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So we had:

  • The MAGAbomber, sending letter bombs to prominent Democrats,
  • A shooting at Kroger where a white supremacist apparently decided to start shooting black people,
  • and a shooting at a Jewish synagogue where a white supremacist killed eleven people.

All within a week.

So I’ll drop this quote here:

“[These deaths] say to each of us, black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 18 September 1963
Birmingham, Ala.

What is the commonality between them all? All three murderers (or wanna be in the case of the MAGAbomber) subscribed to various right-wing conspiracy theories about Jews, Democrats, and black people.

Who is spreading these conspiracy theories? Is it a few nuts and cranks on the Internet? No, it is prominent Republicans, including top cabinet members and officers in our Federal government — including, of course, the President himself.

At which point we’re back to MLK Jr., who was responding to a church bombing that killed four little girls. The bombers were prominent KKK members who were also top officials in local law enforcement. MLK’s point was that if it was not these particular people, it would have been someone else who murdered civil rights workers, because the whole system of white supremacy was based upon violence against black people and their supporters.

At this point, I think we can say that the whole system of Republican supremacy is based upon violence against black people, Hispanic people, Democrats, Jews, and their supporters.

That is all.

– Badtux the Waiting-for-Kristallnacht Penguin

So how did it happen that there were so many Germans willing to round up Jews and march them into gas chambers?

Well, it started with rhetoric. Rhetoric by the Nazi Party leadership in their Party newspaper, the Daily Stormer, and in speeches and radio broadcasts. Rhetoric painting Jews as criminals, as rapists and thieves, as terrorists and vermins.

We’ve seen the same kind of rhetoric from Donald Trump and his supporters — rhetoric that might have come right out of the pages of the Daily Stormer in the 1920’s, except with immigrants from south of the border in place of the Jews. With the inevitable result: there’s now a significant part of the American population that would be willing to round up immigrants and march them into gas chambers.

Just look for the hat if you’re wondering who they are. MAGA!

– Badtux the Sadly Snarky Penguin

So what am I up to?

I got gentrified out of my place in Santa Clara, so now I’m across the bay in Newark. The new place came with a collection of ferals. I pointed a (sadly poor quality) video camera out the patio door and put out some kibble ($9.95 for a giant bag at Grocery Outlet), and have now collected images of four adult cats, four kittens, a skunk, and two ravens….

Momma Cat, a.k.a. Cali. A Calico kitty

Ghost.

Three black and white kittens

Smokey (gray)

Pepe

Oreo

Gray and white kitten (with Momma)

Note — I’m going to do TNR as soon as I get them used to getting food from me, but it’ll be a bit before I can do that. They have to get used to getting food from the patio, then I have to get them used to getting fed at a specific time rather than having food all the time.

Oh, what does TMF think about all these yard kitties? He’s sad. He sings the song of his people at the window when he sees them, he wants to go out and play with them. The first photo, the one of Momma Cat looking at the camera? TMF’s head is right above it, he’s singing a sad song that woke me up at 6am on a Sunday morning.

– Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

The next 40 years

This is the main reason that Kavanaugh had to be confirmed immediately, before the Democrats got control of the Senate and could block apartheid supporters. The fact is that white people are becoming a minority within America. When that happens depends on who you ask, but it is happening, and will happen.

Given that, the only way that angry white males, of which Kavanaugh is one, can retain power is via apartheid — by taking away the vote from populations that, well, aren’t white. They dream of a return to the pre-Voting Rights Act segregated South, where black people were denied the vote by any number of means from poll taxes to lynchings, except nationwide and applied to non-whites across a broad spectrum. They really don’t have any choice. George W. Bush had made outreach to Hispanic populations, but Donald Trump has done nationwide what the California Republican Party did two decades ago — via racist acts against Hispanic populations, especially by kidnapping and losing children at the border in order to punish parents, they’ve lost the Hispanic vote for a generation.

The thing about apartheid, however, is that it is not a long time stable situation when it’s the majority of an entire nation that is being suppressed. South Africa and Rhodesia found that out the hard way, they managed to keep their non-white populations suppressed, but the violence needed to do in the face of guerilla warfare by the majority resulted in international repulsion and eventual collapse of their economies and the army of suppression that was funded by their economies. But our angry white male leaders think they have the answer to that — our current cradle to grave police state that tracks everybody from birth to death will allow them to take out the leaders of any opposition with ease, while also being used to remove information about them from the Internet so that angry mobs that wish to hang them from the nearest lamp posts won’t know where to find them.

But of course police states aren’t stable either. They can be maintained for a long time, but only at the expense of collapsing the economy and the impoverishment of the nation, because smart people don’t like police states. Smart people flee police states, or tuck their heads down and refuse to do the sort of entrepreneurship and innovation needed for an economy to thrive for fear that they might attract police state attention. But perhaps the angry white males view being on top of an impoverished failed state is preferable to being ruled by non-whites.

Given how many guns there are in the United States, I am not seeing any way that this situation does not result in bloodshed. Apartheid worked in the American South only because those being suppressed were a minority in the nation as a whole. But I cannot believe that the majority in states like California that are already “majority-minority” will sit by idle while their brethren elsewhere are being suppressed. Either there will be bloody military suppression of resistance, or secession followed by war. All I know is that a hard rain’s gonna fall.

— Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin

First, a song…. Regina Spektor, “Ballad of a Politician” off her brilliant 2012 album What we Saw from the Cheap Seats.

Okay, so you’re back. Did you listen to the song? If you didn’t listen to the song, go listen to it. Really. It is completely and totally relevant to the point of this post.

So: Did you get the point of the song? Did you, really? If you didn’t, you won’t understand why Kavanaugh will be confirmed despite the fact that he sexually assaulted at least three women, was a drunk and a cad towards many other people, and lacks the fundamental respect for rule of law that we expect for our sitting judges.

And that point was: Basically: If you are a politician today, you are a prostitute.

This is especially true of Senators, who are required to raise millions of dollars from their johns in order to become and remain Senators. If they don’t obey their johns, their johns will find another prostitute willing to pleasure them in the way they demand. And these johns want Kavanaugh, because Kavanaugh has promised to overturn multiple Supreme Court rulings that they find distasteful because they give the little people more rights than the johns want the little people to have.

And that’s that. Now, granted, Nothing is ever 100% guaranteed. Perhaps some of those prostitutes will decide that they’re tired of prostitution, and vote against their johns’ demands. But still, I say there’s a 90% chance that Kavanaugh will be confirmed within the next five weeks…

– Badtux the Prostitution Penguin

A science fiction writer of my acquaintance claimed that he was an anarcho-capitalist. I pointed out that he was ignoring the central problem of anarchy theory. And that central problem of anarchy theory is the problem of power.

“Pure” anarchism wants to remove anything in society that could be possibly a source of power. Unfortunately people have inherent power due to their physical abilities, and thus inherent differences in power, a large man skilled in fighting has much more power than a small woman not skilled at fighting. Add in weapons and weapons skills and character traits like sociopathy and ruthlessness (a ruthless sociopath will always win a gunfight, because he’ll just shoot you in the back without a thought before you even know you’re in a gunfight), and clearly there must be power structures to regulate all of this, otherwise you have the most ruthless and vicious sociopaths ruling everything at gunpoint. Anarchists do a lot of hand-waving about voluntary self defense associations yada yada, but that’s not what has ever happened. Instead you get warlordism, rule by the most ruthless and vicious sociopaths ruling everything at gunpoint, because the ruthless sociopaths are the ones willing to shoot their way through innocents to get to the top.

Now, add in capitalism, which is yet another source of power — power grows from the barrel of a gun, as Mao put it, and capital buys lots of guns — and the need for power structures to regulate everything becomes even more dire. Now, what is that power structure going to look like? The only way to do it without rule of gun (which leads to atrocity since only the most ruthless and vicious win that leadership contest) is to get buy-in from the majority of the people, i.e., democracy. At which point you no longer have anarchism, since people then vote for things that will make more comfortable for themselves and their neighbors and relatives — as they should, since that’s sort of the whole point of a society.

All of which is just a long way of saying that pure anarcho-capitalism cannot work as a system because it would end up with warlordism, like in Somalia or Afghanistan. And since warlords get their power by being vicious sociopaths, it’s generally not a happy fun time for the population involved. Capitalism is good because it is the best way we have of creating wealth, and wealth is good for people and for a society (both Dan and I know the former from personal experience), but it is also a source of power, and like all sources of power has to be regulated. At that point the anarcho is gone, and what you have is just capitalism.

– Badtux the Capitalist Penguin


Example from the Rolling Stone.

Stormy Daniels, in her new book, apparently has explicit details of the Presidential genitalia, and the press is having a collective nervous breakdown trying to figure out how to cover that news without explicit descriptions of the male sexual organ. I’m just over here giggling like a middle schooler at the whole circus.

I wish Ms. Daniels well. But I’m not going to read her book. I already have a good enough image of Donald Trump naked in my head, and it requires brain bleach.

– Badtux the “Blech!” Penguin