Outside the Asylum

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Wow, guys.

I am having a really hard time writing this next essay. I think it's because the topic is so repugnant. It requires me to really look at the ways the PTB are re-arranging our culture, in particular our politics and morality. We are now in the late stages of the process that began in the late 60s and early 70s, and the end point is worse than I think my cynical teenage self could have imagined in the 80s. They have actually managed to draft left-wing opposition to bigoted authoritarian power into the support of bigoted, authoritarian power. They have done this through the cunning use of party politics and a billion-dollar propaganda machine.

To all those who say I never thought Dick Cheney would look good to me or I miss George W. Bush or I never knew how good I had it back then, well, guess what? Right back atcha. I never thought I could regret the election of Barack Obama.

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Experiencing the Trojan horse firsthand is a nasty thing.

That was the beginning of the PTB absorbing left-wing causes and rhetoric and weaponizing them in service of the right. That's one way of putting it. A better way, for those who see things in terms other than right vs left, is that the powerful elites decided it would serve them better to use a left-wing mask now than a right-wing one--always assuming, of course, that it was a carefully edited leftism. It makes me wonder what they might have edited out of rightism before they picked it up. Reason, certainly, was one of the things that got edited out of rightism in the 80s. William F. Buckley, as unforgivably wrong as he was, would not recognize the party he used to celebrate, and would not, these days, be able to find a place in it without abandoning the display of rationality on which he based his public life.

It wouldn't be so bad if people didn't actually fall for it--fall for it hell, some of them actively embrace it. Just because Michelle Obama embraces George W. Bush doesn't mean we have to, does it?

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It's not even just liberal Democratic loyalists now. It's the indie left too. How can a person write for something called The Jacobin and excuse the lesser-of-two-evils support of a rich, corrupt man who not only supported the Iraq War and the Bankruptcy Abuse Protection Act--and the 1990s Crime Bill--but also has shoved a female employee up against the wall and shoved his fingers into her vagina?

Wasn't Jacobinism something more like this?

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Article I – Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions can be founded only on the common good

Article II – The goal of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, safety and resistance against oppression.

How can these ideas exist in the same perceptual universe as this?

Let’s be clear. If Joe Biden had a personal history of dismembering grandmothers and feeding them to children as an after-school snack, he would still, in my view, be far preferable to Donald Trump or Mike Pence, or whatever Koch-funded revival meeting is running the executive branch at the moment.

(H/t to Cassiodorus, who, though I think we're in disagreement on some issues, did me an inestimable service in bringing that quotation to my attention in his essay "Standards Joe Biden Does Not Meet." https://caucus99percent.com/content/standards-joe-biden-does-not-meet#co...)

Apparently, there is no end to what the insufferable presence of Trump can excuse. He truly is the left's version of Osama bin Laden: the evil man whose bad behavior justifies abandoning every principle we once held dear. But at least during the Bush administration, the people who wanted us to give up our liberties spoke sadly, as a parent telling a child that they could no longer afford to give her a Christmas dolly. In this big, mean world, they said, there are some luxuries we just can't afford--like freedom of speech and association and the right to due process of law.

Yes, that was repugnant. But not as bad as the outright sheer exultation of Lisa Featherstone's hyperbole. "Even if Biden dismembered grandmothers! even if he forced children to be cannibals! He would still be preferable to the evil Trump!" Such a statement shows that any moral, political, or social sacrifice will be deemed an acceptable loss, as long as it is in the service of removing Trump.

One should be very careful of saying that one bad thing or person justifies all possible actions. Featherstone's "serial killer" comment comes pretty close to doing just that. But the interesting thing about that moral and political proposition is that embracing it generally results in wreckage.

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I haven't yet given up on writing the essay about Biden that I've been struggling with for two weeks now. I still have more to say in response to the ongoing cultural and moral assault, not so much on our society anymore (that's well along already) but on our interior culture: our ways of thinking, our assumptions and beliefs. But I think I'm gonna have to find a writing buddy to help me get past my aversion to more closely examining this toxic shit.

Hope you all are staying safe and well.

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Cassiodorus's picture

Reading Liza Featherstone's essay in Jacobin, you can tell that Featherstone can also see what monsters these people really are. Here is what she said AFTER that quote which you and I made:

But the fact that centrist elites were so afraid of social democracy that they did everything they could to advance Biden’s candidacy reveals their contempt for women. They’re happy to use feminism as a way to temporarily divide and conquer the 99 percent, but if they had any sincere commitment to the advancement of women as a group, they would have lined up behind Bernie Sanders.

(By the way, if you want a fun, extreme example of "centrists," read this:

Alyssa Milano calls for 'intellectually bankrupt' Bernie Sanders to end campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic

Now wasn't that fun? Alyssa Milano, who has spent a long, tedious acting career appearing in various species of vacuous entertainment nonsense, is calling Bernie Sanders, the one candidate for President still in the running with ideas of his own, as "intellectually bankrupt." Medicare for All? Intellectually bankrupt. College for All? Intellectually bankrupt. Green New Deal? Intellectually bankrupt. One suspects that Joe Biden will eventually fail to meet her standards too, and that she is currently too busy playing a part to notice.)

The difference between Liza Featherstone's writing and mine, however, is that I am unwilling to make any sort of humorous gesture (and it helps to read the whole of Featherstone's essay to see that she was at least partly joking in her comment about Joe Biden). There is an excuse for voting for Joe Biden -- but Joe Biden has been super-busy all his life undercutting that excuse, which is (as you pointed out) why Featherstone's joke about Biden isn't funny.

Eventually the Biden Faithful, I predict, will reach that moment that you see in classic Warner Brothers cartoons in which Wile E. Coyote, obsessed with chasing the Roadrunner, runs off a cliff and notices that there is no ground beneath his feet, at which point he falls a great distance to the ground.

As for your points about Enlightenment ideals, CSTMS, let's go back even further. Here's Shakespeare, from an oft-quoted portion of The Merchant of Venice:

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”

Yeah, that's what the political class is about these days. They're devils who cite Scripture.

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"Advertising? Wow! So, people need help figuring out what to buy and then y-you help them?" -- Rick J19Zeta7

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cassiodorus

But blaming them for setting up the political game in such an ugly way, and then consenting to play the game according to their rules anyway, is like blaming the Bush administration for ignoring the report that said "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Targets Within U.S." but then supporting the Patriot Act and the presidential orders and all the rest of the later Bush shenanigans as a necessary defense against the bad man. Supporting Joe Biden no matter what is our defense against the bad man. Actually, the fact that she understands that the centrists got us into this horrible mess makes her capitulation worse, because that means she gets that there aren't just moral objections to Biden, but to the entire party that engineered his choice as nominee--and she's still willing to support Biden despite, well, *any* moral objections.

What her argument does--and she's far from alone--is remove the concept of refusing to vote for a candidate on moral grounds, unless he is Donald Trump. And yes, I get that she's joking, but the effect of her hyperbole is to put all moral objections to lesser of two evils voting out of bounds. Maybe Featherstone wouldn't actually vote for a serial killer to get Trump out of the presidency. But saying that she would, even in jest, moves the moral Overton window in a terrible direction. What she's saying is that, even if Tara Reade is telling the truth, the sexual violation of a woman won't stop her from voting for Joe Biden. And she's implying that the limit of what she will put up with, morally, in order to get rid of Trump, is far greater than putting up with sexual assault. She doesn't tell us what that limit it is. Rather, she engages in hyperbole so she won't have too, and acts like it's funny. Potentially, this signals the end of the application of morality to political choice--or, rather, the transformation of morality into something that one can flip on and off like a light switch as political authorities in one's party deem necessary.

And she knows it! That's what most of her essay is about! She can see the way the Democratic establishment flips feminism off and on like a light, but doesn't see that by being willing to vote lesser of two evils, she is becoming part of that dubious moral position.

Or maybe she's just afraid of being called a Trump enabler. It's amazing what fear will do to a person.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cassiodorus's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Potentially, this signals the end of the application of morality to political choice--or, rather, the transformation of morality into something that one can flip on and off like a light switch as political authorities in one's party deem necessary.

Tribalist Dems don't particularly care that you're correct, though. For them, your behavior is "risking another four years of Trump" -- never mind that their behavior, and their candidate's behavior, also risks another four years of Trump, and that this risk is a far greater one than the risk they would undergo if they merely supported Bernie Sanders.

And they also don't see that, for them, the moral "light switch" is firmly in the "off" position and that they don't dare turn it on for fear of making (D) candidates look bad.

They also don't see that their "electing (D) candidates is what makes it all worthwhile" position is untenable. They put Barack Obama into office, and under Obama the Democrats ceded all branches of the Federal government and 900-plus state legislative seats to the Republicans. They don't see the consequences of electing an amoral Democrat to the most powerful office in the land.

But, by golly, the tribalist Dems are going to go out into the world and find, somewhere, somehow, some justification for their political behaviors that involves something more sophisticated than "Dems are better than Republicans." Problem is they can't do it.

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"Advertising? Wow! So, people need help figuring out what to buy and then y-you help them?" -- Rick J19Zeta7

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cassiodorus

And I don't expect tribalist Dems to care whether I'm right or not--though I bet most of them would think I'm not. "Morality" means "being anti-Trump in every way possible" to them, so I would be the one undermining morality. Looking at the situation from a bit more distance, so that one can see that there are different conceptions of morality which have different effects and that we have changed from one conception to another over time, a transformation that has sped up massively over the past ten years--that's something they tend not to want to see.

I speak as someone whose mom is in that tribe. Most of her friends, too, and a couple of mine. I obviously don't hate them, but it's not really possible to build a conceptual bridge between us. The love is the same, but we can't have a meeting of minds. Not about politics, anyway.

The most recent seismic shift in expectations/norms (2015/2016) has pretty much finished my will to try convincing anybody outside my group of anything. It's perhaps good that my group is pretty ill-defined, agreeing mostly on how you go about deciding what is true or good, and a bit about what general concepts could be considered good. Lots of variations in "my group" on specific issue positions, choice of tactics, all the nuts and bolts of actually doing anything. And that's probably a good thing, because it means that the people I consider to be in "my group" have a fairly diverse range of opinions. There are even a few who like Trump. "My group" isn't primarily defined by electoral choices.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

link to article on fair

But Cuomo is so committed to his corporate-friendly deficit-busting that when the emergency federal Covid-19 aid package to states (including $6.7 billion to New York) included a clause prohibiting changes to Medicaid programs, Cuomo declared that he couldn’t accept it (Politico, 3/27/20). Stop and think about that: Cuomo’s instinct is to forego billions of dollars of desperately needed aid because he is unwilling to give up Medicaid cuts which themselves will directly jeopardize the lives of those most at risk of dying from Covid-19.

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Lookout's picture

ByeDone is a loser on every level. I must disagree that he is better than T-rump. They are both equally horrid IMO. Green party Howie has issues too, so it looks like I have no one to support unless by some miracle Bernie gets the nom (not holding my breath).

I wish we could wipe the slate clean and start over again. Electoral politics are a dead end in the good ole US of A. The Koch-type corporatists are chomping at the bit to re-write the constitution to enshrine our corporate capture. And boy howdy they are using the COVID cover to their advantage.

Well take care everyone.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

And I'd like to stop writing and talking about electoral politics altogether. I hope I'll be able to do so, but I'm not willing to stop writing about American culture and the directions it's being driven, and since electoral politics is being used, primarily, to change our expectations and assumptions and thus change our culture, I think I'll probably have to refer to it from time to time.

Electoral politics isn't changing our culture in the ways we think: we elect a guy (or gal), she goes to D.C., creates policy and/or enacts it, and thus, through policy, changes our culture. Policy continues along the same lines, with very few exceptions, no matter who gets elected. People focus on the exceptions, whether they are minor (the Lily Ledbetter Act) or profound (Donald Trump's shutting down the federal pandemic office), ignoring the fact that economic policy, budget policy, war policy, energy policy, civil liberties policy, education policy and climate policy have all come from the same school of thought for the past twenty years, and, with the exception of civil liberties policy and war policy, for the past thirty-five. There has been no diversion from the gospels of PNAC and Milton Friedman since I was twenty-three, almost thirty years ago, unless you count the Iran agreement.

Electoral politics changes our culture by changing the inside of our heads. It alters our ideas of what's right and wrong and what can and cannot be expected of a human being. Right now, it's more or less a justification engine for sociopaths.

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13 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lookout's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

for most of my life. And I wish I felt like there are political solutions. I appreciate your writing about politics. I often think about them too. It is just that at onetime I believed it was our path toward some sort of better nation. Now all I can see is the total corporate capture. I still have enough koolaid in my system to hold the slimmest of hopes Bernie might still pull off the nomination (but know in my heart the DNC won't let that happen no matter the cost). Looks like another political game of lose-lose ... perhaps same as it always was.

Take care and get some of that FL sunshine if you can.

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

so I get sunshine corona or no corona.

Actually, it just occurs to me that that's a play on words!

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

Bravissimo! More and Encore.

Digression - I love that Eddie Izzard bit, the whole segment in fact.

Some time last week I queued up a piece on propaganda for Wednesday, it seems to be pressing in on us all (oppressing in?), but it is generally analytic and descriptive and not looking to specifics such as them using assorted cons to try to feed us all Biden.

You are right to tie this co-option of the left, its ideas, ideals, goals and, particularly, slogans back to at least the late sixties, I can testify to its presence back to the early sixties, and suspect that it has been around far longer than that. The Black Power and Women's Liberation movements were almost immediately latched onto as divisive wedge issues rather than of expanding our power by expanding the power base. Their success at this was, I believe, partly due to the human fear of losing control (and power) that all to some extent suffer from being weaponized. The move to achieve greater equality for those with sensory and/or motor impairment also was manipulated into a challenge to the existing paternalist left cadres, and it was largely done by representing these wider distributions of power and self ownership as digressions and diversions of energy and attention from the "primary goal" which, of course, was explicitly tailored to seem derived from various individual groups ideological underpinnings. Laborites, including Wobblies, five or six flavors of "socialists" and a few of "pure marxists". plus trots and maoists, civil rights activists (as in "civil rights movement") and civil liberties activists (many of which didn't even self-identify that way) were all fed a constant diet of divisive noise as to how work for this, that or the other goal or agenda would undermine or weaken their progress toward their ultimate goal.

And, for what it is worth, the Dems were quite openly the lesser evil even back then. Not Kennedy, and perhaps not before, but post Kennedy for sure.

Phil Och's "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" was released in 1966, and live performances often introduced it with the following admnishment:

In every American community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals. An outspoken group on many subjects, ten degrees to the left of center in good times, ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally. Here, then, is a lesson in safe logic.

But even in the late fifties or early sixties, Dick Gregory, among others, justifiably sneered at "white liberals", and "checkbook liberals" were derided by folks like Mort Sahl.

be well and have a good one.

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14 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

I will have more to say to this later--what an interesting series it would make! sort of an intergenerational talk--after I do yoga with Kate.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cassiodorus's picture

@enhydra lutris The need to present Biden to the world will vanish the moment Sanders drops out and endorses Biden.

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"Advertising? Wow! So, people need help figuring out what to buy and then y-you help them?" -- Rick J19Zeta7

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cassiodorus
still should, but should at lest stay through the convention to put a spotlight on the fix and gaming. HW won't win either way now, but it might prove educational to those who still don't get it.

The masses are effectively disenfranchised, and plenty of them know it and choose not to participate in the fraud at all. This means that their voices aren't hard, but they would be anyway, a vicious circle built into the corporatist duopoloy.

be well and have a good one.

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cassiodorus

Never been under any illusions about it (the way I was with Tulsi).

I like your sig. very much. Who is Jennifer Matsui?

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5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

CS in AZ's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Thank you for calling my attention to this. It is a great quote. I searched for her name and found this great article at CounterPunch, which just happens to include that very quote. The whole thing is worth reading.

Joe Biden: Survival of the Unfittest

As Vice-President, he put a drunk handyman spin on the murderous policies for the two parties he serves, making drone programs and regime change seem as harmless as pretend-pissing in a punchbowl. You might even say that pretend pissing in a punchbowl has been Biden’s stock in trade for his entire political career. Degenerative brain disease has eroded the buffoonery down to a husk, and made visible the incontinent serial killer behind Pogo the Senator.

She totally dismantles him.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ

Thanks for posting the link here.

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2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

might be fruitful. I don't know if you might want to hold it in a non-open-thread sometime-other-than-Sunday-morning context where it might get more eyes. But anyway, you must have noticed by now the fight between the "it's always been this way" and the "we just saw a series of deliberate redirections of the system, and they suck" schools of thought. A lot of people lean strongly toward the former. I lean toward the latter. The reasons for that are several:

First, the series of deliberate changes coincided pretty much with my lifespan (born in 1968, turned 12 in 1980 when Reagan ascended the throne, reached adulthood during the Clinton/Gingrich years), which gave me a particularly good view of the changes. I can remember what things were like before Reagan, and the period immediately before Reagan was my childhood, the most formative years of my life. Yet I was not yet an adult when the Reagan Revolution took over American politics, so it was like the Reagan Revolution plowed right into me when I was old enough to have formed my cultural expectations but young enough that the shock of the change made a terrible impact on me.

2)Second, the bastards actually WROTE DOWN the changes they planned to make before they made them and left the goddamned document lying around where I could read it and STILL get away with everyone acting like the flow of American history is some organic thing that arises spontaneously from America's evil character, like Athena from the head of Zeus, requiring no deliberate decisions by any particular individuals or factions (and certainly, never any conspiracies!)

3)Third, I believe that history is important, and not just in a generalized "The U.S. committed evil acts in the 18th and 19th century--slavery and genocide are bad, mkay?" kind of way. I don't ignore the importance of the history of those centuries, but I don't see them as the establishment of a bad national character that then remained fixed, meaning that nothing that happened afterward had any particular impact except to confirm said bad character. The people on the other side of this issue seem to have no response to any developments later than the Civil War, apart from "Well, what can you expect." In fact, they deal with the United States the way I deal with the Democratic party (now). I think this erases the history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, particularly the period 1930-1970, the re-telling of which has been subject to some serious revision via the entertainment industry, and the period 1968-2010, which people are downright forgetting even though some of it is only 10-11 years ago. This re-interpretation of the "golden age of capitalism" by the entertainment industry is beyond suspect, in my opinion, and the amnesia among ordinary people about the way we reached this particular point in history is maddening. It has therefore become very important to me to keep the history of those decades in memory. I wasn't around for FDR or JFK and wasn't conscious in the late 60s, being an infant, so I stick to remembering the 70s onward as best and as accurately as I can. It is very important to me to keep that memory alive.

Actually, this whole issue requires me to think pretty deeply about how I approach the question of history. I think we could have some seriously fruitful discussions about all this, if you're interested.

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7 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
big deal" clan, but more of our whole history as taught in our schools is largely myth, and there has been skulduggery, lies and propaganda throughout.

I Do not disagree that the pace, volume, frequency and totality of deception is increasing, and probably in a non-linear accelerating fashion of some sort.

I'm coming from assorted places, including my personal history. I was born in '46 but I also had an elder brother born in '42 with whom I had a close relationship. We were both pretty precocious and observant as well as voracious readers. We were raised in San Diego, a military town with defense industry, navy, and marines, a huge John Birch Society Presence, plus a group calling themselves the minutemen. We caught the tail end of McCarthy, he more than I, and we learned about Helen Gahagan Douglas somewhat first hand. So there's that undercurrent. To expand a tiny bit on that, one of the reasons I decided to go to Cal was the protests and demonstrations at the HUCA/HCUA hearings in San Francisco by UC Berkeley students. My brother and I both evolved while young into civil liberties-civil rights-equality for all junkies.

If you never read Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States, this would be a great time. It's a slog, but worth it and it is on line, free, if you can stand to read online. https://libcom.org/library/peoples-history-of-united-states-howard-zinn That book helped form my outlook on US history, though much else did too. The whole love affair the US had with dictators, the way they treated and smeared Castro's government from day 1, was a thing when I was a kid and the Bay of pigs and all the lies about that occurred while I was in high school, as did JFK's assassination.

So I went to Cal in 64 and walked straight into the Free Speech Movement and got heavily involved in the student movement and the anti war and stop the draft movements. I graduated in 68 and was a witness the the entirety of the sixties at close range. Meanwhile my brother became a genuine journalist and joined me in Berkeley for a while, keeping me apprised of even more dirt on everything and everybody. The whole envirnment as a political activist at Cal in those years was enormously educational about political, economic and social activities all the way from local to global, especially depending upon who one ran with.

So that's all background. I came to see US history as a type of punctuated evolution, but with ugly, sinister, and arguably evil overtones. I also came to see that everything since day one has been distorted, twisted, lied about and even fabricated. Our treatment of the poor, women, indentured servants, slaves and freed blacks, Our treatment of the Indians. Our treatment of labor, attempts to organize labor, organized labor, including massacres by government troops, government approved militias, etc.etc. All the massacres of Indians, Labor, immigrants and blacks that are but little noted. The robber barons and other corruption. The civil rights movement and the government attacks on that. Cointelpro and other government attacks on the student left and the Panthers, etc. Also, the propaganda has always been with us, the infamous "Yellow Press" had predecessor forms and formats, and the entire Hearst Machine was never anything else.

I don't, and didn't intend to bring that up to diminish your assertions and observations, it was more to say yes, you are not imagining, it's very real and as old as the Mayflower Compact. BUT, we wen't from "I heered they killed some injun marauders out in Utah" to "Remember the Maine!!" banner headlines twice daily to "Russia, Russia, Russia" from vast numbers of sources in every type of media 24/7. Most of that happened on your watch so to speak. In the early & middle sixties it was still morning & evening daily paper, morning and evening TV nad radio news and commute hour news summaries on some radio stations with a moderate number of stations and papers still doing their best to either present both sides or to present OUR side as a counter to the mainstream narrative. It was much later that we "won the cold war" and then turned up the heat and the volume, that we institutionalized Open greed as a good thing and the operating principle of our nation and that we became open about lying and propaganda and don't get me started on WJ&HRC or modern TV glorifying all the wrong people and careers.

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

It's because I didn't feel diminished--but noted that you shared some perspectives with the people who do make me feel that way--that made me think a discussion between us would be fruitful. IOW, we agree on a lot, but our perspectives are different, and you also appeared to agree with the people who disagree with me. I hope that makes sense. Also, even if we disagreed a lot more than we did, I would still feel like we could have a fruitful discussion. In a world where verbal combat (by which I don't mean debate)has become the primary way people talk in public (Twitter seems to have affected everything), our discussions here become quite valuable. I only wish there were more of an IRL analog to it.

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2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ggersh's picture

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/04/05/a-failure-of-leadership/

A Failure of Leadership

Paul Craig Roberts

The below is a factual commonsense statement:

“If the current approach of telling everyone to stay home is to be lifted, widespread and faster testing will be needed to identify infected people for isolation. Easing stay-at-home orders in the absence of sufficient testing would risk reigniting the outbreak.”

The question is: Where were WHO, NIH, CDC, health ministers, prime ministers, presidents? Why did the leadership of the Western World sit on its hands for three months? Has history ever experienced a worse and more complete failure of leadership?

Leadership is absent, because the West has been organized to serve private selfish interests with agendas inimical to the public interest. The People accepted lies and deception, and now we are paying the price.

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11 users have voted.

tRump amerika's last president

voting in ameriKa is an illusion

I'm fairly sure that the R's have finally figured out
that the D's are no longer necessary

enhydra lutris's picture

@ggersh

Leadership is absent, because the West has been organized to serve private selfish interests with agendas inimical to the public interest. The People accepted lies and deception, and now we are paying the price.

be well and hae a good one.

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

ggersh's picture

@enhydra lutris and stay safe

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1 user has voted.

tRump amerika's last president

voting in ameriKa is an illusion

I'm fairly sure that the R's have finally figured out
that the D's are no longer necessary

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ggersh

That's a couple more interesting articles I've gotta read. Kind of excited to read them, actually.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ggersh's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

up
2 users have voted.

tRump amerika's last president

voting in ameriKa is an illusion

I'm fairly sure that the R's have finally figured out
that the D's are no longer necessary

snoopydawg's picture

Something to look forward to...

IMG_3833_1.JPG
lol

Brilliant essay, CTSM! Remember what Lily says,

"No matter how cynical I am it's never cynical enough."

We suffered through Bush's administration and thought Obama would change everything back to normal and then we saw what he did and now we have Trump because of it. Boy just imagine what the next republican president will be like. The republicans should have been dead in a ditch after they drove their car into it, but in less than 2 years Obama sent them a wrecker that got their car fixed. Great job, Obama. And thanks for all the cannoli.

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3 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

snoopydawg's picture

Trump is bad of course, but is he responsible for the thousands of Obama-villes dotting the country? How did Obama help the thousands of people who lost their homes while the banks continued to commit fraud and Obama looked the other way?

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3 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

Cassiodorus's picture

@snoopydawg telling us that if Trump were gone everything would be peachy keen because the rest of the Establishment knows what it's doing.

Meanwhile the Los Angeles Times is doing another standard-lowering act. Doyle McManus:

If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, Joe Biden almost certainly would be winning Democratic primaries and locking up the nomination about now — coasting from one victory speech to another, basking in the cheers of his supporters and wall-to-wall media coverage.

If we can't have a real Joe Biden, let's make a virtue of it by imagining a hypothetical one, one capable of a victory speech that could last for more than seven minutes. Like I said earlier, the Biden Faithful are calling in all favors -- all hands on deck -- they're going to lower those standards so that Joe looks great!

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5 users have voted.

"Advertising? Wow! So, people need help figuring out what to buy and then y-you help them?" -- Rick J19Zeta7

snoopydawg's picture

@Cassiodorus

Biden was on the campaign trail long enough for people to hear him telling people to shut up. Vote for Trump. Challenge them to push-ups and IQ tests. Telling them they are fat and they are dawg faced pony...and numerous other horrible things.

I'm dumbfounded that people don't understand how it was possible for Trump to get elected in the first place. Biden was part of an administration that left most people behind. Started 3 wars. Committed 3 coups. Deported more immigrants than any other president combined and locked kids in cages when there was a huge increase of them fleeing their country. How people can't see that wealth inequality went way up during Obama's blows my mind. It really does that people think he was all that.

People are happy as pigs in mud that Rogan is saying he'd vote for Trump over Biden and that Joe would just be a figurehead of his cabinet. They think Joe would pick the most qualified people to be in it. You know people like Bloomberg, Diman and other financial insiders like Obama had in his. But what gets me the most ticked off is how people think people like Rogan and other indeeds owe their votes to democrats just because Trump.

coasting from one victory speech to another, basking in the cheers of his supporters and wall-to-wall media coverage.

Wrong. Biden would be hiding out still so that people couldn't see how much he has deteriorated since he stepped down as VP. He disappeared at the start of the epidemic and even when he has notes to the questions that the media is going to ask him he still gets lost on his way to answering them. This wishful thinking is just that. Wishful and doesn't touch reality.

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4 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

snoopydawg's picture

@Cassiodorus

We have stolen masks off the tarmac in China meant to go to France, Germany and Canada and one other country because we can. 3M is an 'American' company built in China so they can make more in profits, but Trump is showing our true colors by putting American's lives in front of others. Guess it's a fine line to walk, but it just shows our arrogance. Countries are accusing us of piracy, but what else can they do?

Thousands of hospitals have been sold and closed across this country because of capitalism and neoliberalism. Hedge fund companies have been buying and many of them have been loaded up with debt but are now being bailed out. And guess what they are doing in the middle of this epidemic? They are cutting pay for doctors and other workers in hospitals across the country. Health care workers are already risking their lives because that's what they do, but I wouldn't blame them if every one of them went on strike because of the greed. I'm so appalled by what some people are experiencing right now. If I was still able to work I'd be at one of the local hospitals risking my life for some corporate ghoul's pocket.

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2 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope