« timely, timeless, and amusing | Main | veep talk and the Indian diaspora »

August 10, 2020

Comments

makes me scratch my head, too.

I'm not living in the country I thought I was. Not really a surprise at this point, but still disappointing.

I'll change my mind if we see the popular vote for Biden/Harris top 65%. Right? That accounts for Trump's supposed hard-core base, plus a little cushion for the tax cut and deregulation crowd.

Otherwise I'm assuming I'm a stranger in a strange land.

I don't mean to be negative, the outcome this year is extremely important and I don't want to discourage anyone from engaging with whatever resources they can possibly bring to bear.

But I'm seriously finding it hard to get my head around spending the rest of my life in a country where something like Donald J is even feasible. No matter who wins.

I'm too dug in to go anywhere else, and I really don't want to go anywhere else. I'm American. I just don't like being American right now. No matter who wins.

This country feels deeply and profoundly toxic to me, and I have no idea what to do about it. I just try to work around it to the best of my ability.

We are who we are. No matter who wins.

I'm not surprised Trump would try to include an NDA in a government contract. a) he loves them, and b) he thinks he gets to run the executive branch the way he runs his own company.

What's surprising is that the contractor would believe, even for an instant, that it was valid in a Federal contract when it comes to Congress.

Well, the NDA is a piece of the whole, the entire process that TeleTracking got this was riddled with irregularities

https://www.krwg.org/post/how-small-tech-company-got-102-million-contract-build-covid-19-database

This country feels deeply and profoundly toxic to me, and I have no idea what to do about it.

Yeah. F**k.

A development in a way, although not of the sort which makes much sense.

the GOP is a cult.

nearly anything is tolerated, if it helps the cult stay strong.

As good an explanation as any, for what still seems to me an inexplicable phenomenon.

The Oleander is gorgeous this time of year:

https://www.axios.com/trump-covid-oleandrin-9896f570-6cd8-4919-af3a-65ebad113d41.html

Ben Carson: The National Enquirer's idea of an affirmative action neurosurgeon.

The Siamese twins he separated were so unhappy with the job he did on them that they had another doctor sew them back together.

Suitably for a murderous genocidal cult that worships the end days, the miracle ornamental shrub, Oleander, is from the dogbane family, Apocynaceae.

Expect news soon of Trump subhuman filth overdosing on Oleander.

Mark it down as yet more cold-blooded murder by the conservative movement death cult.

My dog received his mail-in ballot the other day, but he was a Trump supporter, so I had him put down.

All he ever produced was steaming piles of conservative dog sh*t during his sad rabid life.

I wonder if advanced lung cancer among Medal of Freedom winners is God's clever way of helping normal human beings save on bullets.

No need for much of the stuff to lethally overdose. A quarter of a milligram per kg bodyweight (admittedly tested only on cats).
All parts of that plant are poisonous btw.
And such lovely symptoms: nausea, diarrhea, hypoxemia (lowered blood oxygen) plus a lot of stuff with 'cardiac' in front of it.
What's next? Fresh extracts from Chironex fleckeri? Or the patriotic choice: Americium(III)bromide (we all need a good bromide these days and American is always better than the standard alternative (pot ash)). You don't need that smoke detector in Jabbabonk's America anyway.

The terminal decline of the United States will not be solved by elections. The political rot and depravity will continue to eat away at the soul of the nation, spawning what anthropologists call crisis cults — movements led by demagogues that prey on an unbearable psychological and financial distress. These crisis cults, already well established among followers of the Christian Right and Donald Trump, peddle magical thinking and an infantilism that promises — in exchange for all autonomy — prosperity, a return to a mythical past, order and security. The dark yearnings among the white working class for vengeance and moral renewal through violence, the unchecked greed and corruption of the corporate oligarchs and billionaires who manage our failed democracy, which has already instituted wholesale government surveillance and revoked most civil liberties, are part of the twisted pathologies that infect all civilizations sputtering towards oblivion. I witnessed the deaths of other nations during the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and later in the former Yugoslavia. I have smelled this stench before.

This is from an article called America's Death March I have just been sent by a very trusted source. It's by Chris Hedges, of whom I hadn't heard, but you all may have opinions on whether he is worth listening to or not. I haven't read past this opening paragraph yet, but given our discussion I thought it might be of interest.

https://scheerpost.com/2020/08/10/chris-hedges-americas-death-march/

The experimental botanical extract, oleandrin, was promoted to Trump during an Oval Office meeting in July. It's embraced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell, a big Trump backer, who recently took a financial stake in the company that develops the product.

Making America great again, one crony at a time.

Chris Hedges.

Left-wing Cassandra, or Speaker Of Truth To Power, depending on where you sit.

He hosts the Emmy-nominated program On Contact for the RT (formerly Russia Today) television network.

Not a good sign.

Another not good sign.

Cripes, chaps, don't read unless you want to feel 100% worse than you already do! So sorry...

The Trump FDA has tested oleander on two cats and based on those absolutely sadistically conclusive results is moving directly to human trials using the immigrant kids ICE is raping and beating in our American concentration camps as guinea humans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7JOBVqcAsw

Watch the video that follows as well that one as well.

Crack addiction and card counting, which are considered prime resume qualifications for inducing American dupes to poison themselves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJbdj3SMzlM

What's a kiosk? Not many people know.

Hedges is a psychopath and a Presbyterian minister.

Which is why he is a go to observer of the psychopathic, murderous, crypto-Christian conservative republican trump movement in the former United States of America.

Well, in my opinion much of his description and analysis of the state of the current US is rather convincing. But I'd hate to think he is right about the possibilities or likely outcomes for the future. As my very trusted source warned, quoting one of my favourite lines from Dante:

And I have told you this to make you grieve.

nearly anything is tolerated, if it helps the cult stay strong.

That's "help" as in reduce departures. "Help" as in convert unbelievers doesn't really seem to be on the radar. (Perhaps because radar is a new, tech/sciencey, thing?) But not converting unbelievers, especially when their birth rates are higher than yours, is a formula for descent into irrelevance. All the walls in the world won't stop that.

Well, in my opinion much of his description and analysis of the state of the current US is rather convincing.

I'm not going to read it. I don't need to be convinced that many of our citizens are not decent people, especially with regard to their ability to summon compassion for people they don't personally know. I have never been in denial about whether "it" can happen here. We're humans, and a lot of us can be deceived and manipulated by "the big lie."

And I have told you this to make you grieve.

Most of the population is already busy grieving. I'm not interested in immersing myself in Putin's RT propaganda machine to help me along - in fact, people need to ask themselves when they read that material what's in it for Putin. Then they should respond accordingly.

The Senate (i.e. Republican led) Intelligence Committee says

President Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman posed a “grave counterintelligence threat” due to his interaction with people close to the Kremlin, according to a bipartisan Senate report released Tuesday that also found extensive contacts between key campaign advisers and officials affiliated with Moscow’s government and intelligence services.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report states that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort worked with a Russian intelligence officer “on narratives that sought to undermine evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election,” including the idea that Ukrainian election interference was of greater concern.

https://washingtonpost.com/national-security/senate-intelligence-trump-russia-report/2020/08/18/62a7573e-e093-11ea-b69b-64f7b0477ed4_story.html

"A grave counterintelligence threat" -- just what you want at the President's elbow.

Hedges wrote War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Force_That_Gives_Us_Meaning

But that is all I have read of him, though I thought the book was very good.

Dissecting the column, I don't agree with his dismissal of Biden and the drawing of parallels to Yugoslavia via Confederate statues and the issues around them seems rather glib. This isn't to say that I don't think we are in bad shape, I found this article
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/bernie-sanders-dnc-speech-convention-joe-biden-2020-election-trump-a9675161.html
pointing out that things must be bad to have Sanders to give the speech he did.

Also, the article preceeds the Harris pick. While I don't think that choosing her would have changed Hedges' mind, I'd like to think that Biden might be setting himself up to be a 1 term president, and then stepping aside for Harris.

Of course, if you have a notion that Biden is simply a neo-liberal shill (and Hedges seems to take that line, as he felt Obama was simply a faux-liberal
https://bangordailynews.com/2014/06/17/politics/corporate-forces-are-forces-of-death-chris-hedges-criticizes-capitalism-faux-liberals-like-obama-during-portland-talk/

it's probably going to be hard to convince him he might be overstating his case.

"A grave counterintelligence threat" -- just what you want at the President's elbow.

People continue to be in denial about this, minimizing or ignoring it constantly.

Trump pardons Susan B. Anthony and then invites armed couple who would have shot her to speak at the Republican convention and also signs executive order that prevents her from moving into white middle class neighborhoods.

It will soon be revealed that Satan signed a non-disclosure agreement with Donald Trump to hide the names of the tens of millions of anti-American dupes who will vote for him and/or a third party candidate in November and then burn in everlasting Hell.

lj, I agree with you, particularly about the Biden stuff etc. That's where I seriously parted company with him, on the grounds that there are more potential paths out than he allows. I hope.

Left-wing Cassandra, or Speaker Of Truth To Power, depending on where you sit.

¿Porque no los dos?

Hedges is basically the person that mckinneytexas describes whenever mckinneytexas rants about how the left is a religion. Hedges is Greenwald had Greenwald gone to seminary and spent too much time reading the Nevi'im. I read him to glean information that I can go back and research to get a more nuanced understanding.

He's on RT, but also on AlterNet. Basically, he's wherever he can find a platform. I don't think he's any more of a Russian asset than is Greenwald - probably less, lacking the Wikileaks contacts - I'm guessing he's given space because it adds legitimacy to RT and his criticisms of the US serve their greater goal of delegitimizing US power.

Fox News' big takeaway from the senate report, based solely on their headline because I won't give them any traffic, is that the FBI gave too much credence to the Steele dossier. Sound journalism.

I'm guessing he's given space because it adds legitimacy to RT and his criticisms of the US serve their greater goal of delegitimizing US power.

Which is not in our interests (depending who "our" is, of course). Better work can be found without assisting Putin's helpers. Try Brian Klaas, for example, an American who resides in the UK.

I have an impressive announcement. I have just received a letter from the Republican National Committee telling me that I have been added to the "Presidential Honor Roll" for my efforts on behalf of Donald J Trump. (ROTFLOL!!)

Why important? you may well ask. Because if my efforts on behalf are worth celebrating, they're definitely way beyond scraping the bottom of the barrel. I mean, I'm not the Lincoln Project, but still. Talk about coming off desperate.

Hedges is Greenwald had Greenwald gone to seminary and spent too much time reading the Nevi'im.

LOL

I, too, have had my mellow harshed on occasion by spending too much time in the Nevi'im. The prophets, especially, are some gloomy dudes.

Hedges or no Hedges, there are serious structural problems in the US that are quite deep and which won't be magically solved by a Biden presidency.

And all of that said, a Biden presidency is essential to making any progress whatsoever on solving them. Any of them.

We're not going to have a POTUS who is not generally friendly to neo-liberal capitalist economics in my lifetime. We are not going to have a POTUS who is not generally supportive of a hegemonic foreign policy in my lifetime.

What we can have, and must have, is a POTUS who is not a plainly corrupt vindictive divisive ignorant transparently self-interested crook.

Biden is actually a much better option than a mere ham sandwich, and he appears to be setting the place for younger, more vigorous, and more diverse leadership when his time is done.

He'll be great. Not perfect, not world-changing. There will be no dramatic inflection points in our social and cultural history. He'll just be a competent POTUS.

Imagine that.

I appreciate people like Hedges, they help keep us all honest. And I do not disagree that the end state of all current trends is basically a kleptocratic security state with, at best, performative democracy.

But I'm voting for Biden and Harris, I'm sending money to (D) candidates in whatever amounts I can spare, and I'm looking for opportunities to help keeping the franchise available for everyone.

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Hedges
The removal of Trump from office will only exacerbate the lust for racist violence he incites and the intoxicating elixir of white nationalism.

oh well. we might as well just find the nearest volcano and fling ourselves into it.

and the comments?

those people need some fucking Xanax.

The removal of Trump from office will only exacerbate the lust for racist violence he incites and the intoxicating elixir of white nationalism.

This is likely so.

It will also remove all of that crap from the White House.

So, a win.

indeed.

if your calculations say getting him out makes no difference, you've done your math wrong.

The removal of Trump from office will only exacerbate the lust for racist violence he incites and the intoxicating elixir of white nationalism.

But then, the retention of Trump would be a validation, which would encourage all that crap far more. So even without considering the cleansing of the White House, a win.

What we can have, and must have, is a POTUS who is not a plainly corrupt vindictive divisive ignorant transparently self-interested crook.

Oh amen, thrice amen.

Because if my efforts on behalf are worth celebrating, they're definitely way beyond scraping the bottom of the barrel.

wj, you are in excellent company. I remember hilzoy tweeting before the last election that she had been getting flattering letters thanking her for her pivotal support from the GOP (I can't remember, it might even have been from the Trump campaign), so this is more of the same. As incompetence goes, this is hardly one of their most consequential examples.

As incompetence goes, this is hardly one of their most consequential examples.

Quite true. But I figure every dime they waste sending mail to me (the appeals for money are contributing a significant amount to our recycling) is one that isn't doing something that might actually help his campaign. So the more the better.

So the more the better.

True enough.

But gosh, I just watched the whole 18 minutes of Michelle Obama's speech. That woman is terrific: sincere, impassioned, transparently a good person. I thought it was very moving, and she was visibly moved too when she was talking about Biden, and the state of the nation. Between her and Kamala Harris, I'm guessing that's one demographic fully tied down. But with any luck, decent people of every colour and party stripe will hear what she says, and choose, after the last three and half years, this time at least, to put country first.

I'm not really sure what anyone is supposed to do about a bunch of neo-Nazi/Confederates getting upset if Trump loses. Are we supposed to vote for Trump to avoid that outcome? (I don't feel like reading the piece, after reading the comments here, to find out if Hedges addresses that.)

But with any luck, decent people of every colour and party stripe will hear what she says, and choose, after the last three and half years, this time at least, to put country first.

Thank you.

I don't feel like reading the piece, after reading the comments here, to find out if Hedges addresses that.

Thank you.

Are we supposed to vote for Trump to avoid that outcome?

No. I believe he is just making the same point that russell makes so convincingly: that those people will still be here even after a Trump defeat, and that business as usual (i.e. the status quo ante) will not be sufficient to get rid of them and deal with the underlying problem. So far, no credible solutions offered by anyone of course, but it sure needs facing and thinking about.

I never get any mail.

Well, that's true too, but I never get any mail appreciating my support for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Except for that one small package that was ticking.

I simply don't know what I'm doing wrong.

of the options on the table, leaving Trump there to encourage and legitimize them is absolutely the worst possible option.

Hedges:
It is up to us to abolish the American kleptocracy. It is up to us to mount sustained acts of mass civil disobedience to bring down the empire. It poisons the world as it poisons us. If we mobilize to build an open society, we hold out the possibility of beating back these crisis cults as well as slowing and disrupting the march towards ecocide.

mass civil disobedience is not going to happen - not on the scale required to "bring down the empire".

there are millions upon millions of people who are very comfortable with "the empire". they really, truly, aren't up for Hedges' righteous cleansing. they're happy with tinkering. if that's not good enough for Hedges, that's his problem.

If Biden wins convincingly, I (unlike I guess Hedges) don't see how sustained acts of mass civil disobedience would be necessary, and they clearly would not appeal to any significant number of people. But if Trump wins again, all bets are off. A certain amount of civil disobedience has already taken place, and if he (they) win a second term, there is absolutely no limit to what they could do, or what might be necessary to stop them.

A certain amount of civil disobedience has already taken place, and if he (they) win a second term, there is absolutely no limit to what they could do, or what might be necessary to stop them.

True enough. But then, we're in French Resistance territory, or Syrian rebel territory, or whatever. Let's try really hard not to get there. The French were brave, but didn't win without a lot of help. The Syrians ... well, whatever. [Providing an entry for Donald, I realize. Similarly, we're not angels.]

Morning all, had a vague disquiet about, thought we were going to get into it over Hedges, but am relieved that it seems like we have similar views on it. So, I'll toss another another fox in the henhouse. This is an interesting take on Michelle Obama's speech

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/18/michelle-obama-tries-to-scare-america-straight-397546

If Biden wins convincingly, I (unlike I guess Hedges) don't see how sustained acts of mass civil disobedience would be necessary, and they clearly would not appeal to any significant number of people. But if Trump wins again, all bets are off. A certain amount of civil disobedience has already taken place, and if he (they) win a second term, there is absolutely no limit to what they could do, or what might be necessary to stop them.

Activating the science fiction mode again:

If Biden wins convincingly - which I sincerely hope - then the change-averse on either side of the party split will breathe a sigh of relief, congratulate themselves on having dodged a bullet, and settle back to fighting over every incremental change. We will continue to saunter vaguely towards climate apocalypse, but with good intentions.

Meanwhile, the apocalyptic patriot right will continue to build towards open conflict. The scale will be more local, but the building will continue apace.

If Trump wins, then we are in for Civil Rights era/Weather Underground levels of unrest and an acceleration of the push against the Left framed as a push for law and order in the face of socialist anarchy. But poltically we'll be in the 1880s instead of the 1960s. No Great Society waits in the wings.

Either way, though, all the nonsense over the pandemic has convinced me that we are likely not going to manage the level of cooperation required to avoid the worst of Climate Change related ecological collapse.

Better to face that with a somewhat intact political system than a sabotaged and dismantled one.

Ffs, we are experiencing Civil Rights Era weather underground violence today. The building violence is all from the left and it isn't civil disobedience, its f'ing violence.

Yall sit here jawing about monsters under the bed while real, dangerous people are rioting and beating people across the country daily.

Such bs. When Joe wins and the people who actually respect the law take their open carry weapons and quietly wait for the next election, or noisily wait for the next election, will anyone here admit to being wrong?

Naw, you'll just find a picture of some guy with a rifle and get the vapors while ignoring people in black masks looting and pulling people out of cars and beating them.

"will anyone here admit to being wrong?"

Be a Proud Boy and you go first.

Look it up.

"get the vapors"

Gun them down and then breath easier.

Law enforcement seems more comfortable beating on unarmed women standing while being female than interdicting criminals pulling people, sometimes armed fucking subhuman republicans, out of their weaponized cars.

What's the plan there?

I know.

And by the way, the violence today is nothing like the late 1960s and early 1970s .... yet.

Another way of telling whether(weather) someone was there or not.

One similarity to the late 1960s (from someone who was there):
You have a lot of people out peacefully demonstrating for a cause. And you have a small group of people, people who don't care at all about or are even opposed to that cause, who are behaving violently.

The folks being violent damage the cause, which is what they want**. Sometimes because they just hate it. Sometimes because, if the demonstrations succeed, the drastic changes the violent people want become less likely.

In late 60s Berkeley, most of the demonstrators were, famously, "long-haired hippies." But the guys being violent, and the guys planning riots rather than demonstrations, had shorter hair than I did -- and I was in ROTC. Some were real, as opposed to imaginary, communist true believers (some Leninists, some Maoists, even the occasional Trotskyite) who hoped to start a revolution. Some were arch conservatives, who wanted to motivate a harsh crackdown. In this, it does feel like today.

** For completeness, I realize that some few of the people behaving violently are just garden variety criminals seizing the opportunity to loot. But, at least in my observation, not many.

When Joe wins and the people who actually respect the law take their open carry weapons and quietly wait for the next election, or noisily wait for the next election

This seems to suggest that no matter what they do, we are wrong. Or would we be right if they aren't so noisy, but not completely quiet? Can you give us a dB range?

people in black mask

Good to know that you can tell just by their mask color...

The building violence is all from the left

Horseshit.

I mean, not to be blunt, but horseshit.

Go look it up and come back with numbers. Then we can discuss.

Welcome to Fantasy Island, Mr. Nugent.

As a starter, go see how many people the Weather Underground killed. And how many of those people were in the Weather Underground.

Then go look up how many people have been killed by right-wing extremists of various sorts over the last 20 years or so. Or just pick any single year.

And compare.

You can also go look to see how many people have been killed or injured in the protests following from George Floyd's murder. And see how many of them were protestors, and how many killed or injured by protestors.

And compare.

FWIW, I have no use for anything resembling the Weather Underground, I'm just making a comment about the quality of your information here.

Go get some actual information and maybe we can discuss.

And realize that much of the violence of the 60's and 70's was fostered by the FBI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO

real, dangerous people are rioting and beating people across the country daily.

Who is rioting? Where are they rioting? What are they rioting about?

Who was beaten? Who were they beaten by?

people in black masks looting and pulling people out of cars and beating them.

People in black masks are looting? Where did this happen?

Who got pulled out of a car and beaten? Who did the pulling and beating?

Do you want to engage in some kind of contest about which side is more violent? Which side embraces and employs violent rhetoric? Which side advocates and prepares for violence against their opposites?

Which side has actually harmed or killed more people?

Let's have that conversation. If you want to bring it, then freaking bring it.

Go assemble your facts and let's have the conversation.

I'm not going to engage in any back and forth. Lm not going to provide a day by day total of thecstreets in this country that are violently controlled by groups in, yes black, masks. Im not going to pretend anyone here wants an engagement in good faith.

But the Proud Boys haven't shown up anyplace there werent already vi[lent protests, including attacking police stations. Its not even close.

So I'm going to go back to lurking, but this whole lather you've worked yourselves into about "right wing" violence when its the left consistently talking about not accepting the outcome of the election was too much.

I'm not going to engage in any back and forth

Nuff said.

Back atcha.

its the left consistently talking about not accepting the outcome of the election was too much.

Somehow I missed this one. And, on a day when we have the POTUS publicly talking about how he'll wait and see if he'll accept the election results.

Look, if you want to actually engage in conversation, fine. But if all you want to do is occasionally stop by to drop an ill-informed turd in the punchbowl, why bother?

You just like to rattle our cage? If that's your game, take it elsewhere.

Im not going to pretend anyone here wants an engagement in good faith.

Looks like someone's hijacked Marty's ID. Marty is usually willing to engage in good faith. And his punctuation is better, too.

Every now and then I try to inject some notion besides reinforcing the echo chamber here. No one here ever talks about the growing violence on the left. But there is, even beyond JT, a thread that violence will be the outcome of a Trump win and that would be understandable if not acceptable.

Meither candidate is likely to concede an election that is remotely close. That doesn't translate to anyone calling in the military to stage a coup. Either way.

While I'm here for a minute, there is a perfectly reasonable concern that rolling out vote by mail nationally with literally weeks of plannng is rife with opportunities for fraud. Denying that because "there's no evidence it has happened" rings hollow. Lots of things happen when big changes in large processes are rushed.

So, Trump shouldnt fuck with USPS, and people who are against vote by mail have a legitimate concern. They shouldn't be lumped together.


My punctuation always sucks.

But if all you want to do is occasionally stop by to [punchbowl metaphor]

You know it's bad when Russell is channelling me.

Every now and then I try to inject some notion besides reinforcing the echo chamber here. No one here ever talks about the growing violence on the left. But there is, even beyond JT, a thread that violence will be the outcome of a Trump win and that would be understandable if not acceptable.

When 'some notion' is trotted out absent any data, (I prefer some link that I can read, but even quoting someone else would be better than nothing), you are probably going to end up on the bottom of a pile-on. If it keeps happening, some might conclude that this is a place you like to be.

No one here ever talks about the growing violence on the left. But there is, even beyond JT, a thread that violence will be the outcome of a Trump win and that would be understandable if not acceptable.

It's hard to know how to address this, because it's not clear what you are talking about.

Do you mean the destruction of property by black bloc anarchists? Do you think they are representative of the American "left"?

Do you mean the looting that has accompanied the protests of Floyd's killing? Do you think that is politically motivated?

In any case, it seems to me that all of that has been discussed here at length, repeatedly. I don't see anything like a refusal to recognize or talk about any of it.

I'm also not seeing a groundswell of support here for post-election violence if Trump wins. I am of course excluding JDT. There was a suggestion from nous that rioting might be an appropriate form of civil disobedience, in the face of an unresponsive and unrepresentative federal government. There was a discussion, pro and con, of an article calling for the military to step in if Trump refuses to concede.

Are those the discussions you're talking about?

Do you think that similar topics are not discussed among right-leaning people? That any of this is somehow particular to "the left"? Do you doubt, for that matter, that there will not be violence in the case of a Trump loss?

What country, and what historical moment, do you think we are living in right now?

I can tell you that I personally, and people like me generally, have lived with the persistent threat of right-wing political violence for decades. I *assume* that people will be killed if Trump loses, and probably if he wins. Because people are being, and have been, killed, fairly regularly, by right-wing nutters fired up by the rhetoric that is the normal daily discourse on the right. For decades.

Do you want to talk about that?

there is a perfectly reasonable concern that rolling out vote by mail nationally with literally weeks of plannng is rife with opportunities for fraud. Denying that because "there's no evidence it has happened" rings hollow. Lots of things happen when big changes in large processes are rushed.

What is it that you think is going to happen?

If "there's no evidence it has happened" rings hollow, imagine how "something might happen" sounds.

What might happen?

People need to vote. A lot of people will be reluctant to vote in person, and for good reason. Voting by mail is a practice of long standing, with a tremendous amount of existing infrastructure, that has successfully been used in elections of all types, at all scales, for decades.

Can you explain your concern? Specifically enough that we could actually discuss it?

...when its the left consistently talking about not accepting the outcome of the election was too much....

Sure.

What is this, if not a refusal in advance to accept the election result ?

"The only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged."
(Trump, two days ago.)

Trump pardons Susan B. Anthony...


I wonder if someone showed him this quote ?
”If intelligence, justice and morality are to have precedence in the government, let the question of women be brought up first and that of the negro last.”

Possibly a little unfair to the lady to single that out, but I came across it in this interesting article (which also introduced a useful concept to me…)

The Karen War Will Never End
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/08/karen-meme-coronavirus/615355/
…The best way to see the Karen meme is as a “scissor,” an idea popularized by the writer Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex to describe an incident or a statement that drives people to such wildly divergent interpretations that they can never be reconciled. Because white women can be both oppressors and oppressed, Karen is a scissor. Does the word describe a particular type of behavior that resonates because of the particular racial history of the United States? Yes. Is that the only way it is used? No.

As it happens, the casually sexist roots of the meme are as deep as the anti-racist ones. One of the foundational internet Karens was the ex-wife of a Redditor who chronicled their fraught relationship in the subreddit r/FuckYouKaren, created in December 2017. The intensity of the blowback when pointing facts like this out is itself instructive….

The problem is, Marty thinks what's happened to America in the last three years is just fine, business as usual, with the exception of the Floyd protests, and that we're all making a partisan fuss about nothing.

So either he's a moral defective, or he's been totally captured by the right wing noise machine and their talking points so that his version of reality is now so skewed that he's living in an alternate, fantasy universe (ignoring, for just one example, the statistics about right-wing versus leftwing violence). Clearly, I do not believe, and have never believed, that he is a moral defective. So it must be the latter. This is the great, and terrible, triumph of this cult, in cleek's terminology, that they have turned decent people into credulous zombies.

I'm sorry, Marty, for offending you by using such language. I hope you can forgive me, when this is all over.

This won't ever be over. For as long as I have been alive there have been competing policy ideas on how to solve various problems that are perceived in our society. Those policies on the right, stronger economy, improving business opportunity to grow jobs, work for welfare, and even some very bipartisan concepts like improving border security and immigration enforcement have been rolled into a basket now deemed racist and xenophobic along with dozens of other discussions that get a cancel response of being morally defective.

If we aren't left wing liberal 100% we are evil people that should be wiped from the face of the earth.

I am actually a pretty liberal person but I fall on the wrong "side" too often so I am morally defective.

I have never said the last 3.5 years were business as usual. What I have said is the institutions of our government will survive this just fine.

The real challenges are that every succeeding President in my lifetime has managed to make the Presidency more powerful, constantly diminishing the checks in the system. Having said that, the system has limited Trumps worst impulses at every turn.

The institutions of our government have much more to worry about from those who don't like the way it works, most on the left, who believe we should change the system every time they lose an election because, well, we cant have morally defective people running any part of the country.

I am not the least insulted any more by the reactionary hyperbole here. It is just today's answer to what I perceive Red State has always been.

The cult has grown on both sides to where neither side accepts there is a reasonable middle, if you're not in my cult then you are in their cult.

And one specific answer, the "peaceful protests" in response to the Floyd death ended weeks ago, the people on the street in Portland and Seattle and Minneapis, etc are criminal anarchists who have people cowering in their homes waiting for the cops, who are under direct attack, to be empowered to protect them. Maybe that fades away, but i doubt it. They want a violent confrontation as much as any right wing hate group.

And with that I will take my moral defects and go to work.

This won't ever be over

Sounds about right.

Enjoy your day.

Goddammit, I made it clear that in my opinion you WEREN'T morally defective! But maybe of the two alternative explanations I offered, you thought that the less offensive. Mea culpa.

The building violence is all from the left

why would anyone choose to be so blind?

the people on the street in Portland and Seattle and Minneapis, etc are criminal anarchists

anarchists is pretty fucking far from the left.

how on earth can you conflate people who explicitly say they want no government with the lefty caricature that wants the government to run everything?

The people in Seattle explicitly barricaded the cops out and threatened them with violence. The people in Portland attacked a police station. They all want to dismantle the governments ability to maintain safety. Seems anarchistic to me, i will use another term if you prefer one.

if lefties want the government to control everything, then anarchists can't be lefties - by definition of anarchist.

unless "the left" just means "not the right" ?

GftNC,

No apology is necessary. You are not privy to the hours I spend being the moderate in discussions with my more Trump cultist friends. The only one of those two I could be, based on the discussions I regularly have. is morally defective, which in most ways I am not.

So I accept the cult view that I have to be one of those two things, secure in the knowledge that my moral defects in this area are probably not damning.

Thank you, Marty, for your generosity of spirit. I can even swallow the cult view that I have to be one of those two things, under the circumstances.

A two GftNC, I loved getting new music from Dylan but some of it is ponderous. Not moving into my Dylan favorites.

A two = BTW

This isn't the most important story, but I'm curious what others think. There's a focus on autocorrect that seems misplaced. Considering the words in question - the one the announcer in actually typed and the one he might have intended to type - it seems that a typo isn't that much of a stretch. They differ by two letters, and both are adjacent to their substitute on the keyboard - "i" immediately to the right of "u" and "r" immediately left of "t." And I can't fathom a motive, given the guy's position.

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/charlotte-hornets-john-focke-twitter-230741396.html

One massive problem: he typed the N-word, the vile, don’t-say-it-ever, no-really-never one, where Nuggets was supposed to be.

(...)

Two coworkers, unprompted and separately, messaged me that they had no such issue with their phones confusing “Nuggets” for the racial slur when they tried on their own phones; if you try to type the N-word, it doesn’t fill in the word for you.

While it strains credulity that it was a rogue “mistyping,” Focke is standing by his story.

I'm not saying it's impossible that he intended to type what he did. But I don't see how "mistyping" strains credulity in this case.

Marty, on Dylan: I agree.

The text in which the offensive word appeared was this:

Shot making in this Jazz-[Nuggets] game is awesome! Murray and Mitchell going back and forth what a game!

where the word that appeared was not "Nuggets".

TBH, and in the absence of other information, the typo explanation seems pretty plausible.

Re: Seattle and Portland - both cities, and especially Portland, have histories of violent public demonstration, going back many years. And in the case of Portland at least, involving both anarchist and white supremacist elements.

I'm not sure either can be used to make broader points about the left, the right, or anything else.

Places have their own histories.

hsh: given where all the letters are on the keyboard, I agree that it is possible it was mistyping. Possible, but unlikely. I have tried it, using all the ways I normally mistype things (a frequent occurrence, given that I touch-type), and can't come up with that exact result. But given the possibility, I agree that there is reasonable doubt.

As a counterpoint to Marty’s position....

‘He’s Destroyed Conservatism’: The Republican Case Against Trump’s GOP
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/19/interview-stuart-stevens-republican-case-against-trump-397918
Stuart Stevens spent four decades helping Republicans—a lot of Republicans—win. He’s one of the most successful political operatives of his generation, crafting ads and devising strategies for President George W. Bush, Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Bob Dole, and dozens of GOP governors, senators and congressmen. He didn’t win every race, but he thinks he had the best won-lost record in Republican campaign world.

And now he feels terrible about it...

And to answer the ‘it’ll all be fine when Trump is gone‘ attitude, it goes on:
... While Stevens is one of the most prominent “Never Trump” Republicans, and It Was All a Lie is predictably scathing about the failures of President Donald Trump, the book does not blame Trump for the failures of the party he leads. It essentially takes for granted that Trump is as bad a president and a human being as his worst Democratic critics say—and that he constantly violates supposedly bedrock Republican commitments to free trade, family values, limited government and the Constitution. His point is that Trump is a fitting representative of the modern GOP....

Worth reading in full.
I might even buy his book....

... when it’s available second hand.

...the people on the street in Portland and Seattle and Minneapis, etc are criminal anarchists who have people cowering in their homes waiting for the cops

This is fantasy. Totally made up BS. I live near Seattle. I can tell you first hand that life goes on, and a few broken windows is not the end of the world. But sure, massively sitting on the legitimate aspirations of millions of people (and arbitrarily shooting a few of them or jailing them by the thousands) who just happen to not share your skin color...well, no big fucking deal.

The real challenges are that every succeeding President in my lifetime has managed to make the Presidency more powerful, constantly diminishing the checks in the system.

Congress has been systematically ceding "power" to the executive since the Civil War. Life is complex. Decisions have to be made. Politics. The Cold War was a biggie in this regard. Just pointing your finger at the executive is to ignore the many fathers of this development.

Having said that, the system has limited Trumps worst impulses at every turn.

Perhaps. But a lot of damage has been done. His re-election might just be a tipping point in that regard, given the supine nature of the GOP. They are now a cult. Cults are dangerous.

Its not even close.

this...

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/right-wing-extremists-killed-38-2019-anti-defamation-league/

or...

https://www.businessinsider.com/extremist-killings-links-right-wing-extremism-report-2019-1

The problem with the right is they are somehow unable to put together a mass protest that puts tens of thousands in the streets.

That's because they pretty much run things, so why bother? But the paranoia runs deep.

a huge part of what distinguishes the GOP cult is how it gleefully abandoned all of those Family Values&trade, and its a 180° on Russia, and its eagerness to accept and defend the lies and ignorant blather Trump spouts. they're not just partisans, they're actually a cult centered on Donald Trump.

and if they're not a Trump cult, then the only other good explanation is that they have no actual core values except to oppose "the left" - a group apparently defined as anyone who isn't "the right". so, they never really abandoned them - they just stopped using them as campaign props.

maybe both.

"A grave counterintelligence threat" -- just what you want at the President's elbow.

3 things happened that day in October [Oct 6, 2016]: 1. The Obama admin made its first public intelligence assessment about Russian election interference 2. The Washington Post published the Access Hollywood tape/story 3. Roger Stone arranged for Wikileaks to start dropping Podesta's emails

but, liberals.

Considering the latest senate report, I'm not sure what it takes to establish, if not collusion (since that seems to be somewhat of an overly used misnomer), then coordination, collaboration, conspiring, or any other "c" word you can think of.

Hmmm. Don't misinterpret that "c" word thing. I was only poking fun at all the descriptors starting with "c." I wasn't thinking about anything vulgar at the time. It just occurred to me after the fact that it could be taken as a reference to the "c" word. I really dislike that word.

People in Trump's campaign coordinated their efforts with the efforts of Russian nationals to help Trump's campaign, and hinder Clinton's.

Manafort, Junior, Stone. Campaign manager, son, close advisor. Most likely others, but no doubt about those three.

Where and how any or all of that crosses the line and becomes criminal, I can't tell you, because IANAL.

But there is nothing more obvious to me than the truth of the above.

Hardly worth discussing at this point, but certainly worth remembering.

Fncking crooks. All of them.

If we aren't left wing liberal 100% we are evil people that should be wiped from the face of the earth.

I have to say that, although I am nothing like a left wing liberal, even 50% left alone 100%, nobody here has ever told me I was an evil person. Or that I should be wiped from the face of the earth. (Not even JDT, when I've pushed back on one of his rants.)

anarchists is pretty fucking far from the left.

Indeed, anarchists could easily be seen as a (not even necessarily exceptionally extreme) variety of libertarians.

People in Trump's campaign coordinated their efforts with the efforts of Russian nationals to help Trump's campaign, and hinder Clinton's.

Not just "Russian nationals" but, according to the Senate report, a Russian intelligence officer. Which is a whole different level of bad. IMHO

Which is a whole different level of bad. IMHO

Your humble opinion is correct. The difference between colluding with a Russian national, as opposed to a Russian intelligence officer, is that the latter almost certainly would count as treason.

"or any other "c" word you can think of."

Conservatives have larger vocabularies than liberals.

Clinton, commie, collectivist, Chinese, that other word.

I think a good case can be made that Trump and his entire flooded zone of [email protected] are anarchists.

Radical conservative deregulation is anarchy.

Radical conservative withdrawals from a broad range of international treaties and trade relationships is imposed anarchy.

The "disruption" conservatives so proudly encourage imposes anarchy on the rest of us in the interests of imposing their malign order.

They use every authoritarian measure to maintain the "order" of their imposed anarchy.

Steve Bannon is a proclaimed anarchist.

Antifa breaking windows and committing arson is anarchy.

Law enforcement killing unarmed civilians and beating up and teargassing peaceful demonstrators INSTEAD of arresting Antifa actors is anarchy.

The demonstrations in DC's Lafayette Square were peaceful and orderly, by all accounts, including those of National Guardsman who were ordered to commit anarchic government violence against the demonstrators and then spoke out against it.

It wasn't until the Attorney General of the United States and the top Armed Forces General made their appearances that evening to order anarchy with government authoritarian force, that anarchy broke out in order to make way for our gibbering, corrupt Anarchist-in-Chief to hold a Bible in an anarchic manner, upside down, which is the position he has put everything he touches with his anarchic hands.

The zone is flooded and anarchy is loosed.

Place Antifa and the conservative movement in the zone.

Then nuke the zone.

The way wj feels about the Republican brand, I feel about anarchism. Anarchism should be a term associated with a political philosophy that emphasizes self organization in order to avoid coercive hierarchies. Shelly's use of the term highlighted non-violent resistance. Proudhon emphasized order without power and Kropotkin talked about voluntary associations and self organization. A quick tour of the wikipedia gives some background
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism

The particular flavor that I prefer is anarcho-syndicalism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-syndicalism

which is associated with IWW (the Wobblies, yay!) industrial unionism and workplace democracy.

While there are connections to libertarian ideas, there are also links to communism and other philosophies of the left, and anarchism stands in opposition to nationalism and capitalism. Chomsky, for whom I don't hold an immense brief in linguistic theory, identifies with anarcho-syndicalism, and the science fiction readers here will know that Ursula LeGuin sketched out a fictional anarchic society in her novel The Dispossessed.

Unfortunately, bomb-throwing and the acts of agent-provocateurs ended up having people use the term anarchism as meaning unfocussed violence and mayhem, so I just sigh when the word comes up and think 'this is why we can't have nice things'...

There was a suggestion from nous that rioting might be an appropriate form of civil disobedience, in the face of an unresponsive and unrepresentative federal government.

...and I feel very ambivalent about the word "appropriate" in that sentence. It is a terrible thing to reach a point where it might be appropriate.

Two other things: any calculus of violence that does not include police violence in the face of protests against police violence as violence is blind in one eye. (Wasn't that an involved sentence).

Secondly, my GOP relatives in CO are complaining loudly that the governor (sexual invert that he is) allowed the protesters to do a million dollars of damage to the capital and that isn't any sort of leadership.

Rioters did $1M of damage to the Lower Downtown last time the Broncos won the Super Bowl. Guess what? No teargas. No pepper balls. No flashbangs. GOP groused that drunk people were being idiots and moved on.

Final thing. At the heart of my GOP relatives' handwringing over the capital there is coordination with a "Constitutional Sheriff" who has designs on state office. They aren't going away just because they lose the presidency.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad