Wait- We Mandate Auto Insurance Because Cars Can Kill People But We DON’T Mandate Insurance For Guns – Which Are DESIGNED To Kill?

Fact: if every gun owner had to insure every gun in their possession (and the penalties for NOT insuring were crushingly astronomical), America would not have a gun problem today.

The gun lobby has so bamboozled America that we’ve forgotten what guns are and what they aren’t. Forget what nonsense anyone uses to explain their gun purchase. They’re answering the wrong question. We shouldn’t ask “why do you need a gun?” – it’s too generic and it avoids the fact of what guns really are. The whole point of a gun’s design – the physics, the chemistry, the technology, the arrangement of gun parts across the device – is to send a piece of metal flying at speed across space and into a living target, the goal being to kill it. How can that NOT be your goal? You may not “want” to kill the living creature you just fired at, but killing them is one of the very real possibilities that firing your gun at them could produce. Killing someone was always a possibility the moment you took the gun from its gun safe (something guns aren’t designed to do – sit in a safe ). The true measure of whether or not someone’s a “responsible” gun owner begins the moment they give their gun a chance to do the thing they purchased it to do: kill.

Fact: no gun owner can say with one hundred percent certainty that once the gun is out and about – however it got there – that nothing unexpected will happen. No one can say accidents won’t or can’t happen. So – death is always a possibility when one purchases a death machine. So, the question isn’t “why did you buy a gun?”, it’s “why did you buy a death machine?” Hey, if Joe Citizen looks at the rest of us and honestly thinks they need that much protection from us? That’s not on us, that’s on John.

The Second Amendment – as written (not as reimagined by the gun lobby) is pro gun CONTROL. It contextualizes gun possession from a “well regulated militia’s” point of view – a militia being a group with combined mutual interests, safety above all – and puts the decision of who gets to “keep and bear” (it doesn’t use the word “own”) these arms – the REGULATION part – in the militia’s hands. In the absence of a defined militia, We The People become it. Our majority voice speaks for the militia. The majority of Americans (not being gun owners themselves) continue to speak clearly and distinctly about how WE feel the militia should handle these decisions – who gets to “keep and bear arms”. The militia – We The People – get to regulate however we like. The ONLY thing we know about the militia is that is IS regulated. So, why, in our democracy, can’t the militia’s – sorry, the majority’s – regulations and voice get heard?

Because of the gun lobby. The people who manufacture guns are exceptional at selling their product. They succeeded in turning the NRA from a gun safety organization into a gun manufacturer’s pimp.

Think of a shooting from the gun’s point of view. It’s guilty of nothing. It did what the person holding it wanted: it told everyone else that the person holding it had the power to kill them dead.

A lot of money has been spent on reframing how Americans – unlike any other people on earth – think about death machines. In Michigan, they just passed a law allowing high school students to conceal carry at school. Think about it… that KID (that’s what any 18 year old boy is) in Michigan needs to pass tests and get licensed to drive his car to school. His folks need to insure the car – and insure him – because cars, though designed to transport people from point A to point B – when driven by fallible human beings (like an 18 year old boy) – can do something they WEREN’T designed to do: hurt or kill people. Ah, but, as trained as our young man is as a driver, as licensed and insured as he is, no such qualifications apply to the death machine – designed to kill people – this young man has in his pocket.

Did I say “young man”? I meant ANGRY young man…

The reason there’s no such thing as “responsible gun ownership’ is because 1) it’s entirely made up and 2) we don’t mandate it. Gun owners can give their lame excuses for why they need guns (let’s put hunters aside for another day and conversation) and then convince themselves that, yes indeedy, they are what responsible gun owners look like. Know who thought that way? Nancy Lanza. Remember her? Nancy Lanza was Adam Lanza’s mom. Adam Lanza was the Sandy Hook shooter.

Nancy Lanza believe up until she died – unaware because her son shot her while she slept – that SHE was a “responsible gun owner”. You could not have convinced her otherwise. But then something unexpected happened and, before she even knew it, a “responsible” gun owner fell into the “irresponsible gun owner” column. It’s too bad the kids and adults who died at Sandy Hook didn’t get the warning. But, that’s the problem, ya see. We gun non-owners? We never get to know which of you gun owners are really, really responsible and which of you are full of shit until it’s too late. Sorry, but the data set says that “trusting you” that you are one of the responsible ones isn’t a very good idea.

If I get into an accident and I have no insurance, I will be liable. People seeking damages from me will have fair access to anything and everything I own. Irresponsibility’s gotta have a mega-steep price tag otherwise it becomes just one more option for the lazy and stupid. Want to know why gun owners are terrified at the prospect of having to insure their gun purchases? When the bean counters wade in, they’re going to make gun ownership – well, the cost of insuring one’s guns – prohibitively expensive for the majority of gun owners. Because accidents CAN (and do) happen – as the data proves.

Why don’t we mandate gun insurance for every gun purchase? Because of that same bamboozlement. The greedy gun lobby knows that mandated gun insurance will price the majority of their customers out of the market. And all those people with small arsenals? Think of their insurance costs. Because every weapons is a death machine all by itself (whose harm needs to be calculated on the harm it can do when OUT of its safe), every weapon needs to be insured individually. If such a thing came to pass, it would suck to be the gun manufacturers but be great to be in the insurance biz.

It simply can’t be said enough because it is the simple truth: every single gun manufactured is an accident or a tragedy that just hasn’t happened yet.

Republicans Are Overgrown Schoolyard Bullies – On Steroids

It’s weird, isn’t it, how some of us never leave the schoolyard? In a sense, the schoolyard never leaves those people; the schoolyard was where they peaked emotionally. “Bullies” (which includes pretty much everyone with an “R” still next to their name) look back fondly at their days terrorizing a schoolyard. They achieved a kind of mastery of their subject matter. the Zen of cruelty. They learned who they can cow, who will carry their water for them and who they needn’t bother with – because people with integrity don’t give in to bullies (without plotting to end their bullying). Republicans gravitate toward other, bigger bullies. That is, their faces light up in a bigger bully’s presence. Look at how Trump’s face lights up when he sees Vladimir Putin —

Putin bullies Trump because Putin owns Trump – a fact the entire Republican Party leadership knew before they even nominated Trump. On June 25, 2016, upon entering a meeting of GOP leaders, current GOPP Leader Kevin McCarthy said: “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to god!” Obviously, this fact isn’t something Trump wants known – otherwise, he’d blast it: “Putin pays me – that’s how much he loves me!” Trump has done everything in his power to prevent the rest of us from learning just how true that is. The Republicans have co-conspired to obstruct justice because they could very easily have called the FBI on that day – and warned them that their potential nominee to be POTUS was a grave national security threat. They didn’t; instead, the Republican Leadership rallied around then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan’s direction that they not talk about the subject any further – and that they keep this secret of theirs a secret.

See how bullying works? One bully compromises another and then that bully compromises a bunch of other bullies – guys like Lindsey Graham who famously said that if the Republican Party made Trump their nominee, that they would be the cause of their own downfall. Lindsey’s the worst kind of bully; in a crowd of gutless wonders, Lindsey is the most gutless. Perhaps the stories about Lindsey Graham preferring his lovers on the young side is true. Something has to explain how Donald Trump turned Lindsey from an impediment to an ally over the course of one golf outing together. When you hear Lindsey speak about Trump after that? Lindsey sounds like a bully who’s being bullied.

I have a feeling that, in time, we’ll learn how many Republicans were compromised by similar kompromat of one kind or another. I bet that number will be shocking. Think of all the avenues and openings there were! Remember Russia’s Mata Hari, Maria Butina? We already know some of the silly Republican men she seduced into treason (either sexually or otherwise): Rick Santorum, Wayne LaPierre (head of the NRA), conservative activist Paul Erickson who was “slowly cultivating a back channel to the Kremlin for years”. And what do ya suppose Ron Johnson and the rest of the Moscow Eight had for dinner in Moscow the evening of July 4, 2018? My betting is the vodka was icy cold, the blinis were warm and the treason was served piping hot. Let’s add Senators Richard Shelby (AL), Steve Daines (MT), John Hoeven (ND), John Kennedy (LA), Jerry Moran (KS) and John Thune (SD) plus Texas Rep Kay Granger) to the pile of traitors and bullies.

Doesn’t the word “bully” flash across your mind when you hear that Marjory Taylor Greene’s name is trending somewhere? Doesn’t the smirk permanently stuck to Laurene Boebert’s mouth parts scream “I’m a bully!”

Matt Gaetz going after underage girls was a total “I’m a bully” move. And, Jim Jordan famously turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse going on while he was pretty much “in the room”. Pick a Republican and there will be a story or two or three or a hundred about something untoward surrounding them. Let’s not forget: the January 6 insurrection didn’t happen spontaneously. It was planned (as meticulously as a bunch of racist incompetents can plan a thing). It was deliberate and ambitious and it knew that what it wanted to do was absolutely illegal.

The good news is that bullies – being cowards who never stand for anything – are doomed to be bullies forever. They’re never hard to spot, easy to predict and reliable as hell. Their schtick is their schtick is their schtick. They shrink when threatened and puff up in the face of other people’s vulnerabilities. If they can’t kick someone when that someone is down, the bully isn’t kicking them/

Because the bullies victim could get up and kick the bully’s ass.

After Trump, There Won’t BE A Republican Party Anymore

A wise man (more like a wise guy actually) once tweeted ““If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed… and we will deserve it.” That was Lindsey Graham and he knew exactly what he was talking about. What Lindsey understood – deep down, it turns out – is that Trump both personified the Republican Party’s worst, greediest, most power mad instincts and gave them a vehicle with which to sell those instincts. Trump was and is the GOP’s id run amok. As much as the GOP establishment hated Trump – and KNEW he was so compromised by Russia that he’d be a national security threat the instant he took office – they hitched their wagons to his – and willingly allowed Trump to take over their political party top to bottom. Republicans have always known for a fact that Trump was a stone cold traitor. They knew for a fact that keeping it secret was imperative. They knew for a fact that Trump was their shot at forcing permanent minority rule down America’s throat.

As Trump himself pointed out – as always saying the quiet parts out loud – if more Americans vote, it’s bad for Republicans. Maybe if the Republicans hadn’t willed themselves to be a white nationalist party, that wouldn’t be the case.

What the Republicans are doing to America – trying in every way they can to undermine our democracy, the integrity of the vote and the entire American franchise – isn’t their “opinion”. It isn’t a “campaign strategy” or a “political approach”. It’s insurrection by nonviolent means – bloodless perhaps but no less deadly to our democracy. Same goes for The Big Lie. It’s not “one side of the argument”. The Big Lie is zero sides of the argument because it’s bullshit. Lies are not an alternative to the Truth. Alternative facts are not facts, they’re the opposite of facts: they’re feelings pretending to be facts – not the same damned thing!

If the Republicans want to blame someone for why there won’t be a GOP anymore after Trump? They should blame Gerald R. Ford. When Ford straight out pardoned Nixon – to spare America the pain of confronting a corrupt president, what he actually did was message the perps “Better luck next time, boys”. Plan better. Execute better. Win, don’t lose. Consequently, neither Nixon nor the Republican establishment expressed an ounce of contrition. But then, Nixonians like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort weren’t feeling contrite. They began licking their wounds and plotting.

That’s Paul Manafort on the left, Roger Stone in the middle and Republican political strategist Lee Atwater. Had Gerald Ford not stood in the way of justice, had he not had the political establishment’s back, had he allowed the nation to indict, prosecute and judge Nixon, it’s quite possible that we wouldn’t be in the fix we’re in now. Being nice to pirates never seems to work out for anyone except the pirates. An unpunished Nixon gave Paul Manafort the idea that he could betray America and get away with it. An unpunished Paul Manafort (Trump pardoned Manafort and sprang him from prison) gave the entire GOP the idea that corruption was still the business of America.

Corruption is certainly the business the Republican Party is in. Unfortunately for them, that’s not a product most Americans will continue to buy going forwards.

When the Department of Justice finally begins indicting elected Republicans over their roles in the January 6 insurrection, they may not stop until virtually every single Republican either is indicted or has a date with a Grand Jury for questioning. The insurrection, we’re now learning, was very well organized. Very well funded. Very much a product of the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

The thing about rich white people? They love their creature comforts. Prison dinner and a hard, metal bed are not something these criminals ever envisioned for themselves. That doesn’t mean they haven’t earned it. If we want to stop these criminals from criming, we’re going to need to drive it home to them that acting like a criminal is expensive, unsatisfying and not even remotely worthwhile.

I’ll be surprised if the Republicans are still viable enough to run a candidate for POTUS in 2024. It won’t be Trump and never was going to be Trump. For him, the whole point of running for president now is to sit on his bloated white backside and collect political donations. The instant Trump stops running for office, his cash machine breaks down and he’s going to need every bit of cash he can get his teeny-tiny hands on to stave off the inevitable.

America has changed since Nixon was POTUS. We’ve gotten more diverse. Though still facing an unequal playing field, more and more Black, brown, Asian and LGBTQ Americans are finding their way to political power. Having been on corruption’s receiving end, they have zero tolerance for it. What Nixon got away with, Donald Trump will not. And once Trump’s day of reckoning begins, the GOP’s day of reckoning will roll right along with it.

I find it hard to believe that when all is done and said, when every last bit of the Republican Party’s power grab has been revealed for the criminal behavior it was that there will be enough Republicans not in prison to “be” a viable political party. And,, if the strands of this corrupt party were to resurrect themselves and present themselves to America as a going concern with ideas Americans could get behind, what the hell would they be selling anyway? Can one really say “Hey, we know we used to be the Party that hated you all, but that isn’t who we are now!”? Can a candidate pitch himself as the less authoritarian authoritarian?

It’s entirely possible that once the indictments start dropping that Republicans begin running for cover – and looking for deals. Don’t forget: this is about treason. The punishment for treason is death. And when more and more Republicans begin to grasp just how angry they’ve made a lot of Americans – and how unwilling more and more Americans are to show a bunch of traitors an ounce of mercy? They’ll begin ratting each other out like there’s no tomorrow. Shame for them – all the good deals will be gone by then. They’ll be getting the judicial scraps.

The people who will be responsible for ending the Republican Party are all Republicans. It cannot happen a microsecond too soon.

Everything The Republicans Are Doing Is Going To Blow Up In Their Faces

In a way, The Republican Party is about to become like a car-chasing dog that finally catches up to a car only to realize it never prepared itself for this moment – and this moment sucks – because the car just ran over it. On two different fronts, Republicans – white, Christian conservatives – are about achieve the very goals they dreamed about. But, like an old friend of mine (the Crypt Keeper) used to say, “Be careful what you wish for, kiddees, you might just get it!” Yes, religious conservatives will finally see the end of Roe v Wade. Core Republicans, libertarians, white supremacists and originalists will finally get to make voting as hard as possible for everyone who isn’t them. For about two seconds, conservatives will celebrate like it’s 1999! And then – in both cases – backlashes will begin in earnest. And those backlashes won’t stop until they’re spent. And where that will land us as a culture and a country? It’s the exact opposite of what these pirates want.

Do conservatives honestly think that the SCOTUS putting an end to Roe v Wade will stop abortion in America? Do they think women will be cowed into… what? Only having procreative sex just in case something happens? Do they think women in America will do nothing after a minority has stripped them of not only a right but their own bodily integrity? Do they think America’s women won’t remind them how cynical their whole “right to life” campaign has been – from the very get-go? Abortion rights were never a thing in America “until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools.” In fact, “W. A. Criswell, the Southern Baptist Convention’s former president and pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas—also one of the most famous fundamentalists of the 20th century—was pleased [emphasis mine]: “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person,” he said, “and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed [emphasis again mine].” The bottom line truth: Evangelicals – the drivers of the entire abortion debate – became “pro-life” only after their battle to maintain desegregated schools failed.

The abortion battle in America has never actually been about babies. It’s always been about racism. But the fact that the abortion battle gave religionistas and women-hating conservatives a “moral war” to wage against women and their bodies? That stone cold fact is going to be the big takeaway the instant the Supreme Court delivers the final coup de grace to Roe – the whole point of Mitch McConnell’s hijacking of the American judiciary and especially the SCOTUS. Take this to the bank and prepare to get rich beyond even Jeff Bezos’s wildest dreams: not only won’t America’s women take this lying down, they’re going to get hyper motivated by it. They’re going to vote out every politician who’s piggishly and priggishly violated their rights. They’ll focus, too, on the money that’s financed these politicians and their war on women.

Here’s an example of how the marketplace of ideas works here in reality. Remember Bill O’Reilly? Yeah, sure – Bill brags about his “online presence“. Ya think he wouldn’t kill everyone he knows to have his old job, his old show, his old life back? The reason Bill shills from the internet instead of Fox News is because America’s women decided they’d had enough of Bill – and America’s advertisers, like a canary in a coal mine, saw it way ahead of everyone. And they saw it because their clients – the companies manufacturing the products whose ad dollars pay for much of Fox News’ budget – saw it coming. And they saw it coming because they know for a fact that the bulk of big ticket buying decisions in American households get made by women.

When advertisers rejected Bill O’Reilly, he became persona non grata at ad reliant Fox. The democracy of the marketplace voted Bill O’ off the air.

The truth is, Roe v Wade never was the best way to get to abortion rights. It makes abortion a privacy choice rather than a health care choice. The fix can only be legislative – and it will be. And it will be sooner than the evangelicals realize. Take this to the bank and prepare to get even richer than before. The investigation into the January 6 insurrection – now beginning to focus on elected Republicans who conspired in it – and the DoJ’s growing examination of back stage Republican planning and financing of the insurrection – will claim hundreds of Republican political lives. The GOP is about to be gutted by the very corruption that overtook it. Purple states are about to go full blue. Red states are about to go purple. People with “R’s” next to their names are going to be fighting legal battles (and paying ungodly legal bills) that make running for office impossible.

Then there’s the second front the Republicans are about to open up against themselves: voting rights.

Let’s take one small anti-democratic law as an example – like the one they now have in Georgia that makes it illegal to give food or water to anyone standing in a line to vote. Let’s do a little thought experiment… It’s November 2022. The election is happening with every bit of Republican anti-voter lawmaking still in place – and an electorate that hates what the Republicans have done. Lines in Black, brown and Democratic districts are longer than ever – by design. Finally, the rage boils over into a collective action: a thousand people hand food and water to a thousand Black, brown, female and/or Democratic Georgia voters. What happens next?

Do a thousand Georgian cops arrest these thousand food and water protesters? Let’s say they do! Let’s say Georgia arrests and sends to trial one thousand of its citizens for giving food and water to good Georgian citizens standing in interminably long lines in order to exercise their right to vote. Do the anti-democratic conservatives crafting this legislation actually think juries will convict after hearing these stories? Do they think they’ll be able to find juries to begin with who don’t sit down already committed to find against them purely on grounds of decency? I’ve served on juries. Both were incredibly decent in our approach to the law and the cases facing us.

But, like the abortion fight comes down to racism and sexism, so, too, does our voting rights fight. Originalists – being racist to the core – want America to return to the days when “All men are created equal” meant ONLY men and ONLY men like them – white, Christian land owners. Just as “right to life” was always really about racism, our fight to fully extend the American franchise – the vote – to every single citizen because it’s their right is a fight against racism (and those who only want white men to vote). The insurrection – still ongoing – is an attempt to deny a level playing field to the majority of Americans. Every last one of its aims is to return America to its conservative heyday – the 1850’s when everyone knew their place.

Alas, this won’t end well for them. American fascists count on America being like Germany. They’re counting on Americans behaving exactly like Germans and falling into line. But how Germans (steeped in German culture and history) acted in the 1930’s is not how diverse Americans will behave. Sure, there were plenty of “Good Germans” who didn’t agree with the Nazis – and they weren’t a small group. But, at the end of the day, they remained more “German” than good. They resisted quietly or, really, not at all. They went along to get along – understandable but immoral. When conservatives attempt to impose their will on a diverse American population? They won’t find enough “Good Americans” to fill enough Nuremburg style rallies to make this shitbird fly. Think Black people are going to go along with this? Think Mexican or Puerto Rican or Central American people will fall in line. A few anti-Communist Cubans will – they’re still fighting the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. But, the overwhelming majority of Latin-x voters will vote for their best interests – and they know the GOP doesn’t have them in mind.

If – per our thought experiment – the GOP did get their two big prizes here? The results will be messy and violent and ugly. But, in the end, the conservatives will lose if only because progress will ultimately happen regardless. As it does. Here in America, we’ve had our history of white men suppressing everyone else. We have zero interest in continuing or perpetuating it. Now that the Republicans have hoisted their “Hail Mary” toss toward the distant end zone, it’s incumbent on the rest of us – the not-so-silent majority – to not only knock down that pass, but to intercept it and run it all the way back for the game-ending, game-winning touchdown.

It is never nice to be hoist on one’s own petard. The Republican Party is going to wish it had never been born with a petard on which to be hoisted. Hell, by the time History is done with the GOP, they’re gonna wish they had never been born at all.

I Hope Meat Loaf Forgave Me For Hanging Him In A Meat Locker

Singer and actor Meat Loaf died today apparently from COVID. I’ll stick a pin in his anti-vaxxism for a moment out of respect for his musical contributions. He was an icon of a particular kind of rock n roll. When I was at Vassar College in the 1978, we danced with complete abandon to Meat’s “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”. Same went for “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”, “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth”, the title song “Bat Out Of Hell” and the couple of other songs on the album. I was a drama major and we loved that album and its glorious, over-the-top theatricality even more than the rest of the student body. That made it super special when – as a writer and producer on HBO’s “Tales From The Crypt”, I got to not only meet Meat, I got to hire and work with the man. And what did I do with that opportunity? I hung Meat Loaf in a meat locker.

The episode’s called “What’s Cookin” and it starred the late Christopher Reeves and Bess Armstrong as a down-on-their-luck couple who’ve put all their money and energy into their failing restaurant that has only squid on the menu. They tell Gaston (Judd Nelson), the homeless guy who sweeps up for them, that they’re closing for good which motivates Gaston to provide a different kind of protein. Meat Loaf played the couple’s landlord Chumley – who suddenly goes missing just as a mound of fresh steak suddenly appears in the restaurant’s walk in refrigerator – and whose intoxicating aroma as it cooks on the grill suddenly brings in the customers they’ve never had before. Of course, what Gaston’s done is murder Chumley the landlord and use him as the source of the steak.

The second our casting director Victoria Burrows suggested Meat Loaf for the part, it had to be. First, of course, because the whole idea of a show about cannibalism having Meat Loaf in it – well, that was just too funny not to do. And the fact that it’s Meat Loaf’s character3 who gets eaten? Second, I wanted to work with the guy whose music gave me so much pleasure.

Writing and producing “Crypt” was an amazing experience in part because I got to work with so many people whose work I adored: Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Zemeckis, Richard Donner, Walter Hill, Kirk Douglas, Dan Ackroyd, Michael J. Fox, Tim Curry, Steve Coogan, Ewan McGregor, Billy Friedkin, John Frankenheimer and (for me, the best of the best), Buck Henry who adapted “The Graduate” for the screen. Buck acted for us and I got to put words into his mouth!

So – Meat Loaf says yes, he’ll do the part but we won’t have access to him until the day before he works. That presents an immediate problem: we have a make up special effects gag in mind that will require a full bodycast of Meat.

The gag is the big reveal – that Meat Loaf is the source of the steaks. It happens when Judd’s Gaston leads Christopher’s Fred into the restaurant’s walk-in refrigerator where Mr. Chumley’s naked, already carved-up carcass is hanging. As Fred gapes in horror, Gaston chops two fresh steaks from the body (in theory, Meat Loaf, hanging in the shot’s foreground).

It’s a great gag! To me, “Tales” was always black comedy rather than horror and this scene is one of my two or three favorite things we ever did. That’s Meat’s bodycast hanging in the foreground. Here’s another angle —

But, as I said, it got complicated… As I said, Meat couldn’t get there in time for us to use his body to do the bodycast. So, as we normally did under such circumstances, we hired a body double – calculating in our heads the correct body type to hire. Meat was a “well built” man. There was lots of him to love. Except, unbeknownst to us, there was now LESS of him to love.

Meat had been on a crash diet and he was proud of how he now looked – a sveleter , leaner and meaner Meat.

When Meat arrived at our production office for his wardrobe fitting, we saw that we had a problem. Then Meat wanted to see the the special effects bodycast we’d made without him – more out of curiosity than anything else. He was pretty upset when he saw how heavy it was. The body double we’d used looked like the old Meat, not the new, improved, lower in fat Meat. Our actor no longer looked like our bodycast. And the bodycast no longer looked like our actor.

To his infinite credit, Meat remained a consummate pro. We ended up using the heavier bodycast and, so that the actor would match, Meat agreed to wear a fat suit under his wardrobe. That was very menschy of him.

Meat’s great in the part – small though it is. Hey, you know what they say – there are no small part, only small actors. Meat Loaf was a big talent no matter what size he came packed in.

Rest in Peace, Meat. Thank you for being part of our journey. And thank you especially for being part of mine.

Now – with that all said? Meat was anti-vaxx. There’s a possibility that COVID got him. If so, he absolutely did not have to die right now. And that sucks more than anything.

Not All Polling Disapproval Numbers Are Created Equal

One can make poll numbers say anything depending on how you frame them. Donald Trump’s poll numbers were especially terrible; h is average approval rating across his entire term was 41.1%, the lowest ever measured by Gallup. When you break that down even further, Trump’s approvals were 4% among Democrats, 30% among independents and 82% among Republicans. What, we have to ask, were people approving of and what were people disapproving of? Our news media will insist that it’s all tied to political party. It’s understandable why they would think that way – our news media being incapable of approaching this story with an ounce of perspective. Trump’s approval numbers are tied entirely to Trump’s cult of personality. The more racist Trump is, the more his approval soars (among those already supporting him). There’s no rationale to it. No nuance. No policy to speak of other than denying every person of color’s right to vote. Joe Biden’s approval numbers have always been tied to his accomplishments – his ability to fulfill not just the promises he made but the promises we wanted him to fulfill regardless of how realistic they were – and regardless of whether Biden ever actually made any such promises.

The majority of Americans disapprove of Trump not because of his political label but because he’s a pirate, a rapist, a con man, a tax cheat, a money launderer, a fraud, a criminal and a traitor. The reason Joe Biden’s approval fell isn’t because America suddenly got hip to ;how corrupt he is but because Biden’s ambitious agenda stalled. Why did it stall? Just because Team Biden doesn’t know what it’s doing? Our news media presents it that way because that’s how the Republicans are presenting it (and our news media to this day refuses to connect the “Republicans Are All In On Authoritarianism” dot to the “Republicans Are Rewriting Voting Rules Because No One Will Vote For Them Otherwise” dot. If you don’t present Republican resistance in that context – they’re not playing by any normal political rules, they’re trying to destroy the whole system – and not because it’s their “political opinion” but because they’re literal traitors whose only choice now is to go full speed ahead toward seizing the country by force and bureaucratic malfeasance.

Also driving Biden’s numbers down is the fact that we’re still dealing with the COVID pandemic – as if THAT was Joe Biden’s fault. Our news media has never gotten its head around how pandemics work and how they don’t. And they’ve never gotten their heads around how impactful Republican anti-vaxxism has been. Anti-vaxxism is now SO disconnected from reality that anti-vaxxers even boo Trump now for pushing the vaccine. This wild card of crazy cannot be controlled by Trump and it can’t be controlled by Biden – yet our news media (and their coverage drives a lot of how the polling comes out since they frame our collective narrative) want all the “blame” to be Biden’s – as if Trump never existed in this equation.

When Steve Kornacki compares Trump’s disapproval numbers to Biden’s, he’s comparing apples to Pontiacs. He’s saying that disapproval of purpose and disapproval of accomplishment are the same thing. They absolutely aren’t. The people who disapprove of Trump because of who he is and what he represents would NEVER vote for Trump. The people who disapprove of Biden because he hasn’t been able to accomplish everything (yet – after only one year) won’t vote for Trump because Biden didn’t get it all done (because of Trumpanista resistance to it)! The greatest risk is they won’t show up at the polls, that the press’s cynicism will become theirs.

That assumes that we’re living in normal times – which we aren’t. Take this to the bank: as indictments begin to fall on Republican heads – elected Republican heads – the nature of the fall political campaign will change profoundly. When the Jan 6 Investigation begins to release some of those documents Trump’s fought so hard to keep secret? That won’t make the retail politics any easier to sell.

America’s news media loves to report on polling because it saves them from having to do any work. They can simply point at all the icing and claim they know everything about the cake even though they don’t. As we all know, beautiful icing can hide a rotten cake. A cake that’s gone bad because it was always bad isn’t the same as a cake that someone deliberately left out in the sun to rot.

The Republican Party DOES Have A Platform In 2022: Treason

Back in 2020, our news media got all atwitter when the RNC – ever Donald Trump’s leather-clad, down-on-all-fours, red-rubber-ball-in-mouth bitch – announced it wouldn’t have a platform for the presidential election. Frankly, we should have appreciated the RNC’s unintentional honesty. The last time Team Trump imposed itself on the party’s platform, they tweaked it to take Putin’s side against the Ukraine. That, it turns out, wasn’t just odd, it was treasonous! Not hyperbolic treasonous, real, honest-to-God, red-meat-and-potatoes treasonous. Emphasis on the “red”. Is I scream and shout here regularly, we can point to an actual documented moment in time when the GOP clearly crossed a line. On one side was terrible, immoral behavior that skirted illegality. But, on the other was flat out law-breaking. Treason, in fact.

On June 25, 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a GOP leadership meeting and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to god!”. No one questioned or doubted what Kevin said. No one demanded receipts. Instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan put the kibosh on any further discussion of that particular subject. Though they suspected that their soon-to-be nominee for POTUS was a national security threat, these Republicans willfully chose to keep this terrible secret a secret from We The People. And then they did everything they could to prevent any investigation into this secret – that Russia had compromised Trump and the Republican Party knew it.

With that piece of information in mind – “Putin pays Trump” – reconsider the GOP allowing Trump to change its platform and Trump’s whole “different approach to Putin”. It’s the “different approach” an intelligence asset has to the master spy running him. Reconsider “Russia, if you’re listening!” Reconsider Trump’s relationship with Wkileaks and every bit of obstructive behavior Team Trump has displayed – so much obstructive behavior that the Mueller Report complained it couldn’t get its main investigation done because of it! Consider the sledgehammer Trump took to NATO and every little acquiescence to Putin’s interests over ours. “Putin pays Trump” equals “Trump is a traitor”. Anyone not immediately on the phone to the FBI is officially a co-conspirator.

See something, SAY something. See something, say nothing? Why’s that?

In October 2016, Mitch McConnell stuck the dagger in when he refused to let President Obama tell America what our intelligence community believed (and which history has born out as absolutely true) that Russia was actively working to subvert the out come of our election in Trump’s favor. Mitch threatened to accuse Obama of politicizing the intelligence for political gain – the very thing Mitch was doing. Instead, Obama softened what should have been an eye-opening piece of information that We The People deserved to know.

Mitch was simply continuing the treasonous roll Kevin McCarthy started. Jump forward to 2020. The biggest threat to Trump losing power is losing the Department of Justice. Even when Republicans lost the House and began to face oversight, they used every legal device available to them to run out the clock. Republicans don’t see elections as referendums, they see them as opportunities to steal another election. The only thing saving Trump from indictment during his term was Robert Mueller’s slavish devotion to a DoJ rule (not a law) that frowned on (but didn’t prohibit) indicting a sitting president. Imagine giving treason the benefit of the doubt because “niceties”… White people cut themselves some amazing slack.

Also remember – professional, by-the-book rule of law investigations take time. Nothing of value could be started while Trump occupied the White House. And even after Biden won, the Republicans in the Senate deliberately slow walked all DoJ nominations, Merrick Garland’s in particular, their jaundiced eye, as ever, focused on the clock. I wish this was all done and dusted already – with Trump in federal custody, virtually the entire GOP gutted because they’re under indictment themselves and their violent followers dissuaded from further violence because of their own crushingly expensive legal bills. I do believe that day is coming. Once the DoJ pulls the thread on indicting sitting politicians, the pulling may never stop. The Republican Party will absolutely unravel.

Once again, as they gear up for what they expect will be the last “free and fair” election in America – this’ll be the one where the Republicans finish the kill – the GOP has ditched the idea of having a platform. Since they have no platform to talk about, they’ve also tossed the idea of participating in debates. This is the Republicans – still being bracingly honest – announcing in public that they no longer feel the need to be retail politicians. From here on out, they’re crusaders imposing their minority white will onto an unruly, non-white majority.

Ironically, the Republicans also are being honest when they embrace The Big Lie. They’re confirming what we long suspected: the GOP no longer “believes” in democracy because democracy no longer believes in Republicans. As Trump himself keeps pointing out, when more Americans vote, Republicans lose; if every American voted, the GOP might never win another election again ever. This is precisely why the Republican Party embraced Trump even though they knew he was a traitor. Machiavelli himself couldn’t have mustered that much naked cynicism.

The point of the insurrection – both the physically violent one and the bureaucratic ones behind the scenes – was to deny We The People yet again our electoral choice on the one hand while, on the other keeping Trump in power and out of federal prison convincingly accused of treason. “The Big Lie” is, itself, treason. It’s based on treason and designed to perpetuate treason and treason’s desired outcomes. Everyone agreeing with it is automatically a traitor and should be understood as such – starting with Donald John Trump.

What If All The Dots – When Finally Connected – Spell Out “The Republicans Are Traitors”?

Our News Media's Big Problem – They Don't Know How To Connect Dots – How To  Live BULLSHIT-FREE

I confess: the moment Donald Trump said “Russia, if you’re listening…!” I concluded “That bloated orange bastard is a traitor!” To me, a presidential candidate reaching out to a hostile foreign government to help him get elected just seems treasonous. Ah, but feelings aren’t facts. “Seems” isn’t “is”. But, Trump hasn’t exactly been mysterious about his intentions and his friends. After a certain point, when you can’t see through the smoke anymore, it would be wise to conclude “there’s a fire!” How many lies did it take being told before America’s news media finally decided to call Trump’s lies “lies” and Trump himself a “liar”? If it was more than three, that’s pathetic. Three lies describe a pattern. What, I wonder, do thirty thousand lies describe? Oh, yeah – they absolutely describe a liar. But Trump is no ordinary fantasist. And his lies – taken together (as they should be) – describe something more than just a man with little regard for the truth. If our news media had connected the “why does Trump lie so much” dots, they would have drawn a very clear picture: “Trump lies so much because he’s a traitor”. Our news media is slowly heading in that direction, like the rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem to be born – the hour for its close up come round at last.

Here’s what sucks (well, a lot of things suck, but this sucks in context): our news media saw the Trump story happening; they reported on it endlessly. Take away the media and “Donald Trump” doesn’t exist. Take away Russia and Trump never becomes POTUS. Hell, take Russia completely out of the Donald Trump equation (as in they never money launder through his bankrupt Atlantic City casinos) and those casinos go broke even faster. In fact, take Russia’s organized crime money out of Trump, Inc and Donald Trump goes broke eons ago, having blown through daddy’s entire real estate fortune. If our news media would just read what it’s already written about Trump, we’d be miles further down the road than we are!

We (lucky us!) are living inside one of the great epic stories of human history: an attempt by an angry, racist minority to try and end the greatest experiment ever in human self government because they refuse to share power in a democratic way. Now, that’s the “view from 30,000 feet”, as our news media might put it. Presumably, it’s the view from which one can see the whole picture and not just the cool geographic features that automatically stand out. This is the view many in our news media already see – that Republicans are doing multiple things that are and will negatively impact our democracy. But, when that news media bores in on a detail – as they should – they tend to become so focused on their deep dive that they completely forget that the subject of their dive isn’t the whole story itself, it’s just one tiny detail of a much larger story. All our news media would have had to do to see the much larger story in front of them was read their own stuff.

Former Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson explained the Steele Dossier’s origin story to the Senate Judicial Committee in august 2017. The (then Republican-run) committee wanted to undermine the Dossier’s integrity (because it threatens them and their candidate). Simpson explained that what drew Fusion to even look at Russia was all the Russia-oriented corruption they found when doing their due diligence – surveying all publicly available material about Trump. In other words, Fusion became convinced that Trump had used his Atlantic City casinos to illegally launder Russian mob money based entirely on what they read in the press.

Ironically, the thing about Steele’s raw intelligence is that the detail our news media glommed onto – the salacious story of Trump watching Russian hookers piss all over the bed the Obamas slept in in Moscow – is the least important detail in the entire dossier. Far more important: all the evidence that Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia, with Russian criminals and with Russia’s head criminal Vlad Putin demanded further investigation – especially when he chose to run for president.

But, there too, had our press simply read what it had itself reported, it might have had a clearer picture of HOW Trump pulled off his surprise win by taking Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan by a combined 77,000 votes. Our news media might have pressed current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy about WHY he thought “Putin pays Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” in the first place but, more importantly, why if Kevin thought Trump was a grave national security risk he and the rest of the GOP’s leadership agreed with then Speaker of the Houser Paul Ryan that there be “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

Think about that. The GOP knew even before they nominated Trump that he was deeply compromised by Russia. Think the GOP hadn’t connected the Trump dot to the Russia dot?

Our problem: the Russia dot also was and is connected to the Republican Party dot.

Are those just my feelings talking? No. I’m connecting dots. I see a relentless pattern of Republican obstruction of justice, much of it focused on denying Trump’s relationship with Russia – who the GOP knew was paying Trump. This isn’t complicated. At all. On June 25, 2016, the leadership of the Republican Party themselves committed an act of treason: keeping it secret that they knew or suspected their presidential nominee was a profound national security threat because he was financially compromised by Russia – whose head of state, a former spy, was a master at using just such tactics!

Why would the Republican Party do such a thing? Because they see Russia as an ally now. They see dictators and authoritarians as their mentors and equals. They see democracy as an impediment to permanent minority rule. And, so, they’re doing something about it.

It often feels like our news media sits with its pencil poised above a connect4-the-dots image, the entire picture in front of them. One last dot needs connecting. But, until that very last dot joins the picture? The picture isn’t complete enough for our news media to see it. How sad that will be if indeed the Republicans succeed in destroying our democracy for good. We would have been inches from saving ourself. All we would have had to do is connect two dots via one straight line.

That line could easily be the cross bar that turns a vertical line into a “T”. For “Treason”.

Black Americans Understand America’s Promise More Than White Americans Ever Have

The whole American franchise – our experiment in human self government – rests upon one thing: the vote. That’s where the self-government starts. If you screw with the vote, you’re screwing with the whole concept of self-government. If you stop some people from voting because of their race or creed in favor of others (because of their race or creed), you’ve veered away from democracy entirely. Instead of trying to win those votes via the retail politics “marketplace of ideas”, you’re blowing up the marketplace. Though America sold itself as a diverse democracy, it didn’t actually check off the necessary boxes to BE that thing until 1965 when we passed the Voting Rights Act which (finally!) put teeth into the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution and made it practical (a mere 95 years being ratified!) White Americans have always had the luxury of taking their right to vote for granted. Well, white, MALE Americans, that is… We need to look our origin story squarely in the face and allow for the fact that the white, Christian, land-owning MEN who founded America – while having a brilliant idea (self-government), got some of it terribly, terribly wrong.

The white, Christian, land-owning men who composed America’s founding documents were not perfect. They made mistakes as all humans do. They knew that the Constitution they’d fought over was imperfect. They built mechanisms for revision and renewal into the system they’d invented. The Constitution could be amended. In their minds, remember, no one was going to be a full time politician. Our founders envisioned citizens going to DC and spending a few years doing their civic duty before returning to their private lives while new citizens stepped forwards. Power, apparently, was more of an aphrodisiac than our founders anticipated. Hey, like I said – they weren’t perfect.

An even better example of how imperfect our founders were? They wrote “All men are created equal” but didn’t mean it. Well, they meant it in a way: white, Christian, land-owning men are equal.

The best example of all that our founders screwed up a great idea by compromising with a terrible idea? They cut a deal with slavery. In their defense, they found themselves between a rock and a hard place. If the Constitution had outlawed slavery, the Southern economy would have collapsed immediately because it was based almost entirely on stolen labor. The South relied on paying zero for all the intense labor it took to produce its three principle cash crops: tobacco, sugar cane and cotton. The whole point of making slaves do that work is that the slave masters and plantation owners got the work product for free – minus whatever it cost to house, clothe and feed their slaves (the cost of doing business). If slavery had never been on the table – and the South had been forced by circumstances to pay a fair market rate for all that labor? There wouldn’t have been a South.

Maybe there would have been a worker’s dream state…

Not only does a slave NOT get paid for the sweat of their brow, they don’t get to accumulate the wealth they’d get to accumulate because of that work. It’s a double whammy. But, we have to understand the impact this has on both sides of the equation. On one side, the white side, they get the full benefit of the American franchise – the vote plus unlimited economic potential. On the slave’s side you get to watch the American franchise work because of your free labor and lack of the vote. “If only I could get the vote,” this person thinks, “I might be able to conquer the unfair circumstances limiting me”. To the person who’s never had the rights the American experiment promised, getting those rights and keeping them are everything.

Citizenship without its benefits is not citizenship. But then, citizenship doesn’t just come with “benies”… it comes with responsibilities, too. One of those responsibilities is to see that the American franchise works the way it’s supposed to (not necessarily the way some of our racist founders drew it up). This means working constantly to see that every American eligible to vote gets the opportunity to vote. It also means that every single legitimately cast vote gets counted.

When you see your struggle through a long term lens, you expect there are going to be ups and downs. It’s a marathon v a sprint. You understand that you will win some fights and lose some – and some of those losses will hurt. But, if you gave up the struggle at every single downturn, you’d give up the struggle. That is exactly what white people do! White people have no idea what Black people and brown people and Asian people and LGBTQ people and everyone not white, Christian and male have had to endure from white people just to get where they are. Non-white people are never fighting other non-white people to get the rights due them. We’re always fighting WHITE PEOPLE.

Racist white America understands the American franchise as their white birthright. They think their whiteness is what makes America exceptional. They couldn’t be more wrong. James Madison insisted we put “E Pluribus Unum” on our Great Seal. Madison had a complicated relationship w slavery; while he opposed it, he also compromised with it constantly. But, he did understand that America’s greatness – its real potential – lay in its diversity. “Out of many, one”. That is American Exceptionalism.

The American ideal is worth fighting for – not the way the founders did it (by getting it wrong because “racism”) – but the way the ideal has been maintained in the Black American imagination. Black women especially have borne the torch of this country’s democratic greatness even as they bore the brunt of its most racist cruelty. You can practically hear the American Ideal beating inside magnificent American patriots like Kamala Harris, Stacy Abrams, Val Dennings and Maxine Waters (among others). In their entire lives they have never taken a single one of their rights for granted because, unlike with white Americans, Black Americans have always known that their rights could be taken away just like that. As they have been.

Having to fight for a thing makes it precious. Never having to fight for a thing causes one to take it for granted. That’s why our news media approaches the struggle for civil rights and for the vote with such painful cynicism. It’s their whiteness shining through. The instant Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin made it clear they think a racist parliamentarian device – the filibuster – is more important that the vote, they expressed 1) their racism, 2) their corruption and 3) their whiteness. When the press pointed at those obstacles as insurmountable for the Democrats and proof that what they wanted could NEVER work, they were expressing THEIR whiteness – and their perspective-free inclination to give up at the slightest sign of resistance.

If there had not been a lot of money riding on American independence – “taxation without representation” is, first, a question of what one’s money buys in a political system – it’s possible America would never have happened. Independence didn’t just mean freedom to Americans, it meant the potential to acquire great wealth.

Of course, if you see other Americans through a lens of slavery (or just plain Republican racism), you’re terrified of those other Americans acquiring wealth and political power that comes with accumulated wealth. You dream of white hegemony. Of white people having all the political power and most of the money. That is a dead end street. The America white supremacists dream of isn’t a dynamic, world-beating country that can innovate its way out of any problem facing it. Conservatism fears innovation because innovation spurs change – and change is anathema to conservatives (who want to CONSERVE not so much what is, but what WAS). The America that racist white people want is NOT America.

It is however a first rate shithole country.

Seditious Conspiracy & Cooties

BREAKING NEWS: America Is Infested With Cooties!

Remember cooties? How about cootie monsters and cootie catchers? Remember the schoolyard fear of catching cooties? On my schoolyards, not all cooties were created equal. I didn’t mind catching some peoples’ cooties – I liked them; wasn’t bothered by their cooties. But there were other people whose cooties just seemed… “cootier”. More guaranteed to infect you with whatever horrible personality defect the cootie carrier carried. Alas, not only haven’t we left the schoolyard behind, we’ve gone and brought its biggest bully and his cooties right along with him to the present. Among the most loathsome things Donald Trump did to our politics was reduce us all down to his schoolyard – the one where he’s the reigning bully.

The worst cooties present in North America today all originated in Europe. The “cootie niveus” – the “snow white cootie”. Convinced of its own innate moral and genetic superiority, the snow white cootie relentlessly tries to dominate all other living things and to try and turn all other things into it. Side note: there actually are mites that zombify other insects and literally enslave them. This is just the nature of cooties. They’re deep-down disgusting; you absolutely don’t want them on you, in you, or anywhere near you. I’d avoid being in the same zip code.

Not everyone is vulnerable to cootie infection, not being white enough to catch the infection in the first place. For those people – the rest of us – our problem is the continuing ripple effect of those who are infected by snow white cooties running amok through the general population. Frankly, they’re making a total mess of our democracy.

But – here’s where we pivot to the good news – we’ve finally seen evidence that someone has taken firm charge of this patient’s medical crisis. This patient is us – We The People. We’ve been demanding a little proof that the team we hired to deal with our infected corpus was doing something more than remediate our hurt feelings. “Seditious conspiracy” is the shot of penicillin in the ass we needed – if only to start fighting off this infection of cooties..

Seditious conspiracy according to US CODE is “If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof“. I think we can say – having witnessed these things with our own eyes (making us witnesses to this crime against us) – that this happened because it was plotted to happen and it was plotted to happen by people who desperately needed it to happen – Donald Trump and everyone around him, near him or held in his thrall. The bottom line here is treason. It’s always been treason.

For the record, the entire GOP knew that Trump was a national security threat when they nominated him. A month before making Trump their flag bearer, the entire GOP leadership discussed – or, rather, brought up but REFUSED to discuss – the fact that they KNEW that Trump was compromised not just by a foreign leader, but by a foreign leader they KNEW was hostile toward us. As GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy put it on June 25, 2016 as he walked into that discussion: “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” No one in the room questioned the statement. Instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan insisted everyone there keep this terrible secret about their nominee a secret.

Hey, one has to ask WHY, doesn’t one? The answer: TREASON COOTIES! Everyone in the room was infected right there and then with TREASON COOTIES.

Jump forward to November 2020. Team Trump has successfully kept America from realizing how deeply infected it is with treason cooties. They’ve obstructed justice and bamboozled America’s news media into believing quack diagnoses that America’s problems are economic not racial. America takes the cure: an election. From most appearances, the election worked! A surge of democratic medicine washed the infection’s “cootie zero” out of our system. Finally, we thought, our immune system will get a fair chance to begin healing itself. Alas, getting rid of snow white cooties is never that easy.

America has been infected with snow white cooties from the get-go. Infected white people believe that only white people should run America. When unchecked, some infected white people will literally enslave others – especially Black people to whom they feel a particular superiority. The irony of course is that white people – infected or not – aren’t superior to anyone. They’re not inferior to anyone, but they’re not superior. And when they run around acting like they are? That’s the tell that that white person has been infected by snow white cooties.

Everyone who plotted the January 6 Insurrection walked in the door already infected. In a sense, one could hold up a cootie black light and see that, indeed, every insurrectionist has the markings of infection. If we had been able to do that as the Republican mob descended on Washington, DC in the days before January 6, we would have seen an infection infecting us in real time. Funny thing? Seditious conspiracy works exactly the same way.

And, now that we’re actually focused on seeing, rooting out and prosecuting seditious conspiracy, as cooties do, they will scramble for the shadows. Finding them won’t be hard. Already – the January 6 Select Committee tells us – hundreds of people have come forward because they DON’T want to be any more infected with snow white cooties than they already are. They can see that the eradication process will be brutal – on the snow white cooties. And they want no part of it.

Not everyone’s as self aware or honest with themselves as these people. Plenty of white people still think they can beat this scourge, infected as they are. That’s where they’re wrong. Turns out even people infected with cooties can be infected with more cooties. A guy with racism cooties can also have bigotry cooties too. Cooties co-mingle regardless. But, cooties can flow both ways. A guy with asshole cooties is bad. If he catches criminal cooties, he’ll get worse – but we have systems in place – a criminal justice system – whose job is to fight these things for the benefit of our body politic. That means that if we become aware that someone has “criminal cooties”, we can do something about it.

We can infect THEM with “criminal liability cooties”. These are cooties that other cooties fear. Criminal liability cooties can overcome criminal cooties and send criminals to prison (where they can catch a whole batch of other, really awful cooties). This is why criminals obstruct justice. They don’t want the cooties.

So far, eleven people – all Oath Keepers – are publicly infected with “sedition conspiracy” cooties. That number’s gonna rise. Exponentially. And that’s what scares the entire Republican Party. Once infected with sedition cooties, Republicans know they could be forced into “quarantine” for twenty years (per the law). But, here’s their problem: sedition conspiracy cooties spread so easily the infected don’t always know they’re infected. But they are.

“See something, SAY something” – that’s, in general, how good citizenship works. That’s why “see something, say nothing” perplexes us. Why say nothing? For whose benefit is this citizen saying nothing when it’s their obligation to warn the rest of us? Saying nothing in the face of criminal activity is both a sign of infection and an attempt to infect all rolled up into one. Saying nothing in the face of evil is tacit acceptance of evil. You might as well go all in with evil since you’re going to be considered evil anyway. Only the evil worry about degrees of evil.

The rest of us want nothing to do with your cooties.