Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

4,243 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. Erik: With regard to abortion, Ireland in Europe used to be an outlier for a long time.

    The transformation of Ireland is something that should give us optimism that things can change for the better.

    And right now Poland tries to take that position…

    Well, their current administration seems to have that ambition but they are still nominally a democracy, so we’ll see at the next elecions, *checks wikipedia* in Autumn 2023

    …but there is not such polarisation as in USA, not even close.

    I wonder if a move to independence of states and groups of states is a future possibility without a new civil war.

  2. Kantian Naturalist: As for how we got to this point: as I see it, the decisive error was made by Bill Clinton and Al Gore when they decided to abandon the working class. They decided that the future of the Democrats was with college educated suburban voters, and stopped caring about working class people and people with a high school education (or less). They abandoned the working class and left them completely vulnerable to right-wing populists like Trump. The “Trumpification” of the working class has been a long time coming — I’ve seen it developing my whole life.

    The real power seems to reside in the puppet masters who control corporations, decide which labour markets to exploit, which political groups to finance. I mean, who is Robert Mercer?

  3. Alan Fox: I wonder if a move to independence of states and groups of states is a future possibility without a new civil war.

    It would not be a civil war, but the ordinary war then. The majority would be a bunch of failed states.

  4. Alan Fox:
    The composition of the US Supreme Court does seem very odd to this outsider. How did it come to this?

    I alluded to this earlier, I think. The anti-abortion cause has been supported by a very large number of single-issue voters. They have been organized, funded, focused, patient, and tireless. And as KN implies, these are not traits associated with the Democrats. Trump had strong support among a large voting bloc of evangelicals willing to hold their noses in exchange for anti-rights justices.

  5. Kantian Naturalist: The Senate took the rather unprecedented step of refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Obama’s one nominee, Merrick Garland.

    Actually, McConnell refused to refer ANY of Obama’s candidates to the judiciary committee for ANY federal judiciary position, not just Merrick Garland. When Trump took office, there were over 200 vacancies in the federal judiciary McConnell refused to fill. And McConnell has himself boasted that the single thing he is most proud of in his life is using his office to pack the judiciary with young far-right ideologists.

    He also claimed (proudly) that other than ignoring all bills coming out of the House that weren’t absolutely required to fund the government, all the Senate did for 4 years was rubber-stamp slates of nominated judges fed to him from the Federalist Society. He has said, quite accurately, that the federal judiciary will decide along Republican party lines long after he’s dead and gone.

    And if the Republicans are successful in changing voting procedures so they can simply refuse to certify majority-Democrat votes in their districts, then we can confidently anticipate a return to the Golden Age (though they don’t quite all agree when that was).

  6. Seems completely bizarre to me that judicial appointments in th US are in the hands of politicians and there is no effective assessment of competence and no effective sanction on incumbents who fall short.

  7. Alan Fox:
    Seems completely bizarre to me that judicial appointments in th US are in the hands of politicians and there is no effective assessment of competence and no effective sanction on incumbents who fall short.

    Well, there’s the problem that we face in the US. The Constitution as written does address both the need for effective assessment of competence and effective sanction on incumbents who fall short. The people who wrote the Constitution couldn’t have imagined a situation in which these procedures are turned into a public spectacle without serious content or simply disregarded altogether.

    As the Constitution was written, the basic assumption is that each branch of the federal government will be so jealous of its own power that it will be constantly restraining the others — likewise that there will be a constant push-pull between the federal government and the state governments. They didn’t imagine — and I would say, could nothave imagined — a case in which a single political ideology subverts the entire system from within, much less a case in which that political ideology is maintained by a steadily decreasing percentage of the population.

    It is difficult to convey to non-Americans how deeply anti-democratic the American system is. Consider the Senate. Each state gets two senators regardless of population. So a senator from California may represent almost 20 million people, whereas a senator from from Wyoming may represent 290,000 people. (Taking the populations of those states and dividing roughly in half.)

    In other words, each Wyoming resident gets 1/290,000th of a senatorial voice, but each Californian gets 1/20 millionth of a senatorial voice. The result is that each Wyomingian gets far more political representation than any Californian.

    And, because of how the Electoral College is set up, this systematic anti-democratic bias spills over there.

    It should also be mentioned that Election Day is not a federal holiday. This means that people can only vote before or after work, or request time off without pay in order to vote. That’s one of the reasons why you see these incredibly long queues. Plus, voting centers are usually under-staffed and difficult to get to, especially for people in the working classes. This is not the only reason why voting turnout is so low, but it’s one of them.

    To put those numbers into perspective, consider that Donald Trump was elected president in 2020 with about 20% of eligible voters supporting him. (Note that that’s eligible voters, so I’m not even counting the millions of Black people who have been disenfranchised because of systemic racism in the prison industry.)

    It’s not a shock that 20% of Americans would vote for a person as venal, corrupt, and vulgar as Donald Trump — that’s not really a solvable problem — but the problem is that one can become president with 20% of the vote.

  8. Flint: And if the Republicans are successful in changing voting procedures so they can simply refuse to certify majority-Democrat votes in their districts, then we can confidently anticipate a return to the Golden Age (though they don’t quite all agree when that was).

    Yes — for some it was the 1950s, for others it was a few hundred years earlier. They all seem to agree that the one thing that the federal government is good for is the US military. If they have their way, the US will become a coalition of 50 sovereign governments that collectively manage the most destructive military power in human history. No more social security, environmental protection, national parks, public museums — all of the stuff that people in Canada and Europe have learned to take for granted as what government is for.

    Needless to say, each state will be so heavily gerrymandered that Black and Brown people will have almost no political representation at all — and if they get too agitated and angry, the well-funded militarized police are on-hand to take them to prison, where they will spend the rest of their lives deprived of basic human rights and subjected to constant exploitation and degradation. But, competition from prisons helps keep wages low, so companies have a vested interest in mass incarceration system and will donate heavily to “law and order” prosecutors and politicians.

    I’m sure that every country has its share of problems that look very grim to those who live in that country. I’m just sharing the perspective of one particular American.

  9. Kantian Naturalist:
    Needless to say, each state will be so heavily gerrymandered that Black and Brown people will have almost no political representation at all

    Well, back in at least one version of the Golden Age, minorities of inferior people were barred from voting at all, as is only reasonable. There were literacy tests, poll taxes, and armed intimidation where laws didn’t simply prohibit negro voting. Today’s voting restrictions and gerrymandering, effective as they are, don’t do nearly as complete a job of disenfranchising undesirables.

    Originally even Senators were selected indirectly through electors. The electoral college was created with the explicit intent to protect democracy from the Great Unwashed, who were recognized by the founding fathers to be ignorant, biased, and entirely too likely to elect a Disapproved Candidate. The Presidency was considered too important to be entrusted to the wrong (that is, the common) people.

    The hopelessly slanted playing field of the Senate was a necessary compromise with the smaller states, who feared that their interests couldn’t compete with bigger states. At the time the national interest was hypothetical, but state interests were immediate and real. I doubt anyone could have anticipated a Senate where half the Senators could represent 70% of the population.

    But hey, without a solid structural minority rule, we would have actual checks and balances, and we’d never return to the Golden Age.

  10. Flint: The electoral college was created with the explicit intent to protect democracy from the Great Unwashed, who were recognized by the founding fathers to be ignorant, biased, and entirely too likely to elect a Disapproved Candidate. The Presidency was considered too important to be entrusted to the wrong (that is, the common) people.

    Didn’t the founding fathers get this part right? Isn’t Trump exactly riding on the Great Unwashed (who usually don’t even get up from the couch to vote)?

    I don’t consider the senator system (each Wyoming resident gets 1/290,000th of a senatorial voice, but each Californian gets 1/20 millionth of a senatorial voice, as KN mentioned) a particularly undemocratic element. Regional autonomy is often a good thing. It should be obvious that there need to be checks and balances, so that a whacky election outcome would not go straight to highest office or a whacky commander-in-chief would not wreck the system. This is the idea of checks and balances.

    The problem in USA is that there are too many checks and balances, too many obstacles to getting people’s vote to count, and also that the checks and balances sometimes fail tragically, i.e. some stupid failed businessman can still mobilise the whackiest mob and become the president even while losing the popular vote.

    The serious undemocratic element in the US elections system is, first, the party system: People only get two candidates, no more. The two candidates are selected by two parties (the parties, not the people), no more.

    Second, there is the electoral college. It’s really the electoral college who determines the president (Trump had exactly the right tack to steal the elections by trying to manipulate the electoral college outcome – this is the most vulnerable point of the elections). If the electoral college is hung, then the courts (currently packed with activist Repubs) decide.

    Third, despite of all these facts written clearly enough into the constitution (i.e. the President is elected by the electoral college and the electoral college is *appointed* by the states) Americans are under collective delusion that the people are electing the president. This is one very big mass delusion and nobody seems to be willing to acknowledge it.

    The part that the founding fathers got seriously wrong with all the checks and balances stuff was the impeachment. It has turned out that the president, no matter how whacky and nutty, is unimpeachable. The impeachment process has never once yielded a positive result in the history of the United States (there’s one exception when the *threat* of impeachment worked against Nixon – it turned out he had a conscience). History says that the only effective way to remove an unwanted president from the office is assassination.

  11. Alan Fox:

    Also, as I’ve often complained about, I don’t think we have any women contributing here currently (or at UD). I don’t see how another discussion by men concerning the rights of women would be very productive.

    Yep. I wanted to post this very thought, Alan, but you beat me to it.

  12. Kantian Naturalist: The Senate took the rather unprecedented step of refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Obama’s one nominee, Merrick Garland. (This is different from rejecting a nominee on the basis of confirmation hearings, which has happened in the past. I’m not sure it’s happened since 1987.)

    So, the Senate created a situation that the far right could then take advantage of, by suggesting to the Trump administration two conservative Catholics (Kavanaugh and Barrett) plus Gorsuch. So 1/3 of the Court consists of Trump appointees.

    (Some liberals blame Ginsberg for refusing to retire while Obama was in office and he could replace her with another liberal. My conjecture was that she simply refused to accept the possibility that Clinton could lose to someone like Trump.)

    Totally agree with this.

    I think there’s something to this, though I have a somewhat different interpretation.

    As I see it, the Democrats and Republicans have very different attitudes towards norms, procedures, and institutions.

    The Republicans will be committed to norms and procedures if doing so allows them to advance their policy objectives and will abandon norms and procedures if that’s what advances their policy objectives. This is what makes them seem like hypocrites, but there’s a clear vision at work: adherence to procedures is a means like any other, and it’s fine if doing so advances them towards the goal, and not if it doesn’t.

    By contrast, Democrats have a commitment to norms, procedures, and institutions for their own sake. Nancy Pelosi recently said, “we need a strong Republican Party.” This isn’t true — the country doesn’t need one — but the Democrats need a party that they can oppose. At bottom, all the Democrats offer is opposition to whatever the Republicans are doing. The Republicans know exactly what they want and how they’re going to get there, and they set the terms of the debate. The Democrats do not have a compelling vision of what they want the country to be like, who they want us to become, or how they’re going to solve any of the problems that we face.

    Put in general terms, the Democrats are a conservative party and the Republicans are a reactionary party. I say that because the Democrats want only to hold onto existing norms and procedures for as long as possible, regardless of the harms those procedures are causing — because those procedures benefit the wealthiest of all Americans, and those are the people who donate to the Democrats.

    I think you’re not being entirely fair here, or at least oversimplifying the issues.

    I see many democrats offering a clear vision of a US. They want a liberalization of the supposed “traditions” and “taboos” of the 1950s US, particularly the recently articulated calls for a 1950s US that never actually existed. Further, they are not simply against a “Christianizing” of the US from a policy standpoint, but a much stronger approach to creating a genuine “religious plurality”. As you noted in a few comments recently, the folks claim “religious liberties” and “good Christian values” are not historical or even philosophical “Christians” in any sense, but rather White Christian Nationalists who wish to impose an (shall I say it?) an extremist white ethnocentrism Taliban. There are democrats who are not merely against this; they genuinely envision a different kind of US society. I would not call that conservative.

    The Republicans are radical reactionaries who want to dismantle the New Deal, the Civil Rights movement, and the gains made in the 1970s and since for women and LBGT people.

    I agree, but I’ll note that it’s not just a reactionaryism, but also a desire for something they feel they lost that they feel was a foundation of an Americana they dreamed about. The fact that what they believe they lost never actually existed is still a very conservative attitude in my book.

    For the Democrats, it’s always the 1990s and nothing will change that — for the Republicans, they want to return us to the 1950s (but without returning us to the very low levels of income inequality and steeply progressive taxation that made their idyllic world possible in the first place).

    Sigh…I can’t really argue with this, but I want to…

    So the reason why the Democrats haven’t taken advantage of the January 6 insurrection isn’t because politicians don’t like solving problems, but because the Democrats don’t have any positive policy proposals or even a vision of what they hope to accomplish. All that they offer is resistance and opposition to whatever the Republicans are up to.

    I think this is unfair. The way our government is set up, the idea that the democrats as a whole could do anything on their own is just ridiculous. We have set up a system where the minority of the populace is granted a great deal of power beyond its stature. To say the democrats could have used Jan 6 to take advantage of public policy is silly; nearly half the people in the US currently see Jan 6 as the good guys staging a Boston-style tea party. I seriously don’t see the inability of the democrats to get people to see Jan 6 for what it was as an issue with democrats so much as a cult-like adherence to Trumpism.

    As for how we got to this point: as I see it, the decisive error was made by Bill Clinton and Al Gore when they decided to abandon the working class. They decided that the future of the Democrats was with college educated suburban voters, and stopped caring about working class people and people with a high school education (or less). They abandoned the working class and left them completely vulnerable to right-wing populists like Trump. The “Trumpification” of the working class has been a long time coming — I’ve seen it developing my whole life.

    I would argue that much of the current issues and approaches can be traced back to Nixon and the Southern Strategy, though I think that set up what you indicate above. That and courting the religious extreme has given the republicans a base with strong grievances.

  13. Erik: Didn’t the founding fathers get this part right? Isn’t Trump exactly riding on the Great Unwashed (who usually don’t even get up from the couch to vote)?

    I don’t consider the senator system (each Wyoming resident gets 1/290,000th of a senatorial voice, but each Californian gets 1/20 millionth of a senatorial voice, as KN mentioned) a particularly undemocratic element. Regional autonomy is often a good thing. It should be obvious that there need to be checks and balances, so that a whacky election outcome would not go straight to highest office or a whacky commander-in-chief would not wreck the system. This is the idea of checks and balances.

    I can’t believe I’m agreeing with you, Erik, but by-and-large, I think you’re spot on here. I do believe that the founders specifically saw the regional autonomy (“the State”) as a feature, not a bug. The one issue I’ll note is that I don’t think the founders ever envisioned a regional difference like what we have with California and Wyoming.

    The problem in USA is that there are too many checks and balances, too many obstacles to getting people’s vote to count, and also that the checks and balances sometimes fail tragically, i.e. some stupid failed businessman can still mobilise the whackiest mob and become the president even while losing the popular vote.

    True, but I also think they envisioned this as a feature and not a bug.

    The serious undemocratic element in the US elections system is, first, the party system: People only get two candidates, no more. The two candidates are selected by two parties (the parties, not the people), no more.

    Here’s where I disagree with you. I think a three or a four (or even more) party system could be made to work, but I think the founders realized that the majority of people distill their preferences for a leader. As such, by limiting the number of parties, you grant that at least some issues that some people have will be adopted by one of the parties. Plus, you guarantee that the majority of issues get distilled down to either for or against. More parties means very few people get anything close to what they want; two parties means more compromise and more hard siding.

    Second, there is the electoral college. It’s really the electoral college who determines the president (Trump had exactly the right tack to steal the elections by trying to manipulate the electoral college outcome – this is the most vulnerable point of the elections). If the electoral college is hung, then the courts (currently packed with activist Repubs) decide.

    Bingo!

    Third, despite of all these facts written clearly enough into the constitution (i.e. the President is elected by the electoral college and the electoral college is *appointed* by the states) Americans are under collective delusion that the people are electing the president. This is one very big mass delusion and nobody seems to be willing to acknowledge it.

    Likely true.

    The part that the founding fathers got seriously wrong with all the checks and balances stuff was the impeachment. It has turned out that the president, no matter how whacky and nutty, is unimpeachable. The impeachment process has never once yielded a positive result in the history of the United States (there’s one exception when the *threat* of impeachment worked against Nixon – it turned out he had a conscience). History says that the only effective way to remove an unwanted president from the office is assassination.

    I don’t think you’re entirely wrong here, Erik, but I guess I have a somewhat more idealized view. The founders believed, rightly or wrongly, that the majority of people who would become representatives of this country and people would be educated people with a moral compass and a overall desire for the good of the country. We’ve discovered that, like in role-playing games, there are people who don’t care about the spirit or intent of the greater good and can, with the right support, game the system for their own advantage. Still, I think there are folk who do have that moral compass (the Raffensbergers of the nation come to mind) who will continue to hinder such folk and ultimately will work to close such loopholes. At least, I hope that’s the case.

  14. Regarding Jan 6, I think the Democrats could have easily made USA into a one-party country. USA has a two-party system/tradition, but seeing that one party just attempted a coup, it is possible to brute-force a countercoup and wipe out the disgraced party citing national security. Historically this has happened time and again in other countries and it works often enough. The main issue is managing the mass of political prisoners and exiles after this.

    But Democrats did not make USA into a one-party country, because they are not the totalitarian commie authoritarian nazis that the Repubs like to portray them as. Instead, Democrats like things as they are, namely a two-party system, and they like that their main political enemy is currently disgraced and therefore presumably weak.

    The problem with this attitude is that the polarisation of the population is so steep, post-truthism is so rampant, that Repubs are not really weak. Running on the vilest instincts and stupidest conspiratorial assertions Republicans have an actual popular base. The political discourse has basically ceased to be; the whackiest platforms have a sufficient constituency. It may take some time before the situation devolves into the kind of elections that bear more resemblance to civil war (like every election in Jamaica or in some Latin American countries), but a good start in that direction was made at the top level on Jan 6 2021.

  15. Robin:
    Here’s where I disagree with you. I think a three or a four (or even more) party system could be made to work, but I think the founders realized that the majority of people distill their preferences for a leader. As such, by limiting the number of parties, you grant that at least some issues that some people have will be adopted by one of the parties. Plus, you guarantee that the majority of issues get distilled down to either for or against. More parties means very few people get anything close to what they want; two parties means more compromise and more hard siding.

    Uh, no. The two-party system we have is entirely due to the structure of requiring single-member districts. Third parties have made many attempts to horn in, but have never been successful. Even the Republicans didn’t start out as a third party, they simply replaced the Whigs as one of two parties. The only way to have more than two parties (of any policy-related significance) is to eliminate the single member districts and have lots of candidates running at large, and the top N vote-getters are electerd. We see much of Europe following this model, and European parliaments have representatives of many parties, from the vegan party to the fascist party. I need to emphasize that so long as we have single-member winner-takes-all districts, third parties have no chance.

    And we see the problem in Europe is, too often there isn’t one single party that can govern by itself. Not even the President can be elected using this model, so he’s selected by some (often temporary) coalition of two or more parties. Coalitions form and dissolve issue by issue. So instead of the US model of locked-in minority rule (where the minority gets to pick their voters), you get more of a drunkard’s walk approach to government. As KN says, in the US the Republicans have a unified vision, government by and for the white and wealthy, following rules, precedents and tradition only when those things support their vision. In much of Europe there’s no real vision, and government often does stupid (as opposed to evil) things — though even in Europe money still talks.

    I should mention that the electoral college no longer operates as was originally intended. The electors were envisioned as wise and politically experienced people (mostly known to the founders personally) who have the power to simply ignore the popular vote and select someone they know and trust. The practice (not legal restriction) of having all electors from a state vote with the popular majority (which in fact isn’t the case in Maine and Nebraska) is more recent. The current result of lots of little states overwhelming the larger states is exactly the opposite of the original intention – and allows for the election of flagrantly corrupt and dishonest candidates. Donald Trump is exactly the sort of candidate the electoral college was created to guarantee could never be elected.

  16. Erik:

    The problem with this attitude is that the polarisation of the population is so steep, post-truthism is so rampant, that Repubs are not really weak. Running on the vilest instincts and stupidest conspiratorial assertions Republicans have an actual popular base. The political discourse has basically ceased to be

    I don’t think so. We have a powerful tradition of brand loyalty, what has been called the ham sandwich theory, whereby people will elect a ham sandwich with the D or R in front of their name, because they have always voted that party and have never bothered to follow politics very much. What the Republicans figured out (and give Trump credit for taking full advantage), is that enough elections are decided by swing voters not addicted to either party. And they realized that the way to snag the majority of the swing voters was to appeal to bigotry, a far more influential target than even the economy. My reading is, Democrats remain in denial of the sheer breadth and depth of bigotry ordinary voters take so much for granted in themselves they don’t even realize it. Not even when Republicans make it clear they want to keep all the brown people out, disenfranchise those already here, and build a 2000-mile symbolic wall to let the shithole countries know their people are not welcome here. Norway, though…

    We have to have the Pogo epihany — we have met the enemy, and they are us.

  17. Flint: Plus, you guarantee that the majority of issues get distilled down to either for or against. More parties means very few people get anything close to what they want; two parties means more compromise and more hard siding.

    I’d be curious to know where this is not true.

    I mean, some place that actually has multiple ethnic groups representing significant percentages of the population.

    My pet theory, based on watching elections since 1958, that politics has become nastier as victory margins have become narrower. Kennedy Nixon was the first presidential election in which the word stolen was put forth with some vigor.

    Now, margins of thousands, even hundreds, are common.

  18. petrushka: I’d be curious to know where this is not true.

    Uh, you aren’t quoting me, you are quoting Robin saying something I disagreed with at some length.

    I also disagree with you. Yes, politics have become nastier, but this is exactly NOT because victory margins have become narrower, but because gerrymandering has created seats so safe that they are held by politicians who can afford to be nasty. Gerrymandering has balkanized America into such polarized groups that both parties (according to opinion polls) now regard the other party as a direct, immediate danger to our nation – a danger so severe that a disturbing percentage of those polled agree that taking up weapons and defending against the infidel (that is, the other party) may well be necessary. There is no need to compromise when there is no danger of losing at the polls. Especially when one party is working successfully to dictate electoral outcomes regardless of the popular vote.

  19. dazz:
    Who else was rooting for the lettuce?
    Suck it up, randroids!

    What comes next? I think the lettuce has peaked too early

  20. Alan Fox: What comes next? I think the lettuce has peaked too early

    The next general election will be in 2025, right? Hopefully the labour party wins that by a landslide. Are there no mechanisms for anticipated elections in the UK?

  21. dazz

    I believe a general election could be triggered if the House of Commons declares a no confidence vote, but they wouldn’t dare — the Conservatives know that they’ll get shellacked in a general election, so they will avoid that at all costs. The PMship will keep getting tossed around like a hot potato.

    But there’s nothing that prevents the British public from petitioning King Charles to appoint a PM of his choice.

  22. Kantian Naturalist: I believe a general election could be triggered if the House of Commons declares a no confidence vote, but they wouldn’t dare — the Conservatives know that they’ll get shellacked in a general election, so they will avoid that at all costs. The PMship will keep getting tossed around like a hot potato.

    I see, thanks. You’re probably right, the Tories won’t call for an election while being 30 points down in the polls.

    Kantian Naturalist: But there’s nothing that prevents the British public from petitioning King Charles to appoint a PM of his choice.

    WTF? What percentage of people would need to sign that petition? I wouldn’t trust a fucking monarch to pick a decent PM in a million years. I’m guessing that would only happen if the situation gets really, really bad.

  23. Alan Fox: Boris is back (barring a miracle).

    Blimey, some comments don’t age well. There was a miracle! Boris has gone back to sulking his tent while that young Mr Sunak has a go at running things.

  24. Alan Fox:
    @ dazz

    In other news, it’s good to see sensible discussions taking place among Spanish and Catalan politicians.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/23/catalan-president-independence-vote-spain-negotiations-madrid/

    Yep, that’s what happens when you don’t have a nationalist government trying to capitalize on conflicts with other nationalists at every step of the way, to gain an electoral advantage. You break the nationalist feedback loop and for the most part, the problem is solved, for now anyway. Getting rid of the monarchy would also help immensely, but conservatives simply don’t get it. What a bunch of bootlickers, heh.

  25. dazz: The silence of the military is kind of scary though. I don’t know, let’s hope it’s nothing.

    Oh, I was thinking their silence means they may stay uninvolved.

  26. Alan Fox: Oh,I was thinking their silence means they may stay uninvolved.

    Hope you’re right, what do I know.
    Apparently truckers are blocking roads everywhere, and the state governors have been instructed to deploy the police to put an end to the protests. Maybe we’ll get an idea of what’s going to happen based on whether the police (most of whom, support Bolsonaro) will do their job or not.

  27. For the first time in six years, I’m venturing back to England. Have theatre visits booked and family visits planned so there’s going to be little or no input from me for the next couple of weeks.

    *Ignores shouts of hooray, make it longer*

    I’ll try and keep an eye out for new members and for posts that need publishing (PM or email at the contact address will find me) but as there are now four active admins, there shouldn’t be a problem.

    Hasta la vista, babies!

  28. So, the excess mortality is up in the world, especially in the vaccine affordable world. Good thing every expert, like DNA-jerk agrees that those hundreds of thousands of dead bodies have not been affected by mRNA gene therapies….

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