the war was already here

Basically, the Supreme Court has torched the 14th amendment and its emanations and penumbras. Post-WWII juridprudence is absolutely for the chop, and states will be allowed to opt out of the postwar consensus en masse. It’s soft secession, as described elsewhere: states can do what they want and the conservative machinery at the federal level will protect them. The only way to prevent it is to somehow retain the House, somehow retain the Senate, add enough Senators to make a solid 51 votes for the entire Democratic plan, and then run roughshod – pack the Supreme Court to at least 15, destroy the filibuster, pass federally binding election law to prevent states making their own shenanigans. Right now, the Republican Party is devoted to the destruction of American democracy, and is acting and adjudicating as if they will never again be out of power. It has to be stopped now. Forget loans, or stimulus, or anything else except inasmuch as it will bring more voters to the polls in 2022 and 2024 to defend the entire concept of majority rule.

21 May 2022

This is it. When they invoke the past, that’s what they mean. Not a manufacturing base that was heavily unionized, not a top marginal tax rate of 91%, not nuclear-tipped stalemate against the Soviet Union. What they’re peddling is cultural hegemony. Homosexuals back in the closet. Negroes quietly in their place. Ladies who know their place is in the home. That’s the pitch. They can’t run on a rapidly improving economy, with GM posting record profits after the federal restructuring and unemployment slowly waning and Apple passing oil companies in revenue while carrying the S&P 500. They can’t run on foreign policy, with Bin Laden and Qaddafi’s faces painted on the “kills” fuselage of Obama’s administration.

So this is it. Pleasantville. They’re pushing all their chips to the middle of the table and betting that enough people want to live through Mad Men again that they can knock off a President who isn’t even the right color. As stunning as it is, we’re apparently going to spend the spring 0f 2012 re-litigating Griswold v. Connecticut and exhuming pre-Vatican II debates about the Pill, fifty years after the fact.

-17 Feb 2012

When I’m wrong, I’ll tell you, but I haven’t been wrong yet. Not only did the Court wipe its ass with stare decisis on Roe, it basically trumpeted its intent to come for Obergefell, and Lawrence, and Griswold. Anything based on a right to privacy is cooked. Contraception. Gay marriage. Your own bedroom conduct. In essence, the Supreme Court has relinquished any claim to calling balls and strikes, to being above the partisan fray – they are what they decried from the Warren and Burger courts, an activist court with an agenda that they are actively seeking to implement. They are the GOP’s masterpiece in the plan to avoid having to win the most votes in a fair election ever again.

The GOP has nailed its colors to the mast: it believe that it should rule, that only it should rule, that violence is an acceptable tool and democracy an unnecessary obstacle, and that their will alone defines what is American, or legal, or normal. And the vast majority of its membership is perfectly fine with this, because it means lower taxes or less regulation or something, and is willing to excuse anything no matter how much the truth has to twist to do so. The rules don’t matter any more: the ethos is “we can do whatever we want and no one else can do anything we don’t want.”

This makes me think of bell hooks, the poet and woman of letters who was a Berea College professor for the last years of her life, and an interview she gave in which she said the following, which I have taken the liberty of formatting as the poem it should be:

the author bell hooks’ definition of queerness as not only

“about who you’re having sex with”

but rather

“about the self that is at odds

with everything around it

and has to invent and create and find a place

to speak and to thrive and to live.”

Nailed it. I was certainly called queer (and worse) as a kid, despite being a straight white male Southern Baptist Alabama fan, because I was different, and the South does not believe anything should speak or thrive or live if it differs in any way from what is normal, what is acceptable, what is right. And my entire life story from second grade on has been about trying to find a space to live and thrive. Which I have found, intermittently. A couple years in high school, one at Vanderbilt, sorta, a few in DC, a few in California, but that space – and the circle of people who help make it – seems to shrink with every passing year. To the point where sometimes, the only safety is not in going down the pub or going for a drive, but going into my own back yard, under the cover of fog or marine layer or encroaching dark, and drown out my eyes with a book, my ears with RTE in Irish or maybe some moody lo-fi beats or scratchy old country music, and my tastebuds and mind with a pint or three of something smooth and malty and ideally under 5% ABV. Sometimes, you need to not be too much in this world.

But you can’t run forever. And it’s possible you can’t run far enough. California will hold til the end, but there will be hard decisions to make, and there are only bad ones. Secede? Stop the red states leaching off your federal tax dollars to underwrite their Christo-fascism, and then fight a two front civil war against them and their amen corner of Okies down the Central Valley? The option to live in peace and mind your business is vanishing, because my childhood bullies are on the march, and the end state is the United States of Gardendale Alabama.

What are you prepared to do?


It’s become impossible to ignore how the church of my upbringing has resolutely sold itself to the Enemy. As a kid, I was always taught that the Antichrist would appear and be irresistible to people who thought him the true Messiah. The funny thing is, despite rumblings around Reagan or Obama, nothing has really fit the bill like what we have now. Not content with an Antichrist, the Enemy has built a whole anti-Trinity.

THE FATHER. Still God, although pace the classic Inherit the Wind, God created Man in his image, and these men, being gentlemen, returned the favor. God is resolutely and remarkably 100% on their side in all things, especially as related to gay people or women or anyone darker than a paper bag.

THE SAVIOR. This of course is not Yeshua ben Yosef, Jesus of Nazareth, he who some men say is the Son of God. No, the Enemy’s salvation is in Donald John Trump, who was very wrongly cheated bigly on the third day (of November) and who will come again in glory to judge the woke and the brown. Someone who in every particular is set 180 degrees against the teachings of the Man from Galilee.

THE UNHOLY SPIRIT. This, of course, is Fox News, which was sent to sustain the faithful in the absence of their savior until his return. When they pass up the opportunity to run commercials just to help ensure that their followers might not switch channels during another MyPillow ad and inadvertently be exposed to the January 6 hearings, you know that it’s gone past a shuck and a hustle to a genuinely ideological crusade – and the news organizations who insist on treating Fox as a journalistic peer rather than the priesthood of a cult only diminish themselves by the comparison.

And there you have it. A religion that replaced the cross with the AR-15. A religion that promises paradise right here on Earth, no waiting for the sweet by-and-by, everything put back the way it was. A religion that is engaged in a holy war every bit as violent and malevolent as anything that ever came out of the Middle East. And which is far more dangerous. Al-Qaeda never put three Justices on a Supreme Court that already had two sympathizers, after all. And once they shred the rule of law, it may be more difficult to stop them than one or two elections can sort out. It will be time for structural changes, undertaken without hesitation, on the precept that there is right and there is wrong and that the Constitution is not, as was insisted before, a suicide pact.

Long days ahead. And longer years.

final impressions

I didn’t think I was a beach person. My whole life, the beach qua the beach was not interesting to me. And then, after a family outing to Watsonville or thereabouts, I realized I was a cold beach person. Miss me with the Gulf Coast or LA, give me fog and sweatshirts to go with the plastic Birks.

And as I sit on the patio looking out at the Pismo Beach pier, it occurs to me I may have been hasty. Pismo, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, the old school central-to-north California beach towns…there’s something here. I don’t know what it is, but it’s a much more pleasant vibe. I like being here for a couple of days just to hang out – like the Disney Beach Club resort in Orlando, except it’s real and that’s the Pacific right over there.

It’s too far a drive to do in one go on the ID.4, though. After panicking and choosing Soledad over Paso Robles, I have about decided that the move will be to charge sooner than later, and thus quicker, and then coast down to a minimum on arrival. It took us a little over 30% from home there, and then 40% from Soledad to Pismo, and just the act of turning on the air conditioning knocked 12% off our forecast range. But said forecast range seems fairly accurate, and increased by ten miles by the bottom of the Cuesta Grade. So if you have the juice to get up the hill, your range forecast will be correct assuming you come back down it.

And assuming you don’t route too much power to accessories. This was a “use up the free SiriusXM” trip, not an iPhone trip. But the iPhone 13 mini has settled neatly into the routine. I don’t have the battery strain I had before, and the silicone case make it not only visually but tactile-distinct from my wife’s phone, and I am so taken with the “midnight” color that I am recklessly eyeballing the new M2 MacBook Air that I absolutely do not need. And if the Great Mentioner is correct, and the iPhone 14 Not-Pro has the same processor as the 13 with just a RAM bump, then it is reasonable to expect that every new feature in iOS 16 shown off today will be available on my phone in September.

Including but not limited to four additional full OS upgrades, which isn’t nothing. All the stuff that dropped in 2017, including the much-debated iPhone X, is still in scope for iOS 16. So I should be able to replace the battery and the front glass and keep rocking my one handed phone into the summer of 2027. And I would like to, if I can. In a world where everything moves to a local authentication device instead of a password, a one-handed phone is something I will gladly squeeze five years out of before my eyesight and coordination makes a 6″ phone a tragic necessity.

They’re two purchases I am very happy with. I didn’t see them coming from this time eighteen months ago, but then, I also got sick of waiting for them for six months before collecting each one. So it’s nice to be topped up on the things I need to get by.

Next stop: figuring out how to spent more days working from Santa Cruz, or Pescadero, or Capitola. Just because.