SL 860

Tim Noah doesn’t fear the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on the Feast of the Epiphany. “I want them to be punished harshly for their crimes. But fear them as the leading edge of incipient fascism? For Christ’s sake, just look at them.” Me too.

Nicholas Kristof is on Substack, not in the NYT, because he’s running for office. He’s calling attention to the horrific substance abuse numbers. “Since the pandemic began in March 2020, more people have died here in Oregon from substance abuse than from Covid-19.”

Helaine Olen says that Democrats are minimizing the pain of inflation at their own risk.

Nobody is happier than I am that 90’s fashion is back in style. I bought two pairs of the high waisted vintage jeans from the GAP, and I’m getting black turtlenecks from Uniqlo. It’s time for black tights and mini-skirts. Yay!

I admit to feeling the pressure to stockpile cans of beans and bags of flour and Christmas gifts. I’m shopping now.

Some schools are slowly shutting down again. Schools in Detroit are now only open for four days per week. Even though there is tons of evidence that school closures were terrible for mental health, some schools are closing to give their teachers and students mental health breaks.

We’re going to have to talk about Trump soon. I don’t want to. But he’s coming. Ugh.

I’m enjoying watching people put out political feelers about 2024. Would you vote for Huma Albedin?

PICTURE: As I filled up my car with gas this morning, the gas station owner was changing the price numbers on the tanks. Ouch.

16 thoughts on “SL 860

  1. For Christ’s sake, just look at them.

    Look at Hitler. Completely ridiculous until he wasn’t. People are minimizing this because they are going to do the same thing in 2024.


    1. Yes, I think this is entirely dangerous to dismiss what happened because of the presumption that it will have no effect on our democracy. First, because how ridiculous the people look (I really don’t need to see the horn guy again) is selective and irrelevant (there were plenty of “upstanding” citizens there, too). Second, because of the unwillingness of the mainstream Republicans from McConnell to McCarthy to take any responsibility and others to be in support (Ghosar, Greene, Boebert, . . . .). Third, because of the concerted effort by Republicans in many places to use their current legislative power (or not) to put up barriers to voting, undermine de politicization of elections (by taking away independence of counters and overseers), and use whatever methods they can to undemocratic voting (gerrymandering, . . .). Fourth, because of the rising autocracy in the rest of the world and the occasional and scary ties to the homegrown right wing in the US.

      Applebaum only talks about the rest of the world (Erdogan, Putin, Lukashenko, Xi, . . . .). She didn’t include Modi, but we should worry about him, too.


      1. We have one party whose effective leader deliberately incited violence to overturn an election that he lost and a political system that can support only two national parties. That’s the dominant factor of domestic politics until it stops being true. The actual people conducting the coup can be as absurd and sad as Horst Wessel and that won’t prevent a single thing.


      2. No, not just a Republican thing, but, more likely a Republican thing. Although independent commissions aren’t a panacea (WA States just failed to pass a map and the redistricting will be sent to the Supreme Court, and that’s in a state that neither gained nor lost districts), seven of the eight states that have independent commissions redistricting are “blue”.

        Since Republicans are in power in more of the states where legislators control redistricting, they do more of the harm (the effect doesn’t require considering Democrats more pure of heart, except when they have given away the power, as they have in 7 states).

        And, in judging the anti-democratic intent, supporting barriers to voting & undermining the independence of election monitoring is a Republican program.


  2. You linked to Anne Helen Peterson (instead of Helen Olen) on how expensive childcare is a gateway to choosing private schools (which was true in my experience — already paying for child care, and knowing that we should have to pay for after care which would be harder to find definitely paid a role).


  3. I am bothered by the fact that we had US cities being burned through much of 2020 and people (including here) made endless excuses for that at the time. Supposedly, it was OK to loot and burn, illegally block roads, harass motorists and people dining out, and break the law in many different ways because the cause of justice was just so urgent. The ends justified the means, because all of this stuff was supposedly going to usher in justice…

    Then one day (literally one day) the shoe is on the other foot, and it’s seen as the end of the world by the exact same people who made excuses for BLM. 1/6 probably would not have happened without the preceding months of arson, looting, lawlessness, and de-policing–2020 BLM paved the way for 1/6.

    And yes, it is fair to compare BLM and 1/6, because the 1/6 rioters were just as “mostly peaceful” and mostly honestly believed that their guy won and that the election was being stolen from him. They believed at least as sincerely as BLM protesters that their cause was just, the system was corrupt, legal avenues had failed them, and that it was right to take the law into their own hands to achieve justice.

    How about we learn the lesson here and (barring imminent threat to life) obey the law, use legal (or at least peaceful) channels for protest, and set a good example to each other? Any methods that are OK for your team to use are OK for the other team to use, too. Never forget that.

    One more thing: Sometimes, when the legal channels are not producing the desired result, it may actually be a sign that you are mistaken about the facts of the situation and/or that your demands are unrealistic.


    1. I can’t speak to how large the percentage is in the general population, but I am in contact with a number of people who (in all sincerity) believe that the election was stolen and that Trump won in 2020.

      Unfortunately, it’s gotten to be a thing (and I can point to a lot of previous Democratic examples–2000, 2004, 2016 and Stacy Abrams) where a lot of people have decided that their candidate cannot possibly lose. If their guy or gal loses, it’s due to fraud or voter suppression or whatever–not due to the fact that their guy got fewer votes. The funny thing is that voter suppression keeps getting invoked while vote totals get bigger and bigger.

      Back in 2004, Diebold was the thing. Trump’s 2020 voting machine excuses are just a retread of Democrat excuses for 2004.


    2. I think the lack of outrage in certain quarters about the looting of the Bronx and other cities during BLM marches/riots is a serious weakness for Democrats.


    3. I’ll just repeat MH here, “We have one party whose effective leader deliberately incited violence to overturn an election that he lost and a political system that can support only two national parties. That’s the dominant factor of domestic politics until it stops being true.”


    4. I take issue with the claim that Democrats were not outraged by looting/violence/etc. during the BLM protests. Democrats support protest, not looting or violence. And also, I take issue with the concept of “outrage.” Why is that needed? I see something wrong, and I want the people responsible to be held accountable through the criminal justice system, which I also know has its problems. I don’t need to feel “outrage,” just disapproval and a desperate (and perhaps unfounded) hope that our criminal justice system will work. I also don’t need angry talking heads on outrage tv trying to make me feel outrage in order for me to feel that looting and violence are wrong.

      (And let us also not forget that in Minnesota, for example, some of the looting and violence was done by right-wingers, because their constant cries of “false flags” are really just projections onto “antifa” of their own desires/actions.)

      But, that said, Jan 6 was totally different, in part because it was clearly an attempt to stop the democratic process of counting votes. But also, from a personal level, though I abhor the authoritarian-friendly, fact-deficient nature of the Jan 6 protesters, I actually felt a little thrill when I saw photos of the protests outside the capitol building. I love a good protest. But when they started breaking in to the building, that was a problem. That was insurrection. When they started beating up police officers, that was a problem. We had an alum panel a few weeks ago, and one of the alums on the panel is current USCP. He was not overtly angry/emotional when he spoke about Jan 6, but his words were harsh and he spoke of his own physical injuries from the events of Jan 6.


      1. Agreed on all points. And I heard plenty of elected Democrats, including Black Democrats, denouncing the looting last summer. When I can count on on the fingers of my hands and the toes of my feet the number of Republican elected officials who denounced Jan. 6. And they are being drummed out of the Republican party.


      2. The right wing/antifa performative battles are a problem, with both groups blaming the other, in Portland, Berkeley, Olympia, Seattle (maybe other places). I would like law enforcement to be a solution, but they are not being very effective.

        Some of the protests are portrayed as being far more violent than they are. I can’t speak to the ones in places I don’t know, but in Seattle, there was some violence against property, in our downtown/ID, which are close to each other and are a target for “antifa” protesters and have been since the anti-Davos protests of 2000. But the CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest), which I heard about from those with first hand experience was a mostly peaceful protest (I have pictures from my kiddos visit). The portrayal and subsequent right wing involvement by Fox (which included photo shopped photos) were an inaccurate portrayal.

        And, I’m old enough now that I’ve seen protests/riots/looting/occupy zones as part of the American political history (from the civil rights protests, to the vietnam war, to the alcatraz occupation, to the rodney king protests/riots, to the Ferguson protests/looting, the safe schools walkouts, to the BLM protests, which included looting, but also streams of suburban children being, yes, awoken to their world).

        When I watched the 1/6 attack on the Capitol, I was in shock. One of America’s greatest beacons for the rest of the democratic world (and those who hope for democracy) has been its peaceful transfer of power. I listened to Trump’s speech thinking, what can he possibly be saying and then felt my bedrock belief in the structure of American democracy being challenged.


  4. From Toronto: I stocked up for my business early yesterday and the Costco Business Centre was full – as far as I could tell mostly small restauranteurs getting takeout containers, which come from China and during a pandemic are essential. I definitely have added to my pantry this week.


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