Late Night Open Thread: Trust Your Intuition

Ted Cruz aces the difficult task of being even creepier than Donald Trump.



Evil Infests Augusta

John Brunner said it exactly right in The Shockwave Rider:  “If there is such a phenomenon as absolute evil it consists in treating another human being as a thing.”

With that in mind, let me give you the latest from Maine’s governor, the utterly odious Paul LePage:

Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill Wednesday that would allow pharmacists to dispense an anti-overdose drug without a prescription, saying that allowing addicts to keep naloxone on hand “serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction.” [via Kerry Eleved at GOS]

That’s nonsense on its own terms, as the deeply valuable Maia Szalavitz — herself a former addict — has argued over and over again:

As with needle exchange, opposition to Naloxone distribution has mainly come from those who fear that reducing drug-related harm will lead to increased drug use.   Fortunately, also similarly to the data on needle exchange, the research doesn’t find this occurring.

But don’t let any actual experience bother you, LePage!

“Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose,” LePage wrote, repeating a contention that has caused controversy before. “Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction.”

It’s a strong word to use, I know.  But this is evil.

Rembrandt_Harmensz._van_Rijn_-_Christ_with_the_Sick_around_Him,_Receiving_Little_Children_(The_'Hundred_Guilder_Print')_-_Google_Art_Project

In LePage’s telling the addict isn’t a person.  He or she is rather just the worthless meat sack that locally reverses entropy between one overdose and the next.  He’s rather let those suffering an overdose die than live because, as he frames it here, the state of addiction robs the user of all other human attributes.

This is how a monster thinks.

I won’t say that this is the view that infects all of your modern Republican party, because on this issue it’s not. But it remains a perfectly mainstream one for the GOP — and this is a case of words (and inactions) that kill.

If you needed any more reason to go all yellow-dog Democrat on every line of your ballot, Governor (sic!) Paul LePage is exhibit (n)*

Last, to help wash the taste of tiny-minded misery out of your mouth, here’s Szalavitz again:

…one of the biggest misunderstandings we have about addiction is that tough love—is that being kind will fail and tough love will work. What really helps and why harm reduction, which is this idea that we will meet you where you’re at and we’ll help you whether you’re ready to stop or not—why that works is because when you have addiction, you tend to be very marginalized, self-hating. You might be homeless. You feel like a criminal. Nobody has any respect for you. And when somebody just hands you a clean needle or gives you access to naloxone and says, “I believe you deserve to live, regardless of whether you do what I want,” that’s a really powerful message of kindness.

And here a plug (full disclosure: she’s a friend) — here’s Maia’s new book on addiction.

*Where n is an arbitrary large number.

Image: Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching (The Hundred Guilder Print) c. 1649.



Tuesday Evening Open Thread: For Entertainment Purposes Only

Convention-planning update from CNN:

Sen. John McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday he might not go to the Republican National Convention this year because it’s so close to his primary in August. “I have to campaign for reelection,” he said.
This year’s convention might also be something of a spectacle if Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are slogging it out for delegates on the convention floor.

This is the latest in a trend of lawmakers who are up for reelection and are considering skipping, including Mark Kirk of Illinois, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Richard Burr of North Carolina. Some who don’t like Trump won’t go if he’s the nominee, like Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate from Pennsylvania…

It would be notable if McCain were to skip, if for no other reason than he’s had a speaking spot at every convention for more than 30 years

***********
Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



General Meow’s Chicken

image

No cats were harmed in the creation of this post.

The mister and I are driving out in the country. Lots of Trump signs, which means he wins on Planet Peggy (Noonan).

Open thread!



Saturday Morning Cartoon Open Thread: Potty Talk

toilet gender identity danziger

(Jeff Danziger’s website)
.

I’m so old, I can remember when No unisex toilets!!! was Phyllis Schlafly’s rallying cry against the Equal Rights Amendment, back in the early 1970s. Between NC Gov. McCrory and the news this week about Ted Cruz’s anti-dildo proclamation, it’s clear the Repubs — individually and as a party — have some strange ideas about other peoples’ swimsuit-covered bits…

Apart from stocking up on brain bleach, what’s on the agenda for the day?

toilet biz in nc toles

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
.

toilet for guv mccrory ohman

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
.

toilets small gubmint sheneman

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)

toilets men women other anderson

(Nick Anderson via GoComics.com)
.


Setting aside the rape for a minute

The main school in western PA is Pitt (Pittsburghers consider Penn State to be central PA or PA-at-large). Pitt football plays Penn State about once a year, and the ludicrous talent differential between the teams usually means the game gets decided somewhere in the first quarter. But Joe Paterno was a special kind of asshole, so he always kept his top squad in the game to run up the score for no other reason than because he could. Most people in the Pittsburgh area fucking hate(d) Joe Paterno since long before his assistant coach started touching boys. My grandfather was one of the nicest people I ever met, except on the topic of Paterno*. A Penn State bumper sticker parked at Pitt was maybe not a great idea. Trump was basically standing on Pitt campus when he fist-bumped a dead rape enabling shithead whose name is a special kind of dirt in this part of PA**.

Good job all around!

(*) Typical joke, now a bit dated: A football fan dies, goes to heaven and makes a beeline for the nearest game. When he gets there he sees a manic wild-haired coach running up and down the sidelines, abusing players and harassing the refs. “Hey,” the fan says to an angel in the next seat, “I didn’t know Paterno was dead.” “Paterno is fine,” the angel says. “That’s god. He just thinks he’s Joe Paterno.”
(**) Knowing the kind of jagoff who likes Trump, I bet there were plenty of Penn State diehards in that room.

***Update***

Thanks to valued commenter tinare for pointing out that Pitt and Penn State don’t play much football any more. Considering that I know almost nothing about college ball, it should give you some sense how deep the not-love for Paterno runs in these parts.








Open Thread: Trump Goes to Pander Pittsburgh

Despite all forebodings, it looks like the biggest misfire at today’s rally came from Trump’s mouth, per SB*Nation:

Donald Trump was either trying to say something that didn’t come out quite right or was very misinformed when he asked a crowd in Pittsburgh “How’s Joe Paterno?” Paterno, of course, died in 2012. Trump has tweeted about Paterno before and claims to have known him personally, making the comment on Wednesday even more odd…

Some local commuters might’ve been feeling slightly murderous, though, according to USA Today:

Hundreds of demonstrators awaited Trump backers outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, dancing and shouting epithets about the presidential hopeful. At the height of the chaos, police shoved and Trump backers lingered for confrontations.

A drum pounded, signs waved and megaphones blared near an exit for the rally, which drew thousands of attendees. Trump backers and protesters shouted as each other in some areas. In others, the demonstration had an almost jubilant flair, with protesters dancing as they chanted: “Hey hey, ho ho, racist bigots have to go,” or “F*** Donald Trump.”

The timing of the Trump rally could not have been worse for downtown traffic: A Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game were also underway…

Inside, the Trump rally had been among the least lively of his campaign. One protester disrupted Trump’s downtown event, held just under two weeks before the state’s Republican primary. Several anti-Trump activists stood silently inside the convention hall exit with their fists raised in the air…