« What Are They Trying to Accomplish? | Main | Xiànzài huàngè wánquán bùtóng de dōngxī!! »

June 16, 2020


Yep, bobbyp. This is why I mentioned Social Control Theory. That growing gap in wealth coupled with the ongoing incarceration travesty in the US is going to undo everything.

I still think McKinney's formulation needed addressing, even if it's not on point as regard the article

In Japanese martial arts, there is a principle that is called kuzushi
and is generally given as "if your opponent pushes, pull, and if your opponent pulls, push"

Of course, this views the 'vandals' as being the enemy. However, nothing that McT or Marty have said makes me think that they view them as part of the American polity. So I wonder if they have seen these protests with their own eyes as opposed to viewing them thru the lens of the media (There have been some protests supporting BLM here in Japan and the k-pop community has also mobilized itself


But returnig to the the principal of kuzushi is not simply applicable to an attacker, it is also a technique for de-escalation. Ellis Amdur is one practioner who has written about it and here is an interview with him


and in my US aikido dojo, there was always a smattering of police or social workers who were looking to apply aikido, not simply the techniques but also the mindset, to their work.

In Japan, anyone who wants to become a police officer has to have a 1st degree black belt in either Judo, kendo or Aikido (karate may also apply) This requirement is interesting because when I did judo, about 6 months or so before job application time, we'd get a handful of men who were looking to check that box for their job applications. However, it is well known that if you would like to keep up your martial arts, going into the police is a good option because you will be encouraged to do so. And if theories of de-escalation are broadly based within the force, you reduce the chance that police are going to view themselves as warriors.

There have been some protests supporting BLM here in Japan and the k-pop community has also mobilized itself

The US not only exports its culture but also its social movements...

If an unrestrained mob--that is what it is, not matter how much we try to gussy it up--is tearing down monuments or statues or what have you based on that mob's assessment of what it likes and does not like, then you have .

Well, OK. I agree.

But if a legislature gerrymandered to give power to those who, unlike the majority of the people in the state, or country, admire the Confederacy, refuses to remove Confederate statues that too is "the Polar Opposite of "we, as a nation" deciding the issue."

A lot of the folks now acting as if the method of removing the statues is their only complaint were not long ago, it seems to me, very much in favor of leaving them in place, and even supported efforts to deny the will of "we, as a nation," or "we as a state" in this and other matters.

Bernard, I dont care about the statues themselves. As far as I know I've never seen one. But there is a process by which we as a nation decide things. As usual, when the left cant win the vote they protest the process.

John and russell, I can name lots of historical acts of violence by individuals, or even small groups, that I abhor. That's different than running through the downtown of thirty cities smashing windows, throwing bombs and attacking the police. The fact that you support some unexpressed goal of the rioters doesnt mean their actions arent different in kind from any right wing demonstration you can name. Even at Charlottesville they showed up looking for a fight.

They are violent and dangerous, as are the right wing extremists, there are more of them and they currently act with practical impunity.

No point in discussing it further.

Have a nice night.

The formulation is this: to prevent this kind of vandalism, the American people must do what the vandals want.

A closer (imperfect, but closer) formulation might be: to prevent this kind of vandalism, give the people who agree with the vandals on ends** reasonable cause to believe that, if they persuade a plurality of their fellow citizens, the changes that they desire could happen via normal governmental process.

At the moment, that doesn't exist in far too many places with Confederate statues.

** Without whom, the vandals would be dealt with more briskly.

As usual, when the left cant win the vote they protest the process.

Yeah, the right rigs the process instead.

You do see the difference between the immediate aftermath of a horrific event and longer-term behavior, right? And you do see the difference between being ready for a fight and starting one, don’t you?

Maybe not. I should take russell’s advice.

Speaking of the Bundy's:


If a live Bundy stands still for five minutes, may I tear him down?

Incredible. As only the Republican Party can manage it, there's not a Democrat or a BLM (neither one) in sight, but they've managed to get a "them" and an "us" going at full tilt among themselves.

There's no three sides about it.

Imagine if Covid-19 was cholera or smallpox and someone suggested tracking who has what in Idaho.

They are certifiably insane and dangerous to the Republic for which statues stand.

Who are these "people"?


The US not only exports its culture but also its social movements...

Well, getting back to our original question, if you think about how fundamental the African American experience is to popular music, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Unless you think that rock and roll started with Buddy Holly...

Time for a referendum on public memorials?

We could get a good board game company to design the rules for federal/state/local memorials to give us both broad representation and broad acceptance (if not full support).

Would be a productive conversation if handled correctly (which probably means it would be a disaster, but then what we have is a disaster, so...).

It could be that Covid-19 will make what we have been talking about here disappear off the radar.

Nothing has been done to get ready if, as it seems, this thing is here to stat for some interim:


I fully expect Trump Republican operatives, as we near the November election, who have been purposefully infected with Covid-19, will attempt assassinations by viral loads of Joe Biden and Democratic candidates across the country.

We're dealing with pure EVIL.

The conservative movement has succeeded in their dearest and most malign goal; make government irrelevant and useless and prevent its efficacy as a force for protecting the American people.

Getting us ready for the next year or two of this pandemic and stockpiling for our needs would seem the most elementary of goals.

Pork chops are a national security interest, but the orderly procurement and secure storage of virus prevention and contamination equipment are ignored.

Then, think about the 30% or more of the population who will refuse a vaccine because because because ... gummint.

There may well be a vaccine available to Donald Trump and Mike Pence weeks before the election. They will make a show of receiving the shots on live TV and the internet, rolling up their sleeves and jokingly looking away from the injection like playful kids.

That vaccine will be fake.

If this sick culture is an export item, it should be blockaded and sanctioned by the rest of the world and labeled diseased and stamped with a skull and cross bones, like fissionable materials or Iranian oil.

Speaking of unrestrained mobs, how about an unequivocal condemnation of the Boston Tea Party?

Everyone knows those were Mohawk Indians, the Antifa of them days.

Wanna be canceled for saving the lives of gratitude-less Americans?

Work in public health care.


Please check political affiliation instead of health insurance before allotting scarce healthcare hospital beds, ventilators, home care, emergency room services and medical providers' lives to conservative republicans.

Isn't rationing one of their favorite economic doodads?

Do it for the right reasons now.

The cancellation culture of Rush Limbaugh and conservative social media:


Usually dying assholes ease up on the malign Evil, figuring they are close to entering the pearly gates, but I think he's trying to figure out how to sell the pearly gates on the black market and do his show from Hell.

He's faking the lung cancer.

Either that, or he's observing all of the social distancing protocols to save his EVIL butt.

I didn't realize his personal doctor, Dr. Mengele, took cancer patients, except to the ovens.

I expect Limbaugh is forcing his expensive hookers to secure head to toe in reinforced disinfected spandex as they search for his pecker, while of course, they recite the Lord's Prayer while gargling bleach.

His Medal of Freedom is a statue.

Biden needs to get that thing back.

Getting ready to cancel, conservatives are:


One wonders when racist, contemptible "Lock and Load" Buchanan will have a statue erected of himself.


Tell me where it is.

How Long Will the Vandals Run Amok?

So, are Antifa, in their black attire, the Goths?...

As usual, when the left cant win the vote they protest the process.

Sometimes the protests are justified.

what byomtov said.

A brief accounting of civil unrest in US history.

It begins after the colonial period, which offered its own smorgasbord of mayhem.


Governor, and I use the term lightly, Abbott of Texas, when he is canceled, can make a living touting for filling up empty hospital beds.


Death and dying is good business. Get a piece of it.

Catch something!

I think we've found the paragon of American bullshit, excepting Trump of course.


The Founders saw this coming too, besides the Lockheed Swiss Army Knife fighter jet with the clogged air filter, and Steve Bannon, who appeared to Aaron Burr during a wet dream.

They envisioned a guy who would come along and present, embody, the entire grift from the getgo.

This is why they left the Constitution to broad voluntary and provisional platitudes ... because they saw this guy coming and who wants to stifle such perfect bullshit.

Hint: the grift is not choosing stocks via Scrabble letters.

That actually works. Which says something.

Question on my FB page, which reaches a few professional historians:

Has anyone produced a general US history textbook (HS or university level) for which the primary audience was assumed to be an African-American reader? A Native American reader?

So far no one has been able to point to one.

Did Marty and McKinney condemn the mob violence of the Orange Revolution? No.

Do Marty and McKinney condemn the Hong Kong riots? Not likely.

But, they will claim, those are different! No, grasshopper, it is a difference of degree, not kind.

So I ask them to join me to express deep deep regret that the Brooks Brothers rioters were not mercilessly gunned down by the National Guard as they so deserved to be as they were an out of control mob trying to violently stop our sacred democratic right to count the vote. We continue to live in the tragic historical backwash of that violent mob action.

The Narrative of a Life of a Slave, Frederick Douglas

Chief Joseph, Nez Perce. Collected Quotes.

Generally not read or taught at any level, but texts nonetheless.

Easily rectified.

As usual, when the left cant win the vote they protest the process.

And when the right can't win, they cheat.

Take your pick.

If only the Chicago Police force had been ordered in on the Brooks Brother riot.

With choke holds.

I can find solace among the Waste Land:


Actually, the American Conservative was full in on the Orange Revolution.

Then the protesters demanded pay raises and torched a Mercedes belonging to a conservative and not a peep since.

How much are these shoes?

I'm sorry sir, do not coerce me into naming a price.

Let it be a surprise between the two to us.

Basically, what the medical hospital association will say in their appeal of the ruling on revealing medical procedure prices.

Still, the hospital rank and file have been treated like shit.

Apropos of nothing, except everything, and as a way of signing off because I'm too much, did you know that Desi Arnaz invited Shirley Jackson, author of "The Lottery", and "The Haunting of Hill House", among other much underrated works, to write an episode of "I Love Lucy".

Jackson declined the offer.


That is all.

what kind of society values property over black lives?

The problem is, we know the answer to that question.

John Thullen - good books, and the Douglass narrative is widely taught, as lit if not as history. Chief Joseph less so outside of Native American studies.

But neither is a general history textbook of the sort used for US History in HS or for 100 level college courses.

closest I could come up with is Zinn's People's History, but even that one does not meet your standard.

Possiable African American history textbooks:

African American History: The Development of a People

Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present

From Slavery to Freedom: 10th Edition

CharlesWT - those are probably good books, but they are not general history books, but rather African American history textbooks. I'm specifically wondering how one would go about presenting general history in a straight up US history course, but written in a way that identifies with a "marked" readers viewpoint by default and makes a non-marked audience secondary.

It's an interesting thought problem that should be an actual project, and I'm hoping that somebody somewhere has already done this.

i support adding a 500ft Gen Sherman stomping on these three asshats.

I think I have a better idea. Vastly expand it (enough room for that) and make it a memorial to Ghost Riders in The Sky. Demon Cows in front, the Devil (who could be in the likeness of Sherman or not) in the back and the lyrics above. And maybe a KKK cowboy below to whom the warning is issued.

My favorite bit from the wiki page on civil unrest:

This list does not include the numerous incidents of destruction and violence associated with various sporting events.

You know what, up thread a bit I got the Orange Revolution of Ukraine mixed up with France's Yellow Vests of more recent vintage.

And they take such care to color code these things for us.

Color me wrong, but perhaps you already have.

Even at Charlottesville they showed up looking for a fight.

they were at Charlottesville to protest white supremacist groups.

some points of view come armor-plated. you can keep on trying to make a dent, but at some point it's best to just walk away.

they were at Charlottesville to VIOLENTLY protest white supremacist groups.

But then we cant discuss that, that's the third side yall keep saying cant exist. White supremacist groups suck, violent antifa groups suck.

I support neither side. I'm for not having violent reactionaries on either side.

this Oppose The Libz reflex puts people into strange positions.

But then we cant discuss that, that's the third side yall keep saying cant exist. White supremacist groups suck, violent antifa groups suck.

on one hand, violent racists. on the other hand people who are violent towards violent racists.



No, not the same, but both wrong.

Only Marty is right. Because ...


I dont think my reflex is the one that puts me in a strange position. I find the reflex to support violent rioting vandalism by the Libz is the dissonant position.

No, not the same but both wrong is pretty straightforward.

No, not the same, but both wrong.

equally wrong?

both groups are going to the same circle of hell?

what's the correct way to protest racism?

it's not silently kneeling.

it's not peacefully marching.

it's not confronting skinhead gangs.

John, I think the Yellow vests were much like the current riots here, broad support for the protest not so much for the violence. But that's my recollection.

Hong Kong protests seemed more like the Tea Party, though futile, in that those peoe were sold to the Chinese and the ultimate ramifications are occupation. Somewhat different in kind.

Of course you think what you think, Marty.

But if you think the rest of us "support violent rioting vandalism by the Libz", but you DON'T reflexively support every authoritarian thug and violent racist that comes along, you haven't been reading everything you've written here for over a decade.


Attacking peoe and property is wrong. Period. We are not talking about circles of hell. You are defending thugs and terrorists under the guise of them being against thugs and terrorists.

I didnt say kneeling was inappropriate, I said it was a pity, its intention I'm certain.

I've certainly never said a peaceful March was inappropriate.

Confronting skinhead gangs to incite violence is wrong. Intentionally putting people in danger to make your point is stupid, illegal and counterproductive. What could go wrong?

Pity = pita

I usually ignore you Tony, but I dont support any racist period.

I dont condone or support violence, although I have defended the one politician who got pissed and choked a guy who was harassing him, while recognizing it wasnt a correct response.

So no, you are wrong, and I would appreciate you not generalizing such an accusation. Be cause of course that's what you want, is to generally accuse me so you dont have to back it up with a fact.

You are defending thugs and terrorists under the guise of them being against thugs and terrorists.

i'm trying to figure out just how much you care about racism. because, as always, you're doing your damndest to make sure that we know you hate the liberal "side" of this; but you're not saying much about the point of it all - the racism.

I find the reflex to support violent rioting vandalism by the Libz is the dissonant position.

Ah, yes. That's what everyone's been saying. I like how you switch between "protest" and "violent rioting" as needed. It's not obvious bad faith or anything like that.

The point of it is what? How is the rioting and vandalism helping to solve racism?

Every day in every media forum you can find reasonable people tuning out because of the rioting.

After 50 years of being a staunch supporter of the Civil Rights movement, and subsequently any number of community initiatives to create opportunity, I find the violence counterproductive and the proposed equity initiatives stupid. And I thought about the stupid word, I cant imagine what else to call it.

So, outside of this forum,I am silent because, just like here, any dissent is racist. So I just listen and learn and dont participate because that's what I'm told is what I'm supposed to do. Except when I'm supposed to speak up, but then I dont really grasp things because I'm too stupid so I should shut up and listen more.


I support protest. And dont support rioting and vandalism. I dont switch back and forth.

Great. So you think the Boston Tea Party was wrong.

The point of it is what? How is the rioting and vandalism helping to solve racism?

The point of it, I should think is this: If you are truly outraged by "rioting and vandalism" then you should be holding your head in shame about a country that was founded on violent treason, violently stole its territory from the previous inhabitants who it then gratuitously slaughtered, used rioting and terror to hold an entire race of people down for hundreds of years.

The proper response to an acknowledgment of shame to right the wrong.

That wrong has not been righted. There is a debt owed. We need to pay it.

hsh, I already commented on that above. But that's as bad faith an argument as exists. I wasnt there, the problem ended up causing a violent revolution, if that's where we are going I think that's a mistake, now. Maybe it was then, I wasnt there. It certainly didnt solve any problem as far as I can see.

What form of protest DO you support, Marty? Peaceful, orderly, polite demonstrations that inconvenience nobody and involve no language stronger than "I mildly object to X"?

However would you personally learn that such a protest had even taken place?

How should the peaceful, orderly, polite demonstrators react when thugs in cop uniforms shove them to the ground?

How should the peaceful, orderly, polite demonstrators react when thugs in MAGA hats, or "peacefully" brandishing firearms, confront them?

How would you advise peaceful, orderly, polite Nazis or Klansmen to "protest"? Or anti-choice zealots, for that matter?

Your schtick is always "You Libz are doing it wrong". Okay, YOU tell us how to do it right. But if your advice amounts to "don't rock the boat", don't expect to be taken seriously.

This is a revolution dammit! We have to offend somebody!


But that's as bad faith an argument as exists.

Like anyone could even know that. (Napoleon Dynamite humor)

they were at Charlottesville to VIOLENTLY protest white supremacist groups.

Who is "they"?

I know people who were at Charlottesville. They weren't violent.

Some of them owed their safety on that day to some of the people you're calling out here as "violent reactionaries". So, there's that.

It's complicated.

But then we cant discuss that

I believe it was discussed at length at the time, and now here we are, again.

I'm for not having violent reactionaries on either side.

That's a perfectly reasonable position.

If we're going to have anything like a reasonable discussion of any of this, we're going to have to recognize that people are engaging with the Floyd protest phenomena with a really wide variety of agendas and goals, and with a really wide variety of tactics.

Some people - which is to say, an enormous number of people - are showing up to peacefully protest the murder of George Floyd, with all of the attendant issues of racism and police conduct that come along with that.

Some people - on both sides - are engaging in civil disobedience that involves the destruction of public property.

Some people - on several sides - are exploiting the protests to engage in direct action involving the destruction of property and violence against people, including police, to advance agendas that have nothing whatsoever to do with Floyd's murder.

Some people are shooting people because they think rioters are going to wreck their property. Sometimes those fears are justified, sometimes they are not. Sometimes the property in question belongs to them, sometimes it doesn't.

Some cops are behaving in amazingly responsible ways, some are basically engaging in a riot of their own.

Some people are looting and trashing property in a deliberate attempt to discredit the peaceful protestors.

Some people are looting and trashing property because, hey, free stuff.

And some people just like to watch stuff burn.

All of that is going on. And probably a dozen other things that don't come to mind at the moment.

If you're gonna talk about this stuff, you're obliged to recognize that ALL OF THAT is going on.

There is no one thing that are "the protests".

People are fucking pissed off. They've had enough of 1,000 different kinds of shit. Some of them are expressing that in responsible ways, some less so, some not at all. And lots of other people are jumping in with their own projects and agendas, including just fucking around with the situation because its sufficiently chaotic - for lots of reasons - that they can get away with it.

So pick your topic and address whichever piece or pieces of that you want to, but unless you want to just yell at clouds here, you need to be clear about what it is you're addressing.

My thinking is that I support every action anyone has taken so long as I agree with their politics. Or at least I think that's what Marty thinks I think. All the other libz, too.

seems to me that violence almost always gets the other side* to dig in even deeper. so maybe it's not a great way to negotiate. but it's often a sign of frustration over the fact that negotiating, or politely asking, or peacefully protesting, or even legislating, isn't working. violence is never people's first resort [psychotics aside].

and, it seems to me, that one must distinguish violence in support of evil vs violence against that evil. to refuse to do so is immoral.

that doesn't mean i think antifa is a net-plus in these BLM protests. i do approve of their goals in this situation (support BLM by making it clear that racists are not welcome), even if i disagree with their means.

but racists? be they peaceful or polite or violent, i want them to feel threatened, despised and unwelcome. they're evil. they don't deserve a seat at the table.

* the "other side" here is people who won't admit systemic racism exists or is worth solving? W.T.F.

what's the correct way to protest racism?

it's not silently kneeling.

it's not peacefully marching.

it's not confronting skinhead gangs.

Is it this?


People are fucking pissed off. They've had enough of 1,000 different kinds of shit. Some of them are expressing that in responsible ways, some less so, some not at all. And lots of other people are jumping in with their own projects and agendas, including just fucking around with the situation because its sufficiently chaotic - for lots of reasons - that they can get away with it.

Actually, do we have a head count on how AA's see all of this stuff? I mean, other than what white peeps think AA's think and what the BLM spokes people say AA's think, do we really have a good idea?

Because one thing that pops out to me is, while a lot of AA's are probably on board with dumping confederate statues, making June 19th a holiday and generally improving economic opportunity, I strongly suspect that the full BLM agenda is not supported anywhere other than within the limited confines of the Woke/Progressive left.

I also suspect that the long this goes on and the more heated the rhetoric becomes, AA's and most other folks are going to grow weary.

We really have reached a point where people are basically looking at Nat Turner's revolt and the KKK and saying that they are equivalent and should be equally denounced.


The Black Lives Matter movement, which is back in the headlines amid the nationwide protests, receives wide support. Two-thirds of U.S. adults say they support the movement, with 38% saying they strongly support it. This sentiment is particularly strong among black Americans, although majorities of white (60%), Hispanic (77%) and Asian (75%) Americans express at least some support.

Actually, do we have a head count on how AA's see all of this stuff?

What quite a few AA's are seeing is their business and other properties vandalized, looted, and destroyed.

The eternal present tense of looting.

What quite a few AA's are seeing is their business and other properties vandalized, looted, and destroyed.


“To see my store smashed in — it was really scary,” said Wyche, 35, who is black. “But at the same time, I am those protesters: I look like them, I’m angry like them. I understand.”

Individual business owners have the right to feel however they wish about damages to their businesses. But it seems all too easy to slip into the ends justify the means.

More info on black American's opinions on events here:


Tim Carpenter, the individual assaulted in McTX's link, is a gay Democratic Party State Senator in Wisconsin who has fought the fascist anti-labor Wisconsin Republican Party's attempts to prevent black and other minority voters from exercising their voting franchises, among other outrages perpetrated by the Walker mal-administration.

He's not a statue.

Who assaulted him?

So-called Antifa? BLM? Outside agitators? Undercover right-wing militia members?

Whomever, the individuals should be prosecuted.

But, as in the riots of the 1960s and early 1970s, as usual, black and minority business and property owners and those individuals fighting racism take the brunt.

While the real villains escape scot-free because they have segregated themselves into all white localities with overwhelming law enforcement support.

People ARE pissed off. Because the usual suspects refused to address cop brutality as it happened time after time after time AND rigged and gerrymandered voting districts to silence the voices of those most affected by the injustice.

In fact, Walker and company loved every minute of it. They kept deliberately stoking this shit.

I hate their fucking guts.

Then comes the explosion. Shrapnel destroys the innocent while the right wing capitalizes with more of the same.

That's gotta change.

no no. nothing can change. there's nothing wrong. besides, there's a culture war on, donchano. it would be wrong to distract from the real enemy: the perfidious left, who does things no honorable conservative (i repeat myself) would ever do. and it would be wrong to give them what they want.

Meanwhile, bullshit trump republican fascism advances:


Trump said yesterday that the November election will be the most corrupt in history.

His modus operandi, throughout his life, is to tell us what he plans to do under the guise of accusing all others of the crimes, like when Michael Corleone puts that big wet kiss on the pathetic brother, Fredo.

Never get in a rowboat in deep water with a Trump Republican Judge carrying a shotgun.

I'm taking Trump at his word:


We ain't seen nothing yet, and when the Republican Party steals this election, or even worse, refuses to acknowledge their loss, we'll tear up the pavement of the streets already burned to the ground.

Remember, those courtrooms where Trump plans on digging in to overthrow the people's will are statues of a sort.

I have a humdinger of a rant in the hopper regarding the global warming-induced methane exhalation now proceeding apace from the Arctic not-so-permafrost which, like the grievances of BLM, is rejected out of hand as something we just have to live without government amelioration, in fact, WITH government encouragement.

No, we don't.

Another day, perhaps.

Actually, do we have a head count on how AA's see all of this stuff?


I'm sure there are as many points of view on all of this within the African American community as there are within any other community of similar size and variety.

Mostly I think AA's would like to not have cops kneel on their necks, but I'm not black, so I'm not really in a position to speak for them.

And as always, I'm not sure you have a full grasp of what Black Lives Matter is about. I'm very sure that I don't, but from the tiny bit I do understand about it, I suspect it's broader and more constructive than what your understanding appears to be.

Just my impression.

Actually, do we have a head count on how AA's see all of this stuff?


my 10:58, above has a link to a poll on this exact question. 86% of AAs support BLM, according to Pew.

also from that survey, when asked which factor "contributed a great deal to the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd", 82% of Republicans said it was "people taking advantage of the situation to engage in criminal behavior".

also, just 45% of Republicans said it was due to "longstanding concerns about the treatment of black people in this country".

so, McTx and Marty here are right in line with the rest of the GOP.

the discrimination will continue until morale improves.

Here is a nice piece on Woke intolerance:


Cleek--who was unhappy that someone he knew lost their business in the riot portion of the demonstrations--simply knows no distinctions. Demonstrations and protests are fine. I said so. So did Marty. This is Cleek making stuff up. BLM is riding a wave of popularity because everyone agrees--it's shooting fish in a barrel with a shotgun--that police murdering suspects is just flat wrong and standing on a compliant, handcuffed prisoner's neck for 9 or 12 minutes is beyond description.

No one is arguing that point, Cleek. The issue is the violence, the destruction and the Woke way of looking at things. Does everyone buy into the BLM's detailed mission statement? Particularly once it's fully unpacked? Not likely.

The left fancies itself as the soul of tolerance. BS on that too. Sullivan calls out the intolerant left perfectly. It is precisely what Sullivan addresses far better than me that makes pretty much everything the Woke left says about race suspect. It isn't actual equality that the Cleeks of this world want. They want submission and confession. From everyone. Under their terms. Sullivan has Cleek's number. Thanks, Sullivan.

But it seems all too easy to slip into the ends justify the means.

You mean like we must have pure unadulterated capitalism and don't really give [email protected] if the earth burns up? Those kind of ends and means?

Thanks, Sullivan.

A couple of things.

First, I absolutely agree that people "on the left" who think of themselves as "woke" can be. self-righteous and intolerant. Probably half the people I know fall into this bucket, and I recognize (not infrequently in myself) their flaws. We all have them.

That said, Sullivan leads off with Vaclav Havel, and I quit reading at that point. In Vaclav Havel's Czechoslovakia, "policing dissent" took the form of imprisonment, exile, and death. Compare and contrast with "I got yelled at on Twitter". I accept that analogies don't have to be perfect, but I require that they not be obscene. Sullivan can, as is so often the case, kiss my ass.

I'm glad we've reached the point where reaching agreement that cops murdering people is like shooting fish in a barrel. It only took 400 years to get here.

"agreement that cops murdering people *is bad* is like shooting fish in a barrel".

the correction does not extend to the 400 years.

Cleek--who was unhappy that someone he knew lost their business in the riot portion of the demonstrations--simply knows no distinctions

i have no fucking idea what you're talking about. and suspect you don't either.

The left fancies itself as the soul of tolerance.

I'm part of "the left" if we're being binary about it. (Maybe even if we're being trinary about it and including "the middle.") I don't think everyone on the left is tolerant. I'd guess there are at least a few people on the left who think everyone on the left is tolerant (by definition?). But, since I don't believe the things the left is supposed to believe and I assume I'm on the left (as it's being used here), I don't know what I'm supposed to do with this assertion. Categories...

. The issue is the violence, the destruction and the Woke way of looking at things.

omfg. you sound like Lou Dobbs.

the issue is the motherfucking police violence. the fact that you, and the rest of the GOP, can't go three sentences without trying to turn this into a referendum on the bogeymen you've paint "LEFT" labels on is, and has been for several decades, part of the reason this shit isn't getting dealt with. you keep hand-waving it away as if black people are making it all up, as if they don't know what they're talking about, as if they can't comprehend the world around them the way you can.

like the survey says: you don't even know what they're complaining about, and you don't believe them when they tell you.

Interesting that McT quotes Sullivan as I have been trying to work on something that has him as a piece. Great minds I suppose. Or synchronicity.


here's a pull graf, but as they used to say before twitter, read the whole thing

"Sullivan's comments showcase a classic and tenacious conservative strategy," Janelle Wong, the director of Asian American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, said in an email. This strategy, she said, involves "1) ignoring the role that selective recruitment of highly educated Asian immigrants has played in Asian American success followed by 2) making a flawed comparison between Asian Americans and other groups, particularly Black Americans, to argue that racism, including more than two centuries of black enslavement, can be overcome by hard work and strong family values."

Classic and tenacious are two adjectives I'd use for the two M's. It is, as one of the M's pointed out in grammar that is fascinating "But that's as bad faith an argument as exists." Don't bite hooks.

Don't bite hooks.

i am officially out of the hook biting biz for the day.

McKinney's new insult being "the Woke Left", I feel no compunction about disparaging The Somnolent Center.

Sullivan takes offense on behalf of The Somnolent Center at placards like "White Silence = Violence" as if he never heard Thomas More's dictum that "In law, silence implies consent".

The Somnolent Center is that faction which shares Sullivan's perplexity:

Why can’t the issue of racial inequality be complicated — involving many social, economic, and cultural factors that operate alongside the resilience of discrimination? And wouldn’t it help if we focused on those specific issues rather than seeing every challenge that African-Americans face as an insuperable struggle against the hatred of whites?
Those "social, economic, and cultural factors" can't be due to race, you see, because The Somnolent Center knows that nothing in America is ever about race. Partly right, of course: it's blackness specifically, not race in general, that's at issue right now.

The Somnolent Center needs to be asked over and over: are the "social, economic, and cultural factors" that account for the disparity between black Americans and other Americans due to racism or race?

Incidentally, while Sullivan was typing

And a country that actively seeks immigrants who are now 82 percent nonwhite is not primarily defined by white supremacy
did the phrase "shithole countries" even cross his mind?


The left fancies itself as the soul of tolerance. BS on that too.

Well, no. I can only speak for myself. I will leave "speaking for the Left" to you, since that appears to be the only ploy in your rhetorical toolbox. Here's the deal:

I have no tolerance for racism.
I have no tolerance for authoritarianism.
I have no tolerance for fascism.
I have no tolerance for smug, selfish, entitled rich people.
I have no tolerance for denial of the impending disaster that is global warming.
I have no tolerance for injustice.
For the most part, I detest Republicans because they support harmful idiotic and stupid public policies.

Not very tolerant of me, I'll admit. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

Footnote: Studies of voters in the center and so-named "swing voters" tend to point out that they tend to wait until the last moment, rely heavily on anecdotal evidence from others in their circle and on their own prior opinion with little proactive research, and jump in late on one side or the other only once they are sure of what those around them have already decided. In the interim they pride themselves on their resolute neutrality and refusal to be swayed by the partisans on either side.

I partly agree with Sullivan and partly disagree. IMO, Americans are always intolerant and having a moral panic about something and if conservatives had their way, they’d be more than happy dictating the terms of who is a heretic. Every part of the spectrum does this and yes, the left is very intolerant right now. I see this in left vs left arguments. And the right is being its usual hypocritical self. Dreher is kind of a benchmark. He is in blog posting heaven, putting out a few pieces a day about the modern day Bolsheviks. For a Christian I have to say he has a gift ( though not from God) of presenting Christianity as the whiniest, most self- pitting narcissistic religion imaginable. So far as one could tell from reading his blog, Christians only exist to be persecuted by the Woke because Christians don’t want to bake cakes for gay weddings. I couldn’t tell you one positive thing about Christianity from reading his blog. Right now, though, he has turned away from the vast gay menace and now sees the Woke iconoclasts as the danger to Western Civ, along with the black gay conservative Trump supporter who posted that stupid video about the road rage incident.

Getting back to the threat to Westen Civ, I’m not sure how far thie Woke menace goes in everyday life. I see no trace of it in my own ( albeit conducted mostly via Zoom meetings.)

I find the statue stuff and the posturing tiresome— this is how I felt about DiAngelo. The Confederate statues should come down, but it would be nice if the country was locked in debate about how the police should be reformed or defunded or abolished or whatever, and we could also be talking about how so many essential workers ( many of them black or brown) are poorly paid and have few benefits and what should be done about that. The pandemic and police violence at protests have revealed to everyone just what a crappy unjust society we have and that seems more important than which statues should be toppled and whether we should vote on it first.

But everything turns into symbolic culture war stuff. So we argue about statues and flag burning and so on. This kind of argument is fodder for culture war idiots like Dreher and Tucker and I wish the left would stop fighting these morons on that turf. I actually do find Dreher interesting in his calmer more reflective moments ( they happen several times a year) but his chief niche in life is whipping up conservative hysteria about bakeries and statues and anything he can cram into his next book about how Christians are going to be persecuted. I don’t watch Fox, but gather it is much the same. If the Right couldn’t whip up anger over these fracking stupid issues they might have to answer questions about why so many people have to live paycheck to paycheck. Dreher has nothing to say about anything that would actually make America a better place to live.

what i've read of Dreher and Sullivan is that they are both quick to work themselves into breathless panic over something the left in his imagination is doing. and suddenly the entirety of western civilization is in peril, and hands must be wrung, and brave men (always men) must Stand And Fight like Churchill! S.T.F.U.

it's why neither of them are even slightly interesting to me.

my kingdom for editable comments.


I'm with cleek. Nobody in their right mind (you excepted of course!) should give Dreher or Sullivan the time of day.

And sure, it would be nice to get everybody on board to "tackle" the issues and not be distracted by that "other stuff".

However, politics is a group undertaking. It is messy and tends to get overheated way too often. As the wag once said, it ain't bean bag. It's fighting over the loot.

As to the culture wars, it is important to consider that THE LEFT (you know, the great unwashed Mckinnyite US) is winning them. In the current scheme of things, I find this to be of some importance. After all, is it not important to fight your battles on favorable terrain? I read that somewhere.

Take care. Thanks.

Cause I don't think there is an interesting discussion to be had while Scooby doo and Scrappy doo are on the case, I'll turn to something else

I actually do find Dreher interesting in his calmer more reflective moments

Please don't take this as an attack, but why? It reminds me of my feelings about the show Glee, where they would come to some understanding at the end of the episode and the next episode would change back into their bitchy selves. That sort of return to the norm (for Dreher, that crunchy con sensibility, for Sullivan, that I'm gay but I'm a conservative!) is fine for things that don't matter, but it really gets tiresome for a pundits who are supposedly evolving.

This is not to dismiss your recommendations, when you link to a Daniel Larison piece, I do follow it, but with Dreher (like Sullivan), I really feel myself getting stupider every second I have to untangle whatever knot they have tied themselves into.

As to the culture wars, it is important to consider that THE LEFT (you know, the great unwashed Mckinnyite US) is winning them.

Actually, sorry to break it to you, but you aren't winning especially. What is happening is that the reactionary right is losing. Which isn't quite the same thing -- said reactionaries' binary view of the situation notwithstanding.

I agree with some of what Sullivan says:

...it is not a lie that this country has some deep reckoning to do on the legacy of slavery and segregation. In so far as this movement has made us more aware and cognizant of the darkness of the past, it is a very good thing, and overdue.

Actually I agree with most of what Sullivan says. The problem is that he puts the most important part - which I just quoted - in about the twelfth paragraph. Because his priority is to pretend that the left in the USA today has the same sort of power as the Communist government in Czechoslovakia in 1978. Which is ridiculous - the authoritarian who matters in the USA is Trump (whom, to be fair, Sullivan despises).

It's the same with our conservative friends wringing their hands over the destruction of Confederate statues. To them, the problem is that statues are coming down without due legal authority. To me, it's that African-Americans, and everyone else, have been obliged to put up with these monuments to racism for a hundred years. No, I don't approve of lawlessness. But lawlessness in the face of such an insult: I can live with it.

I refer our friends to G.K.Chesterton's paradox of the fence, the essence of conservative thought:

There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

We know perfectly well what the Confederate statues are for - to celebrate the rebirth of white supremacy in the South. Now let us destroy them.

Sullivan's shtick (and it is a shtick, be very clear about that) is to be the heretic. Just giving you his honest feelings. All day, every day.

When Coates ripped The New Republic
Sullivan came in for some indirect fire (though Coates attested to Sullivan's mentorship) and Sullivan came to the magazine's defense by distorting what Coates had said

Coates clearly got under Sullivan's skin cause he has a follow up (that quotes Freddie DeBoer as a representative of the Left, which really brings Sully's powers of discernment into question)

What is astonishing to me is the way Sullivan ends the piece I made you boy, I can break you seems to be the underlying message.

Coates responded on twitter with this

What's he to do? He has to acknowledge that Sullivan mentored him, but if he points out the shifting sand that Sully's analysis is built on, well, out the window.

This other exchange, helpfully excerpted by Delong, shows how Sullivan's civility and comity are really only skin deep.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad