Tag Archives: Juanita Jean

Death Wish?

As I have previously noted, I regularly read a Texas blog titled Juanita Jean: The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc. The blogger, Juanita Jean Herownself–nee Susan DuQuesnay Bankston–reminds me a lot of the late, great Molly Ivins.

The other day, her post suggested a possible answer to a question many of us find perplexing, namely, what the hell is wrong with people who stubbornly, deliberately engage in behaviors that obviously and seriously endanger them?

It isn’t just vaccination, either.

So there’s a giant fire in California and it looks like the only thing that’s gonna put it out is for Canada to melt and head south.

Firefighters are evacuating homes in the line of fire.

They ain’t going. And you can’t make ‘em.

They are met with people who have guns and [are] saying, ‘Get off my property and you are not telling me to leave,’” he said.

In response to those who flatly refused to evacuate, he said, deputies were asking for next-of-kin information.

Now, here’s what I say.  When people come to the hospital without a COVID vaccine and expect us to break the back of our health care system to help them, it pisses me off.  If you want to stay in a house that’s gonna burn down, do not expect us to come rescue you once the fire is at your door and there’s no escape route.  Give us your kids and then go sit in your kitchen and drink the kool aid.

This goes well beyond stupidity.

Could it be that a not-insignificant portion of the population actually has a death wish? I think of recent headlines about “deaths of despair” and the opioid epidemic; I think about the (fortunately, still rare) “suicide by cop” phenomenon. I think about growing rates of anxiety and depression…

The post led me to do some (very superficial) research on suicide and suicidal tendencies. I was shocked to discover that the World Health Organization has labeled suicide one of the world’s leading causes of death–I would never have guessed that.

In the articles I found, the personality traits most likely to be predictive of suicidal intent included–in addition to the psychological issues that one might expect–hopelessness and  hostility. Given the constant drumbeat of negative news, from climate change to COVID to the continuing inability of our government to function properly, and the consequential drowning out of news items suggesting  upcoming changes for the better, is it any wonder that many people–especially those who may already have experienced disappointments with their lives–might consciously or subconsciously harbor such thoughts?

Given the dawning recognition of social changes that are eroding White Christian male social dominance, I found it interesting that the highest rate of suicide in the U.S. is among White men over the age of 65.

Okay–I do realize that this exploration into the motives of people whose behaviors are incompatible with reason and self-regard is pretty fanciful. I’m probably just grasping for straws–but  I found Juanita Jean’s post interesting, because it reminds us that it isn’t simply the loons inventing reasons to avoid potentially life-saving vaccinations who are behaving in mystifying (and ultimately suicidal) ways.

And credit where credit is due: at least the homeowners who are willing to die in their houses aren’t endangering unaware others–something you sure can’t say about the anti-vaxxers.

The longer I live (and I’m one of those people who intends to hang in here as long as possible), the less I understand….


Stuff That Makes Me Feel Better…

Here and there, evidence of progress against hate and division makes me feel marginally more hopeful.

 Juanita Jean reports that Fort Bend, Texas elected its first Black sheriff since 1869. (Fort Bend was Tom DeLay‘s old district.)

A reader sent me an editorial written as the final results were being tallied. It was headlined “Stop Saying America is Divided. It Isn’t” and it made some important points.

What’s always been certain is Biden winning the popular vote. What’s surprising is his winning more votes than anyone. I mean, like, ever. He’s at more than 71.7 million votes, as of this writing. That breaks Barack Obama’s record in 2008. The number is going to go higher as votes come in from California and other western strongholds. Some estimate that his final tally, when it’s all over but the shouting, could top 80 million. That plus the Electoral College victory equals not just a landslide defeat of one lying, thieving, philandering sadist. It’s a wholesale rejection of GOP orthodoxy. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 50.7 percent of the popular vote. Biden could eclipse 52.

The essay goes on to dispute the “conventional wisdom” that the country is divided symmetrically, pointing out that the Democratic presidential candidate has gotten more votes in seven out of the last eight elections.

As the author argues, the electorate is divided, but that division is not 50-50.

Biden is on track to win the biggest coalition this country has ever seen. He’s on track to best the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious coalition of his former boss. Continuing to insist uncritically that the US is divided down the middle not only blurs the line between country and electorate, it minimizes Biden’s and his coalition’s achievement. The majority has ruled. There is now a consensus. The incumbent should have one term. America should be a democratic republic, not a white-wing autocracy…

Some ask why 40 percent of the country voted for dictatorship. It’s simple. Democracy empowers people that 40 percent—representing 69 million voters—don’t like. As I argued Monday, it brought us Barack Obama. It will bring us Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. If you can’t accept that, if you can’t accept the political legitimacy of non-white people in positions of power, you’re probably willing to do anything to “right that wrong,” even if that means killing yourself. Yes, we came very close to seeing the reelection of a chaotic tyrant. More important, however, is a massive majority saw the danger and put a stop to it.

He’s right. The sad thing, however, is that 40% minority includes a majority of white Americans. 

Finally, Heather Cox Richardson adds her considered, informed analysis.She began by reminding us of the degree to which Trump and his team have governed by creating their own reality. When that tactic fails, they are at sea.

He planned to challenge the counting of the mail-in ballots in the courts, all the while telling his supporters that Democrats were stealing his victory. If he could gin up enough chaos, he could buy time to throw the results into doubt and, perhaps, get the Supreme Court to enter the fight. There, he hoped for victory with the help of the three justices who owed him their seats.

He planned to subvert the election, staying in power thanks to his extraordinary ability to control the narrative, making people believe things that are not true.

The only thing that could stymie that narrative was overwhelming turnout from Democrats. To make that impossible, Trump’s team arranged to keep voters from the polls in places like Florida, and Texas, and enlisted Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to delay the mails so ballots would not be delivered in time to be counted.

But, in the end, their plans could not completely suppress those Americans fed up with the Trump administration. As I write tonight, Biden and Harris are winning the popular vote by more than 4 million votes, and the numbers are rising. If it weren’t for our antiquated Electoral College system, this election would already be over, decisively.

In the years to come, researchers will determine just how many Biden votes were suppressed–not cast or not counted. That number–which includes the  disfranchisement of 1.5 million ex-felons in Florida, despite an overwhelming vote in 2018 to restore their voting rights–will add to the margin by which the majority of Americans rejected Donald Trump.

Our job is to keep the arc of history moving toward justice.


Thank Heavens For Ineptitude

I have mentioned before my fondness for Juanita Jean, The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Shop. It’s the blog Molly Ivins would have authored had she lived into the blog era.

I want to share a recent post in its entirety. It’s amusing–but like most of Juanita Jean’s observations, it’s also pretty profound.

Remember back last summer when Trump took away John Brennan’s security clearance?  Brennan says he hasn’t heard from anybody about anything officially notifying him that his pass had been revoked, so maybe …

Yep.  Trump never did it. Brenna still has a full clearance because …

But the White House never followed through with the complex bureaucratic work it would have taken to strip the clearance, according to a person familiar with the process.

Okay, you get to pick: lazy or stupid.

I’m going with the hybrid – too dumb to find out how but also too lazy to follow through even if they did find out how.

Trump doesn’t care about accomplishing anything. He just wants headlines.

Anyone who has followed this administration can attest to the accuracy of this observation. For most of us, the first impulse is to bemoan the fact that we have a President with a very limited intellect who clearly knows nothing about the job he was accidentally elected to do.

I have a different reaction: relief.

I’ve noted before that when Trump is sued for doing something that violates the law, or is otherwise stupid or damaging, he almost always loses. This is because he–and the Keystone Kops with whom he has surrounded himself–rarely know what the hell they are doing, and even more rarely follow the rules that govern policy change.

Think about this: Virtually everything the Trump Administration tries to do is wrong, damaging, corrupt, unAmerican and (often) incredibly stupid.

Can you imagine how bad it would be if this crew was competent? (Think of the incredible damage Mitch McConnell has done to American democracy, because he’s both evil and good at what he does.)

Thank God they are–to repeat Juanita Jean’s accurate observation-too dumb to learn and  too lazy to follow through even if they did.

Progress Report From Juanita Jean

So much winning…

A few days ago, my favorite Texas blogger summed it all up:

As of this moment, we have no Attorney General, no White House Chief of Staff, no Interior Secretary, no Director of the EPA, the Secretary of Education is a religious nut trying to destroy education, the VP is a religious nut who believes women should be subjugated, the Secretary of State is a political hack helping cover up the murder of a Saudi journalist, the Director of National Security wants to bomb Iran, 18 countries have no US ambassador (including Australia), half of the positions in the State Department remain unfilled, the stock market is down almost 3,000 points, China now owns Pacific rim trade, the US is the only major power to NOT be in the Paris accords, the entire world is either terrified or laughing at us, and the president has shut down the government for the last 10 days over his 5th century solution to a 21st century problem. Notice I didn’t mention anything about everyone convicted, in jail, or on the way to jail, or Trump’s current average of telling over 500 lies per month.

This is great? Are we tired of winning yet?

The answer to her (entirely rhetorical) question is: yes, some 60% of us are very tired of Trump and his version of “winning.

The question that is harder to answer is, what the f**k is wrong with that other 40%?”