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"'Fuck Biden,' 'Don't Tread on Me,' and a Wisconsin Death Trip for Our Times."

"The author knocks on the doors bearing the darkest symbols, behind which lie guns, ammo, antisemitism, antiabortion dogma—and a belief in the coming civil war."

A long article by Jeff Sharlet in Vanity Fair.

Excerpt:

Rob called himself “pro-choice,” but that term means something different in his vernacular. He meant the choice of whether or not to murder a baby is up to you. “If you choose to do something that’s medically possible, I’m going to leave it between you and God, until it affects me in the state of readiness of my defense.” Readiness. It requires panopticon paranoia, looking for threats down every sight line. Rob looked at falling birth rates. He looked at what he considered Mexico’s invasion. He looked at what he suspected would be civil war according to a rural/urban divide—in which, even though he lived in town, he would side with the land he held outside of it. He looked at China, he noted they ended their population control program in 2021, he contemplated 1.4 billion Red Chinese divided by half and then by some factor again to account for age and thinks of hundreds of millions of Chinese wombs churning out multiple Chinese babies (in fact, the Chinese birth rate is falling) and he thought, “they’re getting ready.” For the future war. “You start prepping several generations ahead to have bodies when you lose so many bodies that you need a level of fresh bodies you never dreamed you’d have to dig into.”

This way of thinking was, he acknowledged, “macabre.” But the macabre has flowed into the mainstream....

"If Wisconsin Democrats lose several low-budget state legislative contests here on Tuesday... it may not matter who wins the $114 million tossup contest for governor ..."

"... between Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and Tim Michels, a Republican. Those northern seats would put Republicans in reach of veto-proof supermajorities that would render a Democratic governor functionally irrelevant.... The Republican leaders in the Wisconsin Legislature say they will bring back all 146 bills Mr. Evers has vetoed during his four years in office — measures on elections, school funding, pandemic mitigation efforts, policing, abortion and the state’s gun laws — if they win a supermajority or if Mr. Michels is elected."

From "Wisconsin Republicans Stand on the Verge of Total, Veto-Proof Power/In a 50-50 battleground state, Republicans are close to capturing supermajorities in the State Legislature that would render the Democratic governor irrelevant even if he wins re-election" (NYT).

The northern seats are "three counties in Wisconsin’s far northwest corner make up one of the last patches of rural America that have remained loyal to Democrats through the Obama and Trump years... Douglas, Bayfield and Ashland Counties."

"In states as disparate as Wisconsin and New Mexico, ads have labeled a Black candidate as 'different' and 'dangerous' and darkened a white man’s hands as they portrayed him as a criminal...."

"In Wisconsin, where Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is Black, is the Democratic nominee for Senate, a National Republican Senatorial Committee ad targeting him ends by juxtaposing his face with those of three Democratic House members, all of them women of color, and the words 'different' and 'dangerous.' In a mailer sent to several state House districts in New Mexico, the state Republican Party darkened the hands of a barber shown giving a white child a haircut, next to the question, 'Do you want a sex offender cutting your child’s hair?'... Appeals to white fears and resentments are an old strategy in American elections, etched into the country’s political consciousness, with ads like George Bush’s ad using the Black convict Willie Horton against Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Jesse Helms’s 1990 commercial showing a white man’s hands to denounce his Black opponent’s support for 'quotas.'" 

From "With Ads, Imagery and Words, Republicans Inject Race Into Campaigns/Running ads portraying Black candidates as soft on crime — or as 'different' or 'dangerous' — Republicans have shed quiet defenses of such tactics for unabashed defiance" (NYT).

The manipulation of the color of hands is a very specific problem, and I don't like seeing the name of my state mixed up in that accusation. I don't like "In states as disparate as Wisconsin and New Mexico, ads have... darkened a white man’s hands as they portrayed him as a criminal." That happened in New Mexico but not in Wisconsin.

Yes, there has been been relentless advertising against Mandela Barnes here in Wisconsin, but I haven't seen any photoshopping of the color of hands or other body parts. What I'm seeing — and it's practically the only advertising I'm seeing — is the connection of Mandela Barnes to crime and to policies advocated by the most left-wing Democrats. Yes, you can argue that is inherently racial, and the NYT article also does that, but it's a far cry from this awfulness from New Mexico:

Wisconsin confuses outsiders.

I'm reading "Video of Wisconsin supermarket’s massive frozen pizza section goes viral: ‘What’s going on down there?’" (The Hill).

Down there? Sounds like you couldn't even point to us on a map. Unless you're in Canada. We are not down there. We are up here. And up here, we have a store called Woodman's. When I first moved here 38 years ago, I used to take visitors from New York City to Woodman's to entertain them in precisely the way this video is entertaining millions this week. I didn't have social media to share the fun at the time, but it's funny to me now that something I've known for 38 years — Woodman's is a very big store — is amazing millions in 2022.

"It’s a marvelous lake. If you aggregate all of its assets, it’s one of the most exciting cruise destinations anywhere."

Said Stephen Burnett, executive director of the Great Lakes Cruise Association, quoted in "Lake Superior Is Cold, Sparsely Settled and Known for Bad Weather. Perfect for Cruising, Some Say. As cruising picks up, one small Wisconsin port weighs the pros and cons of more ships and their impact on the town and the environment" (NYT).
In late May, 30 m.p.h. south winds forced Viking to cancel shore excursions to Bayfield. The first three stops in Houghton, Mich., on the Keweenaw Peninsula, were also canceled because of inclement weather and winds, much to the chagrin of Marylyn and Randy Sandrik, passengers who live in Frisco, Texas.... 
So far they are enamored with both the ship and the voyage. “I like that there’s no smoking, no gambling, no casinos, no charge for drinks and no talent shows on board,” said Ms. Sandrik.... 

I love that string of "no"s with the one about drinking being "no charge."  

In Bayfield, Ted Dougherty, the chairman of the Bayfield Harbor Commission, and other local officials, including Lynne Dominy, the superintendent of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, spent a total of three years negotiating with Viking. Ms. Dominy’s concerns about the ship were the safety of park visitors in smaller vessels like sailboats and kayaks, wake damage to park shoreline and infrastructure, and the displacement of local businesses who offer ferry excursions and other boat journeys within the park....
"In states as disparate as Wisconsin and New Mexico, ads have labeled a Black candidate as 'different' and 'dangerous' and darkened a white man’s hands as they portrayed him as a criminal...."

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