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Friday, September 23, 2022


 

161 comments:

  1. The photo of an irked leftist has been paired with a caption listing professional trolls who have made it their life's work to irk leftists for the entertainment of their reactionary conservative audience.
    Fact checkers are an inadequate substitute for something which is desperately needed: good, probing journalism. For a long time reporters have merely promulgated opposing claims without evaluating any of them, and the result is a generation of politicians who are more or less completely untethered to reality.
    Ragging on fact checkers is cheap. How do we improve journalism?

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    1. "Fact checkers" are a poor substitute. I agree with you that journalism, such as it is today, is a toxic mixture of tabloid crap, trolling, posturing, corporation-curated "information" and government propaganda.

      I consume it carefully, ignoring most of it.

      There are also excellent alternatives. Good podcasts (Reason Roundtable is one of my favorites), UnHerd, and Substack.

      A few of my favorite podcasts:

      Reason Roundtable
      Dark Horse
      Breaking Points
      Blocked and Reported
      Honestly with Bari Weiss
      Useful Idiots
      Quillette
      UnHerd
      Brendan O'Neill Show

      None of these are rightwing establishments. Most are libertarian or run by disaffected die hard liberals who righly criticize the excesses of the fringes.

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    2. The 'mainstream' media has not only been balkanized in the service of the two major parties.....but was also woefully unprepared for the phenomena of a a national politician (and the sycophants and myrmidons in his employ) who told more lies than truth. And that was a low bar to begin with.

      The fact-checking 'industry' filled a void....generally doing a decent job of dispelling myths and canards, but falling into the same model of picking and choosing which to cover - the national business model that seems to govern most Americans lives.....D v. R.

      Trolls have been around far longer, usually existing to paper over their low self-esteem with an ever-growing need for attention. A few are clever, most are 'live in their mother's basement' variety.

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    3. @SF - I don't do the podcasts, but UnHerd and several Substack authors are on my daily read list, as well as select Twitter users. Twitter gets a mostly deserved bad rap, because most of it is a sewer (like all social media), but there are some definite diamonds in the rough.

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  2. SIlver stated... "None of these are rightwing establishments. Most are libertarian or run by disaffected die hard liberals who rightly criticize the excesses of the fringes."

    Many here have correctly identified some the excesses of the fringes of the left. Those apparently are easy targets. However, and I realize I've said this before, I've still yet to see anyone here step forward and offer specific examples of the excesses of, or apart from yourself, accept that a fringe right even exists.

    I'll take a listen or two. Maybe one of your recommended podcasts does in fact do that.

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    1. I don't think that your label "fringe right" works very well. There are lots of "right" groupings.

      There are far-right groups like the Neo-NAZI's and White Nationalists with a "racial" agenda... which I doubt constitute 10k members. They're "Racial national supremacists".

      There is an "Imperial/ corporatist" right (neocons) who seek global corporate domination and control. This is a much larger group and you probably consider them the "moderate/ center right". The Drudge Report and the Weekly Standard probably represent them best. Race isn't their main thing. They're "International Supremacists" but probably think that best means "European". They are led by the McConnells and Romney's.

      Then there's the nationalists (like me) who don't give an 'f about anything that happens outside of the US and would prefer not trading internationally with anyone. We're a kinda "Juche nationalists" and paleoconservatives. This is Trump's base. This is the group Biden thinks of a terrorists (since we oppose a global corporate order).

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    2. Each of these lose groupings (and there may be more than stated above) has a "far right" and a "far left"

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    3. I consider myself on the "far right" of the last grouping.

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    4. I would class beamish on the far right of the middle grouping.

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    5. I consider it my group that is "bending the horseshoe" towards the "far left". with the "center" becoming the new horseshoe ends.

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    6. Which is why beamish calls us "leftists".

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    7. ...and if you think that beamish and I never criticize one another, you haven't been paying attention.

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    8. And as usual Joe, you've gone for obtuse. Call it whatever you want, but you know what I'm asking for. Your obfuscations just show that those who generally lean right politically, conservative, or whatever term you choose to use for that general viewpoint, seem unable or unwilling to self identify their extremists, even as Silver admits they exist.

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    9. As for Beamish, while he and are not in agreement on a lot, and have argued in the past, I think he's an interesting guy. I bet face to face we'd agree on more than we disagree.

      Maybe that's true for most.

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    10. Dave,
      I don't understand why Farmers explanation failed to satisfy you. What were you looking for? I think he summed it up pretty well, of course different people would have different descriptions for those groups depending on their point of view.

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    11. Now that I keep my head shaved FJ doesn't make me tear my hair out so much lol.

      Trump is a continuation of Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt progressivism, with enough of Georges Sorel thrown in to be Marxist-adjacent, but with the Sorelian replacement of "class" with "nation." Sorel was literally proto-fascist, Mussolini borrowed heavily from him. Sorel's full-on glorification of violence wasn't unique to him, Marx's rhetoric was very violent especially in later years when social democrats became more accepted than the first and bomb throwers. But Sorelian violence also comes right off the French tap back to the reservoir of leftism, the granddaddy of leftism Robespierre.

      So, there is more to why I call the Trumpenproletariat "leftists" than any bending of the right "in a horseshoe" towards the left. Trump's ideology has a very solidly leftist pedigree. I don't consider Trump "right-wing" because he most assuredly is not. He tracks to progressive leftists in the US after World War One, the original "America First" crowd. Madison Grant, now with Pepe the Frog memes. Trump best represents former Democrats that had their heads explode when a black man became President.

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    12. If you want to trace the lineage of my own salad bar choices, yes there's some roots of neoconservativism in disgruntled and disaffected Trotskyists, but I'm more Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Ronald Reagan than Whitaker Chambers and Bill Kristol.

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    13. More Murray Rothbard than William F. Buckley as well, but those two very different apples came from the same tree.

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    14. You don't get it Dave. I'm an extremist. Beamish is an extremist. Richard Spencer/Jared Taylor are extremists. But we're the extremes of different right-grouping and nothing alike. You say we don't call out right-wing extremism. We do, but you fail to notice it because you see us as a block, and not factions with their own extremes.

      My family history is political. California Republicans. Progressives. We were to the "right" of Teddy Roosevelt's Trust Busters. We recognized that government was the "biggest trust". We're "smallists" who are anti-big ANYTHING.

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    15. So beamish, when it comes to "trust busting", you're a lot closer to TR, as we all voted for La Follette and cheered on Louis Brandeis.

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    16. First guys... actually, this is fantastic. I've learned more about you today than ever before. Truly, I appreciate it.

      Silver, et al... look, we all are sentenced to the era in which we live. That means for better or worse, at least for me, utopias are great, but when it comes to critique on a day to day basis, especially in blogland, I'm generally looking for ppl to identify where those they support fail to make the grade, or to identify the fringes of their own tribe.

      I look at the far left and I see the open borders ppl like Julian Castro and some of the policies of an AOC or the Defund the Police crowd and I can say pretty confidently that the great majority of those views, while popular at personal dinner parties, will never win the day with the great middle of America, or even a majority of people in their own party.

      What's the flip side to that? What are the policies with the current iteration that will mirror that reaction within GOP, libertarian or conservative circles of today?


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    17. Joe, we're probably all extremists at some level, or we wouldn't bother commenting or even thinking about this stuff.

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    18. LaFollete never would have gone to San Juan Hill to fight some other idiot's battles.

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    19. I don't call out Trump because he's already under a dogpile, but he's a step in the RIGHT direction. It may only be a baby step, but it's a step. ;)

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    20. ...and Dave, I think you're right. We're all "extremists" and the labels obfuscate everything.

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    21. ...which in this era of "societies of control" is more a 'feature' than a 'bug'.

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    22. Well, I don't exactly spit on Teddy Roosevelt. Throw me back in time and I'd probably be more closely aligned to him than the anarchist that shot him. I'm just more willing to admit than TR that like FJ, I know that there were no trusts to bust, no monopolies to tear down, that the government didn't create in the first place. Just look at the history of railroad line construction in America and the sweetheart deals made on the land they were built upon.

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    23. The US has a "mixed economy" neither fully free market capitalist nor fully state-run socialist. The nasty, insidious thing about socialists, the state-runners, is they accuse capitalists of socialist state-run sins. Nobody built a railroad, a telegraph and telephone network, the electrical power grid, the oil industry, and so on, without government funding and direction. That ain't capitalism. Perhaps the only thing Obama ever accidentally said correctly was "You didn't build that." He was right, in the same sense that Romney was right about the 47% that actually don't pay income taxes. Nobody likes their truths to hurt.

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    24. Dave,

      https://alwaysonwatch3.blogspot.com/2022/06/overreach.html

      I criticized the GOP, and you nit picked in the comments.

      This next one was an even-handed blog. I did not blast or even criticize the progressive professor. I asked for opinions (but instead got unrelated comments)

      https://alwaysonwatch3.blogspot.com/2022/08/red-blue-reality-spectrum.html

      You want to know where I'm at? I have no political tribe. I am almost to the point of calling voting useless, but I don't want to be responsible for demoralizing others who could very well making some real changes.

      I started out at a pro-labor Democrat because that was everybody on the hillbilly side of my family.

      I do remember my immigrant grandparents on my mom's side (JFK Democrats) having some sympathy for Nixon. I remember my grandpa shouting at the tv in his thick Slavic accent that they were being disrespectful to the president.

      The problem with the left, including you, is that you are coddled and reinforced by the Infotainment media complex. This makes people on the left thin-skinned, easily offended, unable to intellectually entertain and articulate an opposing point of view, and usually unable to defend what you believe.

      You want to get good at fighting? You need to fight.

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    25. I understand that a certain amount of government "infrastructure" is "necessary". What I'm not willing to do is go full communist and expect the government to self-negate (disappear). So no, growing it "ever bigger" and eventually "globalizing it" makes no sense to me.

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    26. I don't call out Trump because he's already under a dogpile, but he's a step in the RIGHT direction. It may only be a baby step, but it's a step. ;)

      Neerp. Sorelianism's road only goes one direction, and Mussolini-ville is ugly... ;)

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    27. ....and yes the government created the internet so that Jeff Bezo's could put every box store and mom & pop Main Street independent out of the retail business.

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    28. What I'm not willing to do is go full communist and expect the government to self-negate (disappear). So no, growing it "ever bigger" and eventually "globalizing it" makes no sense to me.

      I don't get the leap involved in conflating globalism with stateless communist utopian dreams.

      I'm more "someone has to be in charge, might as well be America." Don't want other countries telling America what to do? Fire 'em for insubordination.

      With Tomahawk missiles.

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    29. ...and the government made Tony Fauci head of CDC so that he could put every restaurant and service industry employee on unemployment with he virus he designed and released himself.

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    30. This is Tower of Babel calling beamish, please descend to 30,000 feet.

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    31. ....and yes the government created the internet so that Jeff Bezo's could put every box store and mom & pop Main Street independent out of the retail business.

      Nah. Jeff Bezos is the modern day Lysander Spooner, but stopping short of actually trying to put the US Postal Service out of business.

      The internet is a DARPA-designed weapon system whose primary function is to get information into the hands of people in third world countries like France and the UK that are neglecting to teach their children that America is the greatest country in the world, thus stunting their economic potential. ;)

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    32. "Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle."

      -Will Durant

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    33. This is Tower of Babel calling beamish, please descend to 30,000 feet.

      This wine of iniquities will knock you on your ass. Now with 10% more saint's blood.

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    34. We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."

      Ayn Rand

      Force, no. But a society of control, nonetheless

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    35. How do you "control" a populist? Censorship in the name of "national security".

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    36. Take away the president's Twitter account.

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    37. Gotta say Ayn Rand was wrong, along with George Orwell's boot stomping on a face forever.

      We're heading for (and already are) in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World."

      Ask your doctor if Soma is right for you. Governments won't have to stomp freedom out of people. The people are going to be too doped up to care.

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    38. Still, if you want a picture of the future, you could do worse than to imagine a horseshoe stamping on a human face—forever. ;)

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    39. The center is thinning out, and the L and R growing ever closer. How long before it "splits"?

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    40. ...when "property" self-negates, and timocracy goes to die.

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    41. Plato, "Republic" Plato divides his just (no, his luxurious Republic in a fever-heat) society into three classes: the producers (capitalists), the auxiliaries (military/police), and the guardians (communists). The auxiliaries are the warriors, responsible for defending the city from invaders, and for keeping the peace at home. They must enforce the convictions of the guardians, and ensure that the producers obey.

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    42. I'll forego some luxury for a bit more FREEDOM.

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    43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    44. ...but remember, particular virtues alone require opposing virtues, lest wisdom become rashness or courage, brashness.

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    45. erratum - "foolishness" for "rashness"...

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    46. Plato, "Statesman"

      STRANGER: More reason is there to consider the practice of those who make family their chief aim, and to indicate their error.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: Quite true.

      STRANGER: They act on no true principle at all; they seek their ease and receive with open arms those who are like themselves, and hate those who are unlike them, being too much influenced by feelings of dislike.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: How so?

      STRANGER: The quiet orderly class seek for natures like their own, and as far as they can they marry and give in marriage exclusively in this class, and the courageous do the same; they seek natures like their own, whereas they should both do precisely the opposite.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: How and why is that?

      STRANGER: Because courage, when untempered by the gentler nature during many generations, may at first bloom and strengthen, but at last bursts forth into downright madness.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: Like enough.

      STRANGER: And then, again, the soul which is over-full of modesty and has no element of courage in many successive generations, is apt to grow too indolent, and at last to become utterly paralyzed and useless.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: That, again, is quite likely.

      STRANGER: It was of these bonds I said that there would be no difficulty in creating them, if only both classes originally held the same opinion about the honourable and good;—indeed, in this single work, the whole process of royal weaving is comprised—never to allow temperate natures to be separated from the brave, but to weave them together, like the warp and the woof, by common sentiments and honours and reputation, and by the giving of pledges to one another; and out of them forming one smooth and even web, to entrust to them the offices of State.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: How do you mean?

      STRANGER: Where one officer only is needed, you must choose a ruler who has both these qualities—when many, you must mingle some of each, for the temperate ruler is very careful and just and safe, but is wanting in thoroughness and go.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: Certainly, that is very true.

      STRANGER: The character of the courageous, on the other hand, falls short of the former in justice and caution, but has the power of action in a remarkable degree, and where either of these two qualities is wanting, there cities cannot altogether prosper either in their public or private life.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: Certainly they cannot.

      STRANGER: This then we declare to be the completion of the web of political action, which is created by a direct intertexture of the brave and temperate natures, whenever the royal science has drawn the two minds into communion with one another by unanimity and friendship, and having perfected the noblest and best of all the webs which political life admits, and enfolding therein all other inhabitants of cities, whether slaves or freemen, binds them in one fabric and governs and presides over them, and, in so far as to be happy is vouchsafed to a city, in no particular fails to secure their happiness.

      YOUNG SOCRATES: Your picture, Stranger, of the king and statesman, no less than of the Sophist, is quite perfect.

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    47. A whiff of grapeshot in every Jacobin ;)

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    48. That was the Panama invasion... I didn't get turned on to the Lightning Seeds till I came back to the States, mid 1990

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    49. El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras... Central America was something back in the 80's...

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    50. Ah, the Sandanistas/ Contras.... wild times indeed. FARC and ELN in Colombia. I was in Caracas from '66-'70 as a USAF "dependent". My dad did some "survival" training in Panama. I went through the Canal once in '76 during the first half of my "Sea Year" and returned to the Pacific via the Straits of Magellan after circumnavigating South America on a cruise/ break bulk ship (SS Santa Mariana)

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    51. Anybody know the way to the Donbas region?

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    52. Say goodbye Ukraine, folks. NATO LARPers better get out cuz the bear is done CoSPlaying with them there.

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    53. ps - Thanks for the $billions in captured NATO hardware.

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    54. I love Krystal and Saager. My only complaint is they take to long to spit it out. They'll address a topic, then circle back multiple times and they end up repeating what they said earlier. Their daily shows could be about half the duration and still provide all the content. I don't have time to listen to all that every day.

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    55. @sf, I like them too, and agree that they could shorten it up... although sometimes the ideas, not having been discussed before by others, require a bit more explanantion.

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  3. As we now have more in common with Matt Taibbi, Jimmy Dore, Glenn Greenwald, etc. than we do with Weekly Standard readers.

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    1. ...or the free-market "libertarians" over at the CATO Institute.

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    2. I only agree with Glenn greenwald and Matt Tybee maybe about half the time. But I do greatly respect them and people like them, because they stand on principle

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    3. I only agree with Zizek half the time, but I respect his intellectual integrity and willingness to stand on principle. ;)

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    4. The Heritage Foundation came up with Obamacare...

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king...

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  4. Right. "Fact Checkers" are the cover shield for pushing leftist propaganda.
    BAYSIDER

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  5. Reading back over comments by CI, Jez, Dave Miller and others, regarding the press... It's a common opinion that if we had just had a better press, President Donald Trump would not have happened.

    Actually, if we had had a better US Intel psyops he wouldn't have happened.

    If we had a real press digging into dark corners and telling people what is really going on, we would end up with nothing but Donald Trump's being elected all over the place.

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    1. Wait......if we had a real press, we'd have legions of charlatans, grifters and pathological lairs being elected?

      Uh....ok....

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    2. ...only with Trump they decided to show you what was going on behind the Cloak of Gyges.

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    3. Such is the cost of "embedding" reporters in gov. ops.

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    4. Nope. What we had before was bush league. Cheeto Jesus came in from the pro circuit. And now the GQP is a cult.

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    5. C'mon CI, we've been over this before. The election of Donald Trump was the flashing red warning light on the dashboard. Something is seriously wrong.

      The government-political-media-power elite establishment did not want to look inward and engage in some self-reflection and correction, so they blamed Trump and the people who voted for him.

      In this environment, where the elites are arrogant and incompetent, a really good, effective press will result in more Donald Trumps.

      We see it now despite the "fact checkers" telling us not to believe our own eyes, filling us with bullshit about having to wear a mask all the time because of asymptomatic spread, we needed to invade Iraq, 9/11 justified more multi-billion dollar federal agencies spying on us...

      It's all bullshit, and people see it.

      Good governance perpetuates itself. Bad government produces Donald Trump's.

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    6. When you're camping and you have pop tarts in your tent, and a bear enters your tent and mauls you to get to the pop tarts, me pointing out you shouldn't have had pop tarts in your tent doesn't make me pro-bear attack.

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    7. It's all bullshit, and people see it.

      You're not completely wrong, but when we replace the previous "government-political-media-power elite establishment" with the Trump cult....that then becomes the "government-political-media-power elite establishment"....we've not moved an inch forward.

      So it remains bullshit.....and at least some people see it.

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    8. Yes. I'm not justifying Trump's idiocy and I've already said I think Qanon is probably some kind of Russian info ops.

      If we had a basically competent government that didn't f*** with people, and a press that was a real watchdog on government, regardless of ideology or party, Donald Trump would not get within sniffing distance of even a party nomination.

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    9. I agree completely, but that still requires the existence of the third leg of the stool - a competent electorate.

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    10. Trump... there's no fool like a pure fool. :)

      ps - The Fisher King is dead.

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    11. and make no mistake the legacy "government-political-media-power elite establishment" is still firmly in control.

      The Trump Cult remains just that. A cult. I think Trump is trapped and done.

      About the only defensible statement one can make about it all is, the establishment used all the power and agencies under its control to push his buttons and ultimately entice him into seriously illegal actions.

      This is all a fight over the Russia dossier operation. Government controls the evidence, not Trump, so he will lose. Game over.

      Was the game rigged against him? Yes.

      The Washington Post is a barely-disguised CIA front and the government holds all the cards. Had Trump been smart and disciplined, he could have possibly threaded the needle, but we all know what a pipe dream that is.

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    12. Given the ring-kissing (as well as his rather large ass), I'm not quite as sure that he's as 'done' as you....though his recent increase in cozy-ing up to Qanon could be a sign of that desperation.

      I've long said that Trump is the architect of his own demise.....I don't buy the notion that he has merely been entrapped all this time.

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    13. Trump asked the question, "Whom does the Grail serve?" and got the answer, "The Grail itself!", in reply.

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    14. Not entrapped. He lost a chess match.

      It all makes sense. He has always run his companies close-hold, he's duked it out in court using good lawyers, etc, but he never met a game and an adversary like "the swamp."

      Previous tactics won't work, and he's too old to change.

      I think he is done legally, but I agree he is not done destroying the Republican Party. He started by losing those two Senate Seats in Georgia.

      People are sending him million$ but he's pocketing it.

      If I really wanted to go deep double-triple conspiracy, I'd wonder if Qanon were not an operation originating in the US. If there really were a "Q" he would be caught and jailed by now.

      Why haven't the "fact checkers" "debunked" Qanon? Sure, they debunk the crap that emanates from Qanon, but the press treats it like a real, legitimate (albeit wrong) phenomenon. Why?

      There is a value in keeping the kook fringe of your political enemy stirred up and wild-eyed. On a practical level, like in Georgia, Trump will tell them its all rigged, and they won't vote, handing victory to Democrats.

      Meanwhile, Democrats can point normal voters' attention to all the kookery on the right and paint all GOP voters as kooks.

      Finally, "good" GOP voters are urged to "do the right thing" and repudiate Trump and his millions of "MAGAts," guaranteeing complete electoral failure of the GOP.

      Absolutely Brilliant...

      *clap* *clap* *clap*

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    15. @SF... I disagree with you on one minor point. If the GOP actually wanted to win, they would be more anti-Trump than the Democrats can be, and loudly so.

      But, pride goeth before a fall. Hopefully the impending third trouncing in a row will knock some sense into those who don't throw up in their mouth a little at the idea of voting Republican. Those people are going to vote Republican anyway, even if AOC switched parties and got the nomination for President.

      The Democrats need a real opposition party. That's going to take a group that can stand being around each other, which the GOP no longer is.

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    16. ......but he never met a game and an adversary like "the swamp."

      I disagree. He was quite at home in the 'swamp'.

      People are sending him million$ but he's pocketing it.

      Melania's fashion designer doesn't come cheap.

      And while Q could be a domestic operation, the analysis I've seen points to other potential actors. And what's to debunk with Qanon? That JFK Jr is really dead after all? That Satan-worshipping pedophiles are harvesting adrenochrome from children in non-existent basements of pizza parlors?

      The clowns debunk themselves.

      Absolutely Brilliant...

      Yep, in a weird way. Your summation in the past few paragraphs paint Trump to be a foreign and/or Democrat plant. Which is actually no more absurd than the alleged 'reality'.

      All this shines a nuclear detonation-level light on the question.....what's the solution?

      Elect legacy establishment politicians? Nope

      Elect cult members (presuming they don't legitimately lose and cry "rigged!!!!"). Nope

      Silence 'fact-checkers'? (any investigative journalist, Substack writer or podcaster...becomes a 'fact-checker' when they expose lies) Untenable

      Demand a free and fair press? Heh.....I refer you to the three above entities and their ownership of traditional and social media real estate.

      Or continues with what most Americans are comfortable in continuing to do......playing the game. Because change is hard and real Liberty is scary.

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    17. All that being said, I appreciate your pursuit of relatively unbiased analysis.

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    18. You can put me in the "Trump is a foreign and/or Democrat plant" camp. 17 candidates ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Only one of them got $3 Billion worth of free media airtime. Only one of them was encouraged to run for President by Bill and Hillary Clinton, only one of them was favored by Hillary Clinton to run against her. If she wasn't going to win, she at least made sure her opponent would destroy the opposition party.

      Trump was the choice of Democrats that were really, really pissed off that a black man became President. Apparently, there were a lot of those.

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    19. CI, You misunderstood.

      I'm not suggesting Trump is some kind of plant.

      My question on Qanon is, why have the "fact checkers" and "journalists" not investigated, and debunked the very premise of Qanon? With all the government intel leakers, you'd think the press could get to the core of who is really behind Qanon and why.

      My guess? Having Qanon out there, with millions of kooks tuned in to them, serves the establishment. Q--with a little provocative disinformation--could end up running a gigantic entrapment operation that makes the FBI's little Whitmer kidnapping caper look like nothing.

      And he was not at home in the swamp. He was lost, and he is preternaturally disposed not to get along in that environment because he cannot completely control and dominate it.

      To tie Farmer's analogy in, to the Establishment, it is all about The Grail. And rightly ordered, that's not a bad thing.

      The Establishment shares a little power with whoever we elect, but the protect the grail. Joe Biden just said again, in an interview with Scott Pelley, that the US would absolutely defend Taiwan if China attacked. Right after, a government spokesmouth "corrected" the leader of the free world.

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    20. I didn’t misunderstand…..I wasn’t saying that you proffered Trump was a plant, I did that…..admittedly based on the picture you painted. Trump brought his own swamp to D.C. Different flora and fauna, same fetid smell.

      - CI

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    21. ...and yet you seem to have no problem with the smell, so long as its' a "familiar" smell, and can be used by the swamp creatures to keep the principles in line, and not "deodorize" or "disinfect" their own particular rice paddies.

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    22. And, as usual…..you’re wrong. But that seems to be your safe space.

      - CI

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    23. Trump joined the game to play. And he lost.

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    24. So the ills of the Fisher King's kingdom remain "uncorrected" and the wound has failed to heal... for the servant's follow not their Master, the Fisher King's will, but their own.

      Delete
    25. ...for as long as the Fisher King is sick, and the wound has not healed, they can do as they wish.

      Delete
    26. In 1940, Sigmund Freud's "Das Medusenhaupt (Medusa's Head)" was published posthumously. In Freud's interpretation: "To decapitate = to castrate. The terror of Medusa is thus a terror of castration that is linked to the sight of something. Numerous analyses have made us familiar with the occasion for this: it occurs when a boy, who has hitherto been unwilling to believe the threat of castration, catches sight of the female genitals, probably those of an adult, surrounded by hair, and essentially those of his mother."[15] In this perspective the "ravishingly beautiful" Medusa (see above) is the mother remembered in innocence; before the mythic truth of castration dawns on the subject. Classic Medusa, in contrast, is an Oedipal/libidinous symptom. Looking at the forbidden mother (in her hair-covered genitals, so to speak) stiffens the subject in illicit desire and freezes him in terror of the Father's retribution. There are no recorded instances of Medusa turning a woman to stone.

      Archetypal literary criticism continues to find psychoanalysis useful. Beth Seelig chooses to interpret Medusa's punishment as resulting from rape rather than the common interpretation of having willingly consented in Athena's temple, as an outcome of the goddess' unresolved conflicts with her own father Zeus.

      Delete
    27. from the Jowett summary of Plato's "Republic"

      But how did timocracy arise out of the perfect State? Plainly, like all changes of government, from division in the rulers. But whence came division? ‘Sing, heavenly Muses,’ as Homer says;—let them condescend to answer us, as if we were children, to whom they put on a solemn face in jest. ‘And what will they say?’ They will say that human things are fated to decay, and even the perfect State will not escape from this law of destiny, when ‘the wheel comes full circle’ in a period short or long. Plants or animals have times of fertility and sterility, which the intelligence of rulers because alloyed by sense will not enable them to ascertain, and children will be born out of season. For whereas divine creations are in a perfect cycle or number, the human creation is in a number which declines from perfection, and has four terms and three intervals of numbers, increasing, waning, assimilating, dissimilating, and yet perfectly commensurate with each other. The base of the number with a fourth added (or which is 3:4), multiplied by five and cubed, gives two harmonies:—the first a square number, which is a hundred times the base (or a hundred times a hundred); the second, an oblong, being a hundred squares of the rational diameter of a figure the side of which is five, subtracting one from each square or two perfect squares from all, and adding a hundred cubes of three. This entire number is geometrical and contains the rule or law of generation. When this law is neglected marriages will be unpropitious; the inferior offspring who are then born will in time become the rulers; the State will decline, and education fall into decay; gymnastic will be preferred to music, and the gold and silver and brass and iron will form a chaotic mass—thus division will arise. Such is the Muses’ answer to our question. ‘And a true answer, of course:—but what more have they to say?’ They say that the two races, the iron and brass, and the silver and gold, will draw the State different ways;—the one will take to trade and moneymaking, and the others, having the true riches and not caring for money, will resist them: the contest will end in a compromise; they will agree to have private property, and will enslave their fellow-citizens who were once their friends and nurturers. But they will retain their warlike character, and will be chiefly occupied in fighting and exercising rule. Thus arises timocracy, which is intermediate between aristocracy and oligarchy.

      The new form of government resembles the ideal in obedience to rulers and contempt for trade, and having common meals, and in devotion to warlike and gymnastic exercises. But corruption has crept into philosophy, and simplicity of character, which was once her note, is now looked for only in the military class. Arts of war begin to prevail over arts of peace; the ruler is no longer a philosopher; as in oligarchies, there springs up among them an extravagant love of gain—get another man’s and save your own, is their principle; and they have dark places in which they hoard their gold and silver, for the use of their women and others; they take their pleasures by stealth, like boys who are running away from their father—the law; and their education is not inspired by the Muse, but imposed by the strong arm of power. The leading characteristic of this State is party spirit and ambition.

      Delete
    28. "Trump was the choice of Democrats that were really, really pissed off that a black man became President. Apparently, there were a lot of those."

      Holds your cards everyone, we have a BINGO!

      SF, what is it that the press has come up short in QAnon reporting? A quick Wikipedia provides a good amount of info.

      And considering the press and media is such a huge smorgasbord, this broad brush you use to blame them comes up short. I mean Fox is no MSNBC and NYT is no Washington Times. Even on Fox, Laura Ingraham is no John Roberts. For NBC, The Maddow Show is no Meet The Press.

      Interesting how when Fox couldn't take it anymore and reported not so in favor of Trump's BIG LIE, viewers turned to Trumpier outlets such as Newsmax who would tell them what they wanted to hear. Fox decide they had to "kiss the ring" and get more Trumpier. Chris Wallace couldn't take it.

      My point is that maybe the a great deal of press isn't quite as bad as you want to believe but rather people have an option of selecting the "news" that appeals to them. They can have an insurrection or if they prefer, they can have a normal tourist guide- and blame it on whoever they like.

      How is it that over 200 lawmakers still nod to the Big Lie while overwhelming evidence to the contrary is accurately reported daily. How is it that so many of the cult failed to catch the "news" about how McCathy, Graham, Rubio, et al denounce certain Trump actions only to turn around and beclown themselves by licking ass?

      Wasn't it like 37 gazillion documented lies that the press reported. They couldn't keep up. They were reporting lies about the lies told the day before. So it stands to reason that the next in line to dismiss would be those damn fact checkers.

      Trump won because he tapped into white grievances. He successfully convinced his cult to ignore any negative reporting of him- that fake news "enemy of the people".
      It's almost like a religion for the cult. Ain't no facts going to change their minds.

      Delete
    29. All workers aren't "white". The Democrats but beclown themselves in elitism and solving the problems of 1st world billionaires.

      Delete
    30. Ronald has stumbled upon an earth-shattering political science phenomenon:

      A white neo-nazi candidate for president can increase his party's percentage of black and Hispanic voters by tapping into white grievances.

      Delete
    31. I wonder if Ronnie got "producer credits" donating to the makers of The Woman King? He certainly got extra "liberal cause" bang for his buck making THAT one!

      Delete
    32. Holds your cards everyone, we have a BINGO!

      Heh. Well, yeah. I identify Trump as a neo-Sorelian while at the same time doubting Trump has ever even heard of Georges Sorel, much less read a lick of him. People leap to calling Trump a fascist, or fascist-adjacent, or almost-fascist. But Trump didn't cross the threshold from Sorel to Mussolini. Sorelianism historically heads towards nowhere else but Mussoliniville and Hitlerburg, but Trump got to either of those stops. Maybe he was heading somewhere near those two. He was on the right train to get there.

      A revisionist interpretation of Marxism, Sorel believed that the victory of the proletariat in class struggle could be achieved only through the power of myth and a general strike. As John Barron will tell you, Donald Trump was all about the creation of myths to rally behind.



      Delete
  6. @sf: "If we had a real press digging into dark corners and telling people what is really going on, we would end up with nothing but Donald Trump's being elected all over the place."
    More disruptive candidates, sure. More venal fantacists, let's hope not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you read the (long, torturous) thread. My points:

      If we had a basically competent government that didn't f*** with people, and a press that was a real watchdog on government, regardless of ideology or party, Donald Trump would not get within sniffing distance of even a party nomination.

      As I said,

      Delete
    2. Donald Trump is what you get when you have bad government and a complicit press. I am not justifying Trump's behavior. As I said...

      When you're camping and you have pop tarts in your tent, and a bear enters your tent and mauls you to get to the pop tarts, me pointing out you shouldn't have had pop tarts in your tent doesn't make me pro-bear attack.

      Delete
    3. The MSM is currently DCs "embedded journalists".

      Delete
    4. ...and the working men and women of this country now know it.

      Delete
    5. Where, oh where would we be without dear leader? "Don't trust the lying media....trust the lying politician."

      Cool.

      Delete
    6. What "politician" would that be, CI? DeSantis? McConnell? lol!

      Delete
    7. Nice try. You know that it's the politician that asks his true believers to place faith in is lies, rather than those of the media's.

      Delete
    8. ...or are you referring to the guy who bilks billionaires and oligarch's by getting them to lend him billions to gold-plate brass real-estate investments and sell them back to them at a premium? Trump is the PT Barnum of the late twentieth and early 21st centuries.

      "Trusting" also isn't very apt an epithet for his unapologetic and skeptical associates and followers, who are only now being taught the insider games of the long con called "American politics".

      Delete
    9. Heh....nobody better than a cult leader to teach about cons. "Sieg heil, dear leader......sieg heil."

      You never disappoint.

      Delete
    10. You know what they say, "He who is without a newspaper is cut off from his species." -PT Barnum

      Delete
    11. Well now, I get low and I get high
      And if I can't get either, I really try
      Got the wings of Heaven on my shoes
      I'm a dancin' man and I just can't lose
      You know it's alright, it's okay
      I'll live to see another day
      We can try to understand
      The New York Times' effect on man
      Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother
      You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive
      Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin'
      And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive
      Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive (oh)
      Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive (oh)

      Delete
    12. “You can fool most of the people most of the time.”

      — P.T. Barnum

      Delete
    13. The creedo of the cult!

      Delete
    14. "The bigger the humbug, the better people will like it.”

      — P.T. Barnum

      Delete
  7. Surely you know that hate is an emotion wasted on those undeserving even of that.

    There is deprogramming available should you awake from your stupor. But like most Americans, you might be blissfully unaware of your condition.

    - CI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “And in what business is there not humbug? “There’s cheating in all trades but ours,” is the prompt reply from the boot-maker with his brown paper soles, the grocer with his floury sugar and chicoried coffee, the butcher with his mysterious sausages and queer veal, the dry goods man with his “damaged goods wet at the great fire” and his “selling at a ruinous loss,” the stock-broker with his brazen assurance that your company is bankrupt and your stock not worth a cent (if he wants to buy it,) the horse jockey with his black arts and spavined brutes, the milkman with his tin aquaria, the land agent with his nice new maps and beautiful descriptions of distant scenery, the newspaper man with his “immense circulation,” the publisher with his “Great American Novel,” the city auctioneer with his “Pictures by the Old Masters”—all and every one protest each his own innocence, and warn you against the deceits of the rest. My inexperienced friend, take it for granted that they all tell the truth—about each other! and then transact your business to the best of your ability on your own judgment.”

      ― P.T. Barnum, "The Humbugs of the World: An Account of Humbugs, Delusions, Impositions, Quackeries, Deceits and Deceivers Generally, in All Ages"

      ;)

      Delete
    2. "Advertising is to a genuine article what manure is to land, - it largely increases the product.”

      “Advertising is like learning – a little is a dangerous thing. If a man has not the pluck to keep on advertising, all the money he has already spent is lost.”

      ― P. T. Barnum, The Humbugs of the World

      Delete
  8. Since your ‘contribution’ is of zero value to me, you can call me what you like. Cult members are my amusement…..nothing more.

    - CI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “The greatest humbug of all is the man who believes—or pretends to believe—that everything and everybody are humbugs.”

      ― P.T. Barnum, "The Humbugs of the World: An Account of Humbugs, Delusions, Impositions, Quackeries, Deceits and Deceivers Generally, in All Ages"

      Delete
    2. Pull the chain and the monkeys dance. Dance monkey, dance!

      Delete
    3. btw - How's the Trump "unmasking campaign" working out for you?

      Delete
    4. Unsurprisingly, you seem confused.

      Delete
    5. “I don't care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right.”

      ― P. T. Barnum

      Delete
    6. "Without publicity a terrible thing happens: nothing.”

      — P.T. Barnum

      Delete
    7. Barnum sure had dear leader nailed.

      Delete
    8. “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”

      — P.T. Barnum

      "Every crowd has a silver lining.”

      — P.T. Barnum

      Delete
  9. "I hope you read the (long, torturous) thread"
    I'm afraid I have up after reading enough to confirm your choice of adjectives. (Some of it was awesome, actually). But i made my comment not because I believe you think the opposite, but to signal that I think so to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +

      Thank you. America doesn't do nuanced conversation very well lately.

      Delete
  10. For the record, CI is not a 'humorless prig.' That award goes to Ronald Ward and Dave Miller.

    CI, I consider you a fellow prickly libertarian, although you are much more libertarian than I am.

    It should be obvious who the philosopher is and who the angry little ranter is.

    ReplyDelete

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