134 Comments

Soooo are we not going to talk about how Barnes outperformed Charlie's predictions?

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"We can look forward to hours of fact-free faux-certainty clashing with wish-casting, speculation, bursts of hysteria, endless repetition… and then we’ll get the exit polls. Which are almost certainly going to be bullsh*t."

And yet they still persist.

And yet we still continue to watch.

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I will provide my happy comment for the year. A Republican supporter approached me stumping for votes, and asked if I would like a sample R ballot. I said, "No, because I don't support gangsterism and treason."

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Great article by Cathy Young on election deniers, as usual. An excellent takedown of GOP bothsidesism on the subject.

In brief, Democrats have had some election complainers, mostly low-level, none of whom ever tried to overturn a legal election, while Republicans, led by a President and a group of senators and representatives, actively worked to falsify electoral votes, violently attacked the Capitol to overturn the results, and tonight are running more than a few candidates who say that those actions were right, that they'd do it all again, and if they're not elected tonight, they'll give it all a try at their level. As Cathy Young aptly put it, this "is not just comparing apples and oranges, it’s more like comparing a tricycle to an 18-wheeler.

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founding

What does a voter in the USA (I meant, before 2022) need to believe

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If “the modern male is struggling” it doesn’t mean that women have anything like equality. Yes, in schools and post-secondary education girls and women excel and graduate as shiny PhDs with post doc credentials……. and then they have to walk the tightrope of seeming extra competent while not seeming threateningly dominant or they are “ball breakers” or (horrors) lesbians, all while being slim and sexy (but not too sexy) and do it all in stilettos. They still have to work harder and be more productive then men while earning less then men doing the same job. All this not to mention that in many states, women still don’t have the human right of bodily autonomy. If men are struggling, and some are doing just fine, it’s because they haven’t let go of the idea that they have extra rights to everything good because they are physically equipped to be male. Get over that as a gender and things just might go a little easier.

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Males are struggling because they have a really F'd up idea of what being male means... and a lot of bad role models to follow.

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Agreed. But where and how do we start to have better male role models? Things are slowly improving in some ways, with more women getting jobs higher up in non-female-traditional jobs. But that doesn’t always help. There are more women in the media than there was 50 years ago but the media isn’t any kinder or gentler or better. Maybe not so pompous but not better. Arguably worse.

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founding

I used to golf with my wife's brother-in-law. Whenever he hit a particularly nice shot he would shout "Count that one!"

The Republicans are the same way about voting. They only want to count the ones they like.

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One thing that distinguishes Trumpite election denialism from earlier versions is that it starts with Trump's narcissistic pathology and turns it into a political doctrine immune to evidence. Trump said beforehand that if he lost, it was necessarily fraudulent. His cult followers took the same position: that Trump couldn't conceivably lose a fair election, because they revered him and couldn't believe that so many people detested him.

It's a religious faith, which evidence cannot break through. Some, when questioned, have actually said that nothing would persuade them that the election wasn't stolen -- just as some said that nothing Trump did could ever make them stop supporting him.

On top of that is the sweeping distrust of American institutions that runs through the MAGA right wing, which has been intensified by Trump's disdain for institutional norms and laws. When institutions have attempted to hold him to the rule of law, Trumpites accuse them of perfidiously hamstringing or attacking the Duly Elected President who represented the Will of the American People.

When longstanding institutions, including a fair number of Republican officials, attested that the election was not stolen, Trumpites had their rejoinder teed up: It was all the Deep State waging an unholy war on Trump, and those GOP officials were backstabbers. So MAGA world - in the name of "draining the swamp" - is aiming to seed the institutions with MAGA loyalists who would not commit the sin of putting institutional integrity or rule of law above the wishes of Donald Trump or any of his acolytes.

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Nov 8, 2022·edited Nov 8, 2022

Prigozhin not only "admitted" his role in US election interference, the SOB boasted of it and of continuing to do it.

My guess is that 95% of the so-called "Republicans" in the U.S. House and Senate will ignore this or excuse their former and current God King of any conscious collaboration with the Russian's admission.

I spent 20 years intensively, along with many, many others, working in the U.S. Navy (Naval Security Group) to protect our nation and our government from the many threats against us posed by the Soviets (Russian government). I consistently justified my service by asserting that those of us in the U.S. Armed Forces protected the rights under our Constitution of all in our country regardless of their different positions and policies.

Now, I wonder how or why I fooled myself so completely. For I certainly cannot support anyone or any group who ignores, decries, or belittles our Constitution to benefit our nation's self-proclaimed enemies.

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George Conway for President! Oh wait, that would make Kellyanne Conway First Lady. Still, it might be what we need to do to get some Republicans on board.

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founding

No thanks.

We could stick him in the DOJ instead.

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Yet, in spite of this confession of past and present interference in our elections, Fox News and news media in general continue to view this interference as fake news especially that revealed in the 2016 election. As the Russian oligarch promises more of the same in future elections, we are faced with the incredible gullibility of the many minions under the spell of Trump. Mesmerizing, an 18th century fraudulent phenomenon, has been resurrected by this fraudster creating political and social havoc because he can with impunity, at least so far. Will there ever be a reckoning?

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I saw an unexpected rainbow a few minutes ago (extremely rare in my area). A small sign of hope.

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Does that counteract the predawn eclipse of the moon this morning?

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Didn't see that one. Did see the blood red one a few months ago - that was in prime time here on the west coast. Beautiful.

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Bill Leuders quotes Joseph Farah making the stunningly bad-faith (and very common) argument that "the cause of J6" was "not enough police." Farah blithely skips over the question of why more police were needed that day -- besides being dishonest about who was at fault for insufficient forces.

His case boils down to: "Democrats are the real culprits because they didn't bring out a heavy force to beat back Republican rioters -- oh, and when the police did use force against a rioter getting too close to the legislators she was hunting down, that was very, very bad."

The absurdity of the argument suggests that he's not trying to explain anything -- only to deflect from the sins of his allies.

There's also the dishonesty beneath this: "There were not enough police. At some point they opened the doors." Well, Mr. Farah, what happened in the hours leading up to "some point" when "they" -- who, precisely? -- opened "the doors" -- which doors? All of them?

There is nothing intellectually or morally serious about the MAGA efforts to explain away what MAGA rioters did that day, and what Trump did to make it happen. It's all just spin to justify having gotten 100% behind a sociopath and being committed to the proposition that every criticism of him and his cult followers is an attack on America itself arising from a corrupt "deep state."

Joseph Farah boycotted his daughter's wedding because, after loyally serving Trump for some years, she finally decided that she could no longer defend someone who went to such lengths to stay in power unlawfully, having lost an election that his campaign's internal polling had shown him likely to lose and then lying relentlessly about it. Joseph Farah decided he could not tolerate a daughter who made that choice. He put the "honor" of Donald Trump ahead of his own family.

That's the kind of person who will defend Donald Trump to the last -- and patch together any fairy tale he can to cover up the streak of violence that Trump's brand of politics has encouraged.

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I know we're all focused on the vote today, but I can't not respond to Mona's piece , which hits a very deep chord with me. I've seen the disparity between boys and girls and school in my own family. TBH I have a very low opinion of public school in the US. Little girls often are doing well enough - because they love pleasing the very nice, sweet, sticker-giving-out teachers. Little boys - not so much. My little son had a thriving mind from the start. Get him going on video games, bugs, spiders, frogs, cheetahs, etc and he was off. But got pretty much shut down at school - bored, lazy, just not into it, except for recess.

My third grade grand-girl ( who I homeschooled during Covid - huge shout out to Sal at Khan Academy for providing us with math curriculum that put her above grade level ),loved her very sweet, nice, cuddly lady second grade teacher. But her love for Ms Sweet Teacher and all the cute stickers handed out did not translate to enthusiastic, hard working learning. Now, in third grade, she has a male teacher. What a difference. I now see her putting her head down, with focused attention on what she's doing, learning how to learn, not just how to please the teacher. She recounts in great detail the plot and characters of the book Mr Teacher is reading aloud. He has activated her mind and her pride in learning.

It's my (very unpopular ) opinion that American public education needs a complete retooling. From the start of the day til the end. And please, yes, let's get more men teaching the early grades. Let's design curriculum that ignites little boys and little girls. Minds are terrible things to waste don't you know.

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Poppycock! Where was mom during the time this one female teacher was mistreating her daughter by giving her stickers, stifling a real education and maligning goals? Blaming the teacher for perceived shortcomings - let alone due to the gender of the teacher. Indeed this had to be a Mona article. Suppose those nuns (females) who schooled me weren’t responsible at all for the successes I have in my life? Not only were they superior scholastically teaching me but was given the added benefit of discipline and to have the highest goals, virtues and decency.

The one male lay teacher I did have in grade school was a Nazi who thought it best to throw erasures at kids in class or stand in front of the class, with arms outstretched and add textbooks to the top of your hands. Only thing I remember about him. But I’m sure there were other good male teachers at the school.

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Real men don't teach little children unless they're after something or gay. /s Not very macho you know - or rather what our distorted culture thinks is macho. Way back into witch-hunts against child care workers (the McMartin case), the hatred and attacks were most vehement against the male caregivers.

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I have a relative-in-law who's gay and teaches early grades. He strikes me as someone who would be a great teacher, and I wouldn't suspect his motives any more than those of the male teachers I had.

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They’re not.

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So sad :( I can't but help feel that these types of hysterias proliferate because the reality is so much less comforting. Most sexual abuse takes place in kid's own homes. It's dads, stepdads, uncles, grandpas, older cousins, mom's new boyfriends. Isn't it more comforting to blame it on a Satanic cult?

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I was also psyched to her weigh in on the "red-shirting boys" phenomenon. Also my son's daycare has a mostly female staff, with one young man on the teaching staff. All the kids adore him, and I'm so sad that men aren't encouraged to go into early education more often. It's clear that he plays an important role as role model, in addition to being an excellent teacher.

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I have two grandsons and yes, this worries me. The dark money going into demonizing teachers and public schools also worries me. Following the money, I believe for-profit charter schools (or the sneaky not-for-profit which contracts with for-profit) will be the future. Our public money will be again (again and again) for private gain.

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In JVL's thread yesterday, someone posted a quote from the great political philosopher Nick Fury: "hope for the best, prepare for the worst."

I am very worried about what happens if there's a red tsunami that pushes hardcore election deniers into office. (The Senate is kind of a sideshow compared to the much lower-profile Secretary of State races that could make all the difference in 2024.) But there's a fine line between concern and fatalism.

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I will not be following election news tonight. There is no real point to it. Give me a call in a week or two when the count and lawsuits are done. Until then it is a lot of angst/hope/fear/anger about something that (after I voted) I have no control over.

As I said earlier--the ability to invest money (luckily or skillfully) is a non-indicator about the ability to actually RUN a company or manage people.

I know more than a little bit about managing people, having been an NCO in the US military and having held a variety of supervisory positions and having been a teacher for 26 years.

It takes skill and a lot of hard work... and an actual understanding of people.

At the bottom of it I really do not think that Elon actually understands people very well. He might have an understanding of technology and a potential vision. But he is entirely too Elon-focused to deal with other people other than from a position of power.

And lots of people have vision. It isn't actually rare... and it is often wrong or off... or mistimed. Star Trek "invented" the cell phone in the 60's and the iPad in the 80's... they even called it a PADD.

Read some decent science fiction and you will see what I am talking about (and by science fiction I do not mean Star Wars or pretty much any Marvel movie).

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Ben Bova was a great futurist writer.

I'm still waiting for the nanobot treatments from his Moonbase series.

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Lots of good writers. I am probably more familiar with the older ones than the new ones... Bova is certainly one I am familiar with.

Some others:

Isaac Asimov (robots, anyone?)

Heinlein (although some of his stuff borders on the pornographic in the later works)

Arthur C Clarke (Rendezvous with Rama is IMO far better than 2001: Space Odyssey)

Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle (the Mote in God's Eye is a must read)

William Gibson (the original cyberpunk stuff)

Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game is a must read)

Military SF:

David Drake (Hammer's Slammers)

Niven/Pournelle again (John Christian Falkenberg)

David Weber (Honor Harrington--Horatio Hornblower in space)

John Ringo

If you are interested in politics or the environment or women in culture:

LE Modesitt

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