“These people are living in a bubble (liberals). They’re not looking for a level playing field. They’re looking for an advantage. They were always thrilled when they have that advantage as though they don’t have enough advantages already…. They had all of social media, again, until you came up with Truth Social and then Elon Musk said, ‘Hey, how about some free speech on Twitter as well,’ [and they said] ‘Oh, my God!’ You know, the outrage and the panic. And you see it. And that’s why you see the leak about the Supreme Court. They need something and they have nothing to motivate their people.” ––Donald Trump, Jr.
This is about right. Andrew Wilhoite of Lebanon, Indiana, accused of murdering his wife and dumping her body in a creek in March, has won a Republican primary election for township board in the state – from jail.
You’ve probably read the ‘Justice Alito's invocation of Sir Matthew Hale’ themes making the social media rounds. Just to wrap it up in a tidy bow for you, Alito cited Hale's Pleas of the Crown! in which Hale wrote, “The husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract.”
This stems from Hale's pronouncement of what he observed to be a custom in 17th century England. We're going back to 17th CENTURY ENGLAND! And you remember those nasty witch trials. There is written record of Hale saying, “That there were such creatures as witches he made no doubt at all; for first, the scriptures had affirmed so much. Secondly, the wisdom of all nations had provided laws against such persons, which is an argument of their confidence of such a crime.”
And in 1817, Hale published a letter that prescribed individualized counsel for three granddaughters. In it he wrote “If they rise in the morning before ten of the clock, the morning is spent between the comb, and the glass, and the box of patches; though they know not how to make provision for it themselves, they must have choice diet provided for them, and when they are ready, the next business is to come down, and sit in a rubbed parlour till dinner come in; and, after dinner, either to cards, or to the exchange, or to the play, or to Hyde Park, or to an impertinent visit; and after supper, either to a ball or to cards; and at this rate they spend their time, from one end of the year to the other; and at the same rate they spend their parent’s or husband’s money or estates in costly clothes, new fashions, chargeable entertainments: their home is their prison, and they are never at rest in it, unless they have gallants and splendid company to entertain.”
Crikey. For more in-depth reading on the subject, go here.
And just a word or two about religious fundamentalism, which seems to be at the root of Alito’s, and certainly Amy Coney Barrett’s, raison d'être. In an article in Psychology Today a few years ago, author Bobby Azarian wrote religious fundamentalism—which refers to the belief in the absolute authority of a religious text or leaders—is almost never good for an individual. This is primarily because fundamentalism discourages any logical reasoning or scientific evidence that challenges its scripture, making it inherently maladaptive. Christian fundamentalism is a parasitic ideology that inserts itself into brains, commanding individuals to act and think in a certain way—a rigid way that is intolerant to competing ideas. We know that religious fundamentalism is strongly correlated with what psychologists and neuroscientists call “magical thinking,” which refers to making connections between actions and events when no such connections exist in reality. When a fundamentalist ideology inhabits a host brain, the organism’s mind is no longer fully in control.
These are the people who follow the orange man–you know, the guy who brags about grabbing women by the pussy and thrice-married–who uses this religious cover to fool the rubes. The Republican party is now the party of Christian nationalism and it’s not going away. According to an article in NPR, This movement of ultra-conservative, politicized churches is apparently on the march, though there are no firm numbers because the congregations are mostly nondenominational. The belief system provides a godly underpinning for right-wing activism in venues like school-board elections, anti-vaccine protests, and the Jan. 6 attack on the capitol.
I’m all for Christian patriots gathering together in their places of worship, sharing casserole and jello recipes and gossiping about the word of their God and such. But it’s problem for the rest of us who don’t share these beliefs, and it being an excuse for a holy crusade foisted into the world of politics and laws of the land. In the words of Rob Boston writing for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, It’s a religio-political force that seeks to tear down the church-state wall, “Christianize” public schools and other government institutions, roll back women’s rights, strip LGBTQ Americans of basic freedoms and impose a theocratic state on the country.
Speaking of Founding Fathers, fundamentalism, and such, in the January 3 &10, 2022 Shouts & Murmurs in the New Yorker print edition, there was this witty (written by Teddy Wayne) ‘interview’ with Ol’ Ben Franklin.
“But We can all at least vote for our leaders, correct?”
“Um.” He clench’d his teeth & inhal’d loudly whilst wincing, as if to demonstrate that the topick was causing Him physickal distress. “I was pushing like Hell for it, but some of the delegates said that if We allow’d, say, Women to vote, it meant a Woman should sign the Constitution, which would screw up the name ‘Founding Fathers,’ which They’re really into. I maintain’d that this was a triviality compar’d to endowing all People with a voice in a flourishing Democracy. & They were, like, ‘Let Us not & say, rather, that We did.’ ”
Dr. Franklin add’d, “Sorry,” tho’ He pronounc’d it sah-wee.
“Which brings up another problem,” He said. “There is no polite way to say this to a Lady, but a lot of the Guys in this Country are, well . . .”
My eyes implor’d Dr. Franklin to conclude his doubtless brilliant insight.
“They’re Dicks,” He said. “& They will propagate yet more Dicks, & someday there shall be a profusion of Dicks, perchance nearly a majority, who, in a tragick irony, cite their purport’d reverence of the Constitution to conceal their Tyranny of Dickishness.”
“You said ‘nearly a majority,’ ” I rejoin’d. “Surely perspicacious minds like yours would not create a Constitution that permitt’d a minority of Dicks to wield federal power over the non-Dick majority.”
“Mm-hmm,” Dr. Franklin said, as his eyes shift’d rapidly hither & thither.
“How does One identify these Dicks?” I ask’d.
“Not every Dick simply wears a tricorne hat with ‘MAKE AMERICA’ calligraph’d on it,” He explain’d. “Many cultivate full, unkempt beards, for instance, whilst others grow hair only on their chins in the unseemly manner of a goat. But one common element is that They buy their spectacles from the optician Thomas Oakley, who has pioneer’d a technique to tint the lenses dark, & to elongate the frames such that They cover a wide expanse of the face.”
“Is every Gentleman who wears his spectacles in this fashion a Dick?”
“A Total Dick,” He said.
“So,” I said, “You have draft’d a Constitution full of loopholes for a Republick found’d upon inequality & teeming with Dicks who wear Oakley’s spectacles that wrap around their faces.”
“Don’t forget the guns. O, & guess who loves guns? The Dicks.”
David Fitzsimmons, referring to christian fundamentalism tax-exempt organizations, wrote that this is a good read for my pro-life evangelical friends, when they're not the victims of persecution or the deep state or working feverishly to dismantle Satan's work: childcare subsidies, food programs, child tax credits, LGBTQ protections, public education or neonatal care for the lazy, godless poor. Every last one of these political pulpits should lose their tax-free status. Every last one.
For you folks in Southern Arizona suffering from allergies, Spadefoot Nursery, owned and operated by Jared McKinley, posted that "... the bright yellow plants are not the source of your allergies. Allergies kick up this time of year because spring is always windy, and pollen (and dust, spores, and other particulates) are in the air. During this time of year many inconspicuously flowered plants like grasses, ragweeds, pines, etc. are blooming, but we don’t notice them because wind pollinated plants don’t waste energy on petals that would get in the way, or nectar that would weigh down the pollen. So when we’re suffering we look around and see a big yellow tree like a palo verde, or mesquite flowers which look puffy. These kinds of conspicuous flowers are brightly colored to attract bees. Some people blame jasmine or citrus blooms. But the same is true for conspicuously scented plants. They’re attracting pollinators and their pollen has evolved to stick to the pollinator, not fly in the air. You may be allergic to ANY pollen. But unless you are actually sticking your nose into the petals and rubbing off the sticky pollen, you should probably look a little harder at the source of your allergies. The worst thing for allergies is development—bulldozing of large plots of land, which invite those types of wind-pollinated pioneer plants to populate not to mention expose dirt to the wind."
Now for a feel good story, Bounce Milwaukee hosted a "Trans Clothing Swap" last Tuesday night in partnership with organizations like Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Diverse & Resilient, and Forge. Owner Becky Cooper, mom of a transgender son and a non-binary child, said in just the first two hours, more than 150 people stopped by. Activists in Milwaukee's LGBTQ+ said this kind of event helps people feel safe and affirmed in their identities. Let us all support these kind of activities across the country as, if Republicans have their way, this could all be criminalized in a short amount of time.
Just. Vote. Blue.
Another feel good story in yesterday’s Tucson Sentinel headlines with 9th Circuit upholds ‘landmark’ ruling blocking Rosemont copper mine.
The article, by Paul Ingram, goes on to say In a win for environmental groups and three Native American tribes, a federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that halted the long-controversial Rosemont copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains about 30 miles southeast of Tucson.
In 2019, U.S. District Judge James A. Soto ruled the U.S. Forest Service "improperly evaluated and misapplied" federal law, leading to "an inherently flawed" approval of the open-pit copper mine, planned to grow as large as a mile wide. In his decision, Soto found several problems with the Forest Service’s 2017 approval of the proposed mine, and the 2013 final environmental impact statement which cleared the way for that approval. Soto's ruling immediately blocked Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals from beginning construction on the proposed $1.9 billion mine.
Hudbay appealed the decision, but on Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the halt in a 2-1 decision.
Allison Melton, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity called the ruling "momentous," and it makes clear "Hudbay’s plan to destroy the beautiful Rosemont Valley is not only a terrible idea, it’s illegal. The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important for Tucson’s water supply, jaguars, ocelots and many other species of rare plants and animals. We won’t let them be sacrificed for mining company profits.”
My friend in LFK, Don Mayberger, posted a pic of the Eldridge Hotel in downtown Lawrence recently. It’s a great shot and I used to see this building every day for almost fifteen years. My brother lived and worked in the building just to the left (south) of the hotel on the second floor for many years. We had many rehearsals up there in the early 80s. Excuse me, I seem to have a little something in my eye…