Dredging the Fringe

After two posts on intellectual topics, books, let’s check back in with the fringe, perhaps in a more condensed manner than I usually do.

I’ve said several times that Republicans are interested only in solving imaginary problems (wokeness, CRT), not real ones (climate change). This latest example (about the border crisis), already noted, has reached the front page of the New York Times. That and other links: the story is told in the headlines and subtitles.

NY Times, 25 Jan 2024: Trump Strengthens Grip on Capitol Hill as He Presses Toward Nomination, subtitled “The former president’s opposition has all but killed the prospects for a bipartisan border deal, reflecting how his influence in Congress has grown as he gains ground in the Republican primary.”

Salon, Heather Digby Parton, 26 Jan 2024: Trump’s border power play is a push for civil war, subtitled “Donald Trump wants Congress to refuse to do any deal until he can win and create the “PERFECT” border” (My comment: Perfection, everyone should understand, is the enemy of the good.)

Wall Street Journal, 25 Jan 2024: A GOP Border Reckoning, subtitled “We’ll soon know if the party really wants to solve the problem.” — via Joe.My.God WSJ Condemns Trump For “Sabotaging” Border Deal

Huffington Post, 24 Jan 2024: Trump Privately Pressuring GOP Senators To ‘Kill’ Border Deal To Deny Biden A Win, subtitled “The former president is telling Republicans he ‘doesn’t want Biden to have a victory’ in 2024, said a source familiar with the bipartisan negotiations.”


Next theme: how conservatives tend to blame every problem on something they personally don’t like. Hurricanes because gays, and so on. In this case, they’re revealing racist tendencies even they may not realize. They don’t like DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives, and so the problems at Boeing must be due to those. What they reveal is their belief that anyone who is not a white male must suspected to be incompetent.

Vox, 25 Jan 2024: No, DEI isn’t making airplanes fall apart, subtitled “Republicans have launched an ill-informed campaign to blame diversity policies for aircraft safety issues.”

Slate, 26 Jan 2024: Forget the Art of Scapegoating, subtitled “Conservatives are perfecting a totally new strategy for their anti-DEI efforts—inventing problems wholesale.”

These types of news cycles move fast, but if you take a look into the internet circus right now, you might find conservative discourse dominated by the most out-there question that the ecosphere has homed in on in a long time: Are Black people to blame for America’s aviation safety crisis?

Quotes from Charlie Kirk and Rob Schneider.


Next: how do Trump’s fans not understand who he is? Or do they, and reveal the base of human nature?

Salon, Chauncey DeVega, 26 Jan 2024: Why Trump’s followers still love the boss: Crime is a feature, not a bug, subtitled “Trump’s true believers will never abandon him. They love his vicious, amoral behavior. It’s time to face that”

Salon, Chauncey DeVega, 25 Jan 2024: Trump ramps up the threats of violence — and as usual, the media looks away, subtitled “How has the mainstream media continually failed to recognize the threat? Let us count the ways”

LGBTQNation, 25 Jan 2024: Conservatives wanted “mental acuity” to be a top 2024 election issue. It’s blowing up in their face., subtitled “His mind is scrambled eggs!”

The Daily Beast, 23 Jan 2024: CNN and MSNBC Forced to Fact Check Error-Riddled Trump Victory Speech, subtitled “After tuning into Trump’s live comments, it only took seconds for Rachel Maddow to cut in and correct the record.”

Politifact, 23 Jan 2024: After New Hampshire primary win, Donald Trump misleads on Democrats voting, immigration, border wall


How Republicans demonize “indoctrination” about things they don’t like, but push indoctrination into things they do. They don’t realize the irony.

Joe.My.God, 25 Jan 2024: Florida Advances Bill Forcing Public Schools To Set Aside Time For Student Recruiting By “Patriotic Organizations”

Joe.My.God, 25 Jan 2024: Iowa Bill Would Force Students To Sing Anthem Daily

More about Republican “freedoms”:

Joe.My.God, 25 Jan 2024: Florida Advances Bill To “Legally De-Trans” Individuals


Right Wing Watch, 23 Jan 2024: Trump Cultist Mark Burns Proves There Is Nothing MAGA Can’t Turn Into A Conspiracy Theory

AlterNet, David Badash, 24 Jan 2024: Eric Trump alleges ‘all-out war on God’ since father’s election loss

I take claims like this as an indictment against religion. I saw a Facebook video a day or two ago in which a Trump supporter asked the interviewer, Have you read the Bible? Because some characters in the Bible were just as bad as Trump, and she excused Trump because he was no worse than a Biblical character.

I take this as an indictment against the Bible. Why do people worship bad people? Is that where their morality really comes from? Recall how they want the Ten Commandments of Moses (OT) posted in schools and public building, but not the Beatitudes of Jesus (NT).


Washington Post, Alexandra Petri, 25 Jan 2024: Opinion | It is possible that some of us have been mishearing God

Why, yes of course, I would say; this is a story about a Colorado pastor who perpetrated a cryptocurrency fraud, because God told him to.

Coincidentally, I saw this quote on Facebook today:

Susan B. Anthony Quotes

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

This has been obvious for so many of us, for so long.

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