Monthly Archives: September 2017

Former Republican on the GOP

The former VP of the Berkeley College Republicans:

“The giant, unstated truth of American politics of the last decade is the staggering, insane levels of bad faith that Republicans have shown in federal governance, and the unwillingness of mainstream Democrats or supposedly neutral observers to take it seriously.

“The story of what has happened to the GOP is actually a very, very simple story. They had a Presidency which they fully supported under George W. Bush, and it was an immense failure, a failure of a presidency of the kind not seen in generations.

“The GOP’s response to this was not to introspect, but to become a defiant, salt the earth opposition party. Rather than look inward to try to understand what had happened to them such that their governance was such a failure, they decided upon the election of Barack Obama that complete and total opposition – to everything – was the way to go. This was documented at the time – you can read the reporting about a meeting of GOP leadership after the 2008 election (but before the inauguration) where they made a tactical decision to 100% oppose everything Obama did, no matter how reasonable, because by rejecting everything they would deny him the appearance of bipartisanship and thus make it look him he was the radical one. They united themselves in this opposition.

“And it was immensely successful. It took years before anyone other than liberals like Krugman or Jon Chait noticed what was happening. It took Obama about 3 years to realize himself, to realize that you can’t negotiate substance with the GOP because refusing to negotiate was the substance. That’s the definition of reactionism. There was nothing Democrats could to prevent this from happening.

“While this was bad, what was worse was the combination of (i) the GOP’s hollowed-out hatred was an immense success and (ii) their base didn’t know they were being cynical lying sacks of shit. Eventually, even the party officials themselves bought their own nonsense. You can’t live for years with a knowing lie – you eventually convince yourself that the lie is in fact the truth.

“And so we’re now in a position with a party which has no ability to govern anything at a national level, but no one other than liberals realize it. And because they have so thoroughly poisoned the well against liberalism as an identity, no one listens to us liberals. The GOP’s toxic stew of empty, hateful resentment led them to elect Donald Trump, because the only actual qualification for being a conservative nowadays is hating liberals, and Trump was the most straightforward and vicious in his hatred.

“This party is poison. And we may be way too far down to benefit from any antidote.”

Discussion in context.

The Luxury of Meteorology

from /r/TropicalWeather:

“What’s that? You’re upset that, although decades of wonderous and dedicated scientific advancement allowed you to sit in your underwear at home and track with fairly good precision what was, for thousands of years of human existence, an unpredictable force of nature chalked up by our ancestors to the acts of angry gods?

“You’re angry that thanks to a stunning array of meteorological technology, every citizen can now have up to a 4-5 day heads up of when one of the most potentially destructive acts of nature is going to come barrelling down on their community? It pisses you off that because of television, the internet, social media, etc., word of looming natural danger can spread to those who need that information in the blink of an eye?

“Your own grandparents lived in a time when nobody evacuated from hurricanes because nobody had a fucking clue when they were coming or where they would hit. People didn’t evacuate, they just died. And for what? What upsets you so much?

“That scientists only managed to predict what was until the last 50 years almost entirely unpredictable within 25 mph of wind force and within 70 miles of landfall? Fuck them for not nailing it on the head, right? Fuck everybody else for erring on the side of people NOT dying, right?”

Full discussion.

Inside a Store-Front Church Cult

From /r/bestlegaladvice:

“And here’s a cool church with a diverse, mixed group of parishioners, young and old, black and white, where “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

“Great! I like what I see and I want to learn more about this!

Wellllll…after being love bombed for a couple weeks (check that phrase out online) they finally integrated me into a sharing group or something. This sharing group was a circle of adults, young and old, including some pensioners and people living off nickles and dimes.

“But the purpose of the group wasn’t bible study or growing closer to the Word or whatever. It was to hold each other ‘accountable’ for this really atrocious, userous amount of money each congregant pledged to raise for the church at the first of each month, and was supposed to have in hand by the end of the month.

“This is the first I’d heard of it. There’s a reason why they waited weeks.

“We’re not talking about a tithe here. We’re talking about STUPID amounts of money.

“Several hundred for people living hand to mouth. Even more for people doing slightly better. More than health insurance. More than food.

“One little old lady of color was sitting in her chair crying because she’d just held her 4th or 5th yard sale and didn’t know how she was going to come up with the money, but she was just going to have to have faith the Lord Jesus would come through. Upset, fearful, distraught, and struggling as if this was for a kidney transplant or for a sick grandchild.
Oh. I got mad. I got sooooo angry. Because not only did no one defend her, or say something like “let’s take this to the deacon” (as in the church won’t hold you to that this month), but they asked her what she was going to do next, what she was going to do better, how she was going to try harder. People in no better circumstances than she was. Abusing her, and each other. In this insane mutually abusive financial accountability group. They say the most effective form of control is when you can convince the victims to exert control on each other, and I saw it that day.

“I noped right the fuck out of that shit. Double time fast. I never went back to services again or set foot near the place.

“Lo and behold, all the prayer group people I’d been meeting for bible studies (not the same as that sharing group), started calling me, harassing me, trying to call me out, telling me the debbil had a hold of me, telling me I needed to submit to authority, and other even craaaazier cray cray shit.

“I noped the fuck right out of having anything to do with them as well. Block. Block. Delete. Ignore. The last thing one of them told me was that I was going to hell and that she felt really badly but couldn’t associate with me. And I could tell she believed it when she was saying it.

“Head trippy. Head fucking trippy.

“Culty ass scammy fucking so-called ‘church.’ Well, I lived and I learned. And I got a small taste of how people get drawn into that, what happens to them once they’re there, and what happens when they try to escape. I got a bit of life education that has proven invaluable. So I don’t regret it. But it still makes me angry when I think about that lady.”

Full discussion.

Photo from WookMark.