All the lonely people.

My high school graduating class has a Facebook page, which I follow. The admin keeps it current by posting birthdays and stupid oh-I’m-so-old memes, and occasionally I’ll stop by to see who’s celebrating, but in a class of roughly 750, it’s comical how few of these people I remember. Even their names don’t ring a bell. But the other day I saw someone who I kinda-sorta maybe sat near in a class once, which prompted me to click on one of our mutuals, whose current profile pic is an upside-down flag.

OK, then.

I waded into that person’s page, and hoo-boy, it’s exactly what you’d expect, but even more disappointing, because I went to an excellent high school and want to assume my classmates are mostly college-educated and not stupid. Reader, they are not. There were reposted memes about how great you-know-who is “because he didn’t take a salary,” etc. (Yep, the best $450,000 investment I ever made, he thought, running a tiny forefinger down the invoices for making the Secret Service stay in his various homes/resorts, paying the rack rate, etc.) Anyway, there was one post that wasn’t about politics, and it indicated a rather piercing personal disappointment, the sort of thing no one wants to deal with at any age, let along ours.

And I mention all this because I read another typically fantastic NYT Eli Saslow piece on our American scene today, this one about the turmoil being inflicted upon the country’s election clerks by MAGA lunatics. This is happening, big-time, in Michigan, but this piece was about Nevada, and here’s a gift link. Well worth your time.

Anyway, the core of it is the conflict between two women, one a MAGA choad, the other her county clerk, and this phrase, a description of the former, caught my eye:

…She was recently retired and widowed, …

OK, let’s read on, about how these two women know one another, and once liked each other, until the 2020 election and its related conspiracies swept one up:

She believed it only because she had experienced many similar revelations during the last few years, ever since she heeded Trump’s warnings about the “corrupt, lying mainstream media” and decided to disconnect her television. Her friends introduced her to far-right media platforms online like Mike Lindell’s Frank Speech and The Elijah List, where each day she listened to a rotation of self-proclaimed patriots, biblical prophets and also sometimes political figures like Lara Trump. They offered Zakas not only conspiratorial ideas but also the promise of a community that extended far beyond the loneliness of her house, with a grandfather clock ticking away in the living room and views out the window of an emptiness that stretched clear into California. Each day, something urgent was happening in the far corners of the internet — something big and dark and secret, and that knowledge fueled her days with both purpose and agency.

She came to believe, along with millions of others, that Covid was a creation of the federal government used to manipulate the public and steal elections; that two doses of the vaccine would make men infertile; that Trump had been anointed to lead a “government cleansing”; that fighting had already begun in underground military tunnels; that Trump’s election in 2024 was preordained by God; that he would return to power with loads of gold collected from other countries that had capitulated to his power; that, during his next term, Americans would have free electricity, zero income tax and “medbeds” powered by a secret technology that could harness natural energy to heal diseases and extend human life; and that the only thing standing in the way of this future was a deep state so malicious and vast that its roots extended all the way into tiny Esmeralda County.

As I’ve said more than once, I am no longer interested in meeting these people in the marketplace of ideas to reason together and find our common ground. I’ve had it. They are leading the country over a cliff in the name of spite and petulance, egged on by some of the most transparent phonies ever to stand before a microphone, and I am done with every last one of them. They are bad people, or at the very least stupid people, dangerously stupid, and the fact this woman can’t understand that she’s grieving and lonely, not the victim of a ludicrous conspiracy, only confirms it. I think my old classmate is entering the last few chapters of her life with the same misery and disappointment, and climbing aboard this bus makes her feel less alone. This doesn’t make me feel any less angry about the movement; it just offers some fresh insights.

There’s an internet one-liner that goes something like this: A photo of a man doing or saying something ridiculous, followed by, “The things men will do instead of therapy.” Add this lady in Nevada, too. All Eleanor Rigby did was pick up the rice in a church where a wedding has been. She didn’t do her best to overthrow democracy.

OK, then. Rant over.

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was fine, and a lovely day is in progress right now, so I should go outside and leave vacuuming dog hair off the rugs for another day, right? Guess that’s what I’ll do.

Photo from Friday night, seeing Kate play in a still fairly raw Detroit space, quite the palate cleanser after the Michigan Central Station triumph a day earlier. Photo from inside:

Posted at 1:46 pm in Current events |
 

37 responses to “All the lonely people.”

  1. Cheez Whiz said on June 9, 2024 at 2:36 pm

    Re: Kate. That’s rock and roll.

    Re: all the lonely people. Its not just dangerous stupidity, its willful dangerous stupidity. But that rush of a community with secret knowledge that explains your fear and points you at who’s responsible, that trumps an empty house full of regret and sadness, or a family that has turned its back on you, or a society you neither like nor understand. When reality sucks and your fantasy world gives you something like life, you don’t reason anyone out of that. Our only hope is to care more about democracy than they care about their feelings.

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  2. Deborah said on June 9, 2024 at 3:19 pm

    “Each day, something urgent was happening in the far corners of the internet — something big and dark and secret, and that knowledge fueled her days with both purpose and agency.” That is one of the saddest sentences I have ever read. There’s no trying to reason with folks like that.

    We got about 3 lbs of cherries today off of a couple of trees in a little park near us, funny thing is I never noticed these cherry trees laden with fruit before, and we’ve walked past and through that park a million times over the years. There are still lots more to pick but we need to bring a ladder next time. We’re trying to figure out what to make with them, they’re the sour kind which I love, and they make great pies, or we might make a compote.

    We’ve gotten apples from trees in that park before and made apple butter and pickled apples. All the stuff mostly just falls off and rots, nobody else seems to care about it, I guess/hope the wildlife eat it. There are apricot trees too but the apricots are tasteless and mealy so those get left behind by us.

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  3. alex said on June 9, 2024 at 3:19 pm

    Income Tax. Is that the name of the venue? A band? Or what used to be the business in that space?

    Last night we had one of my hubby’s colleagues and his wife over for dinner and a boat ride and we stayed up unusually late and got unusually drunk. Otherwise got a lot of housework done on Saturday in preparation for company. Our cleaning lady gave up her gig because her kids on summer break consume too much of her time, so we hadn’t had a good cleaning for a while.

    Today it’s gorgeous outside but I’m busy making a Father’s Day dinner for my dad and also making food for my hubby to take with him in a cooler for next week while he’s working away from home. He’ll be near Chicago for the whole week and weekend also, and I may just go spend a few days there and go into the city to visit friends.

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  4. David C said on June 9, 2024 at 3:33 pm

    I had an old classmate post a while back that there are proven to be 28,000 pedophiles working as teachers in public schools. I never liked the guy and he put prayer hands at the end of the post so I answered back that school teachers have to pass background checks and that me must mean church priests and pastors. Didn’t go down well.

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  5. Will said on June 9, 2024 at 3:36 pm

    The “he didn’t take a salary” thing is one of my favorites. As I understand it, all the organizations he supposedly “donated” his salary to (spotty as even that was) were federal agencies that legally cannot accept donations. Maybe I’ve just missed the proof that he didn’t cash the checks. In any case, his grift and emoluments more than made up for it, as you note.

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  6. Jeff Gill said on June 9, 2024 at 4:08 pm

    Didn’t Vivek got to UA?

    Edit: nope, St. Xavier’s in Cincy; his sons are Golden Bears, apparently.

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  7. Deborah said on June 9, 2024 at 4:12 pm

    While Trump said he was the only president ever to not take his salary, he wasn’t, Hoover and Kennedy did the same. He did give his salary to government agencies except for the last 6 months of his presidency. There is no record of it anyway, according to an WaPo article. And as you said his grifting more than made up for it.

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  8. nancy said on June 9, 2024 at 4:29 pm

    Vivek lives there now, reasoning Columbus, being centrally located, was a better home base for his “presidential campaign.” He lives in a huge house built by the guy who founded the Stanley Steemer franchise. I hate that he lives in my hometown.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on June 9, 2024 at 5:51 pm

    We went to Midsommarfest in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, which is the area where many Swedish immigrants gathered. It’s now very upscale and increasingly gay friendly based on the crowds. I guess the tRumpanzees would be cool with Swedish immigrants since they’re white, but maybe not. It was good to be out and here some great bands live.

    I can only say amen to your thoughts about the dolts who seem to be one suicide mission to destroy our country. And it really fucking rankles me they’re so easily duped by such an obvious, half-witted con man and his legions. Well, if they get their wish this fall, they’ll reap the whirlwind with the rest of us. Lumpy has “economic plans” that will create disaster and the harassment and deportations of dusky-hued immigrants will create a huge labor shortage and drive up prices. But they trust this nutsack to save them and nothing will convince them otherwise.

    I keep saying this and mean it. Fuck tRump. Fuck his followers.

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  10. Heather said on June 9, 2024 at 7:38 pm

    Had a lovely weekend away from the news and social media—went camping in Wisconsin’s Yellowstone Lake State Park with a friend. It was a little rainy yesterday but we still went on a nice hike. Highlight was a couple of barred owls in the trees at our campsite who were making this odd hissing noise. Not sure if they were mad we were on their turf, mating, or fighting with each other. I don’t see owls in the wild often so I was elated to have a front row seat to this pair.

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  11. tajalli said on June 9, 2024 at 8:40 pm

    A little search with Uncle Google, nice to take a walk with your uncle on a Sunday, uncovered that barred owls softly hiss and their young hiss back, so keeping track of the kids.

    And an amazing video of an injured barn owl with a man who was rescuing it (the follow-up to a short youtube of a barred owl hissing).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQHHrcPJWbg

    Just finished watching Barbie (dvd from the library). Truly terrific best film ever.

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  12. Sherri said on June 9, 2024 at 9:49 pm

    I spent the weekend getting recharged with my peeps in the ACLU, who are doing everything they can to prepare for this election and its aftermath. Hearing Andrew Young declaring himself “disgustly optimistic” after all he’s been through will cheer one up, for sure. The theme of the weekend was Reimagining Democracy, and we were reminded that the work for a multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic democracy did not begin with us, is not the work of one presidential election, or even one lifetime. It is our job to do our part, to keep keeping on.

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  13. alex said on June 9, 2024 at 11:43 pm

    We have an owl’s nest in one of our trees and didn’t even know about it until a neighbor told us. We’re also asleep whenever they make any noise so that’s why we’ve been unawares. I forget which species she said it was, but I’ve been reading up on barn owls and how to attract them, and intend to make an effort.

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  14. ROGirl said on June 10, 2024 at 5:23 am

    I recently came across the name of a congressperson from North Carolina, and it’s the same name as someone who was in my high school class in suburban Detroit (top of the class, starring role in the musical, went to Harvard, etc.). One and the same, she’s a Democrat, and won’t be running again.

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  15. David C said on June 10, 2024 at 6:00 am

    I saw my first sovereign citizen hand made license plate yesterday. Now there’s some nuttiness. Get pulled over for doing 60 in a 35 zone and they expect the cop to say “OK, on your way” if they say the magic words “I’m not driving, I’m traveling” or “I’m not in commerce”.

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  16. Lou Gravity said on June 10, 2024 at 7:57 am

    “Arguing with stupid people will not make them smart.” I heard that from Howard Stern about 25 years ago. And while I would not recommend taking life from Howard, this little nugget has saved me much time and aggravation.

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  17. nancy said on June 10, 2024 at 8:00 am

    Alex, things may have changed since I first read this a million years ago, but barn owls are fairly rare. I think they have some fundamental conflict with modern farming, but can sometimes be found in Amish country. (Which is where you are, I realize.) Barred owls, on the other hand, are more common, and I remember going on an owl walk at Fox Island once, trying to rouse one by hooting their distinctive call into the trees. (The ranger was hopeful, but we had no luck.)

    And for those of you suffering in the heat, it was 54 degrees just now when I walked Wendy. Great Lakes air-conditioning may well make us a climate-change redoubt in the future after all.

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  18. Jeff Gill said on June 10, 2024 at 8:13 am

    If you are so inclined, keep a probation officer in NY in your prayers. This pre-sentencing interview will be an incredibly mundane & routine process, but will have to be totally surreal for whomever drew the short straw on this Zoom conference as Trump’s PO.

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  19. Dexter Friend said on June 10, 2024 at 9:03 am

    From June 10 to August 1 is the time of year when it’s annually most miserable here. It is June 10, and it was 55F at 6:30 AM. I love it as I don’t like heat at all. I have had my AC on for weeks intermittenly. People realize that August has higher daily high temperatures, but with days shortening, cooler nights. I hope it never hits 90F…but it will here on Thursday, oh well.
    I saw Trump’s crazed rant from Arizona . Shark or electrocution? Absolutely deranged mad man. In a perfect world Trump would be commiserating with his cohorts in Rikers in pre- sentencing confinement. If the teleprompter worked perfectly or failed as reported, Trump was never going to pay them. I thought it was horrible that a demented Reagan was never challenged with a 25th Amendment removal, but allowing a crazed Trump to seek office is just as bad.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on June 10, 2024 at 1:17 pm

    Anybody see clips of Lumpy speaking in triple-digit heat in Nevada? He went off on some weird tangent about an electric-powered boat sinking while a shark was 10 yards away, so he’d face the prospect of being electrocuted by the battery or eaten by a shark? It’s surreal. And the morons cheered and cheered.

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  21. Brandon said on June 10, 2024 at 2:49 pm

    Speaking of birds, white storks are migrating between England and North Africa for the first time in six centuries, thanks to a rewilding effort.

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  22. tajalli said on June 10, 2024 at 3:16 pm

    Nancy, thanks for the comment about barn owl vs barred owl. The video link was actually of a baRRed owl but was mis-labelled by it’s creator. BaRN owls have that heart-shaped, white face while baRRed owls have more of a goggle-like arrangement for their echo-sensing dark, facial feathers.

    Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds site has great distribution and sightings maps. Although baRN owls are harder to sight, apparently due to their more secretive nature, they do have a very wide distribution. Although they’re not considered endangered, they are at risk because of pesticide use against rodents, like many birds of prey. We have lots of baRN owls in forested areas out here on the left coast in general, with the baRRed owls sequestered up in the Pacific Northwest.

    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barn_Owl/maps-range

    Just substitute “maps-sightings” for “maps-range” to get a comparison. And substitute “Barred_Owl” for “Barn_Owl” if interested in distribution and prevalence for the owl Heather was seeing.

    Oh, and I’d be all for that guy being electrocuted by a shark. Maybe the shark would swallow the battery and then be all charged up to have him for lunch. What fun.

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  23. Scout said on June 10, 2024 at 3:17 pm

    Just saw video on Threads of a whole lot of trash leaving the NV rally partway through. I guess they completed their contractual Craig’s List obligation and didn’t have to stay until the end. Speaking of trash, it was all over the ground too.

    Heather Cox Richardson should be required reading for all Americans. I often have a really hard time facing the truths she presents but refuse to look away. Today’s letter was especially terrifying.

    https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-9-2024?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

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  24. MarkH said on June 10, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    I am distressed to learn that Vivek went to school in my second hometown. And still finds his home in Ohio. I am a product of the ’60s culture and my smallish Cincinnati high school (class of ’70) prided itself on the requisite enlightenment of the day. Like some of you here it is further distressing to learn over the last ten years or so how many have turned in to blind MAGAites. And I mean smart people too, who carried the liberal flag back then. I try to stay out of the social media maelstrom when they bait, but when I give in, I lose another friend.

    We have seven known breeds of owls in the Yellowstone area, the most common being great horned owl and the great grey owl. We had a great grey hanging out in one of our pine trees for a few days a couple of winters ago. Large and beautiful. But, if some of y’all think barred owls are rather cuddly, think again. They are an aggressive invasive species, especially in the northwest, where they are now crowding out other species of owls, like the spotted. Barred owls are rather spooky, with their black eyes as opposed to the bright ones of the other breeds. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is working on a plan to cull a great many out of existence. Grand Teton National Park officials were alarmed last Fall to find not one, but two breeding pairs in the Park. The local Teton Raptor Center is a little more enthusiastic about their arrival.

    https://wyofile.com/a-new-owl-species-has-bred-in-wyoming-not-everyones-thrilled/

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  25. Sherri said on June 10, 2024 at 4:28 pm

    MAGA is a cult, and like all cults, requires great cognitive dissonance. When faced with such cognitive dissonance, people routinely reject the evidence of their own eyes and experience in favor of the dogma of the cult, because to reject the cult is to cut themselves off from this intense community they have in the cult.

    The vaccine makes men infertile, but the Convicted Felon will provide magical medbeds to heal diseases? That’s nothing more than “their” magic is evil, while “ours” is good.

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  26. susan said on June 10, 2024 at 4:38 pm

    Grand Rapids GOP party chair introduces Donald Trump.

    He laid it all out for all the MAGATs to cheer.

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  27. Scout said on June 10, 2024 at 5:24 pm

    “By the way, isn’t the breeze nice? Do you feel the breeze? I don’t want anybody going on me, we need every voter,” Trump said.
    “I don’t care about you, I just want your vote. I don’t care,” he added.

    https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-supporters-leave-rally-las-vegas-speech-heat-1910254

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  28. Julie Robinson said on June 10, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    Scout, I agree about Heather Cox Richardson. Though her truths are hard, her writing is well researched and understandable.

    We have owls living in the trees behind our house, and though I’ve heard them, they’ve only been seen by eyes sharper than mine. I’ll have to ask what kind they are. I’m sure I’ve been told before.

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  29. Dexter Friend said on June 11, 2024 at 6:08 am

    From Birds and Blooms dot com: “Symbolism

    What does it mean when you see a great horned owl?
    Owl Meaning in Ancient Cultures:
    Some viewed great horned owls as the returned souls of the brave, or hooted like owls as a war cry in battle. Others still incorporated owls into legends about day and night, farming, and the underworld, believing they helped the souls of the deceased transcend into the spiritual plane.Aug 17, 2023.”

    8 years ago Pogo and I were walking on a trail when a Great Horned Owl descended from a treetop and landed 15 feet from us and stared us down. It was so memorable I can recall it with clarity. I had no idea it was a visit from spirits.
    Last few hours of cool…96F coming soon.
    I had bad information…yes, it was Trump in Nevada, not Arizona. Sharks and batteries rant. I see some op-eds calling for pre-election preparations for the 25th Amendment to ensure Trump is removed immediately should Trump win the White House, “crookedly”.
    Old tyme breakfast fave today: slow-cooked oatmeal with a handful of very fine blueberries cooked in, and topped with a little shot of maple syrup. Big ol’ mugga joe.

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  30. alex said on June 11, 2024 at 7:30 am

    Had my annual physical yesterday with my primary doctor and everything looks good in terms of lab work. She asked how I was enjoying my retirement and I told her that my anxiety about the state of the world is seriously compromising it. She told me there are people suffering from actual PTSD in reaction to the MAGA fever afflicting others and she prescribes cutting out news entirely. Not easy for a news junkie like me, but I have to try it.

    I find myself desperately searching for glimmers of hope in the news and seldom seeing any. A constant state of hypervigilance. I need a break from it and to accept that whatever happens in this election is beyond my control and that focusing on my own well-being is the best medicine for enduring whatever the future holds.

    I’ve already been through the Post, the Times and the locals this morning and played Wordle. And then I’m off for a massage in two hours. And I just realized that I could be out hoeing in the garden right now instead of on my screen so that’s what I’m gonna do.

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  31. Dorothy said on June 11, 2024 at 7:41 am

    I saw this pretty burgundy colored Dodge truck in the parking lot of Home Depot the other day. The front license plate had TRUMP 2024 on it. I briefly considered hanging around to see if the owner would walk out so I could say to them ‘Gee, what a shame to ruin that gorgeous new truck with that garbage on the front license plate!” But of course that kind of behavior would have gotten me into a verbal altercation and potentially police involvement, so my better judgement took over and I went about my business. I’ll try to keep my future reactions to just shaking my head and maybe some big smile on my face. That way I get it out of my system but won’t actually open my big mouth.

    Yesterday on Deadline: White House Nicolle Wallace showed several clips of the Vegas speech when the teleprompter failed. He had difficulty saying the word ‘military’ twice. Shouldn’t the whole shark/boat/electrocution thing just even his followers go “W-H-A-T?!?!” You’d think so! One of her first segment guests actually said that he’s showing signs of dementia. And they reiterated that Fox News didn’t even run that stump speech. And that same guest said he thinks Biden is going to easily win in November. I feel the same way but saying it out loud seems a little dangerous or tempts fate too much. But I do – I can’t deny that it’s terrifying to think he might not win, but my gut is telling me there is no way Slippy McSlipperump can get the necessary votes. And now we wait.

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  32. alex said on June 11, 2024 at 8:21 am

    45 minutes of hoeing is a great workout! Shredded all kinds of ragweed and god knows what else while preserving the flowers I recognize. And I rediscovered our asparagus! It’s got fernlike growth coming out of the tops of it and they’re all skinny as needles but they’re there. We planted them years ago and had assumed they just didn’t like the soil and had disappeared. They were always super skinny, but maybe that’s just this particular variety. I mean so skinny they wouldn’t be worth eating.

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  33. FDChief said on June 11, 2024 at 10:14 am

    So religion – pretty much ALL religions, so it’s not a particular thing – make no sense to me. I’ve been tempted by the emotional solace, but it never really sinks in. As a result I don’t get a lot of what appeals to devout people, and influences their behavior.

    But it’s hard not to notice the disconnect between the stated ideals and the acts. So when Sammy Alito threatens to force the nation he rules “back to godliness” I’m not hearing or seeing how his acts – his rulings from the bench – seem crafted to encourage neighborly love, or care of the poor, the weak, the ill, and the stranger.

    Oddly, his main “godly” concerns seem to be punishing those other people, hating them, driving them out of the country.

    Didn’t his god say something about how the greatest commandment was to love one another? How that overthrew the old tribal hates and vengeance that were central to the original covenant?

    How weird! You’d think that would have made ol’ Sammy a nearly saintly figure. Wonder why it never seems to happen..?

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  34. Jeff Gill said on June 11, 2024 at 10:32 am

    Heather Cox Richardson said it better than I would have, so I’m just gonna post a chunk of the aforecommented link as to how she (and James Madison) sorts this out:

    “James Madison, the key thinker behind the Constitution, explained why a democracy cannot be based on religion. As a young man, Madison had watched officials in his home state of Virginia arrest itinerant preachers for attacking the established church in the state. He was no foe of religion, but by 1773 he had begun to question whether established religion, which was common in the colonies, was good for society. By 1776, many of his broad-thinking neighbors had come to believe that society should “tolerate” different religious practices, but he had moved past tolerance to the belief that men had a right of conscience.

    In that year, he was instrumental in putting Section 16 into the Virginia Declaration of Rights on which our own Bill of Rights would be based. It reads: “That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.”

    In 1785, in a “Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments,” Madison explained that what was at stake was not just religion, but also representative government itself. The establishment of one religion over others attacked a fundamental human right—an unalienable right—of conscience. If lawmakers could destroy the right of freedom of conscience, they could destroy all other unalienable rights. Those in charge of government could throw representative government out the window and make themselves tyrants.”

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  35. alex said on June 11, 2024 at 11:24 am

    Religion may be called the opiate of the masses, but history has proven time and again that it is also the cudgel of tyrants.

    Consider the Colorado GOP, which I just read, has elevated the favorite slogan of the Westboro Baptist Church: “God hates fags.” This was in a video encouraging people to burn pride flags.

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  36. Sherri said on June 11, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    Our most prominent vexillophile, Martha Ann, is barely restraining herself from responding to all those Pride flags she’s forced to endure this month with flags of her own, according to recordings captured by someone posing as a fellow traveler. She wants to fly the Sacred Heart of Jesus flag, which according to tradflags.com, is the June flag for your counter revolutionary tradCath. Martha Ann also has in mind a design of her own with “Vergogna”, the Italian word for shame, prominently featured. You’d think a good tradCath might go for Latin rather than Italian, but I can’t penetrate the good Martha Ann’s brain.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/supreme-court-martha-ann-alito-pride-flags-left-media-1235037338/

    I just want to know: are Martha Ann and Ginni friends? I bet Martha Ann thinks that Ginni is too showy.

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  37. FDChief said on June 11, 2024 at 12:44 pm

    Read about Alito mamere and her dream of Flag War and my thought is, go nuts, girl! That’s the point of freedom of religion! You get to be as Jesus-freaky as strums your guitar!

    The problem is that she and her ilk don’t want that. They want to make EVERYONE fly their Jesus Freak flag and are pissy when they can’t.

    That was Jim Madison’s point; if the state “establishes” one sect it by definition hands the state monopoly on force to that sect. It makes the state’s cops and the soldiers into Inquisitors – if that’s how the sect rolls.

    And Madison had seen how they rolled, and knew they WOULD use state power against their doctrinal enemies.

    No fool, Madison. Can say the same for these wingnuts, unfortunately.

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