"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day."
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Yeah, none of it sounds good. But one process is described in the Constitution, and the other is some anonymous, un-elected asshole making it up as they go along.
I personally don't find Pence-as-author very convincing. "Lodestar" seems like a deliberate plant, especially in such a carefully written piece. The Op-Ed also uses the phrase "first principles" which is a favorite of Gen. Mattis. I think these phrases were used to throw off people trying to tell who authored the article.
I don't think either of these men (Pence or Mattis) would take the first step to publish this piece, especially if they're favored to take the reins after Trump's removed. It's sets them too opposite to Trump's base too early on. I might be wrong, but if I'm playing a coup, I think it would be better to let someone more dispensable make these early forays - a senior official still, but a subordinate to the POTUS's eventual replacement.
It's a coup d'etat.
If what they say is true, the only democratic recourse here is the 25th amendment, and this Op-Ed acknowledges they've considered it but won't do it. That's a hostile subversion of the Executive Office with intent to control its course - a coup.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
Oh look! Something I think about all the time. I'll download the book once I get an Audible credit. Already read Nomadland last year when my own parents were considering that lifestyle. An RV + trailer full of beehives + Midwest croplands that need pollination = my parent's best retirement plan yet.
I'm a young Millennial, born in the '90s. I'm what the Boomers like to see: college-educated, "workforce ready", full-time job with career plans, great credit score, responsible debt repayment, living in a major metro area, married young, professionally articulate and socially polite, etc. They love it, makes them feel good. They like knowing Millennials like me exist. After all, examples like me prove they haven't fucked up as badly as everyone says they have - I'm still recognizable as something they value, a worker. And in a world that's changing faster than they can keep up, they like the familiarity.
But holy fuck if I don't hold some crazy ageist rage-blame for nearly every 50+ year old I come across Out There for the shit they've put everyone else through, and every Millennial/Gen Z-er I know feels the same. The Epic of America was written in 1931, and the "American Dream" was coined in it. By the time Boomers had come of age, the Dream was old enough to be believed. By the time they were through with it, it had been destroyed along with the environment that had allowed it to exist in the first place. The number of people who are ready for an alternative is growing.
A parallel subject that gets brought up among my friends when talking about Boomers and all the shit ye have wrought is that we are well past-due for a global military conflict. The climate crisis will reach a head, migrant refugees will vie with national citizens over scarce resources, destabilized governments will topple, and superpowers will get antsy. During it all, 75 million Boomers and Donald Trump will slither into their coffins.
We joke, but it's some consolation to think that we'll hopefully be dealing with that crisis on our own.
I really like this take on QAnon.
- While it's almost impossible to prove who started QAnon, there is some evidence that it was meant to be a prank all along. And more importantly, it's looking more and more likely that QAnon is actually a prank by leftists or anarchists to make the far-right look deranged.
Lol more like a candid description of Machiavellianism than paranoia, but I hear you. There's a fair bit of hysteria in my views as well. Among friends, I've started ending all my political ramblings with, "...but I'm an extremist, so maybe don't listen to me."
Shit's weird, bud. Stay afloat.
Right, I'm clear on your point, but where you think no one knew how many people could be duped, I think it's pretty clear someone knew and planned for it. The paranoid gullibility of the American populace isn't an unstudied field, and these media personalities/platforms banked their success on it - make explicit reference to it in the case of Andrew Anglin/Daily Stormer. Like...you mention "Illuminati" right here, but that actually has roots in anti-Masonic paranoia from waaay back (that tie is made in the Hofstadter paper too).
I think we're making the same point. I'm just adding that the buildup to this level of conspiratorial frenzy is a decades-long process that's a pretty well-known and anticipated feature of the American electorate. Also, that the historical efforts and reach of political paranoia were more effective than you give them credit for (i.e. yes, they reached "mass audiences" in the 1800s). The Internet's advent didn't make this phenomena some new strange beast of our age - it's been around, relatively unchanged, for quite a while.
- they just were never exposed to the right level of stupid to make them dangerous
I mean, yes. But this type of politicking is not new. The fourth and fifth pages are most relevant.
My dad tried talking to me recently about how the gig economy is a positive. That millennials actually prefer a transitive lifestyle with work style/hours dictated on our terms. Couldn't convince him that we would also like job security, healthcare, and regular paychecks let alone retirement benefits, stock options, and flexwork at a 9-5. Like yeah, Pop, you want me driving for Uber and freelance web development while raising your grandkids? Cool.
Boomers are dicks, even the ones who should know better.
I recently received a viewing of my uncle's domestic violence and divorce hearings, about 2 hours of footage disseminated by said uncle in full to family in an emailed plea for financial support and to "set the record straight about the court's obvious bias and the manipulation of my ex-wife." I've never seen someone so disillusioned. He really thought the court's tapes would paint him in the best light.
This guy hasn't made more than $600/month in 20 years and forced his ex-wife to never seek employment because of their Christian family values. All 8 of his minor children have restraining orders against him, and he'd voluntarily ended visitation before that (while still arguing to claim them as dependents). Has never paid child support. After the separation, the old home burned down due to fire hazards that were named in a previous hearing with some evidence pointing to arson. He had kept all the family's photos, and they burned too. And on, and on, and on. It's grotesque.
He represented per se, and I have never seen someone come across so poorly, so unprepared. The judicial disdain in the courtroom was palpable. He tried to explain how the "physics" of knocking his wife over and prying their sobbing daughter out of her arms were actually not as violent as it sounds. That the force he exerted on her must have been equally returned by her according to well-known scientific principles, and so she abused him just as much as he had abused her (if not more since she initiated the action by keeping their daughter from him in the first place, he says). Kept offering a photomontage of his children as evidence. Called the proceedings a modern-day example of Hitler/Stalin-esque kangaroo courts when the photos weren't admitted.
I won't even talk about the emailed jeremiad he sent.
You, dear reader, might be assuming this is a drug situation. Or mental health. Or blind hatred. It's not. This is just another example of my white trash Evangelical family (as I wrote about in my last Pubski contribution).
The shit of it is, nearly everyone in my family supports him. Whole-heartedly. My cookie-baking, British-royalty-loving, Rick-Steves-reruns-watching grandmother has written his ex-wife hate mail. Several times. Wife-initiated divorce in this culture is ungodly, sinful. The near unanimous consensus is that his ex-wife should have stayed with him, that she's lied to ruin his life and poisoned his kids against him as well. Not even my mother's spoken to her nieces/nephews to judge the situation from their perspective, and like...there are a lot of witnesses to the shit he's done. Eight kids. Yet, this is entirely framed in Biblical wife-husband terms, and Evangelical patriarchal norms means that argument's been won by male figures since Abrahamic times. Divorce is recent and secular, not Christian.
I'd cut them all off if I already didn't see them so irregularly. I know my family's crazy. I know religion has caused it. I barely got out. But now I have an excellent job, a fantastic and supportive wife, and in our early 20s we have the makings of a life on our own now. We want kids, and we definitely don't want them exposed to this lifestyle.
So Hubski, does anyone else have a background in this culture? Something similar? Does anyone have advice for cutting out a truly dysfunctional family? What are your stories?