Archive for January, 2021

The circus moves onward

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

“Our Violence is Better than Your Violence.”

Or… Something along those lines. Maybe I have that transposed… “Your violence is better than Our Violence” or… “Worse”.

“Riot Cop”, the pamphleter who inserts these in free boxes, is considered a micro and or macro aggressive ” manarchist” anyhow — Complaints in woke speak so I don’t know what some of them are, precisely…

One violation may be simply his defense here of the Multnomah party Democratic party headquarters from its ritual vandalism. (“Fill in the blank” privilege). What good anarchist wants to protect the physical property of Democratic Party headquarters?

(I suppose they could hit Republican Party headquarters, but for all their reach you may as well be hitting the Natural Law Party or…

Hell! Technocracy Inc.!

Meantime we see the mayor — despised by the right and the left — pull out the pepper spray on some jackals following him out of an outdoor dining engagement yelling in his face that he isn’t wearing a mask… I do not know if this an attempt at an expose of hypocrisy from someone who doesn’t quite understand the edicts. I see at a bus stop a pamphlet informing me it’s all a hoax, directing me to websites. They can all run for Congress and make a difference, I guess.

Not quite done with the Trump era

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

Go to the 9:38 point in this Jimmy Kimmel monologue, where he calls out Rudy Giuliani for hypocrisy in voting with a provisional ballot.  Interesting, as I have heard the likes of Greg Palast through the Bush years — undoubtedly echoed by Stacey Abrams — disparage the integrity of “provisional ballots” — voter suppression tools that “ultimately, just won’t be counted” but give people (of color) the sense that it could be worked out after mysteriously falling off the voter rolls.  The travails of harping on Trump’s charade without some bits of threading.

Not incidentally, we see in this Kimmel monolougie a litany of the sins of the Trump administration — and there we see… Oh, his diplomacy with the dictator of North Korea.  Granted, this was almost certain to be a walking around in circles, and it followed off the heels of a Twitter war of words and name – calling — but it does seem to be me to be a legitimate highlight of the Trump administration — a bit of a “might as well” in it.  But I am stuck on the question… Had the dalliance with Kim Jong Un ended with the big WW3 “footage” games — sputter away from there — would the litany item on Trump from Kimmel be an equal charge from a direction 180 degrees away?

From the bottom half of the Internet, the comments section of the American Conservative magazine, various snatches of thoughts … (1) how absurd a cry for “Eisenhower’s Republican Party” actually is — on “culture issues” you would have to declare him and society in general… Er… “Reactionary”, right?  (2). The line on some liberals chastising on what Responsible Republican is m ought be… With a retort along the lines of… ” bring is back to 1996, weak complaisant “.  It is a new line in the sand of political experience, never mind that — wasn’t 1996 the point of high Republicanism?  Clinton having passed before the Gingrich — Dole Congress came in a Tough on Crime bill and NAFTA, then under Gingrich — Dole a Tough on Welfare bill, ” defense of marriage” barring gay marriage , and on to balanced budgets.  

Then again, recurring everything… I note something here with Fish Limbaugh on the weak added Bush and his comment to Clyburn — a “Savior” against Trump.  Something here inthe Rush Limbaugh litany.

I remember commenting on it. He called them out. It couldn’t to be their face because he was seated in front of them and they were behind him. But it was fearless. He accused them of being the stupid leaders that had given us rotten trade deals, that had permitted wanton illegal immigration. He just took it right to ’em. And when it was over, George W. Bush said, “Well, that was some weird [crap].” Almost as though it was the first time Bush had heard Trump say those things.

Rotten trade deals… A change of opinion from when he proudly chimed in in 1994 – 1995 that “I backed this administratiom , yes this one” on NAFTA.

As were in the list of Trump accomplishments I see made there… In the bottom half of the Internet… I see the retort to “repealed NAFTA” with a “and replaced it with something pretty much identical”.

Questions raised by this exchange in the bottom half of the Internet…

I am dying reading liberals comments here. BLM literally burned down entire city blocks and murdered dozens of innocent people, 2 billion in damages and estimated 30 people dead. But Qanon larpers in the Capitol dropping a deuce in the stairwell is one step away from the Fourth Reich. So yes, we need 26k troops to protect our “democracy”.

… dropping a deuce in the stairwell, beating a cop to death with a fire extinguisher, assaulting numerous others, erecting a gallows on the Capitol grounds and chanting “Hang (Vice President) Mike Pence,” all at the instigation of the President of the United States, is one step away from the Fourth Reich.FIFY.

Will you also condem the BLM riots? I condemn the riots on Jan 6

Yeah, … No you don’t.  Lest you just said the riots were “canon markers dropping a deuce in the capitol staircase”.

To be contradictory, of sorts… Strictly speaking, had Senators Hawley and Cruz not gone on to their objections after the riots in the Capital Building,..

The question the Senate must answer is not whether Sens. Hawley and Cruz had the right to the object to the electors, but whether the senators failed to ‘[p]ut loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department’ or engaged in ‘improper conduct reflecting on the Senate’ in connection with the violence on January 6,” the letter said. It noted that both voted to reject electoral votes even after the violence at the Capitol disrupted the counting process.”

… It would show their objections as not founded in personal belief, lest they be swayed by the violence… Theoretically, at least.

Long Way Down

Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Reportedly google is pausing political advertisements for the moment. Curiously, youtube — owned by google — threw me this ad.
The answer to the question is, appatently, contingent. It feels full of a little bit of lag time — propped up after the death of Ginsburg and by dent of being “conservative” in 2020 getting that “hell yeah” as opposed to a 2016 “hell no.”

Events supercede this one. At least the common ad plastered at the am con showing the heafs of Trump and either Biden or Pelosi ha e moved from “Was the election stolen?” or “Should Trump stay in office?” (Present) to a past admission “Was Trump a great president?”

Tactics of right wing jackasses and left wing jackals converge. They’re “Press”, you see. Possibly less sophisticated than that which you see in the Great Portland protests turned riots turned protests– and mind you they decree you with your camera phones are not press, and can be dealt by their press accordingly.

A funny thought about the ten Republican congress-crittets voting for Impeachment. Two come from the state of Washington. Washington State has a “top two primary”, which maybe scrambles some of the “primary” threat — Newhouse having once moved from a primary contest to a general election from the right “tea party” flank in some footballer named Clint Didier — who he can defeat with a broader electorate of Independents and Democrats. Granted, if this consideration were present, we would maybe see some Californian Republicans voting for Impeachment, but it seems to me to sit there.
Jumping around the public statements, I find myself sliding next to the one who said that he doesn’t know if Trump’s actions January 6th fot the legal definition of “inciting an insurrection” (it doesn’t) but … That’s not the standard. But pull back to plucking back to the released phone call requesting the discovery of 11,780 votes. What exactly else do you want here?

Various comments

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

The kind of people who get into QAnon probably aren’t going to be big on structures and habit. They’re never going to be boring; as Phoebe Courtney, half of the husband-and-wife gadfly team behind the INDEPENDENT AMERICAN newspaper, put it in reference to the John Birch Society of the 1960s, they’re not the sort to become “docile precinct workers.” But if they had the tools and training to actually dig in useful places, they might turn up some interesting things. It’s often noted that the Right has a surfeit of pundits; what we lack are diggers, the dedicated researchers who do the boring work of poring through documents to find news. But maybe we’ve had them all along — they’re just naive and untrained. What if we trained them, empowered them, and turned them loose? People turn to conspiracy theories to explain a world they can’t understand. Giving them the tools to explore the real world could keep them more grounded — and turn up some interesting things for the rest of us.

So if we provide conspiracy crackpots with sufficient access to facts, they won’t select and distort those facts to confirm their conspiracy theories: they will sober up and discover “interesting things” for the rest of us!
I tend to agree that crackpots will likely find another thing to be crackpot about, but the basic idea that more ordinary people should be taught how to engage effectively in democracy via tools such as the FOIA is correct. Just because someone is a crackpot does not mean that they should not be taught the means to be effective political actors. They are entitled to know that information and giving it to them is the right thing to do. Crackpots or not, they are still full citizens and their elected officials are there to serve them, not to rule them.

It’s possible, though by no means proven, that intelligence agencies and private networks adjacent to these agencies are involved in sex trafficking to fund “off the books” operations. Accusations that intel agencies are involved in the drug trade have been flying around for decades. If they are involved in one criminal venture it would make sense that they are involved in another. Also, there is clearly alot of money in sex trafficking (as with the drug trade), and obviously that money goes somewhere. Its not possible to perfectly hide a multi-billion dollar industry. Its possible that this was the story behind Jeffrey Epstein–a fake billionaire who was really a frontman for the illicit sex trafficking trade, possibly connected in one or more intelligence agencies. Further, as with the Catholic Church, Penn State football, and Jimmy Saville, organizations are often unwilling to go after pedophiles in their midst. So there may be a handful of DC bigwigs who are pedophiles (see Dennis Hastert).

The rest of Q stuff beyond the above is looney-tunes.

Expect conservative media to turn on Trump. FOX, talk radio, Breitbart, OAN, etc. Anything that is being subsidized by big money will soon be singing a new tune. Not one friendly to the Democrats, certainly, but one that makes Trump the scapegoat (not that he doesn’t deserve a big chunk of the blame). Evangelical pulpits that previously compared him to King David, suggesting he was God’s annointed, will spring forth with the new revelation that in fact, he was sent forth by the Devil, to test good Christians and lead them astray, and that wily Devil nearly succeeded. His prior liberal views, and his New York roots, will be emphasized–like George W. Bush before him, he will be branded a “liberal”. Who knows, we might see the GOP return to its prior Russia-hostile posture (back when the likes of John McCain and Mitt Romney would accuse Barack Obama of being soft on Moscow), and may double down on this, treating Trump as a Manchurian candidate. We might even see the accusation that Hillary Clinton deliberately threw the election, knowing just what a Pyrrhic victory

I have a relative who is a QAnon/MAGA supporter. They called me up last night over the doofus at the state Department who was pranking people by changing the end date of Trump’s presidency on the website, saying it was a coup, that things were going to go down, and to stock up on food, get cash out, and so on, because the power grid was going to be taken down last night at 7:30. The reason they were calling is that they had “gotten some good intel.” WTF? Why do I feel like that’s some guy who knows someone who once worked as the janitor at the CIA before being fired for stealing other people’s lunches? This person also has a nice, long career that they’re putting in jeopardy because of some weird, non-reciprocated political crush on Trump, the same guy who won’t even go march at the head of his angry mob? I felt a familial obligation to talk them down, to say that they shouldn’t post on social media because it’s being “watched” and that they should only communicate in person. Why? Because I’m hoping that they’ll manage to make it past inauguration day without completely screwing up their life with this garbage.


Two big differences between 1946 Czechoslovakia and 2021 United States: 1) the Constitution; 2) a very well armed, and increasingly so, population between the coasts. Witness the widespread flouting of the law restricting “assault weapons” in even NY and Connecticut. Here in Phoenix I daresay exactly nobody would ever cooperate with a Biden buy-back of their AR/AK’s.

Obese reprogrammable meat bags who couldn’t run 5 miles to save their lives…
A fight between them and the US government would last three weeks, the ones who wouldn’t be droned in the first week, would have a swat team serving a no knock warrant at three in the morning the second week and the few survivors would lose access to all banking services in the third week. Good luck surviving in the USA with no credit or debit card, every camera in the country looking for you and all your physical assets impounded.
Watch how fast all the idiots who were involved in the beer hall putsch are being identified and arrested. They didn’t have the common sense to hide their faces, these are cosplayers, not revolutionaries. They swallowed the FOX/OAN/News Max bullsh*t, and now their lives are going to be ruined, in the best of scenario they are going to lose their jobs, their income and their families, in the worst cases they are going to spend a decade or more in the big house (I wonder how many of them will survive that experience).

They can’t cancel half the country! Oh, they can cancel the big fish, the ones with large followings, but not the real workers. Try vetting Facebook accounts to avoid hiring a wrong thinking electrician and your not going to fill that opening. Same with the people fulfilling orders at the Amazon warehouse or stocking shelves in all the Walmarts in the rural areas. Even Facebook can’t ban all the wrong thinking people without committing corporate suicide. If they ban my wrong thinking in-laws, my wife leaves too, Facebook only has power because of all the networks of real people, you can’t lose just half of them.

Almost twenty years ago now, a friend of a friend told me about something he’d discovered while he was in the Army. He did his service in peacetime and he went in with some office skills, so he spent most of his time in uniform working as a secretary to various officers. One day he discovered, in a rarely used filing cabinet at the back of the office, a document older than he was. He knew they weren’t supposed to keep anything that long, so he told his captain and was given a shredder, a set of guidelines, and three days to weed those files. Over the course of those three days, he got to see some documents he didn’t actually have clearance for, and some of them talked openly about how to reduce political participation by ordinary citizens so that government would have more freedom of action. The strategy proposed at the time was to step up the quality (in the sense of enjoyability) and availability of entertainment, so that ordinary people would be distracted by pleasure and, in his words, “forget that they were ever free.”
That doesn’t work so well in an environment of economic shrinkage and so a new method is being tried: a “death of a thousand cuts” that doesn’t actually outlaw political participation, but does make it more financially risky, such as big fines for mistakes in the collecting of signatures, so that you need a lawyer to go over everything. In Naomi Wolf’s book Give Me Liberty she discusses this, and there’s a very informative 6-minute snippet of her talking about it on YouTube from 2010, entitled “Naomi Wolf: When Protest is Effective and When it is Not.”
The Federal response to the year’s riots will be the next step in that process. Having whipped up passions among first the left and then the right to the point of mob action, they expect to have popular support for even more restrictions on public participation.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Donald Trump and Eric Metaxas (among others) were very well paid to say the inflammatory things they said, just as I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the news services were paid to pick up the video of George Floyd’s death, which might otherwise have been just another local news story.
The Powers That Be don’t care about trans rights or religious liberty or any of that, but they do want us to be so preoccupied with them that we have no attention left for thing things they do care about, such as foreign policy and the continued removal of restrictions on banking and finance. They want to be free to use the government’s power for their own ends while we argue about pronouns.

I think the great Nathanael West forecast this all the way back in 1939. The movie premiere riot at the climax of The Day of the Locust, a distinctly American apocalypse, brightly burning by the dawn’s early light:
‘Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize they’ve been tricked and burn with resentment. Every day of their lives they read the paper and went to the movies. Both fed them on lynchings, murder, sex crimes, explosions, wrecks, love nests, fires, miracles, revolutions, war. This daily diet made sophisticates of them. The sun is a joke. Oranges can’t titillate their jaded palates. Nothing can ever be violent enough to make taut their slack minds and bodies. They have been cheated and betrayed.’
You can’t read ‘slack minds and bodies’ and not think of the MAGA crowd. But at least West’s damned had Greta Garbo’s face in some magnificent movie palace to console them. Our damned only have Trump. The most damned of them all.

If were into tin-foil hat thinking, I’d posit a theory that the Elite created Qanon in order to distract the Trump base from real world problems and issues, the addressing of which might discomfit the Owning Class, and instead addict them to crazypants notions (“John Roberts eats babies for breakfast!”) that would embarrass a two bit pulp fiction scifi writer. And that of course serves to discredit the whole shebang by provoking violent behavior (we Americans will tolerate a lot– we do not tolerate public disorder) and render even the non-violent MAGA people utterly ridiculous.

Not to be too conspiratorial, but it really does feel like an intelligence operation that got out of hand. We all knew about Epstein for years, his conviction and light sentence, the flight logs, Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz, and then the arrest and sudden demise. I’d love some answers about how the hell he was allowed to operate in the open for so long, but I’ll never get them because everyone else who cares about this is obsessed with pizza restaurants and baby-eating reptilians.
It’s reminiscent of how the Air Force covered up secret aircraft development by making anyone who asked questions look like crazy black helicopter little green martian people.

The vast majority of people have never heard of QAnon. Hillary voters are more likely to have heard about QAnon than Trump voters.

I’m not surprised that more Hilary voters have heard of QAnon. When one of the most prominent politicians in your party gets accused of being part of of a pedophile ring whose members drink the blood of children, that’s a story that will get around. And when QAnon believers show up at Trump rallies wearing clothing bearing the Q identifier, Democrats will take notice. I also doubt that the mainstream right wing media that Trump voters consume are likely to cover QAnon. After all, at the family Thanksgiving dinner table, who wants to talk about the crazy relative who thinks it’s okay to marry your sister.

You might want to read about the Ghost Dance Movement among the native Americans in the late 1800’s. It’s considered a classic example of how cultures under stress can become deeply irrational and believe outright weird beliefs.
Basically the movement encouraged adherents to believe that through the dance they could overcome the US military forces, including becoming bullet proof. It didn’t work out and contributed to the wounded knee massacre.
I’d argue that the crazy beliefs we’re seeing on both the left and the right are examples of such thinking due to ongoing civilizational stress.

The only real difference between the Proud Boys et al and antifa is that antifa is smarter. Both have uniforms (camo vs black), carry weapons, attack the police, and want to overthrow the system while claiming to be defending democracy. But the antifa gang is smart enough to wear masks, attack people taking photos of them, and the plan their riots on secure messaging apps, making them much harder to ID and arrest.

For the GOP to remain a viable conservative opposition party it must rid itself of Trump, and his impeachment and conviction would seem to accomplish just that, as it would bar him from running for office in the future. Seems like exactly what the GOP needs to do. From the point of view of GOP long term interests, what is the argument against impeachment?
The problem is that most of the GOP can’t think past the next election cycle’s primary, which is always about a year away. They’re all terrified of being primaried from the right by a Trumpist, and thus not only losing their own nomination but then seeing the seat possibly flip to the Democrats, especially in the suburbs.

The real really reality realness

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Pity everyone who was suckered into qanon, a transparent deep state operation. The real goods are to be found with ZANON. The discussion of the strands of qanon always dropped over at 4chan and 8chan — ZANON delves to a more attuned crowd over at 16chan and 32chan — not wanting to mess with those dopes stuck at 4 and 8.