A short newsletter this time, because I am going on vacation for two weeks to get married starting tomorrow, and also because I imagine like most readers I have been emotionally gutted by the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. I don't think I will ever forget this interview (fair warning, do not click incautiously) of a father whose daughter was killed.
The despicable yellow-bellied cowardice displayed by the armed agents of the state who milled around for, according to the police account at time of writing, 78 minutes while a mass shooter was butchering children, speaks for itself, and the abject failure of the police is mostly what I've covered this week. But I think it's also important to emphasize that even if police did what they were supposed to do, clockwork mass butchery is simply unavoidable in a society where military-grade weapons are available in any Walmart. As I wrote four and a half years ago regarding a shooting that was arguably even worse than this one, "In this country, it is easy for someone who feels like mass murder to buy accurate, long-range, rapid-fire weapons, and use them to kill and injure lots of people very quickly."
America has so much gun violence because we have so many guns and they are so easy to obtain. In principle it would be easy for the state to clamp down on the technically complicated procedures necessary to make a gun. To reduce the amount of gun violence that clampdown needs to happen.
There’s a word for someone who walks around terrified of dangers that are almost entirely imaginary, obsessively fixated on being ready to kill people who appear threatening—but only to reduce the risk to himself. The word is coward. This is not some inborn propensity. At least some of the parents at Uvalde were willing to risk their lives to try to stop the shooter, without weapons or body armor. But then, they had not been trained as police.
All this should be obvious to any bright nine-year-old, which is part of why Manchin and Sinema’s knee-jerk defense of the filibuster is so incomprehensible. Just in its basic structure, the Senate is already a gross affront to basic democratic principles of “one person, one vote” and governments “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” But because of a stupid rules change in 1805 that accidentally created an infinite debate loophole, which has been progressively more and more ruthlessly exploited, senators representing just 11 percent of the population today can block any normal legislation.
There won't be a real presidential election in 2024 if Republicans sweep the state elections this year:
Enough Big Lie Trumpers will surely be nominated to account for the rest of the necessary electoral votes, should they win—especially when we remember the threats of violence levied against most every Republican who refused to go along with Trump’s attempt to cling to power in 2020. Republicans are not known for standing up to conservative extremists, and in any case most of those 2020 officials have since been purged from the party (with a few exceptions like Georgia’s Brian Kemp).
I see no reason to think this process of radicalization will stop on its own. After all, the alleged shooter was just taking the conservative “replacement” rhetoric seriously. If one really believes that the white race is the foundation of American society (a disgusting lie in its own right), and that wealthy Jews and liberals are conspiring to drown that race in a tide of bestial subhuman immigrants, then mass murder is a logical conclusion—and, more importantly, one that is emotionally satisfying to the mindset of fascist degenerates. If whites are to preserve their demographic majority, it means boosting the white birth rate, or cutting down the nonwhite population, or both.
Crypto enthusiasts struggle to point to any practical benefit of their technology, especially one that would compensate for the downsides that we’re now seeing. Most clearly, we have internet funny money that constantly seesaws between hyperinflation and hyperdeflation, with both enormous transaction costs and gigantic negative externalities. Then there is this kind of ultra-risky financial speculation that amounts to a recreation of the pre-2008 shadow banking system except much, much worse.
See you in a few weeks!