Stupid ‘gullible’ idiots (Update #3)


  1. Originally published, February 15, 2021, 2:16 pm.

  2. February 15, 2021, 5:57 pm:

  3. February 16, 2021, 4:13 am:

    • This is what I’ve been staying the fuck out of:

      Basically, what the graph is showing is that at a particular altitude where the rain is originating, the temperature is above freezing. It’s been mostly below freezing at ground level, however, for at least a couple of weeks now. So that rain hits the surface and, unless that surface has been adequately salted recently enough, freezes. Something like this likely yielded my slip-and-fall the other day. (I’m feeling a lot better today, but still not completely back to normal.)

      My Whole Foods delivery driver was undeterred. It took her longer than expected, which I completely understand and absolutely do not blame her for, and she bravely delivered my groceries regardless. Bless her heart, but Whole Foods Market’s stocking just keeps being unbelievably awful.[1] There are only a few things I can still get this way.

    • I’ve pressed on in Ezra Klein’s book, Why We’re Polarized,[2] The more useful parts, frankly, are in the second half, where he actually, probably without intending to, explains why the Democratic Party looks like an indistinct blob from the Republican Party to folks on my end of the spectrum. The Republicans, he argues, have become more ideologically and racially homogenous, while Democrats include everybody from the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the likes of Joe Manchin and are both ideologically and racially diverse.[3] The reality remains more complicated, as I explain in my dissertation,[4] but one of the more curious aspects of Donald Trump’s presidency is that he actually managed to offer something to everybody within that coalition. Democrats, according to Klein, actually have to reach well into the right to be elected, in part because land counts for more than people with the electoral college and the construction of the Senate, and to accomplish anything.[5]

      People like me who actually need actual results will not be mollified. I need a real job[6] and am not interested in the compromises Democrats are willing to make because they aren’t solving my problem. These compromises also aren’t solving health care, even in a pandemic, or the climate crisis, or the carceral state, or police killings, or the drug war, or migration, or economic injustice. Klein fails to see that the Democrats are too ready to sacrifice the Left—this is not just ideology we’re talking about here, but real people with real grievances whose lives are often at stake—and risk losing that end of the spectrum. My Twitter feed is full of people who are fed up with the bipartisan duopoly.

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      Archived at 2021-02-16 03:54:00

      David Benfell, Ph.D. Profile picture

      David Benfell, Ph.D.

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      16 Feb, 9 tweets, 4 min read

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      1/9 In a little more than a month, I’ll start looking for another place to live for a few reasons. One place I know I won’t be looking is in @Pittsburgh. The roads aren’t maintained and don’t get plowed, firefighters are begging on the streets.

      2/9 But the mayor, @billpeduto, yammers about bicycles (@Pittsburgh is generally much too hilly for bicycling and I see very few people even on the electric bicycles that are available all around Oakland) and his corporate connections.

      3/9 @billpeduto is more worried about moving the Zone 5 #WhiteSupremacist (@PghPolice) headquarters back into the ’hood.

      4/9 @Pittsburgh takes care of business, if by business, you mean high tech artificial idiocy that draws people in from out of town to push up *some* real estate values.

      5/9 @Pittsburgh takes care of business, if by business, you mean drunken college students doing stupid shit in the South Side and restaurants where only the rich can afford to eat in neighborhoods where there’s no parking available.

      6/9 @Pittsburgh does *not* take care of business if you are poor or working class. But hey, there’s this urban connector project so people will be able walk between a now-deserted downtown and @PPGPaintsArena.

      7/9 If @billpeduto has a clue what it’s like to be poor or working class, you couldn’t tell it from his tweets, which are all about (corporate) “partnerships that produce change.” What change?

      8/9 Homewood, Lincoln-Lemington, and Larimer are all a short walk from Point Breeze, where @billpeduto lives. If he’s ever even been in those neighborhoods, you couldn’t tell. The mayor’s solution is trickle-down.

      9/9 There are a lot of @Pittsburgh neighborhoods that have seen plenty of trickle-down, as in the rich pissing on the poor. That’s pretty clearly what @billpeduto is about. And the man has the gall to run for re-election. Wow.

      I’m actually thinking about my grandparents’ old neighborhood in Dormont. If—and this is a very big if—I can afford it.


There is a new blog post entitled, “Why we won’t defang right-wing extremism.”

Ronald Brownstein, “Is the GOP’s extremist wing now too big to fail?” Cable News Network, February 14, 2021,

Right-wing militia

“We’re seen groups encouraging members to join the military, to get training in weaponry and survival skills,” [Cassie] Miller said. “It’s something that they really value.

“We also know that hate groups and white supremacy groups are actively recruiting military members. If they want to use violence to push the country into a race war, they need people with a knowledge of firearms, explosives and other military skills.”[7]

So it should not, even for a millisecond, be surprising that,

Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Edward Caldwell had a plan leading up to the violent Jan. 6 takeover of the U.S. Capitol, according to federal prosecutors.

The 66-year-old former Reserve intelligence officer wanted to transport weapons into Washington, D.C., by boat – possibly with three four-man sniper teams who could “go hunting after dark” for “cockroaches who prey on the weak.” That’s according to new court documents that allege Caldwell and other veterans who forcibly busted into the Capitol last month relied on military training to prepare for the breach.[8]

Lawyers are defending accused participants in the January 6, 2021, coup attempt by saying that then-President Donald Trump misled them, that they acted out of patriotism and loyalty rather than criminal intent. Which is to say they were stupid “gullible” idiots.[9] And that shouldn’t be the least bit surprising either. For a few reasons.

Gina Harkins, “Veterans Used Their Military Training to Plot Violence in Capitol Riot, Feds Say,”, February 15, 2021,

  1. [1]Hayley Peterson, “‘Entire aisles are empty’: Whole Foods employees reveal why stores are facing a crisis of food shortages,” Business Insider, January 18, 2018,
  2. [2]Ezra Klein, Why We’re Polarized (New York: Avid Reader, 2020).
  3. [3]Ezra Klein, Why We’re Polarized (New York: Avid Reader, 2020).
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  5. [5]Ezra Klein, Why We’re Polarized (New York: Avid Reader, 2020).
  6. [6]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d.,
  7. [7]Leo Shane, III, “Signs of white supremacy, extremism up again in poll of active-duty troops,” Military Times, February 6, 2020,
  8. [8]Gina Harkins, “Veterans Used Their Military Training to Plot Violence in Capitol Riot, Feds Say,”, February 15, 2021,
  9. [9]Gina Harkins, “Veterans Used Their Military Training to Plot Violence in Capitol Riot, Feds Say,”, February 15, 2021,

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