In service to a psychotic delusional raging narcissist

Sadly, Bandy Lee’s The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump[1] is one of many books that sits on my shelf, unread, because I’m so busy trying to keep my head above water driving for Uber and Lyft that I cannot take time to catch up on reading that I’ve thought important.[2] Read more

  1. [1]Bandy Lee, ed., The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (New York: Saint Martin’s, 2017).
  2. [2]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/

The faith of zealous skepticism

Some things are just weird.

There could only be two possibilities. One is that there is something genuinely paranormal happening, and if that is true, that would be amazing. Or, alternatively—which is more the line that I do favor—it tells us something very interesting about human psychology. So either way, it’s worth taking seriously.[1]

Read more

  1. [1]Christopher French, quoted in Rebecca Nathanson, “The Hard Science of Reincarnation,” Vice, March 31, 2021, https://www.vice.com/en/article/jgqygg/hard-science-of-reincarnation-past-lives

On ‘vaccine passports’

See updates through May 3, 2021, at end of post.


Note: I am aware of concerns that ‘vaccine passports’ may be unfair to those who are unfairly disadvantaged in accessing vaccines. This post does not address those concerns, which are diminishing within the U.S.,[1] nor the problem of medical apartheid and vaccination resistance,[2] but rather the conservative objection to such ‘passports.’

According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, “[i]t’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.”[3] Read more

  1. [1]Philip Bump, “Vaccine skepticism and disregard for containment efforts go hand in hand,” Washington Post, April 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/04/02/vaccine-skepticism-disregard-containment-efforts-go-hand-in-hand/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Medical apartheid and COVID-19 vaccinations,” Not Housebroken, March 30, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/03/26/medical-apartheid-and-covid-19-vaccinations/
  3. [3]Laurel Wamsley, “Florida Gov. DeSantis Rejects Vaccine Passports As ‘Completely Unacceptable,’” National Public Radio, March 30, 2021, https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/03/30/982837517/florida-gov-desantis-rejects-vaccine-passports-as-completely-unacceptable

The thin logic of gun nuttery

Lindsey Graham says he “needs his own AR-15 . . . in case disaster strikes and he needs to defend his home against a roving ‘gang.’”[1] Let’s be clear about what this says. Read more

  1. [1]Tim Elfrink, “Lindsey Graham says he needs AR-15 for defense: ‘My house will be the last one that the gang will come to,’” Washington Post, March 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/03/29/lindsey-graham-ar15-defense-disaster/

Medical apartheid and COVID-19 vaccinations

See updates through May 3, 2021, at end of post.


I go in today for my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19. I had symptoms, all pretty much on the list of side effects, with the first shot, and I’ve heard that the second shot is worse,[1] so I’m taking this one seriously, expecting to take the day off sick.

I hadn’t really considered the vaccine a matter of white privilege. Read more

  1. [1]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine,” March 16, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

San Francisco’s political establishment doth protest too much

“Are you kidding?” I exclaimed as I saw the headline on a San Francisco Chronicle story in which a San Francisco School Board member, Alison Collins, had been accused of racism and her resignation demanded by a significant chunk of The City’s political establishment.[1] This is, after all, the very same school board that attracted national derision for a decision to cover up a mural in my old high school, then for deciding to rename (a decision later suspended) schools that had been named after famous whites, including presidents.[2]

The reality is a bit more nuanced. And much of what I will write here is based on my own recollections. To call my account of the context here incomplete would likely woefully understate the matter. What I want to do, at the same time I think maybe The City’s establishment needs to catch its breath and step back a bit for a broader perspective, is to explain that there is more to the story that helps to understand what’s happening. Read more

  1. [1]Jill Tucker, “Mayor Breed calls for S.F. school board member to resign over racist tweets directed at Asian Americans,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 2021, https://www.sfchronicle.com/education/article/Mayor-Breed-calls-for-S-F-school-board-member-to-16040970.php
  2. [2]David Benfell, “A non-conformist mural and a non-conformist kid: Why the mural still must be covered up,” Not Housebroken, August 14, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/14/a-non-conformist-mural-and-a-non-conformist-kid-why-the-mural-still-must-be-covered-up/; David Benfell, “It’s fine to highlight other people. But don’t cite historical falsehoods when you do,” Not Housebroken, February 21, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/02/06/its-fine-to-highlight-other-people-but-dont-cite-historical-falsehoods-when-you-do/; Isaac Chotiner, “How San Francisco Renamed Its Schools,” New Yorker, February 6, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/how-san-francisco-renamed-its-schools; Greg Keraghosian, “SF school board pauses renaming 44 schools, promises to consult historians in future,” SFGate, February 21, 2021, https://www.sfgate.com/local/article/SF-school-board-pauses-renaming-44-schools-15968504.php; Karin Klein, “At first, it looked like censorship. But covering up controversial mural makes sense,” Sacramento Bee, July 20, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article232846267.html; Fernando Martinez, “San Francisco school board considers renaming a school after the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia,” SFGate, January 29, 2021, https://www.sfgate.com/sf-culture/article/San-Francisco-School-Board-considers-renaming-a-15909103.php; Carol Pogash, “San Francisco School Board May Save Controversial George Washington Mural,” New York Times, August 10, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/10/arts/san-francisco-murals.html; Carol Pogash, “San Francisco School Board Votes to Hide, but Not Destroy, Disputed Murals,” New York Times, August 14, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/arts/san-francisco-murals-george-washington.html