law since the 1380s when John Waltham, the Master of the Rolls of the Court of Chancery for Richard II, issued the very first subpoena–a writ compelling witnesses and defendants to show up for trial. We’re talking six and a half centuries of precedent here. If a subpoena was good enough for Richard II, it’s good enough for Steve Goddamn Bannon.

Payback? Fuck those guys. Payback for being expected to follow the law? Payback from Republicans for a guy who was 1) indicted for defrauding 2) Republican donors of millions of dollars 3) in a scam that was purported to help build 4) a border wall supported only by Republicans? They want payback for this guy? A guy who was eventually pardoned for that crime by a Republican president? Payback for a guy who had his Twitter account ganked for publicly calling for beheading FBI Director Christopher Wray and Anthony Fauci? Republicans want payback for a guy who helped foment an insurrection that put many of them personally in danger? An insurrection that included calls to hang the Republican Vice President of the United States? Republicans want payback for that guy? Fuck them. Fuck them in the neck.

Comrade Trump and two of the criminals he’s pardoned.

And fuck the Washington Post too. It’s bad enough Republicans feel outraged and vindictive for having to obey the law, but to have WaPo act like it’s normal is an appalling act of journalistic malpractice. Just because politicians say stupid shit, journalists aren’t obligated to repeat it–to pretend it’s not stupid shit. Stupid shit is stupid and it’s shit. This is not rocket surgery.

Bannon was indicted last week for contempt of Congress, but he wasn’t arrested like an ordinary person. He was given until this morning to surrender himself for arraignment. My guess is he’ll be released on bail. And while that annoys me, it’s the right thing to do. Bannon isn’t likely to flee the country. My guess is he probably wants a trial. He’ll use it as a platform to spread more disinformation.

The thing is, this isn’t just about contempt of Congress; it’s about contempt for the very idea of representative democracy. It’s about contempt for the concept of equal justice under the law. A political party that feels justified in seeking payback for a person like Steve Bannon has abandoned the right to call itself a political party. There’s nothing ‘political’ about it. Politics, after all, is devoted to working things out. Politics is about people with different ideologies and viewpoints finding ways to compromise in an effort to benefit the greater good. Modern Republicans aren’t interested in the greater good.

They’re only interested in ruling.

Fuck those guys.