Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Two Roads, Diverging


Joe’s running. It’s not his age that’s of concern; it’s concern about his age, the perfect distraction from what’s important. President Biden’s multiple years and Trump’s multiple indictments will be horserace headlines above much more crucial text. The 2024 election – no hyperbole – will decide, probably permanently, whether the remains of our republic can endure continued attempts by MAGA Republicans to finish it off. It’s not looking good.

In my medical career, I recognized the approach of death. But one needn’t be a doctor to note democracy’s agonal breathing, its thready pulse. Come 2024, it’s either a last-minute lifesaving operation or pull the plug.

Evidence is everywhere. Satisfied they’ve terminally poisoned elections in their favor, red state legislators feel no compunction in dismantling bedrock American principles. In Texas, their Senate just passed bills forcing every classroom in public schools to display the Ten Commandments and to set times for prayer and Bible study. They must believe the carefully-curated, Mitchified majority of religiously zealous legislators on the US Supreme Court will favor them when the inevitable lawsuit arrives, pre-decided, as those who bankrolled their nominations and vacations intended.

Aware that voting by educated young people threatens their antidemocratic agenda, Republicans are making it as difficult as possible. They’re not hiding it. Cleta Mitchell, a top GOP lawyer, abettor of Trump’s unlawful attempts to overturn a lawful election, is speaking to Republican state legislatures about the need to impede student voting. It’s Democrats that have done the rigging, she says, which is a perfect inversion of reality. She is, after all, addressing legislators in states so gerrymandered that Republican lawmakers far outnumber Democrats, despite their populations favoring the latter. They aim to keep it that way, not only by hindering students’ access to the ballot, but that of everyone who disfavors their monolithic plans.

2024 won’t be about choosing between an aged candidate who’s turned the economy around and overseen record-breaking job creation and the end of devasting pandemic mismanaged by his predecessor, running against a nearly as old mis-manager of pretty much everything else but the impenetrable wall he got Mexico to pay for. It’ll be about the dramatically divergent directions in which the parties they represent would take our country. It’ll be about which one voters prefer. Republicans know, and are desperate to keep people distracted. Democrats, less cynical at messaging, need to make the choice clear, as never before.

Which party is responsible for the Oklahoma woman bearing a devasting molar pregnancy, fatal for the fetus and potentially fatal for her, who was told she’d have to wait until her life was threatened before obtaining the necessary abortion she’d have already had in a rational state? Legislatures of which party are criminalizing transgender care, not just for children but, in some, for all ages? Which party’s candidates are fomenting hysteria over a non-existent threat from such people? Being gay or transgender isn’t communicable. They threaten no one. Pretending they do, to deceive and capture voters, is despicable. And, for decades, modus operandi.

Following President Biden’s announcement of running again, two videos were released; one a frightening view of a future based entirely on lies Republicans have been telling about his and Democrats’ accomplishments since the non-stolen, decisive election ; the other a positive vision for our country, calling for action on actual problems, in belief that, together, they can be solved.

Subtracting twenty percent credibility on general principles, the differences still couldn’t be more stark; nor could they say more about the right-wing messages with which we’ll be bombarded in the coming months, till we can’t stop screaming. Or about how each party sees its voters: gullible, bitter, and fearful; or clear-eyed, willing, and ready.

There’ll be many who believe the dishonest, distorted, disdainful Republican view. But, because they’re not enough to swing an election, even when promised more top-end tax cuts, punishing the poor, and being told that accepting differences among and offering help to fellow humans (God’s children) is abhorrently “woke,” Republicans will continue to resort, federal, state, and local, to totalitarian self-preservation.

They’ll ban more books, more topics of education, more speech. They’ll prevent more people from obtaining needed medical care. And voting rights. They’ll continue making America an un-Christian Christian theocracy. They’ll keep threatening economic mayhem. They’ll keep making you fear your neighbor, further loosen gun restrictions and child labor laws.

They’ll continue telling you drag shows are more dangerous than climate change. Their judges will continue to favor polluters. Bent on dismantling the singular threat to their agenda – democracy -- they’ll keep choosing election-deniers and anti-everyone-but-us Christian nationalists at all levels. That’s what 2024 is about. Not President Biden’s age. Not Trump’s criminality. It’s about cliffs or cures. 

Also, Tucker will be fine. Once he learns to speak Russian.


  1. “Legislatures of which party are criminalizing transgender care, not just for children but, in some, for all ages?”
    You are a doctor. You know that Puberty Blockers are not “gender affirming care” they are disrupting the natural puberty that children need to grow up with healthy bodies. Puberty is what children need in order to mature physically, mentally, and emotionally and they are being denied that opportunity.
    Chopping the breasts off of 13-year old girls is not health care.
    Giving girls drugs that will result in girls experiencing menopause in their 20s, vaginal atrophy, osteopenia, and heart disease is not health care.
    Giving boys drugs that increase the risk of breast cancer then chopping off their dicks and making holes out of colons is not health care.
    The worst part is that there is ZERO evidence that these experiments actually help anyone. The anecdotes we do have indicate the opposite.
    The problem isn’t that these states are protecting kids it’s that the medical establishment is supporting these experiments on kids and young people (who do not fully mature until the age of 25).
    Usually when Republicans are passing laws they are horrible, but not in this case. You really should investigate the abuses before condemning the legislatures.

    1. I was tempted to delete your comment, because, to quote you "there is ZERO evidence" of most of what you claim. Also, again quoting you, "You really should investigate the abuses before condemning the legislatures."

      But your fact-free opinions do serve to demonstrate how effect the issue has been manipulated by Republicans and their mouthpieces to rile people, in order to curry votes when there are no issues of substance on which they have anything to offer.

      It certainly has worked on you. "Chopping off dicks and breasts." You have no idea about this issue that affects about 1/2% of our population, decisions of caring for whom are fraught and difficult at best. If you know of 13 year old girls having mastectomies, your sources are better than mine. One of the main ones, of course, is currently out of a job.

      But, as I wrote, once he's fluent in Russian, he'll be fine.

    2. Glad you did not delete it.
      Just wow. Facts don't seem to matter with that commenter, so I won't try.

    3. ACOV: I meant to publish your followup comment, but hit "delete" instead and I can't re-publish. If you'd care to repeat it, I'll publish and address it.

    4. The only problem with that whole line of thinking...

  2. I posted a bunch of links on your Twitter feed.
    Note that there are three young people suing their doctors for chopping off their breasts when they were 13.

    This is the study that I mentioned that did indeed chop off the breasts of two thirteen year old girls.

    There are many countries that have socialized medicine (where the profit motive is not as evident) that have stopped/paused the transing of children because there is no evidence of efficacy and plenty of evidence that it is not safe.

    If you read the stories of detransitioners you will find, almost without exception that they were not given any mental health assessment before drugs were prescribed. They were often given drugs after one or two sessions or even after an hour session. That’s primarily because the WPATH “guidelines” require acceptance without exception. i.e. any attempt to understand the reasons for the distress is considered as conversion therapy.

    There are plenty of instances of boys having their dicks chopped off too. Susie Green, former head of Mermaids, is famous for taking her son to Thailand for “gender affirming surgery” on his 16th birthday.

    This story just came out of a 16-year old boy who died because of an infection caused by using part of his colon
    to create a simulacrum of a vagina.

    These surgeries result in faux vaginas that smell, grow hair, require continual dilation, and recurrent infections. Why would any responsible surgeon do this to an adult let alone a child?

    You really don’t want to investigate penile reconstruction. It’s horrific what they do to these girls.
    “129 patients underwent genital reconstruction surgery. …
    Results: Patients reported 281 complications requiring 142 revisions.”

    Facts matter but you won’t find them on CNN or MSNBC because they have bought into the gender cult and any criticism of the transing of kids is considered “transphobic”.

    1. The common thread running through the legitimate studies is that they take gender dysphoria seriously, and are trying to figure out what's best. For, indeed, it's something to be taken seriously.

      Which characterizing the operations as "chopping off" doesn't.

      I'm glad I wasn't the parent of a gender dysphoric child. Knowing what to do would be heartrending. I can't imagine allowing a surgical approach until they were around 18. (Nor, not that it matters, could I imagine entering a 5 yo girl into a beauty pageant where she was made to look 18 and sexy.)

      Mistakes have been made. Some honest, some stupid, by all levels of individuals involved. Understanding is evolving. Based, again, on taking it seriously and trying to do right.

      Because, like it or not, it's a real thing. If it's hard to understand, so be it. But, just as there are duplications of sex chromosomes, indeterminate sex at birth, genetic and epigenetic factors involved, there are gradations of sexual identity. What to do, and when, are questions to which there aren't clearcut answers. In part, that's because the gradations aren't clearcut.

      But one thing seems clear: it's not the business of Christian-zealot-majority state legislatures to play god in these cases. Or, putting it another way, depending how one sees these things, to overrule God's creation.

      Clearly, such politicians do it to rile their voters into ignoring the other sorts of damage to democracy, the environment, the law itself they're doing. (I don't know what the right answer is to trans women in women's sports, fwiw.)

      What's not clear is how so many people who are entirely unaffected by it (except in fever-dreams of what might go on in bathrooms -- but has yet to) are so angered that they can't even discuss it beyond using terms that reduce a very complicated and difficult issue (especially for parents) to mutilation.

  3. "Joe’s running. It’s not his age that’s of concern; it’s concern about his age, the perfect distraction from what’s important."

    I'll not be so pretentious as to think everyone around these parts knows my thoughts on Joe's age and age of politicians and judges in general.

    It is NOT 'agism'. It's RBG hanging on and changing history for 40 years. It's the unable to perform daily tasks due to situations beyond anyone's control. Fetterman can overcome. He's got a few decades to get well enough to work. Feinstein? Not so much. Gerrymandered districts are why this exists. No other reason. Everyone wants change w/o it being THEIR guy/girl who goes. It's everyone else that's the issue.

    However...Joe can do the job of POTUS if he has a pulse. Even asleep. How? Because he has possibly the best staff ever assembled in the history of America since the first couple generations of Americans. Joes ideas will be handled by that staff. Joes' job is to smooze. To guile. To bonk skulls with a velvet glove. Make no mistake. Fewer people have Joe's political capitol. It's damn near FDR levels of support. Damn the polls. Wait till Joe decides to turn on the afterburner and sells his message.

    Yes, he'll fall asleep at the worst possible times. Yes he'll try to look spry, and appear rickety and stiff. He'll speak and wonder 5 feet from the mic. Face the wrong way. Then face the other way, also wrong way. GIVE THE MAN A MIC!!! When Joe handles the mic he has perfect mic control. You can hear the subtleness of his voice. Giving his bodily motions more context. Instead of whispering and weirdly feeble in motion. Tiny steps = Feeble appearance. Run stiffly, (we know how you ran Joe) = Feeble appearance.

    PLEASE! I am friggin begging. Tell the man to walk. Briskly w/o looking hurried. It is generally a long walk from behind the curtain or locker room/secure area. Simply walk and have all points well marked with tape visible on stairs and transitions. Like a real flippin set. That X marks your spot center stage. Give him the wireless mic to grab from the stand. No cords. (I love cords but...That's another 100 stories) Enunciate, pronounce and project the voice. Quiet voices in intimate settings. Outside voices in outdoor/indoor arenas etc. Get Joseph a tan as well. We ain't talkin' George Hamilton.,g_1:extra+crispy:6h9OZG8AUcg%3D&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS910US910&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiN2t3Yg9P-AhWIFzQIHaDZDr0Q4lYoAHoECAEQKw&biw=1269&bih=651

    More Like a Kardashian flavored ensemble.

    Joe will be fine and so will Kamala if Joe dies. We as a nation won't skip a beat. We won't let the other thing happen ever again. RBG and Hillary changed America in very not positive ways that undid everything the women ever did. Including abortion. The whole farm. *poof*.

    Fortunately we are not in any danger of losing a seat if a lib should pass. Gerrymandering again. It's a double edged sword. Until we fix it. Then we'll have many more competitive races. Much more accurate picture of America.

    Short story. Joe is the guy. It is what it is. Until he dies or runs outta runway, he's our guy. We all know his victory is in stone. The reckoning is here. There's no one person. It's a lot of pissed of "libs" and indies. There's a few cons as well. very, very few. More than enough in the aggregate. Younger voters and candidates are like rocket fuel. The time has come much faster than first predicted 20 years ago, 10 years ago, even 5 years ago. It is what it is and it's the unstoppable force. That's the real wave. The kids, and the swells are getting bigger like Mavericks. They will have 4 years to plan their own campaigns. But for now. Our guy is Joe until he says otherwise.

    And we are coming for your guns.


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