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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Bay Area, California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 1,193

About Me

Software engineer who thinks a lot about the future. http://paulkienitz.net/future/

Journal Archives

racists and fascists always lie, including about what their faith is

I'm becoming convinced that today's fundamentalist evangelical christianity is not based on the bible, but on some combination of christian dominionism and white supremacism. They're defined not by their faith in Christ but by their intolerance of people unlike themselves. Their biblical literalism is a shibboleth for identifying who to reject. They insist on young earth beliefs and deny evolution because that excludes people who would allow science to tell them that other people are as good as they are. They aren't fascist to support their christianity, they're christian to support their fascism.

Lots of americans are christian in lots of ways, but I'm getting the strong impression that evangelical fundamentalism is a near 100% surrogate for racist fascism.

and we're only starting to learn about the long term disabling effects of the disease

The world is going to have an ongoing health problem just from people who once had covid, even if nobody catches it again. All kinds of scary outcomes are starting to be noticed in people's long-term health after the acute disease has ended... not just things like reduced aerobic capacity, but things like weaker immune systems, proneness to strokes and heart attacks, lasting internal organ damage... for many, covid may end up being a lifelong condition. And as far as they can tell, vaccination reduces the likelihood of these awful outcomes, but maybe only by about half.

So even a mild case that seems to go away quickly may bite you later on. But there's a simple way to avoid this risk: keep masking!

Of course they wouldn't, and we have proof.

"I don't think these BS artists can ever agree to meaningful gun laws, even if the death toll was three or even four times what it is now."

How about thirty or forty times? The death toll from irresponsible US citizens mowing each other down with sprays of covid viruses is vastly larger than the death toll from sprays of bullets, and they refuse to do anything about that either.

Trump was exactly what the GOP had wanted all along.

You think they voted for Dubya because of his groundbreaking embrace of a new ideal of "compassionate conservatism"? No, they voted for him because he was like Trump.

You think they voted for Dick Nixon because of his bold and innovative forging of a new relationship with China, or because he started the Environmental Protection Agency? No. They voted for him because he was like Trump.

You think they liked Ronald Reagan because he wore a cowboy hat, or because he's been in a movie with a chimp, or because he invaded a tiny island like that somehow made America look badass? No, they liked him because he was like Trump.

Why do you think Trump beat sixteen other candidates to be the nominee? Because Trump was the most Trump-like of the bunch. Why was Ted Cruz the last one left standing against him? Because he was the second most Trump-like.

We can now see that in the history of the Republican party, Dwight Eisenhower was an aberration. If he hadn't been there they would have picked someone Trumpish. They picked Nixon in 1960 because he was Trumpier than Rockefeller, and Goldwater over Rockefeller and Lodge and Scranton because he out-Trumped them. The impulse to push Goldwater the conspiracy-theory believer in 1964 was exactly the same impulse that pushed the conspiracy-theory seller Trump to the forefront 52 years later.

Gerald Ford got weak support because he lacked Trumpishness. George H.W. also didn't show enough for their liking, and so got lackluster support.

Trump gave the GOP base what they wanted. It's the same thing they've wanted my whole life. All that's changed is the amount of pretense that they've managed to cover it up with. It's like the evolution of professional wrestling -- in my youth, kayfabe was never broken and the audience had no idea that "kayfabe" was even a word, now fans of new stars like Roman Reigns know all about the fictionality and are still into it anyway. The fakery is now revealed for all to see, but people still want exactly what they wanted in the beginning.

The reactionary right wing is America's biggest unified voting bloc, and they didn't just turn fascist when Trump came along. They had always been like that.

I never wanted to care about trans rights.

Trans rights were never a subject that mattered to me. I've only ever known one trans person, and I didn't even like him very much. It was not, and is not, a subject that engages me personally.

But I still have to stand up to strongly defend trans rights. Why? Because the whole reason they are attacking trans rights these days is because they see it as a tactically viable starting point for beginning an attack on a whole lot of other rights. If they succeed in gaining public acceptance of bigoted anti-trans restrictions, their clear intent is to use that as a base from which to immediately extend further assaults on gay rights, women's rights, and minority rights. Their end goal is to create an America in which only white Christian patriots have full rights, and all others are less than citizens. They are attacking trans rights for the sole reason that they see these rights to be the least well defended, the most vulnerable point at which to gain an initial victory and reverse their string of defeats. It isn't simple transphobia that drives this, it's homophobia and sexism looking for a safe way to show itself. It's the whole panoply of deplorable bigotries, all focused on the one target they see as being the least protected.

We have to defend at the point they choose to attack, or they break through our lines. Then they can strike in any direction.

We have two parties: an accountable governance party, and a white people's party.

All the hypocricy and dishonesty of the GOP is, in the end, about disguising and rationalizing their racism, sexism, Christian dominionism, and other deplorable bigotries. And of these, the racism is the most important -- the biggest slice of the deplorable pie.

Why support low taxes and small government? Because it keeps property in white hands. Why do Republicans vote in favor of enriching their bosses at their own expense? Because a benefit to the bosses is a benefit to white people. Why do they refuse to accept any curbs on private armament? So that white people will be confident that they have more guns than nonwhite people. Why a war on drugs? To punish nonwhite people, and the white people who hang out with them. Why do they attack abortion? To punish independent women, especially nonwhite ones. And why do they turn a blind eye to the January 6 insurrection? Because it was an attempt to seize power for white people, and the lie about illegal or invalid votes was just a public way of saying that they don't think nonwhite votes should be counted.

Every hateful and abusive policy that the GOP has been pushing exists because it's a wedge to separate white Christian conservatives from the rest of the populace, and support the former while punishing the latter.

I bet what he really wants is a way to trade away overvalued Tesla shares without appearing to sell.

Tesla stock is immensely valuable but also extremely illiquid, because being seen to sell it off would tank its inflated price. So what he's looking for is a way to trade stock in Tesla for stock in something else that is less overvalued. This would allow him to sell back part of it and realize some gains. Otherwise, though on paper he's the richest guy in the world, he can't extract those riches as cash. If he buys Twitter in a stock swap, he can sell parts of it for actual money, which today he can't do without popping the bubble.

Fuck daylight savings, whether it changes seasonally or not.

I don't want my daylight "saved". I never asked anyone to save any daylight for me. I demand the daylight in my savings account be returned to me. And I want a clock that says what time it is in my timezone, instead of some political fiction about what time somebody else thinks I should pretend it is.

Ukraine war exposes lack of support for Trump's pro-Putin GOP wing

Source: Los Angeles Times

As wars have so often done, the Russian invasion of Ukraine — predicted for weeks, but still a shock — has quickly begun to clarify who stands where.

One result has been to highlight how little support Trump’s Russia-friendly attitudes have within his party.


In a rare bit of agreement, Republicans and Democrats had equally negative impressions of Russia, although Republicans were slightly less favorable than Democrats in their view of Ukraine, 66% versus 57%.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-02-25/ukraine-trump-and-the-politics-of-war-essential-politics

The Tucker Carlsons and other pro-Putinists aren't selling it anymore.

Putin's empire-conquering mindset is no different from that of some Bronze Age king

who glorifies his statue of a god by trying to enslave as many neighbors as possible.
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