Dec 19, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

I read something recently that said it's not about the left vs right anymore but the authoritarian vs. tolerant. There are authoritarians on both sides of the political divide who are, for a variety of reasons, pushing for the extremes.

I'd like to think that a majority of us are sensible, down to earth people who want a better world and thought we were working for that by backing our usual side.

I for one have come to realize, in the last 6 months, how much I had been played by the people I thought were politically progressive, and that the caricature of the whacky people on the right was, just that, a ridiculous caricature meant to build my mistrust.

I sure hope that many more of us wake up to what's happening. Whether we are concerned about free speech, child safeguarding, women's rights, or another issue, it's going to be important for us to push for open debate and the coming back together of reasonable people who have had enough of the ridiculous.

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Very well said. I think the reality deniers and the authoritarians are often one and the same because if you want to push an idea that's ridiculous or whose logic falls apart under the slightest scrutiny, you can't rely on tools like persuasion and debate. In fact, you have to silence those tools as quickly as possible so they aren't allowed to undermine your agenda.

You can't allow people to listen to "the other side," so you convince your side the they're evil and stupid. You can't acknowledge the strengths of the opposing arguments, so you rely on straw-men and lies. You can't afford dissent, so you silence people using emotional manipulation and intimidation.

I absolutely believe that most people are sensible and reasonable. As long as you can break down these filters first.

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You just wrote what I was trying to say.

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Dec 19, 2022·edited Dec 19, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

I think the left/right formulation has completely broken down. The traditional divisions on matters of culture and economics etc. have yielded to a warped system with different axes altogether. Take the "woke" movement, easily as rigid and uncompromising as the worst of MAGA; that they have few values in common does little to mitigate their complete inflexibility. You cannot hold a view on even the most absurd matters of gender identity on what we once called the left any more than you can believe Trump lost the 2020 election.

The right used to be about strong defense, fiscal restraint, now it's the right running up the biggest deficits in history. The left used to be about lending a helping hand to those who need it, a diversity of viewpoints; now it runs in terror from any conviction of any kind.

Red and blue doesn't really cover it either. It seems more geography than outlook.

I call myself a leftist; I am more of an environmentalist and communitarian than anything else; but I would welcome the most brutal authoritarianism if it would halt the eulogies of extinct species, as long as it could be trusted, but it can't be. I revile the "woke" with as much disgust as I do the MAGA crowd.

The right once included ideological leaders, men like Buckley and Goldwater whose ideas were horrible but were at least sincere and coherent; their descendants are just haters and nothing more than that.

Whatever we call them, there is no common ground to be found anymore.

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"I think the left/right formulation has completely broken down."

Yep, agreed. Or rather, as you say, it doesn't mean what it used to mean. The divide used to be about policies. About sincere, albeit different, visions of how to create a better society. Increasingly, it's about which fictitious version of reality you want to pretend is real.

The reality deniers on both sides will cause untold, albeit different, damage if left unchecked. The reasonable people, who I believe are a silent majority, have a common enemy.

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Dec 21, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

Really well articulated. I get where you’re coming from on the imperative for some sort of cooperation mechanism to deal with global environmental issues of existential importance. I was an enviro nonprofit lawyer for nearly 25 years.

But arguably more important to my current daily life and that of my children in the near future is the freedom to openly adhere to what your good faith version of shared truth. (Your “lived experience” is your own damn business.).

That freedom is what is at stake. Thanks for your really helpful and insightful thoughts.

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When words have no standard meaning all things become ambiguous. People who think like what you just expressed are moving away from parties or labels they once proudly proclaimed as their tribe with words to the effect of, "The [X] has moved away from my values."

My MAGA buddy calls Republicans who don't support Trump RINOs. In my thinking, Trump is the RINO when thinking of what Republicans once stood for. When Trump first ran, I opined that as a life-long Democrat he was a shill who would destroy the Republican Party. I took considerable heat from his supporters for expressing that opinion. I was probably wrong about him being a shill with a mission to destroy the Republican Party. He now seems more of a narcissist with total disregard for the Republican party, though I was probably right about his destructive nature. His supporters have forgotten what Republicans once stood for.

JFK would probably be too conservative to be a Democrat today. The same could possibly be said for the young tough on crime Joe Biden. Barack Obama ran on "change." We got it good and hard where the change is a bit dystopian. Not entirely blaming him for that, I had high hopes for him. He was an inspiring candidate, perhaps more a disappointment than a villain.

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It was not all that long ago that the Democrats embraced racism for the southern vote and there was a strong liberal wing in the Republican Party. Probably everyone reading here is aware of the pivot that came with LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act, though he was way off in his prediction of how long it was give the southern vote to the GOP.

The traditional conservative imperatives—strong defense, fiscal restraint, blah blah blah—are gone, Wm F. Buckley would be unwelcome and Goldwater's "shoot straight" would make him a pariah. What remains of the GOP is mostly crazy people and a few more who are not repelled enough by children in cages, or by Trump, to leave the party.

Aside: on the way home from the gym just now the traffic was backed up, one lane closed ... I thought it was some minor construction but then a grass mat over a lump in the road and a stream of blood coming out by a small hand. A dead child. Probably fallen off the back of a motorbike whose driver was playing too hard at "me first." Pardon if I have a touch of the horrors right now.

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To your aside, yesterday I watched the internet news from Thailand with my wife. Severe flooding in the north. A capsized naval vessel with 31 missing sailors. Traffic carnage including a 14 year old boy killed on a motorcycle whose older brother died on a motorcycle two years ago. Horrors indeed.

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I've been to Thailand. It is nothing like Vietnam. People drive sensibly, like a moving pattern of bikes maintaining the same distances and speed. In Vietnam it's all me first! Me first!; I even saw people zooming around dead bodies in the road, reckless as ever with the end result of such recklessness right in front of them.

In Thailand if you're walking toward someone on a sidewalk he will shift to one side. In Vietnam they don't; in America it would be a macho thing (YOU get out of MY way); in Vietnam it isn't, it's just a fundamental unconsciousness of cooperative order.

I was struck many times by the difference between behavior in the two countries.

The Lunar New Year (Tết) is coming soon; half the city will go visit relatives in villages, the other half will stay, get drunk, and drive craz[il]y. Great time to stay at home.

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Dec 19, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

"Whether it’s the belief that Trump won the election, that humans can change their sex just by saying so, or that the COVID vaccine contains location-tracking microchips, there’s are growing contingent of people on the political left and right whose instinctive reaction when faced with facts they don’t like is to fabricate new ones.....

Increasingly, this is the only divide that matters."

What the political extremes share are reality-shattering ideologies. Full disclosure: I describe myself as a "committed anti-ideologue."

Sometimes I wonder whether there are certain traits that are hard-wired into people. There are some people who are comfortable with saying "I don't know," while others HAVE to have an explanation. There are some people who see conspiracies in everything, and others who shrug and say, "shit happens." Some are comfortable with moral ambiguity, while others have to have clarity and issue judgment accordingly. Some see the universe as unknowable and mysterious, while others see an "intelligent design."

I think the ideologues and the anti-ideologues crack along the same fissure. Beware of the former.

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Dec 21, 2022·edited Dec 21, 2022Author

"There are some people who are comfortable with saying "I don't know," while others HAVE to have an explanation."

Yes, yes yes. This is at the root of so many flawed ways of thinking. Starting at the root, of course, which is religious fundamentalism.

The humility to say "I don't know" is pretty much entirely absent from discourse. And that's by necessity. Because for many people, any answer, even a bad one, is preferable to uncertainty. The people willing to say "I don't know" are drowned out by those who would rather die than admit the same.

Uncertainty is scary and complex and requires continuous attention to resolve. Simple, black and white ideologies are far more comforting. And allow you to focus all your energy on hating the "enemies" preventing your ideology from being implemented.

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Vaccines with mind-control nanotechnology, Trump won, women with XY chromosomes ... this has nothing to do with ideology on any axis, this is psychosis.

It's a small part of an epistemological crisis, a collapse of belief in any distinction between truth and falsehood, a disdain for expertise, a distrust of education, a hatred of intelligence.

Most alarming of all, it is not limited to The Usual Suspects, the grade school dropouts and those whose lives have included serial institutionalizations. Freeman Dyson, he of the Sphere, who was with Einstein at the Princeton Institute, was an AGW denier. So was Michael Crichton, author of some of the most intelligent fiction of the last half century.

I personally know several people who would have been at the absolute end of any list of people I expected to catch this illness, but caught it they have.

And the timing could not be worse. We are heading into environmental collapse and need all hands to the pumps. Instead we have people whose ability to reason has fundamentally broken down, and we are too dedicated to diversity and inclusion to even think of doing anything about it.

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Really well said. I have a (former( good friend whom I debated with for years. I would generally take the old liberal view and he the conservative.

But some years ago he just went off the ultra right deep end. Nothing is by accident any more.. And this guy is no red neck. He’s a public school Brit with a Cambridge mathematiics degree.

But he’s gone full MAGA with the big lie and everything. When he tried to dismiss Jan 6 I finally told him where to stick it.

Go figure.

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I've seen several cases of this. My ex is one of the most jarring; he was sane and compassionate, once we bought a large live fish from a tank in a Chinese restaurant and released it into a lake.

Last time I talked to him he said he would take a bullet for Trump. That he was moving to Texas (he's Chinese) because they blocked mask mandates. Then he told me that COVID came from the vaccines; when I asked him why the vaccines were created in the first place (COVID preceded them) he ended the call.

He's very "spiritual" and has thrown his life away chasing rainbows and unicorn farts, so he was prone to that kind of manipulation. He's smart, hexalingual, but never had a real job.

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Dec 20, 2022·edited Dec 20, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

"Child abuse is a distinctly un-festive topic."

Back around 2008 I ran across a former coworker who was down and out, he'd been kicked out of his apartment and his stuff placed outside to be hauled away by opportunists, including his CD collection; this was the guy who turned me on to Coil and started me buying music for the first time in 16 years, aside from classical and a few artists I followed.

I should have seen red flags a lot sooner.

He kept talking about child abuse, child rape, crazier and crazier stories, finally passing the point where it was possible to believe him at all. Everyone he had ever known or trusted had raped him, our boss had raped him (I doubt this boss could screw his own hand), his parents had farmed him out thousands of times ... then came this tale of a rollercoaster at Disneyland (he was ALWAYS talking about Disneyland) that took a secret turn and delivered its passengers to a room where people including Janet Reno used them in kinky sex.

He was psychotic.

He got a job at Microsoft and emailed public figures about his crazy obsession from his MS email account and you an guess where that led.

In the end I had the cops take him out of my house and had nothing more to do with him.

Now we talk on Facebook; I've had to tell him that if he ever brings up child rape or anything connected with his obsession ever again I will block him, who knows if Vietnamese cops are reading my FB pages and maybe getting confused about who's who.

He is on some kind of psych disability but decades later he is still preoccupied with child abuse. I bet there are people who prey on kids who think about it a lot less than he does.

One of the weirder entries in my gallery of oddballs.

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"One of the weirder entries in my gallery of oddballs."

Yikes! Yeah, there's this horribly unfortunate tension between recognising abnormal behaviour and being seen as (and even seeing yourself as) small-minded or unkind.

I don't think there's a way to get this balance completely correct. There is, obviously, such a thing as a person who is weird but not bad. But the main reason we miss red flags is that we get the balance badly wrong.

One of the many things we have to thank critical theory and postmodernism for is the erosion and stigmatisation of our concept of "normal." As I wrote recently, normal should be as broad a category as we can reasonably make it. But it desperately needs limits. For everybody's sake.

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Dec 22, 2022·edited Dec 22, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

The reason I had the cops take him out, aside from the fact that he refused to leave and locked his bedroom door (in my house), was because I no longer felt safe with him in the house. He wasn't violent but he was manipulative; for example he told the cop that I'd threatened him with "physical violence" because I told him I intended to "kick" him out.

There was one time I just snapped; I had a package delivery while away and he refused to accept it. "It might contain DRUGS!" That was a turning point.

I paid my crazy dues with a schizophrenic roommate who nearly murdered me one night and broke my arm. I wasn't paying again.

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Dec 20, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

' those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” So true!

Thank you, Steve, for being out there plowing the fields of truth through the wilderness of media and news. May you find time to breathe deeply and renew your being in a space of peace.

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"May you find time to breathe deeply and renew your being in a space of peace."

Thank you so much Ruth. That's exactly the plan. Some Christmas songs and eggnog should do the trick.😁

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Less than 1% of those identifying as “trans” are dysphoric.

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The only thing that amazes me more than how defensive the alphabet soup gang gets when you point out how much fetishism, including an unhealthy fetishism centred around kids is how blind so-called 'feminists' are to this shit and why *we're* the enemies when we call bullshit on this stuff.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. We couldn't get arsed enough about Sandy Hook to do anything about guns, nor about the horribly mishandled Uvalde case, so maybe it's to be expected that people are as okay with grooming kids for pedophilia as they are with splashing them across a classroom.

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I apologize if I came across with excessive harshness. I have this thing about demonization of those with opposing views. I've made my reason why clear in the past. Peace

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I understand, Dave, and I'm not upset with you. You have always been pretty restrained even when you disagree with folks here. I do hear what you're saying about demonization and I know I can be guilty of it. But sometimes stereotypes exist for a *reason*. The gun obsession is primarily on the right, and when ideology is involved (when we know of it, we don't always), it's almost always someone screaming about blacks or Jews or some damn right-wing bogeyman. There are a few exceptions - I remember one exception of a liberal engaging in a mass shooting:


If you know of others let me know. The 'non-binary' guy who shot up the gay nightclub was less 'non-binary' than advertised (it was fairly recent) and he also came from a right-wing family, fucked up for reasons arguably other than ideology (substance abuse, emotional abuse, Dad was a porn actor). Some, like the Las Vegas shooter, we STILL don't know what his motive was. Some simply share some elements of 'traditional' thinking without necessarily being terribly political (like the incels going after women who won't have sex with them because they feel so entitled, plus there's the love affair with violence, killing, guns, weapons, etc.)

It's interesting that liberals are way under-represented in mass shooters, along with women. The exceptions exist, but they're pretty small. (One liberal I can name so far, and four women).

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Other than the guy who shot up the Republicans at the practice for a charity ball game which was obviously about politics, I'm not certain about the degree of political influence on shootings. Disgruntled teenagers who shoot up a school are probably not politically motivated since at that age they are likely oblivious to partisan politics. I have some very Democrat friends who are highly anti-gay. People tend to look for political connections in such things to support the demonization process.

Does our fascination with violent movies and video games play into it? I think it does. How many people, left and right, have paid money to watch a war or police/crime movie that is all about violence? Perhaps most people. Where is huge sums of money spent making movies? Violent scenes. That fascination is for the most part apolitical.

In Steve's most recent commentary he mentioned people fearing different things. I don't fear firearms, probably because they have been a presence for my entire life. I'll confess that I fear the potential tyranny of governments. No individual nutjob can come within orders of magnitude of the horror's governments are capable of and they use demonization to get their citizens to do their bidding. Does this play into our views? I think so, and at a very fundamental level.

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I don't think many people shooters go into a public place, fire away, screaming, "Death to liberal scum!" or "Republicans must die!" But sometimes they belie certain stereotypical traits, like Dylann Roof (A suthun boy) screaming about how blacks are going after 'our' women and they all must go. Not sure what his politics are or if he voted but i'll bet they're somewhere to the right of Obama.

I don't see the jones for violence, or responding to violence, on the left the way I've seen it on the right. Which is not to say that the left *can't* be violent (there were violent left-wing groups in America in the 60s and 70s) or that they can't be again. If you like violence, support violence, or *are* violent, you'll find more welcoming arms on the right than the left. Even the far left today isn't anywhere near as violent as the right, whose bogeymen are Antifa (who still are pretty much guilty of micro-violence) and Black Lives Matter, which is guiltier of misappropriating donations than any real violence, and the right points to some of the riots and vandalism that took place during some protests which can likely mostly be attributed to violent people taking advantage of the situation.

Like it or not, politics is a huge driver of the violence spike we're seeing. The angry teenage shooter kills a classroom or shopping center and shoots himself might have been apolitical himself, but if I'd put a finger on where he'd go politically if he lived long enough, I'd wager he'll be more conservative than liberal. Although it might be a moot point for those who will stay in jail. Not sure if any mass shooters have been allowed out of jail, or what happened later if they did. Most of them die either by their own hand or by police bullets. AFAIK, none are out of jail so far although i could be wrong.

Yes, violent movies and video games play into our oh-so-American love affair with violence, although I don't know how apolitical it is. It's kind of a broad topic. I think serial killer movies are more apolitical than military & action hero movies. I love Sylvester Stallone but I haven't seen most of his movies because it's a lot of right-wing violent military crap (First Blood being an exception, and I thought it was a very good movie). He lost me for a long while in the '80s because of the right-wing-pandering he did to Reagan conservatives, but I know he himself is less partisan than one might think, he tends to skew Republican but has also voiced more socially liberal opinions and likely opens himself up to charges of being a RINO. He also has a sweetly quaint traditionalist view of marriage that comes out in his movies that he lives himself - he's spent most of his life married, and believes in all that happily-ever-after stuff. He hasn't ever, to my knowledge, been accused of domestic abuse or a lot of cheating, but I'm no expert on his private life.

I don't fear firearms either, I fear nutjobs with firearms. I think a LOT of people are not mentally stable enough to own firearms but I'm not going to get into what to do about it because no one's going to do it anyway, and I don't have to live there anymore so my feeling is just sort of, "Fuck it, people, *you* live there, *I* don't, fix it or just fucking die a lot. The ability is there, you decide."

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In the spirit of Steve's commentary I will shorten my comment to the idea that you are equating very dissimilar things and making an unwarranted accusation.

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I'm being a little sarcastic. I've been researching the role fetishism plays in the LGBTQ movement, AFAICT a fairly recent thing. When you have men pushing to get into women's spaces you can pretty much figure sex is behind it somehow.

I find it disturbing that they get very defensive about the pedo end of it. I've actually been on the fence about that accusation until very recently. Wasn't sure I was ready to accuse them of *that* but the push into schools, the people pushing clear fetishes (like here in Ontario, some teacher pushing his fetish garb and female look in the classroom, I'll dig it up if you want) is making me wonder why the push toward children. Why does this movement seem so *obsessed* with pushing this stuff at kids, and transitioning kids so young? If you've got a better theory I'm all ears.

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The push to early gender transition has the same motivation as everything else coming from the “trans” activists: to grow their audience.

If you accept that as the goal you understand all their positions. The dropping of dysphoria as the definition of transgender is particularly revealing. This alone has multiplied the “trans” community a thousandfold.

Early transition forces a miserable person to lock into “trans” for life. Even puberty blockers have lifelong health effects.

Lost in the noise are the 5-10,000 authentically dysphoric, absorbed into a gender ideology they didn’t ask for and the treatment options diluted by an army of phonies.

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Maybe, but I confess I'm always highly suspicious when men push something overtly sexual onto kids. They want to grow their tribe, for sure, but what's the end goal, even if they grew to the millions? Given the sexual predation on lesbians pressured to not be 'transphobic' about 'ladydicks' and 'cotton ceiling' whines, I wonder if gender identity-bending, getting adults as well as children used to parading fetishes in front of them, is a prelude to introducing NAMBLA-style 'acceptance'.

After all, if kids can be trusted to make lifelong gender decisions before they're out of grade school, maybe, it might be argued, they also have the 'right' to decide who to have sex with.

Maybe I'm just an overly-suspicious female but I suspect dicks are behind this push, as always.

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I've had to stop reading them on Medium, they just make me too angry and I'm trying to be less so, having used anger as an escape mechanism all my life.

But yes, one of the biggest gripes I saw on there was about "TERFs," feminists who don't accept biological men as women. It underscores just how warped they are that they think real women *should* accept chicks with dicks at all.

The whole gender ideology thing makes me sick, the "nonbinary" stuff most of all. Even if over 99% of the "trans" are fake, this is such a thing as gender dysphoria, but there is no medical/psychiatric foundation for "intermediate gender." That is hot bubbling bullshit.

Who would want to work with this "person?"


I hadn't thought of the part you're presenting here, that it's really about, as with most cults, giving men access to young women. You may be onto something ... though a lot of the "trans" activists are biological women.

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"... though a lot of the "trans" activists are biological women."

Are they? Am I missing something? Or are we talking about gaslit feminists like Elle Beau (though I don't know if she's changed her attitude since I got kicked off a year ago).

"I hadn't thought of the part you're presenting here, that it's really about, as with most cults, giving men access to young women."

And children, too. Either gender.

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I was too terse. I don't take issue with that. As you know, I am very pro-2nd Amendment. It was your second paragraph that grated. Nobody is fine with splashing children across a classroom. Quoting the late Fred Reed, "Anything that is politically possible won’t work, and anything that will work is politically impossible." What do you recommend that would work and not be a hill you would die on trying to force on America?

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The right isn't happy about situations like Sandy Hook and Uvalde because they make their side look bad, rather than because children died. Kiddie deaths, and everyone else's at the hands of a Righteous 2A 'Murican, are simply the price they feel you must pay, on some level, for overly-interpreted 2A rights.

The right has *zero* claim to 'pro-life' values anymore. Not when they fight harder for fetal rights than they do those same fetuses to go to school in a few more years without their brains getting splattered by a Righteous 2A 'Murican.

Do they want to see it happen? No, but it's an inconvenient embarrassment, at most. So, no, I don't expect people who'd rather die on a hill defending the right of every nutbag in America, literally, to have a gun, to ponder whether perhaps not everyone should have, that owning a gun is also a *privilege* as well as a basic right, and that it should be taken away if you're not responsible enough for the privilege (like pre-existing violence problems and demonstrated mental disorders). They show zero respect for life, and when it's okay for one side to diss life, it becomes okay for everyone else. So the left, instead, ignores its sexual predators and pedos taking advantage of their movement and, like the Catholic Church, are earning their growing reputation as a safe space for pedoes.

Neither side cares about children's rights, they just differ on which right they'll defend - the right to life or the right to not be preyed upon by pervy men.

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Every time one of these grisly mass shootings happens there is a run on gun stores and a lot of them end up completely depleted as the RKBA junkies stock up, certain that the slaughter is just a ruse to take away their guns.

They don’t need to hear it from Alex Jones, they don’t need to coordinate. It’s spontaneous.

The fanaticism around guns is wholly irrational and since so many on the right maintain a permanent state of rage it’s hard to imagine this not getting a lot worse.

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While I am pro-right to bear arms, I am not a fanatic and hope that you don't see me as one. One size does not fit all.

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I actually agree with much, if not most of that, but your first paragraph looks like projection based upon an erroneous belief that you can read minds.

Here's the thing about my spirit of what Steve wrote remark (moving away from partisanship). I am pro-2nd so the political left (sorry Chris, I struggle for a meaningful word) see me as conservative. I am pro-choice so the right sees me as a progressive. There is no logical reason for linking such issues according to partisan tribalism which leads to my disdain for such thinking.

My hill to die on was a reference to a question I often ask myself, "Where might that lead? Is it worth it?" I am in no way for every nutbag to have a firearm, but the devil is in the details in how we deal with that. I wish I knew of a workable path, but I'm not that wise and the people at both anti-gun and pro-gun extremes seem the least likely to have that wisdom.

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Substack threads can be wicked confusing and I just made three attempts to see what I said that you disagree with in the first 'graph. I think it's the one about how Sandy Hook & Uvalde are the price one pays, in 2A nutbag minds, for 'preserving' 2A 'rights' which I'm putting in quotes because I'm quite sure the Founding Fathers were concerned with muskets, not assault weapons or whatever doesn't qualify as an assault weapon that's nevertheless used for mass assault.

I might be overly-broad-interpreting myself, but the crazies (not the conservative intelligentsia) seems to be pretty 'pro life' on the subject of abortion, but anti-life on the subject of *intelligent* gun laws (I've never been a 100% "ban all guns" type unless someone can dig up a letter to the editor I wrote in 1976 that I've totally forgotten about).

That, plus GA pushing an election with a guy even dumber than Trump into a *runoff election* (and I don't believe GA is a maverick state of stupid), a guy who can't control his dick and paid for at least two 'baby murders' (as they define it), incline me to say the Religious Reich has finally produced proof positive that they are not, in fact, 'pro-life'.

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Accepting children being splashed across classrooms is inseparable from the Second Amendment unless it is restored to its original meaning. There is no putting the genie of Crazy back in the bottle and it is only going to get a lot worse, and soon.

The 1/6 committee recommended four criminal charges against Trump and it is likely that at least some of them will proceed to indictment. His followers are going to go absolutely ape and most of them are armed.

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I don't know that they will cross the Rubicon and send a former President to prison since the pendulum will eventually swing and the Rs will follow that president and do the same to the criminals with a D behind their name.

If they do, I don't expect much to happen. They say there are four political boxes. The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box. My super MAGA buddy is big on the first two but to the best of my knowledge he doesn't own a firearm, his military experience did not involve combat and I would not anticipate him doing anything violent. Actually, I have several conservative friends who don't own firearms; two of them because their wives are unstable, and they are concerned that they might use one to harm themselves. And, I have liberal/progressive friends who do own firearms. In the words of one of them, "We lefties like our guns too."

You might be overestimating their gun ownership and especially their likelihood of using them, though I agree that some might.

1/6 was an insurrection where the insurrectionists left their guns at home. The notable exception was the Oath Keepers.

I was a founding member when it was advertised as a non-partisan organization. I should have seen it coming, but when I saw it become partisan, I ended my membership. Stewart Rhodes has already been convicted. He seemed reasonable when I met him, but then came what was probable delusions of grandeur.

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"I don't know that they will cross the Rubicon and send a former President to prison since the pendulum will eventually swing and the Rs will follow that president and do the same to the criminals with a D behind their name."

There are no good paths out of this but I think not indicting and arresting Trump is the worst of them. That tells some future set of insurrectionists that they can try again.

Future Republican congressional majorities—heaven forfend—will try the same thing, of course; they have already made clear that the next two years are going to be nonstop performance and sham. They will try to impeach Biden at least once a week. But it's not symmetrical. Indictment numbers:

Trump — 215

Nixon — 76

Reagan — 26

Obama — 0

Carter — 1

Clinton — 2

I doubt any Democratic president is likely to provide a real justification for indictment and arrest. Not that they won't try, and when they fail they will just say that the deck is stacked against conservatives, as usual.

I think that failing to indict is the greatest risk, and a pardon by Biden is not warranted in this case, I think it would have the same effect as not indicting at all.

Yes, indicting Trump will increase the persecution mania that conservatives enjoy so much. No question. And yes there will be a violent reaction, though probably not as intense as it would have been had the indictments come before all the disgrace.

It's important for people to be reminded that nobody is above the law. I think that is more important than anything else. Trump has committed dozens of crimes, he has no morals, and whether people revere or despise him, they need to know that he is as subject to law as anyone.

Then maybe we can start doing something about people who don't pay taxes.

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There are 393 million firearms in private hands in the US. According to the CDC in 2020 (the most recent year with data) there were 45,222 gun related deaths in the US (homicide, suicide, accidents where the number of people properly killed (to save lives) is not called it). Therefore 0.00115% of the nation's privately owned firearms were involved if you generously assume that each death was with a different firearm. I don't see that as a case for firearms being a cause, they are tools. It is purposefully under reported when a gun is used to save lives which leads to what I think is the biggest impediment to reasonable gun control - mistrust of the anti-gun people with their end justifies any means mentality.

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Let me add another statistic: 42% of Americans own guns at all, which means that those 393 million firearms are distributed among 140 million people, the vast majority of whom own one or two guns.

Completing that thought, some people own absolutely enormous numbers of firearms. Perhaps you've seen that photo of the family with over 400 assorted black military-style rifles and handguns on display in the back yard.

I want people like that completely disarmed.

More: suicide is about 2/3 of gun deaths. Problem is that firearm suicide is successful about 90% of the time while other forms are about 10%. People take a bottle of pills and just puke and awaken in the hospital just flying and with a headache. They cut their wrists and just cripple their hands.

There is no arguing that most gun owners aren't problems, they just own a gun to feel safer. But then, the tiny percentage who break into houses require us all to have locks and worry every time we're out of the house.

And gun advocates won't concede a thing; blind people who are mentally unstable need to be allowed to own guns.

With mass shootings coming almost daily now, and only bound to get worse, we need to start somewhere and it's a pity we didn't start back when there were fewer guns than people.

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I hope you're wrong. Trump predicted everyone would lose their minds over the midterms if his people didn't win but they didn't. It's a very real threat, for sure, but they lost their minds neither over that nor the Mar-A-Lago raid. Maybe they'd like to go to jail too, along with all their fellow traitor comrades already there?

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I think you have it backwards. Loyalty to the GOP or to conservatism takes a distant second to loyalty to the God King himself. He wasn’t running. Trump isn’t a conservative, and he isn’t a Republican. Neither are his followers. It’s a cult.

And when the cult leader is marched away in handcuffs bellowing about persecution and witch hunts it’s going to be like sewer rats in a flood.

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As someone who worked with classified data for years, I see taking classified data as a serious thing that he could, and should, rightfully be prosecuted for. Why the hell would anyone want to keep that kind of thing?

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I ran across the piece and the guitarist on a bus on my iPad and ordered the sheet music on the spot.

I had a chance to meet him but the company I was working for threw me a curveball with a sudden deadline, I had already bought my airline ticket to Bangkok and lost the money. I should have told them to go to hell, as I did a few months later anyway. He's Israeli, his grandfather was in Auschwitz and my partner went ahead and took his flight so I sent a rare book to him, a photo album from Auschwitz that was found in the commandant's nightstand. It meant a lot to him. I hadn't known his grandfather was there.

The piece doesn't even have measures, it's extremely hard and I have to break my sightreading habits with those two flatted strings. But I love the tonality; if you listen to it a few times you'll start to pick out the logic. It's one of two pieces, the first isn't so frantic.

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deletedDec 19, 2022Liked by Steve QJ
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"Medical transition can provide great relief for dysphoria, but it cannot change actual biological sex."

Exactly! Medical transition is treatment. Not magic. It doesn't change underlying realities for males or females and pretending it does has been catastrophic.

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You will read daily about suicide among transgender youth, but never a word about the suicide surge 7-10 years after transitioning. The former supports the "trans" activist agenda; the latter refutes it.

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