Tag Archives: covid-19

Republican hate for America

Republicans love to talk about how much they love America and how much liberals hate it. They’re lying. Just like they claim to honor the military until the military doesn’t support white supremacy. Just like they chant Blue Lives Matter but kill cops who get in their way. They love democracy but they love fascism more.

Similarly, when they “love” America it’s the fantasy USA in their head canon, where white men run everything, women stay home and take care of the kids, gays are in the closet and black people are in solidly subordinate roles. The real America? That they hate. Their worldview is “a hyper-patriotism gone sour: a belief in a fictional ideal of a perfect right-wing America that’s constantly betrayed by reality, leading to disillusionment and even disgust with the country as it actually exists.” Or as South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says, “I look at Joe Biden’s America, and I don’t recognize the country that I grew up in,” echoing Laura Ingraham’s claim that conservatives are justified in resenting legal immigration.

This is, of course, true of most generations over the past century or so. The 20th century was a time of change: the 1970s weren’t the country of legal Jim Crow and “segregation now, segregation forever!” A country where women have access to reliable contraception and equal rights at work isn’t the same as the 1950s (Wall Street Journal‘s misogynist in residence James Taranto thinks both changes were mistakes). Home computers and the Internet have changed things in many ways, good and bad.

Conversely, the country I spent my teen years in was lurching towards greater equality for gays, people of color and women. Nixon was a treacherous bastard but the Republicans still supported democracy. Now I live in a country where Republicans have made open white supremacy, anti-semitism and misogyny acceptable again, and where they’re doing everything they can to rig elections so they never lose again. Nixon was an outcast within the party after Watergate; they dropped George W. Bush like a stone after his two terms were up; but Trump has the support of the base so the cowards in office will never desert him. Ron DeSantis clearly thinks making the pandemic worse in Florida is a plus for his future career, and he might be right.  Ross Douthat wrote a few years ago that conservatives need to be even more reactionary; I think he’s getting his wish.

And I live in a country with Fox News. That’s definitely a change for the worse.

And because The Former Guy made preventing a pandemic into another part of the culture wars (something Fred Clark discusses here), we’re fighting against people who insist that any restrictions to protect human life are a violation of their freedom (something the Seventh Court of Appeals recently scoffed at). Which reinforces the crackpots who oppose modern medicine itself: “In a video on her channel, Pope said she wants to promote health the way her generation’s grandparents experienced it. “When they got sick, they didn’t need the crutch of pharmaceuticals or antibiotics to get better,” she said in the video. “They just got sick and they got well.”” Except a lot of them didn’t: they died. In other words, as LGM says, the problem isn’t that vaccines don’t work but that they do.

As the Vox article linked to above says, it’s not just that conservatives don’t like the country’s direction, they don’t see a way to change it through legitimate means. They live in a world where reality itself has rejected them. Evolution works, creationism doesn’t. A black man has been elected president twice and a woman won the popular vote. Gay people aren’t all pedophiles, gay marriage hasn’t caused the collapse of straight marriage, atheists can be perfectly moral people, families with a working mom can be perfectly healthy. The United States wasn’t founded on Christianity or as a Christian nation. Global warming is real.

That’s reality, but they don’t want to accept it. So they hate and resent the proof that everything they believe is wrong, and they hate and resent those of us who accept the reality. And The Former Guy legitimized that: “he made it okay to say openly that you just hated the other side and didn’t want to share the country with them anymore.”

This will continue to be a problem going forward. I wish there was an easy solution.

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The Republicans have an edge in branding

I’ve often thought Republicans have an advantage in the media because their brand is known to be “shitty, bigoted authoritarians.” Democrats, by contrast, are supposed to be decent people. When Republicans act like scum, there’s a sense of shrug; when Democrats do it, there’s a sense of shock. We’re supposed to govern well, and clean up the mess Republicans make when they have power.

Republicans want to discriminate against gay? Well, of course. But stories about Trump supporter Alan Dershowitz not getting invited to parties or liberals saying they won’t date conservatives? Then suddenly intolerance is a big issue. If anyone on a Biden task force had suggested letting the Trump virus flourish in red states for political gain, it would be front page news. That someone on Jared’s task force proposed it? Hey, they’re Republicans, what do you expect?

Columbia Journalism Review makes the same point discussing coverage of the Jan. 6 commission. Republicans refused to cooperate unless coup-supporters such as Jim Jordan and Jim Banks were on it. Pelosi wisely shut that down, which the media portrayed as a Dem failure: Pelosi has doomed the chance the commission will accomplish anything (as if having two anti-American extremists on the commission would fix that). The article concludes that “‘Republican bad faith… is just a feature of the landscape,’ whereas a given Democrat is ‘an actor with agency, and subject to scrutiny.'” Republicans gonna Republican, that’s just the way it is.

Likewise the right-wing would pillory any Democrat who didn’t Rah Team for our Olympic competitors. We won’t see the same outrage against the Newsmax host who’s happy America’s losing. No surprise: I remember during football season last year, a bunch of FB posts said we should tune out football so we didn’t have to see players supporting Black Lives Matter.

That said, let’s look at what the American Hating Party has been up to:

Pro-coup Sen. Josh Hawley, meanwhile, has introduced a bill that bans federal funding for schools that teach the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were “the product of white supremacy and racism.” Just because the Constitution said Congress couldn’t ban the slave trade until 1808 and introduced the three-fifths clause to preserve the slave power I can’t see any reason to think slavery played a role in our founding. Comrade Hawley, as I’ve said before, would have fit well in the old USSR.

Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers wants us to know that “I like Indians and I like Redskins. I like Aunt Jemima and I like Uncle Ben. I like Robert E Lee and I like Stonewall Jackson. I don’t like traitors who hate America. Stand up for our culture!” Nothing says hating traitors like supporting the Confederacy — and she’s also a big supporter of stealing the White House from Biden.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is suing Pelosi because mask mandates are segregation. By amazing coincidence, the website her tweet links to is a fund-raiser for her. It’s part of the proud right-wing tradition of grift.

Rep. Elise Stefanik isn’t as batshit as Greene. But these days even mainstream Republicans blame Pelosi for Jan. 6.

And these days, Candace Owens is in the Republican mainstream by suing because Facebook fact-checked her Covid posts and said they were wrong.

If colleges provide medication abortions (which is currently legal), a Republican bill would strip their federal funding.

Trump wishes he’d lowered the flag for Ashli Babbitt, dead anti-American militant. Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde says the Jan. 6 mob were just tourists. And Tucker Carlson, of course, thinks cops traumatized by the attack are just big babies.

Matt Gaetz’s fiancee’s sister says he’s creepy as hell.

 

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I got your doom-scrolling right here: links

Some people refused to believe in the Trump Virus even as they died from it. Now we have towns burning from climate change but the residents blame environmentalists. Meanwhile, in Miami, poor black and Haitian neighborhoods on high ground are facing gentrification due to rising sea levels. Much like Covid, the right will proclaim climate change something we just have to live with. Republican state governments are already limiting the power of health officials to impose quarantines and other health measures in the next catastrophe.

Similarly, this country will do anything to stop school shootings except practice gun control — for example, moving a cemetery.

Speaking of the Trump Virus, here’s lying racist Laura Ingraham claiming that criticizing red states for being anti-vaxx is an elitist attack on “the trucks they drive, they don’t like how many kids they have. So it’s not just vaccine hesitancy they’re sneering at. It’s their entire being. I want people to understand that.” As if spreading lies about the vaccine to viewers who trust you didn’t demonstrate contempt. Fox liar Brian Kilmeade has suddenly discovers that presidents shouldn’t have opinions about dealing with the pandemic. The Former Guy’s White House liar Sarah Huckabee Sanders says if she’s elected governor of Arkansas she’s follow DeSantis style and impose no restrictions.

Israel’s NSO cyber-tech company has sold Pegasus spyware around the world. It hacks into your phone, sometimes without the target having to click on anything (the name comes because it’s a Trojan horse that flies onto your phone). There’s evidence governments have used it to spy on activists and journalists; NSO denies allowing that, but as it doesn’t monitor usage, it has no way to know. Here’s one alleged case of abuse. And possibly India is spying on the Dalai Lama. Technical stuff about Pegasus in this piece. NSO has ties to the Israeli government and insists they’re about stopping the bad guys.

The solution to employees not wanting to come back to work? Prison labor.

The FBI heard warnings about pedophile doctor Larry Nassar for years and did nothing. Nor with accused attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh.

The right-wing may disagree about a lot, but they’re united that teaching kids about racism is bad. And that government helping people is bad too.

Anti-semite Rick Wiles calls for civil war to stop the Biden agenda. Prior to Jan. 6, I’d have thought that was a very long shot, but now I’m not so sure. We’ll definitely see more terrorist plots like this.

The Texas house has approved a bill punishing cities that reduce their police budget.

Right-wingers are increasingly delivering threats to TV newspeople.

Yet another example (from some years back) of right-wingers making money by being shitty people. Here’s another right-wing scam, the Freedom Phone. And the digital currency Magacoin. And osteopath anti-vaxxer Joseph Mercola.

The Catholic Church first heard warnings that Gabriele Martinelli was a molester more than a decade ago. They made him a priest anyway.

Libraries have books about gays and about racism, so right-wingers want to take libraries over.

Some police are all too willing to taser senior citizens.

In some black counties in the South up to 25 percent of requests for FEMA disaster aid get rejected.

While seeing the QAnon cultists and others turn on their own is amusing, Slacktivist points out it also enforces rigid party discipline: deviate from the party line and be accused of being one of the pedophile cultists.

“Donald Trump incited a violent mob to attempt to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, and, since Donald Trump remains the unchallenged leader of the Republican party, that means Republicans have to either enthusiastically support what Trump did, or, in the alternative, try to gaslight everyone with the claim that what happened didn’t happen. ”  — which is why Republicans oppose the Jan. 6 commission.

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Will grift bring America down?

“Who better suits a marketing strategy than a group that voluntarily organizes itself according to their most passionately shared beliefs? ” Rick Perlstein asks in The Long Con, an article he wrote almost a decade ago. While this works for liberals and conservatives — subscribers to Mother Jones or National Review are obvious targets for certain kinds of pitches — Perlstein shows how snake-oil salesmen have become a fundamental part of the right. Direct mail lists become the target of fund-raising lies (like this recent one from homophobe lawyer Matt Staver, or this Stover pitch); lists are sold to let more people milk the marks; and hucksters offering miracle cures (the secret ones the Deep State is hiding) bleed people for more money. “In this respect, it’s not really useful, or possible, to specify a break point where the money game ends and the ideological one begins.”

For example, Republican governors may sincerely want to get people off unemployment for principle — but some of them also want more people applying to work at businesses the various governors own.

Wayne LaPierre, for instance, may sincerely believe in the NRA’s stance the second amendment is sacred, using the NRA as a personal piggy bank gave him a vested interest in their mission. Donations and advertising from gun manufacturers makes up a lot of their financing; I’m sure having an extremist screaming at people to buy guns before the government makes it illegal kept the money spigot turned on.

Or consider Hank Kunneman, one of the many self-appointed prophets who declared Trump won in 2020. As I’ve mentioned before, he has books to sell, he has religious souvenirs to hawk, so despite being proven wrong he keeps insisting he’s a real prophet. He’s one in a long train of Christian hucksters from the medieval pardoners to Jim Bakker selling fake Trump Virus cures. Mike Warnke, for instance, had a long, lucrative career posing as a reformed Satanic high priest who’d gone from human  sacrifice to Praise Jesus!

Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman is raking in money from QAnon believers by claiming all elected officials from 2020 are illegitimate, therefore they can simply sue to take those officials’ places. It can’t miss! Of course someone probably claimed the same about replacing Congress and Biden with the Steward of Gondor.

A growing number of Republicans are approaching their roles as elected officials more as reality show stars than legislators. And at least 10 states divert TANF funding for needy families to finance anti-abortion groups.  Supporting forced-birth and abstinence-only education is a way to channel money to religious conservatives who loyally vote Republican.

Or consider Jesse Lee Peterson telling OAN viewers that the Tulsa race massacre was exaggerated to make whites look bad. Lies like that undoubtedly endear the black radio host to the white OAN audience (much as right-wingers love an antifeminist woman pundit). Or radio host, misogynist and right-wing minister E.W. Jackson accusing the Bidens of eating French food on Memorial Day instead of American food. It’s gibberish but some right-wing rageaholics will be happy to believe it so they can get their fix. And that’s money in the bank for Jackson.

Does this mean they don’t believe? Some, I’m sure, are complete manipulators (Bakker, for sure). Others fall on the borderline: I don’t doubt Staver’s hates gays just as Rick Wiles hates Jews. However neither one has any qualms using bigotry to raise money. Maybe that encourages them to get more outrageous: the uglier lies they tell about the Zionist/Gay Agenda, the more they can drive their fund-raising. Roy Edroso argues pundit Peggy Noonan blaming liberals for right-wing conspiracy theories may be a calculated career move: Republicans are solidly Trumpite now, so while she may disapprove, she wants them to know it’s Not Their Fault.

Then there are dudes like Paige Patterson. The misogyny he’s shown as head of the Southern Baptist Conference is certainly sincere, but he’s allegedly also a crook, stealing valuable art from the SBC for his own HQ (they kicked him out a while back) and also the donor list for fundraising — which he’s now using to channel money to his own organization.

Others, as Paul Campos says, may know specific claims are bullshit yet still believe in their truthiness. Sure, Sidney Powell and Maras-Lindeman are liars, there wasn’t any election fraud, but it’s still cheating for Democrats to win when Republicans are the only Real Americans. I suspect something similar is true of most of the marks for all this grift: they’re not so much fooled as choosing to believe. They want to believe their enemies are devils or that they’re virtuous, and fighting QAnon’s nonexistent Satanic pedophiles makes them feel so. Some of them may start off choosing and eventually convince themselves into absolute belief.

But regardless of their sincerity, they’re doing damage.  Prosecutors cited Warnke’s claims about Satanism in America to prove the Satanic Panic of 30 years ago was real. People went to jail in that witch-hunt, for years.

Believing the Trump Virus vaccines are the Mark of the Beast doesn’t make sense (how are the unvaccinated able to buy or sell when Antichrist only permits that from those who take the mark?) but it makes it harder to fight the virus.

Whipping up claims of election fraud and how audits are proving it is killing our democracy; they won’t remove Biden from office but a system in which every election result people don’t like has to be litigated is unworkable. Democracy, as others have pointed out, hinges on the belief that even if you lose, the government is legitimate. Without that, we’re screwed.

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Republicans are the stereotypical whiny millennials of 2021 (no offense millennials!).

Remember all those endless jokes about how millennials are all spoiled and whiny because instead of being told “You lose!” they get participation trophies (several people have said this is not a thing that happens much, despite the stereotype). Republicans seem to have embraced it. They can’t conceive that millions of them voted and didn’t get the presidency back in their (frequently) racist and misogynist hands. That can’t be right.

Unfortunately, as this detailed piece on the Arizona recount points out, millions of whiny right-wing babies is not a funny thing. Officials who stand by the facts — Joe Biden won the White House — are being threatened. All over the country, Trump worshippers are demanding that officials fix things so Trump wins. Sure, they say they just want a serious look, but no facts are going to convince them. It’s like the Obama birther racists; the two main birther groups were on the record during his administration saying that producing the original birth certificate wouldn’t prove anything. One wanted more documentation, the other demanded witnesses; if Obama had delivered, they’d still have refused to believe it.

Refusing to accept Obama was legally qualified to be president was bad; refusing to believe Biden was even really elected was worse. The conviction America has been stolen from its rightful white, male Christian rulers isn’t a new thing but it’s metastized into something more extreme. Trump’s worshipper will never accept a Democratic president is legitimate and as Sedition Day showed, they feel justified in returning him to office by any means necessary. It’s possible they’ll do the same for Josh Hawley, Ron DeSantis or whoever eventually replaces Ex-President Man Baby; the Republican groundwork in Georgia and other states allowing them to overrule the electors mean they can be elected even if they don’t win the electoral college.

I have no idea how we get out of this mess. I don’t know if anyone does. Or when we have congressional reps lying and saying there have been no Trump virus cases in Texas since they ended the mask mandate. Of course, it helps we have lying homophobe Matt Staver spreading lies of a nonexistent vaccine conspiracy — and telling suckers to pay him to fight it.

“If Trump has a political philosophy, one of its main tenets is toxic masculinity — the use of menace and swagger to cover his mental and moral impotence.” — Michael Gerson, writing about Trump’s enthusiasm for calling down violence on his supporters. This will not end well either, especially given the Republicans are now rageaholics. Fred Clark suggests part of the problem is the temptation to demonize your enemies so you can feel virtuous and heroic, something everyone from C.S. Lewis to Nietzsche has warned against.

As Paul Campos says, “Our modern reactionaries are the heirs to the royalists, the priests, the lords of the countryside and of capital, and everybody else who has always at bottom despised the notion of egalitarianism, and worships at the altar of hierarchy, whether ruled over by God or Darwin or whatever other metaphysical justification may be at hand to maintain the most evil aspects of the status quo.”

In other news, the war in Israel shows Jared Kushner no more brought peace to the Middle East than he’s succeeded at anything else. In fairness, Trump’s administration was neither the first nor the last to fail to slice through that Gordian knot; however, given some Trump cultists told me bringing peace proved how awesome Trump was, let it be noted … he wasn’t.

Spying on journalists or American citizens in general isn’t new either. Trump’s Justice Department spying on a reporter the administration didn’t like still isn’t a good thing.

And the grift continues: despite all the money Trump gets as an ex-president, he’s still charging rent to the Secret Service (Biden did that with a cottage in Delaware but Trump’s sucking down several times more). Of course he’s not the only grifter. Self-proclaimed prophet Hank Kunneman has books and prophesy swag to sell so even though his prophecies of Trump’s victory have failed, he says nobody can say he’s a false prophet. And if you disrespect him, God might curse you with leprosy! Well, Mr. Kunneman, I’m disrespecting you now …

Republicans love to talk about how they support the troops. But then we get Ted Cruz favorably comparing Russia’s soldiers to an American female soldier raised by two mothers.

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I think I overdosed on freedom

So Tuesday my second vaccination took full effect. This is way cool: we made it through a pandemic without catching it and now we can resume something approaching normal life. After a year feeling as imperiled as Mr. Miracle —— it’s a real relief. I’m happy and grateful. Still, the need to do multiple things we’d been putting off did not make for a productive week. While my top goals for Freedom were to visit my comic book store and go out to eat, neither one actually happened — the Musts took priority.

Housekeepers came in Thursday. This was a “must” because we had a friend of TYG’s arriving for a mutual friend’s funeral today. The alternative to getting the cleaners in ASAP was to do it ourselves, which we weren’t looking forward to. And we wouldn’t have been as good either; anybody who thinks housecleaning isn’t skilled labor is kidding themselves. Of course them cleaning didn’t require much effort on my part, but it was distracting, especially dealing with the dogs, who freaked out.

Then we had the plumber coming in to snake the drains. We scheduled an appointment for Wednesday a week in advance. 9 AM rolled around, plumber didn’t show. Office said he’d be by 2 PM. Didn’t show. The plumber finally called, said he hadn’t been given any sort of appointment for us. I found an alternative plumber who showed up the next day and got the job done. Pricey, but satisfactory. However, it all chipped into work time. You know how it goes — it’s 8:45 AM, plumber’s going to be there, no point in starting anything …

Friday I had to take the car in for annual inspection, oil change and general maintenance. Not cheap either, but necessary. But again, distracting. In between all that, I went to the library, got a haircut (photos next week) and went shopping in a grocery store. That was a lot of fun — convenient or not, online ordering doesn’t do it for me. Hell, the store’s close enough that shopping IRL may be more convenient than all the typing and clicking. Plus it had some stuff TYG wanted that wasn’t available online. Plus cold stuff is still nice and cold when I get it home.

In the midst of all that I still got some work done. Partly because I wisely treated Sunday as a regular work day, which proved the right decision. Even so, I’ll need to do some Leaf articles over the weekend. My tax tips for veterans article came out. I finished redrafting Chapter Seven of Undead Sexist Cliches though I still have to rearrange all the footnotes. I rewrote the alien pregnancy chapter of Alien Visitors and got some good feedback from the writers group. And I posted about the early, less-remembered Adam Warlock series at Atomic Junkshop.

So a good, if hectic week.

#SFWApro. Cover by Jack Kirby, all rights remain to current holder.

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This week unfolded almost as I anticipated

With TYG’s and my second vaccine shots on Monday and Tuesday respectively, I wanted to make sure there was nothing on my writing to-do list that had to be completed after Monday. That way, if worst came to worst, as I said a couple of weeks back, I could just lie around doing nothing.

Worst actually came to worst Monday night. I woke after a couple of hours, which was normal, but instead of going back to sleep I got hit by a panic attack: what if I couldn’t get back to sleep? How could I make it to the Walgreens some ten miles away (not my preference, but it was the first available when I was making the appointments) if I was too tired to drive? Aaaaaaah! As usual, fear of not getting enough sleep guaranteed I did not get enough sleep. Fortunately, TYG, while feeling rundown Tuesday after her shot, was able to drive me there; I could probably have managed it but I wouldn’t have trusted my judgment had I had to make any decisions.

You can see a shot of myself here on the monitor at the pharmacy. I thought I looked kind of look a weird troll out of a Twin Peaks dream sequence or something, but it doesn’t quite come across in the photo.

My decision to wrap up everything early proved wise. Wednesday I felt much like I did when my seasonal allergies kick in: tired, drained, almost feverish, strongly desirous of rest. Having gotten my golem article in on Monday, I was free to rest, or as free as possible given the need to walk and care for dogs. TYG, fortunately, was about the same level. It was unpleasant, but livable. I spent Wednesday reading and watching TV, and of course napping a lot.

Thursday I felt normal, just tiring very easily. That may also have something to do with Plushie having digestive difficulties that requires taking him out around 1:30 AM. I sat downstairs with him after that — I divined correctly that he might need more trips — and didn’t catch up on sleep. So more TV and napping, though I also batted out a final Leaf article for the month.

And then last night, it happened again. Fortunately Plushie didn’t need it more than once so I got most of a full night of sleep. I turned in a Veterans Network article this morning (and one I’d written on Atomic Veterans came out this week) and then we had a vet checkup for both pups. The rehab treatment has done well by both of them, particularly Trixie; Plushie still has some leg weakness. I suppose that may reflect his advancing age, sigh.

So not much accomplished this week, but that was planned for. Successfully, if I do say so. For the month I got about 55 percent of my goals accomplished, but given how I had to shift my schedule to prepare for this week, I don’t feel bad about that.

#SFWApro.

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My battle plan did not survive first contact with the enemy

As I mentioned at the start of the month, I thought breaking down my schedule into blocks of time and assigning them to different projects (e.g., eight units for Leaf, eight for Veterans Network articles, eight for the golem article). That way, when my schedule takes some kind of unexpected detour, I can make sure I’m still putting enough time on everything.

This week that did not work, though I think it’s less a flaw in the plan than just life. But then again, if the plan can’t cope with what life throws at me, it’s not much use. But really, this situation is exceptional. I have several projects due before the end of the month and I’m getting my second vaccine shot on April 27. If it leaves me feeling like crap I need to have all my essential projects done so I can just lie in misery. TYG is getting her shot around the same time (I really should have listened to her and gotten mine further apart, but when I saw an opening, I panicked and grabbed it) so even if I’m fine, she might be sick — and I know from experience that’s going to kill my productivity too. So the golem article and all my Veteran Network stuff has to be done by April 26.

Plus next week I have an Alexander Technique appointment, our dogs’ trip to the rehab vet and allergy shots for them. That’s going to eat up quite a bit of time.

So this week I wanted to work on veteran articles, Leaf pieces and the golem piece. I did well — the golem article is finally looking good — until yesterday. About 10:30 Wednesday night, Plushie became scared of the invisible monsters he’d spotted somewhere in the bedroom and insisted on climbing on me for safety, then licking my face for about 20 minutes. Finally he calmed down, but by that point I was completely awake. I got up, worked for a couple of hours, got ready to go back to bed … and Wisp meowed to come in and wanted attention for a little while.

I did get to sleep eventually but it didn’t help much. I finished an article on Agent Orange, and did a little work on Undead Sexist Cliches (final proof of Chapter Two. Looks good) — I’m actually quite impressed what I can do when my brain is utterly fried — but I didn’t get the golem article finished as I’d planned.

Last night I took an Ambien to ensure I’d get a decent night’s sleep. The price was waking up late, then Wisp came in, snuggled with me and fell asleep in my lap (it was cold outside).The result was that I never had the private time I need to get my head in the game. Today was not productive. If I didn’t have the deadlines and the possible sick days ahead, I’d have devoted it entirely to reading the remaining golem novels on my list.

I will try my plan again next month, but for the moment the onrushing deadlines render it moot.

Oh, I had Southern Discomfort come back from a publisher with some critical feedback. I’ll discuss what they said when I’ve had time to mull it over.

To end on an upbeat note, here’s Trixie sniffing a flower.#SFWApro.

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Matt Gaetz, the Trump Virus and more! Links

Matt Gaetz, the smirking congressional representative for my old home district in the Florida Panhandle, is under federal investigation for possibly hiring sex workers (which I admit doesn’t shock me much as a crime) and paying a 17-year-old girl to travel across state lines (that I find way creepier). According to a couple of lawmakers, he also liked showing his colleagues naked photos of women he’d slept with. He went on Tucker Carlson to declare the whole thing an extortion scheme by crooked lawyers, volunteering the information that he’s never been photographed with child prostitutes — which nobody to date has accused him of (and if they’re underage sex workers, then it’s statutory rape again, not prostitution). Unsurprisingly, QAnonites, despite their delusions about sex trafficking conspiracies, believe he’s innocent.

By a strange coincidence, Gaetz also voted against a human-trafficking bill a couple of years back. And here’s some details about his friend Joel Greenberg, an impressively sleazy sleaze — which is relevant because the FBI’s eye fastened on Gaetz as they were pursuing his buddy.

Eight, nine months ago when it looked like it might be two or three years before we had the Trump Virus under control, I could understand people just giving up. But now? With lots and lots of virus becoming available? Surely we can hold on and take extra steps to keep it under control a little while longer? Not according to Wisconsin judges (dissent dissecting the ruling here). Or Florida Governor Ron deSantis, who opposes vaccine passports and wants to stop businesses requiring them from customers. Culture war apparently trumps even the supposedly sacrosanct right of businesses to set their own rules. Which is actually not new. And despite their support for low taxes, Georgia just stripped Delta of some state tax breaks for opposing Georgia’s war on voting. I wonder how they’ll react to baseball pulling the All-Star game from Atlanta?

On the bright side, while GOP won’t protect us from COVID, but it’s out to save us from the non-existent threat of trans people. Protect us from guns? Of course not.

False prophet Nathan French claims his prophecy of a Trump victory was right — it’ll happen in April. Meanwhile, President Biden continues unmaking Trump’s agenda, in this case some of his overseas anti-LGBTQ policies. And dismissing some of Trump’s EPA advisors. And unlike the Obama years, Biden knows to fill empty judicial seats. Oh, but the GOP have nailed him now — his infrastructure bill includes spending on things such as the power grid, water pipes and non-car transportation.

A black activist confronts the police in former Klan country. Another town broils over when two cops take part in the Sedition Day insurrection.

Yet another Sedition Day militant learns he shouldn’t have gone public.

The century-old Antiquities Act allows the president to designate federal land as national monuments, protecting it from development. Chief Justice John Roberts wants to put a stop to that.

Someone ramming their car into the barricade around the Capitol has killed a cop. But a minister thinks disallowing people inside the Capitol area targets his religious freedom to hold a prayer vigil there. Interestingly, the three individuals named in the lawsuit are Vice President Harris, Rep. Pelosi and the female Senate Sergeant at Arms. I think the dude has issues.

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A Too Much Research Week, I guess

Reading a lot for my golem article.

Watching alien abduction films and Stephen Spielberg’s tedious miniseries Taken for Alien Visitors.

Extra time spent on research for my Veteran’s Network blog posts this week.

A shit ton of time spent planning and thinking. First, re-evaluating the work ahead for Alien Visitors and figuring out exactly what I’m doing in the months ahead. Second, I have an offer to edit a book, for pay, but they wanted me to give them a quote. That took a lot of number-crunching and guesstimating, but now it’s done, bid submitted. Worst case, they say no — or worst case, they make me a lower offer, I accept it and it turns out it wasn’t enough for the work involved. Hopefully my estimating skills are better than my doubts.

I did finish the redraft of Chapter Four of Undead Sexist Cliches though I still have to re-edit the footnotes as I rearranged the material so much (fortunately Chapter Five is much tighter organized). And I got an Atomic Junk Shop post up marveling that some people are apparently fine with all Superman’s absurdities but balk at the idea he can put a bun in Lois’s oven.

Then there was today. Wisp woke me up early and unlike some mornings she really, really wanted me to play the laser-pointer game with her. I didn’t quite have the time to do that — I’m not so coordinated I can flash the laser light and still do whatever else I’m doing — so she eventually left in a sulk. Then we got a thunderstorm which freaks Plush Dog out (“Sky noise! Loud evil sky noise!”) and he insisted on coming downstairs and cuddling with me (Trixie came too, inevitably). I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I couldn’t cuddle him and do any stretching or exercise, which left me feeling stiff all day. And with no time to myself in the morning, I never really got my head in the game for the day’s work. I wound up doing some extra work on Atomic Junk Shop posts, which I shouldn’t have been — blogging’s never supposed to take time from productive work — but my mind was balking even at more research reading. Finally this afternoon I found presence of mind for planning, but that was all.

Oh well, as I’ve said before, sooner or later my schedule has to go kaput for a day; that’s just how life is. But only for a day — I have too much to do.

On the personal side, I did accomplish something, getting signed up with Duke as one of the Group Four (older, some health issues) vaccine recipients. Though as the governor’s declared that next month it’s open to anyone, that doesn’t make much of a difference — particularly as I haven’t found any appointments yet. TYG is planning to go out of town to find one (there are nearby communities with slots available), but I haven’t given up on locating something here. We’ll see if I’m right.

And one of my self-published books showed on Amazon, though as usual they haven’t made the data about which book or how many sales. That’s so annoying — if they’re paying me, they have to know — but the sale is great news.

#SFWAPro.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing