An appeal for better konspiracy theories

"Wolfie" was a drunk at this local dive bar I used to go to.
One night Wolfie told us the story of when he saw Bigfoot.

"So there he was, silhouetted against the trees in the moonlight.
Slowly I pulled my rifle out of my saddlebag. I had him dead-to-rights.
I lined up the bead, but just then - Bang!
A damn alien ship comes up over the horizon and spooks him.
He jumped before I squeezed off a shot. Missed him. Never got another chance at Bigfoot."

Was the alien ship in league with Bigfoot. Wolfie never confirmed it but he did imply it.
We'll never know, and it's probably better that we don't.

My point is, that's an entertaining konspiracy theory.
It's one kind.

Another kind of konspiracy theory is one that's probably true.
Such as the Kennedy assassinations, or that the government knew about 9/11 beforehand.

Both kinds of konspiracy theories are great, and I strongly approve of them.

I'm less of a fan of unlikely konspiracies that are bland and depressing.
Unfortunately the recent konspiracy theories on C99P haven't baked long enough. They are still a bit raw.
Not enough work had been put into them.
Either the motivations are unclear or hard to understand. Or the payoff is benign and unsurprising.
Just because someone agrees with your statement of "It's hopeless. We're all screwed. Everyone is out to get us" doesn't mean you've made a convincing case. It only means that misery loves company.

This is a call to do the legwork. Show us why it's hopeless. Why we're all screwed. Why everyone is out to get us.
Not because you believe it. Show us evidence that it's hopeless and we're all screwed.

I think we all deserve better konspiracy theories, and I believe that the writers here are more than capable of this task.
This is the era of Trump after all. Think big!

Share
up
21 users have voted.

Comments

I am so not a fan of the term "conspiracy theory."

On the thread linked above, I especially liked the reply of duckpin, a wonderful caucuser whom I still miss greatly. And I agree with him that the term "conspiracy theory" is used to shut down discussion. But, shutting down discussion cannot be the purpose of a thread starter, can it?

On the other hand, the term "conspiracy theory" is also used as a short hand attempt to automatically discredit some line of discussion as, at a minimum, borderline batshit. But, that should not be the purpose of a thread starter, should it?

Unlike the author of this article, I do not believe that the CIA coined the term. I bet there's evidence to the contrary. However, I certainly would not put it past the CIA to have "weaponized" the term "conspiracy theory," in order to squelch speculations about the activities of the CIA and/or the rest of the US government. Or, at least make the theorizer seem too nutty to take seriously.

With that out of the way, I confess I don't grok how "we're screwed" is a conspiracy theory, or any kind of theory. "We're screwed" is a conclusion. It may be a correct conclusion or it may be an incorrect conclusion; but it is not a theory, not a correct theory nor an incorrect theory. It's a conclusion.

Also, what is the alleged conspiracy and who are the alleged conspirators? In all, I don't get it. Is this thread a reference to a prior discussion that I missed? If so, may we please have a link to that discussion?

In any event, proving there's nothing we can do about having been "screwed," whatever that refers to, seems like an unduly difficult task, perhaps unfairly so. Proving there is something we can do that would be effective in unscrewing us seems like a much more reasonable request.

So, I invite, nay, urge, those who believe that at least one course of action exists that would be effective in "unscrewing" us from whatever it is we need to be unscrewed from, to post said solution(s). And then, maybe someone can tell me what this thread is about because I strongly suspect the subject has nothing to do with spaceship-bigfoot collusion. (No flies on me!)

up
23 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace

I agree with him that the term "conspiracy theory" is used to shut down discussion.

If I thought that applied here I wouldn't have used the term.

I'm not referring to any one thread or one essay. Just FYI

up
8 users have voted.

@gjohnsit
at too much length):

On the thread linked above, I especially liked the reply of duckpin, a wonderful caucuser whom I still miss greatly. And I agree with him that the term "conspiracy theory" is used to shut down discussion. But, shutting down discussion cannot be the purpose of a thread starter, can it?

On the other hand, the term "conspiracy theory" is also used as a short hand attempt to automatically discredit some line of discussion as, at a minimum, borderline batshit. But, that should not be the purpose of a thread starter, should it?

But there is the other bit--the attempt at automatic discredition of the theory and/or the theorizer. Humorously or not, that does seem to be the leaning of the OP.

My prior reply did raise other points, though.

up
12 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@HenryAWallace

Difficult to compel to a culture of thought that is essentially a judgement call and then graciously label it a "konspiracy".

up
5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

@Anja Geitz

up
3 users have voted.
earthling1's picture

if I agree with you, it becomes a conspiracy in and of itself.
/s

up
10 users have voted.

@earthling1

Either that, or the Framers of the Constitution of the United States were co-conspirators, as were the adherents of every school of philosophy since time immemorial.

up
5 users have voted.

You might be referencing a couple of CTs which have circulated here, or the ones that come to my mind at least -- the one which holds (with no evidence) that AOC is not a true prog but merely a puppet of Obama (!) who runs her. And another which gets trotted out frequently, that HRC, using the power she wields with the DNC, is quietly sitting back and arranging for the party to split the progressive vote to deny all those candidates sufficient delegates, in order for her to swoop in on the 2d ballot and again become the nominee.

Minor quibbles with your essay: there is plenty of evidence for the Big Guy, just no official recognition that it exists. This might put me in a minority of one here, but so be it -- I go where the evidence leads, not to where one will get the most chuckles.

And on 9/11: I think the circumstantial evidence is fairly good that the Bush admin knew something was up, imminently, and decided it would be better for their long-term political and geopolitical goals to let it happen, the LIHOP position. I do not think they knew the day or the exact target or the precise means, but I don't know that for sure as there was never any adequate investigation, and the commission secreted some of the relevant, interesting findings in what was a generally limited investigation. Such as with their limited, gentle questioning, not under oath and not individually, with Bush and Cheney.

As to HAW's comments: it doesn't matter if the CIA technically originated the CT term, they did indeed make the effort, per their 1967 internal memo, to put the phrase into public circulation, "weaponized" it as you state. I believe (based on actual evidence) in a number of conspiracies, still officially unrecognized, but I also occasionally use the term, not as a discussion stopper, but as a short-hand way of calling out the proponents of a particular CT to show evidence.

up
12 users have voted.

@wokkamile
I was a bit frustrated with some people exchanging high-fives because they agree on something that they've never bothered to prove.
Normally that brings out the troll in me, but I decided that this time I'd do a Call To Arms instead.
You can believe whatever you want, but don't be lazy about it. Make the effort to properly make your case.
I'm hoping that it's received in that spirit.

up
15 users have voted.

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit

post in a way other than they way they post.

If you want to prove or disprove something that you suspect or believe, by all means go for it. But posting is a hobby, a pastime. And one that MUST be its own reward by being enjoyable to the poster. People are not here to write for pay, or to produce term papers toward a degree. Or, for that matter, to get anyone's approval (although criticism is all but inevitable).

You are, of course, free to ignore their opinions, give their posts no weight, consider the poster a lightweight poster in general, etc. (However, I would expect that you, being the class act you are, would keep those kinds of things to yourself.) But, to expect any poster to change the ways he or she has posted for years because they enjoy posting that way?

ETA: Not to nitpick, but, according to your explanation to wokkamile, your appeal is not for better conspiracy theories as the thread title says, but for more analysis and perhaps more supporting links of any conspiracy theory posted. Of course, then, given the amount of dreck on the internet, the question is whether the sources linked are credible, accurate, etc.

up
14 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace

But, to expect people to change the ways they've posted for years because they enjoy posting that way?

If someone pointed out that I wasn't backing up my points, I would make more effort to do so in the future.
It's nothing more than taking pride in your work. I'm not asking for anything that I don't ask of myself.

Obviously I can't make anyone do anything (nor would I want that), but does that mean I shouldn't even request it? That I can't point out what I see as a problem?

your appeal is not for better conspiracy theories as the thread title says, but for more analysis and perhaps more supporting links of any conspiracy theory posted.

I thought that "more analysis and perhaps more supporting links" falls under the category of "better conspiracy theories".

up
11 users have voted.

@gjohnsit

especially a mass request, like your OP? If you don't expect anyone to change their posting style, why waste any time, energy and bandwith at all to request a change? Moreover, there was mockery of those posting other than the way you'd like, albeit lighthearted. Hence,I stated I was unable to understand the expectation.

Even if you asked an individual poster for a source or an explanation or whatever, that poster might ignore you. On the other hand, you might embarrass the poster. IOW, I think we've all been posting long enough to know that both requests and ignoring requests have consequences. I think we've also all been posting long enough to have found what kinds of posting we enjoy most.

If you've read even a few my OPs that were not among my relatively rare, straight up rants, you know that they abound in facts, links and citations. But, sometimes, even I don't feel like googling or don't feel like arguing. Sometimes, I just want to say what I want to say and move on, without even replying if someone questions the post. As best I can tell, after posting since 2004 on quite a few boards, that's just message boards.

up
8 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace
Let's see if the rest of the community feels the same.

up
7 users have voted.

@gjohnsit a far-fetched seeming theory is brought up 10-20 times, with no facts or cites, just bald-faced assertions, it's definitely worth it to nudge that poster into backing things up. People here can judge for themselves how to assess a non-response, esp if it happens repeatedly and with several posters. And I see this as a question of providing substance to buttress some extraordinary claims, not asking a poster to change his/her style.

I don't even require extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims, contra Carl Sagan. Just some credible evidence.

up
9 users have voted.

@gjohnsit

I don't think I would make a request of the entire board via an Op like the one that began this thread, or on any separate thread. But, sure. If an individual poster posts something that I am curious about and cannot verify with a guick search, I might reply on the spot to for a supporting link and often have. If I didn't get the response I wanted, I hope I wouldn't react poorly. I also hope that I would not act poorly if someone asked me for a link or more analysis.

After looking around this board a bit, though, I think this goes beyond the routine scenario described above. I think this goes to some basic divisions among the posters on this board and how well all of us are going to accept, tolerate, even appreciate, factions other than the one(s) into which we fit most neatly.

up
5 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@gjohnsit here. One is the writing of an essay which should require a minimum of research and citations to back up the claim of the person who has posted said essay. This is one reason that I personally hold essayists, such as you gjohnsit, in a much higher esteem here versus commenters.

The second category of posting here is comments. Said comments may be of an opinion which is personal and unique to the commenter or said comment may be in rebut to something already posted and may or may not contain citations to back up said comment. The test for the validity of a comment is simply in mind of the reader for which the reader may choose or not choose to give a thumbs up.

As an example of a comment that can be held as a opinion, expressing a comment that the DNC has rigged the rules to push the nomination of a Presidential candidate to a preconceived outcome is not necessarily a conspiracy theory because the DNC has already shown itself to have done so in the past. While it cannot be proved in the future, it is reasonable to assume that it very well may happen and certain rules in place can allow that to happen fairly easily.

The issue is whether C99 needs some sort of means testing for the validity of comments. This is something that I personally oppose. At the time of the founding of this site, the founding members were all in accord that we did not want to regulate comments either through a flagging or even a thumbs down system.

I certainly believe that it is incumbent upon those who write essays to exercise due diligence in providing back up information or citations to support any claims made in their essays. The essays written here do reflect not only upon the author, but the site as a whole. As for comments, I would hate to see the same stringent criteria applied to comments, especially those which are presented as opinions.

up
20 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

Eagles92's picture

@gulfgal98 Thank you, GG.

up
9 users have voted.

@wokkamile

https://archive.org/details/CIADOC1035960

Because I am nothing if not cautious, I cannot of my own knowledge state that said doc is an official CIA doc or that its contents accurately represent those of any official CIA doc. It is simply something Mr. Google handed me. However, per that doc, was Abraham Lincoln a conspiracy theorist? https://www.amazon.com/hz/reviews-render/lighthouse/0292757697?filterByK... (-;

up
7 users have voted.

@wokkamile

doesn't matter if the CIA technically originated the CT term

Of course it matters. First, facts matter, always. Second, I was linking to an article that claimed the CIA coined the term. If I did not disavow that, the implication would have been that I endorsed that misstatement of reality. I may unintentionally post something that is factually wrong, but I have never done so knowingly.

up
5 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

Is spending significant amounts of what little time we have left in this life reading about the horrendous things the power elite are doing, arguing with demented souls about it on social media, and lamenting that people disagree with your conclusions.

up
11 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Anja Geitz's picture

Show us evidence that anything you are proposing will yield measurable results.

up
6 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

@Anja Geitz
prove that giving more effort on something yields better results?

I'll take your response as "thumbs down".

up
1 user has voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@gjohnsit

What more evidence do you need?

up
5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

@Anja Geitz

up
0 users have voted.
Eagles92's picture

@gjohnsit Really?

What do you call 2016? 2008? (I'm skipping 2012 for obvious reasons).

"It'll be different next time, promise!"

Those of us who believe we're screwed rely on copious past evidence to back our claims. It's not a conspiracy theory. It's basic truth.

up
12 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@gjohnsit

But I've been an activist for better government my entire adult life. And along with a lot of other activists here in California, after trying to file a law suit to get our votes counted in the 2016 California primary, the levers of judicial justice representing our political agency, predictably grind to a halt.

up
13 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Wally's picture

@Anja Geitz

I assume you and most folks here are aware of the Myth of Sisyphus.

The common view is that Sisyphean tasks are doomed to failure, regardless of the sincerity and intensity of efforts we might make, and should be avoided at all costs given their hopelessness.

Albert Camus, however, looked at it differently, He opined that we imagine Sisyphus satisfied and even liberated as he goes back down the mountain to bear his load again. If we don't expect having a meaningful impact as some kind of entitlement, there remains the work itself and the satisfaction and joy of doing good well.

For Camus, Sisyphus’ curse was first self-imposed by merely despising the situation in which he found himself. Camus argued that liberation can only be attained through REVOLT against the idea that this failure was an outcome to be dreaded and avoided: “There is no fate that cannot be surmounted with scorn.”

up
2 users have voted.

@gjohnsit

wasting more effort. Unless you know how to get Rumpelstiltskin working your spinning wheel, you will never spin straw into gold, no matter how much effort you put into it or how many wheels and spinners engage with you in your valiant attempts. It just ain't gonna happen. Ever.

I don't claim that because misery loves company. I claim that because, if you expect to get gold, you first need to stop doing that which will never yield gold. If you cannot think of a way that is likely to produce gold, like mining, or combing the beach with a metal detector or whatever, then at least you are not wasting energy spinning your wheels, as it were.

If, however, you are applying more effort to an activity likely to produce a desired result, then sure, more effort will give you a better result. But that is not true of all increased effort.

up
6 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace
essay here, Google it. I have. Surprisingly, I've found on a number of occasions, there it is, a C99 post right at or near the top of Google within minutes after it's posted. It will stay on page one for a while. Some essays, for years. Same was true of posts at DKos. Some are still retrievable and come up on the first page through a keyword search after 15 years.

C99 has coverage far greater than you think. There aren't very many other sites like this.

Posting things that others at first don't believe -- they click your links (or better, do a Google keyword search) to look it up -- is really it's own reward. Google rankings aren't just about page views. It helps if people click and then repost your links and keyword combinations. Prompting others to chase topics into unusual rabbit holes is how Google algorithms work. Also, as a matter of principle, it's never futile to stretch the envelope of accepted "fact." There is simply no other way that new understanding and knowledge is created, particularly when there's a vested interest in minimizing the supply of facts and limiting public understanding of events.

So, chase rabbits. Dig your own holes. The Cheshire Cat sees you, even if you can't always see it.

up
12 users have voted.

@leveymg

I think you misunderstood mine. It was not saying that posting is futile.

Speaking of which, I love the posts of yours that I've seen. I don't know if I've mentioned that before. If not, I should have.

up
4 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace @HenryAWallace

In any event, proving there's nothing we can do about having been "screwed," whatever that refers to, seems like an unduly difficult task, perhaps unfairly so. Proving there is something we can do that would be effective in unscrewing us seems like a much more reasonable request.

So, I invite, nay, urge, those who believe that at least one course of action exists that would be effective in "unscrewing" us from whatever it is we need to be unscrewed from, to post said solution(s).

I'm actually in agreement with you. As I've said elsewhere on occasion, staying visibly and radically in opposition to the status quo, and its deceits, is the only defense we have against being screwed. It's not an unduly difficult task to try.

And, as always, thanks for sticking to it.

up
3 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@HenryAWallace

See my no doubt insufficient interpretation of his take above.

up
1 user has voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

if I understand you correctly that you'd like to see more fact-based commenting/writing. All I can say is good luck at finding it.

Frankly, progressive, or left-leaning blogs based on that model don't usually last very long. At least, that's been my experience, since I 'cut my (blogging) teeth' at two of them. Meaning, my early experiences were at blogs where Admin demanded that you be able to substantiate (and not without someone's Tweet, BTW) what you posted--if called upon by them, to defend your assertions.

As you may have guessed, both blogs are now defunct. Smile

Like HAW, I find it a bit difficult to reply to this essay, because you've not offered any 'specific' examples from this blog. So, if I may make a suggestion--if it were me, and I was bothered by what I considered to be CT, I'd tackle it head on. IOW, I'd ask the poster/commenter for clarification, on the spot.

PleasantryMollie

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

up
12 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal

because you've not offered any 'specific' examples from this blog.

I didn't want to put anyone on the spot.

up
7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

If Azazello is correct--that the intent of this essay is to call out anyone who believes that many of the more progressive Dem Party Presidential candidates have the (partial) goal of trying to keep the activist Base and left-leaning voters in the so-called DP 'Veal Pen,' please disregard my support for the idea of submitting 'proof.'

For instance, I posted a link to a BAR piece yesterday, to explain what Bruce Dixon (and I) mean when we use the term 'sheepdog.' It means nothing more than that a politician is attempting to appeal to certain demographics (as well as the Party Base, in many instances) in the hopes of preventing them from fleeing the Dem Party, especially, before a major election.

I also pointed out that it doesn't mean that the lawmakers are evil, or insincere in their beliefs. Although Dixon included a quote from Bernie to substantiate his claim, he was clearly stating his observation, and, to some extent, his opinion. (Obviously, there is no Bill or White Paper that can substantiate this claim.)

OTOH, if/when I call out various lawmakers for dissembling about their Bills, and, I then copy and paste from their bill to make my point--that's proof. And, in that situation, it's probably fair to expect someone to have some backup for their assertions that directly dispute a lawmaker's claims. No problem.

But, prove opinion? C'mon.

Mollie

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

up
8 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal for myself, I don't want, need or expect proof of opinion. IN most cases, it's obvious as opinion. And btw, everyone is entitled to mine. If we had to show proof to back an opinion, there would be far fewer posts in these pages and this blog would wither on the vine.

I object more to extraordinary-seeming assertions of fact that come with no proof, or the occasional similar unusual bald assertion couched in opinion language. And again, I ask only for a slice of evidence, not a PhD thesis or a Law Review type post that's 90% footnotes.

Not a fan either of downrating or that thing Stalinist MarKos does of Trusted User or whatever it's called (haven't posted there in a decade or more). I get more than my share of people rating me in my Airbnb business, and frankly that's enough...

up
4 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

This may be a little OT, but when things look grim I remind myself that we've been living in the Reagan era for over 40 years. The Reagan era was a reaction to the progressive era that spanned around 50 years before. All eras come to an end, and this one will too. I've been seeing signs of this Libertarianfest ending for a while. The Democratic primary fight in 2016 and the election of Donald Trump sealed the deal for me. It's difficult to see the end of a era, because one is living it. As they say, "Hindsight is 20/20". I'm enjoying watching both parties squirming around like worms after a hard rain. The Repubs have to deal with Trump & the Trumpsters and the Dems have to deal with various grassroots movements. Neither party will be able to control the situation as it once did.

up
10 users have voted.

@karl pearson deal with Trump and the Trumpsters"?? Last I heard, the Don enjoys 90% support from Rs. As Kevin McCarthy said recently, showing no signs of dismay: This is now the Trump Party. Note here how only 4 in Congress spoke out against DT's racist tweet, which was one for the History of American Racism books. Rs aren't dealing with Trump -- they are embracing him, no matter what apparently. Only the 10% of non-Trumpeters are having to deal with him.

Re your End of Reagan Era comments, could be. But how will it end? I think not quietly, not a smooth transition to any Anti-Reagan Era. If Dems don't get their act together and start speaking out against this clear and present danger to (what's left of) our Democracy -- I mean apart from the Gang of Four -- we will enter a new Era of Trump which will be like the Reagan Era on Steroids, with plenty of Nixonian corruption thrown in, to go with the obvious parallels to the Mussolini Era.

(haven't read it, but the authors of the Fourth Turning suggest we are about to see an end of a major era, but it most likely will not be pleasant -- a major economic crisis or war, iirc ...)

up
5 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

@wokkamile True, but as the Repubs continue to support Trump, their party becomes more extreme and alienates more politically independent, as well as, apolitical people. This strategy is very short-sighted and IMO will be a loser in the long run. Americans are freedom loving people and I'd be surprised if they tolerated a Mussolini type leader for very long. The Democratic party will be forced to change or go the way of the Whigs. I look for more Dem politicians to join the Squad, too. It's a winning message for the "little person" and that's most people. I think deep down the Dems know they have to change, but they will stall as long as they can. I do think some economic crisis is coming because that is the way unfettered capitalism works.

up
3 users have voted.

@karl pearson

still had an opposition party. IMO, we've been in the DLC/New Democrat Era inauguarated (no pun intended) by the Presidency of Bill Clinton, a President who ran on ending welfare as we know it; and, lo and behold, got the buypartisan support of a Republican Congress to keep his campaign promise

I once read the wikipedia article about the Fairness Doctrine, for reasons totally unrelated to anything in this post. One of the things I learned: When Reagan tried to do away with the Fairness Doctrine, Democrats in Congress balked. However, when Obama's FCC nailed shut the coffin of the Fairness Doctrine, so that the FCC itself could no longer revive the doctrine by mere rule change, no Democrat in Congress objected.

And, that illustrates, albeit in an undramatic way, the difference between living in a Reagan Era and a New Democrat Era. In the Reagan Era, Reagan tried it, but Democrats blocked him. In the Clinton Era, Democratic Presidents do what Republican Presidents could not have accomplished in the face of an opposition party, like ending welfare as we know it and putting the final and, for all practical purposes, final, nail in the coffin of the fairness doctrine.

up
11 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace to this entry, the attempts by Ds (presumably) to block the Reagan admin's FCC re eliminating the FD were in turn blocked by RR's veto, which held.

That sounds familiar -- there were efforts by Ds in congress to block some Reagin undertakings, but for the most part they were unsuccessful. Under Obama, often he sent out the signal (e.g. on the FD) that it was ok not to fight or to go along with the Rs.

On the naming of eras, you really identify two similar and parallel trends since 1980 of both parties moving right. I see these movements as two sides of the same coin, more conservatism in both parties, more corporatism in both, more gov't by the monied interests.

While the Rs have gone completely off the cliff with Trump, a continuation (on steroids) of muscular Reaganism, the Ds at least show signs with the Gang of Four leading the way of coming out of their timid sellout selves. I'm hopeful for more progress in the 2020 election. Dem congressional leadership, there well past their sell=by date, all need to be replaced.

up
4 users have voted.

@wokkamile

Even though I began voting only Green in general elections in 2010, I hoped for decency from Democrats in the 2016 primary, when I voted for Bernie.

Which proves, I guess, that I can be fooled twice.

ETA:

HAW

When Reagan tried to do away with the Fairness Doctrine, Democrats in Congress balked. However, when Obama's FCC nailed shut the coffin of the Fairness Doctrine, so that the FCC itself could no longer revive the doctrine by mere rule change, no Democrat in Congress objected.

wokkamile

Well according to this entry, the attempts by Ds (presumably) to block the Reagan admin's FCC re eliminating the FD were in turn blocked by RR's veto, which held.the attempts by Ds (presumably) to block the Reagan admin's FCC re eliminating the FD were in turn blocked by RR's veto, which held.

Guess I'm not seeing how that affects the point, which was two opposing parties during the Reagan administration, as contrasted with two parties seeming to want similar things during the Clinton and Obama administrations--and often the opposite of things that most leftists favor.

up
7 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace of the FD matter during Reagan b/c, while you did indeed state the Ds moved to block its elimination, in the next paragraph you said "And, that illustrates, albeit in an undramatic way, the difference between living in a Reagan Era and a New Democrat Era. In the Reagan Era, Reagan tried it, but Democrats blocked him."

Looked to me on first reading as if you were suggesting it was successfully blocked. Just wanted to note it wasn't -- in the end, the Ds managed to establish only a temporary road block, and Reagan's veto won the day.

So yes, they succeeded in temporarily blocking Reagan while 20 yrs later Obama did not make such efforts. At about the same time in the 2d Reagan term the Ds set about carefully arranging a public investigation of the Iran-Contra matter which deliberately avoided going after Reagan and Poppy. Yes, they nailed some small-fry and exposed some admin wrongdoing, but they let the big fish get away. And that to me typified the somewhat feckless Ds of that time against Reagan -- lots of bark, no bite.

up
3 users have voted.

@wokkamile

The Doctrine was nothing but one of perhaps hundreds of examples I could have chosen to illustrate the point that, with Clinton, Democratic Presidents began pursuing and exceeding the objectives of Republican Presidents. The point was never to focus on the Doctrine or its full procedural history or Reagan's veto.

I frequently hesitate to give any example at all in a post. When I do, the discussion then deflects from the actual point and becomes a discussion about the example.

up
3 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

@HenryAWallace What I mean by the Reagan Era is the strong Libertarian influence that he brought to government. Reagan ran on a limited government platform. His people received blowback from the Democratic House of Representatives, but Libertarianism was kept alive and gained traction. Tip O'Neill, the Democratic Speaker of the House, compromised in 1983 when "Saving Social Security" was pushed. (Age to receive full benefits was increased, etc.) You are correct. After 12 years of Reagan/Bush, Democrats turned to their neoliberal policies, especially after Newt Gingrich was elected as Speaker of the House after the Nov. 1994 election. I'm not a political historian, but I'm hoping we're at the apex of this awful era and it's headed downward. It's been with us a long time. I can remember when Barry Goldwater ran against LBJ in 1964 and was considered a bit of a fringe candidate and only carried 6 states. Now Barry Goldwater probably wouldn't be "conservative" enough for the Republican party.

up
7 users have voted.

@karl pearson

I simply have a different view of what most accurately characterizes the era in which we are and why we are in it.

As far as Goldwater, I believe he would be conservative enough for many Republicans, just not religious enough for the far religious right.

As an aside, I don't remember which talking head said that Goldwater actually won the 1964 election. Obviously, that observation was not intended to be taken literally, but, if one thinks about it a while, it has a wry truth to it.

up
3 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace eventually won -- 16 yrs later with Reagan.

Definitely not religious, for sure.

Also not anti-abortion or anti-gay rights. Which would put him in with the libertarians of the GOP.

His other views, particularly his severe hardline on the Cold War and Russia, and some of his off the cuff comments made him seem too many on the left as just crazy. His campaign slogan, "In Your Heart, You Know He's Right" was turned into "In Your Guts, You Know He's Nuts". See the Goldwater Rule which came about as a result of a few psychiatrists weighing in from afar about the state of his mental health.

Finally, I would remind you all that Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice ...

up
3 users have voted.

@wokkamile

heading of "religious." I've never met an atheist who was concerned with having government deny reproductive choice or gay rights. I suppose such people may exist, though, so perhaps I should be more specific.

I think Goldwater's ideological victory began manifesting much earlier than 1981. IMO, government began going more conservative than LBJ's Great Society vision as soon as LBJ left office. Actually, before he left office or Humphrey may have succeeded him. And look at what an Democratic majority Congress did under Democratic President Carter.

up
2 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

@HenryAWallace This current article gives a little history of how the Republican party became conservative. It's a short read and a good summary.

up
3 users have voted.

@karl pearson

necessarily agree with the author of that article, as to interpretation of historical events and presentation.

For example, the article, which was written by Matthew Rozsa, states that most good things came from Republicans from Lincoln to 1912. Maybe, but, almost every President during those years had been Republican. So, yes, most national programs likely did come from Republicans then, good or bad.

Further, the idea that the federal government had Constitutional power to institute things like welfare and Social Security was novel to the FDR administration. It came to fruition only after some serious stuff among FDR, Republican and Democratic conservatives in Congress and the Supremes. So, before then, it's true that Democrats were not enacting New Deal, Fair Deal or Great Society type program. However, it's also true that Republicans were not enacting them either.

Also, I'm not as certain as Rozsa that the analysis of the Republican Party's metamorphosis can simply skip from Lincoln straight to 1912. For example, I've read that Republican coziness with Northern bankers began soon after the Civil War. That rings true to me, what with the need to fund Reconstruction and the devastation of the Southern economy wrought by the Civil War and the end of legally-countenanced/fostered slavery.

I'm thinking that coziness between Republicans and Northern bankers could easily have started Republicans on the road to being the party of the rich and therefore of anti-federal tax and therefore theoretically of fiscal conservatism.

And so on.

up
3 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

@HenryAWallace

I'm thinking that coziness between Republicans and Northern bankers could easily have started Republicans on the road to being the party of the rich and therefore of anti-federal tax and therefore theoretically of fiscal conservatism.

Well said. Repubs have an advantage that Lincoln was the first Republican president and Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican. If one just looks at these two blockbuster Republican presidents, it's easy to miss what the Republican party was really doing in the North and Midwest after the Civil War and before WWI. IMO this author glossed over this period and should amend his article. Thanks for pointing it out.

up
1 user has voted.
snoopydawg's picture

If someone pointed out that I wasn't backing up my points, I would make more effort to do so in the future.

I try to back up what I say with links as much as possible. I said in your other essay that I had heard that there was an inner fight in the DP between Hillary's camp and Obama's, but try as I might I couldn't find anything to support it.

I think what I was thinking was more of a fight between Hillary Center for American Progress Pac and Obama's OFA PAC which I can't remember what it stands for. I did find info on how Obama was who got Perez inserted as DNC chair over Ellison. Will provide link later if asked.

up
10 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Azazello's picture

conspiracies promulgated by the 2smart2vote faction here at C99.
Although the tone these posters employ sometimes irritates me,
I'm not really bothered by their theories.
I understand completely the frustration that gives rise to them.
I come here to be informed and to add to the discussion when I can.
However, what I read here has next-to-nothing to do with my real-life
political behavior and I will continue to vote and to support election campaigns.
It's kind of like Pascal's wager to me.
I'll continue act as though electoral politics matters because, well, it might.

up
16 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Azazello

If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas he stands to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).[2]

Substituting "God" for continuing to participate in our electoral process, I think I'd have to argue about the premise of what we would define as a "loss". A discussion about the consequences of participating in what I believe is a compromised electoral system is up for debate. Both personally, and collectively.

Thank you for the link. I vaguely knew about the concept of that philosophical argument, but not the name.

up
4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

@Anja Geitz us call him. I was more impressed by his Wager in college. All grow'd up now ...

up
2 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz
The expected values of a "win" or a "loss" aren't nearly as drastic as the original, but you get my point.

up
3 users have voted.

@Azazello

me to point out that someone can run as a sheep dog without first conspiring with anyone else

up
12 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@HenryAWallace
but running as a sheepdog as an individual, private, act of conscience wouldn't make much sense. Either way, the sheepdog theory necessarily implies dishonesty, or at least insincerity, on the part of the sheepdog candidate.

up
4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Azazello

nefarious intent, even though I have always had high regard for your opinion.

IMO, Bernie firmly believes his actions are for 'the greater good.' Which is to say, he has good intentions, and doesn't perceive his actions as causing harm to anyone. (IMO)

If he didn't feel that way, I would think that he'd run as an Independent, or, on the Green Party ticket.

Even though I've only voted third party since 2004, I feel no animus toward Bernie for staying in the Dem Party. Which is not to say that I wouldn't like to see him--and Tulsi Gabbard, for that matter--leave the Dem Party. But, hey--that's their business, if they choose to stay, and work from inside. I respect that.

Mollie

up
8 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Azazello's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
after losing the primary does not constitute sheepdogging.
As I understand it, sheepdogging necessarily implies dishonesty.
A sheep dog candidate does not intend to win and is in the race solely to keep the left from straying away from the herd.
Perhaps I've misunderstood.

up
4 users have voted.

@Azazello

independent acts of conscience make plenty of sense to me.

up
4 users have voted.

@Azazello

with the curtain shut and....

(-;

up
6 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

circa 2006.

You're sounding a lot like Armando on a bad hair day lately:

1. Everything that doesn't fit neatly into a simplistic "us vs. them" paradigm is immediately marginalized,

2. Silly, never satisfied standards of proof are demanded before an idea is deemed even worthy of discussion,

3. Evidence that is proffered is instantly rejected, ignored, and/or ridiculed,

4. The author takes a tone of pompous self-righteous disrespect while assuming for himself the role of arbiter of all that is worthy for consideration.

Yep, you're ticking all the boxes.

Here's a theory for you: I have absolutely nothing at all to prove to you. I'm here to write about my own understanding of the current political situation in my own way, and if people see value in what I'm seeing great. If you don't see it, that's fine too.

But who the fuck are you to claim a monopoly on reality?

up
11 users have voted.

Peace Sells

@Not Henry Kissinger
And I really mean that

up
2 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit

up
5 users have voted.

Peace Sells

@Not Henry Kissinger
You aren't sorry at all. You wrote that specifically to get a reaction.

And I specifically didn't call anyone out. Nor did I specify what was reality. I asked for some people to stop being so damn lazy and stop doing a half-assed job.
So that makes you intentionally misrepresenting what I said TWICE!

You know the worst possible thing I could do to you is give you what you want: leave.
Then you are your deeply depressed comrades can spend your days here telling each other how doomed you are, and get more and more depressed.

up
5 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit

You know the worst possible thing I could do to you is give you what you want: leave.

I appreciate your contributions and have told you so many times.

Truth to tell, I'm actually sort of perplexed why you've chosen to pick a fight with me in the first place.

up
11 users have voted.

Peace Sells

@gjohnsit you've been one of my favorites. Please stay. This place would not be the same without you.

up
9 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit @gjohnsit

Then you are your deeply depressed comrades can spend your days here telling each other how doomed you are, and get more and more depressed.

And from your essay:

Just because someone agrees with your statement of "It's hopeless. We're all screwed. Everyone is out to get us" doesn't mean you've made a convincing case. It only means that misery loves company.

Gotta link for any of this Mr. Responsible Blogger(tm)? Because I don't ever recall saying anything like that.

Frankly, if I did think we were doomed, I wouldn't be here in the first place.

up
11 users have voted.

Peace Sells

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@gjohnsit

You stay.

I'll leave.

up
1 user has voted.

Peace Sells

@Not Henry Kissinger
I'm not looking to drive anyone away.

It's just when you compared me to Armando, you may as well slapped me in the face.

up
7 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@gjohnsit

. . . to Armando or any of the more stalwartly odious Kos denizens.

But then again, that's me.

Other folks may well feel differently.

up
3 users have voted.

@Wally

up
1 user has voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Not Henry Kissinger

The day posts on this board get homogenized is the day this board gets too boring for me.

up
12 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@HenryAWallace

PleasantryMollie

up
5 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Dawn's Meta's picture

up
2 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Eagles92's picture

@gjohnsit

up
3 users have voted.

a few of the half-baked konspiracy theories in question. Then perhaps the theorists would put in a better effort to substantiate. Also, would occasional half-assed attempts to connect possibly related dots be considered konspiracy theorizing? I was questioning aspects of 9/11 (or going, "huh?") throughout 9/11. It wasn't until 9/13 when someone raised the cui bono question that the orphaned oddities began collectivizing into something bigger than themselves. Actually, cui bono is an inherently CT question, isn't it?

But I agree with you that jumping feet first into theory can omit important counter evidence and leave salient points unexamined.

up
11 users have voted.

@laurel
without putting some people on the spot, and I was trying to avoid that.

up
4 users have voted.

@gjohnsit but in an active thread, something like, "That's an interesting idea/ intriguing possibility/ cogent point, soandso. Could you elaborate on the xyz aspect? Or, how would that work if ... ? Or, I don't quite understand what you mean by ..."

You'd probably have a better way of putting it, but the point is, it wouldn't feel like they're being criticized. You could do that quite well.

up
4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

is that 'making broad assertions about fellow bloggers behavior, is never a good idea.'

Again, please, at least consider either addressing them directly, in real time, or, be clear as to 'what your specific grievance is, and who it's with.'

Frankly, I hadn't read but the very beginning of the essay in which you and NHK obviously had quite a few disagreements, the other day. (since I first commented in this essay, I have read many of the comments)

If that's what this is about--why not just PM him? And have a 'good faith' discussion, member to member?

Mollie

up
12 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal
It's a whole group.
And it wasn't just something recently.
This has been out there for a long time.

I had an epiphany today.
The doom and gloom crowd on C99P likes to tell everyone that you can't do anything about the current political system. It's pointless to even try.
That always bugged me.

I finally figured out today why it bugged me so much:

Because they are telling me the exact same thing that Hillary Clinton told me three years ago!

It's also what people on TOP used to tell me. That I have to accept the status quo.

Sure, they are approaching it from an entirely different perspective, but it still ends up in the exact same place.

But if what I wrote was considered offensive and unacceptable then maybe people on C99P are just too fragile for me. I'm a bull in a china shop.

up
7 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@gjohnsit

I took some time off from C99% coz some folks were getting annoyed at me asking questions like "the energizer bunny" (or that's the way it seemed to me).

I figure now, having maybe returned, that I'll just pontificate now and then rather than call upon folks to back up and detail their claims.

up
2 users have voted.

and others who comment, EVERYBODY in the whole wide world is tied to the capitalist, imperialists and every other "ists" that there are out there, AND THEREFORE are not to be considered, discussed etc. etc. Well, that could be a valid POV. But it gets tiresome to read it, especially when repeated ad nauseum. It leaves nothing to discuss and nobody to discuss because they are ALL DISQUALIFIED.

That being said, I don't think any opinions should be censored unless they cross into personal attack. I'd like to remind everyone that telling a writer that he/she is being a bore is not a personal attack. I'm trying, in the meantime, to learn to ignore certain personalities whose record needles are stuck on repeat and who are not adding anything new in terms of ideas, issues or thinking.

I get what gjohnsit is trying to say here. At least that is my interpretation of it. If you are going to write nothing more than an angry rant without any evidence to support what you are ranting about, please just do it once. We all pick up pretty quickly on points around here.

up
8 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02

is being a bore not a personal attack? As personal attacks go, it may not be an especially vicious personal attack, but it is nothing but personal and it sure ain't a compliment.

If you post on a topic, that's not personal. If you post about a poster, pro or con, it's personal.

up
11 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace

"your writing is very boring". Is that better?

up
0 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Fishtroller 02

I'm trying, in the meantime, to learn to ignore certain personalities whose record needles are stuck on repeat and who are not adding anything new in terms of ideas, issues or thinking.

To my knowledge, only Admin and we Mods are expected to 'try' and read almost everything; especially, if a so-called 'thread war' appears to be about to break out.

Otherwise, regular members and lurkers, are free to read, at will.

Regarding 'repetitive' posting/comments--I may differ with you on that point. I say that, because there are a handful of issues-oriented bloggers who are only interested in a narrow topic or two, myself included.

As far as I know, unless I thread jack--like, bringing up Social Security or Medicare in a totally unrelated essay which is NOT an OT--unless, of course, the Essay OP has given express permission to do so--there's no harm in talking about that topic until the cows come home. (I am referring to civil discourse, not out-of-control rants.)

Again, no one has to read it. Bear in mind, issue-oriented bloggers are often talking to what they perceive as the broader audience--lurkers; not just to active members of the C99 Community. That's called "getting your message out."

Biggrin

For certain, most essays posted here are wonderful, informative, and, enjoyable to read.

But, if on occasion, an essay is disturbing in content (to any one of us)--why not just walk away from it?

Seriously, how hard is that to learn to do?

SmileMollie

up
9 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Calling out people here for not backing up what they’re saying with examples while also failing to show examples of the “konsipracy theories” that this post is about? Hmm...

While I respect your desire to not want to call people out, you felt strongly enough to make a post about this and are apparently looking for some sort of dialogue. But it seems to me it’s kind of difficult to have any discussion when many of us don’t know what you are talking about. Others seem to but frankly they may or may not be right. I can guess, but it’s only a guess.

I see a lot of great writing here. I don’t always agree with people’s opinions, but that’s the nature of opinions. “Conspiracy theory” just isn’t a term I’d use to describe what I’ve seen here, unless I missed something.

up
10 users have voted.

are depressed by the very things you constantly write about. Economic shenanigans, war, de-regulation, misinformation from the government, and then call out others for saying your truths are depressing. You show us the way to giving up all hope.
AOC and all Democrats should be scrutinized as prepped people. Please do not deny that.
Democrats are not the answer.

up
10 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@on the cusp

up
2 users have voted.