They Once Blew Up a Classroom Over Textbooks, So, Yeah, There Will Be Violence

In 1974, in West Virginia, protesters used dynamite and Molotov cocktails against the buildings of their enemies. The protesters were upset that the Board of Education of Kanawha County voted to update the textbooks in the district's language arts classes to include more modern authors in an effort to be more inclusive and multiracial. Kanawha County is the biggest in the state, and it includes the capital, Charleston. A fundamentalist Christian member of the board, Alice Moore, discovered that some of the new books included profanity, sex, evolution, and Freud. Oh, they also contained works by Black activists like Malcom X. Moore said that she was upset that the new books would teach American history in a way "unduly favoring Blacks." Yeah, the connections to the current fuckery over curriculum in schools are that blatant. 

Moore was able to get churches and conservative groups all worked up and calls for the books to be banned became school boycotts, which became marches that included the KKK and, of course, Confederate flags, and those marches led to violence, including 15 sticks of dynamite used to blow up part of the school board building and dynamite thrown into a first grade classroom, where, fortunately, no one was present, but the room was ruined. The books were temporarily removed from schools, but, as a Village Voice article from 1974 says, "During the weeks the books were out of the schools, English teachers all over the county were scared to teach anything but grammar in case any work of literature, even Shakespeare, goaded some hotheads to bomb their buildings." Shots were fired at a school bus, homes were shot at and bombed, and more. 

And it was all over goddamn school textbooks. I mean, look, if I feel like giving any credit at all to the violent fucknuts that plague us, I can, in the most abstract way possible, understand how someone who has been gorging themselves to vomiting on lies and Christian bullshit would get it in their heads that clinics where abortions are performed are murdering people, so they need to be closed. Again, the violent fucknuts are wrong and insane, but I get it. I get bombing military recruiting centers in the Vietnam War. I don't agree, but, shit, I get that when you think you're saving lives, you might be inclined to extremism. But this shit was over books, and the crazed motherfuckers went full-bore terrorism, based in the area's churches that preached their bible is the only book anyone needed. And to prove how fucking Christian they were, "one preacher prayed fervently and publicly for the death of three school board members."

This was fear, man, fear of how the world was changing, how nonwhites were being treated with increasing equality, how women were going to work, how kids were rebelling against the nonsensical religious garbage. When the old ways die and when there are people in power who support the old ways going into the shit heap of history, the desire to halt what we might quaintly call "progress" will inspire savagery. 

Today, I don't think we're heading into a civil war. I've said before that we are too lazy a nation, and arresting people can do a helluva job in slapping down the insurrection erection to a flaccid effort. 

However, it's hard not to believe that we're going to see violence going into and as a result of November 8's midterm election. Death threats have gutted local elections offices. Armed fucknuts are showing up to oversee ballot drop boxes. And that's not getting into the nonstop stream of death threats and other threats of violence (and, with the most recent attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband by a fucknut who wanted to assassinate Pelosi, actual violence) against elected officials. You shouldn't need to have a spine of steel to sit at a goddamn table and count votes for minimum wage. You shouldn't have to worry about your life being ruined by online barbarians just for doing your job. And I haven't even gotten into all the threats and violence against school officials and teachers.

Right now, Republicans are telling MAGA cretins and other assorted shitheels and scumfucks that they are going to win back the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. They are saying that there is no way they can legitimately lose, and, in fact, if they do lose, it must be because of Democratic fraud, cheating, and theft. Tucker Carlson, who has the laugh of someone having a great time fucking a corpse, has proclaimed as much to his millions of Nazi and Nazi-adjacent viewers. GOP candidates like Kari Lake, who you know masturbates with a Trump-shaped dildo, and Blake Masters, who you know masturbates with a Peter Thiel-shaped dildo, are refusing to say they'll accept the results of the election if they lose. 

How do you think those armed and ready assholes are gonna react if Democrats end up winning? Hell, the GOP could win both houses, but if there's an election where they think they should have won, like with Herschel Walker in Georgia, that's gonna tell the locked and loaded crowd it's go time. Christ, speaking of Georgia, I don't wanna think about how insane the state's gonna get if Stacey Abrams wins the governorship. If you tell gullible motherfuckers that those who oppose you are satanic baby murderers who steal elections so they can murder more babies, more than a few of those motherfuckers are gonna react as if that's true.

It's fucking madness that we're even living through this, that we're not just talking about it, but fully expecting it and preparing for it. 

And the point of the story I started with, about what became known as the "Textbook Wars," is not just that violence can happen over the stupidest goddamn things. No, the point is about what came after, when the violence was over and the protests ended and people went to jail for the worst acts and everyone went back to their lives and the books were allowed to be used.

Yeah, that's right. But the Board of Education gave each school the right to say whether or not they used them. And a good many of the schools did not. After a few years, in some schools, thousands of unused books were burned just to dispose of them to open up storage space. And Alice Moore got the school board to pass a new regulation that prohibited any books that "pry into home life; teach racial hatred; undermine religious, ethnic, or racial groups; encourage sedition; insult patriotism; teach that an alien form of government is acceptable; use the name of God in vain; or use offensive language."

In other words, the regressive bastards won the battle. And the war rages on.

(Some of the info in here comes from the fascinating BBC podcast Things Fell Apart, where Jon Ronson delves into the origins of some recent culture war battles. I was dismayed and angered remembering some of the stories in there.)


The Questions Republican Candidates Aren't Being Asked Enough (or At All)

We know that if Republicans win back even one house of Congress, the whole place will become a nightmare of masturbating clowns, all cackling wildly as they rub and tug their greasepainted genitals to a screaming spurt and then declare they're ride-or-die Americans just engaged in old-fashioned horseplay to own the libs. Unfortunately, not enough attention has been paid to just how fucking insane that is. The typical Democrat will say, "Republicans will take away your abortion rights and destroy democracy." What they need to add is "and they're scary clowns jacking off on the Constitution." 

I don't think that most Americans really understand that part. Sure, we here on the musky Twitter machine have that awareness, but we are not most Americans. While the moderators of the debates I've seen or read about do ask if the Republican accepts that Joe Biden won the 2020 election or if the Republican will accept the results of the 2022 election, voters need to know what they're getting with the GOP candidates. Because, see, it sure as shit seems as if a lot of voters think that when they vote for Republicans this cycle, they're trading already tenuous abortion rights for cheaper milk and safer streets. They don't realize that what they're really getting is a pack of crazed clowns who will spooge on them after they murder them.

For instance, as far as I've seen, no debate moderator or TV interviewer has asked a GOP candidate, "If the Justice Department indicts former president Donald Trump, will you do anything to hinder that prosecution?" We know already that, should the GOP win in November, potential future Speaker of the House and awkward walrus Kevin McCarthy and rejected Glengarry Glen Ross character Jim Jordan, among other skeevy Republicans, have pledged to investigate the DOJ over the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago, Trump's decaying fake home in Florida. We know that the GOP is promising to shut down the government and gut the economy with a rusty shiv and dance in its entrails if they don't get to cut Social Security and Medicare. So since the pieces are all there, c'mon, make the motherfuckers say if they'll use us all as a human shield to prevent anything happening to Trump. 

Along those lines, ask them if they'll do anything to prevent prosecutions of the criminals who attacked the Capitol. Again, we know that a Republican House will shut down the January 6 Committee. Hell, some of them have even said they'll investigate the members of the committee for...fuck, I don't know, so let's just say "for reasons." The majority of Americans support the work of the committee. It seems like it might be important to find out if the GOP plans to cut its legs and heart out.

Ask candidates what investigations they will support. Republicans are teeing up a shit-ton of probes. They're gonna investigate Hunter Biden because Fox "news" and QAnon nutzoids demand it, even if there's not a single goddamn reason to do it. They're gonna investigate Dr. Anthony Fauci because of course they will. They're gonna investigate anyone who ever said or did anything to make Donald Trump or his terrible children feel bad, including the FBI. And you bet your fucking life they're gonna investigate the absolute horseshit about the "stolen" 2020 election. The crazies will riot if they don't. They're gonna investigate critical race theory, drag queens, and doctors who help transgender kids. And the fucking voters deserve to know if this is the shit they're voting for. In 2020, Democratic candidates were very clear that investigating the Trump administration was on the table. Get the GOP candidates on the record.  

And if Republicans are going to make a big fucking stink about things, ask them what the fuck they're gonna do about it. "Okay, Rep. Trumphumper, you keep saying inflation is out of control. What the fuck are you gonna do about it?" Or "Tell us, Mr. Qsucker, what the fuck are you gonna do about all the crime you say is going on out there?" The answer, of course, is not a goddamn thing. On inflation, they say they're gonna cut government spending. So? All that does is harm people at the bottom. And they say they're gonna end government regulations. This shit is to make life easier on corporations, who will almost assuredly not pass the profits on to the consumers (see: the greedy pigs in the oil and gas industry). On crime, they're gonna "incentivize" the hiring of more cops, which is utterly fucking meaningless. They have no fucking plans beyond controlling people's bodies and minds and enriching the rich while tricking the rubes into thinking that racism and hatred is a viable course for domestic policies as long as their evil Christian nationalist ideology can fuck shit up for the rest of us. While these questions may get asked, candidates need to be pressed to give real answers.

So this note is for local media, including debate moderators: Ask your candidates if they are going to do their fucking jobs or waste everyone's time on utter and complete bullshit. And ask Republicans point blank if they intend to join in any effort to shut down the federal government, something that the vast majority of voters despise. In the MAGA districts, it won't matter: the more batshit, the better for those troglodytes. But in races where it's tight, get 'em on the record. If a candidate is a masturbating clown, it's better to know now that to wait until they're in office and put on the wig and nose and break out the lube.

Oh, one more question: Ask Republican candidates if they intend to support the effort to impeach Joe Biden. Just to see. 

(Note: I have not watched every debate or read every article on every congressional election. I'm only one human being, goddamnit. If these questions have been asked in a race you're watching, lemme know and I'll be glad to update.)


The Patriotic Case for Jailing Donald Trump

Thursday's hearing by the January 6 Committee was clarifying in the way that a great closing argument at a trial can be, pulling together threads that had previously come up and demonstrating how someone is guilty of the crime or crimes they've been accused of. What is so absolutely glisteningly clear is that Donald Trump, while President of the United States (a thing that really did happen), tried to overturn a legitimate election he had lost. What's more, he knew that he had lost the election and he knew that the election had been legitimate. What's more, he knew ahead of time how the voting was going to go for the election, that mail-in ballots, the number of which surged because voters were encouraged to vote by mail during the pandemic, would be counted later and break towards Biden. Because he knew this, he planned, with others, in advance to say he had won, even if he had lost, and then to fight it out to the bitter end, making everything that came after premeditated.

What's more, he knew he was calling on supporters, many of whom were inclined towards violence against Democrats and what they perceived as RINOs, to come to Washington, DC and march on the Capitol to stop the counting of the Electoral College votes. What's more, when the expected violence started, he did nothing to stop it for hours, abandoning his Oath of Office and watching on TV to see if the violent mob might succeed. 

What's more, to this day, Trump keeps propagating something he knows is a lie, which is not only causing threats of violence and harassment of election workers and politicians. And his language is leading to the strong possibility that a bunch of those who go along with the erroneous election belief will be elected themselves, so that, even if Trump doesn't run, they will do possibly irreparable harm to the democracy and to the nation. 

And yet, for some reason, Donald Trump has not been jailed. He is free to "truth" out election lies and QAnon conspiracy madness. He holds rallies where he preens and prances like a parody of a dictator, warning his decreasing crowds of crazy cretins to be prepared to fight for him or to make sure that his lies never die, even if he goes ungently into that good night. He is investigated and investigated, giving the impression that those investigating him do not have enough to indict or arrest him, let alone convict him. Perhaps that is true, but that hasn't been tested yet, but the narrative sticks because of how Trump has slipped out of any attempt to hold him accountable, except for the 2020 election.

Maybe I'm naive, and I'm certainly not a lawyer or legal expert, but if someone's stated goal is to overthrow the elected government of the United States and that someone is fomenting violence and threats of violence against those who don't want to overthrow the elected government of the United States, then it would be patriotic to arrest that person. It would be patriotic to hold them without bail until trial so that they can't keep fanning the flames of rebellion, a rebellion that is based on lies that have been called lies by people across the political spectrum and by dozens of courts of law.

This isn't some wild, leftist idea about what Trump deserves. It's based on Trump's words, actions and inactions, and the results of all of that. Even in his petulant letter responding to the January 6 Committee's subpoena of him, Trump holds the insurrectionists blameless, implying that the riot, violence, and lawlessness that day was justified. He said that the committee has "targeted only those who were, as concerned American Citizens, protesting the Fraud itself." How does that not send the message that Trump wanted the violence on that day? He is saying that what the rioters did was right.

He continues to insist that there is a vast conspiracy involving thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, including members of Congress of both parties, state and local officials of both parties, election workers of both parties, and more, without a shred of genuine evidence to support any of it. Meanwhile, the Republican Party, which is now primarily existing to support the lies about the 2020 presidential election (but, oddly, not the election of anyone else in that year), is poised to get elected hundreds of people who are fully invested in the conspiracy and who want to declare invalid any election where their candidate loses. They want to be able to easily overturn the will of the people in presidential elections and, no doubt, any other election, undermining the very foundation American democracy is built on, however wobbly that foundation might be. And despite the power they will have, these officials will represent a minority of population of the country, and they who will use any means to gain this power. Right now, they talk constantly about using violence to achieve those ends if they have to. 

Again, I'm asking how is it not the height of patriotism to want to stop that?

One other genuinely chilling thing discussed at the hearing on Thursday is that Trump wanted to act deliberately to undermine an incoming Biden administration (which, obviously, he would only do if he knew he had lost the election). "Knowing he was leaving office," Republican Adam Kinzinger said, "he acted immediately and signed this order on November 11th, which would have required the immediate withdrawal of troops from Somalia and Afghanistan, all to be complete before the Biden inauguration on January 20th." If it had been acted on, there would have been a "catastrophic" mess left behind for Biden to clean up, in addition to the catastrophic mess of the economy and the Covid pandemic Trump was dumping on the way out. But think about that order for a moment: Trump was going to cause deaths and plunge nations into anarchy just to make Biden's first days in office miserable. At least when Biden withdrew troops, the outcome was his to deal with.

All of this and I haven't even gotten into how the Secret Service and FBI are likely corrupted by Trump and his ground troops in the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and other groups, to the point that some agents may very well have been coordinating with the 1/6 rioters. It is damn hard to escape the idea that Trump was hoping that members of Congress who opposed him would be killed. I can't help but think that that's what he wanted when he watched the events unfold for over 3 hours on January 6, 2021, refusing to lift a finger to stop the mayhem. This is a man, after all, who loves going to boxing matches. He enjoys violence. 

So I'm not saying that Trump shouldn't have a trial. But I am saying, as I have before, that we hold people who are obviously dangerous in jail without bail as they await trial. This isn't a game. The normal rules have been tossed out the window. If it's all unprecedented, then we need to respond in unprecedented ways.

What could be more dangerous than a former president trying to wreck the country and force it to conform to his fantasy? We know what happens when leaders do that. It never ends well. For the good of the country, for the good of our constitution, that's what needs to happen to Donald Trump. It's what should have happened on January 6. 

The MAGA crowd keeps insisting that they are the real Americans, but if to be American, you need to fall in line behind one person, then that's antithetical to what the country is supposed to be, even in its worst moments. So I'm taking back American identity: if you love this country, you want to see Donald Trump behind bars. That's the measure of who is a real patriot.


Herschel Walker Proves That All That GOP Abortion Shit Was a Lie

I've never seen a grift given away quite as blatantly as it was by right-wing talk thing Dana Loesch (motto: "I was too fucking crazy for the NRA"). In talking about the revelation that ultra-anti-abortion Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, running against incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock, paid for a girlfriend's abortion, Loesch started with "What I’m about to say is in no means a contradiction or a compromise of a principle," which automatically means "I'm throwing my principles out the window faster than a priest at Disney World." Then she just fucking said it, the thing we all knew was true but that none of them had the guts to just let everyone know: "I am concerned about one thing, and one thing only at this point. So, I don’t care if Herschel Walker paid to abort endangered baby eagles. I want control of the Senate."

And there you go. Loesch has previously and repeatedly called abortion "infanticide." Or, you know, "baby murder." So, by that logic, within the rhetoric of the anti-abortion right, Herschel Walker is like someone who has paid a hitman to off someone, which is, you know, a crime. But Loesch is way cool with Walker conspiring to murder a baby as long as he might get elected and vote to stop more abortions. Or, as Loesch put it, "If the Daily Beast story is true, you’re telling me Walker used his money to reportedly pay some skank for an abortion and Warnock wants to use all of our monies to pay a whole bunch of skanks for abortions." In other words, abortion isn't the serious crime they keep saying it is. I mean, you're pretty much saying, "Hey, I'd elect Son of Sam if he promised to stop more serial killers. He only murdered 6 people."

If she had an ethical bone in her body (spoiler alert: she does not), if anyone in the GOP had an ethical bone in their body (spoiler alert: they do not), they would say that it's time for Walker to step aside and regroup, awaiting someone who isn't a goddamn brain-damaged, violent, misogynistic lunatic who paid for at least one abortion (because there really might be more than one). Of course, that's not what they're doing. They got their concussed Black candidate to run against the genuinely decent and genuinely progressive Raphael Warnock. 

Frankly, the exploitation of obviously mentally-unwell ex-football player Walker is downright disgusting. I'd pity Walker if I thought he was capable of change, if I thought he might have a moment of self-reflection and wonder, "What the fuck am I doing?" Instead, every bug in Walker's brain becomes a feature or another bunch of dust to be swept under the very lumpy carpet. Walker has threatened to kill his ex-wife and his grown son. He lied about the number of children he had, leaving off the ones he had abandoned, all while condemning the Black community because of the number of "fatherless" kids. And he's said bizarre, moronic, and downright incomprehensible things on the campaign trail, all with the same placid smile that says, "I don't fully grasp the meaning of what I'm doing, but I sure like the attention." Running him as a candidate is one of the most cynical things the GOP has done this election cycle. As Elie Mystal has put it, "Republicans have rallied around him because they think Black Georgians are just addled enough to vote for touchdowns over basic public competence." Spoiler: They're not.

I get the notion of tolerating the sins of your candidates. No one is perfect. But when a politician does literally the opposite of what they claim they believe and what they claim you believe, it's beyond hypocrisy, a word that has no meaning anymore for Republicans, and into flat out lying. But, as we know with Trump, lying doesn't matter. Living in an alternate reality doesn't matter. Nothing matters. Hell, it doesn't matter that Walker can go on lipless fuck Hugh Hewitt's show and say about paying for the abortion, which he denies doing, "Had that happened, I would have said it, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of there." What the fuck does that mean? The very party he's part of wants to criminalize his behavior. In Texas, Walker would have a bounty on his head for doing it. Not feeling shame would seem to make the whole thing worse.

But Walker is forgiven because of the deep desire for more power. That shit means more than anything. Hell, it's why fundamentalist Christian nutzoids put aside their beliefs because Walker is a meat puppet for the radical right and will get more judges in place in a GOP majority Senate. Oh, and Walker has given the all-purpose out: he's proclaimed his love for Jesus. "I was forgiven, the Lord has forgiven me," Walker said. He didn't explain how the fuck he figured out he was forgiven of his sins by an invisible sky wizard, so I'm gonna go with "Made that shit up like every born again asshole." Seriously, unless you get a fucking letter in fire or some shit, don't tell me you know what your god says about you. But the MAGA Christians are all in on Walker and don't give a shit that Warnock is an actual, you know, reverend. Whatever God says, they've forgiven him for paying for (at least one) abortion and I'm sure they'll forgive him for all the lies he's telling now.

The GOP simply doesn't give a shit about how shitty Walker is. They'll put up with anything. He could fuck a donkey while shoving a crucifix up his ass, and they'll say, "Well, at least he'll vote for tax cuts for the wealthy and for judges who will end birth control and gay marriage." His son Christian, who is ultra-conservative himself, could put out a video showing Walker beating a baby to death, and good church people would say, "Herschel gets a pass on baby murder because he'll definitely stop others from murdering babies, no matter how many babies he murders, even if that's a lot of babies."

It's nihilism. It's exploitation. It's horrendous and pathetic. It's everything that Republicans are right now. They couldn't give a dry rat shit about what we think about their hypocrisy and mendaciousness. They will damn their souls gleefully to bring damnation to the rest of us. And the repulsive fuckstains who make up their base will gobble it up like shit from Jesus's ass. None of them care. 

And that fucks us on the left because we actually do give a fuck. We lose power because we give a shit who is in power. That shouldn't be a quaint notion, but it's getting goddamn hard not to debase ourselves just to keep up.


On Mental Health, Like on Everything Else, Republicans Are Always Liars

In June, during the debate over two Democratic-sponsored bills with mild new rules for purchase and ownership of firearms in the wake of the horrific school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, Republicans predictably lost their collective shit over "muh 2nd 'Mendment." Putting aside the fact that without the guns, people in all kinds of mental states would not be able to shoot other people, what was fascinating in that GOP shit-losing was how many times Republicans said that they wanted to pass bills that addressed mental health issues, not guns. It's as if they found a magical talking point and they waved it like a wand made of liberal tears.

For instance:

Rep. August Pfluger of Texas claimed that Republicans had a bill that provided funding for "mental health counselors" for schools.

Rep. Michelle Fishbach of Minnesota affirmed that Republicans "stand ready to work with the majority to directly address school safety, mental health, and the root causes of gun violence."

Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas insisted that Republicans were big supporters of mental health programs: "Yesterday, in the Rules Committee, it was stated that Republicans vote against all mental health bills. I don't know where that concept comes from. Republicans passed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which represents the most significant reform to the mental health system in several decades."

Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska was clear on what he thought the bills were missing: "What this piece of legislation does not do is address how the shooter in the majority of these incidents has exhibited concerning behaviors on social media and in public and it does not provide mental health services to those who need it."

Rep. Cliff Bentz of Oregon felt much the same: "Instead of politicizing the response, we should be actually enforcing our existing laws and addressing the mental health crisis that results in these terrible events."

In fact, the House GOP declared that it did already "support mental health care."

So, on Thursday of this week, when given the chance to vote on the Mental Health Matters Act, which specifically expands access to mental health services for many Americans, including students, they must have obviously been in favor it. I mean, to do otherwise would be the height of the hypocrisy. They were pretty fucking clear on how they felt much more needed to be done to help people.

But we're talking about Republicans here. And they already rail against abortion while having or paying for abortions. They want to take away rights from LGBT people while being LGBT themselves. Hypocrisy is like air to these motherfuckers: they couldn't exist without it. So, yeah, they were fucking lying when it comes to their expressed desire to get people needed services for their mental health. 

One Republican voted for the bill while 205 voted against it, including every single one I mentioned above there. Why? Well, reasons, of course. The bill would eliminate some arbitration requirements on disputes between employees and their health plan administrators, thus taking some power away from corporations, including big insurers. And then there's this truly, epically idiotic rant from Rep. Bob Good of Virginia:

"The China virus lockdowns of our schools resulted in an undisputed increase in mental health issues for our students, for our children. This bill is yet another leftist response to the lockdown problems that Democrats created. Thanks to Democrat lockdowns in collusion with their beloved teachers  unions, students across this country are suffering academically and mentally."

Does it get fucking crazier? Oh, yeah. It gets fucking crazier: "History will judge us harshly for how we treated children during the China virus pandemic, regarding how this government crushed the economy, this government crushed small businesses, this government crushed individual liberties and sacrificed our children on the altar of the leftist political agenda and the special interest groups."

In other words, the kids need help but because the help is coming from Democrats, fuck those kids. 

In otherer words, Republicans are goddamn liars about caring for the mental health of children or anyone, really. The easiest proof of that is that people still vote for them despite the fact that they are obvious liars. If you get everyone help with their mental health, hell, they might lose a lot of their voters.