The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Appropriate Hate (and Other Negative Emotions)

There are no human emotions which are always bad. Every emotion is useful in certain circumstances. Emotions are bad when they provide incorrect guidance or they hijack you.

Perhaps you had bad experiences with dogs as a kid, and now you’re scared of them, even though most aren’t dangerous. That’s inappropriate guidance, and, if the fear is strong enough and you can’t pet a friendly dog even though you think you should, you’ve been hijacked.

Chronic negative emotions are also bad. If you’re angry or scared almost all the time, that has negative effects on your health.

That said, even an emotion like hate has utility, if it’s correctly pointed. People like the person below have a problem.

Hate exists to tell you when someone is a threat, and you should do something about it. It often is hijacked, as with Americans thinking that foreign leaders like Putin are the primary threat, when it’s their own leaders who kill and impoverish them. When hate operates correctly, it points at actual threats.

Trump’s bungling of Covid and the economy has killed over 100,000 Americans. It’ll kill hundreds of thousands by the end. Somewhere around 30 percent of renters can’t make their payments; many of those will wind up homeless. That’s not all his fault, but a lot of it is.

Trump’s actually dangerous to a lot of people, and hating him is an appropriate emotion. Being consumed by it isn’t, but wishing that Trump would die of natural causes is entirely reasonable. (Granted, Pence might be worse, but you can hate him too.)

Emotions have purposes. Hate is meant to tell you who is a threat. Anger is meant to tell you that someone is doing something they really shouldn’t be doing. (This is one reason why, in spiritual communities which say one should never be angry, abusers manage to get away with abusing for a long, long time.) Jealousy tells you you’re falling behind and not living up to your potential.

All of these negative emotions can be inappropriate or hijacked or chronic and be bad for you, of course, but all of them also have a purpose in a healthy individual.

For that matter, positive emotions can be inappropriate. If you’re so happy you don’t notice a threat, that’s a problem that could get you dead.

Anyway, the main problem with hate and anger is that they are easily hijacked and hook onto targets who aren’t actually dangerous, but merely “foreign.” As with the companion feeling of loyalty, most of modern “leadership” is hijacking tribal emotions and pointing them in the wrong direction. Loyalty to Biden or Trump (both evil men who have done, and will do, horrible things) is insane unless you’re directly part of the gravy train.

We humans have very badly fucked up our emotional guidance systems. They’re supposed to point you towards what’s good for you and warn you about what’s bad for you. Trump is bad for almost everyone, and so is Biden. So are most Democratic and Republican politicians, almost all CEOs of major companies, and so on and so forth.

So go ahead and hate them, just don’t let it be chronic or hijack your ability to make decisions. It’s definitely appropriate.

The people who are dangerous to you and who have, over 40 years, impoverished Americans, are your own leaders. Hate threats, they are a threat.

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“It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way” Redux


The Extended Emotional Body


  1. Plague Species

    ….wishing that Trump would die of natural causes is entirely reasonable.

    It’s also entirely reasonable to wish he would die of unnatural causes. Same applies to many, most even, politicians. Same applies to the top 10%. The top 10% anywhere, not just America, so this would include Putin and his oligarchic mafia and it would also apply to the CCP. It would apply to the upper management of all the corporations and to all those who own the corporations. The world would be a better place if all of them died of natural and/or unnatural causes right now. Immediately. I wish for it even though I know it’s wishful thinking, and it’s perfectly and entirely reasonable. They want me dead and I want them dead. They want me dead because they’re malevolent greed heads. I want them dead because they’re malevolent greed heads.

  2. Bruce

    I really wish eliminating Trump or whoever would help, but would it? We need to move beyond capitalism but who wants to do this in any party in the U.S., including communists and socialists. Instead, we just complain.

  3. Willy

    Everywhere I go they start out telling me that their superior critical thinking skills makes them the absolute Truth.

    Then they warn me about Marxists who want death camps and Venezuela, about antiscience global warming vaccines, about maskless plandemics, about Qanon freedom haters/lovers… It’s a regular gilded age of incorrigibly conspiratorial nutjobs. Sometimes it seems like ridicule is the only antidote.

  4. anon

    This is the pc/cancel culture world we live in. We can’t openly express our wish for bad people to drop dead. It is rare for me to wish death on anyone, but let’s not pretend that we will or should shed a tear when any of these Dem or Repub politicians die, regardless of how, whether it be in their sleep or in the most horrible way possible. If Trump’s brother, known as the nice Trump, did less evil in this world than Donald, why shouldn’t we state that it was the wrong Trump who died? It’s not the worst statement I’ve heard being made on Twitter of all places.

  5. Gaianne

    Simple, direct, nice.

    Thank you, Ian.


  6. Joan

    Great post. This reminded me of Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Bright-sided.

  7. js

    Of course it has nothing to do with cancel culture. In fact most of the people who would push such “politeness” and “decency” are probably opposed to cancel culture themselves, as these calls to be “better than that” really don’t originate in that part of the political spectrum.

    Yes of course Trump’s death by any means (including a shooter at the white house, or poisoning his food, or infecting him with covid – may he suffer for a few weeks on a vent before dying pathetic and alone) would be a wonderful thing.

  8. Dan

    For that matter, positive emotions can be inappropriate. If you’re so happy you don’t notice a threat, that’s a problem and could get you dead.

    It also makes you stupid. This is perhaps the greatest problem of all in America. Most people “in the mainstream” are too happy. It’s a faux happiness of course, a product of infantilizing advertising and too many starbucks lattes or something. I often get non-reactions from people when I talk straightforwardly without undue emotion.

    It didn’t used to be like this. Maybe people know on some deeper level that if they ever really come down to earth and get serious about the world they won’t be able to handle it. So it’s shits and giggles, seemingly all the time.

  9. Exactly right Dan.

    Most people here seem to be doing their best to pretend their life is just like all the idiotic and wide tooth commercials beaten into them daily, no matter how much they might actually be struggling. It is actually quite sad because being honest with ourselves and others is what makes true connection possible, and people here are desperate for connection no matter how much they act out the perceived need to pretend they don\’t need anyone.

    It also makes it almost impossible to talk about things of substance without being branded as \”too negative\” which seems to me an indicator that things are beyond repair without some shock to breakthrough the culture of \”we live in the best country!\” as the flames get higher and higher.

  10. nihil obstet

    A basic pillar of American individualism is the belief that each of us can control our self if we are not lacking in will power, morality, intelligence, or perseverance. It goes beyond the emotions laid out in this post. Many physicians still tell patients how mistaken they are about their own physical feelings. Dieting counseling is very bad about this — “you aren’t hungry. You’re eating out of habit,” or “Drink lots of water before a meal so that you will feel full.” At the end of it all, you’re taught to ignore your own lying body for the reigning models. You can’t trust yourself very basically, so adopt their rules of reality.

    You’re taught to say that you don’t feel what you feel and that you’re evil if you admit you do feel it.

  11. NL

    With apologies to our moderator, I will disagree.

    1. Trump’s bungling of Covid and the economy — no, the government by oligarchy is bungling covid and the economy. Please raise your hand if you think Biden government will be better. Most probably do. I do not. A different oligarchic clan will come to power from a different section of economy and with a different agenda. Particularities will change, maybe Biden will say wear masks, but proper non-woven masks will not be easily available. I am not even talking about NIOSH approved N95 respirators.

    2. Trump’s actually dangerous to a lot of people — he is no more dangerous than your regular upper level executive in a corporation, a high positioned administrator in a university, anyone in an upper echelon. The higher you manage to rise, the worse people you will end up dealing with — that’s a given. The more ‘prestigious’ is a place, the bigger are the a**h***. Trump is actually not that bad at all as a boss, very predictable and rational. There are much much worse, highly intelligent, well-spoken, charismatic.

  12. S Brennan


    I don’t agree with many aspects of this post. The positive side of hate is extremely limited, though the anger it can produce, it gives a defending warrior strength to carry on but, it also does this for the other guy, so it’s kind of a wash. And hate will blind you, making you miss the opportunities your enemy will afford you. Controlled anger can be made useful, hatred by itself is kinda useless. Perhaps Ian, you meant anger not hate?

    “Hate exists to tell you when someone is a threat, and you should do something about it.” No Ian, as your example makes clear, hatred is most often used to blind people from real danger and have them lash out at the wrong party. And paradoxically you demonstrate that in the next paragraph:

    “Trump’s bungling of Covid and the economy has killed over 100,000 Americans. It’ll kill hundreds of thousands by the end”.

    Ian, you only give agency to Trump, if you truly believes this, your hate blinds your reason. Hate Trump, no biggie to me but, for effing sake give some agency to the only players.

    Governor of New York State, Andrew M. Cuomo by mandating Covid-19 patients be sent to old-people homes is DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the deaths of close to 30,000 seniors. Trump didn’t do anything that stupid, not even close.

    Let me continue to give agency to the New York city officials who insisted Chinese new year celebrations not be canceled “Today our city is celebrating the Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown, a beautiful cultural tradition with a rich history in our city. I want to remind everyone to enjoy the parade and not change any plans due to misinformation spreading about coronavirus,”- New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot 09 Feb 2020

    Then there’s this 09 Feb 2020 tweet from Mark D. Levine, Chair of New York City Council health committee “In powerful show of defiance of the Covid-19 scare, huge crowds are gathering in NYC’s Chinatown for ceremony ahead of annual Lunar New Year parade. If you are staying away, you are missing out!”

    Cases surged after that gathering because there were many visitors from Wuhan in the celebration. There’s still time for it but, so far, Trump hasn’t done anything close to the stupidity shown by New York Government officials. The New York Times reported that over 70% of the cases in the US originated in New York. Think about that Ian, New York officials are responsible for over 70% of the cases in the USA and yet you name only Trump, yes hate, like love blinds.

    Then there’s that monumental jack-ass Fauci who heads the CDC’s Infectious Disease response, the #1 dude in this panoply of tragedies, a guy who has for decades, promised the AIDS community a vaccine and has yet to deliver since his first “don’t try, just die” soliloquy in 1984. In other words, Fauci is a known fabricator…and this known charlatan gets up and tells the nation, don’t worry about Covid-19, it “isn’t a threat to the US”. The man responsible for the US Governments response to an infectious disease does the equivalent of sounding the all clear signal while the Japanese are doing their torpedo runs on Pearl Harbor [circa Dec 1941]. Fauci’s response is the worst the US has ever seen but he persists on making it worse, telling people that masks are useless. And the US is still suffering as a direct result of that remark. But Fauci persists in making matters worse, he not only dismisses the seriousness, the prevention, he dismisses hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for SARS2/Covid-19 even though he touted hydroxychloroquine’s antiviral capabilities during the first SARS epidemic [circa 2007]..simply unbelievable. And then…in March we learn that Fauci is the man responsible for funding the Wuhan Labs research into making bat corona viruses jump from animals to connection we are told..just a one in a billion coincidence..yeah sure. As the bible says; if your hatred blinds you then..pluck it out..or..something like that.

    And yet Ian, not one word of this do you mention. By blaming Trump for all of it, you exculpate those who did far, far, far worse. Not exactly liberal thinking Ian.

    “wishing that Trump would die of natural causes is entirely reasonable. (Granted, Pence might be worse, but you can hate him too.)” Great, Ian, that means Nancy Pelosi gains the throne…all our present woes and as an extra special prize…eternal war.

    “So go ahead and hate them, just don’t let it be chronic or hijack your ability to make decisions” Ian, I get angry all the time but, I try to to go easy on the hate because “it’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world except for…lo lo lo lo Lola”…with apologies to Ray Davies.

    You are a better thinker than this post.

  13. bruce wilder

    @NL +1

    Kind of surprised to say that.

    People in western, neoliberal cultures, with their philosophies of hyper individualism and “Mr Spock” models of empty-can rationality, tend to get confused about “feelings”, confounding appetites, somatic self-awareness and the social context that give emotions meaning. We are, as other commenters have said, confused. More than confused, a bit dissociated and also living saturated in narrative, including but unfortunately not limited to the inner conversation most of have with introjects.

    Emotions, strictly, are the feelings that enable us to be social animals. Emotions are why dogs have tails and why people have complex facial expressions. There’s a phenomenon known as cortical blindness (aka blindsight) in which lesions in the primary visual cortex prevent a person from consciously “seeing”. Such a person may register emotions when someone stands in front of them in an exaggerated pose of emotional expression, even when not consciously able to recognize the one standing in front of them. Psychologists (and car salesmen) train to imitate the posture of their interlocutors as part of a process of developing empathy and insight (and the ability to lead or manipulate).

    My point is that emotions, properly, belong to social relationships primarily and maybe fantasy and entertainment secondarily. There can real resonance between the personal politics of a place of business or a family and a great, epic novel. I would never say, “Jealousy tells you you’re falling behind and not living up to your potential.” I would say, maybe, jealousy tells you that you want the attention Y is paying to R. I think you can hate someone you know and interact with. I won’t judge the righteousness or advisability of doing so without many particulars, but I would say the emotion belongs properly to the relationship, not to the being as such of either individual in the abstract. The emotion arises from and drives the relationship among persons.

    My problem with random people “hating Trump” as in the common affliction of Trump Derangement Syndrome, is not the product of some misplaced Christian ethic. I think it is generally inappropriate to “hate” someone you do not have a personal relationship with. I think you can be angry about some official action, but to hate an idea of someone you do not really know is an odd displacement of emotion away from your social circle. (I do not think it sensible to love Jesus, for much the same reason.) It is bit like savoring food you only read about in a magazine, without smelling, tasting or even seeing it on the plate in front of you, ready to share with companions.

    This phenomenon of “hating” Trump (scare quotes for reasons just given for being skeptical about whether people should properly be said to hate an idea they have of someone they do know or have a personal relationship with) strikes me as a product of Media-driven narrative saturation. Which I do not regard as politically healthy for the society or psychologically healthy for the individual who becomes submersed in that sea of poorly founded narrative.

    I do believe in the value of applying critical thinking to the task of rationally aligning emotional and instinctive impulses with deliberate purpose and intention. Humans have an innate attraction to purity; better to scrub the kitchen than shun an Untouchable. Humans have a built-in (by natural selection I suppose) inclination to sacrifice for the greater good; better private charity than public austerity. In other words, I see value in righteous anger. Anger can be moralistic, even when it takes on abstract standards of fairness. Anger, unlike love or hate, does not have to be personal to be genuine. Political societies need the willingness of people to engage in some altruistic punishment of false leaders.

    What I see in TDS is a lot of self-righteous anger. Like the “anti-racism” of the BLM corporate sponsors, the “hatred” is a little hard to believe. And it is politically useless as far as reforming “the system” is concerned. Real emotions connect a person with people, draw on a social context. In American politics, the real social context has been blown to neoliberal hell. Self-righteous anger is virtue-signalling at best. Of course, you wish the person dead. Anything to avoid dealing politically with opposed interests and opinion, to avoid the politics of democratic governance — that avoidance is a feature of FOX-MSNBC reality alternative reality.

    That “self” in self-righteous makes a big difference. I think the much of the political propaganda being spewed out in corporate and social Media is designed to purpose to manufacture self-righteous anger and hatred of caricatures. It blunts the ability of people to cooperate with those they may disagree with. It blunts the capacity to appreciate nuance, complexity and contradiction. More than anything it kills critical thinking.

  14. StewartM


    Please raise your hand if you think Biden government will be better.

    I think that’s obvious. Just because so many nations did much better than us, including others run by equally horrible neoliberals as ours. That mean that getting CoVID-19 under some semblance of control isn’t that terribly high a bar to demonstrate competence; rather, losing control like we did it takes a real talent for incompetence. Just contrast the US government’s handling of H1N1, Zika, SARS, and Ebola to CoVID-19. There were pandemic ‘war game’ plans in place that were handed off from one administration to another but Trump just threw the plans he inherited into the trash can. As has been now leaked, one of the reasons there was no national plan was that his team thought CoVID-19 would hit blue states hardest.

    Biden or would attempt to do better; I’m not saying as good as Taiwan or New Zealand or others but even countries that flubbed up initially like Italy and Spain managed to right themselves. Trump can’t even right us. The biggest problem would be if the Republicans hold a chamber of Congress during Biden’s turn they will block all meaningful relief attempts. That is also obvious.

    Finally, I’m not saying Biden is good (he’s not) or especially competent (he’s not) but other countries with leaders no better or more competent still did a lot better than Trump has done.

  15. Thomas B Golladay

    Mali coup succeeded. They nabbed the entire government and the people cheered the coup on…

    Well good riddance to the corrupt and incompetent Mali government which had become a French puppet in all but name.

    As for Trump’s handling of Covid-19, he deserves the least blame compared to state governors and the deep state. Now could he have done more? Certainly by firing the heads of health agencies, giving orders to allow HCQ to be bought over the counter (it is substantially safer than aspirin which kills 2000 people a day), set a Federal Standard for Covid Action and tie state funding to meeting and exceeding those standards, pour billions into studying the virus and not allowing any patents on the results.

  16. NL

    “I think that’s obvious.” — Not to me, far from it. Which oligarchies out there have done better than ours? After accounting for population size, major specifics (e.g., residual industry, ethnic homogeneity) and random drift, the oligarchies have done and are doing about the same. In terms of death per million, US is right there together with UK, Spain, Italy, Chile, Sweden, Brasil, France and Mexico (450-600 death per mil). The aristocratic oligarchy of the UK has done even worse. Germany has done better (111), but they have more industry and have workers sit on the corporation boards.

    Biden is just a front for a clan. What is the agenda of this group, we (or at least I) can only guess. I just accidentally (can’t waste much time on this) read on some site that Biden will be a ‘get-to-work’ president. From this, I figure his administration will push people to work notwithstanding the epidemic.

  17. js

    Deaths don’t seem to me a useful metric to use. The one Trump wants us to use but seriously it doesn’t seem a good metric. It’s way too dependent on demographics, at the very least you have to adjust for age. The U.S. is not a young country, nor the oldest. Also countries hit early on did not have the knowledge to reduce deaths we do now, yea this is much more limited than anyone wants, but even positioning people so they can breath better rather than rushing them to ventilators helps, even the steroid helps a little. Also masks may reduce the severity of the infection, but most countries outside Asia weren’t using them early on but we now know they help. So it was worse to get hit earlier when knowledge was less. The death figures are also likely manipulated, but they may be manipulated many places, it’s almost certain red states are lying about deaths at this point IMO.

    When people say Trump is doing a bad job they are looking at CASES per say 100k.

  18. Mark Pontin

    Ian W. wrote: ‘Trump’s bungling of Covid and the economy has killed over 100,000 Americans.’

    It’s not about Trump ‘s bungling. He’s just a glove puppet.

    Trump refused to issue a federal order to enforce mask wearing, for instance, not because he’s incompetent — although he certainly is — but because that would be a federal regulation and he was put in the White House specifically to gut federal regulations, not impose more.

    Ian W: ‘Granted, Pence might be worse’

    Now you’re getting warmer. Head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, right? Do some research into who paid to create Pence, Pompeo, Meadows, Kellyanne Conway, and 90 percent of the people who — from top to bottom — now comprise the Trump administration as the likes of Tillerson, Mattis, McMasters, Bannon, and Bolton got moved out

    Next, examine carefully this administration’s record over the last few months. You’ll find that at *every* stage the real-world evidence is that the Trump administration worked actively, consistently, and very competently to blunt any effective Federal government response to the pandemic wherever it could, while forcing privatizations of that response wherever it could.

    Unbelievable? A conspiracy theory? I repeat: spend a few hours going through the real-world record of the Trump administration — forget Trump himself and the way the mainstream media misrepresent the threat he presents.

    NL wrote: ‘Trump’s bungling of Covid and the economy — no, the government by oligarchy is bungling covid and the economy. Please raise your hand if you think Biden government will be better. Most probably do. I do not. A different oligarchic clan will come to power from a different section of economy and with a different agenda.’

    Eh. First time you’ve posted something naive.

    Yes, Biden — who’d be even more of a glove puppet than Trump — in the White House would be ‘a different oligarchic clan … from a different section of economy and with a different agenda administration’ and so just more neoliberal kleptocracy.

    There are other kinds of creatures out there among the deranged U.S. billionaire class than neoliberal kleptocrats, however.

  19. someofparts

    I heard that someone once asked Hannah Arendt how she felt about Germany, whether she loved it or hated it. She responded by noting that she did not have feelings like that about abstractions like nations. She explained that feelings like love or hate were responses she had for other humans that she knew personally, and only made sense in the context of personal human-to-human relations.

    As to whether Biden will be better or not, two things: 1) there is no Biden- the alleged Biden administration will be the Obama 2.0 presidency and 2) U.S. voters will ultimately support the first competent government we get and will not care whether it is socialist or fascist

  20. Stirling S Newberry

    This week is one where the COVID-19 plague brook. Will it keep going down? Que sabe. But the trend is down.

  21. Plague Species

    Trump is a slug and deserves no cover or apologia but Pontin raises a good point. Trump’s “handlers” fomented the response to this pandemic. Trump mangled the selling of it. Or did he? He does afterall appeal to the least common denominator in America or one faction of it, so perhaps his delivery of the response or lack thereof, was perfectly appropriate for his target audience. It emboldens his supporters to be even more ignorant than they already are and it trolls the hell out of liberals (card carrying members of the Democratic party) to the point they rant and rave and foam at the mouth with their TDS conniptions.

    Wall Street owns both parties so it, and the top 10%, win either way. I would like to see an analysis of how much wealthier the Dems have become since Trump has been in office. How much has Nancy Pelosi’s net worth increased under Donald Trump’s tenure. Same holds true for the Obamas and the Clintons. Why ruin a good thing, right? Bernie would have decreased their net worth. You don’t derail the gravy train and rob yourself. You instead pretend you’re some form of opposition as you continue to feed at the trough. This alone explains Biden as the nominee come hook or crook. Bernie is a stooge and a fool. I have zero respect for him now. He is a coward. A tool. A fool. A terrible leader. He would have made a terrible president. His capitulation to the DNC who cheated him once again means he’s either an imposter or a spineless, incompetent wussy who can’t and won’t fight.

    Back to Trump’s “handlers.” The media time and again (Joe & Mika are the worst of the lot in this regard) is always giving these slugs the benefit of the doubt and implying, if not outright saying directly, that they are doing all they can to contain Trump and prevent him from destroying entirely America and the world. Bullshit. As Pontin indicates and I agree, they are the “brains” behind this operation. It is their strategy to hollow the government out and privatize everything in their goal to transform America into an unabashed and unashamed kleptocratic oligarchy that rivals Putin’s Russia as an overt, in-your-face mafia state. The fact the media and the Dems provide cover and safe harbor for these malevolent rapscallion handlers reveals they are complicit.

    It’s grotesque, pornographic Kabuki Theater. And for what? A fistful of dollars? Pathetic. But hey, that’s human for you.

  22. Ché Pasa

    “Hating” political characters is akin to booing the villain in a melodrama. Mostly it feels good, but it doesn’t change the plot or the outcome. In fact, it’s what the creators want you to do. It makes them money and keeps you engaged. What’s not to like?

    Whole sectors of the entertainment industry are built on the premise. So, indeed, is much of the political/industrial complex.

    Criticizing a political figure is not the same as hating on the character, though. Every president and other political figure deserves scrutiny and criticism — especially when they are in office — as their actions and inactions affect the lives and livelihoods of everyone under their authority. It’s not like a melodrama — which ultimately has no more than transitory emotional effect on the audience, and generally none at all on the players.

    Pretending that politician X is the Most Evul Evah and must be destroyed at all costs, however, typically has no effect on said politician. It keeps you (in the general sense) engaged, though. Engaged in what is the question.

    Pretending that politician X is in all ways blameless — because some outside Other is really to blame — is typically just as useless. But it is as emotionally satisfying.

    And that’s pretty much the whole point of hate and innocent blamelessness in politics.

    On the other hand, genuine threats to you deserve, if not hate, at least a counter, one that’s thought through and effective. And that’s where we usually fail. In the United States, the failure has been long-standing and catastrophic. Our rulers rule the way they do because there is no effective counter. For the most part, they are able to counter practically anything the rabble attempts. The rabble can do little or nothing to counter their rulers.

    The frustration is part of what leads to passivity. If there’s nothing you can do, why do anything? Why do anything against the interests of the owners/masters?

    (Observe how animals are conditioned and trained….)

    Breaking free of this syndrome is difficult but not impossible.

  23. Eric Anderson

    Freud would have a field day with all of the emotion suppressors. Unless one has cultivated their inner space to the point that anger is recognized for what it truly is — fear — and processed as such, the emotion WILL come out sideways someplace else in life.

    Mr. high minded Josh Jordan probably beat the hell out his dog when he got home.

    Fear and love. Every emotion is reducible to these two primary drives. Transcendence is the ability to habitually recognize this fact prior to the limbic system taking control of our prefrontal cortex.

    Anger manifests from the lack of control we experience when in a fearful state.

  24. NL

    @bruce wilder

    Before emotions, humans are probably more of instinctive followers and imitators of the leaders or in the modern jargon ‘influencers’ and ‘thought leaders’.

    From the beginning, the elite signaled that Trump is not part of them and that it is Ok to disparage him, and so the imitators did their best to show themselves to the elite and trash Trump as much as possible.

    Now, why Trump is laughed at by the elite. Well, sure, he is an overbearing self-important buffoon. But there may be also ethnic element there. He is Gaelic and German who marries repeatedly Slavic women. How many self-respecting New Englanders would marry Slavic women?

  25. Anon

    Plague Species nailed it.

  26. NL

    @Mark Pontin
    Eh. First time you’ve posted something naive.
    There are other kinds of creatures out there among the deranged U.S. billionaire class than neoliberal kleptocrats, however.

    Ok, what I missing? I am all ears. Who are the creature you are talking about?
    “forcing privatizations of that response wherever it could” — private-public partnership is the name of the game, it’s a religion, everyone does it, where is the conspiracy?

    Trump rewords his camp by directing federal money to them, he rewards himself by visiting Mar-a-Lago and having public money pay for his entourage, he blocks Bezos from getting 10 bil in cloud comp money cause of WaPo. Now Trump is shopping TikTok in return for donations.

    There is probably no bottom to this bucket and we know only a tiny bit, but what new?

  27. BlizzardOfOzzz

    @someofparts – I wonder how she felt about the abstract nation of Israel (the answer may surprise you).

  28. Dan

    @Eric Anderson:

    Is it your contention that all anger arises from fear?

  29. elissa3

    The late Alex Cockburn, founder of Counterpunch was known to ask his future collaborator and now editor of Counterpunch, Jeffrey St. Clair: “Is your hate pure?”. Not a bad question.

  30. krake

    Hate is silly. It binds. It’s inchoate.

    When faced with an adversary worth a damn, I prefer malice. Clean, crisp, indefatigable malice.

  31. Joan

    What would it actually take for the US to become a multi-party system rather than a two-party system? Is it totally impossible? On looking through Wikipedia, the US has apparently always been a two-party system, though what those two parties were has changed. George Washington didn’t want political parties at all. I’d be curious what Ian thinks about how the US might become a multi-party republic.

  32. Dan

    @ krake, Re: “indefatigable malice”

    I’ve never been able to maintain malicious intent for any sustained length of time, try as I may. I end up having to turn the other cheek, for my own sanity’s sake. I guess it’s the way I was brought up. I couldn’t imagine my parents – certainly not my mother – nor any of the institutions I was brought up in – public, private, secular, religious, whatever – imparting that sort of attitude in me. Despite some lifetime experiences that would cause me to lend myself rather easily to malice, I can’t for the life of me cultivate it in any serious fashion.

  33. krake


    Malice isn’t an investment, like hate. It doesn’t consume; this is probably why our overlords prefer it. Malice paints a target, marks it clearly, and appreciates the aim. The point is to harm. With hatred, the point is to obsess, to consume and be consumed. Malice doesn’t obligate, like that. Out earthly rulers have always disdained us, with malice. We ought ought to requite, in kind.

  34. Dan


    Hate needn’t be all-consuming; it can be fleeting. And hate can be recognized as such and the energy intentionally directed toward malice (or love or understanding, for that matter*). The operative word is “indefatigable” which, while not a direct analogue to “all-consuming,” may well become all-consuming, particularly to those of us who don’t always compartmentalize well.

    *This is not to say that through enough reflection/meditation/prayer/whatever we can all come to love and understand our elite. Our elite are indefatigably malicious. It’s natural to them to be socio/psycho paths all the time. That’s who they are. In order to counteract this, it requires constant vigilance, which isn’t natural to most of us, though it can be cultivated in some.

  35. Temporarily Sane

    Is it okay to ‘hate’ Trump? Should I ‘support’ the “Assad regime” or the insurgents fighting against it? Is so-and-so a ‘real’ leftist/liberal? Is Putin a bad dude?

    These are just some of the topics people on the ‘left’ like to argue about. You will notice that no matter which ‘side’ of the issue one takes it makes absolutely no difference to political or material reality. None, nada, zilch, null. It’s like somebody adding World’s #1 Marxist-Leninist! to their Twitter profile. None of this crap matters because it’s just a bunch of people sitting alone behind their screens masturbating. No risks are taken, no plans are made, nothing of substance that could make a tangible difference is discussed.

    The most “real” leftist political discussions get is talking about who to vote/not vote for. Not exactly radical stuff. Even less so if you’re, say, a Canadian talking about elections in a country you don’t have voting rights in.

    The common denominator here is powerlessness. Impotence.

    Powerful groups, whether it’s a monarchy, an oligarchy or a communist dictatorship only concede power if they are put under pressure. When their lives, or their comfort and stability, are credibly threatened. People arguing over bullshit on the internet scares nobody.

    The internet provides a wonderful illusion that makes sitting passively and manipulating electrons on a screen feel like your’e actually doing something. No, the only “action” is in your mind. It’s a hypnotic passivity machine, kinda like the SOMA drug in Huxley’s Brave New World.

    The internet before Facebook and the iPhone was something people accessed on a desktop or a laptop. Cell phones were still primarily telephones with basic texting and some crappy 8-bit games that nobody played. There was still life outside the internet. What used to be called IRL (in real life) is a quaint notion today when everything is going online, even your toothbrush and toaster, when there is barely a dividing line between the internet and ‘real life’.

    When we are finally forced to snap out of the internet induced hypnotic trance we will realize how negative and detrimental an always on internet actually was, how it took over life and living and replaced it with a cheap facsimile that made us dependent on networks and software controlled by a handful of Silicone Valley oligarchs whose main game is for-profit psychological manipulation on a massive scale that pacifies people and dumbs them down while feeding them endless bullshit.

  36. Hugh

    Fascinating to see the variety of ways the never-ending disaster and pathological locus that is Trump gets explained away, mitigated, even defended. It’s like progressives are terrified at the prospect of being taken seriously and will do anything to avoid it. Consistency, holding all comers to the same standards . . . ? Hey, that’s not the progressive way. Is this any different from what the wingnut right does? No.

    It doesn’t have to be this way. But it is very much the way it is, and what progressives keep choosing.

  37. Mark Pontin

    NL wrote: “Ok, what I missing? I am all ears. Who are .. (you)talking about?’

    Charles Koch.

    Yes: Charles Koch does subscribe — like the neoliberals — to von Hayek’s central dogma that markets are always and forever a superior information processor to mere human beings.

    No: Koch does *not* see — very much unlike the neoliberals — a role for government in regulating and enforcing the introduction of market mechanisms into society, in ‘rigging the economy’ as he disdainfully refers to it.

    He believes there should be *no* government and no regulation, no taxes, no social services of any kind — in U.S. terms, no medicare, no social security — and no borders and no prisons, and that there should be privatized education, privatizations of the roads and the very sidewalks we walk on.

    And Koch is effectively who controls the Trump administration at this point. Go through the histories of all the main players — Pence, Pompeo, Conway, Meadows, and the others — in it.

  38. don

    Online Library of Liberty

    A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets.

    Advanced Search
    Montesquieu was fascinated by the liberty which was enjoyed in England, which he attributed to security of person and the rule of law (1748)

    500px montesquieu 1

    From: Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws (Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu)

    By: Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu

    Theme: Politics & Liberty

    See this quote in context.

    Montesquieu was fascinated by the liberty which was enjoyed in England, which he attributed to the sharp separation of political powers:

    CHAP. VI.

    Of the Constitution of England.
    IN every government there are three sorts of power: the legislative; the executive in respect to things dependent on the law of nations; and the executive in regard to matters that depend on the civil law.

    By virtue of the first, the prince or magistrate enacts temporary or perpetual laws, and amends or abrogates those that have been already enacted. By the second, he makes peace or war, sends or receives embassies, establishes the public security, and provides against invasions. By the third, he punishes criminals, or determines the disputes that arise between individuals. The latter we shall call the judiciary power, and the other, simply, the executive power of the state.

    The political liberty of the subject is a tranquillity of mind arising from the opinion each person has of his safety. In order to have this liberty, it is requisite the government be so constituted as one man need not be afraid of another.

    When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner.

    Again, there is no liberty if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and executive. Were it joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary controul; for the judge would be then the legislator. Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with violence and oppression.

    There would be an end of every thing, were the same man, or the same body, whether of the nobles or of the people, to exercise those three powers, that of enacting laws, that of executing the public resolutions, and of trying the causes of individuals.

  39. Eric Anderson


    It is known.
    The sympathetic nervous system is designed to do two things. Attract attract us to positive stimulus or repel us from negative. Every emotion beyond fear and love are social refinements.

  40. NL

    @Mark Pontin

    *shrug* Yeah, I know all of that. They also want to bring back child labor. They want to do all of that and more and go to the time before FDR. I am absolutely cognizant of that. However, I have no special knowledge to what extent the Koch organization controls the Trump organization. Private (as opposed to publicly traded companies) are often very politically active because they have to to stay afloat. ” *no* government and no regulation, no taxes, no social services of any kind” is the essence of liberalism and neoliberalism from Reagan and on. This is hardly Koch only preferences. You, my fiend, seem to be naive (no offence intended).

  41. bruce wilder

    I find myself wondering “what’s really going on?”

    is the truth out there?

    Koch has $50 billion and great conviction in a political philosophy apparently. The internet has drawn us all into an hypnotic trance and pacified us as consumers of endless bullshit. Progressives are terrified at the prospect of being taken seriously.

    It doesn’t have to be this way, but you are in that chair, Blanche, you are in that chair.

  42. someofparts

    This conversation is making me want to be sure I still have the main works of Nathaniel West on my bookshelf. If I want to study the way hate and malice bubble up in our world, I could do worse than a close re-read of Miss Lonelyhearts and Day of the Locust.

    Also, I don’t know what Arendt said about Israel, but I won’t be surprised if it is disappointing. Gloria Steinem was a CIA asset and Katha Pollitt got the Nation sued by throwing careless accusations at Matt Taibbi. It seems that one of the consequences of the internet information glut is that I get to find out that all of my erstwhile heroines are flawed, which I welcome. So yeah, Arendt’s thinking about Israel may be disappointing. Even so, I wish she were still around to talk about what Israel has become since her day. I would pay to read that.

  43. someofparts

    Modifiers – tricky little things, easy to misplace.

    I don’t welcome the flaws of people I admire, I welcome my chance to learn about those flaws.

  44. Plague Species

    However, I have no special knowledge to what extent the Koch organization controls the Trump organization.

    Koch is Wall Street is the plutocratic oligarchy is the Top 10% and therefore it represents that faction that must be eliminated from the realm, but for so-called “liberals” (this is not directed at Pontin fyi) to use Koch as the end all be all of all evil in the world is not only insulting to our intelligence but it’s also a ruse when you consider Koch is a substantial supporter of liberal so-called causes or, better yet, so-called liberal causes are a supporter of Koch. Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs in Planet of the Humans underscored this. A major beneficiary of the Green New Deal is Koch and Wall Street in general and as such, the deal is not green at all except in the sense it means yet even more money and profits for the Top 10% at the expense of the unwashed and the living planet.

    There’s a fine line between delusion and illusion. And both are part of the myth of a “clean energy” that magically lifts humanity from its crash course with the planet. Rather than drastically reduce our consumption of resources such as water, fossil fuels and hard-rock minerals, humans are more content to seek technological fixes that won’t work anywayy.

    That is the thesis of Planet of the Humans. Move over, Al Gore. Henceforth, Earth Day belongs to Jeff Gibbs.

    Gibbs directs and reports the documentary produced by Michael Moore and released on April 21. It’s free on YouTube for 30 days and is a must-watch.

    Just as billions in federal aid have been dumped into “the economy” in recent weeks from COVID-19 stimulus and relief packages, the US has poured fountains of money over the elusive concept of better energy, and we’re not saving the planet as much as we’re flailing to save our standard of living.

    Gibbs highlights how the global environmental cost of mining, production and disposal of solar and wind technology don’t get primetime play. We’re still using fossil fuel-based infrastructure to build them. Plus, the same evil corporate overlords who run technological/industrial society (read: The Koch Brothers) run the strategy and profit bases that prop up the “green energy movement.”

    Also, f*ck you Obamas. F*ck you DNC. F*ck you Bernie. F*ck you, so-called “liberals.” I’m not voting for any of you. I’m not voting period. And I’m working day and night trying to convince my daughter and wife not to vote either. I want you to suffer like the rest of us are suffering. My hope is that your hyperbole about the severity of another four years of Trump is actually true even though you are lying and don’t believe it yourself, and that he locks all of you away or disappears you like Erdogan did. You had a chance to preclude Trump and instead you squandered it because it was never your intent to change a damn thing. I believe you did it purposefully (stood down), Barack, because you were always an imposter. I won’t be fooled again. This time around, the ruse is that much more transparent. Damn you all to hell.

  45. Dan

    Plague Species summed it up well. Given these truisms, why not spend some time arguing semantics? At least we’re not fucking anything up.

  46. Ché Pasa

    Feelings of betrayal have long been many people’s trigger for political hate. Very much akin, I think, to feelings that arise when parents, teachers, bosses, lovers, relatives, friends and such betray the trust that’s been put in them. Oddly, though, in our political environment, the more blustery and bullying a politician is, the more he or she is allowed to get away with — or is even celebrated for — pretty much any betrayal they want. The only exception used to be sexual improprieties, but even that exception seems to have fallen away.

    In other words, when politicians don’t pretend to be your buddy and treat you like shit, they can betray you with almost complete impunity.

    It’s a mystery of human nature.

  47. Thomas B Golladay

    If T-cell Immunity is working then Herd Immunity is reached at 20% and the first wave is the worst and only one. Which in turn means Lockdowns were the wrong approach when done the way that many nations did them IE without proper compensation to businesses causing them to fail. South Dakota did not shut down, implemented no containment policies, had roughly 10.5k confirmed cases with 155 deaths and they had the meat packing fiasco. Their case numbers are dropping and it appears herd immunity is kicking in.

    Proper T-cell functioning requires Zinc in the diet, yet processed food most Americans eat lacks it and other micronutrients. This makes the politicization of HCQ totally unconscionable and Democrats will pay a price. Indeed new polling shows likely voters are blaming the Democrats for this fiasco, especially in Battleground States and Michigan where Whitmer’s handling has been incompetent. If you shut down businesses, you need to financially compensate them for it and she did not.

    The way this virus was handled reveals neither party is competent to rule and both must be voted out. If billions had been thrown into actually researching the virus rather than saving the profits of the richest companies, we could have identified the T-cell Angle and tailored a proper plan to hit herd immunity quickly by supplementing Zinc, D-3, and other micronutrients into people’s diets. But nope, Fauci saw a gravy train and the Big Pharma boys who have regulatory capture of the FDA weren’t going to let a gravy train leave the station.

  48. S Brennan

    As if to add to Thomas B Golladay point; we have this:

    “Democratic Governor Quietly Reverses Course on Hydroxychloroquine. The reversal by Walz, a first-term Democrat, clears the way for doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine in Minnesota. Governor [Tim] Walz quietly lifted his March 27 Executive Order 20-23 restrictions on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine…Though his Trumps critics are loath to admit it, there’s reason to believe the president may have been on to something. In recent weeks a chorus of voices in the medical community has emerged to challenge the view that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective as a COVID treatment. Dr. Harvey A. Risch, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, said a full analysis of the literature suggests hydroxychloroquine may be the key to defeating the coronavirus.”

    Ian’s “justifiable hatred” of Trump exhibited by the “left”-“liberals”-D’s caused the death of at least 50% of Covid-19 patients and that percentage is probably closer to 80%. Many on this blog do not have the advantage age and of those, few are self-aware/self-critical, consequently most are unable to acknowledge that the media and 3-Letter-Agencies have repeatedly made fools of the American People and that they themselves have also been fooled.

    The worst of this pandemic would be behind us if people could see past their blind hatred.

  49. Mark Pontin

    NL wrote: ‘You, my fiend, seem to be naive (no offence intended).’

    Heh. None taken.

    NL: ‘I have no special knowledge to what extent the Koch organization controls the Trump organization.’

    What Trump organization? That’s part of how the Koch network could achieve what they have, which is that at this point, except for Mnuchin and Chao, they’re all Koch creatures in the ‘Trump’ administration. More relevantly, the chiefs of staff, the special assistants, the rank and file actually responsible for what comes out of the White House and what gets done are Koch people.

    NL wrote: ‘… *no* government and no regulation, no taxes, no social services of any kind” is the essence of liberalism and neoliberalism from Reagan and on. This is hardly Koch only preferences.’

    Not really true. Neoliberals absolutely see a role for government and regulation in enforcing and subsidizing privatization, and enlarging corporate profits. Though yes, they also think those laws and regulations are for the little people and they’re exempt.

    Beyond that, there’s a spectrum here. When Charles Koch put his brother David in place to run as Libertarian candidate for VP in 1980 because the Kochs thought Reagan was a dangerous leftist, William Buckley called the Kochs ‘anarcho-totalitarians.’ Today, of course, Charles has re-engineered American society so his views have become, if not standard, well within the pale. (See forex the comment from Don above.)

    More to the point, would neoliberals be on a mission from God that meant they were prepared to work *actively* and consistently to block and destroy any effective U.S. Federal response in the middle of the pandemic even if that meant ensuring that a few hundred-thousand Americans died?

    Because that’s what the Trump administration has done.

    Firstly, it’s attempted to block billions of funding – which Congress, including Republicans, had signed off on – for the CDC and NIH to carry out coronavirus testing and contact tracing programs.
    Secondly, it’s ensured that six months into this pandemic FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) – both now Trump administration fiefs – are continuing to divert or underfund supplies of medical equipment.

    Thirdly, it’s used the Defense Production Act to stake first rights to desperately-needed medical supplies so as to divert those supplies – with methods including outright confiscation – away from U.S. states and hospitals, which have then been forced into exorbitant bidding wars on both open and quasi-black markets to procure what they needed.

    And, fourthly, the administration has taken responsibility for coronavirus data collection, analysis, and sharing away from the CDC and given it to the HHS to make sure that data collection is privatized so that its narrative about the pandemic is the one that gets promulgated or, if that doesn’t work, the data is unavailable or unclear.

    When people show who they are, believe them. If preconceptions are put aside, the evidence is blazingly clear. The Trump administration is not bungling. In reality, it has with total consistency and at every turn actively gone out of its way to prevent effective Federal responses to the pandemic.

    And that’s because in Charles Koch’s view, the American people must be educated never ever to expect effective responses from the Federal government again. To understand this it’s helpful to discard the standard Leftist view of Charles Koch as simply another venal, possibly psychopathic Republican billionaire.

    Charles Koch is a highly intelligent, highly principled man with a general degree in engineering from MIT and two master degrees also from MIT, one in nuclear engineering and the other in chemical engineering. At his father’s request, he gave up a successful career in Boston to come home to Kansas and take over the small family oil business. He’s doubled its size 200 times in the half-century he’s run it privately, so that today its annual revenues are more than three times those of Goldman-Sachs, and the food we’ll eat today, the buildings we’ll live and work and sleep in, the energy that we’ll use to go or do whatever we do, will to a greater or less extent depend on Koch Industry products and services.

    Charles Koch is highly principled man and *not* a Republican. He doesn’t trust Republicans, though he’s now more or less taken over that party except for the Lincoln project dead-enders. He’s working on the Democrats now.

    Charles Koch is, however, an ideologue. A half-century ago he began a project to re-engineer American society along lines consistent with his beliefs. If bringing that project to a successful realization means that a few hundred-thousand Americans have to die because there was no effective Federal response to the disease, he’s okay with that.

  50. sleepy


    Arendt was no Israeli fan. She was labeled an enemy of Israel.

  51. NL

    So, may be ‘the Koch network’, is more libertarian than neoliberal, so what, why should I care? Take away Koch, another Koch will arise. I am more interested in ecology than in any individual species.

    “would neoliberals be on a mission from God that meant they were prepared to work *actively* and consistently to block and destroy any effective U.S. Federal response in the middle of the pandemic even if that meant ensuring that a few hundred-thousand Americans died?”

    Absolutely, banish the thought that communal action may be successful and productive. People would say but look central regulation and communal action were so successful in the pandemic, why we can’t apply it to …. (insert whatever other problem). Why do you think Elon Musk exists?

    I am not the first one to point out that the pandemic was used to make the top oligarchs wealthier than the low and middle oligarchs as well as wealth shifted from some economic sectors to others. When you outline those item 1-4, it seems that the underlying assumption is that the oligarchy has to care for the populace. This is a misunderstanding of how oligarchy works and what its priorities are. The oligarchs have other priorities. They struggle against each other. An oligarchic blood bath is upon us — Bannon just got arrested and Daily Mail published pictures of Clinton with young girls massaging him.

    My singular thesis is this: oligarchy is the worst form of government , it is bad for the people and for the oligarchs themselves.

  52. NL

    @Mark Pontin

    The oligarchy in 1930 was principled, now it is corrupt and it is corrupting its own ideology. Here’s an example of how bailing out the oligarchs corrupts neoliberalism, a very good question from Sven:

    “Humanity: we can print trillions and trillions in currency with the push of a button, save the banks, enrich billionaires beyond imagination, but we just can’t solve poverty, homelessness nor prevent over 25,000 people dying of hunger every single day.”

  53. S Brennan

    The nonsense I read here,

    The Koch Bros did not support Trump in 2016[1] and won’t in 2020[1][2][3]. The Koch Bros apparatchiks in the Trump Admin [with the exception of Pence] were put there largely through the machination of DNCers, Pompeo being the most obvious case. Pompeo enjoys his position because Trump’s initial foreign advisor was General [Ret.] Flynn who was framed by D’s and every day Pompeo has undercut Trump and faithfully followed Hillary’s foreign policy…

    [1]” Trump’s rise has pushed the Koch brothers out of Republican favor — but their political grip is still as powerful as ever” –

    [2]”Koch network tells donors it plans to stay out of 2020 race, once again declining to back Trump”-

    [3]”Billionaire Koch brothers’ network won’t back Trump in 2020, snubbing his bid for second time”-

  54. Trinity

    I don’t even know where to begin. So many of you ignore what Ian wrote, and make this about politics. So, emotions are now political? Is there anything left that isn’t political? Or put another way: is there anything left that is sacred (non-political)? Granted, politics is about inciting emotions, which is all the more reason not to get emotional about politics.

    being honest with ourselves and others is what makes true connection possible

    Very true, and another ploy that divides us. Honesty is not encouraged now. In fact, dishonesty is clearly rewarded. Honesty is practically illegal.

    Ian: Someone once taught me that when we hate someone, what we are really saying is that we recognize (and hate) that same behavior in ourselves. A type of self hate, or a projection of self hate. Otherwise, we wouldn’t pay the least bit of attention to them, and in fact would ignore/avoid them, given their bad behavior. We certainly wouldn’t keep them in our thoughts.

  55. someofparts

    Sleepy – Thanks. Good to know.

  56. Mark Pontin

    S. Brennan —

    You entirely miss the point.

    Why on earth would Charles Koch — it’s only Charles now — want to publicly support someone like Trump for president now or in 2016?

    Koch controls the moron’s administration — and therefore what comes out of it — and benefits from not having his name attached to the blowback that will come from what that administration does.

    Likewise, it doesn’t matter in the least if the DNC rather than the Republicans might be responsible for the presence of someone like Pompeo, who’s a Koch factotum, in the Trump administration. He’s there. From top to bottom the Trump administration is now mostly comprised of Koch functionaries.

    So while the moron watches Fox TV, obsesses about his popularity ratings there, and tweets his idiocies — I still find him funny, unlike a lot of people — his administration carries out the Koch project. And in the end the moronic glove puppet takes the heat for it and gets thrown down the toilet, Koch does not.

  57. I agree 100%: \”All of these negative emotions can be inappropriate or hijacked or chronic and be bad for you, of course, but all of them also have a purpose in a healthy individual.\”

  58. Z

    Mark Pontin,

    Koch controls the moron’s administration — and therefore what comes out of it — and benefits from not having his name attached to the blowback that will come from what that administration does.

    Okay, so Koch pretty much wrote the extremely consequential CARES Act then I suppose. Good to know!

    And yes I know that it had to go through Congress, but it was primarily negotiated between Mnuchin and Schumer, with, of course, McConnell having say on the parameters of it.

    How do you explain the Trump Administration’s loyalty to Israel? Is that because of Charles Koch too?

    Not that the democrats are any different. Among both of the parties strongest policy stances are that they are both pro-Israel and pro-Wall Street.

    Sure, Charles Koch has indirect influence on the Trump Administration, but he does not control the Trump Administration for f*ck’s sake. There are other forces that want the same things he wants and also things that he don’t that get done regardless.


  59. bruce wilder

    Trinity: is there anything left that is sacred (non-political)?

    Declaring the sacred is a supremely political act, Trinity, and characteristic of a distinctly human politics of abstract symbols and storytelling. Without the sacred, it is all domination and insurrection — boring, until you bring in the priests and witches, soothsayers and magic. Then, it is MacBeth, or Julius Caesar or King Lear. Or, if you fire the writers first, The Apprentice.

  60. Mark Pontin

    Z wrote: ‘ There are other forces that want the same things he wants and also things that he don’t that get done regardless.’

    True. Mnuchin is not a Koch creature and is one of the regular Wall Street looters. However ….

    Z wrote: “Charles Koch has indirect influence on the Trump Administration, but he does not control the Trump Administration for f*ck’s sake.’

    The real-world evidence is to the contrary. Seriously. Except for Mnuchin and Chao, at this point the significant players — Pence, Pompeo, Conway, Meadows, and most of their staff are almost all straight out of the Koch network, created and funded from the beginnings of their political careers by that network.

    You think this is conspiracy theory? That it can’t possibly be true? Then go do some actual research into their funding and history, then come back and tell me how I’m wrong.

    Not incidentally, I used to get paid real money to do this kind of analysis. Here’s a piece I wrote for MIT Technology Review in 2006 when an editor there asked me to figure out what the NSA were really doing surveillance-wise. In the last half, based only on technical analysis I explain what Edward Snowden revealed in 2012, six years later —

    And what I did was, I sat down for a couple of hours and read through some literature to check my understanding of how modern fiberoptic telecommunication networks work, then called up a couple of people, and then wrote a piece that gave an explanation of what the NSA was doing that was the only one that fit the facts as far as I could see. I was right. (And some people at the time told me I was crazy.)

    Same thing here. The explanation that best fits the facts — for instance, the active, consistent kneecapping of the Federal coronavirus response — is that, given their histories and beliefs, the people in the Trump administration are doing it deliberately and their primary loyalty isn’t to Trump. (But he’s absolutely stupid enough that they could get his buy-in on it.)

    Maybe I’m wrong this time. But here’s this account today, one of quite a few that are cropping up, and that are even being mentioned in the media —

    “Just had a brief conversation with my mailman. He confirmed lots of multi-million dollar sorting machines being removed from local post offices. Some are having their parts ripped out and separated from the machines so they can not be put back together again. Others are being removed then ruined with bleach being poured over strategic parts so they can’t be used again.”

    Conceivably, this might all be opposition psyops and as yet we don’t have verification of it. If it is true, however, a half-century ago the very first policy that Charles Koch wanted to enact was to destroy the U.S. Post Office and privatize their services. And now his people — who aren’t your average psychopathic Wall Street looters, but real ideologues — have gone ahead and de facto done it.

  61. Z

    Mark Pontin,

    I’m not going to research the financial connections between Count Koch and certain high level members of the Trump Administration. I’ll assume that you are correct. I’ll even assume that these Koch-sired officials have had a major influence on the federal response to COVID and I can certainly believe that they would try to stop the government from working in the best interests of the people. These are also not positions that are unique to Count Koch. Our entire ruling class does not want U.S. citizens to get uppity and think their government is responsible to them. It might change the rules of the game that our rulers have benefited so much from.

    However, there’s a lot of other important matters outside of the COVID response that the Trump Administration is involved in as well such as putting down the protests, foreign affairs, and Wall Street that Count Koch doesn’t have much influence on at all IMO even if some of the Trump Administration’s actions in those areas he may agree with and that’s why I do not believe that Count Koch controls the Trump Administration through intermediaries.

    You are very intelligent and I’m sure that you are capable of doing great analysis on a lot of matters but your purposeful blind spot in this one is this: the influence of what I refer to as the Jewish Zionist Mafia. That’s what has a controlling interest in this country IMO and I have never even seen you respond to anything regarding them and it isn’t hard to understand why: you make money writing and it would be, or could be, against your financial interests to be critical of the J.Z.M.. Fine. But your analysis is incomplete and faulty when you are working around such a large factor that you choose to ignore. So instead you found some connections to the Trump Administration’s actions and Count Koch, you jumped on a conclusion, and then you continued to work your way backwards on your analysis IMO. You have taken the federal response to COVID and projected it as Count Koch controls the Trump Administration when there are a ton of what I would consider more important issues that will have longer term ramifications in the U.S. and the world that Count Koch has little or no say in at all.

    You may even be in the process of mind f*cking yourself into believing in your Count Koch theory because it is in your best interests not to come to the conclusion that it is the J.Z.M. that’s the controlling power in the U.S..

    But don’t listen to me, I’m stupid, take it from Ariel Sharon (and this was back in 2001 before the 2008 bailouts and the CARES Act):
    “We, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.” (Statement of Ariel Sharon, former prime minister of Israel, Oct. 3, 2001.)


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