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      So, last night, after a few days of illness, getting worse, I took some codeine and a sleeping pill, lay myself down to sleep, and couldn’t. Right then, obviously serious enough that I needed to go the hospital. I arrived, at one of Toronto’s (Canada’s largest city) largest hospitals. There was no one else in […]
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Something changed

Maybe it’s the snowball effect of the Portman domestic violence/security clearance scandal with the Devin Nunes memo (they seem related somehow) combined with the proposed Harvest Boxes mixed with the latest school shooting. Have we reached a tipping point?

I got that impression yesterday when I saw a CNN analyst break down in tears and one by one, cable news guests were genuinely angry at yet another senseless shooting claiming the lives of innocent victims. This time, there was more of a sense of frustration that the young adults who carry out these violent acts are not getting the help they need, that their anger and emotional state is going unaddressed, and that their access to firearms was an unacceptably dangerous situation that demanded action this time.

Something changed yesterday. I think it’s a despair that anything can be said or done to get through to the party in charge to dial it back even a little. It’s not learned helplessness anymore. That’s what we had before when there wasn’t such a clear target, excuse the expression. Now, we can all see who is responsible, who is holding things up.

There’s only one party in charge right now and the rest of us are being held hostage to its conscienceless opportunists and the paranoid base it has provoked over and over again with anti-government rhetoric. They think we want to take their guns away but they aren’t saying what they’re afraid of that necessitates having mini-arsenals in the first place. They are preparing for a war but against whom? And who is inflaming them with this fear, uncertainty and dread?

They’ve resisted talking about the problem or coming up with a solution. They’ve cynically thrown out accusations of “playing politics” when a tragedy like this happens. There was a wave election predicted for the fall anyway. I get a sense that a bigger backlash is on its way. We may finally have hit the point where we are no longer disposed to suffer while we still have the means to abolish the forms to which we have become accustomed.

The Second Amendment people have overreached. Before these outrages, no one wanted to take their guns away. We only wanted regulation, a nasty word to the political minority in charge.

Regulation not being forthcoming, the choice is clear now: the political minority is an obstacle to our safety. They need to go. That’s what I heard yesterday.

It’s going to be a big wave but this last triggering event is significant. There were already stresses building up with the tax cuts amounting to very little, the elections possibly being hacked while the executive branch does nothing, officials of dubious character having access to our most secure intelligence, chemistry teachers and landscapers separated from their children and deported without hearings, extortion, pornography, money laundering, domestic violence, the denigration is women, Las Vegas shooting and now this. This was the event that shook us and released the stress and added to the mass and momentum behind the wave. I think it’s too late to stop it now and it’s going to be more powerful than expected.

************************************

Lento e Largo- Tranquillismo by Henryk Górecki

Translation (from Polish)

Where has he gone

My dearest son?

Perhaps during the uprising

The cruel enemy killed him

Ah, you bad people

In the name of God, the most Holy,

Tell me, why did you kill

My son?

Never again

Will I have his support

Even if I cry

My old eyes out

Were my bitter tears

to create another River Oder

They would not restore to life

My son

He lies in his grave

and I know not where

Though I keep asking people

Everywhere

Perhaps the poor child

Lies in a rough ditch

and instead he could have been

lying in his warm bed

Oh, sing for him

God’s little song-birds

Since his mother

Cannot find him

And you, God’s little flowers

May you blossom all around

So that my son

May sleep happily

************************************

Podcasts are where it’s at, people. That’s where the philosophers, policy wonks and data analysts are these days. If you’re not listening to Trumpcast, The Ezra Klein Show, The Weeds, Pod Save America (millenial paradise that one), Stay Tuned with Preet or FiveThirtyEight, you’re missing out on some of the best critical analysis of current events. That’s especially important if cable news feels like just another pie fight.

The latest podcast I’m listening to is The Good Fight with Yasha Mounk who teaches government at Harvard. This podcast is more in the philosophical mode. The latest episode is an interview with Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist at The Washington Post. Rubin reminds me of a John Dean or Norm Ornstein. The scales have fallen from their eyes and they’re now seeing that in spite of all they’ve been taught for years, the Party defending the constitution is NOT the Republicans. If you’re interested in hearing what an ethical conservative with a conscience sounds like, check it out.

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45 Responses

  1. Let’s not forget that not all of the responsibility for this evil system is found in this country.

      • Hopefully, this will motivate enough of the Voluntary Non-Voters to get the hell off their couches and vote from now on.

    • Part of the shock is not that these mofos would sell out, but that they would sell out for such a low price (“kopeks on the ruble”, indeed).

    • Jeez, you were up early too. The humidity is making my hair look like Roseanne Roseannadanna’s. Desperately need a haircut.

  2. Agree with the post and hope things get shaken up. Have you looked at the people who are at trump rallies, even the young ones standing behind him? This needs to come back to trump, Rs, NRA…The young teacher in the Maddow show was so on point when she concluded her interview calling on Congress and government. I saw the CNN analyst, ex FBI I think break down. Now if only the print/TV media do their jobs.

  3. Expose NRA and the politicians:

  4. This is that wonderful young teacher I saw on Maddow show.

  5. — Bess Kalb (@bessbell) February 14, 2018

    In a subsequent tweet, she shared a list of lawmakers who have received NRA funding.

    God have mercy on your NRA-kept souls:

    Richard Burr
    $6,986,620

    Roy Blunt
    $4,551,146

    Thom Tillis
    $4,418,012

    Cory Gardner
    $3,879,064

    Marco Rubio
    $3,303,355

    Joni Ernst
    $3,124,273

    Rob Portman
    $3,061,941

    Todd Young
    $2,896,732

    Bill Cassidy
    $2,861,047https://t.co/y9US2i6CPD
    — Bess Kalb (@bessbell) February 14, 2018

    PLUS reported Russia funding in the tens of millions.

  6. “the political minority is an obstacle to our safety. They need to go.”

    Gosh, why are they gearing up for war. *shrug* just paranoid I guess.

    • Has Blizzy forgotten what happened the last time his culture decided to assert itself with armed force?

      (h/t Driftglass)

      • Not to mention that his culture consists disproportionately of the superannuated.

        It’s kinda hard to goose-step effectively on a Hoverround. 😈

    • The shooter was a white supremacist. I guess we all know just what kind of war he and his ilk are gearing up for: the kind of war that Charles Manson envisioned.

      • We in the white supremacist community deplore this act of violence. White supremacism is a religion of peace. The real danger is that anti-white supremacist bigots will be emboldened by this heinous act, which should not justify a backlash against peaceful white supremacists. We are your husbands, sons, fathers and co-workers.

        • White supremacy and a “religion of peace” seems like an oxymoron since the very concept of supremacy and domination implies violence towards the submissive group if they don’t comply.

          Anyway, aren’t you making the same argument that Muslims make when there’s a horrible act of terrorism? And we actually believe them because fundamentalist extremism is a small fraction of Islam. But we also tell Muslims that it is their responsibility to discipline its extremist members. Just like there are the same elements in Christianity.

          But a religion whose very reason for being is based on treating anyone not white male Christians exists on a foundation of cruelty, lack of empathy and ignorance. Why should we admit ANY of you to polite society?

          For what it’s worth, this kid needed therapy early in his life. He had parents who died. He was adopted. He was let down by the school systems he went to which are alwats too ready to wash their hands of kids with psychological or neurological problems. In spite of what he did, I feel sorry for what happened to him. Every child deserves to be treated like royalty and be given the best chance in life. I just get the feeling that this kid fell through the cracks and ended up associating with the worst possible group -white supremacists.

          • No, living in a liberal society means that we don’t discriminate based on color, religion or creed. Just as we don’t condemn all Muslims because some of them want to enslave women and murder gays, so we don’t condemn white supremacists because some want to kill Jews — not all of them are like that. The solution to anti-white supremacist bigotry is education. We need more positive portrayals of white supremacists in the media, more representation of white supremacists among elected officials and CEOs. Above all, white supremacists should be allowed to come out of the shadows and live in peace. If you attack them, they will only become more isolated and radicalized, leading to further incidents like this, which none of us want. Do keep in mind though, that some terrorist attacks will always be part and parcel of living in a modern, vibrant, diverse country.

          • Omg! That’s funny as hell.

            I’m still struggling with the idea that we need to give White supremacists a chance to show their quality. As if.

  7. From Wonkette:

    Of Course the Florida School Shooter Was a Girl-Hating White Supremacist.

    Yes, the easy availability of military-grade guns is one major factor,
    but here’s another one.

    Robyn Pennacchia:

    In the 1970s, if you thought Ted Bundy was a hero for murdering all those women, you kept that to yourself. You couldn’t just casually say, “Wow, that guy had a POINT!” to someone or else people would think you were nuts. You couldn’t go on a YouTube video and post about how great he was. Today, people who feel that way can find each other, they can commiserate without being judged. They can talk online about how much they would really like to murder a bunch of women. They get to cherish their resentments, nurture them and watch them grow.

    Like a cult leader going from prophet to messiah to Literal Jesus, the insular nature of these groups creates a need for constant escalation. Someone may stop by one of these forums because they are having a bad day, because they feel slighted in some way, or because their crush wouldn’t go out with them and they feel bad, and eventually get so sucked into these communities that instead of dealing with these common life events in a healthy way, they start one-upping each other to the point where they fantasize about murdering people. They start out being “I’m not a racist but…” types and end up dreaming about a white ethnostate and praising Hitler. They lose touch with reality.

    Socialization is not innate, it is learned — and the fact that more of it is being learned on the internet these days rather than in-person has consequences. It’s easier to see other people as NPCs who don’t feel the same way you do, it’s easier to dismiss their humanity when most of your interaction with them is on social media, where most people are pretending to have a fabulous and perfect life. Even when they’re not putting on that facade, even if they’re angsty as hell, it’s still just words on a page.

    It’s also just words on a page when you’re just sitting around trolling people, or trying to purposely hurt people, when you spend hours in misogynistic and racist forums dehumanizing women and men you think are better looking than you are and have more dates, dehumanizing people of other races and religion. It creates a certain kind of solipsism, a feeling that only your own feelings are real, that other people’s emotions and inner lives are no more real than those of people on television shows. That makes misogyny easier, it makes racism easier, it makes violence easier.

    It doesn’t help that, in some sections of the internet, there is a culture in which cruelty is currency. This is part of the reason why Trump won — because people like Cruz delighted in his cruelty. He is cheered on these same toxic forums for his ability to “troll” people and “trigger the libs.” Trump was the nail in the coffin of basic human decency actually meaning something. Trump won because too many people have become inured to cruelty.

  8. The teenage gunman accused of slaughtering 17 people at a Florida high school on Wednesday had posted a photo of himself wearing one of President Donald Trump’s signature red MAGA hats on Instagram, the social media site confirmed.

    The photo in question shows 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz wearing a hat that features Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan and an American-flag-colored bandana that covers the bottom half of his face.​

    Notably, the leader of a white supremacist organization called the Republic of Florida claimed on Thursday that Cruz was associated with the group, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

    https://s1.yimg.com/lo/api/res/1.2/a4bBclQzD6nOw32qYTNolw–/YXBwaWQ9eW15O3c9NjQwO3E9NzU7c209MQ–/http://media.zenfs.com/en-US/homerun/aol_com_127/82f2291a249dfc4d9c9c22f80048272c

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/florida-high-school-shooting-suspect-195701628.html

    Not blaming Chump for this, but his MAGA message has certainly resonated with a particularly savage group of people in our country. And acts from these hate groups have been on the rise since his election.

  9. If anyone can find the video, there was one of the teachers talking to Shepard Smith today. She gave one of the most powerful and compelling responses to something like this, and the lack of action from our government I’ve ever heard. Definitely worth listening to her.

  10. No way am I letting trump off the hook or his crazy cult like supporters. RD is right. There is a lot more anger towards the usual Republican rhetoric this time. This mom is angry, rightfully so. Teenagers who were there are calling for action, they are eloquent and articulate. Teachers are speaking up. We need to keep this protest going. It breaks my heart to see this mother in such anguish. Somebody was tweeting that plane hijacks were common in the 60s and people were opposed to all the security we now have in airports. But we are used to it now. People need to take on the NRA and the Republicans and make schools secure and gun free zones. How could this guy buy a gun? Start with that.

  11. White House refuses to release photo of Trump signing bill to weaken gun law

    A little over a month after his inauguration, on Feb. 28, 2017, President Trump signed HJ Resolution 40, a bill that made it easier for people with mental illness to obtain guns. CBS News then asked the White House to release the photograph of Mr. Trump signing the bill, making the request a total of 12 times.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders finally responded to repeated emails and phone calls with a one-line note on April 19, 2017, writing to CBS News, “We don’t plan to release the picture at this time.”

    President Obama had pushed for the rule following the Sandy Hook massacre and it went into effect in December 2016. Had it been allowed to remain effect, it would have added about 75,000 names of mentally ill Americans to a database that would have stopped them from buying a gun.

    On the day the bill was signed, the National Rifle Association (NRA) put out a press release quoting NRA Executive Director Chris Cox: “Today marks a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we have now have a president who respects and supports our right to keep and bear arms.”

    The NRA release says that had the Obama rule been allowed to move ahead it “would have resulted in 75,000 Social Security recipients who use a representative payee losing their Second Amendment rights without due process.” But in fact, the rule applied to Social Security recipients who weren’t able to manage their affairs because of “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

    The NRA noted the move to revoke the rule was supported by “the ACLU, and more than a dozen mental health advocacy organizations.”

    Thursday morning CBS News asked the White House again if it would release the photo of the signing, but received no response.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/white-house-refused-to-release-photo-of-trump-signing-bill-to-weaken-gun-law/

    I’m sure Chump will get right on reversing his reversal after this last massacre.

  12. And then there was his classic “bullet control” riff from “Bigger and Blacker”: “I think all bullets should cost $5,000 dollars… if a bullet cost $5,000, there’d be no more innocent bystanders.”

    Chris Rock on what to do about stopping gun violence

    This is something I say. The whole “we have the right to own as many guns as we want” argument. Where in the second amendment does it say you can stockpile ammunition? We definitely need caps on how much ammo you can legally own. They can stop you from buying antihistamine if you’ve already bought some within a certain time frame, but you can buy bullets like they’re going out of style. No one needs 10,000 rounds to protect your family from home invasion. They should also be priced so high, you’ll have to sell a kidney to afford to buy them.
    And we need to outlaw certain types of ammo altogether, No one needs armor piercing bullets to bring down a dear–the ONLY thing they’re for is to kill cops, those individuals Chump supporters and 2nd amendment rights fanatics claim to support with all their hearts. Even cops don’t want those bullets in circulation, they can’t have, but any joe-shmo can.
    You don’t need them. You’re not at war on our streets. and if you think that, then get the hell out of our country, because you’re paranoid as hell and too dangerous to be around normal people!

  13. These kids are great and that girl in the middle is so good. But watch towards the end, how that amateur-looking compared to these eloquent kids, fucker Anderson leads them to ‘both sides’ stuff. NRA is not paying Democrats and one party that is complicit in status quo and which has the power to do something but is not, is the Republican party.

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