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Steve Bannon In (and Out?) of Donald Trump’s Imperial Court

2017 April 14
by Ian Welsh

Steve Bannon

When I wrote about the Trump administration before it existed, I noted that the Trump administration would be an Emperor’s Court. Because Trump has few firm ideas of his own and is extremely easily influenced, the best courtiers would rule the roost and determine policy.

Steve Bannon, by current reports, is out of favor and may well be on his way out.

Coincidentally, Trump has missiled a Syrian airbase and dropped “the mother of all bombs.” Coincidentally, word is coming out of the White House that, hey, maybe NAFTA isn’t so bad. Coincidentally, China is no longer considered a currency manipulator.

When people started mocking Trump by calling Bannon president, I noted that it was an attack which might work, and word has also come out that Trump hated that.

Trump is defined by little more than vanity, and he puts family first.

And so Kushner and Ivanka, backed by the deep state and more traditional Republicans (of the “tax cuts and bomb foreigners” variety), have the upper hand.

There is no question that Bannon is a piece of work, but him losing so much influence is not an unmitigated good.  Bannon is a nativist.

He was the guy, along with Trump on the campaign trail, who wanted the Muslim ban, aye. But he also favored rewriting trade deals, hitting China on manufacturing (it is true that China no longer keeps its currency low, but they did for ages and it gutted US manufacturing), bringing those jobs back to America, improving relations with Russia, and, oh yeah, not getting involved in stupid Middle Eastern wars (aside from fighting ISIS).

The comment section of Breitbart, when Trump hit the Syrian airfield was nearly 100 percent dismayed–as much as the most fiercely anti-war leftists.

The practical result of Bannon’s disempowerment is that brown Americans and visitors would be treated better, and that’s good, but most of what Trump wanted to do that wasn’t Republican standard, for the good as well as bad, goes out with Bannon.

Trump is being trained, well. Firing missiles and dropping bombs has gotten him the best media coverage of his presidency so far.  The “serious people” love killing (the right) foreigners, and the foreign policy elite which was threatened by Trump/Bannon nativism is rushing to praise Donald.

Not coincidentally, I think that Trump and Republicans will suffer for it electorally.

This version of Trump might be as bad as Hillary on foreign affairs (remembers she called for the missile attack, and watch North Korea), and while he lacks her saving graces on social affairs, as Kushner and Ivanka gain influence, they may make Trump a lot better on social civil liberties.

Though very competent in his way, Bannon was never quite a Svengali (as with his fumbling of the immigration order), but he is the only person in the administration genuinely angry about what happened to the working and middle class in America, and how the financial crisis was handled by bailing out banks and fucking ordinary people.

If Bannon loses this fight completely, Trump will be little more than an overly capricious, yet standard, Republican President.

And, folks, Trump was never going to be Hitler and not improving relations with Russia is a disaster, whatever the propaganda machine may tell you. (And that Syria attack would not have happened if improving relations with Russia were still important.)


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151 Responses
  1. Hugh permalink
    April 18, 2017

    Revolutions are always impossible until they happen. Revolutions are always violent because they are themselves a response to the great violence that the powers that be have inflicted on the rest of us, and the even greater violence they are willing to use to defend themselves, their power, and above all else, their loot. That last is key. Revolutions happen, indeed are inevitable, when the powers that be have simply stolen too much for too long from too many.

  2. Willy permalink
    April 18, 2017

    Why does Jesus always have to be the handsome manly man? Can’t he just be an angry little nebbish for once? (I think he was more like a young Bernie Sanders, minus the glasses but with their version of a Brooklyn accent).

    Darwinians. God damn you all to hell.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. I once tried to combine Christianity with special relativity, and thought I did so quite elegantly if I say so myself. But nobody cared. Then somebody said I wasn’t being manly enough…

  3. highrpm permalink
    April 18, 2017

    @tsisi,
    Full disclosure: I don’t follow Jesus Christ. I don’t trust Jesus Christ. (Yes, I’m banned, I know.)

  4. realitychecker permalink
    April 19, 2017

    @ not sure which Pete or Peter lol

    He posted at FDL as BeachPopulist. He always came across as a pretty good guy.

    He understands what is apparently not obvious to everybody here, and writes from the premise that individual guerrilla-type actions will have to play an essential role, since mass organization will never again be possible in a total surveillance state, so he then narrates a story where many such tactics are employed.

    It’s just a tool to open the mind to what the possibilities are, since most here have obviously never thought much about it.

  5. Peter permalink
    April 19, 2017

    @RC

    PeteM is my nom de Guerra for the Maoists and other hard left sites I used to follow. They were trying to infiltrate and take over the Occupy group in Oregon and use that for a base to assault the power structure. The Anarchists of Occupy were not assimilated and they identified and ignored them.

    Money could have been working on screenplay ideas for a updated radical urban version of Red Dawn. Detroit would be an ideal location with young white suburbanites infiltrating the wasteland of the ghettoes to fight for some freedoms for the oppressed. I saw the real life version of this unorganized small insurrection in ’67 with burning buildings, massive military presence, tanks in the streets, snipers and dead civilians.

    There are people or small groups already carrying out attacks on property not people in an organized manner. The multiple cutting of the San Francisco fiber optics lines without being apprehended is one example of discipline and planning and the actions are nation-wide. The media doesn’t report much about this and if they do they tend to blame vandals.

    There are young and not so young people who are willing to walk the radical road and those possibilities should be discussed. The problem is that here and at many online sites there are few radicals and the liberals, Clintonites and snowflakes are counterrevolutionaries although they may be coup plotters and supporters. You recall that the word revolution was banned at FDL showing just how fearful liberals are of radical thought no less action.

  6. oversocialization permalink
    April 19, 2017

    @CP

    I wasn’t there, but it’s pretty clear from the evidence available that antifa DID lose the recent Berkeley conflagration. Look up the tweets, including videos, posted by Shane Bauer (Mother Jones) during that period. He certainly seemed to think antifa lost and wasn’t happy about it either.

    I also think you’re badly misjudging both how effective antifa would be in any real conflict — though that will probably change — and just how bad they look to the broader public.

  7. Peter permalink
    April 19, 2017

    @OS

    You’ve chosen a group, antifa, that deserves examining more closely to see who they are and what they actually are. I think they are identified as being from the Black Bloc during Occupy in SF another group we know little about.

    They are described as Anarchists but I wonder if they represent Emma Goldman’s anarchy or are better described as the tools of George Soros’ colorful activism. Their attack on free speech in Berkeley was too ironic and depressing to support any positive view of this group.

  8. oversocialization permalink
    April 19, 2017

    @Peter

    Oh, I think we’re very much on the same page here. It appears that we’re starting to see Weimar-style street violence and it’s absolutely because antifa started it. There’s plenty of footage of them throwing M-80s into crowds and attacking people with weapons who were not being violent. To my mind there is no reasonable reading of the situation in which they do not stand against freedom of speech, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since many of them literally venerate Stalin:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbuImlQ7be8

  9. Ché Pasa permalink
    April 19, 2017

    There’s plenty of footage of a lot of things. You can form your own opinion about what happened in Berkeley on Saturday. Just keep in mind it wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last that things got a little unpleasant between Antifa and fascists. (Actually, for most of the participants, it seemed they were pleased as punch. So to speak.)

    As for “free speech,” horseshit. “Free speech” was being used as a propaganda ploy by the fascist/white supremacists who would like the rest of us to believe that their “free speech” rights are infringed by Antifa and the state and their other opponents. Infringement for shouting them down and telling them to fuck off.

    At least from what I saw on various recorded livestreams there was lots of hyperventilating, but little mayhem. Just going by appearances, it was hard to tell which “side” was which in any case. No wonder the po-po didn’t want to play.

    Don’t fool yourselves into thinking Antifa started it. Both “sides” came ready to rumble, armed with their sticks and whatnot, lightly armored and helmeted up. There was plenty of provocation to go around. Much the same thing happened the week before, and there have been similar Antifa/Fascist confrontations up and down the West Coast, some of them more bloody and violent than what happened in Berkeley.

    It’s mostly masculine posturing, propaganda and theater. It is not the harbinger of Civil War — as some of the white supremacists claim it is. This isn’t Wiemar Germany. And the Nazis are very far from seizing the government (not that it couldn’t happen.)

    Given who this sort of thing benefits, you would almost think it was staged or provoked or somehow arranged for the cameras.

    On the other hand, those who engage in these street brawls can hardly be called cowards or snowflakes or whatever the newspeak term is today. They aren’t necessarily heroes, but they’re not afraid. They fight and fight back. Even when they lose, they come back for more.

  10. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    April 19, 2017

    Che Pasa – one month ago there was no right-wing street force at all. Your wannabe commie thugs conjured one into existence: just like in Weimar Germany.

  11. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 19, 2017

    What a joke. I looked at some of the footage as well. Idiots on both sides which are really the same side with minor differences. Remember the horseshoe ideological spectrum? These thug wannabes in the streets shouting and threatening is just a bunch of nonsensical posturing and a distraction more than anything.

    Meanwhile, Trump & Tillerson threaten yet another country today. The whole world has been put on notice by Trump. He’ll bomb the f*** out of you if you cross him or he thinks you crossed him and even if didn’t and he just feels like it.

  12. Ché Pasa permalink
    April 20, 2017

    BoO:

    You need to pay better attention to what’s going on. These street brawls between Antifa and white rightists have been happening for years.

    The Berkeley “Riots” are simply another phase in the distraction.

  13. Peter permalink
    April 20, 2017

    I doubt this made for TV drama with these Altfa posers is what RC was wanting to discuss. They do show how the elite Clintonites coopt and pervert radical ideas and even groups to keep the snowflakes frightened of their neighbors and seeking the party supplied safe spaces.

    Stereotyping the opposition worked so well during the election that its no wonder why CP and others continue with their humiliating loses and dim prospects.

  14. Ché Pasa permalink
    April 20, 2017

    Nobody wants to play RC’s hypothetical game, but quite a few have given cogent observations about what is/has been going on and what might trigger an armed rebellion that could turn into a revolution or civil war.

    I’ve pointed out that in effect it — The Revolution — has already happened. It happened from the right. The so-called “left” lost, with few direct casualties, and there is no sign that a leftist armed uprising will occur in response. Not even an underground, not even sabotage. Something else is taking place, however, that will have profound long term effects. And if anything violent-revolutionary should occur that “leftists” are accused of, it will almost certainly be the work of provocateurs.

    The street brawls are just that, one faction of the Rabble brawling with another. Theatrically. WWE style. It’s been going on for years. I was on the periphery of an Antifa/Fascist brawl in California in 2011, and it wasn’t anything new then. Several people were hurt. The police broke it up — eventually. These things get attention now and then but they aren’t particularly meaningful.

    It’s worthwhile to review the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in 1964 for clues. FSM activists were many, true enough. They were surrounded by thugs — from the football team and ROTC — catcalling “Commies!” who threatened the protesters with bodily harm and on occasion followed through.

    There was a 50th anniversary gathering on the steps of Sproul Hall to commemorate the original Free Speech Movement. Some of the elderly veterans of the Movement were there and spoke. Guess what?

    There was also a contingent of thugs from the football team and ROTC, no less threatening. Cat-calls of “Commies!” echoed in the plaza once again. Plus ça change, n’est pas?

  15. realitychecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    @ Che Pasa

    “Nobody wants to play RC’s hypothetical game, . . . ”

    Right you are, for once, amigo. And nobody has had the guts to play that game for at least ten years that I have been trying to get some participation in the discussion. Amazing, right?

    (FTR, I actually took a course entitled “Protest and Revolution” at NYU in the early 1970’s; also “Politics of Minority Groups,” “Pressure Group Politics,” and a poly sci course whose title I can’t recall now, about political polling and data gathering.)

    You have actually stumbled into some truth: Everybody is afraid to discuss what used to be, not very long ago, accepted as a suitable topic for mainstream discussion.

    That illustrates the dramatic extent to which ‘they’ have already succeeded in turning the American left into a pussified, gutless pack of mewling cowards who can beat their gums endlessly and impotently, but can’t fight for a second to preserve their actual freedom.

    If you see that the electoral system is hopelessly corrupted and designed to stymie the People’s desire for change, and has effectively done so, and you are AFRAID to even TALK about changing things by force, then how much actual freedom do you have, how much actual democracy do you have, how far removed from livestock status, are you really, RIGHT NOW?

    What a disgusting display of simpering cowardice, from the descendants of those who wrote the Declaration of Independence. Y’all ought to read that document sometime, and then go hide your heads in shame. The Founders would piss on the pack of you.

    Safe mother-fucking spaces, indeed. Terminally attached to your mama’s nipples.

    But sarcasm and snide remarks? Well, y’all have the market cornered on that. Yay.

  16. Willy permalink
    April 21, 2017

    I’d recommend heavy squats to up the T. Then, armed with the confidence that comes from manly muscle, lefties can march against the jocks and ROTC goon squad without fear. At least until social media makes them unemployable.

    On the positive, was it a bunch of blonde bimbos that got O’Reilly removed, or did somebody know how to get the PTBs attention, to threaten them right where it hurts?

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    As long as ya’ll ain’t a slave. But on the positive, the rest of that preamble isn’t half bad. I’d think the hard part is getting the masses to know that despotism doesn’t have to be overt, that it can cloak itself with an American flag, pics of “Founders”, and even carry a bible.

  17. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    Dang, RC is really running the triple-dog-dare-ya shtick into the ground.

    Keep beating that dead nag, RC. Surely it’ll get up and gallop someday. 😆

    OK, I’ll turn off the snark (briefly).

    How well did violent tactics work for the Weathermen or the SLA?

    Or on the other end of the political spectrum, for Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols? Or Dylan Roof?

    Nothing else drives the just-getting-by majority into the arms of the government faster than violence. Chaos threatens what little safety they have, so the vast majority of them will not support the rebels. Moral issues aside, it won’t work; that is, it will not gain the rebels the power to change their society.

    Of course, that assumes that the rebels’ real goal is to change their society. If their actual goal is merely to demonstrate their high testosterone levels in the vain hopes of gaining more frequent sexual encounters with more desirable and more numerous partners–well, it won’t work for that either, but a million years of irrational instinct tells them otherwise. 😉

    Speaking of the Weathermen’s time period, Different Clue has already reminded us of the bitterly learned wisdom of that time:

    “The first guy who suggests violence is always the undercover cop.”

  18. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    For that matter, suppose the surveillance and force-projection capabilities available to central governments in the year 2017 had somehow existed in 1775. How far could the Founders have gone?

  19. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 21, 2017

    Then, armed with the confidence that comes from manly muscle, lefties can march against the jocks and ROTC goon squad without fear

    HaHa!! See, that’s all changed now too. All the Jock & ROTC Goons have come out of the closet like Ellen & Company and are now more interested in decorating & what not versus beating up social media junkie lefties armed with killer bud and plastic lightsabers.

    That was sarcasm, folks. The point is, you can never go back. Too much has changed. Cold Evil has replaced Hot Evil and more creative ways of resistance are necessary to combat the rising and all-consuming tide of Cold Evil.

    RC sure has a lot of vim & vigor for an old codger unable to reproduce.

  20. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 21, 2017

    Ivory, exactly, and my comment validates your comment and underscores it.

    Plus, my descendants were not the Founders. They were Slaves. My heritage, at least partially, is Slavic. My ancestors learned to make their masters’ chocolate cake & brownies out of their own feces and their masters loved it. It’s a hell of a form of non-violent resistance that’s still applicable today despite Cold Evil largely replacing Hot Evil.

    I say, LET THEM EAT CAKE!!! Using my old family recipe, of course.

  21. Willy permalink
    April 21, 2017

    I’ve found that ratfucking does work – most creeps will leave you alone if they suspect you capable of such. An itch they cannot scratch is especially good. And amusing-cathartic for the victim.

    The founders weren’t all bad. They did finance their new government with tariffs. And I do believe that Mr. Washington himself turned the first spadeful of dirt for the very first public works project and gave the standard speech about jobs and benefits and all. So, would I need their respect, maybe but not necessarily. Do I need RC’s respect? Definitely not. He might be a wizard at spotting discrepancies and reminding us all of his education, but needs a bit more proving himself to earn respect as a wise and insightful teacher. And his hurling himself under the bed to pout about the cowardice of the rest of us is a good way to lose style points.

  22. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    The Vietnam and Afghan Wars created a myth that guerrillas and terrorists (overlapping categories) are invincible. (Hold a seance, and tell that to McVeigh, and to the dead Weathermen and SLA members.)

    That, combined with the cherished USAmerican myth of the superiority of amateurs to professionals, is what makes RC, and Peter, if I read him correctly, and others of their sort, think that a successful rebellion can be made, if only sufficient Manly Men Willing To Do Manly Things can be gathered.

    Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station has written a superb essay on the second myth:

    The Hubris of Ignorance

  23. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 21, 2017

    Good point, Ivory. Required reading as well is Orlando Figes’ A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924. The Russian Revolution spanned many years and it took on a life of its own above and beyond all the various contributing factions.

    A Revolution is a very complex, unpredictable Force that cannot be planned and controlled although it does comprise planning and attempts to control by all the various inevitable factions.

    But, once it gets going, it’s hard to stop and it takes its toll in flesh & blood before it’s all said & done, and actually, it’s never really all said and done — hence A People’s Tragedy.

  24. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    @SMBand:

    My ancestors learned to make their masters’ chocolate cake & brownies out of their own feces and their masters loved it.

    I have never understood why higher-ranking humans think it’s safe to treat the lower-ranking humans like, well, feces, when they depend on those lower-ranking humans for everything.

  25. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    In a way, that’s the whole message of the original, early 20th-Century Progressives:

    “Look, barons, if you’ll only make some token concessions to the peasants–the cost of which you’ll never notice–and speak graciously to them, the vast majority of them will be content, and the few remaining rebels will be few enough to be crushed easily.”

  26. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    And yet, so many of the barons resist even the cheapest concessions. Another form of hubris, I suppose.

  27. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 21, 2017

    One can argue, and it’s a cogent argument, that the American Revolution was never fully completed and never will be. At least as far as The Common Man is concerned, one tyranny was replaced with another.

    The Declaration of Independence, as erudite & eloquent as it is, was written by & for Landowners and Men of Means. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Landowners & Men Of Means are created equal……..”

    It was meant to say, the implication was, that we American Landowners & American Men of Means are equal to the British Monarchy and its Courtiers.

  28. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 21, 2017

    I have never understood why higher-ranking humans think it’s safe to treat the lower-ranking humans like, well, feces, when they depend on those lower-ranking humans for everything.

    Same here. The psychology of the whole arrangement is bizarre & disturbing but it’s the hallmark & bedrock of Civilization.

  29. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    I read a book years ago, called [b]Painted in Blood[/b], which said that the origins of the aristocracy of Europe were exactly as if the Old West outlaw gangs had been able to seize and hold territories as their own, and subjugate the inhabitants.

    So yes, the displacement of Ye Olde Titlede Aristocracie (excuse Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe), 😉 by the plainer oligarchy of wealth, was simply one glorified gang of thieves supplanting another glorified gang of thieves.

  30. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 21, 2017

    And of course, every “successful” Glorious Peasant-and-Proletarian People’s Revolution simply proves to be one gang of thieves supplanting another gang of thieves, as well.

  31. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 21, 2017

    Something that’s always instructive in the understanding of propaganda is to look at it through the lens of history and compose your research spanning decades and even centuries. Pursuant to that, let’s dial the Propaganda Wayback Machine to 1992. Too funny — tragically funny, but funny nonetheless. Now, look at the news being proffered today and try to extrapolate from it what it will look like 25 years from now. Who’s today’s Osama bin Laden as if it’s 1992? There are so many choices. So many permutations. So many possibilities. Look for the signature calling cards. Of course, there’s the predictable crowd that will always say, without fail, “who could have known?” instead of, “who knew?”

    Anti-Soviet Warrior Puts His Army On The Road To Peace

  32. realitychecker permalink
    April 22, 2017

    Well, well, well. Willy, Woodpecker, and the Wery Kwazy Steve Miller Band, you three present a perfect circle-jerk manifestation of what the modern left has been reduced to.

    Schoolyard taunts, and dissing the men who founded and built this country that you now so pompously shit on. That’s all you’ve got.

    Imagine–you three passing judgment on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Payne, and their peers.

    You three, who never have and never will do anything memorable in your whole entire lives.

    You are so scared all the time, so pathetically restrained, that you are afraid to have a reasonable adult discussion about a timely topic, (everybody that wants to discuss a non-PC topic must automatically be presumed to be a gummint agent lol), but at the same time you think yourselves so powerful and impressive that your empty adolescent jibes match up well against the heroic performances of your betters.

    That really says all anybody needs to know about you guys.

    “The future is all yours, ya lousy corporations!” (h/t Butch Cassidy)

    STMB, you in particular are starting to reveal too much of yourself. And it’s really ugly. Check yourself, child.

  33. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 22, 2017

    @RC said: ….the men who built this country…

    Ummmm….no, the Founders did not build America. First, they essentially stole it, and second, the building was done by the men & women, The Little People, who’s names aren’t recorded in the history books. They’re the ones who “built” America with their blood, sweat & tears and you do them a disservice by attributing this amazing feat called America to the Founders. But, that’s who & what you and your ilk are. Donald Trump is no different. He claims successes for himself & his rich friends that are not, and never could be, his/their’s.

    America is a tram The Rich use on their way to even greater, unimagined wealth. Thanks Tayyip for that telling metaphor. Hey, at least he’s honest about it and so too am I.

    Of Mice And Great Men

  34. realitychecker permalink
    April 22, 2017

    The lowest scumbags on the planet will always feel they have an absolute right to make demeaning comments against great men who work hard and take risks and achieve greatness.

    It seems really incongruous to see Something being critiqued by Nothing.

  35. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 22, 2017

    Aaaand the flogging of the dead cayuse continues…

    I would ask what Reality “Macho Man” Checker has done, to earn a position from which he may justly rebuke us lowly scummy wormy sniveling grovelling serfs–but it would be useless, as anyone can claim, over the Intertoobz, to have done anything.

    I would not be surprised, if the truth could be revealed, that he would turn out to be a Foggy Dewhurst type–for those of you familiar with Last of the Summer Wine. 😛

  36. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 22, 2017

    Oh, and Foggy’s “argument” boils down to:

    “C’mon, I dare ya! What are ya, chicken?

    He has as much room to criticize other people for “schoolyard taunts” as Elmer Fudd has to criticize other people’s diction. :mrgreen:

  37. Willy permalink
    April 22, 2017

    I don’t mind the “Get off my lawn!” geriatric. Adds flavor to a neighborhood. But it starts getting creepy when it’s not even their lawn. Creepier still when the owner of said lawn has already told him to knock it off.

    All anybody’s trying to do here is get realitychecker to back up his personal insults and admonitions with something pointedly substantial, such as “because there’s dog shit on the lawn!”. But it rarely ever happens. Apparently this is what the misanthropic do. Insult and nitpickery are their mediums. Disenchantment and chaos are their goals.

    I’d hoped that somebody would vouch for realitychecker, telling us of his change from wise and avuncular humanist to exasperated asshole. But nobody’s stepped up. Nobody has any tales of a brilliance that went repeatedly ignored until some break happened. And now we get to have these self-described “heroic performances” nobody cares about.

    Great man indeed.

  38. realitychecker permalink
    April 23, 2017

    The depths of patheticness you guys are revealing about yourselves is really priceless to witness.

    You are pleased to marinate yourselves in every form of logical fallacy known to civilized man.

    What would it take for a genuine genius of high personal integrity to be able to enlighten such as you? Just imagine if one were to actually come along and make himself available to you. Would he deem you worthy of his benevolence, with the behavior you have displayed here?

    Get it now? You shmucks can’t be taken seriously by anybody serious.

  39. Willy permalink
    April 23, 2017

    I get out in the real world, where I must meet and deal with many people. I’ve observed and known many people from many religious and political persuasions. I know exactly where my standing is in relation to each, as well as the whole.

    Assuming you are being genuine, and are not some troublemaking dissembler intent on ruining a progressive website with your “mindfuckery” (as you so eloquently put it), you stand apart from a great many I’ve known. You’re an anomaly, realitychecker. You’re far too quick to disrespect most commenters here without ever specifically highlighting any “logical fallacy” from which they can learn. This is known as “ad hominem”, the worst fallacy of all.

    You are a self-important asshole. And “patheticness” is not a word. Own it.

  40. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 23, 2017

    Perhaps I am an unserious schmuck.

    Apparently, Foggy thinks I should be dismayed, if I am an unserious schmuck.

    Should I be dismayed–and if yes, why?

  41. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    April 23, 2017

    @realitychecker,
    I think your challenge is a good one. But it’s paradoxical. In 1789, “the sovereignty of the people” and “all men are created equal” were new ideas, and people could rally under that banner to create a new order. What would be the banner to rally under, today? The ideas of 1789 are revealed to be false, a sham. There’s zero chance a left-wing revolution would make things better. Rather, it would be more of the same medicine that is killing us.

    On the other hand, a right-wing revolution is almost an oxymoron. It would have to be a revolution from above, or a restoration. The problem is, there are no more aristocrats, and our elite class are mostly sociopaths or morons. So we don’t see much hope for the immediate future, and instead we look to the transcendental, and to the lessons of history for guidance. As Spengler wrote:

    We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who, during the eruption of Vesuvius, died at his post because they forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one thing that can not be taken from a man.

  42. Willy permalink
    April 23, 2017

    Still, I have to give credit where it’s due. “Public Enemies” might yield some insights. But I would only ever discuss such concepts on a personal level (already mentioned scalability), for example, a workaday world where a good and decent worker suddenly has a sociopathic moron of a boss who’s trying to ruin them for strictly political reasons. While cutting the head off the snake I believe the players will be the same: top manipulator/s, henchmen, gossips, useful tools, enablers and all the oblivious peers… regardless of scale.

  43. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 23, 2017

    The problem is, there are no more aristocrats, and our elite class are mostly sociopaths or morons.

    The aristocrats always were mostly sociopaths and/or morons, but capital-R Romantics don’t see that. 😛

    Being an un-Romantic fellow, I’ll still take the Enlightenment over any of its challengers. Its science and technology have given me, and the majority of the world’s population, far longer and better lives than we could have had if the Middle Ages had somehow gone on forever–though of course, many of us wouldn’t exist at all without the sci/tech revolutions, because one or more of our ancestors would have died before reproducing.

  44. Willy permalink
    April 23, 2017

    The system where Menlo Park guys like Tesla invented so that Edison could take credit seemed to work. On his own and without that stabilizing influence Tesla did seem to go kinda wonky. Even Bill Gates, top SAT score and all, knew it was better to control the inventors than to actually be one. But when those kinds of people get too powerful within some business sector I think the incentive (even ability?) for other inventors to create drops. I remember the heyday of shareware and freeware, a lot of it crap but some of it like Buttonware was better than Microsoft’s costly bug ridden product. After Microsoft outmaneuvered those guys I remember Jim Knopf (Button) being hired on and closing out his career with a secure MS job and some MS stock. I don’t think he ever created much of anything again.

    Like anything, there seems to be a moderate sweet spot where human groups function best to the benefit of all. Letting the mover/shaker players be what they are works, but only within limits. So many of them don’t know when to quit. They’ll just keep consolidating wealth and power until their being king of their world ruins it for everybody else. And then some version of Teddy Roosevelt has to come along to re-moderate things. Checks and balances.

  45. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 23, 2017

    We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who, during the eruption of Vesuvius, died at his post because they forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one thing that can not be taken from a man.

    *cue sad trombone*

    I’ve never read Spengler, but if this passage is representative, he was quite the drama queen. 😆

  46. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 24, 2017

    Oh wait, not “drama queen”.

    “Snowflake”, that’s it. Spengler must have been quite the dramatic little snowflake. 😛

  47. realitychecker permalink
    April 24, 2017

    I’m sure that if I died in a pile of hot volcanic matter, my last thought would not be, “Gee, I wonder how long the Millennials will remember me after I die”? At least, I hope not.

    It seems that most folks here are very willing to assume that nothing can happen in the future that is not an exact repeat of the way some vaguely similar past event played out in the past.

    Very self-limiting, IMO.

  48. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    April 24, 2017

    Well, not an exact repeat.

    IIRC, Twain said that history did not repeat itself, but it did tend to rhyme.

    Also, “Hot Volcanic Matter” WBAGNFARB (Would Be A Great Name For A Rock Band).

  49. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    April 24, 2017

    @IBW said IIRC, Twain said that history did not repeat itself, but it did tend to rhyme.

    True enough. Today, in America, when the Yellowstone Caldera erupts, perhaps there will be a selfless, braindead soldier who, like the dedicated Roman soldier, refused to leave his post and his loyalty will be captured in ash for all eternity with the only difference being this loyal American soldier preserved in ash will have his, or maybe it will be a her which would be a rhyming twist as well, Smart Phone on him/her.

  50. Willy permalink
    April 24, 2017

    Caldera watching seems a fine hobby for the retired binary thinker.

  51. realitychecker permalink
    April 25, 2017

    Geez, guys, the diff between “repeat” and “rhyme” is yuuge when you are in the context of trying to accurately predict the future.

    If “rhyme” is correct, then one should NEVER be saying things along the lines of, “It never happened that way before . . .,” should one?

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