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Fiendish Thingy

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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 12:00 PM
Number of posts: 9,912

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My Country 'Tis Of Thee (Land of Inequity)- Reina del Cid

One minute of perfect summation:

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sat Jul 2, 2022, 12:55 PM (4 replies)

AOC on Colbert 6/28/22

I didn’t hear anything I disagreed with.

(p.s. I would love to know what they were talking about coming out of the break…)
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Wed Jun 29, 2022, 11:51 AM (10 replies)

I know one Republican who DEFINITELY believes Hutchinson's testimony

Ron DeSantis.

His supporters/campaign will start a whisper campaign on Trump’s instability initially to suppress funding to Trump from big donors, but it will eventually reach a thundering roar during the primaries.

The odds of Trump being the next GOP nominee are still significant, but dropped precipitously today.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Tue Jun 28, 2022, 09:28 PM (5 replies)

So, the death of Stare Decisis could be a good thing...

If Americans can prevent the establishment of permanent minority rule, and retain Dem control of the house and add two more Dems to the senate this November.

Campaigns shouldn’t focus just on Roe, but on the tools to get there; it will take a significant expansion of SCOTUS (I prefer 17-21 seats) to overturn today’s ruling on Dobbs.

Expand and pack the courts, and you can:

Overturn Dobbs;
Overturn Citizens United;
Overturn Hellyer (2nd amendment)

Thus the concept of stare decicis will become a quaint anachronism, more of a historical judicial suggestion than firm legal precedent.

If Americans have the fortitude to demand their representatives have the courage to expand the court, they can also demand them to have the courage to codify Roe, Overgefell, Griswold, and all the other significant rulings that haven’t been made law due to the obstruction of the filibuster.

Edit to add:
So, in my opinion, all Dem candidates should be required to answer YES to both of the following questions:
Do unconditionally support a woman’s right to choose?
Do you support expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court?

IMO, it should be a part of the party platform.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Fri Jun 24, 2022, 03:33 PM (1 replies)

The Tyee: How COVID broke Canadian society


I thought was appropriate considering the Trudeau government’s abandonment of all vaccine mandates today…

Our responses to the pandemic fall, the author argues, into three categories: passive nihilism, active nihilism and ethical subjects.

We have now reached the point called “capitulation,” when most governments and most of their people decide it’s time to “live with COVID” (or to die with it).

“Saying we must learn to live with it while having no plan whatsoever for how to do that undermines the legitimacy of those in positions of authority, and the phrase is, in the end, simply code for ‘we give up’ and ‘you are on your own.’” Like the old “choose your own adventure” books, we can now choose our own pandemic.

That may have bought governments some temporary peace and quiet, and enabled people to gather in bars and schools and airports. But Parsons argues, and I tend to agree, that capitulation has fractured and re-fractured Canadian society.

“The more difficult to deal with for many,” says Parsons, “is the harsh realization that those around them — society as a whole — did not value their existence.... The realization that anyone could simply be cast on the trash pile cannot help but damage social relations and cohesion in a society like ours, that claims to hold compassion and humanitarianism as core values.”

The first 18 months of the pandemic, I felt that both the government and my community came together in unity to do what was needed, however inconvenient, to protect each other. Sure there were the crazies and the anti-vaxers who made some noise, mostly on social media, but for the most part, it felt like most folks were trying their best to be what the article calls “ethical subjects”.
In the past 6-8 months however, that has changed, and it definitely feels like the attitude of most folks is now “you’re on your own”. After mask mandates were lifted here back in, IIRC, around February, there was still probably 60-70% mask wearing indoors. Now, most places I go, only about 10% are wearing masks (not counting employees), and the vast majority are older seniors. Sometimes, I’m the only one wearing a mask.

Here in BC, only those over 70 are eligible for second booster/4th shot; that should change soon, as they start giving second boosters to those over 60 and six months out from their first booster. The case number are extremely unreliable, so are no longer reported by the media. Death rates have leveled off (43 last week) as have Hospitalization (325 last week). But it was only a couple of weeks ago the news was reporting that some hospitals (Victoria area for example) were overflowing, and lower need patients were being sent to hotels converted into step down facilities.

For now, I’ll keep wearing my mask, avoiding most crowds, and as I’ve been for the past two years, remaining, Lonely In Paradise.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Wed Jun 15, 2022, 03:07 PM (1 replies)

New Statesman: American Exceptionalism Is An Open Door To Fascism

Jack Crosbie, writing in the New Statesman:

(My comments in italics, bolding also mine)

The US is a pretty great place to live. In the majority of the country the water that comes from the pipes is drinkable. Most residents own a personal vehicle. Intricate supply chains ensure there is almost always a wide variety of food available on the shelves of every store you walk into. For many people who earn a middle-class income and live in urban centres or suburban enclaves, America is a paradise of convenience and plenty, where many enjoy a standard of living on par with any country in the world. As Yglesias noted, “there’s a reason tons of people of all kinds from all around the world clamor to move here”.

When they do, however, they often find that among all the opulence is horror: the taps in poor neighbourhoods run brown; many jobs pay workers in the food and service industry so little they struggle to buy the food they prepare; the cars guzzle fossil fuels and crash at alarming rates, causing injuries that victims must pay out of pocket to treat. And, of course, any time you venture out in public there is a very real chance you could be shot and killed by an armed stranger. To anyone who has experienced this side of American life, Yglesias’s breezy dismissal is deeply obnoxious. But it also represents a risk to those who are largely insulated from such hardships. American exceptionalism, or the belief that our country’s benefits outweigh or even justify its flaws, is the perfect gateway to a far darker future of authoritarianism that has already begun.

As Thomas Pepinsky, a professor of government at Cornell University, wrote in 2017: “Everyday life in the modern authoritarian regime is, in this sense, boring and tolerable. It is not outrageous.” Authoritarian regimes – many of which the US’s Republican Party is increasingly emulating – have a vested interest in keeping some base standard of living for their constituents while consolidating power and capital in their own hands. What Yglesias’s point misses is that even if America’s problems worsen, it will still remain a decent place to live for many of its residents. This comfort doesn’t blind American exceptionalists to the country’s problems; Yglesias is certainly aware that they exist. Instead, exceptionalism does something more insidious: it convinces those who are insulated from the country’s worst problems that what the US provides for them is worth the price it takes from others.

At its worst, exceptionalism discourages people from seeking to change things. (This includes performative “centrists” who advocate for ineffective pragmatic incrementalism to protect their own impotent, exceptionalist seats of power) Dictators and authoritarians often provide social services at whatever level they think will keep people complacent, and all too often use examples to show that things could be worse. And the transition from a flawed-but-functioning free society to one in an authoritarian grasp can be subtle.

“Most Americans conceptualize a hypothetical end of American democracy in apocalyptic terms,” Pepinsky wrote in 2017. “But actually, you usually learn that you are no longer living in a democracy not because The Government Is Taking Away Your Rights, or passing laws that you oppose, or because there is a coup or a quisling. You know that you are no longer living in a democracy because the elections in which you are participating no longer can yield political change.”

I encourage everyone to read the whole article, at:

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sun May 29, 2022, 11:13 AM (0 replies)

It's MY uterus now!

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Wed May 11, 2022, 03:56 PM (3 replies)

WaPo confirms Grand Jury has been convened to subpoena "officials in Trump's orbit"

Don’t know how I missed this story yesterday:


In the past two months, a federal grand jury in Washington has issued subpoena requests to some officials in former president Donald Trump’s orbit who assisted in planning, funding and executing the Jan. 6 rally, said the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The development shows the degree to which the Justice Department investigation — which already involves more defendants than any other criminal prosecution in the nation’s history — has moved further beyond the storming of the Capitol to examine events preceding the attack.

Edit to add:

NYT is also on this story:
One subpoena cited by the Times reportedly sought information on those “classified as VIP attendees” of the rally. It also reportedly inquired about any figures in the Executive or Legislative Branches who took part in “planning or execution of any rally or any attempt to obstruct, influence, impede or delay” the certification of election results.

More from the NYT (via MSNBC):

The Times specifically pointed to a grand jury sitting in Washington, D.C., which has issued subpoenas seeking information “about the effort by Trump supporters to put forward alternate slates of electors as Mr. Trump and his allies were seeking to challenge the certification of the Electoral College outcome by Congress on Jan. 6.”

Time for all the recreational complainers to pause and take a breath, and pay attention instead of ranting- you’ve been shown to be utterly, completely and absolutely wrong.

P.S. unlike a Congressional subpoena, one cannot ignore a grand jury subpoena without Swift consequences. Just ask Susan Macdougal.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Mar 31, 2022, 11:25 AM (114 replies)

How should the West respond to Ukraine? One rule: We cannot be afraid (of Putin/nukes)

From Anne Applebaum (who knows way more about Eastern European politics than you or I do) writing in the Atlantic:


Zelensky’s words resonated further because the Russians have also given this conflict enormous significance. The Russian foreign minister has just declared that this war will change global politics: “This is not about Ukraine at all, but the world order. The current crisis is a fateful, epoch-making moment in modern history. It reflects the battle over what the world order will look like.” Much as Stalin once declared that, when the Second World War ended, “everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach,” President Vladimir Putin had planned for the Russian army to impose Russia’s autocratic, kleptocratic political system on all of Ukraine. Already, the Russian occupation of some eastern-Ukrainian towns resembles the Soviet occupation of Central Europe at the end of World War II. Public officials and civic leaders—mayors and police but also members of parliament, journalists, museum curators—have been arrested and not seen since. Civilians have been terrorized at random. In Mariupol, authorities report that citizens are being forcibly deported to Russia, just as Soviet secret police deported Balts, Poles, and others to Russia after the invasions of 1939 and 1945. In the case of a Russian victory, these tactics would be applied all over Ukraine, creating mass terror, mass violence, and instability for years to come. And, yes, if we accept that outcome, autocrats from Minsk to Caracas to Beijing will take note: Genocide is now allowed.


How should the West respond? There is only one rule: We cannot be afraid. Russia wants us to be afraid—so afraid that we are crippled by fear, that we cannot make decisions, that we withdraw altogether, leaving the way open for a Russian conquest of Ukraine, and eventually of Poland or even further into Europe. Putin remembers very well an era when Soviet troops controlled the eastern half of Germany. But the threat to those countries will not decrease if Russia carries out massacres in Ukraine. It will grow.

Instead of fear, we should focus on a Ukrainian victory. Once we understand that this is the goal, then we can think about how to achieve it, whether through temporary boycotts of Russian gas, oil, and coal; military exercises elsewhere in the world that will distract Russian troops; humanitarian airlifts on the scale of 1948 Berlin; or more and better weapons.

The specific tactics will be determined by those who best understand diplomacy and military strategy. But the strategy has to be clear. A month ago, nobody believed this war would matter so much, and I’m sure many people wish it did not. But it does. That’s why every move we make must have a single goal: How does it help Ukraine win?

“ It’s not our war” was something we might have been able to say three weeks ago. Not now.

More at link, expanding on Applebaum’s compelling argument.

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Tue Mar 22, 2022, 04:06 PM (29 replies)
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