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Sunday, July 10, 2022

A world of hurt

136 days of obscene Russian war (crimes) against Ukraine as of July 10th, with no end in sight. And, 121 days until the U.S. mid-term elections, portending the possible beginning-of-the-end of our Democracy (fully culminating in 2024 should the GOP retake the White House, assuming they gain control of Congress this November).
In that regard, the U.S. Supreme Court "conservative / textualist" supermajority has now struck down womens' federal reproductive rights via the Dobbs decision (nullifying Roe), made it easier to obtain handguns by overturning New York's permit regulations on "concealed carry," invalidated EPA Clean Air Act environmental regulatory authority, and further eroded the separation of Church and State via their Maine religious schools and Bremerton WA "kneeling Christian football coach" rulings. SCOTUS has also agreed to next hear cases intended to accord state legislatures unreviewable plenary authority to summarily appoint "Presidential Electors," irrespective of previously certified state popular vote tallies.
Inflation is now (unsurprisingly) rampant, globally. People in the underdeveloped world face massive looming starvation. War, droughts, adverse climate change comprise enervating force multipliers...
Had I not direct multigenerational offspring, perhaps I'd have fewer [bleeps] to give.
“We just have a few more tragedies to report before we can get to the fun stuff.”
"Autistic isolation," LOL. Mic drop.

Don't take my word for it. Do Your Own Research. 
Confirmation bias is normal human behavior. What’s not normal is the emergence of a populist madness on the American right that counts on the intimidation of the sensible many by the delusional few. This development threatens to turn a great republic into little more than a collection of unthinking and dangerous reflexes, its citizens like a school of fish aimlessly darting back and forth as they are lured by bait or chased by predators…

…That means it’s up to us to assert those norms and values in everything we do in our daily life. It means that citizens of good will must hold their ground, calmly and without reacting to the many bad-faith provocations thrown at them. It means linking arms with people with whom we disagree about almost everything, so long as we agree on the Constitution and our rights as citizens…
Tom Nichols, @TheAtlantic
...In his second year on the Court, Thomas said that he was “proudly and unapologetically irrelevant and anachronistic.” Almost thirty years later, he has become what conservatives of every era seek to be: anachronistic and relevant.

Under Thomas’s aegis, the Court now assumes a society of extraordinary violence and minimal liberty, with no hope of the state being able to provide security to its citizens. In his Bruen concurrence, Alito extends Thomas’s history of Reconstruction to all modern America: “Many people face a serious risk of lethal violence when they venture outside their homes.” Like the Black citizens of Reconstruction, he argues, few of us should expect the police to protect us. “The police cannot disarm every person who acquires a gun for use in criminal activity,” Alito writes, “nor can they provide bodyguard protection for [New York] State’s nearly 20 million residents.”

Once upon a time, Alito’s claims of systemic danger and state incapacity would have been dismissed as the rantings of a mountain survivalist. But, after decades of mass shootings, his assertion that the cops can’t protect you reads as a corollary to the left’s warning that the cops won’t protect you. What makes both beliefs plausible is the failed state that America has become, with no small amount of help from Thomas, the right-wing Court, and elected officials from both parties.

Today’s felt absence of physical security is the culmination of a decades-long war against social welfare. In the face of a state that won’t do anything about climate change, economic inequality, personal debt, voting rights, and women’s rights, it’s no wonder that an increasing portion of the population, across all races, genders, and beliefs, have determined that the best way to protect themselves, and their families, is by getting a gun. A society with no rights, no freedoms, except for those you claim yourself—this was always Thomas’s vision of the world. Now, for many Americans, it is the only one available. Corey Robin, the @NewYorker
Watching Justice Samuel Alito go spelunking in his Dobbs opinion through centuries of so-called history and tradition in search of legal justifications to overturn the right to abortion decided almost 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade was like watching a boy play in a pile of dirt. Where do I dig next, he seemed to be muttering to himself as he shoveled manure from a slave-era law in Virginia onto an 18th-century pile of garbage he quoted from some doofus who believed women were inferior beings. Clarence Thomas was right there behind him in his decision that New York can't prevent people from carrying concealed weapons, plowing through statutes from jolly old England and the American frontier to show that Dodge City didn't really mean it when they told cowboys they had to check their six-guns with the sheriff if they came into town.

And then along came Chief Justice Roberts as clean-up man, swinging the club of something known as the "major questions doctrine" to deny the Environmental Protection Agency its statutory authority to — duh — protect the environment unless Congress spells out exactly how they should do it. According to Roberts, it is Congress, not the EPA, that has to write a rule telling corporations they can't empty industrial waste directly into creeks, rivers or the ocean because it's a "major question" if it costs corporations a lot of money, so let's make it as hard as possible for the government to take a chunk out of our golf buddies' bottom lines…

All of this in service to their favorite doctrine of all — rights granted by the Constitution must be "deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition" or they aren't really rights at all. Legal scholars have been predicting that the court will use its new jewel of a doctrine to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, not to mention other recent decisions recognizing rights under the privacy provision of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment … because we have no "history and tradition" of same-sex marriage or gay sex or rubbers or the pill, or anything else they simply don't like...
Lucian K. Truscott IV, @Salon

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