One of the finest essayists in America – or the world – is Rebecca Solnit. In her recent Washington Post piece – Americans now see both political parties as equally extreme – she dives into a major advantage and positive trait of modern, western democracy, that has been turned against it, metastasizing into a cancer that could kill both it and us all… the institutional innovation that protects minority interests from being too-readily ruled – even trampled – by any majority. 

Simplistically, “minority veto’ means that that majority must try to negotiate and calm any vociferously objecting minority – perhaps with tradeoffs or reciprocal wins – until either the number of objectors or their passion diminishes below an acceptable level. (This can also be done – as in California – with super-majorities.)

Alas, as with free speech and traditions of Suspicion of Authority (SoA) and several other wholesome Periclean traits, minority veto has been cynically manipulated by enemies of the whole Enlightenment Experiment, encouraging a rising hatred of majority rule in any form. On the right this is propeled by a rabid froth of fear of the ‘mob’ – a mob that is somehow simultaneously made of grunting immigrants and vast swarms of the brainwashed college educated.

This has built into the latest recrudescence of America’s congenital sickness – the Confederacy – whose fervent use of minority veto in the 1850s kept slavery in place long after a majority of white voters wanted the abomination ended.

As usual, Solnit and I emphasize slightly different angles and aspects. But she has the greater soap box. So why are you still here? Go read a really good writer.

== About the Court… and a fresh approach to blackmail? ==

Those liars who lied in order to get on the Supreme Court… and the lying senators who abetted Moscow Mitch’s schemes… need a little (just a little) sympathy, since it is so blatantly obvious that all (or nearly all) of them are being blackmailed. Still, it is blatantly now time to get busy crushing the anti-freedom, anti-science, anti progress and anti-American side of this civil war.

They refer to their own special madness as The Great Awakening. A reference to several other times in US history when fervid tent revival-meetings were about anything but individuals gaining more sapient alertness. Ironic also in that they despise “wokeness.” 

Avram Davidson put it very well in his first Peregrine novel, set in the failing late Roman Empire – “in times such as these, a man feels the need of something to cling to, even if it be another man’s knees.” 

You know I have beat the drum about blackmail many times, in hope that Prez JoBee might offer pardons in order to lure victims into the open and shatter the extortion rings that clearly control hundreds of sellouts like Lindsey Graham. Clearly I am getting nowhere! But a friend offered up a suggestion yesterday that I hand’t thought of.

Instead of calling for courage and patriotism from those who are being successfully blackmailed… how about summoning forth those on whom blackmail attempts failed?

Attempts to lure married men with attractive come-ons? That’s often how it begins. But if you were in a Moscow hotel and turned down the inevitable offer (to have sex in a room with hidden cameras rolling) isn’t that something to testify – even bragt – about? The initial phases of most of these traps are innocuous enough that even if you fell for one, you can still say “F-you and be damned!” and often they just go away.  

Has that happened to you? If so and if we got enough such stories, but it finally be enough to break this thing open? 

== All sides need to me more, not less, TUCE… ==

Guy I know offered four words: “The Undeniable Counter Example (TUCE).” Should be self-explanatory!

And yes, there are countless TUCs for every blanket assertion yammered by sanctimony junkies on both the far left and the entire mad-right. In fact,  I use TUCE a lot. It works fine against grand generalizations. 

Alas, though, there is a flaw. Those who had bandied the grand generalization can respond with: “Well, there are exceptions to everything. The general assertion still stands!”

What’s even more effective is the “anti-TUCE”. Demanding that your opponent name one counter example to your own well-chosen generalization.  

Let me give one example of an effective anti-TUCE…

 “Name one fact-centered profession that is NOT under attack by Fox News.”  

Scientists, teachers, journalists, civil servants, law and medicine professionals… and now the intelFBIi/military officer corps…. it is blatantly obvious that the mad-right attacks ALL fact professions, including that last set (calling the dedicated men and women who won the Cold War and the War on Terror “deep state” traitors.) 

Their inability to name even one exception to that challenge is utterly damning! It proves the point that today’s Mad Right is the most fiercely anti-fact cult in US history.  

But even if they named one exception (I can), it would still leave the point standing. The general assertion still stands

I offer a couple of dozen more in Polemical Judo. 

== I don’t endorse this… but… ==

A member of this blog-community posted on his own site an ‘open letter to the next mass shooter’ that offers that next aggrieved nut-case a chance to do something more provocative and better remembered – even historical – than maniacally seeking death-by-cop over the bodies of innocent school children. Reminiscent of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” which both enraged readers in the 19th Century and brought home to the British public what they had complicitly allowed to happen to millions of innocent Irish folk.

And finally…

 == My 100th donated pint. ==

To commemorate this milestone I brought cookies for the fine folks at the Blood Bank, and they gave me an ice cream cone! (After the ritual draining.) 

Feeling fine, so my next target is 111!

(Obviously, I could work on my selfie skills.)

Source link