the power to kill conversation

— So, did you see where Trump tweeted that the Queen had knighted him in secret and he didn’t tell anybody?
— Fake.
— Well, yeah, of course it is. Wait, hold on…
— What?
— Are you saying it’s fake that Trump was knighted in secret? Or that the tweet itself is fake?
— See, this is what Trump has done. He’s fucked with the entire notion of capital T Truth. Now we can’t even have a conversation because we have to stop and do reality checks on stuff that ought to be obvious, but isn’t anymore. Because everything is nuts.
— Well, yeah, but…wait, what?
— The tweet is…and, I mean it’s not even a ‘tweet’ is it, since the fucker got himself kicked off Twitter.
— Yeah, but calling it a ‘Truth’ is so fuckin’ stupid that I can’t bring myself to do it.
— Agreed, so okay, we’ll call it a tweet even though it’s not.
— Okay, good. Where were we?
— We were at ‘what’s fake’.
— Right. Continue.


— The tweet itself is fake. And the fake tweet’s claim is fake as well.
— It’s a lie in a lie, yeah. But it’s also the sort of boneheaded stupid lie that Trump might actually make in the hope that somebody might think it’s true. I mean, it’s possible to believe it would be true for Trump to make that sort of lie.
— Yes. Maybe? I think you’re right, if I understood what you said.
— I’m saying ‘The Queen made me a knight in secret and I didn’t tell anybody’ is sort of believable as a lie that Trump would tell.
— …
— Right?
— I’m still working through that.
— …
— Yeah, okay. Yes. I’m pretty sure I agree with that. What was the original question?
— Fuck if I can remember.
— You wanted to know if I saw that Tweet?
— Did you?
— I did. Why?
— …
— …
— I don’t remember. I think I was trying to make a point. About…something.
— Fuckin’ Trump…
— …
— You want to talk about the new Game of Throne thing?
— …
— I haven’t seen it.
— Nor have I.
— Maybe we should just sit here and drink quietly for a bit.
— There’s a new Lord of the Rings thing too.
— …
— …
— Didn’t we used to have actual conversations about, you know…stuff?
— …
— …
— Fuckin’ Trump. The very mention of his name has the power to kill conversation.

c’mon, we’re talking about elves here

In yet another episode in the continuing saga of Whiny-ass Complaints of Butt-hurt MAGA Fuckwits we learn there are people who are offended by the notion that elves aren’t necessarily White People. Seriously. This idiotic fuss is about the new Lord of the Rings prequel that has apparently just been released (see Editorial Note at the end).

“Casting a non-White actor to play an elf makes it more difficult for audiences to maintain their willing suspension of belief.”

No, it doesn’t. Casting a non-white actor to play an elf makes it more difficult for racist assholes to maintain their willing suspension of disbelief. The quote above was, according to CNN, from Louis Markos, who is apparently the author of From A to Z to Middle Earth with J.R.R. Tolkien.

This Markos guy gets at least three things wrong. First, of course, is he misquotes Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s phrase– the willing suspension of disbelief. Back in 1817, Coleridge suggested that if a writer introduced “‘human interest and a semblance of truth’ into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgement concerning the implausibility of the narrative.” This is why television viewers were willing to watch 12 seasons of Murder, She Wrote–they were willing to suspend their disbelief that Jessica Fletcher encountered more than 250 murders in the small Maine village of Cabot Cove. All fiction depends to some degree on the reader/viewer’s willing suspension of disbelief.

Second, Markos says casting actors of color as elves threatens the story’s ‘believability’ because Tolkien described elves as “fair-faced.” The term fair comes from the Old English term fæger, which when applied to living things meant “pleasing to the eye, attractive” and when applied to weather meant “clear, bright, pleasant”. Tolkien, remember, was an academic who studied Old English and Anglo-Saxon literature, and had at one time worked for the Old English Dictionary as an expert in etymology. He knew what ‘fair’ meant and how it applied to faces. Markos clearly doesn’t. Or–and I suppose this is a real possibility–he simply doesn’t believe non-White folks can be pleasing to the eye. It’s fucked up either way.

Wait…what’s this? Could it be? Elves of color? What?

Third, Markos claims casting actors of color “…is not something organic that’s coming out of Middle-earth. This is really an agenda that is being imposed upon it.” He’s almost got a point here. Almost. Tolkien’s Middle-earth is based on the Norse Miðgarðr, which they broadly described as the world “inhabited by and known to humans.” In the literature, Miðgarðr actually referred to the defensive wall around the world constructed by the gods from the eyebrows of the giant Ymir (which, by the way, requires some serious fucking suspension of disbelief). But Tolkien used Middle-earth to describe an imaginary period of the Earth’s past when peoples other than Men (elves, dwarves, trolls, hobbits, orcs, ents, etc.) still inhabited the planet, although in dwindling numbers. His Middle-earth did sort of correspond to western Europe in terms of geography.

But to my knowledge, there’s nothing Tolkien wrote to suggest peoples other than Men (and Tolkien used ‘Men’ to refer to all humankind) were necessarily White. I mean, we’re talking about elves here. If you can’t deal with Black or Asian or Indonesian or pick-a-race elves, then the problem isn’t your capacity to suspend disbelief. The problem is you’re a racist asshole.

EDITORIAL NOTE: I haven’t seen the show I’m talking about, which ordinarily would be a problem. But in this instance, the show itself is less important than the books on which the story is based and the credentials of the person who wrote them. I haven’t been inclined to watch the show, mainly because I had the misfortune of watching the first of Peter Jackson’s wretched interpretation of The Hobbit. That was enough to eradicate any desire to see any new visualization of Tolkien’s work.

But I’m actually hearing good things about this show from people who were as skeptical about it as I was. So at some point I’ll probably watch it.

Also? I usually like to include an image in these blog posts, and I did a quick image search for Rings of Power and saw some images of POC in costume, but since I couldn’t see their ears I’ve no idea if they were meant to be elves or something else. I didn’t want to just drop in some random image of a Black actor who may or may not be an elf, so…no image.

EDITORIAL NOTE 2: Thanks to Mark Alexander, we now have an imbedded image to demonstrate…well, I’m not exactly sure what it demonstrates. That actors of color can play non-human roles in fantasy stories? We already knew that. I guess it demonstrates just how fucking idiotic it is for racists to get frantic about Black actors getting gigs as elves.

the price of being a mook

And by the way, no. No, there’s no “rich debate about whether or not a document is declassified if a president has decided but not communicated it outside of his own head.” Jesus suffering fuck, people. I mean, just listen to yourselves.

Okay, now as I was saying…wait, where was I?

Right, I hadn’t even started yet. Okay, as I was about to say, it’s a job of work being a Trump martyr. I’m thinking about this mook Ricky Shiffer. You know, the MAGA fuckwit who decided to start the War Against the Deep State by attacking an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio. First, you’re never going to make it to the Martyr Hall of Fame if your name is Ricky. Ricky is a fine name for a second baseman on a minor league team or the regional manager for a company that sells convenience store snack cakes. But not for a martyr. Rick would have been okay. Richard would work. But Ricky? Never gonna happen.

Second, Cincinnati? It’s a fine city, no mistake, with wonderful architecture, some very fine sports teams, the home of a truly great ice cream (Graeter’s black raspberry chocolate chip is exquisite) and a rich history of riverboats exporting pork products. But it’s not on the list of Best Places to Take the Fight to the Deep State. Cincinnati is where you’d go if you want to start a War on Decent Chili (oh lawdy, they do terrible things to chili there), but if you’re going to take on the FBI, then really, look elsewhere.

Third, it’s really hard to be a martyr for Comrade Trump. I mean really, really, REALLY hard. It’s hard on account of if you’re an ordinary white working stiff with a history of making racist and violence statements and you commit a crime for Trump, you’ll be almost immediately written off BY OTHER MAGA FUCKWITS as a Deep State stooge.

Ricky Shiffer said all the right MAGA things, just like MAGA Republicans in Congress. He said the FBI was a threat, they were the enemy of the people, they were corrupt thugs, the people have to fight back, the FBI must be destroyed. He echoed the GOP establishment. Only he apparently actually believed what they were saying. He followed through. Not effectively, but he acted on what almost every Republican was saying. And now?

Ricky Shiffer — not a martyr, just a mook.

Now Ricky Shiffer is considered a ‘crisis actor’. Now his attack on the FBI is seen as a false flag incident. Ricky Shiffer died stupidly, in a corn field, wearing body armor, thinking he would be a martyr, an example to his fellow ‘patriots’. Now his fellow ‘patriots’ are accusing him of being Antifa. Here’s a smattering of comments from FreeRepublic:

I suspect this is an FBI operation given the blow-back from a lot of people on both sides with the raid on Trump’s home. — by CFW

FBI asset, BLM, or Antifa? — by mass55th (“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” ~~ John Wayne )

This isn’t a coincidence. This was timed for today. We’re going to see these RAT antics every day from now until election day. — by FlingWingFlyer (The House is supposed to represent the people, not the friggin’ Federal government. )

Right, this doesn’t pass the smell test. — by pacificus

Almost certainly, they murdered the CI/patsy they paid to do it. Until evidence to the contrary turns up, I will assume ALL attacks on the FBI or any other Federal agency are 100% false flag attacks. — by backwoods-engineer (Hold on, y’all, 2022 is going to be a ride you won’t soon forget!)

They used the stooge, then killed him for his efforts. — by TheElectionWasStolen

Stevie Wonder could have seen that a false flag was incoming. — by Cowgirl of Justice

FalseFlag — by joma89 (Buy weapons and ammo, folks, and have the will to use them.)

Odds are, Ricky Shiffer won’t be the last mook to take up arms for the delusional cause of Comrade Trump. Violent, threatening rhetoric is a staple of the GOP diet and Trump’s followers are eating it up as avidly as ducks devouring cracked corn. I’m not convinced there’ll be a January 6th Only With Guns, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened. And if/when it does, the mooks who join in will be characterized by the mooks who didn’t as false flag crisis actors.

It’s the price of being a Trump mook.

i’m glad you asked

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. In other words, Comrade Trump is slouching back to Washington, DC for the first time since he skipped out on Uncle Joe Biden’s inauguration. You’re probably wondering, “Greg, old sock, why would this canker on democracy revisit the scene of his crime?”

I’m glad you asked. He’s going to be in DC to–and I’m NOT making this up–deliver a ‘policy speech.’ Stop laughing. That’s what he says he’s going to do, deliver a ‘policy speech.’ You know, a speech on policy. At the America First Policy Institute. Now you’re probably wondering, “Greg, old sock, what in the popcorn fuck is the America First Policy Institute?”

Comrade Policy Expert Donald J. Trump

I’m glad you asked, The America First Policy Institute calls itself “a non-partisan nonprofit research institute” although it’s totally partisan and designed to grift off MAGA boneheads. It’s staffed entirely by Trump fluffers and considers itself to the the next Trump White House-in-waiting. The AFPI’s mission is “

…to advance policies that put the American people first. Our guiding principles are liberty, free enterprise, national greatness, American military superiority, foreign-policy engagement in the American interest, and the primacy of American workers, families, and communities in all we do.

You’re probably wondering, “Greg, old sock, what does that mean?” I’m glad you asked. It doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s just an amalgam of buzzwords and patriotic-sounding phrases collected in one place for the purpose of sounding like a real policy institute. The AFPI has collected “reams of research that build on the Trump administration’s successes.”

Reams, you guys. They have reams of research. You may be wondering, “Greg, old sock, just what successes did the Trump administration…uh…succeed at?” I’m glad you asked. Also, don’t ask, on account of the AFPI doesn’t really say. Instead, they encourage ‘patriots’ to sign on as co-complainants in (former) President Donald J. Trump’s class action First Amendment lawsuit against social media companies. Except that the link for ‘patriots’ to join the class action suit takes them to a fundraising page for the Constitutional Leadership Partnership, which is coincidentally staffed by the staff of the AFPI.

You may be wondering, “Greg, old sock, what policies will Comrade Trump address in his speech?” I’m glad you asked. Apparently, he’s going to talk about law and order. Trump is allegedly in favor of law and is quite fond of order. He may find time to comment on the last election as well.

You may be wondering, “Greg, old sock, will you be watching this policy speech?” I’m glad you asked.

No.

And stop calling me ‘old sock.’

more about assholes and libraries

In my last post, I wrote about assholes and Carnegie libraries. I didn’t expect this to be a theme. But this is the United States in 2022, and Comrade Trump has turned the Republican Party into a smug nationwide collective of aggressively stupid, hate-fueled, authoritarian bullies.

So, there’s a Carnegie library in the small Iowa town of Vinton, population of about 5000. Dedicated in 1908, it’s one of the smallest Carnegie libraries in the US. It operated to the benefit of the community for over a century.

That pretty much ended last week, when the library was closed. Why?

Because of assholes.

It began in May of 2020 when, Virginia Holsten, the Director of the Vinton Public Library for 35 years, resigned. She was replaced by Janette McMahon, who’d been a librarian in both Iowa and Wyoming.

You may remember that 2020 was an election year. Some library patrons complained about books written by Kamala Harris (who, by the way, had visited the Vinton Library and read from her children’s book) and Dr. Jill Biden being on display. They also complained that there weren’t enough books about Comrade Donald Trump. McMahon explained the rigorous process by which books are selected for the library. She said, “I can’t buy what doesn’t exist, and there weren’t quality books about Trump. We pay attention to reviews and publishers and our collection needs as a whole. We don’t just say what looks good on Amazon.”

Library patrons who objected to the Biden and Harris books began checking them out, then refusing to return them. In effect, they stole the books.

Eventually the attacks against the library became personal attacks against McMahon. She resigned.

In November 2021, Renee Greenlee was hired as Director. She had a long, respected career as a librarian in Iowa. She was one of the librarians given the 2022 I Love My Librarian award, which is bestowed by the American Library Association. Only ten librarians in the country win the award each year.

Vinton library patrons objected to the fact that she hired some LGBTQ staff and that there were book dealing with LGBTQ topics on display in the library. At a library board meeting, one of the patrons read a statement, saying:

It appears that there is a slow, quiet agenda moving into our local library culture through the staff hiring decisions and the books that have crept in our children’s section of the library. I don’t believe the library is representing our town well with hiring a majority of staff who are openly a part of the LGBTQ community.

Another said,

We would like to see more balance in the offerings of books for children. For each book promoting the LGBTQ lifestyle, there should be a book on display that discusses how God created and designed people as either male or female from birth, for life.

Greenlee reported that of the 5,779 children’s materials the library holds, only three books had a subject heading of ‘LGBT’, only two books had a heading of ‘Gay’ and only two books referenced ‘transgender’ issues. In addition, there were 173 books in the library collection that were based on Christian life.

Following the next library board meeting, which was apparently a repetition of the previous one, Greenlee resigned. The interim Director, a gay man, resigned shortly afterward, leaving the Vinton Public Library without any full-time staff.

This is NOT to say that Vinton, Iowa is a town full of assholes. It’s to say that the people of Vinton allowed their local assholes to disrupt a public service that’s been supporting their community for over a century. They’ve turned a lovely gift–a Carnegie library–into an open, festering wound of resentment and hate.

This is happening all over the United States. It happens because the assholes show up while decent people stay home and watch television. In small towns throughout the nation, a minority of bitter, ignorant, self-righteous religious bigots terrified of imaginary enemies have begun to impose their mean-spirited agenda on the rest of us.

And we’ve let them do it. We can’t expect them to be better. We have to DO better ourselves.

global positioning pregnancy

A lot of anti-abortion advocates are suggesting the furor over Justice Alito’s draft decision on Roe v. Wade isn’t merited because it doesn’t actually ban abortion. They say it just turns the abortion issue from a federal matter into a state matter. They quote Alito’s line that the abortion issue should be “resolved like most important decisions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.

They say this is fair. Voters get to decide abortion law for their own state. Some states will ban abortions, some will restrict the conditions under which abortions can take place, and some states will continue to allow abortions. This is federalism in action, they say.

That’s bullshit. Even if we ignore the reality that many states are restricting and limiting voter rights (and we shouldn’t ignore that), the notion that abortion should be a matter for individual states to decide is just fucking stupid. It boils down to this: a woman’s right to have autonomy over her reproduction will depend on her geographical location at the time she discovers she’s pregnant. Name me another legal right that is subject to GPS coordinates.

Consider this: some states have laws expressly forbidding pregnant people from leaving their state to obtain an abortion. What happens if somebody from a state where abortion is legal discovers they are pregnant while visiting in a state where abortion is illegal–a state in which it is illegal even to travel to another state to obtain an abortion? Can that person be detained until they give birth?

Let’s say dark blue represents states where men can drive freely, light blue is where men can drive if accompanied by an adult female driver, and in white states men aren’t allowed to drive at all.

There are issues and matters that transcend state borders, issues that require or demand national responses. We cannot have patchwork civil rights and liberties. We fought a bloody civil war to develop a national stance on chattel slavery. We decided marriage can’t be illegal in one state and legal in another–every state must accept the legality of marriage from other states. The right to free speech and assembly can’t be abridged by state borders. If you have a valid driver’s license in Utah, you can drive legally in Georgia. You get the point; some rights should be national. Some rights MUST be national. Hell, some rights MUST be international.

The right of reproductive choice is one of those national matters. Roe v. Wade needs to remain the law of the land. People should have the right to decide if they want to be pregnant.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Burn the patriarchy. Douse it with oil, set it on fire, dance around the flames. Piss on the smoking embers.

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.

11 points to hell

Remember back when the 2020 presidential election was heating up and the Republican Party decided they didn’t need to put together a party platform? You know, because Trump. Whatever angry wasp thought Trump had at any given moment, that was the party platform.

Now Senator Rick Scott of Florida has decided the GOP needs to spell out what they’d do if Republicans gain control of the government. He came up with an 11 point plan, and after reading it all I can say is Jesus suffering fuck. I mean Jesus suffering fuck.

Okay, my expectations were low to begin with. I mean, Rick Scott is Rick Scott and Florida is Florida…so lawdy, right? Rick Scott, remember, was forced in 1997 to resign as CEO of Columbia/HCA, the largest private for-profit health care company in the US, after the Dep’t of Justice found the company had engaged in widespread fraud and fined them US$1.7 billion (billion, you guys),  the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history. This is the guy who designed the new GOP agenda.

You can read the entire appalling thing here, if you can stomach it. To give you an indication of how unrelentingly dreadful it is, this is how it begins:

The militant left now controls the entire federal government, the news media, academia, Hollywood, and most corporate boardrooms – but they want more.

It starts with paranoia, then it gets…well, even more paranoid, with excursions into the delusional and an occasional stop on the WTF highway. Scott includes a long list of stuff that the militant left (by which I have to assume he means Democrats) “plan to destroy.”

  • American history
  • Patriotism
  • Border security
  • The nuclear family
  • Gender
  • Traditional morality
  • Capitalism
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Opportunity
  • Rugged individualism
  • Judeo-Christian values
  • Dissent
  • Free speech
  • Color blindness
  • Law enforcement
  • Religious liberty
  • Parental involvement in public schools
  • Private ownership of firearms
  • Pickleball

Okay, he didn’t include pickleball. I made that up. I made it up for a reason. Scott wrote that his plan wasn’t for “the faint of heart” because it “will be ridiculed by the ‘woke’ left, mocked by Washington insiders, and strike fear in the heart of some Republicans.” So I just wanted to get the ridicule and the mockery started. I’m sure pickleball will be just fine. Probably.

“Temba, his arms wide.” **

So you may be thinking, “Greg, old sock, what, exactly, is Scott’s 11-point plan to stop the militant left from destroying everything but pickleball?” I’m glad you asked. And stop calling me old sock. The plan is as follows:

  1. Our kids will say the pledge of allegiance, salute the Flag, learn that America is a great country, and choose the school that best fits them.
  2. Government will never again ask American citizens to disclose their race, ethnicity, or skin color on any government forms.
  3. The soft-on-crime days of coddling criminal behavior will end. We will re-fund and respect the police because they, not the criminals, are the good guys.
  4. We will secure our border, finish building the wall, and name it after President Donald Trump.
  5. We will grow America’s economy, starve Washington’s economy, and stop Socialism.
  6. We will eliminate all federal programs that can be done locally, and enact term limits for federal bureaucrats and Congress.
  7. We will protect the integrity of American Democracy and stop left-wing efforts to rig elections.
  8. We will protect, defend, and promote the American Family at all costs.
  9. Men are men, women are women, and unborn babies are babies. We believe in science.
  10. Americans will be free to welcome God into all aspects of our lives.
  11. We are Americans, not globalists.

You may be thinking, “Wait, that’s not a plan at all; it’s just a list of jingoistic slogans and stupid talking points in response to the angry inventory of conservative grievances and fears.” To which Rick Scott would reply, “Yes, exactly, and shut up.”

Scott does go into more detail on each of those eleven points. For example, Point One is about education, and Scott assures us that under Republican control, “Public schools will teach our children to love America because, while not perfect, it is exceptional, it is good, and it is a beacon of freedom in an often-dark world.” And also, “We will not allow political or social indoctrination in our schools.”

You may be thinking, “Greg, old…uh, isn’t that contradictory? Teaching kids to love America, isn’t that political and social indoctrination?” To which Scott would respond, “No, shut up, why do you hate America?”

Another example, Point Ten on faith and religion. Under the Republican Party agenda, Scott assures us that “We will stop investing federal retirement dollars with ‘woke’ fund managers and companies that put left-wing politics ahead of profits” and “the Second Amendment was established in order to protect the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment.”

You may be wondering, “What in the salted caramel fuck is he talking about? What’s that got to do with religion or faith? I mean…retirement funds? Guns? What? I mean, what?” To which Rick Scott would replay, “We are NOT GLOBALISTS!” And who could argue with that?

The thing is, some Republican have realized that it was a mistake not to put together a party platform in 2020. The junior Senator from Florida has taken it on himself to provide Americans with his 11-point plan to “steer America to a bright future of prosperity and peace.” And by “a bright future of prosperity and peace” he means “a grimdark dystopian tomorrow under the rule of authoritarian zealots.” It may not actually be a plan, and it may be borderline insane, but, you know…baby steps and all that.

** “Temba, his arms wide” is from the Star Trek episode “Darmok” and I think that’s all the explanation I’m going to give. You have Google; look it up. Lawdy, you’re an adult, aren’t you?