Outside the Asylum--Propaganda Fatigue Edition

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I am wiped out this week, guys.

This is basically the left's 9/11. A lot of us felt very superior during the two Bush administrations, thinking that we of the left--Democrats and non-Democrats alike--were the national bastion of reason and critical thought. *Our* political decisions were not based on emotions. *Our* political loyalties were not based on personalities. We were critical thinkers, concerned with policy--and with maintaining the basic principles of the Republic. (No, I don't mean imperialism, slavery, and genocide. I mean the principles we all learned in Civics class. The way America was supposed to be.) We didn't rant and rave and foam at the mouth because a bad man sent other bad men to attack our cities and kill us. We considered policy impacts: not just in the present but in as many possible futures as we could imagine; not just for ourselves, but for the world.

I knew that there were rational Republicans and right-wingers. But I firmly believed that they were a tiny, disempowered minority within their party. The Left was where reason made its home.

It's rather horrible to have to realize, twenty years later, that the only reason we were the bastion of reason during the Bush years is that the 9/11 psy-op wasn't directed at us. The story wasn't meant for us, so of course we weren't gibbering in the streets and embracing every authoritarian idea we could find. At that time, we were meant to occupy the role, not of gibbering authoritarian, but of seditious traitor.

Seditious traitor [si-dish-uhs trey-ter]
noun

1)a person who keeps asking questions after their people have been attacked (see also fifth column)

2)a person who does not automatically obey the dictates of a leader or a group

We were supposed to be the goat. And, indeed, we were accused of being traitors and terrorist sympathizers because we would not uncritically support the so-called president, George W. Bush, who was busily engaged, not only in getting us into an unprovoked war of acquisition, inflicting grave harm on people who had never done us any, but also in destroying the legal manifestations of the Republic (the political and economic manifestations of the Republic were already well on their way to being destroyed by the time the non-President arrived in D.C., that having been the job of the Reagan and Clinton administrations).

I made the mistake of thinking that those events said something about our characters. All it really said is that Democrats and the Left are not particularly afraid of brown-skinned men from foreign places with different languages, religions, and cultures. Our monster in the closet doesn't look like that, so even when people like that murder 2700 of us (or so), we don't lose our heads. We are grief-stricken, horrified, injured--but still thinking.

Our monster in the closet looks more like a Klansman, or what a Klansman would look like if they had the guts to show their faces. Our monster is a white, right-wing racist waving a gun and screaming something inarticulate about America.

Please note that these monsters are, of course, actually dangerous. Osama bin Laden was dangerous. The mistake the right wing made twenty years ago was not their assessment of Osama bin Laden as a dangerous man, or al-Quaeda as a dangerous organization. And Trump's pathetic "Proud Boys" are dangerous too, of course. They are the latest manifestation of a right wing which has, up till recently, mainly expressed itself through brutal bigotry and defensive resentment of those who accurately identify it. They are not, I think, dangerous in the way they're being sold to be. As someone who grew up down the road from where a lot of these folks live, I think I have a pretty good handle on the ways in which they are dangerous. They are dangerous to the unarmed. They are dangerous to those who aren't politically or militarily organized. And they're dangerous, above all, to those they catch alone, or in small numbers. They attach black men to the backs of their pickups and drag them to death. They attach Matthew Shepard to a fence and beat him to death with a tire iron. That sort of thing. They are brutal bullies.

What they are not dangerous to is the United States' security apparatus. And, therefore, they are not dangerous to the federal government of the United States, unless the security apparatus allows them to be. The idea that the Proud Boys could present a challenge to the FBI, CIA, NSA, JSOC, the traditional military, or the myriad other manifestations of our security state, is plain ridiculous, like saying I could challenge a U.S. Army tank with my GI Joe doll. The idea that the Proud Boys caught the security state with its pants down, even temporarily--a security state that collects information constantly on 300 million peoples' conversations, buying habits, and reading habits, a security state that is well-versed in infiltration of both online and in-the-flesh political groups (as any Occupier would know)--is arrant nonsense. Especially since nobody was being particularly secretive about the fact that an uprising was coming. Also, this outcome had been predicted, and discussed, in the corporate media, literally for years. And yet somehow, the Stop the Steal folks managed to catch the U.S. security state with their pants down?

Obviously--as the left has been saying for years--the systematic, nationwide infiltration of the police by neo-Nazis is a problem, and compromises, to some extent, the United States' security apparatus. But again, the idea that compromising the police would be enough to make the Proud Boys a challenge for the United States' security apparatus is just laughable, or would be, if I wasn't having a hard time remembering the last time I laughed. Nor do I believe that all those alphabet soup agencies and the military were held back by their constitutional respect for the authority of the President. (Did you know that, when Obama told the military to draw down in Syria, the general said "Well, we might follow that order. We don't like it. We'll think about it." That's the kind of country we live in.) The Proud Boys' and Stop the Steal's association with a sitting President would, indeed, put the U.S security state, and particularly the military, in a difficult position, if we actually inhabited a constitutional republic. But we don't, and the idea that the CIA (for instance) can't do anything unless the President agrees to it, is as laughable as the idea that the CIA doesn't interfere with domestic concerns (Did you know the CIA sent an agent as liaison to Goldman Sachs during the Occupy movement? Just to help out. That's the kind of country we live in.)

Hey, even Chuck Schumer agrees that presidents better not cross the security state. It's Presidents who need to worry about offending the CIA, not vice versa:

New Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities.
“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

Turns out, when you tailor-make the psy-op for those of us on the left, it's remarkably effective. People are terrified of the Proud Boys and ready to embrace any trade of liberty for security--or even liberty for some measure of punishment for Donald Trump. Liberty for schadenfreude? I wish I didn't understand it, but I do. You get so sick of seeing cruel people operate with impunity. It's just that I see arbitrary cruelty as a non-partisan, non-factional thing. It's all over what's left of our political system. The CARES Act should make that completely plain.

Today, I was in a livestream chat for the Jimmy Dore Show, and I got into an argument with a fella over Trump being banned from Twitter. He said, "I'm not going to live in fear because another man was disciplined for his bad behavior." I considered bringing up Pastor Niemoller, and decided against it, mainly because I wanted to talk about the fella's choice of words. "Another man"--it could never be this fella from the livestream. Nothing like that would *ever* happen to him. And "disciplined for bad behavior" is so paternalistic that I had to call it out. It sounds like Jack Dorsey is the dad and he spanked Trump and sent him to his room without supper. That's where we're going with this: to the land of paternalism, infantilization, tribalism, and an uncritical eternal now. Never mind what might happen in the future, to other people (it's always gonna happen to other people, never to you); never mind legal precedent, cultural assumptions, our ideas of normality; to hell with the Overton Window. To hell with our traditional moral principles too. They're luxury items. And after all, nobody who matters will ever be hurt by these precedents. Sha-la-la let's live for today. Stick it to the bastard.

Last week I made a certain argument about the Twitter banning, saying that, while I distrusted both Twitter as an organization and Jack Dorsey as a person (telecom billionaires are not people I tend to trust), I still thought Trump was not protected by free speech in this case, because incitement to violence against the government was, culturally, not considered to be a valid form of free speech (along with shouting Fire! in a crowded theater and compromising a criminal investigation). I was assuming that, of course, the Tweets that caused Trump's Twitter ban, did incite to violence, because Trump had said such horrible things on Twitter before (including a really dangerous Tweet taunting North Korea about their inferior nuclear stockpile). I just figured he'd done it again. Without checking.

So I'm at fault too. Never, never, never put forth an opinion on what you haven't read, was drilled into me when I was being trained as a scholar. That's like the ABCs of scholarship. And look what I just did. I assumed Trump had been a bastard and abused free speech because, well, he'd done it before.

Little did I know that, in *this* case, Twitter had decided to smack Trump, not for another dangerous misuse of free speech, but for something which amounted to political boilerplate. With one exception, Trump's two tweets, for which he was banned, constitute the same speech every politician makes to his supporters when losing a political race. This isn't the end for us. It's not our day, but our day will come. The fight goes on. Etc.

The only exception is Trump stating he will not attend the inauguration, which some are taking as a message that it's safe to attack the inauguration, because he won't be there. There may or may not be people interpreting Trump's words in that way, but saying that you're not going to attend an event, even the inauguration, is not an incitement to violence. Even Twitter says that they are basing their decision largely on how the Tweets are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter.

So now we decide whether or not someone should be silenced based on how we think someone somewhere might interpret their words. Or, put another way, anybody can be silenced for saying anything, as long as we can find--or create--some evidence that somebody somewhere might take their words as an inspiration to violence. What a marvelous shift of the Overton window this is. Essentially, there is no free speech.

So even I've been affected by all this. I abandoned my training and the ethics that came with it, and didn't check on what was actually said. Because Trump.

Well, at least I saw and acknowledged my error. And I will not be taking anything for granted from here on out.

"So who's broadcasting?"
"No one. 203 meters on the medium waveband is silent for the first time."
"Well, excuse my language, but fuck that sideways, sir."

Still broadcasting.

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lotlizard's picture

the birthday of Walter Rollin Brooks, the author of the Freddy the Pig series.

http://freddythepig.com/freddy-pig-books/freddy-books-by-michael-cart/wa...

And:
Have to share this item about Svanholm again . . . the kind of “pirate radio ship” (intentional community) it would have been nice to have set sail with, especially after Stephen Gaskin and The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, hit rough waters and almost sank. Tucked away in the Danish countryside, far from the madness, out of the firing line . . .

http://www.ohmynews.com/NWS_Web/Series/series_premium_pg.aspx?CNTN_CD=A0...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Big Tech and the Democratic party are leading America to a fascist future

And (PDF) a vision of the politically-correct future of science? “Mathematx” and ethnomathematics

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED581384.pdf

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

I think I'd like that. But then I contemplate actually sharing 80% of my income with a community of people, and I think: "Man, I'd have to trust those people, and that community *a lot*." That's the trouble. After many attempts to form communities, my trust is a bit damaged.

Really glad to have this place, though!

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

this descent into fascism are so often the same people who deny the existence of systematic racism.

That's what happens when the left, what there is of it, signs on with authoritarian corporatist shitheads. The only people left to speak against authoritarian shitheads are right-wingers, many of whom harbor dumbass ideas like the notion that the United States is not, arguably, a racist prison camp.

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14 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
dying for, even if your own family is literally locked up under armed guard inside a small racist prison camp, off in the desert inside the big racist prison camp that is your own country, when she happens to be locked in a world war with some of the globe’s other racist prison camps which, she claims and you have no reason to doubt her, are even worse racist prison camps than she is.

http://the442.org/

When you’re both East Asian and American (and maybe indigenous too), things can get . . . complicated.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

tenor_1.gif

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

dumbass ideas like the notion that the United States is not, arguably, a racist prison camp.

Maybe you could clue Candace Owens in on the subject - she just doesn't seem to get it.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Blue Republic

but if you need me to provide proof that black people are murdered by racist police officers and debate that question, the most I'm going to do is provide a link.

Here you go. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793

The highest levels of inequality in mortality risk are experienced by black men. Black men are about 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police over the life course than are white men. Black women are about 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police than are white women.

I'm afraid I don't really have the psychological wherewithal to debate whether or not systemic, organized racism is part of the United States. Like the parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, it is present, measurable, and has dreadful effects.

And I'm not impressed by the skin color of Candace Owens or any particular person, whether they're supporting Hillary Clinton, AOC, President Trump, BLM, or anything else. The value of a position is not determined by the skin color of its adherent. Statements are either based on fact, or not.

"Shake hands," said Wimsey. "Now we have found common ground to stand on. Establish the facts, no matter what comes of it."

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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6 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Dawn's Meta's picture

I could have.

Not sure how not to be discouraged.

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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.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dawn's Meta

Being an actual independent anti-authoritarian leftist is a lonely road indeed.

Glad to have your company.

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12 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Raggedy Ann's picture

The democratic party will be under the Clintonian influence until 2024. In the interim, a transformation will occur. Not without pain and suffering. Hopefully, that butterfly will emerge out of this.

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Raggedy Ann

I hope so too.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

wendy davis's picture

on trump's free speech issue is laudable, it's not possible to be aware of everything, as in the tweets that got him deplatformed, imo.

i'll add two tweets that hover around 10 on a scale of 1-10 conspiracy derangement syndrome:

source.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

like the 9/11 commission, they won't find any wrongdoing anyway.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

if i had time, i'd go dig up a relevant tweet of iranian FM zarif's jut after thug pompeo had called the houthis in yemen 'terrorists' (plus cuba), but this outgoing admin loves and supports KSA and zionist israel.

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

@JZarif Jan 12

From designating Cuba to fictitious Iran "declassifications” and AQ claims, Mr. “we lie, cheat, steal" [pompeo as head of the CIA] is pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies.

No one is fooled. All 9/11 terrorists came from @SecPompeo's favorite ME destinations; NONE from Iran.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

conflate 9/11 with the Iranian hostage crisis?

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

I'll let Phil Ochs respond for me:

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in.

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6 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  

But that Ashli b—h got what was coming
She got what she asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

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wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

but he said it right, lol.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

"10 degrees to the left of center in good times. 10 degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally."

For those who don't know, Phil Ochs was a socialist. He would not be on the side of Trump and the Proud Boys any more than I am. But authoritarianism is authoritarianism, and it doesn't matter if it comes with a blue, liberal wrapper.

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11 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

thank you. sadly, it strikes me that the Ds are more fascist in their reactionary Dec.6 authoritarianism than the Rs.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis

and the people in his two administrations does make it seem that way. But I never forget where all this started. This shit started with the dregs of the second Nixon administration inventing neo-conservatism. And the death blow for the Republic happened under George W. Bush. The Republicans are guilty as hell. It's just that the guilty ones are, mostly, hiding behind Clinton Democrats right now, because their reputations were destroyed by how much W fucked up.

Trump /trəmp/
Noun
A device for repairing the reputations of criminals.

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8 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Lookout's picture

Wow, Wendy's comment above about the militarist dims reporting on the neighbors is sure reminiscent of McCarthyism.

I agree Trump's tweets were not worthy of censure. And as I wrote Sunday, I think the impeachment is counter productive too. Glenn and Chris lay out the resulting censorship threat very well in this conversation. The 1 min lead in is worth it if you don't have the 25 min for the whole clip. Very similar to your theme today CStMS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt9fSHBKhbM

Chris Hedges talks to Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald about the incoming Biden administration and what it will mean for a country in crisis, ravaged by a pandemic it cannot control, hostage to corporate power and bifurcated into warring factions.

Who were the capitol invaders? An interesting mix of folks it seems. about 7 min

Went to trade day this AM and heard our local pharmacy is getting in 500 doses of the moderna vaccine. I just signed us both up when I got home. We know several folks (mostly nurses) who have had it (some with both doses). I'm ready to get back toward normal...I'm tired of not getting together for music sessions, parties, and gatherings in general. We are social creatures and we're pushing almost a year of isolation.

Well thanks for the OT. Jimmy turned me on the Trump tweets which brought on censure 'cause I don't go in the twittersphere.

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

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

two minutes at all any longer, so i'll go with a few relevant thoughts from ajamu baraka on my new diary.

@ajamubaraka Jan 14

Do you think it might be a little dangerous & even irresponsible implying that 75 million people who voted for Trump are Nazis? That seems to be the new line from right-wing neoliberal media even as they say the people shouldn't worry because Biden will bring people together!

@ajamubaraka Jan 14

Are the democrats intentionally attempting to further inflame the 75 million with this impeachment that voted for Trump with many believing that the election was "stolen"? Is this a way to continue to use Trump to divert from the ongoing & deepening capitalist crisis?

@ajamubaraka Jan 11

Question for "leftists" celebrating political crackdown on Trump supporters: since it's clear the state is using Jan 6th to criminalize a whole movement as insurrectionists who opposed neoliberal elite, what does that make us who opposed the criminality of neoliberal capitalism?

@ajamubaraka Jan 9

What many in the U.S. are afraid to admit or understand is that since Jan 6th the victorious neoliberal faction of capital has decided that it will resort to political repression to solve the legitimation crisis that produced Trump. The result? More repression for all of us.

and i'd added this from biden's campaign website on his 'domestic terrorism plan' provided by the aclu's Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Project, and Manar Waheed, ACLU senior legislative and advocacy counsel.

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5 users have voted.

You're so right that the capitol riot was blue 9/11. In the time since, I've seen people who could at least listen to reason and talk some sense just shut that part down entirely. Something happened that offended their very being and, most importantly, shook their sense of security to the core. So now, SOMEONE MUST PAY! Rather than looking at the reality of the situation and examining what really happened, what led to this moment, what would actually make things better, etc., the vindictive, quick fixes are being applauded. There's a lot of us vs. them mentality.

The one that really got me was the story about the teenaged daughter outing her family. Friends who I respect applauded this as a good thing. I couldn't help see this as the exact thing that occurs under fascism and it really made me ill, especially after I discovered the enterprising teen set up a Go Fund Me to pay for her college off this. Oh, and did I mention she's gay and supports BLM (which is apparently the cause of her family beef)? Could there be a more "now" snapshot of this country than that?

The thing that really hit me was getting into a "didja hear about..." conversation with lefty friends where they would bring up all these things that I should be outraged about, some of which might even be true, but most seeming really trivial. Listening to these things, I just kept trying to figure out how any of this was anything other than a distraction.

But the kicker was I realized this was a mirror image of the kind of conversations I'd have with my Fox news watching parents. All these things, mostly silly or insignificant, and which may or may not be true, but I guess I'm supposed to share in their outrage over whatever it was. Not like we can do anything about it anyway, but it diverts attention from the real issues.

And that's what I see. Frankly Harris/Biden couldn't have asked for a bigger gift than what happened at the capitol. It's going to grant their administration legitimacy it doesn't deserve and protection from criticism it shouldn't have.

I'm trying hard to only focus on the stuff I have control over. I'm sure my posts here have been on a downer lately, but I just can't see all this stuff as anything more than a circus that getting upset about won't change.

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Just another Bozo on the bus.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

who got awarded the Iron Cross, second class, for turning in her father to the state:

Except that, of course, in the Star Trek episode, Daris was an undercover member of the resistance, and her father orchestrated the whole thing to get her further inside the party.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

Now the Star Trek episode "Patterns of Force," in which a Federation historian and cultural observer decides it would be a good idea to model the planet he's observing on Nazi Germany, is "age-restricted." I guess we can't watch what people in the sixties said about Nazi Germany in their fiction. It might inspire wrong thinking.

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9 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

edg's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

If you take the Capitol Riot as a spontaneous isolated incident free of any Trump contribution, it's easy to argue that "someone must pay" is an extreme reaction. After all, stopping the Constitutional process of confirming the president that 81 million Americans voted for is no big deal, amirite?

If you add in the previous 2 months of Election Trutherism, with claims that Black people are criminal liars who steal elections from Dear Leader Trump, it becomes a bit less extreme. The meme that good ol' White folks living out in the country are beyond reproach while "the coloreds" living in librul cities are welfare-scamming murderous thugs begins to smell a bit.

If you toss in 8 months of calling every peaceful George Floyd protest a riot and calling BLM a terrorist organization and claiming that White anarchists like Antifa are actually Black hoodlums wearing whiteface, the stench of rot begins to overwhelm.

If you then stir in the death of 400,000 Americans from "the CCP flu", deaths contributed to mightily by a president and his supporters who believe being asked to wear a mask is equivalent to being loaded on a train and sent to Auschwitz, and who believe Covid is a fake disease cooked up by commie libruls seeking to deny His Lordship Trump a 2nd term, the rotting corpse is now climbing out of its grave and stumbling toward you.

Should someone pay? Yes. Should the payment be condemned because out of 35,000 tweets, Twitter banned Trump on 2 somewhat less objectionable tweets? Apparently.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@edg

tweets, I would be on their side--with the caveat that I don't think the private sector should be the arbiters of any of this, but we are where we are, the private sector controls our public conversations, and we have to deal with that reality. Anyway, Twitter chose not to ban Trump for saying something that could have gotten us into a nuclear war. They chose to ban him for words that are standard political boilerplate for a politician who just lost an election. And why? Because if someone's ability to speak and be heard depends on whether or not someone somewhere might interpret their words as incitement to violence, then whoever's in authority--public or private--can censor anything, anywhere, anytime. Last week it was Trump. One of these days, it will probably be this site.

Probably someone could take my comment about Thunderclap Newman as "an incitement to violence" because it discusses violent uprising against the government, even though my point is that such violence is a very bad, and a very stupid, idea.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

edg's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

"Kill the commie bastards!"
"Burn the Capitol building!"
"Hang all news reporters!"
"Rape and pillage librul cities!"
"I like puppies and butterflies!"

You're essentially saying the 5th sentence outweighs the previous 4 and if Twitter didn't suspend the person writing 1 thru 4, it can't suspend them on 5. In other words, because Trump was chastened after the Jan 6th riot, everything he said before it should be ignored. Here are some of Trump's tweets from Jan 5th and 6th. How could people who believe Trump not riot and rampage given the circumstances he claims?

Jan 6th 2021 - 6:01:04 PM EST These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!

Jan 6th 2021 - 2:24:22 PM EST Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!

Jan 6th 2021 - 9:15:07 AM EST The States want to redo their votes. They found out they voted on a FRAUD. Legislatures never approved. Let them do it. BE STRONG!

Jan 5th 2021 - 5:05:56 PM EST Washington is being inundated with people who don’t want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened Radical Left Democrats. Our Country has had enough, they won’t take it anymore!

Jan 5th 2021 - 9:50:49 AM EST Pleased to announce that @KLoeffler & @sendavidperdue have just joined our great #StopTheSteal group of Senators. They will fight the ridiculous Electoral College Certification of Biden. How do you certify numbers that have now proven to be wrong and, in many cases, fraudulent!

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4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@edg

I said that their choice to twiddle their thumbs while he said dangerous shit for months shows that they don't actually give two shits what damage he does.

I said that, had they actually banned him for incitements to violence or the recklessly dangerous dick-measuring he did with North Korea, they would, arguably, not have been censoring protected speech.

In order to censor free speech--and thus change the norms for how we deal with everyone's speech--they had to censor protected speech. It wouldn't gain them anything if they stuck to the old norms and banned Trump for something that has always been an exception to protected free speech. Which incitement to (specific) violence against the government, and speech that presents a clear danger to public health and safety, have always been.

Therefore, since what they want is to expand their power and move our culture in a more authoritarian direction--not to prevent Trump from doing harm, which they apparently don't give a shit about (see 1)--they waited till he said something that WAS protected speech, banned it, and have a whole lot of Democrats, liberals, progressives, and even some leftists, cheering the ban on.

They've got much of the left cheering for McCarthyism. All they had to do is put a revolting and extremely right-wing guy front and center, and do it to him, and they got the left to cheer on censorship like a Bush Republican cheering for indefinite detention because it helps us get the terrorists.

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

snoopydawg's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

and goes to the crux of the problem.

I said that their choice to twiddle their thumbs while he said dangerous shit for months shows that they don't actually give two shits what damage he does.

When Trump got away with threatening to nuke N. Korea that set the precedent for how Trump would be handled. He also threatened Syria more than once if they dare to 'use' chemical weapons. That they made the decision on his speech is what people should be upset about. And who gives a F if they are private organizations? It is still Censorship.

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4 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

lotlizard's picture

Call out the instigators
Because there’s something in the air
    We’ve got to get together sooner or later
    Because the revolution’s here
    And you know it’s right
    And you know that it’s right
    We have got to get it together
    We have got to get it together now

Lock up the streets and houses
Because there’s something in the air
    We’ve got to . . .

Hand out the arms and ammo
We’re going to blast our way through here

    We’ve got to . . .

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7 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

The fact is, we can't call out the instigators--those of us who are still using our reason--because any actual movement of the people would be stopped by the overwhelming distance between the weapons tech available to the elites and the weapons tech available to ordinary people. That's what the far right doesn't understand, and why they do stupid shit like this, shit that would look ridiculous to any actual revolutionary. What's not ridiculous is that people got hurt and killed. But it *is* ridiculous to think that Stop the Steal could get away with anything if the security state didn't want them to. They never want left-wing populists to get away with anything, so it would be beyond pointless, it would be playing into their hands, to rise up in violence against them.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/33339/x-37b-space-planes-microwave...

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7 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Targeted assassinations.

DO NOT put on a show. DO NOT attack "The Government(TM)". Above all, DO NOT cause collateral damage.

Instead:

Put all this research we're so good at doing to actual use, and go after a handful of individuals of the sort who AVOID the public eye, and are inevitably despised when exposed. The real movers and shakers (at least, many of the key figures) probably don't even have particularly strong security - they pass as "everyday people". Go after the right people - not the plantation reeves in Washington, but the "private sector" suits, Deep State psychopaths, and Rich-Kids-Of-Instagram-types who are the only ones actually happy with the system - and they couldn't raise alarm bells without giving away the game.

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3 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

is likely to increase the chances of the site being taken down, sooner rather than later.

Also, I have no inclination to assassination, and no sense that I have the resources, knowledge, connections or skills to do it well if I had the inclination.

You are correct that those who do want to use violence against the government--and other elites--would be well advised to stop doing stupid showy shit like the Capitol Siege.

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9 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ...but WTH else are we supposed to do?

The moral argument against has long-since become a cruel self-parody, the legal argument is even shoddier (in a world of unmitigated "might makes right", guys like Osama can reasonably be considered heroes), and it stands to reason that the more spaghttified society becomes, the more it dark-horses all other alternatives.

I don't have those skills, either, but you'd think there's a 21st-Century John Brown/Joan of Arc out there somewhere (and if there truly isn't, you really have to wonder what's changed)...but one thing I do know is that if I am not free to think rationally and speak truthfully, then I am being murdered. You said it yourself: These are torturers and bullies, and if they haven't already managed to turn the whole world into Abu Ghraib, it's obviously what they're aiming for. At what point can we claim self-defense?

I will not consent to being reduced to a lobotomized Fackenheimian Muselmann "living" under the thumb of liars and bullies.

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2 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

in such a way that the elites and their systems (including the media) will acknowledge the rightness of our claim, never.

If you mean, at what point can we claim self-defense in such a way that the majority of the people will acknowledge the rightness of our claim, I'm not sure. Given both Trump's horrendous betrayal of the people re: COVID policy, and the Congress' horrendous betrayal of the people re: the CARES Act, that time should be now. Yet a great many of the people, more than I've ever seen before, are channeling all their rage into partisan channels, or factional ones. The Trump supporters heaping opprobrium on the voters and other ordinary people who don't agree with them. The anti-Trump people (resistance?) doing the same on everyone who won't march in lockstep with *them*. The idea that advocating for one faction or another constitutes defending the Republic (and possibly our lives). Now should have been the time, but the Trump psy-op has been spectacularly successful, although the people proved more resistant to it at first than one might expect (it took a *long* time for a majority to believe in Russiagate, and that was with the media saturating the airwaves with it). But, after enough horrible things that hurt and terrify people, most Americans appear to have chucked everything except the most basic impulses.

That doesn't mean we can't do anything--though I admit that COVID has really thrown a wrench into my ideas. It's hard to do anything as a populist under these conditions. But the sorts of things we could, and should, do have to do with using the resources we still have to protect ourselves and build resilient spaces for the kinds of lives we want to lead and the kinds of words we want to use.

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2 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal This is really all that matters.

"Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth."
― Mahatma Gandhi

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2 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  

Though your brother’s bound and gagged
And they’ve chained him to a chair
Won’t you please come to the Capitol
Just to sing

In a land that’s known as freedom
How can such a thing be fair
Won’t you please come to the Capitol
For the help that we can bring

We can change the world
Re-arrange the world
It’s dying … to get better

Politicians, sit yourself down
There’s nothing for you here
Won’t you please come to the Capitol
For a ride

Don’t ask Jack to help you
’Cause he'll turn the other ear
Won’t you please come to the Capitol
Or else join the other side

We can change the world
Re-arrange the world
It’s dying … if you believe in justice
It’s dying … and if you believe in freedom
It’s dying … let a man live his own life
It’s dying … rules and regulations, who needs them
Open up the door

Somehow people must be free
I hope the day comes soon
Won’t you please come to the Capitol
Show your face

From the bottom of the ocean
To the mountains on the moon
Won’t you please come to the Capitol
No one else can take your place

Oh, wait, they sang “Chicago” instead of “the Capitol” … but you get the idea.

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7 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

Julian Assange, but also speaks about the left(Biden) bringing us censorship.

If your idea, arguement is correct people will follow, that's what scares tptb

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9 users have voted.

Joementia says to protesters no looting, just peaceful protests or IOW's

"I can excuse extrajudical murder, but property damage is a step too far."

NO MORE WAR

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ggersh

I think it would be a good idea if he did that, though I'm not entirely sure; seems to me that Assange's enemies would find a way to reverse it, because Trump.

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2 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

All I can think to add: There's going to be a shitload of National Guard at the Inauguration (https://www.theonion.com/national-guard-may-deploy-up-to-20-000-troops-t...), because of course - but if they can't rely on whoever was guarding the Capitol before, WTF makes them think they can trust the National Guard???

Especially since your typical National Guardsmen are supposedly THESE people:

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5 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

is someone who couldn't afford to go to college.

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5 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

the security state has stopped screwing around for now, and that nothing terrible will happen. Please God.

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3 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

Next week I will probably go back to not reporting on/discussing current events. But I felt that, since I had made an error last week--dammit--it was my responsibility to retract it.

The ugliness of NOT banning Trump for his stupid statement about how North Korea had a smaller nuclear button than he did--which probably did endanger the country--and then banning him on the way out for some political boilerplate--the ugliness of that is beyond description. No interest in actually stopping Trump from doing damage at all. Just a power grab.

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7 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

lotlizard's picture

I wonder if anyone ever followed up with environmental lead-pollution testing across leeward Oahu and anywhere else the smoke went.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/battery-fires-pose-new-risks-...

What happens when 12,000 [lead-acid] batteries burn?

The stubborn blaze burned for more than 13 hours and continued to smolder after 36 hours, spewing gray smoke and forcing the wind turbines to shut down. Though there were no injuries reported, the operators wrote off the entire battery system.

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4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

for the Phil Ochs, a longtime favorite, especially for that song, which was very popular in my youth among those identified as "radical" by the self-styled liberals of the day.

As to this bit:

So now we decide whether or not someone should be silenced based on how we think someone somewhere might interpret their words.

Existing court doctrine would tend toward no, but could be twisted into that pretzel. A doctrine that can be summarized as you can not be held to be inciting, no matter what you say, unless you have listeners who could act on it and whom you believe will act on it could be twisted that way if somebody worked hard enough at it, even though that would be illogical horseshit. Intellectually, it is not on the author or speaker to guess what the reader or listener's take might be. I think it may have been Boswell who said "I write, let the reader read". I can't begin to contemplate enumerating the number of times I've found myself telling some commenter on line "any time you feel like addressing what I actually said, get in touch, I don't respond to creative reading", or words to that effect.

I do fear a return to McCarthyism, and the foundation of ratting tohers out was been well established for some time now via incessant DHS propaganda such as "If you see something, say something". The counter, I believe is the old unofficial Berkeley motto: "Now matter how bad it gets, never call the cops, they always make it worse".

be well and have a good one

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8 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

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1 user has voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

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8 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@MrWebster

"Wrong in principle"

"Tactically idiotic"

Yeah, I agree with both of those statements.

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2 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver