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May 06, 2021


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Arizona maintains its #1 Rank for Best State to Live for the politically insane.

It's hard to see the circumstances that have caused civil wars outside of the United States ever developing inside the US.

The overwhelming majority of civil wars are driven by conflict over economic resources (e.g. conflict minerals in much of Africa, or illegal drugs in South America) or are proxy wars fought on behalf of outside powers (e.g. Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan). Civil wars waged exclusively over internal ideological or sectarian disputes--similar in kind to current US political fault lines--are extremely rare.

Further, most right-wing autogolpes generally succeed either without violence or after highly one-sided revolts ending when the security forces crush the opposition.

In the global context, the next page of American history is much less likely to look like a repeat of the American Civil War than like the GOP seizing power, with minimal violence, and turning the US into an autocracy along the lines of Putin's Russia.

Wars waged primarily over sectarian, ideological or religious disputes have been extremely common and long lasting. Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Greece-Turkey, Turkey-Armenia, the former Yugoslavia, Hindu-Muslim, the Middle East and others. Outside powers exploit already existing deep societal divides to create proxies.

Understand that is not the recount's angle here. To assume a shared interest in an objective reality means you have already lost the game before you even began to play. The recount's intention is to create a reality, to feed a preconceived conspiracy fantasy and a yearning for redemption through vengeance. This is all ritual and performance to draw a crowd and create a community of disbelievers that can challenge and defeat objective reality by crowding it out, wear down reality's energy, or preferably set off cathartic violence.

The comment section munged the first part of what I had typed above.

I wanted to say that Sarah Kendzior began making a name for herself around the rise of Trump by becoming the doomsayer we need. She wrote this article in 2016, amid Trump's rise in the campaign. She wrote a PhD about the former Soviet -stans, and how a new form of tyranny emerged in the "spectacular state."


The spectacular state was a more self-aware kind of tyranny, which Russia successfully scaled up and perfected on a geopolitical scale. This tyranny wasn't rooted in ideology, creed or shared identity. It is totalitarian as we understand it but ideology, creed and identity are reduced to tropes, politics as plot, statecraft as stagecraft.

A D-list celebrity whose only claim to success in life was to be the host of a "reality" show in which he portrayed a simulacrum of who he was supposed to be in real life is helping to bring down the curtain of the American and Western Enlightenment experiment is on the nose. Yet the bigger problem we must deal with is that he revealed a category error in Enlightenment thinking and our self-image as a democratic republic: There are 75 million Americans who are eager and willing participants in the psychological, economic and social destruction of themselves and others.

Now playing at the "Madhouse on McDowell"
ELECTION IN WONDERLAND. Starring Karen Fann as the Red Queen -- Ken Bennett and Anthony Kern as Tweedldee and Tweedledum -- Doug Logan as the Mad Hatter and a special guest appearance of Bamboo.
Directed by Laurel and Hardy.

Agreed, there are a boatload of people who buy into d-list-celebrity's lies, and the constitution as presently written may well enable them to stay in office. So, if the current experiment of democracy is to continue, what will it take to change that kind of thinking?

It may well be that this idiotic exercise implodes due to the innate stupidity of the Republicans who set it in motion. Apparently only about 200,000 votes have been "audited" at this point, not even 10% of the total. With a week to go in the current timeline they laid out, it's clear that won't happen. And the "audit" seeming is soon to be homeless as the Coliseum management has said it can't be extended.

The feds are also weighing in over concerns about violations of federal law. In the meantime, no rabbit hole is too crazy to go down, the latest being that 40,000 votes were flown in "from Asia," leading to inspecting ballots for bamboo as evidence.

I couldn't make this up if I sat here for a week...

Next up for the "Cyber Ninja" crew (and who was the numbskull who thought up that name?): a nationwide audit of Covid-19 deaths. Bring on the Clorox...

"We can't have a functioning experiment in self-governance if the losing side refuses to accept the results of elections." You're entirely right. The current version of the GOP isn't really interested in preserving our political system, though.

@Norm W, and I'm pretty sure they'll hire as their medical advisor Dr. Demon Sperm.


Of course, I have an opinion about this. And, of course, explaining it will take more than a few words.

I would start by pointing out the the problem of citizens not trusting the voting process is not exclusive to the right. To this day there are people who don't believe that Donald Trump was legitimately elected in 2016, that he colluded with Russia to hack the election. For some of those folks, by hacking they mean that the electronic voting systems were hacked and results manipulated. Stacy Abrams in Georgia famously refused to concede the governors race in 2018. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar went on record with concerns about Dominion Voting Systems in 2019, when they were both running for president and were worried about the Democratic machine or others trying to keep them from winning.

In 2020, the situation was very unique with pandemic considerations causing a massive change in how voting was done, with rules and in some cases laws quickly changed to facilitate a huge expansion of absentee/mail-in voting with simultaneous lifting of most established safeguards. Mail-in voting has long been considered the voting form most vulnerable to fraud, such as was stated in the 2005 report by the bipartisan voting commission led by Jimmy Carter and James Baker. France and some other European countries won't allow it at all.

We also had the most loved and hated president in living memory running and we are all required to trust that enough people on the left would have ethical qualms about taking advantage of the loosely scrutinized mail-in voting and would never do whatever it takes to achieve the absolute moral good of getting rid of Trump.

To the annoyance of some, I commented extensively on two previous articles here, stating that for thinking people willing to look at the data and evidence, there was plenty of reason to question if there were enough illegitimate or illegal votes to possibly sway the election. I'll try not to get into the weeds on that here, see Color Arizona 12/7/20 and Insurrection Open Thread 1/7/21 to read the case I made and some lively debate.

The point I made there repeatedly is that what we had (and still have) is indications, evidence, statistics, but not definitive proof because no third party had been granted access to the raw data (ballots, envelopes, canvasing info and machines). Like it or not, large majorities of Republicans, significant numbers of independents and even minorities of Democrats believe there may have been widespread irregularities in the election. This audit in Maricopa county is the first time a party independent of the state executive voting bureaucracy had been able to look at that raw data and can now fully examine and validate the election (in Maricopa). It would have been ideal to have it before certification, but many still feel we need a full vetting.

Rogue stated, "We can't have a functioning experiment in self-governance if the losing side refuses to accept the results of elections." I would agree. Trust in government has been declining for decades. The political and civic environment has been turning truly toxic in recent years, with the pandemic and race issues really messing with our collective mentality starting last year.

How can we have widespread trust in elections? Verification. Even irrespective of the issues with this particular election, I think legislatures doing deep dive audits periodically is something that should be on going, even in non-swing states. It's useful to look under the hood, so to speak, to make sure that laws are keeping up with what is actually happening on the ground.

The other point I made repeatedly is that it would stand to reason that Biden and Democrats should welcome this process. If everyone is so confident that this election was completely clean with no realistic concerns about fraud or mistakes, then an audit should prove that. When the result comes back that all 10,000 votes that Biden won by in Arizona were totally clean, it will show the doubters that there is no question President Biden is legitimate and make them all look silly in the process. Win-win, right? So why are the Democrats, and even now the DOJ, fighting this so hard?

@Jon7190, the time for pleading is over. If you can't sway elections officials of proof of actual fraud, and you can't do a better job than Trump's attorneys who between November and the insurrection flooded the legal zone with shit and got nowhere with judges, or you can't lead your own coup, please just pack it in.

Better yet, find out how you can be involved in the process and work to count votes or volunteer as a poll worker and see how reality-based voting works. :)

Jon7190, your political party doesn't get to make up its own rules when the results are disputed by its mentally-ill standard bearer. America would no longer be a democratic republic so much as a thugocracy. If your lack of faith in actual democracy is this profound, might I suggest exercising your partisan sedition in a nation that already shares your wretched values? Say, Russia? Leave America alone. You've done enough damage already with your breathtaking cynicism.

We all need to remember that democracy isn't the default mode of governance in this highly imperfect world. If there isn't good order and security, it will quickly fail. This is a lesson the sanctimonious left really needs to internalize since it currently lives in a fantasy construct there can be no peace without "justice", whatever that abstraction means. This is insane since no two people can ever define a generalization to mean the same specific thing. If the right is inherently prone to think of democracy as illegitimate if they lose, the left is equally prone to imagine any injury to a favored "victim group" as proof of America's inherent corruption.

Our republic is veering dangerously close to the edge of a cliff. Its democracy cannot survive when one of its two major political parties is functionally anti-American. By the same token, the ascendance of "woke" ideologues on the left is eroding the nation's necessary social trust. There's only one clear space in democracy where we can hash out differences and craft compromise: the political process. The Republican Party is currently purging itself of its few remaining real-world political practitioners while Democrats bow and scrape before the authoritarians on its left fringe. Democracy is failing before our very eyes while its citizens sleep through the sirens growing louder, more insistent, and, ultimately, final.

Jon7190 — there you go again:

Re Stacey Abrams not conceding the GA governors race, you didn't mention the circumstances behind her refusal: Kemp, the GOP candidate, was also Georgia Secretary of State at the time. His office oversees elections in GA. To avoid conflicts of interest he was asked several times to resign, but he famously refused to do so until a few days after the election.

Re Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar's concerns about Dominion Voting System, the company's machines famously counted votes for Democrats that were cast for Republicans in Antrim County, Michigan. (Note that they raised the issue even though the switched votes were in their favor.) They were not alone in their concerns: your state, Texas, rejected using Dominion technology several times because officials discovered “multiple hardware and software issues.”

Let's jump down to your claim of "loosely scrutinized mail-in voting." From Wikipedia: "In April 2020, a voter fraud study covering 20 years by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found the level of fraud 'exceedingly rare' since it occurs only in '0.00006 percent' of instances nationally, and, in one state, '0.000004 percent — about five times less likely than getting hit by lightning in the United States.'" Now I ask you, why have the few cases of proven mail-in voter fraud been by Republican voters in 2020?

"When the result comes back that all 10,000 votes that Biden won by in Arizona were totally clean, it will show the doubters that there is no question President Biden is legitimate and make them all look silly in the process. Win-win, right? So why are the Democrats, and even now the DOJ, fighting this so hard?"

DOJ had two problems with the audit. One was that the state is required by law to keep possession and control of ballots and there were questions as to whether its contractor was doing so. That's a very legitimate concern. Another was that the contractor planned to interview voters about whether and how they voted. That could intimidate some voters. The Senate president has now announced that such interviews won't be conducted.

Personally, I would favor routine, periodic audits of elections. I wouldn't start it now. Why is there a push for it this year when there hasn't been in the past? The only apparent answer is that the loser made outrageously irresponsible claims of fraud that he could never back up. I think it would be unfortunate to set a precedent that if the loser whines enough about the result, we do an audit. That would reward conduct that shouldn't be rewarded.

Bobson says if you can't prevail on the courts to take it up (prior to certification) or lead a coup, you should give up. Solari helpfully suggests moving to Russia. Well, Republicans aren't making their own rules here, they are working within the rules. Despite vigorous attempts by MCBOS and the secretary of state (and probably others) to prevent the Senate from conducting an audit, courts, including the current Napolitano-appointed one, have not been able to find grounds to deny its right to subpoena and examine election material.

It's quite true that democratic, or more accurately republican in our case (little r), forms of government are not the natural baseline of human society. Tyranny is much more the norm, and in the modern world, tyranny with a thin veneer of democracy is quite common, where rigged or stolen elections are the tactic of choice. To say that it's unrealistic to worry about that in America seems naive, especially as it has happened here in the past.

One of the brilliant parts of our constitutional system is the checks and balances of coequal branches of government. How exactly is it not appropriate for one branch to verify what is done by another branch? That is the system under both national and state constitutions. Often it's the judicial branch that does the verifying, but since in this case it refused to get involved, it is both legal and proper that the legislative branch does it. I find this audit refreshing if only for seeing a legislature assert its authority. I think a general problem we've had is Congress and legislatures ceding far too much power to the executive branch and bureaucracies.

iaed, you made some points which I'm not sure what to make of. Many people for years have pointed out actual or potential problems with Dominion. If you haven't seen it, check out the HBO documentary "Killchain" from last year. Personally, I think we need to get rid of machines and go completely analog, even if it's less efficient and results take longer.

That MIT reference you site is based on the election fraud database maintained by the Heritage Foundation. This database states that it's not meant to be exhaustive, rather illustrative. Even if you treat it as exhaustive as MIT did, it seems obvious that any list of people convicted of any type of crime represent a fraction of the crimes that take place and no one is arrested for. Especially here, since voting crimes are low on the priorities of most all law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Election experts say it's difficult to know how much fraud takes place (perhaps an independent forensic audit might help?) The main point I was making saying "loosely scrutinized" is that what safeguards there were in the swing states in question were largely lifted or unenforced (and publicly known they would be prior to the election) to facilitate the huge increase in mail-in voting in 2020. This is a fact we can delve into more if you don't accept it.

The conflict of interest issue with Kemp being the sitting secretary of state during the 2018 election was legitimately raised by Stacy Abrams. The implication, of course, is that he would be in a position to effect the running of the election or the counting of the ballots in his favor. Was she supposed to just trust that fraud or chicanery didn't happen because we aren't allowed to question election officials? Apparently not. So what changed this time?

Secretaries of state are elected partisan figures, which is a weakness of the system. Even if they wouldn't try to rig an election, in the event widespread fraud were suspected (by either party), they would not relish it being established that they presided over a stolen election and would be self-interested to portray it as free and fair. Local election officials are also partisan elected figures, it's the nature of our system. Given those facts, how do we maintain trust in elections? By transparency and checks and balances (and the transparency during the counting and even the recounting was a big issue in 2020). If there is widespread doubt about an election, the judiciary or the legislature can do an independent audit (and should periodically do it anyway, IMO). It's really the only way. The legislature is responsible for making the laws, so they should be able to examine elections to make sure the laws in place are appropriate. The alternative according to the commenters here is for the winning side to just declare "You lost. Accept it or leave the country, but don't you dare question Democracy!"

So, tell me how governmental transparency is a bad thing now.

Given my limited intelligence and the rules of posting i have nothing constructive, simulating or heterodoxy to add to the conversation.
In violation of my thoughts above I am actually about to post a comment regarding the current insanity.
Han Solo

When an Election is a War (All’s fair)

As a secular I was good with whatever it took to send Machiavelli into Mar-a-Lago exile.

Prince Donald and his servant, Pence were chosen regardless of their sins as vehicle for Christian Reconstructionism in a form of dominionism. “Christians are Biblically mandated to 'occupy' all secular institutions has become the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right.”

What will happen when prophetic Calvinists, in their apocalyptic impatience, embrace the idea that secularists are preventing the return of Christ and that it is Ok to have corrupt leaders, as long as they rule in the name of Jesus?

“They describe intense evangelical doings at The White House. They write about evangelist Ralph Drollinger “who imagines himself to be a prophet” and is “the leader of the Trump Cabinet’s weekly prayer meetings, which Mike Pence attended with regularity.” They cite a comment of Drollinger in 2017 that the U.S. government’s “God-given responsibility” and “primary calling is to moralize a fallen world through the use of force.”
Journalist Chip Berlet added in 1998 that, although they represent different theological and political ideas, dominionists assert a Christian duty to take "control of a sinful secular society".[35]

Arizona paving the way to being a god

“Whatever you might think, the Mormons are deadly serious about establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth and fulfilling the prophecy about the United States before Jesus can return. The Mormons are on the similar ground as Protestants in Dominion Theology, The Roman Catholic Vatican, Masons, New Age/New Spirituality and all those in various esoteric systems that think man will bring in some utopia on earth.” Don Koenig

Additional comments
In 2005, Clarkson enumerated the following characteristics shared by all forms of dominionism:[36]
1. Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe that the United States once was, and should once again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy.
2. Dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity.
3. Dominionists endorse theocratic visions, insofar as they believe that the Ten Commandments, or "biblical law," should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing Biblical principles.[36]

Sarah Posner in Salon argues that there are various "iterations of dominionism that call on Christians to enter ... government, law, media and so forth ... so that they are controlled by Christians". According to Posner, "Christian right figures promoted dominionism ... and the GOP courted ... religious leaders for the votes of their followers". She added: "If people really understood dominionism, they’d worry about it between election cycles."[52]

Michelle Goldberg notes[53] that George Grant wrote in his 1987 book The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action:
Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ—to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. ... But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. ... Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land—of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.

Jon7190, transparency? Really? You have a con artist ex-president pulling the strings of America's least-informed citizens to undermine faith in our elections. This is utterly unprecedented. Arizona goes the extra mile by installing a hard-right apparatchik from Florida to "audit" the ballots, but only in Maricopa County. By all appearances, this bit of vaudeville will fall significantly short of doing even that. There is not one scintilla of evidence that any systemic fraud occurred last November. Compare and contrast to virtually everything your tribe of cynical partisans are doing now in conjunction with Fox News and other vandals of our democratic republic. Certainly, restricting voting rights falls into this pathetic and despicable move to curtail democracy by any means possible. Really, you must be better than this but I'm beginning to lose my faith in that errant hope.

Since the Trump Party reflects the ethical values of its shameless idol, none of this should surprise. But the mischief you extol here will definitely impair American democracy in the long term. Trump's Big Lie is Orwellian in its scope and brazenness. The few Republicans left who oppose this Putin wannabe will soon be exiled. If you fancy yourself a patriot, you should name the country that is smacking its wide lips at this turn of events. You know which one that is, of course, since your party leaders seem to enjoy spending the 4th of July there.

@Jon7190, you really just played the "It's a republic, not a democracy" card? Really? REALLY?!

Ed Burmila, a political scientist who writes the Gin and Tacos blog, wrote a May 2019 article that ripped the clothes off this rhetorical emperor and forced it to march naked in the square before the ridicule of the townsfolk.


Burmila: For glib elitist types who openly believe in their own superiority, it is a straightforward endorsement of paternalistic, Burkean, “your interests, not your will” representation. To Fox News Stepdads who have spent decades venerating the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, it is an appeal to authority—So was it written, by the great Men themselves!—with the condescending tone natural to the mediocre white guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about but is certain of its accuracy. And in the most common scenario, it is simply a way to create the appearance of having said something profound while saying nothing at all.

In the end, invoking republicanism is little more than a way out for the many Americans who honestly think they support government Of, By, and For the People but are perfectly happy with undemocratic processes that produce the outcomes they want.

Click on the link for the rest of this well-thought-out essay. The best part, though, is the lead artwork. :)

The first three stories in Rogue Columnist. Phoenix and Arizona section nicely dovetail into this blog.

Soleri, you are in a mood! The suspicion about the election didn't come out of thin air or even the hot air of the former president. There is a lot more than a scintilla of evidence, but I'm sure you are totally comfortable believing there isn't because I would bet you haven't even spent an hour looking at the evidence. You know what you know.

This isn't even about Trump anymore. [Almost] everyone knows that even if this audit somehow revealed hundreds of thousands of undeniably illegal votes, there is no mechanism for turning back the election. Trump ain't coming back unless he decides to run again. Biden is the engineer and we're riding this train to the end of the tracks. It's about moving forward and helping all the people have confidence elections aren't hopelessly corrupted.

The establishment-adopted term, The Big Lie (TM), is itself Orwellian. It's an effort to stigmatize the concept and make it outside of the bounds of acceptable discourse. You can talk about the things we say you can talk about but if you talk about these other things, we will shut you down (e.g. The Big Lie (TM), hydroxychloraquin, masks [don't you dare question masks!]). What if The Big Lie (TM) is covering for another big lie that Biden won fair and square? The scope and brazenness of that would be something we haven't seen since at least 1960. Despite commendable non-stop efforts by the media, big tech, every elected Democrat and Liz Cheney, an unprecedented number of citizens still believe that's a possibility. The only thing more corrosive to democracy than talking about fraud is not talking about it. Not allowing independent audits would be making a wound fester. Looking at the definitive evidence is the only way to move forward, and it's the only way to move past Trump, which you should be all for.

Who should run an audit? Guys who have come out questioning the election or guys who have said election questions are baseless. Pick your bias, but it seems to me that if it comes back clean, you would really want the questioning guys because they would have a lot more credibility with questioners. On the other hand, if problems are found, you'd want that coming from the it's baseless guys for mainstreamers to believe. In any event, any proof of irregularities would need to transparent and confirmable. By the way, you may not have been aware that since November, Fox News has not allowed extensive discussion on questioning the election. You would love it. If you want a conservative news whipping boy on this topic, try OANN.

Bobson, you are correct to point out "we are a republic" is kind of a conservative cliche and I apologize for using it, even if it does have the virtue of being true. I read the essay, which has some good points while being more than a bit condescending. I personally think of the republic point when people are treating democracy like it's a mystical religion, while the founders of our constitutional republic with democratic features were actually wary of democracy, which is why they made the three co-equal branches with only a part of one directly elected by the people. Of course times have changed and we've properly made some alterations, but the core principles of a government that makes it hard to quickly and radically change laws or the constitution has served us well.

Also, thank you to Rogue for allowing this free ranging discussion here.

Bobson says if you can't prevail on the courts to take it up (prior to certification) or lead a coup, you should give up.

There's no arguing here, Jon7190, that I am advocating for courts as a legal remedy. And so we are clear: I am advocating against coups d'etat.

The coup I am referencing was the January 6, 2021, insurrection on the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters who were attempting to stop a ritualistic aspect of the transfer of power -- with some participants bringing tools of war in an attempt to capture and possibly kill figures including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trump's own Vice President Mike Pence. Some participants were or are members of American military and law enforcement, so they displayed tactical proficiency during the insurrection.

The evidence on who it was is clear, and the insurrectionists are dead to rights. The actions that day are an assault on our government -- and all it governs -- by a rightwing temper tantrum. The insurrectionists will get their day in court and maybe even their just deserts.

And yes, the American court system is the necessary and proper place to address these grievances. The judiciary was literally a bedrock of this nation's founding, and the framers wanted to throw the yoke of the English crown off them but retained the centurieslong tradition of English common law jurisprudence as the basis for American law. The power of the courts was cemented in 1803 with the Marbury v. Madison ruling.

The courts give adversaries their own advocates to argue the law according to practice, ethics and custom. The party bringing the case has the burden of proof rested upon them.

Trump's legal team attempted 62 claims to overturn the election results. His advocates went full-on Bannon and attempted to flood the legal zone with shit. The danger was that they were hoping to get that one favorable ruling, throw it before the Supreme Court and let the justices be the final arbiter of the vote.

Fortunately, the judicial plumbing worked. Trump's lawyers lost 61 cases. What about the one where Trump's team prevailed in Pennsylvania? USA Today: The lone victory for the Trump team was a small one. A Pennsylvania judge sided with the Trump campaign, ruling that voters could not go back and “cure” their ballots if they failed to provide proper identification three days after the election. The ruling affected few votes and did not change the outcome in Pennsylvania, which Biden won by 81,660 votes.


@El Kabong: Personally, I would favor routine, periodic audits of elections. I wouldn't start it now.

Why? Each election is basically an audit, if you think about it.

An American ballot count typically checks for three things before a vote is certified: the actual vote tally, the number of paper ballots in the counting room, and the number of signatures of voters who appeared at polling places or mailed in ballots.

So the counters aren't just looking for who is winning; the number of voters is important and can give a telltale sign of a person voting multiple times.

Each state also has policies on how can observe the pre-election, election and post-election processes. Political parties send observers, particularly for the vote counting phase, to ensure a fair count and raise problems if they arise.

The National Conference of State Legislatures provides a page for each state's election policies: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/policies-for-election-observers.aspx

Bobson, The Capitol Hill riot was certainly a regrettable and tragic affair. I would agree with the characterization of it as a right wing temper tantrum, much more than an insurrection or coup attempt. If it was either of those, it was undoubtedly the most inept ever attempted. We will see what the government establishes in the court cases, but they seem to be having trouble getting evidence or making cases for any significant charges. That hasn't stopped them from throwing many in jail without bail for months. Commendably, Sens. Warren and Durbin have spoken out about this

The media had been portraying it as a "deadly" attack, but has been dropping that moniker lately since it was revealed the only person killed by violence that day was the unarmed Trump supporter shot by police. If there is any question of whether the New York Times is still a reliable news source, it was settled with their anonymously sourced story of the death of the Capitol Hill police officer by fire extinguisher bludgeoning, conveniently used to set the narrative for the impeachment, then corrected a month later. In April we learned the autopsy showed his death was in fact natural from a stroke.

You make a good defense of our legal system, I wouldn't argue with that at all. My issue with the courts is that they are so reluctant to intervene in election cases and in my opinion really let the American people down in this election. Granted, our slow-moving courts are not the ideal venue to decide cases in the short time frames of the election certification schedule and the legislatures and law enforcement could and should have done more to try to resolve the issues. Still, in our moment of turmoil, the courts were needed to bring clarity and decision. Instead, their decision was to wash their hands of the matter and close cases on procedural grounds without a full hearing of the issues or evidence.

The common refrain that Trump lost all his court cases is true, but highly misleading. Here is a database of all the 2020 Republican election cases. Not counting appeals, the Trump campaign legal team brought 26 suits, 16 post election. 4 of those 16 were decided on the merits, all relatively minor cases, not the big fraud evidence cases (includes the PA case you mentioned). Republicans not part of the Trump campaign brought 56 suits, 22 post election. 2 of those 22 were decided on the merits, both relatively minor, not the big fraud evidence cases. In summary, almost all the post election cases were thrown out on procedure, none of the major cases got hearings. Courts just did not want to be involved in this election.

Even post Jan 20, SCOTUS still doesn't want to resolve any 2020 election issues. Clarence Thomas, who concurred in dismissing the other cases, wrote a fantastically brutal dissent on the courts' 6-3 decision to reject the Pennsylvania case as "inexplicable".

"@El Kabong: Personally, I would favor routine, periodic audits of elections. I wouldn't start it now.

"Why? Each election is basically an audit, if you think about it."

Bobson, I think we have excellent election safeguards in Arizona. There's no reason to doubt the accuracy of our vote totals.

My primary concern is that sophisticated hackers could conceivably corrupt the system even with those safeguards. The Russians, for example, have the desire and might have the means. Suppose that after the vote-tallying programs are tested before the election but before votes are tallied, someone managed to instruct the system to move three percent of the total from one candidate to another. There's no evidence that anything of the sort has occurred. But so much depends on our confidence in elections that I think periodic checks would be a good idea.

I wouldn't begin them now for reasons I stated.

“Violence has always been a part of Christian nationalism,” Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist and co-author of “Taking America Back for God,” told me. “It’s just that the nature of the enemy has changed.”

Great intellectual “assorted” comments and revealing introspection by above commenters. But I submit it solves nada and fails to get to the state of the nation. The domination by leaders and supporters of White supremacist state legislators give squat about the constitutional and legal arguments regarding the stolen election. They are panicked about the browning of the United States and the possible loss of power. Just the 500 year continuation of murder and mayhem by invading Europeans.

“In order to advance this Christian civilization, violence was required,” John Fea, a professor of history at Messiah College, told me. “Winthrop regularly talked about killing Indians in a providential way, and, two hundred years later, this language leads directly into Manifest Destiny.”


This seems like a good time to quote from Trump's "Kraken" lawyer Sidney Powell regarding her repeated, laughably futile efforts to prove election fraud: “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements (I made) were truly statements of fact." She said this in her own defense after she got her sorry ass sued for 1.3 billion dollars.

Of course, this admission will not stop Jon7190 from his voluminous, seemingly cut and paste ramblings, but it is amusing in its own sad way.

A house built on sand, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

For Solari, Bobson, El Kabong and anyone else interested in election issues, an independent group of experts that has been studying the 2020 election recently issued a report. It makes recommendations for changes moving forward as well as a well-written summary of the issues with this and all U.S. elections. For those of you steadfast that people like me are nuts and there were no problems with the election, please read this and see if your opinion survives. There are also enough high quality links that if you were inclined, you could fall down the rabbit hole and spend days there.


Here's my bottom line on the Maricopa audit. I understand thinking this election was normal and that everything's fine, especially if one likes the results. The problem is when the powers that be want to silence all questions and try to derail any digging into the official results via an audit, it makes it look like there's something to hide and actually makes people more suspicious and distrustful.

Thanks everyone for the good dialog!

Jon7190, your "independent group of experts" appear be the kind of people that get hosted by Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingraham, who then persuade motivated reasoners such as yourself that something really rotten happened (see also: Obama's "fraudulent" birth certificate). I am not an expert in this field, and as near as I can tell, neither are your "experts". What they do is all-too typical con artistry: juggle some dubious stats, impute bad motives to unknown actors, and then "prove" that "discrepancies" are probably the result of Democrats stealing the election from the pathological liar you inexplicably revere.

We have elections that are overseen in states, the majority of which have Republican legislators and/or governors. Somehow, despite GOP stewardship, Democrats were able to mastermind the worst theft in our nation's history! No facts were shown that could account for this crazy allegation. None were necessary because your party's low-information voters are persuaded more by heavy breathing than any kind of analysis capable of withstanding sustained judicial scrutiny.

This is the nub: you are making extraordinary claims with rather dubious "facts". The reason for this quixotic exercise is simple: why should a party that detests democracy be ruled by the people who actually vote? Of course, that means you could lose, which for your narcissistic and insecure idol is a nonstarter. The net result of this vandalism will be a nation mired in paranoid ideation and mistrust. I am not amused by your credulous claims of murky wrongdoing since I know from which they spring: brazen contempt for democracy and the rule of law.

The audit must pause and relocate all the materials on the fairgrounds. The livestock barn should be appropriate since it already contains bullshit.
Karma is a bitch!

Bobson, you reiterate a point I have made in the past to Jon--go volunteer to work at the polls and see for yourself how well-oiled, secure and transparent a process it is. I'm sorry to observe that much of the worry about "security" is based on ignorance, and thus the capacity to imagine all sorts of dastardly conspiracies and boogeymen, if you are so inclined.

The Scribd site noted above is laughable, the same hackneyed blather recycled yet again. The organization itself is corrupt, and the self-styled "experts" are the same ones you see on any far right media. If fact, the "impressive" list of links included arrives at exactly the same conclusion about significant election fraud being a non-issue if you look at any credible source. "Some guy who said so on the internet," or Trump's favorite "lots of people are saying..." is hardly scholarly.

AZ Senate also took away the power of choice for bringing a fetus with genetic abnormalities to term.

And our state Supreme Court is going to look at whether the education funding bill passed by the voters can be overturned by the 1%.

We are not a smart people.

Jon 7190, no, I don't buy it.

My line of work took me into the area of elections with some frequency. My concerns are not new.

What we've seen regarding this election is some people crediting Trump's reprehensible, unsubstantiated claims of fraud. Based on those reprehensible claims and nothing else that I can see, I've heard about suspicions and lack of confidence in the election. Therefore we must audit. This is a pile of dust built on Trump's deplorable and baseless accusations. It's not a good reason to do anything. In my view, it's a reason not to do anything right now.

There was far more reason to audit the 2016 election because we knew that the Russians tried to mess with it. But we didn't. I didn't argue that we should even though I didn't like Trump. Our tradition has been for losers to accept their status graciously. I tried. And now we should audit the election because Trump is not only a loser but an unprecedentedly bad loser?


@Soleri wrote: The reason for this quixotic exercise is simple: why should a party that detests democracy be ruled by the people who actually vote?

Something happened to this nation between the election of Obama and Trump, and it might answer your question.

A warning: Don't try to unpack the bizarre thought process about the following explanation. It's like those warning stickers on your microwave that say DO NOT REPAIR THIS MICROWAVE YOURSELF. There are myriad reasons why you shouldn't repair the microwave yourself, but just trusting the sticker should suffice.

OK then.

Remember birtherism? The conspiracy theory was initially the marsh gas wafting from the fever swamps that there's no way a Black man could get elected in the U.S. as president. Because they didn't want to believe a Black man was in charge of them, they created a dissociative fantasy that he was really not born in the U.S. state of Hawaii.

Birtherism took on a life of its own. It helped establish the tea party reaction. A few years later, Donald Trump glommed onto the fantasy.

It is here when something extraordinary happened. When Trump became the alpha of birtherism, he ended up gnawing away at the tether that sundered America's rightwing from objective reality.

Obama ended up finally releasing his birth certificate, showing that he was in fact born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ironically, this was a vindication of birtherism. Why? Because the rightwing learned that reality is created, and birtherism was the blueprint.

Why is Arizona “The crazy state” ?

Because all across rural Arizona and in many of the suburbs ( Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa) , the old Tea party is alive and well. Meetings are held weekly or every two weeks. In attendance at these meetings are ALL the GOP precinct chairpersons. ALL OF THEM. Who comes to the meetings to speak to them? All the current crop of crazies they put in office. Gosar, Ward, Rogers, Lesko, Townsend, Finchen.

Who else attends these meetings? A whole bunch of gray haired crazies who settled here from “ other states”. Have you ever wondered why so many of our crazy elected officials are not Arizonans? Arizonans work hard to build up our state. These crazy carpetbaggers come here because they consider Arizona an easy mark to spread their craziness.

The only way to defeat the tea party crazies is to use the large number of independent voters, the Hispanic vote and unicorn fairy dust. Three mythical forces. Good luck with that.

Birtherism, continued.

This is the internal logic of birtherism, interpreted step by step for an objective-reality-based audience:

1. Settle upon an idea rooted in fantasy, any idea that is deliberately contradictory and/or impossible -- mathematically, physically or logically -- to conceive and evaluate. It should be what theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli was purported to describe as Not Even Wrong (Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong).

2. Bait your intended target. Make it viral or meme it on social media. Echo it through the rightwing media chamber (bloggers and local talk radio, then online personalities, then national personalities, then the holy grail of Fox primetime). Create a small scene that draws a large media response. (A recent example: As Qanons started to get deplatformed from social media, they began to hold more acceptable-sounding "Save the Children" rallies near places where families congregate. It gave the appearance of a real moral crisis without the taint of the imaginary exploitation conspiracy -- but that would come once a bond and trust relationship was formed in real life.) Your target will be forced to respond.

3. Await a detailed, fact-filled takedown and hit them with the Bad Faith Fusillade:
A. The ad hominem. Immediately establish the person and their position as the focus of ridicule. Turn knowledge, credibility and trustworthiness into stigmas.
B. Frame-flipping. Beyond ridiculing the person, cast that person as a villain, a bully and an abuser. Claim that knowledge and facts are "elitist" or are tactics by an outgroup to tear apart a community. Insist upon being the victim.
C. Sealioning. Seize upon a blatant or subtle insult and demand to carry on a civil conversation.
D. Load for bear. Various communities have different name for the same tactic of burying a germ of truth in a mound of nonsense. Evolution advocates call creationists' use of it the Gish Gallop. Steve Bannon calls it "flooding the zone with shit." Russia-watchers call it the "firehose of falsehood."
E. You can't spell disingenuous without "genius." The savvy ignoramus has learned that to defeat a smarter adversary, they don't need a better argument. The ignoramus just needs to walk away from the exchange by denying the smarter person the satisfaction of being right. The logic goes that by projecting bottomless ignorance, the fool is the wiser person in the exchange.
F. If all else fails, escalate. Menace through threats of violence or actual violence. Doxx. Start harassing family, friends and employers.

4. "Winning" is mostly about projecting confidence and always playing offense. This is Donald Trump's life in a nutshell. It explains everything. Objectively, Donald Trump is an abjectly wretched person to work with, befriend, live with or lead. But he's always had an animal instinct to project confidence and always make you live life on his terms. And there are always just enough people to impress upon the image of Donald Trump as Alpha Male Emperor Daddy to make himself dangerous.

You saw all these steps played against Obama, and he makes the categorical mistake of engaging them in a quintessentially Obamaesque manner. He presented his birth certificate.

He lost because he wasn't hip to the game the birthers were playing. By presenting the birth certificate, Obama was guilty of suspicion of being a foreign-born president. If birthers had reason to doubt the very legitimacy of a Black president, under birther logic all actions after his inauguration should be cast under doubt. With his powers, he could doctor a birth certificate to "say" he was born in "Hawaii," and his own mother and the doctor who delivered him just happen to be dead. Hmm indeed. And wouldn't someone who graduated from an elite, coastal Ivy League school use his knowledge and credentials to bamboozle the salt-of-the-earth "real Americans?" He only just raises more questions, none worth answering.

Does this make sense at all? No, it does not on a rational level. But for birthers, rationality produced an outcome that was a personal affront, a betrayal. The thinking brain's equivalent of a stab in the back.

So they retreat into satisfying emotional and sensory explanations (Obama's intelligence makes him look like a chump; Trump's manifold flaws can be forgiven because he can project an image of strength and confidence) for a sense of psychological redemption.

That was the angle birtherism was working all along. The birthers were never out for the facts. They only wanted to confirm their priors, and now they have a method to take ideas and conflate them with reality by creating their own.

Mr. Dugnutt,

The chicken or the egg.

Would the birtherism plan have worked had not the populace been dumbed down by 70 years of television and forty years of internet?

The 35% of the country that are trumpers are dumber than a box of rocks. Listening to them, talking to them is a painful experience. As painful as having to deal with a friend or family member ravaged by dementia.

I challenge my republican friends, "turn off Fox news, read competing articles, form your own opinion". They won't. They can't. As with dementia, they are lost to the illness.

Not even wrong. does not exist?


Try it now, Cal. Take off the closing parenthesis and the period.

Here's the same on RationalWiki: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong

Thanks Bodug
After a little research from your post I found a little something that has a bit about my posts.

Cargo cult science
Cargo cults are religious practices that have appeared in many traditional tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures.
Like Ted Cruz and Marjorie Green's attempt to destroy Dr.Fauci

After seeing what it is like to be old, including friends and relatives, I am announcing a name change. I am retiring the tags Ruben, AzRebel, Helen Highwater. From this point forward, whenever I do post it will be over the name "Euthanasia will set you free". It's good enough for our pets. It should be good enough for us. I'm 70. I don't see putting up with all this shit past 75.

"Now that human beings are surviving longer than ever before, many have another goal: a good death."
Brooke Jarvis

@AzRebel: The chicken or the egg.

Would the birtherism plan have worked had not the populace been dumbed down by 70 years of television and forty years of internet?

History tells us: Absolutely. Most extant ancient texts are either mythologies or sacred canons. All are ultra-violent, like Quentin Tarantino movies but unlike the Tarantino-verse contain an embedded morality.

Homo sapiens evolved from myth to the creation of science and recognizing the objectivity of the outer world.

Biology and later evolution and ecology are sciences, but despite supplanting myth in the details ... sadly, the conclusions are the same. Violence undergirds biology and evolution, too. Life cannot exist without other life existing to be consumed. There is competition for resources among all organisms. There is parasitism.

Myth and science take opposite roads to reach the same destination. Homo sapiens is either a once perfect creature now fallen into a world of suffering and death. On the other hand, think about how much suffering and death Homo sapiens endured to emerge up from the muck to where we are now.

If anything, peace, prosperity and progress are the aberrations and owe perhaps much more to randomly being in the right time and place and guessing correctly on what to do next.

The 35% of the country that are trumpers are dumber than a box of rocks. Listening to them, talking to them is a painful experience. As painful as having to deal with a friend or family member ravaged by dementia.

Trump supporters are not dumb, by and large. You can be brilliant and be a moral cesspool, insatiably cruel, or be so emotionally cold that your body temperature would be zero kelvin. But these are extraordinary conditions. Most people don't fit these labels, but enable evil by being so unremarkable and passive that they're metaphorically overgrown plankton.

Hannah Arendt wrestled with this issue in "The Origins of Totalitarianism." Roger Berkowitz of Arendt's namesake center drew parallels of Hitler's Germany and Trump's America in the L.A. Review of Books.


In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Thank you, Bobson, for the link. I appreciate the distinction Hannah Arendt makes between racism and race thinking. Totalizing explanations underpin any impulse to see evil as some deviation from one's own opinion, which we see not only among hard-core white nationalists but their opponents in the anti-racist left. Berkowitz remarks that Trump cannot be seen as a racist because he has no absolutist program to impute evil to any one group of people. The closest he comes is with islamophobia, which Arendt would probably describe as a secular ideology.

I mention this because the quasi-religious nature of these beliefs has the power to collapse our democracy if followed to their logical conclusions. What would result would likely not be totalitarianism but a kind of post-democratic rule of security forces and technocrats. I'm glad I'm old because I don't relish having to pick over the bones of Jefferson and Madison in some Mad Max future we might be heading toward.

The final thoughts about modern loneliness are instructive. In Portland, I see the certitude and anger on the left as a bulwark against mind-numbing complexity and anomie. Belief is as much a narcotic here as the ubiquitous syringes we see in our urban parks. The true believers know that chaos, if not unleashing some historically necessary change, can be seen as a corrective to their alienation from modernity. The devils they indict range from Starbucks to the police to anyone who disagrees with them.

I spend a lot of time online pondering what my tribe of urban, left-leaning cosmopolitans think about politics. I am not heartened by their righteousness because I simply don't see the eventual triumph of the left they do. Most Americans are not liberal despite how much they might like their stimulus checks and the promise of some robust social programs we might offer. The disconnect here derives from the all-too human need for security and tribal identity. The left cannot merely leverage shame about "racism" along with socialist bromides to alter this reality. The average American may be as lonely as any woke social justice warrior but most are not ideological so much as fearful. They like many of our prescriptions but our sanctimony less so. Politics, finally, is not about how good we imagine ourselves to be. It's about our willingness to bargain in good faith. We're mixing categories when we think politics can fill the void where meaning and community should reside.

Well boys and girls time for philosophizing is over. As I mentioned above the US is at WAR (as is the planet). Friedrich Nietzsche made a few points along the way but I find Hanna Arednt to be a better thinker. Time to turn off the computer and pondering and get out of your condo and make sure the voters make it to the polls. Mental and physical support for indigenous folks like the Dine and other minorities is mandatory.
“Dumb” or smart voters is not the problem. More likely is Uniformed and no vision beyond the immediate.

“Randomly being in the right time and place." few enjoy such!

In case you missed it, if the current gangsters in the GOP take the house back they get to certify the 2024 Presidential election. Given their support for Trump and armed White Supremacists rioters, one can imagine how that will go.

I think Biden and Joe Manchin’s fantasy of negotiation with the GOP has no future.

The current mad hatter circus between Trumps Republican zombies and Liz Cheney would be laughable if it were not just downright dangerous. The funny part is comparing the criminally insane spur heels draft dodger who shuns hunting and likely doesn’t know which end of a AK 47 to point at the enemy, to Attila the Hun Dick Cheney’s daughter Chun LI the street fighter pretending to be Wonder Woman.

Mad Max is here. I see him daily in his high rise 4 wheel pickup with a loaded gun rack and flying American and Confederate flags, racing through the Fry’s parking lot. And of course no mask and an anti-vax bumper sticker.

But like Jake said, Its America.

And I am a lot older than Soleri

Cal, I'm probably as alarmed as are you by the possibility of an approaching electoral apocalypse. That said, we better marshal our arguments to avoid the good vs evil rhetorical style of the woke left. Suggesting anyone who votes for Trump is a white supremacist, e.g., is a virtual guarantee that we will lose that election since people don't respond well to the tone of moral superiority in liberal guilt trips. Moreover, it will directly buttress the arguments the Republicans are already making that Democrats are being held captive by screwball ideologues who relish shaming people for merely being white.

Portland may as well be Exhibit A in this Republican argument, and they will have reams of visual evidence to bolster this culture-war strategy. My city is already one of the most highly taxed in the nation but can't afford to pick up the piles of garbage on its own streets since it compulsively enables bad behavior from homeless heroin addicts to sociopathic anarchists.

If we can agree that democracy is hanging by a slender thread, it may be a good idea to also understand that people are not much better than their evolutionary heritage. Human beings evolved in tightly-knit tribes, which our post-industrial society resembles in no way at all. But that instinct hasn't atrophied so much as gone underground waiting to surface at inconvenient moments. This may be one of those moments where the tribal vector shows up in electoral politics.

America is hardly a liberal country. We're the only advanced nation on the planet without universal health care, family leave, or affordable higher education. The reason for this is what has haunted our politics for decades: we're not all one "people". Rather, we're "multicultural". The white working class won't necessarily vote for policy proposals that benefit them if they also benefit people of color. Republican strategists, of course, understand this much better than lefties living in their blue bubbles.

Democracy is only possible when society is well-ordered and secure. Defunding the police and other lefty rhetorical tropes almost sound as if they were devised by ratfucking Republican strategists like Karl Rove, Lee Atwater or Roger Stone. The sanctimonious left, sadly, is not going to preen its way to electoral victory. What works in Portland fails in places like Ohio, Florida, Texas, and - most likely - Arizona. We're in the fight of our lives to save democracy. Don't help Republicans by validating their cartoon version of liberal Democrats.

I said i was older not smarter.
Consequently i am not able to see how your response has anything to do with any of my comments here?

Cal, in two comments you have posted the words "white supremacist", which have a highly specific meaning in today's political debate. That's because "wokeness" itself is an offspring of Critical Race Theory, which posits that nearly everything that pertains to our political sphere depends on understanding "white supremacy" as the principal toxin damaging the equitable distribution of rights and privileges to people of color in America.

I have no idea if you really intended to use those words this way, but it is, most likely, the hottest debate among our political intelligentsia today. It explains why Republicans are gleefully accusing Democrats of "woke" this and that. It's also one of my obsessive themes when I comment here that Democrats are whistling past the graveyard by caving into their zealots since "woke" ideology is so highly inflammatory. James Carville wrote despairingly about this phenomenon about a week ago:

Don't feel ashamed if you didn't know any of this because most Americans don't. I'm constantly being asked what "woke" means whenever I use the word in a sentence. There's something obscure and tendentious about the ideology of CRT/wokeness. I end up talking about French philosophers like Foucault and Derrida, which only makes the problem worse.

That said, I like to call Portland Woke City because if it has a civic religion, this is it. People use yard signs to communicate their wokeness to one another (e.g., "in this house we believe no human is illegal"). A few blocks from where I live there are daily demonstrations with signs such as "I can't breathe", "Black Lives Matter," and "white supremacy is terrorism". It's a common joke here that the ratio of Black Lives Matter signs to actual black people living here is about 10 to 1.

This would all be amusing if it wasn't so politically problematic. Suggesting white people have been and continue to be the only reason people of color have not succeeded in America is both speculative and even bigoted. It's analogous to saying 50 years ago that the only reason blacks haven't succeeded is because they're lazy. All generalizations deceive but the current one has become a secular religion on the Democratic left. Let me know if you "grok" this.

At 80 i dont get "woke." And have no intention of using it or "groke" in a sentence.
I know people who say the are white supremacists. And i thought i saw photos from Jan 6th of people claiming to be white supremacists participating in a assualt on America? Your latest comments just added more confusion to my already jumbled mass of degenerating brain cells. So i let you and Foucault (he is dead) handle the heavy intellectual flowing river current stuff. Maybe Siddhartha can help?
I think Joe of now from his Hoffa/Bufalino past of 60 years ago has got 20 months to put a lock on the gates to hell.
Side note. Usually your scribbling is more poetic and could be set to music but not so much recently.
Intellectual anger and frustration?

Soleri, thank you for your response. Along with Rogue's columns, you reliably offer the most insightful comments.

I share with you a fear of what our nation and our democracy is decaying into. I think we even have some of the same objections to the younger, more energetic members of the Democratic coalition and their mindsets.

However, I do have a disagreement with you and I must draw a line.

Wokeness and progressivism can't and shouldn't be conflated with Trumpism. It's a false equivalence, and this is especially dangerous to invoke in a time like this.

Wokeness and progressivism are a problem. Trumpublicans are the problem.

As bothersome as the issues wokes and progs raise, they are still rooted in and bound by reality. We're still capable of having disagreements without partisans in the argument desiring to nihilistically burn down the house of democracy. Also, what we older folks know is that for young and energetic movements, time is not on their side. The longer the movement goes on, the older people get and they do older people stuff. Like get jobs. Find mates and try to keep them. Set examples for their children. In other words, they move on. Life moves on. History moves on.

The American rightwing is a clear and present danger. They have actual political power at the local, state and federal levels. When they wield power, they are animated by ressentiment. They pass laws out to spite and humiliate people who don't pass for white, aren't boiling with testosterone, or don't belong to or work for their country clubs or megachurches.

And that's just for the people who wield the power. The people out of power who vote for them are far worse.

Who are the ones toxifying internet comment boards? Who are the ones educating themselves by and contaminating the internet with memes? Who are the ones who embubble themselves in broadcast and social media that confirm their priors, weaponize their prejudices and flatter their attitudes with an illusory sense of belonging?

It's not an open question. It's America's right wing, because we can measure and evaluate the depth and volume of their evil. America's rightwing is far more racially and religiously homogeneous (the GOP is more white and more evangelical than the U.S. population as a whole and demography is trending away from whiteness and religion). America's rightwing commits far more political violence, with more members committing far more aggressions as militia groups, race gangs and hate groups. Their body counts are higher. Donald Trump famously sounded the klaxon to one group during the first presidential debate. Stand back and stand by.

The last point is especially prescient. The predominantly white, predominantly evangelical Republican Party threw open and throws open the door to redemptive violence. Donald Trump rolled out the red carpet to fascists when he said "very fine people, on both sides" following the Charlottesville rally. State legislators in Florida and Oklahoma thought the guy in the Dodge Challenger who murdered Heather Heyer was the hero and passed laws giving people the right to run over protesters.

Anywhere Republicans have lawmaking control, they are writing laws to disenfranchise voters and installing mechanisms to throw out votes to their disfavor (see Georgia). Democrats in control of government, in contrast, are not disenfranchising Republicans. Democrats aren't forcing the narrative that voter restrictions stacking the deck in their favor and fraud are the the only two possible outcomes in the election.

The 1-6-21 insurrection has closed the case on who these people are, the sum of their fears, and how much the Republican party, their transmitters in old and new media, and their benefactors have all cosigned on and internalized Donald Trump as their reality creator and redeemer.

Wokeness and movement activism don't pose a civil war or genocide-level threat. That is one of the many things that make about 81 million of us manifestly qualified, by default, to govern the United States into the present and future.

Talk about the words white supremacists.
I wonder how the Woke folks would deal with the saying,
"Columbus was a Christian Jihadi?"
See the Front Pages article from the Asian Times.
And Gene Paul Sartre was not born yet to help explain.

Oops, sorry Jean about Gene
Guess i had that thief Genet in mind.

Cal, you don't need to worry about using woke in a sentence. When anybody says woke, it's used ironically to mock what was once an uplifting adjective.

Woke, originally used by Blacks for Blacks, was meant to alert them of the many cultural, economic, legal and psychological injustices perpetuated against them.

This is rooted in objective reality -- their grievances can be measured, proved and remedied -- and the lived experience of their own traumas and the traumas of their communities and of generations before them.

Lived experience is subjective, yet nonetheless real. Objective observation can tell us how trauma affects us, and it affects us psychologically. In other words, it affects us individually according to no observable pattern.

Then, as things so happen in culture, "woke" spread beyond its original community to the broader culture. Initially, it did prompt a moment of self-reflection. Then it became a Frankenstein monster when the broader culture went over the top with their displays of guilt and contrition and used wokeness to catalog their personal or their communities' real and perceived grievances.

It is this moment when woke reached the tipping point about a half-decade ago and became a disparaging remark. The broader culture became fatigued, alienated from all of the scolding, and/or cynical by seeing it all as a front for using victimhood as a social cryptocurrency.

Soleri, I shared that same James Carville link in another thread and Jon put it up on the Front Page.

I'm on Carville's side on this one. This is where I mentioned in another thread that I have objections like you to woke activism. I do think that we can and must engage with their claims, as uncomfortable as they may be, but also press back just to the point where we don't poison them from politics. Because I don't want the conversation to turn into who'll be the first among the 81 million of us to be put against the wall. We're talking the GOP made in Trump's image, so literally against a wall.

My problem with identity politics is this: Identity and politics are like bleach and ammonia. Both are substances that exist in nature. Both have their purposes. In limited quantities, both help to create a greater good. But combining the two releases something more toxic than the two items in isolation.

I know I'm taking too much time here, but we must give the Democrats actually in power for pressing back against idpol by the overeducated activist left.

I found this on one of the Front Page links about a week ago from Washington Monthly. There was this response by Arizona's Democratic Rep. Raul Gallego, who represents Phoenix.


“Ruben, honest question, how do we as a party improve our work with the LatinX community across the country as well as we’ve done in AZ?” Gallego tweeted a sharp reply: “First start by not using the term Latinx.”

He gets it.

I recommend the article because it goes into the history of how the term came into being, why, and the motivations of the activists forcing the frame.

Thanks Bodug. I appreciate your try at helping my education. But i totally failed grammar. I can usually recognize a verb. I have no idea what an adverb is.
I guess something you add to a verb?
Let alone what a friend keeps telling me is a dangling participle? I have been trying to avoid posting here as I'm campfire cal from the streets of desert sands not a sage from the ivory towers.
"Keep Scribbling"

Bobson, thank you for engaging on this subject. It was not my intention to equate Wokeism to Trumpism but to have this very discussion. I'll try to clarify this point by distinguishing the two toxins from one another along with some of their passing similarities. Make no mistake: their threat to democracy is real if unequal.

Jon1790 exited this discussion too soon, but my remarks were initially an effort to nudge him into admitting the threat Trump's lies posed to democracy and the rule of law. Jon being the resolute partisan wouldn't budge an inch. I had offered him more than an inch by sharing my qualms about the woke left and its own authoritarianism. Do I believe the two threats are equally grave? No, but I do believe their rough correspondence illuminate a grave threat to our core liberal foundations coming from illiberal actors, be they right-wing populists or left-wing identitarians.

Politically, the identiarians have breached many of the liberalism's once sacred fortresses in academia, journalism, and even business (HR departments, public relations, etc). If you read the NYT or WaPo, you can't help but notice how "systemic racism" has become an all-purpose explanation for any injury a person of color might suffer in our society. By the same token, the media are filled with stories of transgressions and defenestrations of celebrities who violated a speech code or sensibility. If you live in Portland like I do, this phenomenon can becomes a virtual lifestyle. All of this is funny in a Life of Brian kind of way but the cost to the public square eventually overwhelms the endeavor. Portland is failing because it has tied itself into knots trying to manifest an abstraction, justice, as a social fact.

The right has a significant advantage in the current impasse because their tribalism does have evolutionary roots. The blood and soil politics of the last century were less an anomaly than a warning that humans require enough of a social matrix to understand themselves. What does the left offer them? Reeducation camps, social workers, and victim hierarchies.

Security is a first order requirement for all societies. By contrast, justice is the cherry on the ice cream soda you enjoy after the streets have been paved and the police deployed. Democracy means enough of life's difficult material issues have been solved so that we can now tackle fairness and inequality.

If democracy is failing in America, it has less to do with injustice and racism than anger and fear. It pains me to say this as a lifelong liberal, but as vile as most right-wingers are, they are much more realistic about human nature than we are. It's not infinitely flexible because we are, all of us, fragile and partial. We require "safe spaces" when we no longer trust one another's basic decency. The irony here should be very plain: the illiberal left and the populist right will reflexively resort to clinched fists to create their existential need for security. Calling the other side fascistic is a bit of projection disguised as outrage.

In a showdown with the social-justice left, the populist right will win. They will do so because they have the firepower, coherent social identity, simple beliefs, and eons of human misery coded in their DNA. This is why I want the left to understand the threat to liberal order inside their own ranks. The Democratic Party should be on the brink of exterminating the sewer rats in the house of democracy. Instead, we're fighting for our lives because lefty Aquarians are busy hosting diversity workshops instead of nurturing our overarching sense of community. What will win this war isn't our purity and idealism. It's our tough-minded realism. Right now, we're failing spectacularly.

Since I turned 80 I sometimes wonder
if I go to sleep
will I "WOKE" up!
Thus more about Wokism
Is Kalle Lasn its high priest?

I'm very grateful to Soleri and Bobson for the discussion of how the far left has become an illiberal prisoner of the Great Awokening (critical race and gender theories).

Ideology isn't a line but a circle. So the extremes meet, in their ideological certainty, unwillingness to compromise, need for enemies, thought police, etc. The Trump GOP is the greater danger, but the wokesters are not mere harmless post-hippies loosed from The Evergreen State College.

This is what people come to Rogue for — high value-added comments and conversations. Thanks so much!

Latinx needs to use Rid-X to clean up the scum that is blocking the septic tank that is the republican party.

(this is the only time it is OK to use the word Latinx)

"This is what people come to Rogue for — high value-added comments and conversations. Thanks so much!"
The above is why I have tried not to post.
Given my limited intelligence and the rules of posting i have nothing constructive, simulating or heterodoxy to add to the conversation.

and by the way

Once again that the limits of liberalism have been reached when its leaders fail to crack down on the homeless. 

Give me a break, Cal. Readers love your stuff.

But Soleri gets all the teachers gold stars.

Unfortunately Words alone
will not solve all problems

"resistance forcing change
will only come from the street."

Cal, if it's any consolation to you, I used to win the gold stars in school and then get roughed up by the cool kids during recess. It's a fairly common observation about Trump that his popularity springs from his contempt for pleasing the so-called adults in the room. He's a bad boy and the GOP base loves him for that reason. As Jan Brewer once said, "he tells it like it is" (academic translation: he conveys tribal affinity in easily understood language). I remember Elvis doing his bad-boy shtick in Kid Creole where he expressed similar contempt for smarty-pants types like myself.

Still, I'm almost at that point where I'm ready to go the full JD Vance here and acknowledge the other side has human worth and dignity despite their lack of political correctness. Joe Biden is my spirit guide here. There's nothing in Joe's presentation that demeans other people. True, he walks a thin line between his working-class Joe persona and the elevated sensitivities of "woke" Democrats. How much longer he can finesse this tension remains to be seen. I think it's a lesson other Democrats need to be mindful of. When Hillary made her "deplorable" gaffe in 2016, it highlighted a perception about her that she was a bitchy elitist. Bernie Sanders, by contrast, conveyed Brooklyn authenticity with his waving arms and unruly hair. His bigger problem was his old-school hippie protester vibe, which could be charming if you liked Norman Lear comedies but less so if you saw his sanctimonious fans as the people Fox now describes as "woke". If Kamala is the nominee in 2024, watch out. She'll be crucified as the very embodiment of that word.

Soleri, the Sunnyslope grade school we went to had teachers that beat me with wooden paddles with holes drilled in them. And a gang of kids that ran me down and rubbed my face in the dirt to watch me sneeze. But that didnt keep me from being Tetherball champ
with a D minus grade average.

Despite Joes past gaffes he is doing good. Time will tell!
If we're alive in 20 month's.

Soleri Here you go, HOPE?


@Soleri: In a showdown with the social-justice left, the populist right will win. They will do so because they have the firepower, coherent social identity, simple beliefs, and eons of human misery coded in their DNA.

Boom. This is the existential crisis of our time. The American social justice left has also created a mindset of its own annihilation by internalizing and venerating victimhood.

The term social justice warrior is an oxymoron. A warrior has a morality and teleology of righteous violence. I'm sorry, but I don't trust our culture of openness and democracy to be defended by anyone who crumbles psychologically if they are labeled the wrong pronoun.

Leftist political scientist and writer Corey Robin gives perhaps the operative definition of a conservative, which he says is essentially reactionary:

For that is what conservatism is: a meditation on—and theoretical rendition of—the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back. -- In "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin" (2011 and updated following Trump's victory)

To translate Robin's abstruse academic speak to plain English:

Defend your status and the hierarchy that feeds you.

This needs to be the basis of understanding the rightwing psychology.

Bobson, thank you for your pithy summation of this encroaching nightmare. I don't want to add anything that might distract from its crystalline clarity.

Kind of related to this thread, but maybe this could be a signal boost to the Front Page. Technology writer Charlie Warzel, who runs the Galaxy Brain Substack, interviews Erin Gallagher about the complexity of social media disinformation and propaganda campaigns.


It at least helps us to understand who and what we're up against.

Some of us are just listening to what they and their supporters said:

"We have put together I think the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics." - Joe Biden.

“For me it’s really special because now we have the first black-Asian female President in office and elected and Joe Biden was able to steal, no, win the election, sorry,” [Chiara] De Blasio said.

124,000 votes for Biden, 0 for Trump, tallied at 3 am. Sounds right.

Why are you all so scared of recounting the votes in Arizona? You're afraid they will find something that shows the Democrats cheated. Big time.

Phil, Phil, Phil.
It is mostly AZ Republicans who are calling for an end to the audit. You silly goose. Read it again. Mostly republicans.

Now if you would kindly take the documentation backing your claims to the newspaper office nearest to you, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you Phil in advance for your cooperation.

The votes in Maricopa County have already been recounted a couple of times.

Not by Cyber Ninjas, whatever the hell that is.

Not by Kelli Ward, whatever the hell she is.

But certainly under Republican supervision.

Guess what?

Biden won.

Obviously some people don't mind making the state even more of a national laughing stock than it already is.

On the contrary, they revel in it.

In the race to the bottom, move over Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi, here we come!

A few observations:

If a state, New York, and a city, New York turned a blind eye to wrongdoings by an individual for five decades, is it OK for said entities, who benefitted from said wrongdoings to go after the individual at this late date??

Karen "I'm the answer seeker" Fann has sure painted herself into a corner. The state of AZ is ending up with a gigantic black eye for her stupidity.

Soleri, how long do you stick it out in Portland?

A few more threads like this and we'll have to meet for hemlock rather than coffee. Bring yer vaccination papers toot sweet.

Another candidate for the Front Page, from FiveThirtyEight about the CyberNinjas travesty in Arizona.

"What’s Happening In Arizona Is Not Really An Audit Or A Recount. It’s A Partisan Inquisition."


I'll respond to its concluding paragraph: "Arizona is drafting a dangerous blueprint. Because the normal requirements of an audit or a recount aren’t being followed, the results can’t be trusted. Repeating this kind of action in other states opens the door to a new era where our most important democratic process is undermined because there are two results in an election: the actual results, and the results of the partisan inquisition conducted by the losers."

That's the point.

Thanks for the link, Bobson. We had the story up at the time.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has profiled the Sedition Hunters, the citizens who are poring over insurrection photos and videos and working with the FBI to bring the participants to justice.


FBI says they've helped lead to "dozens" of arrests.

Pretty amazing that Mitch is still the majority leader in the Senate.

Isn't Michael Crow's primary duty to ensure the safety and welfare of the faculty and students of ASU. Not cave to the COVID rantings of an idiot governor.

A fair, speedy and public trial - 1850

Monday - Arrested
Tuesday- Trial
Wednesday - hung at 10am

A fair, speedy and public trial - 2000's

Monday - Arrested

5 years later- investigation ongoing

10 years later - trial cancelled, defendant died of old age.


US Congress person, "what do yo see as your role in congress?"

"My job is to carry out various investigations and stretch them out for 30 to 40 years until I have become wealthy and my widow replaces me."

"What about legislation?"

"Good question. I'll set up an investigation."

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