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August 03, 2021

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Now, I've always thought Reason was full of shit, but I still retain the capacity to be amazed.

You should hold out for a more credible source than Mark Ames before being amazed. Ames has had decades of credibility problems.

Apologies, second vax yesterday has left me cranky. But the article does have the _actual copies of the articles in question from Reason, which you have said you read since issue 1. If they had that kind of shit back in the day and they still have the same board members, it's not Ames I need to discount, it's Reason's own history. Every publication has skeletons in its history, but those articles seem to be particularly problematic.

But the article does have the _actual copies of the articles in question from Reason, which you have said you read since issue 1.

I have been reading the magazine for almost fifty years. But I don't remember the articles or the cover. It may be one of a number of which I missed.

In the early years, the magazine had only three to four full-time people working on it. And they didn't have a lot of money to pay for content. My impression was that they sometimes publish less than stellar articles just so they had something to publish. Not an excuse of course. I remember reading articles that didn't fit the viewpoint of the magazine.

Ames seems to start with a narrative and tries to connect a lot of dots to bolster it.

This is from an article in reply to the Ames article.

"In the newer post, Ames runs through Reason's February 1976 issue that was billed as a "Special Revisionism Issue." ...Ames is correct that some of the contributors to that issue developed an interest in or were fellow travelers with that most pathetic area of study known as Holocaust revisionism or denialism. That scurrilous topic is not the focus of any of the articles in the issue, but the inclusion of contributors such as James J. Martin, who would go on to join the editorial board of the contemptible denialist outfit the Institute of Historical Review, is embarrassing. Another of that issue's contributors, Gary North, would later be excoriated in this 1998 Reason article for arguing in favor of violent theocracy and the stoning of gays and others.
...
Much of the material from the issue doesn't hold up, which is hardly surprising for a magazine issue published almost 40 years ago. Even as the various writers warn explicitly against uncritically accepting revisionist accounts out of inborn contrarianism, there is a generally adolescent glee in being iconoclastic that I find both uninteresting and unconvincing. However, to characterize the issue as a "holocaust denial 'special issue,'" as Ames does, is an example of how quickly he can lose his always-already weak grasp on reality."

Did Reason Really Publish a "Holocaust Denial 'Special Issue'" in 1976? Of Course Not.

A text version of the February 1976 issue.

Reason February 1976

I wonder what the people rioting all over the country last year watch.

They watched Derek Chauvin kill George Floyd.

Ames seems to start with a narrative and tries to connect a lot of dots to bolster it.

In the context of a discussion of Reason magazine, this is an amusing comment.

But isn't that a relatively new phenomenon? Pre-election, it was Faux News, all the time.

Just goes to show what the Resistance to Modernity is loyal to. Even if there is a pox on both houses, the house on the right is empty because it was not loyal enough to The Grift.

The people who do riot and run around with firearms mostly hatewatch Fox except for their devotion to Carlson and Ingraham.

And they watch Carlson and Ingraham on... Fox.

In the interest of full disclosure, I mostly get news from the AP. I also like the Guardian for more in depth reporting.

AP's pretty neutral, the Guardian leans to the left.

Used to read the WaPo, not really anymore. Used to read the NYT until the Bill Keller / Judith Miller / Daniel Okrent crap show, I won't read them now, full stop.

Used to read the New Yorker but not really for the last 5 or 10 years. No particular reason, the sub ran out and I never had time to actually finish an issue so we decided to let it be.

My wife and I watch an hour or two of Netflix most evenings while we eat dinner. Other than that, no TV. It's not a big statement thing, I just don't have time for it.

Used to listen to NPR during my commute but now my commute is the 11 steps downstairs to my office in the basement. Still listen on the weekend while I'm doing errands, but mostly to entertainment stuff rather than news. NPR is basically liberal but they bend over backwards so far to try to seem 'balanced' that I don't find them that interesting.

'Because you are neither hot nor cold, I spew you out of my mouth'. It's like that.

Blog wise I hang out here, TPM, and Balloon Juice mostly. TPM does actual reporting, which is refreshing, but they have a stance, so I factor that in. I go to Balloon Juice mostly for Silverman and for the laughs.

Social media, I hang on Facebook, mostly to see what my musician friends are up to and to keep in touch with family. I'll make the occasional snide remark there but generally stay away from politics.

The crap that is going on right now is so obvious that it doesn't take a whole lot of professional pundit analysis to get the gist. I don't need Rachel Maddow to break it down for me.

Thanks for the reply Charles, as I said, I usually do that for unknown quantities, so I just thought I'd drop into the wikipedia talk for Reason. If I had known about it, I would have definitely brought it up sooner.

And your defense is first, Ames can't be trusted. OK, there are some people I feel the same way about, Greenwald, Taibbi, Megan McArdel, the aforementioned Weiss and Sullivan, so that's fair, you have your tastes.

But it wasn't like Ames was leading me to think that was bad, I took a look at the pages and thought holy shit. 'It wasn't a Holocaust Denial issue, it was a Special Revisionism issue!' Not really a good look.

Now I understand that holocaust revision was not quite as toxic back then as it is now and maybe I'm not realizing how bad things were. Though historically, that was a time when that was bubbling up

In 1978 the American far-right activist Willis Carto founded the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), an organization dedicated to publicly challenging the commonly accepted history of the Holocaust.[64] The IHR's founding was inspired by Austin App, a La Salle professor of medieval English literature and considered the first major American holocaust denier.[58] The IHR sought from the beginning to establish itself within the broad tradition of historical revisionism, by soliciting token supporters who were not from a neo-Nazi background such as James J. Martin and Samuel Edward Konkin III, and by promoting the writings of French socialist Paul Rassinier and American anti-war historian Harry Elmer Barnes, in an attempt to show that Holocaust denial had a base of support beyond neo-Nazis. The IHR republished most of Barnes's writings, which had been out of print since his death. While it included articles on other topics and sold books by mainstream historians, the majority of material published and distributed by IHR was devoted to questioning the facts surrounding the Holocaust.[65][page needed]

In 1980, the IHR promised a $50,000 reward to anyone who could prove that Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. Mel Mermelstein wrote a letter to the editors of the Los Angeles Times and others including The Jerusalem Post. The IHR wrote back, offering him $50,000 for proof that Jews were, in fact, gassed in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Mermelstein, in turn, submitted a notarized account of his internment at Auschwitz and how he witnessed Nazi guards ushering his mother and two sisters and others towards (as he learned later) gas chamber number five. Despite this, the IHR refused to pay the reward. Represented by public interest attorney William John Cox, Mermelstein subsequently sued the IHR in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County for breach of contract, anticipatory repudiation, libel, injurious denial of established fact, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and declaratory relief.

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

but there was no internet and you say you have no memory of the issue, so whatevs.

But if you had seen it back then, would you have been nodding your head in agreement? I'm not sure about myself, I was 20 and full of my ability to make precisely the correct moral judgement without any questions. However, I would like to think that I've realized that this might not be the way I want to be.

And whatever got them to do that issue (Hey, they were just a few guys in a garage turing out a fanzine, they can't be responsible for everything!) I'd still hope that they would acknowledge that it was wrong. The fact that the magazine's response is NOT to take responsibility but to deny, deflect and raise doubt does more to reduce my thought that Reason is a place I even want to give a single click to.

Ames seems to be trying to imply that the Feb 1976 issue is a special issue dedicated to denying the holocaust. But it just has some authors associated with holocaust denialism at one time or another.

I googled the text version of the issue. The word holocaust appears only one time. And that is in reference to the fate of the Hindenburg in a review of the movie, The Hindenburg.

The word holocaust appears only one time.

So you can claim the the Nazis didn't engage in mass murder of Jews. But as long as you avoid using the word "holocaust," it isn't holocaust denial? Good to know.

Aside from a letter to the editor, the word Jews only appears once in the issue. And that's in Gary North's article in which he seems to give some vague credence to the denial that 6 million Jews were executed by Hitler. Or my understanding of what he's trying to say is vague.

But he seems to be saying the executions were an after-the-fact justification by the Establishment.

"Probably the most far-out materials on World War II revisionism have been the seemingly scholarly studies of the supposed execution of 6 million Jews by Hitler. The anonymous author of The Myth of the Six Million (whose writing style and use of footnotes internal to the text resembles Hoggan's The Myth of the "New History" to a remarkable extent) has presented a solid case against the Establishment's favorite horror story—the supposed moral justification for our entry into the War. (The Myth of the Six Million. [Hollywood: New Christian Crusade Church, 1969])"
World War II Revisionism and Vietnam

...justification by the Establishment for entering the war.

the seemingly scholarly studies of the supposed execution of 6 million Jews by Hitler

omg, really? That's one way Holocaust denialism works. Pretend Jews weren't the target. I'm sure Hartmut could give a lot more examples, but if you claim that the Germans were just doing it because they were carrying disease or were actively seeking to overthrow the state and in the context of a world war, well, of course, they had to kill them. And it wasn't a 'supposed 6 million', it was maybe a couple of 1000. Totally understandable in the context of a total war

[I feel like I need to say that the above is just me putting out what the magazine with the supposed name of 'Reason' is trying to do, I don't want someone to lift that quote and claim I am arguing that]

Maybe you can get McT to defend you here, but it looks to me as if you are intent on shredding the last bit of credibility you have. First rule of holes...

And Charles, I feel like I have to say this, please don't be quoting books like that here to support the arguments they make.

https://www.colorado.edu/post-holocaustamericanjudaismcollections/2017/02/15/myth-six-million-anonymous-1974-printing

The Mazal Holocaust Collection includes a large number of books and pamphlets by authors denying the Holocaust. One of the first such books written in English was The Myth of the Six Million, first published anonymously in 1969 by Noontide Press (the Mazal copy is a 1974 edition), founded by the right-wing conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier Willis Carto. The book has been attributed to David Hoggan, a Harvard-trained historian and writer who died in 1988. The Mazal collection contains multiple other works published by Noontide Press, Carto, and Hoggan. Like many other Holocaust denial works, The Myth of the Six Million argues that the details of the Holocaust were invented to justify Allied involvement in World War II (here presented as a war of aggression against Germany) and post-war treatment of Germany. The eminent Holocaust historian Lucy Dawidowicz argued that in The Myth of the Six Million, Hoggan modified or fabricated quotes to support his claims. This volume may be of interest to scholars seeking early evidence of Holocaust denial and revisionist conspiracy theories of World War II.

And the apparent author of the book

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_L._Hoggan

In following years, author Lucy Dawidowicz wrote that Hoggan maintained a close association with various neo-Nazi and Holocaust denial groups.[32] In 1969 a short book was published called The Myth of the Six Million, denying the Holocaust. The book listed no author, but the work was by Hoggan, though published without his permission.[33] This should not be confused with his earlier book of 1965 called The Myth of the 'New History', on America's wars. The Myth of the Six Million was published by the Noontide Press, a small Los Angeles-based publisher specializing in explicitly antisemitic literature owned and operated by Willis Carto. Hoggan sued Carto in 1969 for publishing the book (written in 1960) without his permission; the case was settled out of court in 1973.[33]

The Myth of the Six Million was one of the first books, if not the first book, in the English language to promote Holocaust denial.[32] In The Myth of the Six Million, Hoggan argued that all of the evidence for the Holocaust was manufactured after the war as a way of trying to justify what Hoggan called a war of aggression against Germany.[34] The Myth of the Six Million was published with a foreword by "E.L. Anderson", which was apparently a pseudonym for Carto.[35] As part of The Myth of the Six Million, there was an appendix comprising five articles first published in The American Mercury.[35] The five articles were "Zionist Fraud" by Harry Elmer Barnes, "The Elusive Six Million" by Austin App, "Was Anne Frank's Diary a Hoax" by Teressa Hendry, "Paul Rassinier: Historical Revisionist" by Herbert C. Roseman, "The Jews that Aren't" by Leo Heiman, and a favorable review of Paul Rassinier's work by Barnes.

shredding the last bit of credibility you have.

Runaway winner of the Biggest Understatement of the Month prize.

...justification by the Establishment for entering the war.

I always figured it was Pearl Harbor that pushed us over the edge.

I wonder what the people rioting all over the country last year watch.

my guess is D) None of the above.

CNN is probably far too bland for those who want to Burn It Down.

Hitler declared war on the US, not the other way around. And Roosevelt's politics centered on the Atlantic convoy war (where US warships running escort for British convoys got torpedoed on several occasions).
The US adminstration had lots of informations about the Holocaust but deliberately kept it out of sight. A) they feared it to be desinformation to draw the US into the war; B) to go to war 'for the Jews' was seen as exremely unpopular to large parts of the population, so it would have been counterproductive to use that in the propaganda; C) I assume there were more than enough antisemites in the administration itself that would have vehemently opposed the idea, if it ever came up.
Compare also the case of the MS St.Louis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_St._Louis

So, the US establishment did not try to use the treatment of the Jews to justify going to war with Nazi Germany. Had Hitler not taken the initiative (and Japan not attacked Pearl Harbour), the US would have gone to war with Germany some time later over the sinking of the Reuben James*
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Reuben_James_(DD-245) )
A propaganda campaign based on that was already in the making when it got overtaken by 'more persuasive' events (non of which involved Jews).

*the German Uboat commander Erich Topp who sank the ship (not knowing that she was American and aiming for a different vessel in the first place) wrote extensively on the event in his memoirs (those were btw exceptionally frank and honest compared to those written by the majority of other German officers in both World Wars).

I wonder what the people rioting all over the country last year watch.

Rachel Maddow is a constant target of parts of the left who defame her as a sellout, chill for the Dem establishment and US wars abroad (they probably did not read her books).
Those guys get almost as nasty as the RWers (although they tend to avoid insults like 'mad cow', 'dyke' etc. that the Right seemingly cannot do without).

Speaking of which media one reads, I haven't read this yet, from today's Observer (the Guardian's sister Sunday paper) but have just been told by a friend that it is not on the Guardian's US site. I (naively) didn't realise that there were different kinds of content depending on where you were reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/08/gentleman-joe-versus-the-maga-champion-machiavelli-would-die-laughing

Yeah, sure Hartmut. Maddow is criticized by people who think an American supported genocide ought to be covered by someone who has five hours a week running a show watched by partisan liberals who probably didn’t want to know that not all the evil committed by the US government can be blamed solely on Republicans. Very uncouth.


https://fair.org/home/msnbc-yemen-russia-coverage-2017/

As for who to trust, everyone has an agenda, including people who comment on how they don’t trust various people. If you don’t read people you don’t like, you are blinding yourself. You can’t read everyone, but you need to read at least a few people you really dislike because sometimes this assholes may tell you something you don’t want to hear.

Back to lurking.

Good to see you, Donald, I've wondered where you were.

partisan liberals who probably didn’t want to know that not all the evil committed by the US government can be blamed solely on Republicans

Speaking as a partisan liberal, I know this all too well, and always want to keep it in mind. Maddow seems to me (from my limited exposure) to be a good faith interlocutor coming from an acknowledged position.

If you don’t read people you don’t like, you are blinding yourself. You can’t read everyone, but you need to read at least a few people you really dislike because sometimes this assholes may tell you something you don’t want to hear.

I absolutely agree with this, which is why (for just one example) I am not prepared to wholesale dismiss Andrew Sullivan, despite often hating his views. This NYT review of his book of essays gives a useful summary of some of his views and switchbacks:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/08/books/review/out-on-a-limb-andrew-sullivan.html

The reviewer says:

I’m an evangelical conservative. When Sullivan sounded alarms about intolerance on the left, I applauded. When he ramped up his warning about religious conservatives during the Bush years, however, I’d roll my eyes. I especially hated the term he coined for the religious right, “Christianists.” Yes, there were bad apples in religious conservatism, but the comparison to radical Islamists was obvious, and excessive.

Yet he saw something that was directionally true. The right was harnessing growing government power to growing religious fervor. And as it did, it was shedding a conservatism of more modest ambitions, a conservatism that prized individual liberty and economic freedom, and that understood the limits of government power over human behavior.

But still, the term “Christianist” felt like a mild slap in the face, right until the afternoon of Jan. 6, when a mob of believers stormed the Capitol on a “righteous” mission to overturn an election — with crosses in the crowd and prayers on their lips

I (naively) didn't realise that there were different kinds of content depending on where you were reading...

The Guardian offers four different editions -- US, UK, Australia, and International, each with quite different focus -- and which version is initially loaded does appear to depend on where you are. The Tisdall opinion piece shows up in the UK and International editions.

My morning reading list starts: (1) local daily paper, (2) Denver Post for broader Colorado stuff, (3) LA Times for western US coverage, and a western slant on national stuff, and (4) the US edition of the Guardian. That edition of the Guardian seems to do better serious-minded broad US coverage than any other source I've found.

"Christiani" (Christians) used to be an insult too. Unfortunately in English the distinction cannot be made that is common with German classical philologists and historians of late antiquity (Christen [neutral] vs. Christianen [pagan Roman insult]). Compare 'evangelisch' (protestant) vs. 'evangelikal' ([fundamantalist] evangelical).

As for who to trust, everyone has an agenda, including people who comment on how they don’t trust various people. If you don’t read people you don’t like, you are blinding yourself. You can’t read everyone, but you need to read at least a few people you really dislike because sometimes this assholes may tell you something you don’t want to hear.

Donald, thanks for this and for dropping by. Nice to know you're still out there. And GFTNC too. It's worth noting, IMO, that many partisans seem to routinely conflate "something they don't want to hear" and trolling. Broderism, I suppose.

because people who aren't arguing in good faith (aka trolls) love to use "you just can't handle the truth" as their defense/cloud of squid ink.

because people who aren't arguing in good faith (aka trolls) love to use "you just can't handle the truth" as their defense/cloud of squid ink.

Often true, alas. So discerning the practitioners of the bolded four words is the difficult but worthwhile endeavour. Speaking for myself, I am one of those who is not always aware of a commenter's backstory, and don't always have the time or inclination to chase it down, so I tend to rely on my assessment of the reliability (not exactly the right word, but I can't offhand think of a better one) of the argument.

Maybe some combination of "sincerity, reliability and reasonableness".

In economic writing that "you can't handle the truth" mode is what Michelle Chihara calls Big Swinging Dick realism.

Big Swinging Dick realism both depends on and promotes the idea that financial complexity equals realistic (and that, of course, both equal male). La Berge writes, “For Wolfe, finance is complicated and therefore difficult to represent; for Stone, finance is exclusive and therefore difficult to represent. For both, the capture of finance, its representation, signals a success of the realist mode.” The depiction of the big swinging dicks of Wall Street signals the real: money men and their crass assholery become themselves a hallmark of hard-hitting truth. We wouldn’t believe The Bonfire of the Vanities without a white, male, aggressive Sherman McCoy or Wall Street without Gordon Gekko. The correlation with realism works both ways: money men and their unending dollars seem inevitable, both a condition of possibility for representing the real and proof of their own central importance. La Berge writes: “The economy comes to signify all that is organizing, objective and historical, all that changes but cannot be changed. It is that from which there can be no outside.”

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-finance/

Big Swinging Dick realism is Reason's editorial narrative voice.

I see a lot of "hypermasculine [financial, political, scientific etc.] realism" being deployed in these situations where we are unsure whether or not to treat the writer as a troll. I tend always to read this mode as an intentional provocation and attempt to silence - usually because the writer knows that allowing any compassion or fellow feelings for the other side into the discussion will make their own aims appear unjust and small. Big Swinging Dick realism gives the imbalance a sense of inevitability ("but that imbalance is what DRIVES the economy...").

Well, I'm going to assume that Charles is not a holocaust denialist, he just went and looked for something that would support his view (or actually anything that would support the opposite view) He was just grasping at any kind of alternative narrative. I doubt anything will make him give up his love for Reason, but maybe he will take a little more time when he defends it and not paint himself into a corner.

"Pagan" is also a term of insult, meaning "farmer" or "country hick".

Early christians were almost exclusively effete urban elites, not stalwart salt-of-the-earth types.

Early christians were almost exclusively effete urban elites, not stalwart salt-of-the-earth types.

Two thousand (roughly) years later, it's still rural folks embracing "that old-time religion." Apparently some things never change.

The German(ic) word 'Heiden' (heathen) translates it directly or even tops it.
The 'pagus' (=> paganus) at least implies cultivated land around small villages while the heath is wild untamed country where wyrd sisters and insane retired kings roam.

Heathen at OED - Etymology: Old English hǽðen = Old Frisian hêthin, -en, Old Saxon hêðin (Middle Dutch, Dutch heiden), Old High German heidan (Middle High German heiden, German heide), Old Norse heiðinn (Swedish, Danish heden); compare Gothic haiþnô Gentile or heathen woman.
As this word is used in all the Germanic languages in the sense ‘non-Christian, pagan’, which could only have arisen after the introduction of Christianity, it is thought probable that, like some other terms of Christian origin (e.g. church ), it was first used in Gothic, and thence passed to the other tribes. This is supported by the use by Ulfilas, in Mark vii. 26, of the feminine form haiþnô (Vulgate mulier gentilis , all Old English versions hǽðen ). The word has generally been assumed to be a direct derivative of Gothic haiþi , heath n., as if ‘dweller on the heath’, taken as a kind of loose rendering of Latin pāgānus (originally ‘villager, rustic’, later, after Christianity became the religion of the towns, while the ancient deities were still retained in rural districts, ‘pagan, heathen’). But in this there are difficulties chronological and etymological, especially in reference to the form and use of the suffix; and Prof. S. Bugge ( Indog. Forsch. V. 178) includes this among several words which point to Armenian influence on the language of Ulfilas; he takes haiþnô as indicating a masculine haiþans, which he refers to Armenian het῾anos ‘heathen’, < Greek ἔθνος ‘nation’, (plural) ‘nations, Gentiles, heathens’. This would explain the Old High German form heidan, while in Old English, etc., the suffix was, as in cristen, levelled under the ordinary -in, -en, < -în. But even so, the stem-vowel has probably to be explained by assimilation to haiþi heath.

always remember: villain and village are cognate.

i used to think calling them fascist was hyperbole. well, i've long since changed my mind. maybe this will help some of the fascist-hesitant among ObWi readers:

https://twitter.com/KurtSchlichter/status/1424162616633565187

For too long red state conservatives have offered to live and let live with blue state liberals but the blues are evangelical Marxists who cannot allow us to provide a counter example of freedom. 1/

So, no more. We must, by any means necessary, force them to be like us. No quarter. No compromise. 2/

Ban CRT, Marxism and anti-American misinformation. Nationalize big tech and academia and mandate conservatism as their operational ideology. Ban leftist media and entertainment from spreading misinformation.3/

Penalize barren, non-familial lifestyles through taxes and disqualification from political participation. Establish property and military service qualifications for voting. Increase America’s carbon footprint. Ban masks. Dismantle unions.n4/

Use the law to ensure blue submission. Imprison dissenters. Force them to act against their deepest beliefs to keep their jobs. End all social programs and deport all illegals. Outlaw crime again. 5/

Seems kind of harsh. But hey, isn’t this the flip side of what they want to do to us? So I’m unclear why they would object that it’s wrong. 6/

cleek, reads to me like a poorly thought out attempt at channeling "A Modest Proposal" that misrepresents the progressives and misunderstands Swift in the process. But, hey, it lets his side be the hero/victims, so...

Well, I always thought some of them were fascists.

As for that twitter thread, I was absolutely convinced it must be a (not very good) spoof. Having looked him up - maybe not. In which case, if he's for real, I have to assume he is actually unhinged.

Establish property and military service qualifications for voting. Increase America’s carbon footprint

C'mon. Surely the most likely explanation is that some joker hacked his twitter feed?

it's not clear that he's actually being satirical. that last tweet seems like a CYA afterthought that has very little to do with the first five.

"Penalize barren, non-familial lifestyles through taxes and disqualification from political participation" and "Nationalize big tech and academia and mandate conservatism as their operational ideology," aren't satire of anything anyone on the left suggests.

nobody on the left wants to tax families or ban them from political participation. Democrats are trying to expand access to polls, for everyone, and are being blocked by "conservatives" who want to make voting incrementally harder. and the American left doesn't really want to nationalize much of anything beyond health care payments - and mandating an ideology to go with it isn't even close to being a thing.

"Establish property and military service qualifications for voting."

what is that satire of?

"Ban CRT, Marxism and anti-American misinformation."

"End all social programs and deport all illegals."

"Outlaw crime again."

that's not satire; it's literally what "conservatives" argue all day every day everywhere.

it reads like he was being his usual horrible authoritarian self and realized he'd maybe gone too far, so he tried to use "satire!" to justify his outburst.

According to his bio, he is a former stand-up comic:

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/

On the other hand, if it's a piece of performance art, he's been at it a long time....

I think he was implying that the left was already so far gone on the path of Culture Wars that to match them the right should advocate for equally extreme policies as a way of provoking the left. It implies that the right has been pulling up well short of the sort of fascism that the left has embraced, which, if embraced, would lead to these sort of policy positions.

The incoherence you point to is exactly why I said that it was poorly thought out.

his shtick is to turn his fascist conservatism to 11 and pretend he's just venting. it's all a joke!

but his Townhall pieces are absolutely brimming with this hyper-masculine, nationalistic, violent, fascistic imagery. the ones that are supposedly paywalled are actually there in the HTML if you want to read them.

if you spend 2000 words making the same jokes over and over every week, you're probably not actually joking. and "Quit being so sensitive, I'm just being provocative!" loses its efficacy when you keep saying the same provocative things again and again.

because if you spend your energy coming up with different ways to make the same joke, you're not joking anymore. you're just putting what you really think into joke form. and "I'm just joking" is another joke.

Meanwhile:

Former Newsmax host and right-wing Florida radio commentator Dick Farrel — who mocked vaccines, the “scamdemic” and “lying freak” Dr. Anthony Fauci — has died of COVID-19.

A very different Farrel, 65, told friends to get vaccinated, as he struggled with the virus. He died Wednesday, WPTV reported

I wonder how much coverage this kind of thing gets on the RWNJ media outlets.

I wonder how much coverage this kind of thing gets on the RWNJ media outlets.

i've found no coverage at all. not even a mention on Newsmax (or Breitbart or Fox)

Regarding Reason:

Ames was wrong to invent a "holocaust denial issue". Gillespie was much more wrong to find nothing worse in the actual issue than "uninteresting and unconvincing" "adolescent glee".

If you want to revise the history of the Shoah, do it with respect for the truth and for the dead. If you want to gainsay the revisers, do the same.

If your magazine has, in the past, addressed the subject with adolescent glee, apologise humbly.

Pro Bono, Big Swinging Dicks never apologize humbly. That might give the impression that they are wusses!!!

GTFNC—

I lurk here sometimes but don’t have the patience for online political discussions anymore.

My feeling about Maddow and MSNBC is that she is the star of a business that caters to a particular set of people who want to hear news delivered in a way that never challenges them. It isn’t as bad as Fox because reality really does have a leftish bias ( IMO) but the world would be better off if none of the cable news networks existed.

And she is a sellout. She is smart and knows exactly what she is doing.
Hayes is a sellout too. His weekend morning show many years ago was actually good. Then he went primetime and after a while I stopped watching. Lawrence O’ Donnell — well, who ever cared what he thought.

Maddow being obtuse—

https://fair.org/home/hiding-us-role-in-yemen-slaughter-so-bombing-can-be-sold-as-self-defense/

MckT— I think ObiWi was better when it had a very wide range of commenters, but those days are gone.

THe American Conservative used to have a wide range of people in the comments, but they fired Larison and the place has gone down the toilet. Dreher has fully embraced his own business model, which is ignoring virtually every issue except cancel culture. Left wing version, of course. He likes Orban.

and "I'm just joking" is another joke.…
It is, of course, a mode Trump played to perfection.

FWIW, I agree about Rachel Maddow, Donald. The polarisation is, I think, a reaction to what happened on the right, and isn’t divorced from reality in the same way, but it doesn’t make it listenable.

Interesting, I assumed that like me, people didn't really watch talking heads, given that almost all of the links shared here are text.

There was a time, I guess at the beginning of Covid, that I was watching Question Time for Boris, but that was because there would also be some article about how Johnson was TOTALLY STITCHED UP. However, when I went to watch, it always disappointed.

But it's far too easy to hide the weak spots of an argument with an arched eyebrow, a gesture, a funny face. So for me, I generally only toss in a youtube link if it is to something important. (like a clip from a Marx Brothers movie or a Monty Python skit.)

MckT— I think ObiWi was better when it had a very wide range of commenters, but those days are gone.

True. I like to think I can still get a little traction here from time to time, but back then, positions weren't nearly so fixed or impervious. People could--and did--give ground without fear of aiding and abetting *the enemy*. Some but not much of that left these days.

Dreher has fully embraced his own business model, which is ignoring virtually every issue except cancel culture. Left wing version, of course.

unsurprisingly Dreher's is one of the few places i've been banned from.

Some but not much of that left these days.

I don't know how long I've been here at this point, but it's gotta be in the neighborhood of 15 years or so. I know I had been here for a little while when Andy was killed, and I think that was very early 2008.

During that time the country has gone from arguing about stuff like whether we should have invaded Iraq, to the freak show of the Trump presidency culminating in a mob rioting and attacking the Capitol in an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

ObWi has changed a lot, but so has the world. From my point of view, there's not a lot of ground left to give.

A lot of my counter-parties, for lack of a better word, have gone absolutely freaking insane. Like, "there will be a civil war if we have to wear masks again" insane. Not making it up, that's from a conversation I had this past week.

"I'll kill you if you require me to wear a piece of cloth over my mouth and nose". There's no ground to give there, no give and take is on offer. Just, I'll kill you before I'll wear a mask, during a pandemic.

And yes, it's all a lot of hyperbolic BS, the guy in question is highly unlikely to kill anybody. But how much hyperbolic BS do we all have to walk back before we can get to a conversation that is even remotely reasonable?

I'd love to have conversations about stuff like tax rates, or industrial policy, or whether we should have a public option for health insurance. There is plenty of room in discussions like that for give and take.

By my lights, about a third of the nation has lost its mind. Gone straight around the bend. Absolutely barking mad.

I can't give ground to that. There isn't any ground to give.

I do appreciate the very small handful of conservative voices that are willing to come here and participate. I'm sure ObWi is a lonely place for you all at this point.

Unsurprisingly, I agree with what russell says. But there's an additional aspect:

People could--and did--give ground without fear of aiding and abetting *the enemy*

In those days, it was perfectly possible to not regard the GOP as "the enemy". Ideological opponents, sure. People whose values and priorities were (in many cases radically) different. But people with whom, in many cases, one could have meaningful dialogue. Let's not forget that when hilzoy quit, she said that she thought that civility was becoming possible again, that the poison was to a large extent out of the system.

Since then, despite wj's lonely rearguard attempts to define conservatism, the GOP and many conservatives have, in russell's formulation, lost their mind. Or, in an image that makes more sense to me given the personality-cult-like aspects, drunk the Kool-Aid. And the ones who don't actually believe it have made a cynical careerist calculation that they should pretend that they do.

It's impossible to have meaningful dialogue with those people. There is actually no hope of anything resembling "good faith" with them, and the supposition that one's opponents (no matter how misguidedly) intend the best for the country as defined by any sane person would be absurd in today's situation.

Well, all this memory lane-ing had me look to seen when the first time I commented was

https://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2004/09/for_the_last_ti.html

I got pulled in because of spillover from Eric Muller's (no longer in existence) blog about the Japanese American internment. A few familiar names and some semantic parsing that looks even worse in hindsight.

Back when one thought if you laid out evidence, it might change minds...

Somewhere between half and three-quarters of (R) voters think the 2020 election was fraudulent and that Donald J Trump is the rightful POTUS.

There is no evidence to support that belief.

What should the conversation consist of? It's like trying to have a reasonable conversation with someone who firmly believes that 2+2=5.

It's not a difference of opinion, it's a different understanding of reality, and a different understanding of how you determine what is simply and factually true.

I am at a loss to understand how to work around that.

A few familiar names and some semantic parsing that looks even worse in hindsight.

I just read that whole thread. Wow.

lj, how do you do that? (i.e. search for your first ever comment here). My Google skills are lousy, nothing I've tried has worked.

GftNC, Google seems to have removed support for sort by date, but you can filter by date (click the "tools" button on a search).

Well, it was a bit easier for me, I knew I'd been pulled here by discussion about Malkin's book and used google advanced search, limited it to this site and searched for "Posted by: Liberal Japonicus" and Malkin and it popped up.

I did it on yours but I didn't have a word to limit the search, so I used the tools in the google search list that came up to narrow down the time window and made it smaller. This has your first comment in this
https://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2015/03/limes-and-planes.html

Thanks, ral, I tried that with no luck. About to look at what lj found - my memory is that I couldn't resist commenting (after lurking for years) when the Count mentioned that he was a double for John Lennon.

And thanks, lj.

No luck, even trying advanced search. I am a Google incompetent. Never mind, I'll survive.

i think my first comment is on this, from 2005.

one reason there are so few conservatives here is the same reason there are few of anybody here: blogging has declined in popularity. things like FB and Twitter have drawn users away from blogs.

Start with quoted string plus site, like so:

"by: Girl from" site:obsidianwings.blogs.com

then successively narrow the date range. A bit inconvenient but it works.

If nothing is found in the range Google will drop the quotes so you may have to paste the request in again (save it in another window to make pasting easy).

one reason there are so few conservatives here is the same reason there are few of anybody here: blogging has declined in popularity. things like FB and Twitter have drawn users away from blogs.

I'd guess there's some kind of critical mass thing going on, too. When you have lots of people commenting, you're more likely to draw in people with varying opinions. (Duh.) But, on top of that, a given person is more likely to have some number of like-minded "allies." Even if you're in the minority, you aren't remotely alone, so you aren't just getting beat up all the time. We have a few die-hards that are willing to endure it, at least on occasion.

then successively narrow the date range.

here's how i do this on Google (desktop version)

1. click "Tools"
2. "Any time" and "All results" will appear under the search box
3. click "Any time", "Custom Range..."
4. set a To date to something a bit later than you might think is your first comment
5. search

if you don't get anything, move the To date up some

ral, cleek, lj: thank you all so much, but I have tried endless variations of all of that, with no luck (both now and in the past) and am now giving up in disgust. That's not to say that somebody more competent trying your suggestions wouldn't have succeeded, but I am not that person (tag for understatement).

To mis-quote Bob Dylan (but without the passive-aggressiveness) I don't want any of you to keep wasting your precious time, don't think twice it's alright.

Looks like my first comment was in March of 2005 (commenting on fairness in sports - https://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/03/governmental_me.html), so lj and Bernard Yomtov and Donald Johnson and John Thullen and CaseyL were here before me - and I see cleek in the comments from a couple days after, so it's time to move the date of that first post back to March for you as well. We both showed up within a couple days of each other.

Don't Think Twice

Good movie about NYC improv.

nd I see cleek in the comments from a couple days after

so strange. that never shows up in my searches. and then Google complains that a large number of "unusual searches" have been coming from my computer. Google has really ruined their search engine.

if i browse backwards from there, i see even more of my comments. so, who knows when my first really was...

interesting to see fafnir was once a commenter here. fafblog was amazing.

Since I consider it my role to provide apropos quotes, let me channel Frances...

"Well," said Frances, "things are not very good around here anymore. No clothes to wear. No raisins for the oatmeal. I think maybe I'll run away."

I miss Fafblog too.

twas always thus...

Sept 8 2004, a post by Moe Lane.

here's the entire post, and all comments:

Yup, taking another break.
(Packing small bag)

I'll be back.

Posted by SuperUser at 10:36 PM in Geekstuff | Permalink

Comments

You'll be missed :(

Posted by: Anarch | September 09, 2004 at 04:42 AM

This sucks, Moe. The voice of moderations seems a bit too liberal without your ongoing and thoughtful contributions.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood | September 09, 2004 at 11:29 AM


i think this is my actual first comment (Sept 13, 2004).

Let's not forget that when hilzoy quit, she said that she thought that civility was becoming possible again, that the poison was to a large extent out of the system.

And by the way, in case anybody thought for even one moment that I was saying either a) I thought that the decrease in civility was the current problem/issue, or more likely because of my sloppiness that b) hilzoy thought that the only issue was civility etc, this is what she said in July 2009 in her quitting post:

The main reason I started blogging, besides the fact that I thought it would be fun, was that starting sometime in 2002, I thought that my country had gone insane. It wasn't just the insane policies, although that was part of it. It was the sheer level of invective: the way that people who held what seemed to me to be perfectly reasonable views, e.g. that invading Iraq might not be such a smart move, were routinely being described as al Qaeda sympathizers who hated America and all it stood for and wanted us all to die.

I thought: we've gone mad. And I have to do something -- not because I thought that I personally could have any appreciable effect on this, but because it felt like what Katherine called an all hands on deck moment. I had heard about times like this in the past -- the McCarthy era, for instance -- though I had never expected to live through one. Nonetheless, I was. And I had to try to do something, however insignificant.


***

That said, it seems to me that the madness is over. There are lots of people I disagree with, and lots of things I really care about, and even some people who seem to me to have misplaced their sanity, but the country as a whole does not seem to me to be crazy any more.

So, apart from being one of the only times I can remember hilzoy being wrong, although she was concerned with the civility/demonisation-of-opponents issue, she made it clear that it was the policies, the actual issues as well.

If only we had known; the country as a whole (or at least approximately one third of it) is crazier now than anyone could ever (not even hilzoy) have foreseen.

And in case anybody thinks I am talking solely about the US, I believe in the old adage: when America sneezes Britain catches cold. We may be earlier in the process, but the same forces (ahistorical, ascientific, afactual) are at play here, and laying the necessary groundwork.

I have tried endless variations of all of that, with no luck (both now and in the past) and am now giving up in disgust.

It doesn't work well for me either: google's webcrawler seems to find this blog's archive confusing.

Trying to find my own first comment, I found this, which can't be the earliest because there's an earlier one in the same thread. But still:

What Russell said.

Posted by: JanieM | April 28, 2008 at 11:51 PM

Some things are so obvious that you realize them right away.

I came here when Andy died, so even if there are earlier days when I commented, they can't be TOO much earlier than that.

on the other hand... back in the olden days, only rarely would posts get more than 50 comments. sometimes posts wouldn't get any.

these days, we go 500+ pretty regularly.

hilzoy, in 2009:

That said, it seems to me that the madness is over. There are lots of people I disagree with, and lots of things I really care about, and even some people who seem to me to have misplaced their sanity, but the country as a whole does not seem to me to be crazy any more.
Which was understandable, I suppose. Because it was possible to miss the level of invective, specifically race-based invective, which was going to be a feature of Obama's tenure.

Is there anyone still here who followed Publius over from his blog, Legal Fiction, when he shut it down in 2007 and joined ObWi as a headliner? (That's how I got here, if that wasn't obvious from the question.)

i got here from Tacitus.

When in Rome!

Which was understandable, I suppose. Because it was possible to miss the level of invective, specifically race-based invective, which was going to be a feature of Obama's tenure.

But again, and at the risk of repeating myself, it's absolutely not just the invective. It's the sanity, or lack thereof, as in russell's formulation. And that was not (I believe) only a product of racism.

I got here from the Daily Dish. At least one good thing came out of reading Andrew.

The FB interchange I referenced above came from a conversation between some musicians about venues that are starting to require performers to be vaccinated.

Most of the folks involved are from New England, so in general most of them were ok with it, and in fact strongly in support.

A couple of folks were not.

One guy called out all of the people who had died from the COVID vaccine. Not COVID, but the vaccine.

"Do you want to take that kind of chance with your family?"

As of right now, about 4.3 million people have died from COVID, about 633K of them in the US.

Three people have died due to clotting after getting the J&J vax. We now understand the cause of that and no further deaths from the J&J have occurred.

There are no deaths I am aware of that are attributable to either the Moderna or Pfizer vaxes.

3 vs 4.3 million.

Other claims in the thread included "No vaccine, no tax return - it's coming!".

Which is just freaking nutty. It's just crap the guy is making up.

Pick any topic you like, and the "conservative" side of the house has gone down some crazy rabbit hole or other. There is, as far as I can tell, no traction to be had in terms of discussing things on anything like a factual basis.

People are entitled to their point of view, but I don't see a path to anything like a reasonable conversation.

I talk about this stuff here, IRL I almost never engage people about any of this stuff. It's like talking with delusional paranoiacs.

I'm sure this all sounds like I'm hating on conservatives. I'm not, I don't hate any of these people. I just have no idea whatsoever how to engage in any kind of conversation with them.

I don't remember how I got here, it was probably via something at RedState. The first comment of mine I can find is from back in '05, on some thread from von about Pericles' Funeral Oration.

Fun seeing some of the names there.

on the other hand... back in the olden days, only rarely would posts get more than 50 comments. sometimes posts wouldn't get any.

these days, we go 500+ pretty regularly.

Okay, but how many words? ;^)

A friend steered me here, probably 2007/8. It's still the only place I have ever commented.

on the other hand... back in the olden days, only rarely would posts get more than 50 comments. sometimes posts wouldn't get any.

these days, we go 500+ pretty regularly.

Okay, but how many words? ;^)

Perhaps as much to the point, how many posts? Seems to me in the old days there were sometimes several a day.... I leave the rest for the reader to fill in.

I vaguely remember Legal Fiction, so I assume that I must have come here that way. And I know it was when I was still at the TU Berlin doing either my diploma thesis (at the time the equivalent of a master thesis over here) or my PhD. But that gives a wide range from late 1999 to early 2008. And I have no idea when I switched from just reading to actually commenting. When did "The Fool" get banned for the first time? I think it must have been around that time.

I started poking in the archives and they seem to start in November, 2003. This sent me on a trip down memory lane into the poetry posts.

It's clear that Google search doesn't find everything, I tested.

It was Sebastian H. who pulled me here from the Washington Monthly.

My brother told me about Atrios sometime probably 2004/5, and from there found links elsewhere, hilzoy, Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory blog, Balloon Juice, Unqualified Offerings, Sullivan, Coates, Fallows. Mostly lurked all this time. Seldom have anything useful to add.

My wife had been on an RPG maillist with Moe and a bunch of others (the blog name always made sense to me for that reason) and started sending links my way whenever the discussion here looked like something that would interest me. Think at that point Moe was already drifting away, having been radicalized by 9/11.

Still crawling down memory lane, and after this I'm going to stop.

Lemmy Caution: "An Obama candidacy creates a progressivism that is likely to permanently transform the American political landscape."

It seems to me that his candidacy doesn't so much "create" a progressivism as attempt to tap the potential for it. What remains to be seen is how much potential is out there to be tapped. After 2004, I will never again be surprised at how godawfully wrong I can be about how much of this country is apparently living in a different reality from the one I live in.

Even so, Obama has my hopes up. Just a teensy bit, mind you....

Posted by: JanieM | January 27, 2008 at 11:06 PM

Bold added today, 8/9/21. I was wrong.

I also tried the Google search; first
I could find (of my posts) was Sept. 9, 2011, about the use of the term "kill" to mean "stream": Dutch words insinuating itself into the USA, egads!

The main problem seemed to be that Google finds new stuff in the "most recent posts/comments" bar, even for old posts.

But to add to the Dutch, I had occasion a month ago to look up the origin of that classic midwestern US picnic staple: Cole Slaw.

Neither "cole" nor "slaw" are normal English, so WTF?

Turns out it's a corruption of Dutch, for "cold salad". Every family seems to have their own slightly-different recipe; perhaps someday a enterprising culinary historian will analyze the "diverging genomes" to see where they split and recombine.

Surely "cole" is cabbage - German "Kohl", Dutch "kool". (I looked up the Dutch.)

In Swedish it's kål.

It occurs to me that I can channel all the awesome powers afforded me by the Typepad interface and actually look up people's first comments. So if you would like, say yes please in the comments and I will give you the post where your first comment appeared. Thought about doing it for everyone who has mentioned it, but then thought that might be a bit much so only if you ask. Bear in mind the time difference, and if it is a bunch of you, I'll probably collect them into one comment.

As has been noted, google search will not reliably find your first comment, I just got lucky as Malkin must have detrended as a search item (thank god!) and so mine popped up.

GftNC had a comment one before the one I said was her last and it is in here
https://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2015/02/oliver-sacks-on-his-terminal-cancer.html

wallowing in nostalgia, I remain...

While I probably misremembered the details, I have to comment: kool!

Thanks for that, lj! And it just goes to show the tricks memory can play - I thought I started earlier than that, and I could have sworn it was about JDT being John Lennon's double. Also, if 2015, maybe that's why my Google searches were so unsuccessful. So, super helpful in more ways than one!

lj, that was two gifts in one: I've just re-read the Oliver Sacks piece you link in that opening post, and what a great pleasure it was. I always knew it, but it was wonderful to be reminded; he was a marvellous writer, and a humane and exceptional person. Thank you.

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