Fri, Jun

Let Us Pray That We Can Learn From One Another


SAY WHAT? - "How exactly is 'diversity' our 'strength'?"

Oh, the smug ignorance of Tucker Carlson! Sometimes, in his certainty of rectitude, he asks questions that actually matter -- or would matter if they were asked with any sort of honesty. The above quote, blathered on his news show, recently started flickering again in my brain, when I read about a Florida teacher who was fired after sarcastically interrupting the prayer session of some Muslim students at their school, declaring (as per a Tik Tok video): "I believe in Jesus, so I'm interrupting the floor."

Uh, how exactly is diversity our strength? Or is it just an infuriating nuisance?

In Tucker World, diversity is a "strength" because it gives the true believers (you know, "us") an endless supply of enemies -- and having an enemy is an extremely useful uniting force. And in unity there is strength. Question answered.

But there is a much larger answer as well -- a "trans-political" answer, you might say. Which is to say, it's not simple. The true believers who hate diversity do so because it's an inconvenience, interrupting their certainty that what they believe, religiously, socially or politically, is The Truth (the whole truth, and nothing but). If that's the lie you're stuck in, then of course diversity is infuriating; it's forced tolerance, a.k.a., political correctness. Save us, Tucker!

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Gay MAGA Congressman-elect George Santos Allegedly Lied About His Entire Past


SAY WHAT? - In November, George Santos became the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress. His election helped the GOP secure a slim majority in the House. But a New York Times investigation has found that the representative-elect may have misrepresented many key elements of his biography and resume during his campaign.

Santos claims to have graduated from Baruch College in 2010, but the New York school could find no records of Santos attending. Santos’s biography on the National Republican Congressional Committee includes mention of his having attended New York University. NYU could find no record of his attending either.

Santos has also claimed to have worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs after graduating. Neither Wall Street firm had any record of his working there.

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An Armchair of Glass Shards, A Breakfast of Stones: Shame On Us As A Nation

SAY WHAT? - This week marks ten years since a gunman with an AR-15 assault rifle and other guns walked into an elementary school in Newton, Conn., opened fire, and slaughtered a classroom of 20 first-graders, ages six and seven; he also killed six adult educators. Since that then-inconceivable event, there have been occasional, hard-won, agonizingly meager changes aimed at curbing America's apocalyptic gun carnage - changes that over 70% of Americans, even Republicans, support - and yet the assault weapons proliferate and the bloodshed continues. 19 kids in Uvalde, Texas. Buffalo, New York. Club Q in Colorado Springs. In Virginia, a Walmart and U. of V. Today, gun violence remains the leading cause of death for children - far and above cancer - in the land of the free. At least 4,368 American children have been killed by guns in the last two years - a sickening 12 small bodies a day. Since Sandy Hook, Americans have bought at least 150 million more guns, and there have been 948 more school shootings. Note to America: WTF?

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Brushing Up On the Espionage Act, Just For Fun


SAY WHAT? - Sorry, not sorry: A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week for the creepy whining orange guy. To wit: In what could be a long-overdue "death knell," a New York jury ruled his super-grifty businesses committed a heap of super-grifty criminal fraud, just like we all thought, including 17 counts of tax fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records. Also confirming everyone's worst suspicions, after a judge ordered his sketchy lawyers to look one more time for any more stolen classified documents he'd randomly strewn around the country, an independent team found some - surprise! - stuffed into a West Palm Beach storage unit; they will presumably be added to his growing rap sheet and the 103 illegally retained, justice-obstructing documents the FBI already found. And his dubious, hand-picked, only black friend lost the Senate seat in Georgia, thus rendering his final tally in state races to a less-than-stellar 2 for 14. On his un-truthy fake platform, he lamented, "OUR COUNTRY IS IN BIG TROUBLE. WHAT A MESS!" Yeah, well, thanks for nothin', Crime Guy who did so much to get us here.

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The American Berserk: Kanye. Elon. Trump. Hitler. Satan.

SAY WHAT? - It's been a good week for Hitler, press coverage-wise, in the "battle of the psychopaths" that is America's current klatch of bigots, fascists, white supremacists, celebrity Nazis and, yes, Republicans. On Thursday, in a singular consortium of awful, rapper and anti-Semite Kanya "Ye" West joined white nationalist and anti-Semite Nick Fuentes on Sandy- Hook-denier and conspiracy wingnut Alex Jones' Infowarsshow so Jones could defend their honor after the backlash to their recent, creepy "Dine Kampf" moment with Trump at Mar-A-Lago. Lest we forget, the guy who declared there were "good people on both sides" of the rampaging, tiki-torch-and-swastika-bearing hordes in Charlottesville has been leading the GOP mainstreaming of Nazism for years with coded attacks on "George Soros," "international banks," "globalists" and "negotiators" who are "brutal killers" that queasily skirt outright anti-Semitic tropes but still transmit from the fever swamp the hate that dare not speak its name. Alas, this week West shattered that carefully crafted plausible deniability - what, me fascist? - with a toxic, manic, Hitler love-fest that left even the hateful Jones squirming. Near the end, he tried to steer the boat to safer waters by declaring, just before a commercial break, "I don't like Nazis." Quickly interjecting, Ye insisted, "I like Hitler." Muttered the newly discomfited Jones, "This is Twilight Zone 2.0."

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Ukraine's Battle of the Somme: Cold, Mud, Dirt and Blood


SAY WHAT? - This weekend, as Russia's brutal, pointless, little-heeded war against Ukraine lurched on, grim images emerged on social media of Ukrainian soldiers caught in the bloody quagmire around Bakhmut, an eastern city that after months of fighting has devolved into a ravaged landscape of splintered, shell-torn trees, yawning artillery craters, strewn dead bodies, and sodden Ukrainian forces hunched in a muddy, freezing, deadlocked trench warfare against relentless enemy barrages that in its desolation and destruction some have likened to "the new Passchendaele." That infamous 1917 clash, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, saw the Allies suffer roughly 300,000 casualties and inflict almost that many on the Germans in one of the most costly battles of World War One; it is remembered not only for its horrific loss of life but its freezing, sucking mud, "a monster," that drew soldiers to their deaths.

In "a bloody vortex for two militaries," Russian leaders desperate for a victory have been focused on moving reinforcements to the killing fields of Bakhmut. After so many reverses for their elite units, fighting has reportedly fallen to a mix of separatist militias, mercenaries and newly mobilized, ill-trained conscripts backed by massive artillery barrages, often aided by drones to make them particularly, lethally accurate. Amidst reports of Russian assaultson a "World War One hellscape," observers cite Russia's stunning disregard for their own troops, with commanders sending "single use" soldiers out in waves "like meat" to find Ukrainian positions; with Russian losses estimated at up to 300 a day, Ukraine "has become one giant graveyard" for them. Others say Ukraine's wet, cold winter is "the biggest killer" for "under-trained, under-supplied, ambivalently led" recruits lacking proper food, gear, boots or shelter, with dozens freezing to death.

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The Hate That Leads To Violence: An Attack Like This Says, "Not Even Here"


SAY WHAT?- The 22-year-old gunman who murdered five and injured 25 in a gay nightclub in Colorado before being taken down by "heroic" patrons - because the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a gay guy without a gun - was the grisly, deadly, inevitable outcome of hateful rhetoric targeting a marginalized group slamming into a country ominously packed with, sick with, guns. "What happens when an entire political party starts demonizing drag shows?" asked one furious patriot. "People get massacred at drag shows. This isn't rocket science." America's 6th mass shooting this month and 34th this year unfolded at Colorado Springs' Club Q, long the city's only LGBTQ club, which features birthday dance parties and a popular drag show on Saturdays; the night of the shooting, they'd posted about an "ALL AGES DRAG BRUNCH" the next day: "Let's prep for a fantastic Sunday Funday!" For queer residents of a deep red city that hosts several military bases and the fundamentalist Focus on the Family, which preaches that same-sex anything is "a particularly evil lie of Satan" and has spent over $515 million in anti-LGBTQ advocacy to prove it, Club Q was not just a nightclub but "our safe space," ”a second home full of chosen family," "one of the few places where I didn't have to worry (about) people hating me for who I am." "It was the only space in the entire city (where) LGBTQ people felt safe," said one. "And now that's shattered."

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