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Showing posts from May, 2022

Texas, Stalinism, and The Informer Society

  From the afterdeck of a cruise ship now entering Nassau harbor, it's hard to summon up the anger so appropriate to these times, and so essential to this blog. A temporary condition, I’m sure. So rather than writing something new, I’m relying instead on a reprise of this post from last September, which foreshadowed several of the key issues we'll all face in the next decade. For ‘Stalin,’ just substitute ‘Putin,' and for ‘Texas,’ substitute ‘every red state,’ and you’ll get the idea. Rage over the new Texas abortion laws comes naturally to anyone with either a heart or a brain, let alone both. But beyond the unspeakably cruel restrictions on reproductive rights, beyond the wanton misogyny and toxic masculinity, beyond the predictable media firestorm that turns outrage into clickbait, there is a larger issue on the table. And it’s one we can only hope is not a trend: Texas Republicans are now openly embracing a culture of citizen-on-citizen informi

Justice Alito Channels his Inner Putin

This is the year the bad guys showed their true colors. It’s the year when the differences between Vladimir Putin and, say, Samuel Alito proved to be only a matter of degree. Both seek cruelty for its own sake. Both impose the will of the privileged few on the horrified many. Both take toxic Christianity and white supremacy to levels not seen in centuries. And neither Putin nor Alito can be stopped. Not by anyone, not by any apparent means. Alito is, of course, just one of the five Putin wannabes on our Supreme Court, but he might be the most Putinous of the bunch — the one with the most contempt for democracy and those who practice it. The leaked draft he wrote for the reversal of Roe v. Wade is shocking, not for its content — which has long been expected — but for its smug tone, its abominable take on history, and its sneering disdain for any American who’s not male, white, straight, and Christian. And, oh yes, Republican. I’ve long wondered about those “mainstream” Repub

What’s the Worst that Can Happen?

It’s not a pleasant thought, but I believe it’s time for those of us in the reality-based community to think about what happens if Republicans manage to win both houses of Congress this November. I am not conceding that this a done deal, but at this time it feels worse than fifty-fifty, which is distressing. Between the new voter suppression laws and the old tendency of Democrats to not bother voting in midterms, the outlook is not promising. But while there is little doubt that a GOP takeover would be a disaster for both the country and the world, the question becomes how big a disaster. And I, for one, am thinking we’ve seen worse. So let’s game this out a bit. Let’s assume the worst, that they take control of the legislative branch. What would the next two years look like? The most important thing to remember is that the executive branch — the vast apparatus of the federal government, including military, law enforcement, and justice — will stay in the hands of the grownups.