Our cultural cold war is about to boil into open conflict, thanks to last week’s Supreme Court decisions. Some of us think we’re ready, but we’re not.
I’m not saying we’re going to be shooting each other by next Tuesday or even next year. Just that the last remaining bridge between the old culture of America and the new culture of elite America got blown to smithereens. Last week was a point of no return with the Supreme Court’s Obamacare (“the Constitution is whatever we want it to be”) decision and gay marriage decision.
Coming someday to a country near you? As of last night, only 40% of ATM machines in Greece still had money in them.
I’ve been collecting links on the Confederate flag idiocy — collecting links and absurdities by the thousands, it seems — then closing the pages again and letting them go.
I hope to have something to say about this cultural cleansing and how rapidly it’s consumed the brains of heretofore sane individuals and corporate managers. But frankly, the whole business is so flabbergasting I haven’t yet thought of the right words.
You may have noticed that BHM had problems yesterday. These were due to a major site overhaul and server move that should eventually produce good results (especially for mobile users).
But the upgrade was handled … um, gracelessly. We bloggers were caught by surprise (I was in the middle of posting at the moment things went unexpectedly haywire) and at least one reader reported getting a message that the site downage was due to a February 2010 upgrade. I gather there are still a few improvements to come, but things should be calmer today.
One of those things they didn’t teach us in school: “Born Free and Equal.” How a pair of Revolutionary War-era court cases helped end slavery in the north.
I’ve stayed away from the whole kerfluffle over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the rebellion that refused fast-track authority to Obama. To me, there’s only one issue: the TPP is secret. So at best there’s nothing (yet) to support or oppose and at worst, it’s an act of tyranny. Then how is it that so many business publications and supposed freedomista publications wail and lament the (no doubt temporary) failure of TPP/TPA? Just because somebody’s attached the words “free trade” to something doesn’t make it so. And c’mon. Does anybody really think Obama would want TPP if it were about actual free trade?
Oh well. Here’s a movingly strange SF story for you.
Xterra update (for those who care)
A repair on Friday fixed nothing while getting false hopes up. The mechanic then prevailed upon me to put the beast on a diagnostic scanner for a third time.
As before, the only code the wretched four-wheeled monster throws is P1320 — distributor issues. Yes, if you’ve been counting, the distributor has already been replaced twice (three times if you include the fact that it was successfully replaced 40k miles ago).
The guys who put the Xterra to the test were aware of the previous diagnostics and previous failures of new distributors to make one bit of difference. Certain vehicles, they concluded, simply require OEM distributors and nothing else will do.
So that’s either just shy of $200 from a junkyard (and who can even be sure it’s really an OEM part or what condition it might be in) or nearly $400 for a new (or maybe it’s remanufactured), guaranteed Nissan part. But though it’s guaranteed, it’s also listed as non-returnable because it’s an electronic part. Which confuses me to the max.
I spent hours researching but haven’t clicked to buy. I’ve lost all faith in the pronouncements of both diagnostic computers and “expert” mechanics. I can’t see spending that kind of money on yet another wild guess. Especially if the purchase might be irrevocable.
But many other suggestions (thank you) have been checked and didn’t pan out. Or they still remain to be tried but will be resource-consuming shots in the dark. How many weeks or months? How much money? And how many shots in the dark will it take? Somebody who loves the challenges of machinery might think this is nothing. Me? All I want is a ride that actually runs.
The only things I’m certain of are a) right now I’m inclined to give the Xterra away to any mechanically adept person who’ll take it off my hands and b) I’m going to take to drink. Very soon.
So I’m with Tucker, who talks about sustainability, while I also admire Cantwell’s fire and intransigence. Philosophically, I don’t think the two are as far apart as Cantwell perceives himself as being from Tucker — though attitudinally Cantwell is way, way out there. That is, out in the territory where he offends and perhaps scares even fellow anarchists.
If I were to sit down to a drink with one or the other of them, I’d choose Tucker. But I expect Cantwell’s the more entertaining YouTuber.
But OMG, the anger. Cantwell is not only angry; he promotes rage as a vital tool in an activist’s arsenal. He’s not only uncompromising; he’s intolerant of making common cause with allies who may not be fully philosophically on board. He not only advocates being rigorously well-informed; but he wants us all to have answers for every argument.
Just reading his words wears me out. While thinking about how to respond, I realized I already made my answer — nine years ago in those columns linked above. So no, I’m not going to essay an answer or answer him with an essay now. Commentariat, feel free to have at it.
I’ll just note that such fury and fierce focus as Cantwell advocates isn’t sustainable. Being driven by rage is not living. Certainly it’s not living free. Except for the rare individual who thrives on conflict (which Cantwell seems to be), that way lies burnout.
And as the angry activist goes up in flames, a lot of potential friends get singed.
(BTW, if any of you loyal blog readers want to buy one of the books linked at the bottom of that piece, you might come back over here and enter Amazon through my links. Amazon forbids using my links on any site but this one and TZP doesn’t have its own Amazon Associates account. So the links with the post are just plain-vanilla, nobody-gets-any-credit ones.)
The Sugar Pine Mine situation in Oregon, which a lot of people have been cautiously watching, is not yet (and hopefully won’t have to become) a stand-off with the Bureau of Land Management. But according to David Codrea, Oath Keepers (bless ’em) has been on the scene to provide security as the confrontation remains tense.
Oath Keepers is looking for responsible volunteers (no agenda-driven grandstanders/provocateurs) to support them at a noon rally in Medford, Oregon, today. They are also looking for a camp cook, medical personnel, and other volunteers with specific skills. They may need other help in the future, as well. Potential volunteers should take their lead from Oath Keepers and (other than for today’s rally) should contact local Oath Keepers organizers in advance; don’t just show up.
Josephine County, where this situation is developing, is one of the poorest (if not the poorest) county in Oregon. Much of it is remote and in many ways it is a forbidding, if utterly gorgeous, place. Like many areas that rely on income from natural resources, it has been economically crushed by regulations and there has been quiet hostility building for years between the people and the fedgov.
Josephine County is part of the State of Jefferson, a unique area that takes its identity seriously even if Jefferson statehood was never officially sanctioned.
Whatever happens with the Sugar Pine Mine dispute, expect interesting developments out of Jefferson. Eventually.
The story of the reserve deputy who killed a pinned-down suspect in Tulsa County gets worse and worse. Wonder who this cop is or who he knows that entire chains of officialdom were ordered to falsify records for him? Ohhhh, wait. It says right there in the article …
And of course so will “security” ‘crats in DC. ‘Cause you know we still don’t have enough surveillance. I wonder … why don’t these people ever get that this sort of excess ends badly. Every. Single. Time. It ends badly. (H/T jed)