Scapegoating by anecdote

For every one Mollie Tibbetts who’s murdered by an immigrant (whether documented or otherwise), there are…A LOT MORE nice young women murdered by American-born men.

If the goal is to minimize violent crime, sorry but targeting immigrants is focusing energy in the wrong direction. The lion’s share of criminals are here by birth.

But of course the use of Mollie Tibbetts as a poster child for border-walling isn’t about protecting women like Mollie. It’s about demonizing brown people coming from poor countries. Mollie’s family is having none of your bullshit.

53% of white women…who showed up to the polls…

About that oft-cited statistic in progressive discourse that “53% of white women voted for Trump”? I don’t like it. 53% of white women did not vote for Trump. 53% of white women, of those who bothered to show up to the polls, voted for Trump.

It’s not that I object to calling out white women for letting Trumpty Numpty squat in the White House. Of course we should be called out. My objection is that the 53% statistic is burying the lede. I have a very, very hard time believing that any non-trivial number of American white women voted for Obama in 2012 and then voted for Trump in 2016. The problem is more in those who didn’t vote at all in 2016.

(For the purposes of this argument, voting for third-party candidates is the same thing as not voting at all. If you could’ve voted for Hillary, and didn’t, you’re part of the problem.)

The rhetorical distinction matters because there are so fucking many progressive Americans who go around thinking inaction equals blamelessness. So they hear the “53% of white women voted for Trump” line and they think it isn’t about them because they voted for no one. Bullshit. The problem is in the number of progressive Americans who were eligible to vote in 2016 and did not vote for Hillary. Whether they voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or wrote in the name of whatever inconsequential no-name putz Susan Sarandon told them to, or just stayed home and didn’t vote at all, that’s the number we should be talking about.

We made the Russian trolls’ job too easy

I am so LOL-ing at the memory of hearing from those Bern-outs right after the 2016 election who were so happy to believe the DNC had unfairly rigged the primaries in Hillary’s favor, but actively sneered at the idea that the Russian government had meddled in the general election. Oh, no, we needed to focus on the REAL problem, which is that Bernie would’ve won.

Yeah, of course, so many progressive Americans found it so much easier to believe the DNC had sabotaged itself (nah) by unfairly stacking the deck (nope) in favor of the weaker candidate (uh-uh), than that a hostile foreign power had fucked with our election to favor the Kremlin-approved candidate.

Of course, part of the Kremlin’s propaganda used to fuck with our election was convincing a lot of progressive Americans that Hillary had scored the nomination illegitimately.

Which means, not only were the Bern-outs wrong in where the actual sabotage was, they were, in fact, a symptom of the sabotage. All’a y’all acting like Hillary got the nomination by some means other than getting more Democratic primary voters on her side? Congratulations, you’ve bought into Russian propaganda. And the sooner y’all admit you’ve been had, the sooner we can clean up this mess.

 

No one should be congratulated for being a billionaire.

First: Elon Musk is going to fund clean water for people in Flint. Good news! Yes, Mr. Musk, this is a good thing you’re doing and we’d love it if you did more of it! All rich people, please do more of this!

Second: there’s discussion of Kylie Jenner’s mention in Forbes for being a near-billionaire. I’m less interested in whether she should be recognized as a “self-made” billionaire (clearly she is not) and more interested in the fact that nobody should hold that much money at a given time. A pretty young woman from a rich & famous family does not need to have that much money in her possession. Nobody should have that much money in their possession. We shouldn’t call them billionaires, we should call them money-hoarders.

First, pay your employees sufficiently. Make sure they have healthy working conditions and proper compensation including benefits. Second, pay your taxes. Third, give to charity that distributes wealth downward. Still have money left over after that, sure, fund space exploration. The point is, the bragging point should be in how much money has been donated, rather than how much has been accumulated.

 

Batten down the hatches, comrades.

Okay, so, it seems Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring this summer.

Well…Bitch McCandlehead has already established that the Senate can sabotage the president’s ability to appoint a Supreme Court judge if some of them don’t like the president, so I see no reason why we must accept Trumpty Numpty’s idea of a new justice simply because Justice Kennedy has had enough. Trumpty Numpty isn’t really a president, anyway. The US currently has no president. This is not 45, this is the missing administration. Trumpty Numpty and his cronies are squatting in the White House. So he shouldn’t have the privilege of filling a SCOTUS seat.

So…everyone with Republican Senators, lobby the fuck outta them to deny a hearing to any of the non-president’s choices for the new SCOTUS justice. And in November, we vote for Dems and make both houses of Congress super-extra-blue. When the Senate is majority-Democrat, Bitch McCandlehead can no longer be Senate Majority Leader. And then we lobby the fuck outta the new Senate to hold up a giant middle finger at any of the non-president’s choices for the SCOTUS seat. Keep on holding up a giant middle finger until the non-president accidentally pukes up the name of a liberal judge or until he’s no longer squatting in the White House.

The new Congress doesn’t have to impeach Trumpty Numpty. It’s cool if they do, but that doesn’t need to be our goal in this November’s elections. They just need to stonewall the non-president until 2020.

In 2020, we can make a fresh effort to elect a real president, and meanwhile Bitch McCandlehead can be sent home to cry in his wife’s lap following the unceremonious end of his career in public office.

In the meantime, I will ready my couch for women visiting from out of state to get abortions in Maryland.

Good guy with bare hands

I’d just like to observe that a young white man brought a military-grade weapon into a Waffle House with the intent to kill people just because he could, and the attack was cut short by a young unarmed black man who fucking dragged the gun out of the shooter’s very living hands.

We can’t expect people to show that kind of bravery on a regular basis. The way to stop the massacres is to keep the bullets off the streets.

 

The Electoral College is worse than useless.

One of the tall tales we were told in Civics class is that the Electoral College was created as a sort of escape switch in case a clearly unfit candidate manages to win the popular vote.

Which is malarkey. The EC was developed for the benefit of slaveowners, by emphasizing the number of residents per state over the number of votes per state. Basically, it allowed slaveowners’ votes to count for themselves and for all the human beings they owned. Post-slavery, it accommodates low voter turnout and thus incentivizes voter suppression.

But anyway, what they told us in school was that we needed the Electoral College to protect us from ourselves in case we voted for a Presidential candidate who had absolutely no business in the Oval Office. The people get hoodwinked by a dumpster fire in a suit, and the Electoral College says nah, we’re going with someone who isn’t terrible. That’s what we’re supposed to believe about the EC.

And what happened to us in 2016?

The popular vote went to the candidate who would have made a totally decent President, and the Electoral College went to the incompetent fascist puppet of a hostile foreign power. There were even some faithless EC voters who added to the incompetent fascist puppet’s electoral count. They were expected to vote for Hillary, and instead they chose Trumpty Numpty.

So…more than half the voters said, “We want the smart lady who knows her way around and knows what she’s talking about.”

And the Electoral College said, “Nah, you’re getting the crooked racist/rapist who talks about his dick on stage, picks schoolyard fights with North Korea on Twitter, and has all his strings attached to the Russian government.”

The EC is anti-democratic AND untrustworthy. Time to let it go.

 

Money is a means to an end.

Instead of calling them billionaires, we should call them money-hoarders, and yes, that is meant as an insult. Yes, that does include the billionaires we like. They may have many fine qualities, but having accumulated that much money is not a point in anyone’s favor.

Rather than congratulating people for having money in the 10-figure range, we should instead praise them for how much they’ve given away. For example, JK Rowling gave money to charity until she was no longer a billionaire and no longer on the list of wealthiest people. This is a good thing! I’ll bet she still has much more dough than she’ll ever be able to use, but the point is, her having given a lot to charity reflects better on her than ranking on a Forbes list ever will. Another example is Bill Gates. He’d be richer than Jeff Bezos if not for his charitable donations? Cool! Let’s talk about how much money he’s put into making the world a better place!

Here’s a simple reality that capitalism would like us to forget: money is a means to an end. Money is not an end unto itself. You’re hungry, so you use money to get food, and you eat the food. You don’t eat the money itself. You use money to pay for housing and utilities, but money all by itself does not keep you warm and dry. You use money to see a movie, but money itself is not entertainment.

Up to a point, saving money is constructive. You build up wealth so you can have nice things, or in my case, to budget for a spell of unemployment. You might want to have some to pass on to your children so they can have some nice things. They should still pay estate taxes, though.

Beyond a certain threshold of accumulation, money stops being useful. Once you have more money than you will ever be able to spend on nice things for your family, what’s the point? That amount of money under the control of one person doesn’t achieve anything except to make sure that money isn’t available to other people. Having allowed that much dough to pile up in your liquid assets is nothing to be proud of. If the tax structure makes it impossible for anyone to become a billionaire, that’s a good thing.

Show off your wealth by spreading it around.