Teams often act in concert, and this togetherness can be very intense. So in Iran at the moment, you have two featured teams:
Team Mullah, composed of hundreds of bullet-spraying gray-bearded men wearing gowns and turbans and granny glasses.
Team Football,composed of eleven handsome robeless turbanless non-bullet-spraying young men.
TF is on the world’s screens at the moment, arms locked, refusing to sing Iran’s We are some wild and crazy religious nutbags national anthem at the World Cup; boos can be heard throughout the stadium, where men and women wear shirts with the names of women murdered because their hijabs were askew.
Thomas L. Friedman makes me think about the limits of words in contexts of unlimited atrocity. You feel him straining, in this rather flamboyant, Faulknerian sentence, to arrive at, to be adequate to, to express verbally, the actually inexpressible horror of a man of no conscience who continues to command the loyalty of tens of millions of Americans. Up against evil embraced by millions, Friedman’s words seem weak.
Some writers resolve the inexpressibility problem by jumping over it into psychopathology. Trump is a high-functioning insane person (a contradiction in terms, no?), an hysterical narcissist, an infantile disordered etc. etc. Their writing goes toward elaborating his dangerous lunacy rather than, as with Friedman, his moral obscenity.
But approaching Trump in himself, whether your approach is ethical or clinical, seems a bit beside the point at this late date in his democracy-ravaging career. The point is not so much Trump as the capacity of so many Americans to adore him, in the way millions of Italians still adore Mussolini, and Russians Stalin. The pertinent pathology is ye olde escape from freedom.
Of course Trump helped; normal Americans finally, in the aftermath of the January 6 committee hearings, really felt, and feared, his movement’s cruelty and stupidity.
For the next several weeks, Trump’s social media statements will confirm his madness; he will almost certainly try to whip his Proud Boys up to some serious violence. So while this particular moment is about celebration, we have to start doing some cold consideration of the fact that his remnant nihilists will obey his orders to burn everything down.
But it was the Clarence Thomas brigade, with their vile denial of an important established right, that fucked up the Republican party but good. The medieval cruelty of denying raped ten year old girls abortions drew the attention of all enlightened and humane souls. UD believes the graphic barbarism of this behavior, especially in the context of ongoing highly publicized barbarism against girls and women in benighted countries like Iran and Afghanistan, has so shocked people with normal moral instincts that the abortion issue will not go away, but will continue to bedevil the Republican party as much as Le Monstre Trump has. Behind no exceptions anti-abortion lies precisely the bizarre religious fanaticism and coercion against which this country was established. I can think of nothing more anti-American. When the Supreme Court went there, it activated basic American instincts in millions of us, and now it can do little other than sit back and enjoy the fruits of its idiocy.
The country I love, the country I recognize, has spoken. I am intensely proud.
[T]he right-populist surge is retreating somewhat everywhere. Boris is gone in Britain, just a few years after a landslide win, replaced by a mainstream non-white Tory. Bolsonaro was just dispatched in Brazil (and is not protesting the results). Putin and Xi increasingly look like tin-pot tyrants, incapable of adjusting to events, adopting insane policies — invading Ukraine and imposing zero-Covid madness — and grabbing more and more power to protect them from the consequences.
Also the Iranians’ incredibly brave efforts. The attention of the world is, rightly, on the dissenters in the streets of Tehran as well as on the Ukrainians. But the forces of illiberal democracy – A sham designation, no? Fascism is better. – in Russia, Hungary, Italy, and of course right here in the MAGA movement – are certainly on the march, and we must always call them out, and fight them with whatever weapons we have.
I do wonder about Europe’s militant hijabis. What do they have to say? Why have we not heard their opinion of this massive anti-hijab movement?
Voters have grown more supportive of legalizing abortion following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, with a clear majority opposing restrictions, like bans at a certain point of pregnancy or barring women from traveling to get a legal abortion, according to a new Wall Street Journal poll that underscores the importance of the issue in the midterm elections.
Lord, that last number’s falling fast! From a robust, representative 11% to a piddling SIX PERCENT since MARCH? Fu-u-uck.
What the no exceptions crowd needs is a catchy name and a Joan of Arc. The Joan is easy: Kristi Noem‘s a babe, a firebrand, a fine orator, and totally behind the whole let the mother ship go down thing.
And here’s an idea: Change your last name from NOEM to NOEX. It’s too obvious. It’s so good.
Name? Maybe GodBods. The one thing this miniscule minority has going for it is that God has told them that their position on abortion is the correct one. Their name must stress this metaphysical advantage over non-God-directed positions. Bods reflects the fact that this is all about what God wants women to do with their bodies once they become pregnant.
Some more numbers.
In the six months before Dobbs, women [in Kansas] outnumbered men by a three-point margin among new voter registrations. After Dobbs, that gender gap skyrocketed to 40 points.
… is a wife, mother, and anti-abortionfanatic. You don’t get more NO EXCEPTIONS than Yesli, whose views were recently featured in an ABC news report. Let’s see…
[T]here should be no abortion even in the case of rape. A woman does not sit and get raped without wanting it… There can be no conception as a result of rape. [A woman’s body prevents pregnancies from rape because] it’s not something that’s happening organically [and the rapist is doing it] quickly.
As to possible deaths of mothers, Yesli says let God sort it out…
Yes, yes, as you see I’m doing a mashup of Yesli and Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Dodoni; and that’s because once Virginia voters vote her in, they will essentially be living under the rule of a mentally unbalanced Greek bishop.
[A] majority of Texas voters are expressing strong support for abortion rights.
In a new survey, six in 10 voters said they support abortion being “available in all or most cases,” and many say abortion will be a motivating issue at the ballot box in November. Meanwhile, 11% say they favor a total ban on abortion.
But not to worry! The miniscule minority will simply run roughshod over the majority.