Friday Homestead Dispatch
Gaseous Galloping Gobemouche
“What makes us so eager to believe in our own corruption? Why does veneer theory keep returning in so many permutations? I suspect it has a lot to do with convenience. In a weird way, to believe in our own sinful nature is comforting. It provides a kind of absolution. Because if most people are bad, then engagement and resistance aren’t worth the effort.
Belief in humankind’s sinful nature also provides a tidy explanation for the existence of evil. When confronted with hatred or selfishness, you can tell yourself, ‘Oh, well, that’s just human nature.’ But if you believe that people are essentially good, you have to question why evil exists at all. It implies that engagement and resistance are worthwhile, and it imposes an obligation to act.” — “Humankind: A Hopeful History” Rutger Bergman
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the attempted coup to prevent the certification of presidential election results at the U.S. Capital. You got wind of this, no?
The Southern Poverty Law Center lays out a convincing timeline from late 2019 to January 6th, 2021 that the shitstorm was bubbling like Mount Vesuvius for over a year; from the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Boys, the neo-Confederate League of the South, militia groups, North Idaho Exposed, Oath Keepers, and folks who, in general, think people of color gonna take away their inalienable rights and don’t want no libtards runnin’ things. And that’s not to mention the folks involved behind the scenes, people with power, money, and influence, calling the shots that fateful day.
And for a breakdown of the events of that day check out Heather Cox Richardson’s post from last night.
Rebecca Solnit said, in a New York Times opinion piece on Wednesday, that “…gullibility means you believe something because someone else wants you to. You’re buying what they’re selling. It’s often said that the joiners of cults and subscribers to delusions are driven by their hatred of elites. But in the present situation, the snake oil salesmen are not just Alex Jones, QAnon’s master manipulators and evangelical hucksters. They are senators, powerful white Christian men, prominent media figures, billionaires and their foundations, even a president.” She went on to say, “Democrats operate on the basis of reasonably factual premises and usually accept the authority of science, law and history, while Republicans uninhibitedly push whatever’s most convenient for their goals and incendiary for their base.”
Now, a year later, the nasty orange man still has the ability to con the rubes into opening their wallets. According to the Wall Street Journal, From his Mar-a-Lago exile in Florida, Mr. Trump raises millions of dollars for his political-action committee. He is endorsing Republican congressional candidates who hew to his view of events, and threatening those who don’t. In a Wall Street Journal poll taken late last year, 81% of Republicans said they had a favorable impression of Mr. Trump. A stunning 57% of Republicans said they agreed that “the election was stolen from Donald Trump through widespread election fraud.”
Who knows what will happen as the Select Committee moves forward. It does seem that Prime Minister Manchin is still against altering the filibuster to pass the For the People Act of 2021, which will make it much easier for people to vote. Easier to vote, I said. It bears repeating that the Republicans know if everyone votes, they lose.
Attorney General Merrick Garland also spoke this week saying that the DOJ remains committed to holding ALL 1/6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under the law whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminal responsible for the assault on our democracy. We’ll follow the facts wherever they lead…I understand that this may not be the answer some are looking for. But we will and we must speak through our work. Anything else jeopardizes the viability of our investigations and the civil liberties of our citizens.
Forge ahead, sir.
And President Biden finally denounced his predecessor. He asked the questions: Close your eyes. Go back to that day. What do you see? Rioters rampaging, waving for the first time inside this Capitol a Confederate flag that symbolized the cause to destroy America, to rip us apart. Even during the Civil War, that never, ever happened. But it happened here in 2021. What else do you see? A mob breaking windows, kicking in doors, breaching the Capitol. American flags on poles being used as weapons, as spears. Fire extinguishers being thrown at the heads of police officers. A crowd that professes their love for law enforcement assaulted those police officers, dragged them, sprayed them, stomped on them. Over 140 police officers were injured. We’ve all heard the police officers who were there that day testify to what happened. One officer called it, quote, a med- — “medieval” battle, and that he was more afraid that day than he was fighting the war in Iraq. They’ve repeatedly asked since that day: How dare anyone — anyone — diminish, belittle or deny the hell they were put through?
And one last note…what would a post about January 6th be without the input of Lee Papa? His post yesterday included this: But there's one thing I am perfectly clear on: The assholes and mental invalids and Confederacy humpers who ragegasmed at the Capitol before smearing the walls with shit were doing it based on fucking lies about the election. Anyone who defends or excuses them is saying that the fucking lies are truth. The fucking liars themselves need to be punished, not just the fucknuts who decided they could finally live out their pornographically violent racist Christian nationalist militia fantasies in DC because the chief fucking liar told them it was go time. The lie part of this needs to be taken as seriously as possible because not squelching the fucking lies like they're goddamn mosquitoes is going to drain the blood of this weakening democracy. On this one-year anniversary of the Yahoo Coup, we can say with quite a bit of evidence that the morons lost the battle but have a real chance of winning the war.
On the local level, what does it mean when Arizona Republicans testify in Congress that Joe Biden won the state and that a Republican-commissioned review of nearly 2.1 million ballots in the county did not find the widespread fraud claimed by former president Donald Trump? Even Republican Ken Bennett (who lived across the street from my mother-in-law in Prescott and used to come over and wash her windows) was pressed about the results of the survey and told the panel that the hand count found 350 more votes for Biden. Bwwaaahaaaaahaa. Many lunatics in the House still believe it when the orange man brays that wherever he lost, there was widespread fraud. Many garden variety lunatics believe the same.
Just to stir up the dog/pragmatic pot a bit, here are some quotes from Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007), a self-described agnostic mystic, futurist, author, lecturer, stand-up comic, guerrilla ontologist, psychedelic magician, outer head of the Illuminati, quantum psychologist, Taoist sage, Discordian Pope, Struthian politician…the guy had range. When his last illness became terminal, he was bombarded with financial support from readers. He paraphrased comedian Jack Benny to thank them, saying: "I do not deserve this, but I also have severe leg problems and I don't deserve them either." His last posting on his website said: "I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying."
"I don't believe anything. Most people, even the educated, think that everybody must believe something or other, that if one is not a theist, one must be a dogmatic atheist, and if one does not think Capitalism is perfect, one must believe fervently in Socialism, and if one does not have blind faith in X, one must alternatively have blind faith in not-X or the reverse of X. My own opinion is that belief is the death of intelligence."
“I first heard of the 23 Enigma from William S. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, Nova Express, etc. According to Burroughs, he had known a certain Captain Clark, around 1960 in Tangier, who once bragged that he had been sailing 23 years without an accident. That very day, Clark’s ship had an accident that killed him and everybody else aboard. Furthermore, while Burroughs was thinking about this crude example of the irony of the gods that evening, a bulletin on the radio announced the crash of an airliner in Florida, USA. The pilot was another Captain Clark and the flight was Flight 23.”
“The Western World has been brainwashed by Aristotle for the last 2,500 years. The unconscious, not quite articulate, belief of most Occidentals is that there is one map which adequately represents reality. By sheer good luck, every Occidental thinks he or she has the map that fits. Guerrilla ontology, to me, involves shaking up that certainty. I use what in modern physics is called the "multi-model" approach, which is the idea that there is more than one model to cover a given set of facts. As I've said, novel writing involves learning to think like other people. My novels are written so as to force the reader to see things through different reality grids rather than through a single grid. It's important to abolish the unconscious dogmatism that makes people think their way of looking at reality is the only sane way of viewing the world. My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything. If one can only see things according to one's own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb, and blind. It's only possible to see people when one is able to see the world as others see it. That's what guerrilla ontology is — breaking down this one-model view and giving people a multi-model perspective.” — From "Robert Anton Wilson : Searching For Cosmic Intelligence" - interview by Jeffrey Elliot (1980)
I’ve always enjoyed seeing the Earthships out in the high desert west of Taos from a distance. I would love to tour one someday. The founder and creator of the concept, Michael Reynolds, started work on these in the early 70s, the first ones being built with discarded steel and tin beer cans. The Washington Post gave a nod to these works of art last Tuesday, reporting that these “vessels” operate using six green-building principles governing heating and cooling, solar electricity, water collection, sewage treatment, food production, and the use of natural and recycled materials.
And then in Sweden, these folks decided to cover their entire home in a greenhouse. Charles Sacilotto and Marie Granmar decided 68 degrees was better than 27 where it’s winter nine months out of the year.
Just one more…this is the best example I’ve seen of a shipping container home. A woman named Rosie had this off-the-grid home in Coromandel, New Zealand built as a retreat. It boasts 12 solar panels and a 4-kilowatt system, two 25-thousand liter tanks, wooden composting system. It was made of five 20ft shipping containers and can be easily expanded to a bigger home.
Can you believe that something good is coming out of Texas besides the music? Supposedly, Texas is a strong philanthropic environment, so much so that Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi of Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, with the generous help of Texas philanthropies the Kleberg Foundation, the [John S.] Dunn Foundation, Tito's Vodka, and The MD Anderson Foundation, have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that could prove beneficial to countries with fewer resources.
Dr. Keith Martin, executive director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in Washington, D.C., said "The real beauty of the CORBEVAX vaccine that Drs. Hotez and Bottazzi created is that intellectual property of this vaccine will be available to everybody, so you can get manufacturers in Senegal, and South Africa and Latin America to be able to produce this particular vaccine."
Good news all around…and thanks to my friend limell’ for the find!