I am really annoyed at the beatification of AOC

AOC = Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I deeply resent the coverage which pretends that it is she who invented the Green New Deal, that is it she who first touted higher taxes on the rich.

The flea-circus faux socialist website, Jacobin, has not one, but two articles today fawning over the completely phony AOC. I call her completely phony because she went out of her way to praise John McCain, because the bartender meme is a complete fraud - she went to BU and interned for Teddy Kennedy. It seems that this callow thirty year old is being annointed by the fake left wing press (The Nation, Huff Post, Jacobin, etc.) as a genuine voice from the socialist left.

The two articles on Jacobin today are:

Hope and Dread in 2019, which places AOC's very existence as the very first of "13 points of hope". The second point of hope is the Green New Deal, which is portrayed as springing full-born from the brow of Zeus, I mean from the brow of AOC. Gag me with a spoon. The Green New Deal has been around for over a decade. The fawning over this phony woman is sickening.

The other article is This Is How We Do It. Its leadin paragraph is:

Mainstream politicians and media are losing their minds over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They're terrified of how her approach could transform American politics.

It sure looks like AOC is going to be the next sheepdog for the leftwing of the Democratic Party, and the obvious Hispanic Woman (pardon me for not using the IdPol "Latinex" word.) lightning rod of the nativist right(which, of course, guarantees her even more publicity). The mainstream media and the fake leftwing media are pulling out all the stops to put this "Obama in a dress" into the public's mind as the spokes-fraud for the "left". Her guaranteed-to-fail opposition to Nancy Pelosi stunt is tolerated by TPTB both because it couldn't possibly succeed and to give her more fake left cred.

The idea here is to "suck up all the oxygen" from anyone on the genuine left, and let this proven phony play sheepdog. I continue to be nauseated. Your mileage may vary.

Cue the obligatory defense of AOC by suckers.

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Bollox Ref's picture

Latest MSM shiny object. 'Let's get hip with the kids.'

And you're right. All these 'new ideas' have been put forward (and ignored) for years.

And she's in no position to do anything about any of them.

Same thing with Robert O'Rourke. Our presidential saviour (apparently), despite information revealing otherwise. And losing....

(Edited)

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26 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

arendt's picture

@Bollox Ref

The saintly Beto (married to a billionaire's daughter), and the feisty Latina.

All kinds of sheepdogs in the show. Too bad real lefties, like Dennis Kucinich, have long since been slandered, ignored, and kneecapped (Dennis was redistricted into a fight with Ukronazi lover, Marci Kaptur).

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt

to do the things she is good for, like standing up for her constituents who were being thrown out of their houses by non-Nazi fascists (at least, I think most of the banker/DC alliance aren't Nazis.)

Not surprised if she's in on the Ukrainian Nazi thing, though; that seems to be de rigeur for continuing in the Democratic party.

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6 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

arendt's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

As I've recounted before, when the CIA hired the Nazi spymaster Reinhard Gehlen, Gehlen turned around and hired the Ukranian Nazi intel shop that he ran during the war. That shop, itself, was staffed the remnants of the White Russian (czarist) intel shop, who hated Russian commies like there was no tomorrow

Just about all of America's intel and opinions about the Soviet Union from this poisoned Ukranian chalice.

Plus, the Ukranian emigre organizations managed to hide lots of ex-concentration camp guards for fifty years. The last of those guys are probably dead; John Demjanjuk died in 2012 at age 91.

The Atlantic Council (who dictates political correctness to Facebook) is run by a Ukranian. The Canadian Foreign Minister's (Chrystia Freeland) grandfather edited a Nazi paper.

The Ukranians are right up there with the Brits, the Israelis, the Saudis, and the Turks in manipulating the US to carry out their policies for them.

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ggersh's picture

@arendt it's a bit off topic but then again

https://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=31966312

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1st staff meeting, 1981

the small orange one governs for his wallet and his base

Raggedy Ann's picture

@ggersh
ggersh. Thanks for posting it.

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Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

gulfgal98's picture

@ggersh What an interesting and informative video!

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

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

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

"politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt

actually somebody who returned to his country from abroad to be a character witness for a Nazi war criminal? I believe calling said criminal a hero?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

phillybluesfan's picture

I am not disturbed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or by Bernie.

She is receiving coverage denied to Bernie ... but lavished on our current President ... during the last primary season.

What does frustrate me to no end?

The UTTER FAILURE of other self identified progressives to rally in support of these two "voices crying in the wilderness"

[reminds me of how not one soul within the Obama administration demonstrated support for Wisconsin citizens during the efforts to resist Walker ... all we heard was stone silence or worse]

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Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets

arendt's picture

@phillybluesfan

The UTTER FAILURE of other self identified progressives to rally in support of these two "voices crying in the wilderness"

First, as a genuine leftist, I do not find her "a voice crying in the wilderness". I find her to be publicized (no such thing as bad publicity) by the corporate media, and beatified by the fake leftists at Jacobin.

Us leftists have been punked so many times (Howard Dean, Obama, Bernie) that the idea of rallying behind some nobody neophyte with zero track record is rather insulting. Maybe we should rally behind someone who has been walking the leftie walk for a couple of decades.

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FunLovingProgressive's picture

@arendt I don't think it's fair to judge her so negatively until she has done something to prove that she is a sheepdog and not sincere in her progressive policies and agenda. So far, she has done a good job of bringing attention to issues of importance to progressives.

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20 users have voted.

Love is my religion.

@FunLovingProgressive
If she deserves it then I will figure that out soon enough. But it isn't time yet.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@FunLovingProgressive

but those who withhold judgement probably wouldn't encourage others to rally behind her, and certainly wouldn't blame those who don't.

Not saying you're doing either, but the point should be made.

And btw, that's one of the three reasons my judgement about AOC has already been made. Any time people are being guilted for their lack of support for a politician, my antennae go up. It's one of the tells for establishment tools.

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9 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

SnappleBC's picture

@FunLovingProgressive Yup, she's definitely high on my list of people I like. So is Bernie for that matter although I'll need to hear some answers on both Russiagate and Israel before I vote or donate to him.

Insofar as AOC, she has self-evidently been an utter pain in the ass to the establishment dems at pretty much every turn. She's been the exact opposite of "obedient". She fights. I want to see more like her not less so yes, I'll encourage her.

Really, it's her, Tulsi, and maybe Bernie among the Democrats. Insofar as anyone else, I vote Green but the party is a disaster from an organizational standpoint and I don't think it's ever going to achieve anything. I think they have resigned themselves to the role of "powerless protester" and don't even think about actually winning any longer. From a post here a few weeks back, they seem to have fallen apart in petty internal politics.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

longtalldrink's picture

@arendt When she supported Nancy for Speaker, calling her the most progressive, she lost me.

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@longtalldrink

my judgement has already been made.

Even if she's absolutely genuine, and not a tool in the slightest, if that's her political methodology, then she is useless except as a means of continuing the status quo.

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13 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

@arendt
Nobody told me about the election.

Does it occur to you that a good deal of the positive attention received by AOC is created by the intensity of conservative attacks on her? Her supporters didn't release the dance video.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@phillybluesfan

Voices in the wilderness don't get corporate media coverage.

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10 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

Centaurea's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal They do if the establishment is trying to co-opt the "voices in the wilderness". It doesn't mean those voices have to go along with the co-opting.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Centaurea

or Leonard Peltier, or Mumia Abu Jamal, or the Standing Rock Sioux.

I'm not saying there's a total blackout on any of these people; there's generally a combination of times of blackout, times of brownout, character attacks, and marginalization (perhaps just another form of character attack).

Black Lives Matter is an interesting case, that is closer to what you're talking about, but they didn't get the kind of coverage Ocasio-Cortez is getting; they basically were allowed on TV to the extent that they helped Hillary Clinton's campaign smear Bernie. In a weird way, BLM was allowed coverage so that Bernie could be shut down. But when it came to protesters lying down in traffic, or confronting Clinton about her racism, the media went back to its blackout/brownout/character attacks/marginalization formula.

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5 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

Raggedy Ann's picture

is speaking out for the people. We need a voice, multiple voices. If she is one of the anointed, I’m willing to give her a chance. We need change - I believe we are all in agreement - she might be that change agent, I don’t know, but it’s better than only focusing on Herr Drumpf instead of the needs of the American people.

She just got there - the shit-show is just starting. I’m not going to rush to judgment.

The 2020 PE is starting, I’m not going to rush to judgment.

Many things are coming down the pike.

We are starting a new chapter, let’s stay active but let’s give it a chance to get going. The government is shut down. There are lots of back door deals taking place. AOC is not a player in that game, but, IMHO, we need voices out there pushing our agenda.

I’m not very eloquent but I feel strongly. Something’s gotta give. I’m willing to give these folks a chance.
Pleasantry

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Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

arendt's picture

@Raggedy Ann

We need a voice, multiple voices. If she is one of the anointed, I’m willing to give her a chance.

My point is that AOC is an "annointed" sheepdog. Just like Obama, who made leftwing noises but governed to the right, my fear is that the publicity given to AOC is just a replay of Obama. The fact that TPTB are willing to give her airtime, when they buried and slandered the pre-sellout Bernie, makes me deeply suspicious that she is anything more than the latest sheepdog.

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19 users have voted.

@arendt

learned to manipulate the media, to the point where people criticized him as a "media freak". But he got his point exposed to millions who wouldn't be reached by leaflets, manifestos, and the underground press. He had a major impact on drawing people into activity. So there's a chance that she can dance with the media and stay a step ahead.

But Abbie never ran for office. He went underground, instead.

She'll probably wind up going along to get along, hopefully later than sooner. And it's galling that "prog dems" adopt the Green New Deal slogan after Greens truly "cried it in the wilderness" for many years, the same Greens who were blamed as spoilers by the donorcrats, the same Greens who wanted to investigate the election results on their dime while the donorcrats said "oh well". (EVERY election should be secured and double-checked, it's just too easy to finagle. But that would cost almost as much a fighter-bomber or a section of Wall. Just to put priorities in perspective. Democracy=$)

We need symbols. The pipeline struggle was a powerful image in the media, but that's exhausted, by winter, treachery, and military force. The symbol of a dancing, gleeful AOC is very powerful, reminds me of Emma Goldman. Can we use that image ala Abbie, or do we have to concede the ground to the corps?

I keep hoping. Stupid me.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge
I get that you thought AH did something useful. I disagree.

He was the kind of leftist that gave leftism a bad name. He had been a violent clown since high school. He was an anarchist. He was a caricature of a leftist that tarred the rest of the left with his stupid hijinks. IMHO, every time someone brings him up in a discussion of the 60s, the left's history is further blackened.

The fact that he took his own life at a young age is more evidence that he wasn't very stable. Just someone capable of getting a lot of attention by acting out. He was "an un-hot mess".

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@arendt

They show their clay feet, soonest for celebrities. Like rock stars. But he drew in a lot of people who were non-political, and the tactic he popularized of street/guerilla theater was useful.

I don't want to hijack the thread over people long-gone. My point is that the media can be manipulated by being entertaining (yeah, help them sell toothpaste, even), and we need to break through the screen wall. Not many people read Hedges or any left theorist, but they're the ones we need to grab.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@pindar's revenge Abbie Hoffman was a clown. He also provoked the government into violent reaction against a collection of clowns. All the peaceful demonstrations in the world did about what the Pink Pussy Hat brigade did. Nothing. If the Yellow Vests did not forcefully make their point, the whole demonstration would end up as a walk in the park and fade away.

That said, if what the Yippees or SDS did today they'd prob. be languishing away in some hole charged as domestic terrorists.

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@Snode

Is the enormous surveillance capability. Cameras in most public spaces, portable surveillance beepers in every pocket, planes flying over cities and tracking individual movements. And watching and recording what's said on the internet. Even mildly illegal activities such as spray-painting will be recorded and prosecuted.

So action is constrained by:
the increased legal power (Patriot Act) and force-capability (hardware and training) of the state
ubiquitous surveillance
the indoctrination of fantasy-land: tv tropes in everyone's head, the distractions of screen culture, the control and management of the terms of discussion, cooptation by sheepdogs.

So activists will need to avoid jail and bullets and confuse surveillance. But the hardest and first task will be to break through all those rare-earth screens and take back the conversation. Imagination and creative "gorilla" theater is needed.

But time is short. We're knee-deep in the Big Muddy.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge

Its also true that 1960s America was "another country", a completely different society. A society where the kind of essentially harmless street theater of AH could arouse violent emotions and violent reactions. Today, it would take ten monks self immolating in front of the SCOTUS to generate such reactions.

I accept your rebuttal to the idea of street demonstrations - that such demonstrators will be surveilled and sabotaged, and if necessary arrested, tried, and jailed for exercising their right to protest.

Maybe its time to start preparing for the coming unrest/clampdown that the continued domination by TPTB is bound to provoke whent the economic or military shit we have been getting away with for decades finally hits the fan. The Yellow Vests (not their kindly treatment by the sympathetic French police) are a canary in a coal mine for working and former middle class dissent.

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@arendt

I'm pointing out the increased challenges, and the need for creative tactics. I was in a small tame demo, e.g., where a camera crew kept the lens on me until I moved my sign and exposed my face, then they moved on. Note that many cities are making masks illegal. However, recent mass demos like the climate march made really powerful images of the streets filled and overflowing. The floats were photogenic; that's one of the ways to capture the screens. There is some safety in numbers - as opposed to the smaller numbers of inurination counter-demonstrators who were imprisoned on major felonies. (As I recall a Nam-era saying: it's just as effective to arrest and get people off the street as to convict them.) Organization has succeeded in huge turnouts to rival and exceed the Mobe and Mayday. But the Power gleefully ignored it. The positive effect was for people to meet and see their numbers, a positive feedback loop which should continue.

I'm intensely skeptical of Cortez, but the attention she draws shows that people are ready for a radical message -- even if she herself disappoints us. Is there a way to hijack that aura? People want and need heroes.

Cooptation of mass marches is happening. The corps have bought the science march. Their theme last year was to promote GMO (which will only result in crops becoming corporate intellectual property). And look at the pink hats.

I haven't studied the differences, but I'd lay money that the "progressive" version of the green new deal is a whiter shade of pale compared to the original Green proposals.

Sorry,I'm wandering. Let me return to the point that we need powerful symbols to seize back the lenses. Yes, Cortez is being handled, but consider that it proves how badly people want to believe in change. Even after Obama.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@pindar's revenge

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is 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

@pindar's revenge

that you're saying here. I just don't connect those things to politicians.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is 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

To reflect back to the topic, I say that the popularity of Cortez and other newbies reflects the fact that people are thirsty for heroes and symbols. This is being exploited by Power for Power purposes. Can we exploit this thirst ourselves for the people, hijack the attention for constructive purposes?

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge

people are thirsty for heroes and symbols. This is being exploited by Power for Power purposes.

TPTB wave around people like AOC the way a matador waves his cape at the bull. Until people just, en masse, tune out the corporate media, the Twitterverse, and Facebook, such cape waving will be exploitable.

Most people haven't got the time or the intellectual distance to observe the completely artificial environment that is today's media world. They never put together that Bezos bought the WaPo, and three months later got a CIA contract worth twice the purchase price. If some conspiracy movie ever registered with them, they probably think no farther into CT than some bad apple manipulating the system. I doubt many folks have a strong grip on how completely corrupt the "mighty Wurlitzer" is and has been for over 60 years.

That's why people (perhaps it is more a Western than an Eastern failing) can be manipulated with symbols.

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Pricknick's picture

@arendt
how good it actually makes one feel to cut these things.
It's because most people are addicted to simple, shiny things that they can all talk about.
Excellent comment by the way.

Until people just, en masse, tune out the corporate media, the Twitterverse, and Facebook, such cape waving will be exploitable.

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4 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick

"Until people just, en masse, tune out the corporate media, the Twitterverse, and Facebook, such cape waving will be exploitable. " True.

I just can't see that happening. I'd like to see it. Somewhere I said something about it will take a massive power failure on the order of Puerto Rico after Maria to get people to take the Seashells out of their ears and put away their phones. Silence is beautiful.* To get people to do it voluntarily would take something similar in intensity and fervor to a sweeping religious revival, imo. So I guess this is the material and environment we'll have to learn to use, somehow, without surrendering to the shallowness it entails.

On a similar thought, one of the most ominous developments I've seen is the disappearance of the small weekly free papers. The great advantage of paper is that it's a physical object you can leave lying around for anybody to pick up. It's not confined to a little chamber of the self-selected, the way on-line fora tend to be. And sometimes they would do good investigative journalism of the sort that's quickly disappearing. More and more, news columns are just strings of farts, er, tweets. If I ever hit the lotto, I'd reopen a weekly.

*Again Robinson Jeffers, from a poem about the coastal blackouts during WWII ("Dawn Patrol"?):
Darkness and silence.
The two eyes that see God.
Great, staring eyes.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@pindar's revenge

But the problem with that is twofold: One, we've lost many of the public spaces where people would have picked such a thing up, in particular local businesses and community centers; two, people now have an extraordinary disdain for anything that partakes of older technologies (paper). You should see the contempt that gets expressed even for continuing to want hard copy. It's of the same variety that pro-GMO folks level at anti-GMO folks: you are Luddites, you are throwbacks, you are conservatives or fools. Being Against Progress puts one on the wrong side of most Americans, and that's without the addiction factor.

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1 user has voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is 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

had permanent paid staff, columnists, reporters, advertisers, printing arrangements, a solid schedule, press credentials, a distribution system including corner boxes. It takes that amount of infrastructure (and money) to create a local institution. I remember the 'zines, but they addressed a much different function. The weeklies created a sense of local community that the corporate megapapers have lost.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge

one of the most ominous developments I've seen is the disappearance of the small weekly free papers.

The right always has money for its anti-government propaganda. My local right wing rag, "The Patriot" is full of stories of government corruption, favoritism for minorities, assaults on gun rights, etc.

Even though I have lived all my life in intellectual enclaves like Cambridge, MA, left wing free newspapers were few and far between. One of the biggest disappointments of Cambridge was that the "left" scene was mostly about coffeehouses and music, not politics.

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@arendt
but they helped connect the community in the way that national-scale media doesn't. Sometimes they'd do digging on local police forces, local companies, etc - local issues. They were in streetcorner boxes and libraries, truly public spaces. I used to sneer at our local one, with all the racy ads and trendy articles, but I dearly miss it now.

The right wing freebies are subsidized by the Power, so they're not going anywhere. It's similar to the right taking over talk radio post Reagan.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt

to be prone to be manipulated by symbols, because we tend to think in symbols. That said, there's no point in deliberately, repeatedly drinking from a poisoned well. Or should I say a well spiked with roofies.

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

divineorder's picture

@pindar's revenge Green New Deal being promoted by the Newbies. They are saying that the corporate leadership aren't making it happen, so the Greens are ready to step in.

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15 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

arendt's picture

@divineorder

Its sorta presumptuous on your part to conjure Stein support for AOC out of nothing.

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divineorder's picture

@arendt I was responding only about AOC.

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6 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

arendt's picture

@divineorder

But the entire thread is about AOC. Why would I not assume that what you posted was in reference to AOC?

I can accept you didn't mean it that way. But how am I supposed to get that given the minimal context you supplied?

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divineorder's picture

@arendt

mine was in reply to

@pindar's revenge .

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

arendt's picture

@divineorder

I ran this thread for a day and a half, checking back at least once an hour. After a while, just finding the new comments became a pain. If its not a direct response to one of my comments, I have to scroll through the entire list of comments. If the comments spill onto a second page, clicking to that page cancels the "New" tag for comments on the second page. When the new comment is at the very bottom, its easy to get confused and respond to the OP, due to that reply window being right below the bottom comment.

Managing LONG threads on this board is not easy.

Please cut me some slack, as I had to wade through 170 posts. It is work, not pleasure.

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3 users have voted.

@arendt

Arendt, you've done an impressive job managing us herd of cats here. And you've got talent for stimulating discussion. Plus, it's remarkable how calm it mostly is.

I can see how unwieldy it gets, with all the branches; I wrote many of the same points several times in reply to different branches, probably writing too fast to be clear, and started some minor kerfluffle with poor writing. When it gets this busy this fast, it's easy to get frazzled. But I think we did good.

This is a decent format for the majority of smaller essays/threads. At this scale, it starts to break down. Maybe an interim strategy might be to just slow down.

Thanks, everybody, for discussing with me.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge

It was remarkably civil for a topic that would instantly dissolve into flame wars on other boards.

Thanks to all for keeping the thread healthy.

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@divineorder

that the Greens don't seem to be complaining. They are showing the integrity of believing in the result, not the ownership of the idea.

At the same time, I just wrote that the Blue Deal might not be recognizable as Green.

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8 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@pindar's revenge thanks, I saw some twitter vid that had side by side dancing with The Breakfast Club movie, starring the brat pack kids of Hollywood. That made me happy and laugh out loud, so right on sister! Be like Emma why not, be careful out there. Don't get deported, I mean Trump is crazy after all. whee

goes around comes around
War Resistance, Anti-Militarism, and Deportation, 1917-1919

Although Goldman knew federal government officials had been looking for grounds to deport her for years, she pressed on with her antiwar activities. Within weeks of America's entry into World War I, she helped launch the No- Conscription League to encourage conscientious objectors and spoke repeatedly against the draft, attracting eight thousand people to one meeting. Predictably, the government responded, arresting Emma Goldman and her comrade Alexander Berkman on June 15, 1917. Charged with conspiring against the draft, they were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison with the possibility of deportation at the end of their term.

After an unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court, Goldman began serving her term at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. On September 27, 1919, Emma was released, only to be re-arrested shortly afterward by the young J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Justice Department's General Intelligence Division. Hoover advanced his career by implementing to the fullest extent possible the government's plan to deport all foreign-born radicals. Writing the briefs and presenting the case against Goldman himself, Hoover persuaded the courts to deny Goldman's citizenship claims and to deport her.

On December 21, 1919, Goldman, Berkman, and over two hundred other foreign-born radicals were herded aboard the Buford and, accompanied by a fearsome block of nearly one hundred guards, set sail for the Soviet Union.

RussiaRussiaRussia omg
what change

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10 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@eyo

comparing Obama to Che Guevara. It is laughable.

Do you realize you do the work of propagandists by making such ridiculous comparisons?

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8 users have voted.

@arendt heh, yes? Dancing propaganda makes me happy, I had to unblock a ton of crap ad servers to even view that silly clip on the Commander in Chief's social twitverse. I'll bet soon Ellen will be seen selling AOC on her tv show, maybe touring live in '20. With Oprah! and the Black Eyed Peas why not. Roaring 20's again. lol Everyone flash mob and sing "Today's gonna be a good good day". Now check under your seat...?

Propaganda of the word, propaganda of the deed. I am reminded of both. Skid Row still exists, the rich still rule the masses, same as it ever was. Putin did it.

peace

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12 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@eyo

Sorry, Could not resist. Put this one down to PUI. Smile

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6 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@arendt

Not really comparing her, just bringing out the notion that the myth of the dancing revolutionary is powerful. They're worlds apart in reality.

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7 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge

Unfortunately, in today's media world, when presented with an unknown new person, its practically impossible to figure out if they are genuine or compromised. The very fact that they are in the corporate media at all makes them instantly suspicious.

William Gibson had a throwaway phrase for this in Neuromancer (1984). He talked about

manipulating the media gestalt

The man not only could write, he could see where the society was going thirty years before it got there.

So, I remain vigilant about where the media is leading us about AOC. If she actually does something that messes up TPTB, I will reconsider my opinion.

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11 users have voted.

@arendt @arendt
I still crack up that he coined "cyberspace" on a typewriter. Citing Gibson makes me think in these terms:

We have:
1. The physical space, where street actions, demos, etc., occur
2. The intellectual space, like here
3. The law enforcement/court/legal space, where consequences go
4. The myth space, where the war for the imagination lives. Where yearnings and wishes live, where ideas (like strange attractors) create lumps of belief. Where the process of cooptation happens, and many expensive consultants create propaganda messages. And where we can lose ourselves chasing our tails if we're not careful (little self-nudge there).

The myth space may sound woo, but the idea precedes the action, and most powerful ideas are at least as much emotional as rational.

What myths can the left use as force magnifiers?

edit: and as organizational tools

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10 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge

What myths can the left use as force magnifiers?

edit: and as organizational tools

I mean, the right has had a field day with mythology. Hitler channeled Norse mythology. George Lucas took Joseph Campbell's "The Masks of God" as a How-to manual. Hollywood is enamored of comic book heroes and minor gods of all stripes.

Mythology that would motivate action on the left? I just don't know any. Most of it is of the Buddhist stripe that striving causes suffering, or the difficult to do Ghandi stripe of non-violent shaming.

The only leftwing mythology that got any traction was Marxism, with its religion like belief in the abstract forces of history; and that religion has run its course.

The environment, Gaia, is about the only thing the left can call their own and rally people against the Capitalocene Extinction that is upon us. Maybe after enough hurricanes, forest fires, droughts, and insect infestations have clobbered America, people might pay attention to what we are collectively doing to our mother, nature.

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6 users have voted.

@arendt

Love it, gonna steal that.

I'm using myth in a looser sense. Call it image, or legend, or ideation, maybe.

We have plenty of myths on the left, mostly of the tragic kind: from Freddie Gray to Joe Hill to the Haymarket Massacre that inspired May Day: the victim, the fallen hero. These tragic myths focus anger and grief, but anger alone can be poisonous, and can drive people away in fear. We also have the myth (the person is different, and private) of Emma Goldman celebrating sexuality and dancing. The media is not simply promoting the image of Cortez dancing, they're stealing the massive desire for joy, for a sunnier myth. They recognize the power of that myth and are busily coopting it; they had lots of practice with BO. We need to take it back. Combine grim warnings with the hope of sunshine, so to speak.

Arendt, you're really good at stirring in the yeast.

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5 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge

Anthropogenic implicates an actor that doesn’t exist. There is no Anthropos, no humanity as a unified actor. So, if not anthropogenic, what? In a word: capitalogenic. Let me be clear
about this term, and about the idea of the ‘Capitalocene’. Liberals complain that there’s plenty of responsibility to go around, and that capitalists aren’t the only ones to blame. The Capitalocene doesn’t say that the One Percent are completely to blame for the crisis. (But, just to be clear, the One Percent are completely to blame for the crisis.) The Capitalocene argument isn’t about blame; it’s about identifying the system that has devastated life on this planet. It’s about making clear the history of capitalism. The Capitalocene is a way to begin to ask how the accumulation of capital, the pursuit of power
and the co-production of nature form an organic and evolving whole. That whole is a ‘world-ecology’.

-J. W. Mason, World accumulation and planetary life, or, why capitalism will not survive until the ‘last tree is cut’, Progressive Review (can't find the article there, but it was in the Dec. 2017 issue.

His articles are pithy and readable. His books and journal papers make me retch with all the neologisms and psuedo-Marxist terminology. His idea of "Cheap Nature" is very good. He pushes the capitalist revolution back to the 16th century and the exploitation of Mexican silver, Baltic forests, Caribbean sugar, and African slaves. Cheap labor, cheap food, cheap minerals.

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

@arendt

and the enemy is having a field day stealing it from us. Most recently, they've been stealing our myths of 1960s justice movements.

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

QMS's picture

@pindar's revenge
the 'old boy' network (and succeeding) is a good symbol to run with.

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9 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt

And yes, comparing AOC to Goldman is exactly like comparing Barack to Ernesto. Smile

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6 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is 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

@pindar's revenge

was an entirely different animal than the media today.

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11 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is 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

We need fresh ideas.

And it was me who made the mistake of mentioning Cortez in the same paragraph as Goldman. No comparison of Cortez intended.

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6 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@arendt
is treated by neo-liberal water carriers. You make a good point. If they are supporting her then we should be cautious.

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

@arendt

my judgement has already been made.

Remember the coverage Bernie got during the primary?

That's how a non-sheepdog, actual dissident gets treated. That, or worse.

They deny dissidents coverage.

Bernie's coverage (during his campaign) was more like the coverage given Occupy than the coverage currently given AOC.

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13 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is 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

crickets on Bernie and billions for Rump. Funny how that works.

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9 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Raggedy Ann's picture

@arendt
I'm not jumping to any conclusions this early in the game. Spin all you like - you've already made up your mind. I am not going to try and convince you otherwise. I'm just not going to rush to judgment at this juncture.

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6 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

QMS's picture

@Raggedy Ann
Any time the media focus is on progressive ideas and change, it is going to be better than the other crap. Not a purist by any means, but at least using her media darling status to bring up some of the needs of this world -- funding planet disaster mitigation with uber rich wealth -- can be helpful.

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23 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@QMS

given that I think the elite's main strategy right now is to field a fake-ass simulacrum "left" that protects elite interests while claiming to fight for justice and equality. The elite also continues to shove various cattle prods up the ass of the craziest portion of the "right" in the hopes that they will do something horrible, perhaps kill somebody, to keep the role of villain securely locked down to someone who looks like they come off Duck Dynasty. All this is to ensure that the guys (and gals) in 500-dollar suits who wander the halls in New York, DC and San Francisco will never be blamed for anything; their crimes will evaporate.

It's all about the relocation of evil and good into convenient receptacles.

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12 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

arendt's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

The elite also continues to shove various cattle prods up the ass of the craziest portion of the "right" in the hopes that they will do something horrible, perhaps kill somebody, to keep the role of villain securely locked down to someone who looks like they come off Duck Dynasty.

Besides, its getting harder to tell political crazies from just plain nuts with guns. Ex-marine shoots up bar near Paradise fire. Disgruntled boyfriend shoots up hospital in Chicago. Nice, normal Uber driver in Michigan decides to just murder six random victims. Innumberable mall and school shootings.

At this point, you would have to dress in a Nazi uniform and execute people live on camera while setting the Constitution on fire to come across as more deranged than Donald Trump. I mean he gets to lob cruise missiles at Syria on a whim and shutdown the government in a temper tantrum.

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

@arendt @arendt

which isn't that hard, as many of Duck Dynasty types support him, so that if/when Trump is removed from the stage, they will be able to continue with the same, rather successful, political strategy.

Also, they clearly want the 99% in this country to murder each other, perhaps even have a civil war of sorts.

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

Raggedy Ann's picture

@QMS
Let's give folks a chance to stand up for us. If she proves to be "phony," as the spin-meisters are chomping at the bit to predict, then I'll be the first to say I was wrong.

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6 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

Big Al's picture

@Raggedy Ann Does that mean people like me and Arendt should keep our mouth shut for 3 months, 6 months? That is very similar to what I was told when criticizing Obama after his first 30 days in office in 2009, that we should wait and give him a chance. In fact, we're still hearing that about Trump.

I mean, that's fine if you and others want to wait and see, but I'm not sure that's reasonable for everyone to do. After all, she is a democratic party politician. I'm not suggesting you're saying that, just that giving her a chance is a personal choice that not all will, or should, follow.

I think the key here is some are giving a warning, like others did about Obama, Bernie, etc. I think that has to be done otherwise we're all just robots.

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12 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@Big Al
I'm the one who will wait and see, but I do get weary of the negativity. It's why we cannot have revolution. Too much spin on EVERYTHING, which cripples folks. Look at the discussion here - people are all over the place. I can't see any cohesion in the discussion. Revolution will not happen without cohesion.

I agree with lots of things you say, BA. If you wish to rush to judgment, it's on you, not me. If I am wrong, I'll be the first to eat that big plate of crow.

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7 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

Pricknick's picture

@Raggedy Ann
I was just remarking to another individual about how this thread, for it's length, was cohesive and easy to keep up on.
At least I'm still amazed at the lack of animosity.
Great site!

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8 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Pricknick
Maybe I'm not the cohesive one. Maybe I'm the one in left field.

up
4 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Big Al

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

Big Al's picture

@QMS As I explained elsewhere, controlled opposition is when they allow the peasants to talk about something but set it up so the discussion is compromised. I doubt Ocasio-Cortez would be in on that sort of plan, but it happens.

It's like the meme that if Bernie had not brought up wealth inequality and single payer, no one in this country would be talking about it in 2019. No way.

Relative to her suggestion that the uber rich pay for things via taxes, I'm against that and it won't work anyway. I think it shows her naivete and lack of substance and also clearly shows she's not a socialist at all. What she's really saying is that the rich can continue to pile up the billions and trillions while the peasants struggle for 15 bucks an hour, as long they pay for our health care and other things. Nope, not gonna work. We first have to address how the uber rich are getting so uber rich and put a stop to that. In my opinion.

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10 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@Big Al

We first have to address how the uber rich are getting so uber rich and put a stop to that. In my opinion.

If you recall, the massive upward re-distribution of wealth began in the early 1980s. One of the earliest things Reagan did was to slash the high marginal tax rates that had prevailed since the '40s. The tax cuts weren't the only factor in creating the uber-rich, but it was major. Not only did it allow the wealthy to hoard their wealth, it created the environment for a lot of other .01% shenanigans, such as CEOs giving themselves "golden parachutes" and making obscene salaries. The "trickle down" nonsense was the flip side of the tax cuts.

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3 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

arendt's picture

@Centaurea

Before then they were prosecuted legally as market manipulation.

For the last few years, corporations have spent more on buybacks than they made in profits. They make up the difference by borrowing at 0% interest from the Fed QE.

The result is: no investment in capital or R&D for the future. Instead, the company is being liquidated to the stockholders, who get real, fungible cash in return for shares that have been devalued by non-investment. The company gets loaded with debt - currently at low interest, but guaranteed to rise because the Fed is tightening.)

Even Forbes and the Harvard Business Review are up in arms about out of control buybacks. IMHO, its too late. The looting has already been accomplished. You have major, major companies destroyed by buybacks forced on them by aggressive hedge funds who bought minority control. General Electric was forced to cough up tens of billions in buybacks in the years before it crashed, burned, and was thrown out of the DJI. (BTW, Boston is on the hook for hundreds of millions in subsidies to bring GE HQ to Boston. Way to go Marty Walsh, you corrupt ward healer.)

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1 user has voted.

@Raggedy Ann With you on this, RaggedyAnn.

AOC is charismatic and we do not know with any certainty exactly how Progressive she will be.

I'm all for giving her the benefit of the doubt.

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7 users have voted.

NYCVG

Raggedy Ann's picture

@NYCVG
It seems impossible to be a person to speak out without others "othering" you.
She's not genuine!
She's a corporatist!
She's a sheepdog!
She's a phony!

When I was the spokesperson for our staff of 5,000, I was othered as well until they realized I was advocating for THEM and not for ME. I'm willing to give her that chance. She will falter - she IS human, after, all. Until and unless she proves otherwise, I'm in her corner.

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8 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

arendt's picture

@Raggedy Ann

That she, as a very junior representative, has some power in DC.
That we should ignore all her rightwing and neoliberal actions and utterances.

This is a fact-based take on the woman, as opposed to the pollyanna take on the latest corporate-manufactured IdPol distraction.

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8 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@arendt
I’m holding judgment on her. Period.

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6 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

arendt's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Thanks for your participation in the thread.

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5 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@arendt more importantly I think, it's that the major issues can be addressed through the democratic party and this current political system.

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

@Raggedy Ann

for the principles we all hold dear, and if I were to do it as a Democratic politician, I would expect serious skepticism and scrutiny. Not only do leaders always come in for some of that--and that's not necessarily a bad thing--the past ten years of American history makes it only logical that people would respond to the next "good Democrat" with skepticism. Obama is a well-poisoner. Blaming people for being unwilling to draw up the next bucket of water, well, it's not something I would do. If Ocasio-Cortez is a viable leader, none of what happens will involve a focus on her hurt feelings or how she's being "othered" by her critics. For goodness' sakes--are we really going to see the critics of a politician as the bad people who other her, and the politician as the good person who needs to be defended?

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3 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

Big Al's picture

proved that. You don't get on the 60 minutes propaganda channel as a politician if you're a danger to the oligarchy.

I'm not a fan of the celebrity culture, particularly for politicians, so it is disappointing to see the fawning over a shallow tool of the democratic party. But what else is new, that's what the partisans do, not unlike a new rookie on a football team. She certainly seems to enjoy it and is playing the establishment's game whether she thinks she is or not. Far from being a socialist, she looks like someone who will be quite rich after her stint as a democratic party politician, as she really says nothing against this capitalist system. Unless she plans on being a career politician, which is even worse imo. I'm strongly against career politicians. Unfortunately I agree, she certainly appears to be being used as a sheepdog, i.e., keeping people tied to the duopoly political process and system which is a dead end to real progress.

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22 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Big Al
...as a politician if you're a danger to the oligarchy."

Yes. Its all about where AOC is allowed to appear. Genunie lefties do not get this kind of access or non-negative exposure.

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23 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@arendt

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11 users have voted.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt

we currently have.

The corporate media out the ringers for us daily.

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8 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

Centaurea's picture

AOC = Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I deeply resent the coverage which pretends that it is she who invented the Green New Deal, that is it she who first touted higher taxes on the rich.

Why does it matter that AOC did not invent the Green New Deal or higher taxes on the rich?

She's the one who's talking about those things now. Among all the Dems in D.C., she seems to be the only one with enough cojones to speak forcefully and directly about the things that matter. She is bringing attention to the things we progressives say we want. She is shedding daylight on the corruption in Congress.

Remember that "orientation" meeting for the freshman representatives that she went to, that turned out to be a brainwashing initiation run by lobbyists? All the others just went along with it, keeping their heads down like lambs to the slaughter, afraid to make a fuss. What did AOC do? Tweeted about it, bringing it to the public's attention.

She's being criticized for not being polite, for not falling into line, for not waiting her turn. Why, she's even using social media to communicate directly with the public, rather than hiding out with the elites, like the rest of the Beltway politicians do.

She's not afraid to rock the boat. She's shaking things up. Good for her. A thousand times, good for her.

I don't worship Ocasio-Cortez. She's a politician, which means she's got an ego. As with all politicians, you've got to keep an eye on them. But this is what I appreciate about her: She is positioning herself on her own playing field.

That is exactly what we want, isn't it? That is something we can use to our benefit.

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32 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

arendt's picture

@Centaurea
She is NOT the only one talking about this. The Green Party has been talking about a Green New Deal for a decade.

She's the one who's talking about those things now. Among all the Dems in D.C., she seems to be the only one with enough cojones to speak forcefully and directly about the things that matter.

Wake up and smell the coffee. She is an IdPol creature being used to keep people from recognizing the political process is completely corrupt.

Remember that "orientation" meeting for the freshman representatives that she went to, that turned out to be a brainwashing initiation run by lobbyists? All the others just went along with it, keeping their heads down like lambs to the slaughter, afraid to make a fuss. What did AOC do? Tweeted about it, bringing it to the public's attention.

Do you really think its news to most Americans that lobbyists run Congress? Do you really think that letting someone being groomed as a sheepdog to "expose" such a thing is a big deal? TPTB aren't threatened by modest dissent like that. They like people to stay inside the boundaries. I'd be much more interested to find out if AOC has banned ALL lobbyists from talking to her, refused to take ANY of their campaign contributions.

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17 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@arendt

For all practical purposes, AOC is the only politician in D.C., aside from Bernie, who is talking about these things in a way that is getting attention.

Do Americans "know" that politicians are corrupt? Do they "know" that D.C. is run by lobbyists? Sure, most people are aware of it to some extent.

But do they really "get" it? Do they realize the extent to which it is destroying our lives and the planet? Do they understand that the way things are at present is not how thing have always been, nor is it how the future must be? Are they aware of We the People's power to change things? Have they reached the point of desperation and anger sufficient to demand (create!) change?

The American citizenry is as thick as planks. They need to be hit upside the head with a 2x4 multiple times in order to get their attention. Then hit them with that same 2x4 to focus their attention for any length of time. Then hit with the facts multiple times in order for the facts to sink in.

The American people have been asleep for decades. The alarm clock is starting to ring. If it takes AOC's voice to be part of that alarm, so be it.

I voted for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka in 2016. Would I prefer that the American people be enlightened enough to be capable of appreciating Dr. Stein? You bet.

But at present, they're not. We have to work with what we've got.

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24 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

arendt's picture

@Centaurea

For all practical purposes, AOC is the only politician in D.C., aside from Bernie, who is talking about these things in a way that is getting attention.

For the second time, these two aren't "getting" attention, the corporate media is bestowing attention upon them because it is part of the scripted farce called politics in this country.

Note that before Bernie caved to Hillary (that is, before they showed him the Bill Hicks movie), the media did their best to ignore, smear, and belittle Bernie. He only got corporate coverage after he agreed to kiss Hillary's ass.

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15 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Centaurea
or higher taxes on the rich?

Because it means her media exposure is sucking the oxygen away from the genuine lefties who were there first. The corporate media is stealing good leftie ideas and handing them to someone who will either dilute them like Obama (Obamacare vs MFA) or simply fail and discredit those left ideas.

It matters because here "resume" is being pumped up by things she has no right to claim as her own.

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12 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@arendt

What's more important:

Preserving the planet, making sure everyone has adequate healthcare, and establishing a society in which the wellbeing of all people is understood to be important?

Or

Making sure the right people get credit for those things?

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16 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

arendt's picture

@Centaurea

You assume she really wants to help. I assume she is just a sheepdog.

So, she gets no pass from me until she actually accomplishes something other than publicizing herself.

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12 users have voted.
ovals49's picture

@arendt

You assume she really wants to help. I assume she is just a sheepdog.

are not mutually exclusive. It’s very difficult to see the situation clearly with stars in your eyes, and sheepdogs may actually believe in their own autonomy. In any event, any sheepdog that stops obeying its masters commands will be put down in short order. All I’m sure of at this point is that she’s still useful to those who hold the reins of power.

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7 users have voted.

"Humanity is just an evolutionary cul de sac."
George Carlin

@ovals49

It may be possible to pull her (and some other frosh) away from the dark side before it's too late. She may bail out of the donorcrats.

Whew, I keep oscillating between cynical despair and naive optimism. What a whirlwind.

Is this part of the gish gallop, to keep us off balance?

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6 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

dkmich's picture

@arendt

You reinforce it by saying "my fear is". Progressives are indeed rushing to judgment for and against. We need to wait and see. You may be right, or you may be wrong. Either way, some good will come of her I hope.

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15 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

. @dkmich

premature or not, at least as far as I'm concerned.

I have a larger commitment to the idea of revising my opinion when new evidence shows up. That's a really important principle, IMO; it limits the damage done by being wrong (which damage, in this case, is fairly minimal anyway: what difference does it make if we think Ocasio-Cortez is a sheepdog? What damage is done?).

If Ocasio-Cortez is a good leader for a progressive uprising (which is why we're all having this debate, right?) that will come out in her actions over time. At that point, I will re-evaluate all the evidence I have of whether she's a good leader or not.

However, we have had too many Wisconsins to give politicians, Democrats and Republicans particularly, the benefit of the doubt.

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3 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

Big Al's picture

@Centaurea start killing women and children in seven countries? I don't know, just a guess.

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15 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@Big Al

Who are you referring to?

We haven't yet had leaders who led us in actually doing the things I mentioned in my post:

"Preserving the planet, making sure everyone has adequate healthcare, and establishing a society in which the wellbeing of all people is understood to be important"

I have my share of cynicism, so I don't know for sure whether any of that will occur.

But I'm relatively certain that the mindset it will take for us to accomplish those things will not be the same mindset that goes around the globe, bombing and destroying and taking whatever it wants in whatever way it wants to.

I don't mean a pretense of achieving those things, the MIC/oligarchy pulling the wool over the people's eyes while continuing to vampirize us and the planet. I mean really getting those things done.

Maybe it's doable, maybe not. But in order to throw off rule by the sociopathic MIC/oligarchy, collective humanity will have to wake up. Once it's awakened, the collective mindset will not support the kind of behavior you're talking about.

That's not idealistic blather. That's applying basic logic.

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9 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

arendt's picture

@Centaurea

Before anyone knew who he was, the left fell in a swoon at his feet. He was given a Nobel Peace prize before elected.

He proceeded to bomb seven countries, prosecute more whistleblowers than anyone, backed the military as it overthrew the government of Honduras.

-----

The point is that AOC has no track record, just like Obama. A lot of us lefties don't trust the corporate media narrative at all. So when they give AOC all this free publicity, it brings up bad memories.

Capiche?

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15 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@arendt @arendt
I figured that he must be alluding to Obama. But in my comment, I did not mention Obama, or anyone similar to Obama. Obama did not, nor would he ever do, anything to advance the progressive goals I noted in my comment.

This was my comment in its entirety:

What's more important:

Preserving the planet, making sure everyone has adequate healthcare, and establishing a society in which the wellbeing of all people is understood to be important?

Or

Making sure the right people get credit for those things?

So no, I guess I don't "capiche" a reply about Obama bombing children.

So when they give AOC all this free publicity, it brings up bad memories.

I can understand that, but being stuck in bad memories can make it very difficult to be in the present.

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11 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

dkmich's picture

@Centaurea

Nothing ever changes with the left. Either they want a pony or they're sold hook, line, and sinker.
I see a lot of feelings and very little fact being expressed. Fear, suspicion, and distrust need to be there, but holy cow batman, it is only the "spidey senses" going off. We need to wait and see. AOC needs time to reveal herself. Obama did too, and he turned out to be exactly what my gut told he was. A liar going from one revival meeting to another to raise the spirits of the faithful while filling his big, big collection plate. If we are lucky, AOC will stay true to what she ran on even after they turn the cameras off. Either way, it won't be enough to change the path we are on. I just hope the floods hit the gated communities first.

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17 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich

Do I sound (in these comments) like I'm reacting out of emotion? Or do I sound like I'm analyzing evidence? Do you actually think of me as being a spoiled kid who throws a tantrum if she doesn't get the exact dolly she wants? Because that's what the "they want a pony" meme trades on: the notion that we critics are to blame for our unrealistic expectations.

If my expectations are unrealistic, then challenge them specifically: in this case my expectation that a change agent will refuse to support the current Democratic leadership.

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

@arendt your position makes no sense to me. What should AOC do? Refuse to give interviews? Should any progressive politician refuse to talk to corporate media? Just talk to Jimmy Dore? She's not the God of the left, but she is courageous and her heart is in the right place.

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10 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Roy Blakeley

I think AOC is being managed. I think her "story" is as big a "legend" as Obama - and she has even less a track record than he did prior to running for his Senate seat.

I think her statements are given wider coverage than a genuine leftist would get. I think building her up detracts from genuine leftists who have been around longer and done a whole lot more.

So, all your statements about "what should she do?" are premised on the idea that she is a genuine leftist. Until someone shows me more than highly publicized words, I am not buying that she is anything but a carefully groomed sheepdog.

Why are you so invested in this persona that has been invented by the media over the space of a few months? Has she ever done anything other than run for one office?

Should any progressive politician refuse to talk to corporate media? Just talk to Jimmy Dore?

The corporate media does what it pleases. Talking to them or not talking to them does not change their agenda one iota. What I see is that the CM desires to elevate AOC, gives her free airtime on important shows. They don't do that to people they fear or disagree with. She is nobody. They could ignore her, instead they publicize her. That tells me their agenda.

She's not the God of the left, but she is courageous and her heart is in the right place.

Courageous? Every time the CM quote her, she gets more fame. Fame is coin of the realm for politicians. What is courageous about enriching herself? I know a lot of lefties who would kill for the kind of exposure she has handed to her on a platter.

Tell me, was "her heart in the right place" praising John McCain? That was unnecessary and not a leftish thing to do. Tell me how you felt about that.

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9 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@arendt

You have zero facts and some things that trigger you. You can prove nothing, therefore you can definitively state nothing.

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10 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

arendt's picture

@dkmich

You have zero facts and some things that trigger you. You can prove nothing, therefore you can definitively state nothing.

Wrong. I have plenty of facts, which you arbitrarily relabel as "some things that trigger you".

First, in politics, what people say is a large part of what they do. Ever heard the philosophical term "speech acts", popularized by John Searle? When people with power/authority/celebrity speak it carries more weight than you or I.

Now, on to some "speech (f)acts".

1. The infamous support for McCain:

US House candidate, NY-14
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Retweeted Washington Post

John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service. As an intern, I learned a lot about the power of humanity in government through his deep friendship with Sen. Kennedy. He meant so much, to so many. My prayers are with his family.

https://twitter.com/Ocasio2018/status/1033538876370046977

2. Various statements AOC made immediately after winning the primary

this woman came out of the Democratic Party machine, out of Ted Kennedy’s office and Bernie Sanders campaign. Does that not tell you something? But third, there is something curious about her whole story. And her web page says her father was a small business owner and other places it says he is an architect. None of this matters, mind you, except that she is certainly not well known in the Bronx by activists or anyone else. She strikes me, personally, as culturally a Westchester County product, not the Bronx. And I guess I find her a bit too telegenic, too perfect an image. Not to mention she is already parroting DNC rhetoric about Russiagate and already making friendly with the fascist opposition against Venezuela. One would think a Latina would know better, no? The U.S. is, after all, on the verge of a possible military intervention in Venezuela — and house and senate Democrats are perfectly aligned with this thinking. When did anyone last hear a Democrat voice support for the Bolivarian revolution? Then there is the fact that her most intense support came from white affluent gentrifiers in her district. So a radical she is not.

- John Steppling The Wisdom of Serpents

3. Her recent glowing endorsement of and vote for Nancy Pelosi

4. Her strong support for Rashida Tlaib's low class, rabble rousing "Impeach the mother******".

ON EDIT:
5. Her completely reversing her stand on ICE:

most recently, campaigning to 'abolish ice', then backing to 'creating a kinder, gentler ICE', now voting to fund DHS and the border patrol makes her look silly.

- Wendy Davis, in comments to this OP. Thanks Wendy!

END EDIT

Those are quite a few facts that are perfectly consistent with my picture of her as a pro-military, corporate creature who is there to further polarize politics while sucking the oxygen away from genuine leftists and distracting people from all the CIA Dems quietly getting to work selling us out.

Given all these red flags, I think the shoe is on the other foot. Why are you so invested in giving this woman a third, a fourth chance to hoodwink naive folks who want genuine progressives?

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14 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@arendt

To make her the next coming of Christ is stupid. They did it to Obama, you'd think they would have learned something.

You make good points. I am not about to rush in for or against. Obama's deceit was transparent to me. Her, I need to wait and see.

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11 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@arendt ,

about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and I praise and respect you for working so hard to make the point in this long discussion.

For me, the war issue is preeminent. Her statement about McCain is and was the end for me.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/08/28/pers-a28.html

… Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted: “John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service. As an intern, I learned a lot about the power of humanity in government through his deep friendship with Sen. Kennedy. He meant so much, to so many. My prayers are with his family.”

Not even John McCain would have said that he was, "an unparalleled example of human decency." It's a bold-faced lie. Or she's exceptionally ignorant.

You can't be for slaughtering innocent people and for saving the environment at the same time. If she doesn't understand the connection between planet killing and military industrial mayhem, she's a dunce. If she thinks getting fossil fuels out of campaign finance can happen while war rampages using our tax dollars, she's logic-impaired. She's a phony, and a lightweight, and a distraction.

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10 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Linda Wood

Thanks for reposting the picture of McCain with ISIS. There is another one of him with the Ukronazis.

The man was a nasty, murderous, arrogant, cruel, entitled son of a bitch. He deserves nothing more than the grave he is buried in.

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8 users have voted.

@arendt

Ukrainian Nazi Tyahnybok and friends.

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5 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Linda Wood NO TEXT

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4 users have voted.

@Linda Wood I know a lot of people dismiss that but at the same time the media is trying to sell AOC as the next progressive “The One”, we really have nothing to go on except her words. So many seem so impressed by her words, but the quote you quoted doesn’t seem to matter. She didn’t have to say that. Hell, she didn’t need to say ANYTHING! But that was what she chose to say. Words matter, don’t they? I didn’t expect her speak negative of the guy, but that just felt laid on a little too thick for the newest progressive superstar.

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

@Roy Blakeley

is refuse to vote the same leadership back into control of the Democrats in the House that's been there for the past 15 years.

As for the media, that has nothing to do with what Ocasio-Cortez does or doesn't do; the media's reactions to political figures, events, and policies provide a series of tells as to whether a figure is actually a change agent or not. This works because the corporate media is actually an enforcer for the elites, there to stamp out any threat to the prevailing order, whether it comes from a politician (Bernie) or from the grassroots (Standing Rock, Occupy, BLM).

Since that is the function of the media, and we all know it, their reactions to various political figures and movements can tell us a lot about whether or not those political figures and movements are actually a threat to the status quo.

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4 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

arendt's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

the media's reactions to political figures, events, and policies provide a series of tells as to whether a figure is actually a change agent or not. This works because the corporate media is actually an enforcer for the elites, there to stamp out any threat to the prevailing order, whether it comes from a politician (Bernie) or from the grassroots (Standing Rock, Occupy, BLM).

Since that is the function of the media, and we all know it, their reactions to various political figures and movements can tell us a lot about whether or not those political figures and movements are actually a threat to the status quo.

Essentially, Americans with brains have to read the NYT/WaPo the way Soviets with brains read Pravda/Izvestia. We have to look at the emphasis given, not the facts. We have to see who is on the podium at the May Day parade. The corporate media is now as big a propaganda exercise as the Soviet media.

I am ashamed at what has happened to journalism in this country in my adult lifetime. It rips the heart out of me to see weasels and asskissers celebrated as lovers of "freedom" and protectors of our First Ammendment right to free speech.

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

@Centaurea

Voting for Pelosi because she's "the most progressive" politician on the ballot, regardless of all the, not conservative, but outright reactionary things she's done? Including taking impeachment of George W Bush off the table? That's the political methodology of the DLC.

If you want to be a change agent, you can't support the leadership that's had control for the last fifteen years or more.

If AOC is unwilling or unable to challenge the current Democratic Party leadership than how is she going to be of use to us?

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11 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is 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

@Centaurea

If I see any signs that she isn't using the political methodology she demonstrated in her vote for Pelosi.

Or if I see any signs that she is using her visibility to build an infrastructure that is truly distinct from that of the current Democratic leadership. In other words, she needs to push back against the current leadership, or she needs to take territory for the left. She's not going to get that territory from the big six media corps. They've made their position on American politics quite clear.

While I'm willing to allow for these possibilities, I don't see them as probable, mainly because of AOC's own actions. Further, it's hardly surprising if, after thirty years or so of the same political pattern being played out again and again, some people are tired of giving the next round of Democrats the benefit of the doubt.

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9 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

You've described my position exactly. After years of giving yet another politician coming onto the scene who is given a glowing narrative by the media the unearned benefit of the doubt I'm coming to this election purely from to a "Show Me" attitude. While I share no hard feelings towards others who inexplicably chose not to see the media narrative surrounding AOC as a blindingly obvious "TELL" it is tiresome hearing my unwillingness to point out why I've reached this point characterized as being "negative".

Further, it's hardly surprising if, after thirty years or so of the same political pattern being played out again and again, some people are tired of giving the next round of Democrats the benefit of the doubt.

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4 users have voted.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz

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3 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

dance you monster's picture

She was actually a bartender. She did go to BU, which is not the finishing school for elitists that her detractors here are claiming it to be. She was a middle-class kid in a middle-class borough of NY.

I don't think she's the voice of the radical left, but that voice would not be given a second of airtime anyway.

She's a social democrat. Not some scary other. But also not a trap for those further to her left. Insofar as the media will allow any leftish thoughts to percolate out to the public, her telegenic and quick-witted nature will get those social-democratic ideas some exposure. It's better than we've been getting.

Is there over-exposure? Yup, she's the new thing. But it's better than the old thing (insert Joe Biden here).

The kind words about McCain? Pretty much boilerplate stuff that is said when it's deemed unsavory to trash him at his funeral. I wouldn't consider that the sign of a sheepdog.

Could she become a sheepdog? Sure, it's possible for anyone to do that, but that's something we can wait to see in a more developed form, when people are led to slaughter.

You are not going to see a truly radical re-envisioning of the American Way on your TV. There's too many people at the cut switch to allow that to happen. I don't think AOC is the agent for that censorship. I don't think she was foisted upon us to hide that censorship. I think she is doing what she deems best, from her social-democratic perspective and in any opportunity or circumstance that presents itself to her to make such a noise.

Breathlessly undercutting her, especially if it's done with innuendo or outright fabrications, is no better than breathlessly airing her every tweet as if it's the utterance of a saint.

I'd like it if we were permitted to hear more voices from the left. But we weren't before now, and we might not be now but for an appealing package it comes in. Remember, the media are all about package. We can see through that, to know hers is but one voice. One voice that I for one welcome for revealing that a lot more of us have similar (or more demanding) voices and ideas and priorities that have not been heard.

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26 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@dance you monster

...with innuendo or outright fabrications."

I'm going to assume you are not accusing me of innuendo and fabrications.

She did go to BU, which is not the finishing school for elitists that her detractors here are claiming it to be. She was a middle-class kid in a middle-class borough of NY.

No one said BU was a finishing school. BU is a $50,000/yr elite school. It is right up there with Harvard and MIT as a "name" school. I notice you left out "interning for Teddy Kennedy". That is another highly sought after elite credential. I'm not detracting from her credentials, I'm saying that "bartender" is "just plain folks" sheepdip baloney, just like Obama, "the community organizer".

I don't think she's the voice of the radical left, but that voice would not be given a second of airtime anyway.

Well we agree about that.

She's a social democrat. Not some scary other. But also not a trap for those further to her left. Insofar as the media will allow any leftish thoughts to percolate out to the public, her telegenic and quick-witted nature will get those social-democratic ideas some exposure. It's better than we've been getting.

Quite frankly, its a little too late for the incremental, maybe in twenty years shtick. There is no time for "percolation". This country is going down the drain TODAY. We need serious pushback, not this polite pile of Kabuki. The economy is on the verge of cratering again, with the inflated stock market down 30%,the government in shutdown, and Trump running a trade war with China. Climate change is all but irreversible, but we should settle for our ideas "getting some exposure" in a corporate-approved fashion? I don't think so.

ON EDIT:

I also think her IdPol bona fides are going to simply increase the phony partisan split in this country. The Hannity crowd has already used her to demonize the left. We need people who are acceptable and friendly to the "deplorables", not another polarizing figure.

BTW, has she said anything seriously against our perpetual war foreign and domestic policy since she got elected?
END EDIT.

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13 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

@arendt

Climate change is all but irreversible, but we should settle for our ideas "getting some exposure" in a corporate-approved fashion? I don't think so.

That's why I don't dwell on media coverage of AOC. I do other things I think will be more productive.

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12 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@dance you monster

I don't dwell on media coverage of AOC. I do other things I think will be more productive.

I should simply ignore the duopoly/media puppet show and work on projects that have a genuine impact, as opposed to getting involved in meaningless wastes of time like pushing back against the corporate media's fantasy world.

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5 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

@arendt

For me -- not pushing this on anyone else, it's just me -- I think we might try something other than throwing ourselves into quixotic battles where TPTB have the biggest concentrations of manpower and resources arrayed against us. I think we'll accomplish more by fighting TPTB where they aren't.

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15 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@dance you monster

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7 users have voted.

@arendt

Media's fantasy world, indeed. Unfortunately, that's where Americans live, in their tvs and smartphones. Go anywhere in public and count the people who are NOT looking at a screen. I find myself fortunate to find a doctor's office without multiple flatscreens. It would be great to go Fahrenheit 451 and try to get people to take the Seashells out of their ears, but can we really see that happening? Only a massive, long power failure ala puerto rico would do it.

What's the alternative?

Can we judo the media and use their force against them? Doubtful, but damn, we should try. And as I pointed out above, the image of the dancing AOC is powerful. Yeah, she's had a moderately privileged life, enough to leave her feeling chipper, but can we do a tug of war for her soul? Maybe get her to leave the donorcrats once she has some, but not too much, experience?

Yeah, all of a sudden the "prog dems" are yelling green new deal, but I haven't heard the greens complaining too much; maybe they would be content to see the cause go forward. IF IT INDEED DOES.

postscript: I wonder how she'd feel about networking with Redneck Revolt?

redneckrevolt.org
"
Redneck Revolt was founded in 2016 as an anti-racist, anti-fascist community defense formation. The history of the term redneck is long and complex. One of the earliest recorded uses of the term comes from the 1890’s, and refers to rednecks as “poorer inhabitants of the rural districts…men who work in the field, as a matter of course, generally have their skin burned red by the sun, and especially is this true of the back of their necks”.

In 1921, the term became synonymous with armed insurrection against the state, as members of the United Mine Workers of America tied red bandanas around their necks during the Battle of Blair Mountain, a two week long armed multi-racial labor uprising in the coalfields of West Virginia.
"

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15 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

arendt's picture

@pindar's revenge

I've been saying for a year that I agree with Chris Hedges: democracy in America is over. The oligarchs run this country. Politics and the media are nothing more than a psyop that bamboozles the populace. Foreign and domestic policy is bipartisan: more war, more private prisons, more tax breaks for the rich, less government programs for the 99%.

CH says the only viable alternative is to get in the streets and demonstrate. Case in point: Yellow Vests. Note that isn't happening here, because our militarized police are noted for their extreme brutality.

Its not a good answer, but its the only answer that I feel is honest.

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16 users have voted.

@arendt

Getting people into the streets as a prolonged effort will require a mix of several things:
-a tremendous amount of organizing and propagandizing
-some symbol or idea to catch people's attention AND their fantasies.

Most people don't sit down and read Capital and decide to march. They see a police-murdered young man, or a valiant tribe, or imprisoned children. In France they had a straw that broke the camel's back, a concrete symbol (tax) that went right into their homes, but how well was it organized, for longevity? Like Occupy. People can't live on the barricades for long without a way to renew their emotion. And the Power has many techniques to take the wind out of the sail, from tanks and water cannons to infiltration, surveillance, and media manipulation. We need the emotion of a powerful symbol, with the backbone of strong organization, and able to resist the blandishments of kindly wisdom.

Robinson Jeffers, "Cassandra"
religion—
Vendors and political men
Pour from the barrel, new lies on the old, and are praised for kindly
Wisdom. Poor bitch be wise.

fair use.

We need to give the people a symbol, a myth, that will engage their passion, maybe a dancing Green Girl facing down The Bull (dancing with a sturdy redneck?), to counter the "kindly Wisdom". Real people as symbols show their clay feet too quickly. But we do have real symbols: Freddy Gray, the-still imprisoned Panthers, dead children. Tragic symbols for anger; beautiful symbols for hope. Notice I say symbols, not leaders. Leaders organize, and they can fail as humans do; symbols are timeless.

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9 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

CS in AZ's picture

@pindar's revenge

I thought it was a spontaneous uprising, driven by genuine anger and people just together thinking “enough!” and acting on it.

Perhaps I’ve got it wrong. I don’t know a lot about it, so I’m sincerely wondering this. I guess I feel that any movement started by money and messaging is doomed to fall flat.

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7 users have voted.

@CS in AZ
I was in Paris 18 moths ago. As is my style, I got our taxi cab driver to talk about politics in France. He was bitterly angry. He hated all current French politicians. He felt that France was being badly mismanaged and resented the extreme tax level, he claimed 70%. It is true that the French are the highest taxed people, more so than the Scandinavian countries now. Here's my point, the conditions for street protest existed before the Yellow Vests. I don't see that here in the US. Mostly because the MSM is fully controlled by corporate America and the CIA today. The people have been thoroughly screwed and only somewhat see this, with the exception of Middle America who voted for Trump, entirely an appropriation of anger without intelligent content. If someone would point out clearly that median income today is about the same as it was in 1970, corrected for inflation, while GDP has ballooned and the rich are now fabulously rich, then they might be motivated to protest.
In the 1960s and 70s we had demonstrations because we actually believed the lie that we ascribed to be a moral nation and that war and discrimination were clearly contrary to that. Today we go shopping at the mall (W was right) and listen to Rachel and get angry at Russia. Reread "1894". That's where we are going - imaginary enemies and total surveillance.

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7 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

@CS in AZ

I can't say I know much about the Yellow Vests; for one thing, I haven't watched tv in ages. But from what I gather from reading The Wizard's post about his experiences in Paris, the conditions were ripe for an outbreak. And it sort of illustrates several of my points:
-a clear, bright symbol, which even indicates distress: the vests
-the ironic fact that the vests were required by law for auto safety; the people hijacked an artifact of the Power for their own purposes

Of course, it's different here, and yellow vests probably won't catch on (not in our mass consciousness), but just for the hell of it: Harbor Freight sells 'em for five bucks.

BTW, to The Wizard: " Today we go shopping at the mall". It boggles me that we actually have stores unironically called Banana Republic. Head spinning.

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5 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

CS in AZ's picture

@arendt

Part of why I no longer watch mainstream television. I didn’t even know that “AOC” had appeared on 60 Minutes, until I read about it here.

So I haven’t been bothered too much by her celebrity. I was mildly annoyed when articles everywhere started saying “AOC’s Green New Deal.” Wtf..

I agree with you that she has already taken several concrete actions and made specific statements that show her plans. Saying she hasn’t done anything yet to form an opinion on isn’t true. I’m not sure what we are supposed to wait to see in the future.

But honestly i don’t feel like I need to look any closer at her. She has done enough to know she’s going to follow the same track as Bernie — always playing at the edges and looking like he’s outside, but still ultimately playing for the team. That is her job, now. Hers and others. Part of that is being on the tv, getting attention.

I don’t think it’s sucking up anything from real leftists because if it weren’t her it would be someone else, they won’t give that coverage to anyone you would like to see on there. That’s why I’ve turned it off. It works for me.

Interesting thread. Thanks for posting.

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

@arendt

about priorities.

I mean, pushing back against the fantasy world matters. If it didn't, why are we talking here?

However, other things matter too. Pushback can't be the only thing one does.

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5 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

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

gulfgal98's picture

@dance you monster That summarizes my own thoughts on AOC. She may be a sheepdog or may become one, but it is too early to rush to judgment. She is the shiny new object who appears to not be afraid to express herself openly despite being a green freshman representative. If the media covers her and gives airing to those issues that many of us have wished to be aired, then it is a positive for now.

Remember, the media are all about package. We can see through that, to know hers is but one voice. One voice that I for one welcome for revealing that a lot more of us have similar (or more demanding) voices and ideas and priorities that have not been heard.

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9 users have voted.

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

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

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

"politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

divineorder's picture

@gulfgal98

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8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

divineorder's picture

@dance you monster @dance you monster the air out of the room. Pffffttt .

You are not going to see a truly radical re-envisioning of the American Way on your TV.

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2 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

She is the one using her voice. You got somebody else? Where the fuck are they?
Where?

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8 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

You get the same answer.

She's the only one being given massive publicity

She is NOT the only one talking about this. The Green Party has been talking about a Green New Deal for a decade.

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13 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

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6 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@mimi

She's been a member of Congress for less than a week.

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7 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Big Al's picture

"Controlled Opposition is the term used to describe “leaders” who arrive on the scene (almost out of nowhere) and offer us amazing nuggets of truth. These “facts” either wow us (or confirm something we subconsciously knew, but wanted confirmation)."

Part of the strategy is to get things out in the open, let the rabble talk about things, not keep it bottled up. There has to be pacification and mollification of the masses, always, and there have always been dupes who have been used for that purpose.

As I remember saying the same things I said about Bernie about 3 years ago now, the problem is the democratic party. Ocasio-Cortez (I try not to use the term AOC because it celebritizes politicians imo, which is fucking sick imo). The getting the message out thing is overblown.

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15 users have voted.

@Big Al

"I try not to use the term AOC because it celebritizes politicians imo, which is fucking sick imo"

I use abbrevs whenever possible, because my hands hurt. Her name's too long. Maybe we should call her Cortez?

Maybe it's childish, but I still like the idea of a dancing revolutionary. Symbols count. People don't generally think, they react, usually to symbols. Choose your symbols well.

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9 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Anja Geitz's picture

Cue the obligatory defense of AOC by suckers.

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5 users have voted.

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

arendt's picture

@Anja Geitz

I get to expose and rebut all the false assumptions and pollyanish baggage that people bring to this issue.

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7 users have voted.

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